Friday, February 27, 2009

A Little About Imam Nawawi (rahmatullah 'alaihi)

Riyad us-Saliheen (the Meadows of the Righteous)

Compiled by Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi (rahmatullah 'alaihi)

Imam Nawawi was a great Shafi’i scholar born in Nawa, a place near Damascas, in the year 631A.H. Just to summarize his youth, a very pious person from Nawa, Shaikh Yasin bin Yousuf Marakashi had noticed him as a boy not playing with children his own age but keeping busy with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an. When the children urged him to join them, he refused to join their foolish actions. Shaikh Yasin then saw greatness in young Imam Nawawi and went to his teacher and urged him to take special care of him as he was to become a great Islamic scholar, and one of the most pious figures in the future. The teacher questioned him as to whether he was some sort of a soothsayer or an astrologer. Shaikh Yasin told him he was neither a soothsayer nor and astrologer but Allah (swt) had caused him to utter these words. The teacher relayed this incident to Imam Nawawi’s father and from there, his father made sure that his son would dedicate his life for Ilm and to promote Islam.

Imam Nawawi then went to Damascus to study under great scholars and sacrificing even from his needs like sleep and food for Ilm. During his stay in Damascus alone, he studied under many great scholars (more then 20). Then there were hundreds of students that he taught as well. He had a great desire for learning and was blessed with many gifts and qualities from Allah (swt) like fast memory, depth of thought, concentration, absorption of Ilm, his simplicity of life, piety, teaching, excellent character, etc.

He has written many books on different subjects like, Al-Minhaj fil Sharh Sahih Muslim, Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari, Tabaqat Ash-Shafi’iyahm Munaqib0 ush-Shafi’i, and many more.

He died at the age of 45 in the year, 676 A.H.

May Allah (swt)’s Mercy be upon him.

I'm not the best at summarizing but I am trying and inshaAllah by the time I get half way through the book I'll be a pro! I could type out the whole thing at I do at the Halaqah, but that goes from 30-45min so I don't think my blog will stay alive if I try to do that. You all know I'm not as regular with posting anymore so for now summaries it is. Unless that is you want to come all the way to the Prairies and listen to me babble on and on--yeah, I'm not that popular. Make du'a that Allah (swt) helps me with the Halaqahs and the blog summaries.


Riyadus Saliheen

So it’s been a while since I’v updated, I just can’t make up my mind on what to post about. I came on my blog and I ‘noticed’ that I last posted on January 5th, that’s when I signed in on to And since I’v been reading/teaching from Riyadus Saliheen (with commentary) on our weekly sister’s halaqah’s I thought I’d share a bit and summarize from each chapter inshaAllah. I’ll start with a short summary of Imam Nawawi’s biography, which I will post later today inshaAllah, I just have to check a few things before I post, so keep checking for updates!

Racial Equality

Racial Equality

Source: Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) & Jami'yyatul Ulama Canada (CCMT)

Throughout history mankind has always been plagued with problems and arguments based on the principles of social classification. We have always been trying to find a concrete platform on which to base social classification and merit. Many have opted for lineage and some for financial standing to classify people into different brackets. Perhaps the most hurtful and shameless has been the common tendency to classify people on the basis of colour or race with one race being regarded as superior to the other. In essence, the overriding point of the matter is that whatever means of social classification and distinction were derived by man, they lead to nothing but strife, hatred and generations of bitter conflict.

Such tendency towards discrimination was also very prevalent amongst the Arabs in the time of Rasulullah (saw). The blacks were generally regarded as inferior and fit only to be slaves, while social pride and standing based on which tribe or lineage an individual belonged to was something synonymous with the Arabs who very often made such fickle and petty grounds the basis for years of bloodshed and killing.

Islam being the only code of conduct and mode of lifestyle which would enable mankind to exist in perfect harmony and peace has beautifully addressed this burning issue and thus emancipated mankind from the shackles of racial discrimination.

