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Unhijabed #2: Giving Modesty a Name

5-beautiful-eyes-www.cute-pictures.blogspot.com_In recent decades the community I come from has shifted its focus in several aspects. I am being conservative by only referring to my community, when truthfully these shifts have been in lieu with the evolving global environment. We cannot argue that there has been a serious lack of values and an overwhelming sense of superficiality dominating many aspects of life. As a reaction to this development, religious communities, which are supposedly the dispensers and enforces of such values, become all the more coercive and uncompromising in enforcing their respective laws. These laws are seen as barriers between them and the corruption of the outside world. There was suddenly so much emphasis on building a unique, Islamic image that would give its followers a sense of security. Of course, after much branding and marketing, this successfully gave birth to an ‘Islamic’ pseudo-culture, much based on long-accepted traditions and superficial understanding.

Little did these enforcers know that they have become exactly like their worldly nemeses. They are just as superficial, arrogant, hypocritical but most importantly, judgmental of the people around them, and each other. But of course, all that is merely my opinion.

So now everything ‘Islamic’ has a theme, so to speak. Suddenly, a certain way of speaking is more Islamic than any other mode of talk, for instance. Akhi, Ukhti, you must speak with correctly transliterated Arabic words even though you haven’t a clue about Arabic grammar because it is the language of the Al-Qur’aan and of Jannah. Also, it makes you look a lot smarter than you really are.  Suddenly, the Arab way of dress is deemed more ‘Islamic’, because any other clothing is deemed an imitation of the infidels – thus I surmise from here that anything non-Arab is virtually cursed to Hell. But let’s not forget that the Arab culture was once Paganist, and even now still belong to several other ancient faiths.

Now, still on the topic of dress, it would be unwise to say that only women who dress a certain way are ‘religiously approved’ (for lack of a better term). But sadly it has long been so, and from experience, it is believed a woman can be chaste and well-mannered, but all that will go to waste if she didn’t wear the Hijab. Again, the chauvinistic misconception of socially acceptable Muslims (as mentioned in the earlier article) is at play. I’d hardly think God would be so petty to throw her to hell just for that, you know.

That said, I think the headscarf has been overly glorified for the wrong reasons. Not only are the various scholarly opinions related about this unknown at large, the judicial instruments and developments herewith are totally ignored. For some reason or other context has lost its relevance almost entirely in the formation of customs, which is pure insanity. There isn’t a problem with donning it, of course. The problem is the way we see the individuals who don’t.

I’ve had numerous Muslim friends (converts or otherwise) who did not grow up accustomed to wearing it and to my knowledge now suffer under the judgmental eyes of the local Muslim community. This undertaking was to prove a point.  I know I don’t need society’s approval to be modest. I don’t need to be part of a shallow community that validates me by what I wear.

And these are my rants.

[ Part 1: Being ‘Irreligious’ ]

[ Part 3: Background Check ]

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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Unhijabed

 

Unhijabed #1 : Being ‘Irreligious’

I know clear and well this is a precariously controversial angle to take this topic from. I anticipate much outrage to be directed at me henceforth, but I also hope the ones I speak for will find comfort and a supportive soul in me. If you have often dabbled with the idea of putting the hijab on or taking it off, or struggled with society’s preconceived notions of the ‘modest woman’,  this is especially for you.

Firstly, a little background: I come from a fairly average family and have zealously covered everything save my face and hands since the age of eight. I was educated in a school whose graduates are looked up to as the ‘religious pioneers of the future’ (which I will prove wrong very soon). I even taught religious classes for a significant period of my life. Basically, I grew up in a rather sheltered environment, with principles that were never to be questioned, and a blind idolatry of a religion that is supposedly supreme over every other belief.

At the age of 19* I developed a healthy skepticism towards what I was taught, or rather, what I was programmed to think. My reflections concluded thus: my so-called ‘religion’ has made me nothing but a self-indulgent hypocrite.

One moment, though. If you happen to believe any of the following…..

  1. Angels are afraid of and/or dislike dogs and hence will not enter your house should you keep them as pets,
  2. All Muslim men should have beards because it helps you tell them apart from Jews and Christians, or
  3.  Only Islam is the truth and that anyone who does not believe in, namely, Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), will go to Hell,

….. and, even now, have never questioned any single one of these ideas, I would not recommend that you continue reading. If your curiosity is suddenly piqued, then congratulations, your life is on the way to making sense. I will digress a little further to give a clearer picture of the way I see things, so that you will know where I am coming from when I eventually come to talking about the Hijab.

