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Sahih BukhariWhenever discussion on the veracity of hadith as such and especially that of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim comes up, the antagonists quickly refer to al-Daraqutni’s criticism of these works widely understood to the two most authentic hadith compilations. In doing so they tend to suggest that rejection of hadith for spooky reasons that they have is not a new idea and even classical orthodox authorities did the same. Without a doubt their claim is sheer falsehood.

A learned contemporary scholar of hadith, Dr. Jonathan A.C. Brown has produced a paper on al-Daraqutni’s criticism of Bukhari and Muslim’s collections.

The title of the paper is: CRITICISM OF THE PROTO-HADITH CANON: AL-DARAQUTNI’S ADJUSTMENT OF THE SAHIHAYN

It should be read in full for due appreciation and understanding. However, here are some excerpts with emphasis added for the purpose of this post;

Unlike that in later critical works, al-Daraqutni’s tone in the Kitab al-tatabbu’ is overwhelmingly constructive, and he does not aim at challenging the overall authenticity (sihha) of the traditions collected in the sahihayn. As will be demonstrated, the Kitab al-tatabbu’ comprises a formal adjustment of narrations rather than a polemical criticism of any traditions that its author deemed problematic in the sahihayn. This explains the favourable light in which the Sunni tradition came to view al-Daraqutni’s work. Although al-Nawawi devotes a huge amount of energy to rebutting the scholar’s criticisms of Muslim’s narrations, he nonetheless places the Kitab al-tatabbu’ in the acceptable genre of mustadrak works. (p.17)

Mustadrak: it is a genre in which addition is made as per the standard/quality of some other work e.g. al-Hakim’s “Mustadrak ‘ala as-Sahihayn” in which he gathers reports that he thought were according to the conditions of Sahih Bukhari and/or Sahih Muslim.

The nature of al-Daraqutni’s work does not stem from any inherent reverence for the Shaykhayn. Rather, it results primarily from the salient characteristic of his approach to Hadith: he addresses narrations and not traditions. He therefore does not criticize al-Bukhari and Muslim’s individual ahadith, but rather specific narrations of some traditions included in their two books. It would thus be wrong to state that al-Daraqutni criticized Muslim’s hadith in which the Prophet states ‘If I were to take someone from my community as a bosom companion (khalil), I would choose Abu Bakr’; he criticizes just one narration of that hadith, making no statement about the overall authenticity of that Prophetic tradition. In fact Muslim includes five other narrations of this tradition with a completely different isnad.This is the case for the vast majority of the traditions that al-Daraqutni mentions in his  Kitab al-tatabbu’ . Both al-Bukhari and Muslim habitually included multiple narrations for a Prophetic tradition, and al-Daraqutni rarely has occasion to critique a lone narration.(pp.17-18)

Here we must note that at no point in the Kitab al-tatabbu’ does al-Daraqutni object to the theological, legal, or ritual content of any hadith. His criticisms do sometimes involve the texts of the reports, but only to the extent that they contain elements differing from other narrations. (p.26)

His focus on comparing and evaluating individual narrations without addressing their content meant that al-Daraqutni never overtly rejected any of the Prophetic traditions included in al-Bukhari’s and Muslim’s collections. As his æuvre demonstrates, al-Daraqutni was undeniably fascinated with the sahihayn. He clearly deemed them seminal embodiments of the Prophet’s Sunna, and his adjustment of them constituted an act of productive criticism.
Al-Daraqutni certainly never intended to alter the theological, ritual, or legal material of the Shaykhayn with his own opinions. Rather, we must understand al-Daraqutni’s objections to certain aspects of al-Bukhari’s and Muslim’s compilations through specific methodological developments within ilm al-hadith between the third/ninth and ninth/fifteenth centuries. (pp.36-37)

I hope this sheds some light on the actual nature of al-Daraqutni’s work and what the hadith rejecters of our day try to make of it.

And Allah knows best!

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Ghamidi in Meezan - Zara Sochiye

1. Introduction

This is second part of the series. You may like to read the first part;

Putting Ghamidi in Meezan -1 (What is Deen?)

As promised in this post I will present a critique of his analysis of hadith reports on beard.

Even though beard is a juristic issue and has its place and importance but normally I do not like to get into a detailed discussion on this because the liberals and the secular in our society are quite allergic to it and lose all sense of objectivity on things like this. Today I have to dwell on it because in the first part of my critique on Mr. Ghamidi’s opinions I used the example of beard and to clarify my opinion further there is a need to address it. Also this tells a lot about Ghamidi’s intellectual honesty and attitude towards hadith. So again I pick on this beard issue to analyze his overall attitude towards hadith.

In this episode my critique will be focused on an audio clip (Titled: Dardhi ki Shari Hasiyat aur Ahadees Mubarka) of Mr. Javed Ahmed Ghamidi uploaded to YouTube.com HERE.[1]

2. Is Hadith not a primary and independent source of Law?

In the audio clip he says:

اصولی طور پر یہ بات جان لیجئے کہ جتنی بھی حلتیں اور حرمتیں ہیں ان کی شرح و وضاحت تو پیغمبر فرماتے ہیں لیکن ان کی بنیاد  اور اساس لازم ہے کہ قران مجید کے اندر موجود ہو . یہ چیز قطعی ہے اس کی وجہ یہ ہے کہ رسالت مآب نے جو کچھ  بھی دین بیان فرمایا ہے وہ اسی کتاب کی بنیاد پر  بیان فرمایا ہے. اس سے ہٹ کر وہ دین ہے کہ جو پہلے سے انبیا علیھم السلام کی سنت کے طور پر چلا آ رہا تھا اس کی آپ نے تجدید فرمائی اور اصلاح فرمائی اور بہت سے چیزیں پہلے سے دین کی حیثیت سے جاری تھیں آپ نے بھی ان کو جاری فرما دیا

In principle know that whatever are the permissions and prohibitions, while the Prophet explains and elucidates upon them it is a must that their basis in found in the Qur’an. This is an absolute must because whatever has the Prophet expounded on religion is based on this very book. Other than it, religion (deen) is what has been under practice as the way (sunnah) of the Prophets. The Holy Prophet revived the same, reformed it and he made current a lot of things already in vogue as such.
(Ghamidi, Dardhi ki Shari Hasiyat aur Ahadees Mubarka, Time Slice: 7:17 onwards)

Here is clearly saying that Hadith for itself is not a source of law. It is just an exponent of Qur’an and that if Hadith has some “dos and donts” on subjects about which Qur’an is silent then it is not a proof. This claim itself contradicts Qur’an’s plain rulings on the subject. Qur’an is very clear that the Blessed Prophet ﷺ has the dual role of

  1. the exponent of Qur’an, and also
  2. an authority of Law,

A simple and great evidence for this dual rule of the Prophet ﷺ is in the fact that there is not a single verse in the entire Holy Qur’an wherein ‘Obedience to Allah’ is mentioned without that of the Messenger ﷺ. On the other hand there are certain verses in which only ‘Obedience to the Messenger’ has been mentioned. Same is the case with the verses warning about disobedience.

