Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Sloppy Research

February 10, 2019

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān states in his treatise al-Kawkabat al-Shihābiyyah:

“Wahhābīs are attributed to ‘Abd al-Wahhāb Najdī. Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb was their first teacher. He wrote Kitāb al-Tawḥīd, in which he treated all Muslims apart from his vile group as open Mushriks…Taqwiyat al-Īmān is a translation of this very Kitāb al-Tawḥīd.” (Fatāwā Riḍawiyyāh, Riḍā Foundation, 15:235)

In Sayf al-Jabbār, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s predecessor, Fāḍl al-Rasūl Badāyūnī, claimed Taqwiyat al-Īman was akin to a commentary of Kitāb al-Tawḥīd.

The reality is Taqwiyat al-Īman and Kitāb al-Tawḥīd are two very different books. Refuting these preposterous claims of Badāyūnī and Barelwī, Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī highlights and explains the “massive difference in the nature” (naw‘iyyat mein boht barā farq) of the two works. (For more detail, see: Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb aur Hindūstān Ke ‘Ulamā’ e Ḥaqq, p. 66-8)

This is thus either an example of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s sloppy research or a further example of his deception and lies.


British India is Dārul Islām According to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwi!

February 10, 2019

In a fatwā written in the 1880s, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī declared British India a Dārul Islām (an Islāmic territory) as opposed to a Dārul Ḥarb (a disbelieving territory). He called this fatwā I‘lām al-A‘lām bi Anna Hindūstān Dārul Islām (found in Fatāwā Riḍawiyyāh, Riḍā Foundation, 14:106-141). He also refers to this fatwā in later writings/fatwās.

He says in I‘lām al-A‘lām:

 

“According to the madhhab of our Imām A‘ẓam (Allāh be pleased with him), in fact the ‘Ulamā’ Thalāthah (Allāh have mercy on them), Hindūstān is Dārul Islām, and not at all Dārul Ḥarb, since one of the three conditions that are required for a Dārul Islām to become Dārul Ḥarb according to Imām A‘ẓam Imām al-Aimmah (Allāh be pleased with him) is that the rules of shirk are openly operational there and it is not found in an absolute sense that the rules and symbols of Islām are operational. According to Ṣāḥibayn just this is sufficient.

“However, this, with praise to Allāh, is definitely not realised here. Muslims openly perform Jumu‘ah, ‘Īds, Adhān, Iqāmah, Ṣalāh with congregation and other symbols of Sharī‘ah without resistance. Inheritance, marriage, breastfeeding, divorce, waiting-period, revoking [divorce], dowry, khul‘, expenses, child custody, lineage, gift, endowment, bequest, shuf‘ah and many  other such transactions of Muslims are decided according to our bright and white Sharī‘ah. The English officers are also compelled to take fatwā from the respected ‘Ulamā’ and implement and enforce them in these matters even if they are Hindus, Majūs or Christians. With praise to Allāh, this is also the supremacy and the power of the lofty elevated Sharī‘ah, Allāh elevate its glorious rule, since opponents are forced to follow and obey it.” (Fatāwā Riḍawiyyah, 14:106-7)

This is a nonsensical and delusional fatwā. The British did not resort to the ‘Ulamā’ because they were compelled in any way; but because this was their policy, and in accordance with their interests. Their policy was to not interfere in a community’s innocuous ritual devotions. They probably also knew they could win some dim-witted Muslims over by employing such a tactic – and they definitely succeeded with Aḥmad Riḍā Khān! Aḥmad Riḍā Khān even goes as far as to say: “There is no doubt in Hindūstān being Dārul Islām!” (ibid. 14:115)

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān quotes several fiqh passages which he thinks supports his thesis. What these passages really mean is that if Muslims can operationalise their rules by their own sovereignty and power, by their own military might and strength (and not by mere permission), then the land they reside in is Dārul Islām. Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s view has the strange consequence that western nations like the UK and USA would be regarded as Dārul Islām because Jumu‘ah, ‘Īd and other Islāmic rules are conducted there without any resistance.

For a proper understanding of this matter by a real Ḥanafī faqīh of that era, see Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī’s detailed fatwā, translated here:

https://reliablefatwas.com/darul-islam-and-darul-harb/

Another great Ḥanafī faqīh and muḥaddith, and one of the leading scholarly figures of India from a pre-Deobandī/Barelwī era, Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz Dehlawī, also declared India Dārul Ḥarb. He quotes al-Durr al-Mukhtār, which states:

لا تصير دار الإسلام دارَ حرب إلا بأمور ثلاثة بإجراء أحكام أهل الشرك، وباتصالها بدار الحرب، وبأن لا يبقى فيها مسلمٌ أو ذميِّ آمناً بالأمان الأول، ودارُ الحرب تصير دارَ الإسلام بإجراء أحكام أهل الإسلام فيها

“Dārul Islām does not become Dārul Ḥarb except with three things: with the operationalising of laws of idolaters, with its joining with Dārul Ḥarb, and with no Muslim or Dhimmi remaining secure therein with the previous amnesty. And Dārul Ḥarb becomes Dārul Islām with the operationalising of the laws of Muslims therein.”

He then quotes a passage from al-Kāfī:

إن المراد ببلاد إسلام بلاد يجرى فيها حكم إمام المسلمين ويكون تحت قهره، وبدار الحرب بلاد يجرى فيها أمر عظيمها ويكون تحت قهره

“The intent of ‘the lands of Islām’ are lands in which the rule of the imām of the Muslims is enforced and is under his control, and of ‘Dār al-Ḥarb’ is lands in which the command of its ruler is enforced and is under his control.”

Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz then says:

“In this city, the rule of the Imām al-Muslimīn is not operational at all, while the rule of Christian officers is in operation with no fear. The promulgation of the commands of kufr means that in administration and justice, collection of tax and revenue, policing bandits and thieves, deciding disputes and punishing offences, – disbelievers are independently powerful. Yes, there are certain Islāmic laws, e.g. Jumu‘ah and ‘Īd prayers, Adhān and cow slaughter, in which they make no interference; but the very root of these rituals is of no value to them. They demolish mosques without the least hesitation and no Muslim or any dhimmi can enter into the city or its suburbs but with their permission. It is in their own interests if they do not object to the travellers and traders to visit the city. On the other hand, distinguished persons like Shujā‘ al-Mulk and Vilayati Begum cannot dare visit the city without their permission. From here to Calcutta the Christians are in complete control. There is no doubt that in principalities like Hyderabad, Rampur, Lucknow etc., [the British] have left the administration in the hands of the local authorities, but it is because they have accepted the lordship [of the British] and have submitted to their authority.” (Fatāwā ‘Azīzī, Maṭba‘ Mujtabā’ī, p. 16-7)

He then explains that in the time of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and khulafā’ there were lands that were considered Dārul Ḥarb despite some of the salient aspects of Islām being conducted by the Muslims residing there.

This is an example of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s tafaqquh-less (bereft of understanding) “fiqh”, and his departure from the traditional scholarship of India; while the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband upheld and explained the correct Ḥanafī understanding in accordance with what their learned predecessors taught.

It also demonstrates how Aḥmad Riḍā Khān promoted a clearly Kāfir government as “Islāmic” while denouncing the workers of Islām and great saints and ‘Ulamā’ of his time as “Kāfirs” (precisely the behaviour that would be expected of a munāfiq). (Rāh e Sunnat, p. 7)


Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Mad Takfīrism

February 4, 2019

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān states:

The worst of the murtaddīn is the murtadd munāfiq –whose company is more harmful than the company of a thousand Kāfirs, since they teach Kufr while behaving as Muslims. Especially the Deobandī Wahhābīs, because they call themselves specifically Ahl al-Sunnah wa l Jamā‘ah, and behave as Ḥanafīs, behave as Chishtī Naqshbandīs. They pray and fast like we do; they read and teach our books; and they swear at Allāh and His Messenger.* They are the deadliest poison. (Aḥkām e Sharī‘at, p. 130)

* When quoting this passage, Mawlānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar comments on these words: “Allāh’s curse be on the liars.” (Rāh e Sunnat, p. 7)

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān also says:

The Tabarrā’ī Rāfiḍī, Deobandī Wahhābī, Ghayr Muqallid Wahhābī, Qādiyānī, Chakrālwī (“Ahl al-Qur’ān”), naturists (Sayyid Aḥmad Khān etc.) – the slaughtered meat of all of these is pure filth and carrion, and categorically ḥarām, no matter if they take the divine name a thousand times, and however pious and scrupulous their behaviour, because these are all Murtaddīn; and there is no slaughter for a Murtadd. (Aḥkām e Sharī‘at, p. 140)

Notice, he makes a blanket rule for all “Deobandīs”, grouping them with Qādiyānīs, Rāfiḍīs and Chakrālwīs, and makes no exception whatsoever.

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān further states:

Nadhīr Ḥusayn Dihlawī, Amīr Aḥmad Sahsawānī, Amīr Ḥasan Sahsawānī, Qāsim Nānotwī, Mirzā Ghulām Aḥmad Qādiyānī, Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī, Ashraf Alī Thānawī, and all their adherents, followers and devotees and those who praise them are by agreement of the notable scholars Kāfirs; and those who do not recognise them to be Kāfirs, and doubt their Kufr, are also without doubt Kāfirs, let alone regarding them to be leaders and masters! (‘Irfān e Sharī‘ah, p. 54)

In other words, even those who praise the elders of Deoband or regard them to be their teachers and leaders are also Kāfirs according to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī!

He also states:

My approach is that [Shāh Ismā‘īl] is like Yazīd: if someone calls him Kāfir I wouldn’t stop him and I wouldn’t call him [this] myself. However, anyone who doubts the disbelief of Ghulām Aḥmad [Qādiyānī], Sayyid Aḥmad [Khān], Khalīl Aḥmad [Sahāranpūrī], Rashīd Aḥmad [Gangohī] and Ashraf ‘Alī [Thānawī] is himself a Kāfir. (Malfūẓāt A‘lā Ḥāḍrat, Da‘wat e Islāmī, p. 172)

Note, how he treats these senior Sunnī Ḥanafī imāms of the Deobandī tradition as being equal to the false prophet Ghulām Aḥmad Qādiyānī and the extreme modernist Sayyid Aḥmad Khān. And on what basis? For Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī, based on a fatwā misattributed to him which he himself denied! For Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotwī, based on an assumption that his explanation of the title Khātam al-Nabiyyīn in Taḥdhīr al-Nās allows for new prophets to come, despite the fact that Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotwī explicitly states in Taḥdhīr al-Nās itself that this is not possible and if anyone claims that it is he is a Kāfir! For Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī and Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī, based on a clear misreading of their passages from Barāhīn e Qāṭiah and Ḥifẓ al-Imān respectively.

Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī refutes a false analogy which affirms greater knowledge for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in certain (unbeneficial) worldly matters to that of Satan and the Angel of Death. Aḥmad Riḍā Khān interpreted this as Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī declaring Satan as being more knowledgeable than the Prophet! Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī argued that if a person calls the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) ‘Alim al-Ghayb on account of partial knowledge of the unseen, then this is not a quality unique to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) since partial knowledge of the unseen is also found in laymen, children, madmen and animals. Aḥmad Riḍā Khān interpreted this as Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī having equated prophetic knowledge to that of animals and madmen!

Based on these (deliberate) misreadings, he engaged in a campaign of mass/chain-takfīr, which makes Kāfirs of a significant population of the Muslims of India and beyond, numbering in the tens of millions if not in the hundreds of millions of Muslims. Many Barelwīs who would have at least momentarily experienced or even expressed doubts over Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s fatwās of Kufr on the elders of Deoband will according to his fatwā automatically become Kāfir and have to renew their īmān!

What can this mad takfīrism of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān be called? Insanity? Madness? Dajl? Shayṭāniyyah? Whatever it is, a mad takfīrī like Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī cannot be a pious Muslim authority, let alone a Mujaddid! He must either be an insane, raving lunatic, or a wicked shayṭānic dajjāl.


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.


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.