Firstly, to do any of the sacred text justice, you have to put it in context. To do otherwise, in my opinion, is an absolute violation of human intelligence and, not to mention, the text itself. Look at statement (a) – and let’s put it this way. Angels are majestic creatures of light, created to carry out specific, honourable roles, et cetera. But somehow this narration has given the idea that for some reason or another, angels do not go near dogs. Dogs. Seriously? What are they, retarded? They’re technically not even in the same realm for God’s Godly sake. Then it occurred to me that the dogs normally kept during the time were for hunting or sheep dogs. You know, really big ones whose natural habitat is the wonderful wild world beyond. So of course, keeping them in your house would be an act of oppression, no? Remember how sorry you felt when you saw your neighbour’s canary all alone in its cage? Try feeling that for a Great Dane locked up in a house. It’s exactly the same thing.

To prove my point, here’s a picture of a puppy. I personally think puppies are fluffballs of Divine Love.

Image

So it wasn’t the dogs that the Angels were so wary of, it was the oppression. And that being the case, I’d assume this narration is applicable to all creatures, not just dogs. So, myth: busted.

And then there are some narrations which make you wonder if they are still applicable in your context, like (b). Coming from Singapore, I’d naturally wonder what’s so important about being different from the Jews, considering I’d be hard pressed to even find one around here, or the Christians, many of whom I’ve made good friends with. Why do we have to be so exclusive, anyway? Because we’re special? That’s real mature. Understandably, it would make perfect sense if that narration came from a time of war. Naturally, you’d want to attack the right bunch of people, and because there’s so many of them, and I don’t recall Arabs of that time having uniforms, there has to be some form of identification. So I suppose that’s another myth busted.

Lastly, the biggest culprit behind all that is pompous and unholy in my life thus far. Let’s look at (c) and pay special attention to the conveniently italic ‘namely’. Yes, because apparently there is only one way to express the inherent Divine Oneness of existence and that is through verbal expression, people. Of all realms, media and cultures, and the times and languages therein. There is only one exclusive (and limited) ticket to paradise. And God created everyone else to burn in Hell eternally. This thought, especially, has screwed with my mind for longer than I can remember. Now, what if I told you that God doesn’t live in a word? That the Divine is something so obvious yet so hidden at the same time?

You would go mad trying to understand that there was no duality in the first place. If there was no duality, why would God create heaven and hell? Why is there good and evil? Or is there? What am I doing here if God is the only reality? Am I really here? Is God in me?

Does your head hurt yet? The point I’m trying to drive here is, how are we subjecting people to the punishment of a God we don’t even know?

… well, the answers are attainable, actually. The answers are within. All you have to do is inquire. Drop the texts, the dictionaries, the fatwas. The years I spent swimming in them never amounted to much, and it probably won’t do you much good either, not yet.

[Part #2: Giving Modesty a Name]

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*I know what you’re thinking. Only 19 but has teaching experience? Beats me. I think it’s ridiculous, too. So here’s some advice, if you have any kids attending conventional weekend classes to learn their religion, pull them out NOW. They were better off finding God by themselves before they got brainwashed. 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Unhijabed

 

Bayazid Al-Bastami (q.s.), Sultan al-‘Arifeen

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The saints of God are His brides and none looks upon brides save those of their family. They are veiled in seclusion in His presence by intimacy. No one sees them, neither in the world nor the next.”

Of the well-known Sufi masters, whose iconic stories are often narrated and quoted in Suhbaat (study circles), is Sultan al-‘Arifeen Bayazid Al-Bastami (q.s). Also known as Abu Yazid Tayfoor al-Bastami in Arabic, he lived in Bastam, Persia, during the 9th century AD. His grandfather was a Zoroastrian who converted to Islam. Besides this, not much is known of his childhood, although some sources cite Karamaat (miracles) occurring before his birth as an indication of his status.

He is an inheritor of infamous Sufi giants – his teacher was Dhu al-Nun Al Misri, who learnt from Jabir Ibn Hayyan, who learnt from Ja’far As-Sadiq (may Allah preserve them all). The Khwajangan (Persian for ‘master’), who were the Sufi Masters of Central Asia during the 10th-16th century, is also traced back to him.

