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Do I Need a Proof to Recite the 99 Names and the Throne Verse in a Specific Manner?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is it a bad innovation to recite the 99 names of Allah,to recite a name of Allah for a fixed number or to recite the verse of the Throne after every obligatory prayer?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum,

I hope you are well.

General Principle

One does not need a specific proof to recite verses, supplications, invocations, or litanies, for which a general proof already exists.

That is, it has already been established by means of general proofs, found in the Qur’an and Prophetic practice, that certain actions – reciting the Qur’an, supplicating to Allah, invoking Him, reciting his beautiful names – are praiseworthy and incur benefit and reward.

Because of this, one does not need a further proof to allow him to choose a specific time, manner, or method by which he goes about accomplishing this.

This has been understood as a general principle; ibn ‘Allān, the 11th C Shafiʿi, records that the 7th C Shafiʿi Sultan of Scholars, Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam, argued that if something is already a sunnah, doing it consistently at specific times only does not remove it from its default ruling, that of being a sunnah action.

Examples of this in Practice

In practice, this rule is known implicitly through our scholarly literature, which contains numerous instances of scholars trying out specific litanies, finding that it has incurred certain benefit in their lives, and then sticking to it as a practice, and encouraging others to do the same.
They then have termed such actions they have adopted ‘tried and tested,’ a designation that would have been superfluous were there to already exist a specific textual evidence for their adopted practice.

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, the 8th C Hanbali and student of Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyya, in his works dealing with spirituality, includes a number of examples of actions he and his teacher engaged in regularly, for which there were no specific proofs.

For example, in his Provisions for the Hereafter, he mentions that he saw that his teacher, ibn Taymiyya, would take a piece of bread or the like from the house when he was leaving it for the Friday prayer to give secretly in charity on the way. He heard his teacher say: If Allah ordered us to offer something in charity before consulting privately with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then giving charity before doing the same with him, the Most High, should be even better and excellent.

In his Ascension of those on the Path, he mentions that something those on the path have tried and found true is the continued repetition of: Yā hayyu yā qayyūm; lā ilāha illā anta [The Living, the Sustainer! There is no God but You!]; whoever does so, it enlivens their heart and mind. He says that his teacher, may God sanctify his spirit, was greatly enamoured with this; he once told him that these two names have a significant impact on the life of the heart, and would intimate that the two in conjunction are God’s greatest name. He also heard him say: Whoever recites for forty days consistently between the Sunnah and Fard prayers of Fajr: Yā hayyu yā qayyūm; lā ilāha illā anta; bi rahmatika astaghīth [The Living, the Sustainer! There is no God but You! By your mercy do I seek your assistance!]; will have his heart enlivened, and it will not die.

None of the adopted actions above enjoy specific proofs, although there are general proofs. For the last supplication cited above, for example, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is reported to have recited this very supplication whenever a matter burdened him [Tirmidhī].

However, there is no proof that establishes the way in which this general proof was carried out and encouraged in specific form above. This did not prevent scholars from doing so, and many such examples are found throughout the scholarly literature.

Exceptions to the Principle

While this is a largely agreed upon general principle, there do come about certain actions that, although conforming to what has been established above, are yet considered disliked or impermissible.

This is often because the actions in question are considered to militate against the spirit of the law or Prophetic practice; lead to other actions or scenarios that are disliked or permissible; are related to clearly ritual acts of worship like prayer; are based upon fabricated traditions; or cause confusion for the general populace, who may come to believe that such an action is a specific Sunnah or even obligatory.

Because these are guidelines that can admit interpretation, scholars often disagree over rulings.

In the Shafiʿi school, for example, choosing to pray voluntary prayers at set times, such as on Friday night, is disliked. The Beloved Prayer, 12 units of prayer performed between Maghrib and Isha, the first Friday of the holy month of Rajab, or performing a hundred units of prayer on the middle night of the month of Shaʿban, are both intensely disliked.

Transmitted Supplications and Invocations

It is generally recommended to ensure that one commits to what has already been transmitted from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

For example, reciting the Throne Verse after every prayer is an established Sunnah. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is reported to have said: Whoever recites the Throne Verse after every prayer will have nothing prevent him from paradise save death [Nasāʾī]; and: Whoever recites the Throne Verse after every prayer will be under God’s protection until the next prayer [Tabarānī].

Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Shuaib Ally

Shaykh Shuaib Ally is a scholar who has recently returned to Toronto after completing his studies overseas. He started his studies by completing his MA in Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto in 2008. He went on to study in a number of Islamic disciplines privately with scholars in Saudi Arabia, including Tafsir, Qur’anic Sciences, Shafi’i law, Usul, Hadith, Hadith Methodology, Grammar and Balagha. Shaykh Shuaib currently resides in Toronto.

Are Mawlids Promoting Wrong Beliefs?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

1. At mawlids, people believe that the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) soul will be present. Is this true?

2. In some mawlids, they say some poetry that basically means, “the provider of provision is Muhammad” Is there any truth to this?

3. Can you stand up to give salam to the Prophet (peace be upon him)?

Answer:Walaikum assalam,

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

#1. The Coming of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)

This is not what is commemorated. Rather, it is a celebration of the “coming of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)” to the world—when his noble birth is mentioned.

Related to this is the spiritual notion of the “presence” of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), which isn’t a physical (rather, a metaphysical/spiritual) presence, well-established by hadiths: Can You Please Explain the Belief of The “Presence” of the Prophet?

#2. When sound, such texts indicate “means of…” — because Allah provides assistance or withholds by His love and favouring of elect servants—and the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) is His Most Beloved.

Examples from the Companions:

First Poems of Praise for Prophet Muhammad

THE THEMES IN RELIGIOUS POETRY IN THE TIME OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET MUHAMMAD

#3. Standing up for salams is simply a customary expression of love, respect, and rejoicing. Neither standing nor these emotions are wrong—and there is nothing prohibited about such standing…

This became a norm from the 8th/9th Islamic centuries, and was first performed when the great poet al-Sarsari recited lines of praise of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the lesson of Imam Taqi al-Din al-Subki (a great Shafi`i jurist, recognized as a mujtahid). Since then, it has been a widely accepted legal position (if not the predominant, historical, position) that such standing is permitted and praiseworthy.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Touzrimounir

Is Using a Ta’wiz (Amulet) Permissible?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Some people say ta’wizes [amulets] are impermissible and entail disbelief. What is the view of Sunni Islam regarding this matter?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum,

In the Musannaf of Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shayba, the permissibility of hanging a ta`wiz is reported from many of the Companions and early Muslims (Salaf), including:

Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib, `Ata’, Mujahid, Abd Allah ibn `Amr, Ibn Sirin, `Abayd Allah ibn Abd Allah ibn `Umar, and others (Allah be well pleased with them all). [Musannaf, 5.439]

As for that which is reported from some, including Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him), that hanging ta`wizes is shirk, this is understood to mean those that resemble the one’s used in Jahiliyya, or if used thinking that it is the ta`wiz itself that cures or protects, not Allah, or if it contains impermissible invocations or one’s whose meaning is not known, as explained by Allama Abu Sa`id al-Khadimi in his al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya. [4.171-172]

In the Fatawa al-Hindiyya, one of the primary references in the Hanafi school, it says:

“There is nothing wrong with hanging ta`wizes, but one should take them off before going to the toilet and before intercourse.” [5.356]

In the Mawsu`a Fiqhiyya (Awqaf, Kuwait), it states that the linguistic meaning of ta`wif is derived from seeking protection or refuge. The type that is prohibited is like the ones used in pre-Islamic times, and  is a major sin and can even lead to kufr. The type that is permitted according to the vast majority (jumhur) of the scholars is that which comprises the Words of Allah (Qur’an) or His Names, with the condition that the person not think that it has any effect by itself; rather, it protects or heals by the Will and Power of Allah.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Are Formulas Recommended by Scholars to Achieve Some Goals Permissible to Use?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: The book ‘Remedies from the Quran’ contains different types of dhikr that can be done to achieve certain goals. For example it says that if you write Surah Yusuf on a piece of paper and wear it, your wife will increase in love for you.

Is it something permissible?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes. These are permissible.

Although some of them may sound odd to people not part of the broader context of the scholars who prescribed such practices, there are two things to keep in mind when understanding the ruling of permissibility:

(a) The primary texts do not stipulate a specific form/wording of dhikr or du’a that is impermissible for a person to depart from. Rather, the command in the Qur’an to “remember God” is unconditional and, therefore, any form or wording of dhikr may be used provided it does not contravene what the shariah has clearly obligated, prohibited, or disliked.

