Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Nature Is Allah's Sign

In the heavens and the earth there are certainly signs for the believers. And in your creation and all the creatures He has scattered about there are signs for people with certainty.
(Surat al-Jathiyah: 3-4)

"Atheism is rather in the life than in the heart of man."
~ Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English statesman, lawyer, philosopher & essayist

"Nature is the art of God."
~ Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet & statesman

"Nature is but a name for an effect, Whose cause is God."
~ William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet from The Winter Walk at Noon

"Nature is a revelation of God; Art a revelation of man."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet

"Nature has given to us the seeds of knowledge, not knowledge itself."
~ Seneca (4 BC-65 AD) Spanish-born Roman (Stoic) philosopher, statesman & tutor of Nero

''Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable longing to see the truth."
~ Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher & writer

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My Longing For You

May I recite your name night and day
May my heart beat “Allah Hu”
May every breath, eternally
Breathe for no one, but you

We are your chosen Ummah
Though we do not deserve to be
Lord gave us the best of creation
How kind and merciful is He!?

Oh my beloved, come!
For this separation I cannot bare
I long to see your beauty
Your Nuri white face, your black hair

As the tears roll down my face
I raise my hands and pray again
That when the Angel removes my soul
May my lips recite your name

And the soil that kissed your feet
In the blessed gardens of Madinah
I pray I am buried in
And rest there in sakeena

Oh the blessed and chosen one
Day, night your nearness I crave
On that darkest of dark nights
Come and lighten up my grave

Ya Allah! Upon the Habibi send
Eternal peace and blessings
The one who came as an orphan
Yet was the King of all kings

May Allah give him abundant peace and eternal blessings
Reahana Ateeq

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Persia-The Home of Poetry

It was in Iran that Sufi Poetry reached its zenith. Sufism produced men who were not only true mystics, but also poets. Persia, the abode of poetry, produced more poet-mystics, inspired by the most profound spiritual experience, than any other country had done.

Sheikh Sa'di Shirazi (d.1292), Hafiz Shirazi (d.1389), Omer Khayyam (d.1122), Sanai (d.1389), Attar (d.1220), Rumi (d.1273), and Jami (d.1492) were not only poets of the first rank but they were sufi masters too.

Dr Schimmel has quoted Piere Loti who wrote: 'All poets can envy that country, Persia, where neither form nor thoughts nor language change, and where nothing falls into oblivion'.

The Persian Poets took themes from Hallaj, Ibn al-Arabi and al-Jili, and crystallized them into their qasidahs, ghazals, rubais, mathnavis.

Rumi's love for mankind:

Come, come, whatever you are, it doesn't matter
Whatever you are an infidel, an idolator or a fireworshipper,

Come, our covenant is not a place of dispair.
Come, even if you violated your swear
A hundered times come again!

Rumi on poetry

And When I write a poem
and seek a rhyming word,
The one who spreads the rhymes out
within my thought, is He!

(Taken from Professer Saeed Ahmad Hamdani's 'The role of Sufis'. He is a renowned author in sufism from Sultan Bahu Research Institute, Lahore, Pakistan)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Persian Odes

Persian: 'Aatishey shauwqey buta(n), dar dile uw janam Baqeest, Aey ajal baash key ba-yaarey bayanam baqeest'

"The fire of the love is still aglow in my heart and soul; O death! Stay thy hand for a while so that I can narrate my story Of woe to my beloved."

Persian: 'Alastey azal hamchuna(n) sha(n) baghauqsh,bafaryadey qaluw bala dar kharuwsh'

“The eternal sound of ' alast' , i.e., the covenant taken by Allah from all humanity in the world of spirits – still rings in their ears and they are still intoxicated by its influence”.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Imam Ahmad Radha’s Mastery in Hadith Sciences

The reply to Sidi Tahseen khan’s inquiry on 11-05-05

Truly, there is very little of what I can say about the sciences that this extraordinary personality had acquired. It is sufficient to know that his knowledge, taqwa and level of mastery were acknowledged by the masters themselves; the renowned Jurists, masters of Hadith, and scholars of traditional Islamic sciences from the two Holy sanctuaries and the subcontinent.

His Juridical opinions ‘fatawa’ and legal stances share a great deal of information with us about his mastery in Legal Methodology, Jurisprudence and inference from the Primary sources as well as other ancillary sciences. ‘al-Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi al-Fatawa al-Rifdwiyyah’, is an outstanding contribution made by Imam Ahmad to the traditional sciences and their development, hence acclaimed as one of the greatest encyclopedias on the Hanafi Law and its branches. Not only that it is rooted in the essence of Islamic Jurisprudence, his Fatawa also consists of a variety of subjects from mathematics, theology, history, Euclidean geometry, philosophy, linguistics, and astronomy to exegesis of the Qur’an and Hadith sciences. As recent studies show, it is this work that acclaims him mastery in third from the rank of absolute ijtihad, namely, the rank of the mujtahid fi al-masa'il.

As for His works in the Hadith area, Imam Ahmad has written a huge amount on Inference of rulings from Hadith proof texts ‘Fiqh al-Hadith’, Legal Hanafi Methodology and authentic hadith, Principles of hadith ‘Usul al-Hadith’ and the biographies of men ‘Asma al-Rijal’.

To name a few of his works, I shall first and foremost mention his excellent epistle on the science of takhreej entitled, ‘al-Rawdh al-Baheej fi Adaab al-Takhreej’ (1219h). No work of any hadith scholar before him covers this area of hadith to such an extent. The remarks of Mawlana Rahman Ali, a renowned researcher from Madhiyah Pardesh, India, whence reading the details of scrupulous takhreej and its etiquettes were, ‘if there were no other book of its subject the author i.e. Imam Ahmad Radha would be acknowledged as the founder to this branch of hadith’.

From his works on Fiqh al-Hadith is the far-famed ‘Haajiz al-Bahrayn al-Waqi an jama’ al-Salatain’ (1313h) which he wrote in defense of the Hanafi stance on the impermissibility of combining between prayers. When I studied this work (which is present in his Fatawa) I found it amongst the most amazing works in reconciling the ostensibly contradicting hadith proof texts on this issue which is the most sensitive and complex area of all Muslim Legal concepts.

‘al-Fadhl al-Mawhab fi ma’na izha sahha al-Hadeethu fahuwa madhabi’ (1313h), his concise guide on Hanafi Legal methodology and authentic hadith, is another masterpiece which stands unique in its detailed research, strategic presentation and in-depth study. This book is a ‘must read’ for all Hanafi students in specific, and other Madhab students in general, regardless of their religious backgrounds. It provides authoritative guidance for scholars and a great deal of information on fundamental maxims for students, summarized in just a few pages. The book encapsulates issues such as why many
authentic hadith are unaccepted in the Hanafi School and its criterion of acceptance. It’s a first-rate manual.

From his other works in hadith sciences are,

Al-Nujum al-Thawaqib fi Takhreeji Ahadeethi al-Kawakib (1296h)
al-Nahy al-Akeed (1305h)
Al-Had al-Kaf fi Hukm al-di’af (1313h)
Madarij Tabaqat al-Hadith (1313h)
Muneer al-Ayn fi Hukmi Taqbeel al-Abhamaiyn (1313h)
al-Ahadeeth al-Waqiyah (1313h)
Ikmal al-Bahth ala Ahl al-Hadth (1321h)

In February 1992, Dr S M Khalid al-Hamidi published an article on the Imam’s books in Hadith studies in which he gathered forty names of the imam’s epistles and works in hadith, its fundamentals and branches. (Malyah University, India. Maktub no: 20)

Five common elements of hadith found in his works

1. Hadith narration in relevance to the issue
2. Vast hadith textual corpus and channels of transmission
3. Elucidation and accuracy in Hadith terminology
4. Commendation and criticism of the narrators
5. Conciliation between mutually contradictory hadith narrations

His breadth of memorization of Hadith textual corpus and transmissions

The famous caliph of Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki, Mawlana Karamatullah wrote a letter to Imam Ahmad Radha questioning about ‘Durud al-Taj’ (a special salawat known as Taj), in which the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah be shower peace and blessings upon him) was referred to as ‘Dafi al-Bala’ or the ‘a guard from befalling calamities’. Whereupon receiving this letter, Imam Ahmad wrote an epistle on the Prophet as the protection and guard of the Ummah entitled, ‘Ikmal al-Tamah ala shirki sawa bi al-Umur al-Aamah’ also known as ‘al-Amnu wa al-Ula’ in which he collected three hundred hadith on the permissibility of calling him by this name !

When asked by his teacher Mawlana Ghulam Qadir Beygh to write on the ‘excellence of the Prophet over all Prophets’, Imam Ahmad wrote an epistle containing one hundred hadith on the issue entitled, ‘Tajjaliy al-Yaqeen’.

Imam Ahmad Radha wrote many works against the heresy of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Qadyani movement which is today known as the Ahmadiiyah movement (See more on this, in this blogpage). His work entitled ‘Jazallahu uduwwahu’ is a notable one in hadith since he narrates one hundred and twenty one hadith in refutation of Mirza Qadiyani!
The student of the renowned Mawlana Ahmad Kanpuri, Mawlana Hassan wrote a question to Imam Ahmad inquiring about the legal Islamic opinion on meals which were cooked for the ulema and local community members for rain at time of famine. The imam supported his fatwa with sixty hadiths on the permissibility of such a practice.

In 1305h, he was asked about the ‘hearing of the dead’ whereupon he wrote the far-famed ‘Sama’al-Mawta’ in which he collects seventy seven hadith on this issue.

On the necessity of the beard, Imam Ahmad narrates fifty six hadith in his work entitled ‘Lum’at al-Duha fi I’fa al-Luha’.

On the rights of parents, his works consists of ninety one hadith.

