When is Bidah disapproved: Imam Uthman Ibn Fodio (d. 1817)


From the book: Ihya’u as-Sunna wa Ikhmad al-Bid`a (The Revival of the Sunna and Destruction of Innovation) of the great Maliki jurist, Qadiri sufi, mujahid, Imam & the reviver of Islam, Shaykh Uthman Ibn Fodio (rah).

Source link: http://siiasi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Ihyas-Sunna_wa_Ikhmadl-Bida_The_Revival.pdf


Reciting poetry in the Masjid


One of the prominent practices among Muslim communities during the month of Rabi-ul Awwal and the day of birth of our Prophet ﷺ (as well as otherwise) is to hold gathering in which poetry is recited in praise of the Prophet ﷺ. One of the clear evidence for this as cited by scholars is the practice of the Sahabi Hassan Bin Thabit رضى الله عنه who was known to be skilled in reciting poetry in defense and praise of the Prophet ﷺ.

Imam Muslim in his Sahih, mentioned a number of hadiths under the header “The Virtues Of Hassan Bin Thabit رضى الله عنه”. The first two of the narrations are quoted below:

دَّثَنَا عَمْرٌو النَّاقِدُ، وَإِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَابْنُ أَبِي عُمَرَ، كُلُّهُمْ عَنْ سُفْيَانَ، قَالَ عَمْرٌو حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ بْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ عُمَرَ، مَرَّ بِحَسَّانَ وَهُوَ يُنْشِدُ الشِّعْرَ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ فَلَحَظَ إِلَيْهِ فَقَالَ قَدْ كُنْتُ أُنْشِدُ وَفِيهِ مَنْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِنْكَ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ الْتَفَتَ إِلَى أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ فَقَالَ أَنْشُدُكَ اللَّهَ أَسَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏“‏ أَجِبْ عَنِّي اللَّهُمَّ أَيِّدْهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ اللَّهُمَّ نَعَمْ ‏.‏

Abu Huraira reported that ‘Umar happened to pass by Hassan as he was reciting verses (i.e., poetry) in the mosque. He (Hadrat ‘Umar) looked towards him (meaningfully), whereupon he (Hassan) said: I used to recite (poetry) when one better than you (the Holy Prophet) had been present (here). He then looked towards Abu Huraira and said to him: I adjure you by Allah (to tell) if you had not heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: (Hassan), give a reply on my behalf; Allah help him with Ruh-ul-Qudus (Gabriel). He (Abu Huraira) said: By Allah, it is so (i. e. the Prophet actually said these words).

حَدَّثَنَاهُ إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رَافِعٍ، وَعَبْدُ بْنُ حُمَيْدٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنِ ابْنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ، أَنَّ حَسَّانَ، قَالَ فِي حَلْقَةٍ فِيهِمْ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ أَنْشُدُكَ اللَّهَ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ أَسَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ فَذَكَرَ مِثْلَهُ ‏.‏

Ibn Musayyib reported that Hassan said to a circle in which there was also Abu Huraira: Abu Huraira, I adjure you by Allah (to tell) whether you-had not heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying like this.

Imam Nawawi in his commentary to Sahih Muslim, comments on these narrations:

قوله : ( إن حسان أنشد الشعر في المسجد بإذن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ) فيه جواز إنشاد الشعر في المسجد إذا كان مباحا ، واستحبابه إذا كان في ممادح الإسلام وأهله ، أو في هجاء الكفار والتحريض على قتالهم ، أو تحقيرهم ، ونحو ذلك وهكذا كان شعر حسان . وفيه استحباب الدعاء لمن قال شعرا من هذا النوع . وفيه جواز الانتصار من الكفار ، ويجوز أيضا من غيرهم بشرطه . وروح القدس جبريل صلى الله عليه وسلم .


Imam Nawawi here says that it is permissible to recite poetry in the masjid, and mustahabb (recommended/virtuous deed) if the recitation is in praise of Islam and its people.
 The following are relevant points to be noted:
  • Poetry was read in the masjid during the presence & life of the Prophet ﷺ as well as after.
  • Poetry was read in presence of a circle/gathering (as mentioned in the second narration) which included the prominent companion Abu Hurayra رضى الله عنه.
  • This was not just a permissible practice but a sunnah & rewarding deed when done in praise and defense of Islam, the Prophet ﷺ and the people of Islam.
  • It is mustahabb/recommended to make dua for those who recite such poetry, as mentioned by Imam Nawawi above.
  • Prophet ﷺ actively encouraged Hassan Bin Thabit رضى الله عنه as well others from the companions to recite such poetry, as seen in another following narration from Sahih Muslim where the Prophet ﷺ sent for a number companions such Ibn Rawiha رضى الله عنه and Ka’b bin Malik رضى الله عنه to recite poetry in defense of Islam.
  • Prophet ﷺ prayed and informed Hassan Bin Thabit رضى الله عنه  that he was supported by Angel Jibril عليه السلام while in another narration that the Angel Jibril عليه السلام will continue to support him as long he continues to defend Allah and His Messenger.
  • The Sharia has not limited this practice to any fixed form or fixed day and therefore does not prohibit such gathering on Rabi ul Awwal and on the day of the birth of our Prophet ﷺ.

