Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Kafan

These notes are from Lesson 167 of the Book of Funerals (from al Tajrid al Sarih, the Summarised Saheeh al-Bukhari) delivered by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 24th August 2007.

Ch. 8 – Chapter of white clothes for the Shroud

باب: الثّيَابُ البِيضُ لِلكَفَن

643. عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا: أَنّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كُفّنَ في ثَلاَثَةِ أَثْوَابٍ يَمَانِيَةٍ, بِيضٍ سَحُولِيّةٍ مِنْ كُرْسُفٍ, لَيْسَ فِيهنّ قَمِيصٌ وَلاَ عِمَامَةٌ. رواه البخاري: 1264

643. Narrated A'isha
رضى الله عنها : Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم was shrouded in three Yemenite white Sahuliyya (pieces of cloth) of cotton, and in them there was neither a shirt nor a turban. (2:354O.B.)

Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) wishes to mention the desirability of white clothing for the deceased. The Ulema agree that clothing which a person cannot wear during his or her lifetime e.g. silk for men is also haraam for the kafan. Any colour or any material can be used but it is desirable to use white. Imam Shafi (رحمة الله عليه) and Imam Hanbal (رحمة الله عليه) say the kafan is a simple set of 3 . Imam Malik (رحمة الله عليه) says it is five cloths and also the imama (turban).

3 sheets are recommended. One of them is regarded as being the 'qamees' and one is the 'izhaar' according to the Hanafi school of fiqh. But, the Ulema agree that even a single cloth that covers entire body can be used

Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was shrouded in 3 pieces of cloth from Yemen. It is was Sahuliyya cloth (Sahul was a village in Yemen) and was made of cotton.

In a Hadeeth Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said wear white clothes as they are purer and shroud your dead in white.

It is important to define the ‘qamees’ and ‘izhar’:

Qamees – any garment whish is worn to cover upper body regardless of its length. According to the Hanafi fiqh, the Qamees of the kafan has no opening except a slit for the neck.

Izhar – any garment that is worn as the first item of clothing on the body. It covers the inner body around the waist (intended to cover lower part of body). Izhaar would be a simple cloth, often not even sewn. Izhaar does not mean trousers. The Shaykh mentioned that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was given the gift of trousers (as we know them) but he never wore them. Izhaar is like the ‘lungi’

The Maliki Ulema also say that an imama (turban) is also part of the shroud. Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq mentioned that the imama is mentioned in many hadeeth and it is the turban that is worn by Muslims (the imama is NOT any other type of head covering), and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wore it on many different occasions. There is a special significance of the imama in the Hadeeth. For example, there is a hadeeth that narrates Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was ill and sat on the minbar wearing a black imama. Another example is from the eighth year of hijrah, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wore a black imama on top of his helmet when the conquest of Makkah took place. One may ask why the Maliki ulema say that the kafan includes the Imama. His opinion was based on the prevalent of practices of people of Madinah after the demise of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and thus these practices were important in his fatawa. Thus, he would say that ‘1000 from a 1000 is better than 1 from 1’ This means that if a group of 1000 people were all doing something which they all saw the Sahabah doing was important to him.

Imam Malik says ‘Nafee my teacher/master narrated to us from Abdullah ibn Umar from Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم)’. Abdullah ibn Umar diligently observed the sunnah of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Ch. 9 – Shrouding in two pieces of cloth

باب: الْكَفَنُ فِي ثَوْبَين

644. عَنِ ابْنِ عَبّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: بَيْنَما رَجُلٌ وَاقِفٌ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِعَرَفَةَ, إِذْ وَقَعَ عَنْ رَاحِلَتِهِ فَوَقَصَتْهُ, أَوْ قَالَ: فَأَوْقَصَتْهُ, قَالَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: (اغْسِلُوهُ بِمَاءٍ وَسِدْرٍ, وَكَفّنُوهُ في ثَوْبَيْنِ, وَلاَ تُحَنّطُوهُ, وَلاَ تُخَمّرُوا رَأْسَهُ, فَإِنّهُ يُبْعَثُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مُلَبّيا). رواه البخاري: 1265

644. Narrated Ibn 'Abbâs رضى الله عنهما : While a man was at 'Arafât (for Hajj) with Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم , he fell from his mount and broke his neck (or his neck was crushed by it) (and he died). The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, Wash him with water and Sidr and shroud him in two pieces of cloth, and neither perfume him, nor cover his head, for he will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection saying, Labbaik. (2:356O.B.)

The man referred to in this hadeeth (Hadeeth 644) was already in a state of ihram when in died. This incident occurred on 9th Dhul Hijjah during the final part of the Hajj. The man fell from his animal and broke his neck. Rasul
(صلى الله عليه وسلم) instructed that he should be bathed with water and Sidr (leaves from Jerusalem tree). Further, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that hanoot (perfume) should not be applied to him. Hanoot is a collection of fragrances. Furthermore, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that the man’s head should not be covered – this is because he left the dunya in a state of ihram so he will be resurrected in a state of ihram. The Maliki and Hanafi ulema say that the state of ihram comes to end when a person dies. Their opinion is that this hadeeth is exclusive to that one individual who died. In contrast, the Hanbali and Shafi ulema say that the state of ihram continues even after death.

The Terminator of all Pleasures

The following notes are from Lesson 166 of the Book of Funerals of al Tajrid al Sarih which was delivered by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 17th August 2007 at Al Kawthar Academy, Leicester.

باب: فَضْلُ مَن مَاتَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَاحتَسَب

Ch. 5 - Chapter of the virtue of one whose child dies and then he is patient.

In Tajrid al Sarih this chapter heading is incomplete. Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq stated that the complete chapter heading is ‘chapter of the virtue of one whose child dies and then he is patient and chapter on the words of Allah hoping for reward from Allah’.

Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) mentions the beginning of a verse of a Quran in this chapter heading

640. Narrated Anas
رضى الله عنه : The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, A Muslim whose three children die before the age of puberty will be granted Paradise by Allâh due to His Mercy for them. (2:340O.B.)

640. وعَنْه رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: (ما مِنَ النّاسِ مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ, يُتَوَفّى لَهُ ثَلاثٌ لَمْ يَبْلُغُوا الْحِنْثَ, إِلاّ أَدْخَلَهُ اللهُ الجَنّةَ, بِفَضْلِ رَحْمَتِهِ إِيّاهُمْ). رواه البخاري: 1248

In this hadeeth, the word Ehtisaab is mentioned which means believing in and hoping for a reward from Allah. This specific word is also mentioned in many other ahadeeth. For example in a hadeeth about Ramadhan – whoever does qiyam in Ramadhan with imaan in ehtisaab all of his past sins will be forgiven. Ehtisaab means that you do something with a specific intention and with imaan in reward from Allah. We often misunderstand sabr. Sabr refers to patience and perseverance, exercising restraint as well as remaining steadfast. Ones inability to do something about bereavement is not patience. So what is patience? Once a woman was at the grave of a child (this is a hadeeth of Bukhari) Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told her to be patient as she was weeping and she replied ‘away with you for you are not the one facing the grief’. When she was told afterwards that, that was Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) she went to him. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said patience is at the time of the initial shock. Wailing, weeping, abuse, apathy are all incorrect responses and the person that’s failed the test of patience. One should trust in Allah and accept that this is the Qadr of Allah and say Ina lillah we ina ilyhe rajoon, the person has died and belongs to Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an that one should seek Allah’s assistance through patience and prayer-this is true sabr.

