The Tradition of Tajdeed In West Africa

The Tradition of Tajdeed In West Africa

by Dr. Usman Bugage

Tradition in the Sokoto Caliphate

From the ninth century to date, Islam has been spreading in the West African region. Even western scholarship (1) has had to concede the fact that in course of these twelve centuries Islam had brought literacy, integrated various ethnic groups, boosted trade and commerce, built states of varying complexities and developed such centers of learning that produced scholars (2) of international repute. At the time of the European invasion in the late 19th and early 20th century it was Islam that put up the greatest resistance to imperialism and what remains of the indigenous features of the region owes more to Islam’s cultural and ideological resistance than to anything else.

Thus the history of West Africa is largely the history of Islam in West Africa. For not only did Islam launch the region into history but it directed and shaped events in the region since the last twelve centuries. And today t remains the only hope the for region against the onslaught of imperialism with its army of Christian missionaries, secular elites and the I.M.F’s and its multi-national fronts.

Of course Islam did not accomplish these achievements and attained position of prominence instantly. Rather, this was a very gradual, if persistent, process made up of distinct phases one leading inevitably to the other. Five such phases (3) are easily discernible:-

First Phase: This covers the period from the ninth to the thirteenth century. During this period Islam spread gradually and for the most part peacefully. The main agents of Islamisation during this period appear to be itinerant traders, a few scholars (mostly Berbers) and equally effective ardent indigenous converts. As the educational institutions had not then take concrete shape, systematic learning as such did not obtain on a general level. Indeed it was during this period the first Islamic State of Takrur was formed, it was during the same period the Al-Murabit movement emerged. But these were exceptions to the general role and the latter in particular points to the dearth of knowledge of Islam among the Muslims of the period for it was this dearth which primarily occasioned its emergence.

Second Phase: This covers the period from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth century. This is the phase in which the Muslim states of Mali and Songhay emerged and developed, Borno which had emerged much earlier reached maturation under Idris Aloma while many Hausa States notably Kano and Katsina became Islamized. More importantly this was the period during which educational centers developed and produced a multitude of indigenous scholars like Abdur-Rahman al-Sa’adi, Mahmud al-ka’ati, Ahmad Baba and his Shaykh Ahmad Baghouyogho, al-Barnawi, Muhammad al-kashnawi and a host of others. It was also the period when the region received visiting scholars such as Muhammad al-al-Maghīlī who were to sharpen the taste of scholarship and hasten the process of Islamisation.

Third Phase: This covers the period from the 17th century to eighteenth century. This was a phase which started with the Moroccan invasion of Songhay during which Timbuktu, which had become the intellectual center of the region, was sacked. The destruction of the state of Songhay and the sacking of Timbuktu with the consequent dispersal of scholars combined to rob the region its political stability and intellectual stamina. While the political vacuum plunged Hausa States into inter-state destructive warfare, the dearth of scholarship gave pagan beliefs a chance to resurface. Thus plunging the greater part of the region into ignorance, injustice and oppression often under the patronage of venal scholars (ulama al-su). These were the very conditions which occasioned the next phase.

Fourth Phase: This was the phase of the Jihad elements which though began in the 18th century (Karamako Alfa in Futa Toro 1720’s, Sulayman Ba’alin Futa Jallon 1170’s) were in the main concentrated in the 19th century. In fact a few skirmishes continued well unto the 20th century in the Sene-gambia region. This was a phase during which Muslim scholars took up their responsibly of education Muslims ad mobilizing them against the inequities, moral laxities and the excess of rulers (or more properly the oppressors) of their land.

The leading figures were Shaykh Dan Fodio in early 19th century Hausaland, Ahmad Labbo a little later in 1818 and Shaykh Umar al-Futi in mid 19th century Sene-gambia and Bambara region. In each case these Mujahiddeen established Islamic States which held their bounds until yet another invasions this time by European Imperialism. This invasion very much like the Moroccan one marked the beginning of another phase.

Fifth Phase: This was a phase which began in earnest at the beginning of this twentieth century to this day. It is a phase in which European imperialism, in their bid to control the human and material resource of the region, invaded and destroyed the politics in the region and instituted such arrangements as would ensure maximum plunder and exploitation of the material and human resource of the region. This was also a phase in which Islam became the target of a vicious and desperate attack by western imperialism and its agencies. The physical attack by the colonizing army was immediately followed with a psychological warfare. The sharia was replaced by English or French law and any demand for the Sharia was treated as a treasonable offense. The whole Government machinery was operated as if Muslims never existed at all. Educational institutions were opened with courses clearly designed to produce an army of secular elite eager to be employed to protect the status quo. The institutions of defense and security were designed to attack and the slightest move by Muslims to bring Islam again. Meanwhile the mass media is busy dissuading them from the idea of any Islam beyond the mosque and persuading them to give their total loyalty to a government which has blatantly refused them their freedom to live as Muslims all in the name of peace. With the glaring failure of these neocolonial Governments to deliver any goods even its greatest promise of material progress, the future of this arrangement is now being questioned. Islam is once again emerging as a viable alternative to take its rightful place in the scheme of things.

From the foregoing short and sketchy account three points become very clear. That Islam has immense capacity for integrating groups and building great and powerful states. Kanem-Bornu, Mansa Musa’s Mali, Askia’s Songhay, the Sokoto caliphate remain to be the most complex and powerful states that Africa has seen. Their territorial spread, political complexity and military power was unprecedented throughout Africa’s history. That Islam was able to sustain these development over such a long period of time, consistently maintaining its position of prominence points to Islam’s resourcefulness, and capacity to meet challenges. By reasserting itself once again after periods of lapse, Islam exhibits such resilience as not other system known to Mankind. This unique feature of Islam in particular has understandably been a great source of worry to its enemies, European Imperialism in particular.

Islam owes a lot of this power resourcefulness and resilience to knowledge. For Islam has placed its highest premium on knowledge. By making the search for knowledge an obligation on each of its adherents (male and female, young and old), by making the pursuit of knowledge as the most rewarding of endeavour and by making knowledge as the basis of both individual as well as collective action, Islam secured for itself the most formidable weapon humanity has ever known. Subsisting wholly on, anchored securely in scholarship Islam moved gradually but confidently and persistently, eroding the basis of local Jahiliyya and imparting its universal culture and establishing its own society which was always better than the one it found. Knowledge and scholarship, remained the life vein of this transformation.

But human being as indeed human society, is subject to lapses and often the pursuit of knowledge is slackened and scholarship falls to a level where society stagnates or even retrogresses. In such circumstances, the ultimate hope for the Muslim society is a process of rejuvenation which necessarily begins with a regeneration of knowledge and scholarship, the spread of this knowledge to the wider society and ends up with the application of such knowledge in society with all the transformation that has to go with it. This process of rejuvenation and revitalization of society is what in Islam in known as Tajdeed, and those that initiate this process or see it through to its logical conclusion are called Mujahiddun, (sing, Mujaddid). fully aware of human limitations and failure, Allah the Most High, out of His mercy for mankind, promised to raise individual (s) who will undertake the task of Tajdeed at the head of each century. As Abu Dawud narrated in an authentic hadith “From Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: Verily Allah will raise for this Ummah at the head of every hundred years one (s) who will renew for her, her Deen (way of life).”

Muslim scholars have made extensive commentary on this Hadith in an effort to further clarify the text and expound on the concept of Tajdeed. Suyudi’s work (4) on Tajdeed, Al al-Maghīlī’s Ajwibat, (5) Bustani’s work (6) on the concept of Tajdeed provide a rich sources of such commentaries. We need not detain ourselves with such details here. For the purpose of this paper it may suffice us to note that many scholars have agreed that the Mujaddid need not be one given century. They could be, as indeed there were, several Majaddidun each undertaking Tajdeed in his own domain. there could even be more than one at a time for a given areas. One may even add that the reference to one hundred years not be literal. It may simply refer to such intervals as may be there between one Mujaddid to the other.

It is important to note that Tajdeed (renewing) of the Deen (way of life)’ of the Muslim Ummah is a technical expression connoting a total societal change. It is a profound and comprehensive change which seeks to return the Muslim society to its purity free from he decadence and lethargy that had crept in over a period of time. This change to be sure must necessarily start with pursuit and spread of knowledge which leads to the erosion of the intellectual and cultural basis of the decadent order and ultimately end up with a total societal change – a revolution

The Al-Murabit Factor

The history of Tajdeed in West Africa is nearly as old as the history of Islam itself. By the ninth century Islam had already reached the Sene-gambian region and Kanem on the he eastern edge of West Africa. By early 11th century the Islamic State of Tukrur had emerged. To the north of Tukrur were the Sanhaja Berbers who must have been Islamized much earlier than Tukrur. But by 1030’s their level of ignorance and lack of compliance with Islam was such as to warrant their leader Yahya b. Ibrahim al-Guladi on his way back from Hajj, to request Shaykh Abu Imran al-Fasi at Qayrawan to assign for him a teacher from the latter’s students to return with him and instruct his people. The responsibility of undertaking this task of instructing the Sanhaja fell on Abdullahi B. Yasin. (7) Ibn Abi Zar’s account may be worth recounting:

“When he (Abd Allah b. Yasin) arrived with Yahya b. Ibrahim in the land Sanhaja … he began to teach them religion and to explain the Law and the Sunnah to them, to command them to do good and to forbid them to do evil.

When they saw that he was intent on making them abandon their wicked ways they shook him off turned away from him, and shunned him, for they found his actions burdensome … When Abd Allah b. Yasin saw their opposition and the way in which they followed their fancies he wished to leave them and go to the land of the Sudan who had adopted Islam … but Yahya b. Ibrahim would not let him, saying: “I shall not let you go away for I brought you here only that your learning might profit my person, my religion, and those of my people for whom I am responsible …” (8)

Yahya b. Ibrahim was able to convince Abd Allah b. Yasin to leave for an island in the sea, a kind of Hijra, where he made a ribat teaching his students Qur’an among others. The number of his students grew until he was in a position to return to the Sanhaja fighting those who remain adamant and refuse to mend their corrupt way of life. From here Abd Allah Yasin appointed Yahya b. Umar as a Military commander and with their expanding team of students (murabitun) they conquered the Magrib as far as Spain.

It is significant that Abd Allah b. Yasin had to make a kind of Hijra during which he devoted time for the study of the Qur’an. This is not only a reflection of selflessness but much more. It is also significant that he was rigorous to a point where his very mission became threatened.

This thoroughness of Abd Allah b. Yasin which became hallmark of the al-murabit appear to have been the influence of their grand Shaykh, al-Fasi. For it was the latter’s strictness which apparently led him to fall out with the rulers of Fez of his time warranting his leaving Fez for Qayrawan where he settled and taught until his death.

The extent of al-Murabit’s effect on the development of Islam in western Sudan is still to be assessed. But it was clear that some of the Berber tribes which participated in the al-Murabit movement moved south and settled around the bank of the Niger River which al-Bakri the historian mistook for the Nile. (9) It appears that it was these elements that formed the nucleus of the school of the region. Diakha and Jenne the earliest educational centers which later fed Timbuktu appear to have developed under scholars with al-Murabit links. Timbuktu itself started as a camp for a Sanhaja tribe which made up the al-murabit movement. (10) The Nasiba of the leading scholarly family of Ahmad aba of Timbuktu the Aqits, has been traced back to Abubakar b. Umar the brother of Yahya b. Umar the Military Commander of al-Murabit. (11) This point is further reinforced by the fact that the leading texts studied at the educational institutions of the region, like al-shifa, of Qadi Iyad, Mudawana of Sahnun, Risala of Abu Zaid al-Qayrawani, etc. are mainly the writings of the North African and Andalusian (Spanish) scholars.

The point that is being made here is that the al-murabit made the first attempt at Tajdeed in the region. This attempt had generated a spate of scholarship which formed the nucleus of the educational centers in the region of West Africa. This scholarship appear to have set the tempo of and continued to influence the intellectual climate for along time leaving a permanent stamp on the he intellectual tradition in the region. This intellectual tradition produced chain of scholars for the region, through whose activity knowledge and scholarship spread far and wide in the vast region.

The Al Maghīlī Factor

The next significant input into the tradition of Tajdeed in West Africa seems to be that of Muhammad Abd al-Karim al-al-Maghīlī the visiting scholar who came to the region late in the 15th century, when Muslims were yet to recover from their expulsion from Andalusia, al-Maghīlī spent a good part of his life defending the integrity of the Muslim Ummah and the supremacy of the Sharia. He had to fight fierce intellectual and later physical battle again unjust and corrupt Muslim leaders, their venal scholars and the Jews who had monopolized the economy and had begun to flout the Sharia with impunity. It was in the midst of this struggle and in the spirit of revitalizing the Muslim Ummah al-al-Maghīlī left Tuwat in North Africa for West Africa. His zeal for the total and correct application of the Sharia and his impatience with unjust and venal scholars is thus understandable.

Al-al-Maghīlī’s presence in West Africa seemed to have come at an opportuned time when sufficient awareness of Islam has been generated in the region to make rulers ready and willing to apply Islam. Coming from North Africa, whence most of the basic Islamic literature in West Africa came, operating within the same Maliki Mazhab al-al-Maghīlī found himself intellectually at home in the region. Thus almost where ever he went, Air, Katsina, Kano, Gao, he was highly welcomed and immediately involved int he process of the application of Islam. A great teacher in Takedda, in Air; Qadi in Katsina for many years; a legal and political adviser in Kano where he wrote for Sarki Muhammad Rumfa, Taj al-Din fi ma yajib ala’l muluk; in Gao, Songhay, the ideologue and architect of the State of Songhay under Askia Muhammad; al-al-Maghīlī succeeded in injecting a new drive into intellectual tradition and invigorated the social and political clime of the whole region.

