Russia’s Calm, But Firm, Response to the US Shooting Down a Syrian Fighter Jet

JUNE 20, 2017

Russia’s Calm, But Firm, Response to the US Shooting Down a Syrian Fighter Jet

Photo by Bikash Das | CC BY 2.0

Former State Department official Nicholas Burns told CNN Monday morning he’s surprised at Russia’s “calm” response to the shooting down of a Syrian government warplane (a Russian built SU 22 jet) in Syrian skies by a US F-18 Super Hornet. Moscow initially merely protested.

The Syrian government says its plane was bombing ISIL forces. (This could be perceived as an unequivocally good act, ISIL being what it is.) But the U.S. says the plane was bombing its proxies, who are themselves battling ISIL around Raqqa with embedded U.S. advisors. These proxies are mainly Kurds who want independence and other forces allied to the U.S. and its Arab allies in a common effort to ultimately topple the Assad regime. And everyone paying attention knows these proxies include forces closely aligned with what used to be called al-Nusra. Forces the U.S. considers friends are considered by Damascus terrorists.

There are differences of opinion on this matter between the government of the aggressor imperialist country and the government of the country being assaulted by a host of foreign forces, and in the cross-hairs of this—what did Martin Luther King call it, so rudely, in 1967?—“greatest purveyor of violence in the world”?

In any case, Assad’s is an internationally recognized regime, as legitimate as the Trump regime, and the U.S. and its allies are plainly violating Syrian sovereignty by their presence. The Russian position is that the Syrian Arab Army (the national army) is the guarantor of Syrian unity and sovereignty, and the alternative is an Islamist regime that would destroy Palmyra, blow up the churches of Damascus, behead children etc.  (This is a rational position.)

The U.S. position has been that the Assad regime, to which army is loyal, is the main problem to be solved. This position requires the curious argument that the Assad regime is what has produced ISIL and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra, Fateh al-Sham), by producing opposition to itself, thus generating Islamist radicalism. (This is an irrational position.)

ISIL (ISIS, the Islamic State) exists because a Jordanian Bedouin guy named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi organized an international jihadi group around Herat, Afghanistan circa 2000. Called Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (Organization of Monotheism and Jihad), it was a rival of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, whose camps were located on the other side of Afghanistan. After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Zarqawi relocated to Iraq. The U.S. invasion of Iraq (which recall was based entirely on lies, and produced horrible ongoing destruction and suffering) provided optimal opportunities for jihadis like him. In 2004 he pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and established, as its Iraqi franchise, Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (commonly rendered al-Qaeda in Iraq).

That morphed into ISIL. It spread from Iraq to Syria, and back to Iraq, even as al-Qaeda continues to challenge it for influence and territory. It is a hideous product of U.S. imperialist interventions. In Syria it challenges a government that, however oppressive and corrupt,  would surely be seen as the better alternative by most rational people. But the dominant view in the State Department has been that Assad needs to go. The debate has been over how to effect his ouster, through overt or covert means, and the main practical problem the lack of reliable allies willing to work with U.S. trainers and not defect to the other side after their training.

So on the one hand the U.S. pursues openly an anti-ISIL campaign in Syria (and Iraq), claiming plausibly that the sheer evil of ISIL justifies the drive to destroy it. Who could complain? (The Syrian government points out that any uninvited military presence is a violation of international law.) On the other hand the ultimate intent, which seems unchanged under the new administration, is regime change.

Thus the State Department shapes the cable news coverage to insure that the Assad regime is routinely vilified, assumed to be an evil. The Syrian army is presented, not as the most respected institution in the country, but as the enemy of its people, barrel-bombing them. So if it’s reported that a Syrian warplane was shot down by a U.S. warplane over Syria, what’s the problem?

Expert analysts are explaining that the U.S. was acting in self-defense in shooting down the Syrian plane in Syria. They appear to sincerely believe what they say, and perhaps persuade their audience—even after so many lies have been exposed and you’d think public skepticism at its height.


As I write there is more “breaking” news. It appears the Russians, while still “calm,” are also getting firm. The U.S. has gone too far, shooting down the plane of a Russian-allied force in a Russia-allied country. The Russians have consistently appealed to the U.S. to coordinate anti-ISIL, anti-al-Nusra efforts in Syria; a “memorandum on air safety”  intended to prevent mid-air collisions has been in effect since last October, although the U.S. has violated it by bombing a Syrian army position. Now Russia is pulling out and announcing that it will treat U.S. jets in Syrian airspace as “targets.” (Barbara Starr—who you’ve noticed represents the Pentagon on CNN—however says the line’s still open, and there are apparently communications between Russian forces in Latakia and U.S. forces in Qatar.)

The Russian Defense Ministry’s calm statement reads: “All kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the international coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets.” This is a clear warning to the Trump administration to back off from attacks on state forces in Syria.

Moscow is surely puzzled by conflicting signals from Washington regarding Syria and U.S. foreign policy in general. If there had been some optimism about a joint effort against terrorists in Syria, this incident may destroy it.

Let’s say a S-300 Grumble missile shoots down one of those Super Hornets today. A Super Hornet whose presence is rejected by the Russian-allied Syrian government. A U.S. pilot killed. Massive immediate outrage in this country—about a Russian attack on one of us, wicked just by definition. And it’s official truth that Russia hacked the election. Russia we are told is an adversary. Trump cannot be viewed as a Putin stooge. Retaliation needed, immediately, in a country becoming a free-for-all for Arab, Turkish, Iranian, Russian and U.S. and European intervention.

