Ramadan, Ramadan Fiqh

Introduction to book “A complete guide to the rules of fasting”

Al Jaami’u li Ahkaam is Siyaam

“A complete guide to the rules of fasting”

by Sheikh Abu Iyaas Mahmood bin Abdul-Lateef bin Mahmood (‘Uwaydhah)

First Edition

All praise is to Allah سبحانه وتعالى Lord of the worlds, Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem, the Owner of the Day of Judgment and prayers and peace are upon the Messenger of Allah who was sent as a mercy to all mankind. May Allah’s prayers and peace be on him and on his family and companions.

This is a book about the laws of fasting which I have named ‘Al Jaami’u li Ahkaam As Siyaam’ (A complete guide to the rules of fasting). It has been written as a follow up to the book ‘Al Jaami’u li Ahkaam As Salaah’ (A complete guide to the rules of prayer). I have followed the same methodology in this book. From the beginning of ‘Ahkaam at Tahaarah’ (rules of purification) I have followed and specified an effective model and methodology for the writing of Fiqh. The reader now has at his disposal two complete books of Fiqh representing a specific model.

This was my intention when issuing these two books and I believe that they are sufficient to act as a blueprint for the fuqahaa (jurists) and mujtahideen (Scholars) in their work without the need to expand the examples. I do not claim that I have produced for the reader a complete series on Islamic fiqh but I only aimed to present the most correct example and model for the presentation of fiqh. I believe these two books are sufficient to achieve this purpose.

The methodology I have used to write fiqh achieves the following:

1) To present all of the texts from Al Quraan Al Kareem and the As Sunnah Ash Shareef which relate to an issue (mas’ala) from the issues of fiqh. I have done this without summarizing the evidences that are in accordance with the Jurist’s own view and which support his Ijtihaad whilst leaving out all other evidences like a great number of scholars from the past and present have done.

2) The use of Saheeh and Hasan Ahaadeeth only and leaving all others categories. This includes all weak forms of Hadeeth, and I mean those that the Muhaddithoon (Hadeeth Scholars) have agreed upon. These hadeeth are not allowed to be used by anyone in the deriving of Al Ahkaam Ash Sharee’a and not even in the merits of actions. As for Ahaadeeth which the Muhaddithoon have disagreed upon in terms of them being sound or weak, then if it was in agreement with other sound saheeh and hasan ahaadeeth or if it was alone in its section then I accepted it. However if it contradicted the saheeh or hasan hadeeth (in meaning) then it was rejected and left.

3) To show the opinions of the Fuqahaa, Ulamaa and A’immah in every mas’ala (issue) of the masaa’il to the greatest extent possible. This enriches the study and it displays the strength of the extracted Ahkaam (rules) in comparison to others. Its case is like the natural pearls displayed beside those which are artificial and manufactured and if the natural pearls would be shown to people by themselves then the people would not have been able to sense their beauty and excellence or appreciate their value.

4) To work with all the texts (evidences) related to an issue of the issues and not neglecting any. This is because the reality of the Nusoos (texts) is that they are not contradictory to each other in origin. There has never emanated from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ahaadeeth which are contradictory except and only in the very rare case of Nuskh (abrogation). As for what we see of ahaadeeth that are contradictory within most of the fiqhi issues then this goes back to the sanad (chain) and this requires us to look at and explain. The weak forms of ahaadeeth and by greater reason (baab awlaa) the ahaadeeth al mawdoo’a (missing link in sanad/chain of narration) need to be distanced. All the weak ahaadeeth that have no origin to them but have been spread in the books of fiqh, Usool ul Fiqh need to be separated from those which are sound i.e. saheeh and hasan.

5) Examining the texts and extracting the Ahkaam from them only occurs in three ways:

(i) By bringing of the texts one with another, by explaining one text with another text, and this is the strongest method to extract.

(ii) Or by explaining a text in accordance with knowledge of the sharee’ah

(iii) Or thirdly by explaining the evidence with firm knowledge of the Arabic language which is distant from weak and strange interpretations.

A text is therefore understood by another text, or by knowledge of the sharee’ah or by submitting to a firm knowledge of language. In relation to the far off interpretations, regretful explanations and the process of making the texts agree with the opinion of an Imaam or madhhab, all of this has to be abandoned from the study of fiqh so that fiqh and sharee’ah maintains its honour and high status. This is to protect them against any alien or foreign intrusion or western infiltrations as we have seen in many books of fiqh particular from authors in our present time.

6) The origin for every Muslim is to be restricted in his actions by the hukm shar’i. He should commit to it with confidence and contentment and not to take it and act according to it if he is doubtful in its correctness. In order to help the Muslim with this peace of mind in what he is following is hukm shar’i, we have proceeded with this methodology which incorporates the Ahkaam with its evidences, with proofs of its correctness and likewise proofs for the error in other opinions.

