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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Life and works of Imam Abu Yusuf (RA)

A testing beginning of a Prestigious Life:

Imam Abu Yusuf’s rahmatullahi alaihi humble beginnings in the path of knowledge mirror what many young Muslims suffer today from parental displeasure at occupying oneself in acquiring the sacred knowledge of Islam, at the detriment of one’s secular studies or in pursuing a career. Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi had a great passion for studying at a young age, however his father wanted his son to occupy himself in mastering some trade in order to make ends meet. The Imam followed his father’s wishes, but as soon as he was free of his days work he would scurry along to the circles of learning of the scholars. At first, as the Imam puts it:

‘I would go to the scholar Ibn Abi Layla rahmatullahi alaihi, who recognised my potential, however when some issue would arise he would get it solved by Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi. Because of this, deep down in my heart I wanted to study with the Imam and benefit from him, but hurting the feelings of Ibn Abi Layla rahmatullahi alaihi prevented me. Eventually, I did start to frequent the circles of Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi; Once when I was present in his circle, my father appeared and forcibly escorted me back home with him. At home he explained, ‘Son! Allah has made Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaih content about his livelihood, he is wealthy and rich - you are poor and needy, why do you wish to be like him? You should worry about gaining a livelihood.’’

Imam Abu Haneefa (RA) assesses the value of this gem:

Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi says after this bitter episode he reluctantly gave up his studies and started living with his father. A few days passed and Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi noticed the absence of his bright young student from his circle: ‘Why is it that Ya’qub no longer comes?’ he asked the other students. Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi says:

‘When I discovered Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi was asking about me I went to him and told him the whole story, the Imam then surreptitiously handed me a small bag. When I got home, I looked inside and found a thousand Dirhams. The Imam had also said to me: ‘When it finishes let me know’. However with the grace of Allah I never had to ask him, he would give me according to his own estimation regularly.’

A master of many sciences:

From then on Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi became a regular student from the horde of students that sat at the feet of the great Imam. The knowledge of Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi mainly acquired from Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi was that of Fiqh. However it should be noted that he was also highly talented in the field of Hadith and Aathar as well as such auxiliary sciences as history and literature.

The historian Ibn Khaldun rahmatullahi alaihi tells us that Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi had memorised a vast array of histories, from the Maghazi to the Ayyamul Arab. It is also well known that in Hadith he was an authority in his own right, so much so that when the other great Imam-Ahmed rahmatullahi alaihi - began his quest for Ahadith, his first stop was Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi as is recorded by Khatib Al Baghdadi in his Tarikh. Imam Ahmed rahmatullahi alaihi also had this to say about Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi and the Tarafayn (Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi and Imam Muhammad rahmatullahi alaihi):

‘Whenever the opinions of three men agree upon an issue, the disagreement of anyone else will not even be entertained.’ When asked who these three men were, he replied: ‘Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad Ibn Al Hasan. The reason being, Abu Hanifah with his insight of Qiyaas takes precedence above all, and Imam Abu Yusuf is ahead of all others in Ahadith and Athar and Muhammad is the Imam of the Arabic language.’

Glimpses form his unparalleled zeal of learning:

Such accolades being heaped upon one man is not down to his having read a few books or spending a few years in studying Fiqh, rather, it is the result of his immense sacrifice and devotion to sacred knowledge. Seldom has the world seen a person more dedicated to the acquisition of knowledge. To give our readers a glimpse into how deeply absorbed the Imam was in knowledge, we present the following two examples from his life:

It has been recorded that Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi was so engrossed in his studies that the frail student was oblivious to partaking of his meals. Often a whole day or two would go by with the Imam untiringly discussing Fiqhi issues with his fellow students from morning till late at night, his counterparts remarking:

‘Yet by the end of the day he seemed as alert and fresh as he was in the morning!’

The second incident may seem a bit strange to us today, but in reality it is the hallmark of the true seeker of knowledge.

It is recorded in several books that after thirty years had passed in the circle of Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi without being absent for a single day. Then one early morning disaster struck the house of Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi when the Imam’s young son became severely ill and died. That morning the funeral prayer was to be held and burial was to take place. The problem was that it meant that the Imam would, after thirty years of diligent attendance have to miss his Imam’s lecture. It bore too heavily on the Imam, that he should be deprived of even a moment of learning, compelling him to arrange for his neighbours to conduct the funeral prayers and see to the burial whilst he could take his place in the circle of the great Imam. Amazing! Especially for those students amongst us who due to a minor cold or headache nonchalantly absent ourselves for hours and even days from our ustadh’s lectures.

True knowledge inherits love, respect and humbleness:

One can fully gorge the depth of Imam Abu Yusuf’s rahmatullahi alaihi knowledge by a study of the famous Hanafi fiqh book al-Hidayah. The arguments and proofs that he gives to bolster his positions often time leaving the reader mesmerised and in awe. On many occasions he takes a position against the other Imams, but this in no way indicates that any sort of rivalry or enmity existed between them. In fact Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi had indescribable awe and each and every word that would leave his mouth, which is shown by the fact that in the text of al-Hidayah in one issue related to Hajj we find the words: “Were a woman to do Tamattu; and then sacrifice a sheep it would not suffice her for the Dam of Tamattu as she performed what was not wajib upon her.” This Masalah applies equally to men and the only person we find the text amiting it to women is because these are the exact words relayed to Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi from his teacher Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi when he asked him the Masalah (which had arisen concerning women). So precious were these words to the Imam he did not even adjust the words to suit the general applicability of the ruling.

In another place in al Hidayah we find the rare phase “… and accordingly to Yaqub,” the explanation for this that Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi stipulated out of deference for his teacher, that “whenever my opinion conflict with the Imam’s relay it from Yaqub” and not from Abu Yusuf.

As for Imam Abu Yusuf’s rahmatullahi alaihi recognition of his colleagues Imam Muhammad rahmatullahi alaihi in term of his immense erudition as shown, for example by the fact that the Imam reduced the Najasah of the urine of such animals that can be eaten from being ghalizah to khafifah because Imam Muhammad rahmatullahi alaihi held contrary to the majority of scholars, that their urine is pure.

On the seat of Chief Justice:

Later on in life Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi was given the highest legal post in the entire Khilafah; that of qadi ul Qudat, the modern equivalent of a Chief Justice. During the day he’d listen to the cases and give Fatawa. The visitors to his court were amazed at his skill, the most complicated legal issues would be put before him and in a matter of moments he would have them solved. The night would be given over to teaching Hadith and Fiqh. One would imagine one who is so occupied in these affairs would have little time for the worship of his lord, but on the contrary the Imam was able to even with all his duties, offer two hundred Rakaas in Tahajjud every night.

Final moments of a grand living:

The Imam’s rahmatullahi alaihi last moments before departing from this World were spent in pain and restricted to his bed. It is narrated that once, during his time, a visitor entered upon him and noticed the Imam was in a distressed state, the visitor questioned him, “Is it the pangs of death? The Imam replied: “It is not that, the reason for my unease is my fear about what Allah (SWT) will do to me because of a case I judged between a Muslim and a Jew. Though al-Hamdulillah, I judged in the end correctly- in favour of the Jew I cannot forget that in the court the Muslim was seated in a higher position than the Jew (showing inequality).” Allahu Akhbar!, can there be a more strictly example of Taqwa? May Allah bestow upon us the Taqwa of our Predecessors-Ameen.

There are several other Hadiths related about the Imam during his final illness, such as him discussing Figh issues with his visitors in between bouts of unconsciousness. It is recorded that just before he died he said: “O Allah! You know that I never intentionally judged against the apparent. I have always gave your Book and the Sunnah of your Messenger predence over all else. And whenever a complex issue would arise I would use Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi as my source, and to my knowledge he used to understand your laws fully, never leaving the bounds of the Truth on purpose. I thank Allah (SWT) and it is His blessing upon me that I never knowingly opposed anyone nor ever favoured any side, whether king or subject. O Allah! You are aware that I never intentionally partook of anything forbidden nor consumed any unlawful dirhams…”

Shaykh al-Hadith, Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (RA)

In the last century, India has undoubtedly become an important center for the study of hadith, and the scholars of India have become well-known for their passion for religious knowledge. Upon them ended the era of leadership in teaching hadiths, codification of the special fields [funun] of hadith, and commentary upon its texts [mutun]. Such was their mastery of this science that Muhammad Rashid Rida mentions in the introduction of his book Miftah Kunuz al-Sunnah, “Were it not for the superb attention to detail in the science of hadith displayed by our brothers, the scholars of India in the present era, this science would have withered away in the eastern cities. And, indeed, mastery of this science has been waning in Egypt and Syria since the tenth century AH.” There is no doubt that Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was among the most distinguished hadith scholars of India and a great contributor in the service of the Sunnah. He was given the honorary title of Shaykh al-Hadith, or “Great Scholar of Hadith,” by his teacher, Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, who recognized his deep insight, clear-sightedness, and extensive knowledge of hadith and related sciences. Lineage and Upbringing

He was born in the village of Kandhla (in Uttar Pradesh, India) on Ramadan 10, 1315 AH (February 12, 1898 CE). His full name was Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Muhammad Yahya ibn Muhammad Ismail, and his lineage continues all the way back to Abu Bakr, the great Companion of the Messenger (SallAllahu alaihi wasallam).

Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi said about him, “Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was born into a household rooted in knowledge and passion for Islam. His immediate family and his predecessors were distinguished by firm resolve, perseverance, steadfastness, and adherence to religion…. His family included many notable scholars… and his grandmother memorized the entire Qur’an while nursing her son [Shaykh Zakariyya’s father].”

His father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, was among the great scholars of India, whose primary teacher in hadith was Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Under him he studied Sahih al-Bukhari, Jami al-Tirmidhi, and others of the six famous authentic books of hadith [sihah sitta]. Shaykh Yahya went on to teach at Madrasa Mazahir Ulum, in the district of Saharanpur, but did not accept any payment for his services. He instead made his living through his own book-publishing business.

As a young boy, Shaykh Zakariyya moved with his father to the village of Gangoh, in the district of Saharanpur. Since his father and Shaykh Gangohi had a close relationship, Shaykh Zakariyya quickly earned the affection of his father’s teacher.

