Posts

Ummah Orphaned by Loss of Senior Scholars – Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed

* Courtesy Radio Islams International

Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed of South Africa reflects and highlights the great losses the global Muslim community has experienced due to the deaths of senior scholars and saints over the past few weeks.

The Trodden Path (Episode 6): A Glimpse At the Lives of the Illustrious Scholars and Saints of the 20th and 21st Century – Mufti Muhammad Shafi‛

In this series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed of South Africa will take us on a journey through the lives and biographies of some of the most celebrated and well known scholars of the twentieth and twenty – first century. These historical accounts will provide us with refreshing insights and lessons, and motivate us to follow in the footsteps of our pious predecessors.


In this sixth episode of the The Trodden Path series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed writes on the life of Mufti Muhammad Shafi‛ Uthmani

 

The Trodden PathShaykh Mufti Muhammad Shafi‛ 1314-1396=1897-1976 (Pakistan)

He was born in 1897 (1314), in Deoband, India and is a descendant of the Uthmani family. His father, Mawlana Muhammad Yasin was a scholar and a very pious person. He thus grew up in a very religious environment and had the great fortune of sitting in the company of great luminaries of the time.

At the age of five, he began his Quranic education under Hafiz Muhammad Azim. He studied Persian works under his father and some mathematics under his uncle, Mawlana Manzur Ahmad and other secular subjects. Qari Muhammad Yusuf Mirthi whose recitation was broadcasted over the All India Radio, taught him Tajwid.

He was admitted to Dar Al-Uloom at the age of sixteen and qualified in 1918 (1335). Some of his teachers and mentors were:

  • Shaykh Anwar Shah Kashmiri. Under his guidance and supervision, he read and studied Sahih Al-Bukhari, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Shama’il, Al-Ilal and some books in Fiqh. His Shaykh loved him and requested that he write a critique of the Qadiyani movement. He complied and wrote a book in Urdu and another in Arabic titled Hadiyat Al-Mahdiyin fi Ayat Khatmi Al-Nabiyin.
  • Shaykh Aziz Al-Rahman Uthmani. With him he read Al-Muwatta with both narrations that are Imam Yahya Al-Laithi and Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan. He also read Sharh Al-Ma’ani Al-Athar, Mishkaat Al-Masabih, Sharh Al-Nukhbah and Tafsir Al-Jalalayn.
  • Shaykh Shabir Ahmad Uthmani. With whom he read Sahih Muslim and about half of AlHidayah. He also accompanied him a lot and benefited tremendously.
  • Mawlana Asghar Husain. With him he read Sunan Al-Nisai, Sunan Abi Dawud and a portion towards the end of Al-Tirmidhi.
  • Mawlana Izaaz Ali
  • Mawlana Rasool Khan Hazarwi
  • Mawlana Habiburrahman Uthmani

Each of these was an ocean of knowledge and piety. His son, Mufti Taqi Uthmani mentioned his other teachers in Zhayl Al-Izdiyad Al-Sani ala Al-Yani Al-Jani.

From his student days, he was regarded amongst the highly intelligent and diligent. He distinguished himself in all examinations, and as a result he was loved by his teachers.

After graduating, Mawlana Habiburrahman appointed him to teach some subjects for the lower classes and very soon he progressed to the higher classes when he taught almost every subject. He taught for about twenty-seven to thirty years until 1943 (1362). During this period, about 30 000 students, from all over the world benefited from his discourses.  Until today there are some of his students still serving the cause of Islam in various parts of the world. He was also given the task of heading the Dar Al-Ifta.

 

Mufti Shafi’ also reached a very high stage in Tasawwuf. He initially took the allegiance (baya’t) to Shaykh Al-Hind in 1920. After the latter’s demise, his spiritual contact continued with Shaykh Thanwi who conferred the mantle of Khilafat to him in 1930. He spent about twenty years in the company of his Shaykh under whose supervision he produced some outstanding literary works.

Mawlana Jamil Ahmad Uthmani said that Shaykh Thanwi had such a reliance on Mufti Shafi’s juristic acumen, that he consulted him on his personal matters as well.

Shaykh Thanwi once said, “May Allah lengthen the life of Mufti Shafi’, for I achieve two joys due to him. Firstly, I obtain knowledge from him and secondly, I have the satisfaction that after me there are people who will continue the work.”

After the demise of his teacher, Shaykh Aziz Al-Rahman, he was appointed as the Head of Fatwa at the Dar Al-Uloom. He remained in this position from 1350-1362. His fatawa were compiled in an eight-volume book entitled Imdad Al-Muftin.

 

Besides his literary and religious endeavors, he also served the people in the political arena. He played a major role in the independence of Pakistan, by openly supporting the Muslim League. Shaykh Thanwi chose him above other scholars to reform and spiritually rectify the leaders of the League like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and others. Mufti Shafi’ was also appointed as the Chief Supervisor of the Jamiyat Al-Ulama, a body created by the scholars who participated in the movement for the creation of Pakistan. In 1945, due to his influence, voting went in favour of Liaqat Ali Khan, who was elected as the President. Due to his political involvement in trying to establish an Islamic State, he was unable to teach, so he resigned.

In 1947 (1367), after the founding of Pakistan, and at the request of Shaykh Uthmani, he left Deoband. In 1949, after the demise of Shaykh Uthmani, he was elected as the Chairman of the Jamiyat Al-Ulama. He was also elected to many national bodies and made great efforts to promote Islam in the country.