Al-al-Maghīlī’s celebrated success in the region in as much a product of his zeal and vigor as the tradition of scholarship in the region which had always an inclination for thoroughness and precision. Indeed the presence of al-al-Maghīlī only gave a further push and reinforcement to a feature which scholarship in the region had been known to posses from the time of al-Murabit. Al-al-Maghīlī’s experience in North Africa had, however something new and precious to add to this tradition. Al-al-Maghīlī’s encounter with corrupt Muslim rulers and Ulama al-Su’, venal scholars who he sometimes calls ru’asa-ul-zalimin, the chief oppressor, (12) helped sharpened the regions taste for leadership and scholarship and developed for it a standard with which to gauge the scholars and rulers of the region. Thus the intellectual tradition was given new challenges to meet and the society taste to be satisfied.

Al-al-Maghīlī was of course not the only scholar of repute who had access to the region in the late 15th century. His contemporary Jalaluddeen al-Suyuti of Egypt was well known in the region. Many of Suyuti’s books were circulating in the region, many of the pilgrims from the region who go through Egypt met Suyuti (13) and many have sought for his legal opinion (fatwa) on maters. (14) But speaking from the the comfort of his late Mamluk Egypt, free from the kind of conflict al-al-Maghīlī lived with in North Africa, Suyutis’ writings though generally useful may have sounded a little milder than their situation demanded. In any case Suyuti did not have the benefit or being in the region to appreciate the region’s real needs and circumstances. For Askia Muhammad who had met both Suyuti in Egypt and al-al-Maghīlī at home in Songhay found in the latter the vigor and thoroughness he needed.

This impetus which the intellectual tradition as well as the social and political climate received from al-al-Maghīlī was what generated a spate of scholarship which produced such scholars of high learning and virtue like Muhammad Baghaygho, whose student Ahmad Baba of Timbuktu considered a Mujaddid. Though this delicate process was jeopardized by the Moroccan invasion of Songhay at the end of the 16th century, the vital ideas it had generated were kept alive by such scholars as al-Barnawi (15) of Katsina. It were these scholars who bore with courage the risks of preserving these ideas and conveying it to the leaders of the Tajdeed movements of the 19th century. One needs to see Ida’al-Nusukh of Abdullah Dan Fodio, Infaq – al-maysur of Muhammad Bello and such works of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio as Kitab al-Farq to see the role these scholars played in providing this link. (16) Indeed many of the writings of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio, like Hisn al-Afham, Bayan Wujub al-Hijra, Siraj al-Ikhwan, reveal the extent of al-al-Maghīlī’s influence on the Shehu. Even the temperaments of of Shehu Usman and his team, Ahmad Labbo and Umar al-Futi clearly bore the thoroughness and conscientiousness of the al-Murabit and al-al-Maghīlī.

The Tajdeed Movements of the 19th Century

Sequel to the Moroccan invasion of Songhay in 1591, the region lost not only its source of inspiration but also the restraining force of Songhay whose political influence had reached as far as Sene-gambia to the west and Hausaland to the east. With the scholars of Timbuktu scattered, some like Ahmad Baba taken in chains to Morocco, the intellectual stamina of the region became weak and the tempo of scholarship went down, to pick up only later on the eve of the Jihads. Matters were made worse by the political vacuum which the demise of Songhay created. The weakness of Borno at that time did not help the situation. Lacking in any regional power strong enough to check the excess of other states, the region slipped back into interstate warfare with its effect on security, commerce and learning. The resulting chaotic and desperate situation gave a receding paganism a chance to resurface leading to syncretism, decadence, heavy taxation and other forms of oppression b rulers.

The ideas of Tajdeed that were preserved amidst the corruption and injustices of the 17th and 18th centuries were eventually to find their way to their deserving heirs. Rather suddenly, for the whole of the 19th century, the region was seized by series of revolutions that were to totally change it complexion. Syncretism along with the decadence and injustice it fostered was terminated, Islamic states were re-established, learning and commerce went unhampered under the peace and security the new arrangement brought. To be sure these revolutions started even before the 19th century, and were to continue until the first two decades or so of this century. There was al-Karamako Alfa Ibrahim b. Nuhu in Futa Jallon as early as 1725, there was Sulayman Baal in Senegal valley in 1775, and Ahmad Bamba d. 1927 in Sene-gambian region among many others. (17) Restricted by a number of factors these Jihads were of limited scale, their effects largely limited to their locality. For our purpose we only wish to consider the three major ones: Usman Dan Fodio in Hausaland, Ahmad Labbo in Masina and Umar al-Futi in Sene-gambia. What we are primarily interested here is such outline as will allow us to discern the pattern of these Tajdeed movements.

Shehu Usman Dan Fodio

Moved by the level of ignorance among people the Shehu, as early as 1774, then at the age of 20, embarked on teaching people the basics of Islam. He quite naturally started single handedly around his home town Degel in the Hausa State of Gobir, but was soon to be assisted by his brother Abdullahi 12 year his junior. As they began to expand their teaching programs to different parts of Gobir and beyond into other Hausa States like Zamfara they were joined by another hand who though much younger was crucial tot he success of the venture. This was Shehu Usman’s son Muhammad Bello. The three put together formed the triumvirate that led this movement, intellectually and politically, saw it through to its logical conclusion and even had the rare opportunity of translating into practice the ideas they spent the whole of their lives fighting for.

While the triumvirate were undertaking the painstaking task of educating the general public of Hausaland, which they saw as their primary assignment, they were also learning from as many Shaykhs as were around and reading as many books as were available. That Abdullah could not remember all those Shaykhs form whom they took knowledge, (18) that Muhammad Bello alone read about 20,000 books, (19) not to mention the grand Shaykh Usman Dan Fodio, may give one a glimpse to their level of scholarship. “The breadth of their knowledge of Arabic writings” writes Professor Abdullahi Smith “Is particularly remarkable when it is realized that none of them eve visited North Africa or the Middle East.” “This learning of the leaders” continued Smith:

“Showed itself in their writings which were voluminous. The astonishing total of 258 books and pamphlets is at present provisionally attributed to the triumvirate, and this is probably not a complete list. These writings cover a very wide range of subjects including all the classical Islamic Sciences, as well as history, mysticism and medicine … This literary output is particularly noteworthy when it is remembered that a large number of these books were written in the midst of active campaigning, and that they do not include official correspondence which the leaders (especially Muhammad Bello) had to keep up with their supporters in the field.” (20)

For nearly 20 years the triumvirate and the expanding team of disciples and students traveled the length and breadth of Hausaland, teaching the basics of Islam raising yet more students and following. Wherever they went and whenever they moved, they left behind one of their students to continue what they started. Through this unassuming process, knowledge spread far and wide and the Shaykh raised followers among men and women, young and old, all over Hausaland and beyond in Borno and Masina.

For the next 10 years the Shaykh and his team were to return to his home town Degel to settle for more teaching and writing to meet the foreseeable needs of his community, the jama’a. This provided the Shaykh with the opportunity to develop his spiritual potentials through Tasawwuf, produce and mould scholars of higher learning and discipline from amongst his students both men and women. But this opportunity did not last as long as the Shaykh had apparently wanted. For his expanding community, having acquired sufficient knowledge of Islam to raise their level of perception and consciousness, were becoming impatient with the excesses of the pagan Hausa rulers. The more they learnt the more they realized the obligation they owe to their Lord Allah, the Most High, to command the right and forbid the wrong (Amr bil Ma’aruf wal Nahyi anil Munkar) in the face of the corruption, tyranny and oppression rampant in the Hausland.

It was however neither the Jama’a Nor the Shaykh that was to start the confrontation. It was the Hausa rulers, especially of Gobir, whose power based had been drastically narrowed by the ever increasing following of the Shaykh. In a desperate and frantic move to save their dwindling authority, they resorted to attacking the Jama’a. Even then the Shaykh wanted more time, for rather than retaliation he ordered a Hijra from Gobir in 1804. But the Gobir rulers would not leave the jama’a a and the he latter had to defend itself. Thus in the same year (1804), the jama’a, few, impoverished and scattered all over Hausaland, started fighting, under the leadership of the Shaykh, against the corrupt and tyrannical Hausa rulers, along with those venal scholars (Ulama al-Su’) who had always given support to corruption and opposed the jama’a.

The fighting could not have come as a surprise to Shehu or his Jama’a. Shehu’s perceptive mind had long foreseen this eventuality and has apparently prepared the Jama’a for it. His teachings and writings were designed to match the needs and level of development of the Jama’a. Initially it was the basics of Islam and gradually the obligations of Amr bil Ma’aruf wal Nahy anil Munkar and how it should be carried out was expounded. At the onset of the confrontation, the obligation from the Hijra, the basis and rules of the Jihad were clearly explained in a wisely circulated document Wathiqat ahl al-Sudan which Bivar calls the manifesto of the Jihad. (21) It was only during the Jihad and of course after that books dealing with the details of t he Islamic order to be established were written.

It is significant that in the 27 points the Shehu raised in the Wathiqat, the first three were:

“(i) That the commanding of what is right (Amr bil Ma’aruf) is obligatory by Ijma’ (consensus of scholars).

(ii) The prohibition of what is wrong (or evil) (Nahy anil Munkar) al obligatory by Ijma’

(iii) That Hijra (flight) form the land of unbelief is obligatory by Ijma’.”

The Jama’a were thus to fight in order to remove injustice and corruption and establish justice and righteousness in society. The Hijra was a necessary step in this direction. The Jama’a, true to their training, complied.

By 1810 the better part of Hausaland had fallen to the Jama’a, the Jihad was in the he main over, except for skirmishes in Borno, leaving the Jama’a the task of translating their ideals into practice. (22) This tremendous success did not however mean the task was over. In fact it looked like it had just began for it sparked off a spate of writing on the details of the socio-economic, legal and political order that was to be operated in the new dispensation. In fact the Shaykh found it necessary to devote the rest of his time to laying the intellectual foundations of the new State leaving the routine administration to his two able assistance, Shaykh Abdullah and Muhammad Bello.

It was the activities of this small band of itinerant scholars whose primary objective was to simply teach Islam, which silently but effectively eroded the moral and cultural foundations of the decadent society and mobilized the Muslims towards the renewal, Tajdeed, of their society. In due course the small band of scholars were to find themselves at the head of a growing party of believers which inevitably had to confront the party of unbelief and corruption with the ever recurring result of victory. Thus the Jama’a were able to pull their society cut of the decadence and corruption it had drifted into and place it back on the he path of purity and progress. (23) It was this success which triggered off a wave of change which was to cleanse the whole region of decadence, corruption and unbelief and restore to Islam its position of prominence. Talking about “the repercussions which the movement had in West Africa” Abdullahi Smith noted how it occasioned the emergence of Shehu Muhammad al-Amin al-Kanemi who was to revitalize Borno and shook the Oyo empire to its roots. “Perhaps most important of all under this head, however,” observes Smith “was the influence which the Sokoto leaders exerted on later Jihad movements in other part of the Sudan.” (24).

Ahmadu Labbo

Ahmad’s Macina in the pagan Bambara State of Segu was just next door to Hausaland and the conditions in the 18th century appear to be more or less the same as in Hausaland. Though he was in contact with scholars of Jenne, an old center of learning, and Shaykh Mukhtar al-Kunti the Qadiri Shaykh of the region, (25) he was clearly part of that expanding team of Shehu’s students, many of whom like Ahmad did not have the privilege of meeting him. Though Ahmad did not meet his Shaykh he appears to have been in constant contact with him, receiving his books and seeking his opinion and advice.

Due to the dearth of written records, especially when compared with the Sokoto Jihad, details of Ahmad Labbo’s programme is not as yet very clear. He was known to be a scholar who, in the tradition of his days, was teaching and learning at one and the same time. He seemed to have relied heavily on the literature produced by the Sokoto triumvirates in addition to the standard texts and such famous works as the Fatawi of AL-al-Maghīlī. It was clear that in course of his teaching and inspired by the spirit of Tajdeed his growing team of students became conscious of their responsibility to uproot corruption which was rampant and establish justice. It was this new consciousness generated by his teachings that apparently led him into conflict with some Ulama at Jenne who like all venal scholars (Ulama al-Su’) where finding excuses for the decadent order and delaying the process of change, He must have been referring to some of the practices condoned by the Ulama when he wrote in his only book al-idtirar illa Allah ‘”when I saw their satanic innovations in which they were so steeped as to take them for orthodox …” (26) It was to Sokoto he turned for moral and intellectual support in his fight against the Ulama al-Su’. As Brown noted:

“As early as 1815 – 16 A.D. there is evidence of his effort t to build a case against the Ulama of Jenne and other Muslims who followed similar practices. In his correspondence with Amir Abdullah b. Fudi of Gwandu in 1231 H. (1815-6) he sought clear legal (and moral) support for his criticism and received it.” (27)

As in Hausaland it was the excesses of the ruling Ardos of Bambara Sate which provoked the sense of Amr bil Ma’aruf wal Nahy anil Munkar of his Jama’a. The latter’s response to one of the numerous incidences of injustice was what sparked off the confrontation between his Jama’a and the Bambara establishment. In keeping with the tradition Seku Ahmadu as he is often known, declared the Hijra and sent some of his studetns to Shehu Usman Dan Fodio, in his dying year (1817) to receive permission to carry out the Jihad. The permission came in a form of a Flag (28) and the Jihad broke out. By 1818 the pagan establishment was overthrown and Islamic administration made up of five emirates was established and new capital, Hamdullahi was founded. (29)

The Caliphate of Macina had to rely on the literature of the Sokoto Caliphate, Ihya al-Sunnah of Shehu Usman, for example, was reported to have been adopted a s code of conduct for the State. (30) This nearly total reliance seemed to have been necessitated by the absence of local literature, which would have undoubtedly been for more relevant in dealing with the local day to day problems. Seku Ahmadu’s apparent paucity of knowledge, having written only one book, has often been identified, as the scholarship in the Bambara State compared to Hausland and Songhay had been generally low (31) and Seku Ahmadu way well be one of the most learned of his days. In any case he was the best for he took up the challenge and led a process of Tajdeed which rid his society of the corruptionand injustices of the pagan Bambara, converted many to Islam and established in Islamic State. Seku Ahmadu himself died in 1843 and the caliphate lasted up to 1862 when it was taken over by the third major wave of Tajdeed led by Hajj Umar al-Futi.

