Ibn Baz

Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad

A Concise Guide to Another Primary Innovator in Islam

`Abd al-`Aziz ibn `Abd Allah Ibn Baz, the late (d. 1999) nescient mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, government scholar par excellence, and major innovator whose influence on spreading deviant beliefs is incalculable. The present crippling of Islam and Muslims took place under his leadership and as a direct result of his policies as listed by Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa`i in his Nasiha li Ikhwanina `Ulama’ Najd (“Advice to Our Brothers the Scholars of Najd”):

* Calling the Muslims “Pagans”

* Calling the Muslims “Apostates”

* Calling the Muslims “Deviants”

* Calling the Muslims “Innovators”

* Monopolizing Teaching in Hijaz

* Falsifying Our Scholarly Heritage (see below)

* Libeling Ulema Who Disagreed with Wahhabi Doctrine

* Imposing the Style of Najd in Adhân

* Shutting the Mosque in Madina at Night

* Posting Hoodlums at the Noble Grave

* Obstructing and Scolding Women in Madina

* Blocking Women from Visiting Baqi`

* Police Interrogation Centers

* Razing of the Mosque of Abu Bakr – Allah be well-pleased with him –

* Razing of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari’s House

* Destroying Historical Makka and Madina but Preserving Khaybar

* Replacing Khadija’s House with Latrines

* Outlawing Nasiha to Rulers

* Interdiction of Dala’il al-Khayrat and other books

* Forbidding Mawlid Gatherings

* Etc.

As former overall president of the Directorships of Scholarly Research, Iftâ’, Da`wa, and Irshâd, Ibn Baz is on record for issuing a fatwa declaring as un-Islamic the Palestinian people’s uprising, whereas he never condemned the practices, in his own country, of gambling, horse-racing, and usury. In the late sixties he declared any and all forms of cooperation with the kuffâr prohibited and cast a judgment of apostasy on `Abd al-Nasir for employing a civilian force of a few hundred Russian engineers to build the Aswan dam. In the early nineties he again made it halâl for kufr forces to come, under their flag and sovereignty, in hundred of thousands, to occupy Muslim lands and destroy Iraq, because of “necessity.” There was also no problem for them to stay after the “necessity” was over.

In his infamous al-Adilla al-Naqliyya wa al-Hissiyya `ala Jarayan al-Shamsi wa Sukuni al-Ard (“The Transmitted and Sensory Proofs of the Rotation of the Sun and Stillness of the Earth”), he asserted that the earth was flat and disk-like and that the sun revolved around it.

Like all the anthropomorphists of his School, Ibn Baz added modifiers to the Divine Attributes, asserting, for example, that Allah Most High and Exalted “istawâ `alâ al-`arsh haqqan” – variously translated as “He established Himself over the Throne in person” or “actually” or “literally” – haqqan being an innovated addition which violates the practice of the true Salaf consisting in asserting the Divine Attributes bilâ kayf – without “how” – any modifier being by definition a modality. What is worse, of course, is that such an innovated addition is an avenue to anthropomorphism.

In his footnote to article 38 of Imam al-Tahawi’s `Aqida (“He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created entities are”), he asserts, “Allah is beyond limits that we know but has limits He knows.” This is, like haqqan, a true innovation of misguidance and innovated phrase as stated by al-Dhahabi and others, utterly unsupported by the Qur’an, the Sunna, and the Consensus, and violating the practice of the true Salaf who refrained from indulging in speculations of modality whenever they mentioned the Divine Attributes. (This footnote also appears in Shu`ayb Hassan’s translation in English, which also contains other major doctrinal errors.)

