Compiling the Qur’an – “How can you do something that the Prophet did not do?”: Ibn Hajr

In part of his Chapter on the virtues of the Qur’an, Imam al-Bukhari brought the famous hadith of Zayd ibn Thabit describing how Abu Bakr and ‘Umar recruited him to help in compiling the Qur’an during the time of Abu Bakr. The hadith begins with:

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ بْنِ السَّبَّاقِ، أَنَّ زَيْدَ بْنَ ثَابِتٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ أَرْسَلَ إِلَىَّ أَبُو بَكْرٍ مَقْتَلَ أَهْلِ الْيَمَامَةِ فَإِذَا عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ عِنْدَهُ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ إِنَّ عُمَرَ أَتَانِي فَقَالَ إِنَّ الْقَتْلَ قَدِ اسْتَحَرَّ يَوْمَ الْيَمَامَةِ بِقُرَّاءِ الْقُرْآنِ وَإِنِّي أَخْشَى أَنْ يَسْتَحِرَّ الْقَتْلُ بِالْقُرَّاءِ بِالْمَوَاطِنِ، فَيَذْهَبَ كَثِيرٌ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ وَإِنِّي أَرَى أَنْ تَأْمُرَ بِجَمْعِ الْقُرْآنِ‏.‏ قُلْتُ لِعُمَرَ كَيْفَ تَفْعَلُ شَيْئًا لَمْ يَفْعَلْهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ عُمَرُ هَذَا وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ

… Zayd ibn Thabit said:

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me after the people of Yamamah had been killed. I found `Umar bin al-Khattab sitting with him and he said to me, “‘Umar came to me and said, ‘Casualties were heavy among the reciters of the Qur’an on the day of the Battle of Yamamah, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties among the reciters may take place on other battlefields, thereby causing a large part of the Qur’an to be lost. So I suggest that you order that the Qur’an be collected.” I replied to `Umar, “How can you do something which Allah’s Messenger did not do?” ‘Umar said, “By Allah, it is something good.” …

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #4986]

In his famous commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, al-haafidh ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani addresses the last question mentioned above by writing:

 وقال الخطابي وغيره : يحتمل أن يكون – صلى الله عليه وسلم – إنما لم يجمع القرآن في المصحف لما كان يترقبه من ورود ناسخ لبعض أحكامه أو تلاوته ، فلما انقضى نزوله بوفاته – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ألهم الله الخلفاء الراشدين ذلك وفاء لوعد الصادق بضمان حفظه على هذه الأمة المحمدية زادها الله شرفا ، فكان ابتداء ذلك على يد الصديق – رضي الله عنه – بمشورة عمر ، ويؤيده ما أخرجه ابن أبي داود في ” المصاحف ” بإسناد حسن عن عبد خير قال : ” سمعت عليا يقول : أعظم الناس في المصاحف أجرا أبو بكر ، رحمة الله على أبي بكر ، هو أول من جمع كتاب الله ” وأما ما أخرجه مسلم من حديث أبي سعيد قال : ” قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : لا تكتبوا عني شيئا غير القرآن ” الحديث فلا ينافي ذلك ، لأن الكلام في كتابة مخصوصة على صفة مخصوصة ، وقد كان القرآن كله كتب في عهد النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لكن غير مجموع في موضع واحد ولا مرتب السور ، وأما ما أخرجه ابن أبي داود في ” المصاحف ” من طريق ابن سيرين قال : ” قال علي : لما مات رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – آليت أن لا آخذ على ردائي إلا لصلاة جمعة حتى أجمع القرآن فجمعه ” فإسناده ضعيف لانقطاعه ، وعلى تقدير أن يكون محفوظا فمراده بجمعه حفظه في صدره ، قال : والذي وقع في بعض طرقه ” حتى جمعته بين اللوحين ” وهم من راويه . ـ

al-Khattabi and others said:

It is possible that the only reason why the Prophet did not collect the entire Qur’an together into a mushaf was because he expected that abrogation would come for certain legal rulings or recitations. Then when the revelation came to an end at the time of his death, Allah inspired the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa’ to carry out that task in order to fulfill Allah’s true promise to preserve the Qur’an for this Ummah of Muhammad so that Allah might increase them in honor. This process began at the hand of Abu Bakr with the advice of ‘Umar. All of this is supported by what ibn Abi Dawud recorded in his Kitab al-Musahif with a good chain of narration from ‘Abd Khair who said, “I heard ‘Ali saying, ‘The person with the most reward in relation to the written copies of the Qur’an is Abu Bakr. May Allah have mercy on Abu Bakr; he was the first person to compile the Book of Allah.'”