In order to fully understand the Islamic viewpoint on this issue, let us briefly reflect on one or two incidents of the period of Rasulullah (saw). After the conquest of Makkah, Rasulullah (saw) gave Hadhrat Bilal (RA) the singular honour of climbing onto the Kaabah and calling out the Adhaan for the first time. Till Qiyaamat nobody else was ever going to be given the distinction of being allowed to stand on the roof of the Kaabah to call out the Adhaan. The choice of an individual who was black and a former slave for this position of tremendous merit and prestige was like a slap in the face for the disbelievers of Makkah, in whom the fire of racial and class discrimination burned so strongly. It was not surprising that one of them passed the comment, 'I offer thanks to Allah Taãla that my father passed away without having to witness this disgraceful day.' Harith bin Hishaam retorted, 'Could not Muhammad (saw) find anybody else besides this black crow to call out the Adhaan?' Such was the divine rejection of such ignorance that Jibraaeel (AS) was sent to the Prophet (saw) with the following revelation:

'O People! Verily We have created you from a man and woman and we made you into various tribes and creeds for the purpose of mutual recognition (not discrimination and racial pride). Verily the most prestigious and honoured amongst you is he who fears Allah Taãla most. Verily Allah Taãla is all Knowing. All Aware' (Surah 49 : 13)

On that same day, having completed his Tawaaf, Rasulullah (saw) addressed the people saying, 'O People! Allah Taãla has abolished all forms of discrimination based on lineage or creed, etc. There are only two categories and classes of men. A pious and God-fearing individual is honoured in the sight of Allah Taãla while a disobedient and sinful individual is debased and valueless in the sight of Allah Taãla.' Thereafter he recited the abovementioned verse clearly illustrating the Islamic concept that the only basis of distinction and honour is the piety of an individual. (Tirmidhi; Baghawi)

So firmly was this concept entrenched practically into the Sahaaba (RA) that once Rasulullah (saw) overheard Abu Dharr (RA) addressing a black Sahaabi with whom he was arguing as 'O son of a black slave'. He was severely rebuked and reprimanded by Rasulullah (saw) who said to him, 'You are a person in whom the remnants of ignorance still remain.' The lives of Sahaaba are replete with incidents enunciating the beautiful principles and guidelines given by Islam on this matter. In essence, all men have originated from Aadam (AS) who was himself made from sand. Hence, how can these frivolous things ever form the basis of social distinction?

This concept is further supported by the Hadith of Rasulullah (saw), wherein it is reported, 'No Arab holds greater esteem over a non-Arab; nor a Black person over a red person; except on the grounds of the one having greater Taqwa than the other.' (Tirmidhi)


Cooperation and solidarity among humans. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an: “Cooperate in (what is) virtue and piety but not in (what is) sin and aggression”. (Al-Ma’idah: 2)

Humility and humbleness. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) upon him says: “Allah has revealed to me (to tell you that) you should humble yourselves until none wrongs none and none takes pride over none”. (Saheeh Muslim)

Mercy and compassion toward humans. The Prophet (pbuh) says: “He who has no mercy on humans, Allah has no mercy on him.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Prohibition of injustice and aggression.
Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an: “And do not commit aggression for Allah loves not the aggressors.”

Prohibition of envy and hatred.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says: “Do not hate each other, do not envy each other, do not turn your back (in hostility) to each other, do not sever ties between you, and be, o servants of Allah, brothers.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Prohibition of ridicule, contempt, backbiting, and offensive name-calling.
Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an: “O you who believe, let not some men among you laugh at others; it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let some women laugh at others; it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other. Nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames; ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed. And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.” (Al-Hujurat: 11)

Prohibition of arrogance, self-admiration and showing off. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an: “And swell not your cheek (for pride) at men. Nor walk in insolence through the earth: for Allah loves not any arrogant boaster.” (Luqman: 18)

Source: Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) & Jami'yyatul Ulama Canada (CCMT)