Hadeeth 640 – This hadeeth has been narrated by many, many companions. In one narration four children are mentioned. The chapter heading says ‘child’ but the hadeeth says three children. In addition, one may note that nothing of patience is mentioned in the hadeeth, but Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) has other narrations of this hadeeth, for example there is a narration that a sahabi said ‘I lost two children and Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said even two and even one. So even if a Muslim loses one child before the age of puberty Allah will grant paradise on the condition that the person is patient. It is graphically mentioned in the hadeeth that these children that die before the age of puberty run around opening any doors of Jannah for their parents. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) lost all of his children except Fatimah (رضى الله عنها), his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) life was full of test after test; Qasim (رضى الله عنه), Abdullah (رضى الله عنه) and Ibrahim (رضى الله عنه) died in childhood, Zainab (رضى الله عنها), Ruqaiyah (رضى الله عنها) and Umm Kulthum (رضى الله عنها) all grew up, married and then died in the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) life time. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was not an emperor or a king, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not come to establish a kingdom, so all of his male children died in childhood - they were destined to die. It is important to realise that one cannot assume a person has been guaranteed Jannah after the death of a child because there are conditions e.g. the shari’ah cannot be contravened.

Finally, one should also note that a child in general can gain reward for doing something good, but cannot be held accountable for example, for missing salah, due to a young age or immaturity.

Ch. 6 - Chapter of that which is desirable of the bathing an odd number of times

باب: ما يُسْتَحَبّ أَنْ يُغسَلَ وِتْرًا

641. Narrated Umm 'AtIyya رضى الله عنها : Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم came to us when his daughter died and said, Wash her three, five or more times with water and Sidr (Nibk lotetree leaves) if you think it is required and sprinkle camphor or something of it on her at the end; and when you finish, notify me. So when we finished, we informed him and he gave us his waistsheet and told us to shroud her in it. (2:345O.B.)

641. عَنْ أُمّ عَطِيّةَ الأَنْصَارِيّةِ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا قَالَتْ: دَخَلَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم, حِينَ تُوَفّيَتِ ابْنَتُهُ, فَقَالَ: (اغْسِلْنَهَا ثَلاَثًا, أَوْ خَمْسًا, أَوْ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ ذلِكَ إِنْ رَأَيْتُنّ ذلِكَ, بِمَاءٍ وَسِدْرٍ, وَاجْعَلْنَ في الاَخِرَةِ كافُورًا, أَوْ شَيْئًا مِنْ كافُورٍ, فَإِذَا فَرَغْتُنّ فاَذِنّنِي). فَلَمّا فَرَغْنَا اَذَنّاهُ, فَأَعْطَانَا حِقْوَهُ, فَقَالَ: (أَشْعِرْنَهَا إِيّاهُ). تَعْنِي إِزَارَهُ. رواه البخاري: 1253

This chapter is related to given ghusl to the deceased.

Hadeeth 641 is narrated by Ume Atiya who was a sahabiyat who would bathe the deceased. She bathed both daughters of the Prophet (
صلى الله عليه وسلم) and this hadeeth referred to the bathing of Zainab who died in the 8th year of Hijrah. Those present were close family members and also those who were close to Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gave certain instructions. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told them to bathe her 3 times or 5 times or more than this if they thought it was required. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said she should be bathed with water and lote tree leaves (Jerusalem Tree, which is similar to Buckthorn which is found in Europe). They would infuse the water with these leaves. For the final bathing Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said Camphor should be added. When they had finished, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gave them is lower cloth because this contained barakah.

There is a Hadeeth of Prophet (
صلى الله عليه وسلم) where he says we should excessively remember the terminator of all pleasures. This is why we are instructed to visit graves and remember death, because death is something that awaits every one of us. The believers have been instructed to take part in funerals for which there is a special reward. Funerals also remind us of death, and when a Muslim dies, his or her bathing the shroud, preparation and prayer are an obligation upon all Muslims. If these things are not done, all Muslims of that area are sinful. The deceased has a right over all of them.

Some Sahabah would leave a will that such and such a person should bathe me. Bathing a dead body will remind us all of a relative life. When Adam (
عليه السلام ) passed away the angels bathed and shrouded him in the same manner.

The Ulema say that the first bathing is fard, the second and third are Sunnah. However, one shouldn’t stop at one, they should give 3, 5 or more (7). The most that has been narrated in the Hadeeth is 7. For this reason, one does not need to stick to an odd number after 7. For example if the body is clean at 8 one should stop at 8. According to Imam Shafi (
رحمة الله عليه) and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (رحمة الله عليه) the bath should only be given using cold water. According to these Ulema hot water should only be used with necessity. However, Imam Malik (رحمة الله عليه) and Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمة الله عليه) say that one should only use hot water. The lote tree leaves should be boiled in water.

Ch. 7 – The bathing should be started with the right hand side limbs.

باب: يُبدَأ بِمَيَامِنِ المَيّت

642. Narrated (Umm 'AtIyya رضى الله عنها ) : Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم , concerning his (dead) daughter's bath, said, Start with the right side, and the parts which are washed in ablution. She added we combed her (hair) and (divided them) in three braids. (2:346O.B.)

642. وَفِي رواية أخرى أَنّهُ قَالَ: (ابْدَأْنَ بِمَيَامِنِهَا وَمَوَاضِعِ الْوُضُوءِ مِنْهَا). قَالَتْ: وَمَشَطْنَاهَا ثَلاَثَةَ قُرُونٍ. رواه البخاري: 1254

Hadeeth 642 - This hadeeth of Umm Atiya is the most authentic about bathing the deceased. One should begin with the right side and the limbs of wudhu. The deceased should be prepared very carefully. The Maliki and Shafi Ulema say water should be poured into the nose and mouth, however, the Hanbali and Hanfi Ulema say that complete wudhu should be given, except no water is poured into the nose or mouth.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Battle of Mu'tah

These notes are from Lesson 165 which was delivered by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 10th August 2007 at Al Kawthar Academy, Leciester. This hadeeth covered (Hadeeth No. 639) is from the Book of Funerals of al Tajrid al Sarih.

CHAPTER 4. A man who informs the relatives of the deceased person (of his death) by himself.
باب: الرّجُلُ يَنْعَي إِلى أَهْلِ المَيّتِ بِنَفسِه
639. عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مالِكٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: (أَخَذَ الرّايَةَ زَيْدٌ فَأُصِيبَ, ثُمّ أَخَذَهَا جَعْفَرٌ فَأُصِيبَ ثُمّ أَخَذَهَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ رَوَاحَةَ فَأُصِيبَ وَإِنّ عَيْنَيْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَتَذْرِفانِ ثُمّ أَخَذَهَا خالِدُ بْنُ الْوَلِيدِ مِنْ غَيْرِ إِمْرَةٍ فَفُتِحَ لَهُ). رواه
6Narrated Anas bin Mâlik رضى الله عنه : The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, Zaid took over the flag and was martyred. Then it was taken by Jâ'far who was martyred as well. Then Abdullâh bin Rawâha took the flag but he too was martyred, and at that time the eyes of Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم were full of tears. Then Khâlid bin AlWalId took the flag without being nominated as a chief (beforehand) and was blessed with victory.

This Hadeeth is very brief but refers to a much greater incident than can be gleaned from this short narration. There are four Sahabah mentioned in the Hadeeth; Zaid ibn Harith (رضى الله عنه), Jafar ibn Abu Talib(رضى الله عنه), Abdullah bin Rawaha (رضى الله عنه) and Khalid bin Walid (رضى الله عنه). To understand this hadeeth, it is important to learn about eaxh of these sahabah.

