بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرحْمَنِ الرحِيْمِ
All praises are for Allah, whomsoever he guides no one can misguide and whomsoever he allows to be misguided no one can guide. Peace and salutations be on the Messenger of Haq our master Mohammed ibn Abdullah (salahu alayhi wasalam)
And as to what follows:
Statement of Purpose:
Before I respond to Imam Suhaib Webb, I believe that it is important to state the motive for writing this and other articles of correction written in the recent past in order to dispel any notions amongst the masses that I am seeking to dishonor or wrestle scholars or worse still, for the purpose of fame and fortune. My sole intention is to ensure that incorrect notions –irrespective of them being extremist or modernist- do not enter and become accepted within the Ummah and through scholarly discussion and sincerity Allah may guide us to the truth. It is well known that no one, but our Beloved (salahu alayhi wasalam) enjoys infallibility or maintains a monopoly on constant guidance, rather we all, through His taufeeq, may be guided at times, and misguided at times. I ask Allah to guide me even if it be on the tongue of the one that I discuss with, for this is how the scholars of the past would perceive things when discussing with their peers[i]
Responding to Imam Webb
I was informed that Imam Suhaib Webb of the USA had posted some comments on his facebook page in a direct response to my correction of his widely circulated assertion that Sayyiduna Ali (RA) consumed ice-cream in celebration of the Persian New Year. This approach seems to be common with speakers n the USA and it was the same method used by Sister Yasmin Mogahed, however, It would have been better if the respectable Mufti approach the topic in an academic manner by providing a thorough response to the contentions I raised with regard to his claims. Nevertheless, I understand that it is sometimes a better face-saving strategy to provide a half-hearted facebook response to the article and move on stealthily to reduce any damage caused to one’s image.[ii]
Furthermore, it seems that Imam Webb, instead of dealing with my response in a scholarly manner tackling the many points that I raised, felt the need to make unfounded allegations against me, perhaps in an attempt to discredit the sound criticism he has received or to derail the discussion away from the subject at hand.
Before starting to look academically at this subject, I believe it is imperative that I address the slanderous allegations leveled against me.
Imam Webb’s First allegation
: stated: I find terms like "Celebrity Imams" and other such things against the clear agreed upon text that we should not call each other by nicknames.”… calling Imam's and activists names (or any Muslim for that matter) is an agreed upon prohibition that can only be violated by certain conditions.
(See ATTH 1 below for Imam Webb’s original facebook post)
There is not a single place in my entire article wherein I called Imam Webb a ‘celebrity Imam’ or any other nickname and I find these accusations and underhand tactics of character assasination completely abhorrent. Everyone who has read my initial article can see clearly that I have not used these terms anywhere in my article, but rather when bringing Imam Webb’s name within the text of my own response, I have always used the honourific ‘Imam’
Imam Webb’s second allegation
: stated: “"I reject the notion that I said Christmas is Halāl. I would challenge our brother to produce such an evidence? I never issued any fatwa, but posted a portion of a fatwa, noting where people could find it…”
(See ATTH 1 below for Imam Webb’s original facebook post)
Everyone who has read my initial response to Imam Webb will know well that no where
in the response did I say that he states that ‘Christmas is Halal”. This is an unfounded allegation and the respectable brother should read carefully when responding lest his emotions lead him to fall into that which he pretends to defend himself from, i.e. false accusations.
I do not like to ‘challenge’ other scholars to anything because I do not think that it is the correct mindset required for peers to deal with issues of difference, however could I request Imam Webb to prove where I said these statements in my initial article. Upon the inability to provide evidence for these allegations, I request that he apologise and kindly focus on the academic discussion.
The Academic Discussion
A reminder of Imam Webb’s initial statement that was widely spread throughout the internet and was a source of confusion to many until Allah permitted this feeble one to expose the weakness of his argument in the first response.
Imam Webb said,
“…In other words, a simple happy holidays is not a sin or going to take that person out of Islam. It is reported with authentic chains that Ali (ra) celebrated the Persian New Year, even eating ice cream with Imam Abu Hanifa's relative.”
