IMAM AL-SHA'RANI'S LAWAQIH AL-ANWAR AL-QUDSIYYAH FI BAYAN AL-'UHUD AL-MUHAMMADIYYAH
COMMANDMENT NO. -
pp. ه - ز
PROFESSOR mUHAMMAD 'aLI AL-IDLIBI
Lawaqih al-Anwar al-Qudsiyyah is almost like al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib of [Zakiy al-Din Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Azim b ‘Abd al-Qawiy b ‘Abd Allah b Salamah b Sa‘d, popularly known as] Hafiz al-Mundhiri (رح) [b.581h Garh-Syria/d. 656h Egypt], except that it is in different style. [It is more of a compilation of ahadith pertaining to encouraging and discouraging practices which are arranged according to fiqhi chapter starting from the Book of Purification and ending in an unusal way with a pictorial description of the heaven and hell].
The reason for compiling/writing this work as per what Imam al-Sha‘rani has mentioned in the preface of the book wherein he says: "The compelling reason [that which prompted] me into writing it was what I saw in the increased search of the brethren on that which is deficient in their worldly needs, whereas I did not see anyone among them searching for that which is deficient in respect of his religious matters, except for a few. Thus my zeal of conviction (al-ghairat al-imaniyyah) took the better of me over them and their religion, that I placed for them this book cautioning every man on what he is deficient in respect of his religious matters."
He (رح) commenced his writing with an exhortation on sincerity of intention, encouraging action according to the Prophetic practices and emulating the Lawgiver (al-Shari‘) (ص) [a reference to the Prophet in the majazi (tropical) sense]. Thereafter with an exhortation on seeking shara‘i knowledge and exertion of effort in acquiring it and traveling in search of it.
Then you see him taking you through the chapters of fiqh, chapter by chapter. Thus [he begins] with ablution first. As such he has explained therein that which will free oneself with the light of ‘ibadah [quoting the hadith] إن أمتي يدعون يوم القيامة غرا محجلين من آثار الوضوء “Certainly my ummah will be addressed in the Day of Judgement as (those who are) dazzlingly radiant from the signs of ablution”.
Thereafter “al-siwak” (brushing the teeth) and “al-adhan” (prayer call), entering the masjid, walking towards it and paying attention to (or preserving) its cleanliness, together with explanation concerning the reward for performing congregational salat, and that which came from the Possessor of Shara‘ (sahib al-shar‘) (ص) concerning his exhortation on them.
After that comes the discussion on the salat in respect of it being an inevitable obligation (fard), supererogatory (nafl) and obligatory (wajib) thus he mentions therein as well that which frees oneself from the mistake and its effect while bedecking oneself with the effects of obedience and its lights.
That is followed by exhortation on paying the zakat on its time, and encouraging sadaqah by explaining its effects, its benefits and its defects. Then he discusses on sawm (fasting) and its merits and concerning the nafl sawm and its benefits.
After it he explains the rules pertaining to sacrifice (slaughtering) and the apportioned reward for its doer. After that he mentions al-hajj and umrah and explains therein of benefits and shortcomings.
Then encouraging the recitation of the Noble Qur’an, elucidating the effects accorded to it, and explaining the effects and benefits on the increased recitation of istighfar (seeking forgiveness) from Allah [Who is] the Exalted in respect of His Loftiness on one who mentions Him. He also elucidates what the one who recites salawat (regard) on the Prophet (ص) attains of elevated status and augmentation of goodness and eradication of badness and their likes from obedience to the Rabb of wergilds (al-diyyat).
Then he elucidates and strongly encourages that which a Muslim must observe in the situation of buying and selling. It is a precious discussion that necessitates closer scrutiny and stricter adherence such that no man shall fall into haram without knowing it and he is not excused on account of he being ignorant. Thereafter comes the discourse, nay encouragement in respect of returning to Allah in every important and testing matter so as to acquaint with His leniency so that His servant will know that at the moment of severity.
Then [comes] the discussion on nikah (marriage) and explaining its benefits, its need, and the manner of approaching it from the start of the kitbah (engagement) to zifaf (wedding ceremony) to that which is after that. Then [he mentions] that which a servant must possess as part of his gratitude over Divine favor (shukr bi al-ni‘mah) by dressing and appearing, eating and drinking elegantly together with mentioning the manner concerning food, drink, hosting and visitation.
He adds to that both general and specific shara‘i manners with all men: with the poor and rich; orphan and other than them, nay, he (رح) mentions that which a Muslim must observe in his day and night, [during] his travel and stay, in masjid, house and market and with his family, children and parents, with close relatives, siblings, strangers both in his country and outside it. And that which he must observe under all condition in respect of his matters so that he will be closer to Allah and emulating the practices of the chosen Prophet, our Master Muhammad (ص ), and keeping away from all that drift him away from the Rabb of Honor, Glory be to Him, the Self-Elevated.
All these are woven with Qur’anic verses and Prophetic ahadith, so pay closer attention to their sources so that there remain no doubt to those who doubt, nor any criticism from the people of bid‘ah (innovation) and hawa (heresy). Certainly all these are written in the book.
Yes it is indeed worthy of reading and acting according to what is contained in it and in respect of what is induced to do.
And Allah is the Bestower of Success (waliy al-tawfiq) and the Guide of whom He wishes towards the straight path.
Praise be to the Allah the Rabb of the Universe.
- Some scholars have rendered the name of the Prof. 'Ali as Adlibi. This is wrong as the name is associated with the place of his birth in the province of Idlib in Syria.
- I have taken the liberty in inserting my own understanding of the text by using parentheses ( ) and square brackets [ ] to give the meaning either in Arabic or English and to insert additional explanation that may add value to the understanding of the text.
- In the usage of phraseology of praise, I have used the letters (ص) in reference to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (on whom be the regard and salutation of Allah), and (رح) for رحمه الله (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) in reference to Muslim savants other than the sahabah (Prophetic companions).
- I have tried to minimize the usage of the translation of key Islamic terms into English, like salat, hajj and sawm, etc as they are retained in their original intended meaning. For instance to render the word salat as prayer is misleading as the Qur'anic word الصلوة originates from the word الصلوين in reference to the movement of the two croups or rumps in the two degrees of prostration (ruku' and sujud). Moreover the Arabic term الصلاة in reference to the Prophet is rendered as "paying regard" to him. In both these forms the word salat does not connote the meaning nor the form of prayer as understood in English. It is precisely due to this scholars have been cautious in rendering any Arabic term arbitrarily to any proximate meaning in another language other than Arabic. The same goes for many other Islamic terms. It is on this basis scholars are stringent in their acceptance the non-Muslim usage of the Arabic term Allah (الله) to mean God.