The doctrine of Fana’ (annihilation) is seldom taught without mentioning him. His sayings in the state of divine intoxication (Shatahah) are well-known, amongst them are:

“سبحاني سبحاني”

“Glory be to me! Glory be to me!”

“I say that, God is the mirror of myself, for with my tongue He speaks and I have ceased to be myself”

Also found in other sources, Adh-Dhahabi (known Muhaddith and historian, d.1348 AD) quoted Al-Bastami in numerous matters, amongst which were “Praise to Me, for My greatest Glory!” and “There is nothing in this robe I am wearing except Allah.” Adh-Dhahabi’s teacher Ibn Taymiyya explained, “He didn’t see himself as existing any longer, but only saw the existence of Allah, due to his self-denial.”

It was mentioned in Tazkirat al-Awliya that someone once asked Bayazid, “how did you become such a great, learned Sufi?” Bayazid replied, “one night, when I was a child, I left the city to go to the desert. The moon was shining and the world was at peace. Suddenly I had a vision; I saw an illuminated silhouette. The image was so bright that the light of the sun looked pale compared to this apparition. I fell into a state of rapture and a deep feeling of joy came over me. I whispered to myself, ‘Oh Allah, such a beautiful gate, yet empty, such an almighty realm, yet lonesome!” I heard a voice say, “the doorstep is empty, not because no one comes, but no one is admitted to come. This is not the realm of the impure; not many have the honor of admittance.” I thought, from whom in creation could I call upon to intercede for my admittance? And I remembered that the only one to intercede was the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). I could not call upon anyone but wait for him to give me permission to enter. It was then that I received a message saying, “because of such politeness I will raise your name so you will be remembered as the Sultan al-‘Arifeen, Bayazid.”

Bayazid Al-Bastami (q.s) died in 874 AD. It was said that when he was dying he made a prayer – “oh Allah, I remembered you as if I was an ignorant. Now that I am dying, I am negligent of worshipping You, and I do not know when I will be in Your presence again”. He passed away in a state of Zikr. At the time of his death one of his students, Abu Musa, dreamt that he carried the universe on his shoulders. In a subsequent dream Bayazid Al-Bastami (q.s) appeared to him, telling him that the universe was indeed his body, as how Abu Musa carried his corpse to the grave earlier that day.

Other sayings by him include:

Someone asked, “show me the shortest way to reach God.” Bayazid said, “love those beloved of Allah and make yourself lovable to them so that they love you, because Allah looks into the hearts of whom He loves seventy times a day. Perchance He will love you, too, and He will forgive you your wrongdoings”

When Bayazid was asked, “how old are you?” he said, “four years!” he was asked, “how can that be?” he answered, “I have been veiled (from God) by this world for seventy years, but I have seen Him during the last four years; the period in which one is veiled does not belong to one’s life”

And Allah knows.

[Written as a supplement to ongoing discussion sessions on Farid al-Attar’s Conference of the Birds.]

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Spirituality

 

Surah Muhammad: Understanding the Command to Fight

Surah Muhammad or Al-Qital is one of the few Chapters in the Qur’an that has two names. Other examples of such chapters include chapters 9 (at-Tawbah or Bara’ah), no. 17 (Al-Isra’ or Bani Isra’il) and no. 40 (Ghafir or Al-Mu’min). Its first name (Muhammad) is derived from from verse 2, which implies that in it the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is mentioned by name (this occurs 5 times in total in the whole Qur’an). The name Al-Qital, which means ‘battle’, is derived from verse 20 “..and fighting is mentioned therein..” with ‘therein’ referring to the chapter itself.


This chapter was sent down after the Hijrah in Madinah. This was during the early years following the Hijrah, so active fighting was not undertaken yet.

This Chapter was sent down during a time when Muslims were the target of persecution – in Makkah as well as the Arabian Peninsula in general. The small settlement of Madinah was surrounded by enemy forces. Thus, there was a need to wage war, for it would be difficult for any new settlement to thrive in such a hostile environment otherwise.

