Friday, August 25, 2017

Q&A: Queries on Usul Al-Fiqh

Questions:Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu our honourable Sheikh, and warm greetings to you.

May Allah (swt) aid you and bring goodness on your hands.
The topic: queries regarding Usul-ul-Fiqh
Firstly, I hope that I have not burdened you with these questions, especially as we acknowledge the magnitude of the burdens that you are carrying out, and the amount of responsibilities that you are undertaking. May Allah (swt) aid you, lead your steps on the straight path and give you and us the pleasure to witness the application of Allah’s law in the second Khilafah state (Caliphate).
As for the questions, they are as follow:
1. I read in several researches that Usoolis have more than one method, such as the Mutakallimeen (scholastics), the method of the Jurists, the general comprehensive principles (istiqra’ kulli), and extraction of the branches from the usul… How can you explain these methods, and are close to any of them or do we have our own method in our usul.
2. It is mentioned in “The Islamic Personality” book Volume 3, page 11: “As for fiqh (jurisprudence), linguistically it refers to understanding (fahm); as in the saying of Allah (swt):
(مَا نَفْقَهُ كَثِيرًا مِمَّا تَقُولُ) “we don’t understand much of what you say…” [Hud: 91], and in the terminology of jurists it refers to the knowledge of the practical Shariah rules (which are) extracted from the detailed evidences. What is meant by “the knowledge of the rules” by the scholar (‘alim) who knows them is not only mere knowledge, but having proficiency (malaka) of the shar’i rules, i.e. this knowledge should deepen to the extent that the scholar acquires proficiency in these rules. Acquiring such proficiency is enough to consider the one who has it a scholar (faqeeh), even if he does not know all the ahkam. However, it is a necessary for him to know a collection of the shar’i rules of the branches (furou’iah) through deliberation/research (nadhar) and deduction/evidencing (istidlal).”
Does the term “proficiency” (malaka) have any linguistic or shari’i roots (‘asl), or is it a term agreed upon by the Usuli (Jurisprudence) scholars? And is it innate, that a person is born with, or acquired? Or does it have innate elements but is obtained through deep and long practice? Or is it something else?
3. It has been mentioned in the same book, page 42, the Qa’ida (legal principle) “That which is necessary to accomplish a Wajib is itself a Wajib”, in continuation to the Wajib topic. It was then mentioned in the same book, page 444, the topic of Al-Qawa’id Al-Kulliya (whole principles) and that they are not considered evidences, but are Ahkam Shar’iah derived from detailed evidences, so this caused me confusion, is this qa’ida and the qa’ida “The means to haram is haram” part of Usul or Fiqh?
May Allah bless you, and reward you on behalf of all the Muslims.
From: Muhammad Ayaad

Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu
(Your message contains three questions, each question is independent itself, and we will answer briefly, by the will of Allah:
Answer to the first question:
It is known that Imam Shafi’i is the founder of the fundamentals of jurisprudence and he was the first to separate it by classification, and then followed the classifications in the Science of Usul… The scholars of usul followed various types of classifications in their writings, some of them are:
1- There are some scholars when putting down the study and the rules of usul, they focused on the intellectual aspect of usul, and did not pay attention to the branches of jurisprudence in the school of thought they follow, but took the rules and controls that are likely to be valid to them on the basis of discussion of their evidences, and therefore their books are full of evidences and discussions about the study of usul, but they are limited in the branches of Jurisprudence… This style of authorship is called the method of Shafi’is or the method of Al-Mutakalim.
In this method, there is a great deal of style, called Al-Fanqala: “If I say (Fa ‘In Qulta)… we said (Qulna)” in the way of the scholars of speech, and in which the branches of jurisprudence are less, and they are actually closer to the truth of putting down the principles, rules and fundamentals which are considered as the basis, then comes the branches, the usul dominates the branches and are the pillar of jurisprudence and deduction (Istinbat), and this method distanced people from intolerance to a branch of jurisprudence or a ruling in a school of thought.
Among the books written in this method:
– Ar-Risala by Imam Shafi’I is the first book on this method, and then appeared many books in the same manner, the most important are:
– Al-Burhan, by the Imam of the Two Holy Mosques, Abu Al Ma’ali, Abdul Malik bin Abdullah Al-Juwaini Al-Nisabouri Ash-Shafi’i, who died in 478 AH.
– Al-Mustasfa, by Al-Ghazali, Abu Hamid Hujjat Al-Islam, Muhammad bin Muhammad Al-Ghazali Ash-Shafi’i, who died in 505 AH.
– Al-Ihkam Fi Usul Al-Ahkam by Al-Amidi, Saif Ad-Din Abi Al-Hassan, Ali bin Abi Ali Muhammad Ash-Shafi’i, who died in 631 AH.
2- The method of jurists (Al-Fuqaha’) or Hanafis:
There are scholars, when they put the basis of study of their usul and rules that which is indicated by the branches of their school of thought, they did not discuss the rules and controls in an abstract way to pass judgement on it after discussing their evidences, but they reached the rules and controls by studying the branches of their school of thought, and made the rules according to what the branches of the school of thought and in accordance to it… This style of authorship was called the method of Al- Hanafiyah or the method of jurists.
This method is affected by the branches, and work to serve them, and proving the authenticity of their Ijtihad. This method is characterized by taking the fundamental (usul) rules from the branches and rulings of the Hanafi imams, and they assume that they observed these rules during Ijtihad and Istinbat. The reason for this method is that the Hanafi scholars did not find books of usul written by their scholars, as the scholars of the Shafi’is did in Ar-Risala, they looked for the fundamental (usul) rules in the branches of jurisprudence based on the assumption that they must be based on the correct basis.
Among the books written in this way:
– Kitab Al-Usul, by Imam Al-Karkhi, Abi Al-Hassan, Obeid Allah bin Al-Hussein, who died in 340 AH.
– Kitab Al-Usul lil-Jassas, Abi Bakr, Ahmad bin Ali Ar-Razi, known as Al-Jassas, who died in 370 AH.
– Kitab Al-Usul, by Surkhisi, the Sun of Imams Muhammad ibn Ahmad, who died around 500, i.e. 490 AH, who is the author of Al-Msaboot in fiqh.
3- Method of combining Al-Mutakalimeen and jurists:
In the seventh century AH, a third method was introduced that combines the two mentioned in advanced approaches: the approach of the speakers (Al-Mutakalimeen) and the method of the jurists, so as to mention the usul rule and build on it the evidence, and it is compared to what Al-Mutakalimeen and the jurists said with the discussion and weightings, then some branches that emanate from them are mentioned.
Among the most famous books written on this approach:
– Jam’ Al-Jawami’ by Taj Ad-Din: Abdul Wahab bin Ali As-Sabki, who died in the year 771 AH
– “At-Tahrir” by Kamal Ad-Din: Muhammad bin Abdul Wahid, famous as Ibn Al-Humam Al-Faqih Al-Hanafi, who died in the year 861 AH.
4- The method of extracting the branches from the usul:
In addition to the advanced trends, there is a fourth trend called the trend of “extracting the branches from the usul”, in it they mention the usul rules and the opinions of the scholars on them, without going into the evidences of each school of thought, and then some branches of usul will be extracted from them, either on a particular school of thought, or with the comparison between two different schools of thought, such as Hanafi and Shafi’i – for example – or the Shafi’is, Malikis, Hanbalis, and so on.
Among the books written in this method:
Takhreej Al-Furoo’ ‘Ala Al-Usul, by Imam Shihabuddeen Mahmoud bin Ahmad Az-Zinjani who died in the year 656 AH.
The usul rule is mentioned, followed by the fiqh applications of the Hanafis and Shafi’is school of thought.
– At-Tamheed Fi Takhreej Al-Furoo’ ‘Ala Al-Usul, by Imam Jamal Ad-Din Abdul Rahim bin Hassan Al-Qurashi Al-Esnawi Ash-Shafi’i, who died in the year 772 AH.
It is considered one of the most important books written on this approach, as it mentions the usul rules, but it limited the extraction to the Shafi’is only.
5- The method of building usul principles on the purposes of the Shariah (Maqasid Ash-Shariah), which has the support of Shariah:
This method was adopted by Imam ash-Shatibi: Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Musa Al-Lakhmi Al-Garnati Al-Maliki, who died in the year 790 AH, in his famous book Al-Muwaafaqaat. In this book, ash-Shatibi took a new, unprecedented path, mentioning the usul rules/guidelines under certain sections, including the purposes and objectives of Islamic Shariah, which include the preservation of necessities, needs and improvements.
