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

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Eliminating Doubts on Tahdhīr un-Nās by ‘Allamah Khālid Mahmood

October 26, 2013

Introduction to Tahdhīr un-Nas By ‘Allāmah Khālid Mahmood 

(Abridged Translation)

All praise to Allah, the Lofty, the Great, and blessings and peace be upon the Prophet, the bringer of good news, the warner, and on his family, draped in the garment of purification, and his companions, guided in the light of the illuminating lamp through the guidance of the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.

To proceed:

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “This knowledge will be carried in every generation by its righteous men: they will negate from it the distortion of the extremists, the false claims of the falsifiers and the interpretations of the ignorant.”

The Subject Matter of Tahdhīr un-Nas

The book Tahdhīr un-Nas by Hujjatul Islām Hazrat Mawlāna Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him), is in your hands. Its subject matter is a narration from Hazrat ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him). In it, he warned people against rejecting the saying of a Sahābī of Rasūl for no reason. Instead, an effort should be made to understand the statement. Ahlus Sunnah have always stood guard over the knowledge and practice of Sahābah. It is not possible of them to not give importance to the statement of a Sahābī. All of the Sahābah are stars of guidance, and it is not permissible to deflect from any one Sahābī. Muslims should be wary of this.

In writing on this subject, is Hujjat al-Islām (may Allah have mercy on him) the first person, or did the scholars of Islam write something on this before him? In this last era, what was the wisdom of writing on this [subject] with this much detail? You will find the answers to these questions also in this introduction. First, the basic subject will be introduced.

This narration of the interpreter of the Qur’an (tarjumān al-Qur’ān) Hazrat ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with them) is found as follows in the books of hadith:

أخبرنا أحمد بن يعقوب الثقفي: حدثنا عبيد بن غنام النخعي: أنبأنا علي بن حكيم: حدثنا شريك عن عطية بن السائب عن أبى الضحى عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أنه قال: الله الذي خلق سبع سموت ومن الأرض مثلهن. قال: سبع أرضين في كل أرض نبي كنبيكم وآدم كآدم ونوح كنوح وإبراهيم كإبراهيم وعيسى كعيسى. هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد ولم يخرجاه. مستدرك الحاكم ج. ٢ ص. ٤٩٣

Ahmad ibn Ya‘qūb ath-Thaqafī reported to us: ‘Ubayd ibn Ghannām an-Nakha‘ī narrated to us: ‘Alī ibn Hakīm informed us: Sharīk narrated to us from ‘Attiyyah ibn as-Sā’ib from Abud Duhā from Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with them) that he said: “‘Allah it is Who hath created seven heavens, and of the earth the like thereof.’” (Qur’an, 65:12) He said: “Seven earths. In each earth is a prophet like your prophet, a Nūh like Nūh, an Adam like Adam, an Ibrāhīm like Ibrāhīm, an ‘Isā like ‘Isā.” This is a hadith with a sahīh chain, and they did not transmit it. (Mustadrak al-Hākim, 2:493.)

From this [hadith], it is known that Allah created seven earths. Support for this is found in a narration of Tirmidhī Sharīf. In each one of these, the laws of Allah, Lord of Glory, whether creative or legislative, descend. In each one, a chain of prophethood proceeded. In every earth, the one that was the start of the chain, like the Adam (peace be upon him) of our earth, is the Adam of that earth. And the one who is the last of the chain is the khātam of that earth.

What will be the relationship of the khātams of those earths to our Khātam an-Nabiyyīn (Allah bless him and grant him peace)? Is the blessed prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) the khātam of only the prophets of this earth, or is he the khātam of all prophets absolutely, on whosoever the word “nubuwwah” occurs, whether he is from this earth or from those earths? Hazrat Mawlāna Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) concluded in his research that his khātamiyyah is not restricted to this earth at all. He is the Khātam an-Nabiyyīn absolutely. The khātams of those earths will be khātams with respect to their earths. However, keeping all earths at the fore, the khātam of all prophets is the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). The prophet [of those earths] either appeared at the same time as him or some time before him. And if a prophet appeared at the same time as him, he would be a follower of the Shari‘ah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). It is not valid for any new prophet to appear on any earth after him. He (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the last prophet from every perspective, whether chronological or spatial, and is the Khātam an-Nabiyyīn absolutely. And in terms of status too, none is ahead of the Prophet.

This narration of Hazrat Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with them) is found in the books. The critic of the science, ‘Allāmah Shams ad-Dīn adh-Dhahabī (may Allah have mercy on him) asserted it has a sahīh chain in Talkhīs al-Mustadrak. As a follow-up to it, Hākim presented a second chain up to Muhammad ibn Subayh.

If the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is accepted as the khātam of even those earths, as Hazrat Hujjat al-Islām (Allah bless him and grant him peace) explicated, there remains no opposition to any Shar‘ī Islamic principle. Wherever we accept chronological khatm nubuwwah, we also accept spatial khatm nubuwwah. In this, his status of khātamiyyah is further illuminated. This was not said only by Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim (may Allah have mercy on him). Hazrat Mawlānā ‘Abd al-Hayy Lakhnawī has also written a separate treatise on this. Mawlānā ‘Abd al-Hayy (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote:

“It should be believed that the khātams of the remaining earths did not appear after the prophetic era. They appeared either before or at the same time. And assuming [one appeared at] the same time, he would be a follower of the Muhammadan Shari‘ah, and his khatm will be relative to his earth. The khatm of our Hazrat is all-encompassing. I have elaborated on all these issues as they deserve in two treatises, one called al-Ayāt al-Bayyināt ‘alā Wujūd al-Anbiyā’ fit Tabaqāt and the second called Dāfi‘ al-Waswās fi Athar Ibn ‘Abbās.”

Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nanotwi (may Allah have mercy on him) also endeavoured that the Muslims do not fall into denial [of the statement] of a Sahābī of Rasūl, Hazrat ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him). It is true that this hadith of Hazrat Ibn ‘Abbās is not categorical in its establishment (qat‘ī al-thubūt), but is it not also the case that most of the hadiths in the Sihāh Sittah are not categorical in their establishment? Only the hadith that is mutawātir is qat‘ī. We do not call anyone kāfir for denial of akhbār al-āhād (solitary reports). However, this does not mean that the hadith that is not categorical in establishment will arbitrarily be rejected. According to the Ahlus Sunnah, denial of akhbār al-āhād is incorrect. It must be avoided. This is the subject matter of Tahdhīr un-Nās, that for no reason the narration of Hazrat Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with them) should not be rejected.

Pīr Karam Shāh’s View of Tahdhīr un-Nas

If any Shī‘ah ignored the statement of a Sahābī of Rasūl, it would be understandable, but it is unfortunate that Bhera’s Pīr Karam Shāh Sāhib wrote these words:

“This faqīr, with great regret, also says with respect to Mawlānā (Muhammad Qāsim), that if only he did not give this much importance to this narration, and the amount of time he spent clarifying it, he spent in rectifying the unclear aspects of some more important subject.” (Tahdhīr un-Nās Merī Nazar Meh, p. 60)

Not giving importance to the statement of a Sahābi is even more regretful. And showing regret over the defence of a Sahābi is even more regretful. Can this be expected of any Sunnī Muslim? You make this decision yourself. It appears that Pīr Sāhib only made this comment to make those people happy who themselves entertain this deviant belief about Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān:

“Seeing him, the longing to meet the Sahābah is lessened.” (Wasāyā Sharīf, p. 24)

From this angle, Pīr Sāhib ought to be praised, that in an earlier letter he openly said that Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī did not deny chronological khatm nubuwwah, and the accusation of denying khatm nubuwwah based on Tahdhīr un-Nās is incorrect. Now, in his new treatise (Tahdhīr un-Nās Merī Nazar Meh), he also openly refuted Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān.

Taking three passages from three different places (pages 65, 85 and 41) of Tahdhīr un-Nās, Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān joined them together to concoct one passage, and based on this new forged passage, he accused Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim of denying chronological khatm nubuwwah. Even now, Pīr Karam Shāh Sāhib, gave his decision against Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān, and I cannot avoid praising him for this determination. He wrote:

“I do not think it correct to say that Mawlānā Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) denied the belief in khatm nubuwwah, because this passage, by way of the clear meaning of the text and indication of the text, without doubt, shows that Mawlānā Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) had certainty that chronological khatm nubuwwah 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 khatm nubuwwah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is a kāfir and outside the circle of Islam.” ((Tahdhīr un-Nās Merī Nazar Meh, p. 58)

Thus, Pīr Karam Shāh Sāhib has stated here that Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī’s belief in khatm nubuwwah is undoubtedly clear. These words “without doubt” are worthy of attention. The question arises that since the statements of Hazrat Mawlānā Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) prove this belief without doubt, why was Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān not able to understand it? Is this not ignorance? And if he understood, but deliberately accused Hazrat of denying khatm nubuwwah, is this not deception?

