Archive for the an-Nawawi Category

Golden Chains

Posted in an-Nawawi, Ibn Kathir on July 24, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

In ‘Sahih Muslim’ (2880), Sufyan bin ‘Uyaynah narrated from Zaynab bint Abi Salamah from Habibah from Umm Habibah from Zaynab bint Jahsh that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) woke up one day and said: “Woe to the Arabs from an evil that has come closer! Today, a gap this size has formed in the wall containing Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog),” and Sufyan formed a circle with his fingers to demonstrate what was relayed to him. So, Zaynab asked: “O Messenger of Allah, can we be destroyed while there are righteous people among us?” He said: “Yes, if corruption becomes widespread.”

an-Nawawi commented in ‘Sharh Sahih Muslim’ (9/180):
“This chain of narration contains four female Companions – two of the Messenger of Allah’s wives and two of his step-daughters – narrating from each other in a continuous chain. And it is not known that any other hadith besides this combines four female Companions with each narrating from the other in a continuous chain.”

And Ibn Kathir mentioned the following gem in ‘Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim’ (2/142):

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Reflecting Over Punished Nations

Posted in an-Nawawi, Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani on September 11, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his Companions passed by al-Hijr, which was the location of the dwellings of the people of Thamud. So, the Prophet turned to them and said: “Do not approach the dwellings of these people who have been punished except that you are weeping. If you will not weep while doing so, do not approach them lest you be struck with the same punishment they were struck with.”

This was reported by al-Bukhari (433) and Muslim (2970).

In ‘Fath al-Bari’ (1/632), Ibn Hajar commented with the following:

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A Glimpse at an-Nawawi

Posted in 'Abdullah 'Azzam, an-Nawawi on June 5, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

“…It is known that he is from the most knowledgeable of scholars in the history of Islam. I mean, if you were to take the ten most notable scholars of the Muslims throughout history, an-Nawawi would be one of them. He wrote a commentary on ‘Sahih Muslim,’ and he wrote his book ‘al-Majmu” in Fiqh, regarding which Ibn Kathir said: “Nothing was ever written to match its brilliance.” And yes, nothing was ever written like this book.

When you read anything by an-Nawawi, you feel as if you are a plant that is being watered, as he delves deeply into meanings and concepts. Add to this that he abstained from the worldly pleasures, he was a devout worshipper, he would enjoin what was good, and he would forbid what was wrong. He would stand up to the rulers in the peak of their power. One time, the lamp he was using went out, and he lit it with his hand – he continued writing using light that was emanating from his hand!

He came into conflict with Dhahir Baybras, the ruler of Sham and Egypt. Dhahir Baybras requested a fatwa from the scholars that money should be collected in order to prepare an army to fight the Tatars in 658 H. When the Tatars occupied Baghdad and advanced upon Palestine and turned towards Sham, he requested a fatwa while the Tatars were in Palestine that money should be collected to purchase weapons.

Every single scholar issued the fatwa except for an-Nawawi. He said: “I will not provide you with such a fatwa.”

Dhahir asked: “Why not? I want to purchase arms for this struggle, and you refuse to issue a fatwa for it? The entire Ummah and Religion will be exposed to loss.”

He replied: “Because you came to us as a slave who owned nothing, and I see that you now own gardens, servants, slave girls, silver, and gold. So, if you sell all of these things and still need money after that, I will issue the fatwa you seek.”

He said: “Leave Sham.”

And he left and went to a small village in Nawa (his hometown). The scholars came to Dhahir Baybras and said to him: “The scholars of Sham are nothing without Muhi ad-Din an-Nawawi.” He replied: “Bring him back.” They then went to an-Nawawi and said: “Come back, O Muhi ad-Din.” an-Nawawi said: “By Allah, I will not go back while Dhahir is in it,” and Allah fulfilled his oath: Dhahir died a month later, and an-Nawawi returned to Sham.

This is an-Nawawi, the devout worshipper, the scholar, the zahid, the scholar of Usul, Fiqh, and Hadith. Look at the blessing that is in his books…ya Salam! Look at the barakah: his book ‘al-Majmu” has provided much benefit, his book ‘Riyad as-Salihin,’ his book of forty Hadith, his book ‘al-Adhkar’ – you can feel the barakah in his books. No books have been so widely distributed as the books of an-Nawawi…”

[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’; p. 67-68]

Regarding the Expiation of Sins

Posted in an-Nawawi, Original & Misc. on February 9, 2008 by Tarek Mehanna

There are two opinions on this matter: One group of the scholars say that the abandonment of major sins is a condition for the obligatory acts to expiate for the minor sins. So, if any major sins are committed, this automatically prevents the minor sins from being wiped out by these obligatory acts.

The other group says that the obligatory acts wipe out the minor sins, even if major sins are committed (with the condition that one repents and does not consistently commit them), and that these texts show that the major sins are not so easily wiped out by simply performing the obligatory acts.

In his tafsir of the verse {“If you avoid the major sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance.”} [an-Nisa’; 31], the great Mufassir Ibn ‘Atiyyah considered the second opinion to be the stronger one.

This was also the opinion of an-Nawawi, who said (‘Sharh Sahih Muslim’; 2/98):

“The meaning is that all sins will be forgiven (by performing these obligatory acts), except the major ones, as they are not forgiven in such a manner. And the meaning here is not that the minor sins are forgiven if there are no major sins committed, otherwise, the minor sins are not forgiven, as this – even if it is a possible conclusion – is contradicted by the other ahadith. al-Qadi ‘Iyad said: “What is mentioned here regarding the ahadith about minor sins being forgiven in the absence of major sins is the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnah, and that the major sins are expiated either by way of repentance, or Mercy from Allah, the Exalted.””

And Allah Knows best.