People often confuse these 2 great Shafi’i ‘ulama from Egypt. Who were they? Some short biographical info.
1.) ‘Ali b. Abu Bakr b. Sulayman al-Haythami (d. 807 AH / 1404 CE)
In Arabic: الهيثمي
He was a muhaddith and student of the great imam Zayn ud-Din al-‘Iraqi.
He was THE expert on zawa’id literature in hadith and compiled many works in this field. His most famous work is a great encyclopedia of hadith: Majma’ az-Zawa’id wa manba’ al-Fawa’id.
2.) Ibn Hajar al-Haytami al-Makki [not to be confused in his turn with Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani] (d. 973/974 AH)
In Arabic: الهيتمي
He was a muhaddith but also a great faqih, a student of imam Zakariya al-Ansari and Shihab ad-Din al-Ramli. He was ONE the 3 main authorities in the maddhab.
Famous for his Fatawa al-Haytamiyyah, sharh on the 40 hadith of an-Nawawi and the sharh of the Minhaj by an-Nawawi
As we can see they lived in different centuries. People often mistake them and in transcribing their names (t and th) they makes mistakes as well, just like Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. They had their own specialities in hadith and fiqh.
May Allah have mercy on them.
Imam an-Nawawi rahimahullah said in his book “Adab al-Fatwa wa’l-Mufti wa’l-Mustafti”:
“It is not permissible (laa yajoozu) for a person of one area or country, not aware of the customs and the circumstances of another area to issue fatwa in that place, until he is fully acquainted with the people of it, their style of speaking and what they mean by their words and expressions.”
Source: Imam an-Nawawi, The Etiquettes and Qualifications of Issuing Islamic Judgment, of a Mufti, and of the one seeking his opinion, Al Fardani Publishers and Distributors, Birmingham UK, 1997, 31 (40). The original Arabic version of this book can be downloaded here: http://www.archive.org/details/167_nawawi_adab.alfatwa.w.almufti.w.almustafti
Let’s take heed of the wise words of mufti Muhammad ibn Adam in one of his latest fatawa:
Sadly, some Muslims do not pay attention to 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).