Tag Archives: Ulama

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi

MAULANA ASHRAF ALI THANWI [1280 – 1362 A.H.]

Hakimul Ummat Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi was born on 5 Rabius Sani 1280 A.H. in the village of Thana Bhawan. He lost his mother at a tender age and was brought up by his father in a fairly affluent background. His father took great pains in teaching Maulana and his younger brother discipline and good character.

From a young age he had a great desire for namaaz. Even whilst playing he used to imitate the namaazis eg. he gathered all his friends shoes, placed them in a line, put one shoe in front of the line and expressed his happiness that the shoes were performing namaaz.

He also had a great desire to give lectures. On his way to the shops he used to enter any masjid, ascend the mimbar and deliver a khutbah. At the age of 12 he began performing tahajjud and other nafl salaats and wazifahs.

His desire for Deen was initiated by his initial ustaad Maulana Fateh Muhammed Sahab(R.A). After learning the basic kitaabs by his uncle and Maulana Fateh Muhammed(R.A) he proceeded to Deoband to complete his studies and qualified at the tender age of 19 or 20 years.

From his student days he became famous for his intelligence and sharp wittedness. He never wasted his time in futile play and amusement. He had such a burning desire to obtain knowledge that he learnt certain kitaabs which he could not study during class times, from his ustaads while they were performing wudhu.

Maulana’s ustaads were all great luminaries of their time. The most important amongst them was Maulana Muhammed Yaqub Sahab(R.A) from whom he achieved the greatest amount of knowledge and spiritual benefit.

He learnt qiraat from the well-known Qari Muhammed Abdullah Saheb Muhajir Makki(R.A) and mastered it to such an extent that it became difficult for the listener to distinguish between the recitation of the student and the teacher.

After qualifying he spent 14 years in Kanpur teaching, writing and propagating to the people. During this period thousands of students quenched their thirst at this “ocean of knowledge”. Although Maulana was still very young, the people of Kanpur respected and honoured him tremendously and it was at that time that he became famous.

His discourses were greatly appreciated and were being printed in the form of booklets. Very few scholars in the history of Islam have had so many of their discourses printed.

During his student days in Deoband he desired to make a pledge on the hands of Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi(R.A) who refused, saying that it would harm his studies. Maulana then wrote a letter to Hajee Imdadullah(R.A) in Makkah urging him to make Maulana Gangohi accept the pledge. Hajee Imdadullah instead by means of a letter accepted Maulana Thanwi as his disciple. When Maulana Thanwi accompanied his father for haj one year after qualifying he renewed his pledge at the hands of Hajee Imdadullah. After his return from Haj, he continued teaching and propagating while his desire for zikr intensified. He used to deliver lectures while standing 5,6 and sometimes even 7 hours continuously.

In 1315 A.H. he left Kanpur and on the advice of his spiritual mentor Hajee Imadadullah returned to Thana Bhawan. This was all part of the divine plan of the Creator so that the Khanqah of Hajee Imdadullah would once again be reinhabited. This was the termination of the first phase of his life which was devoted more to deeni education.The second phase which began with his return to Thana Bhawan was devoted more to imparting sprititual benefits to the masses.

Maulana has written books in every field whether it be tafseer or tasawwuf, fiqh or tajweed. All his works total more than a thousand. In the field of hadis he did not write any voluminous work directly because he had many assistants. In this way the voluminous “Ila us Sunan” was written under his guidance. Regarding this kitaab he said that if this madressah does no other work besides the writing of this book, it will be a great achievement because it is a unique work.

Perhaps very few Muslim homes do not posses “Behisti Zewar” and “Munajaat e Maqbool”, Two of Maulana’s famous books. His Tafseer “Bayanul Quraan” is unparalleled.”

Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri well known for his in-depth knowledge used to say that after reading Bayanul Quraan I developed a desire to read Urdu books. Although Maulana wrote such a large number of books, yet he did not earn a cent from them. All his work was solely for the pleasure of Allah. He has granted full permission to anyone who desires to print his books. Some of his works have been through hundreds of editions. Maulana used to say that Alhamdulillah all the necessary work has been done. The path towards deen has been cleared for centuries. Insha-Allah, my books, discourses and advices will be of assistance in deeni matters for future generations. This is all due to the blessings of Hajee Imdadullah.

On 20 Jamadul Awwal 1346 A.H. whilst performing Fajr Salaat he was inspired about the effects of certain acts. If the Muslims practised these acts, their calamities could be overcome. Consequently Maulana gathered 25 principles and had them printed in a booklet namely “Hayatul Muslimeen” (now available in English). Although Maulana has written over 1000 books, yet he had this to say: “I never had any thought of any of my books being a means of salvation for me. However, with regards to Hayatul Muslimeen, I have a strong feeling it will be a means of my salvation. I regard it as the earning and capital of my entire life.” Maulana Thanwi spent his entire life serving deen in every field. It is for this reason that he has been given the titles Hakimul Ummat and Mujaddid-e-Millat.

After blessing the earth for 83 years with his presence, he passed away on 16 Rajab 1362 A.H. (20 July 1943). Namaze Janazah was performed by Maulana Zafar Ahmad Usmani. Maulana Thanwi was buried in the graveyard – Ishq-Bazaan of Thana Bhawan.
source: http://www.alhaadi.org.za/

Shaykh al-Hadith Zakariyya Kandhlawi (r.a.)

Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi [1315 – 1402 A.H.]

He was born in the village of Kandhla (in Uttar Pradesh, India) on Ramadan 10, 1315 ah (February 12, 1898 CE). His full name was Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Muhammad Yahya ibn Muhammad Isma’il, and his lineage continues all the way back to Abu Bakr (R.A.), the great Companion of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Shaykh Abu l-Hasan Nadwi said about him, ‘Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was born into a household rooted in knowledge and passion for Islam. His immediate family and his predecessors were distinguished by firm resolve, perseverance, steadfastness, and adherence to religion. His family included many notable scholars and his grandmother memorized the entire Qur�an while nursing her son [Shaykh Zakariyya’s father].’

His father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, was among the great scholars of India in both the Related (manqulat) and Logical sciences (ma’qulat). His primary teacher in hadith was Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Under him he studied Sahih al-Bukhari, Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja and others of the six famous authentic books of hadith (Sihah sitta). Shaykh Yahya went on to teach at Madrasa Mazahir Ulum, in the district of Saharanpur, but did not accept any payment for his services. He instead made his living through his own book-publishing business.

As a young boy, Shaykh Zakariyya moved with his father to the village of Gangoh, in the district of Saharanpur. Since his father and Shaykh Gangohi had a close relationship, Shaykh Zakariyya quickly earned the affection of his father’s teacher.

Growing up in this virtuous environment, he began learning how to read with Hakim Abd al-Rahman of Muzaffarnagar. He memorized the Qur’an with his father and also studied books in Persian and the introductory Arabic books with his uncle Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas (founder of the Tabligh movement). He stayed with his father in the company of Shaykh Gangohi until age eight, when the shaykh passed away. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi says, ‘He was brought up in the best of environments in this era; the most adhering to the conduct and the sunna and the furthest from the corruption that had begun to spread in the world.’

At the age of twelve, Shaykh Zakariyya traveled with his father to Mazahir Ulum. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya [his father] bathed and performed two rak’ats of prayer and began teaching Mishkat al-Masabih. He then made a lengthy prayer for himself and his son. From that day on, hadith became the main focus and goal of Shaykh Zakariyya’s life. There, under his father, he advanced his study of Arabic, tackling many classical texts on Arabic morphology, grammar, literature, and also logic. But by the time he was seventeen, hadith became the main focus of his life. He studied five of the six authentic books of hadith with his father, and then he studied Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Tirmidhi (for a second time) with the honorable Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. Out of his immense respect for h adith, Shaykh Zakariyya was extremely particular about always studying the hadith narrations with wudu.

On Dhu l-Qa’da 10, 1334 ah, when Shaykh Zakariyya was just nineteen, his dear father passed away. This event was extremely traumatic for Shaykh Zakariyya, as he lost not only a father but also a teacher and mentor. His deep sorrow remained with him for the rest of his life.

Teachers
Shaykh Zakariyya was blessed to live and learn in an era considered by many to be one of great achievements in Islamic knowledge by scholars in the Indian subcontinent. He studied with few but select teachers who reached the highest levels of learning, research, authorship, and piety. One of his most influential teachers was his own father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, born in 1287 ah. Shaykh Zakariyya memorized the Qur’an at the age of seven, then as per his father’s instruction he would recite the whole Qur’an each morning. In addition to his father and uncle (Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas), he studied under the hadith scholar Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, author of the Badhl al-Majhud, a commentary on Sunan Abi Dawud. Shaykh Zakariyya acquired a hadith authorization from him and remained his student until Shaykh Khalil’s death in Madina Munawwara in 1346 ah.

Before his death, Shaykh Khalil A h mad expressed his desire to write Badhl al-Majhud, and he sought Shaykh Zakariyya’s assistance as his right-hand man. This was the beginning of his good fortune and the route to his excellence. His work earned him a special position with his Shaykh. The shaykh would direct him towards the possible texts and religious sources from which he could take the subject matter. Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya would collect the information and present them to his Shaykh, who would then select from the collection whatever he required. Thereafter he would dictate it to Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya who would write it down. This is how the completion of Badhl al-Majhud fi hall Abi Dawud took place. This experience revealed Shaykh Zakariyya’s gift of penmanship and, furthermore, expanded his insight in the science of hadith. He worked hard on the project, He undertook the task of publishing his shayk’s work in the Indian press and devoted his attention to its correction, publishing it with complete sincerity. He attained the pleasure and trust of his shaykh, He became a successor (khalifa) and representative (na’ib) of his shaykh and was even mentioned by name in the commentary.

Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri mentions in the introduction of Badhl al-Majhud, ‘I was helped by some of my friends, notable amongst whom is my relative and the coolness of my eyes and heart, Hajj Hafiz Molwi Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Mawlana Hafiz Molwi Muhammad Yahya Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him). I was incapable of writing or pursuing it (without his help), due to the shaking of my hand and due to weakness in mind and vision. I would dictate to him and he would write. He would search for the difficult subject matter from the sources, thus facilitating the dictation for me. I thank Allah for his effort and ask Him to grant him the best reward for whatever he spent of his effort. Allah has gifted him with intrinsic and apparent knowledge, beneficial in this world and in the hereafter, and with accepted, illuminated, good deeds.’

