Another Example of Abu Hasan’s Distortions

February 5, 2013

Another Example of Abu Hasan’s Distortions

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

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

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

rather, these people are worse than those communities [3] because, they do it on a specific date, and here they have no restriction – they do it whenever they like.

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

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

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

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

Alhasil qiyam waqt zikr e wiladat ki ya yeh wajh he

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

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

And then he says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reply to Abu Hasan’s Latest Antics‏

January 6, 2013

Reply to Abu Hasan’s Latest Antics‏

Zameelur Rahman

Abu Hasan of sunniport released a new ebook on the biography of his “Alahazrat,” Ahmad Rida Khan, the founder of the Barelwi school. In the course of the biography, he repeatedly disparages Deobandis, Deobandi elders and their forerunners – in what is supposed to be a biography of his leader – and then claims it is the Deobandis who have an axe to grind! Anyhow, with reference to Deobandis, there are a number of inaccuracies, lies and slanders, in highlighting which I hope it is clear to readers that Abu Hasan is not a trustworthy source. Moreover, it should also be clear that he does not address the substantial replies already available.


On pg. 17, he said: “Deobandis are Wahabis with a difference: they accept and adhere to madh’habs.”

Deobandis have many other differences to the Arabian Wahhabis listed in for example Mawlana Manzur Nu’mani’s book on Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab called Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab aur Hindustan ke ‘Ulama Haqq.

For example, Deobandis believe it is recommended to visit the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from far, Wahhabis don’t; Deobandis allow tawassul through personalities, Wahhabis don’t; Deobandis differentiate between different intentions associated with istighathah, Wahhabis don’t; Wahhabis are neutral or antagonistic to Tasawwuf, Deobandis embrace it; etc.

On pg. 17, he said: “Deobandi elders believe that it is not impossible for Allāh táālā to lie”

Deobandis believe it is impossible for Allah to lie; but they differ from Barelwis as to the reason for its impossibility – is it an intrinsic impossibility or one contingent on Allah’s choice? Deobandis opt for the latter – an opinion found in classical kalam works. This is therefore purposely misleading as it gives the impression Deobandis believe it is actually possible for a lie to occur in Allah’s speech! Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri wrote in al-Muhannad, signed by many prominent Deobandi elders: “We and our elders (Allah Most High have mercy on them) declare and are convinced that all speech that issued from the Creator (Great and Glorious is He) or will issue from Him is absolutely truthful, and it is certain that it concurs with reality. Undoubtedly, there is no trace of falsehood in any part of His (Exalted is He) Speech, nor any doubt about [the absence of] contravening reality [in His Speech]. Whoever believes contrary to this or conceives of a lie in any part of His Speech, is a disbeliever, apostate and heretic, and does not have even a trace of faith.”

On pg. 17, he said: “[Deobandi elders believe] that it is bidáh to believe that Allāh does not have a direction”

In Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri’s al-Muhannad ‘ala l-Mufannad, signed by many of the Deobandi elders (including Shaykh al-Hind and Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi), it says: “As for direction and place, we do not allow affirming them for Him – Exalted is He – and we say that He – Exalted is He – is pure and transcendent beyond them and from all qualities of temporality.” (وأما الجهة والمكان فلا نجوز إثباتهما له تعالى ونقول إنه تعالى منزه ومتعال عنهما وعن جميع سمات الحدوث)

A more glaring slander and lie, one cannot find.

On g. 33, he says: “We ask Deobandis who pretend to be Sunnis and claim to have nothing to do with Wahhabism, to show us a single book or booklet written by any of their prominent scholars denouncing Wahhabism.” He continues: “A couple of words in a book by one of their scholars is no proof; is there a full fledged refutation of Wahabis anywhere? How can it exist when it was the kingpin of their ideology, Ismāýīl Dihlawī, who introduced this heresy in India.”

He asks this question, as though “Wahhabism” itself is an identifiable “heretical belief.” You have to first describe the particular belief of “Wahhabism” that is heretical in order to refute it. And indeed Deobandis have refuted many wrong beliefs commonly associated with Wahhabis; e.g. total abandonment of taqlid (see:, antagonism to tasawwuf, vilification of the Hanafi school and Abu Hanifah (see: I’la al-Sunan), prohibiting visitation to the prophet’s grave (peace be upon him) from afar (see:, rejection of the correct kind of tawassul, understanding Allah’s attributes literally etc.

Furthermore, Shah Isma’il did not introduce any version of “Wahhabism” in India as he had no access to it. When he traveled to the Hijaz for Hajj the Wahhabis had already been expelled. See:

On pg. 33, he says: “True, they [Deobandis] claim to oppose Anti-Madh’habism” and in his footnote he mentions: “See works by Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī and Abū Ghuddah.”

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah is not representative of the Deobandi school; so this is an example of inaccuracy. Furthermore, there are no well-known works where ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri tackles the issue of madhhabism (yes, he has books defending the Hanafi madhhab, but that is another matter).  Another inaccuracy.

On pg. 33 he says: “Nuz’hatu’l Khawāţir has scholarly slanders; and dozens of books like Shihāb al-Thāqib, booklets of Chandpūrī, and Al-Baraylawiyyah of Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer are remarkable for cheap and tawdry insults”

He says this as though he hasn’t read “Alahazrat’s” works! According to him, the harsh words of Mawlana Madani and Mawlana Chandpuri are “cheap insults” but the filthy language of his Alahazrat is completely justified. If we are fair, we will say both sides engaged in ad hominem attacks, but who started the insults? Sure enough, it was his “Alahazrat.” Mawlanas Chandpuri and Mawlana Madani only responded.

On pg. 33, he says: “It is also true that Ismāýīl Dihlawī, their grand imām, was the first to introduce Wahabi thought in India and derided adherence to madh’habs.  Modern spinmeisters present him as a Ĥanafī, and Deobandis choose to ignore the subject”

Firstly, Shah Isma‘il held the position that taqlid mutlaq (i.e. taqlid not restricted to a particular madhhab) is binding on a common person, as mentioned in Nuzhat al-Khawatir (p. 915). Some Deobandis also held this view. For example, in al-Din al-Qayyim, Mawlana Thanawi’s student, Mawlana Habib Ahmad al-Kiranawi said: “If all the madhhabs are prevalent in a town from the towns and they are well-known, and large numbers of scholars specialised in every madhhab are present therein, it is permissible for the layperson to follow whichever madhhab from the madhhabs he wishes and all of them with respect to him are equal. It is also permissible for him not to adopt a specific madhhab and seek fatwa from whoever he wishes from the ulama of those madhhabs, this madhhab one time and that madhhab another time, as the pious predecessors (Allah be pleased with them) would do, with the condition that there is no talfiq in an action, and no seeking out of concessions and following of desires.”. [However, elsewhere in the book he seems to suggest taqlid shakhsi is obligatory in this time based on it being difficult for common people to avoid these consequences, of talfiq, seeking out concessions etc.] Shah Isma’il has precedence for this in some of the writings of his grandfather, Shah Wali Allah.

Most Deobandis believe in the obligation of taqlid shakhsi (i.e. sticking to one madhhab) due to secondary, circumstantial reasons i.e. to prevent the masses from falling into talfiq, following desires, seeking out concessions and following shadhdh opinions. See:

As for the claim “Deobandis choose to ignore the subject,” it is demonstrably false and another clear inaccuracy. Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi himself addressed the issue! He said in Fatawa Rashidiyyah: “That which this slave has heard, it was the condition of the deceased Mawlana [i.e. Shah Isma‘il] that as long as a non-abrogated authentic hadith could be found, he would act on that; and if it could not be found, he would do taqlid of Imam Abu Hanifah – And Allah Ta’ala knows best…” (p. 93) He goes on to say this is what becomes clear from reading his books.

Nuzhat al-Khawatir also mentions that Shah Isma’il believed in the divisibility of ijtihad and taqlid; which means the permissibility of doing ijtihad in one area when having mastered that area to the level of ijtihad; while doing taqlid in other areas where one has not reached the level of ijtihad. This is consistent with what Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi mentioned. Hence, Shah Isma‘il’s own preferences in fiqh may be based on a mix of personal ijtihad and adherence to the Hanafi school. There is no inherent heresy in this.

On pg. 35, referring to Taqwiyat al-Iman, he said: “commonly accepted practices like tawassul were slammed as polytheistic”

In fact, far from saying it is polytheistic, Shah Isma‘il said tawassul through personalities was correct in Taqwiyat al-Iman! He wrote: “But if it is said, ‘O Allah, give me for the sake [i.e., for the sake of his close relationship to You and his virtuous deeds] of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir’, then this is allowed” (Taqwiyat al-Iman, p.123).

On pg. 35, he says: “Deobandi/Wahābī literature is chock full of rulings making takfīr on numerous things, yet Nadawi chose to describe Alahazrat as the flag-bearer of takfīr”

Notice the difference: Deobandis do takfir of numerous things, (like the belief the Prophet – peace be upon him – has knowledge of literally all ‘things’ including the time of the Hour, or he is literally a light and a human only in form). But “Alahazrat” did not do takfir of “things” but of people. He named specific people and went on a campaign to the Haramayn to have them declared kafirs. The description “flag-bearer of takfir” is therefore quite appropriate for him. Deobandis did not go out of their way to name and shame particular individuals, but focused on problematic beliefs; on the other hand, “Alahazrat’s” sole mission was to declare certain prominent individuals kafir.

On page 36, he asks a list of questions and then claims “Alahazrat” was careful in his takfir. This is an example of where he does not address already available material. All his questions and the patent lie that “Alahazrat” was careful in takfir are addressed in Fayslah Kun Munazarah, now translated – of which Abu Hasan is fully aware. (

On pg 38, he said: “Nadawi, probably afraid that Arabic reading scholars would not buy the slander, resorted to falsehood when he accused Alahazrat that he “believed RasūlAllāh had complete knowledge of the unseen.””

Mawlana Nadwi also explained what is meant by this in “Ala’hazrat’s” usage where he continued to say:

“Thus, [according to Ahmad Rida Khan,] he [i.e. the Prophet – peace be upon him] knows all the universals and particulars from the beginning of creation till the establishment of Qiyamah, nay till entrance into Paradise and Hell, no minor thing straying from his knowledge, and no atom escaping his encompassment…” (Nuzhat al-Khawatir p. 1181)

Nadwi therefore describes Rida Khan’s beliefs accurately, as he certainly did believe and defended the view that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had full knowledge of all existents (literally: kullu shay’).

On pg. 56, he says: “Ismāýīl…was slain by upright Muslims in Balakot – but Deobandi/Wahābī followers colour it as a martyrdom”

Shah Isma’il was killed by Sikhs. The Balakot Battle was led by Maharajat Sher Sing. See for example, Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Nadwi’s Idha Habbat Rih al-Iman, 181-8. And the academic, Harlon O Pearson says: “In 1831, in a full-scale battle at the town of Balakot located in the Himalayan foothills, the Sikh army decisively defeated and dispersed the mujahidin. The two Muhammadi leaders, Sayyid Ahmad Brelwi and Muhammad Isma’il were killed.” (Islamic Reform and Revival in Nineteenth Century India, p 41)

Therefore, either this is another slander, or Abu Hasan believes that Sikhs are “upright Muslims.”

On pg. 56 with regard to the allegations against Shah Isma’il he says: “We invite Deobandis and other assorted Wahābīs to write a detailed refutation of this book and disprove Alahazrat.”

The common allegations against Shah Isma’il have been answered; see:

But again, Abu Hasan refuses to address the substantial replies already available.

A Reply to Preamble to Faith

February 29, 2012

Some Berelwis are circulating an ebook called The Preamble to Faith, which contains the same falsehoods and misrepresentations discussed above. A quick discussion on some of them:

The translator says: “Saharanpuri wrote a book Al-Muhannad in which he denies (both on his own behalf and those scholars of his group) that they held such beliefs and even claimed that they never said or wrote any such thing.”

This false claim that Muhannad does not deal with the original statements or denies them altogether is still repeated even when the translations of the parts in question dealing with those quotes are available on the internet. With respect to all four statements, replies are given. The passage from Hifz al-Iman is translated in a summary-form; the passage from Barahin is summarised, as is Tahzir al-Nas; and the so-called fatwa by Mawlana Gangohi is denied and a statement from Fatawa Rashidiyya, stating exactly the opposite of what is found in that fatwa that whoever believes in the occurrence of falsehood in Allah’s speech is a disbeliever, is produced. So how can it be said after this that the Muhannad “denies (both on his own behalf and those scholars of his group) that they held such beliefs and even claimed that they never said or wrote any such thing,” – unless this is regarding the way in which Ahmad Rida misrepresented the passages to say for example: “Thanawi compared the Prophet’s knowledge to animals; Saharanpuri said satan’s knowledge was more than the Prophet’s; Nanotwi said it is possible for a prophet to be born after the Prophet” – which are all no doubt lies and misrepresentations of the passages in question. In short, the impression the above writer tries to give that Mawlana Saharanpuri skirts the issue, is clearly dishonest and deceptive, as Muhannad directly addresses the quotes/statements/books in question.

Quoting from Barahin, the ebook says: “The expanse of Satan’s knowledge is proven by documentary evidence, [but] where is such absolute documentary evidence for the knowledge of the Pride of the world?”

The sentence is taken out of context, and begins with “yeh wus‘at” (this expanse) with the demonstrative noun referring to a particular expanse in knowledge not all knowledge, or knowledge in general. And the particular expanse in knowledge that is being referred to was mentioned only a few words earlier “encompassing knowledge of the word” (‘ilm muhit zamin) i.e. knowledge of the particulars of this terrestrial realm, not knowledge in general. So it is simply a lie to say Barahin states satan’s knowledge is superior to the prophet’s; and this slander was also explained in Muhannad. For more details see this post above.

This link also addresses Ahmad Rida’s claim that al-Barahin commits shirk by affirming for satan what it states to be shirk when affirmed for the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). The translator also says this: “Look at it whichever way you want, but Khalīl is saying that if you prove such knowledge for RasūlAllāh _, you commit shirk; but the same knowledge is possessed by Satan and it is proved by naşş.” As the post explains, this is distortion based on not taking into account the full passage. Mawlana Saharanpuri’s main premise is that affirming knowledge of the unseen for any being more than what is established by clear texts is shirk, as it is tantamount to affirming intrinsic knowledge of the unseen for such a person. Based on this, affirming such unseen knowledge for the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) without evidence equates to shirk; whereas for the angel of death and satan, since it is proven by clear text it is not shirk. This is obvious from the entire passage, but Ahmad Rida and his followers distort it. This was clarified and this distortion was exposed nearly a century ago by Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani in al-Shihab al-Thaqib.

Regarding the passage from Barahin the translator says: “It is in this book that Maulvi Khalīl Aĥmed Sahāranpūri says that the knowledge of Satan is proven from documentary evidence and there is no such evidence for the knowledge of RasūlAllāh _. He also wrote another book in Arabic named Al-Muhannad where he denied that he ever said such a thing” It is completely untrue that the Muhannad denies this statement (- it neither affirms it nor does it deny it), as this statement was not even up for question; rather what he denies was the claim that he said satan’s knowledge is superior to the Prophet’s in absolute terms.

The translator further says: “Khalīl Aĥmed misquotes and states the opposite of what Shaykh Abd al-Ĥaq said; such a thing is either as tadlīs or as kadhib. Because, in the first volume of Madārij the Shaykh says: “Some people pose an objection on this and say that it has been mentioned in some reports that RasūlAllāh _ said: ‘I am a slave and I do not not know what is behind this wall.’ Whereas, this statement is baseless and there is no authentic report of this kind.”” This has also been addressed in the post linked above. This claim – which was also made by Ahmad Rida – assumes Mawlana Saharanpuri took the narration from Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haq’s Madarij, whereas in fact he took it from his other book on the commentary on Mishkat in which he uses the narration in the context of proof and does not criticise it.

Regarding the ebook’s “analysis” of the passage from Hifz al-Iman, the passage from Hifz al-Iman (discussed in more detail here) says the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is not distinguished by partial knowledge of the unseen as others also possess partial knowledge of the unseen. However, Ahmad Rida, as is clear from what he wrote and the examples he uses and from his other work Husam al-Haramayn, misconstrues this to say: these others also possess the same quantity of unseen as the Prophet, not that they merely share with him the quality of possessing partial knowledge of unseen. This distinction between what was originally meant and the distorted meaning of Ahmad Rida was clarified by Mawlana Thanawi himself in Bast al-Banan.

The translator shows either his ignorance or his disregard for truth when he says about Hifz al-Iman “If one reads the whole passage, it is clear that Thānawī rejects ‘part ilm al-ghayb’ and draws similarlity of such ‘part ilm alghayb’ of the Prophet _ with that of animals and madmen; because he trails the discussion with the invalidity of ‘kull ilm al-ghayb.’ So the parallels drawn are not accidental or an incidental outcome, but rather deliberate and intentional.” If he rejects “part ilm al-ghayb,” how can he draw a similarity of it with that of animals and madmen? Mawlana Thanawi’s discussion is straightforward if all the deceptive commentary is removed: He says: ‘Ilm al-ghayb in its technical and absolute sense means intrinsic self-knowledge of the unseen and this can only be used for Allah, as the Qur’an identifies it as His exclusive attribute. It can only be used for others if qualified with an indication (qarinah) stating that this knowledge is received and not intrinsic. With respect to received knowledge of ghayb, even this cannot be regarded as a distinguishing feature of prophethood [- note this was said by earlier mutakallimun too, using the same argument]. This is because partial received knowledge is shared by others, so there is no distinction for prophets, while complete received knowledge is unanimously denied for all creation. Therefore, since ‘ilm al-ghayb is not exclusive to prophets, it should not be made from their distinguishing features.

Regarding the so-called fatwa of Mawlana Gangohi on the validity of the view of the occurrence of lying (wuqu kadhib), as Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani says in al-Shihab al-Thaqib, this is not found in any of his published writings, and is unheard of amongst his students (Mawlana Madani was also one of his direct students), and his published writings say the complete opposite that the belief in the occurrence of lying is clear disbelief; while his actual belief is of possibility, that lying is in His power but will never occur, which is a valid view as for example stated clearly by Ibn al-Humam (which both al-Muhannad and al-Shihab al-Thaqib quote – as they do other books).

The book that is translated in the ebook does not analyse Tahzir al-Nas, otherwise there were clear distortions in Ahmad Rida’s representation of that book too, as shown here.

There are, therefore, several clear distortions which originate from Ahmad Rida Khan, which his Berelwi followers perpetuate rather than justify: Ahmad Rida says Barahin said satan’s knowledge was superior (or “more vast”) than the Prophet’s in an absolute sense, whereas Barahin clearly says “yeh wus’at” referring, using the demonstrative noun, to encompassing knowledge of the world, not knowledge in general; Ahmad Rida says Hifz al-Iman states the knowledge possessed by the Prophet is equivalent to the knowledge of animals and madmen (-i.e. in terms of quantity), yet Mawlana Thanawi himself said this statement is revolting (khabith) and what he actually said was that the quality of possessing partial knowledge of unseen is not exclusive to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), but this possession of partial knowledge is also a property of animals; with Tahzir al-Nas, Ahmad Rida mistranslatedbizzat” as aslan, and rearranged three separate sentences concocting one contiguous quote.