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Memorizing the Book of Allah: Interview with Ustadhah Kareema Czerepinski





As a belated part-two to our Seeking Knowledge series, sister Mariam E. and I conducted an interview with Ustadhah Kareema Czerepinski on memorizing the Book of Allah as a follow-up to our advice on the proper methods of pursuing sacred knowledge. It is the perfect time for students to start or renew their memorization now that the summer break is upon us and Ramadan is right around the corner inshaAllah. We hope that these answers are beneficial to you and us. May Allah make us from the Companions of His Book and unite us with His righteous slaves in the highest gardens of Paradise. Ameen.

Ustadhah Kareema Czerepinski, author of the three part book series: Tajweed Rules of the Qur’an, memorized the Quran and went on to receive an ijaazah in the way of Hafs ‘an ‘Asim, by the way of Shatibiyyah, and another ijaazah by the way of Tayyibat Al-Nashr. She then continued and received an ijaazah in the ten qira’aat min tareeq Ash-Shaaitibiyyah and Ad-Durrah. She is in charge of the non-Arab division at Dar Al-Huda Qur’an school for ladies.

What is your advice for the one who has embarked on the journey to memorize the Quran?

“Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.”

Assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.  First of all, I thank you for the good supposition you have about me, pray that this is for the benefit of the Muslims, and ask Allah to guide me in my answers to that which is best and helpful to the Muslims who wish to learn and memorize the Words of Allah.

This question alone is one that books could be written on. I will try not to, but it is hard. The main three points of advice surround intention, schedule, and being tested.


Of course the first step is to make one’s intention solely for the pleasure of Allah and not for any earthly gain.  I say “of course” thinking that it is hardly possible for one to embark on this journey without pure intentions, as it is one that requires great amounts of time, patience, and perseverance, continual supplication to Allah for success, and deep from the gut determination. Then again, lately there has been a rise in Muslims forging documents, claiming to have a certificate they don’t, or a chain of transmission that they don’t, all to charge others great amounts of money for the chance to recite to them.  The stories get more and more amazing as the years go by and some Muslims lose track of the fact that Allah is always monitoring, watching our every move and knows what is in our hearts.  For that reason, I feel like it is still the number one thing to say, even though it is obvious.  The Muslim brothers or sisters who have embarked on or are going to embark on this journey need to be honest with themselves and clear up any kind of wiswas (whispers) that may occur in their intentions.

The student may want to research the sound ahaadeeth on the benefits of memorizing the Qur’an and the honor those who have memorized receive on the Day of Resurrection. One may put posters up in different  part of the house with some of the ahaadeeth, then change them every week or so, to help refresh the intentions and feel motivated.


The next is to set up a reasonable schedule, one including daily memorization and review.  It is of the upmost importance that this schedule is neither too ambitious, so the student of memorization doesn’t get frustrated and give up, nor too easy so the student feels unchallenged and loses interest.  It is always best that the memorization and review are sequential and not random. This helps give the memorizer a clear picture of where he/she is and where he/she is going.

The best way for most is to be in an organized group with a set curriculum, time and days of class.  This helps keep motivation up, as no one likes to be behind the class, and also formulates bonds of brotherhood/sisterhood between the students for mutual cooperation and assistance.  There are some who do better on an individualized program, but with a group where each person recites what he/she has memorized to the teacher or individually has a set date for reciting his/her memorization to a teacher.  Still others have the patience, perseverance, and self motivation and control to do the memorization by their selves. On the whole, this form takes the most struggle as it is easy to get distracted and fall out of the daily routine when there is no appointed time to recite to a teacher and no group for extra motivation.

It is important to set apart a specific time of day to memorize and review, the time of day when there is the least amount of noise, and least amount of chance of being bothered or distracted. This time is set by the individual circumstances, but if possible right after fajr is what I would recommend.


Don’t be in a hurry to finish memorizing and whiz through it without the memorization being firm.  The student should be able to close the mushaf (copy of the Quran) and recite what he/she memorized completely without a mistake, then that same section should be repeated during the day.  It is very important, no, imperative, that someone who is proficient in the Qur’an listens to what has been memorized and checks it.  It is also crucial to be tested on a whole juz’ when finished, and then on groups of ajzaa, such as 3, 5, or 10 at a time as the memorizer progresses through the stages of putting the Qur’an in their memory.

The review part of the daily section is just as important as the new memorization. One cannot call himself or herself a haafidh when in fact he/she memorized piece by piece and never put it together or reviewed intensely.

How does one face a period of laziness that might attack in the middle of this journey?

The student of the Qur’an needs to realize before they start that shaytaan is going to come to them and try to dissuade them from their noble goal.  The wiswas can be in the form of making one feel like it is never going to end, or seeing others having “fun” while the student is struggling forth, or any other sort of tool.  Knowing this should keep the student on guard and help recognize the cause of the laziness or feeling of wanting to stop.
The worst thing to do at this time is take a break from memorizing.  This will make returning to the memorization more difficult and usually one will feel like the task has become harder.  The best thing to do is make dua’, renew one’s intentions, change the hadeeth on the wall to a new one and read all the previously hung hadeeth. Reading other’s stories of struggle can also help.

What is the best way to schedule memorization around work, school, and/or other responsibilities? Or is it recommended to take time off and devote oneself completely for it,  for better results?

As previously mentioned, the student of memorization needs to find a quiet, consistent time where he/she can memorize and review.  Memorization should have first priority in the day, and insha’Allah there will be barakah in the remaining activities.

It is hard to say whether it is better to take time off from studies and work to memorize or not.  Oftentimes with a tight schedule and well planned time control one can do more than freeing oneself completely to devote all one’s time to memorization.  For many, taking time off is not an option.  Others do better in a classroom situation with a set curriculum and complete devotion to memorization.

Any tips on the best way to memorize the Mutashabihaat verses? (i.e. those verses that are repeated, similar, etc.)

Memorizing them isn’t nearly as difficult as keeping them straight when reviewing.  Since memorizing is a slow build up, the first few mutashaabihaat are not too difficult to keep straight.  It is later when firming up memorization and reviewing that it can become difficult.  One tool is writing down the different  stories of the same content or groups of aayaat and comparing them.  As the same story comes up in different surahs, the memorizer can add the new aayaat to his/her comparative list and study them and review them all at the same time, finding the similarities and differences.  The stories of the Prophets is one area in which this is especially needed.

There are numerous books in Arabic which help with the mutashaabihaat and there are poems.  One specific poem which helped me personally was As-Sakhkhaawiyyah.  I didn’t memorize the whole poem, but learned some parts and read through it and that helped keep many things straight.  For example the lines outlining the places in the Qur’an which have  abadan after khaalideen feeha really helped.

Some Muslims just can keep them straight by themselves, though, masha’ Allah and don’t need mnemonic devices to keep them straight.