Finally, Imam al-Bukhari in his book Al Adab al Mufrad dedicated an entire chapter for the subject of poetry. In one of the hadith, the Prophet ﷺ explicitly approved of poetry as a form of praise of Allah (i.e. dhikr & worship of Allah).

Al-Aswad ibn Suray’ said, “I was a poet and went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, ‘Shall I recite some praises I have written for my Lord?’ He said, ‘Your Lord loves praise,’ and did not say anything more.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 861]


Imam al-Bayhaqi (d. 458H) on the hadith of Nuzul


Buy book via: Sunnipubs  or  Meccabooks

Notable Points:

  • Imam al Bayhaqi was born 277 years prior to birth of Ibn Taymiyya.
  • His usage of the term “companions of hadith”, showing that Ashari school to which he belonged was a continuation of the Ahl al Hadith and not a separate sect as claimed by the neo-Salafis today.
  • His classification of two modes of interpretation i.e. tafwid and tawil.
  • His interpretation of Istiwa, Nuzul, Yad, Wajh, etc by detailed negation of any similarity with creation.

On appointing a day for remembering our Prophet ﷺ

It has been the practice of Muslim communities for a long period of history in appointing days for a gathering in remembrance events, personalities or matters relevant to Islam, such as the birth of Prophet ﷺ  on Rabi al Awwal, or the commemoration of Badr, or the lives of the saints & martyrs of their lands.

One of the evidences that such practice is not a heretical Bidah is from the practice of the Ansar of Medina.  Prior to the Hijra of the Prophet ﷺ to Medina as well as prior to the revelation of the obligatory Friday prayer, the Muslims of Medina wanted to appoint a day in which they could remember Allah and so they gathered together to fix a date. They agreed on Friday and thereby they used to gather together every Friday in Medina in the house of the sahabi As’ad ibn Zurarah (rad.) and pray and remember Allah there and even sacrifice sheep on that day.

Below are two narrations on this as quoted in Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s book Fath al-Bari:

قال عبد الله ابن الإمام أحمد في ((مسائله)) : ثنا أبي: ثنا اسماعيل –هو: ابن عليه -: ثنا ايوب، عن محمد بن سيرين، قال: نبئت أن الانصار قبل قدوم رسول الله – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – عليهم المدينة قالوا: لو نظرنا يوماً فاجتمعنا فيه، فذكرنا هذا الأمر الذي أنعم الله علينا به، فقالوا: يوم السبت، ثم قالوا: لا نجامع اليهود في يومهم، قالوا: يوم الأحد، قالوا: لا نجامع النصارى في يومهم. قالوا: فيوم العروبة: قال: وكانوا يسمون يوم الجمعة: يوم العروبة، فاجتمعوا في بيت أبي أمامة أسعد بن زرارة، فذبحت لهم شاةٌ، فكفتهم.

وروى عبدالرزاق في ((كتابه)) عم معمر، عن أيوب، عن ابن سيرين، قال: جمع أهل المدينة قبل أن يقدم رسول الله – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ -، وقبل أن تنزل الجمعة، وهم الذين سموها الجمعة، فقالت الأنصار: لليهود يومٌ يجتمعون فيه كل ستة أيامٍ، وللنصارى –أيضاً – مثل ذلك، فهلم فلنجعل يوماً نجتمع فيه، ونذكر الله عز وجل، ونصلي ونشكره –أو كما فقالوا -، فقالوا: يوم السبت لليهود، ويوم الأحد للنصارى، فاجعلوا يوم العروبة، وكانوا يسمون يوم الجمعة: يوم العروبة، فاجتمعوا إلى اسعد بن زرارة، فصلى بهم وذكرهم، فسموه: يوم الجمعة حين اجتمعوا اليه، فذبح أسعد بن زراره لهم شاة، فتغدوا وتعشوا من شاة واحدة ليلتهم، فأنزل الله بعد ذلك: {إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ} [الجمعة:9] .
فوقع في كلام الإمام أحمد: أن هذه هي الجمعة التي جمعها مصعب بن عميرٍ، وهي التي ذكرها كعب بن مالكٍ في حديثه، أنهم كانوا أربعين رجلاً.