To reiterate, this proves Qur’an cannot be understood without Hadith and Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ and that his Hadith and Sunnah is an independent authority for the purpose of legislation in cases when Qur’an is silent.

Consider the following verses;

الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِنْدَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ مَعَهُ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُون

Those who follow the Messenger, the Ummiyy (unlettered) prophet whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Injil , and who bids them what is fair and forbids what is unfair, and makes lawful for them good things, and makes unlawful for them impure things, and relieves them of their burden, and of the shackles that were upon them. So, those who believe in him and support him, and help him and follow the light sent down with him, – those are the ones who are successful.
(Qur’an 7:157)

Here making lawful and declaring the unlawful is termed as an act of the Prophet ﷺ which proves independent authority of Hadith along with that of the Qur’an. It is important to note here that before the mention of declaring the lawful and the unlawful commanding and forbidding what is already so determined is mentioned separately. It is therefore clear beyond doubt that this verse proves Prophetic sayings are an independent authority of law.

Needless to say the Prophetic sayings are also based on revelation just like the Qur’an. For the Qur’anic proof for revelation to the Prophet ﷺ other than the Qur’an see the article, “Authority of Hadith in the Light of the Qur’an.”

Another verse reads:

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ رَأَيْتَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنكَ صُدُودًا

When it is said to them, Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger,. you will see the hypocrites turning away from you in aversion.
(Qur’an 4:61)

Here “what Allah has revealed” definitely refers to Qur’an and we see the Messenger is mentioned separately. This is yet another proof that Messenger’s ﷺ sayings and deeds are an another primary authority of law along with what is there in the Qur’an.

In yet another verse Qur’an tells us:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you from, abstain (from it). And fear Allah. Indeed Allah is severe in punishment.
(Qur’an 59:7)

This verse is very plain and leaves nothing ambiguous. About the Prophetic authority proven from this verse is a very interesting and eye-opening incident of Prophet’s beloved companion ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud. Read HERE.

For more detailed arguments for the authority of hadith and repulsion of attacks of the enemies of sunnah, see

3. First Hadith about Beard

3.1 The narration

Ghamidi sb. says there are in essence three ahadith about beard even narrated by multiple people. Giving the first hadith he says:

ایک روایت وہ ہے جس میں  کسری کے سفراء رسالت مآب ﷺ سے ملنے  کے لئے اے تو انہوں نے کچھ اس طرح کی وضع بنا رکھی تھی کہ بڑی بڑی مونچھیں جس طرح  آپ نے دیکھا ہو گا ہمارے ہاں بھی بعض لوگ رکھتے ہیں . رکھ کے داڑھیاں منڈوائی ہوئیں گویا  گھٹی ہوئی داڑھیوں کے ساتھ چڑھی ہوئی مونچھیں  یہ ان کی وضع تھی . رسول الله  ﷺ نے اسے نآ  پسند فرمایا اور کہا یہ تم نے کیا اپنی  صورتیں بنا رکھی ہیں تو انہوں نے کہا ہمارے جو آقا ہیں انہوں یہ یہی صورت ہمارے لئے مقرر کی ہے  … حضور نے اس کو  نا پسند فرمایا اور کہا میرے الله نے جو میری فطرت بنائی ہے اور اس میں جو احکام رکھے ہیں اس میں تو یہ صورت کوئی پسندیدہ صورت نہیں

One narration is the one that mentions the emissaries of the Kasra [sic] (i.e. Emperor of Persia) coming to meet th Holy Prophet ﷺ and they had very long (and heavy) mustaches … they had trimmed beards and huge mustaches. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ disliked it and asked them as to what have they done to their facial appearance. They said their lord (i.e. the king) has specified such an appearance for them. The Prophet disliked it and said ‘In the nature (firah) that my Allah has made for me and in the instructions he has given me about it, this is not really a liked appearance.
(Ghamidi, Dardhi ki Shari Hasiyat aur Ahadees Mubarka, Time Slice: 12:08 — 12:57)

Firstly, let’s compare it with the actual wording of the report. .

Here is the wording from Tabqat al Kubra of Ibn Sa’d (d. 230 AH):

جاء مجوسي إلى رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قد أعفى شاربه وأحفى لحيته فقال: من أمرك بهذا؟ قال: ربي. قال: لكن ربي أمرني أن أحفي شاربي وأعفي لحيتي

A Magian (majoosi) came to the Messenger of Allah  ﷺ. He had grown his whiskers and trimmed his beard. The Prophet asked him: “Who asked you to do this?” He replied, “My Lord.” The Prophet replied: “But my Lord ordered me to clip my mustaches and to grow my beard.”
(Muhammad bin Sa’d, Tabaqat al-Kubra, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut, 1990 vol.1 p.347)

Same report is also given by at-Tabari (d. 310 AH) and it also clarifies to what extent they had trimmed their beards. His narration says that two Persians came to the Prophet ﷺ.

ودخلا على رسول الله ص وقد حلقا لحاهما، وأعفيا شواربهما، فكره النظر إليهما، ثم أقبل عليهما فقال: ويلكما! من أمركما بهذا؟ قالا: أمرنا بهذا ربنا- يعنيان كسرى- فقال رسول الله: لكن ربي قد أمرني بإعفاء لحيتي وقص شاربي

They both entered upon the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and they had shaved off their beards and grown whiskers. He (the Prophet) [at first] disliked looking at the two of them, then turned towards them and said: Woe unto you two! Who has ordered you to do this (shaving off of beard). They said, ‘Our lord i.e. Kisra (the Persian Emperor) ordered us to do this. The Messenger of Allah said: “But my Lord has ordered me to grow my beard and clip my mustaches.”
(at-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wal Mulook,
Dar al-Tourath, Beirut, 1387 AH, vol.2 pp.655-656)

Firstly, there is no mention of fitrah here. Apparently he brings that in to confuse the report with his brainchild ideas on fitrah with relation to beard and things of the kind.