Many Muslims feel that learning tajweed is not necessary; can you shed some light on why it is a critical part of learning the Qur’an?

The Qur’an was revealed in the Arabic language and was recited by the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, and the Sahabah with tajweed.  Why would one want to recite it another way?  The Arabs at the time of revelation spoke with idhgaam, ikhfa’, etc, all the rules we now study to be able to read the Qur’an with tajweed.  There are parts of tajweed which were not in the normal Arab speech such as the lengthening of the sounds in the mudood, and this was then passed down in authentic chains of transmission to us and documented in the old books on tajweed.
There are parts of tajweed which are vital to know, since without applying them the actual letters can change in sound and a major mistake is made.  This is the basic tajweed knowledge that all Muslims should apply in their reading, whether they are memorizing the whole Qur’an, or just memorizing a few for their prayers.

What level of tajweed does one need to possess before embarking on the journey to memorize Quran?

This would depend on one’s ultimate goal. If one is memorizing with the intention of never teaching anyone else and just to get the honor and reward, then it would be enough to know the basic rules such as the laam saakinah, mudood, noon saakinah, makhraj, and meem saakinah.  I would caution however, that many times Muslims memorize, then later decide they want to teach or find themselves in a situation in which they are the only ones around who knows any amount of Qur’an, or change their mind and want an ijaazah, and then have to go back and learn everything in detail.  This can be quite difficult.

For most Muslims I would say that they should learn the above, plus all the rest of detailed tajweed because those who have memorized are usually called upon to teach and have a duty to help other Muslims.  One cannot teach properly without having a strong basis of knowledge themselves.  One can start memorizing at a slow level while learning the tajweed rules and being corrected on its application in recitation, and later after learning the required tajweed step up the memorization quantity.

Is it possible for one to perfect their tajweed and pronunciation without a teacher, perhaps through listening to recorded recitations only?

It is possible, but not very likely. The way the Qur’an has been taught from the early days of this nation and will continue to be taught is by oral transmission, being taught and listened to and corrected by a trained, mastered Qur’an teacher.  There are a few who are very good at imitating sounds and have the ear to pick up the small minute changes in sound heard from recordings and produce them with their own mouth, but this is not the average person, not even some, instead it is a rare case.  Again, it can happen, but the general rule for the vast majority is that it is extremely important that one is corrected by a trained teacher.

Is it required to memorize the last harakah of each ayah if one does not have a solid background in Arabic grammar?

One doesn’t need to have a solid background in Arabic grammar to memorize the last harakah of the aayah.  One needs to have a solid Arabic grammar background to explain the reason for the harakah.  When we memorize the Qur’an we should pay attention to the last harakah and try to memorize it with the rest of the aayah.  Many shuyookh giving ijazaah request the student of the ijaazah to join aayaat together particularly in the shorter surahs to make sure the student knows the vowel on the last letter of an aayah. Knowing the vowel on the last letter of the aayah becomes particularly important in learning and applying the different qira’aat.

Many people associate memorization with being young. Is it possible for someone to begin memorizing after the ‘golden years’ of memorization? And what is your advice for such a person?

Youth on the whole can memorize easier, but age should not stop anyone from memorizing.  Sometimes Muslims have a mental picture of those over 40 or 50 not being able to memorize, but there are many stories of Muslims memorizing the Qur’an later in life, some even starting in their 60’s and succeeding in completion.

With purity of intention, lots of dua’ asking Allah to make it simple, and determination, nothing is impossible with Allah’s help.

I know of a sister in her 30s with 5 children who memorized the whole Qur’an in 3 years and went on to get an ijaazah.  She had to sacrifice sleep and many other things we generally hold important, but she did it for Allah, and by His will, she accomplished her goal. My advice is to never give up.

What advice do you have for new Muslims and older Muslims who face difficulty with memorizing and pronunciation?

The same advice as above, do not give up.  Turn to Allah, don’t be afraid of the struggle and devote yourself to the Qur’an.  You do have to sacrifice, but the reward of Allah is great for all your efforts.  Some give up too easily, but be stubborn in your pursuit of reading the words of Allah correctly and keep trying.  Don’t make excuses for yourself and don’t let your ego get in your way.  The students who do the best on the whole are those who are eager to be corrected, do not complain, and are not afraid to make a mistake.

What are some habits that a student of the Qur’an should implement?

You probably mean study habits, but more important is improving themselves as Muslims and making that a habit.  Pray tahajjud, fast extra fasts, make sure you implement the aayaat of Qur’an in your life and are a shining example of those of the Qur’an.
Stay away from sin, repent for all your sins and stop anything that is not suitable for “ahl al-Qur’an.” (the people of the Qur’an)

Do not waste time, it is a precious commodity for the student of the Qur’an, so use it wisely and use it for the sake of Allah. This is something I can’t say enough.  Many Muslims have lofty goals, but lose their precious time searching the Internet for different recordings of recitation from multiple shuyookh, looking up details of the qira’aat and other advanced details of tajweed when they themselves are relatively beginners or have not progressed far in their memorization.   Focus on the task at hand, and listen to one of the masters of tajweed such as Sheikh Al-Husary or Sheikh Abdullah Basfar.

What should be the goal(s) of a student who has completed their memorization and what should they do after this?

This is really up to the student for most aspects, but the goal that should be shared by all after memorizing the Qur’an is to firm up the memorization and have a very strong review program to keep themself a hafidh. Once the memorization is complete it is not the end, it is just the beginning.

If the student of the Qur’an would like to achieve an ijaazah of the Qur’an after memorizing and firming up the memorization, they should approach a sheikh or sheikhah with an ijaazah and be evaluated by them.  If the student has not memorized the Jazariyyah poem, and wished to get an ijaazah in the Qur’an, he/she should memorize the Jazariyyah and study its meaning.   After the evaluation, the sheikh or sheikhah might give them points to work on, or start an ijaazah with them.

After an ijaazah in one riwaayah or qiraa’ah, the student can then pursue knowledge of the 10 qiraa’aat.  There is much to learn and each step is more beautiful than the previous one.

In your opinion, what is the best method of reviewing the Book of Allah, so as not to lose it by Allah’s will?

The scholars say, “[Review] five, you won’t forget” (خمس لا تنسى), meaning if you review five ajzaa’ per day, you will not forget.  This is a very true statement.  If one cannot keep up reviewing 5 per day all the time, they should try to do this strong program of review for at least six months after completing memorization.  After that the student who cannot keep up with five ajzaa’ per day can decrease the amount to 2 or 3 a day, or the very minum, one juz’ per day; any less than this will not keep the memorization strong.

How much repetition is required for one to completely solidify the hifdh? What has worked for you/your students?

