Al-Shihāb al-Thāqib and the Response of the Arab Scholars to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān

February 15, 2017

Introduction and Background to al-Shihāb al-Thāqib by Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī

Since al-Shihāb al-Thāqib by Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī (1296 – 1377 H/1879 – 1957 CE)* is an important work in both explaining the background to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī’s shenanigans in the Ḥijāz/exposing him as a fraudster and deceiver, as well as in showing the differences between the Akābir of Deoband and the Wahhābīs, it will be worth sharing a translation of the introduction to the book so that the background to, and reasons for, its authorship can be appreciated.

Along with getting an idea of the contents of the work, one will also be able to appreciate the efforts made to give a detailed response to the slanders and lies of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī (1856 – 1921) directly by the Akābir.* The introduction translated below makes up about 5 pages of a book consisting of a total of over 90 pages.

The book was written around the year 1910 CE (i.e. many years before the Saudi/Wahhābī takeover of Ḥijāz) while Mawlānā Madanī was still residing in Madīnah, having lived there for over ten years. (He lived in Madīnah between the years 1899 and 1914 CE). A lengthy, and illuminating, part of the introduction contains a somewhat detailed description of the reaction of the scholars of Makkah and Madīnah to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s arrival in the Ḥijāz and to his request for their signed approvals to his fatwā. This part has not been translated, but a summary of it is given below.

[*In a letter dated 1370 H/1950 CE, Mawlānā Madanī wrote about the work al-Shihāb al-Thāqib: “Since it was written against Mawlawī Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī’s refutation, Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn, the discussion on Wahhābīs came as a secondary [discussion], the objective of which is [to show] that our predecessors are aloof of both extremism and laxity – their track was of moderation, and they are the true followers of the noble predecessors of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. That which was expressed in this book remains my position, and it is the way of my noble predecessors.” (Cherāgh e Muḥammad, p. 118]

[** Of course, the Akābir who were themselves accused also made direct refutations: Mawlānā Thānawī in a detailed discussion in his Basṭ al-Banān, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī in his Muhannad, and even Mawlānā Gangohī rejected the attribution of the fabricated fatwā to himself as reported by his student, Sayyid Murtaḍā Ḥasan Chāndpūrī (Majmū‘ah Rasā’il Chāndpūrī, 1:106).]

The following is a translation of the introduction to the book:

The Piercing Projectile on the Eavesdropping Liar

Praise to the One Who adorned the sky of the two Noble Ḥarams with stars of pious ‘Ulamā’ and protection from every accursed rebellious devil. ‘They do not eavesdrop on the highest company and are bombarded from every side, repelled, and they have a lingering punishment – except for one who snatches a fragment, who is then followed by a piercing projectile.’ (Qur’ān, 37:8-10)

Thanks to the One Who granted the lordly imāms with a plentiful share of the Prophetic Legacy and those things left behind by al-Muṣṭafā, even to the point that He appointed for each of them ‘an enemy, devils of man and jinn, inspiring one another with fancy words to deceive’ (Qur’ān, 6:112) and ‘to strive for corruption on the earth’ (Qur’ān, 5:33), ‘for indecency to spread amongst the believers’ (Qur’ān, 24:19) and to split the adherents of Islām, so that they gain in aversion amongst themselves – and thereafter, He punished them causing their fancies and contrivances to vanish, and exposing them over the heads of witnesses, revealing their ploy and expelling each of them from the cosmos of [His] mercy, condemned and defeated.

And blessing and peace be upon the one who brought guidance and the Religion of Truth to make it manifest over all religion, even if the idolaters detest it; and [who brought] signs that break the necks of those who wish to extinguish the light of Allāh with their mouths, but Allāh refuses but for His light to be complete, even if the wicked are angered; and [blessing and peace be] upon his progeny and his companions who cleansed the upright religion from the impurities of doubt, unconcerned by those who oppose them from the obstinate ones, and [who] expended their efforts in making the word of the Sunnah and Congregation high, giving no attention to the innovations of the deviated People of Desires; and [blessing and peace be] upon their followers in excellence and sincerity till the Day of Judgement – for verily they are the nation from all communities holding firmly to justice, and with sincere concern for truth, till the Day of Resurrection, neither harmed by those who oppose them nor forsaken because of those who abandon them, by assistance of the Most Merciful of the merciful ones, and they are the pivots of the Bright Sharī‘ah and of the White Monotheism, by glad-tidings of the Unlettered Prophet, Allāh bless him and grant him, his progeny and his companions peace.

To proceed.

The servant of the students [of Dīn], Ḥusayn Aḥmad ibn Sayyid Ḥabībullāh al-Ḥanafī al-Ḥusaynī al-Chishtī al-Ṣābirī al-Rashīdī al-Fayḍābādī thumma l-Madanī, submits in the holy service of all Muslims residing in India that:

A long period ago, this lowly one, having left his ancestral hometown, the province of Fayḍābād, with his honorable father – may his honor remain –, had entered into the shadow of Prophetic Bounty (upon him blessing and peace) – that is, Madīnah Munawwarah. Because, since childhood, and in fact since infancy, I have had no other preoccupation besides academic engagements, this is why there too I have not engaged in any preoccupation besides studying, teaching and keeping the company of scholars and students. Till now, the part of my life spent there, I have endeavored as far as possible to spend in these activities. This is why I have gained a complete familiarity with the Muslim residents of the Pure City and a full acquaintance with their conditions, beliefs and ideas. I can say with conviction that the revered noble scholars living in Madīnah Munawwarah – Allāh increase it in honour and excellence – follow completely the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah and the seniors of the predecessors in beliefs and so on, and they agree with all the beliefs of the revered Elders of the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband and Sahāranpūr, both in particulars and universals, without even slight variation.

However, at the start of 1324 H (1906 H), an astonishing disaster occurred, that one “Ḥaḍrat Barelwī,” who is referred to by his devotees as “reviver of the present century,” journeyed to the Ḥijāz in this year. And there is no doubt that he is indeed “reviver of the present century,” since those individuals of the past who endeavoured and struggled hard to declare the Elders and People of Truth to be deviant and wicked, regarding the targeting of their dignity and honour and spending one’s precious life in debasing and anathematising them a cause of salvation and high rank, for some time, their zeal had become extremely diminished, and their power had become close to being non-existent. This “A‘lā Ḥaḍrat” Barelwī gave life to their decomposed bones. He transformed their weakness into strength. He brought into existence such varying types of injustice and savagery that he became the ultimate reminder and revival of his predecessors from the people of deception and injustice, and in fact he became the pride of all previous fabricators. A practising scholar, researcher and the Sunnī ‘Ulamā of India [in general] are unfortunate who were not martyred at the savage hands of this “A‘lā Ḥaḍrat”. In fact, no group in those lands will be of the “saved group” who this Barelwī reviver and his followers did not slaughter with their pens and tongues.

Friends! This prophecy of the Accepted Messenger (upon him peace) is still manifesting. In how many ways is, ‘You will surely follow the ways of those before you…’ [1] ultimately being put into effect? The Jews were filled with [the qualities of]: ‘they slaughter the prophets without right’ (Qur’ān, 3:112), ‘their killing of the prophets’ (Qur’ān, 3:181), ‘their consumption of the impermissible’ (Qur’ān, 5:62), and ‘they take words out of context’ (Qur’ān, 4:46). Thus, in accordance with the statement of the Prophet (upon him peace): ‘the scholars of my ummah are like the prophets of Banū Isrā’īl’ [2], these [followers of theirs] strive to anathematise the erudite scholars and learned ones of excellence, which is far greater than murder. If by murder, it is intended to eliminate the body and negate bodily life, the intent of takfīr is eliminating the soul and destroying the life of īmān. If the Jews would consume the impermissible, then these [followers of theirs] treat interest as their nourishment. If they manipulated the words of Tawrāh, then these [followers of theirs] manipulate the meanings of Qur’ān and ḥadīth and mutilate the words of reliable ‘Ulamā’. Then, why would it not be said that they are the ultimate reminders of their predecessors from the Israelites and revivers of taḍlīl and tafsīq of a deceased nation? Well, whatever will be, will be. I have no purpose in this to [explain] which bright sun of the cosmos of misguidance and which luminous full moon of the constellation of deviance he is.

When “Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid al-Takfīr Ṣāḥib” (reviver of takfīr) arrived at the lands of Ḥijāz, he propagated astonishing deception and fraud, and deceived the ‘Ulamā’ of the two Noble Ḥarams using various kinds of plots and ploys. Some unacquainted simple-hearted individuals undoubtedly fell prey to his plot of forgery; but those who Allāh (Exalted is He) granted complete powers of discretion, criticism and insight, or those who someone alerted, did not at all fall prey to his deception.

To maintain his agenda, “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib” had to undoubtedly endure various kinds of hardships, difficulties, indignities and insults. In fact, because of this disturbance, all the ‘Ulamā’ of India were debased and humiliated in the eyes of others. Thus, I have time and again, at that time and after that time, heard the people of Egypt, Levant, Ḥijāz and other [places] attacking this “Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid al-Takfīr Ṣāḥib”, as well as the whole population of India. Although in Tamhīd Shayṭānī and other [books] also, many praises and commendations are quoted, but at the same time, they are a few numbered individuals, and even they [made these statements] before they were aware of his reality; otherwise, the people of Ḥijāz in general, in the end, came to know of his nature. See Risālah Madīnah, what was and was not written with respect to him. I will write details of this later. Since this lowly one was at this time present in Madīnah Munawwarah, may Allāh increase it in honour and excellence, this is why I am fully aware of all of these events as they unfolded, and know very well those who explicitly opposed him.

Ḥaḍrāt! He made very severe allegations against the revered ‘Ulamā’ and Elders of Deoband, describing them in such a way that seeing which, every religious person would express severe dislike and aversion. Since this lowly one has plucked the fruits of the revered Elders of Deoband and Gangoh and is wrapped up in their hem of compassion, & for seven to eight years I was a sweeper at the court of these Elders and acquired the service of straightening their shoes, this is why I know the beliefs, ideas and practices of these Elders very well. Because of this, at that time also, I had exposed these ploys and allegations in Madīnah Munawwarah, and I showed people the treatises of the Elders. However, those individuals who had already put their signatures before this awareness, as I will describe later, became helpless, and they said after this recognition: “We had put conditions in our respective commendations [i.e. that the fatwā is only valid if the information in the question was correct].”

The upshot is that “Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid al-Taḍlīl Ṣāḥib” came to the Ḥijāz with the idea of achieving [currency for] his falsehood by very hard efforts and immense labour. Achieving some incomplete and complete success, he returned from Madīnah Munawwarah in Rabī‘ al-Thānī of the aforementioned year (i.e. 1324/1906), and for some time kept this hidden, from which the idea came that maybe he received some admonition and became ashamed of his ugly actions; because when the general and special [people] head to the two Noble Ḥarams, this is their intent: that by virtue of attendance and performing worship at those blessed spots, sins are eliminated and lessened. “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib” Barelwī performed this journey with only a sinful purpose, in fact with the purpose of the greatest of major sins, and undertook to deceive the gullible and simple ‘Ulamā’ there. He had drawn those helpless ones to himself, but what is the error of these innocents? What knowledge did they have of what substances of taḍlīl, tafsīq, misguidance and so on, this Barelwī Ṣāḥib was filled with? They worked according to good expectations (ḥusn al-ẓann), and endorsed his speech and practice.

In 1327 H (1909 CE), this lowly one arrived at the lands of India for some personal needs and observed that the compilation of those invectives and takfīrs of the Elders, along with those seals, was printed. It was being taken around here and there by some ignoramuses, seducing the general Muslims away from the People of Truth and making them lose faith in them, using various machinations to get their treat. Seeing this, I became convinced that my earlier thought with respect to “Mujaddid al-Takfīr Ṣāḥib” of having been reformed was completely incorrect. In fact, he was subject to [the description in the verse]: ‘in their hearts is an illness and Allāh has increased them in illness’ (Qur’ān, 2:10) and is an example of: ‘deaf, dumb and blind, so they will not come back [to truth].’ (Qur’ān, 2:18) He had not retreated from his personal practices and the traits of his forbears.

I had intended in Madīnah Munawwarah to properly describe the events of “Mujaddid al-Taḍlīl Ṣāḥib” that unfolded here, making them clear to the Muslim residents of India. However, two things stopped me from this.

First, several reports reached me that “A‘la Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid Barelwī” upon returning was quiet, so [my] tongue remained moist with “reconciliation is best.” (Qur’ān, 4:128) Thus my feeling [about him] mentioned earlier remained attached [to myself]. The content [of the ḥadīth]: ‘The one who repents from a sin is like one who has no sin’ was what hindered the abovementioned intention.

Second, Mawlānā Shaykh Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm Ṣāḥib Naqshbandī [3] and Mawlānā Munawwar ‘Alī Ṣāḥib Muḥaddith Rāmpūrī [4] had written the conditions of this “Mujaddid Barelwī” to those who met with them, and these individuals circulated all of these events in the newspapers.

But alas, caution [is required]! When I saw that people had forgotten these matters and these news reports have been lost, then the initial poison which he who was with me [in Madīnah] brought from there, and because of which he undertook this blessed journey, and wasted thousands of rupees in this endevour, it now became necessary for me to, in notifying you people of those sketchy circumstances authentically, based on what I witnessed or heard there through reliable means, make you aware of his fabrications and contrivances; because the revered ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband, Sahāranpūr etc. are engaged in their academic engagements such that they give no attention to anything else, and believing all matters of “Mujaddid Barelwī” as senseless delusions, they regarded turning their attention in this direction to be opposed to their standing as scholars and opposed to honorable conduct, while elsewhere the ignorant innovators and the opposing party, finding the arena clear, are misguiding the general Muslims. Thus it was necessary, that the extravagant self-boasts made with respect to him in Tamhīd, their reality is recognised; and this too comes to light that those Elders on whose hem of innocence “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib” wanted to put a mark, they are completely clean and pure of those impurities.

It is the fruits of “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib’s” self-interests, search for fame and worldly esteem that is written down in this treatise (i.e. Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn). Those Elders are far removed from those corrupt ideas.

If you people notice any harsh word with regards to him and his group, then excuse this as a mistake of this lowly one. The insulting language which “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib” has used in Tamhīd Shayṭānī and Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn, if they were to be responded to, and if an answer was written according to the dictates of that, then only God knows to where that will lead! I have restrained my instincts completely, and will proceed with the discussion very cautiously. But what am I to do? In places, because of the swears and delusions of this maligner, my instincts go out control, and I am thus rendered helpless. But even still, there too I will not come outside the bounds of dignity and knowledge as far as possible. A full response to him in this respect can be done by those ignoramuses and savages of low stock and bad manners, but that too would be written in the deeds of “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib”. The statement of the Messenger (upon him peace): “Whatever two people swearing at each other say, it [falls] on the initiator” [5] is a clear text.

The upshot is that when this lowly one arrived at India, I noticed that many savages, who don’t know the difference between alif and bā’, were taking this treatise around to various places, and encouraging people, giving them the idea of circulating it…This is why I felt it appropriate for the purpose of making people informed, a short treatise called al-Shihāb al-Thāqib ‘ala l-Mustariq al-Kādhib be circulated in which the slanders and lies of “Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid al-Muḍillīn” (reviver of the deviators), and the reality of the slanders against the innocent Elders [6], and the details of such deceptions are known – which he undertook to fulfil his egotistic wants and satanic desires, and for which day and night he remained in thought and concern.

There are two chapters and a conclusion to this short treatise:

Chapter One: An explanation of the deceits and deceptions undertaken in order to acquire the fatwās, and there are many angles to this.

Chapter Two: On an exposé of the allegations against the Elders and detailed answers to them. There are 9 sections in this [chapter]: The first section is on an explanation of the allegation against Mawlānā Nānotwī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him). The second section is an explanation of Khatm al-Nubuwwa in brief. The third section is on explaining the allegation against Mawlānā Gangohī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him). The fourth section is an explanation of the issue of the possibility and impossibility [of lying]. The fifth section is on explaining the allegation against Mawlānā Sahāranpūrī (may his blessing remain). The sixth section is on explaining the passage from al-Barāhīn al-Qāṭi‘ah. The seventh section is on explaining the second allegation against Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Sahāranpūrī (may his blessings remain). The eighth section is on explaining the allegation against Mawlānā Thānawī (may his blessing remain). The ninth section is a clarification of Mawlānā Thānawī’s passage in Ḥifẓ al-Īmān. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, Dār al-Kitāb, p. 198-202, 214)

[1] Ṣaḥīḥ al-BukhārīṢaḥīḥ Muslim

[2] ‘Allāmah Munāwī writes: “Ḥāfiẓ al-‘Irāqī was asked about what is famous on the tongues, vis-a-vis the ḥadīth, ‘the ‘ulamā’ of my ummah are like the prophets of the Banū Isrā’īl’. He said: ‘There is no basis for it nor a chain with this wording. [The ḥadīth]: “the ‘ulamā’ are the heirs of the Prophets,” frees [us] of [the need for] it; and that is an authentic ḥadīth.” (Fayḍ al-Qadīr, 4:384)

[3] He is described in Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir as follows: “The shaykh, the righteous ‘ālim, Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm ibn ‘Abd al-Rashīd ibn Aḥmad Sa‘īd al-‘Umarī al-Sirhindī thumma l-Dehlawī, one of the prominent ‘ulamā’ in fiqh and ḥadīth. He was born in Delhi on the 9th of Shawwāl, in the year 1263 (1847 CE). He studied ‘ilm with ‘Allāmah Muḥammad Nawāb ibn Sa‘dullāh al-Khāliṣpūrī and with his father. Then he received ḥadīth, tafsīr etc. from the uncle of his father, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghanī ibn Abī Sa‘īd al-‘Umarī al-Dehlawī. He took ṭarīqah from his grandfather, Shaykh Aḥmad Sa‘īd, and travelled with him to the two noble ḥarams in the year 1274 (1858). When his grandfather died, he kept the company of his father in Madīnah Munawwarah and took from him. When his father died, he arrived at India and lived in Rāmpūr, and Nawāb Kalb ‘Alī Khān al-Rāmpūrī honoured his visit, and made a stipend of four hundred rupees per month for him so he was happy to stay there; he stayed there for a long time, and then travelled to the Ḥijāz and lived in Madīnah Munawwarah. I [Sayyid ‘Abd al-Ḥayy] met him in Rāmpūr. He was a pious shaykh, dignified, of immense position and great stature. He teaches and gives instruction of dhikr to his disciples in morning and evening. He has numerous works. He died on the tenth of Sha‘bān in the year 1341 (1923).” (Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir, p. 1373)

[4] He is described in Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir as follows: “The shaykh, the ‘ālim, the muḥaddith: Munawwar ‘Alī ibn Maẓhar al-Ḥaqq al-Ḥanafī. He was born and brought up in Rāmpūr. He read the short texts with his father and then with Mawlānā Muḥammad Ṣiddīq al-Rāmpūrī. Then he received Manṭiq and philosophy from ‘Allāmah ‘Abd al-Ḥaqq ibn Faḍl Ḥaqq al-Khayrābādī, and received ḥadīth from Sayyid Muḥammad Shāh ibn Ḥasan Shāh al-Ḥusaynī al-Rāmpūrī. Then he took up a teaching position at Madrasa ‘Āliya, where he taught for some time. Then he travelled to the Ḥijāz in the year 1323 (1905), performed ḥajj and ziyārah, and remained there for a full year, and then returned to India. He died in the year 1351 (1932).” (Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir, p. 1385)

[5] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

[6] For a detailed refutation of these slanders, one may read the second chapter of al-Shihāb al-Thāqib in Urdu, or the English translation of Fayṣlah Kun Munāẓarah available at the following link: ahlussunnah.boards.net/thread/35/decisive-debate-deobandi-barelwi-conflict

——————

Response of the Arab Scholars to Aḥmad Riḍa Khān’s Visit to the Ḥijaz

[Summarised from Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī’s al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 202 – 215]

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān arrived at Makkah in the year 1323 H (1905 CE). A short while after he completed the ḥajj, a document was sent from India to Mawlānā Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm (an Indian scholar residing in Makkah) for it to be presented to the Sharīf of Makkah. The document was intended to warn the Sharīf that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was a person of fitnah who is very liberal in issuing fatwās of takfīr, tafsīq and taḍlīl to support his strange views. It also mentioned some of his misguided opinions. The document contained signatures from several scholars of India.

A close confidante of the Sharīf, ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Shaybī, came to know of this document. He became enraged at seeing it, and said he will himself take it to the Sharīf. The Sharīf also became very angry, and both he and al-Shaybī made a firm resolution for Aḥmad Riḍā Khān to at once be put in prison. Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī here mentions that he came to know of this resolution through several reliable means. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 203) However, Mawlānā Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm and Mawlānā Munawwar ‘Alī Rāmpūrī both insisted to al-Shaybī that he not be put in prison, but instead be interrogated on his beliefs. It appears their motives were for their country, India, to not come into disrepute on account of one of their fellow countrymen being imprisoned in the Ḥijaz. Al-Shaybī agreed.

The works of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān were not at this time available in Makkah, but there was an Urdu commendation he had written on the work of a scholar from Rāmpūr. (Mawlānā Madanī is probably referring to an early edition of: al-Anwār al-Sāṭi‘ah). Based on the contents of this commendation, he was asked three questions: on his usage of azalī (pre-eternal) and abadī (eternal) for the knowledge possessed by the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam); his statement that not even an atom’s weight is excluded from his (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) knowledge; and his conclusion with the words: “blessings be upon the first, the last, the manifest and the hidden” (صلى الله على الأول والآخر والظاهر والباطن), terms that are used in this sequence for Allāh in the Qur’ān. He was told that without clarifying his position on these issues, he will not be free to leave Makkah. Hence, a week or two later, he answered with his usual tact of obfuscation, as follows: by azalī, I meant the start of the world, not “beginningless” as it usually means; there is a mistranslation, I did not say an “atom’s weight” in the Urdu; and there is a typographical error in this phrase, it should have read: “blessing be upon the manifestation (maẓhar) of the First, the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden.” These answers were of course unsatisfactory, so the Sharīf wished that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān be removed from Makkah as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān had expressed great pride in his belief that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) possessed full and complete knowledge of everything that was and will be from the start of the world until its end. He presented his findings to the Makkan scholar he found most connection with, Shaykh Muftī Ṣāliḥ Kamāl. The latter then argued on behalf of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān with two learned Makkan scholars: Shaykh Aḥmad Faqīh and Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Mālikī, the latter of whom was at that time “Makkah’s greatest scholar, no-one having a study circle equal to his in the Noble Ḥaram.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 205) Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Kamāl was defeated, and these two scholars put it to him that he is arguing on behalf of someone who is clearly misguided. The argument became heated, and eventually came to the attention of the Sharīf, who realised from this episode also that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān is someone stirring up fitnah. On account of this too, he wanted Aḥmad Riḍā Khān to be escorted out of Makkah at the earliest convenience. Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī here mentions that he has presented these details in brief, and if anyone would like more information, he is free to contact Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Mālikī, Shaykh Aḥmad Faqīh, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Shaybī, Shaykh Muḥammad Ma‘ṣum or Mawlānā Munawwar ‘Alī Rāmpūrī (who were all alive at the time). (p. 205)

While this was going on, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān sent a message to the Sharīf via Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Kamāl, stating that you are making this great fuss over me even though I am from the leaders of Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah, all the while there is a man here in Makkah [referring to ‘Allāmah Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī, who had also come to perform ḥajj in the same year] who (na‘ūdhu billāh) regards Allāh as being untruthful and Satan as having more knowledge than the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), and he has not been admonished in the slightest! When this message reached the Sharīf, Shaykh Aḥmad Faqīh and Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Mālikī who were present with him, both said that it is not possible that any Muslim could say such speech and this is pure slander. The Sharīf agreed with them. As a result, Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Kamāl felt quite embarrassed for conveying this message.

Up to this point, Shaykh Shu‘ayb had not met Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī. When this reached Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī he made a visit to Shaykh Shu‘ayb and spoke to him. He explained that this slander was directed at him, and he doesn’t at all hold these impure beliefs. He explained, however, that he supports the view of the rational possibility of Allāh going back on His word, while he believes its occurrence is completely impossible. Shaykh Shu‘ayb responded that as soon as he heard the allegation, he knew it to be a lie, and said the view that Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī espoused is supported by the statements of the Mutakallimūn. After Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī explained what he actually said in his al-Barāhīn al-Qāṭi‘ah with respect to the knowledge of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and demonstrated that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was guilty of slander, Shaykh Shu‘ayb agreed with him completely, and even went on to present many evidences from Qur’ān and ḥadīths from memory proving that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s view that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has full and thorough knowledge of all creation is false. They also engaged in further discussions.

Following this, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī also visited Muftī Ṣāliḥ Kamāl. At first, Muftī Ṣāliḥ Kamāl was uneasy with the meeting because of what he had heard from Aḥmad Riḍā Khān. However, once Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī explained the truth, he became fully content and accepted everything Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī said.

These were events that took place following the ḥajj. Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madani explains that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān had intended to blemish the honour of Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī before the ḥajj, but by Divine Aid, he fell ill and was unable to carry out his plans. And at this time, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī saw a dream in which Ḥājī Imdādullāh Muhājir Makkī appeared to him and tied something around his waist – which was interpreted as divine assistance (imdādullāh) coming to him. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 207) After performing the ḥajj, when Aḥmad Riḍā Khān intended to go forward with his plans, the aforementioned events unfolded starting with the document that came from India – so rather than Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī getting into trouble, it was he that fell into serious trouble! By Divine Aid, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī performed the ḥajj with complete ease and peace of mind, and then proceeded to Madīnah without any blemish to his honour. On the other hand, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was at the time that Mawlānā left for Madīnah, humiliatingly forced to remain in Makkah to answer the questions put to him.

[In Naqsh e Ḥayāt, Mawlānā Madanī briefly describes Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī’s visit to Madīnah: “At the start of 1324 H, Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Ṣāḥib arrived at Madīnah Munawwarah after completing the ḥajj, and remained there for approximately fifteen days. Since he was amongst my noble teachers, this is why the students of Madīnah Munawwarah flocked to him, and generally, the ‘Ulamā’ of Madīnah came to visit and receive him. A very large group took ijāzah of the books of ḥadīth and the sciences from him in a large circle within the Noble Masjid, after hearing the opening sections of the books of ḥadīths.” (Naqsh e Ḥayāt, p. 118) He further mentions that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān only arrived at Madīnah some time after Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī had already departed.]

