Sunday, 26 February 2017

Decree and Predestination

An excerpt from the soon-to-be-published translation of Kubra al-Yaqiniyyat al-Kawniyyah


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Decree (qaḍāʾ) and Predestination (qadar); what they both mean and the obligation to believe in them

The necessity to have faith in decree and predestination stems from two evidences: 

The first of them is the authentic ḥadīth narrated by Muslim: {Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and predestination, the good of it and the bad of it.}
 

The second of them is what we have already explained in terms of Allah being described with knowledge and power, for decree is a branch of the attributes of knowledge and will being affirmed for Allah, Mighty and Majestic, and predestination is a branch of the attributes of power being affirmed for Him.
 

Defining both of them
 

As for decree, it is Allah’s knowledge, Mighty and Majestic is He, in pre-eternity of all things according to how they will be in the future.
 

Predestination is the actual bringing into existence of those things according to His pre-eternal knowledge, which is attached to them.
 

Some people have inverted them and thus applied the definition of decree to predestination and the definition of predestination to decree, which is possible and a simple matter.
 

The meaning of the obligation to have faith in both of them – as is the position of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamāʿah – is that it is obligatory for those who are legally responsible to believe that Allah, Glorified and Exalted, knew from the beginning all the actions of His slaves and everything that is attached to His creations, including what will follow their occurrence in the future. Likewise, it is obligatory upon them to believe that He, Glorified and Exalted, only brought them into existence, when He brought them into existence,[1] according to the specified predestination and the specific way that He already had knowledge of.
 

From this you know that decree and predestination are not connected to compulsion in any way, as some people imagine, because Allah, Glorified and Exalted (by virtue of His divinity) has to be all-knowing of the various actions that His slaves will carry out and of what will happen and take place in His dominion. If not, that would be an imperfection in His attributes, as we have mentioned. Furthermore, these matters must take place in accordance with Allah’s knowledge of them, for if not His knowledge would be turned into ignorance, which is impossible.
 

It is clear that all of this does not mean that these actions are being carried out by people under some form of force or coercion or purely out of will and free choice, for you know that knowledge is only an unveiling attribute and its entire affair is to unveil matters as they are or as they will be, and it has no connection to coercion or allowing choice.
 

Al-Nawawī, may Allah have mercy on him, says in his commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, after defining decree and predestination just as we have mentioned,
 

‘Al-Khaṭṭābī said, “Many people think that the meaning of decree and predestination is Allah, Glorified and Exalted, compelling and coercing the slave to act according to what He has predestined and decreed, but the truth is not what they imagine. Rather, the meaning is informing of Allah’s advanced knowledge, Glorified and Exalted is He, of what the slave will earn and how these actions will stem from a calculation on his behalf.”’[2]
 

Ibn Ḥajar [al-Haytamī] mentioned in his commentary on the ḥadīth of Ibn ʿUmar regarding faith, while defining decree, ‘Decree is Allah’s knowledge from the beginning of things as they are, while predestination is His bringing into existence of those things in accordance with His knowledge.’[3]

[Translated from p.159-161 (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 1428/2008)]  

Related Posts:
Islam, Iman and Ihsan, Part 1 
The First Wisdom 
___________________
[1] Allah bringing people’s actions into existence does not necessitate them being compelled nor does it mean that they are stripped of choice, and this will be explained shortly.
[2] Al-Nawawī commenting on Muslim (1/154-155)
[3] Fatḥ al-Mubīn bi Sharḥ al-Arbaʿīn, p.64, also see Sharḥ al-Mawāqif (2/292) and al-Saʿd’s commentary on al-ʿAqāʾid, p.354

Friday, 24 February 2017

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Is it obligatory to pay zakāt on jewellery?


Explaining the difference of opinion

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Question: Is it obligatory to pay zakāt on a woman’s jewellery?

Answer: (Imam Muammad Saʿīd Ramaān al-Būī):

The majority of jurists (fuqahāʾ) hold the position that it is not obligatory to pay zakāt on gold[1] that a woman uses as jewellery on the condition that in terms of size and quantity it is within the bounds of common acknowledgement (ʿurf). If the quantity exceeds that which is considered normal in the locality where the owner of the jewellery resides or is settled, then zakāt is not payable on the amount that is considered normal but it is payable on whatever goes beyond that.

