Missing the Ledes on the Montreal “Anti Semitic Imam” story Lede Two: Al_Nawawi’s Hadith? never heard of It.

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Missing the Ledes on the Montreal "Anti Semitic Imam" story Lede Two: Al_Nawawi's Hadith? never heard of It.

Col Klink: No it’s not pos­si­ble, Gen­eral Mulen­dorf
Gestapo Cap­tain Bor­man: With his arm around your shoul­ders.
Col Klink: Yes we were friends
Gestapo Cap­tain Bor­man: Close Friends, and very pos­si­bly asso­ci­ated in za plot to assas­si­nate the Führer
Col Klink: I hardly knew the man, went to school together ten years, saw each other every day but what’s that?
Gestapo Cap­tain Bor­man: You were also best man at his wed­ding
Col Klink: Oh, Well I had noth­ing else to do that afternoon.

Hogan’s Heroes: The Big Pic­ture 1970

In yesterday’s post on the Mon­tréal Anti-​Semitic Imam story I pointed out that the press in their writ­ing seemed to miss that the out­rage of the Mus­lim Com­mu­nity to invited guest Jor­dan­ian cleric Sheikh Muham­mad bin Musa Al Nasr didn’t mate­ri­al­ize until after the rest of the world saw the trans­la­tion of his words in Eng­lish months after he was invited, spoke and the words put online in ara­bic. Today’s piece touches on a more sub­tle but even more telling bit from the story is this quote from Imam Ziad Asali of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Islamic Char­i­ta­ble Projects, pre­sum­ably some­one who knows a thing or two about his reli­gion on the verse sited by the Jor­dan­ian Sheikh as reported by the CBC.

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are writ­ten in many books, some of which are con­sid­ered authen­tic, while oth­ers are not, said Asali.

Now if your goal is to min­i­mize the role of Islam as under­stood by Mus­lims you would do what the CBC did and move directly on, but if you were a reporter inter­est­ing is find­ing the truth, then Imam’s Asali’s quote leads to a rather obvi­ous question:

Is the Hadith and the quote within it con­sid­ered “Authen­tic” by Muslims?

Well to answer the ques­tion one would need to know what a Hadith is, which one this is and where it came from.

The ency­clo­pe­dia Bri­tan­nica defines a Hadith as:

Hadith, Ara­bic Ḥadīth (“News” or “Story”), also spelled Hadīt , record of the tra­di­tions or say­ings of the Prophet Muham­mad, revered and received as a major source of reli­gious law and moral guid­ance, sec­ond only to the author­ity of the Qurʾān, the holy book of Islam. It might be defined as the biog­ra­phy of Muham­mad per­pet­u­ated by the long mem­ory of his com­mu­nity for their exem­pli­fi­ca­tion and obe­di­ence. The devel­op­ment of Hadith is a vital ele­ment dur­ing the first three cen­turies of Islamic his­tory, and its study pro­vides a broad index to the mind and ethos of Islam.

Hmmmm it would seem to me then that being a “major source of reli­gious law and moral guid­ance” and “sec­ond only to the author­ity of the Qurʾān,” a Hadith is not some­thing to be taken lightly and dis­missed in the cav­a­lier fash­ion. One would think Imam Asali would know this.

But even if this is true about Hadith’s in gen­eral, the ques­tion still remains, is this Hadith a valid one?

The Hadith in ques­tion is titled: The Book of Mis­cel­la­neous aha­dith of Sig­nif­i­cant Val­ues which in addi­tion to the offend­ing quote has gems such as:

وعنه رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏يتبع الدجال من يهود أصبهان سبعون ألفا عليهم الطيالسة‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

or in English

The Mes­sen­ger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Daj­jal (the Antichrist) will be fol­lowed by sev­enty thou­sand Jews of Isfa­han and will be dressed in robes of green coloured satin.”

So the ques­tion now on the floor would be: Is The Book of Mis­cel­la­neous aha­dith of Sig­nif­i­cant Val­ues an authen­tic book from a cred­i­ble source?

Well a quick net search answers that ques­tion. It comes from a fel­low by the name of Imam Al Nawawi. Here is some back­ground:

Al-​Imām Muhy al-​Dīn Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Sharaf al-​Nawawī, born in the vil­lage of Nawa on the Horan Plain of south­ern Syria in 631 H. He was the imām of the later Shā­fiʿī School, the scholar of his time in knowl­edge, piety, and absti­nence, a hadīth mas­ter (hāfiẓ), biog­ra­pher, lex­i­col­o­gist, and Sufi.

