Evolution of the Qur’anic Orthography from the time of Uthman (May Allah be pleased with him)

Evolution of the Qur’anic Orthography from the time of Uthman (May Allah be pleased with him)

All Praise be to Allah and blessings be upon the
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

The Qur’an which is the last and final scripturerevealed by Allah to all mankind, has always been preserved and protected throughout the ages. Allah says in the Qur’an: “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Quran and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [1]18852_53904_1393596547

This was necessary so that the state of the Muslim ummah does not become like the people before them, where the scriptures got changed and the message
got distorted. Hence it became nearly impossible for the previous nations before the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to actually find out what the original teachings of their religion were. The following is a brief outline of the History of the Qur’an especially since the time of Uthmaan.

 

Before Uthmaan(May Allah be pleased with him)

When the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet ﷺ , the Sahaba used to write it on various leaves, rocks, leathers, etc and it was compiled during the time of Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him). The same mushaf was passed down to Umar and before he died, he left it in the house of Hafsa, his daughter.Al-quran-ul-kareem

Uthmaan’s Reign

During the reign of Uthmaan (May Allah be pleased with him), there were several issues which arose. Since Islam started spreading far and wide, areas like Persia, Armenia, North Africa, etc, many people who were not Arabs also started learning Arabic and to read the Qur’an.

Al-Bukhaari narrated in his Saheeh from Anas ibn Maalik (May Allah be pleased with him) that Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (May Allah be pleased with him) came to ‘Uthmaan at the time when the people of Shaam (Syria) and the people of Iraq were waging war to conquer Armenia and Azerbaijan. Hudhayfah was alarmed by their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’aan, so he said to ‘Uthmaan, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen! Save this nation before they dispute about the Book (Qur’aan) as the Jews and the Christians did before.” So ‘Uthmaan sent a message to Hafsah saying, “Send us the manuscript of the Qur’aan so that we may make copies of the Mus-haf and we will return the manuscript to you.”[2]

As it is known that the Qur’an was revealed in Seven Ahruf. Ahruf are different reading styles or even different wordings which might have the same meaning or a similar meaning. [3] Hence various tribes started fighting and boasting that their Harf/style was better than the others. It also led to a lot of confusion among various people as to which is the correct Qur’an. It could also have been possible that various errors could have come into the Qur’an using the excuse that it was a variant reading.

Hence Uthmaan (May Allah be pleased with him), commissioned a committee consisting of various Sahaba and also including the Sahaba who compiled the first Mushaf like Zaid ibn Thaabit, Abdullah ibn Zubair, etc. They all came to a decision that they would uphold the Quraishi dialect. Hence they called for the Mushaf which was kept with Hafsa, and they made a copy of the Quran in this dialect. It is also said that they left out the dots and diatrical so as to accommodate the different harfs also in the Uthmaani Mushaf.

Then after the final copy was completed, several other copies were made and sent to various parts of the Muslim world and a Qari or a reciter was also sent who would read the Qur’an in the Quraishi Dialect. Moreover, it was ordered that the other copies and fragments of the Qur’an to be burned. This totally ensured that after the reign of Uthmaan, the confusion over the Qur’an was totally eliminated.

 

 

Diacritical Marks

The Uthmaani Mushaf Sura_24_without_vowels_and_dotsdid not have any dots or any signs for the vowels. Hence, for a Non Arab it became really difficult to understand the Qur’an. So during the era of Abdul Malik ibn Marwaan , there was again a confusion about the correct reading of the Qur’an among the Non Arabs, therefore he appointed Al Hajjaj ibn Yusuf to put marks on the letters to distinguish them from others.

Al Hajjaj appointed Nasr ibn Asim al Laythi and Yahya ibn Ya’mar Al ‘Adwaani who were qualified to do this job. They also have studied under Abul Aswad al Du’li and they were successful in putting diacritical points for the first time.  It was also said that Abul Aswad al Du’li is the first person to add the marks. It can be reconciled by saying that Abdul Malik ibn Marwaan was the one who made it official.[4]

Moreover, it was he who added the dots for marking the fathah, dammah, and kasrah. Since changing the vowels changed the whole meaning of the Qur’an, it was quite incumbent for putting those vowel signs. However, the modern format of the Dammah, Kasrah, Fathah came later on. [5]

Decoration of the Qur’an

During the third century hijra, everyone began competing in the calligraphy of the Qur’an and the script became more and more flowery. Additionally, there were no Surah separators or Aayah separators, in the Uthmaani Mushaf, they were added for additional reading benefit. The Shaddah also was started to be used for reverberating letters.Islamic-Decoration-and-Surat-al-Fatihah-Calligraphy-on-Historic-Mushaf-Islamic-Calligraphy-and-Typography-001

Many Scholars during those times, had objected to these additions, however the vast majority of the Scholars were ok with it , since it did not change the meaning and it did not affect the reading at all. They were only reading aids and it only helped to improvise and secure the correct pronunciation and intended meaning of the Qur’an.[6]

Conclusion

This was a brief summary of the history of the Qur’an. Although, many Orientalists and people who have studied the history of the Qur’an claim that these changes are too magnanimous to be ignored. However, adding these dots or marks or decorations have not really changed the Qur’an since the main way the Qur’an was preserved was orally and the written texts only were supplement to thousands of memorizers of the Qur’an. It only acted as a visual aid. For anyone who is familiar with the Arabic language, it would be very easy to read without these changes. Hence to claim that they changed the meaning is totally erroneous.

