Abu Hasan, the fraud and liar*, has critiqued some lines of poetry in Shaykh al-Hind Mawlana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi’s marsiyah (elegy) of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. These criticisms are not new, and some have been responded to in Mufti Muhammad Mujahid’s Hadya Barelwiyat** (p. 435 – 448).
A few of these lines that Abu Hasan critiqued are addressed briefly below:
- “He (i.e. Mawlana Gangohi) brought the dead to life and did not let the living die; take a little look at this healing, Oh son of Maryam.”
This is referring to giving life to spiritually dead hearts and keeping spiritually living hearts alive, which was Mawlana Gangohi’s main preoccupation.
Here, as with much of poetry, the literal meaning is not intended. It is not intended that Sayyiduna Isa (alayhissalam) literally be addressed. Rather, it means that just as the miraculous feat of Sayyiduna Isa (alayhissalam) of giving physical life to the dead is to be marveled at, Mawlana Gangohi’s karamah (which in reality is a mu’jizah of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of giving life to spiritually dead hearts should also be marveled at.
- “Even in the Kabah they turned asking for the way of Gangoh/Gangohi; those who in their hearts kept the taste and passion for gnosis.”
Before setting out for Hajj, Malwana Gangohi would teach his students the correct Sunnah method of Hajj. (He has a work on the topic called Zubdat al-Manasik). Thus, while performing Hajj, those who were students of Mawlana Gangohi, and on the spiritual path of gnosis, would try to follow his guidance. This is what this line is referring to. (ibid. p. 438) It should be noted that Abu Hasan completely misunderstood what this line means.
- “Why might ‘elevated is Hubal’ be on the tongues of the people of desires? Maybe because a second to the founder of Islam has been lifted from the world.”
This is a reference to the Battle of Uhud, where the mushrikun cried out “elevated is Hubal” when they believed Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to have been killed. Because Mawlana Gangohi carried out the prophetic work of reviving the Sunnah and eliminating Bid’ah, the people of desires (i.e. Bid’ah) are crying out equivalent slogans expressing their pleasure at the death of Mawlana Gangohi. In other words, just as the mushrikun were gleeful at the thought of the death of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the people of innovations are gleeful at the death of Mawlana Gangohi; and this is because Mawlana Gangohi carried out prophetic work. What is meant by a “second to the founder of Islam” is someone carrying out the work of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), not someone who is in any way comparable to him.
In brief, there is a degree of poetic licence in such poems. Thus, they should not always be taken literally, and need to be understood in the context of the emotions/thoughts that are being expressed. Similar responses can be given to the other lines that Abu Hasan referred to.
The misguidance of the Barelwis however – like the belief that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was given knowledge of the Final Hour, that he was endowed with full knowledge of all creation (even though he sought refuge from non-beneficial knowledge), that he was able to read and write, that he is present and witnessing everything in creation, that while in his grave he can hear from afar, that he was not really a human being but like Jibril (alayhissalam) was a light that came in the garb of a human being, that he has full control over creation and can do as he pleases – is not expressed in mere poetic language, but is meant literally.
In short, the extremism of the Barelwis is real, while the so-called extremism of Deobandis is imagined.
* See for examples:
Abu Hasan has mustered a typically idiotic response.
In response to the concluding comment: “In short, the extremism of the Barelwis is real, while the so-called extremism of Deobandis is imagined”, Abu Hasan says: “so criticising blasphemous poetry is extremism?” This is typical of the kinds of responses Abu Hasan comes up with. Several items of Barelwi extremism with respect to their beliefs about the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) were listed followed by the comment: “the extremism of the Barelwis is real, while the so-called extremism of Deobandis is imagined”. Barelwi “extremism” was of course a reference to these false beliefs.
He refers to these beliefs, complaining: “when RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam is praised, calling it ghuluww.” These are false “praises” and lies, and in fact the greatest disrespect towards the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sought refuge from non-beneficial knowledge, yet they impute to him every iota of knowledge in creation (including the most depraved, ugly parts of creation that would rather not be mentioned explicitly). He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) proudly wore the label of Ummi, being unlettered, because he was the most learned despite not knowing how to read or write; yet they deny his teachings and claim he could read and write. He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) strongly condemned lies being said about him, yet Barelwism is built on lying about the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and they claim that this is “respect”?! See the introduction to al-Athar al-Marfu’ah of Allamah Abdul Hayy Luknawi for more on this topic.
In response to the explanation given for the second line of poetry above, he claims that if that were the meaning it would not reference those who seek “gnosis”/”irfan” but those who seek “fiqh”. But the reality is there is no difference between following the Prophetic way in acts of worship and gnosis/irfan. Students of Mawlana Gangohi while at Hajj would seek gnosis by following his guidance on what the Sunnah method was for Hajj.
Abu Hasan then refers to another line which states: “His departure [from this abode] is a sketch of the demise of the leader of the world; if ever there was a personality similar to the Glorified’s Beloved it was this personality.” Meaning, Mawlana Gangohi’s students felt a trace of what would have been felt at the departure of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and if ever there was someone who would be comparable to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in this age – to have this kind of effect and leave such a legacy – it would be Mawlana Gangohi. There is nothing problematic in this line; it is not saying he is comparable to the Prophet but that if ever there was anyone comparable, i.e. in this age, it would be Mawlana Gangohi; and thus a feint trace of what would have been felt at the demise of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was felt at his departure.
Abu Hasan complains that one item amongst several of his lies/slanders/examples of incompetence has already been acknowledged and corrected. The purpose of posting this example of his blatant mistranslation of a verse of Qur’an was to demonstrate incompetence, stupidity and carelessness even after having been previously warned about this. But the more important point is that this is only one item. What about the many other lies/slanders/distortions that have still not been acknowledged? If he does not acknowledge/correct them, he will always be a fraud and liar in our books.
Finally, Abu Hasan boasts of being a native Urdu speaker. But, it does not matter that he is a native Urdu speaker if at the same time he is an incompetent fraud and liar. One of the examples listed shows his clear butchery of an Urdu passage from Barahin e Qatiah – and nope, this has not been acknowledged or corrected.