Archive for the 'Biographies' Category

Dr. V. Abdur Rahim

Bismillah arRahman arRahim

I doubt there are any English-speaking Muslims that have pursued the path of learning Arabic(fus-ha) and have not heard of the “Madina Books” or it’s author Dr. V. Abdur Rahim. Yet, to my surprise, I had some difficulty trying to find any biographical information about the man behind the books. In my search I came across a few things which I might post later, but for now lets just stick with the biography. I tried finding his first name but haven’t found it yet, if anyone knows let me know, insha’Allah.

Dr. V. Abdur Rahim

V. Abdur Rahim was born in the small town of Vaniyambadi in the state of Tamil Nadu, India in 1933. After finishing his secondary school studies, he joined Presidency College, University of Madras where he majored in English Language and Literature. He graduated in 1957. In 1964, he joined al-Azhar University, Cairo, where he did his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Arabic Philology.

It is to be noted that Abdur Rahim learnt Arabic by himself. The school where he did his secondary school studies offered Arabic, but the lessons it offered consisted of only memorizing the conjugation tables. Abdur Rahim detested this method.  He thought that it was the most unnatural way of learning a language. Only dead languages like Latin, Syriac, etc. are taught this way. Living languages teach sentences straightaway. He decided to design a curriculum to teach Arabic to non-native speakers of Arabic.

In 1969, Continue reading ‘Dr. V. Abdur Rahim’


Interview with Shaykh al ‘Uthaimeen (RA)’s Wife

as Salaam ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullaah,

An Interview with Shaykh Muhamamd ibn Saalih alUthaimeen (Rahimullah)’s Wife, Umm ‘Abdullaa. Brought to you by

Interview with Umm ‘Abdullaah: Wife of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaimeen [PDF]

It’s a pretty good interview gives you a small glimpse into the life of the ‘ulemaa of our ummah. If you don’t know who Shaykh al ‘Uthaimeen (Rahimullaah) is then please read the Shaykh’s biography here.

When you read about the great ‘ulemaa of our time and their life and the way they conduct themselves with others and their manners. Wa’Allahi. it always increases your eemaan. It is a completely unique experience when you actually hear it from a person who has personally spend time with these personalities. I remember Shaykh Yasir Birjas, who spent a great deal of time and studied with Shaykh al ‘Uthaimeen, always has these heart warming and uplifting incidents that he experienced with Shaykh al ‘Uthaimeen. It really blows your mind away when you hear of these ‘ulemaa conducting halaqas with not hundreds but thousands of people in the audience.

I remember hearing Shaykh Waleed Basyouni talk about Shaykh bin Baz (Rahimullaah) over a year ago, and it completely changed the way I thought of Shaykh bin Baz (Rahimullaah). Just learning about their path to knowledge and their ibaada and their dedication to this deen makes us seem like a ‘joke’ compared to them. I had planned on writing a blog entry, a long time ago, about my experience with Shaykh Waleed Basyouni and Muhamamd Faqih (at IHOP over a very late night dinner) and the beautiful words they had to say about Shaykh bin Baz (Rahimullaah), but after reading this it has given me a renewed inspiration to write about this experience and the great esteem in which they see and now I see Shaykh bin Baz (Rahimullah). May Allah give me the ability to do this. But before I end this entry I just wanted to quote one statement that Shaykh Waleed gave us by one of the senior scholars which really blew me away. The Shaykh said that the big scholars would say about Shaykh bin Baz (Rahimullah) that he was someone who in respect to his worship and piety was from the generations of the salaf (pious predecessors) but Allah out of His Mercy and Generosity Willed that he be with a generation of the khalaf. And I really think that there is more to what words can describe these ‘ulemaa, really they are servants of Allah who are on a “whole ‘nother level”(of eeman). And we pray that we benefit from their works and efforts here and enjoy their company in the Hereafter.

Wa’Allahu ta’aala ‘Alam

UPDATE: The interview in Arabic thanks to sistertinIslam.

