Debate Between Muhammad Sa’id al-Buti
and a Leading Salafi Teacher

©Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller 1995

[Nuh Ha Mim Keller:] I will close this answer by translating a conversation that took place in Damascus between Shari‘a professor Muhammad Sa‘id al-Buti, and a Salafi teacher. Buti asked him: 

Buti: “What is your method for understanding the rulings of Allah? Do you take them from the Qur’an and sunna, or from the Imams of ijtihad?” 
Salafi: “I examine the positions of the Imams and their evidences for them, and then take the closest of them to the evidence of the Qur’an and Sunna.” 

Buti: “You have five thousand Syrian pounds that you have saved for six months. You then buy merchandise and begin trading with it. When do you pay zakat on the merchandise, after six months, or after one year?” 

Salafi: [He thought, and said,] “Your question implies you believe zakat should be paid on business capital.” 

Buti: “I am just asking. You should answer in your own way. Here in front of you is a library containing books of Qur’anic exegesis, hadith, and the works of the mujtahid Imams.” 

Salafi: [He reflected for a moment, then said,] “Brother, this is din, and not simple matter. One could answer from the top of one’s head, but it would require thought, research, and study; all of which take time. And we have come to discuss something else.” 

Buti: I dropped the question and said, “All right. Is it obligatory for every Muslim to examine the evidences for the positions of the Imams, and adopt the closest of them to the Qur’an and Sunna?” 

Salafi: “Yes.” 

Buti: “This means that all people possess the same capacity for ijtihad that the Imams of the madhhabs have; or even greater, since without a doubt, anyone who can judge the positions of the Imams and evaluate them according to the measure of the Qur’an and sunna must know more than all of them.” 

Salafi: He said, “In reality, people are of three categories: the muqallid or ‘follower of qualified scholarship without knowing the primary textual evidence (of Qur’an and hadith)’; the muttabi‘, or ‘follower of primary textual evidence’; and the mujtahid, or scholar who can deduce rulings directly from the primary textual evidence (ijtihad). He who compares between madhhabs and chooses the closest of them to the Qur’an is a muttabi‘, a follower of primary textual evidence, which is an intermediate degree between following scholarship (taqlid) and deducing rulings from primary texts (ijtihad).” 

Buti: “Then what is the follower of scholarship (muqallid) obliged to do?” 

Salafi: “To follow the mujtahid he agrees with.” 

Buti: “Is there any difficulty in his following one of them, adhering to him, and not changing?” 

Salafi: “Yes there is. It is unlawful (haram).” 

Buti: “What is the proof that it is unlawful?” 

Salafi: “The proof is that he is obliging himself to do something Allah Mighty and Majestic has not obligated him to.” 

Buti: I said, “Which of the seven canonical readings (qira’at) do you recite the Qur’an in?” 

Salafi: “That of Hafs.” 

Buti: “Do you recite only in it, or in a different canonical reading each day.” 

Salafi: “No, I recite only in it.” 

Buti: “Why do you read only it when Allah Mighty and Majestic has not obliged you to do anything except to recite the Qur’an as it has been conveyed—with the total certainty of tawatur (being conveyed by witnesses so numerous at every stage of transmission that their sheer numbers obviate the possibility of forgery or alteration), from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?” 

Salafi: “Because I have not had a opportunity to study other canonical readings, or recite the Qur’an except in this way.” 

Buti: “But the individual who learns the fiqh of the Shafi‘i school—he too has not been able to study other madhhabs or had the opportunity to understand the rules of his religion except from this Imam. So if you say that he must know all the ijtihads of the Imams so as to go by all of them, it follows that you too must learn all the canonical readings so as to recite in all of them. And if you excuse yourself because you cannot, you should excuse him also. In any case, what I say is: where did you get that it is obligatory for a follower of scholarship (muqallid) to keep changing from one madhhab to another, when Allah has not obliged him to? That is, just as he is not obliged to adhere to a particular madhhab, neither is he obliged to keep changing.” 

