The Fiqh and Wisdom of observing ʻIddah

By Mufti ʻAbd al-Qādir Ḥusayn

In the dictionary the word Iddah means counting in terms of quantity. But for all intents and purposes Iddah in the context of when a husband has divorced his wife or when a husband has passed on – according to the jurists and fuqaha – will mean the lady has to observe Iddah. The waiting period until the counting period ends.

The Iddah for a divorced lady:

Whenever clarity on any issue is sought, the first point of reference is the Noble Quran. All Mighty Allah SWT states: the ladies who have been divorced will wait with themselves for three qurooh. Because the Arabic language is so unique and rich, certain words have two opposite meanings. In the Hanafi and Hanbali madhabs, when the husband divorces his wife by giving one or two or three talaqs, the Iddah will be the duration of three menses. So the ideal situation will be for the husband to divorce his wife in the period of cleanliness and in that period he has not fulfilled the conjugal rights with his wife, he issues the talaq either verbally or in writing. After the third menses ends, the Iddah has concluded. However another meaning of qurooh is tuhur which means cleanliness theretofore according to the Maliki and Shafi madhabs three periods of cleanliness have to pass. That is if a husband gave his wife talaq during her period of cleanliness, her Iddah begins, counting that period as the first period of cleanliness. Once the third period of cleanliness ends, the Iddah has concluded. The reason for differences of opinion in verdict between the different schools of thought is because Arabic words have different meanings and to understand this text and context need to be looked at. Another interesting issue connected to this: a husband has married his wife but he has not gone into Khalwah (privacy) with her and they have not consummated their marriage, and just after the nikah they have a heated argument in the presence of some people and the husband issues talaq. All Mighty Allah has addressed this issue also, “O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have sexual intercourse with them, no iddah (divorce prescribed period) have you to count in respect of them. So give them a present, and set them free (i.e. divorce), in a handsome manner.” (Al-Ahzab-49) Immediately after the divorce the woman is able to marry another man. It is important to note that even if the marriage was not consummate but the married couple were alone, in privacy together, and then Iddah becomes necessary.

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The Issue of the Ambiguous Attributes of Allāh

By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
Translated by Zameelur Rahman

Zuhayr ibn Harb and Ibn Numayr narrated to me: both of them from al-Muqri’. Zuhayr said: from ‘Abdullah ibn Yazid al-Muqri’: he said: Haywah narrated to us: Abu Hani informed me: that he heard Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Hubuli: that he said: ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-’As (Allah be pleased with him) says: that he heard Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) say:

“Verily all the hearts of the children of Adam are between two fingers of the fingers of the Most Merciful like one heart. He disposes of them however He wills.” Then Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “O Allah! Disposer of Hearts, dispose our hearts to Your obedience.” (Sahih Muslim)

His statement “two fingers of the fingers of the Most Merciful”: al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “This is one of the hadiths of attributes and there are two views in regards to them which have just preceded:

“One of them is to believe in them without venturing into ta’wil (interpretation) or trying to understand its meaning. Rather, one believes it is the truth and that its outward purport is not intended. Allah Most High said: ‘Naught is as His likeness’ (42:11).

“And the second is to interpret them in a manner that is befitting. According to this, the intended meaning is figurative. This is just as is said, ‘such and such a person is in my grasp and in my palm’; it is not intended by it that he took up residence in his palm, rather the intent is: he is under my power. It is said, ‘such and such a person is between my two fingers, I turn him however I wish’ i.e. that he is under my control and I will dispose of him how I wish. Thus, the meaning of the hadith is that He (Glorified and High is He) disposes of the hearts of His servants and other hearts besides them however He wills. None of them are thwarted from him, and what He intends does not escape Him, just as what is between the two fingers of man is not thwarted from him. Thus, He addresses the Arabs [in a manner] by which they will understand it and the like of it by [making use of] sensual meanings that give assurance to their souls. If it is said: Allah’s Power is one, and ‘two fingers’ (isba’an) is for duality, the response is that it has preceded that this is figurative and metaphorical, so the simile (tamthil) occurred in accordance to what they are used to without intending thereby duality or plurality. And Allah knows best.”

