Forgetting the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool. a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, posed and responded to the following question:

قال : لا أريد أن أحفظ القرآن خشية أن أنساه، فأدخل في قوله تعالى: (كَذَلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا ) ، ويستدل ببعض الأحاديث الضعيفة

A person says: I do not want to memorize the Qur’an out of fear that I will forget it and therefore fall under Allah’s statement:

قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا ۖ وَكَذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنسَىٰ

Allah will say, “Thus did Our ayaat come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you be forgotten this Day.” [20:126]

and this person goes on to cite a number of inauthentic hadith narrations.

قلت : لم يثبت عن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم توعد من حفظ القرآن ونسيه . لم يثبت في ذلك شيء عن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم وكل ما ورد هو أحاديث ضعيفة ، والثابت عنه عليه الصلاة والسلام أنه رغب في حفظ القرآن الكريم وحث عليه وأمر بتعاهده وأكد على ذلك فقال صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ( تَعَاهَدُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَهُوَ أَشَدُّ تَفَلُّتًا مِنْ الْإِبِلِ فِي عُقُلِهَا ) [ رواه البخاري ومسلم وغيرهما واللفظ لمسلم ] ، ـ

I say: There is nothing authentically transmitted from the Messenger regarding a threat against someone who memorized and then forgot the Qur’an. There is nothing at all authentically transmitted from the Messenger regarding this; all of the hadith narrations on that topic are weak. What is actually authentically transmitted from the Prophet is that he encouraged us to memorize the Qur’an, promoted that, instructed us to retain what we had memorized and emphasized that point, for he said:

Commit yourself to this Qur’an, for I swear by the One in Whose Hand is Muhammad’s soul that it is more liable to escape than a camel is from its restraint.

[Transmitted by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others; here with Muslim’s wording] Continue reading

Memorizing from the Beginning or the End of the Mushaf?: Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, posed and answered the following question:

سؤال : أريد ابدأ في حفظ القرآن، فهل أبدأ من البقرة أو من الناس؟ ـ

Question: I would like to start memorizing the Qur’an; should I begin from surah al-Baqarah [02] or from surah al-Nas [114]?

الجواب : لم أقف في ذلك على شيء، فالأيسر لك في الحفظ اصنعه. وإذا كان تريد اختياري فاختار أن تبدأ بالمفصل من سورة ق، أو الحجرات إلى الناس، وهو المفصل الذي فضل به رسولنا ، وهو المحكم، وفيه جميع معاني القرآن العظيم، وأغلبه في أمور العقيدة. ـ

Response: I haven’t come across anything definitive on this topic, so whatever is easier for you for memorize, do that. However, if you would like my opinion, then I would choose to begin with the Mufassal surahs, those from surah Qaf [50] or surah al-Hujurat [49] until surah al-Nas [114]. These are the Mufassal that our Prophet was blessed and favored with, and they are muhkam [containing very few instances of abrogation]. All of the messages of the Qur’an can be found within them, and most of them deal with issues of belief.

أخرج أحمد في المسند (28/ 188، تحت رقم 16982)، وحسنه محققو المسند عن واثلة بن الأسقع، أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: “أعطيت مكان التوراة السبع. وأعطيت مكان الزبور المئين. وأعطيت مكان الإنجيل المثاني. وفضلت بالمفصل ” وبالله التوفيق. ـ

Ahmad reported the following narration in al-Musnad (28/188, narration #16982), and the authenticator of al-Musnad graded it as hasan. Wathilah ibn al-Asqa’ narrated that the Prophet said: Continue reading

What is Meant by “The Themes of the Qur’an”: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote the following brief discussion related to the topic of maqasid al-Qur’an or “themes of the Qur’an”:

مقاصد القرآن يراد بها

What is Meant by “The Themes of the Qur’an”

تارة المقاصد الكلية للقرآن، وهي ترجع إلى ثلاثة محاور وهي الآتية: = تقرير معرفة الله بتوحيد الربوبية والألوهية والأسماء والصفات. = تقرير الأوامر والنوهي والأحكام الشرعية. = بيان حال الناس من دعوة الأنبياء في الأمم السابقة وأمة نبينا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم. ويشير إلى هذا حديث : “قل هو الله أحد تعدل ثلث القرآن”. وبعض أهل العلم يذكر عشرة مقاصد عامة كما صنع ابن القيم، وبعضهم خمسة كما صنع ولي الله الدهلوي وبعضهم ثمانية كما صنع ابن عاشور، رحم الله الجميع، وكلها ترجع إلى هذه المحاور. ـ

Sometimes people use this term to refer to the overarching themes of the entire Qur’an, which go back to pivotal topics, which are:

Instilling knowledge of Allah through knowing His exclusive Lordship, His exclusive right to be worshiped, and His Names and Attributes

Setting forth the commands, prohibitions and legal rulings

Clearly communicating the people’s stances towards the call of the prophets of the previous nations and in Muhammad’s nation.

