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Abu (Por) Hanifah - the Persian & his views of prayer in Persian Rate Topic: -----

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 10:09 PM

IMAM e AZAM ABU HANIFAH (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih)




The book Qamus al-alam states: Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's name was Numan. His father's name was Thabit. His grandfather's name was Numan, too. He was the first of the four great imams of the Ahl as-Sunnat. 'Imam' means 'profoundly learned scholar.' He was one of the main pillars of the brilliant religion of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). He was a descendant of a Persian notable. His grandfather had embraced Islam. He was born in Kufa in 80 (698 A.D.). He was born early enough to see Anas ibn Malik, 'Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa, Sahl ibn Sad as-Sa'idi and Abu al-Fadl Amir ibn Wasila, four Sahabis (radi-Allahu ta'ala anhum). He learned 'ilm al-fiqh from Hammad ibn Abi Sulaiman. He enjoyed the companionship of many notables of the Tabiin, and of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih). He memorized innumerable hadiths. He was brought up so as to become a great judge, but he became an imam al-madhhab. He had a superior, and amazingly keen intellect. In 'ilm al-fiqh, he attained an unequalled grade in a short time. His name and fame became world-wide.

Yazid ibn 'Amr, Governor of Iraq during the time of Marwan ibn Muhammad, the fourteenth and last Umayyad Khalifa, who was a grandson of Marwan ibn Hakam (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) and was killed five years after assuming the caliphate in Egypt in 132 (750 A.D.), proposed to Abu Hanifa (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) to become a judge for the law-court of Kufa. But, since he had as much zuhd, taqwa and wara' as he had knowledge and intellect, he refused it. He was afraid of not being able to safeguard human rights because of human weaknesses. With a command from Yazid, he was given a whipping, hundred and ten blows to the head. His blessed face and head swelled. The next day, Yazid took the Imam out and oppressed him by repeating his offer. The Imam said, "Let me consult," and obtained permission to leave. He went to the blessed city of Mecca and stayed there for five or six years.

The 'Abbasid Khalifa Abu Jafar Mansur (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) commanded him to be the chief of the Supreme Court of Appeal in 150 A.H. [767 A.D.]. He refused it and was put into jail. He was subjected to whipping, ten blows more every following day. When the number of whipping reached one hundred, he attained martyrdom. Abu Sad Muhammad ibn Mansur al-Harizmi (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih), one of the viziers of Malikshah (447-485 A.H., the third Saljuqi Sultan and the son of Sultan Alparslan), had a wonderful dome built over his grave. Afterwards, Ottoman emperors embellished and had his tomb restored several times.

Abu Hanifa (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) was the first who compiled and classified 'ilm al-fiqh, and he gathered information for each branch of knowledge. He wrote the books Fara'id and Shurut. There are innumerable books describing his extensive knowledge on fiqh; his extraordinary ability in qiyas; and his dumbfounding superiority in zuhd, taqwa, mildness and righteousness. He had many disciples, some of whom became great mujtahids.

The Hanafi Madhhab spread far and wide during the time of the Ottoman Empire. It almost became the official Madhhab of the State. Today, more than half of the Muslims on the earth and most of the Ahl as-Sunnat perform their 'ibada according to the Hanafi Madhhab. Citation from the book Kamus-ul alam ends here.

The book Mir'at al-ka'inat states:

The ancestors of al-Imam al-azam (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) come from the province of Faris, Iran. His father, Thabit, had met Imam 'Ali (radi-Allahu 'anh) in Kufa and Hadrat 'Ali had pronounced a benediction over him and his descendants. Al-Imam al-azam was one of the greatest among the Tabiin and saw Anas ibn Malik (radi-Allahu 'anh) and three or seven more of the as-Sahabat al-kiram. He learned hadith-i sharifs from them.

A hadith ash-Sharif, which al-Imam al-Harizmi reported from Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu 'anh) through isnad muttasil (an uninterrupted chain of reporters), states: "Among my Umma, there will come a man called Abu Hanifa. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be the light of my Umma." Another hadith ash-Sharif states: "A man named Numan ibn Thabit and called Abu Hanifa will appear and will revive Allahu ta'ala's Religion and my Sunnat." And another one states: "In every century, a number of my Umma will attain to high grades. Abu Hanifa will be the highest of his time." These three hadiths are written in the book Mawduat al-'Ulum and in Durr al-mukhtar. This hadith ash-Sharif is also well-known: "Among my Umma, a man called Abu Hanifa will appear. There is a beauty-spot between his two shoulder blades. Allahu ta'ala will revive His Religion through his hand."

[Preface to Durr al-mukhtar writes: "A hadith ash-Sharif states: 'As Adam ('alaihi 's-salam) was proud of me so I am proud of a man of my Umma named Numan and called Abu Hanifa. He is the light of my Umma.' " Another hadith ash-Sharif states: "Prophets ('alaihimu 's-salam) are proud of me. And I am proud of Abu Hanifa. He who loves him will have loved me. He who feels hostility towards him will have felt hostility towards me." These hadiths are also written in the book Al-muqaddima by the profound scholar Hadrat Abu 'l-Laith as-Samarqandi and in Taqadduma, which is a commentary to the former. In the preface to the fiqh book Al-muqaddima by al-Ghaznawi hadiths praising him are quoted. In Diya' al-ma'nawi, a commentary on it, Qadi Abi 'l-Baqa said, 'Abul-Faraj 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Jawzi, based on the words of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, said that these hadiths were mawdu'. Yet this remark of his is bigotry, for these hadiths were reported by several chains of transmitters. Ibn 'Abidin, in his commentary on Durr al-mukhtar, proved that these hadiths were not mawdu' and quoted the following hadith ash-Sharif from the book Al-khairat al-hisan by Ibn Hajar al-Makki: "The ornament of the world will be taken away in the year 150." He went on, "The great fiqh scholar Shams al-aimma 'Abd al-Ghaffar al-Kardari (d. 562/1166 A.D.) said, "It is obvious that this hadith ash-Sharif refers to al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, since he passed away in 150." A hadith ash-Sharif given by al-Bukhari and Muslim says, "If iman went to the planet Venus, a man of Faris (Persian) descent would bring it back." Imam as-Suyuti, a Shafi'i alim, remarked, "It has been communicated unanimously that this hadith ash-Sharif refers to al-Imam al-azam." Numan Alusi writes in the book Ghaliyya that this hadith ash-Sharif refers to Abu Hanifa and that his grandfather descended from a Faris family. 'Allama Yusuf, a Hanbali scholar, quoted in his work Tanwir as-sahifa from Hafiz 'Allama Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Barr (b. 368/978 and d. 463/1071 in Shatiba), Qadi of Lisbon, Portugal, 'Do not slander Abu Hanifa and do not believe those who slander him! I swear by Allahu ta'ala that I know not a person superior to him, having more wara', or being more learned than he. "Do not believe what al-Khatib al-Baghdadi said! He was antipathetic towards the 'ulama'. He slandered Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmad and their disciples. The 'ulama' of Islam refuted al-Khatib and censured him. Ibn al-Jawzi's grandson, 'Allama Yusuf Shams ad-din al-Baghdadi, wrote in his forty-volume book Mirat az-zaman that he was astonished to know that his grandfather had followed al-Khatib. Imam al-Ghazali (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih), in his Ihya', praises al-Imam al-azam with such words as ''abid', 'zahid' and 'al-'arifu bi'llah'. If the Sahabat al-Kiram and the 'ulama' of Islam had different points of view from one another, it was not because they did not approve of each other's words or because they were unsociable to one another or because they disliked one another; mujtahids (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain) disagreed with one another concerning ijtihad for Allahu ta'ala's sake and to help the religion."1]

An alim dreamt of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and asked him, 'What would you say about Abu Hanifa's knowledge?' He answered, 'Everybody needs his knowledge.' Another alim asked in his dream, 'O Rasul-Allah! What would you say about the knowledge Numan ibn Thabit has, who lives in Kufa?' He answered, "Learn from him and do as he says. He is a very good person." Imam 'Ali (radi-Allahu 'anh) said, "Let me inform you of a person called Abu Hanifa, who will live in Kufa. His heart will be full of knowledge and hikma (wisdom). Towards the end of the world, many people will perish because of not appreciating him, just as the Shiites will perish because of not having appreciated Abu Bakr and 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anhuma)." Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ibn Zain al-'Abidin 'Ali ibn Husain (rahmat-Allahi 'alaihim, b. 57 A.H. in Medina and d. 113, buried in the shrine of Hadrat 'Abbas [radi-Allahu 'anh] in Medina) looked at Abu Hanifa and said, "When those who destroy the religion of my ancestors increase in number, you will revive it. You will be the savior of those who fear and the shelter of those who are confused! You will lead the heretics to the right way! Allahu ta'ala will help you!" When he was young, al-Imam al-azam (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) studied 'ilm al-kalam and marifa and became very skillful. Then after serving Imam Hammad for twenty-eight years, he attained maturity. When Hammad passed away, he took his place as a mujtahid and Mufti. His knowledge and superiority became known far and wide. His virtue, intelligence, sagacity, zuhd, taqwa, trustworthiness, readiness of wit, devotion to Islam, righteousness and his perfection in every respect as a human being were above those of all others of his time. All the mujtahids and those who succeeded him and noble people -even Christians- praised him. Al-Imam ash-Shafi'i (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) said, "All men of fiqh are Abu Hanifa's children." He said once, "I get blessings (tabarruk) from Abu Hanifa['s soul]. I visit his tomb every day. When I am in difficulty, I go to his tomb and perform two rak'as of salat. I invoke Allahu ta'ala, and He gives me what I wish." Al-Imam ash-Shafi'i was a disciple of Imam Muhammad.2 He remarked, "Allahu ta'ala bestowed knowledge upon me through two persons. I learned the Hadith ash-Sharif from Sufyan ibn 'Uyayna and fiqh from Muhammad ash-Shaibani." He said once, "In the field of religious knowledge and in worldly affairs, there is one person to whom I am grateful. He is Imam Muhammad." And again, al-Imam ash-Shafi'i said, "With what I learned from Imam Muhammad I have written a pack-animal-load of books. I would not have acquired anything of knowledge had he not been my teacher. All men of knowledge are the children of the 'ulama' of Iraq, who were the disciples of the 'ulama' of Kufa. And they were the disciples of Abu Hanifa."

Al-Imam al-azam acquired knowledge from four thousand people.

The 'ulama' of every century wrote many books describing the greatness of al-Imam al-azam.

In the Hanafi Madhhab, five hundred thousand religious problems were solved and all of them were answered. [editor's note: It is to be noted that that number is close to doubled in the present-day era.]

Al-Hafiz al-kabir Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Harizmi wrote in his book Musnad,

"Saif al-aimma reports that when al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa derived a matter from Qur'an al-karim and Hadith ash-Sharif, he would propound it to his masters. He would not give the answer to the inquirer unless all of them confirmed it." One thousand of his disciples attended all his classes when he taught in the mosque of Kufa city. Forty of them were mujtahids. When he found the answer for a matter he would propound it to his disciples. They would study it together and, when they were all in agreement that it was consistent with Qur'an al-karim and Hadith ash-Sharif and with the words of the Sahabat al-kiram, he would be delighted and say, "Al-hamdu li'llah wallahu akbar," and all those who were present would repeat his words. Then he would tell them to write it down."

It is written in the book Radd al-Wahhabi 3: [THE FOLLOWING IS A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFORMATION!!!]

"Being a mujtahid requires first being specialized in the Arabic language and in the various linguistic sciences such as awda', sahih, marwi, mutawatir; ways of radd; mawdu' vocabulary; fasih, radi and mazmun forms; mufrad, shadh, nadir, mustamal, muhmal, mu'rab, marifa, ishtiqaq, haqiqa, majaz, mushtarak, izdad, mutlaq, muqayyad, ibdal and qalb. Next you must be specialized in sarf, nahw, ma'ani, bayan, badi', balaghat, 'ilm al-usul al-fiqh, 'ilm al-usul al-hadith, 'ilm al-usul at-tafsir, and have memorized the words of the imams of jarh and tadil. Being a faqih requires, in addition to these, knowing the proof for every matter and studying the meaning, the murad and tawil of the proof. Being a muhaddith, that is, a scholar of hadith, requires only memorizing the hadiths as one heard them; it is not compulsory to know the meanings, murads, tawils, or to understand the proofs for the rules of Islam. If a faqih and a muhaddith disagree with each other about a hadith ash-Sharif, e.g. if the former says that it is sahih and the latter says that it is daif, the faqih's word will be valid. Therefore, al-Imam al-azam's word or decision is more valuable than all the others because he was the first mujtahid and the highest faqih due to his having heard many hadiths directly from the Sahabat al-kiram without any intervention. A hadith ash-Sharif that was said to be sahih by this exalted imam was said to be sahih by all Islamic scholars. A muhaddith cannot be in the grade of a faqih. And he can never reach the grade of an imam al-madhhab."

