The Social and Political Implications of Three Traditions in the Kitāb Al-Kharādj of Yaḥya B. Adam

Three traditions in the Kitab al-Kharadj.pdf MISCELLANEA THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THREE TRADITIONS IN THE KITAB AL-KHARADJ OF YAHYA B. ADAM The comprehensive collections of hadith's traditions dealing with taxation and or land ownership by the Arabs, the Mawill, and the Dhimmis,are a major source not only for the pattern of economic organizationbut also for the social concepts which obtained during the first centuries of Islam. But the traditions are recondite. It is at times an apparentlysuperfluousphrase which can give a lead to the understanding of the underlying concept, and at others a new interpretationof a word can place the concept in its true perspective. In the studies which follow the interpretations which are advanced may well provide a new vantage point from which to view certain fiscal and legal issues in a broader context. TraditionI. Two traditions in the Kitdb al-Kharidj of Yahya, which are concerned with the principles underlying the levying of taxes from the Dhimmis,call for closer examination. In the translation of Ben-Shemesh tradition 233 runs as follows: "Ibrihim b. Sa'd asked Ibn 'Abbds about (dealing with) possessions of the Ahl ad-Dhimma and ibn 'Abbis replied: "(with) leniency" ('afw), which means "favour" (fadl).'Afw and fadl are also translatedby "leniency" and "favour" in the following tradition, (234): "'All b. abi Tilib appointed me to supervise Buzurja Sabiir. He said: 'In do collecting dirhanms not flog anyone nor sell his provisions, neither his winter nor his summer garments, nor the beasts he works with, and never let a man stand So (in the sun) in order to collect dirhams'. I said: 'O Commanderof the Faithful! Then I shall return to you as I left you!' And he replied: 'Even if you return as you left-beware!-we were ordered to collect from them with "leniency",which means "favour"."' According to this apparentlycorrect translation the intention of tradition 234 is merely to recommend "leniency"in collecting taxes. This impression is strengthened by a variant given in abu 'Ubayd's Kitdb al-Amwdl (No. I16). 'Ali ibn abi Tdlib sternly commands his 'Amil of 'Ukbard in the presence of the people to collect He every dirham. then invites him to a private talk in which he advises him not to sell their winter or summer garments and not to sell a cow or an ass in collecting kharadj.He commands him to be lenient towards the people (wa'rfukbihim). This variant stresses exactness in assessment but calls for leniency in collection. It omits both the principle of 'afw in the answer of 'Ali and the 'dmil'sdoubts. A third variant is to be found in the Kitdbal-kharadj Abu Yfisuf (Cairo 1346 H. of - p. I8). The admonition of 'Ali is mentioned, the private talk of 'Ali with the 'Amil is quoted as are the doubts of the 'Amil. In his instruction not to sell the garments of the people and not to flog them while collecting the kharddj, 'Ali mentions the reason for his recommendation:"we were ordered to take from them 'afw". (Translated by Fagnan: "... de ne leur prendre que l'exc'dent (p. 24)".) The tradition in the Kitab al Kharg' of Ab-i Yfisuf differs only in detail from the tradition of Yahyd; the meaning is the same. But the interpretationof 'afw by fail is missing. MISCELLANEA 327 It is, however, unlikely that the vague implications of this interpretation of "afwandfadl convey the original intent and we must examine their usage in a fiscal context. A key to understandingof the words is given by a quite similar tradition in the Kant al CUmmil No. 2564--ed. Hyderabad1955, p. 462). The recommend(V, ation of 'Ali in the presence of the people is mentioned as is also his private talk with the 'Amil forbidding the selling of a cow or a sheep and forbidding flogging in collecting taxes. This private talk ends with the remarkof 'Ali: "We were ordered to take from them merely the 'afw. Do you know what 'afw is? It is The .tka" traditionin Kant al'Ummdlis quoted from the Kitdbal-Amwdlby ibn Zandjawayh. (The book itself is not exstant, but it is mentioned in Hadiyatal'Artfifn, I, 339. The author, IHamidibn Zandjawayhdied 248 H.). Eliminating the tradition of abu 'Ubayd's Kitdbal-Amwil, where the word 'afw does not occur, we find two interpretations of the word 'afw viz. fadl and .tda. Tiaka-"ability, capacity,potential" can by no means be glossed either by "favour" or "leniency". Further evidence that the explanationof 'afw-fadl as leniency is not accurate is to be found in a repeat of this hadith the book of abu Yisuf already in mentioned (p. I47). The isndd is identical: Sufydn-b. 'Abbds. The Tw.ws--b. differenceis in formulation. The traditionin the book of abu Yfsuf runs as follows: "'Abd Allah b. 'AbbIs said: There is nothing in the (taxationof) amwil of the Ahl al-Dhimma except 'afw". In this tradition 'afw can hardly be translatedby leniency. (Fagnan's translationhere is "il n'y a autre chose que l'indulgence" (p. I89).) We are fortunatelyfurther helped by a remarkablepassage in abu 'Ubayd's Kitdb al Amwdl (No. 253). Abu 'Ubayd, quoting a discussion of the on whether a fu1.ahd Dhimmi is obliged to pay quotes the view that Dhimmi's are freed from fada.ka, sadakaexcept in merchandise.Abu 'Ubayd remarks:"It is in my opinion an explanatory interpretation(ta'wil)of the tradition told on the authority of... ibn Sa'd, who asked ibn 'Abbis: "What about the amwalof the ahl al-Dhimmd?"and he replied This al-'afw.Abu Ubayd explains: "He wanted to say: they were freed from sadak~a. recalls the saying of the Prophet: "We freed you ('afawnd) from the sadakaof horses and slaves". (About the tradition concerning horses and slaves, compare N. P. Aghnides: MohammedanTheories p. z57). But the intention of the two traditions in the collection of Yahyd is neither "leniency" nor "exemption". The two traditions are closely connected with the tradition of of Ibn Zandjawayh. .tia If, then, 'afw, is to be glossed by tdika, how will the traditions now read? The explanatoryfadl is a legal technical term. The answer of 'Ali in tradition No. 234 should be translated:"Woe to We were ordered to take from them (i.e. from the Ahl al-Dhimma)the surplus, which means 'redundancy"'. thee, In this chapter, dealing with djig and kharadjthe two traditions are compleya mentary to tradition 232, where 'Umar b. al-Khattib said: "I commendto the khalifa 1. I) Compare al-Tabari: Ihtildf, ed. Schacht p. 218 sadaAa. 9. wa laysa calaahl ad dhimma siwd Ban! Taghlibfi mawdhibihim sadaka. to men and women 1). Here, in the tradition of Abu 'Ubayd, 'afw has to be translated "exemption". This also applies to the citation about the Ahl-al-Dhimmawhere the referenceis to the camels, cows or sheep. (Abf Yfsuf continues: "There is no Zakatin the cattle of the Ahi al-Dhimma,in the camels or cows or sheeps.") The rule applies equally 328 MISCELLANEA succeeding me that he affordgood treatmentto the Ahlal-Dhimma,keep the covenant with them, fight for them and not take from them above their capacity". The applicationof the idea of td.a is shown in tradition241, where 'Umar asks his representatives in 'Irak: "How have you charged the peasants?" They replied: "We charged every man 4 dirhams month". 'Umar replied "I rather think you have per made the charge excessive. Who can cope with it(yu.tfu)?" They said: "They have surpluses and belongings (asbyj)". The word fadl, as a legal term, makes of this tradition an important ruling in fiscal theory. The word 'afw being ambiguous (for further confusing meanings of 'afw compare Lokkegaard: Islamic taxationp. 8o line 32) must be replaced by an explicit and concrete term, stating the idea of thefa&ib.The corresponding tradition in abu Yfisuf's kharadjwas rightly translatedby Fagnan: "car l'ordre qui nous a be translated: "Ibrihim b. Sa'd asked ibn 'Abb~s "What (is the principle to be And he answered: applied) in (taxationof) the possessions of the Ahl ad-Dhimma?". "'Surplus' which means 'redundancy"'."To take the surplus" (akhadha al-fadl) is an explicit legal term, often used in the kharddj literature: e.g. abu Yfisuf; Kitab al is that the Dhimmi has to pay the surplus of his income. Means of production and became closely associated capitalhad to be left intact. It was in this way that 'afw-faJdl with the idea of bearabletaxes: fdja. In this lies the majorsignificanceof the tradition of ibn Zandjawayhwhich is in essence identical with the traditions of Yalhyd. The part of the tradition under discussion should then be translatedas follows: ... "We were ordered to take from them merely the surplus. Do you know what the surplus is? (al'afw).It is collection according to their capacity (.tdf.a)". There are many explicit expressions of this kind: e.g. abu Yfisuf p. 126 ... "Allah ordered us to take from them only the surplus (al-'afw)and we are not allowed to impose on them (taxes) beyond their capacity". The two traditions in Yahyi's The 'afw-fa4l-tdf.aidea which is mentioned in Lokkegaard's Islamic taxation (p. 79) is given an incorrect connotation. It is not "according to the utmost ability, which probably means that the 'afw or fadl (surplus) that is calculated to be held by the taxpayersis estimated as high as possible". On the contrary:the 'afw-fa4l-.ttdka conception took into consideration changes in the economic situation of the taxpayer, and limited the tax gatherer's demand to what was bearable. This principle of modifying taxes in the light of changing conditions, i.e. a proportional tax-is opposed to the principle of a fixed tax which 'Umar is alleged by later jurists to have instituted. A clear illustration of the application of the two principles of taxation is to be found in the story about the people of Ruhi (Abfi Yfisuf: Kitabal-Kharddj 47). p. and The account of this incident was misinterpretedby D. C. Dennett (Conversion Poll Tax in Early Islam, Harvard 195o) and incorrectly translatedby Fagnan. The is originally connected conclusion of Lokkegaardin this case that 'ala .adri .t-tda with a forcible conquest" is without a basis in the text. (p. 80o sup.). b. Ghanm a fixed sum (arsald The besieged people of Ruha offered to pay 'Iy•d i.e. 'ala sammawhbf" they sent to Iyad b. yas'aluna-s-sulh" shay'" ild 'Iydd b. Ghanm x) Compare: Nahdj al Bal~gha-IbnAb! HadidI, 1 35 aboutthe policy of taxation. kharddj are closely bound up with the traditions of tdika (232, 235, 236) 1). Kharddj p. 16 ".... to take from them merely the surplus (al-fadl)". The 'afw-fadllidea et6 donne est de ne leur prendre que l'exc6dent" (p. 24). Thus tradition 233 should MISCELLANEA 329 Ghanm asking for peace on the basis of a fixed sum which they named". (The translationof Dennett reads ... "they offeredto surrender,but only on terms which they themselves might propose" is incorrect). 'Iyid asked Abu 'Ubayd about this. Aba 'Ubayd consulted Mu'ddh b. Djabal who replied: "If you make peace with and they are unable to pay it them on a basis of a fixed sum ('ald shay'" musamm") the course of time) you could not kill them and you will necessarilyabolish the (in fixed sum, imposed according to the conditions (of the treaty). And if they prosper they would pay the sum, not being humiliated, as was ordered for them by Allah" is minhum startling. It reads (Fagnan's translation (p. 63) of the phrase 'ald saghdr~" faite des impub6res au sujet de qui il existe une prescription divine "exception speciale". Of course there was nothing in the treaty about "impuberes", It refers to verse 29 in al-Tauba in the Kurdn and compare al-Tabari:Ikhtildf, ed. Schacht Mu'ldh's recommendation,then, was that the tax to be imposed should be scaled according to what they could bear. Any change in their condition was to be reflected in the scale of assessment.In this way the conditions of the treatywould be fulfilled. The opinion of Mu'idh had been transmittedto 'Iy•d who told the people of Ruh! what was in the letter. Muslim scholars held differentviews about the treaty: some said that the people signed the treaty on the basis of a tax according to the capacity of the tax-payers;others maintainedthat the people of Ruhi rejected the terms they were offered knowing that they had a surplus of money which they would have lost so they demanded a fixed sum tax. if they were taxed on the basis of .tda, the strength of their defences and having no hope to take Ruhd by force, 'Iy.d seeing agreed to grant them peace accepting what they asked for. Nothing in this story suggests that the people of Ruha "split sharply into two camps" (1) -as Dennett says. There is no mention of a "group composed of the wealthy, who possessed concealed (sic) goods and sources of income, which would be taxed. . .". It is perhapsfair to assume that the wealthy people of Ruhi entertained such fears-but the factors quoted by Dennett are not given in Abu Yisuf's Kitdb al kharddj. Dennett's remark that "the latter group prevailed" (page 44) is a logical inference from a false premise. Dennett did not understandthe Arabic passagefa'khtulifa'alayhifi hddha'l-mawdi': fa.kald ~a'il"".: "differences of p. 231, para 143). people of Ruha) accepted the terms of the treaty on the basis of the tika principle; others said that they disapproved of it, knowing their possessions and surpluses (of money) would be lost if the assessment were made on the basis of .tdka".The dispute is not between the people of Ruha as wrongly expounded by Dennett, but between the Muslim scholars. For the Muslim scholars exact knowledge of the terms of the treaty was essential, since this treaty served as a precedent for the system of taxation. No-where in the story is there a hint that 'Iy•d "received permission on his own judgement". On the contrary: the tendency of the tradition is to show that the principle of tdaka is the right one, accepted and recommended by Mu'idh b. Djabal,the Companionof the Prophet. 'Iyi~dhad to act according to his advice and accept the principle of tax according to .td.a. is originally connected with Lakkegaard's conclusion "that 'ald .adr' is not acceptable.The opposite could a conquest by arms without a treaty" (p. 80) .t-.tdka" kabilu s-sulh" 'ala t-tdka. This passage should be translated k.adri opinion arose (between the scholars--): some said that they (the 330 MISCELLANEA be true, since people making a treaty would prefer to have a tdikatax than a 'ald tax. Other reasons why Ruha might prefer Cald shay'"musamm'" shay'"musamma" can only be putative; the uncertainty of continued Muslim rule for instance, in which case a fixed sum is preferable1). The two variant traditions about the terms of the treaty are reflected in two equally varying traditionsabout the contents of the treaty(Futfhb 18z ed. 1319 H.). p. One suggests a proportional tax, the second states that a fixed sum was levied. Lokkegaard writes with a deep insight: "Strictly speaking it should be possible to imagine a peace treaty (fulb)in which the conditions for the yield of tribute are not exactly defined, while the circumstancesof possession are left in their earlierform" mentioned. (p. 79). The form of such a treatyis provided in the case of the .td#a-treaty I have granted them security for their lives, possessions, offspring, women, "... city and mills, so long as they give what they rightly owe. They are bound to repair our bridges and guide those of us who go astray. Thereunto, Allah and his angels and the Moslems are witnesses". (Hitti's translation I, 273). The conditions are exactly those assumed by Lokkegaard.The conception was accepted by a group .tdka of leading who were opposed to the idea of fixed2)taxeswhich though Muslimfu,.ahd it went back to the time of 'Umar was, in their view, unjust. A striking evidence for the struggle of a group offukahd in favour of the idea is found in a remar.tPka about him: Tandhib kable story about the famous scholar 'Ati b. abi (see at-Tandhib, VII, 199-203) who demanded courageously from Hishfm b. 'Abd al Rabh. Malik to treat justly the Ahl al Dhimma and not to charge them beyond their capacity. He was promised by the Caliph,that taxes would be imposed on them only in the limits of their capacity(Ibn 'Arabi: Mubhdarat Abrdr, I, 265). Abit 'Ubaydbeal longed to this group as we see in his Al Amwdl (P. 40): "that is in our opinion the system of djityaandkharddj: aremerelywithin the limits of capacity".Abfl Yfisufis they in general agreement (Kitdbal kharddj pages 44 and Ioo). This opinion was fortified "according Kitdb Abfi 'Ubayd. Tdka utmost ability", which means that the surplus that is calculated to be held by the taxpayers is estimated as high as possible-as Lokkegaard interprets it; td.a is a sum imposed on the taxpayeraccording to his financialcapacity, paying due regard to his requirements to continue in business. The of course, td.a principle was, equally in the long term interest of the ruling Muslim class. It was Abfi Yfisuf, who demanded a fiscal policy of and called for gentleness in the treatment of .tdka the Dhimmis. (Aghnides: MohammedanTheories of Finance p. 407). It remains for us to examine the semantic changes of 'afw as a fiscal term. There can be little doubt that the tradition of ibn 'Abbas is closely connected with the sentence of the IKurdn:khudh' l'afw (Al-Arif 199). The meaning of the expression was fervently disputed already in early times since cafwis a homonym. It was only under influence the I) The last sentencein the story is distortedby Dennett,apparently of the translation Fagnan.Alldhu aClam" dhblika of ayyu kdnais not "God knows if these detailsare true" (Dennett).The correcttranslation "God knows what of this (story) is: or a fixed sum tax); but (it is fact),that a treaty happened (i.e. whetherthey accepted .tdka was concluded, according to which the city was taken; there are no doubts about it". 2) Comp. about fixed taxes in Yemen abolished by 'Umar b. cAbd al CAziz: I. cAbd al IHakam: Sirat CUmar b. cAbd al CAiZr p. 126. and again by traditions like numbers 240 and 241 in the Kitab al kharddj of al Amwil of is not Ya.hyl to the by No. io6 in the MISCELLANEA 331 natural that the differentideological groups interpretedthe word to suit their own ends. Ibn Kutayba p. 186/7 Cairo 1355 H. and Ta'wil Mushkilal Kurdn (al-K.ur~tayn -p. 3--Cairo 1954) looked on the phrase as an epitome of all the virtues, like forgiveness, generosity and altruistic friendship. The phrase was later accepted as literature(compare a cliche for magnanimityof character,especiallyin Zuhdand Bishr FRris:Mabdhith'Arabzyya 40 rem. 3). .S'fi p. A similar meaning was attributed to the expression by scholars discussing the Asbab an-Nu.t1l.The expression was explained as "use indulgence". Some scholars, however, restricted this command given to the Prophet by Allah to the period of his sojourn in Mecca. Though he was ordered to use indulgence towards the unbelievers in Mecca, the commandwas amendedby a laterverse in the IKurdn ordering the Prophet to start waging war against the unbelievers (at-Tauba, 123). The conflicting injunctions were to be an important topic in Nasikh-Mansiikh literature. We have a concise exposition of the differentviews of Muslim scholars in the book Nah.hs, Apart from the view that the verse is an exhortativecommand,there is the view that khudh'l'afw" refers specifically to alms and taxes. The word 'afw is explained in three ways. First, some maintain that 'afw is identical with Zakdt. In this case the command is to be applied to believers and the verse abrogates nothing since 'afw is the payment of surplus as alms laid down by law. Second, another group was of the opinion that 'afw was an additional payment to Zakat, being a payment to be made in times of prosperity. The explanationgiven is: hufadl mdl'"'an .ahr' l'ghind. Thirdly, there is the view that 'afw referred to voluntary alms, in which case the verse was abrogated by the law of Zakdt. (Compare an-Ndsikhwa l'Mansi7kh by Abu l'K~sim Hibatallah Abu Nasr a marginal commentary on Asbdb an-Nutfil by of Abu Dja'far an Kitab ab-Ndsikhwa l'mansikh (Cairo 1357 H. p. 149-5 0). whether the command is restricted to the believers or has to be extended to the unbelievers. But those scholarswho interpreted'afw as alms, restrictedthe reference to the faithful. These different views are of course reflected in the tafdsir on the IKurdn(e.g. Al-Tabari r IX, 97) and in the Tafsir of Bay4dwi on the verse under discussion. The interpreters stressed the exhortative idea of the sentence (as Bustin al-'Arifin p. 91 on the margin of the Tanbihal Ghafilin, as .sft Samarkandi, Sulami, Tafsir al-Hak4ik p. 8Ib--ms or. 9433-Br. Mus.). In one of the oldest fslfi commentaries the tafsir of Sahl at-Tustari (d. 283 H.) we have the surprising interpretation of khudhb l'afw: "take the surplus of their possessions" (p. 39-Cairo Concluding we may sum up: the meaning of 'afw as leniency inherent in the word gave specialcolour to the traditionsabout behaviourtoward the Dhimmis.It has sometimes been interpreted as exemption. The concrete measuring of alms of the believers was transplantedinto the social sphere of the Dhimm7s and acquired the meaning of taxationof the surplus.Hence the word was identifiedwithfadl, a current term denoting taxation by assessment of surplus. The tradition in which 'afw is identified with is a closing link in the chain, showing that the 'afw-fadl identity .taka implies the principleof just and proportionaltaxation,a principlewhich was supported by a number of muslim jurists. 1329 H.). page 170). Scholars al-W.hidi interpretingkhudh' l'afwaas "useindulgence"were dividedin theiropinions 332 MISCELLANEA Tradition 2 is Tradition number 80oin Yalhy~'sKitab al-kharadj not restricted to problems of taxation and administration,it touches on the attitude of the Muslim toward his spiritual and secular leaders. Ben Shemesh translates it as follows: "The Prophet invited the "Helpers" in order to assign them something, in writing, in Bahrayn. They said: 'No, not before you allot something similar to our brethren, the "Emigrants".' The Prophet then said: 'You will have other choices (therefore)be patient satarawna Him. If we check the Arabic text which follows Innakum ba'di atharat"a Patti tali.awnithe error is patent. This passage means "After me (i.e. after fa'Sbirdi my death) you will see appropriation;so be patient till you meet me". Ben-Shemesh omitted the word ba'di and wrongly translated the word atharat which means "appropriation"as "choices". But even in my version the implication of the tradition is not clear. One must consult other sources in order to establish the point of the tradition. This tradition told on the authority of Anas is also found in al-BuhI~ri 45 (iz86 A. H. Cairo) in the Bab al-Ka.tdi'. II, Buhiri is explicit, he says "to yukti', i.e. "to allot a ka.ti'a",not the vague expressionyaktubui.e. write",in Yahya. Our traditionis concerned with a sensitive issue, viz.: Who was the first to assign followed? Or was landed property? Was it the Prophet in whose steps the Rdshidin it 'Uthmrn, whose allotments were violently criticized and condemned as bid'a by the Muslim radicalcircles and the shi'a opposition? The traditions are contradictory. Some ascribe allotment of land to 'Umar, others to Ab& Bakr. There are traditions which relatehow 'Umar annulled the allotment of Abi! Bakr, and even the allotment of the Prophet. It is no wonder that such a mass of traditions was invented about the allotment of land since it was one of the vital social problems. Tradition No. 80 of Yahyd bears witness to the fact that the Prophet did in fact assign land, which constituted a legal precedent. Yalbydquotes contradictory traditions stating that 'Uthmin was the first to assign land, not the Prophet, not Abfi Bakr nor 'Umar and numbers 250, 251 and compare Lokkegaard: not 'Ali (Ya.hyi: Kitib al-k.harddj Islamic Taxationpp. 18, 35). An importantmotif included in the traditionis the feeling of brotherhood between the Helpers and Emigrants. It is evidence that in the ideal community of the Prophet bonds of altruistic friendship tied differentgroups of the people together. It is an ideal picture in contrast to the tension and animosity which prevailed between the rival factions after the death of the Prophet. But how is the first part of the tradition connected with the second part, viz. the Prophet's answer about appropriation?There is a lead to the answer in the same In compendium of al-Bukhari(IV, I8i and II, 2 2, zz226). vol. IV the hadithis quoted in Bib alfitan, but is referred to a differentoccasion. The Prophet was asked by a man, why He did not appoint him as 'Amil but gave the appointment to another man; the Prophet replied: "You will see after me appropriation... ". The statement is also cited as a detached hadith.The tradition from Vol. IV is quoted in vol. II, z 2 with an importantaddition: "till you meet me on the i.e. afterresurrection1) .ha4l, generallysee: ibn MdvaII, 579-ed. Cairo 1349 H.: at-Tirmidi I) For haudtraditions till you meetme'." is The reader inclinedto assumethat the Prophet is This translation misleading. "otherchoices"andaskedthemto be patienttill theymeet the promised "Helpers" MISCELLANEA 333 An extension of the hadithis found in Buhlri IV I81. "The Prophet said: 'After me (i.e. after my death) you will see appropriationand things you will disapprove of'. They said: 'What do you command us, O Prophet?' He said: 'Perform the duties imposed on you towards them and ask God for your rights'." Almost identical traditions are found in Muslim VI, 17 (ed. Cairo-i 334 H.), and at-TirmidhiIX, 39. This, then, is the last link in the chain of exposition. The traditionis a prediction of the Prophet about unjust rulers, appropriating the property and land of the as of Nawawi p. 43, and people (compare the explanation of atharatin Riyd4d .Sdli•in Nihaya of Ibn al-Athir s. v. athr). The Prophet commends the faithful to obey their rulers even if they oppress them, and to bear their unjust rule patiently. (Compare: The Muslim VI, 19: Bdb al-amrbi's-sabr'indaZulm'l'wuldtwa'sti'thdrihim). Prophet promises that he will meet them on the day of resurrectionon his haud. This often repeated tradition is variously ascribed to the Prophet as having said it in the following circumstances:i) when granting land to the "Helpers". z) when listening to the complaint of one of the "Helpers", who was not appointed as 'Amil No. 1969) 3) when accused by the Prophet (so also in Abu Dafid at-Taydlisi,Musnad of unjust division of spoils (al-Fath al-Kabir I, 451). It is a tradition of murdji'a character,included in the orthodox collections and adopted by the 'Abbisidfukahd'. It is no wonder that we find a group of such traditions in Abu Yfisuf's Kitdbal(p. io-i ).) These are hadithsof the kind thoroughly analysed by Goldziher Studien(II, 93). These traditions gave religious support to in his Muhammedanische .kharddj the attitude of passivity towards oppression by unjust rulers. From the foregoing it is clearhow two badiths were knitted together. The tradition about the Prophet's rulings in the halcyon days of Islam was attachedto the tradition about unjust rulers. Tradition3. A tradition, to the best of my knowledge, unique, is the object of the next study. It is number 437 in the book of Yahyi and is translatedby Ben Shemesh as follows: "The Prophet brought ba'i dates and dates grown by watering and began eating from the ba'l dates. It was said, that these were purer and better. But He said: 'A belly will not sufferhunger by eating it, nor will the body be afflictedby it'." This translationis misleading. Utiya n'nabiyy'bi (as correctly vocalised in A. M. Shdkir's edition) cannot be translated"The Prophet brought". Lam with the jussive is past tense and cannot be translatedby "a belly will not". Finallythe expression"by eating it" is not given in the Arabic text. The hadithshould be translatedas follows: "The Prophet was offered (utiyabi-somebody brought) ba'l dates and dates grown by watering. He began eating from the ba'l dates. People then said (to Him): (But) these are purer and better! (referringto the watered dates). The Prophet replied: 'A belly did not suffer hunger for it, nor was a body naked for it'." What is the point of the story? The tradition appearsin a chapter entitled "What should not be given as radalka". the discussion on the kinds of dates which are In not to be given as sadalka there is no indication whether ba'l dates or dates grown by watering are preferable as sadaka. IV, i8o; and comparean interesting IX, 276-ed. Cairo 1353 H.; al-Bu~ari story about the haud Ibn-'Asakir 49 ed. Damascus1349 H., see also: Ibn al-Athir:An-Nihdva in IV, s.v. djald. 334 MISCELLANEA The obscurity of this tradition gives way to analysis. The Prophet was given two kinds of dates; on the one hand cultivated which are purer and more fleshy and on the other hand dates of ba'llands, which are smallerthan dates grown on irrigated land. The Prophet began to eat some ba'l dates, and was asked by the believers with him: "Why do you eat ba'l dates-these (i.e. the dates grown on irrigated land) are purer and taste better?" The Prophet replied: "A belly did not suffer hunger for it nor was a body naked for it". His answer explains his action. In contrast to cultivated dates nobody sufferedhunger or was compelled to work naked in order to grow the ba'l dates. Why was this tradition quoted by Yahyi? How is it connected with sadaka? The answeris that there was no badith dealing with the qualities of sadakaproducts literature that based on Muhammad'sown experience. It is well attested in the Prophet never ate from the products of sadaka(compare.hadith al Barr, Al Ibn 'Abd al ruwdh 69) though of course He ate from gifts given to Him by p. Inbdh ala the believers. The dates discussed in this hadi-t were a had?yya, gift as we can infer a K.abdil from the expression utiyabi = he was given, i.e. somebody brought. It is left to the reader to deduce the fact that since the Prophet preferred ba'l dates they could be used for sadaka. Furthermore, this haditbreflects the growth of big estates'), the irrigation of land, and the tasks performed by slaves and prisoners of war often living in unspeakableconditions. These changes took place in the first two centuries of the Muslim era which S. D. Goitein has describedin his article: "The rise of the Bourgeoisie in the middle East"2). It was a period of transitionfrom triballife in the desert to an urban and agriculturalsociety. Occasional reference is made to the organisation of such estates. Abd al-Malik sent Byzantine slaves to work on his estates in Yamdma (al-Balddhuri,Ansdb al zalah. Negro slaves were employed by Abd Allh b. 'Amir b. Kurayz in his possessions in the vicinity of Kubd; when they died Abd Allah b. 'Amir abandoned this ed. 'Abdallahb. az-Zubayrin his estates (at-Tanfikhi:alMustadjdd, Kurd 'Ali p. 34). That date palms were cultivated on these estates is attested by Ibn IKutayba cit.) (op. who says that 'Abd Allah b. 'Amir dug wells and grew palm trees on his estates in the vicinity of Nibig, in 'Araf~t and in Basra. The Prophet's concern with human misery in general and hunger and nakedness in particular,is also reflected in the following tradition "If a man brings to God (after his life on earth) any one of four things which follow, he will enter Paradise: giving drink to the thirsty, feeding the hungry (kabid djdi'a), clothing a naked person (kasa djildatan 'driyat"1), freeing a slave. [al-Ya'kabi I, 75 ed. Nadjaf]. A similar turn of phrase occurs in a tradition ascribed both to Jesus and Muhammad "Make hungry your bellies (adji'Rakbddakum) make bare your bodies (a'rf adjsddakum), so that your hearts may see God al estate (Ibn Kutayba, Kitdb al-Ma'drif 139). Negro slaves were employed as well by Ashrif p. o101 b MS.). They rebelled and were killed by the banu Kays b. Han- tradition al-Din III, 70). Al-'Iri.ki, however could not find the K.ulub in the collections of (K.it traditions of the Prophet. Analysis of tradition 437 shows that a school of liberal minded Muslim jurists emphasizedthe Prophet's refusal to condone the harsh exploitation of prisoners and slaves as a behest to Muslims to accept their obligations of social responsibility and to recognise human rights. M. J. KISTER IV, 473 and Ihyd 'Ul/m i) Comp. Solch A. El-Ali: Moslim Estates in HidjaZ in the First CenturyA.H.-J.E.S. H.O. II 13 -p. 247-54. z) Journalof WorldHistory, 1956.

"God will Never Disgrace thee":The Interpretation of an Early Ḥadīth

God will never disgrace thee.pdf GOD WILL NEVER DISGRACE THEE (THE INTERPRETATION OF AN EARLY h a d i t h By M. J. KISTER THE WELL KNOWN TRADITION in al-bukhari, told on the authority of a l z u h r i u r w a a aisha , aisha the conversation between the Prophet and Khadija after he received his first revelation1 contains at the end a phrase variously interpreted by Muslim scholars and translated in modern times in various manners. The contents of the hadith are as follows: After the Prophet had heard the call to prophecy, he came to Khadija with a trembling heart, asking her to cover him. He informed her about his experience and told her of his anxiety for himself. Khadlja encouraged him and assured him, that God would not disgrace him because of his good qualities. N a y by G o d she said, G o d will never disgrace you; you do good unto the kindred, bear the burden of the infirm, bestow alms on the poor, entertain the g u e s t The last phrase of this hadith is: wtuinua l a nananawaibi-haqqin attempt is here made to elucidate the meaning of this obscure phrase, and the problem of the originality of the hadith is briefly discussed. I To start with, there are two interesting variants of this phrase. Al-Maqrizi's version is: wa tuinu a , 2 tuinu hala agnawaibi the l dahrirtunes of time, whereas Ibn Kathir quotes a version nawaibul khairi and interprets it: I f a misfortune befalls some body in a righteous case (idha waqaatnaibatun li ahadin fi khairin), you extend your help and aid him till he finds means of living or sustenance." a l - q a s t a l l a n i i does not quote the version tuinu ala nawaibi l-khairi but interprets the saying in a corresponding manner by giving to the word haqq a meaning similar to that of khair: n n a w a i b means vicissitudes h a w a d i t h she (i.e. Khadija) sainawaibuu l-haqqi because vicissitudes affect the righteous and unrighteous (/i-annahd takimu fi l-haqqi w a l - b a t i l i Labld said: nawaibu min khairin wa-sharrin kilkilahumaa l a '1-khairu mmamdudunn al-qastallanithus contrasts haqq with bdtil; the phrase according to him would mean: you help in vicissitudes. of a righteous case (as opposed to batil an unrighteous one). The verse of Labld, quoted as shahid, does not, however, confirm this interpretation. Labid wanted to say: Vicissitudes of good and evil both (exist), the good is not prolonged, nor the evil lasting-and not vicissitudes in a good or an evil c a u s e La bid's verse can be compared with the one by al-Niibigha al-dhubyani. 5 Wa-ld yabsabiina '1-khaira la sharra badahu: Wa-/d yahsabuna'l·sharra darbata lazibi wa la '1-sharru l a z i b u u 1 Al-Bukhilri: sahih Bab kaifa kana bad'u 1-wabyi, I, 3 (ed. Cairo, A.H. 1286); Muslim: sahih I, 97 (ed. Cairo, A.H. 1334); comp.: Ibn s a d tabaqat I, 195 (ed. Beirut, 1960); al-bakadhuri: ansabbal-ashraf I, 106 (ed. M. h a m i b u l l a h Abil nuaim: d a l a i l al-nubuwwa, p. 68 (ed. Hyderabad A.H. 1320); ai-Slra al-halabiyya, I, 277 (ed. Cairo, A.H. 1351). i m i aal-asma I, 13, inf. (ed. Cairo, 1941). • al-bidaya wa l nihaya III, 7 (ed. Cairo, 1932); and see W. sakakini ummahat al-mmuminin p. 16 (Cairo, n.d.). ' /rshad al-sarl, I, 65 (ed. bulaq A.H. 1323). Dlwiin, p. 12 (ed. m u h Jamal, Beirut, 1929). 28 "GOD WILL NEVER DISGRACE THEE" which conveys the same idea of changes in the conditions of the tribe. The idea of haqq and batil cannot be traced in the verses of either Labid or al-NAbigha. Al- qastallani's interpretation was copied by al-zurqani1 ; al-sira al halabiyya only comments on the word nawaib rendering it hawadith A quite different interpretation of the phrase is given by al kashmiriin his f a i d a l b a r i r i a r i r i i Tu'tuinu alanawaibii-bl haqqi a comprehensive expression for (qualities) mentioned (in this hadith and not mentioned. The banubHhasimgained fame by these features of character. aswaf a n u II Let us turn to the translators: h o u d a s m a r c a i s translate ... "et tu secours les victimes des vicissitues du droit": the words victims of the vicissitudes of right are not, however, found in the text: nawd'ibu '1-baqqi. Sprenger translates 5 : u n d unterstiitzest Leute in unverdientem ungluck," which again can hardly be deduced from the text. Mirza Bashir al-Oin mahmud ahmad's translation reads': a n d you. help those who are in distress," which corresponds to the version of al maqrizi mentioned above. 7 a n unusual rendering is given by W. M. Watt 8 : y o u succour the agents of the t r u t h This translation (although followed by a question mark) is erroneous and was probably caused by confusing nuwwdb with nawd'ib. R. V. C. Bodley's translation': "Hast thou not been loving to thy kinsfolk ... faithful to thy word and ever a defender of the truth" ... merely glosses over the difficulty. III For the elucidation of the phrase under discussion early poetry and prose have to be consulted. A remarkable verse of u r w a b. at-Ward runs as f o l l o w s atahazau minnii an saminta wa-qad tara Bi-jismiya massa11 l-haqqi wa l haqqujahidu The verse is rendered by n o l d e k e "Spottest Du iiber mich dass Du fett geworden. Wlihrend Du an meinen Leibe den Eindruck der pflicht (welche Andern zuerst Nahrung giebt und mir nichts llisst) siehst? Denn die Pfticht greift an." noldeke's rendering is based on the commentary on the words: "Duty is exhausting"; "this means that duties (obligations) come upon him (yatruquhu) and he prefers the fulfilment of duties to his own interest yuthiruh a l a naftihi) and to the interest of his family; he is enduring hunger and drinks cold water. The haqq mentioned means doing good to kindred, bestowing upon the beggar and the kinsman; everybody who practices it is exhausted by it." This meaning of haqq as a social obligation of the noble member of a tribe towards 1 1 sharh al mawahib I, 212-13 (ed. Cairo, A.B. 1325). Op. cit., ib. I, 28-29 (ed. Cairo, 1938). e l b o k h a r i l e straditions islamiques, 3 Die uhn desmohammad I, 333 (Berltn, 1869). Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran, p. 144 (London, 1949). ' Vide above;; n. 2, p. 27. muhammad at M e c c a (Oxford, 1953). The Messenger, p. 52 (Lahore, 1954). Th. n o l d e k e Die Ge,dichte des 'Urwa b. ai-Ward, p. 41 (Gottingcn, 1863). In h a m a s a shuhuba l haqqi (Freytag, p. 723). Op. cit., p. 78. "GOD WILL NEVER DISGRACE THEE" 29 the poor, the needy and e ~ kinsfolk in the Jdhiliyya is further elucidated by the response of Qays b. Zuhayr, quoted by al-bakri l a tashtumanni ya bna wardinfa-ininnan it a u d ala malil huququ '1-'awd'idu Fa-man yuthiri l haqqa l n n a u b a a takun bihi k h u s a s a t u ujismin wa-hwa tayyanumajidu d o not revile me, o son of Ward for o b l i g a t i o n s which come up again and again are turning upon my property; and whoever prefers to fulfil the recurring obligation, his body will turn hollow shaped; he is hungry b u t n o b l e We have here the expression al haqqual naubu t h e recurring obligation" which explains the phrase of the hadith The same expression is found in a verse of muawiya b. m a l i k the m u a w w i d u l h u k a m a he gained his sobriquet by this verse3 : U'awwidu mithlahd l hukamaaa ba'di: Idhd md '1-baqqufl '1-ashyd'i naba accustom the wise men after me to do the like Whenever obligations come upon the tribal groups" a l a n b a r i gives a pertinent explanation of the word haqq as understood by the Beduins, in which obligations like paying the bloodwit for men, who have no means to pay it, and entertaining guests are included. The translation of haqqby Lyall as "just claims" seems not to be justified. A similar explanation of haqq by al-Anbiiri is found in this commentary on the verse mufaddaliyyat IV, 9, where a herd is described which has been diminished by changes of time and fulfilment of social obligations. muawiya b. malik mentions the idea of recurring obligations in another verse': qala qalatybatu qad ghawaita /i-an r a a t /faqqan yundwibu mdlana wa mufudu "Zunayba said: you err, as she saw that obligations keep recurring upon our property, and deputations (asking our help)" An anonymous verse 5 conveys the same idea of the obligations of a noble man: Wa-ld arbau '1-md/a min bubbihi, wa-ld li-1-fikhdri wa-ld li-1bakhal Wa-ldkin li haqqin idhd nabani, wa-ikramidayfin idhd m a nazal i do not care for property for the love of it or for the sake of boasting, or because of avarice; but only for fulfilling obligations when they come upon me, and to honour a guest should he alight." simt a l l a a l i p. 822 (ed. ai-Maimani). a l q a l i a m a l i II, 204: al naduba (ed. a l m a i m a n i mufaddaliyyat CV, IS (ed. Lyall); ai-Bakri: s i m t 190 (ldhiJ mudilu l hadathani n a b a Ibn h a b i b alqabu '1-shu'arlJ, NawlJdlr al-makhtutlJt, VII, 313 (ed. 'Abd al salam h a r u n a b u Zaid: NawlJdlr, p. 148 (ed. al shartuni Beirut, 1894). 1 I, 68-T. 'A. "GOD WILL NEVER DISGRACE THEE" An Umayyad poet, Shabib b. al barsa uses the expression in a reverse order1 : wa ahbisu fi l haqqi '1-karimata, innama yaqumu bihaqqi'1-nd'ibdti saburuha "And I reserve for obligations the valuable (property); for it is only he who endures that can fulfil the duty of recurring obligations" The same poet mentions this idea in another v e r s e wa li l haqqi min mtili idhd huwa dafani nasibun wa-li-1-nafsi '1-sha'd'i nasibu wa la khayra fiman lti yuwattinu naftahu a l a naibati'1-dahri hina tamibu "A share of my property is for an obligation should it come to me; and a share for the unsettled soul. And no good is in a man who cannot train himself to bear the misfortunes of time when they come (upon him)" The word haqq is joined by another verb (alamma) in a verse the mukhadram poet 'Amr b. al-Ahtam8 : Wa-1-badhlu min. mu'dimiha in alamma bihd haqqun wa-ld yashtakinaman yanadiha "And its poor (of the tribe) give freely when an obligation draws near, and he who calls on them (for help) does not complain of them." In another poem by 'Amr' obligations are mentioned together with misfortunes6 : Wa-inni karimun dhu 'iydlin tuhimmuni Nawa'ibu yaghshti ruz'uhd wa haququ "I am a noble man, with a: household to look after; I take care of misfortunes (entailing) losses, and of obligations." The translation by Lyall of huquq as: "calls for brotherly help" seems to be inaccurate. Poets sometimes boast that the noble men of their tribe fulfil their social obligations towards the poor and the needy, holding lightly their property in their generosity. Rabl'a b. Maqriim, one of the warriors and poets of Qabba, says•: Yuhiniina fi l haqqi amwalahum idha '1-lazibdtu iltahayna '1-musima "They hold lightly their property in fulfilment of their obligations; when barren years wear away the (herds) of the owner of the cattle." Lyall translates: "claims on them." The commentary of al-Anbiiri repeats the explanation of h a q q quoted above as including 1 • mufaddaliyyat Comp. op. cit., aghani (3rd ed.), 12, 275. AI-Amidi: al-Mu'ta/1/, p. 68 (ed. Krenkow). Ibn al-Shajarl, hamasa p. SO (ed. Krenkow). 9, mentioned above. 6. mufaddaliyyat 26; T. 'A., I, comp. the verse of Miskin a l d a r i m i wa in haqqun araniahantuha al-'Askarf: DlwiJn al maani I, 29 (ed. A.H. 1352). "GOD WILL NEVER DISGRACE THEE" 31 the expenditure in order to help in cases of bloodwit, bestowing camels, and entertaining guests. The Umayyad Ibn Rumma says1 : Wa-innd lakhushnrm fi '1-liqd'i a'izzatun wa fi l haqqi waddahuna bidun qalamisu "We are harsh and mighty in battle, and in fulfilling obligations bright, shining and generous." In all these cases haqq means obligation, duty. The verbs attached s u c has 'ard, alamma, taraqa, a d a d a f a n a z a l a denote the appearing of the obligation, and are synonymous with n a b a mentioned in the hadith of 'A'isha. It is clear, then, that the phrase Nawd'ibu l haqq like 'awdi'du l haqq means cases of obligations coming upon the tribe, or the community. The expression t u i n u a l a nawd'ibi l h a q q i is a Jdhiliyya term used in praise of tribe and its leaders and was adopted in Islam. It can now be seen that the commentators and translators did not grasp its correct meaning. It may be· remarked, that the qualities enumerated by Khadija in the tradition discussed here are not attributed to the Prophet alone; we find a similar tradition also about Abu Bakr. When the leader of the a h a b i s h Ibn al-Dughunna met Abii Bakr, who was intending to leave Mecca, he laid stress on his behaviour in his clan and mentioned his qualities. He said3 : "You are tlie splendour of your people, you help them (to overcome) the misfortunes (tu'Inu a l a '1-nawii'ibi), you act righteously, you bestow upon the poor. Return ... etc." There is however another version of this story; and it is striking to find that the text is almost identical to the hadith of 'A'isha discussed here. This version is recorded by al bukhari on the authority of alzuhrii-'urwa-'Aaisha Ibn al-Dughunna says addressing Abu Bakr: ."A man like you should not be driven out. You bestow on the poor, you do good to your kindred, you bear the burden (of the poor, forlorn or needy), you entertain the guest, you help in the fulfilment of obligations (tu'lnu a l a nawii'ibi l h a q q i I am your protector. Return etc The similarity of the hadith about the conversation between Khadija and the Prophet, and the story of the conversation between Ibn al-Dughunna and Abii Bakr in the version of al-Bukhari, suggests that this kind of address was a coined formula of praise, current at that period. We find for instance a description of h a s h i m written in a similar style. Many other descriptions of noble men of the Jdhiliyya emphasize exactly these qualities. In later times, even a mawla could be addressed in the same way. When Jarir came with a group of yarbuites asking the help of Fayriiz h u s a y n (a mawla of Tamim) because the people were driven away by drought, he said: "you are the splendour of the people, you help (to overcome) the misfortune (tu'inu 'aid '1-nd'ibati), you bear the burden (of the Ibn ai-Shajari: h a m a s a p. S4. Comp. al baladhuri a n s a b MS. 102Sa: wa./iJ yadfa'u l haqqa idhiJ nazala bihi. Ibn h i s h a m s i r a II, 12; and see Suhaili: al raud ai-Unuf. I, 231 (ed. Cairo, 1917). $ablb, II, 268; and see: Al-Dhahabi: Ta'rlkh, I, 190; Ibn Kathir: ai-BidiJya, III, 173. It is obvious, that the mention of these qualities is more relevant in the case of Abil Bakr; here his social activity is rightly stressed. 1 wa kana yahmilubna '1-sablll wa-yuaddl'l-haqaiqa . .. al zurqani sharh ai-Mmawahib l, 73. 1 32 "GOD WILL NBVE& DISGRACE THBB" needy and the poor)." 1 fayruz handed over 1,000 dirhems to Jarir. Here the praise used in honour of the Prophet and Abu Bakr is applied to a mawla In conclusion it may be said, that the phrase tu'inu a l a nawaibi l h a q q i is closely connected with the jahiliyya social ideal about the fulfilment of duties towards the poor and the needy and it tallies well in the hadith about the Prophet with the other qualities mentioned in it. The phrase has to be translated: "and thou helpest in cases of recurring obligations." The hadith on the conversation between the Prophet and Khadija shows a striking similarity to the tradition about the conversation between AbU Bakr and Ibn ai-Dughunna; this seems to suggest that we· have here a current panegyrical formula. Al-Baliidhurl: a n s a b MS. 1012b.

