Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh
I ask Allah to bring the victory by your hands soon, for He is the Guardian and the All Able. My question is about the concept of renewal mentioned in the Hadith of the Messenger (saw) إن الله يبعث على رأس كل سنة من يجدد لهذه الأمة دينها“At the beginning of every century Allah will send one who will renew for the Ummah its Deen” or as the Prophet (saw) said. If the Mujadid of the era was the great scholar Taqiudeen An-Nabahani (rh), did the renewal end with his death, may Allah have mercy on him, or does it still exist with the presence of the party that carries his idea? Barak Allah Feek and Jazak Allah Khair.
From: Mohammad Mohammad
Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh,
First: The Hadith you are asking about is the Hadith narrated by Abu Dawud in his Sunan and others on the authority of Abu Hurayrah on the authority of the Messenger of Allah (saw) who said: «إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ لِهَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا»“At the beginning of every century Allah will send one who will renew for the Ummah its Deen” This Hadith should be understood within the framework of Shariah concepts established in the Book and the Sunnah, and here is some of that:
1- With the revelation of Allah’s (swt) saying:
[الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ]
“This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have approved for you Islam.” [Al-Ma’ida: 3]. The Deen was completed, the blessing was completed, and the matter settled, then the revelation was interrupted shortly after that with the death of the Prophet (saw) and for this reason, the Deen itself, as a revelation from Allah (swt), was completed with the completion of revelation. There is no room for an increase or a decrease in it, and it is still standing since the Messenger (saw) completed the propagation, until Allah inherits the earth and those on it. This is something that is settled in the minds and souls of Muslims, and it is one of the Islamic truths that there is no doubt about.
2- Therefore, what is meant by the honourable Hadith «مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا»“whoever renews its Deen” cannot be the renewal of the Deen itself by adding something to it or subtracting something from it, or specifying its generality or restricting its absolutes… etc. because with the interruption of revelation, the door to adding to the Deen, copying it, specifying it, or restricting it, etc., was closed, as there is no room in Shariah for that to happen except through revelation, because the Deen is in its reality revelation, i.e. what was revealed to the Prophet (saw). As long as it is not possible for the renewal to be in the Deen itself, the renewal should be spent on other matters than that.
3- Islam is an ideology (i.e. a belief) from which a system emanates. Islam is a set of thoughts and rulings; all of which are taken from the Book and the Sunnah and what they guided to from the consensus of the Companions and Qiyas. The consensus of the Companions and Qiyas refer back to the Book and Sunnah. It is not expected that the renewal in Shariah is in the thoughts and rulings of Islam themselves; the renewal must be in a matter related to it, i.e. related to the thoughts and rulings of Islam. By scrutinizing the matter, it appears that there are two basic aspects related to the ideas and rulings of Islam, and they are the understanding side and the application side; that is, the human side related to Islam. Muslims are the ones who understand Islam and implement it. Their understanding of Islam and its application may be obscured, ambiguous, defective, abused, or negligent. Their understanding, or the understanding of Islam of some of them, may be disturbed, adding to Islam what is not from it while they think it is from it, or detracting from Islam something, so they do not pay attention to it even though it is part of the Deen.
4- Thus, things that are inconsistent with Islam may occur to Muslims’ understanding of Islam and their implementation of it, such as:
a- Making something as part of Islam when it is not from it, or detracting something from Islam even though it is from it, and innovation falls under that.
b- Obscurity or ambiguity in understanding Islam as an ideology and a system of life, or in understanding some of its thoughts or some of its rulings.
c- Misapplication of Islam individually or collectively or by the ruler. Or mixing Islam with others in the implementation.
5- In order for the return of the understanding or of implementation of the Deen to what it should be according to revelation, i.e. for the understanding of the Deen by Muslims or their application of it to return in accordance with the thoughts and rulings of Islam without distortion, defect, addition, deficiency, abuse… etc., Allah (swt) sends Muslims, at the head of every hundred years, one who renews the Deen, i.e. restore the Deen to its former form of purity, and clarity, or the correct application that is not tainted by abuse or confusion i.e. restores the understanding or application of the Deen to its original state at the time when the Prophet was sent, with its purity and clarity. He removes from it what may have been attached to it from what is not of it, and highlights what may have been hidden from its thoughts and rulings, and clarifies what may have afflicted it in understanding, and works to implement it completely if he is one of the people of ruling. The choice of the word “Yujadid (renewal)” to describe what happens has an expressive meaning because it does not mean bringing something new, but rather it means making something new, i.e., to restore it to its original state. The linguistic dictionaries have shown the meaning of “jaded” (make something new) in this way: Al-Muheet dictionary: (Jada, Yajidu, then it is new, Ajidahu, Jaddadahu, Istajadahu: to make it new, and is renewed (tajadad)). As-Sihah in the language: (Tajaddad Ash-Shai: meaning it has become new. Ajadahu, istajadahu, Jaddahu to make it new). Lisan al-Arab: (Ajadahu, Jaddahu, istajadahu to make it new).