Tafwid of Imam Mujir ad-Din al Hanbali (d. 927H)

Imam Mujir ad-Din al Ulaymi al Hanbali (d. 927H) comes from a notable family of Hanbali scholars as well as a descendant of Amirul Mu’mineen Umar bin al-Khattab (rad). Born in Ramla, the capital of Palestine in those days, he later moved to Bayt al Maqdis (Jerusalem) where he served as the Chief Hanbali Qadi.

Below quoted are few of his interpretations of the Quran from his tafsir work فتح الرحمن في تفسير القرآن , from which it will be clear to see the methodology of tafwid that he adopts with regards to that which is attributed to Allah, and its difference with modern day pseudo-Salafi sects or the Tayymiyun.

On Istawa

In commentary to the verse {ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ} [Q 7:54], he explains,

{ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ} استواءً يليقُ بعظمتِه بِلا كيفٍ، وهذا من المشكِلِ الذي يجبُ عندَ أهل السُّنَّةِ على الإنسانِ الإيمانُ به، ويَكِلُ العلمَ فيه إلى الله عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، وسُئِلَ الإمامُ مالكٌ رضي الله عنه عن الاستواءِ فقالَ: “الاستواءُ معلومٌ؛ يعني: في اللغة، والكيفُ مجهولٌ، والإيمانُ بهِ واجبٌ، والسؤالُ عنهُ بِدْعَةٌ” ، وسُئِل الإمامُ أحمدُ رضي الله عنه عن قوله تعالى: {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} [طه: 5]، فقال: “هُوَ كما أخبرَ، لا كما يخطرُ للبشَرِ” ، والعرشُ في اللغة: هو السريرُ، وخُصَّ العرشُ بالذكرِ تشريفًا له؛ إذ هو أعظمُ المخلوقات.


Rough translation:

” (ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ) Istawa that befits His Majesty without Howness, and in this intricacy/ambiguity it is necessary with Ahlus Sunnah for the people to have Iman in it, and relegate knowledge of it to Allah. Imam Malik said when asked about Istawa: “Istawa is known, meaning: in the language, and Howness in unknown, faith in it is obligatory, and questioning about this is an innovation. And Imam Ahmed said about the saying of Allah {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} [طه: 5]: “As He informed, (and) not what crosses the mind of humans”. And the (meaning of ) Arsh (throne) in the language: It is bed/couch, and the Arsh has been singled out in mentioning as a honor to Himself, because it the greatest of creation.”

and it gets even more clear, in commentary to the verse {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى}[Q 20:5],

{عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} استواء يليق بعظمته بلا كيف، وهذا من متشابه القرآن، نؤمن به، ولا نتعرض لمعناه، وقال الإمام مالك بن أنس رضي الله عنه لرجل مسألة عن الاستواء، فقال له مالك: “الاستواء معلوم -يعني: في اللغة-، والكيف مجهول، والسؤال عنه بدعة، وأظنك رجل سوء، أخرجوه عني”، فأدبر الرجل وهو يقول: يا أبا عبد الله لقد سألت فيها أهل العراق وأهل الشام، فما وفق فيها أحد توفيقك (1).
وسئل الإمام أحمد بن حنبل رضي الله عنه عن قوله: {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} فقال: “هو كما أخبر، لا كما يخطر للبشر”.
وتقدم الكلام على ذلك مستوفىً (2) في سورة الأعراف.


“{عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} Istawa that befits His Majesty without Howness. This is from the Mutashabiha (unclear/ambiguous verses) of the Quran, we believe in it, (however) we are not exposed to its meaning”.  After which he quotes the same above saying of Imam Malik and Imam Ahmed.

We see here how the methodology of Hanbali scholars with regards to such verses is no different to the Tafwid methodology that is adopted by Ashari & Maturidi schools. Also note how the saying of Imam Malik is interpreted in that when it said “its meaning is known” it means that the meaning is known in the language and not that the real meaning of the verse or when attributed to Allah is known. Rather, it is from the Mutashabiha verses.

On the verse {Do you feel secure (from) who (is) in the heaven}[Q 67:16]

{مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ} وهذا المحل من المتشابه الذي استأثر الله بعلمه، نؤمن به ولا نتعرض إلى معناه، ونكل العلم فيه إلى الله، قال ابن عباس: “أأمنتم عَذَابَ مَنْ في السماء إن عصيتموه”


“This is from the ambiguous/unclear (mutashabih) whose knowledge is with Allah alone, We believe in it and we are not exposed to its meaning, and we relegate its knowledge to Allah. Ibn Abbas said: “Do you feel secure of the torment from in the sky…”

Here again, the verse is explicitly stated as from the mutashabih.  Further more despite this tafwid the Imam also quotes a tawil from Ibn Abbas (rad.). That is, being on tafwid does not mean an absolute rejection of tawil and the scholars using tafwid had validated tawil when they found enough basis for it.

