Ruling on Istighathah

November 19, 2018

Question

There are people in our area who seek help from Auliya ullah who are dead (Istigasa). I understand that these people are committing Shirk. Now the questions are:

  1. Are these persons among those Mushrikeen about whom Allah says that they remain in the Hell forever.
  2.  And is it that type of Shirk about which Allah says that He will forgive any Sin which He wills but will not forgive Shirk or is it a lesser form of Shirk.
  3. Will such an activity lead a person to kuffur if yes what type of kuffer and to what extent.
  4. Is he the person about whom we have been asked not to pray for?
Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

At the outset, it is necessary to clarify some important aspects related to the ‘aqīdah of Tawhīd and the reality of shirk.

True Agency and Ownership Belong to Allāh Alone

One of the most fundamental teachings that the Messenger of Allāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) conveyed to the ummah is the absoluteness of Allāh’s authority over His creation. Every inch, every atom, of creation is in the exclusive ownership of Allāh Ta‘ālā.[1] Nothing is outside His dominion, power and control. He is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Hearing and All-Seeing. No part of creation eludes His grasp, power, knowledge, hearing and seeing. Numerous verses of the Qur’ān and hadīths of the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) confirm these realities.

Hence, Allāh Ta‘ālā is not in need of assistance.[2] He is able to bring about anything as and when He pleases at His discretion. The will of no other being can override the will of Allāh Ta‘ālā.[3] No event can transpire in the whole creation without the will, power and agency of Allāh Ta‘ālā.[4]

Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) taught that verbal recognition of Allāh’s total and pervading authority over His creation is the truest speech that is uttered by the slave of Allāh. He (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

أحق ما قال العبد، وكلنا لك عبد: اللهم لا مانع لما أعطيت ولا معطي لما منعت ولا ينفع ذا الجد منك الجد

“The truest thing that a slave proclaims, and each of us is Your slave, is: O Allāh, there is none to withhold that which You give, and none to give that which You withhold, and the owner of fortune will not be availed [of You] by his fortune.” (Sahīh Muslim)

Allāh Ta‘ālā says:

مَا يَفْتَحِ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ مِن رَّحْمَةٍ فَلَا مُمْسِكَ لَهَا وَمَا يُمْسِكْ فَلَا مُرْسِلَ لَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

“Whatever blessing Allah opens for the people, there is none to hold it back, and whatever He holds back, there is none to release it thereafter. He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (35:2)

Asbāb as Correlation not Causation

While in this dunyā, we observe events taking place apparently in a cause-effect correlation, this connection is not one of independent causation. Rather, true agency rests only with Allāh Ta‘ālā, while the apparent causes are merely correlations Allāh has placed in His creation for a wisdom and reason that is known to Him. Allāh alone – independently and without support – brings something into being from nonbeing, whether a physical entity like a rock, an attribute like colour or an action like movement.[5]

For example, when a doctor, or the medicine he prescribes, “treats” or “heals” a patient, the true agent is not the doctor or medicine. The true agent is Allāh alone, while the doctor and medicine are only apparent causes or means (asbāb). When the result or action is ascribed to the sabab, it is as a metaphor, as the true doer is Allāh alone, not the sabab.

In the famous story of the boy and the king recorded in Sahīh Muslim, when the king’s courtier asks the boy to cure his blindness, the boy retorts:

إني لا أشفي أحدا، إنما يشفى الله تعالى، فإن آمنت بالله تعالى دعوت الله فشفاك

“Verily, I cure no one. Only Allāh (Exalted is He) cures. If you believe in Allāh (Exalted is He), I will supplicate to Allāh and He will cure you.” (Sahīh Muslim)[6]

Hence, while the du‘ā or the boy was a means of curing the blindness, the real doer was Allāh alone. By making this known to the courtier, the boy instilled in him the reality of Tawhīd. However, this does not mean the action (in this case, healing) cannot be ascribed to the means (in this case, the boy or his supplication).[7] It is correct to make this ascription, as long as the belief that the sabab is not the real cause is firmly understood.

Similarly, Allāh Ta‘ālā said to Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam):

وما رميت إذ رميت ولكن الله رمى

“You did not throw when you [apparently] threw, but Allāh threw.” (8:17)

Hence, the verse affirms that Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) threw, but at the same time negates that he threw. In other words, because he was a sabab for the action of throwing, it is correct to ascribe the act to him. However, true agency and causation, which is the act of bringing the throw into existence after nonexistence, is not ascribed to him, but to Allāh alone.

Allāh Ta‘ālā says:

وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

“Allāh has created you and all that you do.” (37:96)

Everything Belongs to Allāh Alone

Similarly, sole dominion of the entire creation belongs to Allāh Ta‘ālā alone. No being truly owns any part of creation. “Ownership” as is customarily used amongst human beings is merely a kind of temporary entitlement that is given consideration in Sharī‘ah. However, it does not mean true and intrinsic dominion and sovereignty. This belongs only to Allāh.[8] Allāh Ta‘ālā says:

إِنَّمَا اللّهُ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَات وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ

“Allāh is only one deity [worthy of worship]. To Him [alone] belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. Pure is He from having a son.” (4:171)

Allāh Ta‘ālā also says:

قُلِ ادْعُوا الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا لَهُمْ فِيهِمَا مِن شِرْكٍ وَمَا لَهُ مِنْهُم مِّن ظَهِيرٍ

“Say [to the idolaters]: ‘Call upon those whom you claim (to be gods) beside Allāh. They do not possess (anything), even to the measure of a particle, neither in the heavens nor in the earth. They have no share at all in either of the two, nor is any of them a helper for Him.”

While this verse speaks about the false deities which the idolaters worshipped, it applies to all creation. No creation truly owns any part of creation, and no creation has any share in it.

In short, from the basic elements of Tawhīd is the belief that true agency, causation and action is Allāh’s alone, and similarly, true dominion, sovereignty and ownership is Allāh’s alone. This extends to the whole of creation, no atom, and not the minutest event, being exempted from this rule.

The Belief of the Mushrikūn and the Reality of Shirk

The mushrikūn that the Prophets (‘alayhimussalām), and in particular our Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), were sent to call to the core doctrine of Tawhīd did not believe in Allāh’s total sovereignty and complete agency. Rather, they believed His sovereignty, power, knowledge, hearing, seeing and agency are limited.[9] Hence, they believed Allāh was in need of subordinate gods appointed by Him to share in the ownership, dominion and management of different aspects of creation.[10]In this way, the dominion and control of the created realm, according to them, is shared between the greatest god, Allāh, and lesser gods, known as ālihah or asnām.

The Qur’ān, and the doctrine of Tawhīd, on the other hand, espouse that all creatures are just as helpless and dependent on Allāh as each other. Allāh Ta‘ālā says:

إِن كُلُّ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا آتِي الرَّحْمَنِ عَبْدًا لَقَدْ أَحْصَاهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدًّا وَكُلُّهُمْ آتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَرْدًا

“There is none in the heavens and the earth, but bound to come to the All-Merciful as a slave. He has fully encompassed them and precisely calculated their numbers. And each one of them will come unto Him on the Day of Resurrection, alone.” (19:93-5)

No being is on par with Allāh such that it can override His will or pressure Him to act against His decision as the mushrikūn believed. Hence, even while the Qur’ān and Sunnah acknowledge extraordinary acts or feats accomplished by certain created beings[11], this is qualified by the doctrine of total dependence on Allāh Ta‘ālā, and is not understood in the way the mushrikūn believed.[12]

Based on their corrupt beliefs, the mushrikūn held that their co-gods possessed independent rights of intercession with Allāh[13]. That is, because they believed the co-gods are partners in Allāh’s kingdom, they considered them to be on equal “bargaining terms” with Allāh. In other words, even if Allāh disapproved of a person, the mushrikūn believed that if the person gained the favour of a co-god, it could convince or coerce Allāh to act against His decision.[14] The Qur’ān repudiates this belief and says intercession belongs only to Allāh (Qur’ān 39:44). No creature can intercede without His will and permission (Qur’ān, 2:255). Allāh can never be coerced by any means to act against His will.

Similarly, based on their beliefs in shared power and ownership, the mushrikūn held that the subordinate gods possessed independent powers of bringing benefit or causing harm to their subjects.[15] These are some of the core beliefs that constituted the shirk of the mushrikūn which the prophets (‘alayhimussalām) were sent to abolish.[16]

In expressing the Islāmic belief of Tawhīd and negating the beliefs of shirk, Allāh Ta‘ālā says:

الحمد لله الذي لم يتخذ ولدا ولم يكن له شريك فى الملك ولم يكن له ولي من الذل وكبره تكبيرا

“All praise belongs to Allāh, Who has not taken unto Himself a son, and Who has no partner in sovereignty, nor has He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence.” (17:111)

Expressions and Acts of Shirk

Based on their polytheistic beliefs, the mushrikūn rendered acts of worship to their idols as an expression of their belief in their divinity and to draw their favour. Apart from obvious rituals like prostrating, bowing and praying before them, they would perform other acts in the service of their idols which were representative of their false beliefs; for example, taking oaths by them, vowing to them, slaughtering animals for them, and so on. Although some of these actions when done to other than Allāh do not in themselves entail the belief of the mushrikūn, and may simply indicate reverence and respect, the Sharī‘ah commands Muslims not to direct them towards any being besides Allāh, for three primary reasons:

  1. Firstly, it creates a resemblance with idolaters, and resembling harām is also harām.[17]
  2. Secondly, there is a danger that these acts could escalate and lead the common people into actual shirk.[18]
  3. Third, they are against the etiquette of how to interact with Allāh and His creation.

Istighāthah

Istighāthah means to seek or ask for help. If istighāthah is directed at other than Allāh in apparent causes (al-asbāb al-zāhirah), meaning those means that have been confirmed to correlate to certain outcomes through repeated experience, like istighāthah from a medical doctor for treatment, or from methods prescribed in the Sharī‘ah, like “seeking help” from prayer as mentioned in the Qur’ān[19], while holding them to be a means and the true cause being Allāh alone, then there is no question over its permissibility.[20] The fact that Allāh has made these matters a means in His creation is proven by repeated experience (‘ādah) and/or Sharī‘ah.

