The pious did not sin out of the fear of Allah,
then came a group who avoided sin out of fear of exposure
now neither of the two remains.
Shaykh Sulaiman Moola
Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi [1315 – 1402 A.H.]
He was born in the village of Kandhla (in Uttar Pradesh, India) on Ramadan 10, 1315 ah (February 12, 1898 CE). His full name was Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Muhammad Yahya ibn Muhammad Isma’il, and his lineage continues all the way back to Abu Bakr (R.A.), the great Companion of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
Shaykh Abu l-Hasan Nadwi said about him, ‘Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was born into a household rooted in knowledge and passion for Islam. His immediate family and his predecessors were distinguished by firm resolve, perseverance, steadfastness, and adherence to religion. His family included many notable scholars and his grandmother memorized the entire Qur�an while nursing her son [Shaykh Zakariyya’s father].’
His father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, was among the great scholars of India in both the Related (manqulat) and Logical sciences (ma’qulat). His primary teacher in hadith was Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Under him he studied Sahih al-Bukhari, Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja and others of the six famous authentic books of hadith (Sihah sitta). Shaykh Yahya went on to teach at Madrasa Mazahir Ulum, in the district of Saharanpur, but did not accept any payment for his services. He instead made his living through his own book-publishing business.
As a young boy, Shaykh Zakariyya moved with his father to the village of Gangoh, in the district of Saharanpur. Since his father and Shaykh Gangohi had a close relationship, Shaykh Zakariyya quickly earned the affection of his father’s teacher.
Growing up in this virtuous environment, he began learning how to read with Hakim Abd al-Rahman of Muzaffarnagar. He memorized the Qur’an with his father and also studied books in Persian and the introductory Arabic books with his uncle Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas (founder of the Tabligh movement). He stayed with his father in the company of Shaykh Gangohi until age eight, when the shaykh passed away. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi says, ‘He was brought up in the best of environments in this era; the most adhering to the conduct and the sunna and the furthest from the corruption that had begun to spread in the world.’
At the age of twelve, Shaykh Zakariyya traveled with his father to Mazahir Ulum. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya [his father] bathed and performed two rak’ats of prayer and began teaching Mishkat al-Masabih. He then made a lengthy prayer for himself and his son. From that day on, hadith became the main focus and goal of Shaykh Zakariyya’s life. There, under his father, he advanced his study of Arabic, tackling many classical texts on Arabic morphology, grammar, literature, and also logic. But by the time he was seventeen, hadith became the main focus of his life. He studied five of the six authentic books of hadith with his father, and then he studied Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Tirmidhi (for a second time) with the honorable Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. Out of his immense respect for h adith, Shaykh Zakariyya was extremely particular about always studying the hadith narrations with wudu.
On Dhu l-Qa’da 10, 1334 ah, when Shaykh Zakariyya was just nineteen, his dear father passed away. This event was extremely traumatic for Shaykh Zakariyya, as he lost not only a father but also a teacher and mentor. His deep sorrow remained with him for the rest of his life.
Shaykh Zakariyya was blessed to live and learn in an era considered by many to be one of great achievements in Islamic knowledge by scholars in the Indian subcontinent. He studied with few but select teachers who reached the highest levels of learning, research, authorship, and piety. One of his most influential teachers was his own father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, born in 1287 ah. Shaykh Zakariyya memorized the Qur’an at the age of seven, then as per his father’s instruction he would recite the whole Qur’an each morning. In addition to his father and uncle (Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas), he studied under the hadith scholar Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, author of the Badhl al-Majhud, a commentary on Sunan Abi Dawud. Shaykh Zakariyya acquired a hadith authorization from him and remained his student until Shaykh Khalil’s death in Madina Munawwara in 1346 ah.