Now had Ghamidi sahib said this in response to a question after any general sitting and presented the hadith like this, one could still understand that it is not always possible to remember the exact wording but here Mr. Ghamidi was specifically commenting about the hadith reports on beard. In this case one expects verbatim and unadulterated narration but unfortunately it did not happen.

Perhaps this is what explains why he chose not to read the original text of this report as he did for others.

3.2 Authenticity of the report

یہ روایت تاریخی روایت ہے. محدثین نے اس روایت کو  سرے سے قبول ہی نہیں کیا. اور جو بات اس میں بیان ہوئی ہے وہ اتنی ہے جتنی میں کہتا ہوں یعنی یہ ایک پسندیدہ بات اور اللہ کے پیغمبر نے بھی  اس کو  نا پسند ہی فرمایا ہے کہ آدمی اس طرح کی وضع قطع بناۓ

This is a historical report. Scholars of hadith have not accepted this report at all. And what is mentioned in it is only what I say that growing beard is a good thing and the Prophet of Allah has also disliked that a person makes such  (i.e. beardless) appearance.
(Ghamidi, Dardhi ki Shari Hasiyat aur Ahadees Mubarka, Time Slice: 12:57 — 13:15)    

Now there are four things to consider here;

a) It is a historical report: Mr. Ghamidi perhaps means it  comes from the works that are primarily known for their historical nature. While this is true another fact is both Ibn Sa’d and at-Tabari has used the methodology of muhaddithin (scholars of hadith) and have given chains of narrators for whatever they report. And while a lot of their narrations are dubious there are many that are authentic as well.

b) Scholars of hadith have not accepted this report at all: This itself suggests two important things.

i) that Mr. Ghamidi is aware of some criticism on the report by some scholars of hadith . I wonder who those scholars are and in what works we can find that criticism. May be some reader, especially someone uneasy with idea of criticism on Mr. Ghamidi can help me on this.

ii) That there is severe criticism on the report, because Ghamidi sb says (سرے سے قبول ہی نہیں کیا ). I would love to know what is the problem with the report that makes it so weak that hadith scholars have altogether refused to accept it.

c) What scholars have actually said about it? Contrary to Mr. Ghamidi’s claim hadith scholars have actually accepted this report.

Shaykh Nasir ad-Deen al-Albani has categorically mentioned that the report is Hasan.

See, al-Albani, (Tahqiq) Fiqh as-Seerah li-Muhammad al-Ghazali, Dar al-Hadithiya, 1965 p.389

And likewise Shaykh Muhammad Tahir al-Barzinji and Shaykh Muhammad Subihi Hasan Hallaq who have categorized the reports of Tarikh at-Tabari as reliable or otherwise have also counted it as authentic.

See, al-Barzinji & Hallaq, Sahih Tarikh at-Tabari, Dar Ibn Kathir, Beirut, 2007 vol.2 pp.235-237

And before them Ibn al-Jawzi (in al-Muntazim fil Tarikh), Ibn Taymiyya (in al-Jawab as-Sahih), Ibn Kathir (in Sirat an-Nabawiyya) and Ibn Khaldun (in al-Tarikh) quoted it without any criticism.

d) What does this report imply? Ghamidi sahib says the report simply implies keeping bearding is a good thing and that shaving it off is disliked. He holds his ground that growing beard is not sunnah even after knowing this report. What is important to see is that Messenger of Allah ﷺ is saying “My Lord (i.e. Allah) has ordered me to grow beard and trim mustaches.” This is categorical instruction without any qualification whatsoever! And we know from other Hadith reports that the Prophet gave the same instruction to the ummah. (hadith 3 below)

As to the report saying only what Ghamidi sahib says, this may be the case when one reads it in the adulterated form he presents, otherwise the report as given in the original sources is an evidence against him and his ilk.

4. Second Hadith about Beard

Second hadith he mentions is the report of Sayyidah Aisha that I gave in first article of the series.

‘A’isha reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ  said: Ten are the acts according to fitrah: 1) clipping the mustaches, 2) letting the beard grow, 3) using the tooth-stick, 4) snuffing water in the nose, 5) cutting the nails, 6) washing the finger joints, 7) plucking the hair under the armpits, 8) shaving the pubes and 9) cleaning one’s private parts with water. The narrator said: I have forgotten the tenth, but it may have been 10) rinsing the mouth.
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith 502)

He brings up some issues with it.

1- That narrator forgot the tenth thing and this shows weakness of his report: This is a hallow criticism. While it is clear that narrator did forget the tenth thing we see his doubt was not about what is the subject of discussion here. And simply a doubt on the part of the narrator is no reason to make the whole report dubious. We know there are many reports in which much more praised and reliable narrators had some doubt on a certain point of the narration. In fact this shows what else is in the narration is free from any such doubt on the part of the narrator.  For more on this particular report see Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani’s Fath al-Bari (vol.10 p.337)

2- Another hadith enumerates the things from fitrah and counts circumcision instead of growing beard: While this is true but it cannot be used to question the hadith for a number of reasons;

a) It is another report and has nothing to do with the report of Sayyidah Aisha. What the compiler of Mishkat has mentioned is only by the way of describing a fact, he does not suggest a problem with report of Sayyidah Aisha for this reason. (See, point b. below)

b) Neither of the reports suggests it has the exclusive list of what all constitutes fitrah. Imam an-Nawawi points that the fact that fitrah is not limited to the ten given in the report of Aisha is proven from the fact that it says من الفطرة i.e. “from fitrah which implies fitrah is broader and things in it are greater in number and only ten of it have been mentioned in the particular report. All narrations are valid in their in own right as long as they do not say something is NOT from fitrah when is mentioned in other reports. One report not mentioning something is no issue at all no matter how important that thing may be.