On the impermissibility of performing sajdah of reverence, he collected seventy hadith in his work entitled ‘al-Zubdah al-Zakiyyah fi Tahreemi Sujudi al-Tahiyyah’

His mastery can be identified by the fact that when he wrote a hadith, it would seem that all of its channels of transmission, narrators and sources were in front of his eyes. On narrating the hadith, ‘seek goodness and accomplishment of needs by the handsome faced ones’ (utlubuw al-khayra wa al-hawa’ija min hisan al-wujuh) he says,

-‘Tabarani narrated it in al-Kabeer, and Uqaiyli, Khateeb, and Tamam al-Razi in his Fawa’id, Baiyhaqi in Sha’b al-Iman all from Ibn Abbas,

-Ibn Abi Dunya in Qadha al-Hawa’ij, Uqaiyli, Dar Qutni in al-Afrad, Tabarani in al-Awsat, Tamam, and Khateeb in Ruwatu Malik from Abu Hurayrah,

-Ibn Asakir and Khateeb in their chronicles from Anas Ibn Malik,

-Tabarani in al-Awsat, Uqaiyli and Khara’iti in I’tila al-Qulub, Tamam, Abu Sahl, Abd al-Samad bin Abdurahman al-Bazzar in his juz’, and the author of Mahraniyat from Jabir bin Abdullah,
-Abd bin Hameed in his Musnad, Ibn Hiban in al-Du’afa, Ibn Addi in al-Kamil, al-Salfi in al-Tuyuriyat from Ibn Umar

-Ibn al-najjar in his chronicle from the commander of Believers Ali,

-Tabarani in al-Kebeer from Abu Khusayfah,

-Tamam from Abu Bakrah,

-Bukhari in his chronicle, Ibn Abi Dunya in Qadh al-Hawa’ij, Abu Y’ala in his Musnad, Tabarani in al-Kabeer, al-Uqayli, Bayhaqi in Sh’ab al-Iman, and Ibn Asakir from the mother of believers Aisha Siddiqah May Allah be pleased with all of them’. (Nine different transmissions of sahabah from thirty four sources, Al-Amnu wa al-Ula p70)

This an example from many other examples found in his books explicitly marking his mastery in hadith textual corpus and transmission studies.
Here is another similar example. In his massive refutation on Mirza Ghulam Qadyani’s claim of prophecy entitled ‘Jazallahu uduwwahu’ p46, Imam Ahmad Radha narrates the following hadith ‘Oh Ali! Are you not pleased that your rank with me is as Haruns to Musa except that there is no prophet after me’ (ama tardha an takuwna minni manzilata Haruna min Muwsa Ghayra annahu la nabiyya ba’di) as such,

-‘Ahmad narrated, and Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, NIsa’I, Ibn Majah, Ibn Abi Shaybah and Ibn Jareer in His Sunan from Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas,

-Hakim, Tabarani, Abu Bakr, Ibn Mardaweyh, Bazzar, and Ibn Asakir from Ali,

-Ahmad, Bazzar, Tabarani and Mutayri from Abu S’eed al-Khudri

-Tirmidhi from Jabir bin Abdullah and Abu Hurayrah

-Tabarani and Khateeb from Abdullah bin Umar

-Abu Nu’aym from Sa’eed bin Zayd

-Tabarani from Barra bin Azib, Zaid bin Arqam, Hubaysh bin Janadah, Jabir bin Samrah, Malik bin Huwayrath, Mother of the believers Umm Salmah and from Asma bint Amees, May Allah be pleased with all of them’. (Fourteen different transmissions from eighteen sources)

On the hadith ‘I am Muhammad and Ahmad, the last in succession and the gatherer; I am the Prophet of repentance and the prophet of mercy’ (ana Muhammad wa Ahmad wa al-Muqaffa wa al-Hashir wa Nabiyy al-tawbah wa Nabiyy al-rahmah), Imam Ahmad Radha states in his epistle ‘al-Amnu wa al-Ula p129,

-‘Ahmad narrated it, and Muslim, and Tabarani in [Mu’jam] al-Kabeer from Abu Musa Ash’ari

-the abovementioned and Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Abi Shaybah and Bukhari in his chronicle, Tirmidhi in his Shama’il from Huzayfah

-Ibn Mardawayh in His tafseer, Abu Nu’aym in al-Dala’il, Ibn Addi al-Kamil, Ibn Asakir in Tareekh Dimashq, and Daylami in Musnad Firdauws from Abu Tufayl

-and Ibn Addi from Abu Hurayrah. May Allah be pleased with all of them. (Four different transmissions to the sahabah with fourteen sources)

In His al-Amnu wa al-Ula p73, he collects ten different transmissions to the sahabah from twenty three sources on the hadith in a similar fashion to the aforementioned, ‘Oh Allah! Cherish Islam with the most beloved to you from either of these two men; Umar bin al-Khattab or Abu Jahl bin Hashim’. Similarily, he collects ten different channels of transmissions back to the Sahbah and one successor from twenty three sources on the hadith ‘the great practices that bring one near to Allah are; spreading salam, giving food, and praying salah at night when people are asleep’ (Raad al-Qaht wa al-Waba p12). There are several other examples like this, providing sufficient evidence of his breadth of study and memorization of hadith. If one wants to see this mastery, acquire his book al-Amnu wa al-Ula, and al-Zahr al-Basim on the impermissibility of zakah on Banu Hashim. When he wrote, it was as if the pen never stopped and the chains and sources flowed continuously from his blessed pen. May Allah shower abundant mercy on him, and place him in the greater gardens. Ameen.

Elucidation and rectification of Hadith terminology

His explanations to the fundamentals of hadith in his prominent work on kissing the thumbs entitled, ‘Muneer al-Ayn’ spreads over two hundred pages of scholarly rectification and correction of mistakes made by those who objected to the narrations on this issue. His explanations to the principles such as, ‘Negation of authenticity does not entail negation of soundness’, ‘fifteen signs of forgery’ (after which he says, ‘and memorize this for you shall not find this detail elsewhere’), ‘empowerment of weak hadith’, ‘difference between acting and accepting a hadith’, ‘ranks of hadith and their reliability’, ‘weak hadith in issues of merit and excellence’, ‘experience without reliance on the channel of transmission’, ‘authentication of hadith by means of spiritual opening or kashf’, ‘difference between non-authentic and forged narrations’, ‘authenticity and weakness are based on the apparent, thus the weak may be authentic in reality’, ‘the types of ambiguity of narrators and their rulings’ are some of the very detailed issues in this work. In numerous sections of this work, he wrote statements such as ‘take this for you shall not find it elsewhere’ and ‘this was what was spiritually opened upon me, and Allah knows best’.

Commendation and criticism of the narrators

His accuracy and depth of understanding in this branch of Hadith principles was extraordinary.

Some scholars of Imam Ahmad’s era objected to the narration of Muhammad bin Is’haq on the second adhan of Juma based on the fact that he was a rafidhi Shiite to which he replied in book-form, entitling it as ‘Shama’im al-Anbar fi Adaab al-Nida amama al-Minbar’. His commendation ‘ta’deel’ of Muhammad bin Is’haq is based on the commendation of twenty one masters of this domain and a must-read for those who want to acquire knowledge about his knowledge in the branch of al-Jarh wa al-Ta’deel and breadth of study of the biographies of men.

In his work ‘al-Hujjat al-Muwtammah’ Imam Ahmad Radha commends and makes tawtheeq of Ash’ath bin Siwar, who was marked as ‘weak’ in Taqreeb al-Tahdheeb, based on specialist commendations and said that the criticism was not explained ‘jarh ghayr mufassar’ hence his narration on the permissibility of a dhimmi on entering the mosque was sound ‘hasan’.

The hadith on the excellence of wearing a turban in salah was marked a ‘forgery’ by Ibn Hajar since it passed through a chain of four unknown persons; Abbas bin Kathir, Abu Bashr bin Yasar, Muhammad bin Mahdi Marwazi and Mahdi bin Maymun. On his comments to this ranking, Imam Ahmad Radha, with all respect and esteem for Ibn Hajar, remarks,
‘May Allah have mercy on Ibn Hajar! It is a questionable fact why he marked this hadith forged when none amongst its narrators is a forger ‘wadda’ nor accused of forgery ‘muttaham bi al-Wad’, and neither a liar ‘kadhab’ nor accused of lying ‘muttaham bi al-kadhib’, neither does its context contravene the law or prove logically impossible! Such a narration should not be rejected as a forgery ‘mawdu’ so as to exclude it from the chapter of excellence’.

Nevertheless, Imam Ibn Hajar himself values two hadith of such a nature in ‘al-Qawl al-Musaddad’ which consist of unknown ‘majhul’, ‘Mudhtarib al-Hadith’, those who make excessive mistakes ‘katheer al-Khata’ and ‘fahish al-wahm’ narrators and accepts them in the issue of excellence!

Whilst commenting on the second of the two, Ibn Hajar states that it neither contravenes the Islamic law nor does it conflict with human logic hence accepted. To this Imam Ahmad Radha states, ‘why not say the same for the hadith on the turban!? It is also from the issues of excellence and neither contradicts the law nor logic. Its narrators are of a lesser degree in weakness than those narrators whose chains are accepted by Ibn Hajar himself!’

Conciliation between mutually contradictory hadith narrations

Imam Ahmad had strong knowledge if fiqh al-Hadith. His works such as Hajiz al-Bahrayn and al-Fadhl al-Mawhabi shed light on his manhaj in conciliating contradictory texts and lifting the conflict of narrations, as if there was no contradiction in the first place.

Hadith scholars agree that this area of study is the most complex of all since it requires a thorough mastery of the principles of riwayah and dirayah. Dirayah here would include a solid understanding of abrogation, limits of interpretation, detailed consideration of the illah, depth of knowledge in hadith flaws ‘illal’ and so forth.

His conciliation between hadith texts on the following issues is a categorical proof on the depth of his knowledge

o Conflicting Hadith texts on saying, ‘whatever Allah and His messenger will’ see: al-Amnu wa al-Ula
o Hadiths on praying salat al-Janazah on the absent dead
(a great study on conflicting hadith) See Fatawa Ridhwiyyah 4:69
o Ostensibly contradicting narrations on combining prayers See: Hajiz al-Bahrayn

These are only a few examples; his fatawa is the best source for this study.

Ijazahs in Hadith

Imam Ahmad Radha was very fortunate to complete his studies at a very young age. It is recorded in many sources that the first time he issued a fatwa were at the age of thirteen. His detailed answer to a question on ‘breastfeeding’ astonished his father thus acclaimed popularity for his knowledge at a very young age.

On his first travel to Haj, in company with his father, Imam al-Mutakallimeen Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, he attained ijazahs in hadith from the following scholars of Makkah

Sheikh Zaiyni Duhlan al-Shafi’i
Sheikh Abdurahman Siraj, Hanafi jurist of Makkah
Sheikh Hussain Salih Jumal al-Layl

His ijazahs in hadith from India pass through his grand teacher, the pillar of Muhaddith masters, Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dehlvi from whom he narrates through his teacher and spiritual guide, al-Seyyid Aal al-Rasul al-Marharwi.

Imam Ahmad Radha narrates all hadith from his father, too, which pass through Sheikh Abd al-Haq al-Dehlvi.

From his other ijazah’s are the musalsalat which he narrates from numerous scholars. May Allah be pleased with all of them.