(See ATTH 2 below for Imam Webb’s original facebook post)
Imam Webb defending the narrator Ismail ibn Hamad (RA)
Now, let us look at the facebook posts that were made by Imam Webb in his response to my initial post. We will start with the one in which my name is included so that no one can deny that I was the subject of these posts.
: stated: “The other problem I have, is that when they quote that three of the narrators, as Sh. Muhammad Daniel as done, are weak. Then they are stating that Imam Abu Hanifa was weak!...”
(See ATTH 3 below for Imam Webb’s original facebook post)
First of all, we find that Imam Webb inserts ‘words on my pen’. When I discussed the aspersion of the narrator, I did not state ‘three of the narrators’ nor did I state that the father of all Fuqaha, ‘Imam al-Azam (RA) was weak’. I provided the ruling of five leading Muhaditheen in regards to his grandson Ismail ibn Hamad ibn Abu Hanifah. There was absolutely no need for me to discuss Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) because he was not one of the narrators in the sanad of the narration that Imam Webb vehemently claimed was authentic. I advise that we stay within the confines of the discussion at hand and not distract the laity with issues that are best left for the discussion of senior muhaditheen.
Furthermore Suhaib Webb
: stated: “As for the narrator that Sh. Muhammad (ha) makes takhrij on, we find the following:
ولي قضاء الرصافة وهو من كبار الفقهاء
Also, it states:
قال محمد بن عبد الله الأنصاري ما ولي القضاء من لدن عمر رضي الله عنه إلى اليوم أعلم من إسماعيل بن حماد قيل ولا الحسن البصري قال ولا الحسنMentioned by al-Dhahabi (ra).
It is obvious that Imam Webb has made an effort to provide a defence for the narrator here, but what I find alarming in regards to his understanding of the science or lack of it as we have learnt it from our scholars, is that he provides two statements that have no direct relation to the reliability of the narrator as understood by the muhaditheen. Let us provide the translation of these statements:
“He was made the Qadi al-Rasafah and he is from the major jurists.”
“Mohammed ibn Abdullah al-Ansari said, There is no one since the time of Umar (RA) until this day that is more knowledgeable than Ismail ibn Hamad. When asked, “Not even Hasan al-Basri?” He said, not even Hasan.”
Now, we have to ask ourselves, what relation do the two above statements have to the reliability of the narrator as understood by the muhaditheen? Those who have studied Usool al-Hadith, know that the Muhaditheen are not necessarily concerned with job titles or the knowledge of a scholar, they are concerned with their Dabt (preservation of memory) and Adalah (trustworthiness). How often in the past and present have we seen that the chief judge appointed by government or a khalifah is corrupt or that extremely erudite scholars become misguided? It is for this reason that the senior muhaditheen of the past did not give consideration to this over the two criteria mentioned previously. If Imam Webb wanted to defend the narrator according to the standards of the muhaditheen, he should have provided similar pertinent statements to the ones that I provided with references. Unfortunately, Imam Webb brings the two above statements from Hafidh al-Dhahabi (RA), but he does not bring the conclusion of al-Dhahabi on the narrator which is what he should have done. Sadly, one continues to see the same pattern that I warned about in the last paragraph of my initial response, the unwholesome ‘cut and paste’ of parts of a text out of context in order to substantiate ‘the other view’ or prove rulings.
Furthermore, Imam Webb provides us with this hint:
“Sh. Abd al-Fatah Abu Ghuda wrote an excellent book on the status of Imam Abu Hanaifa as relator of hadith and I would encourage our sincere brothers and sisters to read it.”
(See ATTH 3 below for Imam Webb’s original facebook post)
First of all, I have read the works of Shaykh Abu Ghuddah (RA) and he has not written a work on this subject, rather Imam Webb has wrongly ascribed the work of Shaykh al-Muhaddith Abdul Rasheed al-Numani to Shaykh Abu Ghuddah who served to edit the text only.
My advice to all students is not to read books related to the Hadith and Quran’ic sciences by oneself, but to take knowledge at the feet of the Ulama for it contains numerous benefits and safeguards one from numerous things such as falling into repeated errors, argumentativeness and arrogance such as we have from the likes of many self-read scholars.[iii] This I do not relate from my own words, but from those that I have inherited from my teachers through their teachers and as mentioned by Imam al-Shatibi (RA) and other luminaries.