Ibn Baz’s Najdi friends commit the same ugly innovation: `Abd Allah al-Hashidi in his edition of al-Bayhaqi’s al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat – written in rebuttal of al-Kawthari’s landmark edition – states: “As for us we affirm a form (sûra) for Allah unlike forms,” while al-Albani in his Sharh approvingly quotes Muhammad ibn Mani`’s remonstration of Imam al-Tahawi for this particular article and his pretense that the Imam, perhaps, did not write it in the first place: “The Imam and author was in no need at all for these invented, wrongly suggestive words, and if someone were to say that they are interpolated and not his own words, I would not think it improbable, so as to keep a good opinion of him”![1]

Ibn Baz also suggests corporal limbs for Allah Most High and Exalted in his statement in Taliqat Hamma `ala ma Katabahu al-Shaykh Muhammad `Ali al-Sabuni fi Sifat Allah (“Important Comments on What Shaykh al-Sabuni Wrote Concerning the Divine Attributes”) that “To declare Allah transcendent beyond possessing body (al-jism), pupils (al-hadaqa), auditory meatus (al-simâkh), tongue (al-lisân), and larynx (al-hanjara) is not the position of Ahl al-Sunna but rather that of the scholars of condemned kalâm and their contrivance.”[2]

By his phrase “the scholars of condemned kalâm” he disparages Ibn Khafif, Ibn `Abd al-Salam, Ibn al-Juwayni, Ibn Hibban, Ibn `Arabi, al-Ghazzali, al-Razi, al-Qadi `Iyad, al-Maziri, al-Nawawi, al-Pazdawi, al-Bayhaqi, al-Qurtubi, al-Khatib, Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn Daqiq al-`Id, Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Shah Wali Allah, the entire Ash`ari and Maturidi Schools and, lately, al-Sabuni, all of whom asserted transcendence in similar terms. As Ibn Hajar stated in Fath al-Bari: “The elite of the mutakallimûn said: `He knows not Allah, who attributes to Him resemblance to His creation, or attributes a hand to Him, or a son.”[3] Contrary to this the doctrine of the Literalists consists in attributing an actual hand to the Creator. But Ibn Baz in his notes on Fath al-Bari charges al-Qadi `Iyad and Ibn Hajar with abandoning the way of Ahl al-Sunna for stating that the Hand of Allah does not pertain to a bodily appendage.[4] This is similar to the pretext of the anthropomorphist who said: “We expelled Ibn Hibban from Sijistan for his lack of Religion: he used to say that Allah is not limited!”[5]

Ibn Baz’s acolyte Muhammad Zinu mumbles a similar claim of corporeality in his book Tanbihat Hamma `ala Kitab Safwat al-Tafasir (“Important Cautions Regarding [al-Sabuni’s three volume Qur’anic commentary] `The Quintessence of Commentaries'”). Al-Sabuni blasted both of them in his 1988 rebuttal, Kashf al-Iftira’at fi Risalat Tanbihat Hawla Safwat al-Tafasir (“Exposing the Lies of the Epistle `Cautions'”).

Ibn Baz explicitly attributes a geographical direction to Allah Most High and Exalted, and affirms that such was the belief of “the Companions and those who followed them in excellence – they assert a direction for Allah, and that is the direction of height, believing that the Exalted is above the Throne.”[6]

In his tract translated into English as Authentic Islamic Aqeedah and What Opposes It (p. 16), Ibn Baz calls those who visit the graves of saints “unbelievers” who commit what he calls kufr al-rubûbiyya. This fatwa compounds three innovations: (1) the dreadful sin of indiscriminately declaring millions of Muslims kâfir without the proofs and due process required by the purified Shari`a: (2) the blind, wholesale dismissal of the numerous orders  of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – in the authentic Sunna to visit the graves for they are reminders of the hereafter; (3) the branding of Muslims with an innovated classification of disbelief he calls kufr al-rubûbiyya.

