Category Archives: Hadith

Anything to do with hadith–explanation, the science and classification of ahadeeth, etc.

The Caller Footsteps

 

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” [33:21].

No matter what stage of life we are going through, or whatever roles we are trying to fill: be it be as father, husband, son, friend, leader and others, we will always find guidance in the life of our beloved Prophet(peace be upon him). One such area of guidance is for the da’ee – people who call muslims and non muslims alike to the path of the Allah. In this paper, we will see glimpses of the best methodology, examples and guidelines for a da’ee from the Meccan era of the Seerah. Here are the 10 lessons:

1. A Da’ee should teach the basics and work on the Emaan first:


Most of the verses revealed in the Meccan era dealt with issues of Tauheed: oneness of Allah, concept of worship, day of judgment, accountability etc. Later in the Medinan era, the detailed rulings were revealed.
This was done so that the new Muslims could have their hearts fully attached to the deen so that when the time came to implement a command of Allaah, they did it with no hesitation. Aisha (RA) commented “…If the first thing to be revealed was: ‘Do not drink alcoholic drinks.’ people would have said, ‘We will never leave alcoholic drinks,’ and …” [Bhukari]
People are more accepting of something if it doesn’t come in and demand a change in lifestyle immediately to something on the opposite side of the spectrum.
When we call people to Islam, we should focus on similar topics. We shouldn’t get into get into arguments about specific controversial rulings of Islam like polygamy, hijab, pork and wine. Similarly, when we teach our fellow Muslims, we should focus on purifying their hearts and increasing their Emaan, as opposed to “do this, this is halal, this is haram, don’t do this..” and so on.

2. A Da’ee focuses on creating a team of dedicated people:

Prophet (peace be upon him) did secret Daawah for three years. Also the pledge of Aqaba was done in secret. He established core group of Ansars first in medina and then told Muslims to migrate to Medina.
If you want to start an organization or dawah project, do not go out in the open and call people until you have established a strong core group. Go to people you know will sacrifice their time and effort. Also, try to start with the people around you. They know you best so they will be most likely to believe and help you. Even if the leader of the call is harmed, his followers will continue the obligation of calling others.

3. Da’ee makes use of all available resources even Non Muslims and other organizations:

Non Muslims are different in how each one of them deals with Muslims – we cannot simply say all are good or all are bad. People like Abu Talib, who gave protection to the Prophet (SAW) ,and Hisham bin Amr (who was instrumental in lifting the ban and boycott from Banu Hashim), played a key role in their support of the Muslims.
We should take advantage of the legal system and the environment we are living in. These days, da’ees should work with non profit and NGO organizations to fight against the bans, discrimination, and injustices against the Muslims.

4. Da’ee should always remember that guidance is from Allah:

The stern enemies of Islam, Umar (RA) and Abu Sufyan and others, enter Islam, and yet the strong supporter of the Prophet (SAW), his own uncle, Abu Talib died as a disbeliever. This clearly shows that the guidance is only from Allah. The caller to Deen, gives the message and then leaves the rest to Allah. If the person is not guided, then da’ee is not sad and is content with the decree of Allah.

5. Da’ee should focus on inviting the leaders, people in authority and those masses look upto:

When the Prophet (PBUH) arrived in Taaif, he went straight to the leaders. Generally, when giving dawah somewhere, one should meet with the leaders of the place because, with their support, the message will be passed along to their people.  In our times, we should try to give the message of Islam to movie stars, sports players, pop starts and other popular personalities. People look up to them and if they accept Islam, others would be more inclined to do so as well.

InshaAllah, we will continue with the remaining Five lessons in our next post.