'Abdulhaq ad-Dahlawi, a scholar of hadith, wrote in his book Sirat-i mustaqim,

"Some hadiths which al-Imam ash-Shafi'i took as documents were not taken as documents by al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa. Seeing this, the la-madhhabi used it as an opportunity for traducing al-Imam al-azam and claimed that Abu Hanifa had not followed the hadith ash-Sharif. However, Hadrat al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa found and took other hadiths which were more sahih and dependable in documenting the matter."

A hadith ash-Sharif states: "The most beneficial ones of my Umma are those who live in my time. The next most beneficial ones are those who succeed them. And the next most beneficial ones are those who will come after them." This hadith ash-Sharif shows that the Tabiin were more beneficial than Taba' at-Tabiin. The Islamic 'ulama' all agree that al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa saw some of the as-Sahabat al-kiram, heard hadiths from them, and, therefore, was one of the Tabiin. For example, al-Imam al-azam heard the hadith, "A person who builds a mosque for Allahu ta'ala's sake will be given a villa in Paradise," from 'Abdullah ibn Awfa, who was a Sahabi. Jalal ad-din as-Suyuti, a Shafi'i scholar, wrote in his book Tabyid as-sahifa that al-Imam 'Abdulkarim, one of the Shafi'i scholars, wrote a complete book describing the Sahabis whom al-Imam al-azam had seen. It is written in Durr al-mukhtar that al-Imam al-azam saw seven Sahabis. Among the four aimmat al-madhahib, only al-Imam al-azam was honored with being one of the Tabiin. It is a rule in 'ilm al-usul that the view of those who admit something is preferred to the view of those who refuse it. It is obvious that al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, being one of the Tabiin, is the highest of the aimmat al-madhahib. The la-madhhabis' denying al-Imam al-azam's superiority or their trying to vilify this exalted Imam by saying that he was weak in the knowledge of hadith, is similar to their denying the superiority of Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anhuma). This perverse negation of theirs is not a sort of illness that can be cured by preaching or advice. May Allahu ta'ala cure them! The Muslims' Khalifa 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) said during his khutba: "O Muslims! As I tell you now, Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) told us during his khutba: "The most beneficial people are my Sahaba. The most beneficial after them are their successors. And the next most beneficial are those who will come after them. There will be liars among those who will come after these.' " The four Madhhabs which Muslims have been following and imitating today are the Madhhabs of those beneficial people whose beneficence was corroborated by Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam). The Islamic 'ulama' declare in consensus that it is not permissible to adopt a Madhhab other than these four Madhhabs.

Ibn Nujaim al-Misri (rahmat-allahi ta'ala 'alaih), author of the book Bahr ar-ra'iq, wrote in his work Ashbah, "Hadrat al-Imam ash-Shafi'i said that a person who wanted to be a specialist in the knowledge of fiqh should read Abu Hanifa's books." Abdullah Ibn Mubarak said, "I have not seen another specialist as learned as Abu Hanifa in the knowledge of fiqh. The great alim Mis'ar used to kneel in front of Abu Hanifa and learn what he did not know by asking him. I have studied under a thousand 'ulama'. Yet, had I not seen Abu Hanifa, I would have slipped into the bog of Greek philosophy." Abu Yusuf said, "I have not seen another person as profoundly learned as Abu Hanifa in the knowledge of hadith. There is not another alim who can expound hadiths as competently as he did." The great alim and mujtahid Sufyan ath-Thawri said, "In comparison with Abu Hanifa, we were like sparrows with a falcon. Abu Hanifa is the leader of the 'ulama'." 'Ali ibn Asim said, "If Abu Hanifa's knowledge were to be measured with the total knowledge of all the 'ulama' contemporary with him, Abu Hanifa's knowledge would prove to be greater." Yazid ibn Harun said, "I studied under a thousand 'ulama'. Among them I did not see anyone who had as much wara' as Abu Hanifa did or who was as wise as Abu Hanifa (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih)." Muhammad ibn Yusuf ash-Shafi'i, one of the Damascene 'ulama', praises al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa much, explains his superiority in detail, and says that he is the leader of all mujtahids in his book Uqud al-jaman fi manaqibi'n-Numan. Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa said, "We esteem and love Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) hadiths above all. We search for the words of the Sahabat al-kiram, choose and adopt them. As for the words of the Tabiin, they are like our words. Translation from the book Radd-i Wahhabi ends here. This book was printed in India and in Istanbul, in 1264 (1848 A.D.) and in 1401 (1981 A.D.), respectively.

In the book Sayf-ul-muqallidin ala a'nak-il-munkirin, Mawlana Muhammad 'Abd al-Jalil wrote in Persian: "The la-madhhabi say that Abu Hanifa was weak in the knowledge of hadith. This assertion of theirs shows that they are ignorant or jealous. Al-Imam az-Zahabi and Ibn Hajar al-Makki say that al-Imam al-azam was an alim of hadith. He learned hadiths from four thousand 'ulama'. Three hundred of them were among the Tabiin and were 'ulama' of hadith. Al-Imam ash-Sharani says in the first volume of al-Mizan, 'I have studied three of al-Imam al-azam's Musnads. All of them transmit information from the well-known 'ulama' of the Tabiin.' Hostility which the la-madhhabi people bear against the Salaf as-salihin and their jealousy towards the mujtahid imams, particularly towards their leader al-Imam al-Muslimin Abu Hanifa, must have obstructed their perception and conscience to the extent that they deny the beauty and superiority of these Islamic 'ulama'. They are intolerant of the fact that pious people have what they do not have. It is for this reason that they deny the superiority of the imams of Islam and thus venture into the shirk (polytheism) of jealousy. It is written in the book Hada'iq: "When al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa memorized hadiths he wrote them down. He kept the hadith books he wrote in wooden boxes, some of which he always kept at hand wherever he went. His quoting only a few hadiths does not show that the number of hadiths he memorized was small. Only bigoted enemies of Islam may say so. This bigotry of theirs proves al-Imam al-azam's perfection; an inept person's slandering the learned indicates the former's perfection." Founding a great Madhhab and answering hundreds of thousands of questions by documenting them with ayats and hadiths could not have been done by a person who was not deeply specialized in the sciences of tafsir and hadith. In fact, bringing forth a new, unique Madhhab without a model or an example is an excellent proof for al-Imam al-azam's expertise in the sciences of tafsir and hadith. Because he worked with extraordinary energy and brought forth this Madhhab, he did not have time to quote the hadiths or to cite their transmitters one by one; this cannot be grounds for denigrating that exalted imam by jealously casting aspersions on him by saying that he was weak in the knowledge of hadith. It is a known fact that riwaya (transmitting) without diraya (ability, intelligence) has no value. For example, Ibn Abd al-Barr said, "If riwaya without diraya were valuable, a dustman's quoting a hadith would be superior to Luqman's intelligence." Ibn Hajar al-Makki was one of the 'ulama' in the Shafi'i Madhhab, but he wrote in his book Qala'id: "The great alim of hadith A'mash asked al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa many questions. Al-Imam al-azam answered each of his questions by quoting hadiths. After seeing al-Imam al-azam's profound knowledge in hadith, A'mash said, 'O, you, the 'ulama' of fiqh! You are like specialized doctors, and we the 'ulama' of hadith are like pharmacists. We cite hadiths and their transmitters, but you are the ones who understand their meanings.' " It is written in the book 'Uqud al-jawahiri 'l-munifa: "While 'Ubaidullah ibn 'Amr was in the company of the great alim of hadith A'mash, someone came up and asked a question. As A'mash thought about the answer, al-Imam al-azam joined in. A'mash repeated the question to the Imam and requested an answer. Al-Imam al-azam immediately answered it in detail. Admiring the answer, A'mash said, "O Imam! From which hadith do you derive this?' Al-Imam al-azam quoted the hadith ash-Sharif from which he derived the answer and added, 'I heard this from you.' " Al-Imam al-Bukhari knew three hundred thousand hadiths by heart. He wrote only twelve thousand of them in his books because he feared very much the threat in the hadith ash-Sharif, "If a person quotes, in the name of hadith, what I have not uttered, he will be tormented very bitterly in Hell." Having much wara' and taqwa, al-Imam al-azam imposed very heavy conditions for the transmitting of hadiths. He would quote only those hadiths fulfilling these conditions. Some 'ulama' of hadith transmitted numerous hadiths because their branch was wider and their conditions were lighter. The 'ulama' of hadith never belittled one another on account of differing conditions. Had this not been so, Imam Muslim would have said something to offend al-Imam al-Bukhari (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihima). Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's transmitting only a few hadiths because of his circumspection and taqwa could only be a good reason for praising and lauding him."4

The book Mirat al-ka'inat goes on: "Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) performed morning prayer in a mosque and answered his disciples' questions until noon every day. After noon prayer, he taught his disciples again until night prayer. Then he would go home and, after resting for a while, return to the mosque and worship until morning prayer. Mis'ar ibn Kadam al-Kufi, one of the Salaf as-salihin, who passed away in 115 (733 A.D.), and many other great people reported this fact.

He earned his living in a halal way by trading. He sent goods to other places and with his earnings he met the needs of his disciples. He spent much for his household and gave an equal amount as alms to the poor. Moreover, every Friday he distributed twenty gold coins to the poor for his parents' souls. He did not stretch his legs towards his teacher Hammad's (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) house, though he lived at a distance of seven streets away. Once he found out that one of his partners had sold a large amount of goods incompatibly with Islam. He distributed all the ninety thousand aqchas earned to the poor, not taking one penny of it. After brigands had raided the villages of Kufa and had stolen sheep, he, thinking that these stolen sheep might be slaughtered and sold in the town, did not eat mutton for seven years, for he knew that a sheep lived seven years at the longest. He abstained from the haram to that degree. He observed Islam in his every action.

For forty years al-Imam al-azam (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) performed the morning prayer with the ablution he had made for the night prayer [that is, he did not sleep after the night prayer.] He performed hajj fifty-five times. During the last one, he went into the Kaba, performed a prayer of two rak'as and recited the whole Qur'an al-karim during the prayer. Then, weeping, he invoked, "O my Allahu ta'ala! I have not been able to worship Thee in a manner worthy of Thee. Yet I have understood very well that Thou cannot be comprehended through intelligence. For this understanding of mine, please forgive the defects in my service! At that moment a voice was heard, "O Abu Hanifa! You have acknowledged Me very well and have served Me beautifully. I have forgiven you and those who will be in your Madhhab and follow you until the end of the world." He read Qur'an al-karim from the beginning to the end once every day and once every night.

Al-Imam al-azam had so much taqwa that for thirty years he fasted every day [except the five days of a year on which it is haram to fast]. He often read the whole Qur'an al-karim in one rak'a or two. And sometimes, during salat or outside it, he read an ayat describing Heaven and Hell over and over again and sobbed and lamented.5 Those who heard him pitied him. Among the Umma of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), reciting the whole Qur'an al-karim in a single rak'a of salat fell to the lot of only 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, Tamim ad-Dari, Sad ibn Jubair and al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa. He did not accept any presents from anyone. He wore clothes like those of the poor. Yet at times, in order to exhibit the blessings of Allahu ta'ala, he wore very valuable clothes. He performed hajj fifty-five times and stayed in Mecca for several years. Only at the place where his soul was taken, he had read the whole Qur'an al-karim seven thousand times. He said, "I laughed once in my life, and I regret it." He talked little and thought much. He discussed some religious matters with his disciples. One night, while leaving the mosque immediately after performing the night prayer in jamaat, he began to talk with his disciple Zufar on some subject. One of his feet was inside the mosque and the other was outside. The conversation continued until the morning adhan. Then, without taking the other step out, he went back in for the morning prayer. Because Hazrat 'Ali (radi-Allahu 'anh) had said, "It is permissible to have a personal allowance of up to four thousand dirhams," he distributed to the poor what was more than four thousand dirhams of his earnings.

