Lecture on al-Inayah fi Tahqiq al-Ahadith al-Gharibah fi al-Hidayah

Lecture on al-Inayah fi Tahqiq al-Ahadith al-Gharibah fi al-Hidayah

Lecture on AlʿInāyah fī Taḥqīq al-Aḥādīth al-Gharībah fī al-Hidāyah

In the name of Allah, The Merciful, The Compassionate.

In March 2023, Allah Almighty blessed me with a visit to New Zealand. Whilst there, I was invited by brother Owais Ali of Sydney to visit Australia for a few days. The details of this journey are outlined in my travelogue entitled: One month in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. As part of the programme of events, brother Owais requested that I deliver a talk to the students of the Darul Uloom where he studies focusing on my recent publication, Al-ʿInāyah fī Taḥqīq al-Aḥādīth al-Garībah fī al-Hidāyah. His teacher the learned Mufti Asad Ṣāḥib also requested me to grant Ijāzah in Ḥadīth to the teachers and students. This talk took place on the morning of Monday 13 March 2023. Al-Ḥamdulillāh, my dear colleague and student, Mawlānā Usman Sidat of Preston has now transcribed this talk and made some minor edits including adding sub-headings for the sake of clarity and readability. At the end of the transcript, some additional queries have also been added regarding the book for the benefit of readers. It should be noted that the talk was delivered from memory, which inevitably increases the possibilities of errors. May Allah Almighty accept the publication and reward brother Owais and Mawlānā Usman for their efforts and bless them in their noble endeavours. Separate to this transcript, a brief overview of the book is featured in the article entitled: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani’s foreword to: Al-ʿInāyah fī Taḥqīq al-Aḥādīth al-Garībah fī al-Hidāyah and an overview of the book. Yusuf Shabbir, 28 March 2024 (18 Ramaḍān 1445), on the BA flight from London Heathrow to Riyadh. 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، الحمد لله رب العلمين، والصلاة والسلام على سيد الأنبياء والمرسلين، نبينا محمد وآله وصحبه أجمعين، أما بعد

Al-Ḥadīth al-Musalsal bi al-Awwaliyyah

عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله تعالى عنهما قال قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: الراحمون يرحمهم الرحمن، ارحموا من في الأرض يرحمكم من في السماء، رواه أبو داود والترمذي، ورواه الإمام البخاري رحمه الله تعالى في الكنى، وقيل: إنه رواه في الأدب المفرد، ولكن هذا الحديث غير موجود في النسخ المطبوعة للأدب المفرد۔

This ḥadīth that I read before you is the ḥadīth known as ‘Al-Ḥadīth al-Musalsal bi al-Awwaliyyah’, also known as Ḥadīth al-Raḥmah. The reason for reading this ḥadīth is that it is the practice of the ḥadīth scholars to read this ḥadīth first to their students and this is why this ḥadīth is known as Al-Ḥadīth al-Musalsal bi al-Awwaliyyah, because every person in this chain heard this ḥadīth first from their teacher.

Alḥamdulillāh, I had the honour of listening to this ḥadīth first from our respected teacher Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī in the year 2000 when he visited the UK. He heard this ḥadīth first from his teacher and mentor Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥammad Zakariyyā Kāndehlawī, who heard this ḥadīth first from his teacher Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī the author of Badhl al-Majhūd, the famous commentary of Sunan Abī Dāwūd, who in turn heard this ḥadīth first from his teacher, Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Qayyūm Budhānawī, an attribution to a village in U.P. called Budhānā, who in turn heard this ḥadīth first from his teacher Shāh Muḥammad Isḥāq Muḥaddith Dehlawī, who in turn heard this ḥadīth first from his maternal grandfather, his nānā, Shāh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Muḥaddith Dehlawī, the author of Bustān al-Muḥaddithīn and other books, who in turn heard this ḥadīth from his father, Musnid al-Hind Shāh Waliyyullāh Muḥaddith Dehlawī, the author of many books, whose contributions are renowned and whose legacy is the madāris and the ʿUlamāʾ of the Indian subcontinent today, and who is also the Marjaʿ al-Asānīd of the Indian subcontinent; all the asānīd of the various schools of thought that exist within the Indian subcontinent go through Shāh Waliyyullāh Muḥaddith Dehlawī .

Shāh Waliyyullāh Muḥaddith Dehlawī has authored a book, Al-Faḍl al-Mubīn fī al-Musalsal min Ḥadīth al-Nabī al-Amīn ﷺ, commonly known as Musalsalāt wherein he has detailed the asānīd of all his musalsal narrations, this being the first one, but there are also other musalsal narrations such as Musalal bi Ḥadīth Qirāʾāt Sūrat al-Ṣaff, Musalsal bi Ḥadīth Yawm al-ʿĪd among others, all the way to the Ṣaḥābah and thereafter Rasūlullāh ﷺ.

So, the isnād of this ḥadīth, Ḥadīth al-Raḥmah, Al-Ḥadīth al-Musalsal bil-Awwaliyyah is available in the book of Shāh Waliyyullāh Muhaddith Dehlawi, which is widely available and the full sanad has been quoted in many books.

This tasalsul, this quality, this characteristic, this waṣf, of tasalsul bi al-awwaliyyah wherein the student says that this is the first ḥadīth I read to my teacher or heard from my teacher, goes all the way up to Sufyān ibn ʿUyaynah. After Sufyān ibn ʿUyaynah, the tasalsul does not exist. Therefore, Abū Qābūs and ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀs (Raḍiya Allah ʿAnhumā) are not claiming that this is the first ḥadīth they heard from their teacher or from Rasūlullāh ﷺ.

The name of Imām Bukhāri’s Al-Adab al-Mufrad and the incompleteness of the published version

This ḥadīth of ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀs (Raḍiya Allah ʿAnhumā) has been transmitted by Imām Tirmidhī in his Sunan, and also Imām Abū Dāwūd in his Sunan. Imām Bukhārī has transmitted it in his book Al-Kunā which is now available and published. Some ʿUlamāʾ have attributed this ḥadīth to Imām Bukhārī’s book Al-Adab, which is commonly known as Al-Adab al-Mufrad, but actually the name is just Al-Adab. The reason why Al-Mufrad has been added is to distinguish it from the Kitab al-Adab within Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhari, but in reality the name of this book is just Al-Adab. This is why Ḥāfiẓ Jamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī in his takhrīj of the ḥadīths of Hidāyah does not refer to it as Al-Adab al-Mufrad. Rather, he says:

رواه البخاري في كتابه المفرد في الأدب

or similar. This is a more precise way of referring to the book, although Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar ʿAsqalānī and others refer to it as Al-Adab al-Mufrad, just to show that it is mufrad, it is separated, it is different to the Kitāb al-Adab in the Ṣaḥīḥ. Therefore, the name of the book is just Al-Adab.

So, some ʿUlamāʾ have attributed this ḥadīth, Ḥadīth al-Raḥmah to Imām Bukhārī’s Al-Adab, but the ḥadīth does not exist in the published versions of Al-Adab al-Mufrad. Our respected teacher, Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī, whom Allah had blessed with formidable insight into ḥadīth, says that it appears that the published versions of Al-Adab al-Mufrad are incomplete. The manuscript that was used when the book was first published was perhaps incomplete and thereafter all the published versions have relied upon the initial published version, or upon the manuscript that was used. Allah Almighty knows best.

Authenticity of Musalsal narrations

The authenticity of many of the musalsal narrations has been questioned, including many that Shāh Waliyyullāh Muḥaddith Dehlawī has transmitted. The most authentic musalsal narration is Musalal bi Ḥadīth Qirāʾat Sūrah al-Ṣaff, and this ḥadīth, Ḥadīth al-Raḥmah, Al-Ḥadīth al-Musalsal bi al-Awwaliyyah is also of a good standard, it is not weak or mawḍūʿ (fabricated) in the way that some musalsal narrations are very weak and some are also fabricated.

Other asānīd of Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī

Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī also has many other asānīd which are listed in his Thabat and some are also listed in the third volume of Al-Yawāqīt al-Ghāliyah towards the end. One of the high isnāds of Shaykh Yūnus is his narration from Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Kattānī who only passed away in the last few months, he was from Morocco and narrated from his father, Musnid al-ʿAsr, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥayy al-Kattānī, the author of Fihris al-Fahāris and many other works. Shaykh Abd al-Ḥayy al-Kattānī was a great ʿālim, a great scholar and a great collector of rare manuscripts and books. It is from his library that Birr al-Wālidayn of Imām Bukhari was published for the first time ever a few years ago. Al-Ḥamdulillāh, Allah granted me the Tawfīq to write a short commentary on it in English which was published by Turath Publishing.

Shaykh Yūnus also narrates from Shaykh ʿAbdullāh al-Nākhibī who was based in Jeddah. Allah Subḥānahū wa Taʿalā had blessed him with a very long life, he lived for approximately 120 years and his isnād is also very high.

Sanad from Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī

I also narrate this ḥadīth from our respected teacher Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī who narrates Al-Ḥadīth al-Musalsal bi al-Awwaliyyah from Shaykh Yāsīn al-Fādānī who was also a great musnid of his era, and Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī’s encounter with Shaykh Yāsīn al-Fādānī in al-Masjid al-Ḥarām is well documented. Mufti Ṣāḥib makes mention of this many a times that he entered into al-Masjid al-Ḥarām on the Day of ʿĀshūrāʾ whilst he was visiting Jeddah for a conference and nobody knew about his visit to Makkah. A student of Shaykh Yāsīn al-Fādānī came to him and said Shaykh Yāsīn is calling you. Sometimes, Allah Subāḥānahū wa Taʿalā inspires people, this is known as ilhām, Allah puts it in the heart. Sometimes Allah removes barriers and things are seen. Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī also has other asānīd.