[1] Surah Hijr 15:9

[2] http://islamqa.info/en/10012, Sahih Al Bukhari 4988

[3] https://islamqa.info/en/5142

[4] https://islamqa.info/en/23487

[5] http://lostislamichistory.com/how-do-we-know-the-quran-is-unchanged/

[6] (Philips n.d., 167-173)

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Barelwi V/s Deobandi – Similarities and Differences: A Brief Insight!

Barelwi V/s Deobandi – Similarities and Differences: A Brief Insight!

 

BarelwiAll Praise be to Allah and blessings be on the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
The Ummah has seen so much during the last 14 centuries .It has seen the rise and fall of several sects, divisions, ideologies and groups. The Prophet ﷺ, had prophesized this and said that Ummah would split into 73 sects. He ﷺ said, “The Jews were split up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects; and the Christians were split up into seventy one or seventy-two sects; and my community will be split up into seventy-three sects.”

A couple of those groups which are quite dominant in the Indian Subcontinent and other areas are the Barelwi and the Deobandi groups. These two groups share a lot of similarities in their beliefs and their creed. It is quite observable that these two groups rival each other and there is constant friction among them.

Barelwis

The Barelwis are considered a Sufi sect which was founded by Ahmad Raza Khan of Bareilly, Rohilkhand, India. The term Barelvi was coined due to the fact the founder was from this place i.e Bareilly. Ahmad Raza was the central figure in creating this movement and he gained many followers during the 19th and 20th century. (Philips 51).
Their basic creed revolves around the extreme love for the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. They follow the Ashari or the Maturidi schools for Aqeedah and they are Hanafi when it comes to Fiqh. There are various beliefs which are in stark contrast to the mainstream Muslims who understand Islam in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
One of their fundamental beliefs is that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ knows the unseen, he controls the universe and they legitimize asking the Prophet ﷺ and other saints, calling upon them in times of distress. Ahmad Raza Khan said in his book Al Malfuz Ash Sharif that, “The Prophet of Allah (saw) has removed all doubts from our hearts and minds and informed us that his knowledge is comprehensive and unique which is beyond human perception. Therefore, he said, ”Everything in the universe was presented to me and I recognize them all. Nothing of the universe is excluded from my knowledge or sight”…This recognition encompasses everything hidden in the Sacred Pen (Qalam) and recorded in the Protected Sacred Tablet (Luhe-Mahfuz). This in turn encompasses everything of the past and future, from the First and Last Day. Every concealed or exposed thing is included therein” (Khan 5).
Similarly they have similar beliefs regarding the Awliya (the pious people) that they watch the whole universe and know everything. This has lead them to indulge in Shirk i.e associating partners with Allah, and they have begun to venerate the graves, bowing and prostrating to them, having music sessions, calling out to them and other similar rituals. They also celebrate the Mawlid or the birth of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with great zeal and fervor.

Deobandis

The Deobandi movement started with disagreements and political differences with the Barelwi group. This disagreement led to the foundation of Darul Uloom Deoband and for the creation of Jamaat Tableegh. The foundation is accredited to Moulana Qasim Nanotwi and anyone who agrees with their ideology and creed is referred to as the Deobandi. Moulana Ilyas founded the Tableeghi Jamaat and he was a proponent of the movement. The use of the book which is their standard guide is the Fazaail Amaal or The Tableeghi Nisaab (Kayum 12)
The Deobandis, like their counterparts, are Maturidi or Ashari in their aqeedah and hanafi in their fiqh. Their beliefs include Wahdat al Wujood, which means that the creator and the creation are unified and that the creation is the manisfetation of the creator. (Kayum 17). Moreover, they believe that the Prophet ﷺ and the Awliya are alive in their graves like they are alive in this world, and they fully communicate with the outside world. They also extol the Prophet ﷺ and go into excesses in his praise. They believe that the messengers can help and benefit the living physically.

Similarities

The Barelwi and the Deobandi movement have quite a lot of similarities between them. As it was said earlier, they both claim to follow the Ashari or the Maturidi creed when it comes to Aqeedah. They also claim to be following the Hanafi Mathhab when it comes to the matter of Fiqh. They both are known for excessive praise for the Prophet ﷺ and also for the righteous people and they attribute them with the knowledge of the unseen, ability to help the living in this world, etc. Hence this has lead them to venerate and revere the graves of the righteous people, although the degree of veneration might vary between these two groups.
Hence the line between the two group has become blurred since they could be called as an offshoot of a Parent sect i.e Sufism, since they both consider Tasawwuf to be a good thing.

Differences

The Differences between these two groups have caused a lot of rivalry and schism especially in the India Sub-Continent where sometimes one group calls for Takfeer for the other group.
Hence it could be said that the differences between these two groups is more in practice than in principle. Since, when the books written by the scholars of both these groups are read, the differences are mostly in the finer details.
One of the major differences could be the act of Istagaatha or seeking benefit from the dead. The Barelwi deem it permissible to seek benefit from the dead righteous individuals generally. Hence it is quite common to find a grave in almost every street in the Indian Subcontinent.
While, the Deobandis , although actually eschew calling out to the dead in public except the Prophet ﷺ, when one goes to their books, they actually deem it permissible to call out on the chosen few righteous individuals. Hence the difference is between calling out to the general Awliya versus calling out to the chosen ones. (Kayum 26)
Another, difference between is regarding considering the Prophet ﷺ as light or as a Mortal. While Barelwi tend to consider him as Noor or light and Deobandis claim that he is a Mortal.
Hence it could be seen that the differences are more out of rivalry and hatred towards each other rather than being in their creed and beliefs. Moreover, in reality, their beliefs within the group itself is not constant, since many lay Muslims are unaware of the beliefs of the group they belong.

