Translation and Notes: Salvation of the Successors in Beliefs of the Predecessors (Najaat al-Khalaf)

This is a full translation of a short treatise on Athari creed written by the Hanbali scholar Uthman ibn Ahmad ibn Sa’eed An-Najdi or more popularly known as Ibn Qa’id. I have also included extensive footnotes based on the explanation of the book by Shaykh Ismail Hakamali and Shaykh Faris Falih

Shaykh Ismail only provided an explanation for half of the book unfortunately, so I plan to update the notes once he’s completed it insha’Allah. In my opinion, the explanation of Shaykh Ismail was more superior to that of Shaykh Faris. I wanted to wait until he finishes it but there is no immediate timeline if and when it will be completed.

About the Author

The author began his studies in Najd and then moved to Shaam where he studied with Abdul Baqi, the student of Imam al-Bahuti. Afterwards, he went to Egypt to study with al-Khalwati, the nephew of Imam al-Bahuti. Ibn Qa’id is considered from the golden chain of Hanbali scholars who are as follows from the latest to the oldest:

Ibn ‘Awadh -> Ibn Qa’id -> Al-Khalwati -> al-Bahuti

He also wrote a very important annotation on the Hanbali fiqh manual Muntahaa al-Iradaat. He has a number of other works as well.

The download link below is to the Google Docs file. You can download it as PDF from the Google Docs menu.

Why Muslim Scholars Differ: Notes From Ibn Taymiyyah’s Raf’ al-Malaam ‘an al-A’immah al-Al-A’laam (The Removal of Blame From the Great Imams)

I had always wondered why certain scholars, especially the highly reputable ones like the four imams, chose to go against clear authentic hadiths which contradict their opinion(s).  It always bothered me and made me feel a bit uneasy but I could never really figure out why such was the case.  If the Qur’an and Sunnah are one, I would think to myself, then how can there be two or three or four different opinions on an issue?  Alhamdulillah, over the years, it had started to make more and more sense to me.  The more I learned and advanced in Islamic knowledge, the more clear and respect I started to gain for the differences of opinion especially for the scholars who held those opinions.  I realized that they have legitimate and good basis for their opinions.  There are many factors which take place that cause a scholar to affirm or deny an opinion.  No reputable scholar in Islam intentionally goes against a clear and confirmed hadith.

There are a few works written on this issue and are available in the English language, such as, The Differences of the Imams by the famous Hanafi scholar Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelvi and Differences of Opinion Amongst the Scholars by the famous Hanbali scholar Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen.  Both of these books are good introductory works to read in order to delve deeper into this topic.

However, my most favorite book on this topic [as of yet], is Raf’ al-Malaam ‘an al-A’immah al-Al-A’laam by the legendary scholar Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and it has been translated into English under the title The Removal of Blame From the Great Imams and can be downloaded.  It is much more comprehensive than the previous two books and is an excellent book to study on the topic.  The reader will come out with intense respect for the intelligence and diligence of Muslim scholars.

In short, he argues that the reputable Muslim scholars are not to be blamed for having differences of opinion and then goes on to provide some reasons as explanation of why they differed.  His intent in the work is to create a good image of the scholars in the mind of the reader and to keep away any evil thoughts about them, hence, the title of the book The Removal of Blame From the Great Imams.  He also provides extensive examples to back up his claims which are very helpful.  It may be a difficult read for someone who has never studied fiqh or usul ul fiqh at a basic level.  The previous two books mentioned above may be better suited for such an individual.

I read Ibn Taymiyyah’s translated book recently and took notes and wanted to share them here, because I find this to be a very important topic in our times.  Confusion over this issue has led to two extreme positions.  On one side, you have the extreme conservatives who think that some of these reputable scholars intentionally went against opposing authentic evidence.  On the other side, you have the extreme liberals who think that these Muslim scholars are just making up opinions out of a hat, therefore, they should not be relied upon.  This is only due to their ignorance over this topic and lack of understanding.  They do not realize the amount of work, pondering, research, and effort that goes into forming these opinions by such scholars.

The notes are below.  I only took notes from his work on what is related to the topic.  Ibn Taymiyyah has a habit of going into long tangents in his works so I avoided that aspect.  May Allah make it beneficial for myself, first and foremost, and anyone who reads it.  I apologize for any mistakes or misunderstandings on my part from his work.

Note: Since WordPress is not very good at displaying bullet notes, you can download a cleaner version in pdf format here for easy printing and better reading.


