Category: translation

Imam Ahmed Rida: Tamhid e Iman (The Preamble to Faith)

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The Preamble to Faith – A descriptive translation of the Urdu work

Tamhid e Iman by Alahazrat Imam Ahmed Rida Khan Baraylawi.

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Excerpts from the al-Malfudh

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Question: Is it forbidden to stretch one leg towards the polar (Qutb)?

Answer: This belief is prevalent amongst the ignorant. In general Qutb is a name of a star, which is in the direction of the North Pole; [however] this belief is un-Islamic.

Question: Is it permissible to drink out of a container that has Qur’anic verses engraved on it?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible for the purpose of cure [shifā’] from sickness. Here too, one must be in a state of ablution.

Question: Will Imām Mehdī radiyAllāhu ‘anh be a mujtahid [a very high ranking authority like that of the Illustrious Four Imāms of Jurisprudence]?

Answer: Yes, but Shaykh al-Akbar Muhiyy ud-Dīn Ibn ‘Arabī radiyAllāhu ‘anh states,

He will not have the permission to exercise that authority; instead he will base all laws directly in accordance to the Sunnah of Sayyidunā Rasūlullāh sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and follow them.

Question: Some people have the habit of lifting their pants before going into sujud (prostration). What is the law of Shari’a concerning such a practice?

Answer: It is makruh (disliked). According to some Jurists, one’s salāh breaks if it is performed using both hands.

Question: Is there a prohibition in shaking hands at the time departure?

Answer: No, when the blessed Sahāba radiyAllāhu ‘anhum ajmay’īn met, they shook hands and when they departed they embraced one another.

Question: Is embracing done on both sides (right and left) or on one side?

Answer: It is correct on one side but the original residents of Hijāz Sharīf embraced on both sides.

Question: Is it permissible to shake hands after the daily Salāh, Jumu’ah and both Eids?

Answer: Yes, it is permissible. It is recorded in Nasīm ar-Riyādh Sharh ash-Shifa’, ‘This is a good practice.’

Question: People generally place the blessed Qur’an safely in a box or bag and travel in a train. Sometimes the rush is so heavy that there is hardly place for the passengers to sit. In this situation, is it permissible for one to keep the box or bag with the blessed Qur’an on the floor?

Answer: Certainly not! Man himself creates problems. Otherwise, there are no difficulties. If a man has the love and honour of the blessed Qur’an at heart, he will always have in mind the love and respect for it.

From al-Malfūdh Sharīf, pp. 290

Question: Is suspicion Harām?

Answer: Certainly Allah Almighty states in the Holy Qur’ān:

يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ٱجْتَنِبُواْ كَثِيراً مِّنَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ

Oh believers! Safeguard yourself from many suspicions. Indeed, some suspicions are sin.

It is also recorded in a blessed Hadīth:

Keep far from suspicion because verily, suspicion is the biggest lie. [1]


[1] Imām al-Bukhārī’s, Ṣahīh (3:1013) narrated by Sayyidunā al Sha’bī radiyAllāhu ‘anh.

Question: Is it true that Allah azzawajal created everything that is possible for His Divine Power to create?

Answer: No, this is not so because there are numerous things that are possible for Him azzawajal to create but He azzawajal did not create them. For example, it is possible for Allah azzawajal to create a person so tall that his head touches the sky, but He azzawajal did not create such a person.

Question: Is it permissible for a woman to travel alone, without a mahram for Hajj when she is sick or has limited funds for herself only?

Answer: It is not permissible for a female to perform Hajj without a mahram.

From al-Malfūdh Sharīf, pp. 380:

There arae three types of Qiyāmah.

The first type is, Qiyamah al-Sughrā [small/minor Qiyāmah] and that is death. It is said, When anyone of you die, indeed Qiyāmah begins.

The second Qiyāmah is that all the people of one generation will die and a new set of people are born to replace the departed generation.

The third type is Qiyāmah al-Kubrā [Major/Final Qiyāmah]. This is when the skies, earth and everything in it will be destroyed.

From al-Malfūdh Sharīf, pp. 95:

Question: Were the thirty chapters of the Glorious Qur’ān already established in the sacred era of the Sahaba?

Answer: Imām Jalāl al-Millat wad-Dīn as-Suyūtī radiyAllāhu ‘anh [d. 911/1505] in his famous book, al-Itqān fī ‘Ulūm al-Qur’ān, has compiled all the relevant aĥadīth and narrations pertaining to the compilation of the Holy Qur’ān. It is not mentioned anywhere in this book of a chapter which tells us that it was done in that sacred era. Yes, the rukū’s existed.