This indeed opened the door to Shaykh Zakariyya’s authoring many literary works and treatises over the course of his life.

Teaching Career
In Muharram 1335 ah he was appointed as a teacher at Madrasa Mazahir Ulum, where he was assigned to teach books on Arabic grammar, morphology, and literature, as well as a number of primary texts of Islamic jurisprudence. In 1341 ah he was assigned to teach three sections of Sahih al-Bukhari upon the insistence of Shaykh Khalil Ahmad. He also taught Mishkat al-Masabih until 1344 ah. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi said, �Although he was one of the youngest teachers at the school, he was selected to teach works generally not assigned to those of his age, nor to anyone in the early stages of his teaching career. Nevertheless, he showed that he was not only an able, but an exceptional teacher.

In 1345 ah he traveled to Madina Munawwara, the city of Allah’s Messenger (upon him be peace) where he resided for one year. There he taught Sunan Abi Dawud at Madrasa al-Ulum al-Shar’iyya. While in Madina, he began working on Awjaz al-Masalik ila Muwatta’ Imam Malik, a commentary on Imam Malik‘s Muwatta. He was twenty-nine at the time.

When he returned to India, he resumed teaching at Mazahir Ulum. He began teaching Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan al-Nasa’i, the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, and the second half of Sahih al-Bukhari. The school’s principle taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari, and after his death, Shaykh Zakariyya was given the honor of teaching the entire work.

In all, he taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari twenty-five times, the complete Sahih al-Bukhari sixteen times, and Sunan Abi Dawud thirty times. He did not just teach hadith as a matter of routine; the work of hadith had become his passion, and he put his heart and soul into it. Shaykh Zakariyya taught until 1388 ah, when he was forced to give up teaching after developing eye cataracts.

Sincere Love for Allah and the Prophet
Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya inherited piety, honesty, and good character from his father (may Allah be pleased with him). He aspired to follow the Qur’an and Sunna in all matters, big and small, with a passion not found in many scholars. He had extreme love for the Prophet (upon him be peace) and the blessed city of Madina. His students have related that whenever the death of the Messenger (upon him be peace) was mentioned during a lecture on Sunan Abi Dawud or Sahih al-Bukhari, his eyes would well up with tears, his voice would choke up, and he would be overcome with crying. So evocative were his tears that his students could do nothing but weep with raised voices.

He was often tested with regard to his sincerity. He was offered many teaching jobs at two or three times the salary that was customarily given at Mazahir Ulum, but he always graciously declined the offers. For most of his teaching career, Shaykh Zakariyya never accepted any money for his services at Mazahir Ulum; he did the work voluntarily, seeking Allah’s pleasure. Although he did accept a small salary at the beginning of his career, he later totaled up the amount and paid it back in its entirety.

Daily Routine
Shaykh Zakariyya organized his time meticulously. He would rise an hour before dawn and occupy himself in tahajjud and recitation of Qur’an before performing the Fajr prayer in the masjid. After Fajr, he would read his morning supplications and litany until sunrise. Thereafter he would go to meet with some people and drink tea (but never ate anything with it). He would then return to his quarters to read. During this time he would also research and compile his literary works, and, with few exceptions, no one was allowed to visit him at this time. When it was time for lunch he would come out and sit with his guests, who were from all walks of life; he would respect and treat them well, irrespective of who they were. After Zuhr prayer, he would take a siesta and then spend some time listening to his correspondence (which amounted to around forty or fifty letters daily from different places) and dictating replies. He also taught for two hours before Asr. After Asr, he would sit with a large group of people, offering them tea. After performing Maghrib, he would remain devoted in solitude to optional prayer and to supplication. He did not take an evening meal except to entertain an important guest.

Death
He had always hoped to meet Allah while in the city of the Messenger (upon him be peace); Allah granted his wish. He died there on Monday Sha’ban 1, 1402 ah (May 24, 1982 CE) and was buried in Jannat al-Baqi’, in the company of the Companions and the noble family members of the Messenger (upon him be peace). His funeral procession was followed by a large number of people and he was buried in the Baqi’ graveyard next to his teacher Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. May Allah forgive him, grant mercy, and elevate his status. Amin.

The source of this extracted information and more details of Shaykhs works, students, teachers and his status amongst scholars can be found at:Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi provided by White Thread Press publications.

Mufti Ziyaulhaq Patel

Mufti Ziyaulhaq Patel is a dynamic and vibrant Shaykh who is actively engaged in the services of the Deen of Allah Ta’ala. He was raised in the city of Lusaka, Zambia; it was here where he began his education in the field of Islamic Studies and where he completed Hifz-ul Quraan at a young age. In the year 2002 he advanced his studies at the auspices of Jamiah Islamiyyah in Lusaka, Zambia to study Aalimiyyat. He studied here for one year and then went forward to continue his studies at the Islamic Da’wah Academy (IDA) in Leicester, UK whereupon he finished his Aalimiyyat course – in 2008.

Upon completing his Aalimiyyat in the year 2009 he joined and graduated from the Iftah Department of Darul Uloom Arabiyyah Islamiyyah Matliwala Bharuch, India – here he studied the sciences of Fiqh and Jurisprudence (Takhassus-fil-fiqh) as well as studying some Islamic law. His fervour of Deen inevitably drew him into studying various fields of Islamic Studies.