'A Booth Like the Booth of Moses...' a Study of an Early Ḥadīth

A booth like the booth of Moses.pdf 150 NOTES ANDCOMMUNICATIONS 'A BOOTH LIKE THE BOOTH OF MOSES...' A STUDY OF AN EARLY HADITH 1 I The chapterabout innovationsin mosquesin al-Turiishi's Kit&b al-ha•wdith 2 wa-'l-bida' contains a remarkabletradition about the building of the mosque of the Prophet in Medina which deserves special attention. This tradition, not includedin the orthodoxcollectionsof hadith,is of considerable importance: it seems to belong to a large body of early traditions omitted by later collectors of and it may throw some light on an attitude of the Prophet which had•ith, was later ignored by Muslim scholars. This tradition may help us to understand the views and opinions of the early Muslimscholars. The hadith referredto is told anonymously and runs as follows: 'Abu'lDarda' and Ubayy b. Ka'b measured the mosque; they came afterwards to the Prophet with the rod of the cubit. The Prophet then said: " Nay, a booth like the booth of Moses: thumdm and wood, because the affair wathumdm"n (will happen) sooner than that (bal 'arish""ka-'arWish' M•sd min dkilika a),," The hadithis obscureand abstruse '. a'jal" khashabunfa-'l-amr* and the editor, Muhammadal-Talibi,remarksthat he could not find this story in the collections of traditions about the building of the mosque in Medina, or about the building of the three mosques, nor in the Nihdya of Ibn al-Athir ; he could not find anything which may elucidate the text in the collections of of the biographiesof the Companions the Prophet,nor in the stories about the life of Moses.4 This tradition is, however, given in al-Suyfiti's al-Jdmi' al-saghir" in two versions: (a) a version which contains only a part of the tradition, and (b) a version in which the tradition is reportedin full; both versions contain some slight deviations from the text of al-Turtilshi. The two versions of al-Suyiiti were copied by al-Nabhini in his book al-Fath al-kabir.* The secondpart of the traditionis found in quite a differentcontext, without being connected with the building of the mosque in Medinaor with that of any mosque at all. It is reportedby al-Tirmidhi in the Bdb qisar al-ama2and by 1 Professor R. B. Serjeant kindly agreed to read this article in typescript and has added a few valuable notes, the contents of which are given below. The author wishes to express sincere thanks for the interest Professor Serjeant has shown and for his comments. 2 Abfi Bakr Mubammad b. al-Walid al-Turtfishi, Kitdb al-hatmidith wa-'l-bida', ed. Mubammad al-Tilibi, Tunis, 1959, pp. 93-9. 3 Professor Serjeant remarks that he has often seen roofs built in such a way in South Arabia. These would be He writes (in a letter): ' Khashab would be beams, perhaps palm-trunks. On top of this would be added some wet covered with smaller branches, and then with thum•m. is better tUnand tibn, clay mixed with chopped straw, and this would form the roof. Khushaybdt than khashab because it would mean presumably little branches'. ' P. 94, n. 6. 5 II, 58, 'arsh ka-'arsh Misd ; 59, 'arish ka-'arish Misd thumam wa-khushaybat wa-'l-amr a'jal min dhdlika. c I, 226, 228. 204, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1353. 7Ix, NOTES ANDCOMMUNICATIONS 151 1; Ibn Mija in the &Bbal-bind'wa-'l-khardb Abi! Di'fid quotes the tradition in the Kitib al-adab,in Bdb m The tradition,told on the authority jal'aft'l-bind'., of al-A'mash,runs, in the reportof al-Tirmidhi,as follows : ' 'Abdullahb. 'Amr said: The Messengerof God passed by us when we were busy (repairing)a hut of ours and asked us : "What is this ? " We answered: "It threatened to fall, thereforewe repairit ". The Prophetsaid: "I think the affairwill outstrip that" '. In the collections of Ibn Mija and of Abil Di'id the tradition is also reported on the authority of al-A'mash, but there are some differencesin the formulation of the statement of the Prophet : Md ard al-amr ill a'jal min dhalika, and al-amr asra' min dhdlika. This saying of the Prophet is thus the same as that reportedin the second part of our tradition. There is, however, a differenceof meaning between the saying as quoted by al-Turtfishiand the same saying as reportedby Ibn Mija, AbfitDi'tid, and al-Tirmidhi. The keyword for the understanding of the two traditions is the word amr 'affair'. This word must be interpretedin the tradition of al-Tirmidhi,Ibn Mija, and Abfi Di'fid as meaning 'death '. This is actually the interpretationgiven by Muhammadb. 'Abd al-Hidi al-Hanafi al-Sindiin his commentaryon Ibn Maja. In the same way we can also explain the saying of al-Hasan who, when asked min dMika.4 The meaning of why he did not wash his shirt, said: al-amrawra' the tradition would be: there is no need to repair (or to plaster a wall with Di'id) even huts; death will outstrip clay, as in one of the versions of AbAi your efforts. This saying is in harmony with other statements of the Prophet and his utterances in the Bab gi.r al-amal (e.g. '. .. Be in this world like a wayfarer . . . Ibn 'Umar said: getting up do not hope for the evening . . .') and in the Bdb al-bind'wa-'l-kkarab ... Every expense of the believer will be (' rewardedexcept the expense of building...). The meaning 'death' can, however, hardly apply to the word amr in the tradition of al-Turtfish. The Prophet can hardly be assumed to have told Abu'l-Dardi' and Ubayy not to build mosquesbecause death (i.e. his or theirs) would outstrip the completion of the building; the Prophet's death or that of the builders can hardly be a reason for an injunction to build the mosque in a provisionalway, like the booth of Moses, for the mosque could well serve tradition the believers even after their death. The meaning of al-Turt.ishi's seems thus to be quite different: amr denotes here an affair which will put an end to life in general; it will put an end to worship as well. It means in this 1 r, 540, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1349. Sp, 347, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1348. SIn a modern text from al-Shibr : idha jwr amr AllAh 'ald [ful&n] "if so and so dies". I am translating this phrase as " God's command ". The context is that if a isherman dies, i.e. God's command comes to him, yet his family will continue to receive his share in the fishing -crew'searnings till the end of the fishing season' (R. B. Serjeant). 4 Ibn al-'Arabi, Mubdwrt at-abrar,i, 198. 5 This tradition was emended; the clause added states, 'except the expenses of building mosques '. These expenses will, of course, be rewarded. See a-IIkisdb, 79. Cf. Musaad al: ' Ibn 'AbbAs: the Prophet said : He who builds a mosque for Allah even like p. Tiayshsi, 341 a sand a hollow (dug by) grouse (for laying eggs), Allah will build for him a house in Paradise'. 152 NOTES AND COMMUNICATIONS context destruction,disaster, calamity in which everything will perish. In this tradition of al-Turtiishiamris identicalin meaningwith al-sd'a,the time of total calamity which will be followed by the resurrection. The Prophet said to Abu'l-Dard' : 'The amr, the Day of Judgment, may be sooner than that', for he believed that the s&'a was at hand; there was no need, therefore,to erect not even for mosques. A remarkabletradition quoted by sumptuousbuildings, al-Bayhaqi on the authority of Ibn 'Abbis may be mentioned to strengthen this point. 'The Prophet said: I have not been orderedto build the mosque This meaning of amr as sumptuously (md umirtu bi-tashyid al-masjid)'. identical with al-sd'a can already be detected in the Qur'an, xvi, 1; this is also the explanation given there by the commentators.2 The fact that the Prophetwas overpowered the feeling of the approaching by Day of Judgment, which was duly stressed by Buhl3 and T. Andrae,4may be illustrated by a tradition comprehensively explained by al-Sharif al-Raai.5 'The Prophet said : I was sent at the breath of the Day of Judgment; the Day almost outstripped me' (bu'ithtu nasam al-s&'a,in k4dat la-tasbiquni ft min al-thaqila]). Another version of this tradition [the in here is mukhaffafa is also mentioned by the author; it has nafas instead of nasam. The first version is explained as denoting beginning, and should therefore be literally translated: 'I was sent at the first blowing of the wind of the s&'a'; the meaningis derivedfromthe idea of a breath of wind at the beginningof-theday. The second version, nafas, is said to be derived from the idea of delay, pause. Thus the tradition can be interpretedin two differentways: (a) the Prophet was sent at a time when the Day of Judgment was just about to begin; (b)the Prophet was sent at a time when the Day of Judgment was almost at hand; Allah postponed it for a while, and during this pause the Prophet was sent. A similar tradition is quoted by al-Tirmidhi and by Ibn the mosque of the It is obvious why this tradition about the building ofH.ibban.7 Prophet as quoted in the book of al-Turt•ishiwas omitted by Muslimscholars. The Day of Judgment did not come in the days of the Prophet and there was no reason to quote a tradition which stated clearly that the Prophet believed that the sd'a would happen in his own lifetime. II We can, fortunately, trace the first part of the tradition in other sources. It served as an argumentfor scholarswho claimedthat mosquesshould be built in an austere and modest style, like the mosque of the Prophet. Thus we have Kitib al-sunan al-kubra, II, 439. Ibn Qutayba, al-Qurtayn, 1, 242, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1355; of. P. Casanova, Mohammed et la fin du monde, 15. 3 Das Leben Muhammeds, 145, 157. * Mohammed, 43. 5 Casanova, op. cit., 18 (1), 20, 57. al-Majazat al-nabawiyya, p. 36 ; of.cL 6 Bab al-fitan, xx, 60. 7 1, 9. 2 I NOTES AND COMMUNICATIONS 153 the following tradition, told on the authority of Salim b. 'Atiyya : 'The Prophet said: A booth like the booth of Moses'. The explanation given says: 'He did not like arches 1 about the mosques' (ya'ni annahu kana yakrahu al-taqfi hawdli al-masdjid).2 A slightly different interpretation is The circumstances given to this traditionin Kitdbal-wara'of Ahmadb. H.anbal.3 are also different. in which this saying was uttered according to Ibn H.anbal People asked the Prophet to adorn the walls of the mosque (an yukahhila al-masjid), and the Prophet said: 'No, a booth like the booth of Moses'. The compiler, Ahmad b. explains: 'It is a varnish like antimony H.anbal, (kuhl); the Prophet did not allow it'. Quite a differentversion of this tradition is given in an early treatise compiled by Muhammadb. Hasan al-Shaybani (died A.H.189), summarizedby his pupil Muhammadb. Sama'a (died A.H. 233), in his book al-Iktisib fi al-rizq 'People offered the Prophet to pull down his mosque and to al-mustat.b: The Prophet answered: No, a booth like the booth of Moses'.4 build it anew. The tradition is also quoted in the book of Nasr b. Muzdhim,Waq'atSiffin.5 It is quoted there on the authority of : ' When the Prophet intended al-H.asan to build his mosquehe said: Build for me a booth like the booth of Moses'. In the sources quoted above the expression about the dry branches and thumnmis missing; the second part of the tradition, about the amr which will outstrip the effort of the builders,has been cut off. III The whole tradition of al-Turtfishi is found in the Tabaqdtof Ibn Sa'd (1, 2, p. 2; in the edition of Cairo, A.H. 1358, vol. II, p. 5). The Prophet, says the tradition of Ibn Sa'd, covered the mosque with palm branches. He was asked: Why not cover with a ceiling ? The Prophet answered: 'A booth 1 The word 'arch' is used here to translate Arabic ftq. According to Professor Serjeant or taqa is in South Arabian usage a window, an aperture (letter dated 20 August 1960), '.t&q (especially in a technical sense, to a tomb), a niche in a wall for holding a lamp or something of the kind. Such a niche in my experience is usually made in a clay wall and may be topped by a round arch or pointed arch (in clay), or it could simply have a wooden top on the post and lintel These features of building, mentioned by Professor Serjeant, did not exist in the principle'. mosque of the Prophet, and orthodox circles were opposed to them. It was 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz who was the first to build the mibrab in the form of a niche when he rebuilt the mosque in Medina by order of al-Walid (details about this innovation, Creswell, A short account of early Muslim architecture, 44). The tq al-imAm in the traditions quoted by al-Turtishi seems thus to be identical with the mikrab (cf., eg., p. 94, fa-min dhalika al-maharib... fa-taqaddama al-Hasan wa-tazala al-taq an yusalliya fihi . . . wa-kariha al-salat fi tdq al-imAm al-Nakha'i .. .). The fundamental sense of mibrab, as elucidated by Professor Serjeant, was in fact columns and a space it was introduced between them. Mi4rdb in the form of an arched niche was an innovation; at the end of the seventh century and was fiercely opposed by the orthodox. Tdq as mihrab was considered as bid'a. 2 Al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan, ii, 439. 3 Ed. Cairo, A.H. 1340, p. 107 ; compiled by Abdi Bakr Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Marwazi. 4 P. 78 - Ed. Beirut, p. 238. Also 'Umdat al-akhbdr, p. 81. Cf. Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyya, ZCd al-ma'ad, 1i, 146. VOL. XXV. PART 1. 13 154 NOTES AND COMMUNICATIONS like the booth of Moses, wood pieces and thumam; the affair (will happen) sooner than that '.' The same tradition, told on the authority of Shahrb. Haushab2and quoted in the Sira Halabiyya,3 contains a few interesting additions: 'When the Prophet wanted to build the mosque he said: " Build for me a booth like the booth of Moses, thumdmdt and dry branches and a covering like the covering of Moses, and the affair (will happen) sooner than that ". He was asked: "What is a covering of Moses ? " and he answered: "When he stood up his head touched the ceiling"'. This very tradition is quoted by Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Hamidal-'Abbisi in his' Umdatal-akhbdrfimadinatal-mukhttr4; the source given is the collection of Razin.5 Anotherversion of this tradition, in a slightly differentform, is given by the 'Umdatal-akhbdr the Sira Halabiyya: 'When the Prophet wanted to build and the mosque he was told [the Sira Halabiyya comments: Gabriel told him]: " A booth like the booth of Moses, thy brother ". Anas said : Thus the Prophet built it the first time from palm-branches; four years after the hijra he built the mosque from bricks '.6 A tradition quoted in both books mentions a different situation upon which the saying was uttered. Rain used to drip into the mosque. Since the covering contained little clay, the mosque was filled with muddy water. The believers then came to the Prophet and asked him to give an order that the ceiling be plastered with clay, in order to prevent the rain from drippinginto the mosque. The Prophet answered: 'No, a booth like the booth of Moses'. The mosque was left in this state until the death of the Prophet.7 In conclusion we may assume that the tradition quoted by al-Turtfishi was already widely spread in the circles of Muslim scholarsat the beginning of the third century of the hijra, or even at the end of the second century. Quoted from Ibn Sa'd in Nuwayri, Nihlyat al-arab, xvi, 345. See his biography, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, Iv, 369. 3 Ed. Cairo, A.H. 1320, n, 71; Sirat DahlAn (on margin of Halabiyya), I, 357. 4 Ed. As'ad Taribziini, p. 80. According to a tradition mentioned in the Sfrat al-Dimy4tT, quoted in the Halabiyya (loc. cit.), the explanation of the booth of Moses is given by al-Hasan, who reported the tradition. 5 Razin b. Mu'iwiya b. 'Ammir al-'AbdAri (d. 535/1140), cf. Brockelmann, GAL, Suppl., I, 630. 6 The saying of Anas is not mentioned in the Halabiyya. Libn, here translated 'bricks', means, as Professor Serjeant points out, fundamentally clay bricks, but one may assume fairly safely that in a hastily constructed building they would be of unbaked clay, cf. Landberg, Gloss. dat., in, Leiden, 1942, 2611 [reference supplied by Professor Serjeant, who also refers to the terms zjur and libn in RSO, xxvInI, 1953, 8, and madra and lubna in Le Muswon, LXII, 1-2, 1949, 160]. In the sources relating to our tradition there is, however, a controversy over the question of these bricks and their form. Some support for taking libn to mean unbaked clay bricks in this tradition may be adduced from the following tradition about the mosque built in Bawra by Abii Mils al-Ash'ari : wa-band Abj Mi~a al-Ash'ari al-masjid wa-ddr al-imara bi-libn wa-tin wa-saqqafaha bi-'l-'ushb (al-Balidhuri, Futii4, ed. Cairo, A.H. 1319, p. 355)-he built it from clay bricks and clay and covered it with brushwood [using this word for 'ushb at Professor Serjeant's suggestion]. 2 1 7 'Umdatal-akhbar,81 ; al-Halabiyya,loc. cit. NOTES AND COMMUNICATIONS 155 That is evident from the quotation in the Tabaqdtof Ibn Sa'd. The mosque of the Prophet was in fact built in a very simple, even primitive, way,1 and resembled a booth." The saying of the Prophet about the Day of Judgment seems to reflect truly his feeling in the first period of his stay in Medina. The comparison with the booth of Moses in this period is not surprising: his relations with the Jews in Medina were not yet hostile. This tradition seems thus to belong to an early layer of hadithof considerableimportance. M. J. KISTER THE TURKISH VERSES OF QASIM AL-ANVAR (PLATE I) In the preface to his edition of the Kulliydt i Qdsimi Anvr 3 (printed at Tehran, 1337/1958-9, p. 112) Professor Sa'id Nafisi alludes to the difficulty he has encounteredin establishing the text of four of the poems (pp. 406-8) which the Persian poet wrote, playfully as it seems, either completely or partly in Turkish. Although the editor had ten manuscriptsat his disposal, he has to admit himself (in a footnote on p. 406) that the Turkish of the four poems in their present form is largely incomprehensible. He consoles his readerson this point with the promise of an improved edition of the Kulliydt, proposed for some future date. With the aid of the nine manuscripts available to me in this country, of which one is outstanding, the text can be considerably improved. These manuscriptsare: British Museum Ff. 157v; 210v-211r. Dated 857/1453-4 (A) Or. 3304 (Rieu, Supplement, 183) p. Ff. 155r ; 210r. A manuscriptof 268 ff., dated (B) Or. 11363 861/1456-7, which was acquiredin 1933. The copyist's name is 'Abdullahal-Isfahani Ff. 138v; 180r. Dated 877/1472-3 (Rieu, (C) Or. 2501 Supplement,p. 184) Ff. 149r ; 204r-204v. Fifteenth century(Rieu, (D) Add. 18874 I1,p. 636) 1 See Ibn Sa'd, loc. cit.; Yiqit, Bulddn, s.v. Yathrib; EI, s.v. 'MasdWjid' (Pedersen); 2-11, 25. Creswell, Early Mwslim architecture, s2 cf. Tha'lab's explanation of the verse of al-A'shi (Dfiwn, ed. Geiger, xxix, 4). It was a construction of trunks covered with dry branches, where people used to seek shelter from the heat. Cf. Abil Dharr'scommentary,ed. Bronnle, p. 424, and cf. the verse of Mutawakkilal-Laythi, Aghdni, xx, 38. 3 On the poet (757-837/1356-1433-4) see Browne, LHP, m, 473-86; F. Kopruili in his article Anatolu'da Isladmiyet (Dir fil-Flinlin Edebiyst Fakiiltesi Mejmfi'asl (Istanbul), Year 2, No. 6, 1339/1923, 467-8) gives a valuable summary of the sources on Qisim al-Anvir. His promise of a monographon the life and works of the poet has so far remained unfulfilled.

