🧵 How can I tribute a man who was perhaps the greatest scholar of our generation? A man who didn’t need ‘Shaykh’ or ‘Mufti’ before his name. A man who was an entire league his own. Taha Karaan. May Allah have mercy on his soul.
His unparalleled intelligence, sharp memory and impressive credentials aside, Shaykh Taha Karaan was a man whose warmth of character would melt the hardest of hearts.
In 2017, I had the honour of meeting him one evening in Birmingham. He delivered a talk ‘Preserving Faith in Times of Tribulation’ (link below), then sat down to give time to students and scholars.
Without notice, Shaykh was requested to narrate the ‘first hadith I heard from my teacher’ (الحديث المسلسل بالأولية) to us. The Shaykh obliged and narrated the entire chain — spanning 1,400 years — from memory. Thankfully, I recorded this in audio, Alhamdulillah.
I had already heard that Shaykh had a strong command of Arabic. I thus took the opportunity to ask him a question, in Arabic, related to Shafiʿi fiqh. He gave me a detailed answer with full references, all from memory and without hesitation.
One man. One evening. A lifetime’s memory. Rahimahullah.
Shaykh Taha didn’t have a social media presence. He wasn’t ‘famous’ the way we might have expected him to be. He was a seasoned scholar of Islam with a keen eye on priorities. He knew what to focus on and what not to bother with.
He engaged himself in learning, teaching, preserving the faith, building on tradition and contributing to knowledge in an elegant and eloquent way (his poetry alone is a display of beauty).
He wasn’t a man of sectarianism or petty debates. He was a man of knowledge and character. A real man, compared to whom we are nothing but boys.
The eyes shed tears, the hearts grieve, and we only utter what pleases our Lord. And upon your parting, O Taha, we are deeply saddened. 🌹

إنَّا لله وإنَّا إليه راجعون.

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More from @ShahinRahmanUK

13 Feb
[Thread]What makes a hadith authentic? The basics of #HadithLiteracy
Five criteria must be met for a hadith to be classed as authentic.
1. Morally upright narrators
2. Precision in transmission
3. Connected chain
4. Free from inconsistencies with other reports
5. Solitary reports must be free from reasons for suspicion
The first three of these deal with internal defects. The remaining two deal with external (or ‘hidden’) defects. The objective of these criteria is to ensure there be no chance of forgeries and to mitigate against the likelihood of errors in reports.
Read 17 tweets
20 Jan
This is also the reason, I believe, behind the turning point in the life of Shah Waliyyullah. [Thread]
He was trained in India in the early 1700s, then travelled to the Hijaz at the age of around 27. There, he studied with a Kurdish Turk by the name of Shaykh Abu Tahir al-Kurdi.
This shaykh’s father, Shaykh Ibrahim al-Kurani, was the former imam of Süleymaniye Camii in Istanbul. He was an expert in mantiq (logic) as well as the hadith sciences. He migrated to the Hijaz and taught hadith.
Read 8 tweets
20 Jan
It appears to be a combination of some of these factors, along with others not mentioned here. Ibn Khaldun’s analysis appears to be a good foundation to go off. [Thread]
Ibn Khaldun makes an important distinction between what he calls العُمران الحضري and العمران البدوي, which, for convenience’s sake, I’ll translate as urban civilisation and rural/Bedouin lifestyle.
He notes that the rural world is largely nomadic, and, as such, Bedouins build character traits that assist the survivalist lifestyle — e.g. the fact that they have to kill snakes that might pop up at any time during their travels helps them build courage and bravery.
Read 21 tweets
19 Dec 20
[Thread] Which group does Jesus Christ belong to?
All Jewish lineage goes through the mother, except the Levite tribe, whose lineage goes through the father.

“Levite” means the children and progeny of Harun عليه السلام.
Maryam رضي الله عنها was a Levite. Her lineage goes through her father, not her mother (hence, the Qurʾan says Maryam bint ʿImran and not a lady’s name).
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22 Apr 20
What is #IslamicEducation? A summary of the #Tarbiyah model. [Thread]
In his book New Directions on Islamic Education, Dr Abdullah Sahin developed a complete and comprehensive philosophy of education that’s rooted in the Qurʾān, Sunnah and the tradition of the ʿulamāʾ.
Exploring the nusus from an educational lens, Sahin produced his own organic philosophy and model of education from it, one that’s distinctly Islamic and rooted in tradition and stands out from even the contemporary western models of education.
Read 14 tweets
23 Dec 19
Was the Buddha a prophet of Islam? [Thread] 1/18
I watched a short clip recently that argues the plausibility of the Buddha having been a prophet in India. There are two extremes regarding this topic, and, as always, a spectrum in between. Let’s take a principled approach to this. 2/18
There are things we know, and there are things we don’t know. Starting with the things we do know, Allah says, “There is no nation but that a warner passed among them” (35:24). 3/18
Read 18 tweets

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