As for the hadith of Abu Sa’eed that Muslim relayed, that “Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Do not write down anything from me except for the Qur’an …'”, then this is not at odds with the above claim because we are speaking about the specific way that Abu Bakr recorded the Qur’an. For the entire Qur’an had in fact been put down in writing during the lifetime of the Prophet; it is just that it had not been gathered altogether in one place in the order of the surahs. Continue reading

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Why ‘Uthman selected Zayd ibn Thaabit over ibn Mas’ood

When the third Rightly-Guided Khaleefah ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan commissioned the writing of the official mushafs in the dialect of the Quraysh for the entire Ummah, he selected a group of people to carry out this task with Zayd ibn Thaabit at their head. There are a number of reports indicating that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood was displeased with this choice. Some orientalists and missionaries use these reports to their attempts to impugn the reliability and preservation of the Qur’an. What follows are the words of two great scholars clearly addressing the nature of ibn Mas’ood’s concerns and the reasons for ‘Uthman’s decision.

The famous muhaddith, historian, and expert in qiraa’aat Imam Shams al-Deen al-Dhahabi mentioned some of these reports and then commented by explaining:

قلت : إنما شق على ابن مسعود ، لكون عثمان ما قدمه على كتابة المصحف ، وقدم في ذلك من يصلح أن يكون ولده ، وإنما عدل عنه عثمان لغيبته عنه بالكوفة ، ولأن زيدا كان يكتب الوحي لرسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – فهو إمام في الرسم ، وابن مسعود فإمام في الأداء ، ثم إن زيدا هو الذي ندبه الصديق لكتابة المصحف وجمع القرآن ، فهلا عتب على أبي بكر ؟ وقد ورد أن ابن مسعود رضي وتابع عثمان ولله الحمد . ـ

I say: The only reason why this upset ibn Mas’ood was because ‘Uthman had given precedence to someone other than him to write the official mushaf. Moreover, he had given that honor to someone who could have been his own son. But the only reasons why ‘Uthman didn’t select ibn Mas’ood was because he was far away in al-Kufah, and because Zayd used to write the revelation for Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). So Zayd was an expert in writing, while ibn Mas’ood was an expert in reciting.  Continue reading

The Dispute Between ‘Umar and Hisham: Ibn Hajr

Imam al-Bukhari mentioned the following narration in his Saheeh, in the section on the merits of the Qur’an:

حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عُفَيْرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي اللَّيْثُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُقَيْلٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، أَنَّ الْمِسْوَرَ بْنَ مَخْرَمَةَ، وَعَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنَ عَبْدٍ الْقَارِيَّ، حَدَّثَاهُ أَنَّهُمَا، سَمِعَا عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ هِشَامَ بْنَ حَكِيمٍ، يَقْرَأُ سُورَةَ الْفُرْقَانِ فِي حَيَاةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاسْتَمَعْتُ لِقِرَاءَتِهِ فَإِذَا هُوَ يَقْرَأُ عَلَى حُرُوفٍ كَثِيرَةٍ لَمْ يُقْرِئْنِيهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَكِدْتُ أُسَاوِرُهُ فِي الصَّلاَةِ فَتَصَبَّرْتُ حَتَّى سَلَّمَ فَلَبَّبْتُهُ بِرِدَائِهِ فَقُلْتُ مَنْ أَقْرَأَكَ هَذِهِ السُّورَةَ الَّتِي سَمِعْتُكَ تَقْرَأُ‏.‏ قَالَ أَقْرَأَنِيهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ كَذَبْتَ فَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدْ أَقْرَأَنِيهَا عَلَى غَيْرِ مَا قَرَأْتَ، فَانْطَلَقْتُ بِهِ أَقُودُهُ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ هَذَا يَقْرَأُ بِسُورَةِ الْفُرْقَانِ عَلَى حُرُوفٍ لَمْ تُقْرِئْنِيهَا‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ أَرْسِلْهُ اقْرَأْ يَا هِشَامُ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَرَأَ عَلَيْهِ الْقِرَاءَةَ الَّتِي سَمِعْتُهُ يَقْرَأُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ كَذَلِكَ أُنْزِلَتْ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ اقْرَأْ يَا عُمَرُ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَرَأْتُ الْقِرَاءَةَ الَّتِي أَقْرَأَنِي، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ كَذَلِكَ أُنْزِلَتْ، إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ أُنْزِلَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ‏”‏‏.‏