Hajj Umar Al Fūtī

The earl 19th century Futa Toro where Umar spent his childhood was very much like the greater part of West Africa – weak and decadent Muslim societies under pagan or nominal Muslim rulers. There was the strong pagan state of Bambara to the west which Ahmad Labbo’s Jihad did not dislodge. There were European, mainly French, commercial presence at the coasts serving the twin purpose of trade and reconnaissance. In spite of all these however, the Islamic educational institutions were there to offer their services; services which were to prove consequential to the region. For Umar in particular the traditional education seemed to have only roused in him such thirst for knowledge that it could not quench. In about 1825 he left the region for Hajj.

At Sokoto, on his way to Hajj, Umar spent a few months, which apparently convinced him to return and stay for a longer time after his Hajj. During his Hajj Umar got in contact with the head of the Tijjaniyya Tariqa who initiated him into the order and appointed him his representative for the whole of the western Sudan. Umar returned to Sokoto about 1826 where he stayed until the death of his host and mentor, Muhammad Bello in 1837. During these 12 years Umar became literally integrated into the Sokoto Caliphate, teaching, learning and writing and even taking part in campaigns. He thus drunk from the Sokoto intellectual stream and shared the practical experience of establishing and running an Islamic Sate. He also married Muhammad Bello’s daughter who bore him Habibu who commanded for him at Dinguiray and by another wife given him in Sokoto he had Ahmadu who succeeded him as Amir al-Muminin. (32) In about 1838 he left Sokoto along with his family and a couple of disciples, among them Hausas, passing through Macina and by 1839 settled in Futa Jallon.

In the spirit of a Sokoto tradition, which he had become part of, Umar immediately started raising students, talaba albeit in his own unique manner. For him Sufi discipline under the Tijjaniyya order was essential. It was also necessary for the talaba to learn skills not only to be self-reliant but more importantly to raise the funds to purchase arms and provision for the impending Jihad. Like his Sokoto mentors his engagement with organization and mobilization of talaba did not bar him from writing. In 1845 he wrote his famous Rimah hizb al-Rahim ala Nuhur hizb al-rajim (The lances of the Party of God Against the Throats of the Party of Evil). Most of his writings were designed to mobilize his talaba, rally them around the duty of Amr bil Ma’aruf wal Nahy anil Munkar and prepare them spiritually for the confrontation with the forces of evil. In 1849, he made his Hijra from Diagouku to Dinguiray, along with his talaba, apparently prepared for the inevitable confrontation.

As in Sokoto and Macina, it was the forces of unbelief who first attacked Hajj Umar and his talaba. In 1852 the pagan Mandinka Chieftain of Tamba dispatch an army to destroy the new base of the Muslim community. Hajj Umar and his talaba routed the pagan army and their King along with many of his people converted to Islam. Having started the Jihad in earnest, Hajj Umar attacked and conquered the pagan state of Bambara and later Ka’arta in 1855. Alarmed by the growing power of the Islamic forces the French organised a boycott against Hajj Umar. The latter took his time and later attacked the French strong hold of Medine in 1857. Though Hajj Umar could not dislodge the French and many of his talaba martyred, he however “had made his point: imperialism is an enemy, to be fought at what ever cost.” (33) Hajj Umar never gave up for he continued to organize an effective ideological campaign against the French. Hajj Umar then came to the State of Macina which he took over from the heirs of Ahmad Labbo in 1862. He himself died in 1864 and was succeeded by his son Ahmad.

Though the French colonial army which invaded the area barely two decades after the death of Hajj Umar, did not allow the State he founded to last long, Umar had already brought such changes that were to be of lasting benefits to the region. Being the first to challenge European imperialism in the region, he founded a tradition which was to spur a series of Jihads against European imperialism – Muhammadu Lamin, Maba Diakhou, Samori Toure, Ahmad Bamba, et all were all extension of Hajj Umar’s movement. These Jihads were to pave the way for further Islamisation of the region and to reinforce Muslim’s resolve to fight European imperialism and all other forms of injustices. This resolved to fight having been entrenched into the intellectual tradition of the region will continue to provide a firm base for the next wave of Tajdeed in the region.

The Pattern

The Jihads of the 19th century were essentially a phase in process of Tajdeed. It perhaps need to be stressed that the fight was not against peoples or states but against impiety, corruption and injustices which these people or states symbolized. The fight with the forces of evil was necessary if justice was to be established. But sine justice cannot be established by simply winning a battle, this battle must necessarily be preceded and followed by a programme of education which will raise the social consciousness of society infusing in it the aversion for corruption and injustice, and desire for righteousness and justice and the readiness to make the necessary sacrifices to attain it. For Tajdeed as Ibrahim Sulaiman has observed “does not imply merely the overthrow of a political power in the name of Islam; it is rather the all-rounded improvement of man – his belief, his world-view, and more importantly, his character…” (34) Indeed as Murray Last has rightly noted “The war itself was an extension of intensive preaching, once the war was over, the teaching had to continue as strongly as before not least since ideas are apt to be among he casualties of victory.” (35) This has been the pattern of Tajdeed throughout West Africa from the al-Murabit down to Hajj Umar and beyond. This patter, if details be permitted, seemed to be made up of four distinct phases:

1. Education:- This represents the first phase for it is the bedrock of Tajdeed. It is through basic education that the individual Muslim becomes prepared to play his role as a Muslim, ready to submit to the laws and regulations of Islam. In course of time education sharpens Muslim consciousness until he comes to appreciate his duty of Amr bil ma’aruf wal Nahy anil Munkar. At this point he automatically becomes a defender of the truth, guardian of justice and an enemy of evil and corruption. He thus becomes a willing soldier in the fight against munkar.

2. Mobilization:- Once education has done its part the leadership finds it easy to rally Muslims around Amr bil ma’aruf wal Nahy anil Munkar and direct their new energy in they direction of change. the greatest difficulty at this stage is not to make Jama’a fight but to restrain them until it was time to fight and to do so according to the rules stipulated by the Sharia.

3. Jihad:- Though the forces of ma’aruf are aware that they have to fight the forces of munkar if truth and justice is to be established in society, it is almost always the forces of munkar that start the battle. This is understandable for the forces of munkar, fully aware of their falsehood and corruption began to feel insecure as soon as the forces of ma’aruf dawn on the horizon. Filled with guilt, perturbed by insecurity, the forces of munkar make the mistake of firing the first bullet. Many times the forces of munkar have been proved wrong and man times they have repeated the same mistake. Indeed they are, in the eternal words of the Qur’an QAUMUN LA YAFQAHUN.

4. Victory:- For the process of Tajdeed, once started there is no failure. When and how the victory comes is not the making nor even the concern of the forces of ma’aruf, this is Allah’s prerogative. The forces of ma’aruf continue to perform their obligation and when victory comes they become even more obliged to implement the justice as demanded by Islam. Of course the extent they achieve it tends to vary according to circumstances.

Of the four phases, the phase of education appears to be the most crucial not only because it is the starting point but also because all other phases rely entirely on it. In Hausaland where this phase was longest really thirty 30 years, the process of Tajdeed was far more thorough and had a more lasting effect It was thus able to occasion and influence other waves of Tajdeed in the region. What remains to be discussed now is the source of strength to this invincible process – Tajdeed.

The Backbone

The resilience of Islam and the invincibility of the process of Tajdeed has been a source of great worry for and a subject of unending research by the forces of evil and corruption, European imperialism in particular. For the Muslims this blessing is nothing but a manifestation of mercy from their Lord. We may still however identify some of the elements that form the backbone of Tajdeed, giving it its strength and protecting it from corruption. Three of these ready come to mind and may deserve a paragraph each.

1. The Qur’an: The Qur’an representing the message that the Lord of the Universe sent to mankind, forms the greatest treasure not only for Muslims but the whole of mankind if only they knew. The Qur’an essentially informs man his origin, purpose and destiny, in very clear and absolute terms. It thus moulds the world view of the Muslims and removes ambiguities in his role on this Earth. Reading it constantly sharpens the Muslims’ sense of mission and propels him into action for he comes to realise the real life is that of al-jannah which can only be secured by serving the cause of justice, the cause of Islam.

2. Tasawwuf: Sufism, as it is sometimes called, is essentially a process of discipline which seeks to refine the individuals character ridding him of such constraints and weakness as will curtail him from serving the cause of his Lord, for which he has been created. It is significant to note that all the majaddidun that the region of West Africa has seen have gone through the discipline of Tasawwuf, and there is every reason to believe that had they not been so trained, the story in this paper would have been different. It was Tasawwuf which tamed their character cleansed them of greed for material wealth and the fear of any other than their Lord. Content which their austere life, fired by the fear of their Lord these Mujaddidun and their followers were able to carry the process of Tajdeed through the numerous obstacles they had to surmount.

3. Hijra: It is also significant that each and every of the Mujaddidun had to undertake the Hijra often on the eve of the Jihad. It is also significant that some of them like Hajj Umar kept stressing it throughout his Jihad. Hijra, to be sure, is not simply the movement from one place to another for the purpose of defense. More than that Hijra represents a break with a home, possession, etc. for the purpose of preserving Islam. In other words the Muslim who makes Hijra, al-Muharjir, has placed Islam above home, land, possession and even relatives. the concept of Hijra insists that Muslims attachment is with Islam not land, property or people , and anytime Islam demands his break with this, he should be willing and ready, only then is he a true Muslim. It is this perception which made Muslims in West Africa like their brothers and sisters much earlier in Makka, to leave their homes and possessions and come together to fight for the establishment of truth and justice.

Lest we forget, the intellectual tradition West Africa has preserved for us these three elements of Qur’an, Tasawwuf and Hijra in the young Qur’anic school students, aptly called al-Muhajir (in Hausa almajirai). In this almajirai we find the significance of the Qur’an which is their main subject of study; we also see vividly the austere life fostered by a contentment derived the discipline of Tasawwfu; and of course by deliberately leaving their homes to join a Malam who may himself itinerant they demonstrate their attachment to Islam. Their recent attack and murder in Kafanchan, Nigeria, may well mean that the forces of Kufr have began to realise what these innocent souls mean to the process of Tajdeed.


This paper has attempted the impossible task of reviewing the whole of the 12 centuries of Islam in West Africa. The idea of this tour d’horizon was to see if we can discern the pattern of Tajdeed during the period and identify some of its elements. What we have so far been able to find can be condensed into three points.

1. The tradition of Tajdeed in West Africa bears the stamp of al-murabit, later to be reinforced by al-al-Maghīlī, both coming from a background of struggle for the supremacy of Islam, they conferred on this tradition a taste for thoroughness and perfection that distinguished it from traditions in other parts of the Muslim world.

2. The Tajdeed in West Africa follows a pattern that seem to be made up of four phases, one inevitably leading to the other. It always starts wtih the phase of Education which is followed by Mobilization. The latter leads to Jihad which is followed by Victory. The longer the educational phase the more thorough the process and the longer the benefits last.

3.The Qur’an, Tasawwuf and Hijra have been identified as the major elements which constitute the backbone of the process of Tajdeed in West Africa. That these elements as symbolized by the almajirai are already under attack may suggest the beginning of another wave of the process of Tajdeed. Perhaps, like the Sokoto wave before it, this may also cleanse the whole region of the forces of unbelief and corruption now thriving under the patronage of imperialism.

USMAN M. BUGAJE (23 June 1987)


1.The West African Region had alwasy its historians born of its own educational institutions nurtured in its own traditionof Scholarship people like al-Sa’adi, al-Ka’ati, Ahmad Baba of Timbuktu, Ahmad bin Fartuwa, Abdullah Dan Fodio, Muhammad Bello, Abdul-Qadir bn. Mustapha, and in our days Wazir Junaid. Sequel to European imperalism, western scholarship was developed essentially as a back up support and propaganda machinery for western imperialism. While many western scholars and their local pupils like Rev. Father Trimingham, Levtzio, Hiskett, remain unrepentant otheres like Murry Last and John Hunwick have conceded to Islam its place in West Africa.

2. See Abdullah Dan Fodio,’ida al-Nusukh; J.O. Hunwick The Influence of Arabic in West Africa in Transactions of the Historical society of Ghana Vol, vii 1964; Ahmad Kani’s ‘The Rise and Influence of Scholars in Hausaland before 1804’ an unpublished paper, Wilks ‘The Trasnmission of Islamic Learning in the Western Sudan’ in J. Goody (ed.) Literacy in Traditional Societies London, C.U.P 1968; Also J.O. Hunwick, ‘Salih al-Fulani (1752/3 – 1809) the Career and Teachings of West African Alim in Medina’ unpublished paper, Sa’ad Timbuktu. Cambridge C.U.P. 1983.

3. SeeDr Omar Jah. ‘Sufism and Nineteen Century Jihad Movements in the Western Sudan: A case Study of al-hajj Usman al-Futi’s Philosophy of Jihad and its Sufi Bases.’ Unpublished Ph.D. Theses 1973.

