Regular visitors to the site may remember the flurry of ‘warnings’, fake reviews and general mass hysteria amongst certain sects of Islam and Muslim speakers that greeted the launch of what one would have at first thought assumed would be a somewhat dry book of only academic interest on Hanafi hadith methodology about six months ago (you can see some hilarious ‘reviews’ of the book, using the interesting method of not having read it, in the comments section here:https://asharisassemble.com/2015/05/06/muslim-confused-finally-some-real-help-arrives/ The previous record holding ‘reviewer’ had possibly read up to about forty pages of the three hundred or so). In fact, it seems to have even inspired a copycat or ‘pirated’ book as well, which I guess is some kind of flattery.
Well it seems that finally, after those six months and what must have been, from the evidence and celebration on-line, a herculean collective effort by a cross party selection of Salafists and their familiars, someone has actually read and reviewed the book. And it only took half an Earth year!
Or perhaps not, if Nikita is to be believed…
An astonishing and frightening chronicle of lies, misdirection and disregard for the Muslim public’s intellectual and moral well-being by Salafists (and others) on this evidence. See for yourself – her ‘autopsy’ is very, shall we say, educational.
And as always, Nikitas, erm, ‘style’ is her own and not the editors or necessarily the site’s opinions.
By Suede Nikita
I have been alerted by readers and students to the ‘review’, which I will reproduce below, of a book that we have been advocating heavily for British and other Muslims on this site, ‘Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith’:
Having read the book, as a Maliki and non-Maturidi (the usual theological school of Hanifites), I of course had many disagreements with its author. But I advocated the book strongly for its honest and uncompromising portrayal of the classical Hanafi school and its willingness to furnish students such as my own with the tools they need to address the questions they have about Islam, most of which do indeed arise from hadith. I was also heartened to see scholars in the UK who were not grovelling for handouts from what can accurately be called ‘petro-Islam’ and were taking classical scholarship to the academic level it needs to be at to enter the UK mainstream.
Yet I was unsurprised to see from my students this piece, which is being gleefully promoted and forwarded by various groups within the Muslim community. The timing was amusing because, just as the recent election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour party in the UK sent both ‘right’ and ‘left’ into conniptions against him, the approval of this review showed what these groups and their followers actually think. Just like the political parties and parliamentary Labour party itself in the UK who claim that they are ‘democratic’ and ‘different’ and give people a ‘choice’, yet when someone they all don’t like comes on the scene, they suddenly forget their ‘differences’ and rally behind the common cause – in the case of Corbyn that no genuinely left wing person should be allowed to run for higher office and in the case of Sheikh Atabek that any hadith methodology differing from the Salafi/Hanbali one should not be countenanced under any circumstances.
Although the review is the very definition of hack job, with the author repeatedly demanding readers kowtow to argument from authority (despite his having no Islamic or academic qualification whatsoever – by his own admission) as well as the tried and tested method of attempting to fool the readership by inappropriate referencing, excessive verbiage and assuming that they can’t read Arabic as well as outright falsification (but in a very obvious way that would make an Islamophobe blush), I thought nonetheless that I would go through it here to highlight the distortions which so – called ‘students of knowledge’ like to carry out in the name of religion, so that readers can be suitably equipped and empowered against these misleading and banal diatribes.
It also illustrates something very sad; namely that Allah promised to protect the Quran and not ‘Islam’. We can see the truth of this in that Muslims are just as, if not more inclined to lie about religion than any of the other groups they accuse of this.
Although I detest the method of reproducing the original that one is critiquing, I could not help it in this as the errors were so profuse and brazen, so accept my apologies for this hackneyed ‘literary’ device.
Oh, and for lazy people or those who struggle with Arabic, here is my short, one word ‘review of the review’ here:
Or, if you are a glutton for punishment, the original is in purple below…
Past century and a half is marked by scores of books and articles written to question the authority of hadith in different ways. Some of the proponents of such ideas were blunt and bold enough to say that they consider no hadith a valid source on Islamic law and etiquette. There were and still around are others who do not claim to reject all hadiths but through their ad hoc approach they provide for themselves the laxity to reject almost every hadith at will. The commonality among these groups is in their frank and loud disavowal of the traditional knowledge stream.
We have all see this in the movies – you know, when they go to court and the lawyer tries to lead the witness to say what he wants. So before presenting anything resembling a review, he mentions hadith rejection. Because anyone who disagrees with him is automatically a heretic as he will soon accuse the authors of being (notice how he does not feel the need to state which hadith methodology he is following – presumably he is a sect unto himself, as indeed will also become apparent soon). The way academics do this is to at least present some evidence for their case and then make their accusation or conclusion. But the opening paragraph is meant to suitably put you in the mood of the noble defenders of hadith versus the modernists.
Atabek Shukurov’s work Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith, with translation and commentary by Sulaiman Ahmed, is however different because it makes no sweeping claim of the kind. In fact, it uses the name of the earliest and most widely followed scholarly stream within the broader Sunnite tradition. The central and incessantly repeated clamour on almost every page of the book is about rejuvenating and resuscitating the hadith approach of the Hanafi school. And it is under this tag all the claims are made against hadith, the second primary source of the Islamic worldview.
Something being a ‘second primary’ source is an oxymoron, since primary means ‘first or highest in rank or importance’. So what he wants to say is that hadith is a ‘secondary’ source in Islam. But he can’t bring himself to say that of course and this in fact reflects the confusion these individuals have between the Quran and the hadith.
As a tree is known by the fruit it bears the true merits of the book under review can be best gauged through the analysis of the ideas presented in its final section, “Practical Application of the Hanafi Hadith Methodology.” Apostasy is first of the three issues discussed. Making the peculiarly polemic attacks on just one hadith on the subject, it is suggested that per the Hanafi methodology the punishment of apostasy is not proven and “those scholars of the past and present who based on this choose to reject the killing of apostates should not be marginalised,” (p.231). Much to the reader’s disappointment not a single past or even present scholar is mentioned as one having rejected the killing of apostates. Every thinking reader must ask if the author can name a single, yes only a single, classical Hanafi scholar of note who rejected the capital punishment for apostates?
It’s actually a really banal technique of argumentation at work here and betrays the true purpose of these types of ‘reviews’ – to stop you reading the books they don’t want you to or engaging with the ideas they don’t want you to. As for the issue of apostasy being addressed through one hadith alone, if the book had been read or presented honestly, it would be clear that it is teaching how to go through an individual hadith using the Hanafi principles and then seeing how it matches up. The idea of the examples is so that the readers can try this for themselves. The author of the book explicitly stated that he was tackling this hadith because it is the primary one used to justify the killing of apostates.
Note that hilariously, this author has failed to furnish any kind of defence of the hadith or the killing of apostates, unless one considers his ‘argument’ that not a single Hanafi said this before. So we should just kill people, even if it does not make any sense because ‘the scholars’ say so (the ‘theological’ school of not thinking about stuff you believe in)? The funny thing is that these guys are allegedly involved in ‘Dawah’, which means inviting people to accept Islam. I wonder if they would accept the authenticity of the doctrine of the Trinity based on the fact that no Catholic scholar ever denied it?
Shamelessly he removes the brackets that come immediately after that quote: “(and as we have seen, Ibn Umar, Imam Nakhai and Imam Abu Hanifa did not accept Ikrama as a narrator)”, this statement is therefore clearly in the context of Usul (i.e ‘principles’) which Salafis may not understand (since they have no Usul to speak of, as will be seen shortly). Also, the author clearly states that the entire section of “practical applications of hadith methodology” was for the purposes of applying the principles on hadith. It is not an attempt to try to prove any issue, which unlike the method of Cheeba would require in depth research and demonstration of proofs and references. It seems that Cheeba saw the word ‘apostasy’ and ‘niqaab’ and it made him ‘lose the plot’, completely not understanding the purpose of the section. Maybe he was worried that he would be smited by Salafis humanoid god if he didn’t kill apostates or force woman to wear the niqaab. Who knows but expunging one’s own psychology is not theology nor ‘reviewing’ anything.