Imam Webb defending his use of a weak narration to support his claims.
“Regarding the narration of 'Ali. I was wrong when I said there was no contention about it. I stand corrected and appreciate the feedback. That being said, I question the takhrij of some of our dear Imams done on some of the chains. The chains of al-Khātib, while possibly problematic, a strengthened by the narration of al-Bayhaqi that, according to my teacher, is mutasil and authentic.”
(See ATTH 4 below for Imam Webb’s original facebook post)
A reminder of what Imam Webb said in his initial facebook posts:
“Secondly, there is no dispute about the soundness of the narration. As a student of knowledge, you should know that there is no jarh without tafsil.
"It is reported with authentic chains that Ali (ra) celebrated the Persian New Year, even eating ice cream with Imam Abu Hanifa's relative."
It is indeed noble of Imam Webb that he should accept that he was wrong in stating that there ‘was no contention’ about the narration, however we find that he repeatedly pushed the fact that the narration was authentic without the least bit of doubt and based upon that he laid the foundation for the permissibility of celebrating festivals such as Nayrouz in the way that Ali (RA) had allegedly ‘celebrated’ it.
Imam Webb further states:
That being said, I question the takhrij of some of our dear Imams done on some of the chains. The chains of al-Khātib, while possibly problematic, a strengthened by the narration of al-Bayhaqi that, according to my teacher, is mutasil and authentic.
(See ATTH 4 below for Imam Webb’s original facebook post)
First of all, may we ask who is Imam Suhaib Webb to ‘question the takhrij’ of these Imams? Based on repeated mistakes in the science of Hadith (that I may catalog in a future response time permitting), he is very far from having any mastery over the Hadith Sciences such that he should make these bold and irritating statements repeatedly criticizing the muhaditheen who dedicated their lives to this science.[iv] If he had studied the Siyar of Imam al-Dhahabi, he would have known that Imam Dhahabi frequently takes narrations from al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi’s Tarikh. If one, were to consult the 15th
volume of al-Khatib’s text, they will find that the editor Shaykh Bashaar Awad Maaruf (a Hanafi scholar from whom I have read and received Ijazah) regards the hadith as weak owing to the Jahalah (unknown state) of more than one of its narrators.
Furthermore, the chains of al-Khateeb are not ‘possibly problematic’ they are not in the least bit acceptable for one to begin to assume that they can be used to base a ruling upon; such was the intention of Imam Webb who wanted to establish the permissibility of celebrating New Year’s by proving that Sayyiduna Ali (RA) ate ice-cream’ with Persians. I have not come across a single hadith scholar in the world past or present that has said that this narration is anything but weak or of a lesser grade which removes all certainty that this narration is ‘possibly problematic’ as stated by Imam Webb.
Imam Webb’s convenient use of Imam Bayhaqi’s narration
Imam Webb states: The chains of al-Khātib, while possibly problematic, a strengthened by the narration of al-Bayhaqi that, according to my teacher, is mutasil and authentic.
(See ATTH 4 below for Imam Webb’s original facebook post)
Imam Webb in trying to defend his initial incorrect statement on hadith shows us again his aptitude to fall into another incorrectness stating that the narration of Imam Bayhaqi is ‘Mutasil and authentic’. Again, the reality is that this narration is not Mutasil (lit: connected) but it is Munqati (lit: broken) because Imam Mohammed Ibn Sireen (RA) did not directly hear it from Sayyiduna Ali (RA) and this is well known to students and scholars of Hadith. Furthermore, the muhaditheen have stated five conditions for a narration to be regarded as authentic and as this narration lacks complete connection in the chain (one of the conditions), it cannot therefore be regarded in itself as authentic. Nevertheless, Ibn Sireen (RA) was regarded as the most reliable when relaying narrations from scholars that he did not clearly state he heard from. Could this then be the loophole that Imam Webb would like to take advantage of to support the ostensible ‘New Year’s’ ruling? Unfortunately, Imam Webb cannot use the narration of Bayhaqi to prove his premise that Sayyiduna Ali (RA) ate ice-cream with the Persians because there is absolutely no mention of that in the narration of al-Bayhaqi (RA). Let us now produce and examine the narration that Imam Webb has brought in his defence:
Fayrouz (New Year’s) narration from Imam Bayhaqi’s Sunan al-Kubra
أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ ، ثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، ثنا الحسن بن علي بن عفان ، ثنا أبو أسامة ، عن حماد بن زيد ، عن هشام ، عن محمد بن سيرين قال : أتي علي - رضي الله عنه - بهدية النيروز ، فقال : ما هذه ؟ قالوا : يا أمير المؤمنين ، هذا يوم النيروز . قال : فاصنعوا كل يوم فيروز . قال أبو أسامة : كره أن يقول نيروز . ( قال الشيخ ) : وفي هذا كالكراهة لتخصيص يوم بذلك لم يجعله الشرع مخصوصا به .