Ever since he graduated from the Iftah Department of Darul Uloom Arabiyyah Islamiyyah Matliwala, he has been engaged in teaching and delivering lectures and commentary (Tafseer) of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadeeth which he routinely performs at Masjid Muadh Ibn Jabal in Leicester, UK (a local Masjid and Madarasah) in which he is an Imam.

Passionate about the youths he has actively engaged and involved himself with the khidmah (care) of the local youths. He has diligently devoted himself to their personal and moral development through engagement of various programmes and activities to nurture their spiritual, physical and mental wellbeing.

Mufti Ziyaulhaq Patel is also the director of muftianswers.com.

May Allah SWT shower Mufti Sahib with Barakah and Blessings in this life and the hereafter; allow him to serve the Muslim Ummah for many years to come and enable the entire Ummah to benefit from his wisdom (Hikmah) and knowledge (Ilm), Ameen.

Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq

Born in Gujarat, India in 1971, Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq came to the UK at the age of three, to join his father Moulana Muhammad Gora sahib who was serving as an Imam and religious leader for the Muslim community in Leicester, UK.

Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq’s Education

His father, himself renowned for his piety and learning, began his son’s religious instruction at a very young age. By the age of ten Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq had memorised the entire Quran, and also completed the study of a number of books in various Islamic topics. When Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq was thirteen he enrolled at Darul Uloom al Arabiyyah al Islamiyyah, Bury, UK, (the first and most prestigious Muslim seminary in the West) and graduated six years later, in early 1991. In Darul Uloom Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq undertook an intensive study of many Islamic topics including Arabic, Quranic tafseer, hadeeth and fiqh under traditionally qualified scholars. His eminent and erudite teachers from whom he has ijazah in various Islamic sciences include Shaykh Yusuf Motala and the late Shaykh Islamul Haq. He also has ijazah in hadeeth from the late Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi and the famous Muhaddith, Shaykh Yunus of Saharanpur, India.

Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq at present

Currently Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq serves as the honorary principal of Madinatul Uloom al Islamiyyah, Kidderminster, UK (a branch of Darul Uloom, Bury, UK) where he has also been head teacher since 1992. Since graduation Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq has selflessly devoted himself to the work of deen and remained actively involved in dawah and teaching. He has taught and commented on many classical Islamic works and has lectured extensively on a range of topics including Quranic tafseer, hadeeth, aqeedah and fiqh. Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq has also travelled widely teaching and lecturing in various countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Many of his inspirational sermons and lectures are recorded and are widely available. He has also authored two books, ‘The Salah of a Believer in the Quran and Sunnah’ and ‘The Causes of Disunity’.

Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq’s extensive knowledge, command of both Arabic and English, together with his natural ability and eloquence in conveying the words of Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala and His Rasul (peace be upon him) have moved the hearts of many and continue to do so.

Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq

Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq is currently teaching on a weekly basis, in a systematic manner, the abridged Sahih al Bukhari. These lessons are streamed live from Al Kawthar Academy, and other recorded audio may also be heard on there.

May Allah swt give good health and long life to Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq in order that the ummah continue to benefit from his lessons and knowledge, Ameen.

Imam Shafi’ee

Imam Muhammad Ibn Idress Shafi’ee was born in Ghazah, Palestine in the year 150 AH. Imam Shafi’ee was a descendent from the Hashimi family of the Quaraish tribe to which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) belonged. His father died around the time of his birth and his mother migrated to Makkah with Imam Shafi’ee when he was 2 years of age.

During his youth Imam Shafi’ee excelled in 2 activities: acquisition of deeni ilm and archery. By the age of 7 Imam Shafi’ee had memorised the Qur’an and at ten years of age he had committed the Mu’atta of Imam Malik to memory.

At the age of 13 with his mother’s permission Imam Shafi’ee departed Makkah arrived in Madinah at the door of Imam Malik.

Teachers

His uncle, Muhammed Ibn Ali Ibn Shafi’ee
Imam Malik
Imam Muhammad ibnul Hassan Shaybanee
Imam Waqee’
Imam Sufyan ibn Uyaynah

Imam Shafi’ee is reported to have written over 150 books.

Imam Shafi’ee was an expert in both Hanafi and Maliki fiqh. From which came about the Shafi’ee fiqh, which was spread by his students.

Imam Shafi’ee is a great role model, for both men and women. Never did he speak a lie, and his hands reached out to the poor generously.

Imam Muhammad said about him: The door of Fiqh was shut to the people, Allah opened it because of Imam Shafi’ee.

Imam Shafi’ee died in Cairo, Egypt, on FRIDAY evening after Maghrib, in RAJAB, 204 A.H. after a short illness at the age of 54 years.

Imam Malik

Imam Malik’s Early Years

Abu Abdullah, Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn Amer al-Asbahee was born in Madinah in the year 93 A.H. (714 CE). His ancestral home was in Yemen, but his grandfather settled in Madinah after embracing Islam.

Born into a well-to-do family, Imam Malik did not need to work for a living. He was highly attracted to the study of Islam, and ended up devoting his entire life to the study of Fiqh. Imam Malik received his education in what was the most important seat of Islamic learning, Madinah, and lived where the immediate descendants and the followers of the companions of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, were living.

