Tag Archives: Ulama

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

Shah Wali-U Allah

Shah Wali-u Allah was born on 4th Shawwaal, 1114 / 21 February 1703 1703 at Phulat in Delhi. His ancestors had migrated from Arabia to Iran for reasons not known. Later on when the invasion of the Tatars caused widely spread terror and destruction in Iraq and Iran, the forefathers of the Shah are said to have migrated to India and found their settlement here at Rohtak village. His grandfather was a gallant soldier in the Mughal army and a deep lover of the Qur’aan. Shaykh Abdur-Rahim was Shah Wali-u Allah’s father, the pupil of a great scholar and sufi – Zahid Herawi. Abdur-Rahim was famous for his profound knowledge of the traditions and Islamic jurisprudence. That is why he was offered the service in the government to revise Fataawa Alamgiri which he undertook at the instance of his mother. He was also famous for found his seminary, Madrasah-e-Rahimiyyah in Delhi the forerunner of the present Darul Uloom Deoband. Shaykh Abdur-Rahim had interests in mysticism yet he did not ignore the practical aspects of life. In the home of such a pious and learned father, the Shah grew up to great heights of eminence.

At the age of five, the Shah had his first lesson at school. After two years he learnt reading and writing. He learnt the Qur’aan by heart upto the age of ten. At the age of fourteen years he read a part of Bauzayi and the major part of Mishkawah. He got the graduation from Rahimiyyah college at the age of fifteen. The prescribed syllabus of the college laid great stress on the Qur’aanic studies with lesser aid from commentaries and the Shah himself felt thankful to God for being provided with opportunity to lecture on the lessons of the Qur’aan which opened the doors of its knowledge for him. The other sciences like the Hadith, Fiqh, logic, etc. were also learnt by the Shah. He became the teacher of this very college of his father at the age of seventeen. Only two years later, his father died and the management work of the school fell upon him. The Shah took up the task with devotion and attained the help of the old graduates of the college. He prepared his lectures after extensive study on various Islamic disciplines and sciences. and provided guidance on the problems of varied nature. While sitting on the grave of his father in pious meditation, he sought solutions of the spiritual problems. ‘When I sat meditating,’ he reports, ‘at the grave of my father, problems of Tawhid (oneness of God) were solved. The path of the divine attraction (Jazb) was opened; and a large share of Saluk (spiritual journey) fall to my lot, and inspirational knowledge (Uloom-e-Wajdaniyyah) thronged the mind with it.’ Through his study of standard Fiqh literature and Hadith books, the Shah came to the conclusion that the institution of Fuqaha-e-Muhadditheen (jurisprudents who drew heavily upon traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was an adequate one that he would adhere to in his future life.

Shah Wali-u Allah’s journey to Hijaaz in October 24 1730 / 8 Rabi-as-Thaani 1143 proved a turning point in his career. It was the time when the Indian subcontinent was undergoing a deep crisis consequent upon the declining fortunes of the Mughal empire. Under such conditions there was growing an indifference towards religion. The sectarian conflicts had become the order of the day. Sufism had generated and various evils had crept into the society as a result of the practices of the false Sufis. The sensitive mind of the Shah was deeply moved by the deplorable situation prevailing in India and his journey to Hijaaz had much to do with this preoccupation of the scholar. In Hijaaz, the Shah stayed for about two years, performed Hajj twice at Makkah and also spent sometime at the Prophet’s tomb in Madinah. Besides acquainting himself with the general condition of the Muslim world during his stay in Hijaaz, the Shah also received lessons on the Qur’aan and the Hadith and thereby was able to attain considerable guidance in the spiritual matters. He read from the scholars of repute, Muatta of Imaam Maalik with Shaykh Wafadullah and Bukhari of Imaam Bukhari with Shaykh Taj-al-Din Hanafi, the Mufti (juri consultant) of Makkah. At Madinah, the Shah attended to Shaykh Ibrahim Kurdi, an eminent traditionist and sufi, and revised all famous books on Hadith under his guidance. Shaykh Abu Tahir, another great theologian in Madinah, also guided the Shah in the science of Hadith.

