Defining the Wujub in the Hanafi fiqh (by Shaykh Munawwar Ateeq)

December 27, 2009
From the website of our dear teacher, Shaykh Munawwar Ateeq Ridwi, may Allah bless him
In light of Hanafi Methodology of Jurisprudence for the novice and skilled

All praise is for Allah, the Everlasting, All-knowing and Omnipotent. Peace and blessings shower upon our Beloved, our Master and Intercessor, Muhammad, upon his Noble Family and Chosen Friends.

To proceed:

In the Shari`ah, the defining law (al-hukm al-taklifi) is divided into several kinds based on what is required (talab al-f`il) from a mukallaf and what he is abandoned (tark al-f`il) from, or given option in (takhyir), among what is required are fardh and wajib, whose definitions are both easily misunderstood by the novice and their details may even perplex the versed. I have attempted, in this concise synopsis, to mitigate some of the lengthy theoretically intricate key points pertaining to the two fundamental laws, namely fardh and wajib, and illustrate their sub-categories and rulings providing substantial examples and explanations.

To understand the fardh and wajib it is vital to know about the nature of the proofs which establish them.

The Nature of Transmitted Proofs
(Adilla Sam`iyya)

The proofs in the Noble Qur’an and Prophetic reports are four kinds

The proof (dalil) may either be;

Decisive in its authenticity (qat`i al-thubut) & decisive in its implication (qat`i al-dalalah) such as the self-explanatory (mufassar) and perspicuous (muhkam) verses of the Qur’an, and mass-narrated hadith whose implication is also decisive

Decisive in its authenticity (qat`i al-thubut) & speculative in its implication (dhanni al-dalalah) such as allegorical (mu’awwal) verses of the Noble Qur’an

Speculative in its authenticity (dhanni al-thubut) and decisive in its implication (qat`i al-dalalah), such as a solitary report whose implication is decisive

Speculative in its authenticity and implication (dhannay al-thubut wa al-dalalah) such as a solitary report whose implication is also speculative

The first kind carries the fardh, the second and third establishes wajib & makruh tahrimiman, and the last type proves sunna & mustahab. [1]

Imam Ahmad Ridha suggested that ‘ithbat’, that is the level of knowledge (`ilm) or conjecture (dahnn) a mujtahid reaches regarding the proof, must not be forsaken here, as he also added that the type of demand (talab) stipulated in the proof must also to be taken into consideration. Thus he increased the types of the proofs from four to nine and then totally to twenty seven. He added, when all mujtahids consider a mandatory demand (talab hitmi) decisive, given in a decisive proof, both in its authenticity and implication, it is fardh. For wajib, he added; if ‘ithbat’ is also decisive as to its authenticity or implication – that is when a mujtahid’s conjecture leads him to decisive knowledge though the proof is speculative in one way or another – it is fardh `amali, if it’s ‘ithbat’ is speculative too it is wajib `amali. He added to the proof that establishes Sunna; it does not stipulate a mandatory demand, rather, it carries a stressed (mu’akkad) order (talab takidi) and its proof, in authenticity, implication and ithbat, is akin to wajib, hence four kinds. For mustahab’s proof he added; it carries an encouraging demand (talab targibi) which consists doubt (shak) – that is, it is below conjecture (dhann) – in implication, or authenticity, or ithbat, or in all, or is decisive in its authenticity and implication too, or carries a mandatory demand (talab hitmi) but contains doubt (shak) in its authenticity or implication, and the proofs that establish the mustahab are nineteen. Much more detail pertaining to sunna and mustahab can be found in his excellent epistle; al-Juwd al-Huluw fi Arkan al-Wudhu, published in his Fatawa. In its end he states; ‘‘this is the glowing and gleaming research regarding the proofs (adilla), so memorise it since you will not find it in other than these passages’’.[2]

Note: In this synopsis, I have used the words decisive and definitive synonymously to illustrate the term ‘Qat`i’, and conjecture and speculation to illustrate ‘Dhann’.

The Categories of fardh & wajib

‘Fardh’ and ‘wajib’ are commonly translated as ‘obligatory’ in the English medium despite they vary by distinctive differences in theory, and a many times synonymously used in the nomenclature of Islamic Jurisprudence.[3]

Classical textual-corpus on the Principles and Methodology of Hanafi Jurisprudence, in its common prose, defines fardh and wajib consecutive to their rulings as follows;

First Degree Obligatory
(Fardh, Fardh I`tiqadi)

. A mandatory demand (iqtida, talab-hitmi, talab jazmi) that imposes action & and binds the mukallaf with no choice but to conform,

. Proscribes any kind of change[4] since it is founded on the definitive authority of the Noble Qur’an, or mass-narrated (mutawatir) hadith, or mass-narrated consensus (al-ijma` al-qati`), or definitive analogical reasoning (qiyas mansus `alayh[5]) – whose original case ‘asl’ is established in the definitive nass of the Qur’an or mass-narrated hadith.