In 1950 (1350), he established an institute in Karachi, which after a few months developed into a fully-fledged Dar Al-Uloom, with more than two thousand students. He wrote more than a hundred books some of which like his Tafsir; Ma’arif AlQuran is a great contribution to the study of the Quran. Besides his writing, his Tafsir of the Quran was broadcasted on Radio Pakistan for many years.

Some of his other works are:

  1. Ahkam Al-Quran. He wrote this as per instruction form Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi. Shaykh Zafar Ahmad, Shaykh Idris Khandehlawi and Mufti Jamil were amongst those also selected for this task. Mufti Shafi’s allotment was the portion from Surah Shuaraa until Surah Al-Hujuraat. He completed this in one large volume.
  2. Alaat Jadidah. Fiqh rulings on new issues.

 

Mufti Shafi’ spent his entire life in Islamic activities. Despite his elevated status he was a very humble person. He had an immaculate character and was always smiling. He had a habit of speaking softly but his replies were concise and to the point. He wore simple clothing throughout his life. He had an exceptional ability in both writing and reading and had a phenomenal memory. During his discourses he would give references of books that he had read many years ago. He was a poet in Arabic. Above all he was the head of all the scholars of Pakistan.

Very few people are aware that he was also an expert calligrapher, bookbinder and a hakim (physician). He learnt calligraphy and bookbinding during his student days. He studied herbal medicine as part of his course in the Dar Al-Uloom. His intention was to teach without remuneration and earn a livelihood by practising as a physician. However, Allah had not decreed this for him. When he was initially appointed as a teacher, his monthly salary was five rupees. When he left the institute after twenty-six years his salary was sixty-five rupees a month, whereas he had offers to teach in several parts of the country for a much higher salary, but he did not accept these offers. Madrasah Aliyah of Calcutta, offered him seven hundred rupees a month, but he refused the offer.

 

He passed away in October 1976 (Shawaal 1396). More than 100 000 people participated in his Janazah. Dr. Abdul Hay, senior successor of Shaykh Thanwi and a close friend of Mufti Shafi’ led the Salat. Many scholars expressed grief at his demise.

Mawlana Ihtisam Al-Haq said, “All the ulama have become orphans with his demise.”

Mufti Mahmud said, “Now it is very difficult for such a great learned man and jurist to be born.”

He is survived by his sons, Mufti Taqi Uthmani who is an excellent scholar, a Judge in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a member of the International Fiqh Academy in Jeddah and Mufti Rafi Uthmani.


Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed is a well respected South African Islamic scholar who lives in Pretoria, South Africa. He studied at the King Saud University in Riyadh and the faculty of Shariah at the Islamic University of Madina. He has attained a M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of South Africa. Through his extensive travels he has met and benefited from many senior scholars from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, India, Turkey etc. He has received numerous Ijazahs from the various scholars that he has met, studied with and served. He is currently a senior educator at the al – Ghazzali College in Pretoria.

He has authored two books:

  1. Muslim Scholars of the 20th Century.
  2. Muslim Scholars of the 21st Century.

He was one of the translators of Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al – Maliki’s work: The Way of the True Salaf.


An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

PDF Version:

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

This list of signatories is being actively updated. To join as a signatory please email [email protected] or [email protected]


 

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

 

All praise belongs to Allah, and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad and His family.

 

Peace and mercy be upon you:

 

It is with great concern and perturbation that we have received unconfirmed reports regarding the imminent execution of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari.

 

Islam teaches us that life is a blessing from Allah. Those who seek to deprive someone of this blessing without a clearly sanctioned religious basis have committed an act that God deems atrocious and a mighty sin: If anyone kills a believer deliberately, the punishment for him is Hell, and there he will remain: Allah is angry with him, and rejects him, and has prepared a tremendous torment for him. (Qur’an, 4:93)

 

The Inviolability of the Believer

The Prophet ﷺ and his Companions viewed the life, wealth, and honor of all who uttered the testimony of faith (shahada) as inviolable. They took immense care not to impede on these basic rights even in the context of enacting punishments.

 

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Avoid applying punishments as long as you are able to find an excuse to avert them,” (Sunan Ibn Majah) and Ibn Masʿud stated, “Avoid flogging and applying the death penalty upon people as much as you can.” (Sunan al-Kubra)

 

Indeed, the sanctity of the believer was so great in the eyes of the Prophet ﷺ that he deemed the destruction of the world as a lighter affair than the killing of even a single Muslim. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

 

Similarly, the early Muslims (salaf) would remark when gazing upon the Kaʿba, “The inviolability of a believer is greater with Allah than your inviolability.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi) There are few statements one can imagine as emphatic as these in affirmation of the rank of the believer.

 

A Call for Clemency

In light of the guidance of the Prophet ﷺ and the gravity of depriving a Muslim of the fundamental rights granted to him or her by Islam, we urge the authorities in question to immediately cease any plans to execute Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari in the immediate or distant future.

 

We urge those in the leadership to grant them clemency in this blessed month of Ramadan.

 

It is our firm belief that the actions of these scholars do not in any way justify the appalling treatment they have been subjected to over the past year and more. We make this call in the spirit of providing sincere counsel, realizing our role as scholars duty-bound to the expression of truth, and recognizing that each of us will be held accountable for our actions in the next life where oppression will be nothing but darkness leading to perdition.

 

And Allah is in the aid of His oppressed servants. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon His Prophet.

