Monday, February 27, 2006

Maulana Abdul Hayy Lucknawi

Maulana Abdul Hayy Lucknawi [1264 - 1304 A.H.]

He was born in Banda, India, on Tuesday 26 Zul Qada 1264 A.H, author of many famous works and a great scholar of his time. He was a descendant Sayyidina Abu Ayyub Ansari (R.A).
His predecessors emigrated from Madinah Munawwarah to Hirat, then to Lahore, Delhi and finally to Sihala and Firangi Mahal near Lucknow. Pious and noble scholars always inhabited this locality.

Maulana Abdul Hayy began memorising the Noble Qur'an at the age of five. He was endowed with an outstanding memory from childhood to the extent that in his own words, he remembers the time when he was beaten at the age of three.

He initially learnt the Quran by Hafiz Qasim Ali. Subsequently his parents relocated to Jaunpur where he continued his by Hafiz Ibraheem. He completed memorising the Quran at the age of ten. During the period of his hifz, he also studied some Persian books under his learned father.

When he turned eleven, he began his Islamic studies under his father who was at that time teaching in Jaunpur. He learnt all the books from Mizanus Sarf (Arabic Morphology) till tafsir Baydawi, qualifying at the age of seventeen. After the demise of his father, he studied some books in mathematics under his fathers tutor, Maulana Muhammad Ni’matullah. (1290 A.H)

Allah Ta’ala endowed Maulana Abdul Hayy from childhood with the love of teaching and writing. Any book that he learnt, he taught it thereafter. As a consequence, he developed uncanny ability in every subject. No textbook on any subject remained difficult for him to the extent that he was able to teach books he had not previously studied by any tutor like Al Isharat of Tusi, Al ufuqul Mubin and Qanunut Tibb etc.

He taught for a while in Hyderabad. Subsequently he left for Lucknow where he remained for the rest of his life serving Deen. Maulana Abdul Hayy ibn Fakhruddin Nadwi (1896 – 1923), the father of Maulana Abul Hasan Nadwi and the author of Nuzhatul Khawatir, narrates that he attended Maulana Abdul Hayy’s Majlis (lecture) several times and found him to be extremely intelligent, erudite, an ocean of knowledge, well acquainted with the intricacies Shariah to the extent that he became an internationally recognised scholar. Whenever there was any discussion with scholars, Maulana Abdul Hayy would remain silent until all the scholars had spoken and they would eventually turn to him of a decisive statement. Everyone would unanimously accept his verdict. He was one of the wonders of India and none disputed his matchless virtue.

His students were completely satisfied with his methodology. Maulana Ni’matullah, his teacher, used to extol his praises generously. Due to intense love for writing, he wrote more than a hundred books on many subjects like Arabic grammar, morphology, logic, Jurisprudence and Hadith etc.

He was offered the post of Justice after his father’s demise but refused, considering the dangers of the occupation and being content with the little possessions he had. He felt that had he accepted the offer, it would have impeded his teaching and writing career.

One of the great bounties of Allah Ta’ala upon him was his excellence and compatibility with the science of Hadith and Jurisprudence of Hadith. He always chose a moderate, accepting the view of the Jurists as long as there was adequate proof from Quran and Hadith.

Allah Ta’ala also granted him the ability to see true dreams in which he would be given some indications. He saw Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Umar, ibn Abbas, Fathima. Aisha, Umme Habibah and Muawiyah (radiyallahu anhum ajmaeen). In his dreams and he also met Imam Malik (rah), Shamasud Deen Sakhawi, Imam Suyuti and other scholars, from whom he benefited as mentioned in a separate book on this on this topic.

The Mufti of Makkah, Sheikh Ahmad Ibn Zain Dahlan granted him permission for all isnad (chain of narration) from Al Hidayah of Marghinanai as well as what he had learnt from all his teachers. Mufti Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Hanbali of Makkah, Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Al- Gharbi and Sheikh Abdul Ghani Dehlwi also granted him permission for various isnad.

He passed away in Rabi ul Awwal 1304 A.H. at the young age of 39 and was buried in the graveyard of his ancestors.
An Nasihah – February 2003
source: Jamiatul Ulama (KwaZulu-Natal)

May Allah swt forgive him, grant him mercy, and elevate his status. May Allah also give us the ability to benefit from the written works of the Maulana.

Related reading:
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi
Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi
Shaykh Ahmed Deedat

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Love Allah

Love Allah
By Fatima Asmal

Rehana looked up from her cup of tea, and shook her head disapprovingly. "How do I look, Azhar?" Tasneem, her 20-year-old daughter was asking her brother, as she made her way to the breakfast table. "Fat," giggled 14-year-old Azhar, returning to his plate of sausages and eggs. "Fat is exactly what you are going to be, if you keep stuffing your face like that," Tasneem retorted, admiring herself in the Defy oven.

