“The failures of weekend fuqaha”


I recently came across a program on an Islamic TV Channel in which people were discussing the permissibility of wearing amulets. I’ve heard about these before – they usually consist of some writing in Arabic on a small parchment which is then worn around the neck in a small capsule.

The shocking thing about the program however was that terms such as “shirk” and “kufr” were being banded about like there was no tomorrow.

Apparently, the concept of the amulet (known as either a tamima or ta’weetha in Arabic) was haram and wearing one meant that you were a Disbeliever.

Ajeeb. I turned to a traditional Islamic text, by Ibn Naqib al Misri, often known as Reliance of the Traveller, for an explanation.

I found the ruling somewhat different, which I quote below:

Protective or Healing Words (Ruqya) and Amulets

Protective or healing words are permitted by Sacred Law and are called for when there is need for them, provided three conditions are met:

1. That they consist of the word of Allah Most High, His names, or His attributes;
2. That they be in Arabic; and
3. That the user not believe the words have any effect in themselves, but are rather empowered to do so by Allah Most High.

According to Imam Nawawi, one may adduce as evidence for their permissibility the Hadith of ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb, from his father, from his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to teach them for fearful situations the words:

“I seek refuge in Allah’s perfect words from His wrath, the evil of His servants, the whispered insinuations of devils, and lest they come to me.”

[A variation of the above reads: “A’udhu bi kalimati’Llahi’t-tammati min sharri ma khalaq”]

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr used to teach these words to those of his sons who had reached the age of reason, and used to write them and hang them upon those who had not (al-Majmu’ 2.71)

Reliance of the Traveller (p.880)

My initial thoughts were, “How did such people manage to get airtime on TV?!”

These things were known by the Ulama and by the common people. No one would say these things 100 years ago. The age that were living in is an age of pamphleteering, it’s an age of weekend Muftis, it’s an age of people giving khutbah who should not be giving khutbah.

– Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

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One Response to “The failures of weekend fuqaha”

  1. Jose says:

    Mash’Allah. Spot on, again.

    These weekend muftis are annoying. My younger brother took a tasbih into college once and some kids came to him declaring that it was bid’ah. He also suggested that there are no blessings in the Beloved Prophet Salallahu Alaiyhi Wasallam’s relics. A’udhu Billah.

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