Other Asānīd

I have listed the names of some of my teachers and some of the people who have given me ijāzah in ḥadīth at the end of Al-ʿInāyah fī Taḥqīq al-Aḥādīth al-Gharībah fī al-Hidāyah.

There was an ʿālim in the UK known as Mawlāna Aḥmad ʿAlī Surti who spent most of his life in Malawi and thereafter he resided in the city of Leicester in the UK. A standard ʿālim who was not involved in any teaching of ḥadīth whatsoever. Towards the end of his life, some people found out that he studied in Dabhel in the state of Gujarat in India, and when he studied, just for that year, they were taught Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī by Mawlāna ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Amrohī who was commonly known as ‘Baba’ who at the time was 99 or 100 years old and whose isnād was very high via Mawlāna Qāsim Nānowtwī, via Mawlānā Faḍl al-Raḥmān Ganjmurādābadī, via Shāh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, via Shāh Waliyyullāh. He had a very short isnad. So, al-Ḥamdulillāh we also took ijāzah in ḥadīth from him.

Introduction to Al-ʿInāyah fī Taḥqīq al-Aḥādīth al-Gharībah fī al-Hidāyah

Today, I have been asked to talk about Al-ʿInāyah fī Taḥqīq al-Aḥādīth al-Gharībah fī al-Hidāyah, a book that was recently published. The background to this book is that we received a question through our website (www.islamicportal.co.uk) in 2019 from a brother from Pakistan, Shaukat Ali who asked three or four questions regarding Hidāyah.

Question 1: What is the correct view regarding Imām Marghīnānī’s ḥadīth credentials?

One of the questions was regarding the ḥadīth credentials of Imām Marghīnānī, the author of Hidāyah. Was he a ḥāfiẓ and a muḥaddith as has been mentioned by ʿAllāmah Maḥmūd ibn Sulaymān al-Kafawī in his book on the profiles of Ḥanafī scholars which al-Ḥamdulillah has recently been published; this is the book that was summarised by Mawlānā ʿAbd al-ʿHayy Laknawi which resulted in the publication of Al-Fawāʾid al-Bahiyyah. The aṣl of Al-Fawāʾid al-Bahiyyah is the book of Kafawī. ʿAllāmah Kafawi has described Imām Marghīnānī as a hāfiẓ, as a muḥaddith.

On the other hand, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq Muḥaddith Dehlawī has suggested that Imām Marghīnānī’s association with ḥadīth was minimal and Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥayy Laknawī has also indicated towards this in various writings, that Imām Marghīnānī’s association with ḥadīth was not to the level of ḥadīth scholars of the time.

So this was one question – what is the preferred view and correct view regarding Imām Marghīnānī’s ḥadīth credentials?

Question 2: What is the status of the ḥādīths of Hidāyah which were not found by Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī or Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī?

The second question was regarding the ḥadīths of Hidāyah which were not identified, not sourced by Ḥāfiẓ Jamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī, a scholar of the 8th century who authored not the first but the most prominent and famous book on the takhrīj of the ḥadīths of Hidāyah, which was summarised by Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī in what is now known as Al-Dirāyah.

So, what is the status of these ḥadīths that were not found by these two luminaries? Will they be regarded as mawḍūʿ (fabricated)? Or will we do sukūt (silence) and say that we do not know – we cannot say in the affirmative, we cannot say in the negative, Allāhu Aʿlam (Allah knows best)? What is the ḥukm, what will be the status of such ḥadīths?

Question 3: What is the status of some specific ḥādīths mentioned in Hidāyah?

And thereafter, there was a question regarding certain ḥadīths mentioned in Hidāyah. What is the status of these ḥadīths?

Initial response to these questions

So, at the time, as we receive many questions on fiqh and ḥadīths and we try to answer those questions on our website, the question was in Urdu, so we wrote an answer in Urdu, in approximately 20-25 pages, and this answer is available online.

Response to Question 1: Imām Marghīnānī’s ḥadīth credentials

The summary of the answer to the first question was that Imām Marghīnānī had been blessed, Allah had blessed him with profound insight into fiqh. Whilst he was not a ḥāfiẓ and a muḥaddith to the level of the ḥadīth experts of his era, and of Ḥanafī ḥadīth experts before him like Imām Ṭaḥāwī, Imām Abū Bakr al-Jaṣṣāṣ al-Rāzī, Imām Khaṣṣāf, Imām Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī, but at the same time it was not the case that he had no association with ḥadīth either. Rather, he did have a standard level of association with ḥadīth, as is evident from the way he discusses ḥadīths in Hidāyah, and also the way he brings certain ḥadīths in his Kitāb al-Tajnīs and also from what we know about him studying ḥadīth books with his teachers, and his ijāzāt and his samāʿāt, and from his book which is not available, from which Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Qurashī quotes who also has a takhrij on the ḥadīths of Hidāyah by the name Al-ʿInāyah. In his book, Al-Jawāhir al-Muḍiyyah on the tarājim (profiles) of Aḥnāf, he quotes regularly from Ṣāḥib al-Hidāyah’s book, from his Mashyakhah, wherein he mentions his asānīd. Many of Ṣāḥib al-Hidāyah’s aṣānīd are listed in that book for various books, Saḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, Saḥiḥ Muslim, Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī, Sharḥ Maʿānī al-Āthār of Imām Ṭahāwī and other aṣānīd of Ṣāḥib al-Hidāyah are mentioned therein.

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Qurashī’s takhrīj on the ḥadīths of Hidāyah

Just a sidenote on Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Qurashī’s takhrīj on the ḥadīths of Hidāyah, al-ʿInāyah, it is not published (it has been published since then) but the manuscript is available, it is very clear and we have used this in this book. Interestingly, Ḥāfiẓ Jamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī in his takhrij on the ḥadīths of Hidāyah, which is commonly known as Naṣb al-Rāyah, refers to a jāhil (an ignorant person) in several places. He also makes reference to his teacher, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Turkumānī, the author of al-Jawhar al-Naqī which is a response to Imām Bayhaqī’s al-Sunan al-Kubrā. Ibn al-Turkumānī is the teacher of Jamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī and he is also the teacher of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Qurashī. He also authored a book on the takhrīj of the ḥadīths of Hidāyah and also another Ḥanafī book (Khulāṣat al-Dalāʾil). This book by the name of Al-Tanbīh ʿalā Aḥādīth al-Hidāyah wa al-Khulāṣah is now published in one volume; in fact it has been published twice, two different publishers have published it recently.

So, Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī quotes from this book of his Shaykh, Ibn al-Turkumānī, and he refers to him as ʿAlā al-Dīn (واستشهد به شيخنا علاء الدين، قال شيخنا علاء الدين), he also highlights many of his errors. He says that his Shaykh did taqlīd of this jāhil, but does not mention the name of this jāhil. ʿAllāmah Qāsim ibn Quṭlūbughā decided not to name this person in his book Munyat al-Almaʿī. Shaykh Zāhid al-Kawtharī in his taʿlīq also kept him mubham (unidentified). Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAwwāmah in his study, in his dirāsah, which is published only in some published versions of Naṣb al-Rāyah at the end in the fifth volume, suggests, without being certain, that most probably he is referring to ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Qurashī. I have concluded with certainty that he is referring to him, but these things happen among muʿāṣirūn (contemporaries). This does not give us the license to start using the same terms for great ʿUlamaʾ of the past. Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Qurashī did not reach the level of Ḥāfiẓ Jamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī in ḥadīth. Zaylaʿī was on a different level but Qurashī’s contribution is also invaluable, we all rely on his Al-Jawāhir al-Muḍiyyah, his book on the profiles of the Ḥanafī scholars. It is well-established, well-regarded and everybody benefits from it. Everybody who came after relied on this book for the tarājim (profiles) of the Ḥanafī scholars.

So, this was the first question regarding Imām Marghīnānī’s ḥadīth credentials and within that answer you will see, it is online, we quoted from various books.

Response to Question 2: The status of the ḥādīths of Hidāyah which were not found by either Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī or Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī

The second question was in relation to the ḥadīths of Hidāyah which were not identified by Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī, for which Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī has a special terminology of gharīb.

Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s use of the term ‘gharīb’

Gharīb according to Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī is different to the gharīb generally used in ḥadīth books, such as the gharīb which Imām al-Tirmidhī uses which is gharīb al-isnād, that the isnād is gharīb meaning that one or more levels of the chain only has one narrator. An example is إنما الأعمال بالنيّات it is a ṣaḥīḥ (authentic) ḥadīth, but it is gharīb because in at least one of the ṭabaqāt, one of the levels, there is only one narrator. So, gharīb al-isnad does not mean that it is not ṣaḥīḥ, it does not mean that it does not exist. Gharīb ḥadīths can be ṣaḥīḥ.

But according to Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s use of the word in his book on the takhrij of the ḥadīths of Hidāyah, gharīb means gharīb al-wujūd, that it does not exist or that it was not found. The evidence of this is that when Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, who has more or less just summarised Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s book with very few additions, he uses the word: لم أجده, that I did not find it. Ḥāfiz Ibn al-Mulaqqin has a detailed takhrīj book for a Shafiʿī fiqh text which was then summarised by Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī known as al-Talkhīṣ al-Ḥabīr. He (Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Mulaqqin) also benefited from Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s book and he sometimes says that “I did not find it”. You can trace it that he is summarising from Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s work.

