What I Witnessed In England

Author: Shaikh Abu ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Yahyaa bin ‘Alee Al-Hujooree

Source: Al-Manhaj
Translator: Abu Maryam Isma'eel Alarcon

Published: Thursday 30th July, 2015

The Classes and Lectures We Gave There

The majority of Ahlus-sunnah (from England) live in this city of Birmingham, and they are very strict in adhering to the aspects of the Sunnah. So we began to hold the following classes for them, based on their choice and requests. We held a class on Sharh al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, according to their request. They said that they had already studied the introductory sources on ‘Aqeedah. We also held a class for them on ar-Rawdah an-Nadiyyah and a class on Saheeh al-Bukhaaree.

They also asked us to give a class on the explanation of the Introduction to Saheeh Muslim so that it could be translated, because they told me that there wasn’t any translation for it. So we would hold a class on that in the morning. Then we would leave after that and rest until the sun had risen around 10 o’clock or so, according to the western time zone, and then return for the class on ar-Rawdah an-Nadiyyah. Then we would go and rest for a while and after the Dhuhr Prayer, we would start the class on ‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah. After the ‘Asr Prayer, we would hold the class on Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, and they would memorize hadeeth, particularly the short ahaadeeth. We would go through the chain of narration from Al-Bukhaaree to the Companion (that narrated the hadeeth), while providing a biographical account of the narrators in the chain. They found great joy in that, especially in the biographies of the Companions and the biographies of some of the scholars of the Salaf found in the chain.

If the hadeeth we were reviewing was small, we would say to them:

“Memorize it. Whoever is able to memorize it along with its chain of narration, then that is good and he should do it. And whoever cannot memorize it with its chain of narration, then let him just memorize the text of the hadeeth (matan). And whoever cannot speak the Arabic language, then the matter is easy.”

So they would memorize the ahaadeeth and stay behind repeating them, while I would listen. At times I would say to them: “Memorize until the second day!!”

After some days, they grew strong in their memorization and memorizing became easy for them. My intention in this was to prepare and train them in memorizing the ahaadeeth and studying the ahaadeeth and in gaining knowledge of the chain of narration. I would also comment on the ahaadeeth we went over, explaining some of the Fiqh issues found in them. And on the following day, we would review the hadeeth along with its related (Fiqh) issues, as is the way we do it with our Shaikh (Muqbil), may Allaah preserve him.

We stayed with them for fifteen days doing this, however we would go out answering invitations between Maghrib and ‘Ishaa inside Birmingham. Then some of the scholars came – whom I will mention later in shaa Allaah – and we left for five days to give da’wah by way of lectures. And after (these) five days had passed, they said: “Now it’s the turn of our brothers from Luton”, which was another city.

From the things that I found objection to in our Salafee brothers in that country was that when someone would come to teach them, everyone in that land would say: “Come teach us.” So we would say to them: “If you were to gather in one place for the length of a month or two months and so on, that would be better for you and more beneficial and less time consuming for us.” But they would make different kinds of excuses amongst which was that many of them had to work. [1]

So we stayed there with our brothers from Luton for fifteen days and we resumed our classes, which we had already started (in Birmingham). A group of brothers transferred there from Birmingham. We remained there and finished the “Book of Purification” from ar-Rawdah an-Nadiyyah, and we came close to completing the “Book of Knowledge” from Saheeh al-Bukhaaree. But they told us that they could not continue the class on Sharh al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah because they were not at the same level as their other brothers. So we started for them a class on al-Qawl-ul-Mufeed based on their request and their level. We would also give a class on at-Tuhfah as-Saniyyah for some of our Libyan brothers there, as well as some of those who understood Arabic, but were not Libyan.

They had hoped to complete the Introduction of Saheeh Muslim, however that required a great deal of time, and they were preoccupied with their jobs and duties. Anyhow, we did not finish this class, nor did we finish ar-Rawdah an-Nadiyyah. These books require a great amount of time – perhaps a year or more – to teach. However, what cannot be achieved in its entirety should not be abandoned partially.

We explained the “Book of Purification” from ar-Rawdah an-Nadiyyah and it was recorded on tape, and they took notes on it and benefited from it. And we went over some of the Introduction of Saheeh Muslim and they transcribed it and recorded it. This was such that one of the brothers there named Ahmad Uwais took these tapes, intending to teach this book, i.e. the Introduction, and saying that he would take from these tapes.

The women there were at a high level in their search for knowledge. They would attend the classes and at times a woman would drive a car and bring other sisters with her (to the classes). Even though we weren’t pleased with this act, this was their custom. So they would come to the masjid and sit behind a veil (curtain) in a separate area. And they would attend all of the classes, except for the class on the Introduction to Saheeh Muslim, but some brothers would attend the classes with their wives.

And we would give them three nights in the week (for their questions), starting from directly after the ‘Asr Prayer. We would finish praying, rest a while and then begin answering their questions over the microphone until about ten minutes time before the Maghrib Prayer, but we would not finish all the questions. These questions were knowledge-based and on research and ambiguities.

Also in Birmingham, the women had three days in the week, but it was held in the forenoon according to the arrangement of the brothers there. A lot of questions would come to us, and those that we didn’t answer would be put in an envelope and left for the next day. Every time questions would come (and we would answer them), they would send more wallaalhul-musta’aan. But as is known from the way we do things, we would give our best effort.

After that, we wanted to travel (back) but our brothers from Cardiff requested a lecture so we went to visit them. So we would move from one place to another and sometimes we would postpone our classes for a day or more just to give lectures. I don’t like to postpone (the classes) because my view is that holding classes is more beneficial. This is what we all feel.


[1] There are some there who don’t work and aren’t able to meet the financial obligations of living or to pay the rent for their homes and other matters, so they must work.


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