4. See Suyuti Jalal al-Din, ‘Tajdid,’ Manuscript in author’s possession.

5. al-al-Maghīlī, ‘Ajwiba,’ ed. and trans. hunwick, J.O. , in Sharia’ah in Songhai, Oxford, 1985

6.Sa’id, Muh. Bustaini, Mafhum tajdid al-Din, Kuwait: Dar al-Da’wah, 1984

7. See al-Bakri in Hopkins (trans.), Hopkins and Levtzion (eds.) Corpuse of Early Arabic Sources for West African History. P. 71

8. Ibn Abi Zar in Ibid, p. 240

9. See al-Bakri in Ibid, p. 84

10. See Hunwick, J.O. Sharia in Songhai, Op. cit., p. 15

11. See Abubakar al-Bartili ‘Fathi Shukr fi Ta’arif A’ayan Ulama’ alTakrur

12. See Gwarzo, H.I., ‘The Life and Teachings of al-al-Maghīlī with Particular Reference to the Saharan Jewish Community.’ Ph.D Thesis Univ. London, 1972 p. 86

13. Kani, A. ‘The Rise of Scholars in Hausaland Before 1804’

14. See Hunwick, J.O., ‘Notes on a Late 15th century Document Concerning ‘al-Takrur’, in African Perspectives ed. c. Allen and R.W. Johnson, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1966, pp. 269-317.

15. See Kani, A. The Intellectual Origin of the Sokoto Jihad, Ibadan, 1405 A.H., p. 20

16. Hiskett, M., ‘An Islamic Tadition of ReforM in the Western Sudan from the 16th – 18th century,’ in B.S.O.A.S. XXV, Part 3, 1962, P.591

17. Smith, Abdullahi, A Little New Light, Zaria. Abdullahi smith Centre for Historical Research, 1987, p. 134.

18. Abd ‘Allah b. Muhammad, ‘Ida al-Nusukh

19. Muhammad Bello, Infaq al-Maysur

20. Smith, A., A Little New Light, Op. cit, p. 136

21. Bivar, A.D.H., ‘The Wathiqat ahl al-Sudan: A Manifesto of the Fulani Jihad,’ J.A.H. II, (1961), p. 239.

22. For details see Sulaiman, Ibrahim, Islamic State and the Challenge of History, London: Mansell, 1987

23. Smith, A., A Little New Light, Op. cit., 138

24. Smith, A., A Little New Light, Op. cit., P. 138

25. Ibid., P. 139

26. Quoted in Brown, W.A., ‘The Caliphate of Hamdullahi,’ Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, Wisconsin, 1969, p. 27. [1]Ibid., . 20

28. Ibid., p. 17

29. Smith, A. A Little New Light, Op. cit. ., p. 138

30. Sulaiaman, I. ‘Tajdeed in West Africa.’ Unpublished article

31. Brown, W.A., ‘The Caliphate of Hmdullahi,’ op. cit., p. 104

32. Smith, A. A Little New Light, Op. cit., p. 140

33. Jah, Umar, ‘Sufism and Nineteenth Century Jihad Movements’ Op. cit.

34. Sulaiman, I., ‘Tajdid in West Africa’, Op. cit.

35. Ibid.

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Arabic Grammar – Preliminary Matters: Point 5 – الإِعْرَاب (Inflection) and الْبنَاء (The Fixed Construction)

Arabic Grammar – Preliminary Matters: Point 5 – الإِعْرَاب (Inflection)

and الْبنَاء (The Fixed Construction)

When words are arranged in a sentence, you will find among them words which change at the end due to their different roles in the sentence, and because of the different types of governors which precede them or the governing factors that affect them. You will also find among words in a sentence, words which do not change at the end because of the different types of governors which precede them or the governing factors that affect them.  The first type of word mentioned above is said to be‮ ‬مُـعْرَب‮ ‬(inflectional) and the second type is مَـبْنِيًا‮ ‬(non-inflectional). Changing the end of a word because of the different types of governors or governing factors is called إِعْـرَاب‮ ‬(inflection), while not changing the end of a word because of the different types of governors or governing factors is called بنَاء (fixed construction).

الإِعْـرَاب (Inflection) is a marked change which a governor causes to occur at the end of the word, and so the in of the word can be in the case of rafʿ, naṣb, jarr or jazm, depending on the purpose for the governor.

الْـبنَاء (The Fixed Construction) requires that the end of a word remains in one  unchanged condition even when the governors that precede it are different.

الْـمُعْرَب (The Inflected Word) and الْـمَبْنِي (The Word Fixed in its Construction)

الْـمُعْرَب (The Inflected Word) is the word which is changed at its end because of the different types of governors that precede it or the governing factors that affect it, like:

الأََسْمَاءُ‮ ‬وَالأَرْضُ‮ ‬وَيَكْتُبُ

الْـمُعْرَب is also the present tense verb which does not have نون التوكيد‮ ‬or ‮ ‬نون السوة‮ ‬and  الْـمُعْرَب is also most nouns except for a few.

الْـمَبْنِي (The Word Fixed in its Construction) is the word that is required to remain in a fixed condition, in spite of the different governors that precede it, like when you say:

هَذَهِ،‮ ‬أَيْنَ،‮ ‬مِنْ،‮ ‬كَتَبَ،‮ ‬أُكْتُبْ

الْـمَبْنِيَّاتُ‮ ‬(Words Fixed in their Construction) include all الْـحُـرُوف (the particles), الْـفِعْلُ‮ ‬الْـمَاضِـي (the past tense verb), فِـعْلُ‮ ‬الأَمْـرِ‮ ‬ (the command tense verb) without exception. الْفِعْلُ‮ ‬الـمُضَارِعُ‮ ‬إِذَا اتَّصِلتْ‮ ‬بِهِ (the present tense verb when) نُونُ النِسْوَةِ (the nuun used for emphasis) or نُـونُ‮ ‬النِسْوَةِ (the nuun of the feminine plural doer pronoun), and some nouns. They originate as particles, verbs fixed in their construction and inflective nouns.

The Kinds of الْبَنَاء‮ ‬ ‬(Fixed Construction)

الْـمَبْنِي‮ ‬ is either a word that is required to carry sukuun at its end, like when you say: أُكْـتُبْ and لَـمْ or ḍammah like when you say: حَـيْثُ and كَـتَبُوا or fatḥah like when you say: كَـتَبَ and أَيْـنَ or kasrah like when you say: هَـؤُلاَءِ and kasrah on the baa in the prepositional phrase بِـسْمِ‮ ‬الله. At time the previously mentioned are expressed by saying: مَـبْنِي‮ ‬عَـلَى السّكون‮ ‬(fixed in construct on the sukuun) or مَبْنِي‮ ‬عَلَى ضَمَّة (fixed in construct on the ḍammah) or مَبْنِي‮ ‬عَلَى  (fixed in construct on the fatḥah) or مَبْنِي‮ ‬عَلَى‮ ‬(fixed in construct on the kasrah). Therefore is  based on four signs: sukuunḍammahfatḥah, and kasrah.

Knowing which vowel the nouns and particles are constructed upon is according to generally accepted usage and sound transmission. Words fixed in their construction include: the word which is construct on the ḍammah, the word which is construct on the fatḥah and the word which is construct on the kasrah, but there are no known general rules for the construction of words on these vowels.

The Kinds of الإعْرَابُ‮ ‬(Inflection for Words)

There are four Kinds of الإعْـرَابُ (inflection for words): rafʿ, naṣb, jarr and jasm.

The inflected verb is changed at its end by the case of  rafʿ, naṣb and jasm like when you say:  يَكْتُبُ‮ ‬،‮ ‬لَنْ‮ ‬يَكْتُبَ‮ ‬،‮ ‬لمْ‮ ‬يَكْتُبْ .

The inflected noun is changed at its end by the case of  rafʿ, naṣb and jarr like when you say: وَاشْتَغلعتُ‮ ‬بِالعِلْمِ‮ ‬النَّافِعِ‮ ‬،‮ ‬رَأَيْتُ‮ ‬الْعِلْمَ‮ ‬نَافِعًا‮ ‬،‮ ‬العِلْمُ‮ ‬نَافِعٌ. From this we can see that the cases of rafʿ and naṣb are used in both inflected verbs and nouns, while  the case of jasm is used with the inflected verb exclusively, and he case of jarr is used with the inflected nouns exclusively.

The Signs for the الإعْرَابُ‮ ‬ (Inflection for Words)

The Sign of الإعْـرَابُ‮ ‬is either a vowel, a letter or the dropping of a vowel or letter.

There are three vowels of inflection: ḍammahfatḥah, and kasrah.

There are four letters of inflection: alifnuun, waaw and yaa.

The dropping as a sign of inflection is either the dropping of a a weak letter at the end of the present tense verb or the dropping of the letter nuun from the end of the  present tense verb.

The Signs of الرَّفْع‮ ‬ (The Case of Rafʿ)

الرَّفْـع‮ ‬(The case of rafʿ) has four signs: ḍammah, waaw, alif, and nuun. Ḍammah is the main or primary sign. The example of the use of these signs for the case of rafʿ is as follows: يُحَبُّ‮ ‬الصَّادِقُ‮ ‬and‮ ‬أَفْـلَحَ‮ ‬الْـمُؤْمِنُونَ‮ ‬and‮ ‬لِيُننْفِقْ‮ ‬ذُو‮ ‬سَـعة مِـنْ‮ ‬سَـعتِهِ‮ ‬and‮ ‬التِلْمِذَانِ‮ ‬الْـمُـجْتَهِدَان‮ ‬and تَنْطِقُونَ‮ ‬بِالصِّدْقِ.‮  ‬

The Signs of النَّصْب‮ ‬(The Case of Naṣb)

النَّصْب‮ ‬(The case of naṣb) has five signs: fat-ḥah, alif, yaa, kasrah and the dropping of nuun. Fat-ḥah is the main or primary sign. The example of the use of these signs  for the case of naṣb is as follows: جَانِبُ‮ ‬الشَّرِّ‮ ‬فَتَسْلَمََ‮ ‬أَعْطِ‮ ‬ذَا‮ ‬الْـحَقِّ‮ ‬حَقُّهُ‮ ‬and‮ ‬يُحِبُّ‮ ‬الله الْـمُتَقِيـنَ‮ ‬and‮ ‬كَانَ‮ ‬أَبُو عُبَيْدَة عَامِر بِن الـجَرَّاح وَخَالِد بن وَلِيد فَائدِيـنَ‮ ‬عَظِمِيـنَ‮ ‬and  أُكْرِمُ‮ ‬الْفيَاتِ‮ ‬الْـمُجْتَهِدَاتِ‮ ‬and‮ ‬لَنْ‮ ‬تَنَالُوا‮ (‬تَـنَالُـونَ‮) ‬الْـبِرَّ‮ ‬حَـتَّى تُـنْفَقُوا‮ (‬تُـنْفَقُوانَ‮) ‬مِـمَّا تُـحِبُّونَ. In the last example, the nuun is dropped when the present tense verb is precede by the particle of naṣb.

The Signs of الـجَرّ‮ ‬(The Case of Jarr)

الـجَـرّ‮ ‬(The case of jarr) has three signs: kasrah, yaa and fat-ḥah. Kasrah is the main or primary sign. The example of the use of these signs for the case of jarr is as follows: تَـمَسَّكْ‮ ‬بِالفَضَائِلَ‮ ‬and‮ ‬أَطِعْ‮ ‬أَمْرَ‮ ‬أَبِيكَ‮ ‬and‮ ‬الْـمَرْءُ‮ ‬بِأَصْغَريْهِ‭:‬‮ ‬قَلْبُهُ‮ ‬ولِسَانُهُ‮ ‬and‮ ‬تَقَرَّبْ‮ ‬مَنَ‮ ‬الصَّادِقِيـنَ‮ ‬and‮ ‬وَانْأَ‮ ‬عَنَ‮ ‬الكَادِبِيـنَ‮ ‬and‮ ‬لَيْسَ‮ ‬فَاعِلُ‮ ‬الْـخَيْرِ‮ ‬بِأَفْضَلِ‮ ‬مِنَ‮ ‬السَّاعِي‮ ‬فِهِ.

The Signs of الـجَزْم‮ ‬(The Case of Jazm)

الـجَـزْم‮ ‬(The case of jazm) has three signs: sukuun, the dropping of a a weak letter at the end of the present tense verb, and the dropping of nuun. Sukuun is the main or primary sign. The example of the use of these signs for the case of jazm is as follows: مَنْ‮ ‬يَفْعَلْ‮ ‬خَيْرًًا‮ ‬يَجِدْ‮ ‬خَيْرًا‮ ‬ and ‮ ‬مَنْ‮ ‬يَزَرَعْ‮ ‬شَرًّا‮ ‬يَجْنِ‮ ‬شَرًّا‮ ‬and ‮ ‬أَفْعَلْ‮ ‬الْـخَيْرَ‮ ‬تَلْقَ‮ (‬تَلْقَــي‮) ‬الْـخَيْرَ‮  ‬(In the preceding example, the alif maqṣuurah has been dropped when the present tense verb is in the case of jazm, because it is a weak letter), لاَ‮ ‬تَـدْعُ‮ (‬تَـدْعُـو‮) ‬إِلاَّ‮ ‬اللهَ‮ ‬ (In this preceding example, the waaw has been dropped when the present tense verb is in the case of jazm, because it is a weak letter), قَـالُـوا خَـيْرًا تَغْنَمُوا‮ (‬تَغْنَمُونَ‮) ‬واسْكُتُوا‮ (‬اسْكُتُونَ‮) ‬عَنْ‮ ‬شَرِّ‮ ‬تَسْلَمُوا‮ (‬تَسْلَمُونَ‮)‬ا‮. ‬ In the last three examples, the nuun has been dropped because the present tense verb is in the case of jazm.

and The Meaning of الْـكَلاَمُ(Speech) in the Arabic Language

Section 2 – الْـمْتَعَدِّي‮ ‬ (The Transitive Verb) ‮ ‬واللاَّزِم(and Intransitive Verb)

For Transmitting Sacred Knowledge,Training The Memory is Important – Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi

Published in: Uncategorized on March 24, 2012 at 10:32  Leave a Comment  
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From the History of the Mālikīs – 2 How the Mālikī School of Law Spread

From the History of the Mālikīs 

2 How the Mālikī School of Law Spread

Part One: The Initial Spread of the Mālikī Jurisprudence 

As we previously said, Imam Mālik was in Madinah. The significance of Madinah is that it is the city in which the Diin was first established, and Imam Mālik never left the city. He received his knowledge by direct transmission from hundreds of scholars, who themselves had received an unbroken and direct line of transmission from the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم‮.‬. In addition, the people of Madinah practiced the ʿamal, which was a prophetic behavior that was part of their the normal daily life.