Scholars’ praise to Him

On his second travel for haj and ziyarah in 1323h (1905), Imam Ahmad Radha’s knowledge shun over the horizon of al-Hijaz and his great work ‘al-Dawlah al-Makkiyah bi al-Madah al-Ghaybiyyah’ , which he wrote in response to the wahabi rejection of the Prophet’s knowledge of the unseen during his travel in approximately nine hours, acclaimed great praise and commendation. Imam Ahmad wrote this book without the direct study of any books which was then recited in his absence in a gathering of three hundred scholars, in two sittings.

Thereafter, great scholars of hadith from Makkah and Madinah took ijazahs from him in hadith which are recorded in two of his great works,

o Al-Ijazat al-Mateenah li ulama’i Makkata wa al-Madinah (1324h)
o Al-Ijazat al-Ridhwiyyah al-Mubajjil Makkata al-Bahiyyah (1323h)

The total number of ijazahs he issued were seven to the follwing scholars,

Sheikh Ismail Makki
Shikh Abdurahman al-Duhan
Sheikh Abid Hussain
Sheikh Ali bin Hussain
Sheikh jamal bin Muhammad al-Ameer
Sheikh Abdullah Meerda
Sheikh Abdullah Duhlan
Sheikh Bakr Rafee al-Makki
Sheikh Hussain al-Ajami
Sheikh Umar bin Hamdani al-Hmarasi
Sheikh Ahmad al-Khafrawi
Seyyid Muhammad Uthman Duhlan
Seyyid Muhammad al-Maghribi (And others)
Sheikh Yaseen Ahmad al-Khiyari, a renowned scholar of Madinah, referred to him as ‘Imam al-Muhadditheen’ the leader of hadith masters.

The Archive keeper of the Mekkan library, Sheikh Isma’il Makki called him ‘Sheikh al-Muhadditheen ala al-Itlaq’ the absolute sheikh of Hadith scholars.

Ali bin Hussain Maliki, a teacher of the Mekkan Haram, called him ‘the encyclopedia of all sciences’.

When asked about the mastery of Imam Ahmad in Hadith, ‘Hafiz al-Bukhari’ Shah Wasi Ahmad Surti (who was known as ‘the pillar of hadith masters’ in the subcontinent) said: ‘he is the commander of believers in Hadith of our era’. Upon hearing this Muhaddith Kachawchwi remarked: ‘do you know what level of mastery this is!?’ To which Hafiz al-Bukhari replied, ‘the awilya distinguish awliya and masters identify the masters’.

In 1303 h Imam Ahmad Radha was invited to the opening ceremony of Madrasah al-Hadeeth in Peeli Bheet, India, to lecture on the Sciences of Hadith. Renowned scholars of hadith from Saharanpur, Lahore, Kanpur, Jauwnpur, Rampur, Badayun and elsewhere attended (all of the aforementioned are far-famed cities for service in hadith sciences in the subcontinent). Imam Ahmad lectured continuously for three hours shedding light on Hadith fundamentals and its obscure stages and in other of its branches whereupon the scholars were astounded by his meticulousness in Hadith narration, breadth of knowledge of the biographies of men, memorization of hadith texts and their channels of transmission. Sheikh Khaleel al-Rahman, the son of the great master of Hadith in Saharanpur Mawlana Ahmad Ali, praised the Imam with these words, ‘Had my father been alive today, he would have acclaimed your mastery in hadith and he would have the right to do so’. Hafiz al-Bukhari al-Surti and Mawlana Muhammad Ali Mawngeeri, the founder of Nadwat al-Ulama Lakhnouw, accredited this reality.

Upon reading the Imam’s response to a question on the legal stance of making a sajdah of reverence ‘sajdah al-Ta’zeem’, Mawlana Abu al-Hassan Ali al-Nadwi remarked, ‘This rich epistle clearly indicates his depth of knowledge and strength of inference’. He furthermore comments saying, ‘Other than the various verses and one hundred and fifty legal proof texts on this issue, he i.e. Imam Ahmad Radha refers to fourty hadith linked to it’.

From his unpublished works in the sciences of hadith are his commentaries and notes on the following great works

al-Ta’aqqubat ala al-Mauwdu’at by Imam Suyuti
Kashf al-Ahwal fi Naqd al-Rijal by al-Madrasi
Irshad al-Sari sharh al-Saheeh al-Bukhari by Qastallani
Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal
al-Isabah fi Ma’rifat al-Sahabah
Mizan al-I’tidal by Imam Dhahabi
Tahdheeb al-Kamal
Sunan Ibn Majah
Shifa al-Siqam
Kitab al-Asma wa al-Siffaat
Al-Ilall al-Mutanahiyyah
Jami’ al-Fusulayn
Mifath al-Sa’adah
Fat’h al-Mugheeth
Hasr al-rashad
Nayl al-Awtar
Al-Durr al-Maknun
Khulasah Tahdheeb al-Kamal
Ash’at al-Lum’at
Sharh al-Sudur
Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah
Al-Targheeb wa al-Tarheeb

Dr Masud Ahamd from Imam Ahmad Radha research institute, Karachi, has managed to obtain all of the abovementioned works. Walhamdulillah

The greatest resources available on Imam Ahmad Radha’s mastery in Hadith are listed below

‘Ilm-e-Hadith auwr Muhaddithe-e-Brelvi ki rijaley hadeeth auwr Usul par nazar’ (The science of Hadith and the Muhaddith’s knowledge of its men and fundamentals) by Aal Mustafa Misbahi prnt. Ma’arif Raza Karachi, 1991

‘Imam Ahmad Radha bahaythiyyet Imam-e-Fanney hadith’ (Imam Ahmad Radha; An Imam of Hadith Science) by Abdal Mustafa al-Azhari prnt Ma’arif Raza Karachi, 1992

‘Imam Ahmad Radha auwr Ilmey Hadith bahawalah tareekh -e- Adabiyyat –e- Musalmanan-e- Pak wa Hind’ (Imam Ahmad Radha & hadith sciences; a study from the historical perspective of scholars from the subcontinent) by Dr Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Punjab University

‘Ilm-e-Hadith auwr Muhaddith-e- Brelvi’ (Hadith Science and the master of Breiley) by Muhammad Anwar Nizami prnt Ma’arif Raza, Karachi, 1998

‘Hadeeth-e-Nabawi Fatawa Rizwiyyah ka bunyadi Ma’khaz’ (Hadith; the fundamental source of Fatawa Ridhwiyyah) by Dr Muhammad Tufayl

Jami’ al-Ridhwi also known as ‘Saheeh al-Bihari’ (a collection of Imam Ahmad Radha’s narrations in hadith) by Sheikh Muhmmad Zafar al-Din al-Bihari

‘Imam Ahmad Radha auwr Ilme-e-Hadith’ (Imam Ahmad Radha and the science of Hadith in 3vols) by Sheikh Muhammad Isa Rizvi prnt Dehli, 1999

‘Muhaddith-e-Brelvi’ (The hadith master of Breiyely) by Dr Masud Ahmad, Karachi, 1993

‘Imam Ahmad Radha auwr Aalmi Jami’at’ (A study of Imam Ahmad Radha in the international universities) by Dr Masud Ahmad, Karachi, 1998

‘Jami al-Ahadeeth’ (a collection of the Imam’s hadith from his Fatawa in 6 vols) by Sheikh Muhammad Haneef Khan, Gujrat, 2001

‘Imam Ahmad Radha ki Khidmaat-e-Ulum-e-Hadith ka tahqeeqi wa tanqeedi Ja’izah’ (A phd on Imam Ahmad Radha’s service in Hadith sciences; a critical research) recently completed by Sheikh Manzur Ahmad Sa’eedi

I hope this article has shed some light on the hadith knowledge of Imam Ahmad Radha and lifted the weak comments on his mastery, as such made by Mawlana Ali Miyah al-Nadwi who wrote the additional notes on his father’s (Mawlana Abd al-Hayy al-Lakhanwi) biography of the subcontinent scholars entitled ‘Nuzhat al-Khawatir’ in which he added, ‘he i.e. Imam Ahmad Radha had little experience in hadith and Tafseer’. I will request the reader to think about this injustice. Even so, ‘Inba al-Hayy’, the detailed commentary on al-Dawlah based on largely tafseer and hadith issues, alone is sufficient to know about Imam Ahmad’s mastery in tafseer and Hadith!

Wa sallalahu ala Sayyidina Muhammadin wa alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim

Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi
Completed on 13-05-05

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Arriving Articles - Munawwar Ateeq

Definitions of Ibadah and Ubuwdah, notes on Malfuzat Mehriyyah
The Modes of Divine Unity, notes on Malfuzat Mehriyyah
The categories of guidance, notes from Baydhawi's exegesis
The stages of Intellect, notes from al-Birharwi's 'al-Nibras'
Legal Maxims derived from al-Mirghinani's Hidayah

Insha Allah.

wa sallalahu ala Sayyidina Muhammadin wa alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim.

Mawlana Abdal Aleem Siddiqui on Explaining Ijtihad

Mawlana Abdal Aleem was a student of Imam Ahmad Radha, who eloquently lectured in many languages; English, French, Spanish, Arabic and others. Mawlana was the father of Allamah Shah Ahmad Nurani who passed away recently. He leaves many devotees in Maricious today where he called the nation to Islam. May Allah raise their ranks and benefit us with their works, ameen.

Qadyani Movement-An Introduction from Mehr-e-Munir

May Allah guide us to a greater degree in nearness to Him and guide them from the satanic influences to light upon light...Surely Allah is the bestower of all guidance 'hidayah' and provider of Truth 'Haqq'.

Wa sallalahu ala sayyidina Muhammadin Khatm al-Mursaleena wa alihi wa sahbihi wa sallim

Longing For The Beloved - al-Seyyid Mehr Ali (Allah bless his grave)

"My yearning for the loved one has intensified; why is my heart so very sad today?

Love has permeated every tissue of my body. Why are my eyes shedding a shower of tears (due to separation) ?

Glorified be Allah, Who created thee (O Prophet) in the most beautiful, the best, and the most perfect mold in every respect;

Who is (the humble) Meher Ali to chant thy praises; what heights have his impudent eyes ventured to reach?"


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Art, History, and Practice of Islamic Calligraphy-Zakariya Calligraphy

"Do not forget that while you are writing, you are on a path that is finer than a hair and sharper than a sword." — Yesari Mehmed Es'ad Efendi (d. 1798) to one of his calligraphy students

An excellent read..The six scripts and their background, the history of Islamic calligraphy, and most important of all; a beautiful explanation to the Hilye of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah shower abundant peace and blessings on Him).