Conclusion

Hence, any group which does not follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah according to the understanding of the Salaf, are destined to be misguided and deviated. As Allah says: [Or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction rejoicing in what it has. (Surah Room 30:32).
And Allah Knows Best.

Bibliography

Kayum, Sajid Abdul. The Jamaat Tableegh and the Deobandis – A critical Analysis of their Beliefs, Books and Dawah. Ahya Mulitimedia, http://www.ahya.org, 2001.
Khan, Ali Hassan. A gift for the Bralwiyah. http://www.umm-ul-qura.org, n.d.
Philips, Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal. Mislamic Sects Part Two . n.d.
Sunan Abi Dawud 4596 . n.d. http://sunnah.com/abudawud/42. June 2016.

If Islam is a peaceful religion, why did the Prophet Muhammad (saw) engage in so many military campaigns?

If Islam is a peaceful religion, why did the Prophet Muhammad (saw) engage in so many military campaigns?

maxresdefaultAll praise be to Allah and all blessing be upon the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

The word Islam comes from the root word: Salaam which means peace. It also means submitting a person’s will to Allah. So Islam basically means acquiring peace by submitting one’s will to Allah. The fact that the Prophet ﷺ engaged in so many military campaigns doesn’t negate that Islam is a religion of peace. It is a religion by which people can acquire ultimate peace both in this world and the next.

Muslims lived in Makkah for 13 years without indulging in any sort of violence. If Islam was a violent religion, then the Prophet ﷺ and the early Muslims could have attacked the Quraish in Makkah and they would have been successful in assassinating many of the leaders of the Quraish such as the Abu Jahl, Omaiyyah ibn Khalaf, etc. However this is not the goal of the religion and it is only to worship Allah without associating partners with him.

This can be seen in the verse of the Qur’an in which Allah says: Have you not seen those who were told, “Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah”?[1]. This verse shows that there was no permission to fight or even retaliate during the period of Makkah for 13 years. One could see Bilal being dragged on the street, Khabbab being branded by fire, carcasses being thrown  on the Prophet ﷺ or he being throttled , and various other atrocities but yet one could not raise a finger, one could not even curse them, since the permission wasn’t there.bwca_twciaaymk8

Moreover, as time passed and the atrocities and the crimes committed by Quraish were increasing day by day, the Prophet ﷺ instead chose to do hjrah instead of fighting them back. If he would have wanted he could have secretly planned assassination attempts and do away with the leaders.At the second pledge of Aqabah, when the oath was being taken, an Ansari said to the Prophet ﷺ, “By Allah, who has sent you in truth, we are powerful enough to put the people of Mina to our swords tomorrow, if you desire.” The Prophet replied that “We have not been commanded to follow that course”.[2] This is a clear evidence that violence is not the goal of Islam, if it had been, then the prophet ﷺ could have ordered them to kill the leaders of the Quraish and Muslims would have been victorious in the early stage itself.

The wars which took place during the Madinan phase were only done once an Islamic state was established. Islam does not support a vigilante system of justice. A war or a battle cannot be announced by any normal Muslim, but it is only to be announced by the leader of the State.

Once he reached Madina, he also made a covenant which is called the Saheefah, with the Mushrikeen and the Jews. He almost gave them independence to practice their own faith and establish their laws. However, the threat of being attacked always loomed on the horizon for the nascent state. Hence the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ started sending out envoys and he planned to attack the Quraish only. This is was done because the Quraish were the ones who tortured the Muslims for 13 years , who drove them from their homes, who looted the properties of the Muslims, who killed many Muslims and various other atrocities.  It was totally justified that Muslims now retaliate.

Allah Says in the Quran : Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.[3] The Goal of Islam is not to engage in war; hence the wording of the Qur’an is that, ‘Permission has been given’, since Muslims wanted to get back at the Quraish for all they had done.

Hence Badr took place, although both the parties did not intend to fight each other and the Muslims became victorious in that battle. Similarly Uhud took place because the polytheists wanted to take revenge for their defeat at Badr. This was also the case for the Battle of Khandaq, where 10,000 people marched towards Madina in order to destroy it totally from its root. However, they were unable to do so. Hence many of the wars were also fought in Self Defense and the prophet ﷺ fought the Quraish because he was forced to. Moreover, many a times he also attacked because for a state to be secure, sometimes attack becomes the best defense. This can be seen in various battles like Banu Al Mustaliq, Tabuk, Hunain, etc.

When we look at the siege and the battles which took place with the Jewish tribes, like the Banu Qainuqa and the Banu Nazeer, if the Prophet ﷺ wanted he could have been harsh towards them, since they broke the covenant and Banu Nazeer even tried to assassinate the Prophet ﷺ . However they were ordered to be exiled and these two tribes left Madinah to settle somewhere else. While Banu Quraizah deserved their punishment for trying to plot and attack the Muslims from inside during the Battle of Khandaq. They were war criminals and no country or state can accept traitors. Even when these criminals were killed, the women and children were not harmed.

Similarly if we look at all the other military campaigns they were carried out with strict rules and regulations. No women, no elderly, no children are to be harmed and various other rules were also put in place to ensure the objective of the campaign is fulfilled. These campaigns were not like the modern wars in which pure looting, banditry and other heinous crimes are committed. The main goal of Jihad is to make people worship Allah and there should be no oppression and injustice in this world. Allah says in the Quraan : And fight in the way of Allaah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allaah likes not the transgressors”[4].