As a result, Imam Mālik recognized that what was normal daily life in Madinah was also the most correct way of life for the entire Ummah. He therefore placed upon himself the duty of recording and codifying this Madani way life, so that it would be a model for the entire Ummah.

To Imam Malik, the ʿamal ahlu-l-Madinah was an accurate representation of what had been passed down from the Sunnah of the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم; passed down from father to son by way of the first three outstanding generations whom the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم held in high esteem. As Rabīʿah said  “A thousand from a thousand”, that is to say, thousands of great-grandfathers passed the ʿamal to  thousands of sons, who in turned passed it on to a thousand of grandsons, up until the time of Imam Mālik.

In Madinah, during the time of the Imam Mālik, a man could be called upon to report about or demonstrate behavior that had come directly to them from the time when The Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم and the first three generations were alive in the city. This was the main thing that attracted so many of Imam Mālik’s student to come and study with him. It was Imam Mālik’s proximity to the source of the Sunnah that these students found most attractive.

No other city had such proximity to the Sunnah. After all, wasn’t Madinah the city to which The Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم emigrated and established the Sunnah? Wasn’t it where he returned to live out the rest of his life after the conquest of Mecca and in turn was also buried there? No other city in the Ummah had such proximity to the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad صلّى الله عليه وسلّم as did Madinah al Munawwarah.

The students of Imam Mālik came from Egypt, North Africa, Spain, and Iraq.  Because of the the high regard throughout the Ummah for Imam Mālik’s scholarship, he drew  large numbers of students from these places, who in turn became highly respected scholars in those regions from which they came.

Imam Mālik’s book al Muwaṭṭa became a standard read, and as a result, it was widely circulated throughout the Ummah. His students, many of whom who became “little Mālik’s” were prolific writers. They also produced many volumes about Mālikī law. The most famous among these texts of law was the Mudawwanah of ʿAbdus Salaam at-Tanūkhī, more famously known as Ṣahnūn. He was the student of the student of Imam Mālik, Ibn al Qāṣim.

Among the more famous students who sat under the direct tutelage of Imam Mālik, and who aided in the broad spread of Mālikī jurisprudence was the Egyptians: ʿAbdullah ibn Wahb and ʿAbdur Rahmān ibn al-Qāṣim al-ʿUtqī, the Tunisians: Al Bahlul ibn Rashīd, ʿAbdullah Ibn Farrukh, Asad Ibn Al Furat who wrote the first Mudawwanah, and the Andulusian: Yaḥyā ibn Yaḥyā al Layth. These were the scholar’s who themselves produced scholars that spread the Mālikī school far and wide.

Al Ajurruumiyyah – Chapter 21 – (The Chapter About (Al-Istath-naa’ [The Exclusion of Nouns])

   بَابُ‏‮ ‬‬الاِسْتَثْنَاءِ  

21 – (The Chapter About (Al-Istathnaa’ [The Exclusion of Nouns])

 ʿArabic Text: 

‏‮(‬‬وَحُرُوفُ‏‮ ‬‬الاِسْتَثْنَاءِ‏‮ ‬‬ثَمَانِيَةٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَهِيَ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬وَغَيْرٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَسِوًى وَسُوًى وَسَوَاءٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَخَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬وَعَدَا وَحَاشَا فَالـْمُسْتَثْنَى بِإِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬يُنْصَبُ‏‮ ‬‬إِذَا كَانَ‏‮ ‬‬الْكَلاَمُ‏‮ ‬‬تَامّـًا مُوجَبًا نَحْوُ‏‮ ‬‬قَامَ‏‮   ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وَخَرَجَ‏‮ ‬‬النَّاسُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬عَمْرًا وَإِنْ‏‮ ‬‬كَانَ‏‮ ‬‬الْكََلاَمُ‏‮ ‬‬مَنْفِيًا تَامّا جَازَ‏‮ ‬‬فِيهِ‏‮ ‬‬الْبَدَلُ‏‮ ‬‬وَالنَّصْبُ‏‮ ‬‬عَلَى الاِسْتِثْنَاءِ‏‮ ‬‬نَحْوُ‏‮ ‬‬مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬اِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا أَوْ‏‮ ‬‬اِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَإِنْ‏‮ ‬‬كَانَ‏‮ ‬‬الْكَلاَمُ‏‮ ‬‬نَاقِصًا كَانَ‏‮ ‬‬عَلَى حَسَبِ‏‮ ‬‬الْعَوَامِلِ‏‮ ‬‬نَحْوُ‏‮ ‬‬مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬اِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَمَا ضَرَبْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وَمَا مَرَرْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬بِزَيدٍ‏‮  ‬‬وَالـْمُسْتَثْنَى بِغَيرِ‏‮ ‬‬وَسِوًى وَسُوًى وَسَوَاءٍ‏‮ ‬‬مَجْرُورٌ‏‮ ‬‬لاَ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْرُ‏‮ ‬‬وَالـْمُسْتَثْنَى بِخِلاَ‏‮ ‬‬وَعَدَا وَحَاشَا‏‮ ‬‬يَجُوزُ‏‮ ‬‬نَصْبُهُ‏‮ ‬‬وَجَرُّهُ‏‮ ‬‬نَحْوُ‏‮ ‬‬قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوُْمُ‏‮  ‬‬خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وَزَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬وَ‏‮ ‬‬عَدَا عَمْرًا وَعَمْرٍو وَحَاشَا بَكْرًا وَبَكْرٍ‏‮)‬‬‏‮ ‬‬

English Translation:

وَحُرُوفُ‏‮ ‬‬الاِسْتَثْنَاءِ‏‮ ‬‬(And so, the particles of exclusion)   ‏‮ ‬‬ثَمَانِيَةٌ (are eight) وَهِيَ (and they are): إِلاَّ (except) , وَغَيْرٌ and (other than / except) وَسِوًى and (other than / except) وَسُـوًى and (other than / except) and وَسَـوَاءٌ and (except) ‏‮ ‬‬وَخَـلاَ and (except) وَعَدَا and (except) وَحاَشَا and (except).  فـَالـْمُسْتَثْنَى بِإِلاَّ (The noun that has been exclude by illa) يُـنْصَبُ is in the case of naṣb), ‏‮ ‬‬إِذَا كَـانَ‏‮ ‬‬الْـكَلاَمُ (if the statement [preceding illa]) تَـامّـًـا (is complete) مُـوجَـبً ([and] affirmative), نَـحْوُ‏‮ ‬‬(like when you say): قَـامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْـقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬ إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْــدًا (The  people stood [all] except Zayd), and وَخَـرَجَ‏‮ ‬‬النَّاسُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬عَمْرًا and (The people left [all] except ʿAmr).  وَإِنْ‏‮ ‬‬كَانَ‏‮ ‬‬الْـكََلاَمُ (However, if the statement) تَامّـًا (is complete), but مَنْفِيًا (negative), جَـازَ‏‮ ‬‬فِـيهِ ( permitted in it is)  الْـبَدَلُ (the substitute noun) وَالنَّصْبُ‏‮ ‬‬(and [that noun] is in the case of naṣb)  عَـلَى الاِسْـتِثْنَاءِ (in accordance with the rule for the exclusion of nouns), نَحْوُ (like when you say): مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَومُ‏‮ ‬‬اِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا أَو اِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ (None of the people stood except Zayd). وَإِنْ‏‮ ‬‬كَـانَ‏‮ ‬‬الْـكَلاَمُ‏‮ ‬‬ (When the statement) [preceding illa]) نَـاقِصًا (is negative [and does not have الـْمُسْـتَثْنَى مِـنْهُ mentioned in it,‏‮ ‬the case of the noun which comes after illa]‬, كَـانَ‏‮ ‬‬عَـلَى حَسَـبِ (is determined by) الْـعَوَامِـلِ (the governors) [which precede illa]), نَحْوُ (like when you say): مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ (None came except Zayd)‏‮ ‬‬وَمَا ضَرَبْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا and (I didn’t beat anyone except Zayd) ‏‮ ‬‬وَمَا مَرَرْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬بِزَيدٍand (I didn’t pass by anyone except Zayd). 

‏‮ ‬‬ وَالـْمُسْتَثْنَى(And the excluded noun) بِـ (preceded and excluded by) غَيْر وَسِوًى وَسُوًى وَسَوَاءٌ (ghayrun, siwan, suwan and sawaa’un) مَجْـرُورٌ (is in the case of jarr) لاَ‏‮ ‬‬غَـيْرُ (only).  وَالـْمُسْتَثْنَى (And the excluded noun) بِـ (preceded and excluded by) خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬وَعَدَا وَحَاشَا (khalaa, ʿadaa and ˙ashaaنَصْبُهُ (placing it in the cased of naṣb) وَجَرُّهُ (and in the case of jarr) يَـجُوزُ  ([are both] permitted)  –  نَحْو (like when you say):  قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وَخَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ (The people left except Zayd) وَعَــــدَا عَمْـــــرًا وَعَــــدَا عَمْــــرٍ and (except ʿAmr) حََاشَا بََكْرًا وَحََاشَا بَكْرٍ and (except Bakr).

Explanation of Text in ʿArabic:

إن الـْمُسْتَثْنَى هو الخارج من حكم الـْمُسْتَثْنَى منه بإلاّ‏‮ ‬‬وإحدى اخواتها مثل له جَاءَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا فزيد هو الـمستـثـنى وهو خارج بإلاّ‏‮ ‬‬من حكم الـْمُجِيءِ‏‮ ‬‬الدّاخل فيه الـمستـثـنى منه وهو القوم وقس على ذلك‏‮ ‬‬

Explanation of Text in English: 

الـْمُسْتَثْنَى (the excluded noun) is the noun which has  fallen outside of the rule of what has been decreed for الـْمُسْـتَثْنَى مِـنْهُ  (the noun from which it has been excluded), because إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬وَ‏‮ ‬‬أَخْوَاتِـهَا (illaa and one of its sisters ) precedes it.  The example of this rule is: جـَـاءَ‏‮ ‬‬الْـقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا (the people came (all) except Zayd).  And so, Zayd is الْـمُسْـتَثْنَى (the excluded noun), and it is outside of what has been decreed for the noun which precedes إِلاَّ, which is called الـْمُسْـتَثْنَى مِـنْهُ (the noun from which it has been excluded); and in the previous example, that noun is الْقَوْمُ, and it like that with similar example.

 Further Explanation of Text in ʿArabic:

حُرُوفُ‏‮ ‬‬الاِسْتَثْنَاءِ‏‮ ‬‬ثَمَانِيَةٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَهِيَ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬وَغَيْرٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَسِوًى وَسُوًى وَسَوَاءٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَخَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬وَعَدَا وَحَاشَا وسُوًى بالقصر وجواز ضمّ‏‮ ‬‬السّين وكسرها وقد جاء سواءٌ‏‮ ‬‬بالـمدّ‏‮ ‬‬وجواز فتح السّين وكسرها وهي‏‮ ‬‬كسوى معنىً‏‮ ‬‬وحكمًا‏‮  ‬‬فإلاّ‏‮ ‬‬هي‏‮ ‬‬حرف وغَيْرٌ‏‮ ‬‬وسِوًى هما إسمان وأمّا خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬وعَدَا وحَاشَا فإن جررن ما بعدها فحروف وإِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬فأفعال‏‮ ‬‬

Further Explanation of Text in English:

حُرُوفُ‏‮ ‬‬الإِسْتَثْنَاءِ (the particles of exclusion) are eight.  They are: إِلاّ (except) , غَيْرٌ (other than / except) ,‏‮ ‬‬سِـوًى (other than / except) , سُـوًى  (other than / except), سَـواءٌ (except), ‏‮ ‬‬خَـلاَ (except), عَـدَا (except) , حاَشَـا (except) and سُـوًى with alif maqsuurah and the allowance for it to bear ḍammah or kasrah on the letter س (siin).  سَـوَاءٌ comes with الـْمَدُّ (madd = آ) and the allowance for it to bear fat-ḥah or kasrah on the letter siin (س) as well as kasrah; and it is similar to سِـوًى in meaning and rules.  اِلاَّ (illaa) is a particle while غَـيْرٌ (ghayr) and سِـوًى‏‮ ‬‬(siwan [سُوًى (suwan]) are nouns.  As for خَلاَ (khlaa) and عَدَا (ʿadaa) and حَاشَا (ḥaa-shaa), they cause whatever is coming after them to be in the case of jarr (khafḍ) when they are particles but not when they are verbs.

