Abu Bilal Al-Maliki (tr. el-turki):
The rule of the people of hadith is:
ان كنت مدعياً فالدليل ، وإذا كنت ناقلاً فالصحة
“If you claim something, prove it; and if you relate something show its authenticity.”
This book is not by Imam Nawawi for the following reasons:
1) The obscurity of the author of the book from which it quotes.
This book consists of two main sections, aside from the introduction of the publisher.
The first part comes from the book “al-Muram Mas’alat fi al-Kalam” by an author named “Abu al-Abbas al-Armawi.” From pages 17 to 69 of the first part there are no words of Imam Nawawi, but only the words of an Abu al-Abbas al-Armawi.
What is important in this context, is this unknown person Abu al-Abbas al-Armawi. In no work is this man mentioned. In no biography, nor any historical texts, nor any scholars biographical catalogue, nor any book catalogue.
The obscurity of the author alone is sufficient for Ahl al-Hadith, to reject it.
The fabrication of this book becomes even clearer when we realize that in this work Imam Nawawi is supposed to relate to us `aqida from an unknown person. Imam Al-Nawawi a leader of the Ahl al-Hadith in his time would not quote and relate such an important topic from an unknown man especially when the matters cited are blatantly contrary to what Imam Nawawi said in his own popular works. There are plenty of Ahlus Sunnah scholars that Imam Nawawi knew of with certainty that he could quote from.
The second part of the book (From page 70 to page 78) is a summary of the work Hamalat Adab al-Qur’an, and there is nought to criticize.
2) The second proof: The structure of the book.
The book is not written as the publisher or, as the Wahhabis would have us believe. The book is a ‘Copy / Paste’ job. The first part consists of a text from the unknown book, “Al-Muram Mas’alat fi al-Kalam.” The author does not write a single word as a commentary on this text and this is certainly not the method of Imam Nawawi. Even young students would not copy whole texts, add nothing to it and then claim to have written a book.
Imam Al-Nawawi, the author of huge works would not copy a whole book, add an excerpt of one of his own books and then claim to have authored a new book.
3) The third proof is that it is contradictory to the authentic books of the Imam.
The books of Imam Al-Nawawi are world-famous and his style of writing is very well known to us. We also know his aqeedah through his works, which reached us with authentic chains of transmission. We will not put his Sharh on Sahih Muslim, Sahih al-Bukhari or the Rawda and al Majmu or Minhaj behind our backs and cling to a chainless, fabricated, unknown book full of contradictions and catastrophes.
The aqeedah of Imam Nawawi is not only to be found in his books, but also with his numerous students who did not relate any of the odd things in this supposed book of his.
4) The Fourth Proof: The falsification of history.
Between us and Imam Al-Nawawi are 731 years. I wonder how stupid the Wahhabis think the Muslims are? Do the Wahhabis want to tell us that the Muslims and the scholars of the Muslims did not know of this book? Even the contemporaries of Nawawi, his students and the students of his students did not know of this book. Just now in the 20th century the unknown truth has come to light! That kind of distortion reminds me of Christianity – constantly reformed as new (authorless) manuscripts pop up.
Anyone could fabricate a book and attribute it to a scholar. If you know your way in the history of Islamic books, then you would also know about the numerous fabricated books that are attributed to Imam Al-Ghazali or Imam As-Suyuti for example.
But the Muslims have set conditions to allow books to be attributed to their authors with certainty.
– The Sanad of the book.
– Manuscripts with the Sama’at on them.
– Not contradicting the other authentic books.
– The mention of the book in the biographies of the scholar.
– The mention of the book by other scholars.
– And other conditions which this book does not fulfill.
5) The fifth Proof: The (non-existent) Sanad
The book has no chain of transmission and we do not know who related it from Imam Nawawi (who isn’t the author anyway). The handwriting (manuscript) gives us no reference to Imam Nawawi, except his name on the cover (which is no proof, since anyone can write any name into a title) and the excerpt of the book Adab Hamalt al-Quran.
6) The sixth Proof: The obscurity of the book itself
Imam Al-Nawawi in his time was very well known. His students and those who studied his life and his works are numerous. But no scholar, no student from him, not one historian, not one biographer, not one shafi’i-scholar, no Faqih, no kalam-scholar not even an anthropomorphist has ever mentioned this book. Those who know the books of Imam Nawawi very well, such as Imam Subki, Sheikh al-Islam Zakariyya, Imam Suyuti or Imam Dhahabi and hundreds of other Schuyukh have never told us of this work. Such a 180 degree turn in the aqida of one of the greatest scholars of this ummah would not have remained unknown, but no one mentioned it.
Bring us the scholars if there are any who have mentioned this book and attributed it to Imam Nawawi!
7) The seventh Proof: The deviant creedal statements in the book
The book contains many erroneous statements in creed all of which we cannot mention here. (If you want more information regarding them just read the refutation by Shaykh Sa’id Fouda).
A single point will suffice:
The author of this book says: Allah Speaks with letters and voice, which are beginningless.
Meaning that the letters are beginningless (Qadim). Even Ibn Taymiyya distances himself from this erroneous belief.
Verily this is an Admonition: therefore, whoso will, let him take a (straight) path to his Lord! 73:19