Query on Fada’il A’maal

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Question:

IS THERE IS ANY QUATINGS FROM SHAYKH IBN TAYMIYYA THAT USING OF DAEEF HADEES FOR FADEELATH IS PERMISSIBLE.IF YES PLEEASE PROVIDE THE SOURCE THAT I COULD CLARIFY MY FRIEND WHO JUST SPENT 40 DAYS IN JAMAAT AND SOME OF HIS SALAF SALIH FRIENDS HAS TOLD MANY THINGS ABOUT THE FAZAIL AMAL,FAZAIL SADAQATH,AND SOME SALAFI-DEOBANDI BELIEF ISSUES.

MY FRIEND PAST LIFE WAS VERY BAD,AFTER HE CONNECTED TO TABLEEGH HE BECOME TO PRAY TAHAJJUDD SALAH AND MUTTAQI.NOW HE IS NOT COMING TO ANY PROGRAMMES OF TABLIGH LIKE WEEKLY GUSHTH,MULAQATH ,ETC..HE IS IN COMPLETE DOUBTS.

SO PLEASE GIVE ME AN EXPALINED ANSWER.
MAY ALLAH REWARD US

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is pleasing to know that your friend turned his life around after connecting himself with the Tableegh jama’at and having spent time in Tableegh.

There are thousands of people from various places around the world, Arabs and non-Arabs alike who have joined the noble work of Tableegh and reformed their lives.

Encourage your friend to be steadfast and not to entertain doubts from ignorant people. He should follow the guidance of the Qur’an when in doubt, Allah Ta’ala says:

فَاسْئَلُوْا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُوْنَ

“So ask the people of knowledge if you do not know”[i]

His friends who advised him against Faza’ilul A’maal are not Ulama and experts in Hadith. Even Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimahullah as well as other Ulama of Ahlul Hadith are in agreement that it is permissible to use dhaeef Ahadith to encourage acts of virtue as long as the Hadith is not excessively weak, i.e. fabricated.[ii] See the following quote from Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimahullah in Majmooul Fatawa (Page 335 Volume 9, Darul Hadith print):

فَإِذَا رُوِيَ حَدِيْثٌ فِيْ فَضْلِ بَعْضِ الْأَعْمَالِ الْمُسْتَحَبَّةِ وَثَوَابِهَا وَكَرَاهَةِ بَعْضِ الْأَعْمَالِ وَعِقَابِهَا فَمَقَادِيْرُ الثَّوَابِ وَالْعِقَابِ وَأَنْوَاعِهِ إِذَا رُوِيَ فِيْهَا حَدِيْثٌ لَا نَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ مَوْضُوْعٌ جَازَتْ رِوَايَتُهُ وَالْعَمَلُ بِهِ بِمَعْنَى أَنَّ النَّفْسَ تَرْجُوْ ذَلِكَ الثَّوَابَ أَوْ تَخَافُ ذَلِكَ الْعِقَابَ كَرَجُلٍ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّ التِّجَارَةَ تَرْبَحُ لَكِنْ بَلَغَهُ أَنَّهَا تَرْبَحُ رِبْحًا كَثِيْرًا فَهَذَا إِنْ صَدَقَ نَفْعُهُ وَإِنْ كَذَبَ لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ وَمِثَالُ ذَلِكَ التَّرْغِيْبُ وَالتَّرْهِيْبُ بِالْإِسْرَائِيْلِيَّاتِ وَالْمَنَامَاتِ وَكَلِمَاتِ السَّلَفِ وَالْعُلَمَاءِ؛ وَوَقَائِعِ الْعُلَمَاءِ وَنَحْوِ ذَلِكَ

“And when a Hadith is narrated regarding the virtue of certain preferred actions and their reward and the dislike of certain actions and their punishment and we do not know that the Hadith is fabricated, it is permissible to narrate the Hadith and to act upon it in the sense that a soul desires that reward or fears that punishment. For instance, a man knows that business provides profit, however it reaches him that business provides huge profit, hence this information if true, will benefit him and if untrue, will not harm him. There are other types of narrations that are also of this nature, i.e. they benefit if they are true and do not harm if they are untrue; such as the Israeili narrations, dreams and quotations of the Ulama/pious and the stories of the Ulama when used to inspire or warn.”[iii]

He also states in Sharhul Umdah (Page 418, Volume 1, Maktabatul Ubaykaan print):