References:

  • The Quran: Saheeh International, AbulWasim Publishing House 1997
  • Rajab Isaam, Arees Institute BA Program,USA: Class of 2009
  • Yahya Abdulbary, Course: The Shepherd’s Path, NY, US: Almaghrib Institute.
  • Dr As-Sibaaie Mustafa, The Life of Prophet Muhammad Highlights and Lessons, Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House 2004
  • Abdullah Daud, Course: Seerah 101, Islamic Online University
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Imam Bukhari’s Teachers: Four Legends

Imam Bukhari, rahimahullah, studied from over 1000 teachers. The best of them were also the greatest scholars of his time. This is an important point: in the previous generation, four scholars lived who were stars of hadith sciences. Imam Bukhari not only studied under all four of these masters of hadith sciences, but he became the main student or protege of all four scholars.

As teachers, in that time, each teacher would teach many students. Over time, one would rise up as the top student, the one who the teacher considered his protege; the one who would continue his teachers into the subsequent generation. It’s a rare feat for a protege to be the main student of more than one teacher; especially in this case, when all four lived in different cities.

These four teachers are:

  1. Ahmad ibn Hanbal (founder of the Hanbali madhab)
  2. Yahya ibn Ma’een
  3. Ali ibn Al-Madini
  4. Ishaaq ibn Rahwayh

When Imam Ahmed met Imam Bukhari while the latter was in his twenties, and praised him greatly; the other three scholars are much more important, because they met Imam Bukhari when he was older, and spent much more time with him. Imam Bukhari wrote his prototype (Saheeh Bukhari v1.0) and showed it to the latter three shuyookh in order for them to give him critical feedback.

Realize that Imam Bukhari did not compile Saheeh Bukhari on his own; it represents a product of the greatest scholars of hadith of his time. He wrote a manuscript for each of them, each of which is a giant and a legend and his teacher.

Once they provided feedback, he collected all their feedback and incorporated it — so much so that, he tells his teachers, “if any of them objected to any hadith in my collection, I didn’t argue, I just removed it.” And he demanded the highest grade of ahadith, nothing less.

Also, Imam Bukhari narrated his saheeh to approximately 90,000 students over a span of 40 years. Remember, he lived before the printing press; he would narrate in front of his students, who would inscribe this information in their notes. And as authors tend to do, he would change certain things. He would change a hadith here or there (replace it with a similar hadith from a different chain, for example), shuffle around the order, tweak his chapter headings, and so on — thus creating muliple versions of Saheeh Bukhari.

We consider his main student to be Muhammad ibn Yusuf Al-Firabi; he was from the last batch of Imam Bukhari’s students, and he lived a long life; his represents the most authentic version of Saheeh Bukhari, and the version we read today.

What lessons can you derive from this piece of history? Post them in the comments and share it with us.

References:

  • Collector’s Edition: Sahih al-Bukhari. By Yasir Qadhi. 2012.
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Imam Bukhari’s Memory in the Test of Baghdad

Imam Bukhari, rahimahullah, was tested a few times in his life. One of the early tests, which really showcases the powerful memory that Allah blessed him with, occurred as follows.

While in his twenties, imam Bukhari’s fame spread over much of the Muslim world — something rare in the time before internet, before email, before YouTube, our modern era where news travels almost instantenously.

As he arrived in Baghdad, word of his arrival spread, and the scholars of Baghdad devised a test for imam Bukhari — to prove to the world that he’s not that good.

During that time, to learn ahadith, you travel to the scholars of ahadith, sit in their halaqaat, and listen. They dictate ahadith to you. If a scholar comes from far, he brings exotic ahadith that nobody heard before; all the students (and other scholars) benefit from learning it from him.

Also, as a student of knowledge, someone who studies ahadith for a while, you quickly learn the “usual” or common ahadith that go around; such as the first hadith in Bukhari, that actions are by intentions.

Instead of exotic ahadith, the ten scholars each decide to narrate ten common ahadith each — but with a twist. Instead of narrating the hadith normally, with the chain, they would swap chains of authentic ahadith.

This is a very delicate point of the science. Most of the introduction to the science of hadith deals with features that weaken a hadith, and most of those features have to do with narrators in the chain. In this case, they took 100 authentic ahadith, each with an authentic chain, and transplanted the chain to a different hadith.