This is indicated by the hadeeth:

“Say: He is Allah, One” is equal to one third of the Qur’an.

And some of the scholars such as ibn al-Qayyim mention 10 overarching themes, while others such as Waliullah al-Dehlawi mention 5, and still others such as ibn ‘Aashoor mention 8 – may Allah have mercy on all of them. And all of these go back to these three topics. Continue reading

Rejecting the Sunnah in Order to Reinterpret the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

In 2015, Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote a series of posts on his personal blog entitled “The Types of People Who Reject the Sunnah”. We have translated all six installments of this series and present them to you below:

الذين ينكرون السنة أصناف؛ – منهم من ينكر السنة من أصلها ويردها كالقرآنيين. – ومنهم من يرد السنة الآحادية؛ لأنها ظنية بزعمه. – ومنهم من يثبت الحكم الشرعي بالآحاد، ولا يثبت الحكم العقدي إلا بالمتواتر. فلا تثبت عنده سنة احادية بظني، والآحاد عنده كله ظني. – ومنهم من يزعم أنه لا يرد السنة ولكن يطعن في كتبها ويشكك في ثبوتها من جهة دعوى اختلاق أسانيدها. – ومنهم من لا يقبل إلا السنة المنقول بعمل المسلمين ويرد ما عداها. – ومنهم من يطعن في أفراد من الأحاديث ليتوصل بذلك إلى التشكيك في كتب السنة الصحيحة. – ومنهم من يطعن في أعلام الحديث الناقلين للسنة. فهذه أصناف من الطاعنين في السنة، وهدفهم في النهاية إسقاط الدين. ـ

[Part One]

Those who reject the Sunnah fall into several different categories.

• There are those who deny and reject the Sunnah at its very core, such as the Qur’aniyyoon.

• There are those who reject the parts of the Sunnah transmitted through only one narrator because, according to them, such things cannot be confirmed with certainty.

• There are those who affirm legal rulings transmitted through only one narrator but do not affirm points of ‘aqeedah unless they come through multiple independent corroborating chains of narration. So they do not affirm these singular chains of narration due to their uncertain nature, and they claim that all such singular narrations are of uncertain authenticity.

Continue reading

The Chains of the Seven Famous Reciters From Highest to Lowest

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool shared the following post on his Facebook page along with the words, “This came to me via WhatsApp – my Allah reward whoever sent it with good.”

ترتيب أسانيد القراء من حيث العلو و النزول
The Chains of Transmission of the Famous Reciters Arranged from Highest to Lowest

ـ 1- ابن عامر الشامي ،أعلى القراء سندا
حيث يروي عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بواسطة واحد فقط
– ابن عامر عن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم

1 – Ibn ‘Aamir al-Shami had the highest chain of narration among the famous reciters as he transmitted from the Prophet with only one intermediary between them.

Ibn ‘Aamir, on the authority of Abu al-Darda’, on the authority of the Prophet.

ـ 2- ابن كثير المكي و عاصم الكوفي ، يرويان عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم بواسطتين
– عاصم عن أبي عبد الرحمن السلمي عن أبي بن كعب رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم
– ابن كثير عن عبد الله بن السائب عن أبي بن كعب رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم

2 – Ibn Kathir al-Makki and ‘Aasim al-Kufi. Both of them had two intermediaries between them and the Prophet.

‘Aasim, on the authority of Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami, on the authority of Ubay ibn Ka’b, on the authority of the Prophet.

ibn Kathir, on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn al-Saa’ib, on the authority of ‘Ubay ibn Ka’b, on the authority of the Prophet.

Continue reading

Punishment of the Grave as Mentioned in the Qur’an: Ibn al-Qayyim

Some people promote doubts about the punishment of the grave – ‘adhab al-qabr – by arguing that it is not mentioned in the Qur’an. Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, addressed this doubt while drawing on the writing of past scholar Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah:

سؤال : هل ذكر عذاب القبر في القرآن الكريم؟ ـ

Question: Is the punishment of the grave mentioned in the Qur’an?

