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A poem overflowing with beauty and gentleness!

Sh. Saeed al-Kamali (may Allah preserve him) when providing commentary on the ‘Muwatta of Imam Malik’ would delve into the meanings of Arabic words and their roots, as well as the various styles of speaking in Arabic and where they have been used elsewhere in the Language.

From that was the following the story of the poet Kuthayyir and his fascination with ‘Azza.

Reference:

[1] Commentary on Muwatta Malik – Lecture 146 (34:50-40:00)

[2] Section on Kuthayyir Azza from Ibn Kathir’s “Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya” 9/278 (Link) & (Arabic Wiki):

وفيها توفي كثير عزة الشاعر المشهور

وهو كثير بن عبد الرحمن بن الأسود بن عامر، أبو صخر الخزاعي الحجازي، المعروف بابن أبي جمعة، وعزة هذه المشهور بها المنسوب إليها، لتغزله فيها، هي أم عمرو عزة بالعين المهملة، بنت جميل بن حفص، من بني حاجب بن غفار

[3] Brief article about Kuthayyir from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuthayyir):

Kuthayyir ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥman (c. 660 – c. 723), commonly known as Kuthayyir ‘Azzah (Arabic: كثيّر عزّة‎‎) was an Arab ‘Udhri poet of the Umayyad period from the tribe of Azd. He was born in Medina and resided in Hijaz and Egypt. In his poems he was occupied with his unfullfilled love to a married woman named ‘Azza. Favorite topics in his poetry are love and panegyrics. He made acquaintance of the governor ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Marwan and the caliphs Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz and Yazid II

[4] Narration reference: http://sunnah.com/urn/1319210

[5] Abdul-Qadir al-Baghdadi in “Khizanat al-Adab” 5/211 (Islamport page 2/182 & Page 2/185)

[6] Complete Poem (Adab.com)

The verses mentioned by the Shaykh in this clip:

خليليَّ هذا ربعُ عُزَّة َ فاعقلا قلوصيكُما ثمّ ابكيا حيثُ حلَّتِ
Oh my companions, that is the convoy of ‘Azza, so tie your she-camels,
then start weeping where she has camped!

ومُسّا تراباً كَانَ قَدْ مَسَّ جِلدها وبِيتاً وَظِلاَّ حَيْثُ باتتْ وظلّتِ
And [try to] touch the sand, which has touched her skin,
and spend your nights and remain, where she has spent her [nights] and remained.

ولا تيأسا أنْ يَمْحُوَ الله عنكُما ذنوباً إذا صَلَّيْتما حَيْثُ صَلّتِ
(And don’t lose hope that Allah shall wipe away from your sins,
if you managed to pray [in a spot] in which she has prayed.)

وما كنتُ أدري قبلَ عَزَّة َ ما البُكا ولا مُوجِعَاتِ القَلبِ حتَّى تَوَلَّتِ
And I never knew before I met ‘Azza what crying was,
nor what were heart aches until she departed.

* * *

يُكلّفُها الغيرانُ شَتْمِي وَمَا بِهَا هواني ولكنْ للمليكِ استزَلّتِ
The jealous one compels her to insult me, while she wishes not to humiliate me, But for the wishes of her guardian she submitted.

هنيئاً مريئاً غيرَ داءٍ مخامرٍ لعزَّة َ من أعراضنا ما استحلَّتِ
[Consume what you wish] with satisfaction and ease, [wishing you] no ill effects or harm, for ‘Azza, from our honors whatever she wishes to consume.

أَسِيئي بِنا أَو أحْسِني لا مَلُومَة ً لدينا ولا مَقْلِيّة ً إنْ تَقَلَّتِ
Wrong us or do us good, you will not be blamed by us regardless,
Nor will you be despised, even if you show hatred towards us!

* * *

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Sh. Saeed al-Kamali (may Allah preserve him) narrates a light hearted story about a tribe like no other.

