Readings from Miftah al-Ma`ani – 1
With a substantial number of people embracing Islam world-wide, the need for a new comprehensive collection of ahadith that could be used by the common people for a quick reference, as well as a guide-book dealing with essential non-Fiqhi matters, has been increasing. But such a work is far from easy to produce. Attempted by an individual, it will require a substantial effort. Assuming a mere thousand ahadith, with short commentaries, the project will run into half a dozen volumes, and would need as many years of work.
Translation of Riyad al Salihin and its commentary go some way in meeting with the need. But the new Muslims as well as Western educated non-Arab Muslims require more, especially such ahadith as dealing with concepts and ideas. They also wish to know how scholars of Islam have understood some of the key issues. Fayd al-Qadir with Munawi’s commentary is an ideal book in Arabic. But, the discussions there are heavy for the common people. Several discussions involving intricate thought need a mind which has undergone advanced study.
Being educated on Western pattern of education is not only inadequate, but, in many cases, quite an impediment. Therefore, a simpler collection with still simpler explanations of the ahadith remains the call of the contemporary world.
The need can be better fulfilled if the task was taken up by a group of scholars: several specializing in different Islamic disciplines. But in today’s Islamic world of disarray, any collection of scholars, picked up from various regions of the Islamic world, is a call in the desert. It is easier today to turn a piece of desert into a lush garden, than for scholars of global callings to get together for any useful project.
This writer is far from being qualified for accomplishing such a task, but the hope is that it could inspire others to give the task a second thought.
The readers in view are also the students of Madrasah type of institutes that are coming up, Allah be praised, in various English-speaking regions of the world. This collection, which endeavors to reflect the understanding and explanation of the traditional masters, could also be adopted as a text-book by such institutions.
Arabic original texts would enhance the meaning, but we are prohibited by Law to have any second language text in a magazine. Publication in a book format will allow us to have these texts.
This work will follow with a complete bibliography. However, for immediate reference here is a short list of frequently referred books:
Books of Reference
- `Abdul `Aziz, Shah, Bustan al-Muhaddithin, Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, Beyrout, 2002.
- Ahmad, Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Bayt Al-Afkar al-Dawliyyah, Riyadh.
- Albani, Muhammad NasiruddinAlbani, Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Sahihah, Al-Maktab al-Islami, Beirut-Dimashq.
- Albani, Muhammad NasiruddingAlbani,Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Da`eefahwa al-Mawdu`ah, Al-Maktab al-Islami, Beirut-Dimashq.
- `Ayni, Badruddin `Ayni, `Umdatu al-QariSharhSahih al-Bukhari, Ihya al-Turath al-Islami, Beirut.
Bayhaqi, Sho`ab al-Iman, Shamela.
- Hakim Muhammad b. abi `Abdullah, Al-Mustadrak `ala al-Sahihayn, Dar al-Ma`rifah, Beirut.
- Ibn al-Athir, Majduddin, Al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith wa al-Athar, 5 vol., Dar al-Kitab al-I`lamiyyah, Lebanon.
- Ibn Hajr, Hafiz Ahmad b. Ali ibn Hajr al-`Asqalani, Fath al-Bari bi SharhSahih al-Bukhari, Dar al-Rayyan al-Turath, Cairo.
- Ibn Hibban, `Ala’uddin `Ali b. Balban, Sahih ibn Hibban bi-Tarteeb Ibn Balban, Mu’assasah al-Risalah, Beirut.
- Ibn Majah, Muhammad b. Yazid al-Qazwini, Sunan, Maktabah al-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut.
- Malik, Imam Malik ibn AnasMuwatta’.
- Muhammad Shams al-Haq al-`Azimabadi, `Awn al-Ma`bud: SharhSunanabiDa’ud, Dar al-Fikr, 1399.
Munawi, Muhammad `Abdul Ra’uf, Fayd al-Qadir Sharh Jami` Saghir, Dar al-Baz, Makkah Mukarramah.
