Baraakallahu Bika our Sheikh and May Allah hasten the victory at your hands and may Allah benefit us with your knowledge.
From amongst the well-known Saheeh Ahaadeeth that was related by the noble Sahaabah Abu Hurairah (ra) from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم that he said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ لِهَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا
"Verily Allah sends to this Ummah at the head of every one hundred years someone who will renew the Deen for her".
Related by Abu Daawood (4291) and was verified as Saheeh by As-Sakhaawiy in 'Al-Maqqsid Al-Hasanah' (149) and Al-Albaaniy in 'As-Silsilah As-Saheehah' (599).
And the question is: Does the word 'Man' (who) mentioned in the Hadeeth establish that the Mujaddid is an individual or a group? And is it possible to list them from the previous passed centuries?
From Abu Mu'min Hamaad
Wa Alaikumus Salaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu,
Yes, the Hadeeth is Saheeh and there are five issues that relate to it:
1) At which date does the hundred (years) begin? Is it from the birth of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم or from the time of the Ba'thah (the mission) or from the time of the Hijrah or from the time of his death صلى الله عليه وسلم?
2) Is the start of every year mean at the beginning of every hundred, or during each hundred or at the end of every hundred?
3) Does the word 'man' (who) mean one of the people or does it mean a group that renews the Deen for Deen for the people?
4) Are there any reports containing a correct reference in regards to the number of Mujaddids in the past hundreds of years?
5) Is it possible to know in the fourteenth century that ended on the 30th of Dhul Hijjah 1399 AH who the one renewing the Deen of the people was?
I will attempt to the best of my ability to mention what I believe to be the strongest view (Raajih) in regards to these issues without delving and plunging into the points of Ikhtilaaf (difference).
So I say and with Allah is the Tawfeeq and He is Al-Haadi (who guides) Subhaanahu to the straight path:
1) On which date does the hundred years start?
Al-Munaawiy said in the introduction of 'Fath ul-Qadeer': [And they have differed in regards to the start of the year, is it considered to be from the Prophetic birth, the Ba'thah (start of the mission), the Hijrah or his death صلى الله عليه وسلم...? And the Raajih (strongest view) in my opinion is that it is to be considered from the time of the Hijrah. This is because it is the date in which the Muslims and Islam was given honour and might ('Izzah) with the establishment of its state. And it is for this reason that when 'Umar (ra) gathered the Sahaabah to agree upon the beginning of the date they depended upon the Hijrah. At-Tabari in his 'Taareekh' said: "Abdur Rahman Ibn Abdullah Bin Abdul Hakam told me: He said: Nu'aim Bin Hammaad told us: He said: Ad-Daraawardiy told us from Uthmaan Bin Ubaidullah Bin Abi Raafi' who said: I heard Sa'eed Bin Al-Musayyib say: Umar Bin Al-Khattaab gathered the people and asked them. He said: From what day should we record? So Ali said: From the day that the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alaihi wassallam made Hijrah and left the land of shirk. So this is what Umar (ra) did." And Abu Ja'far said: "The first year of Hijrah is considered from Muharram of that month i.e. before the arrival of the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alaihi wassallam to Al-Madeenah by two months and some days as the arrival of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم was on the 12th of Rabee' ul-Awwal."
Based upon this that it is most probable to start the count of the hundred year mark from the date of the Hijrah (migration) in which the Sahabah (radhallahu alaihum) had adopted.
2) As for the start of the century then the probable (Raajih) view is towards the end; i.e. the Renewed (Mujaddid) would be at the end of the hundred years a pious unblemished famous Aalim (Scholar) and his death would be at the end of it and not half way or throughout its period. As for why I have took this view to be the most probable for the following reasons:
a) It has been confirmed by Saheeh narrations that 'Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz came at the start (Ra's) of the first hundred years and he died (rh) in the year 101 Hijri when he was forty years old whilst Ash-Shaafi'i was at the start (Ra's) of the second century and he died the year 204 Hijri at the age of fifty-four.
