Did Mawlānā Gangohī Compare Mawlid to the Hindu Festival of Kanhaiya Janam?

January 12, 2020

Some Barelwīs allege that Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī is guilty of blasphemy for comparing the Mawlid to the festival of Kanhaiya Janam (play-acting the birth of Kanhaiya). For example, Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi wrote in 2010: “The blasphemous comments of the scholars of Deoband include… that the mawlid was like the Hindu festival of Kunhya Janam… (in…Baraheen Qaatiah)!”

This is based on a fatwā of Mawlānā Gangohī, which is reproduced in full in Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah.

A translation of the substantive parts of the fatwā is given below. One will notice the whole fatwā is regarding qiyām (the ritual standing at the mention of the Prophetic birth), which many of the ignorant believed to be obligatory (wājib). Moreover, the comparison to the Hindu festival of play-acting the birth of Kanhaiya was made with respect to a particular belief or defence for this ritual standing. Namely, that some believe that when the Prophet’s blessed soul came from the world of souls into the present world, as a mark of respect we ought to stand, and they are re-enacting that event, and thus standing out of respect! Mawlānā Gangohī says to re-enact the Prophetic birth and behave as though it is happening at the time of the re-enaction is similar to how Hindus behave when play-acting the birth of Kanhaiya; and this has no basis in Sharī‘ah, and is in fact impermissible.

One can see how the Barelwi allegation that Mawlānā Gangohī compared the Mawlid itself to the Hindu festival of Kanhaiya Janam is completely dishonest. Firstly, the comparison was not made with respect to the Mawlid but with respect to the ritual standing (qiyām). Furthermore, it was not made with respect to the qiyām per se, but with respect to a particular belief associated with the qiyām held by some ignorant people. The relevant parts of the fatwā are translated below, and the paragraph in reference is highlighted in bold.


The standing which is in vogue in the majlis mawlūd sharīf out of respect for the mention of the birth of Haḍrat Muḥammad Muṣṭafā (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), which takes place in this time, is it correct to consider this standing necessary or not? And if it is not necessary, will the one who gives fatwā of it being necessary be sinful or not? And if sinful, at which level?


To stand up at the time of mentioning the birth is not established anywhere in the three generations. Although the conducts and states of the revered master of the world, and the mention of the states by way of admonition, teaching, revision and narration, in those generations, occurred countless time, yet it is not established in any narration that at the time of mentioning the birth that anyone ever stood, or that anywhere the master of the world (upon him peace) in any way described it as being recommended or an etiquette. Whether some stood for the respected pride of the world himself (upon him blessing and peace), this is outside the discussion, and to make an analogy with this is mere ignorance. The discussion is over the habitual practice of the fools of our time at the mention of his birth. Where is this established? This has never been established.

Firstly, this is sufficient proof of their innovation being baseless. As there has been so much extremism in this, such that the common ignoramuses have started to regard it as necessary, and censure the one who doesn’t do it, it has become an abomination and wicked innovation. This is an innovated affair. If the commoners begin to think something established as permissible to be necessary, that too is impermissible and an abomination. It is narrated from ‘Abdullāh ibn Mas‘ūd (may Allah – Exalted is He – be pleased with him) that he said: “Let not one of you make for Shayṭān any part of salāh, viewing that it is a duty on him that he does not turn except to his right. Indeed, I had seen the Messenger of Allah (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) frequently turning to his left (agreed upon).” ‘Alī al-Qārī said in the commentary of this hadīth: “The one who persists on a desirable matter and makes it a firm resolve, and does not act on a dispensation, the Shayṭān has acquired from him deviation, so what of the one who persists on innovation and abomination?!” It states in Fatāwā ‘Ālamgīriyyah: “What is done after the ṣalāh is makrūh because the ignorant people believe it to be sunnah or wajib and every permissible act leading to this is makrūh.”

Thus, firstly, it has been established that this standing has never been proven in any ḥadīth or athar, whether one that is verbal, practical or based on tacit approval. Thus this matter is itself invented. Secondly, if hypothetically, something did happen, it was nothing like wājib, sunnah or mustaḥabb, because wājib is the practice that is established by decisive evidence and conjectural indication or conjectural evidence and decisive indication, and here in the matter of standing, there is no clear text (naṣṣ) even, neither strong nor weak; and sunnah refers to the ruling in which it is established he (upon him peace) or the righteous caliphs persisted, and since in the matter of standing nothing is established not even once, it cannot even be mustaḥabb and mandūb, let alone sunnah.

The most that can be said of the matter if someone tries very hard is that it is permissible and neutral. But to regard a mubāḥ act as sunnah or wājib will make it an innovation and abomination, as has become clear from the statement of Ibn Mas‘ūd (Allāh be pleased with him) and Mullā Alī Qārī (Allāh have mercy on him) and the narration of ‘Ālamgiriyyah.

Anyhow, to declare this standing necessary is harām, and the one who says so is a fāsiq and perpetrator of major sin because that practice which the lawgiver has forbidden (i.e. introducing a new ritual into religion), he has declared wājib. Thus, it is pure opposition to the bright Sharī‘ah. Allāh (Exalted is He) said: “And whosoever opposes the Messenger after guidance becomes clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers we will turn him to what he has turned and make him roast in hell, evil an abode.”

The upshot is that standing at the time of mentioning the birth either:

    1. Has the reason that these people take support from some fabricated narration, or adhere to some saying or practice of scholars. It is known that fabrications and the statements and actions of scholars do not establish a ruling and dispensation until a proof of Shar‘īah is found. Thus, in this situation, recommendation etc. is not proven. Whoever by their own judgement considers [a ḥadīth] to be established, even then to consider it obligatory and emphasised is bid‘ah.
    1. Or it has the reason that the pure soul (upon him peace) came from the world of souls to the world of seeing, so standing is done to honour this. This too is pure foolishness because in this case standing ought to be done at the time of the blessed birth occurring. Which birth is being repeated each day? Thus, this re-enactment of the birth each day is like the Hindus who observe the play-acting (sāng) of the birth of Kanhaiya each year, or like the Rawāfiḍ who recreate [the events of] the martyrdom of the prophetic household each year. Allāh forbid, they have established a play-acting (sāng) of his (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) birth. Just this act is worthy of blame and is ḥarām and wickedness. In fact, these people have exceeded them [the Hindus and Rawāfiḍ]. They do it at a specific date. They have no restrictions. Whenever they want, they create these imagined tales. Such a thing is not observed anywhere in Sharī‘ah, that an imagined matter is established, and is treated as though it is real. Rather, this is forbidden in Sharī‘ah. Thus, based on this reason, this standing would be ḥarām and become a cause of imitating the disbelievers and the wicked.
    1. Or it has the reason that in the corrupt view of these innovators, the victorious soul [of the Prophet] attends this gathering of evils and sins and illicit activities, and this assembly of wicked people and sinners, and this location of innovations and evils. Allāh forbid! If the belief is that he is ‘Ālim al-Ghayb, this belief itself is shirk. It states in the Qur’ān: “With Him are the keys of the ghayb. None but He knows them.” And: “Had I known the ghayb, I would have amassed good and no evil would afflict me.” Thus, to perform the standing with this belief will itself be shirk.
    1. Those who do not say he is ‘Ālim al-Ghayb but have a different evidence or proof of attendance, then understand well that in the topic of beliefs it is necessary to have a decisive text. A belief cannot be established based on singular narrations and speculative evidences, let alone weak and fabricated narrations. In the matter of attendance, which decisive narration is there on which this belief can be based? Thus, this belief is pure following of desires and a scheme of the devil. In such a situation, this standing, with this belief, is a major sin.

In brief, this standing in the first situation is bid‘ah and an abomination, and in the second situation is ḥarām and wickedness, and in the third situation is disbelief and in the fourth situation is following desires and a major sin. Thus, in no situation is it licit and permissible.

Barāhīn e Qāṭi’ah, Dārul Ishā‘at, p.151-2

Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah on the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam being a “Brother”

January 12, 2020

Some Barelwīs allege that Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī/Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī are guilty of blasphemy for describing the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah as a “brother” to people. For example, Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi wrote in 2010: “The blasphemous comments of the scholars of Deoband include…that the Prophet was a brother to people etc. (in…Baraheen Qaatiah)!”

The following is a translation of the complete section of Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah in reference so readers can assess whether this really is “blasphemy” (as Munawwar claims) or another example of the Barelwī passion to call out anything as “blasphemy” when it comes from their theological opponents.

When the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) forbade ṣawm wiṣāl (continuous fasting without ifṭār) and when some companions, in order to justify their violation of this prohibition, said that he (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) himself performs it, he replied: “Which of you is like me? I spend the night while my Rabb feeds me and gives me drink.” (Bukhārī) And in another version, he said: “I am not like any of you…” (Muslim)

‘Abd al-Samī‘ al-Rāmpūri used this narration in Anwār Sāṭi‘ah to criticise those who regard the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) as our “brother” (which is an indirect reference to Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd and his Taqwiyat al-Īmān, where he referred to all prophets and men of piety as “brothers” in humanity – as opposed to gods – while commenting on a ḥadīth in which the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam described himself as “your brother” – see for an explanation here).

In response, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī writes in Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah:

I say:

In the ḥadīth, “Which of you is like me?” the intent is likeness in proximity to Allāh Almighty, which is clearly indicated by the words he said after this: “My Rabb feeds me and gives me drink.” The same is the case with the verse: “You [O wives of the Prophet] are not like any of the women” (Qur’an 33:32), in which is intended negation of likeness in terms of the honour of being the wives [of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam] and the consequences of being the wives [of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam].

Not even the least Muslim will claim likeness with the Pride of the World (upon him blessings) in proximity to Allāh and his lofty perfections. However, all children of Ādam are equal to him in the very property of being human (nafs bashariyyat) as Allāh Himself states: “Say: I am but a man like you.” And after this, the qualification “revelation comes to me” (Qur’an 18:110), again establishes the position of proximity to Allāh after affirming likeness in being human.

Thus, if anybody says that he is a brother, in the sense of being from the descendants of Ādam, there is no contradiction with the texts, but it is perfectly in line with the texts [of Qur’ān and Ḥadīth]. The Pride of the World (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said: “I hoped to see my brothers.” (Muslim) Thus, he has affirmed brotherhood based on being from the children of Ādam and this basis is completely in line with Qur’ān and Ḥadīth, and attacking this is an attack on Qur’ān and Ḥadīth, and disagreeing with this is opposition to the clear texts [of Qur’ān and Ḥadīth]. Thus, the one who says he is a brother means it in the sense that he is from the children of Ādam, not because he believes in likeness in terms of proximity to Allāh! Thus, an attack on this stems from nothing but an opposition to the texts.

To take out his (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) person from being human – which is the noblest and most exalted of creation – and placing him in another species is pure disrespect and degradation of his lofty station. The author has not yet understood what the one who said this meant, and the author’s attack is [in reality] of the Qur’ān and Ḥadīth themselves. Nonetheless, this is surely him exposing his own lack of understanding. The verse, “You [O wives of the Prophet] are not like any of the women” is understood in the same way.

I say:

There is no doubt that brotherhood in the very property of being human, and equality in terms of being from the children of Ādam, has been established in the text of the Qur’ān; while, in the perfections of proximity, nobody has called him a brother or believes him to be equal [with others]. Thus, this objection is complete sophistry, against understanding and reason. (Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah, p. 7)

Where is the blasphemy in this passage? In this passage, the author states no one is equal to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in proximity to Allāh and his lofty perfections. But in the very property of being human, he is equal to all human beings, as confirmed in Qur’ān and Ḥadīth, and in this sense he has been referred to as our brother (as found in some ḥadīths).

‘Allāmah Barzanjī on ‘Ilm al-Ghayb – A Response to Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi

January 6, 2020

‘Allāmah Sayyid Aḥmad al-Barzanjī has two treatises refuting the belief [famously held by Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī] that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was bestowed knowledge of literally every single thing in creation up to the Day of Judgement. The first treatise is available as a manuscript, and was written in 1322 H, called Risālah fī ‘Ilm al-Ghayb (available here) and the second the famous Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl written some time after 1324 H (available here; see also here). To cast doubt on the authorship of the second treatise, Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi suggests there is a contradiction between the two treatises, and in doing so, quotes Sayyid Barzanjī’s first treatise deceptively (see, for what he says: p28 here).

