The Hadith of Rabi‘ah ibn Ka‘b al-Aslami does not Support the False Belief of Mukhtar Kull or the Practice of Istighathah

January 29, 2019

Barelwīs (including Aḥmad Riḍā Khān in Barakāt al-Imdād and other works) point to a ḥadīth of Rabī‘ah ibn Ka‘b al-Aslamī from Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim to prove that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has full and complete authority (mukhtār kull) within creation (to grant whatever he wants or to refuse whatever he wants), and he can be asked for anything (istighāthah). The ḥadīth is as follows:

قال: كنت أبيت مع رسول الله صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فأتيته بوَضوئه وحاجته، فقال لي: “سل”، فقلت: أسألك مرافقتك في الجنة. قال: “أو غير ذلك؟ ” قلت: هو ذاك. قال: “فأعني على نفسك بكثرة السجود”.

Rabī‘ah ibn Ka‘b al-Aslamī said: “I used to spend the night with the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) and bring him his wuḍū water and his needs, so he said to me: ‘Ask’, I said: ‘I ask for your company in Jannah.’ He said: ‘Or [perhaps] something else?’ I said: ‘It is [only] that.’ He said: ‘Then assist me in [fulfilling this need of] yours by making plenty of sujūd.”

The final part of the ḥadīth where the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) asks for assistance in achieving this objective in fact disproves the contention that he had free discretion in the matter. Ibn al-Malak, a well-known early commentator on Maṣabīḥ, comments: “There is an indication in this that this high status will not be acquired just by asking for it, but by this along with the Prophet’s (upon him peace) supplication for it from Allāh.” (Quoted in Dil Kā Surūr, p. 180)

More importantly, other wordings of this ḥadīth show that what is meant by this request is to make du‘ā to Allāh for his entry into Jannah; not that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has the power to grant this request of his own. In ḥadīth no. 16579 of Musnad Aḥmad, a lengthy version/explanation of the entire incident is found:

حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، عَنِ ابْنِ إِسْحَاقَ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَمْرِو بْنِ عَطَاءٍ، عَنْ نُعَيْمِ بْنِ مُجْمِرٍ، عَنْ رَبِيعَةَ بْنِ كَعْبٍ قَالَ: كُنْتُ أَخْدُمُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَأَقُومُ لَهُ فِي حَوَائِجِهِ نَهَارِي أَجْمَعَ حَتَّى يُصَلِّيَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْعِشَاءَ الْآخِرَةَ فَأَجْلِسَ بِبَابِهِ، إِذَا دَخَلَ بَيْتَهُ أَقُولُ: لَعَلَّهَا أَنْ تَحْدُثَ لِرَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَاجَةٌ فَمَا أَزَالُ أَسْمَعُهُ يَقُولُ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” سُبْحَانَ اللهِ، سُبْحَانَ اللهِ، سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ “، حَتَّى أَمَلَّ فَأَرْجِعَ، أَوْ تَغْلِبَنِي عَيْنِي فَأَرْقُدَ، قَالَ: فَقَالَ لِي يَوْمًا لِمَا يَرَى مِنْ خِفَّتِي لَهُ، وَخِدْمَتِي إِيَّاهُ: ” سَلْنِي يَا رَبِيعَةُ أُعْطِكَ “، قَالَ: فَقُلْتُ: أَنْظُرُ فِي أَمْرِي يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ ثُمَّ أُعْلِمُكَ ذَلِكَ، قَالَ: فَفَكَّرْتُ فِي نَفْسِي فَعَرَفْتُ أَنَّ الدُّنْيَا مُنْقَطِعَةٌ زَائِلَةٌ، وَأَنَّ لِي فِيهَا رِزْقًا سَيَكْفِينِي وَيَأْتِينِي، قَالَ: فَقُلْتُ: أَسْأَلُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِآخِرَتِي فَإِنَّهُ مِنَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِالْمَنْزِلِ الَّذِي هُوَ بِهِ، قَالَ: فَجِئْتُ فَقَالَ: ” مَا فَعَلْتَ يَا رَبِيعَةُ؟ “، قَالَ: فَقُلْتُ: نَعَمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، أَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَشْفَعَ لِي إِلَى رَبِّكَ فَيُعْتِقَنِي مِنَ النَّارِ، قَالَ: فَقَالَ: ” مَنْ أَمَرَكَ بِهَذَا يَا رَبِيعَةُ؟ “، قَالَ: فَقُلْتُ: لَا وَاللهِ الَّذِي بَعَثَكِ بِالْحَقِّ مَا أَمَرَنِي بِهِ أَحَدٌ، وَلَكِنَّكَ لَمَّا قُلْتَ سَلْنِي أُعْطِكَ وَكُنْتَ مِنَ اللهِ بِالْمَنْزِلِ الَّذِي أَنْتَ بِهِ نَظَرْتُ فِي أَمْرِي، وَعَرَفْتُ أَنَّ الدُّنْيَا مُنْقَطِعَةٌ وَزَائِلَةٌ وَأَنَّ لِي فِيهَا رِزْقًا سَيَأْتِينِي فَقُلْتُ: أَسْأَلُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِآخِرَتِي، قَالَ: فَصَمَتَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ طَوِيلًا ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي: ” إِنِّي فَاعِلٌ فَأَعِنِّي عَلَى نَفْسِكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُودِ “

This version clarifies that Rabīah’s request was: “I ask you O Messenger of Allāh to intercede for me to your Lord to free me from the Fire.” The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) after enquiring how he came to decide upon this request, remained quiet for a long time and then said: “I will do so, so assist me in [fulfilling this need of] yours by making plenty of sujūd.”

The editors of Musnad Aḥmad describe this chain as ḥasan as all the narrators are reliable, and although Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq is a mudallis, he has stated explicitly that he heard the ḥadīth from his teacher.

In another version from Musnad Aḥmad (no.  16076), it states:

حَدَّثَنَا عَفَّانُ، حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدٌ يَعْنِي الْوَاسِطِيَّ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ يَحْيَى الْأَنْصَارِيُّ، عَنْ زِيَادِ بْنِ أَبِي زِيَادٍ، مَوْلَى بَنِي مَخْزُومٍ، عَنْ خَادِمٍ لِلنَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، رَجُلٍ أَوْ امْرَأَةٍ، قَالَ: كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِمَّا يَقُولُ لِلْخَادِمِ: ” أَلَكَ حَاجَةٌ؟ ” قَالَ: حَتَّى كَانَ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، حَاجَتِي قَالَ: ” وَمَا حَاجَتُكَ؟ ” قَالَ: حَاجَتِي أَنْ تَشْفَعَ لِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، قَالَ: ” وَمَنْ دَلَّكَ عَلَى هَذَا؟ ” قَالَ: رَبِّي قَالَ: ” إِمَّا لَا، فَأَعِنِّي بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُودِ “

This version clarifies that he asked: “My need is that you intercede for me on the Day of Judgement.” The chain of this narration is ṣaḥīḥ as stated by the editors of the Musnad.

These versions clearly show that what is meant by Rabī‘ah saying “I ask you your companionship in Jannah” is: “I ask you to supplicate to Allāh to grant me entry into Jannah and safety from Jahannam.”

There is thus no evidence in this ḥadīth that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has full control and authority over all things.

For further discussion on this ḥadīth (including the apparently problematic commentary of Mullā ‘Alī Qārī and Shaykh ‘Abdul Ḥaqq), see pages 179 – 190 of Dil Kā Surūr, where ‘Allāmāh Sarfraz Khān Ṣafdar concludes after a lengthy discussion: “This ḥadīth establishes the Noble Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) as a teacher, preacher, intercessor, one whose supplication is accepted and as Allāh’s Messenger, not that he has complete authority, which is the false and baseless claim of the opposition.” (Dil Kā Surūr, p. 189-90)

 


Barelwi Ulama Use Pagan Arab Polytheist Tactics to Avoid Accusations of Shirk

January 27, 2019

Barelwi ulama attempt to avert difficult accusations of shirk by using the ‘ata’i (God-given) excuse.* A common person would tire himself finding the root of such belief. If we do find a trace of this belief in history then surely it will be among the pagan mushrikin Arabs who would declare belief in one supreme god, along with tens of other gods by way of ‘ata (God-given powers). The Noble Qur’an called this belief shirk.

(Extracted from Mutala‘a Barelwiyyat V.5 Pg.161, Dr Allama Khalid Mahmood)

* Aḥmad Riḍā Khān for example states: “Allāh Ta‘ālā is the ‘intrinsic assister’ (bizzāt madadgār) and this characteristic does not belong to any other. The Messenger and Awliyā of Allāh are assisters via Allāh giving them the power. All praise to Allāh!…Allāh Subḥānahū intrinsically waives harm while the Prophets and Awliyā (upon them blessing and praise) by God’s bestowal [waive harm].” (al-Amn wa l-‘Ulā, Fayḍān e Madīnah Publications, p. 125)

He further states: “Allāh’s deputy [i.e. Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam], on Allāh’s behalf, has the authority of complete discretion (taṣarruf) in Allāh’s kingdom.” (ibid. p. 136)

He states further: “The entire workshop of taking and giving from the Divine Court are in the hands of Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.” (ibid. 102)