The Khalifa Mansur revered the Imam very much. He presented him ten thousand aqchas and a jariya. The Imam did not accept them. At that time one aqcha was worth one dirham of silver. In 145 A.H., Ibrahim ibn 'Abdullah ibn Hasan ibn 'Ali was recruiting men in order to help his brother Muhammad (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain), who had proclaimed himself the Khalifa in al-Madinat al-munawwara. When he came to Kufa, it was rumored that Abu Hanifa was helping him. Mansur heard this and had the Imam taken from Kufa to Baghdad. He told him to tell everybody that Mansur was rightfully the Khalifa. He offered him the presidency of the Supreme Court of Appeal as a recompense. He imposed on him very much. The Imam did not accept it. Mansur imprisoned him and had him thrashed with a stick thirty strokes. His blessed feet bled. Mansur repented and sent him thirty thousand aqchas, only to be refused again. He was imprisoned again and thrashed ten strokes more every day. [According to some report] on the eleventh day, for fear that the people might rebel, he was forced to lie down on his back and poisonous sherbet (a sweet fruit drink) was poured into his mouth. As he was about to die, he prostrated (sajda). Some fifty thousand people performed janaza salat for him. Because of the enormous crowd, it was performed with difficulty and finished not before the late afternoon prayer. For twenty days many people came to his tomb and performed janaza salat for him near his tomb.

He had seven hundred and thirty disciples. Each of them was famed for his virtue and pious deeds. Many of them became Qadis or Muftis. His son Hammad (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala alaih) was one of his notable disciples. Passages from the book Mirat-ul-kainat ends here.

They have been leaders guiding the ahl-i din,

rahmat-Allahi 'alaihim ajmain.

There were some disagreements between al-Imam al-azam and his disciples on the information that was to be deduced through ijtihad. The following hadith ash-Sharif declares that these disagreements were useful: "Disagreement (on the 'amal, practices) among my Umma is [Allahu ta'ala's] compassion." He feared Allahu ta'ala very much and was very careful in following Qur'an al-karim. He said to his disciples, "If you come across a document (sanad) inconsistent with my words on a subject, ignore my words and follow that document." All his disciples swore, "Even our words inconsistent with his words surely depend on a proof (dalil, sanad) we had heard from him."

Hanafi Muftis have to issue fatwas agreeable with what al-Imam al-azam said. If they cannot find his word, they should follow Imam Abu Yusuf. After him, Imam Muhammad should be followed. If the words of Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad are on one side and those of al-Imam al-azam on the other, a Mufti may issue a fatwa according to either side. When there is darura (a pressing difficulty), he may issue a fatwa suitable with the words of the mujtahid who showed the easiest way. He cannot issue a fatwa that does not depend on the words of any of the mujtahids; such an issue cannot be called a fatwa.

FOOTNOTES

1. It is explained in the second fascicle of Endless Bliss that a mawdu' hadith does not mean 'false, made-up hadith' in 'ilm al-usul al-hadith.

2. Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's two leading disciples were al-Imam Muhammad bin Mubarak al-Shaybani and Al-Imam Abu Yusuf al-Ansari (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim).

3. First published in India in 1264 (1848 A.D.); reprinted in Persian in Istanbul in 1401 (1981 A.D.).

4. Saif al-muqallidin 'ala a'naqi 'l-munkirin.

5. Crying out of love for Allah ta'ala in salat does not break the salat in the Hanafi Madhhab.

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:33 PM

Everyone must know that he is a Persian. Thanks for Topic.
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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:57 AM

Ahhangare gerami, what are your own thoughts on that? Did you have any other specific views by sharing this information, or was it just a random share info?

Thanks,



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Posted 12 June 2008 - 04:36 AM

[QUOTE=PORS;10177]Ahhangare gerami, what are your own thoughts on that? Did you have any other specific views by sharing this information, or was it just a random share info?

Thanks,



Pors.[/QUOTE]

Dear PORS e mohtaram,

Thank you for the prompt.

Initially my aim was purely informational.

I find that alot of us whom profess to be Sunni Hanafi - or were at one time and now dont really follow anything - do not have any real knowledge of the founder of the school of Hanafism.

Abu Hanifa was a very progressive person from what I gather - he favored reason and logical derivation of laws from the principles within the Quran as opposed to Hadiths. This intensional refusal to rely on Hadiths - many of which are impossible to determine as being genuine and thus having great potential for misleading people - allowed him great freedom for the use of REASON.

I believe the original spirit of Hanafism has been lost somewhat and that its name is misused in todays world. There are many movements that use methods and approve of laws and edicts which are totally against REASON - and yet it is called HANAFI SUNNI - prime example being the TALIBAN.

I am quite new to this topic - but am investigating. I feel it is important to find the truth of it in order to counter those whom use religion to destroy our culture and language.

So - what do you know about Hanfasim - and also - what are views on REFORM and MODERNISATION amongst Muslims - especially PERSIAN ones ?

Ahhangar
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Posted 12 June 2008 - 04:42 AM

Abu Hanifa (699-767), a leader of one of the four chief Sunni sect, was a prominent religious schlar. But even he faced serious criticism when he suggested that the Persian language was as legitimate for prayer as the Arabic language:

"...one of the disagreements is very important in terms of religious politics. The official language of worship in Islam is Arabic. All of the tasks of worship are carried out with the language of the Koran. Now of a person is unable to speak Arabic, is he able to recite the fatiha and such prayers in his mother tongue? And Abu Hanifa, who was of the Iranian race, was the person who counted this permissible. His reason was that 'The Koran had been revealed in earlier books...which were presumably in a language other than Arabic. Therefore non-Arabs have the right to consider them Korans.' Abu Hanifa's enemies accused him of Zoroastrian inclinations because he had made this unprecedented statement about the Persian language."

The above is taken from - Ignac Goldizher, 'Vorlesugen uber den Islam', 1925.

To spread and popularize Arabic, counterfeit Prophetic Traditions were even created. A Tradition of Abu Horayra has it that God is fed up with Persian speech, the language of devils of Khuzistan and the helldwellers of Bokhara, and that the language of heaven is Arabic. In contrast, another Prophetic Tradition (presumably from an Iranian) claimed that Persian and Arabic are both residents of heaven.

Note: The English language version of Ignac Goldizher, 'Vorlesugen uber den Islam', 1925 is available for PREVIEW on GOOGLE BOOKS.





What do you guys think of promoting the use of the PERSIAN language in prayers by PERSIAN speakers? And also PERSIAN versions of the QURAN ?


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Posted 12 June 2008 - 05:30 AM

Ahhangare gerami,

With all respect to you and to my other Persian brothers who follow Islam, I think having Persian version of Quran as a common book, is okay. However, to regard it as a main source of spiritual motivation and many other things along, as it regarded in modern Arab states and even lovely Iran and Khorasan, I think it would be not that good idea. Why not personal philosophy or spiritual education on rational thoughts and common sense? That would be great, wouldn't be it?

Ba arj e besyar,



Pors.

Quote

What do you guys think of promoting the use of the PERSIAN language in prayers by PERSIAN speakers? And also PERSIAN versions of the QURAN ? Ahhangar

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 05:44 AM

[QUOTE=PORS;10191]Ahhangare gerami,

With all respect to you and to my other Persian brothers who follow Islam, I think having Persian version of Quran as a common book, is okay. However, to regard it as a main source of spiritual motivation and many other things along, as it regarded in modern Arab states and even lovely Iran and Khorasan, I think it would be not that good idea. Why not personal philosophy or spiritual education on rational thoughts and common sense? That would be great, wouldn't be it?

Ba arj e besyar,



Pors.[/QUOTE]

PORS e Aziz,

I believe in SECULAR DEMOCRACY. I live in one and appreciate the fact that no one or no law dictates what I should believe in. In the west it is commonly acknowledged that the laws have a distant relationship and derivation from the Judo-Chritano faiths.

But this debate is not about the role of religion - be it Hanafism or otherwise in the running of the state.

It is more about way of countering the influence of those whom use the Religion to thwart human intellect and progress.

A simple way to counter many of the nonsensical things believed in rural Persian areas is to make the Quran accessible in Persian format - so that the things which the users of Islam would claim in its name could be easier distinguish from the actual notions of the Quran.

Thank you for your view nonetheless

Ahhangar
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Posted 12 June 2008 - 05:53 AM

Honestly, I might don't know much about Sunni Hanafi as you do, brother, Ahhangare gerami, yet I think it is important for all of us to know our past whether it was victorious or failure some. About Hanafi Sunni followers, I do agree with you that it is not comprehensively understood correctly by many people, including some of its followers too.

Yet, I always respect and value the philosophy and wisdom left by such a great man whose origins was Persian, as Pur (Abu) Hanifa. One the bad side of it, I know it is misunderstood by many and misinterpreted by some radicals, however, on the good side of it, I know it embodies true meanings of human reason, morality and more is quite liberal as well.

Suffice to say that it should be understood right and other rational thoughts, than human reasoning, should also be enlightened and learned by many of us, including me.


Pors.

[QUOTE=Ahhangar;10188]Dear PORS e mohtaram,

Thank you for the prompt.

Initially my aim was purely informational.

I find that alot of us whom profess to be Sunni Hanafi - or were at one time and now dont really follow anything - do not have any real knowledge of the founder of the school of Hanafism.

Abu Hanifa was a very progressive person from what I gather - he favored reason and logical derivation of laws from the principles within the Quran as opposed to Hadiths. This intensional refusal to rely on Hadiths - many of which are impossible to determine as being genuine and thus having great potential for misleading people - allowed him great freedom for the use of REASON.

I believe the original spirit of Hanafism has been lost somewhat and that its name is misused in todays world. There are many movements that use methods and approve of laws and edicts which are totally against REASON - and yet it is called HANAFI SUNNI - prime example being the TALIBAN.

I am quite new to this topic - but am investigating. I feel it is important to find the truth of it in order to counter those whom use religion to destroy our culture and language.

So - what do you know about Hanfasim - and also - what are views on REFORM and MODERNISATION amongst Muslims - especially PERSIAN ones ?

Ahhangar[/QUOTE]
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Posted 12 June 2008 - 06:02 AM

Ahhangar jan,

Just one question out of curiosity, why Quran? Why not Avesta or some other spiritual and philosophical or rational book(s)? Your elaboration would be greatly appreciated.

Besyar seepas barae shoma,




Pors.

[QUOTE=Ahhangar;10192]PORS e Aziz,

I believe in SECULAR DEMOCRACY. I live in one and appreciate the fact that no one or no law dictates what I should believe in. In the west it is commonly acknowledged that the laws have a distant relationship and derivation from the Judo-Chritano faiths.

But this debate is not about the role of religion - be it Hanafism or otherwise in the running of the state.

It is more about way of countering the influence of those whom use the Religion to thwart human intellect and progress.

A simple way to counter many of the nonsensical things believed in rural Persian areas is to make the Quran accessible in Persian format - so that the things which the users of Islam would claim in its name could be easier distinguish from the actual notions of the Quran.

Thank you for your view nonetheless

Ahhangar[/QUOTE]
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Posted 12 June 2008 - 08:21 PM

[QUOTE=PORS;10196]Ahhangar jan,

Just one question out of curiosity, why Quran? Why not Avesta or some other spiritual and philosophical or rational book(s)? Your elaboration would be greatly appreciated.

Besyar seepas barae shoma,


Pors.[/QUOTE]

Pors e Aziz,

Thank you for the reply.

You ask a good question - why the QURAN? Why Not the Quran? Or why just the QURAN? We should inform ourselves on all "spiritual and philosophical or rational books".

My insistence here on the QURAN is not a rejection of the other works - it is more about getting those whom profess to be Muslims (people whom accept the Quran) to actually get the meaning of the Quran - and to help them to move away from the harmful things they believe in the name of ISLAM. Many Hadiths are fakes and have lead to the misleading of our Muslim peoples - away from Quranic principles.

So in that line of thinking I think it a good thing for those whom come from Islamic Hanafi background to actually know about Abu Hanifa and his school of thought. It will help them to guard from practices and beliefs that have nothing to do with the Hanafi school of thought - but is named as Hanafi Sunni.