Faida 1. What is meant by ‘proscribes any change’ [la yahtamilu al-ziyadata wa la al-nuqsan] is that the action prescribed in the binding demand must be accomplished by the quantity or measure stipulated therein, hence the speculative proofs- those to be imminently mentioned- are not warranted to reduce or increase the prescribed action in any way. Hence, the daily obligatory prayers are five and cannot be four or six similarly the well-known quantity of units (rak`at) in obligatory (fardh) prayer is what the shar’iah prescribed and is not subject to change.

. the proof being free of doubt (la shubhata fihi); together in its authenticity/transmission (thubut) – which precludes the solitary (khabr al-wahid) and well-known reports (khabr al-mashur) both of which are originally speculative (dhanni) reports- and meaning & implication (dalalah) – which precludes general prepositions of the Qur’an that are specified (al-aam al-makhsus), allegorical verses (mu’awwal), ambivalent verses (mujmal), that are speculative sources (dhanni) hence open to differences.[6]

. Hence unanimously agreed upon (mujma` `alayh) by all mujtahids without dispute, and technically referred to as fardh i`tiqadi

Faida 2. The Hanafi scholars define ‘mashur’ as, ‘a report which is doubtful in its apparent [fihi shubhatun suratan] since it is lone-narrated in the Sahabah’s era, and achieves mass-narration in the second era, an era in which the narrators, namely the tabi`een, are trustworthy people and their acceptance of the report conveys certain knowledge (`ilm al-yaqin) but that which is inductive (istidlali)’, such knowledge which the methodologists alternatively refer to as `ilm tamanina given that the report ‘assures’ the mujtahid that it is genuine. This is why the well-known (mashur) report is warranted to dominate the Qur’anic nass unlike the solitary report, and you will find many examples for this in the commentaries of Usul al-Manar, and elsewhere.[7] Its denier is not considered a disbeliever, according to the strongest opinion in the madhab.

Synonyms (mutaradifat)

fardh qati`- since it is established through a definitive source
fardh `ilman wa `amalan – since it conveys definitive ‘knowledge’ and necessitates ‘action’
fardh mutlaq- the ‘absolute’ fardh and not qualified such as fardh `amali, the stronger fardh from the two
fardh i`tiqadi-since it conveys definitive knowledge, agreed upon by all mujtahids

Examples of fardh

Fardh in Belief (iman): belief in the oneness of Allah Almighty, and finality of Sayyiduna Muhammad’s prophethood (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him).

Fardh in Actions (arkan): four essentials of wudhu, five times daily prayer, zakah payment, to perform the pilgrimage (hajj)

Fardh’s Value & Ruling (hukm)

. If the lawmaker (Shari’) prescribed the fardh in connection with an action, on not carrying it out, one’s entire action results null and void (batil), whether it be prescribed as a fundamental part (rukn) of the action’s essence (mahiyya) or as a pre-requisite (shart) that is not considered a part (juz) of the action’s nature (mahiyya) thus external to the nature (kharij al-mahiyya). In both cases, the action will result void.[8] If for example, one neglects the prostration (sajdah) or bowing (ruku’) during prayer, the whole prayer becomes void (batil), since both of the former are prescribed as fardh, hence a fundamental part of the essence of prayer and one will have to commence the prayer from beginning again.

Faida 3. Note that many texts of usul illustrate the aforementioned rule in the subsequent fashion: ‘when the fardh is forsaken in an action, the entire action results unsound’ [yafuwtu al-jawazu bi fawtihi’], here ‘jawaz’ is not used in the meaning of permissibility (hill) – that which is the antonym for impermissibility (hurma) – rather it means ‘soundness’ (sihha). This is what I understood from it, and later found Imam Ahmad Ridha who also infers this meaning in his unparalleled epistle titled, al-Juwd al-Huluw fi Arkan al-Wudhu.[9]

Faida 4. The word ‘fardh’ is sometimes spoken on the fundamental part (rukn), or pre-requisite (shart) and also on other than them; such as ‘the order’ (tartib) of an action that is not repeated in the one unit of prayer, since this is neither a rukn nor shart.[10]

. Acting upon it leads to reward

. Neglecting it wilfully is grave transgression (fisq), a major sin (kabira) and leads to punishment in the hereafter, namely, hellfire

. According to the jurists (fuqaha) and methodologists (usuliyeen) denial of it is disbelief (kufr), whether it is verbal (qawlan) or merely in belief (i`tiqadan),[11] due to the denunciation of an obligatory demand established by a definitive premise. However the theologians (mutakallimeen) are precautious in this affair thus do not consider fardh’s refusal as disbelief unless the fardh is also an absolute essential of the deen (dharurat al-deen/ ma`lum min al-din bi al-dharurah).[12]

Faida 5. The absolute essential of deen is defined as ‘that belief or practice which is recognised among the learned and laymen (awaam)’. For example, five times prayer, fasting during Ramadhan, Hajj, belief in Allah’s oneness and finality of Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood, belief in life after death are all absolute essentials of deen. The laymen mentioned here, are those who interact with the scholars and are connected to the deen, since many laymen such as Bedouins in the rural lands of India and even many Muslims in the west, are unaware of the essentials, not that they deny them, rather, they are merely unaware of them. This is what Imam Ahmad Ridha declared.[13]

