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Background:

From the most eloquent of poems in the topic of preserving the people of knowledge to the knowledge they hold, and holding it in high regard, is the poem of al-Qadi Ali b. ‘Abd al-Azeez b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Ismael al-Jurjani (may Allah have mercy on him). He was born in the town of Gorgan, Persia around the year of 322 H (or 290H) and died in the city of Ray, Persia in the year 392 of Hijra (or 365 H or 396H)[1-3].

The scholars used to advice their students to memorize his poem because of its eloquence and deep meanings.

Abridged versions of the poem are often reported, with some verses reported in different orders. The most comprehensive published version we came across is that which was reported in Majma’al-Lugha al-Arabiya Volume 79 p. 792, the Arabic of which is shown below [4].

We attempted to preserve the meaning in our translation, but found it to be difficult in many instances. We hope that we were successful in transmitting part of the meaning, and appreciate suggestions and comments before we revisit the translation in the future.

Video:

The Poem:

1. They tell me: ‘You are oft retracted [and secluded]’, however *

[what they have seen] is a man who, from the stances of disgrace, has kept away.

يقولون لي فيك انقباضٌ وإنما ** رأوا رجلاً عن موقفِ الذلِّ أحجما

2. I saw people, whoever mixes with them plenty, is devalued by them *

But those dignified through the nobility of their soul remain revered.

أرى الناسَ من داناهُمُ هان عندهم ** ومن أكرَمته عزةُ النفسِ أكرِما

3. And I did not fulfill the rights of knowledge [upon me], if whenever *

A desire appears to me, I used it as a ladder to acquiring it.

ولم أقضِ حَقَّ العلمِ إن كان كُلَّمَا * بدا طَمَعٌ صَيَّرتُه لي سُلَّما

4. And I have remained secluded with my honour, away *

from [the situations of] disgrace, for maintaining [my honor] is a great bounty by itself.

وما زلتُ مُنحازاً بعرضيَ جانباً * من الذلِّ أعتدُّ الصيانةَ مَغنما

5. If it is said: ‘There is a fountain [of riches]’, I reply: *

I may consider, but truly the soul of the free can bear the thirst.

إذا قيلَ هذا مَنهلٌ قلتُ قد أرى * ولكنَّ نفسَ الحرِّ تَحتَملَ الظَّمَا

6. I protect it even from matters that won’t disgrace it *

Fearing that my enemies may say: ‘What for or why so’?

أُنزِّهها عن بَعضِ ما لا يشينُها * مخافةَ أقوال العدا فيم أو لما

7. I thus stay from the eyes of the wicked protected *

And remain in the thoughts of the noble revered.

فأصبحُ عن عيبِ اللئيمِ مسلَّما * وقد رحتُ في نفسِ الكريمِ مُعَظَّما

8. And If I were to miss out on a matter, I do not spend the night *

Chasing it with my thoughts [and thinking about it] with regret.

وإني إذا ما فاتني الأمرُ لم أبت * أقلِّبُ فكري إثره مُتَنَدِّما

9. If it however, comes to me by itself, I may accept it *

But if it turns away, I do not follow it, asking myself: if only or until when?

ولكنه إن جاء عَفواً قبلتُه * وإن مَالَ لم أُتبعهُ هَلاِّ وليتَما

10. I hold back my steps from many [locations of] fortunes? *

If I could not acquire it with my honor intact and dignified.

وأقبضُ خَطوي عن حُظوظٍ كثيرةٍ * إذا لم أَنلها وافر العرضِ مُكرما

11. I honor myself [through holding it back from] laughing with someone frowning? *

Or from greeting those blameworthy with praise.

وأكرمُ نفسي أن أُضاحكَ عابساً * وأن أَتلقَّى بالمديح مُذمَّما

12. How many are those who seek my captivity through their grants, yet have not reached *

To that goal, even if he was the glorified ruler [of the land].

وكم طالبٍ رقي بنعماه لم يَصِل * إليه وإن كَانَ الرَّئيسَ الُمعظَّما

13. How plenty are the blessings that were in fact a curse on those free? *

And how many bounties are considered by those free as debts.

وكم نعمة كانت على الُحرِّ نقمَةً * وكم مغنمٍ يَعتَده الحرُّ مَغرَما

14. And I did not spend my eyes serving this knowledge, *

So that I become a servant for those I meet, but rather to be served.

ولم أبتذل في خدمة العلمِ مُهجَتي * لأَخدمَ من لاقيتُ لكن لأُخدما

15. Would I suffer in planting it and then gather it disgrace *

If that was the case, then following the road of ignorance would have been wiser.