In fact, in both treatises, Sayyid Barzanjī says the view that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was given ‘ilm jamī‘ mā kāna wa mā yakūn is bāṭil and an unacceptable view.

The full quote, after mentioning that some late scholars like Ibrāhīm al-Bājūrī held this incorrect view*, is as follows:

فما تقول في قول هؤلاء؟ فالجواب الذي أقوله: أن هذا القول خلاف  التحقيق ودعوى بلا دليل وهجوم فى العلم بلا مستند، بل مخالف ومبارز لصريح الآيات والأحاديث وكلام أئمة الدين الذين عليهم التعويل في مثل هذا المقام المهم كما تقدم بيان كثير منه، وقد قال الله تعالى: ولا تقف ما ليس لك به علم، إن السمع والبصر والفؤاد كل أولاؤك كان عنه مسؤولا، ومع هذا لا يلزم من قولهم المذكور كفر ولا بدعة لأنه مبني منهم على تأويل تلك الآيات والأحاديث كما هو الظاهر اللائق بشأنهم

“What do you say about the view of these [scholars]? The answer that I say is that this view is against verification and is a claim without [proper] evidence and is an attack on [religious] knowledge without basis; in fact, it is in conflict and opposition to clear verses and ḥadīths and the statement of the imāms on whom is dependence in such an important topic, just as the presentation of much of it has passed. Allāh, exalted is He, has said: ‘Do not pursue what you have no knowledge of, indeed th e hearing, sight and heart – all of them will be questioned about.’ But despite this, the aforementioned view of theirs does not necessitate [passing a judgement of] kufr or bid‘ah [on them] because it is based on them having made ta’wīl in those verses and ḥadīths, as is evident and suitable to their position.”

Note: He also refers to this view of some late scholars in Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl, p81-2, and says the same – that it is not a followable position.

The parts in bold are significant passages that Munawwar did not reveal to his readers.

Sayyid Barzanjī is not saying that the misguided view he describes is not itself kufr or bid‘ah – how can it not be kufr or bid‘ah when it opposes clear texts of Qur’ān and ḥadīth, and opposes the statements of the imāms that are depended on?! But that the individual scholars of the past who held this view will not be called mubtadi‘ or kāfir because it was based on an error of judgement, and a mistaken ta’wīl. Ibrāhīm al-Bājūrī and his likes would fall in this category.

But when a person is adamant on such a position, even after the clear evidence of the truth opposing it comes to light, then it will definitely amount to kufr or bid‘ah. Aḥmad Riḍā Khān falls in the latter category.

* As follows:

فإن قلت: قد قال بعض المتأخرين ممن قرب عصره أن علمه صلى الله عليه وسلم محيط بجميع المعلومات حتى المغيبات الخمس، منهم العلامة الباجوري فى حاشيته على سلم المنطق المنظوم فإنه بعد أن نقل اختلاف علماء عصره في ذلك قال: والتحقيق الذي نعتقده أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يفارق الدنيا حتى أفاض الله عليه علم الأشياء كلها لكن لا كعلم الله، أي: الفرق بين علمه تعالى وعلمه صلى الله عليه وسلم على تسليم هذا أن علمه تعالى محيط بالأشياء كلها أزلا وأبدا إجمالا وتفصيلا ولا يشغله حضور معلوم في علمه عن حضور معلوم آخر، وأن علمه صلى الله عليه وسلم مع كونه حادثا ليس بالوجه المذكور

See for earlier refutations of Munawwar: here, here, here, here.

Answering the Challenge of Munawwar Ateeq Rizwi to True Sunni Muslims

September 30, 2013

Answering the Challenge of Munawwar Ateeq Rizwi to True Sunni Muslims

In this recently uploaded video, Barelwi preacher, Munawwar Ateeq Rizwi, issues a challenge to true Sunni Muslims:


Most of the video is the usual nauseating drivel, full of rhetoric, boasts, self-promotion and emotional blackmail, lacking any real substance. However, he issues a couple of challenges to Sunni Muslims, which I felt I should answer.

I will break this response down into two parts, in answer to both challenges of Munawwar. His first challenge was to find any statement from the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wherein they define ‘ilm al-ghayb or ghayb in such a way that it is exclusive to Allah and inapplicable to creatures. His second challenge was to prove that after the completion of the revelation of the Qur’an, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was unaware of any worldly knowledge or event.

Answering Munawwar’s First Challenge

At around the 34 minute mark, he claims so-called non-Sunnis attempt to define ghayb or ‘ilm al-ghayb so as to negate it from the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Then at around 42 minutes, he issues the following challenge: “Not a single ‘aalim in the history of Islamic civilisation ever gave that definition of ghayb. This is my challenge. My challenge is: not a single ‘aalim in the history of Islamic civilisation from the Ahlus Sunnah ever gave, never ever gave, such a definition to ghayb in which they secluded it only for Allah Subhaanahoo wa Ta‘aalaa. You can never show me such a definition for ghayb….Nobody can show us a definition from the ‘ulamaa’ of Ahlus Sunnah in which the ‘aalim defines ghayb in a way that is specific to Allah.”

In answer to this challenge, I will first present one comprehensive definition given by an accepted scholar of Ahlus Sunnah, followed by some supporting statements from other accepted scholars of Ahlus Sunnah.

The great Māturīdī Imam of ‘Aqidah, ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Ahmad al-Farhārī (see his biography in Nuzhat al-Khawātir, Dār Ibn Hazm, p. 1018) writes in his famous and accepted text on ‘Aqidah, an-Nibrās (a commentary on Taftāzāni’s Sharh al-‘Aqā’id al-Nasafiyyah), which was authored in the year 1239 H/1823 CE:

واعلم أن للناس في مسألة الغيب كلمات غير منقحة والتحقيق أن الغيب ما غاب عن الحواس والعلم الضروري والعلم الإستدلالي وقد نطق القرآن بنفي علمه عمن سواه تعالى فمن ادعى أنه يعلمه كفر ومن صدق المدعي كفر وأما ما علم بحاسة أو ضرورة أو دليل فليس بغيب ولا كفر في دعواه ولا في تصديقه على الجزم فى اليقيني والظن فى الظني عند المحققين

 وبهذا التحقيق اندفع الإشكال فى الأمور التي يزعم أنها من الغيب وليست منه لكونها مدركة بالسمع أو البصر أو الضرورة أو الدليل

فأحدها إخبار الأنبياء لأنها مستفادة من الوحي ومن خلق العلم الضروري فيهم أو من انكشاف الكوائن على حواسهم

ثانيها خبر الولي لأنه مستفاد من النبي أو من رؤيا صالحة أو من إلهام إلهي أو من النظر فى اللوح المحفوظ وهو ثابت من أهل الكشف وإن منعه بعض الفقهاء

تالثها إخبار المحاسب بالكسوف والخسوف لأنه بدلائل هندسية قطعية

رابعها إخبار المنجم والرمال لأن النجوم والرمل علمان استدلاليان منزلان على بعض الأنبياء ثم اندرسا وخلط الناس فيهما فمن استدل بقاعدة نبوية أصاب فى الخبر

خامسها خبر الكاهن لأنه مما يخبره الجن عن مشاهدة أو سماع من الملائكة الذين عرفوا الكوائن المستقبلة بالوحي

تم نقول قد نطق كثير من الأحاديث وأقوال السلف بكفر المنجم والكاهن ومن يصدقهما وذكر غير واحد من المحققين أن التكفير خاص بمن يدعي علم الغيب أو يزعم النجوم مدبرة بالاستقلال أو يزعم الجن عالمة بالغيب

قلت: ومع هذا ليس الإشتغال بالنجوم والكهانة وتصديقهما من فعل الصالحين ولا شك أن فيهما إخلالا بعقائد ضعفاء المسلمين لزعمهم أن المخبر عالم بالغيب على أن الكاهن يصعب أن يسلم إيمانه لاستمداده من الشياطين

فاحفظ هذا التحقيق فإنه من خواص مؤلفاتنا

النبراس شرح شرح العقائد، مكتبة حقانية، ص ٣٤٣-٤

“Know that the people have unrefined words on the issue of ghaybThe verification is that ghayb is that which is hidden to the senses, necessary knowledge and deductive knowledge. The Qur’an has pronounced its negation from (every) one besides Him, Exalted is He. Thus, whoever claims that he knows it has disbelieved, and whoever assents to (the claim of) a claimant has disbelieved. As for that which is known through sense or necessity or evidence, it is not ghayb, nor has one disbelieved by claiming it, nor by assenting to it with certainty in certain (knowledge) and uncertainty in conjectural (knowledge), according to the verifiers.

By this verification, the difficulty in the issues which are assumed that they are from ghayb and are not (in reality) from them as they are perceived by hearing, seeing, necessity or evidence, is dispelled.

One of them is the report of the prophets, because they are acquired from revelation and from the creation of a necessary knowledge in them or from the exposure of existents to their senses.

“The second of them is the report of a saint because it is acquired from a prophet or a pious dream or divine inspiration or from looking into the Preserved Tablet which is established from the Ahl al-Kashf, although some jurists deny it.

“The third of them is the report of an astronomer of (the time of) the solar and lunar eclipse because it is by decisive mathematical evidences.

“The fourth of them is the report of an astrologer and geomancer because astrology and geomancy are two deductive sciences that were sent down on some of the prophets and then they were lost and the people became confused over them, so whoever draws evidence using a prophetic principle, he will be correct in the report.

“The fifth of them is the report of a soothsayer because it is from that which the jinn inform him from observation or hearing the angels who are aware of future existents by means of revelation.

“Then we say: Many of the hadiths and statements of the Salaf have pronounced kufr on the astrologer and soothsayer and whoever assents to them, and many of the verifiers have stated that the anathematisation is limited to the one who claims knowledge of ghayb or believes the stars manage (the creation) independently or believes the jinn know the ghayb.

“I say: And despite this, occupation in astrology and soothsaying and assenting to them is not from the practice of the righteous people, and there is no doubt that through them there is harm created in the beliefs of the weak Muslims due to their belief that the one giving the information is knower of ghayb; on top it being difficult for the īmān of a soothsayer to remain secure as he seeks help from the devils.

“Preserve this verification as it is from the specialities of our writings.”

An-Nibrās fi Sharh Sharh al-‘Aqā’id, Maktabah Haqqāniyyah, pp. 343-4

The author of an-Nibrās clearly defines ghayb in such a way that the true meaning of ‘ilm al-ghayb belongs exclusively to Allah, which he says is attested to by verses of the Qur’an. Examples of these verses are:

قُل لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ

“Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the ghayb besides Allah.” (27:65)

قُل لاَّ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَآئِنُ اللّهِ وَلا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ

Say (O Prophet): I do not say to you I have the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the ghayb.” (6:50)

قُل لاَّ أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلاَ ضَرًّا إِلاَّ مَا شَاء اللّهُ وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لاَسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ

“Say: I do not own for myself benefit, nor harm, except what Allah wills; and had I known the ghayb I would have accumulated a lot of good things and no evil would have touched me.” (7:188)

Furthermore, if this wasn’t clear enough, the author of an-Nibrās lists a number of things which people wrongly assume to be ‘ilm al-ghayband he explains why they are not so. The first example he uses is the information given by prophets, as this is received through revelation; and anything to which there is a means or evidence – including revelation – is not classified as true ghayb. In sum, his definition of ghaybentails that it is all knowledge to which creation have absolutely no access.

Many other scholars have said the same. For example, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974 H) said in his al-Fatāwā al-Hadīthiyyah:

لا يعلم الغيب إلا هو ومن سواه إن علموا جزئيات منه فهو بإعلامه وإطلاعه لهم وحينئذ لا يطلق أنهم يعلمون الغيب إذ لا صفة لهم يقتدرون بها على الاستقلال بعلمه وأيضا هم ما علموا وإنما علموا وأيضا هم ما علموا غيبا مطلقا لأن من أعلم بشيء منه يشاركه فيه الأنبياء ونظراؤه ممن اطلع

رسائل ابن عابدين، ٢:٣١٣


None but He (Allah) knows the ghayb, and those besides Him, although they know particulars of it, it is by His revelation and disclosure to them. Therefore, it is not said without qualification that they know the ghayb, since they have no attribute by which they can independently know it. Moreover, they do not know, but were taught. Moreover, they were not taught the unseen in absolute terms because whoever is informed something from it, the Prophets and their peers who have comprehended [that knowledge] participate with him in it.”

