A Motto From Our Masters – “I Do Not Know”

Cautioning the Student in Issuing Legal Rulings

Masters And Millennials (Twelve) by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the twelfth part of a series of articles that are based on al-Fawa’id al-Mukhtarah, one of the seminal works of the great scholar al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. The book focuses on a range of topics relevant to daily life and modern challenges for Muslims living in the West. In particular, this series is useful for anyone on the path of knowledge or seeking scholarship. The article emphasizes the care & caution required in issuing legal rulings. This can be applied to other facets of our lives by simply adopting the phrase I don’t know if we are unsure, for not knowing something does not lower one’s status.


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Iftaa – the issuing of legal verdicts – is generally left for senior scholars who have attained a level of knowledge that enables them to give correct guidance on what is halal and haram, and therefore they are able to answer questions from the laity. However, many young students of knowledge hasten to answer such questions. This often stems from a problem in the lower self, which causes the person to desire to be known for what he has learned.

Habib Zayn refers to the salaf of the sadah al Ba‘Alawi. He says they shied away from three things, namely qada (delivering judgments), fatwa (issuing legal verdicts), and imamah (being an imam of a masjid or community). They only wanted to please Allah and were not concerned about whether people perceived them as persons of knowledge or leadership. They were focused solely on their relationship with Allah.

Habib Zain mentions a narration, which is insightful although it is not very reliable: The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The bravest among you to issue a fatwa without fulfilling the requirements for doing so will be the bravest of you to enter the fire”.

Sayyidina ‘Ali came across a judge and asked him if he knew the nasikh (the abrogating text) and the mansookh (the text that is abrogated) in the narrations of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). He said he did not know. So Sayyidina ‘Ali said, “You are destroyed, and you are destroying others”.

Many scholars say that if one is asked a question and three days have elapsed since one has read the answer to the question, one should not issue a fatwa without checking the answer. Whoever has taught a class and has given the students incorrect knowledge should hasten to correct it.

Imam Malik said, “I did not issue a fatwa until seventy people who have reached the status of issuing fatwas testified that I am a person who is capable of issuing fatwas.”

We should note the wariness of the scholars of the past to issue fatwas and compare this to the eagerness of the young contemporary scholars to give answers and argue with muftis.

A man once came to ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas to ask him a question, but ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas was praying. So he asked one of the students of ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas: “Something exited from my private parts; do I have to perform a ghusl?” The student replied that a ghusl is compulsory. When Ibn ‘Abbas finished praying, he said, “Catch up with the man and tell him Ibn ‘Abbas asks whether the substance exited with or without enjoyment.” The man answered that it came out without enjoyment. So Ibn ‘Abbas said a ghusl is not compulsory. Then he took the student to task and reprimanded him severely. He said, “Everything has a pillar, and the pillar of this religion is fiqh. One jurist has a more intense effect on shaytan than a thousand worshipers”.

When Sayyidina Abu Bakr narrated from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), he became nervous and shaky. He began to sweat because he was afraid that he would narrate incorrectly. So he ended by saying, “Or something like this”.

As students of knowledge, we must develop such thoroughness. We must not show off. We must realize that our knowledge is but a drop in the ocean compared to the knowledge of the great scholars in the world and our teachers.

We must learn to say, “I don’t know”. ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas said a man should utter that which he has learned, and a man who has not studied must say, “Allahu a’lam” (Allah knows best). When Sayyidina Ja’far al-Sadiq was asked a question to which he did not know the answer, he said, “la adri” (I do not know).

If you say you know people will continue asking you until you do not know, and if you say you do not know, people will continue teaching you until you know. The key to learning is to acknowledge that you do not know. You should enter a class as an empty cup waiting to be filled.

Imam al-Nawawi said it was the belief of the scholars that when a scholar says he does not know it does not lower his status in any way. Instead, it is proof that he has a high status, taqwa and perfection in knowledge. To say one does not know something indicates that one is a person of knowledge because one who does not have knowledge does not know that he does not know something.