This word “Yujadid” (renewed) in the noble Hadith accurately gives the correct meaning, which is to restore Islam to what it was upon in the beginning of its affairs, and does not mean changing and replacing the Deen.
6- The scholars spoke about the meaning of the renewal mentioned in the noble Hadith, and I quote some of what they mentioned:
It came in “Aoun Al-Ma’bood”:
[Man Yujadid” (who renews): the object of “Yab’ath” (sends) “laha” (to it): that is, to this nation (its religion): that is, clears the Sunnah from innovation, increases knowledge, and supports its people and he breaks the people of innovation and humiliates them. They said: He is only knowledgeable of the apparent and inward sciences of the Deen. Al-Manawi said it in “Fath Al-Qadeer, Sharh Al-Jami Al-Saghir”. Al-Alqami said in his explanation that the meaning of renewal is the revival of what has been lost in following of the Book and the Sunnah and the command according to them.
You have known from what has preceded that what is meant by renewal is reviving what has been forgotten in terms of acting according to the Book and the Sunnah, and the command according to them, and to end what appeared of innovations. He said in “Majalis Al-Abrar”: What is meant by the renewal of the Deen for the Ummah is the revival of what has been lost in terms of acting according to the Book and the Sunnah and being commanded according to them. He said about it: the Mujadid only knows this by the the least amont of doubt from the scholars of his time through readings of his conditions and benefiting from his knowledge, since the Mujadid of the Deen must be knowledgeable in the apparent and hidden sciences of the Deen, restricted to the Sunnah, suppressing innovation, and that his knowledge should prevail among the people of his time, but the renewal is at the head of every hundred years, because Scholars are often rare at the time, and the Sunnahs vanished and innovations appeared, therefore there is a need to renew the Deen. So, Allah (swt) would send from the creation a replacement from the predecessors, either one or more. End.
Al-Qari said in “Al-Mirqat”: That is, it clarifies the Sunnah from innovation, increases knowledge, honours its people, suppresses innovation, and breaks its adherents. End.
It appeared that the Mujadid is only one who is knowledgeable in the sciences of the Deen, and yet he is one whose intention and concern throughout the day and night is to revive the Sunnah and to spread it and support its owner and put an end to innovations and newly invented matters and erase them and break its people with the tongue or classifications of books and teaching or in any other way. Whoever is not like that will not be a Mujadid at all, even if he was a well-known scholar of science among the people, a reference for them…]
– It came in “Mishkat al-Masabih” with its explanation, “Mur’at Al-Mafateeh”:
[(whoever renews) the object of “Yab’ath (sends)” (laha (to it)), that is, to this Ummah (its Deen). What is meant by renewing the Deen for the Ummah is reviving what has been lost from working with the Book and the Sunnah, and commanding according to them, and eradicating innovations, and breaking its people with the tongue, or classifying books, or teaching or other than that. The Mujadid does not know this except by least amount of doubt from the contemporary scholars of his time, with the evidence of his conditions and the benefit of his knowledge, because the Mujadid of the Deen must be knowledgeable of the apparent and hidden sciences of the Deen, supporting the Sunnah, suppressing the innovation, and that his knowledge prevails among the people of his time, but the renewal was based on the head of every hundred years because it often lacks scholars , and the Sunnahs become extinct, and the innovations appear, and at that time the renewal of the Deen, so Allah (swt) will bring from creation a replacement from the predecessors, either one or several, as in “Majalis Al-Abrar”…]
Second: With regard to the Mujadids in general, and the Mujadid of the fourteenth century AH, we answered a question on this matter on June 23, 2013 with the following:
Baraakallahu Bika our Sheikh and May Allah hasten the victory at your hands and may Allah benefit us with your knowledge.