However, when istighāthah is done to beings besides Allāh in matters of the unseen (al-umūr al-ghaybiyya), like asking for good weather or prosperity, or asking help directly from the dead, it becomes an expression of shirk. The mushrikūn would ask such kind of help from their idols, believing them to have independent agency in granting them provision, bringing them benefit, interceding to Allāh for them, improving their lives and so on.

Shāh Walīullāh (rahimahullāh) said: “We intend to inform you of those things Allāh has considered the expected places of shirk in the Muhammadan Sharī‘ah and thus He forbade them…From amongst them is that they would ask help from other than Allāh in their needs like healing the sick and making the poor rich…”[21]

To seek help in matters which have been established by repeated experience (‘ādah) or Sharī‘ah to correlate to the outcomes that one seeks does not create the impression of shirk, as it is apparent by their nature that they are from the design of Allāh in His creation. When seeking help in asbāb ghaybiyyah from other than Allāh, however, an impression or doubt may arise that this being is an independent agent just like Allāh, as there is no immediate understanding of it being from Allāh’s design in His creation.[22] Hence, istighāthah of this kind is prohibited because it creates a resemblance with the idolaters who believed the beings they called to for help in such immaterial matters of the unseen were independent agents of creation.

Resemblance with idolaters, or doing acts that are suggestive of shirk, is forbidden. The Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

من حلف بغير الله فقد أشرك

“The one who takes an oath by other than Allāh, he has committed shirk.” (Jāmi‘ al-Tirmidhī) 

The meaning of this is that the idolaters would show reverence to the false gods by taking oath by their name, while holding the belief that if the oath was thereafter broken, they would suffer a terrible fate at the hands of that idol.[23] Muslims who adhere to the belief in Tawhīd would, of course, not hold this belief were they to take an oath by other than Allāh. Nonetheless, since this was a distinctive feature of polytheism, Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has forbidden taking an oath with other than Allāh.[24] However, this is not shirk that takes one out of Islām. Here, shirk is in the meaning of an expression of shirk in resembling the actions of the idolaters.[25] Hence, the term “shirk” may at times be used in the meaning of a lesser form of shirk and not the greatest shirk which takes its perpetrator out of Islām,

When a Sahābī said in conversation with Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), “What Allāh wills and you will”, he replied:

أجعلتني مع الله عدلا؟!

“Do you make me an equal with Allāh?!” (Sharh Mushkil al-Athār)[26]

In other words, even this vague resemblance with shirk is prohibited in Sharī‘ah.

Istighāthah of the dead in matters of unseen creates a strong resemblance with shirk, as explained earlier. Furthermore, it is a means to shirk[27] as it may lead simpleminded common Muslims to believing that these beings have independent powers. It is suggestive of independence even if the perpetrator holds the belief that they are only a means.[28] The reason is that when calling for help from beings in matters that are not included in asbāb zāhirah (apparent causes based on repeated experience) or asbāb assigned in the Sharī‘ah, the idea can easily come to their mind that these beings are not dependent on Allāh’s design, plan and will in His creation. Instead they are independently acting agents operating in the created realm just like Allāh. This belief is the highest form of shirk, as mentioned earlier.

Finally, it is against the correct etiquette to turn to other than Allāh for help, especially in such important matters. Asking for help shows dependence, and dependence, trust and reliance should only be expressed to Allāh.

Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

إذا سألت فاسأل الله وإذا استعنت فاستعن بالله

“When you ask, ask of Allāh and when you seek help, seek help of Allāh.” (Jāmi‘ al-Tirmidhī)[29]

And it is reported that when Abū Bakr (radiyAllāhu ‘anh) wished to ask help from Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) against a hypocrite, he said:

إنه لا يستغاث بي، إنما يستغاث بالله

“I am not asked for help. Only Allāh is asked for help.”[30]

From one group of Sahābah, Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) took the pledge, “do not ask anything of people.” One member of this group was seen thereafter, his riding stick having fallen to the ground, and he would not ask anyone to collect it for him but would dismount and pick it up himself. (Sahīh Muslim)[31]

This is an attitude that shows complete dependence and reliance on Allāh. On the other hand, by creating a culture of istighāthah in the manner that is common amongst the ignorant, dependence on Allāh is removed from the hearts of people and is placed on these created beings. This is a means to shirk.

On this basis, istighāthah is impermissible and an expression of shirk, as stated by the scholars.[32]

However, istighāthah will not take one out of Islām unless such beliefs accompany the act that clearly entail beliefs of kufr. Two beliefs in particular:

  1. If while calling out and asking for help, the person believes that this being is an independent agent that will give me what I seek without the will and agency of Allāh Ta‘ālā, even if it is believed that this power was granted by Allāh, he has committed clear shirk and disbelief.[33]
  2. The person believes that this being’s soul is always present, knowing and hearing. The scholars have declared this belief to be kufr[34] because it is to make a claim about unseen realities without recourse to revelation or evidence, while only Allāh possesses independent knowledge of unseen.

Hence, it is necessary to avoid istighāthah of the prophets and saints who have passed away in the way that is common amongst the ignorant. However, Muslims who engage in this practice, if they do not clearly express beliefs of kufr like those mentioned above, they will be considered sinful Muslims and not true mushrikūn or disbelievers.[35]

Finally, it should be noted that istighāthah in the manner explained is not the same as the permissible form of “tawassul,” which is to ask from Allāh through the intermediary of a pious person. When performing tawassul, the request is not directed at creation but to Allāh Ta‘ālā,[36] while creation is used merely as a means to draw the mercy of Allāh Ta‘ālā and to make the du‘ā more readily accepted by Him. Since the intermediary is only taken as a means and is not the object of asking, no false impression will be created of it having independent agency. Nor is istighāthah as described above the same as “tabarruk,” which is to acquire blessings from the belongings or artefacts of a pious person. In tabarruk, the barakah is a result of the acceptance of the pious individual before Allāh. No incorrect beliefs are attached to, or implied by, this. The permissibility of tawassul and tabarruk is proven from clear evidences of Sharī‘ah and they have been approved by the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah, as distinguished from istighāthah of the dead.

And Allah Ta‘ālā Knows Best

Zameelur Rahman

Student Darul Iftaa
UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net

 


[1] ويملك كل شيء (العقيدة الطحاوية)

[2] قال تعالى ردا على المشركين: وَمَا لَهُ مِنْهُم مِّن ظَهِيرٍ وقال: ولم يكن له ولي من الذل، وقال الحافظ ابن كثير تحته: أي ليس بذليل فيحتاج أن يكون له ولي أو وزير أو مشير، بل هو تعالى شأنه خالق الأشياء  وحده لا شريك له، ومقدرها ومدبرها بمشيئته وحده لا شريك له (تفسير القرآن العظيم، دار ابن حزم، ص١١٤٣)

[3] لا شيء يعجزه…لا راد لقضاءه ولا معقب لحكمه ولا غالب لأمره (العقيدة الطحاوية)

[4] لا يكون إلا ما يريد…ما شاء لهم كان وما لم يشأ لم يكن…وكل شيء يجري بمشيئة الله تعالى وعلمه وقضائه وقدره، غلبت مشيئته المشيئات كلها وغلب قضاؤه الحيل كلها، يفعل ما يشاء (العقيدة الطحاوية)

لا محدث فى العالم العلوي والسفلي إلا وهو صادر عن علمه تعالى وقدرته وإرادته، هذا هو المعلوم من دين السلف الماضين والذي دلت عليه البراهين (المفهم لما أشكل من تلخيص كتاب مسلم للقرطبي، دار ابن كتير، ج١ ص١٣٢)

[5] ومعنى الوحدانية في أفعاله تعالى أنه ليس لغيره تأثير في شيء من الممكنات، ذواتا كانت أو صفات أو أفعالا، لا بالمشاركة ولا بالاستقلال، بل هو سبحانه المنفرد بالتأثير، أي: بإيجادها وإعدامها (الشذرات الذهبية للعلامة إبراهيم المارغني، ص٤٤)

قال العلامة الدردير المالكي: فالتأثر أي الإختراع والإيجاد للأشياء من العدم ليس أي لا يصح إلا للواحد القهار وحده جل وعلا. فلا تأثير لقدرتنا في شيء من أفعالنا الإختيارية كالحركات والسكنات والقيام والقعود ونحو ذلك بل جميع ذلك مخلوق له سبحنه وتعالى بلا واسطة…فأفعالنا الإختيارية فد تعلقت بها القدرتان، القدرة القديمة والقدرة الحادثة وليس للقدرة الحادثة تأثير وإنما لها مجرد مقارنة…فعلم أن هذا التعلق عبارة عن مقارنة القدرة الحادثة من غير تأثير وبحسبه تضاف الأفعال للعبد..وعلم أنه لا تأثير للأمور العادية فى الأمور التي اقترنت بها فلا تأثير للنار فى الإحراق وللطعام فى الشبع…بل التأثير في ذلك كله لله تعالى وحده بمحض اختياره عند وجود هذه الأشياء (شرح الخريدة البهية، دار البصائر، ص١٦٣)

[6] رياض الصالحين، مكتبة البشرى، ص٣٣

[7] وكان الغلام يبرئ الأكمه والأبرص ويداوى الناس من سائر الأدواء (صحيح مسلم، رياض صالحين، ص٣٣)

[8] قال الحافظ ابن كثير: الملك فى الحقيقة هو الله عز وجل، قال الله تعالى: هو الله الذي لا إله إلا هو الملك القدوس السلم، وفى الصحيحين عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه مرفوعا: أخنع اسم عند الله رجل تسمى بملك الأملاك ولا مالك إلا الله، وفيهما عنه عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: يقبض الله الأرض ويطوى السماء بيمينه ثم يقول أنا الملك أين ملوك الأرض؟ أين الجبارين؟ أين المتكبرون؟ وفى القرآن العظيم: لمن الملك اليوم، لله الواحد القهار، فأما تسمية غيره فى الدنيا بملك فعلى سبيل المجاز كما قال تعالى: إن الله قد بعث لكم طالوت ملكا (تفسير القرآن العظيم، دار ابن حزم، ص٧٠)