With the chain of narration to Mohammed ibn Sireen who stated: Ali (RA) was given a gift for Nayrouz so he asked, “What is this?” They replied, “Oh, Leader of the Believers today is Nayrouz” so he said to them, Then make every day Fayrouz. Abu Usama (one of the narrators in the sanad) said, “Ali (RA) disliked to say Nayrouz.” The Shaykh (Imam Bayhaqi) said, “And in this we see the dislike to single out a day for this that was not set by the Shariah”
What we can conclude from this narration?
Therefore from this specific narration we can conclude the following:
- Contrary to what Imam Webb would have us believe Imam Ali (RA) did not celebrate the Persian New Year. In fact, Sayyiduna Ali (RA) did not initially know the occasion that warranted this gift.
- This narration does not confirm that Sayyiduna Ali (RA) accepted the gift even if some contemporary scholars would like to prove it from this narration.
- He never congratulated them on their day of Nayrouz, but said Fayrouz and what he meant by this as understood by Abu Usama[v] (a narrator) was that he disliked to say Nayrouz and Imam Bayhaqi[vi] one of the greatest Shafi’ee Fuqaha states: “And in this we see the dislike to single out a day for this that was not set by the Shariah”
A selection of narrations proving Sayyiduna Ali (RA) never consumed Faloozaj.
- He did not eat ice-cream because no mention of ice-cream is made in this narration whatsoever. On the contrary, there are numerous narrations that prove that Sayyiduna Ali (RA) did not consume faloowzaj in his life.
Imam Suhaib Webb is adamant that Imam Ali (RA) consumed ice-cream in celebration of the Persian New Year and is trying in any which way to support this with any narration that he may grasp. Let us ask, has he not come across the following narrations that have much stronger chains of narration than the one provided by Imam Webb and which categorically state that Sayyiduna Ali (RA) never consumed ‘faloowzaj’ in his entire life owing mainly to his Zuhd (aversion for the worldly embellishments).
- From Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal’s (RA) book, “Virtues of the Sahabah”
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ , قَالَ : حَدَّثَنِي سُفْيَانُ بْنُ وَكِيعٍ ، قثنا أَبُو غَسَّانَ ، عَنْ أَبِي دَاوُدَ الْمَكْفُوفِ ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ شَرِيكٍ ، عَنْ حَبَّةَ وَهُوَ الْعُرَنِيُّ ، عَنْ عَلِيٍّ ، أَنَّهُ أُتِيَ بِفَالُوذَجَ فَوُضِعَ قُدَّامَهُ ، فَقَالَ : " إِنَّكَ لَطَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ ، حَسَنُ اللَّوْنِ ، طَيِّبُ الطَّعْمِ ، وَلَكِنِّي أَكْرَهُ أَنْ أُعَوِّدَ نَفْسِي مَا لَمْ تَعْتَدْ
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ , قَالَ : حَدَّثَنِي أَحْمَدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الدَّوْرَقِيُّ ، قثنا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ مَهْدِيٍّ ، قَالَ : قثنا سُفْيَانُ ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ قَيْسٍ ، عَنْ عَدِيِّ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ ، أَنَّ عَلِيًّا أُتِيَ بِفَالُوذَجَ ، فَلَمْ يَأْكُلْهُ ، قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ : وَذَكَرَ الْفَالُوذَجَ ، قَالَ : مَا رَأَيْتُهُ أَكَلَهُ قَطُّ ، يَعْنِي أَبَاهُ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ
- Musannif of Ibn Abi Shaybah