It is hard to quantify and varies from individual to individual.  Suffice it to be said that it requires a lot of repetition, and for six months the review should be quite intense with five ‘ajzaa per day reviewed, if at all possible.
The school I studied at has special classes for tathbeet (firming up memorization).  As a class we went through the Qur’an six times, the number of students in the class, and each day recited three ajzaa’ to the teacher as a class, but we didn’t know which section we were going to be asked to recite as individuals.  We were required to recite at a quick pace, trying to keep our tajweed up as much as possible, so the memorization needed to be quite firm. The teacher would keep track of which sections we had recited to her and at the end of the year, each of us had recited the whole Qur’an to her, but in pieces.  This was and is a very good program and I thank Allah for giving me the opportunity to be in this class.

Please recommend a Tafseer suitable for beginners. Which tafseer did you benefit from the most?

The translations into English of the meaning of the Qur’an give only a general idea of the aayaat, and it is quite important that a deeper understanding of the Qur’an and the background for a surah or aayah be known, as well as any explanation given by the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, and the Sahaabah.  Ibn Kathir is a great tafseer and al-hamdu lillah it has been translated into English.  May Allah reward those who did this with a great reward and make it of the deeds which continue accumulating for them after their deaths.

How important do you think it is to study tafseer along with memorization? Does it aid in memorizing?

It is extremely important and yes it aids greatly in memorization, especially if word by word meaning is given to the students as they memorize.  There needs to be study of vocabulary words along with the memorization and tests given on the vocabulary words.

How can we instill love for the Qur’an in our children and youth?

By showing them how much we love it and by employing the Qu’ran in our life in every aspect. Teaching them that Qur’an is first is something they will carry with them to adulthood.  I heard a lecture once recommending that parents always start their children with Qur’an homework, then any other deen related subjects, then the other science, math and literature subjects.  This will show the children the importance of Qur’an.

There is no doubt that one who carries the Book of Allah must also carry beautiful conduct and character. Can you please shed light on some of the most important characteristics of Ahl-al-Quran?

There are so many, as “ahl Al-Qur’an” should be examples of the best in character and conduct.  We should aim to have our manners as [what is in] the Qur’an as Aisha may Allah be pleased with her, described the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah upon him.  Even though we are far from his example, we should try our utmost.

I think the one encompassing characteristic is that of Taqwaa.  If one has taqwaa, everything else will be correct, insha’ Allah.

The following are what came to my mind, and are under the category of taqwaa:

First and foremost, those who are “carriers” of the Qur’an should have truthfulness and honesty.  It cannot be that ahl al-Qur’an tell lies or are dishonest.

Another very important characteristic is standing up for the truth and not wronging anyone or allowing someone to be wronged.

The inside of Ahl Al-Qur’an should be like their outward appearance, meaning there should be no hypocrisy.
Patience is also a very important characteristic which those who are carriers of the Qur’an should have.

May Allah grant us the best of manners and characteristics, may He purify our intentions in all that we do, may Allah make us of “ahl al-Qur’an,” and give us the honors promised those who have memorized the Qur’an on the Day of Resurrection. I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him alone.

Amatullah is a student of the Qur'an and its language. She completed the 2007 Ta'leem program at Al-Huda Institute in Canada and studied Qur'an, Tajwid (science of recitation) and Arabic in Cairo. Through her writings, she hopes to share the practical guidance taught to us by Allah and His Messenger and how to make spirituality an active part of our lives. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and will be completing the Masters program in 2014 inshaAllah. Her experience includes working with immigrant seniors, refugee settlement and accessibility for people with disabilities.



  1. Avatar

    Yaqeen needed

    June 21, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    My Best post award winner.

    The humility and humbleness from learning through the traditional method is evident. When questioned about her opinion, she answers saying the scholars say- this is humility and adab gained from sound traditional Islamic training. Something much needed today

  2. Avatar


    June 21, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    Masha’Allah… I used to use book 1 of the series when I first started learning Tajweed! Is the sister here in Egypt?

    • Avatar

      Fajr Breeze - Yuxx

      June 21, 2010 at 1:48 AM

      Baraka-Llâhu fik, very interesting interview !

    • Avatar


      June 21, 2010 at 3:40 AM

      no, she lives in Jeddah.

      • Avatar


        December 19, 2016 at 3:20 PM

        I recently moved to Jeddah and I am looking for Dar-ul-huda here. Do you know the current information about ustadha kareema? I will be greatfull if you could give some information about it.

  3. Yahya Ibrahim

    Yahya Ibrahim

    June 21, 2010 at 7:05 AM


    Subhan Allah, great benefit in this post for all masha Allah.

    I remember when I began my memorization… Every tuesday and Sunday my brother Yasser and I would meet Sh. Djabir (rahimahullah). He was a great teacher and always encouraged us to keep at it.

    With anything in life, hard work and pure intention result in success.

    Currently I do 2 juz a day while driving to and then from work. I also found teaching to be one of the best tools to help retain what you know…little it may be.

    O Allah make the Quran a proof for us and not against us


  4. Avatar

    Mariam E.

    June 21, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    Asalamu Alikum

    May Allah reward Ustadhah Kareema immensely for taking the time to do this interview and share with us such valuable knowledge and advice. May He protect her and grant her success in all her efforts.

  5. Avatar

    Tehseen Iftikhar

    June 21, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    May Allah bless and reward Ustadhah Kareema the best for sharing with us such valuable advice. May He protect and grant her the best in this world and the next ameen. Jazakillahukhairan sister Amatullah for this interview, may Allah make it beneficial for many of us ameen

  6. Avatar


    June 21, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    ASA. JAK.

    When reading this:

    What advice do you have for new Muslims and older Muslims who face difficulty with memorizing and pronunciation?

    The same advice as above, do not give up. Turn to Allah, don’t be afraid of the struggle and devote yourself to the Qur’an. You do have to sacrifice, but the reward of Allah is great for all your efforts. Some give up too easily, but be stubborn in your pursuit of reading the words of Allah correctly and keep trying. Don’t make excuses for yourself and don’t let your ego get in your way. The students who do the best on the whole are those who are eager to be corrected, do not complain, and are not afraid to make a mistake.

    I was reminded of a program by DR. WAYNE DYER: EXCUSES BEGONE! | Preview

    Excuses Begone Products:

    Baraaka Allahu feekum.

  7. Avatar


    June 21, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Assalaamu alaikum,

    MashaAllah, the best advice I heard/read regarding memorization of the Quran. May Allah reward Ustadhah Kareema and grant her the best in this life and in the Hereafter. May Allah make us all of Ahl alQuran.

  8. Avatar


    June 21, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Jazak Allahu khairan. My question is now: Am I really ready to be part of Ahlu-l-Quran?

  9. Avatar

    Ify Okoye

    June 21, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Masha’Allah tabarakAllah. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish by the grace of Allah. Among the best advice I’ve heard is a gem from Shaykh Yaser Birjas to abandon the sinful life, both the major and the minor.