One of the most important reasons is also that even though the Prophet ﷺ had to engage in so many conflicts due to various reasons, we clearly see that the number of casualties is just little more than 1,000. If Islam was a violent religion then the number of casualties would have been more, but the casualties itself show that killing people, terrorizing them is not the goal but to make them realize that Allah is only one who is deserved to be worshipped and all acts of Ibadah belong to him alone.  When we compare them with the Modern Wars, especially the world wars, where millions and millions of people die, to compare Wars of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with those wars is injustice.

Islam is not a pacifist religion.  Islam permits people to fight in the way of Allah as Allah says in the Qur’an :” [They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah .” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.” [5]

Also Allah says that: “And if it were not for Allah checking [some] people by means of others, the earth would have been corrupted, but Allah is full of bounty to the worlds.” [6] However, War is the last resort and is subject to rigorous conditions laid down by the Sharia.

Hence we see that for the above reasons, like for the safeguard for Muslims, self defense, pre empting the attack, etc Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had to engage in military campaigns.

And Allah Knows best

[1] Surah Nisa 4:77

[2] Page 75, The Sealed Nectar, Safi ur Rahman Mubarak Puri

[3] Surah Hajj, 22:39

[4] Surah Baqarh 2: 190.

[5]Surah Hajj 22:40

[6] Surah Baqarah 2:251

Bibliography

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://islamqa.info/en/34647

 

 

Al Muhaddithat

Al Muhaddithat

All Praise be to Allah and all blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Women have always played a great role in the Islamic sciences and they have contributed a lot. Although, many people criticize Islam and say that Islam subjugates a woman, the fact remains that women were always encouraged to study, to ponder, to analyze, to research the Islamic sciences. It can be true to say that Islam wouldn’t have such deep and profound teachings, if it hadn’t been for the women behind the scene who have narrated a magnanimous amount of narrations from the Prophet ﷺ.0

In Jahiliyya, days before Islam, women were looked with a negative plight and when a girl was born, she was buried alive. Allah says in the Qur’an, “And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.”[1] Islam came and changed the whole attitude of women and we see this from the first day the revelation came to the Prophet ﷺ.

The First Woman who accepted Islam, Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her) was the one who had consoled the Prophet ﷺ and had believed in him and knew of the message of the Prophet ﷺ even before the Prophet ﷺ and she was the one who took him to Waraqa. Similarly other women were also luminaries in their contribution to Islam, be it either physically, emotionally, via narration of the hadeeth, or other types of support to the believers.

One of them was Aisha bint Abi Bakr. She was the most beloved person to the Prophet ﷺ. She is the 4th most prolific narrator of hadith and if it hadn’t been for her and the other wives of the Prophet ﷺ, it would have been nearly impossible to know how the Prophet ﷺ was in the house, how he dealt with his wives, how he prayed at night at home, etc. She was a Muhaddithah (female narrator of hadeeth) in her own right.

This shows that she had a very good memory and she had memorized a large number of Arab poems, narrations and many a times she had corrected various understandings of the Sahaba. The Sahaba did not feel anything in their heart to go and learn from Aisha. They sought her legal advice on various issues. The question never arose during the time of the companions over the validity of learning Islam from the leading women scholars.[2]

The Mushaf of Abu Bakr which he first compiled was kept with none other than  Hafsa bint Umar after Umar passed away. When Uthmaan wanted to make a copy of the Qur’an according to the Quraishi dialect, then he called for the Mushaf from Hafsa’s house.

If we look further, into the books of Hadith we would find both men as well as women narrating the hadeeth. Imam Hakim Naisapuri stated that “One fourth of our religion depends on the narrations of women. Were it not for those narrations, we would lose a quarter of our religion.”

Abu Hanifa relied on the hadeeth of Umm Habiba instead of the hadith ob Ibn Umar regarding the Sunnah prayers being four rak’aat before Dhuhr prayer instead of two. According to the report of Abdullah ibn Umar, there are only two rak’aat. He argues that the hadeeth of Umm habibah is stronger since the Prophet ﷺ prayed the Sunnah prayers at his home. [3]

Another wife of the Prophet ﷺ was Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her). She was a very wise woman. Her wisdom showed on the day of the treaty of Hudaibiyah when the Prophet ﷺ had ordered the companions to go back to Madinah, since they were unable to do Umrah this year. However since the Sahaba were so depressed, no one responded to his order. So the Prophet ﷺ sought the advice of his wife. She said that he should show it by his action and that he should be first one to shave his head and slaughter the animal. Hence the Prophet ﷺ heeded her advice and the Sahaba then readily followed him.

Umm Salamah is also remembered for narrating numerous ahadith from the Prophet ﷺ.. It can be truly said that along with Aisha, she was also the most prolific narrator of the hadeeth from among the wives of the Prophet ﷺ.