So, what is the status of these ḥadīths? This was the question. At the time we gave an answer that there are four categories of such ḥadīths in Hidāyah.

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah’s view regarding ḥādīths not found by an expert muḥaddith

But before mentioning the four categories, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah has mentioned a point in the muqaddimah on Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī’s book on mawḍūʿ ḥadīths, al-Mawḍūʿāt, which Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah has published with his footnotes. He suggests that if any muḥaddith, any nāqid, any expert muḥaddith like Ḥāfiẓ Dhahabī, like Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah, like Ḥāfiẓ Jamāl al-Dīn al-Mizzī and others like Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Ḥāfiẓ al-Sakhāwī, any expert muḥaddith, any nāqid, says regarding a ḥadīth: لم أجده (I did not find it) or uses similar terms and nobody thereafter has done naqd on it [then this is sufficient to say that it is mawḍūʿ].

[Naqḍ means] if somebody says that I was unable to find it, for example Ḥāfiẓ Dhahabī says that I was unable to find it but Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī says that I found it then this principle does not apply according to Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah. But if nobody found it and an expert nāqid said: لم أجده then this is sufficient to say that it is mawḍūʿ.

The reasoning for this is that the ḥadīth books have been compiled, and these expert nāqids have had access to the ḥadīth books and by virtue of those who came after not critiquing them who also had access to ḥadīths, and just in case there was a shortcoming then the later scholars would have located it, but even they did not locate it, they did not critique it, then this is sufficient to say that the ḥadīth is mawdūʿ.

Response of Shaykh Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī to Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah

Shaykh Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī had a lot of arguments with Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah. He would do radd (refutation) and Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ would also do radd. Some of these letters and books are published. Shaykh Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī was very harsh in his style and approach. In one of his muqaddimahs, most probably from recollection (it is quoted in the book) the muqaddimah on Sharḥ al-ʿAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah, or one of his other books, he has refuted Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah on various aspects, and one aspect is this. He argues that Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah saying this is incorrect. I will return to this in a moment.

The four categories for the ḥādīths of Hidāyah not found by either Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī or Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar

So, for this question that came (regarding the status of the ḥadīths mentioned in Hidāyah which were not found by Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar), we gave an answer at the time that the ḥadīths of Hidāyah can be divided into four areas, into four categories.

Category 1: Ḥādīths that were found by scholars that came after them

ʿAllāmah Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī

The first category are the ḥadīths that were found by scholars who came after them. They include the likes of ʿAllāmah Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī who, based on his works we understand, found some ḥadīths that Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar did not find.

For example, the ḥadīth at the beginning of Kitāb al-Ṭahārah, wherein if a miswāk is not present then you use your finger, there is a ḥadīth mentioned in Hidāyah. Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar did not find this ḥadīth; Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī said ‘gharīb’ and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar said لم أجده. ʿAllāmah Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī quotes a ḥadīth from the Musnad of Imām Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal which has the effect, or which provides basis for the ḥadīth mentioned in Hidāyah. This is just one example of this category.

ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām

There also some ḥadīths that were found by the barrister of Aḥnāf, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām. The barrister of Aḥnāf was a term used by our Shaykh Yūnus Ṣāḥib. There are some ḥadīths found by him in Fatḥ al-Qadīr which were not found by Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar.

ʿAllāmah Qāsim ibn Quṭlūbughā

There are also many ḥadīths that were found by ʿAllāmah Qāsim ibn Quṭlūbughā. He wrote a book, Munyat al-Almaʿī, specifically to identify the Gharīb ḥadīths and also highlight some shortcomings of Ḥāfiẓ Jamāl al-Dīn al-Zaylaʿī.

From these three scholars, he identified, relatively speaking, the most ḥadīths. ʿAllāmah Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī identified a few ḥadīths, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām a few, but Ibn Quṭlūbughā identified more ḥadīths.

It is worth noting that although ʿAllāmah Ibn Quṭlūbughā did identify many ḥadīths, many of the ḥadīths that he claims to have identified, in reality he has not identified them. To elaborate, in some places, he has done naqd on Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī, but Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī has mentioned the same ḥadīth but there is a reason why he has said gharīb, for example because the wording of the ḥadīth is not in accordance with the wording of Ṣāḥib al-Hidāyah in terms of his istidlāl, or due to another reason. So, there are several occasions, not just a few, where ʿAllāmah Qāsim ibn Quṭlūbughā’s naqd on Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī is incomplete and questionable. And in many places, Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī is correct.

So, the first category of ḥadīths is that they were found and identified by later scholars. The status of such ḥadīths is that you look at their asānīd and judge the ḥadīth accordingly.

Category 2: Ḥadīths described by an expert to be fabricated

The second category of the gharīb ḥadīths are those that have been mentioned clearly by a ḥadīth nāqid to be mawḍūʿ (fabrication), such as: لعن الله الفروج على السروج. There are several examples where a ḥadīth scholar has said it is mawḍūʿ and the ḥadīth scholars thereafter have agreed to this or have not critiqued it. Thus, if scholars like Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar, Ḥāfiẓ al-Dhahabī, ʿAllāmah ʿIraqī, Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Mulaqqin, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, any of them describe a narration to be a fabrication, and later ḥadīth scholars have not disagreed with it, then the ḥukm of this category is clear that it is mawdūʿ (fabricated).

Category 3: Ḥadīths which display signs of fabrication without an expert categorising it as fabricated

The third category of gharīb ḥadīths are those that display the signs of fabrication, but as far as our knowledge is concerned, as far as our muṭālaʿah (reading) is, as far as the books we have access to, because we cannot claim istīʿāb, no ḥadīth expert has said it is mawdūʿ. However, the signs of waḍaʿ, the signs of fabrication are apparent on the ḥadīth. It is very clear, there is very little scope for taʾwīl, it is contradicting the words of the Qurʾān, or it is contradicting a ṣaḥīḥ ḥadīth of Rasūlullāh ﷺ.

The scholars have mentioned the signs of fabricated narrations. The best kalam (discussion) on these qarāʾin al-waḍaʿ (signs of fabrication) is by Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Manār al-Munīf. There is also a good discussion on this by Allāmah Ibn ʿIrāq. Many people pronounce his name as Ibn ʿArrāq, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah also said it is Ibn ʿArrāq, but the correct is Ibn ʿIrāq. He himself has mentioned that this is the ḍabṭ (pronunciation) of his name. So, in his book on such ḥadīths, Tanzīh al-Sharīʿah, he also in the muqaddimah has a brief but good discussion on the signs of mawḍūʿ ḥadīths. However, Ibn al-Qayyim’s discussion is the most comprehensive and the most detailed.

So based on those signs, the qarāʾin of waḍaʿ are apparent on those ḥadīths, so then a judgement can be made that the ḥadīth is mawḍūʿ.

Category 4: Ḥādīths which do not fall into any of the categories above

The fourth category of gharīb ḥadīths are those that were not found by earlier scholars, they were not classified as mawḍūʿ and the signs of waḍaʿ are also not apparent on those ḥadīths. For this category, we concluded then that we should say لم أجده, we should say that we did not find it, we cannot say that they are mawḍūʿ, because it is very possible that the ḥadīths are found. Indeed at the time, we found some of the ḥadīths – two or three ḥadīths.

We gave examples for each category in the Urdu answer. We found two or three ḥadīths and we said look, this ḥadīth has been found, therefore for this fourth category we cannot say that it is mawḍūʿ. The evidence is that the ḥadīths could potentially exist and this is what Shaykh Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī was trying to say in his response to Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghuddah that if the qarāʾin of waḍaʿ are not there, then to say automatically that it is mawḍūʿ is questionable.

We wrote this answer in Urdu and also suggested that just because a ḥadīth is not being labelled as mawḍūʿ does not mean that it can be transmitted. To transmit a ḥadīth as a ḥadīth, you need evidence, you need the isnād. So, the two things should not be confused.

The questioner was also specifically asking about some narrations like the narration that if you don’t perform four rakʿāt before a particular ṣalāh then لم تنله شفاعتي and other similar ḥadīths, that can they be narrated in front of the lay people? So, the answer was that they cannot be narrated.

We wrote this Urdu answer in 2019 and sent it to the brother, and it was also uploaded online.

Motivation for writing a book on this topic

A year later, a thought crossed my mind and it was from Allah Subḥānahū wa Taʿālā that at the time we only looked at a few ḥadīths but maybe we should look at all the gharīb ḥadīths in Hidāyah. And initially I was only looking at the gharīb ḥadīths; gharīb has a few categories, there are some ḥadīths that Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī did not find at all where he says غريب or غريب جدا, which is what I was examining initially. However, there are certain ḥadīths which he did not find with the wording of Imām Marghīnānī so he says غريب بهذا اللفظ. Then there are certain ḥadīths which he did not find from the narration of the Ṣaḥābī mentioned in Hidāyah so he says غريب من حديث ابن مسعود or غريب من حديث ابن عباس indicating that he found it from the narration of another Ṣaḥābī (companion).