Faida 6. The implication of ‘iz`an’ (conviction) consists three meanings; 1. Compelling assumption of truth (al-dhaan al-galib) and prevalent opinion (akbar al-ra’y) – both of which are included in certainty ‘yaqin’ in fiqh – 2. Certainty applied to a more specific meaning (yaqin bi ma`na akhass) – that is when the conviction is firm where there is no likelihood for the opposed, such as firm conviction in the oneness of Allah and as Muhammad as His Messenger – 2. Certainty applied to a more general meaning (yaqin bi ma`na a`am) – that is certainty interfered with the possibility of its incorrectness and opposition, established by no proof (ihtimal nashi la `an dalil) such as the person you see in front of you is Zaid, yet it may possibly be a Jinn in the form of Zaid. This last type is also considered ‘yaqin’ and mere assumption does not de-grade knowledge (`ilm) from certainty (yaqin) since it (ihtimal) holds no authority. The last two categories are those relied upon in the issues of beliefs and all of the foregoing categories are considered iz`an.[14]

Second Degree Obligatory & Wajib I`tiqadi

The wajib i`tiqadi is,

. A mandatory demand (iqtida, talab-hitmi, talab jazmi) that imposes action & and binds the mukallaf with no choice but to conform,

. Established by a speculative proof (dalil dhanni), whether speculative in its implication (dalala) only such as a mu’awwal verse of the Noble Qur’an, or authenticity/transmission (thubut) only, such as a solitary report (khabr al-wahid) whose implication is definitive (qat`i), or speculative in both such as a solitary report whose meaning is also speculative (dhanni).

Faida 7. The ‘Prohibitively disliked’ (makruh tahrimi) is also established by a similar proof, i.e. either speculative in its authenticity (thubut) or implication (dalalah).

Faida 8. In the Hanafi Methodology, a solitary report (khabr al-wahid) is not a hadith narrated by one person alone but is also that hadith which does not reach the level of the well-known (mashur) and mass-narrated hadiths, hence the term ‘khabr al-wahid’ encompasses a hadith narrated by two or more narrators, too.[15] Conversely, the scholars of Hadith Nomenclature (ahl al-hadith) consider all hadith solitary (akhbar al-ahad) so as long as the number of narrators does not reach the level of mass quantity (tawatur).[16]

Wajib i`tiqadi is two kinds; fardh `amali & wajib `amali

1. Fardh `amali;

The mujtahid, who deals with the proofs, by means of his ijtihad, finds the speculative proof (dalil dhanni) strongly binding and he is certain (iz`an) and fully assure (jazm) about it being strongly binding, hence regards the action as somewhat fardh, in context of practice, yet wajib in theory. It acts as a ‘barzakh’ between the two; fardh and wajib, and therefore neglecting it results the action void (batil) when prescribed as a part of an action.

This is the strongest type of wajib since it binds the mukallaf to conform to it akin fardh i`tiqadi, yet is established by a speculative evidence hence a degree lower and nearest to fardh i`tiqadi in the hierarchy of defining laws.

Value & Ruling (hukm)

. Denying (inkar) fardh `amali is transgression (fisq) and misguidance (dhalala) since there is substantial evidence to prove that one is obliged to follow speculative knowledge (dhann),[17] and not disbelief (kufr), since there is not certainty (yaqin) in wajib’s origin.

. A mujtahid, however, may differ with another mujtahid and interpret (ta`wil) the other’s stance by considering his proof weak and unacceptable for the evidence he himself finds. Imam Shafi`i upholds, for example, that one is obliged to wipe at least three hairs during wudhu (and in another report, one hair) to accomplish the obligatory requirement, as so Imam Malik upholds that wiping the entire head is obligatory, on the basis of their scholarly effort (ijithad) and level of certainty and doubt regarding the various proofs. Equally, according to Imam Abu Hanifa, reciting the Basmala and making intention prior to wudhu is sunna, whereas Imam Shafi`i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal uphold that both are obligatory (fardh). This disagreement is recurrent among our predecessors, and is not based on one’s mere desire (hawa) hence it is not considered blameworthy and sinful.[18]

. One who denies the wajib without interpretation (ta`wil), but maintains respect, that is, he does not make mockery of the proof provided, is misguided since it is a blameworthy innovation to reject a solitary report and sound analogy.[19] If one makes mockery of a solitary report or other shar`i proof, he is has left the fold of Islam with agreement among the jurists and methodologists.

. If one does not deny the wajib, nor interprets it, and ignores it through his desire, he is considered a transgressor (fasiq) since he forsakes the obligatory imposed upon him.[20]

. One who neglects the wajib will be deprived from making intercession (shafa`a) for others in the hereafter.[21]

Faida 9. A mujtahid is not bound to follow the ijtihad of another mujtahid, unlike the layman imitator (muqallid) who must stick to the madhab of his Imam and not depart from it unless in case of necessity (dharura). The issue of taqlid is a topic of its own so I will exit it here.