أأشقى به غَرساً وأجنيه ذِلةً * إذن فاتباعُ الجهلِ قد كان أَحزَما

16. And I am indeed well-pleased with a young man who remains chaste *

He goes and comes back and does not possess a Dirham.

44.*[و إنِّي لَرَاضٍ عَن فَتَىً مُتَعَفِّفٍ * يَرُوحُ و يَغْدُو لَيْسَ يَمْلِكُ دِرْهَمَـــا

17. He spends the night watching the stars from the misery of his state? *

And awakens bright, laughing, with a smile [on his face].

45.*[يَبِيْتُ يُرَاعِيْ النَّجْمَ مِنْ سُوءِ حَالِهِ * و يُصْبِحُ طَلْقَاً ضَاحِكَاً مُتَبَسِّمَــــا]

18. He does not ask the wealthy what they hold in their palms *

Even if that meant dying of hunger, with nobility and dignity.

46.*[و لَا يَسْأَلُ المُثْرِينَ مَا بِأَكُفِّهِمْ * و لَوْ مَاتَ جُوْعَاً غُصَّةً و تَكَرُّمَــا]

19. If you say, the good fortunes of knowledge are falling [nowadays], [I’d say], Indeed *

It has fallen when we did not guard its boundaries and it was forsaken.

فإن قُلتَ جَدُّ العلم كابٍ فإنما * كبا حين لم يحرس حماه وأُسلما

20. Had the people of knowledge preserved it, it would have preserved them [back], *

And if they dignified it in the souls of the people, it would have remained dignified.

ولو أن أهل العلمِ صانوه صانَهُم * ولو عَظَّمُوه في النفوسِ لَعُظِّما

21. But they humiliated it, so they were humiliated [in return], and they violated *

Its boundaries with their greed until it turned gloomy.

ولكن أهانوه فهانو ودَنَّسُوا * مُحَيَّاه بالأطماعِ حتى تَجهَّما

22. Truly, not every thunderbolt that appears to me would attract me *

Neither does everyone I meet I would accept to bestow favors upon me.

وما كلُّ برقٍ لاحَ لي يستفزُّني * ولا كلُّ من في الأرضِ أرضاه مُنَعَّما

23. Yet, when under great harm [and difficulty], I do not *

Spend my night thinking of someone who can save me from Najd or from Tuhamah.

ولكن إذا ما اضطرني الضُّرُّ لم أَبتِ * أُقلبُ فكري مُنجداً ثم مُتهما

24. Until I can find someone whose mentioning does not cause me bitterness *

If I had to say that so-and-so has done a favor on me and was a blessing.

إلى أن أرى ما لا أغَصُّ بذِكره * إذا قلتُ قد أسدى إليَّ وأنعما

Reference:

[1] Biography of Abi al-Hasan al-Jurjani [Arabic Wikipedia]

[2] Original Arabic:

[3] Original Arabic youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5cWzzGcNuI

[4] A more complete version of the poem:

1. بأيّامِنا بين الكثيبين فالحمى * و طيب ليالينا الحميدةِ فيهمَا
2. ووصْلٍ وَصَلنا بين أعْطافِه المُنــــى * بـِــــرَدِّ زمانٍ كان للَّهو تَوْأَمَا
3. صَحِبْنَا بِهِ شَرْخ الشَّباب فدلَّــــــنا * على خُلَسٍ أفْضَى إليهنَّ نُوَّمَا
4. فلم ْنرضَ [في] أخلاقنا النُّصحَ مَذْهَبَا * و لا اللَّومَ في أسـماعنا مُتَلَوَّما
5. إذا شــَــــــاءَ غاوٍ قادَ لَحْظَاً مُوزَّعاً * على غَيِّه أو شَافَ قَلْباً مُقَسَّمَا
6. أعِنِّي على العُــــذَّال أو خَلِّ بَيْنَنَا * تُريْكَ دُموعيْ أَفْصَحَ القَوْلِ أَبْكَما
7. و طَيْفٍ تَخَطَّتَ أعيُنُ النَّاسِ و الكَرَى * إلى ناظرٍ يَلْقى التَّبَاريـــحَ مِنْهُمَـــا
8. تنَسَّم ريَّاهُ و بشَّـــــــــــــــــــرَهُ بهِ * تناقُصُ ضوءِ البدرِ في جِهَة الحِمَى
9. و عَـــــــزَّ على العَيْنَيْنِ لو لمْ تُرَغَّبا * من الطَّيْفِ في إلمامَةٍ أن تُهَوِّما
10.و لمَّا غَدَا و البينُ يَقْسِـــــــم لحْظَهُ * على مُكْمَدٍ أغْضَى و رأْسٍ تبسَّما
11.فمِنْ قائِلٍ : لا آمنَ اللهُ حاســِـداً * و قائلةٍ : لا روَّعَ البيْنُ مُغْرَمَــا
12.بَدَت صُفْرَةٌ في وَجْنَتَيْهِ فلمْ تَــزَلْ * مَدَامِعُه حتَّى تشرَّبَتَا دَمـَــــــــا
13.سَقَى البَرقُ أكْنَافَ الحِمَى كلَّ رائحٍ * إذا قَلِقَتْ فيه الجُنُوبُ تَرَنَّــــــمَا
14.إذا أَسْبَلَتْ عيناهُ لمْ تبقَ رَبْوةٌ * من الأرضِ إلا و هي فاغِرَةٌ فَمَـــــا
15.تَرَى الأرضَ [ ] مُتَطَايراً * فإن أَنْجَمَتْ صارَتْ سماءً و أَنْجُـمَا
[1]
16.تُسَالِبُهَا أَنْفاسَها نفسُ الصَّبا * و تُهْدي إليْها الشَّمسُ شيئاً مُسَـهَّمَا
17.كأنَّ أبا عمروٍ تخلَّلَ رَوْضَــــها * ففاحَ بهِ عَرْفَاً و أشرَقَ مَبْسَــــــــــما
18.*إذا زادَت الأيَّامُ فينا تَحَمُّـــلاً * و حَيْفَاً على الأَحْرَارِ زادَ تَكَــــرُّمَـــا
[2]
19.إذا هابَ بَعْضُ القَومِ ظُلْمَاً أَظَلَّهُ * تَجَلَّتْ مَسَاعِي أَوَّلَيْهِ فَأَقْدَمَـــــــــا
20.سَقَى اللهُ دَهْرَاً سَاقَنِي لجِوَارِهِ * و إنْ كانَ مَشْغَوْفَاً بِظُلْمِي مُتَيَّمَـــــا
21.سَأَشْكُرُ ما تُولِيهِ قَولاً و نِيَّـــةً * ِفإن قَصَّرا نَابَ اعْتِذاريَ عَنْهُمَـــا
22.فَسَحْتَ رَجَائِيْ بَعْدَ ضِيْقِ مَجَالِهِ * و أَوْضَحْتَ لِيْ قَصْدِيْ وَ قَدْ كَانَ أَظْلَمَا
23.وَ مَا زِلْتُ مُنْحَازَاً بِعِرْضِيَ جَانِبَاً * مِنَ الذَّمِّ أَعْتَدُّ الصِّيَانَةَ مَغْنَــــمَـــا
24.إذا قِيْلَ: هذا مَشْربٌ قُلْتُ: قَدْ أَرَى * و لَكِنَّ نَفْسَ الحُرِّ تَحْتَمِلُ الظَّمـَـــا
25.أُنَهْنِهُهَا عن بَعض ما لا يَشِينُهَا * مَخَافَةَ أَقْوَالِ العِدَا فيمَا أو لِمَــــا
26.فَأُصْبِحُ مِنْ عَتْبِ اللَّئِيمِ مُسَلَّماً * وقَدْ رُحْتُ مِن نَفَسِ الكَريمِ مُعَظَّمَا
27.*فَأُقْسِمُ مَا غُرَّ امْرُؤٌ حُسِّنَتْ لَهُ * مُسَامَرَةُ الأَطْمَاعِ إنْ بَاتَ مُعْدِمَـــا
[3]
28.*يَقولونَ: ليْ فيْكَ انْقِبَاضٌ و إنَّمَا * رَأَوا رَجُلاً عنْ مَوْقِفِ الذُّلِّ مُحْجِمَا[4]
29.*أَرَى النَّاسَ مَنْ دَانَهُمُ هَانَ عِنْدَهُمْ * و مَنْ أَكْرَمَتْهُ عِزَّةُ النَّفْسِ أُكْرِمَــــا