It is said that Imam Malik sought out over three hundred Tabi’een or those who saw and followed the companions of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Imam Malik held the hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, in such reverence that he never narrated, taught any hadeeth or gave a fatwa without being in a state of ritual purity, Ghusl. Ismael ibn abi Uwaiss said, “I asked my uncle Imam Malik – about something. He had me sit, made ablution, then said, ‘Laa hawla wala quwata illa billah.’ He did not give any fatwa without saying it first.”

Also, Imam Malik saw fatwa as a sensitive, precise, and important action that can have far reaching results, and used to be extremely careful about giving it to the extent that if he was not sure about a matter, he would not dare to talk. Al-Haytham said, “I once was with Imam Malik when he was asked more than forty questions and I heard him reply, ‘I do not know,’ to thirty two of them.”

Yet, he was the man about whom ash-Shafi’ee said, ‘When scholars are mentioned, Malik is like the star among them.’ Malik said that he did not sit to give fatwa, before seventy of the Madinah scholars first witnessed to his competence in doing so.

Imam Malik became the Imam of the Madinah, and one of the most renowned Imams of Islam.

Imam Malik’s Famous Muwatta

He is the author of al-Muwatta’ (“The Approved”), formed of the sound narrations from the Prophet together with the sayings of his companions, their followers, and those after them. Malik said, “I showed my book to seventy scholars of Madinah, and every single one of them approved it for me (kulluhum wata-ani alayh), so I named it ‘The Approved’.”

Imam Bukhari said that the soundest of all chains of transmission was “Malik, from Nafi, from Ibn Umar.” The scholars of hadeeth call it the Golden Chain, and there are eighty narrations with this chain in the Muwatta. Malik composed al-Muwatta in the course of forty years, having started with ten thousand narrations until he reduced them to their present number of fewer than 2,000.

Like all scholars of Islam, Imam Malik was famous for his piety and integrity. He courageously stood up, and was prepared to suffer, for his convictions. When the governor of Madinah demanded and forced people to take the oath of allegiance to Khalifah al-Mansour, Imam Malik issued a fatwa that such an oath was not binding because it was given under coercion. He based this opinion of the hadeeth, “The divorce of the coerced does not take effect” (laysa ala mustakrahin talag). This resulted in many people finding courage to express their opposition, but Imam Malik was arrested, found guilty of defiance, and publicly flogged.

Imam Malik’s followers and disciples developed a Fiqh school, Madh-hab, based on his Ijtihad which came to be known as the Maliki Madh-hab. This Madh-hab spread in North Africa, al-Andalus, much of Egypt, and some of al-Sham, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, and Khurasan. Today, Malikis are mostly found in North and West Africa, Egypt, Sudan and the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

On Monday 14th of Rabi-ul-Awwal 179 A H., Imaam Malik (R.A) took leave from this world in the city of Madinah and is buried in the famous al-Baqie cemetery.

Source: Madrassah In’amiyyah

Imam Abu Hanifah

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Early Years

Imam Abu Hanifah was born in Kufa, Iraq in the year 80A.H. He was the son of a Persian merchant and his full name is Nu’man bin Thabit ibn Zauti (more famously known in Islamic History as ‘Imam Abu Hanifah’ and ‘Imam A’zam’).

His father – Thabit – was privileged to meet Hazrat Ali (R.A.) who had at the time, made Kufa his capital. Kufa, at the time of Imam Abu Hanifah was one the most important learning centres in the Islamic world and was blessed with the presence of over a thousand sahabah at one stage in its history.

Imam Abu Hanifah is himself also a Tabi’ee (One who saw and benefited from at least one Sahabi).

At the age of 20, Imam Abu Hanifah turned his attention towards the pursuit of advancing his Islamic knowledge.

Imam Abu Hanifah’s Teachers

Imam Abu Hanifah benefited from nearly 4,000 Sheikhs. Among his 1st and the most important tutors was Imam Hammad (Died 120 A.H.) whose educational lineage is linked with Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (R.A.). Such was his respect for his tutor, Imam Hammad that Imam Abu Hanifah says; whilst in my home I never even stretched my legs towards the house of my tutor, despite living 7 streets away.

Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) had joined his father’s business wherein he showed scrupulous honesty and fairness. Once his agent had sold a consignment of silk cloth on his behalf but forgot to mention a slight defect to the customers. When Imam Abu Hanifah learnt of this, he was greatly distressed because he had no means of the refunding the customers; so he immediately ordered the entire proceeds of the sale (30,000 Dirhams ) to be given in charity.

Imam Abu Hanifah was also keenly interested in education. He established a school at Kufa, which later became a famous College of Theology. Here he delivered lectures on Islamic Law and related subjects.

Fiqah or Islamic Law was systematically studied by his students under his expert guidance. A large number of his devoted and highly intelligent students worked under him for 30 years, and it is the labour of these students that gave us the Hanafi School of thought.

Imam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) was the 1st of the Imams to advocate the use of “reason” in the consideration of religious questions based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. He was also the 1st Imam to arrange all the subjects of Islamic Law systematically.

His most important work is the Kitab-ul-Aasaar which was compiled by his students – Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad.

