Meaning of Bid‘ah – Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī

June 21, 2019

In a polemic against a Barelwī writer, Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī (1905 – 1997) wrote on the meaning of bid‘ah in Sayf e Yamānī (a work written in 1930, endorsed by leading Deobandī scholars, including Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī and ‘Allāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad al-‘Uthmānī):

Linguistically, bid‘ah refers to something new, and in the terminology of the ‘Ulamā’ of Sharī‘ah, the term is used for two meanings: one, every action which came into existence after the time of Janāb Rasūlullāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) and was not present in his time – in which case this action in view of Sharī‘ah can at times be good and at times bad; second, anything that is not from matters of dīn and people begin to regard it as a matter of dīn – this is also called “real bid‘ah” or “legal bid‘ah”, and such bid‘ah is always blameworthy. Our Prophet, the commander and forbidder, upon him and his progeny blessing and peace, said:

من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد

“Whoever introduces into this matter of ours what is not from it, it is rejected.”

It should also be understood that the ‘Ulamā’ who divided bid‘ah into two categories of “good” and “bad”, their intent is the first meaning of bid‘ah, about which we have mentioned that in view of Sharī‘ah it can at times be good and at times bad. Those noble ‘Ulamā’ who have unrestricetedly censured bid‘ah and determine all bid‘ahs to be bad, their intent is this latter meaning, and based on this, the Messenger of God (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) said:

كل بدعة ضلالة وكل ضلالة فى النار

“Every bid‘ah is deviance and every deviance is in the Hellfire.”

Thus there is no contradiction between the two statements, and in fact those who regard them to be contradictory and opposing are pure ignoramuses.

Yes, keeping in mind the attitude of the commoners in our time, it is an obligation of the ‘Ulamā’ of the Ummah to adopt this latter methodology and not open the door of deviance by dividing bid‘ah. Thus, possessors of foresight from the earlier scholars adopted this [methodology]. Imām Rabbānī Maḥbūb Subḥānī Ḥaḍrat Sayyid Aḥmad Ṣāḥib Mujaddid Alf Thanī (Allāh have mercy on him) wrote in his Maktūbāt:

“People say that bid‘has are two categories: good and bad. Good refers to the good action that was invented after the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) and the rightly-guided caliphs (Allāh be pleased with them), and does not remove a Sunnah, while bad is what removes a Sunnah. This Faqīr does not see goodness and illumination in these bid‘ahs, and does not sense anything besides darkness and murkiness in them.”

Then he said, and how brilliant is what he said:

“The leader of man (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) has said that one who introduces into dīn what is not from it, it is rejected. How can something rejected be good?”

Further, he said:

“Since every new thing is bid‘ah and every bid‘ah is deviance, what is the meaning to bid‘ah being good? Further, it is realised from ḥadīths that each and every bid‘ah is a cause of removal of a Sunnah. No bid‘ah is exempted from this. Thus, every bid‘ah is deviance.” (Maktūbāt, volume 1, part 3, p 73)

In these holy Maktūbāt (letters), second volume, part 6, page 56, there is a long letter, the subject-matter of which is this [topic]. For the purpose of brevity, I will quote a few sentences of it below:

“However, this Faqīr does not agree with him on this matter and does not recognise any individual bid‘ah as ‘good’, and does not sense anything besides darkness and murkiness within bid‘ah. The Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) said: ‘Every bid‘ah is deviance.’ In this time, of Islām being strange and weak, safety is only in following Sunnah, and corruption comes from perpetrating bid‘ah, whatever bid‘ah it may be. This Faqīr recognises bid‘ah to be like a shovel, which renders the foundation of Islām fallen, and recognises Sunnah to be like bright stars which give guidance in the dark night of deviance. Allāh give direction to the ‘Ulamā of the time to not express with their tongue the word ‘good’ for any bid‘ah, and not give fatwā for the permissibility of any bid‘ah, even if that bid‘ah in their view appears to be like the light of a bright morning because Satanic deception gains great power in anything besides Sunnah.”

It is clearly evident from these statements of Ḥaḍrat Imām Rabbānī that according to him, this division of bid‘ah opens a very wide door to deviance, and at a time of trials, he regarded it as a major calamity for the Muslims particularly, and did not approve of it at all.

Moreover, this is also the methodology of ‘Allāmah Muḥaqqiq Sayyid Sharīf [al-Jurjānī], Khātam al-Ḥuffāẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī, ‘Allāmah Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī (Allāh, Exalted is He, have mercy on them). Thus, Khātam al-Muḥaqqiqīn Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Muḥammad ‘Abdul Ḥayy Ṣāḥib Firangī Maḥallī (Allāh illuminate his resting place) wrote in his book Tuḥfat al-Akhyār:

والقول الثاني وهو الأصح بالنظر الدقيق: أن حديث كل بدعة ضلالة باق على عمومه، وأن المراد به البدعة الشرعية، وهي ما لم يوجد فى القرون المشهود لها بالخير، ولم يوجد له أصل من الأصول الشرعية، ومن المعلوم أن كل ما كان على هذه الصفة فهو ضلالة قطعا، وإلى هذا القول مال السيد في شرح المشكوة، والحافظ ابن حجر فى الهدى الساري مقدمة فتح الباري، وفي فتح الباري، وابن حجر المكي فى الفتح المبين شرح الأربعين وغيرهم (تحفة الأخيار

“The second view, which is the more authentic upon closer scrutiny, is that the ḥadīth, ‘Every bidah is deviance’, remains on its generality, and the intent of it is legal bid‘ah, which is all that was not present in the eras whose virtue has been attested to, and does not have a basis from the bases of Sharī‘ah. It is obvious that everything with such characteristic is definitely deviance. Sayyid in Sharḥ al-Mishkāt, Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar in al-Huda al-Sārī introduction to Fatḥ al-Bārī and in Fatḥ al-Bārī and Ibn Ḥajar al-Makkī in al-Fatḥ al-Mubīn Sharḥ al-Arba‘īn and others have inclined to this view.”

(Sayf e Yamānī, p. 96-9)


Deobandī Position on the Mawlid – Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī

June 16, 2019

‘Azīz Aḥmad Kānpūrī, a Barelwī polemicist, wrote in a 1929 tract called ‘Aqā’id Wahhābiyyah Deobandiyyah: “According to Deobandī Wahhābīs*, Mīlād Sharīf is impermissible in all conditions even if it is in accordance with Sharī‘ah, and no Mīlād or ‘Urs is permissible. It is not permissible to participate in Mīlād Sharīf or ‘Urs. It states in Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah, vol. 3, p. 83: ‘It is impermissible in all conditions to hold a gathering of Mawlūd. It is forbidden on account of public invitation to something mandūb (recommended).’”

Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī responds in Sayf e Yamānī (See: here), a book written in 1930, endorsed by leading Deobandī scholars, including Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī and ‘Allāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad al-‘Uthmānī:

Allāh, the All-Knowing, All-Aware, is witness to the fact that according to us, the pure commemoration of the blessed birth of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) is a cause of mercy and a means of blessing just like other beautiful commemorations, and indeed commemorating the excrement of the Prophet, and even the sweat and urine of his camel, is without doubt a cause of reward. This is stated explicitly in many places of Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah. For the satisfaction of readers, we will cite only three passages from the first volume of Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah.

It states in the first volume of Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah, on page 70:

“No one forbids the commemoration of the birth itself.”

Similarly, it states on page 109 of the same volume:

“The commemoration of the birth itself is recommended. Its detestability occurs on account of restrictions.”

Then on page 142 of this volume it states:

“The commemoration of the birth of the Pride of the World (upon him blessing) itself is recommended. But on account of being attached to these restrictions, this function has become impermissible.”

It is clearly evident from each one of these passages that Mawlānā [Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī] Marḥūm would consider the commemoration of the birth of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) itself to be recommended and desirable, but would regard holding a function of Mīlād to be incorrect. If you are unable to distinguish the commemoration of the birth itself and holding a [specific annual] function, then this is a shortcoming in your understanding.

[Poem not translated]

It is indeed strange that those who cannot understand the difference between iṭlāq (an unrestricted action) and taqyīd (a restricted action) have a passion to criticise the speech of the ‘Ulamā’ of the Ummah and the righteous of the religious community. Readers, an example of this is exactly like someone who says: “A stolen sheep is ḥarām”, and some younger brother of the author of the treatise ‘Aqā’id Wahhābiyyah Deobandiyya, ‘Azīẓ Aḥmad Ṣāḥib, says: “According to him, even a sheep is ḥarām, the permissibility of which is proven from explicit text!”

Thus, in this manner it should be understood that the commemoration of the birth itself which holds the position of an unrestricted action (ilāq) is according to us something desirable, while holding [a Mīlād function], in the notion of which public invitation (tadā‘ī) and other emphases and specifications are included, and which holds the position of a restricted action (taqyīd), is according to us forbidden and incorrect. How can anyone object to this? Is not public invitation and other [ritual] emphases on something permissible or desirable reprehensible according to the Ḥanafī Fuqahā? It states in Muslim Sharīf that Ḥaḍrat ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar (Allāh be pleased with him) saw some people gathering for Ḍuḥā Ṣalāh with emphasis, and he described this practice of theirs as bid‘ah, even though Ḍuḥā Ṣalāh in itself is something desirable, on which ṣaḥīḥ ḥadīths have been transmitted.