Faida 10. The Shafi’i methodology of jurisprudence does not differentiate between fardh and wajib, and names both of them wajib, though Imam Shafi`i differentiated between the two in the chapter of Hajj.[22]

Faida 11. It may be that a mujtahid reaches a particular level of certainty regarding a dhanni textual implication which is not reached by another, hence, the difference in the level of understanding produces differences in thought, methodology, jurisprudence, and schools (madhahib).[23]

Faida 12. Definitude (qata`) is three kinds; 1. The General Definitude (qata` `aam), whose decisiveness is well-known among the general public and knowledgeable people. For example, the absolute essentials of Islam, namely daily prayers etc, pertain to this kind of definitude. 2. The Specified Definitude (qata` khass), which is only recognised by the men of knowledge such as the agreed upon fara’idh i`tiqadiya, namely washing four limbs in ablution etc. It is classed as ‘specified’ since it precludes the public who do not reach this knowledge. 3. The More specified Definitude (qata` akhass), which is disagreed upon among the scholars as some are compelled to have certainty in its truth, based on persuasive external indicators (qara’in), thus definitive for him, whereas others may not find such indicators thus remains speculative according to them . Or it may be that one finds compelling indicators of definitude, yet alternative proof creates contradiction thus the case remains speculative in his case. Take for example a companion who hears a hadith from the Noble Prophet’s mouth, it is definitive (qat`i) for him and speculative (dhanni) for others. A Mujtahid does not prove the fardh unless he reaches the level of definitude; if all are in agreement of its definitude, the fardh is i`tiqadi, if he reaches definitude whilst others class it speculative it is fardh `amali. This is how Imam Ahmad Ridha explained the fardh `amali and he is the first to explain it in this comprehensible fashion.[24]

Faida 13. Denial of a proof (istikhfaf) is two kinds; fiqhi and usuli. If one denies the wajib without interpretation (ta`wil) but maintains respect, that is, he does not make mockery of the proof provided, it is classified as usuli whereas if one denies the proof with mockery (istihza), it is classified as fiqhi. As for why they are named fiqhi and usuli is because, the methodologists (usuliyeen) do not consider ‘istikhfaf’ disbelief, whereas the jurists (fuqaha) in their works, consider it disbelief, albeit unanimous agreement among both that mockery of the Shar`i proofs is disbelief. Hence the distinction was necessary and Ibn Nujaym suggested it in Fat’h al-Gaffar bi-Sharh al-Manar.[25]

Faida 14. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, the solitary report (khabr al-wahid) has a fundamental role in the shar`i proofs. Though his methodology does not allow the report to specify (takhsis) the decisive general (al-`aam al-qat`i), neither qualify (taqyid) the absolute (mutalq) of the Qur’an, nor abandon the apparent (dhahir) meaning for the majaz, as he considers this a form of abrogating the decisive by the speculative, hence unwarranted. This principle illustrates the Imam’s level of piety in dealing with the proofs as he feared excluding or increasing in the demands of Allah through unjustifiable means. Moreover, it also shows the value of the solitary report in the Hanafi madhab as one is obliged to put it into practice, and it may also impart inductive knowledge (al-`ilm al-istidlali) provided external indicators (qara’in) support it. Similarly, Ibn Hazam al-Zahiri recorded consensus on the view that Imam Abu Hanifa preferred lone narrations (akhbar al-ahad), even if they be weak, over personal opinion and analogy. For example, he accepted the reports on ‘laughter in prayer invalidates it and ablution’, permissibility of ablution with nabidh al-Tamr, ten dirham as minimal price value of object to entail the theft penalty, ten dirham as the minimal price for dowry, ten days as the maximum days for menstruation etc. What is meant by ‘weak’ (da`eef) in the salaf is sound (hasan) as stipulated by Zarkashi, Ibn Taymiya and others.[26]

Faida 15. A solitary report, when unanimously accepted by mujtahids (mutalaqqa bi al-qabul), is warranted to establish a rukn. For example, the solitary hadith ‘Hajj is `Arafa’ suggests that `Arafa is the fundamental part (rukn) of hajj, though a speculative report but establishes the rukn since everyone agrees to it thus the report imparts certainty (yaqin).[27]

Faida 16. The peerless Hanafi jurist and methodologist, Ibn Nujaym upheld that ‘the category ‘wajib’ did not exist in the Prophet’s era (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) since the solitary report whose meaning is decisively definitive (qat`i) is not speculative (dhanni) for the person who hears it directly from the Prophet’s mouth, and Ibn al-Humam also recorded this in Fat’h al-Qadir, the chapter of Imamate’[28]. The unmatched jurist of Damascus, Imam Ibn `Abideen continued explaining that wajib’s existence cannot be denied in the Noble Prophet’s era in the absolute sense (mutlaqan) since, there were companions who heard the report from another companion’s mouth and possibly did not turn to the Prophet for its explanation, hence the implication would be considered dhanni in his case, thus wajib.[29] Allah shower abundant blessings and mercy on the Prophet and his companions.