Imam Ibn Kathir (b. 701 AH – d. 774 AH)


Short Biography of Imaam Ibn Katheer

He was al Hafidh Abul Fida Ismail ibn Abi Hafs Shihabuddin ‘Umar ibn Kathir ibn Daw ibn Kathir ibn Zar` al Qurayshee – originally from Busra (Syria) – and raised in Damascus. He followed the Shafi`ee school of thought. Ibn Kathir was born in the year 701 AH in an area called Majdal, near Busra, west of Damascus. His father died when he was only four years old and was taken in by his brother and moved to Damascus in 706. Here, he learned from great scholars such as Ibn Asakir, Ishaq ibn Yahya al Amudi and the great Ibn Taymiyyah who was extremely close to him. He also studied under various other sheikhs who gave him permission in fiqh and Hadith. He made many academic contributions to Islamic sciences. The following are amongst his most prominent:

  1. Tafseer of the Qur’an
  2. al Bidayah wan Nihayah: a history of Muslims from Adam until Ibn Kathir’s time
  3. at Takmeel: a book on the science of Asmaaul Rijal (profiles of transmitters of Hadith)
  4. Jami`ul Masaneed: a book that collects the Hadith from ten major books of Hadith
  5. The classes of Shafi`ee scholars: a list of scholars following Imam ash Shaafi’ee (d. 204 AH)
  6. Extraction of the traditions of Tanbeeh (a Shafi`ee book of jurisprudence)
  7. The commentary on al-Bukhari (which he did not finish)
  8. The book of laws (again, he did not complete it)
  9. The summary to the science of Hadith; a synopsis to the introduction of Ibn Saah’s work
  10. Extraction of the traditions to the summary of Ibn Hajib
  11. Musnad of the two sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar)
  12. Biography of the Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam
  13. The epistle of Jihad

The author of Manhal says that Ibn Kathir died on Thursday, the 26th of Sha`ban in the year 774 AH.

May Allah be pleased with him.

(Alternate Spellings: Kathir, Kathīr)

Ibn Hajar al Asqalani (d. 852 AH)


Imām al Hāfidh Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalānī

His Name and Lineage:

The full name of the famous Imām, al Hāfidh Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalānī is Abū al Fadl, Shihabuddīn Ahmad bin ‘Ali bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Ahmad al Kinanī ash Shāfi’ī.

His Birth:

Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalānī was born on 10th Sha’bān, 773 H. in Egypt, where he grew up also.

His Education:

He memorized the Qur’ān at the age of nine years and also memorized Al-Hawi, the book Muktasar of Ibn al Hajib, and other books. He traveled to Makkah and listened to the teaching of its ‘ulemā. He admired the knowledge of Hadīth and began to acquire it from the great mashāyikh in Hījāz, ash Shām, Egypt and stayed with az Zain al ‘Irāqī for ten years. He also studied under al Balqinī, Ibn al Mulaqqin and others. Many eminent mashāyikh of his time approved his knowledge and allowed him to give religious verdicts and teach.

He had learned the two sources (Qur’ān and Hadīth) from al ‘Izz bin Jama’a, the language from al Majd al Fairūzabādī, the ‘Arabic from al ‘Amarī, literature and poetry from al Badr al Mushtakī and writing from a group of professors. He also recited some parts of the Qur’ān in all the seven styles of recitation before at Tanūkhī.

He occupied himself with the promotion of the knowledge of hadīth, so he dwelt in its study, teaching, writing and giving fatāwa (religious verdicts). He also taught the tafsīr, the hadīth, the fiqh (jurisprudence) and preached at many places like Al Azhar, Jāmi’ ‘Amr and others. He also dictated to his students from his memory. Many highly educated people and distinguished scholars traveled to him to acquire from his vast knowledge.

His Books:

Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalānī authored more than 150 books – most of them being in the studies of Hadīth – which flourished during his lifetime, and the kings and princes exchanged them as gifts. His book most worthy of mentioning is Fath al Bārī – the commentary of Sahīh al Bukhārī, which he had started in the beginning of 807 H., after finishing its introductory part in 813 H., and completed the whole commentary in Rajab 842 H. After the completion of the commentary, he held a party attended by the Muslim dignitaries and spent 500 dinār on it. Then some kings requested for it and paid 300 dinār.