So, we started looking at these ḥadīths and thought that we would just gather a few ḥadīths and make a small collection. Al-Ḥamdulillāh, Allah Taʿālā had decreed that some work should take place in this regard and so we looked at these gharīb ḥadīths and we tried and attempted to do taḥqīq of all the these ḥadīths in Hidāyah; all the ones where Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī said غريب, most of the ones where he said غريب بهذا اللفظ, because this was not impacting on the istidlāl, because if the ḥadīth was existing through another wording then the purpose was achieved, but nevertheless most of them are covered. The result is this publication in two volumes which has been published. I then decided to write a detailed muqaddimah, discussing various aspects and drawing various conclusions from the study.

Structure of the book and main sources used

The structure of the book is that the first 200-300 pages is the muqaddimah wherein there are detailed discussions in relation to the word gharīb, Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s methodology, the results of the study, detailing the ḥadīths that were found by ʿAllāmah ʿAynī, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām, ʿAllamah Ibn Quṭlūbughā.

We also did a detailed study on Ibn Quṭlūbughā’s takhrīj on the ḥadīths of al-Ikhtiyār, which is an invaluable takhrīj al-ḥadīth book. There are certain ḥadīths in there which are not in Munyat al-Almaʿī. We did muqāranah (comparison) between it and between Munyat al-Almaʿī and also the takhrīj of the ḥadīths of Uṣūl al-Bazdawī. Ibn Quṭlūbughā did takhrīj of that and it is published. There is not much in there which is not in the other two books, but nonetheless we did muqāranah between them that which ḥadīths were found in Takhrīj al-Ikhtiyār, but not in Munyah al-Almaʿī, which were found in both and so on.

We also included a detailed section on Imām Marghīnānī’s ḥadīth credentials. Also various aspects in relation to Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz’s work on Hidāyah generally, but also he has done a lot of kalām on the ḥadīths of Hidāyah in his book Al-Tanbīh which is also available and published.

Throughout the book, you will see that we tried to do istīʿāb (comprehensively cover) of the writings of ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Qurashī, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Turkumānī, Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī, Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, ʿAllāmah Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz, ʿAllāmah ʿAynī, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām and ʿAllāmah Ibn Quṭlūbughā. In relation to the gharīb ḥadīths of Hidāyah, whatever these scholars have written, istīʿāb has been done.

In addition to this, occasionally, we have drawn on the statements of Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī from Fatḥ Bāb al-ʿInāyah, Mawlāna ʿAbd al-Ḥayy Laknawī, our Shaykh Muḥamamad Yūnus Jownpūrī, ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿAbidīn and others. However, generally the scholars who came after Ibn Quṭlūbughā, whether it is Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī or those who came thereafter, they relied upon Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar. Therefore, we do not always cite Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī for example because we know that he has more or less summarised and relied upon the earlier writings.

So, this is the muqaddimah and thereafter the ḥadīths begin and until the end of the book it is organised ḥadīth by ḥadīth. We have numbered them according to our numbering from 1 to 379 and we have also mentioned the numbering of Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī. Ḥāfiẓ al-al-Zaylaʿī has a unique way of numbering ḥadīths and that is also mentioned within each ḥadīth sub-heading for ease of reference.

So under each ḥadīth, the ḥadīth that Ṣāḥib al-Hidāyah has mentioned is outlined, thereafter what Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar have mentioned is outlined, then what ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Qurashī and ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Turkumānī have to say is mentioned, then the views of ʿAllāmah ʿAynī, Ibn al-Humām, Ibn Quṭlūbughā are mentioned and thereafter, if we have anything to add or to critique then that is mentioned. Then there is a summary, whether the ḥadīth is from the first category, the second category, the third category, or the fourth category.

There is also a detailed table within the muqaddimah of these 379 ḥadīths which summarises the entire book, including the category that we have placed the ḥadīth in according to our limited understanding.

Number of further ḥādīths located

Of course, وفوق ذي علم عليم. There is no limit to ʿilm. There are many learnings and many findings of this study. Al-Ḥamdulillāh, thumma al-Ḥamdulillāh, in addition to the ḥadīths that were found by the earlier scholars, we were able to locate 80 ḥadīths, some with the full sanad, some without the sanad, but we located it in one way or another.

Why were these ḥādīṭhs not located by earlier scholars?

The question is why did Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar not locate these ḥadīths – they had access to the ḥadīth books? In the muqaddimah, we discuss this in detail.

One of the reasons which we call بواعث الاستغراب or أسباب الاستغراب or أسباب الفوات, is that Ḥāfiẓ Jamāl al-Dīn Zaylaʿī or Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar either did not have access to or did not benefit from the Ḥanafī fiqh books that contain ḥadīths, such as Kitāb al-Aṣl of Imām Muḥammad which until recently was not published.

Mawlānā Abū al-Wafāʾ Afghānī, may Allah Almighty illuminate his grave, Allah reward him, he published many books of Imām Muḥammad and other earlier Ḥanafī jurists. He published Kitab al-Aṣl, just the chapters of ʿibādāt (worship) and so it was incomplete. Recently a Turkish scholar, Shaykh Boynukālin who was also appointed the Imām of Ayasofya, I met him al-Ḥamdulillah two years ago), he took on the onerous and burdensome task of publishing Kitāb al-Aṣl, which is now published, and you probably have it in the library here. This is an invaluable work, but even this version of Kitāb al-Aṣl is still incomplete; there are certain chapters like Kitāb al-Manāsik that are, as far as we know, not available, not found yet. There are also two or three other chapters that are not available, that are not found. But the vast majority, 95% of the book has been found and is now published.

Kitāb al-Aṣl is the main book of Ẓāhir al-Riwāyah, it is one of the five books of Ẓāhir al-Riwāyah, and contains Kitab al-Siyar which is commonly known as Siyar al-Saghīr; this is part of Kitāb al-Aṣl. In Kitāb al-Aṣl, there are many ḥadīths, some with sanad and some without sanad where Imām Muḥammad says بلغنا similar to how Imām Mālik says بلغنا. There are also many ḥadīths with the sanad. Some of those without sanad, Imam Muḥammad has transmitted them in his other works with the sanad.

Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s sources

So, it appears that Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī did not have access to, or did not benefit from, or did not think that it was necessary to look at these works. Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī, as was the practice of ḥadīth scholars, relied upon ḥadīth works, and relied upon earlier works like the book of Ibn al-Qaṭṭān al-Fāsī and the book of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Maqdisī. He also relied heavily on the book of Ḥāfiẓ Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Hanbalī, the student of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah. In fact, Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAwwāmah mentions that were it not for the nuqūl (citations) of Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Hanbalī, Ibn Daqīq al-ʿĪd and Ibn al-Qaṭṭān Fāsī, Hāfiẓ al-Zaylaʿī’s work would lose half its worth and value. Hāfiẓ Zaylaʿī relies heavily on these three scholars.

A note on Ḥāfiẓ Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Ḥanbalī

Ḥāfiẓ Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Ḥanbalī was a great student and fan of Ibn Taymiyyah, because of which some people dislike him or do not give him the worth that he deserves. He was a great ʿālim, and he passed away at a very young age. Ṣalāḥuddīn Ṣafdī says: لو عاش لكان آية (Had he lived, he would have been something else).

The few books we have of his attest to his mastery in ḥadīth. So much so that Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s habit is not to summarise entire books in his book. However, in one place, in Kitāb al-Ṣalāh on the issue of Bismillāh being part of the Qurʾān or not, and whether it should be recited loudly or quietly in Ṣalāh, Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī has summarised an entire book of Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Hanbalī, maybe in forty or fifty pages. It is for this reason that some people, when they quote from those pages, they mistakenly attribute it to Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī because the published version of Naṣb al-Rāyah is jumbled all together, so when you quote from that section it is actually Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī’s words.

For example, in one place, Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Hanbalī says that there is nothing more beautiful for a student of ḥadīth to adorn himself with than inṣāf. Many people say that Hāfiẓ al-Zaylaʿī has said this; Hāfiẓ al-Zaylaʿī has not said this, this is from Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Hanbalī’s treatise which Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī has summarised. The whole risālah is being summarised here in those forty to fifty pages, but because it is very long, if you do not read the full section, you would think that it is Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī saying this.

So, Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Hanbalī was a great ʿālim, a great scholar. Just because he defended Ibn Taymiyyah on one issue and he wrote al-Ṣārim al-Munkī fi al-Radd ʿalā al-Subkī, the Ashāʿirah and Shāfiʿiyyah are very angry at him. However:

ولا يجرمنكم شنآن قوم على ألا تعدلوا، اعدلوا هو أقرب للتقوى

(Malice against a people should not prompt you to avoid doing justice. Do justice. That is nearer to Taqwā – Sūrah al-Māʾidah: 8)

Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī was a great giant. As our teacher Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī would comment that on Ḥadīth matters, Shaykh Taqī al-Dīn al-Subkī was no match for him.

So, Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī relies heavily on his works along with the works of Ibn Daqīq al-ʿĪd who was also a great ʿAllāmah of his time, and also the works of Ibn al-Qattān al-Fāsi.

Books of Imām Muḥammad which contain ḥādīths

So I was mentioning the بواعث الاستغراب, why did Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī not find these ḥadīths. One of the reasons is that he did not have access to, or did not benefit from Ḥanafī fiqh books that contain ḥadīths. One of the most prominent ones is Kitāb al-Aṣl of Imām Muḥammad and this is the book in which we found most of the ḥadīths.

