Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem
Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah.
Oh, hi there! Thanks for stopping by! We'll conveniently ignore your blatant disregard for following instructions for now - am guessing you also sometimes ignore red lights, park where you're not supposed to, take napkins from takeaways even if you're not buying anything from there but just need a napkin, etc.; you rebel you - as there is hopefully a bigger benefit about to be had. Sometimes the means get justified in the end...
Apologies for being crafty, but I needed to get your attention, and couldn't think of a better way. Given the underwhelming response on the other thread (see below), desperate measures were called for!
Anyway, now that you're here, you might as well hang around and participate in this li'l experiment!
I have copied the below from another thread, and you can read the original post, and the original thread here:http://jannah.org/madina/index.php?topic=5840.msg29055#msg29055
- original posthttp://jannah.org/madina/index.php?topic=5840.0;all
- original thread
Bear with me on this, I know it's a tad lengthy, but insha'Allah ta'ala if enough of you take part, we might emerge with something of, perhaps, a little value.
The point of this exercise is to illustrate the disparity between our limited suppositions, and formal interpretation of hadith, as one element in deriving fiqh rulings.
It is my observation/experience - and you may prove me wrong, that's fine too - that (too) many of us fail to recognise the crucial distinction between the intended meaning of a hadith, and the supposed meaning we take away when we read it with our untrained eyes. Too many times the two are not the same, because merely reading a hadith isn't the same as formally studying it. Yet we - and by we
I mean myself and others from amongst the laity of Muslims - will often walk away having just read a hadith somewhere, thinking that what we've understood by our reading of it - i.e. the meaning that seems apparent to us - is the actual intended meaning of the Lawgiver, subhanahu wa ta'ala. Bearing in mind that hadith are part of the Sunnah, and hence considered revelation. That is, from Allah ta'ala.
Take for example, Sahih al-Bukhari (which is not even the proper name for this esteemed work). In the classical era, this was a work which a Talib al-'Ilm [Student of the Sacred Knowledge] would tend to study at the culmination of his/her studies. It is an extremely technical work, the study of which requires one to be proficient in a whole host of other disciplines, for their study of this text to stand any chance of being worthwhile.
Yet nowadays, not only can any Joe Muslim walk into a random bookshop and buy Sahih al-Bukhari, or a translation of, they can just type in some keywords into a searchable database, or CD-Rom, and pluck the various ahadith out from the search results. This has opened up the floor to non-specialists, ordinary Muslims unschooled in the relevant sciences (much less in arabic!), accessing works of hadith without having the proper hermeneutic grounding first. Which has led to the promulgation of opinion around subjects addressed by hadith which is essentially formed of speculation and conjecture, not true knowledge and learning. The confusion and fitna this often results in forms the cause of disputes which shouldn't have arisen in the first place had a proper methodology been respected. This is compounded by the fact that a lot of us tend not to appreciate when an issue is one of fiqh versus one of hadith.
Following is an article which highlights some of the dangers of the approach of (sufficiently) unqualified eyes drawing conclusions based on their own reading of ahadith:http://www.dewdropsweb.com/talaqqi/
- it is the examples in Section 4 that I wish to draw your attention to
Let us illustrate this phenomenon with an actual example. But in order to get the best utility from this exercise, I need you - or anyone else who wants to participate - to not refer to any other resources whatsoever, on- or offline. No using dictionaries, commentaries, or anything at all. All I want you to do is read the hadith below, and based only on that, try to derive as many possible lessons/benefits from it as your personal reading/understanding/interpetation of it allows. I stress, this is just a teaching exercise, we're not actually formally studying the hadith, I am neither a scholar nor a student. I am merely trying to make a point, and insha'Allah the lesson will reveal itself as we proceed.
Incidentally, this exercise isn't about fiqh, we're just looking at what a layman can take from hadith without the guiding hand of a qualified scholar. The hadith, which I'm not claiming to have isnad [a chain of transmission] to, nor the authority to narrate - lets just suppose we're just in a cyber-classroom setting - is being used by way of example. I'd like to state that it is not my practice to cite ahadith that I am not authorised to narrate/quote, and am only doing so for the purpose of this exercise. I'll cite my source once we finish the exercise. We'll conveniently overlook the fact that we're working with a translation rather than the actual original arabic of the narration. Hopefully the desired lesson can still be learnt.
I've selected an example that maybe we can relate to, whilst having just fasted during the blessed month of Ramadhan, taken from the Kitab al-Raqa'iq [Section on 'Words that Soften the Heart'].