The Belief in Khatm Nubuwwah and Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotwī

Now I wish to give some insight on the question of khatm nubuwwah and the services of the true ‘ulamā’ in this matter, keeping the fitnah of Qādiyānis in mind. By means of this, understanding this book will inshā Allah become very easy.

The belief of the khatm nubuwwah of the blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is from those foundational beliefs of Islam, which till today the entire ummah have faith in without any interpretation. No prophet will be born after Huzur Khātam an-Nabiyyīn. This was always the consensus belief of the people of Islam. After the death of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), Musaylamah Kadhdhāb made claim of non-legislative prophethood, and he said that prophetic revelation comes down on him. Hazrat Abū Bakr as-Siddīq (may Allah be pleased with him) sent an expedition against him, and it was first in the Siddīqī era that the Sahābah reached consensus that the denier of khatm nubuwwah is not Muslim, and it is compulsory on the Muslim government to uproot this tree of apostasy.

Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him), author of Tahdhīr un-Nās, with the Siddīqī lineage, was guardian over this Siddiqī attribute, and the book Tahdhīr un-Nās prepared the groundwork to cut off fitnahs that appeared later.

It was destined in divine knowledge that Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad would attack the belief of khatm nubuwwah. Allah (Exalted is He) wanted that through the means of Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him), this fallacy will be eradicated from before him. To understand this, it is necessary to first look at the explanation of khatm nubuwwah by Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad.

Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad Qādiyānī did not deny the title of khatm nubuwwah. Neither he nor his followers said that they do not accept that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is Khātam an-Nabiyyīn. He explained the meaning of khatm nubuwwah as the Prophet being the centre of prophethood. [He claimed that] those who received nubuwwah earlier, and whoever will receive prophethood in the future, his nubuwwah has sealed them. Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad, in his explanation, maintained the belief in positional khatm nubuwwah. He considered positional khatm nubuwwah as being parallel with chronological khatm nubuwwah. Hence, he accepted positional khatm nubuwwah and denied chronological khatm nubuwwah. In his mind, these are two conflicting ideas. Thus, the followers of Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad accept positional khatm nubuwwah and deny chronological khatm nubuwwah

The Muslim masses maintain great belief in the station and position of the blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). When they hear from the Qādiyāni preachers that the original meaning of khatm nubuwwah is that all perfections are sealed by the blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and this is the khatm nubuwwah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), then through the zeal of belief many commoners would fall in the heresy of the Qādiyānis. Chronological khatm nubuwwah is certainly a nuanced belief. But positional khatm nubuwwah is nonetheless more nuanced and it is apparent that it would capture the people more.

From the lineage of Hazrat Abū Bakr as-Siddīq, Allah (Exalted is He) created a man of truth, in whose heart Allah inspired the reality that positional khatm nubuwwah is naturally a belief of Islam. He said this and he emphasised that if you accept positional khatm nubuwwah, you cannot reject chronological khatm nubuwwah. Rather, these two ideas can be brought together at one time. And it is the belief of Islam that all perfections were sealed on the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is also the last of all in terms of time. This man of truth was Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him).

In the belief of Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad Qādiyānī, positional khatm nubuwwah and chronological khatm nubuwwah are two conflicting and parallel ideas. In affirming positional khatm nubuwwah, there is rejection of chronological khatm nubuwwah. But in the belief of Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotwī, these two notions came together in the honourable self of the blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Thus, in affirming positional khatm nubuwwah, he never denied chronological khatm nubuwwah.

Passages from Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotwī

Hazrat Mawlānā wrote in Tahdhīr un-Nās:

“In sum, in the attribute of nubuwwah, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) bears the attribute intrinsically (bidhdhāt), and the other prophets besides him, bear the attribute extrinsically (bil ‘ard).

“In this scenario, if the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was placed at the start or in the middle (of the series of prophets), then:

“a) If the Shari‘ah of the later prophets was contrary to the Muhammadan Shari‘ah, it would entail that the lesser abrogated the greater [and this goes against the verse of the Qur’an, ‘Whatever We abrogate from a verse (of revelation), or cause it to be forgotten, We produce better than it or the like of it’ (2:106)] and

“b) If the Shari‘ah of the later prophets was not contrary [to the Muhammadan Shari‘ah], then for certain, revelation would have come to the later ones and they would be effused with sciences – for otherwise, what is the meaning of nubuwwah? Then in this scenario, if these are Muhammadan sciences, what was the need for the decisive promise, ‘Verily We are its protectors,’ (Qur’an, 15:9)? And if the sciences of the later prophets was other than the Muhammadan sciences, then this book being ‘a clarification for all things’ (Qur’an, 16:89) would be erroneous.

“In this way, chronological finality is a necessity of khatm nubuwwah in the meaning proposed.”

It is realised from this passage that Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) made the premise of khātamiyyah on bearing the attribute of nubuwwah intrinsically, but he said that part of the reality of acquiring this khātamiyyah is that chronological finality is necessary. He has also stated this explicitly in Tahdhīr un-Nās.

He wrote in another place:

“Khātamiyyah too has been established in the best way, and chronological khātamiyyah is also not lost from one’s hand.”

It is realised from this that where Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim (may Allah have mercy on him) said that in the understanding of the commoners, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is khātam in the meaning that he is the last prophet, the intent of this is not to refute this belief. His intent is that to restrict the meaning of the word khātam to this meaning is the understanding of commoners. In his belief, chronological finality is necessary for Khātamiyyah. And in this there is also closing the door of future claimants to prophehood.

The deceased Mawlānā writes:

“In the understanding of the commoners, the Messenger of Allah (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 illuminated 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 menssenger of Allah and Khātam an-Nabiiyyīn,’ (33:40) in this scenario, is in a place of praise? …Rather, the basis of khātamiyyah is another reality, from which chronological finality and closing the aforementioned door will automatically be necessitated, and the virtue of the Prophet will be multiplied.”

Look at this passage, and look at it again and again. You yourself will realise that he is not refuting the belief of the commoners. He is only correcting the restriction of it to this one meaning. The reality which he determined as the basis of khātamiyyah, being the last becomes automatically necessitated, and this too is extrinsically virtuous. Only intrinsic virtue has been negated.

The aspect of positional khātamiyyah under which the previous prophets received his effusion, and they found illumination from him in the same way that the moon is illuminated by sun, is not specific to the external individuals of prophets (those who actually appeared on the earth); this can also be said with respect to hypothesised individuals, that if hypothetically any prophet is assumed after him, even still his positional khātamiyyah will be intact, and they will be subordinate to him. Yes, if it actually happening, that would entail that chronological khatm nubuwwah is broken, and this is against the Islamic belief, because having belief in chronological khatm nubuwwah is from the necessities of Dīn.

The Wisdom of Chronological Finality

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the last prophet. After him, no prophet will be born. This is known to every Muslim. The one who does not recognise the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as the last prophet is not Muslim, because having belief in his being the last prophet is from the necessities of the religion of Islam.

Firmly grounded ‘ulamā’ not only know the rules [of Islam], but also recognise their principles, reasons and causes. No part of the wise religion is bereft of wisdom. What other wisdom does the foundation of the blessed Prophet being last prophet have? It was from the responsibilities of the ‘ulamā’ of Islam to answer this question. The commoners only knew that the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is after the time of the earlier prophets, and he is the final prophet, and that’s all. This is why, the reason why he is the final prophet still needed explanation.

Those ‘ulamā’ of the ummah who clearly explain the secrets and wisdoms of the Shari‘ah, from them, after Imam Ghazāli and Shāh Walī Allāh Muhaddith Dehlawī (may Allah have mercy on them), the name of Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī is at the top of the list. He investigated the foundation and wisdom of khatm nubuwwah. And the reality is that he fulfilled the due of this topic which is deserving of utmost respect.