Another book of Imām Muḥammad is Kitāb al-Ḥujjah, which again is incomplete, only a few volumes have been published. Allah Almighty knows best why our Ḥanafī scholars did not pay attention to the works of Imām Muḥammad as much as they deserved. Why is it that Imām Aḥmad’s books are published, whether in fiqh or ḥadīth or otherwise, Imām Shafiʿī’s books, Imām Mālik’s books are all published and preserved?

On the other hand, some of Imām Muḥammad’s books are incomplete or not available at all. Kitāb al-Ḥujjah is incomplete, and it is a masterpiece. We found some ḥadīths in Kitāb al-Ḥujjah that we did not find in any of the other works of Imām Muḥammad nor in any other book, and the book is incomplete which shows that there are many ḥadīths that could be in there which remain unidentified. Our work (on the ḥadīths of Hidāyah) is incomplete, there are still ḥadīths that we did not find and we have said لم أجده, they are in category four. It is very plausible and very likely that some of these ḥadīths are in the other chapters of Kitāb al-Ḥujjah, or in the Kitāb al-Manāsik of Kitāb al-Aṣl which we did not have access to. So, we found some ḥadīths in Kitāb al-Ḥujjah.

There was a ḥadīth that we found in the Amālī of Imām Muḥammad. It is not widely available, but it was published at some stage; we found one ḥadīth in there.

Other Ḥanafī fiqh books which contain ḥādīths

Thereafter, there are also other Hanafi fiqh books that contain ḥadīths, like Imām Abu Bakr al-Jaṣṣāṣ al-Rāzī’s Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar al-Ṭahāwī. I mentioned a ḥadīth that we found in there to Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī and he mentioned that Imām Zaylaʿī does mention and has benefited from Imām Jaṣṣāṣ Rāzī’s books. I said yes he does, but only from his Aḥkām al-Qurān, not from Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar al-Ṭahāwī and there are certain ḥadīths in there with the sanad that provide the basis for the ḥadīths in Hidāyah, and we quoted a few. So, Aḥkām al-Qurān was prominent, Sharḥ Mukhtaṣar al-Ṭahāwī was not prominent – it was a fiqh book, so they did not access it.

Likewise, there are certain ḥadīths that Imām Qāsim ibn Quṭlūbughā found in the Mukhtaṣar of Imām Karkhī which he quotes in Takhrīj al-Ikhtiyār, again that is a Ḥanafī fiqh text. So this is one reason, but not the only one.

Another reason for ḥadīths not identified earlier

We found a ḥadīth in the Sunan of Imām Dāraquṭnī which has been quoted by Imām Marghīnānī which Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī calls gharīb, which is very strange because Sunan al-Dāraqutnī is a very famous ḥadīth book and Imām Dāraquṭnī is who he was. However, the ḥadīth is not in its place, meaning it is not in Kitāb al-Ṭahārah or the beginning of Kitāb al-Ṣalāh, it is later on and they never had access to Shamela, or Google or search engines, so they perhaps never thought of it at the time, or they missed it – فات عنهم. It happens, nobody is ʿallām al-ghayb. So, this is why one should avoid in rushing to judgement that it is mawḍūʿ.

There are also other reasons which we have mentioned in the study for why a ḥadīth was perhaps not found.

The 80 Ḥadīths located

Al-Ḥamdulillāh, we located 80 ḥadīths. We attempted to then do kalām on their asānīd; many of them are weak, some of them are very weak. But that is a separate issue, whether they are weak or whether they are not weak is a separate issue. Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī does kalām on many ḥadīths which are in Hidāyah. But the asānīd are there, they have been found, their status then is a separate issue. Some of them are authentic, some of them are of a good standing and some are not.

Al-Ḥamdulillāh, we located 80 such ḥadīths which were not identified by earlier scholars and all of this was through the faḍl of Allah Almighty. Also, we have access to books, published books, and we also have access to search engines, although we did not just rely on search engines; we looked through many manuscripts, many books that we had access to, but the door is open; the door of ʿilm is open.

Imām Marghīnānī was relying on earlier Ḥanafī fiqh books

One other important thing that we did in this work is that under every ḥadīth that is in this book from the 379 ḥadīths (382 due to some featuring two ḥadīths), we make mention of any jurist, any faqīh, whether Ḥanafī or otherwise, who has mentioned that ḥadīth before Imām Marghīnāni. The phrase used is وسبقه به. In addition, we have sometimes also mentioned contemporaries of Imam Marghīnānī such as ʿAllāmah Kāsāni who have mentioned the narration, and also Ḥadīth scholars after Imām Marghīnānī who may have mentioned that narration. For this, the phrase used is وذَكَرَه الكاساني for example. However, this is not as important for us.

We want to prove to some people such as some Ahl al-Ḥadīth of India who accuse Imām Marghīnānī that he was like this and he was like that, we want to demonstrate and show that Imām Marghīnānī by bringing these ḥadīths was merely relying on jurists who came before him. Approximately, 75%-80% of the 379 (382) ḥadīths that are in the study, we found jurists, predominantly Shams al-Aʾimmah al-Sarakhsī in al-Mabsūṭ, the likes of Imām Abū Bakr al-Jassās al-Rāzī, the likes of Imām Khaṣṣāf, Imām Muḥammad himself, the likes of Faqīh Abū al-Layth Samarqandī, ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Samarqandī, Qāḍī Abū Yūsuf and others who have mentioned the ḥadīth before Imām Marghīnānī.

We have also mentioned fuqahāʾ from other schools of thought who have also mentioned the ḥadīths, whether it is a ḥadīth in support of the Aḥnāf or the Shāfiʿiyyah, the likes of Imām Abū Yaʿla al-Ḥanbalī, Imām Shīrazī Shāfiʿī, and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr al-Mālikī.

Was Imam Qudūrī the main source of Imam Marghīnānī or ʿAllāmah Sarakhsī?

Also within the Aḥnāf, Imām Qudūrī has mentioned many of these ḥadīths in al-Tajrīd which is now published. One of Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAwwāmah’s students (Dr Ḥamzah al-Bakrī) mentioned to me when I visited Turkey that Shaykh is doing some work on Hidāyah and Naṣb al-Rāyah and he is of the view that Imām Marghīnānī’s main source in ḥadīths was Imām Qudūrī. However, based on the ḥadīths that we have analysed, and they are not all the ḥadīths of Hidāyah, it appears that the main reliance was on Shams al-Aʾimmah al-Sarakhsī. We have listed all the sources and details in the muqaddimah and we have done detailed data analysis, we have mentioned the numbers. We have listed for example, that we found 232 ḥadīths in the Mabsūṭ of Sarakhsī. In Imām Qudūrī’s Tajrīd, we found 49. In Sharḥ Mukhtasar al-Karkhī, we found one and so on. All the numbers are there for each book.

Al-Asrār of Qāḍī Abū Zayd Dabūsī

We also looked at Qāḍī Abū Zayd al-Dabūsī’s book al-Asrār which is not published (it has been published since them), and it took me several months, because the manuscript that we had access to was extremely difficult to read; very very difficult, and maybe I have missed some as well as a result. I read through the entire manuscript, which took several months.

So, we tried as much as possible to trace these ḥadīths in the books of earlier jurists, particularly the books of our ḥanafī scholars. We looked at Qāḍī Abū Yūsuf’s works, Imām Khaṣṣāf, Imām Ṭaḥāwī, Imām Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī, Imām Ḥākim al-Shahīd, Imām Jaṣṣāṣ al-Rāzī, Imām Abū Zayd al-Dabūsī and others, just to show that Imām Marghīnānī did not invent these ḥadīths from his pocket. When somebody makes a mistake, you try and find an excuse for them: اعتذار عن الكبار. He relied on the scholars that came before him.

Another source of Imam Marghīnānī

Just before the book (on the ḥadīths of Hidāyah) was being submitted for typesetting, we received Sharḥ al-Jāmiʿ al-Saghīr of ʿAllāmah Sarakhsī which is now published for the first time. I am mentioning this because there were some ḥadīths mentioned in Hidāyah, for which I did not find an earlier jurist mentioning them; there are still some outstanding in the book. This is not to say that they do not exist; that was not the primary purpose of our book, although we tried as much as possible. If you look at more manuscripts, you will find more.

So, when this book Sharḥ al-Jāmiʿ al-Saghīr came, I whizzed through it and found some ḥadīths in here that are not in the Mabsūṭ of ʿAllāmah Sarakhsī, so I included their references in the book and also added a small section at the end of the book: تتمة في شرح الجامع الصغير , wherein I have also listed the seven ḥadīths therein, the seven that I have not seen in the earlier books, but they are there in Sharḥ al-Jāmiʿ al-Saghīr. This shows that the more books that are published, the more we delve into these manuscripts, then the ḥadīths will be there. Without the sanad, but they will be there.

So, Imām Marghīnānī was merely relying on the earlier Ḥanafī books, the earlier sources, he gave them the benefit of the doubt and he included those ḥadīths in Hidāyah including some ḥadīths which are mawḍūʿ (fabricated).

I hope this gives a brief insight into the book. May Allah Subḥānahū wa Taʿālā accept our gathering, may Allah Subḥānahū wa Taʿālā accept this work.

Additional points about the book

In addition to this, we also included some fawāʾid, particularly in the non-common chapters. Not so much in the chapters of ʿibādāt, but in later chapters, some miscellaneous fawāʾid in relation to certain fiqhī masāʾil. For example, the issue of DNA has been mentioned under one ḥadīth, so some related fawāʾid are there.

