Previously Asked Questions
Hadith Questions:


> Do you know where I can find a book about the signs of the day of
> judgment and how to live islamically?

The source of all signs for the Day of Judgement and the correct way to
live Islamically is what the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him
peace) has told us in his hadith.

We would recommend the hadith book Riyadh al-Salihin by Imam al-Nawawi
for beginners. Then, they could also read chapters from Sahih Muslim
and Ibn Majah which contain a good deal of what you are looking for.

We pray that if you do the above in light of the guidelines and rules
we have mentioned in the Guiding Helper (refer to footnote 2553 of
the Explanatory Notes), you will be put on the Straight Path and end
up in good conditions in both this world and the next.

> I do not understand the Ahadith which command the killing of
> dogs (e.g. Sahih Bukhari, #3813 and others). Although the command
> may have been abrogated, I do not understand why it was issues in the
> first place - does that mean it was a mistake of the Messenger (pbuh)?

The Prophet (May Allah bless us and give us peace) has given us permission
to kill certain wild creatures that are known to carry rabies (other diseases)
and attack humans.  This is why the permission was given.

Refer to the Primary Text Proof for lines 1274-1276 of the Guiding Helper
in the Notes of Sources.

> Similarly, I cannot understand his (pbuh) description of black dogs
> with spots as being devils.

It should be known that jinn can take the form of animals and humans.
It a possible explanation is that the Prophet could tell the difference between
a real animal and a jinn pretending to be an animal - and he saw that most of
the dogs at that time that looked like that were in actuality jinn.


> Could you please explain the hadith that Adam was created in
> the Surat of Allah? This is of course seemingly similar to the
> biblical 'man was created in God's image' to which the Christians
> produced the Sistine Chapel. Well aware of the 'Ashari opinions on
> Allah's non-corporeality, I find this hadith confusing.

The `Ash`ari and Maturidi scholars do not understand the word "surat"
in the hadith to mean corporeal image. Rather there are two interpretations that are commonly given:

1) Ibn `Ajibah writes in the explanation of this hadith [al-Mabahith al-Asliyyah,
line 22: "And the reality of the human has a pattern in the Divine."]

The meaning of the Hadith "Indeed Allah created Adam in His
image." [Sahih Muslim, righteousness, joining blood ties, and manners;
prohibition from striking the face, hadith #4731].]

is that Allah gave Adam attributes that in a way resemble His own
attributes. And these attributes are the [seven] attributes of meaning
[e.g., life, power, knowledge, will over his actions, hearing, seeing,
and speech]. Also He has made Adam a storehouse for many of His
names... So some people have the name "al-Karim" (the Generous)
become apparent on them [and thus they engage in acts of generosity].
Some people have the name "Al-Rahim" (the Merciful) become apparent
on them [and thus they show mercy to the creation of Allah]....

[End Quote of Ibn `Ajibah]

2) Many scholars of tasawwuf have noted the striking relationship between
the three aspects of the human and the three aspects of Allah [that we know
about]. The human's three aspects are: (1) body, (2) mind/heart, and
(3) soul. Allah's three aspects [that we know about are]:
(1) actions (af`al), (2) attributes (sifat), and (3) Entity (dhat),.
It is through the body of the human that he can experience Allah's
actions. It is through the mind/heart of the human that he can
experience Allah's attributes. It is through the soul of the human
being that he can experience Allah's Entity.

Thus, Allah has created the three aspects of the human as mirror image
compliments of His three aspects (which He has told us about). And this
is hinted at in the hadith "Indeed Allah has created Adam in His image]."