I think the calm temporary. Iranian missiles are hitting Raqqa in a retaliatory strike on ISIL, which has struck in Iran. Turkey is bombing U.S. Kurdish allies in Syria. The mix of forces that will take (and likely destroy) Raqqa are not clear. A young crazed Kim Jung-un type is in charge of Saudi Arabia throwing money at jihadis in Syria. Hizbollah Lebanese forces and Iraqi Shiite militia forces are fighting the ISIL and al-Qaeda forces with the government. It is a hellish situation that could become much more so.

The people should demand that the U.S. just back off. How can those who generated ISIL kill it?

Trump as I recall suggested during his campaign that the U.S. leave the defeat of ISIL to Russia, or at least to work with Russia against ISIL. He was of course vague, inconsistent, and using a sixth grade vocabulary, but he seemed to want to avoid something like this provocation. One has to ask, who does want it?

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Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at:

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Resist This: the United States is at War With Syria

Resist This: the United States is at War With Syria

Photo by Debra Sweet | CC BY 2.0

The United States is at war with Syria. Though few Americans wanted to face it, this has been the case implicitly since the Obama administration began building bases and sending Special Ops, really-not-there, American troops, and it has been the case explicitly since August 3, 2015, when the Obama administration announced that it would “allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” With the U.S. Air Force—under Trump, following Obama’s declared policy—shooting down a Syrian plane in Syrian airspace, this is now undeniable.  The United States is overtly engaged in another aggression against a sovereign country that poses no conceivable, let alone actual or imminent, threat to the nation. This is an act of war.

As an act of war, this is unconstitutional, and would demand a congressional declaration. Will Trump ask for this? Will any Democratic or Republican congresscritter demand it? Is the Pope a Hindu?

Would it make any difference? Why should Trump bother? Obama set the stage when he completely ignored the War Powers Act, the Constitution, Congress, and his own Attorney General and legal advisers, and went right ahead with a war on Libya, under the theory that, if we pretend no American troops are on the ground, it isn’t really a war or “hostilities” at all. Which I guess means if the Chinese Air Force starts shooting down American planes in American airspace in defense of Black Lives Matter’s assault on the White House, it wouldn’t really be engaging in an act of war.

It’s impossible to overstate the danger in these executive war-making prerogatives that Obama normalized—with the irresponsible connivance of his progressive groupies, who pretend not to know where this would lead: In 2012, referring to the precedent of Obama’s policies, Mitt Romney said: “I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now.” Following Obama, for Trump, and every Republican and Democratic president, it now goes without saying.

As an aggressive, unprovoked war, this is also illegal under international law, and all the political and military authorities undertaking it are war criminals, who would be prosecuted as such, if there were an international legal regime that had not already been undermined by the United States.

Syria is now under explicit attack by the armed forces of the U.S., Turkey, and other NATO states. Sixteen countries have combat aircraft buzzing around Syrian airspace under the effective command of the United States, and a number of them have attacked Syria’s army.

Americans, and certainly self-identified “progressives,” have to be crystal clear about this: American armed forces have no right to be in Syria, have no right to restrict the Syrian government from using any of its airspace, or to prevent it from regaining control of any of its own territory from foreign-backed jihadi armies.

The Syrian state and its allies (Iran and Russia), on the other hand, are engaged in the legitimate self-defense of a sovereign state, and have the right to respond with full military force to any attack on Syrian forces or any attempt by the United States to balkanize or occupy Syrian territory, or to overthrow the Syrian government.

So please, do not pretend to be shocked, shocked, if Syria and its allies fight back, inflicting American casualties. Don’t pose as the morally superior victim when Americans are killed by the people they are attacking. And don’t be preaching about how everyone has to support our troops in a criminal, unconstitutional, aggressive attack on a country that has not threatened ours in any way. American soldiers and pilots executing this policy are not heroes, and are not fighting to protect America or advance democracy; they are criminal aggressors and legitimate targets. In response to American aggression, the Syrian Army has every right to strike back at the American military apparatus, everywhere. Every casualty of this war, however big it gets, is the ethico-political responsibility of the attacking party – US. The first responsibility of every American is not to “support our troops,” but to stop this war. Right now. Before it gets worse

It’s quite obvious, in fact, that the United States regime is deliberately making targets of its military personnel, in the hopes of provoking a response from Syrian or allied armed forces that will kill some Americans, and be used to gin up popular support for the exactly the kind of major military attack on Syria and/or Russia and/or Iran that the American people would otherwise reject with disgust. Anyone who professes concern for “our troops” should be screaming to stop that.

It’s also quite clear now, that the War on ISIS is a sham, that ISIS was always just a pretext to get the American military directly involved in attacking the Syrian army and destroying the coherence of the Syrian state. If the U.S. wanted to defeat ISIS, it could do so easily by coordinating their actions with, and not against, the forces who have been most effectively fighting it: the Syrian Arab Army, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

Instead, it’s attacking the Syrian army precisely because it has been defeating ISIS and other jihadi forces, and regaining its own territory and control of its own border with Iraq. The U.S. does not want that to happen. At the very least—if it cannot immediately engender that massive offensive to overthrow the Baathist government—the U.S. wants to control part of the border with Iraq and to occupy a swath of eastern Syria. It wants to establish permanent bases from which to provision and protect jihadi armies, achieving a de facto partitioning of the Syrian state, maintaining a constant state of armed attack against the Damascus government, and reducing Syria to a weakened, rump state that can never present any effective resistance to American, Israeli, or Saudi designs on the region.

This is extremely dangerous, since the Syrians, Russians, and Iranians seem determined not to let this happen. Trump seems to have abrogated authority to his generals to make decisions of enormous political consequence. Perhaps that’s why aggressive actions like the shoot-down of the Syrian plane have been occurring more frequently, and why it’s not likely they’ll abate. There’s a dynamic in motion that will inevitably lead each side to confront a choice of whether to back down, in a way that’s obvious, or escalate. Generals aren’t good at backing down. A regional or global war is a real possibility, and becomes more likely with every such incident.

Though most American politicians and media outlets do not want to say it (and therefore, most citizens cannot see it clearly enough), such a war is the objective of a powerful faction of the Deep State which has been persistent and determined in seeking it. If the generals are loathe to back down in a battle, the neocons are adamant about not backing down on their plans for the Middle East. They will not be stopped by anything less than overwhelming popular resistance and international pushback.

The upside of these attacks on Syrian forces is that they wipe the lipstick off the pig of the American project in Syria. Everyone—European countries who profess concern for international law and stability, and the American people who are fed up with constant wars that have no benefit for them—can see exactly what kind of blatant aggression is unfolding, and decide whether they want to go along with it.

In that regard, any self-identified “liberal” or “progressive” American—and particularly any such American politician—who spent (and may still spend) their political energy attacking Bush, et. al., for that crazy war in Iraq, and who goes along with, or hesitates to immediately and energetically denounce this war, which is already underway, is a political hypocrite, resisting nothing but the obvious.

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On respecting the sacred things of the Muslims

 On respecting the sacred things of the Muslims, clarification of their rights and having compassion and mercy for them

Allah Almighty says, “If someone honours Allah’s sacred things, that is better for him in his Lord’s sight,” (22:30)

and the Almighty says,

“As for those who honour Allah’s sacred rites, that comes from taqwa in their hearts.” (22:32)

The Almighty says,

“And take the believers under your wing,” (15:88)

and the Almighty says,

“If someone kills another person – unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth – it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind.” (5:32)

222. Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“A believer in respect of another believer is like a building whose parts support one another.” and he intertwined his fingers. [Agreed upon]

223. He also reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“Anyone passing through any of our mosques or markets carrying arrows should hold or grasp them by their heads so that no Muslim will be injured by them.” [Agreed upon]

224. An-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“The metaphor of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and affection is that of the body. When one limb of it complains, the rest of the body collapses with sleeplessness and fever.” [Agreed upon]

225. Abu Hurayra said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, kissed al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali while al-Aqra’ ibn Habis was with him.

Al-Aqra’ said,

‘I have ten children and have never kissed any of them.’

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, looked at him and said,

‘Anyone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.” [Agreed upon]

226. ‘A’isha said, “Some of the Bedouins came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said,

‘Do you really kiss your children?’

He said, ‘Yes.’ They said, ‘But, by Allah, we do not!’

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

‘There is nothing I can do if Allah has removed mercy from your hearts!'” [Agreed upon]

227. Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah said,

“If someone does not show mercy to people, Allah will not show mercy to him.” [Agreed upon]

228. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“When any of you lead other people in prayer, you should make it short, for among you are there are weak, sick and old people. When you pray by yourself, you can make it as long as you wish.” [Agreed upon]

One version has, “And those who have a need to attend to.”

229. ‘A’isha said,

“The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to sometimes stop doing an action, in spite of it being something he loved to do, out of the fear that other people might do it and it would become obligatory for them.” [Agreed upon]

230. ‘A’isha said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade continuous fasting as a mercy to people.

They said, ‘But you fast continously.’

He said,

‘My state is not like yours. My Lord feeds me and gives me to drink.'” [Agreed upon]

It means, “He gave me the strength of one who eats and drinks.”

231. Abu Qatada al-Harith ibn Rib’i reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“I stand in prayer and would like to make it long but I hear the crying of a child and shorten my prayer not wanting to make things difficult for its mother.” [al-Bukhari]

232. Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“Anyone who prays the Subh prayer is in Allah’s keeping. Make sure Allah does not ask you for anything that is in His keeping. When He asks someone for something that is in His keeping, He will get hold of him and then throw him head first into the Fire of Jahannam.” [Muslim]

233. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He should not wrong him nor surrender him to his enemy. Allah will take care of the needs of anyone who takes care of the needs of his brother. On the Day of Rising Allah will dispel the anxiety of anyone who dispels the anxiety of another Muslim. On the Day of Rising Allah will veil anyone who veils another Muslim.” [Agreed upon]

234. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He should not alarm him nor lie to him, nor disappoint him. The honour, property and blood of every Muslim is unlawful to another Muslim. Great care should be taken on this point for it is enough evil for a man merely to scorn his Muslim brother.” [at-Tirmidhi]

235. He reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“Do not envy one another, do not bid against on another, bidding in order to raise the price, do not hate one another, do not turn your backs on one another, and none of you should sell against the sale of anyone else. Be slaves of Allah, brothers. A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim: he should not wrong him nor scorn him nor disappoint him. Godfearing is here,” and he pointed to his breast three times.

“It is enough evil for man to scorn his Muslim brother. The blood, property and honour of a Muslim is unlawful to another Muslim.” [Muslim]

236. Anas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“None of you can truly be said to believe until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.” [Agreed upon]

237. He also reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“Help your brother, wronging or wronged.”

A man said,

“Messenger of Allah, I can help him if he is wronged but tell me how I can help him if he is wronging?”

He said,

“You can restrain him – or prevent him – from injustice. That is helping him.” [al-Bukhari]

238. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“The rights one Muslim has over another Muslim are five: returning the greeting, visiting the sick, joining funeral processions, accepting invitations and blessing those who sneeze.” [Agreed upon]

In the variant of Muslim, “The Muslim has six rights. When you meet him, you should greet him. When he invites you, you should accept his invitation. When he asks you for counsel, you should counsel him. When he sneezes and praises Allah, you should bless him. When he is ill, you should visit him. When he dies, you should follow him.”

239. Abu ‘Umara al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib said,

“The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, instructed us to do seven things and forbade us seven. He instructed us to visit the sick, to join funeral processions, to bless people who sneeze, to fulfil our oaths, to help the wronged, to accept invitations, and to return the greeting. He forbade us gold rings, drinking from silver vessels, red silk, fine silk, mixed silk and cotton, and wearing silk and istibraq silk, and brocade.” [Agreed upon]

One variant has “declaring stray animals” among the first seven.

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 On the signs of Allah’s love

On the signs of Allah’s love for His slave and urging that it be taken on and that one should strive to obtain it

Allah Almighty says, “Say: ‘If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive you for your wrong actions, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (3:31)

And the Almighty says, “O you who believe! If any of you renounce your deen, Allah will bring forward a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble to the believers, fierce to the rejectors, who fight to the utmost in the Way of Allah and do not fear the blame of any blamer. That is the unbounded favour of Allah which He gives to whoever He wills. Allah is Boundless, All-Knowing.” (W5:56;5:54)

386. Abu Hurayra reported that

the Messenger of Allah,

may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“Allah Almighty says, ‘I have declared war against anyone who shows enmity towards a friend of Mine. My slave does not draw near to Me with anything I love more than what I made obligatory for him.

Then My slave continues to draw near to Me with superogatory actions until I love him.

When I love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, his sight by which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks.

If he asks of Me, I give to him.

If he seeks refuge with Me, I give him refuge.'” [al-Bukhari]

387. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“When Allah Almighty loves a slave, He calls out to Jibril, ‘Allah Almighty loves so-and-so, so love him!’ and Jibril loves him. Then a call goes out among the people of heaven, ”Allah Almighty loves so-and-so, so love him!’ and the people of heaven love him.Then acceptance is placed in the earth for him.” [Agreed upon]

In a variant of Muslim, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“When Allah Almighty loves a slave, He calls out to Jibril, ‘Allah Almighty loves so-and-so, so love him!’ and Jibril loves him.Then a call goes out among the people of heaven,

”Allah Almighty loves so-and-so, so love him!’ and the people of heaven love him. Then acceptance is placed in the earth for him.

When He hates a slave, He calls out to Jibril, ‘Allah Almighty hates so-and-so, so hate him!’ and Jibril hates him. Then a call goes out among the people of heaven, ”Allah Almighty hates so-and-so, so hate him!’ and the people of heaven hate him. Then hatred is placed in the earth for him.”

388. ‘A’isha reported that the Messenger of Allah,may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent a man on an expedition and he used to recite for his companions in the prayer, ending with “Say: He is Allah, One.”

When they returned, they mentioned that to the Messenger of Allah and he said, “Ask him why he did it.”

They asked him and he said, “Because it is the description of the All-Merciful. So I love to recite it.”

The Messenger of Allah said, “Tell him that Allah Almighty loves him.” [Agreed upon]

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Judging people according to the outward

 Judging people according to the outward while leaving their secrets to Allah Almighty

Allah Almighty says, “If they repent and establish the prayer and pay zakat, let them go on their way.” (9:5)

390. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah,
 may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and establish the prayer and pay the zakat. If they do that, their lives and property are protected from me except for the right of Islam, and their reckoning is in the hands of Allah.” [Agreed upon]

391. Abu ‘Abdullah Tariq ibn Ashyam said

“I heard the Messenger of Allah,
 may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say,

‘If anyone says, “There is no god but Allah” and rejects everything that is worshipped other than Allah, his property and life are inviolate and his reckoning is in the hands of Allah Almighty.” [Muslim]

392. Abu Ma’bad al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad said,

“I asked the Messenger of Allah,
 may Allah bless him and grant him peace,

‘What do you think if I meet a man of the unbelievers and we fight and he strikes one of my hands with his sword and cuts it off and then takes shelter from me behind a tree and says, “I have surrendered to Allah.” Should I kill him, Messenger of Allah, after he has said that?’

He said, ‘Do not kill him.’ I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, he cut off one of my hands and then said it after he cut it off!’

He said, ‘Do not kill him. If you kill him, then he is in the position you were in before you killed him and you are in the position he was in before he said the words he said.'” [Agreed upon]

393. Usama ibn Zayd said,

“The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent us to al-Huraqa, a sub-tribe of Juhayna, and we came upon the people in the morning at their springs. A man of the Ansar and I overtook one of their men. When we descended on him, he said, ‘There is no god but Allah.’ The Ansari held back from him, but I stabbed him with my spear until I had killed him.

When we arrived in Madina, that reached the Prophet and he said,

‘O Usama, did you kill him after he had said, “There is no god but Allah”?’ I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, he was only trying to save himself.’ He said, ‘Did you kill him after he had said, “There is no god but Allah”?’ He continued to repeat it to me until I wished that I had not become Muslim until that day.” [Agreed upon]

In one variant, “The Messenger of Allah,
 may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

‘Did he say, “There is no god but Allah” and yet you still killed him?’ I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, he only said it out of fear of our weapons.’

He said, ‘Did you then split open his heart so that you know whether he truly meant it when he said it or not?’ He continued to repeat it until I wished that I had only become Muslim on that day.” [Agreed upom]

394. Jundub ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent an expedition of the Muslims against some of the idolaters and they encountered them. There was one of the idolaters who, whenever he wanted to aim for one of the Muslims, went straight for him and killed him and then one of the Muslims went for him and killed him.

We heard that it was Usama ibn Zayd. When he raised his sword, [the man] said, ‘There is no god but Allah,’ but he killed him anyway. When the man bringing news of the victory came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he questioned him. He told him what had happened, even telling him the story of the man and what he had done.

He summoned him, questioned him and said,

‘Why did you kill him?’ He said, ‘Messenger of Allah, he had hurt the Muslims and killed so-and-so and so-and-so,’ and he named a group. ‘I attacked him. When he saw my sword, he said, “There is no god but Allah”‘ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Did you kill him?’ He said, ‘Yes.’

He said, ‘What will you do with ‘There is no god but Allah’ when it comes on the Day of Rising?’ He said, ‘Messenger of Allah, ask forgiveness for me.’

He said, ‘What will you do with ‘There is no god but Allah’ when it comes on the Day of Rising?’ He did not add anything to his words: ‘What will you do with ‘There is no god but Allah’ when it comes on the Day of Rising?'” [Muslim]

395. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Utba ibn Mas’ud reported

that he heard ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab say,

“Some people were dealt with by the revelation in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

The revelation has ceased. Now we deal with you according to what is clear to us from your actions. If anyone shows us good, we trust him and honour him. We know nothing of his inward. Allah will call him to reckoning in respect of his inward. If anyone shows us evil, we do not trust him and do not believe him, even if he says that his inward is good.” [al-Bukhari]

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Having Good Thoughts(Husn al-Zann) of Allah in Testing times

                        Having Good Thoughts(Husn al-Zann) 

                                   of Allah in Testing times

Posted by Muslimah on October 22, 2014 in Duas/Verses from the QURAN, Hadith, Practical Islam

Having Good Thoughts (hḤusn al-zẒann) of Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) in Times of Trial & Affliction

Jābir b. ‘Abd Allāh al-Ansāri relates that he heard Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say three days before his death:
“None of you should die except whilst assuming the best about Allāh.“[1]

As Muslims, we should always assume the best about our Lord. As long as we are striving to engage in good deeds, we should expect the best outcome. We should expect that Allāh will accept our good deeds; and from His grace, He will forgive us and bless us to live this life, until its conclusion, upon faith.

This ḥhusn al-ẓzann (having optimistic, positive thoughts about Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā)) may become difficult at times of trials and afflictions. Many times trials come in succession – one after another or many come at the same time, simultaneously. During these times the heart feels broken, shattered and constricted. It feels as if the ‘walls’ of this world are closing in; ready to choke you to death. At these times one may feel worry and anxiety, which may affect their sleep and daily life. It is precisely at these times when we feel that everything is caving in and the world is about to swallow us that we must have good, sound and positive thoughts of Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) because we know that His tests are measured and precise according to our strength and capabilities. He knows us better than we know ourselves!

Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) knows exactly what is in our hearts and He is all aware of our innermost thoughts and feelings when we are facing these tests. He (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) has already spoken about this in the Qur’ān when He (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) says:

“We shall test you through fear, hunger, loss of life, property, and crops. (Muhammad), give glad news to the people who have patience “[Quran 2:155]

In this āyah Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) is not promising us wealth, health and prosperity all the time, but He (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) is saying that He will surely test us with many things such as fear, hunger, loss of life, and property, but He is also giving glad tidings of relief from such trials and afflictions if we are patient.
Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) also says:

“Do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as it came to those who passed on before you? [2:214]

Throughout the history of mankind, the righteous, the pious and the wicked were always tested according to their capacity and Allāh’s infinite wisdom of that capacity and capability. Our ancestors faced trials and tribulations that were extremely difficult and continuous as Allāh has informed us:

“They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, “When will the help of Allāh [come]?” [Quran 2:214]

However, they remained firm, strong and true to their faith. Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) answered them directly with a clear statement, in the verse immediately following, which should bring ease to all of our hearts:

“Unquestionably, the help of Allāh is near” [Quran 2:214]

Therefore, have patience in Allāh’s Decree! Tie up your heart and restrict your mind from having any evil thoughts about Allāh and His Divine Wisdom. Then take a deep breath and let your heart relax and be content with Allāh’s Divine Decree. Know that with every hardship, ease is simply around the corner.

“Verily, with hardship there is relief” [94:6]

Allāh informs us that with every difficulty there is ease, and then He reaffirms this by repeating this same ayah in Sūrah al-Sharḥ. This particular āyah is immensely important and even a very simple understanding of Arabic grammar will open the huge treasure chest that is the deep meaning of these two āyāt and thereby bring peace, comfort and ease to the one afflicted with difficulty.

In this sūrah Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) says:

“Verily, with hardship there is relief “[Quran 94:5]

And then He repeats the same statement in the following verse:

“Verily, with hardship there is relief “[Quran 94:6]

Here Allāh uses the word ma’a (with), which is a different to when Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) states:

“Allāh will grant after hardship, ease “[Quran 65:6]

where He uses the word ba’da (after).

The letters alif and lām are also attached to the noun ‘usra (difficulty), which means that this difficulty is a difficulty that is single in number and is a known and specified difficulty. However, the noun yusra (ease) has no alif and lām attached, which means that it is unspecified and therefore could be many. The scholars of tafsīr have stated this means that when Allāh afflicts His servant with a difficulty, simultaneously, at the same time, He will give him many types of ease – two at the very least! Therefore, one difficulty will never overcome two matters of ease. In other words it is as if Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) is saying: 

“indeed, surely, definitely with (not after) every difficulty, there will be many matters of ease” and He (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) repeats it for emphasis.

Therefore, trials and afflictions should never shake us and weaken our faith, rather they should be used as an opportunity to get closer to Allāh through repentance, du’ā, dhikr, ṣalāh, recitation of the Qur’ān and other types of worship because if a trial does not bring us closer to Allāh, then it is unlikely that a blessing ever will. Allāh sometimes puts us into ‘deep waters’ not to drown us but to cleanse us of our sins and cleanse our hearts.

Engaging in different acts of worship helps alleviate what seems to be a difficult situation during trials and tribulations. The Prophets and the righteous always understood the huge status of ṣalāh among other acts of worship and so they would hasten to it during times of trials and afflictions. It is authentically reported that ṢSuhaib (raḍdhiy Allāhu ‘anhu) said:

“When the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to pray he would whisper something we could not hear…and they (i.e. the Prophets) would flee to prayer when they were alarmed or dismayed by something.”[2]

Part of being patient is to know that our reaction to the calamity will determine what happens to us, for whoever accepts Allāh’s Qadr, Allāh will be pleased with him and whoever is angry at it, Allāh will be angry with him.[3]

Since Allāh only afflicts His servants due to his Infinite Wisdom, Love and Mercy for them and even when doing so, sends many matters of ease with it, the servant should busy himself with good and positive thoughts because the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) informed us said that,

“Allāh the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’”[4]

When explaining this ḥhadīth, Ibn Hajar (rahḥimahu Allāhu) said
 “it means, I am able to do whatever he (my servant) expects I will do.”[5] – whatever “my servant expects of me”.

Imām al-Nawawi (rahḥimahu Allāhu) said:

 “The scholars say that expecting the best of Allāh is to expect that He will have Mercy on him and relieve him of hardship.”[6]

Imām al-Nawawi (rahḥimahu Allāhu) further added: 
“… this means He will forgive him if he seeks forgiveness, will accept his repentance if he repents, will answer him if he supplicates, and will suffice him if he asks for something. It is also said that it refers to having hope and longing for relief, and this is more correct.” [7]

This HḤadīth Qudsi forces us to think about the words of our Lord very carefully. The first thing Allāh is calling us towards is to have a positive outlook about Him under all circumstances, since it is that very thought, belief and expectation that will determine how Allāh relates to us, His servants. When the servant assumes the best about his Lord and pins his hopes on his Lord’s love, forgiveness and mercy, His Lord will not disappoint him. When we plead to Allāh and call unto Him, we should be convinced that our prayer will be answered. When we sincerely repent for our sins, we should trust that Allāh will forgive us. When we perform a virtuous deed, we should assume that Allāh will accept it and reward us for it. All of this is part of assuming the best about Allāh.

This is why the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“When you beseech Allāh in supplication, be convinced that He will answer you.”[8]

Assuming the best about Allāh is an integral aspect of our belief in Allāh, since it is based upon our belief in His mercy, His power, His generosity, and His might. It is also a fundamental aspect of our tawakkul (trust, reliance) upon Allāh, which is essential to our belief in Him.

Assuming the best about Allāh can only come as a result of righteous conduct and good deeds. The righteous person always assumes the best about his Lord, whilst the sinner who persists in wrongdoing, injustice, and disobedience is prevented by his evil deeds from assuming the best about his Lord. Good assumptions are intricately linked to righteous actions, whilst disobedience causes ill thoughts about Allāh and a disturbed state of mind. A sinner always feels estranged from his Lord to the extent of his sinfulness. However, the person who has the best outlook on his Lord is undoubtedly the one who is the most obedient to his Lord.

We must never let trials, tribulations and afflictions affect our good assumptions of Allāh because it is precisely those thoughts that will allow us to persevere, continue in our worship and call unto Him to remove these afflictions. Having positive thoughts about Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) and assuming the best about Him really means pinning our hopes and expectations on Allāh. We know that Allāh can be severe in punishment as well as being Most Merciful, so we strive to do good and hope for His mercy and be confident that if we sincerely repent for our sins and strive to do good, we will attain Allāh’s Mercy. We must never despair. We must never see our sins as being too great for Allāh’s forgiveness because Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’ālā) says:

Never despair of Allāh’s mercy. No one despairs of Allāh’s mercy except the unbelieving people. [Quran 12:87]


[1] Saḥhīhḥ Muslim (5125)  [2] Reported by Ahḥmad in al-Musnad (4/333) [3] Provisions of the Hereafter (Mukhtaser Za’d al Ma’ad, p. 438). [4] Saḥīḥ al-Bukhāri (6856) and Saḥīḥ Muslim (4832) [5] Fatḥ al-Bārī [6] Sharh Saḥīḥ Muslim [7] Sharh Saḥīḥ Muslim [8] Sunan al-Tirmidhî (3401)

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                                            2.H ḤADITH QUDSI

          The term ḥhadīth literally means: communication, story, conversation, religious or secular, historical or recent. Techincally, it means “what was transmitted on the authority of the Prophet, his deeds, sayings, tacit approval.” This is called ḤHadīth Nabawī. However, in broader mening, the term is also used for narrations about the Prophet’s Companions (sṣahḥābah) and Successors (tābi‘īn).
         Another kind of ḥhadīth is called hḤadīth Qudsī. Qudsī means sacred, holy, as the idea is from Allah through inspiration, but the wording is from the Prophet himself. Like any regular ḥadīth, some of them are strong, and others are weak, depending on the conditions of its narrators. It is unlike the Qur’an which is inimitable, unique, revealed as a challenge and a kind of worship, cited in prayer, cannot be cited in meaning, and protected by Allah. One of the examples of the Ḥadīth Qudsī and its commentary is as follows:

قَالَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي، وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا
ذَكَرَنِي، فَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي نَفْسِهِ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي نَفْسِي، وَإِنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي
مَلَإٍ، ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي مَلَإٍ خَيْر مِنْهُمْ، وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ بِشِبْرٍ، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ
 ذِرَاعًا، وَإِنْ تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ ذِرَاعًا، تَقَرَّبْتُ إِلَيْهِ بَاعًا وَإِنْ أَتَانِي يَمْشِي،
أَتَيْتُهُ هَرْوَلَةً (رواه البخاري ومسلم والترمذي وابن ماجه)

 The Prophet (saw) said: Allah the Almighty said: I am as
 My servant thinks I am (i.e., “I am as My servant expects
 Me to be”).  I am with him when he makes mention of
Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make
 mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of
Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an
 assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me
 an arm’s length, I draw near to him a cubit, and if
he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him
a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to
 him at speed. ( Reported by al-Buhkari, Muslim,
at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah).

          The meaning of the term ظَنّ (ẓzann), (“assumption”, “opinion”) is betweenيَقِيْن   (yaqīn) “certainty” and شَكّ (shakk), “doubt.” But it could also mean yaqīn or shakk depending on strong evidence in the context, such as:

الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُمْ مُلَاقُو رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ (البقرة:46)

(They are those) who are certain that they are
 going to meet their Lord, and that to Him they
 are going to return (Q. 2:46)

وَاسْتَكْبَرَ هُوَ وَجُنُودُهُ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَظَنُّوا
أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا يُرْجَعُونَ (القصص:39)

 And he (Pharaoh) and his hosts were arrogant in
the land, without right, and they thought (i.e. doubt)
 that they would never return (Q. 28:39)


                          “I am as My servant thinks I am”

–         It means that if he thinks that Allah will forgive him, then He will do so, and if he thinks Allah will punish him, then he will do so.  Allah will treat His servant based on his good thinking of Him, and He will do what he expects from Him.  It is also said that if there is any hope he will expect it, as only a believer who will expect that he has a Lord Who would forgive him. It is Allah Who could do what his servant thinks He would do to him. The Muslims are urged to have good opinion of Allah, hoping more than fearing of Him, as Allah is as His servant believes or are certain of what He is.

 –   Al-Qāḍdī ‘Iyāḍ ibn Mūsāal-Sibtī (d. 544/1149)[1]: 
It means Allah will forgive him if he asks forgiveness, will accept his repentance if he repents, will answer his prayer if he prays, because this could only happen with the servant of Allah if he has good opinion of Him and a strong faith with Him.

–    Al-Qābisī (d. 403/1012)[2]: 

It is possible that it is a warning of what will happen in the heart of the servant, as in the verse

: وَإِنْ تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُمْ بِهِ اللَّهُ .(البقرة:284)   

“… and whether you disclose what is in you own selves or conceal it, Allah will call  you to account for it…” (Q. 23:284)

–         Al-Qurtṭubī (578-656/1182-1258)[3]: 

It is said that it means the Muslim’s belief in the acceptance of his prayer while he is praying, of his repentance while he is repenting, of his forgiveness while he is asking forgiveness, of his deeds while he is doing them fulfilling their conditions and upholding the fulfilment of His promise and His generous kindness.

 The Prophet himself said:  

اُدْعُوَا اللَّهَ وَأَنْتُمْ مُوقِنُونَ بِالْإِجَابَة (رواه الطبراني والترمذي) 

“Pray to Allah while you are certain of its acceptance.” (Reported by al-Țabrānī and al-Tirmidhī).

–         Al-Khaṭṭābī (319-388/931-988)[4] says that the Muslims themselves have to do good deeds so that they will have good thinking with Allah.

–         In the same manner, it is necessary for the the person who repents, asks forgiveness, and does deeds to endeavour performing them being certain that Allah the Almighty will accept his deeds and forgive his sins, as promised by Allah to accept genuine repentance and good deeds. On the contrary, if he does these dees believing or thinking that Allah will not accept them, and that they will give not give any benefit, then this behaviour is hopelessness from Allah’s blessing and giving up His mercy which is among the gravest sins. Whoever dies in this condition he will get what he has expected, as mentioned in the following hḥadīth:

 أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي فَلْيَظُنَّ عَبْدِي بِي مَا شَاء (رواه مسلم و الحاكم) 

 “I am as My servant thinks I am, so let My servant think I am what he wills” (Reported by Muslim and al-ḤHākim)

I am with him when he makes mention of Me

–  Ibn Abī Jamrah (d. 695/1295)[5]: 

It means that Allah is with him depending on his intention in mentioning Him. It could be with tongue only, with heart only, or with both of them, or with obeying the command and avoiding prohibited things.  

  The evidence is that there are two kinds of mentioning: 

(1) definitely stated by its speaker, such as mentioned above, and as in the verse:  

فَمَنْ يَعْمَل مِثْقَال ذَرَّة خَيْرًا يَرَهُ (الزلزلة:(Q. 99:7) 

“So, whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it” (Q. 99:7), or

 (2) it is based on seriousness,  such as the Prophet’s statement 

  مَنْ لَمْ تَنْهَهُ صَلَاتُهُ عَنْ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنْكَر لَمْ يَزْدَدْ مِنْ اللَّه إِلَّا بُعْدًا 

“Whoever his prayer does not prevent him from committing crimes and abonemical actions, he only will increase his being away from Allah”. 

However, while he is committing the crime he fearfully remembers Allah and is fearful about his condition, then he will be expected that his prayer to be accepted.

If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make
 mention of him to Myself
If he mentions Allah secretly, then He will mention him with reward and blessing secretly. If he mentions Allah with glorification, Allah will mention him with His blessings.

–         Al-Māzinī (d. 63/683)[6]:

 If he mentions Allah in privacy Allah will reward him for what he has done in privacy.

–         Ibn Abī Jamrah: 

It is possible that it is like Allah’s statement 

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ (البقرة:152) 

“Therefore  remember Me. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me and never be ungrateful to Me. (Q 2:152) 

which means “remember Me by glorifying Me, and I shall remember you with My favours.” 

Allah says,  وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ(العنكبوت:45) 

“… and remembering Allah is greater indeed..” (Q. 29:45) 

meaning that “it is the greatest worship, and whoever remembers Him while he was in fear, Allah will protect him, or being lonesome or unhappy, Allah will amuse him, as Allah says,

 (أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ (الرعد:28) ,

 ‘… verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.’” (Q. 13:28)

and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make
mention of him in an assembly better than it

–    If he mentions Allah in an assembley, namely, among a group of believers, Allah will mention him in a better assembley, namely, among intimate angels and the souls of messengers. Angels in general are better than human beings in obeying Allah, as only some human beings are obedient to Him.

 Allah says, لَا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُون (التحريم:6) ,

 “… who disobey not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” (Q. 66:6).

And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw
 near to him a cubit, and if he draws near to Me a cubit,
 I draw near tohim a fathom. And if he comes to
 Me walking, I go to him at speed

–         Whoever draws near to Allah by obeying Him, He draws near to him with His blessings, forgiveness, success, and assistance. If he increases his obedience Allah increases them more.

There are other examples of the ḤHadīth Qudsī dealing with thinking of Allah as follows:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا دَعَانِي (رواه أحمد)‏  ‏

  Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant
 thinks I am and with him as he calls Me
. (Reported by Ahmad)

  أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي إِنْ ظَنَّ بِي خَيْرًا فَلَهُ وَإِنْ ظَنَّ شَرًّا فَلَهُ
 (رواه مسلم واحمد والطبراني)

Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant thinks
I am. If he thinks good then it is (good) for him, and
 if he thinks bad, then it is(bad) for him
 (Reported by Muslim, Ahmad, and al-ṬTabrānī))

  قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي، إِنْ ظَنَّ خَيْرًا فَخَيْرٌ،
 وَإِنْ ظَنَّ شَرًّا فَشَرٌ.(رواه الطبراني و ابن حبان)

Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant thinks
I am. If he thinks good then it is good, and if he
 thinks bad, then it is bad
    (Reported by al-ṬTabrānī and Ibn ḤHibbān)

   قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي فَلْيَظُنَّ عَبْدِي مَا شَاءَ
.(رواه مسلم والحاكم)

Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant thinks I am.
 So, let My servant think whatever he will (think I am)
    (Reported by Muslim and al-HḤākim)

          We Muslims should be good and have good thinking with Allah, be optimistic with His wisdom and divine decree.

(CIVIC, 31 March, 2017)

المكتبة الشاملة

Denffer, Ahmad von. ‘Ulūm  al-Qur’ān. Kuala Lumpur: A.S Norordeen, 1991
Azami. M.M. Studies in Hadīthe Methodology and Literature.
Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 1977

[1] Al-Qādḍī ‘Iyāḍ, the Moroccan scholar of Ḥadīth, Arabic language and grammar, a chronicler, and a genealogist, a student of Ibn Rushd and Ibn al-Ḥāj, became qāḍī of Ceuta then Granada, died in Morocco  in 544 H.
[2]Abū ’l-‘Abbās al-Qābisī was the leader in the science of Ḥhadīth, its asānīd (inscription, namely, the uninterrupted chain of authorities on which a tradition is based). Despite of his blindness he was one of the most correct and meticolus writer.  He died in Qayrawān.
[3]Abū ’l-‘Abbās Aḥhmad ibn ‘Umar al-Qurṭtubī  was the writer of the book entitledالمفهم لما أشكل من تلخيص كتاب مسلم
[4] Abū Sulaymān Ḥamd ibn Muhḥammad al-Khaṭṭābī was a traditionist, a linguist and jurist and one of the great scholars of the Shāfi‘ī school.
[5]Abd Allāh ibn Sa‘īd ibn Abī Jamrah was a traditionist and a Qur’an reciter. He abridged al-Bukhārī’s  al-Jāmi ‘ al-ṢSaḥhīḥh.
[6] ‘Abd Allāh ibn Zayd ibn ‘Āṣim ibn Māzin al-Ansṣārī participated in many battles, such as Uḥud; with Waḥshī he killed Musaylimah.


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