Growing up in this virtuous environment, he began learning how to read with Hakim Abd al-Rahman of Muzaffarnagar. He memorized the Qur’an with his father and also studied books in Persian and the introductory Arabic books with his uncle Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas (founder of the Tabligh movement). He stayed with his father in the company of Shaykh Gangohi until age eight, when the shaykh passed away.

At the age of twelve, Shaykh Zakariyya traveled with his father to Mazahir Ulum, There, under his father, he advanced his study of Arabic, tackling many classical texts on Arabic morphology, grammar, literature and also logic. But by the time he was seventeen, hadith became the main focus of his life. He studied five of the six authentic books of hadith with his father, and then he studied Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Tirmidhi (for a second time) with honorable Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. Out of his immense respect for hadith, Shaykh Zakariyya was extremely particular about always studying the hadith narrations with wudu‘.

On Dhu ‘l-Qa’da 10, 1334 AH, when Shaykh Zakariyya was just nineteen, his dear father passed away. This event was extremely traumatic for Shaykh Zakariyya, as he lost not only a father but also a teacher and mentor. His deep sorrow remained with him for the rest of his life.


Shaykh Zakariyya was blessed to live and learn in an era considered by many to be one of great achievements in Islamic knowledge by scholars in the Indian subcontinent. He studied with few but select teachers who reached the highest levels of learning, research, authorship, and piety. In addition to his father (Shaykh Muhammad Yahya) and uncle (Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas), he studied under the hadith scholar Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, author of the Badhl al-Majhud, a commentary of Sunan Abi Dawud. Shaykh Zakariyya acquired a hadith authorization from him and remained his student until Shaykh Khalil’s death in Madina Munawwara in 1346 AH.

Before his death, Shaykh Khalil Ahmad expressed his desire to write Badhl al-Majhud, and he sought Shaykh Zakariyya’s assistance as his right-hand man. This experience revealed Shaykh Zakariyya’s gift of penmanship and, furthermore, expanded his insight in the science of hadith. He worked hard on the project, attained the pleasure and trust of his shaykh, and was even mentioned by name in the commentary. This indeed opened the door to Shaykh Zakariyya’s authoring many literary works and treatises over the course of his life.

Teaching Career

In Muharram 1335 AH he was appointed as a teacher at Madrasa Mazahir Ulum, where he was assigned to teach books on Arabic grammar, morphology, and literature, as well as a number of primary texts of Islamic jurisprudence. In 1341 AH he was assigned to teach three sections of Sahih al-Bukhari upon the insistence of Shaykh Khalil Ahmad. He also taught Mishkat al-Masabih until 1344 AH. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi said, “Although he was one of the youngest teachers at the school, he was selected to teach works generally not assigned to those of his age, nor to anyone in the early stages of his teaching career. Nevertheless, he showed that he was not only able, but an exceptional teacher.”

In 1345 AH he traveled to Madina Munawwara, the city of Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu alahi wasallam), where he resided for one year. There he taught Sunan Abi Dawud at Madrasa al-Ulum al-Shar’iyya. While in Madina, he began working on Awjaz al-Masalik ila Muwatta Imam Malik, a commentary on Imam Malik’sMuwatta. He was twenty-nine at the time.

When he returned to India, he resumed teaching at Mazahir Ulum. He began teaching Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan al-Nasai, the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, and the second half of Sahih al-Bukhari. The school’s principle taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari, and after his death, Shaykh Zakariyya was given the honor of teaching the entire work.

In all, he taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari twenty-five times, the complete Sahih al-Bukhari sixteen times, and Sunan Abi Dawud thirty times. He did not just teach hadith as a matter of routine; the work of hadith had become his passion, and he put his heart and soul into it. Shaykh Zakariyya taught until 1388 AH, when he was forced to give up teaching after developing eye cataracts.

Travels to the Two Holy Cities

Allah blessed him with the opportunity to visit the two holy cities of Makka and Madina. He performed hajj several times, and his multiple trips had a profound personal effect on him, both spiritually and educationally. He made the blessed journey with Shaykh Khalil Ahmad in 1338 AH and with him again in 1344. It was during the second trip that Shaykh Khalil completed Badhl al-Majhud; he died shortly thereafter and was buried in the Baqi’ graveyard in Madina. May Allah have mercy on him and put light in his grave.

Sincere Love for Allah and the Prophet (SallAllahu alahi wasallam)

Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya inherited piety, honesty, and good character from his father (may Allah be pleased with him). He aspired to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah in all matters, big and small, with a passion not found in many scholars. He had extreme love for the Prophet (SallAllahu alahi wasallam) and the blessed city of Madina. His students have related that whenver the death of the Messenger (SallAllahu alahi wasallam) was mentioned during a lecture on Sunan Abi Dawud or Sahih al-Bukhari, his eyes would well up with tears, his voice would choke up, and he would be overcome with crying. So evocative were his tears that his students could do nothing but weep with raised voices.

He was often tested with regard to his sincerity. He was offered many teaching jobs at two or three times the salary that was customarily given at Mazahir ‘Ulum, but he always graciously declined the offers. For most of his teaching career, Shaykh Zakariyya never accepted any money for his services at Mazahir ‘Ulum; he did the work voluntarily, seeking Allah’s pleasure. Although he did accept a small salary at the beginning of his career, he later totaled up the amount and paid it back in its entirety.


Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was married twice. He first married the daughter of Shaykh Ra’uf al-Hasan in Kandhla. She passed away on Dhu ‘l-Hijja 5 1355 AH. He then married the daughter of Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas Kandhlawi in 1356 AH. Allah blessed him with five daughters and three sons from his first wife, and two daughters and one son from his second marriage.

Daily Routine

Shaykh Zakariyya organized his time meticulously. He would rise an hour before dawn and occupy himself in tahajjud and recitation of Qur’an before performing the Fajr prayer in the masjid. After Fajr, he would read his morning supplications and litany until sunrise. Thereafter he would go to meet with some people and drink tea (but never ate anything with it). He would then return to his quarters to read. During this time he would also research and compile his literary works, and, with few exceptions, no one was allowed to visit him at this time. When it was time for lunch he would come out and sit with his guests, who were from all walks of life; he would respect and treat them well, irrespective of who they were. After Zuhr prayer, he would take a siesta and then spent some time listening to his correspondence (which amounted to around forty or fifty letters daily from different places) and dictating replies. He also taught for two hour before ‘Asr. After ‘Asr, he would sit with a large group of people, offering them tea. After performing Maghrib, he would remain devoted in solitude to optional prayer and to supplication. He did not take an evening meal except to entertain an important guest.


Shaykh Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi says about his characteristics, “He was extremely vibrant, never lazy; light-hearted, smiling, cheerful, friendly; and he often jested with his close friends and acquaintances. We saw in him good character and forbearance with people, as well as a rare humilty; and above all, his personal qualities were always governed by his deep faith and sense of contentment.”


He had always hoped to meet Allah while in the city of the Messenger (SallAllahu alahi wasallam); Allah granted his wish. He died there on Monday Sha’ban 1, 1402 AH (May 24, 1982 CE) and was buried in Jannat al-Baqi’, in the company of the Companions and the noble family members of the Messenger (SallAllahu alahi wasallam). His funeral procesion was followed by a large number of people and he was buried in the Baqi’ graveyard next to his teacher Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. May Allah forgive him, grant mercy, and elevate his status. Amin.

Scholars’ Praise of Him

Many scholars, both Arab and non-Arab, have praised him and recognized his knowlege and excellence. ‘Allama Muhammad Yusuf Binnori relates,

Indeed there are some remnants of the scholars of past generations living today among the scholars of todays generation. They have been guided to praiseworthy efforts in multiple religious sciences, such as jurisprudence; they are on par with the previous generations in their knowlege, excellence, fear of Allah, and piety; they stir up memories of the blessed golden age of scholarship. Among these scholars is a unique figure envied for his excellence in knowlege and action, the author of outstanding, beneficial works and of beautiful, superb commentaries: Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi Saharanpuri.

Shaykh Sa’id Ahmad, the head of Islamic studies at the University of Aligarh, UP, relates,

It is evident to one who take a look at his works that he had a brilliancy, both in knowlege and with the pen, like that of Ibn al-Jawzi and Imam Ghazali. Of the scholars of his era I know of no one comparable to him in this regard, except Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Farangi Mahalli (of Lucknow).

Shaykh Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi relates that Shaykh ‘Alawi al-Maliki said,

When he reports the ruling and evidences of the Maliki school [in his writings], we Malikis are astonished at the accuracy and integrity of the report…. If the author had not mentioned in the introduction of [his] book that he was a Hanafi, I would not have known that he was Hanafi, but would have definately concluded that he was a Maliki, since in his Awjaz he cites by-laws and derivatives of the Maliki school from there books that even we have a hard time obtaining.


Shaykh Zakariyya had numerous students who spread around the world and continue, to this day, to serve Islam, particularly establishing traditional Islamic schools in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, England, Canada, America, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and other countries. Some of his more prominent students in the field of hadith were Muhaddith Muhammad Yusuf Kandhlawi (d. 1384 AH), author of Amani ‘l-Ahbar Sharh Ma’ani ‘l-Athar, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Jabbar A’zami, author ofImdad al-Bari (Urdu commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari), and Mufti Mahmud Hasan Gangohi (d. 1417 AH). Many other scholars and students also acquired authorizations in hadith from him, including Dr. Mustafa’ al-Siba’i, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda, Dr. Muhammad ‘Alawi al-Maliki and Shaykh Muhammad Taha al-Barakati.

Written Works

Shaykh Zakariyya wrote many works both in Arabic and Urdu. A number of them treat specialized subjects intented for scholars, and the rest have been written for the general public. His works demonstrate his deep knowlege and intelligence; his ability to undertand the issue at hand, research it thoroughly, and present a complete, clear and comprehensive discussion; his moderation, humility, patience, and attention to detail. His respect and awe for the pious predecessors are evident in his works, even when he disagrees with their opinions on any particular aspect.