Any similar non-corporeal understanding of the hadith is acceptable in the
`Ash`ari and Maturidi schools

> I have a question with regards to the hadith which I read in
> "Main Text & Explanatory Notes" of The Guiding Helper on
> page 5, but I was unable to locate this hadith in Sahih Muslim. The hadith is:
> "The People of the West (from my followers) will remain victorious and on
> the truth all the way up until the Last Hour".
> I would like to know, in this hadith, is the Prophet (saw) refering to the
> "people of the west" as being the people the 'people of al-maghrib', namely the
> Moroccans? If so then (wAllahi) I wouldn't hesitate to believe this as you have had
> great scholars like Shaykh Hafiz al- Hadith 'Abdullah bin Siddiq al-Ghumari and
> his family (rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alahim) including currently have the great
> shaykh Allama Mufti Hafiz Hasan bin Siddiq al-Ghumari (hafizullah). I
> would also be most grateful if you'd send me the arabic text of this hadith or
> if this isn't possible then atleast the arabic transliteration (i.e. how it's said in arabic).

The hadith in Sahih Muslim reads (transliterated):

   `An Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, qala, qala rasulullahi sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam:  Laa yazaalu
    ahlu l-gharbi dhaahireena `ala l-haqqi hattaa taqooma s-sa`ah.

   [{Sahih Muslim, imarah, qawluhu (sallalahu `alahi wa sallam) la tazalu ta'ifah, hadith #3551)}]

This hadith is in the chapter of imarah and is the last hadith in the section of the hadith which
speak about the last remaining rightly-guided groups of this ummah.

The vast majority of Moroccan and Andulusan scholars are of the view that this
hadith is speaking of Northwest Africa and Western Europe.  This is evident
from the following quote of Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi (a scholar from Grenada, Spain
about 600 years ago):

   "This book is about the rulings of Shari`ah and about the derivative branch
   rulings of Fiqh.  And it follows [for the most part] the Imam of Madinah,
   Abu `Abdullah Malik ibn Anas al-Asbahi (May Allah be well-pleased with
   him) - since Imam Malik is the scholar that the people of our land have chosen
   in Andulus [i.e. Spain] and also the rest of the Maghrib - hoping to follow the
   way of Dar al-Hijrah [i.e. al-Madinah al-Munawwarah] and this is a result of
   Allah's tawfiq and His fulfilling the prophecy in the hadith:  The people of the
   West will remain victorious and on the truth all the way up until the Last Hour."
 
  [{al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah, introduction, after "amma ba`du"}]

Now the riwayah of the hadith that Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi (and other Moroccan scholars)
quote has the words "ahlu l-maghrib" explicitly mentioned in it.  The riwayah of Muslim
has the words "ahlu l-gharb" mentioned in it.

As for our own interpretation of the hadith it is that the traditional system of
`aqidah, fiqh, and tasawwuf will remain intact in Northwest Africa (and eventually
Western Europe, and perhaps the Americas in the future) whereas these three
things will decay in the East and misguided sects will arise there.  This is in conformity
with the opposing hadith concerning the East:

   Ibn `Umar  said that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) pointed
   towards the East and said, "This is where the fitnah is.  This is where the fitnah is - from
  where the horn of the devil rises [i.e. the sun]."

  [{Musnad Ahmad, mukthirin, baqi musnad al-mukthirin, hadith #5637}]
  [{awma'a nahwa l-mashriqi:  ha huna al-fitnah.  ha huna al-fitnah}]

Similar hadiths are also in Sahih Muslim and Bukhari in the books of Fitan.

As for today, the only land we are aware of which is free of sectarianism
is Northwest Africa.  All people in Northwest Africa either practice the
din as an `Ash`ari-Maliki-Junaydi or choose not to practice the din out of their
own weakness.  In other words, all people are of one thought concerning the
din and do not fight with each other over sectarian beliefs.

You will find that in the East this is not the case as people are more "sect-minded"
there - to the point that they are willing to kill each other and call each other kafirs. 
And of course there are exceptions to every general rule.


> Is it true that Imam 'Ashari was the first to use the term Ahl Sunnah wal Jammah?
> I thought it was from a hadith.

Although, Imam al-`Ash`ari may have popularized this term, he was not the first one to use it.
Terms similar to ahlu s-sunnah wa l-jama`ah gained greater use in the times of the tabi`in when the
false "hadith" narrators and false teachers starting popping up.