    In addition, to seize every free moment and opportunity to recite and review, consistency, take advantage of the barakah-filled post-fajr time, dua, and emptying your mind and heart of distractions and useless information that will neither benefit you in the dunya or the akhira.

  10. Avatar

    Bin Muhsin

    June 22, 2010 at 8:40 AM

    Mashallah! I feel like the Huffaz are in dire need of a reminder. Unfortunately many huffaz are stellar Muslims all the way up till they complete the memorization of the Quran. After khat-mul-quran everything goes downhill and Shaitan seems to be able to ensnare our Huffaz in things which they never would have gone near initially.

    Even though this article touched on some really relevant and critical points, I would love to see an article that solely addresses this issue.

  11. Pingback: Advice for the Student of Qur’an — Dream in Arabic

  12. Avatar


    June 23, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    ASA. Another thought that came to mind after further contemplation is that we should customize our studies to match our individual learning styles:

    Learning and Teaching Styles
    In Foreign and Second Language Education

    More on Learning Styles:

    What is your learning style?:


  13. Pingback: Memorising the Book of Allah: Interview with Ustadhah Kareema Czerepinski

  14. Avatar


    June 23, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    M.A .Very Beneficial “May Allah exalt our Dear Ustadhah Kareema” for sharing this advice . Ameen.

  15. Avatar


    June 24, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    SubhanAllah. I just saw this very inspiring news story of a young man in America who is hafidh-ul-Qur’an, masha’Allah:

    Love for religion and basketball can co exist.

    What are our excuses that are holding us back?


  16. Avatar


    June 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Assalamualaikum warahmatu Allah,
    May Allah reward Ustadhah Kareema graetly for her valuable advice,amen. Her achievement and commitment in serving the Book of Allah are truly inspiring, mashaallah Allah tabarakaallah.

  17. Avatar


    December 29, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    JazakAllah khairan wa barak Allah feekum!Please please!kindly make dua for me and my friend,we are trying are best to hifdh Qura’n,pray to Allah that He let us complete thjs journey and accept that from us!May Allah make all of us the companions of Qur’an in this world and the Next…sis Amatullah i really love all of ur articles…May Allah bless you abundantly and grant you andur family Jannat-ul-Firdous,May He let us meet in Jannah insha Allah!love you for the sake of Allah alone!

  18. Avatar

    Muhammad Amin Tily

    October 28, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Jazaakillaahu Khairan for this article and especially for all the books! May Allaah reward you immensely for all your efforts!

  19. Avatar

    Umm Safiyyah

    March 27, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    Assalamu Alaikkum, I would like to know whether Ustadha Kareema conducts online Quraan classes. Please let me know.

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Six Principles for Achieving the Ideal Islamic Society





By Ibrahim Khan


Attending jumu’ah on a weekly basis can give us an opportunity to learn many things. However, nearly every Friday towards the end of the khutbah, the khatib recites a verse that many of us are accustomed to:

“Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. [An-Nahl; 90]

Some of us may have even memorised this verse directly from the mouth of the Imam during the Friday Khutbah. Why do Imams recite this verse nearly every Friday in the jumu’ah khutbah worldwide? What is the significance of this verse?

Imam Ahmad reports a Hasan Hadith on the authority of Abdullah bin AbbasraḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) with regards to the revelation of this verse, who said:

‘While the Messenger of Allah was sitting in the courtyard of his house, Uthman bin Maz`un passed by and smiled at the Messenger of Allah.

The Messenger of Allah said to him, “Won’t you sit down?”

He replied, “Certainly.”

So the Messenger of Allah sat facing him, and while they were talking, the Messenger of Allah began looking up at the sky, looking at it for a while, then he brought his gaze down until he was looking at the ground to his right. Then the Messenger of Allah turned slightly away from his companion Uthman to where he was looking. Then he began to tilt his head as if trying to understand something, and Ibn Maz`un was looking on. When the matter was finished and he had understood what had been said to him, the Messenger of Allah stared at the sky again as he had the first time, looking at whatever he could see until it disappeared. Then he turned back to face Uthman again.

Uthman said, “I have never seen you do anything like you did today while I was sitting with you.

The Messenger of Allah said: “What did you see me do?”

Uthman said, “I saw you staring at the sky, then you lowered your gaze until you were looking to your right, then you turned to him and left me. Then you tilted your head as if you were trying to understand something that was being said to you.”

The Messenger of Allah said, “A messenger from Allah came to me just now, when you were sitting here.”

Uthman said, “A messenger from Allah!”

The Messenger of Allah said, “Yes.”

Uthman said, “And what did he say to you?”

The Messenger of Allah said, “A verse was revealed to me:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَأْمُرُ‌ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْ‌بَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ‌ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُ‌ونَ

“Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.”

Uthman said, “That was when faith was established in my heart and I began to love Muhammad.”’ [Tafsir Ibn Kathir 16;90]


If we carefully analyse this verse, we find that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has mentioned 6 principles; 3 commandments and 3 prohibitions.


  • Justice

The first command is to be just. From amongst the 89 commandments within the Qur’an in which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) addresses the believers by beginning with the statement, ‘O you who believe’, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in one of those verses:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is acquainted with what you do.” [Al Ma’idah;8]

From amongst the other prophets of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) who were commanded within the Qur’an to act with justice, is the Prophet Dawud 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) narrates in Surah Sa’d an event that occurred during his lifetime in which his ability to act justly was tested. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says,

”And has there come to you the news of the adversaries, when they climbed over the wall of [his] prayer chamber –

When they entered upon David and he was alarmed by them? They said, ‘Fear not. [We are] two adversaries, one of whom has wronged the other, so judge between us with truth and do not exceed [it] and guide us to the sound path.

Indeed this, my brother, has ninety-nine ewes, and I have one ewe; so he said, ‘Entrust her to me,’ and he overpowered me in speech.

(Dawud) said, “He has certainly wronged you in demanding your ewe [in addition] to his ewes. And indeed, many associates oppress one another, except for those who believe and do righteous deeds – and few are they.” And David became certain that We had tried him, and he asked forgiveness of his Lord and fell down bowing [in prostration] and turned in repentance [to Allah ].


Allah tested Dawud 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) by sending him two angels disguised in the form of shepherds. These shepherds where brothers; one of them had a single female sheep (ewe) whilst the other had 99. They both came to Dawud 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to present their case to him. The one who had a single sheep spoke and said that his brother wanted to claim his one sheep (to make a total of 100 sheep). Without hearing the other side of the story, Dawud 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) made a judgement and said the other brother’s claim was oppressive towards his brother. The two brothers then vanished and Dawud 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) realised it was a test; he fell into prostration seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepted his repentance and then commanded him to judge with justice on the Earth.

So We forgave him that; and indeed, for him is nearness to Us and a good place of return.