 

Tulayha ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi became an apostate and claimed to be a Prophet. Thousands of people followed him in his claim. He set up an army to fight the Muslims, but was defeated and the majority of his army were killed upon the state of apostasy they were upon.

He, however, managed to escape, and later repented from his claims and accepted Islam once again. He strived to perfect his Islam and fought for the sake of Allah in the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah and later in the Battle of Nahavand, where he attained martyrdom and his performance was pivotal in the victory of the Muslims in this battle.

Moral of this story: Always be careful about who you choose to follow.

For they perished … But he was saved!

References:

[1] Benefited from: https://www.facebook.com/alazhary12/posts/1087432327991384

ارتد طليحة بن خويلد الأسدي وتنبأ وتابعه الألوف فجهز جيشا لحرب المسلمين فهزم وقُتل غالب جيشه على ردتهم حتى فر ثم أسلم وحسن إسلامه وجاهد في القادسية واستشهد في معركة نهاوند
هلكوا ونجا

 

The Battles of Ridda

The Handwriting of Imam Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioning his listening to the recitation of the Muwatta of Imam Malik from his Shaykha Zaynab bint al-Kamal al-Maqdisiya al-Dimashqiya (may Allah have mercy on her) in the Hanabilah Mosque near Mount Qasioun in Damascus [1].

سماعٌ لموطأ مالك بخطِّ الحافظ ابن كثير على شيخته زينبَ بنتِ الكمال المقدسية الدمشقية، وذلك بجامع الحنابلة في سفح قاسيونَ بدمشق:ـ

Ibn Katheer handwriting

She is: Um Abdullah Zaynab bint Ahmad b. Abdulraheem al-Maqdisiya al-Dimashqiya, better known as Bint Al-Kamal [2].

She was born in the year of 646 of Hijra

From her students and those who took knowledge from her are Imam al-Dhahabi author of Siyar A’laam al-Nubala, in which he said when speaking of her father:

“And in this year the Muhadeth, Faqeeh, Kamal al-Din Ahmad b. Abdulraheem, the father of our scholar (i.e. meaning her) passed away” [3]

She had many students and students of knowledge would travel to take from her knowledge. She was known for her gentleness, great manners, and patience with her students.

She died in 740 of Hijra.

Hanabilah Mosque

Hanabilah Mosque in Damascus can be seen above (with its minaret center-right)

Hanabela_04

 

Reference:

[1] Benefited from Sh. Muhammad b. Wael al-Hanbali (Link)

[2] Biography (ahl alhdeeth forum post)

[3] Siyar A’laam al-Nubala 23/307

[4] Mount Qasioun (Wikipedia)

[5] Pictures from the Hanabila Mosque in Damascus (PicturesPictures 2)

The big scholar Jamal al-Din al-Qassimi (may Allah have mercy on him), who died in 1332 H:

Read:

  • Saheeh Muslim with commentary, explanation, and deriving rulings and benefits in 40 days.
  • Sunan Ibn Majah in 21 days.
  • Muwatta of Imam Malik in 19 days.
  • Taqreeb al-Tahzeeb in 10 days.

(Benefited from Sh. Muhammad b. Wael al-Hanbali)

References:

[1] Benefited from Sh. Muhammad b. Wael al-Hanbali (Link)

العلامة ⁧‫#‏جمال_الدين_القاسمي‬⁩ الدمشقي ت1332هـ:ـ
قرأ "صحيحَ مسلم" درايةً بـ ٤٠ يومًا
و"سننَ ابنِ ماجه" في ٢١ يومًا
و"الموطأَ" في ١٩ يومًا
و"تقريبَ التهذيب" مع تصحيحه وتحشيتِه في ١٠ أيام !

 

al-Qassimi

Sh. Muhammad b. Wael al-Hanbali said:

When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk waged his war on the scholars and Islamic schools in Turkey, the scholar of our scholars, Shaykh Ali Haydar Efendi d. 1380 H (may Allah have mercy on him), said:

"If the books of the four Madhahib [1] were to perish, I could dictate them back from my chest (i.e. from memory)".