In Sahih Muslim we read that Ibn Sirin (from the tabi`in) noted that no one used to ask about
ahadith isnads before his time, but when the hadith fitnah happened.  Every one inquired:
"Name the men who have narrated this hadith, so that we may look to see if the narrators
are "ahlu s-sunnah...".  Also there is a hadith in Darami (#218) in which Imam al-Hasan (the Prophet's
grandson) used the term "ahl al-sunnah".


>  PS Is it true that the Muhadith's like Bukhari and Muslim were more concerned
> with the isnad, and less with the matn, such that they did not scrutinize the words as much
> (such as Qadar in the Gabrial Hadith) which some orientalists think was added in there after the
> Mihna?

It is true to a certain extent that they paid more emphasis to isnad than to matn.  This is
the conclusion one comes to after examining their "authenticity ranking" criteria.  All
this really points to the fact that learning the din solely through hadith is not a reliable nor
accurate method.  Rather, the proper place of hadith according to the Malikis is:

   a) To maintain the spiritual link between the Prophet and his non-contemporary
       followers - so that they may get a taste of what it was like when he was around.
   b) Further fortify the `amal or conveyed beliefs, laws, practices.
   c) Gain insight into the spirit of the din sometimes lost in mechanistic `aqidah and
       fiqh books.
   d) Derive secondary branch laws for which the `amal or conveyed action is silent.
   e) Find dispensations for the Muslims when the `amal position is too strict.
   f) Derive general principles from which expert scholars can give legal rulings
       on new affairs and new situations

>  This leads to, how are hadiths used in Ashari aqida, since in Maliki fiqh they
> are subordinated to 'Amal (if they are singularly narrated) ? It seems we use the
> scholarship of the Fiqh scholars/Muhaddiths, but may have a different approach to
> them. Is there an Usul ul-Aqida as well?

The truth of the matter here is that al-`Ulama Warathatu l-Anbiya' (the scholars are
the heirs of the Prophets [hadith Tirmidhi #2606]).  Thus, all  three aspects of our din
(`Aqidah, Fiqh, and Tasawwuf) were initially (up to about the four to six hundred
years after the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace)) *orally* conveyed
from teacher to student.  `Aqidah is no different in that al-Imam al-Ash`ari simply
*wrote down* what the Muthbitah were orally conveying before him for about
two hundred years.

Reference:
   [DT: volume 1: page 16: line(s) 19-20: {explanation of verse 5,
   explanation of "al-`Ash`ari"}]

> I have a quick question about a hadith qudsi. In the part where Allah says:
> "and My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him."
> Can I say that these are mandub actions like Witr?

`Asqalani says in the Sharh of this Hadith (which is hadith #6021 in
Sahih Bukhari, al-Raqa'iq, al-Tawadu`):

Two types of acts are meant:

a) Separate mandub acts such as Witr, `Id, Istisqa' (Prayer for Water),
mandub fasting, mandub charity, mandub teaching/learning., etc.
b) Mandub acts that are within a wajib act or support a wajib act
(such as raising one's hands with the opening takbir of the five
daily wajib prayers, reciting peace and blessings on the Prophet
in the last sitting, praying calmly, glorifying Allah in the
bowing and prostration postures, washing two or three times in
ablution instead of just one, etc.)

Also he notes a very interesting statement at the end that applies to us
in our time-contrained modern world (about setting priorities):

man shaghalahu l-farda `ani n-nafli, fahuwa ma`dhur.
wa man shaghalahu n-nafla `ani l-fardi, fahuwa maghrur

Whoever is busied by obligatory acts away from optional mandub acts is
excused. But, whoever is busied by optional mandub acts away from
obligatory acts is deluded.

> In footnote 121 of the Explantory Notes of the Gh you wrote, that the Quran
> was first send down to the "Place of Might" Which kind kind of place is this
> place and which one of the heavens is this place.