  • None of the imams intentionally opposed the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
    • They believe that words of anyone other than the Prophet may be accepted or rejected
  • If the opinions of any of the accepted imams are found to be in opposition to an authentic hadith, there is a valid excuse for it and generally falls into one of three categories
    • First Category: Scholar does not believe that the Prophet (pbuh) ever said such a thing. There are various reasons for this
    • Second Category: Scholar does not think that the hadith is intended to refer to the issue in question
    • Third Category: Scholar believes that the ruling is abrogated

Reasons for the Differences

Reason 1: The hadith may have never reached him

    • Hence, he gives a ruling based on a verse of Qur’an or another hadith
    • It’s not possible for one person to know all of the hadiths
      • Mujtahaid’s objective should be to know most of the hadiths so that only a few of the details will escape him
    • This is the most likely reason that is found in the opinions of the pious predecessors (salaf)
      • Ex: Abu Bakr did not know the inheritance of the grandmother even though he spent so much time with the Prophet and Umar didn’t know the Sunnah on seeking permission before entering a house. Similar examples are there from Uthman and Ali’s lives.
        • Those less knowledgeable than them had the hadiths with them and told them about it
        • If this was the case with the Sahabah, the most knowledgeable, then what of those in later generations?
    • The collections of hadiths that were compiled came after these imams

Reason 2: The hadith reached the Mujtahid but not authentically

    • But it may have reached other imams authentically
      • Ex: the hadith reaches one Mujtahid with a broken chain but to another with an unbroken chain
    • It may be that the Mujtahaid thinks the hadith is not authentic but it actually is
      • Ex: he considers someone in the chain as unknown but he is known to another imam
    • This reason was common among the Tabi’een and the Tabi’ Tabi’een up to the time of the well-known imams
      • Because hadiths had spread wide by then and to some they reached authentically while to others they did not
      • This is why the imams in this era would say if a hadith reaches them authentically, they would change their ruling on a matter

Reason 3: The scholar makes ijtihaad and declares the hadith weak

    • But another scholar’s ijtihaad may conclude it to be authentic
      • Reasons
        • One scholar considers a particular transmitter in the hadith as not trustworthy while another scholar disagrees
        • One scholar does not believe that the transmitter heard the hadith from the narrator he is transmitting from while another scholar disagrees
        • One scholar thinks that a particular narrator transmitted the hadith in a state of confusion [he may have lost his books, he became confused later in age, etc.] while another scholar disagrees and believes the narrator reported the hadith in his sound state
        • Transmitter forgets that he related a particular hadith and is unable to remember it at a later date or denies that he ever related such a hadith. This causes one scholar to deny the hadith considering it defective while another scholar still accepts it and does not consider it defective
        • Many Hijaazi scholars held the view that unless a hadith originated in Hijaaz, it should not be cited as evidence. Hence, they did not accept hadiths that originated in Iraq or Shaam.
          • Because they thought that the Hijaazi people had mastered the Sunnah so that not a single hadith had escaped them and they looked at hadiths originating in Iraq or Shaam with suspicion
            • Some of the Iraqi scholars thought the same about hadiths originating in Shaam
            • Ibn Taymiyyah points out that most people of knowledge don’t use this criteria as a basis to weaken hadiths. He further says that the hadiths should be accepted as long as its chain of narrators is sound no matter where it originated from.
        • There are other reasons as well, Ibn Taymiyyah points out, but does not mention them.

Reason 4: One scholar stipulates certain conditions for the acceptance of a hadith while another scholar opposes him because he does not accept such conditions

    • Examples
      • Some say the hadith must be compared to what is in the Qur’an and established Sunnah
      • Some say that the transmitter must be a jurist if his narration contradicts that which can be deduced through textual principles
      • Some say that the narration of the hadith needs to be widespread and known if it deals with an issue known to have occurred frequently at the time of the Prophet
      • There are other conditions placed as well which Ibn Taymiyyah does not mention

Reason 5: The hadith reaches the scholar authentically but he has forgotten about it.

