Friday, 30 December 2011

Uhud - Supplication of Visiting Grave yards (Billboard at Uhud Gravesite and Women Forbidden Contradiction)

Supplication of Visiting Grave yards
(Billboard at Uhud Gravesite and Women Forbidden Contradiction)


“...I have a question on a hadith I saw at the site of Uhud and I was wondering if anyone can explain it to me. 

At the gravesite of Uhud there is a big and blue billboard (you can't miss it) with a hadith from at-Tirmidhi which says:
"The Messenger of Allah s.a.w.s. cursed women who visit graves."

Apart from the discussion we can have on why this big billboard is there and what negative thoughts it evokes about Saudia-Arabia and the treatment of women there in general etc., I was wondering if any knows the authenticity of this hadith. This is one issue. 
Secondly (much more important), I read the following passage in a book I bought in Makkah:
 "It is recommended for women (..), to visit the graves as it was authentically reported that 'Aa'ishah (r.a.) asked the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) what she should say if she visited the graves, and he taught her what to say, without saying that it is not permissible for women to visit graves."
We can read this by the way in many other books. 
Now what to think of the previous hadith in light of the hadith that was lastly mentioned?
 I assume reconciliation is possible. How should I understand that big blue (and bold) billboard?

 If the Prophet s.a.w.s. cursed women who visit graves why would he teach 'Aa'ishah what to say in the first place?

Why would it be recommended (I assume this is the hukm taken from the hadith) for women to visit the graves if the Prophet s.a.w.s. cursed them? Is the hadith from at-Tirmidhi abrogated perhaps?

 But why did they put it on a billboard then?
There is a big fence around the gravesite in Uhud, I didn't see an entrance. What does it mean?

Even for the women to be there at the fence means she will be cursed?

This is all very strange for me and nobody has been able to give me an answer yet. 
...your brother Harun”
[End of Quote]

Hadith on visiting graves at the site of Uhud

“First of all I would like to say ما شاء الله عليك Brother Harun.  For someone who came to Islam a few years ago to be so diligent and insightful in your Islamic studies is extremely admirable and I too was pleased  to meet with you in Belgium a few months ago.  I pray that Allah increases your zeal to study.  I am also happy to see that you have started to think critically about the hadith and are developing the mindset of a muhadith or faqih.
Now, let me look at the questions you are asking:
The authenticity of the Hadith
When asking about the authenticity of a hadith one should preferably provide the Arabic text as it sometimes occurs that there is a subtle difference in meaning that can make a complete difference in the grading of the hadith.  This subject and the hadith that relate to it are a good example of this.  
There are two ahadith that are similar to the translation above:
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَارِثِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ وشُعْبَةُ و هَمَّامٌ كلهم ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ جُحَادَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ بلفظ “لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ زَائِرَاتِ الْقُبُورِ
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA) said, “The Apostle of Allah (salahu alayhi wasalam) cursed women who visit graves.
This hadith can be found in many compilations including:
 Nasai, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Musnad, Tayalisi, Hakim and al-Bayhaqi
However, the hadith is regarded as weak owing to the narrator Abu Salih Badhaan Mawla Um Hani (RA).  He was regarded by some of the Muhaditheen as a liar and matrook.  
Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (RA) stated in al-Taqreeb that he was dhaeef mudallis.  Consequently, it cannot be given tarjeeh over authentic ahadith that prove women visiting graves is permissible.
There are numerous hadith that have been narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (RA) and Sayyiduna Hassan ibn Thabit that are authentic, but the subtle difference is in the word used for female visitors of graves.  
These are the hadith:
أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ ، قَالَ : نا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ ، نا أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ شَيْبَانُ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ ، وَابْنُ أَبِي الشَّوَارِبِ كلهم عن أَبُو عَوَانَةَ حَدَّثَنَا عُمَرُ بْنُ أَبِى سَلَمَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ مرفوعاً بلفظ” لَعَنَ الله زَوَّارَاتِ الْقُبُورِ
أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ بَهْمَانَ ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ حَسَّانَ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ مرفوعاً بلفظ “لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ زَوَّارَاتِ الْقُبُورِ
Through both the different chains above to the Sahabah mentioned that the Apostle of Allah (salahu alayhi wasalam) cursed the women who frequently visit graves.
So we can deduce from this that the ahadith that state زَوَّارَاتِ ‘women who frequently visit graves’ is more authentic and should be practiced upon and that the hadith that state زَائِرَاتِ ‘women who visit graves’ is weak and cannot be used as a proof for the prohibition.
Now to answer the other query that you had in regards to the ruling of women visiting graves.
There are three famous (mashoor) statements (aqwaal) in this regard.
1) It is haraam.  This is the opinion of most Hanbali scholars
The Ulama who support this position use several hadith to prove this, however upon further investigation we realise two things about these hadith as found above:
i) They are either weak narrations or weaker than the authentic narrations that prove permissibility.
ii) The hadith that are authentic use the word 'Zawwaraat' for 'visiting' and this is the seegha al-mubalagha (Exaggerated context) which means 'frequently visit' so these hadith cannot be used to forbid women who want to occasionally visit the graves.
Scholars that have given the fatwa of prohibition and based it upon the ahadith above have erred based on their understanding and the subtle difference in meaning of the words زَائِرَاتِ andزَوَّارَاتِ.
2) It is Makruh for young women and this is the opinion of the Shafi’ee madhab.
3) It is permissible and this is the opinion of the Maliki madhab and some from the Hanafi madhab.
In my humble opinion and based upon the proofs, this is the opinion that my heart rests with as I believe that it is even recommended for women to visit the graves (infrequently) owing to numerous hadith in this regard. 
 One such example is:
أَخْبَرَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ قُدَامَةَ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ عَنْ أَبِي فَرْوَةَ عَنْ الْمُغِيرَةِ بْنِ سُبَيْعٍ حَدَّثَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ بُرَيْدَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ أَنَّهُ كَانَ فِي مَجْلِسٍ فِيهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ نَهَيْتُكُمْ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا لُحُومَ الْأَضَاحِيِّ إِلَّا ثَلَاثًا فَكُلُوا وَأَطْعِمُوا وَادَّخِرُوا مَا بَدَا لَكُمْ وَذَكَرْتُ لَكُمْ أَنْ لَا تَنْتَبِذُوا فِي الظُّرُوفِ الدُّبَّاءِ وَالْمُزَفَّتِ وَالنَّقِيرِ وَالْحَنْتَمِ انْتَبِذُوا فِيمَا رَأَيْتُمْ وَاجْتَنِبُوا كُلَّ مُسْكِرٍ وَنَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ زِيَارَةِ الْقُبُورِ فَمَنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يَزُورَ فَلْيَزُرْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا هُجْرًا
The Apostle of Allah said, “I had forbidden you from visiting the graves, but whoever wants to visit the graves let them do so.”
However based upon my study of this masala with my Ulama in the past, women that want to visit the graveyard infrequently are allowed to do so dependent on the adherence to the conditions below.
1) She must observe proper Islamic Hijab and it goes without saying not wear make-up, perfume, high heel shoes etc
2) She must correct her intention and go with the intention of fulfiling the the Hadith of the Apostle of Allah (salahu alayhi wasalam)
3) She must spend only as much time as is necessary for her to pray at the grave and not dilly-dally and worse picnic because 'the park is beautiful'.
4) She must be accompanied by a Mahram if she is alone and not traveling with other female members of the family.
4) If she is not elderly, she must not depart her house and travel to the grave at a visiting rush hour so as not to mingle with men as this could cause fitnah.  (In some cultures and countries males are in the habit of visiting graves on the first day of Eid.  This is particularly true in Shaam and usually this is not done as an innovation, but simply because they do not have time off work to visit during the year)
5) Cry loudly, wail, rip her clothing and beat her cheeks or anything else that can attract the attention of people towards her.
6) She must not neglect the rights of her children or spouse by her absence.
And Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Daniel
Servant of Allah and his Deen”


