Two Year Specialization in Hanafi Fiqh

Attention to all interested students. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will be teaching:


Dars al-Tanwir al-Absar wa Ifadat al-Anwar

 (A Two Year Specialization in Hanafi Fiqh)

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate, with blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad, his folk, and companions

  1. Imam Tumurtashi’s Tanwir, with extensive readings in Haskafi’s Durr
    al-Mukhtar and Ibn Abidin’s Radd al-Muhtar;
  2. Imam Haskafi’s Ifadat al-Anwar Sharh al-Manar, in intermediate Hanafi
    usul, with extensive readings from Ibn Abidin’s Nasamat al-Ashar.
  3. Later, we will cover Ibn Abidin’s Sharh Uqud Rasm al-Mufti, and
  4. Select readings from Ibn Nujaym’s al-Ashbah wa’l Nadha’ir.

Class Format

Two live classes per week, 2.5 hours each. Students are expected to attend live, or to follow the recordings.

Preparation, participation, questions, and doing recommended readings is expected.

There will be an online forum for questions, discussion, and for related texts, and resources. The pdf of the commentary, and other important works will be provided.

Purpose of the Class

The goal of the class is to begin the journey of gaining mastery of the fiqh details of the Hanafi school.

We will study the meta-matn (Tanwir al-Absar) that is the basis of the central commentary for legal details (al-Durr al-Mukhtar) in the later Hanafi school–and for the central work for the fatwa positions of the Hanafi school
(Radd al-Muhtar).

We define “mastery” as thorough understanding of the text itself, its legal reasoning, and key details. Fiqh is deep knowledge, with understanding of nuances and implications.

The purpose in this mastery is to seek the pleasure of Allah, through benefiting oneself and others by preserving, acting upon, and transmitting this noble Prophetic inheritance in ways that assist others in seeking the pleasure of Allah by following Divine Guidance with conviction and clarity.

The means to mastery would be through understanding of eight matters related
to the text:

  1. Tawdih (clarification of the text, in expression and indication)
  2. Taqyid (conditioning the text, where essential conditions are needed)
  3. Tafsil (detailing the text, where essential details are needed)
  4. Taswir (describing the text’s issues, through practical examples)
  5. Taq`id (clarifying the legal principles the text’s issues are based on or entail)
  6. Tafri` (important derived rulings, classical and contemporary, that serious
    seekers must know)
  7. Ta`lil (understanding legal reasoning and wisdom underlying text’s rulings)
  8. Tadlil (understanding the legal proofs for the rulings of the text)

Conditions for Joining the Class

This is an upper-intermediate to advanced class in Hanafi fiqh. Students need to have completed at least two complete works in all chapters of Hanafi fiqh, including at least one intermediate-level commentary (such as Sharh al-Wiqaya, or the Ikhtiyar, or Hidaya, or similar), with understanding.

Student Expectations

The expectations from the students would be to:

  1. Prepare for the class, by [a] thorough reading of the matn; [b] careful reading of the commentary–with focus on the legal details and reasoning mentioned in the commentary; [c] preparing properly thought-out questions related to the text and its implications. It is encouraged, especially for more advanced students, to research key issues in the reference works and commentaries. (This is not an expectation. Students are welcome to email the instructor for advice on this.)
  2. Attend the class, with [a] attentiveness, through cutting out distractions (no surfing, messaging, texting, etc); [b] participation when the instructor asks questions; [c] asking questions, from their preparation or from things unclear in the text or the instructor’s explanations.
  3. Review of the class notes and text. Research of issues that arise is encouraged, and asking questions regarding things that remain unclear is essential. The more you can keep reviewing the text (especially the matn), the better. Test yourself, by checking whether you remember the key details. Diagramming the text helps.
  4. Take notes. It is best to write out the matn itself, and essentials from the commentary (such as the key details and reasoning). This is also good Arabic writing practice.
  5. Participate in the Class Forum by asking questions, sharing issues of benefit, and getting involved in the relevant discussions, with the proper manners of a keen seeker of knowledge (talib `ilm).
  6. Seek Allah’s assistance, make this a means of seeking His pleasure, have high secondary intentions of acting upon what you learn with excellence, preserving and transmitting Prophetic guidance, to benefit yourself and to benefit others, and to gain all the benefits mentioned by Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) for those who seek and transmit sacred knowledge for the sake of Allah.