On the verse {Do they await but that Allah should come to them in covers of clouds} [Q 2:210]

والأَوْلى في هذه الآيةِ وفي ما شاكَلَها أن يؤمنَ الإنسانُ بها، ويُمِرَّها كما جاءت بلا كيفٍ، ويَكِلَ علمَها إلى الله سبحانه، وهو مذهبُ أئمةِ السلف وعلماءِ السنة، قال سفيانُ بنُ عُيينةَ: كلُّ ما وصف الله تعالى به نفسَه في كتابه، فتفسيرهُ قراءتُه، والسكوتُ عنهُ، ليسَ لأحدٍ أن يفسِّرَهُ إلا اللهُ ورسولهُ .


“Firstly in this verse and what is similar is for people to have faith in it, and to pass it as it has come without howness, and relegate knowledge of it to Allah, and this is the madhab of the Imams of the Salaf and scholars of Sunnah. Sufyan al-Thawri said: All that which Allah attributed to Himself in His book, its tafsir is its recitation, and silence about it, for no one can explain that except Allah and His Messenger.”

We see knowledge of the verse is relegated to Allah and His Messenger. If these verses and its meaning was no different to any other verse in the Quran as the neo-Salafis claim, then there would be no need specifically relegate meaning to Allah in this verse only.

On the verse {And your Lord has come}[Q 89:22]

{وَجَاءَ رَبُّكَ} [قال الإمام أحمد: معناه: جاء أمرُ ربك]


{And your Lord has come} Imam Ahmed said: meaning: command of your lord has come.

On the verse {Rather, both His hands are extended}[Q 5:64]

{بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ} وليسَ المرادُ حقيقةَ الجارحةِ المتركِّبَةِ؛ لأنه تعالى منزَّهٌ عن التركيبِ، وإنَّما هي صفةٌ من صفاتِ ذاتِه؛ كالسمعِ والبصرِ، قالَ جلَّ ذكرُه: {لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ} [ص: 75] , وقال – صلى الله عليه وسلم -: “كِلْتَا يَدَيْهِ يَمِينٌ”، واللهُ أعلمُ بصفاته، فعلى العبادِ فيها الإيمانُ والتسليمُ، وأَنْ يُمِرُّوها كما جاءتْ بلا كيفٍ؟


“{Rather, both His hands are extended} It does not mean in reality (Allah has) a limb superimposed because Allah is far above from being a composition. It is an attribute from the Attribute of His Self (Dhat), like His Hearing and Seeing. Allah said “Whom we created with both hands”[Q 38:75] and the Prophet said “both His hands are right”. And Allah knows best His attributes, what is required of (us) slaves is belief and acceptance, and to pass it as it has come without Howness”

On the verse {the heavens will be folded in His right hand}[Q 39:67]

{قَبْضَتُهُ} أي: في تصرفه، والمراد: الأرضون السبع؛ لقوله: (جَمِيعًا).  {يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَالسَّمَاوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ} أي: مجموعات بقدرته.


“{in His Grip} that is: in His disposition, …….{on the Day of the Resurrection and the heavens will be folded in His Right Hand} that is: collected with His Power.”

On the verse {the hand of Allah is over their hands}[Q 48:10]

{يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ} أي: حولُه وقُوَّتُه فوق حولهم وقوتهم؛ أي: في نصرك ونصرهم، وهذا تعديد نعمة عليهم مستقبَلة مخبر بها.


“{the hands of Allah is over their hands}: That is: His Might and His Power is above their might and their power, that is: in help and victory. This is the mentioning of blessing on them…”

On the verse {bounty is in the hand of Allah} [Q 57:29]

{وَأَنَّ الْفَضْلَ بِيَدِ اللَّهِ} في تصرفه وملكه


“{and that the bounty is in the hand of Allah} in His disposal and His possession”

On the verse {Sailing under Our eyes} [Q 54:10]

{تَجْرِي بِأَعْيُنِنَا} أي: بحفظنا وحمايتنا


“{Sailing under Our eyes} That is: under our guarding and protection”

On the verse {The Day the shin will be uncovered}[Q 68:42]

{يُكْشَفُ عَنْ سَاقٍ} أي: يشتد الأمر، قال ابن عباس: “هو أشدُّ ساعة في القيامة”، يقال: كشفت الحرب عن ساقها؛ أي: شدتها.


“{The Day the shin will be uncovered} that is: command intensifies. Ibn Abbas said: It is the most intense hour in Resurrection. ….”

Allah is not a body

In commentary to the verse {Allah-us-Samad}[Q 112:2] he says:

لأنّه تعالى ليس بجسم ولا مركب


“The Most High is not a body nor a composite”


Salafi creed: God has a literal left and right

The late Salafi leader Ibn Baz in one of his fatwa explains two authentic narrations one of which mention the “yad”(lit. hand) of Allah as being a left and a right, and the other which apparently seem to contradict that by mentioning both as right.

Ibn Baz said:

“The Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) and Hadiths are intended to emphasize that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has a Right Hand and a Left Hand in view of the literal designation, but both of them are blessedly Right Hands in merit, without imperfection in any manner.”


According to this “Salafi” creed, left and right are literally attributed to Allah. That is, the Salafiyya not only confine Allah with a direction of above (or below) but also with directions of left and right. Noting also that this is another example of Salafi figurative interpretation when it suits them, in this case explaining figuratively the part of the hadith that says “both His Hands are Right”.

Compare this creed to how renowned authoritative commentators of the Quran have explained the following verse of the Quran that relates to the same theme and subject in these hadiths:

{ They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal, while the earth entirely will be [within] His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right hand. Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.} [ Quran 39:67]

Imam Ibn Jarir al Tabari in his commentary to this verse initially mentions several narrations that are related to this verse and later says


وقال بعض أهل العربية من أهل البصرة { والأرْضُ جَمِيعاً قَبْضَتُهُ يَوْمَ القيامَةِ والسَّمَوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ } يقول في قدرته نحو قوله:
وَما مَلَكَتْ أيمَانُكُمْ }
أي وما كانت لكم عليه قدرة وليس الملك لليمين دون سائر الجسد، قال: وقوله { قَبْضَتُهُ } نحو قولك للرجل: هذا في يدك وفي قبضتك.

والأخبار التي ذكرناها عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وعن أصحابه وغيرهم، تشهد على بطول هذا القول.

Rough translation:

“Some of the Arabs from Basrah (in Iraq) has said (about the verse) {while the earth entirely will be [within] His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right hand} in His Power like His Word {those whom your right hands possess}[Q 4:36] that is, what you have in your power, and not (meaning) just in possession by only the right hand without the rest of the body. And His Word {His grip} is similar to a person saying: This is in your hands and in your grip.

And all the reports that we have mentioned from the Prophet salatonmassenger and His companions and others, attest to the strength of this saying.”

As we see here, Imam al-Tabari rather than indulging in affirming a literal left and right, instead explains the verse {heavens will be folded in His right hand} using the verse {those whom your right hands possess} that it means ability/power.

And this explanation was common among many mufassirs, for example

Imam Abu Layth al-Samarqandi (d. 375H) in his tafsir says:

ثم قال { وَٱلأَرْضُ جَمِيعـاً قَبْضَـتُهُ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ } أي في قدرته وملكه وسلطانه، لا سلطان لأحد عليها، وهذا كقوله
{ مَـٰلِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ }
[الفاتحة: 4] وقال القتبي: في قبضـته: أي في ملكه نحو قولك للرجل: هذا في يدكَ وقبضتك، أي في ملكك { وَٱلسَّمَـٰوٰتُ مَطْوِيَّـٰتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ } أي بقدرته، ويقال في الآية تقديم معناه، والسموات مطويات بيمينه يوم القيامة أي في يوم القيامة، ويقال بيمينه، يعني عن يمين العرش، وقال القتبي: بيمينه أي بقدرته، نحو قوله:
{ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـٰنُهُمْ }
[الأحزاب: 50] يعني: ما كانت لهم عليه قدرة، وليس الملك لليمين دون الشمال، ويقال اليمين هاهنا: الحلف، لأنه حلف بعزته وجلاله ليطوين السموات والأرض،


“Then He said {the earth entirely will be [within] His grip on the Day of Resurrection} that is, in his Power and His Possession and His Authority, …..Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276H) said: In His Grip: that is in His Possession like the saying of the person: This is in his hands and his grip, meaning to say, in his possession, {and the heavens will be folded in His right hand} that is His Power, …….. Ibn Qutaybah said: His right hands meaning: His Power, like His Word {those whom your right hands possess} meaning: that which is in your power, and does not mean possessed by the right hand without the left hand…..”

Imam Abu Ishaq al Thalabi (d. 427H) in his tafsir said:

وقيل: هو معنى القوة، كقول الشاعر:
تلقاها عرابة باليمين


“It is said: It means Power….”

Imam Abul Hassan al Mawardi (d. 450H) in his tafsir says:

{ والسموات مطويات بيمينه } فيه وجهان:أحدهما: بقوته لأن اليمين القوة.

الثاني: في ملكه كقوله
وماملكت أيمانكم }
[النساء: 36].


“{the heavens are rolled in His right hand} has two views:

One of them: His Strength because the right (signifies) strength

Second: In His Possession (like) His Word {those whom your right hands possess} [4:36]”

In tafsir of Al-Khazin (d. 741H), Imam Abu Sulayman al Khattabi (d. 386H) is quoted as saying:

قال أبو سليمان الخطابي ليس فيما يضاف إلى الله عز وجل من صفة اليدين شمال لأن الشمال محمل النقص والضعف وقد روى كلتا يديه يمين وليس عندنا معنى اليد الجارحة إنما هي صفة جاء بها التوقيف فنحن نطلقها على ما جاءت ولا نكيفها وننتهي إلى حيث انتهى الكتاب والأخبار المأثورة الصحيحة وهذا مذهب أهل السنة والجماعة وقال سفيان بن عيينة كل ما وصف الله به نفسه في كتابه فتفسيره تلاوته والسكوت عليه.


“Abu Sulayman al Khattabi said, Allah has not been attributed with left hand because left hand implies deficiency and weakness, it was narrated “both his hands are right” it does not mean al yad (lit. hands) is a limb, (rather) it is an attribute that has come and and we say as it has come without likening and we end where ends the Book and Sahih narrations. This is the madhab of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamah. Sufyan bin Uyanah said: “All that which Allah attributed to His Self in His Book, its interpretation is its recitation (tilawat) and be silent about it (beyond that)””

In the tafsir of Sultan al Ulema Izz ad-Din Ibn Abd as-Salam (d. 660H),

{ قَبْضَتُهُ } أي هي في مقدروه كالذي يقبض القابض عليه في قبضته { بِيَمِينِهِ } بقوته لأن اليمين القوة، أو في ملكه لقوله
{ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ }
[النساء: 3].


“{in His grip} that is in His Power like the one caught clutched in His Grip {in His right hand} in His Strength because the right (signifies) strength, or in His Possession like His Word {or those whom your right hands possess}[Q 4:3]”

Imam al-Qurtubi (d. 671H), in his tafsir,

واليمين في كلام العرب قد تكون بمعنى القدرة والملك؛ ومنه قوله تعالى:
{ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ }
[النساء: 3] يريد به الملك؛ وقال
{ لأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِٱلْيَمِينِ }
[الحاقة: 45] أي بالقوّة والقدرة أي لأخذنا قوته وقدرته.


“And right hand in the Arabic language could be in the meaning of Power and Possession, (like) in the saying of Most High {or those whom your right hands possess} [Q 4:3] intending in his possession, and (Allah Most High) said {We would have seized him by the right hand} [Q 69:45] that is to say, with strength and power, that is (the meaning of the verse is ) We would have seized with strength and power. “

Similarly in Tafsir al Jalalayn:

{ قَبْضَتُهُ } أي مقبوضة له: أي في ملكه وتصرفه { يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ وَٱلسَّمَٰوٰتُ مَطْوِيَّٰتٌ } مجموعات { بِيَمِينِهِ } بقدرته


“{in His grasp} in other words it shall be grasped by Him: meaning that it will be in His possession and at His disposal {on the Day of Resurrection and the heavens will be rolled up} brought together {in His right hand} by His power.”

Differentiating the Scholars of the Religion from Scholars of Evil

Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye (d. 1817) and Imam Abd al Kareem ibn Muhammed al-Maghali (d. 909H) are both considered as revivers of Islam in West & Central Africa (formerly known as “Bilad as-Sudan”) . In the book “Siraaj ‘l-Ikhwaan” by Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye (available via siiasi.org), there is a chapter on distinction between righteous and evil scholars which is a useful piece of information for our time.