 comments at


“I my self in Madinah Sharif at the moment. I work here. I visited Uhud couple of days ago. U I have seen the billboard. However the Hadith has been translated wrongly.
If you read the Urdu translation it says that
( jo Aurtey kasssrat key saath kabroo parr jaatii hein)

In the english it just says, 
(those women who visit graves).
The Arabic word in the hadith is (zawwaaraat)
 its an emphasis, which means who visit graves a lot..."

Advice to our Brothers the Scholars of Najd

Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa`i states, addressing present-day Wahhabis:

"You forbid women from visiting the noble Baqi` with no agreed-upon, clear and explicit proof from the Law!"

The following is a demonstration of the permissibility of visits to al-Baqi` according to the principles of Sacred Law and the proof-texts of the Sunna.

Those who object to the visitation of graves by women adduce chiefly three hadiths as their proof, two of these being the weak-chained narrations,

 (a) "Allah curses the women who visit the graves"1 (la`ana Allahu zâ'irât al-qubûr) and
 (b) "Allah curses the women who visit the graves and take them for places of worship and candles,"2   the third one being,
(c) "Allah curses the women who frequently visit the graves"  (la`ana Allahu zawwârât al-qubûr).

As indicated by Sayyid al-Rifa`i, the above narrations do not constitute "agreed-upon, clear and explicit proof from the Law" for the prohibition of women from visiting graves in Islam.

Accordingly, the majority of the Ulema concur that women are permitted to visit the graves if there is no danger of temptation and sin.4

This is established by the following proofs:

1. The Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - said: "I forbade you to visit the graves but [now] do visit them!"5

2. `A'isha - Allah be well-pleased with her - said: "The Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - forbade the visitation of graves then permitted it, and I think he said: `For, truly, they remind you of the hereafter.'" 6
3. `A'isha visited came to Mecca after her brother's death saying, "Where is the grave of my brother?" Then she came to the grave and prayed over him, a month after his death.7

 Another version states that Ibn Abi Mulayka said: "`A'isha's brother died six miles away from Makka, so we carried him until we reached Makka and buried him there. `A'isha came to us after that and reproached us for doing so. Then she said: `Where is the grave of my brother?' We showed it to her and she alighted in her howdah and prayed at his grave." 8

4. When `Abd Allah ibn Mulayka saw `A'isha visiting the grave of her brother `Abd al-Rahman he said to her: "Did not the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - forbid this [visitation of graves]?" She replied: "Yes, he had forbidden it. Then he ordered to visit them."