His first written work was a three volume commentary of the Alfiyya ibn Malik (on arabic grammar), which he wrote as a student when he was only thirteen. His written works amount to over one hundred. He did not withhold any rights to his works and made it publicly known that he only published his works for the sake of Allah’s pleasure. Whoever wished to publish them was permitted to, on the condition that they were left unaltered and their accuracy maintained.

Hence, his books have gained overwhelming acceptance througout the world, so much so that his work Fada’il al-Qur’an [Virtues of the Qur’an] has been translated into eleven languages, Fada’il Ramadan [Virtues of Ramadan] into twelve languages, and Fada’il al-Salat [Virtues of Prayer] into fifteen languages. He wrote four books on Qur’an commentary [tafsir] and proper recitation [tajwid], forty-four books on hadith and its related sciences, six books on jurisprudence [fiqh] and its related sciences, twenty-four historical and biographical books, four books on Islam creed [aqida], twelve books on abstinence [zuhd] and heart-softening accounts [riqaq], three books in Arabic grammar and logic, and six books on modern-day groups and movements.

Some of His Hadith Works

One can find a complete list and description of his books in the various biographies written on him. Here is a brief description of a few of his more popular works on hadith:

Awjaz al-Masalik ila Muwatta’ Imam Malik: One of the most comprehensive commentaries on the Muwatta of Imam Malik in terms of the science of hadith, jurisprudence, and hadith explication. Shaykh Zakariyya provides the summaries of many other commentaries in a clear, intellectual, and scholarly way, dealing with the various opinons on each issue, mentioning the differences of opinions among the various scholars, and comparing their evidences. This commentary, written in Arabic, has won great acclaim from a number of Maliki scholars.

Lami’ al-Dirari ‘ala Jami’ al-Bukhari: Written in Arabic, a collection of the unique remarks and observations on Sahih al-Bukhari presented by Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. These life-long acquired wisdoms were recorded by his student Shaykh Yahya Kandhlawi (Shaykh Zakariyya’s father) during their lessons. Shaykh Zakariyya edited, arranged, and commented on his fathers compilation, clarifying the text and adding a comprehensive introduction at the beginning.

Al-Abwab wa ‘l-Tarajim li ‘l-Bukhari: An explanation of the chapter headings of Imam Bukhari’s Sahih al-Bukhari. Assigning chapter headings in a hadith collection is a science in itself, known among the scholars as al-abwab wa ‘l-tarajim [chapters and explanations]. In it, the compiler explains the reasons for the chapter heading and the connections between the chapter headings and the hadiths quoted therein. It is well known that the commentators of Sahih al-Bukhari have paid special attention to the titles therein, in tune with the Arabic saying: “The fiqh of Bukhari is in his chapter headings” [fiqh al-Bukhari fi tarajimihi]. Shaykh Zakariyya not only quotes and compiles what has been mentioned by other scholars like Shah Wali Allah al-Dehlawi and Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani, but also correlates and clarifies these opinions and presents findings from his own research in many instances.

Juz’ Hajjat al-Wida’ wa ‘Umrat al-Nabi (SallAllahu alahi wasallam): A comprehensive Arabic commentary on the detailed accounts of the pilgrimage [hajj] of Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu alahi wasallam). It includes the details of any juridical discussions on the various aspects of pilgrimage, giving the locations, modern-day names, and other details of the places the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu alahi wasallam) passed by or stayed at.

Khasa’il Nabawi Sharh Shama’il al-Tirmidhi: Composed in urdu, a commentary on Imam Tirmidhi’s renowned work al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyya, a collection of hadiths detailing the characteristics of the Messenger (SallAllahu alahi wasallam). This commentary explains the various aspects related to the different characteristics and practices of Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu alahi wasallam). It has been translated into English and is widely available.

Excerpted from “The Differences of the Imams” by Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi.

Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA)

Imaam of Imaams; Lamp of the Ummah; Leader of the Jurists and Mujtahideen; Hafize-Hadith Hadhrat Imaam Abu Hanifah (R.A) was a prestigious Mujtahid, Muhaddith, authoritative person, truthfully spoken, abstinent, wise, and pious.

A great many Muhadditheen and Hanafi, Shafi’ee, Maaliki and Hanbali Ulamaa are in unison with regards to Imaam Sahib’s strengths and virtues. Thousands of literary works have been compiled by Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.). Amongst the Imaams ‘Imaam-e-Aazam’ (Greatest of the Imaams ) was the address of Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA.) alone. A great group of Ulamaa and Muhadditheen remained the followers of Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA.), and more than half of the Ummah of Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam are, till this day, followers also.

He was born in the era of the Companions (R.A.). Abstinent, God fearing, generous, knowledgeable and virtuous are all attributes collectively found of Imaam Abu Hanifah (R.A.).

His origination is in Kufa, which at the time, was the greatest centre of ahaadith. As, in Kufa thousands of Companions (R. A.) of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had resided there; more than one thousand jurists were born in Kufa of which one hundred and fifty were Companions of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Kufa, was where the ranked Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (R.A.) and Hadhrat Abu Huraira (R. A.) had previously resided.
Imaam Sahib’s upbringing and education was achieved in such a reputed educational centre, and he reaped much advantage from the Ulamaa of Haramain.


Nu’maan ibn Thabit Ibn Zuta Ibn Maah\ lbn Marzubaan. (Difference of opinion lies only in choice of wording not name.)


80 A.H. Kufa, Iraq.


Imaam-e-Aazam Abu Hanifah (R. A.).


It has been unanimously agreed that Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA.) was a Taabi‘ee. There are various differing quotes concerning the number of Companions seen by Imaam Sahib. Sahib-e-Ikmaal narrates a total of 26, whilst Hafiz Ibn Hajr quotes 8. The most opposed view is that of Hafiz Almizzi whom has stated 72 Companions (R. A.).


Primary, basic Islamic teachings were acquired as a child, which were short lived due to Imaam Abu Hanifah’ s father’s death. Subsequently, he supported the family business.


Silk Merchant.


At the age of 22 years much spare time was spent in debating. In this period of time Imaam Sha’bee (R. A.) advised Imaam Abu Hanifah ( R.A.) to associate himself with a scholar.

Being unable to answer a query regarding the correct Sunnah procedure of divorce, Imaam Abu Hanifah began to join the gatherings of lmam Hammad (R. A), (student of Hadhrat Anas (RA.) ), disposing of his works as a debator. For the next ten consecutive years he remained the student of Imaam Hammad (R.A.). After two years, for a period of two months Imaam Hammad took a sudden leave to Basra ( due to his relative’s death) leaving Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.) to continue his works in Kufa. Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.) remained Imaam Hammad’s student for a further 8 years.


Imaam Hammad (R A)


Imaam Aamir Sha’bi (R. A.).


4,000 Ahaadeeth in which 2,000 Ahaadeeth from Imaam Hammad ( RA.) alone.


1. Since the initial day of hearing the hadith it is remembered in its correct form to the very time of narration.

2. The hadith must have been projected by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and narrated onwards via wholly reliable persons.

3. Any Ahaadeeth which contradicted the Qur’an or other famous Ahaadeeth were unacceptable.


Aamir Ibn Shurahbeel, Sha’abi Kufi, Alqama Ibn Marthad, Ziyaad Ibn Ilaqa, Adi Ibn Thabit, Qataada Basri, Muhammed Ibn Munkadir Madni, Simaak Ibn Harb, Qays Ibn Muslim Kufi, Mansoor Ibn Umar etc. etc.


Qazi Abu Yusuf, Muhammad Ibn Hasan, Zufar Ibn Huzayl, Hammad Ibn Abu Hanifah, Abu Ismat Mugheera Ibn Miqsam,Yunus Ibn Is‘haaq, Abu Bakr Ibn Ayyaash, Abdullah Ibn Mubarak, Ali Ibn Aasim, Ja’ far Ibn Awn, Ubaydullah Ibn Musa etc. etc.


‘Kitaab-ul-Aathar’ - compiled from a total of 70,000 Ahaadeeth, ‘Aalim-wal-muta ‘allim’, ‘Fiqhe Akbar’, ‘Jaami’ul Masaneed’, ‘Kitaabul Rad alal Qaadiriyah’ etc. etc.



Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.) has never accepted a favour from anyone and so was never indebted to anyone.

Humanitarian ways& generosity:

On seeing Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.) a passer by avoided him and took a different path. When Imaam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) questioned as to why he did so, he replied that he was ashamed of himself as he was Imaam Abu Hanifah’s debtor of 10 000 Dirhams. The man’s humbleness over took Imaam Abu Hanifah (R.A.) and so he forgave the repayment of the debt.


Once, whilst sitting in a Masjid Imaam Sahib learnt of someone who had fallen from a roof. Immediately, Imaam Sahib departed from the gathering, barefooted, and ran to the place of accident. Until the injured recovered, Imaam Sahib paid daily visits to nurse him.


Imaam Sahib would never speak unless it was necessary to do so. Someone mentioned before Sufyan Thawri (R.A.) that he had never heard Imaam Sahib back biting. Sufyan (R.A.) replied, "Abu Hanifah (R.A.) is not such a fool that he will destroy his own good deeds."

Abstinence & God Fearing Ways:

1. Sharik has stated, "I have never once observed Imaam Abu Hanifah reposing within the nights hours."

2. Abu Nu’aym states, "Even before observing salaah Imaam Hanifah (R. A.) would weep and supplicate before Allah."

3. There is no such Surah within the Qur’an which I have not recited during Nafl prayers." - Abu Hanifah (R. A.)

4. Kharija lbn Mus’ab has stated that 4 religious leaders have completed the recitation of the entire Qur’an in one rakaah of salaah alone. Uthmaan Ibn Affaan (RA.), Tameen Daari (RA.), Sa’eed Ibn Jubair (R. A.) and Imaam Abu Hanifah (R. A.).

5. There was once acknowledgment of a stolen sheep. Imaam Abu Hanifah inquired and researched as to how long a sheep lives. After finding out, he never ate sheep for 7 years, fearing that the meat may be from the stolen sheep.

