Muwatta’ Imam Malik_Book of Morals

The Muwatta’[1] of Imam Malik (RA)[2]

The Book of Excellent Morals

(kitab husn al-khuluq)

الموطأ لإمام مالك_حسن الخلق

By: S. Z. Chowdhury

Autumn 2003.


1 – The Section on what was Narrated regarding Excellent Morals

1620/1 – It was related to me[3] from Malik that Mu‘adh b. Jabal said:[4] The last thing the Messenger of Allah (SAW) advised me when I had put my foot in the leather stirrup (gharz)[5] was that he said: “O Mu‘adh b. Jabal, show good morals to the people (ahsin khuluqak li ’l-nas).”

1621/2 – Malik related to me from ibn Shihab[6] from ‘Urwah b. Zubayr[7] from the Prophet’s wife ‘A’ishah (RA) that she said: ‘Without doubt, the Prophet (SAW) never chose between two matters except that he took the easier of the two (aysarahuma) so long as it was not sinful (ma lam yakun ithman).[8] If it was sinful, then he would be the farthest of people from it (kana abad al-nas minhu). And the Messenger of Allah never took revenge for himself (li-nafsihi) except if the limits (hurmah) of Allah were violated whereupon he would take revenge for it only for Allah.’[9]

1622/3 – It was related to me from Malik from ibn Shihab from ‘Ali b. Husayn b. ‘Ali[10] b. Abi Talib that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Of the beautiful things in a person’s Islam is to leave what does not concern him (min husn al-islam al-mar’i tarkuhu ma la yanihi).”[11]

1623/4 – It was related to me from Malik that it had reached him from the Prophet’s wife (SAW) ‘A’ishah (RA) that she had said that a man sort permission from the Messenger of Allah (SAW) to enter. ‘A’ishah said: I was with [the Messenger of Allah] in the house and the Prophet remarked: ‘what an evil son of the tribe.’ Thereafter the Messenger of Allah granted [the man] permission to enter and ‘A’ishah said: It was not long before I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) laughing with him. So when [the man] had left, I asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you said what you had said about him[12] and then you remained laughing with him.’ The Messenger of Allah (SAW) replied: ‘Indeed the worst of people are they whom the people fear because of their evil (inna min sharr al-nas ittaqahu al-nas li-sharrihi).’[13]

1624/5 – It was narrated to me from Malik from his Uncle Abu Suhayl b. Malik[14] from his father from Ka‘b al-Ahbar that he said: ‘If you desire to know what is for the servant with his Lord, then let him look towards whatever of good praise (husn al-thana’) follows him.’

1625/6 – It was narrated to me from Malik from Yahya b. Sa‘id[15] that he said:[16] ‘it has reached me that a person, because of his excellent manners, will attain the position [like that] of the one who stands at night (al-qa’im bi ’l-layl)[17] and the one thirsty from the heat of the mid-day (al-dhami bi ’l-hawajir).’[18]

1626/7 – It was narrated to me from Malik from Yahya b. Sa‘id that he said: I heard Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab say: ‘Shall I inform you about something that is better than a lot of Prayer and Charity (kathir min al-salah wa ’l-sadaqah)?’ They replied: ‘Certainly.’ He said: ‘Mending disunity (islah dhat al-bayni) and to be aware of hatred (al-bighdah) for it is a razor [which shaves away your religion].’[19]

1627/8 – It was narrated to me from Malik that it reached him that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘I was sent to complete the excellent manners (buithtu li-utimma husn al-akhlaq).’[20] 

2. The Section on what was Narrated Regarding Modesty

(ma ja’a fi ’l-haya’)

1628/9 – It was narrated to me from Malik from Salamah b. Safwan b. Salamah al-Zuraqiyy[21] from Zayd b. Talhah b. Rukanah[22] attributing [the narration directly] to the Prophet (SAW) that he said: ‘For every religion there are morals and the [essence] of Islamic morality is modesty (khuluq al-islam al-haya’).’[23] 

1629/10 – It was narrated to me from Malik from ibn Shihab from Salim b. ‘Abd Allah[24] from ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) passed by a man who was admonishing[25] his brother (yaizu akhahu) regarding shame whereupon the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘leave him, for indeed shame is part of belief (fa-inna ’l-haya’ min al-iman).’[26]