Many of the problems that occur in our region are because of movements that profess to be Hanafi Sunni and yet are anything but - the reason they gain followers is because the people do not have correct knowledge about Hanafi Sunnism.

This should apply to all schools of thought - people whom profess to believe in something - they ought to be properly informed about it in the first place.


I put up the idea expressed by Abu Hanifa of the permitting of use of languages other than Arabic in the practice of ISLAM - this is something which impressed me - as it did the scholar Ignac Goldizher.

Here we can point to the fact that Arab chovanists did not permit the use of other languages other than Arabic for political reasons - not faith reason - and they used fake Hadiths to push their agenda.

Read this page from the book by Ignac Goldizher

And this passage from the book Iranian Nationality and the Persian Language

Quote

Abu Hanifa (699-767), a leader of one of the four chief Sunni sect, was a prominent religious schlar. But even he faced serious criticism when he suggested that the Persian language was as legitimate for prayer as the Arabic language:"...one of the disagreements is very important in terms of religious politics. The official language of worship in Islam is Arabic. All of the tasks of worship are carried out with the language of the Koran. Now of a person is unable to speak Arabic, is he able to recite the fatiha and such prayers in his mother tongue? And Abu Hanifa, who was of the Iranian race, was the person who counted this permissible. His reason was that 'The Koran had been revealed in earlier books...which were presumably in a language other than Arabic. Therefore non-Arabs have the right to consider them Korans.' Abu Hanifa's enemies accused him of Zoroastrian inclinations because he had made this unprecedented statement about the Persian language."(The above is cited from - Ignac Goldizher, 'Vorlesugen uber den Islam', 1925.)To spread and popularize Arabic, counterfeit Prophetic Traditions were even created. A Tradition of Abu Horayra has it that God is fed up with Persian speech, the language of devils of Khuzistan and the helldwellers of Bokhara, and that the language of heaven is Arabic. In contrast, another Prophetic Tradition (presumably from an Iranian) claimed that Persian and Arabic are both residents of heaven.



What do you think of this progressive idea of Abu Hanifa with regard to the use of Persian by Persian speakers in faiths? For us from Afghanistan this is an idea that would break many taboos and smash the powers of the corrupt mullahs whom mislead the people.


Ahhangar
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Posted 12 June 2008 - 10:06 PM

Ahhangar e arjmand,

First, it reminds me of Martin Luther of German who introduced the idea of following and preaching Christianity in their own language and his Protestant Reformation movement.

Secondly, now it's clear what you are saying regarding Hanafi and Abu Hanifa. You intentions are fostering true meaning of Quran and to help to move away from the harmful things they, followers, believe in the name of Islam and also to clear out some Hadiths that are fakes and misleading. That's very good and I have no problem with that. Yet, I wonder why not providing some other insights other than Quran, so people can actually think for themselves and come with their own meaning and interpreting who they are?

It's understandable for me that you try to clear out misuse and misleading idea about Hanafi, for which I am not against or for, yet I hope people will hear all options before making decision or others making decisions for them. I hope people will regard this as a wisdom and philosophical thought and be proud of our past, yet it will be better not to regard them as fundamental essence of their beliefs. This or the other, I don't have or had any intentions to be disrespectful to anyone's religious beliefs or interpretations. Thank you in advance for understanding it right. :)


Ba seepas,



Pors.

[QUOTE=Ahhangar;10225]Pors e Aziz,

Thank you for the reply.

You ask a good question - why the QURAN? Why Not the Quran? Or why just the QURAN? We should inform ourselves on all "spiritual and philosophical or rational books".

My insistence here on the QURAN is not a rejection of the other works - it is more about getting those whom profess to be Muslims (people whom accept the Quran) to actually get the meaning of the Quran - and to help them to move away from the harmful things they believe in the name of ISLAM. Many Hadiths are fakes and have lead to the misleading of our Muslim peoples - away from Quranic principles.

So in that line of thinking I think it a good thing for those whom come from Islamic Hanafi background to actually know about Abu Hanifa and his school of thought. It will help them to guard from practices and beliefs that have nothing to do with the Hanafi school of thought - but is named as Hanafi Sunni.

Many of the problems that occur in our region are because of movements that profess to be Hanafi Sunni and yet are anything but - the reason they gain followers is because the people do not have correct knowledge about Hanafi Sunnism.

This should apply to all schools of thought - people whom profess to believe in something - they ought to be properly informed about it in the first place.


I put up the idea expressed by Abu Hanifa of the permitting of use of languages other than Arabic in the practice of ISLAM - this is something which impressed me - as it did the scholar Ignac Goldizher.

Here we can point to the fact that Arab chovanists did not permit the use of other languages other than Arabic for political reasons - not faith reason - and they used fake Hadiths to push their agenda.

Read this page from the book by Ignac Goldizher

And this passage from the book Iranian Nationality and the Persian Language




What do you think of this progressive idea of Abu Hanifa with regard to the use of Persian by Persian speakers in faiths? For us from Afghanistan this is an idea that would break many taboos and smash the powers of the corrupt mullahs whom mislead the people.


Ahhangar[/QUOTE]
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Posted 12 June 2008 - 11:15 PM

[QUOTE=PORS;10232]Ahhangar e arjmand,

First, it reminds me of Martin Luther of German who introduced the idea of following and preaching Christianity in their own language and his Protestant Reformation movement.

Secondly, now it's clear what you are saying regarding Hanafi and Abu Hanifa. You intentions are fostering true meaning of Quran and to help to move away from the harmful things they, followers, believe in the name of Islam and also to clear out some Hadiths that are fakes and misleading. That's very good and I have no problem with that. Yet, I wonder why not providing some other insights other than Quran, so people can actually think for themselves and come with their own meaning and interpreting who they are?

It's understandable for me that you try to clear out misuse and misleading idea about Hanafi, for which I am not against or for, yet I hope people will hear all options before making decision or others making decisions for them. I hope people will regard this as a wisdom and philosophical thought and be proud of our past, yet it will be better not to regard them as fundamental essence of their beliefs. This or the other, I don't have or had any intentions to be disrespectful to anyone's religious beliefs or interpretations. Thank you in advance for understanding it right. :)


Ba seepas,



Pors.[/QUOTE]

Dear PORS e GERAMI,

Thanks again for your sincere reply. I appreciate it very much.

I share with you the idea that people ought to have access to all knowledge. What is important is for them to have the thinking tools required for digesting that knowledge and synthesizing it. This is the ultimate aim of education - to teach us CRITICAL THINKING - and as long as a significant majority and influential people within a society are CRITICAL THINKERS - then that society will be culturally healthy.

In Afghanistan - Pakistan and to some extent in central Asia the exploitation of the lack of theological knowledge on the part of the population has led to much devastation and destruction. To counter these harmful influences - one requires the ability to DISCREDIT those whom propagate such harmful views - and in the context of religious beliefs - it is best to show how they are wrong on a religious basis. If one takes the line that the only way to remove the ISLAMISTS is to make it harder for the followers of Islam to practice their faith - or to attempt to label Islam as bad - then all that will be achieved will be the driving away of the population and giving credibility to the ISLAMISTS.

Basically - what I am saying is that to discredit a movement with beliefs like the Taliban - one should use ISLAM to counter them - use their own tool against them - as opposed to trying to attack ISLAM and unwittingly drive even more people into the arms of the ISLAMISTS.

I have seen the tragedies that have resulted from mistaken policies in our area - especially in Afghanistan - and I feel it is a must that better policies are thought of and adopted.

-----

I want to just repeat how I was impressed with Abu Hanifa's stance on the use of languages other than Arabic - and am convinced by Ignac Goldizher's comment that it can potentially have wide implications for the Islamic world. Every single practicing Hanafi Muslim I know that I have mentioned this to - said that they were not aware of it - simply due to lack of knowledge.

The more I investigate Abu Hanifa's system of thought - the more I see how much more reasonable he was than the present 'Mullahs' whom profess to follow the Hanafi creed. And yes it much like the reformation line of thought of Martin Luther - whom was sickened by the organized Catholicism church and wanted reason to prevail. The reformation was a very positive thing as you are no doubt aware in the renaissance of Europe.

Thanks again for engaging in this talk.

Ahhangar
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Posted 13 June 2008 - 07:02 AM

Ahhangar e Gerami:

I would also like to thank you for your post and contribution. Yet, there are lots of things we have to discuss. ;) I will start with commenting and questioning bold sentences in your original post.

First, I think too much emphasis and profession on theological knowledge has led majority of population to devastation and destruction. However, I have no doubt that you might be also right, it might also include lack of theological knowledge in these regions. People just don't know what they believe in. I had countless experiences when two wholeheartedly followers of religion argued that their god said this or that. They just interpret it as they were told to or maybe sometimes with some nuances in it, to make it attractive. My point is that, they could do better by gaining and developing personal philosophy and nurture their spiritual aspirations by reading some of our great thinkers like Roudaki, Ferdowsi, Khayyam, Sina, Ganjavi and many others along. They have much more philosophy and wisdom in their works than any religions might have. These philosophies, wisdoms, precepts and insights give people inspiration about this life and help them to build futures, not to destruct it.

Secondly, I would go further and suggest to discredit everything on it, except some spiritual wisdoms that it might contain. If you discredit everything, then no worries about fighting about true meaning in it and destruction will perish. No need to fight Islamists or radicals or whoever hold and enforces that idea. You just have it in your mind and use it for your own spiritual prosperity.

Thirdly, it seems to me like "never-ending fight amongst". I wish people were busy with productivity and making community safer and our nation better place to live. When people economically busy then they have healthier minds and better lives. As regarding for "religion" I think it's a personal thing to anybody, however, to see our lovely nation trapped by these nonsense policies based on nothing other than big lies and non-productivity, is sad.

Lastly, I am glad to see you pleased and welcomed human reasoning in Pur Hanafa and his ideas. I hope more people will lean toward its philosophical understanding and reasoning and in this regard I wish you good luck.

One thing must be mentioned and it is that in Martin Luther's case, he didn't even know and imagine that it will create a movement which will later be Protestant branch of Christianity. The major cause for Luther's disagreement was that the Roman Catholic church was completely corrupt and popes made big money out of that. Now, in our case, it's not about corruption of money, since our poor people don't have money, it's more about corruption of mind and maybe unborn intelligence which they want desperately.

Ahhangar e arjmand, I hope my post did not hurt you in any way. I was just open with you. I appreciate yours and all others' time and efforts to contribute to this forum. Hope it will breed some fruits.

Ba seepas,



Pors.

[QUOTE=Ahhangar;10236]Dear PORS e GERAMI,
In Afghanistan - Pakistan and to some extent in central Asia the exploitation of the lack of theological knowledge on the part of the population has led to much devastation and destruction. To counter these harmful influences - one requires the ability to DISCREDIT those whom propagate such harmful views - and in the context of religious beliefs - it is best to show how they are wrong on a religious basis. If one takes the line that the only way to remove the ISLAMISTS is to make it harder for the followers of Islam to practice their faith - or to attempt to label Islam as bad - then all that will be achieved will be the driving away of the population and giving credibility to the ISLAMISTS.

Basically - what I am saying is that to discredit a movement with beliefs like the Taliban - one should use ISLAM to counter them - use their own tool against them - as opposed to trying to attack ISLAM and unwittingly drive even more people into the arms of the ISLAMISTS.

I have seen the tragedies that have resulted from mistaken policies in our area - especially in Afghanistan - and I feel it is a must that better policies are thought of and adopted.

-----

I want to just repeat how I was impressed with Abu Hanifa's stance on the use of languages other than Arabic - and am convinced by Ignac Goldizher's comment that it can potentially have wide implications for the Islamic world. Every single practicing Hanafi Muslim I know that I have mentioned this to - said that they were not aware of it - simply due to lack of knowledge.

The more I investigate Abu Hanifa's system of thought - the more I see how much more reasonable he was than the present 'Mullahs' whom profess to follow the Hanafi creed. And yes it much like the reformation line of thought of Martin Luther - whom was sickened by the organized Catholicism church and wanted reason to prevail. The reformation was a very positive thing as you are no doubt aware in the renaissance of Europe.

Thanks again for engaging in this talk.

Ahhangar[/QUOTE]
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Posted 14 June 2008 - 09:15 PM

[QUOTE=PORS;10245]Ahhangar e Gerami:

I would also like to thank you for your post and contribution. Yet, there are lots of things we have to discuss. ;) I will start with commenting and questioning bold sentences in your original post.

