How Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī Manufactured a Quote from Taḥdhīr un Nās to Make Takfīr on Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī

March 16, 2020

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Allegation

Taḥdhīr un Nās (written in: 1873) is a deep exegetical work written by Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī (1833 – 1880) on the topic of the superiority of the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in relation to the prophetic title “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”. Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī wrote two subsequent works, Munāẓarah ‘Ajībah and Tanwīr al-Nibrās, to answer objections and allay misconceptions regarding Taḥdhīr un Nās.

In al-Mustanad al-Mu‘tamad (written in: 1902), Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made takfīr on Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī based on Taḥdhīr un Nās. He presents the basis of takfīr as follows (al-Mustanad al-Mu‘tamad, p225):

He writes:

والقاسمية المنسوبة إلى قاسم النانوتي صاحب تحذير الناس وهو القائل فيه: لو فرض في زمنه صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم بل لو حدث بعده صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم نبي جديد لم يخل ذلك بخاتميته، وإنما يتخيل العوام أنه صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم خاتم النبيين بمعنى آخر النبيين مع أنه لا فضل فيه أصلا عند أهل الفهم، إلى آخر ما ذكر من الهذيانات. وقد قال في التتمة والأشباه وغيرهما: إذا لم يعرف أن محمدا صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم آخر الأنبياء فليس بمسلم لأنه من الضروريات

“The Qāsimiyyah are affiliated to Qāsim Nanotwī author of Taḥdhīr un Nās who said therein: ‘Were it supposed in his (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) time, in fact had a new prophet arisen after him (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), it would not infringe on his being the Khātam, and it is only the common people who think that he (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) is Khātam al-Nabiyyīn in the meaning of the last prophet despite there being no virtue at all in this according to the people of understanding,’ to the end of the nonsense that he mentioned. It states in al-Tatimmah and al-Ashbāh and other than them: ‘When one does not recognise that Muḥammad (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) is the last prophet, he is not Muslim, because it is from the absolute essentials.’

As one will notice, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān quotes the passage he presents from Taḥdhīr un Nās as one contiguous sentence, making it appear that this is how it appears in Taḥdhīr un Nās. In al-Mustanad al-Mu‘tamad, he does not put any punctuation marks to suggest these were taken from different parts of Taḥdhīr un Nās and strung together.

The sentence that he presents gives the meaning that if another prophet appeared after the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) this would not impact on his being Khātam al-Nabiyyīn and only common people believe he is Khātam al-Nabiyyīn in the sense of the last prophet despite this not being something of virtue. So, it would seem based on this that the author of Taḥdhīr un Nās is denying the concept of chronological finality for the Prophet Muḥammad and is affirming the actual possibility that a new prophet could arise. Once Aḥmad Riḍā Khān planted this idea in the reader’s mind, he quotes the Fuqahā’ who said the obvious: anyone who doesn’t recognise Muḥammad as the last prophet is not a Muslim. Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s intent is thus very clear: Nānotwī denied the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) being the last prophet and believed it is factually possible for another prophet to appear after him, and thus is a disbeliever.

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān copied the allegation as found in al-Mustanad and presented it to scholars of Makkah and Madīnah, and having received signed endorsements from some of them, published this as Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn (written in: 1906).

Perhaps to ward off allegations of deception, some recent editions of Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn add punctuation marks to the passage Aḥmad Riḍā Khān quotes from Taḥdhīr un Nās to show that it was taken from three different places. But here is an example of a recent edition of Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn that left it as it is in the original, without any punctuation marks:

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Deception in Quoting the Passage

The reality is that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān had manufactured this sentence from three different parts of Taḥdhīr un Nās. See this most recent edition of Taḥdhīr un Nās, from which the following references/images will be taken. Recall the quote from Taḥdhīr un Nās that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made the basis of his takfīr:

“Were it supposed in his (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) time, in fact had a new prophet arisen after him (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), it would not infringe on his being the Khātam, and it is only the common people who think that he (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) is Khātam al-Nabiyyīn in the meaning of the last prophet despite there being no virtue at all in this according to the people of understanding.”

The first fragment, “Were it supposed in his (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) time”, is taken from a sentence on page 37; the second fragment, “in fact had a new prophet arisen after him (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), it would not infringe on his being the Khātam”, is taken from a sentence on page 63; and the sentence: “it is only the common people who think that he (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) is Khātam al-Nabiyyīn in the meaning of the last prophet despite there being no virtue at all in this according to the people of understanding” is taken from page 14.

Before looking at these three passages and what they mean in context, it is important for readers to see that Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī categorically affirmed chronological finality in Taḥdhīr un Nās, and said chronological finality is included within the meaning of the prophetic title “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”. Hence, for Aḥmad Riḍā Khān to take some unclear and ambiguous fragments out of context and string them together to impute to Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī a belief he categorically denies is an act of great deception.

Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī Categorically Affirms the Chronological Finality of Prophethood in Taḥdhīr un Nās and Declares its Denier a Disbeliever

Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī’s understanding is that the title “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn” or “Khātim al-Nabiyyīn” as found in the Qur’ān refers to finality in three senses:

  1. Finality of status (khātamiyyat martabī) – his status in prophethood is at its peak
  2. Finality of time (khātamiyyat zamānī) – his time is at the end of all prophets
  3. Finality of place (khātamiyyat makānī) – his earth amongst six other earths is endmost

His preferred view, as he states explicitly in Taḥdhīr un Nās (p27-8), is that the title includes all three meanings.

The “foundational meaning”, however, Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī contends is finality in status. If only one meaning for the title is taken, Maulānā Nānotwī thus contends, it would be this: finality in status. But even then, finality in time is included as an “implicative meaning” of the title, in a manner that he explains in the work. (Taḥdhīr un Nās, p25-6)

Maulānā Nānotwī then makes the categorical statement below (p29-30):

“Therefore, if [sealship] is absolute and general, then the establishment of chronological finality is obvious. Otherwise, accepting the necessity of chronological finality by implicative indication is definitely established. Here, the explicit statements of the Prophet, like: ‘You are to me at the level of Hārūn to Mūsā, but there is no prophet after me,’ or as he said, which apparently is derived from the phrase ‘Khātam al-Nabiyyīn’ in the manner mentioned earlier, are sufficient on this subject, because it reaches the level of tawātur. Furthermore, consensus (ijmā‘) has been reached on this. Although the aforementioned words were not transmitted by mutawātir chains, but despite this lack of tawātur in the words, there is tawātur in the meaning just like the tawātur of the number of rak‘āt of the obligatory prayers, the Witr prayer etc. Although the words of the narrations stating the number of rak‘āt are not mutawātir, just as the one who denies that is a kāfir, in the same way, the one who denies this is a kāfir.”

This is an explicit statement, showing categorically Maulānā Nānotwī’s belief that chronological finality is an established belief of Islām, denial of which is disbelief, and which is included within the meaning of “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”, and is established by mutawātir ḥadīths and consensus.

In a subsequent work which Maulānā Nānotwī wrote to defend his views against objections and misconceptions, he writes:

It is my religion and faith that after Allāh’s Messenger (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) there is no possibility of any other prophet. Whoever hesitates about this, I regard him to be a disbeliever.” (Munāẓarah ‘Ajībah, p144)

This, again, is a categorical statement, leaving no doubt as to what is Maulānā Nānotwī’s view on the matter on which Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made takfīr.

Thus, Barelwī scholar, Pīr Karam Shāh Azharī (1918 – 1998), rejected the takfīr against Maulānā Nānotwī and said Maulānā Nānotwī clearly affirmed chronological finality:

“I do not think it correct to say that Maulānā Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) denied the belief in the finality of prophethood, because these passages (of Taḥdhīr al-Nās), by way of the clear meaning of the text and its indication, show without doubt that Maulānā Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) had certainty that chronological finality of prophethood is from the necessities of religion, and he regarded its evidences as categorical and mutawātir. He has stated this matter explicitly, that the one who denies chronological finality of prophethood of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is a kāfir and outside the fold of Islām.” (Taḥdhīr un Nās Merī Naẓar Mein, p58)

Support for Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī’s View

Before moving on to look at how Aḥmad Riḍā Khān deceived his readers and looking at the context of the fragments he strung together to concoct a “blasphemous sentence”, it should be noted other scholars pre-Nānotwī also expressed similar views on the title Khātam al-Nabiyyīn.

‘Allāmah Shihāb al-Dīn al-Miṣrī al-Ḥanafī al-Khafājī (977 – 1069 H) says in his well-known commentary on al-Shifā:

“Khātam” [in “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”] is with kasrah and fatḥah on the tā’ – [it means] the end of them and the one in whom is their [total] perfection.” (Nasīm al-Riyāḍ, Dārul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 3:31)

The early ṣūfī scholar and author of Nawādir alUṣūl, Shaykh al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī (d. 320 H), believed the primary meaning of Khātam al-Nabiyyīn is the one in whom all perfections of prophethood are combined – just as Maulānā Nānotwī said. He writes:

“Allāh, exalted is He, has combined the particles of prophethood for Muḥammad (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) and completed them for him and put a seal over them with his seal.” (Kitāb Khatm al-Wilāyah, p340 )

And:

“The meaning of Khātam al-Nabiyyīn according to us is that prophethood was completed in its entirety for Muḥammad (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), so his heart was made for the pinnacle of prophethood a receptacle around it, and then it was sealed.” (Kitāb Khatm al-Wilāyah, p341)

He further says:

“One blind to this information thinks that Khātam al-Nabiyyīn means [primarily] that he was the last of them. What virtue is there in this and what knowledge is there in this? This is the understanding of simple-minded, ignorant people.” (Kitāb Khatm al-Wilāyah, 341)

Hence, Maulānā Nānotwī has scholarly and classical precedent for his view on the meaning of the title Khātam al-Nabiyyīn; and his belief does not entail denial of any fundamental of Islām, least of all the belief in chronological finality for the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Let us now look at the fragments of the book Aḥmad Riḍā Khān pieced together to create a statement of disbelief.

