Sharhus-Sunnah [no1] – Abu Abdur Rahman


Sharhus-Sunnah [no1]

Class Notes: Part One [14-10-09] v2.0
Taught by Abu Abdur Rahman

All praise is to Allaah, Lord of the worlds and may His peace and blessings be upon His last and final messenger, Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).
This book in front of you is called a ‘nubdha’ 1 of the ‘Explanation of the Sunnah’ of the Imaam of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah of his time Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin Alee bin Khalf Al-Barbahaaree. Our Shaykh, Abu Abdur-Rahmaan Abdullaah bin Saalih al-Ubaylaan explained and commented on this book in one of his beneficial knowledge based courses. This course took place in the city of Haa’il, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
We decided to produce this concise explanation because of what we found in it of great benefit that the Muslim youth is in great need of. How much the Muslim youth are in need of reading such a book as this! It does indeed emulate a methodology and Salafi approach to success, by the Permission of Allaah, from the division and disunity we find ourselves in.
Indeed taking from that which the Salafus-Saalih where upon in ‘Aqeedah, Fiqh, character, morals, manners and methodology is the safety of the shore from the huge and many waves of the sea of doubts and fitn (trials).
Our main aims in producing this book were four;

1. To give the Qur’aanic references for the verses which were cited by our Shaykh Ubaylaan.
2. To give a checking of the ahadeeth mentioned in the explanation of the book.
3. To place the speech of the people of knowledge in this book in its correct context wherever possible.
4. Removal of some repetitive speech which arose due to the Shaykh, may Allaah protect him, giving these lectures verbally.
Indeed we produced this book asking Allaah to benefit by it, and to make our actions sincerely seeking His pleasure alone. We ask Allaah to reward our Shaykh Abu Abdur-Rahmaan with a great reward for He alone is the capable of such. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) his family and his Companions.

Brief Biography Of Imaam Al-Barbahaaree

He is al-Haafidh,2 al-Faqeeh 3 Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin Alee bin Khalf Al-Barbahaaree. He was the Shaykh of the Hanbalee School of thought of his time from the people of Baghdaad. He grew up there and was a student of the companions of Imaam Ahmad from them; al-Imaam Ahmad bin Muhammad Abu Bakr al-Marwazee and many other scholars of that time. He (Al Barbahaaree) was indeed fierce in his speech for the truth rejecting Ahlul-Bid’ah with his hand and his tongue. He underwent severe trials because of this but attained a high station with famous literature. He became well known because of this and he was indeed a God-fearing person and a zaahid – one who abstained from the glitter of the world and its disappearing destruction. This is why it was mentioned that he gave up the wealth of 70,000 dirhams from the inheritance of his father.
Many students of knowledge benefited from this Imaam and many famous scholars had graduated from his teachings from them: Abu Bakr Muhammad Bin Muhammad bin Uthmaan and Ibnu Battah Al-Ukbaree and Abul-Husain bin Sam’oon and other than them.
He died, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in Baghdaad in the year 329H and was aged 96 years – and it was said 77 years.

Part One
In the Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Most Kind

The writer (Al Barbahaaree), may Allaah have mercy upon him, said:
“All praise to Allaah who guided us to Islaam and blessed us with it and brought us forth amongst the best of nations. We ask Allaah for ability in what He loves and is pleased with and protection from that which He dislikes and looks down upon – know that Islaam is the Sunnah and the Sunnah is Islaam and one of them cannot be established except with the other.”