The second practical application of Hanafi methodology is around the issue of “Niqaab [Face Veil].” Every serious student of knowledge would expect a discussion on the true nature of the ruling of niqab, whether it is obligatory or recommendatory. However, one is amazed in this section again the hadith analysis (it merits aside) is done for only one hadith. Thereafter, bereaving of its actual context and commentary of the first recipients of revelation – the Companions- the words “ma zahara minha” (‘that which is apparent’) in Qur’an 24:31 are twisted to claim that “the wearing of niqaab (face veil) directly conflicts with the Qur’an,” and “[if] there was any ruling that should be established from the verse of the Qur’an it would be that wearing of the face veil is in fact forbidden.” (p.235) It is not for us to turn this review into a full-fledged academic refutation of every claim in the book, however, here again the author signally fails to name a single Hanafi scholar who held this opinion.
Once again, how is this even a ‘review’? He presents no argument or information at all. There are several bald lies though: the Niqaab can at a minimum be ‘recommendatory’. So it is impossible that niqaab can be anything less than recommended. Says who? Again, we are told that no Hanafis say this (even though that is the main position of the school and it is famously known that Hanafis are the most dismissive of covering the face). In fact, his abysmally poor written English is seemingly the cause of the problem – he means he wants a Hanafi scholar who says that wearing the face veil is forbidden. In fact there are even such scholars but that author never said that was the Hanafi position. What we see here is an over-abundance of bile and very poor reading comprehension.
Hilariously, after telling us that ‘Every serious student of knowledge would expect a discussion on the true nature of the ruling of niqab…’ he himself fails to provide this and, as per Salafist protocol, name drops ‘the Companions’ to make it look like the face veil is compulsory. But the fact is he is too poorly read and ignorant of the sources to furnish an argument or even a reference, so he resorts to saying that this is not a full-fledged academic refutation (as if anyone would mistake this for anything resembling academia in any case). But then he still gives his unsubstantiated opinion – against that of a scholar. Yet he is demanding scholarly proof for all assertions. But then he himself is not a scholar and is critiquing a book by a scholar. How does this work?
In any case, the title of the book is ‘Hanafi Principles of testing Hadith’, not ‘Hanafi Principles of Naming Scholars and Arguing from Authority’. It is meant to look at principles and empower readers to apply them. If the purpose was argument from authorities then why write a book as opposed to telling people to shut up and accept it (the ‘theological’ school known as ‘Talibanism’, close to the heart of Deobandis in any case)?
As an aside, it is interesting what else he is saying here: basically, how dare the scholar in question, understand the clear meaning of the Quran without showing a scholar who had the same understanding. If it is the case that the Quran is not understandable without the opinion of other scholars, even for a Arabic specialist like Shukurov, then can Cheeba state this fact clearly and adhere to it? Also, reading the Quran is stupid then – even scholars who studied the Quran for decades need to read the tafseers since they are more accurate than God. Hmmmmmm…
The third manifestation of practical application of Hanafi methodology is in the arguments about hadith reports on the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) getting affected by Black Magic. Claiming that Qur’an is “quite clear” that those who claim the Prophet (ﷺ) was affected by magic are wrongdoers and that, if accepted, it would raise doubts about revelation, the author after rejecting for spooky assumptions the explanations offered claims that accepting the hadith reports on this account and outrage at the publications of the Prophet’s caricatures “alludes to double standards.” (p.241) Finally as in the beginning of the book (p.4) it is claimed that Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi (d. 333) rejected the hadiths on this account and denied that the last two chapters of the Qur’an were revealed in this background (p.242). It is, however, striking to note that far from rejecting the hadith and the incident of magic affecting the Prophet (ﷺ), Al-Maturidi actually finds in it two-fold proof of Prophethood (wajhān fi ithbāt al-risalatahu wa al-nabuwatahu). (Ta’wilāt Ahlul Sunnah, Vol.10, 653) Besides Al-Maturidi, the major Hanafi authority in Hadith, Abu Ja’far Al-Tahawi (d. 321) also accepted the hadith about magic affecting the Prophet (ﷺ) (Sharh Mushkil Al-Athār, Hadith 5935). Among Hanafis Al-Jassās (d. 370) surely rejected the hadith on the subject but this rejection was due to his theologically Mu’tazalite inclinations rather than his expertise as a Hanafi jurist.
This is very beneficial to readers as an example of the kinds of devices that are employed by dishonest Muslims; note here he is trying to use authorities such as Maturidi, Tahawi and Jassas. He is telling us on his own authority (sans reference) that Tahawi is the ‘senior’ authority in Hanafi hadith (so what were these Hanafis doing until the 300’s? Why, waiting for Tahawi to be born apparently!) and that Jassas is ‘Mu’tazilite’ (he safety nets with ‘inclination’. Note how we don’t have the ‘inclinations’ of any of the other scholars he mentions here or later). How do we know this? And why is it bad?
As for the references, they are again simply bald lies. He is counting on your inability to read Arabic or check them up. What is ironic is that he then calls the next part of his review ‘Factual errors, insinuations, frauds’.
He has clearly not understood the text nor terminologies of the scholars (in fact those who can read Arabic know that he is lying or has the reading comprehension of a pre-schooler in Arabic). Before Imam Maturidi makes the point Cheeba mentioned he uses the word “Lakin qeela”, which means that it is weak. The author Sulaiman Ahmad spoke in detail about the black magic issue in a recent discussion a few months ago, which was also published, where he also had other deceptive Muslims try to deploy similar tactics, but they was refuted so badly the people simply failed to answer the question of why they edited out the ‘Lakin Qeela’ part of Maturidis statement. Maybe it’s only non-Muslims who are to be punished for changing religious texts but it’s fine for Salafis to do it? Who Knew!
The famous scholar Samar an-Nass, who has a following amongst Cheeba types, accepted a debate about this issue but after this discussion went into hiding. So these sly tactics of twisting information to suit the Salafi/Deobandi agenda will not work, at least on people who can read Arabic or understand terms like Lakin qeela (i.e five year olds).
Also of note is the cherry picking of scholars. These people are used to doing this in their debates with Christians. So here he is saying that Sheikh Atabek [always referred to by Cheeba by his first name of ‘Atabek’ whereas everyone else gets at least a second name. Perhaps Salafis think this is clever way to insult people. But does anyone care about these types of playground stupidities?] is wrong according to Maturidis. Later, he will start using Salafi sources such as Albani, who do not accept the sources he has used here and in fact consider Maturidi and his creed to be heresy. No consistency…or even a discernible methodology.
The work is also riddled with factual errors, insinuations and even outright frauds. For instance, it is claimed that Abu Hanifa (d. 150 AH) had “students who were Maturidi in theology” (p.8) when the founder of the Maturidi school was born no earlier than 235 AH. It is like saying Ibn Mas’ud (d. 32 AH) or ‘Alqama bin Qais (d. 70 AH) were Hanafis.
This is just cheap semantics. Maturidi himself asserts repeatedly that he is merely codifying Hanafi creed in his own works and it was due to his codification as opposed to origination that it became known as ‘Maturidi’ aqeeda. Hence Maturidi himself would claim that Abu Hanifa was ‘Maturidi’ and that Maturidi creed is the genuine Islamic creed and has thus existed since the beginning of Islam and in fact even before – unless he is trying to say that Maturidi is a heretic and brought a new issue into creed/aqeeda (which is what crypto-Salafis like Cheeba actually believe and honest Wahhabis openly state). This betrays the Wahhabi leanings of the writer – they are well known for labelling Asharis, Brelwis or whoever as those eponyms with the insinuation that only they (the Salafis) are following the ‘Salaf’ and everyone else’s theology is a later invention of Maturidi, Ashari, Ahmed Ridha Khan etc
In arguing against the preservation of hadith the author claims that while we have the divine guarantee for protection of Qur’an there is no such promise in favor of hadith (p.109). In an attempt to refute the “salafi” claim that Qur’an 15:9 entails the same promise for hadith as well, the author states, “why God does not say what he means if he indeed meant ‘hadith’ when he says ‘Qur’an’” (p.110) while the verse in question (i.e. Qur’an 15:9) does not really use the word “Qur’an” it simply says “dhikr”. It is, however, pertinent to note that just a few pages later the author correctly translates the said verse and writes ‘Qur’an’ only in parenthesis (p.118) apparently because unlike p.110 there he was not trying to neutralize an argument for hadith preservation.
If anyone can understand the ‘English’ here please send the answer on a postcard. I think he is saying that the Quran does guarantee the preservation of hadith. But again, no proof offered. Looks like God needs an editor. Since we are about to see how much Cheeba loves editors, maybe he can apply for the job?