First, I think too much emphasis and profession on theological knowledge has led majority of population to devastation and destruction. However, I have no doubt that you might be also right, it might also include lack of theological knowledge in these regions. People just don't know what they believe in. I had countless experiences when two wholeheartedly followers of religion argued that their god said this or that. They just interpret it as they were told to or maybe sometimes with some nuances in it, to make it attractive. My point is that, they could do better by gaining and developing personal philosophy and nurture their spiritual aspirations by reading some of our great thinkers like Roudaki, Ferdowsi, Khayyam, Sina, Ganjavi and many others along. They have much more philosophy and wisdom in their works than any religions might have. These philosophies, wisdoms, precepts and insights give people inspiration about this life and help them to build futures, not to destruct it.

Secondly, I would go further and suggest to discredit everything on it, except some spiritual wisdoms that it might contain. If you discredit everything, then no worries about fighting about true meaning in it and destruction will perish. No need to fight Islamists or radicals or whoever hold and enforces that idea. You just have it in your mind and use it for your own spiritual prosperity.

Thirdly, it seems to me like "never-ending fight amongst". I wish people were busy with productivity and making community safer and our nation better place to live. When people economically busy then they have healthier minds and better lives. As regarding for "religion" I think it's a personal thing to anybody, however, to see our lovely nation trapped by these nonsense policies based on nothing other than big lies and non-productivity, is sad.

Lastly, I am glad to see you pleased and welcomed human reasoning in Pur Hanafa and his ideas. I hope more people will lean toward its philosophical understanding and reasoning and in this regard I wish you good luck.

One thing must be mentioned and it is that in Martin Luther's case, he didn't even know and imagine that it will create a movement which will later be Protestant branch of Christianity. The major cause for Luther's disagreement was that the Roman Catholic church was completely corrupt and popes made big money out of that. Now, in our case, it's not about corruption of money, since our poor people don't have money, it's more about corruption of mind and maybe unborn intelligence which they want desperately.

Ahhangar e arjmand, I hope my post did not hurt you in any way. I was just open with you. I appreciate yours and all others' time and efforts to contribute to this forum. Hope it will breed some fruits.

Ba seepas,



Pors.[/QUOTE]

Dear PORS e GERAMI,

This is not a discussion about the role of faith - whether it should be state sponsored or personal - so please do not go there - even though I have more than confirmed the idea of a secular democracy with faith being personal.

This discussion is on Abu (Por) Hanifa and his unprecedented approach towards the application of REASON to Quranic principles - namely his proposal for the use of Persian by Persian speakers in prayers. This is of great significance for people whom are part of the Hanafi madzhab - but they do not know about it and to those whom want to PROTECT the dignity of the Persian language.

People whom are by name Hanafis generally know very little about Hanafism properly - they are constantly mislead by movements that call themselves Hanafite - but are infact against Hanafite reasoning - e.g. Taliban and other modern Islamist movements.

This is not a discussion about what is good for people in general like recommendations for philosophy and the like - it is simply about getting people whom say they are Hanafis (the vast majority of Persians of Khorasan) to know about the system of thought of Abu Hanifa.

You should be happy to have found out such information about Abu Hanifa as should all Persians. If you think it is of insignificance to yourself - that is fine - but to many Tajiks - for whom Islam is very important - it will be very significant.

Lets discuss what the implications of it could be.

Ahhangar
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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:59 PM

[quote=Ahhangar;10189]Abu Hanifa (699-767), a leader of one of the four chief Sunni sect, was a prominent religious schlar. But even he faced serious criticism when he suggested that the Persian language was as legitimate for prayer as the Arabic language:

"...one of the disagreements is very important in terms of religious politics. The official language of worship in Islam is Arabic. All of the tasks of worship are carried out with the language of the Koran. Now of a person is unable to speak Arabic, is he able to recite the fatiha and such prayers in his mother tongue? And Abu Hanifa, who was of the Iranian race, was the person who counted this permissible. His reason was that 'The Koran had been revealed in earlier books...which were presumably in a language other than Arabic. Therefore non-Arabs have the right to consider them Korans.' Abu Hanifa's enemies accused him of Zoroastrian inclinations because he had made this unprecedented statement about the Persian language."

The above is taken from - Ignac Goldizher, 'Vorlesugen uber den Islam', 1925.

To spread and popularize Arabic, counterfeit Prophetic Traditions were even created. A Tradition of Abu Horayra has it that God is fed up with Persian speech, the language of devils of Khuzistan and the helldwellers of Bokhara, and that the language of heaven is Arabic. In contrast, another Prophetic Tradition (presumably from an Iranian) claimed that Persian and Arabic are both residents of heaven.

Note: The English language version of Ignac Goldizher, 'Vorlesugen uber den Islam', 1925 is available for PREVIEW on GOOGLE BOOKS.





What do you guys think of promoting the use of the PERSIAN language in prayers by PERSIAN speakers? And also PERSIAN versions of the QURAN ?


Ahhangar[/quote]

Do you have any Arabic or Persian sources that can back this claim up. I was debating with a Hanafi Sunni the other day and I told him this and he said this is fabricated.
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Posted 18 June 2008 - 04:44 AM

Gul Agha e gerami,

What did he say instead? That's very interesting... :)


Pors.

[QUOTE=Gul agha;10380]Do you have any Arabic or Persian sources that can back this claim up. I was debating with a Hanafi Sunni the other day and I told him this and he said this is fabricated.[/QUOTE]
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Posted 18 June 2008 - 10:47 AM

[QUOTE=Gul agha;10380]Do you have any Arabic or Persian sources that can back this claim up. I was debating with a Hanafi Sunni the other day and I told him this and he said this is fabricated.[/QUOTE]

When you say provide a Persian or Arabic source - for what do mean - do you mean the whole article? Or a reference from a Hanafi text that confirms the view of the accomplished scholar Ignac Goldizher? I have the Persian version of the above article - yes - but I have not looked for a Persian source Hanafi text to independently confirms it. I have just started research into this area - maybe I will come across it soon.

Ignac Goldizher (Goldziher) is an as an accomplished scholar whose works is valued by many scholars and used often as a reference by them - so I hardly think he would be biased or not see past fallacies.

Having said I totally understand the need to provide original documents in order to help spread the word about this idea of Abu Hanifa and to discredit the filth spread by the Hadiths of Abu Huryara - and to that end I will endeveor to find the required primary sources.

I will find it.

Here are some other works attributed to the author - for an insight into his scholarship :

[ 1 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Z?a?hiri?s : their doctrine and their history : a contribution to the history of Islamic theology / by Ignaz Goldziher ; translated and edited by Wolfgang Behn ; with an introduction by Camilla Adang. 2008

[ 2 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Schools of Koranic commentators / Ignaz Goldziher ; with an introduction on Goldziher and hadith from "Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums" by Fuat Sezgin ; edited and translated by Wolfgang H. Behn. 2006

[ 3 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Ign?ac, 1850-1921. Muslim studies / Ignaz Goldziher ; edited by S.M. Stern ; translated by C.R. Barber and S.M. Stern ; with a major new introduction by Hamid Dabashi. 2006

[ 4 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher Memorial Conference (2000 : Budapest, Hungary) Goldziher memorial conference : June 21-22, 2000, Budapest, Oriental Collection, Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences / edited by E?va Apor and Istva?n Ormos. 2005

[ 5 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Machen Sie doch unseren Islam nicht gar zu schlecht : der Briefwechsel der Islamwissenschaftler Ignaz Goldziher und Martin Hartmann, 1894-1914 / herausgegeben und kommentiert von Ludmila Hanisch. 2000

[ 6 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Arabok e?s az Iszla?m : va?logatott tanulma?nyok / Goldziher Igna?c ; [szerkesztette, Ormos Istva?n] = The Arabs and Islam : selected studies / Goldziher Igna?c ; [edited by Ormos Istva?n]. 1995

[ 7 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. On the history of grammar among the Arabs : an essay in literary history / Ignaz Goldziher ; translated and edited by Kinga De?ve?nyi, Tama?s Iva?nyi. 1994

[ 8 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Ignaz Goldziher and his Oriental diary : a translation and psychological portrait / Raphael Patai. 1987

[ 9 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Az iszla?m kultu?ra?ja : mu?velo?de?sto?rte?neti tanulma?nyok / Goldziher Igna?c ; [va?logatta, szerkesztette, a bevezeto? tanulma?nyokat e?s a jegyzeteket i?rta, a fordi?ta?sokat elleno?rizte Simon Ro?bert ; az e?letrajzot i?rta e?s 1981

[ 10 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Introduction to Islamic theology and law / by Ignaz Goldziher ; translated by Andras and Ruth Hamori ; with an introd. and additional notes by Bernard Lewis. 1981

[ 11 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Geschichte von Sul und Schumul : unbekannte Erza?hlung aus Tausend und einer Nacht : arabischer Text, herausgegeben nach dem Tu?binger Unikum und ins Deutsche u?bersetzt / Christian F. Seybold ; nebst Geschichte von Sul und Schumul, Anzeige von Ignaz G 1981

[ 12 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Smith, W. Robertson (William Robertson), 1846-1894. Kinship & marriage in early Arabia / by W. Robertson Smith ; with additional notes by the author and by Ignaz Goldziher ; edited by Stanley A. Cook. 1979

[ 13 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Tagebuch / Ignaz Goldziher ; hrsg. von Alexander Scheiber. 1978

[ 14 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Muslim studies. Edited by S. M. Stern. Translated from the German by C. R. Barber and S. M. Stern. 1973

[ 15 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Dogme et la loi de l'islam : histoire du de?veloppement dogmatique et juridique de la religion musulmane / I. Goldziher ; traduction de Fe?lix Arin. 1973

[ 16 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Z?a?hiri?s : their doctrine and their history : a contribution to the history of Islamic theology / by Ignaz Goldziher ; translated and edited by Wolfgang Behn. 1971

[ 17 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Die Richtungen der islamischen Koranauslegung, an der Universita?t Upsala gehaltene Olaus-Petri-Vorlesungen von Ignaz Goldziher. 2. photomechanischer Nachdruck. 1970

[ 18 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Muslim studies (Muhammedanische Studien); edited by S. M. Stern, translated from the German by C. R. Barber and S. M. Stern. 1968

[ 19 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Z?a?hiriten : Ihr Lehrsystem und ihre Geschichte : ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der muhammedanischen Theologie / Ignaz Goldziher. 1967

[ 20 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Gesammelte Schriften. Hrsg. von Joseph Desomogyi. 1967

[ 21 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Mythology among the Hebrews and its historical development. Translated from the German, with additions by the author, by Russell Martineau. 1967

[ 22 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Short history of classical Arabic literature. Translated, rev. and enl. by Joseph Desomogyi. 1966

[ 23 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. ?Aqi?dah wa-al-shari??ah fi? al-Isla?m. 1964

[ 24 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. E?tudes islamologiques d'Ignaz Goldziher; traduction analytique par G.-H. Bousquet. 1962

[ 25 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Muhammedanische Studien, von Ignaz Goldziher. 1961

[ 26 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Madha?hib al-tafsi?r al-Isla?mi?. 1955

[ 27 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. E?tudes sur la tradition islamique: extraites du tome II des Muhammedanische Studien. Traduites par Le?on Bercher. 1952

[ 28 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Kitsur toldot ha-sifrut ha-?Aravit. Tirgem mi-Kro?atit, Pesah? Shin?ar. 1952

[ 29 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Hartsa?ot ?al ha-Islam / ba-?arikhato ha-mada?it shel Me?ir Flesner ; be-tseruf he?arot v?e-hak?damat ha-metargem [Y.Y. Rivlin] v?e-ah?arit davar me-et ha-mahadir. 1951

[ 30 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Aqi?dah wa-al-shari??ah fi? al-Isla?m. 1946

[ 31 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Madha?hib al-Isla?mi?yah. 1944

[ 32 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Kul?t svi?*a?tykh v islame. 1938

[ 33 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Nariman, Gushtaspshah Kaikhushro, d. 1933. [from old catalog] Persia & Parsis 1925

[ 34 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Richtungen der islamischen Koranauslegung. An der Universita?t Upsala gehaltene Olaus-Petri-Vorlesungen, von Ignaz Goldziher. 1920