He describes the “keys the Owner of the Kingdom, the King of Kings, the All-Powerful, Jalla Jalāluhu, gave to his greatest deputy and most eminent representative ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam: keys to treasures, keys to the earth, keys to the world, keys of aid, keys of benefit, keys of paradise, keys of hellfire, keys of everything.” (ibid. 142-3)

How does he get around this belief amounting to shirk? He says: “When it is accepted that [the powers] are God-given, what is the meaning of shirk?” (ibid. p. 72)

Describing this Barelwī belief, Amjad ‘Alī A‘ẓamī (1882 – 1948), one of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s closest disciples and successors, wrote while describing “true Islāmic beliefs” (this being the 50th belief regarding nubuwwah): “Ḥuḍūr Aqdas (Allāh bless him and give him peace) is the absolute deputy of Allah ‘azza wa jall. The entire universe has been put under the control (taṣarruf) of Ḥuḍūr. He may do as he desires, give to whomsoever he wishes, take from anyone whatever he desires. None in the universe can turn back his rulings. The entire universe is under his governance and he is under the authority of none except Allāh. He is the owner (mālik) of all humans. Anyone who does not accept him to be his owner (mālik) remains devoid of the sweetness of the Sunnah. All the earth is his property. The entire paradise is his estate. The kingdom of earth and the sky are under Ḥuḍūr’s command. The keys to paradise and hell have been given to him in his holy hand. Sustenance, goodness and other types of blessings are distributed from his noble office. This world and the hereafter is a portion of his blessings. The rulings of Shari‘ah have been delegated to his authority. He may make impermissible (arām) for anyone whatever he decides. Similarly, he may make permissible (alāl) whatever he wishes and exempt whatever obligation (far) he desires.” (Bahār e Sharī‘at, p. 42-3)

For a thorough refutation of such false belief, see Dil Kā Surūr (written in 1951) of Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Safdar.


Barelwīs Adopt the Attitude of Satan and Kuffār in Regarding Bashariyyah as Dishonourable

January 26, 2019

It is a common trope amongst Barelwīs that:

  1. The Kuffār referred to the Prophets as bashar (human beings)
  2. Iblīs referred to Ādam (‘alayhissalām) as bashar
  3. Thus, to refer to prophets as bashar is the practice of Kuffār and Satan, so should be avoided

See, for example, ‘Umar Icharvī’s (1901 – 1971) Miqyās e Nūr (p. 194 – 216), where he lays out the above argument.

Famous Barelwī scholar, Na‘īmuddīn Murādābādī (1883 – 1948), writes in his commentary on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s (1856 – 1921) translation of the Qur’ān: “It is realised from this that in calling someone bashar, it results in denial of his virtues and perfections. Thus, in many places the Pure Qur’ān refers to those who call the Noble Prophets bashar as Kāfirs. And in reality, such an expression is far from etiquette and is the practice of the Kuffār in respect to prophets.” (Khazā’in al-‘Irfān, p. 6-7)

Barelwīs however have this completely backward as Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar explains in detail in his critique of Khazā’in al-‘Irfān called Tanqīd e Matīn (p. 54-100).

The mistake of Satan and the Kuffār was not that they considered/called the prophets bashar but that they treated bashariyyah (being human) as something degrading or lowly. Satan believed he, as a creature of fire, was superior to Ādam (‘alayhissalām), a creature of earth. The Kuffār who opposed the prophets believed human beings were not worthy of receiving Allāh’s revelations and being prophets, and thus said: “Did Allāh appoint a bashar as messenger?!” (أ بعث الله بشرا رسولا)

Thus, the mistake of Satan and the Kuffār was to treat bashariyyah (being human) as something lowly. This is precisely the same attitude adopted by Barelwīs. Hence, Barelwīs adopt the attitude of Satan and Kuffār in considering bashariyyah as something without virtue and excellence.

On the other hand, the Qur’ān says. “We have ennobled the sons of Ādam…and have granted them excellence…” Allāh said to the angels: “Indeed I am to create bashar from clay, so when I have proportioned him and breathed My spirit into him, fall in prostration to him.” The Qur’ān says: “We have created humanity in the best constitution.”

In other words, Allāh and the Angels regard humanity and human beings with honour. The Kuffār and Satan regarded humanity and human beings as being dishonourable. Barelwīs have adopted the attitude of the Kuffār and Satan, while Sunnīs adopt the correct attitude of regarding bashariyyah as something honourable.

For a detailed refutation of this Barelwī attitude, see Tanqīd e Matīn, p. 54-100.


Blasphemous Barelwī Belief: The Prophet is Not a Human Being in Reality but Only Appeared in Human “Garb”

January 25, 2019

One of the most perverted and repugnant Barelwī beliefs is that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was not from the jins (species) of humanity, but was a separate creation made of light that came in human form. To illustrate their belief, Barelwīs will often draw an analogy with Jibrīl (‘alayhissalām) – who is an angel made of light that at times came in human form. Hence, according to this Barelwī belief, in his physical reality, the Prophet is not a human being. This is a blasphemous belief.

The Fatwā of Ḥakīm al-Ummat Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī

In a fatwā dated Shawwāl of 1346 H (1928 CE), Ḥakīm al-Ummat Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī (1863 – 1943) describes the statement of a preacher that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was a human being in outward form but not in reality (ānḥaḍrat ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam dar ẓāhir ṣūrat bashar būd walekin dar ḥaqīqat bashar nabūd) as kufr. (Imdād al-Fatāwā, Maktabah Dārul ‘Ulūm Karāchī, 5:234)

The Correct Sunnī Belief

Describing correct Sunnī belief, Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar (1914 – 2009) said: “Our īmān and conclusion is that Imām al-Rusul Khātam al-Nabiyyīn Ḥaḍrat Muḥammad Rasūlullāh (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was a human being as well as light. From the perspective of his species and essence, he was a human being, and from the perspective of his character and guidance he was a light. By virtue of him, the world of darkness acquired light. The darkness of kufr and shirk disappeared and from the rays of the light of īmān and tawḥīd, the surface of the earth became illuminated.” (Nūr wa Bashar, Maktabah ‘Ukāẓ, p. 8) Explaining correct belief, Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī said: “In terms of being a human being, in terms of physical composition and make-up, he is the same as the ummah.” (Quoted in Nūr wa Bashar, p. 82-3)

Disrespect of the Prophet

Indeed, denying that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is from the human species is degrading his lofty status since human beings are the greatest of species. ‘Allāmah Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī (1852 – 1927) said: “To take out his (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) person from being human – which is the noblest and most exalted of creation – and placing him in another species is pure disrespect and degradation of his lofty station…There is no doubt that brotherhood in the very property of being a human being, and equality in terms of being from the children of Ādam, has been established in the text of the Qur’ān; while, in the perfections of proximity, nobody has called him a brother or believes him to be equal [with others].” (al-Barāhīn al-Qāṭi‘ah, Dārul Ishā‘at, p. 7)

Muḥammad ‘Umar Icharvī: The Prophet is a Light that Came in Human Garb

According to this popular Barelwī belief, articulated by some of their leading scholars, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was not a human being in reality, but only appeared as one outwardly. Muḥammad ‘Umar Icharvī (1901 – 1971), a prominent Barelwī scholar, debater and writer, said: “It is established from this noble verse that the reality of the Chosen One (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) was not of human nature, but his reality was of light.” (Miqyās e Nūr, Makabah Sulṭāniyyah, p. 24)

Muḥammad ‘Umar Icharvī further says: “The Chosen One (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) was really light, and the divine power sent him into the world through the intermediary of parents by giving the light a human and luminous form. The Muḥammadan reality of light overpowered his blessed body. Thus, from amongst the creatures made of light, angels were also of light. However, when Ḥaḍrat Jibrīl Amīn (upon him peace) appeared, dressed in a human body, his human body overpowered his luminuous nature, such that in this specific bodily form he could not fly to the furthest lote tree, and in fact he could not go to the first heaven. But the true light of the Chosen One (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) overpowered his human body, which together with the bodily and luminous nature traversed all the heavens.” (ibid. 26-7)

While justifying his belief vis a vis the Prophet’s clearly human features, ‘Umar Icharvī says: “Jibrīl too came in the form of a human being, and he too came adorned with human features like hands, feet, nose, ears…If Jibrīl (upon him peace) coming in human garb and hands, feet and so on appearing on him do not cause any difference to him being a light, then the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace)’s pure hand and pure feet being apparent does not necessitate any difference to him being a [physical] light.” (Miqyās e Ḥanafiyyat, p. 242-3)

Icharvī even goes as far as to analogise the Prophet in this respect to Allāh! He says: “Just as it is necessary to adopt īmān in hands that are without equal, a shin without equal and a face without equal for the pure and free essence of Allāh (Exalted is He), you have been prohibited from drawing any likeness with the pure limbs of the embodied light of the Noble Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) and have to adopt īmān [in this]. Allāh (Exalted is He) is without comparison in His essence and characteristics and He created His beloved (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) from pure light, so he manifested his essence together with his characteristics without any equal.” (ibid. p. 243)

Analogies of this kind between the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and Allāh when making such points are not uncommon in Barelwī literature.