Zaid Ibn Haritha (رضى الله عنه) – this sahabi is mentioned in detail in Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq’s tafseer of Surah Ahzaab. He was the adopted son of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The nephew of Khadijah (رضى الله عنها) gave Zaid to Khadijah (رضى الله عنها) as a gift after he was kidnapped and sold on. He grew up with Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and was amongst one of the first believers and was also amongst those that did hijrah. Although, Zaid (رضى الله عنه) was initially referred to as the adopted son of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) it should be noted that there is no formal adoption in Islam. Allah abrogated this practice. By way of compensation, the ulema say to console Zaid about the fact that he was no longer referred to as Zaid ibn Muhammad, he is mentioned by name in Qur’an. He is the only sahabi to be mentioned by name in Qur’an. The son of Zaid (رضى الله عنه), Usama ibn Zaid (رضى الله عنه) wasn’t regarded as being handsome but Rasul(صلى الله عليه وسلم) loved him dearly (his nickname was ‘beloved son of the beloved’).

Jafar ibn Abu Talib (رضى الله عنه) was the brother of Ali (رضى الله عنه). Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) grew up with Abu Talib after Rasul’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) grandfather passed away. He did hijrah from Makkah to Abyssinia. Jafar (رضى الله عنه) gave a speech to the Abyssinian ruler Najashi (please listen to Lesson 164 and see notes - for more details about Najashi) and this speech was considered one of the most eloquent speeches in Islamic history. Many people are familiar with some of the wording e.g. ‘from the narrowness of this world to the expanses of the hereafter. . .’ etc

Jafar ibn Abu Talib (رضى الله عنه) left Abyssinia in 7th year of hijrah after the battle of Khaybar (conquest/victory of Khaybar). Jafar (رضى الله عنه) was considered to be very similar to Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in appearance. Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said that Jafar (رضى الله عنه) was similar to him in appearance and character.

Abdullah bin Rawaha (رضى الله عنه) was from the Ansaari sahabah.. He was very eloquent in speech and was one of the first to embrace Islam from the Ansaar. He was one of the leaders who gave the baiah (pledge) to Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) before hijrah. He was also one of the three famous poets of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Abdullah bin Rawaha (رضى الله عنه) is the poet mentioned in Hadeeth 612. He was appointed as a commander by Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in the battle of Mutah.

Khalid ibn Walid (رضى الله عنه) was the cousin of Abdullah ibn Abbas (رضى الله عنه). He was very intelligent and a strategist. He wasn’t Muslim at the time of the battle of Uhud – he led the setback in the battle of Uhud. His brother Waleed was a Muslim however, and there was always a doubt in Khalid ibn Walid’s mind. He always suffered a setback whenever he fought against the Muslims. Khalid ibn Walid was known to be intelligent and his brother wrote to him saying where has your intelligence gone? You haven’t seen the truth of Islam. He left Makkah with horse, amour and weapons. When he died in modern-day Syria he left with horse, armour and weapons.. He wept as he was dying in bed and not on the battlefield.

The battle of Mu’tah took place in the 8th year of hijrah. Mu’tah is a village in present day Jordon. The whole area was under the rule of the Byzantine emperor but people were Arabs – Ghassanids (Arabic: الغساسنة‎). In ethnicity, language and culture they were Arabs but in religion they were Christians and lived in a Roman vassal State.

Rasullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent 15 sahabah to this area inviting people in Islam. They were all killed mercilessly. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also sent a letter to Ghassanid Arabs – their ruler had the ambassador imprisoned and then executed. Due to these and other incidences Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) decided to dispatch a force of 300 to Syria. Zaid (رضى الله عنه) was made the Amir (commander). Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) made announcement that two of the other sahabah mentioned in this hadeeth should be commanders in order if one fails. He nominated Jafar (رضى الله عنه) and then Abdullah ibn Rawaha (رضى الله عنه). He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that if the third commander fails then the Muslims should decide amongst themselves and nominate the third commander. A Jew at that time had said that if a prophet says that if such and such will fall, he will surely fall in battle. One of the most important lessons to be derived from the hadeeth is that when Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent this army of 3000 to face the Romans, he sent his most beloved family members and sent them as commanders on the frontline. If he had been not been the Prophet of Allah and was conducting this campaign for worldly reasons he would have never sent his most beloved family members to the front. This is why the background to each sahabi which Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq provided at the start of the lesson is important. Thus, this incident shows that Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was not an imposter doing things for worldly gains.

When the army was dispatched, it was Jumah and Abdullah ibn Rawaha (رضى الله عنه) came back so he could attend Jumah Salah and pray behind Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). However, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘a single morning and a single evening in battle than the whole world and all that it contains’.

Heraculius was the Roman Emperor at the time of this campaign. There are two narrations:

  1. He sent his personal forces and came with them
  2. He dispatched them but didn’t come with them

It is stated in narrations that an army of 200, 000 came to battle with the Muslims. When they learnt of this, the Muslims stopped in a village and were deciding what they should do. Abdullah ibn Rawaha (رضى الله عنه) delivered a speech to the sahabah. He said that we don’t fight with numbers, armour or weapons but the deen of Allah.

Mu’tah is close to Kerrac where some of the most famous battles of the crusades took place which were led by the spiritual successor of Khalid ibn Waleed (رضى الله عنه), Salahudin Ayubi where he fought similar battles.

Abu Huraira (رضى الله عنه) was also present in the battle. He said his eyes were dazzled when he saw gold, silk and armour of the approaching Roman army.

Zaid (رضى الله عنه) had the banner (standard) of the Muslims and he marched and charged forward and he was martyred. The battle unfolded miraculously before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) although he was in Madinah.

Jafar ibn Abu Talib (رضى الله عنه) – fought bravely but was surrounded. He came off his horse and hamstrung his horse so he destined death for himself as he could go nowhere. He continued to fight valiantly with his horse hamstrung. He held the banner of the Muslims in one hand but his lower arm was chopped off by the enemy. Then he held the banner with his other hand and this arm was also chopped off. He then held banner with his upper arms so the sahabah could still see it. The sahabah narrate that when they saw his body, he had more than 90 wounds at the front of his body and his arms amputated.

Abdullah ibn Rawahah (رضى الله عنه) then took the banner and he was also martyred. One of his cousins offered him some meat as they had only eaten very lightly. He said eat the meat to replenish your strength. Abdullah ibn Rawahah (رضى الله عنه) took the banner and took one bite. But he then threw the meat after hearing a cry in battle. He told his cousin ‘You are in the dunya. You eat!’ He flung the meat and marched into battle, and he was also killed.