And Allah alone gives success.
Faraz Rabbani

All interested students who wish to take this class need to fill out a brief application by clicking here.


Can I Pray Asr at an Earlier Time Due to Work?

Shaykh Tabraze Azam answers a question related to performing the Asr prayer at an earlier time due to work commitments, according to the Hanafi school of thought.



Assalaam Alaykum
Respected shaykh(s), I have an issue in that I find it difficult to pray Asr at the later (predominant) Hanafi time due to work commitments (there is slight danger I could miss it altogether). May I therefore pray Asr at the earlier start time according to the fatwa of the Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammed Shaybani (as well as 3 great mujtahids of the other schools)? I would pray on my own and not in jamat unfortunately.
Also may I resort back to normal Hanafi Asr start times on days off or whenever it becomes easier to do so?



Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, you may pray the mid-afternoon prayer (‘asr) at the earlier time. Deeming the prayer time to have entered at this earlier point is a sound and follow-able position in the Hanafi school.

Usually, it would be proper to follow the practice of your local community’s congregation. Failing that, you should try to pray at the later time as doing so is more religiously precautionary.

When neither is a reasonable option, you may pray at the earlier time. But you should be wary of using both times interchangeably as you can fall into laxity, and also lose something of the sanctity of the prayer time.

Nevertheless, even if you don’t make the early position your regular and consistent practice, it would be acceptable to follow it on occasions in which there is a need or benefit in doing so.

Please also see: and:

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam, Tabraze Azam


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


When Do I Recite the Ta’awwudh in Prayer?

Shaykh Abdurrahim Reasat advises when to recite the ta’awwudh in prayer, according to the Hanafi school of thought.



Salamu alaikum,

I am trying to bring my salah in line with Hanafi fiqh.

  1. Should I say ta’awudh (“I seek protection in Allah from shaytan, the accursed one.”) and bismillah after reciting surah al-fatiha and before reciting 3 verses (or more) of the quran in salah?
  2. Is this permissible or would it count as unnecessarily delaying a wajib?
  3. Should I simply say it once before surah al-fatiha and then after saying ‘ameen’ continue to recite 3 verses (or more) of the quran?
  4. Should I repeat the ta’awudh and bismillah for the surah al-fatiha of the second raka?
Jazakum Allah khairun


Wa ‘alaykuk as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

The ta’awwudh should only be recited once, in the first unitbefore the basmala and the Fatiha. Repeating it, or reciting it elsewhere would contravene the sunna, and therefore be disliked.

After finishing the Fatiha, one says ‘Amin’, and then proceed to recite a at least three short verses, or one long verse of the Qurʾan. In the case where one is going to recite a full sura, such as sura al Karin it is good to repeat the basmala, though this is not a specific sura. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al Muhtar)

I pray that helps.



Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Is My Prayer Valid If I Recite Silently?

Shaykh Abdurrahim Reasat answers a question related to the audibility of recitation in prayer, according to the Hanafi school of thought.



Assalamu alaikum,

I only recently learned that one must move their lips during recitation in prayer. Are all of my past prayers invalid?

Does that ruling also apply to duas made throughout the day? Or tasbih? Or istighfar? Do all of them have to be done with the lips moving?

Jazzakum Allah khair.


Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakaruh

I pray you are well.

What is ‘Recitation’ in the Prayer?

According to the Hanafi jurists recitation in the prayer must be audible – meaning that one must move one’s tongue and produce sounds which one can hear. There is another position which deems moving one’s tongue to articulate the letters without producing a sound to be valid.