الجواب : نعم ذكر عذاب القبر في القرآن الكريم، بالإشارة إليه بما لا يستقيم المعنى إلا بأنه مقصود، وذكر بدلالة الالتزام ؛ ـ

Response: Yes, the punishment of the grave is mentioned in the Qur’an. This is done through indirect mentions where it is the only plausible meaning, as well by the logical implications of the Qur’an.

أمّا دلالة الالتزام فإن الله أوجب تصديق الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما أخبر، وطاعته فيما أمر. واجتناب ما نهى عنه وزجر، وقد أخبرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعذاب القبر، وحذرنا منه، وأمرنا بالاستعاذة منه، والأحاديث بهذا المعنى متواترة تواتراً معنوياً، تكذيبها تكذيب لأمر قطعي يقيني، وعدم تصديق ذلك واتباعه تكذيب لدلالة اللزوم التي دل عليها القرآن.ـ

As for the logical implications, Allah has commanded us to affirm what the Prophet has told us and to obey him in what he has commanded us. He has also commanded us to avoid what the Prophet has forbidden and warned against. And the Prophet has informed us of the punishment of the grave and warned us of it, as well as commanding us to seek refuge from it. The hadith narrations conveying these messages are massively numerous, undeniably affirming these meanings. To deny them is to deny a matter that is certain beyond doubt. Refusing to affirm and follow these narrations effectively means denying the logical implications of the Qur’an. Continue reading

Responding to Doubts About the Qiraa’aat and Their Chains of Transmission: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote the following “doubt and response” post surrounding the qiraa’aat – multiple recitations of the Qur’an – and their preservation:

شبهة : بعض القراءات سندها فيه رواة ضعفاء، بل بعض القراء السبعة طعن في ضبطه، فقراءته غير مقبولة لأن سندها من طريقه! ـ

Doubt: Some of the qiraa’aat have weak transmitters in their chains of transmission. What’s more, the precise transmission of some of the seven famous reciters themselves has been questioned. So therefore these qiraa’aat do not meet the level of acceptability since they have been transmitted through these routes!

ردها : القراءة لا تعتمد في ثبوتها على أسانيدها المذكورة في أول كتب القراءات؛ إنما تعتمد على تلقيها كافة عن كافة حتى وصلت إلينا. فكل قراءة من هذه القراءات السبع أو العشر، إنما تعتمد على نقل الكافة عن الكافة طبقة عن طبقة حتى وصلت إلينا…. فهي متواترة لا تحتاج إلى أفراد الأسانيد في ثبوتها. ـ

Response: The authenticity and reliability of a qiraa’ah is not dependent on the chains of transmission found in the beginnings of the books of the qiraa’aat; it depends on the oral transmission from numerous teachers to numerous students over time until it has reached us.

Each one of the seven or ten qiraa’aat is based on mass transmission from one generation to the next until it has been passed down to us. So this transmission is mutawaatir; individual chains of narration are not needed to show the authenticity of these qiraa’aat. Continue reading

Is Tajweed Mandatory? And is it Part of the Religion?: Muhammad Bazmool

In part of his explanation of the book al-Itmam al-Dirayah li-Qurra’ al-Niqayah, sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool addressed the question of whether tajweed in reciting the Qur’an is an obligation and whether the science of tajweed has any basis or not, as some assert.

ـ▪من أجل هذا قيل بوجوب ضبط القرآن في حروفه، فيُعطىٰ كل حرف حقّه ومُستحقّه، بما يخرج بقراءته عن اللّحن الجليّ. ـ

… Due to this, some say that it is mandatory to be precise in one’s pronunciation of the Qur’an and that one must give each letter its due rights, so as to avoid falling into obvious major errors when reciting.

أما تجنب اللحن الخفيّ، وهو ما يتعلّق بمخارج الحروف بالضّبط، ومقدار المدود وما يشبه ذلك مما لا يؤثّر في بُنية الكلمة ومعناها؛ فهذا يُستحبّ. وهذا وجه تقرير طلب علم التّجويد؛ فإن القراءة باللّحن الجليِّ لم ينزل القرآن بها، وليست بقرآن. ـ

As for avoiding subtle minor errors – i.e. those related to the exact makharij al-huroof (places of articulation), the length of the mudood (elongated vowels), and other such things which do not have any effect on the form or meaning of a word – then this is virtuous but not obligatory. So this is what the student of tajweed should remember, for reciting the Qur’an with obvious major errors is not how the Qur’an was revealed and is not, in fact, the Qur’an.