Quoted in Rasā’il Ibn ‘Abidin, 2:313

It is clear from this that al-Haythami considers the true meaning of ghayb as being something that is limited to Allah.

An-Nasafi also defines ghayb in his Tafsir in a way that it is exclusive to Allah:

الغيب هو ما لم يقم عليه دليل ولا أطلع عليه مخلوق

Ghayb is that on which no evidence has been erected, nor was a creature informed of it.”

From amongst recent scholars, ‘Allamah al-Kawthari clearly says in his Maqālāt:

العلم بإعلام الله لا يكون من الغيب في شيء

Knowledge by means of disclosure from Allah is not from (true) ghayb at all.

Ibn ‘Abidin said:

ما اختص به تعالى هو الغيب المطلق على أن ما يدعيه العبد ليس غيبا حقيقة لأنه إنما يكون بإعلام من الله تعالى

رسائل ابن عابدين، ٢:٣١٤


“That which is exclusive to Him is unrestricted/unqualified ghayb, while that which the servant (i.e. prophet or saint) claims is notghayb in reality because it only comes about by disclosure from Allah, Exalted is He.”

Rasā’il Ibn Abidīn, 2:314

Since this is the true and original meaning of ‘ilm al-ghayb – i.e. that which creatures have absolutely no access to –, this is why the Hanafis have clearly stated that the one who claims ‘ilm al-ghayb (without qualifying it) has committed kufr.

Ibn ‘Abidin says:

ذكر الحنفية في عدة من كتبهم أن من ادعى لنفسه علم الغيب كفر

رسائل ابن عابدين، ٢:٣١١

The Hanafis have stated in a number of their books that the one who claims ‘ilm al-ghayb for himself has disbelieved.”

Rasā’il Ibn Abidin, 2:311

Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari said:

وذكر الحنفية تصريحا بالتكفير باعتقاد أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يعلم الغيب لمعارضة قوله تعالى قل لا يعلم من في السماوات والأرض الغيب إلا الله كذا في المسايرة

منح الروض الأزهر في شرح الفقه الأكبر، دار البشائر الإسلامية، ص ٤٢٢

“The Hanafis have mentioned clearly that by believing the Prophet (upon him blessing and peace) knew the ghayb one is declared a disbeliever due to conflict with His (Exalted is He) statement: “Say: None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen but Allah.””

Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fī Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, Dār al-Bashā’ir al-Islāmiyyah, p. 422

Ibn al-Humam and Ibn Abi Sharif say the same thing in Musamarah/Musayarah. (Kitāb al-Musāmarah bi Sharh al-Musāyarahal-Matba‘ah al-Kubrā al-Amīriyyah, p. 202)


If “’ilm al-ghayb” in its original meaning was a quality shared by Allah and His creatures, this verdict makes no sense. The only way it can be made sense of is by acknowledging that ‘ilm al-ghayb in its true and original sense according to the Hanafis means the knowledge which is completely inaccessible to creation (what al-Tahawi calls al-‘ilm al-mafqūd). To claim such knowledge is certainly kufr (as al-Tahawi mentioned), as it is to claim independent knowledge, which is exclusive to Allah. Thus, again, as with other issues, the claim of the Barelwis to Hanafiyyat has been proven to be an empty claim. In reality, their maslak is ‘Nafsaniyyat,’ not ‘Hanafiyyat.’

It is absolutely clear, therefore, that Munawwar’s statement that no scholar of Ahlus Sunnah has defined ‘ilm al-ghayb so as to exclude every being besides Allah from having this quality is a baseless and totally incorrect claim; unless he wishes to exclude all the above scholars from the Ahlus Sunnah and reserve the name only for his imam, Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi, and his followers (which is what they really mean when they say “Ahlus Sunnah”). In fact, the scholars of ‘Aqidah, Fiqh and Tafsir, particularly those of a Hanafi persuasion, are clear that according to its true and original meaning, ‘ilm al-ghayb is a quality reserved for Allah, Most Exalted, and none share with Him in this quality.

Answering Munawwar’s Second Challenge

After about one hour into the video, Munawwar claims – quoting his imam, Ahmad Rida Khan – that there is not a single decisive proof that after the completion of the Qur’an, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) displayed unawareness of any matter of the world.

I will present one hadith to refute this claim.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrate in several places of their Sahihs on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas:

يُؤْخَذُ بِرِجَالٍ مِنْ أَصْحَابِي ذَاتَ اليَمِينِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ، فَأَقُولُ: أَصْحَابِي، فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَزَالُوا مُرْتَدِّينَ عَلَى أَعْقَابِهِمْ مُنْذُ فَارَقْتَهُمْ، فَأَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ العَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ: وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ، فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنْتَ أَنْتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَأَنْتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ، إِنْ تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ، وَإِنْ تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنْتَ العَزِيزُ الحَكِيمُ


“Men from my companions will be seized from the right and the left, so I will say: ‘My companions!’ It will be said: ‘They continued turning back on their heels (i.e. apostatising) since you parted from them.’ So I will say as the righteous slave ‘Isa ibn Maryam said: ‘I was witness over them for as long as I was amongst them, and then when You took me, You became the watcher over them…’”

Thus, it is established that on the plains of resurrection, RasulAllah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) will say he was unaware of the actions of some of those who accompanied him after his death.

In another version of the same hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari:

يُجَاءُ بِرِجَالٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي، فَيُؤْخَذُ بِهِمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ، فَأَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَصْحَابِي، فَيُقَالُ: لاَ تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، فَأَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ العَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ: {وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا، مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ}

In this narration, he is told “You do not know what they innovated after you.”

In another narration from Sahih Muslim it is mentioned that RasulAllah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) will initially say: “They are from me!” attempting to intercede for them. And then when he is told “you do not know what they innovated after you,” he will say: “away (with them), away!” This behaviour clearly shows he will be initially unaware of their actions that they committed after his death.

In another version from Sahih al-Bukhari:

يَرِدُ عَلَى الحَوْضِ رِجَالٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِي، فَيُحَلَّئُونَ عَنْهُ، فَأَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَصْحَابِي، فَيَقُولُ: إِنَّكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَكَ بِمَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، إِنَّهُمُ ارْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَارِهِمْ القَهْقَرَى

In this narration, Allah will say to RasulAllah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam): “You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you.”

Note: Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab narrated this marfoo‘ narration from several “companions” (ashāb) of RasulAllah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Note: This narration (in which certain people who the Prophet – sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam – initially believed to be his true companions are driven away from the Hawd) was narrated with various wordings from a number of the Sahabah, including Ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, Sahl ibn Sa‘d, ‘A’ishah, Anas ibn Malik, ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamān and Umm Salamah, all of which are found the Sahih of al-Bukhari, the Sahih of Muslim or both. Hence, this is a mutawātir narration, proving that the Prophet did not have some knowledge of the world even after the revelation of the Qur’an was complete.

In the end, we can safely say Munawwar’s challenge in no way offers any real challenges to correct Sunni doctrine, and in actual fact, merely reveals his own ignorance and fanaticism.

Part 2: Refutation of Munawwar and his Article on Ilm al-Ghayb

September 7, 2012

by Zameelur Rahman

Munawwar replied to some parts that were mentioned against his article here: http://scholarsink.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/dispelling-false-notions_p1.pdf

will address a few technical errors and objections to his article:

1. He refers to al-Alusi to prove the claim that verse 16:89 of the Qur’an refers to literally every single thing in creation (pp. 3-4). AlthoughAlusi does attribute this view to “some of them” (ba’duhum), he does not specify any exegete or scholar in particular. And in fact slightly earlier he states: “The majority of the exegetes have taken the view of specifying [“thing” to matters of need and religion], and that was narrated from Mujahid.”

ذهب أكثر المفسرين إلى اعتبار التخصيص وروي ذلك عن مجاهد

Alusi clearly states Mujahid did specify the verse [and this is narrated from him with sound chains from Tabari’s tafsir under the verse] contrary to Munawwar’s assertion that the early exegetes did not. And he makes it absolutely clear that this is the view of the vast majority of the exegetes, and this is plainly clear if you search the tafsir of the verse from every tafsir of the altafsir.com database. Tabari, Zamakhshari, Razi, Qurtubi, Baydawi, Jalal al-Din Mahalli and Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Fayruzabadi, Shawkani, Baghawi, Khazin, Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Nasafi, Abu Hayyan, Abu al-Sa’ud, Isma’il al-Haqqi, Tabrani and other mufassirun all specified the verse.

Munawwar dishonestly claims about Alusi’s tafsir “He then quotes statements of Imam Ibn al-Arabi, Sayyiduna Ali, Imam Suyuti and Imam Mursi, and Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them all) on the generality of this verse.” Alusi does no such thing. Rather, he says this tafsir is supported (yu’ayyidu) by specific things reported from those individuals, and he does not quote any of them stating the tafsir of this verse is what he mentioned.

Regarding Ibn al-‘Arabi, Alusi mentions that he extracted certain information about the future from the Qur’an as did ‘Ali (radiy Allahu ‘anhu), although he gives no information as to the authenticity of these attributions. As Mufti Shafi’ mentions in his tafsir, however, this does not contradict the majority-view that “all things” refers to religious matters, as these informations that are extracted are based on allusions and hints and not therefore included in the “exposition/explanation” (tibyan).

Munawwar claims Alusi quotes from “Imam al-Suyuti and Imam Mursi…on the generality of this verse.” Neither Imam al-Suyuti nor al-Mursi is quoted in relation to the verse, rather Imam al-Suyuti is quoted quoting al-Mursi saying the following: “The Qur’an gathers the sciences of the earlier and later peoples, in a manner by which none encompasses it by true knowledge except its Speaker [i.e. Allah], and then the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) except what He (سبحانه) preferred for Himself.”

وقد نقل الجلال السيوطي عن المرسي أنه قال: جمع القرآن علوم الأولين والآخرين بحيث لم يحط بها علماً حقيقة إلا المتكلم به ثم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم خلا ما استأثر به سبحانه

This statement in fact proves “restriction” as Mursi says although the Qur’an contains the knowledge of the earlier and later peoples, only Allah can truly comprehend this knowledge in His speech, and the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was also given this knowledge but with certain exceptions. This is therefore not in support of Munawwar’s claim. Mursi’s quote continues to say: “Then the masters of the Sahabah like the four calphs and like Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn Mas’ud inherited from him (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) most of that [i.e. not all of it].”

ثم ورث عنه معظم ذلك سادات الصحابة وأعلامهم مثل الخلفاء الأربعة ومثل ابن عباس وابن مسعود

Thus, in Mursi’s statement (which is also the source of the attribution of this view to ibn ‘Abbas and ibn Mas’ud), there is restriction after restriction. Munawwar’s claim that Alusi “then quotes statements of Imam Ibn al-Arabi, Sayyiduna Ali, Imam Suyuti and Imam Mursi, and Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them all) on the generality of this verse,” is therefore no doubt a lie.

2. On page 9 and 14, he refers to a statement from Mujahid recorded in Ibn Abi Hatim’s tafsir regarding verse 6:154. Ibn Abi Hatim’s tafsir is available for download here. The particular narration is no. 8115 which comes through a route with questionable narrators [Muhammad ibn Muslim al-Ta’ifi about whom al-‘Asqalani says in al-Taqrib “reliable, but erring in his memory;” and Khusayf ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman about whom al-‘Asqalani says “reliable, bad memory, he became mixed-up towards his end, and he was accused of irja.”] Furthermore, if this narration must mean that “an explanation of all things” in 6:154 is taken generally and literally according to Mujahid, it would contradict the narration narrated by Ibn Abi Hatim immediately after this one also from Mujahid (but which Munawwar conveniently ignored) with a sound chain of narration [all the narrators are narrators of all six of the major collections of hadith, except Ibn Abi Hatim’s shaykh who is saduq according to Misbah al-Arib]: “‘of all things’ i.e. what they were commanded and what they were forbidden.” This is a clear authentic tafsir from Mujahid on the specification of this verse also just as he specified 16:89, and al-Tabari narrates many similar narrations under verse (6:154) from others of the Salaf.