Another Sahabiyyah, was Rubiyya bint Mu’awidh bint Afra. Her family members had died on the day of Uhud and she was the expert in narrating and showing the Hadeeth about the Wudu. The Companions used to go her house to learn how to perfectly master it and even Abdullah ibn Abbas who was from the family of the prophet ﷺ never hesitated to learn from her. This clearly shows that knowledge is to be taken from anyone if it is authentic irrespective of gender.[4]

Many a times, it so happened that the daughters of the scholars were the ones who went on to carry on the legacy of scholarship instead of their sons. Saeed ibn Musayyib, was exceptionally knowledgeable of the Prophetic hadith. His daughter learnt all the hadith by heart. Similarly Imam Malik’s daughter learnt all the hadith and the entire Muwatta. She used to stand behind the door and make corrections in the narration if the narrator made any mistake in the Isnaad or the Matn. [5]

Another great narrator is Umm Al Kiram Karimah binth Ahmad. She was a narrator of Sahih Bukhari. People used to come to her in Makkah and listen to the whole Sahih Bukhari from her. Al Dhahabi says that whenever she narrated, she would compare with the original. She had a good knowledge and good understanding combined with goodness and worship. [6]

She had also undertaken journeys for seeking knowledge to Sarakhs, Jerusalem, etc. Another female scholar who made journeys is Umm Abdul Karim Fatimah binth Sa’d. She had travelled extensively in pursuit of knowledge and she learnt from various great scholars. [7]reportirt20121213145830410

It is quite surprising to note that there is not a single hadith which has been rejected from a woman on account of her being a fabricator or a liar. Imam Dhahabi says: “There are many men who have fabricated hadith. However, no woman in the history of Islam has been accused of fabrication.” Hence women were always truthful in conveying the narrations of the Prophet ﷺ. The men are the ones who fabricated the hadeeth a lot for various reasons.

Hence we see throughout the history of the Islam that women have always played a great role in preserving the Islamic sciences. It is incumbent on the women of today’s generation too to study and ponder on the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is in accordance with the Proverb: “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation).”

And Allah knows best.

Bibliography

Nadwi, Muhammad Akram. Al Muhaddithat : The Women Scholars in Islam. InterFace Publications .

Philips, Dr. Bilal. “Usool Al Hadeeth.”

“Qur’an- Sahih International.”

Why Islam- Female Scholarship in Islam. http://www.whyislam.org/muslim-heritage/female-scholarship-in-islam/.

[1] (n.d.16:58,59)

[2] (Philips n.d., 13)

[3] (Why Islam- Female Scholarship in Islam n.d.)

[4] (Why Islam- Female Scholarship in Islam n.d.)

[5] (Nadwi n.d., 52-54)

[6] (Nadwi n.d., 57)

[7] (Nadwi n.d., 76)

Ijarah muntahiya ila tamleek – Rental Purchases

Ijarah muntahiya ila tamleek – Rental Purchases

maxresdefault

 

All Praise be to Allah and all blessings be on the Prophetﷺ.

Ijarah in the Shariah is very important because it deals with many conventional trade practices in today’s society. Ijarah means providing services and goods temporarily for a wage or a reimbursement. [1]

In terms of Islamic banking system it means that the bank will purchase the asset and lease out to the customer for an agreed rental fee. This agreement will not include a promise to buy the asset at the end of the term of the agreement since this is pure renting.

It is different from the Conventional leasing system, because it does not contain any condition which contradicts the Shariah. All risks of ownership are borne by the Lessor while all risks pertaining to normal usage are based by the lessee in Ijarah system while in conventional banking; all risks are with the customer. Moreove
r the lessor cannot charge any interest on delayed payment since it is a form of a prohibited transaction. [2]

Ijarah is generally divided into two kinds: Operating lease and Rental Purchases. Operating lease is a kind of renting in which the asset returns to the lessor after the period of lease has been completed and after that the lessor then looks for a new lessee to lease out the asset. All the risks of ownership, recession, etc remains with the lessor.

There is also a third type of leasing which is known as forward lease or Ijara Mawsoofa bil thimma. This lease is executed at a future date. This type of leasing or Ijarah is generally a combination of construction finance and a redeemable leasing agreement.

While Rental Purchases or ‘ Ijarah muntahiya ila tamleek’ is a way in which the customer has an option to purchase the asset at the end of the term. It is similar to Ijarah in the sense that the asset is leased/rented out but the difference comes when the option is given to the lessee to purchase the asset at the end. When the last installment is paid, the lessee can have exercise three options that is he could either renew the contract, terminate the contract or he could purchase the asset. [3]

It is permissible in the Islamic Shariah as long as the rental contract is accompanied by a separate and independent contract giving the asset to the lessee as long as he pays of all the rent. This is also unanimously agreed by the Fiqh Council.[4]

However this type of contract is not a mixed contract which is known as “Rent to Own”. In this type of contract, there is a combination of two types of contracts, where the lessee keeps paying rent and then when the last rental amount is given, the asset becomes his. This type of transaction according the Council of Senior scholars is prohibited since it is neither a sale nor is it a purely rental service. The purchaser or the lessee cannot sell the asset until the last installment is paid and if he fails to do so, the lessor can take the asset back and the money is not given back. In this case the lease contract automatically changes into a sale contract and the only consideration which is paid is the rent. Hence it is clear that this type of contract is totally different from Rental Purchases and this type of Rent to own contract is prohibited.[5]

Another one which is prohibited is a transaction where the lease agreement itself contains an option to purchase the asset. Since this condition is included in the contract itself and no separate and independent contract was signed, this form also becomes prohibited.

The Lessor in an Ijarah transaction is called as the Mu’jir , while the Lessee is called as the Musta’jir and the rent is called as the Ujrah.  If the deal involves agreeing to two different contracts for the same commodity for the same duration, at the same time then it becomes a form of a prohibited contract. It should be totally an independent contract. The sale contract succeeds the lease contract and the lease contract should be a bona fide contract and not just a farce or a veil to hide a sale transaction.