'You Shall Only Set out for Three Mosques'. A Study of an Early Tradition

three_mosques.pdf « YOU SHALL ONLY SET OUT FOR THREE MOSQUES » A STUDY OF AN EARLY TRADITION « You shall only set out for three mosques: The Sacred Mosque (in Mecca), my mosque (in Medina) and al-Aqsa mosque » (in Jerusalem) 1, this well-known tradition of the Prophet licensed the pil1 Literally: ((The saddles (of the riding beasts) shall not be fastened (for setting out for pilgrimage) except for three mosques.) ... la tushaddu l-rihalu illa ila thalathati masajida : ila l-rnasjidi l-harami wa-masjidi hadha wa-l-masjidi l-aqlJa.Al;tmad b. ~anbal : Musnad, ed. Al;tmad Mul;t. Shakir, Cairo 1953, XII, 177, no. 7191, 241 no. 7248 with a version tushaddu l-rihalu; and see the references given by the editor ad no. 7191; Mul;t. Fu'ad 'Abd al-Baqi: al-Lu'lu'u wa-l-rnarjan lima 'ttalaqa 'alayhi l-Shaykhan, Cairo 1949, II, 97, no. 882; 'Abd al-Razzaq: al-MU§annal, Ms. Murad Molla 604, ff. 39b-40a with the following isnlids: Ma'mar (died 153 AH» al-Zuhri (died 124 Ali» Ibn al-Musayyab (died 94 AH» Abii. Hurayra; Ibn Jurayj (died 150 AH» 'Amr b. Dinar (died 126 AH» ,!,alq b. ~abib (died circa 100 AH» Ibn 'Umar; Ibn Jurayj> la tu'rnalu l-matiyyu); Ibn ~ajar : Bulugh almaram min adillati l-ahkam, ed. Mul;t. ~amid al-Fiqqi, Cairo 1933, p. 287, no. 1408; al-Muttaqi ai-Hindi: Kanz al-'ummal, Hyderabad 1965, XIII, 233, no. 1307: la tushaddu rihiilu l-rnatiyyi ilii masjidin yudhkaru llahu lihi illa ... The combined tradition contains Naq.ra b. Abi Naq.ra (with the version: recommendations of the Prophet in connection with the times of prayer, fasting and ib., p. 234, no. 1310: innama masjidi l·Ka'bati wa-rnasjidi wa-rnasjidi lliya; in prohibition concerning women travelling unaccompanied; yusalaru ila thaliithati masajida: an additional utterance Ka'ba.; the Prophet states that a prayer in his mosque (i.e. in Medina) is more liked by God than a thousand prayers elsewhere except in the mosque of the al-Durr alI'lam al-sajid bi-ahkam al-masajid, ed. Mu~taIa al-Maraghi, Cairo 1358 AH, pp. 208, 268, 288, 388; al-Subki: Shila'u l-saqam Ii ziyarati khayri l-anam, Hyderabad 1952, pp. 117-124, 140; 11.1- Wasiti : Faq,a'ilu l-bayti l·muqaddas, Ms. Acre, f. 37b-38a; al-Bayhaqi: al-Sunan al-kubra, Hyderabad 1352 AH, V, 244; al-Suyiiti: al-Jami' al-lJaghir, Cairo 1330 AH. II, 200,1.8; al-Shaukani: Nayl al-autar, Cairo 1347 AH, VIII, 211; Ibn aI-Najjar: al-Durra al-thamina Ii ta'rikh al-Madina, appended to al-Fasi's Skila' al-gharam, Cairo 1956, II, 357; 11.1Samhiidi: Wala' al-wala bi akhbar dar al-mUIJ!ala,Cairo 1326 AH, I, 294; al-Ghazali : lhya' 'ulUm al-din, Cairo 1933, I, 219; Ibn Taymiyya: Majmu'at al-rasa'il al-kubra (/i ziyarati bayti l-rnaqdisi, Cairo 1323 AH), II, 53, 55; id. : Talsir s11ratil-ikhla§, Cairo 1323 AH, pp. 121, 124; id. : Minhaj al-sunnati l-nabawiyya Ii naqq,i kalami l-shi'ati l-qadariyya, ed. Mul;t. Rashad Salim, Cairo 1964, II, 340; Mujir al-Din: al-Una al-jaW bi-ta'rikh al-Quds wa-l-Khalil, Cairo 1283 AH, I, 205; Al;tmad b. 'Abd al-~amid 11.1ib., p. 235, no. 1318; p. 170, no. 955; p. 172, no. 966; al-Suyiiti: manthilr, Cairo 1314 AH, IV, 161; al-Zarkashi: 174 grimage to the mosques of Medina and Jerusalem in addition to the obligatory ~ajj and 'umra to Mecca. A vivid controversy arose over the authenticity of this tradition which grants, as it does, an exceptional position to Medina and Jerusalem 2. This ~adith is in fact a restricting one and seems to imply the prohibition of pilgrimage and visit to mosques and sacred places other than those indicated. The custom of such pilgrimage apparently had its origin at a very early period and was already in vogue in the second century. In the course of the fierce polemics concerning the permission of journey to visit the tomb of the Prophet, the minor sanctuaries and the graves of prophets and saints, this ~adith was closely studied and analyzed and became the pivot of the discussion whichlasted through many centuries. The crucial point was to establish the meaning and the intention of the initial phrase of the sentence: lii tushaddu l-ri~iilu illii ilii ... « the saddles shall not be fastened (for journey) except for»... As the exception is of the kind of al-istithnii' al-mufarragh in whichthe general term is not expressed - the partisans 'Abbasi: 'Umdat al-akhbiir fi madinat al-mukhtiir, ed. As'ad al-Tarabzflnl, Alexandria, n.d., p. 72; al-Nuwayri : Nihiiyat al-arab fi funun al-adab, Cairo 1925, I, 327; Ch. D. Matthews: 'l.'he Kit. Bii'i~u-n-nuliis of Ibnu-l-Firkiil,l, JPOS, xv (1935), p. 54 (id. : Palestine-Mohammedan Muthir Holy Land, New-Haven 1949, p. 10); Shihab al-Din al-Maqdisi: I·Qudsi uxi-l-Shiim, Ms. Damascus, ~ahiriyya, Ta'rikh al-qhariim. Ii ziyiirati 720, p. 133; Shams al-Din al-Suyut! : It?liil al-akhi§~ii bi-Ia4ii'ili l-masjidi l-aqsii, Ms. Hebrew Univ., f. 7a; Abu ,!,alib al-Makki: Qut al-qulicb, Cairo 1932, III, 182; Taqi al-Din 'Abd al-Malik b. Abi l-Muna, 'Ubayd al-Darlr : Nuzhatu l-OO~irin, Cairo 1308 AH, p. 98 sup.; Ibrahim al-wahhabiyyati l-irniimi l-Subki al-Samnudi al-Mansiir! : Sa'adat al-diirayn Ii l-radd 'alii l-lirqatayn l·~iihiriyya, Cairo 1319 AH, pp. 120-21, id. : Nusratu. Cairo, n.d., Matba'at al-jumhiir, pp. 36, wa-l-muqallidati bi-raddi l-I}iirimi l-munki, 161, 182, 191; al-Darimf : Sunan, al-Madina 1966, I, 271, no. 1428; al-KhaHabi: Ma'iilim al-sunan, ~lalab 1933, II, 222; al-Jarral;1i: Kashf al-khalii' wa-muzil al -ilbiis 'ammii 'shtahara min al-al,liidith 'alii alsinati l-niie, Cairo 1352 AH, II, 354, no. 3016.; al-Nasa'i: Sunan, Cairo 1930, II, 37; Shihab al-Din al-Khaffiji: Nasim al-Riyiiif, Ii sharf! shilii' l-qiirJ,i'IyiirJ" Istanbul, 2 1315 AH., III, 580; al-Ghaytf : Qil}l}atal-isrii' wa-l: Irshiid ol-siiri, Cairo 1326 AH, III, 239, 244. Halle 1890, II, 35-36; S.D. Goitein: History and im Islam, Calcutta nach Studien, mi'riij, Biilfiq 1295 AH, p. 18.; al-Qastallani I. Goldziher: Muhammedanische The sanctity 01 Jerusalem Institutions, University and Palestine in early Islam, Studies in Islamic ~iddiqi: Leiden 1966, pp. 135-148; J. Fiick: Die Rolle des Traditionalismus l;ladith Literature, und die Press, 1961, p. XXVI; W. Caskel: Der Felsendom ZDMG, XCIII (1939), pp. 23-24; Mul;1. Zubayr Walliahrt Jerusalem, Kiiln und Opladen 1936, pp. 25-26, notes 36, 38; A.A. Duri: al-Zuhri, BSOAS XIX, pp. 10-11; id. : Baf!th Ii nash'ati 'ilmi l-ta'rikhi Muh, 'Ajjaj al-Siba'i: al-Khapib : al-Sunna qabla l-tadwin, al-Sunna 'inda l-'arab, Beirut 1960, p. 99; Cairo 1963, pp. 501-514; Mu~taffi Cairo 1961, pp. 399-402. wamakiinatuhii Ii l-tashri'i l-islamiyyi, AN EARLY TRADITION 175 of the prohibition of journeys to the grave of the Prophet and to minor sanctuaries maintained that the ~adith should be interpreted as « do not set out for any place except for the three mosques I). Those who approved of such pilgrimages argued that the meaning of the phrase was « do not set out for any mosque except for the three mosques.» As they considered the general term from which exception is made to be « mosques » they concluded that the faithful should set out as regards mosques (for the purpose of prayer and devotion) - only for these three mosques; for other sanctuaries there is no reservation 3. 3 Al-Subki, op. cit., p. 118 seq ... Fa-'lam anna hadha 1-istithna'a mularraghun, taqdiruhu la tushaddu 1-ril!lilui1iimasjidin i1laila 1-masiijidi 1-thalathati,au la tushaddu l-ril)ii,lu i1ii makiinin illii ila 1-masiijidi 1-thalathati... , and see ib, p. 121 :... [a-naqala imamu l-{!aramayni 'an shaykhihi annahu kiina yufti bi-1-man'i 'an shaddi 1-ri{!iili ila ghayri hiidhihi 1-masiijidi. qiila : wa-rubbamii kiina yaqu1u. yukrahu~, wa-rubbamii JcanayaqUlu «yu{!arramu~ ... ; al-Ghasal], op. eit., I, 219 :... ua-qad dhahaba ba'rJu 1··u1amii'i ila 1-istidlali bi-hiidhii l-{!adithi Ii 1-man'i min a1-ri{!lati li-ziyiirati 1-mashahidi wa quburi l-'ulamii'i wa-1-~ula{!ii'i ; ib., II, 219 :... wa-yadkhu1u Ii jumlatihi ziyiiratu quburi ... 1-anbiyii'i 'alayhimu l-saliimu. wa-ziyiiratu quburi 1-lIa{!iibatiwa-1-tiibi'ina wa-8ii'iri 1·ulamii'i ....... wa-yajuzu shaddu l-ri{!iili li-hiidha l-ghararJi wa-la yamna'u min hiidha qauluhu 'alayhi l-saliimu: lii tushaddu. 1-ri{!iilu li-anna dhalika Ii l-masiijidi la-innaha mutamiithilatun ba'da hiidhihi 1-masiijidi... wa-ammii 1-biqii'u la-la ma'na li-ziyii. ratiha siwii l-masiijidi l-thalathati wa-siwii 1-thughUri 1i-1-ribiiti biha.. ,; Al,1mad b. ~ajar al-Haythami: al-Jauhar al-muna~~am Ii ziyiirati l-qabri l-sharili l-mu'a~~am, Cairo 1331 AH, pp. 13-14; al-'Abdari, a1-Madkha1, Cairo, 1929, I, 256; al-Shaukani op, cit., VIII, 212: ... wa-qad tamassaka bi-hiidha l-{!adithi man mana'a l-sajara wa-shadda l-ra{!liila ghayriha min ghayri farqin bayna jami'i l-biqii·i ... : Abu Bakr al-Turtashl i K itiib al-{!awiidithua-l-bida", ed. Muhammad al-l'alibi, Tunis 1959, p. 98 :... uia-liiyu'tii shay'un min al-masiijidi yu'taqadu lihi l-farflu ba'da l-thalathati masiijida illa masjidu Qubii'a... fa-ammii siwiihu min al-masiijidi fa-lam asma' 'an a{!adin annahu atiiha riikiban wa-la miishiyan kamii atii QUbii' , and see ib., p. 147-48 :... thumma ra'ii (i.e." Umar) al-niisa yadhha. a buna madhahiba la-qiila : ayna yadhhabu ha'ula'i, fa-qUa: yii amira l-mu'minina, masiidun 'lalla fihi l·nabiyyu (~)fa-hum yu§alluna lihi, la-qiila : innama halaka man Jcanaqablakum bi-mithli hiidha, kiinu yattabi'una iithara anbiyii'ihim wa-yattakhidhUnaha masiijida wa· biya·an ... ; and see the preceding tradition: Abu I-Mal,1asin Yusuf b. Musa al-Hanafi : al -M u'ta§ar min al-mukhtasa» min mU8hkilal-iithiir, Hyderabad 1362 AH, I, 26; Ibn Taymiyya: Minhaj al-sunnati al-nabawiyya, I, 336 and al-Sha~ibi: al-l'til!iim, Cairo, Ma~ba'at al-sa'ada, n.d., I, 346; Ibn Taymiyya: Talsir 8urati l-ikhla§, p. 120; id.: Maimu'at a1-rasii'il, II, 55 : ... wa-lau nadhara l-saiara ila qabri l-Khalili 'alayhi l-sal.iimu au qabri l-nabiyyi (I!) au ila l-,!,uri lladhi kallama llahu 'alayhi MiZsii 'a1ayhi 1-8aliimu, au ila jabali Jfirii'a lladhi kdna l-nabiyyu §alla llahu 'alayhi wa-sallama yata'abbadu liki wa.jii'ahu l-wa{!yu lihi, au al-ghari l-madhkUri Ii l-qur'iini, au ghayri dhalika min almaqiibiri wa-l-maqiimiiti wa-l-mashahidi l-muqiilati ila ba'rJi l-anbiyii'i wa-l-mashayikhi au ila ba'rJi l-maghariiti, au al-iibii1i - lam yajibi l-wafii'u bi-hadha 1-nadhri bi- 'ttiliiqi 1-a'immati l·arba·ati [a-inna l-eajara ila hiidhihi l·mawii4i·i manhiyyun 'anhu li-nahyi 176 They could in fact quote a ~adith in which they could find a convincing proof of their argument : lii tushaddu ri~iilu l-matiyyi ilii masjidin yudhkaru tuu« fihi illii ilii thaliithati masiijida ... « the saddles of the riding beasts shall not be fastened (for their journey) to a mosque in which God is invoked except to the three mosques »... 4 Even more explicit in favour of this view is another ~adith: u yanbaghi li-l-mu§alli an yashudda ri~iilahu ilii masjidin yabghi fihi l-§aliita ghayra l-masjidi l-~ariimi wa-l-masJ'idi l-aq§ii wa-masjidi hiidhii. « It is not proper that a man praying set out for a mosque in which he seeks to pray except the mosque of the Haram, the mosque al-Aqs;a and my mosque ».5 It is evident that these traditions confirm the view that the three mosques are to be preferred in comparison with other mosques; one shall set out for these mosques to gain the benefit of prayer and devotion; but he is permitted, and it is even recommended to him, to set out for other sanctuaries which are not mosques. The close observation of the ~adith about the three mosques is illustrated by a curious story reported by al-Wasiti 6 : Sa'Id b. 'Abd al-'Aziz used to visit the Mihrab Da'iid 7 on foot; only on his return he used to ride. When asked about it he answered: I was told that 'Abdallah b. 'Abdallah used to set out for the mosque of Quba" 8 riding a horse without a saddle; (this he used to do because) he considered that fastening the girth of the saddle of the horse was like fastening the saddles of the riding beasts which is mentioned (scil. as forbidden) according to the tradition: « you shall not fasten the saddles... except for three mosques»... G. E. von Grunebaum characterizes this ~adith as an « earlier battle, long since abandoned, which the theologians fought against the cult of those minor sanctuaries» 9. This battle was in fact an early one. l-nabiyyi (§) : Iii tushaddu ... etc.; al-Samniidi al-Mansiiri : Sa'iidat al-diirayn, p. 120 seq.; 'Ali Mal?iii:?: al-Ibdii' Ii maifiirri l-ibtidii', Cairo, Mapbe, 'at al-istiqama, 4th ed., pp. 194-96. 4 AI-Samniidi 5 al-Mansart : Sa'iidat al-diirayn, p. 121 sup. in al-Qastallani, lb.; but see the interpretation of this lJadith given by Ibn Taymiyya Irshiid al-siiri III, 240 (he forbids the journey to the grave of the Prophet on the ground of this lJadith). 6 7 AI-Wasiti, op. cit., f. 47a. Leiden 1938, op. cit., pp. 227, 302, 366-67, 407. op. cit., II, 16-28. Taha Husain, : The sacred character of Islamic cities, Melanges On MiJ:!.rab Da'iid see Ibn. Hauqal : $i1rat al-ard, ed. J.H. Kramers, See on the mosque of Quba' : al-Samhiidi, G.E. von Grunebaum Badawi, Cairo 1962, p. 27. I, 171; Mujir al-Din, 8 9 ed. Adburrahman AN EARLY TRADITION 177 Malik b. Anas records in his Muwatta'10 a story about a discussion between Abu Hurayra and Ka'b (al-Ahbar) concerning the question at what hour on Friday God fulfils the wishes of the faithful. This discussion took place when Abu Hurayra met Ka'b on his pilgrimage to al-Tfir. In a parenthetical passage Malik reports that Abu Hurayra on his return was rebuked by Basra b. Abi Basra 11 who told him: « Had I met you before you went out (scil. to al-Tiir) you would not have set out; I heard the Prophet saying: the riding beasts shall be driven only to three mosques ... etc. » 12. A similar tradition (in which the name of Abu Hurayra is however not mentioned) is recorded by 'Abd al-Razzaq 13 in his Mu~annaf14: a man who returned from a journey to al-Ttir was reproached and reminded of the utterance of the Prophet about the three mosques. Another tradition records a talk between 'Arfaja and Ibn 'Umar. Ibn 'Umar, when consulted by 'Arfaja about a journey to al-Tur, answered: You shall only set out for three mosques, the mosque of Mecca, the mosque of the Prophet (i.e. Medina) and the mosque al-Aq!?a; abandon al-Tur and do not go there 15. Commentators are agreed that by al-Ttir in these traditions Mt. Bina is meant 16. Mt. Bina was in fact regarded as a sacred place. 10 Malik B. Anas: al-Muwatta', Cairo, Matba'at Dar Ii).ya' l-Kutub l-'Arabiyya, n.d., I, 130-133. 11 See on him Ibn Hajar : al-Lsiiba, Cairo 1323 AH, I, 167, no. 713, 714 and II, 41, no. 1845 (recorded by 'Abd al-Razzaq as Nadra b. Abi Nadra ; see note I, above); al-Suyii td : Is'iif al-MubaUa' p. 8 (appended to Malik's MuwaUa' with Suyuti's Tanwir al-lJ,awiilik, quoted in the preceding note); al-Zurqjinl . SharlJ, 'ala Muwatta' Miilik, Cairo 1936, I, 224; AbU 'Ubayd: 12 Gharib al-lJ,adith, Hyderabad Sunan, Cairo 1930, III, 1966, III, 23, note 6. fihi Musii See this tradition Miilik, al-Nasa'L: 113-116; al-Zurqani : SharlJ, ed. Muh. al-Bijawi, 'ala Muwatta' I, 222-225 (about al-Tur : «ioa-hsuoa lladhi kullima »; Ibn 'Abd al-Barr : al-lsti'iib, Frankfurt wa-huwa lladhi 'anii Abu Hurayra Helga Hemgesberg: Abu Huraira, - Cairo, n.d., I, 184; 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani: al-Ghunya, Cairo 1322 AH, II, 70: and see am Main 1965, p. 105 (with references p. 1912, discussing an yusiifara l-~alJ,iibatu min nahyihi al-~aliit fi l-,!,ur. Geschichte des arabischen II, 609, no. 5044; given by the author); and see al-Samnfid i :Nu~ratu al-isniio: al-Subki, the following comment: ioa-li-hiidhii fahima ilii ghayri l-masiijidi l-thaliiihaii. anna l-sajara ilii '!'uri Sinii' a diikhilum fi l-nahyi wa-in lam yakun masjidan ... ; and see ib., p. 192: 13 See on him Brockelmann, GAL, S. I, 333; F. Sezgin: Schrifttums, Leiden 1967, I, 99; al-Dhahabi : Miziin al-i'tidiil, 14 'Abd al-Razzgq, op. cit., f. 39b. 15 16 I b., f. 40a. See e.g. note 12 above; but see al-Harawi : al-Tshiisii; ilii ma'rifati Damas 1953, p. 21, II. 16-17. l-ziyiiriit, ed. Janine Sourdel-Thomine, 178 According to Muslim tradition the Prophet was instructed by the angel Jibril to pray there during his night journey to Jerusalem 17. At the « laylat al-qadr» the angels will hoist their flags in four mosques: the mosque of Mecca, the mosque of the Prophet, the mosque of J erusalem and at 1'iir Sina. 18 Ibn Taymiyya stresses that the journey to Mt. Sina is forbidden on the ground of the utterance of the Prophet about the exclusiveness of the journey to the three mosques 19. By the beginning of the second century there seems to have already been a unanimity of the Muslim community about the sanctity of these three mosques and consequently about the sanctity of these three cities; this is later reflected in the rich literature concerning the virtues of these cities. There appear, however, to have existed earlier trends which aimed at emphasizing the sanctity of Mecca, or the sanctity of both Mecca and Medina, while minimizing that of Jerusalem. These trends are reflected in some early traditions, only partly preserved in the canonical collections of ~ad"ith. These traditions which probably preceded the Muslim consensus regarding the ~ad"ith of the three mosques will be viewed in the following pages. I A tradition recorded on the authority of '.A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, mentions only two mosques: the mosque of Mecca and the mosque of Medina. The Prophet said according to this tradition: « I am the seal (khatam) of the prophets and my mosque is the seal of the mosques of the prophets. The mosques which deserve mostly to be visited and towards which the riding beasts should be driven are the mosque of Mecca and my mosque (i.e. the mosque of Medina). The prayer in my mosque is better than a thousand prayers in any other mosque except that of Mecca » 20. 17 See e.g. al-Wasiti, op. cit., f. 49b, 1.6 and f. 60a, penult. : ... ~allayta bi-,/,uri Sinii' Tafsir alal-Zarkashi, op. cit., p. 298. '/'ahiirat al-quliib, nadhara t-saiara lJ,aythu kallama lliihu Musii ~allii lliihu 'alayhi wa-sallama ... ; Ibn. Kathir: Qur'iin al-'a~im, Beirut 1966, IV, 245,1.7; 18 'Abd aI-Qadir al-Jilani, op. cit., II, 14; 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Dirini: al-rasii'il II, 55, 1. 3: wa-l-tarhib min wa-lau Cairo 1354 AH, 124. 19 Ibn Taymiyya: Majmu'at ilii ...... 20 au ilii l-,/,uri lladhi kallama 'lliihu 'alayhi Miisii 'alayhi l-saliim. ,) al-Targhib al-lJ,adith al-shari], ed. Muhy! al-Din 233, al-Hindi, op. cit., XIII, al-Mundhiri: 'Abd al-l,Iamid, Cairo 1961, III, 50, no. 1732; aI-Muttaqi no. 1306; Ibn al-Najjar, op. cit., II, 357; al-Samhiidi, op. cit., I, 259; Ahmad b. 'Abd AN EARLY TRADITION 179 An almost identical tradition is reported on the authority of l'awlis 21 : « You shall set out for two mosques: the mosque of Mecca and the mosque of Medina» 22. The initial phrase of this tradition is almost identical with that of the tradition about the three mosques; mention is however made in this tradition of two mosques only, those of Mecca and Medina. A similar tradition is recorded by alMundhiri: « The best mosque towards which the riding beasts should be driven is the mosque of Ibrahim (i.e. the mosque of Mecca) and my mosque» 23. A significant tradition reported by Ibn Jurayj sheds some light on the attitude of certain Muslim scholars of the second century towards the pilgrimage to the three mosques. Ibn Jurayj records that Ibn 'Ata 24 reported a tradition recommending the pilgrimage to the three mosques and adds: « 'Atii: used to exclude (the mention of) the Aqr:;a,but he reverted later to counting it with them» (kana 'Ata'un yunkiru l-Aq§a thumma 'ada fa- 'addahu ma'aM) 25. It is 'Ata' who was asked by Ibn Jurayj : « What (is your opinion) about a man who vowed to walk from Basra to Jerusalem». He answered: « You were merely ordered (to pilgrimage to) this House (i.e. the Ka'ba) 26. l'awlis, on whose authority the tradition about the two mosques was transmitted, bade people who vowed to journey to Jerusalem to set out for Mecca 27. These traditions bear evidence to the fact that among scholars al-Hamld al-'Abbasi: op. cit., p. 73; Juz' Abi l-Jahm. a1-'Alii' b. Musii, Ms. Hebrew Univ., Majmu'a, p. 43, 1. 3 V. 8; al-Dhahabi : Tadhkirat a1-J;,uttii~ lJayiit a1-J;,ayawiin,Cairo 1963, II, 88-90; Ibn Khallikan: Wajayiit a1-a'yiin, ed. A.F. Rim'i, Cairo 1936, VI, 303-305; Ibn Sa'd: Tabaqiit, Beirut 1957, V, 21 See on him Ibn Hajar : Tahdhib al-tahdhib, I, 90; al-Damiri: 537-42. 22 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., f. 39b : yurJ;,a1u masjidayni, masjidi Makkata ioa-masjidi ilii 1-Madinati. 23 AI-Mundhiri, op. cit., III, 63, no. 1775 : Khayru rna rukibat i1ayhi 1-rawiiJ;,i1u masjidu lbriihima (~)wa-masjidi. Two variants are recorded: masjidi hiidha ioa-l-bagtu.1-ma'muru and masjidi hadha wa-1-baytu1'atiqu; and see the note of al-Mundhiri, ib., inf.; al-Suyu~i : a1-Jiimi' al-~aghir, II, 10 sup.; al-Samhudi, op. cit., I. 259; Al;tmad b. J;Iajar al-Haythami, op. cit., p. 41. 24 See on him: Ibn J;Iajar: Tahdhib al-tahdhib, VII, 483-84; al-Dhahabi: Tadhkirat a1-J;,ujjii~,, 98: 'A~a' b. Abi Rabal;t (died 115 AH; Ibn Jurayj transmitted his I traditions); Ibn Sa'd: Tabaqiit, Beirut 1957, V, 467-70. 25 'Abd al·Razzaq, op. eit., f. 39b. 26 Id., op. cit., Murad MoIla 606, f. 40b, info 27 ti; f. 41 b. 180 of Islam in the first half of the second century there was some reluctance to give full recognition of sanctity to the third mosque and to grant Jerusalem an equal position with the two holy cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina. This reluctance is plainly brought out in a series of traditions in which the Prophet is said to have advised the faithful to refrain from the journey to Jerusalem for prayer and to perform the prayer either in Mecca or in Medina. A tradition told on the authority of Jabir b. 'Abdallah 28 reports: A man 29 approached the Prophet at the day of the conquest of Mecca and said « 0 Messenger of God, I vowed to pray in Jerusalem if you conquer Mecca». The Prophet then said: « Pray here». The man asked him another time and the Prophet gave the same answer. He asked him a third time and the Prophet said: « Then the matter is at your disposal» (fa-sha'naka idhan) 30. A very similar tradition is recorded on the authority of Abu Sa'Id (al-Khudri) 31. But whereas the preceding tradition stresses the preference of Mecca, this one puts Medina to the fore. A man came to the Prophet, it is told in the story, in order to take leave from him before setting out for his journey to Jerusalem. The Prophet told him that a prayer in his mosque (i.e. in Medina) would be better than a thousand prayers in another mosque except the mosque of Mecca. Some versions of this tradition mention the name of the man, al-Arqam, but do not record the phrase about the mosque of Mecca 32. 28 Jabir b. 'Abdallah (died 78 AH). See on him al-Dhahabi: al-talulhib, II, 42; al-Baliidhurl Siyar a'liim Tadhkirat al-nubalii', al-lJ,ujjii~, ed. As'ad I, 43; Ibn 1;Iajar : Tahdhib Hamldullah, 29 : Ansiib al-ashrii], ed. Mul).. Cairo 1959, I, 248-49; al-Dhahabi: 126-29. '!'alas, Cairo 1962, III, According to the report of 'Abd al-Razzaq, Majma' al-zawii'id, op. cit., Murad Molla 604, f. 37b, 41a Cairo 1353 AH, IV, 192, the name 'J'abaqiit V, 113; Ibn 1;Iajar : and Ibn 1;Iajar al-Haythami: of the man was al-Sharid. 30 About al-Sharid see Ibn Sa'd: al-Lsiiba III, 204, no. 3887. Ibn Hajar : Buliiqh. al-mariim, p. 287, no. 1407; Abu Da'iid : $alJ,ilJ,sunan al-mW}tajii, to pray two rak'a; ib, inf. another variant: kulla ~aliitin Cairo 1348 AH, II, 79 with a variant al-Shaukani, bayti l-maqdisi; al-Nabulsi: 31 « if ~; you would pray here it would be counted (ajza'a) as much as the prayer in Jerusalem op. cit., VIII, 210 with a variant: la-qaiJii 'anka dhiilika Ii al-Tibrizi : Mishkiit al-ma~iibilJ" Karachi 1350 AH, p. 298; 'Abd al-Razzjiq op. cit., f. 41a; al-Subki, op. eit., pp. 94-95; al-Bayhaqi, Dhakhii'ir al-mawiirith, diai, op. eii., p. 134. See his biography in Ibn Hajar's Isiiba, AI-Samhiidi, Siyar op. cit., X, 82; 'Abd al-Ghani Cairo 1943, I, 145, no. 1324; Shihab ai-Din al-MaqIII, 85, no. 2189; al-Dhahabi: Tadhkirat al-lJ,uttii~, I, 44. 32 op. cit., I, 295; Ahmad b. Hajar al-Haythami, a'liim al-nubalii', ed. al-Abyar), op. eit., p. 41; al- Dhahabi: Cairo 1957, II, 342. AN EARLY TRADITION 181 To this category of traditions belongs the story told about Maymi.i.na the wife of the Prophet. A woman became ill and vowed to perform a pilgrimage to Jerusalem if she recovered. Having recuperated and prepared provisions for her journey she came to Maymi.i.nato take her leave. Maymi.i.naadvised her to stay at Medina, to consume her provisions there and to fulfil her vow by praying in the mosque of the Prophet (in Medina). Maymi.i.naquoted in this connection the utterance of the Prophet that a prayer in his mosque was better than a thousand prayers in any other mosque except that of the Ka'ba 33. A story closely resembling the preceding tradition is told on the authority of Sa'id b. al-Musayyab 34. The story told about 'Umar is however in favour of Mecca, not of Medina. A man came to 'Umar asking permission to travel to Jerusalem. 'Umar ordered him to prepare his provisions. But when these were prepared 'Umar bade him to perform the 'umra instead of going to Jerusalem 35. The essential reason for the resistance of a group of Muslim scholars to grant license of pilgrimage to Jerusalem is plainly reflected in another story about 'Umar told on the authority of the same Sa'Id b. al-Musayyab, who transmitted the preceding story; it is recorded by the early scholar of ~adith, 'Abd al-Razzaq b. Hammam in his MUl}annaf. According to this story, when 'Umar was in an enclosure of camels of I}adaqa two men passed by. He asked them wherefrom they came and they answered that they had come from Jerusalem. 'Umar hit them with his whip and said: « (Have you performed) a pilgrimage like the pilgrimage of the Ka'ba »? They said: « No, o Commander of the faithful, we came from such and such a territory, we passed by it (scil, Jerusalem) and prayed there.» Then 'Umar said: « Then it is so», and let then go 36. 33 AI-Bayhaqi, op. cit., X, 83; al-Shaukani, op. cit., VIII, 210; Juz' Abi l-Jahm al-'Alii' b. lvIusa, Ms., p. 42; Shihab aI-Din al-Maqdisl, op. cit., Ms. p. 134. 34 See on him Ibn Khallikan, op. cit., VI, 136-143; Ibn I,Iajar: Tahdhib al·tahdhib, IV, 84-88; Abu Nu'aym 35 36 al-Isfahani : I.filyat al·auliyu', 'Abd al-Razzaq Cairo 1933, II, 161-173. 'Abd al-Razzaq, 'Abd al-Razzaq, op, cit., f. 39b. op. cit., f. 39b: » Ma'mar b. Rashid> 'Abd aI-Karim al-Jazari (died 127 AH; see on him Ibn I,Iajar: Tahdhib al-tahdhib, VI, 373-75; Ibn 'Abd al-Barr : Tajrid al-tamhid, Cairo 1350 AH, p. 107» Ibn al-Musayyab: Baynii 'Umaru fi na'amin min na'am'i l-sadaqaii marra bihi rajuliini, fa-qala: min ayna ji'tumii, qiilii : min al-bayti l-bayti, bihi fa-~allaynii l-muqaddasi, fa- 'aliihumii dorban. bi-l-dirrati fa-tarakahumii. wa-qiilii : lpajjun ka-lpajji [a-mararnii qiilii: yii amira l-mu'minina, innii ji'nii, min arrf,i kadhii uxi-kadhii fihi, [a-qida : lcadhiilika idhan, 182 The story shows clearly that Muslim scholars feared that Jerusalem might become a place of pilgrimage like Mecca and acquire a sanctity like that of Mecca. The two sanctuaries, that of Mecca and the one of Jerusalem are mentioned jointly in the verse of al-Farazdaq : Wa-baytiini baytu lliihi nalJnu wuliituhu : wa-baytun bi-a'lii Iliyii'a musharrafu (To us belong) two Houses: and the revered the House of God, of which we are the governors: (i.e. Jerusalem) 37. House in the upper (part of) Iliya'a This verse testifies to the veneration of these two sanctuaries at the end of the seventh century. It is significant that the two sanctuaries are referred to as being on the same level 38. This these scholars tried to prevent. Jerusalem could only be considered as a place of devotional prayer, a holy place endowed with special merits for pilgrims to Mecca; but it could not be awarded the rank of Mecca and it never got it. The reluctance to perform the pilgrimage to Jerusalem found its expression in some utterances reported on the authority of the Companions of the Prophet. (,Abdallah) b. Mas'tld is stated to have said: « If (the whole distance) between me and Jerusalem were two parasangs I would not go there 39. Malik (b. Anas) refrained from coming to Jerusalem for fear that this may become a sunna 40. The justification of this attitude which tried to diminish the importance of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem is found in a remarkable saying of al-Sha'bi 41 : « Mul;tammad, may God bless him, was only turned 37 AI-Farazdaq: Diiciin; ed. al-Saw], Cairo 1936, p. 566; Naqil'irJ Jarir wa-l-Farazdaq, Diwiln, p. 619, composed in the first decade bihi min quliibi l·mumtarina rJaliiluhii. Jabir> alal- ed. Bevan, Leiden 1905, p. 571. 38 Comp. another verse of al-Farazdaq, of the eighth century: uia-bi-l-masjidi l-aq~il l-imilmu 39 'lladhi 'htadil: 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., f. 39b, inf.: 'Abd al-Razzaq » al-Thauri> Sha 'bi> Shaqiq (see on him Ibn I,Iajar: ('Abdallah) l~ilba III, 225, no. 3977; id. : Tahdhib bayti tahdhib, IV, 361» b. Mas'fid : lau kiina bayni wa-bayna l-maqdisi /ar8akhiini mii ataytuhu. 40 Al-Shatibi, op. cit., I, 347: wa-qad kiina Miilikun yakrahu l-maji'a ilii bayti l-maqdisi khiiata an yuttakhadha 41 dhiilika eumnatan, Tadhkirat al·hultii?, I, 79-88: Ibn 'Asakir: Tu'rikh, V, al-tahdhib, See on him al-Dhahabi: ed. Ibn Badran, 69-61. Damascus, n.d., VII, 138-155; Ibn Hajar : Tahdhib AN EARLY TRADITION 183 away from Jerusalem (i.e. from his first qibla) because of his anger.» A gloss added to this tradition states: « he means (anger with regards to Jerusalem » 42. The son of Sa'd b. Abi Waqqii/?,'.Amir 43 and his daughter 'A'isha 44 reported on the authority of their father that he would like much more to pray in the mosque of Quba' than in Jerusalem. 45 'Umar is also said to have stated that he preferred one prayer in the mosque of Quba' than four prayers in Jerusalem 46. The superiority of the mosque of Medina over al-Aq/?iiwas expressed by the Prophet himself. According to a tradition reported on the authority of Abu Hurayra, the Prophet was asked whether prayer in al-Aq/?ii as better than prayer in his mosque (i.e. in Medina). w The Prophet answered: « A prayer in my mosque is better than four prayers in it». (i.e. in al-Aqsa) 47. A peculiar tradition attributed to the Prophet recommends to journey to three mosques only, exactly as in the tradition discussed 42 'Abd al-Razza.q, op. cit., f. 40a, sup. : 'Abd al-Razzaq yuqsimu bi- lliihi mii rudda MulJammadun See al-Thauri: Ta/sir » al-Thaurf » Jabir: al-Qur'iin al-karim, sami'tu illii 'an Rampur bi- lliihi I·Sha'biyya (~) 'an bayti l-maqdisi 8ukhtihi, ya'ni 'alii bayti l-maqdisi. 1965, ed. Imtiyaz l-Sha'biyyu 'Ali 'Arshi, p. 12: Sufyan > Jabir al-d u'f'i, qiila: aqsama : rna rudda l-nabiYY1t 'ala ahli bayti l-maqdisi illii li-sukhtihi The editor of al-Thaurr's Muh, Shakir, 'ala ahli bayti l-maqdisi. The text of this tradition to the record of al-Mu~anna/. ed. Mahmud wa-yukhiililu kana 'alayhi 43 44 45 is of course blurred and has to be corrected according Tuisir remarks that he could comp. Tabar! : 'I'aisir, 173: qiilo. Cairo, ca. 1960, III, not find this utterance in the compilations of talsir and hadith, Muh. Shakir and Ahmad ba'rJuhum : kariha qiblaia bayti l-maqdisi min ajli anna, l·yahuda qaZU: yattabi'u qiblaianii dinana ... , al-Nuwayr i, op. cit., I, 329:· wa- khtalalu Ii l-sababi lladhi l-saliiiu. ioa-l-saliimu. min ajlihi yakralm qiblata bayti l-maqdisi wa-yahwa V, 64 qiblata l-Ko'biui ... On him see Ibn Hajar : 'I'ahdib al-tahdhib, On her see Ibn Hajar : al-Lsiiba, VIII, AI-Bayhaqi, 141, no. 703 III, 12; Ahmad b. 'Abd al-J;lamid op. cit., V, 249; al-MundhirI, op. cii., III, 55, no. 1748; a.l-Samhfid i, Hyderabad, al-Qasta.lla.nl, op. cit., III, 242. Damascus op. cit., II, 19; al-J;lakim : al-M'uetadralc, al- 'Abbasi, 46 47 op. cit., p. 412 sup. (three versions); 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., f. 37b. Ibn 'Asakir: Ta'rikh madinat Dimashq, ed. f?alal,l al-Din al-Munajjid, al-manihilr, 1951, I, 163; Mujir al-Dln, op. cit., I, 206; aI-Wasiti, al-Din al-Suyupi, 24 info op. cit., f. 42a; Shihab al-Dtn IV, 161; Shams op. cit., I, al-Maqdisi, op. cit., Ms. pp. 130, 146; al-Suyiit.I : Al-Durr op. cit., f. 17a; Abii l-Mahasin Yiisuf b. Miisa al-Hanaf'i, 184 above. This tradition, however, places the mosque of al-Khayf 48 instead al-Aq~a as the third mosque 49. The traditions quoted above can be taken to represent an early stratum of lore in which the opposition displayed by certain circles of Muslim scholars at the beginning of the second century to the ranking of Jerusalem on the level of Mecca and Medina is reflected. They bring out quite clearly the tendency of those who tried to subdue the excessive veneration which was forming with regard to the sanctuary of Jerusalem. II Against the records in which an attempt is made to diminish the position of the sanctuary of Jerusalem one can notice quite well in 'be traditions the existence of a trend going in the opposite direction: it aims at granting Jerusalem the rank of Medina and emphasizes the peculiar features of sanctity of the mosque, of the city and of the region of Jerusalem. « The assignment of relative ratings of efficacy to prayer in different localities is a common method of ranking towns in terms of their holiness» stated G. von Grunebaum 50. This was indeed applied to Jerusalem in comparison to Mecca and Medina. A significant tradition granting the mosque of Jerusalem an unusually high rank is recorded on the authority of Abu Hurayra and 'A.'isha. « A prayer in my mosque (i.e. in Medina) - says the Prophet in this ly,adith - is better than a thousand prayers in any other mosque except al-Aq~a» 51. It is evident that this tradition contradicts the well-known tradition in which the concluding phrase reads: « except (prayer in) the mosque of Mecca» 52. The phrase « except (prayer in) 48 See on al-Khayf : al-Bakri: Mu'jarn Mu'jam al-buldiin, mii 'sta'jam, s.v, Khayf; Shila' ed. Mu~tafa al-Saqa, Cairo Abii l-Baqa": al-Manaqib al- 1945, II, 526; Yaqiit: mazyadiyya, 49 Ms. Br. Mus., f. 93a (the grave of Mudar in the mosque of al-Khayf). al-qhariim, I, 263 inf.; al-Dhahabi: al-Jiimi" al-laii] Al-Zarkashl, op. cit., p. 68; al-Fasi: Mizan al-i'tidiil, ed. al-Bijawl, Cairo 1963, I, 650, no. 2495; Ibn ~ahira: fi larJli Makkata wa-ahlihii wa-binii' i I-bayti l-shari], Cairo 1921, p. 334. 50 G.E. von Grunebaum, op. cit., p. 31. 51 al-Mundhiri, op. ci•., III, 53, no. 1740: $alatun fi masjidi khayrun min alii ~aliitin illii l-masjidi l-aqsii ; al-Samhildi: op. cit., I, 296 sup. Al-Samhiidi, op. cit., I, 296; al-Suyutt : al-Jiimi" al-~aghir, II, 47; 'Abd al-Razzaq, lima siwahu min al-masajidi 52 op. cit., f. 37b; al-Mundhiri, op. cit., III, 50, no. 1731; Al;tmad b. Hanbal : al-Musnad III, no. 1605, VII, no. 4838, 5153, 5155, 5358, VIII, no. 5778, XII, no. 7252; Mul;t. AN EARLY TRADITION 185 the mosque of Mecca»was in this ~adith replaced by the phrase « except (prayer in) al-Aq::;a». Another tradition reported on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas links the ~adith about the three mosques with the utterance of the Prophet about the value of the prayer in these mosques granting al-Aqi?a preference over the mosque of Medina. « A prayer in the mosque of Mecca(al-masjid al-~aram) - says the Prophet - is worth a hundred thousand prayers, a prayer in my mosque (i.e. in Medina) is worth a thousand prayers, and a prayer in al-Aqi?ais worth ten thousand prayers» 03. This tradition occurs with greater exaggeration in Muthir al-qhariim. 04: The Prophet states that a prayer in the mosque of Mecca is worth a hundred thousand prayers, a prayer in the mosque of Medina a thousand prayers and a prayer in Jerusalem twenty thousand prayers. More restrained are two traditions recorded by Ibn Majah. One of them states that the Prophet when asked about the mosque of Jerusalem recommended to come to Jerusalem, the land of the Resurrection and the place of assembly for the Final Judgement 00 and to pray there, as a prayer performed in it is worth a thousand prayers Fu'ad 'Abd al-Baql, op. cit., II, 97, no. 881; Abii Yiisuf al-Ansar! : al-Athar, op. cit., 115-119, Ibn Taymiyya: ed. Abii Majmii'at I-Wafii, Cairo 135.5AH, p. 65, no. 320; Ibn al-Najjar, op. cit., II, 357; Ibn ~ahira, op. cit., p. 193; al-Fasi, op. cit., I, 79-81; al-Zarkashi, al-rasii'il, II, 54, inf. ; Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Ham id al- 'Abbasi, op. cit., p. 72-73; Abii Talib al-Makki, op. cit., III, 182; Ibn 'Abd al-Barr : Tajrid al-tamhid, p. 99, no. 305; al-Dariml, op. cit., I, 270, no. 1425; al-Rabi' b. Hablb : al-Jiimi" al-~aJ;,i"J;" airo 1349 AH, I, 52; C Abii I-Mal).asin al-Hanaf'i, op. cit., I, 24; al-Nawawi : al-IrJiil}fi l-maniisik, p. 65; al-Jarrah], op. cit., II, 27, no. 1605; Mul).. b. al-Fattal Cairo 1298 AH, al-Najaf : Ranula; al·wii'i~in, 1966, p. 408; al-Qastallan], op. cit., III, 240 inf.; etc ... 03 Ch. D. Matthews: The Kit. Bii'i!1t-n-nu!,ts, JPOS, XV (1935), p. 54; idem: Palestine, p.4. 04 Shihab al-Din al-Maqdisi, op. cit., Ms. p. 129 with the following isniid: Miziin al-i'tidiil IV, 299» Ibn Jurayj> Hisham 'Ata'> b. Sulayman (see on him al-Dhahabi: Ibn 'Abbas> the Prophet. The hadith 00 For ardu. l-mahshar wa-l-manshar ed. ~alal). al-Din al-Munajjid, of Munajjid, al-Maqdisi, tadhkirat Kit. is evaluated as weak (wiihin). see al-Raba'i: FarJii'il al-Shiim. ioa-Dimashq, 1, p. 85, ed. no. 25; Shihab al-Wahhab al-Sha'ranl al-Din Damascus 1950, p. 15, no. 25; and see ib., the introduction : Mukhta~ar p. 10, note 2; and see ib., Appendix op. cit., pp. 12, 143; and see 'Abd Cairo 1935, p. 43; al-Wasiti, Leszynsky, Kirchhain al-Qurtubi, op. cit., f. 51b-53b, 57b; and see H. 1909 (JJIohammedanische Palestine, p. 120. Traditionen Busse, Der Islam und die biblischen Kultstiitten, al-Zuhd, ed. Rudolf Der Islam, 1966, p. 124; Asad b. Miisa : op. cit., VI, 411; al-Suyirt.l : iiber das jiingste Gericht) pp. XXI, 46, 49-50; Ibn Kathir, al-Durr al-manihdir VI, 110; Ch. D. Matthews: 186 elsewhere 56. The second tradition records the utterance of the Prophet assigning to the prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem the value of fifty thousand prayers, to the prayer in the mosque of Medina fifty thousand prayers and to the prayer in the mosque of Mecca a hundred thousand prayers 57. In another tradition, reported on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, the Prophet assigned to a prayer in the mosque of Mecca the value of a hundred thousand prayers, to a prayer in the mosque of Medina fifty thousand prayers and to a prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem twenty thousand prayers 58. In another tradition reported as well on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas the value of a prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem is considerably reduced. The Prophet - according to this tradition - assigned to a prayer in the mosque of Medina the value of hundred thousand prayers, to a prayer in the mosque of Mecca a hundred thousand prayers and to a prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem a thousand prayers 59. Another tradition reported on the authority of Abu l-Darda' states that the Prophet assigned to a prayer in the mosque of Mecca the value of a hundred thousand prayers, to a prayer in the mosque of Medina the value of a thousand prayers and to a prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem the value of five hundred prayers 60. Ibn Taymiyya records as the number of prayers 56 Ibn Majah: Sunan al-Mu§tafa, Cairo 1349 AH, I, 429 (Abii I-Hasan Muh. b. 'Abd the Prophet was probably asked whether al-Hfidt remarks in his comment ib., that the prayer was permitted in the mosque of Jerusalem after the Qibla was diverted from it. He also remarks that only prayers in mosques other that those of Mecca and Medina are meant, as a prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem is like a prayer in Medina); al-Zarkashi, op. cit., p. 289; al- Wasiti, op. cit., f. 41b; al-Samhiidi, op. cit., I, 295; Ibn Babtiya : Thauxib al-o'm/il, Tehran 1375 AH, p. 30; Shiha.b al-Din al-Maqdisi, op. cit., Ms. p. 128; Abii l-Mahaein Yiisuf b. Miisa al-HanafI, op. cit., I, 25. 57 Ibn Majah, op. cit., I, 431; al-Zarkash i, op. eit., p. 287, ll8; Maqdisi, op. cit., Ms. p. 219; al-Tibrizi: Shihs.b al-Din al- Mishkat al-masiibih, p. 72. 58 Ch. D. Matthews: Kit. Ba'i~u-n·nufus, ib., p. 60 (Palestine, p. 11). 59 Al-Zarkasht, op. cit., p. ll8 (quoted from al-Tabardnf's al-llfu'jarn al-kabirv; al-Samhiidi, op. cit., I, 299 (quoted from al-Zarkasht) : Abii l'alib al-Makki, op. cit., III, 60 182. Al-'Abdari, op. cit., II, 39; al-Sarnhudl, op. cit., I, 298 (quoted from al-Tabarant}: al-Zarkashi, op. cit., XIII, op. cit., p. 117 (quoted from al-Bazzar's 168, no. 938 (on the authority Musnad); aI-Muttaqi al-Hindi, of Jabir), no. 939, 941 (on the authority Palestine, p. 10; Shihab al-Din al-Maqdisi, op. cit., op. cit., I, 25, 1.3; al-JarraJ:ti, op. cit., II, 27, no. 1605; al-Qastalldn], op. cit., III, 241. of Abu l-Darda'}: Ch. D. Matthews: Ms., p. 128; Abu l-Mahasin Yiisuf b. Musa al-Hanafi, AN EARLY TRADITION 187 corresponding to a prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem five hundred or fifty 61. lt is evident that the traditions which assign values to prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem are contradictory and mutually exclusive. They have to be seen against the background of a controversy concerning the weight to be accorded to prayer in the mosques of Mecca and Medina. These two cities contended for a long time for the superiority of their sanctuaries 62 and their merits 63. Quite early traditions reflecting this controversy are recorded in 'Abd al-Razzaq's Mu§annaf. When asked by a man whether to journey to Medina 'Ata' answered: 61 62 Ibn Taymiyya: l-Madinati Majmu'at al-rasi'i'il, II, 54 inf. ba'tjuhum bi-mi'nii ili'i anna l-eal/ito: §alatin); and see Makkata See for instance al-Samhiidi, op. cit., I, 296 (ua-dhahaba aftjalu min al-saliiii [i masjuii Ii masjidi ib. pp. 297-300 the discussion about the value of the prayer in Medina in comparison with the prayer in Mecca; al-Zarkashi, op. cit., pp. 186-190; Shihab al-Dm al-Khafaji, op. cit., III, 583. 63 See for instance al- 'Abdari, op. cit., II, 31; al-Samhudi, op. cit., I, 34, 52; The that a man was recorded tradition Prophet was created from the clay of Medina as reported in the tradition is buried in the earth from which he is created. A contradictory by al-Zubayr b. Bakkar. According to this tradition clay of the Ka'ba. See al-Shaukant, G. E. von Grunebaum: al-Haythami: al-Ni'ma al-kubrii Muhammadan Festivals, the Prophet was created from the New York 1951, p. 20. Ibn l;Iajar Ms. (in op. cit., V. 25; Ibn ~ahira, op. cit., p. 18; and see 'ala l-'i'ilam bi -maulid Sa,yyid bani Adam, (al-Samhudi, my possession) f. 7a. AI-Sha'bi disliked to stay in Mecca because the Prophet departed from Mecca; he considered Mecca « di'ir a'ri'ibiyya» expression « di'ir a'ri'ibiyya» I. 8); and see al-Kha.trb al-Bahgdadi : Taqyid 1949, p. 72: Marwan b. al-Hakam op. cit., I, 35; for the see Abu l-Mahasin Yusuf b. Musa al-Hanafi, op. cit., II, 203, al- 'ilm, ed. Yiisuf al-'Ushsh, Damascus mentioned in his speech the merits of Mecca, its sanctity and the merits of its people. Riifi' b. Khudayj reminded him of the sanctity of Medina, the merits of its people and mentioned the fact that it was declared as haram. by the Prophet al-'Abdari, yastadilluna and that the declaration was kept in Medina, written on a khauli'ini ba'tja dhiililea); Makkata op. cit., p. 58 :... waskin. Marwdn answered: '( I heard something about it.» (qad sami'tu op. cit., II, 34; Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Hamid al-'Abbasi, bihi 'ali'i aftjaliyyati hiidhihi l-baldati 'ali'i si'i'iri l-buldi'ini muilaqan, wa-ghayrihi'i ... ; and see ib., p. 61 about the doubled blessing of the Prophet granted Medina compared with the blessing of Abraham for Mecca.; and see al-Samhudi, op. cit., I, 26: al·Madinatu khayrun min Makkata; al-Suyiit.i : al-Ji'imi' al-§aghir, II, 184; al-Fas), op. cit., I, 79 seq.; al-Samhudi, op. cit., I, 24-26; Ahmad b. 'Abd al-Hamid al-'Abbasi, op. cit., p. 69 (muslimu l-Matlinati khayrun min muslimi Makkata,); al-Faai, op. cit., pp. 77-79; al-'Abdari, l-§alatu wa-l-sali'imu op, cit., I, 257 ( wa-qad taqaddama annahu 'alayhi op. cit., aftjalu min al-Ka'bati wa-ghayrihi'i ... ); and see ib., II, 38; about the partisans of the superiority of Medina and those of Mecca see al-Shaukani, al-Mawi'ihib al·ladunniyya, V, 24; Taqi al-Din 'Abd al-Malik b. Abi l-Muna, op. cit., p. 97; al-Zurqani : Shar];, Cairo 1329 AH, VIII, 322; Shihab al-Din al-Khaffiji, op. cit., III, 584·587. 188 « to circumambulate the Ka'ba seven times is better than your journey to Medina» 64. AI-Thauri is said to have answered when asked about a journey to Medina: « do not do it » (la taf'al) 65. 'Ata: reported that he heard 'Abdallah b. al-Zubayr stating in his speech on the minbar (scil. of Mecca): « a prayer in the mosque of Mecca is better than a hundred prayers in any other of the mosques. » «It seems to me added 'Ata: - that he intended the mosque of Medina» 66. Qatada said it plainly: « A prayer in the mosque of Mecca is better than a hundred prayers in the mosque of Medina» 67. An identical utterance on the authority of 'Abdallah b. al-Zubayr is reported by Abu 1'Aliya 68. These traditions, some of which are early ones, shed some light on the rivalry between Mecca and Medina 69. The idea of the sanctity of Jerusalem grew and developed within the framework of this contest. III As against the tendency of restriction and limitation one can notice the opposite one, which aims to extend the number of holy mosques by the addition of one or two mosques to the three mosques, about the pilgrimage to which a consensus of the Muslim community had been reached. « The most distinguished mosques are: the mosque of Mecca,then the mosque of the Prophet (i.e. Medina), then the mosque of Jerusalem, then - it has been said - the mosque of al-Kiifa because of the consent of the Companions of the Prophet about it; and people said: the mosque of Damascus» 70. The mosque of Damascus was ranked with the three mosques and the relative value of prayers in it was fixed in a saying attributed 64 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., f. 39b: 'Abd al-Razziiq inni uridu. an atiya l-Madinata; rajulun. [a-qiila lalru : lawafun op. eit., f. 39b. qiila akhbarani abi qdlo. qult« li·l'Ala'an min qdla saiarika Muthannii: wa-sa'alahu 65 66 67 68 69 qiila : la taj'al ; sami'tu sab'am. bi-l-bayti khayrun ilii l-Madinati. 'Abd al-Razzaq, lb., f. 37b. lb., f. 38a. Ib., f. 38a. For the sanctity cities, p. 31. ed. As'ad rajas, of Medina see G. E. von Grunebaum: The sacred character of Islamic 70 Yiisuf b. 'Abd al-Hadj : Thimiir ol-maqiieid fi dhikri l·masajid, Beirut 1943, p. 183. AN EARLY TRADITION 189 to Sufyan al-Thauri. When asked by a man about the value of a prayer in Mecca Sufyan answered: « the value of a prayer in Mecca is of a hundred thousand prayers, in the mosque of the Prophet fifty thousand prayers, in the mosque of Jerusalem forty thousand prayers and in the mosque of Damascus thirty thousand prayers» 71. The equality of the mosque of Damascus with the mosque of Jerusalem is stressed in a story of a conversation between Wathila b. al-Asqa' 72 and Ka'b al-Ahbar 73. Wathila intended to set out for Jerusalem, but Ka'b showed him a spot in the mosque of Damascus in which the prayer has the same value as the prayer in the mosque of Jerusalem 74. Shi'ite tradition put the mosque of al-KUfain the rank of the three mosques; Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman stated that it was the fourth mosque after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem 75. The mosque of al-Ktifa is said to have been - like the mosques of Jerusalem and Mecca the mosque of Adam 76 the place of prayer of prophets 77 and the place where the Prophet (Muhammad) prayed 78 at the night of his 71 AI-Raba'i, op. cit., p. 36, no. 64 and p. 86 (ad no. 64); Ch. D. Matthews: The Kit. Bii'i!u-n-nufus, JPOS, XV, p. 61; Shams al-Din al Suyuti, op. cit., f. 17b.; al-Manini : oi-I'liim. bi-fa4a'il al-Shiim, ed. Ahmad Samil;t al-Khalidl, Jerusalem, n.d., pp. 84-85. 72 See on him Ibn Hajar : Tahdhib al-tahdhib, XI, 101; idem, al-Lsiiba VI, 310, no. 9088; al-Dhahabi: Siyar a'lam al-nubalii' III, 257-59. 73 See S. D. Goitein, op. cit., p. 144; and see on Ka'b; 1. Wolfensohn: Ka'b al-A?tbiir und seine Stellung im {ladi~ und in der islamischen Legendenliteratur, Gelnhausen, 1933. 74 AI-Raba'i, op. cit., p. 37, no. 65. 75 AI-Majlisi, Bi?tiir al-anwar, lithogr. ed., XXII, 88; al-Buraqi : Ta'rikh al-Kiifa, al-Najaf, 1960, p. 36. 76 See al-Wasiti, op. cit., f. 53b (the grave of Adam); Ch. D. Matthews: Palestine, pp. 32-33; Ibn ?,ahira, op. cit., p. 143 (the prayer of Adam in Mecca); and see G. E. von Grunebaum; Muhammadan Festivals, p. 20 (<