Before his death, Shaykh Khalil A h mad expressed his desire to write Badhl al-Majhud, and he sought Shaykh Zakariyya’s assistance as his right-hand man. This was the beginning of his good fortune and the route to his excellence. His work earned him a special position with his Shaykh. The shaykh would direct him towards the possible texts and religious sources from which he could take the subject matter. Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya would collect the information and present them to his Shaykh, who would then select from the collection whatever he required. Thereafter he would dictate it to Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya who would write it down. This is how the completion of Badhl al-Majhud fi hall Abi Dawud took place. This experience revealed Shaykh Zakariyya’s gift of penmanship and, furthermore, expanded his insight in the science of hadith. He worked hard on the project, He undertook the task of publishing his shayk’s work in the Indian press and devoted his attention to its correction, publishing it with complete sincerity. He attained the pleasure and trust of his shaykh, He became a successor (khalifa) and representative (na’ib) of his shaykh and was even mentioned by name in the commentary.
Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri mentions in the introduction of Badhl al-Majhud, ‘I was helped by some of my friends, notable amongst whom is my relative and the coolness of my eyes and heart, Hajj Hafiz Molwi Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Mawlana Hafiz Molwi Muhammad Yahya Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him). I was incapable of writing or pursuing it (without his help), due to the shaking of my hand and due to weakness in mind and vision. I would dictate to him and he would write. He would search for the difficult subject matter from the sources, thus facilitating the dictation for me. I thank Allah for his effort and ask Him to grant him the best reward for whatever he spent of his effort. Allah has gifted him with intrinsic and apparent knowledge, beneficial in this world and in the hereafter, and with accepted, illuminated, good deeds.’
This indeed opened the door to Shaykh Zakariyya’s authoring many literary works and treatises over the course of his life.
In Muharram 1335 ah he was appointed as a teacher at Madrasa Mazahir Ulum, where he was assigned to teach books on Arabic grammar, morphology, and literature, as well as a number of primary texts of Islamic jurisprudence. In 1341 ah he was assigned to teach three sections of Sahih al-Bukhari upon the insistence of Shaykh Khalil Ahmad. He also taught Mishkat al-Masabih until 1344 ah. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi said, �Although he was one of the youngest teachers at the school, he was selected to teach works generally not assigned to those of his age, nor to anyone in the early stages of his teaching career. Nevertheless, he showed that he was not only an able, but an exceptional teacher.
In 1345 ah he traveled to Madina Munawwara, the city of Allah’s Messenger (upon him be peace) where he resided for one year. There he taught Sunan Abi Dawud at Madrasa al-Ulum al-Shar’iyya. While in Madina, he began working on Awjaz al-Masalik ila Muwatta’ Imam Malik, a commentary on Imam Malik‘s Muwatta. He was twenty-nine at the time.
When he returned to India, he resumed teaching at Mazahir Ulum. He began teaching Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan al-Nasa’i, the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, and the second half of Sahih al-Bukhari. The school’s principle taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari, and after his death, Shaykh Zakariyya was given the honor of teaching the entire work.
In all, he taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari twenty-five times, the complete Sahih al-Bukhari sixteen times, and Sunan Abi Dawud thirty times. He did not just teach hadith as a matter of routine; the work of hadith had become his passion, and he put his heart and soul into it. Shaykh Zakariyya taught until 1388 ah, when he was forced to give up teaching after developing eye cataracts.
Sincere Love for Allah and the Prophet
Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya inherited piety, honesty, and good character from his father (may Allah be pleased with him). He aspired to follow the Qur’an and Sunna in all matters, big and small, with a passion not found in many scholars. He had extreme love for the Prophet (upon him be peace) and the blessed city of Madina. His students have related that whenever the death of the Messenger (upon him be peace) was mentioned during a lecture on Sunan Abi Dawud or Sahih al-Bukhari, his eyes would well up with tears, his voice would choke up, and he would be overcome with crying. So evocative were his tears that his students could do nothing but weep with raised voices.
He was often tested with regard to his sincerity. He was offered many teaching jobs at two or three times the salary that was customarily given at Mazahir Ulum, but he always graciously declined the offers. For most of his teaching career, Shaykh Zakariyya never accepted any money for his services at Mazahir Ulum; he did the work voluntarily, seeking Allah’s pleasure. Although he did accept a small salary at the beginning of his career, he later totaled up the amount and paid it back in its entirety.