3. The Section on what was Narrated Regarding Anger

(ma ja’a fi ’l-ghadab)

1630/11 – It was narrated to me from Malik from ibn Shihab from Humayd b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Awf[27] that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah teach me words that I can live[28] by but do not make them many lest I forget (la tukthiru ‘alayya fa-ansa).’ The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘do not be angry (la taghdab).’[29]

1631/12 – It was narrated to me from Malik from ibn Shihab from Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab from Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah said: ‘A strong man is not the person who throws his adversaries to the ground. A strong person is one who can retain himself when he is angry (innama ’l-shadid alladhi yamliku nafsahu inda ’l-ghadab).’[30]

4. The Section on what was Narrated Regarding Shunning People

(ma ja’a fi ’l-muhajarah)

1632/13 – It was narrated to me from Malik from ibn Shihab from ‘Ata’ b. Yazid al-Laythi[31] from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari that the Messenger of Allah said: ‘it is not allowed (la yahillu) for a Muslim[32] to shun his brother for more than three nights (fawqa thalathin layalin); where both meet each other and one turns away and another turns away.[33] But the better of the two is he who salutes first (khayruhuma alladhi yabda’u bi ’l-salam).’[34]

1633/14 – It was narrated to me from Malik from ibn Shihab from Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘do not hate each other (la tabaghadu); do not envy each other (la tahasadu) and do not forsake each other  (wa la tadabaru). Become worshippers of Allah as brothers (kunu ibad Allahi ikhwanan).[35] It is not allowed for a Muslim to shun his brother for more than three nights.’ And Malik said: ‘I do not consider forsaking except turning away from his Muslim brother that is turning his back on him.’[36] 

1634/15 – It was narrated to me from Malik from Abu ’l-Zinad[37] from al-A‘raj[38] from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Beware of suspicion[39] for suspicion is the untrue narrative (fa-inna ’l-zann akdhab al-hadith). Do not spy upon one another (la jassasu),[40] do not eavesdrop (la tahassasu),[41] do not compete against each other (wa la tanafasu), do not envy each other (wa la tahasadu), do not hate each other (wa la tabaghdu) and do not turn away from each other (wa la tadabaru). Become worshippers of Allah as brothers.’[42]

1335/16 – It was narrated to me from Malik from ‘Ata’ b. Abi Muslim ‘Abd Allah al-Khurasani[43] who said: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Shake hands and spite (al-ghill)[44] will disappear. Give gifts (tahadu) and love each other (tahabbu) and enmity will disappear (wa yadhhab al-shahna’u).’[45]

1336/17 – It was narrated to me from Malik from Suhayl b. Abu Salih[46] from his father from Abu Hurayrah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘The Gates of Paradise are opened (tuftahu abwab al-jannah)[47] on Mondays and Thursdays, so every worshipping Muslim will be forgiven if he does not associate (la yushriku) anything with Allah except a man who has enmity between him and his brother. It will be said: delay (anzaru)[48] these two until they reconcile; delay these two they reconcile.’

1337/18 – It was narrated to me from Malik from Muslim b. Abu Maryam[49] from Abu Salih al-Samman[50] from Abu Hurayrah (RA) that he said: ‘The deeds of the people are shown twice every week; on Mondays and on Thursdays. Every believing servant will be forgiven except the servant who has enmity between him and his brother. It will be said: leave them (utruku hadhayn) until they mend (hatta yafi’a); leave them until they mend.’[51]


                                                                                    And Allah indeed knows best.

[1] The Muwatta’ although it comprises of legal (fiqh) and narrative (hadith) dimensions, it is more accurately a book regarding ‘practice’ (‘amal) particularly that of the residents of Imam Malik’s native city Madinah. It is with this in mind that he gave the name “muwatta’’” which means ‘the well-trodden path’ also implying a road smoothed out and made ready and thus made easy. See the Lisan al-Arab of ibn Manzur, 1:192-193; Yasin Dutton, The Origins of Islamic Law: The Qur’an, The Muwatta’ and Madinan Amal, p.22; Umar Faruq ‘Abd Allah, Malik’s Concept of Amal in the Light of Maliki Legal Theory, pp.102-104 and J. Schacht’s essay ‘Malik b. Anas’ in The Encyclopaedia of Islam (2), vi. 262-265.

[2] “Imam Malik is the Imam of Imams, the leader of the people of knowledge of Madinah, Malik b. Anas ibn Malik ibn Abi ‘Amir al-Asbahi al-Madani, born in 94 AH, 95 AH or even 99 AH. He was called the Man of Knowledge of Madinah. People of Knowledge understood that it was him the Prophet (SAW) indicated in the hadith from Abu Hurayrah, “People will soon beat the livers of their camels [in travelling in search of knowledge] but they will not find a man of knowledge more knowledgeable than the man of knowledge of Madinah.” Among his pupils were the Imams Sufyan ath-Thawri, Sa‘id ibn Mansur, ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak, ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Awza‘i who was older than him, Layth ibn Sa‘d who was one of his peers, Imam ash-Shafi‘i Muhammad ibn Idris, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani, the Malikis ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Qasim, Yayha ibn Yahya al-Laythi, ibn Wahb and Dhu’n-Nun al-Misri. He died in 179 AH on the morning of the 14th of Rabi‘ al-Awwal.” Taken from the synopsis of The Muwatta’ of Imam Muhammad, trans. by Abdurrahman et. al.

[3] The narrator is Yahya b. Yahya al-Laythi (d.234 AH) who read and studied the Muwatta’ in the final year of Imam Malik’s life (i.e. year 179 AH) and hence his account or ‘transmission’ (riwayah) is considered the most authoritative and representative one and is usually the one meant when the Muwatta’ is cited; it is his edition that is used here although references will be made to the edition of one of Imam Abu Hanifah’s most famous students the Absolute Mujtahid and Jurist par excellence Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Shaybani (d.189 AH). In the latter edition (by Abdurrahman, Clarke and Yate, 2004) Imam al-Shaybani often omits Malik’s comments and references to the Madinan ‘amal and instead consistently inserts his own opinions, narrations, observations and references along with the views of Imam Abu Hanifah and the Jurists in Kufa. Imam al-Shaybani’s textual ‘version’ is also in an entirely different arrangement. For more detail, see Dutton’s The Origins of Islamic Law, pp.24-25.

[4] The isnad (‘chain) is ‘severed’ (munqati‘). According to Imam ibn al-Salah al-Shahrazuri, the hadith munqati‘ is of two kinds: “one of them is the chain wherein there is a narrator (rawun) before arriving at a Successor (tabii) who has not heard from the person above him and between them both is a narrator who is omitted (al-saqit) neither implicitly nor explicitly mentioned. The other kind is the chain wherein some of the narrators are mentioned in a vague and misleading way,” Muqaddimah ibn al-Salah fi Ulum al-Hadith, p.50. According to the ‘Ulama’ of Usul al-Fiqh, any narration that is munqati‘ is generally taken to be a narration with a broken isnad. Imam Malik did not directly hear from the companion Mu‘adh b. Jabal (RA) so therefore the link to the companion has a successor (tabii) omitted. Malik alone has transmitted the narration.

[5] This is a horse-rider’s foot-support usually consisting of either a leather or wooden loop suspended from the saddle by a strap.

[6] Imam ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani writes in Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 2:216: “He is Muhammad b. Muslim b. ‘Ubayd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah b. Shihab b. ‘Abd Allah b. al-Harith b. Zuhrah b. Kilab al-Qurashi al-Zuhri. His cognomen (kunyah) is ‘Abu Bakr’. He was a jurist (faqih) as well as a Master in hadith (hafiz) and there is unanimous agreement regarding his lofty status (jalalatihi) as well as his absolute precision (itqanihi). He was one of the prominent figures of the 4th ‘division’ (tabaqah). He died around 125 AH and others say a year or two before that.” See also the entry in the Tabaqat al-Kubra of ibn Sa‘d, 4:126 and Rijal: The Narrators of the Muwatta’ of Imam Muhammad, by Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi, trans. by Abdassamad Clarke, Ta-Ha Publishers, London 2004, p.75; henceforth abbreviated as ‘al-Rijal.’

[7] ‘Urwah b. Zubayr b. al-‘Awwam b. Khuwaylid al-Asadi, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Madani. He was trustworthy (thiqah) as well as a famous faqih. He was considered thiqah (‘upright’ or ‘trustworthy’) by ibn Ma‘in, al-Nasa’i and ibn Hibban in his al-Thiqat, 5:196; ibn Sa‘d said he was profuse in hadith memorisation and transmission, Tabaqat al-Kubra, 7:460 so too did ibn Khalifah in his Tabaqat, p.312;  ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi said of him, however, that his narrations generally were in mursal form (‘ammah ahadithihi mursalah) in al-Jarh wa ’l-Ta‘dil, 6:396. See also ibn Hajar, Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 2:22; al-Mizzi’s Tahdhib al-Kamal, 20:9; Tarikh al-Darimi, p.632; al-Burqani, p.413 and Laknawi’s al-Rijal, p.131.

[8] Imam al-Nawawi writes in his Commentary on Sahih Muslim: “Regarding his saying: ‘Without doubt, the Prophet (SAW) never chose between two matters except that he took the easier of the two so long as it was not sinful’ in it is the recommended action of taking that which is the most lenient (al-aysar) and most mild (al-arfaq) so long as it is not that which is explicitly unlawful (haraman) or detestable (makruhan).” He continues by commenting that: “The statement: ‘except if the limits of Allah were violated’ is [grammatically] a ‘detached exception’ (istithna’ munqati‘) where the meaning is: but if the limits of Allah are violated, Allah Most High will be aided (or made victorious) by him [SAW] and that he will take revenge against anyone who perpetrated that. Moreover, in this narration is found the encouragement to forgive and excuse (al-hathth ala ’l-afw), to have forbearance (al-hilm), tolerating suffering (ihtimal al-adhan) and coming to the aid of Allah’s din for the one who commits the unlawful acts or those like it.

                And in [the narration] too is something recommended for the Imams, judges and the rest of those in power which is adopting this most noble of morals. And not to take revenge for their own sake and not to neglect and disregard Allah’s rights (wa la yahmulu haqq Allah). al-Qadi ‘Iyad said: The scholars have agreed that the judge may neither issue a verdict for his own self nor for the one whom a testimony is not permissible,” al-Minhaj bi-Sharh Muslim b. al-Hajjaj, p.1711.

[9] The narration is rigorously authenticated (sahih). It was also narrated by Bukhari (#3560, 6162, 6786 & 6853) and Muslim (#2327-2328) in their Sahihs.

[10] He is Zayn al-‘Abidin (d. 97) son of Imam Husayn (RA), thoroughly trustworthy (thiqah thabt); he was pious, a jurist (‘abid faqih) as well as famously upright (fadil mashhur) and regarding him ibn ‘Uyaynah said from al-Zuhri: ‘I have not seen anyone from Quraysh more noble and excellent than him.’ See al-‘Asqalani’s Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 2:40 and ibn Sa‘d’s Tabaqat al-Kubra, 5:211.

[11] The hadith is said to be mursal. al-Tirmidhi narrated the hadith with two chains in his Sunan (#2317-2318) and comments regarding the former narration: “This narration is peculiar (gharib) in that we do not know of any other narration where it is Abu Salamah from Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet (SAW)” and regarding the latter narration: “And such has also been narrated by more than one of al-Zuhri’s companions from ‘Ali b. Husayn from the Prophet (SAW) a similar narration of Malik in mursal form. And this narration, in our view, is stronger than the hadith of [Abu] Salamah from Abu Hurayrah (i.e. hadith 2317 above) because ‘Ali b. Husayn did not see [the companion] ‘Ali b. Abi Talib.” See also ibn Majah, Sunan (#3976). All the narrations, however, are said to be sahih. Cf. Muwatta’ of al-Shaybani (#948) where he says: “a Man ought to leave that which does not concern him (an yakuna tarikan lima la yanihi).”

[12] Meaning the disparaging remark made by the Prophet when he said: bi’sa ibn al-ashirah – ‘how evil is the son of that tribe.’

[13] The sanad is severed (munqata‘). Again there is a missing link between Imam Malik and Umm al-Mu’minin ‘A’ishah (RA). Bukhari reports something very similar in his Sahih (#6055, 6032 & 6131). See also Muslim in his Sahih (#2591) & Abu Dawud, Sunan (#4791-4794).

[14] His name is Nafi‘ b. Abi ‘Amir al-Asbahi al-Taymi al-Madani; regarded as trustworthy (thiqah) by Imam ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 2:301; Ahmad b. Hanbal in al-Ilal fi Marifah al-Rijal, 2:160; Abu Hatim al-Razi in al-Jarh wa ’l-Tadil, 8:453 and ibn Hibban’s al-Thiqat, 5:471. See also al-Laknawi, al-Rijal, p.40.

[15] He is Yahya b. Sa‘id b. Qays al-Ansari al-Madani (d.143), utterly trustworthy (thiqqah) as well as one of the great Masters of hadith (hafiz). From him narrated many of the great fuqaha’ and mujtahidun such as Imam Abu Hanifah, Malik, the two Sufyans, the two Hammads, ibn al-Mubarak and more. Regarding his probity, ibn Sa‘d, al-‘Ijly in Tarikh al-Thiqat, p.472; Abu Hatim al-Razi in his al-Jarh wa ’l-Tadil, 9:147; Abu Zur‘ah and al-Nasa’i all considered him thiqah.

[16] The isnad here breaks at the level of a companion (sahabi) and is, therefore, considered to be a mursal of the minor figures from the Successors (tibiun). It is clearly known that Yahya b. Sa‘id is not a companion who heard directly from the Prophet (SAW). The narration is also found in Abu Dawud, Sunan (#4798) and al-Tabrizi’s Mishkat al-Masbih (#5082).

[17] Meaning the one who regularly engages in the tahajjud prayer.

[18] Which is an expression that refers to the thirst from the intense heat because of fasting. 

[19] The chain is maqtu‘ (‘suspended’), i.e. the chain stops at the prominent tabii Sa‘id b. al-Musayyib. Imam ibn al-Salah defines it as: “those [narrations] that arrive up to the successors and stop at them (wa huwa ma ja’a an al-tabiin mawqufanalayhim) whether it is a reference to their statements or their actions,” al-Muqaddimah, p.43-44. ibn al-Salah also points out that Imam al-Shafi‘i and Imam al-Tabarani both used the terms munqati‘ and maqtu‘ interchangeably but Imam al-Suyuti clarifies that this was the case before the terminology was thoroughly crystallised; see his Tadrib al-Rawi, 2:194. Only Malik has transmitted this particular narration. See also the Muwatta’ of al-Shaybani (#866).

[20] The chain is mursal. Malik alone has narrated it. And Allah knows best.

[21] Salamah b. Safwan b. Salamah al-Ansari al-Zuraqiyy al-Madani; trustworthy (thiqah) as per ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani in his Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 1:307; al-Nasa’i in al-Razi’s al-Jarh wa ’l-Tadil, 4:165 and ibn Hibban in al-Thiqat, 6:396. See also al-Rijal, p.144.

[22] Imam ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani lists him as Talhah b. Rukanah and quotes the above narration of the Muwatta’. He gives a lengthy account and says that he was one of the less prominent tabii; see his al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, 1:778 (no. 3024) and 2:307 (no.4262). cf. al-Laknawi’s, al-Rijal, p.141. The narration is mursal (‘raised’) where the chain is broken at the level of a companion and the successor has directly linked the narration to the Prophet (SAW).

[23] The word haya’ as per Imam al-Raghib al-Isfahani means the self recoiling and shrinking away from reprehensible matters (inqibad al-nafs an al-qabih) and it is an attribute unique to humans to enable them to curb any perpetration of lust and carnal passions (irtida‘ ‘an irtikab kulli ma yashtahi) and according to ibn Qutaybah it means that shame prevents a person from perpetrating sin much like one’s belief does (al-haya’ yamnau sahibahu min irtikab al-maasi kama yamnau al-iman), see the Fath al-Bari of Imam ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, 3:286 (#24). The narration is also related by Bukhari (#24 & 6118) and Muslim (#36) in their Sahihs. Cf. al-Shaybani’s al-Muwatta’ (#949).

[24] He is Salim b. ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar b. al-Khattab al-Qurashi al-‘Adawiyy, Abu ‘Umar or Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Madani. He was one of the seven distinguished jurist (ahad fuqaha’ al-sabah), a famous tabii and he was trustworthy, pious and righteous. See Taqrib al-Tahdhib of ibn Hajar, 1:273; al-‘Ijly in Tarikh al-Thiqat, p.174 and ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat al-Kubra, 5:195. Cf. al-Laknawi’s al-Rijal, p.115.

[25] The verb “yaizu” here means ‘to give advice’ or ‘to counsel’ (yansahu) as well as ‘to be fearful’ (yakhufu) and ‘to remind’ (yadhkaru). The stronger meaning appears to be ‘to censure’ (yuatibu) as found in another narration in Bukhari (#6118) under the section ‘The Book of Etiquettes’ where it states: ‘censuring his brother about shame (yuatibu akhahu fi ’l-haya’).’

[26] The Muwatta’ of al-Shaybani (#950) has the chain: “Malik related to us; an informant (mukhbir) related to us from Salim b. ‘Abd Allah from ibn ‘Umar.” It is interesting to note that the plural expression “akhbarana” (‘he told us’) is used by Imam al-Shaybani instead of the singular expression “haddathani” or “akhbarani.” This would imply that his reception of the narrations was in the presence Imam Malik’s other disciples as well because the scholars in the science of hadith do not use the plural term if the disciple alone has heard a Prophetic narration from his teacher. See Shaykh Amin, Adab al-Hadith, p.76. However, Yahya b. Yahya al-Laythi does use the singular terms.

[27] “Humayd ibn. ‘Abd ar-Rahman was Abu ar-Rahman and a Madinan. al-‘Ijli and others regarded him as a trustworthy narrator. He died in 95 AH, but some say in 105 AH, as in Isaf al-Mubatta’ of as-Suyuti. Az-Zurqani said he was Humayd ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman az-Zuhri and a Madinan. He was a trustworthy narrator and one of the major followers. Yahya ibn Yahya al-Laythi added in his transmission of the Muwatta’ that he was the son of ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Awf,” al-Laknawi, al-Rijal, p.71. See also al-‘Asqalani’s Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 1:201; Tarikh al-Dawri, 2:136; al-‘Ijly’s Tarikh al-Thiqat, p.134 & ibn Hibban’s al-Thiqat, 6:194.

[28] Meaning to benefit by them in my life (antafiu bi-hinna fi maishati).

[29] It was also narrated by Bukhari in his Sahih (#6116) from Abu Salih from Abu Hurayrah (RA). The Prophet’s advice of not to be angry is one of these concise utterances that carry innumerable volumes of meaning. For a lengthy explanation regarding just a few of its wisdoms see ibn Hajar’s Fath al-Bari, 3:2680-2681 (#6116).

[30] See Bukhari (#6114) and Muslim (#2609).

[31] He was considered to be thiqah by: ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 2:27; al-Nasa’i in al-Mizzi’s Tahdhib al-Kamal, 20:124; ibn al-Madini in his ‘Ilal, p.68 and ibn Sa‘d in his Tabaqat al-Kubra, 5:249. cf. al-Laknawi’s al-Rijal, p.55.

[32] Imam al-Nawawi writes: “Regarding his statement: ‘It is not allowed for a Muslim’, some who rely on that say: the non-Muslims (kuffar) are not those addressed (ghayr mukhatabin) when it comes to the different aspects of the law. The soundest understanding is that they are (i.e. can be) addressed by [the law]. The only reason why the Muslims are specified (qayyada) is because they are the one’s who accept the address of the law and benefit by it (li-annahu ’lladhi yaqbalu khitab al-sharwa yantafau bihi),” Sharh Sahih Muslim, p.1837. See also ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani’s Fath al-Bari, 3:2670 (#6073-6077) where he writes: “As for the specification by ‘brotherhood’ (akhuwwah), this indicates that for a Muslim, he simply shuns a non-Muslim without any specification (whereas in the hadith a Muslim shuns another Muslim with specification, viz. shunning his fellow brother). What can be inferred from these narrations is that whoever turns his back on his Muslim brother and abstains from talking to him or imparting mutual greetings (salams) to him, he has sinned (athima) due to that because the negation of what is permitted (nafy al-hill) assumes a prohibition (yastalzamu ’l-tahrim) and perpetrating in something unlawful (haram) is a sin.”

[33] The verb “arada” (‘to avert’, ‘to turn away’, ‘to avoid’, ‘to shun’ and ‘to abandon’) means here “yasuddu” (‘to turn away’, ‘to alienate’, ‘to resist’, ‘to repel’, ‘to parry’ and ‘to impede’). This is established from one of the variant narrations of (#2560) in Sahih Muslim.

[34] See the Sahihayn, i.e. Bukhari (#6077 & 6237) and Muslim (#2560). The positive description “khayruhuma” means “afdaluhuma” (‘the best, better or excellent of the two’).

[35] Imam al-Nawawi’s commentary of the hadith is: “The meaning of ‘al-tadabur’ (‘to oppose one another’) is ‘muadat’ (‘opposition’) and it is also said to mean ‘muqataah’ (‘separation’ or ‘division’). This is because anyone who shuns his fellow friend (yuwalli sahibahu) is said to turn his back on him. The word ‘al-hasad’ (‘envy’) is said to mean ‘the desire for the removal of blessings’ (tamanna zawal al-nimah) and this is haram. And the statement ‘become worshippers of Allah as brothers’ means ‘to proceed in a brotherly manner with one another as well as to be closely associated’. And there closeness and intimacy means [it should be done] in love (al-muwaddah), kindness (al-rifq), compassion (al-shafaqah), benevolence and co-operation in doing the good (al-taawun fi ’l-khayr) – and other things like that – all with a purity of heart and genuine counsel for every situation. Some of the scholars say: The prohibition of hating one another alludes to the prohibitions of harbouring any deviant desires for causing hatred,” Sharh Sahih Muslim, pp.1835-1836.

[36] Cf. the Muwatta’ of Imam al-Shaybani (#916) where he says: “We adhere to this (i.e. the Hanafi school concurs). There should not be any shunning amongst Muslims.”

[37] Imam Laknawi writes: “Abu’z-Zinad is ‘Abdullah ibn Dhakwan, Abu’z-Zinad is his by-name, but he used to be angry at it because of the meanings associated closely with the fire (zinad is a steel for striking fire), but however, he has become famous as such because of the excellence of his intelligence. Al-Bukhari said, ‘The soundest of the chains of transmission of Abu Hurayrah is  Abu’z-Zinad from al-A‘raj from him.’ Al-Waqidi said, ‘he died in 130 AH,’ and as-Suyuti and others say the same.” See al-Rijal, p.43. Furthermore, the great hadith Masters such ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani in Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 1:392; Hafiz ibn Ma‘in, Tarikh al-Dawri, 2:350; al-‘Ijly in the Tarikh al-Thiqat, p.254; Abu Hatim al-Razi in his al-Jarh wa ’l-Tadil, 5:49; ibn Sa‘d in the Tabaqat al-Kubra, 9:417 as well as al-Nasa’i all graded him thiqah (‘trustworthy’).

[38] Imam ibn Hajar has him listed under Salamah b. Dinar, Abu Hazim al-A‘raj, al-Athwar al-Tammar, Madinan and a judge. He died in the time of Khalifah Mansur; see Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 1:306-307. See also Ahmad b. Hanabal’s al-Ilal, 1:197; al-‘Ijly’s Tarikh al-Thiqat, p.196; Abu Hatim al-Razi in his al-Jarh wa ’l-Tadil, 4:159 and ibn Hibban in his al-Thiqat, 4:316 where they all deem him thiqah. Cf. also al-Laknawi’s al-Rijal, p.52.

[39] Meaning steer well clear of having an ill opinion of a Muslim (ijtanibu zann al-su’ bi ’l-muslim).

[40] This is inquiring into other peoples’ private affairs (al-taftish an bawatin al-umur) or intruding into people’s decency (bahth an al-awrat).

[41] Which is listening to other peoples’ conversations (al-istimali-hadith al-qawm).

[42] See Bukhari (#6066) and Muslim (#2563).

[43] He is saduq (‘truthful’) according to ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani but committing a lot of mistakes (yahim). He is also documented to have committed excessive concealment (tadlis) as well as directly attributing narrations to the Prophet (irsal). Bukhari did not narrate from him. See Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 2:26. ibn Ma‘in, ibn Abi Hatim, al-Nasa’i, al-Daraqutni and ibn Sa‘d all grade him as thiqah (‘upright’); see Tarikh al-Dawri, 2:405, al-Jarh wa ’l-Tadil, 6:334 & Tahdhib al-Kamal of al-Mizzi, 20:110. Cf. the account in Laknawi’s al-Rijal, p.55.

[44] The word “al-ghill” means: ‘al-haqd’ (‘malice’, ‘spite’, ‘rancour’ and ‘resentment’) and ‘al-daghanah’ (‘respite’, ‘ill will’, ‘grudge’ and ‘malevolence’).

[45] The word “shahna’” means enmity, hostility, antagonism and hatred. The narration is mursal as a successor has attributed the narration (arsala) directly to the Prophet missing a companion in the link. And Allah knows best.

[46] He is: “Suhayl ibn Abi Salih. Ibn Suhayl ibn Abi Salih is how we find it in one of the copies, but in some others it is Suhayl ibn Abi Salih, and in two corrected copies it is ibn Abi Salih and this is the correct position which agrees with the narration of “Yahya from Malik from Suhayl ibn Abi Salih from his father…” Perhaps the “ibn” in addition to the name Suhayl in the first copy is one of the additions of the copyist, because this narration is from Suhayl ibn Abi Salih and not from his son nor is it to Suhayl ibn Abi Salih ibn Abi Salih. He is Suhayl ibn Abi Salih. Abu Yazid the Madinan whom ibn Hibban mentioned in ath-Thiqat. Ibn Sa‘d said, “he was a trustworthy narrator who had many hadith.” Al-Hakim said, “one of the pillars of hadith from whom Muslim narrated a great deal concerning fundamental principles and also as confirmatory material for the hadith. Malik narrated from him, and he [Malik] is the judge concerning the shaykhs of Madinah, the discriminatory person who can discriminate gold from false gold. Ibn Qani‘ dated his death as 138 AH. His father was Abu Salih Dhakwan as-Samman az-Ziyat the Madinan,” al-Laknawi, al-Rijal, p.119. Cf. al-‘Asqalani who grades him as saduq (‘truthful’), Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 1:325-326. See also ibn Hibban’s al-Thiqat, 6:417.

[47] Imam al-Nawawi writes: “al-Qadi said that al-Baji said: the meaning of its ‘opening’ (fathuha) is abundant forgiveness and pardon (kathrah al-safh wa ’l-ghufran), exalting the status (rafa al-manazil) as well as granting ample amounts of reward (ita’ al-thawab al-jalil). al-Qadi also said: And it is not permitted to take its apparent meaning (la yahtamilu ala zahirihi) and the act of its doors [literally] opening is the indication of that,” Sharh Sahih Muslim, p.1839 (#2565).

[48] Meaning ‘to delay’ or ‘to postpone’ (akharu aw amhalu).

[49] He is trustworthy (thiqah) according to ibn Hajar, Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 2:253; ibn Ma‘in, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’i in Tarikh al-Dawri, 2:563 and ibn Hibban in al-Thiqat, 7:448. See also al-Rijal, p.100.

[50] He is Dhakwan, Abu Salih al-Samman al-Ziyyat al-Madani; utterly reliable (thiqah thabt). He died 101 AH. See ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib, 1:235. Moreover, Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his al-Ilal, 1:107; ibn Ma‘in in Tarikh al-Dawri, 2:158; Abu Hatim al-Razi in his al-Jarh wa ’l-Tadil, 3:450; ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat al-Kubra, 6:226; al-‘Ijly in Tairkh al-Thiqat, p.150 and ibn Hibban in al-Thiqat, 3:121 all considered him thiqah.

[51] That is until they return to peace or love (hatta yarjia ila ’l-sulh aw al-muwaddah), see al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, p.1839 (#2565). Cf. Malik’s narration (#1336) above.

2 thoughts on “Muwatta’ Imam Malik_Book of Morals

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