His saying: “know that Islaam is the sunnah” – Islaam in its general meaning means submission to Allaah, The Most High, with compliance in obedience and freedom from shirk (associating partners with Allaah). And Islaam has two meanings:
1. From them is what the writer intended here and that is tawheed (Oneness/Unity/Uniqueness) of Allaah which He, The Most High, has ordered all His servants with. This is tawheed of Ibaadah/Uloohiyyah (Unity of Worship) about which Allaah, The Most High said:

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ

“Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islaam..”
[Surah Aali-Imraan (3):19]

And it is this exact thing which caused the disputes between all the Prophets and their people. Allaah said:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ

“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allaah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taaghoot (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taaghût besides Allaah).”
[Surah an-Nahl (16):36]

And tawheed in this meaning is confirmed in what Allaah said:

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ

“He (Allaah) has ordained for you the same religion (Islaam) which He ordained for Noah, and that which We have inspired in you (O Muhammad), and that which We ordained for Abraham, Moses and Jesus saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically), and make no divisions in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion).”
[Surah ash-Shoora (42):13]4

2. Also from the meaning of Islaam is Aqeedah5 and Sharee’ah which the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) came with and Allaah gave these two things specifically to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).6 This meaning is confirmed by Allaah’s saying:

وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

“…and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion (Deen).”
[Surah al-Maa’idah (5):3]7

And also Allaah’s saying:

لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا

“To each among you, We have prescribed a law (Sharee’ah) and a clear way (Minhaaj).” [Surah al-Maa’idah (5):48]

And the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam):

“We the prophets are sons of ‘Ilaat’ 8 and our religion is one.”
[Tafseer at-Tabaree 5/396]

His saying: “…and that the sunnah is Islam” 9
Sunnah literally means a way, as Allaah says in the Qur’aan:

وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ

“..and to show you the ways (Sunan) of those before you..”
[Surah an-Nisaa’ (4):26]

And in al-Qamoos (dictionary) it says: even if it is good or bad.
With the Muhadditheen,10 Sunnah means: Whatever is narrated from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) from speech or action and that includes what he left, his approvals, and his description.
With the Usooli’een,11 it means: Whatever comes from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) other than the Qur’aan from sayings which they term as hadeeth – or actions or approvals.

The Different Ways In Which The Sunnah Explains The Qur’aan

1. That it concurs with what is in the Qur’aan. In such cases the Sunnah would emphasise, reiterate or merely confirm what is in the Qur’aan,12 like in the example the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) “the wealth of any Muslim is not halaal except if it given with his consent.” 13 This hadeeth concurs or agrees or emphasises the saying of Allaah:

وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ

“And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.)” [Surah al-Baqarah (2):188]

Another example is the saying of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam):

“Indeed Allaah will leave an oppressor for a time such that when He takes him He will not let him go”14

This hadith agrees with the verse:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَىٰ وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ ۚ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ

“Such is the Seizure of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His Seizure is painful, and severe.”
[Surah Hood (11):102]

Also the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam):

“Fear Allaah with regards your wives, for indeed they are like prisoners with you, you took them with the trust of Allaah and you made halaal their private parts in the name of Allaah.”15

This hadeeth agrees with the saying of Allaah

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

“And live with them honourably.” [Surah an-Nisaa’ (4):19]

2. That it is a clarification of what the Qur’aan intends.16 Examples of this is ‘Bayaan al Mujmal’: giving details to the general verses like those which order us to perform salaat, give zakaat, fast, perform Hajj and other rulings. They are all explained in detail by the ahadeeth.
‘Taqeed al-Mutlaq’: Qualifying the absolute, like the hadeeth which explains the qualification behind the word ‘Yad’ 17 in the saying of Allaah:

وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُوا أَيْدِيَهُمَا

“Cut off (from the wrist joint) the (right) hand of the thief, male or female..”
[Surah al-Maa’idah (5):38]

‘Takhsees al-Aam’: specifying the general, like the hadeeth which clarifies the intended meaning of the word Dhulm (oppression) in the saying of Allaah:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمُ الْأَمْنُ وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ

“It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Dhulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allaah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” [Surah al-An’aam (6):82]

The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Indeed it is not that…it is shirk (polytheism)!” 18

Also the different types of foods which Allaah has made lawful or unlawful are only mentioned generally in the Qur’aan but they are elaborated upon in the Sunnah.
‘Towdheeh al-Mushkil’: clarifying the ambiguity, like the hadeeth which clarified the meaning behind the two threads in the saying of Allaah:

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ

“..and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)..”
[Surah al-Baqarah (2):187]

