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Imām Ibn Aābidīn Shāmī

Posted by al Adaab on February 1, 2007


Imām Ibn Aābidīn Shāmī

(1198-1252 AH / 1783-1836 AD)


Abu Hasan

Based on the biographical note in Arabic by Shaykh Ábd al-Jalil Áta of Damascus printed as the preface of Radd al-Mukhtar, the Dar Ihya at-Turath edition. [Square parenthesis indicate translator’s comments]


1. Family

2. Growing Up

3. Seeking Knowledge

4. Heir of the Prophet

5. Degrees of Authorization

6. The Scholar

7. Setting of a Star

8. A Note on Radd al-Muĥtār

9. His Works

10. Ibn Aābidīn, the Poet

Imām Ibn Aābidīn Shāmī

Sayyid Muhammad Amin ibn Sayyid Úmar ibn Sayyid Ábd al-Áziz ibn Sayyid Ahmed ibn Sayyid Ábd ar-Rahim ibn Sayyid Najmuddin ibn Sayyid Muhammad Salahuddin widely known as ‘Ibn Áabidin’ is praised in these words: the prominent, praiseworthy and noble scholar; an ocean of knowledge; the master scholar [jahbadh]; the great jurist [faqih]; the genius; the finest among the later scholars and the last of the research scholars; one with an exalted ancestry [hasib, nasib]; the erudite Imam; the litterateur.


The Imam was born – Rahimahullah – in Damascus (Syria), in an family of scholars and high ancestry in the year 1198 AH. His lineage reaches Sayyid Sharif Zayn al-Áabidin and from him to Sayyidah Fatimah, the daughter of the Master of all creation, Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim. Ibn Áabidin’s father Sayyid Úmar and his mother were both famed for their righteousness and taqwa [being fearful of Allah]. May Allah have mercy on them.

Growing up

He grew up in his father’s care in the Qanawat area. He memorized the Qur’an at a very young age. He was a frequent visitor at his father’s shop where he learnt the skills of the trade [to enable him earn an honest livelihood]. Sometimes, he would recite the Qur’an in the shop.

On one such occasion, a passerby objected to his recitation in a public place, since people neither listen to the Qur’an nor pay heed to what is being recited. He also pointed out a few minor mistakes in his recitation. Immediately, he set out seeking good reciters to correct his mistakes.

Seeking Knowledge

He was referred to the master reciter of his time, [shaykh al-qurra’a, államah] Muhammad Saýid ibn Ibrahim al-Hamawi (d.1236 AH). He perfected his tajwid under him and memorized Sha_ibiyyah, Maydaniyyah and Jazariyyah. He also learnt Shafiýi fiqh from him and memorized Az-Zabd. He learnt Arabic grammar and morphology [nahw, sarf] before finally completing his studies and obtaining a general degree of authorization from him [ijazatun áammah].

Allah táala had destined him to meet the greatest scholar of his age, Shaykh Shakir al-Áqqad, famously known as Ibn al-Miqdam Saád. Under him, he read books of Qur’anic exegesis, juristic principles, inheritance, tasawwuf, mathematics [tafsir, hadith, usul, farayiI, tasawwuf, hisab] and the rational sciences.

Áqqad was instrumental in changing his madh’hab to that of Imam al-Aážam [Ibn Áabidin was a Shafiýi earlier]. He read major books of Hanafi fiqh under him like Multaqa al-Abhur, Kanz ad-Daqayiq and its exegesis Bahr ar-Rayiq, Dirayah and Hidayah.

He began reading Durr al-Mukhtar under well-known scholars, the most famous among whom was Shaykh Saýid al-Halabi. Ibn Áabidin’s meeting with Shaykh Shakir was a giant stride in his career as a scholar and a pilgrim upon the spiritual path. No wonder then, he remained in his company for seven years, after which Shaykh Shakir would present him to his own teachers and recommend them to grant him authorizations. His chain of transmissions [sanad] became more elevated and shorter than earlier ones. He also became a member [murid] of the Qadiri order to which he kept forever. [Tariqah of Ghawth al-Aážam Shaykh Ábd al-Qadir Jilani Radiyallahu ánhu]

After the death of Shaykh Shakir Rahimahullah, he continued studying under his deputy, Shaykh Saýid al-Halabi. Al-Halabi was the most learned man in Shaykh Shakir’s circle and was also the foremost Hanafi scholar of his time. He loved Ibn Áabidin so much that he did not start his lessons until Ibn Áabidin was present. The lessons of Durr al-Mukhtar were held next to the Umawi mosque after morning prayers.