[9] قال ابن جرير تحت قول الله تعالى حكاية عن المشركين: أجعل الآلهة إلها واحدا، إن هذا لشيء عجاب: يقول: وقال هؤلاء الكافرون الذين قالوا: محمد ساحر كذاب: أجعل محمد المعبودات كلها معبودا واحدا؟ يسمع دعاء جميعنا ويعلم عبادة كل عابد عبده منا؟ إن هذا لشيء عجاب أي إن هذا لشيء عجيب! (تفسير الطبري، مكتبة هجر، ج٢٠ ص١٨)
قال ابن قيم الجوزية: إذا إنكروا البعث والجزاء فقد كفروا بربهم وأنكروا قدرته وربوبيته وحكمته (الداء والدواء، دار عالم الفوائد، ص٤٧٨)

[10]قال ابن كثير: يقول تعالى منكرا على المشركين في اتخاذهم الأنداد آلهة مع الله، يبتغون بذلك أن تنصرهم تلك الآلهة و ترزقهم و تقربهم إلى الله زلفى…(تفسير ابن كثير، ص١٥٧٧)

[11] قال تعالى: والمدبرات أمرا (سورة النازعات)، قال ابن كثير تحته: قال علي ومجاهد وعطاء وأبو صالح والحسن وقتادة والربيع بن أنس والسدي: هي الملائكة، زاد الحسن: تدبر الأمر من السماء إلى الأرض يعني بأمر ربها (تفسير ابن كثير، ص١٩٥٦)

قال تعال حاكيا عن عيسى عليه السلام: وأبرئ الأكمه والأبرص وأحيى الموتى بإذن الله[12]

قال ابن كثير: وأخبر أن الملائكة التي في السموات من المقربين و غيرهم، كلهم عبيد خاضعون لله، لا يشفعون عنده إلا بإذنه لمن ارتضى، و ليسوا عنده كالأمراء عند ملوكهم، يشفعون عندهم بغير إذنهم فيما أحبه الملوك و أبوه (تفسير ابن كثير، ص١٦١٤)

[13] قال تعالى: وما نرى معكم شفعاءكم الذين زعمتم أنهم فيكم شركاء

[14] قال مولانا ظفر أحمد العثماني نقلا عن ابن قيم الجوزية: ليس للعباد شفيع من دونه، بل إذا أراد الله سبحانه رحمة عبده أذن هو لمن شفع فيه كما قال تعالى: ما من شفيع إلا من بعد إذنه وقال: من ذا الذي يشفع عنده إلا بإذنه، فالشفاعة بإذنه ليست بشفاعة من دونه ولا الشافع شافع من دونه بل شفيع بإذنه، والفرق بين الشفيعين كالفرق بين الشريك والعبد المأمور، فالشفاعة التي أبطلها شفاعة الشريك فإنه لا شريك له…والفرق بينهما هو الفرق بين المخلوق والخالق والرب والعبد المالك والمملوك والغني والفقير والذي لا حاجة به إلى أحد والمحتاج من كل وجه إلى غيره، فالشفاعة عند المخلوقين هو شركاؤهم فإن قيام مصالحهم بهم وهو أعوانهم وأنصارهم الذين قيام الملوك والكبراء بهم…فلحاجتهم إليهم يحتاجون إلى قبول شفاعتهم (إمداد الفتاوى، ج١ ص١٢٩-٣٠)

[15]قال ابن كثير: يقول تعالى منكرا على المشركين في اتخاذهم الأنداد آلهة مع الله، يبتغون بذلك أن تنصرهم تلك الآلهة و ترزقهم و تقربهم إلى الله زلفى…(تفسير ابن كثير، ص١٥٧٧)

[16] للبسط راجع رسالة: نهاية الإدراك في أقسام الإشراك للعلامة ظفر أحمد العثماني (إمداد الأحكام، ج١ ص١١٩ – ١٣٢)

[17] التشبيه بالحرام حرام (العناية شرح الهداية، الأميرية، ج٢ ص٩٣)

[18] قال ابن حجر في بيان حكمة خفاء شجرة الحديبية على الصحابة: وبيان الحكمة في ذلك وهو أن لا يحصل بها افتتان لما وقع تحتها من الخير فلو بقيت لما أمن تعظيم بعض الجهال لها حتى ربما أفضى بهم إلى اعتقاد أن لها قوة نفع أو ضر كما نراه الآن مشاهدا فيما هو دونها وإلى ذلك أشار بن عمر بقوله كانت رحمة من الله أي كان خفاؤها عليهم بعد ذلك رحمة من الله تعالى (فتح الباري، دار السلام ج٦ ص١٤٣)

[19] استعينوا بالصبر والصلاة

[20] پس ايک صورت استمداد اور استعانت كى يہ ہوئى کہ غير خدا سے ايسے امور ميں استعانت چاہي جائے جو بظاهر عادة انسان كى قدرت مين ہے مگر اس كو محض آلہ اور ذريعہ اور سفير سمجها جائے، يہ صورت استمداد زندہ انسان سے بالاتفاق جائز ہے (الإرشاد في مسألة الإستمداد، مقالات عثماني، ج٢ ص٢٨٥)

[21] ونحن نريد أن ننبهك على أمور جعلها الله تعالى فى الشريعة المحمدية على صاحبها الصلوات التسليمات مظنات للشرك فنهى عنها…ومنها أنهم كانوا يستعينون بغير الله في حوائجهم من شفاء المريض وغناء الفقير…(حجة الله البالغة، دار الجيل، ج١ ص١٢٠)

[22] قال العلامة صنع الله الحلبي الحنفي المتوفى سنة ١١٢٠ ه: والإستغاثة تجوز فى الأسباب الظاهرة العادية من الأمور الحسية في قتال أو إدراك عدور أو سبع وحنوه كقولهم يا لزيد يا لقومي يا للمسليمين كما ذكروا ذلك في كتب النحو بحسب الأسباب الظاهرة بالفعل، أما الإستغاثة بالقوة والتأثير أو فى الأمور المعنوية من الشدائد…فمن خصائص الله (سيف الله على من كذب على أولياء الله، دار الكتاب والسنة، ص٥١)

[23] إنه على ظاهره حيث يحلفون معتقدين فيهم أنهم يضرونهم في أبدانهم وأموالهم (إمداد الأحكام ج١ ص١٢١ نقلا عن الفتاوى الكاملية عن حجة الله البالغة)

[24] فإن كان جرى على لسانه عادة من غير نية التعظيم فقد أشرك صورة (بذل المجهود، ج١٤ ص٢٢١)

[25] التأليفات الرشيدية، ص٨٨

[26] عن ابن عباس قال: جاء رجل إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فراجعه في بعض الكلام فقال: ما شاء الله وشئت فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: أجعلتني مع الله عدلا؟ لا بل ما شاء الله وحده (شرح مشكل الآثار، مؤسسة الرسالة ج١ ص ٢١٨)

[27] طلب الحاجة من أهل القبور بدعة لأنه قريب من الشرك (الفتاوى المحمودية، ج١ ص٣٥٢-٣)

[28] الإرشاد في مسألة الإستمداد، مقالات عثماني، ج٢ ص٢٨٥

[29] جامع العلوم والحكم، دار ابن كثير، ص٤٣٢

[30] مجمع الزوائد، دار الفكر، ٢٤٦

[31]  وفيه الحث على التنزيه من جميع ما يسمى سؤالا (فتح الملهم، ٦ ١٢٩)

[32] قال الشيخ محمد طاهر الفتني (ت: ٩٨٦ ه): من قصد بزيارة قبور الأنبياء والصلحاء أن يصلي عند قبورهم ويدعو عندها ويسألهم الحوائج وهذا لا يجوز عند أحد من المسلمين فإن العبادة وطلب الحوائج (أي فى الأمور الغيبية لا فى الأسباب العادية الظاهرة) حق الله وحده (مجمع بحار الأنوار، ج.٢ ص٧٣)

 

قال مفتي بغداد السيد محمود الآلوسي (ت. ١٢٧٠ ه): بقي هٰهنا أمران: الأول: إن التوسل بجاه غير النبـي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا بأس به أيضاً إن كان المتوسل بجاهه مما علم أن له جاهاً عند الله تعالى كالمقطوع بصلاحه وولايته، وأما من لا قطع في حقه بذلك فلا يتوسل بجاهه لما فيه من الحكم الضمني على الله تعالى بما لم يعلم تحققه منه عز شأنه، وفي ذلك جرأة عظيمة على الله تعالى، الثاني: إن الناس قد أكثروا من دعاء غير الله تعالى من الأولياء الأحياء منهم والأموات وغيرهم، مثل يا سيدي فلان أغثني، وليس ذلك من التوسل المباح في شيء، واللائق بحال المؤمن عدم التفوه بذلك وأن لا يحوم حول حماه، وقد عدّه أناس من العلماء شركاً وإن لا يكنه، فهو قريب منه ولا أرى أحداً ممن يقول ذلك إلا وهو يعتقد أن المدعو الحي الغائب أو الميت المغيب يعلم الغيب أو يسمع النداء ويقدر بالذات أو بالغير على جلب الخير ودفع الأذى وإلا لما دعاه ولا فتح فاه، وفي ذلكم بلاء من ربكم عظيم، فالحزم التجنب عن ذلك وعدم الطلب إلا من الله تعالى القوي الغني الفعال لما يريد ومن وقف على سر ما رواه الطبراني في «معجمه» من أنه كان في زمن النبـي صلى الله عليه وسلم منافق يؤذي المؤمنين فقال الصديق رضي / الله تعالى عنه: قوموا بنا نستغيث برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من هذا المنافق فجاءوا إليه، فقال: ” إنه لا يستغاث بـي إنما يستغاث بالله تعالى ” لم يشك في أن الاستغاثة بأصحاب القبور ـ الذين هم بين سعيد شغله نعيمه وتقلبه في الجنان عن الالتفات إلى ما في هذا العالم، وبين شقي ألهاه عذابه وحبسه في النيران عن إجابة مناديه والإصاخة إلى أهل ناديه ـ أمر يجب اجتنابه ولا يليق بأرباب العقول ارتكابه، ولا يغرنك أن المستغيث بمخلوق قد تقضى حاجته وتنجح طلبته فإن ذلك ابتلاء وفتنة منه عز وجل، وقد يتمثل الشيطان للمستغيث في صورة الذي استغاث به فيظن أن ذلك كرامة لمن استغاث به، هيهات هيهات إنما هو شيطان أضله وأغواه وزين له هواه، وذلك كما يتكلم الشيطان في الأصنام ليضل عبدتها الطغام، وبعض الجهلة يقول: إن ذلك من تطور روح المستغاث به، أو من ظهور ملك بصورته كرامة له ولقد ساء ما يحكمون، لأن التطور والظهور وإن كانا ممكنين لكن لا في مثل هذه الصورة وعند ارتكاب هذه الجريرة، نسأل الله تعالى بأسمائه أن يعصمنا من ذلك، ونتوسل بلطفه أن يسلك بنا وبكم أحسن المسالك. (تفسير الآلوسي، إدارة الطباعة المنيرية، ج.٦ ص.١٢٨)