6. For 40 consecutive years Imaam Sahib observed a nocturnal practice of performing Fajr salaah with the ablution of Esha.






Trial No.1:

During the reign of Ibn Hubaira Imaam Abu Hanifah ( R.A.) rejected his request of the post of Chief Justice. (As Imaam Sahib did not want to collaborate with the corrupt).

Consequence of Rejection No.1:

Tormented by passing through the city mounted upon a horse, whereby he was whipped 10 times a day for eleven consecutive days.

Trial No.2:

During the reign of Abu Jaafar Mansoor again the above request was pledged, yet again rejected.

Consequence of Rejection No.2:

Imprisoned and violently beaten.

Prolongation of Trial:

Khalifa Abu Ja’far Mansoor again urged that Imaam Sahib should reconsider. Finally, Imaam Sahib swore by Allah that he would not accept.


Imaam Sahib was lashed, shirtless 30 times, drawing blood that seeped to his heels. He was again imprisoned, with restricted rations for 15 days, after which he was forcefully made to drink a poison that led to his martyrdom.


In the state of prostration.


70 years of age : 150 A.H. in the month of Rajab. (others have stated Sha’baan and Shawwaal also).


Six Janaazah salaah were conducted in order to cater for more than 50,000 people whom had collected. His son, and only child; Hammad, lead the last Janazah salaah.

Maulana Ilyas Ghuman Biography

Name: Maulana Mohammad Ilyas Ghuman

Date of Birth: 12th of April 1969

Place of Birth: 87 Northern, Sargodha

Education: Hifdh of Qur’aan completed at Jamia Masjid Bohadh-Wali (Gaghar-Mindi, Gujranwala)

Translation and Commentary of Qur’aan completed under Imam Ahlus-Sunnah Shaykh (Maulana) Sarfaraz Khan Safdar (RA) at Madrasa Nusratul-uloom (Gujranwala)

Dars-e-Nizami (Islamic Scholarship course) started at Jamia Binoria (Karachi) and completed at Jamia Islamia Imdadia (Faisalabad)

Teaching Positions held:

(Former) Ma’had Shaykh Zakariyya, Chipata (Zambia)

Markaz Islahun-Nisa (Sargodha)

Salana Chalees Roza Sirat-e-Mustaqeem (Annual 40-day Siratul-Mustaqeem) course (Sargodha)

Participation in Jihad:

Participated in Jihad in the battlefields of Khost, Gardez, Jalalabad, Kabul and Bamyan


From 05th of August 1996 until 05th of August 1998 held at various prisons of Sargodha, Faisalabad and Mianwali

From 29th of August 1999 until 29th of September 1999 held at Chohang Prison (Near Sargodha)

From 30th of September 1999 until 07th of October 2002 held at various prisons in Jhelum, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi

From 17th of October 2003 until 18th of November 2003 held under observatory confinement at District Jail (Sargodha) for a month

From 03rd of February 2005 until 29th of April 2005 held under observatory confinement at District Jail (Sargodha)

Positions of Responsibilities:

(Former) Provincial Ameer Harkat ul-Ansar (Punjab)

(Former) Deputy-General Secretary Harkat ul-Mujahideen (Pakistan)

Tableeghi (Dawah) Missions:

Azad Kashmir, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, Singapore and Saudia Arabia=

Current Responsibilities:

Rector, Markaz Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal-Jamaat

Rector, Markaz Islaahun-Nisa

Literary Contributions:

Jihad Fi Sabeelillah Aur Ai’terazat Ka Ilmi Jaiza (Jihad in the path of Allah and Academic critique & responses to objections on Jihad)

Zubdatul-Shamail (Commentary of Shamail-e-Tirmidhi)

Qaidi Kay Taranay (Compositions of the incarcerated)

Bay’ah and Khilafah:

From Arif Billah Shaykh (Hadhrat) Maulana Hakeem Akhtar Saheb (DB)

Islah wal-Irshad:

Khanqah Ashrafiyya Akhtariyya, 87 Northern, Sargodha


Q: "In the secular legal system, adoption of a child by couples is lawful as we all know. Please elucidate the position of Shariah in this regard. How far such an adoption is permissible in Islam, and if so, what are the rights and obligations of the parties involved in such a situation?" A: Adoption of a child has no legal effect in Shariah. One can adopt a child for his emotional and psychological satisfaction. He can treat him as his own son in the matters of love, affection and general behavior. Adoption of a child to provide shelter to him is a virtuous deed which carries much reward in the Hereafter. But so far as the legal aspects are concerned, adoption has no consequence. The child should not be attributed except to the natural father, and not to the one who has adopted him. Even in the matter of hijab adoption has no effect whatsoever. If a male child is adopted by a woman, she will observe hijab from him after he reaches the age of puberty, unless she is related to him in a prohibited degree. An adopted child can marry a daughter of his adoptive parents, because she is not his real sister. In short, adoption does not create a new legal relationship which did not exist before. All these rules are inferred from the principle laid down by the Holy Qur'an in this respect. The people in jahiliyyah used to treat an adopted child as the real one in all respects. The Holy Qur'an condemned this practice and the following verses were revealed: وما جعل أدعیاءکم أبناءکم ذ لکم قولکم بافواھکم واللہ یقو ل الحق وھو یھدی السبیل ادعوھم لا باءھم ھو أقسط عنداللہ "And Allah did not make your adopted children your sons. That is only your words coming out from your tongues. And Allah says the truth and He guides you to the right path. Call them with reference to their (real) fathers. It is more just in the sight of Allah." (Surah 33:V4) However, it should be remembered that although an adopted child cannot inherit from his adoptive father, but it is permissible, rather advisable, for him that he, in his lifetime, makes a will in favour of his adopted son. Through such a will he can bequeath upto one third of his property to his adopted child who cannot otherwise share his inheritance.[1] [1] Such a bequest to a non-heir is known as WASIYAH and must not exceed one-thirds of the estate after payment of debts.