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān had prepared a short treatise full of deception, fraud and deceit, intended to excite the emotions of simple ‘Ulamā’. (This treatise together with signed approvals of it were later compiled as Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn). Following the above events, he took his treatise to the ‘Ulamā’ of Makkah to get their signed approvals of it. Simple and gullible ‘Ulamā’ were deceived by his words and his flattery of them. However, the great ‘Ulamā’ of Makkah (some of whom were already aware of his nature) saw right through him, and based on their natural intelligence and foresight, knew better than to give their endorsements to his fatwā. The following are some of these great scholars:

1. “The most eminent shaykh, the greatest man of virtue, one unmatched in his era, unique in his time, the perspicacious ocean, the vast ocean, the Nawawī of the time, the Rāzī of the present era, the respected, Shaykh Ḥasabullāh al-Makkī al-Shāfi’ī” [1244 – 1335 H/1828 – 1917 CE]. He was a contemporary and equal to the deceased Shāfi‘ī muftī, Shaykh Aḥmad Zaynī Daḥlān. He was an intelligent, perceptive, pious and scrupulous scholar. In all sciences in general, and Shāfi‘ī fiqh and tafsīr in particular, there was no one equal to him in the whole of Makkah. Mawlānā Madanī says: “Further, in age he has surpassed eighty years. In these days, he has lost his eyesight. Many of the ‘Ulamā’ of the two ḥarams are from his students. It is heard often from the Shāfi‘īs that in Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah there is no greater scholar in the Shāfi‘ī madhhab than him. Anyone who stopped by at Makkah for even a few days will most certainly come to know of him. Whoever wants may ask the people of the two noble ḥarams of his condition. This lowly one has not given his description in any way that matches with his real condition. In brief, he, on account of precaution, refused to endorse ‘Mujaddid Ṣāḥib’s’ treatise.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 208) [Note: Mawlānā Madanī narrated ḥadīth from Shaykh Ḥasabullāh. See: al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan by Shaykh Yāsīn al-Fādānī, p. 59; Cherāgh e Muḥammad, p. 106]

2. “The sun of the sky of investigation, the full moon of the cosmos of scrutinisation, combiner of rational and transmitted [knowledge], gatherer of peripherals and principles, the imām of the muḥaddithīn, the chief of the mufassirīn, Mawlānā Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Mālikī, may his blessings last, Mālikī imām and khaṭib at the Noble Ḥaram.” His study circle was the greatest in the ḥaram. He had memorised thousands of ḥadīths with both matn and isnād.

3. “The eminent imām, the noble man of virtue, pivot of purity and chivalry, chief of generosity and courage, foremost amongst the knights of the rational sciences, gatherer of the highest positions in the fields of transmitted sciences, Mawlānā Shaykh Aḥmad Faqīh, imām and khaṭīb at the noble ḥaram, may his excellence remain.” He was also a man of great learning. These latter two scholars were also amongst the close associates of the Sharīf.

4. “Chief of the practising scholars, leader of the perfect men of virtue, one adept in the sciences of Arabic, surpassing his contemporaries in the literary sciences, the master of the muḥaddithīn and the imām of the mutakallimīn, Mawlānā Shaykh ‘Abd al-Jalīl Āfandī al-Ḥanafī.” He was a man of great piety and grew to an old age. He was unparalleled in the field of Arabic literature. He died at the start of the year 1327 H (1909 CE). Although originally a scholar of Madīnah, he remained in Makkah for several years. He was present at Makkah when Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made his visit. The latter took his treatise to him to get his signed approval, but “being a man of experience, intelligence and perceptiveness, and a person of great age, he immediately recognised that he is not someone to be trusted.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 209) [Note: Mawlānā Madanī also narrated ḥadīth from him. See: Cherāgh e Muḥammad, p. 106]

Mawlānā Madanī comments: “These four individuals were at this time, from the greatest and most famous of the ‘Ulamā’ of Makkah. Their condition in knowledge, virtue and excellence was most certainly not found in those whose seals and approvals ‘Mujaddid al-Taḍlīl’s’ hands had touched. Whoever wishes may discover their conditions from the people of Makkah themselves.” (ibid.) There were other senior scholars who refused to sign the fatwā also, but these four famous ‘Ulamā’ are sufficient for our purposes. There were more junior ‘Ulamā’ who either in search of fame or due to their simplicity became prey to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s trickery, and gave their signed approvals to his fatwā. Many of these ‘Ulamā’ are such that they “have no part in academic ability, and nor are they involved in studying and teaching, and are not even counted amongst the ‘Ulamā’ of Makkah!” (ibid.) [1]

With regards to the situation in Madīnah, Mawlānā Madanī mentions that he is more acquainted with this as he was himself present in Madīnah at the time, and had been for several years. A few days after his arrival, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān very secretively visited several individuals with his treatise, asking for their signed approvals. Some of the ‘Ulamā’ there already had a good opinion of him from what was presented to them by his associates, regarding some discussions he made on some unfamiliar, peripheral issues that they had not previously examined – like the issue of paper money. These associates boasted of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s skills in debate and his having authored hundreds of works. But despite all this, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made attempts to acquire their seals in secrecy. Mawlānā Madanī argues that he did this for fear that had it been done openly, Mawlānā Madanī would have interfered and exposed his lies. [2]

Unlike the condition in Makkah, ‘Ulamā’ of Madīnah did not hold a negative view of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān: some had positive views of him and others were neutral. Even still, some of the most famous and eminent scholars of Madīnah did not fall for his deceptions, and refused to sign his fatwā. Others who did sign, later became aware of his lies, while others clearly put conditions to their endorsements, stating that only if the information in the question is correct will the ruling be as he mentioned.

Mawlānā Sayyid Aḥmad Barzanjī, the mufti of the Shāfi‘īs, 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 erased, and told them that he has come to realise that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān is a person of misguidance, and spoke very harshly to 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 and servility in speech and actions. 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, because he made his endorsement conditional.

A number of other ‘Ulamā’ from the ḥaramayn made their endorsements conditional. (Mawlānā Madanī quotes some of these on page 215-6). [3] 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). Mawlānā Madanī said this 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.

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān rushed back to India soon after this debacle. Some of the great ‘Ulamā’ of Madīnah refused to sign his treatise. Mawlānā Madanī lists a total of 25 such scholars as examples (p. 212-3). Five of these are as follows:

1. Shaykh Yāsīn al-Miṣrī al-Shāfi‘ī, who would lecture on taṣawwuf and Shāfi‘ī fiqh in the morning at Bāb al-Raḥmah.

2. The muḥaddith and mufassir, Shaykh ‘Abdullāh al-Nābulsī al-Ḥanbalī [1247 – 1331 H], who taught ḥadīth, tafsīr and Ḥanbalī fiqh after ‘Aṣr and Maghrib, and was a person of great age, piety and knowledge. He was also regarded as a great teacher.

3. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ḥakīm al-Bukhārī, a learned and elderly scholar.

4. Sayyid Amīn Riḍwān al-Shāfi‘ī a very elderly and pious man. From those who gave ijāza for Dalā’il al-Khayrāt at this time, none were greater than him.

5. Shaykh Ma’mūn Barrī al-Āfandi, who was the main khaṭīb of Masjid Nabawī.

[1] See the testimony of Shaykh Bashīr al-Ibrāhīmī below which also mentions that many of the scholars delivering lessons at the ḥaram were weak in knowledge. (Although his testimony is regarding the ḥaram of Madīnah, not Makkah, the situation was probably similar in both places).

[2] Mawlānā Madanī explains his role in the matter in more detail in Naqsh e Ḥayāt as follows: “These proceedings were undertaken with great effort and secrecy. I was only aware that he was making efforts to come to these ‘Ulamā’, Muftīs and people of influence, but I had absolutely no knowledge that he had some [specific] agenda behind these undertakings. I only thought that since Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Ṣāḥib had just visited, and great scholars and many students met with him here, and acquired sanad of ḥadīth and ijāzah, having gained acceptance amongst the people of learning, haters and enemies would like to spread propaganda against him, and in so doing against us [also]. But together with his, I also thought that if anything would be said against us or our Akābir, at the minimum, we would be asked about it. Several days passed in this manner. Then, after investigating I came to know he is getting endorsements for some write-up, so I searched for what this write-up was. In the end, when this write-up reached Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Shalabī al-Ṭarāblusī*, he called me and showed me the treatise. I informed him of the reality of the matter. Then I went to Amīn al-Fatwā Shaykh ‘Umar Ḥammād, and showed him the passages of Taḥdhīr al-NāsFatāwā Rashīdiyyah etc., upon which he expressed great remorse [for having signed the fatwā]. Then I went to the muftī of the Ḥanafīs, Tāj al-Dīn Ilyās, and explained the full reality to him, and he too expressed great remorse, and said: ‘We had no knowledge of the reality, so why did you not inform us earlier?’ Since I had deep connections with them before – Muftī Ṣāḥib’s grandson would read to me and youngsters of high families from the people of Madīnah were either close to me or read to me** – this is why I said: ‘I trusted that if any information reached you regarding me or any of my teachers, you would most certainly have asked me.’ He replied: ‘I had no knowledge that those individuals were your teachers! Anyhow, what has happened has happened. We were very careful in endorsing, and said that if in reality these individuals hold these views and beliefs and their retraction has not been proven, then the view of the author of the treatise is correct. If I had knowledge of this before, I wouldn’t have even given this endorsement.’ Other individuals gave similar answers.” (Naqsh e Ḥayāt, 137-8) Before the ‘Ulamā’ of Madīnah could take any action after having learnt of the reality, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān hurried back to India.

[3] Mawlānā Madanī writes: “Those scholars of dīn with regards to whom he acquired fatwās of kufr from the two ḥarams, he put false allegations against them, of which they are completely innocent and pure. Such beliefs and ideas were attributed to them which those sanctified scholars of Hindustan are completely free of, and which they themselves regard as kufr. The scholars of the two noble ḥarams gave their answer in accordance to the question, and gave the judgement of kufr on those who maintain such beliefs, because everyone knows that the answer is written in accordance with the question. If this question was written, putting this allegation and slander on someone else, and presented before those sanctified scholars, they too would give a judgement of kufr. Thus, several questions came in the service of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Gangohī, [asking]: ‘What is the ruling on the person who regards Satan as more knowledgeable than the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) or God as being untruthful?’ He issued a fatwā of kufr on these [beliefs]. We will later present the quotations from his Fatāwā. This is why some intelligent and careful scholars of the two noble ḥarams wrote that if the questioner’s description is accurate and these individuals really do hold these beliefs, [only then] are they kāfirs and people of jahannam. Thus by way of example, the statements of a few scholars, from their fatwās, will be quoted. One scholar said: ‘One who adopts these views, believing in them as clarified in this treatise, there is no doubt that he is from the misguided.’ (من قال بهذه الأقوال معتقدا لها كما هي مبسوط في هذه الرسالة لا شبهة أنه من الضالين)…A second scholar wrote: ‘They are – when the outcome is what you have mentioned – deviant disbelievers.’ (فهم والحاصل ما ذكرت كفرة مارقون)…A third scholar said: ‘One who asserts this has disbelieved.’ (من ادعى ذلك فقد كفر)…A fourth scholar was extremely careful, and wrote with great clarity that if these matters are proven from those individuals, that is those things that the Barelwī Shaykh has written, of Ghulām Aḥmad claiming prophethood, and it is proven from Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Ṣāḥib, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Ṣāḥib and Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī that they disrespected the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), then there is no doubt in these individuals having committing kufr and deserving execution. (إن ثبت عنهم ما ذكره هذا الشيخ من ادعاء النبوة للقادياني وانتقاص النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من رشيد أحمد وخليل أحمد وأشرف علي المذكورين فلا شك في كفرهم ووجوب قتلهم)…In a fifth place, in a lengthy write-up, there are these words: ‘This is the ruling on these groups and individuals if these vile beliefs are established from them.’ (هذا حكم هؤلاء الفرق والأشخاص إن ثبت عنهم هذه المقالات الشنيعة)…Even those individuals in whose statement this condition is not found, their intent is also this, because the ruling is on the one who believes in these things.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 215-6)

* On Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Ṭarāblusī’s views on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān, see: zakariyya.wordpress.com/2007/04/02/molwi-ahmed-radha-khan-among-the-arab-ulama/

** Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī’s teaching and lectures in al-Masjid al-Nabawī in Madīnah were well-received by the people. He was also a highly-regarded scholar. The reason for his acceptance may be gleaned from the following testimony of Shaykh Bashīr al-Ibrāhīmī, a contemporary and student of Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī. Shaykh Bashīr al-Ibrāhīmī (1889 – 1965 CE) was a well-known scholar from North Africa of the last century who had travelled to Cairo, Damascus and Ḥijāz, and sat with many of their scholars. He arrived in Madīnah towards the end of the year 1911 CE. Near the end of his life, when writing a short autobiography, he wrote the following while describing his stay at Madīnah: “I circled the circles of ‘Ilm at the Prophetic Ḥaram, testing [them out]. None of them stood out to me, but it was [like] froth put out by a group having no connection with ‘Ilm or Taḥqīq. I did not find true ‘Ilm except with two men, who are my teachers: Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz al-Wazīr al-Tūnisī and Shaykh Ḥusayn Aḥmad al-Fayḍ Abādī al-Hindī. These two, truth be told, are erudite scholars, their horizons of perception vast in the sciences of ḥadīth and understanding of Sunnah. I had no interest in anything besides extra knowledge of ḥadīth, both in transmission and understanding, and knowledge of tafsīr, so I stuck by them as a shadow. I took al-Muwaṭṭa’ from the first with understanding, and then his erudition in the remaining Islamic sciences struck me, so I remained in his lessons on Mālik’s fiqh and his lessons on al-Tawḍīḥ of Ibn Hishām. I accompanied the second [i.e. Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī] in his lessons on Ṣaḥīḥ MuslimI give testimony that I have not seen an equal to these two shaykhs from the ‘Ulamā’ of Islām till now. I have reached old age and I have great experience, and I have consummate skill in some sciences, and I have met from the mashāyikh as [many as] Allāh wanted me to meet. But I have not seen the like of these two shaykhs in eloquence of expression, depth of insight, delving into meanings, illuminating ideas, clarification of ambiguities and bringing distant meanings closer. Because of my expansive reading of books of biographies, I had formed an image of a prominent scholar in the Islāmic sciences, derived from how the biographical literature would describe some of those that they put in their biographies. For a long time, I did not believe that that mental image would materialise in external reality. But I found it realised in these two eminent scholars. Shaykh al-Wazīr died in Madīnah at the wake of the First World War. As for Shaykh Ḥusayn Aḥmad, Sharīf Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī handed him over to the English at the end of his ill-fated revolution, and they exiled him to Mālṭah, and then they sent him back to his original hometown of India. He lived there for years, and the leadership of ‘Ilm culminated at him in the City of Knowledge, Deoband. When I visited Pakistan in the year 1952 CE, I wrote to him and he insisted that I visit India, but that was not destined for me. In these latter times, it has reached me that he passed away in India.” (Āthār al-Imām Muḥammad al-Bashīr al-Ibrāhīmī, 5:275-6)


Clarification on Imkān al-Kidhb

January 27, 2017

The below was initially written as a response to two objections made by an individual writing on the internet. Since it brings much-needed clarity to the Deobandi position on this subject, and briefly addresses some of the most common objections to it, the response is being reproduced here.