From amongst the well-known Saheeh Ahaadeeth that was related by the noble Sahaabah Abu Hurairah (ra) from the Messenger of Allah (saw) that he said: «إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ لِهَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا»“Verily Allah sends to this Ummah at the head of every one hundred years someone who will renew the Deen for her”. Related by Abu Daawood (4291) and was verified as Saheeh by As-Sakhaawiy in ‘Al-Maqqsid Al-Hasanah’ (149) and Al-Albaaniy in ‘As-Silsilah As-Saheehah’ (599).
And the question is: Does the word ‘Man’ (who) mentioned in the Hadeeth establish that the Mujaddid is an individual or a group? And is it possible to list them from the previous passed centuries?
Wa Alaikumus Salaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu,
Yes, the Hadeeth is Saheeh and there are five issues that relate to it:
1) At which date does the hundred (years) begin? Is it from the birth of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم or from the time of the Ba’thah (the mission) or from the time of the Hijrah or from the time of his death صلى الله عليه وسلم?
2) Is the start of every year mean at the beginning of every hundred, or during each hundred or at the end of every hundred?
3) Does the word ‘man’ (who) mean one of the people or does it mean a group that renews the Deen for Deen for the people?
4) Are there any reports containing a correct reference in regards to the number of Mujaddids in the past hundreds of years?
5) Is it possible to know in the fourteenth century that ended on the 30th of Dhul Hijjah 1399 AH who the one renewing the Deen of the people was?
I will attempt to the best of my ability to mention what I believe to be the strongest view (Raajih) in regards to these issues without delving and plunging into the points of Ikhtilaaf (difference).
So I say and with Allah is the Tawfeeq and He is Al-Haadi (who guides) Subhaanahu to the straight path:
1) On which date does the hundred years start?
Al-Munaawiy said in the introduction of ‘Fath ul-Qadeer’: [And they have differed in regards to the start of the year, is it considered to be from the Prophetic birth, the Ba’thah (start of the mission), the Hijrah or his death صلى الله عليه وسلم…? And the Raajih (strongest view) in my opinion is that it is to be considered from the time of the Hijrah. This is because it is the date in which the Muslims and Islam was given honour and might (‘Izzah) with the establishment of its state. And it is for this reason that when ‘Umar (ra) gathered the Sahaabah to agree upon the beginning of the date they depended upon the Hijrah. At-Tabari in his ‘Taareekh’ said: “Abdur Rahman Ibn Abdullah Bin Abdul Hakam told me: He said: Nu’aim Bin Hammaad told us: He said: Ad-Daraawardiy told us from Uthmaan Bin Ubaidullah Bin Abi Raafi’ who said: I heard Sa’eed Bin Al-Musayyib say: Umar Bin Al-Khattaab gathered the people and asked them. He said: From what day should we record? So Ali said: From the day that the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alaihi wassallam made Hijrah and left the land of shirk. So this is what Umar (ra) did.” And Abu Ja’far said: “The first year of Hijrah is considered from Muharram of that month i.e. before the arrival of the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alaihi wassallam to Al-Madeenah by two months and some days as the arrival of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم was on the 12th of Rabee’ ul-Awwal.”
Based upon this that it is most probable to start the count of the hundred year mark from the date of the Hijrah (migration) in which the Sahabah (radhallahu alaihum) had adopted.
2) As for the start of the century then the probable (Raajih) view is towards the end; i.e. the Renewed (Mujaddid) would be at the end of the hundred years a pious unblemished famous Aalim (Scholar) and his death would be at the end of it and not half way or throughout its period. As for why I have took this view to be the most probable for the following reasons:
a) It has been confirmed by Saheeh narrations that ‘Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz came at the start (Ra’s) of the first hundred years and he died (rh) in the year 101 Hijri when he was forty years old whilst Ash-Shaafi’i was at the start (Ra’s) of the second century and he died the year 204 Hijri at the age of fifty-four.
