Tafseer As-Sa’di translated into English

For the first time in the English language, the complete translated version of the brilliant Tafseer As-Sa’di by Shaykh Abdur Rahman al-Sa’di (teacher of Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen), rahimahumAllaah, is now available courtesy of IIPH.

The Tafseer is known as Tafseer Sa’di but the book’s full name is تيسير الكريم الرحمن في تفسير كلام المنان. This is an excellent introductory Tafseer for beginners or people who want a brief overview of the explanation of the Quran. I haven’t read the new English translation to see how accurate it is against the original Arabic but IIPH usually do a decent job with their translations. The original Arabic version of the Tafseer gives a brief overview of the ayaat while discussing the معنى (meaning) of the words as well as discussing the حكم (rulings) derived from the verses. The shaykh also doesn’t go into خلاف (difference of opinion) of the Tafseer of the ayaats much so as not to confuse the reader. The shaykh also gives a lot of lessons in Tarybiyyah based on the ayaats which are very beneficial.

One concern about having such books translated into the English language is that people will become lazy and not learn Arabic, instead relying on English translations. Although I agree with this sentiment generally and believe a lot of Arabic books SHOULD NOT be translated (especially more advanced books in Fiqh, Tafseer and Usool al-Fiqh or even other branches of Islamic Sciences such as sharh of the books of hadeeth e.g Fathul Bari as they require a certain level of Arabic to even reach that level of comprehension. The person won’t benefit from those books unless they know Arabic and have a background foundation in the Islamic Sciences); I don’t think this applies to the Tafseer of Shaykh Sa’di in particular as it is a beginners Tafseer book and anyone that thinks they will be a mufassir after reading it is deluding themselves.

However anyone that does want to gain a basic overview and Tafseer of the Quran, and doesn’t know Arabic, this Tafseer is recommended along the already available translated English version of Tafseer Ibn Kathir (10 vol abridged version by al-Mubarakpuri). Tafseer As-Sa’di will be available to buy soon inshaAllaah.

Another Student at Madeenah University passes away

انا لله وانا اليه راجعون‬

‪A student passed away inside the Islamic University of Madeenah today.‬ Pictured is the ambulance which was called to his accommodation inside the University campus.

‪Muhammed Mahmood who was a student in the faculty of Hadeeth passed away earlier today. He was in his final semester and was due to graduate, but Allaah willed for him to pass‬ away while seeking knowledge in the city of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ instead.

The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “Whoever can manage to die in Madeenah, let him die there, for I will intercede for whoever dies there.” [al-Tirmidhi, no. 3917]

May Allaah have mercy on him, grant his family patience and enter him into Jannatul firdous!

Shaykh Muhammed ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen رحمه الله

It’s no secret that Shaykh Muhammed ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen رحمه الله is my favourite scholar of the modern era. What can be said that hasn’t already been said. Some of my teachers were students of his and you can see the effects he has had on them not just in terms of knowledge but also in action. He was a true scholar and mountain of knowledge, may Allaah have mercy on him.

This picture or bookshelf is just a small preview of the books he authored. Well technically he didn’t author all of them, a large portion of them are transcripts from his lectures but they are still books which will be sadaqah jaariyah for him inshaAllaah. He has his own مؤسسة which is responsible for the publication of his books, even recently they released a book that his own fatwas and answer to questions from phone calls! It is not just the sheer amount of books he has available, in their hundreds (with volumes) but also the amount of topics he covers which is a testimony to his vast knowledge. Even though he passed away not long ago, his books are studied worldwide and read by hundreds and thousands of students. Some of the shuyookh even teach his books in Masjid al-Nabawi.

In this picture alone, he has:

‎تعليق على صحيح البخاري و على صحيح مسلم – notes and brief explanation on the collections of Bukhari and Muslim
– explanation of Bulugh al maraam/فتح ذي الجلال والإكرام بشرح بلوغ المرام
– explanation of Riyadh Saliheen/شرح رياض الصالحين
– فتاوى نور على الدرب و لقاءات الباب المفتوح/ A collection of Fatwah and answers

This is just in the field of hadeeth and iftaa. The shaykh, rahimahullah, has lessons and books in pretty much everything single Islamic science you think of. Need an explanation for Nahw? The Shaykh has شرح الفية ابن مالك و شرح الاجرومية. Need an explanation for Fiqh?The Shaykh has his masterpiece الشرح الممتع in addition to other writings in Fiqh. Need an explanation for books of Aqeedah? The shaykh has شرح ثلاثه الأصول و لعقيدة الواسطية. In addition he has his own unique writings in Aqeedah such as القواعد المثلى. Need something for Tafseer? The shaykh has his own Tafseer which is incomplete aswell as شرح مقدمة التفسير. And the list goes on and on. People benefitted from him while he was alive, people continue to benefit from him now and people will continue to benefit from him in the future. People talk about legacy a lot these days and Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen truly left a legacy in knowledge. May Allaah grant the shaykh the highest level of paradise, allow us to learn from his knowledge and act upon it and make the knowledge he left behind a means of benefit for the Ummah. Rahimahullah.