The weakness of Ibn Baz’s doctrinal positions can be inferred from the very title of one of his tracts purportedly designed to champion true doctrine: Iqamat al-Barahin `ala Hukmi man Istaghatha bi Ghayr Allah (“Establishing the Patent Proofs for the Judgment on Whoever Calls for Help Other than Allah”). For the licitness of istighâtha or calling for help of a creature QUALIFIED TO HELP, is patently established in the Qur’an and Sunna, as shown by the verse {And his countryman sought his help (istaghâthahu) against his enemy} (28:15) and al-Bukhari’s narration of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – from Ibn `Umar – Allah be well-pleased with him – already quoted: “Truly the sun shall draw so near on the Day of Resurrection that sweat shall reach to the mid-ear, whereupon they shall ask (istaghâthû) help from Adam – upon him peace -, then from Musa – upon him peace -, then from Muhammad – Allah bless and greet him – who will intercede.” Furthermore, Ibn Baz directly contradicts Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s words in Majmu`at al-Tawhid (p. 232): “We do not deny nor reject the invocation of help from the creature [as distinct from the Creator] INSOFAR AS THE CREATED CAN HELP, as Allah Most High said in the story of Musa – upon him peace -: {And his countryman sought his help against his enemy}.”

An inveterate deprecator of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – and principal enemy of the Sufis, in one of his fatwas he asserts, “Among other things, the Messenger of Allah – Allah bless and greet him -, after his death, never appears in a vision to a wakeful person. He of the ignorant Sufis who claims that he sees, while vigilant, the vision of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him -, or that that vision attends the Mawlids or the like, is guilty of the foulest error, and exceedingly deluded… the dead never rise out of their graves in this world save on the Day of Judgement.”

The above is a claim to know in their entirety: (a) the unseen, (b) the wherewithal of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – in Barzakh, and (c) the states of the servants of Allah Most High; in addition to an impious reference to the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – as “the dead”! Surely, it is ibn Baz who is dead while the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him -, as stated by Shaykh Muhammad ibn `Alawi in Manhaj al-Salaf, “is alive with a complete isthmus-life (hayât barzakhiyya) which is greater and better and more perfect than worldly life – indeed, higher, dearer, sweeter, more perfect, and more beneficial than worldly life.”

It is also related from one of the great Sufi shaykhs, Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili – may Allah have mercy upon him – who, unlike Ibn Baz, was only physically blind, whom the hadith master Ibn al-Mulaqqin mentioned in his Tabaqat al-Awliya, and concerning whom Ibn Daqiq al-`Id said: “I never saw anyone more knowledgeable of Allah,” that he said: “If I ceased to see the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – for one moment, I would no longer consider myself a Muslim.” His teacher Abu al-`Abbas al-Mursi said the same. The Ghawth `Abd al-`Aziz al-Dabbagh said something similar, as reported from him by his student Ahmad ibn al-Mubarak in al-Ibriz. Assuredly, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz shall have to answer for his calumny of these Sufis among many others on the Day of Judgment, in addition to having issued legal judgments and spoken of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – without knowledge.

As for attending Mawlid, “a vision” does not attend or do anything, but the spirits of the believers who passed away, together with the angels and the believing jinn, are certainly related to attend the gatherings of the pious all over the earth. Ibn al-Kharrat in al-`Aqiba, Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Ruh, al-Qurtubi in al-Tadhkira, Ibn Abi al-Dunya in al-Qubur, al-Suyuti in Sharh al-Sudur, Ibn Rajab in Ahwal al-Qubur, and others relate from many of the Salaf – including Imam Malik in al-Muwatta’ – that the spirits of the believers in Barzakh are free to come and go anywhere they please. This is all the more possible for our Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – as we celebrate Mawlid specifically to remember him and invoke blessings upon him.

Ibn Baz passed a fatwa that “It is not permissible to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him -, in fact, it must be stopped, as it is an innovation in the religion.” His sole proof for this declaring an act illicit and an innovation in Islam is that it did not take place in the early centuries of Islam, whereas al-Shafi`i and the Imams and scholars of the principles of jurisprudence defined innovation in the Religion as “that which was not practiced before AND contravenes the Qur’an and Sunna.” It is noteworthy that the heads of the “Salafi” movement and those of their offshoots who propagate their views are always careful, through ignorance and/or duplicity, to omit this second, indispensable pre-condition in their definition of bid`a: Deobandis, Tablighis, Tahriris, Muhajiris, Jama`is, Ikhwanis, ICNA, ISNA, IANA, MAYA, JIMAS, WAMY, QSS, SAS, IIIE, and other Wahhabis. Furthermore, the majority of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunna – and Allah knows best – concur either outloud or tacitly on the licit character of the celebration of the Mawlid provided the usual etiquette of Islam in public gatherings is kept. Lastly, the Hanbali school in its entirety never declared forbidden the celebration of the Mawlid and even Ibn Taymiyya stated that one who celebrates it with sincere intentions will be rewarded![7]