Imam Shafi narrates that a delegation came to Madinah with forty-eight difficult questions and presented them to Imam Malik. He answered sixteen of them and said of the other thirty-two that he did not know the answers to them. So one of his students said, “O Imam, these people have come from afar to ask the Imam of Madinah. How can I tell them you say you do not know?” So Imam Malik repeated, “Tell them Malik does not know”, and he saw no fault in doing so.

It has been reported that Ibn Mas‘ud and Ibn ‘Abbas have said: “If a person issues a fatwa and answers every question as if he knows everything, this is a sign that he is mad.”

 

We should heed three important points that emanate from these narrations. Firstly, the station of issuing fatwas is not for everyone. Only a person who has attained a certain level of knowledge and has received permission from his teachers to answer questions from the public should present himself as able to answer such questions. Secondly, one who errs in his teachings should hasten to correct himself publicly. Thirdly, the great scholars of the past were able to say, “I do not know”. Likewise, we should learn to say we do not know.

May Allah grant us these qualities, Ameen.


Author’s Biography

 

Al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt is a member of the Prophet’s family. His lineage goes through many pious forebears, such as al-Faqih al-Muqqadam and al-Imam Ahmad bin ʻIsa al-Muhajir, through Sayyidina Husayn to the Prophet Muhammad. He is an authority on Shafi’i fiqh and tasawwuf. From a young age, he sat in the company of the pious and studied with various scholars and institutes. His most senior teacher was Habib ‘Alawi bin ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Aydarus bin Shihab. He was also taught by Habib Ja‘far bin Ahmad al-‘Aydarus and Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz. Habib Zayn taught the Islamic sciences in Bayda’ for thirty years. Thereafter he moved to Madinah and opened a ribat that attracted many students before it was forced to close. He was very attached to his wife, as our beloved Prophet was to Sayyidah Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her), and was saddened when she passed away a few years ago.

Masters and Millennials: The Importance of Teaching One’s Family

The Importance of Teaching One’s Family

The Obligations and How to Fulfill Them by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the tenth part of a series of articles that are based on al-Fawa’id al-Mukhtarah, one of the seminal works of the great scholar al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. The book focuses on a range of topics relevant to daily life and modern challenges for Muslims living in the West. This article is a summary of the tenth episode of the podcast – The Masters and Millennials by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan. What kind of importance does teaching our spouses and our children Islam have? This article addresses this question and presents an example from our scholars on how to teach our children. This article also discusses what we should be teaching our children.


In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

What is the importance of teaching our family?

Teaching our family is fulfilling Allah’s command

Allah Most High said: “O those who believe, save yourselves and your families from a blazing fire” (Qur’an, 66:6). Sayyidina Ali (Allah be pleased with him), commenting on this verse, said “Teach yourself and teach your families good. Good is that which will save them from the fire of Hell.” Ibn ‘Abbas commented as follows on the same verse: “Grant them knowledge of fiqh and teach them in general and instill adab (good conduct) in them.” Teaching ourselves and our families Islam is no less than a command from Allah.

 

The Prophet warns against leaving one’s family ignorant

Habib Zayn bin Sumayt dedicates a chapter to teaching families and children under the broader theme of da‘wah. In it he refers to a hadith that Imam Ghazzali mentions in Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din: “No one meets Allah with a sin greater than the ignorance of his family.” We should know, then, that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) has emphasized the importance of teaching one’s family.

 

Teaching is the parent’s responsibility towards the child

Habib Ahmad bin Umar bin Sumayt said that, like children showing kindness and respect to their parents, parents must also show kindness and respect to their children. It is compulsory for both children and parents to do so. The best way for a parent to do this is to teach the child and grant it a proper upbringing.

A hadith of Sayyidina Umar provides support for this. A man complained to Sayyidina Umar that his son was disobedient, so Sayyidina ‘Umar called the son and took him to task for his disobedience. The child asked whether the child also has rights over his parents. Sayyidina Umar replied, “Yes, indeed.” The child asked what those rights are, so he said they are that the father selects a good mother for the child, that he chooses a good name for him, and that he teaches him the Qur’an. The child said his father had not done any of those things. His mother was a fire-worshipper, and his father had given him the name of a bug or a beetle, and he had never taught him a word of the Qur’an. So Sayyidina ‘Umar said to the father, “You have come to me complaining about the crimes of your son. You have wronged him before he could have wronged you, and you have done badly to him before he could have done harm to you.”