Also, for ease of understanding, we included ikhtilāf of the four madhāhib on particular issues, particularly in the non-ʿibādāt sections which are not very common, in certain masāʾil of buyūʿ, in certain masāʾil of siyar, relying mostly on the works of Imām al-Khilāfiyyāt, Ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī and Imām Ibn al-Mundhir more than that, and also Ibn Qudāmah al-Ḥanbalī and others.

If anyone has any questions then feel free to ask Inshāʾ Allah. I only brought one copy for my father-in-law in New Zealand, because the book was just published, so I have to take this back. I just brought it so that you can see. I have brought copies of other books which Inshāʾ Allah are being gifted to the library here. Most of our other publications will be here in the library.

I hope that it has been useful, may Allah Taʿālā accept. If anybody has any questions then Inshāʾ Allah I will take them.

Questions & Answers

Q1: Do we say that the refutation or criticism of Shaykh Albānī on Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ is correct?

A1: On this issue yes. He has critiqued him on many other issues, but on this issue his criticism has strength, and it is in our favour, the favour of Ḥanafīs. This is inṣāf. And as Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī says, inṣāf is a beautiful thing. We have in this book tried to do inṣāf, inṣāf is subjective, everyone thinks they are doing inṣāf. We have tried to be objective, especially on ḥadīth matters, we have not tried to do takalluf in saying that a ḥadīth is ṣaḥīḥ when it is not. Where it is ḍaʿīf, it is ḍaʿīf; where it is weak it is weak. That does not necessarily impact on the strength of position of the madhhab, we are reflecting on the ḥadīth from a ḥadīth perspective. There could be other evidences, there could be other reasons, many books were lost, and so on. So, inṣāf and objectivity are very important.

Q2: Would you consider working on a revised edition after new manuscripts get published?

A2: That is your task now! One area of work that is required is that the book has become very long, with a detailed muqaddimah and detailed discussion on ḥadīths. So, it needs an abridged version, similar to Munyat al-Almaʿī, perhaps a bit more than Munyat al-Almaʿī, and for this abridgement to be published with Munyat al-Almaʿī. If you have Munyat al-Almaʿī with some footnotes wherever there is an error or shortcoming in Munyat al-Almaʿī, and then you have an abridged version of this book, al-ʿInāyah, which just focuses on those 80 ḥadīths, which is the main new contribution of the study. So, it can be a short collection, so that if anyone just wants to access those ḥadīths then it is easily accessible. Nevertheless, we have listed those 80 ḥadīths in the muqaddimah together for ease. If anybody just wants to read them, he can look at the list and refer to them. We have tried to make it as easy and user friendly as possible.

Returning to your question, if anybody finds any ḥadīths that we have not found or any errors, the nature of the work is that it is a human effort, there is categorisation and other aspects, based on our understanding which is not absolute, then please contact us. If there is ever a revised edition, then we will make those rectifications, Inshāʾ Allah.

Q3: Shaykh, so this leaves 300 ḥādīths that were not found?

A3: No. Just some statistics. There are 382 ḥadīths in this book. In terms of the number of ḥadīths that, based on our research, some faqīh before Ṣāḥib al-Hidāyah has mentioned, we found earlier sources in 310 ḥadīths. Therefore, there is scope to identify 72 narrations in earlier sources.

In terms of the ḥadīths that are in Al-Qism al-Rābiʿ, there are 170. So, 170 are in the fourth category, we are not saying they are mawḍūʿ (fabricated), we are not even saying that they are established, they are yet to be found and their status then ascertained.

Yes, 128 narrations have been found; 80 by us and the others by predominantly Ibn Qutlūbughā, some by Ibn al-Humām, some by ʿAllāmah ʿAyni. This shows that Ibn Qutlūbughā’s assertion that ʿAllamah Ibn al-Humām and ʿAllamah ʿAyni only found one ḥadīth each is incorrect. ʿAyni found 18 ḥadīths and Ibn al-Humām found 14 or 15 ḥadīths. So, these are the statistics.

And then there are some in the mawḍūʿ categories whose Sanads have not been located.

Q4: Was there a difference in the response between the Deobandi scholars and the Arab scholars after they saw the book?

A4: The book has just come out, so people have not seen it yet. The foreword was written by Mufti Muḥammad Taqī Sāḥib. I also requested Shaykh Niẓām Yaʿqūbī of Bahrain and Shaykh ʿAbdullāh Judayʿ who has good insight in ḥadīth, although he is somewhat relaxed in fiqh matters. So, their forewords are there, they were very happy with it, they felt that it is a good contribution to the work of Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī. Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s work is not just a Ḥanafī work, it is a universal work. So, we will see Inshāʾ Allah, I am sure there will be lots of positive, negative and constructive feedback. (Later, Mufti Abū al-Qāsim Ṣāḥib, the Vice-Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband was extremely pleased with the book. He commented that this book is an answer to those who claim that Hidāyah is filled with unknown ḥadīths).

Q5: What is the purpose of Ibn Ḥajar summarising Naṣb al-Rāyah? If someone was to go to find gharīb ḥadīths, would they not go to a muṭawwal (elaborate) work?

A5: Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar did talkhīṣ of the entire Naṣb al-Rāyah, not just the gharīb ḥadīths. He likewise did talkhīṣ of many books; it was one of his specialities. He did talkhīs of Ibn al-Mulaqqin’s books, he did talkhīṣ of Rafiʿī’s books, he did talkhīṣ of many ʿulamāʾs books to make it easy for students. Zaylaʿī’s book is huge, it is very lengthy, and if you just want to have a quick look at, or know the source of a ḥadīth quickly you look at al-Dirāyah. So that is why, and I do not know about the Bushra editions, but the earlier editions of Hidāyah would have the entire al-Dirāyah at the bottom alongside Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥay’s Ḥāshiyah. Now you cannot publish Naṣb al-Rāyah with Hidāyah, otherwise it becomes very long. So, talkhīṣ of books has been a historical practice to make it easy. Also, in some places, Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar explicitly mentions the status of ḥadiths, more so in his other books, he does this less in al-Dirāyah. In al-Talkhīṣ al-Ḥabīr he does more of this, along with the summary he puts a ḥukm. So, it is very useful to know the status of a ḥadīth, particularly in al-Talkhīṣ al-Ḥabīr. There are many benefits of talkhīṣ, but ʿulamāʾ say that his al-Talkhīṣ al-Ḥabīr is much better than al-Dirāyah. In al-Dirāyah, he did not add much, he mainly did talkhīṣ. Nevertheless, it is a very beneficial work.

Q6: In the muqaddimah of the Bushra print of Hidāyah, they mention that Imām Marghīnānī benefited from Kitāb al-Ḥajj of Imām Muḥammad. Is that meant to be Kitāb al-Ḥujjah or is it correct?

A6: I have not read that, but I am assuming it is referring to Kitāb al-Ḥujjah if they are talking about ḥadīths, because Imām Muḥammad’s Kitāb al-Ḥajj is known as Kitāb al-Manāsik. Either way, it is correct, Imām Marghīnānī does quote Kitāb al-Aṣl, so he definitely benefited from the work and he probably had access to the entire book, including Kitāb al-Manāsik.

Jazākumullāh for inviting me, I am just a student of knowledge like you. Just because brother Owais saw the grand title of this book, he thought that maybe I should invite him, but this is just ḥusn al-ẓann and the tawfīq of Allah Subḥānahū wa Taʿālā. May Allah Subḥānahū wa Taʿālā bless you all.

End of lecture and Q&A transcript

Some additional queries regarding the book

Some additional queries have been raised regarding the book which are addressed here in brief.

Q1: Why are the forewords to the book written by Shaykh Niẓām Yaʿqūbī and Shaykh ʿAbdullāh ibn Yūsuf al-Judayʿ considering their views on certain jurisprudential matters?

A1: This question reflects prejudice and narrowmindedness. Allah protect us all. Both these scholars possess expertise in ḥadīth and have a significant contribution to the Islamic sciences. Shaykh ʿAbdullāh ibn Yūsuf al-Judayʿ has authored many books including his renown Taḥrīr ʿUlūm al-Ḥadīth which is studied and taught in many institutes of learning worldwide. Shaykh Niẓām Yaʿqūbī is an encyclopaedia of knowledge, to whom we are indebted for publishing and preserving manuscripts of many books in their original form and making them available to scholars and libraries for free. Further, when a Ḥanafī scholar attests to the credentials of a Ḥanafī jurist, this does not add as much weight compared to a non-Ḥanafī scholar attesting to this. Therefore, along with the foreword written by the world’s leading Ḥanafī scholar, Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī, these two scholars were also requested to write forewords upon the instruction of my respected father, and both forewords are worth reading. And this is nothing new. Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī’s Takmilah Fatḥ al-Mulhim has forewords written by many Arab scholars including Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaraḍāwī who was also flexible in many jurisprudential issues. The famous scholar Shaykh Muḥammad Zāhid al-Kawtharī did not possess a beard to one fist, yet his reflections on Fatḥ al-Mulhim are published therein. In fact, the teacher of our teachers, Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Muḥammad Zakariyyā Kāndhelwī arranged for his book on the obligation of lengthening the beard to be published in Saudi Arabia with the footnotes of Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz, who in one or two places also critiqued him. This was the iʿitdāl (balance) of our elders who inherited this from their teachers.

Q2: Some of the 80 ḥadīths identified add value in terms of evidence, but some do not add much value in terms of evidence, so what is the benefit?