Ibn `Abd al-Barr mentions that Imam Ahmad adduces this report as proof that women are permitted to visit the graves.10

 The wording and verb tenses used by the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - and the Companions in the above narrations show that these narrations explicitly abrogate the narrations that express prohibition. This is confirmed by al-Hakim who narrated the hadith: "Allah curses the women who frequently visit the graves" then said: "Those narrations pertaining to prohibition from visiting the graves are abrogated, the abrogator being the hadith of `Alqama ibn Marthad, from Sulayman ibn Burayda, from his father, from the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him -: `I forbade you to visit the graves but [now] do visit them!'" 11

5. Due to her strictness, and perhaps in confirmation of Ibn Abi Mulayka's remark, `A'isha disliked to visit the grave of her brother as is evident from her remark in al-Tirmidhi's narration of her visitation to `Abd al-Rahman: "If I had been present at the time of your death I would have never visited you [now]." 12 
Yet this is another proof that she did not understand the Prophet's - Allah bless and greet him - prohibition as absolute - were it not abrogated - since she did allow herself the visitation of her brother despite it.

6. The Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - passed by a woman who was weeping next to a grave and said: "Fear Allah and be steadfast!" She replied: "Leave me alone! You were not afflicted with my affliction" - without recognizing him. Then she was told that this was the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him -. She came to see him and did not find anyone at the door [so entered directly] and said: "I did not recognize you!" He replied: "Steadfastness is only at the first shock." 13

7. `A'isha asked: "What should I say, O Messenger of Allah [at al-Baqi`]?" He replied: "Say: `Greeting to you, O people of the abodes among the men and women believers! May Allah grant mercy to those of you and us who went ahead and those who tarried back! Truly we shall - if Allah wills - join up with you.'"14

Al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Hajar and al-Nawawi said that the above narrations show that it is permitted for women to visit the graves in confirmation of `A'isha's visitation of her brother, as the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - only admonished the mourning woman to be steadfast without forbidding her from visiting the grave, and he gave instructions to `A'isha on what to say when visiting the graves.15

8. The Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - said: "I had forbidden you to visit the graves but Muhammad has been permitted to visit the grave of his mother, so visit them, for truly, they remind you of the hereafter."16

9. Another version states: "I had forbidden you to visit the graves but do visit them for they truly remind one of the hereafter." 17

10. Another version states: "Whoever wants to visit the graves [may], truly they remind of the hereafter."18

11. Another version states: "I had forbidden you to visit the graves but do visit them, for they help to renounce the world and they remind of the hereafter." 19

12. Another version states: "I forbade you to visit the graves then it appeared to me that they soften the heart, bring tears to the eyes, and remind one of the hereafter. Therefore, visit them, but do not say reprehensible things!" 20

The proof for the visitation of women in the above five narrations is that the positive effects of remembering the hereafter, weeping, and softening the heart are not exclusively limited to men but extend to women as well. Therefore women are also addressed by these narrations which are to be taken in the most general, inclusive sense. This is confirmed by the practice of Fatima - Allah be well-pleased with her! - the daughter of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - as shown in the following two narrations:

13. Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq narrated with his chain from al-Hasan ibn `Ali that Fatima the daughter of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - - may Allah be well-pleased with all of them! - used to visit the grave of her uncle Hamza ibn `Abd al-Muttalib every Jumu`a 21 and she used to pray and weep there. 22  Another version adds that she had marked the grave with a rock in order to recognize it.23

14. The women wept over Ruqiyya - Allah be well-pleased with her! - when she died, so `Umar tried to forbid them but the Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet him - said, "Wait, O `Umar!" Then he said: "[Women,] beware of the devil's croaking! As long as it comes from the eye and the heart, it is coming from mercy; and as long as it comes from the tongue and the hand, 24 it is coming from Satan."

Whereupon, Fatima began to weep over the grave of Ruqiyya and the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - was wiping her tears from her face with his hand - or, the narrator said, his sleeve. 25

Even if we should consider the first two of the three hadiths adduced by the objectors (a and b) authentic as a handful of scholars did, they do not form proof for prohibition, for two reasons. First, they are abrogated according to the more correct view as demonstrated. Second, they elucidate one another and are elucidated by the third hadith adduced (c), in the sense that the curse does not concern women who visit the graves in absolute terms, but only those women who both (1) visit excessively and (2) commit certain reprehensible acts during visitation as stated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Baghawi, al-Tahawi, al-Qurtubi, and others.26 

This qualified prohibition is confirmed by the fact that the soundest version of the prohibition hadith states, "Allah curses the women who *frequently* visit the graves," in which case the prohibition is patently restrictive, concerning only a specific group of women and not all of them.

Another confirmation is that this qualified prohibition extends to men as well, as stated in the hadith of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him -: "Allah curse the Jews and Christians! They took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship."27 

This men-inclusive qualified prohibition is further confirmed by the version stating: "I forbade you from visiting the graves and now [allow you to] visit them, but do not utter words that make your Lord angry!" 28

The gist of this documentation is not that Muslim women today are indifferently permitted to visit the graves, since temptation and sin abound in our time and there is little or no observance of the obligations of Sacred Law shown by either Muslim men or women who visit the graves. To say the least, as al-Bayhaqi said: "If women keep themselves clear from following funeral processions, going out to cemetaries, and visiting graves, it would be healthier for their Religion - and from Allah comes success."29 

As far as we know, this is the Consensus of the Imams of Ahl al-Sunna.

Yet, the negative situation of contemporary Muslim visitors to city and country cemetaries hardly applies to the women pilgrims who visit al-Baqi` and the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - in Madina, where the effusion of emotion is somehow counter-balanced by the natural decorum of Madina al-Munawwara.

Therefore their status there should be that of allowance together with male Muslims rather than prohibition as confirmed by the fatwa of the Ulema and contrary to the claims of a handful of Wahhabi dissenters such as the late `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Baz, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn `Abd al-Latif, Hammad al-Ansari and his student Bakr Abu Zayd, the late Abu Bakr al-Jaza'iri, and others of the circle who hold sway over the religious jurisdiction of the Two Sanctuaries.