(b) The formulas recommended by scholars that are mentioned in the question fall under the general permissibility of dhikr and du’a mentioned above. As for affirming that X verse or Y utterance has a particular effect, while this may not be explicated in the primary texts such an absence does not mean it is impermissible or baseless. Such formulations are generally based on the experiences of scholars who have seen particular benefits arising from specific verses and dhikr formulations. In other words, these scholars do not claim that these benefits and forms are specifically mentioned and prescribed in the shariah. This is important to keep in mind.

In light of the above, there is no issue in the practices mentioned in your question.

Please see: Is It Permissible To Seek the Aid of Jinn? and: The Concept of Bid’a in the Islamic Shari’a

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Photo: Teogomez

What Is the Ruling of Wiping the Neck in Wudu?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

Many people have said to me that wiping the neck is an innovation and is forbidden.

What is the ruling of wiping the neck in wudu?

Answer: Walaikum salam,

1. Wiping the nape [‘the back part of the neck’ – Webster’s] is recommended. [Nur al-Idah, Durral-Mukhtar, Hadiyya al-Ala’iyya]

2. Wiping the front of the neck is disliked and an innovation. [ibid.]

As for Imam Nawawi’s opinion that it is an innovation due to the evidence for it being excessively weak, this was not accepted by many other hadith experts.

Among the wisdom behind wiping the back of the neck is that it is from completely wiping the head, front and back.

And Allah alone gives success.

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

Photo: Brocken Inaglory

Did I Commit an Innovation by Following My Parents Advice in Praying Supererogatory Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

In past Ramadans, I prayed voluntary prayers that had no basis in Islamic law, because my parents said that I would get rewarded for it. Did I commit an innovation?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

It is not an innovation (bid`ah) to pray supererogatory prayers (nafawil). [See: The Concept of Bid’a in the Islamic Shari’a]

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Blameworthy to Wipe the Eyes With the Thumbs During the Call to Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Some scholars are stating that kissing the thumbs after hearing our Prophet’s name (peace be upon him) is an innovation. What is the good approach to this issue?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is far-fetched to say it is a bid`a (innovation).

Ibn Abidin first mentions the scholars who said that it is recommended to do, and then mentioned that none of the hadiths that mention this from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) are authentic.

Ibn Abidin’s actual text is as follows, from his Radd al-Muhtar (aka al-Hashiya or al-Shami)

“It is recommended to say, after hearing the first Shahada [in the adhan],SallaAllahu`Alayka Ya Rasul Allah (‘May Allah send blessings on you, O Messenger of Allah’), and after the second of them, Qarrat`Ayni Bika Ya RasulAllah (‘May my eyes rejoice with you, O Messenger of Allah’) .

“Then one should say, Allahummamatti`nibi’sSam`iwa’lBasar (‘O Allah, keep blessing me with hearing and sight’), after placing the nails of both thumbs on one’s eyes, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) will be his guide into Janna [if he does] – as mentioned in Kanzal-`Ibad, via al-Quhustani [in his Jami` al-Rumuz] .

“This has also been mentioned in al-Fatawa al-Sufiyya. It has been reported in Kitabal-Firdaws that, “whoever kisses the nails of both thumbs upon hearing AshhaduannaMuhammda-r RasulAllah, I shall be his guide and shall enter him in the ranks of Janna. ”

“The details are in the Hawashial-Bahr of al-Ramli, from al-Maqasidal-Hasana of al-Sakhawi .

“Al-Jirahi mentioned this, too, and gave a lengthy exposition, then said, “None of these narrations has been authentically established (lam yasihh) from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) . ” [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, 1: 397-8]

The exact Arabic text may be found at the end of this answer .

The scholars differed, though, whether it is of the weak hadiths that may be used to establish recommended actions. Many Hanafis (and scholars of other schools) held that they are. Others differed; it is a Question of scholarly difference in ijtihad.

The condition for recommended actions established by weak hadiths or the ijtihad of scholars is that one not have the firm conviction that this is established from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself. However, if one does it because some scholars have mentioned it to be a virtuous or beneficial action, then there is nothing wrong with it. If one is firmly convinced that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself did this or encouraged it, which is not authentically established, then it would be an innovation.

In short, it is neither something that is a strongly recommended action according to the Shariah nor a baseless innovation. The scholars mention that any time an issue is differed upon among the scholars of the four schools of Sunni Islam, there is no place to condemn someone who does something one differs with.