[We said], “O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth, so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of Allah .” Indeed, those who go astray from the way of Allah will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Account. [Surah Sa’ad; 21-26]


  • Excellence

The second principle mentioned in the verse is the command to act with excellence. If you study the Qur’an, you will find إِحْسَانًا or أَحْسَنُ meaning ‘excellence’ to be a prevalent theme throughout.

When Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) speaks about being obedient to parents, he mentions obedience in the most excellent form,

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, excellent treatment.” [Surah Isra’;23]

When Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) speaks about talking, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions excellent in utterance,

And tell My servants to say that which is excellent[Surah Isra’;53]

In Surah Mulk, when Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) speaks about the purpose of his creation, he relates it to excellence:

“It is he who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is excellent in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving “ [Surah Mulk;2]

These are just some of the examples mentioned in the Qur’an. Within the Sunnah our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) summed up excellence in a single hadith:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَتَبَ الْإِحْسَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ
“Verily, Allah has prescribed excellence in everything.” [Muslim; 1955]


Whatever actions we perform, whether it is related to Islam or the Dunya, the foundation of excellence should be there.


  • The Rights of the Relatives (Ties of Kinship)

The third and final command of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) within this verse is to be kind to relatives and to uphold the ties of kinship. Our prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mentioned many ahadith which emphasised the status of the relatives. In just one of those ahadith, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

The quickest good deeds to be rewarded are righteousness and good relations with family. The quickest evil deeds to be punished are transgression and severing family ties.” [Ibn Majah; 4212]

One of the greatest dilemmas facing Muslims in today’s time is the cutting of kinship. A person will do their best to maintain ties of relationship with relatives only to have them cut off.  During the time of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), a man came to him and complained, “I have relatives with whom I maintain ties while they cut me off. I am good to them while they are bad to me. They behave foolishly towards me while I am forbearing towards them.” The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) replied, “If things are as you said, it is as if you were putting hot ashes on them (it is going to harm them because of their behaviour) and you will not lack a supporter against them from Allah as long as you continue to do that.” [Adab al Mufrad; 52]


  • Immorality 

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) now moves on to the prohibitions. The first prohibition that the believers -both male and female- are commanded to stay away from is immorality. It is very unfortunate, living in the West that we Muslims are exposed to immorality on a daily basis; at work, school, university and the easily accessible media.

With regards to this principle, I want to outline two remarkable hadiths. Our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“Modesty is part of faith and faith is in Paradise. Shamelessness is part of impudence and impudence is in the Hellfire.” [Tirmidhi; 2009]

The paths to eternal bliss and eternal punishment have been made clear.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) also said:
“Obscenity is not found in anything but that it spoils it, and modesty is not found in anything but that it beautifies it.” [Tirmidhi; 1974]


  • Evil

Allah within the Qur’an praised this Ummah because of their enjoining of good and forbidding evil.

You are the best nation produced for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. [Surah Al-e-Imran; 110]

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) gave us a stern warning, if evil was not prohibited when he said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted“. [Tirmidhi; 193]


  • Transgression 

The final principle and prohibition is to avoid transgression. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) commanded the Muslims to be united through the bond of La ilaha ilallah, enveloped by brotherhood & sisterhood, and to be upon the Qur’an & Sunnah:

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.” [Surah Al-e-Imrah;103]

For this reason, there are numerous ahadith of our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mentioning the virtues of unity. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

لاَ تَبَاغَضُوا، وَلاَ تَحَاسَدُوا، وَلاَ تَدَابَرُوا، وَكُونُوا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ إِخْوَانًا، وَلاَ يَحِلُّ لِمُسْلِمٍ أَنْ يَهْجُرَ أَخَاهُ فَوْقَ ثَلاَثِ لَيَالٍ

Do not hate one another, nor be jealous of one another; and do not desert one another, but O Allah’s worshipers! Be Brothers! And it is unlawful for a Muslim to desert his brother Muslim (and not to talk to him) for more than three nights.” [Bukhari; 6076]

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) at the end of this hadith mentioned that it is prohibited to desert talking tot your brother for more than three nights. How many households are there where brothers don’t speak to one another, or sisters don’t speak to sisters or children not speaking to their parents? This principle is very similar to the previous principle mentioned earlier on this verse on the importance of being kind to relatives. These two principles involve giving other fellow human beings their right and for this reason, the Prophet combined them two (transgression and ties of kinship) within a single hadith where he said:

There is no sin more deserving for Allah to quicken its punishment in this life, in addition to the Hereafter, other than transgression and cutting off family ties. [Tirmidhi; 2511]


These 6 principles; Being just, acting with excellence, maintaining ties of kinship, staying away from immorality, forbidding evil and avoiding transgression, if followed, will lead to the ideal Islamic society being formed within our communities. If we all implement these 6 principles on an individual level, this will insha’allah be embodied on a communal level. This verse encapsulates both good and bad and for this reason, the great scholar of the Qur’an, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) commented on this verse and said;

“There is no verse in the Qur’an which is greater in combining the halal and the haram and the command the prohibition than this verse.” [Adab al Mufrad; 489]



Ibrahim Khan was blessed to have been able to memorize the Qur’an in the UK and then went on to study Aqeedah, Fiqh, Hadith with different teachers and scholars (some from which visited the UK from abroad).

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Power Up Your Kids’ Ramadan! Days 1-7




Welcome to Ilmburst’s FREE Ramadan children’s video series: Power Up Ramadan.

Day Two: RACE

Day Three: GOALS

Day Four: PRAYER

Day Five: EMPTY

Day Six: QUR’AN


Check out more Ramadan resources on the Ilmburst website.

Follow Ilmburst on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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Al-Mudawwanah Al-Jāmi’ah: The History and Methodology of the Hadith Encyclopedia





By Shaykh Al-Islam Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmani, translated by Umer Ansari

Translator’s Foreword:

The following is the first formal introduction to Al-Mudawwanah Al-Jāmi’ah: The Hadith Encyclopedia in the English language.

It has been formulated based on the Arabic Muqaddimah penned by Shaykh Mufti Taqī ‘Uthmānī at the beginning of Al-Mudawwanah Al-Jāmi’ah, the Urdu introduction by our esteemed Shaykh that was published in Al-Balagh Urdu Monthly (Nov 2017), and his speech given at “Taqrīb-i Shukr” ceremony (Dec 5, 2017) at Dār al-Ulūm Karachi, the transcription of which has also been published in Al-Balagh Urdu Monthly (Jan 2018).

This translation aims to provide, in the English language, a comprehensive introduction of this historical work with the latest information available at the time.

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and the Ever Merciful

All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon Allah’s noble messenger, his household, and all of his noble companions.