 As for the absolute prohibition, including the Mosque and al-Baqi` in Madina, insisted upon by Bakr Abu Zayd in his epistle titled:

 "Juz' fi Ziyarat al-Nisa' li al-Qubur"30  and his odd claim that the narrations prohibiting women from following the funeral bier apply to prove the prohibition of visitation, such claims stem from an unreasonable, stubborn rejection of the evidence and a blind following of the familiar founts of misguided originality and nonconformity - Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim.

But truth is more deserving of being followed than eminent figures. And from Allah alone comes all success, and Allah Most High knows best.

1 Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (7:452 #3178) with a weak chain because of `Umar ibn Abi Salama ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-Zuhri who is weak as stated by al-Arna'ut and Ma`ruf in Tahrir al-Taqrib (3:74 #4910). Also narrated from Hassan ibn Thabit from the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - by Ibn Abi Shayba (3:31) with a weak chain because of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Bahman who is of unknown rank as a narrator (majhûl). The hadith itself is acceptable as "fair due to witness and corroborating chains and versions" (hasan lighayrih) as stated by al-Arna'ut in the Musnad (5:128 n. 2).
2 Narrated from Ibn `Abbas by al-Tirmidhi (hasan), Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i in both in al-Sunan and al-Sunan al-Kubra (1:657 #2174), Ahmad, Ibn Abi Shayba (2:151, 3:30), al-Tahawi in Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (12:178-179 #4741-4742), al-Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna (2:416-417 #510), Ibn Hibban (7:452-454 #3179-3180), al-Hakim (1990 ed. 1:530) who indicated its weakness, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:78 #6992), Ibn al-Ja`d in his Musnad (p. 224), al-Tabarani inal-Kabir (12:148), and al-Haythami in Mawarid al-Zam'an (p. 200), all with the same weak chain containing Abu Salih Mawla Umm Hani' who is weak as stated by Ibn Hajar in al-Mundhiri's al-Targhib (1997 ed. 4:190) and al-Arna'ut in Sahih Ibn Hibban and the Musnad (5:128 #2984). However, the hadith itself is acceptable since al-Tirmidhi and al-Baghawi declared it "fair"; while Ibn al-Sakan included it among the sound (sahîh) narrations as stated by Ibn al-Mulaqqin in Tuhfat al-Muhtaj (2:31).
3 Narrated from Abu Hurayra by al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahîh), Ibn Majah, and Ahmad; from Ibn `Abbas by Ibn Majah with a weak chain because of Abu Salih; and from Hassan ibn Thabit by Ibn Majah and Ahmad with a weak chain because of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Bahman. Note: Ibn Majah's versions have zuwwârât.
4 As stated by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 3:148), al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar (chapters on burial and the rulings pertaining to graves), and al-Mubarakfuri in Tuhfa al-Ahwadhi (4:139).
5 Narrated as part of a longer hadith: from Burayda by Muslim, al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahîh), Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, `Abd al-Razzaq (3:569), and others; from Abu Sa`id al-Khudri by Ahmad with a chain of sound narrators as stated by al-Haythami (3:58), Malik, al-Hakim (1990 ed. 1:530) who declared it sound by Muslim's criterion, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:77 #6984), and al-Bazzar with a chain of sound narrators as stated by al-Haythami (3:58); from Ibn Mas`ud by Ibn Majah, al-Daraqutni in his Sunan (4:259), `Abd al-Razzaq (3:572-573), Ibn Hibban (3:261), al-Hakim (1990 ed. 1:531), and al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:77 #6983) all with weak chains according to al-Arna'ut; from Anas by Ahmad and al-Bazzar with chains containing al-Harith ibn Nabhan who is weak according to al-Haythami (4:27), al-Hakim (1990 ed. 1:531-532), and al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:77 #6984).
6 Narrated by al-Bazzar with a chain of trustworthy narrators as stated by al-Haythami (3:58).
7 Narrated from Ibn Abi Mulayka by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra 4:49).
8 Narrated by `Abd al-Razzaq (3:518) and Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhid (6:261).
9 Narrated by Abu Ya`la (8:284) with a sound chain, al-Hakim (1990 ed. 1:532), al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:78 #6993), and Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhid (3:233).
10 Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Tamhid (3:234).
11 Al-Hakim (1990 ed. 1:530).
12 Narrated from `Abd Allah ibn Mulayka by al-Tirmidhi.
13 Narrated from Anas in all the Six Books.
14 Narrated as part of a longer hadith by Muslim and al-Nasa'i.
15 Al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:78), Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 3:184); al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim (7:41-42).
16 Narated from Burayda by al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahîh).
17 Part of a longer hadith narrated from Burayda by Ahmad.
18 Part of a longer hadith narrated from Burayda by al-Nasa'i.
19 Narrated from Ibn Mas`ud by Ibn Majah.
20 Part of a longer hadith narrated from Anas by Ahmad.
21 Narrated to here from Ja`far ibn Muhammad, from his father, without mention of al-Hasan by `Abd al-Razzaq (3:572) with an interrupted (munqati`) chain.
22 Narrated by al-Hakim (1990 ed. 1:533, 3:30) who declared its chain sound, al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:78), and Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhid (3:234) although al-Dhahabi condemns it strenuously while al-Bayhaqi alludes to its weakness.
23 Al-Athram and Ibn `Abd al-Barr narrated it as mentioned by al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir (10:381); also `Abd al-Razzaq (3:574) with a very weak chain because of al-Asbagh ibn Nubata, who is discarded (matrûk) as a narrator.
24 A reference to imprecations and the slapping of the cheeks still exhibited today by mourning Arab Christian women.
25 Narrated from Ibn `Abbas by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:70 #6946) with a chain containing `Ali ibn Zayd ibn Jud`an al-Taymi who is weak, but al-Bayhaqi considers it sound as it is confirmed by established narrations.
26 Cf. al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan after narrating the hadith of zawwârât from Abu Hurayra; al-Tahawi in Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (12:179-186); al-Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna (2:417, 5:464); and al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir (20:170), as cited by al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar (chapters on burial and the rulings pertaining to graves).
27 Narrated from `A'isha by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
28 Narrated from Abu Sa`id by al-Bazzar with a chain of sound narrators as stated by al-Haythami (3:58); from Ibn `Abbas by al-Rabi` in his Musnad (p. 194); and from Anas by Ahmad, Abu Ya`la (6:372), and Ibn Abi Shayba (3:29).
29 Al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra (4:78).
30 In his misnamed al-Ajza' al-Hadithiyya (p. 107-141).