3. On page 15, he says regarding the tafsir of Ibn Mas’ud I referred to in my first post above and showed its chain is weak: “Firstly, this tafsir is narrated by scholars other than al-Tabari too. Imam Kattani (p. 285) relies on this tafsir quoting Ibn Abi Hatim in addition to al-Tabari. It is a basic concept in Usul al-Hadith that if a chain is proven weak it does not ultimately weaken the wording narrated as there can be other chains to the wording too.” A weak chain can be strengthened by a supporting chain but Munawwar offers no evidence how the chain of al-Tabari’s is strenghtened by any other supporting chain, but leaves it to the reader to check up the other reference to Ibn Abi Hatim. In his tafsir of 16:89, Ibn Abi Hatim refers to a tafsir of Ibn Mas’ud as follows: “Indeed Allah revealed in this book an explanation for all things, and we know some from what He explained to us in the Qur’an, then he recited “And We revealed to you the Book as an explanation for all things,” and he said: via the Sunnah.” (no. 12632) This in fact supports restriction as Ibn Mas’ud is reported to say the explanation of all things come via the Sunnah. More importantly, however, Ibn Abi Hatim does not provide a chain for this report and instead mentions it without chain (mu’allaq). Therefore, this tafsir from Ibn Mas’ud, as narrated by al-Tabari, remains weak due to the defects (da’f and jahala) in the three narrators I mentioned in my first post. Munawwar ostentatiously repeatedly refers to a “rich Islamic intellectual tradition” that he supposedly inherited and from which the “Deobandis” are deprived, yet he can’t assess the weakness or strength of a narration using that intellectual tradition as evident in these last two points, and he lies about it – as evident from the first point – in order to support his sectarian leader’s view.

4. On page 17, he refers to my earlier quote from al-Baydawi and then wrongly imputes [either due to ignorance or dishonesty] an opinion to the commentator of al-Baydawi, al-Shihab al-Khafaji. The particular commentary can be found here (volume 5 of ‘Inayat al-Qadi) on p. 362. Munawwar says, al-Shihab al-Khafaji criticised al-Baydawi’s view with the objection that “His (i.e. Baydawi’s) assertion “from the matters of religion” is a restriction that this place (i.e. verse) does not require,” whereas in fact al-Khafaji said this quoting a second tafsir, and in fact refutes it based on the fact that Baydawi’s tafsir is required by the context – the exact opposite of what Munawwar imputed to him! Al-Shihab al-Khafaji’s commentary, translated, is as follows:

Baydawi said [in commentary of 16:89]: “of all things from the matters of religion in detail or summary by reference to the Sunnah and Qiyas.”Al-Shihab al-Khafaji comments:He preferred this [meaning] so kull (all) remains on its literal meaning. However, he specified the generality of shay’ (thing) by a qualification or description [i.e. “from the matters of religion”] that is determined by the indication of the context, and that is that the sending of prophets (upon them peace) [which is referred to in the same verse] was only to explain religion, and for this reason, he (upon him peace) said: “You are more learned about the matters of your world,” and for this reason they were answered regarding the new moons with what they were answered [a reference to Qur’an 2:189 where the Sahabah asked about the new moons, probably from a scientific perspective, and the answer they received was from a religious perspective].

It was said: kull is for abundance (takthir) and magnification (tafkhim) [and not literally “all”] as in His statement: “It shall annihilate everything by the command of its Lord” (46:25), since what is in the encompassment and generalisation [of kull] is found in tibyan of exaggerated explanation [and not complete explanation], and that his statement “from the matters of religion” is a specification not required by the context [this latter portion is what Munawwar quotes and is in fact from the statement of the one from whom “it was said” and is not al-Khafaji’s own statement].

You know the refutation of the second [opinion] [i.e. that it is in fact required by the context – a reference to his earlier comment that the context does require it]. As for the first, it may be contested by [saying] that that [verse] is in accordance with quantity not quality. Each one [of these opinions] have their perspective [a reference to Qur’an 2:148] and that which gives preference to the first [i.e. Baydawi’s commentary] is kull is kept in its literal meaning in the sentence.

It is clear, therefore, Munawwar not only lied about Alusi’s passage referred to in the first point above, but also misread or lied about this passage from al-Khafaji’s commentary. That, in my opinion, is not representative of our lofty scholarly tradition, which Munawwar boasts having monopoly over.

5. Finally, Munawwar does not see the irony in his statement on p. 6: “When will the Deobandis refrain from repugnant fatwas of innovation on the major scholars of this ummah? It is about time that they realise the implications of these knee-jerk fatwas.” Most of the above posts were to demonstrate that Munawwar’s support of the fatwas of kufr were based on a clear misreading and misrepresentation of the passages from the scholars he quoted; furtheremore, they show the correct definition of ‘ilm al-ghayb from the scholars of the Hanafi school, and how this supports the views of Mawlana Gangohi, Thanawi and others. Isn’t it about time that the Shi’a/Qadiyani-influenced Berelwi school [if he is allowed to say “Wahhabi-influenced Deobandi school”…] realise the implications of their reckless fatwas of takfir?

The above was not meant as a rebuttal to Munawwar’s view regarding the tafsir of verse 16:89 [although Alusi’s comment above about the majority view on takhsis should be sufficient to know the safest stance in this matter], but an illustration of his disingenuousness to have monopoly over the Islamic tradition – while lying about and misreading that very tradition – and his supposed carefulness in issuing fatwas of tabdi’ and takfir while his last article was full of it and when refuted in the above posts, not only does he not address it, he claims his “opponents” are reckless knee-jerk tabdi’is. His entire approach is fake, as there is no doubt his purpose is to defame “Deobandis” and support Ahmad Rida Khan’s strange opinions, and yet he pretends his writings are a result of his being true to the rich scholarly tradition he supposedly inherited!

Refutation of Munawwar al-Barelwi and his Article on Ilm al-Ghayb

September 7, 2012

by Zameelur Rahman

A couple of errors:

1. On pages 9 – 11, he reproduces Ahmad Rida Khan’s argument that Qur’an 16:89 which states the Qur’an is an explanation of all things (kull shay’) is “a decisive proof that Allah gave our Messenger the knowledge of all creatures and all past and future events.” He bases this on “kull” (all) being general and “shay'” meaning “things brought into existence.” [I will ignore the point that if this were decisive (qat’i) in proving this claim, it contradicts his later comment that there is legitimate scope for disagreement when it comes to whether he possesses such knowledge or not, as it is disbelief to deny decisive evidence.] This tafsir, not only contradicts the exegesis of nearly all previous mufassirin and is thus innovated, but results in a contradiction:

On p. 6 he says no prophet was granted the knowledge the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was granted and he says later that he is the most knowledgeable of all creation. However, Qur’an 6:154 and 7:145 says Musa was given tablets which was an “explanation of all things” (tafsilan li kulli shay), using the exact words (kull shay’) as 16:89. This means Musa (‘alayhi salam) also had the same knowledge as the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Qur’an 17:12 says “all things” were explained to humanity. Qur’an 18:84 says Dhu al-Qarnayn was given a “means” to all things; “means” according to the Salaf meant “knowledge” (‘ilm) – see Tabari’s tafsir on the verse. Hence, if based on the words “all things” in 16:89, it is determined the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) had complete knowledge of all created things, this is also established for Musa, Dhu al-Qarnayn, and all humanity.

The reality is, of course, “all things” refers to a specific set of things, and in the case of 16:89 “things which mankind are in need of for their religious affairs.” Al-Tabari narrated from Mujahid (student of Ibn ‘Abbas and expert mufassir from the Salaf) in the commentary of 16:89 with a sound chain that “all things” means “of what is lawful and unlawful” or “what is commanded and forbidden.” Al-Tabari also narrates from Ibn Mas’ud that he said, “Every science was revealed in this Qur’an and everything has been explained for us in the Qur’an.” However the chain of this narration is weak [Al-Qasim ibn Hasan, al-Tabari’s shaykh is unknown as mentioned in Mu’jam Shuyukh al-Tabari; the next narrator Husayn ibn Dawud, also called Sunayd is weak as mentioned by al-‘Asqalani in al-Taqrib and the narrator from Ibn Masud who is simply referred to as “a man” is unknown – hence, the chain is weak]. And although Ibn Kathir favoured this exegesis attributed to Ibn Mas’ud, he specifies Ibn Mas’ud’s statement to mean “every beneficial knowledge” which “mankind is in need of in the affairs of the world and the religion, their livelihood and their afterlife.” Al-Razi says in the tafsir of 16:89 it means all the principles of Islamic law and religion can be found in the Qur’an. He specifically excludes worldly knowledge from the interpretation of the verse. Baydawi says it means “from the matters of religion in detail or in summary by giving reference to Sunnah and Qiyas.” Jalalyan says “which mankind are in need of from the issues of Shari‘ah.” Ibn al-Jawzi, Baghawi, Khazin, Nasafi and other mufassirun say the same.

Hence, the claim that this verse is a decisive proof that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has complete knowledge of all created things and all events, is a ridiculous claim that is at odds with all recognised tafsirs. This claim was refuted by al-Barzanji in the printed copy of Ghayat al-Ma’mul.

2. On p. 21 onwards, he has a section on “Deobandi fatwas” of disbelief for those who believe the Prophet has knowledge of ghayb. However, either due to ignorance or dishonesty, he did not mention the fact that this is a traditional position, that the itlaq (unqalified usage) of the term “knowledge of ghayb” for any besides Allah is disbelief. It may be qualified by saying “knowledge given by Allah” or it may be referred to as “disclosure” (izhar) and not “knowledge” in which case it will be permissible; but its itlaq is not permissible. Ibn al-Humam and Ibn Abi Sharif say in al-Musamarah/al-Musayarah:

Similar is knowledge of the ghayb, i.e. the absence of knowledge of the ghayb is just like the absence of knowledge of some issues. Hence, the Prophet does not know thereof except what Allah (Exalted is He) informed him occasionally. The Hanafis have mentioned explicitly in their furu‘ (secondary laws of jurisprudence) that the belief that the Prophet knows the ghayb is disbelief due to conflict with His statement (Exalted is He) “Say; None in the heavens nor on earth besides Allah knows the ghayb” (27:65).

(وكذا علم المغيبات) أي وكعدم علم بعض المسائل عدم علم المغيبات فلا يعلم النبي منها (إلا ما أعلمه تعالى به أحيانا وذكر الحنفية) في فروعهم (تصريحا بالتكفير باعتقاد أن النبي يعلم الغيب لمعارضة قوله تعالى قل لا يعلم من فى السموات والأرض الغيب إلا الله) الله أعلم

كتاب المسامرة في شرح المسايرة في علم الكلام ٢: ٨٦ –


On p 6, he quotes al-Kattani as saying “there is no disagreement among the people of knowledge, that is the entirety of them, that he, upon him be peace and blessings, was informed by Allah Most High about a large quantity of unseen matters” (la khilafa bayna ahli al-‘ilmi kullihim fi annahu ‘alayhi al-salatu wa al-salam kana mu’allaman min qibali Allah ta’ala bi al-mughayyabat al-kathirah) and he concludes from this sentence, “there is no dispute amongst Muslim theologians…our Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings) had knowledge of the unseen.”

Al-Kattani’s description “was informed by Allah of a large quantity of unseen matters” is changed to “had knowledge of the unseen.” This is significant in terms of his quotes from the Deobandi scholars as they consider the latter statement disbelief but not the former. Al-Kattani himself recognises a difference between “being informed of the unseen” and “having knowledge of the unseen,” as he quotes Ibn Hajar al-Haythami as saying in his al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyyah:

None but Allah knows the unseen (ghayb). Although, others besides Him know particulars of it, it is by His revelation and disclosure to them. Therefore, it is not [permissible] to say without qualification that they know the unseen, since they have no attribute by which they can independently know it. Moreover, they do not know, but were taught. Moreover, they were not taught the unseen in absolute terms because whoever is informed something from it, the Prophets and their peers who have been shown [that knowledge] participate with him in it [i.e. in having that knowledge – therefore it is not “absolute unseen”].”