Clad in her tightest pair of fitted blue jeans, beige clogs, and a transparent white cropped top, which barely covered her chest, let alone her tummy, Rehana thought her daughter looked... "Disgusting." She bit back her anger and tried to sound calm. Tasneem shot her mother a furious look. "Who asked YOU? Why can't you just leave me alone?" "Tasneem, you make it seem as if I'm picking on you. But I'm not. At the end of the day my advice is only for your own -" "Yes, yes, for my own good - save the speech for someone else Mummy. As you might have noticed, it was lost on me yesterday and the day before and the day before, so just put a lid on it now will you?"

Rehana shook her head again, at a loss for words. She looked in her husband's direction, pleadingly. But he sat at the table, cup of coffee in one hand, newspaper in the other, engrossed in the sports pages. Perhaps he's pretending, she thought. Like me he's probably fed up with the endless arguments.

"I'll be late, have evening lectures, so don't ring me twenty thousand times, nagging me," her daughter's angry voice interrupted her thoughts. "Oh, so you aren't going to eat now?"

Rehana suddenly noticed that Tasneem was slinging her campus bag over her shoulder, and making her way to the door. She motioned at her to sit down. "No thanks - I've lost my appetite." "Gooood Fatty's lost her appetite, she'll get thinner now, and there'll be more food for me..." Azhar sang, as he grabbed Tasneem's plate. "Shut up you little brat." "Tasneem." Thankfully, this time, Iqbal did intervene. "Don't be rude to your brother, he's just joking. And listen to your mother and sit down. Unless of course you want your car to be taken away from you for a while."

"Okay, okay, I hear you." Tasneem grudgingly put her bag down, and pulled a chair opposite her mother. Rehana smiled at her daughter. "I don't mean to push you into doing anything you don't want to do Tasneem. I'm not asking you to cover your face or anything like that. In fact, lately I haven't even asked you to cover your hair. With the way you've been dressing lately, I'd be happy if you just wore longer tops and looser trousers."

Tasneem sighed. "Look Mummy, we only live once. You had your fun - I'm not stupid. The whole family knows you and Daddy met at campus - and don't tell me you were covering your hair then. So after having your fun, it's very easy for you to sit back and preach to me."

Tasneem, you are right, I only started covering my hair after you were born. And yes, I wasn't a perfect Muslimah at campus - but don't you see? I regret every minute of it, and that's why I tried to encourage you to fear Allah from a tender age."

"Fear of Allah is in the heart Mum. And you can't judge what's in my heart."

Rehana nodded. "But at the same time, we have to project our fear of Allah on the outside too, Tasneem. And there's a good reason we are instructed to dress modestly. Believe me Tasneem, you do want a boy to marry you for your inner beauty not for your body."

Tasneem laughed heartily. "Mummmm, relax. I don't have a boyfriend, and the last thing I'm thinking of right now is marriage. I just want to have fun, okay? Love you...See you later." And with a frivolous peck on Rehana's cheek, she was gone.

Rehana put her cup of tea down. Once again her daughter had totally missed the point.

Iqbal smiled at her encouragingly. "At least you tried, Ray." He shook his head sadly. "I gave up ages ago."

"Oh, I won't give up. We shouldn't ever give up."

"Tazzzzz - wow girlfriend, you look fantastic..." Aaliyah greeted Tasneem at the top of her voice, as they made their way to the campus cafeteria.

Tasneem giggled with delight. "Awww thanks. You look pretty cool yourself," she said examining her friend's new hairdo.

"Yeah, you two look great. I stayed up all night, studying for the Ecos test, no time to dress up this morning. I feel quite left out," moaned Ayesha, rummaging through her bag, frantically searching for her mobile phone, which was bleeping away, signalling the arrival of a host of SMS-es.

"Ooooo Tazzz, look there's Osama, checking you out again," Aaliyah shrieked as they seated themselves at a table.

"Aaliyah don't!" Tasneem rolled her eyes up in disgust.

"Hello? Am I missing something here? What are you two on about?"
Ayesha tugged at Tasneem's top.

Tasneem motioned in the direction of the table alongside theirs'.

A heavily-bearded student, clad in a crisp white kurtaa, sat there, his face buried in a book.

"Is his name really Osama?" Ayesha asked.

"No silly...Aaliyah just calls him that, cos he's always dressed in that garb and doing the Jumu'ah khutbahs."


Ayesha asked, interested.

"So what does he talk about?"

"Oooo looks like you have competition Taz.

Hands off Ayesh. He wants Taz."

"Come on guys, I'm serious. What does he talk about?"

Aaliyah cleared her throat and waved her hand up in the air dramatically.
"The temporary nature of this life...the frivolity and deception of youth...blah blah blah."

"Okay, I'm definitely not interested.

Hey Tasneem, is he really into you? Did he like ask you out or something?"

"No way. Look at him, does he look the type?"