7) The Sahaabah (rah) used to receive/understand the texts of al-Quran al-Kareem and the as-Sunnah an-Nabawi in a natural way similar to how we receive speech between and amongst ourselves. This means that just by hearing the ayah or hadeeth they would understand the desired meaning straight from the Arabic and sharp intellect and as such rarely disagreed in the extraction of the Ahkaam. The taabi’oon and taab’i taabi’oon (first and second generations after the Sahaabah) followed this same methodology and after them came the period of the Fuqahaa after them. At that time the madhaahib of fiqh (schools of thought) were established and what accompanied that of partisanship and intolerance. Fiqh began to take a new orientation and progressively became distanced from the natural way to ways that could be described as manufactured. This means that the manufactured means overcame/dominated the Fuqahaa in their istinbaat (extraction) process. This was the same for every Faqeeh who followed a Madhhab or Imaam. His efforts were directed to giving victory to his madhhab or Imaam. They became involved in forms of debate and ‘ilm ul-Kalaam (scholastic debate) and were affected by it to a lesser or greater extent. In addition they placed down different Usooli principles, increasing its scope and complexity so fiqh became manufactured with nobody understanding its precise details except their respective specialists. With time the process of receiving/understanding the texts naturally stopped completely. The Istinbaat (extraction) of Ahkaam became limited to the new breed of fiqh and then even those who practiced it declined in number gradually until the doors of ijtihaad were closed.

In relation to this I say that the main reason for the closing of the doors of Ijtihaad and the disappearance of the mujtahidoon was due to the fact that fiqh became manufactured with its principles and Usool which were rarely understood and comprehended by those wishing to learn, let alone the ordinary people due to its complicated nature and ramifications. The Ulamaa of every madhhab proceeded to place Usooli principles (qawaa’id usooliya) specific to his madhhab with all of its branching and ramifications (additional problems/complications). As a result of the Usooli principles becoming over complicated, this had ramifications on ijtihaad and the resultant Ahkaam, to the point where a lot of these Ahkaam were outside the realm of soundness.

So that fiqh returns to its natural way and away from these over complications and ramifications and so that the madhabi differences are lessened and what accompanies it of partisanship and in addition to create the path to increase the number of mujtahidoon, I have come up with this model/methodology which I believe is the most sound for the writing of fiqh. Inspired by the way that the Sahaabah (rah) received and understood fiqh and distancing myself from the over complications in understanding. Due to this the noble reader will find that the Usooli principles rarely appear in this model and what does appear is free of depth or complication.

The difference between the method of the Sahaabah (rah) and those who came after was that the Sahaabah (rah) use to place the text in front of them relying on what came to their minds from their understanding of the Arabic language. In addition to their knowledge and experience of how the texts lived in their surroundings and circumstances taking the text with simplicity without complication. As for those who invented the new way of fiqh, they placed the differing Usooli principles in front of them as their starting point with all of its branches, complicatedness and details. They then made the people subservient to these principles. From this many and diverse meanings sprung out linked to the different branches and ramifications. This is where the biggest dispute occurred between them (new fiqh people) as every one of them held on tightly to a specific meaning/wording that he had understood, and with the hukm which he had extracted according to what he had put down of the detailed principles specific to him. He strove to defend it and respond it so as to seek victory for the madhhab of his Imaam. All of this led to a situation where the study of fiqh produced a lot of varied and different Ahkaam. This included the Saheeh (sound), Da’eef (weak) and Shaadh (rare/strange). If a reader looks at the vast quantity of opinions in every single matter it will give him a head ache. If someone would like examples of what I have stated then let him look up the fiqhi opinions in the following issues:

When is Laylat ul Qadr?,

Does sleep break the Wudoo?,

What is the middle prayer (salaatul wustaa)?

You will find in these issues and others like them huge and wide differences especially in the book Fathul Baari of Ibn Hajar Al Asqalaani and also in the Sharh (explanation) Saheeh Muslim by Imaam Nawawi.

8) In relation to getting rid of the manufactured method of extracting the Ahkaam Ash Sharee’ah and Ijtihaad and the return to the natural method which was dominant in the first three generations, those of the Sahaabah, those who followed them and those that followed them. The only way is through the devotion/dedication to the texts of Allah’s سبحانه وتعالى book al-Majeed and the noble ahaadeeth through reading, memorisation and explanation. This is a devotion and pursuit which is correctly described as the eternal living of the sharee’ah texts which continues years after years, until we have acquired the ability and knowledge which the Sahaabah (rah) of the Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم possessed. This requires a working relationship with the sharee’ah texts in understanding, extraction and indications in exactly the same way that we possess the ability that we work with speech amongst ourselves. We would therefore understand the texts as we understand our speech amongst ourselves and without this methodology the doors of Ijtihaad will never be opened. If they were to be opened however, then it would not lead to the correct form of Ijtihaad which possesses the quality of endurance and continuance.