This place is called Bayt al-`Izzah  (House of Power) in Arabic.

Here is a reference which states this:

`Asqalani in his Sharh of Hadith #4596 (which speaks of how the Qur'an was
revealed on the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) states:

   "The Sahih of Ibn Abi Shaybah and of Hakim also has a hadith which states:
     The Qur'an was placed in the Bayt al-`Izzah in the lower heavens (sama'
     al-dunya).  Then, Jibra'il brought it piece by piece to the Prophet (May
     Allah bless him and give him peace)"

    Also in another Sahih hadith (recorded in al-Minhaj al-Halimi), we have:
    "Indeed, Jibra'il came down with the Qur'an on the Night of Power (Laylatul
    Qadr) from the Preserved Tablet to the lower heavens..."

Most scholars say this Bayt al-`Izzah is a second type of Ka`bah in the lower
heavens around which angels perform circumambulation.  And as such, this
would be synonymous with the Bayt al-Ma`mur (The Frequented House) spoken
about in the beginning of Surah Tur (Chapter 52, verse 4) of the Qur'an.

Reference:
      Fath al-Qadir, Tafsir Ayah 52:4

> I do have more questions.
> One is Imam Malik mentions in his Muwatta:
> "Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Himas from his
> paternal uncle from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah,
> may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Madina will
> be left in the best way until a dog or wolf enters it and
> urinates on one of the pillars of the mosque or on the mimbar."
> They asked, "Messenger of Allah, who will have the fruit at
> that time?" He replied, "Animals seeking food - birds and
> wild beasts."
> What does this means.

The hadith you refer to has a universal reference number of
1381 in the Muwatta'.

A summary of the Sharh of this hadith in the Muntaqa is:

"Towards the end of the world, the people will leave
Madinah until no humans are found there (as is clarified
in other hadith) . In this state of desertion, animals
and wild birds will take the city as a habitat without
prevention from humans. Thus, the animals will be able
to freely roam about the city including the Madinan
Mosque and be able to even chew at the pillars or minbar
or even defecate (urinate) in its vicinity."

All this shows that our Ummah's life is only for
a certain portion of the earth's remaining history. And we
are very fortunate to be alive at a time when the ummah of
Islam is still large and we are on the verge of a renewed
golden age (which will be ushered in by the Mahdi with his
victory over a "Roman" army in the Arabian Peninsula.) And
in the far future, a time will come when people will leave
Islam and its sacred places (such as Madinah) for other
habitats.

> Another one is "Yahya related to me from Malik from his
> paternal uncle Abu Suhayl ibn Malik that his uncle's father
> said, "I recognise nothing nowadays of what I saw the people
> (i.e. the companions of the Messenger, may Allah bless him
> and grant him peace) doing except the call to prayer."
> What does this one means.

The hadith you refer to has a universal reference number of
141 in the Muwatta'.

He is talking about the people's internal states and not their
external actions. After about 60 years after hijrah,
very few people were left on earth that resembled in their
internal traits the traits of the Companions of the Prophet
(May Allah bless him and give him peace).

For example, almost all of the Companions of the Prophet (May
Allah bless him and give him peace) were either indifferent to
death or wanted to die as martyrs, whereas as wealth and
affluence spread in the Muslim territories, people became
attached to the life of the world and started fearing death.

Another example is that when the Companions of the Prophet
(May Allah bless him and give him peace) were engaged in
the formal prayer (salah), they were in a hypnotic trance-like
state of complete absorption, whereas the people who came later
had a hard time keeping stray thoughts out of their prayers.

There are many other examples, but in sum total the internal
knowledge that the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him
peace) quickly eroded away after about sixty years after hijrah
(after Caliph `Ali was killed) until only a few people were
still practicing this internal knowledge.

As for the externals (e.g., the fiqh and beliefs preserved in
his hadith), they persisted well into the time of the seven
fuquha' of Madinah and Imam Malik and his student's time.