In his mention of ‘problems’ with black magic hadith in the prologue to the book there is another factual misrepresentation by Atabek. He mentions “Abdullah ibn Omar Al-Baidāwi”, the author of Anwār Al-Tanzil as “a Hanafi scholar from the thirteenth century” (p.4) whereas in reality Al-Baidāwi was a recognized Shafi’i scholar as evident from his juristic discussions in his tafsir and also from the accounts in biographical dictionaries. That his tafsir is largely a condensation of Hanafi_in_Fiqh Al-Zamakhshari’s tafsir and many later Hanafis wrote glosses over it is not enough to classify Al-Baidāwi as a Hanafi.
Al Baidawi is indeed Shafi. But so what?
And notice how this individual, of absolutely no scholarly credentials or academic authority, demands that you accept this on his personal authority. Which would be fine…if he had not throughout been taking ‘Atabek’, who is at the very least a qualified Islamic Scholar possessing all of the necessaries (apart from being a Deobandi with Salafi leanings of course, so he’s not good enough for Cheeba), to task for not relating everything back to another scholar. So only scholars have to follow scholars but keyboard warriors can state whatever with impunity? Thus the more qualified you are in Islam, the more you have to argue with authority but rank amateurs can narrate on their own authority? Whaaaaa!?
Notice how he does not tell us what the massive consequence of Baydawi being Shafi is – since in fact it is of no significance other than being a minor errata in the book. Which, like all books not written by God, it will contain many of. But apparently this constitutes ‘outright fraud’.
Using weak and even fabricated hadith reports to emphasize textual criticism
Bear with me, this is where readers will really benefit from being forewarned about the dishonesty of certain Muslims. Try to ignore the horrendous English and proof reading in Cheebas tract.
Coming to the treatment of specific narrations while the underdone across all the chapters of the book is that per Hanafi methodology isnād analysis alone is not enough to separate chaff from the wheat and textual (matn) criticism is very important, what we find is that in many cases the examples brought are hadith reports that are isnād wise signally weak and at times outright fabrications.
On p.36 a report reading “The first thing that was created was a horse, then himself [God]. Then the Prophet (ﷺ)” is mentioned. Besides the fact that the translation is not faithful the hadith has been recognized as a fabrication. In fact the reference cited for this narration is a Shafiite Al-Suyuti’s “Al-La’ali Al-masnu’ah fi Al-ahadith Al-mawdu’ah” (The Fake Pearls in Fabricated Hadiths) and yet right after quoting the above report it is stated that, “even if the chain is authentic according to the Shafi’is, this is irrelevant to Hanafis” (p.36) which clearly insinuates that Shafi’is somehow accept the chain of this report as authentic.
Why and how is the translation not faithful? Because Cheeba says so of course! Even assuming that Cheeba is the gatekeeper of the Arabic language and ignoring his insinuation that ‘Atabek’ is unable to understand it (surely a claim that requires some proof given that this is a man who has numerous licences in Arabic from senior Arabic linguists, teaches it for a living and lived in the Arab worked for years), would it not serve the authors case (defaming Atabek Shukurov) better to actually show how poor this translation is (it’s not)? Totally unacedemic and purely polemical.
Boldly, he again insinuates that Sheikh Atabek can’t understand Arabic, since purportedly he does not know the title of the book he himself is referencing – what is hilarious is that we are expected to believe that since one Shafi scholar recognised that the hadith was a fake, that means no Shafi ever accepted it or that this is the main or indeed only position of the Shafis. So then why was Sayuti writing a book on fake hadith if Shafis all knew they were fake? On this evidence it is clear that Cheebas own understanding of English and Arabic is worthy of scrutiny.
In fact, one often finds these types of ad hominem and fantastical attacks from ‘the students of knowledge’ from Salafist backgrounds: I have experience of this myself – when I have asked scholars like Haitham Haddad and some Deobandi Sheikhs for a debate I have been refused, often by their using my gender as an excuse. But then their students, usually with their help, feel free to mount the most absurd and outrageous attacks. So throughout this article, we hear that people who teach Arabic in accredited institutions and even at GCSE level in schools which undergo OFSTED inspection, are in fact totally incapable of basic Arabic translation. And who is telling us? A person who by his own confession has no ijaazat, diploma, degree (like most of these guys he’s ‘undertaking’ it), native reading or speaking – in short, nothing. Since when was the ‘classical methodology’ to let people like this speak on anything let alone Islam?
If you refute such people you gain nothing and their fans just turn around and say ‘well [insert name here] was not a scholar, big deal’. So the scholars such as Atabek Shukurov or the actual translator, (which the book made clear was in fact not him but Sulaiman Ahmed, but Cheeba is too erect at the possibility of scoring points on Atabek Shukurov the heretic to worry about the small details) lose out by refuting these people since if they failed to do so, they were beaten by an amateur and if they succeed, well, then they fought an amateur. It’s a great and cowardly ploy. Haddad and these people’s Sheikhs (Samir An Nas is another example as well as basically the whole Deobandi establishment) curiously never come out of their hiding places. They also love the fall-back position that ‘debating is haraam (forbidden)’. But having your students post fake reviews to claim heresy and fraud is halal?!
Also, is Cheeba saying textual criticism is not allowed? If so, say it plainly!
Doublespeak, but where neither meaning makes any sense.
As an example of “an ahād hadith that is accepted as ‘Sahih’ (according to Shafi’is and Salafis)” contradicting the Qur’an the author quotes the narration from ‘Umar given by Abu Dawud etc. “The husband will never be asked [by God] concerning the reason for hitting his wife.” (p.118) However, many prominent scholars including the ‘celebrated’ salafi hadith scholar Al-Albani have declared it as weak. Others who showed its weakness or graded it as such include ‘Ali bin Al-Madini (as quoted by Ibn Kathir), Ahmad Shakir and Shu’ayb Al-Arna’ut.
So no one accepts this hadith as Sahih because Albani and some other modern day guys don’t accept it? So then why did senior Muhaddith Abu Dawood from 1000 plus years before Albani include it? And are all those guys more senior in hadith than him? And if they can be better than the imams of hadith then why not extend the same privilege to Shukurov? (Who Cheeba was berating for not bringing a ‘Hanafi’ for literally everything he says – yet Cheeba is here using a famous Salafi scholar from very recently. Of course, on questioning Cheeba will still deny being Salafi!)
Thus ‘Atabek’ (notice how Albani is never called ‘Nassiruddin’, but has some honorifics in place at least) is allegedly a villain for attacking hadith but saying the author of one of the six canonical collections included ‘weak hadith’ sans explanation is fine?
What happened to ‘following the Salaf’? How come Albani is being preferred over the earlier scholars (even Abu Dawood and Bukhari are not from the Salaf but heck, he’s thousand years before Albani!)
BTW, can Cheeba furnish us with the percentages of scholars who did and did not accept this hadith instead of these three hand picked Salafis/Azhari/Hanafi ones (I like how he has switched to whichever scholars and sect best serve his purpose: we have transitioned to Salafis after going through Hanafis and Shafis above, each one deployed to make a different case, since Cheeba is in fact not only a master of Arabic but he is also making a new Madhab that is Maturidi in Aqeeda, Tahawi in some Hadith and Albani in other hadith. One could joke that ‘consistency’ is not in his vocabulary but given his horrendous written English, this is actually a possibility).
Also, why does Cheeba not tell the truth, that nearly all Salafi scholars apart from Albani consider this hadith to be fine and act on it? In fact, this was a point they criticised Albani on!
In Cheeba’s language he is nakedly erecting ‘lies, distortions and outright fabrications’. If this is what Muslims have come to, frankly lying and misrepresenting in the name of religion, are not non-Muslims entirely justified upon reading this kind of nonsense to remain firmly in their unislamic faith?
Now, since I know you love to be dazzled by Arabic names and quotes (as Cheeba tried but failed to do, because, you know that’s hard if you can’t really even read stuff like ‘lakin‘), enjoy the following conclusive proof of this sad and hateful individual’s lies. After this, further debunking will become unnecessary as his review is clearly then academic bunk but I will continue regardless. Because I enjoy it.