30.*و لَمْ أَقْضِ حَقَّ العِلْمِ إِنْ كَانَ كُلَّمَا * بَدَا طَمَعٌ صَيَّرْتُهُ لِيَ سُـــلَّمَــــــا
31.*و لمْ أَبْتَذِلْ في خِدْمَةِ العِلْمِ مُهْجَتِيْ * لِأَخْدِمَ مَنْ لَاقَيْتُ لَكِنْ لِأُخْدَمَـــا
32.*أَأَشْقَى بِهِ غَرْسَاً و أَجْنِيْهِ ذِلَّةً * إِذَنْ فَاتِّبَاعُ الجَهْلِ قَدْ كَانَ أَسْلَمَـا
[5]
33.*و لَوْ أنَّ أَهْلَ العِلْمِ صَانُوهُ صَانَهُم * و لَوْ عَظَّمُوهُ فِيْ النُّفُوسِ لعُظِّمـَـــا[6]
34.*و لَكِنْ أَذَالُوهُ فَهَانَ و دَنَّسـُـــــوا * مَُحَيَّاهُ بالأَطْمَاعِ حَتَّى تَجَهَّمَـــــا[7]
35.*[ فِإنْ قُلْتَ جَدُّ العِلْمِ كَابٍ فِإنَّمَا * كَبَا حِيْنَ لَمْ يُحْرَسْ حِمَاهُ و أُسْلِمَا ]
36.*و إنِّيْ إِذَا مَا فَاتَنِيْ الأَمْرُ لَمْ أَبِتْ * أُقَلِّبْ كَفِّيْ إِثْــرَهُ مُتَذَمِّـــمَــــــــا
[8]
37.*و لَكِنَّهُ إِنْ جَاءَ عَفْوَاً قَبِلْتُــــــــهُ * و إنْ مَالَ لَمْ أُتْبِعْهُ هَلَّا و لَيْتَــــمَـا
38.*و أَقْبِضُ خَطْوِيْ عَنْ حُظُوْظٍ كَثِيْرَةٍ * إذَا لَمْ أَنَلْهَا وَافِرَ العِرْضِ مُكْرَمَــا
[9]
39.*و أُكْرِمُ نَفْسِيْ أَنْ أُضَاحِكَ عَابِسَاً * و أَنْ أَتْلَقَّى بالمَدِيْحِ مُذمَّمَـــــــــا
40.*و كَمْ طَالِب ٍ رِقِّيْ بِنُعْمَاهُ لَمْ يَصِلْ * إليْهِ و إنْ كَانَ الرَّئيْسَ المُعَظَّمَـــا
[10]
41.*و مَا كُلُّ بَرقٍ لاحَ لِيْ يَسْـتَفِزُّنِــيْ * و ما كُلُّ [مَا فِيْ] الأَرْضِ أَرْضَاهُ مُنْعِمَا[11]
42.*و لكِنْ إذا مَا اضْطَرَّنِيْ الأَمْرُ لَمْ أَزَلْ * أُقَلِّبُ فِكْرِيْ مُنْجِدَاً ثُمَّ مُتْهِمَــــــا
43.*إلى أَنْ أَرَى مَنْ لا أَغَصُّ بِذِكْرِهِ * إذا قُلْتُ قَدْ أَسْدَى إليَّ و أَنْعَمَـــا
44.*[و إنِّي لَرَاضٍ عَن فَتَىً مُتَعَفِّفٍ * يَرُوحُ و يَغْدُو لَيْسَ يَمْلِكُ دِرْهَمَـــا]
45.*[يَبِيْتُ يُرَاعِيْ النَّجْمَ مِنْ سُوءِ حَالِهِ * و يُصْبِحُ طَلْقَاً ضَاحِكَاً مُتَبَسِّمَــــا]
46.*[و لَا يَسْأَلُ المُثْرِينَ مَا بِأَكُفِّهِمْ * و لَوْ مَاتَ جُوْعَاً غُصَّةً و تَكَرُّمَــا]
47.*فَكَمْ نِعْمَةٍ كَانَتْ عَلَى الحُرِّ نِقْمَةً * و كَمْ مَغْنَمَاً يَعْتَدُّهُ المَرْءُ مَغْنَمَــــا
[12]
48.*و مَاذَا عَسَى الدُّنْيَا و إِنْ جَلَّ قَدْرُهَا * يَنَال بِهَا مَنْ صَيَّرَ الصَّبْرَ مِعْصَمَا [13]
49.على أَنَّنَيْ لَوْ لَمْ أُعِدَّ لِحَرْبِهَا * سِوَاكَ لَقَدْ كُنْتَ المَصُونَ المُحَرَّمَـــا
50.فَكَيْفَ وَ عِنْدِيْ كُلُّ مَا يَمْنَعُ الفَتَى * بِهِ عِرْضَهُ مِنْ أَنْ يُضَامَ و يُهْضَمَا
51. و لَيْسَ بِبِدْعٍ مِنْ عُلَاكَ عِنَايَةٌ * تُسَـــــــــــــــــــــــهِّل لِي
[14]
52.يُقَرِّبُ مِنِّيْ مَا تَبَاعَدَ و انْتَأَى * و يَخْفِضُ نَحْوِيْ مَا تَصَاعَدَ و اسْتَمَى[15]
53.و مَنْ لَقِيَ الأَمْلَاكَ مِنْكَ لمِوْعِدٍ * تَجَنَّى عَلَى آكَامِهِ و تَحَكَّمَـــــــا
54.إذَا كَانَ بَعْضُ المَدْحِ لَفْظَاً مُجَرَّدَاً * ضَمَمْتُ إلى لَفْظِيْ ضَمَيْرَاً مُسَلَّمَــا
55.و مَا سَاعَدَ القَلْبُ الوَدَوْدُ لِسَانَهُ * عَلَى مِدْحَةٍ إلا أُطِيْعَ و حُكِّمَـــــا