Examples of fardh `amali

Wiping the head during wudhu to the measure of one’s forehead (miqdar al-nasiya), that is a quarter of the head.

‘Wiping the head’ is fardh i`tiqadi, an undisputable demand stipulated in the Holy verse, ‘‘Oh you who believe, when you stand for prayer wash your faces and hands to your elbows, wipe your heads and wash your feet to the ankles’’. All four Imams of the Orthodox Sunni schools are in unanimous agreement on this. However, the difference is in how much of the head must be wiped.

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, one is obliged to wipe the measure of the forehead, though this is proven through the solitary reports (khabr al-wahid) on the authorities of Mugira bin Shu`ba, `Amr bin Umaya, Salman, Thawban Abu Umama and Bilal.[30] If one does not wipe at least to this measure, the entire wudhu will result null (batil). The Imam, Allah have mercy on him and his colleagues, is strongly convinced by the evidence that this measure prescribed for wiping is wajib (fardh `amali), as to his principle ‘when a solitary report explains the ambivalent verse, the ruling inferred is definitive (qat`i)’, it explains the ambivalent verse (mujmal) that does not stipulate the measurement of the wipe, thus the ruling (that is wujub, obligation) of this measure is taken from the nass, and not the explanatory solitary report.[31]

Praying the three-unit witr prayer in the night prayer (`isha) belongs also to this wajib category.

Likewise, washing the ankles and elbows during wudhu is considered fardh `amali in the Hanafi madhab.

Synonyms for fardh `amali (mutaradifat)

fardh dhanni, since it is established by a speculative source
fardh `amali, since it leads the mujtahid to knowledge which is definitive
fardh ijtihadi, Since its obligation is not definitive in the fundamental texts and hence is established through the effort of the mujtahid
fardh fi quwwat al-qati`, the obligatory that holds the power of fardh qat’i in regards to practice

2. Wajib `amali;

If however the mujtahid does not reach the level of certainty (iz`an, yaqin) in knowing the mandatory demand (talab jazmi) given in the speculative proof, the ruling extracted is known as wajib `amali. This type is near sunna mu’akkada in the hierarchy of defining laws (ahkam taklifiya).

Faida 17. Most wajibs are established from a solitary report (khabr al-wahid) whilst others are established by a well-known (mashur) hadith, or an ambivalent verse (mujmal), and or a mu’awwal verse, so do not fall into the idea, after reading the given examples, that the solitary report alone carries the wajib.[32]

Faida 18. The scholars commonly state, ‘the solitary report entails obligatory practice’ [khabr al-wahid muwjibun li al-`amal], this does not suggest that all solitary reports entail obligation (wujub) in the absolute sense (mutlaqan). Rather, its implication is that it entails practice when its implication (dalalah) is for obligation (wujub) – that is it will consist a mandatory demand (talab jazmi) in it- and not for preference (nudb/istihbab) – that is it will consist mere encouragement (targib mujarrad) – since a solitary report also establishes the preferred practice (mandub/mustahabb). Similarly, a solitary report may carry the abrogated (mansukh) hence impractical. Thus a solitary report entails obligatory practice when it implies obligation through a mandatory demand and when it is free from any hindrance (mani`) such as abrogation. This is what `Allama Sindi suggested in Im`an al-Nazar.[33]

Value & Ruling (hukm)

. If the action is neglected the entire will not render null (batil), though it will become deficient (naqis) and one must remove the deficiency to conform to the prescribed obligation perfectly. Hence, the rule [la yafuwt al-jawazu bi-fawtihi] ‘when a wajib`amali is neglected, the action does not render void (batil)’

The deficiency can be eradicated by a sajda sahw, when a wajib is forgotten in prayer and is remembered during it otherwise repeating the prayer (i`ada), or by paying a fidya, as in the rulings of hajj.

. Wilfully forsaking it is a minor sin, and on a number of times it becomes a major sin (kabira).


Imam Abu Hanifa upholds that recitation of Sura Fatiha in prayer is wajib `amali. Likewise, the takbir’s for the two `Eids, the prayer of Qunut in the three-unit witr prayer, to calm the body limbs during every action in prayer (ta`deel al-arkan), and most of the other wajibat belong to this kind of wajib.

Synonyms for wajib `amali

Wajib, in the unqualified manner, yet however, the unqualified wajib is also used in the meaning of fardh i`tiqadi

Fardh `amali & Wajib `amali

The theoretical difference between the two wajibs is quite clear; the latter is established by compelling assumption of truth (al-dhann al-galib) that persuades the mujtahid to believe that the mandatory obligation prescribed in the proof is near definitude (qata`), whereas for the latter, the mujtahid does not have strong conviction about the mandatory demand of the lawgiver (shari’), and reaches mere conjecture (dhann).[34]

The practical distinction between the two wajibs is that if fardh `amali is neglected the entire action results void (batil) akin fardh i`tiqadi and in cases of forsaking wajib `amali, the action does not render void and null, albeit deficient (naqis).

