Bowing for greeting and homage is not peculiar to the Yorubas of south western Nigeria. It is traditional in East Asia, particularly in Japan, Korea, China, and Vietnam. Whatever the scholars of Islam say about the practice therefore affects people far beyond our own land too.

Between the 1980’s and today, there has been significant improvement in the tolerance of our elders in the South West of Nigeria generally towards the reluctance of youths to bow or prostate to them as a traditional form of greeting and respect. That followed wide and persistent enlightenment by Muslim du’aah to educate them that based on the pristine teachings of the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘alayhiwassalam, the scholars of the Sunnah, both of old and contemporary times, generally frown on bowing to greet or pay homage.

The great Sheikhs of blessed memory, Naasiruddeen Al-Albaanee, Bun Baaz, Ibnu ‘Uthaymeen, and before them Ibnu Taymiyyah, Ibnu Qayyim and many others, all have fatwas prohibiting the practice based on a hadith reported by Anas may Allah be pleased with him.

عَن أنس رضي الله عنه قَالَ: قَالَ رَجُلٌ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ الرَّجُلُ مِنَّا يَلْقَى أَخَاهُ أَوْ صَدِيقَهُ أَيَنْحَنِي لَهُ؟ قَالَ: «لَا» . قَالَ: أَفَيَلْتَزِمُهُ وَيُقَبِّلُهُ؟ قَالَ: «لَا» . قَالَ: أَفَيَأْخُذُ بِيَدِهِ وَيُصَافِحُهُ؟ قَالَ: «نَعَمْ» . رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيّ

According to Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), a man asked the Prophet Sallallaahu ‘alayhimwssalam: When one of us meets his brother, can he bow for him? He replied: No! Can he hold him and kiss him? He replied: No! Should he then hold his hand and shake him? He replied: Yes [reported by Attirmidhee].

Accordingly and commendably, very few are the marriage ceremonies in our midst in recent years where the refusal of a groom to prostate or bow for inlaws has caused any rancour. It has become clearer to the elders that true and genuine respect goes beyond the old practice of bowing and prostration. That was not the case decades ago.

Of course, as with many issues, there are individuals who still seek to perpetuate the practice under different guises: These range from claims of promoting our cultural heritage, to respect for elders which Islam certainly promotes, to the misguided citation and misapplication of otherwise correct jurisprudential usoolee principles such as درء المفاسد بأصغرها and الإباحة الأصلية للعادات, to the outright bold-faced ascription of false judgment of the validity/weakness of ahaadeeth to some contemporary scholars of the Sunnah whose good reputation as hadith scholars is often enough to sway public opinion on issues.

The last approach is the most worrisome, especially when it comes from Muslim academics.

One such case in hand is an article that was shared recently by one Dr N. A. Jawhari (Alhikmah University), written as I learnt by another individual and entitled “Greeting Elders by Bending and Kneeling” and said to be the product of a meticulous study of the texts of Islam on greetings. It resulted in the author subtlly discrediting as extremism the refusal to bow or kneel in greeting and homage to elders as he brazingly permits acts generally frowned upon by all the erudite scholars of the Sunnah mentioned above and many others.

That the original author of the article – and of course the one who agreed with him and shared it – attempted to reach an independent judgment on the subject matter regardless of the views of the heavyweight scholars cited above is not exactly one’s greatest worry. After all, it is a fact that not all bowing is necessarily shirk (though still prohibited for greeting). Neither is it new that there is almost always some “scholar” to quote in support of virtually every divergent view even if it is scholastically discredited by the most trusted scholars of the Ummah. One’s real worry is the claim in the article that the hadith of Anas above, on which the prohibition of bowing is based – whether as haram or as a merely discouraged act – is weak and discredited. The author of the post claims falsely that this is the judgment of Sheikh Al Albaanee in his Silsilaul Ahaadeeth Ssaheehah and also that of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa (KSA).

That others discredited the hadith is not unknown, but certainly not the ones that the author claims did so – from what I know – and whose weight behind any position is enough to sway opinions. Could the falsification have been deliberate for effect?

Giving a brother the benefit of any doubt, this fact was brought to the notice of the one who shared the article on a platform with copies from the pages of the sources sighted in it to prove the error, but his response as shared with me was most disappointing, suggesting a deliberate act whose motive is best known to Allah.

The article is certainly worrisome for promoting contrary to what is known of the scholars of the Sunnah on the topic, and I have done my verification and found it seriously discreditable on the following grounds:

1) It claims falsely that the hadith of Anas which forms the basis for prohibiting bowing in greeting is graded inauthentic by both Sheikh Al Albaanee and the scholars of the Permanent Committee.

The falsity of the claim can be verified by checking the Silsilah Saheehah of Al Albaanee, vol 1, pages 298-302 and the Fataawa Llajnah, vol 24, page 131. I stand humbly to be corrected if the claim is found to be true on verification by those who know Arabic and have access to those sources.

The hadith is sound according to those sources in particular. It has been cited for evidence on the same issue by Ibnu Taymiyyah, Ibnu ‘Uthaymeen, scholars of the Permanent Committee and Sheikh Al Albaanee. Consequently, the prohibition of bowing in greeting stands even where no shirk is intended. The act is at best an act of clear disobedience to the Messenger of Allah who prohibits it precisely as a form of greeting in the hadith under searchlight.

2) The claim that the evil act inherent in bowing is less and prefered to the evil act of disobeying parents is clear misapplication of an otherwise correct principle of Usooluddeen درء المفاسد بأصغرها.

Bowing is outright disobedience to the Messenger (مفسدة متحققة). Refusing to bow to parents is not even an act of disobedience in itself since they never had any right to it in the sight of Allah.

لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الخالق (رواه أحمد).

“No obedience is due to any creature in disobedience to the Creator” [reported by Ahmad].

The evil that the proponents of bowing fear is therefore not even a probable one مفسدة محتملة on the part of the cultured child, but an imagined one مفسدة موهومة and that is the anger of the parents who may feel disrespected due to their ignorance and attachment to tradition. Is their misplaced anger to be blamed on the child’s obeying the Prophet in his authentic instruction or to be avoided by his disobeying the Prophet (which they wrongly call the lesser evil)?

Certainly, the parents’ anger and displeasure at a child’s refusal to bow in greeting, if at all, would be due to their ignorance of what is right in the Sharee’ah. They may be blameless given their cultural background. The remedy for that situation is simply to teach them what is correct in Islam. Unfortunately however, the majority of those who ought to do so with wisdom worsen the case and instruct instead that the Messenger be disobeyed to please parents because violating the Prophet’s instruction not to bow is no more than a مكروه act (a discouraged act). That, they claim, is knowledge of أصول الفقه.

If any evil were to be feared on the part of the youths at all, it would only be regarding their manners with parents when insisting on obeying the Prophet by not bowing: While refusing to bow, they must be humle and address parents in the best terms of honor devoid of any act of disrespect in word or action.

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوۤا۟ إِلَّاۤ إِیَّاهُ وَبِٱلۡوَ ٰ⁠لِدَیۡنِ إِحۡسَـٰنًاۚ إِمَّا یَبۡلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلۡكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَاۤ أَوۡ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَاۤ أُفࣲّ وَلَا تَنۡهَرۡهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوۡلࣰا كَرِیمࣰا.

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour [Surah Al-Isra’ 23].

This lengthy explanation has been necessary to assist parents most particularly, especially the educated ones. It is feared that they may give much premium to academic qualifications (which boldly promoted the article in question) in determining what is right or wrong as they often are unable to verify correctly claims made in the name of Islam.

Insolence is seriously abominable to the Sunnah while correctness of creed – often mistaken for it – is to be appreciated in a child as a great blessing indeed.

The article has the regretable potential to take us decades back to where we thought we had crossed as a community of people who are desirous of following the Messenger through thick and thin. May Allah rectify our affairs, pardon our inadequacies and grant us steadfastness upon the truth.

Written by: Sheikh Murtado Adedokun, Hafidhahullah.

Refutations Should Be Based on Knowledge and Sincerity

Sincere refutation is part of forbiddance of evil that Allāh has described the Ummah of Islam with and consequently the scholars of Sunnah have not ceased to refute whoever errs amongst themselves not to talk of the inveterate and recalcitrant innovators whose actions and statements tend to destroy the deen.
In order to safeguard the prestine Islam scholars of Sunnah continuously defend it and protect it from any form of alteration and adulteration by refuting whomever misses the point.
Nevertheless, when a Sunni is refuted the intention is to get him back on track. But if he stubbornly persists on his blatant error, some amount of harshness is applied so as so to make him quickly retrace his step. An example of this is how Ibn Umar related with his son who insisted on preventing their women from coming to the mosque when his father told him that the Messenger of Allāh, sallā Allāhu alayhi wa sallam, said they should not be prevented. Ibn Umar noticing in him a kind of obstinacy said, ” I am relaying a message to you from the Messenger of Allāh and you are still telling me you would prevent them” Consequently Ibn Umar avoided talking to him until he died. This is the report of Ahmad; in the report of Muslim:
” HeRefutations Should Be Based on Knowledge and Sincerity abused him in such a way that he had never abused him like that before”.

You can see the gīrah of Ibn Umar for the Sunnah despite the fact that the one he was relating with was a Sunni like himself, in fact a biological son of his.

Another example of this gīrah is the harshness of Umar on Samrah bn Jundub when the latter collected khamr as tax from the people of the Book and sold it. Umar,may Allāh be pleased him, said: ” May Allāh destroy Samrah! Didn’t he know that the Messenger of Allah, sallā Allāhu alayhi wa sallam, said: ” May Allāh curse the Jews! The fat [ of animals] was prohibited to them, so they melted it and ate its price.”

Umar said this out of his love for the Sunnah; in addition he felt a person in the calibre of Samrah should be very aware of the prohibition of the selling of intoxicants. He said what he said despite the fact that the one he was talking about was a Sunni and not only that he was also a companion of the Prophet, sallā Allāhu alayhi wa sallam.
Many other examples abound in the history of the Muslims.
Refutations are also common among the later scholars of Sunnah. Sheikh Humūd at-Tuwaijiri refuted sheikh al- Albāni on the issue of niqāb and there was a counter refutation. Both refutations were accompanied by harsh words from both sides. Both scholars later met and related in the best way two Sunni scholars would relate with each other with love and affection to the extent that sheikh at-Tuwayjiri later said ” Abusing al-Albāni is abusing the Sunnah”
Sheikh Ibn Bāz refuted sheikh al-Albāni on the issue of urūd at-tijārah with a harsh word as contained in ” Al-Hulal al-Ibriźīyyah fi Ta’liqāt al-Bāziyyah ‘Ala Sahīh al-Bukhāri”

Sheikh at-Tuwaijiri in one of his books also refuted sheikh Ibn al-Uthaimeen on the issue of ma’iyyah of Allah when sheikh al-Uthaimeen took it to mean ma’iyyah dhātiyyah. Sheikh Ibn Bāz did not hesitate to write a forward for the book; in fact he asked people to speak to sheikh Ibn al-Uthaimeen to write a recantation in order to stop the students of knowledge from attacking him.
Another example is what transpired between sheikh Bakr Abu Zaid and sheikh al-Albāni: series of refutations and counter refutations accompanied with some harshness at times.

There are so many examples for this in the books and audios of the contemporary scholars of Sunnah wherein scholar bakr would refute scholar amr sometimes with harshness and sometimes with softness all in an attempt to protect the Sunnah.

Hence, a scholar of Sunnah refuting another scholar of Sunnah should not be a headache if they are both sincere and ready to bend for the truth whenever it is clear to them and both of them do not refute each other for refuting sake or to just promote themselves as if it is a football match.

Written by: Sheikh AbdulGaniy Jum’ah, Hafidhahullah.

Lessons from the Tafseer of Dr Faadil

Lessons from Dr Faadil Al Imam Tafseer today

Dr Faadil Al Imam حفظه الله ورعاه methodology of Tafseer is unique as many others scholars of Sunnah in Southwest.
His Tafseer is always interactive.

It is not allowed to say someone reveals Qur’an, this act is peculiar to Allâh. So the popular saying that in Yorùbá language “aṣọ Qur’an ká lẹ” to mean reading whole Qur’an is not permissible

Those Alfa reading Qur’an for jala I purposes is evil in two ways. Evil of statement and action.
Evil of action in the sense:
Reading the Qur’an in portions
Reading it by different people at once and this is against teaching of Islam where Allâh asked us to listen to Qur’an when it is being recited

Different between أنزل and نزّل is that former means that Qur’an was revealed at once while latter means it was revealed little by little. نزّل usage is specific to Qur’an as other heavenly revealed books were revealed at once thus they are أنزل

It is erroneous to say aṣọ Qur’an kalẹ as common with people of bid’ah Alfas. Same to those reading it so no one can sọ Qur’an ká lẹ

Both ké and ká of kewu are correct against the popular saying that we ké kewu not ká kewu

Qur’an learning enhances brain

Learning Qur’an and religious knowledge should be priorities of all Muslims

It is better to address Arabic as
Language of Qur’an
Language of Muslim
Language of Islam
By this many people hearts will be attracted to learn it

You can’t reach 10% of Islam with learning recitation of Qur’an. It is never late to learn Qur’an recitation and its meanings.

You can’t recite Qur’an in another language besides Arabic.

To enjoy his eminent Tafseer follow or like da’wah link page on Facebook. The Tafseer is aired live @ 5pm throughout Ramadan

Written by: Jaamiu AbdulQaadir, Hafidhahullah