 

Examples from the Lives of the Scholars

The Haba’ib give us examples. They are men of our time from whom we can draw guidance and light. Shaykh Muhammad al-Majdub said his father nurtured him. When he was a young boy his father said at the beginning of a month, “Bring me the book of Allah.” So he did so, and his father said, “You must take a covenant with me over this book that you will not be disobedient to Allah for the whole month.” He thought a month of obedience would be easy, so he took the covenant with his father and he fulfilled it. The next month his father asked him to take another covenant, and he fulfilled that. His father continued doing this every month until he was raised to never disobey Allah, until a door connecting him to the Prophet opened, and he met him in a conscious state. His relationship with the Prophet reached the stage that, whatever he did in life, he did through the Prophet’s instruction and guidance.

 

What to Teach our Children

We should begin their education with “la illaha illa Allah,” and our children are never too young for us to teach them the recitation of the Qur’an. We should also teach them the remembrance (salawat). It is very easy to do so. We can also play qasa’id (odes mentioning Allah and the Prophet’s names) so that the children will quickly become accustomed to the names of Allah and the Prophet. Then we should teach them how to read Arabic and recite and memorize the Qur’an.

Thereafter, we should teach them du‘as. A good reference point is The Glorious Treasure by Sayyidi Habib Umar. It contains many supplications. If we are able to teach our children these supplications, we will have done a great thing. This is the best way to call our children to Allah.

The next useful text is al-Risalah al-Jami‘ah by Ahmad bin Zayn al-Habshi, translated as “The Essentials of Islam.” It covers the essentials in Shafi’i fiqh that every Muslim should know. For Hanafis, there is the text by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, The Absolute Essentials of Islam.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, we should call our children and family to Allah before becoming a scholar and a caller to Allah outside the home. If we teach our children to this level mentioned previously, we will have complied with our compulsory duty to teach our children the deen.

 

 

Author’s Biography

Al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt is a member of the Prophet’s family. His lineage goes through many pious forebears, such as al-Faqih al-Muqqadam and al-Imam Ahmad bin ʻIsa al-Muhajir, through Sayyidina Husayn to the Prophet Muhammad. He is an authority on Shafi’i fiqh and tasawwuf. From a young age, he sat in the company of the pious and studied with various scholars and institutes. His most senior teacher was Habib ‘Alawi bin ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Aydarus bin Shihab. He was also taught by Habib Ja‘far bin Ahmad al-‘Aydarus and Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz. Habib Zayn taught the Islamic sciences in Bayda’ for thirty years. Thereafter he moved to Madinah and opened a ribat that attracted many students before it was forced to close. He was very attached to his wife, as our beloved Prophet was to Sayyidah Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her), and was saddened when she passed away a few years ago.

 

The Greatness of The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Question: Is it correct aqidah to say that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is the greatest and the most superior of all creation including the angels and that no creation in the universe can ever supersede him in rank and status? Kindly answer this in the light of the difference in opinion that exists amongst the scholars as to who has superiority over the other, Prophets or Angels. From what I understand, no definitive position can be taken on this matter.But when it comes to the personality of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), can it be definitively and authoritatively said that he is the best and the greatest of all creation?

Answer:
Wa alaykum as-Salam,
Shukran for your question.The ruling
There is a consensus among the scholars that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the greatest of all Allah’s creation, even greater than the throne of Allah Most High. Scholars that quoted a consensus on this include:1. Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
2. Qadi Iyad
3. Imam Nawawi
4. Shams al-Ramli
5. Ibn Hajar al-HaytamiAccordingly, absolutely no creation can compare to the rank that Allah afforded His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace).Textual support
Below are some of the textual evidence upon where the scholarly consensus is found. Please note that this a non-exhaustive list, as the multiple narrations that establish his (Allah bless him and give him peace) merit and rank have filled the pages of many amazing works. One such book that we strongly encourage you to study is “Our Master Muhammad” by Shaykh Abdullah Siraj al-Din.

