Notes on the Turkish language

The late Mufti Shamim Baggia (may Allah Almighty have mercy upon him) advised me to learn Turkish as he said that there is significant knowledge stored in the language. I presume he was advising about Ottoman Turkish which was in use before the collapse of the khilafat rather than Modern Turkish which is prevalent nowadays.

The Turkish language has gone through significant changes in the last century through the reform of Mustafa Kamal. He had the Arabic script changed to Latin and ordered that the loan words be reduced and changed to native Turkish.

General rule: All the letters have only one sound. All letters are pronounced; there are no silent letters except ğ which is almost silent.

Vowels: The vowels are the same as those in English – a, e, i, o, u. Except there are few additional vowels:
– ı (undotted)
– ö (accented)
– ü (accented)

Consonants: The consonants are the same as those in English except q, x and z which are omitted.
– c is pronounced ج or j in jam e.g. cami is pronounced jami or جامع
– ç is pronounced چ or ch in church e.g. çeşme is pronounced cheshme or چشمے
– g is pronounced گ or g in golf
– ğ is almost silent and prolongs the vowel before it.
– s is pronounced س or s in sit and never as a z.
– ş is pronounced ش or sh in shark e.g. çeşme is pronounced cheshme or چشمے‎

Grammar: a simple Turkish sentence follows the order of subject-object-verb.

Vocabulary: Around 15% of the Modern Turkish vocabulary are loanwords with Arabic, Persian, French, Italian, English and Greek being the most significant contributors. I would imagine that the pre-reform era had more Arabic and Persian words which would have made it easier to understand for an Arabic speaker. For example, the salah times are called sabah, öğle, ikindi, akşam, and yatsı which represent Fajr, Zuhar, Asar, Maghrib, and Isha respectively. Imsak means dawn whilst güneş is Ishraq.

The Turkish language extensively uses agglutination to form new words which is to string multiple words without changing the spelling. For example, göz is eye, lük is glass, çü is doer so gözlük will be spectacles and gözlükçü will be an optician.

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman
10 Jumada I 1436
19 February 2016

Citekey: 160219501

The different temperaments of the pious

Hadrat Amir Shah Khan Sahib relates that one man invited Shah Wali Allah Sahib (Muhaddith) Dihlawi, Mawlana Fakhr al-Din Sahib and Mirza Mazhar Jani Jana for food. He sat all three of them down and left. The man returned after midday. He placed one paisa (shilling) in each of their hand and said,

Hadrat, I left for some work and absolutely forgot about the invite given to you. Now there is no time to arrange the food, hence, keep this money for food.

Mawlana Fakhr al-Din Sahib thanked him and said,

Brother, even this is a favour because if we were to work from morning to now, we would have got a paisa and here you have sat us in comfort and gave us a paisa.  Shah Wali Allah accepted it silently and said nothing. However, Mirza Muhammad Jani Jana was offended and said,

You wasted the time of this honourable people. Shah Wali Allah Sahib would have taught hadith till now and Mawlana Fakhr al-Din Sahib would have benefited his adherents. (He did not say anything regarding himself as in what he would have done). However, you have stopped them from doing Islamic services. Be warned, never do that again.

Thereafter, the three got up and left. After stating the story, Amir Shah Khan Sahib said, Hadrat Haji Imdad Allah related this story to me as well as Hadrat Mawlana Qasim Sahib Nanotwi and Hadrat Mawlana Gangohi also.

Hadrat Haji Sahib after discussing this story said, Mawlana Rafi al-Din’s case is one of humility – it resonates of chistiyat. Hadrat Mawlana Qasim Sahib said, Shah Wali Allah’s case is higher in that his nafs was unfazed. Hadrat Gangohi used to say that Mirza Mazhar Jani Jana’s case is very high. Justice dictated here what Mirza Sahib said.

This highlights the differences of characters and opinions of our elders.