And the narrator using the example of the adhan as the only
thing remaining is just his way of exaggerating the vast change
of states internally.

> I have one mor question to the Muwatte. Imam Malik wrote
> in his Muwatta: "Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham
> ibn Urwa from his father that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet,
> may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There was
> an eclipse of the sun in the time of the Messenger of Allah,
> may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Messenger
> of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, led the
> people in prayer. He stood, and did so for a long time. Then
> he went into ruku, and made the ruku long. Then he stood
> again, and did so for a long time, though not as long as the
> first time. Then he went into ruku, and made the ruku long,
> though not as long as thefirst time. Then he rose, and went
> down into sajda. He then did the same in the second raka, and
> by the time he had finished the sun had appeared. He then
> gave a khutba to the people, in which he praised Allah and
> then said, 'The sun and the moon are two of Allah's signs.
> They do not eclipse for anyone's death nor for anyone's life.
> When you see an eclipse, call on Allah and say,
> "Allah is greater" and give sadaqa.' Then he said, 'O community
> of Muhammad! ByAllah, there is no-one more jealous than Allah
> of a male or female slave of his who commits adultery. O community
> of Muhammad! By Allah, if you knew what I knew, you would
> laugh little and weep much'."
>
> What does the Messanger of Allah, may Allah bless him and
< grant him peace, mean by "ther is no-one more jealous than
> Allah of a male or female slave of his who commits adultery"

The meaning according to the Muntaqa Sharh of the Muwatta (hadith 398) is:

   "Allah has more right to punish his slave for performing unlawful acts (either
    fornication or another unlawful act) than one of us has for punishing our male
    or female servant for fornicating."

The meaning is not that Allah has some sort of "jealous" attachment to
his servants comparable to our jealous attachments to those whom we think
are subordinate to us (e.g., wife, maid servant, employee, etc.).  Rather, the meaning is
that "He has more right to punish for disobedience than we have right to
give disciplinary action to one of our subordinates (e.g., employee)." 

And we pray to Allah that He pardons us and frees us from His punishment.

> Please can you explain me the following hadith?
>
> Muslim, Book 27, Hadith 5580
>
> Abu Huraira reported: I heard Allah Apostle, may peace be upon him, as
> saying: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, says: The son of Adam abuses
> Dahr (the time), whereas I am Dahr since in my Hand are the day and the
> night.
>
> How do I have to understand the word "time" concerning your definition
> of time?

This is where is fits in:

vi) ...
"If we propose that time can exist without events to hold,
then we would state that it cannot be flowing, but must be
stable."

The only thing that is stable in reality is Allah. Thus, the above
hints to the erudite that Allah *is* time as the hadith literally
states.

In other words, time is only measurable by the fluctuation of
Allah's *actions* (e.g., day and night as in the hadith) and Allah
is the one who determines these fluctuations (this is the meaning
of the words in the hadith "In My hand are the day and night"). It says
in Surah al-Rahman kulla yawmin huwa fi sha'n "every day/moment, He
has [a new] affair [i.e. action]." [chapter 55, verse 29]

What this means is that time does not exist outside of Allah; rather,
His volition determines which action is shown to us at the present time.
Thus, only a present or current time-space frame exists in the realm
of physical and metaphysical existence - again as determined by
His choice.

We can use this knowledge to build the "metaphor" of forward-progressing
linear time to aid our rational understanding of the physical world.
But, the reality of the matter is that, Allah *is* time and time as
conceived by the common man does not exist. Now, we don't say Allah is
*only* time and nothing else. Rather, the name al-Dahr is only one of His
many names.

> I had a question regarding the Ahlul Sunnah's view of the Ahlul Bayt.
>
> What has been the Sunni understanding of the hadith:
>
> "I have left you 2 weighty things; the Book of Allah and my descendents
> ("itrah"). Both of these will not be separated from each other until the
> Day of Judgement."?