Since 2002, Dār al-‘Ulūm in Karachi has undertaken an important project in the field of hadith compilation and, by Allah’s mercy and blessings, we have reached an important milestone. The first volume of the hadith encyclopedia has been published under the title Al-Mudawwanah Al-Jāmi’ah lil-ahadith al-Marwīyah ‘an an-Nabī al-Karīm allá Allāh ‘alayhi wassallam.

By the grace of Allah, this project has been in progress without any publicity. Since the first volume is now published, however, the time is ripe on this joyous occasion that a concise introduction be presented for all the people of knowledge.

The Preservation of Hadith

For indeed, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has chosen the nation of Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to preserve the details of His beloved messenger’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) noble life. This is so because the noble messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was sent with divine guidance for all of humanity until the Day of Judgment. Therefore, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has taken it upon Himself to protect the Qur’an. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“We, Ourselves, have sent down the Dhikr (the Qur’an), and We are there to protect it.” [Al-ijr, 15:9][1]


Furthermore, the protection of the Qur’an entails the preservation of the sunnah of Allah’s messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) because Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had sent him to teach and explain the Book of Allah. He says:



“We sent down the Reminder (The Qur’an) to you, so that you explain to the people what has been revealed for them, and so that they may ponder.” [an-Nal, 16:44]


Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:


Allah has surely conferred favor on the believers when He raised in their midst a messenger from among themselves  who recites to them His verses and makes them pure and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, while earlier, they were in open error.” [Āl-i-Imrān, 3:164]


Therefore, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) chose some among His servants to preserve the sunnah of His Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). They dedicated their lives to preserving the sunnah by memorizing, writing, teaching, explaining, and propagating it. They spared no effort in preserving the text and the chains of narrators of ahadith, in scrutinizing the narrators to separate the reliable narrators from the unreliable, in the writing and compiling of ahadith, in explaining and extrapolating from them, and in expanding this science while preserving it, the likes of which is unprecedented in human history.

It is no secret from the people of knowledge that the way Muslims have preserved hadith of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is unparalleled and incomparable with any other nation or religion. Innumerable compilations of hadith have been written in different styles, and each one of them possesses many benefits.

When we examine the history of the hadith sciences, we find works that attempted at compiling numerous hadith. ‘Allāmah Ibn al-Athīr al-Jazarī compiled the six books of Al-Sihah Al-Sitta (also known as Al-Kutub Al-Sitta)[2] into Jāmi’ al-Usūl, however, it included Al-Muwaṭṭaʾ of Imam Mālik instead of Sunan Ibn Mājah. Then ‘Allāmah Haythami compiled his Majmau’ al-Zawāid in which he compiled the ahadith of Al-Sihāh Al-Sitta, along with Musnad Amad, Al-Mu’jam Al-abarānī, and Musnad Abu Ya’lā. This was followed by Jam’ul Fawāid in which Jāmi’ al-Usūl and Majmau’ al-Zawāid were compiled together, in addition to the narrations exclusively found in Sunan Ibn Mājah and Sunan ad-Dārimi.

Later, many other compilations took place, for example Al-Jawāmi’ of ‘Allāmah al-Suyūṭī and Kanz al-‘Ummāl to name a few. However, in these compilations, ahadith were collected with their matn (text), while leaving out their isnād (chain of narrators)[3].

Thus, every generation has served the Prophetic traditions by facilitating the need to search ahadith from the hadith compilations, details of which are well-known to the people of knowledge. In the Information Age, there are numerous programs to search hadith, the importance of which cannot be denied. However, new ways of service to the Prophetic traditions continue to manifest.


About fifteen years ago a friend of mine, who would like to remain anonymous, proposed that all the Prophetic traditions should be assigned a unique international number. The current method of citing hadith is either by making a reference to the page number of the reference work, or by mentioning the hadith number found in that collection. However, such references differ quite often due to the differences in the manuscripts and publications. Therefore, such a method is not the best tool to search and cite hadith. In addition, while doing takhrīj[4], narrations of some works are missed.

Without drawing a likeness to the Qur’an, just as each Qur’anic chapter and verse are numbered, and it is enough to cite the chapter and the verse number that doesn’t differ with different prints, the proposal suggested each hadith to be assigned a unique hadith number that can be used to cite as a reference comprising of all the details (pertaining to it) in a single place.

I personally liked this proposal, and it was obvious that it would require a thorough examination to compile a new hadith encyclopedia consisting of all the traditions that are attributed to the messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) (i.e. Marfū’ ahadith)[5]. None of the compilers of hadith have claimed that they have only included hadith, after a close study of all the narrations, that are found in all of the hadith works in the world.

Along with its importance, the sheer volume of work required an insight of a scholarly body. For this reason, the gentleman who had presented this proposal wanted to host a meeting of scholars who were learned and experienced in dealing with the sciences of hadith and it’s cataloging.

The First Meeting

On the 5th and 7th of Ramaḍān, 1422 (A.H.) a meeting was held in Makkah al-Mukarramah that comprised of scholars who had expertise in hadith, especially in hadith compilation, arrangement, and preservation.

The most prominent amidst them was Shaykh Dr. Mustafa al-‘Azami, who, among his other extensive contributions to the hadith sciences, was the first to computerize hadith. His work in the digitization of hadith had earned him the King Faisal International Award[6].

Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaraḍāwī, who currently resides in Qatar, was also invited because he is a world-renowned academic.

The Grand Mufti of Pakistan Shaykh Mufti Muḥammad Rafī’ ‘Uthmāni, the Principal of Dār al-‘Ulūm Karachi in Pakistan and the muḥaddith there was invited as well.

Also present was Shaykh Dr. Abdul Malik bin Bakr al-Qāḍi, a Riyadh based scholar and the author of Diwān as-Sunan wa al-Athār, who in 1422 A.H. had personally begun to collect all the available ahadith with their text and chain of narration. He had presented to me a sample from his work in the form of Kitāb al-Zakah, seeking my advice and recommendations. I had found that his work was missing the books of the Hanafi school, for example At-aāwī, Al-Muwaṭṭaʾ of Imam Muḥammad and Kitāb al-Athār of Imam Abu Yusuf. I had written to him in my response that how can his work be called “al-Jāmi’” if it did not include these works. He then responded to me that he would include them as well. At the time we had no thought towards such a project. However, now that we were meeting in Makkah, he was invited as well so that we could benefit from his experience.

Additionally, Shaykh Dr. Maḥmūd al-Taḥān, Dr. ‘Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah[7], Dr. Syed Muḥammad Syed Nūḥ, Shaykh Nizām Ya’qūbi, and I were present at the meeting.

With the blessings of the month of Ramaḍān and the Ḥaramain Sharīfain, everyone was receptive to the proposal, analyzed different aspects of it, and encouraged it. We discussed the different ways this could be achieved. The first meeting was concluded by forming a four-member committee to further brainstorm the methodology for the project and how it may be implemented. The four members of this committee were Dr. Mustafa al-‘Azami, Muḥammad Taqī ‘Uthmānī, Shaykh Abdul Malik bin Bakr al-Qāḍi, and Shaykh Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah.