I got your comments on our group's evaluation of Islamic banks and Mudarabah companies. The MBA project we are doing is in the second week of June, 1997. Your guidance would help us in presenting the true picture of an Islamic Financial lnstitution (lFI) at LUMS. It would be quite helpful if you answer following questions: Q: (1) Why cannot currencies be sold at rates different than the market or spot rate? How are currencies of different countries different than ordinary goods which can be sold at prices different than the market? (2) Why is discounting of bills of exchange in different currencies permitted when currency itself cannot be traded below the spot rate? (3) Can one party in a 'promise to sell/purchase' agreement ask for a security, whether cash or any kind of collateral, from the other party? (4) How can an agent's (agent being the bank) fee be determined if he is made responsible to collect the amount written on bill of exchange on behalf of it's client? Wouldn't such kind of agency fee or service charge become an excuse for charging interest? How can one prevent it? (5) Is it injustice if two or more partners agree on a ratio of profit, not the loss, which is different than the ratio of capital contributed by each partner? (6) Are the following rules correct according to Shariah: a. It is permissible for the lessee to let to a third party during the lease period whether for the same rental or more, as long as the asset is not affected by the change of user. b. It is permissible to stipulate in a contract of Istisna that price would be reduced by a specific amount per day upon delay in delivery by the seller. (7) What steps can an Islamic Financial Institution take to prevent the concentration of wealth among the rich individual of a Muslim society? A: Here are the answers to your recent questions: (1) If the currencies are of the same country, they cannot be sold at a rate different from their face value. However, if the currencies are of different countries, they can be sold on spot at whatever rate agreed upon between the parties which can be different from the market rate. However, if the payment is deferred on either side, it must be in accordance with the market rate. This condition is put to restrict the use of this transaction to the genuine needs, otherwise it may be taken as a device to effect riba transaction. The details of the rules regarding the transaction of currencies are available in my Arabic book Akham AI-Auraq AI-Naqdia which has also been translated. (2) The discounting of bills of exchange even in different currencies is not permitted in Shari'ah. The reason is that a Bill of Exchange stands for the amount of the bill which is a debt payable by a seller. If it is sold or purchased for cash, it means that two currencies are being exchanged where the payment at one side is deferred and I have already mentioned in answer to question No.1 that if the payment is deferred on either side, the price should not be different from the market spot rate. (3) The promise to sell/purchase is merely a promise. It does not effect the contract of sale itself, therefore, no rights or obligations of a sale can arise out of a promise only. Hence no party can ask for security or a collateral for the fulfilment of a promise. Because the security or collateral is justified only where a liability or a debt has actually come into existence while in the case of promise no debt or liability is created. It is only an undertaking to sell/purchase a commodity in future. When the actual sale cccurs on a deferred payment basis the debt will be created and at that time it will be justified to ask for a security. (4) If the bank has been made an agent to collect the amount of a Bill of Exchange on behalf of its client it is permissible for the bank to charge a fee for this service. The fee may be determined by the parties on whatever basis they agree upon. However, it should not be tied up with the period of the maturity of the bill. With this condition this transaction will not, hopefully, be instrumental to charge interest. (5) In a Musharakah contract the parties may agree on a ratio of profit different from the ratio of their investment with the only condition that a partner who in expressed terms, relieves himself from the liability to work for the partnership cannot claim a ratio of profit higher than the ratio of his investment, for example, if 'A' has invested 60% of the capital while 'B' has invested 40% the parties can agree that 'B' will get 60% of the profit and' A' will get 40% of the profit. However, if 'B' has, in expressed terms, put a condition in the contract of Musharakah that he will never work for the enterprise, he cannot claim more than 40% of the profit. (6.a) A lessee can sub-lease the property to a third party with the permission of the lessor, if the rent charged by him from the sub-lessee is equal to the rent payable by him to the original lessor. This sub-lease is permitted with the consensus of all Muslim jurists. However, if the lessee charges from his sub-lessee a rent more than the rent payable by him to the original lessor, it is not permissible according to Imam Abu Hanifah, but it is permissible according to other Imams. (6.b) It is permissible to stipulate in a contract of Istisna that price would be reduced by a specific amount per day upon delay in delivery by the seller. The contemporary scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence have allowed this type of contract on the basis of the following ruling given by the classic Fuqaha: (و صح تردید الاجر بالتردید فی العمل) کإن خطتہ فارسی بدرھم او رومیا بدر ھمین (وزمانہ فی ال) ۔۔۔۔کان خطتہ الیو م فبدرھم او غدا فبنصفہ۔ [ردالمحتار لا بن عابدین ص ۷۲ ج ۶] (7) In fact the answer to this question requires a detailed treatise, but without going into details the following steps may be taken by the Islamic Financial Institutions to prevent the concentration of wealth among the rich of its society: Firstly, they should maximise the use of Musharakah and Mudarabah instead of Murabahah or Leasing, because the real alternative to interest in a true Islamic economy is Musharakah and Mudarabah which paves the way for equal distribution of income among the members of the society and they are very competent and strong instrument diverting the flow of wealth from a few rich people to the common lot. Secondly, they should find out ways and means to finance the small scale trade and industry. For this purpose an Islamic financial institution should rise above the level of pure commercial and material benefits and should set their priorities in wider interests of the society of which they, themselves, are an inseparable part.[1] [1] Mudarabah is a distinct class of partnership in terms of which the one party, called the rabbul maal, hands over capital to another, called the mudaarib, on the basis that the mudaarib trades with such capital and the resultant profits (if any) are shared between them in pre-agreed proportions (such as two-thirds to the rabbul maal and one thirds to the rnudaarlb).1 The essence of this class of partnership is that it is a partnership relating to profit only. The mudaarib is entitled to profit in accordance with the agreed profit sharing ratio by reason of his labour, and the rabbul maal is similarly entitled to profit as a return on his capital. It follows that ordinarily, in the absence of defined negligence and/or breach of contract, the losses of the partnership will be offset against accrued profits, and thereafter against capital. It also follows that the contract of mudaarabah will be void if the agreement stipulates that the rabbul maal must work together with the rnudaarib.2 Mudaarabah is a unique class of partnership in that it brings together both capital and labour and employs them productively in business. A person has the capital but not the skills and expertise, whereas another has the skills and expertise to conduct business but not the capital. There is therefore a genuine need to recognise such a partnership which was prevalent at the time of the Holy Prophet (SAW). He confirmed its validity and the noble companions (may Allah be pleased with them) transacted on the basis of mudaarabah. The jurists are accordingly unanimous (IJMA) in regard to its validity. 3 The contract of mudaarabah itself is concluded by offer and acceptance, or by the use of words which indicate that the parties intend to conclude a contract of mudaarabah. For example, the rabbul maal says to the mudaarib: "Take this capital (e.g. R100,000.00) for the purposes of mudaarabah, and expend labour on the basis that the resultant profits will be shared equally", or the rabbul maal says: "Take this cash and treat it as capital, and the profits will be shared equally between us" and the mudaarib accepts the offer' Upon conclusion of a valid mudaarabah contract, the following legal consequences arise and attach to the mudaarib: a) the mudaarib, in receiving the capital from the rabbul maal, is a trustee (AMEEN) in the sense that he is not ordinarily obliged to compensate the rabbul maal in the event of loss or destruction thereof. 5 b) the mudaarib, in commencing his labours, is an agent of the rabbul maal in dealing with and disposing of the property because he does so on his (the rabbul maal's) instructions as the owner thereof. 6 c) the mudaarib, if he makes a profit, shares therein by reason of his labour, and because the object of mudaarabah is to make a profit. If, on the other hand, the contract of mudaarabah is void for any reason, then the mudaarib is entitled to remuneration for his labour equivalent to the market rate. If the mudaarib breaches a valid condition of the contract of mudaarabah, then he is strictly liable to make good any loss because he has dealt with the property of another without authorisation." The contract of mudaarabah may be general without any limitation as to duration, or class of business to be conducted, or place where such business is to be conducted, or otherwise as to the category of suppliers and merchants to be dealt with. The contract however may be limited as to any of those matters. The rule in this regard is that the rabbul maal may impose any condition in the contract which is beneficial to him, and the mudaarib is bound to observe such condition otherwise he will be in breach of contract. If the condition is of no benefit to the rabbul maal, then the condition itself will be invalid without affecting the validity of the whole contract8 (EDITOR) 1. AL-MUGNI, VoI 5, Page 134 2. RADDUL MUHTAAR, VoI 5, Page 645 3. BADAI US-SANAI, Vol 6, Page 79 4. MAJALLAH, article 1405 5. RADDULMUHTAAR, VoI 5, Page 646 6. HEDAYAH, Chapter on MUDARRABAH 7. HEDAYAH, Chapter on MUDAARABAH 8. MAJALLAH, Article 1407, Commentary of Allama Itasi (RA)


Q: 1. Muslim students who go to non-Muslim countries for higher education generally find out that the money sent to them by their parents is insufficient for their many needs. Thus, they take up jobs to stay even. Some times they find jobs in hotels which sell liquour and pork. Is it permissible for a Muslim student to be employed in such hotels? Q. 2. Running a distillery or merchandizing liqour or pork in non-Muslim countries are open businesses. Can Muslims also do so? A: 1. & 2. A Muslim is permitted to take a job in hotels run by non-Muslims subject to the condition that this Muslim employee does not take up the duty of supplying pork or serving liquour and other forbidden things to non-Muslims. For, making others drink or serving it to them is forbidden. According to a narration from Sayyidna 'Abd Allah ibn 'Umar, may Allah bless them both, the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: لعن اللہ الخمر وشاربھاو ساقیھا وبائعھا و مبتاعھا وعاصرھا ومعتصرھا و حاملھا والمحمولۃ الیہ Allah has cursed liquor and its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its squeezer and whoso it has been squeezed for, and its carrier and whoso it has been carried to. In Tirmidhi, a narration from Sayyidna Anas ibn Malik says: لعن رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم فی الخمرعشرۃ : عاصرھا ومعتصرھا وشاربھا وحاملھا والمحمرلۃ الیہ وساقیھا وبائعھا وآکل ثمنھا والمشتری لھا والمشترۃ لہ The Holy Prophet (S.A. W) has cursed ten persons connected with drinking: The squeezer of liquor and the one for whom it has been squeezed, its drinker and its carrier and the one for whom it is carried, its server and its seller and the consumer from its sale proceeds, its buyer and the one for whom it is bought. The words of the hadith narrated by Sayyidna Anas (R.A) appear almost identically in Ibn Majah as well: عاصرھا، ومعتصرھا والمعصورۃ لہ وحاملھا والمحمولۃ لہ وبائعھا والمبیوعۃ لہ وساقیھا والمستقاۃ لہ The squeezer of liquor and the one who orders its squeezing and the one for whom it has been squeezed, and its carrier and the one for whom it is carried, and its seller and the one to whom it is sold, and its server and the one who has been served with it. Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim; (R.A), have narrated the following hadith from Sayyidna 'A'ishah (R.A): قالت : لما نزلت الا یات من اخر سورۃ البقرۃ خرج رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم فاقتر اھن علی الناس ، ثم نھی عن التجارۃ فی الخمر She said: "When the concluding verses of Surah al-Baqarah were revealed, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) went out of the house and recited those verses before people present there. Then, he prohibited trading in liquor.” Imam Muslim has reported the following saying of Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas (R.A) as attributed to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W): ان الذی حرم شربھا حرم بیعھا The one who has made drinking of liquor unlawful is the one who has also made its buying and selling unlawful. And Imam Ahmad has reported the following narration in his Musnad: عن عبدالرحمن بن وعلۃ، قال : سالت ابن عباس فقلت: انا بارض لنا بھا الکروم، وان اکثر غلاتھا الخمر، فذکر ابن عباس ان رجلا اھدی الی النبی صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم روایۃ خمر، فقال لہ رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم : ان الذی حرم شربھا حرم بیعھا This is a report from 'Abd aI-Rahman ibn Wa'lah. He says: 'Once I asked Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas: "We live in an area where we own vineyards and the major source of our income there is nothing but liquor.' To this, Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas replied, 'A certain person came to the Holy Prophet (S.A. W) and presented a leather bag full of liquor as a gift for him. Then, to him, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said: 'The one who has made the drinking of liquor unlawful is the one who has also made its buying and selling unlawful. " In the light of the ahadith quoted above, it becomes clear that the business of liquor is also unlawful, as is its transportation from one place to the other, or its offering for consumption. The ruling given by Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas (R.A) also provides a clear answer to the situation in which the distilling, and buying and selling of liquor may be common local practice, still, there too, it will not be lawful for a Muslim to adopt dealing in wine as a means of his livelihood. And as far as I know, no Faqih from among the Muslim Jurists has ruled it as permissible.

order of an Islamic government binding on us?

Q: Mufti Sahib, is the order of an Islamic government binding on us? For example, when 'Eid comes, the government announces the sighting of the moon and we celebrate the next day as our 'Eid. This is an order of the Islamic government which we obey. Then, we have the order by which we were given the option of opening Profit and Loss Accounts in the banks of the country. Obviously, this action was supposed to eliminate interest. If I put my money in the bank, get whatever profit or loss it gives to me and use it, would it not be permissible for me because I am simply following the order of the government of a Muslim country? A: To obey the order of the ruler is necessary, but this has one limitation. To obey each and every order is not necessary. The rule is: There is no obedience to the created while one has to disobey the Creator. If the ruler gives an order which is against the order given by Allah, the order of that ruler will not be obeyed. In this particular instance you have cited, there is no order as such. This is just a facility provided for you. You may or may not use it. This is no law. Nobody has said that you must open a PLS Account, the contravention of which will be punishable by law.