"Lower your voices," Ayesha said. "I'm sure he can hear us."

"Who cares if he does? Serves him right if he does -giving us Muslims a bad name, dressing like that, and always looking at the ground when he's walking, as if his head is paralysed or something," Tasneem replied, deliberately craning her neck and raising her voice.

For a fleeting moment, 'Osama' did look up, but he quickly returned to his book.

Aaliyah sniggered. "Well said Taz...Maybe you should be giving the Jumu'ah khutbahs."

"Hey there's someone who would look right at home, giving a Jumu'ah khutbah," laughed Tasneem, revelling in their daily early morning session of juicy gossip. She pointed in the direction of the entrance, where a pretty girl, clad in a long-sleeved dress, and a neatly-tied scarf, was standing.

"Who is that Daadi-ma?" laughed Aaliyah.

"Come on girls, you're just jealous, she's actually very pretty," said Ayesha.

This time 'Osama' definitely heard them. He looked up at the entrance and waved, a smile lighting up his serious expression. "Apaa, over here," he called.

"What a strange name - 'Apaa'."

"Tazz. It's not her name. It's Urdu for 'Big sister,'" Ayesha explained.

"Oh." Tasneem's voice reflected her disappointment. "His sister? And here I was thinking that maybe he wasn't such a goody-goody after all." She looked at her watch, and hurriedly stood up, detangling her bag from the back of the chair. She grabbed Aaliyah's arm. "Come on., .we'd better make it for the English lecture now, if we want to catch an afternoon movie."

"Yeah, okay." Aaliyah followed her out of the cafeteria.

"What did you tell your Mum anyway?" Tasneem grinned.

"What else? The usual - evening lectures."

Tasneem looked up at the sky, as she reversed out of the parking bay, It was a typically beautiful Durban day - ideal for the beach. Perhaps she should ring Aaliyah and Ayesha and tell them to meet her at Addington instead she thought, as she made her way out of the campus parking lot. "Nah, I don't have my costume any way..." she said to herself. "Besides we've all been dying to watch this movie since it came out." She turned on the radio, and smiled in delight as she recognised the familiar tune of Britney Spear's latest hit, 'Toxic' She didn't see him coming. There was a wave of white in front of her and a female screaming in the background as she slammed her foot on the breaks. It was too late.

"God, no," Tasneem gasped, barely remembering to turn off the radio as she dragged herself out of the car. "Osama!" She was hysterical now, screaming incoherently and crying as she noticed the blood fast forming a puddle under him. "What have I done? No, no, no." His sister was on the phone, trying to get medical assistance, her hand clutching her brother's. "It's my brother Sohail. We are on the main road outside Block B."

Tasneem had seen someone die before. But looking at Sohail's face, she realized that the death of that man, writhing and foaming after a drug overdose outside the night-club was very different to what she was witnessing now, Sohail's face was serene, and he was smiling up at the sky.

"Sohail, I'm so s-orry," she stammered. The smile didn't leave his face.

"Love Allah Sister," he said, in that same gentle tone which marked his khutbahs. And then without their assistance, he recited the Kalimah three times, and closed his eyes.

Tasneem looked up at his sister, afraid. "I'm so sorry," she said.

"It wasn't your fault, sister." The tears finally came. "Sohail was in a rush to get to the mosque for 'Asr, and he really wasn't looking where he was going. I tried to pull him back, but-" She was sobbing now.

"It's the Will of Allah Subhanuhu wa Ta'ala you know sister, but he was my little brother, and we were close."

Tasneem shuddered as she thought of podgy little Azhar, and what she would do if someone knocked him down. One thing was for sure - the last thing she would be saying was that it was 'the Will of Allah Subhanuhu wa Ta'ala.' With a sick feeling in her stomach she recalled her nasty words of that very morning - to her mother, to Azhar...and worst of all - in the cafeteria: " us Muslims a bad name, dressing like that, and always looking at the ground when he's walking, as if his head is paralysed or something..."

"I'm so sorry Sohail," she whispered again. Suddenly she felt naked. She made an attempt at pulling her flimsy top down towards her stomach, but failed miserably.
Sohail's sister, still crying, reached into her bag, and handed her a long black cardigan. The sounds of sirens approaching, Tasneem wore it hurriedly, her fingers quivering as she did the buttons.

She felt empty inside - I am giving them a bad name, she thought - Mummy and Daddy and Azhar, and Sohail and his sister...and Islam.. .I am giving them a bad name...

Rehana stroked her daughter's hair, in an attempt to soothe her. It was well past midnight, but Tasneem lay on her bed, her eyes wide open, still visibly shaken from the events of the day. Iqbal came into the room, with a mug of hot chocolate. He kissed Tasneem on the forehead as he handed the mug to Rehana.
"I think you should sleep with her tonight," he said. "Is she okay?"