Explanation of Text in ʿArabic:

والـمستـثـنى له ثلاث حالاتٍ‏‮ ‬‬أوّلها وجوب النصب ثانيها جواز الرفع والنصب ثالثها إعرابه حسب العوامل الـمتـقدّمة على إِلا‏‮ ‬‬َّ‏‮ ‬‬فيجب نصبه متى كان الكلام الـمتقدّم على إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬تامّا موجَـبًا ونعني‏‮ ‬‬بالتّامّ‏‮ ‬‬ما‏‮ ‬‬يُذكَر به الـمستـثـنى منه وبالـموجَب ما‏‮ ‬‬يكن مسبوقًا بأداة نفي‏‮ ‬‬أو شبهه وشبه النفي‏‮ ‬‬هو الاستفهام والنهي‏‮ ‬‬مثال ذلك قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬القَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا فقام القوم كلام تام لأن الـمستـثـنى منه وهو‏‮ ‬‬القوم الـمذكور به ومُوجَب لأنه‏‮ ‬‬غير مسبوق بأداة نفي‏‮ ‬‬ولا شبهه‏‮ ‬‬

Explanation of Text in English:

الْـمُسْـتَثْنَى (the excluded noun) has three (possible) cases: the first of these cases is the necessity for it to be in the case of naṣb, the second of them is the permissibility for it to be in the case of rafʿ or naṣb, the third (possible case) is that the inflection of the noun is determined by the governor which precedes إِلاّ.  

الْـمُسْـتَثْنَى (the excluded noun) is required to be in the case of naṣb when the statement preceding إِلاّ is complete and affirmative.  What is meant by the word التّامّ (complete) is that  الـْمُسْـتَثْنَى مِـنْهُ (the noun from which [الـمُسْـتَثْنَى the excluded noun] has been excluded) is mentioned in it (the statement), while (what is meant by الـْـمُوجَـب (affirmative) is  that it [the statement coming before إِلاَّ] is not preceded by أَدَاةُ‏‮ ‬‬نَـفْي (a particle of negation)  or  what  is  similar  to  it  –  like when you say: ‏‮ ‬‬قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا.‏‮ ‬‬ And so قَامَ الْقَوْمُ  is كَلاَمٌ‏‮ ‬‬تامٌّ (a complete statement), because  الـْمُسْـتَثْنَى مِـنْهُ  (the  noun  from which [الـمُسْـتَثْنَى has been excluded) – and that noun is الْـقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬- has been mentioned in the statement, and مُـوجَبٌ (it is affirmative), because it has not been preceded by أَدَاةُ‏‮ ‬‬نَـفْي (a particle of negation) nor what resembles it.

Further Explanation of Text in ʿArabic:

وأمّا جواز الرفع والنصب للإسم الـواقع بعد إلاّ‏‮ ‬‬فيجوز ذلك متى كان الكلام تامّــًا أي‏‮ ‬‬مذكورًا به الـمستـثـنى منه إلاّ‏‮ ‬‬أنّه‏‮ ‬‬غير موجب أي‏‮ ‬‬مسبوق بأداة نفي‏‮ ‬‬أو شبهه من الاِسْتِفْهَام والنَّهْي‏‮ ‬‬نحو مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬أحَدٌ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ‏‮ ‬‬وهَلْ‏‮ ‬‬قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬أَحَدٌ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْد ولاَ‏‮ ‬‬يَقُومُنَّ‏‮ ‬‬أَحَدٌ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ‏‮ ‬‬يرفع زيد على البدلية ويجوز رفعه على الاستثناء هذا إذا كان ما بعد إلاّ‏‮ ‬‬من جنس ما قبلها إن لم‏‮ ‬‬يكن كذلك فلا‏‮ ‬‬يجوز إلاّ‏‮ ‬‬النّصب نحو مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْم إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬حِمَارًا بالنصب على الاستثنَاء ولا‏‮ ‬‬يجوز البدل فيه‏‮ ‬‬

Further Explanation of Text in English:

As for the permissibility of the case rafʿ or naṣb for the noun that comes after إِلاّ, that is allowed when the statement has been completed – that is to say, that الـمُسْـتَثْنَى مِـنْهُ (the noun from which [الـمُسْـتَثْنَى) has been excluded) has been mentioned with the statement and that the statement is not affirmative – that is to say that it is preceded by أَدَاةُ‏‮ ‬‬النَّفْي (the particle of negation) or what resemble it from  الاِسْـتِفْهَام (the particles of interrogation) and النَّهْـي (the particles of prohibition) – like when you say: مَا قَـامَ‏‮ ‬‬أَحَـدٌ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْـدٌ‏‮ ‬‬أَوْ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْـدًا (No one stood except Zayd), هَلْ‏‮ ‬‬قَـامَ‏‮ ‬‬أَحَـدٌ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْـدٌ‏‮ ‬‬أَوْ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْـدًا  (Did anyone stand except Zayd?), and لاَ‏‮ ‬‬يَـقُومَنَّ‏‮ ‬‬أَحَـدٌ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْـدٌ‏‮ ‬‬أَوْ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬رَيْـدًا (There is no one standing except Zayd) with Zayd being in the case of rafʿ in all three examples because it is الْـبَدَلُ (the substitute noun).  The case of rafʿ  is permitted for the noun زَيْـد  according to the rules of exclusion for this noun, if what comes after the إِلاّ is of the same species or classification as what comes before إِلاّ ; and  if  that is not the case, then nothing except the case of naṣb is allowed – like when you say: مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬حِـمَارًا (None of the people stood except a donkey) with [حِـمَارًا] being in the case of naṣb in accordance with the rules for the exclusion of nouns; while الْبَدَلُ (the substitute noun) is not permitted for it at all.

Further Explanation of Text in ʿArabic:

فــأمّا الإسم الواقع بعد إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬الذي‏‮ ‬‬يُعْرَب بحَسَبِ‏‮ ‬‬العواملِ‏‮ ‬‬الـمتـقدِّمةِ‏‮ ‬‬عليه إن كان الكلام ناقصًا منفيًا أي‏‮ ‬‬تفرّغ‏‮ ‬‬الـْمُسْتَثْـنَى منه وما قبل إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬منفيّ‏‮ ‬‬فكان الإسم الواقع بعد إلاَّ‏‮ ‬‬معربًا بإعراب ما‏‮ ‬‬يقتضيه ما قبل إلاّ‏‮ ‬‬قبل دخولها وذلك نحو مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ و مَا رَأََيْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا ومَا مَرَرْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬بِزَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬فزَيْدٌ‏‮ ‬‬مرفوع بقَامَ‏‮ ‬‬وزَيْدًا منصوب برَأَيْتُ‏‮ ‬‬ومجرور بالبآءِ‏‮ ‬‬متعلّق بمررت كما لو لم تُذكر إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬وهذا هو الاستثناء الـمفرّغ‏‮ ‬‬وهو لا‏‮ ‬‬يقع في‏‮ ‬‬كلام موجَب إلاّ‏‮ ‬‬نادرًا فلا‏‮ ‬‬يقال ضَرَبْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاِّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا‏‮ ‬‬

Further Explanation of Text in English:

As for the noun coming after إِلاّ which is inflected in accordance with العَوَاِملُ‏‮ ‬‬الْــمُتَقَدِّمَةُ‏‮ ‬‬عَلَى إِلاَّ (the governors which  precede إِلاّ), if the statement has a portion (part) that has been omitted  and is negative – that is to say, that الـْمُسْـتَثْنَى مِـنْهُ is omitted from the statement and what comes before إلا has been negated, then the noun which comes after إِلاّ is inflected with the inflection that would have been required for a noun preceding إِلاّ – prior to إِلاّ being placed in front of the noun‏‮ ‬‬ – like when you say:  مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ (no one stood up except Zayd) and مَا رَأََيْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬رَيْدًا (I didn’t see anyone except Zayd) and مَا مَرَرْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬بِـزَيْدٍ (I did not pass by (anyone) except Zayd).  Zayd is in the case of rafʿ due to the influence of قَـامَ and in the case of naṣb, because of رَأَيْـتُ and (in the case of jarr) because it is being governed by the preposition بِ which is linked to the verb مَرَرْتُ.  It is as if إِلاَّ had not been expressed.  This is الاِسْتَثْـنَاءُ‏‮ ‬‬الـْمُفَـــرَّغُ (the  excluded noun which has been omitted.  It does not occur in speech except on rare occasions while the statement: ضَرَبْتُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا (I beat (all of them) except Zayd) is not said at all.

Further Explanation of Text in ʿArabic:

 إن الـمستـثـنى بغَيْر وسِوى وَسُوًى وَسَوَاء مجرور فحكم الإسم الواقع بعدها الجر لإضافتها إليه وتُعْرَبُ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْر بما كان‏‮ ‬‬يُعْرَبُ‏‮ ‬‬به الإسم الـمستـثـنى مع إلاّ‏‮ ‬‬فتقول قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْرَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬ينصب‏‮ ‬‬غير كما تقول قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا بنصب زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬وتقول مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬أَحَدٌ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْرُ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬وَغَيْرَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬بالإتباع والنصب كما تقول مَا قَام أَحَدٌ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَإِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وتقول مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْرُ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬برفع‏‮ ‬‬غير وجوبًا كما تقول مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٌ‏‮ ‬‬برفع زيد وجوبًا وأمّا سوى فمذهب قوم أنّها تعامل بما تعامل به‏‮ ‬‬غير من الرفع والنّصب والجرّ‏‮ ‬‬ومذهب سيبويه والجمهور إنّها لا تخرج عن الظّرفيّة‏‮ ‬‬

Further Explanation of Text in English:

And الْـمْسْتَثْنَى (the excluded noun) preceded by غَيْر,سِوًى, سُوًى and‏‮ ‬‬سَوَاء isمَجْرُور (in the case of jarr [khafḍ]) لاِضَافَتِهَا إِلَيْهِ (because of their construction the noun.  غَيْرٌ (Ghayrun) is inflected according to the rules of inflection for الإِسْمْ‏‮ ‬‬الْـمُسْتَثْنَى (the excluded noun) when it is precede by إِلاّ.  And so you say: قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْرَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ (the people stood [all] except Zayd) with غير in the case of naṣb – likewise you say: قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا with Zayd in the case of naṣb and you say: مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬أَحَدٌ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْرُ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْـدٍ‏‮ ‬‬وَ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْرَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ in compliance (with the rule for the case of rafʿ) and the case of naṣb – and like what you say: مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬أَحدٌ‏‮ ‬‬إِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيـْدٌ‏‮ ‬‬وَإِلاّ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا and you say: مَا قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬غَيْرُ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ (none stood except Zayd) with غير being in the case of rafʿ as a requirement.

As for سِـوًى (siwan), it is the opinion of the grammarians that it is governed by that which governs غَيْرُ  (ghayrun) in the case of rafʿ, naṣb and jarr (khafḍ),  and the view of Siybawayhi and the people of grammatical knowledge in general is that it is not include with the adverbs.

Further Explanation of Text in ʿArabic:

فأمّا خلا وعدا وحاشا فإن الـمستـثـنى الـمتقدم بهذه الأدوات‏‮ ‬‬يجوز جرّه على أنها حروف جرّ‏‮ ‬‬نحو قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬وعَدَا زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬وحَاشَا زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬بِجَر زَيْدٍ‏‮ ‬‬بعدها ويجوز نصبه على الـمفعوليّة وتكون خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬وعَدَا وحَاشَا أيضًا أفعالاً‏‮ ‬‬ماضيــةً‏‮ ‬‬فَاعِلُهَا ضمير عائد على البعض الـمفهوم من القوم وهو مستتر وجوبًا نحو‏‮ ‬‬ قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَومُ‏‮ ‬‬خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وَمَا عَدَا زَيْدًا وحَاشَا زَيْدًا بنصب زيد على أنه مفعول به وفاعل خلا وعدا وحاشا مستتر وجوبًا والتّقدير خلا بعضهم زَيْدًا وعَدَا بعضهم زَيْدًا وحَاشَا بعضهم زَيْدًا وأمّا إِنْ‏‮ ‬‬تقدّمت ما على خلا وعدا وجب النّصب بهما نحو قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَومُ‏‮ ‬‬مَا خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وَمَا عَدَا زَيْدًا بالنّصب و أمّا حاشا فلا تتقدّم ما عليه فلا تقول ما حاشا

Further Explanation of Text in English:

As for  خَـلاَ (khalaa), عَـدَا (ʿadaa) and حَـاشَـا (haa-shaa), when الْـمُسْـتَثْنَى is (preceded) by these particles it is permissible for it to be in the case of jarr (khafḍ) due to the fact that they are prepositions – like when you say: قَـامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْـقَوْمُ‏‮ ‬‬خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيـدٍ and عَـدَا زَيدٍ and حَاشَـا زَيْدٍ. And so  خلا (Khalaa), عدا (ʿadaa) and حَاشَا (ḥaa-shaa)  are also أَفْـعَالاً‏‮ ‬‬مَـاضِـيَةً (past tense verbs).  Their فَـاعِـل (doer) is a pronoun traceable back to someone who is understood to be from among the people and it is concealed out of necessity – like when you say : قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَومُ‏‮ ‬‬مَا خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وَمَا عَدَا زَيْدًا وَحَاشَا زَيْدًا (The people stood without Zayd).  Zayd is the case of naṣb, because it is الْـمَفْعُولُ‏‮ ‬‬بِـهِ (the object of the verb [خَـلاَ‮ ‬,عَدَا and حَـاشَـا respectively]).  The فَاعِـل of خَـلاَ‏‮ ‬‬and عَـدَا and حَاشَـا as stated before, it is a pronoun concealed out of necessity.   Its  implication is that خَـلاَ‏‮ ‬‬بَـعْضُهُمْ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْـدًا (some of them [the people] acted without Zayd) and عَدَا بَعْضَهُمْ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْـدًا  (some of them excluded Zayd) and حَـاشَـا بَعْضُهُمْ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا (some of them are not with Zayd).  As for مَا preceding خَـلاَ‏‮ ‬‬and عَـدَا, it is necessary that the case of naṣb (be affixed to the noun which is govern by them) like when you say: قَامَ‏‮ ‬‬الْقَــــومُ‏‮ ‬‬مَا خَلاَ‏‮ ‬‬زَيْدًا وَمَا عَدَا زَيْدًا with Zayd in the case of naṣb.  As for the حاشا, مَا does not come in front of it, therefore you cannot say: مَا حَاشَا.