[ 35 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Dogme et la loi de l'Islam; histoire du de?veloppement dogmatique et jurisdique de la religion musulmane, 1920

[ 36 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Mohammed and Islam, 1917

[ 37 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Ghazza?li?, 1058-1111. Streitschrift des Gaza?li? gegen die Ba?tt?inijja-sekte, 1916

[ 38 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Tiele, Cornelis Petrus, 1830-1902. [from old catalog] Religion of the Iranian peoples (from the German) 1912

[ 39 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Kora?nmagyarana?s kilinfe?le iranyairo?l. 1912

[ 40 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Buddhismus hata?sa az Iszla?mra ... 1903

[ 41 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Ibn Tu?mart, Muh?ammad, d. ca. 1130. Livre de Mohammed ibn Toumert, mahdi des Almohades; texte arabe, accompagne? de notices biographiques et d'une introd. par I. Goldziher. 1903

[ 42 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Abhandlungen zur arabischen Philologie. 1896

[ 43 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Muhammedanische studien, von Ignaz Goldziher. 1888

[ 44 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Z?a?hiriten : ihr Lehrsystem und ihre Geschichte : Beitrag zur Geschichte der muhammedanischen Theologie / von Ignaz Goldziher. 1884

[ 45 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Mythology among the Hebrews and its historical development, by Ignaz Goldziher. Translated from the German, with additions by the author, by Russell Martineau. 1877

[ 46 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Mythos bei den Hebra?ern und seine geschichtliche entwickelung. 1876

[ 47 ] , 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Studien u?ber Tanchu?m Jeru?schalmi / von Ignaz Goldziher. 1870

[ 48 ] Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Goldziher, Igna?c, 1850-1921. Studien uber Tancnum Jeruschalme 1870



So if the Princeton professor Bernard Lewis is more than happy to associate his name with Goldziher, Igna?c - who is any misinformed person to call it a fabrication - what proof does he have that it is a fabrication? Hadiths of Abu Hurayra will not do - and nor will slanders arising from the stupid animosity between misinformed Shias & Sunnis will do.

Ahhangar
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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:02 PM

[Gul Agha - here is an academic paper by a Harvard University scholar attesting to the fact that indeed Abu Hanifa was of the opinion that Persian was permissible - he does not cite Goldizher on this - he uses many other texts.]

Is The Qur'an Translatable?
Early Muslim Opinion (Upto 5th Century A.H)

A.L. Tibawi - Harvard University


Source: http://answering-isl...table/koran.htm
I

Every translation of the Qur'an proclaims its own inadequacy. For it must necessarily include those verses which are clear in their emphasis that the Word of God was revealed to Muhammad in the Arabic tongue. "Verily, We have made it an Arabic Qur'an, haply ye will comprehend it."1 Every translation in any language, classical or modern, foreign or Islamic, includes a score or so verses in different chapters which enshrine the same or similar pronouncement.1 Their total import is that any translation, like any commentary in Arabic or in any other language, is no more than an approximation of the meaning of the Qur'an, but not the Qur'an itself.

Our examination of the subject starts from this point. We live to discuss questions at once historical, juristically, theological and rhetorical. Some of these questions were raised, in a preliminary form, even in the days of the Prophet and his immediate successors. But their formulation and development came with the jurists, traditionalists, commentators, theologians and philologists later on. As regards the days of the Prophet, there are certain reports of a historical nature which deserve to be considered first. But since some of them do not occur in the early sources, the historian who considers also their content may be tempted to question their authenticity.

The belief that the Qur'an is a literal transcript of the Word of God from a safely preserved tablet (lauh mahfuz) in heaven revealed to Muhammad in Arabic must be squared with the other belief that Muhammad's mission is to mankind as a whole and not only to the Arabs. How in practice did the Prophet or his immediate successors face the problem - if or when they had to face it - of preaching the divine message to those non-Arabs who were unable to comprehend it in Arabic? Historically the problem did not become very pressing till the Muslim conquerors came in close contact with non-Arabs, notably Persians, after the death of Muhammad.

There is, however, a report which raises the issue during his lifetime. Two versions of this report are available. The first is that some of the people of Persia asked Salman al-Farisi to write to them something of the Qur'an, and he wrote to them the Fatihah in Persian.3

The second version is that "the people of Persia wrote to Salman al-Farisi4 to write to them the Fatihah in Persian, which he did; and they used to recite it in prayer until their tongues became used to it."5 According to this second version Salman "submitted what he had done to the Prophet, and he did not disapprove of it."6

Here are the two questions round which a major controversy arose in the early centuries of Islam: (a) Is it permissible to translate the Arabic Qur'an into another tongue? ( B) Is it lawful to recite the translated Qur'an in prayer?

It is quite easy to find arguments against the authenticity of the Salman report, particularly its second version. A historian will be quick to detect technical reasons, based both on internal as well as external evidence, to reject it altogether. Some jurists will not be far behind the historian in their protests. They may say that if, as it is claimed, the Prophet had approved reciting the Fatihah in Persian in prayer the problem is settled. But there is no reliable evidence that he did. Apart, however, from the question of reciting a translated Qur'an in prayer, there seems nothing in the report, whether authentic or not, which does not agree with Muhammad's known attitude to the verbal text of the revelation.

It is well-established that he settled a difference between two of his Companions as to the correct reading of the Suratu'l-Furqan with characteristic flexibility and tolerance. 'Umar b. al-Khattab once challenged Hisham b. Hakim's recital of this chapter, and the two appealed to the Prophet for a decision. "So it was revealed," was Muhammad's verdict after hearing first Hisham and then 'Umar read his own version. Then Muhammad made a pronouncement pregnant with meaning: "This Qur'an has been revealed in seven dialects (ah'ruf);7 recite it according to what is easier for you."8

Was this authoritative sanction of variant readings, according to the prevailing tribal dialects of his time, to be extended to similar liberties with the text? In particular, was it a licence to deviate from the letter, if the spirit of the text was preserved? At-Tabari makes it clear that the differences were in 'tilawah, not in the ma'ani, in the letter, but not in the spirit of the text. That is also the opinion of ash-Shafi'i9 and others. A later commentator interprets the Prophet's pronouncement to suggest "the conveyance of the meaning through the use of synonyms," and adds that it was established that a number of the Companions used to recite the Qur'an substituting synonyms for words which they could not recall, without authority.10 Among other Companions, Ibn Mas'ud is reputed to have gone even farther and to have read according to the meaning.11

If variations of one kind or another in the Arabic text were practiced and allowed, was it, by analogy, a licence to translate the Arabic text into other languages? For the early pre-jurist period we have only some clues. When the Prophet wrote to the Byzantine Emperor in Arabic, he naturally expected his letter, containing as it does a verse from the Qur'an, to be translated into Greek.12 Ibn 'Abbas relates from Abu Sufyan b. Harb13 that Heraclius called for an interpreter who read the Prophet's letter to him in Greek: "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. From Muhammad the servant of God and His Messenger to Hiraq. 'O ye People of the Book! Come now to a word common between us and you, that we serve none but God, and that we associate not aught with Him...'"14

Here is another analogy. Abu Hurairah relates that the People of the Book (which in this case means the Jews only) used to read the Torah in Hebrew and interpret it to the Muslims in Arabic, and that the Prophet did not disapprove. The command in the verse, "Say, Bring the Torah and read it if ye are truthful,"15 was addressed to the Jews when they submitted a man and a woman of their community, who had committed adultery, to the Prophet to deal with them. The Prophet inquired what was the punishment prescribed in the Torah. This verse is the subject of a bab in al-Bukhari on whether it is lawful to translate the Torah and other sacred books into Arabic and other languages.16 Ibn Hajar17 comments that since the Torah was in Hebrew, and God commanded that it be read to Arabs who knew no Hebrew, this was an authority to express it in Arabic. To him the converse is also permissible: "to express what is in Arabic in Hebrew." The context suggests that the author had the Qur'an in mind.

II

Such fine points of interpretation are the product of a later age. It was Abu Hanifah (b. about 81 A.H.) who started a new and more serious controversy by his declaration that it was permissible to recite the Qur'an in Persian in prayer, whether the reader knew Arabic or not. His followers extended this permission to Turkish, Hindi, Syriac, Hebrew and other languages of the non-Arabs.18 To interpret the Qur'an in its own language, or in any other, was from the days of the Prophet up to the days of Abu Hanifah generally allowed and widely practiced. This is a safe inference not only from the injunction of the Qur'an itself,19 but also from the increasing number of non-Arabs, with different racial and linguistic backgrounds, who embraced Islam.20

Abu Hanifah's Persian origin cannot alone be the explanation of his daring opinion. It seems that genuine religious concern and practical considerations combined to shape his opinions. Let us not overlook the fact that he did not pronounce on the translation of the Qur'an as a whole; he merely tried to solve an obvious difficulty of non-Arab believers who were required to recite in prayer certain short chapters or verses only.21 Unfortunately Abu Hanifah's opinion on this matter, and indeed on other matters, is known only through the gloss of his followers.22 But neither of his two chief disciples, Abu Yusuf and ash-Shaibani, went as far as their master whose licence was unconditional.23 They both made the permission to recite the translated Qur'an in prayer conditional on the inability to recite it in Arabic.24 Since prayer was communion with God - so the Hanafi argument goes - it was lawful either through God's Word for those able to recite it in the original, or through the translated meaning for those unable to do so, since "obligation is according to ability."25

But whether absolute or conditional, the permission implies that the Qur'an is simply the meaning of the revealed Arabic text, and this does not change if cast in different linguistic molds. The general orthodox doctrine that the Arabic Qur'an is the literal word of God is thus very much challenged. The Hanafi school is alone in Islam in this matter. Later jurists of this school made much of the story of Salman, though not of the alleged approval of the Prophet. Further, they showed remarkable ingenuity in finding support for their views in the Qur 'an itself. They pointed out the verse, "Verily, it is in the (sacred) books of the ancient."26 One of the interpretations of this verse is that the "meaning" of the Qur an is in those sacred books.27 Another verse quoted in support of the Hanafi school is "Verily, it is in the ancient books, the books of Ibrahim and Musa."28 Az-Zamakhshari says this also refers to the meaning of the Qur'an.29

The Hanafi viewpoint seems to have alerted, and even hardened, other orthodox opinion on the question of translation in general. It is often claimed that Abu Hanifah abandoned his original unconditional permission, and that in the end he accepted the opinion of his two chief disciples in permitting the use of translation only for those unable to recite the original Arabic.30

Even in this revised guise the idea was, to the jurists of other schools, too extreme. In positive terms the Qur'an proclaims loudly enough that it was revealed in Arabic; in negative terms, it equally strongly proclaims that it was not God's intention to reveal it in any but the Arabic tongue. "Verily, if we had made it a foreign Qur'an, they would have said 'Why, its signs are not clear? What a foreign (book) and an Arabian (prophet)?'"31 According to the Maliki commentator, al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-'Arabi, this verse alone invalidates Abu Hanifah's opinion.

In their care to safeguard against the use of translations in prayer, the jurists of the other schools hedge their approval of translation for other purposes with reservations that sometimes amount almost to prohibition.32

To the jurists, commentators, theologians and others of the classical period, the question of translation touched fundamental beliefs, which include the belief in the universal character of Muhammad's mission and the belief that the Qur'an is both eternal and immutable.

It is safe to assume that the Prophet conveyed his message through his own tongue. Those non-Arabs with whom he had contact appear to have been sufficiently Arabic-speaking to understand the message. According to the Qur'an itself this was God's design. "And We have sent no Messenger save with the tongue of his own people, that he might make all clear to them."33 The usual commentary on this verse is that the people, with a prophet preaching in their own tongue, could have no plea (hujjah) against God that they were unable to understand the message. Ash-Shafi'i explains the difficulty, in the case of Muhammad, of a divine message in the Arabic tongue addressed to non-Arabs as well as to Arabs as follows.34 There were two possibilities: either he was sent with a message in his people's tongue, in which case it was incumbent on the rest of mankind to learn that tongue or what they were capable of learning of it, or he was sent with the message in their different tongues. The proof, says ash-Shafi'i, that Muhammad was sent with a message in his own people's tongue to the exclusion of the tongues of the non-Arabs "is clear in more than one place in God's book."