May Allah guide us to that which is best.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

قال خاتمة المحققين سيدي ابن عابدين في ردّ المحتار: (1: 387-398) تَتِمَّةٌ ] يُسْتَحَبُّ أَنْ يُقَالَ عِنْدَ سَمَاعِ الْأُولَى مِنْ الشَّهَادَةِ : صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْك يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ , وَعِنْدَ الثَّانِيَةِ مِنْهَا : قَرَّتْ عَيْنِي بِك يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ , ثُمَّ يَقُولُ : اللَّهُمَّ مَتِّعْنِي بِالسَّمْعِ وَالْبَصَرِ بَعْدَ وَضْعِ ظُفْرَيْ الْإِبْهَامَيْنِ عَلَى الْعَيْنَيْنِ فَإِنَّهُ عليه السلام يَكُونُ قَائِدًا لَهُ إلَى الْجَنَّةِ , كَذَا فِي كَنْزِ الْعِبَادِ . ا هـ . قُهُسْتَانِيٌّ , وَنَحْوُهُ فِي الْفَتَاوَى الصُّوفِيَّةِ . وَفِي كِتَابِ الْفِرْدَوْسِ ” { مَنْ قَبَّلَ ظُفْرَيْ إبْهَامِهِ عِنْدَ سَمَاعِ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ فِي الْأَذَانِ أَنَا قَائِدُهُ وَمُدْخِلُهُ فِي صُفُوفِ الْجَنَّةِ } ” وَتَمَامُهُ فِي حَوَاشِي الْبَحْرِ لِلرَّمْلِيِّ عَنْ الْمَقَاصِدِ الْحَسَنَةِ لِلسَّخَاوِيِّ , وَذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ الْجِرَاحِيُّ وَأَطَالَ , ثُمَّ قَالَ : وَلَمْ يَصِحَّ فِي الْمَرْفُوعِ مِنْ كُلِّ هَذَا شَيْءٌ … .

“…But The Prophet ﷺ Never Did it”, Bid’ah Hasanah and Living In Times Of Fitna – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Shaykh Yahya RhodusThe Virtues Tour has over the years become a highlight in the calendar of British Islamic events. It’s led by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa, who is joined by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Abdul Karim Yahya, Sidi Amir Sulaiman and Sidi Nader Khan.

In 2015, the tour was focused on the ethics and moral practice of prophecy. Particular focus was placed on the spheres of intellect; anger and desire, in order to promote the manners in which the modern condition of man can be healed.

In the above recording, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus of Al-Maqasid spoke in London, on living in an age of fitna (strife) but first, he dispelled some misunderstandings around the concept of bid’ah (innovations in religious matters) and using “the Prophet never did it” as a standard for deriving legal rulings.

Do You Want to Learn More?

Consider taking an online course with SeekersHub. It’s free to anyone, anywhere in the world. There are over 30 titles to choose from, including Meccan Dawn: The Life of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Part I), Medinan Nights: The Life of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Part II) and Understanding the Prophetic Way: Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith Explained. Shaykh Yahya Rhodus himself teaches Principles of Islamic Spirituality, The Marvels of the Heart and Essentials of Spirituality: Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance Explained.

Resources for seekers:

Is It an Innovation to Recite the Qur’an Seeking a Cure?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: I am slowly losing hair on my head, I believe it is hereditary. In any case, I was thinking to recite the three Quls (Ikhlas,Falaq and Nas) three times and blow it on water and wipe my hair with that water in hope to seek blessing and Baraka, and to prevent hair loss by Allah’s word. Would this be blameworthy or bid’ah (innovation)?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

May Allah grant you and your family good health.

Reciting or using the Qur’an, as well as the Divine Names and other supplications, for purposes of seeking a cure, either for oneself or for others, is not blameworthy, nor considered a blameworthy innovation. It is rather considered a Sunnah [Sharh Sahih Muslim].

This is because of the following:

The Qur’an Describes itself as a Cure

The Qur’an describes itself as a cure, saying of itself:

We have sent down of the Qur’an what is a cure and mercy for believers [Quran; 17.82];

Say: It is for those who believe, guidance and a cure [Qur’an; 41.44].

Hadith texts Establish using the Qur’an as a Cure

Numerous narrations establish the permissibility of using the Qur’an to seek a cure. For example:

Aisha (may God be pleased with her) reported that “the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him would recite the Mu’awwidhat [the three final chapters of the Qur’an] over a member of his family who had fallen ill” [Muslim].