Imam Abū Ḥanīfah differed with the majority and held the position that zakāt must be paid on gold if it reaches the threshold (niāb), i.e. it is 92 grams[2] and 21 karat, regardless of the function that it is utilised for.


[Translated from Maʿ an-Nās: Fatāwā wa Mashūrāt (Damascus: Dār al-Fikr, 1423/2002), v.1 p.36]
 
Related posts:
A Woman's Right to Dispose of Her Own Wealth 



[1] (tn): The foundation for paying zakāt on gold is Allah the Exalted’s statement: “As for those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in the Way of Allah, give them the news of a painful punishment.” [at-Tawbah 9:34] The evidence for not paying zakāt on jewellery is the ḥadīth that has been narrated by Imams ad-Dāraquṭnī and al-Bayhaqī in which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {There is no zakāt on jewellery.} Please see at-Tadhhīb fi Adillah Matn al-Ghāyah wa at-Taqrīb by Imam Muṣṭafā al-Bughā (Damascus: Dār al-Muṣṭafā, 1431/2010), p.98-103 for further details.
[2] (tn): this amount is approximately 84 grams (i.e. 20 mithqāl) in the Shāfiʿī school (at-Taqrīrāt as-Sadīdah: Qism al-ʿIbādāt, p.410-411)

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Primordial Rank of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace

The republishing of this translation

http://freeislamiccalligraphy.com/portfolio/allahuma-sali-ala-sayidna-muhammad-was-salim/?lang=ar

The chapter on the uniqueness of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in being the first prophet created, the last one sent, and the taking of the covenant from him. [1]

Ibn Abī Ḥātim has narrated in his tafsīr, as well as Abū Nuʿaym in Ad-Dalāʾil from various paths, from Qatādah, from al-Ḥasan, from Abū Hurayrah, from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, regarding the saying of the Exalted One: And when we exacted a covenant from the prophets, and from you (O Muḥammad) and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus, son of Mary. We took from them a solemn covenant, [al-Aḥzāb 33:7] that he said, “I was the first of the Prophets in creation, and the last one sent, so it began before them.”

Abū Sahl al-Qaṭṭān has narrated in a part of his Amālī, from Sahl ibn Ṣāliḥ al-Hamdānī who said, ‘I asked Abū Jaʿfar Muhammad ibn ʿAlī how Muḥammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, preceded the Prophets when he was last one sent. He said, “Indeed Allah the Exalted, when he took from the Children of Adam their offspring from their backs and made them testify against themselves, saying, Am I not your Lord? Muḥammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the first one to say Indeed,[2] and for that reason he preceded the Prophets even though he was the last one sent.”’

Aḥmad has narrated, as well al-Bukhārī in his Tārīkh along with at-Ṭabarāni, al-Ḥākim, al-Bayhaqī and Abū Nuʿaym, from Maysarat al-Fajr, who said, ‘I said, “O Messenger of Allah, when were you a prophet?” He said, When Adam was between spirit and body.”

Aḥmad, al-Ḥākim and al-Bayhaqī have narrated from al-ʿArbāḍ ibn Sāriyah, who said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, I am, according to Allah in the Umm al-Kitāb, the Seal of the Prophets while Adam was tightened in his clay.”

Al-Ḥākim, al-Bayhaqī and Abū Nuʿaym have narrated from Abū Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that it was said to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘When was prophethood enjoined upon you?’ He said, Between the creation of Adam and the blowing of the spirit into him.’

Al-Bazzār has narrated, as well at-Ṭabarānī in al-Awsaṭ along with Abū Nuʿaym from the chain of ash-Shaʿbī, from Ibn ʿAbbās, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, ‘It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, when were you a prophet?” He said, When Adam was between spirit and body.”

Abū Nuʿaym has narrated from as-Ṣanājī, who said, ‘ʿUmar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When were you made a prophet?” He said, When Adam was tightened in clay.”Mursal.[3]

Ibn Saʿd has narrated from Ibn Abī al-Judaʿā, who said, ‘I said, “O Messenger of Allah, when were you a prophet?” He said,When Adam was between spirit and body.”

Ibn Saʿd has narrated from Maṭraf ibn ʿAbdullah ibn ash-Shakhīr, that a man asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘When were you a prophet?’ He said, When Adam was between spirit and clay.’

Ibn Saʿd has narrated from ʿĀmir, who said, ‘A man said to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “When were you made a prophet?” He said, Adam was between spirit and body when the covenant was taken from me.”