—–

Hakim al-Ummat Ml. Ashraf Ali ThanwiHikayat Awliyah (Arwah Thalatha). 2013. Deoband, India. Kutub Khanah Ni’immiyah. pp. 16-17

——–
Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami (Translator)
13 Rabi I 1437
25 December 2015

Hadith Musalsal bil Awwaliyat

الحمد لله رب  العالمين. و الصلاة و السلام علي سيدنا و مولانا محمد خاتم النبيين، و علي اله و أصحابه أجمعين، و علي كل من تبعهم بإحسان إلي يوم الدين. أما بعد: قال النبي صلي الله عليه و سلم:  الراحمون يرحمهم الرحمن – تبارك و تعالي –ارحموا من في الأرض يرحمكم من في السماء. رواه أبو داود  و الترمذي و احمد عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما

It is customary that the very first hadith that a teacher teaches be the hadith rahmah which is the following hadith:

الراحمون يرحمهم الرحمن، ارحموا من في الأرض يرحكمك من في السمآء

Trans: The prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Rahman has mercy upon those who show mercy. Have mercy upon those who are on the earth and He who is in the sky will have mercy upon you”.

The custom of starting with this hadith is called musalal bil awwaliyat. It has been done for many generations.

This was the very first hadith which I heard from the pre-eminent muhaddith of our time, Shaykh Yunus Jawnpuri (may Allah almighty raise his rank). The same was for him from his teacher and they from their teachers and so on and so forth. The chart below recounts one of the chains.

Sh. Yunus Jawnpuri الشيخ يونس الجونبوري
Sh. Zakariyyah Kandhalwi شيخ الحديث مولانا محمد زكريا كهاندلوي
Ml. Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri الشيخ مولانا خليل أحمد سهارنبوري
Ml. ‘Abd al-Qayyūm Badanwi مولانا عبد القيوم البدانوي
Sh. Ishaq Dehlawi الشاه اسحاق الدهلوي
Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz Dehlawi الشاه عبد العزيز الدهلوي
Shah Wali Allah Muhaddith Dehlawi الشاه ولي الله المحدث الدهلوي
Sayyid ‘Umar ibn Ahmad al-Saqqaf السيد عمر بن أحمد السقاف
Sh. ‘Abdullah b. Salim al-Basri الشيخ عبد الله بن سالم البصري
Sh. Yahya b. Muhammad al-Shawi الشيخ يحي بن محمد الشاوي
Sh. Sa’id b. Ibrahim al-Jazayiri الشيخ سعيد بن ابراهيم الجزائري
Sh. Sa’id b. Muhammad al-Maqqari الشيخ سعيد بن محمد المقري
Sh. Ahmad Haji al-Wahrani الشيخ أحمد حاجي الوهراني
Sh. Ibrahim al-Tazi الشيخ ابراهيم التازي
Sh. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr al-Maraghi الشيخ محمد بن أبي بكر المراغي
Hafidh Zayn al-Din al-Iraqi حافظ زين الدين العراقي
Sh. Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Bakri al-Maydumi الشيخ محمد بن محمد البكري الميدومي
Sh. ‘Abd al-Latif b. ‘Abd al-Mun’im al-Harrani الشيخ عبد اللطيف بن عبد المنعم الحراني
Hafidh Ibn al-Jawzi الحافظ ابن الجوزي
Sh. Isma’il b. Abi Salih al-Nayshaburi الشيخ إسماعيل بن أبي صالح النيشابوري
Sh. Abu Salih Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Malik al-Mu’adhdhin الشيخ أبو صالح أحمد بن عبد المالك المؤذن
Sh. Muhammad b. Muhammad Mahmish al-Zabadi الشيخ محمد بن محمد المهمش الزبدي
Shaykh Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Bazzaz الشيخ أحمد بن محمد البزاز
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Bishr ibn al-Hakam الشيخ عبد الرحمن بن بشر بن حكم
Hadrat Sufyan b. ‘Uyaynah حضرت سفيان بن عيينة

This is where the custom terminates whereby the hadith rahmat was the very first hadith which was taught. After this point the hadith was taught but it was not the very first hadith learned.