His Positions:

Ibn Hajar became the Qādī of Egypt, then ash Shām was also added to his jurisdiction which he held for more than twenty-one years. He was against holding the office of the qādī at first, until the Sultān assigned to him a special case, then he accepted to represent al Bakinī when he begged him very much to preside for him as qādī. Then he presided for others until he was assigned to hold the office of Chief Qādī on 12 Muharram, 827 H. He then left, but he had to take the office left of the Chief Qādī, for seven times until he led it finally in 852 H. which is the year he died in.

His Personality:

As concerns his personality, al ‘Asqalānī was humble, tolerant, patient and enduring. He was also described to be hilarious, steadfast, prudent, ascetic. selfless, generous, spender in charity and a person praying and fasting voluntarily. On the other hand he was said to be used to telling of humorous anecdotes. He had also good manners of dealing with all the Imām whether highly or lowly placed, and with all those who sat with him whether old or young.

His Death:

Ibn Hajar died after the ‘Isha prayer on Saturday, 8th Dhul Hijja 852 H.

May Allāh reward him generously.

(Alternate Spelling: Asqalaanee, Asqalanee)

Imam An Nawawi (b. 631 AH – d. 676 AH)

Imām an Nawawī (b. 631 AH – d. 676 AH)

Imām an Nawawī (rahīmahullāhu ta’ālā – d. 676 AH) was without doubt one of the greatest scholars this Ummah has been blessed with. His works have had a tremendous benefit and influence for the Muslims throughout history, and from amongst his works is his collection of 42 ahādīth of the Prophet, sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam which together form a comprehensive explanation of this Great Dīn of Islām. This work is commonly referred to as “an Nawawī‘s Forty Hadīth” and without doubt it contains immense benefit and guidance.

The complete name of Imām an Nawawī is Abu Zakaria Mohiuddīn Yahya, son of Sharaf An Nawawī. Nawawī refers to Nawā, a place near Damascus, in the suburb of the city of Howran. Imām an Nawawī was born at Nawā in the year 631 A.H.(about 1255 CE) His father, a virtuous and pious man, resolved to arrange for proper and befitting education as he had discovered the symptoms of heavenly intelligence and wisdom in his promising child at an early stage.

The Imām’s Simplicity and Good Manners:

The learned persons, elite of the society and the public greatly respected the Imām on account of his piety, learning and excellent character. He used simple dress and ate simple food. Devout scholars do not care about worldly chattels, they give preference to religious and academic pursuits, and the propagation of Faith. They experience more heavenly delight and joy in such activities than those who seek satisfaction in luxurious foods, precious clothes and other worldly things. Imām an Nawawī had a prominent place among the erudite notables of his age. He was a God-fearing person having illustrious and glorious aims regarding the propagation of Faith. The celebrated Shaykh Mohiuddīn expresses his impression about Imām an Nawawī thus:

“Imām an Nawawī had three distinctive commendable qualities in his person. If anybody has only one out of these three, people turn to him in abundance for guidance. First, having knowledge and its dissemination. Second, to evade completely from the worldly inclinations, and the third, inviting to all that is good (Islām) enjoining Al-Ma’ruf [i.e., Islāmic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do] and forbidding Al-Munkar [polytheism and disbelief and all that Islām has forbidden]. Imām an Nawawī had all three in him.”

His works and his death:

The learned Imām had a very short life but even during this short period, he had written a large number of books on different subjects. Every work of the Imām is a masterpiece and a treasure of knowledge. Hundreds and thousands of people benefit from these works. Some of his works :

  • al Minhaj fi Sharh Sahīh Muslim – A Commentary on Sahīh Muslim
  • al Arba’īn (ie The Forty Hadīth)
  • Riyād us Salihīn
  • Kitāb ur Raudah
  • Tahdhīb ul Asmā was Sifāt
  • Kitāb ul Adhkār
  • at Taqrīb fī Ilmul Hadīth wal Irshād fīhi
  • Sharh Sunan Abī Dawūd (Incomplete)
  • Tabaqāt Ash Shāfi’īyyah
  • Muhimmatul Ahkām
  • Bustān ul ‘Aarifīn
  • Al Khulāsatu fil Hadīth

At about the age of 45, Imām an Nawawī returned to his hometown. Soon after his arrival at Nawā, he fell ill and died. However, Imām an Nawawī is still living in the hearts of Muslims. His works are of everlasting value. May Allāh have Mercy upon him.