Imām Ahmad Razā states:

On my first trip to Haramayn Sharīfayn, a staunch Wahābī came up to me near the blessed Ka’abah and said, “You place great emphasis on celebrating the Mawlid al-Nabī and standing and reciting salam. You also claim that this is a common practice in Hijāz Sharīf. Here in Makkah lives the great ‘alim Shaykh al-‘Ulamā Sayyid Ahmad Zaynī Dahlān [d. 1299/1881] who forbids Qiyam [standing] and sending salam.” I told him that the great Shaykh lives a few steps away from here and we should go to him and clarify this point. He blankly refused to go to the Shaykh even though I insisted. If this question was posed to me outside Makkah al-Mukarramah or for that matter, on the homeward-bound ship, then it would have been difficult to return to Makkah for verification. Look at the audacity of this hypocrite! He stands at the doorstep of the great Shaykh and falsely accuses him. What liars! When I invited this fraudster to go to the great Shaykh for clarification, he ignored my request and shamelessly walked away. I certainly knew the fact that Shaykh al-‘Úlamā not only stands in Qiyâm for salâm, but he has also issued many Fatāwā‘s on its legality and greatly recommended it as a virtuous act. Beside his Fatāwā, he has emphatically dealt with this subject with great details in his famous kitāb, ad-Durr al-Sunniyah fī Radd al-Wahābiya. He has even discussed this subject in his other kitāb, Sīrah Nabuwwah. He states:

It has become a constant habit that when people hear the dhikr of Wilādat al-Rasūl sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they stand up in respect of the Glorious Prophet of Allah sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The practice of Qiyām is good and recommendable because it is honour and respect to the Beloved Nabī śallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam. And indeed, this is a practice of the great ‘Ulamā and we follow them.

[al-Malfūz, 2:230-231]

From al-Malfūdh Sharif, pp. 86:

The first and foremost factor of Imān is respect for the Rasūl sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Salāh or any form of ‘ibādah is useless without reverence for the beloved Rasūl sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. There are many ‘Abd-Allah’s [servants of Allah Almighty] in this world, but the true and sincere ‘Abd-Allah is he, who is ‘Abde-Mustafa [servant of the beloved Prophet sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]. If it is not so, then he is surely an ‘Abde-Shaytan [servant of the cursed devil]. May the Merciful Allah Almighty save us all from this curse! [Ameen!]

From al-Malfudh Sharif, pp. 36-37,

Question [By Mawlana Amjad ‘Ali ‘azmi radiyAllāhu ‘anh]: Is it desirable to delay the Duhr salah in summer until it becomes cool? The following is recorded in a blessed Hadith, Perform Duhr when it cools down because the intense heat is caused due to the breath of Jahannum.

Answer: Yes, it does not cool off until the first shadow. This Sahih Hadîth confirms the ruling of Imam Abu Hanifa (d. 150/767). Imam al-Bukhari (d. 256/868) narrated a hadîth of Sayyiduna Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari, “We were at a place and the muaddhin proclaimed the Adhan for Duhr and came to the Nabi sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He said, “Wait till it is cool.” The muaddhin returned after some time and was given the same answer, “Wait till it is cool.” A little later he returned for the third time and got the same answer, “Wait till it cools off.” The narrator say’s, “The noble Prophet of Islam sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam performed the Duhr salaah when the shadow of the hills became even.”

The Shâfi’î law holds that the shadows of the hills begin at the time when the Duhr time elapses. If the Duhr time elapses then what time would it be? Surely the first shadow must have passed away long ago. Those who regard the first shadow as the valid time cannot produce any answer to the blessed Hadîth. The leader of the Ghayr-Muqallids, Nazir Ahmad Dihlawi has mocked this Hadith in his book Mi’ar al-Haqq. We have refuted him in Hājizu’l Bahrayn al-Wāqī an Jāmiyi’s Salātayn.

From al-Malfudh Sharif, pp. 14:

One must always be aware of one’s condition and not exceed the limit of one’s understanding. One must not be proud when praised and accept one’s faults when corrected. Therefore, the ‘Ulama commented on Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 729/1328):

His knowledge was bigger than his brain.[1]

Sound knowledge is that in which there is a profound understanding and interpretation of Fiqah.


[1] This is a comment of Imam Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Makki (d. 853/1448) which is recorded in Fatawa Hadithiyya.

From al-Malfūdh, pp. 95:

Question: What is the ruling of the Sharī’a on a person who performed the Salāt al-Janāzah of a Wahābī that prescribed to anti-Islamic beliefs?

Answer: There is no Salāt al-Janāzah for a Wahābī, Rafdī, Qādiyānī all heretics whose Kufr has been established, Salāt al-Janāzah is for a Muslim who holds correct Islamic beliefs and not for the Kuf’fār or an apostate. After knowing this fact and to still read Salāt al-Janāzah for such a person is kufr.