Hadrat Amr b. Dinar عمر بن دينار
Hadrat Abu Qabus (the Mawla of Abd Allah b. Amr) أبو قابوس مولي عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص
Hadrat Abdullah b. Amr b. al-‘As (may Allah almighty be pleased with them) عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما
The final prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم

The total of this chain is 29 generations. May Allah almighty have mercy upon them all. Shaykh Yunus relays this hadith with the same form from other teachers also.

Furthermore, the very first hadith I studied from Mawlana Fazlur Rahman Azami (may Allah almighty raise his rank) was also this hadith.

The custom is followed to initiate a bond between the teacher and student. To iterate that the din is acquired and preserved through person to person – it is not merely confined to the text. Allah almighty sent the Quran and along with it the prophet (peace be upon him) to explain, expound and demonstrate the Quran. Without the texts one will be lost and without the person one will become wretched.

The full explanation of the hadith is the subject of another lesson. Suffice it to say, be kind to others and Allah almighty will be kind to you. Indeed it is a great kindness that Allah almighty gave us intellect and knowledge. It is what differentiated Hadrat Adam (peace be upon him) from the others.  Allah almighty says,

الرَّحْمَـٰنُ – عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ – خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ – عَلَّمَهُ الْبَيَانَ

Trans: al-Rahman. He taught them the Quran. He created man. He taught them expression.

 

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
6 Rabi I 1437
18 December 2015

The class rules of Mufti Muzaffar Husayn

[There are general etiquettes and then there are etiquettes particular to teachers. The following are some classroom rules stated by Mufti Muzaffar Husayn who was the hadith teacher and former principal of Mazahirul Uloom in India. Wait for the lesson to start inside the class; do not loiter outside. Attend class and consistently so. Do not leave the classroom unnecessarily. Focus! Do not doodle, text or distract others during lesson. Do not do anything which is unrelated to the current lesson during lesson time such as grooming or reading a novel. Come prepared; do not leave your books at home.]

[Mufti Muzaffar Husayn Mazahiri (may Allah almighty have mercy upon him) states1,]

It is a story through the year and I do not like fighting over and over either. In a lesson and especially so in a lesson of hadith, there are a few matters which must be given consideration […] The first is the general etiquettes of a lesson and the second is [specific] with each teacher who have particular approaches and some principles which want the students to fulfil.

First etiquette

The very first thing I want from you is that at the very least you are not standing here and there at lesson time. If you stand here and stand there, this is your first fight with me. When you stand here and there, I consider that in other words you have made a complaint about the teacher even if you have not made the complaint verbally […] Meaning complaint can be done with ‘قال’ (statement) as well as through ‘حال’ (conduct). This conduct of yours entails complaint. When the lesson time has started and the teacher has not arrived or came ten minutes late due to which you are standing here and there, you have announced that the teacher is not there yet. Is that not a complaint? When you complain about a teacher, it is apparent you cannot benefit from them. Even if there is not a clear fight, however, it is the ruling of Allah almighty that when bitterness forms inside and the heart becomes constricted then one cannot benefit. Even if there are lots of lectures and everything else but the circumstance will be as I have mentioned that it is difficult to benefit. You should save yourself from this habit. At the very least let me tell you about myself that do not stand around in my lesson time. I should not see you standing. Rather sit for ten minutes and wait. I will send a message that there will be no lesson. It is my habit that if I am unable to teach the lesson, I inform but six or seven minutes late and not before.

Second etiquette

Let me mention to you another thing. In a few days something else starts which not being present in class. There are some who do not even bother to come here and sit in lesson. They are relaxing at lesson time even though it is mandatory upon them to be present and remain in lesson. If you start adopting this approach that you come sometimes and don’t come sometimes, I will start feeling dim and withdrawn, my lectures will become shallow and I would assume what is the point of in-depth speeches.