[33] قال مولانا أشرف علي التهانوي: والتفصيل فى المسألة أن التوسل للمخلوق له تفاسير ثلاثة: الأول دعاؤه واستغاثته كديوان المشركين وهو حرام إجماعا. أما أنه شرك جلي أم لا فمعياره أنه اعتقد استقلاله بالتأثير فهو شرك كفري اعتقادا…معنى استقلاله أن الله قد فوض إليه الأمور بحيث لا يحتاج إلى إمضائها إلى مشيئته الجزئية وإن قدر على عزله عن هذا التفويض (بوادر النوادر، إدارة إسلاميات، ص.٧٠٦-٨)

[34] ويكفر بقوله: أرواح المشايخ حاضرة تعلم (مجمع الأنهر، دار إحياء التراث العربي، ج١ ص٦٩١)

[35] قال الشاه ولي الله الدهلوي: كل من ذهب إلى بلدة أجمير أو إلى قبر سالار مسعود أو ما ضاهاها لأجل حاجة يطلبها فإنه أثم إثما أكبر من القتل والزنا، ليس مثله إلا مثل من كان يعبد المصنوعات أو مثل من كان يدعو اللات والعزى، إلا أنا لا نصرح بالتكفير لعدم النص من الشارع في هذا الأمر المخصوس، كل من عين حيوان الميت وطلب منه الحوائج فإنه آثم قلبه (التفهيمات الإلهية، ج٢ ص٤٥)

[36] قال العلامة صنع الله الحلبي الحنفي: وما قيل من أنه يجوز الإستغاثة بالأنبياء والصالحين فإنما المراد به التبرك بذكرهم والتوسل بهم بلا إمداد منهم (سيف الله على من كذب على أولياء الله، ص٤٩ – ٥١)

Source: http://askimam.org/public/question_detail/30473

Brief Responses to Barelwī Allegations of Kufr Against Deobandī Elders

November 10, 2018

The Barelwī group is one of the largest Takfīrī-cults. Their leader and the one they regard to be “mujaddid”, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī (1856 – 1921), declared four imāms of Ahl al-Sunnah to be Kāfirs and Murtadds, namely:

  1. Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī (1829 – 1905)
  2. Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotwī (1833 – 1880)
  3. Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī (1852 – 1927)
  4. Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī (1863 – 1943)

These esteemed scholars belong to the Deobandī school. Barelwīs allege that they are “Wahhābīs”, yet these scholars profess the Ash‘arī and Māturīdī schools of ‘aqīdah and adhere strictly to the Ḥanafī madhhab. In some of their detailed works related to ‘aqīdah, e.g. Juhd al-Muqill of Shaykh al-Hind Mawlānā Maḥmūd Ḥasan Deobandī (1851 – 1920) and Ikfār al-Mulidīn of Mawlānā Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī (1875 – 1933), works of Sunnī Kalām – like Shar al-Mawāqif, Shar al-Maqāid, Shar al-‘Aqā’id al-Nasafiyyah etc. – are quoted extensively as authoritative references on ‘Aqīdah. The Deobandī scholars were also major exponents of Taṣawwuf. Thus, to allege that they are “Wahhābīs” could not be further from the truth.

However, the scholars of Deoband spoke strongly against innovated practices as well as exaggerated and misguided beliefs/practices directed towards the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and saints; hence, they were branded “Wahhābīs” by Barelwīs. Deobandīs, for example, spoke against the false belief that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was endowed with the knowledge of the Final Hour or was endowed with detailed knowledge about all creation – these are beliefs adhered to passionately by Barelwīs. Deobandīs also spoke against the popular practice of calling out to dead saints for help.

Based on such differences, Aḥmad Ridā Khān Barelwī and individuals who share his outlook had some antipathy towards the Deobandī elders. In the case of Aḥmad Ridā Khān Barelwī, however, this led to a campaign of mass-Takfīr: declaring the four abovementioned imāms to be Kāfirs along with anyone who does not recognise them to be Kāfir! He of course gave some “justifications” for his Takfīrs, but these are completely without merit or sound basis. Detailed responses have been given to the false allegations of Kufr made against the abovementioned imāms on this website and elsewhere. Since these false allegations are repeated till this day, the following provides a quick breakdown of the four allegations together with a brief response to each.

Allegation Against Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī

Allegation: Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī, in a fatwā, did not censure the view that lying has actually occurred in Allāh’s speech, and in fact lent support to it.

Response: Aḥmad Riḍā Khān states he has seen this alleged “fatwā” in the handwriting of Mawlānā Gangohī and with his seal. Moreover, he states that the fatwā along with its refutation has been published several times. The reality, however, is that this so-called “fatwā” was circulated only amongst detractors of Mawlānā Gangohī. It is not found in any of his published fatwās, nor is it recognised by any of his students. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 249, 259) In fact, in direct contradiction to this alleged “fatwā”, Mawlānā Gangohī explicitly said in his published Fatāwā that the one who believes an actual lie has occurred in Allāh’s speech, or that Allāh is characterised by “false speech”, is a Kāfir. (Ta’līfāt Rashīdiyyah, p. 96; al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 260)

Mawlānā Gangohī himself was unaware of this allegation until the last moments of his life. In the year 1905, Mawlānā Gangohī’s student Mawlānā Murtaḍā Ḥasan Chāndpūrī (1868 – 1951) became aware of this alleged “fatwā” and the claims being made. He immediately sent a copy to Mawlānā Gangohī and asked for clarification. Mawlānā Gangohī replied: “I had no knowledge of this. This allegation is…an error. Allāh forbid that I can say such!” Mawlānā Murtaḍā Ḥasan Chāndpūrī documents this in his Tazkiyat al-Khawāir which can be found in Majmū‘ah Rasā’il Chāndpūrī, 1:106.

But if for argument’s sake, the fatwā is assumed to be genuine, and really was authored by Mawlānā Gangohī, his explicit denial of it is in itself tawbah. It states in Khizānat al-Akmal (2:301), quoting from Imām Muḥammad: “When a man alleges another has spoken Kufr and he denies it, his denial of it is tawbah.” (وفي نوادر ابن سماعة عن محمد: إذا ادعى على رجل بالكفر وقال تلفظت بالكفر، وجحد ذلك فإنكاره توبة منه)

In short, the allegation against Mawlānā Gangohī is based on a fabricated fatwā that he himself denied, that is not known to his students and that contradicts his explicit fatwās.

[This issue should not be confused with an actual area of disagreement, namely the question over whether Allāh has the power to act against what He has foretold, or whether He has power to issue a statement that is false. The question over the power of Allāh is separate from the question over whether such things can actually occur. Deobandīs are clear that Allāh has power over these things but that they can never occur.]

Allegation Against Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotwī

Allegation: Mawlānā Qāsim Nānotwī, in his work Tadhīr al-Nās, denied the finality of prophethood and believed it was possible for another prophet to come after him.

Response: In Tadhīr al-Nās, Mawlānā Nānotwī did not deny the finality of prophethood. To the contrary, he explicitly states in several places of the work that chronologically, Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is the last and final prophet; no Prophet will come after him. However, Mawlānā Nānotwī offers a wider meaning to the title “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”. In his understanding, this title primarily refers to the exalted position of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), in that all characters and perfections of prophethood are sealed by, and culminate at, his prophethood. As he explains in the very same work, this meaning includes, either by extension or by implication, that he is the final prophet chronologically.

Thus, nowhere does Mawlānā Nānotwī deny that the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is the last prophet. Some scholars from the Barelwī group also admit this. For example, Pir Karam Shah Azhari (1918 – 1998) states: “I do not think it correct to say that Mawlānā Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) denied the belief in the finality of prophethood, because these passage (of Tahdhīr al-Nās), by way of their clear meaning of the text and their indication, show without doubt that Mawlānā Nānotwī (may Allah have mercy on him) had certainty that chronological finality of prophethood is from the necessities of religion, and he regarded its evidences as categorical and mutawātir. He has stated this matter explicitly, that the one who denies chronological finality of prophethood of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is a kāfir and outside the fold of Islam.” (Tahdhīr un-Nās Merī Nazar Meh, p. 58)

The passage of Tadhīr al-Nās he goes onto quote states: “Therefore, if [sealship] is absolute and general, then the establishment of chronological finality is obvious. Otherwise, accepting the necessity of chronological finality by implicative indication is immediately established. Here, the explicit statements of the Prophet, like: ‘You are to me at the level of Hārūn to Mūsā, but there is no prophet after me,’ or as he said, which apparently is derived from the phrase ‘Seal of the Prophets’ in the manner mentioned earlier, are sufficient in this subject, because it reaches the level of tawātur. Furthermore, consensus (ijma‘) has been reached on this. Although the aforementioned words were not transmitted by mutawātir chains, but despite this lack of tawātur in the words, there is tawātur in the meaning just like the tawātur of the number of rak’āt of the obligatory prayers, the witr prayer etc. Although the words of the narrations stating the number of rak’āt are not mutawātir, just as the one who denies that is a Kāfir, in the same way, the one who denies this is a Kāfir.” (Tahdhīr un-Nās, p. 56)

In short, while Mawlānā Nānotwī offers a less common interpretation of the term “Khātam al-Nabiyyīn”, his interpretation does not violate any established belief of Islām, least of all the chronological finality of the prophethood of Muḥammad and that prophethood terminated at him. Hence, this too is a false allegation.

Allegation Against Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī

Allegation: Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī, in Barāhīn Qāi‘ah, said (Allāh forbid!) that Shayṭān’s knowledge is superior to the Prophet’s.

Response: In Barāhīn Qāi‘ah, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī was responding to another work, Anwār Sai‘ah. The author of the latter work apparently argues that since the Shayṭān is known to have extensive knowledge of people’s actions and so on, such knowledge should not be denied for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) given his greater status. Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī responds that knowledge of such things cannot be determined for the Prophet based on analogies of this nature.