Ibn Baz revived the innovation and invalid fatwa of Ibn Taymiyya to the effect that it is forbidden to travel with the intention of visiting the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – in his notes on Ibn Hajar’s Fath al-Bari, book of Fadl al-Salat fi Makka wal-Madina, where Ibn Hajar comments on Ibn Taymiyya’s prohibition of travel for Ziyara: “Ibn Taymiyya said: `This kind of trip – traveling to visit the grave of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – is a disobedience, and salât must not be shortened during it.’ This is one of the ugliest matters reported from Ibn Taymiyya.” To which Ibn Baz reacts in a footnote: “It is not ugly, and Ibn Taymiyya was right.” Indeed, Ibn Hajar’s teacher, Zayn al-Din al-`Iraqi, rightly called it in his Tarh al-Tathrib (6:43) “a strange and ugly saying.”

Bin Baz also reduplicates word for word and without the least critical analysis or original understanding of the evidence the pretense of Ibn Taymiyya whereby “The hadiths that  concern the desirability of visiting the grave of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – are all weak, indeed forged.” By the grace of Allah Most High this pseudo-bold and fashionable claim – among “Salafis” – has been laid to its final resting-ground by Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh’s superb documentation work titled Raf` al-Minara fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Tawassul wa al-Ziyara (“Raising the Lighthouse: Documentation of the Narrations Pertaining to Using an Intermediary and Visitation”).

Another astonishing deviation of Ibn Baz in his remarks on Fath al-Bari is his characterizing the visit of the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harth – Allah be well-pleased with him – to the grave of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – and his tawassul for rain there as “aberrant” (munkar) and “an avenue to polytheism” (wasîla ilâ al-shirk).”[8]

One of his innovations in usûl is his public declaration – in the Saudi periodical “al-Majalla” – that he does not adhere to the Hanbali Madhhab “but only to the Qur’an and Sunna,” whereas Ibn Taymiyya said himself asserted in Mukhtasar al-Fatawa al-Misriyya that the truth is not found, in the whole Shari`a, outside the four Schools. Nor have any two Sunni Ulema on the face of the earth agreed on the qualification of Ibn Baz as an absolute Mujtahid capable of extracting his own proofs and School from the primary evidences of the Law. On the contrary, his fiqh is superficial compared to his subordinate Ibn `Uthaymin, his natural bent for taqlîd is evident, his blunders numerous, and his innovations countless.

Among the other innovations of Ibn Baz in doctrine, he tried to rectify whatever did not please him in Fath al-Bari by the Imam and hadith master Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani with interpersed remarks that do not qualify as commentary but as an attempt to substitute Ibn Hajar’s Ash`ari Sunni doctrine with anthropomorphism as the Islamic creed.[9]

Under his leadership, Ibn Taymiyya’s Majmu`a al-Fatawa al-Kubra received a new edition from which the 10th volume – on tasawwuf – was suppressed. Similar examples of unreliable editorship and blatant tampering of the scholarly heritage abound at the hands of Wahhabis:

1- In the book of al-Adhkar by Imam Muhyi al-Din al-Nawawi as published by Dar al-Huda in al-Riyad in 1409/1989 and edited by `Abd al-Qadir al-Arna’ut of Damascus, page 295, the chapter-title, “Section on Visiting the Grave of the Messenger – Allah bless and greet him -” was substituted with the title, “Section on Visiting the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah – Allah bless and greet him -” together with the suppression of several lines from the beginning of the section and its end, and the suppression of al-`Utbi’s famous story of intercession which Imam al-Nawawi had mentioned in full.[10] When al-Arna’ut was asked about it, he replied that the Riyadh agents were the ones who had changed and tampered with the text. A facsimile of his own hand-written statement to that effect was printed in full in Shaykh Mahmud Mamduh’s Raf` al-Minara (p. 72-75).