It states in Musnad Imām Amad that Ḥaḍrat ‘Uthmān ibn Abi l-‘Āṣ (Allāh be pleased with him) was invited to a circumcision and he refused to go. Someone asked why. He said: “We would not go to circumcisions in the time of the Prophet and nor was there a practice of inviting people.” (Musnad, 4:217)

It is realised from these two ḥadīths that in [ritual] matters on which the Pure Sharī‘ah has not taught public invitation and other emphases, public invitation and emphasis on it is bid‘ah and forbidden. If there is sound intellect and a sense of fairness, all obscurities on the topic of Mīlād would be resolved from these few lines.

Further, even if this obvious difference between the commemoration of the birth itself and holding a [specific annual] function is ignored, even then, it is safer to not give permission for holding this function, to block the door (saddan li ‘l-bāb) [to evil], just as Ḥaḍrat Maḥbūb Subḥānī Quṭb Rabbānī Sayyidunā Shaykh Aḥmad al-Fārūqī Mujaddid Alf Thānī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him) wrote on this gathering of Mīlād:

“If recited such that distortion does not occur in Qur’ānic words and without the aforementioned [blameworthy] conditions being realised in the Qaṣa’id, and even that is with correct intention, what is there to prevent its allowance? Master! It comes to the mind of the Faqīr: If this door is not completely shut, the people of passion will not cease [taking advantage of it]. If a little is permitted, it will lead to much. There is a famous saying, ‘A little of it leads to much of it.’” (al-Maktūbāt)

Finally, I also wish to state that forbidding holding such a function is not specific to us or our Akābir, but for centuries, ‘Ulamā’ of Ahl al-Sunnah have been writing thus. Thus, ‘Allāmah Ibn al-Ḥājj [d. 737 AH], who Mawlawī Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Ṣāḥib referred to as “Imām” in Inbā’ al-Muṣṭafā, wrote in his famous book Madkhal:

ومن جملة ما أحدثوه من البدع مع اعتقادهم أن ذلك من أكبر العبادات وإظهار الشعائر ما يفعلونه فى الشهر الربيع الأول من المولد وقد احتوى ذلك على بدع ومحرمات

إلى أن قال:

وهذه المفاسد مترتبة على فعل المولد إذا عمل بالسماع فإن خلا منه وعمل طعاما فقط ونوى به المولد ودعا إليه الإخوان، وسلم من كل ما تقدم ذكره فهو بدعة بنفس نيته فقط، لأن ذلك زيادة فى الدين، وليس من عمل السلف الماضين واتباع السلف أولى (مدخل ابن الحاج، مطبوعة مصر، جلد أول، ص ٨٥)

“Amongst the bid‘ahs they have innovated – while believing that it is from the greatest of rituals – and has been publicised as a symbol [of the religion] is: the Mawlid that they practise in the month of Rabī‘ al-Awwal, which comprises of innovations and prohibited things…These harms are consequential upon the practice of Mawlid when practised with Samā‘. If [the Mawlid] is free of [Sama’], and one only prepares food intending the Mawlid, and calls friends to it, and it is free of all [the evils] that were mentioned earlier, it is a bid’ah by virtue of this intention alone because that is an addition in the Dīn and is not from the practice of the early Salaf, while obeying the Salaf is superior.”

It is clearly evident from the underlined part of this passage of Madkhal that if the function of Mīlād is devoid of other evils, even then, only because of holding a function with a specific emphasis, it is bid‘ah and not correct in Sharī‘ah. This is exactly what is mentioned in Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah.

Mawlānā ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Maghrībī wrote in his Fatāwā;

إن عمل المولد بدعة لم يقل به ولم يفعله رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والخلفاء والأئمة، كذا فى الشرعة الإلهية

“The practice of Mawlid is innovation, neither endorsed nor practised by the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), nor the Caliphs, nor the Imāms. This is stated in al-Shir‘at al-Ilāhiyyah.”

In Fatāwā Tufat al-Quāt of Qāḍī Shihāb al-Dīn [Aḥmad ibn ‘Umar] Dawlatābādī [d. 849 H], it states that Qāḍī Sāḥib was asked about the Mīlād function, and he said:

لا ينعقد لأنه محدث وكل محدث ضلالة وكل ضلالة فى النار

“It is not to be held because it is innovation, and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Fire.”

Mawlānā Naṣīruddīn al-Shāfī‘ī wrote in response to a questioner:

لا يفعل لأنه لم ينقل عن السلف الصالح، وإنما أحدث بعد القرون الثلاثة فى الزمان الطالح، ونحن لا نتبع الخلف فيما أهمل السلف، لأنه يكفى بهم الإتباع، فأي حاجة إلى الإبتداع؟!

“It is not to be done because it is not transmitted from the Salaf Sālih but it was invented after the first three generations in an impious time, and we do not follow the Khalaf in what the Salaf did not do, as they are sufficient for following, so what need is there to innovate?”

Shaykh al-Ḥanābilah ‘Allāmah Sharaf al-Dīn (Allāh have mercy on him) states:

إن ما يعمل بعض الأمراء في كل سنة احتفالا لمولده صلى الله عليه وسلم فمع اشتماله على التكلفات الشنيعة بنفسه بدعة أحدثه من يتبع هواه

“What some rulers do every year in celebration of his (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) birth, along with comprising of horrible formalities, it is bid‘ah itself, those following desires having invented it.”

From all these citations, it becomes as clear as the light of day that from an earlier time, ‘Ulamā’ of the four madhhabs did not look at this practice favourably. I wish to further quote a comprehensive passage from the book al-Qawl al-Mu‘tamad of ‘Allāmah Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Miṣrī. The aforementioned ‘Allāmah states:

ومع هذا قد اتفق علماء المذاهب الأربعة بذم هذا العمل، فممن يذمه: قال العلامة معز الدين حسن الخوارزمي في تاريخه: صاحب إربل الملك مظفر الدين أبو سعيد الكوكبري، كان ملكا مسرفا يأمر علماء زمانه أن يعملوا باستنباطهم واجتهادهم، ولا يتبعوا مذاهب غيرهم حتى مالت إليه جماعة من العلماء وطائفة من الفضلاء، وكان يحتفل لمولد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فى الربيع الأول، وهو أول من أحدث من الملوك هذا العمل.

“Along with this, ‘Ulamā’ of the four madhhabs have agreed on censuring this practice. From those that censured it: ‘Allāmah Mu‘izz al-Dīn Ḥasan al-Khawārizmī said in his Tārīkh: The king of Irbil, King Muẓaffar al-Dīn al-Kawkaburī [d. 630 AH]. He was an extravagant king; he would tell the ‘Ulamā’ of his time to operate on their own deductions and judgements, and not follow the madhhabs of others (i.e. just like Ghayr Muqallids); subsequently, a group of the ‘Ulamā’ and a section of the righteous tended towards him. He would celebrate the Mawlid of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him) in Rabī al-Awwal and was the first king to introduce this practice.”

Since at this juncture exhausting such passages is not the objective, I will suffice on these few. It should be kept in mind that the passages quoted up to now are only of those who, together with being known amongst the Ummah, are accepted authorities on both sides. From all these passages, sufficient light is shed on our approach.

The permissibility or impermissibility of ‘Urs remains. Regarding this, we also say clearly that, undoubtedly, what people today call ‘Urs is impermissible according to us, and not only according to us, but it has this ruling according to all the Akābir of the Ummah.

The grandson and special student of Ḥaḍrat Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz Ṣāḥib (Allāh have mercy on him), Ḥaḍrat Shāh Muḥammad Isḥāq Ṣāḥib Dehlawī, wrote on this ‘Urs in his famous book Kitāb Arba‘īn:

“It is not permissible to specify the day of ‘Urs. It states in Tafsīr Maẓharī:

لا يجوز ما يفعله الجهلاء بقبور الأولياء والشهدا من السجود والطواف حولها واتخاذ السرج والمساجد إليها، ومن الإجتماع بعد الحول كالأعياد ويسمونه عرسا

‘What the ignorant do at the graves of the Awliyā’ and Shuhadā, i.e. prostrating, circling around them, making lights and making masjids towards them, and assembling around them annually like ‘Id and calling it ‘Urs, are not permissible.’”

Similarly, Qāḍī Thanāullāh Ṣāḥib Pānipatī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him), who maintains a distinguished status in the Naqshbandī family, and who was called the “Bayhaqī of the Time” by Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz, said in his well-known and famous book Irshād al-ālibīn:

“Elevating the graves of the Awliyā’ of Allāh, constructing domes over them, doing ‘Urs and its likes, and lighting, all of these are bid‘ah. Some of these practices are ḥarām and some makrūh. The Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) had cursed such people who light up graves or prostrate to them.”

Do tell, is it now only the ideology of “Wahhābī Deobandīs” to call Mīlād and ‘Urs impermissible? One should now realise with which Akābir of the religion the ‘Ulamā of Deoband maintain connection.

Noble readers, consider the approach of our RazāKhānī friends. A practice that earlier and later scholars have deemed bad, if, following earlier scholars, the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband today also censure it and forbid it, this forbiddance according to them is an unforgivable crime! [It is a case of] the thief pointing the finger at the officer!

The virtues of a people are faults to some.