As can be seen, the discussion is about a specific type of knowledge. This is absolutely clear from the context and from explicit passages of Barāhīn Qāi‘ah. Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī is not stating in a general and absolute sense that Shayṭān possesses greater knowledge than the Prophet. But, in matters that are not the basis of excellence or virtue in knowledge, Shayṭān may possess knowledge of certain aspects of them that the Prophet did not. For example, Shayṭān may be aware that a certain person has robbed a bank including the means and techniques by which he accomplished this, while this knowledge was not given to the Prophet; this in no way means Shayṭān is superior in knowledge to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).

As he clarifies in a later work called al-Muhannad, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī states that excellence in knowledge is based on greater knowledge of Allāh, His Dīn and the outer and inner aspects of Sharī‘ah. No one equals the rank of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in such knowledge. In things that are, however, not the basis of virtue or excellence in knowledge, there is nothing surprising in another having some knowledge that is not possessed by the Prophet. Hence, al-Rāzī states: “It is possible that a non-prophet is higher than a prophet in sciences on which his prophethood does not depend.”

As can be seen, there is nothing blasphemous or insulting in Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī’s discussion.

Allegation Against Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī

Allegation: Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī, in his if al-Īmān, said (Allāh forbid!) that Zayd and ‘Amr, madmen and animals possess knowledge of the unseen equal to that of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Response: Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī was discussing the question of using the title “‘Ᾱlim al-Ghayb” (knower of the unseen) for the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). He firstly explains that this is a technical term in Sharī‘ah, which means a being that possesses knowledge of unseen realities without the need for any means or instrument. Such a characteristic is of course exclusive to Allāh, because everyone apart from Allāh acquires knowledge of unseen realities only via a means and instrument.

He then explains that “unseen” (ghayb) can refer to things that are hidden from the senses in a general sense, whether acquired by a means or not. But even with this interpretation, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) should not be called “‘Ᾱlim al-Ghayb”. He reasons that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) of course does not possess knowledge of all unseen realities, while the quality of possessing knowledge of some unseen realities is not exclusive to the Prophet. Possessing knowledge of some unseen realities is something found in Zayd and ‘Amr, madmen and animals, because they all possess knowledge of some things hidden to others – does this now mean that they are all to be called “‘Ᾱlim al-Ghayb”?!

As can be seen, Mawlānā Thānawī does not state that “Zayd and ‘Amr, madmen and animals possess knowledge of the unseen equal to that of the Prophet” as was alleged. Rather, he simply states that they possessed knowledge of some unseen realities; and thus the mere possession of knowledge of some unseen realities is not exclusive to the Prophet.

When Mawlānā Thānawī was asked about the passage of Ḥifẓ al-Īmān and if he had ever written that “madmen and animals possess knowledge of the unseen equal to that of the Prophet” he replied: “I did not write this revolting content in any book. Let alone writing it, this thought never crossed my heart. Nor is it the necessary conclusion of any passage of mine, as I will explain later. Since I understand this content to be revolting…how can it be my intent? That person who believes this, or without belief utters it explicitly or implicitly, I believe this person to be outside the fold of Islam because he has denied decisive texts and lessened the Revered Joy and Pride of the World, the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace.” (Bas al-Banān)

Conclusion

As any objective and neutral observer will conclude, the bases for Takfīr in all four cases are without merit and are completely unsound. Yet, Barelwīs made mass-Takfīr of Deobandis on such flimsy grounds, and continue to do so. And they exclude Deobandīs not just from the Ahl al-Sunnah but from Islām altogether. Such extremism is reminiscent of Wahhābī Takfīrism.

Writing about the Takfīrī attitude of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī, Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī (1879 – 1957) writes: “Thus, in reality he [on account of his Takfīrism] is a complete follower of his Najdī shaykh, and he himself and his followers are ‘Wahhābīs’… [Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī] and his followers are undoubtedly close imitators of Wahhābīs. Taking mental leaps from afar and employing contrived imagined interpretations, they strive and struggle to make others Kāfir. They spend their day and night thinking how to make the Muḥammadan Ummah more restricted and smaller. Can these people be lovers of the Messenger (upon him peace) or supporters of the Ummah? Never! Is it the work of the ‘Ulamā’ of the Ummah to make Muslims into Kāfirs by zealously misrepresenting the meanings [of their texts] and mutilating passages? – or is it rather the demand of prophetic inheritance and knowledge of Sharī‘ah to passionately bring disbelievers into Islām, Mushriks into Īmān and Munāfiqūn into certainty? Would the Messenger of Allāh (upon him peace) support their method? Is this what the noble imāms would teach? Was this the salient feature of the pious Salaf? It is very unfortunate that the fear of God has been lifted from their hearts. A divine seal and shadow has been cast over them.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 221-4)


Abaqat of Shah Isma’il Shahid – Arabic

October 16, 2018

Several posts were written previously refuting allegations against Shah Isma’il Shahid of having Wahhabi tendencies, as well as other allegations made against him.

See, for example:

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/shah-ismail-and-negating-direction-for-allah/

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

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/mawlana-madani-on-the-accusation-that-sayyid-a%E1%B8%A5mad-shahid-was-wahhabi/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%AE-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%87%D9%84%D9%88%D9%8A-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D9%88%D9%84-%D8%A8/

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

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

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

In the first of these refutations, a reference was made to the Urdu translation of Shah Isma’il’s work, ‘Abaqat, in which he negated the belief that Allah (SWT) has a direction. The original Arabic of Abaqat has now been made available on PDF:

https://ia801506.us.archive.org/34/items/Abaqaat-Arabic/Abaqaat-Arabic.pdf

The passages referred to in the post are found in this Arabic edition as follows:

ولا يشك عاقل من الملئين  وغيرهم في أن الوجود الإمكاني إذا قيس في جنب الوجود الواجبي يصير هباء منثورا إذ كل شيء هالك إلا وجهه، وإن الواجب يتصرف فى الممكن بمحض العلم والإرادة لا بالمباشرة والآلات، وإنه إن شاء أبطل جوهر العالم وأفناه إفناء مطلقا بحيث يصير معدوما مطلقا، وإنه لا يتصف بالنسبة إلى الممكنات  بكونه في جهة ما ولا بالقرب والبعد المكانيين ولا بالاتصال والانفصال، ولا يتصور بينهما مسافة لا متناهية ولا غير متناهية

“No sane person from the two groups or others will doubt that the possible existent when compared to the Necessary Existent is like scattered dust, since everything will perish besides His countenance; and that the Necessary Being intervenes in the possible existence by mere knowledge and will not by physical interaction and instruments; and that if He wanted He would eradicate the essence of the universe and make it disappear such that it becomes completely nonexistent; and that He is not characterised as being, in relation to possible existents, in a particular direction, nor as being distant or near in terms of place, nor as being physically joined or separated; nor is a distance between them, whether finite or infinite, conceivable.” (Abaqat, p. 35)

وبه ثبت للاهوت أنه موجود فى الخارج ليس في جهة ولا مكان ولا متصل ولا منفصل منزه عن تجدد الصفات كالعلم والإرادات دائم العناية والتأثير فى العالم

“Thus it is established that the Divine exists external [to the mind], not in a direction, nor place, nor physically joined or separated…” (Abaqat, p. 102)

In ‘Abaqat, Shah Isma’il mentions the Ash’aris and Maturidis as being from the Ahl al-Haqq (adherents of truth). He writes:

قد وقع بين كل فن تفرق واختلاف، وهو على نحوين، تفرق بين المبطلين والمحقين كالتفرق بين فقهاء الشيعة و أهل السنة والأشاعرة والمعتزلة  أو الوجودية الملاحدة والوجودية العرفاء أو بين من يستعين في مراقاباته بالخمور والمسكرات  وبين من يستعين فيها بالأذكار والصلاة أو بين من يعالج عجب القلب بترك شعائر الشرع وبين من يعالجه بملاحظة المعاصي أو القصور فى الطاعات وهكذا فقس، فالحكم في مثل هذا التفرق وجوب تصويب أحد الجانبين وتخطئة الآخر كذلك، وتفرق بين أهل الحق كالتفرق بين الأئمة الأربعة أو بين الأشعرية والماتريدية أو بين الوجودية الورائية والشهودية الظلية أو بين أهل الطرق، فالحكم فيه أن كل واحد منهم في أكثر المسائل على طريق حق، ولكل واحد هو موليها فاستبقوا الخيرات، فمن اتبع واحدا منهم فاز بالمقصود

“Divergence and disagreement has occurred in every field. It is of two kinds. One is divergence between those who are wrong and those who are right, like the divergence between jurists of the Shi’ah and of Ahl al-Sunnah; and between Ash’aris and Mu’tazila; or between the heretical Wujudis and the learned Wujudis, or between those who use wine and intoxicants in their meditations and those who use litanies and prayer, or between those who treat the vanity of the heart by abandoning the main features of Shari’ah and those who treat it by giving attention towards sins and falling short in good deeds – you can find similar examples. The rule on such divergence is the necessity of calling one group specifically correct and calling the other incorrect similarly. Another kind of divergence is amongst adherents of truth like the divergence between the four imams or between the Ash’aris and Maturidis or between the Wara’i Wujudis and the Zilli Shuhudis, or between the adherents of the different Tariqas. The rule on this is that each of them are on a right road in most issues, and each have a direction to which they turn, so compete with each other in virtues. Whoever follows any one of them will succeed in attaining the goal.” (Abaqat, p. 174)

Shah Isma’il also mentions that his main source of guidance is the teachings of his uncles (i.e. Shah Abdul Aziz, Shah Abdul Qadir and Shah Rafiuddin). (Abaqat, p. 3)

Given the above, and that Shah Isma’il was a Sufi-philosopher, and given his location and history, it is nonsensical to say Shah Isma’il was a “Wahhabi”. Yet, Barelwis continue to make this slander and false accusation because to them facts don’t matter as much as what the “grand-master” of takfir and deception, Ahmad Rida Khan, claimed.

