Saturday, November 14, 2009

Patronage of the Decorative Arts

The interest of the Mughals in the decorative art is seen from the time of Emperor Akbar (1556-1605). Their patronage gains momentum during the periods of Jahangir (1605- 1627 ) and Shah Jahan (1628-1658).

Chroniclers write about the emperors and their personal interests in different types of craft and craftsmen. Royal workshops to produce objects of decorative arts were set up in Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Delhi, Lahore and Ahmedabad. Skilled craftsmen were commissioned from within and outside the country. Royal titles such as Nadir-uz-Zaman (Wonder of the Realm), Nadir-ul-Asr (Wonder of the Age), Hunarmand (the skilled one) were conferred upon outstanding artists and craftsmen.

Courtiers, diplomatic envoys, traders and merchants were in constant search of rare, unique and tasteful gifts which could be given to the emperor to get the royal favor.

The reverberations of such patronage are felt even today.



Sahih Al-Bukhari (Imam Bukhari - Bukhara, 810-870)
Collected by the Sunni scholar Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari (810-870) and published during his lifetime. A scholar from Bukhara, he traveled widely throughout the Abbasid empire, collecting traditions. Over sixteen years he collected over 300,000 hadith, writing down those traditions he thought trustworthy. Bukhari transmitted only 2,602 traditions that he believed to be Sahih. Notable hadith scholars of that time, such as Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 855, Ibn Maīn 847, and Ibn Madīni 848, all accepted the authenticity of his book

Sahih Muslim (Imam Muslim - Nishapur, 817-875)
Collected by Abul Husain Muslim bin al-Hajjaj al-Nisapuri or Imam Muslim (817-875) who belonged to the Qushayr tribe of the Arabs, an offshoot of the great clan of Rabi'a. He was born in Naisabur (Nishapur). Imam Muslim travelled widely to collect traditions in Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, where he attended the lectures of some of the prominent Traditionists of his time. At Nishapur he came into contact with Imam Bukhari, and kept himself attached to him up to the end of his life. Muslim was a student of Bukhari and Ahmad ibn Hanbal. There are a total of 2200 hadiths (with no repetition) in Sahih Muslim.

Sunan Abu Daud (Imam Abu Daud - Khurasan, 817-888)
Collected by Imam Abu Daud, who was born in Sajistan, a famous city in Khurasan. He belonged to the Arab tribe, Azd. Abu Dawud travelled to Baghdad, Hijaz, Egypt, al-Jazirah, Nishapur, Syria and Isfahan for collecting hadith. Abu Da'ud declared some of Hadiths in his book to be unauthentic, which makes his book different from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. The author collected 50,000 hadith, but included only 4,800 in this collection.

Sunan al-Tirmidhi (Imam al-Tirmidhi - Termez, 824-892)
Collected by Abū ˤĪsā Muħammad ibn ˤĪsā ibn Mūsā ibn ad-Dahhāk as-Sulamī at-Tirmidhī who was born at Bugh, a suburb of Termez (Arabic Tirmidh), to a family of the widespread Banū Sulaym tribe. Starting at the age of twenty, he travelled widely, to Kufa, Basra and the Hijaz, seeking out knowledge from, among others, Qutaiba ibn Said, Bukhari, Imam Muslim and Abu Dawud.

Al-Sunan al-Sughra (Imam al-Nasa’I - Khurasan, 829-915)
Collected by Al-Nasa'i, Ahmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā'ī, who was born in Nasā (in Khorasan) and traveled extensively in order to hear traditions. He resided in Egypt for a while, and then in Damascus. His final burial place is unknown and it may be in Mecca or Ramalah (Palestine)

Sunan Ibn Maja (Imam ibn Maja - Qazvin, 824-887)
Collected by Abu `Abdallah Muhammad ibn Yazid Ibn Maja al-Rab`i al-Qazwini Ibn Maja, who was born in Qazwin to a Persian family, clients (mawla) of the Arab tribe of Rabi`a ibn Nizar. At the age of 22, he left his hometown to travel the Islamic world; among the areas he visited were Kufa, Basra, Egypt, Sham (Syria), Baghdad, Rayy, Mecca, Medina, and Khorasan. He recorded 4,341 hadiths, of which 3,002 are recorded by the other five canonical hadith collectors; of the 1,339 hadith unique to him, 428 are graded sahih (authentic), while the remainder are considered less certain

Al-Muwatta (Imam Malik – Madina, 715-796)
Collected by Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn 'Amr al-Asbahi, who belonged to the al-Asbahi tribe of Yemen was born in Medina. He studied under Imam Jafar al Sadiq. Imam Malik died in Medina in 796 and is buried in Jannat ul-Baqi. Imam Malik wrote Al-Muwatta, "The Approved," which was said to have been regarded by Imam Shafi'i to be the soundest book on Earth after the Qur'an. Al-Muwatta consists of a total of 1726 hadiths.

Al Hadis Mishkat al-Masabih
Mishkat al-Masabih is the improved version of Masabih al-Sunnah which was a collection of hadith by the Persian Shafi'i scholar Abu Muhammad al-Farra' al-Baghawi, from sometime before 1122. An improved version of this work, Mishkat al-Masabih, has additional hadith, and was the work of another Persian traditionalist Waliuddin Abu Abdullah Mahmud Tabrizi. Most of the hadith contained in it are from the Sihah Sitta [the six Authentic Books]. It contains 4434 to 5945 ahadith, divided up amongst 29 books and is considered by Sunni scholars as an important writing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

IMAM NAWAWI [SYRIA 1255 - 1300]

RIYADH US SALIHIN: The Garden of the Righteous: A Collection of Hadith

Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi popularly known as al-Nawawi, an-Nawawi or Imam Nawawi (631 - 676 A.H. / 1255 - 1300 CE) was a Sunni Muslim author on fiqh and hadith.

He studied inDamascus from the age of 18 and after making the Hajj in 1253 he settled there as a private scholar. From a young age he showed signs of great intelligence, and so his father paid for a good education.

As a qadi (judge), he was much sought after for advice and adjudication of disputes. During his short life of only 45 years he wrote many books on Islamic studies and other topics. He collected and sourced 40 hadiths back to one of the shahabaeen(companions of Muhammad), which was no small task. In 1267 he succeeded Abu Shama as professor of hadith at the Ashrafiyya school in the city.

Riyadh al-Salihin: The Gardens of the Righteous - is a collection of hadith on ethics, manners, conduct, and is still quite popular in the Muslim world today.

Useful Links on Imam Nawawi:

Fighting the Ego (Jihad an-Nafs)
By Imam Nawawi (may Allah be pleased with him)

Sunnah & Hadith: The Sihah Sitta

Prophet Muhammad's sayings and deeds are called sunnah, which are transmitted to us through hadith or oral traditions that recount events in the lives of the Prophet. Those scholars who specialize in this field are known as Muhaddithîn.

There are six major collections of such hadith in Sunni Islam known as Al-Kutub al-Sittah or Sihah Sittah. Sahih is an Arabic word, one of whose meanings is "authentic." Sunan is the plural of the Arabic word “sunnah” meaning “custom.”

Sahih Bukhari

Sahih Muslim

al-Sunan al-Sughra

Sunan Abu Da'ud

Sunan al-Tirmidhi

Sunan Ibn Maja/Al-Muwatta

Other Collections

Al Hadith Mishkat al Masabih

Riyadh us Saliheen


Al Adab Al Mufrad