Al-Ash’ath ibn Qays said “I was guest of Umar (RA), during the night he stood up, grabbed his wife and began beating her, he then called me and said “oh Ash’ath…take from me three things which I have taken from the Prophet (PBUH), [the first is] do not ask a man for the reason behind why he is beating his wife, do not ask a man who amongst his brother he trusts and who he does not, and do not sleep before performing witr [prayer].
This is an authentic hadith which Bukhari and Muslim did not narrate presented by Hakim, who is narrating it as ‘authentic’. When Al-Dhahabi confirms a hadith then according to the muhadditheen this narration increases in strength. In the footnote on the same page Imam (Dh)Zahabi is confirming it is authentic. (Al-Mustadrak, Vol 4, P194)
The book of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, ‘Ithaf al-Mahara’.
Look kids, Arabic and scholars names! Swooon!!!!
Ibn Hajar (the same authority Cheeba frequently uses to ‘explain’ hadith which Christians challenge him on) comments on this hadith, confirms it is authentic and that it is narrated from the collection of Hakim and confirms that Imam Hakim stated that it is authentic. [It is a common habit of hadith scholars that when they are narrating a hadith and they do give further explanation or present an alternative opinion that they are confirming it is authentic]. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Ithaf al-Mahara Vol 12, P106)
This is a clear example of someone who knows Arabic attempting to access the classical sources but not understanding the methodology of classical scholars.
This is a commentary on the Adhkar of Imam Nawawi.
Hadith is authentic as Ibn Hajar al-Haytami stated in his book Tanbih al-Akhyar. (Which is also a short commentary on Nawawi) (Al-Futuhatul Rabaniyah ala Adhkar Al-Nawawiyah, Imam Ibn Allan Ash-Shafi’i, Vol 7, P93)
This is a summarised version of Tafsir Ibn Kathir. Anyone can go and check this volume online. Once again Ibn Kathir mentions it without any further elaboration. Once again it is the methodology of the muhadditheen, unless Cheeba thinks that Ibn Kathir is mentioning it and does not explain that he actually thinks it is weak, in order to misguide people.
Since Cheeba is trying to name drop, notice that I just hilariously nuked him with the giants of traditional scholarship, versus his scholars born in the last century. But he even lied about them:
Here is a comment from Ahmad Shakir (d.1958) where he states that this hadith is authentic, therefore Cheeba is in fact quoting from a scholar who is not consistent on this issue. It clearly demonstrates either lack of knowledge or deception on his part quoting where he states it is weak but ignoring the fact that he contradicts himself and states it is authentic.
Here, a different Salafi scholar (one not named Albani for once) states that this hadith is authentic and the reason behind Ahmed Shakir stating it is weak is due to one of the narrators Dawood al-Audi, he mistakenly thought it was Dawood bin Yazeed bin Abdur Rehman bin Audi who is weak, and based on this he stated that this hadith is weak, but in reality the narrator is Dawood al-Audi who is righteous as it is confirmed in the narration of Imam Ibn Abi Yala. (Targheeb of Manzari, Vol 1, p188)
It’s pretty lame when you even have to teach Salafism to Salafis because they are that uneducated. Sheesh. What next, teaching ISIS to rape?
Albani is known to be inconsistent and contradict himself so his opinion is not accepted but on the other side as demonstrated we have a big list of famous classical Muhadditheen. It is clear that Deobandis and Salafis are trying to hide the fact that according to their own principles these hadith are authentic and accepted. This is clear attempt to modernise their own school most likely to appease their allegedly hated West (with whom, you might have heard, those who sponsored Albani and Co. have a few small petroleum deals). So a clear attempt to hide the fact that they believe in wife beating based on hadith that meet their principles.
Also Dear Reader, don’t you feel insulted that ‘Cheebacca’ (sorry, but its funnier than calling poor Shukurov ‘Atabek’ at least) is basically taking you for both an idiot and lazy and gambling on the fact that you can’t read Arabic? Is this how we speak of and promote religion? ‘Tis a shame!
Imam Ahmad said “a man should not be asked why he is beating his wife as “no one has the right to question why a man is beating his wife and this includes her father”, the author continues and says that this is due to the hadith narrated in Abu Dawood”. (Matalib Uwl an-Nuha, Hasan Ash Shatti al-Hanbali Vol 5, P288)
Imam Ahmad is more honest than these liars, who will fabricate information and reject hadith without any basis and principles – which is naked is modernism. Rejecting hadith based on principles however is the method of classical scholarship.
By the way, Cheeba basically went ‘full Quilliam’ by insisting that Ahmad, Ibn Hajar and the giants of hadith basically suck compared to Albani and Shakir (modern and/or fringe guys).
We should not be surprised – if he is happy to insult scholars of today like Shukurov, why not go all the way and cuss out Ahmad and others like he did (albeit in a cowardly way)?
There is more queer stuff in an example of ahād reports contradicting theology which as quoted in the book reads, “Then above the seventh heaven there is a sea, between whose top and bottom is a distance …” This has been referred to as “a Sahih hadith narrated in Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah …” (p.124) and the citation for this is the Al-Risalah’s First Edition (2009) of Sunan Abu Dawud Hadith 4723 (p.293), but if we check this work we find that the editor Shu’ayb Al-Arna’ut has categorically stated that the report is “da’if” (weak). Likewise, the Salafi scholar Al-Albani has also graded it as weak. One wonders how the author fabricated the notion of hadith being “Sahih” in the first place when the very citation he brings mentions its weakness.
So apparently, ‘Sahih’ (lets call this ‘authentic’ in English) is not decided by any classical scholar and in fact not even by the canonical books such as ‘Sunan Abu Dawood’ but by scholars from 20th century such as Albani (again) and Shu’ayb Al-Arna’ut (from this century too).
What were Muslims doing for the intervening 1200 years and what was the status of these hadith for all that time!?
And notice that in Cheeba’s madhab you are only allow to read hadith books with the comments of the ‘editor’ (who was born some 1200 years after that book was written). Remind you of his approach to the Quran?
Thus he is advocating something far more radical and hadith rejecting than poor maligned ‘Atabek’. So should we also read Bukhari with the ‘editors’ comments? And which editor? And why did no one ‘edit’ this 1100 years ago, specifically, Imam Bukhari?
We already saw that Cheeba is apparently establishing his own sect by picking and choosing scholars and methodologies (hey, if Deoband and Ibn Taymiyya can do it, why not! I’ll be launching mine to coincide with the next ‘Avengers’ movie), but it may enlighten the reader here to know that Albani insulted Abu Hanifa himself as being ‘weak’ in hadith (we have all heard this from Salafis – see, I can use baseless argument from authority too!) yet we have to take his evidence repeatedly in a critique on a book about Hanafi principles of hadith and Al Arna’ut, the other scholar quoted, in fact allegedly chastised him for this https://hanafiyya.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/shuayb-al-arnauts-critique-of-albanis-comment-on-abu-hanifa/
Taking Albani’s grading of Hanafi’s hadith methodology is a bit like insisting on Hitler as an expert witness in Jewish Talmudic Law.
What’s even funnier is the catastrophic failure of intellect that is apparent by Cheeba saying that Arnaut declared the hadith to not be ‘Sahih’. But Arn’aut is a Hanafi sympathiser and that is exactly what poor ‘Atabek’ is arguing – that Hanafis reject this hadith whereas Shafis and Hanbalis accept it! (Albani, BTW is neither.) So Cheebas ‘case’ here is that Sheikh Shukurov is wrong because he’s a Hanafi and other Hanafis said he is right. What the…?!
You see girls and boys, this is what happens when you read religious texts…while high on PCP.
I personally find it is best to let my students wait a few hours if they insist on taking drugs before studying Islam. I find it makes more sense to them that way.
It is in fact extremely sad that someone so unintelligent and with such poor academic abilities feels that he can present Islam to the world and respond to the criticisms of non-Muslims. But poor Cheeba is not to be blamed; that some feel we have to rely on such as him is a symptom of how far Muslims have fallen.
Along with the hadith reports from the Messenger of Allah, there is similar oblivion with regards to a narration from Imam Abu Hanifa. On p.11 the author refers to a report from Tarikh Baghdad wherein it is alleged that Abu Hanifa called a hadith (which is narrated in Sahih Bukhari as well) a “delusion”. However, as clarified by the editor of the referenced edition the report is dubious as it is related on the authority of a weak narrator.
Again, the message is ‘don’t you dare read the book of hadith, instead look at what the editor said about it instead – 1000 years later!’