Contemplate on what can be the reason for calling the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) Khātam an-Nabiyyīn, and consider what is the reason for making him the last prophet. There can be several reasons for this:

  1. Since there was an eternal promise of preservation of the book that was given to him. This is why there was no need for any future prophet. The reason why the door of prophethood and messengership closed on him is that now there is no need for it.
  2. It was the will of the Creator (Exalted is He) that after him no prophet will be sent. This series has to be sealed at the end. This is why he referred to him as the last prophet. The reason for announcing [he is Khātam an-Nabiyyīn] is to close the door to claimants to prophethood, who will misguide the creation by their false claims.
  3. His Shari‘ah is perfect and accomplished from all perspectives. This is why there can be no need for any prophet or messenger after him. Since there is no need, this is why he was made the last prophet.
  4. It was destined in divine knowledge that the group of the noble Sahābah (may Allah be pleased with them) prepared by him, will remain true to this religion till the end, and one group of the ‘ulamā’ of the ummah will remain steadfast on the truth. This is why the door of prophethood was closed on his sel, because the work of prophethood will remain intact through the heirs of the prophets.

These reasons are undoubtedly true, but are not the reason of reasons. The foundational reason should be such that the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and grant him peace) station is directly elevated. The first reason is an explanation of the station of the Noble Qur’an, which indirectly is a sign of the greatness of the Prophet, not directly. The basis of the second reason is saving the ummah from trials. In the third reason, the status of Shari‘ah is considered. And in the fourth, the truthfulness of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the ‘ulamā’ of the ummah are discussed. The greatness of the one whose perfection is realised by means of these perfections, which is intrinsic to his esteemed self, is not known from these aforementioned reasons; whereas that should be the basic reality. The reason of reasons is that from which the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and grant him peace) station and position is realised. These are all consequences of his position of khātamiyyah. Behind them, the reason of reasons exists which is connected to the esteemed self of the Prophet directly. Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim wished to offer guidance on this reason of reasons.

That reason of reasons, in his words, is this:

“In sum, in the attribute of nubuwwah, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) bears the attribute intrinsically, and the other prophets besides him, bear the attribute extrinsically.” (Tahdhīr un-Nās, p. 51)

Mawlānā wants to say that the nubuwwah of all the remaining prophets is an effusion and effect of his nubuwwah. Just as the moon receives light from the sun, similarly, every messenger receives light from this sun of nubuwwah. He is not only the prophet of this ummah. From his capacity as sun of prophethood, he is prophet of prophets, and by extension, prophet of their nations. This is the basis of khātamiyyah. From its effects and consequences is that he comes right at the end. This chronological khatm nubuwwah is a necessity of this basis of khātamiyyah. This aspect of his positional status is not restricted to earlier prophets; but if it hypothesised that there was any prophet after him, even then, there would be no difference to this meaning of khātamiyyah. Positional khātamiyyah would in all situations be intact. But it was the demand of divine wisdom that upon his advent, together with this foundation of khātamiyyah, chronological khatm nubuwwah is also necessitated. The result of which is that his time is the last time, and after him no prophet will be born. And this is the belief of Islam.

Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī said that if the meaning of bearing the attribute intrinsically is taken as the meaning of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) being the khātam, then hypothetically if there was any prophet in his time, despite this, his positional khātamiyyah would stay intact. Mawlānā stated:

The objective is that if Khātamiyyah in the meaning I presented [i.e. positional khātamiyyah] is determined, then his position as the khātam will not be specifically in relation to past prophets, but if hypotehtically in his own time any prophet appeared, even then his position as the khātam will remain sound.” (Tahdhīr un-Nās, p. 65)

This whole discussion hinges on “if this meaning is determined.” Thereafter, its consequence is mentioned. What is this meaning? That the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) intrinsically bears the attribute of nubuwwah. It is obvious that by consideration of this, if there was any nubuwwah in his time, his being the khātam in terms of positional khatm nubuwwah will by definition remain intact. It is unfortunate that the heretics completely omit these underlined words, and confuse the issue.

Explaining this sentence by omitting the condition and not taking the intent of khātamiyyah as positional khatm nubuwwah, is a great injustice to this passage. For the complete belief of Islam, positional khatm nubuwwah and chronological khatm nubuwwah should both be accepted. Thus, in another place of Tahdhīr un-Nās, page 84, he says:

“Yes, if khātamiyyah in the sense of an intrinsic embodiment of the quality of nubuwwah is taken, as this humble one has submitted, then besides Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace), any other individual intended for creation cannot be considered equal to the Prophet (Allah 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 (Allah bless him and grant him peace) any prophet was born, even then there would be no difference to the Muhammadan Khātamiyyah.”

To explain something by hypothesising something that will not happen is never worthy of objection according to the people of knowledge. It says in the Qur’an: “If there were gods in them (i.e. heaven and earth) besides Allah, they would have been corrupted.” And the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “If there was a prophet after me, it would be ‘Umar.” (Tirmidhī, 2:209). Faqih Abul Layth Samarqandi said in answer to the question that if in the battlefield a prophet mounted the camel of any Muslim, what should the Muslim do? He said: ‘That prophet should be asked.’ (Al-Ashbāh wan-Nazā’ir, p. 372) At that time no one claimed that Faqih Abul Layth believes there is a possibility of prophethood and he denied khatm nubuwwah.

Here, this issue was explained using the aforementioned condition, and the subject matter that is being discussed is positional khatm nubuwwah. If any prophet is hypothesised after the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), he too would be regarded as having taken the light from the sun of nubuwwah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and in this there really would be no difference in the positional khātamiyyah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

Explaining this statement by omitting the condition, and taking the meaning of chronological khatm nubuwwah from the final words “there would be no difference to the Muhammadan Khātamiyyah” is great injustice to this passage.

In this sentence, first there is the condition, then its consequence is mentioned in three parts. The first part starts from “then.” And the second, from “Rather, in this way” and the third from, “Therefore, even if it were hypothesised.” Further, the third part is based on a hypothetical situation. And the entire statement hinges on the condition that khātamiyyah is taken in the meaning of an intrinsic embodiment of the quality of nubuwwah. The reality is that this was only an explanation of positional khatm nubuwwah not chronological.

Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān Sāhib in the first passage from page 65 omitted the condition and he only took the second part of the consequence. Then, together with this, in the sentence mentioned on page 85, he omitted the condition, and even omitted the first and second parts of the consequence, and he joined only the third part [to the first sentence]. And thereafter, he added part of a sentence from page 41. In this way, Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān Sāhib made up a continuous sentence by cutting and joining three different sentences of Tahdhīr un-Nās.

It appears from this continuous sentence that Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim denied chronological khatm nubuwwah, and he wrote this passage for denial of chorological khatm nubuwwah. Whereas, he has affirmed chronological khatm nubuwwah in various places of this book. In another place, Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī stated explicitly chronological khatm nubuwwah in this way:

From amongst the motions [of time] is also the motion of the series of prophethood. Thus, due to attaining the greatest endpoint, the essence of Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), that motion returns to rest. Definitely other motions [of time besides the motion of the series of prophethood] still remain. This is also another reason for his advent being at the end of time.” (Tahdhīr un-Nās)

The belief that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the last prophet is so important and necessary that Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim declared its denier a kāfir:

Therefore, if [khātamiyyah] is absolute and general [i.e. includes all three types of khātamiyyah: chronological, spatial and positional], then the establishment of Chronological khātamiyyah is obvious. Otherwise, accepting the necessity of chronological khātamiyyah by implicative indication (dalala iltizami) is immediately established. Here, the explicit statements of the Prophet, like: “You [i.e. Ali] are to me at the level of Harun to Musa, but there is no prophet after me,” or as he said, which apparently is derived from the phrase “Seal of the Prophets” in the aforementioned manner, are sufficient in this subject, because it reaches the level of tawatur. Furthermore, consensus (ijma‘) has been reached on this. Although the aforementioned words were not transmitted by mutawatir chains, despite this lack of tawatur in the words, there is tawatur in the meaning here, just like the tawatur of the number of rak’at of the obligatory prayers, the witr prayer etc. Although the words of the narrations stating the number of rak’at are not mutawatir, just as the one who denies that is a disbeliever, in the same way, the one who denies this [i.e. chronological khātamiyyah] is a disbeliever.” (Tahdhīr un-Nās, p. 56)

Then, Mawlānā writes in another place [in a book besides Tahdhīr un-Nās0]:

“It is my religion and belief that there is no possibility of there being any prophet aftter the Messenger of Allah. The one who does interpretation in this, I consider him a kāfir.”