Some Reports Concerning Al-Tāʾif

taif_reports.pdf SOME REPORTS CONCERNING AL-TA'IF In memory of Yuval Taglicht The battle of Hunayn (8H/630), in which the Muslim troops defeated the joint forces of the Hawazin and Thaqif, heralded the submission of al-Ta'if. The expedition of the Prophet against al-Ta'if is reflected in a peculiar utterance attributed to him: "God's Iast tread was at Wajj (. .. wa-inna akhira wa(atin wati'aha llahu bi-wajj; in another version: inna iikhira wa(atin /i-lliihi yaumu wajj)l and interpreted as referring to the Iast campaign of the Prophet (aided by God's power, indicated by the word "wa(a" - K) against the unbelievers. The conversion of al-Ta'if to Islam marked in fact the Iast victorious stage of the Prophet's struggle for control over the three important cities in the Arabian peninsula: Mecca, Medina and al-Ta'if. The reports about the negotiations between the Prophet and the deputation of Thaqif (in 9 H), and the concessions and privileges granted by him to Thaqlf, are divergent and even contradictory. By surveying these traditions it is possible to elucidate some points of the negotiated conditions, which shed light on certain essential details of the concessions granted. A report on the administrative and military steps taken by Mu'awiya with regard to al-Ta'if may expose the changes in the structure of the popUlation of al-Ta'if in that period. According to the most widely quoted traditions/ the Prophet rejected all the requests submitted to him by the delegation of Thaqif, including the permission to profit from financial transactions based on usury, pennission to have inter1 AI-BakrI, Mu'iam mli sta'iam, ed. Mu~tafa I-Saqa., Cairo, 1368/1949, p. 1369; YaqOt, Mu'iam al-buldlin, Beirut, 1376/1957, V, 361; Ibn al-Athfr, al-Nihiiya ft gharlbi I-I}adrthi wa-I-athar, ed. al-TanaJ:tr, Cairo, 1385/1965, V, 200; al-Zamakhsharr, al-Fo'ig, cd. MuJ:tammad Abo I-Faql IbrahIm, 'Air MuJ:tammad aI-Bija.wI, Cairo, 1971, I, 185; NOr aI-DIn aI-HaythamI, Maima' al-zawii'id, Beirut, 1967, X, 54; L'A, s.v. w ~ 'a, w j j; P.H. Lammens, La ate Arabe de '[ii'ifa/a Veillede/,Hegire, Bcyrouth, 1922,p. 28. 2 See Ibn Hisham, al-Srra al-nabawiyya, ed. al-Saqa, al AbyarI, Shalabr, Cairo, 1355/1936, IV, 182-7; al-Waqidf, al-Maghiizr, cd. Marsden Jones, Oxford, 1966, III, 960-73; Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqlit, Beirut, 1380/1960, I, 31Z-13; al-Tabarr, Ta'rrkh al-umam wa-I-mulak, Cairo, 1357/ course with prostitutes (during their journeys), perrmssion to drink wine and, finally, the concession to worship al-Lat (al-Rabba) for a period; all these demands were refused by the Prophet, save the concession that the idol of al-Lat be destroyed not by themselves but by others. Watt, in scrutinizing the negotiations of the delegation with the Prophet, notices that there is no mention of anyone being commissioned to collect any contribution or tax from Thaqif; he remarks that "this might be a reason for the disappearance of the text of the treaty with aI-Ta'if.,,3 Some fifty years earlier Buhl, pointing out that the Prophet granted to Thaqif as a privilege recognition of their valley, Wajj, as haram." had suggested that he might have granted them additional concessions, not mentioned in the traditions." This line was followed by Sperber in his study of the Ietters of the Prophet. 6 As a matter of fact there are reports which attribute to the Prophet far-reaching concessions granted to Thaqif. According to one of them Thaqif embraced Islam on condition that their people would be free from paying the sadaqa and 1939, II, 364-6; al-Kala'i", al-Iktifii' jT maghdz i rasiili lliihi wa-l-thaldthati l-khulafd, ed. Mustafa 'Abd al-Wahid , Cairo, 1389/1970, II, 398--408; Ibn Kath Ir , al-Bidaya wa-l-nihaya, Beirut al-Riyad, 1966, V, 29~34; Ibn Sayyid al-Nas, 'Uytm al-athar ft funtm al-maghazt wa-l-shama' il wa-l-siyar, Cairo, 1356, 11,228-31; al-Maqrtz i, Imta' al-asma' bi-ma Ii-l-rasuii min al-anba"i wal-amwati wa-I-hafadati wa-l-mata', ed. Mahrntd Muhammad Shakir, Cairo, 1941, 1,4914; ,,1Zurqanr, Sharh al-mawahib al-laduniy ya, Cairo 1327, IV,6~10; Ibn al-Athrr, al-Kamil ft l-ta'rtkh, ed , 'Abd al-Wahhab al-Najjar , Cairo, 1349, 11,1934; 'Atr b. Burhan aI-DIn al-Halabr, Insan al- 'uyun ft strati l-amtni l-ma'mun i=al-Stra .al-halabiyyai, Cairo, n.d., III, 243-6; Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, al-Durar ft khtisari l-maghazt wa-l-siyar, ed. Shauqi Dayf, Cairo, 1386/1966, pp. 262-5; Dahlan, al-Stra.al-nabawiyya, Cairo, B10, II, 145 inf.-147; al-Diyarbakrr, Ta'rfkh al-khamts fl ahwal anfas nafts, Cairo, 1238, II, 134 inf.-138 1.1; Ibn Hazrn, Jawami' al-stra, ed. Ihsan 'Abbas, Nasir aI-DIn al-Asad , Cairo, n.d., pp. 255-8; Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyya, Zad al-ma'ad, Beirut, n.d., II, 197-9, III, 26-9; Ibn AbI Shayba, al-Musanna], ed. 'Abd al-Khaliq alAtghant , Hyderabad, 1388/1968, III, 197; al-Baladhurt , Futuh al-buldan, ed. 'Abdallah and 'Umar al-Tabba', Beirut, 1377/1958, p. 75. . W. Montgomery Watt, Muhammad at Medina, Oxford, 1956, p. 104. See on tahrtm wajj: aI-FakihI, Ta'rtkh Makka, Ms. Leiden Or. 463, fol. 539b; Ibn Sa'd , op. cit., 1,.284-5; Muhibb al-Drn al-Tabart , al-Qira li-qasidi ummi l-qura, ed. Mustafa l-Saqa, Cairo, 1390/1970, p. 666 (see the remarks of the author about the nature of tahrtm: whether it was merely given the status of a hima, or whether the privilege was later annulled); alSamhtd i, Wafii'u l-wafa bi-akhbari dari l-mustafa, cd, Muhammad Muhy i l-Drn 'Abd al-Hamrd, Cairo. 1374/1955, p. 1036; Abo 'Ubayd , al-Amwal. cd. Muhammad Hamid al-Fiqt , Cairo, 1353, p. 193, no. 507, L'A, s, v. w j j; al-Zurqant, op. cit., IV, 10 (discussing contradictory opinions of scholars about the status of Wajj); al-Shaukant, Nayl al-autar, Cairo, 1372/1953, V, 39~40 (see the discussion about the validity of the tradition and the position ofWajj); Ibn Zanjawayh, Kitab al-amwal, Ms. Burdur 183, fol. 68a; al-DiyarbakrI, op. cit., II, 110, 11.2-6; al-Maqrrzr, op. cit., L 493; AmIn Mahrntd Khattab, Fath al-malik al-ma'btd, TakmiZat al-manhal al-tadhb al-maund, Cairo, 1394/1974, II, 231-3; Muhammad Hamtdullah, Majmu'at 'al-watha'iq alsiyasiyya, Cairo, 1376/1956, no. 182; Shakrb Arslan, al-Irt;samat al-litaf ft khatiri I-lJajji i/a aqdasi mataf , cd. Muhammad RashId Rida, Cairo, 1350, p. 135 (see the quotation from Ibn Fahds Tuhfat at-lata 'if ft [ada 'ili l-habri bni 1-'abbasi wa-wajjin wa-l-ta'if). 5 F. Buhl, Das Leben Muhammeds, trans!. H.H. Schaeder, Heidelberg, 1955 (repr.), p. 332. 6 J. Sperber, "Die Schreiben Mohammeds an die Stamrnc Arabiens",MSOS 19 (1916), 71-2. 3 4 2 Some reports concerning al-Ta 'if exempted from obligatory participation in the expeditions of jihad. The Prophet then noted that in the future they would pay the poor tax, the sadaqa, and participate in the holy war (jihad).7 It is evident that, according to this version of the tradition, the Prophet freed Thaqif from the poor tax and from participation in war expeditions. The version which contains the final restrictive clause (idha aslamiu is, however, interpreted in a different way: the convert is granted a respite from the obligation till a prescribed time or within specific circumstances. In this case Thaqif would be obliged to pay the sadaqa, the poor tax, when the fixed time came and to participate in jihad whenever announced.' It can thus be deduced, according to this interpretation, that the Prophet merely postponed for Thaqif the fulfillment of some obligations. The exemption of Thaqif from paying the poor tax (~adaqa) and jihad is plainly reported in a haditti in which the Prophet conceded payment of the tithe (,ushr) as well as conscription (lakum an la tuhsharii wa-lii tu 'shariiy; their third demand, not to perform prostration in prayer (an la yujabbiiy was refused by the Prophet, on the grounds that faith without prostration was devoid of good." The two concessions of 'ushr and hashr are in fact included in the official epistle issued by the Prophet for Thaqif as recorded by Abu 'Ubayd.! 0 The request of the deputation to exempt Thaqif from prayer deserves particular attention. When the Prophet refused this demand he is said to have remarked: "A faith without prayer is devoid of good" (la khayra fi dlnin Iii saliita fihi);1 1 the deputation, in accepting the Prophet's decision, said: "We grant you that even 7 Ibn Rajab, Jami' al-tulum wa-l-hikam, ed. Muhammad al-Ahmadr Abu I-NUr, Cairo, 1389/ 1969, I, 180 inf.: ... wa-anna rastda l/ahi salla llahu 'alayhi wa-sallama qala: sa-yassaddaquna wa-yujahiduna (quoted from Ahmad b. Hanbals Musnad); Abu Dawud , Sunan, Cairo, 1348, II, 42; Ibn Katht r, al-Bidaya, V, 30 (In both sources the utterance of the Prophet ends with an additional clause: idha aslamu. They will pay the sadaqa and take part in the expeditions of the holy war "when they will embrace Islam "); al-Suyutr, al-Khasa'is al-kubra, ed. Muhammad Khalrl Haras, Cairo, 1386/1967. II, 145; Ibn al-Ath Ir , al-Nihaya L 238, records a different version of the tradition. It was Jabir who explained the reason for the Prophet's dispensation: "he knew that they would fight and pay the sadaqa when they convert." • See Ibn al-Atht r, al-Nihaya L 238, ll. 5-6: "... wa-lam yurakhkhis lahum ft tarki l-salati Ii-anna waqtaha hadirun mutakarrirun bi-khilafi waqti l-zakati wa-l-jihadi.' . 9 Abu Dawud , op. cit., II, 42: ... wa-la khayra ]t dtnin laysa fthi ruku'un; Ibn Kath Ir , alBidaya, V. 30; Ahmad b. Hanbal. Musnad, Bwaq, 1313, IV, 218 (with an additional request of the delegation: that the governor of al-Ta'if would be appointed from among themselves; this was granted by the Prophet). 10 AbO 'Ubayd , al-A m wal, pp. 190-3. no. 506. (The crucial expression Iii yuhsharuna is glossed by Abo 'Ubayd: tu'khadhu minhum sadaqatu l-mawash t bi-afniyatihim, ya'tthimu l-musaddiqu huniika, wa-la ya'muruhum an yajlibuha ilayhi. But L 'A s. v. J:1 sh r, referring to the conditions of the deputation of Thaqrf, explains /a yuhsharuna: ay Iii yundabuna ila l-maghaz t wa-la tudrabu 'alayhimu l-bu'uthu. L 'A also mentions the interpretation as recorded by AbU 'Ubayd, Both these explanations are recorded by Ibn al-Athrr in his Nihaya, s. v, J:! sh r; and see Ibn Zanjawayh, op. cit., fol. 67a; Muhammad Harnrdullah, op. cit., no. 181; cf. Abu 'Ubayd, Ghart bu l-hadt th, Hyderabad , 1385/1966, III, 197 ult.- 198. It See e.g. at-waqtcr. op. cit.,~. 968. 3 though it be humiliation" ifa-qali: sa-nu'tikahii wa-in kiinat dana'atani+? The expression dana 'a, baseness, or humiliation, seems at first blush somewhat odd in this context. However, its connotation may become apparent from additional reports. The requests of the deputation are recorded in several commentaries to the Qur'an (SUra XVII, 75): "Indeed they were near to seducing thee from that We revealed to thee ... " Al-Khazln v' and al-Baghawi !" record a tradition according to which the deputation asked the Prophet to grant them the following concessions: not to bend (or prostrate) in prayer; not to destroy their idols by themselves; and to be allowed to keep al-Lat for a period of a year, on condition that the goddess would not be worshipped (by them). The Prophet conceded that other people should pull down their idol, but refused to allow its demolition to be delayed; concerning prostration in prayer he remarked: "A faith in which there is no prostration is devoid of good" (fa khayra fi dinin fa rukii'a fihi).1 5 It is thus clear that the deputation did not seek exemption from prayer, but from prostration. According to Arab concepts of honor prostration was deemed demeaning. This is well reflected in the reply of Abu Talib, when invited by the Prophet to join him in prayer: "I know that you are on the right path, but I do not like to prostrate so that my hindquarter is higher than (the rest of) me" (. .. wa-lakinni akrahu an asjuda [a-ta'luwani stl).16 It is indeed instructive to find that Musaylima, when praying in front of Arabs, ordered them to perform the prayer upright, in the manner of noblemen. 17 The opinion of the other false prophet, Tulayha, about prostrations was also unfavourable and he forbade his followers to prostrate in prayer. 1 3 The idea regarding prostration as humiliating, in the Arab society of the Jahiliyya, is clearly reflected in Ibn 'Arabi's commentary to the Qur'an.' 9 The economic factor behind the request to preserve their idol, though com- * See e.g. Ibn Kathrr. al-Bidiiya, V, 30. Al-Khazin, Tafsir (= Lubab al-ta'wtl ft ma'ant I-tanzt Iv, Cairo, 1381, IV, 140 (the text here: III nahnt ft l-salat , with the gloss: ay: Iii nanhant i. 14 Al-Baghawi, Tafsir (= Ma'alim al-tanz tl) on margin of al-Khazins Tafstr , IV, 140 (with the reading la nanhani ft l-salat): and see Ibn al-Ath tr. al-Nihaya . I, 237 ult.- 238: L'A S.v. j b a (quoted from Ibn al-Ath Ir). 15 See this version as variant: 'All b. Burhan al-Dt n.on. cit .. lII. 245,1. 3; DaJ:1lan,op. cit., II. 147: Ibn Katht r. al-Bidaya, V, 30. 16 AI-KhaFb al-Baghdadr, Ta'rikh Baghdad. Cairo. 1349/1931, II. 274. 17 Nashwan , MulUk himyar wa-aqyal al-yaman, cd. 'Ali al-Muayy ad , IsmaIl al-Jaraft , Cairo, 1378, p. 176: ..• wa-kana musaylimatu idha salla bi-I· 'arabi qala: rna yurt du llahu bitauliyati adbarikum wa-sujudikum 'ala jibahikum. sallu li-llahi aiviiman. kiriiman. r e Ibn al-Ath Ir , at Kamil ft l-ta'rikh, 11.232: ... wa-kana ya'muruhum bi-tarki l-sujudi fT l-salati, y aqulu: inna llaha III yasna'u bi-ta'affuri wujidtikum wa-taqabbuhi (?) adbiirikum shay 'an. 1. See e.g. Ibn 'Arabt , Ahkam al-Qur'an, cd. 'Air Muhammad al-Bijawt, Cairo. 1387/1967, I, 21: ... wa-qad kana l-ruku 'u athqala shay 'in 'ala l-qaumi fi l-jahiliyyati, balta qala ba'du man aslama li-l-nabiyyi [s}: 'ala a/Ill akhirra ilia qa'iman, fa-min ta'awwulihi: 'ala atta arka'a. 12 13 4 Some reports concerning al- To 'if mitting themselves to eschew its worship, is given in a commentary to the Qur'an: Thaqif would indeed refrain during the year from worshipping their idol, but other people would come to worship it and bring offerings which will form part of the revenue of Thaqlf.2 0 Some of the traditions relate a remarkable story about the intervention of 'Umar during the negotiations of the Prophet with the delegation of Thaqi f. At a certain point in the negotiations, when the delegation enumerated its insolent and excessive demands, 'Umar noticed vexation on the face of the Prophet; he stood up and stopped the negotiations by forceful interference. Then God revealed the verse: "Indeed they were near to seducing thee ... " According to a tradition recorded by al-Zarnakhshan , the deputation came forward with a considerable list of conditions, demanding exemption from the tithe, from participation in military expeditions and from prostration. Whatever was coming to them in usury was to remain due. but everything they owed in usury to others was to be cancelled; al-Lat was to remain intact for a year, at the end of which the idol was to be destroyed by others, not by themselves; entrance to Wajj was to be forbidden to those seeking to cut trees in the area. Further, the deputation tried to persuade the Prophet, that if asked by the Arab tribes, he should claim that God had ordered him to grant these exceptional privileges and concessions toThaqif. The deputation came prepared with a letter in order to record the conditions agreed upon. They had written in the letter: "In the name of the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is the Ietter from Muhammad, the Messenger of God, to Thaqif. They will not pay the 'ushr (i.e. the tithe) and they will not be recruited for military expeditions." Then they added: "They will not prostrate in prayer." The Prophet kept silent. They said to the scribe: "Write: 'and they will not prostrate in prayer'." The scribe looked at the Prophet (waiting for his assent K). At that moment 'Umar stood up, drew his sword and said: "You burnt the heart of our Prophet, 0 men of Thaqif, may God bum your hearts" (literally: your livers)." The Thaqafites replied that they had not come to talk with him, but with the Prophet. It was then that the verse mentioned above was revealed."! There is no indication in this report whether the negotiations, broken off by 'Umar's interference, were resumed after the verse was revealed: whether the demands of Thaq if which were accepted by the Prophet, were later confirmed, and whether the docu- * 20 Al-Qurtubt , Tafstr (= al-Jiimi' li-akhnmi l-qur'an), Cairo. 1387/1967, X. 299; al-Tabarst , Majma' l-bayan ft tafstri l-qur'an, Beirut, 1380/1961, XV, 81. 21 Al-Zamakhsharr, al-Kashshaf', Cairo, 1354, II, 370; Ibn Hajar, al·Kiifr al-shaf ft takhrtji ahodt thi l-kashshiif, Cairo, 1354, p. 100, no 296, states that he could not lind this hadtth , but remarks that al-Tha'labr recorded it (evidently in his Tafstr -- K) on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, though without isnad; al-Naysabarr, Ghara'ib al-qur'an wa-raghn'ib al-furqan, Cairo, 1384/1965, XV, 64 (the text has: ... wa-la nujabbiya ft salntina with a gloss: ay Iii nasjuda; 'Umar's remark is different in style from that recorded in the Kashshafr; al-Razr, al-Tatstr al-kabtr (MaranlJ al-ghayb), Cairo, 1357/1938, XXI, 20. 5 ment was signed by the Prophet. It is however explicit in the report that the reason why the negotiations broke off was the demand for exemption from prostration in prayer. The report recorded by the early Qur'an commentator Muqatil b. Sulayman (d. 150 H) is more detailed and divergent in certain essential points. The deputation of Thaqif stressed in its speech the strong position of Thaqif and their influence on other tribes. If they accepted IsIam, they said, the whole of Najd would follow suit; if they fought, alI their allies would join them against the Prophet and his community. On this basis they appealed to the Prophet to accept their demands. Their conditions for converting to Islam included exemption from conscription, from tithes and from prostration in prayer, cancellation of their debts of usury while affirming suit debts owed to them by others; bestowing on the Wajj valley the status of the sacred haram of Mecca, to prevent outsiders from trespassing in order to cut trees there; having the Prophet appoint governors from Thaqif over the Banu Malik and the AJ:laf; the preservation of al-Lat and al-Tlzza (sic! ) for a year, though they were not to be worshipped by Thaqif, after which time the idols would be demolished by others. They urged the Prophet to accept their demands in order to demonstrate to the Arab tribes the Prophet's regard for them and their superiority over the other tribes. The Prophet acceded, in so far as he exempted them from the tithe, released them from conscription, promised to Iet their idols be destroyed by others, and granted them the privileges of usury; but he would not dispense them from prostrating in prayer. The crisis occurred when the deputation insisted on preserving al-Lat for a year. The Prophet remained silent, unwilling to refuse them and say "no"; the deputation remained equally adamant in their demand but for which they would not convert. They tried to persuade the Prophet that, if the Arab tribes blamed him for destroying their own idols while allowing that of Thaqif to remain, he could claim that God ordered him to do so It was at that instant that 'Umar intervened, holding that the deputation had vexed the Prophet. He emphasized that God could not allow heathen belief in a territory where He was worshipped, and demanded that they choose between conversion to Isiam and return to their abode.i? " Muqa til. Tafstr, Ms. Ahmct III, 74/1, fols, 2I7b· 2I8a: ... wa-dhalika anna thaqtfan atau l-nabiyya M fa-qalu: nahnu ikhwanuka wa-asharuka wa-jtranuka wa-nahnu khayru ahli najdin laka silman wa-adarruhu 'alayka harban, fa-in nuslim tuslim najdun kulluha, wa-in nuharibka vuharibka man wara'anii, fa-a'tina lladh t nurt du; [a-qala l-nabiyyu (s): wa-ma iurtdunar ~tJla: nuslimu 'alii an Iii nuhshara wa-la nu'shara wa-la nahniya, - yaquluna: 'alii an Iii nusalliya wa-la naksira asnamana bi-aydt na; wa-kullu riban lana 'ala l-nasi fa-huwa lana, wakullu riban ti-l-nasi fa-huwa 'anna maudu'un; wa-man wajadnahu ft waat wajjin yaqta'u shajaraha ntaza'nii 'anhu thiyabahu wa-darabna zahrahu wa-batnahu, wa-hurmatuhu ka-hurmati makkata wa-sayduhu wa-tayruhu wa-shajaruhu (?); wa-tasta'mila 'alii bant malikin rajulan wa- 'alii l.al]liiJi rajulan; wa-an tumatti'na bi-l-lati wa-l- 'uzza. sanatan wa-la naksirahii (/) bi· aydt na, min gh ayri all na'budaha, li-ya'rifa 1'l1iiSU karamatana 'alayka wa-fadlana 'alayhim; fa· qala lahum rasulu llahi (s): ammo qaulukum Iii nuhsharu wa-la nu'sharu wa-l-riba, fa-lakum; wa-amma qaulukum Iii nahnt , fa-innahu Iii khayra ft dt nin laysa fthi ruku'un wa-la sujtdun; qalic naf'alu dhalika wa-in kana 'alayna fthi dana'atun; wa-ammii qaulukum Iii naksiru asnamana bi-aydt na, fa-inna sa-na'muru man yaksiruha ghayrakum; thumma sakata l-nabiyyu 6 Some reports concerning aI-TO 'if The crisis in the negotiations, according to the report of Muqatil, occurred when the deputation insisted on their demand to keep the idol for a year; this was the cause why the negotiations failed, rather than their demand to be excused from prostration. There is nothing in this report on the reaction of the deputation, whether it yielded to having their idol destroyed without delay and whether the Prophet ratified the document on the basis of the concessions which he granted. It is noteworthy that this report explicitly states that the Prophet conceded to them profits from usury. Some questions which remain unanswered in this report can probably be answered by comparing it with the documents recorded by Abu 'Ubayd , and by comparing other accounts of the concession of usury, the privilege of the haram of Wajj, the exemption from tithes and from the military levy. A concise version recorded by Abu rUbayd indeed mentions that the deputation returned home after the Prophet rejected their requests for concessions concerning usury, prostration and wine. Subsequently, they willingly returned to convert to IsIam, and then the Prophet issued the document to them, as recorded by Abu 'Ubayd.i ' Although the setting of this tradition is different, the passage referring to the return of the deputation may be linked with the report recorded by Muqatil, The conditions agreed upon between the deputation and the Prophet, as given by Muqatil , seem to have served as basis for the Ietter of the Prophet. Abu 'Ubayd emphasizes that the Prophet granted Thaqif special privileges not given to other peoples. He concludes that the Prophet did this so as to reconcile their hearts to IsIam, and he mentions precedents in which the enemy's strength was feared and could be diverted by concessions, or in which conversion to Isiam was made conditional to certain privileges. In such cases the Prophet was wont to accede to the demands made.t" Abu 'Ubayd stresses that the Prophet did not grant Thaqif permission for transactions based on usury.f" This statement is true, for in the negotiations the Prophet indeed upheld his interdiction of usury; but he granted Thaqif the privilege of collecting the debts owed to them up to the day of their conversion, including the interest, whilst in paying their own debts to other peoples they would only pay the capital without interest. ya'bauna (,s), [a-qalu: tumatti'una bi-l-lati sanatan; [a-a'rada 'anhum wa-ja'ala yakrahu an yaqula ta, fa. l-islama; [a-qalat thaqt fun li-l-nabiyyi M: in kana bika malamatu I· 'arabi ft kasri asnamihim wa-tarki asnamina, [a-qul lahum: inna rabbt amarant an uqirra l-lata bi-ardihim sanatan; [a-qala 'umaru bnu l-khattabi (r) 'inda dhalika: ahraqturn qalba l-nabiyyi [s} bi-dhikri l-lati, ahraqa llahu akbadakum, ta, wa-la ni'mata 'aynin, inna llaha 'azza wa-jalla ta yada'u l-shirka ft ardin yu'badu llahu ta'ala ftha, fa-imma tuslimu kama yuslimu l-nasu, [a-imma talhaqu bi-ardikum; [a-anzala llahu 'azza wa-jalla: "wa-in kadu la-yaftinunaka - ay yasuddunaka 'ani lladh f auhayna i1ayka", 2 3 24 25 Abu 'Ubayd , al-Amwal, p. 194. Abu'Ubayd,al.Amwal,pp.193penu!t.-194. Abo 'Ubayd, al-Amwal , p. 194: ... wa-yubayyinu dhalika anna rasula llah! (s) lam yaj'al [t ma a'tiihum lahum, tahlt la l-riba. 7 The fact that the Prophet did grant them this concession can be deduced from the traditions concerning a Iaw suit brought before 'Attab b. Asi d, governor of Mecca in the period following the conversion of al-Ta'if. The Banii Mughira (a branch of Makhzirn), the traditions say, had close financial relations with the Banu 'Amr from al-Ta'if based on the lending of money. In their suit the Banii 'Amr demanded payment of the debt owed them by the Banii Mughira, arguing that the Prophet had permitted them to collect such debts with all due interest. The Banii Mughira argued, in their defence, tli.at they were in difficult straits, for usury was forbidden by Islam and consequently they had lost considerable sums of money owed to them. 'Attab b. Asi d wrote to the Prophet in Medina asking him for a decision in the matter. Then verse 278 of Siaat al-Baqara was revealed: "0 believers, fear God and give up the usury that is outstanding ... " The Prophet conveyed the verse to 'Attab, who summoned the Banu 'Amr from al-Ta'if and read before them the revealed verse. They promised to obey and act accordingly.! 6 and dropped their suit. The report about the suit of the Banu 'Arnr against the Banu Mugh ira? 7 supplements the tradition of Muqatil and supports its validity. The Prophet apparently granted Thaqi f the concession to collect the debts owed to them with all due interest up to the date of their conversion. The privilege granted seems, however, to have remained in force for a very short period and was abrogated by the verse of the Qur'an mentioned above. The date of the revelation of this verse can be fixed in the period after the visit of the deputation in 9 H and before the death of the Prophet in II H. The terms granted to Thaqif by the Prophet were considered by Muslim scholars as exceptionally favourable? 8 The privileged status granted to Thaqi f was 26 Muqatil,op. cit., I, fol. 47a; and see al-Suyutt , al-Durr al-manthta . Cairo, 1314, I, 366, 11. 12-18, 25-34; cf. al-Suyutt , Lubab al-nuqul ft asbabi l-nuztd, Cairo, 137 3/1954, p. 42inf.- 43; al·Wahidr, Asbab al-nuzul, Cairo, 1388/1968, pp. 58-9; al-Naysaburt, op. cit., III, 79; al-Qurtub t , Tafstr, III, 363: Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, cd. 'AH Muhammad al-Bijawt , Cairo, 1392/ 1972. VI, 551-2. 27 See al-Samarqand I, Tafstr, Ms. Chester Beatty 3668, I, 70b: ... nazalat hadhihi l-ayatu ft nafarin min bani thaqt fin wa-ft bant l-mugh trati min qurayshin, wa-kanat thaqt fun yurbuna li-bant l-mugh trati 11 l-iahiliyyati, wa-kanu arba'ata ikhwatin minhum mas'udun wa-iabdu yattta wa-akhawahuma yurbiyant li-bant l-mugh trati ; [a-lamma zahara l-nabiyyu 'ala ahli makkata wada'a l-riba, wa-kana ahlu l-ta'ifi qad salahu 'ala anna /ahum ribahum 'ala l-nasi ya'khudhimahu, wa-ma kana 'alayhim min riba l-nasi [a-huwa maudu'un 'anhum.Ta y u'khadhu minhum; wa-qad kana rasulu llahi (s) kataba lahum kitaban wa-kataba ft asfali kitabihim: inna lakum mi: li-l-muslimt na wa-talaykum ma 'alayhim; [a-lamma halla l-ajalu talaba thaqtfun ribahum, [a-khasamu ila amtri makkata wa-huwa 'attabu bnu ast din. .. ; and see this tradition (with slight variants) in al-Suyutrs al-Durr al-manthie, I, 364, 11. 3-8; cf. the concise comment on the verse of the Quran given by al-Jassas, Ahkam al-qur'an, Istanbul. 1338. I, 470: ... .faabtala minhu rna baqiya mimma lam yuqbad wa-lam yubtil al-maqbud (the abrogation referred to sums to be paid. but not to sums already paid). 28 See A. Ben-Shcmcsh , Taxation in Islam III (Qudarna b. Ja'far , Kit. al-kharai), Leidcn. 1965, II, 30 (Ar. text, fol. 83a: ... annahu wa-in kana bayna man aslama fa 'i'an wa-man ukriha 'ala l-islami [arqun qad abanahu rasuiu llahi M bi-l-fi'li, wa-dhalika annahu ia'ala li-ahli 8 Some reports concerning al-Ta 'if clearly expressed in the stipulation that Wajj was their exclusive domain (wathaqi fun ahaqqu l-niisi bi-wajjin), that no one could enter the city of al-Ta'if without their permission , that they could pIan the building of their city according to will, and that the governors would be appointed only from amongst themselves. The document of the Prophet formed, in fact, a definite solution to the longstanding competition between al-Ta''if and Mecca in the Jahiliyya. Tradition says that Quraysh increased in number in the period of the Jahiliyya and coveted the valley of Wajj; they proposed to Thaqif that they share the haram (of Mecca -- K) and Wajj on equal terms. Thaqif refused, arguing that Wajj had been built up by their ancestors (they having therefore exclusive right of control over the Iand and the city - K), whilst the haram of Mecca was established by Abraham (and was thus a place open to all - K). Quraysh then threatened to deny Thaqif access to Mecca; Thaqif', fearing war with Quraysh and their allies from Khuza'a and Bakr b. 'Abd Manat, were compelled to concede and entered into alliance with Quraysh.? 9 This alliance tightened their mutual relations; Thaqif were granted entrance into the Qurashf controlled Hums organization and intermarried with Quraysh.P" The agreement, however, also facilitated the purchase of Iand in Wajj by Qurashites, and reports of Qurash i possessions in Wajj and in al-Ta'if substantiate it.3 1 l-ta'ifi lIadhrna kana islamuhum tau'an ma lam yaj'alhu li-ghayrihim mithla tahrtmi wadthim wa-alla yu'bara ta'ifuhum ... ; the translation: "declared their water-sources protected areas" is slightly inaccurate; it should, of course, be rendered: "and he declared their valley as haram". 29 Muhammad b. Hab Ib, al-Munammaq , ed. Khursheed Ahmad Fariq , Hyderabact, 1384/ 1964, pp. 280-1. 3 0 AI-Jah~, Kitab al-amsar wa-'aja'ib al-bulda n, ed. Charles Pellat, Al-Mashriq 60 (1966), pp. 175-76 (The passage referred to: wa-mimmii banat [bihi) qurayshun annaha lam talid ft l-jahiliyyati waladan [majntinan) qattu wa-la-qad akhadha dhalika minhum sukkanu l-ta'ifi li-qurbi l-iiwari wa-ba'di l-musaharati wa-li- annahum kanu humsan wa-qurayshun hammasa thum, seems to contain a misreading, the amendment of which may here be suggested. The reading waladat is erroneous and consequently the addition [majnunan) is unwarranted. The reading that Quraysh "never gave birth to a mad child in the period of the Jahiliyy a" is incompatible with the following sentence, stating that the people of al-Ta'if "took it over (learnt it K) from them". The correct reading is apparently "lam ta'id": Quraysh never buried a [living female) child in the period of the Jahiliyya; Thaq If took over this custom (i.e. learnt it, adopted it - K) from Quraysh. In the following passage: "wa-laysa ft aydt jamt'i 1- 'arabi nisbatun min jamt 'i nisa'i quraysh", read correctly: sabiyyatun: when Islam came there was no captive Qurashr woman among all the tribes of the Arabs. [See the verse of al-'A~ b. Wa'il in al-Baladhurrs Ansab al-ashraf', Ms. 1'01. 1154a, about the women of Mecca: wa-inna ta tusaqu lana ki'abun: khilala l-naq'i badiyata l-khidamii. The word al-qasm [p. 176, 1. 3) should be read al-ghashm). 31 Al-Baladhurr , Futuh, p. 75; al-Tabarf, Ta'rt kh , II, 68: ... wa-qadima nasun min al!a'iji min qurayshin lahum amwalun ... ; and see Abu l-Baqa' Muhammad b. al-Diya' al-Makkr l-'Adawf, Ahwal Makka wa-l-Madt na, Ms. Br. Mus., Or. 11865, fol. 38b: ... wa-kana Ii-I- 'abbasi karmun bi-l-ta'ifi, wa-kana yahmilu zab tbahu ilayha we-kana yudayinu ahla l-ta'ifi wa-yaqtadt minhum al-zabtba ... ; ibid., fol. 39b sup.: .. .fa-kanat ft yadi 'aliyyi bni 'abdi llahi bni 'abbasin. .... y a'tthi l-zabtbu min malihi bi-l-ta'if. .. ; Muqatil,op. cit., II, 215a: ... wa-ja'altu lahu malan mamdidan (Sora LXXIV, 13) ya'nt bt-l-mali bustnnahu lladht lahu bi-l-ta'ifi, wa-l-mamdtdu lladh t ta yanqati'u ikhayruhu shita'an wa-la sayfan. The person referred to, 9 It may be of some importance to elucidate a peculiar passage in the letter of the Prophet concerning the real estate of Quraysh in the region of al-Ta'if. "Half of the (crops of ~ K) vineyards of Quraysh watered by Thaqi f will be (the lot ~ K) of them," says the stipulation in the document of the Prophet." 2 It is evident that this decision aimed at regulating the partnership relations between the Qurash i owners of the Iand and their Thaqafi partners, who saw to the tilling and watering of the vineyards. The Thaqafites, perceiving the weakness of the Qurashites who had been involved in the bloody struggle with the Prophet, tried apparently to change the terms of the partnership in their own favour, or even to take over the property of their Qurash i partners. This can be gauged from a tradition recorded by al-Baladhuri: when Mecca was conquered by the Prophet and Quraysh embraced Islam, the Thaqafites coveted the Iand property of the Qurashites (scil. in the region of al-Ta'if ~ K); when al-Ta'if was conquered (for Islam) the rights to ownership of the property were confirme d.V' The stipulation in the document of the Prophet seems to have settled the problem of the ownership of the land property of the Meccans and the conditions of their partnership with the Thaqafites. The privileges granted to Thaqif by the Prophet included exemption from 'ushr and hashr . The meanings attached to these two words are divergent, and Muslim scholars differed concerning their definition already in the second century H. Abu 'Ubayd states that the exemption from 'ushr means that they would not pay the tenth of their property, and that the tax paid by them would be confined to payment of sadaqa, i.e. five dirhams of every two hundred and fifty dirhams. The exemption from hashr is interpreted as meaning that they would not be ordered to gather their flocks and bring them to the tax-collector, who would come to them to their court-yards to Ievy their taxes.l" Other scholars, quoting the interpretation of Jabir,35 state that the Prophet in fact exempted them from payment of the poor tax, the sadaqa, but only for a very short period; as the time came to pay the tax of sadaqa, he postponed their payment until the end of the year. Comparing the decision of the Prophet to exempt Thaqif from~adaqa and jihad with his refusal to exempt Bashi r b. al-Khasasiyya from these two prescriptions, Ibn al-Ath ir explains that Bashir was an individual, whereas Thaqi f were a community group tjama'a], and that Thaqi f would not have converted in contrast to Bashi r, of whom the Prophet knew that he desired to embrace Islam. Therefore the Prophet sought to reconcile them and to bring them into lsiam by stages? 6 according Naysabun 32 33 to the commentary is al-Walrd , Ghara'ib, XXIX, 91. b. al-Mughf ra; cf. al-Qurtubt, Tafstr , XIX, 71; al- AbU 'Ubayd , al-Amwal, p. 191, ll, 18--19. Al-Baladhurr , Futuh, p. 75 (. .. wa-kanat naha min makkata [a-yuslihunaha; fa-lemma thaqtfun [t ha, hatta idha futihat al-ta'ifu uqirrat 34 Abu 'Ubayd , al·Amwal, p. 192. 35 See note 7 above. 36 Ibn al-Athrr. al-Nihaya, III, 239 inf.al-Khasasiyya: Ibn al-Athrr, Usd al-ghaba, Bnlaq, li-tammati qurayshin amwalun bi-l-ta'ifi ya'tu[utihat makkatu wa-aslama ahluha tami'at ft aydt al-makkiyytn ... ). 240; L 'A, s.v 1280, I, 193-4). 'a sh r; (see on Basht r b. 10 Some reports concerning al-Tti 'if" Some scholars explain hashr (Iii yuhsharunai, contrary to the interpretation of Abu 'Ubayd, as denoting that Thaqif would not be summoned for fighting in military expeditions."? Abu 'Ubayd's interpretation of 'ushr and hashr reflects in fact the Muslim opinion on the tax" 'ushr ", the tithe collected only from Jewish and Christian merchants, but from which Muslims were exernpt '" and on "hashr" the forbidden practice of driving the flocks to a specific location for the purpose of taxation (taxes were to be collected "on the spot", 'a/(i miyiihihim wa-bi-afniyatihim).39 The intricate and crucial problem of the meaning of these two terms was authoritatively solved by the late D.C. Baneth: "Der mehrfach vorkornmende Ausdruck Iii yuhshariina wa-ld yu'shanina ist uberall zu deuten: sie sollen weder zu Kriegsdiensten noch zum Zehnt herangezogen werden.t'"? The Prophet apparently exempted Thaqi f from the prescribed poor tax, sadaqa (=zakiit) and jihiid, in his endeavour to gain their cooperation and thus secure control over a city of considerable economic importance. The destruction of the heathen sanctuary of al-Lat according to the stipulations of the Ietter of the Prophet41 marked the conversion of Thaqif to Islam. The mosque of al-Ta'if was erected on the spot on which al-Lat had been worshipped," 2 a visible mark of the victory of Islam over paganism. The Prophet, of course, knew that Thaqif', after their conversion to IsIam, would become loyal members of the Isiamic community and perform fully the prescriptions of the new faith. The privileges bestowed upon Thaqif by the Prophet were generous and amounted almost to a measure of autonomy. The granted concessions, however, very soon lost their importance, when al-Ta'if was incorporated into the body politic of the nascent Muslim commonwealth. The Prophet sent 'Uthman b. ab i I-'Ai} to al-Ta'if as governor't ' and Salif b. 'Uthman b. Mu'attib as tax collector.44 37 Ibn al-Athfr,al-Nihaya, I, 389; L'A, s.V. I) sh r: ct. al-Zamakhsharl, al-Fa'iq.Y), 433 sup .. 1,180, ll. 13-14. 3S See Abu 'Ubayd , al-Amwal, pp. 528-30, nos. 163143 (and see csp. no. 1638); and SCL' al-Tahawr , Sharh ma'ant l-athiir, ed. Muhammad Zuhrr l-Najjar , Cairo, 1388/1968, II. 30-3. 39 Sec e.g. Abu 'Ubayd , al-Amwal, p. 404. no. 1092; and sec above, notes 7.10. 40 D.H. Baneth, Beitrdge Zur Kritik und zum sprachlichen Verstandnis der Schreiben Mohammeds (Resume of thesis, 1920). 41 Sec e.g. al-Waqidt , op. cit., pp. 971-2. 42 See Yaq fit , Mu'jam al-buldan, s.v. al-Lat: Ibn al-Kalb I; Kit. al-asnam. cd , Ahmad Zakr Pasha, Cairo, 1343/1934. p. 16. (Comp. the story of the destruction of Dhn l-Khalasa: Ibn alKalb I, op. cit .• pp. 35inf.- 36; the mosque of 'Abla', was erected on the spot of the sanctuary of Dhu Khalasa [see al-Baladhurr, Ansab al-ashraf , Ms. 1'01. 1l75a inf.: ... thumma innahu !lGjja ita dht l-khalasata wa-huwa bay tun bi-l-iabla' kanat khath'amun wa-man yalthim min qaysin wa-ghayrihim yahujjunahu, wa-huwa l-yauma maudi'u masjidi I· 'abla 'i... J). 43 AI-BaHidh'urI, FUnD!, p. 79; Ibn Qutayba, ~/-Ma'arif. cd. Tharwat 'Ukash a. Cairo. 1969, pp. 268-9; ai-r-asr. al-Tqd al-thamt n ft ta'rt kh al-balad al-amt n, cd , Fu'ad Sayyid, Cairo. 1386/1966, VI. 24-5; al-Zurqanr, SharlJ al-mawahib, IV, 10; Khallfa b. Kh ayy at, Ta'rlkh, cd , Akram Diya' al-Umarr , al-Najaf', 1386/1967, pp. 61. 91; al-Dhahab t, Siy ar a'lam al-nubala'i ce Ibraht m al-Abyarr , Cairo. 1957, II, 269. 44 Al-Baladhurr, Ansab al-ashraf, cd. Muhammad Ham rdullah, Cairo. 1959. I. 531; Ibn * 11 Sa'd b. abf Waqqas was appointed by the Prophet over the himii of Wajj.4 5 This marked, of course, the full absorption of Thaqif into the activities of the Muslim community. Later al-Ta'if became a district of Mecca.i " Abu Bakr appointed 'Attab b. Asid as governor of Mecca and al-Ta'if, but Iater 'Uthman b. abi l-'.A~was reappointed governor of al-Ta'if', Ieaving 'Attiib solely as governor of Mecca." 7 'Umar appointed Nafi' b. 'Abd al-Harith from Khuza'a as governor of Mecca and al-Ta'if, but Iater dismissed him48 and appointed Sufyan b. 'Abdallah al-Thaqafi as governor of Tii'if;4 9 other sources record that 'Umar sent him to al-Ta'if as taxcollector. so In his questions addressed to 'Umar concerning taxes imposed on cattle, fruits and honey, and in 'Umar's instructions there is no trace of a privileged position for al-Tii'if,s 1 nor is there any such position in the taxation on land. Al-Ta'if had become equal to alI other regions of the Arabian peninsula." 2 The stipulation concerning the tahrim of the entire area of al-Ta'if seems to have lost its validity and the privately owned himiis fell under the control of the governor and received formal acknowledgement and protection upon due payment of taxes. 5 3 Shortly after the Prophet's death Thaqif were summoned to participate in the enormous effort of the Muslim conquests: on the eve of the expedition against Syria, Abu Bakr called upon the people of al-Ta'if to join the forces being despatched towards the borders of the Byzantine ernpire.P" It is noteworthy that as early as 13 H, 'Umar appointed Abu 'Ubayd al-Thaqafi , the martyr of the Battle of the Bridge, as the commander of the Muslim forces fighting on the Persian frontier." 5 Hajar, al-Isaba, III, 8, no. 3041; ... [a-lamma aslamu sta'mala min al-ahlafi siilifa bna 'uthmana 'ala sadaqati thaqt fin .•. ; Ibn al-Athrr, Usd, 1II, 245; and sec Ibn al-Kalb I, Jamhara, Ms. Br. Mus., Add. 23297, tol, 155a, 11.3-5. 45 Al-Waqid I, op. cit., p. 973,11. 7-8. 46 Al-Baladhurr, Futun, p. 75 (... wa-sarat ardu I-to. 'ifi mikhlafan min makhaltfi makkata). 47 Al-Baladhurr, Ansab, L 529. . 48 AI-FasI, al-Tqd al-thamt n, VII, 320-2, no. 2574; Ibn al-Ath Ir , Usd. V, 7-8; cf.Tbn Hajar, al-Isaba, VI, 408. 49 Al-Baladhur l, Futuh, pp. 77, 79; see on him Ibn Hajar. al-Isaba, III, 124. no. 3317; Ibn al-Ath t r. Usd, II. 319-20; al-Fast, al- 'Iqd , IV. 590, no. 1308; KhalIfa b. Khay yat, op. cit., p. 129. 50 'Abd al-Razzaq , al-Musannaf , ed. Hab tburrahrnan al-A'zamf, Beirut, 1391/1972, IV, 10, no. 6806 (. .. anna 'umara bna l-khattabi ba'atha sufyana bna 'abdi llii!!i l-thaqafiy ya sa'iyan ... ), II, no. 6808 (. .. anna sufyana bna 'abdi llahi wa-huwa yusaddiqu ft makhalt fi l-ta'ifi ... ) 51 See 'Abd al-Razzaq , op. cit., IV, 14. no. 6816; al-Baladhurf , FutUIJ, pp. 76-8; cf. Yahya b. Adam, Kit. al-kharaj, cd. Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, Cairo, 1347. p. 155, no. 548. 52 See AbO Yusuf', Kit. al-kharaj, Cairo, 1382, pp. 58inf.. 63; AbU 'Ubayd , al-Amwal, p. 512, no. 1560. 53 See 'Abd al-Razzaq , op. cit., IV, 62. no. 6969; Abo Yusuf. op. cit, pp. 55 inf., 70 inf.- 71 sup.; AbO 'Ubayd, al-Amwal, p. 497, no. 1488; Ibn AbI Shayba, al-Musanna]. 1II. 141; and see F. Lokkegaard , Islamic Taxation, Copenhagen, 1950, p. 31 (and sec ib., pp. 22-35 on haram and hima). 54 Al-Baladhuri, Futuh, p. 149. 55 See e.g. al-Baladhurt , Futuh, pp. 350-2; al-Tabarr, Ta'rt kh , II. 630-2; Ibn A'tham, al-Futflfl, Hyderabad, 1388/1968, I, 164. 12 Some reports concerning st.t» 'If As equal but not privileged members of the emerging society of the Arab Empire, the Thaqafites migrated to the various regions of the conquered Iands and produced quite a few well known Ieaders and administrators, as well as rebels. II The wars of the ridda and the subsequent wars of conquest and expansion brought about fundamental changes in the population structure of the Arabian peninsula. As a result of the fact that tribal units emigrated by waves to the new1yconquered territories, bonds between clans and tribes were loosened, weakening the units and groups which remained in the peninsula; this led to the necessity to form new bonds amongst these tribal groups. Furthermore, small and weak tribal units, which had split away from their main tribe and had come to dwell among other tribal divisions, detached themselves during this stormy period of migrations, and tried to find the way back to their original tribes. The changes which the re-distribution of land by the rulers in the Arabian peninsula introduced were considerable: vast areas of pasture land were expropriated and turned into himii territory; lands of the expelled Jews and Christians in Najran were divided and Ieased out on terms now fixed by the Caliph+" and exacted by his governors. Large estates were established by members of the Meccan aristocracy, and wells were dug (especially on the routes of the /:zajj), providing them with water. Captives from the conquered territories were brought to the Arabian peninsula and employed by land owners in building up their estates. The rapid development of Mecca, as a center of pilgrimage for the rising Empire, called for Iarge supplies of vegetables and fruits. This was the impetus for the growth of well-cultivated farms and estates in the vicinity of Mecca and Medina, providing for the needs of the population and the pilgrims to these two cities. Mu'awiya's grasp of the economic importance of real estate led him to acquire lands in the area of Mecca and Medina, where he also purchased buildings and courts. He did the same in al-Ta'if, buying land from Jews who had settled there as merchants after being expelled from al-Yaman and Medina." 7 It is obvious S 6 See Ibn Abr Shayba , Ta'rtkh, Ms. Berlin 9409 (Sprenger 104), fol. 100b: haddathana abu khalidin al-ahmaru 'an yahya bni sa'tdin anna 'umara ajla ahla najrd na l-yahtda wa-l-nasara wa-shtara (text: wa-starii) bayuda ardihim wa-kurumihim, fa-tamala 'umaru l-nasa: in hum ja'u bi-I-baqari wa-l-hadtdi min 'indihim fa-Iahumu l-thulthani wa-Ii- 'umara l-thulthu; wa-in ia'a 'umaru bi-I-badhri min 'indihi fa-Iahu l-shatru; wa- 'amalahum al-nakhl (sic!) 'alii anna lahumu l-khumsa wa-li-tumara arba'atu akhmasin; wa-tamalahum al-karm (sicl) 'alii anna lahumu l-thultha wa-/i- 'umara l-thulthani. 'Umar denotes in this report (. .. wa-li- 'umara, ... wa-in ja'a 'umaru ... ) the Muslim government of Medina. It is obvious that the government established a new order of the agrarian organization of Najran and supplied, in certain cases. the peasants with means of cultivation of the land. S 7 See al-Baladhur l, Futuh, p. 75. 13 that Mu'awiya needed labourers to cultivate his lands, as well as reliable personnel for maintaining his houses and managing his enterprises.i 8 The thread which may Iead us to a better understanding of Mu'awiya's policy against the background of the contemporary social and economic situation is provided in a concise account which states that Mu'awiya affiliated the 'A'idhat Quraysh (i.e. the Khuzayma b. Lu'ayy) to Quraysh in order to strengthen his power by them tyatakaththaru bihim ).59 The expression "yatakaththaru bihim ", in the context of the reports on the power struggle between the various parties, denotes the affiliation or adoption of a group of people by one of the parties in order to overcome a contending party.v" The application of this principle in relation to the Banii Sarna is recorded in a significant report, transmitted by al-Zubayr b. Bakkar and Muhammad b. Habi b , on the authority of al-Zuhri. Abu Jahm b. Hudhayfa'' ' came to Mu'awiya who enquired about his fight and dissension with Thaqif', for the Iatter had submitted a complaint against him to Mu'awiya. Abu Jahrn's succinct reply was: he would not be reconciled with them until they said: "Quraysh and Thaqif , Liyya 5' See M. Rosen-Ayalon (ed.), Studies in Memory of Gaston Wiet, Jerusalem 1977, p. 44, notes 52·5. 59 See Oriens 25-26 (1976) 56, note 42; and see on 'A'idhat Quraysh: al-Zubayr b. Bakkar , Jarnharat nasab quraysh wa-akhbtiriha. Ms. Bodley. Marsh 384. fol. 199a·b; Mus'ab al-Zubayr t , Nasab quraysh, ed. Levi Provencal, Cairo, 1953, p. 442 sup.; al-Tsarn I, Simt al-nuiam al- 'awalt , Cairo, 1380, I, 164. (And see about the different petty tribal divisions alleging a Qurashr pedigree: Oriens 25-26 (1976) 55-56, notes 33-41; and see about the Murra b. 'Auf alleging Qurashi origin: al-Baladhurf , Ansab, Ms., fol. 1143b; and see about the expulsion of Al Junayda b. Qays from amongst Quraysh by 'Umar: al-Zubayr b. Bakkar, op. cit., fol. 201b; and see about alliances of certain small tribal factions: al-Zubayr b. Bakkar , op. cit., fol. 199b: wa-kana banu ma't si bni 'amiri bni lu'ayyin wa-banu l-adrami wa-banu muharibi bni fihrin hulafa 0... ; cf. al-Tsamr, op. cit., L 164: wa-ft qurayshin rahtun yuqiilu lahu l-ajrabani wa-hum banu bagh tdi (read correctly: ma'isi) bni 'amiri bni lu'ayyin wa-banu muharibi bni fihrin, wa-kana hadhani l-rahtani mutahalifayni we-kana yud'ayani l-ajrabayni ... ). 60 The accusation of 'Abd al-Rahrnan b. al-Hakam raised against Mu'awiya: lau lam tajid ilia l-zanja la-takaththarta bihim 'alayna ... was mistranslated and misinterpreted by Lammens, Etudes sur la Regne du Calife Omaiyade Mo'awia Ier, Beyrouth, 1906, p. II: ... Par Dieu si les negres pouvaient te rendre service tu n 'hesiterais pas les employer pour affermir ton pouvoir .. given as proof for the preceding assumption of Lammens: ... Ainsi, dans Ie gouvernement de l'islam, agissaient Mo'awia et, a son exemple, les Omaiyades; chez Ie premier surtout, la raison d'etat a generalement prime les autres considerations ... This utterance was as well mistranslated and misinterpreted by W. Hoenerbach, "Araber und Mittelmeer , Anfiinge und Probleme Arabischer Seegeschichte" in: Zeki Velidi Togan'a Armagan, Istanbul, 1950-5, p. 385: "Wenn du Profit haben konntest durch die Zang so wiirdest du Profit durch sie haben ... tatsachlich kennzeichnet sie seine stete Bereitschaft zur Ubernahme alter Einrichtungen. .. The correct translation should be: " ... If you found none but negroes, youwould strive to out-number us by [adopting or attaching) them [scil. to your clan - K1", as I gave it in Studies in Memory of Gaston Wiet, p. 44, note 57. 61 See on him Ibn Hajar , al-Isaba, VII, 71, no. 9691; Ibn 'Abd al-Barr , al-Istt ab, ed , 'Air Muhammad al-Bijawi , Cairo, 1380/1960, pp. 1623-4, no. 2899; Ibn al-Ath tr , Usd, V, 163-4; Mus'ab , Nasab . pp. 369. 371; a1-FasI, al-Tqd, VIII, 34, no 2846; Anonymous, al·Ta'rfkh almuhkam ft man intasaba ila l-nabiyyi ~allii llahu 'alayhi wa-sallam, Ms. Br. Mus., Or. 8653, fol. 178a. a 14 Some reports concerning al-Tti'if and Wajj.,,62 "By God," said Abu Jahm, "only a fool from among them will like us and only a fool from among us will like them; by this we discern our fools.':" 3 Another report, also related on the authority of al-Zuhri , tells of the conversation between Mu'awiya and Abu Jahm on the Iatter's second visit64 to Mu'awiya , complementing and elucidating the policy which Quraysh were pressing with regard to the Bakr b. 'Abd Manat, a Kinani division which had Iong sojourned at Mecca, and towards Thaqi f in al-Ta'if. Abu Jahm gives details of the situation and explains his pIan of action; Mu'awiya relates the steps taken. "The Banu Bakr (i.e. Banu Bakr b. 'Abd Manat b. Kinana) are increasing in numbers, surpassing us" (thus forming a danger to our authority in the city - K);6S said Abu Jahm, advising Mu'awiya to send to the Banu Sarna and to settle them beyond the Ditch (khandaq) opposite the best of the Banu Bakr;66 he further proposed to grant to the Banii 62 The reading in al-Munammaq , p. 397, l. 7: wa-lita wajj is erroneous; read: wa-liy atu wa-wajj. 63 The passage in al-Munammaq , p. 397, l. 7: wa-la yuhibbuna minna ilia ahmaqa, wa-Ia yuhibbuhum minna ilia ahmaqu wa-bi-dhalika na'tabiruka min hamqana, is erroneous; read: wa-la yuhibbuna minhum ilia ahmaqu, wa-la yuhibbuhum minna ilia ahmaqu, wa-bi-dhiilika na'tabiru hamqana ; and see al-Bakrt , Mu'jam rna sta'[am, p. 1168. 64 The text in al-Munammaq , p. 397, l. 8: [t qa/'atin ukhra is erroneous; read as in alZubayrs Jamhara: ft wafdatin ukhra wafadaha ilayhi. 65 For the expression yatakaththaruna 'alayna see e.g. al-Zubay r b. Bakkar,op. cit., fol. 184a: ... fa-inna ban! kilabi bni murrata takaththaru 'ala butuni ban! ka'bi bni lu'ayyin [atahalafat 'alayhim tilka l-ahlaf. .. 66 In al-Munarnrnaq: fa-j'alhum janaba bant bakr: in al-Zubayrs Jamhara: [a-j'alhum 'ala suyyabi ball! bakr. The pedigree of the Bano Sarna is obscure. their relation with Quraysh is disputed and the reports of the scholars of nasab about their ancestor Sarna b. Luayy are divergent and contradictory. According to tradition Sarna was compelled to leave his tribe. He escaped to 'Urn an where he married the Qu"a'f Najiy a bint Jarm b. Rabba n, "D1C report that Sarna died childless is corroborated by an utterance of the Prophet that he left no progeny. But a contradictory hadt th attributed to the Prophet says that the Prophet asked a man about his pedigree. He said he was a descendant of Sarna and the Prophet asked: "The poet?", referring to a widely circulated verse of Sarna. This may obviously point to the fact that the Prophet confirmed the existence of descendants of Sarna. Somewhat clearer information can be obtained from an account according to which the Prophet received a delegation of the Ban u Sarna and remarked that they were the relatives of Quraysh. Some genealogical accounts say that Sarna's son from his first marriage (with Hind bint Taym al-Adrarn b. Ghalib), al-Harith , married after the death of Sarna his stepmother Najiya bint Jarm in accordance with the custom of nikah al-maqt . The BanO Sarna are thus the descendants of al-Harith b. Sarna and Najiy a and are known as the Banu Najiya. Another report says that Sarna and Najiya had only a daughter, 'Aja, and the Ban u Sarna (or Banu Najiya) are the progeny of this daughter. A divergent account reports that Sarna died childless; Najiy a married after his death a man from Bahrayn and gave birth to a child named al-Harith. When her second husband died she went with her child. al-Harith , to Mecca claiming falsely jhat al-Harith was the child of Sarna b. Luayy , She was welcomed by Ka'b b. Luayy and accommodated by him with her child in Mecca. But when after some time a group of people from al-Bahrayn divulged her lie. Ka'b b. Lu'ayy banned Najiya with her son from Mecca; they returned to al-Bahrayn. Another report states that Sarna did not beget children; he adopted a child of Najiya and the Banu Sarna. arc in fact descendants of this adopted son. 15 Sarna as a source of sustenance the (income of the - K) settlements of Fadak, Khaybar and Wadi' l-Qura, Further, Abu Jahm described the situation in al-Ta'if, saying that Thaq if would surpass Quraysh in numbers in Wajj and proposed that Mu'awiya send many Byzantines and Persians't " to settle densely in the Wajj valley, so that "we may devour them (i.e. Thaqif) by them (i.e. the Byzantines and Persiansj.P" Mu'awiya expressed his full assent and told Abu Jahm that he fully settled'"" the (quarters of the -~ K) Banu Bakr with warriors and troops, so that if a Qurashite were to become enraged 7 0 he would send for one of the Banii Bakr; the Bakr i would be brought before him 71 and would do what he (i.e. the Qurash i) would wish him to do. Mu'awiya emphasized what he did with Thaqi f', driving them from their abode and resettling them in the high mountains of al-Sarat. They asked to be given their pay in 'Iraq, but Mu'awiya insisted upon paying them in Syria, the country of plagues 72 in order to be rid of them. All their property After the rise of Islam a delegation of the Banu Sarna asked to be affiliated to Quraysh. tracing their pedigree back to Sarna b. Lu'ayy , the ancestor of Quraysh. Both 'Umar and 'Alr denied any connection of Quraysh with them, refusing to include them in the pay-roll of Quraysh. A statement of 'All that the Banu Sarna were descendants of a bondsmaid of Sarna raped by one of his black slaves. is said to have led to a rebellion of the troop of the Banu Najiya numbering 300 warriors. They openly revolted under their leader. al-KhirrIt b. Rashid (from the Sarnt clan of 'Abd al-Bayt). They left 'Air's camp and were joined by Muslim political malcontents, as well as by local inhabitants who refused to pay the land-tax (kharaj) and by Kurds and Bedouins. 'All was compelled to levy a strong force under the command of Ma'q il b. Qays al-Riyahr who succeeded to defeat al-Khirrr t's force in the region of al-Ahwaz. AI-Khirrft retreated to the coastal territory of the Persian Gulf where he managed to rally the Banu Sarna, some of the 'Abd Qays. as well as Christians and converts to Islam from Christianity, who wanted to revert to their former faith. A strong force dispatched by 'Air defeated the rebelling troop and al-Khirrft was killed in the battle. The captives were sold to Masqala b. Hubayra al-Shaybant . who treed them; he failed, however, to pay the promised sum, absconded and joined Mu'awiya. The Banu Sarna were later known by their hostile attitude towards 'AIr. (See: al-Husayn b. 'Air al-Maghribr, al-Inas bi-tilmi l-ansab . Ms. Br. Mus., Or. 3620, fols. 51a 55a; al-Aghani, index; al-Tabarr , Ta 'rtkh . index; Ibn A 'tham, al-Futuh, Hyderabad 1391/1971, IV, 75 -88; Ibn Abr l-Had rd , Sharh nahi al-balagha, ed. Muhammad Abu l-l-adl lbraht m , Cairo, 1385/1965, Ill, 119 122, 126 151. Ibn Hazrn, Jamharat ansab al-tarab , cd. 'Abd al-Salam Harun, Cairo. 1962. p. 173; Ibn al-Athrr. Usd, 11,110; Ibn 'Abd al-Barr. at-Istt'ab io», 458-9; al-Baladhur t. Ansab al-ashraf, Ms., fol 1054a; and see W. Casket: Gamharat an-nasab, das genealogische Werk des Hisam ibn Muhammad al-Kalbt, II, 123, s.v. 'Abdalbait b. al-Harit: Oriens 25 26.56 (1976), note 3R). 67 In aJ-Zubay r's Jamhara: ja-akthlr min tat-ahrari min I al-rumi wa-l-fursi [wa-mla' wajjan minhum); the words in brackets arc missing in al-Munammaq. 6. The reading hatta ta'kulahum is erroneous; read: hatta na'kulahum. For the expression na'kulu bi see al-Tabart , Ta'rtkh , II, 84: wa-llahi lau annt akhadhtu hadha l-fata min qurayshin la-akaltu bihi I· 'araba. 69 The reading mala'ahum in al-Munammaq is erroneous; read: [a-qad mala'tuhum. 70 The correct reading is: hattii anna ahadakum la-yaghdabu I-ghadbata as in al-Zubay rs Jamhara. 71 Read as in the Jamhara: [a-yuqadu ilayhi (not: [a-yanqaduv: the correct reading is given in al-Munammaq, p. 39g, note 9. 72 The reading ardu l-mitwa't n, the "land of the obedient". is erroneous; the correct reading is ardu l-tawa't n, the land of plagues and pestilences. This latter reading is corroborated by 16 Some reports concerning al-Ta 'if (lands -- K) were taken over by Quraysh and Mu'awiya settled the territory with Byzantines and Persians.?" The quoted traditions indeed explain the report stating that Mu'awiya affiliated the Banu Sarna to Quraysh, with the aim of gaining strength for his clan through this extension. They were settled in Mecca and served as his loyal supporters, increasing his authority and reducing the power of the Bakr b. 'Abd Manat, a tribal division which had played a considerable role in the relations between Quraysh and the Prophet. Mu'awiya's policy in relation to al-Ta'if is fully expounded in this report. He strived, like his father, to acquire lands in al-Ta'if and its surrounding. territories and to widen Qurash i influence there. The Qurash i aim is expressed in the saying of Abu Jahm: "There will be no reconciliation with Thaqi f until they say Liyya and Wajj, Quraysh and Thaqi f." The intention seems to be that Thaqif should acknowledge the demands of Quraysh to share in Liyya and Wajj as equal partners. The Qurash i pressure was reinforced by the dispersion of Thaqif in the mountains of al-Sarat and by necessitating them to go to Syria, considered a country exposed to plagues, in order to collect their pay. The Persians and Byzantines mentioned in the report were, in all probability, captives employed as labourers on the Iarge estates. * Al-Ta'if after that played no political role in the history of the Muslim Empire. Praised for its good climate it remained a summer resort for the wealthy of Mecca and Medina. The descendants of Thaqif clung fondly to the document of the Prophet about Wajj; 74 the fertile lands in the vicinity of al-Ta'if seem to have been considered a good investment and it is quite pIau sible that Hisham b. 'Abd al-Ma1ik purchased real estate there." 5 As a place of pilgrimage al-Ta'if became coupled with Mecca 76 or given a twofold sanctity comprising that of Mecca and of the Holy Land: al-Ta'if was a piece of Palestine transferred by God to the Arabian peninsula and placed in the spot of al-Ta'if after having performed the tawiif around the Ka'ba."? The traditions attributed to the Prophet, in which he the phrase: "so that you and I may be rid of them ", i.e. they would perish, afflicted by plagues in Syria. See on the "tawa'tn al-sham" al-Tha'alibt, Thimar al-qulub . cd. Muhammad Abo l-Fadl Ibrahim, Cairo, 1384/1965, p. 547, no. 896. And see about the deportation of people suspected of rebellious actions to Syria, the country of plagues: al-Baladhurf , Ansab IV A, 232, II. 5-6: wa-wadidtu ann! kuntu habastuhu wa-ashabahu au farraqtuhum ft kt:lri l-shami [a-kafatnt himu l-tawa't nu. 73 AI-Zubayr'b. Bakkar , op. cit., fol. 170b; Muhammad b. Habt b , al-Munammaq . pp. 397-9. 74 Sh ak Ib Arsla n, op. cit., p. 119: .. ' wa-kanat thaq tfun tatawarathu hadha l-kitaba wa-tatabarraku bihi (quoted from Ibn Fahds Tuhfat al-lata 'if). 75 Al-Baladhur l, Ansab . Ms. Iol. 1225b: ... ittakhadha hishamun malan bi-I-fll'if. .. 76 Shak tb Arslan. op. cit., p, 136: inna I.~a'ifa min makkata wa-makkatu min al-tii'ifi (quoted from al-'Ujayml's Ihda'u I-lata 'if). 77 See Le Museon 82 (1969),' 206, note 92; and sec al-Tabarr, Tafstr , ed. Shakir, III 52; al-'Ayyashl, Tafstr, ed. Hashim al-Rasult l-Mahallatr, Qumm, 1380, 1,60; al-Mas'udr, 17 asserted that Thaqi f were among the worst of the Arab tribes,78 were replaced by traditions of praise. "The first for whom I shall intercede on the Day of Resurrection will be the people of Mecca, Medina and al-Tii'if,,,79 said a tradition attributed to the Prophet. "Thaqif are God's deputation," says another tradition alleged to have been uttered by the Prophet." 0 Current stories predicted that during the period of disasters at the end of time the best people would dwell in the neighbourhood of al-Ta'if.3l "Wajj is a sacred valley," says a hadi tli recorded in the early compilation of Ma'rnar b. Riishid.52 In the vein of this trend the tradition of God's last tread seems to have been altered: "Wajj is a sacred valley; from Wajj God, may He be blessed' and exalted, ascended to Heaven after He had accomplished the creation of heaven and earth."113 Wajj seems thus to have turned into the Iast spot on earth on which God trod and from which He ascender, to Heaven, against the claims made on behalf of the Rock of the Dome in Jerusalem. Ithbat al-wasiy ya. Najar. 1374/1955, p. 39; Ibn Babuyah , 'Ilal al-shara'i', Najaf, 1385/1966, pp. 442·3; ai-SUYO!I, al-Durr al-manthur, I, 124; al-Majlisr, Bihar al-anwar . Tehran, 1378, XII, 109; Hashim al-Bah rani al-Taubalt al-Katkant , al-Burhan tafstri l-qur'an, cd. Mahmud al-Musawf al-Zarand t . Tehran, 1375, I. 155, no. 8 and II, 319, nos. 4-5; Sh ak Ib Arslan , op. cit .. p. 133. ,. See Ibn Kath t r , al-Bidaya . VI, 236: ... sharru qaba'ili Varabi banu umayyata wa-banu hant fata wa-th aqt jun: al-Daylarnr, al-Firdaus. Ms. Chester Beatty 3037, Iol. 94a. n 79 Al-Nab Il. al-Awa'il. Ms. Zahiriyya. had t th 297/1. fol, 22a; Ibn 'Abd ai-Barr. at-Ist t'ab, p. 1007: al-Muhibb al-Tabar i, al-Qira li-qasidi umm al-qura, ed. Mu~tani l-Saqa, Cairo. 1390/ 1970, p. 666. "0 Ibn Hibban al-Bust I, Kit. al-majruht n, cd. 'Az t« al-Qadir I, Hyderabad. 1390/1970. I, 148: ... thaqt fun wajdu lliihi 'azza wa-jall a; and see Alunad b. 'Hanbal , Musnad, III, 342inf.: qiila rasulu llahi (s): allahumma hdi th aq i fan. s i Shakib Arslan. op. cit .. p. 136 (quoted from al-Mayurq i's Bahjat al-muhaj ft ba'di [ada'il al-ta 'if wa-wajjt. 82 'Abd aI Razzaq , al-Musanna]. XI, 134, no. 20125: al-Muhibb al-Tabar I, op. cit., p. 666. 83 Al-Bak rr. Mu'jam p. 1370. 18

Social and Religious Concepts of Authority in Islam

social_religious.pdf SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS CONCEPTS OF AUTHORITY IN ISLAM In memory of my brother Aharon Kister. The commonwealth set up by the prophet Muhammad in Medina, including various tribal groups and factions, united by the superimposed ideas of the new religion of Islam, formed the umma, the community of Islam. This unprecedented body politic in the north of the Arabian peninsula originated and developed in its first stages due to the undisputed authority of the Prophet, who served as the sole guide, leader, judge, and legislator of the community; he derived his authority from the continuous revelation granted to him by God. The character of the Prophet was moulded according to the Qur'an, as formulated in a concise utterance of 'A'isha.I In Muslim tradition the Prophet is depicted as a symbol of righteousness and justice than whom nobody could be more just.2 He acted equitably See, e.g., Abu l-Shaykh, Akhlaq al·nabi, pp. 19, 29: ...qalat: kana khuluqu rasuli Il1Jhi (~) al-qur'ana ... ; al-SuyutI, al·Durr, 6, 251; Ibn Kathlr, Ta/sir, 7, 80-81; Ibn Kathlr, Shamti'i/, pp. 57-58; Ibn AbI l·ijadld, SharI} nahj, 6, 340; al·Mubarrad, al·Ft14i/, p. 16; and see al-SulamI, Adab al·~ul}ba, p. 23, n. 4 [the references of the editor]; al-Munawi, Fay4, 5, 170, no. 6831. See, e.g., the story about the meeting of Ohu I·Khuway~ira with the Prophet (and the story of OM I-Thudayya): Ibn Hisham, al-Sira, 4, 139 [..ja-qala: lam araka 'adalfa; (qala): /a-ghat/iba I-nabiyyu (~), thumma qtila: waylJaka, idllli lam yakuni 1'adlu 'indi /a- 'indo man yakunu ... ];al-ijumaydI, al-Musnad, 2, 55, no. 1271; 'Abd al-Razzaq, al·Mu¥Jnna/, 10, 146, no. 18649 [...i'dil ya rasula Ilt1hi,/a-qtila: waylaka, wa·manya'dilu idha lam a'dil...]; Mul;lammad Mu~tafa l-A'?amI, Diriisatji l'I}adithi I'nabawiyyi, Juz' Abi l-Yamtin al·!fakam b. Na/i', p. 157; al·ZurqiinI, SharI} al· mawtihib, 7, 227-28; al-WaqidI,al-MagJuizi, p. 948; al-Wal;lidi, Asbdbal·nuzul, p. 167; al-Suyuti, Lubtibu l·nuqul, p. 118; al-Suyu~I,]am' al·jawami', 2, 530; Ibn 'Asiikir, Ta)rikh (tahdhib), 6, 239; al-Oamlri, !fayat al'I}ayawtin, 1, 233; Ibn al·Athlr, al·MurflWl', p. 162; Ibn ijazm, al-Fi¥Jl, 4, 53; Ibn ijajar, aH~ba, 2, 411, no. 2452; Ibn Tawus, al-Mal4l1im wa-lfilan, p. 88; Ibn al·Athlr, Usd al·gllli· 2 85 Concepts of authority in Islam and kindly towards people, and allowed a man who was hit by him unintentionally to avenge himself.' A similar feature of the human nature of the Prophet, his lenience and his kindness, is revealed in a story recorded on the authority of 'A>isha.When the auxiliary forces of the Bedouin (amdiid al-iarabv» grew in number and the Prophet was (once) mobbed by the gathering crowd, the Muhajirun enabled him to come out of the crowd and reach the chamber of 'A)isha. He threw off his garment at the door, jumped into the room and started to make invocations against the crowd: "0 God, curse them." imma min Quraysh, ed. $aIaQ. al-Dln al-Munajjid, Beirut 1377/1958. See, e.g., Ibn Abi (A~im, Kitab al-sunna, p. 527, no. 1109: ...al-khiliifa fi quraysh ilii qiyami l-sa:«; p. 528, no. 1112: ...hiidhii l·amru fi qurayshin ...; p. 530, no. 1118: ...inna hiidha l-amra fikum wa-antum wuliituhu ...: p. 533, no. 1126: ...Iiiyazdlu wiilin min quraysh ...:p. 533, no. 1127: ...nalJnu wuliitu hiidha l-amri l}attli nadfa(ahu ilii (isii bni maryama ...;and see p, 642, no. 1547; al-Munawt, Fay4, 6, 450, no. 9969: ...Iii yazdlu hqdha l-amru fi qurayshin mti baqiya mina l-ntisi ithndni...; d. the significant utterance of al-Harith b. Hisham al-Makhzumt onthe Day of the Saqlfa [Ibn Hajar, al-I¢ba,l, 608 sup.] ...wa-lliihi lau-Iii qaulu rasuli lliihi "al-a>immatu min qurayshin" mti ab(adnd minha l-an¢ra wa-la-kiinu laha ahlan, wa·lakinnahu qaulun Iii shakka fihi; fa-wa-lliihi lau lam yabqa min qurayshin kulliha rajulun wiiIJidun la-¥lyyara lliihu hiidhd l-amra fihi. Al-Khallal, al-Musnad min masii>il alJmad, MS fol. 6a; Ibn Abi (A~im, Kitab al-sunna, p. 527, nos. 1109-10. Al-$aIiQ.i, Subul al-hudii wa·l-rashiid = al-Sira al-Shamiyya, 1, 333: ...li-annahu yaqta4i an yakuna abu bakrin wa-(umaru laysd min qurayshin, wa-idha lam yakund min qurayshin fa-imtiratuhumti btlfilatun. Al-Khallal, al·Musnad min masii>il alJmad, MS, fol. 5b. 37 uu 38 39 40 98 The utterances about the exclusive authority of Quraysh were apparently current as early as the first century of the hijra, when Qurashi rule was established and needed firm legitimization from the orthodox religious authorities. Many utterances in praise of Quraysh ascribed to the Prophet are recorded in the early collections of lJ,adith from the second century of the hijra. "The spine of men are Quraysh," the Prophet is said to have stated. "Can a man walk without a spine?" he added. "People are followers of Quraysh in this affair" (ft hfldhfl l-sha>n), said the Prophet ("affair" is glossed as "authority"). "Muslims," continued the Prophet, "are followers of Muslims of Quraysh, unbelievers follow unbelievers of Quraysh." A man of Thaqif was killed in the battle of Uhud. The Prophet said: "May God curse him, for he hated Quraysh." "God will despise the man who despises Quraysh," the Prophet said. These utterances, quoted from Ma'rnar b. Rashid's Jflmi<,4I reflect the trend of the first-century traditions, which aimed at supporting Qurashi claims to sole authority over the community. The Umayyads were eager to emphasize the outstanding position of the caliph, his prestige and infallibility. One of the Umayyad caliphs claimed that the sins of the caliphs would not be counted and their faults would not be recorded." God creates the person destined for the caliphate in a special way: He strokes the forelock of that person with His hand, says a tradition." Obedience and respect for the rulers is incumbent on believers. The Qur>anic verse IV, 59, "0 ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority ..." was interpreted as referring to obedience to God and subsequently to His Book (i.e., the Qur>fln).Obedience to the Prophet was interpreted 41 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-M~annaf, 11, 54-58, nos. 19893-905. 42 Al-Naysaburt, Gharii)ib al-qu'>iin wa-raghii>ibal-furqa«, 23, 88. 43 Al-Munawi, Fayi/, 1,266, no. 403; 2, 207, no. 1677 [with an additional phrase.jeIa taqa'u ir) is better than unlawful civil strife (jitna); neither of them is good (wa-kullun la khayra fih,), but one is better than the other." "It is necessary to have either a righteous or a libertine ruler" (la budda li-l-nasi min amirin barrin au !iijirin) is an utterance transmitted by several prominent personalities. When an.64 The high position of the ruler and his officials is indicated in an utterance of the Prophet: God has guards in heaven and on earth; God's guards 60 61 62 63 64 Ibn Saan,]. 103 Concepts of authority in Islam in heaven are the angels; His guards on earth are those who get their salaries (arziiq) and guard the people." The virtue of Muslim rulers in guarding the population and in developing the territories over which they ruled was sometimes extended to unbelievers. The Prophet is said to have forbidden cursing the Persians (al·, 1,333, no. 1074. Nur al-Din al-HaythamI, Majma', 5, 218-19. Ibid., 5, 218. Ibn Tawus, al-Malt1l}im toa-l-fitan, Najaf 1383/1963, p. 138. 107 Conceptsof authority in Islam he be."90 The danger of the amirs who might get the recognition is emphasized in the famous speech on the Day of the Hall attributed to Abu Bakr: the Muslims are not permitted to have two amirs. If this happens dissension will arise among them as to authority and law, their community will split and they will dispute among themselves. In this situation the sunna will be abandoned, bad innovations will appear itasharu l-bid'a), civil war (riots) will erupt (ta'~umu l-fitna), nobody will then follow the right path." Ibn 'Umar transmitted the utterance of the Prophet saying that violation of the oath of allegiance given to the ruler is treason." Revolt against the oppressing rulers is forbidden by the Prophet even in a case where the ruler appropriates to himself the share of the revenues (fay» decreed by the law for the believer." Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari prefers being humiliated to revolting and being punished in Hell in. the next world." On the basis of this injunction, Sa'Id b. al-Musayyab refused to give the oath of allegiance to two rulers, and quoted the tradition stating that the second claimant must be killed.t'" 90 91 92 93 94 100 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Mu~annaf,l1, 344, no. 30714; see al-Shaukani, Nayl, 8,183, no. 5; al-Dhahabi, Miziin al-i'Iidal, 2,128, no. 3142 [idJui buyi'a li·khalifataynifa·qtulu I· alJdatha]; Ibn Kathlr, Tafsir I, 126 [some scholars were, however, of the opinion that the rule of two or more caliphs is permitted if they rule in distant territories; and see the discussion about the status of 'Ali and Mu'a· wiya as legal rulers]; Ibn Hajar, al-Isdba, 4, 199 inf.; al-Bayhaql , al-Sunan al·kubrd, 8, 144; Ahmad b. J:Ianbal, Musnad led. Shakir], 10, 3·4, no. 6501, 6, no. 6502 [and see the comments and references of the editor]. AI-BayhaqI. al-Sunan al·kubrd, 8, 145. Ibn al'isha,and her role in the conflict (i.e., between Talha and al-Zubayr and later on 'Ali K.) Abu Bakra characterized her as a "weak woman" and quoted the utterance of the Prophet that a people ruled by a woman will not be successful in its undertakings.!'" An utterance attributed to the Prophet says that the worst man killed in this world is the one killed (in the battlefield . K.) between two kings striving for (the goods of - K.) this world."! Abu Barza al-Aslami-'! applied the same terms in his assessment of the wars between the pretenders to the caliphate. Both of them (Marwan in Syria and Ibn al-Zubayr in Mecca) fought merely for [the goods of] this world (al·dunyii). Those called al-qurra' also fought for the gains of this world. Asked by his son what his injunction was in this situation, he said that one should join those who cleave "empty bellied [and devoid] of every possession" to the ground, not having on their backs (the sin of shedding· K.) any blood.!" As both parties involved in fighting were characterized as fighting for the cause of this world, the only solution was to stay away from both. The Companion Hudhayfa b. al-Yaman warned the people of the two parties struggling to achieve the benefits of this world: They both would be driven to Hell."! Ibn 'Umar was asked by a man whether to join al-Hajja] or Ibn Zubayr. He replied that no > 114 Nu'aym b. Hammad, al-Fitan, fol. 43b sup. 115 'Abd ai-Malik b . .I;Iabib, Kitab al-ioara', MS Madrid 5146b, fol. 18b: ...sharru qatilin qutila fi l-dunYii man qutila bayna malikayni yuridiini l-dunYii; and see a similar tradition: al-Munawt, Faye!, 4, 160, no. 4880: sharru qatflin bayna I-~affayni alJaduhumii yatlubu l-mulka. 116 See on him, e.g., Ibn .I;Iajar, Tahdntb al-tahdhib, 10, 446, no. 815. 117 See Nu'ayrn b . .l;lammad,al-Fitan, fol. 35b[andd. fol. 43a, 43b]; Ibn Ra's Ghanama, Maniiqil, fol. 72a; al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, al-Mustadrak [repr. Riyal;! n.d.], 4, 470/"1. 118 Nu'aym b . Hammad, al-Fitan, fol. 33b. 112 matter whom he joined in fighting, he would be sent to Hell.'!" In a harsh utterance Ibn 'Umar gave his assurance that al-Hajjaj, Ibn al-Zubayr, and the Khariji Najda would fall into Hell like flies falling into soup. He nevertheless hastened to prayer when he heard the mu'adhdhir: (scil. of one of the fighting parties· K.) call for prayer.!" Many traditions enjoin staying away from both rulers and insurgents.'!' The usual call of the insurgents was the appeal for the revival of the sunna of the Prophet. A well-known case is the message of Ibn al-Zubayr and the impressive reply of his mother: When Ibn al-Zubayr informed his mother that his adherents had defeated and deserted him while the Syrians offered him safety (aman), she told him: If you went out fighting for the revival of God's Book and the Prophet's sunna then die for your true faith, but if you went out for the cause of this world, then there is nothing good in you, no matter whether you are alive or dead.!" The Umayyad officials and commanders believed in their mission. Muslim b. 'Uqba considered his deed in Medina the most virtuous one: he kept allegiance to the legal caliph, defeated his enemies, and killed many of them. In his prayer before his death Muslim emphasizes that he "did not draw his hand away" from allegiance to the caliph, and there is no deed more righteous that could help him draw nearer to God than his action in Medina. "Therefore grant me Thy mercy," concluded Muslim his prayer.!" The case of the battle of the Harra became 119 AJ.I;lakim, al-Mustadrak, 4, 471; Nu'aym b. Hammad, al-Fitan, fol. 4Ob. 120 Nu'aym b. Hammad, al-Fitan, fol. 44a; cf. lAbd al-Iabbar al-Khaulant, Talrikh diirayyii, ed. Sa'Id al-Mghani, Damascus 1369/1950, pp. 78 inf.-79. 121 See, e.g., Nu'aym b. Hammad, al-Fitan, fols. 35a-48b. 122 See, e.g., Nu'aym b. Hammad, al-Fitan, fol. 43b. 123 Ibn Ra's Ghanama, Mamiqil, MS, fol. 81a; Ibn al-Jauzi, Risala Ii jawiiz, MS, fol. 22b. Cf. the story of al-Mansur and his comment on the will of al-Hajja]. AI-~ajjaj records the shahiida and expresses his full loyalty to al·Walid b. (Abd al-Malik (...wa-annahu Iii ya(ri!u ilia ta'ata I-walidi bni 'abdi I-malik. 'alayha yalfyii wa'lln readers used it as a ladder (to gain their ends - K.).149It was the hypocritical Qur>llnreaders, serving the rulers, against whom Sufyan directed his sharp words of criticism. "If you see a Qur>lln reader sheltering himself inside the gates of the ruler, know that he is a brigand (li~~); if he shelters himself under the doors of the rich, then know that he is a hypocrite.?"? A vivid picture of such a group of Qur>llnreaders looking for favours from the governor is recorded by al-Zajjaji. Al-Hasan al-Basri passed by a group of Qurrll> at the gate of 'Umar b. Hubayra, the governor appointed by 'Abd al-Malik, and said: "Why do you sit here with trimmed moustaches, shaved heads, sleeves cut short, and broadened shoes (mufalfaJ:za)? By God," said al-Hasan, "had you considered kings' possessions to be of little value they would have longed for what you possess; but you longed for what they have, and therefore they belittled what you have. You brought shame upon the (true - K.) Qurra', may God bring shame upon yoU."151 Sufyan was outspoken about any contacts with the rulers. "Dealing with Jews and Christians is more attractive to me (aJ:zabbu ilayya) than dealing with these leaders (umarii».152 To look into the 146 147 148 149 150 Ahmad b. l;IanbaI, al- Wara<' p. 57. Ibn Abi Hatim, Taqdima, pp. 105, 114; 'Abd aI-Malik b.Habtb, al- Wara<' fol. 17a. 'Abd aI·Malik b.l;Iabib, al·Wara" fol. 17b. Abu Nu'aym, /filya, 6, 376. Ibid., 6, 387; AI:tmad b. Hanbal, al- Wara', p. 114; and see al-Zandawaysitl , Raudat al-ayta l-a fain abgha4u il4lliihi min 'tilimin yazuru an and scholars of Muslim jurisprudence would be misled by Satan, who would induce them to visit the rulers and gain favours and profits, promising them that they would remain firm in their belief. "Alas, this will not happen," said Ibn a I-qur>ana wa-tafaqqahali /-dini, thumma atii ~ilI}ibasultan in (ama'an Ii-mali yadayhi (aba' MS Heb. Univ., fol. l00a: ... mak1}ul al-shami: al-qur>anu wa-I-fiqhu rifatun Ii l-dini, fa-man ta'allama I-qur>ana wa-I-fiqha wa-faqiha Ii l-dini thumma atii Mba I-sultani tamalluqan ilayhi wa·(ama is 168 Al-Mu'afa b. 'Imran, Kitab al-Zuhd, MS ?:ahiriyya, fol. 241a. 169 Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Wara'. p. 60; Abu Nu'aym, /filya, 8, 242; Ibn 'Asakir, Ta)rikh, 6, 154; Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, 7, 115. 170 in),I16 Another version links the utterance about the , the wicked amirs, and the authority in contradistinction to the Qur>fm. "The millstone of Islam (ralja I· isliim)," says the Prophet, "will revolve; therefore move with the Book (i.e., Qur>fm)as the Book turns. Alas, the Book and the Authority, sultan, will part; therefore do not leave the Book. Alas, you will be ruled by amirs who will decree for themselves what they will not decree for you; if you obey them they will lead you astray, if you disobey them they will kill you." People asked: "How have we to act?" The Prophet answered: "Do as the companions of Jesus did: they were sawn by saws, they were borne on wood (i.e., tree trunks; they were crucified - K.). Death in obedience to God is better than life in disobedience to Him."!" The gloomy predictions about unjust and oppressive rulers, and forebodings about wicked Qur>flnreaders looking for favours at the doors of the governors, strengthened the tendency of the pious scholars to detach themselves from the rulers and their officials. There were, however, a few scholars who cherished some hopes of influence through edification and persuasion through visits to the courts of the rulers. They frequented the palaces of the governors and exhorted them, summoning them to repent and to act justly and equitably.':" Sufyan al-Thauri never reviled people of authority and even invoked the righteousness of the rulers; he nevertheless used to mention their defects and vices.P''Hudhayfa assumed that the call for 176 'Abd ai-Malik b.l;Iabib, al- Wara<, fol. 18b. 177 Abu Nu'aym, /filya, 5, 165-66; 'Abd ai-Malik b.Hablb, al-Wara', fol.l6a; d. al-Tabarani , al-Mu'jam al-¥Jghfr, 1,264; see another version: al-Suyiitl, al-Du"2, 300 penult.-301 sup.: ,..yUshiku l-sultanu wa-l-qu'>anu an yaqtatil4 wa-yatajarraqa ... 178 See, e.g., ~mad b.Hanbal, Musnad, 1, 17 no. 16. 179 Ibn Abi l;Iatim, Taqdimat al-ma(rifa, p. 97. 122 justice and the disapproval of wicked actions were laudable deeds. He further added that it is not permissible according to the sunna to draw weapons against the ruler.!" The Prophet enjoined obeying the rulers as long as they carried out their obligations in connection with prayer and its prescribed times.!" The current tradition enjoined the believers to pray behind the caliph or behind his deputy, which served in fact as recognition of his religious authority.!" Ibn 'Umar assumed that Ibn al-Zubayr, Najda, and al-Hajjaj would fall into Hell like flies, but he hurried to pray behind them when he heard the call of the mu>adhdhin.I83 Al-Hasan and al-Husayn prayed behind Marwan, although they used to revile him.!" If the ruler delayed the prayers, or if he was heedless in his performance of prayer, the believer was advised to pray at home, then to join the prayer of the congregation led by the ruler or his deputy in the mosque.!" The absence of the believer from common prayer led by the caliph or his deputy was a sign of denial of the ruler's authority. Such was the case with the Kiifans, who refrained from praying behind the appointed governor, al-Nu'rnan b. Bashir, did not join him during the prayers of the feasts, and wrote to al-Husayn to come to them as their imam. 186 Another obligation incumbent on believers was the jihad under the banner of their amirs, regardless of whether they were just or wicked. This view was defined by Ibn counted by al-Muhasibi as people who are used to visit the rulers and accept their gifts.!" Ibrahim al-Nakha'I in fact had close relations with the rulers: he used to fatten geese and give them as a gift to the rulers.!" Visiting them, he even asked for gifts.!" He used to sit in the mosque, and police guards and appointed tribal chiefs «urata» used to join him and talk with him. When reproached about it he said: "Would you like me to separate myself from people? They talk about what they like and we talk about what we like."!" Al-A'rnash was reproached for entering the abodes of the rulers; he responded that he considered them to be like a lavatory: he entered for his needs and then left.!" < Ikrima, the maulil of Ibn an readers who assume that a garment unlawfully gained and worn during the prayer makes the prayer null and void. Of this kind was the argument of the Khawarij that a dowry attained unlawfully annuls the marriage. Al-Muhasibi argues that the dowry, if unlawful, has to be replaced 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 A1-MuQiisibI, A (mal al·qulub, p. 220. Al-Fasawt, al-Ma(rifa wa·Ua>rikh, MS, fol. 189a. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, 6, 279. Al-Fasawi, al·Ma(rija, fol. 188b; Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqiit, 6, 273. AbU Nu'aym, /filya, 5, 49. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqiit, 1,29. A1-MuQiisibI, A'mal al·qulub, p. 221. 125 Concepts of authority in Islam by a lawful one, but that the marriage itself remains sound and becomes valid by the declaration of marriage.>" Somegroups regarded any cooperation with the rulers as assistance for them in their acts of oppression. Others prohibited aiding the authorities only in deeds directly connected with iniquity and oppression, and allowed cooperations in other fields. Some eminent and pious scholars had quite extreme opinions as to selling weapons and horses; they considered it serious disobedience (ma<#ya). Even in other fields they considered "it preferable not to cooperate with the rulers. To these groups of the pious belonged many famous ascetics; it is enough to mention , and to carry out other duties of authority. The pious, orthodox believers, acting in the spirit of the injunctions of the traditions of the Prophet, considered any revolt against the rulers a forbidden deed; they gladly practiced perseverance under the rule of unjust rulers and stuck to the community of the believers, attempting to avoid any contact with the authorities.r" A marginal group of ascetics who kept away from trade and industry and were reluctant to take part in military actions (scil. under the command of the amirs) is severely criticized by Muhasibi: commerce, industry, and other occupations were always practiced in Islam.f" In contradistinction to the dark picture of the evil ruler, Abii Yiisuf draws an impressive picture of the righteous ruler in his Kitiib alkhariij, which he dedicated to Haran al-Rashid, God by His grace and mercy established the rulers (wuliit al-amr) as His deputies on earth and granted them light; this enabled them to elucidate some obscure matters and explicate the duties incumbent upon them. The luminous light of the rulers is reflected in the revival of the sunan of the 201 Ibid., pp. 222-23. 202 Ibid., pp. 205·08. 203 Ibid., pp. 209-12. 126 righteous, the carrying out of the prescriptions of the Law of God, and the granting to the people of their rights. The evil of the shepherd spells doom for the subjects; if he is not aided by the virtuous and right, people are in danger of perdition.t" Traditions quoted by Abu Yiisuf emphasize the high position of the just ruler and his distinguished place on the Day of Resurrection; the most hated and chastised on the Day of Resurrection would be the wicked ruler.205The kind ruler, caring for the needs of his subjects, would be gently treated by God on the day when he spoke to God about his needs; the ruler who hindered the people from approaching him to ask that their needs be met would be prevented from gaining God's help for his needs.?" A great many traditions enjoin being faithful to the ruler, carrying out his orders, cleaving to the community, and honouring the authorities.>" The famous tradition granting Quraysh the sole position of rulers of the Muslim community is in some versions coupled with a proviso concerning the implementation of the rules of • justice, the precepts of the Qur>an, and the sunna of the Prophet. In certain traditions the good tidings about the duration of Qurashi rule are coupled with a threat that Quraysh would lose their authority if the rulers acted unjustly or violated the precepts of Islam; sometimes the solemn promise of Qurashi rule is followed by a curse for a ruler who acts iniquitously.r" All the traditions enjoin obedience and subordination to the rulers, even if the believer is treated with iniquity or is punished or harmed unjustly. Only in the event that he is faced with the choice between Islam and death must he prefer death.?" 204 205 206 207 208 Ibid., p. 5. Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-kharaj, p, 9. Ibid., pp, 9·10. See, e.g., ibid. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-kubra, 8,143-44; al-Haythami, Majma< al-zawa)id, 5,192 inf.-193; al-Mundhiri, al-Targhib, 4, 222-23; Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-$awa'iq, p, 187; 'Abd al-Iabbar, TatMit dalii)i/ al-nubuwwa, 1,253; al-Munawi, Fay4, 3, 189, no. 3108. 209 See, e.g., Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-$awiiiq, p, 187 ult.-I88 sup.; al-Tabaranl, al-Mujam al-~aghir, 1, 152; al-Munawi, Fay4, 1, 498, no. 996; al-Haythami, Majma' al-zawa)id, 5, 192 sup. 127 Conceptsof authority in Islam Only one traditionenjoins rebellion in the case of an iniquitous ruler; the Prophet is said to have instructed the people as follows: Be loyal to Quraysh as long as they act justly towards you. If they do not act righteously put your swords on your shoulders and cut off their roots. If you do not do it, then be miserable like peasants living by their toilYo This tradition is included in Khallal's al-Musnad min masa'il ahmad. It is of interest that Ibn Hanbal, when asked about this tradition, denied its soundness, stating that the Prophet's utterances in this matter are contradictory; he quoted the wellknown traditions enjoining full and unconditioned obedience to the Qurashi rulers."! When asked about it another time, Ibn Hanbal stated that the true version as transmitted to him by Wak!' was confined to the first phrase: "Be loyal to Quraysh as long as they act justly towards you" (istaqimu li-qurayshin rna staqamu lakum).lI2 On another occasion Ahmad b. Hanbal marked the extended tradition of Thauban, quoted above, as munkar+" It is in fact not surprising that Ibn Qutayba recorded this utterance as one of the ideological arguments of the Khawarij.214 210 Shahridar b. Shirawayh, Firdaus al·akhbar, MS Chester Beatty 4139, fol. 35b; al-Haythami, Majma( al'ZIlwd'id, 5, 195, 22 8; Bahshal, Ta'rikh wasit, pp. 70· 71. [The tradition was misunderstood by the editor. The correct reading is: ala wa·/j (alaykum I}aqqun ... (p. 70, line 5 from bottom); and p. 71, line 1 read: fa-in lam ya/alil; p. 71, line 2 read wa·illa (instead of wa·lt1);fa·kilnil (instead of lakilnil); I}arrathfn (instead of kharrabfn»); al-Suyutt, lame al·jawdmi<, I, 107 sup.; al-Hakim, Ma'rifat al-suna», 1,67; al-Muttaqt l-Hindi, Kanz, 6, 35, no. 303; Ibn al-Athir, al-NiJulya, 4, 125 (s.v. qwm); al-Dhahabl Mfz4n al-i(tidal, 2, 272, no. 211 212 213 214 3697. Al-Khallal, al-Musnad min masd'il, MS, fol. 9b. Al-Khallal., al-Musnad min masd'il, MS, fol. 9b. Ibid., fol. 9b, inf.-10a. Ibn Qutayba, Ta'wfl mukhlalif al-l}adfth, p. 3.

The Sīrah Literature

sirah.pdf THE SIRAH LITERATURE Sirah literature (biography of the Prophet), inspired as it was by the imposing personality of the Prophet and bearing the marks of the stormy political events of the conquests, of the social changes in the Muslim community and of the struggle of the different factions, came into being in the period following the death of the Prophet. It developed in the first half of the first century of the hijrah, and by the end of that century the first full-length literary compilations were produced. The development of Sirah literature is closely linked with the transmission of the Hadith and should be viewed in connection with it. Most of the reports about utterances and orders of the Prophet were, during his lifetime, transmitted orally, and few of them seem to have been written down. Although some accounts about the recording of the utterances, deeds and orders dictated by the Prophet to his Companions are dubious and debatablel and should be examined with caution (and ultimately rejected), some of them seem to deserve trust. The pacts which the Prophet concluded with the different groupings in Medina after his arrival in that city were apparently written down so as to serve as the legal basis for their communal life. His letters to rulers, governors and chiefs of tribes are recorded in some of the compilations of the Sirah. The Sirah also contains accounts of pacts concluded between the Prophet and conquered tribes or localities and of grants bestowed upon tribal leaders. Information about tax-collectors appointed by the Prophet was conveyed to the tribal units to which they were dispatched. The news about the victories of the Prophet and his conquests were widely circulated in the vast areas of the Arabian Peninsula. All this material came to form an essential part of the Sirah. In addition to this, the affection of the Companions of the Prophet and 1 E.g., on the sahifah of' Ali, cf. Ahmad b. 1:1anbal,Musnad, II, nos 1306, 1307, 1297. The Prophet did not single out the' Alids by anything not granted to others; the only thing hy which they were singled out was the sahifah attached to the scabbard of' Ali's sword (or in other sources that of the Prophet or that of 'Umar). It contained some short utterances about taxes imposed on camels (or, according to some, sheep), about the sanctity of Medina, the obligation to give protection to the People of the Book, etc. 352 THE SIRAH LITERATURE 353 their loyalty, respect and awe for him, in contrast to the attitudes, customs and practices of other communities towards their rulers, leaders and chiefs, constituted a favourite topic of conversation at the gatherings of his Companions as well as of his enemies, and were embodied into the compilations of the STrah. The daily contacts of the Prophet with his family and relatives, his adherents and adversaries, formed the subject matter recorded by the transmitters. The STrah aimed at giving information about the men who aided the Prophet loyally and faithfully, about stubborn opponents and enemies who persecuted him and those who later fought him, about hypocrites who concealed unbelief and hatred in their souls and about Companions who suffered and fought for him. Consequently the STrah became a record of the life of contemporary society, reflecting as it did the mutual relations between tht> Prophet and this society. Every member of this society is therefore assessed as to his virtues, views and actions and is placed on a graded scale according to his rank as believer, fighter, adherent and supporter, or as enemy or hypocrite. It is thus plausible that, in the early compilations of the STrah, people eagerly compiled lists of the first men who embraced Islam, the first who suffered for the cause of Islam, the first who emigrated to Abyssinia, the first Medinans who gave the oath of allegiance, the men who opposed the Prophet in Mecca, etc. Later special treatises dedicated to such subjects, the awa'il, were compiled.2 The careful evaluation of the deeds and actions of the Companions of the Prophet gave rise to the compilation of biographies of the ~a4abah. Furthermore, certain passages in the Qur'an, pointing to some events in the life of the community, required explanation and elucidation. It was necessary to specify to what people or events certain expressions or phrases referred. For an interpretation to be reliable in the opinion of the Muslim community it had to be based on an utterance ascribed to the Prophet or to one of his Companions. These utterances, stories or reports expounded the background and the circumstances of the verses of the Qur'an, establishing to whom they referred and providing details of the event recorded. These groups of Traditions, forming an essential part of the Sirah, developed into an independent branch of Quranic exegesis, the asbab al-nuziil (" the reasons for the revelations "). The lengthy passages from the early Tafsir of al-KalbI recorded by Ibn Tawiis,3 the bulk of Traditions transmitted on this subject of the asbab al-nuziil by many scholars in their commentaries bear evidence to the richness of this material and its role in the interpretation of the Qur'an. On the other hand the Sirah compilations recorded verses of the Qur'an, providing corresponding 2 For the aw;li/literature, cf. Sezgin, GAS, I, 176, 196, l zz. 3 Sa'd, 20 9-20. 354 THE SiRAH LITERATURE material of the circumstances of the revelation. The development of Sirah literature thus ran on parallel lines with that of the Tafsir, intertwining and overlapping, corroborating and sometimes contradicting it. EARLY COMPILATIONS A subject of considerable importance in the formation of Sirah literature, comprehensively dealt with also in some commentaries on the Qur'an, was the stock of stories about the creation of the world, as well as about the messengers and prophets mentioned in the Qur'an, who were sent by God to different peoples. These stories were extended and supplemented by additional material derived from Jewish, Christian and Zoroastrian sources, transmitted by converts from these religions to Islam. It is evident that these" biblical stories" had to get the approval of the orthodox circles. This could only be achieved, as is usual in Islam, by an utterance transmitted on the authority of the Prophet. The utterance used in this case (" Narrate [traditions] concerning the Children of Israel and there is nothing objectionable [in that]") legitimized the flood of the "biblical" legends and stories which poured into the domain of Islam. The first compilation of this kind seems to have been the book of Hamrnad b. Salamah (d. 167/783), a contemporary of Ibn Ishaq, entitled Akhbtir Bani Isrii'il. The process of elaborating and enlarging upon the stories of the Qur'an widened the scope of the Muslim conception of history. The biography of Muhammad and the formation of his community were decreed by God before the creation of Adam. Muhammad was destined to be a prophet long before the creation of Adam. Were it not for Muhammad, God would not have created Adam. Nine thousand years before things were created, says a Tradition, God created the Light of Muhammad, This Light turned around the Power (qudrah) and praised Him. From this Light God created a jewel; from this jewel He created sweet water and granted it His blessing. For a thousand years the water raged and could not come to rest. Then, from this Light God created ten things: the Throne, the Pen, the Tablet, the Moon, the Sun, the Stars, the Angels, the Light of the Believers, the Chair and Muhammad, The Light of Muhammad, which resided in the pure ancestors of the Prophet, was transmitted in the line of descendants until it reached the Prophet. God granted Adam the ku,!)ah (honorific name) Abu Muhammad, The name of Muhammad is written on the Throne of God; Adam saw this inscription when he was created. When he committed his sin, he begged God to forgive him by referring to the name of Muhammad, EARLY COMPILATIONS 355 The contact between the Muslim conquerors and the population of the conquered territories, bearers of ancient cultural and religious traditions with a rich lore of prophetical beliefs and stories, brought about the appearance of literature concerning the miracles of the Prophet. Stories about miracles, either performed by the Prophet himself or wrought for him by God, were widely current and were later collected; compilations of stories about his miracles were Amarii! al-nubuwwah, A'Iam al-nubuwwah, Dala'il al-nubuwwah. The miraculous power granted the Prophet by God, and his extraordinary feats, are often compared in these books with the miracles performed by the preceding prophets.! Tradition emphasizes that the Prophet was superior to other prophets in the graces granted to him and the miracles performed by him. God enjoined the prophets to tell their peoples of the appearance of Muhammad and to bid them embrace his faith. The assumption that this genre of the dala'il grew up under the impact of the contact with other faiths is confirmed by the account of a letter sent by Hartin al-Rashld to the Byzantine emperor in which he recorded the "proofs of the prophethood" (a'Iam al-nubuwwah) of Muhammad. The letter was compiled by Abii 'l-Rabi' Muhammad b. al-Layth al-Qurashi after a detailed perusal of the" books of the foreigners". 5 Al-Ma'miin, the son of Harun, is credited with a book entitled A'Iam al-nubuwwah; this seems to be the earliest compilation on this subject. It was followed by a treatise of al-j ahiz (d. 256/870), entitled Dala'il al-nubuwwah,6 and by al-j uzajani's (d. 259/873) Amaral al-nubuwwah. Later Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276/889) compiled his A'Iam al-nubuwwah. Books of dala"'il al-nubuwwah were compiled in the same period by Ibn Abi 'l-Dunya (d. 281/894) and Ibrahim al-Harbl, Other dala"'il books were compiled by al-Firyabi (d. 301/914), Ibrahim b. Harnmad b. Isbaq (d. 323/935), Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Naqqash (d. 351/962), Abii 'l-Shaykh al-Isfahanl (d. 369/979), Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Shashi (d. 365/975) and Abii Hafs 'Umar b. Shahin (d. 386/996). A comprehensive book of dala"'iI, entitled Sharaf al-Mu~(afa, was compiled by 'Abd ai-Malik b. Muhammad al-Khargiishi (d. 407/1016). The" proofs of prophethood " form a considerable part of this compilation; however, it contains extremely rich material about the life of the Prophet. The author touches upon the pedigree of the Prophet, his virtues, his battles, his proverbs, his dreams, virtues of his family, virtues of Medina and of the Mosque of the Prophet, virtues of his Companions, virtues of Mecca and stories foretelling the appearance of the Prophet. AlKhargushi's book was widely circulated and it is often quoted by both • See e.g. al-Mawardl, A'liim, 68-70. 5 'Abd al-Jabbiir, Tathbit, I, 77-8. • Cf. al-Sandiibi, Rasa~iI, 1'7-14; Ift9aj al-nlihli/ll/llah. THE SiRAH LITERATURE Sunni and Shl'i authors. The famous Mu'tazili scholar 'Abd al-jabbar al-Hamadhani (d. 415/1024) discusses in his Tathbit dala'il al-nubuwwah the miracles of the Prophet against a wide background of historical situation, having recourse to comparisons with other religions and entering into polemics with the unorthodox sects of Islam. The compilations of the first half of the fifth century, the Dala'il of Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Bayhaql (d. 458/1066) and the Dala'il of Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani (d. 430/1038), became very popular. Another book of dald'i! was written in the same period by Abu Dharr al-Harawi (d. 435/1043). Often quoted in later compilations of the Sirah literature is the compilation of the great scholar al-Mawardi (d. 450/1058), A'lam al-nubuwwah. In the same period, the Dala"'il of al-Mustaghfiri (d. 432/1040) was compiled. Among the many compilations of this genre the famous book of Qadl 'I ya<;l. al-Yahsubl (d. 544/ 1149), al-Shifa"' fi ta'rif I;uqiiq al-Mu{tafa, deserves special mention; it became one of the most popular and most admired books in some Muslim countries. The glorification of the person of the Prophet, as expounded in these compilations of the" proofs of prophethood ", was indeed a continuation of a very early trend which, as mentioned above, began shortly after the death of the Prophet. The miracles wrought by the Prophet, or for him, form an essential part of the Sirah of Ibn Ishaq ; in the Jami' of Ma'mar b. Rashid, a special chapter is devoted to this subject. Miraculous elements were included in the Sirah of Miisa b. 'Uqbah? and in the Sirah traditions reported by al-Zuhri.8 The earliest Sirah compilation, the Sirah of Wahb b. Munabbih (d. 110/728 or 114/732), contains an unusual amount of miraculous stories as attested by the fragments of the papyri." Flick was right in his conjecture, made before he read the fragments of the papyri, that the Sirah of Wahb was a work in which truth and legend about the life of the Prophet were interwoven, turning it into an entertaining story. 10 Indeed, the fragments of the papyri of Wahb contain the same kind of miraculous elements as can be found in later compilations. The role of the Devil in the council of the Meccans, convened to get rid of Muhammad, corresponds to what we have in later biographies of the Prophet. The setting of the story of the hijrah in the papyrus is similar to the accounts in later compilations: it contains, for instance, the miraculous story of Umm Ma'bad, recorded, with few variants, in almost every later Sirah; the story of Suraqah ; the story of the dove and the spider at the entrance of the cave and the dust thrown at the heads of the watching Qurashi guard , Cf. e.g. Sachau, "Berliner Fragment", 469 (the story of Suraqah}; 470 (the Prophet sees in his dream Jesus performing the circumambulation of the Ka'bah). 8 Duri, "al-Zuhri", the story of Suraqah. • Khoury, Wahb b. Mllnabbih, 1I8-7j. 10 Fuck, Mllqammad, 4. EARLY COMPILATIONS 357 besieging the house. All these stories are essential elements of the later biographies. Some passages of the papyrus of Wahb cannot, however, be traced in later compilations; they were apparently discarded. Such are the cases of al-Tufayl b. al-Harith's letter to Ja'far b. Abl Talib in Abyssinia and the story of Abu Bakr's meeting with the Devil; neither could be traced in other stories. A part of the papyrus contains a record of an expedition of 'All against Khath'am. This story fully attests the impact of the Shl'l trend on the development of early Sirah literature. A number of scholars have analysed with insight the various stages of the early compilations. The fragments of Wahb's Sirah corroborate the conjectures of these scholars about the popular and entertaining character of the early Sirah stories, a blend of miraculous narratives, edifying anecdotes and records of battles in which sometimes ideological and political tendencies can be discerned. These stories were widely circulated among the believers; pious men used to narrate the Sirah in mosques and to discuss the maghazi at their meetings. It was considered less binding as a duty to narrate the maghazi than to transmit utterances of the Prophet. Scholars refrained from recording Hadith utterances transmitted by unreliable scholars while they did not hesitate to relate maghazi material on their authority. It was only later, in the first half of the second century, that Haditb scholars reacted strongly against the popular Sirah literature and made attempts to discard dubious folk-stories by applying strict rules of Hadith criticism. They did not, however, succeed; the Sirah literature absorbed these narratives and they continued to be transmitted there. The fragment of Wahb's papyrus reflects the very early stage of the formation of the legendary type of Sirah; the Sirah of Ibn ISQaq is in fact a selective collection of this material. Late compilations such as al-Sirah al-If.alabryyah, al-Sirah al-Shamryyah, al-Zurqanl's Shar4 al-Mawahib and Mughultay's al-Zahr al-bdsim contain references to early popular Traditions not incorporated in the generally approved Sirah compilations. POETRY IN THE SiRAH A characteristic feature of early Sirah literature is the numerous poetical insertions.P The heroes of the stories narrated often improvise verses referring to the events recorded; in these poetical passages opponents blame others in verse, fighters expound their virtues and extol the virtues of their clans or their leaders, poets or relatives bewail the warriors killed in battle. These poetical compositions are generally of rather poor quality. The poetical passages attached to the maghazi stories closely resemble the 11 Cf. below cap. 18, "The poetry of the Siroh literature". THE SIRAH LITERATURE poetry of the ~yam (days of battle). A part of this poetry is false, and some of these forgeries were convincingly shown to be so by 'Arafat;12 a certain portion seems, however, to be authentic. But even the fake poems, reflecting as they do the internal struggles in the Muslim community, are of some importance: the historical allusions in .these verses may help to gain an insight into the event referred to; the activity of the forgers had its inception in the first decades of the first century, and the forgers were closely acquainted with the details of the event. Of interest are popular verses in the Sirah literature. Some are attributed to unseen persons, who recited them to the jinn, to idols, to the Devil or to his progeny. Such specimens of popular poetry can be found in the fragments of Wahb's Sirah, in the compilations of Ibn ISQaq,al-Tabari, Abu Nu'aym, al-Bayhaql and in the later biographies of the Prophet. This trend is well represented in the Sirah compilations of Abu 'l-Hasan al-Bakrl, Poems in praise of the Prophet preserve elements of the laudatory poems addressed to tribal leaders. The contents of the eulogies of the Prophet differ, however, in some respects; they specially stress his prophetic mission, emphasize his spiritual qualities, praise the new religion and point out personal or tribal allegiance to the Prophet and Islam. They breathe a spirit of the new faith and stress the moral values of Islam, often coupling them with the old ideas of tribal pride and boasting. Some observations on the change of attitude towards poetry in the early period of Islam may help us to gain a better insight for evaluating the poetry of the Sirah. The attitude towards poets and poetry in the Qur'an was clearly and explicitly unfavourable.P Some pious circles persisted in their negative attitude towards profane poetry, further supporting their argument by the famous utterance attributed to the Prophet: "It is better for a man that his body be full of pus than that he be full of poems."14 It is in accordance with this view that 'A'ishah vigorously denies, in a Tradition attributed to her, the claim that Abu Bakr ever recited poetry. In a speech ascribed to Mu'dwiyah poetry is counted among the seven things forbidden by the Prophet. A version of the Prophet's saying contains the following addition, which demonstrates the tendency to restrict its scope: "than that he be full of poems by which I was satirized" .15According to this enlarged version the transmission of poetry which does not contain satirical verses against the Prophet is permitted. 12 'Ararat, "Aspect", 31-3; 'Ararat, "Early critics", 4l3-63. 13 Qur'an, xxvi.ZZI-8. 1. Goldziher, Mlls/im S tudies, II, 16. 16 AI-SubkI, Tabaqdt, I, zz6-8. POETRY IN THE SiRAH 359 The same trend of concession and compromise is reflected in another Tradition attributed to the Prophet. The Prophet is said to have stated that some poetry is wisdom. A considerable part of poetry containing aphorism, exhortation, edification or moralizing clearly won the approval of orthodox circles. Another utterance attributed to the Prophet permits poetry if its aim is to gain justice from oppression, to gain means of deliverance from poverty and expression of gratitude for a favour received. It was pointed out that the reason why the transmission of poetry was forbidden was the fact that it served to excite inter-tribal discussions and disunity. The libellous and defamatory verses which might threaten the peaceful relations in Islamic society were dangerous and harmful. Such poetry was censured and rejected. But poetry supporting the Prophet and his struggle against the Unbelievers and verses written for the cause of Islam were, of course, praiseworthy. The exceptive phrase in Qur'an xxvi.zzS was explained as referring to the poets of the Prophet, who were commended. They were described as striking the Unbelievers with their verses. Consequently Sirah literature and adab compilations record stories that the Prophet encouraged poets who composed poems in praise of God, and liked to listen to good and beautiful poetry recited by poets. Abu Bakr, a Tradition says, came to the Prophet and, in his presence, met a poet who recited a poem. Abu Bakr asked: "How is that? Qur'an and poetry?" "Sometimes Qur'an and sometimes poetry," answered the Prophet.P There was thus good poetry, which was permitted and which the Prophet even sometimes recited, and bad poetry, which was forbidden. 'A'ishah formulated it as follows: "There is good and bad poetry: take the good and leave the bad."17 A similar Tradition is attributed to the Prophet: "Poetry is like speech; good poetry is like good speech, bad poetry is like bad speech.Yl" According to this utterance the ban on poetry is almost entirely lifted; the listener had to distinguish between good and bad poetry and choose the good, just as he ought to distinguish between good and bad speech and choose the good. The pious Ibn 'Umar indeed acted in this way: he listened to a recitation of a poet; when the poet began to recite unseemly verses he stopped him. A further step in the development of the favourable attitude towards poetry was the legitimization of Jahiliyyah verse. A Tradition, attributed to the Prophet on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, states that the Prophet gave licence for the transmission of Jahiliyyah poetry with the exception 16 17 18 Al-Isfahanl, Muqa4arat, r, 79. AI-JIlini, Fadl, II, 314, no. 866. Qurtubl, Jam,', XIII, r 50. THE SIRAH LITERATURE of two poems (one of Vmayyah b. AbI 'I-Salt, the other of al-A'sha). The same idea is reflected in Traditions that the Prophet used to sit with his Companions and listen to their recitation of pre-Islamic poetry, smiling (that is, with approval). Among the pieces recited in the presence of the Prophet are verses of praise, of contemplation on life and death, of belief and piety; there are also some erotic verses, verses recited by women at a wedding celebration, and even a complaint of a poet deserted by his wife.l" The favourable attitude towards poetry is represented in Traditions stating that the four Orthodox Caliphs were poets, that they either quoted verses or listened to recitations of poems. 'A'ishah is said to have had a good know lege of poetry; she recited verses of JihilI poets and encouraged people to study poetry. Ibn Mas'fid used to recite poetry of the cryyam (battles of the pre-Islamic Arabs). Abu Dharr (d. 604/ I 2°7) quotes an opinion of a Muslim scholar, that the ban on the transmission of poetry was imposed when there were conflicts between Muslims and unbelievers. But once people had embraced Islam and animosities between believers had disappeared there was no objection to transmitting poetry. This view is in fact based on the actual situation in Muslim society of the first century. Poetry was widely transmitted; poems were recited at private meetings, in the markets and even in the mosques. The great scholar al-Sha'bI (d. 103/721) recited poetry in the mosque of Kufa. 'Abdullah b. al-Zubayr was surprised to find a group of people reciting poetry in the court of the mosque of Mecca; they argued that it was not the kind of poetry which was forbidden. When 'Vmar reproached Hassan for reciting poetry in the mosque of Medina, he said: "I recited poetry in this mosque in the presence of a man who was better than you." Hassan was referring, of course, to the Prophet. 'Vmar left him and permitted poetry to be recited in the mosque. Muhammad b. Slrln was asked, when in the mosque, whether it was permitted to recite poetry during the month of Ramadan (some people even went so far as to claim that recitation of poetry nullified the ritual ablution). He immediately recited a verse which was far from being chaste, and stood up straightaway to lead the prayer. It was Ibn SIrIn who, when rebuked for reciting a J ahilI verse, said: "What is disliked is poetry composed in Islam; poetry composed in the period of the Jahiliyyah has already been condoned." It is possible to guess at the identity of those who persisted consistently in stubborn opposition to the transmission of poetry from a significant remark by Sa'Id b. al-Musayyab. Having been told that some people in Iraq disliked poetry, he said: "They became ascetics in a non-Arab fashion." 19 See al-A'sha, Dfwiin, 218-19. POETRY IN THE SiRAH Transmission of poetry was encouraged by rulers and governors; poetry became one of the subjects essential to the education of the Umayyad prince. Poetry continued to be one of the most favoured preoccupations of Muslim society in the first century and even fighting troops on the battlefield showed a vivid interest in it. What poet surpasses others in the art of poetry? Who is the best poet? These were common subjects of talk and discussion. An alleged saying of the Prophet accurately reflects the love of poetry of the Arabs: "They will not give up poetry until camels give up yearning [for their resting places ]."20 Ibn AbI 'l-Sa'ib al-Makhziimi expounded it in an utterance very much to the point: "By God, were poetry banned, we would be punished at court several times every day [that is, for reciting it]. "21 The origin of the Sirab poetry, its formation and growth have to be viewed against the background of the uninterrupted transmission of poetry and the struggle for its legitimization. Simple, not elaborate, but vivid, it became a regular component of the early Sirab literature, and was popular and widespread. It was not earlier than the second/eighth century that the content of the early Sirahs came under the scrutiny of scholars and the criteria of ijad{th scholars were applied to assess their validity. This applied to the poetry in the S{rah as well as to its prose portions. GENEALOGY Genealogy was an essential subject of the S{rah literature. Traditions stress the purity of the Prophet's pedigree and the qualities of his ancestors. Special chapters were dedicated to the virtues of Quraysh and the family of the Prophet, the Hashimites. Utterances attributed to the Prophet tried to prove that there was a close link between the ancestors of the Prophet and Islam. Ka'b b. Lu'ayy is said to have foretold the appearance of the Prophet. The Prophet is said to have forbidden the disparagement of Mudar because he was a proto-Muslim. Other versions of the utterance of the Prophet forbid the disparagement of RabI'ah, Imru' al-Qays, Asad b. Khuzaymah, Tamlm and al-Harith b. Ka'b; they all were said to have been Muslims or believers in the faith of Abraham. Another list of the ancestors of the Prophet whom it was forbidden to abuse, because they were true believers, includes 'Adnan, Ma'add, Udad, Khuzaymah, Tamim, Asad and Dabbah. Khuzaymah b. Mudrikah was the first who uttered the testimony of faith. Al-Yas b. Mudar was also a true Believer; he was the first who offered 20 21 Ibn Rashiq, 'Umdah, Ibid. I, 17. THE SIRAH LITERATURE sacrifices in the baram of Mecca and it is forbidden to abuse him. Ma'add was a follower of the Hanlfiyyah of Ibrahim (Abraham), 'Adnan acted according to the Hanlfiyyah ; he was the first who clothed the Ka'bah with leather clothes. Nizar was endowed with the "light of prophethood", which was handed on to Muhammad, The glory of the pedigree of the Prophet was extended, as a matter of course, to include the whole of Quraysh; the idea of the excellency of Quraysh was embodied in the rich literature of Fac/ii'il QurC!Jsh. Quraysh, says a Tradition traced back to 'Abdullah b. 'Abbas, were the light in the presence of God two thousand years before the creation of Adam; this light, reposited first in Adam, passed on and was transmitted to the Prophet.V The excellence of the pedigree of the Prophet is formulated in an utterance of the Prophet: "The best of the Arabs are Mudar ; the best of Mudar are 'Abd Manaf; the best of 'Abd Manaf are Banu Hashim; the best of Banii Hashim are Bami 'Abd al-Muttalib, By God, since God created Adam never was there a division of people into two parts without my being in the better one.'?" An opposite tendency, that of depreciating the excellence of Quraysh, is evident in a Tradition stating that all the Arab tribes have their share in the pedigree of the Prophet. Pious circles in the Muslim community, struggling against the excessive study of genealogy, nevertheless stressed the value and importance of the genealogy of the Prophet. The interdiction on tracing genealogical lineages beyond Ma'add was not followed in the case of the pedigree of the Prophet; his genealogy was traced back to Abraham and the close link of descent and prophecy between him and Abraham was especially stressed. FACTIONALISM The constant struggles between the various political and ideological factions in Islamic society left their mark on the formation of the Sirah. Invented stories and alleged utterances served the cause of the rulers, pretenders and rebels. Some examples are quoted below. The 'Abbasid bias can be clearly seen in the story of the attempt to sacrifice the father of the Prophet, 'Abdullah. It was al-f Abbas, according to this version, who drew him out from under the feet of 'Abd al-Muttalib, trying to save his life. It was al-'Abbas who was the first to kiss the Prophet after he was born; his mother took him to the abode of Aminah, the Prophet's mother, and the women in the house drew him to the cradle of the Prophet, encouraging him and saying: "Kiss thy brother!" The same tendency is evident in the story that al-'Abbas took the oath of .2 Ghanamah, Maniiqil, fols 3b-4a. •• Suyutl, Durr, III, '94-j. FACTIONALISM allegiance from the An~ar for the Prophet at the 'Aqabah meeting. Not less tendentious is the report that al-'Abbas embraced Islam before the battle of Badr and served as a spy of the Prophet in Mecca. The utterance attributed to the Prophet, "Al-'Abbas is indeed my trustee (wa!i) and my heir; 'All and I are closely related",24 bears the mark of an 'Abbasid and anti-Shi'ite tradition, standing in contrast to the ShI'I tradition about the trusteeship of 'AII.25 The general expression '''AlI and I are closely related" merely serves to emphasize the special position of 'Abbas. The famous utterance of the Prophet known as the" Tradition of the Garment" (Ifadith al-kisa"'), when he is said to have covered 'AlI, al-Hasan and al-Husayn with a garment, establishes the entity of the" Family of the Prophet" (AM al-Bt!Yt) and provides an essential argument for the legitimacy of 'All's claim to the caliphate; it has its counterpart in an opposing Tradition, according to which the Prophet covered al-'Abbas and his sons with a garment and said that they were the Family. It is not surprising to find a ShI'I Tradition describing how al-'Abbas and Abu Lahab instigated people against the Prophet and publicly denounced him as a liar. The Tradition about the pact of fraternity (mu'akhah) between the Prophet and 'AII26 is contradicted by a Tradition that the Prophet said: "If I had chosen a friend I would have chosen Abu Bakr, but he is my brother and Companion.t'P? The Tradition which talks about the close fraternal relation between the Prophet and 'AlI is of crucial importance for proving 'AlI's legitimate claim to the caliphate. The contradictory reports about the first man to embrace Islam, whether it was Abu Bakr, 'Allor Zayd b. Harithah, reflect the different opinions of the religio-political parties. The ShI'ah vigorously affirm, of course, that the first believer was 'AlI. An Umayyad bias can be noticed in a peculiar Tradition reporting that the family of Abu Sufyan, himself an Umayyad, were the first to be admonished and warned by the Prophet. Abu Sufyan rejected the scornful words of his wife, saying that the Prophet was not a liar or a wizard. There are divergent and contradictory reports about various events in the life of the Prophet. Some incidents, even very prominent ones, are subject to debate by transmitters and scholars. Only a few cases may be reviewed here. Varying Traditions about the number and identity of the children of the Prophet were further blurred by the tendentious inventions of the AI-MuttaqI 'I-HindI, Kanz, XII, 280, no. ,649, .6 GanjI, Kifiiyat, 260-1. .8 Ibid., '92-3 . • 7 Ibn AbI 'l-Hadld, Shar~ nahj al-baliipha, XI, 49. .4 THE SIRAH LITERATURE religio-political factions. A ShI'I report stated that Ruqayyah and Zaynab were the daughters of Halah, the sister of Khadljah ; another Tradition claimed that they were the daughters of J ahsh, 28 This served as a weighty argument in ShI'I polemics against 'Uthman, who was called Dhii '1-Nurayn, it was said, because he had married two daughters of the Prophet. There are different reports also about the date of birth of the Prophet, of his revelation, about the age of Khadijah when she married the Prophet, about the hijrah, the change of the qiblah (direction of prayer) and about the chronology of the battles and raids of the Prophet. Lists of participants in crucial events were deliberately rearranged or changed. Some of the An~ar, says a report of Ibn al-Kalbi and al-WaqidI, omitted certain names from the list of participants at the' Aqabah meeting, substituting the names of their relatives, who had not attended the meeting. The lists of participants at the battle of Badr were also a subject of debate. Ibn Sa'd felt constrained to consult the genealogy of the Ansar, and having done this, he removed a spurious name from the list of those who took part in the battle of Badr.P" The reports about the number of the Companions who were present at the oath of allegiance at al-I:fudaybiyah are divergent. There were conflicting Traditions about the person appointed to take charge of Medina when the Prophet went out to Badr and the one bidden to divide the booty after the battle. Reports concerning the warriors who remained with the Prophet at Uhud and those who deserted the battlefield are similarly divergent; among the latter group ShI'I tradition counts Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthrnan, while' AlI was, of course, of those who stayed with the Prophet and defended him. How far political interests had a bearing upon the transmission of the Sirah can be seen in the following story. Al-ZuhrI told his student, Ma'mar b. Rashid, that it was 'AlI who had written out the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah, and added, laughing: "If you asked these people they would say it was 'Uthrnan who wrote the treaty." By" these people", Ma'mar remarks, "He meant the Umayyads.t'P" Another anecdote illustrates the attempts made by the Umayyads and their governors to denigrate 'AlI in the Sirah. Khalid b. 'Abdullah al-Qasri bade al-Zuhrl write down the Sirah for him. AI-ZuhrI asked: "If I come across events related to 'AlI, may I mention them?" "No," said Khalid, "except when you see him in the lowest part of Hell. "31 In another story al-Zuhri courageously refuses to transfer the guilt of slandering of' A'ishah from 'Abdullah b. Ubayy to 'AlI.32 28 2. 31 Ibn Shahrashub, Malliiqib iii Abi Tiilib, Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqdt, III, j' 3. Horovitz," Biographies ", 49. I, '38, '40. 30 32 'Abd al-Razzaq, Mu{allllaj, v, 343, no. 9722. Horowitz, "Biographies ", I. C. II, 41. FACTIONALISM The favours bestowed on al-Zuhri by the Umayyads and the close relations between him and the rulers aroused the suspicions of independent Haditb scholars as to his integrity. The pious Sa'd b. Ibrahim b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf chided al-ZuhrI for transmitting a qadith in which the Prophet said that a caliph may not be invoked. Sa'd mentioned a case in which the Prophet was invoked and said: " How can it be that the Prophet was invoked and ai-Wand should not be invoked P'" It is evident that the aim of the Tradition invented was to encourage respect for the Umayyad rulers. Salamah b. DInar Abu Hazim, a pious scholar, sent to al-Zuhri a lengthy letter censuring him for his co-operation with the oppressive Umayyad rulers and criticizing him severely for helping them in caring for their power and authority and in their aiming at worldly gain. He serves the oppressive rulers, "who have turned him into the axle of the wheel of their falsehood and into a bridge for their deceit and error", says Salamah. By his services they sow doubts in the souls of scholars and gain the favour of the ignorant. It is hard to deny that these accusations have some foundation, and the assertion that he (i.e. al-ZuhrI) "was not influenced by political parties and tried to give an impartial account of what he had seen in Medina "34 is open to doubt. The possibility that his Traditions concerning the STrah were influenced by his ties with the Umayyad court cannot be excluded. ShI'I scholars counted him among the Traditionists whose attitude towards' All was hostile. Although highly respected by Sunni scholars engaged in assessing the credibility of Ff.adTthtransmitters Uarq wa-ta'dTI), he was nevertheless recorded in the lists of the mudallisiin. An early report of al-Asrna'I, traced back to Hisham b. 'Urwah, states that al-ZuhrI used to expand or abbreviate the long accounts recorded by his father, 'Urwah. A closer examination of the activities of al-ZuhrI and of the Traditions transmitted by him may help us to acquire an insight into the formative stage of the development of Sirab lore and Haditb. It is, furthermore, important for the evaluation of the formation of Sirah literature to consider the differences between the various schools of Tradition, especially those between Medina and Iraq. These differences were often pointed out in the literature of Hadith and a special compilation was dedicated to this problem. The attacks against the Iraqi school were fierce and passionate, and the Traditions of its scholars were often stigmatized as lies. It is noteworthy also that divergences and contradictions could be found between the accounts transmitted by the disciples of the same Traditionist. 33 3' Ibn Durayd, Mujtana, II. Dud, "al-Zuhri", roff, THE SiRAH LITERATURE MAJOR SiRAH COMPILATIONS The section on the biography of the Prophet in the Ta'rikh of al-Tabari (d. 310/922) records a wealth of early Traditions carefully provided with isndds. The philologist and commentator on the Qur'an, al-Zajjaj (d. 3II/923) is credited with a Maghazicompilation.35 Muhammad b. Hartin al-Ansari al-DimashqI (d. 353/964) wrote a book entitled ~iJat al-nabi. The great scholar of Haditb, Muhammad b. Hibban al-Bustl (d. 354/965), the author of a book on the ~aqabah, compiled a biography of the Prophet. At the end of the fourth century the philologist Ahmad b. Faris compiled a book on the names of the Prophet and another about the life of the Prophet. A concise 5 irah compiled by Ibn Hazm (d. 456/1064)36 was based on the terse biography of the Prophet composed by Ibn 'Abd ai-Barr (d. 463/1071), al- Durar .ft' khti!ari I-magnazi tua-l-siyar, The later compilations, like the commentary of al-SuhaylI (d. 581/1185) on Ibn Hisharn's Sirah, al-Rawq al-unuJ, the Bid4Jat al-su'iil of'Abd al-'AzIz b. 'Abd al-Salarn al-SulamI (d. 660/1262), the K. al-1lr-tiJa' of al-Kala'I (d. 634/1236), the Kheldsat siyar St!Yyid al-basbar of al-Muhibb al-Tabari (d. 684/1285), the 'Uyiin al-atbar of Ibn Sayyid al-Nas (d. 734/1333), the section of the Sirah in al-Nuwayri's (d. 732/1331), Nih4Jat al-arab, and the section of the Sfrah in Ibn KathIr's (d. 774/1372) al-Bid4Jah wa-'I-nih4Jah contain a great number of early Traditions derived from lost or hitherto unpublished compilations. Of special importance is the work of Mughultay (d. 762/1360), al-Zahr al-bdsim, Arguing in his polemic against al-SuhaylI's al-Rawq al-unuJ, Mughultay records an unusually large number of quotations from various recensions of diwans, collections of poetry, compilations of genealogy, philology, lexicography, commentaries on the Qur'an, biographies of the Prophet, books of adab and history. The painstaking efforts of Mughultay to establish correct readings, his checking of variants, his pursuit of every record and Tradition, his comprehensive knowledge, turn his compilation into a veritable treasure for the study of Sirah literature and help towards a better understanding of the controversial ideas of the scholars about the activities of the Prophet and his personality. Summarizing compilations of the Sirab were provided by Yahya b. AbI Bakr al-'Amiri (d. 893/1488) in his Babiab, and by Taql 'I-DIn al-Maqrlzi (d. 845/1441) in his Imtd', Three late compilations deserve special attention: theSubul( = Sfrahal-Shamryyah) of Muhammad b. Yusuf al-Salihi (d. 942/1535), the lnsdn al-'''!}'iin.ft sirat al-amin al-ma'miin (= al-Sirah al-fJalabryyah) of'AlIb. Burhan al-Dln (d. 1044/1634), and the commentary '5 Cf. cap. 16, "The Maghiizi literature". 38 Jawami'. MAJOR SiRAH COMPILATIONS by al-Zurqani (d. 1122/1710) on the al-Mawahib al-Iadunryyah of al-Qastallanl (d. 923/15 17)' Al-Sirah al-Shamryyah is one of the most comprehensive compilations of the biography of the Prophet. Al-~alil).I drew, according to his statement in the preface, on more than three hundred books. He accumulated an enormous number of Traditions, narratives and reports from sirab compilations, Haditb collections, books of dala"'il, shama"'il, kha{a"'i{, histories of cities and dynasties, biographies of transmitters of Haditb, and treatises of asceticism and piety, recording carefully the variants of the reported Traditions and attaching detailed lexicographical explanations of difficult words and phrases. AI-Sirah al-Fjalabryyah, although extracted mainly from al-Sirah alShamryyah, contains a great deal of additions by al-Halabi. It is one of the characteristic features of this compilation that al-Halabi records divergent and contradictory Traditions and strives to harmonize them. Al-Zurqani gives, in his meticulous commentary, a wealth of Traditions corroborating or contradicting the reports recorded by al-Qastallani. The late compilations thus contain an immense wealth of material derived from early sources. Some of these Traditions, stories, reports and narratives are derived from lost or hitherto unpublished sources. Some Traditions, including early ones, were apparently omitted in the generally accepted Sirab compilations, faded into oblivion, but reappeared in these late compilations. . Only a small part of the sirab compilations have been mentioned above. The uninterrupted flow of transmission of Traditions on the life of the Prophet embedded in the rich literature of Qur'an commentaries, collections of Haditb, works of adab, history, polemics of religio-political parties and works of piety and edification, is remarkable. The ramifications of Sirah literature, such as the literature on the ,$aqabah, on the ancestors of the Prophet, on his genealogy, servants, secretaries, on the habits and characteristics of the Prophet, on his birth, on the" night-journey" (isra"') and "ascent" (mi'rij), are indispensable for an adequate study of the development of the conception the Muslim community formed, throughout the ages, of the person of the Prophet. The narratives of the Sirah have to be carefully and meticulously sifted in order to get at the kernel of historically valid information, which is in fact meagre and scanty. But the value of thisJnformation for the scrutiny of the social, political, moral and literary ideas of the Muslim community cannot be overestimated; during the centuries, since Muslim society came into existence, the revered personality of the Prophet served as an ideal to be followed and emulated.

"Shaʿbān Is My Month...". A Study of an Early Tradition

shaban.pdf "SHA'BAN A STUDY IS MY MONTH ... " TRADITION OF AN EARLY "Sha'ban is my month": this utterance attributed to the Prophet is widely current and usually coupled with his statement about the status of Rajab and Ramadan.1 A corroborative utterance, linking the month of Sha'ban with the person of the Prophet, evaluates the status of Sha'ban in relation to other months as follows: "The superiority of Sha'ban over other months is like my superiority over other prophets".2 Peculiar is the commentary of Sura 28:69: "Thy Lord creates whatsoever He will and He chooses ... ", stating that this verse refers to the month of Sha'ban: "God adorns everything by something and He embellished the months by the month of Sha'ban".3 In numerous utterances attributed to the 1 AI-Munawi, Fayd al-qadir, sharb al-jami' al-saghir, Cairo 1391/1972, IV, p. 162, no. 4889; al-'Azizi, al-Siraj al-munir, Cairo 1377/1957, II, p. 369; 'Abd ai-Qadir aIJilllni, al-Ghunya li-!alibi lariqi I-baqq 'azza wa-ja/la, Cairo 1322 A.H., I, p. 211; al-Suyiili, al-La'ali al-masnu'a, Cairo n.d., II, p. 114; al-MajIisi, BiMr ai-an war, Tehran 1388 A.H., XCVII, pp. 68-69, 71, 75-77, 181-183; al-Saffiiri, Nuzhat al· majalis, Beirut n.d., pp. 190, 195 ult.; Ibn Oayba', Tamyiz al-!ayyib min al-khabith, Cairo 1382/1963, p. 81 (and see ibid., p. 91, 1. 1); Ibn Babiiyah, Thawab al-a'mal, Tehran 1375 A.H., p. 60; Id., Amali, Najaf 1389/1970, p. 17; al-Zandawaysiti, Raudat al-'ulama', Ms. BM, Add. 7258, fol. 255b; and see Kister, lOS, 1 (1971), p. 198 note 50. 2 Al·Oaylami, Firdaus al-akhbdr, Ms. Chester Beatty 3037, fol. 109b, penult.; al-Zandawaysiti, op. cit., fol. 255b; cf. al-SuYiili, al-Durr al-manthur, Cairo 1314 A.H., III, p. 236: ... sha'banu shahri fa-man 'a •• ama shahra sha'bana fa-qad 'a •• ama amr; wa-man 'a •• ama amr; kuntu lahu farlan wa-dhukhran yauma I-qiyamati ... (the badith is marked as munkar); and see Abmad b, 1:Iijazi, Tubfat al-ikhwan fi fada'il rajab washa'bdn wa-ramadan, Cairo 1308 A.H., p. 41: ... kana rasulu /lahi ($) yaqi1lu idha dakhala sha'bdnu: !ahhiru anfusakum li-sha'bana wa-absinu niyyatakum fihi, fa-inna lIaha 'azza wa-ja/la faddala sha'bdna 'ala sa'iri l-shuhi1ri ka·fadli 'alaykurn ... ; and see lOS, I, p. 199, note 55. 3 AI-Zandawaysiti, op. cit., fol. 255b: qala fi tafsiri hddhih; l-ayati: wa·rabbuka yakhlllqu rna yasha'u wa-yakhtaru rna kana lahurnu l-khiyaratu, inna lIaha ta'ala zayyana ku/la shay'in (on marjin: bi-shay'in) wa-zayyana l-shuhi1ra bi-sha'bdna;fa·kama zayyalla bihi l-shuhi1ra ka-dhalika yatazayyanu l-'abdu bi-l-ta'ati fihi li·l-ghufrani .•• Prophet, he is said to have recommended the devotional practice of fasting, prayer, vigil and supplication during this month, especially on the eve ofthe 15th ofSha'biin (= the night of the 15th of Sha'ban) , Practices of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, closely resembling those of laylat al-qadr, were scrutinized by A.J. Wensinck, who regarded these two nights as determining a New Year's period of six weeks to two months. This was challenged by K. Wagtendonk, who considered the 15th of'Sha'ban to be "a starting day of a voluntary fast, which arose out of the ascetic tendency of extending the fast of Ramadan". 4 A survey of the traditions on the virtues of the month of Sha'ban may clarify some of the controversies in reports of practices performed during this month, explain diverse tenets of certain circles of Muslim scholars and aid in gaining insight into the ideas of the virtuousness of Sha'biin. I The traditions on the Prophet's fast during the month of Sha'ban are controversial. It is not clear whether the Prophet would fast throughout the entire month of Sha'ban, or whether he would fast only part of the month. The reports on this subject are often vague; some say merely that he used to fast during this month (... kiina yasionu sha'biina); others, ambiguous in style and cast, assert that he would fast most of the month, or the entire month (... kiina yasiimuhu kullahu ilIii qaltlan, hal kiina yasiimuhu kullahu ... ). Still others, unequivocal but contradictory, relate that he fasted the entire month of Sha'ban or, on the contrary, that he never completed an entire month's fasting except in Ramadan (... kiina yasianu sha'biina kullahu ... confronted by: ... wa-lii $iima shahran kiimilan qauu ghayra ramadiina ... ).5 4 EI2 Sha'biin (A.J. Wensinck); A.J. Wensinck, Arabic New Year and the Feast of Tabernacles, VKAW, Afd. Let., N.R. XXV, 2, Amsterdam 1925; K. Wagtendonk, Fasting in the Koran, Leiden 1968, pp. 100-105; S.D. Goitein, Studies in Islamic History, Leiden 1968, pp. 90-110: Ramadan the Muslim Month of Fasting. 5 AI-Nasii'i, Sunan, Beirut n.d. (reprint) IV, pp. 151-153, 199-201 (and see e.g. other versions ibid., in lama shahran maliiman siwa ramaddna batta mar/a li-wajhihi ... ; wa-lam yasum shahran tdmman mundhu atd l-madinata ilia an yakiina ramaddnu etc.); al-Tahawl, Sharh ma'ani I·athar (ed. Muhammad Zuhri l-Najjar), Cairo 1388/1968, II, pp. 82-83; al-Tirmidhl, $abib, Cairo 1350/1931, III, p. 273; Ibn Abi Shayba, al-Mulannaf(ed. 'Abd al-Khaliq al-Afghanl), Hyderabad 1388/1968, III, p. 103 (and see ibid., another version: ... kana yasumu sha'bdna ilia qalilan); Abii Diiwiid, $abib sunan al-mustafti, Cairo 1348 A.H., I, p. 381 inf. -382 sup.; al-Saffurl, op. cit., p. 198; al-Qastallani, Irshdd al-sdri, Cairo 1323 A.H., III, pp. 401-403; 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Musannaf (ed. Hablb al-Rahman al-A'zaml), Beirut 1392 A.H., IV, 16 SHA'BAN IS MY MONTH Debate turned on the word kullahu in the tradition relating that the Prophet fasted the entire month of Sha'biin. Muslim scholars tended to limit the connotation of "wholeness" in the word, making it mean a major part. This was the explanation of 'Abdallah b. al-Mubarak (d. 181) as recorded by al-Tirmidhl.f The phrase that the Prophet fasted the entire month (kullahu) conveys in fact that he would fast for the major part of the month (akthara l-shahri), argues Ibn al-Mubarak, basing himself on the Arab manner of speech: when a man says that he spent the whole night in vigiI, he means in fact to say that the major part of the night was spent in vigil. This interpretation indeed clears away the contradiction inherent in the two traditions: the one that the Prophet would fast the entire month (kullahu), and the other that 'A'isha never saw him completing an entire month's fast (... istakmala siyiima shahrin ... ) save Ramadan." The contradiction can thus be removed on the basis of Ibn al-Mubarak's interpretation: the only complete month during which the Prophet would fast was Ramadan; he also fasted for the major part of Sha'ban, Al-Qastallani could rightly remark that the Prophet did not complete an entire month's fasting during Sha'ban, so as to dismiss any thought that the fast of Sha'ban was obligatory.f This interpretation of kull cannot, however, be applied to other traditions in which the Prophet's Sha'ban fast was coupled with that of Ramadan, and in which the account was preceded by a verb or noun denoting wholeness and referring to both months. Certain haduhs relate pp. 292-293, nos. 7858-7861; Ibn Hajar, Fatb at-bart, Cairo 1301 A.H., IV, pp. 186188; Ibn Rajab, Latd'if al-ma'tirif, Cairo 1343 A.H., pp, 127-142; Nur al-Dln alHaythaml, Majma' al-zawd'id, Beirut 1967, III, p. 192; al-Mundhiri, al-Targhlb wa-ltarhib (ed. Muhammad Muhyl ai-Din 'Abd al-Hamid), Cairo 1379/1960, II, pp, 241243, nos. 1481-1486; al-Hakirn, al-Mustadrak, Hyderabad 1342 A.H., I, p. 434; alMuttaqi l-Hindl, Kanz I-'ummtil, Hyderabad 1380/1960, VIII, p. 409, no. 2969; alZurqant, Sharb al-mawdhib al-laduniyya, Cairo 1328 A.H., VIII, pp. 124--126; alBayhaql, al-Sunan al-kubrd, Hyderabad 1352 A.H., II, p. 210; al-Shaukanl, Nayl al-autar, Cairo 1372/1953, IV, pp. 274--277; al-Zurqanl, Sharh muwatta'i mdlik, Cairo 1381/1961, pp. 451-460; aI-Khatib al-Baghdadl, Ta'rikh, Cairo 1349/1931, IV, p. 437; Ibn Wahb, Juz', Ms. Chester Beatty 3497, fol, 37a, inf, (... wa-kdna #ytimuhu fl sha'btin); Ahmad b.l:lijazi, op. cit., p. 42; al-Ghazall, Mukdshafat al-quliib, Cairo n.d., p. 249; Mahmud Muhammad Khattab al-Subkl, al-Manhal al-radhb al-mauriid, sharh' sunan abi dawUd (ed, Amin Mahmud Khattab), Cairo 1394 A.H., X, p. 55. 6 AI-Tirmidhi, op. cit., III, p. 273. 7 'Abd al-Razziiq, op, cit., IV, p. 293, no. 7861; al-Qastallanl, op. cit., III, pp. 401-403; al-'Ayni, 'Umdat al-qart, Cairo 1348 A.H., XI, pp. 82-85; Ibn l:Iajar, Fatb, IV, p, 187. 8 Al-Qastallanl, op. cit., III, p. 401 (... /i'allti yuzanna wujubuhu), 17 that the Prophet did not fast an entire month (shahran komi!an) except Sha'ban, which he concatenated with (the fast of) Ramadanj? other badtths, on the authority of 'A'isha, say: "I did not see the Prophet fasting two consecutive months except Sha'ban and Ramadan't.tv As it was out of the question that the Prophet would fast for only the major part of Ramadan, the interpretation of kull or komi! as "a greater part" (scil. of the month) had to be abandoned. Scholars accepted the explanation of kull as "entire", but found another way to reconcile the contradictory traditions: the Prophet would sometimes fast the entire month of Sha'ban, and sometimes only a part of it. Another explanation tending to soften the contradiction was that the Prophet would fast during different periods of the month of Sha'ban, sometimes at the beginning, sometimes in the middle and sometimes at the end.U It is evident that scholars sought to draw a clear line between the obligatory fast of the entire month of Ramadan and the voluntary fast of Sha'ban, adjusting the controversial traditions to the orthodox view, which approved of fasting for only a part of Sha'ban. Certain reports give the reasons for the Prophet's fast during Sha'biin. The Prophet, says one tradition, would fast during Sha'ban to replace the days of voluntary fast which he had missed over the course of the year. 12 Another tradition held that, as a person's fate is decided in Sha'ban, the Prophet said he would prefer the decision of his fate to be made while he was fasting.t! Slightly different is the utterance of the Prophet in which he defined Sha'ban as a month straddled by the two significant months of Rajab and Ramadan, and remarked that people were heedless of the virtues of this month. It is in Sha'biin that the deeds of men are brought before the Presence of God, and the Prophet said he would prefer his 9 Abu Dawud, op. cit., I, p. 368; al-Dariml, Sunan (ed. 'Abdallah Hashim Yamant), Medina 1386/1966, I, p. 350: ... Umm Salama: md ra'aytu rasiila lldhi (~) sama shahran tdmman illd sha'bdna, fa-innahu kdna yasiluhu bi-ramaddna li-yakiind shahrayni mutatdbi'oyni wa-ktina ya siimu min al-shahri battd naqill ... ; Murtada l-Zabldl, ItM! alsddati l-muttaqin bi-sharhi asrdri ibyd'i 'ulumi l-dtn, Cairo 1311 A.H., IV, p. 257, II. 1-2; ai-Muttaqi I-Hindi, op. cit., VIII, p. 410, no. 2972; Mahmud Khattab al-Subkl, ibid. 10 Al-Tirmidhi, op. cit., III, p. 272; Ibn Majah, SUI/an al-mustafd, Cairo 1349 A.H., I, pp. 505-506: ... kdna yasiimu sha'bdna kullahu battd yasilahu bi-ramaddna. II Al-'Ayni, op. cit., XI, p. 83; al-Qastallanl, op. cit., III, pp. 401-402. 12 Ibn Rajab, op, cit., p. 141; al-Zurqanl, Sharh. al-mawdhib, VIII, p. 125; 13 Al-Khatlb al-Baghdadl, op. cit., IV, p. 437; Ibn Abl Hatim, 'Ilal al-hadtth, Cairo 1343 A.H., I, p. 250, no. 737 (the badith is marked as munkar); Ibn Rajab, op. cit., p. 140; al-Zurqanl, Sharh al-mawdhib, VIII, p. 126; al-Suyiitl, Sharh al-sudar bi-sharh Mli l-mautd wa-l-qubiir, Cairo n.d., p. 22. 18 SHA'BAN IS MY MONTI! deeds to be brought before God while he was fasting.I+ The month of Sha'ban, says one story, complained before God that He had placed it between the significant months of Rajab and Ramadan; God consoled Sha'ban, ordering the reading of the Qur'an during that month. Sha'ban was indeed called "The Month of the Qur'an Readers" (shahr al-qurrii'); during it pious scholars would redouble their efforts in reading the Qur'an.15 As is usual in the "literature of virtues" (al-far/.ii'il), the qualities and merits of deeds, places, times and devotional practices are measured and assessed, and a scale of merit is established. In an utterance attributed to the Prophet, the voluntary fast of Sha'ban is unequivocally set over the fast of Rajab. When he heard of persons fasting in Rajab, the Prophet said: "How far are they from those who fast in the month of Sha'ban" (scil. in rewardjlw This, however, faced a reported statement of the Prophet that the most meritorious fast (apart from Ramadan) was that during Muharram. Scholars explained that the Prophet received knowledge of the superiority of the fast of Muharram only in the last period of his Iife; and though he expressed the preference, there was no time to put fasting in Muharram into practice, or he may have been held up by current affairs.!" The virtue of fasting during Sha'ban was closely linked with the 14 Al-Shaukanl, Nayl, IV, p. 276; ai-Muttaqi I-Hindi, op. cit., VIII, p. 410, no. 2973; al-Mukhallis, Majdlis, Ms. Zilhiriyya, majmu'a 60, fol. 108a; Ibn Qayyim alJauziyya, ['Iiim al-muwaqqi'in (ed. Tahil 'Abd al-Ra'uf Sa'd), Beirut 1973, IV, p. 297; Ibn Rajab, op. cit., pp. 127 inf., 136 ult. - 137 sup.; al-Zurqani, Sharh al-mawdhib, VIII, p. 126 sup.; al-Ghazall, Mukdshafa, p. 249; al-Zandawaysiti, op. cit., fol. 255b; Abu Nu'aym, Hilyat al-auliyd", Beirut 1387/1967 (reprint), IX, p. 18; Mahrnud Khattab al-Subkl, ibid. 15 Ibn Rajab, op. cit., pp. 141 inf. - 142 sup.; cf. al-Zandawaysiti, op. cit., fol. 256a {... 'an anas b. miilik (r) annahu qiila: kiina a shabu rasilli lldhl ($) idhii nazarii ilii hi/iili sha'biina nkabbii 'alii l-masdhifi yaqra'Iinahd wa-akhraja l-mttslimiina zakiita amwtillhlm /i- yataqawwd bihd 1-da'Ifu wa-l-miskinu 'alii siytimi rama ddna wa-da'd l-wuldtu ahla l-sujiini fa-man kdna 'alayhi haddun aqdmii 'alayhi, wa-illd khallau sabtlahu wa-ntalaqa I-tujjiiru (above the line: al-sujjdn) fa-qadau md 'alayhim wa-qtadau md lahum. 16 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., IV, p. 292, no. 7858; al-Shaukanl, Nayl, IV, p. 277; al-Zurqanl, SharI; muwatta' maltk, II, p. 458; Id., Sharh al-mawdhib, VIII, p. 126; Ibn Abi Shayba, op. cit., III, p. 102; Ibn Babuyah, Thawiib, p. 59; al-Majlisl, op. cit., XCVII, p. 77; and see [OS, I, p. 206, note 96. 17 Al-Qastallanl, op. cit., III, p. 402; Al-f.Aynl, op. cit., XI, p. 84; al-Zurqanl, SharI; al-muwatta', II, p. 458; Ibn Hajar, Fath, IV, p. 187 inf.; cf; Ibn Rajab, op. cit., p. 29; al-Shaukani, Nayl, IV, 271 sup.; Nur al-Dln al-Haytharnl, op. cit., III, pp, 190-191; al-Tirmidhl, op. cit., III, pp. 276-277; Ibn Abi Shayba, op. cit., III, p. 103. 19 veneration of Ramadan: to fast in Sha'ban was held to be a means of honouring Ramadan.tf All the traditions but one,19 stress the superiority of Ramadan - the month of obligatory fast - over the other months. Consequently a clear line had to be drawn between Ramadan and the virtuous months of voluntary fast, and a distinction made between Sha'ban and Ramadan. The Prophet indeed is said to have prohibited fasting on the day or two days preceding Ramadan, In other traditions this concept was defined slightly differently: the Prophet is said to have forbidden fasting to be carried over uninterruptedly from Sha'ban to Ramadan; accordingly, a pause in fasting (fasl) between these two months was to be observed.w Some sources record an utterance of the Prophet in which the period forbidden for fasting, between Sha'ban and Ramadan was extended considerably: fasting in Sha'ban was to be suspended from the 15th of the month until the 1st of Ramadan.st The interdiction against fasting on the days immediately preceding Ramadan was, however, affected by the dispensation (ruklz$a) for those who were continuing a fast begun earlier in Sha'ban.22 18 Al-Shaukant, Nayl, IV, p, 275 inf.: ... su'ila rasillu lldhi (~) ayyu l-saumi afdalu ba'da ramaddna; fa-qdla: sha'btinu Ii-tazimi ramaddna; al-Daylarnl, op, cit., Ms. Chester Beatty 4139, fol. 93b; al-Zurqiini, Sharh al-muwatta', II, p, 458; Ibn Abi Shayba, op, cit., III, p, 103; al-Jilanl, op, cit., I, p. 210; al-Munawl, op. cit., II, p, 42, no. 1277; ai-Muttaqi l-Hindl, op. cit., VIII, p. 348, no. 2535; al-Mukhallis, Majdlis, Ms. Zahiriyya, majmii'a 60, fol. 110b; Ibn Biibiiyah, Thawdb, p. 59; al-Majlisl, op, cit., XCVII, p, 77; al-Tahawl, Sharb ma'tini, 11,83 inf.; cf. al-Daylaml, op. cit., Ms. Chester Beatty 4139, fol. 130a: alldhumma bdrik lana fi rajab wa-sha'bdn wa-ballighnd ramat!tin •.. 19 Al-Jllanl, op. cit., I, p, 211: ... wa-khttira min al-shuhiiri arba'atan: rajaba wa-sha'bdna wa-ramaddna wa-l-muharrama, wa-khtdra minhti sha'btina wa-ja'alahu shahra l-nabiyyi (s): fa-kama anna l-nabiyya (~) afdalu l-anbiyd"! ka-dhtilika shahruhu afdalu l-shuhiai, 20 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., IV, pp. 158-160; Ibn Abi Shayba, op. cit., III, pp. 21-22; Niir al-Dln al-Haytharnl, op. cit., III, p. 148; al-Bayhaql, al-Sunan, IV, pp. 207-208; al-Muttaql l-Hindl, op. cit., VIII, p. 310, nos. 2140-2141, 2144; cf. Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyya, Badd'i' al-fawii'id, Beirut n.d. (reprint), III, p. 96. 21 Ibn Abi Shayba, op. cit., III, p. 21; 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., IV, p. 161, no. 7325; al-Sakhawl, al-Maqd sid al-hasana (ed. 'Abdallah Muhammad al-Siddlql), Cairo 1375/1956, p. 35, no. 55; al-Dariml, op, cit., I, p. 350; al-Murtada I·Zabidi, op, cit., IV, p. 256; al-Suyutl, Jam' al-jawdmi', Cairo 1391/1971, I, p. 430, nos. 489-490,445 no. 540, 745-746, nos. 1517-1519,760, no. 1566; al-Munawl, op. cit., I, p. 304, no. 494; al-Tirmidhi, op. cit., III, p. 274; Abii Dawud, op. cit., I, p. 368; al-Saffurl, op. cit., p. 198; al-Shaukiini, Nayl, IV, pp. 290-292; al-Bayhaql, al-Sunan, IV, p. 209; Mahmud Khattab al-Subkl, op, cit., X, p. 56. 22 Al-Daraqutnl, Sunan (ed. 'Abdallah Hashim Yamanl), Medina 1386/1966, II, p. 191, no. 57; Ibn Abi Shayba, op. cit., III, p. 23; al-Dariml, op. cit., I, p. 336; Abii 20 SHA'BAN IS MY MONTH The traditions explicitly recommending fasting in the final days of Sha'ban were controversial.U The Prophet is said to have made the folIowing utterance: "He who fasts on the Iast Monday of Sha'ban, God will forgive him for his sins".24 Another tradition of the Prophet promises those who fast on the first and last Thursdays of'Sha'ban entrance into Paradise.25 God will protect from hellfire the body of a believer who fasts even a single day of Sha'ban and he will be granted the company of Yusuf in Paradise and given the reward of Dawiid and Ayyub, If he completes the entire month in fasting, God will ease the pangs of his death, remove the darkness of his grave and hide his shame on the Day of Resurrection.26 Especially stressed were the virtues of devotional observance of the first night of Sha'ban. "He who performs on the first night of Sha'ban 12 prostrations (rak'a), reading during the first of them thefiitil;1a and repeating five times qui huwa ahad, God will grant him the reward of 12,000 martyrs and he will be absolved of his sins, as on the day his mother bore him, and no sin will be reckoned against him for eighty days",27 says a tradition attributed to the Prophet. The month of Sha'ban was considered by the Prophet as protection from the fires of Hell; he enjoined those who sought to meet him in Paradise to fast at least three days in Sha'ban.28 Diiwiid, op. cit., I, p. 368; al-Shaukanl, Nayl, IV, pp. 290-292; al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan, IV, p. 210; ai-MuttaqI I-HindI, op. cit., VIII, p. 310, nos. 2142-2143; Ibn Miijah, op. cit., I, p. 506; al-Tahawl, Sharh ma'iini, II, p. 84; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad (ed. Ahmad Muhammad Shakir), Cairo 1373/1953, XII, p. 188, no. 7199, XIV, 192, no. 7766; Mahmud Khattab al-Subkl, op. cit., X, p. 54. 23 See al-Bahyaqi, Sunan, IV, pp. 210-211; al-Shaukani, op, cit., IV, p. 291; al-ZamakhsharI, al-Fa'iq (ed, 'All Muhammad a~ijiiwI, Muhammad Abii I-FaQI Ibrahim), Cairo 1971, II, p. 171. And see Ibn Rajab, op, cit., pp. 149 inf. - 150 (... wa-kharraja abt; dawud fi biibi taqaddumi ramaddna min hadithi mu'iiwiyata annahu qiila: innt mutaqaddimun al-shahra fa-man shii'a fa-l-yataqaddam: fa-su'ila 'an dhiilika fa-qdla: sami'tu l-nabiyya (~) yaqiilu: ~uma l-shahra wa-slrrahu ..• fa-yakiinu l-mana: ~amu awwala l-shahri wa-dkhirahu, fa-Ii-dhdlika amara mu'iiwiyatu bi- #yiimi iikhirJ l-shahri ... ); Mahmud Khattab al-Subkl, op. cit., X, pp. 45-49; see Lisiin al-t Arab, s.v. srr. 24 Al-Daylaml, op. cit., Ms. Chester Beatty 3037, fol. 143a; al-Jllanl, op. cit., I, p. 210 (AI-JIIiinI adds the reservation that this utterance does not apply when this Monday coincides with the last days of Sha'biin during which fasting is forbidden). 25 AHlaffiirI, op. cit., p. 195. 26 Ibid., p. 196. 27 Ibid., p. 195; cf. al-Nazill, Khazinat al-asrdr al-kubrd, Cairo 1349 A.H. (reprint), p. 43 inf. 28 Al-Saffur], op. cit., p. 195. 21 Shi'i tradition does not differ from Sunni in content; it is, however, richer in jarj{J'il - Iore and its stories are of course marked by specific Shi'i features. A lengthy report on a victory of a Muslim expedition against unbelievers during Sha'ban contains an account of a miracle wrought for the Ieaders of the expedition - Zayd b. Haritha, 'Abdallah b. Rawaha and Qays b. 'A~im al-Minqari - on account of their pious deeds at the beginning of Sha'biin. The Prophet, who welcomed the victorious expedition on its return, expounded to the people the virtues of pious deeds on the first day of Sha'biin: aIms-giving, reading the Qur'an, visiting the sick, reconciling husbands and wives, parents and children, praying and fasting and performing other deeds of piety and devotion. Such deeds would afford a hold on a branch of the Paradise-tree of Tubii, to appear on the first day of Sha'biin. Those who perpetrate evil deeds on that day will grasp the branches of the Hell-tree of Zaqiim, which will emerge from Hell. On the first day of Sha'ban God dispatches His angels to guide the people and summon them to perform good deeds, while Iblis sends his accomplices to Iead them astray. The faithful are to be alert and to revere the month of Sha'biin in order to gain happiness.29 Detailed lists of rewards for fasting each day of this month, compiled after the pattern of the lists of rewards for fasting in Rajab, record the graces and rewards to be granted to the pious who exert themselves in the Sha'biin fast.3o Even serious crimes will be forgiven those who fast during Sha'ban.U The two months of fasting prescribed in cases of incidental killing (Sura 4:92) were interpreted as synonymous with the two consecutive months of Sha'ban and RamaQiin.32 The idea of intercession Iinked with the rewards of fasting during this month is remarkable. According to tradition, the Prophet will intercede on the Day of Resurrection for him who fasts even one day of Sha'biin.33 The month itself is called "The Month of Intercession", for the Prophet is to intercede for those who utter the prayer of blessing for the Prophet during this month.w ~9 Al-Majlisl, op. cit., XCVII, pp. 55-65 (from the Tafsir of the Imam aI·'AskarI). 30 AI-Majlisi, op. cit., XCVII, p. 65 ult. - 70; Ibn Biibiiyah, Thawdb, pp. 60-61; Id., Amdlt, pp. 20-22. 31 Al-Majlisl, op. cit., XCVII, p. 74. 32 AI·'Ayyiishi, Tafsir (ed, Hashim al-Rasiili l-Mahallatl), Qumm 1380 A.H., I, p. 266, nos. 232, 235; Ibn Biibiiyah, Thawdb, pp. 57-58. 33 AI·Majlisi, op. cit., XCVII, p. 81, no. 49; Ibn Biibiiyah, Amalt, pp. 17,486. 34 AI-Majlisi, op. cit., XCVII, p. 78: ... wa-summiya shahru sha'btina shahra /. shafii'atl li-anna rasiilakum yashfa'u likulli man yusalli+alayhi flhi. 22 SHA'BAN IS MY MONnI Like Sunnl scholars, Shi'i scholars were concerned with the permissibility of uninterrupted fasting over the two consecutive months of Sha'ban and Ramadan, And as in Sunni sources, the traditions in the Shi'i sources are contradictory or divergent. According to one Shi'i report, the Prophet would fast over the two months without pause (fa$l) between them; however he forbade believers to do this.35 A means of breaking the fast, thus discontinuing a fast of two consecutive months, was provided by advice given by the Imam, to desist from fasting for a single day after the 15th of Sha'ban, and then to continue fasting uninterruptedly.se Some Shi'i traditions recommended fasting the Iast three days of Sha'ban, continuing uninterruptedly into the fast of Ramadan.s? others report that the Prophet would fast three days at the beginning of Sha'ban, three days mid-month, and three days at the end.38 Later Shi'i scholars quoted early traditions concerning Sha'ban, traced back to the Shi'i Imams, in an attempt to reconcile the controversial reports and to establish fixed patterns for the observances and devotions of this month.w Both Shi'i and Sunni traditions are imbued with sincere reverence for Sha'ban and its devotional observances and recommend almost without exceptions? fasting during the month and performance of pious deeds. The only controversy was over the period of fasting during the month and the pause separating the voluntary fast of Sha'ban from the obIigatory month of fasting of Ramadan. II The eve ofthe 15th of Sha'ban is the holiest time of the month and it is recommended to spend the night in vigil prayer and supplication, and the 35 Ibn Biibiiyah, Thawdb, p. 58; al-Majlisl, op. cit., XCVII, p. 76 (from Ibn Biibiiyah). 36 AI-MajIisi, op. cit., XCVII, p. 72, no. 13: ... mii taqiilu fl ~aumi shahri sha'biina? qiila: sumhu, qultu: fa-l-faslul qiila: yaumun ba'da l-ni sfi, thumma stl. 37 AI-MajIisi, op. cit., XCVII, p. 72, no. 16; p. 80, no. 47. 38 Ibn Biibiiyah, 'Uyiin akhbdr al-Ri dii, Najaf 1390/1970, II, p. 70, no. 330; alMajlisi, op. cit., XCVII, p. 73, no. 18. 39 See e.g. al-Bahranl, al-Hadd'iq al-nddira fT ahkdm al-'itra l-tdhira (ed. Muhammad Taqiyy al-Ayrawiini), Najaf 1384 A.H., XIII, pp. 382-386. 40 But see al-Bahranl, op. cit., XIII, p. 383 (quoted from Kulini's al-Wasii'il): ... annahu su'ila ['alayhi I-saliim] 'anhu fa-qdla: md ~iimahu [i.e. Sha'biin - K] rasiilu lliihi (~) wa-lii ahadun min iibii'! ... ; and see the interpretation given by al-Kulinl, ibid.; and see the contradictory traditions, al-Majlisl, op, cit., XCVII, p. 76, nos. 32-33; p. 82, no. 51. 23 morrow in fasting."! At sunset, says a tradition, God would descend to the Iowest heaven, grant His forgiveness to those seeking it, food to those begging for it and health to the sick, and would respond to those imploring His aid for other needs until the break of day.42 A version (recorded in the early compilation of 'Abd al-Razzaq) holds that on the night of mid-Sha'ban God would look upon His servants and grant forgiveness to all people on earth save unbelievers and those bearing a grudge against others. Other versions include drunkards, wizards, prostitutes and sinners of other varieties in the Iist of those denied forgiveness.O The prayers and supplications on the night of mid-Sha'ban are connected with the idea that this is the night when the life and death of all creatures in the world are decided. Some commentators on the Qur'an took verses 2-4 of Sural al-Dukhiin (44): "We have sent it down in a blessed night. . . therein every wise bidding determined as a bidding from Us ... " to refer to the night of the l Sth of Sha'biin. They consequently interpreted the pronominal suffix in anzalniihu, "We have sent it down", as relating to "the bidding", "the order", "the decree". This 41 But see the hadith, reported on the authority of Abii Hurayra, forbidding fasting on the 15th of Sha'ban, al-Suyutl, Jam' al-jawtimi', I, p. 760, no. 1566. 42 Ibn Majah, op. cit., I, p. 421; Ibn Khuzayma, Kittib al-tauhtd (ed. Muhammad Khalil Harras), Cairo 1387/1968, p. 136; al-Suyutl, Jam' al-jawdmi", I, p. 761, no. 1568 (cf. ibid., no. 1567); Id., al-Durr al-manthiir, VI, p. 26 inf.; Ahmad b. Hijazl, op. cit., p. 51; Ibn Rajab, op. cit., pp. 143, 145; al-Zurqani, Sharb al-mawdhib, VII, pp. 412-413; aI-Jamal, al-Futiihdt al-ildhiyya, Cairo n.d., IV, p. 100; al-Fakihl, Ta'rikh Makka, Ms. Leiden Or. 463, fol. 418b; al-Khazin, Tafsir, Cairo 1381 A.H., VI, p. 120; al-Baghawi, Tafsir, VI, p. 119 (on margin of al-Khazin's Tafsir); al-Mundhiri, op. cit., II, p. 244, no. 1491; ai-Muttaqi I-Hindi, op. cit., XVII, p. 143, no. 467; al-Majlisi, op, cit., XCVIII, p, 415; al-Turtushi, al-Hawddith wa-l-bida' (ed. Muhammad al-Talbi), Tunis 1959, p. 118; al-Sha'rani, Lawtiqih al-anwdr al-qudsiyya, Cairo 1381/1961, p. 185; cf. al-Malati, al-Tanblh wa-l-radd 'alii ahli l-ahwti'i wa-l-bida' (ed, Muhammad Zahid al-Kauthari), n.p. 1388/1968, p. 113; Abii Shama, al-Bd'ith 'alii inkdri l-bido'i wa-l-hawddith (ed. Muhammad Fu'ad Minqara), Cairo 1374/1955, p. 26. 43 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., IV, p. 316, ult. no. 7923; Ibn Majah, op. cit., I, p. 422; cf, al-Suyutl, Jam' al-jawiimi', I, p. 761, no. 1659; al-Mundhiri, op. cit., V, p. 123, no. 4007 (and see nos. 4009-4010); Ibn Rajab, op. cit., p. 143 (and see p. 144: the list of sinners, and p. 146: the explanation of the grave sins); Ahmad b. I:Iijazi, op, cit., p. 50; cf. al-Munawl, op. cit., II, p. 316, no. 1942; IV, p. 459, no. 5963; al-Zurqani, Shar/:z al-mawdhib, VII, p. 410 ult. - 411 sup.; Ibn Hajar, al-Kdfi l-shiif fi takhriji a/:ziidithi l-kashshdf, Cairo 1354 A.H., p. 148, nos. 380-381; al-Sha'ranl, op. cit., p. 185; alNaysaburi, Gharii'ib al-Qur'iin (ed. Ibrahim 'Atwa 'AwaQ), Cairo 1393/1973, XXV, p. 65; al-Razl, Tafsir, Cairo 1357/1938, XXVII, p. 238; ai-Muttaqi I-Hindi, op. cit., XVII, p. 143, no. 467; XIII, pp. 269-270, nos. 1481-1482, 1485, 1489, 1491. 24 SHA'BAN IS MY MONTH interpretation was vehemently rejected by commentators asserting that the verses refer to the "laylat al-qadr" and the pronominal suffix to the Qur'an, sent down in Ramadan+t But the widespread popular belief was indeed that the night of the 15th of Sha'ban was the night of decrees concerning Iife and death. Those destined to die would plant trees, set out on pilgrimage, beget children, not knowing that they were to die in the course of the year.s> On this night God would order the Angel of Death to seize the souls of those upon whose death during the following year He had decided.w As the Angel of Death is thus occupied in receiving the decrees of death from God, no one dies between sunset and nightfall of this eve.s? This night is indeed called laylat al-hayiit, laylat al-qisma wa-l-taqdir, laylat al-rahma, 44 See Ahmad b. Hijazf, op. cit., p. 47 inf. - 48; cf. al-Zurqani, Sharh al-mawdhib, VII, p. 414; al-Qurtubi, Tafslr, Cairo 1387/1967, XVI, pp. 126-127; Hasan alMadabighi, Risdla fImd yata'allaqu bi-Iaylati l-nisfi min sha'bdn, Ms. Hebrew University, AP Ar. 80 439, fol. 9b-lOa; al-Luddl, Faydu l-hanndn fi fadli laylati l-nisfi min sha'bdn, Ms. Hebrew University, AP Ar. 80479, fol. 4a: .. .fa-l-hii' fi anzalnd damiru l-amri, ay innd anzalnd amran min 'Indind fl hddhihi l-laylati, qadayndhu wa-qaddarndhu min al-djdli wa-l-arztiqi ... And see contradictory explanations Ibn al-'Arabi, Ahktim al-Qur'dn (ed. 'Ali Muhammad al-Bijawi), Cairo 1388/1968, p. 1678: ... fi laylatin mubdrakatin ... ya'ni anna lldha anzala l-qur'tina bi-I-Iayli ... wa-jumhiiru l-t ulamd"i 'alii annahd laylatu l-qadri, wa-minhum man qtila innahd laylatu l-nisfi min sha'bdna, wa-huwa btitilun ... ; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, Beirut 1385/1966, VI, p. 245; al-Turtushi, op. cit., pp. 118-121; cf. al-Razl, op. cit., XXVII, p. 238. 45 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., IV, p. 317, nos. 7925-7926; cf. al-Tabarl, Tafsir (Bulaq), XXV, p. 65; al-Muttaql l-Hindi, op. cit., XVII, p. 143, no. 468; al-Madabighi, op. cit., fol. 15a-b. 46 Al-Munawl, op, cit., IV, p. 459, no. 5964; Ibn Rajab, op. cit., p. 148, ll. 1-2: al-Suyutl, al-Durr al-manthilr, VI, p. 26; ai-Muttaqi I-Hindi, op. cit., XIII, p, 269, no. 1483. The story of the tree in Paradise (see G.E. von Grunebaum, Muhammadan Festivals, New York 1951, pp. 53-54, quoted from Lane's Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians) is recorded by al-Luddl, op. cit., fol. 5b: The tree at the side of the Throne (al-'arsh), resembling a pomegranate-tree, has as many leaves as there are human beings in the world. On each leaf is written the name of a person. The Angel of Death watches the leaves; when a leaf yellows he perceives that the date of the death of the person is imminent and he dispatches his helpers; when the leaf falls the Angel of Death catches his soul. According to a version of this tradition, when the leaf falls on its back, it denotes a positive decree for the person (I}usn al-khiitima); if it falls on its underside, it denotes an unfortunate decree. Al-Suytitl records the tradition on this tree on the authority of Muhammad b. Juhada in al-Durr al-manthiir, III, p. 15 (commenting on Sura 6:60) and in his compilation Sharh al-sudar, p. 22. 47 Ahmad b. Hijazl, op. cit., p. 48 inf.; al-Luddl, op. cit., fol. 5b inf. - 6a sup.; al-Madabighl, op. cit., fol. 17a. 25 laylat al-ijdba, laylat al-takftr.s» In reference to the forgiving of sins, the current popular name of this night is laylat al-sukiik or laylat al-barii'a, "the night of acquittance".49 It is the "feast of the angels" ('id almala'ika)50 and the "night of intercession" (Iaylat al-shafii' ay; on the 13th of Sha'ban the Prophet pleaded for intercession for a third of his people and this was granted; on the 14th he was granted intercession for a second third and on the 15th of Sha'ban he was granted intercession for his entire people.t! An exceptional night, indeed, distinguished by peculiar virtues. 52 A Iengthy report, recorded on the authority of 'A'isha, gives us details of the origin of the devotions of this night. 'A'isha missed the Prophet in her bedchamber that night and sought him eagerly; she found him prostrated in supplication, praying a most moving prayer. The Prophet explained to 'A'isha the importance of this night, conveying to her the good tidings that God would grant His forgiveness to a countless multitude of believers, as many as the hairs of the flocks of the tribe of Kalb. 53 48 See ai-Jamal, op. cit., IV, p. 100; Ahmad b. l:Iijiizi, op. cit., pp. 48-49; alGhaziili, Mukdshafa, pp. 249-250; al-Luddi, op. cit., fol. 5b-6a. 49 For the expression barii'a as "acquittance", "discharge of sins", see the story about the letter sent by God and found on the breast of'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz during his burial: Ps. Ibn Qutayba, al-Imdma wa-l-siytisa (ed. Tiihii Muharnmad al-Zayni), Cairo 1378/1967, II, p. 102: bi-smi lldhi l-rahmdni l-rabtm, kitabun bi-l-qalami I-jalil, min alldhi 1-'azizi 1-'alim, bard' atun Ii-'umara bni 'abdi 1-'aziz min al-' adhdb i l-alim, And see al-Madiibighi, op. cit., fol. 17b: " .fa-fi laylati l-bard'ati mithlu dhdlika yu'!a l-wdhidu barii'atan, fa-yuqtilu aufayta l-haqqa wa-qumta bi-shara'iti l-'ubudiyyati fa. khudh bard'atan min al-ndri; wa-yuqdlu li-wdhidin istakhfafta bi-haqqi wa-Iam taqum bi-shard'iti l-t ubildiyyatlcfa-khudh barii'ataka min al-jindni. 50 AI-Jiliini, op. cit., I, p. 216; al-Luddi, op, cit., fol. 6a; Ahmad b.l:Iijiizi, op. cit., p. 48 inf.; al-Ghazall, Mukiishafa, p. 249; al-Madiibighi, op, cit., fol. 17a-b. 51 AI-Jamal, op. cit., IV, pp. 100; Ahmad b. Hijazl, op. cit., p. 49; al-Ghaziili, Mukdshafa, p, 250; al-Naysiibiiri, op. cit., XXV, p. 65; al-Riizi, op. cit., xxvn, p. 238. 52 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., IV, p. 317, no. 7927; Ibn 'Asakir, Tahdhib ta'rlkh (ed. 'Abd al-Qadir Badriin), Damascus 1330 A.H., I, p. 47; III, p. 296; Ibn Rajab, op. cit., p. 144 inf.; al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-manthiir, VI, p. 26; al-Zandawaysiti, op. cit., fol. 259a; aI-Jiliini, op. cit., I, p. 215; Ahmad b. Hijazl, op. cit., pp. 48, 51; Ibn Hajar, al-Kdfl l-shdf, p. 148, no. 382; al-Wassabt, al-Baraka fi fadli l-sayt wa-l-haraka, Cairo n.d., p. 78; al-Madabighi, op. cit., fol. 17a. 53 See Ibn Majah, op. cit., I, pp. 421-422; al-Mundhiri, op. cit., II, p. 243, nos. 1488, 1490; V, p. 124, no. 4008, 126, no. 4012; al-Suyuti, al-Durr al-manthiir, VI, pp. 26-27; al-Jllanl, op. cit., I, pp. 213-215; Ibn Rajab, op. cit., p. 143; Ahmad b. l:Iijiizi, op. cit., p. 49; al-Zurqanl, Sharh al-mawdhib, VII, pp. 410-411; al-Majlisi, op. cit., XCVII, pp. 88-89 (no. 16); XCVIII, pp. 416-419 (and see XCVII, p. 86, no. 8): al- 26 SHA'BAN IS MY MONUI Special prayers and supplications were recommended and precious rewards promised to those who would exert themselves in devotion and prayer during this night. Among the numerous rewards were forgiveness of sins and entry into Paradise. Orthodox scholars sharply criticized these hadtths, often branding them as weak or forged.sShi'i sources outdo the Sunni in propagating the virtues of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban; they emphasize that the Imams were singled out by the blessings of this night. God granted the Prophet laylat al-qadr, while He granted the Imams (ahl al-bayt) the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, according to a report transmitted on the authority of al-Baqir.55 A tradition attributed to the Prophet says that the position of 'Ali within the family of the Prophet (iilu muhammadint is like that of the best of the days and nights of Sha'ban, i.e. the night of the 15th of Sha'ban.56 Noteworthy is the tradition recommending a visit to the grave of Husayn on this night; forgiveness of sins will be the assured reward.s? Orthodox Muslim scholars emphasized the superiority of laylat al-qadr over the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, laylat al-barii'a. Although some scholars opined that there is no fixed date for laylat al-qadr and that it Dhahabl, Mtzan al-i'tiddl (ed. 'Ali Muhammad al-Bijawi), Cairo 1382/1963, IV, p. 262, no. 9081; al-Zandawaysitl, op. cit., fol. 259b-260b; al-Razl, op. cit., XXVII, p. 238; al-Madabighl, op. cit., fols. 18a-20b; al-Muttaql I-Hindi, op. cit., XIII, p. 270, nos. 1486-1488, 1491. 54 Al-Suyutr, al-Durr al-manthiir, VI, p. 27 inf. - 28 sup.; Abil Talib al-Makkl, Qut al-qullib, Cairo 1351/1932, I, p. 93; al-Muttaql l-Hindl, op. cit., XVII, p. 144, no. 469; Ahmad b. I:Iijazi, op. cit., p. 52 inf. - 53; al-Jilanl, op. cit., I, p. 216; alShaukanl, al-Fawd'id al-majmira fi I-al;liidithi l-maudtra (ed. 'Abd al-Rahman alMu'allamt l-Yamanl), Cairo 1380/1960, pp. SO-51, no. 106; Id., Tuhfa: al-dhakirin bi·'uI#ati I-Min al-hastn min kaldmi sayyid al-mursalin (ed. Muhammad Zabara alHasanl al-San'anl), Cairo 1393/1973, pp. 182-183; al-Saffurl, op. cit., p. 197; aI-Jamal, op. cit., IV, p. 100; al-Majlisl, op. cit., XCVII, pp, 85-86 (nos. 5, 7), 87 (no. 13), 89 (no, 17); XCVIII, pp. 408-418; Ibn Babuyah, 'Uyun akhbiir al-Ridd, I, p. 228; Id., Amalt, p. 24; al-Tusl, Amdll, Najaf 1384/1964, I, p. 303; Ibn al-Jauzl, al·MaurJu'iit (ed. 'Abd al-Rahman Muhammad 'Uthman), Medina 1386/1966, II, pp. 127-130; al-Suyutl, al·La'dli al-masnii:a fi l-ahddithi l-maudaa, Cairo n.d., II, pp. 57-60; Ibn Hajar, alK4fi al-shdf, p. 148, no. 379; al-Wa$$abi, op. cit., pp. 76-78; Ma' al-'Aynayn, Na't al-bidiiyiit wa-taustf al-nihdydt, Fas(?) 1312 A.H" pp. 184-185; al-Nazill, op. cit., pp. 43-44; al-Razl, op. cit., XXVII, p. 238. 55 AI-Tilsi, Amiili, I, p. 303; al-Majlisi, op, cit., XCVII, p. 85, no. 5 (from the Am4/i). S6 AI-Majlisi, op. cit., XCVII, p. 87, no. 9 (from the Tafslr of' al-Imam al·'Askari). 57 AI-Majlisi, op. cit., XCVII, p. 85, no. 4, p. 87, nos. 10-11. 27 can occur on any night throughout the entire year,S8 the majority held that laylat al-qadr is a night of Ramadan, thus inherently excelling any night of the inferior month of Sha'bii.n. The early scholar and judge Ibn Abi Mulayka-? is reported to have sharply rebuked those scholars who held that the reward for observance of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban equals that of laylat al-qadrsv This report indicates that orthodox scholars were reconciled to the veneration of the night of the 15th of Sha'bii.n, and merely stressed the inferiority of this night (laylat al-barii' a) in comparison with laylat al-qadr. Legitimization of laylat al-barii' a was linked with the elaboration of the idea of its virtues and merits as compared with those of laylat al-qadr. Scholars stressed the difference between the two nights, as well as their relationship: the date of laylat al-barii'a was announced and fixed, but that of laylat al-qadr (referring to that during Ramadan - K) is not revealed, for laylat al-barii' a is the night of judgement and decree, while laylat al-qadr is the night of mercy. Were the date of laylat al-qadr divulged and precisely determined, people would abstain from every exertion and rely upon the mercy of GOd.61 A report, recorded on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, defines the mutuaI, complementary functions of the two nights: God issues His decrees on laylat al-barii'a, but delivers them for execution on lay/at al-qadr/a In another, more detailed version, the copying from the Preserved Tablet commences on laylat al-barii'a and is completed on laylat al-qadr, when the list of sustenances is handed over to the angel Mikii.'il, the list of earthquakes, lightning and wars to Jibril, and the list of deeds (a'miil) to the angel Ismii.'ilwho is in charge oflower Heaven and is an angel of very high rank.63 58 See al-Tahawl, Sharh ma'iini, II, p. 92: ... anna bna mas'iidin qiila: man qdma l-sanata kullahd asdba laylata l-qadri ... (see the contradictory opinion of Ubayy b. Ka'b, ibid.); Ibn 'Asakir, op, cit., II, p. 324; al-'Amili, al-Kashkiil (ed. Tahir Ahmad al-Zawl), Cairo 1380/1961, I, p. 405: ... wa-minhum man qiila: hiyafi majmiri l-sanati, Iii yakhtassu bihd shahru ramaddna wa-ld ghayruhu; ruwiya dhiilika 'ani bni mas' iidin, qdla: man yaqumi l-haula yusibhd. 59 See on him Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-tahdhib, V, p. 306, no. 523; Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqdt, Beirut 1377/1957, V, p. 472; al-Fasl, al-t Iqd al-thamin (ed, Fu'ad Sayyid), Cairo 1385/ 1966, V, p. 204, no. 1570; al-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat al·buffii;, Hyderabad, I, p. 101; Waki', Akhbdr al-quddt (ed. 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Maraghl), Cairo 1366/1947, I, p. 261. 60 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., IV, p. 317, no. 7928; al-Turtushi, op. cit., p. 119. 61 Al-Jllani, op. cit., I, p. 216; al-Saffurl, op. cit., p. 198; cf. al-Zandawaysitl, op. cit., fo1. 273b. 62 AJ-Baghawi, Ta!sir, VI, p. 120, 1. 7; al-Jamal, op. cit, IV, p. 100, 11. 25-26; al-Majlisl, op. cit., XCVIII, p, 414. 63 Al-Jamal, op. cit.,IV,p. 100 inf.; Ahmad b.l:lijazi, op. cit., p. 48 sup.; al-Luddl, op. cit., fol 5b; al-Naysaburl, op, cit., XXV, p. 65; al-Madabighi, op. cit., fol, lOb. 28 SHA'BAN IS MY MONTI! The beginnings of the devotional observance of laylat al-barii'a seem to go back a long way. A legendary report of an expedition sent by Abu 'Ubayda, during his conquest of Syria, contains an interesting passage on laylat al-barii'a. The commander of the expedition, appointed by Abu 'Ubayda, was 'Abdallah b. Ja'far, son of the uncle of the Prophet, the famous martyr Ja'far al-Tayyar, Among the warriors of his troop was the pious Wathila b. al-Asqa'.64 When the troop was about to set out, 'Abdallah noticed the brightness of the moon. Wathila declared that it was the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, the blessed night of great virtue. On that night, he said, sustenances and decrees concerning life and death are set down, sins and wrong deeds are forgiven. Wathila stressed that, regardless of his desire to spend the night in vigil (wa-kuntu aradtu an aqiimahii, scil. in devotional observance - K), setting out to fight for God's sake was preferable. Consequently the troop indeed marched out.65 Some reports relate that certain tiibi'iin in Syria would perform the devotional practices of this night, mentioning specifically Maki}.ii166 Luqman b. 'Amir67 and Khalid b. Ma'dan.68 The well-known scholar Ishaq b. Rahawayhs? adopted their view and was favourable toward the observance of laylat al-bariia. 'Ata' b. Abi Rabai}.,7oIbn Abi Mulayka"! and the majority of the scholars of al-Hijaz opposed these practices; Maliki and Shafi'I scholars followed in their path, severely criticizing the obser64 See on him Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, XI, p. 101, no. 174; Abu Nu'aym, op. cit., II p. 21, no. 120; Ibn Hajar, al-Isdba (ed. 'Ali Muhammad al-Bijawl), Cairo 1392/1972, VI, p. 591, no. 9093; Ibn 'Abd ai-Barr, al-Istl'tib (ed. 'Ali Muhammad al-Bijawl), Cairo 1380/1960, p. 1563, no. 2738. 65 Ps. Waqidi, Futid: al-Shdm, Cairo 1348, I, p. 57. 66 See on him Sezgin, GAS, I, p. 404, no. 5; Safiyy al-Dln al-Khazrajl, Tadhhib tahdhib al-kamdl (ed, Mahmud 'Abd al-Wahhab Fayid), Cairo 1391/1971, III, p. 54, no. 7178. 67 See on him Ibn Hibban al-Bustl, Kitdb al-thiqdt (ed. 'Abd al-Khaliq al-Afghanl, Hyderabad 1388/1968, p. 229; Safiyy al-Dln al-Khazraji, op. cit., II, p. 372, no. 6005. 68 See on him Ibn Hibban al-Bustl, op. cit., p. 55; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, III, p. 118, no. 222; al-Bukharl, Ta'rtkh, III, no. 601; Safiyy al-Dln al-Khazrajl, op. cit., I, p. 284, no. 1802. 69 See on him al-Dhahabl, Tadhkirat al-huffd z, p. 433; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, I, p. 216, no. 408; Ibn Abl Hatim, al-Jarh wa-l-tadtl, Hyderabad 1371/1952, II, p. 209, no. 714; al-Dhahabi, Miziin al-i'tiddl, r, p. 182, no. 733; al-$afadi, al-Wdfi bi-l-wafaydt (ed. Muhammad Yusuf Najrn), Wiesbaden 1391/1971, VIII, p. 386, no. 3825 (and see the references of the editor); al-Subkl, Tabaqiit al-shdfi'tyya (ed. al-Hulw - al-Tanahl), Cairo 1383/1964, II, p. 83, no. 19. 70 See on him Sezgin, GAS, I, p. 31; al-Fasl, al-t Iqd al-thamtn, VI, pp. 84-93. 71 See on him above, note 59. 29 vances, branding them as bid'a. Amongst the Syrian scholars advocating the devotions there were certain differences of opinion concerning the forms of observance: some of them would wear fine garments, scent themselves with incense, anoint their eyes with collyrium and spend the night in the mosque praying and supplicating publicly. Others preferred solitary prayer and devotion in the privacy of their homes. Some persons, says the tradition, refrained from observing this night when they learned that the shcolars and pious men who advocated such veneration based their belief of Isrii'iliyyiit traditions.F There were some extremist opinions, which totally denied the basis of the traditions on the virtues of laylat al-barii'a and branded the reports as forged.P But generally orthodox circles merely reproved the manner of these devotions. A Iate report vividly describes them as practiced in the seventh century of the Hijra. Mosques were lavishly lit and the governor would come to the courtyard of the mosque; firebrands were kindled and the seated governor would act as judge. People would submit complaints against the unjust and wicked, and those convicted were punished on the spot. The adversaries shouting their arguments, the cries of the punished, the barking of the guards (janiidira) and the noise of the crowd turned the mosque into a poI ice-station (diiru shurta), as noted by Ibn aI-I.HiJJ,74The Iatter especially denounced processions to cemeteries, performed on this night by mixed crowds of men and women. Some women sang, some beat tambourines; a sort of cupola-shaped canopy (ka-l-qubba 'alii 'amiid), surrounded by lamps (qanadtt) was carried in the crowd and so the people arrived at the cemetery. Wooden posts were set up on the graves and hung with the clothes of the dead. Relatives sat down on the graves and talked to the dead about their troubles and sorrows, or complained at the graves of scholars and the righteous. Ibn al-Hajj stresses that some of these practices resemble those of the Christians, who would dress their statues and pray before their images.75 A rather Iate date for the introduction of the prayer of the night of the 72 Al-Zurqanl, Sharh al-mawdhib, VII, p. 413; Ibn Rajab, op. cit., p. 144; Ahmad b I;Iijazi, op. cit., p. 52; 'Ali Mahfuz, al-Ibda'li ma ddrr al-ibtidd', Cairo 1388/1968, p.295. 73 See e.g. Ibn 'Arabi, op. cit., IV, p. 1678: ... wa-Iaysa Ii laylati l-nisfi mill sha'bdna badtthun yu'awwalu 'alayhi, la Ii fat/liM wa-Id Ii naskhi I-ajali filla, fa-hi tal/a/ita ilayhd. And see note 44 above. 74 Ibn al-Haj], al-Madkhal, Beirut 1972, I, pp. 302-303. 75 Ibid., pp. 304-307. 30 SIlA'BAN IS MY MONTII 15th of Sha'ban in Jerusalem is recorded by al-Turtushi, According to his report, a man from Nabulus came to Jerusalem in 448 A.H. and performed this prayer in the mosque of al-Aqsa. From then onward the prayer became current and was held in al-Aqsa and in homes, coming to be considered a sunna.l» III The reports on the early origin of the observance of laylat al-barii'a seem to be trustworthy. The favourable attitude of the Syrian tiibi'fm (in the second half of the first century of the Hijra) towards these practices probably points to an earlier tradition, to be traced back to some of the Companions, such as Wathila b. al-Asqa"; indeed Makhul, who championed the observance of laylat al-barii'a, was a student of Wathila and transmitted hadtth on his authority.?? These practices were, as we have said, attributed to the Prophet himself. The observance of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban was not confined to Syria; so much can be deduced from the utterance of Ibn Abi Mulayka, quoted above. Ibn Abi Mulayka was a Qurashite appointed by 'Abdallah b. aI-Zubayr as judge in Ta'if and in Mecca. It is implausible that his utterance (in which he vigorously opposed the idea of granting laylat al-barii'a equal rank with laylat al-qadr) was directed solely against the people of Syria; more probably it was aimed at the people of Mecca and Ta'if, Furthermore, the transmitter of this report is Ayyiib (al-Sakhtiyani)78 who Iived in Basra and may have been interested in knowing the opinion of his teacher on a practice observed in his town, or country, al-Traq. It is to be remarked that the utterance ofIbn Abi Mulayka was directed against a qii$$;79it is well known that the qussiis were obliged to edify and encourage people to exert themselves in devotional practices such as laylat al-barii'a. Finally, a short passage in the biography ofIbn 76 Al-Turtushl, op, cit., p. 121; Abii Shama, op. cit., p. 24 (from al-Turtushi); 'Ali Mahfuz, op. cit., pp. 296-297 (from al-Turtushl); Jamal al-Dln al-Qasiml, l~laf;t al-masdjid min al-bida'i wa-l-iawd'id, Cairo 1341 A.H., p. 106 (from al-Turtusht). 77 Al-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat al·f;tuffli+, I, p. 108, no. 96. 78 See on him Sezgin, GAS, I, p. 87, no. 12. 79 'Abd al-Razzaq, op. cit., IV, 317, no. 7928: ... 'an ma'mar, 'an ayyidr qdla; qila ti-bni abi mulaykata inna ziyddan al-minqariyya (probably: al-namariyya; see alSuyut], Tahdhlr al-khawdss (ed. Muhammad al-Sabbagh), n.p. 1392/1972, p. 179; al-Dhahabi, Miztin al-t'tiddl, II, p. 90, no. 2945), wa-kdna qdssan, yaqiilu inna ajra Iaylati l-ni sfi min sha'bdna mithlu ajri laylati I-qadri, fa-qala: lau sami'tuhu yaqiilu dhdlika, wa-fi yadi 'asan, la-darabtuhu bihli; Abii Sharna, op. cit., p. 25 sup. 31 Abi Mulayka, recorded by Ibn Sa'd, may serve to illuminate his disapproval of putting laylat al-barii' a on a par with laylat al-qadr: Ibn Abi Mulayka used to Iead the prayers of the people in Mecca during RamaQan.80 It is thus clear why he would stress the superiority of laylat al-qadr, celebrated during Ramadan, over the night of the 15th of Sha'ban. The charge that the celebration of the night of the 15th of Sha 'ban was based on Isrii'iliyyiit81 should be taken with reserve; it was not uncommon for scholars to discredit their opponents by ascribing bid'a ideas to them, or accusing them of adopting Isratliyyat traditions. In the same category was the accusation that the lavish lighting of mosques on the night of the 15th of'Sha'ban was an innovation of the Barmakids, who were thus actually advocating fire-worship.V The data stating that the majority of Hijazi scholars objected to the observance of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban seem to be inaccurate, at least as far as the third century of the Hijra is concerned. The account given by al-Fakihi is a detailed and vivid description of the devotional practices performed at Mecca on that night. The entire population of Mecca, says al-Fakihi, would go out to the mosque and spend the night reading the Qur'an, so as to finish the recitation of the entire Qur'an and perform the tawdf; some of them would perform a hundred rak'a, reciting Siirat al-Hamd (i.e. the Fatiha - K) and qui huwa lldhu ahadun (i.e. Siirat al-Ikhliis - K) at every prostration. They would drink the waters of Zamzam, wash (their faces - K) in it and take a supply of the water home to heal their ills through the blessings of this night (combined, of course, with those of the waters themselves - K).83 We have here, indeed, the first reliable information on the prayers of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, as recorded in the sources.s+ and as performed in 80 Ibn Sa'd, op. cit., V, p. 473 sup. 81 Al-Zurqanl, Sharh al-mawtihib, VII, p. 413: ... wa-'anhum akhadha l-ndsu ta' zimahd, wa-yuqdlu innahum balaghahum fi dhdlika iithiirun isrd'Iliyyatun, fa-Iammd shtahara dhiilika "anhumu khtalafa l-ndsu fihic fa-minhum man qabilahu minhum, waminhum man abiihu .•• 82 Abii Shama, op. cit., p. 25 inf. 83 Al-Fakihl, op. cit., fol 418b: dhikru 'amali ah/i makkata laylata l-ni sfi min sha'biina wa-jtihiidihim fihii li-fadlihd. wa ahlu makkata fimii madd ila l-yaumi, idhii kdnat laylatu l-nisfi min sha'biina kharaja 'ammatu l-rijdli wa-l-nisd'i ua l-masjidi fasallau wa-tdfii wa-ahyau laylatahum /:Iattii 1-~abii/:li bi-l-qirti' ati fi l-masjidi l-hardmi batta yakhtimii I..qur'dna kullahu wa-yusallii, au man $allii minhum tilka l-Iaylata mi'ata rak'atin, yaqra'u fi kulli rak'atin bi-l-hamdi wa-qul huwa lldhu ahad 'ashra marrdtin, waakhadhii min mii'i zamzama tilka l-laylata fa-sharibiihu wa-ghtasalii bihi wa-khaba'lihu 'indahum li-l-mar dd yabtaghiina bi-dhiilika l-barakatafi hddhihi l-laylati. 84 See above note 54; and see Abii Shama, op. cit., pp. 27, 29. 32 SHA'BAN IS MY MONTIl the haram in the third century A.H. The prayer mentioned here is one of the prayers recommended for the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, recorded by Ibn aI-Jauzi and branded by him as forged. Needless to say, the tawiif and drinking of Zamzam water are features peculiar to certain devotional practices and feasts in Mecca. A tradition of the "reward promise" type, recorded by al-Fakihi, belongs to the Iore of current traditions on this subject and is reported by Ibn aI-Jauzi; He who recites a thousand times within a hundred rak'a: qui huwa lldhu ahad, on the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, will not die before God sends him a hundred angels: thirty to bring him good tidings that God is to introduce him into Paradise; thirty to shield him from God's chastisement; thirty to deter him from sin, and ten to aid him against his enemies.s' This indicates how widespread the traditions concerning the virtues of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban were in Mecca and Mecca scholars were considered orthodox and were said to be opposed to public observance of this night. The continuity of the observance of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban can be traced from the second half of the first century A.H. It is attested in. the second century in the traditions recorded by 'Abd al-Razzaq, The passage in al-Fakihi's Ta'rtkh Makka gives a description of the celebration in Mecca in the third century. AI-Zandawaysiti records the virtues of this night in the fourth century. Al-Turtiishi's account refers to the practices witnessed in the fifth century, and Ibn al-Hajj's description depicts the observance at the end of the seventh century. A rich polemical literature concerning this night was produced over the centuries, and numerous !af/a'il treatises were compiled. The night of the 15th of Sha'ban is revered even today, and modern compilations still attack the popular observance, branding it as bid'a and quoting, as usuaI, early sources. The continuity of custom and usage during these celebrations can be illustrated by example. At the end of the seventh century A.H. Ibn all;Iajj mentions the sittings of the governor in the courtyard of the mosque on the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, at which he would judge and punish the guilty. In the fourth century aI-Zandawaysiti includes among the Iaudable deeds of the various classes during Sha'ban the sessions of the rulers, who would summon the imprisoned, punish the guilty and free the innocent.w This practice seems to reflect the idea of God's judgment 85 Al-Fakihl, op. cit, fol. 418b; Ibn al-Jauzl, al-Mau dirdt, II, p. 128; al-Naysaburf op. cit., XXV, p. 65; al-Razl, op. cit., XXVII, p. 238. 86 See above note 15. 33 in this month or during this night. The custom of visiting cemeteries on this night (Shi'i sources promoted visits to the tomb of Husayn) may be related to the hadith' according to which 'A'isha found the Prophet praying in the cemetery of Baqi' al-Gharqad on this night; it was at this spot that he explained to her the virtues of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban, The observances and celebrations of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban seem to be rooted in Jahiliyya belief and rituaI, as rightly assumed by Wensinck.t? When the month of Ramadan became the month of the obligatory fast, however, the night of the 15th of Sha'ban apparently lost its primacy: laylat al-qadr was fixed by the majority of Muslim scholars within Ramadan (usually as the night of the 27th of Ramadans") and became one of the most venerated nights of the Muslim community. But esteem of the night of the 15th of Sha'ban survived and, lacking the support of official scholars, it became a favoured occasion for devotional practices in pious and ascetic circles, as well as a night of popular celebration (including practices disapproved of by zealous conservative scholars). Moderate orthodox scholars strove to reconcile the traditions of the two nights, granting Iegitimacy to the devotions of laylat al-barii'a but establishing the superiority of laylat al-qadr. Also conciliatory was the idea of a division of functions between the two nights: laylat al-bariia was considered as the night of decrees, laylat al-qadr as the night in which God's biddings (or His mercy) were carried out. All this is, of course, a later development; hence Wensinck's theory of two genuine New Year's nights seems to be untenable. Orthodox Muslim scholars, though disapproving of the public celebrations, agreed to private devotional observances on the night of the 15th of Sha'ban.s? On these conditions laylat al-bard'a could gain their approval and became a recommended night of devotional exertion. The fasting of the Prophet over the two consecutive months of Rajab and Sha'ban may be linked with the tahannuth, which he was wont to 87 See Wensinck, op. cit., p. 6 ("This belief is already recorded by Tabarl; it is probably pre-Islamic"). 88 See Wagtendonk, op. cit., pp. 106, 112, note 5. 89 See thefatwa of Abu 'Amr b. !;>aliib,as recorded by Abu Sharna, op. cit., p. 32, 1.5: ... wa-ammd laylatu l-nisfi min sha'biina fa-lahd fa dilatun wa-i/.!ya'lIhd bi-I-'ibddati mustahabbun, wa-ldkin 'ala l-infirtidi min ghayri jamd'atin; wa-ttikhiidhu l-ndsi laha wa-Iaylata l-raghii'ibi mausiman wa-shi' iiran bid'atun munkaratun. 34 SHA'BAN IS MY MONTH observe in the following month of Ramadan.w The tahannuth is said to have been initiated by the Prophet's grandfather, 'Abd al-Muttalib/" and was observed by some people of Quraysh.Ps This socio-religious observance combined the element of charitable deeds with a practice of veneration toward the haram of Mecca. It was observed on Mount Hira' and is sometimes referred to as i'tikaf or jiwdr in the story of the first revelation of the Prophet. Some reports say that the Prophet sojourned on Mount Hira' in solitude, but others explicitly state that he stayed there in the company of his wife Khadija.P! Some details on the jiwiir of the people of Mecca and its purpose are given by al-Azraqi: the Qurashites would leave Shi'b al-Sufiyy and sojourn on Jabal al-Raha "out of veneration of the haram". This practice was followed in summer.sThe place of the jiwiir of 'A'isha95 and its duration are indicated in a report recorded by al-Fakihi. 'A'isha sojourned for two months at a spot between Mount Hira' and Thabir. People would visit her there and converse with her. In the absence of 'Abdallah b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Bakr the prayer was headed by her servant, Dhakwan.ss The two 90 See Goitein, op. cit., p. 93 sup.; Wagtendonk, op. cit., pp. 32-35. 91 See BSOAS, 31 (1968), pp. 232-233. 92 See al-Baliidhuri, Ansdb I, p. 105, no. 192: kdnat qurayshun idhii dakhala ramat!anu kharaja man yuridu l-tahannutha minhd ila hird'«. 93 See BSOAS 31 (1968), p. 225, note 15; p. 227, notes 26-27; and see al-Muttawi'I, Man sabara zafira, Ms. Cambridge, Or. 1473(10), fol. 43b: ... /:latta idhd kana l-shahru lladhi ardda lldhu fihi bihi md ardda min kardmatihi wa-rahmatihi I-'ibiida mill al-sanatl llati ba'athahu lldhu tabdraka wa-taald lihii, wa-dhdlika l-shahru ramaddnu, kharaja rasulu lliihi (i) Ua /:lirli'a kamli kana yakhruju Ii-jlwdrihi wa-maahu ahluhu khadijatu ... A significant version is recorded by al-Fiikihi, op. cit., fol. 499b, ult. - 500a, 11.1-2; the Prophet sojourned on Hira', Khadlja used to come to him from Mecca in the evening. The Prophet descended from the mountain and stayed with her in (the place in which later) the mosque of Shi'b Qunfudh twas erected. - K). In the morning they used to depart. (. .. anna I-nabiyya (i) kdna yakiinu fl birli'a bi-l-nahdri fa-idhd (the verb is missing; perhaps: atli, jd'a or another similar verb has to be supplied) l-laylu nazala mill Mra'a fa-atd I-masjida lladhi Ii l-shi'bi lIadhi khalfa ddri abt 'ubaydata yu'rafu bi-l-khalafiyytn wa-ta'tihi khadijatu (r) min makkata fa-yaltaqiytini Ii l-masjidi lladhi Ii l-shi'bi, fa-idhd qaruba 1-labii(l/I ftaraqd, au nahwahu). About the place, Shi'b iii Qunfudh, see al-Azraql, Akhbiir Makka (ed. F. Wtlstenfeld), p. 491 penult. - 492. 94 Al-Azraql, op. cit., p. 482 inf.: '" Ii-anna qurayshan kdnat Ii l-jdhiltyyatl takhruju min shi'bi l-sufiyyl fa-tabitu f'ihi (the suffix hi refers to al-rdha - K) Ii l-sayfi ta' ziman li-I-masjidi l-hardmi, thumma yakhrujiina fa-yajlisilna fa-yastarlhilna Ii I-jabali ... 95 See Wagtendonk, op. cit., p. 35. 96 Al-Fakihl, op. cit., fol. 486b: ... 'alii bni abt mulaykata qtila: inna 'a'ishata (r) jdwarat bayna Mrli'a wa-thabtrin shahrayni, fa-kunnd na'tihli wa-ya'tlhd ndsun min 35 reports may help us in the evaluation of the jiwiir of the Prophet (apparently identical with tahannuthi: the Prophet, like the people of Shi'b al-Sufiyy, used to leave his home in summer and sojourn on Mount Hira'. Like them h~ did it "out of veneration of the haram of Mecca"; Iike 'A'isha he sojourned there for some fixed time. None of the reports mentions fasting explicitly. The duration of the Prophet's fast during Rajab and Sha'ban was not fixed; it was sporadic and the Prophet broke fast arbitrarily. The hadiths reporting this manner of the Prophet's fastingv? seem to be trustworthy. The reports of his fasting during the month of Sha'ban recorded in early sources are not questioned anywhere, nor doubted by any authority; they are certainly as reliable as the reports of his fasting during Rajab.98 It may be stressed that there were no rules of fasting, nor any regulations; the Prophet's fast was a voluntary, pious observance, the duration of which he fixed at his own discretion. In Medina, after his hijra, the Prophet was faced with the task of establishing a code of Iaw and ritual. One of the injunctions of this code was to fast. The verses of the Qur'an imposing the fast of Ramadan upon the emerging Muslim community were revealed against the background of the confrontation with the Jewish community.P? the encounter with the hostile Meccan unbelievers and their allies and the victory won on the battlefield of Badr. Even if affected by Jewish, Christian or other influences, these rules formed a genuine independent trend in the nascent body of Iaw for the Muslim community.l00 The injunction of the fast of Ramadan did not, however, abolish voluntary fasting during Rajab or Sha'ban, Some of the controversial traditions concerning the change in the Prophet's fast during Sha'ban after his arrival in Medina may facilitate a better insight into the persistence of this voluntary fast. Some scholars asserted that the Prophet, while in Mecca, fasted only some parts of the month of Sha'ban; after his arrival in Medina, however, he fasted the entire month. Al-Qastallani refutes this report, basing himself on the hadtth of 'A'isha, who stated qurayshin yatahaddathiina ilayhti, fa-idhti lam yakun thamma 'abdu lldhi bnu 'abdi l-rahmdni bni abt bakrin (r) ~a/la biha ghulamuha dhakwdnu abii 'amrin (r); Ibn Sa'd, op, cit., V, pp. 295-296. 97 See e.g. al-Nasa'I, op, cit., IV, pp. 150-151: ... kdna rasiilu /Iiihi (~) yasiimu batta naqillu Iii yuftiru, wa-yuftiru batta naqiilu Iii yasiimu ... 98 See Goitein, op. cit., pp. 93-94. 99 See ibid., pp. 95-102. 100 See Wagtendonk, op. cit" p. 144 inf. 36 SHA'BAN IS MY MONTII that the Prophet, after his arrival in Medina, never fasted any full month, except Ramadan." 01 This tradition transmitted on the authority of 'A'isha deserves our trust. The phrase in this haduh of 'A'isha "mundhu qadima l-madtnata" gives us a clue in assessing the change at Medina. 'A'isha is indeed a reliable witness of the Prophet's Iife in Medina, and her hadtth with the quoted phrase, limiting it to Medina, is apparently sound. The voluntary fast of Sha'ban was now transfigured into an obligatory fast, that of Ramadan, the month of the Prophet's own devotional exertions, the month of his tahannuth in Mecca. This fast became a distinctive mark of the Muslim community and one of the pillars ofIslam. The importance of the fast during Sha'ban consequently declined, but it never Iost its virtuous position as a recommended voluntary fast, observed over the ages and revered especially by pious and devout Muslims; the night of the 15th of Sha'ban became the culmination of the month's devotions. The observances of Sha'ban were finally approved of and legitimized by moderate orthodox scholars. The high esteem of Sha'ban was clearly expressed in the utterance attributed to the Prophet: "Rajab is the month of God, Sha'ban is my month, Ramadan is the month of my community". 101 Al-Zurqani, Sharh al-mawdhib, VIIJ, p, 125. 37

Pare Your Nails: A Study of an Early Tradition

pare_nails.pdf Pare Your Nails: A Study of an Early Tradition The Islamic injunction that one should pare one's nails is usually given in the sources as belonging to the set of practices observed by the prophets before Muhammad, enjoined by them for their people and thus known as one of the practices of the fitra.1 These practices were followed by the Prophet and prescribed for his community. A widely current tradition, reported on the authority of the Prophet, recommended paring the nails by stressing that the Devil takes up his abode in the dirt originating between the nail and the flesh.2 It is evident that the believer has to be alert to the dangers associated with the presence of the Devil; negligence or heedlessness in paring one's I See, e.g., al-Bayhaqi. al-Sunan al-kubra, (Hyderabad 1344). I. '149: idem. Ma'njat al-sunan wa-Iathar. ed. A\lmad :;>aqr(Cairo 1390/1970). I. 390-91: al-Shaukanf. Nayl al-au(ar (Cairo 1372/1953). I, 130-33: ai-Muttaqi I-Hindf. Kanz al-'ummal (Hyderabad 1377/1958). VI. 371-74, nos. 2648-52, 2654, 2672-75: al-'Ayni, 'Umdat al-qarr. (Cairo reprint). XXII. 44-46 (and see the definition ofthejilra on p. 45: al-ji(ra khamsun. ay khamsatu ashya'a. wa-arada bi-l-ji(rati al-sunnata l-qadTma lIatT khtaraha 1anbiya'u 'alayhim ai-salam wa-llafaqat 'alayhi I-shara'i .. JUc...,...l.JI~..l.> • r)W1 L"J..,rJ1 [J JU] ....."...Is ....1J1 J."...; .10 .~ r--L" I.; l..r r-l L-.". l.j U J.>...,rJ1 ~ .:r J L-.". 0 L5 .11 .~~..l.>1 Professor Abbott did not translate the document. In her comments' she merely states that "the tradition has no parallel in the standard collections" and adduces a considerable number of references to demonstrate the preoccupation of the Prophet and of his contemporaries with dreams and their interpretation. Professor Abbott is indeed right in stating that this tradition has no parallel in the standard collections. Furthermore, because of the damaged state of the papyrus, serious difficulties have been incurred in deciphering the text of this tradition; some minor misreadings made a correct reading almost impossible to achieve and blurred the meaning of the tradition. It is evident from the text as it was read that the tradition is based on an implied contrast between dirty nails and dreams. The thread can be grasped in a tradition recorded by Ibn Abr Hatim al-Razr: Abo Hatim marks this tradition as munkar.t the reason for this being that al-Fadl b. al- bi-sharhi asrari il}ya'i -..) .11 1..)1-,"", ~ L..".J..;-11.y [J'-" uL5] <..r""" I~.J u[.J]r.J u[.J]r ~ o..:;...JL.b .»-1 .~ ..l...S 1""'"..) UbI ~ 1..r9 JL..I...j ->--.J 4-l>..l.J .12 ~ • r5..)UbI The Prophet used to ask [his Companions) about their dreams, and they would respond. Then [when) they [once) camel2 he asked them several times but none of them gave him any information (about his dreams - K.); then the Prophet noticed that their nails had lengthened and that dirt had penetrated them. "How will you see (dreams - K.) or be shown (dreams _K.)ll whilel4 this (i.e., the dirt) is underneath your nails," asked the Prophet. 6 See the negative opinions on him: Ibn Abr Hatim, 391 (ai)adflhuhu munkara, yuhaddithu bi-l-abattt): Bijawr (Cairo, 1382/1963). III, 358-59, no. 6750; no. 1374. 7 On the distinction between true and false dreams. ft ta'btri l-manam (Cairo, 1384), I, 3-4. 8 The".J" missing in text. 9 In text: ..;-11 al-Jarh wa-l-ra' dil (Hyderabad, 1361), 111/11,69. no. al-Dhahabi. Mizan al-i-tidal, ed. 'Air Muhammad alIbn Hajar. Lisan al-mizan (Hyderabad, 1330), IV, 449. see. e.g .. 'Abd al-Ghanr al-Nabulusr, Ta'lfr al-anam t"' Al-Kharqushr, al-Bishara wa-l-nidhara, Ms. Br. Mus .. Or. 6262. fol. 6a. Ps. Ibn Srrrn, Tafstru l-ahlami l-kabtr (Cairo, 1382/1963).23. Miss Abbott's reading I..".... I. "they refused". seems to be unbased. Cf. this expression about dreams: al-Suynp, ai-Durr al-manthur, III, 311"':12 tyaraha l-mutminau tura lahu); al-Raghib al-Isfahant Mui)aqaratal-udaM' (Beirut, 1961), I, 149 (yaraha I-rajul au tura lahu); al-Zurqaru, SharI) al-mawahib al-ladunniyya (Cairo, 1328), VII, 163. 14 This ".J " omitted in the reading of Miss Abbott blurred, of course. the meaning of the tradition. 10 II 12 13 66 The intent of the tradition is obvious: believers with long nails" are barred from seeing true, veridical dreams. The dirt under the nails of the believers was even more harmful for the religious practices of the Prophet himself, as pointed out in another tradition. The Prophet was once heedless and committed an error in his prayer; he explained his error by the fact that some people attending the prayer had not cleaned their nails." Another serious event, which might have endangered the continuity of the prophetic revelation, is connected, according to one tradition, with the injunction to pare one's nails. When the angel Jibrrl had ceased for a period to convey the revelation to the Prophet, he explained to his worried believers that this was a result of the fact that they were not careful in paring their nails, trimming their moustaches, and cleaning their finger-joints. 17 This, however, is a fragmentary tradition in which no details about the time of the event and its circumstances are given. The current reports concerning the pause in the revelation usually refer to Sora XVIII, 24-25: "And do not say, regarding anything, 'I am going to do that tomorrow', but only 'If God will'; and mention thy Lord when thou forgettest. .. "; or to Sara XCIII, 3: "Thy Lord has neither forsaken thee nor hates thee ... "; and differ in their setting and details. The reason for the suspension of the revelation was, according to one of the reports, an illness of the Prophet lasting two or three nights. A woman then came and derided him by saying that God had forsaken him. Some traditions name the woman: she was Umm Jamfl, the wife of Abo Lahab. A version of this tradition links the story of Umm Jamfl and the verses of SOra CXI about her (. . ." and his wife, the carrier of the firewood ... ") with the verses of SOra XCIII: the revelation was delayed after a short time after her talk with the Prophet, in which the latter asserted that the verses about her were revealed by God. When the revelation was suspended, she came to the Prophet and mocked him, stating that his Devil had left him. Then the verses of SOra XCIII were revealed. Another tradition presents an opposing point of view: when the pause in the revelation occurred, it was Khadfja who IS Some Shr'f compendia draw a clear line between men and women: while men were enjoined to pare their nails, women were ordered to let their nails grow because "'it is nicer for them." See al-Bahranr, alHadariq al-nadira, V, 571 ult.-572, I. I: qala rasulu llahi (s) li-I-rijali: qussu azfarakum, wa-li-l-nisari: trukna, fa-innahu azyanu lakunna; al-Tabarst, Makarim al-akhlaq, 26, I. I (but curiously: wa-qala li-Inisari: III tatrukna min az aftrikunna. which seems to be an error). 16 See Thabit b. Abr Thabit, Khalqu l-insan, ed. shows the importance attached to the paring of nails in the early period of Islam; negligence on the part of the believers could endanger the continuity of the revelation granted to the Prophet by God. Mujahid (d. 104 H) comments on SOra XIX, 64: "We come not down save at the commandment of thy Lord" that the revelation was suspended and that it was Jibnl who explained to the Prophet that the reason was that the believers were careless in paring their nails, trimming their moustaches, cleansing their teeth (with a siwakr and cleaning their finger-joints." 18 See al-Tabarr, Tafsir (Bolaq) XXX. 148: al-Qurtubr, Tafsir, XX. 92-93: Ibn Kathrr, Tafsir (Beirut. 1385/1966), IV. 365-66. VII. 313: al- Wahidr, Asbab al-nuzut (Cairo. 1388/1968). 301-2: al-Suyutr, Lubab al-nuqul p asbabi l-nuzul (Cairo. 1373/1954). 144-45. 237-38: idem. al-Durr al-manthur, VI, 360-61: Ibn Hajar, al-Kafl l-shaJ ft takhriji ahadtth! l-k ashshaf, (Cairo. 1354). 102, no. 306: 185. nos. 325-26: alSarnarqandr, Tafsir, Ms. Chester Beatty 3668. II. 326a: al-Khazin, Tafsir iLubab al-tarwt! ft masant 1tanztl) (Cairo 1381), VII. 214-15: al-Razr, al- Tafsir al-kabtr (= Ma.JatflJ al-ghayb) (Cairo, 1357/1938), XXXI, 210-11: al-Naysabarr, Gharatib at-qurran, ed. Ibrahrrn 'A!wa 'Awac;l (Cairo, 1390/1970), XXX, 115-16. 19 Muqatil, Talsfr, Ms. Ahmet Ill, 74/11. fol. 242b. 20 See al-Qurtubt Tafsir, XX, 93 infra: al-Razr, al- Tafsir al-kabtr, XXXI; 211: al-Naysaburr, Ghararib at-qurran, XXX, I 15 infra. 21 See al-Wahidr. Asbab al-nuzul, 203: al-Qurtubr. Tafstr. XI, 127: al-Suyutr, al-Durr al-manthur, IV, 279, II. 9-14. 68 Muslim scholars, of course regarded it as necessary to classify the practice of paring one's nails, establishing its rank and position in relation to other practices bearing on cleanliness and purity, like trimming one's moustache, plucking out the hair of the armpits, and shaving the privates. It was necessary to decide whether the practice is obligatory and forms part of the sunna. The mandatory character of the practice was derived from a tradition quoted from the compilation of Ahmad b. Hanbal and attributed to the Prophet: "He who does not shave his privates, pare his nails, and trim his moustache is not of US."22 This tradition was, however, sharply criticized. Scholars pointed out that one of the transmitters, Ibn LahfCa,23 was considered unreliable and that another version of this tradition, recorded by al- Tirrnidhr.> does not include the paring of nails (it only mentions the trimming of the moustache). Even granted that the hadttb is trustworthy, the expressionJa-/aysa minna 'he is not one of us' merely denotes that the man does not follow the sunna of the Prophet. Al-Munawr concludes that the tradition does not establish the mandatory character of the practice. It is a commendable practice tmandubun nadban mu'akkadani, and failure to carry out the injunction of the hadttn can only be considered as neglect of the sunna.> However, there was a problem in connection with the paring of nails which caused division of opinions among the scholars: if the water of ablution (wuquC) does not reach the place blocked by the dirt, should one repeat the ablution or nOt.26 Al-Shafivr gives an unequivocal decision concerning one specific question: if someone performs the ablution and subsequently trims his beard and pares his nails, does he have to repeat the ablution? According to al-Shafl-r the answer is negative." Scholars were not unanimous about the period prescribed by the Prophet for performing the practices of the fitra (trimming the moustache, shaving the privates, paring the nails, and pulling out the hairs of the armpits). According to a current tradition it is enjoined every forty days." The problem under discussion was whether this was the prescribed period or whether it was a maximum which one should not exceed but which can be shortened according to need." The tradition recorded by alBukharr states that Ibn 'Umar used to pare his nails every two weeks.l? implying that the Prophet himself practiced it in this way. Another report says that the Prophet used to trim his moustache and pare his nails on Friday before going out to perform the Friday prayer." The latter tradition is contradicted by an opinion recorded in the 22 Murtada l-Zabrdr, Ithafu, II, 411,413; al-Munawr, Fayd al-qadtr, VI, 223, no. 9021: man lam yahliq -IOa (quoted from Risalat ahkam al-fitra 1islamiyya}. 33 Murtada.l-Zabrdr, It/}tifu. II, 399, 413 supra; Ibn Hajar, Fatb at-bart, X, 292 infra; al-Suyutr, al-Durr al-manthur, I, 113, II. 1-2; idem, al-Isfar, fol. 2a (and cf. ibid, fol. 3b, another schedule for the performance of these practices); al-Dhahabr, Mtzan al-i-tidal, 1,33, no. 95. 34 See, e. g., Murtada l-Zabrdr, Ithafu, 11,413-14; al-Suyutr, al-Zafar, fol. 370a-b. 35 AI-Wa~~abf,al-Baraka, 216; al-Suyutr, al-Zafar, fol. 369b supra. 36 Anonymous, Ms. Univ. of Istanbul 6258, fol. 9b. 37 Al-Suyutr, al-Zafar, fol. 369a; al-Tabarsf, Makarim al-akhlaq, 25. 38 Ibn Abf Shayba, Musannaf; ed. 'Abd al-Khaliq Afghanr (Hyderabad, 1387/1967). II, 159; Abo Talib al-Makkr, Qat al-qulub, I, 98; al-Jrlanr, al-Ghunya (Cairo, 1322), I, 17; al-Suyutr, al-Zafar, fol. 369b. But this very reward was promised the Saturday nail-parers; al-'Aynf, 'Umdat al-qan, XXII, 46 supra. 39 AI-Wa~~abf, al-Baraka, 216. 70 of the armpit, and shaving the privates on Thursday; on Friday the believer has to wash his body, to perfume himself, and .to wear nice clothes." The most liberal tradition is reported on the authority of Abu Hurayra. The Prophet gives a detailed account of the rewards which will be granted the believers who pare their nails on any day of the week; no special day for paring is singled OUt.41 Special importance is attached to the order of paring the nails." Scholars of hadttb stress that there is no sound tradition concerning the order of paring the nails," but there exist certain utterances of early scholars and some verse compositions serving as mnemonic devices for knowing the right order." There are scholarly disputes over the problem of how to dispose of the parings. The accepted opinion is that, according to the utterances of the Prophet, the parings should be buried. While there is nothing wrong in discarding them, to dispose of them in the privy or in the wash-house is reprehensible." The reason for the injunction to bury the parings was that it would not allow sorcerers to play with them. Ibn Hajar records another reason for burying: they are a part of the human body and have to be buried like the body itself." The verses of Sura LXXVII, 26-27 (a-lam naj-ali l-arda kifatan alJya)an wa-amwatan) "made we not the earth to be a housing for the living and for the dead?" refer to nail-parings and hair, according to one of the commentaries." Al-Hakrrn al- Tirmidhr records a tradition on the authority of (A)isha, stating that the Prophet ordered the burial of seven things from the human body: hair, parings, blood, menstruation .... , (fallen) teeth, prepuce, and placenta. The reverence for the body of the believer should be extended to the elements extracted from it.4H Though the paring of nails is commonly accepted as a commendable sunna it must be performed privately; the paring of nails in mosques is condemned." Abraham is said to have been the first person in humanity who pared his nails." This practice, one of the usages which belong to the observances of theji{ra, is carefully observed by believers until today. (ghus/) 40 Murtada I-Zabfdf, Itl}a!u, 11,414. 41 AI-'Aynf, 'Umdat al-qan, XXII, 46 supra; al-Suyutr, al-Zafar, fol. 370b-71 a; idem. al-Isfar, fol. 3a; al-Shaukanr, al-Fawatid al-majmu-a ft l-ahadtth' al-maudu-a, ed.

A Comment on the Antiquity of Traditions praising Jerusalem

Jerusalem-traditions.pdf A Comment on the Antiquity of Traditions Praising] erusalem MEIR KISTER UR TOPIC of discussion is closely related to the hadiths of Fadd'il Bayt af-Maqdis. Two of the most important problems in the analysis of these hadiths are determining their dates of composition, and when they were committed to writing. We can say with cfcrtainty that they were well-known and widely circulated as early as the beginning of the second century after the hidjra. Decisive proof of this is the incl usion of a large chapter of hadiths extolling the merits of Jerusalem in the work of Muqatil (d. 150 A.H.1765 C.E.). I These l;adFths-about 60 in number-are transmitted without isndd [chain of authorities] and contain most of the elements known to us from later works in praise of Jerusalem. 2 Ibn al-Faqih transmits them in Muqatil's name in the chapter of his book devoted to praise of Jerusalem.' Examples of these hadiths are: "Jerusalem is the land God has chosen from among other lands"; "He who chose to die in Jerusalem, has died as if in heaven"; "All sweet water originates beneath the Rock [foundation stone of the Temple]"; "The Rock is the navel of the universe"; "God will destroy Yddjtid] lI'aMiidjudj (Gog and Magog) in Jerusalem"; "Before his death in India, Adam commanded that he be brought to Jerusalem for burial"; "The ingathering and resurrection of the dead will take place in Jerusalem." It seems to me that all these hadiths may be attributed without hesitation to the latter half of the first century of the hidjra (the end of seventh century C.E.). No less ancient, in my opinion, is the hadith, "The establishment of the site of the Temple will be the destruction of Yathrib." 4 I would ascribe it to the period of the building of Jerusalem, i.e. the seventh decade of the first century, along with other hadiths of a similar nature: the tradition that Muhammad's nation will build the "Temple", 5 the O l 2 3 4 5 See F. Sezgin, GAS I, p. 36-37. Muqatil, Tafsir, ms. Saray Ahmad III, 74, I, f. 2 lOa. Kitdb al-Bulddn, ed. De Goeje (Leiden, 1885), p. 93-95. Al-Djahiz, al-Baytin wa-l-Tabyin. II, ed. al-Sandubi, (Cairo 135111932), p. 28; Abu Dawud, Sa~rI:zSunan al-Mustafd, (Cairo 1348/1929), p. 209; al-Samhudi, Wafa' al-Wafd. I, ed. M. Muhyi al-Din 'Abd al-Hamid (Cairo 1375/1955), p. 120; Ibn Kathlr, Nihdyat al-Biddya wal-Nihdya. I, cd. M. Fahim AbuUbayd (Riyad 1968), p. 79; al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, IV (Cairo 1391/1972), p. 360, no. 5612; al-Dhahabi, Mtzan aiI'riddl, II, ed. 'All M. al-Bidjawi (Cairo 1382/1963), p. 552, no. 4828; al-t Azizi, al-Sirddj al-Munir, II (Cairo 1377/1957), p. 460; al-Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, ms. Chester Beaty, no. 3037, f. 105a; al-Bukhari. alTa'rikh al-Kabir, III (Hyderabad 1377/1958), I, p. 193, no. 613. Ibn Nasir al-Din, Djdmi' al-Athdr fi Mawlid al-Nabi al-Mukhhar, ms. Cambridge, Or. 913, f. 48b. MEIR KISTE"R dispute over Muhammad's place of burial, in which a group of his friends demanded that he be brought to Jerusalem, the resting place of the prophets," the stories about the construction of the Temple 7 and the burning of the Temple, 8 about Israfil standing on the Rock on the Day of Resurrection, 9 or Jesus blessing Hebron, 10 and the tradition about the Ka'ba's journey to the Rock on Judgment Day.1I To summarize, Jerusalem praise literature emerged in the second half of the first century of the hidjra (the end of the seventh century C.E.) and was put into writing in the first half of the second century of the hidjra (eighth century C.E.}.lJadfths in praise of Jerusalem may be found in the earliest collections of hadiths and Qur'anic exegesis. Jewish converts to Islam played an important role in disseminating stories from the Bible and Midrash, and even held parties upon completion of reading the Torah." Although they had severed their ties with the Jewish community, they did not relinquish their heritage, passing this wealth on to Islam. These isrd'iliyydt were absorbed in the Islamic system of values and eventually became an integral part of it. It is only natural, then, that praise of Jerusalem should be of such importance in the body of isrd'Iliyyiit. The role played by the zuhhdd or pious ascetics has also been mentioned. There is evidence that these people did in fact circulate Jerusalem praise literature. I) It should also be noted that some of them served in the Umayyad government 14which was extremely interested in developing and promoting such literature. 6 7 8 9 10 II 12 13 14 Ibn Hadjar al-Haythami, al-Sawd' iq al-Muhriqa, ed. 'Abd al-Wahhab 'Abd al-Latif (Cairo 13751 1955), p. 32; Life of the Prophets. anon., ms. British Museum 1510. f. 250a. See 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Musannaf. V, ed. 'Abd al-Rahrnan al-A'zarni (Beirut 1392/1972j, pp. 426-428. AI-FakihI, Ta'rfkh Makka, ms. Leiden, Or. 463, f. 469b-470a. Muqatil, Tafsir. II, p. 169a. Nu'ayrn b. Harnmad, K. al-Fitan. ms. British Museum, Or. 9449, f. 65a (and compare ibid .. f. 65bj. Al-FakihI, ibid., f.416b. See Ibn Sad, Tabaqtit, VII (Beirut, 1960), pp. 110, 222. See for example Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, Isti'tib, ed. 'All M. al-Bidjawi, III (Cairo 1380/1960j, p. 894. no. 1518 (wa-rawa /f fadli-l-shtim al-a~iidfth). See for example al-Minqari, Waq'at Siffin. ed. 'Abd al-Salarn Harun (Cairo 1382/1963), pp. 85-86, about the role of Abu Muslim al-Khawlani in the battle between 'All and Mu'awiya.
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