It can hardly be denied that Shah Shah Wali-u Allah’s sojourn to Hijaaz proved to be a landmark in his spiritual development. He himself mentions many spiritual blessings and experiences in His Fuyuz al-Haramayn. He received them in a series of visions at the precincts of the holy Ka’abah and the holy tomb of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). In these visions include the task of the revival of Islam entrusted to the Shah by the grandsons of the prophet, the intelligibility of the most controversial problems of ontological versus phenomenological monism, clearance of doubts on the controversial issues relating to solidarity and development of the Muslim institutions. A.D. Muztar has eloquently described this enlightenment of Shah Wali-u Allah in the following words:

The prophet cleared his doubts concerning them in a series of visions. For example, the prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) told Shah Wali-u Allah.

1. The order of succession of the Khulafa-e-Raashideen (the four immediate successors of the prophet) had taken place under the will and pleasure of God. It was best suited to the interests of Muslim community and so far as the personal excellence of these four companions of the prophet was concerned, all of them were blessed with qualities and stations special to each of them. The contentions over the attributive supremacy of Ali on the one hand and of Abu Bakr and Umar (Shaykhayn) on the other, were just useless and needless. Such a controversy was apt to create hatred and disharmony among the Muslims.

2. All the mystic orders, such as (Chishti, Naqshabandi, Qadiri, Suhrawardi, etc.) were equally acceptable to God. Nor was the prophet of God especially inclined towards any particular order. One may follow any or all of them with the only proviso that they were followed for the sake of God Almighty.

3. None of the schools of Jurists, Maaliki, Hanafi, Shaaf’ee and Hanbali, excelled the other. All of them were fundamentally the same. Therefore, all were equal in the eyes of the Prophet … It was further revealed to him that in conveying his message to the nation and share their responsibilities; he benign and compassionate in his speeches and writings; and pray for what was good for the people in their world life and the life hereafter.

After the Shah’s return to Delhi, he addressed himself to the task of bringing about the revival of Islamic sciences for the general good of Muslims. He made useful reforms in the studies at Rahimiyyah college in order to impart such teaching and training to the pupil as could enable them to relate true religious education to the practical needs of the people. The wrong beliefs and customs, associated with Islam, were reformed through the Shah’s translation of the Qur’aan into Persian which made the people to understand its actual message. His Tafhimat-I-Ilaahiyya and Hama’at played a great role in clearing off the doubts about the innovations in Sufism. The interpretation of Islamic system comprising beliefs and Ibaadat, social, political and economic matters, was made by the Shah under the new and growing exigencies of his time. Al-Badur al-Bazigah, Hujjatul Allah al-Baaligha, al-Insaaf fee sabab bayaan al-Ikhtilaaf, etc. clearly demonstrate the deep concern of the Shah in bringing about the revival of Islamic sciences in accordance with the needs of the Muslim society in the Indian context.

The resurgence of Islamic political thought marks an outstanding feature of Shah Wali-u Allah’s Islamic revivalism. The Ummah in general and the Indian Muslim in particular were exposed to the internal and the external threats. The so often controversies over the standpoints of the Shi’as and the Sunnis, luxurious and lethargic habits in the Mughal bureaucracy in the capital, rapid growth of the Maratha power, the Jats, the Sikhs and above all the intrusion of the Western imperialistic influences had undermined the solidarity of the Indian Muslims. Their disdain and disunity was further affected by their indulgence in the conflicts of sectarian, jurisprudential schools of law, heterodoxy and orthodoxy nature. The Shah sensitively reacted to these problems of political confusion and instability of Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. He attempted considerably for the purification and the revitalisation of this political deterioration. His expositions on the political thought mark his rational approach to human history and his critical interpretation of the classical history of Islam.