… al-Miswar ibn Makhramah and ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abd al-Qari told us that they both heard ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab say:

I heard Hisham ibn Hakeem reciting surah al-Furqan while the Prophet was still alive, so I listened to his recitation and I noticed that he recited it differently in several ways from how Allah’s Messenger had recited it to me. I nearly struck him while he was still praying, but I held myself back until he completed the prayer and then I grabbed him by his shawl and said, “Who taught you this surah that I just heard you recite?” He said, “Allah’s Messenger recited it to me.” I said, “You have misspoken, for Allah’s Messenger recited it to me in a different way than how you recited it.”

So I immediately set off to see Allah’s Messenger, taking him along with me. I said to the Prophet, “I heard this person recite surah al-Furqan in some ways other than how you taught it to me.”

Allah’s Messenger said, “Let him go. Recite it, Hisham.” So he recited it in the way I had heard him recite it before. Then Allah’s Messenger, “That is how it was sent down,” and then said, “Recite it, ‘Umar.” So I recited it in the way I had been taught, and Allah’s Messenger said, “That is how it was sent down. This Qur’an was sent down in seven ahruf [dialects], so recite whatever of it is easy for you.”

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #4992]

While there has been much differing among the scholars as to the meaning of the seven ahruf, the correct meaning – inshaAllaah – is that they are different dialects of the Arabic language in which the Qur’an was revealed. However, as scholars have pointed out, ‘Umar and Hisham were both from the tribe of Quraysh and thus shared the same dialect. This raises the question: if they shared the same dialect, why would they differ in which harf they recited the Qur’an in?

The great scholar of hadith ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani addressed this point in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari by writing:

قوله : ( فإن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قد أقرأنيها ) هذا قاله عمر استدلالا على ما ذهب إليه من تخطئة هشام ، وإنما ساغ له ذلك لرسوخ قدمه في الإسلام وسابقته ، بخلاف هشام فإنه كان قريب العهد بالإسلام فخشي عمر من ذلك أن لا يكون أتقن القراءة ، بخلاف نفسه فإنه كان قد أتقن ما سمع .ـ

Regarding ‘Umar’s statement, “For Allah’s Messenger recited it to me…” Continue reading

The Collection of Abu Bakr and the Mushaf of ‘Uthman: ibn Hajr

In part of a longer hadith about the compilation of the Qur’an during the time of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Anas ibn Maalik said:

فَأَرْسَلَ عُثْمَانُ إِلَى حَفْصَةَ أَنْ أَرْسِلِي إِلَيْنَا بِالصُّحُفِ نَنْسَخُهَا فِي الْمَصَاحِفِ ثُمَّ نَرُدُّهَا إِلَيْكِ فَأَرْسَلَتْ بِهَا حَفْصَةُ إِلَى عُثْمَانَ

… ‘Uthman sent a message to Hafsah saying, “Send me the suhuf so that we can copy them over to mushafs, and then we will return them to you.” So Hafsah sent them to ‘Uthman. …

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #4987]

In part of his famous explanation of Saheeh al-Bukharial-haafidh ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani mentioned the following points about certain differences between the suhuf [loose sheets] of Abu Bakr and the mushaf of ‘Uthman:

الفرق بين الصحف والمصحف أن الصحف الأوراق المجردة التي جمع فيها القرآن في عهد أبي بكر ، وكانت سور مفرقة كل سورة مرتبة بآياتها على حدة لكن لم يرتب بعضها إثر بعض ، فلما نسخت ورتب بعضها إثر بعض صارت مصحفا

The difference between the suhuf [of Abu Bakr] and the mushaf [of ‘Uthman] is that the suhuf were just sheets of paper on which the Qur’an had been compiled during the time of Abu Bakr. Each of the surahs was on its own sheet or sheets of paper with its ayaat arranged in order, but without the surahs picking up one right after the other on the same page. But then when the surahs were copied over and written to follow immediately one after the other, then it became a mushaf.