Thus, Imam ash-Shatibi followed a different approach in his book Al-Muwaafaqaat., where he relied heavily on total extrapolation (istiqra’). In the Khutba of the book Al-Muwaafaqaat, it was stated about the book: “I still put some restrictions, and I include details and sentences and put down evidences from sources of rules specifically not generally, based on the total extrapolation, not limited to partial individuals. The total extrapolation means here is to follow the Shar’i rulings in the same issue to come out of this process with a total judgment on the issue that is extrapolated.
This is a simplified summary of the meaning of the terms in your question about the methods of classifying the books of jurisprudence.
The book of the party on the fundamentals of jurisprudence:
The Islamic Personality Volume III, focused on the legislative usul study as follows:
A- It paid attention to the relevant issues related to the legislative aspects away from purely theoretical aspects. It did not address issues that are not fundamental in the study of the fundamentals of jurisprudence, and evidences, as in the study of “Is thanking the one who give blessings a wajib/obligation by the Shar’i or by the mind”, and so on. And when meeting issues not related to usul in terms of evidences, as the subject of “pretty (husn) and ugly (qubh)”, or in the section of “Al-Hakim”, it discussed them because of the legislative benefit in explaining such matters because they illuminate the reality of things and facilitate their judgment, because the subject of this judgment is husn and qubh; what is meant by passing judgment is that man sets his position regarding an action, which is based on his view of the thing, is it pretty or ugly? That is why issues like this have been discussed.
B- It did not delve into the logical study of the issues it discussed, and did not branch off from them with non-beneficial branches, but it is limited to legislative study and legislative disciplined evidences.
C- It has adopted clear legislative, linguistic, and mental evidences away from the debate, in a way that facilitates understanding, and leads to the awareness of the issue being investigated with full legislative awareness.
D- It mentioned adequately the branches of jurisprudence in the representation of the issues discussed, unlike some other books, which rarely mention the branches of jurisprudence, in order to clarify the issues investigated and explain their legislative reality.
However, it did not expand in the method of extraction of branches from the usul, as in the method of the jurists, because the first purpose of the study of usul is to determine the rules and the controls of usul, and not to mention the branches of jurisprudence. So the book of the principles of jurisprudence of the party is just in this matter.
For all of the above, the book, The Islamic Personality Volume III is considered of the finest books of the fundamentals of jurisprudence, for the one able to study and understand it, s/he would have gained access to Ijtihad from the widest of its doors, Allah willing.
The second question:
As for fiqh (jurisprudence), linguistically it refers to understanding (fahm); as in the saying of Allah (swt):
(مَا نَفْقَهُ كَثِيرًا مِمَّا تَقُولُ) “we don’t understand much of what you say” [Hud: 91] and in the terminology of jurists it refers to the knowledge of the practical shara’ rules (which are) extracted from the detailed evidences. What is meant by “the knowledge of the rules” by the scholar (‘alim) who knows them is not only mere knowledge, but having proficiency (malkah) of the shar’i rules, i.e. this knowledge should deepen to the extent that the scholar acquires proficiency in these rules. Acquiring such proficiency is enough to consider the one who has it a scholar (faqeeh), even if he does not know all the ahkam.
However, it is a necessary for him to know a collection of the shar’i rules of the branches (furou’iah) through deliberation/research (nadhar) and deduction/evidencing (istidlal). Accordingly, the knowledge of one or two rules is not called fiqh, nor can the knowledge that a kind of evidence is a proof be called fiqh.) End of quote.
In the dictionary Al-Muheet: (مَلَكَهُ يَمْلِكُه مِلْكاً مُثَلَّثَةً، ومَلَكَةً، محرَّكةً، ومَمْلُكَةً، بضم اللامِ أو يُثَلَّثُ: احْتَواهُ قادِراً على الاسْتِبْدَادِ به) (Malka, Yamlikahu, Milkan, with shad – with the stressed accent mark, and Malkah (muharka- with the accent mark) and Mamlakah, with dham of the letter lamor with shad: it means to contain it and able to control it.)
The dictionary Al-Waseet states: Al-Malkah, is a well-established attribute in the soul, or a special mental preparation to carry out certain tasks skillfully, like numerical and linguistic proficiency.
In the Book of Definitions (At-Ta’rifat), it is stated that: “Malkah” is a well-established attribute in the soul, and it is achieved when the soul becomes in a certain state because of an action, and it is called: psychological state, and is called a state, as long as it quickly passes, if it is repeated and is practiced by the soul until it is established in it, and slowly passes, it is called “Malkah” and by analogy to that act: a habit and attribute.
Therefore, the word “Malkah” has a linguistic origin. It is derived from the word “Malak” meaning “it contains it and is capable of controlling it”, and it also has a terminological meaning as defined in the definition of the word “Malkah” above. This term is not specifically used by the jurists, it is used in all sciences… This terminological meaning is what is stated in the book of The Islamic Personality… and the explanation follows:
The text in the book, The Islamic Personality has defined jurisprudence as “the knowledge of the practical Shara’ rules (which are) extracted from the detailed evidences.” Then it explained what is meant by this knowledge for the one who acquires it is that it is not sufficient for a person to know some of the shar’i rulings so that he is a jurist, because he will be an imitator not a jurist (faqeeh), because the imitator also knows some Shar’i rulings/Ahkaam. One also does not need to be aware of all the Shar’ rules to be considered as a jurist; not all people are able to achieve this, but one should be familiar with a number of Shariah rulings, and should be aware of their evidences and how to deduce (refer to evidences), and at the same time one will have the ability as a result of one’s study and depth of jurisprudence, to access the knowledge of the rules that are not yet known to him, this is the “Malkah”, i.e. he should have a degree of knowledge that makes him the owner of the jurisprudence and its issues and keys and this becomes a well established attribute in his soul.
It is not meant by the word ‘Malkah’ in fiqh the innate aspect and innate readiness that varies from one person to another. Rather, it is proficiency acquired by learning, studying, depth and practicing. Although innate preparations can contribute to the rapid birth and development of the jurisprudential proficiency (Malkah), but this innate readiness is not what is described in the text above.
Answer to the second question:
1- The comprehensive Shariah principles in which the ruling is attributed to the whole matter that applies to many parts, the rule of duty, for example in the rule of “That which leads to a duty is itself a duty” it is related to the whole matter, “That which leads to a duty is itself a duty,” and the rule is prohibition in for example, “The means to haram is haram” is related to the whole matter of “means to haram,” and this total matter applies to multiple parts in different sections of fiqh.
2- The comprehensive principles are Shariah rules in terms of Istinbat (extraction), they are derived from the Shariah text as we derive any Shariah rule, whether it is from one or several evidences, but their evidences contain a meaning that acts as an I’lah (indication).
This is what makes it applicable to all its components. For example, the rule of “the means to haram is haram” and the rule: “What leads to a duty is itself a duty”. Each of them are comprehensive principle. If one looks at their evidences, it becomes clear that the ruling is evidence of it and indicates something else related to it or produced by it, it is then acts as an ‘Ilah. For example Allah’s saying: (وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ) “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge” [Al-An’am: 108]
The letter Fa’ in the word (فَيَسُبُّوا) “lest they insult Allah” means if you insult their idols it will make them insult Allah, and this is haram, and it means that your insult to their idols in this case is haram, therefore it is an ’Ilah. The prohibition of insulting the disbelievers is an evidence of the ruling, and in addition of indicating a rule, it refers to
something else related to it, When Allah says: (فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ) “lest they insult Allah”.
From this verse the principle: “the means to a haram is a haram” was derived.
And an example is the saying of Allah (swt):
(فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ) “… wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows.” [al-Ma’ida: 6]
And (ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ) “Then complete the fast until the sunset” [Al-Baqara: 187] The word ‘ila’ (إلى) (to) in His saying (إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ) “to the elbows”. And in the verse:
(إِلَى اللَّيْلِ) “until the sunset”.
Indicates that unless a part of the elbow is washed, then the action of washing the hand to the elbow is not complete, so the objective must be achieved, and the purpose must not be inclusive in the action, unless a small part of the night, even by a minute, then the completion of the fasting is not realized, therefore washing a part no matter how small of the elbow and fasting a part however small of the night is a wajib/obligation, and the two verses are the evidences, because the obligation is not completed – the washing of the hands and the fasting of the morning- except by carrying it out.
So this purpose means that what completes the washing of the hands, and fasting the day, which is obligatory, is obligatory, so it acts as if it is an ‘Ila. The verse indicated the ruling, and showed something else complementary to it when the verse says: (إِلَى اللَّيْلِ) “until the sunset”.
So from these two verses the principle: “What leads to duty is itself a duty” is derived.
3- As you can see the extraction of the comprehensive principles is accompanied by what resembles the ‘Ilah, therefore it acts as an evidence; therefore these two principles and the like as we mentioned before are Shariah rules, but these rules are not detailed rules, but are principles that are used as evidences for Shariah rules. This is because the method of their extraction has that which resembles an ‘Ilah or acts like an ‘Ilah, therefore using the principles as an evidence is like the evidence because they include that which resembles the ‘Ilah or acts as an ‘Ilah. Using of the principles as an evidence is different from using the evidences for the rule with a Shariah ruling, it will take a different format, and it will take the format of application, so the matching of the rule on the reality will be noticed.
4- In view of this fact in the method of extrapolation, the comprehensive principles are closer to be a study of the fundamentals of jurisprudence, than the details fiqh studies, so this is why they were discussed in the issues of the fundamentals of jurisprudence and studied in the book The Islamic Personality, Volume III, in a special section under the title “The Comprehensive Principles” as there were, in the same book, some comprehensive principles given in explanation and clarification.
Your brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
16 Dhul Qi’dah 1438 AH – 8/8/2017 CE