So, if you were just thinking the words in your head, I’m afraid the prayers were not valid, and they will have to be repeated. If you did say the words but they were inaudible, you can assume the validity of past prayers – but recite audibly from now on.

Allah commanded us to recite the Qur’an in the prayer – “…so recite that which is easy of the Qur’an” (73:20). Recitation is a form of speech, and inaudible words are not speech.

To summarize, in order for the recitation to be valid, one must move their mouth and recite loud enough to hear their own voice. If there is some background noise preventing one from hearing himself that’s fine as long as it’s loud enough to be heard by oneself if there are no other excessive sounds.

(Shurunbulali, Imdad al Fattah; Tahtawi, Hashiyat Maraqi al Falah).

Allah Does Not ‘Lose’ Anything

If it is the case that you have to repeat some prayers, please bear in mind that Allah sees, and knows all. All the effort made to pray those prayers, all the devotion, love, gratitude, and neediness you expressed, it was all seen by Allah. He will reward you for that.

In fact, it may be that the prayers you repeat are the means Allah loving you. We know from the famous hadith in Sahih al Bukhari – known as the Narration of Sainthood (hadith al wilaya) – that Allah states, “My servant does not draw closer to me with anything more beloved to Me than what I have obligated him to do; and my servant keeps drawing closer to me with voluntary worship right until I love him.” (Bukhari).

May Allah make us of those who He loves and is loved by in return. Amin



Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Making Up Missed Prayers in Order?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani clarifies whether strict order is necessary when one makes up a great number of missed prayers.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

If one has years of missed prayers, do they need to be made up in order? Or can one first make up all of the missed Fajr salats, then all of the the Dhuhrs, and so on?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful.

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

Order doesn’t have to be observed when making up past prayers, if more than six in total. You can make them up in any order. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al Falah)

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Leaving the Position of Abu Hanifa and How to Determine the Relied-Upon Position in the Hanafi School

Answered by Sidi Faraz A. Khan

Question: When can a Hanafi legitimately leave the position of Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him)? And how does one determine the relied-upon position of the school?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah,

InshaAllah you are well.

These issues are dealt with extensively by `Allama Ibn Abidin in his Sharh Rasm al-Mufti, as well as by the contemporary scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) in his Usul al-Ifta’ (Principles of Issuing Fatwa), which is based primarily on Ibn Abidin’s Sharh Rasm al-Mufti.

In general, there are three cases in which one can leave the position of Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him):

(1) Strength of evidence (dalil): This is only the domain of a mujtahid within the school, that is, one who has the requisite tools to assess evidence and its strength, based on the legal foundations of the school.

It is important to note that when scholars discuss the need of ijtihad today, they are referring to ijtihad within a particular school, based on its legal principles (usul). Ijtihad is undoubtedly necessary in the modern world, so as to empower the community to deal with new situations, yet it must work within the framework of a particular school of law. As for absolute ijtihad—or legal derivation directly from the Qur’an and sunna, based on a scholar’s own personal foundational principles (usul)—it is no longer applicable or possible today.

Also, it is worth mentioning that, as stated by Mufti Taqi and others, ijtihad (within a school) is not an “all-or-none” phenomenon, but rather has levels and parts. That is to say, a scholar can be a mujtahid in some area or areas of fiqh, while not in others. And a scholar can grow in his ability to do ijtihad within the school as his knowledge deepens and becomes more vast.

(2) Pressing Need (darura)

With regards to pressing need, one tries one’s best to consult qualified scholarship. If one does not have access, one uses one’s best judgment, and then confirms with a scholar later when able to.