[Fath al-Bari #4702]

Ibn Hajr goes on to also explain another distinction between the compilation of Abu Bakr and that of ‘Uthman in a later part of the same explanation: Continue reading

Generosity and Studying the Qur’an during Ramadan – Ibn Hajr

In Saheeh al-Bukhari, in the Book of Wahyi (Revelation), Ibn ‘Abbaas is recorded as saying:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ، فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was the most generous of people, and he was even more generous in Ramadan when Jibreel used to meet him. Every night of Ramadan Jibreel used to come to him and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would study the Qur’an with him. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was more generous in giving good than the blowing wind.

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #6]

In part of his commentary on this hadeeth, Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani wrote:

قوله : ( فيدارسه القرآن ) ـ

His statement, “So he would study the Qur’an with him“.

قيل الحكمة فيه أن مدارسة القرآن تجدد له العهد بمزيد غنى النفس ، والغنى سبب الجود . والجود في الشرع إعطاء ما ينبغي لمن ينبغي ، وهو أعم من الصدقة . ـ

It is said that the wisdom in this is that studying the Qur’an refreshed his knowledge by increasing in a feeling of self-contentedness, and contentedness is a cause of generosity. And al-Jood (generosity) according to the religious terminology is: giving what is appropriate to whom it is appropriate, and this is more general than al-sadaqah.

وأيضا فرمضان موسم الخيرات ; لأن نعم الله على عباده فيه زائدة على غيره ، فكان النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – يؤثر متابعة سنة الله في عباده . ـ

And also, Ramadan is a season of goodnesses, for Allah has blessed His slaves with an increase (of good) therein compared to other times, so the Prophet (ﷺ) imitated following Allah’s sunnah with His slaves.

And ibn Hajr also wrote: Continue reading

The supplication is granted so long as one does not show impatience: Ibn Hajr

In Saheeh al-Bukhari, it narrated that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

يُسْتَجَابُ لأَحَدِكُمْ مَا لَمْ يَعْجَلْ يَقُولُ دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي

The supplication of anyone of you is granted if he does not show impatience by saying, “I supplicated but my request has not been granted.”

[al-Bukhari #6340]

Commenting on this in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani wrote:

قوله : يستجاب لأحدكم ما لم يعجل أي يجاب دعاؤه وقد تقدم بيان ذلك في التفسير في قوله – تعالى – الذين استجابوا لله . ـ

His statement, “The supplication of anyone of you is granted if he does not show impatience” – meaning his supplication is answered, and the explanation of that has already come in the tafsir of Allah’s statement, “Those [believers] who responded to Allah” [3:172].

قوله : يقول دعوت فلم يستجب لي في رواية غير أبي ذر ” فيقول ” بزيادة فاء واللام منصوبة قال ابن بطال : المعنى أنه يسأم فيترك الدعاء فيكون كالمان بدعائه أو أنه أتى من الدعاء ما يستحق به الإجابة فيصير كالمبخل للرب الكريم الذي لا تعجزه الإجابة ولا ينقصه العطاء

His statement, “by saying ‘I supplicated but my request has not been granted’“. … And ibn Battaal said: the meaning is that he became tired and so he abandoned supplicating as if he were expending himself by making his supplication, or he (only) brings supplications which are guaranteed a response so then he becomes like a penny-pincher with His Lord, the Generous One, Who does not show impatience in responding nor does He decrease what He gives.

وقد وقع في رواية أبي إدريس الخولاني عن أبي هريرة عند مسلم والترمذي لا يزال يستجاب للعبد ما لم يدع بإثم أو قطيعة رحم وما لم يستعجل . قيل وما الاستعجال ؟ قال يقول قد دعوت وقد دعوت فلم أر يستجاب لي فيستحسر عند ذلك ويدع الدعاء ومعنى قوله يستحسر وهو بمهملات ينقطع

And it has come in the narration of Abu Idrees al-Khawlaani from Abu Hurayrah in Muslim and al-Tirmidhi:

“The supplication of the servant is granted so long as he does not supplicate for sin or for severing the ties of kinship, or he does not become impatient.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, what does ‘so long as he does not grow impatient’ mean?” He said, “That he should say, ‘I supplicated and I supplicated but I did not see a response,’ and then he becomes frustrated and abandons supplication.