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sunnipath Online Learning Program

It is an obligation to know your deen. The Prophet (May Allah bless Him and shower upon Him peace) emphasised this saying, 'Seek knowledge even if you have to travel as far as China'.

We have local Mosques, Alhamdulillah, more actively workig than ever before, local learned community members who have sufficient knowledge and can guide you, and websites like Sunnipath to help you in attaining a fair amount of knwoledge of our deen and its absolute essentials that a Muslim must acquire to live a life in accordance with the shari'ah. There is no excuse anymore for ignorance...Check it out and subscribe to the courses so that you may open the first door towrads a relegious living.

Don't loose out...It's really not worth loosing!

Dala'il al-Khayrat- by Imam al-Jazuwli

Translation of a beautiful compliation of salawat rendered into English by Ustadha Aisha Bewley.

The recitation of this far-famed work is popular in its effects, blessings and opening. A book recited by all Tareeqahs.

Wahdat al-Shuhud & Wahdat al-Wujud- Pir Seyyid Mehr Ali's Enlightment

al-Seyyid Mehr Ali (May Allah be pleased with Him) attempted to bridge the differences between adherents of the two apparently divergent concepts of whadat al-Shuhd and wahdat al-Wujud by advancing the subsequent points of views. I find this very useful for those who are confused in this dispute.

(a) 'Wahdat-ush-Shahood' represents the initial stages of suluk (spiritual journey), and the basic essence of faith (nafs-e-iman), whereas 'Wahdat-ul-Wajood' constitutes the acme of suluk and the perfected state of faith (kamal-e-iman).

(b) Belief in Wahdat-ul-Wajood was neither incumbent upon the followers of earlier apostles of Allah, nor is it binding upon the Ummah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) of Islam.

(c) Wahdat-ul-wajood represents the vision and clairvoyance of the elect among the sufia, and it is related to inner vision rather than to outward and oral pronouncement only.

Whilst illustrating the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Wajood and al-Haqeeqah al-Muhammadiyyah, al-Seyyid Mehr Ali (R.A) in his famous Naat, says

(trns) "This face (of the Prophet) emerged from the Faceless One (i.e., Allah); The Faceless One manifests Himself through this face".

"The Colourless (Reality) has been revealing itself through this image; Ever since Unity exploded into Diversity".

" It is the face that guides (mankind) to the path of the Faceless One (i.e., Allah); Nay (not the path only but) to the Ultimate Reality Itself".


I have been currently writing on 'The Modes of Divine Unity' and shall post something on this very soon, Insha Allah.

The Majesty of the Ka'bah and the Awliya

Referring to the overpowering majesty of the Holy Kaabah (the House of Allah), Pir Seyyid Mehr Ali (May Allah be pleased with Him) said that in the presence of that august structure even eminent Awlia-Allah were reduced to the stature of ordinary human being. Within those holy precincts, the spiritual light of Awlia-Allah was dimmed to such an extent that it became difficult to distinguish between Wali and non-Wali. Even though thousands of Awlia-Allah (friends of Allah) are buried there, no one knows who they are and where they lie in rest.


RE- A Study By Brother Ghulam Rasool

SECTION ONE: A brief outline of your own experiences of Religious Education (RE) as a pupil and a short account of what view of RE you have as you begin the course.

I recall studying RE at school the early age of five, due to my primary school education commencing in a Roman Catholic environment in West Bromwich in a school named Holy Trinity Primary School. Every morning before registration and at ‘home time’ the class recited the Lord’s Prayer and the said the Grace. In the assembly the Head teacher would read out a biblical stories and parables in simplified terms and then give an example from everyday life of a famous person or somebody within the school. In RE we learnt about predominantly famous New Testament stories centred around Jesus and his famous disciples and studied some parents of the Old Testament concerning Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph and Moses.

Even though non-Christians made almost 50% of the pupils enrolled but we never received any teaching about any of the other religions particularly Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam which would have been appropriate to include and represent the religious diversity of the school community. All pupils were generally expected to partake in all RE related learning, activities, functions and celebrations throughout the year without exception. We attended a local Church to which the school was affiliated to at least once a week and if we were preparing for a choir singing or any other seasonal congregational activities, pupils would then attend the Church several times a week for rehearsals. The main seasonal activities we partook in were Christmas, Lent, Easter, Harvest and Thanksgiving.

During my secondary education from 11-14 yrs I studied in State schools in Birmingham and Bradford in parallel with my Islamic Education at the Mosques. In these schools the RE was broad based covering the dominant world religions Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Sikhism. The teachers generally had thematic approach to the subject but their explanation and expression was very Christo-centric, heavily borrowing Christian biblical vocabulary and contrasting other religious ideas with those in the Bible. Therefore the teaching was suppose to be broad based but was very superficial and not ‘real’. The school environments did not reflect or impose Christian values forthrightly as did my primary RC school possibly due its secular nature and the majority pupils being from non-Christian backgrounds. .

In my fifth high school year I moved to central Birmingham due to my Islamic education and enrolled at a RC school called The Rosary I studied until 16. I recall the school being evenly divided between Muslim and Christian pupils. Here, again the RE lessons were greatly Christo-centric. We studied the entire Luke’s and John’s Gospel in the two years without studying any focused study of any other world religion. However in this school students of other faiths could opt out of religious activities and celebrations upon request. Also the staff and the environment did not impose Christian values but in comparison to the state schools there was a higher degree of moral consciousness in the pupils.

Hence my understanding of RE due to my schooling was that RE was taken more seriously at faith schools but they were very biased and unrepresentative of the diversity of all the pupils enrolled. State schools tried to be representative and broad based in their approach but lacked real depth as the majority of the teachers were Christo-centric in their interpretation and explanation. Also state schools were coming across as less serious about religion or as indoctrinating as faith schools. However as a non-Christian I enjoyed both experiences as I had the opportunity to study my faith in parallel to my schooling instilling in me an almost unique inquisitiveness, appreciation, awareness and understanding of RE and Christianity and some understanding of other world religions.

SECTION TWO: an outline of the main issues and controversies that exist within the subject as discerned from your reading of key text and articles

The main issues that pertain to RE in Britain today are generally centred around statutory legislation, significance and role of RE in the modern world, and implementing an effective pedagogy to deliver RE appropriately within school education environment.

The British State and RE

Since the first Education Act in 1870, the state recognised RE as important therefore began to provide Christian RE in Board Schools parallel to the Church. But the key question of teaching Roman Catholic (RC) or Church of England (CE) dogma was resolved by teaching a ‘broadly Christian’ approach as enshrined in the Cowper Temple Clause ‘no religious catechism or formulary distinctive of any particular denomination shall be taught’ but to be generally Christian’. Here was a compromised solution to overcome religious sectarian friction by focusing on general Christian principles accepted by most.

The post war 1944 Butler Education Act directed the locally determined basis for RE by making compulsory the establishing of Agreed Syllabuses (AS), with a CE biased policy development framework. RE became established in law ensuring continuance with a non-denominational secularised Christian syllabus in government schools. The 1944 Act did not mention the word Christian but the Act assumed the inculcated belief that RE was about teaching Christianity either in denominational terms in Voluntary Aided Schools, or in broadly Christian terms.

In 1988 the Education Act was amended to include and reflect the multi faith nature of society within the shade of the Christian RE as demanded by Christian Right. Therefore the Act states:

‘All mew syllabuses must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices f the other principal religions represented in Great Britain
(Education Reform Act 1988, Chapter 40 section 8, HMSO)

Even as over a century has passed and as new diverse communities are emerging, the pluralistic and increasingly secular society, state Christian centred RE is still overshadowing effective application of RE principles and strategy. For many researchers and academics the emphasis on Christianity in the act is not seen as progressive but regressive. (Grimmitt, 2000 p.12)

However prior to the 1988 Act, specifically since the 1944 act RE was taught as compulsory nationally. In this same year the National Curriculum (NC) was introduced but RE was not essential as previous. Therefore RE has to now struggle for recognition in the basic curriculum. Also the Act stipulates that all post 1988 AS’s must reflect other religious traditions in Britain further clouding how to give due regard to the position and influence of the main British Christian tradition alongside representing other principal religious traditions within Britain effectively. However with the governments insistence on all trainee teachers to have a ‘detailed knowledge of the model syllabuses’ (Ibid p.14-15) has raised the significance of RE almost on par to the core content imposed on NC subjects. However one feels that RE should be recognised as a NC subject and its educational and humanising aspects valued within todays multi-faith and multi cultural society. LEA’s authorities reaction to compulsory AS’s was to compile AS’s with the various religions in isolation to the other within a usually systemised approach based on six world faith working groups, working independently of other co-groups. The involvement of Faith communities one feels is essential to ensure some ‘real’ understanding of other religions as taught from within the faith. But it is necessary to readdress the balance of allowing all religions to participate equally in formulating AS’s without a Christian bias even though some may argue for proportional representation.

Role of RE

Grimmitt airs concerns about legislation stating that how ‘these clauses have been subjected to even narrower interpretation within government circulars, guidelines and education Acts’ (Ibid p.11&13-14) by the self-interests pursed by religionist and politicians. He advocates the liberation of RE from politicians and religionists. He adds that RE has become a

'a victim of ideological manipulation, religious domestication and further marginalisation from other curriculum subjects rendering it powerless as a humanising influence upon the whole curriculum. (Ibid, p.11)

Grimmit warns that from August 2002 that the government is to introduce into all secondary schools compulsory Citizenship Education and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) further undermining RE. He points out the gradual supplanting of American educational ethos into Britain. He accuses the current Labour and previous Tory government of creating a market led business type organisational climate where finances, political agenda, output, competition and value for money hence, the ‘language of business management’ has become the overbidding factor in schools today. From my own limited experience I would acknowledge Grimmits concerns as acceptable as I’ve have found similar concerns aired in schools and mentioned in the RE media discussions. Therefore current legislation places restrictions upon RE and has devalued the status of RE due by degrading it to a non-compulsory subject falling outside NC subject.

RE Pedagogies

Over the years many RE pedagogies have been developed. The most suitable pedagogies to be applied in current education environment have to be those which are non-confessional non-denominational in today’s multi-faith, mutli-cultural and increasingly secular society. Even in Voluntary Aided schools one feels that appreciation and understanding of other world religions is necessary for positive social integration and interaction, learning tolerance or acceptance of the confessional and denominational differences. I personally would consider and apply three pedagogical approaches to RE styles of teaching within a multi faith and pluralist society:

a) The Phenomenological, Undogmatic, Explicit Model;
b) Human Development, Instrumental, Learning About, Learning from Models;
c) the Ethnographic Interpretive Multi-faith Model.