As the Majalla states, “Situations of pressing need make the impermissible permissible,” yet “only to the extent that the pressing need is lifted.” [Articles 21, 22]

(3) Customary Practice (`urf)

The change of legal rulings based on time and place is definitely the domain of qualified scholarship alone. It cannot be determined by any scholar, but rather as explained by Ibn Abidin, a scholar who has “sound judgment and understanding, as well as knowledge of legal principles of the Sacred Law, to the extent that he can distinguish between customary practice upon which a ruling can be based, and that upon which a ruling cannot be based…at the very least he must have knowledge of legal rulings along with their conditions and stipulations that are often not explicitly mentioned since it is assumed the jurist will know them. Likewise, he must have knowledge of the custom of his time and the states of his people, having graduated with that [knowledge and understanding] at the hands of a qualified teacher.” [Sharh Rasm al-Mufti]

It is important to remember that when dealing with issues changing due to time and place, the discussion applies only to issues that are not established by explicit texts of the Qur’an and hadith. For example, the issue of hijab is based on explicit texts of the Qur’an and hadith, and hence is not subject to change by customary practice.

The Relied-Upon Position of the School

While in general the default of any issue is that Imam Abu Hanifa’s opinion is the relied-upon opinion, that is not always the case, since for many issues another opinion was given precedence based on the above factors.

Because of that, later scholars of the school—termed ahl al-tarjih, or those capable of deeming certain opinions as stronger than others—selected different opinions as being “relied-upon” or “most appropriate for fatwa.”

As Mufti Taqi states in his presentation of the principles of giving fatwa delineated by Ibn Abidin, “The fourth principle is that if there are two or more opinions or narrations [within the school] regarding any particular issue, it is mandatory to follow what the scholars of tarjih deem strongest…regardless of whether it is the opinion of the Imam [Abu Hanifa] or one of his students. That which the scholars of tarjih deem strongest takes precedence over all other opinions, since despite their extreme godfearingness and adherence to the school, they only deemed that opinion as strongest due to factors that were clear for them, such as the pressing need of people, change in time and custom, etc.”

And as Mufti Taqi clarifies in the ninth principle of giving fatwa, “If no opinion is deemed stronger by the scholars of tarjih, then it is mandatory to follow the zahir al-riwaya (i.e., the famous, mass-transmitted narrations that relate the opinions of Abu Hanifa and his two main students).” [Usul al-Ifta’]

In essence, this highlights that in such a case [when there is no tarjih found], the scholar returns to the default ruling, i.e., the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa.

How to Find the Relied-Upon Position

For this, one has to refer to the reliable books of the school. In the Hanafi school, this would include Imam Sarakhsi’s Mabsut, Imam Kasani’s Bada`i al-Sana`i, Imam Zayla`i’s Tabyin al-Haqa’iq, Imam Marghinani’s Hidaya along with its commentaries, especially the Inaya of Imam Babarti and Fath al-Qadir of Imam Kamal ibn Humam.

Allama Ibn Abidin did a phenomenal job of going through the key works of the school and deciphering the relied-upon position [for most legal issues] in his renowned Hashiya, Radd al-Muhtar. He relies heavily on the above books, as well as the main primary texts (mutun) of the school, including Mukhtasar Quduri, Kanz al-Daqa’iq, the Mukhtar, the Wiqaya, and Multaqa ‘l-Abhur.

The Fatawa Hindiyya is also indispensable.

Then there are also key books for specialized areas, such as:

-For worship: Imam Shurunbulali’s Nur al-Idah and commentaries, Imam Tahtawi’s Hashiya on Maraqi ‘l-Falah, and the Hadiyya ‘l-Ala’iyya.

-For commercial transactions: the Majalla and its commentaries, particularly those by Imams Ali Haydar and Attasi.

-For personal law: Allama Qadri Basha’s Ahkam Shar’iyya fi Ahwal Shakhsiyya, along with Imam Abyani’s commentary.

-For the lawful and prohibited (halal/haram): Imam Nahlawi’s Durar Mubaha fil Hadhr wal-Ibaha.

With respect to modern fatawa, one follows the qualified scholarship of his time and place, as their verdicts are based on the criteria explained above. This knowledge is not taken [only] from the ink of books but rather [primarily] from the hearts of humans.

May Allah give us tawfiq and baraka to learn His religion, for His sake alone. Amin.

Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani