Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī: The Meaning of Ḥāḍir Nāẓir

April 22, 2020

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī (1906 – 1971), a very well-known and accepted Barelwī scholar (and student of famous Barelwī scholar Na‘īmuddīn Murādābādī; and someone who had met Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī), writes:

The legal meaning of Ḥāḍir Nāẓir in the universe is that one with spiritual strength, while remaining in one place, sees the entire universe just like he sees his hand and palm, and hears sounds near and far; or at one moment, traverses the whole world and at great distances fulfils the needs of those with needs – whether this action is purely with the soul or with a bodily image or with the very body that is buried in the grave or is present at any place; there is proof of all meanings for the seniors of Dīn from Qur’ān, Ḥadīth and statements of the ‘Ulamā’. (Jā’ al-Ḥaqq, p138-9)

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī: The Prophet is Present and Watching Like Allāh

April 22, 2020

Aḥmad Yār Khān Na‘īmī (1906 – 1971), a very well-known and accepted Barelwī scholar (and student of famous Barelwī scholar Na‘īmuddīn Murādābādī; and someone who had met Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī), writes:

“It is not permissible to address someone in ṣalāh and speak to them. If someone does this, the ṣalāh will end. [This is the rule with everyone] besides Allāh and the Beloved of Allāh (upon him peace), in the manner that here [the muṣallī] says: iyyāka na‘budu and in attaḥiyyāt says: assalāmu ‘alayka ayyuhannabī. It is realised from this that just as the muṣallī recognises Allāh to be present and witnessing, he recognises the same of the Beloved (Allāh bless him and grant him peace). And just as he makes the intention of pleasing the Lord, in the same way, [he intends to please] the Beloved [upon him peace]. This is why the noble ṣaḥābah in the very ṣalāh itself, showed respect to Ḥuḍūr (upon him peace).” (Tafsīr Naīmī, Maktabah Ismāliyyah, 1:58)


Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī: Awliyā in Actuality Present at Multiple Places at One Time

April 22, 2020

It is written in Malfūẓāt A‘lā Ḥaḍrat:

Question: Huḍūr, do the Awliyā’ have the ability to be present in multiple places at one time?

Answer [by Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī]: If they want, they can accept 10,000 invitations from 10,000 cities at one time!

Question: Huḍūr, we get the impression from this that the “bodily images” (ajsām mithāliyyah) from the “world of images” (‘ālam al-mithāl) are subject to the Awliyā’, thus one individual is seen in multiple places at one time. If this is so, a doubt arises on this, that the image is other than the thing. The existence of the images is not the existence of the thing. So the existence of those bodies will not be regarded as the existence of that body?

Answer [by Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī]: Even if they are images, they are [images] of the body [only]. His pure soul, being connected to all of these bodies, has powers of discretion. Thus, via the spirit and reality, that one being, is present in all places. This too is according to a surface understanding. Otherwise, it [states] in Sab‘ Sanābil Sharīf that Ḥaḍrat Sayyidī Fatḥ Muḥammad (his soul be sactified) wrote about attending ten gatherings, and upon this, someone asked: “Ḥaḍrat, you have agreed to be present at ten places at one time, how can this be?” The shaykh said: “Krishna/Kanhaiya was a disbeliever and was present at one time in several hundred places; if Fatḥ Muḥammad is present at one time in several places, what is strange about that?” (Sab‘ Sanābil)

Saying this, [Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī] mentioned: Do you think that Shaykh was present at one place and images at other places? Absolutely not! In fact, the Shaykh himself was present at all places. The inner realities are beyond the surface understanding. (Malfūẓāt A‘lā Ḥaḍrat, p176-7)

Barelwi Belief About the Prophet

April 22, 2020

Barelwi belief about the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) can be summarised as follows:

The Prophet is all-knowing, and thus knows the entire cosmos (from the start of creation till the final hour and beyond) in full detail, not even an atom escaping his all-encompassing knowledge. He is all-powerful, and thus has full control over everything in creation including sending people to heaven and hell. He is all-hearing and all-seeing, and thus hears and sees everything in creation. He can be physically present in many places at one time. Thus to call out to him for assistance, at times of distress or at other times, is completely justified (and encouraged), given he hears and knows the petitioner’s plea and has full powers to respond and carry out his request. (Major Barelwi scholars also hold that) He is not physically a man, but only appeared as a man (like the angel Jibril appeared to Maryam); his physical reality is a special light; he is thus, an utterly different form of creation to all that exists. We can name and regard our selves as his slaves (‘abd, ‘ibad).”

Apart from going against explicit texts of Qur’an and Hadith, for any Muslim of sound fitrah, who has not been poisoned by the Barelwi (or any Barelwi-esque) virus, such belief will immediately be seen for what it is: utterly repulsive and extreme. On such a view, one will be justified in having full reliance, trust and dependence in the Prophet, rather than Allah!

How do Barelwis justify such beliefs? By saying:

  1. All the above qualities were endowed by Allah, thus to hold such beliefs is not shirk;
  2. It does not entail making the Prophet exactly equal to Allah in any quality

This, in truth, is their only criterion. Everything else, about staying faithful to Qur’anic and Prophetic teachings, and imbibing the spirit of Islam (dependence only on Allah), just goes out the window.

In brief, the above-described belief about the Prophet is just like belief in a sub-God to a main God, but carefully modeled in such a way that it does not negate, in a strict sense, belief in tawhid.

Awjaz al-Masālik Refutes Belief in Ḥāḍir Nāẓir

November 23, 2019

In the widely-acclaimed Arabic commentary of Imām Mālik’s Muwaṭṭa’, Awjaz al-Masālik (2:227), Shaykh Muḥammad Zakariyyā al-Kāndhlewī provides the different possible explanations from the classical scholars for addressing the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the second person in the tashahhud, and then says:

“Perhaps you have realised from all of this that it is not correct to argue from the wording of tashahhud that he (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) is present in all places, or that calling him is general to every place, as some of the innovators of this time suppose. My deceased father, Allāh illuminate his resting place, has briefly spoken on this in a brief treatise he called Mas’alat ‘Ilm al-Ghayb; and the teacher of our teachers, the Muḥaddith al-Gangohī, Allāh give coolness to his resting place, has stated this in his works. Details on this are found in them and in al-Barāhīn al-Qāṭi‘ah. And Allāh guides to guidance.”