However both are established by a dhanni proof, while wilfully neglecting those entails punishment in the hereafter, and forsaking fardh `amali is considered a grave transgression (fisq) whilst forsaking the other is a minor sin (sagira).

The Relation between the types of fardh and wajib

Fardh i`tiqadi and wajib i`tiqadi are opposites (mutabayinan)

Fardh `amali is wajib i`tiqadi and not the reverse, hence the former is khaas mutlaq, that is, it is specific in regards to wajib i`tiqadi that is general (aam mutlaq)

Wajib `amali is also akin to fardh `amali in its relation to wajib i`tiqadi

Wajib `amali in relation to fardh i`tiadi and fardh `amali is opposite to them (mutabayin)

And Allah knows best.

And abundant peace and blessings be upon our Master and Comforter Muhammad, his noble family, upright companions and upon those who follow in their footsteps, ameen.

Research started on: Sunday 13th August
Research produced on hardcopy: Sunday 20th August

Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi

Main References:

Al-Nasafi, Kashf al-Asrar Sharh al-Musannif `ala al-Manar, ed. Ihsan Kitapevi, Istanbul
Asqallani, Ibn Hajar, Nuzhat al-Nazar, Matba`a al-Sabah, Damascus
A`zami, Amjad `Ali, Bahar-e-Shari`at, 2:5, ed. Maktaba Islamiya, Lahore
Ibn `Abideen, Nasamat al-As’har `ala Ifadhat al-Anwar, 1:446-7, ed. Mostafa Albabi & Sons, Egypt
Ibn `Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar, ed. Dar al-Thaqafa wa al-Turath, Damascus (new)
Ibn Nujaym, Fat’h al-Ghaffar bi-Sharh al-Manar, 2: 68, ed. Mostafa Albabi & Sons, Egypt
Khan, Ahmad Ridha, risala al-Juwd al-Huluw fi Arkan al-Wudhu: Fatawa Ridhwiyya, 1: 179 to 234, ed. Ridha Foundation, Lahore
Mulla Jeewan, Nur al-Anwar, ed. Pakistan
Taftazani, al-Talwih, ed. Dar Arqam, Beirut