 

Moreover, all the costs of the ownership are borne by the lessor since he owns the asset while all the costs relating to the operations and the maintenance is borne by the lessee. All the Shariah rulings are applicable to Ijarah and all the shariah rulings relating to sale will be applicable when the asset is sold to the lessee.

Another contract which is an independent contract stating that the asset will go as a gift to the lessee is permissible since it is not embedded in the leasing contract and is separate from it. This type of gift will only be applicable once the lease period has been completed and when the lease or rental payments have been paid by the lessee. [6]

In Modern Islamic banks, the leasing contract is the major contract which follows all the Shariah conditions relating to Ijarah. The bank can also take an earnest money for making sure that the person is indeed serious in leasing the asset and this amount is kept by the bank as a trust. The other contract is the subsequent sale, promise to gift or promise to a contingent gift which comes under the Rental Purchases.  The bank can also take a Tafakul cover or an Insurance cover of the asset under the Shariah conditions and in case of default, the amount received over and above the bank’s costs and expenses goes to the client. [7]

Hence there are several conditions which make the Rental Purchases permissible as the Prophet ﷺ said “The Muslims are bound by their (agreed) conditions except the condition that permits what is forbidden or forbids what is permissible.”[8]

One must be very careful to not enter into a prohibited transaction and make sure that all the terms and conditions are Shariah compliant, since many a times the conventional hire purchase system is simply renamed as Ijarah Muntihiyah bi Tamleek and they do not follow any conditions of the Shariah. In this way they easily deceive the innocent lessee and causing him to enter into a prohibited transaction.

And Allah Knows best.

 

Bibliography

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/leasing-or-renting-ijara-in-islamic-finance.html.

http://www.investment-and-finance.net/islamic-finance/i/ijarah-muntahia-bittamleek.html.

https://islamqa.info/en/99799.

https://islamqa.info/en/14304.

http://www.slideshare.net/mandalina/al-ijarah.

http://islamicstudies.islammessage.com/Fatwa.aspx?fid=117.

https://books.google.co.in/books?id=HjwL-vOKEVQC&pg=PA293&lpg=PA293&dq=Ijarah+muntahia+al+tamleek&source=bl&ots=f9Qm3ZGQUu&sig=P5gUTAFDnEjzWqLSwpZwr8bccmo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjYud-6lP7JAhVQGo4KHQinAoAQ6AEISTAH#v=onepage&q=Ijarah%20muntahia%20al%20tamlee.

 

 

[1] http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/leasing-or-renting-ijara-in-islamic-finance.html

[2] http://www.slideshare.net/mandalina/al-ijarah

[3] http://www.investment-and-finance.net/islamic-finance/i/ijarah-muntahia-bittamleek.html

[4] https://islamqa.info/en/99799

[5] https://islamqa.info/en/14304

[6] http://islamicstudies.islammessage.com/Fatwa.aspx?fid=117

[7] https://books.google.co.in/books?id=HjwL-vOKEVQC&pg=PA293&lpg=PA293&dq=Ijarah+muntahia+al+tamleek&source=bl&ots=f9Qm3ZGQUu&sig=P5gUTAFDnEjzWqLSwpZwr8bccmo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjYud-6lP7JAhVQGo4KHQinAoAQ6AEISTAH#v=onepage&q=Ijarah%20muntahia%20al%20tamleek&f=false

[8] 6 Abu Daud, Sunan Abi Daud, Bait al-Afkar al-Dawliyyah, 1999, p. 398, hadith no. 3594.

Ibn Taymiyyah – His contributions in Aqeedah & his influence on 21st Century

Ibn Taymiyyah – His contributions in Aqeedah & his influence on 21st Century

68b58cf954a7a6c97ff56a3817a00f41Ibn Taiymiyyah, the outstanding scholar and one of the giants of Islam, is one of the leading pioneers in the Salafi thought and reforming the religion from the shackles of cultural interpretation to the authentic sources i.e the Qur’an and the Sunnah. He is said to be one of the Mujaddids of Islam. A Mujaddid is the one who brings reform to the religion when it degrades and this is one of the most important issues which Allah has blessed this ummah with. If it hadn’t been for such Mujaddids, the deen would have corrupted and tainted like the way it happened with the previous prophets and their nations. This is based on the hadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ where he prophesized that Allah will raise for this community at the end of every hundred years the one who will renovate its religion for it.[1].

He was born at a time when there were a lot trials and tribulations. The trials were both internal and external. The internal trials of the Ummah were such that there were distortions of the Aqeeda, since there were Sufis, the Ahlul Kalam, the Shias, the Rafidhis and various other groups. He was imprisoned too because of his claims and his beliefs going against the majority. Islam doesn’t recommend us to follow the majority in every issue; however, we are required to follow the evidence wherever it leads us. He rejected their arguments and corruption in fundamental and core areas like Asma wa siffat, Tawassul, seeking the help of the prophets and saints, hulool and various other deviant belief systems.

While the external trials were the political wars like the Tartar invasion and such. In all the areas of his life, he was outstanding by the grace of Allah and he was a role model for the followers of the Quran and authentic Sunnah.