“Allah sent down the Book and Wisdom to you and taught you what you did not previously know. Allah’s favor to you was immense” [Quran, 4:113].

“By your life! They were wondering blindly in their drunkenness!” [Quran, 15:72].

He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I am the master of the children of Adam without boasting, the first one for whom the earth will open up (resurrection), the first intercessor and in my hands will be the Banner of Praise under which will stand Adam and all those who came after him” [Ibn Hibban].

He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Adam and all (Prophets) who came after him will be under my banner on the day of Judgement [Musnad Ahmad].

And Allah knows best.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Assisting in Sin

Question: I made a mistake around 6 months ago by assisting in grave sin. My class gifted my teacher an idol (she is a hindu) and everyone had to contribute and so did I. I have recently been made aware that helping in sin means that you have sinned too and that I have to repent and advise them to not do the sin.  If I repent and take my shahada again and do not advise those involved (the teacher and other students) of their sin, will this be sufficient? Please do reply, I have been feeling very distressed. Thank you.

Answer:
Assalamu alaykum
Thank you for writing to us. The first part of the advice you received is sound. It is impermissible to assist someone in sin, especially in the sin of ascribing partners to Allah. In surah al-Ma’idah, Allah said, “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty” [Qur’an, 5:2].
Repentance
We do appreciate that your intention was not to assist anyone in sin or shirk, and that you merely joined the class in purchasing a gift for your teacher. However, it is crucial that you repent to Allah that He pardons you and overlooks your error. We are all Allah’s slaves, and we all sadly do things that may anger Him. And Allah loves nothing more than His slave turning to Him, seeking His pardon, knowing that none forgives our sins save Him High and Mighty.What about the effects of sin?
As for advising your teacher regarding her sin of worshipping an idol, this will not be necessary. The fact that Muslims reject the worship of idols is well known to your teacher, whether you inform her of this or not. Also, the idea of her worshipping an idol that you partially purchased will be erased from your account, if your repentance was sincere.Mulla Ali Qari, quoting ibn Hajar, raised the question of whether the repentance of someone who spread misguidance will be accepted even though the effects of his misguidance still exist. He answered by saying that the person’s repentance will be accepted and that he will not be held accountable for the impact of his wrongdoing [Mirqat al-Mafatih].

And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Relationship with Allah

Question:
For the last few years as my desire to be closer to Allah has increased, my spirituality in Salat and general recitation of Quraan has decreased! Earlier, from time to time, I would have a salaat in which I would feel very connected to Allah, and tears would flow. The same would happen when I would be sitting reading Quraan. Now it has been a couple of years since I had that feeling, and my eyes have not wetted. I am now afraid that as I am nearing the end of my life, I am ending up becoming mechanically better but worse off spiritually.

I feel it was my bad mind and tongue that did me in. I had a lot of bad, angry, and vicious arguments with Salafis, and others. It would keep me angry inside for days. I thought and said many many things that I later regretted. Shaytan deceived me and led my tongue down the wrong path. These things happened off and on over more than a couple of years. I should have just stayed quiet and not engaged in anything. I feel convinced that I have lost all the good deeds I have ever done. I look back at my life and only see mountains of sins piled up to the sky.

Besides the arguments, I have done lots of wrongs in my life. I have routinely wronged everyone around me in all kinds of ways. I get doubts, suspicions, and bad thoughts about other people all the time. Often for selfish or even petty reasons I find myself wishing bad for some others or their families, even some who have passed away years ago, even people from whom I don’t expect to talk or see them ever again in this life. I am not a person who holds grudges and acts on such things. I always unconditionally forgive all who did bad to me so that Allah, who is Most Forgiving, will forgive me completely too.