In {146 A.H.} 763 A.C. Al-Mansoor – the Banu Abbas Khalifa of the Muslim Empire at Baghdad whose capital was Baghdad – offered Imam Sahib the post of Chief Qadhi of the state, but Imam Abu Hanifah declined to accept the post and chose to remain independent. In his reply to Al-Mansoor, Imam Abu Hanifah excused himself by saying that he did not regard himself fit for the post offered. Al-Mansoor, who had his own ideas and reasons for offering the post, lost his temper and accused Imam Abu Hanifah of lying.

“If I am lying,” the Imam said, “then my statement is doubly correct. “How can you appoint a liar to the exalted post of a Chief Qazi?”

Incensed by this reply, Al-Mansoor charged the Imam with contempt, had him arrested and locked in prison.

Even in prison, Imam Abu Hanifah continued to teach those who were permitted to come to him.

It was here in prison that Imam Abu Hanifah was administered a dose of poison in 150 A.H. Realizing that the end was near, the Imam prostrated in prayer and passed away in this condition in the month of Rajab, 150 A.H.

The news of his death soon spread throughout Baghdad. The whole town came out to pay their last homage to the greatest Imam of Islamic Law. More than 50,000 people participated in the first Janaza Salaat. People continued to flock and before the Janaza could be finally taken for burial, the Salaatul Janaza was offered 6 times in all. For days, people came in large numbers to pay their respects at the grave side.

Adapted from Domain of Islam‘s article on Imam Abu Hanifah

Shaykh Ibrahim Memon Madani

Shaikh Ibrahim Memon Madani was born in the blessed city of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), Madinah Munawarrah, where he began his Hifz al Qur’an and study of hadith. As a young boy, he attended the lessons of the great Shaikh ul-Hadith, Shaikh Zakariya r.a, winning his adoration and duas.

In 1980, upon instruction of Shaikh Zakariya r.a, he left for England to study at Darul-Uloom Holocombe where he completed his Hifz ul-Qur’an and Aalim course.

In 1987, he moved to Waterloo, Canada to serve as Imam of the masjid. Four years later, he moved to Buffalo with his father and brothers to help establish Darul-Uloom Al-Madania.

In 1993, Hazrat Sufi Iqbal r.a. (a beloved student of the late Shaikh Zakariya r.a.) granted him Ijazah for Bai’yah.

Since 1991, Shaikh Ibrahim has been serving as a teacher of Arabic, Fiqh, Hadith, and Tafseer. He regularly lectures at colleges, churches, and Masajid all over the United States and abroad.

Shaykh’s beneficial lectures and duroos can be heard on Darul Uloom al Madania website.

May Allah swt give good health and long life to Shaykh Ibrahim Madani in order that the ummah continue to benefit from his lessons and knowledge. Ameen.

Imam Abu Hanifah and the Atheist

Long ago in the city of Baghdad, there was a Muslim empire. On one side of the River Tigris were the royal palaces and on the other side was the city. The Muslims were gathered in the Royal Palace when an athiest approached them. He said to them, ‘I don’t believe in God, there cannot be a God, you cannot hear Him or see Him, you’re wasting your time! Bring me your best debator and I will debate this issue with him.’

The best debator at the time was Imam Abu Hanifah Rahimullah. A messenger from amongst the Muslims was sent over the River Tigris to the city, where Abu Hanifah Rahimullah was, in order to tell him about the athiest who was awaiting him. On crossing the River Tigris, the messenger conveyed the message to Abu Hanifah Rahimullah saying, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, an athiest is waiting for you, to debate you, please come!’ Abu Hanifah Rahimullah told the messeneger that he would be on his way.

The messenger went over the River Tigris once again and to the Royal Palaces, where everyone including the athiest awaited the arrival of Abu Hanifah Rahimullah. It was sunset at the time and one hour had passed, but Abu Hanifah Rahimullah still hadn’t arrived. Another hour had passed, but still there was no sign of him. The Muslims started to become tense and worried about his late arrival. They did not want the athiest to think that they were too scared to debate him, yet they did not want to take up the challenge themselves as Abu Hanifah Rahimullah was the best of Debators from amongst the Muslims. Another hour passed, and suddenly the athiest started laughing and said, ‘ Your best debator is too scared! He knows he’s wrong, he is too frightened to come and debate with me. I gurantee he will not turn up today.’

The Muslims increased in apprehension and eventually it had passed midnight, and the athiest had a smile on his face. The clock ticked on, and finally Abu Hanifah Rahimullah had arrived. The Muslims inquired about his lateness and remarked, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, a messenger sent for you hours ago, and you arrive now, explain your lateness to us.’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah apologises for his lateness and begins to explain, while the atheist listens to his story.

‘Once the messenger delivered the message to me, I began to make my way to the River Tigris, and on reaching the river bank I realised there was no boat, in order to cross the river. It was getting dark, and I looked around, there was no boat anywhere nor was there a navigator or a sailor in order for me to cross the river to get to the Royal Palaces. I continued to look around for a boat, as I did not want the athiest to think I was running away and did not want to debate with him.

I was standing on the river bank looking for a navigator or a boat when something caught my attention in the middle of the river. I looked forward, and to my amazement I saw planks of wood rising to the surface from the sea bed. I was shocked, amazed, I couldn’t believe what I saw seeing. Ready made planks of wood were rising up to the surface and joining together. They were all the same width and length, I was astounded at what I saw.