 

Ramadan 17th, 1440

May 22nd, 2019

Drafted by (Shaykh) Salman Younas

 

 

Signatories

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, SeekersGuidance

Dr. Yasir Qadhi, Dean of the Islamic Seminary of America

Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Shaykh Mustapha Elturk, Amir of Islamic Organization of North America

Shaykh Omar Suleiman

Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, Director of Darul Iftaa Leicester

Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera, London

Shaykh Azhar Nasser, Tasneem Institute

Shaykh Rami Nsour, Tayba Foundation

Dr. Omar Qureshi

Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali

Dr. Jonathan Brown, Georgetown University

Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick

Mohammad Fadel, Professor of Law, University of Toronto

Dr. Shadee Elmasry, Safina Society

Professor Hatem Bazian, Director of IRDP

Shaykh Bilal Ali Ansari, Khalil Center

Mahin Islam, The Mad Mamluks Podcast

Mufti Taha Karaan, South Africa

Imam Suhaib Webb, Scholar in Residence ICNYU

Dr. Ovamir Anjum, University of Toledo

Shaykh Abdul Wahab Saleem

Dr. Hamid Slimi

Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf

Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, UCLA School of Law

Dalia Mogahed, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Imam Dawud Walid, Member of Michigan Imams Council

Dr. Ihsan Bagby, University of Kentucky

Dr. Shabbir Ally, Toronto

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, Tayseer Seminary

Omer M. Mozaffar, Loyola University Chicago

Imam Yasin Dwyer, Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto

Dr. Rafaqat Rashid, Al Balagh Academy

Shaykh Hani Saleem, Islamic Center of Detroit

Shaykh Mohammed Faqih, Islamic Institute of Orange County

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi, Dean of IOK Seminary

Imam Abdul-Malik Ryan, DePaul University

Imam John Ederer, Muslim Community Center of Charlotte

Ismail Royer

Shaykh Sadullah Khan, South Africa

Shaykh Abdur Rahim Reasat, SeekersGuidance

Ustadh Samir Hussain, ISNA High School

Shaykh Sulaiman Gani, London

Prof. Jasser Auda, President of Maqasid Institute Global

Dr. Basma Abdelgafar, Vice President of Maqasid Institute Global

Imam Ibrahim Hindy, Dar al-Tawheed Islamic Center

Dr. Osman Latiff, Jamia Masjid and Islamic Center

Shaykh Amer Jamil, Scotland

Dr. Edward Moad, USA

Shaykh Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah, Walsall

Professor Suleman Dangor, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Dr. Bekim Hasani, Imam and Activist from Melbourne

Shaykh Bilal Ismail, Imam Development Project

Professor S. Sayyid, University of Leeds

Shaykh Shahin-ur Rahman, al-Rahma, England

Dr. Mustapha Sheikh, University of Leeds

Dr. Tajul Islam, University of Leeds

Dr. David H. Warren, University of Edinburgh

Dr Syed Mustafa Ali, The Open University, UK

Dr. Ahmed Soboh, Religious Director of Chino Valley Islamic Center

Buthaina Hawas-Neveln, Iraqi Journalist

Shaykh Salmaan Parkar, Australian Islamic College

Imam Imran Salha, ICA

Dr. Asif Hirani, Imam and Resident Scholar of Worcester Islamic Center

Faheem Sidi

Zaid alBarzinji, Maqasid Institute

Shaykh Ahmad Kutty, Resident Scholar of Islamic Institute of Toronto

Imam Shafi Chowdhury, Leicester

Shaykh Abdur Rahman Khan, Co-Chair of National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue

Dr. Mohammad Ilyas, University of Florida

Shaykh Mohammad Aman Haque, Norway

Shaykh Tariq Ata

Imam Mazhar Mahmood, Director of Islamic Foundation of Peoria

Ishraq Ali, Organizing Director of MPower Change

Professor James Dickins, University of Leeds

Mohammad Elshinawy, Yaqeen Institute

Naseera Hoorzook

Usman Qamar, Muslim Chaplaincy of Waterloo

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Mawlana Zakariyah Harneker

Imam Salim Astewani, Cheadle, Cheshire, UK

Dr. John Esposito, Georgetown University

Dr. Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown University

Shaykh Muhammad Abuelezz, RCIC Imam, Muslim Association of Canada

Omar Usman, Executive Director, MuslimMatters

Sanam Zaidi

Mufti Ismail Y Syed, London

Mostafa Elhoushi

Dr. Ildus Rafikov, ISTAC

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, UK

Ustadha Umm Jamaal ud-Din, Islamic College of Australia

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Chairman Fiqh Council of North America

Abdo Binmelik, MGIET Ethiopia

Zahra Summayah, Founder/CEO Manifesting Muslimah Coaching

Moulana Safwaan Navlakhi, Al-Ma’aly Institute South Africa

Salim Astewani, Cheshire

Dr. Sharif El-Tobgui, Brandeis University

Iyad Hilal

Riffat Hussain, UK

Shahzad Hussain, UK

Imam Suleiman Hani, ICD

Turgut Ibrahim

Aamir Ansari, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)

Mufti Sufyan, UK

Saira AbuBakr

Dr. Munir Elkassem, President of Islamic Institute for Interfaith Dialogue

Taha Abdul-Basser

Laila Mehar, Former President of UConn SJP Hartford

Amina Muhannaia, Turkey

Ashraf Gomma Ali

Raheem Bilal

Arbazz Mohammed

Ustadha Umme Umar, UK

Waqas Syed, ICNA Council for Social Justice

Safwan Ahmed Patel, UK

Muhammad Ibn Yusuf, UK

Faruq Abdul Jabbar

Quratulain Musaddique

Rukhsana Ghouse

Mohammed Toshriful Haque, USA

Dr Susan Kennedy Nour al Deen

Aiman Arif

Aiysha Khalid

Imam Bilal Elsakka

Professor Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Laurier University

Ahmed Sameer, India

Amara Jawaid

Janet Watson

Andrew Stroebel

Mumtaz Ahmed Khan

Dawud Khan

 


This list of signatories is being actively updated. To join as a signatory please email [email protected] or [email protected] 


 

The Trodden Path (Episode 4): A Glimpse At the Lives of the Illustrious Scholars and Saints of the 20th and 21st Century.