لا يعلم الغيب إلا هو ومن سواه إن علموا جزئيات منه فهو بإعلامه واطلاعه لهم وحينئذ لا يطلق أنهم يعلمون الغيب إذ لا صفة لهم يقتدرون بها على الاستقلال بعلمه وأيضا هم ما علموا وإنما علموا وأيضا هم ما علموا غيبا مطلقا لأن من أعلم بشيء منه يشاركه فيه الأنبياء ونظراؤه ممن اطلع

Shah Wali Allah al-Dihlawi wrote: “It should be known that it is necessary to negate from [the Prophets] the attributes of the Necessary (Exalted is His Glory) like knowledge of the ghayb, power over the creation of the world etc.” (Al-Tafhimat al-Ilahiyyah)

ليعلم أنه يجب أن ينفى عنهم صفات الواجب جل مجده من العلم بالغيب والقدرة على خلق العالم إلى غير ذلك


Regarding his definition of ghayb in the introduction, his purpose is to prove that it is permissible to say “so-and-so has knowledge of the ghayb,” however the quotes he uses to prove this are decontextualised and may in fact give a very different meaning:

He quotes al-Razi saying: “If it is said: do people know the unseen or not? Our reply is: we previously mentioned that the unseen is divided into that which has evidence to it and that which does not have evidence to it. As for that unseen which has no evidence to it, Allah alone has knowledge of it, and that which has evidence to it, it is not inaccurate to say we know the unseen to which there is evidence.”

Al-Razi wrote this in reply to an objection that if in the verse (Qur’an 2:3), “ghayb” is taken to mean the unseen, it would imply its itlaq(i.e. applying it without qualification) to people would be correct but this is in conflict with verse 6:59 amongst others. He replies:

If it is asked: Do you say “a servant knows the unseen” or not? We say: We have explained that the unseen divides into that for which there is proof and that for which there is no proof. As for the one for which there is no proof, then He (Glorified and Exalted is He) knows of it, and none besides Him; and as for the one which there is proof for, it is not wrong for you to say: “We know from the unseen that for which we have a proof.” This sentence is clear in its expression so is not confused [with knowledge of the type of unseen exclusive to Allah]. Based on this reason, the scholars have said: Adducing evidence using the one who was present against the one who was absent is one of the types of evidences.
إن قيل أفتقولون: العبد يعلم الغيب أم لا؟ قلنا قد بينا أن الغيب ينقسم إلى ما عليه دليل وإلى ما لا دليل عليه أما الذي لا دليل عليه فهو سبحانه وتعالى العالم به لا غيره، وأما الذي عليه دليل فلا يمتنع أن تقول: نعلم من الغيب ما لنا عليه دليل، ويفيد الكلام فلا يلتبس، وعلى هذا الوجه قال العلماء: الاستدلال بالشاهد على الغائب أحد أقسام الأدلة

The highlighted part is critical as it shows al-Razi does not allow its itlaq for people, but says it must be qualified so as to avoid confusion with the type of ghayb exclusive to Allah in the manner he showed – by saying “we know from the unseen that for which we have a proof” and not just “we know the unseen.” In other words, al-Razi says only when this qualification is made, that we know the ghayb for which there is evidence, are we permitted to say this. Hence, the conclusion drawn from al-Razi’s statement in the above article “We are allowed to attribute knowledge of the unseen to humans” is not sound based on what he said.

Mawlana Thanawi in Hifz al-Iman at the start of his answer makes a similar point:

“Ghayb” in absolute terms according to its unqualified usage (itlaq) in the Shari’ah is meant that unseen matter for which no evidence has been erected, nor is there a medium or a means to its perception. For this reason, “None in the Heavens and the earth know the ghayb besides Allah” (27:65), “If I were to know the ghayb…” (7:188) and other such verses were revealed. To call that knowledge acquired through a medium “ghayb” requires a qualification (qarinah) [to explain the intent is that ghayb acquired through a medium], for to use the knowledge of ghayb for creation without qualification may be conceived as shirk [as it may be confused with the type of ghayb that is exclusive to Allah, i.e. that for which there is no evidence] and is thus prohibited and impermissible.

Mutlaq ghayb sey murad itlaqat shar‘iyyah meyh wehi ghayb hey jispur ko’i dalil qa’im neh ho or uskey idrak keliye koi wasitah or sabil neh ho. Isi bana pur “la ya‘lamu man fi al-samawati wa al-ard al-ghayba illa Allah” or “law kuntu a‘lam al-ghayb” wa ghayrah furmaya giya hey. Or jo ‘ilm bi wasitah ho is pur ghayb ka itlaq muhtaj qarinah hey to bila qarinah makhluq pur ‘ilm ghayb ka itlaq muham shirk ho ney kiwajh sey mamnu‘ wan a ja’iz ho ga (Hifz al-Iman p. 14)

‘Allamah al-Kawthari, who is mentioned in the above article, also made the same point where he said “knowledge by means of disclosure from Allah is not from the [real definition of] ghayb at all” (العلم بإعلام الله لا يكون من الغيب في شيء), as once there is a means to its knowledge it is technically no longer ghayb.

Al-Zamakhshari also made the same point: “We only know of it [i.e. ghayb] that which we were made to know, or a proof for it was erected for us, and for this [reason] it is not permissible to say without qualification “So-and-so knows the ghayb.””

وإنما نعلم منه نحن ما أعلمناه، أو نصب لنا دليلاً عليه. ولهذا لا يجوز أن يطلق فيقال: فلان يعلم الغيب


The quote that he produces from al-Raghib al-Asfahani was said specifically about the usage of the word “ghayb” in Qur’an 2:3. In this definition, he is referring to the ghayb that is obligatory for everyone to believe according to Qur’an 2:3, not the general usage of the word ghayb. Here is a fuller translation of al-Raghib al-Asfahani’s definition of ghayb:

Ghayb is a verbal noun of [ghaba in the sentence] “the sun went out of sight (ghabat)” etc. when it is concealed from the eye. It is said: “Such-and-such was hidden (ghaba) from me.” He Almighty said [quoting Sulayman (peace be upon him)]: “Or is he [i.e. Hudhud] from the absent ones (gha’ibin)?” (27:20).It [i.e. ghayb] is used for everything hidden from the senses and all that is hidden from the knowledge of people in the sense of [being] absent. He said: “There is nothing of the hidden in the heaven and earth except [it is] in a clear book.” (27:75)

It is said of a thing [that it is] “unseen” (ghayb) and “hidden” (gha’ib) by its consideration with [respect to] people, not with Allah Almighty, for nothing is hidden from Him, as an atom’s weight in the heavens and earth do not escape Him (Qur’an 34:2). His statement “Knower of the unseen and seen” (6:73) i.e. what is hidden from you [not Him] and what you see.

The “unseen” (ghayb) in His statement: “they believe in the unseen” (2:3) [refers to] that which does not fall below the senses (hawass) and the starting point of the intellects (bidayat al-‘uqul) do not necessitate it; and it is only known by the report of the Prophets (upon them peace); and by its rejection the term “apostasy” (ilhad) applies to a person. (Raghib al-Asfahani, al-Mufradat, Maktaba Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, 2:475)

The “definition” that he uses therefore is specifically regarding its use in the abovementioned verse.


Within the second category of ghayb in al-Razi’s classification (the one for which there is evidence and can be applied to people), that information which is hidden to some but known to others by sense perception is also included. For example, the Qur’an says of the stories of Maryam, Nuh and Yusuf that they are from the “tales of ghayb” (3:44, 11:49, 12:102), although these stories are only ghayb with respect to the people around the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), not the previous peoples who witnessed the events described. Hence, Mawlana Thanawi’s assessment, that with respect to this kind of ghayb, for which there is evidence and there is a means to its perception, it can be applied to everyone, “because every person has some knowledge which is hidden to another” (kyunkeh her shakhs ko kisi ne kisi eysi bat ka ‘ilm hota jo dusre shakhs sey makhfi hey) is sound. Jurjani/Iji make the same argument to disprove the view of the philosophers that knowledge of ghayb is a special quality of prophets.


An example of a clear error or dishonesty is his comment:

He [Shah Ismail] wrote on p. 103, “Whether such person believes he knows this intrinsically or through knowledge granted by Allah, in all cases shirk is established” Here we notice that Dihlawi denied even the attribution of granted knowledge of the unseen (ilm ata’i) from creation.

In Taqwiyat al-Iman, this statement “whether such person believes he knows this intrinsically or through knowledge granted by Allah” is not about “knowledge of the unseen” as claimed in the article but – in the Arabic translation of Abu al-Hasan al-Nadwi – it is about: “encompassing knowledge inclusive of every time and place from which the weight of an atom is not hidden – an attribute exclusive to Allah.” (al-‘ilm al-muhit al-shamil li kulli zamanin wa makan alladhi la ya’zubu ‘anhu mithqalu dharrah, sifatun khassatun bi Allah) (Risalat al-Tawhid, tarjamatu Tawqiyat al-Iman, Lucknow, p. 35) So when he says “whether such person believes he knows this intrinsically or through knowledge granted by Allah, it is shirk” he is referring to attributing such total and complete knowledge to any creature.

This definition of ghayb is expressed clearly in Imam al-Nasafi’s (d. 710) Tafsir:

الغيب هو ما لم يقم عليه دليل ولا أطلع عليه مخلوق

Ghayb is that for which no evidence has been erected and no creation has comprehended it.”

Based on this definition, none of creation has knowledge of ghayb, and to say they do is shirk as such ghayb is possessed only by Allah, and thus the belief that it is possessed by another is kufr as stated by the Hanafi imams. Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari said in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar:

“In sum, knowledge of ghayb is a matter exclusive Him – Glorified is He – and there is no path for the servants to it.”

بالجملة فالعلم بالغيب أمر تفرد به سبحانه ولا سبيل للعباد إليه

And a little later he wrote:

“Know that the Prophets (upon them blessing and peace) do not know the unseen matters (mughayyabat) of things except what Allah has taught them from time to time. The Hanafis have mentioned with clear statements that by believing the Prophet (upon him blessing and peace) knew the unseen one is declared a disbeliever due to conflict with His (Exalted is He) statement: “Say: None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen but Allah.””

اعلم أن الأنبياء عليهم الصلاة والسلام لم يعلموا المغيبات من الأشياء إلا ما أعلمهم الله أحيانا ، وذكر الحنفية تصريحا بالتكفير باعتقاد أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يعلم الغيب لمعارضة قوله تعالى قل لا يعلم من في السماوات والأرض الغيب إلا الل

Regarding his “analysis” of the discussion on ‘ilm al-ghayb from al-Barahin al-Qati’ah on pp. 18-9:

The book al-Barahin al-Qati’ah is available here and the discussion can be found on pages 53-7. Al-Barahin al-Qati’ah is written as a polemic against ‘Abd al-Sami Rampuri’s Anwar Sati’ah which runs along the top of the page in al-Barahin. It would therefore be misleading to quote stand alone statements from al-Barahin without taking account of what arguments and evidences were offered in Anwar Satiah which theBarahin is addressing.

Rampuri says (from p. 179 onwards of above copy): An attribute can only be described as being particular (khass) to Allah if it is found in Allah alone and no other. Having knowledge of the entire world is not peculiar to Allah and is therefore not a particular attribute of His such that associating another in it equates to shirk. He then mentions a number of reports which indicate the Angel of Death is present and knowing of everything on earth. E.g. Tabari narrated under the commentary of 6:61 and 32:11 via a number of chains that Mujahid (the student of Ibn ‘Abbas) said: “The earth is made like a large round vessel (tast) before the Angel of Death and he takes from wherever he wishes; and he was appointed helpers who take the souls and then he takes them from them.” Many similar reports stating the Angel of Death has complete knowledge of the earth and the people residing in it from the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), Ibn ‘Abbas and others were mentioned by al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur under the commentary of 32:11 and in his Sharh al-Sudur which Rampuri refers to.

Rampuri concludes that that the Angel of Death is present in every place on earth. He then says if it is argued the Angel of Death is a high ranking Angel, then the example of the shaytan being present (mawjud) in every place (har jagah) can also be used. He quotes from al-Durr al-Mukhtar where it says the shaytan is present with every person, and then he quotes Ibn ‘Abidin’s commentary: “Allah has given him ability over that [i.e. to be with every son of Adam] just as he gave the Angel of Death the ability of the like of that.” (Radd al-Muhtar – وأقدره على ذلك ، كما أقدر ملك الموت على نظير ذلك)

After this, Rampuri gives the example of the sun and moon being everywhere visible on earth. And he says “since the sun is present in every place while it is in the lower heaven, the soul of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) that is above the seven heavens in the ‘Illiyyin, if his gaze from there falls on the whole earth or many places thereof…what impossibility is there?” (p. 180) He clarifies at this point that although the Prophet’s soul is in the ‘Illiyyin it has a strong connection with his physical body in the grave. He further states, that since the Angel of Death, shaytan, sun and moon can be present and visible in all places on earth, this is not a unique (khas) attribute of Allah, and because of the Prophet’s superiority he is also endowed with this quality; but he clarifies that the claim is not made that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is like the shaytan in being present at and knowing the despicable places of kufr and fisq (p. 181).