The Second Meeting

This committee convened its meeting on the 25th and 26th of Shawwāl, 1422 A.H. in Makkah al-Mukarramah, where the structure of this project was discussed.

Since Shaykh Abdul Malik bin Bakr al-Qāḍi had a head start, even though his work was missing some books, he presented his methodology in compiling hadith. Listening to his experience, it dawned upon the committee members that this project would require at least forty personnel. It was also suggested that this forty personnel should be divided into two equal groups, one based in Karachi under the supervision of Dār al-‘Ulūm Karachi and another group in Cairo under the supervision of Shaykh Abdul Malik bin Bakr al-Qāḍi.

The Suggestion of Dr. Mustafa al-‘Azami

When the project’s finances were estimated, we were in shock. I spoke with Dr. Mustafa al-‘Azami that with such estimated expenses, it did not seem possible to have forty people in two groups working on the project in two different cities, to which he agreed.

I also told him that if we were to undertake this project it would be in the footsteps of our elders in simplicity. We would do however little we can and we will leave it to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to make it reach its completion.

Dr. Mustafa al-‘Azami agreed, and he proposed that this project should be entrusted to Dār al-‘Ulūm Karachi under my humble supervision, it should not be publicized, and while relying and trusting upon Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), the work should begin.

Initial Investment

In order to initiate this project, some investment was nevertheless needed. An individual from Dubai approached us and offered to single-handedly sponsor all the finances of this project. I did not think it wise to rely on an individual for the finances of this project; rather I felt that we must solely rely upon Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Therefore, it was made clear to him that he may assist out of his own will for as long as he wishes, while we trust in Allah to arrange the needed finances.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) showed us that the individual who wanted to single-handedly sponsor the entire project backed out within four months of his claim. We believed that this project was purely for the sake of Allah, because it was in service of the hadith of the messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), therefore, Allah Most High would continue the project to operate out of His Mercy.

Whatever little finances we had, we continued to operate with it. Since this project was not Zakat eligible, those funds could not be allocated to this project.

The Department of Mawsū’ah al-Hadith

Henceforth, a separate department by the name of Mawsū’ah al-Hadith (موسوعة الحديث) was established within Dār al-‘Ulūm Karachi. A small group of researchers was formed so that by working on this project they could gain hands-on experience in researching hadith.

After laying down its methodology, this project needed a leader with rigorous qualifications: he had to be experienced, intimately familiar with the science of hadith, skillful in the art of writing scholarly publications, as well as proficient in the use of computers. Praise be to Allah that Shaykh Na’īm Ashraf[8] was appointed to this position, may Allah bless his life, knowledge, and endeavors.

Hence, they began the work fifteen years ago with very limited resources, having trust only in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Since then, Shaykh Na’īm Ashraf has been dedicating three hours a day to supervise the work. After every dhuhr salāh he brings the draft of ahadith of that day for my review; I give any needed suggestions regarding it, which are then accounted for, and the ahadith are brought for my further review the next day. The finalized ahadith get included in the encyclopedia after my signature approval. This is how the work has been progressing on a daily basis, all thanks are due to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

The Methodology

The intended purpose of the project is to include in Al-Mudawwanah all the marfū’ ahadith[9] that are available in print or in manuscripts from anywhere in the world, and assign a unique number to them along with their variations in the chain of narrators.

The total number of source works have reached up to 910 – comprising of primary and secondary books of hadith, the books of tafsīr, takhrīj, and shuruāt al-hadith[10]. From these, 80 books are the primary sources of hadith because of their original sanad and matn, while the rest are being used as supplementary sources for attesting the primary ahadith. These 80 books are the most commonly referenced works in the field of hadith, as most of the ahadith are found within them, and their authors have narrated them on the authority of their own chain of narrators. If any unique hadith is found in the secondary sources then they are also given a unique number.

An additional feature of Al-Mudawwanah is that we are mentioning the grading of ahadith with their sanad by mentioning the statement from the mutaqaddimīn scholars if available. In the occasion when a comment from the mutaqaddimīn scholars is unavailable, we do not mention our own comment on the hadith, or that of our contemporaries, unless there is a pressing need, in which case the grading of hadith is added in the footnote.

The Arrangement of Al-Mudawwanah

Regarding the arrangement of hadith, we pondered over whether it should be in alphabetical order or based on topics (abwāb). We decided that the alphabetical order would not be beneficial because ahadith, specifically the ahadith al-Fi’liyyah[11], have differences in their text and chain. Hence, Al-Mudawwanah is being arranged according to the abwāb, however, care is being taken that the abwāb do not reflect any particular juristic or theological school.

Al-Hadith al-Mukhtār

Under each chapter, the first hadith is declared as al-Hadith al-Mukhtār (الحديث المختار), which is a marfū’ hadith that is mentioned with its complete chain and has the strongest chain of narrators. This hadith is assigned a unique international number.

The second hadith is at-arīq al-Ajma’ (الطريق الأجمع) and it is also brought with its full chain. The benefit of this second hadith is that it often provides the complete background and context of the narration of al-Hadith al-Mukhtār.

After mentioning at-arīq al-Ajma’, all the different chains that are found in the books that are narrated from the companion of al-Hadith al-Mukhtār are mentioned, along with any important variations in their wordings.

Next, different mutūn (texts) of the hadith that are reported from other noble companions are therefore brought as Shāhid (corroborating evidence) and these reports are assigned subsidiary numbers.

Example: The Famous Hadith an-Niyyah

In order to explain this by an example, the first volume of Al-Mudawwanah is “Kitāb al-Imān”, and it begins with the Hadith an-Niyyah: إنما الأعمال بالنيات.

The strongest chain for this hadith is the one narrated by ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb and recorded in aī al-Bukhārī. Therefore, this report is declared al-Hadith al-Mukhtār, and it is mentioned with its complete chain and assigned a unique international number of Hadith #1.

Following it are 43 different chains of transmission of this hadith that are reported from ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, which are found elsewhere within aī al-Bukhārī and other compilations, along with any variations in their wordings.

Moreover, Hadith an-Niyyah is also narrated by other noble companions, which are brought as shawāhid (corroborating evidence) and are assigned subsidiary numbers.

A subsidiary number of 1/1 is assigned to a report narrated by Abu Sa’īd al-Khudri as recorded by Imam Abu Nu’aym in ilyat-ul-Awliya’; 2/1 is assigned to a report that is narrated by Abu ad-Dardā’ and recorded by Imam Ṭabarānī in his Mu’jam al-Kabīr; 3/1 is a report that is recorded in Tārīkh ad-Dimashq of Ibn ‘Asākir on the authority of Anas; 4/1 is assigned for a report in Tārīkh Nīsābūrī of Ḥākim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah. 5/1 is a hadith reported by Muḥammad bin Yāsir al-Jiyāni on the authority of ‘Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib; 6/1 is a report on the authority of Hizāl bin Yazid that is recorded in Tārīkh Nīsābūrī; and 7/1 is a report that Ibn Bakkar has narrated as a Mursal hadith[12] on the authority of Muḥammad bin Ibrahīm bin al-Ḥārith, which is recorded in Khaāi al-Madīnah.