So if we take another interpretation for the start (Ra's) of every hundred years by explaining it as the beginning of the first 100 hundred years then Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez would not be the Renewed (Mujaddid) of the first century because he was born in the year 61 Hijri. And Ash-Shaafi'iy would not have been the Mujaddid of the second century because he was born the year 150 Hijri. This means that the start (Ra's) of the year that is quoted within the Hadeeth refers to the last part of the century and not its beginning. So he (the Mujaddid) could be born within it (i.e. middle years) and then became a well-known Mujaddid Scholar in its latter part and died at its end.
b) As for the evidence indicating that Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez was the Mujaddid of the first century and Ash-Shaafi'i was the Mujaddid of the second century, who became famous amongst the Ulemaa of this Ummah and its Imaams. Az-Zuhriy and Ahmad Bin Hanbal amongst others from the early and later Imaams agreed that from the Mujaddideen at the start (Ra's) of the first century was Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez (rh) and at the Ra's of the second century was Imam Ash-Shaafi'iy (rh). 'Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez passed away in the year 101 Hijri at the age of forty years and the duration of his Khilafah was two and a half years whilst Ash-Shaafi'i died in the year 204 Hijri at the age 54. And Al-Haafizh Ibn Hajar said in 'Tawaaliy At-Ta'sees': [Abu Bakr Al-Bazzaar said: I heard Abdul Maalik Bin Abdul Hameed Al-Maymooniy saying: I was with Ahmad Bin Hanbal whilst Ash-Shaafi'i was mentioned so I saw Ahmad raise his head and he related from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that Allah Ta'Aalaa selects someone at the start (Ra's) of each century somebody that would teach them their Deen. He said: And Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez was at the end of the first century and I hope that it was Ash-Shaafi'i who was at the end of the second].
And by way of Abu Sa'eed Al-Firbaabiy he said: Ahmad Bin Hanbal said: Verily Allah selects for the people at the Ra's of every century someone who will teach the people the Sunan and will negate the lies attributed to the Prophet so we examined it and found that Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez was at the Ra's of the first century whilst Ash-Shaafi'i was at the end (Ra's) of the second century.
Ibn 'Addiy said: I heard Muhammad Bin Ali Bin Al-Husein saying: I heard our companions saying: In the first century it was Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz and in the second it was Muhammad Bin Idrees Ash-Shaafi'i.
And Al-Haakim recorded in his 'Mustadrak' from Abu ul-Waleed who said: [I was in assembly with Abu-l-Abbaas Bin Shuraih when a Sheikh came to him and praised him. Then I heard him say: Abu At-Tahir Al-Khawlaani told us and secondly Abdullah Bin Wahb: Sa'eed Ibn Abi Ayyoob informed me from Shuraaheel Bin Yazeed from Abu 'Alqamah from Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا
"Verily Allah sends to this Ummah at the head of every one hundred years someone who will renew the Deen for it."
So have glad tidings O Judge verily Allah sent at the end of the first century Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez and at the end of the second century he sent Muhammad Ibn Idrees Ash-Shaafi'i...].
Al-Haafizh Ibn Hajar said this indicates that the Hadeeth was well-known (Mash'hoor) in that time period.
c) It could be said that the start (Ra's) of something linguistically means the first or beginning part so how then can we view as strongest that the start (Ra's) of every year means its end and not its beginning? The answer to this is that just as the Ra's means the start of something linguistically (in the Arabic language) it likewise means its end part. It was said in 'Taaj Al-Aroos' (Dictionary): The Ra's of the thing is its edge and it is said its end part. And it is said in 'Lisaan Al-Arab (Dictionary): The lizard came out of the hole with its Ra's (Muraa'san) which means that the head came out first or that perhaps tail first i.e. the first part of the end part. Therefore the Ra's of a matter or thing can according to the language mean the beginning just as it can mean the edge of it whether this means the beginning or the end. As such we need a Qareenah (clue/indication) that will outweigh the meaning that is intended in the Hadeeth 'Ra's of a hundred years'. Is it its beginning or its end? And this Qareenah is present in the previous narrations which considered Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez the Mujaddid of the first century and he died in the year 101 Hijri and considered Ash-Shaafi'i the Mujaddid of the second and he died in the year 204 Hijri. All of this outweighs the meaning in the Hadeeth to mean the last part of the century and not its beginning part.