Political Thought of Shah Wali-u Allah – an Analytical Study
Abdur-Rashid Bhat
source: Madrassah In’aamiyyah

Imam ibn Majah

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Majah (r.a) – [209 – 273 A.H.]

Imam Ibn Majah was born in the city of Qazvin in the northern Persian province of Dailam. After gaining ahadith from the many great religious scholars of his city, he travelled to seek knowledge at the young age of 21. Imam Ibn Majah is said to have visited Basrah, Kufah, Baghdad, the Hijaz, Makkah, Syria and Egypt to hear and gather ahadith.

Amongst his teachers were Jabbara ibn al Mughlis, Ibrahim ibn al-Munzar, Hisham ibn Umar and more Abu Bakr ibn Shaibah.

His status
Ibn Khallikan writes that Imam ibn Majah held the position of an Imam in the subject of hadith.
Abu al-Ali Khalili says he was a great scholar of Qur’anic exegesis, ahadith and history.
Adh Dhahabi stated that he was a hafiz and warehouse of Prophetic knowledge.

Imam ibn Majah is known to have authored 3 books, popularly known Sunan ibn Majah, at-Tafsir and at-Tarikh.

Imam Ibn Majah departed from this world during the blessed month of Ramadan 273 A.H. in Qazvin, the city of his birth.

May Allah Ta’ala fill his Qabar with Noor.
Ameen.
Source: Scholars of Hadith by Syed Bashir Ali

Imam an-Nasa’i

Ahmad ibn Shu’aib an-Nasa’i (r.a) – [215 – 303 A.H.]

Imam an-Nasa’i was born in the town of Nasa’ in the Persian province of Khorasan. After gaining hadith from the teachers his own city, Imam an-Nasa’i travelled through Khorasan, Iraq, the Hijaz Syria and Egypt gaining ahadith. Egypt was where Imam an-Nasa’i settled and established his center for teaching and studies here.

Imam an-Nasa’i was said to have exhausted many of his days and nights in prayers, repeatedly performed Hajj and also joined the Muslim army to participate in battle. He was very particular of the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), had a hatred for deviation and avoided the circles of kings and nobles.

Imam Nasa’i’s status
Ibn Khallikan writes ‘He was the Imam of hadith of his age.’
Daraqutni says ‘He was more distinguished than all the muhaddithun of his time.’
He is well known for Sunan an-Nasa’i which is a collection of 5751 sound ahadith. In it he also describes the flaws of a hadith, exposes any disagreements on the title, names and kunyat of narrators and clarifies the variations between different versions of a hadith.

His teachers are many, the first being Muhaddith Qutaibah ibn Sa’id al Balkhi. Some others are Ishaq ibn Rahawaih, Muhammad ibn Nasr, Muhammad ibn Bishr and the famous Abu Dawud.

His students came from all over the Muslim world, and some of the more famous of them are Ali ibn Jafar at-Tahawi, Abul Qasim at-Tabrani, Muhammad ibn Mu’awiyah al Andalusi, Abu Jafar at-Tahani and also his own son.

Imam an-Nasa’i travelled to Damascus, Syria in 302 A.H. where he noticed people displaying some hostility towards Hazrat Ali (R.A). He therefore wrote a book to honor the character of Hazrat Ali (R.A) and started lecturing from it in a Masjid. He had only read a few lines when he was accused of being a Shi’i and was beaten badly by a crowd, such he received severe injuries to his body. In this state he requested some admirers to take him to Makkah, and it was after reaching Makkah Imam an-Nasa’i passed away.

Source: Scholars of Hadith by Syed Bashir Ali

May Allah Ta’ala fill Imam an-Nasa’i’s Qabar with Noor, Ameen.

Abu Dawud

Sulaiman ibn al-Ash’ath (Abu Dawud) (r.a) – [202 – 275 A.H.]