In this series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed of South Africa will take us on a journey through the lives and biographies of some of the most celebrated and well known scholars of the twentieth and twenty – first century. These historical accounts will provide us with refreshing insights and lessons, and motivate us to follow in the footsteps of our pious predecessors.


In this fourth episode of the The Trodden Path series, Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed writes on the life of Shaykh Muhammad Shakur al-Mayadini

 

The Trodden Path  Shaykh Muhammad Shakur al-Mayadini   

The Shaykh was born in the city of Mayadin in Syria in 1938 (1356). He hailed from a noble family and his lineage joins with the household of the Prophet Muhammad through his grandson, Husayn ibn Ali (RA). The city of Mayadin was on the banks of the Euphrates River and was an old city that was known from the Roman era and it also featured during the era of the Abbasid leader, Harun al-Rashid.

He was born into a family of average financial standing and his father lived until his 90’s. Initially, the young Muhammad Shakur was the only child. Thereafter his father married for a second time and he was blessed with sons and daughters. Because he had to serve his mother and she had no other children, he was pardoned from the normally compulsory military conscription.

Muhammad Shakur married for the first time when he was 17 and he was blessed with his first child when he was 19. He had six children from his first wife. His wife was the perfect aide and confidant and patiently bore all the difficulties including the times when he was imprisoned and the unsettled lifestyle. Shaykh Shakur said the following about her when she passed away: “I lived with her for 50 years and never once did I go to bed angry with her.”

After her demise, he married for the second time to woman from Jordan who bore him a daughter. She too took excellent care of the Shaykh even during the days of his illness.

He assisted his father in his business and various other chores and patiently bore all the difficulties as a result of the travelling between different towns and cities.

He was loved by all, the young and the old and spent almost all his time in the masjid. He is not known to have missed the Fajr Salat in the masjid except due to severe illness.

Education:

Period in Syria

He completed his primary education in Mayadin and he continued in Dayr Zor. It was during this period that he began acquiring sacred knowledge in the different masjids and he even began delivering the Friday sermon (khutbah) in the city and in some neighboring villages. He completed his secondary school at Dar al-Mu’allimin in Aleppo in 1959. During this period he had some confrontations with the Syrian Government and he was imprisoned. His secondary school certificate allowed him to teach and so he taught for a while. He studied under Shaykh Mahmud Umar Mushawwah under whom he studied various subjects and remained with him for a long time. There was a mutual love for one another between the shaykh and the student. Shaykh Shakur regarded his teacher, Shaykh Mahmud as his father. In 1962, he obtained his general secondary school certificate.

He was appointed as a teacher in Hasakah but continued in his quest for knowledge. He enrolled at the Faculty of Shariah at the University of Damascus and graduated in 1967. During his time as a student at the university, he realized that he needed to increase his knowledge because what he gained at the university was not sufficient. So, he began reading profusely day and night until he is supposed to have read about 30 000 pages in one year in different subjects that included the nine famous canonical books of Hadith. He also read voluminous books like Tafsir al-Tabari, Tafsir al-Zhilal (fi zhilal al-Quran) and about nine volumes of Tafsir alRazi and other books. He used to makes notes as he read. If he was not reading then he was listening to a recorded lesson or khutbah on the old cassette players.He spent a lot of time with his teacher (shaykh) and discussed various juristic, political and social matters. Every Friday, asked Shaykh Shakur about the topic of the sermon. The teacher and studied would then walk out of the town discussing and brainstorming the topic. He was prevented from delivering the Friday sermon on a number of occasions because he was fearless when he ascended the pulpit. During this period there were many who were his students and later became reputable scholars and even professors, engineers and teachers.

Period in Makkah

The next phase in his life began in 1976 when he moved to Makkah where he was honoured to teach at one of the schools close to the Haram in the Shamiyah district. Very often he used to go to the Haram early before his teaching commenced in order to perform tawaf. He also taught at the Abu Zayd al-Ansari Hifz School in the Tan’im district until 1983.During this period he had a permanent place in the Haram where he taught various subjects including Tafsir and Islamic etiquette. He began editing and annotating various books and one of his first works was alAwa’il by al-Tabarani which was published in 1983. He registered for the Masters’ degree in Egypt and successfully completed the first year but was unable to complete his studies due to financial constraints. He also wished to return to his country to promote the religion. It was during his time in Makkah that he became acquainted with various scholars that included; Shaykh Ali al-Tantawi, Shaykh Muhammad Mahmud al-Sawwaf, Shaykh Muhammad Ali al-Sabuni and Shaykh Diya al-Din al-Sabuni.

He was fortunate to have entered the Ka’bah on a number of occasions. During his stay in Makkah he collected many books which resulted in his own large library. His passion for books continued until a short while before his death. His selection was so huge that even while completing his doctoral thesis there were only two books that he required that were not in his library. He eventually bought these as well.