So the implication is whatever different things are mentioned in various reports should all be counted and master list may be made considering various report. This is the way how muhaddithin have really dealt with this hadith e.g. at-Tahawi in his Mushkil al-Athar (vol.2 pp.165-168)

3. Moreover, this is not the only hadith on the subject. Another hadith mentions the same fact.

عن أبي هريرة، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال: «إن فطرة الإسلام الغسل يوم الجمعة، والاستنان، وأخذ الشارب، وإعفاء اللحى

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “From the fitrah of Islam are taking bath on Friday, cleaning teeth (with tooth-stick), shortening the mustaches and growing beard.
(Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadith 1219. Dar  Ba Wazir ed. Classified as Hasan by Albani)

3. Third Hadith on Beard

       یہ سیدنا عبد اللہ بن عمر کی روایت ہے. کم و بیش انہی الفاظ سے یہ روایت حضرت ابو ھریرہ سے بھی بیان ہوئی ہے اور انہی الفاظ میں یہ روایت حضرت ابو امامہ الباہلی سے بھی بیان ہوئی ہے. حضرت ابو ھریرہ  اور عبد اللہ بن عمر کی روایت سند کے اعتبار سے متفق علیہ روایت ہے اور حضرت ابو امامہ کی روایت صرف مسند احمد میں ہے اور اس  کی سند میں بھی کچھ کلام ہے

This is a report from Abdullah bin ‘Umar and with almost same wording it is also narrated from Abu Huraira and with the same wording it is narrated from Abu Umamah al-Bahili as well. The narration of Abdullah bin ‘Umar and Abu Huraira is Agreed Upon whereas the report of Abu Umamah is only in Musnad Ahmad and there is some criticism on its chain as well.
(Ghamidi, Dardhi ki Shari Hasiyat aur Ahadees Mubarka, Time Slice 17:54 — 18:20)

Here are the three narrations:

عن ابن عمر، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال:  خالفوا المشركين: وفروا اللحى، وأحفوا الشوارب

Ibn ‘Umar said, The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, Do the opposite of what the pagans (mushrikin) do. Keep the beards (lihya) and cut the mustaches short.’
(Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

 عن أبي هريرة، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «جزوا الشوارب، وأرخوا اللحى خالفوا المجوس

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Trim closely the mustaches, and grow beard (lihya), and thus act against the fire-worshipers.
(Sahih Muslim)

Unlike what Ghamidi says this report is not “Agreed Upon” (متفق علیہ ). It is found in Sahih Muslim and other hadith work but not in Sahih Bukhari.

 عن أبا أمامة يقول: خرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على مشيخة من الأنصار بيض لحاهم فقال: ” يا معشر الأنصار حمروا وصفروا، وخالفوا أهل الكتاب “. قال: فقلنا: يا رسول الله، إن أهل الكتاب يتسرولون ولا يأتزرون فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” تسرولوا وائتزروا وخالفوا أهل الكتاب “. قال: فقلنا: يا رسول الله، إن أهل الكتاب يتخففون ولا ينتعلون. قال: فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” فتخففوا وانتعلوا وخالفوا أهل الكتاب “. قال: فقلنا: يا رسول الله إن أهل الكتاب يقصون عثانينهم ويوفرون سبالهم. قال: فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” قصوا سبالكم ووفروا عثانينكم وخالفوا أهل الكتاب

Abu Umamah said: The Prophet ﷺ (once) came to some old men from the  Ansar who had white beards. The Prophet said to them: ‘O People of Ansar dye your beards in red or golden colors and do opposite of the People of Book’. We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah these People of the Book do wear trousers and not loin cloths’. At this, the Prophet said: ‘Wear both trousers and loin cloths and do opposite of the People of Book’. We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah the People of the Book neither wear shoes nor socks (in prayers). The Prophet said: ‘Wear shoes and socks and do opposite of the People of Book’. We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah these People of the Book lengthen their mustaches and shorten their beards’.  The Prophet said: Shorten your mustaches (sibaaklukum) and lengthen your beards (athaninakum) and do opposite of the People of Book.’

3.1 Is there any difference between the reports of Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Huraira?

Thereafter Ghamidi suggests there is some difference the three ahadith. He says;

تینوں روایتوں میں صرف ایک چیز ہے جس میں فرق ہے وہ میں بیان کر دوں گا … باقی روایت وہی ہے البتہ تینوں راویوں نے. ایک  مشرکین ایک نے مجوس اور ایک نے اھل کتاب یہ بیان کیا ہے

There is just one difference between the three reports … [giving the reports] … rest of the report is same except that one narrator mentioned “mushrikin”, another mentioned “majoos” (fire-worshipers) and the third one mentioned “People of the Book.”
(Ghamidi, Dardhi ki Shari Hasiyat aur Ahadees Mubarka,Time Slice 18:21 — 19:06)

While it is true that there is difference between the report of Abu Umamah and other two Companions, it is wrong to suggest variance between the reports of Ibn Umar and Abu Huraira.

Actually by suggesting variance between the reports of Ibn Umar and Abu Huraira as well, he is implying that “mushrikin” in Ibn ‘Umar’s report refers to pagans/idolaters of Arabia. This is actually wrong for “mushrikin” in the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar refers to “majoos” and not the pagans/idolaters of Arabia. Here is the simple plain case for this;

1) “Majoos” (fire-worshipers) were also “mushrikin”

2) In Mustakhraj Abu ‘Awana and Sahih Ibn Hibban the report of Ibn ‘Umar itself uses the words “majoos” instead of “mushrikin”

Wording with Abu A’wana is:

عن ابن عمر قال: قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: خالفوا المجوس، أحفوا الشوارب وأعفوا اللحى

Ibn ‘Umar narrated: The Prophet ﷺ said: “Oppose the “majoos” (fire-worshipers), shorten the mustaches and let the beards grow.”
(Mustarkhraj Abu ‘Awana, Hadith 468)

Also see Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadith 5476

Hadith scholars like Ibn Hajr and al-‘Ayni have thus explained the report of Ibn ‘Umar likewise.

3) Hadith says “Shorten the mustaches and grow the beard and thus oppose mushrikin.” Ghamidi himself says that shortening mustaches was practiced by Arabs and in the very same work he refers for mustaches thing  it is stated that they used to grow beards as well. With this known it makes absolutely no sense to say that “mushrikin” here refers to pagans of Arabia.

I see it as a dirty attempt to win brownie points over hadith by showing some supposed variance in the hadith.

4. Is the instruction no more valid?

Ghamidi says since the instruction was basically about opposing those disbelievers who removed their beards therefore it was only for a time being and is no more valid.