حَدَّثَنَا حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ , عَنْ سفيان , عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ قَيْسٍ , عَنْ عَدِيِّ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ , قَالَ : " أُتِيَ عَلِيٌّ بِطِسْتِخِوَانٍ مِنْ فَالُوذَجٍ فَلَمْ يَأْكُلْ مِنْهُ "
- Hilya al-Awliyah of Abu Nu’aym
حَدَّثَنَا حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ حَمْدَانَ ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي ، حَدَّثَنِي سُفْيَانُ بْنُ وَكِيعٍ ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو غَسَّانَ ، عَنْ أَبِي دَاوُدَ الْمَكْفُوفِ ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ شَرِيكٍ ، عَنْ جَدِّهِ ، عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ ، أَنَّهُ أُتِيَ بِفَالُوذَجَ فَوُضِعَ قُدَّامَهُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ ، فَقَالَ : " إِنَّكَ طَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ ، حَسَنُ اللَّوْنِ ، طَيِّبُ الطَّعْمِ ، لَكِنْ أَكْرَهُ أَنْ أُعَوِّدَ نَفْسِي مَا لَمْ تَعْتَدْهُ”
Imam Bayhaqi’s narration in its wholesome context not standalone
As I stated in my last response to our brother Imam Webb, scholars today have to be particularly careful when producing statements of Ulama from the past or narrations from the hadith corpus. It does not suffice to bring a narration from here or there and establish a ruling on it when one is unsure of the authenticity of the narration or may not understand the context of the narration. Yet again, and it saddens me, but we find our dear brother Imam Webb falling into this trap. He chooses to bring the narration of Imam al-Bayhaqi to support his initial premise of ‘celebrating New Years’, but we ask him, why don’t you state the chapter (context) that Imam al-Bayhaqi (a great Shafi Faqih) used this narration as proof for? What were the other narrations that Imam al-Bayhaqi brought in this same chapter? Could you use those to prove it is permissible to greet non-Muslims and even celebrate with them? Well, let us now produce and examine those narrations.
Imam al-Bayhaqi presents the above narration of Sayyiduna Ali (RA) in the chapter entitled. “The Chapter of the Dislike for Visiting Ahl adh-Dhimmah in their Churches and imitating them on their New Years’ and Festivals.
باب كراهية الدخول على أهل الذمة في كنائسهم ، والتشبه بهم يوم نيروزهم ومهرجانهم
It is clear then to Imam al-Bayhaqi (RA) that visiting their churches and imitating them in their festivals is far from encouraged and is indeed greatly disliked. In support of this he provides five narrations which I have briefly translated below:
أخبرنا أبو طاهر الفقيه ، أنبأ أبو بكر القطان ، ثنا أحمد بن يوسف السلمي ، ثنا محمد بن يوسف ، ثنا سفيان ، عن ثور بن يزيد ، عن عطاء بن دينار قال : قال عمر - رضي الله عنه : لا تعلموا رطانة الأعاجم ، ولا تدخلوا على المشركين في كنائسهم يوم عيدهم ، فإن السخطة تنزل عليهم
Sayyiduna Umar (RA) said: “…Do not enter upon the mushrikeen in their churches on their festivals because the wrath of Allah descends upon them.”
أخبرنا أبو بكر الفارسي ، أنبأ أبو إسحاق الأصفهاني ، ثنا أبو أحمد بن فارس ، ثنا محمد بن إسماعيل قال : قال لي ابن أبي مريم : ثنا نافع بن يزيد ، سمع سليمان بن أبي زينب ، وعمرو بن الحارث ، سمع سعيد بن سلمة ، سمع أباه ، سمع عمر بن الخطاب - رضي الله عنه - قال : اجتنبوا أعداء الله في عيدهم
Sayyiduna Umar (RA) said: “…Stay away from the enemies of Allah on their festivals.”