The following are some of his contributions in Aqeedah, they are not meant to be exhaustive and they just give a glimpse on his understanding of the Religion and his deep insight:

  1. Asma Wa Sifaat: Allah’s names and attributes i.e the Asma wa Sifaat were always in deep contention among various sects of Islam who wanted to change the way the Asma wa Sifaat were understood. There were two types of extremes as usual. There were the rejecters like Mu’tazilah who rejected the names and attributes totally, while there were others who said the names and attributes resemble the human beings. Ibn Taymiyyah was the one who said that the Ahlus Sunnah was Ja’mah were always clear about this issue and they had the balanced view.

 

He said the Allah should be described as he described himself in the Qur’an and as the Prophet ﷺ described him, without distorting, denying, and without asking how, or likening him to his creation. His names, attributes and his actions are all real and his essence is also real and these are not mere names and these are not be interpreted wrongly like some groups like the Ash’aris do. He was wrongly accused to be an anthropomorphist because of this statement and was imprisoned. Hence he saved the Ummah from abnormal and deviant views regarding the Asma Wa Sifaat by his sacrifices and deep understanding.

 

  1. Tawassul: While there were deviations in Tawheed Al Asmaa Wa Sifaat, the more alarming and shocking problem of the Ummah, which is even continuing till today, is Shirk in Tawheed al Ibadah. At his time there were many Sufi groups, who claimed that for any dua to be accepted, one must go through prophets or saints, since the normal people are too sinful to even ask Allah. This was rejected by Ibn Taymiyyah, and he said that such act required evidence and there is no evidence for a Muslim to do such an act. Moreover, instead of asking Allah, there were people who were asking prophets, awliyaa and saints for help. This is clearly Shirk al Akbar and one must save himself from it.

 

  1. Aql: There were many philosophers who had come like saying that the Aql or the intellect is the only source by which one could know right from wrong. Ibn Taymiyyah opposed this view and he said that revelation takes the first precedence and the human intellect and the powers of reason are only subservient to it.

 

 

  1. Taqleed: Although Ibn Taymiyyah was from the Hanbali School, he did not stick to the ruling of his madhab and he critically censured the scholars for blindly following the Imams. He himself did not stick to his Madhab but he went to the sources of Quran and Sunnah. Hence he was against taqleed and he likened it to the way the Jews and Christians made their scholars as the ultimate authority when they made Halaal as haraam and vice versa. One must follow the three generations of the Salaf and anything which contradicts their understanding, is flawed and an innovation. Taqleed of scholars can also lead one to do Shirk, since instead of following the Qur’an and Sunnah, a person blindly follows his scholar, his shaykh and makes him the ultimate authority for the Shariah. Hence this is an important area of Aqeedah which one must be very careful of not falling into it.

 

  1. Wahdatul Wajood: Ibn Arabi was the prominent person who promoted this philosophy which is also known as Monism. They wanted to merge their souls with Allah’s essence and reach a high level and this is itself a heretical belief. It means that everything is Allah and Allah is everything. Ibn Taymiyyah rejected this philosophy and said that they were deluded. He said that Allah has attributes and he is the creator and he is separate from the creation.

Hence the above were some of the areas in which Ibn Taymiyyah laid ground breaking foundations and contributions for the Ummah so that the coming generations could save themselves from these pitfalls.

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Ibn Taymiyyah –His Influence on the 21st Century Reform Movements

Ibn Taymiyyah, even after so many centuries is still revered and followed, his thoughts and ideas were far ahead from his time and place and were revolutionary for the Islamic thought and expression. With the Ummah again, becoming degraded as time passed, and Shirk and Bid’ah becoming common, his works were picked up by none other than Muhammad ibn abd al Wahhab. He was born in a place where there was a lot of Shirk and people worshipped and beseeched every other saint, wali besides Allah and Allah guided him to read Ibn Taymiyyah’s works and understand true tawheed and not get bogged down by the majority of the people who claim to follow authentic Islam. Moreover, many scholars and thinkers of Islam have read his books and were guided towards the true understanding of the Salaf and his works were monumental in bringing reforms throughout the world.

In the 21st century i.e the present times, it can be seen that his works are read, researched extensively and everyone has an air of authenticity and they want to check up every claim. The new generation of Muslims, are not satisfied with just the ruling on issues, they now crave for evidence on each and every matter and the reasoning on how the ruling was made. This truly goes back to the efforts and sacrifices of Ibn Taymiyyah and his like. Ibn Kathir and Ibn Al Qayyim are among his famous students who have also contributed a lot to Aqeedah and other areas of Islamic Shariah. In fact, the most famous tafsir for the common muslims is Tafsir Ibn Kathir.

His works are also been taken by the extremist groups of this time and are taken out of context. They twist his verdicts and rulings to suit their whims and fancies. Hence, Ibn Taimiyya’s works are even read by Non Muslms and Orientalists and they are quite wary of his books. So it can be said that he is such a personality who is either tremendously loved by the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jam’ah and also at the same time, hated by the Sufis, Rafidhis, Orientalists, etc since he stood out firmly against their heretical beliefs. This also clearly shows that his legacy will go on and will not be diminished, Insha Allah.

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Hence we have seen some of the contributions and some of his influences on the reform movements of this century. There are so many other contributions of his that it becomes to difficult to enumerate. May Allah grant Ibn Taymiyyah a generous reward for his efforts and sacrifices.

And Allah knows best.

 

Bibliography

 

http://islamqa.info/en/96323

http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H039.htm

http://www.teachislam.com/dmdocuments/37/Ibn%20Taimiyyah.pdf

 

[1] Sunan Abi Dawood 4278

Some Reflections on the Story of Ka’b ibn Malik!