A2: This is failing to appreciate the specific aim and remit of the study and is not a statement that would be made by one who has involvement with ḥadīth or who has read Munyat al-Almaʿī and related books. The primary purpose of this book is not to collate ḥadīth evidences – for that there are many books -, it is to identify ḥadīths specifically mentioned in Hidāyah, that were not found in their entirety or not with the specific wording mentioned in Hidāyah. Thus, when Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī mentions غريب بهذا اللفظ, it actually indicates that the ḥadīth and evidence exists albeit with another wording. The aim then is to try to locate the actual wording cited in Hidāyah, which may have an impact on the evidence or may not. And this is not unique to the ḥadīths found by us. Some of the ḥadīths found by ʿAllāmah Ibn Quṭlūbughā in Munyat al-Almaʿī and others are of the same category. For example, ʿAllāmah Ibn Quṭlūbughā found a narration with the addition of منه and specifically highlighted this (refer to the book 2:91 for details). Precision is very important in ḥadīths even if there is no apparent impact on the evidence. Scholars would go out of their way in the pursuit of one word in a ḥadīth. In addition, locating the exact wording used in Hidāyah demonstrates that the author Imām Marghīnānī did not err when citing ḥadīths. This therefore serves as an important defence of Imām Marghīnānī.

Q3: How long did it take you to author this book?

A3: The bulk of the research on the ḥadīths took two months. During these two months towards the end of 2019, al-Ḥamdulillāh, I would spend approximately 15-16 hours daily in writing. Thereafter, the Covid pandemic started and during Covid, as and when I had time, I would write and undertake additional research. The review of Qāḍī Dabūsī’s al-Asrār took several months because the handwriting was extremely difficult to read. During this period, the muqaddimah was also updated and a detailed data analysis was also done. The work was eventually completed in 2021 although additions continued until publication.

Q4.1: Why does the book cover mention Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz? His book has identified only one ḥadīth not identified by Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī.

A4.1: ʿAllāmah Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz has made a significant contribution to the ḥadīths mentioned in Hidāyah and in particular the gharīb ḥadīths, the subject of this study. Some of these contributions are in support of the Ḥanafī school and some are otherwise. This study is not merely about identifying unidentified ḥadīths, it is also about the relevance of ḥadīths to the jurisprudential edict which is sometimes connected to the gharīb classification, along with the status of Ḥadīths, for example whether it is a fabrication as part of categories two and three or otherwise. It is in this context that the front cover mentions the names of eight scholars whose views have been comprehensively covered in the book; they include Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī, Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Turkumānī, ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-Qādīr al-Qurashī, ʿAllāmah Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz, ʿAllāmah ʿAynī, ʿAllāmah Ibn al-Humām and ʿAllāmah Ibn Quṭlūbughā. The views of these eight scholars are comprehensively covered in the book under each ḥadīth unless of course they did not comment on a particular ḥadīth.

In addition, Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar’s addition to Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī’s ḥadīths is also only one, in so far as the 382 Ḥadīths of this study are concerned. The reality is that ʿAllāmah Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz’s contributions are more material and add more value than the contributions of Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar in al-Dirāyah in so far as the gharīb ḥadīths are concerned and perhaps more generally also.

As this criticism was anticipated due to ʿAllāmah Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz’s positions on certain creedal matters, the book within the introduction (1: 40) makes reference to 35 ḥadīths wherin ʿAllāmah Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz has mentioned something not mentioned by scholars before him, and thereby demonstrating his contribution. This was intentionally emphasised at the outset. In addition, the book at the outset (1:40) also makes reference to at least eight places in the book where the views of ʿAllāmah Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz have been challenged or critiqued, in defence of Imam Marghīnānī.

Therefore, as Allah Almighty says:

ولا يجرمنكم شنآن قوم على ألا تعدلوا، اعدلوا هو أقرب للتقوى

credit should be given where due. This is no different to the credit given to some of our Ḥanafī jurists who held alternative views on creedal matters.

In short, it would have been wholly unfair not to mention his name on the cover given his contribution and his views comprehensively featured in the book. This does not imply that he is somehow an authority in Ḥanafī fiqh or that his criticisms of Imam Marghīnānī are justified or that his views on creedal and fiqh matters are condoned.

It is also worth noting, for the benefit of readers, that ʿAllāmah Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz did not agree with Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Taymiyyah on many jurisprudential (fiqh) issues such as the three-divorce issue. There are also other examples cited in the book.

Q4.2: It is well established that Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz was a Ḥanafī scholar. Was there a need to include a section on this in the book to affirm this obvious point?

A4.2: This is a very small sub-section within section three of the muqaddimah, which includes many miscellaneous points. The reason for mentioning this, as alluded to in the book, is that some scholars not named therein have mentioned that he was not a Ḥanafī. It was therefore deemed necessary to clarify this. The scholars who have mentioned this include two who are very dear to me, Mufti Saʿīd Aḥmad Pālanpūrī and Mufti Raḍāʾ al-Ḥaq, who from recollection have mentioned this in ʿIlmī Khuṭubāt and Badr al-Layālī respectively. Even if for some reason, these scholars had not mentioned it, there is no harm in clarifying this.

Q5: For some of your teachers like Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī and Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī, you have mentioned lofty titles, but not for other scholars. What is the reason behind this?

A5: This is not correct. Within the muqaddimah, titles have also been mentioned for other scholars such as Imām Marghīnānī and the eight scholars mentioned along with others. In addition, there is a table within the muqaddimah (1: 283-290) featuring a long list of scholars whose names have been frequently mentioned in the book. The full list is preceded with honorific titles for each scholar along with their dates of demise. Yes, generally within the book, we have avoided honorific titles because this would have lengthened the book substantially. Sometimes in one page, there are 20-30 names of scholars mentioned, and many are repeat names. This is a matter of choice and ultimately it is not a sign of disrespect not to mention honorific titles before names. The books of tafsīr and ḥadīth are filled with names of scholars without any titles. In this regard, consider the following which we have cited in an answer titled Inconsistency in the use of titles:

قال زروق الفاسي المتوفى سنة ٨٩٩هـ في قواعد التصوف (ص ٤٩، قاعدة رقم ٥٥): إنما وضعت التراجم لتعريف المناصب، فمن عرفت رتبته كانت الترجمة له تكلفا غير مفيدة في ذاته. ومن جهلت رتبته لزم عند ذكره الإتيان بما يشعر برتبته. ومن هذه القاعدة جاز أن يقال: روى أبو بكر، وقال عمر، وعمل عثمان، وسمع علي، وكان ابن المسيب، وأخبر ابن سيرين، وقال الحسن، وذهب مالك، وحكي عن الجنيد، إلى غير ذلك، والله أعلم.

Q6: In one place you have quoted Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī who said that he did not experience any nūr in the works of Imām Abū Bakr al-Jaṣṣaṣ al-Rāzī. Is this quotation complete and did Shaykh provide any reason or context of this?

A6: The quote is incomplete. Shaykh also said after this, “I experienced nūr in the books of Imam Ṭaḥāwī.” This is important to note. As for the reason behind the comments in relation to Imām Abū Bakr al-Jaṣṣaṣ al-Rāzī, Shaykh did not mention this. Perhaps it is connected to some of his positions on creedal matters, and Allah knows best.

Q7: Some people are not happy with certain jurisprudential inclinations mentioned in the book. Do you have any comments in this regard?

A7: A few points are mentioned in brief.

First, the purpose of the book is a study of the gharīb ḥadīths, this is the primary purpose, not jurisprudential inclinations which is why they are only mentioned occasionally and that also in brief.

Second, the book mentions many supplementary points across a wide range of areas, such as books, dates of demise, geography, attributions, pronunciation of names, uṣul al-ḥadīth, ḥadīth commentary, jurisprudence, contemporary edicts and much more. A few jurisprudential inclinations form a small fraction of these supplementary points and should not detract from the main purpose of the book.

Third, no sin has been committed in mentioning some jurisprudential inclinations of some of our elders that do not correspond with the Ḥanafī school or the dominant position of the school and in expressing support to some of them.

Fourth, there are numerous examples of this from earlier eras. In recent times, if we focus on the elders of the Indian subcontinent, we find numerous examples in the writings of Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī, ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-Ḥayy Laknawī, Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī, ʿAllāmah Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī, Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī, ʿAllāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad ʿUthmānī, Mawlānā Ẓafar Aḥmad ʿUthmānī, Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī, Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī and others of giving preference to non-Ḥanafī positions or views that are not dominant within the Ḥanafī school. I have listed more than 60 examples in a book of mine just focusing on these scholars of the recent past. One has a right to disagree with them, however it is inaccurate to gloss over these views and suggest that such inclinations are only found in the writings of ʿAllāmah Kashmīrī or Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī.

It is also worth noting that most of the inclinations of the aforementioned scholars are mentioned as academic points not as Fatwas. However, there are also some examples of Fatwās and also some of practice. Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī once gave Fatwā on the view of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, which is not even the dominant view of the Ḥanbalī school. Separately, as mentioned in my article entitled 100 Discourses of Ḥakīm al-Ummah Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī, Mawlānā Thānawī started reciting Sūrah al-Fātiḥah behind the Imam for a short period when he was teaching in Kanpur, and then stopped. When he started, he informed Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī who did not stop him. Mawlānā Ẓafar Aḥmad ʿUthmānī despite writing a whole manual on Ḥanafī evidences has also expressed certain inclinations that do not correspond with the Ḥanafī school. This is part of healthy academic discourse and reflects the attachment of our elders with ḥadīth and its influence upon them.