Oh Owner of the Throne, You are witness that the crime of ours and our Akābir is nothing but that we are adamant on the Sunnats of Your Pure Beloved, the holder of the station of “Lawlāka”, Ḥaḍrat Muḥammad Rasūlullāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), and are repulsed by innovations. (Sayf e Yamānī, p. 22-29)

Then, he addresses another common charge of Barelwīs, articulated by the same ‘Azīz Aḥmad Kānpūrī, that Deobandīs are deceptive and state in their work al-Tadīqāt li Daf‘ al-Talbīsāt (al-Muhannad ‘ala ‘l-Mufannad) that the Mawlid function is recommended. Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī responds:

Al-Tadīqāt is not some lost book, which is unavailable. It is not some handwritten fatwā which can be altered, changed or tampered with. Rather, it is a published, widely available book, thousands of copies of which can be found in Hindustan. I will copy its passages below, from which readers will notice whether the commemoration of the noble birth itself is said to be recommended or holding the function of Mīlād; then recite an elegy over the insight and integrity of the author of Aqāi’d Wahhābiyyah (i.e. ‘Azīz Aḥmad Kānpūrī). From line 15 of Tadīqāt, page 27, it states:

“Far be it that any of the Muslims say, let alone we, ourselves, say, that commemorating his noble birth (upon him blessing and peace), rather even commemorating the dust on his shoes and the urine of his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) camel, are deemed blameworthy in the Shari‘ah, from the evil and prohibited innovations; for, commemorating the states which have the least connection with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is from the most desirable of recommended acts (ahabb al-mandubat) and the greatest of preferable acts (a‘la l-mustahabbat) according to us, whether it is the commemoration of his noble birth or commemoration of his urine, feces, standing, sitting, sleeping and waking.”

Then from line 10, page 29, this content is concluded with these words:

“Far be it that we say that commemorating the noble birth is abominable and a bid‘ah.”

Readers, for God’s sake, be fair! Who is it that is being deceptive and stating a clear lie? (Sayf e Yamānī, p. 29-30)

‘Azīz Aḥmad Kānpūrī further asks: “Do you people [Deobandīs] conduct Mīlād Sharīf without specifying [a date] or Qiyām?”

Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī responds:

It is our preoccupation day and night to discuss and study the blessed Sīrah of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) and all the conditions of his life, from his celestial existence [in the world of souls] to his physical existence, then from birth to death, from death to resurrection, from resurrection to the hereafter, from the hereafter to eternity – in brief, all statements, deeds and actions. This is not the lot of the RazāKhānīs. Their lot is only to mention the birth on the date of the twelfth and that too using unreliable reports. In our lot, all conditions of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), the Sīrah, battles, commands, prohibitions, deeds, engagements, statements, actions etc. etc. all occur. Reading them and teaching them, distributing them and publishing them, is our life’s effort. All praise to Allāh, the Master of all worlds. We raise our hands in supplication that Allāh makes our end in this most excellent of pursuits. May our last breath depart beneath your feet, this is the heart’s anguish, this the hope.** (Sayf e Yamānī, p. 112-3)

* “Wahhabi” is a common Barelwi slur for Deobandis, one that has been refuted extensively, in particular by Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani in al-Shihab al-Thaqib. Deobandis differ with true Wahhabis on a number of core issues. For more detail, see here.

** A poem expressing the desire to live one’s entire life in service of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)

 


The Blasphemy and Kufr of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī According to Barelwī Standards

January 6, 2019

In an academic refutation of Mawlānā ‘Abdus Samī‘ Rāmpūrī, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī explained that it is not correct to affirm certain kinds of worldly knowledge (on which virtue does not depend) for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) merely based on the fact that others that are inferior to him, like the Angel of Death or Satan, have acquired this knowledge. In fact, to attribute such knowledge to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) that has not been proven to have been acquired by him would be to affirm non-granted, intrinsic knowledge for him, which is shirk. (Barāhīn-e-Qāi‘ah, p. 54-7)

Based on this explanation, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī ruled that Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī had insulted the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and had affirmed more knowledge for Satan than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). He further implicates Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī for having endorsed Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī’s work. The allegation that this is an insult and that it amounts to holding the blasphemous belief that Satan is more knowledgeable than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has been responded to in detail by Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī himself and other scholars. (See, for example, The Decisive Debate, p. 41-60).

The irony is that Mawlānā ‘Abdus Samī‘ Rāmpūrī in his work Anwār-e-Sāi‘ah, which was the text that was refuted in Barāhīn-e-Qāi‘ah, explicitly states:

The supporters of the gatherings of Mīlād (meaning, himself and those of his persuasion) do not claim that Rasūlullāh (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is present in all places of the world, pure and impure, and in religious and irreligious gatherings, while it is established that the Angel of Death and Iblīs are present in far more places, pure and impure, and of disbelief and non-disbelief.

A PDF of the work can be found at the following link:

https://ia600700.us.archive.org/33/items/AnwarESatiyaByAllamaMuhammadAbdulSamiSaharanpuri_201411/Anwar%20e%20Satiya%20by%20Allama%20Muhammad%20Abdul%20Sami%20saharanpuri.pdf

And this passage can be found on page 254. The Urdu is as follows:

Ahl e Mefil e Mīlād to Rasūlullāh allallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam ke zamīn kī tamām pāk wa nāpāk jagah aur majālis mazhabī wa ghayr mazhabī mein āzir hone ka dawā nehein kurte jubkeh malak al-mawt aur iblīs kā iss se bihī ziyādah tar pāk wa nāpāk aur kufr wa ghayr kufr ke maqāmāt mein āzir hona pāyā jāta hein

In this passage, Mawlānā ‘Abdus Samī‘ Rāmpūrī explicitly states that Satan is present in more places of the world than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). He is thus saying that Satan has a greater presence than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)! If Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī’s statement is blasphemy and kufr, Mawlānā ‘Abdus Samī‘ Rāmpūrī’s statement is undoubtedly blasphemy and kufr.*

Yet, we find that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī endorsed this work! His endorsement can be found on pages 381-386 of the above edition. He says: “I happened to have a look at some of [Mawlānā ‘Abdus Samī‘ Rāmpūrī’s] pure speech, like Dāfi‘ al-Awhām, at al-Qulūb and Anwār-e-Sāi‘ah, the contents of which I found to reflect their titles. May Allāh give the author the best of rewards.” (ibid. p. 386)

The challenge Barelwīs face is that if they are to insist on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s false takfīr of Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī, it would backfire and they would have to make takfīr of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān himself! But if they reject Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s takfīr of Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī, then they would be rejecting a pillar of Barelwism. A perfect catch-22.

* An important distinction should be noted between the statements of Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī and Mawlānā ‘Abdus Samī‘ Rāmpūrī.

Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī does not say “Satan is more knowledgeable than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)” as was imputed to him by Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī. His discussion was clearly about the knowledge of certain worldly items (like geography, people’s circumstances). In such matters which having knowledge of implies no extra virtue or merit, Satan was given a greater awareness. But in matters on which virtue and excellence depend, there is no one more learned than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).

In Mawlānā ‘Abdus Samī‘ Rāmpūrī’s statement, however, there is no such distinction. A clear statement is made that Satan is present “in far more places” than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)! Thus, according to Barelwī understanding, he has affirmed a quality of perfection to a greater quantity for Satan than for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). Based on their principles, there can be no doubt that this is blasphemy and kufr.

UPDATE (09/01/19):

Abu Hasan, the fraud and liar*, has responded to the above**. Ignoring the typical insults, his response boils down to: The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) chooses to not be present at such lowly places. In short, although Mawlānā ‘Abdus Samī‘ Rāmpūrī explicitly drew a comparison between the Satan and the Prophet, and said Satan is “present in far more places” than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), this is not blasphemy or an insult because being present at such places is unbefitting the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). So, what we establish from this is that Abu Hasan Barelwi, the fraud and liar, believes that it would not be blasphemous to affirm an apparent quality of perfection (i.e. being present) for Satan to a greater quantity than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). In fact, to Abu Hasan, it may even be a virtue that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is not present at such lowly places while the Satan is.

Given this admission, it will be far easier for a Barelwī to make sense of Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī’s discussion.

As the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is a human being and a creation, his knowledge was acquired and was not intrinsic. Hence, he does not possess all knowledge by his very nature, but acquired knowledge via revelation. In fact, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) asked protection from knowledge that is of no benefit. (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim) This would undoubtedly include knowledge of certain details of the world and of detailed descriptions and circumstances of people. Such lowly knowledge does not befit the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) but does befit Satan whose preoccupation is to know about the world and the detailed circumstances of people. (Despite this, Barelwīs affirm such lowly knowledge for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).)

Qāḍī ‘Iyāḍ wrote:

فأما ما يتعلق منها بأمر الدنيا، فلا يشترط في حقالأنبياء العصمة من عدم معرفة الأنبياء ببعضها، أو اعتقادها على خلاف ما هي عليه، ولا وصم عليهم فيه.. إذ هممهم متعلقة بالآخرة وأنبائها.. وأمر الشريعة وقوانينها.. وأمور الدنيا تضادها.