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Should there be “balance” in criticising Muslim rulers?

The devastation we witnessed in Aleppo in the last few months once again made it clear that the Muslim rulers willfully keep their distance from the Ummah and the responsibility of its protection. Yet we also saw those who would find no end of excuses to absolve these rulers of the inexcusable. It would seem arguments and proofs of any sort would not suffice, and therefore, there seems little hope in addressing them. After all, if the bloodshed in Aleppo can’t make someone at least question their misplaced loyalties, truly, what can?
However, there is another kind of approach that some can take regarding Muslim rulers that is worth addressing. This approach seems to “allow for praise when the occasion calls for it”, and condemnation when they so deserve it. It takes a somewhat (supposedly) “balanced” approach towards the rulers, their actions and policies.
At times like this, even such a “balanced” approach needs some scrutiny, because taking a “balanced” approach in a game that is inherently tilted towards those wielding oppressive power may in itself be a form of injustice. What we call balance may well, then, be imbalance in disguise.
salman obama
The King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman. Some offer in his favour the argument that he has done much to fund the upkeep of the two Holy Mosques.
One of the premises that allows such an approach is to hold that “each individual action of the rulers should be judged separately on its own merit”. So the train of thought goes that if it is good, we praise it. If it’s bad, we condemn it.
But the problem here is that, while each individual action may be good or bad, focusing on them atomistically (that is, individually) lets us turn a blind eye to the ugly story that may be revealed if we linked the individual actions together to see the larger context, the overriding pattern of behaviours, actions and attitudes, and their effects on the people and places we are supposed to protect.
Here, a brief discussion on some verses of Surah al-Baqarah is in order so we can appreciate the importance of seeing actions and events within their larger contexts.
أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَـبِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ
So do you believe in some parts of the Scripture and not in others? [Baqarah: 85]
The Bani Isra’il were asked this question. But why?
In the preceding two verses Allah reminds them of the covenant He took from them.
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَـقَ بَنِى إِسْرءِيلَ لاَ تَعْبُدُونَ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ
And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none but Allah (alone) [Baqarah: 83]
Ayah 83 mentions a number of commands which Abu Sa’ud says relate to the rights of Allah or those that resemble the rights of Allah. The first of these commands is to worship none but Allah. It is worth mentioning that this first command of not associating anyone with Allah actually comes in an informative form as opposed to an imperative form. However, as Abu Sa’ud explains in his tafsir, this informative sentence is actually in the meaning of a prohibition, and this form of prohibition is, in fact, a more emphatic way of prohibiting something than a direct prohibition.
The Kings of Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
In verse 84, this style of emphatic form of prohibition returns, but this time the Qur’an enumerates prohibitions in relation to the rights of people:
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَـقَكُمْ لاَ تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَآءَكُمْ وَلاَ تُخْرِجُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ مِّن دِيَـرِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ
And (remember) when We took your covenant (saying): Shed not the blood of your (people), nor turn out your own people from their dwellings. Then, (this) you ratified and (to this) you bore witness. [Baqarah: 84]
ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ هَـؤُلاَءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقًا مِّنكُم مِّن دِيَـرِهِمْ تَظَـهَرُونَ علَيْهِم بِالإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَنِ وَإِن يَأْتُوكُمْ أُسَـرَى تُفَـدُوهُمْ وَهُوَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِخْرَاجُهُمْ
After this, it is you who kill one another and drive out a party of you from their homes, assist (their enemies) against them, in sin and transgression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their expulsion was forbidden to you. [Baqarah: 85]
The above verse relates to the actions of the Jewish tribes in Madinah, Banu Quraydhah and Banu Nadir.
Banu Quraydhah were allies of Aws, one of the warring factions in Madinah prior to the migration of the Prophet. And Banu Nadir were allies of Khazraj, the other warring tribe in conflict with Aws. When Aws and Khazraj would fight, these Jewish tribes would also fight against each other with their respective allies in contravention of their covenant.
Erdogan is touted for his supposed assistance to other Muslims as a point in his defence by some who support him.
As we have seen in the above verses, the Bani Isra’il were commanded to 1) not kill each other, 2) not drive each other from their homes and also, according to Imam al-Suyuti, 3) ransom each other out of captivity if anyone of them is taken captive. However, they violated 1 & 2. As for 3, they would gather money and ransom Jewish prisoners of wars because their covenant required them to do so.
But what does this act of charity mean anyway? They are the ones who killed them, destroyed their homes, drove them out of their homes and caused them to be prisoners in the first place! Hence, the Qur’an reminds them: “…while their very expulsion was unlawful for you!”.
Then comes the harrowing question:
أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَـبِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ
So do you believe in some parts of the Scripture and not in others? [Baqarah: 85]
The way that these verses reframe the outwardly charitable gesture of the Bani Isra’il is of utmost relevance for us today. So, yes, we’ll have our Muslim governments today who do some good actions, if we look at these actions in isolation. Some of them implement some seemingly “Islamic” policies. Some protect the holy mosques. Some help and fund some rebel groups to fight oppression. Some take in refugees from war-torn countries. Some give charity. Some express sympathy for the suffering of the Muslims. Yet, when these token acts of goodness are contrasted with other actions or omissions, any possibility of goodwill on their part fades away into thin air.
They implement some “Islamic” policies here and there, yet staunchly uphold secularism and democracy. They protect the holy mosques, yet don’t protect Muslim blood. They provide some meager help to groups comprised of ordinary people fighting oppressors, yet keep their well-funded, well-armed and well-trained armies locked up in barracks. They take in refugees, yet ally and rub shoulders with those tyrants who bomb Muslim lands to pieces and thereby create refugees. They give a little in charity, yet steal an exorbitant amount more from the Ummah’s wealth. They express sympathy for the suffering of the Muslims, yet are the very cause of their suffering.
In the face of these paradoxes, it might be tempting to chalk things up to the complexities of world politics, the supposedly clandestine “Islamic” project of the rulers, the Western pressures they are under and the dire consequences of standing up to such pressures.
To be fair to these notions we can say the following. World politics is complex but that does not mean we can’t tell oppression when we see it. And even if the rulers’ “Islamic” project may be clandestine, that does not justify their clear outward contraventions of the Shari’a. And, they may be under Western pressure, but what’s the worst that can happen if they did resist? How much worse can the consequences of resisting such over-exaggerated “pressure” be than what is already happening in the Middle east, Africa, the Subcontinent and the list goes on?
Our stance on the current Muslim governments will inevitably have a bearing on our politics and our vision for the Muslim world. That is why it is important, especially at times like this, that we review our position so as to be able to respond appropriately to the situation, with whatever little means we have, even if it be just our words. The bare minimum we can do is speak out and hold our rulers to account. And what must be absolutely avoided at all costs is to justify their actions and thereby become players in a game tilted against a very vulnerable Ummah.

