Posts Tagged ‘Sunnah’

not from sunnah or against the sunnah

There is a matter that most people do not understand. An act’s “not being from sunnah” is one thing and its being “against sunnah” is another. These two are different. For instance, using electronic appliances is not from sunnah. Now if a person says using electricity or using electric fan is “against sunnah” it will be wrong. An act shall be termed as “against the sunnah” if the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had advised doing it even if only as a recommendation (mustahab). In such a case if a person leaves that act and does otherwise it shall be “against the sunnah.” And whatever act will be “against sunnah” it will be reprehensible (makruh) at least. But if there is something that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ did not do and a person does that it shall not be termed as something “against the sunnah.” For instance, it is reported in a hadith that never was a well baked thin-bread (khubz) prepared for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ nor did he eat it in a small plate (sukrujah)[1]. It does not mean eating thin-bread or eating it in a small plate is “against sunnah.” Rather, it shall be said that the act is “not from sunnah” and an act’s being “not from sunnah” does not necessitate its being “against the sunnah” … Therefore, everything should be understood in its due context and it is not right to exaggerate it.

— Usmani, Muhammad Taqi, Taqrir Tirmidhi, (Karachi: Memon Books, 1999) Vol.2, 361-362

[1] Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 5386, 5415


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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Indeed Allah knows the best!
[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.
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.
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?
Please provide answers to either or both of these questions if you want to have your comments published.

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