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī: The Prophet is not from Jinn, Man or Angels

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī (1906 – 1971), another very well-known and accepted Barelwī scholar (and student of famous Barelwī scholar Na‘īmuddīn Murādābādī), says: “The Prophet appears from the species of man and is a human [but] is neither jinn, man nor angel. These are material laws. Otherwise, being a human being started at Ādam (upon him peace) since he is the father of man, while Ḥuḍūr (upon him peace) was a prophet at the very time that Ādam was between water and clay. He himself said: ‘I was a prophet while Ādam was between water and clay.’ At this time Ḥuḍūr was a prophet not a human being.” (Jā’ al-Ḥaqq, Na‘īmī Kutub Khānah, p.173)

Note: He is arguing from this ḥadīth that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) existed in his true form before Ādam (‘alayhissalām) was created. But the correct meaning of this ḥadīth (the correct wording of which is, “I was a Prophet while Ādam was between spirit and body”) is, as explained by al-Ṭaḥāwī, that Allāh had sent a written decree confirming his prophethood at this time. (Sharḥ Mushkil al-Athār, Mu’assasat al-Risālah, 15:234)

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī: The Prophet Said he is a “Human Like You” just as a Hunter Imitates his Prey!

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī says about the verse of Qur’ān: “Say: I am only a man like you” (18:110): “The address in this verse is towards the Kuffār. Since each thing repels a foreign species, therefore it was said: ‘O Kuffār, don’t fear me, I am from your species, I am a human being.’ A hunter produces the sound of animals to hunt. The aim of this is to draw the Kuffār towards him. If Deobandīs are also from the Kuffār, this address may also be towards them.” (Jā’ al-Ḥaqq, p.176)

Here, Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī compares the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) to a hunter pretending to be something he is not so as to catch prey! Is this not disrespect? Is this not accusing the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) – na‘ūdhu billāh – of deception?

His point is all the more flawed from the perspective that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “I am a man like you” (innamā ana basharun mithlukum) to the ṣaḥābah – the most elite of Muslims. According to the Muwaṭṭa’ of Imām Mālik in the transmission of Abū Muṣ‘ab al-Zuhrī (Mu’assasat al-Risālah, no. 2877), Umm Salamah (raḍiyallāhu ‘anhā) narrated from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) that he said: “I am only a human being like you. Indeed, you argue before me and one of you may be more expressive in his argumentation than the other, so I will decree in his favour according to what I hear from him…”

Ibn Mas‘ūd (raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu) transmitted from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) that he said: “I am a man like you, I forget like you forget.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, Maktabat al-Bushrā, no. 1282) Ṭalḥah ibn ‘Ubaydillāh (raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu) transmitted from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) that he said: “I am a man like you, and [my] speculation may be incorrect or correct.” (Sunan Ibn Mājah, Dār al-Risālat al-‘Alamiyyah, no. 2470)

In all of these instances, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said “I am a man like you” to his believing companions.

Na‘īmī’s take on the verse is thus an example of tafsīr bi ‘l-ra’y (misinterpreting the Qur’ān based on personal judgement), an activity strongly condemned in ḥadīth, and something that betrays the falseness of Barelwī claims to orthodoxy and adhering to tradition.

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī: “Say: I am a Man Like You” is from the Mutashābihāt!

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī further says: “Just as ‘Allāh’s hand is above their hands’ or ‘the likeness of His light is like a niche…’ and other verses which are found to apparently be against divine nature and are from the mutashābihāt (unclear verses), in the same way innamā ana basharun mithlukum and other verses which are apparently against the status of the Chosen One are from the mutashābihāt. Thus, to adhere to their outward as evidence is wrong.” (Jā’ al-Ḥaqq, p. 178)

This is a further example of Barelwī literature drawing a false analogy between the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and Allāh.

Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Rashīd Rizvī: The Prophet was Light that Appeared in Human Garb

Barelwī, Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Rashīd Rizvī, says: “Ḥuḍūr Raḥmatun lil ‘Ālamīn was in reality and in origin light. For the guidance of human beings, to present an example worthy of imitation before people, his light was made to appear in the form of a human being. When the light was made to appear in human garb, he remains a light despite being affected by human attributes, and his reality and origin is not negated. Several accounts of such are found in Qur’ān and Ḥadīth. Thus in a pure ḥadīth it is narrated that the angel of death came to Mūsā (upon him peace) so Mūsā struck the eye of the angel and gouged it out. Jibrīl Amīn is light yet to grant Sayyidah Maryam (Allāh be pleased with her) a child he came in the garb of a human being. Despite this, he remained a light.” (Rushd al-Īmān, Maktabah Rushd al-Īmān, p. 45)

Conclusion

In correct Islāmic/Sunnī belief the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is from the species of man and did not just appear as a man. In the Barelwī belief described above, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is only a man in as much as Jibrīl (‘alayhissalām) was “a man” i.e. in mere appearance, not in reality. This belief amounts to denying the reality of the Prophet’s humanity, and is thus disbelief and diminishment of the lofty status of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). (Aḥsan al-Fatāwā, 1:57)

Will Barelwīs who pretend to be neutral, objective Sunnīs (like the liar Asrar Rashid) denounce this unIslāmic, repugnant and blasphemous belief?