2- Suppression of al-Sawi’s (d. 1241/1825) words on modern-time Kharijis in his supercommentary on Tafsir al-Jalalayn titled Hashiya `ala Tafsir al-Jalalayn (v. 58:18-19), “namely, a sect in the Hijaz named Wahhabis” from all new editions beginning from the Eighties.[11]

3- Zuhayr al-Shawish’s suppression of the word “substitute-saints” (al-abdâl) from his al-Maktab al-Islami (3rd) edition of Ibn Taymiyya’s `Aqida Wasitiyya in the following passage: “The true adherents of Islam in its pristine purity are Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a. In their ranks are found the truthful saints (al-siddîqûn), the martyrs, and the righteous. Among them are the great men of guidance and illumination, of recorded integrity and celebrated virtue. And among them are the substitute-saints (al-abdâl) – the Imams – concerning whose guidance and  knowledge the Muslims are in full accord. These are the Victorious Group…” as found in the Cairo Salafiyya edition (p. 36) and the Majmu`a al-Rasa’il al-Kubra (3:159).

4- Suppression of the chapter that concerns the Friends of Allah (al-awliyâ’), Substitute-Saints (al-abdâl), and the Righteous (al-sâlihîn) from Ibn `Abidin’s Epistles.[12]

5- Removal of Abu Hayyan’s denunciation of Ibn Taymiyya as an anthropomorphist from his two Tafsirs, al-Bahr al-Muhit and al-Nahr al-Madd min al-Bahr (passage on Ayat al-Kursi).

6- Interpolation of the phrase bidhâtihi (“in person”) into al-Gilani’s mention of Allah Most High establishing Himself over the Throne as well as the takfîr of Imam Abu Hanifa in his classic al-Ghunya.

7- Interpolations among the same lines as well as the takfîr of Imam Abu Hanifa in al-Ash`ari’s al-Ibana.

8- Suppressions and additions along anthropomorphist lines in al-Nawawi’s Sharh Sahih Muslim from as early as Ibn al-Subki’s time.

9- Anthropomorphist additions to al-Alusi’s Ruh al-Ma`ani transmitted by his “Salafi” son Nu`man as shown by a comparison with its autograph manuscript.

10- Commissioning Muhammad Muhsin Khan and Muhammad Taqi al-Din al-Hilali with English translations of the motherbooks of Islam such as the Qur’an, al-Bukhari’s Sahih, al-Zabidi’s al-Tajrid al-Sarih, al-Naysaburi’s al-Lu’lu’ wa al-Marjan etc. when Khan was only trained as a chest doctor while the late Moroccan-born Hilali had no more than a poor mastery of the English language.[13] Hence their translations are clumsy, inelegant, filled with gaps and approximations, and further corrupted by deliberate manipulations of meaning along doctrinal lines as shown by the following example in their Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 549: “Narrated Ibn `Abbas: `The Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – said, “The people were displayed in front of me and I saw one prophet passing by with a large group of his followers, and another prophet passing by with only a small group of people, and another prophet passing by with only ten (persons), and another prophet passing by with only five (persons), and another prophet passed by alone. And then I looked and saw a large multitude of people, so I asked Gibril, “Are these people my followers?’ He said, `No, but look towards the horizon.’ I looked and saw a very large multitude of people. Gibril said. `Those are your followers, and those are seventy thousand (persons) in front of them who will neither have any reckoning of their accounts nor will receive any punishment.’ I asked, `Why?’ He said, `For they used not to treat themselves with branding (cauterization) NOR WITH RUQYA (GET ONESELF TREATED BY THE RECITATION OF SOME VERSES OF THE QUR’AN) and not to see evil omen in things, and they used to put their trust (only) in their Lord.” On hearing that, `Ukasha bin Mihsan got up and said (to the Prophet), “Invoke Allah to make me one of them.” The Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – said, “O Allah, make him one of them.” Then another man got up and said (to the Prophet), “Invoke Allah to make me one of them.” The Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – said, `Ukasha has preceded you.”‘”