Please, when reading the translation of the hadith and encountering the names of Sahaba - radhi'Allahu anhum ajmaeen - or a pronoun referring to them, remember to quietly invoke a benediction for them after their names, to maintain adab, as those benedictions are not mentioned in the translation. It goes without saying that by greater reason, the same applies for any mention of our Beloved Messenger, sallallahu alayhi wassalam:
(Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem)
'Umar ibn Dharr < Mujahid, that Abu Hurayra used to say: 'Allah! He besides Whom there is no other god! I used to press my liver to the ground out of hunger, and used to bind a stone against my stomach out of hunger. One day when I was sitting in their roadway, near their exiting-place, Abu Bakr passed by. I asked him about a verse in the Book of Allah, my only reason for asking him being that he might give me something to take away my hunger. He went on, however, without doing so. Then 'Umar passed me by, and I asked him about a verse in the Book of Allah, my only reason for asking him again being that he might give me something to remove my hunger. He went on, however, without doing so. Then Abu'l-Qasim - sallallahu alayhi wassalam - passed by. When he saw me he smiled, and knew what was in my soul and on my face. Then he said: "Abu Hirr!" and I replied: "At your service, Messenger of God!" and he said: "Join me!" So I followed him as he passed on his way, and he entered [his house]. When I asked leave to enter, he admitted me, and we went in; whereupon he found some milk in a cup. "Where is this milk from?" he enquired, and they told him, "Such-and-such a man, or such-and-such a woman, gave it to you." He said, "Abu Hirr!" and I replied, "At your service, Messenger of God!" He told me, "Go to the People of the Veranda [Ahl al-Suffa], and call them to me." The People of the Veranda were the guests of Islam, having refuge in no family, wealth or any person. When a donation of of charity [sadaqa] came to him, he would send it to them and take none of it himself. When a gift [hadiyya] came to him, however, he would send for them, partake in it himself, and share it with them. This troubled me, and I asked what might remain of this milk after it had been distributed among the People of the Veranda, when my own need to drink from it and thus regain my strength was more urgent. But he had given me a command, and it was my responsibility to give it to them. What could remain to me of that milk? Because there is no alternative to obeying God and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wassalam), however, I went to invite them, whereupon they came, asking permission to enter, which was granted them, and they took their seats around the house. He said: "Abu Hirr!" to which I replied, 'At your service, O Messenger of God!" and he told me to take it and give it to them. So I picked it up and began to pass it around them. One man would drink until his thirst was quenched, after which he would return the cup to me so that I might pass it to the next man, who also drank until he was quenched, until finally, with everyone satisfied, it reached the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wassalam), who took it, placed it upon his hand, smiled at me, and then said: "Abu Hirr!" I replied, "At your service, Messenger of God!" and he said: "You and I remain." "That is true." I said, and he told me to sit and drink. I did so, but he told me again to drink, and I drank again, but he continued to tell me to drink until I said: "No, by the One Who sent you with the truth, I can drink no more." At this he said: "Show it to me," and I gave him the cup. Praising God, he said, "In the name of God," and drank what remained.
I know, it is a beautiful hadith, Allah humma salli wa sallim wa barik alayh!
So, now, let's begin our little exercise, anybody can join in. Let's see how many lessons/benefits you can draw from reading that. Write down the number you come up with. Try not to force a contrived lesson/benefit, the point is you derive that which seems apparent to you. However, if there are things you draw from beneath the surface, that is fine too, though it may be useful to mention how many of the lessons/benefits that you eventually derive, were obvious to you, and how many required a little more reading between the lines.
When we've finished this exercise, I will remind you that this is but one element in the process of deriving Islamic Law. Just one.
By the way, the point of this isn't to humiliate anyone, so please don't withhold from participating out of fear of being embarrassed, for that absolutely isn't my intention. We're all Brothers/Sisters here, and we each - insha'Allah - want the best for one another. This is just a teaching technique I have found quite effective. The benefit to you, if you take part, is that you're more likely to remember it for the benefit of others too, as it will become something you actually experienced.
(I so hope this doesn't backfire! Rest assured though, if I have to eat humble pie thanks to one of you brights sparks, I'll do so after the superogatory fasts of Shawwal have broken!)
For now, you need only list an actual number, don't go into writing the individual lessons you've extrapolated. We'll examine those later, insha'Allah.
Thus far, Sister Halima has staked her claim to have derived 11 lessons from the hadith, and Sister Jannah 6. Both very worthy efforts I should add! But we need more, in order that a pattern emerge, as therein will lie the lesson.
Please make du'a for this wretch.