Born 1326/1908 in the city of Meknās in Morocco, Shaykha Bahiyyah bint Hāshim al-Quṭbiyyah al-Filāliyyah was one of the rare scholarly giants who still remained from the previous generation who was a great inspiration for men and women alike.
She memorized Qurʾān at the age of 14 at the hands of al-Qāḍī Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Ismāʿīlī al-ʿAlawī and studied the various Islamic sciences with the renowned scholars of her region. She made Ḥajj at age 18 where she studied with scholars of the Ḥijāz. In 1374/1955 she traveled to Tunisia where she studied for 5 years at the renowned Zaytūnah University, being the only woman there at the time. There she was the student of the great scholar of the 20th century Shaykh al-Islām al-Ṭāhir ibn ʿĀshūr (d. 1393/1973) and received Ijāzah from him. After graduating with distinction, she was requested to stay there but she chose to return to her own country. Continue reading →
In anticipation of our upcoming meeting with one of the great living scholars of ḥadīth in India, I am releasing a brief biography. I ask Allah to grant us immense barakah in this upcoming tour.
Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿUbaydullah Mubārakpūrī
Born in the Indian city of Mubārakpūr, Azamghar district in UP state in 1354H, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Mubārakpūrī is a graduate of the esteemed Raḥmāniyyah Seminary who studied under the renowned scholars of India, starting with his father Maulānā ʿUbaydullah b. Muḥammad Raḥmānī Mubārakpūrī author of the popular 9-volume commentary on the ḥadīth work Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ entitled Mirʿāt al-Mafātīḥ. His maternal uncle and father-in-law ʿAbd al-Ṣamad b. Muḥammad Akbar was the most distinguished student of the great ḥadīth scholar MuḥammadʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Mubārakpūrī, well-known author of the best commentary on Tirmidhī entitled Tuḥfat al-Aḥwadhī. His paternal grandfather ʿAllāmah Abul-Hudā ʿAbd al-Salām Mubārakpūrī was also a great scholar who authored a biography on Imām Bukhārī. Continue reading →
5 Life Lessons I Learned From My Brother Mostafa Khalifa
Since hearing the tragic news, like many others I have been besides myself. The tears just won’t stop, the chest just won’t expand and the heaviness just isn’t going away. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life, and I never realized how much I loved him.
Mostafa Khalifa, an incredible community leader, pioneer and mentor, succumbed to an illness at the prime of his life and passed away this week, in the last few days of the holy month of Ramadan. He touched so many lives, as was made clear by the largest funeral procession ever witnessed by many of us in our lifetimes. There are sure to be many stories, but I would like to share just one: how his life touched mine, and what I learned from him. Some of this I have never shared with anyone, but now I feel compelled.
One of the earliest manuscripts of Tuhfat ul Atfal, from the al-Azhar Library Collection 385/29810.
A Closer Look at the Historical Transmission of this Popular Text
The poem Tuḥfat al-Aṭfāl, authored by the Egyptian scholar Sulaymān Ḥusayn al-Jamzūrī [died circa 1198AH/1783-4CE],has been memorized, taught and kept alive by countless individuals since its authorship more than two centuries ago, making it the single most utilized resource for learning Tajweed to this day. Since that time, it has continued to be transmitted in the traditional manner, in the line of great classical works of Islamic learning, complete with formal authorization (ijāzah) and chains of transmission (isnād) tracing the line of one’s teachers back to the author. These documents exist across the Muslim world in various shapes and forms, handwritten, transcribed and sometimes even oral; at times free-standing and sometimes as part of larger written works.
Despite its great popularity as a traditional text, however, the chain of transmission of Tuḥfat al-Aṭfāl to the author remains problematic for a variety of reasons. Continue reading →
The name Fatima crowns the annals of history with the distinction of establishing the world’s very first university. Yes, it was a Muslim woman who pioneered this effective model of higher learning coupled with the issuance of degrees of various levels.
Fatima al-Fihri migrated with her family from Qayrawan in present-day Tunisia to the city of Fez in Morocco in the early ninth century during the rule of the Idrees II, who was both an extraordinary ruler and a devout Muslim. Fes at the time was bustling as the metropolis of the “Muslim West” (known as al-Maghrib), and held the promise of fortune and felicity. Having become one of the most influential Muslim cities, it boasted a rich combination of religion and culture, both cosmopolitan and traditional. Idrees II reestablished the city on the left bank of the River Fez. This is where Fatima was to settle and get married.