[1] See: Ibn `Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar, 1:313-314, Khan, Imam Ahmad Ridha, Fatawa Ridhiwyya, p 1: 197-8
[2] Ibid.
[3] See: Ibn `Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar 1: 314 (new ed), Tafatazani’s al-Talwih 2:124.
[4] Al-Nasafi, Usul al-Manar.
[5]`Aiyni, Badr al-Din, al-Binayah Sharh al-Hidaya. Ref: Gayat al-Awtar, 1:55 (ed. M.H Sa`eed comp, Karachi)
[6]Ibn `Abideen, Nasamat al-As’har `ala Ifadhat al-Anwar, 1:446-7 & Ibn Nujaym, Fat’h al-Gaffar Sharh Usul al-Manar, 2: 68
[7] See: Nasafi’s Kashf al-Asrar, 2:6,7
[8] Qadri, Mufti Muhammad Khan, Ma`arif al-Ahkam, p117, (ed. `Aalami D`awat-e-Islamiya, Lahore)
[9] Khan, Imam Ahmad Ridha, Fatwa Ridhwiyya, 1: 184
[10] Ibn `Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar, 1:312 (new), al-Halabi, Sharh al-Munya al-Kabir, p12
[11] Taftazani’s al-Talwih. Ref: Ibn `Abideen, Nasamat al-As’har, p164
[12] Khan, Ahmad Ridha, al-Juwd al-Huluw fi Arkan al-Wudhu: Fatawa Ridhwiyya, 1: 180 & Badayuni, Fahdl al-Rasul, al-Mu`taqad al-Mustanad p212 (ed.Raza Academy, Bombay)
[13] Khan, Ahmad Ridha, al-Juwd al-Huluw, Fatawa Ridhwiyya 1:181-2
[14] Ibid, 1:180
[15] Al-Nasafi, Kashf al-Asrar sharh al-Musannif `ala al-Manar, 2:8
[16] See: Asqallani, Ibn Hajar, Nuzhat al-Nazar p50, 51
[17] Taftazani’s al-Talwih, 2:124. Ibn `Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar, 1:314 (new ed), al-Nasafi, Kashf al-Asrar, 1:295 & 2:8
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Taftazani’s al-Talwih. Ref: Ibn Nujaym, Fat’h al-Gaffar, 2:70
[21] See: Ibn `Abideen, Nasamat al-As’har, p165
[22] `Ali Qari, Fat’h Baab al-`Inaya 1:41. Ref: `Umar Misri’s Footnotes on al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab. See also, Imam Ahmad Ridha, Jadd al-Mumtar Hashiya Radd al-Muhtar, 1:237.
[23] For more reading on the causes of differences (asbab al-ikhtilaf) among the mujtahids and their methodologies refer to Imam al-Shah Waliyullah Dehlwi’s unmatched al-Insaf fi Bayan Asbab al-Ikhtilaf, Shaykh Zakariyya Kandehlvi’s excellent manual on ‘The Differences of the Imams’ and ‘Athar al-Ikhtilaf fi al-Qawa`id al-Usuliyya’ a modern Damascene text on the subject by Dr Mustafa Sa`eed al-Khann.
[24] Khan, Imam Ahmad Ridha, al-Juwd al-Huluw, Fatawa Ridhwiyya, 1: 189
[25] See Ibn `Abideen’s Nasamat al-As’har who endorses this categorization saying: ‘‘this is brilliant, and must be memorised’’ p165
[26] See: al-Jawziya, Ibn al-Qayyim’s I`lam al-Muwqi`een 1:31 & 77. Main References: Gudda, `Abdul Fattah’s al-Ta`liqat al-Hafila `ala al-Ajwiba al-Fadhila, p47 to 49, Lacknawi, `Abdul Hay’s Zafar al-Amani p205 to 207, & p145-6, and his al-Raf` wa al-Takmil, p74-5 (eds. Dar al-Basha’ir al-Islamiya, Beirut)
[27] Radd al-Muhtar 1:314 (new ed)
[28] Ibn Nujaym, Fat’h al-Gaffar. See: Ibn `Abideen’s Nasamat al-As’har p164-5.
[29] Ibn `Abideen, Nasamat al-As’har, p164-5.
[30] Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal narrated the report of Mugira in his Musnad 4:255, Muslim narrated in the chapter on wiping the forehead and turban, Tirmidhi: Chapter on what is narrated about wiping the turban and explicitly said: ‘‘the hadith of Mugira bin Shu`ba is hasan sahih’’, Nisa’i in the chapter on wiping the turban with the forehead, Bayhaqi in Sunan Kubra; chapter on wiping a part of the head. See Radd al-Muhtar, 1:315 (new)
[31] Al-Mirghinani, al-Hidaya 1:12, al-Baburti, al-`Inaya sharh al-Hidaya, 1: 16, Ibn `Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar 1: 315 (new). Ibn Nujaym, in al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, disputes with Mirghinani in this issue, whilst Ibn `Abideen supports this principle and answers Ibn Nujaym’s objection to it in his excellent commentary on al-Bahr titled ‘Minhat al-Khaliq’ 1:14-15.
[32] See: Mulla Jeewan, Ahmad, Nur al-Anwar 1:294 (published with Kashf al-Asrar), Ibn `Abideen, Nasamat al-As’har, p164
[33] Im`an al-Nazar Sharh Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikr p31. Ref: Lacknawi, `Abdul Hayy, Zafar al-Amani, p 64.
[34] Ibn `Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar, chapter on Taharah, 1:70, al-Bahr al-Ra`iq, chapter on Purification, 1:10 Main Ref: Khan, Ahmad Ridha, al-Juwd al-Huluw, Fatawa Ridhwiyya, 1: 181 onwards.

`Ala Hadrat Imam Ahmad Rida (raHimahullah) on Sighting the Moon (courtesy of

December 16, 2009

From al-Fatawa riDawiyya of Sayyidi Ala Hadrat Imam Ahmad Rida Khan Baraylawi al-Hindi, nawarAllahu ta`ala marqadahu
Vol 4., pg. 546-547, fatwa # 157, question # 25

Question: 25
Muharram al-Haraam 1320 A.H.,
Question sent by Al-Sayyid Hassan Khan Bahadur from Baadah Nawaab Sahib, Barodah, Gujerat.

How do the `ulama of the deen advise that the confirmation of the sighting of the (new) moon be done in accordance with the Shari`ah ? Include with your answer Urdu translations of authentic references from the Kutub (of al-Fiqh al-Hanafi).

There are seven ways of establishing the sighting of the new moon according to Shariat.
The acceptance of the testimony of the person who witnessed the sighting of the new moon himself.

It is sufficient for only one person to confirm the sighting of the new moon for the blessed month of Ramadan, provided that he is a sensible, mature (adult) person who is not impious (not in the habit of transgressing the Laws of Shar`ia, and if such a person alone declares that, “I have witnessed the appearance of the new moon for the blessd month of Ramadan on the evening of such and such date”, then his testimony is acceptable. Even if the person is a slave girl; or even if it is a person whose background is not well known, and whose internal sense of righteousness is unknown but whose external state conforms with the acceptable norms of Shari`a; even if such a person does not testify before a panel of judges (Majlis al-Qudda); even if the person does not declare that, “I testify…”; even if he does not narrate the circumstances of the appearance of the moon in relation to wherefrom he saw it, where the moon appeared or how high above the horizon it appeared, etc. (the sighting will still be valid). This applies to the sighting of the moon on the 29th of Sha`ban in unclear skies due to the appearance of clouds or dust (due to a sandstorm).
In the case of clear skies, the submission (of the sighting of the moon for Ramadaan) by even one person living in the jungle, in a house located at a high point (mountainside) would be sufficient. However, it must be ascertained whether a large number of Muslims living in these areas are inclined towards seeking the appearance of the new moon regularly, or whether they are (in fact) indisposed to such activity and show no interest at all.