Let me mention another point. There are those who attend class (Masha-Allah). But the extent of their care is that if there is registration they will be present and if there is no registration they will be absent. Remember! In two or three days I will see your face (I will know who is what). After that I will be able to tell if you are not coming to lesson. Do not assume that if there was no register it is not known as to who did not come. […] This is a form of cheating with the lesson and the teacher […] Many are under the assumption that we have put one over [the teacher]; the teacher did not ask and so did not know. This is an error. This error should be removed as it is nothing and everything is known.

However, let me say that after the first, second or third occurrence, I may say that you are not consistent. Subsequently, after the third time I will assume that come or do not come, if after telling you, still you did not come, I will not ask why you did not come. The reason being, you are not children. Masha-Allah, you have intellect, are mature, have understanding, are able to lead the people, manage an organisation and all other thing. Even then if you are careless about what benefits and harms you, who can inform you. After the third time, as you would have read, even the Quran states, ‘This is a separation between me and you’. So up to three time the apology will be heard but after the third time it is not necessary. This is my personal stance or else the rule of the madrasah is different. Whether they expel you or keep you that is the madrasah’s matter, however, the special relationship that we have will definitely be different. Even if you do not call it a literal separation consider it is a figurative one. A figurative separation is when there is no connection between the teacher and student. So this separation is born. The point being, be consistent in you attendance.

Third etiquette

Some of our friends (viz. students) have adopted another form. Listen regarding it also. They arrive and are present, however, studying is not their objective. Their main purpose is to register their attendance. As soon as they have been marked in, they need to go toilet, they need to urinate, they have an extreme need, they have an illness and so they leave the class. Some will try to adopt this corner or that corner and thereafter when they feel like it, they leave, and when they feel like it, they return. They think we have fooled them and the teacher does not have a clue who left […] To inform or not to inform is a separate issue, however, to assume that it was not known, is not correct. It is definitely known but it is not my habit to say over and over; it is not appropriate either.

Fourth etiquette

There are some of our friends whose mind-set is that let us go to lesson and these poor souls come to lesson also as well as remain in lesson. However, whilst remaining some start doodling, sometimes sending a note here and sometime sending a note there2, or thereafter they start to sign towards each other.

Fifth etiquette

Some fellows have gone to the limit, and this is my experience that someone is doing their moustache3 or reading a novel4. The lesson of hadith is going on and the novel is open. It is a sad case! Think, the novel is open and hadith is being taught. Similarly, a scissors is in front or a pen and with these their exercise is done upon the book. These are experiences which I am telling. I am not merely saying but it is my experience. Now you let me how can such students gain anything.

Sixth etiquette

Similarly, some do not even bring their books such as today where some have come without their books. Meaning they are so well researched that they do not consider it necessary to lift so many books, and even if they pick, it is one or two important books which they will bring from their residence.

Listen! Those who find it burdensome to even carry books, it is clear what burden they will take to carry knowledge. I ask that if it is difficult to bring books for four lessons at once from the room, what would they be able to preserve of the lectures of four lessons? I want to ask to those whose state in regards to the respect of knowledge that they cannot even bring books and sit without books. This is my long experience and you will also see, this is their regular habit that they come without books and they impose on those who have brought their books. Think! What are they studying who cannot even bring books?

Summary

All these thing are causes for the deprivation, loss and deficiency in knowledge. Hence, if you want to study and teach properly, it should be learned in the right manner with full consideration of the etiquette of knowledge. The teacher should consider their station and student should realise their obligation. Thereafter, Allah almighty will very easily grant knowledge.

—————–

Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami (Translator)
19 Shawwal 1436
5 August 2015

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1. In Taqrir Tirmidhi (also known as Durus Muzaffari)
2. The modern day equivalent of that is reading or sending texts or emails.
3. In the case of girls makeup and clothing.
4. Alternatively, some may be browsing a website or doing work other than that which is being covered in class

How the ulama wrote so much

I always wondered how the ulama of the past got so much done despite having shorter life spans and limited resources. The answer lies in a hadith. The prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “The best actions are those that are less but consistent”.

Mufti Shafi Usmani Majalis Hakim al-Ummat. (1396). Mufti Shafi Usmani (ed). Darul Isha’at: Karachi, Pakistan. p. 285. reports that Khwaja Aziz al-Rahman sahib (may Allah have mercy upon him) took a long leave of absence to stay in Thana Bhawan and write Ashraf al-Sawanih. The leave came to an end but there was a lot of work remaining. Hadrat [Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi] said,

    I always say, little by little whatever comes in front, write it down. Thereafter, make additions as you remember throughout your life. In this way, work gets accomplished. But no one listens to this fool. In the passion of youth when a work is started, they assume that I will do everything. The result is that nothing gets done.

Imam Shafi’i (may Allah have mercy upon him) would consistently edit the risalah each time he taught it. Imam Malik (may Allah almighty have mercy upon him) would do the same for his Muwattah.

If something is deemed worth doing, start small, do whatever you can and to the best of your ability; don’t wait for optimal conditions. Then slowly build and improve; perfection is only with Allah almighty. By the grace of Allah you will notice that in a short span a significant amount of work has been done.

——————–
Muhammad Saifur Rahman
8 Rabi I 1436
1 January 2015

Calculating the travel distance for Londoners

[Hadrat Shaykh al-Hadith Mufti Umar Faruq Lawharwi (may Allah Almighty protect him) says:]

It is clear in principle and in accordance to fiqh that a city is determined customarily based on the distance where the populace is settled irrespective of the size [of the population] and the wide distance they are spread; all of it is considered one city. A settlement which is customarily considered outside the city will be deemed a separate locality even if it is contiguous.

In view of that, to whatever distance, a settlement is called London up to that point all of it will be one city. At present London is divided into 33 boroughs which are governed by its councils. However, this division is for administrative purpose only. According to the custom and the law, the whole of Greater London is considered one city. Hence, a muqim (resident) will not calculate the journey distance from the boundary of their respective boroughs rather it will be calculated after exiting where the settlement of London finishes.

The amenities around [the outskirts of] London which in shariah terms is called ‘fina’ [are counted as part of the city]. For example, public parks where people play football or go for a walk or jog as well as factories, have the same ruling as that of the settlement. As in the travel distance will be calculated after passing [the fina]. The farms that exist outside London do not fall within the ruling of the fina (outskirt).

It should be noted that the M25, the well-known motorway orbiting London, cannot be considered a definitive boundary for London. Rather in whichever direction of London one is traveling, the settlement will be used [in determining the boundary]. If the settlement extends to the M25, in that direction, the M25 will be declared the city boundary. If in any direction the settlement extends beyond the M25 and that part is commonly considered within London, in that case, the M25 will not be the boundary of London [there]. Rather the city boundary will be determined from the end of the settlement. If in any direction the settlement does not reach the M25 such that between the M25 and the settlement there are farms etcetera as a barrier as is the case in the boroughs of Redbridge and Bromley, [in such a case] the settlement will form the boundary and not the M25.

(و في عقود رسم المفتي و شرحه1) والعرف في الشرع له اعتبار – لذا عليه الحكم قد يدار. (و في البحرالرائق2) قيد بالمصريين … للإحتراز عن نية الإقامة في موضعين من مصر و احد أو قرية واحدة، فإنها صحيحة لأنهما متحدان حكما، ألا تري أنه لو خرج إليه مسافرا لم يقصر. (و في العلائية) من خرج من عمارةموضع إقامته من جانب خروجه و إن لم يجاوز من الجانب الآخر. (وفي الشامية تحته3) و أشار إلي أنه يشترط مفارقة ما كان منتوابع موضع الإقامة كربض المضر و هو ما حول المدينة من بيوت و مساكين فإنه في حكم المصر و كذا القري المتصلة بالربض في الصحيح بخلاف البساتين و لو متصلة بالبناء لأنها ليست من البلدة … و أما الفناء و هو المكان المعد لمصالح البلد كركض الدواب و دفن الموتي و إلقاء التراب فإن اتصل بالمصر اعتبر مجاوزته و إن انفصل بغلوة أو مزرعة فلا.

