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Ibn-ʿAllan’s Commentary Dalilul-Falihin: The Book of Fasting With A Short Biography of Imam Al-Nawawi

Ibn-ʿAllān

About Imām Al-Nawawī

He is the Imām and Ḥāfiẓ, the Shaykh and Imām, Muḥyiddīn Abū-Zakariyyā Yaḥyā bin-Sharaf al-Nawawī, affiliated to Nawā a village on the outskirts of Damascus in Syria.  He then settled in Damascus, and he was Shāfiʿī.  He was the Shaykh of the madhāhib and the senior among the fuqahā of his time.

He was born in the year 631 A.H, from two devout parents.  He started memorizing Qurʾān at the age of 10, as well as the study of fiqh with some of the scholars in his village.  A pious man by the name of Shaykh Yāsīn bin-Yūsuf al-Marākashī once passed by the village, and observed him running away from children who were attempting to force him to play, all the while reciting Qurʾān.  He went to his father and advised him to devote him to the pursuit of knowledge, advice which he accepted.

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In the year 649 A.H he went with his father to Damascus to complete his pursuit of knowledge, and resided in the institute Al-Rawāhiya.  

His works include: a commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, Al-Majmūʿ, Riyāḍul-Ṣāliḥīn, Tahdhībul-asmāʾ wal-lughāt, Rawḍaṭul-Ṭālibīn wa ʿumdatul-muftiyyīn, Al-Minhāj fil fiqh, Al-arbaʿīn al-Nawawiyya, Al-Tibyān fī ādābi ḥamalatil-Qurʾān, Al-Adhkār, and Al-Īdāḥ fil-manāsik.

In the year 676 A.H he went back to Nawā, after having returned all the books he had borrowed from the national library.  He visited his teacher’s graves, prayed for them and cried.  He also visited his friends who were alive, and bid them farewell for ‘traveling’.  After visiting his father, he went to Baitul-Maqdis and Khalīl (Palestine).  He then returned to Nawa where he fell ill and passed away on the 24th of Rajab.  When the news of his demise reached Damascus, the city and its surroundings were over-taken by weeping.  The Muslims were overtaken by grief.  The Chief Qāḍī ʿIzzuddīn Muḥammad bin-Ṣāʾigh went with a group of his companions to Nawā for his funeral prayer.  A group praised him through poetic eulogies, among which Muḥammad bin-Aḥmad bin-ʿUmar al-Ḥanafī al-Irbilī.     

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His Book Riyādul-Ṣāliḥīn

In his own paraphrased words, he describes this book of his as:

‘It contains encouragement and warnings, and a complete set of etiquettes for the seeker.  It only contains rigorously authentic aḥādīth, with each chapter starting with verses from the Qurʾān, with short explanations where warranted’. 

He also says: ‘I am hopeful that for those who direct their attention to it, it will prove to be a drive towards a variety of good actions, and a shield from base and destructive actions. 

Ibn ʿAllān and his commentary Dalīlul-Fāliḥīn

Muḥammad ʿAlī bin-Muḥammad ʿAllān al-Ṣiddīqī Al-Shāfiʿī.  Born in Makka in 996 A.H.  He was a muffassir, a reviver of the Sunna in the Ḥijāz, and taught the Ṣaḥīḥ of Al-Bukhārī from beginning to end in the middle of the Kaʿba.  He took knowledge from 50 scholars of Makka al-Mukarrama, as well as from the ʿulamāʾ who came to Makka from different corners of the world.  Al-Muḥibī says about him: ‘He was an Īmām, trustworthy and unique among his contemporaries for his knowledge, memory, precision and mastery of the ḥadīth of Rasūlullāh .  He would quote previous commentators from memory, in a manner which would leave listeners fascinated.  He was similar to Al-Suyūṭī in his expertise in the field of ḥadīth’.

He taught the Ṣaḥīh of Al-Bukhārī between Maghrib and ʿIshāʾ in the Ḥaram. Every night, he would compose a khuṭbah fit to the the context of the ḥadīth he would teach that same evening.  Allāh granted him the honor of concluding a complete teaching of the Bukhārī in the middle of the honored Kaaʿba.   He passed away at the age of 62 years, the 21st of Dhul-Ḥijja 1057 A.H.

Dalīlul-Fāliḥīn is the first commentary on Riyādūl-Ṣāliḥīn (6 volumes), and Ibn-ʿAllān is also the only known commentator of Kitābul-adhkār of Imām Al-Nawawī. 

This is a translation of his work

– باب وجوب صوم رمضان وبيان فضل الصيام وما يتعلق به

Chapter on the obligation of fasting Ramaḍān, and expounding on the virtues of fasting and of the actions which are related to this month

In this opening section, the author intends to familiarize the Muslims with the origins of the obligation of fasting in Ramadan.  It is a succinct, yet very meaningful introduction which benefits Muslims in all levels of knowledge of Islam.

The actions related to this month i.e iʿtikāf and the increasing performance of various virtuous deeds.

Ṣaum, linguistically means, to refrain from something.  In Islām it means to refrain from food at a particular time and in a specific manner.

The obligation of fasting in Ramaḍān is so heavily evidenced by the Qurʾān, the Sunna and the consensus [ijmāʿ] for every Muslim that the person who denies its obligation is considered a disbeliever, except if one is excused by being new to Islām or were brought up in a rural area which is far from the ʿulamāʾ [scholars]. 

قال الله تعالى: “يَا أيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ” إلى قوله تعالى: “شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدىً لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ [479] وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضاً أوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أيَّامٍ أُخَرَ” الآية (البقرة:183-185).

 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ﴿

“O you who believe”
 

Allāh has first honored the Muslims here by addressing them directly and is calling to the believers through their most noble attribute, their belief. 

 كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ﴿

“the fasts have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you”

This is a form of encouragement because of the burdensome nature of fasting on one’s ego.  When a matter is difficult, knowing others are sharing with you in difficulty, eases the burden. Ramaḍān was not prescribed to the previous nations. It is a distinguishing feature of this Ummah as a means of honoring its Nabī Muḥammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  Therefore, the similitude drawn in this verse refers to the act of fasting, not to Ramaḍān itself. 

 لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿

“so that you may be mindful”

of disobedience, because fasting restricts the paths of the shayṭān.

 أَيَّامًا مَعْدُودَاتٍ ﴿

“for days few in number”

This is mentioned to encourage towards fasting, because the days will feel “few” and light in difficulty once one has started.

 فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ﴿

“However, should any one of you be sick or on a journey, then (he should fast) a number of other days (equal to the missed ones)”

If one breaks their fast due to sickness or traveling, then it is an obligation to make up for those days outside of Ramāḍān.


 وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ﴿

“and those who have the strength, (still, they do not opt for fasting,) on them there is a fidyah (compensation), that is, the feeding of a poor person”

In the beginning of Islām, Muslims were given a choice between fasting and feeding a poor person every day.  This was subsequently abrogated.

فَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ ۚ وَأَنْ تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿

“Then whoever does good voluntarily, that is better for him. However, that you fast is better for you, if you only knew”

By feeding more than one person every day, then that is better for him.  However, fasting is better for those of you who are capable, if only you were aware of the virtues of fasting. 

﴿ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

“The month of Ramaḍān is the one in which the Qur’ān was revealed as guidance for mankind, and as clear signs that show the right way and distinguish between right and wrong. So those of you who witness the month must fast in it. But the one who is sick, or is on a journey (should fast) as much from other days (as he missed)”

This is the month of Ramaḍān in which the Qurʾān was descended.  Before the advent of prophethood of the Nabi SAW the Quran resided in the seventh sky, in what is called the Ummul-Kitab [the original book].  On Laylatul-qadr it was descended in its entirety to the first sky.  From there, Jibril revealed it in portions to the Nabi SAW over the course of 23 years. This is the best month. 

The Qurʾān is characterized as being guiding, with clear verses which guide towards the truth through their commands.  It also separates truth from falsehood.  Whoever among you is not traveling during this month, and is not ill as to make fasting difficult or harmful, then they should fast.  The fact that the person who is not traveling is not mentioned in this verse, provides clear evidence that it abrogates the previous verse which provides a choice between fasting and feeding the poor. 

﴿ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“Allah intends (to provide) ease for you and does not intend (to create) hardship for you. All this is so that you may complete the number (of fasts as prescribed) and proclaim the Takbīr of Allah for having guided you, and (so) that you may be grateful”

It is because Allāh wishes ease for you that He has allowed you to break your fast when traveling or in illness.  He also wishes you to complete the requirements of fasting by replacing the days of the month which you have missed due to illness or travel.  He also wishes that you glorify Him for having made fasting an obligation, and for having shown leniency in the presence of an excuse.  The takbīrāt of the night of ʿĪd are what is meant by “Glorify Him”.  He finally wishes you to thank him for His bounties, or again for showing leniency by allowing you to break your fast.

This commentary of the above verses is quoted from Jāmiʿul-Bayān (Tafsīr Al-Qurṭubī).   

وأما الأحاديث فقد تقدمت في الباب الذي قبله

These are the verses of Qurʾān from which the obligation of fasting in Ramaḍān is derived.  As for the relevant aḥādīth, several have been mentioned in the preceding chapter.

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Mukhtar Ba is a Muslim man in his early forties, who hopes one day to become among the Ṣāliḥīn. He has a strong interest in continuously acquiring and perusing Islamic knowledge. An Industrial engineer by profession, he has strived to assiduously seek sacred knowledge along with his professional activities since the early 2000s. This interest has led him to study with contemporary senior scholars in Mauritania and Senegal, his home countries. He has studied mainly the following subjects: Māliki Fiqh, Arabic grammar, Seerah Nabawiyya, Hadith, Aqeeda and Tasawwuf. He takes a particular interest in Tafsir of Quran, and has translated one volume (out of 6) of a classical Tafsir by a Senegalese scholar of the 20th century, organized in a similar fashion to the Jalalayn. One of his areas of interest is analyzing the intersection between modern issues and traditional sources of Islamic knowledge. He currently resides in Canada.

#Current Affairs

This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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#Islam

30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 9: A Good Word

Now that we have learnt about the life of this world, let’s talk about a good word.

I want you all to close your eyes and think of a beautiful tree. 

Question: Who can tell me what their tree looks like? Is the tree big and strong? Does it have lots of branches and leaves? Does it have fruit?

Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something really nice to you.

Question:  What are some of the nice statements you remember people telling you?

Question: How did those statements make you feel?

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Yes, they fill us up with a warm feeling. We may have felt proud of ourselves and we may have felt loved. Do you know that Allah [wt] describes a good word to a good tree? 

In Surah Ibrahim, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ 

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تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ 

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? [Surah Ibrahim; 24]

It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. [Surah Ibrahim; 25]

Question: Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something mean to you. How did that make you feel?

It’s not fun to remember the mean stuff right? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) continues in Surah Ibrahim and says:

وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. [Surah Ibrahim; 26] 

Question: What do you think are good words we can use to build strong, firmly rooted trees?

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History and Seerah

Podcast: Five Historic Events That Rocked The World During Ramadan | Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter

We all know that Ramadan is the month of fasting, abstinence and reflection. Ramadan also just happens to be a month of awesome history defining events that shaped the world we live in today.

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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