First Fragment

The first fragment that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān quotes is taken from p38 of the book:

The objective is that if sealship in the meaning I presented [i.e. finality in status] is taken, then his position as the Khātam will not be specifically in relation to past prophets, but if hypothetically in his own time any prophet appeared somewhere, even then his position as the Khātam will remain sound.”

It is only the underlined part that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān quotes as the first fragment amongst three that he strung together.

Now, what is Maulānā Nānotwī here saying? He is saying if the meaning of finality of status is isolated from the different meanings of the title “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”, then, even if hypothetically we suppose another prophet appeared in the Prophet’s (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) own time, he would still be the Khātam in relation to that hypothetical prophet in the sense of “finality of status”. Recall, he does not deny finality of time, and hence why this is presented only as a hypothetical situation. Furthermore, to allay any misconception, in Munāẓarah ‘Ajībah (p35), Maulānā Nānotwī says he accepts the chronological finality of the Prophet Muḥammad for prophets of all earths and that this is indicated in Taḥdhīr un Nās itself – he is the final prophet in terms of time for prophets of this earth and all other earths:

Hence, Maulānā Nānotwī’s meaning is plain: in the hypothetical scenario that another prophet appeared in the Prophet’s time, he would still be a Khātam in terms of the first meaning (finality in terms of status). But in terms of the second meaning (finality in terms of time) – which Maulānā Nānotwī also accepts – of course he would not remain Khātam in this hypothetical case, which is why it is only a hypothetical case and not a factual one.

The fact Maulānā Nānotwī uses the term “hypothetically” (bilfarz) shows he does not believe this to be an actual possibility. Maulānā Idrīs Kāndehlewī (1899 – 1974) in his defence of Taḥdhīr un Nās makes this point (Taḥdhīr un Nās, Dārul Ishā‘at, p56):

It was an act of deception on the part of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān to quote this small fragment of the sentence, excluding the qualifying statement at the start: “if sealship in the meaning I presented [i.e. finality in status] is taken…”.

Second Fragment

The second fragment is taken from the following passage on p63:

“Yes, if Khātamiyyah in the sense of [finality in status as] an intrinsic embodiment of the quality of prophethood is taken, as this humble one has submitted, then besides Allāh’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace), any other individual intended for creation cannot be considered equal to the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace). Rather, in this way not only is his superiority over external individual prophets established, his superiority over even conceivable (muqaddara) individuals is established. Therefore, even if it were hypothesised that after the time of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) any prophet was born, even then there would be no difference to Muḥammadan Khātamiyyah.”

It is important to understand the context of this statement. The context is essentially the main objective of the whole book: to establish the absolute superiority of the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). Even though there are other earths with other prophets, once we accept the Prophet Muḥammad as the “absolute seal” (khātam muṭlaq), those other prophets would also be subject to Muḥammadan superiority (afḍaliyyat). In fact, even if we suppose hypothetically another prophet appeared here or elsewhere, that prophet too will be subject to Muḥammadan superiority. So, when Maulānā Nānotwī says “there would be no difference to Muḥammadan Khātamiyyah”, he means “there would be no difference to Muḥammadan superiority” and no difference to the Prophet’s finality in terms of status. This is precisely how Maulānā Idrīs Kāndehlewī explains the passage:

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān again quotes only the underlined fragment to impute a false meaning. And again, he omits the crucial qualifier at the start of the passage: “if Khātamiyyah in the sense of [finality in status as] an intrinsic embodiment of the quality of prophethood is taken…”

Third Statement

The third statement is effectively from the start of the book. As it is Maulānā Nānotwī’s objective to prove that “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn” is a term essentially regarding prophetic superiority (but includes the meaning of finality in time), he points out that the common people understand the term essentially to mean finality in terms of time (Taḥdhīr un Nās, p14):

“In the understanding of the commoners, the Messenger of Allāh (Allah bless him and grant him peace) being Khātam is with the meaning that his time is after the time of the earlier prophets, and he is the last prophet of all. But it will be clear to the people of understanding that coming earlier and later chronologically has intrinsically no virtue. Then how can it be correct to say, ‘But the Messenger of Allah and Khātam an-Nabiiyyīn,’ (Qur’ān, 33:40) in this scenario, is in a place of praise?”

As can be seen, Maulānā Nānotwī is arguing “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn” is a title of praise, and merely coming later in time does not intrinsically entail praise, so to take this as the foundational meaning is problematic. He says only a little later in the same context:

“In fact, the basis of Khātamiyyat is upon something else, from which coming later in time and blocking the aforementioned door [to false claimants of prophethood] will automatically be necessitated, and prophetic virtue will be multiplied.”

Hence, in the very same section, Maulānā Nānotwī affirms chronological finality of the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). Here he mentions the foundational meaning is finality in status, but even then: chronological finality is an implicative and necessary meaning of the term. Later, he presents his preferred opinion that all three meanings of “finality” are included within Khātam al-Nabiyyīn.

Final Points

Given the context of the three fragments that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān pieced together to concoct a statement of disbelief, Maulānā Nānotwī’s intent is plain for everyone to see. He did not claim it is possible for another prophet to appear. To the contrary, he said it is impossible for another prophet to appear after the Prophet Muḥammad, and that anyone who believes it is factually possible is a disbeliever.

It is clear to any fair-minded, objective reader that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was deceiving his readers by piecing together three fragments from Taḥdhīr un Nās that occur in three different contexts to impute a meaning to him that he categorically denied.

It is also clear that Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī did not deny any fundamental belief of Islām, and hence takfīr is completely unjustified. Yet, it is mainstream Barelwī belief that to even doubt the takfīr of Maulānā Nānotwī is itself a crime that merits takfīr!


Barelwī Browbeating & Propaganda Against Deobandīs – UK Barelwīs Write to Muḥammad Ya‘qūbī

March 7, 2020

Recently, UK Barelwīs wrote a letter to Muḥammad Ya‘qūbī castigating him for calling to unity with different groups. The letter can be found here. While there are legitimate grounds to question “uniting” with groups like the Shī‘ah, the Barelwī letter-writers repeat age-old false propaganda against Deobandīs (p3-6), and ask Ya‘qūbī to support the takfīr of the Deobandī elders (p12) – and this is what concerns us here. They repeat the false propaganda of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān despite these having been exposed as clear lies and falsehoods for all audiences, whether Urdu-speaking, English-speaking or Arabic-speaking. The shameful and shameless slanders repeated in this letter were signed by some of their reputed UK-based “scholars” and preachers like Aslam Bandyalwi, Shams ul Huda Misbahi, Saqib Iqbal, Shahid Ali, Ibrar Shafi and Nabil Afzal.

For English-speakers, The Decisive Debate by Maulānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī (accessible here) and A Critique of Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn by Maulānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar (available here) are sufficient and detailed refutations of the false allegations of kufr found in Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn, and repeated in the letter. For Arabic speakers, apart from al-Muhannad ‘ala ‘l-Mufannad (available here), the following are sufficient and detailed refutations:

اتهام البريلوي على الشيخ قاسم النانوتوي والجواب عنه
اتهامات البريلوي على العلامة خليل أحمد السهارنفوري والجواب عنها
مولانا أشرف علي التهانوي وبحثه عن علم الغيب في رسالة حفظ الإيمان

False Equivalence Between Takfīr of Qādiyānīs and Takfīr of Deobandīs

The letter begins its discussion on Deobandīs by creating a false equivalence:

If you make Takfir of Qadiyanis due to their denial of some necessary matters of religion — regardless of their belief of Allah being One, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم as a Messenger, the Qur’an as a Heavenly Book, Salah, Zakat, Sawm and Hajj — then why do you hesitate in making Takfir of the four leading scholars of Deobandis?

The beliefs for which Qādiyānīs are considered disbelievers (kāfirs/zindīqs) are not contested by the Qādiyānīs themselves. Yet the beliefs that Barelwīs falsely allege the Deobandī elders are guilty of, and because of which they accuse them of kufr, are contested by Deobandīs and were contested by those accused themselves. Hence, there is a clear contrast between the rightful takfīr of Qādiyānīs and the meritless takfīr of the Deobandī elders.

False Allegation against Maulānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī & Ḥifẓ al-Īmān

The letter begins with the allegation against Maulānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī:

Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi, in his book Hifdh-ul-Iman, in order to show the knowledge of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as less compared the Prophet’s knowledge to children, madmen, rather all animals and quadrupeds.

This is an outright falsehood. Details can be found in the third Arabic article linked above, and p68-80  from The Decisive Debate and p60-69 from A Critique of Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn. A summarised response can be read here and here and here.

In the passage of Ḥifẓ al-Īmān in question, Maulānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī was not trying to “show the knowledge of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam to be less” as alleged here. Rather, he was arguing against the use of the title “‘Ālim al-Ghayb” for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Nor did he compare prophetic knowledge to the knowledge of children, madmen and animals. Rather, he contended that if it is based on mere possession of some knowledge of unseen that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is to be referred to as “‘Ālim al-Ghayb”, then mere possession of some knowledge of unseen is not unique to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam); in this case, all and sundry, even children, madmen and animals can be called “‘Ālim al-Ghayb” given that they all have some knowledge of unseen. As can be seen, there is no comparison made between the actual knowledge of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and these others.