The Phenomenological approach which Grimmit has categorised as Phenomenological, Undogmaic, Explicit Model (Ibid, p.27) is the earliest and popular classroom technique being multi faith and having a world religion approach. The aim is to develop attitudes of tolerance and openness through the study of external phenomenon of religion. Smart was a key campaigner of this approach since the early seventies even developing a six dimensional approach to religious phenomenon: doctrinal, mythological, ethical, ritual, experiential and social. (Smart 1989, p.12) Grimmitt advocated the dimensional alongside the existential approaches to RE. (Grimmit 1973, p.50) Phenomenological approach is not educating into but educating about religions. This approach has positive and creative approach to pluralism that works with the social diversity today. Sometimes the phrase ‘celebration of diversity’ is used to describe this approach.
In phenomenology we have the terms ‘Implicit’ RE and ‘Explicit’ RE coined. The former referring to ‘pupils search for meaning’ and the latter concerned with ‘the detailed phenomenon of religion’. (Grimmit 2000, p. 28)

A criticism of the Phenomenological approach is that it encourages superficial learning and misrepresenting religion as something which can be neatly packaged up in organised sections. The other criticism is that this approach conveys relativism and that it fails to prepare pupils for the real pluralist world. (Watson 1997, pp.44-55)

The Human Development, Instrumental, Learning About, Learning from Models is result of collaborative work between Grimmit and Read at Westhill Birmingham. This model emphasises what it means for humans to make a faith response to those ‘fundamental, inescapable questions about the human condition which arise from reflection from the shared human experience’ (Grimmitt 2000, p.34) Nurturing the skills of studying the content and then responding in a reflective manner. Hence, the implicit concept of learning about and learning from religion. This model allows pupils to interpret insights from their RE study into their personal experience and understanding. This takes a pupils experience beyond the educational phenomenological approach allowing impact on ones life and circumstances.

The Warwick Ethnographic, ‘Interpretive’, Multifaith Model focuses into the transmission of religious culture from parents and faith communities to children. This is a pedagogy that enables ‘pupils to relate to a way of life different from their own’. This model encourages pupils to focus upon relating their personal knowledge and understanding to RE. This is termed by the project as ‘oscillating between the pupils world and the world of the insider’ (Ibid, p.38)

The style of teaching that I would be inclined to implement would be the utilisation of thematic, constructivist and social constructivist methodological technique.

SECTION THREE: reflections on your experience of teaching RE first during the team teaching exercise and then during your five week School Placement.

Before I came to this PGCE I felt that to posses sound religious knowledge and knowledge of religions was the most important criteria to be a teacher. On my team teaching I realised that there was more to teaching then the feeding info to pupils. I learned that every aspect of classroom teaching must be pre-planned and organised prior to delivery. Teaching cannot entirely be teacher-centric but the pupils need to learn from within interactive teaching methodologies and the utilisation of their personal experience, thoughts, understanding and interpretation, hence pupil-centric. Also the onus is on the teacher to stimulate, engage and occupy the children’s mind and attention not only to be left to the didactic information. Also emphasis is not on information but on method and technique of delivery. In my second placement I was advised by mentor to not to focus on knowledge based teaching but to focus on skill based teaching and to use more activity centred teaching. My general style of teaching was phenomenological, didactic and teacher centric. On my team teaching I learned to incorporate a diverse range of teaching methods coupled with interaction and activity based teaching. On my placement I attempted to use thematic and interpretive approaches to teaching as well as experiential.

Coming from a non-Christian background I appreciate the need to teach not from a totally Christian perspective but to engage with pupils of different faith backgrounds to ensure interest and relativity. Therefore the style which I have adopted and begin to apply in the classroom is behaviourist and constructivist utilising thematic, phenomenological interpretive and experiential pedagogical model approaches. The main focus being on learning about and learning from religion. I cannot say that I have developed ‘a’ style but have amalgamated or mishmashed a suitable style for a particular lesson occasion.

The limitation of the phenomenological approach is that it is usually a superficial external observation of religion and that the religious phenomenon is conveniently placed into pigeon holes under pre-conceived titles. Since the approach is not looking at the religion from within the faith but externally observed, a distorted picture can be portrayed and pupils do not have a ‘real’ image of the religion making them ill equipped for true multifaith and multicultural social integration. The constructivist model takes into account a students thought and experience but both of these can vary due to the ability of the pupil and their understanding of their experiences, which in turn will usually be limited. Thematic approach is better but not ideal as the themes selected may have a particular significance to the observer, but to the religion a theme may be unfair as it may have less significance then some other theme, vice versa.

I received RE policy document of my School Placement 1 after several requests I received a sheet which outlined the commitment to detailing an RE policy document but I did not see one therefore cannot comment in this area.

I have implemented some of the skills I’ve acquired into my teaching with very positive results. I have developed a new planning and delivery strategy has enhanced my effectiveness not only in imparting but in producing results. I feel confident with the teaching role and have no real concerns about my knowledge of religions as I am generally well aware and if need be resourceful enough to find the appropriate information. I have good presence in the room and have good classroom control techniques. I feel the need to develop a greater pupil-centric approach so to be able to nurture and stimulate pupil focus and discussion and to develop reflection through meaningful activities harnessing pupil’s own skills. I recognise I need to be more aware of the national and regional legislative guidelines and requirements and RE pedagogical approaches.

I believed that I required professional training prior to the PGCE. The course has been an eye opener with diverse approach incorporating understanding legislative guidelines, educational and RE theories and placement training within a functional school. Generally I am pleased with my own development and coming to terms with my strengths, weaknesses and the appreciation for differences between private, public confessional and non-confessional education.

SECTION FOUR: the views of pupils on RE and its value.

A questionnaire was devised to ask pupils in all school years to gather pupils on RE to assess their attitudes. Majority of the pupils questioned predominantly were under 14yrs of age.

A) Do you enjoy RE?
YES = 87.5%
NO = 12.5%
B) What do you like about RE?
Learning about different religions= 87.5%
Thinking about God= 12.5%
Discussing different religious topics= 0%
Discussing beliefs with classmates= 0%
C) What don’t you like about RE?
Learning about something you do not believe in=37.5%
Learning about religions= 62.5%
D) Does RE help you with your own beliefs?
E) Do your own beliefs help you with RE?
YES= 100%
NO= 0%
F) What do you think is the main thing that can be learnt from RE?
Understanding other religions= 87.5%
Understanding God better= 0%
Respect and tolerance for beliefs different to yours=12.5%
G) Do you feel you understand your classmates more better after learning about their religion?
NO = 0%
H) What do you think about more, after your RE lesson?
Your life=12.5%
Life after death=12.5%
What your religion says about the topic you have been studying=25%
I) Will you be choosing RE as a GCSE option?
YES= 62.5%
NO = 0%

This questionnaire was simplified to suit all school years hence the results present a a cross school view. I feel some of the pupils in the lower years chose the first option on multi option questions without paying the required serious engagement to complete this questionnaire. Due to the same questionnaire being presented to all pupils therefore the ages of the pupils are not determinable.

It is surprising to learn that over 87.5% enjoy RE, which is usually seen as a monotonous subject. However a further questionaire during the summer placement would provide further useful insights into some of the questions answered in the questionaire.

SECTION FIVE: issues about RE that have emerged for you by the end of Autumn

I need to analyse and investigate: RE research on the 1988 Education Act and its significance and many interpretations; become more familiar with the diverse range of Model Syllabuses and AS’s; to be well acquainted with the National Curriculum’s regional and national legislative guidelines. To further practice and implement RE pedagogies and to study upto-date RE research and academic publications. Also, I need to investigate more interactive and experiential based active classroom teaching techniques.

I have identified that I need to incorporate a diverse range of pupil centred teaching techniques to ensure learning, nurturing skills and shape pupil views constructively. To further develop skills in differentiative teaching for SEN and mixed ability pupils. To incorporate a diverse range of audio, visual, sensual and experiential teaching activities and techniques. To learn from placements and study the latest classroom techniques in control, delivery and maximum effectiveness.

I feel I need to acquire and develop a ‘within the faith perspective’ and to try and appreciate the values, customs, rituals, practices, traditions and sensitivities as seen by the believers of the faith under study. I need to be able to identify the major issues, themes and ceremonies within the Christian, Judaic, Hindu and Sikh religions. In particular I have little understanding of the Buddhist tradition but can relate to its principles via the spiritual Sufi tradition of Islam and other religions


COPLEY, T. (1997) Teaching Religion: 50 years of R.E in England and Wales. Devon:University of Exeter Press.

GRIMMITT, M. (1973) What can I do in R.E? Essex: McCrimmons.

GRIMMITT, M. (1987) Religious Education and Human development. Essex: McCrimmons.

GRIMMITT, M. (ed) (2000) Pedagogies of Religious Education: Case studies in the research and development of good pedagogic practice in R.E. McCrimmons.

HULL, J.M (1984) Studies in Religion and Education. Lewes:The Falmer Press.

HULL, J. (1982) New Dirtections in Religious Education. Sussex: The Falmer Press

SMART, N and HORDER, D (1976) New Movements in Religious Education. London:Billing & Sons Ltd.

WATSON, B. (1997) The Effective Teaching of Religious Education. London & New London & New York: Longman

WRIGHT, A. & BRANDOM, A. Learning to Teach Religious Education in the Secondary School. London: Routledge Falmer


Hull, J. Mishmash: Religious Education and Pluralism. (1990). British Journal of Religious Education. Vol, 12:3.

GRIMMITT, M. (1984). Religious Education and Value Assumptions. British Journal of Religious Education. Vol, 19:3.

GRIMMITT, M. (1994). Religious Education and ideology of Pluralism. British Journal of Religious Education. Vol,16:3.

HARDY, D (1976). Teaching Religion a theological Critique. Learning for Living, Vol 15:1.

ROBSON, G (1996). Religious Education, Government Policy and Professional Practice, 1985-1995. British Journal of Religious Education.Vol, 19:1.

SURIN, K (1980). Can the Experiential and the Phenomenological Approaches be Reconciled?. British Journal of Religious Education. Vol 2:3.

TEECE, G (1997). Citizenship Education and R.E Treat or Opportunity. PCFRE Vol, 21:1.