Published in: on March 22, 2012 at 12:25  Leave a Comment  
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The Education of Usman Dan Fodio: Chapter 2 of The African Caliphate

24598b22-715c-4624-9665-1506c41f0b04.jpg The Education of Usman Dan Fodio 

Chapter 2: The African Caliphate 

By Dr. Ibrahim Sulaiman

Shehu Usman was born into a highly cultured family in 1168/1754. His father was Muhammad ibn Salih, known generally as Fodio. His mother was Hawwa bint Muhammad ibn Usman. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Degel, where the young Usman grew up. In the Timbuktu tradition, the parents were invariably the first teachers and Shehu Usman received most of his education from his parents and relatives.

Our main sources concerning his education are Idaa’ an-Nusuukh  and Tazyiin al-Waraqaat of ʿAbdullahi Dan Fodio and Asaaniid al-Faqiir  of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio. In Idaa’ an-Nusuukh, ʿAbdullahi described his early education:

“The Shaykh read the Qur’an with his father, learned al-Ishriniyyah and similar works with his Shaykh, ʿUthman, known as Biddu al-Kabawi. He learned syntax, and the science of grammar from al-Khulaasah and other works, from our Shaykh Abd ar-Rahman ibn Hammada. He read al-Mukhtasar with our paternal and maternal uncle, Uthmaan, known as Bidduri.… This shaykh of his was learned and pious, well known for righteousness and the ordering of the right and the forbidding of the wrong, and for being occupied with what concerned him. He it is whom our Shaykh Uthmaan (Dan Fodio) imitated in states and in deeds. He accompanied him for nearly two years, molding himself according to his pattern in piety (taqwaa) and in ordering the right, and forbidding the wrong.”

Thus, the Shehu’s character was initially molded by Usman Bidduri. His inclination towards the career which eventually turned out to be the sole purpose in his life, and his keenness to call people to the way of Allah, were instilled in him by this shaykh. His influence on Shehu Usman was fundamental, enduring and far-reaching. Associated with this influence was that of Muhammad Sambo, who supervised part of Shehu’s early teachings. According to ʿAbdullahi, this scholar ‘used to attend (Shehu’s) reading of al-Mukhtasar – if he made a mistake, or let anything slip, this maternal uncle of ours would correct it for him’. Though he was away in the Hijaaz during most of the period of Shehu’s early activities his influence on the whole community was beyond question.

Continuing his account of the Shehu’s education, ʿAbdullahi wrote:

“Now Shaykh Uthmaan informed me that he had learned Qur’anic exegesis (tafsiir) from the son of our maternal and paternal uncle Aḥmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Amin, and that he was present at the assembly of Haashim az-Zamfari (i.e. from the Hausa state of Zamfara) and heard from him Qur’anic exegesis from the beginning of the Qur’an to the end of it… He learned the science of tradition (hadiith) from our maternal and paternal uncle, al-Hajj Muhammad ibn Raj... reading with him all of Ṣaḥiiḥ of al-Bukhaari. Then he gave us license to pass on all that he had recited of that which he had learned from his Shaykh al-Madani, the Sindi of origin, Abu Al-Hassan ʿAli.”

Muhammad ibn Raj’s knowledge of ḥadiith was indeed profound. He had studied each of the most important works of ḥadiith from an uninterrupted chain of authorities such as the Imams al-Bukhaari, Muslim and Maalik. The other of note was Salih Muhammad al-Kanawi, through whom Shehu Usman also traced his isnaads in Bukhaari, Muwaṭṭa and ash-Shifaa’.

ʿAbdullahi told us further in Idaa’ an-Nusuukh that the Shehu sought knowledge from Shaykh Jibril, and he accompanied him for almost a year until they came to the town of Agades. Jibril ibn ʿUmar’s influence was both intellectual and moral. In ḥadiith, for example, the Shehu traced his isnaad in all the essential ḥadiith works, notably Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Muwaṭṭa and Ibn Majah. Jibril was his most important authority in fiqh (or science of law) and most significantly in the various aspects of taṣawwuf (spiritual training). His silsilah (spiritual genealogy) in this sphere of life and especially in the Qaadiriyyah order, and his silsilah in Dalaa’il al-Khairaat, are all traced, in Asaaniid al-Faqiir, through Jibril. There seemed to be no aspect of learning which the Shehu undertook in which Jibril ibn ʿUmar did not leave his indelible imprint.

The real significance of Jibril ibn ʿUmar is that he gave the Shehu the idea of tajdiid, the foundations of which he himself laid. He gave his student the intellectual, moral, spiritual and ideological training he needed for the gigantic work of tajdiid. Jibril later was the first to pledge allegiance to Shehu, even before the jihad. Despite certain differences of opinion the Shehu acknowledged his profound indebtedness to Jibril, which ʿAbdullahi quoted in Idaa’ an-Nusuukh: “If there be said of me that which is said of good report, then I am but a wave of the waves of Jibril.”

Influence, though of an indirect nature, was exerted on the Shehu by Sidi Mukhtar al-Kunti, who was born in 1142/1729 and died in 1226/l811, and was thus a direct contemporary of the Shehu. Sidi Mukhtar belonged to a highly venerated Kunta family which over thirty years had produced an uninterrupted chain of scholars and saints, the most influential being Sidi Mukhtar al-Kunti. Knowledgeable and charismatic, he soon became a veritable institution himself.

According to Abdal-Aziz Batran, Sidi al-Mukhtar attracted multitudes of students, people who sought his barakah and guidance, and scholars seeking enlightenment. He assumed the leadership not only of the Kunta family, but more significantly, of the Qaadiriyyah order, giving unity to branches that had been estranged for nearly two hundred years. Thereafter, he initiated an ambitious and, indeed, successful though peaceful, moral transformation of a large part of Africa.

Sidi Mukhtar taught that the study of taṣawwuf was essential as it was imperative for self-fortification and for achieving nearness to Allah. This nearness itself involves a progressive moral transformation of the individual under the guidance of a shaykh. He also taught that zuhd means giving as much attention to the mundane aspects of life as to the spiritual; wealth, therefore, was essential as it is the cornerstone for jaah, social standing and dignity, as well as for haibah, authority and respect. He wished for a return to the basic sources of Islamic jurisprudence, and for the teachings of the Companions (Allah be pleased with them) of Muhammad to be reinstated. Moreover, he rejected exclusive adherence to one madh-hab and opened the door of ijtihaad to all who were juristically qualified.

Sidi al-Mukhtar believed that he was the mujaddid of the thirteenth century of the Hijrah whom Allah had called upon to renovate Islam and to restore the ummah to its glorious past not only in West Africa, but throughout the whole Muslim world… Like Aḥmad Baba before him, he expressed the opinion that several mujaddidun appeared periodically in different territories, including West Africa.”

We shall now look at some of the principal ideas of Sidi Mukhtar, namely his ideas on tajdiid, the ʿulamaa’ and taṣawwuf. Tajdiid is ‘the resuscitation of what has withered away of knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the commandment of their observance’. So long as the ummah would sink from time to time into degeneration or turmoil, so long would tajdiid remain imperative.

In western Sudan, this degeneration (fasaad) was precipitated by the despot, Sonni ʿAli, who appeared in the ninth Islamic century and therefore necessitated, by implication, the tajdiid of Askia Muhammad. Further degeneration was brought about by the invasion of the Moroccan hordes who killed many of the inhabitants of western Sudan, slew the ʿulamaa’, captured as many as thirty thousand people and sacked the towns.

This destruction of life and knowledge of a large part of the western Sudan precipitated a moral and intellectual decline which necessitated the initiation of a new process of tajdiid throughout the region.

Tajdiid, Mukhtar said, could take various forms, and thus could be led by individuals with different emphases, depending on the prevailing situation. The mujaddid could be a statesman who would preserve the principles of the law, make justice triumph among the people and protect the lives and properties of the people, so that they could carry on their temporal affairs and their religious duties without any hindrance. The mujaddid could also be a zaahid who would remind the people of the world to come, call them to righteousness and renunciation of the world. Or he could be a pure scholar who would regenerate the knowledge of Sunnah and establish the authenticity of the Prophetic tradition. Few individuals could undertake tajdiid, for the standard of learning, coupled with moral sanctity, is extremely high. Sidi Mukhtar said of such a person:

“Assuming that all religious knowledge were forgotten, all literatures were burned and he were resorted to, he would have the capacity to resuscitate that knowledge and write similar books.”

It was the Sidi’s view that the center of gravity in the Muslim world had shifted to western Sudan by the eleventh Islamic century. In the century before, those who bad undertaken the tajdiid were firstly, the mujaddid of all branches of knowledge, al-Maghili; secondly, Jalaal ad-diin as-Suyuuti; thirdly, the zaahid, Sayyid Muhammad as-Sanuusi; and fourthly, the statesman, al-Hajj Askia Muhammad, but in the eleventh century, the three mujaddids that appeared in the Muslim world were, according to the Sidi, from the western Sudan. These were the faqih Ahmad Baba at-Timbukti, the famous ḥadiith scholar Muhammad Baghyu at-Takruri, and the ascetic Baba al-Mukhtar at-Timbukti. In the twelfth century, two of the three mujaddids that appeared were from western Sudan, the Sidi Mukhtar al-Kunti himself and Shehu Usman Dan Fodio.

The Sidi attributed the decline of knowledge and the triumph of bidʿah (innovation) in the western Sudan in the twelfth and the thirteenth Islamic centuries partly to the activities of the corrupt scholars (ʿulamaa’ as-suu’), whom he grouped into as many as sixteen categories. They included those who had knowledge, but failed to put it into practice; those who presented an appearance of compliance with the outward religious duties, but had not eliminated characteristics such as vanity, hypocrisy, ambition, desire for political office and high rank; those who presumed that they had the exclusive right to guide the common people and yet entered into unholy alliance with the sulṭans, thus encouraging the sulṭans’ oppression of the people; those who engaged in jihad, but only to obtain fame and wealth; and those scholars who used false methods, such as music, to lure people into spiritual practices. The danger of those scholars, the Sidi said, could be seen from the ḥadiith of the Prophet:

“I fear for my ummah after me more from ʿulamaa’ as-suu’ than from the Dajjal’, and when asked who these were, he replied that they were ʿulamaa’ al-alsinah, ‘the ʿulamaa’ of the tongue.”

Sidi insisted that taṣawwuf is an indispensable aspect of Islam, but true sufism is none other than honest and sincere adherence to the Sunnah. “If the muriid observes the commands of the Shariiʿah and refrains from doing what is prohibited by it, truly and sincerely, Allah will open in his heart a portal whereby he can see (acquire) ʿuluumu-l-ḥaqiiqah. And if he adheres to the rules of ʿuluumu-l-ḥaqiiqah, Allah will cause to open a further portal within his inner self whereby he shall see the Kingdom of Heaven and realities of Allah’s might.” The combination of law and moral purification seemed to him the best way to practice religion.

The Sidi’s views on the use of music in sufism and on zuhd are worth noting. “Allah, the Almighty, is not worshipped by dancing and chanting… We the Qaadirii do not approve of dancing, frivolous playing and merry making because they are degrading to man’s dignity and damaging to his honor.” Zuhd does not mean squandering one’s wealth or declaring as illegal what Allah has decreed to be legal, such as taking up a profession or other economic pursuits. Zuhd is to dispense the world willingly when one possesses it and to be at rest in one’s heart when one loses it’. “The Companions of the Prophet,” he said, “possessed the world and held it like the trustworthy treasurer, kept it in the lawful manner and distributed it in the legal way. They neither clung to it nor had any inclination towards it.”

Sidi Mukhtar’s influence on the Shehu and his movement itself was first and foremost spiritual, for as the undisputed head of the Qaadiriyyah order to which the Shehu belonged and as a dynamic intellectual personality, he was bound to exert a deep influence over the Shehu. Some of the three hundred or so books and treatises he wrote were certainly brought to the attention of the Shehu, and his students and companions also made their own particular impact. Significantly, the Sidi used his vast and profound influence in support of the Shehu and his movement, a support that advanced the course of the jiihad in considerable measure.

We have mentioned some of the men who influenced the Shehu to indicate the kind of training he had, although it is impossible for us to know all of them. There are surely other personalities who contributed to the making of the Shehu in much the same way as those we have mentioned, but who are not known to us and may never be known. What cannot be denied is that the Shehu drank deeply from the great pond of knowledge which the western Sudan had to offer. It is to his credit that he sought knowledge wherever he could find it, and that even when he had grown important and more famous than most of the scholars, he still sat humbly before them, learning from them. He also learned the primary sources – the Qur’an and ḥadiith – from as many authorities as possible. At the end, of the day he had acquired not only a deep and indelible knowledge of these sources, but also the different interpretations that had been developed through several centuries.

The Shaping of a Character

The Shehu, from what we can understand, must have seen in al-Maghili a vigorous intellectual who had a deep knowledge in the sciences necessary for changing the intellectual precepts of people, and who had a noble character imbued with the requisite moral persuasion to sway even the most powerful of men. In al-Maghili, the Shehu saw how an individual, even though having refugee status, could effect a lasting change in the life of nations and set their history, almost single-handedly, upon a totally different course, by the sheer force of his intellect, his moral authority and his absolute reliance on Allah. He took time to study al-Maghili properly, taking from him, as faithfully as possible, the concept of tajdiid, of society and of government, as well as the nature of the ideological divide between Muslims and those who serve the cause of evil.