This was narrated to me by one of his students who heard it from him [2].

Reference:

[1] Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence

[2] Benefitted from Sh. Muhammad b. Wael al-Hanbali (Link)

عندما حارب أتاتورك العلماءَ والمدارسَ الشرعيةَ بتركيا قال شيخ مشايخنا علي حيدر أفندي ت١٣٨٠هـ: لو فنيتْ كتبُ المذاهبِ الأربعة لأمليتُها مِن صدري !ـ
حدثني بذلك: أحدُ طلابِه عنه

 

Sh. Ali Haydar

The Mujtahid, the Mufasir, the Imam Ibn Jareer al-Tabari (224-310H) -may Allah have mercy on him- said:

I memorized the Quran when I was seven years old, and
Led congregational prayers when I was eight years old, and
Started recording Prophetic traditions when I was nine years old. [1]

Sh. Muhammad b. Wael al-Hanbali said: "These texts and its likes should be a mean to motivate us and to make us realize the caliber of our scholars" [2].

Reference:

[1] Mu’jam al-Udabaa 6/2446

[2] Benefitted from Sh. Muhammad b. Wael al-Hanbali (Link)

 

قال الإمام المجتهد المفسِّر المؤرِّخ ابنُ جريرٍ الطبري:ـ
حفظتُ القرآنَ ولي سبعُ سنين، وصليتُ بالناس وأنا ابنُ ثماني سنين، وكتبتُ الحديثَ وأنا ابنُ تسعِ سنين !ـ

هذه النصوصُ وأمثالُها نقرؤها لنرفعَ عزيمتَنا، ونعرف قدرَ علمائنا، ولا نُقارنَ تقصيرَنا بهممهم !ـ

مقولةُ ابنِ جرير في معجم الأدباء: 2446/6

 

تفسير-الطبري-Copy

 

Sh. Al-Islam Mustafa Sabri

Shaykh Mustafa Sabri Efendi was the last Mufti of the Ottoman Empire and held the title Shaykh Al-Islam [1] during his life. He was born in the year 1286 H (1869 CE) in Anatolia, and is considered one of the biggest scholars of his time.

Sh. Mustafa Sabri lived a life of knowledge, da’wah, and struggle. He was forced to migrate from Turkey to Egypt as not to be compelled to speak words in support or praise of the oppressors.

"وإذا البلاد تغيرت عن حالها ** فدع المقام وبادر التحويلا
ليس المقام عليك فرضا واجبا ** فى بلدة تدع العزيز زليلا"ـ

During his life in Egypt, he led a life of poverty and hunger. However, he did not let this poverty and continuous hunger diminish his Faith or doubt his position, and he is quoted to have said of this poverty he faced following his migration to Egypt:

“That is much better for me than being a supporter of the oppressors” [2]

هاجر شيخ الإسلام مصطفى صبري من تركيا إلى مصر؛ كي لا يمدح طاغوتًا مجرمًا، فكان يبيتُ جائعًا بالقاهرة ويقول: هذا خيرٌ مِن تأييد الظالمين!ـ

At a time when the Indians were protesting the English administration, Mahatma Gandhi went on hunger-strikes that would receive ample attention and media coverage, including by the Muslim owned news agencies. Shaykh ul-Islam Mustafa Sabri, upon witnessing this, is reported to have said [3]:

“Gandhi decides to start a hunger-strike, and the whole world has shaken from its place. While the Ottoman Shaykh ul-Islam, with his family, has been starving for years and the Islamic world remains unaware. The Ottoman dynasty is in such a miserable state, it’s Shaykh ul-Islam would eat dry beans for months and nobody would be aware of this.”

He wrote a tearful poem in which he described his condition and contrasts between his fasting and hunger and that of Gandhi, in which he says [4]:

“Except that between the two fasts is an astonishing difference, which I shall clarify without hesitation

He has fasted while having food to eat, while I fasted because I have nothing to eat, which has been my state since arriving as a visitor to Egypt

And his fast became the talk of everyone, while my fast is something only known to me

It is for the sake of Islam, that which I am facing … etc”

Poem Mustafa Sabri

He died and was buried in Egypt in 1373H (1954 CE).

