Ḥafiẓ Patel, the saint of Dewsbury: An Obituary

By Shaykh Ismā’īl Ibrāhīm Patel

As Dewsbury Markaz was my local mosque growing up, seeing him was a routine occurrence in my daily life. Knowing he is no longer either at Markaz or on a Dawah journey somewhere in the world will take a long time to sink in.

Although no single post can do his life justice, I feel compelled to share some experiences to my connections here and elsewhere, who may not have known him as well but happen to read some of my musings. He was, after all, ultimately responsible for creating hundreds of accomplished graduates in Islamic studies, thousands of people active in the field of Dawah, and hundreds of thousands rectifying their religious lives. I can confidently say that I personally would not be anywhere near what I am today had it not been for his efforts during my life – and, in fact, for his efforts decades before I was even born.

Everybody who knew him – student, teacher, the local layman, and those regularly engaged in Jama`at ‘l-Tabligh – will have their personal experiences and stories about him. I was a student at Markaz during the 98-03 period. I was not present when he really hard-grafted himself into who he eventually became, during the 60s, 70s and 80s. I only hear stories, like how he was advised – for fear of life and limb – not to go out to invite people to the mosque in Johannesburg after nightfall, only to do the exact opposite.

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Conduct of the Salaf with their contemporaries: Respect and honour

By Mawlānā Ḥabīb al-Raḥmān Khān Sherwānī
Translated by Mawlānā Muammad Mahomedy

Mawlānā Muammad Qamaruz Zamān Allāhābādī in his biography of his shaykh, Mawlānā Shāh Waīyullāh entitled Tadhkirah Muli al-ʼUmmah has included an entire part on the relationship and bond that existed between Mawlānā Shāh Waīyullāh and his contemporary ‛ulamā’ and mashāykh. In the introduction to this part Mawlānā Shāh Waīyullāh writes concerning the benefits of writing on this:

The first benefit of this is that the merits and achievements of our elders will come to the fore. Secondly, there is a famous saying which goes:

اَلْمُعَاصَرَةُ سَبَبُ الْمُنَافَرَةِ

Contemporariness is a cause of mutual dissent.

However, the attributes and qualities of our elders clearly demonstrate how they used to respect each other and how one would acknowledge the excellent qualities of the other.

Obviously, our immediate elders strictly followed the ways of our earlier elders. Based on their honesty and sincerity, they were very open-hearted and magnanimous in this regard. They would relate the merits of their contemporaries without hesitation and look up to them with approval.

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The teachers and students of Ḥadīth at Deoband: Method of teaching and learning

By Mawlānā ʻAbd Allāh Patel Kāpaudrī
Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy

Foreword: The following article is a section of a transcript of a speech delivered by the honourable Mawlānā ʻAbd Allāh Kāpaudrī at the Jāmi‛ah Riyād al-‛Ulūm, Leicester, on 5th April 2005, entitled: “The need to strive for acquiring knowledge”. Herein he mentions the method of teaching of the great hadith scholars of Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband and how their teaching differed and changed over time as the calibre of learning of the students changed. At the end he provides pertinent advices to students which is extremely beneficial. With the introduction to these advices being the example of the pious and learned of the past we sincerely pray the Allah instills these qualities of studying and learning in us and every student of the sacred sciences ie. Qurʼān and Ḥadīth. Mawlānā Kāpaudrī begins by mentioning the manner of Shaykh al-Hind’s teaching:

Hadrat ‛Allāmah Balyāwī rahimahullāh said to me: “Maulwī Sāhib! Our Hadrat was not in the habit of lengthy explanations.” He then asked me: “Do you know who I am referring to when I say ‘Our Hadrat’?” I replied: “Hadrat, I do not know.” He said: “When I say ‘Our Hadrat’, I am referring to Hadrat Shaykh al-Hind rahimahullāh.” Hadrat ‛Allāmah Ibrāhīm Balyāwī rahimahullāh studied under Hadrat Shaykh al-Hind rahimahullāh. He continues: “Our Hadrat was not in the habit of lengthy explanations. He used to teach Tirmidhī Sharīf, Abū Dā’ūd Sharīf and Bukhārī Sharīf. He had very capable students, and they used to read the text (‛ibārat). Hadrat Shaykh al-Hind rahimahullāh will have the book in front of him and listen to the student reading. One two pages would be read. This is why it is called daurah – to turn, to repeat. At times, Hadrat would say: ‘Bhāi! Hold on a bit. There can be an objection to this Hadīth because it is against the Hanafīs. But here is the reply to it. A conflicting Hadīth is found in such and such book. You must refer to that book, and whatever is written there is our proof. Okay, let us proceed.’”