I continued to look into the middle of the river, and then I saw nails coming up from the sea floor. They positioned themselves onto the boat and held the planks together, without them being banged. I stood in amazement and thought to myself, ‘Oh Allah, how can this happen, planks of wood rising to the surface by itself, and then nails positioning themselves onto the boat without being banged?’ I could not undertsand what was happening before my eyes.’

The athiest meanwhile was listening with a smile on his face. Abu Hanifah Rahimullah continued, ‘I was still standing on the river bank watching these planks of wood join together with nails. I could see water seeping through the gaps in the wood, and suddenly I saw a sealant appear from the river and it began sealing the gaps without someone having poured it, again I thought, ‘Ya Allah, how is this possible, how can sealant appear and seal the gaps without someone having poured it, and nails appear without someone having banged them.’ I looked closer and I could see a boat forming before my eyes, I stood in amazement and was filled with shock. All of a sudden a sail appeared and I thought to myself, ‘How is this happening, a boat has appeared before my eyes by itself, planks of wood, nails, sealant and now a sail, but how can I use this boat in order to cross the river to the Royal Palaces?’ I stood staring in wonderment and suddenly the boat began to move. It came towards me against the current. It stood floating beside me while I was on the river bank, as if telling me to embark onto it. I went on the boat and yet again it began to move. There was no navigator or sailor on the boat, and the boat began to travel towards the direction of the royal palaces, without anyone having programmed it as to where to go. I could not understand what was happening, and how this boat had formed and was taking me to my destination against the flow of water. The boat eventually reached the other side of the River Tigris and I disembarked. I turned around and the boat had disappeared, and that is why I am late.’

At this moment, the athiest brust out laughing and remarked, ‘Oh Abu Hanifah, I heard that you were the best debator from amongst the Muslims, I heard that you were the wisest, the most knowledgable from amongst your people. From seeing you today, I can say that you show none of these qualities. You speak of a boat appearing from nowhere, without someone having built it. Nails positioning themselves without someone having banged them, sealant being poured without someone having poured it, and the boat taking you to your destination without a navigator against the tide, your taking childish, your talking rediculous, I swear I do not belive a word of it!’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah turned to the athiest and replied, ‘You don’t believe a word of it? You dont believe that nails can appear by themselves? You dont believe sealant can be poured by itself? You dont believe that a boat can move without a navigator, hence you don’t believe that a boat can appear without a boat maker?’

The athiest remarked defiantly, ‘Yes I dont believe a word of it!’

Abu Hanifah Rahimullah replied, ‘If you cannot believe that a boat came into being without a boat maker, than this is only a boat, how can you believe that the whole world, the universe, the stars, the oceans, and the planets came into being without a creator?

The athiest astonished at his reply got up and fled.

Transcribed from a lecture delivered by Shaykh Ahmad Ali.

Imam Nawawi

IMAM NAWAWI [631 – 676 A.H]

Birth and Birth place:

The complete name of Imam Nawawi is Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya, son of Sharaf An-Nawawi, son of Murry, son of Hassan, son of Hussain, son of Muhammad, son of Juma, son of Hazam. Nawawi refers to Nawa, a place near Damascus, in the suburb of the city of Howran. One of his ancestors named Hazam had settled at this place. Imam Nawawi was born at Nawa in the year 631 A.H. His father, a virtuous and pious man, resolved to arrange for proper and befitting education as he had discovered the symptoms of heavenly intelligence and wisdom in his promising child at an early stage.

Shaikh Yasin bin Yousuf Marakashi, a saintly figure of Nawa says: “I saw Imam Nawawi at Nawa when he was a youth of ten years of age. Other boys of his age used to force him to play with them, but Imam Nawawi would always avoid the play and would remain busy with the recitation of the Noble Qur’an. When they tried to domineer and insisted on his joining their games, he bewailed and expressed his no concern over their foolish action. On observing his sagacity and profundity, a special love and affection developed in my heart for young Nawawi. I approached his teacher and urged him to take exceptional care of this lad as he was to become a great religious scholar and most pious saint of future. His teacher asked whether I was a soothsayer or an astrologer. I told him I am neither soothsayer nor an astrologer but Allah caused me to utter these words.” His teacher conveyed this incident to Imam’s father and he keeping in view the learning quest of his son, decided to dedicate the life of his son for the service and promotion of the cause of Islamic Faith.

In a short period, Nawawi learnt to read the Holy Qur’an and by that time he nearly had attained puberty. Nawa had no academic or scholarly atmosphere and there were no religious academies or institutes where one could earn excellence in religious learning, so his father took him to Damascus, which was considered the center of learning and scholarship, and the students from far and wide gathered there for schooling. During that period, there were more than three hundred institutes, colleges and universities in Damascus. Imam Nawawi joined Madrasah Rawahiyah which was affiliated with the Ummvi University. The founder and patron of this Madrasah was a trader named Zakiuddin Abul-Qassim who was known as Ibn Rawahah. Madrasah was named after him. Noted and eminent teachers of the period taught in that Madrasah. Imam Nawawi says, “I studied in this institution for two years. During my stay in Madrasah Rawahiyah, I never had complete rest and lived on the limited food supplied by the institution.” As a routine he used to sleep very little at night. When it became irresistible as a human being, he would lean and slumber for a while against the support of books. After a short duration he would again be hard at his scholastic pursuits.