So this is a guy who was an early Islamic scholar but we need more than that. What kind of guy is he, is he a well known scholar cred­i­ble scholar of Islam?:

His Char­ac­ter

The schol­ars, elite of his soci­ety, and the pub­lic greatly respected Imam Nawawi on account of his piety, learn­ing, and excel­lent char­ac­ter. He dressed and ate sim­ply and humbly. Devout schol­ars do not care about attain­ing worldly pos­ses­sions, they give pref­er­ence to reli­gious and aca­d­e­mic pur­suits, and the dis­sem­i­na­tion and prop­a­ga­tion of faith. They expe­ri­ence more heav­enly delight and joy in such activ­i­ties than those who seek sat­is­fac­tion in lux­u­ri­ous life styles. He was God-​fearing who had high ambi­tions and aims in the dis­sem­i­na­tion and prop­a­ga­tion of faith.

His Works and Death

Imam Nawawi had a very short life (44 years) but even dur­ing this short period, he wrote a large num­ber of books on var­i­ous sub­jects. Nearly every work is a mas­ter­piece and a trea­sure of knowl­edge. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple have ben­e­fited from these works.

Some of the pres­ti­gious works of Imam Nawawi, apart from the com­pi­la­tion of the “40 Hadith” (al-​Arbaʿīn) include:

Riyāḍ al-​Ṣāliḥīn
Com­men­tary on Ṣaḥīḥ al-​Bukhārī
Com­men­tary on Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim (Al-​Minhāj fi Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim)
Sharḥ Sunan Abī Dāwūd
Mukhtaṣar Al-​Tirmidhī
Kitāb al-​Rawḍah
Kitāb al-​Adhkār
Al-​Taqrīb fī ʿIlm al-​Ḥadīth wa al-​Irshād fīhi
Al-​Tibyān
Bustān al-​ʿĀrifīn
After spend­ing 28 years in schol­arly pur­suits away from home, Imam Nawawi returned to his home­town. Soon after his arrival in Nawā, he fell ill and died. His works are of ever­last­ing value. May Allah bless him.

Empha­sis mine. That seems like a guy whose work is cred­i­ble, but are they still sought after today? Here is Kitaabun​.com a site that sells Islamic books and items offer­ing his works

The famous 5th Cen­tury Hijri, Aha­dith com­pi­la­tion by Imam Al-​Nawawi, The aha­dith are pre­dom­i­nantly from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Mus­lim (Other aha­dith are from the reli­able Books such as Tir­midhi, Ibn Majah and Muwatta Imam Malik),
Con­sid­ered by Many as the Most Impor­tant Book after the Qur’an Sim­ply because it is a Sum­mary of authen­tic Tra­di­tions of the Prophet Muham­mad (S.A.W).

1900 Aha­dith com­piled over 372 Chap­ters and 19 Sec­tions which can be gen­er­alised as fol­lows:
The Book of Good Man­ners — The Book about the Eti­quette of Eat­ing — The Book of Dress –The Book of the Eti­quette of Sleep­ing, Lying and Sit­ting, etc.- The book of Greet­ings — The Book of Vis­it­ing the Sick — The Book of Eti­quette of Trav­el­ing — The Book of Virtues — The Book of I’tikaf — The Book of Hajj — The Book of Jihad — The Book of Knowl­edge — The Book of Praise and Grat­i­tude to Allah — The Book of Sup­pli­cat­ing Allah to Exalt the Men­tion of Allah’s Mes­sen­ger (phuh) — The Book of the Remem­brance of Allah — The Book of Du’a (Sup­pli­ca­tions) — The Book of the Pro­hib­ited Actions — The Book of Mis­cel­la­neous Aha­dith of Sig­nif­i­cant val­ues - The Book of Forgiveness

About Imam al-​Nawawi (d. 6761277)

Imam Yahya ibn Sharaf al-​Nawawi was Born in the vil­lage of Nawa in South­ern Syria, Imam Nawawi spent most of his life in Dam­as­cus where he lived in a sim­ple man­ner, devoted to Allah, engag­ing single-​mindedly in wor­ship, study, writ­ing and teach­ing var­i­ous Islamic sci­ences. .
Although best known for his works in hadith, Yahya ibn Sharaf al-​Nawawi (d. 6761277) was also the Imam of the later Shafi’i school of Jurispru­dence, and widely acknowl­edged as the intel­lec­tual heir to Imam Shafi’i. He was a renowned scholar and jurist who ded­i­cated his life to the pur­suit of Islamic learning.

empha­sis mine. You can see a screen shot here it case it mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­pears tomor­row, but if so you can always go to Ama​zon​.com and find not only his books

but schol­arly com­men­taries on them

Now I don’t claim to be an Islamic scholar, but all this tells me that Imam Al Nawawi is a sig­nif­i­cant scholar in the His­tory of Islam and that his Hadiths are con­sid­ered authentic.

So lets get back to his orig­i­nal state­ment about the Hadith in ques­tion from Imam Ziad Asali of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Islamic Char­i­ta­ble Projects

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are writ­ten in many books, some of which are con­sid­ered authen­tic, while oth­ers are not, said Asali.

The state­ment is fac­tu­ally true, this is one of more that 100,000 Hadith, there are many books of them and some of those books are con­sid­ered authen­tic and some are not.

How­ever the Books of Mis­cel­la­neous Aha­dith of Sig­nif­i­cant val­ues isn’t just one of many books. It’s a his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant book writ­ten by rep­utable and respected early scholar of Islam that is with­out a doubt con­sid­ered authen­tic by Mus­lims to this day.

Now it’s of course the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble that all of these facts that I was able to dis­cover in an hour or two on the net about Imam Al Nawawi and his place in Islamic Schol­ar­ship, and the Hadith The Book of Mis­cel­la­neous Aha­dith of Sig­nif­i­cant Val­ues are com­pletely unknown to Imam Ziad Asali of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Islamic Char­i­ta­ble Projects, but I sus­pect not. I sus­pect instead that he rightly assumed that the CBC had no inter­est in clar­i­fy­ing this ques­tion, and he was right.

Alas for Iman Asali, I don’t work for the CBC.


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[olimome­ter id=3]

If you are not in the posi­tion to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

Col Klink:   No it’s not possible, General Mulendorf
Gestapo Captain Borman: With his arm around your shoulders.  
Col Klink: Yes we were friends
Gestapo Captain Borman: Close Friends, and very possibly associated in za plot to assassinate the Führer
Col Klink: I hardly knew the man, went to school together ten years, saw each other every day but what’s that?
Gestapo Captain Borman: You were also best man at his wedding
Col Klink:  Oh, Well I had nothing else to do that afternoon.

Hogan’s Heroes: The Big Picture 1970

In yesterday’s post on the Montreal Anti-Semitic Imam story I pointed out that the press in their writing seemed to miss that the outrage of the Muslim Community to invited guest Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr didn’t materialize until after the rest of the world saw the translation of his words in English months after he was invited, spoke and the words put online in arabic. Today’s piece touches on a more subtle but even more telling bit from the story is this quote from Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, presumably someone who knows a thing or two about his religion on the verse sited by the Jordanian Sheikh as reported by the CBC.

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are written in many books, some of which are considered authentic, while others are not, said Asali.

Now if your goal is to minimize the role of Islam as understood by Muslims you would do what the CBC did and move directly on, but if you were a reporter interesting is finding the truth, then Imam’s Asali’s quote leads to a rather obvious question:

Is the Hadith and the quote within it considered “Authentic” by Muslims?

Well to answer the question one would need to know what a Hadith is, which one this is and where it came from.

The encyclopedia Britannica defines a Hadith as:

Hadith, Arabic Ḥadīth (“News” or “Story”), also spelled Hadīt , record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the authority of the Qurʾān, the holy book of Islam. It might be defined as the biography of Muhammad perpetuated by the long memory of his community for their exemplification and obedience. The development of Hadith is a vital element during the first three centuries of Islamic history, and its study provides a broad index to the mind and ethos of Islam.

 

Hmmmm it would seem to me then that being a “major source of religious law and moral guidance” and “second only to the authority of the Qurʾān,” a Hadith is not something to be taken lightly and dismissed in the cavalier fashion. One would think Imam Asali would know this.

But even if this is true about Hadith’s in general, the question still remains, is this Hadith a valid one?

The Hadith in question is titled: The Book of Miscellaneous ahadith of Significant Values which in addition to the offending quote has gems such as:

وعنه رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏يتبع الدجال من يهود أصبهان سبعون ألفا عليهم الطيالسة‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

or in English

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Dajjal (the Antichrist) will be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan and will be dressed in robes of green coloured satin.”

So the question now on the floor would be: Is The Book of Miscellaneous ahadith of Significant Values an authentic book from a credible source?

Well a quick net search answers that question. It comes from a fellow by the name of Imam Al Nawawi. Here is some background:

Al-Imām Muhy al-Dīn Abū Zakariyyā Yahyā ibn Sharaf al-Nawawī, born in the village of Nawa on the Horan Plain of southern Syria in 631 H. He was the imām of the later Shāfiʿī School, the scholar of his time in knowledge, piety, and abstinence, a hadīth master (hāfiẓ), biographer, lexicologist, and Sufi.

