Ibn al-Qayyim is cited in this fatwa
discussing the hadith: https://www.islamweb.net/ar/fatwa/288472/شرح-حديث-صاحب-الشجة. For the original, see Ibn al-Qayyim, Iʿlām al-muwaqqiʿīn ʿan Rabb al-ʿĀlamīn, ed. Mashhūr Āl Salmān (Jeddah: Dār Ibn Jawzī, 1423), 3:529.
See Abū Dāwūd, al-Sunan
, Kitāb al-ṭahāra, Bāb fī al-majrūḥ yatayammam, https://sunnah.com/abudawud:336. According to the contemporary hadith scholar, Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī (d. 1420/1999), what I have cited from the report is ḥasan
, i.e., sound.
Jonathan Brown has demonstrated how some modern attempts at interpreting the Qur’an without reference to extra-Qur’anic sources on the part of the so-called “Qur’an Only” movement illustrate the implausibility of such efforts succeeding. See Jonathan A. C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy
(Oxford: Oneworld, 2014), 200–206 passim.
Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān
, ed. ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-Turkī et al. (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risāla, 1427/2006), 14:179, https://archive.org/details/waq73651/14_73664/page/n178/mode/2up?view=theater.
Brown, Misquoting Muhammad
, 200–206 passim.
This anonymous pair of couplets is occasionally cited by scholars as highlighting the various senses of the letter bāʾ
تعد لصوقا واستعن بتسبب
وبدل صحابا قابلوك بالاستعلا
وزد بعضهم إن جاوز الظرف غاية
يمينا تحز للبا معانيها كلا
For a discussion of the fourteen senses that can be derived from them, see: https://borsacenter.mosw3a.com/f6/%2A-فـوائد-حـرف-البـاء-%2A-9454.html
The influential fifth/eleventh century scholar, Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazzāi, is among numerous scholars throughout Islamic history who have warned against this pitfall of scholarship.
See: “FAQs: Judges in the United States,” Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, University of Denver, June 12, 2014, https://iaals.du.edu/publications/faqs-judges-united-states
“New ABA data reveals rise in number of US lawyers, 15 percent increase since 2008,” American Bar Association, May 11, 2018, https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2018/05/new_aba_data_reveals/
See, for example, the works of the non-Muslim scholars Wael Hallaq, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2013) and Noah Feldman, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).
Regarding this great scholar’s nisba
, Frank Griffel argues that historically there has been disagreement as to whether or not it comes from a wool spinner (ghazzāl
) or a place (Ghazāla). He writes, “the most talented Arab historians of this period— Ibn Khallikān, al-Dhahabī, and al-Ṣafadī —understood that the matter could not be settled and remained uncommitted.” See his, “Al-Ghazālī or al-Ghazzālī? On a Lively Debate Among Ayyūbid and Mamlūk Historians in Damascus.”" I wish to thank an anonymous reviewer for directing my attention to this reference.
I have modified the translation of Kenneth Honerkamp. See Ghazālī and Kenneth Lee Honerkamp, Kitāb al-ʻilm, The Book of Knowledge: Book 1 of the Iḥyāʼ ʻUlūm al-Dīn, The Revival of the Religious Sciences
(Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2015), 54. For the original, see Ghazzālī, Iḥyāʼ ʻulūm al-dīn
(Jeddah: Dār al-Minhāj, 2011) 1:81–82.
I have elsewhere discussed the limitations of relying on ijaza
s to assess the reliability of scholars. For that discussion, see: Usaama al-Azami, “Traditional Islam, Ideology, Immigrant Muslims, and Grievance Culture: A Review of Travelling Home: Essays on Islam in Europe
by Abdal Hakim Murad,” Muslim Matters
, 05/02/2021, available at: https://muslimmatters.org/2021/02/05/traditional-islam-ideology-immigrant-muslims-and-grievance-culture-a-review-of-travelling-home-essays-on-islam-in-europe-by-abdal-hakim-murad/.
See “Ḥukm akhdh al-fatwā min al-mawāqiʿ al-iliktrūniyya maʿa ʿadam al-ʿilm bi-l-muftīn fī-hā
, January 1, 2013, https://www.islamweb.net/ar/fatwa/195005/حكم-أخذ-الفتوى-من-المواقع-الإلكترونية-مع-عدم-العلم-بالمفتين-فيها-ومدى-أهليتهم-للفتوى
This is cited by the contemporary Mauritanian scholar, Muḥammad al-Ḥasan Wuld al-Dadaw (b. 1383/1963), in his oral commentary on al-Juwaynī’s al-Waraqāt fī uṣūl al-fiqh
. For a transcribed version of these lectures, see https://ketabonline.com/ar/books/5804/read?part=5&page=124&index=3272575/3272592/3272594
. I have been unable to locate this precise quotation in his works after a non-exhaustive search.
There are unfortunate cases of Islamic scholars supporting French anti-headscarf legislation or supporting authoritarian regimes in the Middle East in their attempts at crushing Islamically-oriented democratic movements. I discuss some of these examples in my book, Islam and the Arab Revolutions: The Ulama Between Democracy and Autocracy
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2022).
See al-Bukhari, al-Jami‘ al-Sahih
, kitab al-‘ilm
, bab al-haya’ fi al-‘ilm
. This report is transmitted without a full chain of narrators (i.e., it is mu‘allaq
) in Sahih al-Bukhari
, but is reported elsewhere with full chains deemed reliable. For one such example found in Sahih Muslim
, see https://sunnah.com/muslim:332c
Even if there are cases where both spouses work—an increasing reality in neoliberal societies—the Sharia obligation for husbands to provide financially for their families sets the tone of gender roles in ways that are often at odds with contemporary Western norms and/or aspirations. This is not to say that individual spouses cannot renegotiate how such Sharia obligations are upheld in practice, nor that there is no latitude in the interpretation of such norms in ways that remain faithful to the scriptural sources, a reality that is reflected in the various ways in which Islamic scholars have interpreted spousal obligations over the course of the past fourteen hundred years. For an excellent illustration of some of that variety, see Marion Holmes Katz, Wives and Work: Islamic Law and Ethics Before Modernity
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2022). It is clear from the Qur’an and Sunnah, however, that the obligation of men to provide for their families is a mainstay of marriage in Islam. The fact that systemic wage suppression of the middle classes over the decades has made this impracticable in many cases illustrates how Islamic norms may be difficult to uphold in civilizational contexts in which Muslims are disempowered and unable to shape policy and social mores in accordance with their values. This does not undermine, in principle, the normativity of Prophetic guidance. But it does highlight the necessity of flexibility in practicing the Sharia in adverse conditions, as well as the importance of self-consciously cultivating Sharia-confirming sensibilities in contexts in which actual conditions preclude those subjectivities from being formed through normal social practice.
For the attribution of the report to early authorities, see https://al-maktaba.org/book/31615/19878
Samy A. Ayoub, Law, Empire, and the Sultan: Ottoman Imperial Authority and Late Hanafi Jurisprudence
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), 22. Ayoub is drawing on the work of Recep Şentürk. See Şentürk, “Between Traditional and New Forms of Authority in Modern Islam,” in Tradition and Modernity: Christian and Muslim Perspectives
, ed. David Marshall (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2013), 45– 56, 45.
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Iʿlām al-muwaqqiʿīn ʿan Rabb al-ʿālamīn
, eds. Mashhūr Āl Salmān and Abū ʿUmar Aḥmad (Dammam: Dār Ibn al-Jawzī, 1423), 2:16.
For a discussion of this issue, see Ovamir Anjum, “Who Wants the Caliphate?,” Yaqeen Institute, October 19, 2019, available at: https://yaqeeninstitute.org/read/paper/who-wants-the-caliphate.
Jonathan Brown, “Keeping Our Eye on the Ball: The Problem with the UAE Summit,” MuslimMatters, December 17, 2018, https://muslimmatters.org/2018/12/17/keeping-our-eye-on-the-ball-the-problem-with-the-uae-summit/
Sadly, this has happened in several instances. I note one case in my book.
Al-Azami, Islam and the Arab Revolutions.
The Sunnah, to be counted as such, must be soundly transmitted, an arena that is the realm of legitimate disagreement among specialists with respect to individual reports.
This is an important counter to the tiresome refrain that the Sharia cannot be known since there are so many different interpretations. This is a red herring. Every system that forms the basis for a legal culture or a civilization develops mechanisms for resolving disputes wherein differences of opinion lead to intractable social problems. This is why Sharia-based rule of law systems established courts, and as the legal maxim has it, “the ruling of a judge eliminates difference of opinion.” The supposed claims of the indeterminacy of the Sharia naturally apply a fortiori
to systems that are built entirely on the contingent, socially constructed practices found in post-Enlightenment Europe.
I use the phrase “the Islamic perspective” for the sentence to flow better. Of course not all issues have a single Islamic perspective. In fact, aside from core components of belief understood in general terms, there are typically multiple Islamic perspectives on a given issue, as indicated above when discussing how to wipe one’s head during wuḍūʾ
The term “spiritual abuse” has been used in a number of ways in public discourse. In mainstream Western uses, it sometimes implies that religious traditions and figures are especially susceptible to these forms of abuse, although the examples mentioned above, and the fact that some of these cases have been highlighted in the context of the #MeToo movement, illustrates that there are wider trends in society for which the term is a specifically religious analogue. Islamic scholars like Dr. Rania Awaad and Shaykh Rami Nsour use the term in the more careful sense that I am appealing to here. For a discussion, see: Rami Nsour, “My Reflections on Spiritual Abuse,” Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice
4:1, (2022), available at: https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/JIFP/article/view/26552.
This hadith appears in multiple canonical collections including those of al-Tirmidhī, Abū Dāwūd, Ibn Mājah, and the Musnad
of Aḥmad. For a comprehensive attribution of the hadith to these sources and a discussion of the strength of the report, see Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, Musnad
, 36:46–48, https://archive.org/details/musnadahmed/ahmd_36/page/n45/mode/2up?view=theater
. The modern editors of the Musnad
consider the hadith to be ḥasan li-ghayrihī
, owing to some weakness in several of its versions that do not ultimately undermine its legitimate use in religious practice. For the report as preserved in al-Nawawī’s Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn,
. On an entirely unrelated note, the lack of gender inclusive language in my translation is a reflection of the inevitably gendered nature of the Arabic language. To avoid anachronism, I do not use gender inclusive language when translating this and other premodern texts in this article.
To read the full report in al-Nawawi’s Riyad al-Salihin
, which draws it from Sahih Muslim
, indicating its authenticity, see https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin:1617