As Prophet had only named three commanders, a sahabi called Harith took the standard and said to the sahabah that quickly name a commander. They told him to take the leadership but he refused. Khalid bin Waleed (رضى الله عنه) was close-by so he told Khalid (رضى الله عنه) to take it. Khalid bin Waleed (رضى الله عنه) had only embraced Islam 3 months before and was reluctant but the Muslims all agreed he should be their commander so he took the standard and assumed leadership. He told them to make a strategic retreat. He told sahabah to fight in skirmishes. When that day’s battle was over and retreated that night. He then made a brilliant manoeuvre. The Arab Armies of that time were split into 5 groups – vanguard Right flank, left flank, centre and rear. Each section of the army had a banner (standard) so they would be recognised by each other as well as the enemy. He instructed the army to switch around. He switched army so left flank was on the right flank, the rear were placed at the vanguard etc. The next morning, the enemy though that it was so difficult for us the day before when there were only 3000, but now reinforcements had arrived. The enemy then left the battle and Khalid bin Waleed (رضى الله عنه) then came back to Madinah with the sahabah. Some people have actually questioned whether this was a victory but Rasul said it was a victory. Secondly, after facing an army 200,000, only 12 sahabah died. In another narration, 15 sahabah have been quoted of dying. Imam Bukhari narrates an hadeeth that Khalid bin Waleed (رضى الله عنه) broke 9 swords on that day and was fighting with the tenth Yemeni sword. Thousands died from amongst the Ghassanid Arabs, only 12 or 15 died from amongst the Muslims. Three commanders died but they got what they sought. So, it was a victory and this paved the way for Tabuk one year later which then paved the way for the conquest of Egypt, Persia and Rome under the same commander of Khalid bin Waleed (رضى الله عنه)

The events unfolded before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) who was in Madinah and he gave a sermon and mentioned the martyrdom of the three commanders to the other sahabah, and also mentioned that Khalid bin Waleed (رضى الله عنه) was appointed and he was victorious. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) then raised his two fingers to the heavens and said ‘Oh Allah! Khalid bin Waleed (رضى الله عنه) is one of your swords so assist him’ He was then always referred to as one of the drawn swords of Allah. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wept profusely after learning of the death of these sahabah, his close family members.

How does this fit in which chapter? The chapter heading is of the man who narrates the news of the deceased to the family of the deceased himself. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) personally announced the news of Najashi (his nephew was there and the Muslims of Madinah were his family – that was the first hadeeth of this chapter). In this hadeeth, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) conveyed the news of the death of these sahabah to both their immediate family as well as their Muslim brothers and sisters in Madinah.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Death of Najashi - The Grand Negus

CHAPTER 4. A man who informs the relatives of the deceased person (of his death) by himself. 638. عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ: أَنّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَعى النّجَاشِيّ في الْيَوْمِ الّذِي ماتَ فِيهِ, خَرَجَ إِلَى المُصَلّى, فَصَفّ بِهِمْ, وَكَبّرَ أَرْبَعًا. رواه البخاري: 1245
638. Narrated Abu Huraira رضى الله عنه : Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم informed (the people) about the death of AnNajâshi on the very day he died. He went towards the Musalla (praying place) and the people stood behind him in rows. He said four TakbIrs (i.e. offered the funeral prayer). (2:337O.B.)

Chapter 4 – Chapter of the man who conveys the news of the death of the deceased to the family himself.

These are notes from Lesson 164 where Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq commented on Hadeeth 638. This chapter deals with the permissibility of announcing to people of the death of their loved one. In Arabic, the word na’ee is used to refer to informing people of their loved one’s death. The reason why Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) addresses this topic with the chapter heading is because the word na’ee has been used in a couple of hadeeth in terms of prohibition. In one hadeeth, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) refers to it as being a part of jahiliya. In another hadeeth, Hudaifah (رضى الله عنه) tells people not to inform others of his death because he heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say it is impermissible. Due to these narrations, a few scholars of the very early generations said it was impermissible. Later, the majority said it was permissible. It should be noted that the Arabs would do na’ee in a very melodramatic fashion e.g. by hiring people to simulate wailing etc. It is this type of na’ee which is impermissible. Na’ee which is just informing loved ones of the deceased in a responsible manner is allowed. It should be done with the intention of informing people so that they will take part in the Jinazah salah and will pray for the forgiveness of the deceased.

Hadeeth 638 records the incident when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) personally announced the death of An-Najashi. Najashi was the Abyssinian king at the time of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Abyssinia is present-day Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Abyssinia was a major empire at the time. Najashi was the generic title used to refer to the grand ruler of Aksoum (a major state of Abyssinia). The rulers of all other states paid homage to Najashi, the Grand Negus (King of Kings). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told the sahabah to do hijrah from Makkah to Abyssinia as he told them that there is a just king ruling there. The Quraish also visited Najashi and had an audience with him trying to convince him that the Muslims should be expelled from his land. On the first day, they failed to convince him. So, on the second day they tried to provoke Najashi, and told him to ask the Muslims of their viewpoint on Isa (عليه السلام), as Christianity was the official religion and the Abyssinians believed in the trinity. The believers who were present, namely Jafar ibn Abu Talib (رضى الله عنه), recited verses of the Quran which state that Isa (عليه السلام) is not the son of God. These words had a huge impact on Najashi and he wept and affirmed that Isa (عليه السلام) is not the son of God.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the sahabah had held Najashi is high esteem because he was a person of the book but he had onot been invited to Islam till the 6th year of Hijrah when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent him a letter inviting him to embrace Islam. He was on his throne when he received the letter, and upon receiving it he fell to his knees and kissed the letter and then placed it on his eyes. He then embraced Islam at the hands of Jafar ibn Abu Talib (رضى الله عنه). Najashi wrote back to Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying that he had embraced at the hands of Jafar ibn Abu Talib (رضى الله عنه) but was unable to visit Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) so he was sending his son and 80 prominent Abyssinians. A great tragedy occurred and most of this group drowned in the red sea. Najashi’s nephew and the messenger who delivered the letter survived and made it safely to Madinah. The nephew of Najashi remained in Madinah as one of the sahabah.

Different companions left Abyssinia at different times. Jafar ibn Abu Talib (رضى الله عنه) remained till the 7th year of Hijrah. It is most likely that Najashi passed away in the 8th year of Hijrah. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was informed by Jibril (عليه السلام) and Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) made an announcement in the Masjid. He told the sahabah that ‘your pious brother Najashi has passed away in a land other than yours’. The sahabah were instructed to go the the musallah (see book of Eid notes for definition of the musallah) where the Jinazah of Najashi was performed. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrates a hadeeth in his musnad in which it is mentioned that the sahabah said that they felt the body was in front of them. Allah removed all barriers between Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Najashi.

Some points of note/questions from this hadeeth are:

  1. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) prayed Jinazah in the musallah and not the masjid. Is it permissible to perform the Jinazah salah in the masjid?
  2. Is Salat-al-Jinazah permissible when the body is absent?
  3. The sahabah stood in rows for the salah.
  4. How may takbirs in Jinazah salah? There are 4 according to the 4 schools of fiqh similar to this hadeeth.

The Hanafi and Maliki scholars say it is not permissible to pray Jinazah over someone whose body is not present. The Hanbai and Shafi scholars say it is permissible but there are conditions e.g. only within one month of the person passing away according to the Hanbali school of fiqh.

The Hanafi and Malike scholars say it is Makruh Tanzih (not close to haraam like Makruh Tahrim but better if avoided) to pray Salat-al-Jinazah in a masjid. The Shafi and Hanbali scholars say it is permissible.

With regards to point 2, Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) only did this for Najashi and it was as if the body was before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) so this must be regarded as an exception. There is also one disputed narration about another sahabi, Muawiyah ibn Muawiyah (رضى الله عنه) - Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was in Tabuk when Muawiyah ibn Muawiyah (رضى الله عنه) passed away in Madinah. Jibril (عليه السلام) visited the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and informed him of the death. The distance between Tabuk and Madinah is approximately 900 miles. Jibril (عليه السلام) asked Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) whether he wished to pray Jinazah over Muawiyah ibn Muawiyah (رضى الله عنه). Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied affirmatively. It is narrated that 70,000 angels participated in the Jinazah salah. Jibril (عليه السلام) beat the earth with his wings and levelled it so there was no barrier between Tabuk and Madinah. Jibril (عليه السلام) told Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that Muawiyah ibn Muawiyah (رضى الله عنه) had received this honour due to his great love of Surah Ahad. The majority of scholars do not accept da’eef (weak) narrations for determination of Islamic law but for encouragement, virtues etc, da’eef hadeeth are accepted.