Some companions understood from it a white and black thread but the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) explained it to mean “the whiteness of the day and the blackness of the night” 19
3. That it guides to a ruling which the Qur’aan does not mention 20 and from examples of this is the saying of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) about the sea: “Its water is pure, and its dead is halaal.” 21 And the saying of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) about the dead foetus which comes out of the stomach of the mother: “the foetus born dead is like the mother who dies in child birth.” 22
Also the ahadeeth which make particular type of interest haraam like ‘Ribaa’ al-Fadl’ 23
Furthermore, the hadeeth which narrate the impermissibility of every wild beast (lion) which has fangs (incisor teeth) and every wild bird that has claws and domestic donkeys.
That it may be an abrogation of a ruling which is established in the Qur’aan: this is in accordance to those scholars who deem it permissible for the Sunnah to abrogate the Qur’aan. Examples of such are:
The hadeeth: “there is no wasiyyah 24 for the inheritor” 25 for indeed this hadeeth abrogates the ruling in the Qur’aan which states that the wasiyyah is for the parents and family members (inheritors). Allaah states:

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِن تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ

“It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqeen (the pious).”
[Surah al-Baqarah (2):180]

This is according to one of the views found in the explanation of this verse.
Another example is in the hadeeth “the virgin with the virgin 100 lashes and expulsion from the land for one year”26 This hadeeth abrogates the verse:

وَاللَّاتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن شَهِدُوا فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىٰ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا

“And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allaah ordains for them some (other) way.” [Surah an-Nisaa’ (4):15]

Again this is according to one of the views which allow the Sunnah to abrogate the Qur’aan.