Moreover, in Ḥifẓ al-Īmān itself, a few paragraphs after the above, Maulānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī says: “The knowledges that are consequential to and necessary for prophethood were acquired by [the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)] in their totality.” (Ḥifẓ al-Īmān, p17) It is clear he is not trying to “show prophetic knowledge as being less” when he affirms full and complete knowledge of those things that are needed for prophethood; and it is clear he does not believe such knowledge is attained by a non-prophet.

Maulānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī himself answered the false allegation of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān that he compared or drew an equivalence between prophetic knowledge and the knowledge of children, madmen and animals in a subsequent treatise called Basṭ al-Banān, which is appended to most editions of Ḥifẓ al-Īmān.

False Allegation against Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī & Barāhīn e Qāṭi‘ah

The letter then moves on to the allegation against Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī, and by extension Maulānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī. It states:

Khalil Ahmad Ambethwi, in Barahin-i-Qati’ah, wrote that the knowledge of Shaytan is greater than the knowledge of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم . By writing an attestation upon this book, Rashid Ahmad Gangohi supported this disparagement.

Again, this is complete falsehood. For a detailed explanation, see this article, as well p39-67  from The Decisive Debate and p46-54 from A Critique of Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn and answer 18 & 19 from al-Muhannad ‘ala ‘l-Mufannad (authored by Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī himself). Also see the second Arabic article linked above.

Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī was discussing specifically certain types of worldly knowledge, namely knowledge of human actions and what takes place in human gatherings etc. An earlier work called Anwār e Sāṭi‘ah apparently argued for complete knowledge for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) of such things based on an analogy with Shayṭān, whose knowledge of these things is proven. Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī responded that analogy cannot prove such things, and while it is proven textually that Shayṭān was given such knowledge it is not proven for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). As clear, this is regarding specific types of worldly knowledge, not about knowledge in general – similar to how the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) himself said: “You have more knowledge of the matters of your world.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

Regarding knowledge in general, and in particular religious and otherworldly knowledge, Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī said explicitly in al-Muhannad ‘ala ‘l-Mufannad (p70-71) that the Prophet’s knowledge is most extensive. He had also said in Barāhīn e Qāṭi‘ah: “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.” (Barāhīn e Qāṭi‘ah, p7) Of course “lofty perfections” would include knowledge. That is, in knowledge of things on which perfection and virtue depend, none is more knowledgeable than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).

But at the same time, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) asked protection from knowledge that is of no benefit. (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim) Hence, useless, senseless, and even filthy and dirty knowledge, are unbefitting for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). It is no virtue if Shayṭān has lots of them and the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) does not.

False Allegation against Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī & Taḥdhīr un Nās

The letter then moves on to the allegation against Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī. It states:

Qasim Nanotwi, in his book Tahdhir un Nas, explained that it is possible for a new prophet to emerge after our Noble Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and denied the meaning of Final Prophet as being Last in terms of time.

This, again, is complete falsehood. For details, see this article, the first Arabic article linked above and p18-31 from The Decisive Debate and p24-33 from A Critique of Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn.

In Taḥdhīr un Nās, Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī says explicitly that the belief in the Prophet’s (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) finality in terms of time is an absolute necessity of belief and its denial is disbelief.

Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī merely presents an additional meaning to the term Khātam al-Nabiyyīn that along with meaning the last prophet in terms of time, it also means the prophet that topped all other prophets in terms of perfection. Several centuries before him, ‘Allāmah al-Khafājī had written: “Khātam [in “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”] is with kasrah & fatḥah on the tā’ – [it means] the end of them and the one in whom is their [total] perfection” (Nasīm al-Riyāḍ, Dārul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 3:31)

This is precisely what Maulānā Nānotwī stated in Taḥdhīr un Nās: that Khātam al-Nabiyyīn has both meanings of 1) being the prophet that tops all other prophets in perfections and 2) the last of them in time. To explain further, Maulānā Nānotwī said that given the first meaning (i.e. topping all other prophets in perfections), in the hypothetical scenario that a prophet came after the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) this would not violate his being the Khātam al-Nabiyyīn, i.e. in the first meaning, and he would top even that hypothetical prophet by virtue of this meaning of Khātam al-Nabiyyīn. Even in making this hypothetical judgement, he made it clear that it hinges on Khātam al-Nabiyyīn in the first meaning – while he explicitly endorses Khātam al-Nabiyyīn in the second meaning also, and in fact says very clearly that anyone who denies the chronological finality of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is a disbeliever. Given this, to claim he stated that it is factually possible for another prophet to appear is a complete distortion of what he had written.

Adamance on False Takfīr

After presenting these false allegations, the letter then declares:

All of these matters are unequivocal, certain and unanimously agreed upon as being Kufr and there is no room for any valid interpretation for these statements.

It is unbelievable how statements completely removed from what they are alleged to mean by Barelwī Takfīrīs are declared by them to “unequivocally” hold those meanings! The degree of delusion and deception in this comment is truly astounding.

The letter continues:

The controversial statements of the aforementioned books are proven unequivocally via mass transmission and all the leading Deobandi scholars are unanimously agreed upon the fact that these statements indeed belong to their scholars. One will be unable to find even two Deobandi scholars who disagree with this fact.

Yes, there is no debate that Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī authored Taḥdhīr un Nās or that Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī authored Barḥīn e Qāṭi‘ah or that Maulānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī authored Ḥifẓ al-Īmān. The debate is only over how passages from these books are (mis)represented and (mis)interpreted, namely by alleging that Maulānā Qāsim Nānotwī in Taḥdhīr un Nās said it is factually possible for another prophet to come after the Prophet Muḥammad, that Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī in Barḥīn e Qāṭi‘ah said Shayṭān has more knowledge than the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and that Maulānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī in Ḥifẓ al-Īmān said prophetic knowledge is comparable/equivalent to the knowledge of children, madmen and animals. This (mis)characterisation is certainly not “proven via mass transmission”. Rather, it is clear distortion and fabrication, indeed calumny and slander.

Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn and its Attestations

The letter continues:

The Takfir of these four scholars is recorded in Husam-ul-Haramayn. The signatures of thirty three scholars of the Haramayn are present in this and hundreds of scholars of the Indian subcontinent also made Takfir.

The takfīrs of the four elders of Deoband recorded in Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn is based on distortion and fabrication as explained in detail in The Decisive Debate and A Critique of Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn.

On the value of the signatures of the scholars from the Ḥaramayn, see the discussion from Maulānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī’s al-Shihāb al-Thāqib. The most prominent scholars of Makkah did not sign the document, and those that did made the endorsement conditional on the accuracy of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s claims and attributions – either explicitly or implicitly. So, given that the claims and attributions are false, the attestations and signatures hold no weight.

With characteristic Barelwī browbeating, the letter continues:

What is your stance in this regard? Is it disparagement or not to compare the knowledge of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to children, madmen and animals? If it is then whoever is guilty of such disparagement, is he a Kafir or not? If he is a Kafir then why is Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi not a Kafir? Is it disparagement or not to assert that the knowledge of the accursed Shaytan is greater than the knowledge of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم? If it is then whoever is guilty of such disparagement, is he a Kafir or not? If he is a Kafir then why is Takfir not made of Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and Khalil Ahmad Ambethwi? If someone claims that it is possible for a new prophet to emerge after our Noble Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم then is such a person a Kafir or not? If he is then one who writes or says this, is he Kafir or not? If he is a Kafir then why is Takfir not made of Qasim Nanotwi?

It is not contested that drawing an equivalence between prophetic knowledge and knowledge of children, madmen and animals, or saying Shayṭān is more knowledgeable than the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) or believing it is factually possible for another prophet to emerge after the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is kufr. What is contested is that these things were said by these scholars. And as shown an umpteen number of times, the attributions are completely false.

The letter continues:

Our question is not regarding the Takfir of every Deobandi individual. Rather, specifically it is regarding the four leading Deobandi scholars, whose aforementioned statements from their books have been translated into Arabic and English and brought to your attention by Indo-Pak scholars numerous times alongside the explanation for their Takfir. Generally it is regarding every individual, upon whom the Kufr of these statements has been made clear from debates, speeches and writings. Notwithstanding this, such individuals consider these scholars as their religious guides. To this extent, after this much clarification, one who doubts the Kufr of these Deobandi leaders also becomes a Kafir.

This statement shows the efforts to which Barelwīs go to satisfy their urges of meritless takfīr against Deobandīs. They will try to throw it in the faces of outside scholars, alongside their usual deceptive “explanation” and commentary. The letter-writers should consider that maybe not all outside scholars can be intimidated and browbeaten. Some may actually choose to look into the matter and with a little inspection conclude that the allegations are false and slanderous. If the takfīr was so clear-cut and obvious (like the takfīr of Qādiyānīs), why are Barelwīs so hellbent on mutilating passages, and why do they have to distort evidence while “proving” the takfīr?

Imkān al-Kidhb

The letter then brings up the issue of imkān al-kidhb:

It is also the belief of Deobandis that lying is a possibility for Allah تعالى ,i.e. speaking a lie is within the Divine Power. This was written by Rashid Ahmad Gangohi in his Fatawa and Isma’il Dehlawi in his epistle Yak Rozi. However in many books of ‘Aqa’id of Ahl-us-Sunnah it is clearly stated that the Divine Power is only related to possibilities, not necessities nor impossibilities. This is because if a necessary matter is within the Divine Power then it becomes a possibility, whereas it is necessary. Likewise if an impossible matter is within the Divine Power then it becomes a possibility, whereas it is impossible.

It is strange that they provide references to an Urdu work, Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah, and a Farsi work, Yak Rozī, even though this issue is explained in al-Muhannad ‘ala ‘l-Mufannad, an easily accessible Arabic work attested to by all major Deobandī scholars of the early era. They probably chose not to refer to al-Muhannad because it provides evidence from the statements of the scholars of Kalām that issuing false speech within the kalām lafẓī is within Allāh’s power though its occurrence is not possible, and scholars from the Arab world of that time endorsed their explanation.

Yes, necessities and impossibilities are not included within Allāh’s power. Issuing a false statement, however, does not fall under intrinsic impossibilities but under intrinsic possibilities. It is just like putting a pious believer in Hell or putting a wretched disbeliever in Heaven – such things are intrinsically possible given Allāh’s power over them, but their occurrence is impossible. For an explanation, see this (in English) and this (in Arabic).

The letter continues to provide evidence that issuing false speech is impossible:

Lying is a defect and it is impossible to ascribe defects to the Divine Essence of Allah تعالى. It is stated in Sharh-ul-‘Aqa’id Jalali, “Lying is a defect and defects are impossible for Allah. Thus lying is not from possibilities, nor is it included within the Divine Power, just as all causes of defect are impossible for Allah تعالى ,e.g. ignorance and incapacity.” [Al-Dawwani ‘Alal ‘Aqa’id Al-‘Adadiyyah, p73, Mujtaba’i, Delhi, reference from Fatawa Ridawiyyah 15:329] In Sharh-ul-Maqasid it is stated, 6 “Lying is impossible for Allah. Firstly due to the consensus of the scholars. Secondly due to mass transmission of reports of the Prophets والسالم الصالة عليهم .Thirdly due to lying being a defect by the unanimous agreement of intellectuals. It is impossible for Allah تعالى”. [Sharh-ul-Maqasid 2:104, Dar-ul-Ma’arif an-Nu’maniyyah, Lahore, reference from Fatawa Ridawiyyah 15:517]

It should first be noted that there are explicit statements from the scholars of Kalām stating that issuing a false statement within the kalām lafẓī (verbalised speech), as opposed to the kalām nafsī (self speech), is from the possibilities contained within Allāh’s power, although its occurrence is impossible. For example, al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī writes about falsehood in the verbalised speech that it is “from the possibilities included within Allah’s power” (min al-mumkināt allatī tashmaluhū qudratuh). (Sharḥ al-Mawāqif, 8:331) ‘Allāmah Isma‘il al-Kalnabawi (d 1205 H) says: “In sum, lying being ugly in the kalām lafẓī, in the sense that it is an attribute of imperfection, is not accepted according to the Ash‘arīs. That is why al-Sharīf al-Muḥaqqiq said it is from the category of possibilities, while acquiring decisive knowledge of its non-occurrence in His speech by consensus of scholars and prophets does not negate its intrinsic possibility.” (Ḥāshiyat al-Kalnabawī ‘ala ‘l-Jalāl, p.449-50)

More quotes can be found in al-Muhannad ‘ala ‘l-Mufannad and in Juhd al-Muqill.

What about the quotes the Barelwī letter-writers reproduce from Aḥmad Riḍā Khān? Regarding the first quote from al-Dawwānī, Maulānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī contends that it is regarding the kalām nafsī and not the kalām lafẓī. (Tazkirat al-Khalīl, p145) The statement from Sharḥ al-Maqāṣid is also very clearly regarding the kalām nafsī. The original quote can be found on page 158-9 of the fourth volume of Sharḥ al-Maqāṣid (available here). In this way, it is possible to reconcile the apparently conflicting statements.

Istighāthah

The letter further alleges:

Furthermore Deobandis generally consider the one who seeks help from the inhabitants of graves as a disbeliever and polytheist. They consider the one who calls upon inhabitants of graves from afar as a polytheist akin to the disbelievers of the Quraysh who call upon idols.

This is false. Deobandīs do not say istighāthah (asking for help from saints who have passed away) is always major shirk. They regard it to be impermissible and expressions of shirk (and thus sometimes refer to it as “shirk”), but only true shirk when accompanied by a belief that the being called for help is an independent agent. This same position on istighāthah was articulated by Ḥanafis before Deobandīs like Ṣun‘ullāh al-Ḥalabī (who is also pre-Wahhābī), Qāḍī Thanā’ullāh Pānipatī and Shaykh Maḥmūd Ālūsī.

Maulānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī has a short Arabic write-up on tawassul. One of the types of tawassul he describes is istighāthah. He defines it as “calling to [a creature] and seeking his help in the manner of the idolaters. This is ḥarām by consensus. As for whether it is manifest shirk or not, its criterion is that if he believes in his independence in bringing about an effect, it is shirk in creed, of a blasphemous nature…[and otherwise, it is not]” (Bawādir al-Nawādir, p. 706) Then, explaining the meaning of “independence”, he says:

معنى استقلاله أن الله قد فوض إليه الأمور بحيث لا يحتاج في إمضائها إلى مشيئته الجزئية وإن قدر على عزله عن هذا التفويض

“The meaning of his ‘independence’ is that Allāh had authorised him with powers in such a way that he does not need His particular will in [each instance of] executing those [powers], although He has the ability to depose him from this authorisation.” (Bawādir al-Nawādir, p. 708)

He has also explained a similar principle in a work called Nihāyat al-Idrāk fi Aqsām al-Ishrāk, which has been translated.

Maulānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī also differentiates between different beliefs, and does not state istighāthah is automatically shirk akbar. He references Shah Isḥāq Dehlawī, the grandson and successor of Shāh ‘Abdul Azīz Dehlawī.

Mawlid

They continue:

They consider those who commemorate the Mawlid as misguided innovators etc.

To celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in the month of Rabī‘ al-Awwal as an institutionalised, habitual, ritual practice done each year is indeed an innovation. Deobandī elders were not the only ones to denounce this practice. Abū Isḥāq al-Shāṭibī, Tāj al-Dīn al-Fākihānī, Abū ‘Abdillāh al-Ḥaffār and other scholars had also denounced the birthday celebration, which was initially introduced by the Shī‘ī Rawāfiḍ some time around the fourth or fifth centuries of Hijrah.

Deobandīs do not have issue with holding a gathering, without ritualising or institutionalising a particular time, to praise and glorify the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). For more detail, see here and here.

Takfīr

The letter-writers finally make the absurd claim:

The Wahhabis and Deobandis consider Ahl-us-Sunnah as hell bound polytheists. Are such Wahhabis and Deobandis people of truth?

Takfīr is the pastime of Barelwīs and Wahhābīs, not Deobandīs. Deobandīs do not consider Ahl al-Sunnah to be hell-bound polytheists. On the other hand, Barelwīs do consider innocent imāms of Ahl al-Sunnah and those who do not consider them to be disbelievers hell-bound disbelievers. Maulānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī points out in al-Shihāb al-Thāqib (p221-4) that in truth it is Barelwīs that resemble Wahhābīs in their most characteristic trait i.e. takfīr, and thus are more deserving of that appellation than Deobandīs.

Concluding Note

Evidence-based critique of the takfīr and false allegations against Deobandīs as presented above generally elude dyed-in-the-wool Barelwīs like those that authored this letter. For them it makes no difference whether an explanation is given or not, whether their misinformation is exposed or not. The verdict given by Maulānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī based on a decade-long experience from a century ago still rings true today. He writes:

In my earlier phase, after ten years of experience, it became a ‘true certainty’ for me that the educated flag bearers and leaders of this [Barelwī] fitnah of takfīr never misunderstood or made an academic slip. They themselves know very well that our elders are completely free of those heretical beliefs they attribute to them. In short, I do not have even an atom’s weight of doubt in the ungodliness that purely for their worldly benefits and interest, they wilfully slandered and falsely accused our elders. Therefore, there is no hope that if they understand the matter through the means of writing or lecturing, this fitnah will end. Not only once or twice, again and again, through the means of writing and lecturing and discussion, attempts have been made to make them understand. Books have been written. Debates have been had. And by the grace and mercy of Allāh Almighty and His accordance and support, in those books and those debates, the matter was composed and written in such a way that if in reality there was some misunderstanding or academic error then this matter would have ended long ago. But the reality is that, since this fitnah-mongering is the means of their work and livelihood, even if they are made to understand a thousand times, they will never accept. This condition of theirs is exactly like the stubborn actions of those who oppose Allāh, regarding whom the Noble Qur’ān says: ‘And they denied them, though their souls acknowledged them, for spite and arrogance.’ (27:14)

This is why I am certain that talking with these instigators to make them understand is merely a waste of time and actually helps their cause. This is why it is my sure opinion that all of this should be avoided, and the policy mentioned in these words of the Qur’ān should be adopted clearly: ‘There is no argumentation between us and you. Allāh will bring us together, and to Him is the final return.’ (42:15) Thus, I will no longer correspond with the flag bearers and leaders of this fitnah of takfīr who have made this fitnah-mongering their occupation and work.

However, it is no doubt the right of those poor Muslim laymen who, being deceived by their scholarly form and scholarly dress, became afflicted by this fitnah of takfīr, that in a suitable manner they are made to understand and an attempt is made to save them from this fitnah. In this respect a grassroots and general method is that in the place where this fitnah is manifest, to explain to the educated Muslims amongst them the actual truth and the reality of these fitnah-stirrers, and then they will make attempts to make the masses understand. (The Decisive Debate, p. 13-4)


A Critique of Husam al-Haramayn: English Translation of ‘Ibārāt e Akābir by ‘Allāmah Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar

January 13, 2019

‘Allāmah Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar’s (1914 – 2009) ‘Ibārāt e Akābir, a work written in 1972, is a detailed appraisal of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s false fatwās of takfīr against the Akābir of Deoband. An edited and adapted English translation of the work has alḥamdulillāh been completed, and can be found at the link below.

The book not only provides a detailed and clear rebuttal of the allegations made in Ḥusām al- Ḥaramayn, but also some allegations made against Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd in Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s al-Kawkabat al-Shihābiyyah (and in other Barelwī writings).

There are also responses to allegations made based on two dreams mentioned in the writings of Shaykh Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī and Shaykh Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī.

The work clearly demonstrates Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s deception, distortions, extremism in takfīr and the lie of his carefulness in issuing takfīr. The book has the added advantage of providing short biographies of the personalities Aḥmad Riḍā Khān assaults and providing clear translations and citations of useful passages from original Urdu works (some for the first time made available in English).

The introduction also offers a useful historical background, showing Aḥmad Riḍā Khān and his senseless takfīrism was opposed by mainstream Sunnī scholarship of his day, even by those unaffiliated with the madrasa of Deoband and its luminaries.

Read here: https://barelwism.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/a-critique-of-husam-al-haramayn-imam-sarfraz-khan-safdar.pdf


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

December 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Endorsements

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

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

Contents

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

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

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

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


Majority of Nonpartisan Ulama of the Subcontinent Opposed Ahmad Rida Khan’s Takfir of the Four Deobandi Akabir

December 24, 2018

Bara’at al-Abrar ‘an Maka’id al-Ashrar is a work written by Mawlana Abdur Ra’uf Khan Jaganpuri Faizabadi in the 1930s, in which the author collected the fatawa and signatures of hundreds of nonpartisan scholars throughout the subcontinent opposing the takfir of Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi, and affirming that the Ulama of Deoband are “Sunni Hanafis” and unconnected to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab/Wahhabis. It was written as a refutation of Hashmat Ali Khan and his al-Sawarim al-Hindiyya.

The work includes fatwas from established Darul Iftaas of the states of Tonk, Bhopal, Bahawalpur etc. (in undivided British India).

The work (first published in 1934) is available here:

https://ia601607.us.archive.org/13/items/BaraatUlAbraHighQuality/Baraat%20Ul%20Abrar%20High%20Quality.pdf

 


Mufti Abdul Ghani Patialvi’s al-Junnah li Ahlissunnah

December 23, 2018

Mufti Abdul Ghani Patialvi, who was the headmaster at one of the famous Deobandi Madaris located in Delhi, Madrasa Aminia (where Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlawi famously taught), wrote a work against Barelwis called al-Junna li Ahlissunnah, available here:

https://ia600601.us.archive.org/18/items/Al-Junnah-Li-Ahlus-Sunnah/Al-Junnah-Li-Ahlus-Sunnah-Compressed.pdf

The title was suggested by Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, who endorsed the book. It was also endorsed by Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlawi.

The work consists of three separate books/chapters written in the 1920s and 1930s. The first is a defence of Shah Isma’il Shahid; the second is a response to Ahmad Rida Khan’s allegations against the four Akabir; and the third is on the topic of innovation (bid’ah). There is also a lengthy introduction which refutes the claim that Shah Isma’il Shahid was influenced by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, a “foreign person, whose integrity and knowledge is unknown.” (al-Junnah, p. 14) Indeed, all of Shah Isma’il’s positions that supposedly reflect influence by Wahhabis are found explicitly in the writings of his predecessors (ibid.), like Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlawi and Qadi Thanaullah Panipati. Extensive quotes from these scholars and others are presented to show that they were Shah Isma’il’s sources, not Wahhabis. A detailed description is also provided on the nature of the beliefs of the common and ignorant Muslims that Shah Isma’il was addressing. Shah Isma’il’s liberal usage of the term “shirk” is also discussed – that he sometimes meant true shirk and sometimes an action associated with mushrikun though not true shirk.


Refutation of the False Allegation against Imam Nanotwi [Arabic]

February 4, 2015

اتهام البريلوي على الشيخ قاسم النانوتوي والجواب عنه

قال أحمد رضا خان البريلوي في كتابه ‘حسام الحرمين’: [والقاسمية المنسوبة إلى قاسم النانوتي، صاحب ‘تحذير الناس’ وهو القائل فيه: ((لو فرض في زمنه صلى الله عليه وسلم، بل لو حدث بعده صلى الله عليه وسلم نبي جديد، لم يخل ذلك بخاتميته، وإنما يتخيل العوام أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم خاتم النبيين بمعنى آخر النبيين مع أنه لا فضل فيه أصلا عند أهل الفهم))، إلى آخر ما ذكر من الهذيانات. وقد قال فى التتمة والأشباه وغيرهما: ((إذا لم يعرف أن محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم آخر الأنبياء فليس بمسلم لأنه من الضروريات))] انتهى كلامه

فغرض البريلوي من هذا الكلام – كما ترى – إثبات نسبة القول إلى الشيخ قاسم النانوتوي – مؤسس دار العلوم ديوبند – بإنكار ختم النبوة وتجويز مجيئ نبي بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. ونقل من كتابه ‘تحذير الناس’، وقام بالخيانة فى نقل هذه العبارة عنه غاية الخيانة، كما سنبينه في موضعه إن شاء الله تعالى

أولا – نريد أن نقدم للقارئين الكرام بيانا مختصرا لما قرره الشيخ قاسم النانوتوي في كتابه ‘تحذير الناس من إنكار أثر ابن عباس’، فإنه خاض في غوامض التفسير وغاص في أسرار المقام المحمدي صلى الله عليه وسلم، بما لا يكاد أحد أن يفهم جملة منعزلة ملتقطة من كتابه هذا فهما صحيحا من غير النظر الدقيق في معظم أبحاثه وجل معانيه

وصورة الكتاب متوفرة على الرابط التالي

https://ia600500.us.archive.org/…/te…/tehzeer-un-naas-da.pdf

الكتاب فى الأصل جواب عن استفتاء قد ورد، وهو حول أثر ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما الذي جاء فيه: [إن الله خلق سبع أرضين، في كل أرض آدم كآدمكم ونوح كنوحكم وإبراهيم كإبراهيمكم وعيسى كعيسىكم ونبي كنبيكم]، فذهب فلان إلى صحة هذا الأثر، وأن في كل أرض من الأراضي السبعة خلائق الله تعالى، وفي كل منها خاتم لسلسلة الأنبياء كما أن نبينا صلى الله عليه وسلم خاتم في أرضنا هذه، فسأل المستفتي: هل يحتمل هذا الحديث هذا المعنى الذي ذهب إليه الفلان المذكور؟ وهل يكفر هو أو يعصي أو يخرج من أهل السنة بناء على قوله هذا؟

فبدأ الشيخ النانوتوي جوابه عن هذا السؤال ببيان مفصل لتفسير كلمة [خاتم النبيين] حيث وردت فى القرآن الكريم، وزعم أن الفهم الصحيح لمعناها يفضي إلى كشف ما أشكل على السائل من المراد بالأثر المذكور فى السؤال. فأخذ النانوتوي في بيان ما ذهب إليه من تفسير هذه الكلمة، وهذا التفسير هو الذي ألخصه لكم فإنه ما يهمنا في هذا البحث

فقدم الشيخ النانوتوي للقارئين مشكلة تفسيرية حول هذه الصفة حيث وردت فى القرآن، فقال إن معناها عند عامة الناس هو ليس إلا كون النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم متأخرا عن جميع الأنبياء السابقين بحسب الزمان، ولكن التأخر والتقدم الزمانيان لا يفيدان الفضيلة بذاتيهما، ويجب أن تكون صفة ‘الخاتمية’ صفة مدح وكلمة ‘خاتم النبيين’ بيان فضيلته صلى الله عليه وسلم لسببين: الأول: الأوصاف التي ليس لها مدخل فى النبوة والمدح لا ذكر لها فى التنزيل كالطول والصورة واللون والنسب إلى غير ذلك، والثاني: لو لم تكن هي صفة مدح يتوهم من ذكرها تنقيص درجة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فإنه إنما يكون الكمالات التي وصفت عند ذكر أهلها لا غير ١

ثم قال النانوتوي: ويمكن أن يكشف هذا الإشكال بأن يقال: إن هذه الشريعة هي آخر الشرائع، وهذا المعنى ل’خاتم النبيين’ يسد باب افتتان الناس بمن يدعى النبوة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم واغترارهم بهم. فسلم النانوتوي أن هذا التوجيه محل للاعتبار في نفسه، لكن بقى مع هذا التوجيه مشكل آخر، وهو الإستدراك الموجود في هذه الآية. فإن الله تعالى قال: [ما كان محمد أبا أحد من رجالكم ولكن رسول الله وخاتم النبيين] (سورة الأحزاب) وكلمة ‘لكن’ تفيد الإستدراك على شبهة وقعت من الكلام السابق، فما هي الشبهة؟ وما هو توجيه هذا الإستدراك؟

فقال النانوتوي: إن قوله تعالى: [ما كان محمد أبا أحد من رجالكم] ينفى الأبوة الجسمانية عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لكل رجل من رجال الأمة، ولكن يمكن أن يتوهم من قرأه أن الأبوة المعنوية قد نفيت عنه صلى الله عليه وسلم أيضا، ودفع الله تعالى هذا التوهم بقوله عز وجل: [ولكن رسول الله وخاتم النبيين]، فصفة ‘رسول الله’ تثبت أبوته المعنوية الروحانية لهذه الأمة المحمدية، وصفة ‘خاتم النبيين’ تثبت أبوته المعنوية لجميع الأنبياء السابقين وبواسطتهم ثبتت أبوته على أممهم أيضا

فصفة ‘رسول الله’ تفيد أن هذه الأمة استفادت صفة الإيمان بواسطته صلى الله عليه وسلم، فكما أن الوالد سبب لولادة المولود فهو الأب الجسماني له، فكذلك الرسول سبب لإيمان الأمتي فهو الأب المعنوي له. قد أطال النانوتوي الكلام في إثبات هذه الدعوى، ولكن بيانه هذا ليس مما يهمنا في هذا البحث فأقتصر على هذا القدر

أما عن تفسير كلمة ‘خاتم النبيين’ فهي تفيد – عند النانوتوي – أبوته المعنوية للأبنياء السابقين ومن طريقهم يثبت أبوته لأمم أولائك الأنبياء، صلوات الله وسلامه عليهم أجمعين. والدعوى التي يعرضها الشيخ النانوتوي على القارئين لإثبات هذا المعنى في كلمة ‘خاتم النبيين’ هي كالتالي: النبوة في حق النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم صفة ذاتية، أي ثابتة فيه من غير واسطة، والنبوة في حق غيره صلى الله عليه وسلم صفة عرضية، أي ثابتة فيهم بواسطة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم. وكل ما اتصف بصفة عرضية تنتهي صفته إلى ما اتصف بها ذاتيا. وهذا كما أن نور الشمس ذاتي، غير مستفاد من شيء آخر، ونور الأرض والشوارع والأبواب والحيطان كله من فيض نور الشمس، فصفة النور في هذه الأشياء صفة عرضية وتنتهي هذه الصفة لها إلى ما اتصف بها ذاتيا، وهو الشمس. فهكذا نبوة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، فنبوة غيره إنما هي فيض نبوته، وبما أن نبوته ليست فيضا من نبوة غيره، بل ثبتت فيه ذاتيا، فتنتهي سلسلة النبوة إليه وتختم به. وبناء على هذه النسبة بينه وبين سائر الأنبياء يثبت كونه نبي الأنبياء كما أنه نبي هذه الأمة المحمدية، فتثبت أبوته المعنوية لهم بهذا التقرير، وتم توجيه الإاستدراك فى الآية المذكورة

ثم أخذ الشيخ النانوتوي في إثبات دعواه هذه من أدلة الشريعة ونصوص القرآن والسنة، وها أنا ألخصها لكم

فساق أولا قول الله تعالى: [وإذ أخذ الله ميثاق النبيين: لما آتيتكم من كتب وحكمة ثم جاءكم رسول مصدق لما معكم لتؤمنن به ولتنصرنه] (سورة آل عمران) فهذه الآية تفيد كونه صلى الله عليه وسلم نبي الأنبياء، فإن كلا من الأنبياء قد أخذ عنه الميثاق بأنه لو جاء محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم في زمنه لاتبعه، فنبوتهم ترجع إلى نبوته عليه الصلاة والسلام وتنتهي إليه، ويدل عليه أيضا قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم [لو كان موسى حيا ما حل له إلا أن يتبعني]، ويحكم عيسى عليه السلام بعد نزوله على الشريعة المحمدية لا على شريعته. فهذا مما يمكن توجيهه بالتقرير الذي حرره النانوتوي، من كون نبوته ذاتية وغير مستفادة من غيره ونبوة سائر الأنبياء عرضية ومستفادة من نبوته. ويمكن توجيه الحديث: [كنت خاتم النبيين وآدم منجدل في طينته] هكذا أيضا، من أن نبوة غيره مستفادة منه، فهو أصل نبوتهم ومنبعها

ثم ساق النانوتوي الآية التالية تمهيدا للدليل الثاني على دعواه: [ومن يطع الله والرسول فأولئك مع الذين أنعم الله عليهم من النبيين والصديقين والشهداء والصلحين] (سورة النساء) فإن فيها ذكر أربع طبقات من أهل الكمال، وكمال الأولين (الأول والثاني) منهم هو كمال علمي، وكمال الآخرين (الثالث والرابع) منهم هو كمال عملي. يدل على هذا أن لفظ ‘النبي’ مشتق من نبأ، ولفظ ‘الصديق’ مشتق من ‘صدق’، فالنبي منبع العلم وأصله والصديق مجمع العلم وملتقاه. وبما أن النبوة كمال علمي فعلوم الأنبياء تزيد على علوم غيرهم كما وكيفا، مع أن عملهم يجوز فيه أن يكون أقل من عمل غيرهم كما وإن زادوا على غيرهم فيه كيفا. وأطال النانوتوي الكلام في بيان كون الشهادة والصالحية من كمالات العمل. ثم زعم أن علوم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كاملة وجامعة وتامة وعلوم غيره من الأنبياء لم تكن كاملة بالنسبة إلى علومه، واستدل عليه بما جاء فى الحديث [أوتيت علم الأولين والآخرين]، أي: يشتمل علومي على علوم السابقين واللاحقين، ويدل عليه أيضا قوله تعالى عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مخاطبا لسائر الأنبياء: [مصدق لما معكم]، وكلمة ‘ما’ عام تشتمل على جميع العلوم التي كانت مع الأنبياء السابقين. وهذا كما أن العلوم المستفادة من الحواس الخمس تجمع فى النفس الناطقة، والنفس الناطقة هي المدرك الحقيقي الذاتي، وحاسة السمع وحاسة البصر وغيرهما مدركة عرضية، فكذلك علوم الأولين والآخرين، ومنها علوم الأنبياء السابقين، تجمع كلها في العلوم الحاصلة لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، بل هي مستفادة من علومه صلى الله عليه وسلم، فإنه العالم الحقيقي الذاتي وغيره عالم عرضي. فهذا التقرير مما يدل على كون نبوة الأنبياء السابقين مستفادة منه صلى الله عليه وسلم

والدليل الثالث الذي استدل به النانوتوي هو قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: [كنت نبيا وآدم بين الروح الجسد]٢ والوجه فيه ما أشرنا إليه فى الكلام عن الدليل الأول

وسمى النانوتوي هذا المقام المحمدي الذي أطال في البحث عنه: ب’الخاتمية الذاتية’ وزعم أن الخاتمية الذاتية تستلزم الخاتيمية الزمانية وهي كون النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم آخر الأنبياء بحسب الزمان. ثم بين وجه اللزوم بين الخاتميتين بأنه لو قدر مجيئ نبي بعده صلى الله عليه وسلم فإنه إما أن يأتي بشريعة جديدة أو لا، فإن كان الأول فهذا ينافي قوله تعالى: [ما ننسخ من آية أو ننسها نأت بخير منها أو مثلها] فإنه يفيد كون الناسخ أعلى من المنسوخ، والنبي المقدر هنا أدنى من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فكذا شريعته، وهذا لا يجوز؛ وإن لم يأت بشرع جديد فلا فائدة في هذه النبوة المقدرة، فإن النبوة كمال علمي وقد حفظت العلوم المحمدية فى القرآن الكريم الذي هو [تبيان لكل شيء] ومصدق لكل ما جاء به الأنبياء بأسرهم. فالخاتمية الزمانية والتأخر الزمني من لوازم الخاتمية الذاتية

لفظ ‘الخاتم’ يتضمن معنى التأخر، والتأخر قد يكون من حيث الزمن، وقد يكون من حيث الرتبة والمقام، وقد يكون من حيث المكان، ففي صفة خاتم النبيين تقدير، والمقدر إما ‘خاتم زمن النبيين’ وإما ‘خاتم رتبة النبيين’ وإما ‘خاتم مكان النبيين’. والراجح عند النانوتوي أنها تدل على كل من هذه المعاني الثلاثة دلالة مطابقية، فالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم متأخر فى الزمن، وهو متأخر (أي: متعال) فى الرتبة من حهة التي بينها، وهو متأخر فى المكان بالنسبة إلى أنبياء الأرضي الستة الأخر، فإن أرضنا هذه هي فوق الأراضي الأخرى. وهذا كما في قول الله تعالى: [إنما الخمر والميسر والأنصاب رجس من عمل الشيطان]، فالخمر رجس ظاهري والميسر والأنصاب رجس باطني، فكلمة ‘الرجس’ عام يشمل الرجس الظاهري والرجس الباطني، فكذلك لفظ ‘الخاتم’، هو عام يتضمن الخاتمية الذاتية والزمانية والمكانية. ويمكن أن يقال إن لفظ ‘الخاتم’ فيه عموم المجاز حتى يتضمن هذه المعاني الثلاثة، أو يقال: معناه الأصلي هو الخاتمية الذاتية ومن لوازمها خاتمية زمانية، فهي مدلول الآية بدلالة التزامية

وقال النانوتوي عن بيانه هذا ما تعريبه: [فتأمل الآن: أن في هذه الصورة قد يقع (وجه) العطف بين الجملتين والإاستدراك والإستثناء المذكروة تحت النظر بنهاية درجة المناسبة، وتثبت الخاتمية بأحسن الوجوه أيضا، مع أن الخاتمية الزمانية لا تخرج من اليد] من تحذير الناس، ص٥٧

فهذا خلاصة ما أردنا توضيحه وتلخيصه من كتاب تحذير الناس، وهذا يشمل تقريبا ثلث كتابه. وأخذ النانوتوي في باقي الكتاب في بيان أثر ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما المذكور فى السؤال من حيث صحته ومعناه. وليعلم أن العلامة عبد الحي اللكنوي – صاحب ‘الأجوبة الفاضلة’ و’الرفع والتكميل’ وغيرهما من المؤلفات الجليلة المشهورة المتلقاه بالقبول – ممن قرظ على كتاب النانوتوي هذا، وقد ألف هو أيضا رسائل في بيان صحة أثر ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما وبيان معناه عند العلماء، وأحد هذه الرسائل باللغة العربية، سماها اللكنوي: ‘زجر الناس على إنكار أثر ابن عباس’ فى الجزء الأول من مجموعة رسائله المتوفرة على الرابط التالي

https://ia700709.us.archive.org/…/…/Rasaellaknawi/LAKN01.pdf

تأييد كلام النانوتوي من المتقدمين

وللإمام تقي الدين السبكي رسالة ‘التعظيم والمنة في لتؤمنن به ولتنصرنه’ في ضمن فتاويه (ج١ ص٣٨-٤٢)، فسر فيها آية آل عمران ، قال فيها: [وفيه مع ذلك أنه على تقدير مجيئه في زمانهم يكون مرسلا إليهم، فتكون نبوته ورسالته عامة لجميع الخلق من زمن آدم إلى يوم القيامة، ويكون الأنبياء وأممهم كلهم من أمته، ويكون قوله: ((بعثت إلى الناس كافة)) لا يختص بالناس في زمانه إلى يوم القيامة، بل يتناول من قبلهم أيضا، ويتبين بذلك معنى قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ((كنت نبيا وآدم بين الروح والجسد))، وإن فسره بعلم الله بأنه سيصير نبيا لم يصل إلى هذا المعنى لأن علم الله محيط بجميع الأشياء، ووصف النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بالنبوة في ذلك الوقت ينبغي أن يفهم منه أنه أمر ثابت له في ذلك الوقت…والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم خير الخلق فلا كمال لمخلوق أعظم من كماله ولا محل أشرف من محله يعرفنا بالخبر الصحيح حصول ذلك الكمال من قبل خلق آدم لنبينا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم من ربه سبحانه وتعالى، وأنه أعطاه النبوة من ذلك الوقت، ثم أخذ له المواثيق على الأنبياء وعلى أممهم ليعلموا أنه المقدم عليهم وأنه نبيهم ورسولهم…فإذا عرف ذلك فالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم هو نبي الأنبياء، ولهذا ظهر ذلك فى الآخرة جميع الأنبياء تحت لوائه وهو فى الدنيا كذلك ليلة الإسراء صلى بهم، ولو اتفق مجيئه في زمن آدم نوح وإبراهيم وموسى وعيسى وجب عليهم وأممهم الإيمان ونصرته وبذلك أخذ الميثاق عليهم، فنبوته عليه ورسالته إليهم معنى حاصل له، وإنما أثره يتوقف على اجتماعهم معه فتأخر ذلك لأمر راجع إلى وجودهم لا إلى عدم اتصافه بما تقتضيه…فلو وجد في عصرهم لزمهم اتباعه بلا شك، ولهذا يأتي عيسى في آخر الزمان على شريعته وهو نبي كريم على حاته..وكذلك لو بعث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في زمانه أو في زمن موسى وإبراهيم ونوح وآدم كانوا مستمرين على نبوتهم ورسالتهم إلى أممهم والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نبي عليهم ورسول إلى جميعهم، فنبوته ورسالته أعم وأشمل وأعظم] انتهى كلامه

وللصوفي الجليل والعالم الكبير الحكيم الترمذي (ت: ٣٢٠ ه) ‘كتاب ختم الأولياء’ قال فيه: [قال له قائل: وما خاتم النبوة؟ قال: حجة الله على خلقه بحقيقة قوله تعالى: ((وبشر الذي آمنوا أن لهم قدم صدق عند ربهم)) فشهد الله له بصدق العبودية…فبذلك القدم الصدق الذي له يتقدم على جميع صفوف الأنبياء والمرسلين لأنه قد أتى بصدق العبودية لله تعالى، فيقبله الله منه ويبعثه إلى المقام المحمود عند الكرسي فيكشف الغطاء عن ذلك الختم فيحيطه النور وشعاع ذلك الختم يبين عليه…فصار محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم شفيعا للأنبياء والأولياء ومن دونهم، ألا ترى إلى قوله عليه الصلاة والسلام فيما يصف من شأن المقالم المحمود؟ ((حتى إن إبراهيم خليل الرحمن يحتاج إلي في ذلك اليوم…ويكشف الغطاء عن الختم فينقطع الكلام وتصير الحجة على جميع خلقه لأن الشيء المختوم محروس، وكذلك تدبير الله تعالى لنا في هذه الدنيا: إنه إذا وجد الشيء بختمه زال الشك وانقطع الخصام فيما بين الآدميين. فجمع الله أجزاء النبوة لمحمد صلى الله عليه وسلم له، وختم عليها بختمه، فلم تجد نفسه ولا عدوه سبيلا إلى ولوج موضع النبوة من أجل ذلك الختم. ألا ترى إلى حديث الحسن البصري رحمه الله عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه في حديث الشفاعة عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ أنه قال: ((فإذا أتوا آدم يسألونه أن يشفع لهم إلى ربه، قال لهم آدم: أرأيتم لو أن أحدكم جمع متاعه في غيبته ثم ختم عليها، فهل كان يؤتى المتاع إلا من قبل الختم؟ فأتوا محمدا، فهو خاتم النبيين.ومعناه عندنا: إن النبوة تمت بأجمعها لمحمد صلى الله عليه وسلم، فجعل قلبه لكمال النبوة وعاء عليها ثم ختم. ينبئك هذا أن الكتاب المختوم والوعاء المختوم ليس لأحد عليه سبيل فى الإنتقاص منه ولا بالإزدياد فيه مما ليس منه، وإن سائر الأنبياء عليهم السلام لم يختم لهم على قلوبهم، فهم غير آمنين أن تجد النفس سبيلا إلى ما فيها…وهذا له شأن عظيم تطول قصته. فإن الذي عمي عن خبر هذا يظن إن خاتم النبيين تأويله أنه آخرهم مبعثا (أي: فقط)، فأي منقبة في هذا؟ وأي علم في هذا؟ هذا تأول البلة الجهلة!] من كتاب ختم الأولياء، ص٣٣٨-٣٤١

وهذا – كما ترى – يؤيد تقرير النانوتوي غاية التأييد

وبحث النانوتوي هذا من باب بيان أسرار الشريعة، وهو فن لطيف دقيق، يتوقع فيه اختلاف الأنظار، وهو ليس من باب بيان العقائد الإسلامية الضرورية، فأكثر من ينتسب إلى ديوبند – حتى خواصهم وعلماءهم – لم يطعلوا على كتابه هذا وليس لهم خبر بمضمونه، وممن يطلع عليه فليس كل منهم موافق للنانوتوي في رأيه هذا وتحريره، فلا يقال: هذا رأي علماء ديوبند أو رأي أكابرهم، بل يقال: هذا ما أفضى إليه دقة نظر الشيخ العلامة محمد قاسم النانوتوي، وهو يحتمل الخطأ ويحتمل الصواب، وكل يؤخذ من قوله ويرد إلا صاحب هذا القبر صلوات الله وسلامه عليه

الجواب عن اتهام البريلوي

وبعد، فنلفت الآن نظرنا إلى اتهام البريلوي على الشيخ قاسم النانوتوي بإنكار خاتمية الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم وتجويز مجيئ نبي بعده. قد ثبت مما قررناه مراد النانوتوي من بحثه، ويلاحظ المتتبع لكلامه أنه لم ينكر الخاتمية الزمانية – أي تأخر زمن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن زمن سائر الأنبياء – في هذا التقرير، بل أقر به وأيده بمزيد التأييد، بل قد كفر في كتابه هذا من ينكر كونه آخر الأنبياء بحسب الزمان. قال في بداية كتابه بعد أسطر من العبارة الأخيرة التي نقلها البريلوي قبيل بيان التفسير الذي اختاره لكلمة ‘خاتم النبيين’ ما تعريبه: [والخاتمية مبنية على أمر آخر الذي يلزم منه – من حيث هو – التأخر الزماني وسد الباب المذكور (أي: باب افتتان الناس بمن يدعى النبوة بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم)، ويضاعف به الفضيلة النبوية صلى الله عليه وسلم] (تحذير الناس، ص. ٤٣)، وقدمنا نقل قوله عند اختتام تقريره عن التفسير الذي اختاره ل’خاتم النبيين’: [مع أن الخاتمية الزمانية لا تخرج من اليد]. انتهى

وقال أيضا ما تعريبه: [إن كان (لفظ الخاتم) على إطلاقه وعلى عمومه (كما هو الراجح عند النانوتوي) فإن ثبوت الخاتمية الزمانية ظاهر، وإلا يجب البتة تسليم لزوم الخاتمية الزمانية بدلالة التزامية (كما قرره قبل)، وهنا التصريحات النبوية ك ((أنت مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى إلا أنه لا نبي بعدي)) أو كما قال – الذي الظاهر فيه أنه مأخوذ من هذا اللفظ ‘خاتم النبيين’ بالطريقة المذكورة – تكفي في هذا الباب (أي: في إثبات الخاتمية الزمانية)، فإن هذا المعنى قد بلغ درجة التواتر، وقد انعقد الإجماع عليه. مع أن الألفاظ المذكورة ليست منقولة بأسانيد متواترة، ومع عدم هذا التواتر فى الألفاظ، يكون التواتر المعنوي ثابت هنا كتواتر عدد ركعات الفرائض والوتر وغيرها. ومع أن ألفاظ الحديث التي تشعر بعدد الركعات ليست متواترة، فكما أن منكره كافر، فكذلك منكر هذا (أي: الخاتمية الزمانية) كافر أيضا.] من تحذير الناس، ص٥٦

فانظر إلى هذا النص الصريح الذي يثبت فيه النانوتوي الخاتمية الزمانية بوجوه متعددة: من الحديث المتواتر وإجماع الأمة ودلالة الآية إما دلالة مطابقية أو دلالة التزامية، ثم صرح بأن منكرها يكفر كما أن منكر عدد ركعات الصلوات يكفر. وبغض النظر عن هذا كله اتهم البريلوي على النانوتوي بإنكار الخاتمية وتجويز مجيئ نبي بعد رسول الله صى الله عليه وسلم

أما العبارة التي نقلها البريلوي فإنه التقطها من ثلاثة مواضع من تحذير الناس، وساقها سياقا واحدا حتى يظن من يطالعها أنها كلام مسلسل، ولم يثبت هو في أصل كتابه ‘حسام الحرمين’ علامات التي تدل على كون هذه العبارة مركبة من كلمات مولانا النانوتوي من مواضع مختلفة من كتابه، وليست كلاما مسلسلا. وهذا من الخيانة فى النقل بلا شك.