In summary, wherever this hadith is found in the available classical hadith sources (maādir), they are all detailed in Al-Mudawwanah. Moreover, each sanad is cited with its complete reference, i.e. the name of the book, the volume and page number, and the chapter heading and hadith number found within it.

Therefore, now it would suffice to say, “Al-Mudawwanah Al-Jāmi’ah, Hadith #1”, while making a reference to Hadith an-Niyyah, as Al-Mudawwanah Al-Jāmi’ah will provide all the pertinent details regarding this hadith and all of its different chains of transmission in a single place.

The Digitization of Al-Mudawwanah

When Shaykh Na’īm Ashraf presented the very initial draft of Al-Mudawwanah to the honorable advising committee, it was well-received and approved. Furthermore, Dr. Mustafa al-‘Azami suggested that this work should be digitized. We felt this suggestion quite appropriate and relevant to the needs of our time.

Therefore, Shaykh Na’īm Ashraf drafted a layout for data entry software for this project and hired a company. By the grace of Allah, the database software is in the Arabic language and fully capable of handling the data entry, searching and reporting, and more importantly, the composing needs of this project.

The Work Accomplished Thus Far

Thus far, all thanks are due to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) that 17,334 ahadith have been worked upon along with their 340,499 different chains of transmission.

The first volume of Al-Mudawwanah, consisting of a complete Kitāb al-Imān, has been published in high quality with the help of Dār al-Qalam, a Beirut publishing house.

The Kitāb al-Imān of Al-Mudawwanah consists of 445 unique ahadith with their 9,423 chains of transmission, whereas, an additional 515 are those ahadith that have been brought as shawāhid (corroborating evidences). Hence, the total number of ahadith under Kitāb al-Imān has reached 960[13].

The work is in constant progress with additional ahadith and their chains being added. By the will of Allah, Al-Mudawwanah is expected to have over 40 volumes.

I have personally reviewed each and every hadith, their chain of narrators, accompanied by my comments and recommendations. Each hadith was only included in Al-Mudawwanah after my signature approval.

The researchers in service of Al-Mudawwanah, under the leadership of Shaykh Na’īm Ashraf, deserve our heartfelt congratulations for their effort, endurance, and dedication with which they worked on this project. May Allah accept their services and bestow upon them increased taufīq, Ameen

Their names are:
Maulāna Mukarram Ḥussain Akhtar,
Maulāna Muḥammad ‘Abbas al-Derwī,
Maulāna ‘Abdur-Raḥmān Owais al-Marghuzī,
Maulāna Maḥmūd Ḥasan al-Kumillāī,
Maulāna ‘Ināyat-ur-Reḥmān Wahīd,
Maulāna ‘Abdur-Raḥmān al-Ḥamīdi,
Maulāna ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Sindhi,
Maulāna Muḥammad Taimūr al-Marghuzī,
Maulāna ‘Ubaydullah Anwar al-Multani,
Maulāna Muḥammad Ṭayyab al-Ḥussaini.

The readers are requested to supplicate to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for this project to reach its completion with sincerity and trust.

Since it is after all a human effort, the reason behind the publication of the first volume is for the people of knowledge, specifically those familiar with the hadith sciences, to review this volume and share with us any beneficial recommendations.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to bestow His barakah upon this humble effort, and make it a historical milestone in the service of the noble hadith, and make this encyclopedia the most comprehensive reference work in hadith for the generations to come. Ameen.

Muḥammad Taqī ‘Uthmānī
Jumāda al-Thānī 1439 A.H. (March 2018)
Karachi, Pakistan.

[1] The English translation of the verses of the Qur’an are taken from “The Meanings of the Noble Qur’an” by Shaykh al-Islām Mufti Taqī ‘Uthmānī.
[2] The six books of “al-iā al-Sitta” (also known as “al-Kutub al-Sitta”) are aī al-Bukhārī, aī al-Muslim, Jāmi’ at-Tirmidhī, Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Sunan an-Nasā’ī, and Sunan Ibn Mājah.
[3] Matn: “The matn (text) is the wording of the hadith by which meanings are formed.” Isnād: “Isnād is [the act of] reporting the chain of the text. By this, it is clear that the text is the point at which the chain of transmission ends.” (Al-‘Uthmānī, Zafar. “Qawā’id fi ‘Ulūm al-Hadith,” pg. 45. London: Turath Publishing, 2014)
[4] Takhrīj: Referencing hadith from the classical sources.
[5] Marfū’: “The marfū’ (raised) is that which is specifically ascribed to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) [through his] words, deeds, or tacit approvals whether or not it is uninterrupted or interrupted.” (Al-‘Uthmānī, Zafar. Pg. 50)
[6] He received the 1980 King Faisal International Award under the category of Islamic Studies for his monumental contribution to the Hadith Sciences, “Studies of the Prophet’s Hadith.”
[7] Nephew of Shaykh Abu Fattah Abu Ghuddah. He is an active member of Islamic Fiqh Academy and the Accounting & Auditing Standards Board of Islamic Financial Institutions. He teaches Fiqh, Islamic studies and Arabic in Riyadh and has done a valuable task of researching and compiling information for the Fiqh Encyclopedia in the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Kuwait. He was a member of the Fatwa Board in the Ministry from 1982 to 1990. Dr. Ghuddah holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Law from Al-Azhar University Cairo, Egypt.
[8] He specialized in hadith under Shaykh ‘Abdur Rashīd Nu’māni. He is also intimately familiar with the Science of Hadith, skillful in the art of writing scholarly publications, for example, his researched and edited works include Shar at-ībī (شرح الطيبي) in 12 volumes and al-Muī al-Burhānī (المحيط البرهاني), an encyclopedia of the Hanafi juristic school in 25 volumes.
[9] See footnote #5.
[10] Out of the total 910 source works, 80 are the primary books of hadith that are commonly referred to; while the remaining 830 are the secondary source works, of which 111 are the books of tafsīr, takhrīj, and shuruāt al-hadith.
[11] The Prophetic Traditions that refer to the practice of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).
[12] Mursal: When a Tābi’ī (Follower) narrates a hadith saying, “The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said such-and-such or he did such-and-such.” and by doing so omits the name of the Companion, is called a mursal hadith.
[13] Shaykh Na’īm Ashraf: “All thanks are due to Allah, we are not aware of any book that contains such a large number of only marfū’ ahadith on the topic of Imān alone.”

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