By now, does anyone even believe Cheeba that this is what the editor even said? In fact, by accepting this statement of the editor we are in fact agreeing that ‘Tarikh Bagdad’, a rather classical work, is in fact weak and Muslim scholars are stupid as they did not realise this till the ‘editor’ and Cheeba came along. He is in fact saying that Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi basically sucks and the editor is better than a thousand years’ worth of scholars. Like his other cowardly insinuation of course, Cheeba lacks the testicular fortitude to say what he wants, but his poor language make it easy to see that for even a basic reader.
If anyone had insinuated this about Imam Bukhari’s collection, Cheeba would be calling for blood. But he did just that in the cases of Tarikh Baghdad, Sunan Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah and even Imam Ahmad…and yet Sheikhs Sulaiman and Atabek are the hadith rejecters?!
More play on narrations
I hope the readers can see that we have yet to see any. Maybe he means plays on words by him?
At one place the author takes exception to a hadith reported by Abu Dawud etc. condemning people who do one of four things including “twisting one’s beard” (p.65). The hadith is clearly mistranslated. Hadith actually condemns “one who ties (a knot in) his beard” (man ‘aqada lihyatahu). Moreover, the author not only refuses to see the actual context of condemnation in the practice being a remnant of the pre-Islamic (jahili) practices he claims the hadith was largely unknown and that “Umar had the habit of twisting his beard as did other Sahabah” and as a reference Al-Tabarani’s Al-Mujam Al-Kabeer, Hadith 54 is cited (p.282). But when we go back to check the cited source we find it mentions Umar’s twisting of the mustaches, and not beard, in state of anger. The author, we see, resorts to two-fold fraud (twisting for tying and beard for mustaches) to cast aspersions on an otherwise authentic hadith.
So just as I mentioned, again the insulation that Sheikhs Shukurov and Ahmed can’t read or translate Arabic.
He mentions a context for the hadith as jahili practices – again on his own authority, which is unsurprisingly wrong too. Why can’t ‘Atabek’ do this though? Or is it an ‘academic’ device only for rank amateurs like Cheeba?
Commentary of Suyuti – remember, Cheeba is keen to try and use this scholar. He flopped before, but it’s funny to bash people with the same scholars they try to invoke to help them, so let’s do this!
In terms of what is meant by ‘the one who locks his beard’, some said it means to lock it or to twist it. Some others said that Arabians used to do it before the war, so the Prophet (PBUH) ordered them to not do it. In the explanation of Muhammed bin Rabi’ah the hadith is referring to anyone who locks the beard in prayer. Sabith bin Qasim said that in the time of Jayliyyah they used to take the skins of the trees to hang it on the neck as sign that they are performing hajj, [so that no one would attempt to kill them], so lihyatahu here means the skin of tree. Ibn Daqiq al-Eid said this is closest to the truth – but we do not have a textual proof of its meaning.
Commentary of Sindhi:
He said that some said it means to lock or twist it, second they used to do it in war as arrogance, third it is twisting the beard as non-Arabians do.
So there is no proof what is meant by locking or twisting the beard. ‘Qeela’ is mentioned meaning that there is no strong opinion on this matter and no one knows the context, there is no textual proof. We already saw with Cheeba’s errrr ‘quote’ of Imam Maturidi and black magic that poor Cheeba does not actually know what ‘qeela’ means.
From Ali Al Qari (another classic giant, unlike Albani and the others name dropped by Cheeba. At least name drop someone famous!): What is the meaning of locking beard? “The majority said it is to lock it or twist it, and this is against the sunnah, as the sunnah is to comb it. Or they did it in war, or the Prophet (PBUH) said comb it as locking it is imitating women or non-Arabians did it, as the Prophet (PBUH) said do not do it as it is changing the creation of God or it was a ritual of the Jahlis because anyone who had one wife would have one small lock and if they had two then he would have two locks.
Ali al-Qari continues by explaining the part of the hadith which states that the Prophet (PBUH) will disown the person for such a small action. He brings forward the opinion of Ibn Hajar to say that the Prophet (PBUH) did not mean it he was merely exaggerating the point. Then Ali al-Qari criticised this opinion and stated that this is not from the Prophet (PBUH) but it is something (which is an addition) from the narrator. (Mirkaat of Mulla Ali al-Qari Vol 2, P62)
So clearly Ali al-Qari is reacting to the notion that there will be such a severe reaction from God due to a person merely locking or twisting the beard. Also no one knows the context (but Cheeba doesn’t care and just fabricates it).
For the use of the word ‘qeela’, Cheeba needs to study Arabic. I heard Sheikh Sulaiman teaches pro bono in the UK!
Also, how do you tie a knot in a beard without twisting it anyway?
Disregard for Interpretive devices. Boldness in rejecting hadiths
Look who’s talking! A minute again he was ‘boldly’ rejecting hadiths based on what current century Salafi scholars had said, and disregarding classical texts and hadith collections without so much as a nod at ‘interpretive devices’.
For the authentic reports discussed the author is always in a hurry to reject the hadith reports and attribute rejection of the same to Hanafi scholars. He makes no mention of interpretative devices like ta’wīl (interpretation other than the apparent), takhsīs (specification), tansīkh (abrogation), tatbīq (reconciliation) etc. It reminds one of Al-Tahawi complaining that one interpreting the hadith differently should not be accused of rejecting it (Sharh Ma’āni Al-Athār, Vol.2, 134). It seems Atabek and co. who claims to revive the Hanafi methodology has taken the approach of intra-Islamic polemicists that Al-Tahawi -arguably the most prominent hadith scholar among the Hanafis ever- once encountered but they are doing it to a more dangerous end.
It seems the Cheeba does not understand hadith methodology at all. He is attempting to come across clever by narrating a few terminologies that can be found in the books of usul or ‘principles’ or ‘epistemology’ (a science not recognised by Salafis and nor understood by Deobandis). There are narrations that clearly conflict with Quran, which is why classical scholars of all schools spoke about what one should do in that situation. If he actually understood the example given about the gospels (below) he would understand that Muslims do not stretch and twist the issue like the people Cheeba attempts to preach to. But instead Muslims deploy a very scientific and forensic approach in accepting/rejecting texts that conflict with the Quran.
Thus no consistency and laughable logic. We can also see once again that the author, who was previously demanding Hanafi references for the issues of killing apostates and niqaab once again is pushing only Al Tahawi (and this on his own authority). The reason for this will become clear (or already is from his past behaviour to careful readers).
Atabek takes up the issue of the hadith translated in his book as, “When two people engage in a transaction, each of them has the right to choose to annul it as long as they haven’t parted and are still together …” (p.10) Using the statements of the scholars who differed with Imam Abu Hanifa’s position and accused him of going against it Atabek brings it as an example of “some hadith which are completely rejected based on a variety of principles.” (p.10) The reality of the matter, however, is simply that Imam Abu Hanifa interpreted the hadith differently. He said the parting mentioned in the hadith is not in physical sense rather in the sense of agreement. (Sharh Mushkil Al-Athār, Vol.13, 272)
However, it is to be noted that in above quoted translation of the hadith the words “and are still together” are unwarranted and actually against the interpretation made by Imam Abu Hanifa.
Among “the hadiths [that] are rejected by Hanafi principles”, according to the author, is “hadith narrated in Abu Dawood by Abu Hurairah; “the illegitimate child is the most evil of the three [meaning out of the mother, father and child”” (p.119). Al-Tahawi Al-Hanafi, however, feels no qualms in accepting this hadith because he brings a report in which Aisha, the mother of the believers, explained the right context of the narration that it was actually about a specific person. Al-Tahawi further elucidates that the hadith is not general about every illegitimate child, rather it was specific to a person who hurt the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Prophet (ﷺ) pronounced that he was more evil than his mother and the man who illegally begat him. (Sharh Mushkil Al-Athār, Vol.2, 367-369)
So the purpose of the Hadiths was to clarify the Quran? We were told not to read the Quran without the ‘explanations’ by Cheeba. But the hadith requires its own explanation? So the Quran is preserved. The hadith is also perfectly preserved. And the explanations of the scholars (which all conflict as a rule) are also perfectly preserved!? What new species of stupidity is this?
Also, how come Abu Dawood and Abu Huraira are portrayed as being ignorant and did not mention this very important point that Tahawi found?