What this example (and others like it) illustrate is that Deobandī ‘Ulamā’ were true defenders of the correct, orthodox Islāmic creed, while Barelwīs were innovators and distorters of Sunnī belief. Barelwīs are the ones who in truth are guilty of heresy while they casually and unjustifiably throw around accusations of heresy at those undeserving of it. It may even be that their deviance is a punishment for their unfounded attacks of righteous ‘Ulamā’ and Awliyā’.

 


Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar: Barelwī ‘Ulamā’ are Kāfirs but not their Laymen

January 25, 2019

Mawlānā Muḥammad Rashīd, teacher of Ḥadīth at Dārul ‘Ulūm Madīnah, and student of Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar (1914 – 2009)*, said:

I once asked Ḥaḍrat Imām e Ahl e Sunnat [Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar]: ‘What is the ruling on Barelwīs? What belief should we hold concerning them?’ He replied: ‘The Molvī and Pīr kinds of people amongst them, on account of blasphemous beliefs, are pure Kāfirs and Mushriks. Ṣalāh behind them is undoubtedly invalid. However, we do not make takfīr of the common people because they are completely ignorant. They should be made to understand, but if despite being made to understand, they knowingly stay firm on blasphemous idolatrous beliefs, then takfīr will also be made of them – but otherwise, not.’

In his tafsīr, Dhakhīrat al-Jinān, Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar said:

The noble Fuqahā’ have said that the one who says the souls of mashāyikh are present and knowing is a Kāfir – even if they pray ṣalāh, keep fasts, perform ḥajj, offer qurbānī and fiṭrānah, they are pure Kāfirs. This is the belief of Barelwī Molvīs and Pīrs. Their close attendants, the extreme type of people, also have this belief. The remaining helpless commoners are ignorant. Their Molvīs, Pīrs and the extreme Barelwīs amongst the commoners regard Prophets as ḥāḍir nāẓir, and regard saints and martyrs as ḥāḍir nāẓir also – all of this is Kufr. The class of noble Fuqahā’ is a very precautious class. They are the ones who said that if a person makes a statement that has 100 possible meanings, 99 are blasphemous and one is not, don’t call him a Kāfir because his intent may be the non-blasphemous meaning. A one percent possibility even has not been overlooked. What greater precaution can there be than this? Despite this precaution, this very class of noble Fuqahā’ are unanimous that those who regard the souls of saints as being ḥāḍir nāẓir and ‘ālim al-ghayb are pure Kāfirs. These are not peripheral issues that can simply be ignored.

* For more on Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar see here and here.


Sayyid Barzanjī: Complete Knowledge of the Five is Exclusive to Allāh, the Minority Disagreement is Rejected

January 24, 2019

In Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl, Sayyid Barzanjī explains in regard to the “five things”* that total knowledge of them is exclusive to Allāh. Angels and human beings may only receive partial, non-detailed knowledge of them. He explains that “the angel of death being aware of who will die that year and the angel of rain of all rain that will occur in it and the angel of wombs of who was born in it, it is an awareness that is non-detailed, not with full detail; and likewise the awareness of a prophet or saint of any of that or of something that will occur from him the next day – it is in a non-detailed manner not with full detail…The awareness of those mentioned is of only some particulars (juz’iyyāt) of those things, not by way of total encompassment.” (Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl, p. 67-8)

He also explains that Isrāfīl’s (‘alayhissalām) knowledge of when the final hour will be just before it occurs does not contradict the fact only Allāh knows when it is. He states: “…like Isrāfīl’s (upon him peace) awareness of the timing of the occurrence of the final hour when Allāh (Exalted is He) commands him to blow into the trumpet, this too does not arise [as an objection to the knowledge of the five being exclusive to Allāh], because this is at the time of Allāh establishing [the final hour], so it falls under the ruling of us becoming aware of it after it occurs because something that is near to a thing is given the same ruling as it.” (ibid. p. 69)

In other words, no one knows the precise time of the final hour until it will take place. Isrāfīl’s knowledge of it just before it occurs does not contradict this, as that is exactly at the time of its occurrence. As the Qur’ān states: “Knowledge of [the final hour] is only with my Lord. None will reveal it at its time, besides Him.” (7:187) At the time the final hour is to occur, no one will reveal it besides Allāh.