This is false for a number of reasons;

1) The companions who reported it from the Messenger ﷺ understood it as a general unqualified order and not a time bound instruction.

عن ابن عمر، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أمرنا بإحفاء الشوارب وإعفاء اللحى

Ibn Umar said that Messenger of Allah ﷺ ordered us to shorten the mustaches and grow the beard.
(Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, Hadith 2764. Classified as Sahih by al-Albani)

2) This is why many times they reported the hadith without any mention of opposition of some disbelievers. This shows the narrators from the amongst the companions and later generations did not understand the instruction to mean ONLY to oppose certain people.

3) Moreover, question is have the disbelievers now started growing beards that there is no need to oppose them? While they still shave off their beards and go against what is commanded by Allah though His Messenger ﷺ, then there is no basis to restrict it a specific time. One thing that Ghamidi injects into the hadith is that it was only for that time. There is no basis for that.

Point to note here is that it was not a specific people that the Prophet asked to oppose. He asked to oppose whatever people he had known to shave/cut their beards.

4) Moreover, this is not the only reason for which shaving beard was forbidden. Here is another hadith.

عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال: لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المتشبهين من الرجال بالنساء، والمتشبهات من النساء بالرجال

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ cursed those men who adopt similitude with women and those women who adopt similitude with men.
(Sahih Bukhari)

This hadith is very general and there is no way to exclude those who shave off their beards. Ibn Battal (d. 449 AH) quotes from at-Tabari (d. 310 AH) in commentary to this hadith:

أنه لا يجوز للرجال التشبه بالنساء فى اللباس والزينة التى هى للنساء خاصة، ولا يجوز للنساء التشبه بالرجال فيما كان ذلك للرجال خاصة

It is not permissible for men to adopt similitude of women in dressing and adornment and whatever is particular to women, and it is not permissible for women to adopt similitude with men in what is particular to them (in dressing and adornment).
(Ibn Battal, Sharh Sahih Bukhari, Maktaba ar-Rush, Riyadh, 2003, vol.9 p.140)

In another hadith reported by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas, the wording is:

ليس منا من تشبه بالرجال من النساء، ولا من تشبه بالنساء من الرجال

A woman who adopts similitude of men and a man who adopts similitude of women is not from amongst us.
(Musnad Ahmad, Hadith 6875)

Commenting on the hadith …

نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن تحلق المرأة رأسها

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ forbade women to shave their heads.
(at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasai)

… Mullah Ali al-Qari (d. 1014 AH) writes:

فإن حلقها مثله كحلق اللحية للرجل

Her shaving of head is like a shaving of beard for a man.
(Ali al-Qari, al-Mirqat Sharh al-Mishkat, Dar al-Fekr, Beirut, 2002 Vol.5, 1832)

This shows how scholars of the ummah viewed beard.

5) All of Ghamidi’s arguments, if accepted, work for shortening mustaches as well. But then he counts shortening mustaches in his list of “sunnahs” but not beard? Why? If he says he does that for other reports about mustaches then how about the above quoted reports that do include adopting similitude of women by removing the beards?

Actually this inconsistency in dealing with with shortening the mustaches and growing beards is what is the real point.

5. Opinions of Early Scholars on Beard

Ghamidi then plays another gimmick by giving opinion of one scholar i.e. Qadi ‘Iyad (d. 544 AH) and says no one even before thought of it a big issue.

Let’s see what is the actual position.

Ibn Hazm (d. 456 AH) in his book about issues on which there is ijma (scholarly consensus) states:

واتفقوا أن حلق جميع اللحية مثلة لا تجوز

Scholars have agreed that removing the entire beard is mutilation, and it is not permissible.
(Ibn Hazm, Maratib al-Ijma, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut, n.d. p.157)

In fact with the earliest of the scholars shaving the whole beard was never even a topic of discussion because its impressibility was established without any difference of opinion. The most they discussed was taking some part of the beard especially what exceeded length of a fist. This is clear from chapter headings in al-Musannaf of Ibn Abu Shaybah (d. 235 AH).

For this reason, Ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami (d. 1252 AH) states:

وأما الأخذ منها وهي دون ذلك كما يفعله بعض المغاربة، ومخنثة الرجال فلم يبحه أحد

As for cutting it shorter than that (i.e. a fist-length) – as is done by some people from the west and by the effeminate men- no one permits this.
(Ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami, ar-Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Drr al-Mukhtar, Dar al-Fekr, Beirut, 1992 vol.2 p.418)
By the way, the great Hanafi jurist Abu Bakr al-Kasani (d. 587 AH) also said:

أن حلق اللحية من باب المثلة؛

Shaving of beard is from the category of mutilation.
(al-Kasani, al-Badai’ wa as-Sanai’, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut, 1986 vol.2 p.141)

6. Summary and Conclusion

.
1. Ghamidi does not believe in the authority of Hadith on issues where Qur’an is silent. This is in direct clash with the clear Qur’anic verses.
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2- Ghamidi does not mind playing with the statements of the Prophet to make his point. That’s what he did with the “First hadith” by interpolating words to make the hadith fit with his theory on  fitrah vis-a-vis hadith and sunnah.
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3- His criticism on Hadith of Sayyidah Aisha counting growing of beard as part of  fitrah is just a failed attempt to raise doubts about an authentic hadith. In fact what is stated therein is also proven from another narration.
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4- All his fancy ideas about the “third hadith” equally effect the instruction of shortening the mustaches but he for not sensible reason maintains the difference between shortening mustaches and growing beard. If he is to say that there are hadith reports about mustaches without mention of opposing any party of disbeliever then surely reports about beard are also reported like that. In fact there are more reports that plainly imply removing beard is severely wrong.
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Personally, I think Mr. Ghamidi should be happy that majority of his audience neither has an access to Arabic works nor any understanding of the language.
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Indeed Allah knows the best!
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[1] If the links breaks up or video is removed, please intimate me through a comment and I will, in-sha’Allah, reproduce it online for record.
——————–

To those from Ghamidi’s fan club who would like to comment:

.
If you are uneasy for this criticism, and I know you are, then please find me answers to just two questions that are more about intellectual honesty and consistency than anything else.
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1- Why did Ghamidi play with the wording of “First hadith”? From where did the fitrah thing come into it?
And remember this time he came prepared to address the issue so you cannot say he was just reading from memory or did not have exact wording with him. Perhaps you would like to reflect on the fact that it was the only hadith for which he did not read the actual text.
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2- What is the basis for maintaining the difference between the nature of two instructions usually mentioned together; 1) shortening the mustaches, 2) growing beard?
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Please provide answers to either or both of these questions if you want to have your comments published.