The Deception of Ahmad Ridā Khān Barelwī

Observe how the deceased Mawlānā affirms chronological khātamiyyah again and again. And at the same time observe with what “attention,” “fear of Allah” and “carefulness,” Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān took three incomplete sentences from pages 65, 84 and 41 of the deceased Mawlānā’s Tahdhīr un-Nās and joining them together, he concocted a continuous sentnece. And then he put this on the shoulders of the deceased Mawlānā. And then he took the fatwa of kufr from the ‘ulamā’ of the two Harams who do not know Urdu! I will now quote the sentence which Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān arranged. Look at this sentence. Ponder over the profound and academic contents of Tahdhīr un-Nās which I quoted above. Notice the original book Tahdhīr un-Nās and do justice to the injustice of the oppressors. Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān, in Husām al-Haramayn, presented the passage, by concocting it in this way:

“But if hypothetically in his own time any prophet appeared, even then his position as the khātam will remain sound; even if it were hypothesised that after the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) any prophet was born, even then there would be no difference to the Muhammadan Khātamiyyah. In the understanding of the commoners, the Messenger of Allah (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 illuminated to the people of understanding that coming earlier and later chronologically intrinsically is no virtue.”

The last part which states from “understanding of the commoners” is on page 41 of Tahdhīr un-Nās. The starting sentence is from page 65 and the middle sentence from page 85. Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān joined them in this sequence, to show them as one continuous sentence in Tahdhīr un-Nās.

Further, in the last words, consider the word “intrinsically” (bidhdhāt). The usages of bidhdhāt and bil ‘ard (extrinsically) are not hidden to the people of knowledge. Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim’s (Allah have mercy on him) intent was that there is no intrinsic virtue in coming earlier or later, but there is extrinsic virtue. The one who has the highest position should be last.

When Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān presented this sentence to the ‘ulamā’ of the Arabs, I present the Arabic translation that he did of this part. I have certainty that if at the time Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān was translating his consciousness was alive, it was certainly reproaching him! Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān translated it as:

مع أنه لا فضل فيه أصلا

“While there is no virtue in it at all.”

Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim did not say this at all. There was only negation of bidhdhāt. There was no negation of bil‘ard. But with the word “aslan,” Mawlānā Ahmad Ridā Khān negated both. Innā lillāhi wa innā ilayhi rāji‘ūn.

It will not be inappropriate here to answer two questions, which some people ask on this subject.

Question: Did anyone use the words aslī (original) and dhātī (intrinsic) for the nubuwwah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) before Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī?

Answer: In the commentary of Dalā’il al-Khayrāt, ‘Allāmah Fāsī under the name “dā‘ī,” wrote a detailed discussion on this. He quoted from Shaykh Abū ‘Uthmān Farghānī these words in respect to the station of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace):

فلم يكن داع حقيقي من الإبتداء إلى الإتهاء إلا هذه الحقيقة الأحمدية

“So there was no true caller from the start to the end besides this Ahmadī reality.”

In this discussion, he described the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as the original prophet of prophets.

Question: Doesn’t saying that the earlier prophets embodied the quality of nubuwwah extrinsically create the doubt that they were not in reality prophets?

Answer: According to the explanation of Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī, the intent of this is only that those prophets did not acquire prophethood from their start. But nubuwwah was incidental on them from the effusion of the nubuwwah of Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). After this incidence, they became true prophets. For the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), there was no such gap between when he came into existence and he gained prophethood. Rather, he was even a prophet when Adam (peace be upon him) was between body and spirit (Tirmidhī 2:201)

In Sharh Matāli‘ many meanings of dhātī were transmitted. From them, the sixth applies to the description of dhātī in the nubuwwah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace):

السادس أن يحصل لموضوع بلا واسطة وفي مقابله العرضي

“Sixth, that the subject is acquired directly, and its opposite is ‘ardī.”

It is unfortunate that some ignorant people mistook ‘ardi (extrinsic) in this discussion of Tahdhīr un Nās as ‘āridī (temporary), and thought that Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nānotwī (Allah have mercy on him) – ma‘ādha Allāh – said the nubuwwah of all the remaining prophets is temporary; while none of the Muslims say that after granting nubuwwah to someone, Allah takes it away. This was the belief of the Jews who had this belief with respect to Bal‘am ibn Bā‘ūd.

Although the book Tahdhīr un-Nās is a very academic book, nonetheless, in its subject, it is very clear and apparent, and there is no ambiguity anywhere that Hazrat Mawlānā Marhūm denied chronological khatm nubuwwah. Rather, in many places he affirmed it.

Tahdhīr un-Nās min Inkār Athar Ibn ‘Abbās, Idārah al-‘Azīz, pp. 7-30

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


Reply to Husam al-Haramayn’s Misrepresentation of Tahzir al-Nas

September 20, 2012

by Zameelur Rahman

Mawlana Manzur Nu’mani wrote Faisla Kun Munazara (written in: 1373 H/1953 CE) (available here) in reply to Ahmad Rida Khan’s Husam al-Haramayn. The following summarises his reply (from pages 37-63) to the claims made about Mawlana Qasim al-Nanotwi’s Tahzir al-Nas inHusam al-Haramayn.

Ahmad Rida stated in Husam al-Haramayn: “Qasim al-Nanotwi, the author of Tahzir al-Nas, who stated therein: “If it were supposed in his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) time, rather were it to occur after him (Allah bless him and grant him peace), a new prophet, that would not infringe on his sealship; and it is only the laypeople who assume that he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the Seal of the Prophets in the sense of the last of the prophets, although there is no excellence at all in this according to the people of understanding,” to the end of what he mentioned of irrational talk. It says in al-Tatimmah and al-Ashbah and others: “When one does not recognise that Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the last of the prophets, he is not a Muslim, for indeed it is from the necessities.””

قاسم النانوتوي 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 فإنه من الضروريات

Mawlana Nu’mani says this statement of Ahmad Rida Khan is nothing besides deception, and he gives the following reasons:

1. Ahmad Rida constructed the quote from three separate places from Tahzir al-Nas, from pages 3, 14 and 28, and he made it appear that this was one continuous sentence. He also did not arrange it in the order they appear in the book: he first quotes p. 14 (“If it were supposed in his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) time”), then 28 (“rather were it to arise after him (Allah bless him and grant him peace), a new prophet, that would not infringe on his sealship”) then 3 (“and it is only the laypeople who assume that he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the Seal of the Prophets in the sense of the last of the prophets, although there is no excellence at all in this according to the people of understanding”). Ahmad Rida tried to make it appear from these sentences that Mawlana Nanotwi denied the finality/lastness of prophethood, but if read in their correct places such a misunderstanding would not arise. Mawlana Nu’mani states that this is an exact illustration of yuharrifun al-kalima ‘an mawadi’ihi – they change the words from their places (Qur’an 5:13). In fact, in the first and second parts of his contrived quotation from Tahzir al-Nas, he created one sentence from parts of two different sentences, not even quoting the intact sentences. Mawlana Nu’mani quotes from a book of Ahmad Rida in which he castigates someone for joining three separate words of the Qur’an to make it into one phrase; but he commits this very offence here. Then, he gives several examples of how changing word orders in Qur’an completely changes the meanings.

2. The sentence from p. 3 of Tahzir al-Nas in the Urdu states: magar ahl fahm pur roshun ho ga keh taqaddum ya ta’akhkhur zamani meh bizzat kuch fazilat nehih (but, it is clear to the people of understanding that coming before or after in time does not in and of itself confer excellence), which Ahmad Rida translated as “مع أنه لا فضل فيه أصلا عند أهل الفهم” (although there is no excellence at all in this [i.e. being the last prophet] according to the people of understanding). However, the sentence in Tahzir al-Nas implies that although in and of itself coming later has no virtue, due to secondary factors (bi l-ard) it does confer excellence; yet, Ahmad Rida translated this to mean it has no virtue at all, which is another example of his dishonesty and deception.

3. Ahmad Rida did not translate or quote the parts of the sentences that appear before and after the quoted sections which would have corrected his misrepresentation (elaborated later).

4. Ahmad Rida’s claim is that Mawlana Nanotwi denied the finality of prophethood, whereas from the beginning of Tahzir al-Nas to its end, he does not deny khatamiyya zamaniyya (chronological sealship) but seeks to establish it along with khatamiyya zatiyya (essential sealship).

With regards to khatamiyya zamaniyya there are clear statements in Tahzir al-Nas on its necessity. Shortly after the last sentence Ahmad Rida quoted (from p. 3), Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi said:

balkah bana’ khatamiyyat aur bat pur hey jis sey ta’akhkhur zamani aur sadd bab mazkur (ya’ni sadd bab mudda’iyan nubuwwat) khod ba khod lazim ata hey aur fazilat nabawi dobala ho jati hey

Translation: “However, there is another explanation for sealship [which he elaborates on in the book] by which coming later in time and closing the aforemention door [i.e. of claimants to prophethood] is necessitated automatically, and the excellence of prophethood is multiplied.”

In this passage, he clearly states that his explanation of khatamiyya/sealship necessitates coming last in time and closing the door of false claimants to prophethood.