As I am getting closer to my older age, and my beard and hair almost went white, I am constantly in a situation that is greatly distressing. I don’t want to reach the end of my life with all these bad problems. Please guide me on how to fix it.

The one great silver lining I see, Alhamdulillah for His Mercy on me, that I don’t have any doubts in any matters of deen like aqeedah and ahkaam, I may lack knowledge in many matters, and I may be lax in many practices, but I don’t doubt what Allah has sent us through His Messenger (Peace be upon him) Alhamdulillah my heart is completely at ease with it, I love Allah and I love His Messenger, and the Quran, and the believers. May Allah forgive my failure and lapses, and make me improve up in whatever I am lacking in the deen. Ameen. Please tell me how I can fix this situation. Please, regularly make lots of duas for me.

Answer:
Assalamu alaykum

Thank you for writing to us.

Our relationship with Allah
Drawing close to Allah is our primary reason for existence. We come from Allah, and to Him, we shall return. The reality, however, is that drawing close to him is not an easy or straightforward journey.  In short, there are two primary challenges.

The first one is that this world is full of tests. Many of our pious predecessors stated that faith increases and decreases. Thus, in our journey to Allah, we encounter hurdles. Sin is one of the greatest of these hurdles. It may distract us or lengthen our journey, but the journey continues. Many a wrongdoer has become one of the great saints after repenting and persevering. Read the biography of Bishr al-Hafi – a transgressor who became one of the greatest saints. Persevere and know that Allah is aware of your efforts and worries.

The second challenge is that we are not in control. The matter of being close to Allah and connected to Him is not in our hands. Yes, we must strive to perfect our way. We must increase in worship and devotion. We must abstain from all that causes Allah’s displeasure. We must do all of these, but we are not in control. Allah described those who are close and present with Him in surah Waqi’ah as muqarrabun – those who are drawn close. They strive to attain closeness to Allah, but, ultimately, Allah draws us closer to Him. Again, persevere and when nothing else in existence is more dear to you than proximity to Allah, wait for Him to draw you near.

I have shared these two points in relation to your challenge for the following reasons.

Firstly, do not think that your wrongs are so great that you cannot attain pardon or forgiveness. Know that Allah’s Mercy is greater.

Secondly, desire Allah’s closeness more than anything and you will achieve it. Be more focused on the fact that Allah is pleased with your good deeds and actions than on whether you are shedding tears or having any other spiritual experiences. Spiritual experiences are peripheral; the objective is for Allah to be pleased.

Lastly, there is nothing that assists one more in gaining closeness to Allah than being connected to the pious. Search for them, and keep their company.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true” (Qur’an, 9:119).

Bad thoughts of others
Imam Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him) defined good thoughts as not interpreting “a person’s action in a bad way for as long as it could possibly be interpreted in a good way” (Ihya Ulum al-Din).

This means that the one who has bad or ill thoughts is continually interpreting the actions of others negatively. This is a major internal sin. Ibn Hajar mentioned that one of the evil effects of having bad thoughts is that when they persist, they become part of you and embedded in your heart (Zawajir). This means that you live your life in sin, seeing only bad things in creation.

Imam Ghazali provided the following remedy for bad thoughts: “You must dispel bad thoughts from yourself and emphasize to yourself that his state (or intention) is hidden from you and that his action (or words) could contain bad or evil” (Ihya Ulum al-Din). This means that you do not know what he intended. His intention is the domain of Allah Most High. Claiming to know what is hidden within him is indirectly competing with Allah and His Knowledge.

Yes, one is not in control of bad thoughts that may appear in one’s head or mind. However, one is required to block these thoughts as best as one can. Most importantly, one should not allow them to materialize in one’s heart or limbs. Bad thoughts materialize in one’s heart when one believes them and develops an aversion or hatred towards the person. They materialize in one’s limbs when one begins acting on them.

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give peace) said, “Three things will afflict the believer, but he can deflect them: 1. bad thoughts (of others). He can deflect bad thoughts by not allowing them to materialize …” (Tabarani).