May Allah preserve the Shaykh. I seek forgiveness for any errors I made have made in my note-taking.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Oh Nafs!

In yesterdays lesson, Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq didn’t comment on any further hadeeth but elaborated on the important lesson that we can learn from Hadeeth 636 about Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه), for which I posted notes last week. We learn from the hadeeth that we cannot determine our own salvation or anyone else’s salvation. Unfortunately, today people actually believe that their teacher/leader/mentor is guaranteed salvation and therefore will intercede for them and lead them to salvation too. If anyone was guaranteed salvation, then surely someone of the calibre of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) would have been one of those. We learn categorically from the hadeeth that Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told the sister of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) from amongst the Ansaar that she cannot say that ‘Allah has honoured him’ despite his great calibre.

The Shaykh also commented on how traditionally a Shaykh was one who had a perfect balance of internal and external knowledge. Today, we have two extremes – any person who knows a few verses of the Quran is referred to as a Shaykh, and on the other hand there are people who lack external knowledge and practice but are also referred to as a Shaykh. The famous sufi and saint, Imam Junaid al Baghdadi (رحمة الله عليه) would say this tariqah of ours is bound by the Book of Allah and by the Sunnah. On the other hand, the Shaykh mentioned that those that deny tasawuff should note that ibn Taimiyah (رحمة الله عليه), whom those that deny internal knowledge often like to quote, said that ‘the miracles of the awliya of the ummah of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are true’. Thus, there is a need for a balanced approach – we cannot accept every person to be a wali and also if a tariqah doesn’t restrict itself to the shariah we cannot accept it.

Speaking further about tasawuff, Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq mentioned a Shaykh who once wrote addressing his own nafs. He said ‘Oh Nafs! Tell me, if you imagine yourself to have died and your body was brought before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم), how would he treat you?’. SubhanAllah. This is truly something to reflect over and this is related both to Hadeeth 636 about Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) and also to another incident which is recorded in the ahadeeth. On the one hand, we have the example of the body of Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) in front of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) – the details of which were mentioned in the previous lesson i.e. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wept profusely and stated how Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) left the dunya in such a state that he did not touch the dunya nor did the dunya touch him. On the other hand, when this Shaykh is addressing his nafs he is referring to the incident where a body was brought before Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) but Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) refused to pray the Jinazah salah for that individual. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘You pray janazah over your companion’.

This is truly something for us to think about and reflect upon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه)

Lesson 163 - 20th July 2007

كتابُ الجَنائز

The Book of Funerals

باب: الدّخُولُ عَلَى المَيّتِ بَعدَ المَوْتِ إذَا أُدرِجَ في أَكْفَانِه

CHAPTER 3. Visiting the deceased person after he has been put in his shroud.

636. عَنْ أُمّ الْعَلاَءِ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا امْرَأَة مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ بَايَعَتِ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم : أَنّهُ اقْتُسِمَ المُهَاجِرُونَ قُرْعَةً, فَطَارَ لَنَا عُثْمانُ بْنُ مَظْعُونٍ, فَأَنْزَلْنَاهُ في أَبْيَاتِنَا, فَوَجِعَ وَجَعَهُ الّذِي تُوُفّيَ فِيهِ, فَلَمّا تُوُفّيَ وَغُسّلَ وَكُفّنَ في أَثْوَابِهِ, دَخَلَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم, فَقُلْتُ: رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْكَ أَبَا السّائِبِ, فَشَهَادَتِي عَلَيْكَ: لَقَدْ أَكْرَمَكَ اللهُ. فَقَالَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: (وَما يُدْرِيكِ أَنّ اللهَ أَكْرَمَهُ). فَقُلْتُ: بِأَبِي أَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ, فَمَنْ يُكْرِمُهُ اللهُ فَقَالَ: (أَمّا هُوَ فَقَدْ جَاءَهُ الْيَقِينُ, وَاللهِ إِنّي لأَرْجُو لَهُ الخَيْرَ, وَاللهِ ما أَدْرِي, وَأَنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ, ما يُفْعَلُ بِي). قَالَتْ: فَوَاللهِ لاَ أُزَكّي أَحَدًا بَعْدَهُ أَبَدًا. رواه البخاري: 1243

636. (Narrated Khârija bin Zaid bin Thabit): Umm Al'Ala' رضى الله عنها an AnsârI woman who gave the (Bai'a) pledge to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said to me, The emigrants were distributed amongst us by drawing lots and we got in our share 'Uthmân bin Maz'un. We made him stay with us in our house. Then he suffered from a disease which proved fatal. When he died and was given a bath and was shrouded in his clothes, Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم came and I said, 'May Allâh be Merciful to you, O Abu AsSâ'ib! My testimony is that Allâh has honoured you'. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, 'How do you know that Allâh has honoured him?' I replied. 'O Allâh's Messenger! Let my father be sacrificed for you! On whom else shall Allâh bestow His Honour?' The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, 'No doubt, death came to him. By Allâh, I too wish him good, but by Allâh, I do not know what Allâh will do with me though I am Allâh's Messenger.' She said, By Allâh, I will never attest the piety of anyone after that.' (2:336O.B.)

Chapter 3 – Chapter of entering upon the deceased after death when he is being wrapped in his shroud i.e. this chapter is of the permissibility of visiting the room where the deceased is being kept after being prepared for burial.

Death is a frightening experience. The deceased person undergoes a transformation and enters a different realm. Rigor mortis sets in and the colour etc of the dead person fades etc. All these changes happen suddenly. Thus, with all this happening the question is what is the religious ruling of seeing the body.

Imam Ibrahim al-Nakha'i (رحمة الله عليه) was of the opinion that only close family members and those involved in preparing the body should see the mayat. However, the other ulema all agree that it is permissible to see the mayat and Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) establishes this very point.

This hadeeth mentions Um Al-Ala (رضى الله عنها) who was one of the companions of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). She gave baiah in the early days and refers to the time when the muhajiroon companions arrived from Makkah. They arrived in Madinah poor and destitute – in the modern sense they can be considered almost like refugees. So at the behest of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم), the Ansaar opened up their homes and shared their wealth. Individual companions were designated and paired as brothers e.g. a brother with the muhajroon with a brother from the ansaar etc. This wasn’t the general brotherhood of the ummah but something beyond that.

Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) was hosted and taken care of by the family of Umm Al-ala. The housed him and looked after him. He became ill towards the end of the second year of Hijrah/beginning of the third year. This sickness led to his death.

To understand this hadeeth, it is important to consider the background of Uthman bin Maz’un. He was from amongst the Quraish, and was the cousin of one of the chieftains of Quraish - Umayya bin Khalaf. His sister Zainab (رضى الله عنها) was married to Umar ibn Khattab (رضى الله عنه). Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) was the 14th person to embrace Islam. He took part in the first emigration from Makkah to Abyssinia. According to some reports, he was the Amir of that group. He returned to Makkah after hearing a false rumour that the Makkans had embraced Islam. Hence, he was in a precarious position. Waleed bin Mughera offered him protection as he was in a very vulnerable position in Makkah as an openly believing Muslim. For the Quraish, to fulfil such a protection was a case of honour – it was a very tribal society. One day Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) thought to himself that he is living in a state of security whilst his fellow Muslims are living in a state of fear. He felt this was injustice. So, he went to Waleed and asked that his protection be ceased. Following this, he heard a Quraishi recite the couplets ‘Know that everything besides Allah is false, and all blessings will come to an end’. Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) heard this and added ‘except Jannah’. Due to this he got embroiled in an argument with the Quraishi who gave Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) a black eye. Waleed bin Mughera said to him that I told you if you had my protection you would never have had to suffer, and your eye would be ok. Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) replied that know that this other eye which is fine is poor in comparison to the other.

It is important to remember that he was of such piety that even in the days of jahiliyah, he made alcohol haraam upon himself. He loved Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) loved him. Despite being considered the richest man in Madinah, Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) had detached himself from the dunya.

Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) did Hijrah to Madinah and also took part in the battle of Badr. He fell ill after the battle of Badr and died. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) removed his shroud to see his face and kissed his forehead. He then started to weep, and the others in the room also began to weep. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) kissed his forehead again and then wept. He did this for the third time too. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘Mercy of Allah be upon you for you left the dunya in such a state that you did not touch the dunya and the dunya did not touch you’.

It was then that Um Al-Ala (رضى الله عنها) was heard by Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying ‘Allah has honoured you’. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to her that how do you know that Allah has honoured him. She enlisted his qualities and said he is your fighter and your cavalry, and if Allah hasn’t honoured him then who will Allah honour?’ Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told her that death has come upon him but despite Um Al-Ala (رضى الله عنها) seeing his good deeds, you cannot speak with conviction about his state. He further said that he has hope about his state. Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that ‘I am Allah’s messenger and I do not know what Allah will do to me’. In general Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) knew what would happen to him but not the specifics hence he was hesitant.

Uthman bin Maz’un (رضى الله عنه) was the first person to be buried in Jannat al-Bakhi.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Weekly Podcast

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bukhari Podcast

Assalamu alaikum,

SubhanAllah. Al Kawthar Academy have now set up a podcast for the weekly daroos. Annual subscriptiion which gives access to all MP3 versions of each weeks lesson is just $100 USD, around £50!

Please see - Podcast for further details

I noted that the past 3 lessons are already available including the much sought after Lesson 155 - about Istikhari. There's also a monthly subscription offer and payment is made via Paypal.

We needed this podcast to fill up our ipods with ilm :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Prayers in the Mosque of Makkah and al Madinah

كِتَابُ الصّلاَةِ فِي مسْجِدِ مَكّةَ وَالمَدِينَ

CHAPTER 1. The superiority of offering As-Salât (the prayer) in the mosque of Makkah (AlMasjid AlHarâm), and Al Madina (i.e. the mosque of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم 620. عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ, عَنِ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: (لاَ تُشَدّ الرّحالُ إِلاّ إِلَى ثَلاَثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ: المَسْجِدِ الحَرَامِ, وَمَسْجِدِ الرّسُولِ صلى الله عليه وسلم, وَمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصى). رواه البخاري: 1189 620. Narrated Abu Huraira رضى الله عنه : The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, Do not set out on a journey except for three mosques i.e. A lMasjid Al Harâm (at Makkah), Masjid ArRasul صلى الله عليه وسلم (the mosque of Allâh's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم at AlMadina) and Masjid Al Aqsâ, (Al Aqsa, mosque of Jerusalem). (2:281O.B.)

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Hadeeth of Heraclius

Assalamu alaikum,

Today's post is the final hadeeth from the Book of Revelation - Jazakumullahu khairan to Abu Talha for providing the notes. As the hadeeth is about Heraclius I would also like to direct readers to my post from last year about the Real Holy Grail -

Also, always bear in mind that these notes are a summary and I can't do justice to the Shaykh's work and insight on this blog. Please refer to the original lessons for a greater understanding and of course for the barakah of listening to the hadeeth being recited by the Shaykh with a full chain of narration to the Holy Prophet (saw).

Hadeeth No. 7

أَنّ هِرَقْلَ أَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِ في رَكْبٍ مِنْ قُرَيْشٍ, كَانُوا تُجّارًا بالشّأْمِ, فِي المُدّةِ الّتِي كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَادّ فِيهَا أَبَا سُفْيَانَ وَكُفّارَ قُرَيْشٍ, فَأَتَوْهُ وَهُمْ بِإِيلِيَاءَ, فَدَعَاهُمْ وَحَوْلَهُ عُظَمَاءُ الرّومِ, ثُمّ دَعَاهُمْ فَدَعَا بِالتّرْجُمَانِ, فَقَالَ: أَيّكُمْ أَقْرَبُ نَسَبًا بِهذَا الرّجُلِ الّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنّهُ نَبِيّ فَقَالَ أَبُو سُفْيانَ: فَقُلْتُ أَنَا أَقْرَبُهُمْ, فَقَالَ: أَدْنُوهُ مِنّي, وَقَرّبُوا أَصْحَابَهُ فَاجْعَلُوهُمْ عِنْدَ ظَهْرِهِ, ثُمّ قَالَ لِتَرْجُمَانِهِ: قُلْ لَهُمْ إِنّي سَائِلٌ هذَا عَنْ هذَا الرّجُلِ, فَإِنْ كَذَبَنِي فَكَذّبُوهُ. فَوَاللهِ لَوْلاَ الْحَيَاءُ مِنْ أَنْ يَأْثُرُوا عَلَيّ كَذِبًا لَكَذَبْتُ عَنْهُ. ثُمّ كَانَ أَوّلَ مَا سَأَلَنِي عنْهُ أَنْ قَالَ: كَيْفَ نَسَبُهُ فِيكُمْ قُلْتُ: هُوَ فينَا ذُو نَسَبٍ. قَالَ فَهَلْ قَالَ هذَا الْقَوْلَ مِنْكُمْ أَحَدٌ قَطّ قَبْلَهُ قُلْتُ: لاَ. قَالَ: فَهَلْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مِنْ مَلِكٍ قُلْتُ: لاَ. قَالَ: فَأَشْرَافُ النّاسِ اتّبَعُوهُ أَمْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ فَقُلْتُ: ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ. قَالَ: أَيَزِيدُونَ أَمْ يَنْقُصُونَ قُلْتُ: بَلْ يَزِيدُونَ.

قَالَ: فَهَلْ يَرْتَدّ أَحَدٌ مِنْهُمْ سَخْطَةً لدِينِهِ بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِيهِ قُلْتُ: لاَ. قَالَ: فَهَلْ تَتّهِمُونَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ مَا قَالَ قُلْتُ: لاَ. قَالَ: فَهَلْ يَغْدِرُ قُلْتُ: لاَ, ونَحْنُ مِنْهُ فِي مُدّةٍ لاَ نَدْرِي مَا هُوَ فَاعِلٌ فِيهَا. قَالَ: ولَمْ يُمْكِنّي كَلِمَةٌ أُدْخِلُ فِيهَا شَيْئًا غَيْرُ هذِهِ الْكَلِمَةِ. قَالَ: فَهَلْ قَاتَلْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ. قَالَ: فَكَيْفَ كَانَ قِتَالُكُمْ إِيّاهُ قُلْتُ: الْحَرْبُ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُ سِجَالٌ, يَنَالُ مِنّا وَنَنَالُ مِنْهُ. قَالَ: فَمَاذَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ قُلْتُ: يَقُولُ: اعْبُدُوا اللهَ وَحْدَهُ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا, وَاتْرُكُوا مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُكُمْ, وَيَأْمُرنَا بِالصّلاَةِ وَالصّدْقِ وَالْعَفَافِ وَالصّلَةِ. فَقَالَ لِلتّرْجُمَانِ: قُلْ لَهُ: إِنّي سَأَلْتُكَ عَنْ نَسبِهِ فَذَكَرْتَ أَنّهُ فِيكُمْ ذُو نَسَبٍ, وَكَذلِكَ الرّسُلُ تُبْعَثُ فِي نَسَبِ قَوْمِهَا. وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ قَالَ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ هذَا الْقَوْلَ قَبْلَهُ, فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ, فَقُلْتُ لَوْ كَانَ أَحَدٌ قَالَ هذَا الْقَوْلَ قَبْلَهُ, لَقُلْتُ رَجُلٌ يَتَأَسّى بِقَوْلٍ قِيلَ قَبْلَهُ. وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ كَانَ مِنْ آبائِهِ مِنْ مَلِكٍ, فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ, قُلْتُ: لَوْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مِنْ مَلِكٍ, قُلْتُ رَجُلٌ يَطْلُبُ مُلْكَ أَبِيهِ. وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ كُنْتُمْ تَتّهِمُونَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ مَا قَالَ, فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ, فَقَدْ أَعْرِفُ أَنّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَذَرَ الْكَذِبَ عَلَى النّاسِ وَيَكْذِبَ علَى اللهِ. وَسَأَلْتُكَ أَشْرَافُ النّاسِ اتّبَعُوهُ أَمْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ, فَذَكَرْتَ أَنّ ضُعَفَاءَهُمْ اتّبَعُوهُ, وَهُمْ أَتْبَاعُ الرّسُلِ. وَسَأَلْتُكَ أَيَزِيدُونَ أَمْ يَنْقُصُونَ, فَذَكَرْتَ أَنّهُمْ يَزِيدُونَ, وَكَذلِكَ أَمْرُ الإِيمَانِ حَتّى يَتِمّ. وَسَأَلْتُكَ أَيَرْتَدّ أَحَدٌ سَخْطَةً لدِينِهِ بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخَلُ فِيهِ, فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ, وَكَذَلِكَ الإِيمَانُ حِينَ تُخَالِطُ بَشَاشَتُهُ الْقُلُوبَ. وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَغْدِرُ, فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ, وَكَذَلِكَ الرّسُلُ لاَ تَغْدِرُ. وَسَأَلْتُكَ بِمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ, فَذَكَرْتَ أَنّهُ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تَعْبُدُوا اللهَ وَحْدَه وَلاَ تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا, وَيَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْ عِبادَةِ الأَوْثَانِ, وَيَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالصّلاَةِ وَالصِدْقِ وَالعَفَافِ, فَإِنْ كَانَ مَا تَقُولُ حَقّا فَسَيَمْلِكُ مَوْضِعَ قَدَمَيّ هَاتَيْنِ, وَقَدْ كُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ أَنّهُ خَارِجٌ, لَمْ أَكُنْ أَظُنّ أَنّهُ مِنْكُمْ, فَلَوْ أَعْلَمُ أَنّي أَخْلُصُ إِلَيْهِ, لَتَجَشّمْتُ لِقَاءَهُ, وَلَوْ كُنْتُ عِنْدَهُ لَغَسَلْتُ عَنْ قَدَمِهِ. ثُمّ دَعَا بِكِتَابِ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الّذِي بُعِثَ بِهِ دِحْيَةُ إِلَى عَظيمِ بُصْرَى, فَدَفَعَهُ إِلَى هِرَقْلَ, فَقَرَأَهُ, فَإِذَا فِيهِ: (بِسْمِ اللهِ الرّحْمنِ الرّحيْمِ, مِنْ مُحَمّدٍ عَبْدِ اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى هِرَقْلَ عَظِيمِ الرّومِ: سَلاَمٌ عَلَى مَنِ اتّبَعَ الْهُدَى, أَمّا بَعْدُ, فَإِنّي أَدْعُوكَ بِدِعَايَةِ الإِسْلاَمِ, أَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ, يُؤْتِكَ اللهُ أَجْرَكَ مَرّتَيْنِ, فَإِنْ تَوَلّيْتَ فَإِنّ عَلَيْكَ إِثْمَ الأَرِيسّيينَ, وَ: (يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَنْ لاَ نَعْبُدَ إِلاّ اللهَ وَلاَ نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَتّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبابًا مِنْ دُونِ اللهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنّا مُسْلِمُونَ)). قَالَ أَبُو سُفْيانَ: فَلَمّا قَالَ مَا قَالَ, وَفَرَغَ مِنْ قِرَاءَةِ الْكِتابِ, كَثُرَ عِنْدَهُ الصّخَبُ وَارْتَفَعَتِ الأَصْواتُ وَأُخْرِجْنَا, فَقُلْتُ لِأَصْحَابِي: لَقَدْ أَمِرَ أَمْرُ ابْنِ أَبِي كَبْشَةَ, إِنّهُ يَخَافُهُ مَلِكُ بَنِي الأَصْفَرِ. فَما زِلْتُ مُوقِنًا أَنّهُ سَيَظْهَرُ حَتّى أَدْخَلَ اللهُ عَلَيّ الإِسْلاَمَ.