May Allah have mercy on him.

References:

[1] http://www.dr-alawni.com/articles.php?show=15

[2] Benefitted from Sh. Muhammad Wael al-Hanbali (Facebook)

[3] The Last Ottoman Shaykh ul-Islam: Mustafa Sabri Effendi: http://www.worldbulletin.net/islamic-history/115375/the-last-ottoman-shaykh-ul-islam-mustafa-sabri-effendi

[4] Poem benefitted from Facebook post

Shaykh Saeed Al-Kamali (may Allah preserve him) in this video gives a brief introduction to Imam Al-Layth ibn Saa’d, Shaykh al-Islam, al-Hafiz, and the Imam of the people of Egypt.

A man whom Allah had blessed with abundant wealth, yet never had to pay Zakah throughout his life!

 

These are my fathers, so bring me anyone like them ***

If we ever gather, Oh Jareer, in a gathering.

أولئك آبائي فجئني بمثلهم *** إذا جمعتنا يا جرير المجامع

Imam al-Dhahabi (May Allah have mercy on him) said [1]: [He is] Al-Imam, Al-Hafiz, Shaykh Al-Islam, and the Scholar of the Egyptian Land, Abu al-Harith.

He was born in the year of 94H, and died in the year of 175H.

References:

[1] Siyar A’laam Al-Nubalaa 8/136-163

[2] The approximate value of 1,000 Dinars today can be estimated as follow:

  • Given that 20 Dinars is the Nisaab of Zakaah and is around 85 grams of Gold.
  • 1,000 Dinars would thus be 4.250 kg of Gold, equivalent to $167,450 USD on the day of this post.

Shaykh Saeed Al-Kamali (may Allah preserve him) narrates a story about a little know companion of the Messenger of Allah. That man is: Zayd ibn Muhalhil ibn Zayd al-Taaei [1], more famously known as Zayd al-Khayl (Zayd of the Steeds).

He was known for his bravery, strength, huge physique, poetry, and generosity.

When he came to the Messenger, the Messenger asked him who he was, so he said: “I am Zayd al-Khayl (Zayd of the Steeds), Oh Messenger of Allah”

So the Messenger said: Rather you are Zayd al-Khayr (Zayd of Goodness).

Then the Messenger said: "O Zayd, no man has ever been described to me in Jahiliya and then I saw him, except that he was lesser than what was described to me, except for you." [1]

They differed in regards to his death where some said he died after his return from the Messenger of Allah, and others said he died during the Caliphate of Umar.​

Zayd was from among the brave knights in the time of Jahiliya and from their poets and heroes. He was well known, quite famous, and they narrated about him many stories in the books of Arabic literature.

From these is what was narrated by al-Qadi al-Tanoukhi in his book "Al-Mustajad", and ibn Al-Hamawi in "Thamarat Al-Awraaq", and others.

During one of the years, Banu Shayban were afflicted by a severe drought which caused their riches to perish. So one man from among them took his family and children and went to Al-Hira.

There, he left his family and told them, "Wait for me here next to the King, so that you may receive some of his Charity, and wait for me till I return to you."

He swore to himself not to return to them until he earned some money for them or died in the process.

The man took some provisions with him and walked all day in search of something for his family. At nightfall, he found himself in front of a tent. Nearby, a horse was tethered, so he said to himself:

"This is the first of my booties."

He went to the horse to untie it, when he heard a voice called out to him: "Leave the horse and keep your life as booty."

So he abandoned the horse and left.

He then kept on walking for seven days …

Until he reached a place where there was a pasture for camels (a place where camels are tied).

No camels were there, at the time.

Nearby was an enormous tent with a leather great dome, signs of great riches and wealth. So he said to himself:

"Undoubtedly this pasture has camels, and undoubtedly this tent has occupants, and undoubtedly this dome has a master."

The sun was about to set.