Q; Can you please explain the Islamic injunctions about the "copyright", especially about the copyright on computer software? The questions are: (i) Can we register a book under the copyright Act which bars the people from publishing that book without the permission of the copyright holder? (ii) If something is registered under the law of copyright, should we abide by the restrictions imposed by that law? (iii)Can a copyright holder sell his right of publishing to another person for a monetary gain? (Khalid J. Akhtar, Lahore) A: The question of "copyright" is related to a wider concept, generally known as the concept of "intellectual property". In previous days the concept of ownership was confined to those tangible commodities only which can be perceived through our five senses. But the speedy progress in the means of communication gave birth to the new concept of "intellectual property" which extended the concept of ownership to some intangible objects also. The theory of "intellectual property" contemplates that whoever applies his mental labour to invent something is the owner of the fruits of his labour. If a person has invented a certain instrument, he does not own that instrument only, but he also owns the formula he has used for the first time to invent it. Therefore, nobody can use that formula without his permission. Similarly, if a person has written a book, he is the exclusive owner of the right to publish it, and nobody has any right to publish that book without his permission. This right of an author or an inventor is termed as his "intellectual property". It is also implied in this theory that the owner of such rights can sell them to others like any other tangible objects. The law of "copyright" has come into existence in order to secure such rights and to give legal protection to this kind of property. It is obvious that the concept of intellectual property on which the law of copyright is based is a new phenomenon created by the rapid progress of industry and the means of communication, therefore, the concept is not expressly mentioned in the Holy Qur'an or in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W). The acceptability or otherwise of such new concept which are not clearly mentioned in the original resources of Islamic jurisprudence can only be inferred from the general principles laid down by the Shari'ah. As the views of the jurists may differ while applying these principles to the new situations, there is always a wide scope of difference of opinion in such cases. The question of "intellectual property" has also been a subject of discussion among the contemporary Muslim scholars of Shari'ah whose opinions are different about its acceptability in Shari'ah. A group of contemporary scholars do not approve the concept of "intellectual property". According to them the concept of ownership in Shari'ah is confined to the tangible objects only. They contend that there is no precedent in the Holy Qur'an, in Sunnah or in the juristic views of the Muslim jurists where an intangible object has been subject of private ownership or to sale and purchase. They further argue that "knowledge" in Islam is not the property of an individual, nor can he prevent others from acquiring knowledge, whereas the concept of "intellectual property" leads to monopoly of some individuals over knowledge, which can never be accepted by Islam. On the other hand, some contemporary scholars take the concept of "intellectual property" as acceptable in Shar'iah. They say that there is no express provision in the Holy Qur'an or in the Sunnah which restricts ownership to tangible objects only. There are several intangible rights accepted and maintained by the Shariah, and there are several instances where such intangible rights have been transferred to others for some monetary consideration. They contend that the concept of "intellectual property" does in no way restrict the scope of knowledge, because the law of "copyright" does not prevent a person from reading a book or from availing of a new invention for his individual benefit. On the contrary, the law of "copyright" prevents a person from the wide commercial use of an object on the ground that the person who has invented it by his mental labour is more entitled to its commercial benefits, and any other person should not be allowed to reap the monetary fruits of the former's labour without his permission. The author of a book who has worked day and night to write a book is obviously the best person who deserves its publication for commercial purposes. If every other person is allowed to publish the book without the author's permission, it will certainly violate the rights of the author, and the law of copyright protects him from such violation of rights. Both of these views have their own arguments. I have analysed the arguments of both sides in my Arabic treatise "Discussion of Contemporary Legal Issues" and have preferred the second view over the first, meaning thereby that a book can be registered under the Copyright Act, and the right of its publication can also be transferred to some other person for a monetary consideration. This is an answer to your question no (i) and no (iii). Coming to the question no (iii), I would like to add that if the law of copyright in a country prevents its citizens from publishing a book without the permission of the copyright holder, all the citizens must abide by this legal restriction. The reasons are manifold. Firstly, it violates the right of the copyright holder which is affirmed by the Shariah principles, according to the preferable view, as mentioned earlier. Secondly, I have mentioned that the views of the contemporary scholars are different on the concept of "intellectual property" and none of them is in clear contravention of the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. In such situations, an Islamic state can prefer one view over the other, and if it does so by specific legislation, its decision is binding even on those scholars who have an opposite view. It is an accepted position in the Islamic jurisprudence that the legislation of an Islamic state resolves the juristic dispute in a matter not expressly mentioned in the Holy Qur'an or in the Sunnah. Therefore, if an Islamic state promulgates a law in favour of the concept of "intellectual property" without violating any provision of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah, the same will be binding on all its citizens. Those who have an opposite view can express their standpoint in academic discussion, but they cannot violate the law in practice. Thirdly, even if the government is not a pure Islamic government, every citizen enters into an express or a tacit agreement with it to the effect that he will abide by its laws in so far as they do not compel him to do anything which is not permissible in Shariah. Therefore, if the law requires a citizen to refrain from an act which was otherwise permissible (not mandatory) in Shariah, he must refrain from it. Even those scholars who do not accept the concept of "intellectual property" do not hold that it is a mandatory requirement of Shari'ah to violate the rights recognized by this concept. Their view is that it is permissible for a person to publish a book without it's author's permission. Therefore, if the law prevents them from this "permissible" act, they should refrain from it as their agreement (of citizenship) requires them to do so. Therefore, it is necessary for every citizen to abide by the law of copyright unless it compels a person to do an impermissible act, or to prohibit him from performing a mandatory act under the Shari'ah.


Q: "The Fiqh Academy has also allowed installment sales. Does this mean that I can now buy a house in UK or USA on installments bearing in mind that each installment includes repayment of "principal" and "interest". A: Sale on installment should never be confused with a transaction of interest bearing loan. In a sale transaction subject matter of contract is a commodity which should necessarily be owned by the seller at the time of sale and should be in his possession. But in the case of loan the subject matter of the transaction is money which is advanced to the borrower. The house financing schemes generally practiced in the Western countries are based purely on interest. The banks advance money for the purchase of the house and charge interest on it. The house is mortgaged as a security for the repayment of loan. This transaction has nothing to do with a transaction of sale on installments. The house is never purchased by the bank, nor does the bank sell the house to the customer. The customer purchases the house from a third party and owes its price to him. The bank comes in only to finance the buyer on the basis of interest. Therefore, this transaction is a riba transaction which is strictly forbidden and cannot be justified on the presumption that it is a transaction of sale on installments. However, if the seller himself sells the house on installments and charges a price higher than the cash price, or the bank itself purchases the house from the seller, and after having its ownership and possession resells it at a higher price to the customer on installments, the transaction may be valid in Shariah, if the necessary conditions of sale are fully observed as mentioned in the resolution of the Fiqh Academy. But the transaction generally in vogue in the Western countries is not based on the concept of sale. It is an interest transaction pure and simple, and a Muslim is not allowed to enter into such transactions. It is thus clear that your understanding of the resolution of the Fiqh Academy is not correct.


Q: It is becoming common for Muslim retail businessmen in South Africa to enter into the so-called consumer credit scheme. The retailer concerned concludes a written agreement with a third party Company ("the Company'). A copy of the specimen agreement is enclosed herewith. In terms of the scheme: a) the customer wishes to purchase such goods on credit over 6 months; b) the customer wishes to purchase such goods on credit over 6 months; c) the customer is informed that the Company may sell him such goods on credit and, for that purpose, the customer fills in a prescribed application containing details relating to his credit-worthiness; d) that application form is immediately faxed by the retailer to the Company for approval; e) the Company responds very shortly thereafter (within half hour); f) if the Company approves such application, it authorises the retailer to supply the goods so selected to the customer on credit; g) the customer then signs an agreement in the form prescribed by the Company in terms of which he undertakes to pay the Company for the price of such good in 6 monthly installments plus agreed interest. The installments may be paid directly to the Company or to the retailer concerned who as the agent of the Company pays the money so collected directly to the Company. h) the goods so selected are then handed over to the customer and the relevant completed documentation is then delivered to the Company; i) the Company thereafter within a week or the agreed time period pays the retailer the invoiced price of the goods less the agreed discount as set out in the specimen agreement between the Company and the retailer which is binding in law. The agreed discount presently is 17 ½ %. It is apparent from the scheme that two separate contracts are concluded, namely: i) a contract of sale between the retailer and the Company in terms of which the Company purchases the goods selected by the customer at an agreed price (invoice price less discount) which is paid effectively in cash; ii) a contract of sale between the Company and the customer in terms of which the Company resells such goods to the customer at the invoice price plus interest in 6 monthly installments. In the conclusion of both contracts, the retailer acts as an agent and a principal. The retailer acts as a principal in concluding his separate contract of sale with the Company in terms of the overriding specimen agreement which governs his relationship with the Company; and he acts as an agent in delivering the goods selected by the customer who is liable to the Company only for the agreed price plus interest which is payable in 6 monthly installments as aforesaid. In the result; the retailer benefits in that: a) he does not have to carry the financial risk of granting credit to the ordinary consumer; b) he makes a profit although at a lower margin: c) he does not have to borrow money on overdraft to fund the granting of credit. The Company which is wholly non-muslim and financially sound, benefits by making a profit in terms of its instalment sale with the customer concerned. The scheme appears to be an application of the murabahah principles and your considered fatwa is urgently appreciated by the Jamiatul Ulema, Natal. (M. S. Orner, South Africa) A: I carefully studied the question concerning the consumer credit card and the annexed documents. The question you have formed does not reflect the correct position as emerges from the agreement forms annexed to the question. A careful study of the agreement forms reveals that this transaction is totally different from the murabaha transactions of the Islamic banks. In case of murabaha, the financier purchases a commodity, and after having its constructive or physical possession, sells it to his customer on deferred payment basis. On the contrary, the "Company" in the case of consumer credit card, does not purchase the commodity. It simply gives a loan to the customer / consumer on interest, but instead of giving the loan to the customer himself, it settles the invoice value of the commodities purchased by him from the merchant / the retailer. In other words, the company pays to the merchant the price owed by the customer / consumer. This is clear from the very first sentence found in the "merchant agreement" form which reads as follows: "Consumer Credit corporation ltd. (CCC) undertakes to provide finance to the merchant's customers and settle the Merchant's invoice value less the discount due to CCC directly to the Merchant." Thus the relationship between the Company and the customer / consumer is one of creditor and borrower. There is no sale affected between them. That is why the customer has been named a "borrower" in form I side B, which is a form of agreement between the company and the customer. It is then evident from both of the forms that the company advances a loan to the customer and charges interest thereon (see clause 5 of form I side B). However, the company has made the retailer liable for collecting the installments of repayment from the customer and for paying the same to the company within twenty four hours. The retailer has also been made liable for interest if he delays in payment after receiving the amount from the customer. But all these conditions do not change the relationship of a borrower and lender between the company and the customer. As for the relationship between the Company and the merchant, it is a complex relationship according to the agreement which includes the relationship of agency, indemnity and, in certain situations, of money lending on the basis of fixed interest. Such a complex relationship is totally against the parameters of Shariah. Moreover, the provision of interest in case of late payment renders the whole transaction invalid according to Shariah. Therefore, the scheme of the consumer credit card, as envisaged in the annexed agreement forms in undoubtedly an interest bearing scheme which cannot be held as valid according to Shariah, nor can it be validated on the analogy of the murabahah transaction, because there are a number of basic differences between the two transaction. So, I have no doubt in my mind that it is not permissible in Shariah to become a party to this transaction. This "Consumer Credit card" is substantially different from the general credit cards issued by several companies like American express, visa etc, where no interest is charged by the company from the card - holder. So, the "Consumer Credit card" in question should not be confused with the general credit cards issued by American express etc. which can be permissible subject to certain condition.