The Muslims were first given permission to fight in Surah Al Hajj, verse 39 :

أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَـٰتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُم ظُلِمُواْ‌ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ نَصرِهِم لَقَدِيرٌ (٣٩

“To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged – and verily, Allah is Most Powerful for their aid-”

and then fighting was further enjoined in Surah Al Baqarah, verse 190:

وَقَـٰتِلُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُقَـٰتِلُونَكُم وَلَا تَعتَدُوٓاْ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلمُعتَدِينَ (١٩٠

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors”

Now, a platform has been given for the Muslims to properly establish themselves. Note that there were only a handful of Muslims in Madinah, and they had barely a thousand soldiers; and despite this they were urged to stand up against the pagan forces of the rest of Arabia. Also, being a mere group of emigrants, they were suffering economically and thus lacked the resources for basic needs, much less the resources for battle. It is at times like this that the beauty and majesty of faith is realized, as we will discover.

The theme of this chapter is to prepare the believers for war and to give them preliminary instructions in this regard. This is another reason why it has been titled al-Qital. The following is an outline of the topics addressed in this chapter:-

It begins by illustrating two groups of people, which will become a further topic of discussion later in the chapter. The first is described as those who reject Allah and prevent others from His path, and the second group is described as those who believe in Allah and the revelation sent to Muhammad (pbuh). He renders the deeds of the former group fruitless and in vain, and rectifies the affairs of the latter group.

This is followed by basic guidelines as to what should be employed in the battle against enemy forces. This includes instructions with regards to dealing with captives (as per the example of Badr). The merits of martyrdom are then mentioned. Afterwards, a warning is given to the people of Makkah who have driven out Muhammad (pbuh). This shows that victory is already in the hands of the believers, and that the consequences of incurring injustice (zulm) are dire.

Surah Muhammad is not the only chapter in which the tactics of battle are laid out. It is also mentioned in Surah at-Tawbah, verse 123:

يَـٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قَـٰتِلُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ يَلُونَكُم مِّنَ ٱلكُفَّارِ وَليَجِدُواْ فِيكُم غِلظَةً‌ۚ

“o you who believe! Fight the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you”

(‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali translates ‘يَلُونَكُم ٱلَّذِينَ‘ as ‘those who gird you about’ instead of ‘those who are close to you’)

It is easy to misconstrue this verse without a proper guide. The ‘closeness’ referred to here is in terms of proximity. Thus why the Muslims began by fighting the enemies in the Arabian Peninsula, and afterwards advanced towards the Romans, and so on.

The Muslims did not only face enemies from the outside; there were also enemies within their community. Thus the chapter addresses the hypocrites, giving an accurate description of them (and an even more precise one later in chapter 63). Allah mentions their signs and then says that their secrets are not unknown to Him. This makes up almost half of the contents of this chapter. Put simply, the hypocrites were unwilling to go to war, and conspired with external forces to save themselves. This was definitely unfavourable to the Muslim army and must be dealt with before they can actually go to battle.

Afterwards, the chapter elaborates the differences between the believers and those who reject faith. Such differences only manifest when the Ummah is tried. Those who have faith will persevere and those who do not will flee, thinking that their lives are in their own hands. Those who persevere will be granted victory and those without faith have rendered their own deeds invalid. Thus a lesson in faith is taught in this scenario: one either worships Allah or himself. To have faith in Allah is to know that everything has already been taken care of, and such is the state of Sabr. This is reiterated in verse 35, when Allah says “…when you should be uppermost”, which means that these people have indeed been lifted in ranks.

And Allah knows.


 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Qur'an, Spirituality

 

Types of Hadith collections (An introduction to Hadith part III )

Over centuries of inquiry and learning, the genres of Hadith compilation have diversified. This was due to shifts in the conditions and, consequently, necessities of society. Personally, I do not regard the advent of such classification as a form of expansion in this field. It is rather the organizing of information for various consumers. What concerns a Judge in deriving matters of the Deen does not necessarily concern the average citizen. It is thus important to learn the history and development of the various fields in Islam to give a more holistic understanding of the religion.

There are generally 11 genres of Hadith collections:

1. The Sahifah

These are the earlier collections of Hadith, written down by the companions during the lifetime of the Prophet Pbuh, or by their followers amongst the Tabi’in. Some of these collections are also considered Rasa’il (refer to no. 3).