It is stated in Malfuzat Faqih al-Ummat4,

A person asked (Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan Gangohi), ‘When should a person start qasr?’ He replied, ‘When they leave the settlement, they should start qasr.’ The questioner asked, ‘What if the city is very large and made of many miles? If one has to travel from one end or middle and start the journey from the other end, can they do qasr as soon as they leave their house?’ He replied, ‘The ruling of this case is the same in that they start qasr after they have left the city or the outskirts of the city. Hadrat Ali had said, “Had we exceed that part we would have prayed two rak’at” (as in would have qasr).’

It is stated in Ahkam Musafir5 of Mufti In’am al-Haq Sitamuri (may Allah almighty raise his ranks),

A city which extends beyond 77.25 kilometers in that when one leaves from their home they are not able to traverse the city boundary except that they have traveled more than the shariah limit for a journey such as the case of Bombay etcetera. In that circumstance, until the person has not the crossed the boundary of the wide city they will not be considered a musafir according to the shariah. Hence, it is not permissible to do qasr before passing the city boundary rather the rulings of shariah will take effect after crossing the boundary.

و الله أعلم

[Shaykh al-Hadith Mufti] Umar Faruq Lawharwi
3 Muharram 1427
ShahrLondon Walon Ke Kiye Musafat Safar
In Fiqhi Jawahir. 1429. 1st Ed. Vol 4, p. 62-65.
Kosamba, India; Jamia Abu Hurayrah.

—————————-

Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami (Translator)
7 Safar 1436
30 November 2014

1. Sharh Uqud Rasm al-Mufti p. 139
2. Bahr al-Ra’iq v. 2 p. 132
3. Radd al-Muhtar v. 1 p. 578
4. Malfuzat Faqih al-Ummat v. 1 p. 345
5 Ahkam Musafir p. 68

How to record digital streaming audio

All praise is to Allah, the most merciful and kind. Peace be upon His messenger Muhammad, the final prophet, who was sent with the truth which he conveyed un convoluted. Blessing be upon the companion of the prophet who preserved his message and conveyed it far and wide for all time.

The best and most effective way of learning is in person where the teacher/speaker crafts the message optimised for your need. However, this is not always possible. Historically, the individuals would learn in person and then teach their family members by refocusing the pertinent issues. Nowadays with the busy schedules, this also has become difficult.

In recent era it has become possible for us to listen to lectures and sermon through analogue receiversInsha Allah, in a future post, I will write how to record and digitally capture audio from an analogue receiver and output device or live streams from home. This is great for those unable to go to the venue and want to listen immediately.

However, the challenge for many is time and perhaps access to the equipment or internet. Lots of people are preoccupied at the time of the lecture and there is no guarantee that somebody will be recording it or if it will be made accessible.

So the question arises, can I record the live stream and then listen to it later? Yes, it is possible

Solution

One of the simplest program to record streaming audio is Soundtap. However it is a paid software. See below for equivalent free alternatives.

The advantage of SoundTap is that when you leave it on, it only records if there is any sound or else it shuts and comes back on when there is audio again. Suffice it to say that this saves me using a timer, worrying when the lecture will finish and saving hard drive space.

The process is fairly simple for SoundTap.

  1. Open the webpage where the streaming will occur (ensure no other audio is running or being inputted)
  2. Open SoundTap, click the start recording button
  3. Click stop recording button to end recording

To determine where the audio file is to be found, click the options button to open the options menu. Under recording, click the button […] corresponding to recording folder. Select your desired location.

