The onslaught of technology has left us with little energy or mental space to ponder over creation. In times gone by, nature spoke the language of God; it still does but we fail to comprehend it. William Wordsworth, the celebrated English poet, repeatedly lamented the loss of the connection with the divine. His ode, ‘Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood’ begins with these words:
‘There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light
The glory and freshness of a dream.’ Continue reading →
A relative of mine asked me about the hijab, and this is what I replied:
The concept of hijab is based on modesty, which as Muslims, is a praiseworthy trait and in this sense of the term it is not gender-specific. It is incumbent on both male and females to adopt and adorn themselves with modesty and decorum when they interact with each other. This should be obvious. This notion of hijab thus goes beyond the outward dictates of the law – it is an inner trait that one adopts. A non-hijabi in this sense can be adorned with the praiseworthy trait of modesty, and a hijabi can be completely divest of it.
The law possesses both an outward conformance and inward reality – the letter and spirit of the law respectively. The ideal is to create an inward and outward harmony. Even a superficial reading of Quranic verses and related hadiths will attest that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, has always emphasized the balance that is reached by this. Continue reading →
Sadly, on the 28th of December 2017, Maulana Muhammad Hasan departed from this temporal abode and left us with his memories.
عن عاءـشة قالت : ما غرت على أحد من نساء النبي ما غرت على خديجة – وما رأيتها – ولكن كان يكثر ذكرها، وربما ذبح الشاة فيقطعها أعضاء، ثم يبعثها في صدائق خديجة، فربما قلت: كأنه لم يكن في الدنيا امرأة إلا خديجة فيقول: «إنها كانت وكانت وكان لي منها ولد
Aisha, Allah be well pleased with her, states that:
“I was not envious of any of the wives of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, more than I envied Khadija – and I had not seen her – but the Prophet used to remember her frequently. He, at times, used to distribute meat amongst Khadija’s friends, whereupon I would exclaim, “It’s as if there is no other woman in the world except Khadijah!”
He would remark, “She was like this …and like this.. and I have had children from her”
As I sit down to write this, there are many memories that I recall about Maulana Hasan Tai – too many to mention here. Somewhat similar to how the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, used to reminisce over Khadijah. Continue reading →
John Godfrey Saxe’s (1816-1887) version of Blind Men and the Elephant:
It was six men of Indostan,
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
Continue reading →
The visitor to an Islamic bookstore is struck by the orderly rows of
Arabic sets, usually handsomely bound in rich colours with calligraphic
titles framed in arabesque and stamped in gold or silver. Nowadays, the
title commonly runs boldly across the spines of all the volumes.
A well run
bookstore will have these works sorted by discipline: commentaries
on the Qur’an; collections of the reported words and deeds of the Prophet
and his Companions, with their commentaries; Islamic law, both rulings
and studies of the principles to be followed in deducing law; theology;
large biographical dictionaries of individuals of various classes, most
commonly scholars; histories and geographies; and Arabic grammars
and dictionaries. Continue reading →
Shah Rafi’ Uddin, the son of Shah Waliullah, has developed a systematic approach in dealing with differences of opinion in his Risala fi Tatbiq al-Araa‘. He deals with differences of opinion per se – regardless of whether they are theological, educational, or practical – his method is philosophical and it attempts at understanding all differences. This is not to be confused with synthesism nor for that matter a triumphalist attempt at rebutting all opposing opinions but rather he defines it as: Continue reading →
At Shah Waliullah’s grave
Shah Waliullah’s project in his magnum opus, Hujjatullah al-Baligha, represents not only an intellectual synthesis of morality, law, theology, mysticism and philosophy but also an anthropological foray into capturing the intellectual, socio-communal, and psychological forces that shape Islam’s paradigm. Continue reading →
Shaykhul Islam Husain Ahmad Madani writes about his father, Sayyid Habeeb Ullah that in the field of taweez and amaliyaat he had notable skill and complete expertise. He used to mention, ‘There was a time when I had become so proficient that I used to write naqsh myself for curing illnesses and benefits were derived from them.’ At the time when my father granted me verbal ijazah to practice amaliyat and nuqoosh, he added, ‘I have fulfilled the zakah required for all the amaal within this common place book (his own hand-written compilation). There is no need for you to fulfil the zakah. I present you with ijazah; however, it will be better for you to carry out all the amaal in my presence once. Unfortunately, owing to my insolence and idleness I avoided this opportunity because I considered it an exertion and gave precedence to my Ilmi commitments. I was left regretting my decision thereafter.
Continue reading →
‘Amr ibnul ‘Aas states that the Messenger of Allah used to give me attention, and spoke to me in a manner, that I began to feel that I was the best among the community (Shamail of Tirmidhi:338)
20th December 2015 was a sad day for my family and I. My maternal grandmother, or Amma ji, as I was wont to call her, sadly left this world. She leaves behind a husband, sons, daughters, numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and many other well-wishers and friends.
Continue reading →
Imam Malik wrote a letter to Layth b. Sa’d saying:
“It has come to my notice that you give decisions on religious matters which go against the position of the scholars of this city of ours. You are a leading scholar, a man of position and eminence in your area. People need you and trust you in your decisions. Because of this you must fear for yourself and tread the path that is likely to take you to safety. Continue reading →