Examples are the Sahifah of Abu Hurairah, which he taught and handed down to his student Hammam ibn Munabbih, as well as the Sahifah al-Sadiqah (as named by its author) by Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘As.

2.The Ajza’ (sing. Juzu‘)

There are 2 definitions to this category. The first refers to collections of traditions passed down on the authority of a single Sahaba or Tabi’in, which were then further developed into Musnads (refer to no. 5). The second refers to a collection of Ahadith pertaining to a single subject e.g, “Intention”.

3. The Rasa’il (sing. Risalah)

Similar to the Ajza’ are the Rasa’il – except that the Rasa’il are more specific in terms of subject matter. They are collections of Ahadith pertaining to one of the following 8 topics:

  1. Aqidah (beliefs)
  2. Ahkam (law)
  3. Ascetics, Mysticism or Piety
  4. Adab (Etiquette)
  5. Tafsir
  6. Tarikh or Seerah (History)
  7. Fitan (sing. Fitnah, meaning crises)
  8. Al-Manaqib and Al-Mathalib (the virtues and flaws of people and places)

The Rasa’il are also known as Kutub (books), of which many works by As-Suyuti and Ibn Hajar belong to.

4. The Sunan

The Sunan are collections of Ahadith that pertain solely to category (ii) of Rasa’il – law. Examples of this would be the works of Abu Daud, Nasa’I and Tirmizi.

5. The Musannaf

These are collections of Ahadith that pertain to most, or all of the categories of Rasa’il. Examples of this are the books of the Shaikhayn – Bukhari and Muslim, as well as the Muwatta‘ of Imam Malik.

6. The Jami’

A more complete version of the Musannaf is the Jami’, whereby all the topics in Rasa’il are addressed in entirety. For example, Sahih Muslim is considered a Musannaf but not a Jami’ like that of Imam Bukhari, because Sahih Muslim does not include traditions relating to all chapters of the Qur’an.

There is perhaps only one collection that fulfils this criterion. Originally known as Al-Jami’ Al-Musnad Al-Sahih Al-Mukhtasar min Umur al-Rasul wa Sunanihi wa Ayyaamihi, it has been popularized with a more simple name, Sahih Bukhari.

7. The Musnad

These are Ahadith collected based on the final authorities to whom they are related. For example, the Musnads of Abu Daud Tayalisi and Ahmad ibn Hanbal. This term was later used, in a more generic sense, to describe collections of reliable and sound Ahadith. The collectors of such traditions, however differ slightly in their method of arrangement. In some, the Ahadith are arranged according to their Isnad in alphabetical order. In others, the Ahadith are arranged based on the Thiqah (reliability) of the people in the Isnad, relative to when they embraced Islam and which events they took part in with the Prophet pbuh.

8. The Mu’jam

These are collections of Ahadith arranged in alphabetical order, on various bases. For example the geographical and biographical dictionaries of Yaqut are called Mu’jam al-Buldan and Mu’jam Udaba‘ respectively. If a Musnad was arranged in alphabetical order it becomes a Mu’jam. The Ahadith in the aforementioned are arranged according to the Shuyukh they were taken from in alphabetical order, regardless of their content. Examples of this are some works by At-Tabarani, Ibrahim ibn Isma’il and Ibn Al-Qani’.

9. The Mustadrak

Mustadraks are in a sense continuations of previous works. This happens when Ahadith that conform to the criteria of a certain work but were previously not included. The initial absence of these Ahadith are merely because the original collector unknowingly missed them out. An example is the Mustadrak Al-Hakim, which is a collection of Ahadith that fulfill the criteria Bukhari and Muslim.

10. The Mustakhraj

Similar to the Mustadrak, the Mustakhraj is another form of expansion to already established collections. This is when a later compiler finds new chains to previously recorded Ahadith. An example is the Mustakhraj of Abu Nu’aym Isfahani, in which he collected fresh isnads to Ahadith in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim.

11. The Arba’in (p. Arba’iniyyat)

Popularized by Imam Nawawi, this genre consists a collection of 40 Hadith of special interest to the writer. Another famous compiler of the Arba’in is Shah Wali Ad-Dihlawi.

[ abridged from http://www.classicalislamgroup.com/viewpage.php?page=442 ]

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Hadith

 

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The Apology

(Disclaimer: this has nothing to do with the speech by Socrates in 399 BC.)

