Gems from Fatḥ al Bāri
(With slight editing).
Muʿāwiyah (ra) narrated: I heard Allāh’s Messenger (Sallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying, “If Allāh wishes good for a person, He makes him comprehend the religion. I am just a distributor, but the grant is from Allāh. (And remember) that this nation will keep on following Allāh’s teachings strictly and they will not be harmed by any one going on a different path till Allāh’s order is established.” (Saḥīḥ al Bukhāri).
This ḥadīth revolves around three issues:
- The virtue of learning and understanding (tafaqquh)
- That the true giver of things is Allāh (swt).
- A part of the ummah will always remain upon the truth.
- The first part of the ḥadīth is suited to be mentioned in chapters related to knowledge whereas the second is more suited to chapters related to the distribution of charity (Imam Muslim mentioned the ḥadīth in the book of zakāh.) and the third part of the ḥadīth is more suited to be mentioned in the chapter of the signs of the Hour.
- However, all three matters are really related to knowledge:
- The first part is clearly related to knowledge.
- The second part alludes to that knowledge is not simple ‘gained’ but a person must also receive divine support from Allāh to attain it.
- The third part alludes to the fact that there will always be a group of people upon this path of knowledge.
- It can also be derived from the ḥadīth that a time will never pass except that there will be a mujtahid existent in the ummah. This was the apparent view of Imam al Bukhāri.
- Imam an-Nawawi said: “It is possible that this band of people (ṭāʾifah) could consist of different groups of believers who establish the command of Allāh whether they be mujāhidīn, jurists, scholars of ḥadīth, ascetics, those who enjoin the good and forbid the evil etc. It is not necessary that they are all gathered together in one place, rather it is possible for them to be dispersed across the land.”
- The term fiqh has slightly different meanings depending on they way it is pronounced:
- faqUha: is used when fiqh becomes second nature to someone.
- faqAha: is used when someone precedes others in understanding matters.
- faqIha: is used to mean to understand.
- All three meanings are applicable here.
- The word used for good: ‘khayran’ has been mentioned in the indefinite form to make it inclusive of all forms of good whether little or many. Mentioning it in the indefinite also venerates the status of this ‘good’.
- The implied understanding (mafhūm) of the ḥadīth shows that the one who does not learn the fiqh of the religion i.e. the fundamentals and branches of the religion, has been denied good.
- The one who does not know the affairs of his religion, nor is a faqīh or a student of fiqh can be described as being someone who good was not intended for.
- The ḥadīth also shows how scholars have a greater status over the rest of mankind and that fiqh of the religion is more virtuous over all other sciences.