It should be noted such slanders against Shah Isma’il predate the lying dajjal Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi. One such allegation was that the Arabic work of Shah Isma’il Shahid, Radd al-Ishrak, from which the Urdu Taqwiyat al-Iman derives, was a translation or summary of Kitab al-Tawhid of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. As Mawlana Nurul Hasan Rashidi shows in a detailed academic research on Radd al-Ishrak and Taqwiyat al-Iman, there are several genuine manuscripts of Radd al-Ishrak available, but in one fabricated copy a fabricator changed the contents of Radd al-Ishrak and reworded it to make it appear to be a summary of Kitab al-Tawhid of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Then based on this fabrication some claimed Shah Isma’il’s Radd al-Ishrak/Taqwiyat al-Iman are based on Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s Kitab al-Tawhid!

Note: A PDF of the genuine Radd al-Ishrak is available:

https://ia601606.us.archive.org/17/items/fresh_soul2030_yahoo_20170318/%D8%B1%D8%AF%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B4%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%83%20%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B3%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%84%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D9%87%D9%8A%D8%AF.pdf

Uthman Nabulusi, a student of Sa’id Fuda in Jordan and author of a work refuting mistaken Wahhabi conceptions on “Tawhid”, commented after reading Shah Isma’il’s introduction to the above work (Radd al-Ishrak):

هذه المقدمة لا غبار عليها، والفرق شاسع جدًأ بين كلامه وكلام محمد بن عبد الوهاب

“This introduction is completely unproblematic, and there is a massive difference between what he said and what Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab said.”

Shah Isma’il himself clarified that in some parts of Taqwiyat al-Iman he used the term “shirk” not literally (as Wahhabis did), but to refer to practices associated with shirk. This is discussed in an earlier post:

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%AE-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%87%D9%84%D9%88%D9%8A-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D9%88%D9%84-%D8%A8/


Response to Barelwi Allegations about Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi’s Interpretation of a Dream

September 25, 2017

Repeating an old Barelwi allegation, an individual writing online states the following:


DEOBANDI LEADER ASHRAF ALI THANWI ENDORSES KUFR KALIMA & DUROOD IN HIS NAME INSTEAD OF THE NAME OF THE PROPHET عليه الصلاة والسلام

A follower of Ashraf Ali Thanwi asked him:

“I fell asleep. After some time I have a dream that I am reading Kalima Shareef لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله but in the place of محمد رسول الله I am reading the name of Thanwi. Subsequently a thought occurred in my heart that I am mistaken in reading the Kalima Shareef. This should be read correctly. With this thought I read Kalima Shareef again. My heart is insisting that it is read correctly but my tongue is spontaneously saying Ashraf Ali instead of the name of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم…

I turn over to lie on my other side and to rectify the mistake in the Kalima Shareef I read Durood Shareef upon the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم but then I say, ‘أللهم صل على سيدنا ونبينا ومولانا أشرف على’ WHILST I AM AWAKE NOW. IT IS NOT A DREAM.”

In answer to this question Ashraf Ali Thanwi thus answered:

“There was satisfaction in this incident because the one you are turning towards is, by the help of Allah تعالى, a follower of Sunnah.”

[Risala Al-Imdad Safar 1336 Hijri, page 35 — This answer was dated 24th Shawwal 1335 Hijri]

We seek refuge in Allah تعالى from such Kufr Deobandi beliefs معاذ الله. May He protect our Iman from misguidance.


 

The individual is referring to a question and answer found in Mawlana Thanawi’s journal al-Imdad. The question was from a Mureed who relates that he was once visiting Rampur and ended up staying with a local talib al-ilm who it turned out was also a Mureed of Mawlana Thanawi. He also learned that this student would receive copies of Mawlana Thanawi’s monthly journals al-Imdad and Husn al-‘Aziz. Naturally, he requested to read these journals, and he exclaims that upon reading them, “the elation that they spurred is beyond description.” One afternoon, he was reading Husn al-‘Aziz and was overcome by sleep. He turned on his side to sleep but realising the journal was now to his back, he decided to put it near his head out of respect.

Then he explains:

“I then fell asleep. After some time, I see a dream, that I am reciting the Kalimah Shareef, la ilaha illAllahu Muhammadur rasulullah, but I am taking Huzoor’s [Hazrat Thanawi’s] name in place of ‘Muhammadur rasulullah.’ Subsequently, a thought came to my heart that you have made a mistake when reciting Kalimah Shareef, so it should be recited correctly. With this thought, I started reading Kalimah Shareef a second time. In my heart, I am to recite it correctly, but on the tongue, involuntarily, in place of the name of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), ‘Ashraf Ali’ emerges. Although I am aware that this is not correct, it emerged from my tongue involuntarily.

“Once this happened twice or thrice, I saw Huzoor [the Prophet] (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) appear before me, and there were other individuals next to Huzoor (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). However, I experienced a state in which because of being overcome by a brittleness [in my heart] I collapsed to the ground, and called out loudly, and I knew that I had no strength left inside me. Subsequently, I woke up, but my body was still numb just as I was (in the dream) and the effect of having no strength remained. However, while dreaming and awake, I was thinking of Huzoor (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). However, when the error of reciting the Kalimah Shareef came to mind while awake, I made the intention to remove this thought from the heart so that no such error occurs again. With this thought, I sat up, and then lying down on the other side, to rectify the mistake in [reciting] Kalimah Shareef, I began to recite Durood upon Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), but even then, I am saying: ‘Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina wa nabiyyina wa mawlana Ashraf Ali’, even though I am now awake, not dreaming. But I have no control, I am compelled/helpless, my tongue is not in my control…” (al-Imdad, Safar 1336, p. 35)

Note, the questioner himself very explicitly states about the first occasion in which he read the kalimah erroneously in a dream state: “Although I am aware that this is not correct, it emerged from my tongue involuntarily” and about the second occasion when he recited the durood incorrectly while awake: “I have no control, I am compelled/helpless, my tongue is not in my control” – both are passages which the above individual conveniently missed out from his translation.

True dreams are not always taken at face-value, but may have a hidden meaning or interpretation (ta’beer). So while the dream may appear to be evil, its hidden meaning may be positive. A good example is the dream of Imam Abu Hanifah in which he saw himself digging up the grave of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Naturally, he became frightened by what he saw, but when it was related to Ibn Sirin, he explained that the dream means that he will dig up the reports of Allah’s Messenger. (Tarikh Baghdad, 15:458-9)

Does Ibn Sirin’s interpretation mean he is endorsing digging up the grave of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) – na’udhu billah?! Of course not! But that is the logic of the above individual. Because Mawlana Thanawi gave a positive interpretation of the dream, the individual concludes he endorsed the actual contents/actions in the dream, which is of course absurd.

In a subsequent publication, when asked about his interpretation, Mawlana Thanawi explains that when someone has the strong feeling in a dream that he is seeing the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) but the appearance is of someone else, according to dream-interpreters (ahl ta’beer), this means the individual he saw is a follower of the Sunnah. Mawlana Thanawi states that the same interpretation can be made in this case, where in place of saying “Rasulullah”, another name is mentioned. He further states: “I don’t insist [on this interpretation]. If this dream was waswasa from shaytan, or caused by mental illness, and this is not its interpretation – that is also possible. However, to give a wrong interpretation is [merely] an error in one’s intuitive feeling (wijdan), for which no blame can be given.”

Moreover, although the words the individual mentioned are words of kufr (disbelief), his action was not an action of kufr. This is because a statement of kufr that is said involuntarily, when one has no control over what he says, is not taken into consideration. It is only when one says it deliberately and consciously that it will amount to kufr.

It states in Fatawa QadiKhan:

الخاطئ إذا جرى على لسانه كلمة الكفر خطأ بأن كان يريد أن يتكلم بما ليس بكفر فجرى على لسانه كلمة الكفر خطأ لم يكن ذلك كفرا عند الكل

When a statement of kufr occurs on the tongue by accident, in that one intended to say something that is not kufr but a statement of kufr occurred on his tongue by accident, that is not kufr according to everyone.” (Fatawa Qadi Khan, Fatawa Hindiyyah)

Notice, this is exactly what happened here. The Mureed in question knew the correct durood and had in mind that he will recite it correctly, but involuntarily recited something else. Hence, this is not kufr by consensus. He had no doubt that what he said was mistaken. Hence, there was of course no need for Mawlana Thanawi to point this out to him.

The individual who made the above allegation states: “Ashraf Ali Thanwi endorses kufr kalima” and he refers to “such Kufr Deobandi beliefs.” As explained, Mawlana Thanawi was not “endorsing” the “kufr kalima”, but merely gave a positive interpretation to the dream (which in no way entails taking the dream at face-value, let alone endorsing any statement said by accident in it!). Moreover, it is not clear what the “kufr Deobandi beliefs” are that emerges from this incident. Hence, this accusation appears to be another one of those shameless Barelwi lies.

Update: Mawlana Manzur Nu’mani wrote a detailed response to the above allegation (along similar lines to the above) as part of his 1930-work Sayf e Yamani, which was a refutation of a typical Barelwi work of propaganda and lies titled ‘Aqa’id e Wahhabiyya Deobandiyya. Mawlana Nu’mani contacted Mawlana Thanawi directly to ask his opinion particularly on the section of his book dealing with the dream. (Tahdith e Ni’mat, 143-146) Mawlana Thanawi approved of it (ibid.) and wrote an endorsement which can be found in the introduction to Sayf e Yamani. One can download the book from the following link and find the detailed discussion on the dream on pages 40 to 60:

https://archive.org/details/SafeYamaaani


Refuting the Allegation that Shah Isma’il said – Allah Forbid! – that to Think of the Prophet (SAW) in Salah is Worse than Thinking of Animals

March 10, 2017

The accusation was made by Ahmad Rida Khan in his al-Kawkabat al-Shihabiyya that Shah Isma’il said the thought (khayal) of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is worse in Salah than the thought of bulls and donkeys (quoted in Ibarat Akabir p. 87). And this is a common accusation still made by his followers. Mawlana Manzur Nu’mani (1905-1997), a student of ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri, wrote a book in defence of Shah Isma’il called Hazrat Shah Ismail Shaheed Aur Mu‘anidin Ahle Bid’at Ke Ilzamat (Shawwal 1376 H/1957 CE) in which he addressed many of the common accusations against Shah Isma’il. The book is available here:

https://ia800201.us.archive.org/31/items/ShaykhShahIsmailShaheedr.aAurAhleBiddatKeIlzamatByShaykhMuhammad/ShaykhShahIsmailShaheedr.aAurAhleBiddatKeIlzamatByShaykhMuhammadManzoorNomanir.a.pdf

The first accusation he addresses (on pp. 14-39) is the charge that he said in Sirat e Mustaqim: “thinking (khayal) of the Prophet in Salah is worse than thinking of bulls and donkeys.” In his lengthy response, Nu’mani quotes the Persian passage from Sirat e Mustaqim in full and gives a summary translation. He also makes some introductory comments about the background to the book Sirat e Mustaqim to show the level of dishonesty of Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi and his followers. I will summarise this section of his book in the following:

First, Mawlana Nu’mani writes, Sirat e Mustaqim is a collection of the utterances (malfuzat) of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid Berelwi, which were arranged by his disciples, Shah Isma’il and ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Burhanawi. Shah Isma’il arranged the first and fourth chapters, while ‘Abd al-Hayy arranged the second and third chapters. The passage in question is in the second chapter, so was not written or arranged by Shah Isma’il, hence the accusation is a lie from the very outset.

Second, the book deals with concepts of tasawwuf and uses Sufi terminologies (istilahat), in particular that of Shah Wali Allah. “Himmat” is one of those terms used in the section in question, and it means “emptying the heart of all thoughts and focusing on one object.” Mawlana Nu’mani quotes Shah Wali Allah from his Arabic al-Qawl al-Jamil: “”Himmah” is an expression about uniting the mind and strengthening resolve in the form of hope and desire, in such a way that no thought penetrates the heart besides this objective, like a thirsty person seeking water.” (al-himmatu ‘ibaratun ‘an ijtima‘ al-khatir wa ta’akkud al-‘azimati fi surat al-tamanni wa l-talab bihaythu la yakhturu fi l-qalbi khatirun siwa hadha al-murad ka talab al-‘atshan al-ma’). Shah Wali Allah in al-Qawl al-Jamil also describes another practice known as “Shughl Rabita” which is where the Himmah is focused on one’s shaykh or on Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), so all good and bad thoughts are removed from one’s heart (including the thought of Allah), and the shaykh or the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is kept in focus in order to gain spiritual benefit from him. A final stage of Himmah is known as Sarf Himmah or Shughl Barzakh in which a picture of the shaykh is formed in the mind and focused on. Those Sufis who allow this practice do not allow it in ritual acts like Salah.

Mawlana Nu’mani explains the gist of the passage from Sirat e Mustaqim: In salah such Shughl Rabitah or Shugl Barzakh (towards one’s shaykh or the Prophet) is worse than the thought of worldly matters entering the mind and then becoming engrossed in them, because the first is done intentionally whereas the second is unintentional, and the first is seen to be praiseworthy whereas the second is considered blameworthy by everyone, and the first is entertained whereas the second is removed once one comes to his senses. In short, he explains, such a practice in Salah is against the spirit of Salah which is conversing privately with Allah, and as expressed in hadith: “that you worship Allah as though you see Him.”

Along with quoting the Persian text, Mawlana Nu’mani offers a summary translation as follows (not an exact translation):

Sirat e Mustaqim: Chapter 2, Section 4, Second Counsel on those things which cause defects in worship and their treatment. There are three benefits in this counsel:

First benefit:

Both the soul (nafs) and Satan cause defects in Salah. The soul causes defects by encouraging laziness and seeking rest and comfort, so the worshipper seeks to complete the Salah quickly in order to rest or engage in some other activity that is more desirable to him. And the actions of Salah are performed in a way that is not prescribed (masnun) like a paralysed man with slack limbs, and the limbs are put in a way that is most comfortable because of a lack of care and attention. Similarly the soul brings about a lack of regulation in the internal senses so bad thoughts come to mind. In this way, the soul brings about external and internal defects in the Salah.

Satan causes defects by whispering (waswasa) to the worshipper. The worst form of whispering is that the worshipper thinks Salah is not an important activity, and such whispering can take one out of the fold of Islam into disbelief, as it results in degrading Salah and denial of an obligation in the religion. The lowest form of whispering is that it takes the worshipper away from conversing with Allah to some other thought, like it takes the mind of the worshipper to counting the number of rak’at and tasbihat so that no mistake comes in them; and the hafiz keeps thinking about the parts of the Qur’an that are similar to each other (mutashabihat). However, the one who concentrates on conversing with Allah, his rak’at and tasbihat are safe and he is safe from being confused in his recitation also; but Satan turns his attention elsewhere to cause some deficiency in the prayer. In sum, Satan tries to make the person a disbeliever, and when he fails in this, he tries to cause sin, and if this fails in this, then he turns his attention to the livestock one owns and all things besides Allah.

The students of knowledge should be warned not to think about grammatical (nahwi) rules related to what they recite, and this is worse than thought of livestock [as when the thought one is in Salah returns to one’s mind, he does not entertain anymore the latter thought, but he may the former]. If fuqaha were to extract rules in Salah, this would not cause perfection in it but deficiency. The people of kashf (i.e. Sufis) should not think that by performing Shughl Barzakh and thinking of meeting the angels and righteous that they reach the stage of “the believer’s ascension” (mi’raj al-mu’in) in Salah, rather this is one of the branches of shirk, though from the hidden (khafi) type or or more hidden (akhfa) type [of shirk].

[Mawlana Nu’mani notes here: This ruling is the same as what the scholars of tasawwuf said. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani said: “Shirk is not worship of idols alone. Rather it is also you following your passions, and that you prefer over your Lord something besides Him of the world and the otherworld and whatever is in them; for whatever is besides Him is other than Him; so whenever you incline towards other than Him you have associated another with Him.” (laysa al-shirku ‘ibadat al-asnam fahasab’ bal huwa mutaba‘atu al-hawa, wa an takhtara ‘ala rabbika shay’an siwah min al-dunya wa al-akhirati wa ma fihima; fa ma siwahu ghayruhu; fa idha rakanta ila ghayrihi ashrakta bihi ghayrahu) (Futuh al-Ghayb). It is in this respect, Sirat e Mustaqim calls Shughl Barzakh and thinking of meeting angels and the righteous in Salah, “shirk khafi.” Mawlana Nu’mani summarises the above discussion to say that it mentions five scenarios of whisperings that come in Salah:
1. Something that unintentionally comes to the mind that has no relation to the Salah itself.
2. Thinking of the number of rak’at, tasbihat and mutashabihat
3. Student of nahw thinking of nahw/sarf
4. Student of fiqh deriving rulings of Salah
5. Sufis doing shughl barzakh and thinking of meeting angels/righteous. Sirat e Mustaqim continues to say:]

It should be noted that this discussion is not about the scenario where upon concentrating fully on conversing with Allah in Salah, knowledge is uncontrollably and unintentionally unveiled in the heart and angels, the righteous and the saints, and prophets are seen, as this causes no defect in Salah, rather it is from the favours of Allah. Rather the discussion is about intentionally doing Shughl Barzakh – focusing on the shaykh – or thinking of meeting the angels and the righteous.

Asking about needs in Salah does not infringe on Salah, rather is also from its perfections. Yes, intentionally thinking about worldly needs is from the reprehensible whispers of Satan and is a deficiency in Salah. That which was narrated from ‘Umar that he would think about the army in Salah, this should not deceive you, because you cannot draw an analogy between yourself and the elite. Khidr killing an innocent child was a great act of reward, whereas anybody else doing this act is from the highest level of sin. ‘Umar reached such a rank that thinking about his army caused no defect in his Salah, because this thought would come in conversation with Allah when inspiration (ilhamat) from Allah would descend into his heart. Whereas the one who thinks about any religious or worldly things purposefully in Salah, this is completely in opposition to the spirit of Salah.

[Mawlana Nu’mani here gives the example of Zakariyya (peace be upon him) who in Salah spoke to an Angel giving him news of his son (Qur’an 3:39); and as this was unintentional and from the blessings of Allah, this caused no defect in it]

Based on the requirement of the verse “darknesses, one above another,” (24:40) we can discuss which whispers are worse than others. Whispers in Salah about intimate relations with one’s wife is better than whispers about adultery [as the first is a permissible activity and the second impermissible]; and to put Himma (focus) on one’s shaykh or any righteous people or the Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is worse than become engrossed (mustaghriq) in the thought of livestock (lit. bulls and donkeys); because in this there is veneration of the shaykh and the righteous and an attachment to them, whereas with bulls and donkeys there is no veneration and no attachment, rather the mind finds it offensive that they came into it. Such veneration will lead towards [hidden] shirk. The purpose of this discussion was to describe the levels of Satan’s whispering. People should not put in place of the presence of Allah [i.e. in Salah] anything besides Him.

The highlighted part shows that this passage from Sirat e Mustaqim does not absolutely consider mere “thought” about the prophets a deficiency in Salah, rather when in the correct form, it is from the blessings and perfections of Salah. The section in question from the last paragraph is targeted at the people of tasawwuf who may think performing the particular Sufi practices in Salah is a good thing, but it warns that it is in fact worse than thinking of worldly matters, as it leads to a form of veneration that is hidden shirk (this is also clear from the third paragraph above ). In context, therefore, the passage from Sirat Mustaqim is perfectly understandable, and far from disparaging the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Anyhow, the passage was not even written by Shah Isma’il, so the followers of Ahmad Rida Khan should no longer level this charge at him.


Mawlānā Madanī: Barelwī Takfīr Falls Back on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī and his Followers

February 27, 2017

Concluding al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, Mawlānā Madanī writes:

I feel, after this, it is necessary to submit this much:

From the above explanation it has become very clear that whatever “Dajjāl Barelwī” ascribed to those Elders is pure slander and fabrication. These Elders are completely pure and clean of these senseless things and filthy fancies. Only for the purpose of seeking fame, seeking dinar and dirham, and misguiding creation, “Mujaddid Barelwī” perpetrated this trickery and deception. This is why whatever commendations and endorsements there are from the ‘Ulamā’ of the two Ḥarams, they become as “scattered dust” (Qur’ān, 25:23), because they are all premised only on these respected ones having said these filthy things, and since they are pure of them, no mark can be made on their hem of purity. This is why many ‘Ulamā’ wrote in their statements that if these beliefs and opinions are those of these individuals, then [only] can the mentioned ruling apply, and otherwise it will not.