In response to this, Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, clarifies what is particular and unique (khas) for Allah in His attributes (p. 53 onwards of the Barahin linked above). He starts by saying: “The entire ummah (tamam ummat) has this belief that whatever quantity of knowledge the revered Pride of the World (upon him peace) and all creation were granted by Allah Almighty, to affirm an atom’s weight more knowledge is shirk. This is known from all books of Shari’ah. Allah Almighty says: “To Him belongs the Keys to the Unseen, none but He knows them.” (6:59).” (p. 53) He then quotes the passage from al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Fatawa Alamgiriyya and al-Bahr al-Ra’iq to the effect that if a person were to make Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) witness to his marriage he becomes a disbeliever for attributing knowledge of the ghayb to him – which in this case refers to knowledge for which there is no evidence and was not revealed, and thus attributing such knowledge to him must be with the belief that it is intrinsic to him and was not granted. Al-Saharanpuri then says that it is not only by equating his knowledge with Allah’s knowledge that will make this belief shirk but even believing he has knowledge of the marriage session for which there is no proof. He then clarifies what is meant by the particularity of Allah’s attributes contrary to what was stated by Rampuri: “The belief of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama‘ah is that none of Allah Almighty’s attributes are found in His bondsmen. Those things which are the shadow of His attributes which He bestows on anyone, no one has the ability to ever increase on them. Hearing and sight, knowledge and power, are real only for Allah Almighty and metaphorical for creation: “Nothing is like unto Him, and He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing” (Qur’an 42:11). Thus whoever has been given whatever quantity of knowledge, power etc., he cannot increase that in the slightest. That quantity which was given to the shaytan, and the Angel of Death and the sun and the moon in which state they were created, they [themselves] have no power to increase on them; and more [than the quantity which was given to them] will not emerge from their actions. Greater or lesser virtue is not dependent on this greater or lesser quantity [given by Allah]. Hazrat Musa upon him peace was much greater and more virtuous than Hazrat Khidr upon him peace. Despite this, in the knowledge of unveiling (kashf) he was much less than Hazrat Khidr. Even then that quantity received by Hazrat Khidr, he has no power to have more than that, and despite Hazrat Musa’s superiority he did not receive it; he could not create [in himself] knowledge of unveiling equal to the inferior Hazrat Khidr. Moreover, [regarding] the sun and moon, the form and vast light upon which they were created and the expanse of the knowledge given to the Angel of Death and shaytan, this condition is known by evident eye-witnessing and clear texts. Now, to make an analogy with them of one more virtuous that the like of what is in this inferior being is present in him it is not the job of any sane person of knowledge.” (pp. 54-5) [after this, comes the paragraphs quoted by Nuh Keller and Munawwar Atiq]

It is clear throughout this discussion that al-Saharanpuri is concerned with attributing such knowledge to any creature which is believed to be possessed by him intrinsically as it has not been established he was granted it by Allah. This is made very clear on p. 56 where he directly challenges Rampuri’s definition of particular (khass): “The particularity of Allah Almighty’s knowledge is that it is intrinsic and real (zati, haqiqi) the consequence of which is encompassment of all things while the knowledge of all creation is metaphorical (majazi) and shadowy (zilli) according to the quantity granted by Allah Almighty.” He then states just because the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is in the ‘Illiyyin and better than Angels, this does not at all establish his expansive knowledge of worldly matters. Importantly, he concludes his remarks by saying that there are two possibilities for the belief of the author (Rampuri): either it is pure ignorance (jahl mahz) because he establishes such granted knowledge for the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) on the basis of such invalid analogy, but he states clearly that this view is not shirk as it is not believed he possessed it intrinsically; or if the possession of such knowledge is not established, then to affirm it for him is shirk as it implies the knowledge is real and intrinsic. (pp. 56-7)

From this last section, it is clear and leaves no room for doubt, what exactly Mawlana Saharanpuri considered shirk – i.e. affirmation of knowledge for a creature in spite of evidence as this suggests belief in intrinsic knowledge for that creature which is exclusive to Allah; and he states that this is the belief of the ignorant (jeysa juhala ka ye aqidah hey) (p. 57)

Now that the context is clearly understood, Mawlana Saharanpuri’s statement in question on p. 55 can be appreciated. Nuh Keller’s article translates it as follows: “The upshot is that we should carefully note that if, after seeing the state of Satan and the Angel of Death, we affirm that the Pride of the World (upon whom be blessings and peace) has all-encompassing vast knowledge of the earthly sphere (ilm muhit zamin), contravening without proof decisive scriptural texts and proceeding solely from false analogy, then if this is not outright shirk, how should it be a part of faith? Such vastness [of knowledge] is established for Satan and the Angel of Death through scriptural texts. Through what decisive scriptural text has the Pride of the World’s vastness of knowledge been established, that one should affirm an act of shirk by rejecting all scriptural texts?” In his analysis Nuh Keller falls into the trap that is intended by selectively quoting this passage without context; he says: “It is difficult to see how the attribute of knowledge that Khalil Ahmad ascribes to Satan and the Angel of Death should become “shirk” when affirmed of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace): either it is a divine attribute that is shirk to ascribe to any creature, or it is not.” The reason it is shirk when affirmed for the Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is exactly what he states in that paragraph, that in the absence of evidence when such knowledge is affirmed for the Prophet (salllallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), because it suggests intrinsic knowledge which is exclusive to Allah, it is shirk. In the case of the Angel of Death and satan, however, such knowledge is confirmed by transmitted reports and is therefore acknowledged as granted knowledge and there is no chance of shirk. This explanation of the passage (which is clear in context and only misunderstood when isolated) was also clarified by Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani in al-Shihab al-Thaqib in his refutation of Ahmad Rida Khan’s misrepresentation of Barahin.


Now that the context is understood and the passages from Barahin can be properly appreciated, it is possible to demonstrate Ahmad Rida Khan’s and the article above’s deception:

Ahmad Rida Khan wrote in Husam al-Haramayn: “Indeed he has stated explicitly in his book al-Barahin al-Qati‘ah…that their shaykh Iblis is more expansive in knowledge than Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace).” – innahu sarraha fi kitabihi al-Barahin al-Qati‘ah…bianna shaykhahum Iblis awsa‘u ‘ilman min Rasul Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. He also quotes from Nasim al-Riyad: “Whoever says so-and-so is more learned (a‘lam) than Allah’s Messenger, he has insulted and degraded him so he is an insulter so his ruling is the ruling of an insulter.” He also translates a sentence from Barahin as follows: “This vastness in knowledge is established for shaytan and the Angel of Death by clear text, and which clear text is there on the vastness of the knowledge of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) such that all texts are rejected thereby to establish one shirk?” (inna hadhih al-si’ata fi al-‘ilmu thabatat li al-shaytani wa malak al-mawt bi al-nass, wa ayyu nassin qat’iyy fi si’ati ‘ilmi rasul Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam hatta turaddu bihi al-nusus jami’an wa yuthbatu shirk)

Ahmad Rida Khan therefore wanted to suggest that Barahin says in absolute terms (mutlaqan) that the shaytan has more knowledge than the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam); however, the passage is clear in referring to “encompassing knowledge of the earthly sphere” (ilm muhit zamin). And when he says “this vastness” (yeh wus’at) it refers to knowledge of the earth, not knowledge in general. This is absolutely clear from the passage, yet Ahmad Rida blatantly misrepresented it said it is “explicitly clear” (sarih) in stating the shaytan has more knowledge (awsa’u ‘ilman) than the Prophet; and his quote from Nasim al-Riyad confirms this. Moreover, he quotes from halfway through a paragraph so the impression is given that “this knowledge” (hadha al-‘ilm) refers to all types of knowledge and not just knowledge of the earthly sphere. Al-Muhannad ‘ala al-Mufannad of al-Saharanpuri also mentions this deception of Ahmad Rida: “our discussion about it was only in regards to some of these temporal particulars [i.e. ilm muhit zamin], 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.”

This is therefore a clear example of Ahmad Rida distorting the meaning of the text, which his Berelwi followers have to answer for. Munawwar Atiq also states “the authors of Baraheen claimed Satan’s knowledge was greater than the Noble Prophet’s,” which is an obvious falsehood, as the Barahin only states that in the encompassing knowledge of the earth satan’s knowledge is more expansive, not that in general it can be stated his knowledge is greater than the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Munawwar Atiq would also have committed kufr by his own standards as he states: “[al-Saharanpuri] argu[ed] Satan had such knowledge and was therefore more knowledgeable,” – the phrase “and was therefore more knowledgeable” is an insertion from him suggesting he believes if the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) did not have encompassing knowledge of the earth, satan would be more knowledgeable; now, he believes the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) only gained this knowledge later in his life not early in his prophethood, which means according to him it can be said “satan was more knowledgeable than the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) before this point!” This backfiring of their argument was explained by Mawlana Madani in al-Shihab al-Thaqib. Based on Mawlana Sahanpuri’s contention that absolute vastness of knowledge is not in the physical realm but in the spiritual realm, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would always have been the most knowledgeable regardless of his knowledge of the world.

Moreover, Rampuri in Anwar Sati’a clearly states that the shaytan is present in such places that are abhorrent while the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is not present in such places. Would this now equate to favouring the satan over the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam)? And why was not a fatwa of kufr placed on him? Mawlana Safdar asks this in Ibarat Akabir (p. 161).


Munawwar said: “these authors…committed shirk according to their own standard by proving vast knowledge for Satan – which they considered shirk when proven for the Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings).” This has been answered above based on the context of the entire passage being about the haqiqi (real) and dhati (intrinsic) knowledge being particular (khas) to Allah. When such knowledge is affirmed without evidence for the Prophet (salllallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) it implies dhati knowledge and is therefore shirk. When it is affirmed for the satan it is via transmitted proof that Allah granted him this ability and knowledge so is not shirk.

He then said: “[They] violated their own standard for accepting textual evidences in aqidah as they offered a baseless report to establish an aqidah point that the Noble Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings) did not possess knowledge of the unseen whereas they themselves demanded decisive textual proof to prove the vast knowledge of our Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings)!”

These reports were given as examples. That the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) does not know the unseen is established in several verses of the Qur’an. Moreover, al-Saharanpuri’s quotation of the statement “I do not know what will be done to me,” is in fact mutawatiras it is established in the Qur’an that this was his statement (46:9). Regarding Ahmad Rida’s diatribe in Husam al-Haramayn that al-Saharanpuri quoted the narration “I do not know what is behind a wall,” from Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haqq while the latter refuted it himself; the book al-Saharanpuri quoted from was Ashi’at al-Lam’at in which ‘Abd al-Haqq used it in the context of proof, whereas he rejected it in another book. Mulla ‘Ali Qari also uses this narration in his Mirqat as a proof; although it is no doubt baseless. However, its meaning is sound, that, unless taught by Allah, he does not know what is behind a wall, and this is what ‘Abd al-Haqq said in Ashi’at al-Lam’at.

Furthermore, there are many narrations in which the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) denied knowledge of worldly matters. He said: “You are more knowledgeable of the matters of your world.” (Muslim) Mulla Qari said under the commentary of this hadith: “In the hadith is an indication that he (upon him blessing and peace) does not generally pay attention but to the matters of the afterlife.” With respect to the narration from Tirmidhi “I knew whatever is in the heavens and earth,” Mulla Qari says it must be restricted to particular important matters of the world. He said: ““I knew whatever is in the heavens and earth,” meaning whatever Allah (Exalted is He) gave him knowledge of, of what is in them [i.e. the heavens and the earth] of angels, trees etc. and it is an expression about the expanse of his knowledge which Allah opened for him. Ibn Hajar [al-Haythami] said: “Meaning, all existents which are in the heavens, rather and what is above them, as is acquired from the story of Mi‘raj, and ‘the earth’ is in the sense of genus, i.e. and all that is in the seven earths, rather what is below them.” I say: It is possible by ‘heavens’ is meant the upper direction and by ‘earth’ the lower direction so it includes all. However, the restriction that we mentioned [of angels, trees and the like] is necessary, since it is not proper to unqualifiedly use “all” (jami‘) [for the knowledge of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)] as is apparent.” (quoted in al-Kawkab al-Durri 4:250-1) The reason this is improper is probably because it contradicts other clear texts showing the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) did not have full knowledge of the earthly sphere, and also because it would imply he is aware of the filthy knowledge associated with this world which is unfitting for him.