وفي هذا الحديث أدب من آداب الدعاء وهو أنه يلازم الطلب ولا ييأس من الإجابة لما في ذلك من الانقياد والاستسلام وإظهار الافتقار حتى قال بعض السلف : لأنا أشد خشية أن أحرم الدعاء من أن أحرم الإجابة وكأنه أشار إلى حديث ابن عمر رفعه من فتح له منكم باب الدعاء فتحت له أبواب الرحمة الحديث أخرجه الترمذي بسند لين وصححه الحاكم فوهم قال الداودي : يخشى على من خالف وقال : قد دعوت فلم يستجب لي أن يحرم الإجابة وما قام مقامها من الادخار والتكفير انتهى

And this hadeeth contains one of the etiquettes of supplication, which is that one should persist in seeking and should not despair of a response, for in that there is compliance and submission and demonstrating one’s neediness to the extent that some of the salaf said, “Indeed I am more fearful that I might be deprived of supplication than that I might be deprived of responses to supplication.” And it is as if this is referring to the hadeeth of ibn ‘Umar from the Prophet:

For whomsoever of you the door of supplication is opened, the doors of mercy have been opened for him.

The hadeeth is reported by al-Tirmidhi with a good chain of narration which al-Haakim graded as saheeh. And al-Daawoodi mused, “It is feared for the one goes against this and says, ‘I have supplicated but my request has not been granted’ – it is feared that he will be deprived of a response as well as what goes in its place such as storing-up [good for the hereafter] or expiation of sins.” End quote.

وقد قدمت في أول كتاب الدعاء الأحاديث الدالة على أن دعوة المؤمن لا ترد وأنها إما أن تعجل له الإجابة وإما أن تدفع عنه من السوء مثلها وإما أن يدخر له في الآخرة خير مما سأل

And multiple ahaadeeth have already come in the beginning of the chapter of supplication demonstrating that the supplication of the believer is not rejected, and that it is either that the response is delayed for him, or that it repels some evil the like thereof from him, or something better than what he asked for is stored up for him in the hereafter.

فأشار الداودي إلى ذلك وإلى ذلك أشار ابن الجوزي بقوله اعلم أن دعاء المؤمن لا يرد غير أنه قد يكون الأولى له تأخير الإجابة أو يعوض بما هو أولى له عاجلا أو آجلا فينبغي للمؤمن أن لا يترك الطلب من ربه فإنه متعبد بالدعاء كما هو متعبد بالتسليم والتفويض

And al-Daawoodi indicated that, as did ibn al-Jawzi by his statement, “Know that the supplication of the believer is not rejected – either it is better for him to delay the response, or he will be compensated with that which is better for him, whether in this life or the next. So it is becoming of the believer that he should not abandon seeking of his Lord, for verily he is engaging in worship by means of supplication just as he is engaged in worship by means of submission and entrusting his affair to Allah.

ومن جملة آداب الدعاء تحري الأوقات الفاضلة كالسجود وعند الأذان ومنها تقديم الوضوء ، والصلاة واستقبال القبلة ورفع اليدين وتقديم التوبة والاعتراف بالذنب ، والإخلاص وافتتاحه بالحمد والثناء والصلاة على النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – والسؤال بالأسماء الحسنى وأدلة ذلك ذكرت في هذا الكتاب

And from the overall etiquettes of supplication is:

-To seek out the preferred times, such as during al-sujood or at the time of the adhaan.

-And from the etiquettes is preceding it with wudhoo’,

-and during al-salaah

-and while facing the qiblah

-and while raising one’s hands

-and preceding it with al-tawbah and recognition of one’s sins

-and having ikhlaas

-and opening with praise and extolling [of Allah] and sending salaah on the Prophet (ﷺ)

-and asking by the beautiful names of Allah

And the evidence for these things in mentioned [elsewhere] is this book.

وقال الكرماني ما ملخصه الذي يتصور في الإجابة وعدمها أربع صور الأولى عدم العجلة وعدم القول المذكور الثانية وجودهما الثالثة والرابعة عدم أحدهما ووجود الآخر فدل الخبر على أن الإجابة تختص بالصورة الأولى دون ثلاث قال ودل الحديث على أن مطلق قوله – تعالى – أجيب دعوة الداع إذا دعان مقيد بما دل عليه الحديث . ـ

And al-Kermani presented four cases related to the acceptance or rejection of supplication that I will summarize:

1) The absence of impatience and the absence of the aforementioned statement.