Shafiul Huq is a Melbourne-based activist. He is also a student of Classical Arabic and Cultural Studies.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Understanding that Rizq (Provision) is from Allah

As a rule of thumb, we naturally tend to worry about things that are in our possession. The two most prized possessions we tend to worry about (and we assume are ours) are our lives and wealth.
But Allah reminds us in this Ayah that these things are not ours, for He has purchased it from us.
“Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise…. “[TMQ Surah At-Tawbah: 111]
There seems to be a general lack of understanding at times about the concept of rizq, such that Muslims often confuse the circumstances by which we attain our rizq with the actual cause of rizq.
Some people have assured ourselves thatRizq, present and future, will come primarily from one’s own efforts. The more we struggle and strive, the more we will apparently accomplish and achieve.
Sure, our belief system dictates that everything comes from Allah (ﷻ) – but do our attitudes expose the contrary? This has led us then to prioritise our work, family or other commitments above the commitments to Allah’s work based on a sound understanding of notions such as Rizq.
Living in a capitalistic framework also encourages us to adopt a materialistic view towards the world: one in which effort is commensurately compensated in income and wealth. The concept of meritocracy is avidly pushed, suggesting that effort equates to reward. Thus it is that people often feel they are solely responsible for creating their own wealth and opportunities.
A correct understanding of rizq built on the Islamic sources would lead one to a very different conclusion. It would lead one to realise that while seeking out rizq is important, it should not be of such importance that it involves spending the greatest time, energy and focus on to the exclusion of other obligations and duties. It is a priority but it is one in a long list of priorities. And, more to the point, it is a priority that is defined by the One that has defined our other priorities.
Allah (ﷻ) says:
“Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight – are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision (ie. Torment): and Allah guides not the rebellious.” [TMQ Surah At-Tawbah: 24]
So Allah mentions those things which in themselves are obligations such as the rights of parents, rights of spouses etc, but He puts them all into context for us and lets us know of the consequences of putting them before Allah and His Messenger.
A clear understanding of rizq is one of the major influences in our life, which determines how we can make the right decisions when it comes to balancing our other responsibilities.
Rizq is from Allah
The most fundamental idea that a Muslim must internalise is that Rizq is in the hands of Allah. One of the beautiful names of Allah (ﷻ) is Al-Razzaaq: The Provider, The Providence, The Supplier, The Bestower of Sustenance. The One who creates all means of nourishment and subsistence. The One who provides everything that is needed.
Allah (ﷻ) says:
“Lo! Allah (ﷻ) is that who gives livelihood, the Lord of unbreakable might.” [TMQ Dhariyat: 58]
“We provide for you” [TMQ Al-Anaam:151]
These ayaat clearly indicate that Allah (ﷻ) is the Razzaq (Provider) and that Rizq is ascribed to Him alone – He provides to whom He wills, and this authority of provision is reserved for Him alone.
Allah (ﷻ) also says:
”And eat of the things which Allah (ﷻ) has provided for you, as lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah in Whom you believe.” [TMQ Al-Ma’idah: 88]
In this ayah Allah encourages us to partake in what Allah has provided for us, but reminds us to keep our duty to Him. Allah connects these 2 subjects and warns us not to allow the partaking in provision to allow us to transgress any of His other commands. Allah is also reminding us that the rizq we have, no matter how much we feel we might have “earned” it, as it is not from ourselves but has been provided by Allah.
It also important to note that rizq is not associated with man in any verse or hadith for that matter except through its management and distribution. Allah says:
“Do not give to the foolish (what is in) your (keeping of their) wealth, which Allah (ﷻ) has given you to maintain; but feed and clothe them from it.” [TMQ Surah An-Nisa:5]
Allah also connects having Taqwa with the provision of Rizq in the following verse:
And whoever fears Allah – He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. [TMQ Surah At-Talaq: 2-3]
This means that though we may think we know exactly where our salaries are coming from every month, there are times when all of us are provided for in a time of need, in a way we could not have imagined. Think back to a time when you were desperate for some help, something was stolen and then replaced with something better, you were broke or on your last and some money appeared from a source you could not have imagined, or even just being offered something to eat at a time when you did not expect it.
These are all simple examples of being provided for without any effort on our part.
This does not mean, however, that we go to the extreme of leaving our work and obligation to ourselves and our family as this would be disobeying the laws of Allah (ﷻ). We are commanded to strive to obtain our rizq as Allah (ﷻ) says:
“And when the prayer is ended, then disperse in the land and seek of Allah (ﷻ)’s bounty.” [TMQ Surah Al-Jummuah:10]
Rather we must plan our lives in the best way possible in seeking our rizqwith fulfilling our other commitments to Allah and His messenger, and have firm belief in Ar-Razzaq to provide for us.
Imam ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (rahimullah) states in his book Jami al-ulum wa ‘l-hikam fi sharh khamsina hadithan min jawami al-kalim that:
the slave should be more sure of what is in the hand of Allah than he is of that which is in his own hand. This arises from soundness and strength of certainty, because Allah guarantees the provisions of His slaves and is responsible for them.
Allah (ﷻ) says:
There is no creature on the earth which is not dependent upon Allah for its provision. [TMQ Surah Hud: 6]
Allah (ﷻ) also says:
Your provision is in heaven – and what you are promised”. [TMQ Surah adh-Dhariyat: 22]
Rizq is fixed
Another very important idea to understand is that rizq is fixed in its amount. Ibn Mas’ud narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said to his wife Umm Habiba:
Verily you have asked Allah about the duration of life already set, and the steps you would take, and the sustenance the share of which is fixed. Nothing will take place before its due time, and nothing will be deferred beyond when it is due [Muslim].
A Muslim must always rely upon Allah (ﷻ) – this pillar of iman gives the believer the strength to overcome difficulties. Someone with the correct understanding that his provision is from Allah (ﷻ) will trust fully in Allah (ﷻ) to provide for him especially when times are difficult.
Allah (ﷻ) said:
Allah increases the provision (rizq) for whom he wills, and straitens (it from whom He wills), and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of this world as compared with the hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment [TMQ Ar-Ra’d: 26].
So if times are difficult the true believer sees it as a test from Allah (ﷻ), and it is He (ﷻ) who will provide what is due. We take heed in what the ayah states that the life of this world “…is but a brief passing enjoyment.”
Confronted with difficult times, we may be tempted in desperation to resort to working extra long hours or taking a second job such that it consumes all our energies and such that we neglect our other responsibilities. The steadfast believer, however, who understands that his rizq is from Allah (ﷻ), also understands the Prophetic advice when the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
Let not the fear of people stop anyone of you from saying what is true, or doing something important, because what you say or do will not keep you from your rizq, or keep you from your ajl (life span).
Value of wealth
One final quality of the believer who has understood rizq in its correct context is the small value he or she places upon their wealth. They know it is a burden, one for which they will be accounted, and that miserliness in regards to it is of the incorrect attitudes.
Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi narrated that Umar ibn al-Khattab said:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) ordered us to give sadaqah and that agreed with the property that I had so I said, ‘Today I will outdo Abu Bakr if I am ever to outdo him,’ and I brought half of my wealth. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, ‘What have you left for your family?’ I said, ‘I have left the like of it.’ Then Abu Bakr came with everything that he had, and he said, ‘Abu Bakr what have you left for your family?’ He said, ‘I have left for them Allah and His Messenger.’ I said, ‘I will never ever outdo him in anything.’
Take also the story of Mus’ab bin Umair, about whom the Prophet (ﷺ) used to say “There is nobody more handsome in Mecca than Mus‘ab. There is no person in the city better clothed and fed than Mus‘ab. There is no child brought up with mote affection and love than him.”
He was from a wealthy family but after his acceptance of Islam he devoted all his life to the cause of Allah and His Messenger such that once he presented himself to Prophet (ﷺ) in such a condition that he had only a piece of skin with patches here and there to cover his body. When the companions of Prophet (ﷺ) saw this, they hung their heads in awe. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
This is the young man who had no equal in Makkah in the luxurious style in which he was brought up. But the regard for virtue and love for Allah and his Prophet have made him indifferent to all worldly pleasures.
The carrier of Islam must be ready to face the trials and tribulations that those who oppose it. The only way to prepare for this is to have the clear knowledge of the key Islamic ideas such as Rizq (sustenance) being from Allah (ﷻ), and Tawakkul (reliance on Allah [ﷻ]) amongst other ideas.
This understanding must be well thought out and free from doubt as it will cause the believer to be freed from the struggle and exhaustion to accumulate wealth and place instead their focus upon carrying the work for Islam. It will also produce an individual who sticks to the shariah rules when obtaining wealth and someone who is characterised with generosity, actively seeking useful ways to spend or invest their wealth which will benefit them through earning Allah’s pleasure.
“Verily Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills without measure.” [TMQ Surah al-Imran: 37]

