The change of the Qiblah

This is more related to a common mistake people make when visiting masjid Qiblatayn in Madeenah for “ziyarah” which Shaykh Ibn Baz mentions has no evidence for. As for how the Sahabaah changed directions, this will be discussed below. The story of the change of the qiblah from Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) to al-Masjid al-Haraam (Makkah) is proven in the Qur’an, and is also proven in some detail in the Prophet’s Sunnah.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “The fools (pagans, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say, ‘What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah (prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)) to which they were used to face in prayer?’ Say, (O Muhammad SAW) ‘To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a Straight Way.’

Thus We have made you (true Muslims – real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways)), a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) be a witness over you. And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e., disobey the Messenger). Indeed it was great (heavy) except for those whom Allah guided. And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e., your prayers offered towards Jerusalem). Truly, Allah is full of kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind.

Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s SAW) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid- al-Haram (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scriptures (i.e., Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka‘bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.”

[al-Baqarah 2:142-144]

Al-Bukhaari (41) narrated from al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib that when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) first came to Madinah, he stayed with his grandfathers or his maternal uncles among the Ansaar, and he prayed facing towards Bayt al-Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months. But he wanted his qiblah to be towards the Ka‘bah. The first prayer he offered (after the qiblah was changed) was ‘Asr prayer, and some people prayed with him. Then one of the men who had prayed with him went out and passed by some people who were praying in a mosque, and they were bowing. He said: I bear witness by Allah that I (just) prayed with the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) facing towards Makkah. And they turned around, as they were, to face towards the Ka‘bah. The Jews and the People of the Book used to like it when he prayed facing towards Bayt al-Maqdis, and when he turned to face towards the Ka‘bah, they did not like that.

Muslim (527) narrated from Anas that the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to pray towards Bayt al-Maqdis, then it was revealed: “Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (at Makkah)” [al-Baqarah 2:144]. A man passed by Banu Salamah whilst they were bowing in Fajr prayer, and they had prayed one rak’ah. He called out: The qiblah has been changed, and they turned as they were towards the qiblah.

Muslim also narrated (526) that Ibn ‘Umar said: Whilst the people were praying Fajr in Quba’, someone came to them and said: Revelation came to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) last night and he was commanded to face towards the Ka‘bah, so face towards it. They were facing towards Syria, so they turned to face the Ka‘bah.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) explains in Fath al-Baari, 1/506-507, how the Sahaabah turned around during the prayer: “An explanation of how they turned around is given in the hadeeth of Thuwaylah bint Aslam, which was narrated by Ibn Abi Haatim, and I said something similar. She said: The women moved to the men’s place, and the men moved to the women’s place, and we prayed the last two rak‘ahs facing towards the Sacred House (the Ka‘bah).

I say: To give a vivid image of what happened, the imam shifted from his place at the front of the mosque to the back of the mosque, because the one who faces towards the Ka‘bah [in Madinah] will have Bayt al-Maqdis at his back. If he had turned around on the spot, there would not have been enough room behind him for the rows of worshippers. When the imam shifted, the men also shifted until they were behind him, and the women shifted until they were behind the men. This requires a great deal of movement in the prayer; it is possible that this happened before the prohibition on moving a great deal in the prayer, and it probably also happened before the prohibition on talking during the prayer. Or it may be understood as meaning that the actions mentioned were overlooked because of the great significance of the matter in question. Or it may be that when they shifted, they did not move all in one go; rather it was a gradual shifting.”



Arabic Exam for Mustawa Thaani

A basic summary of the arabic learnt during mustawa thaani and what the exam entails in the ma’had of Madeenah University. The exams are for 1 and a 1/2 hours and are usually 2 or 3 pages with 5 or 6 questions in total. There is a variety of questions from selecting the correct answer, linking correct answers and filling in gaps.

Nahw: i’raab, mansoob/majroor/marfoo’, jam3

Vocab: Slighty more adanced but still for everyday use e.g countries, descriptions etc. A lot of f’il

Convos: University life,, Zoo, Residency, Madeenah

Comprehension: Battle of Badr, Eid, Stories of the Prophets

A typical exam question is: Fill in the blank / Order the sentence.

Tadreebat: i’raab hadha joomla
Hadeeeth: Udhkoor hadeeth an arkaan an Islam
Ta’beer: Ma jam3 hadhihi kalimah.

Timetable for Level Two Arabic

Below is my timetable for Level 2 arabic in Madeenah University Ma’had. inshaAllaah I will post my timetable for each term so one may see what subjects are studied and benefit by implementing a similiar timetable and curriculm. Each term consists of 3 months including mid term and end of term exams.