– بخلاف غيرهم من أهل الدنيا الذبن «يعلمون ظاهرا من الحياة الدنيا وهم عن الآخرة هم غافلون …ولكنه لا يقال إنهم لا يعلمون شيئا من أمر الدنيا فإن ذلك يؤدي إلى الغفلة والبله وهم النزهون عنه

“As for that which is connected from these [knowledges] with the affair of the world, protection is not a condition with respect to prophets, in that the prophets are unaware of some of it or hold a belief about it contrary to reality. There is no blemish on them in this, since their aspirations are connected to the next life and its events, and the matter of Sharī‘ah and its laws, while the matters of the world are contrary to these, as distinguished from others of the people of the world who ‘know the outward of the worldly life and are heedless of the next life.’ (Qur’ān, 30:7)…Although it may not be said that they know nothing of the affair of the world because that will amount to ignorance and foolishness which they are free of.” (al-Shifā’, Jā’izah Dubai, p. 631-2)

He makes the same point in another place of the work with reference to the ḥadīth, “You are more aware of the affairs of your world.” (al-Shifā’, p. 723) Then he makes the general point:

فمثل هذا وأشباهه من أمور الدنيا التي لا مدخل فيها لعلم ديانة، ولا اعتقادها، ولا تعليمها يجوز عليه فيها 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 الجوانح بعلوم الشريعة، قصيد البال بمصالح الأمة الدينية والدنيوية. ولكن هذا إنما يكون في بعض الأمور ويجوز في النادر. وفيما سبيله التدقيق في حراسة الدنيا واستثمارها، لا في الكثير المؤذن بالبله والغفلة.

“In such things and their likes from the matters of the world which have no involvement in religious knowledge, belief or education, what we mentioned is possible for him, as none of this is deficiency or diminishment. Rather, they are ordinary things known to those who have experience of them and make it their concern and occupy their minds with them. The Prophet’s (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) heart is filled with knowledge of the divine, his sides filled with knowledges of Sharī‘ah, his mind restrained by the religious and worldly interests of the Ummah. But this will only be in some affairs…not in many, which would signify stupidity or ignorance.” (ibid. p. 724)

Hence, understood in this light, what Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī said is in fact in honour of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)’s blessed knowledge: it is free of the nonsense and useless things that occupy the mind of Satan. This is precisely what he states in al-Muhannad: “The concealment of some insignificant particular details from the Prophet (upon him be peace) due to his inattention to them does not cause any defect to his (upon him be peace) being the most learned once it is established that he is the most knowledgeable 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 Iblīs’s attention to them does not cause glory and perfection of knowledge in him, since virtue and excellence do not hinge on this. Thus, it is not correct to say that Iblīs is more knowledgeable than the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh 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 scholar deeply immersed in the sciences, from whom those particulars are hidden.” (al-Muhannad, p. 71)

The only issue that remains is Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī referring to the belief that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has such detailed worldly knowledge as “shirk”. The reason it is described as shirk as clear from the context of his discussion in Barāhīn e Qāṭi‘ah is that to affirm such knowledge based only on a false analogy implies the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) acquired the knowledge without it being granted to him, or without any intermediary, but just of his own. Such a belief is shirk. For a fuller explanation, see The Decisive Debate***, p. 60-3, where this objection is discussed. The sentence that Abu Hasan quoted, in context, means the following (with Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī’s explanation in parentheses):

The upshot is, it should be considered, that upon seeing the condition of Satan and the Angel of Death [meaning, seeing that they have acquired knowledge of the places of the world as is understood from the evidences of Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘ Sahib], to affirm encompassing knowledge of the world [i.e. intrinsic knowledge] for the Pride of the World (Allah bless him and grant him peace) against decisive texts, without evidence, and purely from corrupt analogy [meaning, based on the logic that since the Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is superior to Satan and Angel of Death, due to his superiority, all knowledge of the world will self-generate in him], if it is not shirk then what part of faith is it?

This expanse for Satan and the Angel of Death [meaning, with Allah’s command having knowledge of many places of the world] is proven by text [meaning, those texts with Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sam Sahib presented]; the expansive knowledge of the Pride of the World [meaning, intrinsic knowledge because by corrupt analogy and pure reason only this is established, and this is understood from the context of Hazrat Mawlana’s discussion], which decisive text is there due to which all texts are rejected and one shirk is established? (Barāhīn e Qāṭi‘ah, p. 55)

One should also take note of the dishonesty of Abu Hasan’s translation where he says: “proving such encompassing knowledge of the earth for the Pride of the World”. The liar and fraud should be asked, where is the word “such” in the Urdu passage?

* See for examples:

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/another-example-of-the-distortions-of-abu-hasan/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/deceptions-and-distortions-of-abu-hasan/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/another-example-of-abu-hasans-distortions/

** http://sunniport.com/index.php?threads/deobandis-charge-blasphemy-on-mawlana-abdul-samiy-rampuri.14263/#post-67098

*** https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/the-decisive-debate-mawlana-manzur-numani/

UPDATE 2 (09/01/19):

Another point worth bearing in mind is that Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī’s discussion is in line with what the Ḥanafī Fuqahā’ (whom he quotes) had written. In fact, we find a striking parallel. It states in al-Fatāwā al-Bazzāziyyah:

A [man] weds [a woman] without witnesses, saying: “I make the Messenger of Allāh and Angels witness”, he has become a Kāfir, because he believes that the Messenger and Angel know the Ghayb, as distinguished from his saying: “I make the angel on the left shoulder and the angel on the right shoulder witness”, he would not become Kāfir, because they are aware [of that]. (al-Fatāwā al-Bazzāziyyah, 6:325)

In al-Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī (Idārat al-Qur’ān, 7:407), the same mas’alah is found ending with: “because they are aware of that as they are not absent from him.”

The pseudo-Ḥanafī Barelwī might question this and object: They have considered it kufr to ascribe this knowledge to the Messenger of Allāh but not to the Kirāman Kātibīn, whereas if ascribing it to one is kufr it should equally be kufr to ascribe it to the other!

But, of course, this is due to a (intentional or unintentional) misunderstanding. It is kufr (and shirk) when the knowledge is ascribed to an individual for whom it is not proven that he has acquired that knowledge (as it would entail ascribing intrinsic knowledge of ghayb for him). It is not kufr if the knowledge is ascribed to an individual for whom it is proven that he had acquired that knowledge.

In the same way Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī says to affirm such extensive unbeneficial knowledge of insignificant worldly matters to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) based on a corrupt analogy is shirk, because it is to affirm intrinsic knowledge for him. It is not shirk when affirmed for Satan because it is proven that he is present at such places and witnessing.

See how the pseudo-Ḥanafī Barelwī has inverted reality, and has made what is not kufr kufr, and what is kufr (i.e. affirming detailed knowledge of all things in creation for the Prophet) an acceptable belief?

Note also that the pseudo-Sunnī Barelwī religion, which is based on hawā and not ittibā, will fluctuate from Barelwī to Barelwī. Thus, Abu Hasan Barelwī is supporting the idea that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is not present at such filthy and dirty places of the world; however, Barelwī debater, Muḥammad ‘Umar Icharwī, states that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is present in such filthy places, but we just shouldn’t say he is! (Miqyās e Ḥanafiyyat, p. 279, 282)


Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī’s Sayf e Yamānī Bar Makā’id Firqah e RazāKhānī

December 29, 2018

Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī (1905 – 1997) engaged the Barelwī menace early on in his career. One of the classical works that was a product of these early endeavours was one published in 1930 CE (1349 H), called Sayf e Yamānī bar Makā’id Firqah e RazāKhānī (The Yemeni Sword on the Deceptions of the RazaKhānī Sect). The work is available here:

https://ia800809.us.archive.org/20/items/SAIFEYAMANI_201710/SAIF_E_YAMANI.pdf

This is a thorough and detailed refutation of Barelwī allegations against the Deobandī school and its elders. It was written in response to a booklet called ‘Aqā’id Wahhābiyya Deobandiyya published towards the end of 1347 H (1929 CE), the author being a certain ‘Azīz Aḥmad Kānpūrī. The booklet was written in response to a write-up of Mawlānā Nu‘mānī himself called Kashf al-Ḥijāb. Thus, someone from Kanpur sent a copy to Mawlānā Nu‘mānī. Mawānā Nu‘mānī felt no need to respond since it was essentially a regurgitation of typical Barelwī allegations which had been answered time and again, but then the Barelwī author, ‘Azīz Aḥmad Kānpūrī, began to claim that Mawlānā Nu‘mānī was unable to answer. Thus, to allay this false impression and provide readers with an objective assessment of the evidences and the claims being made, Sayf e Yamānī was written.

Mawlānā Nu‘mānī’s detailed response to Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn called Fayṣlah Kun Munāẓarah (1933) has been translated and published online. See here:

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/the-decisive-debate-mawlana-manzur-numani/

Parts of his response to allegations against Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd in a work called Ḥaḍrat Shāh Ismā’īl Shahīd aur Mu‘ānidīn Ahl e Bid‘at kā Ilzāmāt (1957) have also been summarised. See here:

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/refuting-the-allegation-that-shah-ismail-said-allah-forbid-that-to-think-of-the-prophet-saw-in-salah-is-worse-than-thinking-of-animals/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/shah-ismail-calling-the-prophet-a-brother/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/shah-ismail-considering-the-prophet-lower-than-a-shoemaker/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2018/12/29/refuting-the-allegation-that-shah-ismail-shahid-denied-the-preservation-of-the-prophets-body/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/shah-ismail-the-belief-in-shafaah/

Sayf e Yamānī was written before both of these works, and was endorsed by several leading scholars.