The Sunni scholar Muhammad `Abd al-Rahman al-Mubarkufuri says in his
Book Tuhfah al-Ahwadhi bi Sharh al-Tirmidhi for this
hadith (a narration of which is found in Tirmidhi, hadith #3718):

   The meaning of sticking to them (i.e. the Prophet's family) is that one should
   love them, respect them, act according to their [authentic] narrations, and depend
   upon the statements of [the authorized scholars among] them.  *All of this does not
   negate taking `ilm from other than them* as the Prophet (May Allah bless him and
   give him peace) has also said, "My Companions are like guiding stars, whichever
   one you follow, you will become rightly guided."

   [end quote]

> Does this not justify the Shia position of taking the deen from the Ahlul Bayt?

No, as their position is one of unjust discrimination and our Prophet (May Allah
bless him and give him peace) did not endorse such unjust discrimination.  Additionally,
we, personally, would be very sad if Imam Malik or his student Ibn Qasim (none of
whom was part of the Prophet's family) were not allowed to teach and transmit the din
as if it were not for these two people and also Sahnun, this great coherent madh-hab
al-maliki would never have reached us.

Everybody should be given an equal chance and those who are truly gifted will
outshine others by the will and decree of Allah.  .

Also, their view is not backed up the actions of Ja`far as-Sadiq on his death bed
as narrated by Ibn Rushd al-Kabir (See entry #9 of the Notes of Sources) - who
specifically appointed a non-descendent (i.e. Malik ibn Anas) as a successor to him.

And then, we have hadith which talk about "bad people" who will be from the
Prophet's family, such as:

    The Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) responded to a question
    about the fitnas at the end of the world saying, "The Fitna of Ahlas is the trial of
    being forced to flee and the trial of war.  Then after this, the Fitna of Exultant
    [unbridled] Joy (sarraa') will issue from the two feet of a man from *my household*
    (ahlu  bayti).  He will claim to be from me (i.e. represent me), but he will not
    be from me (i.e. he will not truly represent me).  The real people who are close to
    me (awliya'i) are those who practice taqwa [i.e. performing acts of obedience and
    avoiding acts of disobedience - along with continuous tawbah]. ...
 
    [{Abu Dawud, al-fitan wa l-malahim, dhikr al-fitan wa dala'iliha hadith #3704}]

What we can learn from this hadith coupled with the first one is that following/imitating
the Prophet's family is conditional on their uprightness.

As for loving and respecting the Prophet's family, the scholars say that one is obliged
to love them even if they are not people of taqwa (as long as they are believers)
[due to the verse:

   Say:  I do not ask from you any fee (ajran) except for love of
   the[/my] close relatives.  [{al-Qur'an 42:23}]

Thus, loving the Prophet's household is a wajib duty on us according to the
the vast majority of the mufassirin of this ayah.].

> How is the view from all the maliki scholars on the hadiths in Malikis muwatta,
> are they judged as sahih to 100%.. actually I dont know anything about how hadiths
> are classified but because I recently ordered the translation of the muwatta from
> internet I was curious to know what role the muwatta plays in the malikischool
> and if the text in the guidinghelper go in line with whats said in the muwatta
> or if they contradict on any point.
> Hope you can answer this.

The hadith in the muwatta' are considered authentic (sahih or hasan, mostly)
due to the extreme closeness of Imam Malik to the Companion's time.

However, be aware that Imam Malik knew many tens of thousands of hadith *more*
than what is written in the Muwatta'. Many of these non-Muwatta' hadith
*contradict* (apparently but not after resolving and deep study) the hadith
in the Muwatta'

If you find contradictions between the Muwatta' and the Maliki Rulings given
in the Guiding Helper, you should know that Imam Malik used to teach jurisprudence
separately from his narration of hadith and the Guiding Helper contains an
accurate description of how Imam Malik used to actually teach Fiqh.

And his fiqh rulings were taken from his greater knowledge of the
subject.

Reference(s):
See Table of References Entry for MW (Muwatta') in Notes of Sources.






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