Heir of the Prophet

Ibn Áabidin was very handsome and charismatic; he was tall and had a good physique. He was mild mannered, kind and always cheerful; yet, he was dignified and poised. He had a certain awe about him that commanded respect. His speech was full of wisdom and foresight.

An Indian shaykh once said to his teacher Al Áqqad, when he left Ibn Áabidin behind waiting at the door: ‘Bring along the young man, for I see the light of Prophethood shine between his eyes’.”

Degrees of Authorization

He received degrees of authorization from major scholars of his time, from his shaykhs, and their shaykhs. This was on account of his shaykh Áqqad, who introduced him to his own shaykhs and grand-shaykhs when he noticed the extraordinary intelligence, sincerety and talent of the young man. Given below are the degrees of the authorization he obtained:

1. A general degree of authorization from the famous shaykh, Muhammad al-Kazburi al- Kabir, the muhaddith of his time who passed away in 1221 AH. He signed the certificate of authorization in the year, 1210 AH when Ibn Áabidin was only a little over twelve years old.

2. Another general degree from the great scholar and famous muhaddith shaykh, Ahmed al-Áttar who passed away in 1218 AH. He granted him this ijazah in 1216 when he was about eighteen years old.

3. Another general degree of authorization from the great scholar, Al-Amir al-Kabir (d.1232 AH), which he had it sent to him in 1228 AH.

4. An ijazah to narrate from the reciters of Damascus, through his first teacher Muhammad Saýid al-Hamawi (d.1236 AH) which includes many prominent scholars of that time.

5. And the degree from his own shaykh, Muhammad Shakir al-Áqqad, famously known as Ibn Miqdam Saád.

The Scholar

Ibn Áabidin began writing when he was barely seventeen. Among his earliest writings were annotations on books that he read from his shaykh, Áqqad, especially on Bahr ar-Rayiq and Durr al-Mukhtar.

He worked very hard and kept a steady progress until eventually, he become the foremost authority on Hanafi fiqh in his time. In the times of Shaykh Husayn al-Muradi, he was made the chief mufti of Damascus. He received questions through mail from all over the world on various matters to which he replied, sometimes in a very detailed manner.

The Hashiyah or the Marginalia on Durr al-Mukhtar, is his magnum opus in which he compiled the preferred rulings [of Hanafi fiqh], thereby making it an authority in the Hanafi madhhab. Durr al-Mukhtar is a concise work; thus, many matters have been omitted to keep it concise. Sometimes, descriptions are cryptic for anyone but a trained eye and an

experienced master. Ibn Áabidin saw the need for its exegesis, and inclusion of many matters omitted therein.

Incidentally, earlier authors who attempted such a comprehensive work, passed away before they could complete their work. Usually these books did not progress beyond the section on ijarah [hiring, renting] like Fat’h al-Qadir [of Kamal ibn Humam] for example. Therefore, Ibn Áabidin started his marginalia from the part on ijarah saying ‘If death takes me sooner, this should serve as the completion of the unfinished earlier ones. But if I live long enough, I shall return to make it a whole, complete work’

He began writing the Marginalia under the auspices of his shaykh, Saýid al-Halabi after he finished reading Durr al-Mukhtar the first time and from the notes he had made for the same. Thereafter, he read it once more with the annotations of Ibrahim al-Halabi. In the meantime he would show his drafts to the shaykh who would be pleased and say: ‘The time has come for this huge collection to be finally ordered and the giant task to be completed’. As mentioned earlier, he started from the part on ijarah and went on till the end. He then started it from the beginning and finished at ijarah. Once it was completed, he began ordering the manuscript, but death didn’t spare him time to complete the fair copy of his manuscript. His son Álauddin, later completed the fair copy and appended his own notes spanning two separate volumes, and named it Qurrat al-Úyun al-Akhyar bi Takmalati Radd al-Muhtar.

Setting of a Star…

A pious life spent in earning the pleasure of his parents, and duteous to Allah; a life spent in amassing knowledge and good deeds extinguished on Wednesday, the 21st of Rabiý ath-Thani, 1252 AH. He was only 54 when he died. His funeral prayer was led by his own teacher Saýid al-Halabi who broke down, weeping and clutching his own beard said: ‘I was treasuring you, for what comes after my old age’. Prayers were held in the Sinaniyyah mosque and he was buried – in accordance with his will – near the grave of Shaykh Álauddin al-Haskafi, the author of Durr al-Mukhtar and next to the great muhaddith Salih al-Jaynini in Damascus. May Allah be pleased with him and grant him the most extensive of paradises.

A Note on Radd al-Mukĥtār

Abbreviations used in this work: when he marks it as ta, he means the Hashiyah of Államah at-Tahtawi on Durr al-Mukhtar; ha means, the Hashiyah of Államah al-Halabi, who wrote the marginalia of Durr al-Mukhtar in two volumes.

In all his works, including his Marginalia he shows utmost respect to earlier scholars and refers to them with due deference. However, sometimes when he quotes Tahtawi or Halabi he adds: ‘Ponder’ or, ‘Needs ascertaining’ or ‘Pending further examination’ – he means that though he quotes them, he may not accept their opinion. He thus hints at his disagreement respectfully instead of an explicit statement.

His Works

1.Ibn Áabidin has left behind numerous books and monographs that are a monument to his research; the most famous and the biggest of them all being his marginalia on Durr al- Mukhtar named: Radd al-Muhtar ála Ad-Durr al-Mukhtar [Answer to the Perplexed: An Exegesis of ‘The Choicest Gems’] This is the most comprehensive and the most authoritative book on Hanafi fiqh in the world today. I have also worked in cross-referencing and preparing a detailed index of the book [Shaykh Ábd al-Jalil Á_a means himself]. It has been published many times: the Bulaq edition of 1272 AH in five volumes and later in 1276 AH and 1299 AH; the Maymaniyyah edition in 1307 AH; the Istanbul edition of 1307 AH. Once again in 1323 AH, there was a Maymaniyyah edition; and later in 1323 AH, the Babi al-Halabi edition and Istanbul edition in eight volumes along with the Takmalah, which has been photo-offset a number of times hence.

2.Minhatul Khaliq [Grace of the Creator]: a collection of comments and notes on Nahr al- Fayiq [The Exuberant Stream] by Úmar ibn Nujaym and some other works of Khayruddin ar- Ramli. He doesn’t comment except where there is a need to explain or where there is a contentious matter to be clarified; this, he named Minhatul Khaliq ála al-Bahr ar-Rayiq, [Grace of the Creator: an Exegesis of the Lucid Ocean] wherein he completed the exegesis of Ibn Nujaym’s book left unfinished at ijarah al-fasidah [illegal hiring]. This was published along the margins of the book: Sharh al-Bahr ar-Rayiq in seven volumes, and the eighth being its Takmalah [completion] by Kuri in the year 1311 AH in Egypt.

3.Al-Úqud ad-Durriyyah fi Tanqihi Al-Fatawa al-Hamidiyyah [The String of Pearls: A Revision of Hamid’s Fatawa]: being the revision of the fatawa of Shaykh Hamiduddin alÍmadi; published in two volumes.

4.Hashiyah ála Sharh Multaqa al-Abhur [Marginalia on The Gathering of the Seas of Haskafi].

5.Hashiyah ála Tafsir al-Qadi al-Baydawi:[Marginalia on the Exegesis of Baydawi]: he made it a point to annotate it such that it contains only those points which no other mufassir [exegete] has mentioned before.

6.Hashiyah ála Ifadatu’l Anwar Sharh al-Manar [Marginalia on Extensions of Radiance: an Exegesis of the Lodestar – Al-Manar of Haskafi]: this is not the same as Nasmat al-As’har (see below).

7.Hashiyah ála Sharh At-Taqrir wa’t Tahbir fi’l Usul of ibn Amir Hajj. [Marginalia on the Exegesis of Speeches and Writing on the matter of Principles of Islamic Knowledge]

8.A marginalia which he named: Rafá al-Anžar Ámma Awradahu al-Halabi ála Ad-Durr al- Mukhtar.

9.A marginalia on Sharh al-Manar by al-Álayi named as : Nasmat al-As’har ála Ifadat al- Anwar. It has been published twice. [Shining Rays of the Morning, an Explanation of ‘Extensions of Lights’]

10.Hashiyah al-Mutawwal [by Taftazani].

11.Hashiyah Fat’hi Rabb al-Arbab ála Lubb al-Albab Sharh Nubdhatil Aárab of Hisham. Manuscript in Žahiriyyah library.

12.Ad-Durar al-Mu0’iyyah fi Sharh Nažm Al-Abhur ash-Sharýiyyah.

13.Fatawa fi’l Fiqh’li Hanafi, containing about a hundred rulings other than those in his Risalah. It is also known as Ajwibatun Muhaqqiqah.

14.Sharh Al-Kafi fi’l Úru0 wa’l Qawafi [Exegisis of a book on prosody Al-Kafi by Ahmed ibn Ábbad ibn Shuáyb al-Qanna’a]

15.An appendix to Silk ad-Durar of Al-Muradi.

16.Majmuú an-Nafayis wa’n Nawadir.

17.Qissatu’l Mawlid an-Nabawi ash-Sharif.

18.Nažm al-Kanz; the versification of Al-Kanz of Nasafi. This poem is about eight hundred verses long but he did not complete it.

19.Al-Álam až-Žahir fi Nafýi’n Nasab at-Tahir.

20.Sharh Manžumah Úqudi Rasmi’l Mufti [Exegesis of the poem Úqudi Rasmi’l Mufti]: This is an exegesis of his poem, Manžumah Úqudi Rasmi’l Mufti wa ma Yajibu an Yaálamahu’l Áalimu wa’l Mufti in about 74 lines, from the rajz poetic meter; he completed the exegesis in Rabiý ath-Thani 1243 AH.

21.Al-Fawayid al-Mukhassasah bi Ahkami Kayy al-Hummasah: An article on medicine. A brilliant doctor in earlier times had devised a novel way to extract pus from festers and abscesses using chickpea. Ibn Áabidin has combined two separate monographs on this subject along with his own additions. The first being Al-Ahkam al-Mulakhkhisah fi Hukmi Kayy al-

Hummasah by Shurnblali and the second, Al-Abhath al-Mulakhkhisah fi Hukmi Kayy al- Hummasah by Shaykh Ábd al-Ghani an-Nablusi. He completed the manuscript in 1227 AH.

22. Manhal al-Waridin min Bihari’l Fay0i ála Dhukhri’l Muta’ahhilin: This is a gloss on the book Dhukhr al-Muta’ahhilin by Al-Birkawi, the author of ;ariqat al-Muhammadiyyah. This book deals with the matters relating to menstruation and puerperium. He finished this book on 27th of Dhu’l Qaádah, 1241 AH.

23. Rafá at-Taraddud fi Áqdi’l Asabiý índa’t Tashahhud: A compilation of the sayings of Hanafi imams in the matter of raising the index finger and make a circle with other fingers in tashahhud. Refuting the opinion of some Hanafis who rule that only raising the index finger is necessary without encircling other fingers. It was completed in Rabiý al-Awwal, 1249 AH.

24. Tanbih Dhawi’l Afham ála Ahkami’t Tablighi Khalf al-Imam: An explanation concerning a follower repeating the imam’s takbirs loudly during salat [to amplify the takbirs; a mukabbir]. This topic has been dealt with in a comprehensive manner; it starts with an introduction, has a body and ends with a conclusion. It was completed on the first of Muharram 1226 AH.

25. Shifa al-Álil wa Ball al-Ghalil fi Hukmi’l Wasiyyati bi’l Khitmati wa’t Tahalil: He wrote this to refute a practise prevalent among the people during the plague of 1228 in Damascus. The practise being circulation of a ‘will’ to complete khitmah [a round of reciting the Qur’an completely] and tahlil [reciting the formula: la ilaha illa Allah]. [I suppose this is similar to chain letters being circulated these days about the will of one Shaykh Ahmed of Madinah. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala knows best.]

26. Minhatu’l Jalil li Bayani Isqa_i ma ála adh-Dhimmati min Kathirin wa Qalil (Álauddin)

27. Tanbih al-Ghafil wa’l Wasnan ála Ahkami Hilali Ramadan: He wrote this monograph obeying his shaykh, in which he compiled the canonical ruling concerning the new moon, or the crescent of Ramadan according to all the four madh’habs. Apparently this was to dispel doubts arising of a controversy concerning the new moon of Ramadan in Damascus of the

year 1240 AH.

28. It’haf adh-Dhaki an-Nabih fi Jawabi ma Yaqulu al-Faqih: He wrote this monograph explaining a question in two couplets as given below. The imam showed eight possible outcomes of the phrase and answered it in verse.

What does the faqih say, may Allah aid him; never he be bereft of His bounties In the

matter that a youth pronounces divorce on the condition that it is “in the month

before that month before which is Ramadan”

[commas are not put in the translation because of the obvious reason – Ibn Áabidin wrote a book on it, after all!]

ma yaqulu al-faqihu ayyadahu :: Allahu, wa la yazala índahu ihsani

fi fatan állaqa at-_alaqu bi shahrin :: qabla ma baáda qablahu ramadani

29. Al-Ibanah án Akdhi’l Ujrati ála al-Hadanah. [rulings about accepting payment to nurse a child].

30. Tahrir an-Nuqul fi Nafqati’l Furuýi wa’l Usul: He wrote this article to make it easy for teachers on this complex subject [the principles and derived rulings] and avoid making mistakes in this important matter. He completed this in Shawwal 1235AH.

31. Rafá al-Intiqas wa Dafá al-Iýtira0 ála Qawlihim: “al-imanu mabniyyatun ála alalfaž; la ála al-aghra_” in which he explains the saying: ‘faith is based on words‘. He finished it in Rabiý ath-Thani 1238 AH.

32. Rafá al-Ishtibah án Íbarati’l Ashbah: He clears the doubts regarding a passage whether prophets can sin, mentioned in Al-Ashbah wan-Nažayir by Ibn Nujaym. He finished it in Ramadan, 1218 AH at the behest of his shaykh Al-Áqqad.

33. Tanbih al-Wulati wa’l Hukkam ála Ahkami Shatimi Khayril Anam aw Ahada As’habihi’l Kiram. This monograph was written as an answer to shaykh Ábd as-Sattar al-Atasi, the mufti of Hims, when Ibn Áabidin learnt of the former’s opinion on Tanqih al-Fatawa al- Hamidiyyah, concerning the matter of the blasphemer of the Master of all creation Sall Allahu álayhi wa Aalihi wa sallam. He added the ruling concerning the vilifiers of the companions [As’hab], thereafter. This was completed in Jamadi al-Ula of 1238 AH.

34. Al-Aqwal al-Wadihah al-Jaliyyah: An explanation of an article mentioned in Al-Ashbah reported from Al-Subki regarding the lacuna of division, though he included a large part of this monograph in his marginalia on Al-Ashbah. Later, he added this it to his book Tanqih al- Fatawa al-Hamidiyyah.

35. Al-Úqud ad-Durriyyah fi Qawli al-Waqifi ála al-Faridati ash-Sharýiyyah: An answer to a query concerning the division of waqf and inheritance; it is a summary and the explanation of the monograph Ar-Risalah al-Murdiyyah by Ibn al-Minqar. He finished this around 1230 AH.

36. Ghayatu’l Matlab fi Ishtira_i al-Waqifi Áwd an-Nasibi ila Ahli’d Darajati al-Aqrabu fa’l Aqrab: contains an answer to a question posted from Tripoli [Lebanon] along with some other fatwas which he completed in 1249.

37. Ghayatul Bayan fi anna Waqf al-Ithnayni ála Anfusihima Waqfun la Waqfan. [two persons bearing grants on themselves is counted as one for each, not two for each] – an answer refuting a contrary ruling sent from Tripoli [Lebanon] an year earlier [than the one mentioned above in no.36]. He cleared doubts on the matter and demonstrated the flaws in the ruling, which he finished an year later in 1351 AH.

38. Tanbih ar-Ruqud ála Masayil an-Nuqud: he collected different opinions on matters related to currency: inflation, devaluation and its discontinuation etc., which was completed around 1230.

39. Tahbir at-Tahrir fi Ibtali al-Qadaya bi’l Faskhi bi’l Ghabani’l Fahishi Bila Taghrir: answering a question sent in from Sidon [port city of Lebanon; ancient Phoenicia known as Sayda in Arabic] and refuting the opinions of the mufti of Sidon, after he and his younger brother criticized Ibn Áabidin. He completed this answer in Jamadi al-Akhirah 1248 AH.

40. Tanbihi Dhawil Afham ála Ba_lani’l Hukmi bi Naqdi ad-Daáwa Baáda’l Ibrayi’l Áam: A detailed answer repudiating the veridict of a sitting judge on the matter concerning an incident pertaining to Claims. He finished it in 1251 AH.

41. Iýlam al-Aálam bi Ahkami’l Iqrari’l Áam : This is an exposition of public acknowledgement/confession which is an excursus of Ash-Shurnblali’s Tahqiq al-Ahkam. He clarified the ambiguities therein and clarified those statements which appeared equivocal. Completed in 1237 AH.

42. Nashr al-Árf fi Binayi Baád al-Ahkami ála al-Úrf: An excursus of his own Sharh Manžumati Úqudi Rasm al-Mufti, commenting on the line:

Prevalent customs are acceptable in the canon law

Therefore, this shall be considered as a factor in issuing judgements.

wal úrfu fi’sh sharýi lahu iýtibaru

lidha álayhil hukmu qad yadaru

This was completed in Rabiý ath-Thani, 1243 AH.

43. Tahrir al-Íbarah fi man huwa Ahaqqu bi’l Ijarah: A commentary on the widespread belief that the first hired (or a tenant) takes precedence over all others in hiring/rental. He added other clauses related to the subject and completed it in Rabiý ath-Thani, 1246 AH.

44. Ajwibatun Muhaqqiqah án As’ilatin Mutafarriqah : A collection of his well researched answers on miscellaneous matters given on different dates.

45. Manahil as-Surur li Mubtaghiya’l Hisabi bi’l Kusur: A versified article on mathematics in 117 lines. As an appendix, he wrote another poem Manžumah fi’z Zahaf al-Mufrad wa’l Muzdawij in 18 lines.

46. Ar-Rahiq al-Makhtum Sharh Qalayid al-Manžum: An explanation of the versified Qalayid al- Manžum by the great scholar Ábd ar-Rahman ibn Ibrahim famously known as Ibn Ábd ar-Razzaq on inheritance, drawn from Multaqa al-Abhur in 392 lines. He completed the manuscript on 1226 AH.

47. Ijabati’l Ghawth bi Bayani Hali’n Nuqabayi wa’n Nujabayi wa’l Abdali wa’l Awtadi wa’l Ghawth : A superb monograph exploring the existence of Qutub, Ghawth and Abdal [ranks of awliya] which ends with an ode named : Qasidah al-Ba’yiyyah in 26 lines. Completed in Shawwal of 1124 AH.

48. Sall al-Husam al-Hindi li Nusrati Mawlana Khalid an-Naqshbandi: A refutation of a jealous lot who cast aspersions on the great shaykh Mawlana Khalid an-Naqshbandi. He wrote therein of the [lofty] states of the shaykh, his sayings and his disciples. The article closes with the description of a dream in which sayyiduna Úthman [ibn Áffan, the third caliph] informed shaykh Khalid that he was one of his descendants; and an elegy to shaykh Khalid rahimahullah táala.

49. Al-Fawayid al-Ájibah fi’l Iýrabi’l Kalimati’l Gharibah: On the correct declension of certain words known to be problematic and abstruse among scholars.

50. Bughyatu’n Nasik fi Adýiyati al-Manasik: A collection of prayers [duás] for hajj, derived from Fat’h al-Qadir, Manasik al-Ímadi and Lubab al-Manasik.