Fifth, generally the few jurisprudential inclinations mentioned in the book are academic in nature, not by way of Fatwa. Our Fatwas for example on Ḥayḍ and Ṭuhr are based on the Ḥanafī position not least because the questioners are Ḥanafī and also for practical reasons. Before a Fatwā is issued, many issues are considered including their implications and consequences, including the risk of lay people starting to pick and choose based on their desires. This does not and should not prevent a person from expressing their academic inclinations from an evidence perspective. An example is mentioned here not from the book. The Kaʿb for the purpose of footwear in Hajj is the bone on the upper part of the foot according to the Ḥanafīs and ankle according to the other three schools. We have a detailed Fatwa with illustrations on this issue based on the Ḥanafī position, despite mentioning within the Arabic references therein that from an evidence point of view the Kaʿb is the ankle. Nevertheless, the whole answer is based on the Ḥanafī position because the Fatwā is on that, and also because it is more cautious (aḥwaṭ) because the ankle would automatically be uncovered because the ankle is above the bone on the upper part of the foot. This, however, does not mean that one cannot express a view that the Kaʿb being the ankle is the stronger view from an evidence perspective, وقِس على هذا.

Q8: You have mentioned that ʿAllāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad ʿUthmānī was inclined to the permissibility of performing Taḥiyyat al-Masjid during the Friday Khuṭbah as is the view of Shāfiʿīs and Ḥanbalīs. However, in Fatḥ al-Mulhim he mentions at the end of the discussion that he is not inclined to either position. Please clarify.

A8: ʿAllāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad ʿUthmānī has discussed this issue in detail in Fatḥ al-Mulhim after which he mentions that he is not inclined to either view (والإنصاف أن الصدر لم ينشرح لترجيح أحد الجانبين إلى الآن) and then adds: ولعل الله يحدث بعد ذلك أمرا, that maybe this will change and he will be inclined to one view over the other. This discussion is under the specific ḥadīth of a companion (may Allah be pleased with him) coming to Masjid Nabawī and being instructed to perform the two Rakʿat.

However, a few paragraphs later, when the general ḥadīth comes “When one of you arrives on Friday and the Imam has emerged (and started the sermon) he should perform two Rakʿat” he quotes Imām Nawawī, ʿAllāmah Zurqānī, Shaykh Akbar Muḥyuddīn ibn ʿArabī and Shāh Waliyyullāh in favour of permissibility without disagreeing with them, instead supporting them and rejecting the assertion that it was an exception for that companion, which is the central response of the Ḥanafīs and Mālikīs. This indicates his inclination. Otherwise, there was no need to re-start the discussion which was already discussed in detail including a discussion on the general ḥadīth. ʿAllāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad ʿUthmānī sometimes expresses his inclinations in a subtle manner like this. This is the full text one paragraph after the detailed discussion ends:

قال العلامة شبير أحمد العثماني في فتح الملهم: قوله (إذا جاء أحدكم يوم الجمعة) الخ: قال النووي: وهذا نص لا يتطرق إليه تأويل، ولا أظن عالما يبلغه هذا اللفظ ويعتقده صحيحا فيخالفه، اهـ، قال الزرقاني: إذ لا يسعه مخالفته، إلا إن اعتقد عدم صحته لعلة أو شذوذ، وإن كان صحيحا فيخالفه، اهـ. وقال الشيخ ولي الله الدهلوي رحمه الله: ولا تغتر في هذه المسألة بما يلهج به أهل بلدك، فإن الحديث صحيح واجب اتباعه، اهـ. وقال الشيخ الأكبر رحمه الله في الفتوحات: فإنه إذا أنصف الإنسان ما ثَم ما يعارض الراكع إذا دخل المسجد، اهـ، وقد تقدَّم بيان المعارضة وترجيح ما هو الأرجح، والله الموفق. وأما ما قال بعض المدرسين: إن الأصل في الباب قصة سليك، وهي واقعة عين تحتمل وجوها، ثم فهم منها بعض الرواة ضابطة، ورواها كما فهم، فجعل الجزئية كلية، فسياق الروايات يردّه، فإن في بعض الروايات الصحيحة وقع الجمع بين القصة الجزئية والضابطة الكلية، والأصرح منها ما في سنن أبي داود بعد ذكر قصة سليك: ثم أقبل على الناس ثم قال: إذا جاء أحدكم …، الحديث، فهذا صريح في أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم خاطب به الناس بعد ما خاطب سليكا، ونبه على أن الحكم ليس مختصا به، والله تعالى أعلم۔

The key sentence here is the final sentence (فهذا صريح في أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم خاطب به الناس بعد ما خاطب سليكا ونبه على أن الحكم ليس مختصا به) whilst keeping in mind that this general adīth was already discussed in detail under the detailed discussion. In addition, Imam Nawawī and Shāh Waliyyullāh’s comments are not critiqued. ʿAllāmah Zurqānī’s comment (إلا إن اعتقد عدم صحته لعلة أو شذوذ) is something ʿAllāmah ʿUthmānī does not agree with as is evident from the final paragraph quoted above and also the following passage in the detailed discussion:

 قال العلامة شبير أحمد العثماني في فتح الملهم: قال الحافظ في المقدمة: وتابع شعبة روح بن القاسم عند الدارقطني نفسه، فلم يبق الشذوذ. ثم قال العلامة شبير أحمد العثماني: قلت: وتابع عمرو بن دينار أبو سفيان طلحة بن نافع عن جابر عند مسلم، كما هو مصرح في الباب، فلا سبيل إلا إلى إثبات التعارض أو ادعاء النسخ۔

This leaves the sentence (وقد تقدَّم بيان المعارضة وترجيح ما هو الأرجح), which is a specific response to Shaykh Akbar’s comment in that there are competing evidences and explanations mentioned earlier, and (ترجيح ما هو الأرجح) is not referring to the overall issue as evident from his concluding sentence after the detailed discussion (والإنصاف أن الصدر لم ينشرح لترجيح أحد الجانبين إلى الآن), rather it is referring to the tarjīḥ on which evidences and explanations of the Ḥanafīs and Mālikīs are plausible, for example, that Shudhūẓ is not a plausible explanation, although Naskh or Taʿāruḍ could be, as mentioned above.

In short, our reading of Fatḥ al-Mulhim is that ʿAllāmah ʿUthmānī is inclined to the Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī position. As this is not explicit and others may arrive at a different conclusion, (ومال إليه) would be a more accurate way to refer to it, and Allah Almighty knows best.

Q9: You have made reference to the Masānīd of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah in many places within the book. In some places, you have indicated to the weakness in the transmitters of the Masānīd before Imām Abū Ḥanīfah. In other places, you have not mentioned this. Was it not necessary to mention it in all the places?

A9: The weakness in the transmitters of the Masānīd of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah has been mentioned in the necessary and relevant places, and reference to these 7-8 places has also been made within the index of the fawāʾid. There is no need to repeat the same point in all the places where the Masānīd are cited, particularly when reference to the Masānīd is secondary or where the aspect of the sanad is not material, for example because the narration therein does not correspond with the ḥadīth in Hidāyah (for example see ḥadīths number 25, 112, 150, 169, 197, 229) or because the narration has also been narrated by Imām Muḥammad or Imām Abū Yūsuf in any of their books, or by other ḥadīth scholars via Imām Abū Ḥanīfah or otherwise. To elaborate, if Imām Muḥammad is narrating a ḥadīth in his Al-Aṣl or Kitāb al-Āthār which is also transmitted in the Musnad of Imām Abū Ḥanīfah, the reliance is then on the narration of al-Aṣl and Kitāb al-Āthār. For some examples, refer to ḥadīth numbers: 6, 25, 77, 97, 104, 130, 147, 150, 169, 190, 229, 263, 309, 315, 340, 341, 349, 350 and 373.

In addition, reference to the weakness has been made in the muqaddimah, and this mention once is sufficient, notwithstanding the fact that it is mentioned several times throughout the book and also in the index والعاقل تكفيه الإشارة. ʿAllāmah Ibn Quṭlūbughā has made reference to the Masānid in many places. However, he has not mentioned the weakness in most places, although he has mentioned it in one place (see ḥadīth number 174).

Q10: As you have spent considerable time with Naṣb al-Rāyah, what do you think are the reasons for its acceptance?

A10: Acceptance is from Allah Almighty alone. This is the most fundamental point. It is somewhat remarkable that not much is known about Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī and as a matter of fact the name of his book is also unknown as outlined in the book. The name Naṣb al-Rāyah is not established. This reminds me of the author of Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ, also of the 8th century similar to Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī, Khaṭīb Tebrezī regarding whom not much is known. Yet, Allah Almighty granted his work widespread acceptance. This appears to be a result of his sincerity and piety, similar to Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī.

There are also some features of the book that have contributed to its acceptance. Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī is very balanced, objective and fair. He affords the ḥadīths supporting the Ḥanafī stance as well as those not supporting the Ḥanafi stance equal treatment, although in some places his inclinations come through such as on the issue of Tasmiyah not being part of Sūrah al-Fātiḥah. His analysis of the text and chain of ḥadīths are fair. His writing is extremely organised and well structured. He is a master of Takhrīj and ʿIlal and his writings are easy to digest. I have personally benefited a great deal from him in how to undertake Takhrīj and perhaps more importantly how to structure it in writing. He is also very learned and has an excellent grasp on ḥadīths and related matters. It appears that he passed away young. Allah Almighty illuminate his grave and grant him abundant reward. Āmīn.