So if we take another interpretation for the start (Ra’s) of every hundred years by explaining it as the beginning of the first 100 hundred years then Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez would not be the Renewed (Mujaddid) of the first century because he was born in the year 61 Hijri. And Ash-Shaafi’iy would not have been the Mujaddid of the second century because he was born the year 150 Hijri. This means that the start (Ra’s) of the year that is quoted within the Hadeeth refers to the last part of the century and not its beginning. So he (the Mujaddid) could be born within it (i.e. middle years) and then became a well-known Mujaddid Scholar in its latter part and died at its end.
b) As for the evidence indicating that Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez was the Mujaddid of the first century and Ash-Shaafi’i was the Mujaddid of the second century, who became famous amongst the Ulemaa of this Ummah and its Imaams. Az-Zuhriy and Ahmad Bin Hanbal amongst others from the early and later Imaams agreed that from the Mujaddideen at the start (Ra’s) of the first century was Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez (rh) and at the Ra’s of the second century was Imam Ash-Shaafi’iy (rh). ‘Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez passed away in the year 101 Hijri at the age of forty years and the duration of his Khilafah was two and a half years whilst Ash-Shaafi’i died in the year 204 Hijri at the age 54. And Al-Haafizh Ibn Hajar said in ‘Tawaaliy At-Ta’sees’: [Abu Bakr Al-Bazzaar said: I heard Abdul Maalik Bin Abdul Hameed Al-Maymooniy saying: I was with Ahmad Bin Hanbal whilst Ash-Shaafi’i was mentioned so I saw Ahmad raise his head and he related from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that Allah Ta’Aalaa selects someone at the start (Ra’s) of each century somebody that would teach them their Deen. He said: And Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez was at the end of the first century and I hope that it was Ash-Shaafi’i who was at the end of the second].
And by way of Abu Sa’eed Al-Firbaabiy he said: Ahmad Bin Hanbal said: Verily Allah selects for the people at the Ra’s of every century someone who will teach the people the Sunan and will negate the lies attributed to the Prophet so we examined it and found that Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez was at the Ra’s of the first century whilst Ash-Shaafi’i was at the end (Ra’s) of the second century.
Ibn ‘Addiy said: I heard Muhammad Bin Ali Bin Al-Husein saying: I heard our companions saying: In the first century it was Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz and in the second it was Muhammad Bin Idrees Ash-Shaafi’i.
And Al-Haakim recorded in his ‘Mustadrak’ from Abu ul-Waleed who said: [I was in assembly with Abu-l-Abbaas Bin Shuraih when a Sheikh came to him and praised him. Then I heard him say: Abu At-Tahir Al-Khawlaani told us and secondly Abdullah Bin Wahb: Sa’eed Ibn Abi Ayyoob informed me from Shuraaheel Bin Yazeed from Abu ‘Alqamah from Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: «إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا»“Verily Allah sends to this Ummah at the head of every one hundred years someone who will renew the Deen for it.”
So have glad tidings O Judge verily Allah sent at the end of the first century Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez and at the end of the second century he sent Muhammad Ibn Idrees Ash-Shaafi’i…].
Al-Haafizh Ibn Hajar said this indicates that the Hadeeth was well-known (Mash’hoor) in that time period.
c) It could be said that the start (Ra’s) of something linguistically means the first or beginning part so how then can we view as strongest that the start (Ra’s) of every year means its end and not its beginning? The answer to this is that just as the Ra’s means the start of something linguistically (in the Arabic language) it likewise means its end part. It was said in ‘Taaj Al-Aroos’ (Dictionary): The Ra’s of the thing is its edge and it is said its end part. And it is said in ‘Lisaan Al-Arab (Dictionary): The lizard came out of the hole with its Ra’s (Muraa’san) which means that the head came out first or that perhaps tail first i.e. the first part of the end part. Therefore the Ra’s of a matter or thing can according to the language mean the beginning just as it can mean the edge of it whether this means the beginning or the end. As such we need a Qareenah (clue/indication) that will outweigh the meaning that is intended in the Hadeeth ‘Ra’s of a hundred years’. Is it its beginning or its end? And this Qareenah is present in the previous narrations which considered Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez the Mujaddid of the first century and he died in the year 101 Hijri and considered Ash-Shaafi’i the Mujaddid of the second and he died in the year 204 Hijri. All of this outweighs the meaning in the Hadeeth to mean the last part of the century and not its beginning part.
So based upon the aforementioned, I outweigh to be most probable that the meaning of: ‘The Ra’s of one hundred years’ as found in the Hadeeth, is the last part of each century.