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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

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

Sufyan al-Thawri (may Allah have mercy on him) said one day to his companions:

"Tell me,

If among you was someone who transmitted whatever you said to the Sultan, would you have spoken out about anything?”

They said: No

So he said:

Then [know that] indeed with you are those who transmit your speech to Allah -Glorified and Exalted is He-!

{Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).} [Qaaf 50:18]

Reference:

[1] Al-Tabsera by Ibn Al-Jawzi 2/237

[2] Benefited from: https://www.facebook.com/ALBaQeLLany/posts/1121370304624134

[3] Just as one would be watchful about speaking of matters that would cause him to be imprisoned or punished if with him was someone who would transmit that speech to the people of authority, similarly they should be more fearful and watchful of Allah as all what is said and done is raised to Him, and He knows all that occurs.

قال سفيان الثوري يوما لأصحابه: أخبروني لو كان معكم من يرفع الحديث إلى السلطان، أكنتم تتكلمون بشيء؟
قالوا: لا.
قال: فإن معكم من يرفع الحديث إلى الله عز وجل!ـ

 

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

Sh. Mustafa Al-Tantawi (d. 1925CE) – Father of Sh. Ali Tantawi

Sh. Mustafa ibn Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Mustafa, the father of Shaykh Ali al-Tantawi, May Allah have mercy on them.

Mustafa Al-Tantawi

He was from the scholars known for their knowledge among the scholars of Shaam (Levant), and to him the responsibility of [issuing] Fatwas in Damascus was passed.

He (may Allah have mercy on him) was from the lead Jurists and one of the respected teachers and educators.

Sh. Mustafa worked as a school principal, in the same school Sh. Ali was educated in. That school spanned all grades, from Kindergarten to High School. After he left his work in the school in 1918 CE, he worked as the Head of the Diwan (Council) of the Court of Appeals.

He continued to work there until the time of his death in 1925 CE.

Shaykh Ali was 16 years old at the time.

May Allah have mercy on him

Reference:

[1] http://www.alukah.net/culture/0/1670/

Sh. Hasan Al-maydani

Shaykh Hasan Habankah al-Maydani al-Dimashqi al-Shafi`i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

As I was returning to my home one day, one hour before Maghrib prayers, during one of the days of Ramadan, a poor man stopped me from among those who used to occasionally attend the lectures I used to give at my home and in the mosque.

He greeted me with great passion that caused my eyes to tear and said to me: “I ask you, by Allah, to break your fast with me today”.

The Shaykh said: The manner he greeted me with prevented my tongue from refusing, and my neck felt chained by his eagerness, and my heart lit up with the mention of He whom he asked me by, so I said to him: My brother, my family is waiting for me, and my condition does not allow me … but nay, I found myself following him to his home. A home which I do not know where it is, nor do I know how prepared he is for such an invitation this close to the time of Iftar!

Sh. Hasan in a meeting 2

The Shaykh said: When we reached his home, I found it to be nothing more than a tiny room with a kitchen, along with it was a small open space in front of that room on top of a roof, which he had bought from one of his friends!!

The house had an entrance and a private staircase made from wood, that could not bear the weight of two people ascending it at the same time. It was as if the wood of the staircase was calling out for help from the weakness it faced as a result of this poverty and aging.

However, the happiness had filled that man’s heart and the statements of a thankfulness and appreciation was flowing from his lips.