وَكَانَ ابْنُ النّاطُورِ, صَاحِبُ إِيلِيَاءَ وِهِرَقْلَ, أُسْقِفَ عَلَى نَصَارَى الشّأْمِ, يُحَدّثُ أَنّ هِرَقْلَ حِينَ قَدِمَ إِيلِيَاءَ, أَصْبَحَ خَبِيثَ النّفْسِ, فَقَالَ له بَعْضُ بَطَارِقَتِهِ: قَدِ اسْتَنْكَرْنَا هَيْئَتَكَ, قَالَ ابْنُ النّاطُورِ: وَكَانَ هِرَقْلُ حَزّاءً يَنْظُرُ في النّجُومِ, فَقَالَ لَهُمْ حِينَ سَأَلُوهُ: إِنّي رَأَيْتُ اللّيْلَةَ حِينَ نَظَرْتُ في النّجُومِ أَنّ مَلِكَ الْخِتَانِ قَدْ ظَهَرَ, فَمَنْ يَخْتَتِنُ مِنْ هذِهِ الأُمّةِ قَالُوا: لَيْسَ يَخْتَتِنُ إِلاّ الْيَهُودُ, فَلاَ يُهِمّنّكَ شَأْنُهُمْ, وَاكْتُبْ إِلَى مَدَايِنِ مُلْكِكَ, فَيَقْتُلُوا مَنْ فِيهِمْ مِنَ الْيَهُودِ. فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ عَلَى أَمْرِهِمْ, أُتِيَ هِرَقْلُ بِرَجُلٍ أَرْسَلَ بِهِ مَلِكُ غَسّانَ يُخْبِرُ عَنْ خَبَرِ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم, فَلَمّا اسْتَخْبَرَهُ هِرَقْلُ قَالَ: اذْهَبُوا فَانْظُرُوا أَمُخْتَتِنٌ هُوَ أَمْ لاَ فَنَظَرُوا إِلَيْهِ, فَحَدّثُوهُ أَنّهُ مَخْتَتِنٌ, وَسَأَلَهُ عَنِ الْعَرَبِ, فَقَالَ: هُمْ يَخْتَتِنُونَ, فَقَالَ هِرَقْلُ: هذَا مُلْكُ هذِهِ الأُمّةِ قَدْ ظَهَرَ. ثُمّ كَتَبَ هِرَقْلُ إِلَى صَاحِبٍ لَهُ بُرُومِيَةَ, وَكَانَ نَظِيرَهُ فِي الْعِلْمِ, وَسَارَ هِرَقْلُ إِلَى حِمْصَ, فَلَمْ يَرِمْ حِمْصَ حَتّى أَتَاهُ كِتَابٌ مِنْ صَاحِبِهِ يُوَافِقُ رَأْيَ هِرَقْلَ عَلَى خُرُوجِ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم, وَأَنّهُ نَبِيّ, فَأَذِنَ هِرَقْلُ لِعُظَمَاءِ الرّومِ فِي دَسْكَرَةٍ لَهُ بِحِمْصَ, ثُمّ أَمَرَ بِأَبْوَابِهَا فَغُلّقَتْ, ثُمّ اطّلَعَ فَقَالَ: يَا مَعْشَرَ الرّومِ, هَلْ لَكُمْ فِي الْفَلاَحِ وَالرّشْدِ, وَأَنْ يَثْبُتَ مُلْكُكُمْ, فَتُبَايِعُوا هذَا النّبِيّ فَحَاصُوا حَيْصَةَ حُمُرِ الْوَحْشِ إِلَى الأَبْوَابِ, فَوَجَدُوهَا قَدْ غُلّقَتْ, فَلَمّا رَأَى هِرَقْلُ نَفْرَتَهُمْ, وَأَيسَ مِنَ الإِيمانِ, قَالَ: رُدّوهُمْ عَلَيّ, وَقَالَ: إِنّي قُلْتُ مَقَالَتِي آنِفًا أَخْتَبِرُ بِهَا شِدّتَكُمْ عَلَى دِينِكُمْ, فَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ, فَسَجَدُوا لَهُ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ, فَكَانَ ذلِكَ آخِرَ شَأْنِ هِرَقْلَ. رواه البخاري: ٧

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:

Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah's Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius's question said to them, "Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?" Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) replied, "I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group)."

Heraclius said, "Bring him (Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) close to me and make his companions stand behind him." Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me." Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) added, "By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet. The first question he asked me about him was:

'What is his family status amongst you?'

I replied, 'He belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us.'

Heraclius further asked, 'Has anybody amongst you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet) before him?'

I replied, 'No.'

He said, 'Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius asked, 'Do the nobles or the poor follow him?'

I replied, 'It is the poor who follow him.'

He said, 'Are his followers increasing decreasing (day by day)?'

I replied, 'They are increasing.'

He then asked, 'Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius said, 'Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim (to be a Prophet)?'

I replied, 'No. '

Heraclius said, 'Does he break his promises?'

I replied, 'No. We are at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it.' I could not find opportunity to say anything against him except that.

Heraclius asked, 'Have you ever had a war with him?'

I replied, 'Yes.'

Then he said, 'What was the outcome of the battles?'

I replied, 'Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.'

Heraclius said, 'What does he order you to do?'

I said, 'He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our Kith and kin.'

Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Apostles come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following the previous man's statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.

I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I, then asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Apostle have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Apostles never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet.' Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah's Apostle which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read.

The contents of the letter were as follows: "In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Apostle to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him, who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your Arisiyin (peasants). (And I recite to you Allah's statement:

'O people of the scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).' (3:64).

Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) then added, "When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there was a great hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha) (the Prophet Muhammad) has become so prominent that even the King of Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) is afraid of him. Then I started to become sure that he (the Prophet) would be the conqueror in the near future till I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah

guided me to it)."

The sub narrator adds, "Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of llya' (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrates that once while Heraclius was visiting ilya' (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood? Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer. He replied, 'At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice circumcision?' The people replied, 'Except the Jews nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them (Jews).

'Just Issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country.'

While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah's Apostle to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius) ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied, 'Arabs also practice circumcision.'

(After hearing that) Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the 'Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius in knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs. (a town in Syrian and stayed there till he received the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, 'O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam).'

(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience.

(When they returned) he said, 'What already said was just to test the strength of your conviction and I have seen it.' The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of Heraclius's story (in connection with his faith).

Background to the hadeeth

This hadeeth deals with the story of Heraclius, who was the emperor of the Byzantium Romans. He was an emperor who dabbled in astronomy and he knew that the time for the emergence of a Prophet was near. This is highlighted towards the end of the Hadeeth (section of ibn An Natur). Whilst he was in Jerusalem the Ghassanian Arabs, who lived in the north of the Arabian Peninsula, sent word to him that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was proclaiming his message. At this stage Heraclius asked his courtiers if any Arabs of the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) tribe were close by - it happened that Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) was in Gaza. At this stage he was still a non Muslim, and Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه ) and his companions were trading due to the fact that the treaty of Hudaybiyah was established between the Quraish and the Muslims.

Points to note from the Hadeeth

The Narrative by Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه)

The honesty of Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه), even though he was a non Muslim at the time is clear from the hadeeth. He told the truth about the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Lying was considered a despicable act even by the Disbelievers at the time and considered dishonorable. The passage in the Hadeeth regarding the question of Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) is amazing. he remarks that this was a golden opportunity to deface and dishonor Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) but the fear of his companions conveying the fact that he had lied back in Makkah stopped him from doing so.

It is also worth mentioning what Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه) said when his daughter Umm Habibah (رضى الله عنها) married Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه ) remarked that “Indeed she has married a worthy man”

Ibn Kabsha

Towards the end of the narrative by Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه)., Abu Kabsha is mentioned.

The possibilities regarding this individual are three:

1. Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) foster father was Kabsha

2. He was one of Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) forefathers

3. He was an Arab who shunned idols

The Letter of Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq mentioned that there are a number of points to note from the letter that was sent:

1. It is permissible to write even to the disbelievers starting the letter with Bismillah

2. Heraclius feared accepting Islam and he also feared that if he accepted his people would turn against him, but in the letter Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) states that “accept Islam and you will be saved”

3. The verse of the Quran mentioned in the letter; This Hadeeth is not evidence as some suggest that one can handle the Quran without wudhu. The evidence for the impermissibly of touching the Quran without wudhu is clearly stated in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (narrated by Ali رضى الله عنه) and by Haakim in his Mustadarrak (narrated by ibn Umar (رضى الله عنه) and Jafar )

The Final state of Heraclius

This Hadeeth is closely linked to the first Hadeeth in the book. Heraclius knew the truth but was insincere and preferred the dunya. It is also worth mentioning that he sent forces against the Muslims in the battle of Hunyan in the eighth year of Hijrah

Furthermore Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent him another letter just before the battle of Tabuk, Heraclius replied back saying that he had accepted Islam. However, Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) remarked that “He has lied and he remains in his Christianity”

Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq asked the question that:

Why has Imam Bukhari placed the ibn Natur section after the narrative of Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه)?

He answered:

That the answer lies in one of the narrators – Imaam Zuhree. The Imam adds the section of ibn Natur after personally meeting him, and the section is added for further clarification to the section by Abu Sufyan (رضى الله عنه). As a result the scholars of Hadeeth have recorded the Hadeeth in the same way.