The Prophet's Dhikr- A Thought shared with Sister Umm Zaid

Sister Umm Zaid:

It's pretty scary, if you think about it, how far we've come, generallyspeaking, from the level of adab and knowledge and reverence that the Muslimstrad'lly had for the Prophet (peace be upon him). After we had a mawlid in NYseveral years ago, one brother approached me very angrily and said "The sheikhtalked too much about the Prophet (peace be upon him), and that is a very Sufithing to do. The Sufis love him too much." I mean, subhan'Allah. People willgo on and on about their spouse or their computer hobby or whatever, but in theUmmah we are at the point where people only give lip service to "loving him morethan we love ourselves," and they get uncomfortable if you "talk about him toomuch" or talk about the blessed hair or the urine hadith.


It’s really surprising to know that some ‘Muslim’s’ say such things about His noble dhikr or remembrance when Allah has named the Prophet ‘Dhikr’! (May Allah shower peace and blessings on Him).

Allah says, ‘He is no less than a dhikr for all worlds’ (12:104)

Many scholars have upheld that the meaning of dhikr in the following verse ‘Verily with the dhirk of Allah do hearts find rest’ is the Prophet (May Allah shower abundant peace and blessings on Him), as mentioned by Mulla Ali Qari in Sharh al-Shifa and others. Mujahid is the earliest source to this explanation.

Hence the remembrance, praise, and discussion about Him (May Allah shower abundant peace and blessings on Him) is full of plentiful peace and tranquilly for the believer. If one does not feel this when talking about Him, or experience it when hearing something about Him, he has a major concern and should consult somebody about it to put it right.

The Prophet’s dhikr is raised to such an extent, that in a hadith Qudsi, Allah said to the Prophet: ‘I am not remembered except that you are remembered with me’. Many exegetes have narrated this in their commentaries of the following verse, ‘And we have raised for you your dhikr’. (94:4)

Let me ask, what in the earths and skies lives without Allah’s dhikr? Allah says, ‘Whatever is in the heavens and the earth- let it declare the praises and glory of Allah’ (57:1, 59:1, 61:1) thus in light of the foregoing hadith, the Prophet is remembered at all times and in every moment.

Moreover, the following verse is explicit on the continuity of His Dhikr, Allah says, ‘Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you who believe! Send blessings on Him and salute Him’ (33:56). An interesting point here is what we find in many commentaries of this verse. The linguists say this verse is special since it commences with a nominal sentence and finishes with a verbal sentence signifying the continuity ‘dawam’ of His dhikr and its different forms ‘tajaddud wa huduth’ in beauty every time it is made by Allah and His angels!

The believer is ordered to praise Him (May Allah shower abundant peace and blessings on Him), as made obligatory by Allah Almighty. Allah says, ‘In order that you may believe in Allah and His messenger, that you may assist and Honour Him, and celebrate His praises morning and night’ (48:9)

The verbs 'wa tu'azziruhu wa tuwaqqiruhu' used in this verse are from the Mufa’alah form, both of which imply emphasis or mubalghah. Mubarrid, a famous linguist, says: ‘Honour Him intensively bi al-mubalghah’ as recorded in al-Shifa of Qadhi Ayyadh and its commentaries.

This is why Imam Busayri said,

‘Ascribe to Him all reverence, and all honour as you like,
As much as you wish assert His eminence!
Because the boundless merits of the Messenger of God are such,
That none can speak of them with all eloquent tongues’

Our salah is incomplete without the recitation of the Qur’an, and the Qur’an is incomplete if you exclude the following verses:

His face
(Surah 93: 1) ‘By the glowing brightness of the rising morning’

(surah 2: 144) ‘surely, we have been watching you repeatedly turning your face towards the heaven’

His hair
(Surah 93: 2) ‘and by the night when it covers everything in calm’

His chest & back
(surah 94: 1-3) ‘Have we not expanded for you your chest? And we have taken back the burden which weighed your back’

His Eyes
(Surah 15: 88) ‘And do not lift your eyes towards the wealth which we have given to certain classes’

His tongue
(Surah 75: 16)
(surah 19: 97) ‘So we have made the quran easy by revealing it on/in your tongue’
(Surah 44: 58) ‘Verily we have made the Qur’an easy on/in your tongue’

His speech
(Surah 53: 3-4) ‘And he speaks not of His own desire; this is not but a revelation which is revealed to Him’

His heart
(Surah 53: 11) ‘The heart lied not in what He saw’

(Surah 11: 120) ‘And all that which we relate to you of the tidings of the apostles is to strengthen your heart’ (also 25:32)

His life
(surah 15: 72) ‘O my apostle! By your life!’

(Surah 68:4) ‘And surely you stand on the greatest of character’

Mantle (74:1), garments (74:4), cloak (73:1)

Conduct & example
(Surah 33:21) ‘You have indeed in the messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct’.

His Dhikr
(Surah 94: 4) ‘And we have exalted for you your remembrance’

His light
(Surah 5: 15) ‘There has come to you from Allah a Light and a clear book’

(Surah 33: 45-46, 48: 8) ‘A spreading light’.

Him as a bounty
(Surah 33:47) ‘Then give the glad tidings to believers that they should have from Allah a great bounty’

Him as a mercy
(Surah 21:107) ‘We sent you not, but as a mercy for mankind’.
(Surah 15: 88) ‘and lower your wings of mercy to the beleivers’.

His knowledge
(Surah 4:113) ‘For Allah has sent down to you the book and wisdom and taught you what you knew not, and great is the grace of Allah to you’

His Happiness
(Surah 93: 5) ‘and soon your lord will bestow to you so much that you will be pleased’.

(Surah 2: 144) ‘So shall for sure cause you to turn to the qibla which you desire’

(Surah 20: 130) ‘So that you are pleased’ times of salah.

His city
(Surah 90: 1-2) ‘I swear by this holy city of Makkah, while you are dwelling in this city’

Qualities of His messenger hood
(Surah 33: 45-46, 48: 8) ‘O Prophet! Truly we have sent you as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings, and a Warner- and as one who invites to Allah by his permission, and as a lamp spreading light’

Hence, Rasulullah's Dhikr is made in the heavens and the earth, in prayer and outside prayer and at all times. None can be a hindrance for it and it shall continue untill Allah lives, as Allah says, 'Verily Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet...'

Sallalahu Alaiyhi wa sallam
Wassalamu alaiyki

Make dua for their guidance, and ours.

GreenLight Mawlid 2005 - 16-04-05

‘The Morning of the Muhammadan Light’

Excerpts from Shaykh al-Islam, Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki’s book entitled al-Bayan wa al-Ta’reef fi Dhikri Mawlid al-Shareef. May Allah shower His mercy on him.

So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him- it is they who will prosper’ (Surah 7:157)

Three preliminary Issues

1- Mawlid; to make gatherings for hearing seerah, listening to His praise, giving food, and bringing happiness to the Ummah is acceptable.

2- Celebration Of Mawlid must not only be on 12th Rabi al-Awwal. But can and should be on everyday of every month in every mosque in order for people to feel the light.

3- Mawlid gatherings are and effective and efficient means of calling people to Allah. These meetings provide a golden opportunity that must not be lost. People should be reminded of His good character and his worship. Children will Love Him and remember Him, by giving them food and juice and gifts. May Allah shower abundant blessings on Him.

The Proof of its reliability

Its theme is Love. Proof is not the matter.

‘It is beyond me how someone who has strong iman can possibly dispute the manifestation of Joy on the occasion we consider the dearest and most auspicious of all- the dawning of the Muhammadan Light on this world’.
Badr al-Din al-Kattani

Point 1
. Mawlid gatherings are a sign of rejoice for the Prophet (Saw). The non-believer benefited from this. Story Of Abu Lahab and Thawbiyah, Bukhari.

Point 2. The Prophet showed reverence to His birthday and thanked Allah by means of Fasting. Abu Qutadah and fasting on Monday, ‘on this day I was born, and in it revelation was given to me’. Muslim. Thanks and reverence have different forms; gatherings, serving food, salawat, Listening to His Excellent characteristics.

Point 3. To rejoice is Allah’s instruction. Surah 10:58 ‘Say in the bounty of Allah, and in His mercy- in that let them rejoice’. Muhammad is the mercy to mankind, Surah 21:107 ‘We sent you not, but as a mercy for mankind’.
Point 4. The Prophet linked great events to their respective times and places of occurrence.

§ Prophet’s arrival in Madinah, Jews fasting on Ashura, ‘we have more right over Musa than you do, so he fasted and ordered the Sahabah too’.
§ Hadith: In excellence of Jumah day, ‘and in it Adam was born’.
§ Jibra’el, salah in Bethlehem, ‘Do you know where you prayed?’ ‘No’. It is the birthplace of Isa’.
§ Events on Haj. Safa Marwah, Hajira. Maqam Ibrahim. Arafat.

Point 5. The Mawlid gatherings are a good innovation since they conform to Islamic principles. As for the roots, the Mawlid is based in the Sunnah. Fasting on Monday, Bukhari.

Point 6. Mawlid is the avenue to salawat. Surah 33:56.

Point 7. Mawlid consists of His remembrance, Miracles and Life. We are ordered to follow Him, his actions and accept his signs. Gatherings are a means of that.

Point 8. Praise of the Prophet, praise of His excellent character and beautiful example are a beloved act. Prophet showed joy and praised those who remembered Him with reverence in prose and poetry. It brings one closer to Him (SAW).

Qur’an in His praise:

(Surah 68:4) ‘And surely you stand on the greatest of character’

(Surah 33:21) ‘You have indeed in the messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct’.

(Surah 33: 45-46, 48: 8) ‘ O Prophet! Truly we have sent you as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings, and a Warner- and as one who invites to Allah by his permission, and as a lamp spreading light’

(Surah 5: 15) ‘There has come to you from Allah a Light and a clear book’

(Surah 33:47) ‘Then give the glad tidings to believers that they should have from Allah a great bounty’

(Surah 21:107) ‘We sent you not, but as a mercy for mankind’.

(Surah 4:113) ‘For Allah has sent down to you the book and wisdom and taught you what you knew not, and great is the grace of Allah to you’

Point 9. Remembrance of His characteristics and miracles is the means of attaining perfection in faith. It is natural for man to love beauty, inner and outer, practical and intellectual, of states and belief. And none is more perfect, nor Beautiful, nor better than Him in his character. Hadith on Loving the Prophet.

Point 10. Practice of the Muslim world since very early times.

-Hadith Ibn Mas’ud: ‘Whatever the Muslims regard good, it is good in Allah’s sight’. Musnad Ahmad.
-Ibn Kathir, Sabt Ibn al-Jawzi, Dhahabi, Suyuti: Malik Muzaffar (d.630h) spent hundreds of thousands money in preparation of the Mawlid.
-Malik Muzaffar rewawrded Ibn Dahiya 1,000 dinars for the book he wrote on the Mawlid ‘al-Tanweer fi Mawlid al-Bashir wa al-Nazir’.
-Massive public celebrations from sixth to tenth centuries in Makkah. Ibn Zahirah (historian), al-Haytami, Ibn Batuta (Historian), Ibn Jubayr (Historian).