While recounting his encounters with Ḥakīm al-Ummah Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī (1863 – 1943) in his autobiography Taḥdith e Ni‘mat, Mawlānā Nu‘mānī describes how he had apprised Ḥaḍrat Thānawī of the work before it was published in order to receive his feedback. Since this discussion is beneficial, we will produce a translation of the entire section below:

The writer of these lines [Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī] wrote a comprehensive book in response to all the famous allegations and objections of the Barelwīs under the name Sayf e Yamānī. It included responses to several allegations and objections returning to Ḥaḍrat Thānawī, but the discussion on the dream of a devotee of Ḥaḍrat from Punjab was very detailed. Based on this [dream] a very serious propaganda was being made on the part of the Barelwīs against Ḥaḍrat on a wide scale, and hearing it many unthinking devotees were also becoming concerned on account of their ignorance. From special assistance and Tawfīq from Allāh Ta‘ālā the discussion in Sayf e Yamānī was such that in my view it was very satisfactory and the matter became completely clear from it. I had great satisfaction in this discussion, and was very happy that Allāh Ta‘ālā had given me the Tawfīq to [prepare] it.

Upon preparing this book Sayf e Yamānī, my heart wished that despite having no acquaintance with Ḥaḍrat Thānawī, I would request that he inspect this discussion and let me know his opinion. I had heard that Ḥaḍrat Ḥakīm al-Ummat very much disliked unnecessary length and forced formality even when writing [to someone]. Anything that is to be said or written should be done in a clear and direct manner using brief words according to the need. I sent a copy of Sayf e Yamānī to Ḥaḍrat via post and also wrote a letter, the content of which after honourable address and the sunnah greeting was:

“I have not acquired the privilege of being acquainted with Ḥaḍrat. Thus, Ḥaḍrat is probably completely unaware of me. I was a student of Dārul ‘Ulūm Deoband from a few years ago. Currently I am teaching some lessons at Madrasah Islamia at Amroha. Understanding it to be important Dīnī work, I have undertaken some work with the assistance and Tawfīq of Allāh Ta‘ālā to respond and refute the torrent of fitnah that the Barelwī group have raised against our Akābir. In connection to this I am currently writing a book. One copy I have sent in [your] service by post. If there is room within Ḥaḍrat’s schedule and engagement, and no disruption, I would hope that Ḥaḍrat Wālā would inspect the book or at least only the discussion which is regarding the famous dream of an individual in connection to Ḥaḍrat, which is from page so-and-so to page so-and-so of the book. Please inspect it and if not against your principles, and there is no kind of burden or disruption, then [I request] Ḥaḍrat to inform me of his respected view. If there is no room in his schedule, or inspection will cause disruption for whatever reason, I am not at all insisting. In this case, there is also no need to take the trouble to return the book. I have sent it in the service of Ḥaḍrat with only the intention of a gift. If accepted it will be a cause of favour and happiness for me. If not, please offer me any attention.”

This was my first ever letter in Ḥaḍrat Ḥakīm al-Ummat’s service. I had also put an envelope for a response. After four or five days Ḥaḍrat’s response came. According to his general principles he wrote the answer on the very same letter. The part of this letter that I remember that deserves mention is:

“Having read your letter, I was delighted by the fact that you wrote your need clearly and directly without any forced formality, and you kept in mind my schedule, principles and temperament. Because of this, du‘ā [for you] emerged from the heart. I am not unfamiliar with you. I keep hearing of you and your activities. Thus, I have a distant connection and love for you, and keep making du‘ā for you. To give you peace of mind, I write that I wholeheartedly accept your gift.

“I opened the book with the intention of glancing at it here and there, and to read in full the discussion related to the dream for which you wrote specifically. But when I started reading the book, I did not wish to leave out any part of it, and for as long as I did not complete the entire book, I did not engage in any other activities in between besides my established necessary activities. I was very happy with the entire book. Jazākumullāh khayrā! I read the discussion on the dream specifically with greater deliberation. Without pretence, I say that if I had myself tried I would not have been able to give such satisfying a clarification. May Allāh grant blessing in your life, knowledge and practice.”

Ḥaḍrat, according to his normal practice, wrote this on my very letter. It is unfortunate that this letter has not been preserved. But I remember the content of my letter and these parts of Ḥaḍrat’s response well, and I write this with the assistance of my memory. Apart from this, Ḥaḍrat wrote a short endorsement separately, which was published together with the book at that time. (Taḥdīth e Ni‘mat, p. 143-6)

Mawlānā Nu‘mānī continues to recount several occasions thereafter where he met with Ḥaḍrat Thānawī in person, beginning from a first meeting in 1931.

Endorsements

Some of the notable endorsers of the work are as follows:

  1. Ḥakīm al-Ummah Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī (1863 – 1943). He writes: “I have seen the treatise Sayf e Yamānī in full which was written in response to objections of some of the Ahl al-Ahwā’…May Allāh give the author excellent recompense and make the treatise a means of guidance.” (Sayf e Yamānī, p. 3)
  2. Shaykh al-Islām Mawlānā Shabbīr Aḥmad al-‘Uthmānī (1887 – 1949), author of a well-known commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, referred to as “Muḥaqqiq al-‘Aṣr” by ‘Allāmah Kawtharī and a champion for the cause of Pakistan. He says: “For a long time I had hoped that if a comprehensive treatise on the subject were written it would be very beneficial. Many times I had thought to write something myself but this reward is your share. Mā shā Allāh, the teachings and statements of the Akābir have been explained in simple, generally understood and easy expressions. If any harshness is sensed in any passage it is to be considered as part of: ‘take revenge after being wronged’. In my opinion it is our duty to make all effort to publicise it…” (ibid.)
  3. ‘Allāmah ‘Abd al-Shakūr al-Fārūqī al-Lakhnawī (1876 – 1962), a famous author and debater. He wrote several books against the Shī‘ah and in favour of Ahl al-Sunnah. He wrote a popular work on Ḥanafi Fiqh called Ilm al-Fiqh. He is a scion of the famous Firangī Maḥall school of Lucknow, having studied for about 7 years under Mawlānā ‘Ayn al-Quḍāt al-Ḥaydarābādī a famous successor of ‘Allāmah ‘Abd al-Ḥayy al-Laknawī, perhaps the most well-known of the Firangī Maḥall scholars. Hence, he is a non-Deobandī scholar contemporaneous with the founding of the Barelwī school, who opposed them. He says: “May Allāh give excellent reward to the author for having properly shed light on all the issues which are disputed between Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah and the new innovated sect RazāKhāniyyah.” He dated the endorsement to 29 Dhu l-Qadah, 1348 (1930). (ibid. p. 4)
  4. ‘Allāmah Sayyid Murtaḍā Ḥasan Chāndpūrī (1868 – 1951), who ‘Allāmah Kawtharī referred to as “the prominent teacher” in reference to his work against Qādiyānīs. He has several works in refutation of Barelwīs and Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī. He even sent some of his refutations directly to the latter.
  5. ‘Allāmah Ẓafar Aḥmad al-‘Uthmānī (1892 – 1974), the celebrated author of I‘lā al-Sunan. He wrote an endorsement in Arabic, part of which is: “I was honoured to read the treatise al-Sayf al-Yamānī, and by my life, it is like its name a sword cutting the necks of the people of desires and vain hopes. Indeed, its author did well and benefited and showed the people the ways of guidance…” (ibid. p. 5)
  6. ‘Allāmah Muḥaddith Ḥabīb al-Raḥmān al-A‘ẓamī (1901 – 1992), the famous scholar of ḥadīth.

Contents

‘Azīz Aḥmad Kānpūrī’s booklet consists of 30 so-called beliefs of the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband and 22 questions. Mawlānā Nu’mānī thus addresses all the allegations and then answers each question.

Some of the important issues that are addressed are as follows:

  1. The passage from Barāhīn e Qāti‘ah about the knowledge of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
  2. The passage from Barāhīn Qāti‘ah describing a dream in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) spoke Urdu
  3. The Deobandī position on Mawlid and ‘Urs, and the alleged “dissimulation” (taqiyya) of Deobandīs on this matter
  4. The title Raḥmatun lil ‘Ālamīn and whether it can be used for other than the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
  5. The meaning of “Khātamiyyah” and the finality of prophethood according to Deobandīs and Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotawī
  6. The dream of a devotee of Haḍrat Thānawī in which he mistakenly referred to the latter as “Rasūlullāh”
  7. A passage from Marthiya Gangohī describing Mawlānā Gangohī as “a second to Islām’s founder”
  8. The passage from Hifẓ al-Īmān on describing the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as ‘ālim al-ghayb
  9. The passage from Taḥdhīr al-Nās stating that deeds of an Ummatī can apparently be more numerous than those of their Prophets
  10. Imkān Kidhb
  11. Bid‘ah, its types and whether certain forms of īṣāl thawāb amount to bid‘ah

Some sections of the work may be translated/summarised in future posts, insha Allah.