Q: I have some interest credited to my account from my days of ignorance. However, I intended to give away this interest money by the end of this year. However, as you know, BCCI has been closed in UK and it is unlikely that we will get full refund of our deposits with them. My deposits consists purely of my own money. Can I adjust some of previously received interest against the loss of my own money in BCCI? If not, can you suggest some other way order to reduce my losses. (Ibid) A: Yes, in this case you can adjust the interest money received earlier against the loss of your principal. The money you have deposited in the bank according to Shariah, is a loan advanced to the bank. You are entitled to receive it back in full. If the same bank has given you some amount in the name of interest, but has refused later to return your principal in full, you can treat the interest money received earlier as part payment of the principal and can use it for your own benefit to the extent of the total principal deposited by you in the bank. This ruling is based on the general principles of Shariah and on a Fatwa of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi given by him orally and published in a collection of his discourses named "AI-ifadatul yaumiyyal" v.6 p.20 para 32. [1] [1] It is apparent from the answer that the interest (which is really repayment of capital) must have been received from the same bank in which the original deposit of capital was made. (EDITOR)


Q: In response to my question, you have replied in the Albalagh International- November 1991 issue - that I can adjust the interest money received earlier against the loss of my principal amount in BCCI, your reply, I assume, is based on the assumption that I want to adjust the interest received earlier "FROM BCCI" against the expected loss of principal amount deposited with BCCI. Suppose the interest was not received from BCCI or only partly received from BCCI. Now the question is that can I adjust such interest amount against the loss of principal in BCCI? (M.S, Desai, Saudi Arabia) A: As I have mentioned earlier whatever amount you have received or you expect to receive from BCCI, in whatever name it may be, you can take it as the part recovery of your principal, but it should be kept in mind that your total receipts from the bank should not exceed, in any case, the amount you have actually deposited in the bank. Therefore, if the bank agrees, at a later stage, to pay you more, your claim should be confined to the extent of the arrears of your principal deposit only without any excess thereon.


Q: What is the deifinition of Riba (ربوا) according to the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A. W). Does it cover the simple and compound interest existing in the present day financial transactions? A: The word, Riba as understood from the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah, is any extra payment received over and above the principal amount, regardless of the fact that that extra amount is significant or insignificant. Islam, therefore, considers the Riba Haram, in all of its forms The Fuqaha have given two interpretations of the word, Riba,: Riba-al-Nasia (ربا لنسیۃ) and Riba al Fadl (ربالفضل). Riba al-Nasia is defined as, ھو القرض المشورط فیہ الاجل و زیادۃ مال علی المستقرض Which is translated as: "Any lending arrangement that obligates the borrower to pay a certain extra amount over and above the payment of the principal amount against the specified deferment". Similarly, Imam Baihaqi reports the interpretation of Riba by Hazrat Fuzalah Ibni Ubaid (R.A): کل قرض جر منفعۃ فھو من وجوہ الربا "Any lending arrangement which results in some benefits to the lender, is one of the kinds of Riba". It is important to note that the Ayahs of Holy Qur'an prohibiting interest relate to Riba al-Nasia. "O Ye who believe, fear Allah and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if Ye are indeed believers" (al-Baqara 278). "If Ye do it not, take notice of war from Allah and his Apostle, but if you desist, Ye shall have your capital sum: Deal not unjustly, and Ye shall not be dealt with unjustly". (al-Baqara, 279) At the time of revelation of the above Ayahs, the prevalent form of Riba was Riba al-Nasia. Therefore, the companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) understood the meaning of these Ayahs in terms of Riba al-Nasia. Thus Riba al-Nasia was categorically regarded Haram in matters of Qarz. (Loan transactions QARD) Riba al-Fadl occurs in those commodity exchange contracts where a contract provides payment of any extra quantity of the commodity. For instance, one kilogram of wheat is exchanged for more than one kilogram of wheat, regardless of quality consideration. What matters is, that a given quantity is to be exchanged for the same quantity. In this case, the Hadith of the Prophet (S.A.W), الذھب بالذھب مثلا بمثل، والفضۃ بالفضۃ مثلا بمثل، والتمر بالتمر مثلا بمثل، والبر بالبر مثلا بمثل، والملح بالملح مثلا بمثل، والشعير بالشعير مثلا بمثل، فمن زاد أو ازداد فقد أربی، بيعوا الذھب بالفضۃ كيف شئتم يدا بيد، وبيعوا الشعير بالتمر كيف شئتم يدا بيد Sell gold by gold, silver by silver, dates by dates, wheat by wheat, salt by salt, and barley by barley like for like and equal for equal so he who made an addition or who accepted an addition, committed the sin of taking interest. But sell gold for silver as you like but hand to hand and sell barley for dates as you like but hand to hand. Though the above Hadith mentions the incidence of Riba in six things but the Fuqahah have extended the application of this Hadith to all commodity transactions characterized by the same underlying reason. Whenever the same commodity is exchanged for more (Quantity), the Riba al-Fadlwill arise. In the light of above explanation, it is clear that the word 'Interest' as commonly understood in context of banking/financial pertains to the Riba al-Nasia. Therefore, any extra payment specified in Qard relating contract over and above the principal amount, falls under the definition of Riba, al-Nasia, irrespective of the rate/amount of the extra payment. Hence, both the Simple and the compound interest are prohibited as being Riba al-Nasia. Some people, perhaps have misunderstood the meaning of the verse, "O ye who believe, devour not usury doubled and multiplied but fear Allah that Ye may (really) prosper" (3: 130) And have tried to argue the permissibility of the simple interest. This is totally wrong conclusion. As a matter of fact, the Holy Qur'an wants to root out an interest mentality as appears from verse (2:279). Ibn-e-Jareer has reported the interpretation of Hazrat Qatada (RA) in his tafsir. ما کان لھم من دین فجعل لھم ان یا خذوا رؤوس اموالھم ولا یزدادوا علیہ شئیا "That the Holy Qur'an permits the lender to receive the principal amount only and does not allow any addition (however small it may be) ".


Q: I have a considerable amount of money saved by me from my monthly income. I want to invest it in a lawful business which can give me some profit. One of my friends has offered me to enter into partnership with him, I shall give him the money and he will invest it in his business which is already established and run by him. He has agreed to pay me a sum of two thousand rupees monthly as my share in the profit. Is it permissible for me to enter into partnership on these terms? A: No. A pre-determined amount of money cannot be fixed as a profit in a partnership. If you want to enter into partnership with your friend, you will have to share his risks also. In case he faces a loss, you will have to bear it in proportion to your investment. And if the joint venture brings a profit, the same may be shared on the agreed ratio. Thus the amount of profit can only be known after the profit accrues actually, and it cannot be fixed beforehand. However a provisional profit may be distributed before the actual accounting takes place. On this basis, the monthly payment of a particular amount may be agreed but it must always be subject to the final settlement at the end of the term. When this final settlement will take place on the basis of the actual gain or loss, all the provisional payments made earlier must be taken into account and must be adjusted according to the actual profit or loss. Without this necessary condition the said agreement of partnership will not be a valid agreement according to Shariah.


Q: Kindly throw some light on the use of credit cards, which are floating in the market. Majority of these cards belong to professional banking institutions, such as American Express, City Gold Card etc. However, some cards are issued by companies such as Diners club etc, which are not themselves banking institutions. Please explain the ruling of Shariah about both these cards. In your reply please cover both the aspects of using credit cards, first as holders of the card, used to offset the purchase price and second, when we accept these cards as sellers. (Muhammad Salman, Karachi) A: The use of credit card by a purchaser is allowed in Shariah, no matter whether the card is issued by a banking institution or some other company. However, the following points must be borne in mind in this respect: (i) The best way of using these cards is to open an account wherefrom all the amounts owing are debited by the issuing company to aviod the possibility of default which may in some cases, carry the risk of interest. (ii) If the system of direct debit is not arranged, one must always be careful that he pays the bills within the stipulated time without fail, so that interest may not be imposed upon him. (iii) The annual fee paid by a card-holder to the card-issuing company is not interest, rather it is a fee charged for certain services rendered by the company for the benefit of the holder. That is why it is charged irrespective of the amount actually spent by the holder. The second question is whether it is permissible for a seller to accept credit card. This question has been a point of debate between the contemporary scholars of Islamic jurisprudence. Some of them are of the view that the amount charged by the card-issuing company to the shop-keeper is analogous to interest. They say that it is equal to discounting a bill of exchange, hence not allowed in Shariah. However, some other scholars are of the opinion that it is not interest. On the contrary, it is a fee charged by the company for certain efforts undertaken by it. Firstly, the company has to do a lot of work for the benefit of the seller. Therefore, the commission charged by it is similar to the commission of a broker which is undoubtedly permissible. This commission is different from discounting a bill of exchange, because the rate of discount in a bill of exchange is always tied up with the period of its maturity, while the commission charged by the company from the merchant is not so linked. This commission is determined irrespective of the time on which the card-holder shall pay the amount to the company. Therefore, it is just like a commission charged for brokerage services. In my personal opinion, the second view seems to be more preferable.