-Practice of scholars in writing books on Mawlid.

Al-Hafiz Abu Shama
Mufti al-Sayyid Dahlan
Al-Hafiz al-Ala’I
Shaykh al- Bakri
Ottoman al-Barusi
Al-Hafiz Ibn Dahiya
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar
Al- Hafiz Ibn Kathir
Shaykh Al-Kattani

Point 11. We are in more need of firming our hearts than the Prophet (Saw) and we do that by mentioning the stories of Sayyidi Muhammad.

(Surah11: 120) ‘All that we relate to you (oh Muhammad) of the stories of the messengers- with it we make firm your heart’

Point 12. New issues (‘bida’at) have to be dealt with in light of the general principles of Islam. They may either be

Necessary; learning Arabic in order to understood the qur’an (fardh kifaya)
Preferred; establishing Islamic schools, Mawlid gatherings
Disliked; competing in beautifying Mosques
Permissible; Eating new dishes and better food
Forbidden; that which violates the principles of Islamic law.

Every new issue is not forbidden. Abu Bakr & Collection of the Qur’an. Tarawih congregation and umar. Umar and maqam Ibrahim.

Discourse given by Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi

The Prophet's Urine

The answer to an objection made on al-Seyyid Muhammad al-Ya’qubi’s Mawlid discourse on Monday 2nd May 2005, Wembley Arena, London

This article is written in defense of al-Seyyid Muhammad al-Yaqubi’s subsequent statement which he expressed during His talk on the national Mawlid gathering in London, ‘I wish I was His urine which passed out of Him; pure and a cure’

Here are some narrations which explicitly mention the purity of His urine (May Allah shower peace and blessings on Him), and it as a cure.

Imam Suyuti’s narrations[1]

1. Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti reports from Tabarani and Bayhaqi who narrate from Hukaymah bint Umaymah (May Allah be pleased with her) with an authentic chain of transmission, she said, the Prophet (May Allah shower peace and blessings on Him) had a wooden bowl in which He used to urinate and was placed under His bed. One night, He searched for it but did not find it and asked for it saying, ‘where is the bowl?’ The members of the house replied ‘Umm Salamah’s slave girl Barrah drank from it’ who came from Habashah with her. The Prophet replied, ‘surely she has protected herself from the fire with a great wall’’.

2. Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti reports from Abu Ya’la, Hakim, Dar Qutni, Tabarani and Abu Nu’aym from Umm Ayman May Allah be pleased with her, who said, ‘the Prophet got up one night and urinated in a bowl. During that night, I rose in the state of thirst so I drank whatever was in the bowl. In the morning I told Him what I had done to which He smiled and said, ‘surely you will never have pain in your stomach’’. Abu Ya’ala’s wordings are as follows, ‘you will never feel stomach pain as of today’.

Imam Tabarani’s narrations[2]

Imam Tabarani narrates three hadith on this issue in His al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, of which two are authentic and one is weak due to the narrator ‘Abu Malik Nakha’i’. However, it is strengthened by the other narrations on this issue which suggest that His SAW excess was pure, and a cure. Besides, it is narrated by other channels of transmission too.
Incident One. The Narration of Umaymah bint Ruqayqah about Barrah the slave girl of Umm Salamah, who drank from His Urine, is authentic.

Incident Two. The Narration of Umaymah bint Ruqayqah about Barakah the slave girl of Umm Habeebah (she is other than Umm Ayman who was also known as Barakah) is also authentic.

Incident Three. The Narration of Umm Ayman who herself mentions her incident, consists of Abu Malik al-Nakha’i, a weak narrator, but this hadith is transmitted by other chains too as we will see later, Insha Allah.

Detailed study of the Hadith

Hadith One. Tabarani said: Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal informed us, who was informed by Yahya ibn Ma’een, who was informed by Hajjaj Bin Muhammad who narrates from Ibn Jurayj who narrates from Hukaymah bint Umaymah, who reports from her mother Umaymah who said, ‘the Prophet SAW used to have a wooden bowl in which he used to urinate and place under His bed. One night, He searched for it but did not find it and asked for it saying, where is the bowl? The members of the house replied ‘Umm Salamah’s slave girl Barrah drank it’ who came from Habashah with her. The Prophet replied, ‘surely she has protected herself from the fire with a great wall’.

This narration is authenticated by many scholars. Imam Nur al-Din al-Haythmi said, ‘it is narrated by Tabarani and its narrators are from the men of al-Sahih i.e. Bukhari except Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal and Hukaymah who are both trustworthy narrators’.[3]

Abdullah is the son of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, compiler and narrator of the Musnad, and from the Men of Sunan Nisa’i.

Hukaymah is from the major female successors ‘taabi’iyyaat’. Abu Dauwd, Nisa’i, Bayhaqi and others narrate from her.

Nasir al-Din Albani said, ‘a group of Hadith masters have authenticated this hadith’.[4]

Ibn Hibban narrates this very narration and authenticates it in His al-Saheeh.[5]

Hakim narrates this hadith in His Mustadrak and Dhahabi confirms it authenticity. 1:167, prnt.Tab Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi Beirut

Suyuti in two of His books authenticates this narration; Al-Jami al-Sagheer[6] and al-Khasa’is al-Kubra in which he has dedicated an entire chapter to this subject with this heading ‘babu ikhtisasihi sallalahu ta’ala alaiyhi wa sallam bi taharati damihi wa bawlihi wa gha’itihi’ ‘Chapter on His specialty in purification of His blood, urine and faeces May Allah send peace and blessings on Him’.

Hadith Two. Tabarani said: Hussain bin Is’haq al-Tustari informed us, who was informed by Uthman bin Abi Shaybah, who was informed by Shababah bin Sawwar, who was informed by Abu Malik al-Nakha’i who narrated from Aswad bin Qays, who narrated from Nubayh al-Anazi, who narrated from Umm Ayman, who said: ‘‘One night the Prophet got up and went to a side to urinate in the bowl. During the night, I rose and was thirsty so I drank whatever was in it and I did not even realize what it was. In the morning, He said, ‘Oh Umm Ayman! Throw away whatever is in the bowl’. I replied, ‘I drank what was in the bowl’. He thereafter smiled as such that His teeth appeared and said, ‘Beware! You will never have stomach pain’’.

Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti reports from Abu Ya’la, Hakim, Dar Qutni, Tabarani, Abu Nu’aym from Umm Ayman (also known as Barakah) May Allah be pleased with her, who said, ‘the Prophet got up one night and urinated in a bowl. During that night, I rose in the state of thirst so I drank whatever was in the bowl. In the morning I told Him what I done and He smiled and said, ‘surely you will never have pain in your stomach’’. Abu Ya’ala’s wordings are as follows, ‘you will never feel stomach pain as of today’.

In Majam al-Zawa’id, Imam al-Haythami says, ‘in its channel of transmission is Abu Malik al-Nakha’I who is weak’.[7]

Qadhi Ayyadh considers this narration authentic on the basis that Dar Qutni authenticates it on the requisites of Bukhari and Muslim.[8]

Imam Nawawi authenticates this narration in Sharh al-Muhazzab as confirmed by Imam al-Zurqani in his commentary on al-Mawahib al-Ludunyah[9] Nawawi said it is hasan sahih. He based His opinion on the authentication of Dar Qutni and said ‘this is sufficient to take it as proof’.[10]

Mulla Ali Qari authenticates the narration of Umm Ayman, in His Jam al-Wasa’il, 2:3, Dar al-Marifah Beirut. Here are the wordings, ‘She said, ‘One night the Prophet got up and went to a side to urinate in the bowl. During the night, I rose and was thirsty so I drank whatever was in it and I did not even realize what it was. In the morning, He said, ‘Oh Umm Ayman! Throw away whatever is in the bowl’. I replied, ‘I drank what was in the bowl’. He thereafter smiled as such that His Teeth appeared and said, ‘Listen! I swear by Allah! You will never have stomach pain’’.

In the very same note, Mulla Ali Qari states, ‘Ibn Hajar said, many early scholars have upheld that His SAW excess was clean based on this narration’. Ibid.

The authentication of so many scholars of this hadith clearly indicates that there is more than one channel of transmission to Umm Ayman and not only through Abu Malik al-Nakha’i. Hence, the ruling of weakness cannot be generalized to all other transmissions and texts of hadith from Umm Ayman. Mulla Ali Qari states in the commentary of Qadhi Ayyadh’s forgoing statement, ‘its narrators are as the narrators of Bukhari and Muslim in uprightness and accuracy…the summary is that this hadith is of the rank of Bukhari and Muslim in its rigorous authenticity though not recorded by them’.[11]

Ibn Kathir narrates the hadith of Umm Ayman in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya[12] with the following channel of transmission. Hafiz Abu Ya’la said, Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr al-Muqaddami informed me, who was informed by Ibn Qutaybah, who narrates from Hussain bin Harb, who narrates from Ya’la bin Ata, who narrates from Waleed bin Abd al-Rahman who narrates from Umm Ayman who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah May Allah send peace and blessings upon Him had a clay bowl in which he used to urinate and in the morning He used to say, ‘Oh Umm Ayman! Throw away what is in the bowl’. One night I woke up and was very thirsty so I drank whatever was in the bowl. The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Oh Umm Ayman! Throw away what is in the bowl’. She replied, ‘Oh messenger of Allah! I got up and was thirsty so I drank what was in it’ to which He replied, ‘you will never have stomach pain anymore’’.

Notably, Imam Dhahabi is silent on the narration of Umm Ayman in Hakim’s Mustadrak which suggests that he had no concerns about the authenticity since he is well-known for His strictness in weakening hadith as is Imam Hakim in laxity in authenticating hadith. There are two possible reasons for his silence 1. His awareness of another chain to this text 2. Or the fact that this hadith is from the issues of excellence and requires no rigorously authentic narration, since a weak chain is sufficient here.