He was even appointed as an Imam in one of the mosques in Makkah for four years and served as the Friday preacher in another mosque in Aziziyah also for about four years. Thereafter he resigned from his teaching post in Makkah and decided to move to Baghdad in Iraq to devote more time calling people to Allah.

Period in Iraq

In 1983 he moved to Baghdad, Iraq where he remained for a few years calling people to Allah while never neglecting his research. While in Baghdad, he edited a number of books which were published.He visited the different libraries in Baghdad to familiarize himself with the different manuscripts. It was during his stay in Iraq that he was able to complete his Masters’ degree which he obtained from the Punjab University in Pakistan. Even while in Pakistan, he maximized his time to study and read Hadith with various scholars from whom he obtained ijazah. He travelled numerous times to Makkah where he was fortunate to have met and read with scholars like Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani, Shaykh Abu Turab al-Zhahiri and others and from whom he also received ijazah. It was during this time that he studied under Shaykh Husayn Usayran. He read the entire SahihalBukhari and the complete Quran to him and he received ijazah from him. His son, Muhammad Adib also read a portion of SahihalBukhari with Shaykh Husayn and also received ijazah from him.

Period in Jordan

This is regarded as the golden period in his life because it was filled with his lessons from which many benefited. He dedicated all of his time to serving the religion. He was appointed as the imam and preacher in two cities; Zarqa and Amman. He moved to Jordan in 1991 where he lived in Zarqa and served as an imam in one mosque after which he moved to Masjid al-Quds in Zarqa. This mosque became a beacon of knowledge because it was here that Shaykh Shakur led the prayers, delivered lectures and taught hundreds of students. He used conduct lectures in various other mosques as well. He conducted weekly lessons during which he taught Tafsir, special lessons for the women on a Wednesday. Many of these ladies were prominent in the field of Da’wah and used to phone him for answers to their questions. During his lessons in Zarqa, he explained a reasonable portion of the book, alHidayah by al-Mirghaynani. He also conducted lessons in sirah.

After some of his students insisted, he finally registered at the al-Quran al-Karim University in Sudan for his doctorate with a special focus on Hadith. He obtained his doctorate cum laude in 1998 when he was about 60 years old. Thereafter he relocated to the capital, Amman where students from different parts of the world thronged around him. Some were post-graduate students and others were scholars. They studied SahihalBukhari and Muwatta under him. He continued conducting lessons in some of the other mosques. He continued teaching women on a Wednesday and these lessons continued for over 12 years. Many completed SahihalBukhari, Muwatta, alAdab alMufrad and a portion of Ihya Ulum alDin. These women maintained a very high level of dedication and punctuality and would rarely miss a lesson except if it was beyond their control.

During this period he began conducting some online lessons. During these lessons, students would read to him and he explained. He did this despite his ill health because he was too ashamed to turn a student away. He delivered the Friday sermon in Jordan for about 24 years and only stopped due to his illness in 2012. He obtained Jordanian citizenship in 2003.

Some of his Shuyukh:

  • Shaykh Mahmud ibn Umar ibn Muhammad Sharif Mushawwah (d. 1420) who was the Mufti of Dayr Zor. With him Shaykh Shakur studied Fiqh of the Hanafi School.
  • ShaykhHusaynUsayran
  • Shaykh Abu Abdullah Muhammad A’zam ibn Fadl al-Din al-Jondalwi (d. 1405). Shaykh Shakur received ijazah from him.
  • Shaykh Ibrahim Fatani.
  • Shaykh Muhammad Ubaydullah, a mufti from Paksitan.
  • Shaykh Abu al-Tayyib Muhammad Ata Allah Hanif al-Fojiyani (d. 1409). He received ijazah from him.
  • Shaykh Muhammad Malik Kandehlawi, who was the senior scholar of Hadith at the Dar al-Hadith al-Ashrafiyah in Lahore. He received ijazah from him as well.
  • Shaykh Abu Muhammad Badi’ al-Din Shah al-Rashidi al-Sindi (d. 1416).
  • He received ijazah from both Mufti Taqi and Mufti Rafi’ Uthmani who are two senior scholars from Pakistan.
  • Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani (d. 1410). He read the Muwatta as per the narration of Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan.
  • Shaykh Abu Turab al-Zahiri who was the son of Shaykh Abdul Haq al-Hashimi.
  • Shaykh Abdul Wakil who is a son of Shaykh Abdul Haq al-Hashimi
  • ShaykhHusaynUsayran (d. 1426). He read the Quran and SahihalBukhari to him.

Shaykh Muhammad Shakur was blessed with many students. This is due to him having taught in Makkah, Baghdad and Amman. He read and taught SahihalBukhari and the Muwatta well over 20 times.

Some of his students who are respectable scholars are:

  • Shaykh Ali ibnYasin al-Muhaymid
  • ShaykhHusayn al-Ubaydli
  • Shaykh Muhammad Adib (son of Shaykh Shakur)
  • Shaykh Muhammad Daniel (Britain)
  • Shaykh Ali ibn Muhammad al-Imran
  • ShaykhNizamYaqubi
  • ShaykhRiyadibnHusayn al-Taaie (Iraq)
  • Shaykh Abu al-Hajjaj Yusuf al-Alawi

His character:

He was deeply hurt and affected when a Jewish soldier killed a number of Palestinians during the Fajr Salat in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. After this incident he delivered two fiery and emotional sermons after which he was admitted to the hospital and they discovered that he had a clot in his heart. He underwent numerous medical procedures and operations. Some of the medication had side-effects and caused other complications. He was afflicted with prostate cancer and received treatment for about four years. Despite his ill health, he remained committed to the Din and continued teaching.