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Imam ‛Abū Yūsuf’s Powerful Memory & Profound Intellect

By Shaykh Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari
Translated by Abu Dawud Mahbub ibn ‘Abd al-Karim

Translator’s Preface: The following is an article on the memory of the Qadi, Imam Abu Yusuf Ya’qub ibn Ibrahim al-Ansari (d.182AH), the student of Imam Abu Hanifa (d.150AH). It is a translation of a chapter from Husn al-Taqadi fi Sirat Abi Yusuf al-Qadi (pp.14-17) by Shaykh Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari (d.1371AH). The Maktaba al-Azhariyya li al-Turath edition was utilised for this translation – which contains numerous typographical errors due to which the original Arabic quotes have been checked and typed up from their primary sources and have been referenced in the footnotes. This article was translated as a response to some people who have attacked Imam Abu Yusuf’s status in the field of hadith, and more broadly, they attack the Hanafi school of Law as well as the Imams of the madhab and its adherents, accusing them of being weak in hadith.

حافظته القوية وذكاؤه البالغ

Imam Abu Yusuf’s Powerful Memory & Profound Intellect

Abu al-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi, in a work of his, mentions Abu Yusuf as one of the hundred extraordinary individuals among the huffaz (prolific memorisers) of this ummah and mentions him in a manner of all-round strength in retention without restricting him merely to memorisation of hadith. He says that Abu Yusuf would memorise fifty-sixty hadith by hearing them only once and would then narrate them [from memory] along with their chains of transmission. This work [by Ibn al-Jawzi] is entitled Akhbar al-Huffaz and [the manuscript] is located in the Zahiriyya Library in Damascus, [it is complete] except that it is missing its first page.

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The Pleasure and Enthusiasm of Seeking Knowledge

By Mawlānā Muhammad Salīm Dhorāt
Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy

‛Allāmah Zamakhsharī rahimahullāh says:

سَهَرِيْ لِتَنْقِيْحِ الْعُلُوْمِ أَلَذُّ لِيْ – مِنْ وَصْلِ غَانِيَةٍ وَطِيْبِ عِنَاقِ وَتَمَايُلِيْ طَرَبًا لحَِلِّ عُوَيْصَةٍ – أَشْهٰى وَأَحْلٰى مِنْ مُدَامَةِ سَاقِ

Remaining awake at night to research and investigate the different sciences is more enjoyable to me than meeting a beautiful singer and her sweet embrace. My swaying from side to side out of joy for having solved a difficulty is more desirable to me and sweeter than the drink which is offered by a waiter.

وَصَرِيْرُ أَقْلَامِيْ عَلٰى أَوْرَاقِهَا – أَحْلٰى مِنَ الدَّوْكَاءِ وَالْعشَُّاقِ وَأَلَذُّ مِنْ نَقْرِ الْفَتَاةِ لِدُفِّهَا – نقَْرِيْ لِأَلْقَى الرَّمَلَ عَنْ أَوْرَاقِيْ(صفحات من صبر العلماء، ص ١٣)

The sound made by my pen as it writes across the page is sweeter to me than daukā’ and ‛ushshāq. The sound of dusting off the dust from the pages of my books is more enjoyable to me than the sound made by a young girl as she is playing her tambourine.

Hadrat Imām Muhammad rahimahullāh said:

لَذَّاتُ الْأَفْكَارِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ لَذَّاتِ الْأَبْكَارِ (حدائق الحنفية، ص ١٥)

To ponder and reflect over academic issues is more enjoyable than the pleasure which is provided by a virgin woman.

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The teachers of Hadith at Deoband and Saharanpur

By Maulana Muḥammad ʿĀshiq Ilāhī al-Barni al-Maẓāhiri
Translated by Shoaib A. Rasheed

Translation of an excerpt from the original Arabic book al-ʿAnāqīd al-Ghāliyah min al-Asānīd al-ʿĀliyah, Maktabat al-Shaykh: Karachi, 1987, Chapter 2


The Dār al-ʿUlūm college in Deoband was founded on the fifteenth of the sacred month of Muḥarram in the year 1283/1866. This occurred in the aftermath of the revolution of the Indians against the British in 1857. Playing a major role in that jihād was Quṭub al-ʿĀrifīn al-Ḥāj Imdādullāh al-Thānawi th. al-Muhājir al-Makki, along with his two beloved companions, Ḥujjat al-Islām Maulana Muḥammad Qāsim al-Nānautawi and the most-revered shaykh, Hadith scholar, and jurist, Maulana Rashīd Aḥmad al-Gangōhi. Ḥāfiẓ Ḍāmin al-Thānawi also participated and was martyred therein (May Allah sanctify their secrets). Their desire in participating was solely the pursuit of the pleasure of Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He).

When the people of India were defeated in that revolution, these leaders (akābir) and their supporters saw that they did not have the strength that day to resist the British and oust them from India by military force. They also realized the need for a strong institution that could act as a sturdy fortress to protect the Muslims from the venom of deviation and heterodoxy – which the British agents were spewing forth – and to distance them from the tantalizations of Western culture that were drawing the Muslims towards admiration for the British and renunciation of the rulings of Islam.

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Ahādīth concerning the virtue of the people and land of Shām

By Mawlana Hanif Yusuf Patel

At the outset, we must note that Shām refers to The Levant, which today consists of Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, (pre-1947) Palestine, Jordan, part of southern Turkey, and the Aleppo Vilayet.

Consider the following narrations in reference to your Hadith query on Shām:

1. It is reported in Sunan Abī Dawūd [2482] that:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: سَتَكُونُ هِجْرَةٌ بَعْدَ هِجْرَةٍ، فَخِيَارُ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ أَلْزَمُهُمْ مُهَاجَرَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَيَبْقَى فِي الْأَرْضِ شِرَارُ أَهْلِهَا تَلْفِظُهُمْ أَرْضُوهُمْ، تَقْذَرُهُمْ نَفْسُ اللَّهِ، وَتَحْشُرُهُمُ النَّارُ مَعَ الْقِرَدَةِ وَالْخَنَازِيرِ»

Translation: ‘Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that I heard Allah`s Messenger (peace and salutations be upon him) saying, “There shall be constant emigrations (in the near future). The best of the people will be those who hold fast to the place of emigration of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) (i.e. Shām). The worst of the earth’s people will remain, cast out by their lands, abhorred by Allāh and the fire will gather them with the apes and swines.”

2. It is reported in Sunan al-Tirmidhi [2217] and Musnad al-Imam Ahmad [4567 and others] that:

عَنْ سَالِمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: سَتَخْرُجُ نَارٌ مِنْ حَضْرَمَوْتَ أَوْ مِنْ نَحْوِ بَحْرِ حَضْرَمَوْتَ قَبْلَ يَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ تَحْشُرُ النَّاسَ قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، فَمَا تَأْمُرُنَا؟ قَالَ: عَلَيْكُمْ بِالشَّامِ.

Translation: ‘Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that Allah`s Messenger (peace and salutations be upon him) said, “Such a fire will emerge from Hadhramaut (a place in Yemen) before Qiyāmah which will gather the people.’ The people asked, ‘O Allah`s Messenger (peace and salutations be upon him), What do you advise us to do (if we are faced with it)?’ He replied, ‘Take refuge in Shām.’”

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The honourable women who breastfed Allāh’s Messenger

By Mufti ʻAbd al-Qādir Ḥusayn

Arabian desertBeside the honourable mother of Nabi Muhammad SAW we find that there are four other women who breastfed Nabi Muhammad SAW. Namely: Thuwaybah RA, Halima Sa’diah RA – the most prominent lady to have breastfed Nabi Muahmmad SAW, Khawlah bint Munthir RA and Baraqah Hakunya Agdomin an Umme Aymin – an African woman.

Thuwaybah RA: breastfed Rasulullah SAW for seven days after his birth. Thuwaybah RA was the freed slave of Abu Lahab ibn Abdul Mutallib whom – it is reported – he set free upon hearing of the birth of Rasulullah SAW. Nabi Muhammad’s SAW uncle Hazrat Hamza RA was also nursed by Thuwaybah RA and thus became Rasulullah SAW foster brother. After Nabi Muhammad SAW married Khadijah RA, Thuwaybah RA used to visit him, and Khadijah RA would honour her and be very hospitable towards her. Nabi Muhammad SAW would send her gifts from Madina after the migration, until she died in the year 7 AH. Her son Masrooh RA died before her and he was the son whom she breastfed at the same time as Nabi Muhammad SAW.

Halima Sa’diah RA: On the eighth day after his birth Rasulullah SAW was placed in the care of Halima RA, from the Banu Sa’ad tribe. It was the practice of the Arabs to send their children away to the desert so that they would grow up strong and learn the refined Arabic of the Bedouin tribe. Halima RA found that since Nabi Muhammad SAW had joined her family there was baraqah (blessings) and prosperity in her home. Rasulullah SAW grew up with Halima RA children and often went out with them to tend the sheep and goats. After every six months Halima RA would take Rasulullah SAW back to Makkah to his mother Aaminah RA and to his grandfather Abdul Mutallib.

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Maslak of the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband concerning the Ṣaḥābah

By Mawlana Qārī Muḥammad Ṭayyab al-Qāsimī
Translated by Muftī Afḍal Ḥusayn Ilyās
Translation edited by ‘Abd Allāh al-Afrīqī

After Nabī (ṣalla Allāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) the most sanctified group in this Ummah are those who were taught and nurtured by him. Those who achieved success through his presence, who in the Sharī‘ah are known as the Ṣaḥābah (raḍiya -llāhu ‘anhum). If there is any group (of this Ummah) that Allāh and Nabī (ṣalla Allāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) had sanctified, then it would only be the group of Ṣaḥābah (raḍiya -llāhu ‘anhum). Besides them there is no other group that has been sanctified. This entire group was hailed as guided and guides, pleased (with Allāh and His Nabī) and with whom Allāh is pleased, attained cleansed hearts, purified souls, always obedient, virtuous, truthful and promised with Jannah. Their acceptance and fame is not restricted to any specific era or time. Their mention was made in the previous Divine Scriptures as well, and this is mentioned in the Qur’ān. So, their reputation and recognition will remain until the Day of Qiyāmah. They will be made mention of on the tongues, in the hearts, every time Qur’ān is recited, during the five daily ṣalāh, in lectures and discourses, in the Masājid, in places of worship, in Madāris, khānqāhs, in isolation, in groups – in short, wherever the Qur’ān is recited, the name and praises of the Ṣaḥābah (raḍiya -llāhu ‘anhum) will be echoed and sounded. In so far as being praised and sanctified, they are without any equal in this Ummah. After the Anbiyā’ (‘alayhi -s-salām) the Ṣaḥābah (raḍiya -llāhu ‘anhum) are the most sanctified group amongst mankind. However, the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband have not let moderation with respect to the Ṣaḥābah (raḍiya -llāhu ‘anhum) slip from their hands. Exaggeration and excesses do not have a play in the belief of the Maslak of the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband with regard to the Ṣaḥābah (raḍiya -llāhu ‘anhum).

They do not place the Ṣaḥābah (raḍiya -llāhu ‘anhum) upon the pedestal of differentiation and distinction where they claim love for one and, Allah forbid!, hatred for another. Where the tongue is moist in the praises of one Ṣaḥābī and, Allah forbid!, curses for another. Neither are all of them sworn at and reviled or some placed on a higher stage than the Anbiyā’ (‘alayhi -s-salām). None of them are regarded as being sinless, where they are granted the status of being Divine incarnates.

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Imam John Yahya Ederer’s views on music in Islam deconstructed

By Mawlānā Zameelur Rahman

I read articles from and I am particularly interested in the ones by Imam John Yahya Ederer. I think he writes from a balanced perspective but is also cautious of not giving in to “modernism”.

I do not know his entire background however and sometimes I am scared to accept some things in his articles.

Could you please comment on the following article written by him:

Please find more info about him here:


Introduction by Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai Daamat Barakaatuhum:

Each one of the four famous jurists, Imām Abū Hanīfah, Imām Mālik, Imām al-Shāfi‘ī and Imām Ahmad Rahimahumullāh were giants in the field of knowledge and absolute mujtahids (مجتهد مطلق) who enjoyed academic independence. Their independent views, in spite of their differences, are greatly appreciated. To have consensus of the four Imāms on any particular issue instils deep confidence on that issue. One such issue is the prohibition of musical instruments. It is very unwise of anyone to be inclined to, or accept, a divergent view from the unanimous verdict of four such luminaries in Islam. In all probability, such a view will be fraught with flaws and discrepancies as aptly pointed out by Mawlana Zameelur Rahman in this response to Imam John Yahya Ederer, who painstakingly defended a view in conflict with the unanimous position of the four Imāms. Place your trust and confidence in the elders (the Fuqahā’) of the ummah. This will save you from confusion, and will help you to attain your objective of the pleasure of Allāh Ta‘ālā.

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The ḥadīth of Umm Waraqah and the issue of female Imāms

By Mawlānā Zameelur Rahman


A Female named Amina Wadud of Usa started to revive the Islamic topic that a female can be Imam and lead prayer in congregation and also deliver Jumma Khutba and lead Jumma prayer as Rasool (pbuh) permitted UMM WARAKA to lead prayer of DAR.
Do you think this is a FITNA? [sic]


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh.
At the outset, we will present a brief discussion on the hadīth of Umm Waraqah.

Source and Text

There are several versions of this hadīth. Three such versions are presented below:

Imām Ahmad narrates:

حدثنا أنو نعيم، قال: حذثنا الوليد بن عبد الله بن جميع، قال: حدثني عبد الرحمن بن خلاد الأنصاري وجدتي: عن أم ورقة بنت عبد الله بن الحارث أن نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يزورها كل جمعة، وأنها قالت: يا نبي الله – يوم بدر – أتأذن لي، فأخرج معك، أمرض مرضاكم وأداوي جرحاكم، لعل الله يهدي لي شهادة؟ قال: قري فإن الله عز وجل يهدي لك شهادة. وكانت أعتقت جارية لها وغلاما عن دبر منها، فطال عليهما، فغماها فى القطيفة حتى ماتت، وهربا، فقام عمر فى الناس فقال: إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يزور أم ورقة يقول: انطلقوا نزور الشهيدة، وإن فلانة جاريتها وفلانا غلامها غماها ثم هربا فلا يؤويهما أحد، ومن وجدهما فليأت بهما، فأتي بهما، فصلبا، فكانا أول مصلوبين

Translation: Abū Nu‘aym narrated to us, he said: al-Walīd ibn ‘Abdillāh ibn Jumay‘ narrated to us, he said: ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Khallād al-Ansārī and my grandmother narrated to me from Umm Waraqah bint ‘Abdillāh ibn al-Hārith that the Prophet of Allāh (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would visit her every Friday, and that she said on the Day of Badr: “O Prophet of Allāh, do you give me permission to come out with you, and attend to your sick ones and treat your injured, that perhaps Allah may grant me martyrdom?” He said: “Stay (in your house), for verily Allah (Great and Glorious is He) will grant you martyrdom.” She freed a female and male slave upon her death, and it became (overly) long for them, so they suffocated her in a cloak until she died, and they fled. ‘Umar stood amongst the people and he said: “Verily, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would visit Umm Waraqah, saying: ‘Come, we will visit the martyr.’ And indeed so-and-so, her female slave, and so-and-so, her male slave, have suffocated her and fled. No one should grant them shelter, and whoever finds them must bring them.” They were brought and crucified. They were the first to be crucified.[1]

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