In a situation where no interest is shown (by the Muslims to regularly sight the moon), it would be necessary for TWO people (to establish the sighting of the moon) even if their backgrounds are not known. Otherwise, a large group of people (Jama`ah al-`Adhim) would be required to witness and confirm without doubt the appearance of the moon, even if the (Jama`ah) group consists of slaves and impious people. And if the group of people (witnessing the appearance of the moon) continues to increase in size to such an extent that the intelligence (of a person) finds it absurd to accept the confirmation (of the sighting of the moon) by so many people as false, then such confirmation will become acceptable to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

FOR THE BALANCE OF THE ELEVEN MONTHS, it is absolutely necessary at all times for two males of righteous character; or one male and two females (all) of righteous character; who should all be free people (not slaves), but whose external and internal state has been established (as good), and conforms with the requirements of Shariat, to appear before a Shariat Judge (Qadi al-Shari`ya) and testify with the words, “I bear witness (Ash-hadu) that I had seen the appearance of the (new) moon for this month on the evening of such and such day, at such and such time.” In those places which do not have a Shariat Judge (Qadi al-Shari`ya), then the declaration of witnessing shall be made before the most learned Mufti with the knowledge of Fiqh, residing in the town. And in those places where neither a Shariat Judge (qaDi) nor a Mufti can be found, in the presence of the Muslims (of that place) the declaration of witnessing with the words, “I bear witness (asH-hadu) …” by the two righteous males or one righteous male and two righteous females shall suffice. This is the method always prescribed for (confirmation of witnessing the appearance of) the new moon for these 11 months (excluding Ramadan).
However, for the `iDayn, if the skies are clear and the Muslims (of the area) are not indisposed to seeking the appearance of the new moon (i.e. they are always in the habit of looking for the new moon); and if two people living in the jungle or (in a house) on a high point have not come forward (to confirm witnessing), then in such a case it would be necessary again for a large group of people (Jama`ah al-adhim) to witness and confirm the appearance of the moon.

Similarly, where all the Muslims of an area, organise and supervise the regular sightings of the NEW MOON FOR MUHARRAM, for example; and during conditions with clear skies people living in the jungle or (in a house) on a high point do not come forth (to confirm witnessing of the moon), then in such a case, again, a large group of people (Jama`ah al-`Adhim) would be required (to confirm the moon sighting for that community) in the same manner as was applicable to confirm (the moon sighting) for Ramadan and `iDayn as described earlier. (Reference: Durr al-Mukhtar of Imam al-Haskafi)

Note: Only the first method is discussed

Hanafi references on moonsighting (courtesy of

December 16, 2009
This is a brief list of Ĥanafī references in which a wide range of topics is covered and various opinions discussed on the issue of sighting the new moon:

1. Durr al-Mukhtār
2. Its explanation Radd al-Muĥtār
3. Marāqi’l Falāĥ and its explanation Imdād al-Fattāĥ
4. Baĥr ar-Rāyiq and its explanation
5. Badāyiý aş-Şanāyiý
6. Fat’ĥ al-Qadīr

Six dedicated monographs on the subject are:
1. Tanbīh al-Ghāfili wa’l Wasnān álā Aĥkāmi Hilāli Ramađān
2. Azka’l Ihlāl bi Ibţāli mā Aĥdatha’n Nāsu fī Amri’l Hilāl
3. Ţuruq Ithbāt al-Hilāl
4. Al-Budūr al-Ajillah fī Umūri’l Ahillah
5. Marginalia on the above: Nūru’l Adillah li’l Budūri’l Ajillah
6. Supercommentary on the above: Raf’úl Íllah án Nūri’l Adillah

The first one is by Imām Ibn Áābidīn Shāmī (vol.1 of Rasāyil Ibn Áābidīn) and the rest by Imām Ahmed Riđā Khān Barelwi (all of them in vol.10 of Fatāwā Riđawiyyah)

“Turuq al-Isbat al-Hilal” by Sayyidi Imam Ahmad Ridha Khan al-Baraylawi al-Hanafi (raHimahullah)

December 16, 2009

Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti al-Shafi`i on sighting the moon

December 16, 2009

Salam `alaykum

December 16, 2009

As-Salamu `alaykum:

Welcome to the Fikr-e-Raza blog for all people following Ahl`e Sunnat as revived by Sayyidi Ala Hazrat radhi Allahu ta`ala `anhu.

This is the continuation of the ahlesunnatwaljamaat blogspot site which will remain up until the 21st of December, insh`Allah.

Jazakamullah Khayran. Ameen

Wassalam `alaykum

Maraqi al-Falah