Munawwar said: “These authors in fact openly argued that the Noble Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) was so limited that he did not even have knowledge of his own fate (Allah forbid!).” They did not say this, but quoted a narration stating “I do not know what will be done to me.” Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said this may mean that detailed knowledge of what will happen to him in the afterlife was denied him while brief (mujmal) knowledge that he will enter paradise was given to him.


The important points to note from the above is Mawlana Saharanpuri’s attribution of shirk in this passage, if read in context, is clearly with respect to believing this in the absence of evidence which suggests intrinsic knowledge; he even mentions explicitly that if it is believed such complete and encompassing knowledge of the world is granted by Allah to him (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) it is not shirk but is ignorance. Therefore the allegation that he committed shirk based on his own standard by affirming such knowledge for satan is a distortion of the meaning of this passage. Moreover, Ahmad Rida lied when he claimed al-Saharanpuri explicitly stated (sarraha) that satan’s knowledge is more expansive than the Prophet’s, as al-Saharanpuri only said this in relation to encompassing knowledge of the world, and not in absolute terms. In absolute terms, he has clearly stated in al-Muhannad, no one is more knowledgeable than the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam); as he is the most learned about Allah (ana a’lamukum bi Allah – Bukhari).


With regards to the story of Khidr and Musa, Imam al-Razi stated: “It is possible that a non-prophet is superior to a prophet in sciences/knowledge upon which his prophethood does not depend.”

يجوز أن يكون غير النبي فوق النبي في علوم لا تتوقف نبوته عليها


Regarding his “analysis” of the passage from Hifz al-Iman on p. 19, Munawwar concludes: “The careful reader notices that Thanawi claimed the Noble Prophet’s (Allah give him peace and blessings) partial knowledge was not a unique speciality. How did he deny this? It was by comparing Prophetic Knowledge to that of lowly creatures, every layman and insane people.”

The first sentence is true but the last sentence, “it was by comparing Prophetic Knowledge to that of lowly creatures,” is not. The quote from Hifz al-Iman does not make any comparison (tashbih) of prophetic knowledge; i.e. he does not say “the knowledge of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was like the knowledge of so-and-so.” Rather, he said “such knowledge of the unseen (eysa ‘ilm gayb) is possessed by so-and-so.” By “such knowledge of the unseen” is not meant “prophetic knowledge of the unseen” or knowledge possessed by the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) as Ahmad Rida and Munawwar miscontrued it, but refers to “partial knowledge of the unseen” (ba’z ‘ulum ghaybiyya).

Ahmad Rida said in Husam al-Haramayn: “He [i.e. Mawlana Thanawi] stated explicitly (sarraha) in it [i.e. Hifz al-Iman] that the knowledge of unseen matters [possessed] by Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace), the equivalent of it has been acquired by every child and madman…” (sarraha fiha bi anna al-‘ilm alladhi li Rasul Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bi al-mughayyabat fainna mithlahi hasilun li kulli sabiyyin wa kulli majnun). Note: he says this meaning is explicitly clear (sarih). A little later he writes “Look…how he makes [the knowledge of] Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) equal to so-and-so and so-and-so.” For a sentence to be sarih it means no other meaning is possible. However, although the word eysa may mean the “exact equivalent” (mithl) as Ahmad Rida translated it (fa inna mithla hadha al-‘ilm bi al-ghayb…), it can also mean “this type” of knowledge. In other words, the passage from Hifz al-Iman could either mean the knowledge of unseen possessed by the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is possessed by those others (the meaning which Ahmad Rida imputed to him) or the type of partial knowledge of unseen is possessed by those others; the latter meaning is specified by the sentence immediately after (which Ahmad Rida did not quote while including translations of sections before and after it, and Munawwar does not quote it either although it is present in Nuh Keller’s article): “For every individual knows something that is hidden from another individual” (kyunkeh hur shaks ko kisi ne kisi eysi bat ka ilm hota hey jo dosre shaks sey makhfi hey). If this was not clear enough, Mawlana Thanawi was asked the question, did you say “knowledge of the unseen just as it is possessed by the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), the same is possessed by every child, madman…” (the questioner says this was the allegation made by Ahmad Rida) (ghayb ki batoh ka ilm jesa ke janab Rasul Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam ko hey eysa hurr buchchoh…). Mawlana Thanawi replied, he nowhere wrote this and this revolting (khabis) thought did not even cross his mind. He then explains what is meant by the word “eysa“: “the intent of the word eysa was not that the knowledge that is actually possessed by him has been acquired by so-and-so, Allah’s refuge is sought from this, rather the intent of this word eysa is that which was mentioned above i.e. in general partial knowledge [of the unseen].” (lafz eysa ka yeh matlab nehi keh jeysa ‘ilm waqi’ meh huzur sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam ko hasil hey ilakh na’uzu bi Allah minha bulkeh murad is lafz eysa sey wuhi hey jo uper mazkur hey ya’ni mutlaq ba’z ‘ilm). This answer was printed together with Hifz al-Iman under the title Bast al-Banan in the year 1329 H/1911 AD, more than a decade before the death of Ahmad Rida, yet he did not acknowledge it, let alone retract from his original statements. This demonstrates Ahmad Rida had no intention to “correct” the aqidah of supposedly misguided people, but rather to deceive others into believing certain people committed acts of disbelief though they are innocent of these charges.

In sum, the sentence is not explcitly clear (sarih) in the meaning Ahmad Rida falsely claimed, rather the other meaning explained above is also a possible meaning of the sentence and is in fact the most obvious meaning from the context (as Thanawi also states in Bast al-Banan).


Munawwar says: “[He] ignored the crucial point that virtue was not restricted to full knowledge (kull ghayb), but in fact, even partial knowledge was virtuous.”

The discussion in Hifz al-Iman is about unrestrictedly using (itlaq) the term “knowledge of ghayb” for the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). He said in its technical meaning no one can share this designation with Allah as it means knowledge for which there is no evidence or means. In its non-technical definition, which includes knowledge which is absent from some but available to others (as evidenced by Qur’an 3:44, 11:49, 12:102), everyone has some of this knowledge. To specify the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) with the designation of possessing knowledge of the ghayb (itlaq ‘ilm al-ghayb) and thereby distinguishing him from the rest of creation is incorrect as he does not possess complete knowledge of it, and partial knowledge is not unique to him. This was also mentioned in books of Kalam in response to philosophers who claimed prophets are distinguished by knowledge of ghayb; see for example the quote from Sharh al-Mawaqif translated here. Similarly, Mahmud ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Isfihani (674-749 H) wrote in his commentary of Baydawi’s Tawali’ al-Anwar: “The philosophers with respect to the religious law, took the position that a prophet is one who has been identified as having three specific characteristics: a) he is one who is well-acquainted with the unseen…If the philosophers meant by ‘being well-acquainted,’ an acquaintance with all the unseen, then by consensus that would not be a condition for an individual to be a prophet. If they mean by it an acquaintance with only some of the unseen things, then that [also] would not specifically designate a prophet, since everyone might admissibly have an acquaintance with some of these unseen things.” (translation by James W. Pollock, available here p. 962)

Thanawi’s point therefore that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is not distinguished in the possession of this non-technical type of ghayb is sound, based on the same reasoning used by ‘Adud al-Din al-Iji and Mahmud al-Isfihani. Uniquely designating him with knowledge of the unseen therefore is inaccurate.

Munawwar’s argument, “For example, the degrees among ulama are considered virtuous even though their knowledge is partial,” is therefore irrelevant as the discussion is about uniquely designating the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) with knowledge of the unseen. A better illustration of Mawlana Thanawi’s argument would be to say: It would not be accurate to claim only so-and-so is blessed with knowledge, since he does not have complete knowledge by agreement and his partial knowledge is shared with others.


His discussion regarding Shah Isma’il’s position on pp. 19-21 is taken mostly from Gibril Haddad’s unfortunate review, the flaws in which can be found here. And his quotations from Deobandi authors on pp. 21-2 stating that the belief that a creature possesses knowledge of theghayb is kufr and shirk is clearly justified by the statements of the scholars quoted in above posts – “ghayb” technically means that knowledge to which there is no evidence and means, and such knowledge belongs only to Allah, so to attribute it unqualifiedly/unrestrictedly/absolutely (mutlaqan – i.e. without qualificaiton) to another is shirk.


Regarding his quotation from Shah Isma’il on p. 20, “If someone asks about the number of leaves on a tree or the number of stars in the sky, then one should not say “Allah and His Messenger know” because only Allah knows the unseen, what does the Messenger know [about them]?”

The full passage (from the recent English tr. which is consistent with the older English tr., the Arabic tr. and the original Urdu):

It is narrated in Sharh As-Sunnah by Hudhaifa {May Allah have mercy on him} that the Prophet {peace be upon Him} said:”Do not say, what Allah and Muhammad {Peace be upon Him} wished, but you should only say, what Allah wished.”

It means that none of the creatures has a say in the matters concerning Divinity, no matter how great and close one that creature could be. For instance, one should never say that if Allah and His Messenger wished, it should happen so, since all the things in the world happen by the Will of Allah only and not by the will of the Prophet. If someone enquires of you as to what a person really conceals in his heart, or when that person shall be marrying or how many leaves that particular tree bears or how many stars are there up in the heavens, never respond to him by saying that these things are only known by Allah and His Prophet, as the knowledge of the unseen rests with Allah and not with His Prophet. However, there is no harm if someone says such a thing in regard to the religious matters as Allah has given a full knowledge of religion to His Prophet and has commanded people to comply with the instructions of His Prophet. (p. 129)

This statement is confirmed by the Hanafi texts which clearly state that if somebody says the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is witness of the marriage session, he has disbelieved, as he attributed the unseen to other than Allah – and Shah Isma’il specifically mentions marriage, as well as other worldly details, amongst the things knowledge of which cannot be attributed to him unconditionally. [As Ibn Nujaym quotes the Hanafi fatwa books: وفي الخانية والخلاصة لو تزوج بشهادة الله ورسوله لا ينعقد ويكفر لاعتقاده أن النبي يعلم الغيب – “In al-Khaniyya and al-Khulasa: If one were to marry by making Allah and His Messenger witness, the marriage will not take place, and he becomes a disbeliever for believing that the Prophet knows the unseen.”] Shah Isma’il’s statement is therefore consistent with these texts.

Moreover, he clarifies that to say this (“Allah and His Messenger knows”) with respect to Shari’ah rulings, there is no harm, because Allah has informed the Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) of the matters of religion.

In context – as an explanation of the hadith and with the concluding comment – therefore, this passage from Taqwiyat al-Iman is not as outrageous as Munawwar tried to make out in his article.

Reiterating and summarising the Hanafi view, Ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami wrote in Radd al-Muhtar (vol. 6 p. 385): “To claim knowledge of the ghayb [for anyone] clashes with the clear text of the Qur’an, so one becomes a disbeliever by this [claim]; unless he attributes it explicitly or by indication to a means from Allah (Most High) like revelation [to prophets] or inspiration, and likewise if he attributes it to a sign determined by Allah (Most High) as the normal course of nature.”