Clever readers will notice that this is the ‘editor’ game being played again: before, we were rejecting Abu Dawood’s hadith as Cheeba wanted due to the editor (from the 20th Century). Now we are to accept Abu Dawoods hadith because of another narration which Tahawi brought (and is this even authentic according to non-Hanafis? Albani?). This is so obtuse that I can’t even call it lying or deception, since those acts require a certain minimal level of competence.
Cheeba has also introduced the greater problems of why Abu Huraira and Abu Dawood narrate controversial stuff like kids will go to Hell. And then don’t explain it, leaving it to Tahawi much later. The parallels with the Evangelical Christians Cheeba claims to ‘debate’ (actually, learns from) are tantalising.
Author then brings the hadith “in Tirmidhi that “whoever drinks wine, then, lash him. If he return to it, then on the fourth time kill him”” as an example of reports contradicting the action of their narrators. He then argues, “this hadith was completely ignored by the Sahabah and never implemented” and therefore, he says, “the Hanafis also reject this hadith.” (p.121) Hanafis, like others, do not question the authenticity of this hadith and instead argue that it was in fact abrogated as stated by Al-Tahawi (Sharh Ma’āni Al-Athār, Hadith 4944)
Curious that the book in question has over 60 pages of references and Cheeba, as we can all see, has much more limited resources or else why is he ‘spamming’ a single scholar, Tahawi, who he would have you believe is the greatest Hanafi hadith scholar (because of course no one understood Hanafi hadith methodology until the year 239, though Abu Hanifa was born in 63 AH. Tahawi differed significantly from the earlier Hanafis – and the whole point of the book was that later Hanafis and especially Deobandis abandoned the original Hanafi hadith methodology. Unsurprisingly, Cheeba ‘pick and mixes’ later Hanafis, disinclined to the hadith methodology of the earlier Hanafis.
What is more sad is the ammunition having incompetent people like this in the public sphere gives to atheists and Islam bashers. He is simply not intelligent enough to see the catastrophic theological problems that arise from saying that things like the death penalty for drinking can be ‘abrogated’. Or that drinking (times four) has the same punishment as child killing.
On the science and narrators of hadith
The producers of the book seem to be on a mission to reject everything that Muslims in the West, vast majority of whom is uninitiated in Islamic sciences besides being alienated from the atmosphere of reverence for the sacred that by Allah’s grace and despite all the ensuing troubles continues to prevail in traditional Muslim societies, find difficult to comprehend. Thus we find that besides attacks on peculiar hadith reports the axe also falls on the very science of hadith. It is alleged that “chain of a hadith can be fabricated quite easily” and that “an expert forger” can work in ways “ensuring that the narrators and chains are acceptable” and he, the forger, “can then add any text to this chain and after a few generations when it has been become [sic] widespread it is considered a Sahih hadith, … especially if this tradition is then later narrated in one of the highly respected canonical collections of hadith” (p.110). In hardly minced words the seed of doubt has been sown with regards to all the hadith collections and hadith reports. The emphasis on textual criticism over and above isnād criticism has taken an override and isnād criticism is laid to rest.
‘In hardly minced words the seed of doubt has been sown with regards to all the hadith collections and hadith reports’. Although this is a bit fresh coming from someone who would have us cast doubt on Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah as well as the Sahabah for the comments of 20th Century state sponsored Salafi scholars, he showed his intellectual incompetence by telling us that ‘Atabek’ is favouring textual criticism. And that is meant to be bad?!
The whole point of the book, which this critic has in no way read on this evidence, is that textual criticism is the methodology of the Hanafis and has been neglected.
His criticism is basically ‘Hanafis dare to disagree with ‘us’!’
Yet in ‘debates’, these individuals are always assuring Christians that the ‘differences of the scholars are a blessing to the Ummah’.
BTW, why can’t people forge chains? Notice how this person and others like him can only preach to the converted and play to the gallery. If he believes that chains are impossible to forge, then let us know the proof so that we can benefit too. Also, let us know the purpose of making the Quran mass narrated/muttawatir if chains are so self-evidently ‘unforgeable’. It is as easy to envision Cheeba being divested of his faith by an atheist on the evidence of statements like these as it is to imagine Miley Cyrus divesting herself of her clothes at a concert. In Vegas.
The book highlights criticism of ‘Ikrama, the freed-slave of Ibn ‘Abbas (pp. 133, 227-228) and goes on to claim that “it is agreed by consensus that he was from the Khawarij” (p. 228). Besides the questions around merit and truth of this allegation against ‘Ikrama, the claim of consensus on this point is certainly false. Ahmad, Al-‘Ijli and Al-Tabari are reported to have vindicated ‘Ikrama of this accusation. (Fath Al-Bāri, Vol.1, 428)
Likewise, the claim that Imam Al-Bukhari “does not narrate from Hanafis” (p. 134) is erroneous. Mufīḍ Al-Rahman Al-Shātghāmi’s treatise on the subject, Al-Wardah Al-Hāḍirah, deflates this claim.
Among the weirdest things is the comparison of Muslim narrators and their reports with those of St. Paul and other Christians. In criticism of ahād reports the rhetoric leads the author to say, “if the chain was authentic we would accept the testimony of one person (or a few) that Jesus was indeed crucified or that he was the pre-existent ‘son’ of God? Or how about the testimony of Paul that he saw Jesus on the road to Damascus?” (p. 41). This is truly ridiculous as the author conveniently overlooks the simple issue of reliability of the narrators in the first place and conflates apparent contradiction between Qur’an and Hadith with Judeo-Christian beliefs plainly refuted in the Qur’an. The absurdity of this line of reasoning reaches the ultimate level when the author goes on to refer to St. Paul as “Tābi’” (p. 42) in making brownie points against hadith. It is however, interesting to consider how this rhetoric originally aimed at ahād reports focuses on tabi’un.
This guy complaining of ‘rhetoric’ is a bit like Obama complaining about a drone strike.
It is also disturbing that a person who claims to dialogue with Christians can utter these types of statements: the issue of the reliability of narrators is what is under discussion (one that he fails to carry out). It is also further proof that he did not read the book and instead, along with his presumably equally incompetent helpers, has gone on an extensive quote mining exercise (in fact Salafis find it almost unbearable to engage with things they disagree with on any level – you will rarely find one of them who has even read the Bible cover to cover, preferring to go straight for books such as those of Bart Ehrman. They simply do not have the patience and tolerance to actually read stuff they don’t like). In fact the book asserts that the whole distinctive excellence of Hanafi hadith methodology is rested on the idea that it is harsh towards narrations that conflict with the Quran (like the idea the Prophet attempted assault of a woman, was affected by black magic or that children can go to Hell for their parents being adulterers).
Cheeba has suddenly become a classical Hanafi when it comes to the Gospels (where a ‘sound’ chain would be rejected for being in conflict with the Quran) and is now insisting that Christianity is wrong because it conflicts with the Quran – ahad chains or not! (In fact Christians make no effort to present a chain for the Gospels – they do have a few manuscripts which are in fact pretty early when compared to some of the hadith literature).
Sheikh Sulaiman could have similarly used the example of the Shi’ite narrations, which they also claim are ‘authentic’ and have had their narrators and isnads ‘checked’.
It also once again demonstrates the inability of these individuals to not only represent Islam but even theism: he failed to mention how Muslims know that the Quran is true – namely the intellect. So what if the narrations from hadith clash with the intellect, such as the sun bowing to the Arsh (Cheeba offered a laughable and ‘Manna from heaven’ for atheists ‘explanation’ for this on his own site). Ahmed offers a solution – agree or not is another matter. But what is Cheebas solution? Total inconsistency and patchwork – a little from Albani, a little from Tahawai and a bit of logic (only when it suits), Quran (when it suits) and Hadith (unless Alabani says otherwise).
Also, notice the utterly impotent attempt to make it appear that the authors of the book were attacking tabai’s = successors (who BTW included numerous heretical groups like Khawarij, Shiites and Mutazzila anyway) – after he himself just cussed out Abu Dawood, collectors of the main hadith collections, Ahmad and even Abu Huraira – since they all needed Albani, Cheeba and Co. to sort out their gross ‘errors’!
As for Ikrima – he tells us that ‘Ahmad has vindicated him from the accusation of being Khwarij’! Hilariously false!