So this is a guy who was an early Islamic scholar but we need more than that.  What kind of guy is he, is he a well known scholar credible scholar of Islam?:

His Character

The scholars, elite of his society, and the public greatly respected Imam Nawawi on account of his piety, learning, and excellent character. He dressed and ate simply and humbly. Devout scholars do not care about attaining worldly possessions, they give preference to religious and academic pursuits, and the dissemination and propagation of faith. They experience more heavenly delight and joy in such activities than those who seek satisfaction in luxurious life styles. He was God-fearing who had high ambitions and aims in the dissemination and propagation of faith.

His Works and Death

Imam Nawawi had a very short life (44 years) but even during this short period, he wrote a large number of books on various subjects. Nearly every work is a masterpiece and a treasure of knowledge. Hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from these works.

Some of the prestigious works of Imam Nawawi, apart from the compilation of the “40 Hadith” (al-Arbaʿīn) include:

Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn
Commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī
Commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (Al-Minhāj fi Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)
Sharḥ Sunan Abī Dāwūd
Mukhtaṣar Al-Tirmidhī
Kitāb al-Rawḍah
Kitāb al-Adhkār
Al-Taqrīb fī ʿIlm al-Ḥadīth wa al-Irshād fīhi
Al-Tibyān
Bustān al-ʿĀrifīn
After spending 28 years in scholarly pursuits away from home, Imam Nawawi returned to his hometown. Soon after his arrival in Nawā, he fell ill and died. His works are of everlasting value. May Allah bless him.

Emphasis mine.  That seems like a guy whose work is credible, but are they still sought after today?  Here is Kitaabun.com a site that sells Islamic books and items offering his works

The famous 5th Century Hijri, Ahadith compilation by Imam Al-Nawawi, The ahadith are predominantly from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim (Other ahadith are from the reliable Books such as Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Muwatta Imam Malik),
Considered by Many as the Most Important Book after the Qur’an Simply because it is a Summary of authentic Traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).

1900 Ahadith compiled over 372 Chapters and 19 Sections which can be generalised as follows:
The Book of Good Manners – The Book about the Etiquette of Eating – The Book of Dress -The Book of the Etiquette of Sleeping, Lying and Sitting, etc.- The book of Greetings – The Book of Visiting the Sick – The Book of Etiquette of Traveling – The Book of Virtues – The Book of I’tikaf – The Book of Hajj – The Book of Jihad – The Book of Knowledge – The Book of Praise and Gratitude to Allah – The Book of Supplicating Allah to Exalt the Mention of Allah’s Messenger (phuh) – The Book of the Remembrance of Allah – The Book of Du’a (Supplications) – The Book of the Prohibited Actions – The Book of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant values – The Book of Forgiveness

About Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277)

Imam Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi was Born in the village of Nawa in Southern Syria, Imam Nawawi spent most of his life in Damascus where he lived in a simple manner, devoted to Allah, engaging single-mindedly in worship, study, writing and teaching various Islamic sciences. .
Although best known for his works in hadith, Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277) was also the Imam of the later Shafi’i school of Jurisprudence, and widely acknowledged as the intellectual heir to Imam Shafi’i. He was a renowned scholar and jurist who dedicated his life to the pursuit of Islamic learning.

emphasis mine. You can see a screen shot here it case it mysteriously disappears tomorrow, but if so you can always go to Amazon.com and find not only his books

but scholarly commentaries on them

Now I don’t claim to be an Islamic scholar, but all this tells me that Imam Al Nawawi is a significant scholar in the History of Islam and that his Hadiths are considered authentic.

So lets get back to his original statement about the Hadith in question from Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects

The hadith is one of more than 100,000 that are written in many books, some of which are considered authentic, while others are not, said Asali.

The statement is factually true, this is one of more that 100,000 Hadith, there are many books of them and some of those books are considered authentic and some are not.

However the Books of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant values isn’t just one of many books. It’s a historically significant book written by reputable and respected early scholar of Islam that is without a doubt considered authentic by Muslims to this day.

Now it’s of course theoretically  possible that all of these facts that I was able to discover in an hour or two on the net about Imam Al Nawawi and his place in Islamic Scholarship, and the Hadith The Book of Miscellaneous Ahadith of Significant Values are completely unknown to Imam Ziad Asali of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, but I suspect not. I suspect instead that he rightly assumed that the CBC had no interest in clarifying this question, and he was right.

Alas for Iman Asali, I don’t work for the CBC.


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Olimometer 2.52

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