At-Ṭabarānī and Abū Nuʿaym have narrated from Abū Maryam al-Ghassānī that a Bedouin said to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘What was the first thing from your prophethood?’ He said, ‘Allah taking from me the covenant as he took from the other prophets their covenant, the call of my father Ibrāhīm, the glad tiding of ʿĪsā and my mother seeing in her sleep a light emanating from between her legs that illuminated the palaces of Shām.



[1] (tn): Translated from the book Al-Khaṣāʾiṣ al-Kubrā  (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1424/2003) by Imām Jalāl ud-Dīn As-Suyūṭī, p.7-8
[2] (tn): Please see Sūrat al-ʾAʿrāf 7:172
[3] |(tn): i.e. in the chain of transmission someone is missing after the level of Follower (tābiʿ)



 

 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Foreword: The Pillars of Islam, Part 1 (Episode 10)

Initial commentary on the third hadith of Imam an-Nawawi's collection



This episode focuses on the importance of the testimony of faith and prayer and includes a short, preliminary discussion on the legislation of martial combat in Islam.

Related Posts:

 

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Benefitting the Deceased


The republishing of this translation
 
Graveyard in Damascus

Imam An-Nawawī on Benefitting the Deceased
Translated by Mahdi Lock


30_The Chapter on How the Statements of Others Benefit the Deceased[1]

The ʿulamāʾ have made consensus that supplicating (duʿāʾ) for the deceased benefits them and the reward for it reaches them. Their proof is His, the Exalted’s, statement: “And those who came into the faith after them say: ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who went before us in faith.’” [Al-Ḥashr 59:10] and other well-known āyāt that bear the same meaning, as well as well-known aḥādīth such as his, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, statement: “O Allah, forgive the people of Baqīʿ Al-Gharqad”[2] as well as his, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, statement: “O Allah, forgive our living and our dead.”[3]

The ʿulamāʾ have differed over whether the reward for reciting the Qurʾān reaches [the deceased]. The dominant (mashhūr) position of the Shāfiʿī madhhab, as well as a group of other scholars, is that is does not reach, while Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal and a group of scholars, as well as a group of scholars from the Shāfiʿī madhhab, hold the position that it does reach. The one reciting can say once he has finished: ‘O Allah, give the reward of what I have read to so-and-so’,[4] and Allah knows best.[5] It is recommended to praise the deceased and mention their merits and good qualities.

426_In the two Ṣaḥīḥ collections of Al-Bukhārī and Muslim, we have related on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: ‘They passed by a janāza and the people were saying good things about the person, and then The Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “It is necessary (wajabat).” Then they passed by another janāza and the people were saying evil things about the person. Again, he said: “It is necessary.” Then, ʿUmar bin Al-Khaṭṭāb, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘What is necessary?’ He said: “You said good things about this person, so Paradise is necessary for him, and you said evil things about this other person, so the Fire is necessary for him. You are Allah’s witnesses on earth.”

426_In the Ṣaḥīḥ of Al-Bukhārī, we have related on the authority of Abū Al-Aswad, who said: ‘I arrived in Madīna and sat with ʿUmar bin Al-Khaṭṭāb, may Allah be pleased with him, when a janāza passed by. The people were saying good things about the person, so ʿUmar said: “It is necessary.” Then another janāza passed by and, again, good things were said about the person, so ʿUmar said: “It is necessary.” Then a third janāza passed by and evil things were said about the person, so ʿUmar said: “It is necessary.”’ Abu Al-Aswad said: ‘I said: “What is necessary, O Commander of the Believers?” He said: “I have said as The Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “If four people testify to the goodness of any Muslim, Allah will enter him into Paradise.” We said: “And three?” He said: “And three.” We said: “And two?” He said: “And two.” Then we didn’t ask about one.”’ The aḥādīth that are similar to what we have mentioned are many, and Allah knows best.



Question: Does the reward of the Fātiḥa and reciting other parts of the Qurʾān reach the deceased after they have died or after have they have been buried in their graves or any other place?

Answer: [Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuḥaylī:] There are two conflicting opinions on this matter that have been mentioned by As-Sanʿānī in his book Bushra Al-Kaʾīb bi Liqāʾ al-Ḥabīb.

The first opinion, which is the dominant [mashūr] opinion of the madhabs of Mālik and Ash-Shāfiʿī, is that it does not reach.