At this point I have a very important remark to make and that is that the Mujtahid can either be a Mujtahid Mutlaq or a Mujtahid in a Mas’ala as is known amongst the fuqahaa. There exists a great deal of benefit for fiqh and Muslims in both these forms of Mujtahid.

As for the Mujtahid in the Madhhab, who proceeds with ijtihaad in accordance to the Usooli principles which were established by their Imaam. If this Mujtahid gives free reign to his mind and understanding in the extraction of Ahkaam and he doesn’t restrict himself to what his Imaam arrived at then there is no problem in this and the benefit is like the other categories of Mujtahid. An example of this is Ibn Mundhir from the Shaafe’iyah. As for when this type of Mujtahid doesn’t exit from the Ijtihaad of his Imaam and his only aim and goal is to give victory to his Imaam and madhhab then this form is accused of being away from integrity and the true context and is in many situations veiled from the sound opinion and correct Hukm. At Tahaawiy from the Hanafiyyah is an example of this approach.

Here I have another important point and that is that the Muslims are in need of a radical thought revolution away from imitation in order to revive and remove backwardness from it. Islamic fiqh is in need of this creative non-imitational revolution in order to bring it back to life. This revolution will not take place however by widening the scope of education in the Islamic Sharee’ah faculties and universities and will never occur in this way. This is as long as they continue on their current methodology as they have, including al Azhar University, adopted the manufactured approach and have stubbornly latched themselves to it. I sent my book (al Jaami’u li Ahkaam is Salaah) to Al Azhar and received the response that this book is not according to our methodology!!

Therefore we do not find a university or college of sharee’ah that graduates Mujtahidoon or even Fuqahaa. They only graduate Muta’allimoon (people who have studied) and Mutafaqqihoon (students of fiqh). The difference between the Faqeeh and mutafaqqih is that the Faqeeh possesses a specific opinion of his own in the fiqhi issues whereas the mutafaqqih doesn’t possess his own opinion and only possesses opinions from other fuqahaa. If we asked a question in a Mas’ala then he would only respond by saying what the madhhab of so and so says on such and such in the issue. He vary rarely outweighs between two opinions and even if he attempts Tarjeeh (outweighing) then the opinion he outweighs isn’t even his own opinion but an opinion of a Faqeeh from amongst the fuqahaa.

I view that the only real solution is to return to the way of the Sahaabah (rah) in the way of taking in (the texts) and deriving the rules. This could be if all of the universities, colleges and centers of sharee’ah adopted this method and made all curriculums established on its basis. As long as this does not happen then the situation will remain in a rigid and lifeless state.

I wanted to mention these eight main points so as to explain my model and define it as well as to elaborate its aim and need. My hope is that there will arise from this noble Ummah men who will tread the path of this methodology returning to the origins of the Islamic fiqh with its beauty and greatness. They will take the new matters, realities, actions and problems and derive for them the correct Islamic rulings.

In this book I have stated the number of each hadeeth as it has been established from its source something which did not occur in the previous book despite its precision and complete accuracy. This is therefore an additional benefit making it easier to return back to any hadeeth which the reader wishes to view its source.

I also committed to writing the name of the person whose speech was affirmed in the book in the introduction of the narrators in the case where there were many narrators. This is what I made reference to in the introduction of the book (al Jaami’u li Ahkaam is Salaah). In this book I have found it sufficient to cite the established hadeeth number as reference except in a few instances where there was a need to mention a secondary statement so I cited a further number.

You will find at the end of the book a reference of all the sources relied upon for this work. This includes some information so that any revision will be more efficient and that the truthfulness of the texts mentioned can be verified. In most of these sources the ahaadeeth have been ordered as a series of numbers and in some cases according to the subject matter without citing the number series. So those that have been dealt with according to the first method I have established the series number (raqm mutasalsal) and for those of the second method I have cited the page number where the hadeeth is located. For example (250/4) means the fourth part (volume) page number 250. However in the case of Al Mu’jam Al Kabeer of Tabari and Al Musnad of Abi Ya’la Al Moosally the first number represents the part (volume) whilst the second represents the hadeeth number.

I ask Allah سبحانه وتعالى As Samee’u l Aleem to accept from we what I have spent in effort and what I have intended to achieve and that this book is met with the same acceptance as the first book. All praise belongs to Allah firstly and lastly.

Al –Khamees (Thursday) 28 Jumaada al Awwal 1423 hijri

8th August 2002

Please note this is a draft translation from Arabic. If any confusion arises from the translation then please refer to the original Arabic book.