Q: (1) Is it Jaiz (permissible) to take an insurance policy from a conventional insurance company to cover our employees against liabilty in the following circumstances: ** Injuries that may be suffered by workers (company employees) due to accidents in the course of their work. ***within the company's premises ***whilst travelling in company vehicles. ***Injuries that may be suffered by innocent parties involved in accidents within the company's premises or in company vehicles. In the case of motor insurance it is a statutory requirement that vehicles owners must obtain an insurance policy to cover third party risks and the company complies with this requirement. This is the only form of insurance cover that the company now takes. (2) Is it jaiz to take out an insurance policy to cover the anticipated medical expenses of the employees of the company? (3) Most companies offer to meet the medical expenses of the employees of the company? (4) There are circumstances in which the bank charges us interest when our current account goes into overdraft due to circumstances outside our control mainly due to non-realization of cheques issued to us by our debtors. Is it jaiz for us to recover such interest from the debtor concerned? (Rafiq Qasim, Colombo) A: (1) The permissibility or otherwise of an insurance policy depends on the nature of the insurance scheme and on the terms and conditions of the transaction. But, leaving aside the mutual insurance schemes, all the insurance policies available with the traditional insurance companies run on commercial basis have an element of interest or qimar or both. Hence, they are not allowed in Shari'ah. So, it is not permissible to take an insurance policy from a conventional insurance company in anyone of the first four situations mentioned in your question. The prevalent third party insurance also does not conform to the rules of Shari'ah. However, being a necessary legal requirement for the use of a motor car, it is allowed on the basis of necessity only in those countries where this kind of insurance is compulsory.[1] (2) The same reply is also applicable here. (3) A company may create a mutual insurance fund of its own for this purpose. But it is not permissible in Shari'ah to take a policy from a traditional insurance company. (4) If the interest is charged by the bank without your knowledge or without your having entered into an agreement with them for an interest--bearing transaction, you cannot be held responsible for the sin of paying interest. But of the same time, you cannot claim the amount of interest from your debtor, because in that case you will be entering into a transaction of interest deliberately. [1] In certain countries, the state establishes a road accident fund by raising a levy from its citizens. This fund is then used to compensate persons who suffer damage as a result of the negligent driving of vehicles. Such a fund has nothing to do with Insurance. (EDITOR)


Q: 1. The Pensions Funds Act 1956 ("Act') regulates pension funds in South Africa. 2. The object of the Act is to provide support for the dependants of a deceased member upon his death. The support is provided by means of lump sum payments and/or annuities. 3. A pension fund established in terms of the Act has separate juristic personality, and must comply with prescribed requirements including registration, etc. 4. A contribution to a pension fund is deducted at source from the employee’s salary and paid over to the fund by the employer. The employer also makes defined contributions to the fund. 5. When the employee dies, the fund in accordance with its rules but subject to the Act pays death benefits to the dependants of the deceased, normally the surviving spouse and minor children, who were dependent on the deceased for maintenance in his lifetime. 6. It is crucial to understand that in making payments of the death benefits, the trustees of the fund exercise a discretion conferred upon them in terms of the Act. They are empowered in terms of the Act to make payment of the death benefits amongst the dependants in such Proportions as they deem just and equitable in the circumstances of the particular case notwithstanding any nomination made by the deceased. Their decision is in terms of the Act subject to review by an appointed adjudicator and ultimately subject to review by the High Court (Section 37C). 7. The question therefore arises whether the death benefits awarded to the dependants of the deceased employee belong to those dependants, or whether the death benefits form part of the estate of the deceased. The Act specifically provides that those benefits will not form part of the deceased estate, and are not subject to attachment upon insolvency of a person entitled to a benefit. 8. In my humble view, the death benefits belong to the dependants of the deceased to whom they are awarded by the trustees of the pension fund in question. The reasons for this opinion is that: 8.1 The pension fund is a separate legal entity established and regulated by the Act; 8.2 The trustees in awarding the death benefits are exercising a discretion conferred upon them by the Act in accordance with its objects; 8.3 The contributions which were deducted at source did not belong to the deceased employee (in this regard, see the interesting Fatwa on Provident Funds written by your distinguished father (rahmatullahalai); 8.4 At best for the deceased, he had a claim against his employer for the amount representing the contributions deducted from his salary at source but this is not connected with the ultimate payment made by the trustees of the Pension Fund which is sourced in the Act and which regulates those payments designed for the support of the dependents only. 9. I would add that as regards the character of the death benefits, I agree with the said Fatwa of your distinguished father to the effect that they are halal. 10. Please examine the aforegoing carefully and let me have your considered Fatwa on the question set out in paragraph 7 above urgently, as I have a case on hand. Besides, the issue is a common one and requires clarity. (M. S. Omar, South Africa) A: In the light of the rules of the Pension Funds Act 1956 mentioned by you it appears that the grants given to the dependents of a deceased person from the Pension Fund are not subject to the rules of inheritance. The amounts deducted at source from the salaries of the employees are to be treated as a subscription to the Fund which no longer remain in the ownership of the deceased person and perhaps he has no right to claim it back during his life time. The principle is that only those properties of a deceased person are subject to inheritance rules which he can claim rightfully during his lifetime. Since he does not have the right to claim any amount from the fund, therefore, it is not to be taken as left-over property. The fund being a legal entity it can decide to pay this grant to whomever it deems fit from the family of the deceased. In the terminology of Islamic Fiqh this grant is a voluntary gift (Tabarru'), therefore, it is not necessary that it is to be distributed among all the legal heirs according to their prescribed shares in the inheritance. I have given judgment in a Shariah Appeal fixed before the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan with regard to the benevolent fund which is very similar to the Pensions fund you have asked about. (A copy is being sent to you by mail for your perusal and record).

shaving the head after Hajj or Umrah

Question: Is it obligatory to shave all the hair of the head after performing Hajj or Umrah, or a part of the hair can be cut? Answer: It is not obligatory to shave one's head or to cut all his hair at the conclusion of Ihram in Umrah or Hajj. One can also cut his hair instead of shaving it. The minimum requirement for coming out of ihram, according to fiqh-e-Hanafi, is to cut one's hair at least to the measure of a fingertip from all sides of one's hair. If one has cut his hair to this extent, he can come out of Ihram. However, if one's hair are too short, and he cannot cut them to the measure of a fingertip, he will have to shave his head without which he cannot come out of Ihram. It should, however, be remembered that shaving the head is more preferable and carries more thawab. It is reported by a number of authorities that the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihai Wasallam) has prayed to Allah thrice for bestowing his mercy on those who shave their hands after performing Hajj, while he prayed only once for those who cut their hair. Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.


Question: If I go for Umrah am I required to first offer Umrah on my own behalf and then perform another Umrah on behalf of someone else, by going back to Meekat and wearing Ihram? Or is it not necessary that when I enter the Hudood-e-Haram I should first perform Umrah on my own behalf? Answer: This question is based on either of the two misconceptions generally found in the minds of the people who are not familiar with the Islamic precepts about Umrah. The first misconception is that every body who wants to perform Umrah is duty bound to perform another Umrah on behalf of some other person, and the second misconception is that whoever wants to perform Umrah on behalf of someone else is duty bound to perform another Umrah on his own behalf. Both propositions are misconceived and incorrect. In fact, if a person wants to perform Umrah on his own behalf, he is not under an obligation to perform another Umrah for any other person. Similarly, if he wants to perform Umrah on behalf of some other person he is not required necessarily to perform another Umrah on his own behalf, neither before nor after the Umrah he performs for another person. Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

Does Hajj become Wajib if you perform Umrah

Question: It is commonly heard that if one performs Umrah once, then performing Hajj becomes mandatory (Wajib) for him. Please clarify this point. Answer: This is not correct. Merely performing Umrah does not make Hajj mandatory. But if a person who did not perform Hajj before he reaches Makkah for any reason in the month of Shawwal or anytime thereafter before the 10th of Zilhijjah and he has resources to stay there upto the days of Hajj, only in that case it becomes obligatory on him to perform Hajj either that very year or in any subsequent year. Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.


Q: "When it comes to marrying a Christian or a Jewish girl or boy, the Muslims youths argue that the Holy Qur'an has allowed such a marriage. Since we are living in the midst of Jews and Christians, we pre-eminently need to know the correct and precise Islamic position in this respect. Please provide the guidance and oblige." (Dr. Zakaullah, New York) A: The Holy Qur'an has never allowed the Muslim girls to marry a non-muslim boy, no matter whether he is a Christian or a Jew or a Hindu or a Parsi. However, the Holy Qur'an has allowed a Muslim boy to marry a Christian or a Jewish girl. But there are two important points which should always be kept in mind in this respect: 1. It is only the Christian and Jewish women that are allowed to be married by a Muslim. No woman of any other religion or belief is halal for a Muslim. The women who are Christian or Jew only by their names, and do not actually believe in any religion, like a large number of people in the Western countries, cannot be termed as "Ahl-al-Kitab" (People of the Book). They are atheists and it is not allowed in Shairah to marry an atheistic woman. 2. Shariah has allowed the Muslims to marry a Christian or a Jewish girl only where there is no apprehension that the husband or his children may come under her influence in religious matters. In the early days of the Islamic history every Muslim was duly equipped with adequate knowledge of his religion and had an unshaken commitment to the Islamic principles. Therefore, there was no apprehension that he would be misled by any foreign influence. Rather, he was supposed to convince his wife in religious issues. Therefore, if a Muslim is fully confident that his marriage with a Christian or a Jewish girl will never affect the religious life of himself or of his children, then there is no bar against such a marriage. But if he is not so confident, then, he must avoid marrying a non-Muslim girl. Even in the days of the Sahabah (the companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) some people were not advised to marry a Christian or the Jewish girl for this very reason. (See 158:2/4, Musanif Ibn Abi Shaibah)

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