So based upon the aforementioned, I outweigh to be most probable that the meaning of: 'The Ra's of one hundred years' as found in the Hadeeth, is the last part of each century.
3) As for the word 'Man' (who) meaning the individual or a group: Then the Hadeeth states: «يبعث لهذه الأمة... من يجدد لها دينها»
"Allah sends to this Ummah.... someone who will renew (Man Yujaddidu) its Deen for it" and if the 'Man' (who) indicated the group then the verb would have been in the plural form (yujaddidoona). However the verb was mentioned in the singular form and this is despite the expression 'Man' (who) also carrying the meaning of the plural and even if the verb after it is in the single form. However I view as strongest that here it is indicating the individual because of the Qareenah 'yujaddidu' (i.e. singular form of verb). And I say stronger view because the expression used here is not definitely individual here and even when the verb after it is in the singular form. Due to this there have been some who have interpreted the expression 'Man' as indicating the group and they listed in narrations groups from the Ulamaa who came in every century. However this opinion is outweighed by the other one as has been mentioned earlier.
In conclusion the stronger view is that 'Man' (who) indicates and individual meaning that the Mujaddid mentioned in the Hadeeth is a man who is an individual pious and untarnished scholar.
4) As for listing the names of the Renewed (Mujaddideen) throughout the past centuries; reports have shown, the most well-known list is in the form of rhyming prose of As-Suyooti up until the ninth century and he asked Allah سبحانه وتعالى for himself to be the Mujaddid of the ninth century. I will now relay a section from his prose:
Thus at the first century was 'Umar the just Khaleefah as agreed upon and settled.
And Ash-Shaafi'i was at the second due to his high knowledge.
And the fifth was Al-Ghazaali for what he possessed of argument.
And the seventh who elevated to elevation was Ibn Daqeeq Al-Eid as agreed upon.
And this is the ninth that has come and the one who guides does not break a promise and I have hoped that I am its Mujaddid because the favour of Allah does not exhaust.
And there are some other statements that continue on from.
5) And is it possible for us to know who the Renewed (Mujaddid) of the Deen of the people was for the 14th century ending on the 30th of Dhul Hijjah 1399?
It was brought to my attention what was famous or well-known from amongst the well-respected Ulemah when they indicated that the 'Ra's' (head) of the year was its latter part. Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez was born in 61 Hijri and died at the Ra's of the first century in the year 101 Hijri and Ash-Shaafi'iy was born in the year 150 Hijri and died at the Ra's of the century in the year 204 Hijri.
This means that each one of them was born around the middle of the century and became well-known in its latter part. And as I have said I view as the strongest interpretation that has become well-known amongst the respected Ulemah in regards to Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez being the Mujaddid of the first century and Ash-Shaafi'i being the Mujaddid of the second century. So based upon this, I view as strongest that the great scholar Taqiudeen An-Nabahani (rh) was the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century. He was born in the year 1332 Hijri and he became well-known in the latter part of the fourteenth century and specifically when he founded Hizb ut Tahrir in Jumada al-Thani in the year of 1372 Hijri and he passed away in the year 1398 Hijri. His Dawah to the Muslims was related to the vital issue, the resumption of the Islamic way of life through the establishment of the rightly guided Khilafah State and it had a major effect upon their lives and endeavours and Ijtihad until the Khilafah has become a general demand of the Muslims today. So Allah's mercy be upon Abu Ibrahim and Allah's mercy be upon his brother Abu Yousuf who came after him and May Allah gather them with the Prophets, truthful, Shuhadaa and Saaliheen (righteous) and what great company they are.
This is what I view as the most probable my brother Abu Mu'min and Allah is more aware of what is correct and to Him belongs the best of destinations.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
14 Shaban 1434 AH
23 June 2013 CE