1 ‘Nubdha’ here means: a concise or summary explanation which can never be enough.
2 TN: the title ‘Haafidh’ is a higher station than a Muhaddith. A Muhaddith is one whose level of specialty in the sciences of hadeeth has reached a high level. A Haafidh is one who has all that, including more i.e. memorisation and preservation of many ahadeeth in addition to that.
3 TN: the title al-Faqeeh is the highest station of the science of fiqh that one can attain. It is worth mentioning here that Imaam Ath-Dhahabee said: “every Muhaddith is a Faqeeh, but not every Faqeeh is a Muhaddith.” He said this is because even though the faqeeh has the ability to extract correct rulings from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, a faqeeh will not be able to know the authenticity of ahadeeth unless he is a Muhaddith, so he needs the Muhaddith to attain this. As for the Muhaddith, then he has this science already and so has more ability to extract rulings correctly as the Sunnah (ahadeeth) are the explanation of the Qur’aan, which is one of the two main sources which we extract our fiqh rulings from.
4 T.N: The five messengers known as the ‘Ulul-Azm’ are mentioned here in this verse. They receive the highest reverence for their perseverance and unusually strong commitment to Allaah in the face of great suffering. They are also known to be leaders amongst all the prophets and messengers. Allaah sent over 124,000 Messengers to different nations and sealed them with Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). Whenever Allaah mentions Prophets and Messengers in the Qur’aan, He always starts with Messengers then Prophets. This indicates their higher station. Prophets were sent as warners, bringers of glad tidings and confirming the message/book or legislation taught by
the Messengers before them. Messengers were sent as warners, bringers of good news and a new legislation/book and message.
5 T.N: What is meant here is the manhaj (methodology) of the Aqeedah (creed) and not the Aqeedah itself as all the Prophets were told to believe in the six articles of faith which make up the basis of a Muslim Aqeedah.
6 T.N: Every Messenger is a Prophet and not every Prophet is a Messenger. Prophets are warners, sent to warn their people and prophesise events to come. Messengers do that role including an additional role: they have been given a Sharee’ah (law or book) by which to judge between the people with.
7 T.N: ‘Deen’ here means a way of life, a way of life is a path, methodology, a set of beliefs and a religion.
8 T.N: According to Imaam an-Nawawee: ‘Ilaat’ has two meanings; We the Prophets are sons of one father and different mothers, and; We have different Sharee’ah legislations but worship Allaah upon tawheed.
9 Sunnah is termed as the complete Islaam because Islaam cannot be completely understood without the Sunnah. The station of Sunnah in Islaam is that it is one part of the revelation. So the revelation would be incomplete without the Sunnah. (see Tadween as-Sunnah p???)
10 Experts in the science of ahadeeth
11 Experts in the fundamentals of jurisprudence
12 T.N: All the ahadeeth regarding the five pillars of faith, rights of parents, respect for property of others and such ahadeeth reaffirm the Qur’aanic verses on these subjects.
13 Narrated by Ibnu Maajah in the Introduction p11, from the hadeeth of Jaabir Ibn Abdullaah also by at-Tabaree in the Tafseer v5 p397 from the hadeeth of Abdullaah Ibn Masood.
14 Narrated by al-Bukhaaree in the Book of Tafseer no.4409. Also in Muslim in the Chapter of Bir wa Silah wal-Adhab no.2583 both of them from the hadeeth of Abu Musa al-Ash’aree.
15 Narrated by Muslim in the Book of Hajj no.1218 from the hadeeth of Jaabir Ibn Abdullaah
16 T.N: so the Sunnah is a clarification or explanation of what the Qur’aan intends so it may clarify general verses of the Qur’aan, or qualify its absolute statements, or specify the general terms mentioned.
17 T.N: in the hadeeth where the thief is to have his ’Yad’ (hand) chopped off, the hadeeth qualifies what is meant by the word ‘hand’ because the general meaning of Yad in arabic can be the whole of the forearm, or up to the shoulder, however the hadeeth qualifies this
general term used to mean; hand from the wrist down.
18 Narrated by al-Bukhaaree in the Book of Eemaan no.32 and in Muslim in the Book of Eemaan also no.124 both of them from the hadeeth of Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas.
19 Narrated by al-Bukhaaree in the Book of Fasting no.1817, and in Muslim in the Book of Fasting no.1090 both of them from the hadeeth of Adee Ibn Haatim.
20 T.N: Here the Qur’aan is silent over it so the ruling originates from the Sunnah only. Such Sunnah does not confirm nor oppose the Qur’aan rather it is legislation in its own right. For example, as in the hadeeth “Indeed I have been given the Qur’aan and something similar to it.”
21 Narrated by at-Tirmidhee in the Chapter of Purification no.69, and Abu Daawood in the Chapter of Purification no.83, and an-Nasaa’ee in the Chapter of Purification no.59, and Ibn Maajah in the Chapter of Purification no.386, all of them from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah.
22 Narrated by Imaam Ahmed v3 p39 in the Musnad from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree
23 T.N: Which is where the principle, silver for silver, gold for gold, grain for grain, wheat for wheat, dates for dates, and salt for salt is not upheld and results in Ribaa’ al-Fadl. i.e a person has a gold necklace of 10g and wants to sell it but it is damaged and the goldsmith says because it is damaged I will give you the monies worth 7g because it is broken. Another form of Ribaa’ is: Ribaa’ an-Nasee’a: which is where the repayment of a loan is delayed with increments i.e. man borrows £1,000 to pay back after 5 years and he must
payback £1,500 an extra £500, this is Ribaa’ an-Nasee’a. So – there are two ways in which Ribaa’ is resulted from financial dealings: adh-dhulm – which is oppression like in the example of the goldsmith and loan repayment. The second is ‘al-Garar’ where the buyer or the seller did not make clear the price before the transaction
24 The maximum amount of 1/3rd of one’s estate which he/she is allowed to leave to non inheritors only if he/she so willed
25 Abu Daawood in the Book of Business transactions (3565) and in at-Tirmidhee in the Book of Wasaayah (2120) and Ibnu Maajah in the Book of Wasaayah (2813) all of them from the hadeeth of Abi Amamah al-Baahili.
26 Narrated by Muslim in the Book of Lashes (1690) from the hadeeth of Ubaadah bin Saamit.