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Shariah rules of trade during Jummah Salah



Should I close my business when the azaan for jumma takes place. I have a non muslim salesman and I generally leave the shop in his supervision and go to the mosque. Or is it mandatory to close the shop and open after the salah?


Wa alaikum assalam, 

Allah (swt) says in surah Jummah – ayah 9:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلاَةِ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu'ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.

So trading i.e sale and purchase is not allowed after the call to Salah i.e azan for Friday salah. 

However the scholars differed as to when exactly should people stop sale and purchase

The hanafis said that the trading should stop at the first azan which is at the time of zawal. As for the others i.e the hanbalis, shafiis and the malikis, they said it should be stopped at the time when the imam sits on the minbar and the 2nd azan for Friday takes place.

The stronger opinion Is the latter one, and that is because there was no first azan during the time of the prophet (saw) , rather there was only one azan and it was ‘said’ when the imam sat at the minbar. 

Therefore the hukm to stop trade applies when the second azan of jummah is called and not the first. 

Furthemore, The hukm to stop trade and go to the jummah applies on those who jummah is obligated on and not those who it is not obligated on , so the women, children, the slave, the traveler and the sick are excused from this hukm and they can continue to trade however they can only sell or buy from those who jummah is not obligatory on.

As for your question regarding appointing a non-muslim salesman, then the question that needs to be first answered is whether the non muslim is addressed by the hukm shari or not ? if the non muslim is not obligated by the shariah then he is allowed to sell on condition that he sells it to only those who are excused from the hukm of Jummah. 

And the correct opinion in this matter is that the shariah is the law of allah (swt) for everyone, i.e the muslim and the non muslim.  Imam nawawi said in sharh muslim, 
‘The correct view according to the muhaqqiqoon and the majority is that the kafir is also addressed by the shari rules’ i.e it applies on them as well. 

However the kafir cannot undertake these ahkam as long as he does not accept islam, as the Aqeedah is a precondition for undertaking the fulfillment of the shari hukm. 

Allah (Swt) says in surah tawbah ayah 54:
وَمَا مَنَعَهُمْ أَنْ تُقْبَلَ مِنْهُمْ نَفَقَاتُهُمْ إِلاَّ أَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ وَبِرَسُولِهِ
And what prevents their expenditures from being accepted from them but that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger 

The Non Muslim will be questioned for abandoning the hukm of allah (swt) , In surah mudathir ayah 42-47 he says

مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ * قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ * وَلَمْ نَكُ نُطْعِمُ الْمِسْكِينَ * وَكُنَّا نَخُوضُ مَعَ الْخَائِضِينَ * وَكُنَّا نُكَذِّبُ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ * حَتَّى أَتَانَا الْيَقِينُ
[And asking them], "What put you into Saqar?", They will say, "We were not of those who prayed, Nor did we used to feed the poor. And we used to enter into vain discourse with those who engaged [in it], And we used to deny the Day of Recompense Until there came to us the certainty."

Therefore it is not allowed to enable the non-muslim salesman to perform trade after the second azan for jummah , this is because it is enabling him to undertake a matter that is haram. 

Therefore your salesman should shut the shop during that time. 

Hope it clarifies.

Ustadh Abu Khalid al-Hejazi