Allah bless and greet the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions. 
Wal-hamdu lillahi Rabb al-`alamin.

Shaykh G. F. Haddad  

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Shaykh al-Islam Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (d.852 AH)

Shaykh al-Islam
Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani
 (b.773AH - d.852 AH) ( 1372 CE - 1449 CE)

Abu’l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Hajar’s family originated in the district of Qabis in Tunisia. Some members of the family had settled in Palestine, which they left again when faced with the Crusader threat, but he himself was born in Egypt in 773, the son of the Shafi‘i scholar and poet Nur al-Din ‘Ali and the learned and aristocratic Tujjar. Both died in his infancy, and he was later to praise his elder sister, Sitt al-Rakb, for acting as his ‘second mother’. The two children became wards of the brother of his father’s first wife, Zaki al-Din al-Kharrubi, who entered the young Ibn Hajar in a Qur’anic school (kuttab) when he reached five years of age. Here he excelled, learning Surat Maryam in a single day, and progressing to the memorization of texts such as the Mukhtasar of Ibn al-Hajib on usul.

By the time he accompanied al-Kharrubi to Mecca at the age of 12, he was competent enough to lead the Tarawih prayers in the Holy City, where he spent much time studying and recalling God amid the pleasing simplicity of Kharrubi’s house, the Bayt al-‘Ayna’, whose windows looked directly upon the Black Stone.

Two years later his protector died, and his education in Egypt was entrusted to the hadith scholar Shams al-Din ibn al-Qattan, who entered him in the courses given by the great Cairene scholars al-Bulqini (d.806) and Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d.804) in Shafi‘i fiqh, and of Zayn al-Din al-‘Iraqi (d.806) in hadith, after which he was able to travel to Damascus and Jerusalem, where he studied under Shams al-Din al-Qalqashandi (d.809), Badr al-Din al-Balisi (d.803), and Fatima bint al-Manja al-Tanukhiyya (d.803). After a further visit to Mecca and Madina, and to the Yemen, he returned to Egypt. 

When he reached 25 he married the lively and brilliant Anas Khatun, then 18 years of age. She was a hadith expert in her own right, holding ijazas from Zayn al-Din al-‘Iraqi, and she gave celebrated public lectures in the presence of her husband to crowds of ulema among whom was Imam al-Sakhawi. After the marriage, Ibn Hajar moved into her house, where he lived until his death. Many noted how she surrounded herself with the old, the poor and the physically handicapped, whom it was her privilege and pleasure to support. So widely did her reputation for sanctity extend that during her fifteen years of widowhood, which she devoted to good works, she received a proposal from Imam ‘Alam al-Din al-Bulqini, who considered that a marriage to a woman of such charity and Baraka would be a source of great pride.

Once ensconced in Egypt, Ibn Hajar taught in the Sufi lodge (khaniqah) of Baybars for some twenty years, and then in the hadith college known as Dar al-Hadith al-Kamiliyya. During these years, he served on occasion as the Shafi‘i chief justice of Egypt.

It was in Cairo that the Imam wrote some of the most thorough and beneficial books ever added to the library of Islamic civilization. Among these are al-Durar al-Kamina (a biographical dictionary of leading figures of the eighth century), a commentary on the Forty Hadith of Imam al-Nawawi (a scholar for whom he had particular respect); Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (an abbreviation of Tahdhib al-Kamal,the encyclopedia of hadith narrators by al-Mizzi), al-Isaba fi tamyiz al-Sahaba (the most widely-used dictionary of Companions), and Bulugh al-Maram min adillat al-ahkam (on Shafi‘i fiqh).

In 817, Ibn Hajar commenced the enormous task of assembling his

 It began as a series of formal dictations to his hadith students, after which he wrote it out in his own hand and circulated it section by section to his pupils, who would discuss it with him once a week. As the work progressed and its author’s fame grew, the Islamic world took a close interest in the new work.

In 833, Timur’s son Shahrukh sent a letter to the Mamluk sultan al-Ashraf Barsbay requesting several gifts, including a copy of the Fath, and Ibn Hajar was able to send him the first three volumes. 

In 839 the request was repeated, and further volumes were sent, until, in the reign of al-Zahir Jaqmaq, the whole text was finished and a complete copy was dispatched. Similarly, the Moroccan sultan Abu Faris ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Hafsi requested a copy before its completion. 

