Monday, 2 April 2012

Hadith:"Seek Knowledge as far as China"?




Hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم
"Seek knowledge even as far as China."

Hadith HASAN MASHHÛR - fair, famous.”

Note: Applied to a hadith, the term mashhûr refers to a type of ahad narration that has five to nine narrators at each link of its chain and is therefore nearly mass-narrated.

Note that this is not an index of its authenticity as a mashhûr hadith may be either 
sahîh, hasan, or da`îf.
Also, the label of mashhûr is sometimes given to merely famous narrations which are not nearly-mass-narrated.

Narrated from Anas by al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman and al-Madkhal, Ibn `Abd al-Barr in Jami` Bayan al-`Ilm, and al-Khatib through three chains at the opening of his al-Rihla fi Talab al-Hadith (p. 71-76 #1-3) where our shaykh Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr declares it weak (da`îf).
Also narrated from Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud, Jabir, and Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, all through very weak chains.

The hadith master al-Mizzi said it has so many chains that it deserves a grade of fair (hasan), as quoted by al-Sakhawi in al-Maqasid al-Hasana.
Al-`Iraqi in his Mughni `an Haml al-Asfar similarly stated that some scholars declared it sound (sahîh) for that reason, even if al-Hakim and al-Dhahabi correctly said no sound chain is known for it.
Ibn `Abd al-Barr's "Salafi" editor Abu al-Ashbal al-Zuhayri declares the hadith hasan in Jami` Bayan al-`Ilm (1:23ff.) but all the above fair gradings actually apply to the wording: 

"Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim."

The first to declare the "China" hadith forged seems to be Ibn al-Qaysarani (d. 507) in his Ma`rifa al-Tadhkira (p. 101 #118).
This grading was kept by Ibn al-Jawzi in his Mawdu`at but rejected, among others, by al-Suyuti in al-La'ali' (1:193), al-Mizzi, al-Dhahabi in Talkhis al-Wahiyat, al-Bajuri's student Shams al-Din al-Qawuqji (d. 1305) in his book al-Lu'lu' al-Marsu` (p. 40 #49), and notably by the Indian muhaddith Muhammad Tahir al-Fattani (d. 986) in his Tadhkira al-Mawdu`at (p. 17) in which he declares it hasan.

Al-Munawi, like Ibn `Abd al-Barr before him, gave an excellent explanation of the hadith in his Fayd al-Qadir (1:542). See also its discussion in al-`Ajluni's Kashf al-Khafa' under the hadith:

 "Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim,"

 itself a fair (hasan) narration in Ibn Majah because of its many chains as stated by al-Mizzi, although al-Nawawi in his Fatawa (p. 258) declared it weak while Dr. Muhammad `Ajaj al-Khatib in his notes on al-Khatib's al-Jami` (2:462-463) declared it "sound due to its witness-chains" (sahîh li ghayrih). Cf. al-Sindi's Hashya Sunan Ibn Majah (1:99), al-Munawi's Fayd al-Qadir (4:267) and al-Sakhawi's al-Maqasid al-Hasana (p. 275-277).

Unfortunately, this documentation is incomplete as it does not cover the often-quoted words

 "from the cradle to the grave" 

also attributed to the Prophet (PBUH) as part of these germane narrations, but I was so far unable to trace the chain(s) for that wording.

Wallahu Ta`ala A`lam wa Ahkam.
{Glory to You, we know nothing except what You taught us.}
Allah Most High bless and greet the Apple of our eyes, Sayyidina Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and all his Family and Companions!

Hajj Gibril
Shaykh GF Haddad ©
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 is one of the oldest mosques in the world, built by the Holy Prophets maternal uncle, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas 
(Built in 627AD)

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The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
 "The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim."
 [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74] (Related by Ibn 'Adiyy, Al-Bayhaqi & Al-Tabarani)
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Imam As-Suyuti's Treatise on the Hadith
"Seeking Ilm is Obligatory on Every Muslim"

A treatise written by Imam As-Suyuti wherein he collects 49 narratives of the hadith
طلب العلم فريضة على كل مسلم
“Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim [and in another narration it uses the feminine form as well "and Muslimah"].”

He begins the brief treatise with stating that Imam An-Nawawi (r) was asked whether or not this hadith was authentic and to which he responded that the hadith is da’if (weak), although its meaning is Sahih (authentic/in this case it means ‘correct’).

As-Suyuti then quotes the opinion of Hafith Al-Mizzi stating that this hadith reaches the level of Hasan(reliable/good hadith).