Tadreebat: This is the core of the Madeenah books which we find in the west – the majority of it is nahw (grammar)
Ta’beer: This is explanation and speaking – it contains conversations and vocabulary
Quran: Self explanatory: hifdh and qirah (memorisation and reading). In second term we have to memorise from surah ‘Ala to surah Shams.
Imlaa’: This is basic punctuation such as commas, full stops and arabic specific such as hamzatul wasal and shamsiyyah/qamariyyah
Hadeeth: Study of ahadeeth from a language point of view. We studyn 20 ahadeeth, mainly from Bukhari and Muslim~
Fiqh: Basics of fiqh covering: Taharah, Salah, Janazah, Hajj & Umrah

Time Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
7:30am Tadreebat Tadreebat Qira’ah Ta’beer Quran
8:25am Tadreebat Qira’ah Tadreebat Tadreebat Ta’beer
9:15am Quran Qira’ah Tadreebat Tadreebat Ta’beer
9:35am Qir’ah Imlaa’ Quran Qira’ah Tadreebat
10:25am Ta’beer Quran Ta’beer Hadeeth Tadreebat
11:20am Ta’beer Tadreebat Imlaa’ Quran Fiqh
10:30pm Tadreebat Kitabah Ta’beer Quran Tadreebat


Arabic – Level Two

In Madeenah University there is a arabic department for non arabic speakers – this is known as the “Ma’had”. There are 4 levels: mustawa awal, mustawa thani, mustawa thalith, mustawa rab’i.

You can enter at whatever level you have learnt upto or start from the beggining. This is a pre requesite to the kuliyah (faculty) and prepares the student of knowledge on his way to studying in the actual university.

Classes are mixed with students from all nationalities. For mustawa thani, you study two more books than in mustawa awal and start to study Islamic sciences at a complete basic level. The difficulty level is slightly higher than the previous level and they expect all students to understand arabic as they do not teach the absolute basics as they did in mustawa awal. You are also expected to know all the nahw rules learnt from level 1. There are 6 main books one goes through in level 2:

Tadreebat (this is grammer mainly)

Ta’beer (mainly conversation)

Qir’ah (comprehension)

Imlaa’ (punctuation)

Hadeeth (20 basic ahadeeth)

Fiqh (basic fiqh of wudoo’, salah, ghusl, janazah, hajj and umrah)

In adition to this you do hifdh of Quran – from Juzz Amma – surah ‘Ala to Shams)

Importance of memorising Quran and methodology

For a student at Madeenah University, it is absolutely essential that they memorise the book of Allaah. Although it is not a requirement for entry, many of those who get accepted into the university have already memorised the Quran. For those who havn’t, the vast majority of senior students and graduates recommened for the new students to memorise the Quran in the first 2 years of the ma’had; before they enter one of the kuliyaat.

Below is one method given by Shaykh Abdul muhsin Qasim (hafidhullah) who is an imam of Masjid Nabawi and has the famous mutoon memorisation programme in the masjid for the students.

The following is one method to memorize The Qur’an, which particularly differ than the other methods, in term of the strength of memory, and the short time to memorize. We will explain this method by taking an example from a page of soorah Al Jumu’ah (The Congregation, Friday).

1. Read the first verse for 20 times.

يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ الْمَلِكِ الْقُدُّوسِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ

2. Read the second verse for 20 times.

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آَيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

3. Read the third verse for 20 times.

وَآَخَرِينَ مِنْهُمْ لَمَّا يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

4. Read the fourth verse for 20 times.

ذَلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

5. Read all of the four verses from the beginning until the end for 20 times, in order to strengthen the correlation between those verses.

6. Read the fifth verse for 20 times.

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا بِئْسَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآَيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

7. Read the sixth times for 20 times.

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ هَادُوا إِنْ زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ لِلَّهِ مِنْ دُونِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا الْمَوْتَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

8. Read the seventh verse for 20 times.

وَلَا يَتَمَنَّوْنَهُ أَبَدًا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالظَّالِمِينَ

9. Read the eighth verse for 20 times.

قُلْ إِنَّ الْمَوْتَ الَّذِي تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مُلَاقِيكُمْ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

10. Read the fifth until the eighth verse for 20 times to strengthen the correlation between the verses.

11. Read the first verse until the eighth for 20 times to strengthen the memorization of this page.

Use this method in memorizing every page of The Qur’an. Do not try to memorize more then one-eighth length of juz (parts) each day, to make it easier to keep the memory.

Nawh: Arabic Grammar for Begginers

The Madeenah University curriculm in the ma’had goes through the famous “Madeenah University Arabic” books (3 volumes). Unlike Bayna Yadayk which I studied in Egypt, the Madeenah books jump straight into nahw. Sometimes this can get overwhelming with all the mudaf, mudaf alayh, fa’eel, f’il, mafool bi, mubtada, khabr etc.