Abu Dawud was born in Sijistan. Little is known about his early life, but that he travelled to many regions and cities to hear and collect ahadith from many different scholars. Abu Dawud is also a distinguished Faqih as well as a Muhaddith. His knowledge of hadith is confirmed by the fact that he had amassed 500,000 ahadith, 5,400 of which he selected for Sunan Abu Dawud. Hakim at-Tirmidhi was of the opinion that Abu Dawud was without doubt the chief muhaddith of his time.

His teachers are estimated to number more than 300. This includes ibn Hanbal, ibn Mu’in, ibn Harab, Abd al-Wahid Tayalasi and ibn Ibrahim, who were also teachers of Imams Bukhari and Muslim.

The number of students in Abu Dawud’s classes would sometimes be in the thousands, Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i being amongst them. Some other distinguished muhaddithun students of his were: Abu Bakr ibn Imam, Abu Ali Muhammad ibn Ahmad Lu’lu’wi, Abu Bakr Muhammad and Abu Sa’id Ahmad ibn Muhammad.

Abu Dawud used to say that for one to recognise the purpose of life and to practise religion properly, out of his sunan, 4 hadith would suffice:

  1. The reward of deeds depends only intentions
  2. Among you no one will be a true Muslim unless he wishes for his brother or his neighbour exactly that which he wishes for himself
  3. The exquisiteness of ones Islam is that he avoids things that do not concern him and leaves what is not valuable to him
  4. The lawful and unlawful are made clear, but there are in between them doubtful things which are not known to most of the people. One who keeps himself away from the doubtful things, protects his deen and honour, and he who indulges in doubtful acts commits unlawful deeds.

In the year 275A.H. in Basrah Abu Dawud departed from this world at the age of 73, and was buried next to Sufyan ath-Thawri. May Allah Ta’ala fill his Qabar with Noor.
Aameen.
Source: Scholars of Hadith

Imam Tirmizi

IMAM TIRMIZI (R.A) 209 A.H. – 279 A.H.

Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) was born during the reign of the Abbasid Khalifa Mamoon al Rasheed. The Abbasid Caliphate, despite its brilliant contributions to Islaam, brought along with it many thorny problems. Greek Philosophy had a free flow into the Islamic world. This was fully sanctioned by the government until eventually it declared the Mu’tazila school of thought as the state religion. Anyone who opposed the Mu’tazila school of thought would be opposing the state. With the influence of Greek philosophy infiltrating within the people, many Muslims began attempting to reconcile between reason and revelation. As a result they deviated themselves and misled many innocent weak Muslims away from Allah and His Rasul [sallallahu alyhi wasallam]. Many scholars of Islaam had come to the fore in order to defend the Shariah. Forgeries and interpolations in Hadith by rulers who wished to fulfil their personal motives was common. In the first century Umar bin Abdul Aziz(R.A.) initiated a movement for the compilation of the Mubarak Hadeeth of Nabi [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] as there was a fear of it being lost. Eventually this gigantic task was undertaken by six towering scholars of Islaam. One of them was …….. Imaam Abu Isa Muhammed ibn Isa Tirmizi (R.A.)

Having grown up in an environment of learning, together with possessing many great qualities naturally drove Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) to dedicate his life totally towards the field of Hadith. He obtained his basic knowledge at home and later travelled to far off lands in search of this great science. He studied Hadith under great personalities such as Imaam Bukhari (R.A.), Imaam Muslim (R.A.) and Imaam Abu Dawood (R.A.). In some narrations Imaam Bukhari and Imaam Muslim (R.A.) are his students as well. Once Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) mentioned to him “I have benefited more from you than you have benefitted from me.” Moosa ibn Alaq (R.A.) once said : “When Imaam Bukhari passed away, he left no one in Khurasaan who compared with Abu Isa Tirmizi (R.A.) in Ilm, memory, piety and abstinence.” According to Abdullah ibn Muhammed Al-Ansaari (R.A.), Imaam Tirmizi’s Al-Jami is more beneficial than the works of Bukhari and Muslim (R.A.) since their compilations can only be understood by a very deep sighted scholar whereas Al Jami can be understood by both the scholar and the lay man. Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) said that he compiled this book and presented it to the learned of Hejaaz, Iraaq and Khuraasaan and they were pleased with it. Who ever has this book in his home, it is as though he has the Prophet [sallallahu alyhi wasallam] speaking to him there.