وَالْعَمَلُ بِالضِّعَافِ إِنَّمَا يُشْرَعُ فِي عَمَلٍ قَدْ عُلِمَ أَنَّهُ (مَشْرُوعٌ) فِي الْجُمْلَةِ فَإِذَا رُغِّبَ فِيهِ فِي بَعْضِ أَنْوَاعِهِ لِحَدِيثٍ ضَعِيفٍ عَمِلَ بِهِ أَمَّا إِثْبَاتُ سُنَّةٍ فَلَا

“And to act upon a weak Hadith has been made permissible for those actions which are collectively established in Shari’ah. Thus, if one is incited to do such an action due to a weak narration, he may do so. However, he will not use it to establish a Sunnah”

Moreover, Allamah Al-Shawkani Rahimahullah states in Naylul Awtaar (Page 68, Volume 3, Darul Hadith print):

وَإِنْ كَانَ أَكْثَرُهَا ضَعِيْفًا فَهِيَ مُنْتَهِضَةٌ بِمَجْمُوْعِهَا لَا سَيِّمًا فِيْ فَضَائِلِ الْأَعْمَال

“Even if the majority of the Ahadith of this subject are weak, however they support one another altogether, especially in the context of virtuous actions (fada’ilul a’maal)”

The book in reference, Faza’ilul A’maal was authored by Hadhrat Sheikh Muhammad Zakariyyah Khandelwi Rahimahullah.

People who do not know this great personality and his expertise in Hadith may not value the real extent of Faza’ilul A’maal. Hereunder is a brief explanation of the expertise in Hadith of Hadhrat Sheikh Zakariyya Rahimahullah.

Faza’ilul A’maal is not the only work of Hadhrat Sheikh Zakariyyah Rahimahullah. In fact he has authored over 80celebrated works. His magnum opus is his monumental commentary on the Muwatta of Imam Malik Rahimahullah by the name of “Awjazul Masalik” which was praised by Arabs and non-Arabs alike. The Maliki Ulama of Mauritania still derive benefit from “Awjazul Masalik” till today.[iv]

Another masterpiece was his 12 volume annotations of the prodigious commentary of Sunan Abu Dawood, “Al-Bazlul Majhood” written by his illustrious teacher Molana Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri.

When the book “Al-Bazlul Majhood” was completed with Hadhrat Sheikh Zakariyyah Rahimahullah’s annotations, Hadhrat Sheikh Zakariyya Rahimahullah sent a copy of it to Sheikh Muhammad ibn Alawi Al-Maliki; a prominent scholar who gave lectures in the Haram of Makkah. He replied with the following letter:

Translation:

“In the name of Allah, most Beneficent, most Merciful,

Possessor of Excellence, the learned hadith scholar, remnant of the predecessors and splendour of the successors, the embodiment of blessings, Imam, caller to Allah, my master and my teacher: Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya, may Allah protect him …

Al-Salam ‘alaykum wa Rahmat Allah

I congratulate you on the arrival of the New Year. May Allah make it one of prosperity, blessings, happiness and favour. Amin.

I thank you for kindly sending to me a copy of the great, renowned and praiseworthy commentary, Badhl al-Majhud, which is crowned with your blessed annotations. May Allah protect, aid and assist you, and may He lengthen your life in His obedience and the excellence of His servitude, and may He enable us to benefit from you. May you always remain [in prosperity].

Your lover and humble servant,

Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki

Servant of the honourable students at the [Umm al-Qura] University and al-Masjid al-Haram

04/01/1394 (AH)”[v]

In the above, take note of the respect and honour expressed for Hadhrat Sheikh Zakariyya Rahimahullah by such a learned Arab scholar of the Maliki Madhab teaching Hadith and Fiqh in Masjidul Haram.[vi]

His other works include a 24 volume commentary on Saheeh Bukhari by the name of “Al-Kanzul Mutawari” and a distinctive set of footnotes on the commentary of Saheeh Bukhari by the name of “Lami’ud Darari”.

Hadhrat Sheikh Zakariyyah Rahimahullah passed away in 1982 in Madinah Munawwarah. His Janazah Salaah was read in Masjidun Nabawi and he was buried in Jannatul Baqi adjacent to his ustaad, Molana Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri Rahimahullah.

Hadhrat Sheikh Zakariyya rahimahullah was from the lineage of Hadhrat Abu Bakar Siddique رضي الله عنه.[vii]

Nonetheless, one does not have to read only Faza’ilul A’maal when associated in Tableegh. He may also read Riyadhus Saliheen of Imam Nawawi Rahimahullah. The book, Faza’ilul A’maal is not the focus in Tableegh; the focus is reformation and propagation.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Maaz Chati
Student Darul Iftaa
Blackburn, England, UK
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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