Does Mufti Taqi Usmani Promote Writing Surat al-Fatiha with Urine?

Does Mufti Taqi Usmani Promote Writing Surat al-Fatiha with Urine?

Question:

Some people have accused Mufti Taqi Usmani of saying that one can write Surah Fatiha with urine, quoting his book: “faqhi maqalat” volume 4, page 146. Does such a book exist, and did he give such a ruling?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

It is extremely unfortunate and sad to see certain people, either out of utter ignorance or evil intent, pointing fingers of accusation at great scholars (ulama) of Islam without ascertaining properly what the scholar actually said or wrote and the context in which he said what he said. There is a tendency within certain Muslims to jump at any given chance to attack Ulama for whom they have a dislike, or they disagree with.

We, as Muslims, have been commanded by Allah Most High to always give others the benefit of doubt. Before making any claim against another human being, we have been ordered to verify the authenticity of the report, and ensure precisely as to what was intended by the individual who made the statement.

Allah Most High says:

“O you who believe, if a sinful person brings to you a report, verify its correctness, lest you harm a people out of ignorance, and then become remorseful on what you did.” (Surat al-Hujurat, V: 6)

And in the same Sura, Allah Most High further says:

“O you who believe, abstain from many of the suspicions. Some suspicions are sins. And do not be curious [to find out the fault of others], and do not backbite one another…” (Surat al-Hujurat, V: 12)

Unfortunately, when one has a disliking for another, one’s sound judgment becomes clouded from seeing the truth or even considering it. Even when one is Islamically justified in his dislike for another human being’s action, the Qur’an commands us not to allow our dislike and animosity for them make us deviate from justice.

Allah Most High says:

“O you who believe, be steadfast for Allah, as witnesses for justice. And Malice against a people should not prompt you to avoid doing justice. Be just. That is nearer to piety (taqwa) and fear Allah. Surely, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.”(Surat al-Ma’ida, V: 8)

Sadly, some Muslims do not pay attention to these and other similar Qur’anic teachings. They jump at any given opportunity to attack, accuse and blame not only other Muslims but great scholars of Islam of blasphemy, heresy and even disbelief (kufr).

As Muslims, we should always try and find excuses for others. We should try and interpret the statements of others in a way that they are justified, rather than decide for them what they meant by their statements.

The great classical Hanafi jurist, Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states in his renowned Sharh Uqud Rasm al-Mufti that, I do not label a believer as a non-believer as long as I find one sign of him believing and as long as it is possible to interpret his statement in a justified manner. He further explains that if there are ninety nine (99) ways to interpret someone’s statement to be a statement of disbelief, but there is one way by which his statement could be explained away, then one must abstain from labelling the statement to be a statement of disbelief. (See: Sharh Uqud Rasm al-Mufti)

As such, it is extremely important to be precautious in what we say about others. We should try and look for excuses in favour of our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. If a statement or viewpoint of a fellow Muslim seems incorrect or blasphemous, then rather than condemning the person outright, we must first investigate its authenticity. Not giving regard to this Qur’anic injunction has unfortunately resulted in dividing this blessed Umma of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace).

As for the accusation that the great contemporary scholar, Shaykh al-Islam, al-Qadi, al-Faqih, Sayyidi Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) permitted the writing of Surat al-Fatiha with urine, it is such an absurd accusation that it does not even deserve a response. How could it ever be imagined of a Muslim, who believes in Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace), that he may support the idea of writing verses of the Qur’an with one’s urine for fun, let alone a great scholar of Islam? Nevertheless, since you have asked, I will briefly try and clarify the matter, Insha Allah.

The title of the book in which it is claimed that Shaykh Taqi Usmani issued this so called ruling is “Fiqhi Maqalat (Juristic Essays)”. This work in the Urdu language comprises four volumes, with each volume examining a specific issue and the Islamic ruling regarding it. Many of the essays have not been directly written in Urdu by the learned Shaykh, but rather, they are translations of his various articles in Arabic. As such, volume four of Fiqhi Maqalat discusses issues such as performing Jumu’a prayers in prisons and at airports, Hijab and its limits, the issue of photography in Islam, and the ruling on using unlawful (haram) substances as a form of medication.

The quote referred to by the questioner is found in the essay titled “The ruling on using unlawful (haram) substances as a form of medication”. Like many other essays in this work, this particular essay was translated into Urdu from the original Arabic essay compiled by the Shaykh in his renowned monumental commentary of Sahih Muslim, Takmila Fath al-Mulhim bi Sharh Sahih Muslim. The essay in essence looks at what the four Sunni Schools of Islamic law (madhhabs) say regarding the usage of unlawful and impure things for medical purposes.

The Shaykh begins his work outlining the positions of the four Madhhabs on the matter and their respective evidences. He first cites the Hanbali School, who hold the view that using unlawful substances for medical purposes is absolutely (mutlaqan) prohibited. In support of this claim, he quotes Imam Ibn Qudama (Allah have mercy on him), a prominent Hanbali jurist, and his masterpiece of Hanbali and comparative Fiqh, Al-Mughni. Thereafter, the Shaykh mentions the Shafi’i position on the matter by quoting Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) who says in his Al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab that it is permitted to use unlawful things for medication as long as it is not an intoxicating substance. Thirdly, he cites the Malikis who hold the same view as that of the Hanbalis, in that it is prohibited to use unlawful substances for the purpose of medication. As reference for the Maliki School, the Shaykh cites Imam al-Qurtubi’s exegesis of the Qur’an, and Imam Mawwaq’s Al-Taj wa ’l-Iklil.