Furthermore, after giving his explanation on khatamiyya/sealship (i.e. that the prophethood of the Prophet – peace be upon him – is essential and not derived whereas the prophethood of other prophets is derived from his, so all perfections of prophethood derive from him and culminate in him), he writes:

so agar itlaq aur ‘umum hey tob to subut khatamiyyat zamani, warnah taslim luzum khatamiyyat zamani bidalalat iltizami zurur sabit hey. idhar tasrihat nabawi misl anta minni bimanzilat Haruna min Musa illa annahu la nabiyya ba’di aw kama qal jo bizahir bitarz mazkur esi lafz khatam al-nabiyyin sey ma’khuz hey is bab meh kafi hey kyunkeh yeh mazmun darajah tawatur ko pehnch giya hey. phir is pur ijma bhi mun’aqid ho giya. gur alfaz mazkur bisanad mutawatir manqul neh ho, so yeh adam tawatur alfaz ba wujud tawatur ma’nawi yaha eysa hi hoga jeysa tawatur a’dad rak’at fara’iz wa witr wa ghayruh alfaz ahadis mush’ir ta’dad rak’at mutawatir nehi, jeysa unka munkir kafir hey eysa hi is ka munkir bhi kafir hoga 

Translation: “Therefore, if [the sealship] is absolute and general [i.e. includes all three sealships: chronological, spatial and essential], then the establisment of chronological sealship is obvious. Otherwise [i.e. if only essential sealship is taken as the meaning of “seal”], accepting the necessity of chronological sealship by implicative indication (dalala iltizami) is immediately established [for the reasons why see the explanation here]. Here, the explicit statements of the Prophet, like: ‘You [i.e. Ali] are to me at the level of Harum to Musa but there is no prophet after me,’ or as he said, which apparently is derived from the phrase khatam al-nabiyyin in the aforemention manner, are sufficient in this subject because it reaches the rank of tawatur. Furthermore, consensus (ijma) has convened on this [i.e. khatamiyya zamaniyya – chronological sealship/coming last in time]. Although the aforementioned words were not transmitted by mutawatir chain, despite this lack of tawatur in the words, there is a tawatur in the meaning here, just like the tawatur of the number of rak’at of the obligatory prayers, Witr etc. Although the words of the narrations stating the number of rak’at are not mutawatir, just as the one who denies that is a disbeliever, in the same way, the one who denies this [i.e. khatamiyya zamaniyya] is a disbeliever.”

Mawlana Nu’mani states that in this passage, Mawlana Nanotwi not only says chronological sealship is firmly established from mutawatirhadith, but also that this is derived (ma’khuz) from the phrase khatam al-nabiyyin showing that according to him the finality of prophethood is strongly connected to this phrase in the Qur’an.

From this and previous passages, Mawlana Nanotwi established chronological sealship in five ways:

1. By the complete signification (dalalat mutabiqi) of khatam al-nabiyyin if it includes both types of sealship (chronological – zamani – and essential – zati)

2. Or by the generality of the metaphor (‘umum majaz) [which is a famous principle mentioned in books of Usul, which Mawlana Nanotwi says is a principle which may apply here], khatam includes both types

3. Or its indication is fully to only one of the two, i.e. essential sealship, but the implicative signification of this is chronological sealship. All three of these are based on the direct text of the Qur’an.

4. From hadiths that are mutawatir-in-meaning

5. By the consensus of the ummah

After mentioning these five ways chronological sealship is firmly established, Mawlana Nanotwi says its denier is a disbeliever. Mawlana Nu’mani says: “After such explicit statements from Tahzir al-Nas, to claim that he denied chronological finality, if it is not injustice and deception, what is it?”

Mawlana Nu’mani says such explicit statements are not found only in one or two places in Tahzir al-Nas, but it is difficult to miss it on almost every page. He then quotes other passages from Tahzir al-Nas, and quotes many statements from other books by Mawlana Nanotwi in which he makes very clear statements that chronological sealship is an established article of faith and no one disagrees with it. [Mawlana Sayf al-Rahman Qasim has collected many of Mawlana Nanotwi’s explicit statements on the Prophet’s chornolological finality including in Mawlana Nanotwi’s Arabic marginalia to the last parts of Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali Saharanpuri’s commentary on Bukhari (the book is available here).]

Before explaining the three passages quoted by Ahmad Rida, Mawlana Nu’mani first gives a brief summary of Mawlana Nanotwi’s thesis, which can be found in a little more detail here. In sum, there are two (or three) types of sealship Mawlana Nanotwi espouses: chronological sealship and essential sealship; the first is that his time is after the time of other prophets and no prophet will be sent after him, and the second is that his prophethood was received directly from Allah whereas the prophethood and the perfections of prophethood in other prophets was derived from him, so he is the “seal” of the perfections of their prophethood as they all culminate in him.

The first passage Ahmad Rida quotes, in full is:

garz ikhtitam agar ba yeh ma’ne tajwiz kiya jae jo me ne ‘arz kiya to ap ka khatam hona anbiya gazashteh ki nisbat khas neh hoga balkah agar bi l-farz ap keh zamaneh meh bhi kohih aur ko’i nabi ho jab bhi ap ka khatam ho na bedustur baqi rehta hey 

Translation: “The objective is that if sealship in the meaning I presented [i.e. essential sealship] is stipulated, then his being the seal will not be specifically in relation to past prophets, for if it were assumed that in his own time any prophet appeared, even then his being the seal will remain sound.”

This was clearly stated with regards to “essential sealship” as is obvious from the part before “if it were assumed…” from where Ahmad Rida began his quote. This is even more clear in the second passage quoted by Ahmad Rida, when cited in full:

ha agar khatamiyyat bi ma’na ttisaf zati biwasf nubuwwat lejye jeysa is hechumdan arz kiya to phir suwae rasulullallah sallallahu alayhiwasallam aur kisi ke afrad maqsudah bi l-khalq meh se mumasil nabawi sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam nehi keh sukte. bulkeh is surat meh faqt anbiya ke afrad khariji hi pur ap ki fazilat sabit neh hogi. afrad muqaddarah pur bhi ap ki fazilat sabit ho jae gi. balkah agar bi l-farz ba’d zamanah nabawi sal’am bhi ko’i nabi peda ho to phir bhi khatamiyyat muhammadi meh kuch farq neh ae ga 

Translation: “Yes, if sealship in the sense of an intrinsic embodiment of the quality of prophethood is taken, as this humble one has submitted, then besides Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) any other individual intended for creation cannot be considered equal to the Prophet (Allah 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 assumed after the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that any prophet was born, then even then there would be no difference to the Muhammadan sealship.”

In both of these passages, Mawlana Nanotwi is speaking of essential sealship, that with respect to this sealship, if it were assumed any prophet appeared in his time or after his time, this sealship would be unaffected, as he would remain the one from whom the prophethood of all other prophets is derived. Of course with respect to chronological sealship, which is firmly established in Tahzir al-Nas and is nowhere negated, if it were supposed a prophet came after him, this sealship would not be unaffected. However, the context of the previous two quotes shows he was speaking only in relation to essential sealship, so it would be incorrect based on these two passages to conclude he denied chronological sealship as it was not the point of discussion. In short, essential sealship, which he seeks to establish in the book, is applicable to all real and assumed prophets, whereas chronological sealship, which he confirms and provides evidence for, applies only to the real past prophets.

Regarding the last part of the quote from Husam al-Haramayn which is from the opening section of Tahzir al-Nas, it means the laypeople are incorrect in their understanding that sealship only means last in time, not that they are incorrect in this understanding altogether. Mawlana Nanotwi in his explanation does not deny the meaning he attributes to the laypeople but states sealship in the Qur’an means much more than just being last in time. By this explaination, the accusation by Ahmad Rida in another book, al-Mawt al-Ahmar, in which he said that Mawlana Nanotwi considered the prophets and sahabah “laypeople” as they also believed khatam means last, is refuted, as it is not established that they believed it only meant last. Mawlana Nu’mani quotes another book of Mawlana Nanotwi in which he clarified that prophets and scholars are not included in “laypeople.”

Mawlana Nu’mani then quotes from Ahmad Rida’s al-Dawlat al-Makkiyya where he explained that the people of understanding realise multiple non-contradictory meanings from verses of the Qur’an, and this is precisely what Mawlana Nonotwi did in the explanation of this verse. Furthermore, Ahmad Rida said in his book Jaza Allah ‘Aduwwah that all spiritual perfections originate in the prophet and everything else in creation receives it from him, which is precisely what Mawlana Nanotwi says is the meaning of “essential sealship.”