To set the output format, press CTRL+O to open the options menu. Under recording, click the dropdown list and select mp3/wav. Output in mp3 format is smaller and more supported, however, wav format may be better for audio editing later. I prefer recording speeches in mono rather than stereo which can be changed in change settings under channel encoding mode.

Free alternatives

MP3myMP3 is a free alternative among others. It may even be considered better but requires some tinkering. Audacity is also fine but it has no silence detection.

In using MP3myMP3 make sure to click silence detection and set the input to Stereo mix and then press record.

———————————
Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
London, UK
11 Jumada II 1435
11 April 2014

1435

1434 Hijri Hex Calender (130104801)

The purpose of presenting this calendar is primarily for administrative purposes and not adherence. There is no doubt amongst the authoritative ulama that the new month is determined by sighting of the new moon rather than pre-calculation. At present, I do not wish wade into the argument as to when and how sighting should happen. Suffice, it to say the calendar presented is subject to change by a margin of one to two days.

Notable days

Event Islamic date English date
Ashurah 10 Muharram 1435 13 November 2014
Ramadan Ramadan 1435 28 June 2014 – 27 July 2014
Eid al-Fitr 1 Shawwal 1435 28 July 2014
Arafah 9 Dhul Qa’dah 1435 3th October 2014
Eid al-Adha 10 Dhul Qa’dah 1435 4th October 2014

1435 AH (1 Muharram) according to the pre-calculation should have started on 4 November 2013, however, actual start was announced to be the 5 November. It is predicted to end on 24 October 2014.

Historic events are many but comparatively only a few need practical consideration in planning. The fasting of the 13, 14 and 15 (Ayyam Bidh) of every month is proven. However, due to its frequency the actual dates in the Gregorian calendar will need to be determined month on month pending observation. The 10th of Muharram (Ashurah) is set to be on Thursday, 13 November 2013.

Ramadan is expected to start on Saturday, 28 June 2014 (variable between Thurs 26th and Mon 30th June); approximately, 26 days before the summer holidays. Pending 29 or 30 days it is expected to end on Sunday, 27 July with a two day margin of error.

The earliest Eid al-Fitr may be is on the 24th, 27th, 28th, 29th or 30th July with Monday, 28th July being the tentative day. Eid al-Adha is expected on Sat 4th October 2014 with also a possibility of it falling on the 2nd (Thurs), 3th (Fri), 5th (Sun) and 6th (Mon). The nine days before Eid al-Adha including Arafah naturally precede it.

Seasons

In the northern hemisphere, the shortest day of the year is expected to be on 18 Safar (21 Dec) whilst the longest day is on 23 Sha’ban (21 June). Muharram and Safar until the 17th (20 Dec) are in autumn. 18th Safar to the 18th Jumada I is in winter. 19th Jumada I (20 March) until 21th Sha’ban is in spring. 22th Sha’ban (21 Jun) until the 26 Dhul Qa’dah is in Summer. 27 Dhul Qa’dah (22 Sept) till the end of the Islamic year is in autumn.

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
London, UK
5 Muharram 1435 (after Maghrib)
8 November 2013

Addendum: Please see the ICOUK for the UK local pre-calculated calender

[Cite key: 131108501]

Guidance on choosing A-Levels

[This is an extract from a letter written in response to a request of a relative (who is also a madrasah student) for guidance on choosing A-Level subjects (a pre-university qualification studied at college in the UK). The landscape has changed somewhat since the letter was written but the principle is still relevant.]

University degrees are designated either as ‘Arts’ or ‘Science’. In order to have a more wider option you need to demonstrate you can do both. Although it is claimed that A-levels are the same, you should choose the ‘traditional’ subjects.