2) [Conversely] the presence of these two things.

3) and 4) the presence of one of these two things and the absence of the other.

So this narration demonstrates that a response is specific to the first case to the exclusion of the other three.

response to supplications - al-kermani

And he also said, “This hadeeth demonstrates that the general nature of Allah’s statement, “I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me” [2:186] is restricted by what this hadeeth indicates.

قلت وقد أول الحديث المشار إليه قبل على أن المراد بالإجابة ما هو أعم من تحصيل المطلوب بعينه أو ما يقوم مقامه ويزيد عليه والله أعلم

I [ibn Hajr] say, “And the initial hadeeth mentioned refers to the fact that the intended meaning of a response [to supplication] is more general than just attaining what is sought in and of itself or what takes it place, and it is more than that – and Allah knows best.”

[Fath al-Baari #9479]

See also: Avoid the sins which prevent forgiveness and the acceptance of du’a: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 7:55

See also: Words for those in the midst of long-suffering: Ibn al-Jawzi

See also: “When My slaves ask you about Me, Indeed I am near”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Allah’s Name al-Mujeeb al-Qareeb – Sheikh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq

The sad story of ‘Imran ibn Hittaan

There was an interesting individual from the time of the Tabi’een, whose name was ‘Imran ibn Ḥiṭṭān. Both Imam al-Dhahabi and Imam Ibn Kathir mentioned his biography in their historical works.

Ibn Kathir, in his massive work of history, al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah, summarized ibn Ḥiṭṭān’s biography by writing:

عمران بن حطان الخارجي، كان أولا من أهل السنة والجماعة فتزوج امرأة من الخوارج حسنة جميلة جدا فأحبها. وكان هو دميم الشكل، فأراد أن يردها إلى السنة فأبت فارتد معها إلى مذهبها

“‘Imran ibn Ḥiṭṭān al-Khaarijee. He was originally among Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, but then he married a woman from the Khawaarij who was extremely beautiful, so he loved her. And he himself was ugly and misshapen. So he intended to return her to the sunnah, but she adamantly refused, so he apostatized with her to her way (i.e. became a Khaarijee after have been a scholar of Ahl al-Sunnah!).”

[al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah 9/64]

Imam al-Dhahabi wrote about him saying: Continue reading

The prohibition of imitating the opposite gender: Imam al-Mubaarakfoori

Ibn ‘Abbaas reports that:

لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمُتَشَبِّهَاتِ بِالرِّجَالِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْمُتَشَبِّهِينَ بِالنِّسَاءِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ

The Messenger of (ﷺ) cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.

[al-Tirmidhi #2784, saheeh]

Imam al-Mubaarakfoori, in his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote about this hadeeth:

قوله : ( لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المتشبهات بالرجال من النساء والمتشبهين بالنساء من الرجال )  قال الطبري : المعنى لا يجوز للرجال التشبه بالنساء في اللباس والزينة التي تختص بالنساء ولا العكس .  .

Concerning his statement, “The Messenger of (ﷺ) cursed the cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women“, al-Tabari said: The meaning is that it is not permissible for the man to imitate the woman in clothing or adornment (i.e. make-up, jewelry, etc) which are specific to women, nor vice-versa.

قال الحافظ : وكذا في الكلام والمشي ، فأما هيئة اللباس فتختلف باختلاف عادة كل بلد فرب قوم لا يفترق زي نسائهم من رجالهم في اللبس ، لكن يمتاز النساء بالاحتجاب والاستتار ، وأما ذم التشبه بالكلام والمشي فمختص بمن تعمد ذلك ، وأما من كان ذلك من أصل خلقته فإنما يؤمر بتكلف تركه والإدمان على ذلك بالتدريج ، فإن لم يفعل وتمادى دخله الذم ، ولا سيما إن بدا منه ما يدل على الرضا به ، وأخذ هذا واضح من لفظ المتشبهين ، وأما إطلاق من أطلق كالنووي أن المخنث الخلقي لا يتجه عليه اللوم ، فمحمول على ما إذا لم يقدر على ترك التثني والتكسر في المشي والكلام بعد تعاطيه المعالجة لترك ذلك ، وإلا متى كان ترك ذلك ممكنا ولو بالتدريج . فتركه بغير عذر لحقه اللوم