From al-Malfūdh, pp. 326,


There are many places where the comment of the Imāms of Tafsīr are not accepted, e.g. Qādī Baydāwī and Khā’zin both have specified that Towrāt still has comprehensive details of everything.


Qādī Baydāwī and Imām Khā’zin radiyAllāhu ‘anhuma are not Imāms of Tafsīr. To be an Imām of Tafsīr is one thing and to compile a book on the subject of Tafsīr is totally a different thing altogether. The Imāms of Tafsīr are the illustrious Sahāba radiyAllāhu ‘anhum and only the distinguished ‘Ulamā amongst the Tāba’īn radiyAllāhu ‘anhum. Not every Tāba’ī is an Imām of Tafsīr, only the most knowledgeable amongst them who have specialised in this field are regarded as Imams of Tafsīr. Imām Mujāhid rađiyAllāhu ánhu was certainly an Imām of Tafsīr and he perfected the field under the tutorship of Sayyid al-Mufassirīn Jabar al-‘Ummah, Sayyidunā ‘Abdullāh ibn Abbās radiyAllāhu ‘anhu. His commentary will certainly be accepted as authentic and unquestionable.

From al-Malfudh , pp. 350 – 351:

Question: If there are women performing salāh and behind theme there is a wall. What is the condition of the salāh of the men standing behind this wall?

Answer: If the wall is so low that the men are able to see the heads or chest of the women in front, then salāh [performed by the men] is not accepted.


Question: What if the women are elderly?

Answer: Old or young, it is forbidden for women to go to the Masjid. It is stated in a blessed Hadith, “For women, salāh performed in a [secluded] cellar is better than that performed in their [private] room. Salāh performed in her room is better than that performed by her in the veranda [of her home]. Salāh in her veranda is better than the salāh performed in the courtyard [of her home]. And the salāh performed in the courtyard is better than the salāh performed in my Masjid [Masjid al-Nabawi Sharif].”[1]

Thus, women are exempted from performing salāh with the congregation in a Masjid. In fact, it is forbidden by the Sharī’āh for women to perform salāh in a Masjid. Their association and intermingling with men is never empty of Fitnah. Look around you today! What is the moral situation of the Muslim society? Does this not open the eyes of the Muslim?

[1] In this hadith, Sayyiduna RasulAllah sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphasises that the more a woman hides herself in performing salāh, the better and more excellent it is for her.

From al-Malfūdh, pp. 84-85:

One day the eminent as’hāb were assembled around the beloved Messenger of Allah sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and a person came by and stood at the edge of the Majlis Sharīf [blessed gathering]. He glanced at the Majlis Sharīf and proceeded to the Masjid. Thebeloved Messenger of Allah sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to the blessed Sahaba, “Who amongst you will go and kill him?” Sayyidunā Abū Bakr al-Siddiq radiyAllāhu ‘anh got up and went towards this person. He found him engaged in salāh. He could not kill someone engaged in salāh and therefore, returned to the beloved Messenger of Allah sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam and explained the situation. The Beloved Nabī of Allah sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam again said, “Who is it that will kill him?” Sayyidunā Umar al-Farūq rađiyAllāhu ánhu got up and went towards him. He too found him in the same situation and returned. For the third time, the Beloved Messenger of Allah sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated, “Who is that will kill him?” Sayyidunā Alī al-Murtada radiyAllāhu ‘anh got up and said, “I will kill him.” The Beloved Messenger of Allah şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam said, “Yes you would, if you find him. He will not be there.” When Sayyidunā ‘Alī radiyAllāhu ‘anh went into the Masjid Sharif, he found nobody there. The man had already left us, as predicted by the Glorious Prophet sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The exalted Habīb sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam remarked, “If you had killed him, then verily a very great fitna would have been removed from this Ummah.”

This man was the gather of Wahabīsm whose contemporaries are found today. They are soiling this earth and causing fitna in this ummah. That rude person stood on the edge of the Majlis Sharīf and looked at everyone present there; his egotism led him to believe that there is no one in this Majlis better than he is. He was very proud and boastful of his salāh ad piety. Least did he realize that salāh or any other virtue is nothing but the mercy of the Glorious Prophet of Allah şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam. One can never be a devout servant of Allah Almighty until one sincerely pledges one’s allegiance to the beloved of Allah sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah Almighty places great emphasis in the Holy Qur’ān concerning the respect and honour of His beloved Nabī sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam before His worship. Therefore Allah Almighty states, So that you may believe in Allah Almighty and His Messenger (Rasūl), and respect and honour him, and glorify Allah day and night (reference to salāh).[1]

[1] al-Quran al-Karim, Surah al-Fatah, Ayah 9

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