Finally, the Shaykh moves on to explain the Hanafi viewpoint on the matter in considerable detail. He states that there is a difference of opinion within the Hanafi School in regard to using unlawful things as medication. The common (mash’hur) position of Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah have mercy on him) is that this is not permitted. To support this, the Shaykh quotes two classical texts, one from Imam Sarkhasi’s Al-Mabsut, and the other from Imam Ibn Nujaym’s Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq. Both texts conclude that Imam Abu Hanifa does not allow using unlawful substances for medication due to the Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Indeed Allah Most High has not put cure for you in the unlawful.” But, according to Imam Abu Yusuf of the Hanafi School, it is permitted to use unlawful substances for medication due to the Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) advised people from the tribe of Urayna, who became ill in Madina, to drink the urine and milk of camels as a form of treatment. Both these texts – from Al-Mabsut and Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq – are presented in their original Arabic forms, and thereafter, their translations are offered in Urdu.

After mentioning the above difference of opinion, the respected Shaykh states that most Hanafi jurists, however, do allow the usage of unlawful substances as a form of medication, provided there is no permissible alternative reasonably available in the opinion of an expert medical practitioner.

In support of this claim, a text from a classical reliable Hanafi work, Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq of Imam Ibn Nujaym (may Allah have mercy on him), is presented. The exact Arabic text is presented on page 145 of Shaykh Taqi Usmani’s Fiqhi Maqalat, and its Urdu translation on page 146.

In the text, Imam Ibn Nujaym states that there is a difference of opinion amongst our (Hanafi) scholars with regard to using unlawful things as medication. However, it is stated in Al-Nihaya, quoting from Al-Zakhira, that this is permissible if it is known that the cure lies in the medication and that no alternative is available. Thereafter, Imam Ibn Nujaym quotes another Hanafi Fiqh reference work, Fatawa Qadikhan, in which the true meaning of the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) statement: “Indeed Allah Most High has not put cure for you in the unlawful” is explained.

He [Imam Ibn Nujaym, and not Mufti Taqi Usmani] then states:

“And this [position of permissibility] is likewise chosen by the author of Al-Hidaya who says in [his work] Al-Tajnis: “If one has a nosebleed and he writes Surat al-Fatiha on his forehead and nose with his blood, then this would be allowed as a form of treatment. Even if he were to write with urine, there would not be a problem with it, if he knew that there was cure in it. However, this has NOT been reported….. (Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, 1/116)

Finally, Shaykh Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) mentions the various Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) on the issue – those that indicate impermissibility, and those that indicate permissibility. He ends the article by reconciling between these apparently contradicting Hadiths.

From the above clarification it is clear that any individual who possesses the smallest amount of intellect can never conclude that Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) allows or encourages the writing of Surat al-Fatiha with one’s urine!

Firstly, these are not his own words, but rather he is merely quoting the renowned classical Hanafi jurist Imam Ibn Nujaym, from his work Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, who in turn is quoting another well-known classical Hanafi jurist, the author of Al-Hidaya. As such, the text regarding writing Surat al-Fatiha with urine, if proven to be authentically established, is in actual fact the text of the author of Al-Hidaya. Those who were quick in accusing the respected Shaykh of blasphemy, due to an Urdu text found on page 146 of his book, Fiqhi Maqalat, if only they had turned a page back to page 145 and saw the original Arabic text, they would have been saved from making such a horrendous accusation. According to them, are Imam Ibn Nujaym and the author of Al-Hidaya (may Allah have mercy on both) also guilty of blasphemy or Kufr? What about all those Hanafi Scholars, both past and present, who hold these two Imams and their works in high regard, would they also be guilty of approving a blasphemous statement?

Secondly, both Imam Ibn Nujaym and the author of Al-Hidaya (and indeed Shaykh Taqi Usmani and all those Hanafi scholars who have quoted this text) cannot be accused of promoting the writing of Surat al-Fatiha with urine due to the fact that Imam Ibn Nujaym clearly says directly after making the statement that: “This has not been reported.” In other words, in order to prove his point emphatically regarding the permissibility of using unlawful medication, Imam Ibn Nujaym quoted the author of Al-Hidaya as saying that even if, hypothetically speaking, one was to commit the unlawful (haram) act of writing Surat al-Fatiha with his blood, or even worse, with his urine, then this would be permitted provided it is done as a from of medication, because unlawful things become permitted when carried out for medication purposes. However, he says, this statement of writing Surat al-Fatiha with urine is not reported and established from the author of Al-Hidaya, and therefore, one may not write Surat al-Fatiha with urine, claiming that it has cure.

As such, the jurists (fuqaha) of the Hanafi School are discussing, only theoretically, the legality of treating oneself with unlawful and impure things such as blood and urine.

The above is the whole truth behind the matter, and as you can see, how ludicrous it is to simply say that Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani allows the writing of Surat al-Fatiha with one’s urine! Those making such ridiculous accusations must realize that they will be answerable to Allah Most High as to what they say and what they accuse others off.

Finally, the respected Shaykh was himself asked whether he ever allowed writing Surat al-Fatiha with urine. He responded with the following answer, as found in his Fatawa collection titled Fatawa Usmani:

“I have never given such a Fatwa. To write any verse of the Qur’an with urine or any other impurity is absolutely unlawful (haram), and I can not even imagine allowing such an act. I have refuted the accusation of those who have [wrongfully] accused me of saying this…. Despite this, those who attribute such a Fatwa to me should fear Allah and fear [the sin of] making false accusations. And Allah knows best. (Fatawa Usmani 1/226)

After this categorical statement by the Shaykh himself and after pointing out the truth of the matter above, if an individual is still adamant that the Shaykh promotes writing Surat al-Fatiha with urine, then this is nothing but pure hatred, prejudice and evil intent. May Allah Most High guide us all, Ameen.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Question #: 5965
Published: 21/06/2008