Shaykh Zakariyya organized his time meticulously. He would rise an hour before dawn and occupy himself in tahajjud and recitation of Qur’an before performing the Fajr prayer in the masjid. After Fajr, he would read his morning supplications and litany until sunrise. Thereafter he would go to meet with some people and drink tea (but never ate anything with it). He would then return to his quarters to read. During this time he would also research and compile his literary works, and, with few exceptions, no one was allowed to visit him at this time. When it was time for lunch he would come out and sit with his guests, who were from all walks of life; he would respect and treat them well, irrespective of who they were. After Zuhr prayer, he would take a siesta and then spend some time listening to his correspondence (which amounted to around forty or fifty letters daily from different places) and dictating replies. He also taught for two hours before Asr. After Asr, he would sit with a large group of people, offering them tea. After performing Maghrib, he would remain devoted in solitude to optional prayer and to supplication. He did not take an evening meal except to entertain an important guest.
He had always hoped to meet Allah while in the city of the Messenger (upon him be peace); Allah granted his wish. He died there on Monday Sha’ban 1, 1402 ah (May 24, 1982 CE) and was buried in Jannat al-Baqi’, in the company of the Companions and the noble family members of the Messenger (upon him be peace). His funeral procession was followed by a large number of people and he was buried in the Baqi’ graveyard next to his teacher Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. May Allah forgive him, grant mercy, and elevate his status. Amin.
The source of this extracted information and more details of Shaykhs works, students, teachers and his status amongst scholars can be found at:Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi provided by White Thread Press publications.
The Holy month of Ramadaan came like seasonal rain and passed by. This rain did not water the plants and crops -it showered upon the hearts of believers. It is sad, but true, that the hearts of the majority of Muslims are stricken with spiritual drought and spiritual decadence. It is a drought caused by excessive indulgence in un-Islamic activities, immoral behaviour, unjust actions, unfair dealings etc. Drought caused by lack of rain destroys crops -drought caused by lack of piety, lack of fear of Allah and lack of Allah consciousness destroys the SPIRITUALITY of the heart.
Ramadaan’s spiritual rains brought to life the Masaajid and other prayer places. Ramadaan had fanned the dying spark of charity .Ramadaan had awakened the dying spirit of tolerance, patience and sympathy for the less fortunate.
Now that we come to the end of Ramadaan the big question is what to do? Did we go through all the spiritual exercises in Ramadaan in order that we may have the freedom to indulge, on Eid day, in all types of immoral, shameless and indecent amusement? Did we restrain ourselves from halaal food, drinks and other pleasures from dawn to sunset throughout Ramadaan, so that we may return with renewed vigour to gambling, drinking, adultery and fornication? Will the spirit of tolerance, mercy, patience, charity and sympathy be still evident or will these noble qualities be shelved until the dawn of the next Ramadaan?
Will the Masajids which were filled on most nights in Ramadaan remain the same or will they become empty wondering where the faithful have gone? Our lifetsyles after Ramadaan will show whether we used the month to bring about a total reformation within ourselves or are we going to waste the valuable opportunity?
The National and international position of the Muslim communities leaves much to be desired. Muslims are lamenting the loss of lives, destruction of property, oppression, tyranny, injustice and a host of other problems all over the world. They are wondering why the promised help of Allah to the believers is nowhere in sight. Just one glance into the lifestyles of the overwhelming majority of the Muslims is sufficient to answer the question. Millions of Muslims do not have much to their credit besides Muslim names.
Allah’s help comes with action and Islamic qualities -not with names or faces – Arabs or non-Arabs, African or European, Chinese or Indians. On the other hand every group, organization, society or individual who talks Islam, seems to have got its own brand of Islam. The Islamic teachings which were left behind for us, crystal clear and pristine pure, have become so adulterated with foreign customs, alien practices and un-Islamic ideologies, that a new Muslim has to make an effort to search for the Quran and Sunnah brand of Islam or remain confused and ignorant.