By quoting the view of the erudite master Imam An-Nawawi that this hadith is in fact weak in chain and sound in meaning, Imam As-Suyuti sets the stage for an intense hadithic drama.
 By then quoting the contradicting opinion of Imam Al-Mizzi, the student of hadith immediately gets the impression that this treatise is going to be no lightweight article of empty air.
In fact, Imam As-Suyuti is throwing himself into the fray of scholarly discord.

(It is as though Imam As-Suyuti is saying, ‘Alright, you want to see why the scholars disagree my little padawan, prepare yourself for so many narratives that you will wish you never asked!’)

Yes Indeed!

Imam As-Suyuti’s goal here is not to judge the credentials of the hadith or to delve deeply into the authenticity of the chains. Such he leaves to generations after him to worry about.
Instead, Imam As-Suyuti collects every narrative of this hadith he could find – 49 in all – leaving the student/scholar to have at it.
In fact after reading only Imam As-Suyuti’s treatise, without any commentary from another, I came to the conclusion that this treatise by itself, expresses the amazing caliber of Imam As-Suyuti in hadith.
He quotes from over 25 different works, some of which are very hard to come by in our era of ‘print everything even if it’s on the cheap’, so I cannot even imagine how difficult these works were to come by in 900 A.H.!

Unfortunately for me and for those who want to download this treatise from Seekingilm, the introduction and research of this treatise has been done by the pseudo-salafi
 ‘Ali ibn Al-Hasan Al-Halabi, the hardheaded padawon and defender of Muhammad Al-Albani.

I am not sure what made him think he has the authority to do a tahqiq of this masterpiece, oh ya that’s right pseudo-salafis need no authority/permission to play with the scholars works!

So what we have in this treatise is a pseudo-salafi attempt at “researching” the narratives forwarded by Imam As-Suyuti, in other words follow whatever Muhammad Al-Albani said or did – although in fairness there are a few occassions where ‘Ali Halabi disagrees with his master.

1) Ibn Abdul Barr reports this hadith from Anas ibn Malik (Suyuti’s number 19) through the chain of Ya’qub ibn Ishaq Al-’Asqalani from Ubayd [Allah (SWT)] ibn Muhammad Al-Faryabi from from Sufyan ibn ’Uyanah from Az-Zuhri from Anas ibn Malik…
So ’Ali Al-Halabi quotes his master Al-Albani as saying, “I was unable to find the entries for Ya’qub Al-’Asqalani and Ubayd Al-Faryabi!” 
Halabi also says, “this was also said by ‘our brother’ Al-Huwayni.” [Pages 20-21 in the footnotes]
Ali Al-Halabi then says: “I say: Al-’Asqalani’s entry is found in the Mizan of Adh-Dhahabi and he said of him ‘Liar!’ (4/449) And Al-Hafith Ibn Hajr claimed that in his Al-Lisan (6/304) that the scholars ‘disagreed regarding him’.”

2) In hadith 44 that is reported through Malik ibn Anas from Nafi’ from Ibn Umar, within the commentary Al-Halabi says: “Our  Shaykh Al-Albani declared this hadith hasan!”
Al-Halabi disagrees saying that it is not Ahmad ibn Ibrahim Al-Mawsuli as Al-Albani thought.
 Rather his name is Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Musaa of whom ibn Hibban stated, “It is not permissible to seek support with him.”

Ibn ‘Adi called him “Munkar Al-Hadith”. He then quotes the scholars saying there is no basis for this hadith as Ibn Hibban said, “There is no basis (asl) for this hadith from ibn Umar, or from Nafi’, or from Malik [ibn Anas], it is only reported via Anas ibn Malik and it is not an authentic hadith (sahih).”
[See page 33 in the footnotes]

Another interesting issue that proves the “pseudo-salafiness” of this commentary is that ‘Ali Al-Halabi condemns Abu Hanifah as weak according to the “Jumhoor (majority) of the scholars of hadith!” [See bottom of page 23]

Note the download is ARABIC ONLY:
Download here

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Guang Ta minaret, Huaisheng Mosque, Guangzhou, China. 
According to tradition, the mosque was founded in 627. The minaret was built in the 10th century. Photograph by Felice Beato, April 1860.

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Quote from Dr. Mahatir Muhammad the former prime minister of Malaysia regarding this hadith. I would like to acknowledge that Dr. Mahatir is not a scholar of hadith but his stance on this matter seems to be different from other so I thought it would be helpful to reproduce it here.