In al-Barnawi, as well as in a number of scholars of his time and especially those of the intellectual centers of Borno, Katsina and Kano, the Shehu must have seen the concept of an active, purifying and transformative jurisprudence, which even though it had been relegated to the background and lost its supremacy, could still serve as a potent forum for protest and mobilization for the revival of Islam. Indeed, the point that came out clearly in al-Barnawi was that what was wrong in respect of law was not so much the stagnation it had suffered as a result of the loss of genuine ʿulamaa’, as the neglect it had suffered in its abandonment by society. Law grows and develops through application.

In Sidi Ahmad Baba, who epitomized the spirit of the Timbuktu tradition, the Shehu must have perceived the role and place of the scholar in society. The scholar’s first responsibility is to acquaint himself with the basic knowledge of the sources, then of the law, then of different sciences that support the life of society, and then of history and so on. This will place him in a position to guide society in all essential areas and to put himself at the disposal of every segment of society. His second responsibility is to stand up boldly as the guardian of the conscience of society, preventing any assault or outrage against the values of society or against the sanctity of its beliefs and institutions. In this way, he serves as the force behind the preservation of the moral and social purity of society and respect for the integrity of the nation. The scholar’s third responsibility is to stand up for the poor and the oppressed, to defend their rights, and strive for the accomplishment of their aspirations. The scholar’s fourth responsibility is to stand up for the defense of the nation and enhance its integrity as a nation faithful to Allah and submissive to His laws. As an institution in himself and an active observer of events and history, the scholar is morally bound to warn his nation with all the power and means at his disposal against possible deviations from Islam and to state as clearly as possible the moral, political and historical consequences of such deviations. Finally, it is his responsibility to raise a generation of men and women capable of taking societal responsibilities, or of steering the course of society in a positive direction when the signs of degeneration are apparent.

When considering his teachers and contemporaries, the influence of Usman Bidduri should not be underrated. He was a scholar, who combined learning and piety, and who was dissatisfied with the prevailing corruption and felt the acute need for change, but who at the same time had the wisdom and patience first to sow the seeds of change. He quietly transferred his desires for change to a future generation, and died silently, leaving a legacy for the future. The Shehu, we are told, imitated him in almost all situations relating to his work, recognizing that restraint and patience, as well as a depth of understanding of the issues at stake, are essential ingredients for social transformation, but it was the learned and pious Jibril ibn ʿUmar who gave him the instruments with which to strive against the currents of the time. In Shehu’s studies of ḥadiith, in his efforts to acquire a deep knowledge of law and jurisprudence, in his studies and practice of taṣawwuf, in his endeavors to get a more intimate spiritual relationship with the Prophet, and in his endeavors to understand his society and work for its improvement, he found in Jibril a worthy and eager mentor. He learned the importance of restraint, of open mindedness and sympathy for the inadequacies of the common people, and from the reverses which his teacher had suffered in his attempt to change society too quickly.

Other scholars also left their marks. The supervision of his teachings by the saintly Muhammad Sambo, the vast knowledge of ḥadiith acquired from Al-Hajj Muhammad Raj and the important studies of the Qur’an and its exegesis from Muhammad al-Amin all influenced the Shehu deeply.

In Sidi Mukhtar al-Kunti, he found the true embodiment of sainthood; a versatile and richly endowed scholar who had the view that concern for the world and the more lofty concern for the hereafter had to be combined in a single individual to create a saint. The Sidi also maintained that both temporal and spiritual matters should be brought under the single authority of Islam if the world were to be a better place in which to live. In him, Shehu Usman must also have seen a dynamic and revolutionary sufism concerned to secure for man a just society on earth and Allah’s pleasure in the hereafter. He must have seen in Mukhtar al-Kunti the extent to which an individual possessing sanctity and prestige could penetrate hearts and secure their allegiance for the task of creating a better society. It was to the credit of both the Shehu and al-Kunti that they did not view each other as rivals, but rather mujaddids; each engaged in the same endeavors in the cause of Allah; each employing slightly different methods.

There were many other aspects to the shaping of the Shehu’s personality. All that he had learned of the Arabic language, Qur’anic exegesis, science of ḥadiith were a mere introduction to the wider world of learning and scholarship. From the Mukhtasar of Khalil the Shehu moved further to drink from the great pool of jurisprudence of the Maaliki and the other three schools.

Although the Maaliki school was sufficient for his needs, he felt he should know the principles of other schools, for as he himself said, “there is no rule in Islam, other than that of mere convenience, that restricts a community to follow a particular school of law.”

Then, the Shehu ventured boldly in the world of sufism and learned and practiced the rites of several branches of the Qaadiriyyah, including that of Sidi Mukhtar al-Kunti. In addition, he read almost everything that reached him from the works of al-Ghazali, most especially the Ihyaa’ from which he derived much profit. His book, titled boldly as Ṭariiq al-Jannah, was but a summary of what al-Ghazali had written on piety and moral purification. Then he examined the works of other great ṣufi personalities – the sage Ibn al-ʿArabi, the saint az-Zarruuq, his teacher Ibn ʿAtta Allah, amongst others. He also studied other ṣufi orders, because as far as he was concerned, sufism, like Islamic jurisprudence, is but a tree with many branches.

The Shehu studied history, especially of the rightly-guided khilaafah and of Islam in general. He took special interest in the history of the western Sudan from which he perceived the inevitable confrontation between the forces of light and darkness in the region. The most important of Shehu’s personal efforts were in the studies of the Qur’an and ḥadiith. By investigating these two sources over and over again and by teaching some of them from the beginning to the end many times over, he acquired a deep knowledge of them. In his Asaaniid al-Faqiir, the Shehu leaves no one in doubt as to his tremendous knowledge of the ḥadiith – it seems that he had read and taught almost all the ḥadiiths contained in the authentic collections.

The result of all this made Shehu Usman a forest of knowledge, a jurist, a saint, “He grew up penitent and devout,” Muhammad Bello told us in Infaaq al-Maysuur, “possessed of pleasing qualities. And none was his equal. People trusted him, and flocked to him from the east and west.” Bello continues:

“He instructed the ʿulamaa’ and raised the banner of religion. He revived the Sunnah and put an end to heresy. He spread knowledge and dispelled perplexity. His learning dazzled men’s minds. He showed how reality (ḥaqiiqah) was to be reconciled with the Shariiʿah. For years he explained the Qur’an in the presence of learned and righteous men of importance, vying with them, through his reading and the different branches of his learning, in rhetoric, and in the knowledge of the authorities, and of what is written and what is abrogated. At the same time, he was pre-eminent in knowledge of the hadiith, and learned in its unfamiliar parts and different branches. Revered by both great and small, he was a Mujaddid at the head of this generation.”

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Shaykh Al Yaquoubi Speaks About The Sacred Arabic Language


Shaykh Al Yaqoubi used the term anagram in his talk.  An anagram is a word, phrase, or name formed by rearranging the letters of another word, such as: god, formed from dog.

Published in: on March 20, 2012 at 18:49  Leave a Comment  
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How to Perform Wuduu’ for Prayer: A Step by Step Chart for Children and New Muslims

How to Perform Wuduu’ for Prayer: A Step by Step Chart for Children and New Muslims

Clicking on the picture below twice (2 times) in order to enlarge its view:

After you clean your body and your clothes, you should prepare to perform wudū’ by filling a water container (i.e. small bucket or kettle) with clean water that is suitable for performing wudū’, then assume a sitting position, placing the water container in front of you and slightly to the right; then make your intention to perform wudu’, and thereafter say: Bis-mil-laah. Then perform the following sequential acts of wudu’:

1.  Wash your hands up to the wrist three times, then

2. rinse your mouth with water swishing the water in mouth and spitting it out three times, then

3. wash the inside of the noses by inhaling water and then exhaling it three times, then

4. wash the entire face three times, then

5. wash your right hands up to the elbow three times while combing through the fingers of the right hand with the fingers of the left hand, then

6. wash your left hand up to the elbow three times while combing through the fingers of the left hand with the fingers of the right hand , then

7. wipe over the head with wet hands from the front of the head to the nape of the neck and back to the front once (wet the hands for this wiping by putting water on them from the water container and then shaking off any excess water), then

8. wipe the inside of the ears along their folds and creases with wet index fingers and then wipe the outside of the ears with wet thumbs, starting from the bottom of the ears moving towards and ending at the top (wet the fingers for this wiping by putting water on them from the water container and then shaking off any excess water), then

9. wash the right foot to the ankle three times while combing through the toes of the right foot using the fingers of the hand, then

10.  wash the left foot to the ankle while combing through the toes of the left foot using the fingers of the hand  three times,l

Upon completion of wudu’ you should say: Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illal laahu waḥ-dahu laa shariika lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muḥammadan ʿabduhu wa rasuuluhu. Allahumaj alnii minat-tawaabiina Allahumaj alnii minal muta-ṭah-hi-riina.


I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Who is Alone without any partner for Him, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. Oh Allah! place me among those who repent and place me among those who purify themselves.

The Timbuktu Tradition


The Timbuktu Tradition

by Dr. Ibrahim Sulaiman

Perhaps the most important factor in the resurgence of Islam after several decades of decline in Bilaad as-Sudan was that the Islamic tradition of learning and scholarship continued throughout the period of decline to operate as a living and thriving tradition, producing scholars, jurists and saints all over the region. The tradition preserved the best of Islam, and kept alive its intellectual legacy, strong enough for any determined reformer to apply as an instrument of societal transformation. That tradition of Islam was best symbolized by an enigmatic and highly venerated West African city that flourished for at least five centuries from the twelfth century A.D.

Timbuktu was a city bolstered by piety, and as Dr. Hunwick tells us, “it was the proud boast of its people that worship has never been offered to pagan gods within its wall.” He quotes Muhammad Kati who described the city in Ta’riikh al-Fattaash:

“Religion flourished and the Sunnah enlivened both religious and worldly affairs… In those days it had no equal in the Sudan, from Mali to the edges of the Maghrib, for soundness of institutions, political liberties, purity of customs, security of life and goods and respect for and assistance to, the students and men of learning.”

The city owed its prestige and its immense influence on the sub-sequent history of West Africa to its being a center of learning. It was a university complex, drawing students and scholars from different parts of the Muslim world, nourishing governments with administrators, clerks and judges, feeding cities with Imams, teachers and jurists, and providing for the wider society a long chain of muftis, saints and above all, mujaddids. The unusually high number of mujaddids which the Bilaad as-Sudan has produced – perhaps higher than any other part of the Muslim world – can be attributed in part to the tradition of learning fostered by Timbuktu.

“The tradition of learning in Timbuktu,” Elias Saad writes in ‘Social History of Timbuktu’, “assured the city a status and prestige”:

“The Muslim sciences which the various settlers brought and fostered in the city went hand-in-hand with the widespread commercial contacts of these groups to secure for the growing town a measure of non-interference from outside. For one thing, the settlers themselves commanded considerable wealth along with wide spread networks of trade and alliances in the area. Additionally, however, the security of the city was in its Islamic image; its mosques, schools and shrines began to be conceived early as its guardians. In the psychological mood which prevailed after pilgrimage of Mansa Musa of Mali (and again on the return from the Hajj of Askia Muhammad over a century and a half later), Timbuktu gradually gained an aura of ‘sanctity’ and assumed for itself a sort of inviolability.”

In this tradition of learning, after the elementary stage of Qur’anic recitation and literacy, a student was introduced into the world of scholarship via the Arabic language. Versatility in Arabic, Saad suggests, was highly valued, therefore, such fields of learning associated with language, grammar, rhetoric, logic and prosody became an essential part of the process of learning.

The fundamental goal of learning in this tradition was to acquire the understanding of Qur’an, ḥadiith and fiqh, and to some extent, of taṣawwuf. Hence, the science of tafsiir, Qur’anic exegesis was perhaps the most important of all sciences studied. Then followed study of the ḥadiith, in which, Saad states, “the abilities of a jurist came to be measured by his familiarity with the precedents set by the Prophet.”

In the study of fiqh, the Timbuktu tradition insisted on achieving a level of competence as high as could be found in any other part of the Muslim world. The fiqh studies revolved almost wholly around the Maaliki School, to which the entire region has subscribed until the present day. Other fields, such as taṣawwuf, uṣuul or the philosophy of law, tawḥiid or the science of unity of Allah, history, medicine, astronomy and mathematics were also given due attention. A relatively wide range of text books was available to the students.

Knowledge was sought in this tradition precisely in order to enable the students to organize their lives as Allah had ordered, and subsequently to organize society and state on those lines as well. Scholarship therefore, was an institution in its own right, distinct from and almost totally independent of the state. It remained self-reliant, maintaining and generating its own funds through a high level of commercial activities, and preserving its own prestige and sanctity. Scholars were never subservient to the rulers; indeed, in some respects the tradition was so strong as to force the rulers to concede to the supremacy of the scholar over the ruler. For example, it was the monarch who visited the Qaaḍii of Timbuktu, and not the other way around. The idea was that the qaaḍii, as the custodian of Allah’s sacred law, was pre-eminent over the temporal ruler. This tradition gave the scholars of Timbuktu an aura of sanctity and respectability that made them the symbol of the people and the conscience of society.

The Timbuktu tradition persisted in Hausaland and in the whole of Bilaad as-Sudan, producing scholars who upheld the spirit of Islam and nourished Islam itself both in the periods of light and of darkness. The Moroccan invasion of 999 A.H./l591 A.D., in which almost all the leading scholars were arrested, precipitated its decline. This deterioration, however, was merely quantitative; the quality of the tradition was maintained. So, while Hausaland was sunk in moral degradation, this intellectual and moral tradition carefully nurtured a cadre of scholars who were to bring about a revival of Islam and create a society dedicated to Islam, a state committed entirely to its defense and enhancement.

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