The man looked inside the tent and saw a very old man, whose collar bones were so close together, as if he was an eagle.

So he hid behind the old man without the latter realizing his presence.

When the sun set.

A huge male camel approached and behind him were almost a hundred she-camels, and with them is a horseman.

He said (i.e. that man): And I saw a horseman, whom I have never seen anyone greater than or better built.

He was over his horse and his feet were nearly touching the ground!

And with him were two male servants accompanying him, one on each side.

The male camel knelt, so the she-camels knelt down along with him.

That horseman said to one of his servants, pointing to a fat camel:

"Milk this and give the old man to drink."

He said: So he milked it, and then he went and placed the vessel in front of the old man.

He said: So the old man drank one or two mouthfuls, then he left the vessel.

He said: So I went up to it stealthily and drank all the milk in it.

The servant returned, took the vessel and said to the horseman:

"Master, he drank it all."

The horseman was happy and ordered another camel to be milked.

So the servant milked another camel and placed the vessel in front of the old man.

So the old man drank only one mouthful from it and left it.

The man grabbed the vessel and drank half of it, so as not to arouse suspicion.

A vessel of that size is usually enough for 2 or 3 people.

The servant said to the horseman, the old man has drank until he is full.

Because he kept some milk in the vessel.

The horseman then ordered his second servant to slaughter a sheep. Some of it was grilled and the horseman fed the old man until he was full.

He and the two servants then ate.

After this, they all slept soundly; until their snoring filled the tent.

The man then went to the he-camel, untied and mounted it. He rode off with it, and all the she camels followed.

He rode throughout the night, until the break of dawn.

At daybreak, he looked around in every direction but did not see anyone following him. He pushed it forward on until the sun was high in the sky.

He looked around and suddenly saw something like an eagle in the distance coming towards him.

It quickly gained on him and soon he saw that it was the horseman from last night on his horse.

The man dismounted and tied the he-camel. He took out an arrow and placed it in his bow and stood in front of the other camels. The horseman stopped at a distance and shouted:

"Untie the camel."

The man refused saying: No, by Allah, I will not, for I had left behind me hungry woman in Hira and had sworn not to return to them until I have gained some wealth for them or die in the process.

So the horseman told him: "You are dead either way, so untie the camel".

The man again refused, and said: "It is by Allah as I have told you".

So the horseman told him: "You are indeed arrogant …".

"Hold out the reins of the camel and make in it five knots".

The man said: So I did, as he said.

The horseman then told me: "In which of the knots do you want me to place my arrow."

The man pointed to one of them, and the horseman lodged an arrow right in its center as if he had neatly placed it there with his hand.

He then did the same with the remaining knots.

At that, the man quietly returned his own arrow to his quiver and gave himself up.

The horseman took away his arrows and his bow and said to him:

"Ride behind me."

The man expected the worst fate to befall him now. He was at the complete mercy of the horseman who said: "What do you think of me?"

He said: "The best of thoughts"

So the horseman asked: "And why is that?"

So the man said: "I exhausted you tonight, then Allah gave you the upper hand over me.”

So the horseman said: "We were not to cause you any harm after you have shared with Muhalhil his drink and his food last night?"

When the man heard the name Muhalhil, he was astonished and asked:

"Are you Zayd al-Khayl?"

"Yes," said the horseman.

The horseman, Zayd Al-Khayl, said to the man: "If these camels were mine, I would given them to you. But they belong to one of the daughters of Muhalhil. But stay with me."

Few days past and Zayd waged a raid against Banu Numayr and captured about a hundred camels, as booty.

He then told that man, these are one hundred camels, are they more beloved to you or the others.

So the man said these ones.

So Zayd gave them all to the man and sent some men with him as guards until he reached his family in Hira [2].

*****

The above is a story of Zayd al-Khayl as he was in Jahiliyyah. The books of Siyar give another picture of Zayd al-Khayl as he was in Islam . . .