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri and Ibn ‘Abbas (may God be pleased with them) both relate narrations that establish that the opening chapter of the Qur’an, the Fatiha, can be used to seek a cure. In it, Abu Sa’id recites the Fatiha to successfully cure a man who had been stung by a scorpion, which they later inform the Prophet (peace be upon him) of. The Prophet (peace be upon him) confirms its use for this purpose, asking rhetorically, “What gave it away that it is an incantation for cure (ruqya)?” [Bukhari].

What about Using other Portions of the Qur’an?

Although these narrations only mention the first and last three chapters of the Qur’an, scholars such as Imam al-Nawawi have understood implicitly from them that it is praiseworthy to use any part of the Qur’an or other supplications as incantations to treat sickness and ills [Sharh Sahih Muslim]. Nawawi reasons that the Prophet’s specifically making use of the Mu’awwidhat was because of their comprehensive natures; in them, a person seeks refuge in God from all undesirable things. It does not, as ibn Hajar also notes, preclude using something else from the Qur’an or supplications that are Prophetic, or do not militate against the spirit of transmitted supplications [Fath al-Bari].

Moreover, one does not need a specific piece of evidence for an act that is does not run contrary to the spirit of the law. Sh. ‘Abd al-Ilah al-‘Arfaj and Dr. Sayf al-‘Asri both note in their works on innovation into the religion that the hadith of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri clearly indicate that he did not have specific guidance from the Prophet (peace be upon him) on using the Fatiha for a cure before choosing to do so, but was not reprimanded for doing so [Mafhum al-Bid’ah; al-Bid’ah al-Idafiyyah].

For that reason, there is no harm in choosing a portion of the Qur’an or other supplication that one feels inclined towards, and using it to seek a cure, by reciting it or reciting it over oneself or another.

Other Uses of the Qur’an as a Cure

Aside from reciting the Qur’an and blowing over oneself or another, our scholarly tradition allows for other related uses that do not militate against the spirit of the tradition. Ibn al-Qayyim holds that many early scholars considered it permissible to write verses of the Qur’an on paper, the wash the ink off in water and drink it, or give it to another, seeking a cure. They considered this to be part of the cure that God had said he placed in the Qur’an [Zad al-Ma’ad]. He mentions that he once fell ill in Makkah, and found himself without access to doctors or medicine. He would take some zamzam water, recite the Fatiha over it, and drink it; he found that this cured him [al-Tibb al-Nabawi]. Nawawi also mentions the permissibility of doing using the Qur’an in this manner [Majmu’].

It is also permissible to pour such water over the body. It is reported that the Prophet visited Thabit b. Qays, who was ill, and recited, “Remove all harm, Lord of all, from Thabit b. Qays al-Shammas,” then mixed some dirt with water and poured it over him [Sunan Abu Dawud]. Ibn Hajar also favorably records a point Ibn Battal had made regarding reciting the Throne Verse over water and then drinking it or pouring it over a sick person [Fath al-Bari].

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, it is not blameworthy or an innovation to use the Qur’an in the manner in any of the ways described, seeking refuge in Allah through the recitation, his assistance, blessing, and cure of all ills.

Shuaib Ally

Is Acting on Weak Hadiths an Innovation?

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

Text translated by Sr. Shazia Ahmad

Questions: Why did the scholars who follow madhab allow acting on weak hadith? Isn’t this a gross innovation?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

May His blessings and peace be on His Beloved Prophet, the best of creation, and his family, companions, and followers

There is some detail related to this question. What is established according to the imams is that it is not permissible to rely on weak hadiths to derive legal rulings, for in this regard, one does not act on anything other than rigorously authenticated or sound hadith.

Imam al-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his introduction of his work, al-Adhkar, “As for legal rulings, such as what is permissible and what isn’t, in buying and selling and marriage and divorce and the like; one does not act upon anything other than the rigorously authenticated hadith or the sound hadith, unless it is for being scrupulous in something related to legal rulings. For example, if a weak hadith has been related regarding the dislikedness of certain types of sales or marriages [s. one may act upon it to be scrupulous] for it is recommended that one avoid such things, but it is not obligatory.”

However, one who looks in the works of fiqh sometimes sees certain rulings that are seemingly built on weak hadiths, which seems to be problematic with what we have just taken. The answer is that the scholars have great differences of opinions when ruling on a hadith, as its soundness or weakness. So, whoever considered a particular hadith sound, acted upon it, and he who considered it weak, did not act upon it.

Someone who does not have a wide understanding of the Islamic sciences and isn’t aware of who considered those hadith sound, could think that one deduced a ruling from a weak hadith. Meanwhile, this person could be unaware that the scholar who deduced that ruling probably doesn’t consider that hadith to be weak., or is following the ijtihad of those hadith masters and fuqaha’ who consider that hadith sound. And this only is one issue, for there are others.

And another matter is that the scholars could deduce a ruling using legal analogy (qiyas) and other principles of legal deduction, that are established according to the ulema, with the difference of opinion amongst the ulema regarding the various methodological bases, so, once the ruling is derived from analogy, then they find a weak hadith that supports that ruling (which was based on sound evidence), and they mention it as a general support.

[f. The weak hadith is not what established the ruling, it was established, in some cases, by qiyas, or other legal bases for deriving rulings, but the ulema mention the weak hadith afterwards in order to give general support to the ruling. A weak hadith is not necessarily fabricated. All it means is that it has a certain amount of weakness such that we don’t have a level of reasonable surety that it was from the words of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Something that we have reasonable surety of is sound and something of an even higher level of surety would make it sahih.]

And the third matter is that there are certain types of hadith that are considered weak by the hadith experts, like the mursal hadith, which means literally the hanging hadith, in which one of the generations after the Companions, transmitted a hadith from the Prophet leaving out mention of which companion narrated it. In this is a difference of opinion as to whether it is proof or not according to the fuqaha. Generally, the ulema of the hadith do not accept this as a sound hadith, because they look at the text alone. But this is differed upon by the fuqaha. [f. the Hanafis accept mursal hadith, the Malikis generally do, each with their own conditions and the Hanbalis use it more extensively.] So, some scholars permit acting upon the mursal hadith in all cases, [f. like the Hanbalis and to a certain extent the Malikis], because of the proofs they have. And our imam, Imam l-Shafi’i, permits acting upon it with conditions that he established and they are mentioned in the books of Usul (principles of jurisprudence). [The hadith itself according to the standard of hadith experts is weak. But the fuqaha have different standards of accepting and rejecting hadith, even the Shafi’is may accept mursal hadith in certain situations, the Hanafis and Malikis accept them to a certain extent, and the Hanbalis are more extensive in their acceptance of these hadith.]

[Faraz notes: The primary concern of the muhaddith (hadith specialist) is the narration of the hadith and the soundness of the text, itself. The primary concern of the fuqaha’ is the actual meaning established in the hadith and that leads to methodological differences in general between them and the hadith scholars, and more particularly within the schools of Islamic law.]

So the person who doesn’t have a wide understanding and is not aware of these differences could have doubts and things will seem confusing to him. After having written the answer above, I saw that Imam al-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, mentioned in his introduction to the Majmu`, his magnificent work of comparative fiqh, an explanation about why Imam al-Shirazi, the author of al Muhadhdhab, on which Imam al-Nawawi wrote his Majmu`, accepted mursal hadith and how he uses them. Imam al-Nawawi actually gave exactly the same two answers that I gave.

The text of his answer is, “The author, [f. Imam al-Shirazi] mentions in his work al-Muhadhdhab many hadith that are mursal and he uses them as proof while it is established that it is not permitted to use them as proof in general, in the Shafi`i school. Some of those mursal hadith have been reinforced by one of the matters that have been mentioned that strengthen a mursal hadith, so it became a proof. And some of the mursal hadith, the author mentioned them for general support of an established ruling, a ruling established derived by analogy and other forms of legal reasoning.”

This is what relates to legal rulings, [f. establishing rulings, establishing something to be haram or permissible, establishing certain types of contracts or marriages, transactions,] as for acting upon weak hadith for virtuous deeds, the established ruling is that it is permitted as long as the hadith is not fabricated or excessively weak. Rather, acting on weak hadith for virtuous deed is recommended as mentioned in al-Adhkar.

According to the very words of Imam al-Nawawi, “The ulema have said, both the fuqaha, the hadith experts and others is that it is permitted, rather recommended to act in virtuous deeds, in acts of exhortation and warning [f. when you encourage something or warn against it]. It is permitted to act upon weak hadith as long as they are not fabricated”.

