Q. Who is Abdul-Qadir al-Arna'ut? Is he related to the hadith scholar Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut? I have come across a translation from him from a Salafi publication company in England.

A. Shaykh Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut is a major hadith scholar of Ahl al-Sunna living today. May Allah grant him long life and benefit us with his knowledge.

About Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Arna'ut I saw the following in a booklet by Hassan ibn `Ali al-Saqqaf entitled: al-Ighatha bi adillat al-istighatha [Rescue with the proof-texts of seeking help] (Amman: Maktabat al-Imam Nawawi, 1410/1990) p. 17.):

"This is the original [ghayr munharif] text of Imam Nawawi in the Book of Pilgrimage which is part of his larger book "Kitab al-Adhkar" [Book of Invocations and Prayers], according to the original manuscript, published editions (cf. Dar al-fikr in Damascus p. 306), and Ibn 'Allan's commentary on the Adhkar:

"CONCERNING THE VISIT TO THE GRAVE [qabr] OF THE "PROPHET (S) AND THE INVOCATIONS PERTAINING THERETO: "Know that it is incumbent upon every pilgrim [yanbaghi] to go and "visit the Prophet, whether this visit is on his way or not. "Indeed, the visit of the Prophet (s) is among the most important "of the acts that draw one near to Allah [qurubat] and of the most "gainful of errands and of the most excellent of quests. "Once one turns his steps to visit the Prophet (s), let him invoke "abundant blessings on him while on the way. As soon as his "sight reaches the trees of Madina [he invokes even more blessings]..."

"Below is the corrupt [munharif] text of the same passage of Imam Nawawi's book, as it has been corrupted by 'Abdul Qadir al-Arna'oot of salafite claim [al-mutamaslif]... in the edition of Dar al-Huda, Riyadh, 1409/1989 sponsored by the Supervisory Board for Publications, which is presided by the Authority for Scholarly Research and Ifta, p. 295:

"CONCERNING THE VISIT OF THE MOSQUE [masjid] OF THE "PROPHET (S): "Know that it is recommended [yustahabb] that whoever wants to "visit the mosque of the Prophet (s) invoke abundant blessings on "him while on the way there. As soon as his sight reaches the trees "of Madina..."


"Then the said Salafi editor took a further liberty by completely eliminating the account of al-`Utbiyy told by al-Nawawi [at the end of this section], because it contradicts (what comes from) that impure spring [the Salafi School]. Is this scholarly trustworthiness? He could have commented on it and denied it, as some of his [Salafi] brothers have done in other editions. He did not have to commit such corruption of the text, such disgraceful tampering which leads Muslims to doubt in the great texts of our heritage that are printed and disseminated among all." (End of Saqqaf's text)

This is the story of al-`Utbiyy in Nawawi's book:

"Al-`Utbiyy said: "As I was sitting by the grave of the Prophet (s), a Beduin Arab came and said: Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah! I have heard Allah saying: 'If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful' (4:64), so I have come to you asking forgiveness (of Allah) for my sin, seeking your intercession with my Lord [mustashfi`an bika ila rabbi]. "Then he began to recite (poetry): O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth, And from whose fragrance the depth and the height have become sweet, May I be sacrificed for a grave which thou inhabit, And in which are found purity and bounty and munificence! "Then he left, and I dozed and saw the Prophet (s) in my sleep. He said to me: O `Utbiyy, run after the Beduin and give him glad tidings that Allah has forgiven him." And Allah Almighty knows best."

From al-Nawawi, Kitab al-Adhkar (Mecca: al-Maktaba al-Tijariyya, 1412/1992) p. 253-254.