Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Nasihah

Living The Quran
Knowledge of God
Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage) - Chapter 22: Verse 8
"Yet, there are some people who argue about God without any knowledge or guidance or even an enlightened book!"
The verse cites three sources that one should base oneself on to have correct knowledge of God. These are:
i) knowledge obtained through the study of, and reflection on, the creation in the light of the Revelation, direct observation and first-hand experience
ii) knowledge gained indirectly from some evidence or as a result of the guidance of a knowledgeable person
iii) knowledge gained from the Scriptures, which illuminates minds and hearts
Compiled From:
"The Holy Quran: Guidance for Life" - Yahiya Emerick, p. 292
"Towards Understanding The Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 6, p. 12
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, p. 684

Understanding the Prophet's Life (peace be upon him)
Be A Mirror
It is the duty of a Muslim to help fellow Muslims to stay on the straight path. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) enumerated the conditions to be met in the task of advising others: "Each one of you is like a mirror to the other." (Tirmidhi) In another hadith the Prophet said: "Every Muslim serves as another Muslim's mirror. He safeguards his rights in his absence as well." (Abu Dawud) The following norms emerge in light of the above ahadith:
1. One should not look for the lapses and weaknesses of others. For a mirror does not seek defects. Only on coming face to face does a mirror reflect you.
2. One should not be criticised in one's absence. Once again the similitude of the mirror should be kept in mind; it does not reflect someone in absentia.
3. One should not exceed limits in criticising someone else. For a mirror does not magnify or diminish any feature.
4. Criticism should be forthright and free of any ulterior motive. For, once again, a mirror does not entertain any revenge or grudge.
5. One's criticism should be made with sincerity, genuine concern, pain and love. This removes any bitterness caused by criticism. Sincerity in this context signifies one's concern for the ultimate accountability in the Hereafter. One should help a fellow Muslim in order to avoid any punishment for him on the Day of Judgement. Nor should one entertain any superiority complex. Humility and not arrogance makes mutual care and advice effective.
Compiled From:
"Inter Personal Relations" - Khurram Murad, pp. 34, 35

Hadith Forgery
[continued from previous issue]
Signs of Forgery
Just as the scholars have classified the hadith into various categories so as to identify its strengths and weaknesses from various viewpoints, they have also identified the signs of forgery in hadith from the viewpoints of transmission (isnad) and subject matter (matn).
1. Forgery in Transmission
Signs of forgery in transmission are identified mainly by reference to the reputation and biography of the transmitter. There is a wealth of literature on the names and biographies of the transmitters of hadith and those who are known to have indulged in lying and forgery. Another useful tool that the scholars have utilized is to ascertain the time factor and dates in the transmission of hadith. This is done by verifying whether the reporter actually met the person he or she has quoted as immediate source. Forgery of isnad is also known sometimes by admission of the forger. Similarly, when the transmitter is known for lying and his hadith stands alone in that no one else has reported it - this would be another way of detecting forgery in hadith. And lastly, signs of forgery in transmission are also detected by reference to personal interest and motive. An example of this is a so-called hadith narrated by Muhammad ibn al-Hajjaj al-Lakhmi which reads that "cookies (al-harisa) strengthen the spine" and it turns out that he used to sell al-harisa.
2. Forgery in Text
Signs of forgery in the text of a hadith are identified by reference to at least seven factors:
a) The language of hadith: The Prophetic language is characteristically known for its eloquence and style. Speech of a particular crude variety and style is taken as a sign of forgery. Al-Rabi bin al-Khathim is widely quoted to have said that "there is light in hadith such as the broad daylight that we know it, or else it is dark like the dead of the night that we do not fail to denounce."
b) Corruption in the purpose and meaning of a reported hadith also provides evidence as to its fabrication. The report, for example, that "the ark of Noah circumambulated the Kaba seven times and then prayed two units (rakah) of salah at the end;" or the report that "God created the horse and raced it first and then created Himself from it" are evidently unreasonable and corrupt, and cannot be accepted in the name of hadith. Ibn al-Jawzi is quoted as having said: "when you see a hadith that is irrational, or in conflict with the text or basic principles then know that it is a forgery."
[to be continued ...]
Compiled From:
"A Texbook of Hadith Studies" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 75 - 77


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