His remarkable memory:
Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) had an exceptionally remarkable memory. If he heard something once he never forgot it. Once on his way to Makkah, Imaam Tirmizi(R.A.) met a Muhadith from whom he had previously copied two chapters of hadith. Thinking that he had the notes with him he asked the Muhadith if he would allow him to read out these two chapters so that he may correct any errors. After realizing that he did not have those notes with him he took a blank piece of paper and read out the entire two parts from memory. When the Muhadith realized what he was doing he rebuked Imam Tirmizi (R.A.) saying: “Have you no shame, Why are you wasting my time.” Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) assured him that he had committed all the ahadith to memory. The Muhadith was not convinced, even though he recited all the Ahadith from memory. Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) requested him to recite to him some other Ahadith. The Muhaddith recited 40 ahadith which Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) repeated without making a single error, thus showing his remarkable power of committing Ahadith to memory.

Another incident has been recorded by Hakeemul Ummat (R.A.) in his Al-Misk-us-Zaki, depicting the profound memory of Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.). He writes:”Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) had lost his sight towards the latter portion of his life. Once whilst on a journey, at a certain point he bowed his head. When asked as to why he did this, he replied: “Is there not a tree here whose branches hang over in such a manner that it harms those who are passing by.” They answered in the negative. He was quite shocked when he heard this as he distinctly remembered there being a tree and was worried as to whether his memory was failing him or not. He stopped the caravan immediately and asked his companions to enquire from the locals whether a tree had existed there or not. “If it is established that no tree existed then I will stop narrating the Hadith of Nabi [sallallahu alyhi wasallam] due to my weak memory.” On inquiry it was shown to them that a tree had previously existed over there but due to it being a hindrance to travelers it was removed.”

Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) had a large number of students from all over the world. The most famous amongst them were Haysam ibn Kulaib (R.A.), Abul Abbaas (R.A.) and Muhammed ibn Ahmed (R.A.) Shah Abdul Aziz (R.A.) describes Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) in the following words: “His memory was unique and his piety and fear of Allah Ta’la was of a very high caliber. He would cry so much out of the fear of Allah, that towards the end of his life he lost his sight.”

According to Ibn Taimiya (R.A.) and Shah Waliullah (R.A.), Imaam Timizi (R.A.) was an independent Jurist (Mujtahid). Hazrat Moulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R.A.) is of the opinion that he was a Shafi.

In the year 279 A.H. in a village called Bawag at the ripe age of 70 , Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) left this temporary abode for the ever lasting life of the hereafter. May Allah Ta’ala fill his Qabar with Noor. Aameen. The enormity of his sacrifices and the extent to which he served Deen can never be fully comprehended.

Many books of hadith were compiled before Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) decided to compile His Al-Jami. Dawood Tayalisi (R.A.) and Ahmed ibn Hambal (R.A.) had compiled books consisting of both authentic and weak Ahadith. Later Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) compiled his Sahih Bukhari and omitted all weak narrations from it. His main objective was to derive masail / laws from the relevant Ahadith. Later Muslim (R.A.) compiled his book concentrating mainly on the Isnaad (different chain of narrators). Hazrat Imaam Nasai’s aim was to mention the discrepancies of the hadith whilst Abu Dawood (R.A.) prepared such a book which became the basis for the Fuqaha. Imaam Tirmizi (R.A.) had combined the styles of Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Nasai (R.A.) by mentioning the discrepancies regarding the narrators and also making his compilation a basis for the Jurists.
Extract from Life and works of Imam Tirmizi (RA) from Central-Mosque.com

Read Shamaa-il Tirmidhi online

Imam Muslim

BIRTH OF IMAM MUSLIM

His name was Abul-Hussain Muslim-bin-Habaj al Nishapuri. He was born in a distinguished family of Arab Muslims in Khorasan which. was a famous town of Russia. Imam Muslim was born in 817 A.D. corresponding to the Islamic year 204 A.H. His forefathers occupied prominent positions during the time of the four Caliphs. He travelled to many places with the object of learning Hadith, and after completing his studies in the various centres of learning, he settled at Nishapur. He spend the rest of his life teaching Hadith.