Some days they end in sweet adieus

Endearing thanks and I-love-yous,

Others they end in frowns and tears

Frustrated voices, and burning ears.

Alluring it was, the charm I knew

Captured and thus, my feelings grew

I’ve never known feelings so true

I found everything; I found it in you.

At first I saw in us perfection

We were full of ideals, dreams and ambition

It was great, until, I lost my direction

And closed my eyes to your affection.

The heart, it rusts, and at times I find

The person I saw was all in my mind

I didn’t mean to be unfair, unjust, unkind,

I was rude, I’m sorry; I was blind.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Poetry

 

How to be a Mufassir

A Mufassir is a master of Qur’anic exegesis – noted scholars authorized to interpret the Qur’an and teach these interpretations to the masses. Some of the most commonly heard names around this discipline would be Ibn Abbas, At-Tabari and Ibn Katheer.

Tafseer is no simple feat and bestows considerable authority the Mufassir as sharia is mainly derived from it. Before one can endeavour to take on such a heavy responsibility, there are a few prerequisites to fulfill – and they are as follows:

Requirements of a Mufassir

  1. His ‘Aqidah must be sound.
  2. He must be free of his nafs (i.e, overcome it)
  3. He must be a master of (all the 13 disciplines of) the Arabic language.
  4. He must be learned in the disciplines related to the Qur’an itself (e.g Tajweed, Qiraat, Asbab an-Nuzul, Nasikh wal Mansukh, etc)
  5. He must be of high intellect and understanding.

The exegesis itself should be done in this order:

  1. Because the Qur’an is essentially self-explanatory, it must first and foremost be explained via references within itself.
  2. Afterwards, use references in the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh)
  3. If he fails to find an explanation, look to the sayings of the companions
  4. Then, the sayings of the Tabi’in

The Adab of a Mufassir

A Mufassir must possess the following qualities:

  1. Good intention ( حسن النية و صحة المقصد ) – because actions are by their intentions, and ones intention of delving in the disciplines of sharia should be first and foremost the betterment of society.
  2. Excellent mannerisms ( حسن الخلق ) – as such is obvious of one who has triumphed over his nafs.
  3. To be actively practicing what he knows ( الإمتثال و العمل ) – for the benefit of this is more than the expanse of his knowledge and understanding.
  4. Trustworthiness ( تحري الصدق و الضبط في النقل ) – he must be able to quote and make references accurately
  5. Humility ( التواضع و لين الجانب ) – because boastfulness is an impregnable barrier between knowledge and benefiting from it.
  6. Dignity ( عزّة النفس ) – for knowledge raises its acquirer above inferior matters.
  7. Unafraid to uphold the Truth ( الجهر بالحق ) – for such is a considerable jihad, to be able to stand up against an unjust leader.
  8. Excellent self-conduct ( حسن السمت ) – more specifically, to be solemn in all his actions, even when sitting, standing, walking, and so on.
  9. Patience and deliberation ( الأناة و الروية ) – thus ensuring accuracy in his words.
  10. Puts the more knowledgeable before himself ( تقديم من هو أولى منه ) – he must not openly challenge other Mufassireen in their lifetime, nor despise them after they have deceased. He should instead encourage learning from them and reading their books.
  11. Well-versed in presenting knowledge ( حسن الإعداد و طريقة الأداء ) – the explanation of the ayat should be done in an orderly fashion. For example, he could begin with explaining the Asbab an-Nuzul, and then explain the Mufradaat, afterwards proceed to identify the literary and grammatical instruments (Balaghah and Nahu) used, and so on.

[taken from: Mabaahith fi ‘Ulum Al-Qur’an by Mannaa’ al-Qatthaan (1990), Ch 24: Shuruut al-Mufassir wa Aadaabihi]

Terms explained

‘Aqidah: belief system

Nafs: the sense of self, also known as ego

Tajweed: the (high precision) art of reciting the Qur’an

Qiraat: the study of the different styles of Qur’anic recital

Asbab An-Nuzul: the study of the reasons behind the revelation of individual Qur’anic verses

Nasikh wal Mansukh: the study of early rulings and their nullification against more recent ones, during the time of revelation.

Mufradaat: synonyms

Balaghah: a discipline in Arabic literature

Nahu: Arabic grammar and syntax

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Qur'an

 

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