On the surface, it appears that they’re honouring imam Bukhari, by inviting him to their circles to learn and teach. But really, they had a more sinsiter motive.

Imam Bukhari arrives. The first scholar steps up and narrates his first hadith with a different chain. Imam Bukhari says, “Maa 3indiy,” (“I don’t have it” or “I don’t know it”). And again for the second hadith. And the third. And all ten.

The students start wondering. Imam Bukhari doesn’t know these basic ahadith?

The second scholar steps up, and the same scene repeats. And the third, and fourth, all the way to the tenth.

At this point, the students are very confused. These are all simple, straight-forward (appearing) ahadith.

Imam Bukhari figured it out. So his turn to speak arrives. He tells the first scholar: “you narrated the first hadith with chain this-and-that. The correct chain is this.” And he corrects the first hadith. And the second. And the tenth; all the way to the last of the 100.

And everyone in the masjid of Baghdad, the key center of learning of ‘ilm at that time, sees this occur in front of them.

Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) comments: “It’s not surprising that Imam Bukhari saw through their chain-swapping, for he is a master; nor is him knowing the correct isnad that surprising, because he’s memorized these hadith in the past.

“But what’s really interesting is that he memorized the 100 ahadith, with chains, the first time he heard them, and narrated them back in the same order.

It’s very clear that Allah blessed him with a photographic memory.

And thus, imam Bukhari’s popularity and reputation only grew, and he soared through the first test.

What lessons can you extract from this story to apply to your life? Please post a comment and share it with us.

References:

  • Collector’s Edition: Sahih al-Bukhari. By Yasir Qadhi. 2012.
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Books Anyone Can Read in Saheeh Al-Bukhari

We all know Imam Bukhari’s status as a scholar of hadith. Unquestionably, he is among the best scholars of hadith. This contributed heavily to his ability to produce a book like Saheeh Al-Bukhari.

What is less well known about Imam Bukhari, though, are his other two specialities: aqeedah (which we will inshaAllah discuss another time), and fiqh. Imam Bukhari, rahimahullah, was a master of fiqh, and a mujtahid.

Additionally, Imam Bukhari assumes that any reader of his book will be at least a hafidh of Qur’an. For example, in his book of tafseer, he mentions things which, at their apparent level, do not have anything to do with the surah he links it to. This is because he wrote it understanding that you can zip backward and forward through the Qur’an, because you’ve memorized it. And in doing so, you should be able to more easily grasp the references.

This plays into the average Muslim, today, reading Saheeh Al-Bukhari. You may run into ahadith which seem curious, strange, or perhaps appear to be downright incorrect.

Don’t despair. Again, Sahih Bukhari was intended for students of knowledge and scholars. When in doubt, speak to your local imam to clear up any misunderstandings you may have. Study the explanation of Saheeh Al-Bukhari; Ibn Hajar’s is excellent (albeit unavailable in English).

All of this, put together, means something: it’s hard to just read ahadith in Bukhari and grasp them. Especially when it comes to fiqh, it can be tricky or confusing; you can’t just read it and start applying the hadith.

What should we do?

For sure, there are some books in Bukhari that are easy to read and understand, and highly beneficial, even for non-scholars. That is, books that are easy for us laypeople to read without much background information.

Which books does Shaykh Yasir recommend?

  • Book 81: To Make the Heart Soft (Du’a, Heart Softeners) (كتاب الرقاق): Read this first. A very nice book of reminders to tenderize hearts.
  • Book 59: The Beginning of Creation (كتاب بدء الخلق): Narrations about the beginning of creation, the creation of the universe, and more topics along these lines.
  • Book 60: Prophets (كتاب أحاديث الأنبياء): Stories and details and biographies about the lives of the prophets, may Allah be pleased with all of them, from Adam to Rasulullah.
  • Book 61-64: Seerah: Various topics ranging from the lineage of rasulullah to his companions, to seerah and battles he participated in.
  • Book 78: Good Manners and Conduct (كتاب الأدب): How to deal with others; how to have good khuluq, something which is very praiseworthy and comes with a very high reward in the Hereafter.