“See Shaykh, this house belongs to me, I own it and do not owe any person a single Franc … Look over there O Shaykh, the sun shines on my room in the morning from that direction as it rises, and then sets at this other direction … And that spot over there, O Shaykh, is where I sit and read Quran at the time of Fajr and also before the Sun sets … and my wife, O Shaykh, may Allah be pleased with her, she sits by that window and supplicates to Allah for me … By Allah, O Shaykh, it is as if I am living in Heaven”

The Shaykh continues saying: He continued and I listened as I followed him carefully, taking each step with great caution, fearing that the stairs may collapse at any moment.

As the Shaykh arrived at the room, he heard a faint voice of the house owner coming from the kitchen, as he spoke to his wife, saying: “Prepare the breakfast for us … Shaykh Hasan Hanbaka will have breakfast with us today".

The wife said to him: “My shame! We have nothing to eat except some beans … and it’s only half an hour till Maghrib time, and we have nothing else to prepare!!! … Even if we have anything, there isn’t enough time to prepare it!”

As the Shaykh heard this, he called the owner of the house and said to him: My brother, [I forgot to tell you], I have one condition … The man said: Order me with whatever you want, O Shaykh.

The Shaykh said: “I usually do not break my fast except with water and some dates … and I do not eat after that except after half an hour from the time of Maghrib, so that I have time to digest the water and the dates and pray and finish my daily Wird (supplications and remembrance).

I am also following a special diet, so I do not eat except beans and potatoes with some parsley and garlic, and other than that I do not eat anything else … Now you can leave me so that I can be alone with my Lord”.

(The Shaykh said to us: And it is known that potatoes here are the food of the poor, thus I knew it would be available with them).

The man said to the Shaykh: As you wish, Shaykh.

What the Shaykh asked was done and he broke his fast with them and left …

The Shaykh said: I left and was filled with joy and happiness, and felt a love of this life after what I had heard from that man, whose tongue did not stop from remembering Allah and praising Him for the blessings He had bestowed upon him, and thanking Him for this house which He had blessed him with and for this beautiful life which he finds himself in.

The Shaykh says: After a few days, I was invited along with a group of dignitaries to have Iftar in the house of one of the wealthy traders, and he was one of those whom Allah has abundantly blessed with wealth, children, and a distinguished family … That invitation was in one of his fancy farms, and in it was all what one can desire. In the middle of the farm was a huge villa, rather it was more like a palace than a villa … That villa oversaw a big pool and barn filled with horses from among the rarest of horses!!!

The Shaykh said: We broke our fast with that man and as I was departing, the man who invited us walked with me, and then started to complain to me about how difficult his life was!!

He started to tell me about all the problems he is facing with his business, the trouble his children are causing him, how ill mannered his wife was with him, and how greedy all those around him are, he told me about his increasing expenses, and how exhausted he is trying to please all those around him!!!

He told me how tired he is of this life and how he hopes his death would come soon so that he can get away of all these worries and difficulties!!

The Shaykh said: “From the door of that man’s villa to the door of my car, that man made this life appear so gloomy in my eyes and I felt my chest is congested and my breathing became difficult!

I looked at the skies as I sat in my car and I said to myself:

Praise be to Allah for the gift of content, for happiness is attained not through having plenty which we would pay its price, rather happiness is through having a good connection with Allah and with being content and satisfied with what which He had decreed for you.

Kahttab-Rajeh_zps7f9d5d9b

References:

[1] The story was found in several pages unreferenced.

[2] Biography of the Sh. Hasan Habankah Al-Maydani in Arabic: Wikipedia, Islamstory (nice bio by Dr. Musa al-Shareef), Tafsir forum,

[3] A powerful Khutbah he gave in 1967 in response to a Baa’thist journalist who wrote an article mocking aspects of the religion.

Powerful khutbah

[4] Arabic text:

يقول الشيخ حسن حبنّكه الميداني رحمه الله: كنتُ عائدا إلى بيتي قبل المغرب بساعه في يومٍ من أيّام رمضان … فاستوقفني رجلٌ فقيرٌ من الذين يتردّدون على درسي في البيت والمسجد تردُّدَ الزائر …… سلّم عليّ بلهفةٍ أدْمَعت عيني وقال لي : أسْتَحـلِفكَ بوجه الله أن تَفْطَرْ عندي اليوم ….. يقول الشيخ : عقدتْ لساني لهفته وطوّقت عنُقي رغبتُه وأشرق في قلبي وجهٌ استحلفني به ….. فقلتُ له : يا أخي الأهل بانتظاري وظروفي لا تسمح … ولكنْ !!!! يقول الشيخ : وجدتُ نفسي أتبعه إلى بيته الذي لا أعرف مكانه ولا أعرف ظرْفه في هذا الوقت الحرج من موعد الإفطارْ !!!!