Some of the notable points:

  • Two necessary characteristic of a righteous scholar to look out for: Ilm and Taqwa
  • Prohibition of following and asking from those who do not possess Ilm and Taqwa nor from those whose Ilm & Taqwa are unclear and not established.
  • The enormity of evil that can come as a result of an evil scholar. And hence when it is established and clear that a person claiming to be scholar is lacking in Ilm and Taqwa then staying away from him become obligatory and warning against him become obligatory to those whom forbidding evil is obligatory.
  • Characteristics of the reviver of Islam who come in every century is such that in terms of commanding good, forbidding evil, rectifying the affairs of the people, spreading justice amongst them, assisting the truth against falsehood and assisting the oppressed against the oppressors, that they are contrary and unique when compared to remainder of the scholars of the time.
  • And the above characteristics are what makes them Ghareeb (strange), which is a description that has come in the hadith. Their “strangeness” is not because of some unheard doctrine they have come up with nor based on mere rejection of Muslim majority just so that he can appear as being “different”. Nor is it referring to takfiris of our time who do not posses even elementary levels of ilm and taqwa to start with, and yet consider themselves as “Ghuraba” (strangers).
  • Furthermore the reviviers are a remedy for the Ummah and despite opposition they might face during their life, they at the end become successful, recognized and agreed among Muslims as revivers of Islam and fruits of their efforts seen, as opposed to someone who comes with a heterodox doctrine rejected & remaining rejected by Muslims or someone who opposes the Ummah based on ignorance and desires.

           Moreover it is to be noted that “strangers” are individual revivers of Islam and not a separate sect of it own. The characteristic of being “strange” is an explicit characteristic of the Awliya of Allah as mentioned in the hadiths (quoting from Gibril Foud Haddad):

Narrated respectively by Abu Hurayra and Abu Malik al-Ash`ari:

[Abû Hurayra:] The Prophet said: “Truly there are servants, among the servants of Allâh, that are not Prophets but whom the Prophets and martyrs yearn to be like.” Someone asked: “Who are they so that we may love them?” He said: “They are a folk who loved one another with the light of Allâh, without kinship nor affiliation. Their faces are light on pulpits of light. They shall not fear when all people fear, nor shall they grieve when all people grieve.” Then he recited: {The Friends of Allâh! Truly no fear shall there be for them, nor shall they grieve} (10:62).

[Abû Mâlik:] When the Prophet finished his prayer he turned facing the people and said: “O people! Listen to this, understand it, and know it. Allâh has servants who are neither Prophets nor martyrs and whom the Prophets and martyrs yearn to be like, due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allâh.
” One of the Bedouin Arabs who came from among the most isolated of people twisted his hand at the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allâh! People from humankind who are neither Prophets nor martyrs and yet the Prophets and the martyrs yearn to be like them due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allâh? Describe them for us!” The face of the Prophet showed delight at the question and he said:
“They are of the strangers from here and there. They frequent this tribe or that without belonging to any of them. They do not have family connections with each other. They love one another for the sake of Allâh. They are of pure intent towards one another. On the Day of Resurrection Allâh shall place for them pedestals of light upon which He shall seat them, and He will turn their faces and clothes into light. On the Day of Resurrection the people will be terrified but not those. They are {the Friends of Allâh upon whom fear comes not, nor do they grieve} (10:62).”

[Narrated from Abû Hurayra by Ibn Hibbân (2:332-334 #573) with a sound chain according to Shaykh Shu`ayb al-Arna’ût, and al-Nasâ’î in al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (6:362 #11153), al-Tabarî in his Tafsîr (11:132), and al-Mundhirî in al-Targhîb (=4:20); from Abû Mâlik al-Ash`arî by Ahmad, al-Tabarânî, and Abû Ya`lâ with a chain of trustworthy narrators [except for Shahr ibn Hawshab who is mostly reliable]; also by al-Baghawî in Sharh al-Sunna (13:50 #3464) and al-Tabarî in his Tafsîr (11:132)]; from Abû al-Dardâ’ by al-Tabarânî with a fair chain according to al-Mundhirî]; and from `Amr ibn `Abasa al-Sulamî with a chain of narrators considered trustworthy, all three gradings according to al-Haythamî (10:276-277, 10:77); from `Umar by Abû Dâwûd with a chain of sound narrators, Abû Nu`aym in the Hilya (1985 ed. 1:5) with a good chain as per al-Arna’ût, and al-Tabarî in his Tafsîr (11:132); from Ibn `Umar by al-Hâkim (4:170-171 sahîh, confirmed by al-Dhahabî); and from Abû Umâma by al-Tabarânî with a good chain according to al-Mundhirî (=4:20) and al-Haytamî (10:277); also by Ibn `Asâkir, Ibn Abî al-Dunyâ in Kitâb al-Ikhwan, Ibn Abî Hâtim, and Ibn Mardûyah.]

As seen here, “strangers” are individuals and not a whole sect or party of people and they are individuals who have reached high spiritual stations and not laymen calling themselves “Ghuraba”. Also notable from this narration is that the “strangers” are distinguished from martyrs.