As demonstrated in the text of the Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine (6:137-149) on ta’wîz, there is a Jahili ruqyâ, and there is a Sunni ruqyâ. The former is made with other than what is allowed in the Religion, such as amulets, talismans, spells, incantations, charms, magic and the like: and that is what the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – meant in the above hadith. But the translator Khan mischaracterized the Jahili ruqya, in his parenthetical gloss, as the Sunna ruqyâ consisting in using some verses of the Qur’an or permitted du’â for treatment! Thus he suggests, in his manipulation, exactly the reverse of what the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – said and practiced, and the reverse of what the Companions said and practiced both in the time of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – and after his time. One well-known probative example of the Sunna ruqyâ is the use of the Fatiha by one of the Companions to heal a scorpion-bite – and the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – approved of it – as narrated by al-Bukhari elsewhere in his Sahih.[14]

11- The 1999 translation of al-Nawawi’s Riyad al-Salihin published by Darussalam publications out of Riyad makes a similar interpolation distorting the meaning of the words of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him -: “They are those who do not make RUQYAH (BLOWING OVER THEMSELVES AFTER RECITING THE QUR’AN  OR SOME PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATIONS THE PROPHET – Allah bless and greet him – used to say).”[15] Observe their equating something the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – used to do with an act that those who enter Paradise do not do. The same book calls al-Albani “the leading authority in the science of hadith” (p. 88), declares that “in case of breach of ablution, the wiping over the socks is sufficient, and there is no need for washing the feet” (p. 31), that “ours should not be the belief that the dead do hear and reply [our greeting]” (p. 515), and that expressing the intention (niyya) verbally before salât “is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion) because no proof of it is found in Sharî`ah” (p. 14)!

12- Other manipulations of meaning along anthropomorphist lines and dilly-dallying can be seen in Khan-Hilali’s discrepant, multiple translations of the meanings of the Qur’an into English. An example of this confusion is in the footnote to the verse of the Throne (2:255) for the word kursiyyuhu, translated as “His Throne”: “Throne: seat.”[16] In a later edition by the same M.M. Khan and his friend M. Taqi al-Din al-Hilali, the word is left untranslated, giving “His Kursî,” with a footnote stating:

Kursî: literally a footstool or chair, and sometimes wrongly translated as Throne[!]. Ibn Taimiyah said: a) To believe in the Kursî. b) To believe in the `Arsh (Throne) [sic]. It is narrated from Muhammad bin `Abdullâh and from other religious scholars that the Kursî is in front of the `Arsh (Throne) and it is at the level of the Feet. (Fatawa Ibn Taimiyah, Vol. 5, Pages 54, 55).”[17]

None of the above explanations is authentically related from the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him -, least of all the astonishing mention of “the Feet[18] – and who are “Muhammad bin `Abdullâh” and the “other religious scholars”?! Nor is the call for imitating what “Ibn Taymiyya said to believe” other than a bankrupt innovation. Nor is the translation of kursî as “Throne” wrong when called for in certain cases, as in the narration: “On the Day of Resurrection your Prophet shall be brought and shall be made to sit in front of Allah the Almighty, on His kursî.”[19] Some of the Salaf, among them al-Hasan al-Basri, even explicitly said that the kursî is the `arsh.[20] Furthermore, it is authentically related from Ibn `Abbas that he said: “His kursî is His knowledge (kursiyyuhu `ilmuhu),”[21] and this is the explanation preferred by the Imams of the Salaf such as Sufyan al-Thawri, al-Bukhari, al-Tabari, al-Bayhaqi, and others.

13- Other examples of Khan-Hilali’s bamboozled translations: “Then he rose over (Istawâ) towards the heaven” (p. 643) as compared to Pickthall’s {Then turned He to the heaven when it was smoke} (41:11) and Yusuf `Ali’s over-figurative “Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke“; “and then He rose over (Istawâ) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty)” (p. 208) as compared to Pickthall’s simple {then mounted He the Throne} (7:54) and `Ali’s typical “then He established Himself on the Throne (of authority)“; “Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allâh)” (p. 772) as compared to Pickthall’s literal (Have ye taken security from Him Who is in the heaven (fî al-samâ’)( (67:16-17) and `Ali’s “Do ye feel secure that He Who is in Heaven“; etc.