[Faraz notes: It is noteworthy to mentioned that most of the books of hadith science mention that there are three madhhabs regarding weak hadith. 1) that they can be acted upon unconditionally, 2) that they can be acted upon conditionally, 3) that they cannot be acted upon whatsoever. This is attributed to Qadi Abu Bakr bin Arabi al Maliki, and a few other scholars, including Shaykh al Awamm. Others have indicated that this is not an established position of Qadi Abu Bakr, rather it is based on a weak understanding of his words. The position of Qadi Abu Bakr which was made clear by his hadith commentaries and his work Ahkam al Qur’an and others, is the same as the rest of the scholars. So, no significant scholars of Ahl al Sunna said that it is not permitted to act on a weak hadith and this is understood from the words of Imam al-Nawawi who said, “The scholars said, both the fuqaha, the hadith experts and others”. Which scholars? The generality of scholars. And the other opinion is considered to be weak and inconsequential, just like those who say that in our times you can’t act on weak hadith; they themselves are inconsequential.]

And this acting on weak hadith is not an innovation, contrary to what the questioner asked about, because the texts of the Lawgiver and on His behalf, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, have come with strong encouragement to increase in acts of obedience and to devote one’s time to that and have encouraged us to have fear, in certain texts and in others, to have hope. So whoever acts by a weak hadith in virtuous acts and the like has acted by the general guidance that is established in encouraging good works and virtuous deeds.

All that can be said is that the particular hadith specified something of good work and the like. So if what is understood from this weak hadith goes against what is established by sound hadith, it is agreed that one doesn’t act upon it, and what is the overwhelming situation, in hadiths that are like this, is that it is in itself excessively weak or fabricated. Though if it is not going against the sound hadith then acting upon it doesn’t take one out from acting on the texts that encourage one to do good works.

One thing remains: That which is related in such weak hadith of particular reward for particular actions. Even though we do not say that it is established by the Prophet, our good opinion of the generosity of Allah [f. which knows no limits] for the people of His love and people of His obedience make such a reward not far-fetched, rather we can hope for even more.

[Faraz notes:. From the generosity of ALLah, the Prophet said, the reward of a good deed is ten fold up to seven hundred times that reward to several multiplications thereof. And what is the difference between getting ten times a reward to multiplications of seven hundred? Seven hundred times seven hundred times seven hundred. And how? According to one’s sincerity therein and one’s devotion to Allah. In short, the position of Ahl al Sunna is that people don’t act on weak hadith in rulings. But what is a weak hadith are differed upon by the scholars of Sunni Islam, Certain hadith are considered weak by the generality of the hadith scholars although they themselves differ, but the standards of the fuqaha are somewhat different. Amongst the fuqaha, some consider them to be weak and others don’t because of differences in legal methodology, and these differences in methodology are based on sound understanding, unlike divergences from legal methodology that some contemporaries have, normally those who criticize Sunni Islam So generally, one does not act upon weak hadith to establish rulings except when they indicate precaution or recommendation. And one acts upon them in virtuous deeds and virtuous acts in encouraging and warning and when three conditions are met. First, that it not be excessively weak, secondly, that it return to a general principle within the Shariah, and virtuous deeds do return to a general principle in the Shariah, and of course this second condition presupposes that his hadith not go against anything established in the Shariah.

The third condition is that one act upon it without the firm conviction that this particular thing is established from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. However, one is hopeful that it is established, because the hadith is not so weak that it is not from the guidance of the Prophet with certainty, so one is hopeful that it is established and is hopeful for the reward. But one cannot act upon a weak hadith while being aware that it is weak, with firm conviction that it is established. This is what the scholars have said and these three conditions were mentioned by the generality of the scholars and the fuqaha. Imam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani mentioned it and it is related from him by his student, al-Sakhawi, Imam Jalal al din al Suyuti has mentioned this, Mulli Ali al Qari from among the Hanafi scholars and `Abd al Hayy al Laknawi and others have mentioned this. There is general agreement regarding this, so this is the position of Ahl al-Sunna.] And all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

– Amjad.

