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Discussion in 'Other Mad'habs' started by Abu Ibraheem, Jul 23, 2009.
I am also intrested in seeing this text inshaAllah.
Jazakallahu khair for sharing with us about the great Imam. If we read about the great Imams of Madhdhahibs, we find that they are very courteous and friendly towards one another.
My Imam, Imam al-Shafi'i was reported that when he went to Baghdad (which nowadays is being burned to the ground by infidel colonialist Americans, with some help from Shi'ites) and prayed at the Masjid where Imam al-A'zam was buried, he didn't read Qunut dua during Salat Fajr out of respect of Imam al-A'zam. In fact he made tawassul with Imam Abu Hanifah.
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal when asked about Imam al-Shafi'i, said "he (al-Shafi'i) is like health to the body and like the sun to the earth!"
This attitude is very rare amongst us, the khalaf
Sidi Musa Furber, a Hanbali scholar, has this website: www.hanbali.org
Under "Lessons" you will find lessons based on this:
The Arabic original text is included.
Don't hesitate to post it here. I agree with Sidi Abu Nibras. As a matter of fact, any info concerning master scholars of the four madhhabs will be appreciated.
Sidi Muhtar Holland
does anybody know how i can contact Muhtar Holland. My friend has just begun a PhD on Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (radiya-Allahu anhu) and requires some help in his research.
to performing salat is important in Hanbali madhab.
Very well, I will go ahead and post it in segments. No, it is not yet published - there are a couple of things in the introduction which cause me to wish to get another copy of the manuscript from sound sources, so that br. Muhtar can check the text for veracity, but by and large I think it is safe to post. Just bear in mind the caveat that there may be some revision before a version is published.
If there is anyone who can supply a copy of al-'Umda in Arabic for the purpose noted above, or point to where one might be obtained, I would very much appreciate it.
Jazaaka'llaahu khayran for your intention to post the book. I strongly encourage you to post the book. We, the followers of Imaam Ahmad, Raheemuhu'llaah, in the west, are in great need of a translation. Even if by your translation only one person benefitted by it, we do not know how much this would impact that person, our Ummah, and the world.
Also, you said that it has been translated by Muhtar Holland. Is it published and for sale yet?
wa `alaykum as salam.
i agree with you. it is dishonest to put our words in others' mouth.
it is also possible that the biographer might not have realized what he is saying. except for that small thing it a very useful article. as such, a lot of work goes in compiling such biographical notes and the effort must be duly acknowledged and its obvious merit must not be obscured by making a fuss over trivial things.
shaykh `abd al-Haqq muHaddith al-bukhari al-qadri al-dahalwi says somewhere [maraj al-baHrayn?] that the closest madh'hab to the Hanafi madh'hab is that of imam aHmed ibn Hanbal.
Well, I noticed that little bit too, and perhaps had a similar reaction to yours, but maybe it helps to consider that the biographical info I posted was not authored by the Imam; in fact I don't know who wrote the biographical introduction. I can ask br. Muhtar, but as far as I know this section was not signed.
As a publisher, I would consider it wrong to remove or edit portions of text that I did not like, or did not agree with - far too many texts are tampered with as it is, and so what you will see in this translation is what was there in the first place; not more and not less. We will be coming to the actual words of the Imam in due course, once I have posted the remainder of the biographical intro, which I hope will provide some useful background anyway.
jazakAllah khayran for the beautiful biography of the great imam raDiyAllahu `anhu wa `anna bi barakatih.
i couldn't help but notice this tiny little quirk:
i couldn't help notice an exaggerated praise of ibn taymiyyah. to my paranoid thinking it appears as if he is saying, 'ibn qudamah was great but ibn taymiyyah was far greater'.
consider this: imam aHmed riDa considered abu Hanifah as the greatest imam after the time of the tabi`un. this is a testimony that carries more weight than all the acclamations of this world. [wow. isn't abu Hanifah lucky!]
please do not take offence; i found the post quite beneficial, but old prejudices die hard.
Allah knows best.
Welcome to the Forum ! Please continue the beneficial posts.
I would be very very interested in this.
As-salaam 'alaikum to old friends from the ASFA forum...
There seems to be a dearth of anything in English regarding Hanbali fiqh - I wonder if any would be interested in seeing a serialized posting of the famous al-'Umda of Imam Muwaffaq ad-Din ‘Abdu’llah ibn Ahmad ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi (A.H. 541–620)? If I receive a positive response I will post it in segments. The translation is by br. Muhtar Holland.
See below for a part of his biography:
He is the devoutly diligent Imam, the Shaikh of Islam and one of the luminaries, Muwaffaq ad-Din Abu Muhammad ‘Abdu’llah ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Qudama ibn Miqdam ibn Nasr ibn ‘Abdi’llah ibn Hudhaifa ibn Muhammad ibn Ya’qub ibn al-Qasim ibn Ibrahim ibn Isma’il ibn Yahya ibn Muhammad ibn Salim ibn as-Sahabi al-Jalil [the Glorious Companion] ‘Abdi’llah ibn Amir al-Mu’minin [the Commander of the Believers] ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab al-’Adawi al-Qurashi.
He was born in the town of Jamma’il, one of the provincial districts of Nablus in Palestine, in the month of Sha’ban, A.H. 541. When he was in the eighth year of his life, the Crusaders seized control of the blessed country, which had previously been governed by ad-Dafir al-’Ubaidi, so al-Muwaffaq’s father emigrated with his family to Damascus, around the year A.H. 551, and they camped in the Mosque of Abu Salih outside the Eastern Gate. Then, after two years, they moved from the Salihiyya quarter of Damascus to the foothill of Mount Qasiyun, in the Salahiyya quarter of Damascus
Throughout this period, al-Muwaffaq was preoccupied with memorizing the Qur’an, the rudiments of the religious sciences, and the texts of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, including the Mukhtasar [Compendium] of al-Kharaqi. Among his fellow students at that time, those of his own age included his maternal cousin, al-Hafid Taqi ad-Din ‘Abd al-Ghani ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid al-Jamma’ili (A.H. 541–600) and his brother, ‘Imad ad-Din Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid (A.H. 543–614), while al-Muwaffaq’s own brother, Shaikh Abu ‘Umar (A.H. 528–607) was older than them.
The head of the family, Shaikh Abu ’l-’Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Qudama (the father of al-Muwaffaq and Abu ‘Umar), was one of the masters of knowledge and righteousness. Before his migration to Damascus, he was the preacher of Jamma’il, its scholar and its pious ascetic. He was the first teacher of Shaikh al-Muwaffaq, of his brother before him, of their two maternal cousins, al-Hafid ‘Abd al-Ghani and his brother al-’Imad Ibrahim, and of all the other lion cubs of this fine house.
In the next stage, al-Muwaffaq studied under the Shaikhs of Damascus, including Abu ’l-Makarim ‘Abd al-Wahid ibn Abi ¡ahir Muhammad ibn al-Muslim ibn al-Hasan ibn Hilal al-Azdi ad-Dimashqi, who died in the month of Jumada ’l-Akhira, A.H. 565, and Abu ’l-Ma’ali ‘Abdu’llah ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Ali ibn Sabir ad-Dimashqi (A.H. 499–576).
He did not cease to make progress in learning and the training of the lower self, until he reached the age of twenty. Then, between the years A.H. 560 and 561, he embarked on a educational expedition to Baghdad, accompanied by his maternal cousin Shaikh ‘Abd al-Ghani (they were both of the same age). At the outset of his career, al-Muwaffaq spent a brief period in the presence of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, at his college in Baghdad. Under the Shaikh, who was then in the ninetieth year his life, he studied the Mukhtasar [Compendium] of al-Kharaqi at the level of understanding and meticulous scrutiny, because he had memorized the Mukhtasar while he was in Damascus. Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir completed his earthly life shortly after that, on the 8th of Rabi’ al-Akhir in the year A.H. 561, so al-Muwaffaq turned to the Shaikh of the Hanbalis and the leading jurist of ‘Iraq, Nasih al-Islam Abu ’l-Fath Nasr ibn Fityan ibn Matar an-Nahrawani, well-known as Ibn al-Muna (A.H. 477–564). Under him he studied the jurisprudence of the school of Imam Ahmad [ibn Hanbal], the subjects of disagreement, and the science of the basic principles of Islamic law. He stayed in Baghdad for four years, during which he attended lectures given by the following authorities:
• The Pillar of ‘Iraq, Hibatu’llah al-Hasan ibn Hilal ad-Daqqaq (A.H. 472–562).
• Shaikh al-Masnad Abu ’l-Fath Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Baqi ibn Ahmad ibn Sulaiman, well-known as Ibn al-Bata al-Baghdadi (A.H. 477–564).
• The jurist, preacher, Qur’an-reciter and man of letters, Abu ’l-Hasan Muhadhdhab ad-Din Sa’du’llah ibn Nasr ibn Sa’id, well known as Ibn ad-Dajjaji (A.H. 482–564).
• The Qur’an-memorizer, jurist and reliable historian, Abu ’l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Salih ibn Shafi’ al-Jili / al-Baghdadi al-Hanbali (A.H. 520–565).
• The expert in Prophetic tradition, Shaikh Abu ¡alib al-Mubarak ibn Khadir ibn ‘Ali as-Sairafi al-Baghdadi (A.H. 482–562).
• The reliable transmitter of Prophetic tradition, Shaikh Abu Bakr ‘Abdu’llah ibn Muhammad ibn Abi ’l-Husain Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn an-Naqur al-Bazzar (A.H. 483–565).
• The pride of the women, the authoritative female writer, Shahda bint Nasr Ahmad ibn al-Faraj ad-Dinuri / al-Baghdadi (A.H. 480–574).
• Many others from among the luminaries and scholars of Baghdad.
He seems to have returned from Baghdad to Damascus by way of Mosul, for he received instruction there from its orator, Abu ’l-Fadl.
According to his sister’s son, ad-Diya’ al-Maqdisi (A.H. 569–643), the author of al-Mukhtara [the Anthology], he heard his mother, al-Muwaffaq’s sister, say: “The duration of al-Muwaffaq’s stay in Baghdad was approximately four years. Then he returned to Damascus and renewed his connection with it and with his relatives there.”
As reported by al-Hafid Ibn Rajab in the appendix to ¡abaqat al-Hanabila [The Ranks of the Hanbalis], on the authority of the grandson of Ibn al-Jawzi (A.H. 581–654), al-Muwaffaq returned to Baghdad in the year A.H. 567.
Ibn Rajab said: “According to an-Nasih ibn al-Hanbali, otherwise known as ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Najm as-Sa’di (A.H. 554–634), al-Muwaffaq performed the Pilgrimage in the year A.H. 574. He returned to Baghdad with the delegation of ‘Iraq, and stayed there for a year, so he attended the lectures of Ibn al-Muna.” As quoted by Ibn Rajab, an-Nasih ibn al-Hanbali said: “I had entered Baghdad in the year A.H. 572, and we studied together under Shaikh Abu ’l-Fath ibn al-Muna.”
In the Meccan Sanctuary during the Pilgrimage of the year A.H. 574, al-Muwaffaq met the Imam of the Hanbalis, al-Hafid al-Muhaddith Abu Muhammad al-Mubarak ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husain ibn ‘Abdi’llah ibn Muhammad at-¡abbakh al-Baghdadi, a resident of Mecca who died there during the Festival of Breaking Fast [‘Ïd al-Fitr] in the year A.H. 575, so he received instruction from him.
Imam al-Muwaffaq settled in Damascus after these travels of his, and there he preoccupied himself with the composition of his great commentary (al-Mughni) on al-Kharaqi’s Mukhtasar. That is the copious commentary from which there developed an encyclopedia of Islamic jurisprudence, containing articles and detailed notes by which the generations will benefit until the Day of Resurrection.
The biography of al-Muwaffaq is too vast to be contained within the preface of a book. It was treated as a separate subject by his maternal cousin, al-Hafid Diya’ ad-Din as-Sa’di, in a work compiled in two parts. A book on the biography of this great Imam was also compiled by al-Hafid adh-Dhahabi.
Throughout the time of Imam al-Muwaffaq’s preoccupation with his literary works—of which we shall list the principal items—the seekers of knowledge would receive lectures from him from the early morning till the high point of the day. Then they would study under him after the midday prayer until the afternoon prayer, and after the afternoon prayer until the sunset prayer, learning either from the Prophetic tradition or from his literary compositions.
Many people have acquired their knowledge of jurisprudence from these works, including his brother’s son, Chief Justice Shams ad-Din ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi ‘Umar (A.H. 597–682) and his generation, as well as the latter’s much earlier predecessor, the commentator on al-’Umda, Baha’ ad-Din ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ibrahim as-Sa’di (A.H. 556–682) and his generation, not to mention the names of countless beneficiaries between those generations, among the scholars, the jurists, the distinguished experts in Prophetic tradition, and the bearers of the trusts of the Muhammadan Sunna. His meeting room was always filled to capacity with jurists, experts in Prophetic tradition, and people of virtuous character.
In addition to this, and despite his constant commitment to literary composition, he used to recite one-seventh of the Qur’an every day and night. As part of his regular practice, after leading the people in the obligatory ritual prayers in the mosque, he would usually refrain from performing the customary ritual prayer until he was at home, in accordance with the Sunna.
The more he advanced in years, the more he was endowed by Allah with knowledge, grace, righteousness, modest humility, noble traits of character, and abstinence from this world and its phenomena, until he came to be counted among the great leaders of the Muslims, in worshipful service, true devotion, jurisprudence, the Prophetic tradition, and the basic principles of the religion, as well as the sciences of the Arabic language, the distribution of inherited estates, mathematics, and the times appointed [for the performance of religious duties].
Shaikh al-Islam ibn Taimiyya said about him: “After al-Awza’i, no one more expert in jurisprudence than Shaikh Muwaffaq has ever entered Damascus!” That is a testimony from the bearer of the trusts of Islam, the custodian of its realities, so it carries more weight than all the acclamations of this world.
According to the historian Shams ad-Din Yusuf, the grandson of Ibn al-Jawzi (A.H. 581–654), in his book entitled Mir’at az-Zaman [The Mirror of the Time]: “Al-Muwaffaq was a leader in many fields. No one in his time—after his brother Abu ‘Umar and [his cousin] al-’Imad—was more abstinent or more piously cautious than he. He was very modest, averse to this world and its people, simple, gentle and humble, fond of the needy, endowed with virtuous characteristics, generous and munificent. Whenever someone saw him, it was as if he had seen one of the Companions, and light seemed to emanate from his face.”
Shams ad-Din Yusuf also said: “From Shaikh Abu ‘Umar, his brother al-Muwaffaq and his cousin al-’Imad, I witnessed what we attribute to the Companions and the extraordinary saints, so their condition made me forget my family and my fellow countrymen, but then I returned to them with the intention of staying. Perhaps I shall be with them in the abode of permanent residence [in the Hereafter]!”
Muhibb ad-Din Muhammad ibn Mahmud ibn an-Najjar (A.H. 578–643) described him in the appendix to the History of Baghdad, for he said: “Shaikh Muwaffaq ad-Din was the prayer leader of the Hanbalis in the congregational mosque. He was trustworthy, magnanimous, extremely gracious, perfectly intelligent, intensely circumspect, constantly calm and composed, well-mannered, decent, piously cautious, devoted to worship in accordance with the statute of the righteous predecessors. Light glowed on his face, and he was endowed with dignity and reverence. Any man would benefit by the very sight of him, before hearing his speech.”
The historian of the reign of Saladin, Shihab ad-Din Abu ’l-Qasim ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Isma’il ibn Shama al-Maqdisi ad-Dimashqi (A.H. 596–665), was one of those who attended his lectures and learned from him. He said: “The Shaikh of the Hanbalis, Muwaffaq ad-Din, was one of the leaders of the Muslims and one of the luminaries of the religion, in both knowledge and practice…. King al-’Aziz ibn al-’Adil once came to visit him. He arrived to find him performing the ritual prayer, so he sat close beside him until he finished his prayer, without speeding it up, then met with him…. After finishing ritual prayer of the late afternoon, he would walk to his house by the causeway, accompanied by as many of the local paupers as Allah (Exalted is He) decreed, so he would provide them with something for them to eat with him.”
According to the author of al-Mukhtasar, the great Qur’an-memorizer Diya’ as-Din Abu ‘Abdi’llah Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid as-Sa’di al-Maqdisi (A.H. 569–643), who was the son of Imam al-Muwaffaq’s sister: “Al-Muwaffaq (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) was an Imam in the field of the Qur’an and its exegesis; an Imam in the science of the Prophetic tradition and its problems; an Imam in jurisprudence, or rather, its unique exponent in his time; an Imam in the science of controversy; an Imam in the distribution of inherited estates; an Imam in the basic principles of jurisprudence; am Imam in grammar; an Imam in mathematics; an Imam in astronomy. When he arrived in Baghdad, Shaikh Abu ’l-Fath ibn al-Muna said to him: ‘You should take up residence here, for Baghdad is sorely in need of you, but you will depart from Baghdad without leaving anyone like you to replace you in it!’”
According to the same source: “Our Shaikh al-’Imad (A.H. 543–614) holds Shaikh al-Muwaffaq in very high esteem. He invokes blessing upon him, him and sits in his presence like a student sitting in the presence of his teacher. I heard the Imam and Mufti, our Shaikh Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ma’ali ibn Ghunaima, say: ‘I do not know anyone in our time who has attained to the degree of independent judgment [ijtihad], with the exception of al-Muwaffaq.’ I heard Abu ‘Amr ibn as-Salah say: ‘I have never seen the like of Shaikh al-Muwaffaq!’ Shaikh ‘Abdu’llah al-Yunaini (A.H. 535–617) said: ‘I do not believe that any person, of all those I have seen, has acquired such perfection in the sciences, and the praiseworthy attributes by which perfection is acquired, apart from him. He (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) was perfect in his outer form and his inner content, in goodness and beneficence, tolerance and dignity, the various sciences, fine traits of character, and matters that I have never seen perfected in anyone but him.’”
On Friday, the Day of Congregation, Shaikh al-Muwaffaq used to convene a circle in the congregational Mosque of Bani Umayya in Damascus, in order to conduct a debate, after the ritual prayer, about all the questions and problems of religious science. He abstained from that, however, in the latter part of his life. They said: “He would not argue with anyone without smiling, to the point where someone said: ‘This Shaikh kills his adversary with his smile!’” In his debates, he would appoint the texts of the Sacred Law to serve as the referee between him and his opponents. He would not engage with them in the controversy of the theologians and the hypocrites. According to al-Hafid Ibn Rajab, in the biography of al-Muwaffaq provided in his appendix to ¡abaqat al-Hanabila [The Ranks of the Hanbalis]: “He did not consider it appropriate to plunge into debate with the theologians concerning the subtleties of theology, not even to refute them. He was very attentive to discussion on the subject of the roots [of Islamic law] and other relevant topics. He would not accept the expression of unsubstantiated statements, and he would insist on confirmation and citation of the Divine attributes revealed in the Book and the Sunna, without commentary or qualification, without comparison or distortion, and without interpretation or negation.”
When Salah ad-Din [Saladin] Yusuf ibn Ayyub mobilized the armies of Islam in the year A.H. 583, for the purpose of routing the Crusaders and purifying the Holy Land by ridding it of them, Imam al-Muwaffaq, his brother Shaikh Abu ‘Umar, the young men of their family, and the noble disciples of this house, were among the warriors beneath these victorious banners. Shaikh Abu ‘Umar was at the age of fifty-five, while Shaikh al-Muwaffaq was in his forty-second year. They and élite of their disciples had a tent, in which they met together with the warriors in the cause of Allah. Both of them were the focus of respect and attention from King al-’Adil, the son of Sultan Salah ad-Din. Al-Muwaffaq later enjoyed that same respect and attention, and even more, from King al-’Aziz, the son of King al-’Adil.
Shaikh Abu ‘Umar used to lead the prayer and deliver the Friday sermon in the Mudaffari Congregational Mosque. When he died in the year A.H. 607, Imam al-Muwaffaq performed that duty. Whenever he was absent from the Mudaffari Congregational Mosque, the role of prayer leader and orator was assumed by Shaikh Sharaf ad-Din ‘Abdu’llah (A.H. 578–643), the son of Shaikh Abu ‘Umar. Shaikh al-Muwaffaq was the one who used to lead the prayer in the niche of the Hanbalis in the Mosque of Bani Umayya, when he came down from Mount Qasiyun to the city of Damascus. While he was on the mountain, the prayer was led by his maternal cousin, ‘Imad ad-Din Ibrahim (A.H. 543–614). After the death of al-’Imad, the prayer was led by Abu Sulaiman ‘Abd ar-Rahman (A.H. 583–643), the son of al-Hafid ‘Abd al-Ghani, except when al-Muwaffaq was present, for no one took precedence over him in leading the prayer and delivering the sermon.