When it was finished, in Rajab 842, a great celebration was held in an open place near Cairo, in the presence of the ulema, judges, and leading personages of Egypt.

 Ibn Hajar sat on a platform and read out the final pages of his work, and then poets recited eulogies and gold was distributed. It was, says the historian Ibn Iyas, ‘the greatest celebration of the age in Egypt.’

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar departed this life in 852AH. His funeral was attended by ‘fifty thousand people’, including the sultan and the caliph; ‘even the Christians grieved.’ He was remembered as a gentle man, short, slender, and white-bearded, a lover of chess and calligraphy, much inclined to charity; ‘good to those who wronged him, and forgiving to those he was able to punish.’ A lifetime’s proximity to the hadith had imbued him with a deep love of the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), as is shown nowhere more clearly than in the poetry assembled in his Diwan, an original manuscript of which has been preserved at the Egyptian National Library.

A few lines will suffice to show this well:

By the gate of your generosity stands a sinner, who is mad with love,
O best of mankind in radiance of face and countenance!
Through you he seeks a means [tawassala], hoping for Allah’s forgiveness of slips;
from fear of Him, his eyelid is wet with pouring tears.
Although his genealogy attributes him to a stone [hajar],
how often tears have flowed, sweet, pure and fresh!
Praise of you does not do you justice, but perhaps,
In eternity, its verses will be transformed into mansions.
My praise of you shall continue for as long as I live,

For I see nothing that could ever deflect me from your praise.


Fath ul-Bari fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari
فتح الباري
"Grant of the Creator"
is the most valued Sunni commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari,

written by Ibn Hajr Asqalani.

The foremost student of Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani(RA)

Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi

(b.831 AH – d.902 AH) 

The foremost student of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and a great jurist, historian, and hadith master, Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi, like Taqi al-Din al-Subki and al-Suyuti, belonged to the Shadhili order founded by Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili, as represented by the great Maliki Master Ibn `Ata' Allah, five of whose works al-Sakhawi transmitted to posterity, including the Hikam, from the Shadhili commentator Ahmad Zarruq (d. 899).

In his biography of the famous men of his time entitled al-Daw' al-lami` al-Sakhawi reveals that his father Zayn al-Din `Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad (d. 874) was a Cairo-born Sufi of great piety, and a member of the Baybarsiyya Sufi community where Ibn Hajar, Sakhawi's teacher, taught for forty years. [al-Sakhawi, al-Daw' al-lami` (Beirut: dar maktabat al-hayat, 1966) 4:124-125.]

In the section of his al-Jawahir al-mukallala fi al-akhbar al-musalsala devoted to the transmission of hadith through chains formed exclusively of Sufi narrators, Sakhawi states that he himself had received the Sufi path from Zayn al-Din Ridwan al-Muqri' in Cairo.[A.J. Arberry, Sakhawiana: A Study Based on the Chester Beatty Ms. Arab. 773 (London: Emery Walker Ltd., 1951) p. 35.]

In the same work Sakhawi also mentions several of his teachers and students of hadith who were Sufis. Here are the names of some of them, together with the words used by him to describe them in his biographical work al-Daw' al-lami`:*

Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad al-Hishi al-Halabi al-Shafi`i (b. 848) the head of the Bistamiyya Sufis in Aleppo, the mother trunk of the Naqshbandi Sufi order affiliated with Abu Yazid al-Bistami. He spent two years in Mecca with Sakhawi, who wrote him an ijaza or permission to teach.
In this ijaza Sakhawi calls him: "Our master, the masterful Imam of merits and guidance, the Educator of Murids (students in the Sufi path), the Mainstay of Wayfarers in the Sufi path, the Noble Abu Bakr al-Hishi al-Halabi, may Allah preserve him and have mercy on his gracious predecessors (i.e. the chain of his shaykhs in the Sufi path), and may Allah grant us and all Muslims their benefits." [al-Sakhawi, al-Daw' al-lami` 11:96-97, 74-75.]
Badr al-Din Hussayn ibn Siddiq al-Yamani al-Ahdal (d. 903): al-Sakhawi gave him a comprehensive ijaza granting him permission to teach all of his books.4
Abu al-Fath Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Madani al-Maraghi (d. 859): Sakhawi took hadith from him. He was head of two Sufi khaniqas in Cairo, the Zamamiyya and the Jamaliyya. He led a life of seclusion for the most part, and wrote a commentary on Nawawi's manual of Law Minhaj al-talibin, and an epitome of Ibn Hajar's Fath al-bari because of his defense of Ibn `Arabi, he was murdered in front of the Ka`ba by a fanatic.5
Taqi al-Din Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad al-Qalqashandi (d. 867), also called `Abd Allah. He received the Sufi khirqa or cloak of authority in Cairo. He is said to have read the whole of Sahih al-Bukhari in three days while in Mecca. He lived in al-Quds, where al-Sakhawi met him and took hadith from him.6
Thiqat al-Din Abu al-`Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-`Uqbi (d. 861). He taught hadith and tajwid in Mecca, where Sakhawi studied under him.7
Kamal al-Din Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahid al-Sikandari al-Siwasi (d. 861). He was a master of all sciences and taught at the Madrasa al-Ashrafiyya in Cairo, after which he headed the Shaykhuni Sufi khaniqa. He authored many books.8
Abu `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Husayni al-Qahiri al-Shafi`i al-Sufi (d. 876). Munawi's deputy judge in Cairo, a student of `Izz al-Din ibn Jama`a, Jalal al-Din al-Bulqini and many others, and a student and friend of Sakhawi's teacher Ibn Hajar whose work Fath al-bari he copied twice. A teacher of fiqh and hadith, he wrote an epitome of Ibn al-Athir's Kitab al-ansab. He was an old acquaintance of Sakhawi's father, and consequently treated Sakhawi himself "with indescribable respect." He was one of the ten students to whom Ibn Hajar gave his authority in teaching hadith after him.9
Abu Khalid Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Jibrini (d. 860). He was a writer, archer, horseman, and Sufi shaykh at the zawiya (alcove-mosque) of Jibrin, where al-Sakhawi met him and took hadith from him. Sakhawi says of him: "He was handsome, modest, generous, courageous, and endowed with spiritual strength and virility after the shaykhs of true majesty."10
Zaki al-Din Abu al-`Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Ansari al-Khazraji al-Sa`di al-Muqri' al-Sufi (d. 875). An associate of Ibn Hajar and a prolific writer, he wrote an autobiography in more than fifty volumes, although Sakhawi said he was unaffected, congenial, readily given to tears, and quick of repartee.11
Thiqat al-Din Abu `Ali Mahmud ibn `Ali al-Sufi al-Khaniki (d. 865). Born and raised in Cairo's Khaniqa al-Siryaqusiyya where he taught late in life. He died while at Mecca for the pilgrimage.12
Abu al-Faraj `Abd al-Rahman ibn Khalil al-Dimashqi al-Sufi (d. 869). He was a muhaddith. Al-Sakhawi studied under him in Cairo and at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.13
Al-Tuhfah al-latifah fi Tarikh al-Madinah al-Sharifah (التحفة اللطيفة في تاريخ المدينة الشريفة): About Madinah al-Munawwara.
Fath al-Mugeeth bi Sharh Alfiyat al-Hadith (Al-'Iraqi)
Al-Daw' al-lami` li ahli al-Qarni al-Tasi
Al-Jawahir wa al-Durar fi Tarjamat Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar (al-Asqalani) ("Pearls and Diamonds: the Biography of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar of `Asqalan")
"Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah"
 "Ashratu Sa'ah" (Signs of the Day of Judgment) - which has been recently reprinted with 'Tahqiq' by Muhammad al-'Aqeel.
Al-rilah al-alabīyah wa tarājimihā (الرحلة الحلبية وتراجمها)
Al-rilah al-Makkīyah (الرحلة المكية)
Al-rilah al-Sakandarīyah (الرحلة السكندرية)
Al-baladaniyat al-ʻalīyāt (البلدنيات العليات): A book where he recorded the names of 80 towns he visited and took knowledge from its scholars.
 Bughyat al-rāwī bi-man akhadha ʻanhu al-Sakhawi (بغية الراوي بمن أخذ عنه السخاوي) or Al-imtinān bi-shuyūkh Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rahman (الامتنان بشيوخ محمد بن عبد الرحمن): A dictionary that lists the names of all his teachers.
4 Ibid. 3:144-145.
5 Ibid. 7:162-165.
6 Ibid. 11:69-71.
7 Ibid. 2:212-213.
8 Ibid. 8:127-132.
9 Ibid. 8:176-178.
10 Ibid. 7:197.
11 Ibid. 2:146-149.
12 Ibid. 10:140-141.
13 Ibid. 4:76.



Wahhabi/Salafi says:


^Yasir Qadhi, nicknamed as “Abu Ammar” in the Al-Maghrib Institute Forums, had this to say of the great scholar, Imam Shams al-Din al-Sakhawi (may Allah bless him abundantly), known to be the foremost student of the eminent scholarly giant of Islam, Imam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani.

Quote: Yasir Qadhi says:
“As-Sakhawi, with all due respect to his knowledge of hadeeth, was not purely upon the ‘aqeedah of Ahl as-Sunnah.” Source: Here


Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti

 A Very Young Student of 

Shaykh al-Islam
Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani

Imam Ibn Hajar - (b.773 – d.852AH) 
Imam Suyuti     - (b.849 - d.911 AH)

`Abd al-Rahman ibn Kamal al-Din Abi Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sabiq al-Din, 
Jalal al-Din al-Misri al-Suyuti al-Shafi`i al-Ash`ari, 
also known as 

Ibn al-Asyuti 

The mujtahid imam and renewer of the tenth Islamic century, foremost hadith master, jurist, Sufi, philologist, and historian, he authored works in virtually every Islamic science. 


"" The relationship between the great scholars of this ummah is an interesting one. I recently came across Allamah Abd al-Hay al-Luknawi’s work in which he corrects some of the mistakes found in the books of Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan.

One matter which Sh. al-Luknawi and Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan discussed in their written works in response to each other was the issue of whether Imam al-Suyuti had actually studied with Hafidh Ibn Hajar

Hafidh Ibn Hajar and Imam al-Suyuti
I was unaware that there was a link between Hafidh Ibn Hajar and Imam al-Suyuti. I had assumed that the latter had come sometime after than the former, however this is not the case.

al-Luknawi mentions in his ‘Nafi al-Kabir’(p.44) that,

 Hafidh Ibn Hajar passed away in 852H whilst Imam al-Suyuti was born in 849H. Working out the dates of the death and birth of these scholars it appears that Imam al-Suyuti was three and a half years of age at the time of Hafidh Ibn Hajars passing away.

Possible Scenario
al-Luknawi postulated that it might have been possible that:

 Imam al-Suyuti had been taken to Hafidh Ibn Hajars lesson whilst he was still a very young child, and had been present when a general ijazah had been given to the attendee’s, thus including him.