يقول الشيخ : وصلنا إلى بيته فإذا هو غرفةٌ ومطبخٌ وفناءٌ مكشوفٌ صغيرْ على سطحٍ اشتراه من أصحابه !! وهذا البيت له مدخلٌ ودرجٌ خاص من الخشب لا يحتمل صعود شخصين فخشباته تستغيثُ من وهَنٍ خلَّفَهُ بها الفقرُ والقِدَمْ ..
كانت السعادةُ تملؤ قلب هذا الرجل ، وعباراتُ الشكر والإمتنان تتدفّق من شفتيه وهو يقول للشيخ : شوف سيدي هذا البيت مِلكي ( الملك لله ) ماحدا إلو عندي فرَنْكْ … شوف سيدي : الشمس بتشرق على غرفتي الصبح وبْتغرُب من الجهه التانيه .. وهَيْ المشْرَأَهْ بقرأ فيها القرآن عند الفجر وقبل المغيب … وزوجتي الله يرضى عليها بتعُّدْ على هادا الشبّاك وبْتدْعيلي … والله يا سيدي كأني عايش بالجنّه !!

يتابع الشيخ ويقول : كل هذا يجري على مسامعي وأنا أصعد على الدرج بحذر خِشْيَةَ السقوط !!!
لحظات والشيخ يسمع بعد أن وصل إلى الغرفه صوتاً خافتاً من صاحب الدار يقول لزوجته في المطبخ : حضّريلنا فطور .. الشيخ حسن حبنّكه حيفْطَرْ عندي !!! فقالت له زوجته : يا فضيحتي ما عندي أكل غير فول مدمّس ، وبقيان لأذان المغرب نص ساعه .. لا عنا شي نطبخو !! ولو عندنا شي ما بلحّق إطبخ !!!!
بالكاد سمع الشيخ هذا الحوار … فنادى على صاحب الدار وقال له : يا أخي لي شرط عندك … فقال الرجل إمرْني سيدي … فقال الشيخ : أنا لا أفطر مع أذان المغرب إلا ماء ومعي التمر .. ولا أفطر إلاّ بعد نصف ساعه من الأذان بعد ما أهضم الماء والتمر وصلّي وأُنهي وِرْدي اليومي ..

ولا آكل إلاّ فول مدمّس ومْقَلاّيهْ ببطاطا مع الكزبره والتوم وغير ذلك لا آكل شيء فأنا على حمْيَةِ البطاطا … والآن دعني لأختلي مع ربّي ( يقول لنا الشيخ : البطاطا زادُ الفقراء وأحسبها عندهم ) .. فقال الرجل : أمرك سيدي
وتمّ ما أراده الشيخ وأفطر عنده وغادر .. يقول الشيخ خرجتُ وكلّي سعادةٌ وبهجه وأحببتُ الدنيا على لسان هذا الرجل الذي مانَزَلَتْ من فمه عباراتُ الثناء والحمد على نعم الله وعلى هذا البيت الذي ملّكَهُ الله إيّاه وعلى هذه الحياة الجميلة التي يتغنّى بها !!!!

يقول الشيخ : دُعيت بعد أيام مع مجموعةٍ من الوجهاء على الإفطار عند أحد التجّار الأثرياء وكان من الذين أنعم الله عليهم بالمال والجاه والأولاد والأسرةِ المرموقه … كانت الدعوه في مزرعةٍ فخمه فيها مما لذّ وطاب تتوسّطها ڤيلا أقرب ما تكون للقصر منها إلى الڤيلا … تُطلُّ على مسبحٍ ومرْبَطْ خيل فيه نوادر الخيل الأصيله !!! يقول الشيخ : أفطرنا عند الرجل ، وأثناء المغادره انفرد صاحب الدعوةِ بالشيخ حسن وشكى له من ضيق الحياة وهموم التجاره ومتاعب الأولاد وسوء طباع زوجته وطمع من حوله به ، وكَثرَةِ المصاريف وجرْيه المُتْعِبْ لإرضاء الجميع …وسأَمِه من هذه الحياة ورغبته بالموت ليتخلّص من هذه الهموم !!!!!!!
يقول الشيخ : من باب ڤيلَةِ صاحب الدعوه إلى باب سيارتي سَوَّدَ هذا الرجل الدنيا في عيوني … وأطبق عليَّ صدري وأنفاسي ، فنظرتُ إلى السماء بعد أن ركبتُ بسيّارتي وأنا أقول في قلبي : الحمد لله على نعمةِ الرضا …
ليست السعادةُ بكثيرٍ ندفع ثمنه !!! السعادةُ حُسنُ صِلَةٍ بالله ورضاً بما قَسَمَ الله

From the way of ‘Ikrimah that Muhammad ibn al-Munkadr (may Allah shower him with Mercy) got frightened at the time of his death.