A later commentator adopts the same argument, though he draws a different conclusion. "If you argue that the Messenger of God was not sent to the Arabs alone," he says, "but to all mankind ... who speak different languages, so that if the Arabs could not make any plea (of ignorance) others could, then I would say this: Either (the revelation) could have been sent in all the tongues or in one of them. But there was no need for it to be revealed in all languages, since translation (tarjamah) makes up for that ... It remains for it to be revealed in one tongue, and the worthiest was, of course, that of the people of the Messenger ... who, once they comprehended (the revelation) from him, would transmit it and spread it, with translations (tarajim) to explain it as it is witnessed in the use of substitute translations by the non-Arab nations ..."35

The term tarjamah may here be taken in the strict sense of "translation," or in the loose sense of explanation. In either case the general sense is that, after the death of the Prophet, the duty of tabliqh, or preaching his message, was passed on to the Companions and their followers and indeed the Arab-Muslim community as a whole.36 To perform this duty, it was increasingly necessary to expound the Qur 'an to foreigners who knew no Arabic, or even to Arabs with imperfect command of the language. There is little doubt that the process was for a long time an oral one, and that the "expounded" or "translated" parts were an occasional chapter or occasional verses required for professing the articles of faith, performing the daily prayers and understanding what is lawful and what is forbidden.

But soon jurists and theologians came with their arguments. The question of explaining the Qur'an, whether as tafsir or as tarjamah, was bound with their definition of belief in the sense of professing the oneness of God or embracing Islam. Ibn Hazm very neatly summarizes the different views.37 Jurists, traditionalists, al-Mu'tazilah, ash-Shi'ah and al-Khawarij all agree that belief is "knowledge through the heart, profession through the tongue, and action through the memhers of the body." The Hanafi school, however, does not consider "action" as a constituent element of faith, and bases its arguments, according to Ibn Hazm, wholly on linguistic grounds:38 The Qur 'an was revealed in Arabic and God and His Mesenger addressed mankind in Arabic, and in that language "action" does not mean belief. If they are quoted correctly, the followers of the Hanafi school seem to claim having it both ways: God made the Qur'an Arabic; but man may make it Persian.39

III

As to the inimitability (i'jaz) of the Qur'an, it is our view that it derives added significance from emotional factors which are at once religious and national. They are bound up with the Arab's pride in his faith40 and his love of his language. Not only is Islam superior to any religion, but the Arabic language is peerless. The union between the two objects of pride and love is achieved in the Qur'an which is thus venerated alike as a sacred book and as a unique literary classic, so much so that non-Arab Muslims who rose to become authorities in exegesis, tradition, jurisprudence and philology,41 did not contribute less, rather more, than the native Arabs in shaping Muslim opinion on the double role of the Qur'an.

The roots of the doctrine of (i'jaz) are, of course, in the revelation. Its essence is the failure of the Arabs to answer the challenge of producing even one chapter equal to the Qur'an in the excellency of its literary composition, thereby establishing Muhammad's claim that the Qur'an was a divine revelation, not a human composition.42 "If they do not answer your challenge, then know that it has been sent down with God's knowledge." The doctrine of immutability itself is a subject of controversy. Is it the literary style and composition that is mu'jiz or is it also the meaning, the contents and certain forecasts of the future? Is the challenge to be taken as addressed to the Arabs alone, or to others as well?43 These questions do not concern us here;44 we are primarily concerned with the immutability in religion to the question of translation.

Jurists have defined the Qur'an as the Word of God revealed to Muhammad in the Arabic language for instruction (tabligh) and challenge (i'jaz), and which was transmitted down from generation to generation, and is established between the two covers of the mushaf. It is clear from this composite definition that the challenge of inimitability has been woven into the essential fabric of orthodox Muslim beliefs. All the orthodox objections to translation spring logically from this fact. To all except the Hanafi school, the revelation ceases to be the Word of God and loses its character if the Qur'an is translated from Arabic into any language. To fortify this purely doctrinal viewpoint, amply justified by the Qur'an itself, the superiority of the Arabic language was brought into the argument. The voice of tradition - again with the exception of the Hanafi school - is unanimous in declaring that it is virtually impossible to translate Arabic into any language, still less to translate the Arabic of the Qur'an.45

A few examples will suffice. As a pure Arab who is distantly related to the Prophet, ash-Shafi'i (b. 150 A.H.) is perhaps foremost among those who uphold the supremacy of the Arabic language on religious grounds. "No human being," he declared, "unless he is a prophet, can be a complete master of it."46 In the same way that the followers of other religions are called upon to accept Islam, so they are called upon to accept the Arabic language with it. "Every Muslim," he writes, "must learn of the Arabic language to the utmost of his capacity, so that he may be able, through it, to witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, to recite the Book of God, and to utter the takbir, tasbih, tashahhud... He who learns more of this language, made by God the language of the Seal of Prophets and the medium through which was revealed His last Book, would gain an (added) advantage ..."47

The philologist Ibn Qutaibah (b. 213 A.H.), despite his Persian descent, asserts that the Arabic language is unique among the languages of other nations and superior to them all, precisely by the characteristics which distinguish the language of the Qur'an, "hence," he writes, "no translator is able to put it into any (other) language, in a manner similar to the translation of the Gospel from Syriac into Ethiopic and Greek, and similar also to the translation of the Torah and Psalms and all God's Books into Arabic, for (the languages of) the non-Arabs are not as rich as that of the Arabs in metaphor."48

Ikhwan as-Safa' (second half of the fourth century A.H.), with their philosophic bent and the mixed racial origin of some of their leading members, might have been expected to be in line with Abu Hanifah rather than with ash-Shafi'i. But they are just as emphatic in affirming that Arabic represented the perfection of human speech (tamam al-lughah al-insaniyyah), and that accordingly God revealed the Qur'an in it. They envisage the victory of Islam over all other religions and its language over all other languages "because the Qur'an is the noblest Book revealed by God ... and no one of all the nations, with their different languages, is able to translate it from the Arabic into any other language ..."49

Al-Ghazali (b. 450 A.H.), in his treatise on the attributes of God,50 advances a theological argument that may well be taken to mean that the Qur'an is not translatable, or even must not be translated by a Muslim. Believers, he insists, must abstain from making any change in the Arabic wording of what has been transmitted to them, or translating its meaning into Persian or Turkish.51 He definitely considers it unlawful to relate any material except in the authentic original, "for some of the Arabic words have no equivalent Persian words, and some have equivalents, but the Persians are not accustomed to use them metaphorically as the Arabs do ..." To the mind of al-Ghazali, the danger from change of wording or translation affects the divine attributes, a danger which must be avoided by strict adherence to the Arabic.52

That is a fair representation of the general orthodox view up to the fifth century of the Muslim era. The outlines of the Hanafi view have already been drawn in the previous passages. Suffice it now to quote its formulation in some detail by ash-Shaibani, Abu Hanifah's disciple, in connection with prayer and the call to it. "The Arabic language," he is reported to have said, "has a virtue which is denied to other languages."53 He allowed substituting an Arabic synonym for another in takbir, but, unlike his master, did not allow Persian substitutes. He allowed reciting the Qur'an in prayer in Persian only to those unable to recite it in Arabic. In his view, the Qur'an is a challenge to all mankind in its meaning (fi'l-ma'na)54 "and the inability of the Persians to produce anything like it can only be apparent in their own tongue."55

IV

Nothing of substance has been added to the views of either side to the controversy after the fifth century. But both sides seem to be equally vague on one important point. They both make claims, whether extreme or mild, regarding the superiority of the Arabic language, and this naturally raises the question of the linguistic qualifications of the authorities cited above. Were they, and others like them, sufficiently acquainted with the languages of the non-Arabs to pronounce on the superiority of Arabic to all of these languages? With the possible exception of Persian, there is little reason to assume profound linguistic knowledge. But they all seem to have been so charmed by the undoubted versatility of Arabic, which reached its climax in the Qur'an, that they took the matter for granted and gave little or no evidence in support of their assertions.56

There is no need either to labour this point or to proceed with the history of the controversy as a whole beyond this stage. But one of the later jurists deserves brief notice, if only because of his influence in this matter on the contemporary authorities of al-Azhar. He is the Malikite ash-Shatibi who died in Granada in 790 A.H. The first editor of that institution's journal, a former rector and the present rector, all begin their respective articles on the subject of the translation of the Qur'an with ash-Shatibi's dicta.57 None of them tried to investigate the roots of the question in the early centuries of Islam, and what the one says reads as an amplification or reproduction of the material of the other, thrown together with little or no respect for chronological order. Ash-Shatibi's much quoted passage58 is a mere ordering, in a logical form, of what others had already said rather loosely: Arabic words, on their own or arranged in literary form to make sense, may be considered from two aspects - either they convey absolute meanings (ma'anin mutlaqah) or auxiliary meanings (ma'anin khadimah). The first is common to all languages, so that it is possible to express in foreign languages what is expressed in Arabic and vice versa. The second, derived from highly developed rhetoric, is peculiar to Arabic. "If this (second view) is admitted," he writes, "it is not possible to translate, in any way, Arabic into foreign tongues, still less to translate the Qur'an, unless the two languages concerned be proved equal ... a very difficult thing to do conclusively ..." On the other hand it is possible to translate the Qur'an, if the absolute meaning alone is considered, since by common agreement it is permissible to comment on it, and this agreement on its tafsir was an argument for the legitimacy of its tarjamah.

The difference between commenting and translating is, of course, very great, and the analogy was attacked by the followers of ash-Shafi'i as a false one. This is best expressed in the words of al-Qaffal who was asked, when he maintained that the Qur'an in Persian was unimaginable, "Do you say, then, that no one can comment on the Qur'an?" He did not admit that the analogy was valid, and said: "In tafsir, it is possible to capture the meaning of some of God's words and to miss the meaning of others; in tarjamah, which is replacing one word for another, it is not possible to convey all the meaning of God's words."59 This is not as sophistical as it seems; what it means is that in the former case the original divine text is preserved in Arabic; in the latter it is replaced by a translation. No jurist has allowed reading a tafsir in prayers; but the Hanafi school allowed reading a tarjamah.

That was precisely the main objection to translation: that it might be used in prayer, and might be imagined as the inspired Qur'an, which is to all, except the Hanafi school, a manifest error. There is little evidence that the views of this school gained universal acceptance even among its adherents. Recital of the Qur'an in Persian in prayer remained, on the whole, a theoretical licence. In practice, however, partial or full translations of the Qur'an were attempted. The available manuscripts of such translations are not old,60 it is difficult to establish when translations were first attempted.

But it is now necessary to distinguish between licence to "recite" and licence to "write." To recite from memory a translation of a short chapter in prayer is one thing, and to possess a written translation of the whole Qur'an is quite another. For this raised another question: can the Qur'an be written down in letters other than the Arabic characters?61

Apart from the scholastic argument whether the Arabic letters were like the Qur'an itself, eternal or created,62 there were practical orthographical difficulties. As some of the Arabic letters have no exact counterparts in other languages, it was feared that this would lead to mispronunciation, and this in turn to misunderstanding of the holy text. The Hanafi school permitted the writing down of a translation only accompanied by the Arabic original, some sort of equal translation (tarjamah musawiyah), word for word. This is the origin of the practice of the interlineal translations in most of the available manuscripts where every line of the Arabic is followed by its equivalent in Persian. When in due course other Muslims produced translations of the Qur'an in their own native tongues, or even in foreign languages, this pattern was followed with or without variation.

Consideration of these translations, however, is beyond the scope of this paper which seeks to elucidate the question up to the fifth century only. Those interested in its later history will find its substance in the numerous works of shuruh and furu', stated and restated by both sides, often in the same or similar words, but with few or no new ideas.

Harvard University
A. L. TIBAWI
Cambridge, Massachusetts



Footnotes

1 Surah XLIII, 3; az-Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf (ed. et al, Calcutta, 1856), II, 1320, Comments that it was revealed in Arabic, not foreign, speech so that the Arabs could understand it.

2 XII, 2; XIII, 37; XVI, 103; XIX, 97; XX, 113; XXVI, 192-195; XXXIX, 27-28; XLI, 3, 44; XLII, 6; XLVI, 12.

3 An-Nawawi, Al-Majmu', (Cairo, Matbacat at-'Tadamun n.d.), 380.

4 Salman was during the fourth/tenth century considered by some as a god. See al-Ash'ari, Kitab Maqalat al-Islamiyyin (Istanbul, 1929-1933), 1, 13.
literally "became soft." Another version adds as if the use of Persian were merely a stepping-stone to the Arabic original.