Rehana nodded. "She's going to be just fine." As she put her daughter off to sleep, Rehana thought of the many events which had shaped her own character, and she remembered with certainty that not all of them were pleasant and happy events. Yet it was these very events which had brought her to where she was today: to wearing the hijab, to enrolling for the Islamic studies course, to Allah.. .to Allah...

May Allah Bless that little boy, she thought. In a day, in one sentence, he had managed, effortlessly, to succeed where she and Iqbal had not.

That evening, when Tasneem had appeared at the door, clutching the arm of a policewoman, her body wrapped in a cardigan, a scarf tied tightly around her neck, she had uttered the words which made Rehana realize the mistake she and Iqbal had been making, which made her remember how she had hated learning Qur'an as a little girl, because her madrasah teacher would hit her if she didn't know her sabaq. "Mummy, mummy, I'm so sorry," Tasneem had been hysterical. Holding on to Rehana, she had sobbed into her shoulder. "Mummy, I killed a Muslim boy. But it was beautiful. I was scared. But he told me something before he died Mummy, something nobody had ever said to me before. He said - he said, "Love Allah Sister."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq

Born in Gujarat, India in 1971. He came to the UK at the age of three, to join his father Moulana Muhammad Gora sahib who was serving as an Imam and religious leader for the Muslim community in Leicester, UK.

His father, himself renowned for his piety and learning, began his son's religious instruction at a very young age. By the age of ten the Shaykh had memorised the entire Quran, and also completed the study of a number of books in various Islamic topics. When he was thirteen he enrolled at Darul Uloom al Arabiyyah al Islamiyyah, Bury, UK, (the first and most prestigious Muslim seminary in the West) and graduated six years later, in early 1991. In Darul Uloom the Shaykh undertook an intensive study of many Islamic topics including Arabic, Quranic tafseer, hadeeth and fiqh under traditionally qualified scholars. His eminent and erudite teachers from whom he has ijazah in various Islamic sciences include Shaykh Yusuf Motala and the late Shaykh Islamul Haq. He also has ijazah in hadeeth from the late Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi and the famous Muhaddith, Shaykh Yunus of Saharanpur, India.

Currently the Shaykh serves as the honorary principal of Madinatul Uloom al Islamiyyah, Kidderminster, UK (a branch of Darul Uloom, Bury, UK) where he has also been head teacher since 1992. Since graduation he has selflessly devoted himself to the work of deen and remained actively involved in dawah and teaching. He has taught and commented on many classical Islamic works and has lectured extensively on a range of topics including Quranic tafseer, hadeeth, aqeedah and fiqh. He has also travelled widely teaching and lecturing in various countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Many of his inspirational sermons and lectures are recorded and are widely available. He has also authored two books, 'The Salah of a Believer in the Quran and Sunnah' and 'The Causes of Disunity'.

Shaykh's extensive knowledge, command of both Arabic and English, together with his natural ability and eloquence in conveying the words of Allah سبحانه و تعالى and His Rasul صلى الله عليه و سلم have moved the hearts of many and continue to do so.

Shaykh is currently teaching on a weekly basis, in a systematic manner, the abridged Sahih al Bukhari. These lessons are streamed live from Al Kawthar Academy, and other recorded audio may also be heard on there.

May Allah swt give good health and long life to Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq in order that the ummah continue to benefit from his lessons and knowledge. Ameen.

Related reading:
Shaykh Ahmad Ali
Shaykh Zahir Mahmood
Shaykh Ibrahim Madani
Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (r.a.)

Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi [1315 – 1402 A.H.]

He was born in the village of Kandhla (in Uttar Pradesh, India) on Ramadan 10, 1315 ah (February 12, 1898 CE). His full name was Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Muhammad Yahya ibn Muhammad Isma‘il, and his lineage continues all the way back to Abu Bakr (R.A.), the great Companion of the Messenger (pbuh).

Shaykh Abu ’l-Hasan Nadwi said about him, “Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was born into a household rooted in knowledge and passion for Islam. His immediate family and his predecessors were distinguished by firm resolve, perseverance, steadfastness, and adherence to religion…. His family included many notable scholars … and his grandmother memorized the entire Qur’an while nursing her son [Shaykh Zakariyya’s father].”

His father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, was among the great scholars of India in both the Related (manqulat) and Logical sciences (ma‘qulat). His primary teacher in hadith was Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Under him he studied Sahih al-Bukhari, Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja and others of the six famous authentic books of hadith (Sihah sitta). Shaykh Yahya went on to teach at Madrasa Mazahir ‘Ulum, in the district of Saharanpur, but did not accept any payment for his services. He instead made his living through his own book-publishing business.

As a young boy, Shaykh Zakariyya moved with his father to the village of Gangoh, in the district of Saharanpur. Since his father and Shaykh Gangohi had a close relationship, Shaykh Zakariyya quickly earned the affection of his father’s teacher.