Go ahead and read these books, ponder on them, apply them, and benefit from them. You can find all these, and more, at Sunnah.com’s Digitization of Saheeh Bukhari.

May Allah allow us all to understand, appreciate, and benefit from this great scholar and his works (ameen).

References:

  • Collector’s Edition: Sahih al-Bukhari. By Yasir Qadhi. 2012.
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Week 10 – Manners of Sneezing and Yawning

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

This is the continuation of the series, that focuses on implementing sunnah in our lives. In the last post, we talked about the manners of sleeping. In this post, we will look at the Sunnahs of sneezing and yawning:

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Allah loves sneezing but dislikes yawning; so if anyone of you sneezes and then praises Allah, every Muslim who hears him (praising Allah) has to say Tashmit to him. But as regards yawning, it is from Satan, so if one of you yawns, he should try his best to stop it, for when anyone of you yawns, Satan laughs at him." [Bhukari: English reference: Vol. 8, Book 73, Hadith 245. Arabic reference : Book 78, Hadith 6298]

Click here to show evidences/reference links

Sneezing:

Manners of Yawning:

Tip of the Week:

"You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” Anthony Robbins. All of us probably know many of these manners of sneezing and yawning but the problem is that we don't practice what we know. Make it your goal that for the next seven days, you will practice what you learnt in this post!

Action Item:

  1. Share this post on social networks.
  2. Review the old posts in the series

References:

Previous Post in this Series:

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Follow the Sunnah – Week 5

Here is the sunnah items, we will be focusing on in this week:

Making Dua:

  • Raise your hands
  • Glorify and praise Allah, in the beginning and at the end
  • Send salutations on Prophet (May Allah Peace and Blessing be on him) in the beginning and at the end
  • Cry while making dua

Adhaan:

Breakfast:

Tip of the Week:

But things like this and this one for your kids

Action Item:

  1. Memorize the duas from the sunnah: Mashary Qunoot Dua, Alhuda Masnoon Duas Collection, Saad al Ghamdi Qunoot Dua – Learn some ways to praise and glorify Allah in the duas

Inshallah, next week, we will look at the sunnah on wearing clothes and going out of the house

Previous Post in this Series:

References:

Booklet: Sunnah Checklist – published by Alhuda International (download link)

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Follow the Sunnah – Week 4

Last week, we focus on the sunnah of making ablution and coming out of the washroom. Here is the sunnah for this week:

After the fard salahs:

  • After slautation, say Allahu Akbar in loud voice
  • Say “Astagfirullah” thrice in low voice
  • Recite “Ayat Kursi”
  • Read the morning and evening supplications after farjar and asar prayers (Another Link)
  • Recite other Adhkars and Supplications
  • Pray the two rakahs of ishraq after the fajar prayer (The Messenger of Allah [SAWS] said, “Whoever prays the dawn prayer (fajr) in a group and then sits and does dhikr until the sun rises, then prays two rakas, shall have the like of the reward of a hajj and an umra.”)

Tip of the Week:

Get some nice colorful cards/sticky notes. Put the relevant information and stick them in various places in the house as reminders.  For example, summarize the sunnahs about using the washroom that we have learnt in previous weeks, put it on the card and stick it on the washroom mirror or door.

Action Item:

  1. Share this post with 5 other people and get the ajar. Post on facebook, twitter, email etc

Previous Post in this Series:

References:

Booklet: Sunnah Checklist – published by Alhuda International

 

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Follow the Sunnah – Week 3

I hope that you had an awesome productive last week, applying and implementing the Sunnah Items, we discussed in the last post. Here is the sunnah for this week:

On Coming Out of Washroom:

  • Exit with Right Foot first
  • Say the dua

Making Ablution:

Tip of the Week:

Imagination is a powerful tool for motivation. Close your eyes, envision yourself at the end of this series. Things you learned in this series have now become your second nature. Imagine yourself practicing these!