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The following is a translated quote from Hakim al-Tirmidhi’s (d. 320) Kitab Khatm al-Awliya in which he offers a similar deeper significance to “Khatam al-Nabiyyin” and denounces the opinion that it only entails chronological finality in much the same way as Mawlana Nanotwi. The book can be downloaded here and the passage in question is found on pages 338-42.

A speaker said to him [al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi]: What is the Seal of Prophethood?He replied: The proof of Allah over His creation, in realisation of His (Exalted is He) statement: “and give good news to those who believe that they have a ‘foot of truth’ [which al-Tirmdihi interprets as the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was a true servant of Allah] with their Lord.” (10:2) So Allah certified for him [i.e. the Prophet (peace be upon him)] true servitude. So when the Recompenser appears in His majesty and greatness, on that plane [of judgement], and He says: “O My bondsmen! I created you only for [My] servitude! So give [Me] the servitude!” There will be no sense or movement left for anyone due to the terror of that position, except Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). For by that foot [of truth] that he has, he proceeds ahead of all the ranks of prophets and messengers, because he was given true servitude to Allah (Exalted is He). So Allah will accept it [i.e. servitude] from him and elevate him to the Praised Platform (al-maqam al-mahmud) near the Stool (kursi). Thereupon, the veil over that seal will be removed, and light will encompass him, and the rays of that seal will shine over him; and from his heart to his tongue will spring praise that none from His creation heard; until all the prophets will know that Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was the most knowledgeable of them about Allah (Glorified and Majestic is He). Thus, he is the first converser and the first intercessor, so he will be given the Standard of Praise and Keys of Generosity. The Standard of Praise is for the bulk of the believers while the Keys of Generosity for the prophets. The Seal of Prophethood has a profound condition and station, more profound than you can bear, so I hope that this much is sufficient for you of its knowledge.

So Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) became an intercessor for prophets and saints and those besides them. Do you not see his (upon him peace) speech regarding the station of the Praised Platform: “Until Ibrahim the Friend of the Merciful will need me on that day”? That was narrated to me by Jarud from al-Nadr ibn Shumayl from Hisham al-Dastawa’i from Hammad who traced it to Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Do you not see that Allah (Blessed and Exalted is He) mentioned good news [to the believers] in many verses but did not mention it except with a condition: “and give good news to those who believe and do righteous works” (2:25) and he mentioned it here without a condition [i.e. without the condition of “righteous works”]: “and give good news to those who believe that they have a foot of truth with their Lord,” informing them that the salvation of all on that day is through this true foot [i.e. the Prophet (peace be upon him)]?

As for the proof, it is as though He says to the prophets (upon them peace): “O assembly of prophets! This is Muhammad. He came at the end of time, weak in body, weak in might, weak in livelihood, short in life. He produced what you have seen of true servitude and copious knowledge. And you in your speech and your lives and your bodies did not produce what he produced.” Thereupon, the veil over the seal will be removed, and all talk will end, and it will become a proof over all creation; because the thing that is sealed is guarded. And thus is Allah’s (Exalted is He) administration over us in this world: that when a thing is found with its seal, doubt is removed and argumentation ends amongst people.

So Allah gathered the particles of prophethood for Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and He perfected them for him and He sealed them with his seal. So neither his self (nafs) nor his enemy find a path to enter the place of [his] prophethood due to that seal. Do you not see the hadith of al-Hasan al-Basri (Allah have mercy on him) from Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) in the hadith of intercession from Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that he said: “When they come to Adam they will ask him to intercede for them to their Lord, Adam will say to them: ‘What is your opinion, if one of yours goods were collected in his absence and then they were sealed [i.e. tied away], will the goods only be approached but from the route of the seal? So go to Muhammad for he is the Seal of the Prophets.’” Its meaning according to us is that prophethood in its entirety has culminated in Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace); so his heart was made a vessel for the perfection of prophethood and then it was sealed. This tells you that the sealed book and the sealed vessel, there is no path to it for anyone, to decrease from it or to add to it of that which is not from it; and indeed all the remainder of the prophets (upon them peace), He did not seal for them their hearts, so they are not safe from the self finding a path to it [i.e. their prophethood].

Allah did not leave the proof concealed in the inside of his heart for He made it manifest; so between his shoulders was that seal manifest like the egg of a pigeon. And this is for him a great station the story of which is long.

Indeed the one who is blind to this information, he thinks that the interpretation of “the seal of prophets” is [only] that he is the last of them in being sent. But what virtue is there in this? And what [perfection in] knowledge is there in this? This is the interpretation of ignorant people.

Most recite khatam with a fath on the ta’; as for those from the Salaf who recited with a kasr on the ta’, its interpretation is that he a khatim (sealer) in the meaning of a doer; i.e. that he sealed prophethood by that seal which he was given. From that which affirms this is what was narrated in the hadith of the Ascension (mi‘raj) from the hadith of Abu Ja‘far al-Razi from al-Rabi‘ ibn Abi al-‘Aliyah from what he mentioned regarding the meeting of the prophets in the Aqsa mosque: “So every prophet mentioned the favour of Allah upon him, and it was from the speech of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that he said: ‘He made me the sealer and the opener.’ So Ibrahim (upon him peace) said: ‘By this, Muhammad is superior to [all of] you.’”

قال له قائل: وما خاتم النبوة؟قال : حجة الله على خلقه، بحقيقة قوله تعالى: “وبشر الذين آمنوا أن لهم قدم صدق عند ربهم” سورة يونس الآية 2، فشهد الله له بصدق العبودية.

فإذا برز الديان في جلاله وعظمته، في ذلك الموقف، وقال: يا عبيدي، إنما خلقتكم للعبودة، فهاتوا العبودة، فلم يبق لأحد حس ولا حركة، من هول ذلك المقام، إلا –سيدنا- محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم. 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. وينبع من قلبه على لسانه من الثناء ما لم يسمع به أحد من خلقه .
حتى يعلم الأنبياء كلهم أن –سيدنا- محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم كان أعلمهم بالله عز وجل فهو أول خطيب، وأول شفيع فيعطي لواء الحمد، ومفاتيح الكرم.
فلواء الحمد لعامة المؤمنين، ومفاتيح الكرم للأنبياء ، ولخاتم النبوة بد وشأن عميق، أعمق من أن تحتمله. فقد رجوت أنه كفاك هذا القدر من علمه.

فصار-سيدنا- محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم شفيعا للأنبياء والأولياء، ومن دونهم ألا ترى إلى قوله عليه الصلاة والسلام، فيما يصف من شأن المقام المحمود؟: “حتى أن ابراهيم خليل الرحمن يحتاج إلي في ذلك اليوم” . حدثنا بذلك الجارود عن النضر بن شميل، عن هشام الدستوانى عم حماد رفعه إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم.

ألا ترى أن الله، تبارك وتعالى ذكر البشرى في غير آية؟ فلم يذكرها إلا مع الشرط “وبشر الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات” وذكرها هنا ولم يشترط: ” وبشر الذين أمنوا أن لهم قدم صدق عند ربهم” يعلمهم أن نجاة الجميع ، في ذلك اليوم بهذا القدم الصدق.
وأما الحجة. فكأنه يقول: للأنبياء عليهم السلام: معاشر الأنبياء، هذا محمد جاء في آخر الزمان،ضعيف البدن، ضعيف القوة، ضعيف المعاش، قليل العمر. أتى بما قد ترون : من صدق العبودة ، وغزارة المعرفة والعلم، وأنتم في قواكم وأعماركم وأبدانكم، لم تأتوا بما أتى. ويكتشف له 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 تعالى أجزاء النبوة لسيدنا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم وتتمها له وختم عليها بختمة 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 فهو خاتم النبيين. ومعناه عندنا: إن النبوة تمت بأجمعها لسيدنا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فجعل قلبه، لكمال النبوة، وعاء عليها، ثم ختم.