دعوى علم الغيب معارضة لنص القرآن فيكفر بها إلا إذا أسند ذلك صريحا أو دلالة إلى سبب من الله تعالى كوحي أو إلهام وكذا لو أسنده إلى أمارة عادية بجعل الله تعالى

Munawwar al-Barelwi, Plagiarizing from a Deobandi Author

June 29, 2012

Munawwar al-Barelwi, Plagiarizing from a Deobandi Author

Munawwar, famous for his unfound accusations against the scholars of Deoband and shamelessly defending the mass takfir of Ahmad Raza Khan, wrote a short biography of Nasafi, the author of kanz al-daqa’iq. His article “Imam al-Nasafi, the Unforgotten Author” can be found here: http://scholarspen.blogspot.nl/2004_09_01_archive.html

What he unfortunately did not mention, is the fact that he plagiarized most if not all of the information from the Deobandi author Mawlana Muhammad Hanif Gangohi from his book halaat e musannifeen dars nizami. The book can be read online here: http://archive.org/stream/SEERAT-O-S…/n165/mode/1up

I will copy and past the article of Munawwar here. My comments will be in red:

Imam al-Nasafi-The Unforgotten Author
Abu al-Barakat, Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Mahmud al-Nasafi is known as ‘hafiz al-deen’. He was born in the village of ‘Nasaf’ from the area of ‘ma wara’ al-nahr’ known as ‘saghd’. His home town ‘Nasaf’ was also known as ‘Nakhshab’. A famous author, righteous and great Hanafi faqih, al-Nasafi studied under the prominent scholars of his era, such as Muhammad bin Abd al-Sattar Karwari known as ‘the sun amongst the scholars’, Ali bin Muhammad bin Ali Hameed al-Din Aziz and Badr al-Din Khawahir Zadah.

The exact above quote can be found on p. 163 right in the beginning when Mawlana Hanif Gangohi starts with his biography of Nasafi. Munawwar also copied the details surrounding his hometown Nasaf which was also known as Nakshhab and the scholars under which he studied. Munawwar even copied the alqaab of those scholars under the paragraph of “tahsil uloom.”

Did Imam al-Nasafi narrate the Ziyadat from Itabi?

The author of Jawahir Mudhee’ah mentioned that al-Nasafi took fiqh from Karwari and narrated the Ziyadat from Ahmad bin Utbi. Mulla Ali Qari concurs on this view. However, Kafawi mentions that it is not possible that al-Nasafi narrated the Ziyadat from Utbi since Utbi died in 589h and al-Nasafi died in 710h or 711h.

Again, the same above text can be exactly found in the Urdu of Ml. Hanif Gangohi book under the paragraph of Sahib Jawahir ki Ghalti. The same biographers and dates are mentioned. He added his own title and the discussion further is taken from Ml. Hanif Gangohi.

His status amongst the jurists

Ibn Kamal Pasha considered him a jurist of the sixth rank i.e. from those jurists who have authority to isolate the weak reports from the stronger ones. Others have however upheld that al-Nasafi was one step away from absolut ijtihad, namely, a ‘mujtahid fi al-madhab’. Not just that, they considered him the final mujtahid in the madhab. In his commentary on the Musallam al-Thubut and on Tahreer al-Usul, Bahr al-Ulum mentions that the latter opinion is not correct thus not reliable.

The exact same introduction, the difference of opinion amongst the scholars about the status of Nasafi, the names of the books and their verdicts can be found under the paragraph Sahib Kanz ka Fiqhi Maqam. Ml. Haneef Gangohi immediately starts with Ibn Kamal Pasha and straight after the sentence he mentions the difference of opinions. The paragraph of Munawwar is fully identical with that of Ml. Haneef.

His year of death
There is controvesy on this issue amongst the scholars. Shaykh Qawwam al-Din Ittifaqi, Mulla Ali Qari and the author of Kashf al-Zunun have held that al-Nasafi died in 701h. Allamah Qasim bin Qutlubugha held that he died after 710h [in his book entitled: al-Asl fi bayani al-wasl wa al-fasl]. Hamawi upheld that he died in 711h on a Fridayh night. Furthermore, Ittiqani mentioned that he passed away in a place called ‘Ayzaj’ and was buried in ‘al-Jalal’. And Allah knows best.

Again, Munawwar took the same sequence in his article as Ml. Hanif Gangohi. After the discussion of the status of Nasafi as a mujtahid he follows with his year of death. Now again, the exact same order of the sentences, the names of the scholars and the ultimate verdict are precisely mentioned by Ml. Gangohi.

His works
Imam Nasafi composed many works that are until today taught and studied worldwide. The renowned Dars-e-Nizami course has always contributed to the indespensible works of Nasafi. Here is a list of some of them;
1- al-Wafi, and its commentary al-Kafi in the branches of law ‘furu’
2- Kanz al-Daqa’iq. This work proves to be an excellent contribution of Nasafi to fiqh. It is originally an abridgement of his ‘al-Wafi’.
3- Matn al-Manar. Again, an undoubtedly comprehensive book unforgotten in Usul al-fiqh.
4- Kashf al-Asrar. His personal commentary on the Manar.
5- Sharh Muntakhab al-Hussami. A commentary on the famous text in Usul al-Fiqh.
6- Musaffa, his commentary on sharh Manzumah Nasafiyah
7- al-Mustasfa sharh al-Fiqh al-Na’fi
8- Sharh al-Fiqh al-Nafi’
9- I’timad al-I’tiqad, his commentary on al-Umdah
10- Fadha’il al-A’mal
11- Tafseer Madarik al-Tanzeel.

In the exact same order, Ml. Hanif Gangohi has mentioned the exact same list of books. Munawwar even copied even the comment “in the branches of law ‘furu’” from Ml. Hanif.

Did he compose a commentary on al-Hidaya?
The author of Kashf al-Zunun listed al-Nasafi to have written a commetary on the famous ‘al-Hidayah’ in the Hanafi school. Taqiy al-Din, in his Tabaqat, mentioned that Bakht ibn Shahnah stated, it is not known whether al-Nasafi has a commentary on al-Hidayah. Moreover, Allamah Ittiqani, in Gayat al-Bayan, mentioned that Imam al-Nasafi did intend to write a commentary on al-Hidaya but Taj al-Sharee’ah requested that he shouldn’t. This is why he then composed the book al-Wafi similar to al-Hidaya and then wrote a commentary to it entitled ‘al-Kafi’.

Again, Ml. Hanif Gangohi mentions the exact same details. Ml. Hanif starts with “Sahib Kashf al-Zunun who mentioned also a sharh of hidaya.” Then he mentions all those names of authors and books which Munawwar also highlighted!

His discipline in Kanz al-Daqa’iq
Imam al-Nasafi sticks to two main points in this work;

1- sticking to the issues of the Zahir al-Riwayah,
2- and not surpassing the ‘mufta biha’ sayngs of the three imams i.e. Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani.

However, there are some sayings in the Kanz that are not from the Zahir al-Riwayah and are not from the ‘mufta bihi’ of the three imams. But, how is it exactly possible to find out that such and such issue is not from the Zahir al-Riwayah or the verdicts f the imams? A contemporary scholar, Muhammad Haneef Gangohi has collected those particular issues in the opening of his commentary on the Kanz entitled: ‘Ma’din al-Haqa’iq’.

Again, the above text can be found in the book of Ml. Hanif Gangohi under the chapter “Kanz al-Daqa’iq awr is ke ghayr zahir al-riwaya aur ghayr mufta biha masa’il.”
The sentence “and not surpassing the ‘mufta biha’ sayings of the three imams” can be found in Urdu on p. 164. Ml. Hanif himself starts the discussion about those opinions which are not from the zahir al-riwaya. He himself refers then to his own book Ma’din al-Haqa’iq!
Even the question that Munawwar poses “But, how is it exactly possible to find out that such and such issue is not from the Zahir al-Riwayah or the verdicts f the imams” is plagiarized from Mawlana Hanif since he poses the exact same question to the reader!

The commentaries on Kanz al-Daqa’iq
Over the centuries, many scholars such as Aiyni, Halbi, Kiramni and others have commented on the Kanz but the exposition, clarity and comprehensivenss of Ibn Nujaym’s ‘al-Bahr al-Ra’iq’ is unique in this area.

A list of commentaries on the Kanz:

1- al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, Zayn al-Abideen, known as Ibn Nujaym, d.970h
2- Tabyeen al-Haqa’iq, Uthman bin Ali al-Zayla’i, d.743h
3- Ramz al-Haqa’iq, Badr al-Din al-Ayni, d.855h
4- al-Matlab al-Fa’iq, Badr al-Din Isa al-Diri
5- al-Nahr al-Fa’iq, Siraj al-Din, known as Ibn Nujaym, d.1005h
6- Mustakhlis al-Haqa’iq, Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Qari
7- al-Fawa’id fi Halli al-Masa’ili wa al-Qawa’id, Mustafa bin Bali, known as Bali Zadah
8- Fat’h Masaliki al-Ramz fi Sharhi Manasiki al-Kanz, Abdurahman Isa al-Umri
9- Sharh al-Kanz al-Daqa’iq, Mulla Miskeen
10-Sharh al-Kanz, Ibn Shahnah al-Halabi, d.921h
11- Sharh al-Kanz, al-Khitab bin Abi al-Qasim al-Qurrah Hasari, d.730h
12- Sharh al-Kanz, Shams al-Din Hasari
13- Sharh al-Kanz, Zayn al-Abideen al-Ayni, d.864h
14- Sharh al-Kanz, Ibn Ganim al-Maqdisi, d.1004h
15- Sharh al-Kanz, Qawam al-Din Kirmani, d.748h
16- Sharh al-Kanz, Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Umar al-Salihi, d.950h
17- Sharh al-Kanz, Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Dhiya al-Makki, d.858h
18- Hashiyah Kanz al-Daqa’iq, Muhammad Ahsan Siddiqui Nanutwi, d.1312h
19- Multaqit al-Daqa’iq, Abu al-Ma’arif Muhhamd Inanyatullah shah
20- Hashiyah Kanz al-Daqa’iq, Muhmmad I’zaz Ali, d.1374h
21- Zaheer al-Haqa’iq, Zaheer Ahmad Sahwani, d.1361h (urdu)
22- Ma’din al-Haqa’iq, Muhammad Haneef (urdu)
23- Persion translation by Shah Ahlullah, abrother of waliyullah al-Dehlvi.
24-Tuhfat al-Ajam fi Fiqhi al-Imami al-A’zam, Muhammad Sultan Khan (urdu)
25- Ahsan al-Masa’il, Muhammd Ahsan Siddiqui (urdu)
26- Zaheer al-Haqa’iq, Zaheer Ahmad Zaheeri Sahswani (urdu)
27- Mi’yar al-Haqa’iq, Dhiya al-Din Muhammad al-Husayni (persian)

Munawwar copied again the same list of commentaries mentioned by Ml. Hanif Gangohi. He did not even hesitate to include Deobandi authors in the list, like that of Ml. Ahsan Siddiqi Nanotwi and Ml. Izaz Ali! Ml. Hanif Gangohi starts under the paragraph which he titled kanz al-daqa’iq awr is ki shuruhat. Ml Hanif mentions the exact part as Munawwar that many scholars have written commentaries of Kanz, like Halabi, Ayni and Kirmani. Even though Ml. Hanif mentions others like Maqdisi and Zayla’I, the fact that Munawwar mentions those men and then starts with mentioning the best sharh and the list of commentaries is no coincidence. Ml Hanif does the same and mentions that the best sharh remains al-bahr al-ra’iq by Ibn Nujaym and cites a poem. His list of commentaries has the same order of Munawwar. He even left out the dates of the death of those scholars at number 6 to 9 because it was not mentioned by Ml. Hanif.

Ml. Hanif listed 25 commentaries. Up until number 20 Munawwar follows the same titles in the same order. He put the sharh of Inayatullah before Hashiya of Ml. Izaz Ali. Then he mentions the same titles except that Munawwar mentioned the Zahir al-Haqa’iq for a second time at number 26. Munawwar seems to have added another last title in Persian. He calls the sharh of Bali Zadah as Fawa’id (number 7) while the word is dara’id.
Conclusion: Munawwar plagiarized the above written article from a Deobandi author Ml. Hanif Gangohi, a scholar who graduated from Dar al-Ulum Deoband. Munawwar follows the same order as Ml. Hanif. Munawwar mentions the same discussions, the same details, the same biographers and titles of books, in the exact same order like it is mentioned in the book of Ml. Hanif. He even copied sentences from Ml. Hanif while the reader thinks they were his own words.

Munawwar should have referred to the book of the Deobandi scholar Ml. Hanif but failed to do so. However, we forgive him because the Barelwis are more busy with takfir and spreading hatred amongst the Muslims, while the Deobandis are publishing valuable books.

Alhamdulillah, the fayz of Deoband has spread to such an extent that even Barelwis cannot move further without studying the works of the Deobandis.