51. Nasmatu’l As’har ála Ifadat al-Anwar sharh Kitab al-Manar [fi usul al-fiqh]: A marginalia on the shorter exegesis by Al-Haskafi on the book Al-Manar of Nasafi [as mentioned in above in no.9]

52. Úqud al-La’ali fi’l Asanid al-Áwali: A compilation of his authorizations from his teachers and their biographies.

53. Maqamat: A work eulogizing his shaykh, Al-Áqqad and his biography.

54. Nuz’hatu’n Nawažir ála Al-Ashbah wa’n Nažayir: Marginalia on the book Al-Ashbah wa’n Nažayir of Ibn Nujaym which was collected by his student Muhammad ibn Hasan al- Baytar, which has been recently published in Damascus.

Ibn Áabidin, the Poet:

Imam Ibn Áabidin was also an excellent poet. His collection includes odes, elegies, eulogies, riddles and narrative poems.

Given below are a few lines from the poem he sent to be recited at the blessed rawdah of RasulAllah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim during the hajj of 1220 AH. It is actually an ode to the Prince of all creation Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim in 71 lines with the nun rhyme [letter nun]:

I am here and present! O, the peerless moon –

and verily, I have cleft the heart by my sins.

I wail, and in my ocean of tears –

it tries to sail, on impending storm prevail!

I am here, present! O, whose weeping resembleth mine

and that which is not because of being away from loved ones

labbayka ya qamriyyati al-aghsani

fa laqad sadaátu al-qalba bil alhani

nawhi fa nawhi fi bihari madamaýi

taálu safinatahu laday at-Tufani

labbayka ya man bil buka ash’bahtani

lakin bila fuqdin mina’l khillani

He has also written a 57 line poem ending with the mim rhyme, beseeching the intercession of Sayyiduna Rasul Allah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim, in which he mentions around thirty miracles of the Master Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim:

I complain to Allah of my misery and my need;

asking the intercession of the intercessor of the entire creation indeed.

ashku ila Allahi ma alqahu min nasabin

mustashfián bi shafiýil khalqi kullihimi

His miracles manifest, long ere he was sent

So obvious they were, to blind they were cogent.

A lizard spake to him, for him the wood hath wept;

The moon hath split in two – on his command accept.

The sun had set, but yet: the day he did restore

A pray’r from his lips, and clouds began to pour.

wa muújizatin tawalat qabla mabáthihi

fa kana yubsiruha bil áyni kulla ámi

fad dabbu kallamahu, wal jadh’ú hanna lahu

wal badru shaqqa lahu min bahiril hukami

wash shamsu qad waqafat min baádi ma gharabat

was sahbu qad wakafat lamma da’áa bi fami

What greatness doth remain, mentioned after ‘the star’

Announced in ‘shining morn’, in ‘nun and pen’ by far.

[the surahs: an-najm, ad-Iuha, nun proclaim his greatness]

The sake of messenger, Rahman doth us protect,

And aids us with a stay, that ne’er shall be wrecked

And he the wretch whose sins, hath held him hard ensnared

Waketh the morn secure, as prey in haram is spared

[it is prohibited to hunt in haram or the sanctuaries.]

fa laysa baáda al-ladhi fi an-najmi min ížamin

wa baáda ma fi ad-duha maá an-nuni wa al-qalami

fa ya rasulan bihi ar-Rahmanu anqadhana

wa qad hamana bi ruknin ghayra munhadami

ya man idha ladha ma’suru adh-dhunubu bihi

ghada ghadan aminan kas saydi bil-harami

It has been mentioned before that he wrote the poem Úqud Rasm al-Mufti. Here is a couplet from an elegy he wrote in honor of the scholar, Al-Kazburi. Numerical values are assigned to the letters, the line adds up to the year of his demise:

imāmunā al-kazburī najmun laqad afalā

fa laylun jallaqahū mā zāla munsadilā

Our leader, Al-Kazburi, is a star that hath set;

Night hides him, not that he’s fallen away.


2 Responses to “Imām Ibn Aābidīn Shāmī”

  1. thetuphaninthechar said

    thank you for your translation.

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