Archive for March, 2007


On Remembrance (Dhikr)

Imam Abdullah Al Haddad said, “You should have a wird[1] of remembering Allah [dhikr], which you must define with either a determined time or number.[2] Under these circumstances there is no harm in using a rosary to keep count.[3]” (The Book of Assistance)


The Explanation:

[1] Wird- is any amount of ibada (worship), which may include gaining knowledge, reciting Quran, dhikr (remembrance of Allah) etc., that one does on regular basis.  Wird is commonly translated as “litany.” 


Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said, “Wird literally means “place of water,” and this meaning is telling. A water­ing place is visited regularly, not out of mere fondness but out of neces­sity. The spiritual aspirant should approach his wird with the same in­tense thirst and regularity as he would his watering place. As water sat­isfies the body’s physical demands, so too does the wird bring the soul to a state of contentment and, eventually, delight. The Qur’an is itself a wird, a portion of which should be recited by Muslims daily.”


This wird may also includes salaat (regular established worship-prayers), sunna prayers, reading the Quran, or studying any of the Islamic sciences done for the sake for Allah.  (The Prophetic Invocations)


Shaykh al Islam Ibn Hajar Al Haytami said, “The wirds Sufis customarily recite after prayers, according to their degree of spiritual advancement, have an authentic legal basis in the hadith related by Bayhaqi that the prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “To invoke Allah (dhikr) with people after the dawn prayer until sunrise is more beloved to me than this world and all it contains, and to invoke Allah Most High with people after the midafternoon prayer until sunset is more beloved to me than this world and al it contains.”

Because the Sufis’ practice of joining to recite wirds and dhikrs after dawn prayer and at other times has a rigorously authenticated (Sahih) basis in the sunna, namely the above-mentioned hadith, there can be no objection to their doing so.” (Al Fatawa Al Hadithiyya)


[2]  Most of the scholars recommend twice a day, once in the morning and one in the evening.  This is based on the Quranic verse, “And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful.” (7:205)  


Shaykh Hamza Yusuf recommends the wird of Imaam Haddad, Hasan Banna, Imaam Nawawi and Ahmad Zarroq.  The wird of Shadhili Tariqa which Shaykh Nuh Keller gives is a nice wird as well.


[3] Imam Jalal Al-Din Suyuti said, “Having long heard questions concerning the rosary (subha) as to whether there is a basis for it in the sunna, I have compiled in this section the hadiths and accounts of early Muslims that relate to it. 


  Ibn Amr said, “ I saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) count the times he said, ‘Subhan Allah” on his hand.”

  Safiyya said, “the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) entered the room where I sat with four thousand date stones in front of me and He asked, ‘What is this. O daughter of Huyay?’ I said, ‘I am saying “Subhan Allah” with them.” He replied, ‘I’ve said “Subhan Allah” More times than this since you’ve begun,’ and I said, “’Show me how, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said, ‘Say, “Subhan Allah the number of everything He has created.”’” (Narrated by Tirmidhi who said it is gharib, and both al-Hakim and Suyuti declared it sahih.)

 As one scholar has said, “Counting the times one says, “Subhan Allah’ on one’s fingers is superior to doing so on a rosary because of the hadith of Ibn Amr, though it has been said that if the person saying it is safe from istakes on counting, his fingers are better, while if not, then saying it on a rosary is more suitable.  Some of the most renowned Muslims have used rosaries, those from whom the religion is taken and who are relied upon such as Abu Hrayra (Allah be well pleased with him), who had a string with two thousand knots in it, and did not use to go to sleep before saying ‘Subhan Allah’ with it twelve thousand times.”  ‘Umar Al Maliki said, :I saw my teacher Hasan Al Basri with a rosary in his hand and said, ‘Teacher, with your great eminence and the excellence of your worship, do you still use a rosary?’ and he replied, “Something we have used at the beginning we are wont to leave at the end.  I love to remember Allah with my heart, my hand, and my tongue.’” And how should it be otherwise, when the rosary reminds one of Allah Most High and a s person seldom sees one save that he rembers Allah, this being among the greatest of its benefits (Al Hawi li al Fatawi)




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Imam Shafi statement, “When you find a hadith that is Sahih then this is my madhab.”


Imam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) comments,

“This which Imam ash-Shaafi has said does not mean that everyone who sees a sahih Hadith should say “This is the mathhab of ash-Shaafi,” thus practicing on the zaahir (text/external or apparent meaning) of the Haditlh.

This most certainly applies to only such a person who has the rank of ijtihad in the madhhab. It is a condition that he overwhelmingly believes that Imam ash-Shaafi was unaware of this Hadith or he was unaware of its authenticity. And this is possible only after having made a research of all the books of ash-Shaafi and similar other books of the Ashaab of ash-Shaafi, those who take (knowledge) from him and others similar to these (books). This is indeed a difficult condition (to fulfill). Few are there who measure up to this (standard).

What we have explained has been made conditional because Imam ash-Shaafi had abandoned acting on the zaahir (text) of many Ahadith, which he say and knew. However, by him was established proof for criticism in the Hadith or its abrogation or it’s specific circumstance or its interpretation, etc. Hence, he was constrained to leave aside the hadith.”

(Ilaaus Sunan, Vol. 2, page 225)




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