Archive for the ‘Scholars’ Category

Format of Traditional Arab Islamic Names

July 18, 2016 Leave a comment

(The following is an extract from an introduction to Imam an-Nawawi.)

A traditional Arabic name consists of many things. The parts are:

 1 . Your name and the name of your fathers before you.

 The name of Imam Al-Nawawi is: Yahya ibn Sharraf ibn Mooree ibn Hasan ibn Husayn

 2 . A kunya, which means nickname.

 The kunya of the Prophet (saI AIIahu alayhi wa saIIam) was Abu Qasim.

Every person of the Arabs will take a kunya even if he did not have a son or child by that name.

Generally speaking, some names have intrinsic kunyas. For example, the name Ali is generally given the kunya Abu Hasan. If your father called you Ali, it was understood you would take the kunya Abu Hasan when you grew up. Why? Ali ibn Abi Talib’s son was called Hasan. Sometimes people with the name Ali are called Abu Husayn or Abu Hasanain. Similarly, the kunya of someone named Yasir is Abu Ammar because of Ammar ibn Yasir.

What do you think the kunya of Imam AI-Nawawi would be? Abu Zakariyyah. Yahya was the son of Zakariyyah, but the Prophet Yahya did not have any children. Imam Al-Nawawi himself approved of this kunya and called himself by that name.

 3 . An honorary title.

The students of a scholar would give this title. Ibn Taymiyyah was called Shaykh Al-Islam, and very few people reached this status.

The title of Imam Al-Nawawi was muhyadeen, which means the reviver of the sciences. He was given this title during his lifetime, but he did not like it and said: “Anyone who calls me muhyadeen

I will not forgive him. ” His statement shows how strict he was about this title. He was strict with this because of his modesty. Muhya means someone who revives something that was dead, and Al-Nawawi did not like the connotation that the religion was dead and he brought it back to life.

 4-. ‏لقب‎ (Laqab): where you are from / place of origin / profession

 Sometimes it includes both the profession and the place of origin.

Imam AI-Nawawi was given a Iaqab for the place. He was born in a village called Nawa, which is a village outside of Damascus.

[Taken from: Class Notes on Sacred Scrolls, 40 Hadeeth Nawawi, Qabeelat Hosna, July 2008]

Categories: Imam Nawawi, Uncategorized

Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad

May 3, 2015 Leave a comment
Shariah Law, Islamic State & Jihad
Taught by Shaykh Akram Nadwi
(8 Feb 2014 at Queen Mary University, London)



The shaykh began the topic by highlighting how much he respects and admires Imam Hasan al-Banna Shaheed, Maulana Maududi and Sayyid Qutb Shaheed. Nadwatul Ulama movement actually pioneered the translation of Maulana Maududis works to Arabic which then had a big impact on Sayyid Qutb Shaheed. Shaykh Akram respects the efforts of these great thinkers, he has read their works many times, memorised parts of Milestones and he mentioned how he has been moved to tears reading some of their writings. The purpose of mentioning this was so that people do not think he is speaking from biased perspective when criticising.

It is important to unite despite of differences. The purpose of teaching is not to make everyone follow you. [Shaykh Akram regularly mentions this in his seminars emphasising that if someone feels they have a better argument then they can discuss, but people should think properly and then either agree knowingly or disagree knowingly].

Maulana Maududi, Imam Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb were the first to present political Islam as a focus Read more…

…how can one know Him and not love Him?

January 2, 2015 Leave a comment


What a wonderful thing it is to know Him (i.e. Allah)!

But how can one know Him and not love Him?

How can one hear the caller but fail to respond?

How can one know the profit that shall be gained in dealing with Him but still prefer others?

How can one taste the bitterness of disobeying Him but still abstain from seeking the pleasure of obeying Him?

How can one feel the severity of engaging in trivial speech, but fail to open your heart with His remembrance?

How can one be tortured by being attached to other but not rush toward the bliss of turning to Him in repentance?

