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Al-Ijazah: Meaning, Conditions and Etiquettes

MIT
8/3/2017
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All praises belong to Allah the Most High and We ask Allah to guide us to the straight path. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon his final and last Messenger.

Ijazah literally means permission. It is the authorization to teach or transmit knowledge.  An ijazah is a certificate used primarily by Muslims to indicate that one has been authorized by a higher authority to transmit a certain subject or text of Islamic knowledge. This usually implies that the student has learned this knowledge through face-to-face interactions "at the feet" of the teacher. In a formal, written ijazah, the teacher who grants the certificate usually includes a sanad containing his or her scholarly lineage of teachers back to the Prophet (peace be upon him), a later admired shaykh, or the author of a specific book. This sanad is his link through which he transmits a hadith, a book, a discipline etc. 

It is permission of an authority to the student for a particular discipline after deeming the student fit. It may be given orally or in written form, while contemporary scholars advise that it be written.

There are numerous kinds of Ijazah, and I will mention only few of them and how they are awarded to the students.

1 . The shaykh gives permission for a specific book to someone specifically by name. i.e The Shaykh says, “ I grant so and so to narrate Sahih Al-Bukhari from me.”

2 . The Shaykh grants permission to a particular Muslim by name without restricting what he’s allowed to convey from him. For example the Shaykh says, I award you permission to narrate everything I have heard from the scholars.”

Imam An-Nawawi said the majority of the scholars of Fiqh and Hadith allow these two kinds of Ijazah and hold it obligatory to act by them.

3 . The shaykh awards a person the permission to narrate from him by a general description. This occurs when the Shaykh says phrases like , “ I grant permission for everyone who met me to recount my reports, or I allow every student of knowledge to narrate my hadith, or I permit every student who read to me and heard my narrations to spread them…etc” even sometimes the Shaykh might say I allow every Muslim to narrate my reports.

Ijazah must be acquired from a qualified scholar who will help and assist him on every step and save him from the errors that may be committed.

Righteousness and custody is an essential in having Ijazah. Ijazah is not given to anyone except to a student with perfect knowledge, integrity, piety and modesty. Anybody who does not have this criterion should not be given Ijazah. As well as good memory and precision of the student with regard to what to be awarded him. So, Ijazah should be given only for someone's eligibility.






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