Action Item:

  1. Make a sincere dua now and ask Allah to help you this week in applying the Sunnah

Previous Post in this Series:

References:

Booklet: Sunnah Checklist – published by Alhuda International

 

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Follow the Sunnah – Week 2

Last week, we started a new series. The goal of the series is to learn and implement the sunnah in our lives. We started with the sunnah of our beloved Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) on waking up. I hope all of you have been practicing that sunnah. Here is the sunnah for this week:

Entering the Washroom:

  • Enter with slippers/shoes
  • Make the dua
  • Enter with Left foot

After Entering the Washroom:

  • Remove your clothes(trouser, pants) after sitting down or when near to the floor
  • Use left hand for washing private part
  • Avoid the urine drops
  • After finishing, sit for a while and then stand up

Tip of the Week:

Try to get someone else involved with you (friend, family member etc), so that you can remind, compete and check up on each other.  It’s easy for shaitan to distract us when we are working alone but harder when we work as group.

Action Item:

  1. Make a plan on how will you implement and work on this week’s sunnah item.

References:

Booklet: Sunnah Checklist – published by Alhuda International

Previous Post in this Series:

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Follow the Sunnah – Week 1

Allah Subhannallah, tells us in the Quran:

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّـهِ أُسْوَةٌ

حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّـهَ وَ

وَذَكَرَ اللَّـهَ كَثِيرًا

Translation:
There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.[Surah Al-Ahzab, verses 21]

The oxford dictionary defines the word ‘role model‘ as “A person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.” Indeed, our beloved prophet, has left us with the best examples, to be emulated. Take any part of your life, be it be eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, and you will find the best example in the life of our Prophet. He remembered Allah all the time.
It is by practicing and applying these sunnahs in our lives, that we can be successful in this life and the next. Amazingly, scientific research is now showing us the benefit and wisdom behind some of the acts of the prophet. For example, this article and this one discuss various scientific benefits of Prophet’s sleeping habits.  This article, benefits of sunnah way of drinking water in the light of medical science.

Inshallah, we would be starting the blog series, where we will gradually learn and implement the sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW).

Here are the few tips that will help us in this journey:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice.  Practice and apply these things daily so that they become part of our nature and habit. Like anything in life, for first few times, you have to consciously work hard on carrying out the exact steps, but after a while it all becomes automatic. I still remember my first few driving lessons. In the beginning, I had to think about when to apply brakes, check blind spot, mirrors etc, but then with practice, all of this became automatic.

2. Take small steps at a time, instead of trying to do it all. As our beloved prophet informed us that the the acts most pleasing to Allah are those which are done continuously, even if they are small.

3. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We need to have a plan on how will we practice each sunnah: which part of the day, how many times a day, which time etc. For instance, “I will practice the sunnah of eating everyday at dinner”

Inshallah, in this series, we will cover the following things from Sunnah (total 20! ):

Waking up, entering washroom, after entering the washroom, exiting from the washroom, while making whudoo, during the adhaan, after the prayers, while making dua, during breakfast, wearing clothes, leaving for work, walking, entering the market place, entering home, eating, drinking, before sleeping, during sleep, giving salutation, in hardship and sickness, dealing with important matters.

Are you excited? I am! As you can see from the list above, our beloved Prophet (May Allahs peace and blessing be upon him) left us with guidance in all aspects of our life.

Inshallah, each week we will focus on 2 – 3 categories, so that within few months, we will be able to truly bring sunnah into our lives.

Here is the first one for this week:

On Waking Up:

  • Wipe your face and eyes with hands
  • Make dua
  • Blow your nose thrice
  • Do a good Miswaak

Action Item:

  1. Make a plan on how will you implement and work on this week sunnah item.

References:

Booklet: Sunnah Checklist – published by Alhuda International

Series Articles Links:

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