Sometimes it can be like a maths equation and make no sense, but it requires patience and hard work. When you see examples of its use in the Quran, it makes you appreciate the science and in addition, due to the perfection in its language, leaves no doubt that this is a book from above the seven heavens.

For those who havn’t studies the Madeenah books prior, it is recommended to at least go through book 1 and even for those studying in the university, it is advised to study an nahw book to comlpiment it. The most popular choice is: Al Ajrumiyah (with a famous sharh by shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen) but there is also “al Nawh al Waadi'”

When you enter one of the kuliyaat (faculties) of the university, you will be going through Alfiyyah ibn Malik – a poem about nahw.

Student of Knowledge Timetable

The student of knowledge should always be organised and focused, for this he requires a timetable so he can be as effective as posssible in the pursuit of knowledge. This is a typical timetable for the student of knowledge at Madeenah University.

Time Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
5:00am Tahhajud and Quran Tahhajud and Quran Tahhajud and Quran Tahhajud and Quran Tahhajud and Quran Tahhajud and Quran Tahhajud and Quran
5:45am Fajr Fajr Fajr Fajr Fajr Fajr Fajr
6:15am Quran Quran Quran Quran Quran Quran Quran
6:45am Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
7:30am Arabic or Kuliyah Lessons Arabic or Kuliyah Lessons Arabic or Kuliyah Lessons Arabic or Kuliyah Lessons Arabic or Kuliyah Lessons    
1pm Dhuhr Dhuhr Dhuhr Dhuhr Dhuhr Dhuhr Dhuhr
1:15pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
2pm Revision Revision Revision Revision Revision Tafseer / Aqeedah Fiqh / Hadeeth
4pm Asr Asr Asr Asr Asr Asr Asr
4:30pm Tafseer Fiqh Aqeedah Hadeeth Arabic    
6pm Maghrib Maghrib Maghrib Maghrib Maghrib Maghrib Maghrib
6:15pm Lesson Masjid Nabawi Lesson Masjid Nabawi Lesson Masjid Nabawi Lesson Masjid Nabawi Lesson Masjid Nabawi Lesson Masjid Nabawi Lesson Masjid Nabawi
7:30pm Ishaa Ishaa Ishaa Ishaa Ishaa Ishaa Ishaa
8:30pm Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner
9:30pm Quran revision Internet Quran Rev Internet Quran Rev Internet Quran Rev
10:30pm Internet Aqeedah Internet Tafseer Internet Hadeeth Fiqh

Arabic Exam for Mustawa Awal

A basic summary of the arabic learnt during mustawa awal and what the exam entails in the ma’had of Madeenah University.

Nahw: mudaf/mudaf alyh, sifaa’/mansoof, harf jar

Vocub: Basics like everyday use chair, table, family, food etc.

Convos: University life,, Restuarant, Family

Comprehension: umrah, Hijrah, Quran, Restuarant, Fish shop lol

The exam was 3 questions per paper, one for each of the different sections: Tadreebat, Ta’bir, Kitabaah

A typical exam question is: Fill in the blank / Order the sentence.

Fiqh – Select your Madhab

In Madeenah University, when you enter the actual faculty (well Shariah) you will be studying from a book called “Bidayatul Mujtahid” by Ibn Rushd. This is a primer text that specialises in comparative fiqh across all four the madhaahib – it was designed to prepare the mujtahid but is not for begginers. The senior students advice everyone to choose a madhab before and learn it before starting on comparitive fiqh.

I have chosen the Hanbali madhab as it is the one I had studied the most before being accepted in Madeenah University, even though I was bought up on the Hanafi madhab. As with all branches of knowledge, fiqh should be learnt in stages. For the hanbali madhab you start with a primer and work your way up. The methodolgy of the famous hanbali jurist, Ibn Qudamah was to start with Umdatul Fiqh and make your way up.

  1. Umdatul Fiqh
  2. Al Muqni
  3. Kaafi

Umdatul fiqh deals with the madhab without any evidences to get the student to know the madhab and how to perform the actions of worship. Al Muqni is for intermediate level and deals with differences of opinion within the madhab whole staying within the hanbali madhab itself. Kaafi is to familiarise the students with the fiqh and the methodolgy used to extract the rulings.

That was the particular methodology of Ibn Qudamah but there is a popular mukhtasar of Al Muqni by Abu al-Naja al-Hajjaw’ called “Zad al Mustaqni”. This particular book has a brilliant sharh by the contemporary scholar Shaykh Salih Uhtyameen called “Sharh al Mumti” which is the methodology I have chosen.