A hadith says: “Seek knowledge even as far as China.” It was pointed out by detractors that this was just a saying of the Prophet (PBUH) and it was not a command from God. When they disagreed with a particular hadith, they were quick to discredit it and refused to acknowledge it as a source of Islamic teaching.
But if they subscribed to it, then they would not cease to highlight it repeatedly, even if it’s authenticity is doubted.
Surely seeking knowledge in China does not mean Islamic knowledge. During the Prophet’s period, China was also known to have deep knowledge in such fields as medicine, literature and paper, explosives and many others...
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Islam in china
Introduction of Islam in 616-18 AD

Islam in China has a rich heritage. Islam was first introduced in China in 616-18 AD by Sahaba (companions) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) namely Waqqas (Sad ibn abi Waqqas), Sayid, Wahab ibn Abu Kabcha and another Sahaba.

Wahab ibn abu Kabcha (Wahb abi Kabcha) might be a son of al-Harth ibn Abdul Uzza (known as Abu Kabsha). See the text: "The Prophet was entrusted to Halimah...Her husband was Al-Harith bin Abdul Uzza called Abi Kabshah, from the same tribe".

It is noted in other accounts that Wahab Abu Kabcha reached Canton by sea in 629 CE.
Sa`ad ibn Abi Waqqas along with three Sahabas, namely Suhayla Abuarja, Uwais al-Qarni (594-657), and Hassan ibn Thabit (554-674), went to China fromPersia in 637 for the second time and returned by the Yunan-Manipur-Chittagong route, then reached Arabia by sea.

Some date the introduction of Islam in China to 650 AD which is the instance of third sojourn of Sad ibn abi Waqqas to China,

Sa`ad ibn Abi Waqqas, was sent as an official envoy to Emperor Gaozong which was his third sojourn during Caliph Uthman's era in 651 AD.

 Throughout the history of Islam in China, Chinese Muslims have influenced the course of Chinese history.

more info:Here

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Zheng He: 
Muslim Chinese Admiral and Navigator
Zheng He (1371–1435, 鄭和 / 郑和; pinyin: Zhèng Hé), also known as Ma Sanbao  and Hajji Mahmud Shamsuddin was a Hui Chinese  





watch video:Here
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Read : Here
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Zheng He's Voyages of Discovery


On April 12 Jin Wu, distinguished oceanic scientist and former Minister of Education of the Republic of China (on Taiwan), discussed Zheng He's voyages of discovery and the upcoming celebrations of the 600th anniversary of his first voyage.
In his talk, Professor Wu emphasized that, especially since the documentary record surrounding Zheng He (sometimes written Cheng Ho; 1371-1435) and his voyages is so thin, oceanic scientists and engineers and other physical scientists can provide important insights to supplement the work of historians.

Historical Background

Professor Wu began by briefly retracing the history of Zheng He's voyages. Upon the orders of the emperor Yongle and his successor, Xuande, Zheng He commanded seven expeditions, the first in the year 1405 and the last in 1430, which sailed from China to the west, reaching as far as the Cape of Good Hope. The object of the voyages was to display the glory and might of the Chinese Ming dynasty and to collect tribute from the "barbarians from beyond the seas." Merchants also accompanied Zheng's voyages, Wu explained, bringing with them silks and porcelain to trade for foreign luxuries such as spices and jewels and tropical woods.
These voyages, Professor Wu noted, came a few decades before most of the famous European voyages of discovery known to all Western school children: Christopher Columbus, in 1492; Vasco da Gama, in 1498; and Ferdinand Magellan, in 1521. However, Zheng He's fleets were incomparable larger. According to figures presented by Professor Wu:
read more: Here

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China Discovered America in 1421
watch video:Here
Who Really Discovered America?
History Channel (Part 1)
watch video:Here


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Ibn Battuta 


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Journeys Into Islamic China, Xi'an - Huda Documentary 



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Imam Ghazali of ChinaHu Dengzhou: A biography
Hu DengZhou (胡登洲), is big Chinese Muslim scholars, and the founder of Jingtang JiaoYu (經堂教育), Chinese Madrassa system. Muslims of later generation called him Hu Taishi, “Master Hu" (胡太師), Or Hu Taishi Baba (胡太師巴巴). He was born in 1522 in a wealthy family in XianYang, Shanxi. Hu Dengzhou was highly gifted and talented at a very young age. During his childhood, he studied Confucian text as well as Islamic books. When he grew up he studied Farsi and Arabic langauge under local Imams, and he was well versed in Aqidah, Hanafi fiqh and Islamic philosophy.
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Yusuf Ma Dexin (also Ma Tesing; 1794–1874) was a Hui Chinese scholar of Islam from Yunnan, known for his fluency and proficiency in both Arabic and Persian, and for his knowledge of Islam.
He also went by the Chinese name Ma Fuchu. He used the Arabic name Abd al-Qayyum Ruh al-Din Yusuf (عبد القيوم روح الدين يوسف).