Some Reflections on the Story of Ka’b ibn Malik!

sahabah_by_pen_marksKa’b added, “While I was walking in the market of Medina, suddenly I saw a Nabati (i.e. a Christian farmer) from the Nabatis of Sham who came to sell his grains in Medina, saying, ‘Who will lead me to Ka’b bin Malik?’ The people began to point (me) out for him until he came to me and handed me a letter from the king of Ghassan in which the following was written:

‘To proceed, I have been informed that your friend (i.e. the Prophet) has treated you harshly. Anyhow, Allah does not let you live at a place where you feel inferior and your right is lost. So join us, and we will console you.’

It was the 9th year Hijra. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had ordered that the Muslims to march out to Tabuk. It was very difficult for them to comply with this order because it was hot and to go out in hot desert really required a lot of courage and sacrifice. Ka’b ibn Malik and two others were not able to comply with this order and when the Prophet ﷺ came back, Ka’b confessed that he did not have any reason for not marching out in the way of ﷲ . The given extract is from the narration where Ka’b narrates the story so that the people can take a lesson from it. The following are some of the reflections and lessons from the story:

  1. History of Ka’b: Ka’b ibn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) was a sahabi who had never missed a battle with the Prophet ﷺ. This really shows that a person’s history does not really secure him from making a mistake and even though he may have a spotless background, lineage etc, it will not save him from slipping. One needs to be always careful about the deeds of the present and not become arrogant and proud about the acheivements in his life. It can also be said that he was a pious sahabi and a very truthful one because he himself is the who who is narrating this story. It takes a lot of courage to admit one’s mistakes. Moreover, we see from the narration that the one who is narrating this hadeeth is his son, which really shows the relationship which he had with his family.
  2. His Procastination: The evils of Procastination can easily be seen in his story. It was not that Ka’b didn’t want to go but it was just that he kept on procastinating the preparations for the battle. He faced no obstacles in terms of health and provisions, but he was in his best state. The only reason which caused him to not join the battle was pure delay and trivialising the task at hand. Procastination is a leading factor which pulls one away from superior goals and it hinders productivity to a great extent. It is one of the biggest tricks of Shaitan and he wants us to procastinate everything which leads to worhispping ﷲ and towards righteous deeds. We must beware from procastinating things or else we will only end up in regret.
  3. Honesty: Once the army had gone and he had no way to catch up with them, Ka’b realized that the only people who were left behind were either the elderly or the disabled people and the ones who were known to be hypocrites. He seriously reflected on this and was very regretful of his actions. After the Prophet ﷺ came back, Ka’b did not lie nor did he give any flimsy excuse and he spoke the truth and was sincerely repentant. So the Propeht ﷺ told him to wait for Allah’s decree and he ordered that he and along with two others were to be boycotted by the people of Madinah. Hence, we must not make excuses in front of ﷲ and try to justify our sins, since this is the act which was done by Iblees, while admitting the sin and the mistake is the only thing which will lead us to the forgiveness of ﷲ like Adam (peace be upon him).
  4. The Oppurtunists: While Ka’ab was going through the boycot and he was really suffering because he was being treated like a stranger in his own land, by his own people, he received a letter from the King of Ghassan. We cleary see that the King and his minions like other disbelievers who bear a malice towards muslims, are always looking for an oppurtunity to divide the Muslims and to make muslims leave their faith. They want to harm the muslims and weaken the stronghold of Islam by disrupting one of the most important facet of a muslims community which is unity. Moreover, the purpose for them to send the letter to Ka’b was to make him a spy and it would be a great benefit to the King if he gets a Sahabi in his control, so that he could destroy Islam and the muslims by getting the inside information from a him, first hand.
  5. The Language of the Letter: It is quite surprising to see the tone and the language of the letter. No one could have phrased it better. We see a tone of friendliness and sweet talk, so that Ka’b should not get defensive and not listen to them. Moreover the Prophetﷺ  is menioned as “your friend” , which shows that the letter has been phrased quite meticolously. They also mentioned ﷲ and used religion and tawheed to gain a soft corner from Ka’b. The Small steps of Shaitan are similar where he makes the evil thing pleasing and he brings the sins and kufr in a decorated way which caan make any strong person to slip.
  6. Identification of Test: Going through the tests of ﷲ with patience is itself very difficult and only the ones which ﷲ guide are the ones who will succeed, while what is more difficult is identifying that it is a test from ﷲ. As soon as Ka’b read the letter, he identified that it is a test and he was sincere towards his faith. It can be said that since he spoke the truth, he could have got away easily with his mistake, but ﷲ wanted him to sincerely repent and thus he was made to go through a severe test, which Ka’b passed with flying colors. He could have taken the letter to his home, contemplated upon it and the made the decision, because the King had not asked to abandon his faith, but he did not do so, and burnt it, after a quick identification of the test.
  7. Hardship after Repentance: The main lessoin to be learnt from Ka’b’s story is that one must make a sincere repentance to ﷲ , and we must not be troubled by the problems which might come along with it, because sometimes, like in his story, ﷲ puts a servant to test his servitude, whether he will continue to sin or leave that sin for his sake. Turning back to ﷲ only brings good and Shaitaan will come to a person and say that the only reason he is facing hardship is because his repentance was not accepted. However, that might not be the case and one must continue to repent to Allah and do righteous deeds.

 

Hence, it can be seen that the story of Ka’b is filled with lessons and reflections and it is a very important reminder for each and every Muslim. May Allah protect us from procrastination and may he enable us to make sincere repentance to him.