His Teachers and Guides:

During his stay at Damascus, he studied from more than twenty celebrated teachers. These teachers were regarded as masters and authority of their subject field and disciplines they taught. Imam studied Hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence, its principles, syntax and Etymology from great scholars of his time. Abu Ibrahim Ishaq bin Ahmad AI-Maghribi, Abu Muhammad Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim Al-Fazari, Radiyuddin Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Abu Hafs Umar bin Mudar Al-Mudari, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Isa Al-Muradi, Abul-Baqa Khalid bin Yusuf An-Nablusi, Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Salim Al-Misri, Abu Abdullah Al-Jiyani, Abul-Fath Umar bin Bandar, Abu Muhammad At-Tanukhi, Sharafuddin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad Al-Ansari, Abul-Faraj Abdur-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Ahmad Al-Maqdisi, Abul-Fada’il Sallar bin Al-Hasan Al Arbali etc.

His Students:

There were hundreds of Imam’s students, among them some notables are: Alauddin bin Attar, Ibn Abbas Ahmad bin Ibrahim, Abul-Abbas Al-Ja’fari, Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Farah, Rashid Ismail bin Mu’allim Al-Hanafi, Abu Abdullah Al-Hanbali, AbulAbbas Al-Wasti, Jamaluddin Sulaiman bin Omar Az-Zar’i, AbulFaraj Abdur-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Abdul-Hamid AlMaqdisi, Badr Muhammad bin Ibrahim, Shamsuddin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, Ash-Shihab Muhammad bin Abdul-Khaliq, Hibatullah Al-Barizi, Abul-Hajjaj Yusuf bin Az-Zaki etc.

His Desire and Crave for Learning:

Imam Nawawi had endless thirst for knowledge, and it can be guessed from his daily practice of studies. He used to read daily twelve lessons and write explanation and commentary of every lesson and also made important additions. Whatever the book Imam Nawawi read, he put down the marginal notes and explanations on that book. His intelligence, hard work, love, devotion and absorption in his-studies amazed his teachers and they become fond of him and began to praise and admire him. According to Imam Dhahabi, Imam Nawawi’s concentration and absorption in academic love gained proverbial fame. He had devoted all his time for learning and scholarship. Other than reading and writing, he spent his time contemplating on the interacted and complex issues and in finding their solutions. Allah had also conferred upon him the gift of fast memory and depth of thought, and he who makes the right use of this boon, there remains no doubt in his sagacity and discernment. Imam Nawawi made full benefit of his God given qualities and potentialities and earned the highest degree of honor.

Imam’s Simplicity and Niceness of Manners:

The learned persons, elite of the society and the public greatly respected the Imam on account of his piety, learning and excellent character. He used simple dress and ate simple food. Devout scholars do not care about worldly chattels, they give preference to religious and academic pursuits, propagation of Faith etc. They experience more heavenly delight and joy in such activities than those who seek satisfaction in luxurious foods, precious clothes and other worldly things. Imam Nawawi had a prominent place among the erudite notables of his age. He was God-fearing person having illustrious and glorious aims regarding propagation of Faith. Celebrated Sheikh Mohiuddin expresses his impression about Imam Nawawi as thus:
“Imam Nawawi had three distinctive commendable qualities in his person. If anybody have only one out of these three, people return to him in abundance for guidance. First, having knowledge and its dissemination. Second, to evade completely from the worldly inclinations, and the third, inviting to all that is good (Islam) enjoining Al-Ma’ruf [i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do] and forbidding Al-Munkar [polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden]. Imam Nawawi had all three in him.”

Imam Nawawi’s works and his death

The learned Imam had a very short life but even during this short period, he had written a large number of books on different subjects. Every work of the Imam is a masterwork and a treasure of knowledge. Hundreds and thousands of people benefit from these works.

Some of the Prestigious Works of Imam Nawawi are:

Commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari, Al-Minhaj fi Sharh Sahih Muslim, Riyad-us-Saliheen, Kitab-ur-Raudah, Commentary on Mohadhdhab, Tahdhib-ul-Asma was-Sifat, Kitab-ul-Adhkar, Arba’een, At-Taqreeb fi Ilmil-Hadith wal-Irshad fihi, Kitab-ulMubhamat, At-Tibyan, Al-Idah fi Manasikil-Hajj, Sharh Sahih AlBukhari (Naqis), Sharh Sunan Abi Dawud (Naqis), Tabaqat Ash Shafi’iyah, Muhimmatul-Ahkam, Manaqib-ush-Shafi’i, Bustan-ulArifeen, Al-Khulasatu fil-Hadith, Mukhtasar At-Tirmidhi, A1Masa’il Al-Manthurah, Al-‘Umdah fi Tashihit-Tanbih and others.

After spending 28 years of age, Imam Nawawi returned to his hometown. Soon after his arrival at Nawa, he felt ill and died. Imam Nawawi is still living in the hearts of Muslims. His works are of everlasting value. May Allah bless Imam Nawawi.
Source: Central Mosque