He was also styled as "Mawlana al-Hajj Yusuf Ruh al-Din Ma Fujuh" (مولانا الحاج يوسف روح الدين ما فو جوه).

Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar was an ancestor in the 25th generation of Ma Dexin.

Ma performed the Hajj in 1841, leaving China by a circuitous route; as ocean travel out of China had been disrupted by the Opium War, he chose instead to leave with a group of Muslim merchants travelling overland. After passing through Xishuangbanna, they went south to Burma, then took a riverboat along the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Rangoon. From Rangoon, they were able to board a steamship which took them all the way to the Arabian Peninsula.[4] After his time in Mecca, he stayed in the Middle East for another eight years; he first went to Cairo, where he studied at Al-Azhar University, then travelled throughout the Ottoman Empire, going to SuezAlexandriaJerusalemIstanbulCyprus, and Rhodes.

Return to China
As a prominent Muslim in Yunnan, Ma became involved in the Panthay Rebellion in Yunnan shortly after he returned from the Hajj. The Panthay Rebellion, which flared up in 1856 as part of a wider series of uprisings by Muslims and other minorities, was led mainly by Du Wenxiu; though Ma disagreed with Du Wenxiu's revolutionary methods, he also encouraged his followers to aid in the uprising; later, he would try to act as a peacemaker between the central government forces and the rebels.[6]Ma Dexin said that Neo-Confucianism was reconcilable with Islam, approved of Ma Rulong defecting to the Qing and he also assisted other Muslims in defecting.[7]However, despite his efforts to bring about peace, the Qing government still regarded him as a rebel and a traitor; he was executed two years after the suppression of the rebellion.[1] Europeans reported that he was either poisoned or executed.[8]

Works
Sources say that Ma produced the first Chinese translation of the Qur'an, as well as writing numerous books in Arabic and Persian about Islam.

His most famous writings compared Islamic culture and the Confucian philosophy in an effort to find a theoretical and theological basis for their coexistence. At the same time, he harshly criticised the absorption of Buddhist and Taoist elements into the practise of Islam in China. As he is generally regarded as an orthodox Islamic thinker, his writings also demonstrated a positive attitude towards Tasawwuf, or Sufi mysticism. In total, he published over 30 books, most of which fall into five categories.

Islamic jurisprudence and philosophy:
 四典要会, 大化总归, 道行究竟, 理学折衷, 性命宗旨, 礼法启 据理质证,
Islamic calendar and history:
 寰宇述要 (Description of the World), 天方历源 (History of Arabia)
Introduction and analysis of works of other Muslim authors in China, such as Ma Zhu and Liu Zhu:
诠要录, 指南要言, 天方性理注
Qur'an: the first five volumes of 宝命真经直解 (True Revealed Scripture), the earliest translation of the meanings of the Qur'an into Chinese
Arabic grammar: 纳哈五 (Nahawu), 赛尔夫 (Saierfu), 阿瓦米勒 (Awamile)
Other: 觐途记 (Diary of a pilgrimage), a description of his time in Mecca; originally in Arabic, translated to Chinese by Ma's disciple Ma Anli

Ma Dexin appears to have picked up anti-Shia hatred from his time in the Ottoman lands and referred to them by the derogatory name Rafida 废子 in his works which attacked and criticized Shias and Sufis. Ma, like other most other Hui in China, belonged to the Hanafi Madhhab of Sunni Islam.

The Chinese Muslim Arabic writing scholars Ma Lianyuan 馬聯元 1841-1903 was trained by Ma Fuchu 馬复初 1794-1874 in Yunnan with Ma Lianyuan writing books on law 'Umdat al-'Islām (عمدة الإسلام) شىي ش grammar book on arf (صرف) called Hawā and Ma Fuchu writing a grammar book on naw (نحو) called Muttasiq (متسق) and Kāfiya (كافية). Šar al-laā'if (شرح اللطائفLiu Zhi's The Philosophy of Arabia 天方性理 (Tianfang Xingli) Arabic translation by (Muammad Nūr al-aqq ibn Luqmān as-īnī) (محمد نور الحق إبن لقمان الصيني), the Arabic name of Ma Lianyuan. Islamic names, du'ā' (دُعَاء), ġusl (غسل), prayers, and other ceremonies were taught in the Miscellaneous studies (Zaxue) 雜學 while 'āyāt (آيات) from the Qur'ān were taught in the Xatm al-Qur'ān (ختم القرآن) (Haiting).

 Ma Fuchu brought an Arabic Qasidat (Gesuide jizhu 格随德集注) poem to China. It was al-Būīrī's Qaīdat al-Burda.