Islamic Studies

Droppin' Science: Basking in the Light Known as Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadawi

Asalamu alaykum,

Very sorry for being away. I’ve been blessed to visit the U.K over the last week. Today I was blessed to sit with the great scholar of Hadith and master of the Hanafi school Dr. Muhammad Akram Nadawi. I will try and summarize some of the answers I was able to glean from him.

What are the major books of hadith, for the students of Islamic law, that will assist them, if they have studied the basic texts, in gaining scholarship?

‘It is important to read the books of the early scholars. I recommend the kifayah of Khatib al-Baghdadi and his other works. Secondly, the Tadhib al-Kamal of al-Mizi.’ I mentioned the Kashif of al-Dhahabi and he responded, ‘it is good, but not the same as the works of al-khatib nor siyar ‘alam al-nubal because they give you details and information that is very important. Also, it is important to listen to the scholars read the books of hadith. The scholar of fiqh cannot be free in his need for the science of hadith.’

Thoughts on Tajdid and clinging to outdated ijtihads and opinions:

‘Our state is that of a person who went to buy a cow for its dung ignoring the milk!’

How do we deal with different groups and students of knowledge that diagree with our efforts?

‘Be fruitful and don’t waste your time in such manners. Just work, produce and stay focused.’

Describe Sh. Abu Hassan al-Nadawi

‘He was a person of great piety and scholarship. He never attacked others that he differed with, nor spoke about them in a negative fashion. He differed with Mawdudi’s focus on Islam as a political movement only. However, he respected him, praised him and the formers books are still found in Nadwa.’

Contemporary Hadith Scholars:

‘I’m deeply impressed with the scholarship of Sh. Muhammad al-‘Awwama and Dr. Nur al-Din al-‘Itir. Dr. ‘Awwama is very pious and his talent in Hadith is great.’

Hanafi System of Teaching:

‘It is good to get back to the earlier books as there is fiqh and hadith there. The books of the two companions of Abu Hanifa and Badi’u al-Sana’i are important. The latter works of the school contain many cultural ijtihad’s which are not benefical to the people of this age. If the great Hanafi scholars were alive today, the would not be teaching the books they wrote in the past. They would engage their reality and address it with their fiqh.’

Sh. Akram’s humility is touching. He took us to lunch, made us tea and walked us back to our car. If I lived in England there are two scholars that I would try and move close to so I could study and grow. One, without a doubt, is Sh. Akram al-Nadawi. The other is coming soon.

I would like to thank the people of the U.K for a wonderful visit


East London

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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  • Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah again. I hope you enjoyed your time in the UK… I thought perhaps you were staying for the Islam Expo event this weekend, but I guess you’re need elsewhere! Jazakallah for your time this evening. It was thought-provoking stuff, masha’Allah. I pray that you and your family are granted peace of mind, good health and strong imaan – Ameen.

  • Why does everything happen when I have exams?(!!!) I feel really left out..

    This article make me wonder how we dont make use of gems that are around us.

    Jazzak Allah Sh Suhaib for this

    I really want to know who this “other” scholar is…?


  • We are indeed blessed to have the likes of Shaykh Akram and Shaykh Afif Al-Akiti in the UK.

    Sometimes I feel like we are not utilising these great minds as we should be.

    May Allah bless you and your family and all the shuyukh that we have here in the UK.

    May Allah also bless your father and grant him a speedy recovery and good health – Ameen!

    Was Salam


  • This gives me even further confidence in taking my fiqh from Dr. Nadwi’s “Al-Fiqh al-Islami,” which I am almost finished studying. I bought the book because it was an original composition of fiqh, yet grounded in a madhhab, something rare in the English language these days (translations are the norm). May Allah guide us all to the Straight Path, ameen.

  • Dear shaykh,

    It was lovely praying maghrib with you, walking to Pandoos Mile End (East London), eating and discussing how we can contribute to spread a balanced, and comprehensive Islam here in the UK. You have motivated and inspired me with your approach and your dynamism. I [ray Allah facilitates future meetings with you Insha Allah.

  • it’ll be nice to know that sh. suhaib will be teaching an almaghrib class in new jersey tonight 🙂

  • Based on your glowing praise, I have purchased a few of Dr. Mohammed Akram Nadwi’s books. His “Al-Fiqh Al-Islami” is really beautifully written. I look forward to future volumes. He has a biography of Abu Hanifa that is scheduled to be released on August 19 insha Allah (check Amazon or Barnes and Nobles).

    Who is the second scholar from the UK that you would try to move close to?

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