    • Ex: When Umar gave a fatwa saying that a person in a state of major ritual impurity must not pray until he finds water. Then ‘Ammar reminded him of the hadith in which prophet allowed Umar and ‘Ammar to do Tayammum in such a case
      • After this reminder Umar still could not recall the incident
    • Such incidents frequently occur among the early and later scholars

Reason 6: The scholar does not know the implication of the concerned hadith

    • Reasons
      • The scholar is unfamiliar with a particular term mentioned in the hadith or he disagrees with other scholars with regards to its meaning
        • Ex: the word ighlaaq. Scholars differed as to what it means
      • The scholar understands a particular term in the hadith in a way which is common in his own custom and dialect; however, it was understood differently at the Prophet’s time
        • Usually because he views that a word retains its original meaning until proven otherwise
        • Ex: some thought the word khamr in the Qur’an and Sunnah refers to intoxicants made from grapes only because this was what it meant in their own dialect. But there are hadiths which clarify that its meaning refers to every type of intoxicating drink
      • Certain terms in the Qur’an and hadiths can be homonyms, ambivalent in their meanings, or hovering between the literal and the metaphorical. So the scholar takes what he thinks is the nearest to the intended meaning but is wrong
        • Ex:
          • The companion who thought the white and black thread in the Qur’anic verse about beginning the fast was literal but it was only metaphorical
          • The scholars who understand the word hands in the verse dealing with dry ablution (tayammum) to mean entire arm up to the armpit
        • Sometimes the hadith’s import is obscure
          • Indications that can be drawn from a statement are very diverse and people differ in their ability to comprehend them
            • Ex: a scholar might know the general implication of a text but he might not recognize that this specific case is included within that general context
              • Or he may have realized it but had forgotten later on
        • It is also possible that a person commits a mistake by deriving from a statement what is not conceivable within the Arabic language with which the Prophet (peace be on him) was sent

Reason 7: Scholar thinks that the hadith does not carry any specific implication

    • The difference between this reason and the one before it is that in the previous [instance] the scholar did not know that specific implication whereas in this reason he knows the specific implication but believes that it ought not to be applied based on some principles he had which invalidated that implication, regardless of whether he was in reality right or wrong.
      • Ex: scholar believes that the specified general text is not a valid proof, or that the implication is not a valid proof, or that a general ruling established for a specific cause is applied only where that cause exists, or that a general imperative does not necessitate obligation or immediate compliance, or that the alif and laam [constituents of the Arabic definite article] do not denote generality, or that negated verbs neither negate its essence nor all of its rulings, etc.
    • Half of the disputes arisen in usul ul fiqh fall under this field [of implications]

Reason 8: The scholar deems that implication of the text to be opposed by something indicating that it could not have been so intended

    • Ex: general term being opposed by a specific one, an absolute term (al-mutlaq) by a qualified one (al-muqayyad), an absolute imperative by that which negates it, or the literal (al-haqiqah) one by that which indicates a metaphor (al-majaz), and so on.

Reason 9: The scholar thinks that the hadith is opposed by contrary evidence which is accepted by all scholars, such as a Qur’anic verse, another hadith, or consensus, thereby indicating the hadith’s weakness, abrogation, or interpretation if it is amenable to interpretation

    • Two types
      • The scholar believes that the contrary evidence is preferable (rajih) in general, leading to one of the three possibilities without specifying any one of them
        • Weakening of the hadith
        • Its abrogation
        • Its interpretation away from the undesirable meaning
      • The scholar specifies one of the three possibilities mentioned above
        • He may err though
          • There is the possibility, however, that he might commit a mistake regarding the abrogation by considering the later evidence to be the earlier one
          • He might err in interpretation by understanding the hadith in a way which its wording does not permit, or where there is something extraneous which rules out that interpretation
          • It is possible that the opposing hadith is not equal in strength to the first one in terms of the authenticity of its chain of transmitters and the clarity of its text (matn)
        • In most cases, the claim of a consensus is actually no more than the absence of knowledge about any opposing opinion
          • This is due to the fact that the ultimate aim for many scholars is to know the opinions of the scholars who were their contemporaries within their region while not knowing the opinions of other scholars
            • Some knew opinions of only the Medinan or Kufan scholars while not others
            • Some knew only 2-3 reputable scholars’ opinions and not others so they thought it was a consensus
          • Fearing to go against the consensus or believing that they may be going against the consensus led many scholars to not adhere to the obvious import of the evidence [in some cases]

Reason 10: The scholar thinks the hadith was opposed by evidence indicating the hadith’s weakness, abrogation, or contrary interpretation, whereas his view that this is a contrary evidence is not shared by other scholars, or even by those who belong to his group, or the contrary evidence is not in reality the prevalent one

    • Ex: Kufans who, when an authentic hadith is opposed by the apparent meaning of a Qur’anic text, believe that the apparent Qur’anic text, such as one expressing generality, is given preference over the explicit meaning of a hadith
    • Sometimes a scholar might consider something to be apparent which is not in reality apparent; this is because there are many potential implications of a statement