If you were to look at the taqrīr of Hadrat Shaykh al-Hind rahimahullāh which has been printed, you will find it to be very concise. When I first saw it, I could not understand why it was so concise. But when ‛Allāmah Balyāwī rahimahullāh related this to me, I understood the reason.

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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

I

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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Brief analysis of the achievements of the Mughal Empire

By Abu Juwairiya Hamad Khan

It was in 1206, approximately eight hundred years ago, India produced its first major Muslim ruler for several generations. It was the beginning of the longest reign of any religion, empire, civilization, ethnic group, dynasty, political administration or government in the last millennium on the Indian subcontinent.

Muslim rule was to last six hundred and fifty one years, four empires and six strong and powerful rulers. Muslim rulers included Qutubudeen Aibak and Razia Sultana and were among the earliest monarchs before the Mughal Empire. Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb stand out as the most prominent Mughal kings.

The Indian- Ethiopian king Malik Ambar and the most successful Muslim adventurer of 18th century India, Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan are among the possessors of smaller kingdoms that flourished in later years.


Famous monuments built during those seven centuries by Muslim rulers include Qutb Minar and the Taj Mahal.

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ʻAllāmah Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī on learning of English and secular sciences

By Mawlānā Dr. Yunus ʻUthmān

Foreword: The author, Mawlānā Dr. Yunus ʻUthmān, is a graduate of Dār al-Ulūm Karachi. He taught at at Dār al-Ulūm Newcastle (South Africa) for 12 years. During that time he also completed B.A and B.A (Hons) degrees (majoring in Arabic and Science of Religion) at the University of South Africa. In 1994, he was awarded an M.A degree in Islamic studies from the University of Durban-Westville. In 2002, he graduated with a D.Phil degree in Islamic studies at the same University. He continues to serve on various Islamic Trust Boards of a number of Muslim organisation and Islamic seminaries within South Africa. He is also an author of many articles and books. The following article is taken from his thesis, on the life and works of ʻAllāmah Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī, which was submitted in fulfillment of the D.Phil degree in 2001. We hope to publish more edited extracts from this thesis in the near future. This article also follows up on articles which we have published in the past concerning the teaching of secular education in 19th Century India (see “Related article(s)” below). Mawlānā Dr. Yunus ʻUthmān writes:

The influence of the western world was first felt in the Muslim world when the Europeans colonised their countries in the early 19th Century. Thus, prior to the arrival of the Colonialists, all aspects of Muslim life were governed by the Sharīʿah. The Colonialists subsequently imposed their own man-made laws upon the Muslims against their will.

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Concerning slanderous statements against ʼAbū Sufyān: The stance of the ʼAhl al-Sunnah clarified

By Mawlānā Sulaymān al-Kindī

Foreword: The following article attempts to answer and clarify certain comments that we have noticed are in vogue in recent times amongst the Sunnī community. These issues concern mainly on the level of Islām of those who came after the Conquest of Makkah such as ʼAbū Sufyān, the status of individuals such as Muʻāwiyah and the general fitna that gripped the ʼUmmah following the assasination of ʻUthmān. We hope that the response provided by Mawlānā Sulaymān al-Kindī, who is an expert researcher; author; translator and academic, will be sufficient to bring about with clarity the stance of the ʼAhl al-Sunnah with regards to these often controversial and highly emotional issues. May Allāh bless the author and keep the ʼUmmah on the straight path. ʼĀmīn! Mawlānā Sulaymān al-Kindī begins by quoting a sample of comments that he received by mail:

Mail sent to me:

Here is a post of a XXXXX scholar – XXXXXX- who is both provocative and controversial. He denies being Shi’i or Zaydi:

“KNOW YOUR HISTORY: The night before the Conquest of Makkah, the leader of the Kuffar of Quraysh, head of the Umayyad Clan and chief enemy of Islam Abu-Sufyan was brought to the Tent of the Prophet (SAW) under the protection of al-Abbas (RA). When Umar (RA) saw him, he continuously tried to kill him, but the Prophet (SAW) prevented Umar (RA) from that due to the protection granted by his uncle al-Abbas (RA). Thereafter, the Prophet said to Abu-Sufyan: “Isn’t it high time you testified that there is no God but Allah?”. Abu-Sufyan replied: “I guessed if there was another God, he would have helped me by now!”. Then the Prophet (SAW) said: “Isn’t it high time you testified that I am the Messenger of Allah?”. Abu-Sufyan replied: “My heart is still doubtful of that”. Then al-Abbas (RA) looked at Abu-Sufyan and said: “WOE UNTO YOU! TESTIFY OR I WILL CHOP YOUR HEAD OFF”. So Abu-Sufyan proclaimed the Shahadah.” (سيرة ابن هشام و تاريخ الطبري و سيرة ابن كثير)

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Did ʼAmīr Muʻāwiyah curse or order the cursing of ʻAlī

By Shaykh Mumtāz al-Ḥaqq Mālik
Edited byʻAbd Allāh al-Afrīqī 

Shīʻahs [and many amongst the Sunnī’s] are led to believe that ʼAmīr Muʻāwiyah (raḍiya -llāhu ʻanhu) started the despicable innovation of cursing and ordering the cursing of ʻAlī (raḍiya -llāhu ʻanhu) – Allāh forbid!

There is absolutely no authentic proof found in Sunnī sources to support this idea. This is purely a Shīʻah accusation against a noble Companion of Rasūl Allāh (ṣalla Allāhu ʻalay-hi wa-sallam), a scribe of revelation (way), the uncle of believers, ʼAmīr Muʻāwiyah (raḍiya -llāhu ʻanhu).

The only Ṣāḥīḥ narration in Sunnī literature is that by Saʻd ibn ʼAbī Waqqaṣ (raḍiya -llāhu ʻanhu), one of the ʻAsharah Mubasharah, as reported in aī Muslim. Shīʻahs often misquote this ḥadīth to prove their point. The actual ḥadīth is,

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبَّادٍ، – وَتَقَارَبَا فِي اللَّفْظِ – قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا حَاتِمٌ، – وَهُوَ ابْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ – عَنْ بُكَيْرِ بْنِ مِسْمَارٍ، عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ أَمَرَ مُعَاوِيَةُ بْنُ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ سَعْدًا فَقَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تَسُبَّ أَبَا التُّرَابِ فَقَالَ أَمَّا مَا ذَكَرْتُ ثَلاَثًا قَالَهُنَّ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَنْ أَسُبَّهُ لأَنْ تَكُونَ لِي وَاحِدَةٌ مِنْهُنَّ أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ حُمْرِ النَّعَمِ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ لَهُ خَلَّفَهُ فِي بَعْضِ مَغَازِيهِ فَقَالَ لَهُ عَلِيٌّ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ خَلَّفْتَنِي مَعَ النِّسَاءِ وَالصِّبْيَانِ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ أَمَا تَرْضَى أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنِّي بِمَنْزِلَةِ هَارُونَ مِنْ مُوسَى إِلاَّ أَنَّهُ لاَ نُبُوَّةَ بَعْدِي ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَسَمِعْتُهُ يَقُولُ يَوْمَ خَيْبَرَ ‏”‏ لأُعْطِيَنَّ الرَّايَةَ رَجُلاً يُحِبُّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيُحِبُّهُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَتَطَاوَلْنَا لَهَا فَقَالَ ‏”‏ ادْعُوا لِي عَلِيًّا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ أَرْمَدَ فَبَصَقَ فِي عَيْنِهِ وَدَفَعَ الرَّايَةَ إِلَيْهِ فَفَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَمَّا نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الآيَة{‏ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ‏}‏ دَعَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلِيًّا وَفَاطِمَةَ وَحَسَنًا وَحُسَيْنًا فَقَالَ ‏”‏ اللَّهُمَّ هَؤُلاَءِ أَهْلِي ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Saʻd ibn ʼAbī Waqqaṣ (raḍiya -llāhu ʻanhu) said, “Muʻāwiyah ibn ʼAbī Sufyān said (to him) , “What prevents you from making sabb of ʼAbū Turāb (ʻAlī (raḍiya -llāhu ʻanhu))?” So He (Saʻd) said, “Because I remember three things Rasūl Allāh (ṣalla Allāhu ʻalay-hi wa-sallam) said about him. So I will never make sabb of him. Even one of those things would have been more dear to me than red camels…” to the end. (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

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