Islamic Studies

A Tweet from the Turath: Spend a Day with Ibn Rashdan, Ibn Daqiq al-'Eid and al-Maziri [Allah's mercy be upon them]

A Tweet from the Turath: Spend a Day with Ibn Rashdan and Ibn Daqiq al-‘Eid [Allah’s mercy be upon them both]

Abū ̓Abdillah Mohammad bin Rushayd (Allah rest his soul), an explorer from 8th century A.H. traveled extensively through the Muslim world. During his travels he was fortunate enough to meet some of the greatest scholars of his day. His memoirs serve as a TIVO for Muslims to view the past in order to gain resolve and fortitude for the future. Let’s join him on one of his travels and visit one of the greatest scholars ever!

“I met al-Sheikh [Eng. A person of knowledge] Taqyi al-Dīn bin Daqīq al-̓Eīd at a famous Muslim seminary to ask him about something. I found him surrounded by students asking him questions, and suddenly a piece of paper came to him. The enquirer asked about reciting the basmallah [saying Bismillah al-Rahmān al-Rah̄im] while praying.

As I suspected, the questioner was from the legal school of Imām Mālik bin Anas. The Sheikh [Ibn Daqīq al-̓Eīd] favored that the questioner recite it avoiding differences with those who hold its absence a nullification of prayers, honoring those who hold that its soundness is preserved by reading it. I said, “May I mention something that supports this opinion of yours?” The Sheikh responded, what is it?”

I said: “Ab̄u Hafs, (intending to say al-Maȳanshi, however I mistakenly said Abu Hafs Ibn Shāhīn), said: ”I prayed behind al-Imām Abi ̓Abdillah al-Māzirī and I heard him reciting ”With the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Merciful. All praise is due to Allah the Lord of everything that exists…” When I meet with him privately I said,I heard you reading in the obligatory prayers in such and such way?” He responded, “And how did you know that?” I said, “These days you are the leader of the Malikis, so you must inform me.”

Al-Maziri responded:

“Listen Umar! The opinion in the Māliki school is that if one reads the basmallah in his prayer, then his prayer is sound; the opinion of the Shāf̓ i  school is that if one fails to do so, his prayer is void. Thus, I practice what fails to void my prayers according to my imām, and whose absence voids the prayer according to others, so that I may flee from differences.”

After I finished my story Ibn Daqiq al-̓Eīd said, “Excellent, but history refutes what you have stated. Ibn Shāhīn never meet alMaziri!” I responded, “I intended to say al-Māyanshī.” He answered, “Now what you’ve stated is correct.”

Iāh al-Masālik ila Qawāid al-Imām Mālik of al-Wansharisī pg. 156

Translated and Abridged by Suhaib Webb

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • Assalaamualaykum Sheikh,

    This was beautiful. JazakumAllahu khair for sharing this with us. It seems we can learn a number of things from such stories such as:

    1. Wisdom of the scholars – Things are deeper than the simplistic understanding of making everything black and white, my way or the highway. They take everything into account before giving fatawa and opinions.

    2. Leniency and being open-minded – The importance of taking other people's opinions into consideration and their customs and practices. This allows for us to function better, especially since we have such diverse communities in the West.

    3. Respect the students should have for their teachers – The best answers are not always in books, knowledge is
    taken from the scholars and sitting humbly before them.

    4. Sincere Advice – If someone has advice or something of benefit to say, he may even share it with a scholar.

    5. Humility – The Sheikh happily accepted the evidence and narration from someone else, and even though the narrator misquoted, the sheikh was gentle and encouraging.

    6. The Gentle Character of Real Scholars – How many students and people are frightened and scared to open their mouth or ask a question to a scholar these days? The real scholar is one whom the people trust, love, respect, and feel comfortable around. Of course, this means the scholar must be sitting and giving his time to the masses.

    7. Importance of Memorization – The Sheikh was keen to realize the narration was attributed to someone who could not have narrated this. The value of memorizing should never be belittled, as hifz has preserved this ummah in so many ways (the Quran, hadith, and everything derived from them).

    8. Importance of the Arabic Language – The vast majority of our scholarship has always communicated in Arabic. In order to benefit from and even transmit these gems, we need to be functional in understanding this beautiful language.

  • Asalaam Alaikum Imam Suhaib.

    Jazak'Allah for the post, very pertinent for our time as we have people in the west from all the madhabs mixing together and differences are commonly misunderstood.

    I hope you don't mind me asking a semi-related question. After reciting Sura al-Fatiha and we recite another portion of the Qur'an, if we do not recite a Sura from the beginning (E.g. Last 3 verses of al-Hashr) do we say the basmala or not?


  • Asalamu alaykum,

    If you are a Maliki, then the answer is no unless you do so with regard to the other madhabs that might be praying behind you. al-Adawi addresses this in his Hashyiah of Abi Zaid's risalah. However, if you are praying behind others you should not read it according to the school.


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