Other Issues

  • It is possible in many cases that the scholar has a proof for not acting upon a hadith which we are not aware of because the ways of comprehending knowledge are manifold and we cannot know all of what is in the hearts of the scholars
    • But it is not permitted for us to follow this opinion in light of an opinion that is established with an authentic hadith and is followed by some people of knowledge
      • Because the opinion of the scholar whose evidence is unknown may be wrong
    • Hence, he may have a valid excuse for not following the Shari’ evidence
  • The Mujtahid, despite his error, is rewarded because of his ijtihad and his mistake is forgiven due to the fact that arriving at the correct opinion on every occasion is either impossible or highly unlikely
  • Three possibilities for one who did not act in accordance to a given hadith. Either:
    • His leaving the hadith was permissible
      • For example, he was unaware of it
    • His leaving the hadith was not permissible.
      • This is unlikely for the great imams. They would not leave a hadith unless due to a legitimate reason
    • He gave an opinion without fully comprehending the issue
      • He may be deficient in his deduction so he concludes without an evidence though he may have used some sort of ijtihaad
        • He may be influenced by a custom or predisposition
        • He may have not taken his reasoning to its appropriate conclusion
  • Scholars sometimes disagree whether a given hadith is explicit (nass) or apparent (zaahir) in its implication
  • Conceivable interpretation of the texts plays a role in differences as well
  • Some scholars differed whether a certain action was totally forbidden or just disliked
  • If a scholar has a reasonable interpretation for a hadith, then it cannot be said that he will be liable for the punishment stated in the hadith
    • Ex: a hadith says such and such should not be done else will be punished in the afterlife but scholar allows that action based on interpreting the hadith differently
    • For the punishment to apply, there must be absence of all conditions which prevent the blame from taking place (evidence never reached the scholar, he misunderstood something, etc.) and the absence of all the impediments (repentance, doing good deeds which remove bad deeds, Allah’s Mercy, trials and tribulations in life which may make up for it, etc.)
      • It may apply to those who were aware
        • It’s case by case basis [my comment]
  • Majority of the Salaf say that Allah has only one [correct] ruling with regard to any given issue and the one who differs from this position based on an acceptable piece of ijtihad is mistaken, excused, and rewarded
  • Whenever it is possible for a person to know the truth and he falls short, he is not to be excused
    • Those who fall short in their ijtihad due to invalid reasons or those who imitate with a standard that could not make the action permissible could be liable to punishment in the hereafter
      • Unless there are other impediments which may remove it (repentance, good deeds which remove bad ones, etc.)
      • If however he sought the truth [to the best of his ability] and did not leave it to his own desires, then Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear
    • Those who practice legitimate ijtihaad are not included under this because they have a valid excuse, rather, they will be rewarded for their ijtihad even when wrong
  • In disputed matters, it is not allowed to say that specific people are cursed under the threat of punishment mentioned in certain hadiths because there may be impediments which prevent the threat and/or punishment from them (repentance, good deeds erasing bad ones, etc.)
    • Ex: a hadith says those who do such and such are cursed but you find a scholar who allows that action. It may be that the scholar interprets that hadith differently [based on sound evidence] or if the doer is a layman, he might repent or his good deeds outweigh his bad ones or tribulations in his life might remove that sin from him or Allah may have mercy on him, etc.  These impediments could apply to the mujtahid as well.
    • Hadiths which speak about cursing those who perform certain actions are to be understood in general terms and not specific. So we say those who do such acts are under the threat mentioned in the hadith but we don’t specify certain people individually of being guilty of the curse because the curse may not apply to them due to absence of certain conditions (ex: the knowledge did not reach him) or presence of certain impediments (ex: repentance, Allah’s Mercy, good deeds remove bad deeds, etc.).

Notes: Buying a Home Islamically Seminar w/ Sh. Joe Bradford

I took the online seminar with Sh. Joe Bradford a few months ago. I really enjoyed it and took down notes. I am providing them below. He doesn’t cover just the Islamic aspect of it but also budgeting and being responsible with money. Please note that I did not write down every single thing or detail that he said. I just noted down what I personally found interesting or beneficial. You can also download the notes below in a pdf format here for easy printing and reading.

As an added bonus, you can also download my notes from Khan Academy’s videos on the home buying process. It will give you a better idea of how the process to buy a home works in the United States.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, make sure that you know the 9 hidden costs of buying a home.