Indeed, all these commendations and statements will become a weight on the shoulders of “Mujaddid Barelwī”, and the burdens of all of them will be on his shoulders, because those helpless ones, the ‘Ulamā’ of the two Ḥarams, were unacquainted with the conditions of these Elders. “Mujaddid Barelwī” deceived them in making takfīr. Thus they will all take hold of his hem [at the Judgement].

In fact, based on a prophetic statement, the takfīr will fall back on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwī. It is found in a clear text and an authentic ḥadīth that one who does takfīr or curses anyone, it will certainly fall back on one of the two: if that individual is deserving [of takfīr or the curse], then on him, and if not, it will turn back on the speaker. Thus, since the respected Elders of Deoband and Sahāranpūr are innocent of this [takfīr], this is why all of these takfīrs and curses, turning back on Barelwī and his followers, will become a cause of punishment for them in their graves, and a cause of īmān coming out and certainty and conviction departing them at the time of death. Upon Judgement, these [takfīrs that turn back on them] will be a cause of the angels saying to Ḥuḍūr regarding all his followers: “You do not know what they did after you!” and, saying: “[Go] far away, far away!”, Rasūl Maqbūl (upon him peace) will push them away from the Fount from which drink is taken and from the Praiseworthy Intercession, [treating] them worse than dogs; and they will be denied the reward, positions and bliss of this blessed Ummah.

May Allāh blacken their faces in both worlds, and make their hearts heard, for they will not believe until they see a painful torment – āmīn, O master of all worlds. May Allāh (Exalted is He) bless the best of His creation, our leader and our master, Muḥammad, the seal of prophets, and the leader of messengers, and his progeny and all his companions.

The neediest of the students of knowledge of the pardon of His Independent Master, His slave, called Ḥusayn Aḥmad – may our Unique Master forgive him, his parents and his teachers – Ḥanafī in madhhab, Chishtī Ṣābirī Rashīdī in track, and Deobandī in residence and Ḥusaynī in lineage, wrote it with his hands and said it with his tongue. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 289-90)


Mawlānā Madanī: Barelwīs are Wahhābīs

February 20, 2017

Turning the tables on the Barelwīs, Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī in the following section of his al-Shihāb al-Thāqib (where he begins his lengthy discussion on the differences between the Wahhābīs and the Akābir of Deoband) shows that it is in fact Barelwīs who share with the Wahhābīs in their most characteristic feature: reckless takfīr. Mawlānā Madanī writes:

This is an enormous deception and trickery of “Dajjāl al-Mujaddidīn” and his followers, because of which [the usage of the name of] this group [i.e. “Wahhābīs”] has gained in popularity amongst the Arabs in particular and the Indians in general. By exploiting this name and deceiving the world, they acquire their [daily] bread. This is the foundation of all trickeries and the basis of all deceptions.

Friends! Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb al-Najdī emerged from Najd, Arabia, at the start of the thirteenth century. Since he held false ideas and corrupt beliefs, this is why he slaughtered and fought the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. He kept on imposing his ideas on them by force. He deemed their properties to be spoils [of war] and permissible [for the taking]. He considered their slaughter a cause of reward and mercy. He caused great distress to the people of the two Ḥarams in particular, and the people of Ḥijāz in general. He used words of great disrespect and impudence with respect to the pious Salaf and their followers. Many people had to leave Madīnah Munawwarah and Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah because of the severe hardships he [caused]. Thousands of people were martyred at his and his forces hands.

In short, he was an oppressor and rebel, a wicked blood lusting person. This is why the people of Arabia had and still have a particular hatred – from the heart – for him and his followers: such [hate] that they harbour for neither the Jews nor the Christians nor the Zoroastrians nor the Hindus. In brief, because of the aforementioned reasons, they have the highest degree of hostility towards this group, and undoubtedly, since he caused such hardships, so should it most certainly be. These people do not have as much anguish and hostility towards the Jews and Christians as they do towards the Wahhābīs.

Since the objective of “Mujaddid al-Muḍillīn” and his followers was to show before the eyes of the people of Arabia in particular and the people of India in general that they are their well-wishers while others their enemies and opponents of Religion, this is why they did not find any title better than this title.

Wherever any follower of Sharī‘ah and imitator of Sunnah was found, immediately he was branded “Wahhābī” so as to draw [people] away from him, and so that there is no effect to their interests and payoffs which are acquired through various forms of trickeries. [The attitude of such people is as follows:] “Friends, drink wine, shave your beards, devote yourselves to graves, take vows by other than Allāh, commit fornication, sodomy, leaving congregation, fasting and prayer, whatever you do, all of these are signs of being from the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah; and whoever acquires obedience of Sharī‘ah in form and practice, he becomes a Wahhābī.” It is famous that some Nawāb Ṣāḥib said to his companion, “I heard you have become Wahhābī.” He answered: “Ḥuḍūr, I shave my beard, how can I possibly be Wahhābī?! I am pure Sunnī.” See how the sign of being Sunnī has come to be to shave the beard.

For his particular agenda, “Dajjāl al-Mujaddidīn” has in this treatise called these Elders “Wahhābīs”, so that the people of Arabia upon seeing it will become agitated by anger and fury, and without asking anything, without contemplating, will give fatwās of takfīr. Further, he mentioned the term Wahhābī in various places using different expressions with filthy words.

[This is] all the while there is the difference between the sky and earth between the beliefs of the Wahhābīs and the beliefs and practices of those Elders, and in fact a greater difference than this! These revered ones are fully upon the beliefs of the pious Salaf. They strictly follow Imām A‘ẓam (Allāh’s mercy be upon him) and the way of the Ḥanafī jurists in every way, in knowledge and practice. They do not wish for even small variation. The sulūk of the seniors of the four Orders, in particular Chishtī Ṣābirī, is practised by them.

Now, I will briefly present several beliefs of the Wahhābīs and in contrast, the statements of these Elders, so that from this small sample it becomes clear to you the degree of the slander that is being made against these Elders, and what great injustice and slander “Barelwī Mujaddid” and his followers are perpetrating against the People of Truth.

It was Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb’s belief that all the people of the world and of all Muslim lands are idolatrous and disbelieving, and it is permissible, in fact obligatory, to slaughter and fight them and take their properties. Thus, Nawāb Ṣiddīq Ḥasan Khān has himself explicitly mentioned these two things [i.e. the permissibility of slaughtering and taking the property of Muslims] in his [Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb’s] biography. Ḥaḍrat, these two are undoubtedly matters of great severity. Now check whether this is found in the followers of these Elders or not? And if not, then who is truly the follower of Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb?

A discussion of the first matter is forthcoming. But, regarding the second matter, you yourself ponder over it. “Dajjāl al-Mujaddidīn” has done tafsīq and taḍlīl of all the people of Nadwah, at which time many ‘Ulamā’ were part [of it]. He has done taḍlīl, takfīr and tafsīq of all the ‘Ulāmā’ of Deoband, while the group of these revered ones has spread throughout the world. Generally, the ‘Ulamā’ and teachers and the religious men of virtue in the lands of India, Afghanistan etc. are these people and their students and followers. Thousands, in fact hundreds of thousands, of ‘Ulamā’ are from them, and are coming to be from them, and if Allāh, the Almighty, wishes, will continue to be from them till the Day of Judgement, despite the humiliation of the enviers. This “Mardūd” (rejected individual), like his Najdī shaykh, regards it to be prohibited to marry and sit with all these Elders. He regards it to be obligatory to hurt them, blemish their honour, and cause them personal and monetary damages. Thus, the start and end of his treatise is a good demonstration [of this]. Thus, in reality he is a complete follower of his Najdī shaykh, and he himself and his followers are “Wahhābīs”.

Now I will present some words briefly from the Elders of Religion, how carefully they operated in the matter of doing takfīr of Muslims and tafsīq of believers. Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Gangohī, Allāh sanctify his precious soul, says in Laṭā’if Rashīdiyyah (p. 31) under the commentary of the ḥadīth, “The last man to enter Paradise”: “…Thus, īmān has such position that no angel or messenger can fathom. With Allāh, it necessitates salvation and is highly regarded. Thus, no believer may be said to be definitely a person of Hellfire, and nor should īmān be looked at with scorn no matter how hidden [it is]. Because of this, the jurists of the Ummah have stated that if from a hundred possibilities, one possibility can be of īmān, takfīr may not be made of a believer. The number ‘hundred’ is not for specification (taḥdīd) but to express a large number (takthīr). If there is only one possibility from a thousand, even then takfīr cannot be done. Īmān has a very great stature, as it is affirming the oneness of Allāh (Exalted is He), the unique quality of Allāh (Exalted is He). Say: He is Allāh, the One. Then, one in whose nature the light of this special quality has entered, even if hidden to some degree, will he not be accepted and a person of Paradise? Entering the Fire is for his purification and rectification not for degradation and punishment. However it is apparently punishment, just like hitting an enemy and hitting a beloved child to discipline [him] are similar [in appearance], although there is a difference in the two…”

Ḥaḍrāt! Now ponder, Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Gangohī, Allāh sanctify his precious soul, how careful he and his followers were in takfīr and declaring others “mushriks” etc., and how diligent they were in following the pious Salaf, as distinguished from the Wahhābīs, who make everyone kāfir and mushrik at the slightest imagined doubts, and regard their properties and blood to be permissible. [Persian couplet]: Look at the difference in path, from where to where?!

However, “Mujaddid al-Dajjālīn” and his followers are undoubtedly step by step [followers] of Wahhābīs. Taking mental leaps from afar and contrived imagined interpretations, they strive and struggle to make [others] kāfir. They spend their day and night thinking how to make the Muḥammadan Ummah more restricted and smaller. Can these people be lovers of the Messenger (upon him peace) or supporters of the Ummah? Never! Is it the work of the ‘Ulamā’ of the Ummah to make Muslims into kāfirs by zealously misrepresenting the meanings [of texts] and mutilating passages? – or is it [rather] the demand of prophetic inheritance and knowledge of Sharī‘ah to passionately bring disbelievers into Islām, mushriks into Īmān and munāfiqūn into certainty? Would the Messenger of Allāh (upon him peace) support their method? Is this what the noble imāms would teach? Was this the salient feature of the pious Salaf? It is very unfortunate that the fear of God has been lifted from their hearts. A divine seal and shadow has been cast over their hearts. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 221-4)