Growing up in this virtuous environment, he began learning how to read with Hakim ‘Abd al-Rahman of Muzaffarnagar. He memorized the Qur’an with his father and also studied books in Persian and the introductory Arabic books with his uncle Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas (founder of the Tabligh movement). He stayed with his father in the company of Shaykh Gangohi until age eight, when the shaykh passed away. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi says, “He was brought up in the best of environments in this era; the most adhering to the conduct and the sunna and the furthest from the corruption that had begun to spread in the world.

At the age of twelve, Shaykh Zakariyya traveled with his father to Mazahir ‘Ulum. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya [his father] bathed and performed two rak’ats of prayer and began teaching Mishkat al-Masabih. He then made a lengthy prayer for himself and his son. From that day on, hadith became the main focus and goal of Shaykh Zakariyya’s life. There, under his father, he advanced his study of Arabic, tackling many classical texts on Arabic morphology, grammar, literature, and also logic. But by the time he was seventeen, hadith became the main focus of his life. He studied five of the six authentic books of hadith with his father, and then he studied Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Tirmidhi (for a second time) with the honorable Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. Out of his immense respect for h adith, Shaykh Zakariyya was extremely particular about always studying the hadith narrations with wudu’.

On Dhu ’l-Qa‘da 10, 1334 ah, when Shaykh Zakariyya was just nineteen, his dear father passed away. This event was extremely traumatic for Shaykh Zakariyya, as he lost not only a father but also a teacher and mentor. His deep sorrow remained with him for the rest of his life.

Shaykh Zakariyya was blessed to live and learn in an era considered by many to be one of great achievements in Islamic knowledge by scholars in the Indian subcontinent. He studied with few but select teachers who reached the highest levels of learning, research, authorship, and piety. One of his most influential teachers was his own father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, born in 1287 ah. Shaykh Zakariyya memorized the Qur’an at the age of seven, then as per his father’s instruction he would recite the whole Qur’an each morning. In addition to his father and uncle (Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas), he studied under the hadith scholar Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, author of the Badhl al-Majhud, a commentary on Sunan Abi Dawud. Shaykh Zakariyya acquired a hadith authorization from him and remained his student until Shaykh Khalil’s death in Madina Munawwara in 1346 ah.

Before his death, Shaykh Khalil A h mad expressed his desire to write Badhl al-Majhud, and he sought Shaykh Zakariyya’s assistance as his right-hand man. This was the beginning of his good fortune and the route to his excellence. His work earned him a special position with his Shaykh. The shaykh would direct him towards the possible texts and religious sources from which he could take the subject matter. Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya would collect the information and present them to his Shaykh, who would then select from the collection whatever he required. Thereafter he would dictate it to Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya who would write it down. This is how the completion of Badhl al-Majhud fi hall Abi Dawud took place. This experience revealed Shaykh Zakariyya’s gift of penmanship and, furthermore, expanded his insight in the science of hadith. He worked hard on the project, He undertook the task of publishing his shayk’s work in the Indian press and devoted his attention to its correction, publishing it with complete sincerity. He attained the pleasure and trust of his shaykh, He became a successor (khalifa) and representative (na’ib) of his shaykh and was even mentioned by name in the commentary.

Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri mentions in the introduction of Badhl al-Majhud, “I was helped by some of my friends, notable amongst whom is my relative and the coolness of my eyes and heart, Hajj Hafiz Molwi Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Mawlana Hafiz Molwi Muhammad Yahya Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him). I was incapable of writing or pursuing it (without his help), due to the shaking of my hand and due to weakness in mind and vision. I would dictate to him and he would write. He would search for the difficult subject matter from the sources, thus facilitating the dictation for me. I thank Allah for his effort and ask Him to grant him the best reward for whatever he spent of his effort. Allah has gifted him with intrinsic and apparent knowledge, beneficial in this world and in the hereafter, and with accepted, illuminated, good deeds.”

This indeed opened the door to Shaykh Zakariyya’s authoring many literary works and treatises over the course of his life.

Teaching Career
In Muharram 1335 ah he was appointed as a teacher at Madrasa Mazahir ‘Ulum, where he was assigned to teach books on Arabic grammar, morphology, and literature, as well as a number of primary texts of Islamic jurisprudence. In 1341 ah he was assigned to teach three sections of Sahih al-Bukhari upon the insistence of Shaykh Khalil Ahmad. He also taught Mishkat al-Masabih until 1344 ah. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi said, “Although he was one of the youngest teachers at the school, he was selected to teach works generally not assigned to those of his age, nor to anyone in the early stages of his teaching career. Nevertheless, he showed that he was not only an able, but an exceptional teacher.”

In 1345 ah he traveled to Madina Munawwara, the city of Allah’s Messenger (upon him be peace) where he resided for one year. There he taught Sunan Abi Dawud at Madrasa al-‘Ulum al-Shar‘iyya. While in Madina, he began working on Awjaz al-Masalik ila Muwatta’ Imam Malik, a commentary on Imam Malik’s Muwatta’. He was twenty-nine at the time.

When he returned to India, he resumed teaching at Mazahir ‘Ulum. He began teaching Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan al-Nasa‘i, the Muwatta’ of Imam Muhammad, and the second half of Sahih al-Bukhari. The school’s principle taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari, and after his death, Shaykh Zakariyya was given the honor of teaching the entire work.

In all, he taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari twenty-five times, the complete Sahih al-Bukhari sixteen times, and Sunan Abi Dawud thirty times. He did not just teach hadith as a matter of routine; the work of hadith had become his passion, and he put his heart and soul into it. Shaykh Zakariyya taught until 1388 ah, when he was forced to give up teaching after developing eye cataracts.

Sincere Love for Allah and the Prophet
Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya inherited piety, honesty, and good character from his father (may Allah be pleased with him). He aspired to follow the Qur’an and Sunna in all matters, big and small, with a passion not found in many scholars. He had extreme love for the Prophet (upon him be peace) and the blessed city of Madina. His students have related that whenever the death of the Messenger (upon him be peace) was mentioned during a lecture on Sunan Abi Dawud or Sahih al-Bukhari, his eyes would well up with tears, his voice would choke up, and he would be overcome with crying. So evocative were his tears that his students could do nothing but weep with raised voices.

He was often tested with regard to his sincerity. He was offered many teaching jobs at two or three times the salary that was customarily given at Mazahir ‘Ulum, but he always graciously declined the offers. For most of his teaching career, Shaykh Zakariyya never accepted any money for his services at Mazahir ‘Ulum; he did the work voluntarily, seeking Allah’s pleasure. Although he did accept a small salary at the beginning of his career, he later totaled up the amount and paid it back in its entirety.

Daily Routine
Shaykh Zakariyya organized his time meticulously. He would rise an hour before dawn and occupy himself in tahajjud and recitation of Qur’an before performing the Fajr prayer in the masjid. After Fajr, he would read his morning supplications and litany until sunrise. Thereafter he would go to meet with some people and drink tea (but never ate anything with it). He would then return to his quarters to read. During this time he would also research and compile his literary works, and, with few exceptions, no one was allowed to visit him at this time. When it was time for lunch he would come out and sit with his guests, who were from all walks of life; he would respect and treat them well, irrespective of who they were. After Zuhr prayer, he would take a siesta and then spend some time listening to his correspondence (which amounted to around forty or fifty letters daily from different places) and dictating replies. He also taught for two hours before ‘Asr. After ‘Asr, he would sit with a large group of people, offering them tea. After performing Maghrib, he would remain devoted in solitude to optional prayer and to supplication. He did not take an evening meal except to entertain an important guest.

He had always hoped to meet Allah while in the city of the Messenger (upon him be peace); Allah granted his wish. He died there on Monday Sha‘ban 1, 1402 ah (May 24, 1982 CE) and was buried in Jannat al-Baqi‘, in the company of the Companions and the noble family members of the Messenger (upon him be peace). His funeral procession was followed by a large number of people and he was buried in the Baqi‘ graveyard next to his teacher Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. May Allah forgive him, grant mercy, and elevate his status. Amin.

The source of this extracted information and more details of Shaykhs works, students, teachers and his status amongst scholars can be found at:Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi provided by White Thread Press publications.

Related reading:
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi
Maulana Abdul Hayy Lucknawi
Shaykh Ahmed Deedat

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Great Journey

The Great Journey
TICKET: One-way (return ticket not available)
COST: absolutely free
RESERVATION: confirmed
ELIGIBILITY: Tickets will be issued to the following:
NAME: Child of Adam
IDENTIFICATION: piece of clay
ADDRESS: Surface of the Earth

Departure Point: Anywhere on Earth
Destination: Second World
Hotel to be temporarily accommodated!: two meters space
Duration: few seconds or few minutes
Time of Departure: Time of Death

All passengers are requested to keep in mind that the tickets are non-negotiable and non-transferable. Therefore everyone must be ready and keep an eye out for the pilot of the plane -HAZRAT IZRAFIL- THE ANGEL OF DEATH.

For more information, read instructions..... to be found in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. You can also consult the learned Ulama.

IT IS IMPORTANT this is done as soon as possible. You are reminded that no oxygen mask will be given as it is not required, in fact your respiratory system will be closed down before the journey begins.

Even though each plane carries only one passenger, restrictions are imposed on the luggage that can be taken with you. You are allowed to carry 5 meters of white clothes and a small amount of cotton. The real luggage must be good deeds, good conduct, time spent in inviting mankind to good deeds and prohibiting evil, Ilm obtained and used properly, children raised and educated to be good Muslims. Apart from these and luggage of these types, other luggage will be at your own risk.

There is no need for any boarding pass, passport or other travel documents, just get ready. To get ready.... attendance of the 5 daily prayers in the Masjid or with Jamaat is highly recommended.

Study the Quran and Sunnah and put them into practice.

This ticket may be called in at any time so prepare now!

'The pleasures of this life will end with this life. Whereas your good deeds will bring YOU eternal happiness.'

It seems a few new blogs have popped up recently. Please take a look, link them up on your sites and tell others about them. Jazakallah. may Allah accept the efforts of these Muslim bloggers, ameen.

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Following the Path of Truth...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sweetness of Iman

The Prophet (pbuh) had stated in a Hadith-e-Qudsi that Allah Ta’ala says :
"Verily, evil glancing is an arrow from the poisonous arrows of Shaytaan. Whosoever fears Me and refrains from it will receive from Me (Allah) such Iman, the sweetness of which he will feel in his heart."
Quote from the discourse of Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Saheb

Friday, February 03, 2006

Journey to Hajj pt2

Upon sighting the Ka’bah for the first time, the following that someone reminded comes to mind; Verse 4 Surah Toor mentions Baytul Ma’moor, the equivalent of the Ka’bah, directly above the Ka’bah in the heavens. Each day 70,000 angels perform tawaaf there and none of them ever get a second chance again. How merciful is Allah that He allows us to go each day of our stay, and also again and again on separate trips to the blessed house of His on earth.

Some notes from the Hajj

Day 1 Mina
I’m really glad my sister lent me her smaller sized Qur’an. Her advice in bringing some duas in little book form was also a great idea. All of these comfortably fit into the little side bag I picked up in Madinah. A lot of free time today can be utilised by engaging in Qur’an tilawat and reciting these duas. Seems easy here to get into lengthy conversation with fellows in the camp. Sometimes they are on subjects, which we might even consider deeni and religious, rather this is ploy from the Satan to divert our attention from performing more virtuous and rewarding deeds during these blessed days of Hajj. Also such conversations can quite easily switch subjects and move onto sinful talk such as backbiting and slandering. Personally, I’m trying to get some good sleep and rest in today as the next 2 days are going to be very busy.

Day 2
Arafat and Muzdalifa
Amazing that all Muslims dressed in the plain clothes of ihraam are here spending time together for one purpose; ibdaat and du’a to Allah the Almighty. The fact we are adorned in 2 simple white cloths reminds one of death, where we will be made to rest in the grave with our simple kafn. All the hujjaj amassed together also brings to mind thoughts of the day of Qiyamat when all mankind will be stood together awaiting the commencement of Judgement. If we think that a few million people stood together is a sight to behold, just try and imagine the scene on that day when trillions, from the beginning until the end of time will be stood together!

Mashallah, so much free food, drink and water is distributed to all the hujjaj here…May Allah bless the Saudi Authorities.

Also amazing how the Holy Prophet pbuh did all of this without any of the facilities the hujjaj are provided with today. May Allah accept our efforts on this day.

Day 4
Tawaf, Sa’ee, Ramee and walking in Mina was a hard walk and task in totality, for even the fit amongst the Hujjaj. A 22 year old from our camp fainted twice in 24 hours suffering from exhaustion and dehydration. This also serves as an important warning to those intentionally putting off performing Fardh Hajj until later on in their lives. Using the lame excuse ‘I’ll wait until I’m mentally and spiritually ready’ is most definitely not a valid sharee reason to neglect an obligation of Islam, be it Salaah or Hajj.

The advice of the ulama to stick to fruit and liquids in Mina as much as possible proved to be very beneficial, alhumdulillah. The full realisation has set in my mind that it’s absolutely vital now (hajj time) to have patience and that keeping ones tongue moist with Dhikr really helps with this.

Day 5
One of the great things of Hajj is that you meet people from all across the world. Alhumdulillah, you can communicate, though even briefly with them, and I realise that life as a Muslim is harder in parts of the world than we experience here in the UK.

Sadly some Muslims are intent on stopping others from performing additional and optional good deeds. What a shame they won’t remain silent instead, or put in even half the effort to encourage good in its place. Too much free time and lazing around seems to give an open invitation for vain and idle chit chat. Of course being forced to stay together in Mina is going to bring about some of this, but those more sensible Muslims limit this and instead devote themselves to please the Almighty.

The Jamarat incident occurred today and we receive mixed reports of the numbers and causes of the stampede. Alhumdulillah, following the advice of Shaykh Salim Dhorats Hajj guide of waiting until later in the day has made the duty of pelting so easy for us.

Jamarat Project
The Saturday after Hajj the Jamarat bridge is totally demolished with the commencement of the 3 year SR4.2bn project. The project has been planned long in advance, and will have five levels in total, electronic stairs and means of transportation for pilgrims from tents to the Jamarat. Inshallah, two of the four levels of the new bridge will be complete in time for next years Hajj.

The days of Hajj are only a few from our life on this earth, surely for this short time we can control ourselves to avoid the negativities and also push ourselves in order to seek the pleasure of Allah, so that we are counted amongst those mentioned by the Prophet pbuh in the hadith:

“Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of pleasing Allah and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it as free from sin as the day on which his mother gave birth to him.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

I pray Allah allows me first of all to benefit and act on the above and then those reading this. May Allah save us from stopping others doing good and engaging in idle talk, grant us the ability to engage in good, take all the Muslims to perform Hajj and thereafter accept it from us. Ameen

The Prophet pbuh said:
(addressing Makkah) “I love you more than any city. Had my people not forced me to leave, I would never have taken up residence anywhere else.” (Tirmidhi)

“One hundred and twenty mercies descend upon the Ka’bah every day and night; sixty for those performing tawaaf, forty for those engaged in salaah and twenty for those who are merely looking at the Ka’bah.” (Bayhaqi)

“By Allah! On the day of qiyaamah Allah will present the Hajar Aswad in such a manner that it will have 2 eyes and a tongue to testify to the imaan of those who kissed it.” (Tirmidhi)

“The Hajar Aswad and Maqaam Ibraheem are 2 jewels from amongst the jewels of Jannah. Had Allah not concealed their radiance, they would illuminate everything between the East and the West.” (Sunan Kubra)

“The water of zamzam is for that (intention) for which it is drunk (i.e. whatever intention one makes while drinking the water, one will achieve that intention, e.g. for thirst, food, medicine, etc.)” (ibne Maajah)
Hajj and Umrah guides

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Journey to Hajj

Finally I have managed to write up some brief info about my trip to Saudi. Forgive me for the lack of order and sequence in my writing, I only had a mobile to note down a few lines on. For barakah and to increase the zeal of readers to visit these places, I have added relevant ahadith in and also give some general nasiha where appropriate.

Whatever good is in it is from Allah swt alone, and any wrong is only from my own shortcomings.

Following the excitement to be visiting the Prophets Masjid, when I present myself in front of the blessed grave of Muhammad (pbuh) the mind races through the fact that ‘I am now in the company of the best of all creation, mercy to mankind and jinn, beloved of Allah, seal of all Prophets.’ The memory of the experience of Ta’if quickly surfaces and I realise what injustice this sinful one (me) has done to himself and islam, but how fortunate I am to have been invited by Allah to visit these holy places again. I was also overcome with similar feelings when standing in front of the resting place of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) and Umar (R.A).

The Prophet pbuh said:
“Whoever visits me after my death is like he who has visited me in my life.” (Tabrãni, Dãra Qutni)

“Whoever visits my grave, my intercession becomes obligatory for him.” (Dãra Qutni)

“Whoever visits me and has no other motive, has a right over me that I intercede on his behalf.” (Tabrãni)

“One Salãh in my masjid is more superior than a thousand Salãh in any other masjid except for Al-Masjidul Harãm.” (Bukhãri, Muslim)

“He who performs forty Salãh in my masjid, in such a way that he does not miss a single Salãh, Allah prescribes for him freedom from the fire, freedom from punishment and freedom from hypocrisy.” (Ahmad)

With the above ahadith in mind fresh impetus and motivation is given to try and present myself to recite Salams to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and spend as much time in the Prophet’s Masjid as much as possible. The effect this has on the heart and mind is beautiful and so the space of just 48 hours after leaving UK working life, one can completely forget about back home, work, etc. The timetable of ones daily life obviously changes here and this can be used advantageously if one is keen to maximise the rewards available to them from this journey. For example, Tahajjud adhan can be heard in most hotels around the haram shareef, one can as a result reduce the amount of sleep they have daily as well becoming punctual and frequent in performing this additional optional salah. Immediately afterwards one can take benefit of this time of night to make sincere dua to Allah for all ones needs. Extra time during the day may be used to spend quality time with the family.

Even when one walking through the blessed streets and alley ways of Madinah, I remember the words of a Shaykh saying that Durood should be constantly recited and think to myself that I am now placing my foot on the very ground where the companions would reside and walk, subhanallah!

Both for the visit to Madinah and arrival Makkah it is very beneficial to know at least some history about them. Not only does this increase our love and respect for them, but also increases our devotion and sincerity in our ibadaat and actions. Knowledge of these two virtuous and historic cities should be attained in our lives as Muslims anyway and not just merely for the sake of those visiting them. I found taking along a simple book on the life of the last Prophet a good way of jogging the memory of more detailed information previously covered in duroos.

At this point I’ll mention 2 amazing books which cover the above mentioned knowledge in good depth, and have some beautiful pictures to complement the text.
History of Makkah and History of Madinah both by Dr Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani.

I also found the duroos given by Maulana Sindhi (available to listen at on the Prophet’s Masjid and Makkah to be extremely beneficial, in general and more particularly for this trip to Saudi.

Inshallah, to be continued...