Just another reason I love Madeenah

Just another reason I love Madeenah. So just after Eid, I’m randomly taking a walk with my wife and kid at around 2am in the night. A man with a massive beard and shimaagh in a huge 4×4 pulls up next to me and gives me salaam. I thought he was going to ask for directions or do some serious ‘amr bilmaroof’.

Random man: Is this your only child?
Me: Yea Alhamdulilah.
Random man: *gets a massive toy out of his car and gives it to my son* “Eid Mubarak!”

Then drives off never to be seen again. May Allaah reward him, what a lovely thing to do.

p.s a very belated Eid Mubarak from me too. تقبل الله منا ومنكم صالح الاعمال والطاعات

Awn al’Ma’bood: Sharh of Sunan Abu Dawud | عون المعبود شرح سنن أبي داود

Awn al-Mabood is a sharh of the Sunan of Abu Dawud. It is 2 volumes and much like al-Minhaj, the sharh is very easy to understand. Since the sunan covers fiqh topics, likewise this sharh also covers many masaail of fiqh and goes into the ikhtilaaf of a mas’alah.

We studied parts of this sharh in the 4th semester of kuliyyah al-Shariah.

Shaykh Abdelkareem Al-Khudayr said about this book: About the author, This is Abu Muhammad Shamsul-Haqq Tayib Al-Adhim Abaadi he died in 1329H (1898 BC nearly)ز He was one of the great scholar of India and a leading expert in Hadith. His commentary on Sunan Abi Dawood is a reference it is undoubtedly the most famous. Scientists are taking advantage of this comment and advise students. Among his many students there is Al-Mubaarakfoori the one who commented on the collection of hadeeth of Imam Tirmidhi.

Research Papers in the Faculty of Shariah

As part of the BA Bachelors in Islamic Studies at the Islamic University of Madeenah, we are sometimes requested to research certain Islamic topics depending on the subject matter being taught. Here are some of the research papers I have done up until now, the 4th semester in the faculty of Shariah. I am writing them here to keep track of them as I have hand written most of them, therefore don’t have a copy, qadrAllaah.

Fiqh

Semester 5: A summary of Kitaab al-…. from Bidayatul Mujtahid.

Semester 4: Choose a masa’la and research the mu’tamid in the 4 well known madhaaib using 2 books from each madhab.

Semester 2: Summarise the book: Hilyah Taalib al-Ilm

Usool al-Fiqh

Semester 5: Amr- tareefhu wa seeghatuhu (Command – its definitions and types)

Semester 2: Research the various scholarly opinions on the issue of: Metaphors in the Quran

Tafseer

Semester 3:What are the different scholarly opinions of the verse in Surah al-Nisaa: “And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things].

Semester 4: Summarise the main subjects covered by Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah in his book: Muqaddimah fee Usool at-Tafseer

Hadeeth

Semester 5: Sunan al-Tirmidhi : The rulings and etiquittes of Eating

Nahw

Semester 1: Is the Sunnah used as a evidence according to the grammarians?

 

How to benefit from the Quran

If you truly want to benefit from the Qurʾān, your heart must be attentive and alert when reciting it or listening to it. Listen to it carefully with presence of mind, paying attention to it as if Allāh Himself was speaking to you directly. Understand that this Qur’ān is addressed to you from Allāh, Most High, upon the tongue of His Messenger ﷺ.

Allāh, Most High, says, “Truly there is a reminder in this for anyone who has a heart, or who listens attentively with presence of mind.” (Q50:37)

A deep and lasting impression is dependent upon the presence of something that will stimulate a person, a focal point, the right frame of mind, and the absence of anything that would impede the impression from taking effect. This verse mentions of all of these in the most succinct and lucid of ways:

“Truly there is a reminder in this” refers to the previous verses of this chapter. This, the Qurʾān, is the stimulus.

“for anyone who has a heart” refers to the focal point which is to be stimulated. The heart referred to here is the living heart: the heart that is aware of Allāh. He, Most High, says, “it is simply a reminder and a clear Qur’ān so that you may warn those who are truly alive,” (Q36:69-70) i.e. those whose hearts are alive.

“or who listens attentively,” i.e. directs his faculty of hearing towards it and pays it the utmost attention. This is the condition that must exist for a person to be roused by the words.

“with presence of mind,” i.e. with an alert and present heart, not one that is unmindful and absent. Ibn Qutaybah said, ‘i.e. a person who listens attentively to Allāh’s Book with presence of heart and mind, not someone who is unmindful with an absent air.’[1] This then alludes to the barrier: an unmindful and inattentive heart that does not understand what is said and, as such, is unable to reflect upon it or direct any conscious thought towards it.