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Read and reflect on the following narration;

عن جبير بن نفير قال: جلسنا إلى المقداد بن الأسود يوما، فمر به رجل، فقال: طوبى لهاتين العينين اللتين رأتا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، والله! لوددنا أنا رأينا ما رأيت، وشهدنا ما شهدت، فاستغضب، فجعلت أعجب، ما قال إلا خيرا! ثم أقبل عليه فقال: “ما يحمل الرجل على أن يتمنى محضرا غيبه الله عنه؟ لا يدري لو شهده كيف يكون فيه؟ والله! لقد حضر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أقوام كبهم الله على مناخرهم في جهنم؛ لم يجيبوه ولم يصدقوه! أولا تحمدون الله عز وجل إذ أخرجكم لا تعرفون إلا ربكم، فتصدقون بما جاء به نبيكم صلى الله عليه وسلم، قد كفيتم البلاء بغيركم. والله لقد بعث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على أشد حال بعث عليها نبي قط، في فترة وجاهلية، ما يرون أن دينا أفضل من عبادة الأوثان! فجاء بفرقان فرق به بين الحق والباطل، وفرق به بين الوالد وولده، حتى إن كان الرجل ليرى والده أو ولده أو أخاه كافرا، وقد فتح الله قفل قلبه بالإيمان ويعلم أنه إن هلك دخل النار، فلا تقر عينه، وهو يعلم أن حبيبه في النار، وأنها للتي قال: الله عز وجل: {والذين يقولون ربنا هب لنا من أزواجنا وذرياتنا قرة أعين} – الفرقان: 74

Jubayr ibn Nufayr said, “One day we were sitting when al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad when a man passed us. The man said, ‘Blessing be to those two eyes which saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. By Allah, I wish that I had seen what you have seen and witnessed what you have witnessed!’ This angered al-Miqdad and that surprised me as the man had said nothing but good things. Then he turned to them and said, ‘What made the man desire to summon back what Allah has taken away? Does he not realise what his situation would be if he had seen him? By Allah, if certain people had been with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, Allah would have thrown them on their faces into Hellfire since they would neither have answered nor confirmed him? Do you not praise Allah Almighty since He brought you forth and you only know your Lord and confirm what your Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought? You see enough affliction in other people. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was sent in the harshest state in which any Prophet was ever sent – in a gap (in the line of prophethood) and the time of Ignorance. They did not believe that the deen was better than worshiping idols. He brought the Discrimination by which it is possible to discriminate between the true and false, and which can part a father from his child. Then a man will think of his father, child or brother as an unbeliever. Allah has loosened the locks of his heart by faith and he knows that the other person will be destroyed in the Fire. Therefore his eye is not cool since he knows that the one he loves will be in the Fire. It is what Allah says, “Those who say, ‘Our Lord, give us joy in our wives and children.” (25:74)'”

See, Imam al-Bukhari’s al-Adab al-Mufrad, Hadith 87 – Translated by Ustadha Aisha Bewley. Classified as Sahih by Shaykh Albani

It is also reported  by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (Hadith 23810, Al-Resalah ed.), Shaykh Shu’aib Arnaut also classified it as Sahih.

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In one of his articles Prof. Israr Ahmad Ahmad, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), in what is practically a bid to subject Hadith to subjective analysis of ordinary people vis-a-vis its relation with Qur’an clearly departs from established scholarly morals.

He tries to amass references from scholars for the said purpose. Among the scholars he refers to is Imam al-Shafi’i. He alleges;

Muhammad ibn  Idris al-Shafi‘ i (d.204 A.H.) observed  in  his  masterpiece, al-Umm  that if  a  Hadith  was  in  contrast  with  the  Qur’ an,  it  could  not be  from  the Prophet  (s.a.w.), even  though  it  was  narrated  by  authentic  narrators.  For  that  matter  he  quoted  a Hadith of the Prophet  (s.a.w.):

Hadith  will,  indeed,  spread  far  and  wide  in  my  name; whatever  thereof  is  in  conformity  with  the  Qur’an  is  genuinely  mine;  and  whatever  thereof  clashes  with  the Qur’ an  is certainly not from me.

In his notes, he gives the following reference for this;

Al-Dumayni,  Misfir  Ghuram  Allah,  Maqayis  Naqd  Mutun  al -Sunnah  (Self published by the  author, Riyadh, 1403 A.H.), p. 297.

See, “The Qur’an as a Criterion for Hadith-Text Examination”, Islamic Perspectives – [Journal of ] Center for Sociological Studies, London Academy of Iranian Studies, vol. 4 2010 p.287, 308

This appears nice however it is cunningly deceitful for two reasons;

1) Imam al-Shafi’i has himself clarified that the report is not sahih

2) The work he cites itself clarifies this was not the final opinion of Imam al-Shafi’i and therefore it is wrong to attribute it to him anymore.

1) Imam al-Shafi’i himself clarified this report is not authentic

Following is the excerpt from al-Risala the well known work of Imam al-Shafi’i;

It is a part of a dialogue between Imam al-Shafi’i and some other person;

He (the other person) said: … can you give me an evidence against those who related a saying on the authority of the Prophet which runs as follows:

Compare whatever is related on my authority with the Book of God; if it agrees with it, I have said it, but if it does not agree, I have not said it.[7]

[Shafi’i] replied: This tradition was not related by one whose authority on any matter, significant or insignificant, has been recognized so as to constitute a proof for what he related. Besides this is an interrupted transmission from an unknown person and is unacceptable to us.

[7] This tradition has been transmitted in a variety of forms and is regarded as weak. For a critical evaluation, see Ibn Hazm, Kitab al-Ihkam fi Usul al-Ahkam, Vol. II. pp.76-82

See, Al-Risala fi Usool al-Fiqh- Treatise on the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. Translated by Majid Khadduri, Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1993 pp.186-187

2) Prof. Israr A. Khan’s intellectual dishonesty

The Prof. gives the narration from al-Shafi’i’s work citing another book i.e. Al-Dumayni’s Maqayis Naqd Mutun al-Sunnah. On page 297 of Al-Dumayni’s work we do find what Prof. writes however, Al-Dumayni clarifies on the very next page i.e. p.298 that though earlier Imam al-Shafi’i did mention the narration in his work al-Umm but in later work al-Risalah (as quoted above) he recanted from his view of testing every hadith against Qur’an because a sahih Hadith can never contradict Qur’an even if someone short of brains people thinks it does.