أما الجملة الأولى التي نقلها البريلوي فهي مركبة من قطعتين من جملتين في كتاب تحذير الناس. فما نقله البريلوي هكذا: [لو فرض في زمنه صلى الله عليه وسلم، بل لو حدث بعده صلى الله عليه وسلم نبي جديد، لم يخل ذلك بخاتميته]. فالقطعة الأولى من هذه الجملة، أي قوله: [لو فرض في زمنه صلى الله عليه وسلم] هي من صفحة ٨٥ والقطعة الثانية، أي قوله [بل لو حدث بعده صلى الله عليه وسلم نبي جديد، لم يخل ذلك بخاتميته] هي من صفحة ٦٥.

فلينظر القارئ إلى سياق كلامه في هذين الموضعين

أما الموضع الأول فالشيخ قاسم النانوتوي بصدد بيان وجه ترجيح التفسير الذى اختاره لكلمة ‘خاتم النبيين’، فإنه لو اختير التأخر الزماني كمعنى أصلي أساسي لهذه الصفة قد يزعم الزاعم أن خواتيم باقي الأرضي هم مساوون له من حيث الفضيلة والرتبة وإن كانوا متقدمين عليه زمنا. وهذا الإحتمال لا ينشأ فى التفسير الذي اختاره هو. فقال النانوتوي ما ترجمته: [نعم، لو اختير الخاتمية بمعنى الإتصاف الذاتي بوصف النبوة كما قرره هذا الفقير، لا يمكن الزعم بأن الأفراد المقصودين بالخلق غير رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مماثل له صلى الله عليه وسلم، بل في هذه الصورة لا تثبت أفضليته على الأفراد الحقيقيين من الأنبياء فقط، بل تثبت أفضليته على الأفراد المقدرين أيضا، بل ولو فرض مجيئ نبي بعد الزمن النبوي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يتطرق الفرق إلى الخاتمية المحمدية] من تحذير الناس، ص٨٤-٨٥

فيلاحظ القارئ أن مراده من هذا الكلام هو إثبات أفضلية الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم على سائر الأنبياء، فلو أقرت بالخاتمية الذاتية بالمعنى الذي ذهب إليه الشيخ النانوتوي، لا يكاد أحد يزعم أن فردا من أفراد الأنبياء أفضل منه، حتى ولو تصور فى الذهن نبي لم يكن مقصودا بالخلق تثبت أفضلية الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم عليه أيضا بفضل خاتيميته هذه. فمنعى قوله: [ولو فرض مجيئ نبي بعد الزمن النبوي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يتطرق الفرق إلى الخاتمية المحمدية] أنه لو قدر مجيئ نبي بعد زمن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم تثبت الخاتمية بالمعنى المذكور وتثبت أفضليته صلى الله عليه وسلم. وهذا التقدير نظير ما قدره العلامة السبكي فى الكلام الذي نقلت منه من مجيئ الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم في زمن من قبله من الأنبياء، فإنه يلزم بعثة غيره بعده. فهذا الكلام من باب التقدير والتصوير لتقريب المعنى المقصود، وليس فيه تجويز مجيئ نبي بعد الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم في شيء كما هو الظاهر

وأما الموضع الثاني فهو بصدد بيان نتيجة تقريره، فقال: [إطلاق لفظ الخاتم يقتضي ختم سلسلة نبوة سائر الأنبياء عليه، فكما أنه ثبتت حاجة الأنبياء السابقين إليه في وصف النبوة بحسب التقرير المسطور لهذا اللفظ ‘الخاتم’، ولا يحتاج هو إلى أحد في هذا الوصف، فكذلك لو كان نبي من الأنبياء السابقين أو ممن فرض من غيرهم حتى في زمانه، في أرضه أو في غير أرضه أو فى السماء ليحتاج هو إليه في وصف النبوة أيضا، ويختم هذه السلسلة النبوية عليه في كل حال…الحاصل: لو اختير الخاتمية بهذا المعنى الذي قررته، لا يختص خاتميته بالأنبياء السابقين، بل ولو فرض نبي آخر في زمنه تبقى خاتميته صحيحا] من تحذير الناس، ص٦٤-٦٥

بعد قراءة ما لخصته من تقرير النانوتوي، يتحقق القارئ أنه ليس في هذا الكلام تجويز منه لمجيئ نبي بعد نبينا صلى الله عليه وسلم، ويكون مراده رحمه الله واضحا غير محتاج إلى بيان

أما الجملة الأخيرة التي نقلها البريلوي وهي: [وإنما يتخيل العوام أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم خاتم النبيين بمعنى آخر النبيين مع أنه لا فضل فيه أصلا عند أهل الفهم]، فهذه الجملة من بداية جواب النانوتوي. قال ما ترجمته: [الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلوة والسلام على رسوله خاتم النبيين وسيد المرسلين وآله وأصحابه أجمعين. بعد الحمد والصلاة وقبل تحرير الجواب، يطلب أولا بأنه ينبغي بيان معنى خاتم النبيين حتى لا يستغرق فهم الجواب أي وقت. ففي رأي العوام يعتبر الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم خاتما بمعنى كون زمانه بعد زمان الأنبياء السابقين وكونه آخر الأنبياء منهم، لكن يتبين لأهل الفهم أنه لا فضل فى التقدم والتأخر الزمانيين بذاتيهما…] من تحذير الناس، ص٤١

وقد أشرنا إلى هذا في التلخيص الذي قدمناه لتقرير النانوتوي، ومراد النانوتوي منه ظاهر، فإن أكثر الناس يفهمون معنى الخاتمية الزمانية من صفة ‘خاتم النبيين’، ولا ينكر النانوتوي هذا المعنى كما قدمناه، بل ينكر حصر معانيها فيها، وقال بأن معنى الخاتمية أوسع وأشمل. وقال بعد أسطر من هذه الجملة كما نقلناه قبل: [والخاتمية مبنية على أمر آخر الذي يلزم منه – من حيث هو – التأخر الزماني وسد الباب المذكور (أي: باب افتتان الناس بمن يدعى النبوة بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم)، ويضاعف به الفضيلة النبوية صلى الله عليه وسلم] (تحذير الناس، ص. ٤٣) فالظاهر أنه لا ينكر هذا المعنى، بل أثبت كونه مدلول الآية التي ذكرت فيها هذه الصفة من الوجوه التي شرحناها قبل

وليلاحظ القارئ الفرق بين الترجمة التي قدمتها لكم التي هي ترجمة لفظية وبين ترجمة البريلوي، فإن ترجمته هكذا: [لا فضل فيه أصلا عند أهل الفهم] وما قاله النانوتوي هكذا: [لكن يتبين لأهل الفهم أنه لا فضل في التقدم والتأخر الزمانيين بذاتيهما]، فكلام النانوتوي هو حول التقدم والتأخر كليهما، وإنما نفى الفضيلة الذاتية فيهما لا الفضيلة أصلا كما في ترجمة البريلوي.

فيظهر من هذا الجواب المفصل عن اتهام الربيلوي على الشيخ قاسم الناوتوي أن البريلوي لا يؤتمن في نقله، وهو خائن فيه، فيسقط الإعتماد عليه. ويظهر أيضا أنه لا مجال لتكفير الشيخ قاسم النانوتوي بناء على ما ذهب إليه في كتابه ‘تحذير الناس’، وإن كان فيه مجال النظر والإختلاف

١ قلت: ويؤيده حديث الشفاعة فإن فيه سرد كمالات الأنبياء، وورد في بعض رواياته: فيأتون عيسى، فيقولون: يا عيسى أنت رسول الله، وكلمت الناس في المهد، وكلمة منه ألقاها إلى مريم، وروح منه، فاشفع لنا إلى ربك، ألا ترى ما نحن فيه؟ ألا ترى ما قد بلغنا؟ فيقول لهم عيسى صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن ربي قد غضب اليوم غضبا لم يغضب قبله مثله، ولن يغضب بعده مثله، ولم يذكر له ذنبا، نفسي نفسي، اذهبوا إلى غيري، اذهبوا إلى محمد، فيأتوني فيقولون: يا محمد، أنت رسول الله، وخاتم الأنبياء، وغفر الله لك ما تقدم من ذنبك، وما تأخر، اشفع لنا إلى ربك، ألا ترى ما نحن فيه؟ من صحيح مسلم

٢ اللفظ الذي أورده النانوتوي هو: كنت نبيا وآدم بين الماء والطين