مفهوم البدعة فى الشرع

February 1, 2016

مفهوم البدعة فى الشرع

كثير من الناس يعترضون على علماء ديوبند وأكابرهم، كمولانا رشيد أحمد الگنگوهي ومولانا التهانوي وغيرهما، لإنكارهم على عمل المولد، بمعنى الاحتفال الخاص على ولادة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الذي يقام به سنويا في شهر الربيع الأول. قد أنكروا على هذا الاحتفال الخاص في هذه المناسبة الخاصة وسموها بدعة ومكروهة

ينبغي لمن يريد إدراك وجه قولهم (رحمهم الله) هذا أن يدقق في معنى البدعة فى الشرع ومفهومها، لا سيما لدي هؤلاء الأكابر

فمعنى البدعة عندهم – ولهم دلائل وسلف – أن مفهوم البدعة هو

معاملة أمر – سواء كان عقيدة أو فعلا أو تركا أو قولا – ليس له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين (أي لا يقصد فى الدين لذاته) – إما في أصله أو في وصفه – كمعاملة ما له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين

وعكسه داخل في مفهوم البدعة أيضا، أي: معاملة ما له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين كمعاملة ما ليس له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين

وتعبير ((ما له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين)) يشير إلى ما يعرف بتعبير ((أمر تعبدي)) فى اصطلاح الغير

وهذه المعاملة إما مبني على الاعتقاد وإما مبني على الالتزام بأمر ما على هيئة توهم هذا الاعتقاد، والأول بدعة حقيقية والثاني بدعة حكمية

فمثال أمر ليس له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين في أصله صوم السكوت، فلو صام أحد صوم السكوت واعتقد أن له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين بحيث يثاب عليه ويطلب هو لذاته، فهو ارتكب بدعة حقيقية

ولو صام جماعة من المسلمين هذا الصوم مع أئمتهم ومقتديهم – مع أنه ليس له وجه عادي ظاهر – بحيث يوهم هذا الفعل أن هذا الصوم له أصل فى الدين، فهو بدعة حكمية لو لم يعتقدوا أن له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين

ومثال أمر ليس له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين في وصفه فالمولد النبوي، بمعنى الاحتفال الخاص سنويا فى المناسبة الخاصة، فإن أصل فعل المولد من ذكر ولادة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وإظهار الفرح على ظهوره ثابت شرعا، ولكن هذه الهيئة المخصوصة له من فعله على التكرار في كل سنة في تاريخ معين مع الأئمة والمقتدين وتسميته ((عيدا)) ليس له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين، أي لا يطلب هذه الهيئة المخصوصة لذاتها فى الدين، فإنه لو كان مقصودا لذاته لكان الصحابة والسلف عليه حريصا ولسبقونا إليه، ولم يثبت هذه الهيئة المخصوصة منهم، وإن ثبت أصل ذكر الولادة الشريفة

فلو اعتقد أحد أن هذا الوصف لهذا الفعل له قيمة ذاتية فى الدين – بحيث يثاب على هذه الهيئة والوصف لذاتيهما إضافة إلى ثواب الأصل المشروع – فهذا بدعة حقيقية، ولو لم يكن هذا اعتقاد المحتفلين به فهو عند علماء ديوبد لا يزال بدعة بدعة حكمية (لا حقيقية) لأن كثيرا من العامة لا يرون الهيئة المذكورة المخصوصة شيئا عاديا أو انتظاميا فقط، بل تدين بهذه الهيئة المخصوصة، وصورة الفعل توهم وتؤيد هذا الاعتقاد الباطل فإنه يقام به كما يقام بشيء تعبدي، بالالتزام به والإنكار على من لا يحضر وبمشاركة الأئمة والمقتدين واتخاذه شعارا للاسلام وعيدا إلى غير ذلك

فهذا هو الأصل في إنكار علماء ديوبند عمل المولد على الهيئة المذكورة المعروفة بين الناس، وهو أن كل ما يفعل على رؤوس الأشهاد مع الأئمة والمقتدين بحيث يوهم هو أن هذا الأصل أو هذا الوصف ثابت فى السنة وله قيمة ذاتية فى الدين – مع أنه ليس كذلك – فهو بدعة سيئة منكرة

وإليكم بعض النقول لإثبات هذا الأصل

روي عن الشعبي أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه كان يضرب ((الرجبيين)) الذين يصومون رجب كله، فوجه الإمام ابن وضاح فعله هذا بقوله: ((إنما معناه خوف أن يتخذوه سنة مثل رمضان)). (البدع والنهي عنها، دار الصفا، ص٥١

أقول: لا شك أن التطوع بالصوم من أفضل الأعمال، وأن فيه سعة فمن شاء فله أن يكثر منه ومن شاء فله أن يقلل منه، لكن تخصيص يوم أو شهر للتطوع بالصوم على هيئة الاجتماع – مع أنه لم يثبت تخصيص هذا اليوم أو الشهر من الشارع – يوهم كون هذا اليوم أو الشهر مطلوبا لذاته، وهذا وجه المنع

سئل الإمام النووي عن فعل بعض المصلين في صلاة التراويح من قراءة سورة الأنعام جملة فى الركعة الأخيرة من التراويح فى الليلة السابعة من شهر رمضان، فأجاب: ((هذا الفعل المذكور ليس بسنة بل هو بدعة مكروهة ولكراهتها أسباب. منها: إيهام كونها سنة، ومنها تطويل الركعة الثانية…فينبغي لكل مصل اجتناب هذا الفعل وينبغي إشاعة إنكار هذا فقد ثبتت الأحاديث الصحيحة فى النهي عن محدثات الأمور، وأن كل بدعة ضلالة، ولم ينقل هذا الفعل عن أحد من السلف)) (فتاوى الإمام النووي، ص. ٢٥-٦

أقول: فأحد وجوه المنع عند الإمام النووي إيهام هذا الفعل بسنيتها

قال الإمام عز الدين ابن عبد السلام في إنكاره على صلاة الرغائب: ((العالم إذا صلى كان موهما للعامة أنها من السنن فيكون كاذبا على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بلسان الحال ولسان الحال قد يقوم مقام لسان المقال)) وقال: ((صلاة الرغائب بخصوصياتها توهم العامة أنها سنة من سنن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كما هو الواقع)) وقال: ((وأما حديث أنس وعتبان بن مالك رضي الله عنهما: فالفرق بينهما وبين صلاة الرغائب أن الاقتداء في صلاة الرغائب توهم العامة أنها سنة وشعار فى الدين بخلاف ما وقع في حديث أنس وعتبان رضي الله عنهما فإنه نادر فلا يوهم العامة أنه سنة بل يوهم الجواز)) (النقول من: مساجلة علمية بين الإمامين الجليلين العز بن عبد السلام وابن الصلاح حول صلاة الرغائب المبتدعة

أقول: فكل ما يوهم العامة أنه بخصوصيته سنة ومطلوبا لذاته أو شعارا فى الدين مع أنه ليس كذلك لا يجوز عند الإمام العز بن عبد السلام

قال الإمام الشاطبي: ((كل عمل أصله ثابت شرعا إلا أن في إظهار العمل به أو المداومة عليه ما يخاف أن يعتقد أنه سنة فتركه مطلوب فى الجملة من باب سد الذرائع)) (الإعتصام، ج٢ ص٣٣٣

قال خاتمة المحققين عند السادة الحنفية الإمام ابن عابدين رحمه الله: ((وقد صرح بعض علمائنا وغيرهم بكراهة المصافحة المعتادة عقب الصلوات مع أن المصافحة سنة، وما ذاك إلا لكونها لم تؤثر في خصوص هذا الموضع فالمواظبة عليها فيه توهم العوام بأنها سنة فيه)) وقال: ((ولذا منعوا عن الاجتماع لصلاة الرغائب التي أحدثها بعض المتعبدين لأنها لم تؤثر على هذه الكيفية في تلك الليالي المخصوصة، وإن كانت الصلاة خير موضوع)) وقال الحصكفي فى الدر عن سجدة الشكر بعد الصلاة المكتبوبة: ((لكنها تكره بعد الصلاة لأن الجهلة يعتقدونها سنة أو واجبة وكل مباح يؤدي إليه فمكروه)) ونقل ابن عابدين عن الطحطاوي في شرح هذه العبارة: ((فمكروه الظاهر أنها تحريمية لأنه يدخل فى الدين ما ليس منه)) (النقول من رد المحتار للشامي

وقال الإمام برهان الدين الحنفي البخاري من أئمة القرن السادس عن سجدة الشكر: ((وجه الكراهة على قول النخعي وأبي حنيفة رضي الله عنهما على ما ذكره القدوري أنه لو فعلها من كان منظورا إليه وظن ظان أنه واجب أو سنة متبعة عند حدوث نعمة فقد أدخل فى الدين ما ليس منه وقد قال عليه السلام: من أدخل فى الدين ما ليس منه فهو مكروه)) (المحيط البرهاني

ومن المنقول عن أئمة المذهب (أبي حنيفة وأصحابه) أنه يكره اتخاذ شيء مخصوص من القرآن لركعة خاصة من الصلوات، ووجهه على ما قاله الإمام أبو بكر الجصاص من القرن الرابع: ((ويكره أن يتخذ شيء من القرآن لشيء من الصلوات، وذلك لأنه لو أبيح ذلك لم يؤمن على مرور الأوقات أن يظنه الناس مسنونا أو واجبا كما قد سبق الآن إلى ظن كثير من الجهال في مثله)) (شرح مختصر الطحاوي، دار السراج، ج٨ ص٥٢٥

أقول: صيغ الأذكار المأثورة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم (ك: سبحن الله، والحمد لله إلخ) والأعداد المأثورة عنه فى الأوقات الخاصة يتعبد بها، ويطلب هذه الصيغ وهذه الأعداد لذاتها لأن لها قيمة ذاتية فى الدين، أما لو استعمل صيغ غير مأثورة أو أعداد غير مأثورة فلا بأس به من حيث أن الذكر أمر عادي بمعنى أنه معقول المعنى، أي: المقصود منه: حضور ذكر الله فى القلب، ولك أن تقيس عليه باختيار ما يساعدك فيه، ففيه سعة، ولكن لا يتعبد بصيغ وأعداد غير مأثورة، أي: لا يطلب هي لذاتها، وهذا هو وجه منع عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه جماعة من التابعين الذين اختاروا أعدادا مخصوصة غير مأثورة وحملوا الغير على هذه الأعداد، فإن هذا الحمل يوهم كون هذه الأعداد مطلوبة لذاتها، فأنكر عليهم ابن مسعود أشد الإنكار. أنظر: سنن الدارمي، دار المغني، ج١ ص٢٨٧