  1. rentorbuyBudgeting
    1. We need to know how to save
    2. Your income should be more than your expenses
      1. Track it every month
      2. If expenses are more, then you need to cut them down
    3. Buying a home is a major debt
    4. Get rid of subconscious purchases
  2. Consumer debt (credit card, car payments, etc.)
    1. Get rid of it if you are in it before applying for a home
    2. Pay down the ones with the highest interest rates first
    3. Accessible savings (IRAs, etc.)
      1. Pay off the debts with it
  3. Set a goal
    1. Where do you want to live?
    2. What do you want for your family?
    3. Pin point the areas where you want to live
  4. Overestimate the price for the home
    1. So you can be prepared
  5. Put together a list of your holdings
    1. Assets that can be liquidated and can be used to pay down payment and closing costs
      1. Also repairs after you by the home
    2. Ex: 401k
    3. Do it early because it takes time
  6. Talk to your insurance agent beforehand
    1. Find out if there are bundled deals
      1. Car + home
  7. Just because you pre-qualify for a large amount does not mean you can afford it or that you should use it all
  8. All monthly payments for the house should not be more than 28% of your gross income monthly
    1. Mortgage, insurance, property taxes, PMI insurance if low down payment
    2. Try to stay within less than what you can afford when you purchase a home because all of your expenses in life add up
  9. Closing costs
    1. Origination, escrow fees, prepaid home insurance, legal fees, inspection fees
    2. 2-5% of your purchase price of the home
  10. Work with a competent realtor
    1. Ask for a track record
    2. They need to be able to negotiate for you
      1. And advocate for you
    3. Down payment
      1. Safest: 20% or more
  11. Seller financing
    1. You do finance directly with the seller and don’t go through the lender company
    2. Very rare
  12. Lower the purchase price of the home, the lower the down payment you have to make
  13. Buying is not for everyone
    1. Do research on renting vs. buying calculator and see if it’s better to rent in your area or not
    2. Not everyone can afford it
  14. Steps to purchase a home
    1. Have to apply
    2. Need to put down earnest money
      1. Money put down to show that you earnestly want to purchase the property
        1. And that you are serious
      2. Usually $1-2k
      3. Will be used as part of the closing cost
    3. Provide personal documentation
      1. Bank statements, pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns, other income info
    4. Appraisal and inspection
      1. Either you or the seller pays for it
    5. Insurance
    6. Submit all of your documentation
    7. Wait for the under writer who decides whether your purchase will be funded or not
      1. They may give you conditions to close
        1. Ask for more things to verify your income
    8. Documents
      1. Official documents to buy a home are issued
    9.  Signing
      1. By going to a title company
    10. Funding and recording
      1. Money you put down and the lender will be given to the owner and the latter will give the title
      2. Title is going to be recorded in the buyer’s or the lender’s name
        1. Some states or lien while others title
          1. Lien – the title is in the buyer’s name and the lender company has a lien on the house until the mortgage is paid off
          2. Title – the title is under the lender’s name and is transferred to the buyer after the house is paid off
    11. Funding mortgages (three methods)
      1. Seller/owner financing
        1. Also called co-ops
          1. Ameen Housing does this
        2. We’re not borrowing funds but paying for the home directly to the seller
        3. Another form of it is: a group of friends put in money in a pool together and purchase a home and then one pays it off and then the second one does same and the cycle continues until everyone has a house
        4. Seller financing is completely halal
      2. Conventional financing
        1. You asked to pay a fixed or adjustable rate
          1. Never do adjustable rates because this was part of what led to the market crash
        2. You put down your down payment and for the rest you go to an escrow
          1. Escrow is an independent third party
            1. Also called a title company
            2. They will verify all of the documentation
            3. They will verify all of the funds
            4. They will keep above in safe keeping
              1. Your down payment and the lender’s lent money
              2. They will hold it in trust until all of the conditions are met and they’ve verified and reviewed everything
                1. Then the money goes from the escrow to the seller and the title is transferred to the buyer/lender from the seller
                  1. Then the buyer pays back the person he/she borrowed the funds from (mortgage lender)
            5. They are there to preserve the rights of all the parties involved and force them to take responsibility
        3. Islamic financing
          1. They were created because
            1. Some scholars said the conventional process is not permissible and had problems with it, such as:
              1. The escrow
                1. This is an entity that is selling something that it does not own and never takes liability or assumes risk
              2. Riba
            2. The scholars went into Islamic law to find a contract which is permissible. They came up with three types which currently exist in the United States
    12. Murabaha
        1. Cost plus sale contract
        2. Islamic finance company buys the property and resells it to the buyer with profit
          1. They buy the property under their name and assume risk and then resell it to the buyer
          2. To diminish the risk of the buyer backing out, they do one of two things. One is permissible, the other is not
            1. Permissible: they write an option to the seller of the original property that they have the right to return the property within certain amount of time with no questions asked
            2. Not permissible: they make the buyer sign an affidavit (document) which is legally binding promising that the buyer will purchase the home
              1. So they’ve written a contract to sell you before they’ve sold you the property
                1. It is just as problematic as the issue of conventional mortgage
          3. The actual time that the Islamic company is assuming risk is about 30 seconds or so, which is usually at the time of signing
              1. Some scholars have issue with this while others find it fine
    13. Ijarah
      1. Leasing
      2. Rent to own
      3. Open lease
        1. You lease and at the very end the home has to be transferred to you
          1. You either pay for the depreciated value or you pay a lump sum or just transferred to you at that time
        2. In the United States, they do it differently and there are extra financial structures in place. This is why this could be more expensive
          1. They purchase the home through borrowing funds from a trust that they create and then lease it to you
        3. Best to stay away from these in the United States
    14. Musharakah
      1. Diminishing partnership
      2. Two partners buy something and one has 20% while the other has 80% of the payment
        1. 20% usually the down payment
      3. Then they create a trust/partnership/corporation which purchases the home for both
        1. Then the buyer slowly buys the Islamic finance company out
      4. But classic Islamic law dictates that the partners share equally in the appreciation, the profit, and expenses
        1. It’s not permissible for one to throw all of the load and fees onto the other partner because then he is unjustly taking more than his due
      5. So ask the Islamic finance company selling this type if they are going to share in the costs, expenses, insurance, etc.
        1. If not, then they are doing something not Islamic because this is not a partnership
  15. Sh. Joe says that the Murabaha is probably the safest
    1. But it’s restricted and not available everywhere
    2. Could also be more expensive
  16. All of the companies, Islamic or conventional, do something at the end which diminishes the whole aspect of partnership
    1. They sell the mortgage to Fanne Mae or Freddy Mac
      1. Secondary market
      2. You sign a document for it
      3. Government organizations that function as corporations but get money from the government
        1. They have an implicit guarantee from the government that if they fail, the government will help them out
      4. These companies give funding to the lender, who in turn gives funding to the buyer, then the lender sells that mortgage back to the secondary market so that they [Fanne Mae/Freddy Mac] can continue the lending process
    2. All finance companies do this
    3. So when you go to an Islamic finance company ask them who they are going to sell the mortgage to
      1. If it is a wholly owned subsidiary of their own company that services all of their mortgages, then this is much better because if they sell it someone with a bad record, then you could get stuck with lots of extra fees and charges
  17. Portfolio loan
    1. Locally available in areas
    2. They invest in the individual
    3. A form of conventional loan but they don’t sell it to secondary market
    4. Try this first if you must go conventional due to dire need or do not qualify for Islamic finance
  18. Final advice
    1. Make istikharah
    2. Make shura with people whom you trust and used products you want to use
    3. Ask yourself three questions
      1. Does this make financial sense for me?
      2. Is it going to provide stability for my family?
      3. Am I willing to stand before Allah on the day of judgement for buying this home?