Barzanjī further says: “The truth that is derived from the evidences of the Book and Sunna and the statements of the ṣaḥābah and others from the vast majority of the salaf and khalaf, as you have seen, is that [the Prophet] (upon him blessing and peace) is not aware of the timing of the occurrence of the final hour, nor of the five unseen things in the manner that we mentioned (i.e. with encompassment, and in full detail). This does not entail diminishing his status because that which is intrinsically sought after in the appointment of prophets and sending heavenly books is explaining religious rulings and the obligations of Sharī‘ah. So what is necessary for prophets is for their knowledge of these rulings to be in the most complete manner [possible]. A small minority of the later ones have adopted the view that [the Prophet] (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) was aware of the five unseen things also but they did not cite a clear evidence for that from the Book and Sunnah…The answer to this is what Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhāb al-Sha‘rānī said in the introduction to his book al-Yawāqīt: ‘Allāh forbid that I oppose the majority of the Mutakallimīn and believe the truth of the speech of those after them from the people of spiritual unveiling who are not infallible.’” (ibid. p. 81-2)

The belief that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was given knowledge of the precise timing of the final hour and of exhaustive, total knowledge of all creation (including of the five things) is amongst the most cherished beliefs of Barelwīs, which sets them apart from the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jamā‘ah. Barelwīs who pretend to be objective, neutral Sunnīs, and claim to follow mainstream Ash‘arī creed, should weigh this claim of theirs against the absurdly unscriptural and irrational Barelwī belief that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was given total, encompassing knowledge of all creation. Do they give more priority to the aberrations and heresies of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī or to correct Sunnī ‘aqīdah? If the former, they are not “Sunnīs” as they fraudulently claim but pseudo-Sunnīs and Ahl al-Bida‘.

* Mentioned in Sūrah Luqmān, namely the exact timing of the final hour, knowledge of rain, what is in the wombs, where people will die and what will happen in the future.


Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl: The Scholars of Madīnah Refute Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Views on ‘Ilm al-Ghayb

January 19, 2019

Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl is a work that was written by Shaykh Sayyid Aḥmad al-Barzanjī (d. 1919), one of the greatest scholars of Madīnah of that era, and its Shāfi‘ī Muftī. It was written in refutation of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s view that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was given complete and exhaustive knowledge of creation from the beginning of creation till the end of the world and beyond.

One can find the most recent edition of the work, published by Shirkah Dār al-Mashārī‘, at the following link:

https://barelwism.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/ghayat-al-mamul-sayyid-ahmad-barzanji.pdf

Barelwīs will point out that Sayyid Aḥmad al-Barzanjī was a signatory of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn – which is true.* But the reality of his signature was described by Shaykh al-Islām Mawlānā Sayyid Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī (1879 – 1957) (who was at that time residing in Madīnah) in his al-Shihāb al-Thāqib. He explains that Sayyid Aḥmad Barzanjī initially felt that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was reliable and a person of learning. Based on this good opinion, he signed his treatise, and even encouraged others to do so. However, when he had his final meeting with him in the house of Sayyid ‘Abdullāh Madanī, and they discussed the issue of ‘ilm al-ghayb, he realised the academic and ideological reality of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān and began to regret his previous actions. At this time, he took back his commendation and demanded his seal be removed, and told them that he has come to realise that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān is a person of misguidance and thus spoke very harshly about him.

Muftī Aḥmad Barzanjī himself told Mawlānā Madanī afterwards that on the following day, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s son came to him, kissed his feet and hands, and begged him to keep the seal on the commendation, saying: “Do not take back the endorsement because we have no disagreement on these issues, and while we disagree on the issue of ‘ilm al-ghayb, let that remain as it is.” He also showed extreme flattery in speech and conduct. Muftī Aḥmad Barzanjī used some harsh words, but feeling embarrassed at his pleading, said it will be fine to keep the seal. However, he also pointed out that the seal is of no benefit to them given that his endorsement was conditional. A number of other ‘Ulamā’ from the Ḥaramayn also made their endorsements conditional. (Mawlānā Madanī quotes some of these on page 215-6 of al-Shihāb al-Thāqib.) Mawlānā Madanī notes that even those ‘Ulamā’ who did not put conditions, it is obvious that their endorsements were premised on the information in the treatise being correct.

Sayyid Aḥmad Barzanjī, soon after the last meeting with Aḥmad Riḍā Khān, began to pen a detailed refutation of the latter’s views on the knowledge of ghayb given to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). In al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, Mawlānā Madanī said the treatise is in the process of being published. (It was eventually published as Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl.) In this treatise, Sayyid Barzanjī, and by extension those who approved of it, used harsh words against Aḥmad Riḍā Khān. The positive words that were said of him by some of the scholars, either out of good character or because of not being fully aware of his true character, must be weighed against the negative words used by Sayyid Barzanjī. (see for this account: al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 210-1)

In Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl, Sayyid Barzanjī refers to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān as follows:

ثم بعد ذلك  ورد إلى المدينة المنورة رجل من علماء الهند يدعى أحمد رضا خان

“Then after that a man from the ‘Ulamā’ of India arrived at Madīna Munawwara called Aḥmad Riḍā Khān…” (Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl, p. 9)

Note, he does not use any honorifics or words of praise to describe Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī. Similarly, he says afterwards:

ثم بعد ذلك أطلعني أحمد رضا خان المذكور على رسالة له

“Then after that the aforementioned Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made me aware of a treatise of his…” (ibid. p. 10)

He mentions that he explained to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān why his views are unacceptable but he “persisted and was obstinate” (aṣarra wa ‘ānada) (ibid. p. 11)

He further says:

زعم هذا غلطا وجرأة على تفسير كتاب الله بغير دليل

“[Aḥmad Riḍā Khān] made this claim erroneously and being daring in interpreting the Book of Allāh without evidence.” (ibid)

Here he finds Aḥmad Riḍā Khān guilty of tafsīr bi ‘l-ra’y which is severely condemned in ḥadīth.

Then he goes into detail in refuting Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s view. He refers to his view as “a grave error” (khaṭa’ ‘aẓīm) (ibid. p. 14) and as being “rejected” (mardūd) (ibid. p. 57)

Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl was endorsed by several leading scholars of Madīnah including Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir ibn Tawfīq al-Shalabī (1878 – 1950), the imām of the Ḥanafīs in Madīnah, and Shaykh Tāj al-Dīn ibn Ilyās al-Ḥanafī, the Ḥanafī Muftī of Madīnah. This is clear evidence that it is not only the Ahl al-Sunnah of the Deobandī school/orientation that refuted Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s heretical views, but the Ahl al-Sunnah of Madīnah had also done so.

One of the great imāms of the subcontinent from the Firangī Maḥall school (non-Deobandī), ‘Allāmah ‘Ayn al-Quḍāt al-Ḥaydarābādī al-Lakhnawī al-Ḥanafī (1858 – 1924) – a foremost student of ‘Allāmah ‘Abd al-Ḥayy al-Lakhnawī – also wrote a refutation of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s view in a work called Ibrāz al-Maknūn fī Mabḥath al-‘Ilm bi Ma Kāna wa Mā Yakūn.

Sayyid Aḥmad Barzanji also endorsed al-Muhannad in a treatise called Kamāl al-Tathqīf, which was written in response to ‘Allāmah Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī’s request to review al-Muhannad. In Kamāl al-Tathqīf, he refers to ‘Allamah Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri as “al-‘Allāmah al-Fāḍil” (the virtuous erudite scholar) and “al-Muḥaqqiq al-Kāmil” (the accomplished research-scholar) and “one of the well-known ‘Ulamā’ of India”. (al-Muhannad, Dār al-Fatḥ, p. 122) Clearly, he did not believe ‘Allamah Khalil Ahmad Sahāranpūrī, one of the four elders of Deoband that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān targeted with his takfīr campaign, to be a disbeliever.

His general endorsement of al-Muhannad in Kamāl al-Tathqīf (ibid. p. 124) shows he agreed that the allegations against Mawlānā Gangohī, Mawlānā Nānotwī, Mawlānā Sahāranpūrī and Mawlānā Thānawī are false and he did not agree with the takfīr. Al-Muhannad clarifies that the fatwā attributed to Mawlānā Gangohī which was the basis of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s takfīr is spurious and fabricated, and opposes what he has clearly articulated in his published fatwās; that Mawlānā Nānotwī in Taḥdhīr al-Nās did not deny the finality of prophethood but merely elaborated upon and expanded the meaning of the title “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”; that Mawlānā Sahāranpūrī in al-Barāhīn al-Qāṭi‘ah did not make a blanket judgement of Satan’s knowledge being more expansive than the Prophet’s but was referring to lowly, insignificant knowledge of worldly matters; and that Mawlānā Thānawī in Ḥifẓ al-Īmān did not compare prophetic knowledge to that of laymen, madmen and animals, but only affirmed partial knowledge of ghayb for laymen, madmen and animals and thus concluded that if someone insists on calling another “‘Ālim al-Ghayb” based on partial knowledge of ghayb this would not be exclusive to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). (see: al-Muhannad, p. 67-8; 71-3; 74-7; 84-6)

In Kamāl al-Tathqīf, Sayyid Barzanjī also supports the Deobandī/Sunnī position (as opposed to the Barelwī position) on the expanse of Allah’s power as it relates to issuing a statement that is not true. See: https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2018/12/31/imkan-al-kidhb-and-the-arab-scholars/

* However, most of the content of his attestation is known only on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s authority, who is not reliable. There is proof he meddled with at least one of the attestations. See: https://zakariyya.wordpress.com/2007/04/02/molwi-ahmed-radha-khan-among-the-arab-ulama/