أقول: ومن المعلوم أنه ما ليس فيه هذا الإيهام ليس ببدعة ، كأمر له سبب عادي معلوم ظاهر عند العامة والخاصة، مثل نشر العلم فى المدارس وتعيين بعض الكتب للدراسة والتدريس، لا يوهم العامة أن هذه الأشياء مطلوبة لذاتها فى الدين، بل هي أسباب ووسائل عادية، وكذلك تدوين العلم وغير ذلك، ومنها التداوي والصدقة وحفظ الشرع والرقية والتعويذ، كل هذه الأمور مما هو مطلوب في أصله وله معنى معقول، فبناء على المعنى المعقول لك أن تختار وسيلة وصورة تدخل في عموم هذه الأشياء ما دام في حدود الشرع، أما لو اتخذ هيئة وصورة خاصة من هذه الأشياء على وجه يوهم العامة أنها مطلوبة لذاتها فى الدين فممنوع من هذا الوجه، لا في أصل العمل

وبهذا التقرير اندفع كثير من الإشكالات في هذا الباب، وحاصله: أن التعبد بشيء (سواء كان ذلك الشيء أصل أمر أو وصفه)، بمعنى جعل ذلك الشيء أمرا مطلوبا لذاته فى الدين، مع أنه ليس كذلك، من البدع المنكرة، وهذا إما من حيث الإعتقاد وإما من حيث المعاملة معه بحيث يوهم العامة والجهال كونه مطلوبا لذاته

فهذا هو سبب إنكار علماء ديوبند عمل المولد على الهيئة المعروفة بين الناس، فإن هذا العمل وفعله على الدوام في كل سنة في تاريخ معين يوهم العوام بكون هذه الهيئة مطلوبة لذاتها فى الدين

وهذا الرأي مما ينبغي أن يحترم ويعتبر، وله سلف من أئمة أهل السنة

قال الشيخ العلوي المالكي رحمه الله دفاعا عن عمل المولد ((إن الإجتماع لأجل المولد النبوي الشريف ما هو إلا أمر عادي، وليس من العبادة في شيء، وهذا ما نعتقده وندين الله تعالى به)) ثم قال: ((ونحن ننادي بأن تخصيص الإجتماع بليلة واحدة دون غيرها هو الجفوة للرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم)) انتهى

فأجاب عنه المفتي محمد تقي العثماني: ((ولا شك أن ذكر النبي الكريم صلى الله عليه وسلم وبيان سيرته من أعظم البركات وأفضل السعادات إذا لم يتقيد بيوم أو تاريخ، ولا صحبه اعتقاد العبادة فى اجتماع يوم مخصوص بهيئة مخصوصة، فالإجتماع لذكر الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم بهذه الشروط جائز فى الأصل، لا يستحق الإنكار ولا الملامة. ولكن هناك اتجاه آخر ذهب إليه كثير من العلماء المحققين المتورعين، وهو أن هذا الإجتماع، وإن كان جائزا في نفس الأمر، غير أن كثيرا من الناس يزعمون أنه من العبادات المقصودة، أو من الواجبات الدينية، ويخصون له أياما معينة على ما يشوبه بعضهم باعتقادات واهية وأعمال غير مشروعة، ثم من الصعب على عامة الناس أن يراعوا الفروق الدقيقة بين العادة والعبادة. فلو ذهب هؤلاء العلماء – نظرا إلى هذه الأمور التي لا ينكر أهميتها – إلى أن يمتنعوا من مثل هذه الإجتماعات رعاية لأصل سد الذرائع وعلما بأن درء المفاسد أولى من جلب المصالح، فإنهم متمسكون بدليل شرعي فلا يستحقون إنكارا ولا ملامة. والسبيل في مثل هذه المسائل كالسبيل فى المسائل المجتهد فيها، يحمل كل رجل ويفتي بما يراه صوابا ويدين الله عليه، ولا يفوق سهام الملامة إلى المجتهد الآخر الذي يخالفه في رأيه.)) انتهى

تكملة

هناك من الأسباب العديدة الظاهرة التي توهم العامة بأن لشهر الربيع والليلة الثاني عشر منه فضيلة خاصة للاحتفال بمولد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولفعل غيره من الأعمال الصالحة، بحيث يطلب هذه الأيام لذاتها فى الدين، أذكر بعض الأمثلة

يقوم كثير من المحتفلين به ببيان فضائل الربيع وفضائل ليلة المولد، لا أعنى الربيع الوحيد الذي وقع فيه الولادة الشريفة أو فضيلة تلك الليلة الخاصة منه، بل كلما تكرر هذا الشهر وتكرر هذه الليلة فى السنة تثبت هذه الفضيلة عندهم، مع أنه ليس له دليل شرعي، بل الدليل خلافه، فإن ترك عمل يقصد لذاته مع ثبوت الدوافع وعدم الموانع في زمن السلف دليل المنع

فعلى سبيل المثال: قد حض أحد علماء المغرب الناس بأن يكثروا من الصلوات على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في يوم المولد (أي: ١٢ ربيع الأول) من كل سنة فإن هذا العمل ((في هذا اليوم المعظم تعدل عبادة الثقلين كلها)) (كتاب شراب أهل الصفا). ولا يزال المحتفلون به يذكرون فضائل هذه الليلة وهذا اليوم، والناس لا يفهمون منه إلا كون هذا اليوم أفضل من غيره لحصول الثواب والتقرب عند الله تعالى، وقد سمعت بأذني في محضر عالم عربي مشهور فى الغرب يتكلم فى مسجد كبير يقول: إن هذه الليلة مما يحتفل به أهل السماء أيضا، فضلا عن أهل الأرض! ومقصده كما ظهر للسامعين: ليلة المولد من الربيع في كل سنة. فهذا مما يتسبب في إيهام العوام بأن هذا الشهر وهذا اليوم مطلوب لذاته فى الدين. وأما اجتماعات التبليغ فلا يذكر أحد – فيما أعلم – فضيلة يوم خاصة لها فى الدين

ومع ذلك يتخذ هذا اليوم عند كثير من الناس ((عيدا))، وعيد شعار من شعائر الإسلام، ولو كان قصد أول مسميه به معناه اللغوي أو العرفي لا يفيده فإنه من الواضح أنه يتسبب في اعتقاد الناس أن هذا اليوم له فضيلة خاصة فى الدين ويطلب لذاته. ولذلك أدخل الشاطبي ((اتخاذ يوم ولادة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عيدا)) في جملة البدعة، وقال: ((إقامة المولد على الوصف المعهود بين الناس بدعة محدثة وكل بدعة ضلالة)) انتهى


Maliki Fuqaha on Mawlid

January 15, 2014

Citing al-Turtushi’s silence as his approval of the mawlid is nothing short of desperate. Despite what al-Suyuti says, we have al-madkhal before us and we have the intelligence to read Ibn al-Hajj’s own opinion (al-Suyuti himself considers ibn al-Hajj’s exposition contradictory, indicating he did not fully agree with it); aside from the paragraph quoted above of his clear rejection of organised “intentional” mawlid even if free from all sinful acts, he writes elsewhere:

وبعضهم- أي المشتغلين بعمل المولد- يتورع عن هذا- أي سماع الغناء وتوابعه- بقراءة البخاري وغيره عوضاً عن ذلك، هذا وإن كانت قراءة الحديث في نفسها من أكبر القرب والعبادات وفيها البركة العظيمة والخير الكثير، لكن إذا فعل ذلك بشرطه اللائق به على الوجه الشرعي لا بنية المولد، ألا ترى أن الصلاة من أعظم القرب إلى الله تعالى، ومع ذلك فلو فعلها
إنسان في غير الوقت المشروع لها لكان مذموماً مخالفاً، فإذا كانت الصلاة بهذه المثابة فما بالك بغيره

Tr: And some of them – i.e. those participating in the mawlid – are weary of these (i.e. sama and ghina etc.), and read from al-Bukhari and other such (books) instead of these. And although reading hadith in itself is from the greatest acts of nearness (to Allah) and worship since it contains great blessing and abundant good, but when this is done it should be done with its suitable condition according to the way the Shariah (has prescribed it) and not with the intention of the mawlid. Do you not see that the Salah is from the greatest acts of nearness to Allah and despite this if one were to perform it outside of its prescribed time it would be blameworthy and opposed? Since this is the case with Salah, the same is the case with other acts.

I ask: how does this fit in with the universal methodology of bid’ah?