Hafiz Hassan bin Sufyan narrates this incident through Abu Malik al-Nakha’I in his Musnad.[13]

Hafiz Abu Ahmad al-Askari narrates this incident through Abu Malik.[14]

Hafiz Abu Nua’eem narrates this incident in His Dala’il al-Nubuwwah, Hilyat al-Awliya through Abu Malik[15]

Hafiz Abu Ali ibn al-Sukkan narrates this incident as recorded by Ibn Hajar in al-Isabah, thorugh a channel other than Abu Malik al-Nakha’i.[16]

Hadith Three. Tabarani said: Ahmad bin Ziyad al-Haza al-Raqaiyy informed us, who was informed by Hajjaj bin Muhammad, who narrates from Ibn Jurayj who said: Hukaymah bint Umaymah bint Ruqayqah said, narrating from her mother: ‘the Prophet SAW used to have a wooden bowl in which he used to urinate and was placed under His bed. One night, He searched for it but did not find it and asked Barakah the slave girl of Umm Habeeba who came from Habsha with her, for it saying, ‘where is the urine in the bowl?’ She replied, ‘I drank it’ to which He uttered, ‘surely you have saved yourself from the fire’’. [17]

Imam Nisa’i and Abu Dawud narrate this narration of Umaymah in short version. Ibn Abd al-Barr completes the hadith of Nisa’i in his al-Isti’ab, as does Suyuti in his commentary on Sunan al-Nisa’i, with the following wording, ‘The Prophet urinated in the bowl and was placed under His bed. He asked Barakah who came from Habshah who used to serve Umm Habeebah, ‘where is the urine from this bowl?’ She replied, ‘I drank it oh messenger of Allah!’’ [18]
Suyuti narrates it in al-Jami al-Sagheer from Abu Dawud, Nisa’i and Hakim whilst marking its authenticity. Imam Manawi in its commentary adds the complete hadith, and says its narrators are from the narrators of al-Sahih (Bukhari).[19]

Note: The hadith scholars commonly take parts of a hadith and leave others out in respect to the topic or subject title in recourse. We find this quite common in Bukhari’s al-Sahih and many other works.

Imam Qurtabi narrates the very same incident as recorded by Ibn Abd al-Barr in al-Isti’ab. [20]

Bayhaqi narrates it in al-Sunan al-Kubra. He has an entire chapter dedicated to this issue entitled: ‘babu tarkihi al-Inkar ala man shariba bawlahu wa damahu’ ‘His concession to those who drank His urine and blood’.[21]

Suyuti also has an entire chapter on this issue in his al-Khasa’is al-Kubra in which he narrates this incident, entitled: ‘bab al-Istishfa bi bawlihi Sallalahu alaiyhi wa sallam’ chapter on seeking cure from His urine May Allah send peace and blessings upon Him.

Imam al-Asqalani narrates this incident in al-Isabah fi ma’rifat al-Sahabah under ‘Barakah al-Habshiyah’ and Talkhees al-Habeer.[22]

Hafiz Abd al-Razzaq al-San’ani narrates this incident with a different wording from Ibn Jurayj who said: ‘I was told that the Prophet used to have a wooden bowl in which he used to urinate and was placed under His bed. Once, He searched for it but did not find it and asked Barakah the slave girl of Umm Habeeba who came from Habsha with her, for it saying, ‘where is the urine in the bowl?’ She replied, ‘I drank it’ to which He uttered, ‘Oh Umm Yusuf! You will be cured!’ This was her nickname or kuniyyah. She never became ill after that and died in good health’. From this incident we understand that Umm Yusuf was also known as Barakah as well as Umm Ayman and these were two different incidents. Ibn Dihyah, authenticated both incidents as two separate ones as mentioned by Suyuti in al-Khasa’is, and al-Asqalani in Talkhees al-Habeer and al-Isabah.

Abu Nu’aym al-Asbahani narrates it with His chain to Umaymah bint Ruqayqah.[23]

Ibn Mundah al-Asbahani narrates it in His Ma’rifat al-Sahabah.[24]

Finally, let me narrate two more incidents of the Sahabah on this issue.

Imam Abu Nu’aym narrates the practice of Anas RA, with his chain, who said: ‘The Messenger of Allah used to pray salah at his house and made it long. Once, He SAW urinated in the well, which was situated inside the house. Anas said: ‘there was no well in Madinah which tasted more cool and sweet than it’. He said: ‘when the sahabah come to my house I serve them with the sweet water of that well. In the era of jahiliyyah it was known as al-Barud, ‘the cool well’’’. [25]

Khateeb al-Baghdadi narrates a long hadith in ‘Ruwatu Malik’ on an incident which took place with the famous sahabi Jabir bin Abdullah. Imam Suyuti records it in His al-Khasa’is al-Kubra. The portion of this hadith is as follows: ‘Jabir said: ‘the Prophet SAW took some water for wudhu and saw two separate date trees. He SAW said to me: ‘Oh jabir! Go to them and tell them to get together’. They got together as if their roots were one. He then made wudhu as I brought the water to Him. I then thought in my head, only if Allah informs me to His SAW waste, so that I may consume it! I saw that the earth on which he sat was clean. So I asked, ‘Did you not make the toilet?’ to which he replied, ‘Yes, but the earth is ordered to hide away the excess of us prophets’. The date trees then separated…’’[26]

In the former narration we see that 1. The well of Anas became sweet, 2. He drank from it, 3. He used to serve the sahabah from it. In the latter narration we see that 1. The companion Jabir desired to consume the Prophet’s excess, 2. The earth is ordered to hide away His excess His. May Allah be pleased with them.

Three Principles of accepting these hadith narrations

The hadiths of Umm Ayman and Umaymah have more than one channels of transmission, from which only one chain of Umm Ayman is through Abu Malik al-Nakha'i. This explicitly shows that the hadith in this issue are authentic by various chains and weakness cannot be generalized to all narrations!

The chain which links through Abu Malik is only supporting the other narrations or mutabi hence an ancillary hadith.

Though the chain of Abu Malik is weak, it is accepted in issues of merits and excellence. The unanimity of Hadith Scholars concurs on the view that a weak hadith, unless forged, is accepted in such issues. See: Fat’h al-Mugheeth by al-Sakhawi, Tadreeb al-Rawi by Suyuti and others.

Final Word

The statement of al-Seyyid Muhammad al-Ya’qoubi is based on strong hadith evidence and rigorously authentic narrations from the Prophet SAW on the purity and cure of His urine as well as His blood (May Allah shower abundant peace and blessings on Him). Those who may object to His love for Sayyidi Rasulullah should bring forth their argument clearly so that a sound discussion is taken further.

One should be very careful of what they say about scholars through what THEY understand from scholarly statements. Commonly, people misunderstand and misinterpret the statements of the rightly guided scholars and end up facing shame due to their little knowledge and brief study.

May Allah enjoin us in Good and help us towards the truth.
Ameen, bijahi al-Nabiyy al-Karim

Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi
Notes and summary of Sheikh Ashraf al-Qadri’s epistle entitled ‘Hadeeth Shurb bawl-e-Nabawi’ (urdu)

Alhamdulillah, this article was completed today, 4th May 2005.

Additions on the Prophet’s urine (May Allah bless Him)

An outstanding scholar, mystic and exegete, Isma’il Haqqi al-Barusi says in His exegesis of the Qur’an entitled, ‘Ruwh al-Bayan’, ‘His noble hair is from the vegetation of Jannah, His saliva is from the honey of Jannah and His Urine, as some hukama say, is from the water of jannah’

In his excellent exposition on the al-Shifa of Qadhi Ayyadh entitled ‘Naseem al-Riyadh’, Imam al-Khifaji affirms the authenticity of the incidents whilst saying, ‘None objected to her practice and He SAW did not order her to cleanse her mouth’.

Imam Malik RA in His great work entitled ‘Bulghat al-Salik’ states, ‘verily the excess of all prophets’ is pure’.

Imam Qastallani, in al-Mawahib, records a hadith from Hisham bin Urwah who narrates form His father who narrates from Sayyidah Aisha RA, who said: ‘I used to enter the toilet straight after the Prophet SAW and smelt nothing but a beautiful fragrance’.

[1] Al-Khasa’is al-Kubra 2:252, Matba’ah Da’irat al-Ma’arif, Hayder Abad.
[2] Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer
[3] (Majma’ al-Zawa’id 8: 270,271, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, Beirut).
[4] (al-Tahqeeq li Mishkat al-Masabeeh’, hadith no: 362, 1:117, Prnt Taba al-Maktab al-Islami Beirut)
[5] Hadith no: 1423, 3: 293, Prnt. Mu’assasat al-Risalah, Beirut.

[6] 2:111, prnt Tab al-Maktabah al-Islamiyah
[7] 8: 271,prnt. Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, Beirut
[8] al-Shifa, 1:41, prnt. Matba’ah Rustum Mustafa al-Halabi, Cairo
[9] 4:233, Dar al-Ma’rifah, Beirut.
[10] Sharh al-Muhazzab, 1:234, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut
[11] Sharh al-Shifa, 1:361, prnt. Al-Matba’ah al-Azhariyyah al-Misriyyah, Cairo
10 Dhikru abeedihi wa imaa’ihi 5: 326, Maktabah al-Ma’arif Beirut

[13] See: Talkhees al-Habeer, Ibn Hajar Asqalani, 1:31, Maktabah Athariyyah, Sanghla Hill, Pakistan
[14] See: Ibid.
[15] Dala’il al-Nubuwwah, 2:380-381, prnt. Dar al-Baz, Makkah, Hilyat, ‘Trjimah 147 Umm Ayman’, 2:67, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut
[16] Biography no: 1145 ‘Umm Ayman mawlat al-Nabiyy wa hadhinatuhu’, 4:433, prnt, Maktabah al-Mathna, Baghdad
[17] al-Mu’jam al-Kebeer, Umaymah bint Ruqayqah Bint Sayfi, Hadith no: 477, 24:189, prnt. Makatabah Ibn Taymiyah, Cairo
[18] al-Isti’ab, 4:251, Matba’ah al-Sa’adah, Misr
[19] Faiz al-Qadeer, 5:177, prnt. Dar all-Ma’rifah, Beirut
[20] 4:251, Prnt. Maktabah al-Mathna, Baghdad
[21] 7:67 prnt. Matba’ah Majlis Da’irat al-Ma’arif al-Nizamiyah, HaiderAbad
[22] 1:31-32, prnt. Maktabah Athariyyah, Sanghla Hill, Pakistan)
[23] SEE: Usdl-Ghabah, Izz al-Din abn al-Atheer, 5:403, prnt. Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut
[24] See: Usd al-Ghabah, Izz al-Din abn al-Atheer, 5:403, prnt. Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut)

[25] Dala’il al-Nubuwwah, 2:381, Dar al-Baz, Makkah
[26] 2: 30, al-Maktabah al-Nuriyyahh al-Ridhwiyyah, Laiylpur.