The complete dialogue can be found at

Beauty of the Beloved

May 29, 2008

–taken from Wisdom and Witticisms at Juhah.wordpress

From the Madina Institute

He saws_4resized.jpg had the most radiant coloring, deep black eyes which were wide set and had a sort of red tint to them, long eyelashes, a bright complexion, an aquiline nose, and a gap between his front teeth. His saws_4resized.jpg face was round with a wide brow and he saws_4resized.jpg had a thick beard which reached his chest. His saws_4resized.jpg chest and abdomen were of equal size. He saws_4resized.jpg was broad-chested with broad shoulders. He saws_4resized.jpg had large bones, large arms, thick palms and soles, long fingers, fair skin and fine hair from the chest to the navel. He saws_4resized.jpg was neither tall nor short, but between the two. In spite of that, no tall person who walked with the Prophet saws_4resized.jpg seemed taller than him. His saws_4resized.jpg hair was neither curly nor straight. When he saws_4resized.jpg laughed and his blessed teeth showed, it was like a flash of lighting or they seemed as white as hailstones. When he saws_4resized.jpg spoke, it was like light issuing from between his teeth. He saws_4resized.jpg had a well-formed neck, neither broad nor fat. He saws_4resized.jpg had a compact body which was not fleshy.

Al-Bara’ said, “I did not see anyone with a more beautiful lock of hair resting on a red robe than the Messenger of Allah saws_4resized.jpg.”

Abu Hurayra said, “I have not seen anything more beautiful than the Messenger of Allah saws_4resized.jpg. It was as if the sun was shining in his face. When he saws_4resized.jpg laughed, it reflected on the wall.”

Jabir ibn Samura was asked, ”Was his saws_4resized.jpg face like a sword?” He replied, “No, it was like the sun and the moon. It was round.” (In al-Bukhari and Muslim and elsewhere)

In her description, Umm Ma’bad said, “From afar, he saws_4resized.jpg was the most beautiful of people, and close up he was the most handsome.” (Al-Bayhaqi)

Ibn Abi Hala said, “His saws_4resized.jpg face shone like the full moon.”

At the end of his description, ‘Ali said, “Anyone who saw him saws_4resized.jpg suddenly was filled with awe of him. Those who kept his company loved him.”

All who described him saws_4resized.jpg said they had not see anyone like him saws_4resized.jpg either before or since.

Qadhi ‘Iyad, Healing by the Recognition of the Rigths of the Chosen One
Kitab ash-Shifa bi Ta’rif Huquq al-Mustafa

Randomness & Infinity

May 28, 2008

This post is taken from by Shaykh Abu Adam. Please visit it for your own benefit.

Agnostic Contentions: Randomness and Infinity

An agnostic said: How do you see the randomness in Quantum Physics then, why does a atom decaying for no reason not equate to the universe being random as well?

Answer: The randomness spoken of in Quantum Physics does not contravene the fact that there is order, such as animals, plants, and the solar system, and developments over time. It also does not contravene the fact that the so called physical laws, even if they are incomplete, give the world around us a high degree of predictability. Events that happen for no apparent “reason,” could be because we do not know them. Even if we assumed they did not, however, this is not problematic in the Islamic Creed, as I will show you shortly.

In any case, let it be clear from the outset that the issue of cause is a metaphysical question, more than a physical question, because the assertion of cause is based on observed correlation, not that the cause itself can be observed. In short, if there is correlation, and there is an explanation for it, then it is called “cause.” So for example, if one finds that objects attract each other always, then one says that if a glass falls from the table, it is “caused” by gravity. Gravity itself, however, has no verifiable existence in itself, it is assumed to be there, because that bloody glass always falls when it is moved off the edge of the table. This is just an example, I am not saying that scientists all believe that gravity always holds true.

On the other hand, if the pattern of something is totally unpredictable, then people start saying it is “random.” This is what is meant when they say that the quark’s pattern (the element spoken of in Quantum Physics, which is supposedly the subpart of the electron, which is a subpart of the atom) is random. They mean that it’s pattern has no physical explanation; that there is no observed event or condition that somehow makes the quark’s pattern predictable.

Maybe physics, with its tools and methodologies, can prove the non-existence of cause, maybe it cannot, it is not important. The reason is that it can be proved not to exist by proving the existence of a creator, by whom nothing happens except by His Will. This proof is based merely on the existence of events, which is anything that has a beginning. It does not matter if they have apparent order or not, or whether they are contingent or not. I will get back to that when I address your next question.

An agnostic said: My point being that if the universe had no beginning, what purpose then for a creator? Since in an infinite model the universe sustains itself.

Answer: The universe absolutely must have a beginning, so this is not an issue. I will show you why:

Premise a – We exist here today.

Premise b – Before we existed there were a series of events, one after another, leading up to our existence today. (The passing of such a series of events is what we call time, and measure in minutes, days, weeks and years.)

If one accepts premise a, then one must also accept that the series of events in premise b must have a beginning. This must be, because if someone claims that an infinite succession of events had to be concluded before his existence, then he is saying that that infinite succession of events came to an end, which is a contradiction in terms. It is like if someone said “this car will only get to its destination after its wheels have spun infinitely many times,” and then claimed that the car arrived at its destination. It is clear, however, that the car could never have gotten to its destination if an infinite number of spins was the condition for its arrival.

Those who claim that the world has no beginning are in fact saying that it is a prerequisite for tomorrow to arrive that an infinite number of events first take place. This is impossible, because infinity cannot end. Clearly then, the number of events that precedes our existence must have a limit.

In addition, since it is necessarily true that this series of events has a beginning, then it must also be that before this beginning there were no series of events (defined as anything with a beginning). If someone claimed otherwise, then they would end up with the same contradiction (saying that infinity came to an end). Accordingly, the claim that the world was created by random events is irrational.

Rather, there must be a Creator that gave the series of events existence – since it was nonexistent before it began. Moreover, since it is impossible for there to be any events before the existence of this series, then it must also be that the Creator is not attributed with events, i.e. with any attribute or action that has a beginning. This again means that the Creator does not resemble His creation, since all created attributes must have a beginning. Actually, having a beginning and being a creation is the same thing. This is because to create is to bring into existence, and everything with a beginning must have been brought into existence.

We know from the above, by mathematical precision and logical necessity, that the Creator exists and does not resemble His creation. From the fact that the world has a beginning, we have proven that it must have a creator. The name of this creator is Allah in Arabic. If someone asks, “Who created Allah?” we say Allah does not have a creator, and does not need one as He has no beginning. If someone then asks, “how can you accept that Allah has no beginning, while you do not accept that the world has no beginning?” The answer is that we have shown that the world has a beginning based on the fact that it changes (changes are events). We do not believe, however, that Allah changes. Rather, we believe He is One, and doesn’t change and has no beginning.

From all this we can also safely conclude that Allah has a will to specify events, and unlimited power to create them. We can also conclude that He must have knowledge, because specification without knowledge is impossible. It is now easy to see also, that no event can take place without Him willing it. This again means that there is no such thing as real cause, in the sense of one event truly influencing or shaping a subsequent event. There is only correlation, because if an event happens, it’s form can only be completely subjugated to Allah’s Will and Power. All of this is according to the teachings of Islam, as is shown by the following statements in the Quran:

“هُوَ الأَوَّلُ”

“He is Al-Awwal.” (Al-Hadiid, 03).”

If translated literally, it would be “He is the First,” i.e. He existed before everything else, and He was not preceded by non-existence or the existence of something else. It is a beginning-less and necessary existence, and is not affected by anything, since it is not preceded by anything.

“إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ”,

Meaning: “Verily Allah is able to create anything.” (Al-Baqarah, 20)

“وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ”

Meaning: “Allah created everything, and He knows everything.” (Al-’Anˆaam, 101)

“وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا”

Meaning: “And He created everything and predestined it.” (Al-Furqaan, 2)

Based on the above, we can say that if the pattern of quarks truly have no observable correlating event that makes it predictable, and is thus labeled “random,” it is either because Allah has not willed for it to have a correlating event, or because He has not willed for it to be discovered.


May 20, 2008



As salaamualaikum
wa rahmatullahi wa barakato,

Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.

I’d like to share a few words of reflection and rememberance with you brothers and sisters.

As a family member of mines has been suffering through deep illness these past few years, their pain never subsiding but only intensifying day by day, it is not easy to see them in such a state. It’s hard on everyone that must see her day by day, take to her side through the nights, and see to her survival on a daily, even hourly basis sometimes.

Her illnesses are many, her medical needs more, and her daily pills great in number. Her age although not too high either, but from the moment she had been struck with the first pains about 12 years ago, the diseases have only accumulated ever since.

Having seen her suffer through the days and nights, not knowing whether she will live to see the next sunrise or sunset, it hasn’t been easy. The decay upon her body, has led to her mental depression and spiritual highs and lows. May Allah have mercy upon her in her continuous struggle!

Throughout all of this, I only have one thing left to say, Alhamdulillah.

Alhamdulillah, that she is still with us, that although her pain is great, it could be greater. And although we have been perservering, we must continue to hold steadfast with sabr, for there is no other choice. The test has been put upon her, as well as upon her husband, upon her children. It is Allah’s Will, and we must accept this with humility and sincerity. We must be grateful.

Our hope is in His Rahma, and our fear in His Might.

The reason why I share this with you is not because I wish to share the burdens with anyone, but because I sincerely hope to convey a message. I hope we all realize how thankful we should be for our health. It is the most precious blessing we have been given, and the one we take most for granted.

Our true wealth lies only within our health!

Brothers and Sisters, do not underestimate the blessing of your bodies. The very fact that you can wake up in the morning, take a step out of bed, with eyes open, ears hearing, tongue talking, it is the most beautiful sight. The very fact that you can walk, using your own legs, and work, using your own arms, do you know how blessed you are?

These waves, blown by the winds of Qadr, are only a test. Good and bad are put in our paths to see how our ultimate Imaan will persevere through it, and in finality to teach us what Ihsan is.

The Sahabah (radiyallahu anhum wa radu’u An) were pleased with Allah azawajal at all times, no matter what. No matter if they were extremely rich or extremely poor, they were never fazed, never distracted, their prayers, their Imaan steadfast and stable!

Never forget, Allah wills only good for us. Therefore as we await our ultimate abode of Jannah, inshaa’Allah, we must learn to pass the test of dunya first.

Ya Insan! Reflect!

If ye reject (Allah), truly Allah hath no need of you; but He liketh not ingratitude from His servants: if ye are grateful, He is pleased with you. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. In the End to your Lord is your Return, when He will tell you the truth of all that ye did (in this life). For He knoweth well all that is in (men’s) hearts. When some trouble toucheth man he crieth unto his Lord, turning to Him in repentance: but when He bestoweth a favour upon him as from Himself, (man) doth forget what he cried and prayed for before, and he doth set up rivals unto Allah, thus misleading others from Allah’s Path.
(39:6-7 Quran)

Devote yourself to taking advantage of the opportunities that you know are being presented to you, yet you deny so passively. Through just the health we have been so blessed with, the world is in our hands.

Every single day is a new opportunity to go find a new treasure, a new opportunity to approach Allah! Thus, make your preparation everyday for a better today, and hence, a newer, greater tomorrow. Expend your energy on this, reflect, remember, and PLAN.

Truly Pious…

May 12, 2008


Those That are Truly Pious

The truly pious sisters never do anything to ever jeopardize their haya
The truly pious sisters have a deep attachment to salah

They have noor dripping from their faces
They are never to be found in all the wrong places

The truly pious sisters are always glowing
They are not the ones that have all their limbs showing

Rather they are those that wear abayas; long, loose and flowing
And when they are tested by Allah they increase their ibadah and keep going

They are mindful of their speech and never engage in idle talk
And they are not amongst those that wish to be noticed when they walk

They are those that have ilm and are constantly seeking
They have the best adab, ahklaq, and manner of speaking

Just like the truly pious sisters there are only a few truly pious brothers
And the truly pious brothers take care of their sisters and mothers

The truly pious brothers have exemplary ahklaq
Pants rolled above the ankle and carrying a miswak

The truly pious brother is cautious about violating others rights
And you can hear his attachment to the Quran with every Surah he recites

His forehead has the mark that only one can get from praying tahajjud every night
Noor eminates from him, and every strand of his beard twinkles like a light

And if the time comes to fight, then he will not take flight
He will enter the battlefield strong like a knight

The truly pious brother makes dua to Allah for his enemies to be guided
And doesn’t incite hatred towards other Muslims, lest we become more divided

The truly pious brother’s eyes are always looking toward the ground
Lowering the gaze because non-mahram women are around

He never insults or curses anyone, and never wastes time
He’s always just with others and keeps his nafs in line

The truly pious brother is always trying to learn more in the deen
Traveling for the sake of ilm is a regular routine

The truly pious brother is always making istigfar for the sins that he may or may not have done.
And he is not the lazy, depressed or pessimistic one

The truly pious brother loves for his brother what he loves for himself
He is never satisfied with his condition, so he is always improving himself

And you will find that the truly pious sisters have sabr and complete tawakkul in Allah
And the truly pious brothers have devoted themselves to seeking the pleasure of Allah

And you will find that those that are truly pious are like the scent of perfume in the air
To the average Muslim, they just don’t compare

They are like precious jewels that are extremely rare
Remaining in their pure form because they are unfit to wear

So if you want to marry from amongst those that are truly pious, then be worthy and not obscene
And don’t waste your time looking for them in places that they would never dare to be seen

You would never go to a swamp to discover a pearl!
Unless instead of a pious woman you want a cover girl!

And if you think that you can go to a garbage dump in search of diamonds
Then that is because you’re looking for Cubic Zirconia, and not those that are truly pious

~ Naimah Abraham