When Zayd al-Khayl heard the news of the Prophet, peace be upon him, he made some of his own enquiries and then decided to go to Madinah to meet the Prophet. With him was a big delegation of his people among whom were Zurr ibn Sudoos, Malik ibn Jubayr, Aamir ibn Duwayn and others.

When they reached Madinah, they went straight to the Prophet’s Mosque and tethered their mounts at its door. It happened that as they entered, the Prophet was on the minbar addressing the Muslims. His speech aroused Zayd and his delegation and they were also astonished by the rapt attention of the Muslims and the effect of the Prophet’s words on them. The Prophet was saying:

"I am better for you than al-Uzza (one of the main idols of the Arabs in Jahiliyyah) and everything else that you worship. I am better for you than the black camel which you worship besides God."

The Prophet’s words had two different effects on Zayd al-Khayl and those with him. Some of them responded positively to the Truth and accepted it. Some turned away and rejected it. One of the latter was Zurr ibn Sudoos. When he saw the devotion of the believers to Muhammad, both envy and fear filled his heart and he said to those with him:

"I see a man who shall certainly captivate all Arabs and bring them under his sway. I shall not let him control me ever." He then headed towards Syria where it is said he shaved his head (as was the practice of some monks) and became a Christian.

The reaction of Zayd and others was different. When the Prophet had finished speaking, Zayd stood up, tall and impressive-looking in the midst of the Muslims and said in a loud and clear voice:

"O Muhammad, I testify that there is no god but Allah and that you are the messenger of Allah." The Prophet came up to him and asked, "Who are you?"

"I am Zayd al-Khayl the son of Muhalhil."

"From now on you are Zayd al-Khayr instead, not Zayd al-Khayl," said the Prophet. "Praise be to God Who has brought you from the hills and dales of your native land and softened your heart towards Islam." Thereafter he was known as Zayd al-Khayr (Zayd the Good).

The Prophet then took him to his house. With them were Umar ibn al-Khattab and some other Companions. The Prophet gave him a cushion to sit on but he felt very uncomfortable to sit reclined in the presence of the Prophet so he returned the cushion. The Prophet handed it back to him and he returned it to him. When they were all seated, the Prophet said to Zayd al-Khayr:

"O Zayd, no man has ever been described to me and when I see him he does not fit the description at all except you. You have two characteristics which are pleasing to God and His Prophet."

"What are they?" asked Zayd.

"Perseverance and sagacity," replied the Prophet.

Zayd said: "Praise be to God, who has blessed me with that which is pleasing to Him and His Prophet."

He then said to the Prophet:

"O Messenger of Allah, give me three hundred horsemen and I promise you that I will secure Byzantine territory with them."

The Prophet praised his fervour and said, "What manner of man are you!"

During this visit, all those who stayed with Zayd became Muslims. They then desired to return to their homes in Najd and the Prophet bade them farewell. The great desire of Zayd al-Khayr to work and fight for the cause of Islam, however, was not to be realised.

In Madinah al-Munawwarah at that time there was an epidemic of fever and Zayd al-Khayr succumbed to it. Zayd took the road to his people in Najd in spite of the fact that the fever became more and more intense and slowed him down. He hoped at least to get back to his people and that they would become Muslims, through God’s grace, at his hands. He struggled to overcome the fever but it got the better of him and he breathed his last on the way before reaching Najd.

Between his acceptance of Islam and his death, however, there was no time for him to have fallen into sin. It is narrated that he was saddened during his death as he did not get a chance to fight as a Muslim before he meets Allah [2].

***** 

He left two sons, Maknaf and Hurayth. They also embraced Islam and gained companionship of the Messenger of Allah, and later on fought alongside Khaled ibn Al-Waleed (may Allah be pleased with him) during the battles of the Ridaa, during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) [1].

Reference:

[1] Paraphrased from: Usd al-Ghaba 1/406-407.

[2] Translation partly edited from based on the narration of Shaykh Saeed: "Companions of The Prophet", Vol.1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid. http://www.sunnah.org/history/Sahaba/zayd.html. The second part was left for the most part as is.

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