(Alternate Spelling: Nawawee)

Taken From:

 May the Peace and Blessings of Allāh be upon the Prophet, his family, and Companions.

al Imaam al Haafidh Abu Taahir as Silafee (d. 576 AH)

Aboo Taahir as-Salafee, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abroad, al Haafidh al-Kabeer, al-Asbahaatee. He was thiqah (precise, reliable and trustworthy), a haafidh (preserver). He died in the year 576H at the age of one-hundred and six.

See Tadhkirat-Huffaadh, 4/254.

[Taken from Footnotes from Foundations of the Sunnah of Imaam Ahmad (d. 241 AH) Edited and Footnotes by Aboo ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Fawwaaz Ahmad Zumarlee ]

Al Imaan al Haafidh Abul-Abbaas Ahmad ibn Thaabit at-Turqee

Abul-’Abbaas Ahmad ibn Thaabit ibn Muhammad, at Turqee, al Asbahaanee. He was a haafidh mutqin (extremely precise in his memorisation) He heard (in Asbahaan) from Abul-Fadl al-Mutahhar ibn ‘Abdul-Waahid, Abul-Qaasim al-Busree, Aboo ‘Alee at-Tustaree and others besides them.

See Al-Lubaal fee Tahdheebil-Insaab, 2/280.

[Taken from Footnotes from Foundations of the Sunnah of Imaam Ahmad (d. 241 AH) Edited and Footnotes by Aboo ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Fawwaaz Ahmad Zumarlee ]


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Fiqh As Sawm

Islamic Rulings Surrounding Ramadhan and Fasting. Based on “Manar As Sabeel Fi Sharh Ad Daleel” Of Shaykh Ibraheem ibn Duwaiyan (d. 1353 AH) as explained by Br. Salim Morgan. Transcribed and Edited By Ibn Al Hyderabadee

Prologue Introduction

Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan
1. A pillar of Islam 2. Obligation of Fasting 3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan 4. One reliable witness' presence is sufficient 5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual 6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness 7. Requirements of a valid fast 8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting 9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Permissions and Prohibitions

1. Impermissible to break fast during Ramadhan 2. Prohibited to fast for a woman in her menstrual or post-partum bleedin 3. Obligatory to break it when it is required to save a person’s life 4. Recommended to break fast for one who is ill and fears harm from fasting. 5. Recommended to break fast when one is traveling 6. Permissible for one to break fast who begins a journey while fasting 7. Permissible for a pregnant or nursing (breast feeding) woman 8. Change of condition of a person doesn’t obligate one to refrain from eating and drinking the rest of the day. 9. Prohibited to fast a voluntary fast instead of an obligatory one.

Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast

1. Intentional Intake of anything into the abdomen 2. Intention to break fast 3. Fluctuating Intention to fast 4. Vomiting intentionally 5. Menstruation or Post Partum Bleeding 6. Masturbation 7. Marital Relations 8. Cupping for both parties 9. Death 10. Apostasy 11. Above are Exempted in some cases

Chapter 4: Repayment
1. Missing a day of fast in Ramadhan
2. When does one make up a missed fast
3. If missed fast are not made up until few dats before next Ramadhan
4. Missed fasts first or voluntary?

Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting
1. Recommended Every Other Day Sawn Dawood
2. The three white days of every Islamic month
3. Six days of Shawwaal
4. Month of Muharram and the 10th
5. Ten days of Dhil Hijja and that of Arafat
6. Disliking of the month of Rajab
7. Disliking of the day of Friday
8. Disliking of the 30th of Shabaan
9. Impermissibility of fasting on the two Eids
10. Completing of a voluntary fast is not Wajib