Those who interacted with Shaykh Shakur would agree that he was soft natured, he cried easily, devout worshiper and a person who was eager to impart knowledge at every opportunity.  He was very emotional when he heard the blessed characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad. He loved and respected the ulama.

He continued teaching even in his old age and despite his illness. He even had women attend and complete Sahih alBukhari with him. He was alert during the recital of the Hadith and very often pointed the variations in the different editions. He preferred commenting on various aspects related to the Hadith.

We witnessed all of the above when we invited him to South Africa in 2013 as per the recommendation of Shaykh Muhammad Daniel (Cordoba Academy). When I (Shoayb Ahmed) phoned him to invite him, he gladly accepted despite his ill health and having never met me previously. Yet he was willing to undertake the long journey. He traveled with his wife and his young daughter. It was a pleasure having such a scholar with such an amazing personality. I asked him as to why he didn’t hesitate in accepting the invitation. He said that a Muslim brother made a request and he accepted the opportunity to travel for the pleasure of Allah and to impart ‘ilm. He did not inform his children about his planned visit to South Africa until the night prior to his departure. He feared that had they known earlier, they would have prevented him from travelling. He didn’t even inform us that he was unable to walk and needed a wheelchair. When he was questioned about this? He said that if we knew that he was unable to walk, we would have cancelled his visit. He would sit for hours while we read alMuwatta and other works to him. He carried many books with him as gifts for the students and he even distributed cash to those who were graduating. He was overjoyed to have met an old friend when he was reunited with Shaykh Muhammad Ali al-Sabuni in South Africa. The day before he departed he was taken to the Pretoria Zoo and he really enjoyed himself. When he departed and we greeted him at the airport, it was as if we were bidding farewell to our father. This is how attached we became to him during his ten day visit.

His books and annotations:

Despite his teaching, his Hadith sessions and his responsibility as imam, he still found time to write and annotate various books. Sometimes he used to spend 14-15 hours a day reading and researching various aspects.

  1. He gathered 40 Hadith on sending salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad. He compiled this in Baghdad in 1405.
  2. Fayd al-Mu’in ‘ala Jami al-Arba’in fi Fadail al-Quran al-Mubin by Mulla Ali al-Qari (d. 1014). He referenced the Hadith and edited the work.
  3. Targhib Ahl al-Islam fi Sukna Bilad al-Sham by al-‘Izz ibn Abd al-Salam. He edited it and referenced the Hadith.
  4. Fad al-Wiaa’ fi Ahadith Raf’ al-Yadayn fi al-Dua by al-Suyuti. He edited this work in Pakistan
  5. Al-Rawd al-Dani ‘ala al-Mu’jam al-Saghirby al-Tabarani (2 volumes)
  6. Al-Lum’at fi Khasais al-Jumuah by al-Suyuti
  7. Al-Ifsah ‘an ahadith al-nikah by Ibn Hajr al-Haytami.
  8. Hibat al-Rahman al-Rahim min Jannat al-Na’im fi Fadail al-Quran al-Karimby Muhammad Hashim al-Sindi. Shaykh Shakur condensed it and edited it.
  9. Siham al-isabah fi al-da’wat al-mujabahby al-Suyuti.
  10. Majma’ al-zawa’idwamanba’ al-fawa’idby al-Haytami
  11. Al-Imta’ bi al-arba’in al-mutabayinah bi shart al-sama’ by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani.
  12. He edited al-Majma’ al-Mu’assas li al-Mu’jam al-Mufahras by IbnHajr
  13. Tasdid al-Qaws fi Takhrij Musnad al-Firdaws by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani. This book contains about 6000 Hadith. He passed away before completing this work. He completed about one third.

His demise:

He passed away on a Friday night having conducted his last lesson in Sahih alBukhari a day prior to his demise. He requested to be taken to hospital where his health deteriorated and he was in severe pain. He used to place his hand on the area where he experienced pain and say: ‘Ya Allah!. His children were at his side and he spoke to them. He passed away on the 10th December 2015(28 Safar 1437).

 


Shaykh Shoayb Ahmed is a well respected South African Islamic scholar who lives in Pretoria, South Africa. He studied at the King Saud University in Riyadh and the faculty of Shariah at the Islamic University of Madina. He has attained a M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of South Africa. Through his extensive travels he has met and benefited from many senior scholars from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, India, Turkey etc. He has received numerous Ijazahs from the various scholars that he has met, studied with and served. He is currently a senior educator at the al – Ghazzali College in Pretoria.

He has authored two books:

  1. Muslim Scholars of the 20th Century.
  2. Muslim Scholars of the 21st Century.

He was one of the translators of Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al – Maliki’s work: The Way of the True Salaf.


 

 

Dr. Hadia Mubarak Urges You to Support the Islamic Scholars’ Fund

Dr. Hadia Mubarak speaks about the systematic destruction of religious institutions and Islamic scholarship, and urges us to contribute to the Islamic Scholars Fund.

I would like to take a moment of your time today and ask you to support a very worthy cause: the Islamic Scholars’ Fund by SeekersGuidance.

In the span of the twentieth century, the Muslim world witnessed the demise of its last religious empire, imperial governance and occupation, the dismantling of religious authority, the creation of modern nation-states, and the forging of new national identities and sources of legislation. The loss of Muslims’ global political power was accompanied by a collapse of the authority and power once held by the ʿulama.