السؤال : لماذا يجوِّز أهلُ المذاهب العمل بالحديث الضعيف ؟ أليس فيه ابتداع ؟

الجواب : في هذا الجواب تفصيل وهو : أن المقرر عند الأئمة عدمُ جواز الاعتماد على الحديث الضعيف في استنباط الأحكام إذ لا يعمل فيها إلا بالصحيح أو الحسن ، قال الإمام النووي رحمه الله في مقدمة “الأذكار” :” وأما الأحكام كالحلال والحرام والبيع والنكاح والطلاق وغير ذلك فلا يعمل فيها إلا بالحديث الصحيح أو الحسن ، إلا أن يكون في احتياط في شيء من ذلك كما إذا ورد حديث ضعيف بكراهة بعض البيوع أو الأنكحة ؛ فإن المستحب أن يتنـزه عنه ولكن لا يجب “. اهـ

لكن الناظر في كتب الفقه يجد بعض الأحكام مبنية على حديث ضعيف فقد يشكل هذا مع ما تقدم ، والجوابُ عنه : أنَّ العلماء يختلفون كثيراً في الحكم على الأحاديث تصحيحاً وتضعيفاً فمن صحح الحديث عمل به ومن ضعفه ترك العمل به ، فغير المطلع على من صحح الحديث يظن أن المستدِل به يستدل بحديث ضعيف غير ملاحظ أن ذلك المستدِل لا يسلم ضعف الحديث ، هذا أمر .

وأمرٌ آخر أن العلماء قد يستنبطون حكماً بالقياس ونحوه من الأدلة المقرر عندهم – على اختلافهم فيها – ويجدون حديثاً ضعيفاً يؤيد هذا الحكم المستنبط فيوردون الحديث استئناساً .

وأمر ثالث أن بعض أنواع الحديث الضعيف كالحديث المرسل مختلف في الاحتجاج به، فجوز بعضهم الاحتجاج به مطلقاً لأدلة عندهم ، ويحتج به إمامنا الشافعي رضي الله عنه ورحمه بشروط مقرر كموافقته لقول أكثر العلماء ، فغير المطلع على هذا الخلاف يظن يشكل عليه الأمر .

وبعد كتابة هذا الجواب رأيتُ الإمام النووي رحمه الله في مقدمة “المجموع” قد أجاب عن استدلال الإمام الشيرازي رحمه الله في المهذب بالأحاديث المرسلة بما قدمته من الأمرين الأخيرين ونصُّ عبارته :” فرع : قد استعمل المصنف في المهذب أحاديث كثيرة مرسلة واحتج بها مع أنه لا يجوز الاحتجاج بالمرسل . وجوابه : أن بعضها اعتضد بأحد الأمور المذكورة فصار حجة ، وبعضها ذكره للاستئناس ويكون اعتماده على غيره من قياس وغيره”. اهـ

هذا ما يتعلق بالأحكام ، أما العملُ بالحديث الضعيف في فضائل الأعمال فالمنصوص عليه هو الجواز ما لم يكن موضوعاً أو شديد الضعف بل ذلك مستحبٌ كما في “الأذكار” ، وعبارة الإمام النووي في مقدمة “الأذكار” :” قال العلماءُ من المحدثين والفقهاء وغيرهم : يجوز ويستحب العمل في الفضائل والترغيب والترهيب بالحديث الضعيف ما لم يكن موضوعاً “. اهـ

وليس في هذا ابتداعٌ كما استفهم عنه السائل ؛ لأن نصوص الشرع جاءت بالحث على زيادة الطاعة وصرف الأوقات لها والحث على الخوف تارة والرجاء أخرى ، فالعامل بالحديث الضعيف في الفضائل ونحوها عاملٌ بالإرشاد العام الثابت في الحث على الطاعات والفضائل ، غاية الأمر أن هذا الحديث خصص أمراً من الطاعات ونحوها فإن كان ما أفاده هذا الحديث الضعيف مخالفاً لما أفاده حديث صحيح لم يعمل به باتفاق ، والغالب على ما يكون كذلك أن يكون شديد الضعف أو موضوعاً ، وإن لم يكن مخالفاً فالعمل به لا يخرج عن العمل بالنصوص الصحيحة الحاثة على زيادة الطاعات كما مرَّ .

يبقى الكلامُ على ما يرد في هذه الأحاديث من ذكر ثوابٍ مخصوصٍ على عملٍ مخصوصٍ فإنه وإن كان لا يقطع بثبوتها لكن حُسنُ الظن بكرم الله لأحبابه وأهل طاعته لا يستبعد حصول ذلك بل يتطلع لما هو أبعد منه .