And Allah knows best.
Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Naming our daughter Emaan

Question: 
Salaam,
We’re expecting our baby daughter to arrive this fall InshAllah, and had the name Emaan/ Imaan in mind. However, a relative told us that we aren’t allowed to keep the name Emaan on its own. It has to be followed by a middle name, which we were going to keep as her father’s name as we did for our son. She suggested Emaan Fatima and said that whenever we call our daughter, we will have to say both names and arent allowed to just say Emaan.

Answer: 
Wa alaykum as-Salaam

Thank you for writing to us.

Ibn Hajar, quoting the scholars, deducted from the hadith of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) two essential rules or guidelines with regards to naming children [Fath al-Bari].  They are:

1. Avoid names with bad meanings.

The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) changed the name of one of the daughters of Umar (Allah be pleased with him). Her name was ‘Asiya (with an ‘ayn) which means disobedient and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) changed it to Jamila, which means beautiful [Muslim].  The name change of ‘Asiya to Jamila was also attributed to one of the wives of Umar (Allah be pleased with him), and Allah knows best [Tabaqat ibn Sa’d].

2. Avoid names that glorify (tazkiya) the person receiving the name.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) changed the name of his wife, Zaynab bint Jahsh. Her previous name was Barra which means pious. The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) changed her name for it contained self-glorification, and also, he did not want it to be said that when he left her home that he left barra or piety.

Emaan is undoubtedly not a bad name. I have seen certain scholars make the argument that the name entails self-glorification. However, their argument does not seem all that convincing. Emaan is a quality that makes us believers. Having this quality does not mean that we are angels or infallible. I may have Emaan in my heart and yet err. Accordingly, I do not see any excessive glorification in the name Emaan, and similarly, I do not see any problem with you giving your daughter that name.

And Allah knows best.
Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

 

Who with reference composed salawat Nariya? 

Question: 
Please enlighten us with reference as to who composed Salawat Nariya? 

Jazak Allahu khairan.

Answer: 
Wa alaykum as-Salaam

Shukran for writing to us.

From the outset, it seems rather challenging to determine who compiled this formula of salutations and when it was formulated. After reading several online articles, the following points are important to consider:

1. Some have attributed it to Sayyid Ibrahim al-Tazi.  For this reason, the formula is also known or called Salawat Taziyyah.
2. Others have attributed it to Imam Ahmad al-Rifa’i.
3. I’ve also seen some attributing it to Imam Qurtubi, even though most articles only quote Imam Qurtubi speaking of its virtue.
4. Some reports cite Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani speaking of its virtue as well.

None of these points are referenced, and therefore one is not able to provide clear guidance. However, if it was indeed Sayyid Ibrahim al-Tazi [d. 866] that compiled it, as Shaykh Ali Jumu’ah and others have suggested, then Imam Qurtubi [d. 671], as well as ibn Hajar al-Asqalani [d. 852], could not have spoken of its virtue.

Either way, the formula holds many great meanings and virtues. Not knowing who precisely the compiler is, should not deter one from reciting it. For more information on its merits, please read the following:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/halal-and-haram/can-i-recite-salawat-al-nariya/.

And Allah knows best.
Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Is drinking milk against the sunna?

Question: 
Salam alaikum wa rahmatullah,

If a friend is against the use of milk saying is not healthy what is the ruling? Does drinking milk go against the sunna?

Answer:
Wa alaykum as-Salaam

Thank you for writing to us.

You are correct to advise your friend not to speak out against an action of the Messenger (peace be upon him). It is from the core beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah that all practices and decisions made by the Messenger (peace be upon him) are loved and preferred by Allah. This would include matters beyond worship, such as dress and cuisine. Anas (Allah be pleased with him) made himself love dubba’ (pumpkin) after he observed the Messenger enjoying it [Shamail al-Tirmidhi].

Nonetheless, one could argue in favor of your friend that foodstuff, in general, was much more wholesome and organic in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him).  Also, the Prophet’s diet is not considered obligatory to follow, and therefore not adhering or favoring certain aspects does not render one a heretic. Vegetarians by way of example, do not have to consume meat and will not be seen as people who have abandoned the way of the Messenger (peace be upon him).