So he was told: What is scaring you?

He said: I fear a verse in the Book of Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He), where He says: {And there will appear to them from Allah that which they had not taken into account} [Al-Zumur 39:47] …

So I fear that it will appear to me from Allah that which I had not taken into account.

Reference:

[1] Sifat al-Safwah 2/144

[2] Benefited from; https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=973304196030949&id=100000541343821

عن عكرمة عن محمد بن المنكدر-رحمه الله- أنه جزع عند الموت فقيل له: لم تجزع? قال: أخشى آية من كتاب الله عز وجل، قال الله عز وجل: (وبدا لهم من الله ما لم يكونوا يحتسبون)سورة الزمر آية 47 .فإني أخشى أن يبدو لي من الله ما لم أكن أحتسب.
صفة الصفوة

 

Remembering a verse

Ibn Hazm (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

"I am certain that there has not been authored in Islam [a Tafseer] equal to the Tafseer of Baqi ibn Makhlad, neither the Tafseer of Muhammad ibn Jarir, or anyone else" [1-5]

Reference:

[1] Nafh al-Teeb 2/519

[2] The above quote is in relation to unconfirmed news which came out in late November 2014 that a manuscript of the Tafseer of Baqi, thought to be long lost, was found in Turkey.

[3] Imam al-Dhahabi said about Baqi ibn Makhlad (may Allah shower him with Mercy): “He was an Imam, a Mujtahid, righteous, godly, truthful, sincere, a head when it comes to knowledge and action, none of his contemporaries were like him. He used to issue his fatwas based on the Athar (reported traditions), and did not imitate anyone”. He also said about him: “Through Baqi ibn Makhlad and Muhammad ibn Wadaah Andalusia turned into a land of Hadith”.

Imam al-Dhahabi also said of him: “Abu Ubaidah states that: Baqi used to complete the recitation of the Quran every night, in 13 Rak’ahs of night prayers. He used to pray 100 Rak’ahs during the daytime, and observes constant fast. He participated plenty in Jihad, and it is nararted about him that he participated in 72 battles”.

May Allah have mercy on him

قال الذهبي أنه: «ببقي بن مخلد، وبمحمد بن وضاح صارت الأندلس دار حديث»، كما قال عنه: «كان إمامًا مجتهدًا صالحًا، ربانيًا صادقًا مخلصًا، رأسًا في العلم والعمل، عديم المثل، منقطع القرين، يفتي بالأثر، ولا يقلد أحدًا.» ـ

نقل الذهبي أيضا عنه: ذكر أبو عبيدة صاحب القبلة قال : كان بقي يختم القرآن كل ليلة ، في ثلاث عشرة ركعة ، وكان يصلي بالنهار مائة ركعة ، ويصوم الدهر . وكان كثير الجهاد ، فاضلا ، يذكر عنه أنه رابط اثنتين وسبعين غزوة

[4] Ibn Katheer (may Allah shower him with mercy) said in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 11/94: Baqi ibn Mikhlad ibn Yazeed, Abu Abdurahman al-Andalusi, the Hafiz and one of the scholars of the west. He authored: "Al-Tafseer", "Al-Musnad", and "Al-Sunan wa Al-Athaar", which Ibn Hazm favored over the Tafseer of Ibn Jareer, the Musnad of Ahmad, and the Musanaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, and what was claimed by Ibn Hazm is disputed.

قال ابن كثير في البداية والنهاية : بقي بن مخلد بن يزيد أبو عبد الرحمن الأندلسي الحافظ أحد علماء الغرب له " التفسير " و " المسند " و " السنن والآثار " التي فضلها ابن حزم على تفسير ابن جرير ومسند أحمد ومصنف ابن أبي شيبة وفيما زعم ابن حزم نظر.

[5] Benefited from: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1515431705403011&id=100008085876672

قال ابن حزم : "أقطعُ أنه لم يُؤلَّف في الإسلام مثل تفسير بقيّ بن مخلد، لا تفسير محمد بن جرير، ولا غيره ! "ـ

نفح الطيب ٥١٩/٢

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