3) As for the word ‘Man’ (who) meaning the individual or a group: Then the Hadeeth states: «يبعث لهذه الأمة… من يجدد لها دينها» “Allah sends to this Ummah…. someone who will renew (Man Yujaddidu) its Deen for it” and if the ‘Man’ (who) indicated the group then the verb would have been in the plural form (yujaddidoona). However the verb was mentioned in the singular form and this is despite the expression ‘Man’ (who) also carrying the meaning of the plural and even if the verb after it is in the single form. However I view as strongest that here it is indicating the individual because of the Qareenah ‘yujaddidu’ (i.e. singular form of verb). And I say stronger view because the expression used here is not definitely individual here and even when the verb after it is in the singular form. Due to this there have been some who have interpreted the expression ‘Man’ as indicating the group and they listed in narrations groups from the Ulamaa who came in every century. However this opinion is outweighed by the other one as has been mentioned earlier.
In conclusion the stronger view is that ‘Man’ (who) indicates and individual meaning that the Mujaddid mentioned in the Hadeeth is a man who is an individual pious and untarnished scholar.
4) As for listing the names of the Renewed (Mujaddideen) throughout the past centuries; reports have shown, the most well-known list is in the form of rhyming prose of As-Suyooti up until the ninth century and he asked Allah سبحانه وتعالى for himself to be the Mujaddid of the ninth century. I will now relay a section from his prose:
Thus at the first century was ‘Umar the just Khaleefah as agreed upon and settled.
And Ash-Shaafi’i was at the second due to his high knowledge.
And the fifth was Al-Ghazaali for what he possessed of argument.
And the seventh who elevated to elevation was Ibn Daqeeq Al-Eid as agreed upon.
And this is the ninth that has come and the one who guides does not break a promise and I have hoped that I am its Mujaddid because the favour of Allah does not exhaust.
And there are some other statements that continue on from.
5) And is it possible for us to know who the Renewed (Mujaddid) of the Deen of the people was for the 14th century ending on the 30th of Dhul Hijjah 1399?
It was brought to my attention what was famous or well-known from amongst the well-respected Ulemah when they indicated that the ‘Ra’s’ (head) of the year was its latter part. Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez was born in 61 Hijri and died at the Ra’s of the first century in the year 101 Hijri and Ash-Shaafi’iy was born in the year 150 Hijri and died at the Ra’s of the century in the year 204 Hijri.
This means that each one of them was born around the middle of the century and became well-known in its latter part. And as I have said I view as the strongest interpretation that has become well-known amongst the respected Ulemah in regards to Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez being the Mujaddid of the first century and Ash-Shaafi’i being the Mujaddid of the second century. So based upon this, I view as strongest that the great scholar Taqiudeen An-Nabahani (rh) was the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century. He was born in the year 1332 Hijri and he became well-known in the latter part of the fourteenth century and specifically when he founded Hizb ut Tahrir in Jumada al-Thani in the year of 1372 Hijri and he passed away in the year 1398 Hijri. His Dawah to the Muslims was related to the vital issue, the resumption of the Islamic way of life through the establishment of the rightly guided Khilafah State and it had a major effect upon their lives and endeavours and Ijtihad until the Khilafah has become a general demand of the Muslims today. So Allah’s mercy be upon Abu Ibrahim and Allah’s mercy be upon his brother Abu Yousuf who came after him and May Allah gather them with the Prophets, truthful, Shuhadaa and Saaliheen (righteous) and what great company they are.
This is what I view as the most probable my brother Abu Mu’min and Allah is more aware of what is correct and to Him belongs the best of destinations]. End of the previous question.
Third: As for your question: (If the Mujadid of the era was the great scholar Taqiudeen An-Nabahani (rh) did the renewal end with his death, may Allah have mercy on him, or is it still existing with the presence of the party that carries his idea?), The answer to that is that the process of renewal according to what we explained above is carried out by (One man, a pure, pious scholar…), and with his death, the issue of renewal ends, but that does not mean the end of the effect of renewal. Rather, the renewal will have an impact on the Muslims and on the coming generations after the completion of the renewal until a defect occurs in the understanding or application with the passage of time, then Allah (swt) will send at the end of the century that follows, someone who will renew the Ummah’s Deen. According to the Hadith, Allah will send at the head of every hundred years someone who will renew the Ummah’s Deen, that is, at the head of the fifteenth hundred, as explained above, Allah willing. Allah knows who it will be.
This is what I view as the most probable on the issue and Allah is Most Knowledgable Most Wise.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
26 Shawwal 1444 AH – 16/5/2023 CE
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