14- The translation of verse 2:200 states: “So when you have accomplished your Manaasik, remember Allâh as you remember your forefathers or with a far more rememberance” (p. 43)!; etc. Did Ibn Baz, “The Presidency of Islamic Researches, Ifta, Call and Guidance,” and the “King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an” all think so cheaply of the Book of Allah and so dearly of their own agenda that the basic grammar and syntax of the translation of its meanings into the most heavily spoken language on earth did not deserve to be double-checked by a competent English proofreader before being printed on the best bible paper, sewn-bound, and distributed freely at huge cost?

Ibn Baz did his best to aid and abet the main innovators of our time such as al-Albani, on whom he bestowed the King Faysal Prize “for services rendered to Islam” (!) the year before their respective deaths; al-Albani’s student and deputy in Kuwait, `Abd al-Rahman `Abd al-Khaliq the author of the despicable attack on the Friends of Allah which he titled Fada’ih al-Sufiyya (“The Disgraces of the Sufis”) and which al-Buti termed an exercise in calumny; Muqbil ibn Hadi al-Wadi`i who asked that the Noble Grave be brought out of the Mosque and the Green Dome destroyed, and roamed the land in Yemen with armed thugs, digging up the graves of the dead with picks and spades; Abu Bakr al-Jaza’iri, Muhammad Zino, `Abd al-Rahman Dimashqiyya, and their ilk…

As Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa`i said to the Ulema of Najd: “You left none but yourselves as those who are saved, forgetting the Prophet’s – Allah bless and greet him – saying: `If anyone says, `The people have perished,’ then he has perished the most.”[22]

Wal-`Aqibatu lil-Muttaqin.

[1] Muhammad ibn Mani` as quoted by al-Albani in the latter’s commentary in al-`Aqida al-Tahawiyya, Sharh wa Ta`liq, 2nd ed. (ed. Zuhayr Shawish, Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1993) p. 46.

[2] Tanbihat Hamma (Kuwait: Jam`iyya Ihya’ al-Turath al-Islami, p. 22).

[3] Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 3:361 #1425).

[4] Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 3:361 n.; 1989 ed. 3:357 n.)

[5] See Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (3:132) and his stand-alone, edited Qa`ida fi al-Jarh wa al-Ta`dil (p. 31-33) [TSK (2:13)].

[6] Notes on Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 3:37-38; 1959 ed. 3:32-33 #1094).

[7]A thorough refutation of Ibn Baz’s fatwa on Mawlid was issued by the Imam Ahmed Raza Academy in South Africa and published on the Internet.

[8]Al-Bayhaqi and others narrate from Malik al-Dar, `Umar’s treasurer, that the people suffered a drought during the successorship of `Umar, whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – and said: “O Messenger of God, ask for rain for your Community, for verily they have but perished,” after which the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – appeared to him in a dream and told him: “Go to `Umar and give him my greeting, then tell him that they will be watered. Tell him: You must be clever, you must be clever!” The man went and told `Umar. The latter said: “O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!” Ibn Kathir cites it thus from al-Bayhaqi in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya (7:92) and says: isnâduhu sahîh; Ibn Abi Shayba cites it in his Musannaf with a sound chain as confirmed by Ibn Hajar who cites the hadith in the 3rd chapter of the book of Istisqa’ in Fath al-Bari (1989 ed. 2:629-630) and al-Isaba (3:484), identifying the man who visited and saw the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – in his dream as the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harth. He counts this hadith as one of the reasons for al-Bukhari’s naming of the chapter “The people’s request to their leader for rain if they suffer drought.”

[9]Cf. section, “Dwarves on the Shoulders of Giants” in Shaykh Hisham Kabbani’s Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine (1:174-177) = Islamic Beliefs and Doctrine (p. 204-208).

[10] See https://sunnah.org/msaec/articles/arnaut.htm.

