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May 8, 2013



It is that time of the year again, when long hours of abdominal suppression fade into an explosion of colours and flavours.
Our commis chef has prepared for us this exquisite novel dish blending sapient ingredients:
Hermaphrodites’ gender is scrutinized by a Tunisian microscope, while love chains and vibrational healing cascade refreshingly on our atrophied souls

The hāfiz of the Hijāz, Jamālud-Dīn ‘Abdullāh b. Sālim al-Basrī al-Makkī, recorded the individualized narrative chain through which he related the “hadīth of love” in his index Al-Imdād fī Ma`rifah ‘Uluww al-Isnād:

“I received oral transmission, from our teacher Shaykh Muhammad, of the chain-hadīth centered on his, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, statement: “I truly love you, so say …”. It has reached me, by audition from our teacher from ‘Alī b. Muhammad from Ibrāhīm b. ‘Abdir-Rahmān al-‘Alqamī from Abu’l-Fadl al-Jalāl (= Jalālud-Dīn as-Suyūtī) that he said: The litterateur Abut-Tayyib Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Hijāzī informed me of the following by direct audition: Chief Justice Majdud-Dīn Ismā`īl b. Ibrāhīm al-Hanafī informed us: Hāfiz Abū Sa`īd al-‘Alā’ī [= al-Kaykaldī] informed us: Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Armawī informed us: ‘Abdur-Rahmān b. Makkī informed us: Abut-Tāhir as-Silafī informed us: Muhammad b. ‘Abdi’l-Karīm informed us: Abū ‘Alī b. Shādhān informed us: Ahmad b. Salmān an-Najjād informed us: Abū Bakr b. Abid-Dunyā related to us: Al-Hasan b. ‘Abdi’l-‘Azīz al-Jarawī related to us: ‘Amr b. Abī Salamah at-Tinīsī related to us: Al-Hakam b. ‘Abdah related to us: Haywah b. Shurayh informed me: ‘Uqbah b. Muslim informed me from Abū ‘Abdir-Rahmān from as-Sunābihī from Mu`ādh b. Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said:
The Messenger of Allah, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, said: “Mu`ādh, I truly love you, so say, ‘O Allāh, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You properly (a`innī ‘alā dhikriKa wa-shukriKa wa-husni ‘ibādatiK)’.
In a different narrative variant we find: “Mu`ādh, I exhort you not to discard mention of the following at the end of every obligatory prayer: ‘O Allāh, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You properly’.
As-Sunābihī said: Mu`ādh said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say … [‘O Allāh, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You properly’].’
Abū ‘Abdir-Rahmān said: As-Sunābihī said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
‘Uqbah b. Muslim said: Abū ‘Abdir-Rahmān said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Haywah b. Shurayh said: ‘Uqbah b. Muslim said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Al-Hakam b. ‘Abdah said: Haywah said to me: ‘You know the love which bonds you and me, so say …’
At-Tinīsī said: Al-Hakam said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Al-Hasan said: At-Tinīsī said to me: ‘You know the love bonding you and me, so say …’
Ibn Abid-Dunyā said: Al-Hasan said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Ahmad b. Salmān said: Ibn Abid-Dunyā said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Ibn Shādhān said: Ibn Salmān said to us: ‘And I, too, truly love all of you, so say …’
Muhammad b. ‘Abdi’l-Karīm said: Ibn Shādhān said to us: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so all of you should say …’
As-Silafī said: Muhammad b. ‘Abdi’l-Karīm said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Ibn Makkī said: As-Silafī said to us: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so all of you should say …’
Al-Armawī said: Ibn Makkī said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Al-‘Alā’ī said: Al-Armawī said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Al-Majd al-Hanafī said: Al-‘Alā’ī said to us: ‘And I, too, truly love all of you, so say …’
Al-Hijāzī said: Al-Majd said to us: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so all of you should say …’
Al-Jalāl as-Suyūtī said: Ash-Shihāb al-Hijāzī said to us all: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Al-‘Alqamī said: Al-Jalāl as-Suyūtī said: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
‘Alī b. Muhammad said: Al-‘Alqamī said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Our teacher, Shaykh Muhammad al-Bābilī, said: ‘Alī b. Muhammad said to me: ‘And I, too, truly love you, so say …’
Our teacher, Shaykh Muhammad al-Bābilī, may Allah benefit us by him, āmīn, āmīn, said to us: ‘And I, too, truly love all of you, so say …’”.

A musalsal hadīth is one in which all the transmitters share a particular attribute or state, here the attribute of love or the state of mutual lovers, or one in which they all share a common narrative attribute, i.e. an attribute which is common to all the different narrative segments related by them.



Journeying from East to West, we meet midway the noble jurist Abu’l-Hasan al-Lakhmī, who gifted us some writing on hermaphrodites we are going to read out to you after we reach our final destination, Morocco.
In Fez, ‘Allāmah Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Hajawī ath-Tha`ālibī, whose index is titled Mukhtasar al-‘Urwah al-Wuthqā fī Mashyakhah Ahl al-‘Ilm wa at-Tuqā, mentioned to us a scholarly license received in a dream (ijāzah manāmiyyah):

“Notwithstanding companionship, beneficial tutorship and close interaction, I received no scholarly authorization from Abū Ahmad Muhammad b. Qāsim al-Qādirī al-Hasanī al-Fāsī. True, he handed me some of the printed books he had authored, but no more than that.  
I then saw him in a dream, one Tuesday night on 8 Jumādā al-Ūlā 1349 AH, and I realized that he had died.
In the dream, I mentioned to him that I was eager to receive a scholarly authorization from his person, so I hanged onto him and said, ‘You must grant me a general scholarly license’.
He sat down, and I sat next to him in a disciplined posture. He then said to me, ‘I have granted you a scholarly authorization to relate all my transmissions and whatever I have learnt from my teachers, as well as the totality of my books. The license I’m granting to you is total and comprehensive. There is blessing in those transmissions and books of mine, praise to Allah’”.
‘Allāmah al-Hajawī further explained:
“I do not, however, rely on this scholarly license more than I would rely on narration by a member of the jinn, since in both instances we are dealing with an encounter of spirits or apparitions”.



Still in the same city, we make acquaintance with ‘Abdu’l-Qādir al-Fāsī, He left us two valuable indexes, one larger the other shorter, as did the leading teacher of the Islamic polity in Fez, Ahmad b. Muhammad b. al-Khayyāt az-Zukārī al-Hasanī (d. 1343 AH), who is eagerly waiting for his turn, though destiny had it that the ribbon with the number handed to him at the entrance was the fifth and thus the last.
In his large-sized index, ‘Abdu’l-Qādir al-Fāsī mentioned one of his teachers, who used to shape his conduct by the Prophetic model in emulation of Shaykh al-Juzūlī, the author of Dalā’il al-Khayrāt, and recorded the under-mentioned anecdotes:

“At the beginning of his affair, Shaykh al-Juzūlī saw the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, in a dream. He was surrounded by a man called ‘Āsim [= Fortifier]. It was an allusion to the fact that al-Juzūlī was the fortifying defender of the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, and the guardian who safeguarded him [Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam] by following his Sunnah and Revealed Law, and by al-Juzūlī’s enjoyment of fortification from creatures and from tarnishing traits of character, thereby standing as his [Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam] guarantor in an undisputed manner.
Al-Juzūlī related that dream to the teaching guide Sidi Muhammad b. ‘Abdillāh, who commented to him, ‘‘Āsim is a legal [or hidden] persona.’ He then clarified to al-Juzūlī the aforesaid allusions enclosed by the dream.
One of his close associates related to me that the meaning of the dream was to find fortifying protection (i`tisām) in the Book and the Sunnah if Allah the Exalted so willed.
Our tutor [=‘Abdu’l-Qādir al-Fāsī], when talking of the scholarly permission initially granted to his person, made mention of the circumstance that his own teacher, Sidi ‘Abdur-Rahmān, paid him a visit after the death of the aforesaid Sidi Muhammad b. ‘Abdillāh, carrying a book on medicine with him. Sidi ‘Abdur-Rahmān said to our tutor, ‘‘Abda’l-Qādir, go out and heal people.’ Our tutor, ‘Abdu’l-Qādir, at first found it very hard to comply with that instruction. Sidi ‘Abdur-Rahmān, however, handling the treatise on medicine by its edge, said in a reassuring tone, ‘Start healing people with this.’
The teaching guide Sidi Muhammad b. ‘Abdillāh [who had died as we noted] then arrived at the scene. Some food was brought in for him. Sidi Muhammad b. ‘Abdillāh broke the bread and, wielding one piece of it, said, ‘Begin with this bread of ours.’
Our tutor, ‘Abdu’l-Qādir, went out to attend his regular devotional litany (wird). At that time, he was staying away from the wird after I had urged him to authorize my attendance therein. He had refused to accede to my request and had said to me, ‘It is my prerogative to grant authorization.’
He joined the wird close to the said incident of the medical treatise and the bread, and recounted it to those in attendance.
A student of ‘Abdu’l-Qādir, the virtuous man Sayyid Ahmad b. Mūsā az-Zarhūnī, from the progeny of Sidi Mūsā b. ‘Alī …, related from his said teacher that he once informed him of the fact that, whilst he was awake, he found the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, between his house and the zāwiyah, and the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, instructed him to serve the people and commanded him to bear with them patiently while fulfilling their rights.
This is the meaning of what he mentioned”.

According to this great savant, ‘Abdu’l-Qādir al-Fāsī, whose shorter index consists in the text of his scholarly license to the giant of sound knowledge and fruitful action, Abū Sālim al-‘Ayyāshī, the exchange truthfully occurred as he reported.
The editor of the Arabic text of the said larger index, the knowledgeable and gentle-mannered Muhammad b. ‘Azzūz, a contemporary scholar, is of the contrary view that the sentence “whilst he was awake, he found the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, between his house and the zāwiyah” cannot be valid and has to be jettisoned, together with all the other several instances where ‘Abdu’l-Qādir al-Fāsī (whose larger index, one of the most famous among erudite Moroccans, was written by his son pursuant to his authorization) ascribed dreams of the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, to learned people instructed by him [Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam] to do or refrain from doing things.
His refutation is found in a long-winded footnote.
The approach of this knowledgeable and gentle-mannered Moroccan, Muhammad b. ‘Azzūz, who combines Mālikī and “Salafi” scholarship, as is the wont of many talented Arab academics nowadays, is allegedly based on the study of hadīth, including a study of its transmission chains, and the words of the commentators on the relevant hadīth-compilations (although Muhammad b. ‘Azzūz does not put forward his own inference from the relevant Prophetic narrations).
He then quotes the view of Mustafā az-Zarqā, a most penetrating legal mind from Syria, but also a modernist thinker who bafflingly succumbed to the whole propaganda of paper money, macroeconomics and liberal democracy. We all use and derive benefit from his brilliant texts, such as Al-Madkhal al-Fiqhī al-‘Āmm, but only after we have purged them of modernist capitulation.
Besides, Mustafā az-Zarqā, excellent legal thinker and theorist as he was, had no recognized expertise whatsoever in the field of Sufism and its realities. He belonged to that generation of post-war Muslim apologetics who believed, rather naively, that Islam would triumph as the only eventual superpower once it became fully rational and free from any “superstition” inherited from the past. Belief in certain phenomena of the unseen was regarded as one of those vestiges of “irrationality” which, once removed from the organism of Islam, would make it appealing to the Western mind.
Naturally, as we all know by now, people do not enter the fold of Islam because of rational argumentation, and the secular Rūm are utterly fond of astrology and other irrational superstitions, from the White House down.
In short, no weight can be accorded in this field to the words of Mustafā az-Zarqā, and unfortunately, as much as we love Muhammad b. ‘Azzūz and profit by his editions, to his reliance on the said Syrian jurisprudent (The footnote simply reproduces Mustafā az-Zarqā’s analysis and endorses it).
The “personal conclusion” Mustafā az-Zarqā reached after examining the relevant ahādīth in the light of the root-principles (usūl) of jurisprudence (spruced by the oh! so ubiquitously fashionable reference to Imām ash-Shātibī), is in fact as farcical as his asseveration of the lawfulness of valueless paper money issued by the secular Syrian government in his days, namely, that seeing the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, in a dream was exclusive to his generation and to the Companions!
Unfortunately, we Westerners who embraced Islam, along with the West-based offspring of traditional Muslims, have been sold short by this modernist bleaching of the multi-colour Dīn of Allah, which inevitably had to produce its opposite extreme: an avalanche of supernatural talk, where most of the times Islam holds fraternal hands with any deviant way of life as part of a unifying Sophia Perennis.
I cannot do justice to the lamentably uninspired reasoning deployed by Mustafā az-Zarqā on the subject, which moves along these simplistic lines: our sharī`ah is an Arabic one, as stressed by Imām ash-Shātibī; the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, mentioned that whoever “saw” him in a dream had verily seen him; the Companions knew his true shape and had seen it in person; the following generations had not seen that exact Prophetic shape but had merely received description of it from the members of the first generation; those later recipients might legitimately conceive his, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, true shape differently; it is not possible for later scholars of the ummah to see the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, according to his exactly true shape, and all that is possible is to declare that one of them saw a shape that broadly coincides with his, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, features as handed down to us in the books written on his virtuous features; by reading the relevant ahādīth against the backdrop of an understanding of Arabic, “whoever saw me” would simply mean “whoever saw me as he knows me, in this form of mine”, and nobody saw it apart from the Companions; since the Shaytān could not assume his shape, any confusion could be lifted only by prior eye-witnessing of that shape, which was confined to the Companions during his, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, lifetime. On that basis, Mustafā az-Zarqā, irreverently concluded, he cleared his heart of any problematic understanding engendered by the “counterfeit claims of people alleging they had seen him, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, in person”!!!
I cannot do justice to this regrettable and quite repugnant exercise in modernist apology: you have to read it for yourself.
We are inventing nothing: everything is in black and white.
In a similar vein, Dr. Rafīq Yūnus al-Misrī, in spite of his dazzling legal technique, propounds in one of his books, when dealing with the ruling on cheques, a skeletal refutation of the idea that banks create money out of nothing (ex nihilo) pursuant to a reflection (“only Allah can be said to create things from non-existence”) which does not, I swear, exceed primary school level.
This is a matter of extreme gravity, relating to main points and not to details, to roots laid to waste rather than mere desiccated or crooked branches: even fine Muslims like Muhammad b. ‘Azzūz, in this age of spiraling corruption, ascribe forgery to Imām al-Māzirī, Imām an-Nawawī, Hāfiz as-Suyūtī, Mullā ‘Alī al-Qārī, Mawlāy ad-Darqāwī, ‘Abdu’l-Qādir al-Fāsī, Abū Sālim al-‘Ayyāshī and numberless other bastions of pure Islamic light.
Life is about making choices and being accountable for them.
Do I choose to lend weight to the text by ‘Abdu’l-Qādir al-Fāsī, or to the footnote which aims to re-write centuries of Islam so as to make it “more congenial” to godless humanists from the West who, at the end of the day, will not be pleased with us Muslims unless and until we merge into their kufr and become part and parcel of them, may Allah protect me and all the readers from that?
Do I side with the winning classics or with the vanquished modernists?
Depending on which route you take, your sahūr table will be laid with fragrant condiments of complementary authenticity, or with insipid morsels of plastic artificiality.



We were desirous of excogitating some time machine taking us to the Qayrawān of yonder when we recalled that al-Lakhmī’s paper was in our pockets.
We thus took it out, stretched it to remove any cringe or dust deposited by modernist fallacies, copied its contents, and here we are sharing them with you:

Concerning the hermaphrodite and the one who marries a female perpetrator of zinā
(From At-Tabsirah)

“Ibn al-Qāsim said the following about a hermaphrodite: ‘If he urinates from his penis, he is a boy; and if he urinates from his vagina, she is a girl, since lineage descends from the exit point of urine, which is where sexual intercourse occurs.’
Ibn Habīb [the Andalusian ‘Abdu’l-Malik as-Sulamī who penned the mother-book Al-Wādihah] added: ‘In the event that he urinates from both organs, penis and vagina, the sex is determined on the basis of the organ from which his urine is first ejected, alternatively, if they flow simultaneously from both of them, on the basis of the organ from which it flows more copiously, further alternatively, if they are on par in both such respects, he is deemed a boy if a beard appears, and a girl if breasts protrude. If he shows both beard and breasts, or neither of the two, for purposes of inheritance he is deemed half a male and half a female. In this last-mentioned scenario, no marriage is permitted in his regard, i.e. he neither marries nor gives someone else in marriage. When it comes to the rulings applying to his prayer, dress code and testimony in court, the strictest position is adopted in each case [= he prays as a male and does not miss prayer because of menstrual blood; she wears the hijāb etc as a female; and she can only testify in those matters in respect of which females’ testimony is admissible]. He should pray behind the men’s rows and ahead of the women’s rows [Can one dispute that al-Lakhmī considered it lawful for women to attend congregational prayers in mosques, contrary to the stance of contemporary misogynists?].

[Al-Lakhmī then pens an observation about the statement he quoted from Ibn al-Qāsim at the beginning of the paragraph:] His statement to the effect that the criterion to be taken into account is the organ the infant is delivered from is correct. By converse, his additional comment on “the exit point of urine” is incorrect. That is so as the exit point of urine is different from the exit point of menstrual blood, and no intercourse can validly take place by penetrating the exit point of her urine, which is not where the child is delivered: both intercourse and child delivery take place by the exit point of menstrual blood. The man’s position is similar (though the woman’s is even clearer): the exit point of his urine differs from the exit point of his sperm.
The yardsticks are thus ejected water (= sperm) and menstrual blood. If the former comes out, he is male; whereas, if menstrual blood comes out, she is female. If both sperm and menstrual blood come out and a beard is additionally present, he is male; whereas, if both come out and breasts are prominent without being accompanied by any beard, she is female”.

The praise belongs to Allah for our Dīn which regulates every matter, and for our savants who did not shy away from regulating it, whatever its nature might be.
Here is another important partition line: whether or not you can see the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, after his lifetime is a subject which postulates only one of two answers (affirmative or negative) throughout the time span of this ummah; understanding legal judgments in accordance with specific levels of medical knowledge and scientific advancement is a field forever open, actually or potentially, to revised rulings founded on ijtihād



We are fast approaching the time when we focus, individually or collectively, on reciting our hizb from the Generous Book.
Before we hasten to that, we surely have to reward az-Zukārī for his gallant patience.
It is his moment, and challenging ultra-rational modern scholars, we pick up some juicy fruit, scarcely intelligible to abstract reason, from his full-scale index.
Ideally, we would like readers to taste every variety thereof, but time constricts us as much as it constricts them.
Let us select, therefore, two therapeutic nectars, one for each of the two realms, the physiological and the psychological, the corporeal and the emotional:

What is written to bring about reconciliation between two individuals

“In order to produce a rapprochement between two individuals who are at logger heads, one should write the following āyah, after the basmalah:
From «[l]aw anfaqta mā fi’l-ardi jamī`an mā allafta bayna qulūbihim» until «‘Azīzun-Hakīm» (Sūrah al-Anfāl: 63).
Place what you have written inside a container, which should be washed, and pour its water onto the earthenware pot the two persons between whom you want to establish harmony usually eat their food from, or any similar source they use to communally serve food or beverage from”.

What is written to remove headache

“You should write the following āyāt after the basmalah:
From «Kāf-ha-ya-‘ayn-sād» until «khafiyyan» (Sūrah Maryam: 1-3), as well as «Ha-mīm / ‘Ayn-sīn-qāf» until «al-Hakīm» (Sūrah ash-Shūrā: 1-3) – Bismillāhi ‘alā kulli ‘abdin shākirin wa-ghayri shākir; bismillāhi ‘alā kulli ‘irqin sākin wa-ghayri sākin, uskun ayyuha’l-waj`u bi-‘izzati Man lahu mā sakana fil-layli wan-nahāri wa-Huwas-Samī`u’l-‘Alīm, wa-Sallallāhu ‘alā Sayyidinā Muhammad wa-‘alā Ālihi wa-Sahbihi wa-Sallama taslīmā [In the Name of Allah read over every grateful or ungrateful slave, every still or agitated vein: keep still, pain, by the Might of the One Who owns whatever lies motionless at night or in the morning, and Who is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. May Allah send prayers of blessing and salutations of peace on our master Muhammad, his Family and Companions].
Once you are through with that, you then hang the piece of paper containing the formula over the head of the person suffering from that ache”.



Now that we are through with iftār, Tarāwīh et al, a benign soul distributes to us, fresh from the Rūmī confectionery, a sample of delicious gianduiotti *.
Problem is, no great Islamic scholar has yet written some flavoursome lines about them, which succeeds in connecting them to our Dīn: but that, of course, is a duty resting on people from Piedmont entering Islam and submitting to the Creator of their palates and their palatable chocolates.


* The Gianduiotto (Piedmontese, Giandojòt) is a Piedmontese chocolate whose shape is similar to an upturned boat. Gianduiotti are individually wrapped in a tinfoil cover, usually gold or silver-colored. It is the speciality of Turin, and takes its name from gianduja, the preparation of chocolate that is used for gianduiotti and other sweets (including Nutella); in turn, this preparation is named after Gianduja, a mask from Commedia Dell’arte that represents the archetypal Piedmontese.
Gianduiotti are produced from a paste of sugar, cocoa and the hazelnut Tonda Gentile delle Langhe. The official “birth” of gianduiotti is set at 1865 in Turin, by Paul Caffarel and Michele Prochet, the first to completely grind hazelnuts to a paste before adding them to the cocoa and sugar mix.
Apparently, the idea of mixing hazelnut pieces to “standard” chocolates was created during Napoleon’s reign, when importing cocoa from South America became extremely difficult. “Raw” cocoa was extremely expensive, so local producers started incorporating bits of roasted hazelnuts (hazelnuts are locally grown and were easy to come by in Piedmont) to make the final product more affordable.


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