Here is a lecture on the topic by Dr. Yasir Qadhi where he describes the various types of financial contracts available under Islamic finance:

Introduction to Hanbali Usool: Explanatory Notes on Ibn ‘Uthyameen’s al-Usool min ‘ilm al-Usool

These are my complete notes on the book as taught to us by Ust. Ahmad Zayn al-‘Abidin in Arabic, which is now available on YouTube. Sh. Ibn ‘Uthyameen’s work is a very useful book to get an introduction to Hanbali usool. There are not enough good books in the English language on Hanbali fiqh and usool and this is my modest attempt to introduce the usool of the school to English speakers. Please note that I did not write down every single thing that Ust. Ahmad mentioned but only that which I personally found beneficial and felt was sufficient for the explanation of the text.

Sh. Ibn ‘Uthyameen at times differs with the Hanbali school and Ust. Ahmad did point out those differences to us. At times, I noted in the notes that Sh. Ibn ‘Uthyameen is differing with the school on this issue and at other times, I just note down the official (mu’tamad) Hanbali position on the issue and do not mention Sh. Ibn ‘Uthyameen’s opinion. However, there are very few instances of this occurring in the text and the vast majority of it agrees with the school.

Usool al-Fiqh is important to study because it gives the person the psychology of the school. How does the school derive its rulings? How is evidence weighed? What should be done in instances of conflict between different verses and hadiths? What sources are used to derive law? How do we know something is forbidden or obligatory as opposed to just disliked or recommended? All such types of questions and more are answered in Usool al-Fiqh.