Imam Ahmad, Ibn Sireen, Saeed ibn Musayyab and many others confirm that he is Khawaarij. (Mizan al-Itidal Vol 4). Imam Malik refused to narrate from him as did Imam Muslim:
Sorry, couldn’t get it uploaded in order. But can Cheeba read this stuff anyway? He’s certainly counting that you can’t, I assure you.
And you see the ‘imam picking’ game again, where it is fine to ignore people up to and including Malik and Ahmad. Classic Salafi games and a wonderful illustration for readers. That’s actually the whole issue Shukurov was addressing – that partisans such as these take what Ibn Hajar and Bukhari do and to hell with the rest – but that Hanafis should look at the opinions of giants such as Malik and Ibn Sireen etc and not beginning and ending Islam with ‘Bukhari’ like Salafists.
Would Cheeba have us question the ‘merit and truth’ of these Imams along with poor ‘Atabek’? As we have seen above, he implicitly does by setting up Albani against them!
I actually have no idea of the guy or book that he claims confirms Bukhari narrates from Hanafis, but at this stage, do we have any reason to believe anything he says or any name he drops?
Readers are right to be offended – like a medieval priest knowing people read Latin, Cheeba is fleecing his congregation on the assumption that they cannot read Arabic at the level of an eleven year old. If you had access to the language and the terminology, you would pay no heed to the deceptions of Salafists.
One of the claims repeated in the book is about Abu Huraira not being a faqīh (pp. 56, 187-188) To this end he uses an anecdote mentioned by Al-Sarakhsi and ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Bukhari about Ibn ‘Abbas’s comment regarding Abu Huraira’s narration on performing ablution (wudu’) for carrying a dead person (p. 56). The anecdote is reported without any isnād in the said works. The issue is similar to the better known anecdote in which Ibn ‘Abbas raises a similar question regarding Abu Huraira’s narration on performing ablution for taking something cooked on fire. Just as the ruling for performing ablution for taking something cooked on fire is explained by the interpretive device of tansikh (abrogation) which is supported by a narration of Abu Huraira himself (Abu Yusuf’s Kitāb Al-Athār, Hadith 41) this ruling can also be specific in some ways or abrogated, if verified for its authenticity in the first place. There is proof that Ibn ‘Abbas asked Abu Huraira to give a legal verdict on a more complex subject of divorce, (Muwatta Mālik, Hadith 2110, Sharh Ma’āni Al-Athār, Hadith 4478) ‘Abdul Majīd Al-Turkamani has addressed the issue in his work, Dirāsat fi ‘Ulum Al-Hadith ‘ala Manhaj Al-Hanafiyya p.236-241 and given names of Hanafi scholars who have categorically mentioned that Abu Huraira was indeed a faqīh. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Bukhari from whom the author quotes the above-mentioned anecdote himself writes just a few pages later, “We do not accept that Abu Huraira was not a faqīh. Indeed he was a faqīh.” (Kashf Al-Asrar, Vol.2, 559)
So now this unqualified, non – scholar, sub-academic, in British terms, a ‘nobody’, can not only take shots at suitably qualified people like Shukurov and Ahmed but also famous imams like Al-Sarakhsi and ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Bukhari (for not ‘providing isnads’ – incidentally he just opened up the whole of Islam and hadith for attack because nearly everything has this issue and in most methodologies a reliable scholar narrating something is itself regarded as an isnad, as the authors mentioned in their book, had he read it instead of trying to quote mine. But orientalists will have a field day, since the books of isnad and biographies/rijal of narrators…usually don’t themselves have an isnad).
Also please remember Dear Reader, criticising the isnad of classical works is a favourite tactic of Salafis. Soon, non-Muslims will use the evolution of the work of Schacht etc to turn this around on them and make them apostate (at which point they will immediately forget their former attachment to killing apostates).
This is another useful trick for readers to note – notice how he is not saying that no one says that Abu Huraira is not a faqih but rather just picking and choosing a few who do accept him. So just silly games to misguide people.
In fact, Ibrahim Nakhai (the senior teacher of Abu Hanifa) does not even accept hadith from Abu Huraira let alone accepting him as a faqih (in English, legal theorist). If Shukorov or Ahmed had claimed that there was consensus that Abu Huraira is not a faqih, then there would be a case. Hilariously, Cheeba has been more deceptive by implying that Abu Haraira was accepted by everyone as a faqih…and then not showing this.
The author also claims that those known for the ability and qualities of narration unlike those recognized for knowledge and ability of ruling, “if their narration conflicts with analogy, then the analogy takes precedence due to necessity of independent reasoning,” and mentions Abu Huraira and Anas bin Malik as example (p.54). He further writes, “When there is conflict between analogy and the narration of non-faqīh Sahabi, Imam Karkhi gives priority to the narration whereas Imam Eisaa ibn Abbaan gives priority to analogy and his position is the official stance (‘mu’tamad’)” (p.58). The citation for this claim is Nizamuddin Al-Laknawi’s “Fawatih Al-Rahamut” whereas in reality the author of the cited work makes no claim for any “official stance” on the issue and merely describes what ‘Eisa bin Aban (and Abu Zaid Al-Dabusi) preferred. Al-Turkamani in his earlier mentioned work (pp.210-243) has treated the subject at length and shown that unconditional preference of narration over analogy is the opinion authentically narrated from Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf, Muhammad bin Al-Hasan Al-Shaibani and the majority of Hanafi scholars. Conditional preference of analogy over narration is a minority opinion. Naturally, the opinion of the founders of the school and the majority is the one that matters.
Why should we trust Al Turkmani (who most readers won’t know is Deobandi/Salafi like Cheeba himself), over the giants of Eisa Ibn Abban and Imam Dabusi? No reason.
But that is the point of Salafists, to try and dazzle you with names and Arabic. Cheeba is incapable on both fronts however, so readers need not worry.
By now we should not be surprised at non-specialist incompetents such as Cheeba telling us about the ‘authentically narrated’ opinions of Abu Hanifa (and others) sans reference.
What is interesting is that common or garden variety lay Salafis think that they are on a level to debate with the scholars of ‘Ahlul Bidat’ (heretics, as they take the authors of the book to be – see below) while their own teachers shirk this ‘responsibility’. This gives the students, whose entire Islamic scholarship oeuvre is the ability to read Arabic (at the level of a nine or twelve year old) great confidence. You see this all of the time; laymen on the internet ‘refuting’ serious scholars such as Gibril Haddad or Hisham Kabbani. This serves the dual purpose of making these individuals believe that they are academically ‘well hung’ and sparing their leaders the embarrassment of being shown to be incompetent and violent actual heretics. It also helps that for every ‘sheikh’ there are, like, a million students, some of whom were given a cheap laptop for Christmas. These individuals can then literally ejaculate their banality over the internet and many Muslims will take them seriously due to their Arabic ‘literacy’ (incidentally this kind of ‘Internet Islam’ is a major factor in so-called radicalisation and jihadi recruitment as non-Arabic readers are misled and seduced by such ‘students of knowledge’ over the internet).
Cheeba has of course hidden himself behind his claim that this isn’t a refutation or an academic discourse. That goes without saying. In English, you can’t call this a review either.
But then…why write at all?
Inconsistencies or manifestations of ad hoc approach
He’s kidding right?
Is he talking to himself?!
Besides, the merits of the positions taken, the book is internally inconsistent as well. While the author first alleged that Hanafis “completely rejected” the hadith about two people engaged in a transaction and the choice to annul it (p.10), later in the book he presents the same hadith as case “when the hadith has many meanings … The narrator acting on one of the meanings does not eliminate the possibility of other meanings being correct,” (p.186)
At one place the author finds fault with the hadith; “If a woman marries without the permission of a representative, her marriage is not valid” for being “narrated from one lady Sahabiyah” (i.e. Aisha) and contradicting the principle of “‘Umum Al-Balwaa’” (p.37) but later the same is presented as an example of a case where “the hadith is accepted.” (p.186)
In the case of someone of average literacy and intelligence, one would immediately accuse the author of these words of deception. However, on the foregoing evidence, it is quite possible that Cheeba is in fact unable to correctly understand what was written – namely that Aisha’s action of letting a woman choose her own marriage partner went against her own hadith of a woman needing a guardian to approve marriage, so it is her action ‘hadith’ and not the first hadith which is accepted.