A Very Young Student
This possible scenario turned out to be true as mentioned by Imam al-Suyuti himself in Tadhkirah al-Huffadh in the biography of Hafidh Ibn Hajar that:

And I have a general ijazah from him, and I do not deem it far fetched that I have a specific Ijazah from him, for my father would visit him often.

Likewise in his Tadrib al-Rawi (2/407) he mentions the pattern chained (musalsal) narration of Huffadh wherein he mentions his narration from Hafidh Ibn Hajar by way of general Ijazah, adding that:

I do not narrate anything else by it (meaning the general ijazah) except this hadith

An Ijazah to a Child
What we also learn from this, as mentioned by the scholars (whilst discussing Imam al-Suyuti’s Ijazah from Hafidh Ibn Hajar whilst still a child) is that an Ijazah given to a non discerning minor is correct and valid according to the scholars of hadith.

We can also perhaps reflect on the scene of Imam al-Suyuti as a child of three and a half or younger, with his father in the gathering of Hafidh Ibn Hajar, and also the possibility (as pointed out above) of Imam al-Suyuti being taken to Hafidh Ibn Hajar who grants this very young child a specific Ijazah who then goes on to become one of the great scholars of this Ummah.


Rude criticism by al-Albani to Imam as-Suyuti (RA)

Al-Albani said in his ad-as-Silisla Da'ifa (3 / 479):
فيا عجبا للسيوطي كيف لم يخجل
“I wonder why as-Suyuti has not ashamed, because he's such a Hadith is mentioned in his al-Dschaami 'as-Saghiir.”
And he said in his ad-as-Silisla Da'ifa (4 / 386):
ثم إن السيوطي تناقض
“... And as-Suyuti contradicted himself”


Wahhabi say:

Articles Islamic Personality:
 Wednesday, February 21, 07


"Many scholars have compiled biographies al Hafizh broad. In one of the best, that is writing his students, Al 'Allamah as-Sakhawi, in his book, Al Jawahir ward Durar Tarjamati fees Ibn al Hafizh hajar.
And after all this, he, may Allah forgive him, have faith that is mixed with Asy'ariyah. Until he is Allaah, including scholars who menta'wilkan the nature of God, which sometimes with non-confirmation. This road menyelisihi salafush Salih .”1

 1 [Can be known from the view of Shaykh 'Abdul' Aziz bin Baaz for the book early juz juz Fathul-Bari. Similarly, several errors related to the belief that given comments by Sheikh Ali bin 'Abdul' Aziz bin Ali al-Syibl a further comment Shaykh 'Abdul Aziz bin Baaz. These comments were compiled in the book at-Tanbih 'alal Mukhalafat al' Faith Bari Fathil fees.]


^ “Shaykh al-Albanian says, is an oppression to say they (ie an-Nawawi and Ibn Hajar al 'Asqalani) and those like them, including to the ranks of heresy. 
According to Shaykh al Albanian, although both beraqidah Asy'ariyyah, but they do not accidentally menyelisihi Holy Scripture and as Sunnah.
Their assumptions, beliefs they inherited Asy'ariyyah is two things: First, that Imam al Ash'ari said that, though he did not say, except at the previous time, (then he left and headed for the faith Salaf, Red). Second, they think the truth which they do not .”2

2 [Cassette Man Man wa Huwa Huwa Al Kafir al Mubtadi '? Quoted from catatam feet Ajwibah al al al manahij Mufidah min As'ilah al Jadidah, case 221; Decrees Shaykh Salih al fauzan collected by Jamal bin Furaihan al Haritsi.]

[Magazine Edition Sunnah 11/X/1428 H/2007 M with a few changes]


 Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti(RA) 

He was seen in a dream asking the Prophet (peace be upon him) questions about the hadith and the Prophet replying to him, ‘Ask, oh Shaykh of the Sunna.’

He himself saw in a dream that he was asking the Prophet (peace be upon him) about hadiths and the Prophet said, ‘Ask oh Shaykh of the Hadith.’

And he confided to his friend, shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Shadhili, that he saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the waking state, saying to him, Oh Shaykh of the Hadith!’ So he said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, am I of the people of Paradise?’ so he (peace be upon him) said ‘yes.’ ‘Without prior punishment?’ So he said ‘yes.’

Abd al-Qadir al-Shadhili asked him, ‘How many times have you seen the Prophet (peace be upon him) while awake?’ He replied, ‘Seventy-some times.’

Imam Abdul Wahhab al-Sha’rani said, ‘I saw in Shaykh Jalaluddin al-Suyuti’s own handwriting a letter preserved with his companion Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Shadhili, to someone who had asked his intercession with Sultan Qaytbay. Its text is as follows:

" Know my brother that I have been united with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) until now, seventy five times in which I both saw him and spoke to him, in a waking state. And if it were not for my fear that I will be veiled from him (peace be upon him) if I approach the rulers, I would have entered the Citadel and interceded for you with the Sultan. But I am a man among the servants of his hadith, peace be upon him, and I need him to show the (true) hadiths that the hadith scholars have deemed to be weak, as correct, and that is undoubtedly of greater benefit than assisting you, my brother."

On waking visions of the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) see:
Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti’s  Tanwir al-halak
Abd al-Qadir ibn Mughayzil al-Shadhili’s  al-Kawakib al-zahira.


 Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti(RA) 


The Holy Prophet
(Salallaho Alaihi Wasalam)
72 Times…


Edited by ADHM