The newly bureaucratized state created modern courts, appropriated legislative processes, previously the purview of the ʿulama, restructured traditional religious seminaries, and took over their financial wellspring, the awqāf, thereby depriving the ʿulama of a major source of economic power and independence.These significant changes, among others, lead to the gradual marginalization of the ʿulama class, who previously enjoyed unparalleled social authority and prestige.

Despite the marginalization of religious scholars, their knowledge remains as pertinent today as it has ever been in Islamic history. On a daily basis, 1.8 billion Muslims around the globe seek reliable answers to urgent questions they are facing: how to bury their dead ones, how to divide up their inheritance in a proper and fair way, how to get married. Despite the continuous need for reliable religious scholars, the lack of infrastructure and financial support for scholars coupled with escalating political turbulence in the Muslim world has forced many of them to resort to menial jobs to make ends meet.

The Islamic Scholars’ Fund seeks to create an infrastructure to support scholars’ efforts to tend to the community’s pressing needs by researching, writing, responding to questions, and teaching. Please take a moment of your time today and make a contribution to the Islamic Scholars Fund on SeekersGuidance. Whatever you can give is worthy. As God reminds us in the following Qur’anic verse, “…whatever good you may spend will be repaid unto you in full, and you shall not be wronged” (Qur’an, 2:272).


Dr. Hadia Mubarak is an assistant professor of religious studies at Guilford College. Previously, Mubarak taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Davidson College. Mubarak completed her Ph.D. in Islamic studies from Georgetown University, where she specialized in modern and classical Qurʾanic exegesis, Islamic feminism, and gender reform in the modern Muslim world.


The Ruling on a Scholar Who Withholds Knowledge from One Who Seeks It

Shaykh Faraz A. Khan is asked whether a scholar is obliged to answer a student who asks a question seeking knowledge, and if there is any circumstance in which the scholar can refuse.

Question

If an Alim has knowledge – i.e. fiqh rulings, tenets of aqa’id, etc., – and a muqallid asks the Alim, or Ulema, about this knowledge (i.e to teach them the true and correct knowledge),  is the Alim obliged to teach them? And if not, what is the ruling on Ulema with holding knowledge from a muqalid/ the awwam(general masses). When is it permissible for the Alim or Ulema to either flatly ignore the muqallid or overtly refuse to answer a sincere request for teaching/instruction?

Answer

Assalamu alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

The general rule is that it is prohibited for a scholar to withhold knowledge from one who seeks it if the knowledge relates to religious obligations. Some scholars add that the prohibition applies only if there is no other scholar available to teach that knowledge. *(Khadimi, Bariqa Mahmudiyya Sharh Tariqa Muhammadiyya; Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir Sharh Jami al-Saghir)

Withholding obligatory knowledge that the questioner has no other recourse to is a serious and grave sin. In his compendium on major sins in Islam, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami lists “Withholding Knowledge” as an enormity [kabira], due to the numerous primary texts of the Qur’an and Sunna that sternly warn against it. (Zawajir fi Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir)

Primary Texts from the Qur’an

Allah Most High states in the Qur’an:

Verily those who conceal that which We have revealed of clear signs and guidance, after We have made it clear for people in the Book – on them shall be Allah’s curse, and the curse of those who curse. Except those who repent, make amends, and make manifest [the truth]; to them I relent, for I am Oft-returning, Most Merciful (Sura al-Baqara 2:159-60)

-“Surely, those who conceal that which Allah has revealed of the Book and take for it a small price – they eat nothing into their bellies but fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them; and they shall have a painful chastisement.” [2:174]

-“And when Allah took a covenant with those who were given the Book: ‘You shall certainly make it known to mankind and shall not hide it.’ But they cast it behind their backs and took a small price for it – how vile is that which they gained thereby.” (Sura Aal Imran 3:187)

Scholars mention that although these Qur’anic verses relate to specific peoples historically, the specificity of context does not negate the generality of the wording and, hence, prohibition. Therefore, the verses would apply to scholars of our community that withhold religious knowledge that is needed by the community. Qatada, for example, said with respect to the covenant mentioned in the latter verse above (Sura Aal Imran 3:187), “This is a covenant that Allah has taken with all who possess knowledge, so whoever has knowledge let him teach it. Beware of withholding knowledge, for indeed its concealment is a catastrophe.”

This is how various Noble Companions understood the verses as well, such as Aisha and Abu Hurayra [Allah be pleased with them]. Abu Hurayra swore by Allah that were it not for two verses in the Qur’an (Sura al-Baqara 2:159-60, see above], he would not have related any Prophetic hadiths.

(Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur’an; Haytami, Zawajir fi Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir; Ibn Abdul Barr, Jami‘ Bayan al-‘Ilm)

Related Hadith and Commentary

In addition, there are many hadiths of our Beloved Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, that prohibit the concealment of sacred knowledge.

The most well-known hadith on the matter is: “Whoever is asked about [sacred] knowledge and withholds it will have a bridle of fire placed on him on the Day of Judgment.” In some narrations there is the addition, “with respect to religious knowledge by which Allah benefits people.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Sahih Ibn Hibban, Ibn Maja)

However, it must be noted again that these texts are interpreted by scholars to refer to knowledge that the questioner immediately needs to fulfill his religious obligations. Examples are if a scholar is questioned by a Muslim regarding whether something is lawful or prohibited; by a recent Muslim convert regarding how to perform the prayer; or by a non-Muslim regarding how to enter Islam. The threats mentioned in the above verses and hadiths do not apply to supererogatory knowledge that is not necessary, nor to secular knowledge.

(Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih; Suyuti, Sharh Ibn Maja; Mubarakpuri, Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi; Abadi, ‘Awn al-Ma‘bud)

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam

Faraz A. Khan

Checked and Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The True Scholar: A Person of Knowledge and Action by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This podcast is a recording of a talk that Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gave in Johannesburg Habib Umar’s tour. He speaks about the definition of a true scholar.

Click here to access the podcast. 

In Johannesburg, Shaykh Faraz spoke about the characteristics of a true scholar, or, a true Sufi as, “A person of knowledge who acted upon their knowledge, so Allah granted them knowledge of what they didn’t know.”

The first step to this, is simply being a person of knowledge, or ilm. Each time has its particular challenge. In our times, we see many educated Muslims who still have questions and doubts. We need to remain connected to sacred knowledge, so that we can help others clear up their doubts and misconceptions. Complaining about people who are disrespectful or rude will not help. In fact, even knowledgeable people can start having doubts if they disconnect from the knowledge and their teachers. Therefore, we should always have a regular routine of learning, even if small.

The second step is aml, or action. We have a responsibility to embody our knowledge and take our deen seriously. The Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, was known as The Honest and Trustworthy, even before he became a Prophet. We carry the trust of the religion, and we should ask ourselves whether we are fulfilling that trust.

The third aspect is haal, or our state with Allah. We should be engaged in correcting ourselves, and work on spiritual purification. A great scholar from Damascus, Shaykh Ali Zafar, used to give fiery sermons, saying, “O you who have turned away from your Lord! O you who have forgotten the command of your Lord!” The listeners used to cry and repent. One of his students went back to visit his hometown, and was asked to give a sermon. He did it in the same way as Shaykh Ali had, but before two minutes had passed, the congregants got angry and beat him. When he returned and told the story to his Shaykh Ali, he told him,” My son, when I address people, I am addressing people, I place myself in front of myself. I’m not putting anyone down, I’m talking to myself. And because I’m being true to Allah, people are being affected.”

May Allah allow us to be those who apply what they know, so Allah gives them knowledge of what they do not know.


Mawlid al-Dayba’i: Shaykh Muhammad Ba-Dhib

Shaykh Muhammad Ba-Dhib introduces the Mawlid al-Dayba’i, authored by Imam ʿAbd al-Rahman ibn ʿAli al-Dayba who lived from the 9th to 10th Islamic centuries.

The Mawlid al-Dayba’i was written by  the great scholar of hadith, Shaykh Abd al-Rahman ibn ʿAli al-Dayba, from Yemen. He was from the tribe of Shayban, and lived in the city of Zabid. He lived in the 9th century AH and passed halfway through the 10th century.

The name Dayba was given to his grandfather, when he went to Abyssinia to trade. He had an unusually light complexion for a Yemeni, so the people there called him Dayba’, which meant white in their language. The name stuck, and it became their family name.

Shaykh Abd al-Rahman was a great scholar of hadith, who wrote a book called “Easing the Way to Attaining the Hadith of the Messenger,” which was composed of five or six volumes. His other book was called “Differentiating That Which is Good From That Which is Vile,” clarifying sayings wrongfully attributed to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. It was an abbreviation of a text written by his teacher, Imam Sakhawi, who studied under the famous commentator of the Sahih al-Bukhari, Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani.

His Mawlid

The Mawlid al-Daybai, like other mawlids, is concise biography of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, which serves to educate the layman about his life and encourage his praise.

Some critics argue that many mawlids reference weak hadith when speaking of the early life of the Prophet. While that may be true, it is important to remember that hadith were not recorded as meticulously as they were after the Prophet received revelation, when it became a responsibility to collect and preserve the religious tradition. Weak traditions may be used for purposes not related to deriving legal rulings. These great Imans who had such deep knowledge would not convey something incorrect.


Support “The Mother” – Help Us Raise $200,000 to Support Women’s Islamic Scholarship Now (Zakat-Eligible)

Give your zakat and charity, urgently, to raise $200,000 to support deserving and needy women scholars and students of Islamic knowledge around the world.

Our goal is to raise $200,000 USD in a Zakat friendly campaign in order to support six female seekers of knowledge: two students and four female scholars. It is imperative that we support female scholarly voices who are experts on dealing with women’s issues in Fiqh, Islamic social sciences, and more.

“The Mother”

As a professional in frontline Health Sciences, she worked on the ground with patients who needed immediate support. She began to take classes at SeekersHub and yearned to learn far more deeply. She felt the benefits in her own life from the free courses she had the privilege to learn from. Learning gave her the personal and spiritual growth that Mothers often sacrifice because of their devotion to their families.
While studying with leading scholars in her community and online, she has also started teaching youth and mentoring students. She is an expert in physical healing and believes in the importance of spiritual health. Her commitment to learning and imparting that knowledge is unparalleled.

 

Your charity and Zakat donations can help as follows:

  • Helper – $30 can help buy groceries
  • Supporter – $50 can help buy study materials
  • Sponsor – $250 can buy key reference books
  • Champion – $500 can help pay for tuition and tutoring
  • Companion – $1,000 can help pay for essential family expenditure
  • Protector – $5,000 can help pay rent for more than one month
  • Leader – $10,000 can help provide long term security

Donate today: Help Us Raise $200,000 to Support Women’s Islamic Scholarship Now (Zakat-Eligible)

Support Women's Islamic Scholarship