May Allah Ta’ala on the occasion of Eid give us the guidance to resolve that we shall make the Quran and Sunnah our guiding lights and practise Islam as much as possible. If the non-Muslim inhabitants of our country see Islam in the lives of Muslims, they will not require much persuasion to accept our beautiful deen.
Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel
May Allah accept all your good deeds from the blessed month and give us the ability to carry them on through the year, ameen.
This Eid take a moment and remember in your duas all our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering.
Please remember me and my family in your duas also.
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said,
‘On the last night of Ramadhaan the fasting Muslims are forgiven.’ The Sahaabah radiyallahu anhum inquired,
‘O Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, is that the night of power?’ Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam replied,
‘No! But it is only right that a servant should be given his reward on having completed his duty’ [Ahmad]
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In this belated day and age, every morning heralds a new fitna, a fitna that strikes at the very root of our Imaan and amal. For the past fourteen hundred years the Ummah has been performing twenty rakaats of taraweeh without question. However “a sect” now claims that taraweeh is ONLY eight rakaats, which implies that for fourteen hundred years the Ummah had deviated from the sunnah of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam and had performed twenty rakaats without any shari proof.
The Virtue of Taraweeh
Abdullah Bin Ammar radhiallahu anhu states that Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “The fast and the Quraan will both plead on behalf of the bondsmen who keeps fast in the day and recites or listens attentively to the recitation of the Quraan at night standing in the presence of Allah (in taraweeh). The fast will say “O my Lord, I had held him back from food, drink and sexual gratification, accept my intercession for him today and treat him with mercy and forgiveness. The Quraan will say, “I had held him back from taking rest and sleep at night, O’ my Lord, accept my intercession for him today and treat him with mercy and forgiveness”. The intercession of both the fast and Quraan will be accepted and he will be treated with exceptionl kindness”. (Baihaqi).
Sayyidina Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree radhiallahu anhu narrates that Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “When the first night of Ramadhaan dawns (comes), the doors of the skies are opened, and none of its doors are then closed until the last night of Ramadhaan.”
No mu’min servant (of Allah) performs salaah during its night (any night of Ramadhaan), but Allah will record for him one thousand five hundred hasanah (rewards) for every sajdah that he makes. And Allah will build a home for him in Jannah made out of red ruby, which will have sixty thousand doors, each of its doors having (interlinked to, leading to) a palace made out of gold, ornamented (beautified and decorated) with rubies.
Thus, when he (the mu’min) fasts on the first day of Ramadhaan, all his past sins are pardoned, and seventy thousand malaaikah make istighfaar for him, daily, from the time of the fajr salaah, until the sun sets.
And for every sajdah that he makes during Ramadhaan, either by day or by night, there will be for him a tree, (in Jannah, so huge that) a person on horseback will ride in its shade for five hundred years.” (Baihaqi, Targheeb)
Salmaan radhiallahu anhu reports: “On the last day of Sha’baan the Messenger of Allah addressed us and said: ‘O people, there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than one thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made compulsory that the days shoud be observed by fasting. And he has made sunnah the Taraweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing nearer to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for him shall be the reward like him who had performed a fardh in any other time. And whoever performs a fardh, for him shall be the reward of seventy faraa’idh in any other time. This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah (paradise). It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellow men. It is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq is increased.
Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast (at sunset), for him there shall be forgiveness for his sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell), and for him shall be the same reward as him (whom he fed) without that person’s reward being decreased in the least….”. From this hadeeth it is noted that the command for taraweeh prayers too comes from Allah Himself. All the authorities of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamm’ah are agreed upon the fact that taraweeh is sunnah.
Taraweeh During the Era of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam and the Sahabah radhiallahu anhu
Ibn Abbass radhiallahu anhu states that during the month of Ramadhaan, Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam performed twenty rakaats (taraweeh) and thereafter performed the witr salaat. (Baihaqi and Musannaf Ibn Abie Shaiba).
Ubay bin Ka’ab radhiallahu anhu led the taraweeh prayers and offered 20 rakaats and three rakaats waajib salaat.