Al-Dumayni then writes;

وعلى هذا يكون القول بعدم العرض هو الراجح عنه، أو: هو القول الأخير له فى المسألة

“And for this reason the word about not presenting a hadith (against Qur’an for testing) is the more solid thing proved from him. Or (we may say): It is the last of his opinions on the issue.” (p.298)

This makes it very clear that Imam al-Shafi’i did not hold what the Prof. alleged. The learned Professor of Department of Qur’an and Sunnah wonderfully deceives his readers. Interestingly the well known and final opinion of Imam al-Shafi’i is mentioned even on p.296 of Al-Dumayni’s work. So both before and after what the Prof. quotes the clarification is given but he signally fails to share the truth.

Download al-Dumayni’s work HERE and see for yourself.

Had the professor quoted from al-Umm directly it would have not been too serious an issue because it is possible that a person reads one book and doesn’t know if some later work has a different thing though true scholarship doesn’t warrant that as well. But the fact that Prof. Khan quoted from a secondary source and that secondary source in very categorical terms clarifies against what he cherry-picks raises serious questions. It is next to impossible to take it as an honest mistake.

May Allah help us have see through the things and preserve our ‘iman from tricks of the opponents of sunnah.

Indeed Allah knows the best!

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Imam Al-Shafi’i (d. 204 AH) is reported to have said:

إذا صح الحديث خلاف قولي فاعملوا بالحديث واتركوا قولي أو قال فهو مذهبي

“When there is a Sahih Hadith opposed to my opinion, act upon the hadith and leave my word.” Or he said, “then it (i.e. that hadith, itself) is my opinion.”

Imam al-Nawawi (d.676 AH) after giving the well-known statement of al-Shafi’i, our Imam, in the above mentioned words says that scholars of the Shafi’i school have ruled in difference to the opinion of Al-Shafi’i on some issues. He then says:

وهذا الذي قاله الشافعي ليس معناه ان كل أحد رأى حديثا صحيحا قال هذا مذهب الشافعي وعمل بظاهره: وإنما هذا فيمن له رتبة الاجتهاد في المذهب على ما تقدم من صفته أو قريب منه: وشرطه أن يغلب على ظنه أن الشافعي رحمه الله لم يقف على هذا الحديث أو لم يعلم صحته: وهذا إنما يكون بعد مطالعة كتب الشافعي كلها ونحوها من كتب أصحابه الآخذين عنه وما أشبهها وهذا شرط صعب قل من يتصف به: وإنما اشترطوا ما ذكرنا لأن الشافعي رحمه الله ترك العمل بظاهر أحاديث كثيرة رآها وعلمها لكن قام الدليل عنده على طعن فيها أو نسخها أو تخصيصها أو تأويلها أو نحو ذلك: قال الشيخ أبو عمرو رحمه الله ليس العمل بظاهر ما قاله الشافعي بالهين فليس كل فقيه يسوغ له أن يستقل بالعمل بما يراه حجة من الحديث

“And as to this saying of al-Shafi’i, it does not mean that anyone who sees a sahih hadith should say, “This is the opinion (mazhab) of al-Shafi’i” and starts following it. In fact this is for the one who has the status (and ability) of ijtihad in the mazhab … And the condition for this is he must be fairly convinced that al-Shafi’i, may Allah have mercy on him, did not know that hadith or (at least) he did not know of its authenticity. And this is possible (only) after studying all the books of al-Shafi’i and likewise of his students who gained knowledge from him and whatever relates to it. And this is a very tough condition. There are very few who have this capacity. And these conditions we mentioned are put because in many cases Al-Shafi’i, may Allah have mercy on him, did not act according to the apparent import of ahadith after having known them. This is because according to him there was evidence for some problem for (each) such hadith, or for its abrogation, or limitation of its scope or for some interpretation (ta’wil) of it or anything of the kind. Abu ‘Amr (i.e. Ibn Salah), may Allah have mercy on him, said: Following the apparent meanings of what al-Shafi’i said is not easy for not every faqih is able to establish his practice on what he sees as evidence from hadith.

(Al-Majmu’ Sharh Al-Muhazzab, Maktaba’ Al-Irshad, Jeddah  vol.1 p.105)

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Ignaz Goldziher is indeed the most malignant and critical orientalist on Hadith and its sciences but even he had to accept the amount of efforts put in by Hadith scholars in collection of the treasured traditions.

He writes;

From one end of the Islamic world to the other, from al-Andalus to Central Asia, wandered diligent men gathering traditions in order to be able to pass them on to their audiences. This was the only possible way of obtaining in their authentic form traditions which were scattered in the most diverse provinces. The honorific al-rahhala or al-jawwal is hardly ever absent from the names of traditionalists of recognized importance. The title tawwaf al-aqalim, wanderer in all zones, is no mere hyperbole for these travellers, who included people who could say of themselves that they had traversed the East and West four times. These men do not travel in all these countries in order to see the world or to gain experience but only to see the preserves of traditions in all these places and to hear and profit by them, ‘like the bird who alights on no tree without picking at the leaves.’ It is said of these men that they are famed for the talab, i.e. for active search and investigation of hadiths (min al-mashhurin bi’l-talab fi’l-rihla).

See:  Ignaz Glodziher, Muslim Studies (Muhammedanische Studien) Translated by C.R. Barber and S.M. Stern vol.2, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London 1973 pp. 165-166

And Allah knows the best!

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Ever since I started studying the Ahadith, I came around some of the narrations that I could not fully comprehend but somehow intuitively felt that they have something great and deeper in them.

One such narration goes as;

حبب إلي من دنياكم : النساء و الطيب و جعلت قرة عيني في الصلاة

“Three things from your world have been made beloved to me; women, perfume and the coolness of my eyes is in the prayers.” (Jami’ al-Saghir, Hadith 5435. Classified as Sahih by Albani)

Just recently I feel like its true meanings and significance has opened up unto me. I am neither a Muhaddith, nor a jurist so my thoughts ought to be taken only as a student’s attempt to unveil, what he feels like, the symbolic significance of these great words.