6 An-Nihdyah wa ad-Dirayah as quoted by ash-Shaikh Mahmud Abu Daqiqah in his article "Kalimah fi Tarjaniat al-Qur'an al-Karim," Nur al-Islam, III, 33-34. However, the authoritative as-Sarakhsi, Kitab al-Mabssi (Cairo, 1324), I, 37 mentions only the first version, and does not include the claim that the Prophet was consulted.

7 At-Tabari, Tafsir al-Jami' al-Bayan (Bulaq, 1323), I, 10 where further instances are cited and the dialects are reckoned as more than seven. Cf. as-Suyuti, al-Itqan (Cairo, 1360/1941) I, 230: "There are in the Qur'an fifty dialects, those of Quraish, Hudhail...";

8 Al-Bukhari, as-Sahih (Bulaq, 1296), VI, 97 VIII, 201-202. This early "fluid" period was more or less terminated by the adoption of the 'Uthmani text. That Caliph's directive to the compilers (see al-Bukhari, VI, 94-95) was to adopt, in cases of doubt, the dialect of Quraish since "the Qur'an was revealed in their dialect." The directive, however, seems to be at variance with the Qur'an itself and Muhammad's pronouncement quoted above. "Verily, We have made it an Arabic Qur'an," was understood by commentators to cover all the dialects and not only that of Quraish. But as the dialect of the Prophet, the first revelations, or according to others most revelations, came down in it and to a lesser degree in the other dialects. Cf. Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (Cairo, 1438), IX, 7, 19-21.

9 Kitab al-Umm (Bulaq, 1321-1325), VII, 63.

10 Ibn Hajar, IX, 21-22:

11 This is very strongly denied by Ibn al-Jazari, Kitab an-Nashr fi'1 Qira'at al'-'Ashr (Damascus, 1345), I, 31.

12 Al-Bukhari; III, 215; cf. Ibn Hajar, VI, 81:

13 Al-Bukhari, VIII, 200; Ibn Hajar, XIII, 442.

14 Surah III, 63. With only slight variations, the English translation used here is that of A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (London, 1955).

15 Surah III, 92.

16 As-Sahih, VIII, 150, 200.

17 Fath at-Bari; XIII, 442.

18 Cf. Nasafi, Kanz ad-Daqa'iq (Dehli, 1309), I, 53.

19 Cf. Surah V, 71 : "O Messenger, deliver that which has been sent down to thee from thy Lord." Cf. Surah XVI, 46, 60.

20 Cf. contemporary practice of teachers of the Qur'an to the Berbers in Morocco, a practice which has been handed down from generation to generation since early times: the meaning is first explained in local dialect, and then the Arabic text is taught. Memorizing the Arabic is not required before the meaning has been explained. Majallat al-Azhar, VII, No.3, 192.

21 It is related that al-Habib al-'Ajami, an associate of al-Hasan al-Basri (b. 21 A.H.) used to recite the Qur'an in Persian in prayer "owing to speech difficulty in Arabic":

22 In the fiqh books, chiefly under the subject of prayer (see next note), but not as a rule in other works. Thus bab as-salat in al-Khawarizmi, Jami' Masanid al-Imam al-A'zam (Hyderabad, 1332), I, 293 ff. prescribes the recital of the Fatihah in prayer, but contains nothing about the permission to recite it in Persian or other languages.

23 Some of Abu Hanifah's followers even said that he approved reading something of the Torah, the Gospel or the Psalms in prayer provided the reader was certain it was not corrupted (muharraf). See al-Kashani, Bada'i' as-Sana'i (Cairo, 1327) I, 113.

24 Sarakhsi, Kitab al-Mabsut, 37.

25

26 Surah XXVI, 196.

27 Al-Kashashaf II, 1009; al-Baidawi, Anwar at-Tanzil (Leipzig, 1848), II, 60.

28 Surah LXXXVII, 18-19.

29 Cf. al-Baidawi, II, 399.

30 As-Suyuti, al-Itqan, I, 188. This claim is sometimes based on the authority of Abu Bakr ar-Razi, sometimes on that of Nuh b. Mariam, and sometimes on that of 'Ali b. al-Ja'd. But it is not mentioned by Sarakhsi in his authorative book al-Mabsut which, in thirty volumes, expounds the Hanafi fiqh as related by ash-Shaibani from Abu Hanifah. It is, however, mentioned in a later Hanafi source. See al-Marghanini, al-Hidyah fi'l Furu' (Lucknow, 1302), I, 86 Posted ImageThe alleged recantation of Abu Hanifah seems to be the basis for the statement in Nldeke-Schwally et al., Geschichte des Qorans (Leipzig, 1909-1938), III, 112 that the approval of reading the Qur'an in Persian was "one of the archaic bents in his teaching: "einer der arabischen Zge in seiner Lehre."

31 Surah XI-I, 44; see al-Kaslishaf, II, 1209 oil "a foreign (book) sent to an Arabian (people)?"

32 This paper is not concerned with modern times, but suffice it to recall here that in the 1920's the 'ulama in Egypt and Syria were so vehement in their denunciation of Turkish and English translations that in consequence copies of the translations were confiscated and their circulation prohibited. For a summary of the point of view of the 'ulama see ash-Shaikh Muhammad Shakir's article as translated by Sir T. W. Arnold (The Moslem World, XVI, 161-165) which brands the translators as "heretics." Such strong reaction was to a great extent provoked by the extreme secular measures taken by the Turkish Republic. Thus ash-Shaikh Muhammad Rashid Rida was most uncompromising in condemning these measures and also the Turkish translation of the Qur'an. See Tafsir al-Manar (Cairo, 1347/1928), IX, 314 ff. Muhammad Farid Wajdi-, however, pointed out that it was permissible to translate the meaning (ma'ani) of the Qur'an, Cf. Nur al-Islam, III, 59; H.A.R. Gibb, Modern Trends in Islam (Chicago, 1947), 131, n. I.

33 Surah XIV, 4.

34 Kitab ar-Risalah fi- Usul al-Fiqh (Bulaq, 1321), 9.

35 Az-Zamakhshan al-Kashshaf, I, 1607

36 For a commentary on one of the verses on this subject see al-Bukhari, VIII, 196, and Ibn Hajar, XIII, 430.

37 Kitab al-Fisal (Cairo, 1317) III, 188-190.

38 Cf. al-Ash'ari, Kitab al-Luma' (ed. Hammudah Ghurabah, Cairo, 1955), 123.

39 Cf. as-Sarakhsi, Kitab al-Mabsut, I, 37 "The Qur'an is God's Word, not created and not new. Inasmuch as all languages are new, it is not valid to say that it is a Qur'an in a particular language, since God says 'Verily, it is in the (sacred) books of the ancients,' and it was thus in their tongue."

40 Cf. Surah, III, 106: "You are the best ummah ever brought forth unto men, bidding to honour, and forbidding dishonour, and believing in God ..." Ummah is here untranslatable; it means more "religion" than "nation" or community." Cf. Ibn Qutaibah, Ta'wil Mushkil al-Qur'an (ed. as-Sayyid Ahmad Saqr, Cairo, 1373/1954), 345-346 on the interpretation of Surah II, 213 and Surah XXII, 23:

41 Thus Abu 'Ubaidah Ma'mar b. al-Muthanna, who was of Persian Jewish origin and became an authority on rare vocabulary, is quoted as saying: "Whoever alleges that there is in the Qur'an anything other than the Arabic tongue has greatly exceeded the limits." Cf. as-Suyuti, al-Itqan, I, 231

42 Surah II, 23; X, 38; XI, 14. See az-Zamakhshari, al-Kashshaf I, 51-54;584; 605-606.

43 Cf. Surah XVII, 88; cf. al-Baghdad, Kitab Usul ad-Din (Istanbul, 1346/1928), 183-184; al-Juwaini, Kitab al-Irshad (ed. J.-D. Luciani, Paris, 1938), 201-203; ash-Shahrastini, Kitab Nihayat al-Iqdam (ed. A. Guillaume, Oxford, 1934), 447-448.

44 For details see at-Tabari, Tafsir, I, 4-5 al-Baqillani, I'jaz al-Qur'an (ed. as-Sayyid Ahmad Saqr, Cairo, 1374/1954), 18, 399. Cf. as-Suyuti, al-Itqan, II,197-211.

45 Al-Jahiz, Kitab al-Hayawan (ed. 'Abd as-Salam Muhammad Harun, Cairo,1357), I, 74-77, maintains that it is impossible to translate Arabic poetry, and that translating material dealing with religion and the Qur'an had better not be attempted at all.

46 Kitab ar-Risalah fi Usul al-Fiqh, 8-9.

47 There is a new edition of Kitab ar-Risalah (Cairo, 1358/1940) by Ahmad Muhammad Shakir. The quotations above occur on pp. 40-48.

48 Ta'wil al-Mushkil a1-Qur'an, 16.

49 Rasa'il Ikhwan as-Safa' (Cairo, 1347/1928), III, 152, 154, 171, 353, 357.

50 Ijam al-'Awamm (Cairo, 1350/1932), 3, 8-10.

51 The following sentence in quotation may suggest that the words "or Turkish" are interpolation.

52 Al-Ghazali is thus indirectly upholding the contention of Abu 'Ubaidah, ash-Shafi'i and others that there is nothing but Arabic in the Qur'an. At-Tabari, Tafsir, 1, 7, explains that it is a mere coincidence that there are words in the Qur'an which resemble others in Persian, Ethiopic and other languages. As-Suyuti, al-Itqan, I, 231, gives a less emphatic explanation these words were long naturalized into Arabic and recognized as sure (fasih), native words. Cf. A. Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur'an (Baroda, 1938), 5.

53 As-Saraklisi, Kitab al-Mabsut, I, 36-37.

54 In the same source (p. 37) both Abu Yuuf andash-Shaibani are quoted as declaring that the challenge was both in composition (nazm) and meaning (ma'na). Ibn Taimiyyah adds a third, namely, the vocabulary or pronunciation (lafz); see Kitab Bughyat al-Murtad or ar-Risalah as Sab'iniyyah in Maju'atFatawa Kurdistan Press, Cairo, 1329), V, 145:

55 Cf. al-Baqillani, I'jac al-Qur'an, 393:

56 Cf. Rasa'il Ikhw'an as-Safa', III, 152, where some knowledge of Syriac, Hebrew, Greek (yunaniyyah) and Latin (rumiyyah) is claimed by the writers.

57 Ash-Shaikh Muhammad al-Khidr Husain, ash-Shaikh Muhammad Mustafa al-Maraghi and ash-Shaikh Mahmud Shaltut respectively. See Nur al-Islam (later Majallat al-Azhar), II (1350 A.H.), 122-132; VII, 77-112; VII 123-134.

58 Al-Muwafaqat (ed. ash-Shaikh 'Abdullah Diraz, Cairo, n.d.), II, 66-68.

59 As quoted by Suyuti, al-Itqan, I, 188.

60 See for example, Charles Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum (London, 1879), I, 6-8. Cf. Hand List of Persian MSS in the British Museum, 1895-1934, 79. See in particular Add. 5548-551 (assigned to the fourteenth century) and OR. 1340 (assigned to the sixteenth century).

61 This question is, of course, bound up with the larger question of whether the Qur'an is created or eternal. For a short and clear statement see al-Ghazali, Iljam, 36-37. See further al-Ashari, al-Ibanah 'an Usul ad-Diyanah (Cairo, 1348), 20 ff; al-Baqillani, Kitab at- Tamhid (Beirut, 1957), 237 ff. Cf. Rasa'il Ikhwan as-Safa' IV, 51-52.

62 For the Hanafi viewpoint see al-Maturidi, Kitab Sharh, al-Fiqh al-Akbar (Hyderabad, 1321), 23:

Paper read at the XXVth International Congress of Orientalists on Friday 12th August, 1960, in the University of Moscow, and later published in The Muslim World, Volume 52, 1962, pages 1-16.
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Posted 27 June 2008 - 02:26 AM

??? ?? ?? ??? ? ??? ??? ? ??? ? ??? .

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 06:41 PM

Thank you Ahhangar for the informative article
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