ينبؤك هذا، أن الكتاب المحترم والوعاء المختوم، ليس لأحد عليه سبيل، في الانتقاص منه، و لا 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.
ولم يدع الله الحجة مكتومة في باطن قلبه حتى أظهرها: فكان بين كتفيه ذلك الختم، ظاهرا كبيضة حمامة وهذا له شأن عظيم تطول قصته.
فإن الذي عمى عن خبر هذا، يظن أن “خاتم النبيين” تأويله أنه آخرهم مبعًا فأي منقبة في هذا؟ وأي علم في هذا ؟ تأويل البله، الجهلة.
وقرأ (الخاتم)، بفتح التاء وأما من قرأ من السلف بكسر التاء، فإنما تأويله (خاتِم) على معنى فاعِل، أي: أنه ختم النبوة، بالذي أعطى من الختم.
ومما يحقق ذلك ما روي في حديث المعراج من حديث أبي جعفر الرازي، عن الربيع بن أبي العالية فيما يذكر من مجتمع الأنبياء في المسجد الأقصى: “فيذكر كل نبي منة الله عليه. فكان من قول رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: ” وجعلني خاتما وفاتحا ” فقال سيدنا إبراهيم عليه السلام: بهذا فضلكم محمد” –صلى الله عليه


Pir Karam Shah and Ml. Qasim Nanotwi according to the Barelwi Scholars

March 4, 2012

It is often claimed by Barelwis that Pir Karam Shah sahib repented of his praise of Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi and Tahdhir al-Nas. In this half hour long speech Barelwi ‘alim Syed Tabasum Bukhari refutes this claim and recounts his confrontation with Pir Karam Shah and the latter’s refusal to declare Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi a kafir:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuUgiBswRI4

Tabassum Bukhari, the Barelwi scholar, met with Pir Karam Shah in 1996 in Behra because of Pir Karam Shah stating that that Ml. Qasim Nanotwi did not deny the finality of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) of this time. Tabassum Bukhari wrote a letter to Pir Karam Shah but he did not answer to his refutation. So Tabassum Bukhari traveled to him and asked him for a clarification (15:30 minutes).

So he asked for his aqida (16:50 minutes). He criticizes the Barelwi scholars for not having the courage to speak against him (17:30 minutes). So in 1996 he asked him what is your opinion about the quotes in Tahdhir al-Nas which the Barelwi scholars called the kufr.

Pir Karam Shah was asked (20:45 minutes) by other Barelwi scholars what his true stance was.

Tabassum Bukhari preached for a long time and was emotional and was grabbed by his students to stop (at 22:48 minutes) him. Pir Karam Shah said in the end: I don’t call any Muslim an unbeliever.

Then Tabassum Bukhari stated that I will write against you (24:00 minutes). Then Pir Karam Shah waved with his hands and stated: Go and write whatever you want against me, I don’t call any Muslim an unbeliever. (24:24 minutes)

Tabassum Bukhari stated: I don’t say you should call a Muslim an unbeliever, but what do you say who writes kufr, can you not call him a kaafir then? Then he stated the same.

Then he wrote a whole book against him and against tahdhir al-nas.. A lot of Barelwis stated that this book should not be published because Pir Karam Shah is one of our own, and it will haram us. But the Barelwis did publish the book. Pir Karam Shah was alive during that time and during this lecture.

31:30 he says: A LOT OF (Barelwi) SCHOLARS in our time don’t affirm the kufr of the Deobandi scholars and are guilty of sullah kulliyat. They are playing from both sides.

At 33:49 he refers to the muqaddima of Zia al-Qur’an stating that both Deobandis and Barelwis are united in the fundamentals (usul) and even agree on the finality of the Prophet.


Defending Shaykh Qasim Nanotwi

April 20, 2011

Thanks to brother Muzammil from SF. Barelwis have been lying against the scholars of Deoband for more than 100 years, especially against the founder of Dar al-Ulum Deoband, Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi.

One of the accusations against this great scholar, was that he supposedly did not believe in the finalty of the Prophet! This seems very far-fetched since the Deobandi scholars have always been seen refuting the Qadiyani’s for this claim. Below is a partial summary of Tahzir al-nas, the book that Ahmad Raza Khan quoted in order to prove his claim:

[The page numbers shown in brackets below are taken from this edition of Tahzirun Nas]

Tahzirun Nas is a treatise in the form of a legal response (fatwa) from Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi to a question posed regarding the belief that the athar of Ibn ‘Abbas, which confirms the existence of prophets like the prophets on this earth on six other earths, is authentic, and how this impacts on the Prophet (peace be upon him) being the last and final prophet. (p. 40)

He begins his answer by saying that before answering the question, the term Khatam al-Nabiyyin (Seal of the Prophets) must be fully understood, and then he presents an exegetical dilemma on the interpretation of this phrase in the context of the verse. (p. 41)

In the understanding of the common people, this simply means the last of a series of prophets. However, coming before or after in this chronological sense, does not in and of itself confer excellence, so for example, the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is superior to many prophets who came after him. (p. 41)

However, the term “Khatam al-Nabiyyin” must be a term of merit and praise for two reasons:

First, things which are not praiseworthy in relation to his prophethood, like shape, colour, lineage, etc. are not mentioned, so mentioning something without merit would be imagined to be an “excess” in His speech, as there would be no difference between mentioning it and not mentioning it. Second, with respect to the people of perfection, like prophets and saints, titles used for them are for the purpose of adorning them with praise and merit, as is clear from historical writings, so the assumption that it is not praise may lead to lessening the greatness of the Prophet (upon him be peace). (p. 42)

The Istidrak in 33:40 Implies the Term “Khatam al-Nabiyyin” Affirms Spiritual Fatherhood

One objection to this reasoning is that “Khatam al-Nabiyyin” with this meaning is not devoid of purpose and benefit as Islam, being the final religion, must negate the legitimacy of any false future claimants to prophethood who may be the cause of the misguidance of many; hence, with this meaning of Khatam al-Nabiyyin, this door leading to misguidance is closed. (p. 42)

The answer to this is that even then, with the lone meaning of “last chronological prophet” for the phrase “Seal of Prophets,” the exegete is not free of difficulties, and this is because the verse reads: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of Prophets” (33:40). The word “but” (lakin) is a conjunction (‘atf) used for istidrak (correction), that is, to correct a doubt (shubh) or wrong assumption that may be created from the previous sentence. Hence, the sentence that he is “the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of Prophets,” must be correcting a misconception that may arise from the sentence, “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men.” (p. 42)

While the verse clearly negates physical (jismani) fatherhood, the doubt may arise that he does not deserve the respect a father deserves, or that he is not the spiritual (ma‘nawi) father of anyone also, and this is corrected by the sentence, “[he is] the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of Prophets.” Thus, by this latter sentence, the doubt that he is not the father in any sense is corrected. The explanation of this is as follows: (p. 57)

The term “Messenger” implies he is the spiritual father of the ummah. Mawlana Nanotwi explains this at length in conjunction with the verse of the Qur’an which states, “The Prophet is closer to the believers than themselves” (33:6). Because our belief is a consequence of his deliverance of the message from Allah, he is our spiritual father. Mawlana Nanotwi writes extensively on this point but there is no need to elaborate here. (pp. 58-64)

Essential Sealship and its Proofs

In the same way the term “Messenger of Allah” implies he is the spiritual father of his nation, the term “Seal of Prophets,” which is also part of the “correction” (istidrak), implies he is the spiritual father of the previous prophets. (pp. 57-58)

This is because the prophethood of the Prophet is essential in that it was not gained from any other prophet but was given to him directly by Allah upon his creation, while the prophethood of all other prophets is accidental and derived from his prophethood. Thus, their prophethood and all the perfections of their prophethood come to an end upon his prophethood and are in fact derived from his prophethood, and in this sense he is the “Seal of the Prophets.” (p. 43)

Mawlana Nanotwi gives three detailed proofs for this:

First, verse 3:81 of the Qur’an which states: “[Remember] when We took the covenant of the prophets: Indeed, that which I have given to you of book and wisdom, then a Messenger confirming what is with you comes to you, you must believe in him and you must help him.” This shows the Prophet is the “Prophets’ Prophet” (nabi al-anbiya) as they are commanded to believe in him and help him if he were to appear in their time, hence their prophethood is subject to his essential prophethood. This is also indicated by the hadith in which it states that “if Musa was living, he would have no option but to follow me,” and it is also indicated by the fact that upon ‘Isa’s return he will be a follower of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as his prophethood is subject to his. In this way, the prophethood of all other prophets ends and comes to a stop at the prophethood of the Prophet, as his prophethood is not an effusion (fayd) or secondary (bi wasitah) to any other prophethood, while theirs is an effusion of his. The hadith “I was the Seal of Prophets with Allah while Adam was mixed with clay,” can be understood in this way, that his prophethood was the source of all prophets’ prophethood. (p. 44)