Note: Some small additions/alterations have been made to the original response; and direct reference to the individual who was responded to has been removed.

Question 1

Did the author of al-Muhannad claim it is possible for Allāh to act against what He promised?

Response

It is necessary to differentiate between two different concepts:

One is the logical or rational possibility (imkān ‘aqlī) of a proposition, and the other is its occurrence or materialisation.

For Allāh to act against what He has promised is rationally possible, but its occurrence is impossible. A “rational possibility” does not preclude the impossibility of actual occurrence. It only means that the proposition is not in itself inconceivable: the mind does not preclude its possibility a priori.

Allāh’s power connects to everything that is logically/rationally possible. To say otherwise would be to attribute a deficiency to Him. As the mutakallimūn said: “قدرته تعالى يعم سائر الممكنات” “كل ممكن مقدور” “المقتضي للقادرية هو الذات والمصحح للمقدورية هو الإمكان”. Al-Dawwānī said to not have power of some things that are possible (mumkin) is an imperfection, which is not possible for Allāh. (العجز عن البعض نقص وهو على الله تعالى محال)

Consider the propositions: “a wicked and wretched disbeliever like Fir‘awn is put into Jannah” or “a pious believer is put into Jahannam.” There is no rational absurdity in these propositions. The mind does not regard these as inconceivable or impossible in themselves (unlike, for example, the propositions: “the number 2 is odd”, “8 is a prime number” and so on). Hence, the Qudrah of Allāh connects to them as Allāh has the power to do everything that is rationally possible. Similarly, the mind does not preclude the possibility of these things even after Allāh’s promise. Allāh’s promise that a pious believer will not enter Jahannam does not make it rationally impossible for a pious believer to enter Jahannam. Hence, the Qudrah still connects to it. Yes, the promise makes its occurrence impossible.

This was precisely the response of the Ash‘ari theologians to the arguments of the Mu‘tazila (particularly, the followers of Naẓẓām) that “punishing a pious believer” and other apparently ugly acts are not in Allāh’s power. In response to this argument of the Naẓẓāmiyya, it states in Sharḥ al-Mawāqif: “The response is that there is nothing ugly in relation to Him because everything is subordinate to Him, thus He may do with it as He pleases. And even if it is accepted that the act is ugly in relation to Him, the most that can be said is that it won’t occur due to the presence of something stopping it, i.e. its ugliness, and that does not negate power over it.” (والجواب أنه لا قبح بالنسبة إليه فإن الكل ملكه فله أن يتصرف فيه على أي وجه أراد، وإن سلم قبح الفعل بالنسبة إليه فغايته عدم الفعل بوجود الصارف عنه وهو القبح وذلك لا ينفى القدرة عليه)

The same thing is mentioned in other works, like Sharḥ al-Maṭāli‘, Ṭawali‘ al-Rūmi and Sharḥ al-Ṣaḥa’if. Quotes can be found at the following link:

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A3%D9%84%D8%A9-%D8%A5%D9%85%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%83%D8%B0%D8%A8-%D9%88%D9%85%D9%88%D9%82%D9%81-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%AF-%D9%85/

The mistake of the Mu‘tazila (Naẓẓāmiyya), in the words of Sharḥ al-Mawāqif, is as follows: “They presumed that purifying Allāh from despicable and ugly things is only by negating His power over them. In doing so, they are like one who flees from rain and stands under a drain!” (توهموا أن تنزيهه تعالى من الشرور والقابئح لا يكون إلا بسلب قدرته عليها، فهم في ذلك كمن هرب من المطر إلى الميزاب)

This is precisely the mistake made by those who say Allāh does not have the power to act against what He has promised or He does not have the power to create a speech that does not conform to reality. They say: We can only say He is free from these things by negating His power over them. But the Ash‘ari theologians responded that by negating His power, you are limiting the power of Allāh. There is no rational absurdity or impossibility in these propositions, so they must fall under His power. Yes, their occurrence from Him is impossible because His divine intent does not connect to them on account of His wisdom, fairness and so on.

On the question of kidhb/kadhib itself, it is first necessary to understand the nature of kidhb. Kidhb is defined as the act of producing a sentence that does not conform to reality. As the Deobandi author of Juhd al-Muqill states, we all agree that after Ādam (‘alayhissalām) ate from the tree, it was in the power of Allāh Ta‘āla to produce the sentence “Ādam disobeyed His Lord” (عصى آدم ربه) and then to send it down to a chosen prophet. Not only does everyone agree that it is in His power, but they agree that it actually happened, as it is in the Qur’ān. Now, if hypothetically Ādam (‘alayhissalam) actually did not eat from the tree, would producing this sentence and sending it down on a chosen prophet be excluded from the power of Allāh? It is obvious that if it is in His power after Ādam (‘alayhissalam) ate from the tree, it would also be in His power before this, and it would also be in His power in the hypothetical situation that he never ate from the tree. The Qudra of Allāh does not change. It does not become limited or constrained. Yes, there are things that are within the Qudra of Allāh which will actualise and others that will never actualise. But this is due to the divine will (irāda), and not due to any limit in the Qudra.

It is important to understand what “kidhb” means in this context. (See: muqaddimas 4 and 6 from the link given above). “Kidhb” does not characterise a person. Nor is it an intrinsic characteristic of speech. A “speech” in and of itself is not described as “truthful” or “false.” It is only described in this way relative to its context. For example, the proposition “Zayd is standing” in one context would be described as “true” and in another context as “false.” Hence, “true” and “false” neither (primarily) characterise a person, nor are they intrinsic qualities of speech. In our context, kidhb means: producing a speech that does not conform to reality. In other words: does Allāh have the power to create a speech that is untrue, and then send it down to a chosen prophet or angel? It is clear that since “kidhb” is not primarily a characteristic of a being/person, nor intrinsically a characteristic of the speech itself, it does not entail any change within the Dhāt (Being) of Allāh. Moreover, there is nothing in this proposition – i.e. “words/sounds coming into existence that give a meaning that does not conform to reality” – that is intrinsically impossible. Hence, the Qudra definitely connects to it, based on the fact that the Qudra connects to everything possible.

A question that some people have at this point is the nature of Allāh’s “speech.” For a full discussion on this issue, refer to muqaddima 4 from the link given above. In brief, there are two kinds of speech as it relates to Allāh:

  1. One is a single, undifferentiated, simple attribute subsisting within the essence of Allāh. This is commonly known as “Kalām Nafsī.”
  2. The second is the words and sentences arranged by Allāh, created into sounds or letters, and then brought down to one of His creatures. This is known as “Kalām Lafẓī.” [وليس كلام الله تعالى إلا ما رتبه الله تعالى بنفسه من غير واسطة والكلمات لا تعاقب بينها فى الوجود العلمي حتى يلزم حدوثها وإنما التعاقب بينها فى الوجود الخارجي، وهو بحسب هذا الوجود كلام لفظي]

It is important to understand that the single undifferentiated attribute of “Kalām Nafsī” does not itself consist of statements, whether declarative, imperative or otherwise. Rather, these statements exist only within the “Kalām Lafẓī.”

[A technical point: Allāh’s knowledge of the meanings of, as well as the contents of, the “Kalām Lafẓī” is eternal, but the Kalām Lafẓī itself is originated. Sometimes, Allāh’s eternal knowledge of the Kalām Lafẓī is also referred to as “Kalām Nafsī”, which can be a source of confusion. The term “Kalām Nafsī” therefore sometimes refers to the eternal attribute of speech in Allāh’s Dhāt, and sometimes to Allāh’s knowledge of what is contained within the Kalām Lafẓī.]

Hence, the Kalām Nafsī itself – that is a single, undifferentiated, attribute within the Dhāt – does not consist of “meanings”. It only “connects” to the meanings and words found in the Kalām Lafẓī just as the Qudra connects to creation. The Kalām Lafẓī also “points to” the Kalām Nafsī just as creation points to Qudra. It doesn’t “point to” it in the sense of words pointing to their meanings, but in the sense of an effect pointing to its cause or to its point of origin. [أقول: ليس معنى كونه عبارة عنه أنه عينه كما قال بعد هذا: أن القرآن عبارة عن هذا المؤلف المخصوص والنحو عبارة عن القواعد المخصوصة، وذلك ظاهر ولا أنه دال عليه بالوضع لأن المدلول الوضعي له هو المعاني الوضعية الحادثة، بل معناه أنه دال عليه عقلا، ودلالة الأثر على مبدئه فإن النطق الظاهر فى الإنسان كما يدل على مبدء له يغاير العلم والقدرة والإرادة كذلك فى الباري تعالى يدل الكلام اللغظي على مبدء له يغاير سائر الصفات]

[For a more thorough discussion, with extensive quotes from the Ash‘ari theologians, refer to muqaddima 4 from the link given above].

The point to take away from this technical discussion is that the speech that is an intrinsic attribute of Allāh Ta‘āla (i.e. the Kalām Nafsī) is not under discussion here, as “ṣidq” and “kidhb” do not even enter into the realm of possibilities when we talk about “Kalām Nafsī”. “Kalām Nafsī” is neither “inshā’” (imperative, interrogative etc. statements) nor “khabar” (declarative statement). It only connects to these types of statements, in just the same way the “Qudra” connects to creation. Hence, “truth” or “falsehood” are inconceivable (ghayr mutaṣawwar) when we talk about “Kalam Nafsī.”

The speech we are talking of in this context is, thus, the created speech that is arranged by Allāh Ta‘āla without the intermediary of any other sentient being, which is then brought down to one of His creatures. This is also part of Allāh’s “speech” as it is not the speech of any other being. Now, this speech is always true because Allāh is truthful, but that does not mean His power over producing an untruthful statement in this speech is negated. This in a nutshell is the Deobandi argument.

Question 2

Does this not mean we cannot know if Allāh is truthful in any particular passage of the Qur’ān?

Response

There are two ways in which something can be said to be unbefitting of Allāh. One is that it entails a contradiction and absurdity. For example “ẓulm” with the meaning that Allāh meddles in another’s ownership without his consent (التصرف في ملك الغير بغير إذنه). This is impossible and does not fall in the Qudra of Allāh since it entails an absurdity. Nothing falls outside the ownership of Allāh, so ẓulm with this meaning cannot apply to Allāh. Such things are intrinsically impossible. Other examples are creating another “God” (how can something created be uncreated?), eating/drinking (how can a Being without body or need eat/drink?) etc.

[Note: ẓulm also has another meaning: to increase a person’s punishment beyond what his crime demands, or to lessen a person’s rewards. This meaning of ẓulm is not excluded from the Qudra of Allāh as it entails no absurdity. Yet, ẓulm even in this meaning will not occur from Allāh for reasons explained below. Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī explains these two different meanings of ẓulm, clarifying that one is intrinsically impossible, while the other is not. (Jāmi‘ al-‘Ulūm wa l-Ḥikam, Dār Ibn Kathīr, p. 513)]

Another way in which something is unbefitting of Allāh is that it is against His nature. Despite being technically possible and being included under His Qudra, such things cannot emanate from Him on account of His nature of fairness (‘adl), wisdom (ḥikma), truthfulness (ṣidq), mercy (raḥma) etc.

An ordinary example is a very pious person who is known to be very pious. Now if an allegation was to be made against this person, our immediate response would be: “he couldn’t have done such a thing!” Not that it is not possible (i.e. he had the ability to do it), but it goes against what we know of his nature and of the way he behaves and conducts himself. In the same way we know Allāh is fair and truthful. This is our experience and knowledge of His nature. He will not punish a pious believer though He has the power to, and He won’t reward a wretched disbeliever though he has the power to. In the same way He will never issue a statement that does not conform to reality, though it is within His power to do so. The Ash‘ari theologians who said doing so is within His power clearly mentioned that it is known by necessity that it will not occur from Him based on our knowledge of His nature.

It states in Sharḥ al-Ṣaḥā’if:

قلت: إن فعل القبيح من غير حاجة محال، فإن أردت أنه محال لذاته فذلك غير مسلم لأنا نعلم ضرورة أن ذلك الفعل لا يقتضى عدمه لذاته، بل نعلم أن نسبة وجوده وعدمه إلى ذاته واحدة، وإن أردت أنه محال لأن الله تعالى قادر حكيم لا يريد أن يفعل مثل ذلك الفعل، فذلك مسلم، لكن ذلك لا يوجب انتفاء القدرة عليه، بل تركه بقدرته وإرادته

“If you mean that an ugly act is intrinsically impossible, we don’t accept that, because we know that there is no intrinsic necessity of that act being non-existent. In fact, we know that to attribute its existence and nonexistence to His Dhāt is one and the same. But if you mean that it is impossible because Allāh is a Wise Agent, and He would not intend to do something like that – this is accepted. But this does not entail He lacks power over it. Rather, He avoids it by His power and His will.”

It states in Sharḥ al-Maqāṣid:

فإن قيل: التمسك بالكتاب والسنة يتوقف على العلم بصدق كلام الله تعالى وكلام الرسول عليه السلام ودلالة المعجزة وهذا لا يتأتى مع القوم بأنه خالق كل شيء حتى الشرور والقبائح وأنه لا يقبح منه التلبيس والتدليس والكذب وإظهار المعجزة على يد الكاذب ونحو ذلك مما يقدح في وجوب صدق كلامه وثبوت النبوة ودلالة المعجزات، قلنا: العلم بانتفاء تلك القوادح وإن كانت ممكنة في نفسها من العاديات الملحقة بالضروريات

“If it is argued: Adhering to the Book and Sunnah depends on knowledge of the truth of the speech of Allah & the Messenger (upon him peace) and the evidence of miracles. This will not be possible if we believe that He is Creator of everything, even ugly things, and that deception, trickery, lying and producing a miracle at the hand of a liar and such things… are not ugly for Him. We answer: Knowledge of the negation of these things that are possible in themselves is based on our knowledge of the normal way [that Allāh operates] (‘ādiyyat) which are annexed to those things that are known by absolute necessity.”

For other similar passages, refer to the link given earlier.

One more point that needs highlighting is that while the Naẓẓāmiyya amongst the Mu‘tazila limited the Qudra of Allāh, and said He does not have the Power to punish a pious believer or to reward a wretched disbeliever etc., another group amongst the Mu‘tazila, known as the “Mazdāriyya,” said that not only does He have power over these things but He may even do them! They believe it is possible for a lie or injustice (in the sense of punishing a pious believer) to actually occur! The Ahlus Sunnah are in between these two extremes. While they do not negate Allāh’s power over these things – as they are rationally possible, and everything rationally possible is included within Allāh’s Qudra –, they clearly state that these acts are unbefitting of Allāh and thus their occurrence from Him is impossible.


Refutation of the False Allegations against Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri [Arabic]

February 4, 2015

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

إتهامات البريلوي على العلامة خليل أحمد السهارنپوري والجواب عنها

قال أحمد رضا خان البريلوي في ‘حسام الحرمين’: [صرح (أي: العلامة خليل أحمد السهارنپوري صاحب بذل المجهود في حل أبي داود) في كتابه البراهين القاطعة…بأن شيخهم إبليس أوسع علما من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وهذا نصه الشنيع بلفظه الفظيع: ((إن هذه السعة فى العلم ثبتت للشيطان وملك الموت بالنص، وأي نص قطعي في سعة علم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى يرد به النصوص جميعا ويثبت شرك؟)) وكتب قبله: ((إن هذا الشرك ليس في حبة خردل من إيمان))]. ثم قال البريلوي: [وقد قال في نسيم الرياض كما تقدم: ((من قال فلان أعلم منه صلى الله عليه وسلم فقد عابه ونقصه فهو ساب، والحكم فيه حكم الساب من غير فرق لا نستثني منه صورة، وهذا كله إجماع من لدن الصحابة رضي الله تعالى عنهم.))]. وقال: [يؤمن (أي: السهارنپوري) بعلم الأرض المحيط لإبليس، وإذا جاء ذكر محمد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: هذا الشرك، وإنما الشرك إثبات الشريك لله تعالى، فالشيء إذا كان إثباته لأحد من المخلوقين شركا كان شركا قطعا لكل الخلائق، إذ لا يصح أن يكون أحد شريكا لله تعالى، فانظروا كيف آمن بأن إبليس شريك له سبحانه وإنما الشركة منتفية عن محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم]. وقال: [يطالب (أي: السهارنپوري) في علم محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بالنص ولا يرضى به حتى يكون قطعيا، فإذا جاء على سلب علمه صلى الله عليه وسلم تمسك في هذا البيان نفسه على ص٤٦ بستة أسطر قبل هذا الكفر المهين بحديث باطل لا أصل له فى الدين وينسبه كذبا إلى من لم يروه بل رده بالرد المبين حيث قال: ((روى الشيخ عبد الحق قدس سره عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: لا أعلم ما وراء هذا الجدار.)) مع أن الشيخ قدس الله سره إنما قال في مدارح النبوة هكذا: ((يشكل ههنا بأن جاء في بعض الروايات أن قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إنما أنا عبد لا أعلم ما وراء هذا الجدار، وجوابه أن هذا القول لا أصل له ولم تصح به الرواية….)) وكذلك قال الإمام ابن حجر العسقلاني: لا أصل له.]. انتهى كلامه

ففي كلامه هذا اتهم البريلوي صاحب ‘البراهين القاطعة’ العلامة خليل أحمد السهارنپوري بأربع اتهامات، وهي كالتالي

١. أنه جعل علم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أقل من علم الشيطان اللعين
٢. أنه جعل العلم المحيط بالأرض شركا إذا أثبته أحد للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مع أنه أثبته للشيطان اللعين، فكأنه جعل الشيطان شريكا لله تعالى! نعوذ بالله منه.
٣. أنه طالب النص القطعي في إثبات علم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مع أنه تمسك بما لا أصل له في نفيه
٤. وأنه قد كذب على الشيخ عبد الحق في نسبة رواية الحديث إليه، حيث لم يروه الشيخ عبد الحق، بل نقله للرد عليه والطعن فيه.

ويأتى الجواب التفصيلي عن هذه الإتهامات على الشيخ السهارنپوري فيما يلي، إن شاء الله تعالى

الجواب عن الإتهام الأول

أما قول البريلوي أن العلامة السهارنپوري جعل علم الشيطان أوسع من علم الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم، فهذا بهتان عظيم. ولا بد أولا أن يتنبه القارئ على أن كتاب ‘البراهين القاطعة’ ليس كتابا مستقلا، بل هو رد علمي على كتاب آخر اسمه: ‘الأنوار الساطعة’، لمؤلفه مولانا عبد السميع الرامپوري، وعلى هذا لا بد من قراءة ما أورده الرامپوري في كتابه لتتبع كلام السهارنپوري ولفهمه الصواب، ولهذا تجد ‘الأنوار الساطعة’ في أعلى كل صفحة من البراهين القاطعة، وجواب السهارنپوري يشرع عند كل بحث بقوله: ‘أقول’ بعد أن نقل من كلام الرامپوري بقوله: ‘قوله…’ أي: قول الرامپوري

البحث الذي نحن بصدده يبتدأ من ص٥٢ وينتهي إلى ص٥٧ من النسخة التي تتوفر على الرابط التالي

https://ia700504.us.archive.org/…/Braheen-e-QatiaByShaykhKh…

وكلام السهارنپوري في هذا البحث هو حول دفاع الرامپوري عن اعتقاد كثير من المحتفلين بالمولد النبوي بأن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم يحضر هذه المجالس وله علم بما يقع فيها. قام الرامپوري فى ‘الأنوار الساطع’ بالرد على زعم الشيخ عبد الجبار العمپروري أحد علماء ‘أهل الحديث’ (غير المقلدين) فى الهند (وله ترجمة في ‘نزهة الخواطر’) القائل بأن هذا الإعتقاد للمحتفلين بالمولد النبوي هو من الشرك فإنما هو الله تعالى وحده الذي يوجد في كل مكان، أي: بعلمه. فرد على هذا القائل الرامپوري بما حاصله: العالم أكبر بكبير من مجالس المولد والأوقات أكثر بكثير من الأزمنة التي احتفل فيها بالمولد، والله تعالى يحضر بعلمه في جميع الأمكنة والأزمنة، فعلى هذا لا يلزم البتة من قول القائلون بحضور الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم في مجالس المولد الشرك بالله في الصفات الخاصة به. من البراهين نقلا عن الأنوار، ص. ٥٣ – ٥٤

ثم قال الرامپوري: عقيدة أهل السنة هي أن الله تعالى يختص بما هو خاص له، ومعنى الخصوصية هو أنه يوجد فيه ولا يوجد في غيره، أما العلم بجميع الأمكنة على ظهر الأرض فليس هذا مما يختص به الله سبحانه. ونقل عن معالم التنزيل للبغوي وشرح الصدور للسيوطي والمواهب اللدنية للزرقاني ما يثبت أن ملك الموت يقبض أرواح جميع المخلوقات من الإنس والجن والبهائم وجعلت الأرض له مثل الطست فيقبض من ههنا وههنا. قد جاء هذه الروايات في تفسير قول الله تعالى: ‘قل يتوفاكم ملك الموت’. ثم ذكر حديثا آخر رواه الطبراني وابن منده الذي يثبت علم ملك الموت بأحوال جميع الناس. ثم ذكر الرامپوري أنه لو اشتبه على أحد أن هذه الصفة إنما حصلت لملك مقرب فينبغي أن يعلم أن مثل هذا العلم ثابت للشيطان، فنقل عن رد المحتار لابن عابدين قوله: إبليس مع ابن آدم بالنهار…وأقدره على ذلك كما أقدر ملك الموت على نظير ذلك. من البراهين نقلا عن الأنوار، ص. ٥٥

ثم مثل هذه القاعدة بالشمس والقمر الموجودين في نظر الناظرين في جميع الأمكنة، وقال: فلو وقع نظر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو في أعلى العليين على جميع الأمنكة أو على أمكنة مخصوصة، لا بعد فيه ولا استحالة. ثم أخذ الرامپوري في إثبات كون النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم موجودا في جميع الأمكنة كوجود الشمس والقمر – بمعنى أنهما مرئيان في جميع الأمكنة ويقع نورهما فيها. (البراهين نقلا عن الأنوار، ص. ٥٦) هذا حاصل كلام الرامپوري.

ويبدو من كلام الرامپوري أنه يثبت العلم المحيط بالأرض للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بناء على كونه أفضل وأعلى درجة من ملك الموت والشيطان اللعين الذين قد ثبتت سعة علمهما بأمور الدنيا بدلائل كثيرة صريحة. فقام العلامة خليل أحمد السهارنپوري بالرد على هذا القياس الفاسد، والبحث – كما ترى – محصور في العلم بحوادث الدنيا وأحوال من مشى عليها، وليس هو فى العلم المطلق والعلم الذي عليه مدار الفضيلة أي: العلم بذات الله تعالى وصفاته وأحكامه وشرائعه إلى غير ذلك من العلوم العالية الشرعية النافعة والعلوم اللازمة للنبوة والرسالة، فإنه لم يتعرض الرامپوري ولا السهارنپوري للعلم المطلق ولا العلم الذي يدار الفضيلة عليه

فقال السهارنپوري في ضمن رده: [الحاصل: ينبغي أن يتأمل: إثبات العلم المحيط بالدنيا لفخر العالم (صلى الله عليه وسلم) نظرا إلى حال الشيطان وملك الموت ومخالفة للنصوص القطعية بلا دليل وانطلاقا من قياس فاسد: إن لم يكن شركا فمن أي حصة الإيمان هو؟!] من البراهين، ص. ٥٥

أما قوله في حق هذا الإعتقاد أنه شرك فيأتى البيان عن مراده به فى الجواب عن الإتهام الثاني إن شاء الله تعالى. والآن فليركز القارئ نظره على قول السهارنپوري: [إثبات العلم المحيط بالدنيا]. فالكلام إنما هو فى العلم الدنيوي لا العلم المطلق ولا العلم الذي عليه مدار الفضيلة

ثم قال السهارنپوري في نفس البحث: [فحضور الروح المبارك عليه السلام في أعلى العليين وكونه أفضل من ملك الموت لا يثبت به البتة كون علمه مثل علم ملك الموت أو أكثر منه في هذه الأمور] من البراهين، ص. ٥٦

فلينظر القارئ قوله صراحة: [في هذه الأمور] (بالأردوية: ان أمور مين). أي فى الأمور الدنيوية من الحوادث والكوائن وأحوال الرجال والنساء

ومع هذا كله قال البريلوي: [صرح في كتابه البراهين القاطعة…بأن شيخهم إبليس أوسع علما من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم]! فهل هذا إنصاف؟

والعلم المعتبر ليس هو العلم بالدنيا وأحوالها، فلا يطلق أبدا القول بأن فلانا أعلم من فلان بناء على كونه حاصلا لعلوم من الأمور الدنيوية أكثر منه. قال القاضي عياض رحمه الله فى الشفاء: [فمثل هذا وأشباهه من أمور الدنيا التي لا مدخل فيها لعلم ديانة ولا اعتقادها ولا تعليمها، يجوز عليه (صلى الله عليه وسلم) فيه ما ذكرناه، إذ ليس في هذا كله نقيصة ولا محطة، وإنما هي أمور اعتيادية يعرفها من جربها وجعلها همه وشغل نفسه بها، والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مشحون القلب بمعرفة الربوبية ملآن الجوارح بعلوم الشريعة مقيد البال بمصالح الأمة الدينية والدنيوية] (الشفاء، دار الحديث، ص٤٠٥) وقال الإمام الفخر الرازي: [يجوز أن يكون غير النبي فوق النبي في علوم لا تتوقف نبوته عليها] من تفسير الفخر الرازي، دار الفكر، ج٢١ ص١٥٠

هذا، وقد رد على هذا الإتهام العلامة السهارنپوري نفسه في كتابه المختصر المفيد ‘المهند على المفند’. ودونكم نص الكتاب

السؤال: أ ترون أن إبليس اللعين أعلم من سيد الكائنات عليه السلام وأوسع علما منه مطلقا؟ و هل كتبتم ذلك في تصنيف ما؟ وبم تحكمون على من اعتقد ذلك؟

الجواب: قد سبق منا تحرير هذه المسألة: أن النبي عليه السلام أعلم الخلق على الإطلاق بالعلوم و الحكم و الأسرار و غيرها من ملكوت الآفاق، و نتيقن أن من قال: ‘إن فلانا أعلم من النبي عليه السلام’ فقد كفر وقد أفتى مشايخنا بتكفير من قال: ‘إن إبليس أعلم من النبي عليه السلام’، فكيف يمكن أن توجد هذه المسألة في تأليف ما من كتبنا؟ غير أن غيبوبة بعض الحوادث الجزئية الحقيرة عن النبي عليه السلام لعدم التفاته إليه لا تورث نقصا ما في أعلميته عليه السلام بعدما ثبت أنه أعلم الخلق بالعلوم الشريفة اللائقة بمنصبه الأعلى، كما لا يورث الاطلاع على أكثر تلك الحوادث الحقيرة لشدة التفات إبليس إليها شرفاً وكمالاً علمياً فيه، فإنه ليس عليها مدار الفضل و الكمال، ومن ههنا لا يصح أن يقال: ‘إن إبليس أعلم من سيدنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم’، كما لا يصح أن يقال لصبي علم بعض الجزئيات: ‘إنه أعلم من عالم متبحر محقق في العلوم والفنون الذي غابت عنه تلك الجزئيات.’ ولقد تلونا عليك قصة الهدهد مع سليمان على نبينا وعليه السلام وقوله: ‘إني أحطت بما لم تحط به.’ ودواوين الحديث ودفاتر التفسير مشحونة بنظائرها المتكاثرة المشتهرة بين الأنام… ومبتدعة ديارنا يثبتون للذات الشريفة النبوية عليه ألف ألف تحية وسلام جميع علوم الأسافل الأراذل والأفاضل الأكابر قائلين: ‘إنه عليه السلام لما كان أفضل الخلق كافة فلا بد أن يحتوي على علومهم جميعها كل جزئي جزئي وكلي كلي’، ونحن أنكرنا إثبات هذا الأمر بهذا القياس الفاسد بغير نص من النصوص المعتدة بها، ألا ترى أن كل مؤمن أفضل و أشرف من إبليس فيلزم على هذا القياس أن يكون كل شخص من آحاد الأمة حاويا على علوم إبليس، ويلزم على ذلك أن يكون سليمان عليه السلام عالما بما علمه الهدهد …و اللوازم باطلة بأسرها كما هو المشاهد. وهذا خلاصة ما قلناه في البراهين القاطعة لعروق الأغبياء المارقين القاصمة لأعناق الدجالة المفترين، فلم يكن بحثنا فيه إلا عن بعض الجزئيات المستحدثة، ومن أجل ذلك أتينا فيه بلفظ الإشارة حتى تدل أن المقصود بالنفي و الإثبات هنالك تلك الجزئيات لا غير، لكن المفسدين يحرفون الكلام ولا يخافون محاسبة الملك العلام، وإنا جازمون أن من قال: ‘إن فلانا أعلم من النبي عليه السلام’ فهو كافر كما صرح به غير واحد من علمائنا الكرام، ومن افترى علينا بغير ما ذكرناه فعليه البرهان خائفا عن مناقشة الملك الديان و الله على ما نقول وكيل

فانظر إلى قوله: [ومن أجل ذلك أتينا فيه بلفظ الإشارة حتى تدل أن المقصود بالنفي و الإثبات هنالك تلك الجزئيات لا غير]، وهذا حق واضح يراه قارئ هذا البحث من البراهين القاطعة بالسهولة، وقد أشرنا إلى موضع منه الذي صرح فيه العلامة السهارنپوري أن كلامه هو ‘في هذه الأمور’. وحتى فى العبارة التي نقلها البرليوي في ‘حسام الحرمين’ يلاحظ القارئ اسم الإشارة، فقال السهارنپوري: [هذه السعة قد ثبتت للشيطان وملك الموت بالنص] (البراهين، ص. ٥٥) ولم يفسر السهارنپوري في هذه الجملة مراده ب’هذه السعة’ اعتمادا على تتبع القارئ لسياق الكلام، فالمراد ب’هذه السعة’ (ولم يقل ‘هذه السعة فى العلم’ كما في ترجمة البريلوي) هي: السعة في علوم الدنيا من الحوادث والكوائن وأحوال البشر كما قدمنا

والإلزام الذي أورده العلامة السهارنپوري على القياس المذكور بقوله: [ألا ترى أن كل مؤمن أفضل و أشرف من إبليس فيلزم على هذا القياس أن يكون كل شخص من آحاد الأمة حاويا على علوم إبليس] إلخ، فقد ذكره بعينه فى البراهين القاطعة ص. ٥٥

فهل يقول المنصف بعد هذا أن العلامة السهارنپوري جعل علم الشيطان اللعين أوسع من علم الرسول صلوات الله وسلامه عليه؟

الجواب عن الإتهام الثاني

وأما قول البريلوي أن العلامة السهارنپوري جعل إثبات العلم المحيط بالأرض من الشرك إذا أثبت للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، ثم أثبته هو للشيطان اللعين، فكأنه جعل الشيطان شريكا لله تعالى، فالجواب عنه بالإختصار أن العلامة السهارنپوري إنما جعل الشرك إثبات العلم الذاتي الغير المكتسب لغير الله تعالى، وأما ما أثبته للشيطان فإنما هو العلم المكتسب عن طريق الحواس

أما على وجه التفصيل فأقول أولا: لم يثبت العلامة السهارنپوري العلم المحيط بالأرض للشيطان كما زعمه البريلوي، وإنما أثبت للشيطان سعة العلم بأمور الدنيا بناء على الأدلة التي أوردها خصمه مولانا الرامپوري فى ‘الأنوار الساطعة’، وأنكر القول بإثبات ‘العلم المحيط بالأرض’ للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بناء على قياس أفضليته. فهذه هي عبارة السهارنپوري [الحاصل: ينبغي أن يتأمل: إثبات العلم المحيط بالدنيا لفخر العالم (صلى الله عليه وسلم) نظرا إلى حال الشيطان وملك الموت ومخالفة للنصوص القطعية بلا دليل وانطلاقا من قياس فاسد: إن لم يكن شركا فمن أي حصة الإيمان هو؟!] (البراهين، ص. ٥٥) وحال الشيطان وملك الموت التي يتكلم عنها هي ما أثبتها الرامپوري من سعة علمهما بأمور الدنيا، لا العلم المحيط، فإن الشيخ السهارنپوري لم يثبت مثل هذا العلم للشيطان قطعا.
ثم ينبغي للقارئ أن يتأمل: ما هو الجواب العام الذي أورده السهارنپوري على القياس المذكور؟ حتى يتمكن من الفهم الصحيح لمراد السهارنپوري من هذه العبارات. والحديث في هذا الجواب العام هو الذي استغرق معظم كلامه في هذا البحث، ولم يتعرض له البريلوي أصلا، فإن فيه ما يفضح تلبيساته وتحريفاته لكلام السهارنپوري

يقول السهارنپوري أولا ردا على قول الرامپوري: العالم أكبر بكبير من مجالس المولد إلخ: إن عقيدة الأمة الإسلامية هي أن العلم الذي آتاه الله تعالى الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم وغيره من المخلوقات، فإثبات أكثر منه ولو بأقل قليل هو من الشرك. قال تعالى: ‘وعنده مفاتح الغيب لا يعلمها إلا هو’. وجاء فى البحر الرائق والفتاوى الهندية ورد المحتار وغيرها من كتب الفقه أن من أشهد الله تعالى والرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم على نكاحه فقد كفر فإنه أثبت للرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم علم الغيب. وهذا إنما في إثبات العلم بمجلس النكاح، ولم يشترط أحد في كون هذا الإعتقاد كفرا أن يعتقد مساواة علمه بعلم الله تعالى كيفا وكما. من البراهين، ص. ٥٣

ثم قال السهارنپوري ردا على قول الرامپوري: عقيدة أهل السنة هي أن الله تعالى يختص بما هو خاص له إلخ: بل إن عقيدة أهل السنة هي أنه لا توجد صفة من صفات الله تعالى فى الخلق أصلا، وأما ما آتاه الله تعالى خلقه من ظل صفاته كالسمع والبصر والقدرة والعلم فلا يمكن لأحد منهم أن يزيد فيه بشيء، فما آتاه الله الشيطان وملك الموت من السعة (في علم الدنيا) وما خلق الله الشمس والقمر عليه (من سعة نورهما) ليس في قدرة هؤلاء أن يزيدوا على ذلك من شيء، ولا يتوقف الفضيلة على قلة هذه الأشياء ولا كثرتها. كان موسى عليه السلام أفضل من الخضر عليه السلام، ومع هذا لم يكن عنده ما كان عند الخضر من علم الكشف، وبالتالي لم يكن في قدرة الخضر أن يزيد على ما قد أوتيه من علم الكشف. من البراهين، ص. ٥٤-٥٥

ثم قال السهارنپوري ردا على قول الرامپوري: أما العلم بجميع الأمكنة على ظهر الأرض فليس هذا مما يختص به الله سبحانه إلخ: الذي يختص الله تعالى به في صفة علمه هو كون علمه ذاتيا وحقيقيا، ولازم كون صفة علمه هكذا: إحاطة علمه بكل شيء. أما علم جميع المخلوقات فهو مجازي ظلي، فإنه مستفاد من الله تعالى على قدر العطاء. فحضور الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم في أعلى العليين وكونه أفضل من ملك الموت لا يثبت به البتة كون علمه مثل علم ملك الموت أو أكثر منه في هذه الأمور. وإثبات هذا العلم بناء على القياس هو جهل إن لم يكن شركا. من ص. ٥٦

هذا كله من كلام السهارنپوري، ولم أزد فيه شيئا من نفسي

فيرى القارئ الكريم أن ما يعتبره العلامة السهارنپوري من الشرك هو: إثبات العلم بشيء ما لمن لم يثبت له العلم به من طريق المشهادة أو من طريق الدلائل الصريحة النقلية، فإن إثبات مثل هذا العلم له هو إثبات العلم الذاتي الغير المكتسب لذلك الشخص، وهو خاص بالله تعالى ولا يشاركه فيه أحد. وإثباته بناء على كونه أفضل ممن ثبت له العلم بالشيء الفلاني، لا من طريق إثبات اكتسابه بالأدلة المعتبرة، هو من الشرك، فإن حاصله أن له علما ذاتيا غير مكتسب. هذا هو حاصل رد السهارنپوري على الرامپوري، وهو رد علمي دقيق

إنما أثبت السهارنپوري العلم المكتسب للشيطان، فقال في ص٥٤: [السعة التي أوتيها الشيطان وملك الموت]، وقال بعد أسطر: [وحال هذه السعة فى العلم التي أوتيها الشيطان وملك الموت قد ثبتت بطريق المشاهدة والنصوص القطعية] (البراهين، ص. ٥٥) فانظر كلمة: [أوتيها]. تنبيه: وليلاحظ القارئ وجود اسم الإشارة ‘هذه’ (بالأردوية: ‘يه’)، وهو يرجع إلى العلم بأمور الدنيا لا العلم المطلق كما زعمه البريلوي، وكما بيناه فى الجواب عن الإتهام الأول

وقد صرح العلامة السهارنپوري بأن مراده في إثبات الشرك لمن يعتقد العلم المحيط بالدنيا للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إنما هو لمن يعتقد كون هذا العلم علما ذاتيا. فقال السهارپوري عند اختتام بحثه هذا: [وهذا البحث إنما هو فيمن يعتقد أن لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم علما ذاتيا كما هو عقيدة الجهلاء، أما من يعتقد هذا وقال هو بإطلاع الله عليه فهو ليس بشرك ولكن لا يصح هذا القول بغير دليل يعتبر فى الشرع] من البراهين، ص. ٥٧)

فهل علينا أن نطول الكلام بعد تصريح السهارنپوري هذا؟

الجواب عن الإتهام الثالث

أما زعم البريلوي أن العلامة السهارنپوري طالب النص القطعي في إثبات علم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وتمسك بما لا أصل له في نفيه، فالجواب عنه أنه إنما أتى بحديث [ما أعلم ما خلف جداري هذا] تمثيلا لا حصرا، فادعى السهارنپوري أنه ثبت عدم إحاطة علمه الشريف صلوات الله عليه وسلامه بجميع الأمور الدنيوية بدلائل كثيرة ، وأتى بهذا الحديث تمثيلا بعد ما أورد آية من القرآن وهي قوله تعالى: [قل…وما أدري ما يفعل بي ولا بكم] (البراهين، ص.٥٥) والآية قطعية، وهي تفيد عند جمع من العلماء عدم علمه صلى الله عليه وسلم بما يفعل به على سبيل التفصيل وإن كان عنده العلم به على سبيل الإجمال. وهناك أدلة كثيرة التي تدل على عدم إحاطة علمه الشريف بجميع الحوادث الدنيوية كما لا يخفى على أهل العلم

الجواب عن الإتهام الرابع

أما قول البريلوي أن العلامة السهارنپوري كذب على الشيخ عبد الحق المحدث الدهلوي في نسبة رواية هذا الحديث إليه، حيث لم يروه الشيخ عبد الحق، بل نقله للرد عليه والطعن فيه، فالجواب عنه أن العلامة السهارنپوري إنما قال: [وروى الشيخ عبد الحق: ((ما أعلم ما خلف جداري هذا))] (البراهين، ص.٥٥) ولم يحل على كتاب معين للشيخ المذكور. وما نقله البريلوي من كلام الشيخ عبد الحق إنما هو من كتابه مدارج النبوة

والحقيقة أن العلامة السهارنپوري لم ينقل من كتابه هذا كما توهمه البريلوي، وإنما نقل عن شرحه على مشكاة المصابيح المسمى ب’أشعة اللمعات’، فعند حديث المشكاة: [ألا تتقى الله؟! ألا ترى كيف تصلي؟ إنكم ترون أنه يخفى علي شيء مما تصنعون. والله إني لأرى من خلفي كما أرى من بين يدي!] قال الشيخ عبد الحق ما ترجمته بالعربية: [ليعلم أن رؤية الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم أمامه وخلفه إنما وقع بطريق خرق العادة، من الوحي والإلهام، وإنما وقع في بعض الأحيان لا على سبيل الإستمرار، ويؤيده ما جاء فى الحديث أنه لما ضل ناقته ولم يدر مكانه قال المنافقون: زعم محمد (صلى الله عليه وسلم) أنه يأتي بأخبار السماء ولم يدر مكان ناقته. فقال الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم: والله ما أعلم إلا ما علمني الله تعالى، وقد أخبرني الله أن ناقتي هي فى الشعب كذا وقد تعلق زمامها بشجرة. وقال صلى الله عليه وسلم أيضا: إنما أنا بشر، ما أعلم ما خلف جداري هذا. يعني: من غير إعلام الله تعالى إياي] من أشعة اللمعات، ج١ ص٣٩٢

ففي هذا الكتاب قد أرود هذا الحديث الشيخ عبد الحق في معرض الإحتجاج ولم يطعن فيه. وقال العلامة السخاوي عن هذا الحديث: [حديث: ما أعلم ما خلف جداري هذا، قال شيخنا (أي: الحافظ ابن حجر العسقلاني): لا أصل له، قلت: ولكنه قال في تلخيص تخريج الرافعي عند قوله فى الخصائص: ويرى من وراء ظهره كما يرى من قدامه: هو فى الصحيحين وغيرهما من حديث أنس وغيره، والأحاديث الواردة في ذلك مقيدة بحالة الصلاة، وبذلك جمع بينه وبين قوله: لا أعلم ما وراء جداري. انتهى. وهذا مشعر بوروده] من المقاصد الحسنة، دار الكتب العلمية، ص٣٥٩

فلم يكذب السهارنپوري في نسبة رواية الحديث إلى الشيخ عبد الحق، والحمد لله تعالى

ولا غرابة في معنى هذا الحديث وإن لم يثبت، وقد جاء معناه في غيره من الأحاديث. منه ما جاء فى الصحيحين: [اطلع رجل من جحر في حجر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، ومع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مدرى يحك به رأسه، فقال: «لو أعلم أنك تنظر، لطعنت به في عينك، إنما جعل الاستئذان من أجل  البصر»]، ففيه أنه لم يكن مطلعا على اطلاع هذا الرجل من الجحر مع كونه وراء الجدار

وهذا القدر يكفي للمنصف فى الجواب عن اتهامات البريلوي على العلامة السهارنپوري – بإذن الله تبارك وتعالى


Another Example of Abu Hasan’s Distortions

February 5, 2013

Another Example of Abu Hasan’s Distortions

There is a common claim made by the Barelwis that Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri/Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi in Barahin Qati‘ah compared the mawlid celebration to Hindu and Rafidi festivals. This false allegation was answered by Mawlana Saharanpuri in al-Muhannad.

Abu Hasan, whose deceptions and distortions have been documented here before, also makes this claim. He says:

comparing celebration of mawlid an-nabiy, to hindus (or worse) commemorating birthday of krishna. barahin, pg.152
then, this repeated celebration of birthday [of the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam] is similar to the gathering[1] of hindus, celebrating the birthday of krishna [2]; or similar to the rafidis who narrate the story of the martyrdom of ahl al-bayt every year; [we seek Allah’s refuge] ma’adhAllah! this is would be equivalent of play-acting [saang] the birth of the Prophet sallALlahu alayhi wa sallam. and this ugly act is in itself worthy of blame and haram [forbidden] and corruption [fisq].

rather, these people are worse than those communities [3] because, they do it on a specific date, and here they have no restriction – they do it whenever they like.
 
http://www.sunniport.com/masabih/showpost.php?p=33166&postcount=4

Apart from failing to mention the context of this statement, he also distorts the meaning of the passage.

The whole section of Barahin here, from p. 151 onwards, is a quotation of a fatwa from Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, in reply to a question specifically on standing (Qiyam) at the mention of the birth of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam). It is NOT about the mawlid in general.

He first explains in quite some detail that this practice (i.e. standing at the mention of the birth) is not found in the pious early generations, thus to consider it an act of religion constitutes bid‘ah.

Then he moves on to some of the “justifications” given for standing at this moment, where he says:

Alhasil qiyam waqt zikr e wiladat ki ya yeh wajh he

“In sum, standing at the moment of the mention of the birth either has the justification that…”

He mentions two such justifications: mawdu hadiths, and statements/actions of the pious, and explains that both of these are invalid proofs in the Shari‘ah.

And then he says:

Ya yeh wajh he ke ruh pak ‘alayhissalam ki ‘alam e arwah se ‘alam e shahadat meh tashrif lae is ki tazim ko qiyam he to yeh bhi mahz hamaqat he kyun ke is wajh meh qiyam kurna waqt wuqu wiladat sharifah ke hona chahiyeh ab hur roz konsi wiladat mukarrar hoti he? Pus yeh hur roz iadah wiladat ka to misl hunud keh sang kanhaya…

“Or the justification is that the pure spirit [of the Prophet] (upon him peace) came from the world of spirits to the world of seeing, so in reverence of this, one stands. This too is pure idiocy because in this justification, standing is to be done at the moment of the noble birth. Now, each day, which birth is being repeated? Thus, the re-enactment of birth is like the festival of Kanhaya of the Hindus…” (p. 152)

He is basically saying that one of the ways these people justify this practice is that at the moment of the birth of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam), his blessed soul arrived from the world of spirits to the present world, so we should stand at his arrival. But Mawlana Rashid Ahmad retorts that this would only be valid at the moment of his birth not at the mention of his birth. And to re-enact his birth and then to behave as though he is being born (by standing at his arrival) is similar to the practice of the Hindus and Rafidis.

He then goes on to say: “There is no precedent in the Shari‘ah for this, that some supposed matter is enacted and treated in the manner of reality; rather this is haram in the Shari‘ah.”

Aur is amr ki Shar meh kehin nazir nahin keh koi amr farzi thera kur haqiqat ka muamalah is ka sath kiya jaye, bulkeh yeh shar meh haram hey

It is clear, therefore, that in this passage, Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi is merely challenging one of the justifications given for the Qiyam at the mention of the birth of Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam). This justification is invalid, he says, because the birth does not recur in these days, so one cannot behave as though the birth is happening – as this has no precedent in the Shari‘ah and would be similar to the festivals of non-Muslims.

Now consider what Mawlana Gangohi actually said, and the way in which Abu Hasan distorted his statement to say: “then, this repeated celebration of birthday [of the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam] is similar to the gathering[1] of hindus.”

Notice, he starts his translation of the passage midway so the reader does not understand that Mawlana Gangohi is talking about the Qiyam, and not mawlid. Moreover, nowhere does Mawlana Gangohi say “the repeated celebration of birthday.” He is referring to the re-enactment of the birth. When he says “hur roz iadah wiladat” (repetition of the birth everyday), he is NOT talking about “celebrating” the birthday, but about envisioning a recurrence of the actual birth of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam). “Wiladat” here does not mean the “mawlid celebration” but the event of the birth of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) itself.

Thus, as is routine with Abu Hasan – and his Barelwi brethren – not only does he not mention the context of the passage in question, but in order to make it fit with what he is trying to put in the author’s mouth, he also distorts it from its original meaning.


The Decisive Debate – Mawlana Manzur Nu’mani

March 20, 2012

At last, the book Faysala Kun Munazara has been translated into English by a sincere brother. The work fully refutes the false accusations against the four Deobandi scholars, in a comprehensive manner. The PDF link: http://ukkhuddam.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/fayslah-kun-munazarah-updated-translation.pdf

Note from the Translator

Fayslah Kun Munazarah, first printed in 1933 CE, is a thorough rebuttal of the verdicts of disbelief against four senior scholars of the Deobandi School as presented in Husam al-Haramayn of Mawlawi Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi. Sufficient details about the book are given in the author’s introduction below. Due to the paucity of material on the subject in the English language, many Muslims in the English-speaking world were easily swayed towards the view propounded in Husam al-Haramayn due to the vigour with which the fatwa is propagated by its English-speaking proponents and the gravity of the allegations made. The book translated here provides a balanced, level-headed, point-by-point critique of the fatwa in simple and easy-to-understand language, demonstrating with complete clarity the deception of the original accusations against the Deobandi elders and their innocence from the heresies ascribed to them. Sincere readers who have been exposed to the allegations will now have the opportunity to assess the validity of such claims. Allah, Most Exalted, commands in the Glorious Qur’an: “O you who believe, if a sinful person brings you a report, verify its correctness, lest you should harm a people out of ignorance, and then become remorseful on what you did.” (49:6)

Born in 1323 H/1905 CE, the author of the book, Mawlana Muhammad Manzur Ahmad Nu‘mani (Allah have mercy on him), graduated from India’s leading Islamic seminary, Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband, in the year 1346 H/1927 CE. At the madrasah, he studied under such luminaries as Imam al-‘Asr ‘Allamah Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri and other major scholars of hadith and fiqh from the Indian subcontinent. Upon graduating, he returned to his hometown of Sunbhul and began serving the Muslim community there. In the period following his studies, he was also actively engaged in debates against various groups, particularly the Barelwi group which had instigated a tragic fitnah of takfir that had spread throughout India. With meticulous research and lucid speech, he composed many comprehensive works related to these groups, the work translated here being one of them. Within a few years of graduating from Deoband, he also established a monthly journal, al-Furqan, which gained wide popularity. His pledge in the spiritual path was to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir Raipuri (1295 – 1382 H). He passed away in the year 1417 H/ 1997 CE. He authored a number of works on hadith, tasawwuf, politics and other topics, and he left behind a lasting legacy in the field of da‘wah and tabligh.

Zameelur Rahman Rabi‘ al-Thani 1433 H/March 2012


Defending Ml. Ashraf Ali and Ml. Khalil Ahmad

January 24, 2012

Below is a review by a brother on the article of Sh. Nuh Keller. The article below was found on a forum:

Recently I came across the first review of Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi’s Deobandi takfir by someone we could all call neutral. This post is in reference to Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller’s article “Iman, Kufr, and Takfir.”

The Sheikh needs to be congratulated for taking an initial bold step for opening the door for further dialogue on an issue that deeply divides the Ahl Al-Sunnah of the Indian sub-continent. It should be remembered that our role here is not to criticize the respected Sheikh in the way people on this website are presently doing. Sadly many people there are jumping on the takfiri bandwagon – as is their methodology and minhaj – and brutishly making extremely outlandish and heartrending claims.

However, there are a few points that have most likely been unintentionally missed by Sheikh Nuh in his article. A natural occurrence since Sheikh Nuh, not knowing Urdu, is limited in his access to books and texts concerning the Barelwi’s takfir of the Akabir. Sheikh Nuh has had to resort to brief translated pieces of “relevant” texts to write his article – this point will, insha Allah, become clearer when one completes reading this post.

If the points missed by Sheikh Nuh had been mentioned then the article would have been impartial, understandable and acceptable. I expect that the esteemed Sheikh will agree with me on this and I hope his Urdu-speaking murids will bring these discrepancies to his notice. In total there are three main points, among many others, that need to be understood:

1. First and foremost, Sheikh Nuh has failed to mention the seventh disputed Aqida issue between the Deobandis and Barelwis. This is a core issue and is still very dear and near to present day Barelwis.

It forms the basis of Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan’s declaration – as mentioned in his book Husam al-Haramayn (Sword of the Meccan and Medinan Sanctuaries) – that Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi (the founder of Darul Uloom Deoband) was an infidel (kafir).

In order to prove his point, Molwi Ahmed Raza Khan quotes a statement, which he alleges is from Mawlana Nanotwi’s book Tahdhir Al-Naas. According to Molwi Ahmed Raza Khan’s quote, the respected Mawlana Nanotwi denied the finality of the Messenger of Allah’s prophet hood (khatm-e-nubuwwat).

In reality this statement does not appear anywhere in Mawlana Nanotwi’s book. On rigorous analysis of the book, it comes to light – as has been shown by many Ulamah in many of their books (all generally in Urdu) – that the statement that Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan quoted had been concocted from three different passages from three different pages of Tahdhi Al-Naas. These texts had been rearranged to give a meaning that Molvi Ahemd Raza Khan then used to level charges of infidelity (takfir) against the founder of Darul Uloom Deoband – Subhanallah.

The question remains whether this could be condoned as a “mistake,” a “mistranslation” or a “misinterpretation”? Could such a blatant mistake stem from the author of a book like Al-Dawla Al-Makkiyya Bi Al-Madda Al-Ghaybiyya?

Nay, the text used by Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan was a total forgery, distortion of the truth and fraud. Dear reader, is it permissible to commit such a crime of misrepresentation while claiming this was done out of love of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings upon Him)?

I leave this issue without comment. It is self-evident for anyone with a grain of faith to decide for him or her self what motivated Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan to commit the grossest of takfir.