Perhaps it is most surprising to know that while you are in need of Him, you are still reluctant to move toward Him because you seek others.

(Imam ibn al-Qayyim, al-Fawa’id, pg72)

Three Levels of Piety

August 16, 2014 Leave a comment

3 levels

Piety has three levels:

One– protecting the hearts and limbs against sin and forbidden actions.

Two– protecting them against undesirable matters.

Three– protection against curiosity and whatever is not of one’s concern.

The first will grant life to the servant, the second will grant him health and power, and the third will grant him happiness and joy.

[Imam ibn al-Qayyim, al-Fawaa’id, pg56]

Live in this World, Not for this World

May 27, 2014 Leave a comment


We have no other choice but to spend our life in this world. When we are hungry we need to eat, when we are thirsty we need to drink, we need housing and means to earn a living. If we have to do all these things then how is it possible not to get attracted by this world? It seems very difficult. But it is the Prophets and their vicegerents who taught us how to live in this world without getting attracted to it. A true Muslim would live in this world fulfilling all his social duties but at the same time he would avoid getting attracted by it.

How do we acquire such a state of mind that we remain in this world, get involved in all the necessary affairs, yet not get attracted by it?

This very thing has been explained Read more…

…..I would have made Abu Bakr my beloved

May 27, 2014 1 comment



Allah ta’ala has made this heart in such a way that it can have in it only one true love. There can be several relationships as and when necessary but true love can only be one, other Love cannot be of the same degree. For this reason the Prophet (salallahu ‘alayhi wasalam) said about Hazrat Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu):

“Had I made a friend (khalil) in this world I would have befriended (took as a khalil) Abu Bakr. [Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No.466]

The Prophet’s (salallahu ‘alayhi wasalam) relationship with Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiallahu ‘anhu) was so strong that Read more…

The Desire to do Good Deeds

December 30, 2013 1 comment


Sometimes a desire springs up in a man’s heart to vie with a man who is doing some good deed, but at the same time he begins to feel that he is not equal to that task. He is not worthy of the sublime deed the other fellow is doing. When such discouraging ideas deter a man from virtuous deeds he should act upon the hadith which states seek Allah taala’s help and do not admit (in you) disability for the deed. Have full reliance on Allah Taala who will make the deed easy for you.

It is related about the righteous men that they offer the Tahajjud (Qiyamul Layl, night prayer) salat and make supplications before Allah at that blessed time of the night. You may also feel a desire to offer the Tahajjud salat and reap its blessings, but at the same time your weakness and inability keep you away from this task. In such a situation you should not surrender yourself to such discouraging thoughts, but should pray to Allah Taala hopefully that He may bestow upon you the necessary courage and strength to offer the Tahajjud salat and reap its blessings.

When a man prays to Almighty Allah for help to do some good deed his prayer is sure to bring him one of the two alternative gains. Either Allah Taala will help the man to perform the deed, or He shall grant him the reward for the deed. This is proved by a hadith.

The Noble Prophet (salallahu ’alayhi wasalam) has said in a hadith:

If a man prays with heart-felt sincerity for the honour of martyrdom, Allah grants him, by His mercy, that honour, even if he dies (at home) on his bed.

My respected father, Mufti Muhammad Shafi (rahmatullah ‘alayh) once related this incident of an ironsmith:

After the death of Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mubarak (rahmatullah ‘alayh) someone saw him in a dream [1] and asked him what happened to him after his death. In reply he said that Allah Taala was very kind to him, He forgave him and granted him a status which he hardly deserved. He added that he could, however, not get the status which was granted to the ironsmith who lived in the house opposite his.

On getting up from his sleep the person who had the dream felt a desire to find out who that ironsmith was and what righteous deed he did to supersede Hadrat Abdullah ibn Mubarak (rahmatullah ‘alayh) in the hereafter. This man then called at the house of the ironsmith Read more…

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