[11]See http://ds.dial.pipex.com/masud/ISLAM/nuh/masudq3.htm

[12]Namely, the epitle titled Ijabat al-Ghawth bi Bayan Hal al-Abdal wa al-Ghawth  that can be found in the original edition of Ibn `Abidin’s Rasa’il (2:264-284).

[13]As revealed to the author by Dr. Muhammad Mustafa al-A`zami who personally knew Hilali. Perhaps Hilali’s close friend Dr. Abu al-Hasan al-Nadwi should be credited for these translations instead of him.

[14]The correct translation of the above hadith is: The Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – said: The people were displayed in front of me and I saw one Prophet passing by with a large group of his followers, another Prophet passing by with only a small group of people, another Prophet passing by with only ten (persons), another Prophet passing by with only five (persons), and another Prophet passed by alone. And then I looked and saw a large multitude of people (sawâd `azîm), so I asked Gibril: “Are these people my followers?” He said: “No, but look towards the horizon.” I looked and saw a very large multitude of people. Gibril said: “Those are your followers, and there are seventy thousand of them in front of them who will neither have any reckoning of their accounts nor will receive any punishment.” I asked: “Why?” He said: “They used not to treat themselves with cauterization nor amulets, nor to see auguries and omens in birds, and they relied solely upon their Lord.” On hearing this, `Ukkasha ibn Mihsan stood up and said to the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – : “Invoke Allah to make me one of them.” The Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – said: “O Allah, make him one of them.” Then another man stood up and said to the Prophet: “Invoke Allah to make me one of them.” The Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – said: `Ukkasha has preceded you with this request.”

[15]Riyâd-us-Sâliheen, vol. 1, translated by Muhammad Amin ibn Razduq with a commentary by Hafiz Yusuf (p. 94).

[16]Footnote #298 in The Holy Qur-an: English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary, Revised and Edited by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, Ifta, Call and Guidance (Madinah: King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex, 1410 [1990]).

[17]The Noble Qur’an: English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary by Muhammad Taqi al-Din al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Revised and Edited by The Presidency of Islamic Researches, Ifta, Call and Guidance (Madinah: King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, 1417 [1997] (p. 57 n. 1).

[18]See al-Bayhaqi, al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat (Hashidi ed. 2:196 #758), Ibn al-Jawzi, al-`Ilal (1:22), al-Dhahabi al-Mizan (2:265), Ibn Kathir, Tafsir (1:317), Ibn Hajar, al-Tahdhib (4:274), and al-Ahdab, Zawa’id Tarikh Baghdad (7:37-39 #1383).

[19]Narrated mawqûf from `Abd Allah ibn Salam by Ibn Abi `Asim in al-Sunna (p. 351 #786) and al-Tabari in his Tafsir (8:100).

[20]Narrated by al-Tabari, Tafsir (3:10).

[21]Narrated marfû` from the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – by Sufyan al-Thawri with a sound chain according to Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 8:199) and al-Tabarani in al-Sunna; and mawqûf from Ibn `Abbas by al-Tabari with three sound chains in his Tafsir (3:9-11), al-Mawardi in his Tafsir (1:908), al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur (1:327), al-Shawkani in Fath al-Qadir (1:245), and others. Al-Tabari chooses it as the most correct explanation: “The external wording of the Qur’an indicates the correctness of the report from Ibn `Abbas that it [the kursî] is His `ilm… and the original sense of al-kursî is al-`ilm.” Also narrated in “suspended” form (mu`allaq) by al-Bukhari in his Sahih from Sa`id ibn Jubayr (Book of Tafsir, chapter on the saying of Allah Most High: {And if you go in fear, then (pray) standing or on horseback} (2:239). Its chains are documented by Ibn Hajar in Taghliq al-Ta`liq (2/4:185-186) where he shows that Sufyan al-Thawri, `Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi, and Waki` narrated it marfû` from the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him -, although in the Fath he declares the mawqûf version from Ibn `Abbas more likely.

[22]Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Malik, Ahmad, Muslim, al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, and Abu Dawud.