  • It is obligatory to seek out, rely and support these specific scholars of the religion who have these characteristic from from among the rest of the general righteous ulema.
  • Finally, Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye (r) mentions elsewhere in this book with respect to duties of a righteous ruler:


Imam al-Ajurri (d. 320) on Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamah

The early jurist and hadith scholar Imam Abu Bakr Muhammed bin Hussein al-Ajurri (d. 320H), in his commentary to the hadith foretelling the division of Ummah into 73 sects from which one of them is the saved sect, says the following:


قَالَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ: فَالْمُؤْمِنُ الْعَاقِلُ يَجْتَهِدُ أَنْ يَكُونَ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْمِلَّةِ النَّاجِيَةِ بِاتِّبَاعِهِ لِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، وَسُنَنِ رَسُولِهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَسُنَنِ أَصْحَابِهِ رَحْمَةُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَسُنَنِ التَّابِعِينَ بَعْدَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ، وَقَوْلِ أَئِمَّةِ الْمُسْلِمينَ مِمَّنْ لَا يُسْتَوْحَشُ مِنْ ذِكْرِهِمْ، مِثْلُ سُفْيَانَ الثَّوْرِيِّ، وَالْأَوْزَاعِي، وَمَالِكِ بْنِ أَنَسٍ، وَالشَّافِعِيِّ، وَأَحْمَدَ بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ، وَأَبِي عُبَيْدٍ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ سَلَّامٍ، وَمَنْ كَانَ عَلَى طَرِيقِهِمْ مِنَ الشِّيُوخِ، فَمَا أَنْكَرُوهُ أَنْكَرْنَاهُ، وَمَا قَبِلُوهُ وَقَالُوا بِهِ قَبِلْنَاهُ وَقُلْنَا بِهِ، وَنَبَذْنَا مَا سِوَى ذَلِكَ


Rough translation:
“The believer strives to be from this saved sect by following the book of Allah Almighty, and the Sunnah of Prophet of Allah salatonmassenger, and the Sunnah of the Sahabah may Allah have mercy on them, and the Sunnah of the tabieen after them in good, and the saying of the Imams of the Muslims …such as Sufyan al-Thawri, Al Awzai, Malik bin Anas, Al Shafii, Ahmed bin Hanbal, Abu Ubaid al-Qasim bin Salam, and be on the ways of the Shuyukh, forbid what they forbid, and accept and say what they accept and say, and abandon anything besides it.”
As one can see, path of the saved sect or Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah is not limited to “following the Quran and Sunnah”  but in following the Quran, Prophet salatonmassenger, Sahabah, Tabiin, as well as the Mujtahid Imams of the Muslims.

Takfir of Asharis by the Wahhabi Movement


The text quoted is from the infamous book “ad-Durar us-Sanniyyah fil-Ajwibatil-Najdiyyah”, which is a compilation of Wahhabi history and thoughts by their scholar Ibn Qasim an-Najdi (d. 1973),

وهذه الطائفة: التي تنتسب إلى أبي الحسن الأشعري ، وصفوا رب العالمين ، بصفات المعدوم والجماد؛ فلقد أعظموا الفرية على الله ، وخالفوا أهل الحق من السلف ، والأئمة ، وأتباعهم؛ وخالفوا من ينتسبون إليه ، فإن أبا الحسن الأشعري ، صرح في كتابه: الإبانة ، والمقالات ، بإثبات الصفات؛ فهذه الطائفة المنحرفة عن الحق ، قد تجردت شياطينهم لصد الناس عن سبيل الله ، فجحدوا توحيد الله في الإلَهية ، وأجازوا الشرك الذي لا يغفره الله ، فجوزوا: أن يعبد غيره من دونه ، وجحدوا توحيد صفاته بالتعطيل .
(ص211) فالأئمة من أهل السنة ، وأتباعهم ، لهم المصنفات المعروفة ، في الرد على هذه الطائفة ، الكافرة المعاندة ، كشفوا فيها كل شبهة لهم ، وبينوا فيها الحق الذي دل عليه كتاب الله ، وسنة رسوله وما عليه سلف الأمة ، وأئمتها من كل إمام رواية ودراية .
ومن له نهمة في طلب الأدلة على الحق ، ففي كتاب الله ، وسنة رسوله ، ما يكفي ويشفي؛ وهما سلاح كل موحد ، ومثبت؛ لكن كتب أهل السنة ، تزيد الراغب ، وتعينه على الفهم؛ وعندكم من مصنفات شيخنا رحمه الله ، ما يكفي مع التأمل؛فيجب عليكم هجر أهل البدع ، والإنكار عليهم .

Sighted from: https://twitter.com/a_ttass/status/777434718832824320

Here as highlighted,  the Asharis are being described as committing “shirk” and “worship of other than Allah” and that they are “Kafir”.