The Prophet as a teacher

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī The manners and personal preferences, and also the public judgements and policies, of the Prophet, salla l-lahu `alayhiwa-sallam, have been studied and preserved by devout Muslims throughout the millennium and half since the coming of Islam. No other religious leader has had such an enduring influence on so many people after him, shaping both the ideals that they profess to aspire to and the concrete detail of how they conduct their everyday relations and affairs individually and collectively. His precepts and practice have been reverently, conscientiously and continuously applied in the most diverse geographical and…

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Da`wah

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī God says He does not love that men say what they do not do (al-Saff). This means two things. (a) Be careful of the language you use. Don’t be like those poets who say things that sound very impressive but are impossible to do, i.e. don’t speak for effect; speak simply and from the heart. And also, don’t be like those philosophers, theologians or moralists who formulate things very precisely but abstractly, so that what they say does not connect with the realities of life. (b) Be careful of the gaps between what you say…

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The Book is Two Books

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī and translated by Dr. Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link Two Basic Categories of Ḥadīth Works1 They asked: The compilations and works of the noble Prophetic ḥadīth from the first century to our day have become numerous, including the Ṣaḥīfah collections of the Companions and Followers2; the Jāmiʿ3 collections of Maʿmar4, Sufyān al-Thawrī5, Awzāʾī6, Ibn ʿUyaynah7 and Wakīʿ8; the Muwaṭṭaʾ9 collections; the Musnad10compilations of Abū Dāwūd al-Ṭayālisī11, Musaddad b. Musarhad12, Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal13, Baqīyy b. Makhlad14, and Abū Yaʿlā15; the two Muṣannaf16 compilations of ʿAbd al-Razzāq17 and Ibn Abī Shaybah18; the Ṣaḥīḥ compilations of Bukhārī19 and Muslim20; and…

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Between Hadith and Philosophy

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī and translated by Dr. Abu Zayd To access the original arabic, follow this link They asked: Clarify for us the real difference between ḥadīth and philosophy. I replied: Success from your Lord has drawn close to you if you are indeed concerned with this question. It is a dangerous but worthy quest, whose neglect for many produces a gross absurdity, makes them fall into stupor and risks great falsehood and folly. They deal with ḥadīth as philosophy and place philosophy in the position of ḥadīth, weighing this with the scale of that and vice versa. Thus,…

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Non-Muslim Festivals

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī Muslims have responsibilities that are specific to them as Muslims and responsibilities that they share in common with all human beings. Among the latter are responsibilities related to the preservation of one’s life and health and general prosperity; the preservation of the well-being of the community and its common spaces and services, its law and order, and whatever contributes to the peace and harmony of its members; and the preservation of the larger environment, the health of which affects all creatures now living and those to come. No one can determine from the outside how…

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Sirah/Sunnah: history/pattern; convention/tradition

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī There is an obligation to love and obey the Prophet. We know this because it is expressed as an imperative in the Qur’an. Obedience is compliance with a command that comes from outside oneself. Love cannot be like that; it must come from within. Between obedience and love, there is consent — being ready and willing to obey, being prompt, graceful, when doing what we are commanded or obliged to do. Obedience with full consent is natural, spontaneous, from the heart. Obedience from the heart is a big part (though it is not all) of…

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Apostasy among Muslims in the UK

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī Many Muslims and others repeatedly claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. If there is truth in this claim, it may have more to do with relatively higher birth-rates among Muslim communities than higher rates of conversion to Islam. In any case, the claim somehow deflects attention from a painful reality in the UK that many Muslim men and women, those brought up in traditionally Muslim families and, in fewer cases, those who accepted Islam as ‘new’ Muslims, are turning away from Islam. A few make a point of publicly declaring…

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Why study the Sirah?

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī Muslims, following the meaning of the word muslim, are those who have surrendered and accepted peace with God. If they have really done that, if they have really accepted the terms of their surrender, Muslims should also be striving to become believers, to become mu’min. And mu’min is used of those men and women who have put their trust in God, who are steadfast in that trust even when the conditions of life frustrate their aspirations and ambitions, indeed even when their basic needs are not met. Believers believe that what God has provided them…

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Secret marriages

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī Some brothers and sisters have asked me to comment on a practice that is increasingly reported of travelling Muslim scholars and teachers of Islam in the West, and those who travel to the West as teachers and preachers. This is the practice of contracting secret marriages in the places these scholars visit or pass through. The first thing to be said is that people generally do not make a secret of actions and relations except when they have some sense that these actions and relations, if known, would be disapproved of. Those who take the…

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The virtue of Sabr

By Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwī First, we must understand the meaning of the word, that is, look at its application in different contexts and situations. After that, we can reflect on what the virtue of it is. sabr is of two kinds, active and passive; and found in two forms, individual and collective. The fact that the Qur|~n, in commending sabr in different contexts and situations, uses the same word, tells us that there is a shared or general value, common to all contexts. Therefore, while differentiating the kinds and forms, we should also try to understandthat common, general value.…

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