أخبرنا أبو طاهر الفقيه ، أنبأ أبو بكر القطان ، ثنا أحمد بن يوسف ، ثنا محمد بن يوسف قال : ذكر سفيان ، عن عوف ، عن الوليد ، أو أبي الوليد ، عن عبد الله بن عمرو قال : من بنى ببلاد الأعاجم ، وصنع نيروزهم ، ومهرجانهم ، وتشبه بهم حتى يموت ، وهو كذلك حشر معهم يوم القيامة . ( قال الشيخ الإمام - رحمه الله ) : قال الشيخ أبو سليمان - رحمه الله : بنى هو الصواب
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Amr said: “Whoever lives in the land of the non-Arabs and celebrates their New Years’ and their festivals and imitates them until he dies in that state will be resurrected with them on the day of Qiyamah.”
أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ ، ثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، ثنا الحسن بن علي بن عفان ، ثنا أبو أسامة ، ثنا عوف ، عن أبي المغيرة ، عن عبد الله بن عمرو قال : من بنى في بلاد الأعاجم فصنع نوروزهم ومهرجانهم ، وتشبه بهم حتى يموت ، وهو كذلك حشر معهم يوم القيامة . وهكذا رواه يحيى بن سعيد ، وابن أبي عدي ، وغندر ، وعبد الوهاب ، عن عوف ، عن أبي المغيرة ، عن عبد الله بن عمرو من قوله
This narration is similar to the above, but with different chains of narration to strengthen the first narration and is a common practice of all muhaditheen.
أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ ، ثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، ثنا الحسن بن علي بن عفان ، ثنا أبو أسامة ، عن حماد بن زيد ، عن هشام ، عن محمد بن سيرين قال : أتي علي - رضي الله عنه - بهدية النيروز ، فقال : ما هذه ؟ قالوا : يا أمير المؤمنين ، هذا يوم النيروز . قال : فاصنعوا كل يوم فيروز . قال أبو أسامة : كره أن يقول نيروز . ( قال الشيخ ) : وفي هذا كالكراهة لتخصيص يوم بذلك لم يجعله الشرع مخصوصا به
The narration regarding Sayyiduna Ali (RA) above that we have already discussed.
While I feel that there is still much that can be addressed on this issue and in the writing of Imam Webb, I believe that the few academic observations that Allah has given me the taufeeq to present above will suffice for any unbiased Muslim to read and reach the truth. Again I reiterate that it is my sincere hope that our dear brother Imam Suhaib Webb and other western speakers and scholars adhere to the Quran and Sunnah as understood by those who proceeded us on the sacred path and those that we have inherited this knowledge from, for no sooner do we leave their path then we become disillusioned and Allah forbid that we become misguided like so many before. May Allah continue to guide us all especially in these troubling times which our Beloved (salahu alayhi wasalam) prophesied would come upon us.
الحق أبلج والباطل لجلج
And Allah (elevated is He) knows best.
Servant of the Deen
[i] Imam Shafi’ee (RA) would say: ما ناظرني أحد فباليت أظهرت الحجة على لسانه أو على لساني
I have not debated a person except that it bothers me not, whether the proof is established on their tongue or on mine.
[ii] I had written this paragraph shortly before the facebook page of Imam Webb has returned to the internet after several weeks of absence. One distinct thing that a reader may notice is that contrary to before were one could go back and read posts from several months ago, now the posts only go back to the second week of January a few days after the my initial response appeared on his facebook page.
[iii] Can we not see the liberal Muslims in both the Arab world and the West who preach same-sex marriages, the taking off of the Hijab and other vices and who also feel that by doing a few Arabic language courses they have the authority to make Tafseer (exegesis) of the Quran.
[iv] See ATTH 5 for the criticism of hadith scholars and the initial response for a clarification.
[v] Abu Usama (RA) is none other than Hamad ibn Usuma ibn Zaid whose narrations appear in many of the famous hadith collections including the six canonical collections. He was very familiar with Persians and their customs as he was from Kufa and Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal (RA) said about him: "He was the most knowledgeable of all people regarding the affairs of the people and the happenings of the people of Kufa."
[vi] Imam al-Dhahabi (RA) states that the famous Shafi scholar Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni said
ما من فقيه شافعي إلا وللشافعي عليه منة إلا أبا بكر البيهقي ، فإن المنة له على الشافعي لتصانيفه في نصرة مذهبه
"There is no follower of the Shafi'ee madhab except that they are indebted to Imam al-Shafi'ee (RA) except Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi, for indeed al-Shafi'ee is indebted to him for the works he contributed to support his madhab."