Instead of trying to lay it on so thick and trying to play every trick he can think of (such as trying to make it appear that A’isha was being disrespected by the author, when she is in fact both a lady and a sahabah, what of it?), Cheeba would have been better off presenting this as a typo or poor choice of verbiage. Instead he chooses to milk it for all it (isn’t) worth and instead scoring points on ‘Atabek’ for being confusing or making a simple error, he face plants.
On p.116 the following statement regarding the enumerated eight “Types of Opposition” is translated in a weird and possibly misleading way.
و قبلها الإمام الشافعي رحمة الله في رواية عنه اكتفاء بظاهر الاتصال. و في رواية ردها
Translation of this statement is given as, “In one narration Imam Shafi’i rejects all these categories due to their implicit disconnection and in a second narration he accepts them.” Without digging for details of the issue one can only wonder why this alteration in the sequence of narrations including words explaining the first one. Was it to highlight the alleged narration on Al-Shafi’i’s rejection of those categories?
Why should we trust his Arabic, errr, ‘skills’ and not the authors? And if you don’t want to ‘dig into it’, why mention it? Cheap tactics, no doubt learnt at the feet of Evangelicals. Also, does it really matter what Imam comes first in the sentence, the point is that he has two statements in one he rejects and in another he accepts. Again for Cheeba this is confusing, it may be that he can only comprehend the first few words and therefore he needs the statement that Imam Shafi’ ‘accepts’ to come first.
Referencing is also sometimes faulty. A couple of examples from those cross examined include the citation simply “Abu Bakr Al-Rāzi Al-Jassās, “Al-Fusul fi Al-Usul”, Volume 2” without publisher name or page number (p.286) and for the hadith of Aisha “narrated by Tirmidhi” related to marriage (p.186) the reference is to a report from Sunan Abu Dawud, chapters on purification.
The index is equally poor. There is no entry even for certain proper names such as, Abu Yusuf, Al-Tahawi and Ikrama. Against the entry “Khawarij” five pages (139, 2014, 205, 206, 243) are mentioned and you do not find anything about Khawarij on these pages.
Finally, while the whole book is about the rant on ‘delivering’ contemporary Hanafis from the ‘Shafi’i Musatalah’, it is ironical that for a qualification of a condition of tawatur (p.25, note 40) the only citation presented is Nuzhat Al-Nazr of “Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani Al-Shafi” (p.270)
This has got to be a joke right? In 60 plus pages of references he finds one given without a publisher or page number?! But he then concludes based on this that the referencing is poor! This is truly taking bile to an unprecedented and depraved depth. The desperation to find something, anything to criticise has turned him into a raving madman. The irony is that his whole tripe-like essay was full of so many errors that I had to reproduce it and write a commentary longer than the essay – because, like the literary equivalent of ‘Doctor Who’s’ Tardis, Cheebas piece contains more errors than the actual length of the piece! He managed to make more mistakes than the amount of writing his essay, which is some kind of miracle. That’s like writing a book of a hundred pages that has so many factual errors that it takes three hundred pages to mention them all. And by no means have I exhausted Cheebas incompetence.
Two things are funny here: firstly, most of the books from Salafis/Deobandis don’t even have references at all let alone an index – just browse any bookshop and you will be made aware of this. It is a bad habit of incompetent people to criticise others for things they themselves cannot get right. Likewise, he is telling us to take Albanis un-indexed and unreferenced books over Sunan Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah, but Sheikh Atabek, who is one of the few Muslim scholars in English who has produced a thoroughly referenced book and extremely rarely for Muslim authors, included an index (not found in virtually any Deobandi texts in Arabic or English) is to be taken to task for this. Also, Al Ghazzali, Ibn Taymiyya and Tahawi refused to include indexes, as did everyone at the time. So what?
What is also completely depressing is that he thinks using Ibn Hajar as a reference is unacceptable because he is Shafi – y’know, since a book on Hanafi methodology means you have to abandon any similarities with other madhabs (at which point Cheeba and his large support unit of propagandists would immediately accuse Sheikh Atabek of being ‘sectarian’). Hilariously though, this means that Sheikh Atabek cannot narrate from Al Ghazzali, Imam Al Ashari, Razi and everyone else who is not Hanafi. But Cheeba can use Salafis when he likes, Shafis when he likes, himself when he likes, Hanafis if the weather is cold that day….
The only thing worthwhile in the book is its binding and quality of the paper used. Content wise it is poor, erroneous, misleading and even carelessly worked out. Far from being a good source to know the Hanafi positions on issues in Hadith sciences the book altogether misrepresents the school and tries to put a traditionalist garb over the heretic agendas of hadith rejecters of sorts. No matter how much the author may have attempted to preempt the due reaction to his book and create an air of innocence around him the fact remains it is clearly an attempt to bereave the ummah of confidence in hadith and implicating the bastions of hadith and sunnah in this sinister game.
Poetically, this summary can be used as the closing remarks about his own abysmally poor ‘review’ or rather smear piece by just changing a few words like the title. Sadly though, it lacks even the merits of paper or good binding and is a dreadful waste of both electrons/Quantum waves and pixels. Notice the endgame, which was in his opening as well – implicit takfir and accusations of heresy.
This is the danger of fanatics and partisans such as Cheeba: we saw how loose they are with killing in the issue of apostasy, where proof was just not needed (or a scholars opinion was enough). Dear Readers, can you rest easy when your religion is being disgraced under the misnomer of ‘dawah’ by these individuals – when they are willing to accuse people of heresy while having such astonishingly poor knowledge themselves?
To paraphrase: people who believe absurdities can commit atrocities. If this is the hideous level of Islamic knowledge and academic incompetence (and I could have multiplied demonstrations, classical proofs and references almost indefinitely simply by virtue of knowing Arabic and having an internet connection) which allows people like Cheeba to call out well known scholars such as Sheikh Atabek as ‘heretics’ (and please read what people of his sect believe should be done to ‘heretics’), what do you think he would do to lay Muslims like you? What justice can you or the poor non – Muslims expect from such people? Perhaps the wise readers can already seeing the justice of Cheebas ideological bedfellows – on the nightly news.
Point of reflection: notice how these people, apart from implicitly insulting the giants of hadith and classical scholarship, while at the same time accusing modern people such as Sheikh Atabek of ‘hadith rejection’, never mention what their methodology is for rejecting any hadith – since they are purely Salafi in that they insist on looking at the chain alone. The crime of all Hanafis in general and Shukurov in particular was to disagree with them. In a most uncouth fashion, they hide and never admit their hadith methodology, least of all to Christians, since to be consistent, it would lead to them accepting any and all hadith with a ‘Sahih’ chain. You can fathom some of those hadith here:https://asharisassemble.com/2014/05/27/have-you-been-blackmailed-by-bukhari-yet/
So according to them, just as Shukurov says in his book, according to these people, hadith can never be rejected on content, only on ‘chains‘. But they never admit this openly if they can help it: having to insist on ‘intellect’ on Christian and Hindu texts and relegating the same intellect to the dustheap when it comes to anything other than chains of narrators when dealing with hadith is no doubt embarrassing to explain.
But safe to say, by adopting their approach, we would not just be accusing ISIS of assaulting captives but even the Prophet – since all such hadith are ‘sahih‘ according to their chains alone. It is only a comparison with the Quran, other reports, scholars acceptance and above all, intellect (i.e Maliki and Hanafi principles) – what is being decried as ‘textual criticism’, ‘modernism’ and ‘hadith rejection’ by these despots, that we were able to weed out these hadiths, which even made it into Bukhari (again, sans explanation and require the unconvincing gymnastics of Cheeba and company, which basically imply that even Bukhari narrates incompetently and needs correction:http://www.letmeturnthetables.com/2011/04/jauniyya-woman-refuge-from-prophet.html. Hilariously, Sahih Bukari is supposed to be a kind of commentary on the Quran. But according to Cheeba it needs its own commentary. And so on ad infinitum, down the road to scepticism and atheism).
That was the sole crime of the authors, i.e. defending Islam and the Prophet, by rejecting these narrations, whereas the approach of Salafis is to accept these enormities and give them a ‘spin’. For this attempt at exonerating the Prophet from having lost his mind, or having said his wife Khadijas’ children born before Islam (and who died in infancy) would go to Hell or that there is no punishment for killing non-Muslims, the authors have been anathematised and declared heretics. Go figure.
PS Please remember kids: