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Irrefutable Proof that the Hanbalis Were Sufis

The following article is research forwarded by Dr. George Maqdisi after having stumbled accross these manuscripts deep in the Thaahiriyya Library within Damascus. The manuscripts prove that major Hanbalis were Sufis. This, obviously, contradicts the common held pseudo-salafi belief that Sufism is evil and that the early scholars had nothing to do with tasawwuf. This article proves the opposite. However, it goes beyond just stating that many of the salaf were credible Sufis. It strikes at the very heart of those who believe tasawwuf is unorthodox. This article proves the orthodoxy of tasawwuf!

Irrefutable Proof that Many Major Hanbalis Were Sufis

Hanbalis who took the path of Tasawwuf

This article was posted by Ibn ‘Ajibah on the the SI forums. The author is unknown to us. Very beneficial read however.

1.Abdul Ghanī ibn Abdil Wāhid ibn Alī ibn Surūr ibn Hasan ibn Ja’far al-Jamā’ilī al-Maqdisī, the Hāfidh, the Muhaddith, jurist, ascetic. Born 541 Hijri.

Ibn an-Najjār said of him:
“He narrated from many and authored beautiful works in the field of Hadīth, and he was strong in memory and from the people of mastery and Tajwīd. He was well grounded in all of the sciences of Hadīth, knowing its rules, its fundamentals, its hidden defects, its authentic and inauthentic, its abrogating and abrogated, its rare wordings and its proper pronunciation, its Fiqh and its meanings, and (he was well grounded) in precision with the narrators and their conditions

al-Imām al-‘Ulaymī said in his work, al-Manhaj al-Ahmad (2/191):
“al-Muwaffaq (Ibn Qudamāh al-Maqdisi) said: ‘al-Hāfidh Abdul Ghanī and I both donned the Khirqah upon the hand of Shaykh ul Islam Abdul Qādir (al-Jilāni), and the both of us obtained Fiqh from him and benefit from his companionship, even though we only saw him for fifty nights of his life.”


Was Imaam Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ibn Hanbal a Faqīh (jurist)?

 Written By Abul-Layth

Wa’el Hallaq, PHD, of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University states about Imam Ahmad, 

“Ibn Hanbal, for instance, can hardly be said to have developed the skills of a Mujtahid, let alone a first rate mujtahid. He was in the first place a traditionist and a sort of theologian, and his occupation with law as a technical discipline was rather minimal. This much fact about him was acknowledged by his followers and foes alike. Tabari refused to recognize him as a jurist, a perception that persisted among his followers for centuries. See Abu Jarir At Tabari, Ikhtilaaf Al Fuquhaa. Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Rajab, Adh-Dhayl ‘Alaa Tabaqaat Al Hanabilah 1:156-57 where he quotes Ibn ‘Aqil’s observation that some of the younger Hanbalite legal scholars thought Ibn Hanbal lacking in juristic skills. For a more detailed discussion of Ibn Hanbal’s lack of legal qualifications, see Hallaq, Continuity and Change in Islamic Law, Ch. 2 section 2.” 
This quote was taken from Wa’el’s “Takhrij and the Construction of Juristic Authority” under footnote 3.

In response, we quote those most aquainted with the Imām of Islām. The reader will come to know that everyone from the his master, Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī, to his students, expressed the fact that Imām Ahmad was a faqīh. 


The Shurut of Salah According to Hanbali Fiqh

Compiled by Abul-Layth ibn ‘Ata’

Shurut is the plural form of Shart. Shart refers, legally, to a pre-condition. Regarding Salāh it refers to something that is necessary to be completed before the actual Salāh. Ibn Qudāmah states in his “Al-Muqni’”,

“It (i.e. a Shart) is whatever is necessary for it, before it (i.e. Salāh).” [Page 23]

The Madh-hab of the Hanābilah maintain that there are six Shurūt of Salāh. This has been stated by Ibn Qudāmah in his Al-Muqni’, Al Kaafi, and Al-’Umdah. Imām Abu An-Najaa Al Hajjāwi maintains six Shurūt in his “Zād Al-Mustaqni’” and Imām Al Bahūtē agrees with him in his Ar-Rawdh Al Murabbi’.
The arrangement of these Shurūt seem to be different according to each author. For example the arrangement of Ibn Qudāmah in his Al-’Umdah is as follows:

1) At-Tahāratu min al-Hadath (Purification from Abstract Impurity)
2) Al-Waqt (The timing of the Salāh)
3) As-Satar Al ‘Awrah (Covering the forbidden places of the body to be seen)
4) At-Tahāratu min An-Najāsah (Purification from Physical Impurity)
5) Istiqbāl Al Qiblah (Facing the Qiblah)
6) An-Niyyah (the intention)

This however was not Ibn Qudāmah’s organization in his Al-Kāfi fi Fiqh Al Imām Ahmad. Rather he places number four after number 1, follows that with number 3, and follows that with number 5 etc. The point here is to show that the organization of the Shurūt of Salāh are of little or no importance. Wallahu ‘Alim.

In this brief research paper I will organize the Shurūt of Salāh according to Ibn Qudāmah’s Al-Kāfi, thus placing the two issues of Tahārah (purification) first and together. The proofs will be presented after each shart. I will do my utmost to give the sources of each Aāyah and narration. I ask Allah ta’ālā to allow the Muslims to benefit from this brief work.

The Shurūt (الشروط) of Salāh are six:

The First: الطهارة من الحدث

Transliterated as – At-Tahāratu min al Hadath. Translated as – Purification from Abstract Impurity.

The proofs for this condition is found within the hadēth of the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) who stated,

لا يقبل الله صلاة بغير طهور

“Allah does not accept the Salāh except with Purification”.

This hadēth has been reported by Abū Dāwūd At-Tayālisi in his Musnad, Ahmad in his Musnad, Muslim in his Sahēh, At-Tirmithi, Ibn Mājah, and Al Bayhaqi in their Sunan. According to Ash-Shaykh Al Ghumāri (rahimahullaah) in his “Al Hidayah” its meaning has been reported in Mutawātir form.

Further proof for this shart is the hadēth of the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) that states,

لا يقبل الله صلاة من احدث حتى يتوضأ
“Allah does not accept the Salāh of the one who does Hadath until he makes Wudhu’.”

This hadēth has been reported by Bukhāri and Muslim in their Sahēhs, as well as others.

Al-Hadath is an abstract state of being. It is not the material impurity, such as urine. Rather it is the act of urinating that places one in this state. So it is a spiritual, unseen, state of impurity. There are two types of Hadath.

A) Hadath Al Akbar (major abstract impurity). The actions that place one in this state are Coitus (this state is also known as Janābah), ejaculation, Menstruation, & Nifās (post partum bleeding). The action that removes one from this abstract spiritual state is Ghusl.
B) Hadath Al Asghar (minor abstract impurity). There is disagreement within our own Madh-hab as to what constitutes minor hadath. The following are those that are the majority view in our madh-hab as stated by Imām Ibn Qudāmah in his Al-’Umdah. (Please note that it is not the intent of this research paper to delve into issues of tahārah. That will come in later articles insha’allah.)

1) Excrement from the two paths (i.e. the anus and the urethra). This refers to other than urine or feces such as Ad-Dūd (stomach worms) or Gallbladder stones etc.
2) Excrement of Najāsāt (physical impurities). This includes feces and urine.
3) The cessation of the ‘Aql (intellect or conscious) except for a light sleep while standing or sitting.
4) The touching of the male genitalia with his hand.
5) The man touching a woman out of shahwah (sexual desire).
6) Apostasy from Islām.
7) Eating the meat of the Camel.

This state is removed by completing Wudhu’. If water is not available for both, Tayammum (dry ablution) is performed.

The Second: الطهارة من النجس

At-Tahāratu min An-Najāsah (Purification from Physical Impurity).

This includes removing of the physical impurities from the clothes, the body, and the general prayer area. Ibn Qudāmah states in his Al-’Umdah, “The fourth shart: Purification from physical impurities (najāsāh) that are on one’s body, garment, and the place of Salāh.”

The proof for this condition is the following hadēth of the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam):

“Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr (radhiya Allahu ‘Anhā) narrated that a woman came to the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and said, “What should one do if menstrual blood gets on their garment?” The Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) said to her, “She should scrape it off, then rub the area with water, then pour water over it, and then one can make Salāh in it.”

This hadēth is found in the Sahēh of Imām Muslim within the chapter “The Impurity of Blood and How One Washes It”, Ibn Mājah and Ad-Dārimis Sunans and elsewhere.

Imām Ibn Qudāmah states in his Al Kāfi that there are five places where a person is forbidden to make Salāh. They are the following;

1) The grave.
2) The places of bathing.

The proof for this is the hadēth of Abu Sa’ēd from the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) that states, “All of the earth is a masjid except for the Maqbirah (graves) and the Hammām (the bathrooms, washrooms etc).” [Reported by Abū Dāwūd, Tirmithi, Ibn Mājah and Imām Ahmad in his Musnad] And regarding the graves it has also been reported in Sahēh Muslim from Abu Marthad that the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “Do not sit upon the graves, and do not pray towards them.” [See the book of Janaa'iz in the Saheeh of Imām Muslim]

3) The stalls of the camel. The proof for this is from the hadeeth reported by Jābir ibn Samurah that a man asked the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam), “Can we make Salāh in the stalls of the sheep?” He said, “Yes!” The man asked, “Can we make Salāh in the holding pens of the Camel? He (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “No!”

This hadēth is reported by Imām Muslim in his Sahēh and Abū Dāwūd in his book of Purification.

4) Al-Maghsoob – Imām Al Bahūtē explains this as “the places of massacres (or punishments), the roadways, cesspits (or dunghills).”
5) Al-Hash (الحش) which is said to be Al-Marhaadh which refers to the toilets.

Also, Imām Abun-Najā Al Hajjāwi states another, “On top of the Ka’bah.” This is reported by Ibn Umar from the Rasūlullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). [Reported by Tirmithi, Ibn Mājah, and 'Abd ibn Humayd in his Musnad.]

Wallahu ‘Alim.

The Third: الستر العورة

As-Satar Al ‘Awrah (Covering the places of the body forbidden to be shown in Salāh)

This is due to what is reported by ‘Aā’ishah (radhiya Allahu ‘Anhā) saying that the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,

“Allah does not accept the Salāh of a mature woman, except with a Khimār.” This hadēth is reported by Ahmad in his Musnad, Tirmithi and Abū Dawūd in their Sunan.

This is proof that all of the woman is ‘awrah except her face in Salāh. (see Al Mughni of Ibn Qudāmah.) It is also reported in one opinion in our madh-hab that the hands are not ‘awrah. [See Al-Mubdi' (1/320)] Please note that this is her ‘awrah in Salāh and not outside of it. As for outside of the Salāh then it varies upon the circumstances.

Imām Ibn Al Qayyim Al Jawziy (rahimahullah), explaining the woman’s ‘awrah said,

“The ‘awrah is of two types: an ‘awrah in the Salāh (prayer) and an ‘awrah in looking (‘awratu fin-nathr). So as for the free woman, it is (allowed) for her to pray while her hands and face are uncovered, and it is not (allowed) for her to go out in the markets and gatherings of people like that (i.e. it is not allowed for her to go out without the face and hands covered).” ['Ilām Al Muwaqi'ēn]

Also Sheikh Ash-Shirwāni said, “[Imām] Ziyādi in Sharh Al-Muharar said: For a woman there is three ‘Awrahs,

1) ‘Awratu-fis-Salāh (the ‘awrah of prayer) – and that was mentioned before – It is everything of the body except the face and the hands.
2) The ‘Awrah with regards to an un-related man looking at her: It is the entire body including the hands and the face, according to (the opinion that is) relied upon.
The ‘awrah in privacy and amongst her Mahrams (those people related to her and un-marriable): It is like the ‘Awrah of men. [i.e. from her navel to her knees].” [Hāshiyah Ash-Shirwāni 'Alaa tuhfat-ul muhtāj (112/2]

Ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Al Qāsim Al Ghazzi said,

“And the entirety of the free woman is ‘awrah except her face and hands, and this is her ‘awrah in Salah. As for her ‘awrah when she leaves Salah, then her ‘awrah is all of her body.” [Fat-hul Qarēb bi Sharh Al-Faath At Taqrēb]

As for the man, the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) stated to Jarhad (radhiya Allahu ‘Anhu), “Cover your thigh, for the thigh is from the ‘Awrah.” [Reported by Bukhāri in Mu'allaq form, Tirmithi declared it Hasan, Ibn Hibbān said it was Sahēh. Ibn Hajr stated in his Fathul-Bāri, "And I have mentioned its many chains (or paths) in Taghlēq At-Ta'lēq.]

Ibn Qudāmah states after this hadēth in his Al Kāfi, “And the Navel and the knees are not from the ‘awrah.”

It is also reported from our Madh-hab that only the two privates (farjān) are ‘awrah in Salāh for a man. This is due to the hadēth of the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) via Anas ibn Mālik that he said, “The Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam)’s thigh became uncovered on the day of Khaybar, so much so that I could see the whiteness of the thigh of the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam).” [Reported by Al Bukhāri in his Sahēh]
The Fourth: إستقبال القبلة

Istiqbāl Al Qiblah (Facing the Qiblah)

This is deduced from the Aāyah in the Qur’an where Allah ta’alā states,

قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاء فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوِهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ

Verily! We have seen the turning of your 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-Harām (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 Allâh is not unaware of what they do. (Al-Baqarah 2:144)

The Fifth:الوقت

Al-Waqt (The timing of the Salāh).

Imām Ibn Qudāmah states in Al-Kāfi, “And the Salāh of one who makes his prayer before its prescribed time is not valid. There is no disagreement regarding this.”

If one is making up a missed prayer (Qadha’), then he may pray it at any time, but at the time he recalls it. The proof for this is the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam)’s statement, “Who ever sleeps or forgets the Salāh, then he is to make the Salāh as soon as he remembers.” [Bukhāri and Muslim]

The Sixth: النية

An-Niyyah (the intention)

Ibn Qudāmah states in his Al-Kāfi, “The Salāh of one who does not have it (i.e. the intention) is not correct, without disagreement.”

The proof for this is the statement of the Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam), “Verily actions are but by intentions.” [Bukhāri and Muslim. The first hadēth in both.]

Ibn Qudāmah states in Al-Kāfi, “And the place of the intention is the heart.”

Imām Bahā’ud-Dēn Al Maqdisi states in his in his Al-’Uddah, “And Salāh is not correct without it, by Ijmā’ (consensus of the scholars).

Wallahu ‘Alim

Placing the Knees on the Ground Before the Hands in Salaah

New Si Basmalah 

The following is an article I’ve prepared for my companions from amongst the Hanbali and Shafi’i madha-hib. It is specifically regarding placing the knees on the ground before placing the hands when going down for Sajdah (prostration). I hope that it benefits you all.

[Updated Jan. 18, 2008]

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