Therefore, if all these things come together, the end-result is achieved: benefiting from the Qurʾān and taking heed.

If someone were to ask: if the end-result, the lasting impression, is only attained by the combination of these matters, why then did Allāh say “or” in the verse, “or who listens attentively” which implies a choice between one or another option? Surely “and” should have been mentioned in its place?

This is a good question; the answer is that “or” has been mentioned because what is being considered is the state of the addressee.

Some people have hearts which are full of life, hearts that will readily accept the truth and whose innate nature (fiṭrah) is intact; if such a person was to reflect just in his heart and turn his mind to it, he would conclude that the Qurʾān is authentic and true. His heart would bear witness to the truth of the Qurʾān and the subsequent impression of its verses would be as light layered on top of the light of its innate nature. This is the description of
those about whom it is said, “those who have been given knowledge see that what has been sent down to you from your Lord is the truth.” (Q34:6)

Concerning them, Allāh says, “Allāh is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His light is that of a niche in which there is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon light! Allāh guides to His Light whoever He wills, Allāh propounds metaphors for mankind and Allāh has knowledge of all things.” (Q24:35)

This verse refers to the light of the innate nature covered by the light of revelation; this is the condition of the person who has a living, receiving heart. We have explained this verse, its subtleties and lessons in detail in our book, Ijtimā’al-Juyūshal-Islāmiyyah ‘alā Ghazw al-Muɼaṭṭila wa’l-Jahmiyyah.[2]

Therefore, the person who has this type of attentive heart receives the meanings of the Qurʾān and readily accepts them so much so that it seems as if the words are inscribed in his heart and he is able to recite them fluidly from memory.

Other people have hearts that fall below the level of those mentioned above; their hearts are not as ready to receive the truth, they are not completely alive, and their innate nature is not as refined. Therefore, they stand in need of a witness who would differentiate the truth from falsehood for them. In order to be guided, such a person must pay the utmost attention to the Qurʾān’s words, he must devote his heart to it, ponder it and comprehend its meanings, and only after this will he come to realise that it is true.

The first type of person sees the truth of what he is invited to and informed of with his own eyes. The second type of person has learned that it is the truth, has certainty in it and is satisfied. The first has attained the ranking of beneficence, iḥsān and the second has attained the ranking of faith, īmān. The first has attained ‘ilm al-yaqīn from which his heart ascends to the degree of ‘ayn al-yaqīn. The second has acquired that level of unwavering belief that takes him out of the fold of disbelief and into the fold of Islām. [3]

‘Ayn al-Yaqīn is of two categories: what is acquired in this world and what is acquired in the Hereafter. In this world it is to the heart what the beheld is to the eye. All the matters of the unseen that the Messengers informed us of will be seen by the eye in the Hereafter and the inner sight in this world; in both cases, this is ‘ayn al-yaqīn.

Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Fawā’id, pp. 2-5

Footnotes
[1] Ibn Qutaybah, Gharību’l-Qur’ān, pg. 419
[2] Ibn al-Qayyim, Ijtimā’, pp. 6-12. He also discussed this verse in al-Wābil al-Ṣayyib, pp. 65-68, I’lām al-Muwaqqi’īn, vol. 1, pp. 205-209, al-Ṣawā’iq al-Mursalah, vol. 3, pg. 851
[3] i.e. he has acquired the station of ‘ilm al-yaqīn

Scholars using technology

Scholars using technology. This was the first time I have seen a scholar in Masjid al-Nabawi using a tablet to teach in the Masjid of the Prophet ﷺ.

I was sitting in a lesson of Shaykh Khalid al-Musleh (the son in law of Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen) in Masjid al-Nabawi and I was pleasantly surprised to see him using a tablet. As someone who loves technology, I was happy to see scholars utilising the latest technology. Although some of my professors in the Islamic University have started to use it this semester, I hadn’t seen it being used in Masjid al-Nabawi before. He was teaching from the book “Asbaab Hayatul Quloob” so it wasn’t a common book that many people own. A tablet or smartphone allows you to access pretty much any Islamic book in existence, the rare ones and even those that are no longer in print.

Related to this is the issue of what is the ruling on using tablets and smartphones? Islamic knowledge has a framework to deal with issues like this and any new ones which comes under “Fiqh al-Nawazil”. On a side point, this highlights why Usool al-Fiqh is so important as a science because it is through Usool that the new rulings are made, based on already established principles. An example of such a principle is “aml ahlul Madeenah” – the actions of the people of Madeenah as an evidence for a ruling. The scholars agree that the actions of the people of Madeenah if it is through naql, then it is a evidence. However in the madhab of Imam Malik, if there are two evidences which are equal, the practices of the people of Madeenah (through their ijtihaad) takes precedence. You learn something new everyday.