- Muslim, Sahih Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, Al-Matba`atuMisriyyah.
Nasa’i, Ahmad b. Shu`ayb, Sunan al-Nasa’i, Dar al-Rayyan li al-Turath, Cairo.
- Nawawi, Muhiyuddin ibn Sharfuddin al-Nawawi, SharhSahih Muslim, Al-Matba`atu al-Misriyyah, Egypt.
- Shabbir Ahmad `Uthmani,Fath al-Mulhim,MaktabaDarulUlum, Karachi.
- Syed Iqbal Zaheer, Ishraq al-Ma`ani, Iqra Welfare Trust, B’lore, India.
- Taqiyy Muhammad `Uthmani, TakmilatuFathal-Mulhim, Dar al-Ulum, Karachi.
- Taqiyy Muhammad `Uthmani, Dars-e-Tirmidhi, Dar al-Ulum, Karachi.
- Zafar Ahmad `Uthmani, I`la al-Sunan, Idaratu al-Islam wa `Ulum al-Islamiyyah, Karachi, Pakistan.
WaAllahu al Musta`an.
Kitab Al Wahiyy
1 – `A’isha the mother of the believers, narrated1: The first of the revelation to the Messenger started with true nightly dreams: he wouldn’t experience a dream except that it came out (as true) as the breaking of the dawn.2 Then reclusion became dear to him.3 He would seek recluse in the Hira’ Cave,4 engage in invocations therein – i.e. acts of devotion5 – for several nights,6 before answering to his desire to return to his homefolk, having supplied himself earlier with some foodstuff (to make the stay possible). Then he would return to Khadijah where he would equip himself with some more foodstuff as before (and return); until the Truth came to him7 while he was in the Hira’8 Cave.
At length, there came the angel9 and said, ‘Read.’10 He replied, ‘I am not a reader.’11 He (the Prophet said), ‘He seized me and pressed me (against himself) so hard I could hardly breathe. Then he released me and said, ‘Read.’ I said, ‘I am not a reader.’ He seized me and pressed me (against himself) a second time, so hard I could hardly breathe. He released me and said, ‘Read.’ I said, ‘I am not a reader.’12 He seized me and pressed (against himself) a third time, so hard I could hardly breathe.13 He released me and said, ‘Read by the Name of your Lord who created. Created man out of a (blood) clot. Read, and your Lord is the most Generous.’14
The Messenger of Allah returned with them (the verses), his heart pounding. He entered on Khadijah, the Khuwaylid’s daughter, Allah’s peace on both, saying, ‘Cover me, cover me.’15
They covered him until his fright left him. He told Khadijah, speaking about what had happened, saying, ‘I fear for myself,’16 and narrated to her the whole episode. Khadijah said, ‘Never. By Allah, never will Allah disgrace you. You do good to the kinsfolk, bear the burden of the overburdened, labor for the poor, honor the guests, and you share afflictions (fallen on a man).’17
Thereafter Khadijah took him to Waraqah b. Nawfal b. Asad b. `Abd al `Uzza,18 a cousin of Khadijah, who had converted to Christianity in pre-Islamic times. He could write in Hebrew and had written down in that language what of the Injeel Allah willed he could. He was quite an old man and had turned blind.19 Khadijah told him, ‘Dear cousin. Listen to what your nephew has to say.’ Waraqah asked him, ‘My nephew, what is it that you have experienced?’ The Messenger of Allah narrated to him all that he had experienced. Waraqah told him, ‘This is the same Namus20 that Allah had sent down to Musa. How I wish I was young. How I wish I am alive when your people expel you.’ The Messenger asked (in surprise), ‘Will my people expel me?’ He replied, ‘Yes. No man ever came before you with what you have brought but he was antagonized. If I happen to be alive that day, surely I shall lend you all my support.’
It wasn’t long after that before Waraqah died.
And the revelation also paused.21 (Sahih al-Bukhari)
(Notes follow in the next issue of this magazine)