The class was entirely in Arabic and since the study of usool does require some proficiency in the Arabic language due to much reliance on Arabic grammatical rules, I have tried my best to explain it in the English language. I am sure that I have not done justice to it. If any mistakes are found, I humbly request the reader to contact me so that I may correct it.

About Ust. Ahmad Zayn al-‘Abidin:

He has been studying the Hanbālī Fiqh and Usool for about 7 years. 

He has memorised Zād al-Mustaqni’, along with thoroughly studying all other abridged texts of the Madhhab. He has completed studying Kashf al-Mukhaddarāt, Hidāyah al-Rāghib, Al-Rawd al-Murbi’, and Hāshiyah Ibn ‘Awad. 

For the past two and a half years he has been doing a comparative study of the Al-Muntahā and Al-Iqnā’ and their commentaries, Al-Ghāyah and its commentary, books of Al-Mardāwī and Ibn Muflih’s Al-Furū’; all under Sh. Hamad b. Sālih al-Marrī (Qatar). 

In terms of Usool (legal theory), he has studied Ghāyah al-Sūl and its commentary, thoroughly studied Al-Tūfi’s Mukhtasar al-Rawdah and its commentary along with Al-Muwaffaq’s original Rawdah al-Nādhir. He has studied Mukhtasar al-Tahrīr along with Al-Futūhi’s own commentary and it’s original Al-Tahbīr. After that he moved onto a comparative study of the Usool of the Jumhūr. 

He is a Pharmacy graduate from the University of Al-Azhar.


Ibn Mulaqqin’s Tadhkirah: Brief Notes on Hadith Terminology

This is a translation and brief notes on the text completed by Br. Abu Hasan in 1988. It is one of the first books taught to students interested in the sciences of ĥadīth. For those who can understand Arabic, there is a good explanation of it by Sh. Abdullah al-Bukhari that can be found here.

Imām Ibn Mulaqqin (723-804 AH) is a famous ĥadīth master and Shafi’ jurist. This is a list of terms used in ĥadīth sciences, which he summarised from his two-volume work on ĥadīth principles named: Al-Muqniý fī Úlūm al-Ĥadīth.

Many terms are left unexplained or described tersely in the original text. I have tried to explain them drawing from other works, such as Shaykh Ábdullāh Sirājuddīn’s commentary on Bayqūniyyah, and Imām Sakhāwī’s commentary, Al-Tawđīĥ al-Ab’har li Tadhkirati Ibn alMulaqqin fi Ílm al-Athar. In some places, footnotes from the printed edition (on which this translation is based) are also used; this is published by Dar Ammar (editor: Álī Ĥasan Ábd al-Ĥamīd), 1988. Examples on the margins are also drawn from Muqaddimah Ibn Şalāĥ and Manhal al-Rawī of Ibn Jamāáh among other works.


Advanced Quran Study: Notes on Sh. Salman ibn Nasir’s Course

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to take a course via zoom with Sh. Salman ibn Nasir at The Legacy Institute. He delved into the topic of usool al-tafseer, or the methodology of tafseer with a special focus on the different classical books of tafseer. It was a very beneficial course and I am sharing my complete notes here so others may benefit as well.

Please note that I did not write down everything Sh. Salman said but only that which I personally found beneficial and useful. There were many other great points discussed in the course as well but I did not include them in the notes. I also did not translate many Arabic terms but left them in transliteration form because the course assumed that students were already familiar with the words.

Finally, here is a brief biography of Sh. Salman ibn Nasir:

Salman ibn Nasir was born and raised in Mobile, AL in the United States, but hails from a Pakistani origin. Around the time he was finishing high school, he also began his personal studies of the Arabic language and the Islamic sciences. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics from the University of South Alabama, he decided to go abroad to further his studies of Islam.

He enrolled in Umm al-Qura University in the holy city of Makkah, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Judicial Studies (Dirāsāt Qaḍā’īyyah). As this program focused primarily on Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh, he also pursued study of other sciences, particularly Hadith. He is currently pursuing his graduate level studies at Umm al-Qura.


Hanbali Law of Transactions: Notes on Akhsar al-Mukhtasarat

I just completed the Book of Transactions from the Hanbali text Akhsar al-Mukhtasarat with Sh. Muhammad Gamal Aly. It took us over a year but it was definitely worth it. In my past studies, I always found business law difficult to grasp so I am glad that I got over a year to think about it.

I have tried my best to include examples to clarify the issues so that there is no confusion. I also heavily relied on Sh. Muhammad Bajabir’s commentary of the text and incorporated many of his easy to understand examples into the notes.

You can also find my notes for the rest of Akhsar al-Mukhtasarat here.


Notes on al-Waraqat: Introduction to Usool al-Fiqh

These are my notes from the lectures of Sh. ‘Amir Bahjat, a Hanbali scholar based in Saudi Arabia, explaining the classical text on Usool al-Fiqh entitled al-Waraqat by the Shafi’ scholar Imam al-Haramayn, the teacher of the famous Imam al-Ghazali. The book gives an excellent bird’s eye view of the field of Usool al-Fiqh.  It is an introductory level text to introduce the student to the field and is usually the first text taught in classical study before delving into the more advanced texts on the topic.

Usool al-Fiqh deals with issues related to how Islamic law is deduced from its sources and the qualifications necessary for those who are allowed to do so. You need this science in order to understand the debates of the Muslim jurists (fuqaha) over Islamic law and why those differences occur. It also delves into the topic of how Muslim scholars deal with conflicting evidence.

I put these notes together for other students of knowledge who may be newly delving into this subject and those who are curious about the field. The main purpose of my notes is to be a supplement and I would strongly suggest that those serious about it should find a teacher to study the book. There are numerous commentaries on it from many scholars available on YouTube in Arabic and English. A student can also find mp3 commentaries available for download from competent teachers from various websites across the web. Of course, this will never replace having access to a live teacher, which is always the best option.

I benefited from Sh. Musa Furber’s translation of the text and incorporate many of his translation choices, however, I also do my own in other places where I felt it would make the points more clear. I also borrowed a lot from my notes on Sh. al-’Uthyameen’s book on Hanbali Usool entitled al-Usool min ‘ilm al-Usool.

Finally, I pray that Allah benefits you through this book and brings you closer to your religion.


Principles of Hadith Sciences: Explanatory Notes on Ibn Hajar’s Nukhbat al-Fikar

These are my complete notes on Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani’s famous book on principles of hadith sciences titled Nukhbat al-Fikar. The notes are based on Sh. Yusuf ibn Sadiq al-Hanbali’s classes over a period of few months. The classes were conducted in the English language. For the translation of the terms, I mainly relied on Sh. Musa Furber’s translation of Ibn Hajar’s book, however, there are instances where I substitute for a translation given by Sh. Yusuf ibn Sadiq.

The issue of hadith needs to be given extra attention in our times because those who reject the institution of hadith altogether are on the rise as well as the neo-Mu’tazilah, who accept/reject hadiths solely based on their intellect. Their arguments carry no merit whatsoever, however, due to the fact that there is mass ignorance over the sciences of hadith, the meticulous details, and rigorous research that is required before a hadith can be declared reliable or not, I hope these notes help bring to light some of those details. These notes are by no means an exhaustive representation of the subject, thus, further study is necessary to truly grasp the material for those wanting to delve deeper into this subject.

I ask Allah for sincerity in the publication of these notes and that He reward me for trying to help bring dignity to the blessed words of the chosen one, Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and honor to the tiresome efforts of hadith scholars by sharing my small contribution with the general public free of any cost.


Fiqh Maxims: Explanatory Notes on Sa’di’s Poem on al-Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyyah

I recently completed going through the explanation of Sh. Abdul-Rahman al-Sa’di’s poem on Islamic legal maxims (al-Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyyah), also known as fiqh maxims. The explanation was done in Arabic by none other than Sh. Waleed El-Maneesee, a well-known Hanbali scholar residing in Minnesota, United States. The recordings to the explanation are available for free access on his website. For those interested in studying it in English, there is a series available by Dr. Jamel Ben Ameur available here.

Sh. Sa’di’s poem (منظومة القواعد الفقهية) is popularly taught around the world to teach students basics of the theory of legal maxims in Islamic law. It is a genre of Islamic sciences that focuses on general rules of fiqh which can be applied to a wide variety of particular situations. These maxims have been used by Muslim jurists for centuries to give verdicts (fatwas). They assist in the matter of ijtihad because they organize the branches of fiqh and categorize cases and it is a must for every Muslim jurist to have knowledge of it.

They are often written in short but expressive statements. They tend to express at times the goals and objectives of the Shari’ah and this is why some scholars treat this subject under the category of objectives of Islamic law (maqasid). Their wording can be excerpts from the Qur’an or hadiths but in most cases reflect the phraseology of leading jurists and have been refined with the passing of time. The maxims are purposefully put in precise words in order to make them easy to remember and derive rulings without having to delve deeply into the texts. They are a sort of shortcut to same rulings that can be applied in multiple similar-like scenarios. You can refer to my write up of it here for further discussion of its definition with examples.