Umar radhiallahu anhu commanded the Imaam to perform twenty rakaats Taraweeh salaat for the congregation.
Views of the Scholars
Imaan Qurtubi radhiallahu anhu states: “Twenty rakaats taraweeh and three rakaats witr is the most authentic narration.”
Imaam Nawawi radhiallahu anhu states: “Taraweeh is a unanimously accepted sunnah of the Muslims. It is twenty rakaats”.
“The pandemonium that the Ghair Muqallideen (people who do not follow any Mazhab) had started for the past hundred years was never heared of in the Islamic world before……… Similarly from the time of Umar radhiallahu anhu upto the emergence of this sect there was no masjid in the world where eight rakaats of Taraweeh was performed……”. (Moulana Habib ur Rahmaan Azmi).
A Grave Misconception
The proponents of eight rakaats taraweeh quote the following hadeeth of Ayesha radhiallahu anha as stated in Bukhari Shareef. Ayesha radhiallahu anha was asked about the salaat of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam. She replied by saying that Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam did not exceed eleven rakaats in Ramadhaan nor in any other month…”.
This hadeeth apparently indicates that Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam performed eight rakaats taraweeh and three rakaats witr. However the words ‘nor in any other month’ clearly indicates that this was with reference to tahajjud salaat and not taraweeh salaat. The fact that Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) himself has not mentioned this hadeeth under the caption of Taraweeh salaat is clear proof that the salaat in question refers to witr and not taraweeh salaat.
Hazrat Umar radhiallahu anhu during his khilaafat had directed that taraweeh salaat be performed collectively in the masaajid, lest the practice gradually dissipates from the Ummah. He did not introduce the number of rakaats on his own accord. To believe that the twenty rakaats is an innovation of Umar radhiallahu anhu is to undermine the integrity of Umar radhiallahu anhu and all the Sahabah who were present at that time!
Source: Jamiatul Ulama South Africa
A very important act related to Saum (Fasting) is Iftaar or to break the fast at its appropriate time. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) emphasised the importance and the virtues of correct observance of Iftaar. Correct observance of Iftaar means to observe it in the Sunnat way. Although Iftaar is ostensibly a mundane act of eating some food, it is an ibaadat of much thawaab (reward) as well. However, Iftaar will be bereft of its spirituality and ibaadat dimension if it is not observed in the Masnoon manner.
THE MASNOON MANNER
It should be well understood that Iftaar is not feasting. It is not an act to discharge gluttonously or with impatience. It is a spiritually pleasurable act or should be so. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the Saa-im (the fasting person) experiences two moments of happiness or pleasure. The one moment is when he makes Iftaar and the other moment will be the occasion when he meets his Rabb (in the Aakhirah).
This pleasurable exercise should not be contaminated and ruined with greed and impatience when it is time to end the fast. The Masnoon method of breaking the fast is to eat some dates or to drink some water. It should not be transformed in a veritable feast with heavy foods as has become the norm in most places. Instead of the light Iftaar which was the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah, people have developed the greedy and impatient habit of stuffing their bellies with food of a variety of kinds while the Athaan is in progress. They are consequently deprived of the thawaab of responding to the Athaan. They suffer the loss of the Sunnat acts of responding to the Athaan and of the Masnoon light Iftaar which is not only spiritually beneficial but which is physically beneficial as well. The sudden avalanche of food which descends into the stomach which has become contracted as a result of the day-long abstention from food and water, leads to disorders in the body. The repercussion of such disorders can be severe and very harmful for even the physical health.
The excessive feasting at the time of Iftaar leads to spiritual lethargy, indigestion and delay in beginning of the Maghrib Salaat. To gain the best rewards of Iftaar, spiritual and physical, it is necessary to break the fast with only some dates or water. The Maghrib Salaat should then commence almost immediately after the Athaan, perhaps three or four minutes after the Athaan, not 10, 15 and even 20 minutes after the Athaan as has been observed in some places where people feast like gluttons. In this way, they detract from the benefits of the Saum. The best results of ibaadat can be acquired only if the proper Masnoon method is adopted.
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