Yes, Muslims must be cautious not to criticize the Prophet (peace be upon him), or to question his decisions, or to mock any of his practices as this may lead to disbelief.

And Allah knows best.
Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Promise to one’s parents

Question: 
Without my consent, my mum made a promise that I would pay for a poor person’s Hajj if certain things happened. My mum believes those things have happened. It’s actually difficult to pay for a person’s Hajj as I do not know anybody personally who would be eligible for this charity. Is there an alternative I can do to fulfill her promise?

Answer: 
Assalamu alaykum

Thank you for your question.

Obedience to one’s parents has a high position in Islam. Allah says in surah al-Isra, “And your Lord has decreed that you do not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” [Qur’an, 17:23] Accordingly, good treatment of one’s parents is the best of actions after belief in Allah.

Nonetheless, there are instances where one is not obliged to show parents obedience.  The 18th-century Shafi’i jurist, Bujayrami, listed some of these instances:

1. when they instruct one to leave an act of worship;
2. when they tell one to sin;
3. when they instruct one to divorce a spouse that he or she loves; and
4. when they instruct one to sell one’s property (Hashiyah al-Shirwani).

The fourth example establishes that one is not under an obligation to fulfill the financial instructions of one’s parents. Accordingly, you are not obliged to send someone for Hajj in the first place. If, however, you wish to fulfill the promise made by your mother, you could do so, and in turn, you will earn a great reward from Allah.

If your only concern is identifying someone who is eligible for this charity, you may speak to your local imam or contact us at Seekersguidance, and we will gladly put you in touch with a worthy candidate.

Dealing With Difficult Parents and Keeping Promises

And Allah knows best.
Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

What is the punishment for apostasy in Islam?

Question:
Assalamu Alaikum

What is the punishment for apostasy in Islam? One set of scholars say apostates should be put to death and others say only apostates who commit treason/blasphemy should be put to death. Which is correct?

Allah says “There’s no compulsion in Religion” in Quran 2:256. In that case, can we compel someone to be in Islam when they can’t be true to it? We don’t put non-Muslims to death for not accepting Islam. So how can we punish those who have left Islam? Please, clarify.

Answer:

Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

The Schools of Jurisprudence
Abdullah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever changes their religion, kill them” (Bukhari).

The above narration and others form the basis for the ruling agreed upon by all four schools of jurisprudence that the apostate must be killed. However, they agree that such an order may only be passed by an Islamic ruler or a representative of his court. In addition, three of the four schools require that the apostate, after having been declared as such in court, be given an opportunity to repent. The Hanafi school considers the giving of this opportunity to be recommended and not required. It also takes the view that a female apostate may not be killed (al-Mawsuah al-Fiqhiyyah).

The fact that the execution of apostates is only permitted in an Islamic country where the ruler or his representative passes the judgment is of utmost importance. No human being, no matter how serious his crime, can ever be killed without the process of a valid Islamic court.  This effectively means that the death penalty will not be passed on an apostate in 99 percent of countries around the globe.

A wisdom
In the early Muslim communities, apostasy was often associated with revolt. A revolt meant that the rule of Islam might be eradicated, and that would spread injustice and oppression.

There is enough evidence to establish that, Islamic conquests spread peace, harmony, and understanding throughout the lands. This was clearly expressed in the words of Ribiy ibn Amir when he said addressing the Persian general, Rustam, “Allah has sent us to deliver you from the worship of creation to the worship of the Creator of creation; and to deliver you from the constriction of this world to the vastness of the afterlife, and from the oppression of the religions to the justice of Islam.” [al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya]

There is no compulsion in Religion.
As for the verse, “There is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an, 2:256), the scholars advise that it refers specifically to compelling a non-Muslim to embrace Islam.

Non-Muslims always had a place in Muslim communities and countries. They had rights and were dealt with fairly. The incident where a Jew made a claim against the Caliph of the time, our master Ali bin Abi Talib, and the court passed judgment in his favor, serves as ample proof to establish this point.

And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.