فإن قيل: ما الدّليل على أن تجنّب اللّحن الخفي ليس بواجب؟ فالجواب: جاء في الحديث عن عائِشَةَ رضي اللّه عنها، عن النبيِّ ﷺ قال: (مثل الذي يقرأُ القرآنَ وهو حافظٌ له مع السَّفَرَة الكرامِ البررةِ، ومثل الذي يقرأُ، وهو يتعاهَدُهُ، وهو عليه شديدٌ، فلَهُ أجرَانِ)، وفي رواية: (الماهر بالقرآن مع السّفرةِ الكرام البررَةِ، والَّذي يَقْرَاُ القُرآنَ ويَتَعْتَعُ فِيهِ، وَهُوَ عَليهِ شاقٌّ؛ لَهُ أجْرَانِ) أخرجه البخاري في كتاب التفسير. ـ

Now, what if one were to say, “What is the evidence that avoiding subtle minor errors isn’t mandatory?”

One could reply by mentioning what has come in the hadith of A’ishah that they Prophet said:

Whoever recites the Qur’an, having memorized it, is with the righteous and noble messenger angels. And whoever recites the Qur’an, struggling to do so and experiencing difficulty, then he will have two rewards.

And in another narration: Continue reading

Attributing the Qiraa’aat to the Seven Reciters: Muhammad Bazmool

As is well known, the qiraa’aat – recitations of the Qur’an – are commonly referred to by the names of certain transmitters and reciters, such as the qiraa’ah of Hafs ‘an ‘Asim or the qiraa’ah of Warsh ‘an Nafi’. However, some people then question why the qiraa’aat are attributed to these transmitters and reciters if they were all recited and taught by the Prophet. In part of a response to some doubts surrounding the qiraa’aat, Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool wrote the following important clarification on this topic:

اعلم أن نسبة القراءة إلى العلماء الذين اشتهرت عنهم إنما هي نسبة أداء ورواية واختيار لا نسبة اختراع وابتداع ؛ فإن القراءة تلقي واتباع لا اختراع وابتداع! ـ

You ought to know that the attribution of a certain qiraa’ah – a recitation of the Qur’an – to those scholars who were known for reciting in that way is merely an attribution that they did recited and transmitted and preferred that qiraa’ah, not attributing it to them as if they invented or created it! The qiraa’aat are something received and followed, not something that people can create or invent themselves! Continue reading

How to Distinguish Muhkam from Mutashaabih: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote the following question and answer:

كل أهل البدع يستدلون بالقرآن والسنة، ويرون أدلتهم محكمة وأدلة مخالفيهم من المتشابه! ما السبيل الذي استطيع أن أميز أن استدلالي بالآية أو الحديث هو استدلال بالمحكم دون المتشابه؟ ـ

[Question] All of the people of innovation use the Qur’an and the Sunnah as evidences to support their positions and consider their own evidences to be muhkam (clear-cut and definitive) while believing that the evidence of those who oppose them are mutashaabih (ambiguous and uncertain). How can I determine if my use of an ayah or hadith to support a position is actually relying on something muhkam rather than something mutashaabih?

هذا السؤال يجول في خاطر بعض الناس ويبحث عن جواب، واسأل الله تبارك وتعالى أن يعين عليه ، فأقول: ـ

[Response] This question deals with a challenge that some people face and for which they are searching for an answer. I ask Allah to aid us in that, and I would respond:

أولاً : لتعلم أنه ليس مجرد الاستدلال بالآية أو بالحديث يجعل استدلالك مبني على حجة صحيحة، حتى يتحقق في الآية التي تستدل بها والحديث أنهما من المحكم وليسا من المتشابه. ولذلك جاء عن عبدالله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنه: “العلم آية محكمة أو سنة ماضية أو فريضة قائمة”؛ فانظر لم يقل العلم الآية و الحديث، حتى قيد الآية بأن تكون محكمة والسنة بأن تكون ماضية . ـ

First, you should know that just because you bring an ayah or a hadith to support your point does not necessarily mean that what you are trying to prove is built of a strong foundation until you verify that the ayah or hadith which you are using as evidence is actually muhkam and not mutashaabih. There is something in this vein from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas where he said,

“Knowledge is a muhkam verses or an established sunnah or a valid derived ruling.”

Notice that he did not say “knowledge is an ayah or a hadith” without stipulating that the ayah had to be muhkam and that the sunnah had to be established. Continue reading