Traditional subjects (Science): Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics
Traditional subjects (Arts): English Lit. and Lang, Economics, History, Modern Foreign Languages (Any), Geography

Traditional subjects are the best to do as they teach foundation skills which will prepare you to learn any subject. The sources of knowledge are two (1) Aqli [logical]; knowledge is gained through experimentation (2) Naqli [received]; knowledge is gained through discourse (language) analysis and traditions. Modernists place more value on the first and traditionalists emphasise on the second (In madrasah you primarily focus on the second). I will leave the details of Islamic epistemology to another day as it requires some length (cf. discussions on علوم آلية and علوم عالية).

I think undergraduate subject also should be chosen from a traditional subject or a professional course. This is mere a personal opinion and feel free to reject; it depends on your outlook (1) education for money (2) education for personal improvement. You do not need to study the subject on which you plan to do your undergraduate; sometimes it is even discouraged as you would study it anyway in the first year of university.

In any event, some suggest the following A-Levels, amongst others, that should be avoided as they are frowned upon and generally the skills can be better developed by a traditional subject (except for those that have brackets stating they are tradition; nothing wrong in doing them and respected but it is seen as narrower in scope):

Covered by English/History: Law, Communication studies, Critical thinking, general studies, media studies.
Covered by Mathematics: Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Covered by Economics: Business studies, accounting, Government, and Politics (traditional)
Not academic but vocational: Design and Technology, Arts and Design, Drama and Music, Physical Education, Home Economics,

Choose at least two/three traditional subjects and you can choose one lower subject. Although you can choose all tradition but be careful as it can be challenging. Don’t take more than you can handle.

These are of course merely a guide but in reality, it does not really matter as long as you can show competence. Choose subjects you enjoy and those that you can get the most benefit from. Leave the rest to Allah and pray. حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل.

Muhammad Saifur Rahman [Nawhami]
28 August 2010

1434

1434 Hijri Hex Calender (130104801)

The purpose of presenting this calendar is primarily for administrative purposes and not adherence. There is no doubt amongst the authoritative ulama that the new month is determined by the sighting of the new moon rather than pre-calculation. At present, I do not wish wade into the argument as to when and how sighting should happen. Suffice, it to say the calendar presented is subject to change by a margin of one to two days.

Notable days

1434 AH (1 Muharram) starts on 15 November 2012 and is predicted to end on 3 November 2013 (354 days).

Historic events are many but comparatively only a few need practical consideration in planning. The fasting of the 13, 14 and 15 (Ayyam Bidh) of every month is proven. However, due to its frequency, the actual dates in the Gregorian calendar will need to be determined month on month pending observation. The 10th of Muharram (Ashurah) is predicted to be on Saturday, 24 November 2012 (variable between Thurs 23th and Mon, 26th November).

Ramadhan is expected to start on Tuesday, 9th of July 2013 (variable between Sun 7th and Thurs 11th July); approximately, 12 days before the summer holidays. Pending 29 or 30 days it is expected to end on Wednesday, 7 August with a two-day margin of error.

The earliest Eid al-Fitr may be is on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th August with Wed 7th being the tentative day. As such Eid al-Fitr is expected to be on a weekday. Eid al-Adha is expected on Tuesday 15th October 2013 with also a possibility of it falling on the 13th (Sun), 14th (Mon), 16th (Wed) and 17th (Thu). The nine days before Eid al-Adha including Arafah naturally precede it.

Seasons

In the northern hemisphere, the shortest day of the year is expected to be on 21 Rajab (21 Dec) whilst the longest day on 12 Sha’ban (21 June). Muharram and Safar until the 7th (20 Dec) is in autumn. 9th Safar to the 7th Jumada I is in winter. 8th Jumada I (20 March) until 11th Sha’ban is in spring. 12th Sha’ban (21 Jun) until the 12 Dhul Qa’dah is in Summer. 13 Dhul Qa’dah (22 Sept) till the end of the Islamic year is in autumn.

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman
London, UK
24 Safar 1434 (after maghrib)
6 January 2013

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Cite key: 130106501