The second opinion, which is the madhhab of Imam Aḥmad and the majority of the salaf and the four madhabs, including the later Mālikīs and Shāfiʿīs, is that the reward does reach. Imām Abū Ḥanīfa said: ‘The deceased receives everything from ṣadaqa and whatever else.’ He also said: ‘Read “Āyat al-Kursī” three times and “Qul huwa Allahu aḥad” and say: “O Allah, indeed the bounty [faḍl] is for the people of the graves.”’

As-Sanʿānī mentioned the proofs for the second opinion, who say that the deceased benefit from what the living do for them, from the Book, the Sunnah, the Consensus [ijmāʾ] and the principles of the Revealed Law.

As for the Book, it is His, the Exalted’s, statement: “Those who come after them say: ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith.” [Al-Ḥashr 59:10] Allah praised them because they sought forgiveness for the believers who came before them, and this proves that the deceased benefit from the living seeking forgiveness. The deceased benefitting from supplication [duʾā] is also proved by the Consensus of the Ummah regarding supplicating for them in the janāza prayer.

The aḥādīth have confirmed that he, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, supplicated in the janāza prayer for whoever sent prayers on him, and he said: ‘O Allah, forgive him, have mercy on him, excuse him and pardon him.’[7]

Consensus has been made stating that it is permissible for a debt to be discharged on behalf of a deceased person by anyone, close or far, and that if the deceased owes a debt to a living person, that person can waive it and no longer make any claim to it, just as he would with a living person.  Consensus has also been made stating that the reward of fasting (voluntary or obligatory) reaching the deceased being confirmed in the Sunnah is proof that the reward of all other actions reaches them. The texts have confirmed that the reward reaches the deceased for three kinds of worship, physical (i.e. fasting), financial (giving charity on behalf of the dead) and both the physical and financial together (through performing the Hajj on behalf of a deceased person or someone who is chronically ill and unable to move).[8]

Ibn Taymiyah[9] said: ‘Indeed the deceased benefit from the recitation of Qurʾān, as they benefit from financial worship such as charity (ṣadaqa) and other things.’ Likewise, An-Nawawī said in Al-Majmūʿ[10]: ‘The reward for reciting the Qurʾān reaches the deceased.’

In conclusion, the relied-upon (muʿtamad) position of the four madhabs is that the reward for reciting the Qurʾān reaches the deceased if the living dedicate it to them.


[1] Translated from Al-Adkhār min Kalām Sayyid Al-Abrār by Al-Imām, Al-Ḥāfiẓ, Sheikh ul-Islām Muḥyī Ad-Dīn Abī Zakariyā Yaḥyā bin Sharaf An-Nawawī Ad-Dimashqī Ash-Shāfiʿī (Damascus: Al-Maktaba Al-ʿAṣriya, 2000/1421) p.138
[2] Translator’s note (tn): This ḥadīth is found in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim and is on the following page of Al-Adhkār, i.e. p.139.
[3] (tn): Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Sunan At-Tirmidhī, Sunan An-Nisāʾī, Sunan Al-Bayhaqi as well as Al-Mustadrak of Al-Ḥākim. Imam At-Tirmidhī classed it as ḥasan ṣaḥīḥ while Imam Al-Ḥakim said: ‘This ḥadīth is ṣaḥīḥ according to the conditions of Al-Bukhārī and Muslim.’ Please see p.131-132 of Al-Adhkār for further details.
[4] (tn): Ar. Allahumm awṣil thawāba ma qaraʾtuhu ilā [enter name here].
[5] (tn): For further details on this point, please read Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuḥaylī’s fatwa below.
[6] Translated from Fatāwā Muʿāṣira by Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuhaylī, p. 273-274 (Damascus: Dar Al-Fikr, 2003)
[7] Narrated by Al-Bukhārī in Al-Adab as well as Muslim, Abū Dāwūd, At-Tirmidhī and An-Nisāʾī from Abū Hurayra. 
[8] (tn): The Imam is mentioning this statement because this is what everyone is agreed upon. This issue also includes other actions, such as reciting the Qur’an and so forth, as there are famous positions from Shāfiʿī Imams stating that such things do not reach the dead and are not to be done. It is this position that Salafiyyah adopts as if there were no other position , when in fact there is a difference of opinion.
[9] (tn): i.e. Taqī ud-Dīn Ahmad ibn Taymiyah.
[10] (tn): This is Imām An-Nawawī’s 27-volume fiqh book, which is the ultimate reference work for the Shafiʿī school.