Since al-Wanshrisi was mentioned, he quotes Abd Allah al-Haffar in his collection of Fatawa (al-mi’yar al-mu’rib) as saying the following concerning the mawlid (in a similar fashion to Ibn al-Hajj):

وليلة المولد لم يكن السلف الصالح وهم أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والتابعون لهم يجتمعون فيها للعبادة، ولا يفعلون فيها زيادة على سائر ليالي السنة، لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يعظم إلا بالوجه الذي شرع فيه تعظيمه، وتعظيمه من أعظم القرب إلى الله، لكن يتقرب إلى الله جل جلاله بما شرع، والدليل على أن السلف الصالح لم يكونوا يزيدون فيها زيادة على سائر الليالي أنهم اختلفوا فيها، فقيل إنه صلى الله عليه وسلم ولد في رمضان وقيل في ربيع، واختلف في أي يوم ولد فيه على أربعة أقوال، فلو كانت تلك الليلة التي ولد في صبيحتها تحدث فيها عبادة بولادة خير الخلق صلى الله عليه وسلم، لكانت معلومة مشهورة لا يقع فيها اختلاف ولكن لم تشرع زيادة تعظيم …

ولو فتح هذا الباب لجاء قوم فقالوا يوم هجرته إلى المدينة يوم أعز الله فيه الإسلام فيجتمع فيه ويتعبد، ويقول آخرون الليلة التي أسري به فيها حصل له من الشرف ما لا يقدر قدره، فتحدث فيها عبادة، فلا يقف ذلك عند حد، والخير كله في إتباع السلف الصالح الذين اختارهم الله له، فما فعلوا فعلناه وما تركوا تركناه، فإذا تقرر هذا ظهر أن الاجتماع في تلك الليلة ليس بمطلوب شرعا، بل يؤمر بتركه

Tr: The pious predocessors (salaf al-salih), that is the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Successors, did not congregate for worship on the night of the mawlid, and they would not increase (acts of devotion) therein over the rest of the days of the year, because the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is not glorified except in the manner in which his glorification has been legislated (in the Shariah); and his glorification is from the greatest acts of nearness to Allah, but one should seek proximity to Allah with what has been legislated (in the Shariah). The proof that the Salaf did not increase (in acts of devotions) on that (night) than the rest of the nights is that they differed over it(‘s date); so it has been said he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was born in Ramadan and it has been said in Rabi, and the day on which he was born has been disputed on four different views. So were it so that the night on which he was born in the morning, worship was invented therein in (celebration of) the birth of the best of creation (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), it would have been specified and well-known containing no controversy. But increased glorification has not been legislated…if this door is opened, some people will say the day of Hijra is a day in which Allah honoured Islam so they would gather therein and increse in worship and others will say in the night of Isra he attained immeasurable honour so they invent worship therein, and this will have no boundary. And all good is in following the Pious Salaf for which Allah has selected them; so whatever they do, we do and whatever they left we leave. When this is realised, it becomes clear gathering on this night is not legally required, rather one is ordered to leave it.

See volume 7 of al-mi’yar al-mu’rib (pp. 99-100) – the file was too large to attach but can be dowloaded from here


The Ruling in the Hanafi Madhhab of Persistence on a Mustahabb Practice in a Specific Form

December 18, 2013

 

Always Shaking Hands after the Congregational Fard Prayers

Ibn ‘Ābidīn al-Shāmī (d. 1252 H) writes in his Radd al-Muhtār:

وقد صرح بعض علمائنا وغيرهم بكراهة المصافحة المعتادة عقب الصلوات مع أن المصافحة سنة، وما ذاك إلا لكونها لم تؤثر في خصوص هذا الموضع فالمواظبة عليها فيه توهم العوام بأنها سنة فيه

“Some of our [Hanafī] scholars and others have stated explicitly the detestability of the customary handshake following the salawāt, although shaking hands is sunnah. And that is only because it has not been transmitted [from the early generations] in this specific place [i.e. after the salawāt] – thus, continuity on it in this [specific place] gives the false impression that it is sunnah therein.” (Radd al-Muhtār, Dār ‘Ālam al-Kutub, 3:141)

Salāt al-Raghā’ib

He continues:

ولذا منعوا عن الاجتماع لصلاة الرغائب التي أحدثها بعض المتعبدين لأنها لم تؤثر على هذه الكيفية في تلك الليالي المخصوصة، وإن كانت الصلاة خير موضوع

“This is why they forbade gathering for Salāt al-Raghā’ib which some worshippers invented because it has not been transmitted in this form in those specific nights, even though Salāh is the best institution.” (ibid.)

Sajdat al-Shukr on a Particular Occasion

Al-Haskafī (d. 1088 H) writes in al-Durr al-Mukhtār:

لكنها تكره بعد الصلاة لأن الجهلة يعتقدونها سنة أو واجبة وكل مباح يؤدي إليه فمكروه

“But it (sajdat al-shukr) is detestable after Salāh because the ignorant believe it is sunnah or wājib (i.e. after Salāh), and every permissible action leading to it is makrūh.” (Al-Durr al-Mukhtar/ Radd al-Muhtār, Dār ‘Ālam al-Kutub, 2:598)

Ibn ‘Ābidīn explains that this statement was transmitted from al-Zāhidī (d. 658 H) in his commentary on Qudūrī.

The karāhah (detestability) mentioned here refers to makrūh tahrīmī (prohibitively disliked) for which a person is sinful, as mentioned by Ibn ‘Ābidīn, quoting Tahtāwī:

 فمكروه الظاهر أنها تحريمية لأنه يدخل فى الدين ما ليس منه ط

“It is apparent that it is makrūh tahrīmī because he inserts into religion what is not from it.”

Imām Burhān al-Dīn al-Hanafī (d. 616 H) writes:

وجه الكراهة على قول النخعي وأبي حنيفة رضي الله عنهما على ما ذكره القدوري أنه لو فعلها من كان منظورا إليه وظن ظان أنه واجب أو سنة متبعة عند حدوث نعمة فقد أدخل فى الدين ما ليس منه وقد قال عليه السلام: من أدخل فى الدين ما ليس منه فهو مكروه

“The reason for the karāhah based on the view of al-Nakha‘ī and Abū Hanīfah (may Allah be pleased with them), according to what al-Qudūrī mentioned, is that if one who was observed (by people) was to practise upon it, and a supposer wrongly imagined that it is sunnah or wājib adhered to at the instance of blessing, then indeed he has inserted into religion what is not from it, and he (upon him peace) said: Whoever inserts into religion what is not from it, it is detestable.” (al-Muhīt al-Burhānī, Dār al-Kutb al-‘Ilmiyah, 5:323)

Fixing a Sūrah to a Rak‘ah

Abū Bakr al-Jassās (d. 370 H) writes in explaining another Hanafī ruling:

قال أبو جعفر: ويكره أن يتخذ شيء من القرآن لشيء من الصلوات

وذلك لأنه لو أبيح ذلك لم يؤمن على مرور الأوقات أن يظنه الناس مسنونا أو واجبا كما قد سبق الآن إلى ظن كثير من الجهال في مثله

“Abu Ja‘far [al-Tahawi] said (quoting the imāms of the Hanafī madhhab): It is makrūh (prohibitively disliked) to adopt a part of the Qur’ān for a specific part of the prayers.

“And that is because if that was to be permitted, it would not be assured that with the passage of time people will believe it is sunnah or wajib; as has occurred today in the understanding of many of the ignorant people in the like of it.” (Sharh Mukhtasar al-Tahawi, Dār al-Sirāj, 8:525)

Note: This was in the 4th Islamic century! How then can we claim our ignorant and common people are immune from this misunderstanding?

Summary

In short, we have two rulings from the founders of the Hanafī madhhab, the basis of the prohibition mentioned in them being that it leads the common and ignorant people to believing that a particular form of an originally acceptable practice is sunnah. These two rulings are: performing sajdat al-shukr on a particular occasion; fixing a sūrah to a particular rak‘ah of Salāh. Moreover, we have the verdict of later Hanafī jurists in a couple of other rulings, based on the same principle. These are: shaking hands persistently after the fard prayers; and Salāt al-Raghā’ib in the fixed way and time it is performed.

All of this points to one conclusion:

In the Hanafī madhhab, repeatedly, persistently and continuously performing a religious practice, originally regarded in the Sharī‘ah as permissible or mustahabb, publically, in a specific manner that has not been transmitted from the Prophet (peace be upon him) or Sahābah, such that a false impression is created in the minds of the ignorant that this particular form (e.g. in terms of its date, procedure) is sunnah or wājib, renders that act prohibitively disliked (makrūh tahrīmī) and the act will be considered an insertion into religion or bid‘ah.

Conclusion

We can safely say, looking at the condition of Barelwis and other psuedo-traditionalists of today, the formal/popular (murawwaj) Mawlid of today, falls in this category, and is hence, makrūh tahrīmī in the Hanafī madhhab.

Also see: https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/consistency-of-the-deobandi-akaabirs-view-on-mawlid/

Update: Someone raised the objection: does not madaris fall under this prohibition, as within them, the mustahabb practice of teaching and learning are repeatedly done in a fixed and regulated way that was not transmitted from the Sahabah? For the perceptive person, the difference between the above examples, including Mawlid, and madaris is clear. The purpose of the regulated and fixed manner of teaching and learning in madaris is purely based on organisational and pragmatic reasons. Common people are not susceptible to the mistaken belief that the madaris themselves are objectives, or desirable elements, of religion. On the other hand, repeated handshakes after Salah, if done openly, commonly and continuously, does make the common people susceptible to the view that to shake hands at that time is a desired practice of religion. Similarly, the Mawlid of Rabi’ al-Awwal makes the common people susceptible to the belief that making this commemoration at that time of the year is superior. This is not only theory; many people really do believe that to celebrate the birth in the month of Rabi al Awwal is more rewarding and superior than doing so in any other time of the year. It is not regarded merely as something organisational. The same applies to the other examples, of fixing a surah to a particular rak’ah of Salah and doing Sajdat al-Shukr after every Fard prayer.