Second, there are two types of perfections: knowledge and deeds. Four categories of people are praised in the Qur’an: Prophets, saints (siddiqin), martyrs (shuhada) and pious (salihin) (4:69). The first two have perfections in knowledge and the second two in deeds. Prophets are the source of perfection in knowledge and saints their repositories and martyrs are the source of perfection in deeds and the pious their repositories. The word “nabi” comes from naba’a which means to inform, and “siddiq” from “saddaqa” which means to assent, so the Prophets are the fountainheads of knowledge and the siddiqin its repositories i.e. those who assent to that knowledge. This is also corroborated by the hadith, “Whatever Allah poured into my chest I poured into the chest of Abu Bakr,” and Abu Bakr is known as “the greatest siddiq.” Here, Mawlana Nanotwi also makes the point that because prophethood is perfection in knowledge and not deeds, apparently (bizahir) a follower’s deeds may become equal to or exceed the deeds of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The reason he mentions “apparently,” is because this is in terms of “quantity” and not the quality of deeds, while his knowledge is both quantitatively and qualitatively superior. Although, this statement led to many people attacking Mawlana Nanotwi, the same point was articulated by Imam al-Razi under verse 2:34 of the Qur’an, in which he said, “We do indeed find in the community (ummah) those who have a longer life and strive more rigorously than the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.” This statement of fact, that sometimes outwardly a follower performs more good deeds than the Prophet (peace be upon him) was used by al-Razi as a premise in his argument just as it was by Mawlana Nanotwi. (pp. 44-48)

Mawlana Nanotwi also explains how martyrdom and piety are perfections in deeds and not knowledge, but there is no need to elaborate here. (pp. 48-49)

The Prophet’s knowledge was complete and perfect, while the knowledge of other Prophets was not as complete and perfect as his. Hence, he said, “I was taught/given (‘ullimtu/utitu) the knowledge of the first and the last,” i.e. my knowledge encompasses the spiritual knowledge of all peoples. This is because he is the true knower (‘alim haqiqi) while all other knowers’ knowledge is derived from him. In just the same way our knowledge from our sense faculties combine in our rational soul (nafs natiqah) and the senses do not themselves “perceive,” knowledge of the divine and otherworldly realities combine in the Prophet (peace be upon him) and originate in him, while for everyone else before and after him, it is derived from him. Verse 3:81 quoted above describes the Prophet as “confirming all that is with you,” where the word “ma” is general (‘am) so includes all the knowledge in the books of the Prophets before. Hence, his essential knowledge – essential in the sense that is not derived from any other, not that it is intrinsic to him or he gained it without Allah giving it to him – is a corollary of his essential prophethood, while the knowledge of other prophets and their prophethood is derived from his. Another proof of this is that the Prophet’s main miracle as mentioned in a hadith is the Qur’an, and the Qur’an is a book of knowledge, as it is described as “an explanation of all things” (16:89). (pp. 44-50)

Third, the hadith, “I was a Prophet while Adam was between body and spirit,” as it proves his prophethood was pre-eternal while Adam’s prophethood and by extension the prophethood of all other prophets is temporal. (p. 50)

In conclusion, the Prophet’s prophethood is essential, that is, not derived from any other prophet, while that of other prophets is accidental and derived from his, and with this meaning “Khatam al-Nabiyyin” in the sense of the spiritual paternity of prophets fulfils the condition of the istidrak in the verse.

Chronological Prophetic Sealship (khatm nubuwwat zamani) is a Necessary Consequence of Essential Prophetic Sealship (khatm nubuwwat zati)

Essential Sealship as described above also necessarily implies that he is the last of all Prophets chronologically. This is because the hypothetical new prophet will either bring a new shari‘ah, or will not, and in both cases, the Essential Sealship of the Prophet prevents this from happening:

If the hypothetical prophet that came after had a different shari‘ah, this would mean a lesser prophet abrogated the shari‘ah of a greater prophet, which is contrary to the rule established in verse 2:106 of the Qur’an which states: “We do not abrogate any revelation, or cause it to be forgotten, except we bring better than it or the like of it.” (p. 52)

And if he were to bring the same shari‘ah, this prophethood would hold no meaning as prophethood is a perfection in knowledge and all knowledge has culminated in the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his perfect knowledge kept in the Book that is an “explanation of all things” is preserved (Qur’an 15:9). So the bringer of the same shari‘ah cannot have any new perfection in knowledge. (pp. 52-53)

Therefore, no new prophet can emerge after the Seal of Prophets, with or without a new shari‘ah. Hence, chronological finality (ta’akkhur zamani) is a necessary consequence of essential finality.

The Multiple Meanings of Final

Coming first or last (taqaddum/ta’akhkhur) is a generic attribute (jins) which manifests in three different ways: chronological (zamani), spatial (makani) and in terms of rank (rutbi). Seal (khatam) implies finality which also contains these three possibilities. If however only one of these three meanings are meant in the statement “Seal of Prophets” there must be a word in the middle missing, i.e. it is either “khatam zaman al-nabiyyin” (seal of the time of the prophets), “khatam rutbat al-nabiyyin” (seal of the rank of the prophets) or “khatam makan al-nabiyyin,” (seal of the place of the prophets) but in such general words, if all meanings can be taken, that is the best option, and this is the preferred view. Hence, the preferred view according to Mawlana Nanotwi is that the complete signification (dalala mutabiqi) – which is a term of logic that describes the total meaning for which a word was coined – of “Seal of Prophets” is finality in terms of chronology, place and rank. (p. 53-55)

This is akin to the verse “wine, gambling, [sacrificing to] stones and [divining] arrows, are only filth (rijs),” where “filth” is a general (‘am) word including external and internal filth as wine is externally filthy and the rest internally. In the same way “rijs” is general for a number of categories of items with differing qualities included under its meaning, “khatam” is general for a number of categories of items included under its general meaning. Finality in merit was explained as essential sealship described earlier and chronological finality which was explained as a necessary consequence of it is simple and easy to understand; while spatial finality entails prophethood manifesting in the highest of all earths, and this is explained in other hadiths which show this earth that we inhabit is the highest of all earths and the six remaining earths also have prophets as confirmed in the athar of ibn ‘Abbas – Mawlana Nanotwi spends the bulk of his treatise explaining this point. (p. 65 onwards) However, if only one of these is chosen then it would be finality in rank (i.e. essential sealship) due to its suitability in the context of the verse and the demand of the istidrak within it, and even then chronological finality is a necessary consequence as explained earlier. (p. 56)

Hence, there are two options: If the general meaning is accepted, which is the preferred view, then the complete signification (dalala mutabiqi) of “Seal of Prophets” is to chronological, spatial and spiritual finality. However, if only one meaning is accepted, and that is finality in merit, then although chronological finality is not established by the complete signification of the title “Seal of Prophets,” it is established by the implicative signification (dalala iltizami) as explained earlier; and it is also established by the mutawatir (mass-narrated) meaning of the hadith “There is no prophet after me,” and the consensus of the ummah. Hence the denier of chronological sealship is a disbeliever just like the denier of the number of rak‘ats of salah or Witr is a disbeliever as these are also established by hadiths mutawatir in meaning and consensus (jeysa unka munkir kafir hey eysa hi is ka munkir bhi kafir hoga). (p. 56)

Mawlana Nanotwi affirms that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the “Seal” of all prophets, on this or on any other earth. (p. 93) Hence, all the meanings of “Seal” that he affirms including chronological finality (either as part of its complete signification or its implicative signification) also apply to those prophets.

Conclusion

The benefit of this interpretation, Mawlana Nanotwi insists, is that it solves the istidrak present in the verse, it explains what khatam means in the best possible way, while not compromising on the chronological finality of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He writes: “Now you can see that if this view is accepted, the conjunction between the two sentences, the correction and exception, will become clear, and sealship is established in the best possible way, and chronological sealship is also not lost from one’s hand (aur khatamiyyat zamani bhi hath sey nehi jati).” (p. 57)

This is a clear proof that he does not anywhere deny chronological sealship, but as explained earlier, this is either part of the complete signification of the term, or is an implicative signification of essential sealship. Besides this, he also adduced the mutawatir-in-meaning hadith and the consensus of the ummah as proof for chronological finality. He also affirms that the denier of chronological finality is a disbeliever. His new explanation of “khatam,” therefore, in no way compromises chronological finality as he himself mentioned in Tahzirun Nas that “[by this explanation,] chronological sealship is also not lost from one’s hand.”

Therefore, although Mawlana Nanotwi does not exclude chronological finality from the meaning and signification of “Khatam al-Nabiyyin,” he does add to its meaning in the ways described above. Hence, the claim that he denied chronological finality is inconsistent with what he originally wrote in Tahzirun Nas. Besides this, his statements written in other treatises like Munazarah Ajeebah are unequivocal that there is no possibility of anybody receiving prophethood after the Prophet (peace be upon him).