1.       “Your world”:  The phrase infact provides a key to understand the true significance of the saying. By saying, ‘your world’ the prophet, may Allah bless him, reminds of the fact that he is not the one to have drowned in this world and speaks from the ‘other world’s’ perspective. That is to say, the words are most definitely speaking to us of the spiritual realm. As Iqbal, may Allah have mercy on him, beautifully put it as;

گفت با امت  ز دنیای شما
دوست دارم طاعت و طیب و نسا

گر ترا ذوق معانی رھنماست
نکتہ ئی پوشیدہ در حرف ’’شما‘‘ست
یعنی آن شمع شبستان وجود
بود در دنیا و از دنیا نبود

And so he spoke to his community,

“Of all this world of yours, I love alone

Obedient hearts, sweet perfumes, women chaste.”

If the perception of realities

Guideth thy steps, the subtlety confined

In that word ‘yours’ will not be hid from thee.

Indeed, that lantern of all beings’ night

Dwelt in the world, but was not of the world;

(Ramuz Be Khudi, Mysteries of the Selflessness, 13)

2.       “Women”: Coming to things made beloved, he first speaks of “women.” I think even the order in which he put the things is important. The fact that “women” come first relates to the fact that for every human, the subject of all the Islamic teachings and ideas, the way to this world is a woman. As a mother she is everything for us in this new strange world that we enter into. The Qur’an says;

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا

“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.” (Qur’an 46: 15)

It is the mother who, brings us up, shapes our mind and gives a direction even to our predilections. She shapes the destiny of men and therefore of the nations. Her role is a shadow of that of the Creator and of the prophets.  Iqbal, at another place, aptly makes the following observations;

آنکہ نازد بر وجودش کائنات
ذکر او فرمود با طیب و صلوة
مسلمی کو را پرستاری شمرد
بہرہ ئی از حکمت قرآن نبرد
نیک اگر بینی امومت رحمت است
زانکہ او را با نبوت نسبت است
شفقت او شفقت پیغمبر است
سیرت اقوام را صورتگر است
از امومت پختہ تر تعمیر ما
در خط سیمای او تقدیر ما

And he in whom all beings make their boast

Declared he loved three things – sweet

perfume, prayer,

And womankind. What Muslim reckons her

A servant, nothing more, no part has won

Of the Book’s wisdom. If thou lookest well,

Motherhood is a mercy, being linked

By close affinity to prophethood,

And her compassion is the prophet’s own.

For mothers shape the way that men shall go

Maturer, by the grace of Motherhood,

The character of nations is, the lines

That score that brow determine our estate.

 

And he continues;

ملت ار گیرد ز آغوشش بدست
یک مسلمان غیور و حق پرست
ہستی ما محکم از آلام اوست
صبح ما عالم فروز از شام اوست

If from her bosom the community

Receive one Muslim zealous for the Faith,

God’s faithful servant, all the pains she bore

Have fortified our being, and our dawn

Glows radiant in the lustre of her dusk.

(Ramuz Be Khudi, Mysteries of the Selflessness, 24)

Especially from man’s perspective even in other roles of her, woman is ones greatest companion seeking the best of the ‘other, more real, world.’

The relationship of marriage, as Islamic takes it, is the beautiful relation making one fortified against the evils prevalent around and helps him concentrate on what truly is required without even putting himself under extra burden of killing his instincts. A consideration of Islamic marriage will make this further clear. Relate it to the fact that in the Khutbah of Nikah, sermon at the time of marital contract, the verses recited are neither about the man and woman being companions, not those directly related to marriage but all of them read, “Fear Allah.”

It also asks from men, the respect and purest love the tender gender deserves. Please note, Imam Nasai who narrated it in his Sunan put it in the book, “Kindness to women” and the chapter, “Love for women.”

As a daughter, she is a not just a responsibility but a ‘ticket to paradise.’

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: “Whoever had three daughters and showed patience in their keeping, their pleasure and displeasure, Allah admits him to Paradise for his mercy over them. A man asked, `And what about two daughters, O Messenger of Allah? He said, `And two daughters as well.” Another asked, `O Messenger of Allah, what about one daughter?” He said, `And one daughter as well”. (Mustadrak al-Hakim, Hadith 7346 Hakim graded it Sahih, al-Dhahbi agreed with him)

As a matter of fact, similar term cannot be used for a son for there is no direct Hadith about it though every child can be a cause of deliverance for his parents.

Perfume”: It seems to me the most difficult thing to explain in this context. But did you ever consider the importance it finds in Qur’an and Sunnah? It is mentioned among the blessings of Jannah. It was a continuous Sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah bless him, to apply it even though his sweat was a scent for itself. One Hadith says, The Prophet used not to reject the gifts of perfume.’ (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2394)

Perhaps the Prophet, may Allah bless him, never returned any gift but still we find a special mention of perfumes. This evidently relates to one’s sense of purification and may be, even the taste among perfumes. The more sober and nice a person is, the better is his choice among perfumes. If we reflect in this context we get to know why the perfume is mention here. Another interesting fact one might observe; every exclusively Islamic bookstore will have some great perfumes. Perfumes and taste for them shows ones desire to look purer and cleaner, hence their importance in Islam.

Prayers”: The prayers is said to be the coolness of Prophet’s eyes, may Allah bless him. Therefore it ought to be the cause of extreme bliss for every true follower of him too. Instead of dwelling on the importance of prayers here which is established in Islam, I would like it to take it as an anchor and a footing to look at other things mentioned along with it. It attaches to them the extreme sense of purity more than just a way to seek pleasure or just fun. Just as the words ‘your world’ in beginning attaches the necessary spiritual connotation to the whole saying, in the end the mention of prayers emphasizes the innocence and beauty of the words.

Even an orientalist, John Bagot Glubb noted this pure link. He writes; “The connection of his love of women with prayer seems to prove that it never occurred to him that his fondness for female company could be anything but innocent.” (The Life and Times of Muhammad, Stein And Day, New York, 1971 p.238)

With all this I beg for Allah’s mercy if I made some mistake herein and will like to emphasize once more that it was not an attempt at making a commentary to hadith but just some thoughts of what seemed to me the significance of the profound words of the Greatest of all Mankind, may Allah bless him.

Indeed Allah knows the best!

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