And al-Haafidh [ibn Hajr] said: And likewise concerning their speech and gait (i.e. how they walk). And as for the clothing, then it differs depending on the customs of each country, so perhaps there are a people who do not differ in the dress of their women from their men. However, the women are characterized by veiling and covering. But as for the condemnation of imitating them in speech and gait, then that is specific for the one who does that intentionally. But as for the one from whom those external traits come naturally, then he is commanded to constrain that and abandon it and (to abandon) his addictions to that gradually. But if he does not do that and (instead) continues, then he enters into blame, especially if it appeared that he was content/enjoying that, and in this he is clearly taking up the word ‘imitate’.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi #2784]

“Clothed in the world but naked in the hereafter!”: Fath al-Baari

The Mother of the Believers Umm Salamah narrates that:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم اسْتَيْقَظَ لَيْلَةً فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ مَاذَا أُنْزِلَ اللَّيْلَةَ مِنَ الْفِتْنَةِ، مَاذَا أُنْزِلَ مِنَ الْخَزَائِنِ مَنْ يُوقِظُ صَوَاحِبَ الْحُجُرَاتِ، يَا رُبَّ كَاسِيَةٍ فِي الدُّنْيَا عَارِيَةٍ فِي الآخِرَةِ ‏”‏‏

One night the Prophet (ﷺ) got up and said, “SubhanAllah! How many fitan Allah has revealed tonight and how many treasures have been sent down! Who will awaken the women sleeping in these dwellings? O Lord! How many are clothed in this world, yet naked in the hereafter!”

[al-Bukhari #1126]

Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalaani, in his commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, writes the following in part of his notes on this hadeeth:

واختلف في المراد بقوله : كاسية وعارية “

There is differing about the intended meaning of ‘clothed’ and ‘naked’.

على أوجه أحدها كاسية في الدنيا بالثياب لوجود الغنى عارية في الآخرة من الثواب لعدم العمل في الدنيا ،  .

According to the first perspective: clothed in the dunya with clothing for the purpose of ostentation and naked in the aakhirah in terms of reward due to the absence of (good) deeds in the dunya.

ثانيها كاسية بالثياب لكنها شفافة لا تستر عورتها فتعاقب في الآخرة بالعري جزاء على ذلك ،

The second perspective: clothed with clothing, however it is transparent and does not cover her ‘awrah, so she will be punished in the aakhirah with nakedness as a recompense for that.

Continue reading

A note on differing with the Kuffaar: Ibn Hajar

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَسْدِلُ شَعْرَهُ، وَكَانَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ يَفْرُقُونَ رُءُوسَهُمْ، وَكَانَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ يَسْدِلُونَ رُءُوسَهُمْ، وَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُحِبُّ مُوَافَقَةَ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ فِيمَا لَمْ يُؤْمَرْ فِيهِ بِشَىْءٍ، ثُمَّ فَرَقَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَأْسَهُ‏

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to let his hair fall naturally, and the mushrikoon used to part their hair, and the Ahl al-Kitaab used to let their hair fall naturally, and the Prophet (ﷺ) liked to follow the Ahl al-Kitaab in matters for which he had not been given any instruction, but later on the Prophet (ﷺ) started parting his hair.

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #3944]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar briefly commented on this hadeeth by saying:

قوله : ( ثم فرق النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – رأسه ) بفتح الفاء والراء الخفيفة ، وقد سبق شرحه في صفة النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ، وفيه دليل على أنه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – كان يوافق أهل الكتاب إذا خالفوا عبدة الأوثان أخذا بأخف الأمرين ، فلما فتحت مكة ودخل عباد الأوثان في الإسلام رجع إلى مخالفة باقي الكفار وهم أهل الكتاب .

His statement, “but later on the Prophet (ﷺ) started parting his hair” – its explanation has already preceded in [the chapter on] the attributes of the Prophet (ﷺ). And in this is a proof  that he (ﷺ) used to agree with the the Ahl al-Kitaab when differing with the idol worshippers was the easier of the two matters. But then with the opening of Mecca and the entrance of the idol-worshippers into Islam, he returned to differing with the remaining kuffaar, who were the Ahl al-Kitaab.

[Fath al-Bari #3728]