EDUCATION
Imam Muslim started his studies at the very early age of fourteen years. In the year 218 A.H. the atmosphere in Nishapur, his birthplace, was of a religious and knowledge type. Nishapur had great personalities in this period such as lmaam Rahiwe and lmaam Zohri. After travelling widely in search of Hadith, he settled in Nishapur as mentioned above. Imam Muslim was much impressed by the vast knowledge of Imaam Bukhari (R.A.), in the field of Hadith and the deep insight he possessed on this subject. He therefore attached himself to Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) up to the end of his life. Imam Muslim was also an admirer of another great teacher of Hadith, Muhammed bin Yahya al Dhuli. He attended his lectures regularly. He visited Baghdad several times and had the opportunity of delivering lessons there. His last visit to Baghdad was two years before his death.

IMAM MUSLIM’S TEACHERS

Imam Muslim (R.A.) apart from attending the lessons of Imaam Bukhari regularly, also attended the lectures of lmaam Ahmad bin Hambal, Abdullah al Qarri, Qutaiba bin Said, Abdullah bin Maslama and other great Muhadith.

IMAM MUSLIM’S STUDENTS

Imam Muslim (R.A.’s) most noted students are Hatim Razi, Ahrnad bin Salmah, Abu Isa Tinnizi, Abubaker bin Khuzaima and other great scholars.

CHARACTER AND KNOWLEDGE
Imam Muslim R.A. adhered strictly to the path of righteousness. He was in fact a great saint of a very high calibre. His excellent character can be well judged from the simple fact that he never ever indulged in backbiting, a very common human failing. He had a remarkable memory. Ishaq bin Rahwi said of Imam Muslim; ” I wonder what this person is going to be?” This was said in his youth. Ishaq Kausar once addressed lmam Muslim (R.A.) and said; “Your presence in the Muslim community will always keep it in the good. ” Abu Saimah who was a colleague of lmam Muslim was so attached to him that while lmaam Sahib was busy compiling the Sahih Muslim, he remained in lmaam Sahib’s company for fifteen years. He never told a lie nor did he ever use vulgar words.

MASLAK
Sheikh Abdul Latief says Imaam Tirmidhi and Imam Muslim were followers of the Shafee school of thought, although they were both Mujtahids. Moulana Abdur-Rashid says that Imaam Muslim was a Maliki. The fact is what was said by Sheikh Tahir Jazari that Imam Muslim is not a Maliki nor a Hanifi nor a Shafi, but his compilation of the sahih Muslim shows that he was more inclined towards the Shafee school of thought.

SAHIH OF IMAM MUSLIM
Allamah Nabawi (R.A.) says that the Ummat have accepted the Bukhari Shareef and Muslim Shareef as the Kitabs, which follow the Quraan, in authenicity although the Bukhari is regarded as holding a higher position than the Sahih Muslim for specific reasons, the sequence applied in the Muslim is much better than that of Bukhari. It is known as Al-Jamah as Sahih because it contains the eight different subjects on Hadis.

AL-JAMAH AS SAHIH MUSLIM
Imam Bukhari (R.A.) concentrated his efforts on compilation of authentic hadith as well as deduction of Laws from Hadith. This is the most difficult part to understand in the Bukhari. How he deduced Laws from the Hadis, Imam Muslim concentrated his efforts only on compilation of authentic Hadith.
source: inter-islam.org

Read Sahih of Imam Muslim online