2. The second issue is related to Hadhrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri.

Prior to discussing this issue in detail it should be made extremely clear that Hadhrat Saharanpuri has stated clearly in black and white:

“That no creature has received what the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be on him) has received in the knowledge of the first and the last, whether angel brought near or Prophet-Messenger. But, this does not entail knowledge of every specific detail of the lower world.” (Al-Muhannad p.38)

It should also be known that Hadhrat Khalil Ahmed Sahranpuri’s book “Baraahin-e-Qatiah” is not an independent book by itself but rather a refutation of a book entitled “Anwaar-e-Saatiah” by Molvi Abdus Sami Rampuri – a follower of Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan. Baraahin has been written in the traditional style of polemics (munazara), in that it contains both the text of Molvi Rampuri and then Hadhrat Sahranpuri’s refutation thereafter clarifying the position of Ahl Al-Sunnat Ahl-e-Deoband. This clarification is necessary to answer the specific issues raised by Sheikh Nuh and thus avoiding confusion and generalizations. Incidentally, Sheikh Nuh is under the impression that Hadhrat Saharanpuri is referring to Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan when in fact Hadhrat Sahranpuri is referring to Molvi Abdus Sami.

In his book “Anwaar-e-Saatiah,” Molvi Abdus Sami mentions an extremely outlandish and strange analogy as an argument to prove that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) is Alim Al-Ghayb (knower of the unseen). Molvi Abdu Sami mentions that since Satan and the Angel of Death know the unseen (ghayb) wherever they are, and since the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) is of greater merit than Satan and the Angel of Death then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) must also possess knowledge of the unseen.

To support his claims, Molvi Abdus Sami fails to provide proof from Quraan, Hadith and also from the sayings of previous scholars (as there are none) but rather bases his argument on this strange analogy (qiyas).

Naturally, Hadhrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmed Sahranpuri’s response is going to include the analogy of Molvi Abdus Sami Rampuri and this would entail the mentioning of Satan and the Angel of Death. Remember Baraahin-e-Qatiah has been written in the traditional style of polemics (munazara).

Hadhrat Saharanpuri mentions that the knowledge of Satan and the Angel of Death is “ilm-e-muheet-e-zamin” (a knowledge that comprises of earthly things) – Hadhrat Saharanpuri mentions that we know that Satan and the Angel of Death have this ilm through proofs from the Quran and the narrations of the blessed Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Hadhrat Saharanpuri further mentions that similar proofs cannot be realized in relation to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

So Sheikh Nuh’s argument that “Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri’s disadvantageously comparing the Prophet’s knowledge (Allah bless him and give him peace) to Satan’s” does not hold true because Hadhrat Sahranpuri is not making a comparison rather he is answering an argument forwarded by Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan Baraelwi’s student who had made such a claim. And this also only is knowledge related to the lower world.

Sheikh Nuh says: “In sum, Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri’s disadvantageously comparing the Prophet’s knowledge (Allah bless him and give him peace) to Satan’s, the vilest creature in existence—regardless of the point he was making—is something few Muslims can accept.” Shaykh Nuh further says that “he badly stumbled in this passage. In any previous Islamic community, whether in Hyderabad, Kabul, Baghdad, Cairo, Fez, or Damascus—in short, practically anywhere besides the British India of his day—Muslims would have found his words repugnant and unacceptable.”

Shame that Sheikh Nuh was relying on translated sections to make his conclusions and therefore make the mistake of making inappropriate conclusions – Subhanallah. If he had been able to access the entire book in Urdu then he would have realized that Hadhrat Saharanpuri was not making the comparison – the comparison had been made by the student of Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan and that Hadhrat Saharanpuri was clarifying the matter.

3. Lastly and most importantly, Sheikh Nuh mentions a statement of Hadhrat Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi.

When Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi’s comments relating to Hadhrat Thanawi’s text in Hifdh Al-Iman was shown to Hakim Al-Ummat, he (Hadhrat Thanawi) strongly rejected Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan’s “interpretation” and commented that he could not even dream of thinking such a repugnant (khabees) thing about the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Hadhrat Thanawi himself said that if anyone was to believe and directly or indirectly agreed with what Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan had understood/misunderstood from his text then he (Hakim Al-Ummat) would, in accordance with the rulings of Shariah, consider such a person to be outside the pale of Islam for denigrating the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). This is a documented comment of Hakim Al-Ummat.

In addition to this, with an aim of making his statement more clear and understandable, Hakim Al-Ummat twice made changes in the text so as there would be no ambiguity left in the text. Thereafter, the text read as follows:

“Aap ki zhat-e-muqqadasa par alim-e-ghayab ka hukaum keya jana agar baqol Zayd sahih ho to daryafet taleb yay amr hah keh iss ghayab seymurad ba’az ghayab hay ya kul ghayab. Agar ba’az uloom-e-ghayabiya muradhain to iss mey huzoor sallalaho alhey wasalam ki keya takhsees hay?///Mutlaq ba’az uloom-e-ghayabiya to ghair Ambiya ahlehimussalam ko bih hasil hain/// to chaheyay keh sub ko alim ul ghayab kaha jaway.” (Bast Al-Banan — forward slashes mark changes made to text by Hakim Al-Ummat)

Trans: “If it refers to but some of the unseen, then how is the Revered One [the Prophet] (Allah bless him and give him peace) uniquely special? Certain knowledge of unseen is possessed by the non-prophets also, so everyone should be called ‘knower of the unseen…’”

Hadhrat Hakim Al-Ummat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi made it also extremely clear that no one was to publish the old text of Hifdh Al-Iman (the one that Sheikh Nuh has published) after the changes had been made. These changes were done in the lifetime of Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan. Subsequently two books were written by Hakim Al-Ummat – Bast Al-Banan Li Kaff Al-Lisan An Kitab Hifdh Al-Iman (1329AH) and Tagyir Al-Unwan Fi Ba’di Ibarat Hifdh Al-Iman (1342AH).

Hence, to insist on this issue after clarification and removal of the statement is extremely strange. Keeping all these details in mind it becomes clearer that the Baraelwi takfir was totally wrong.

With regards to these “repugnant” texts, Sheikh Nuh mentions in his paper that “looking back, one cannot help wondering why Khalil Ahmad’s and Ashraf Ali Thanawi’s own students and teachers and friends did not ask them, before their opponents asked them.” This is a bold statement for one who has had to rely on selected translated texts in order to substantiate and critique the issue at hand. Fundamentally, Sheikh Nuh and at that other non-Urdu speaking Ulamah who wish to review this issue would not be able to give full justice to the topic by relying solely on translations of selected texts. The above few words hopefully clarify the matters involved, insha Allah.

These are briefly just some of the issues that spring to mind with regards Sheikh Nuh’s piece. Deobandis should be rest assured that the Akabir were on the true path and were not mistaken in anyway. Urdu is a must to understand the Deobandi-Barelwi issue. In the least, Sheikh Nuh could have rechecked his paper and the conclusions he had reached with the leading Deobandi scholars he is in contact with. We live in a global village, the Ulamah are only a telephone call away.

Finally, finishing off it should be noted that the purpose of this paper is not to denigrate Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller or any other Ulamah in any way. A prolonged and exhaustive reading into the issue by referring to relevant texts and then posing questions to contemporary Deobandi Ulamah would have made Sheikh Nuh’s more decisive.

Selected reading:

– Ghayat Al-Ma’mul by the Mufti of the Shafi’is in Madinah – Sayyid Ahmed Al-Barzanji. This book was written in refutation of Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan’s views on Ilm Al-Ghayb.

– Al-Sahm Al-Ghayb Fi Kabd Ahl Al-Rayb by Hadhrat Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri. This work has been mentioned by Sheikh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah in his editing of Allamah Kashmiri’s book Al-Tasreeh Bima Tawatur Fi Nuzul Al-Masih.

– Mut’ala-e-Barelwiyyat (Study on the Barelvi’s) by Allamah Dr Khalid Mahmud.

– Al-Shihab Al-Thaqib Ala Al-Mustariq Al-Kadhib in 3 volumes by Mawlana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani.

– Izalat Al-Rayb An Aqeeda Ilm Al-Ghayb by Maulana Abu Zahid Muhammad Sarfraz Khan, Shaykhul-Hadith in Madrasa Nusratul-Ulum, Gujranwala, Pakistan.

– Deoband Awr Barelwi Ke Ikhtilaf-i-Niza Par Faisalakun Munazarah by Mawlana Manzur Nomani.

– Fath Bareilly Ka Dilkash Nazarah by Mawlana Manzur Nomani.

– Sa’eeqa Asmaani by Mawlana Manzur Nomani


Iblis has more Knowledge than the Prophet (upon him be peace)?

January 23, 2012

Question:

Do you say that the knowledge of the Prophet (upon him be peace) is limited only to the laws of the Shari‘ah or was he given knowledge pertaining to the Essence, Attributes and Acts of the Maker (Exalted is His Name), the hidden secrets (al-asrar al-khafiyyah), the divine judgement (al-hukm al-ilahiyyah) and other than of that of which none from creation, whoever he may be, reached the pavilions of his knowledge?

Answer:
We say with the tongue and we believe in the heart that our master, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), is the most knowledgeable of all creation, with sciences pertaining to the Essence and Attributes [of Allah], legislations (tashri‘at), of the practical rules and the theoretical rules, the true realties and the hidden secrets, and other sciences, that none from creation reached the pavilions of his courtyard, neither an angel brought nigh nor a messenger sent.

Indeed he was given the knowledge of the first and the last and Allah’s grace upon him was immense (Qur’an 4:113). However, this does not entail knowledge of every particular from the temporal matters in every moment from the moments of time, such that the concealment of part of it from his noble vision and his exalted knowledge harms his (upon him be peace) being the most learned of all creation, and [harms] the extensiveness of his knowledge and the excellence of his cognizance, even if one other than him from creatures and servants becomes cognizant of it. Sulayman (upon him be peace) being the most learned [in his time] was not harmed by the concealment [from him] of what Hudhud had comprehended of strange incidents, as it says in the Qur’an, “He said: I comprehend that which you do not comprehend and I have brought to you a sure information from Sheba” (Qur’an 27:22).

Question:

Do you believe that Iblis, the accursed, is more knowledgeable than the Chief Existent (upon him be peace) and has more expansive knowledge than him in absolute terms? Have you written this in a book? And how do you judge one who believes this?

Answer:

A review of this issue preceded from us, that the Prophet (upon him be peace) is the most knowledgeable of creation in general, of the sciences, the judgement, the secrets and other than that from the Kingdom of the Horizons, and we believe with certainty that one who says that so-and-so person is more knowledgeable than the Prophet (upon him be peace) has disbelieved. Our elders have given the verdict of disbelief for one who says that Iblis, the accursed, is more knowledgeable than the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), so how is it possible that this matter is in a certain book we authored?

However, the concealment of some insignificant particular things from the Prophet (upon him be peace) due to his inattention to it does not cause any defect in his (upon him be peace) being the most learned once it is established that he is the most knowledgeable of creation of the noble sciences that are fitting to his lofty station, just as cognizance of most of those insignificant things due to the intensity of Iblis’s attention to them does not cause glory and perfection of knowledge in him, since this is not the criterion of virtue. Hereof, it is not correct to say that Iblis is more knowledgeable than the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) just as it is not correct to say about a child who knows some particulars that he is more knowledgeable than an erudite research scholar in the sciences from whom those particulars are hidden. We have recited unto you the story of Hudhud with Sulayman (upon our Prophet and upon him be peace) and his statement, “I comprehend that which you do not comprehend.” The records of hadith and the books of tafsir are replete with abundant examples of this which are well-known amongst people.

The physicians are agreed that Plato and Galen and their likes are from the most knowledgeable of physicians about the qualities of diseases and their states, despite their knowledge that maggots are more knowledgeable about states of filth, their taste and their qualities. Hence, the absence of Plato’s and Galen’s knowledge of these despicable states does not harm their being the most learned, and none from the intelligent and the stupid will be satisfied with the view that maggots are more knowledgeable than Plato, although they have more extensive knowledge than Plato about the states of filth. The innovators of our lands affirm for the blessed prophetic soul (upon it a million greetings and peace) all the sciences of the base lowly things and the lofty virtuous things, saying that since he (upon him be peace) was the best of all creation, it is necessary that he possesses all of those sciences, every particular and every universal. We rejected the establishment of this matter using this corrupt analogy without a proof-text from the relied upon texts. Do you not see that every believer is more virtuous and more honourable than Iblis so following this logic it would be necessary that every person from the individuals of this ummah possesses the sciences of Iblis, and it would be necessary that Sulayman (upon our Prophet and upon him be peace) knew that which Hudhud knew, and that Plato and Galen knew all the knowledge of maggots? These concomitants are absurd in their entirety as is obvious.

This is a summary of what we said in al-Barahin al-Qati‘ah in order to sever the veins of the foolish deviants and break the necks of the forging deceivers. Hence, our discussion about it was only in regards to some of these temporal particulars, and for this reason we used the demonstrative noun to indicate that the objective in affirmation and negation there was those particulars, and nothing besides [them]. However, the iniquitous distort the speech and do not fear the reckoning of the Knowing King. We are certain that those who say that so-and-so individual is more knowledgeable than the Prophet (upon him be peace) is a disbeliever, as more than one of our respected ‘ulama stated. And whoever concocts about us that which we did not say, upon him is [the burden of] proof, [and he should] fear the interrogation before the Recompensing King. Allah is witness over what we say.

Al-Muhannad ‘ala l-Mufannad ya‘ni ‘Aqa’id ‘Ulama Ahl al-Sunnah Deoband, pp. 55-60