Shāh Ismā‘īl and Negating Direction for Allah

December 1, 2016

Some Berelwis, in imitation of Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi, claim that Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd said that to believe Allāh is free from direction and place is bid‘ah (heresy/innovation). Ahmad Rida Khan made this claim in, for example, Qawāri‘ al-Qahhār, where he said Shāh Ismā‘īl wrote in his book Īḍāḥ al-Ḥaqq al-Ṣarīḥ that the belief in Allah’s transcendence from place and direction is innovation and heresy. Abu Hasan of Masabih Forum wrote in an ebook going by the name “The Preamble to Faith”: “Ismāýīl wrote that it is a heresy to believe that God is without a direction or that He is transcendent from space.”

Shāh Ismā‘īl, however, did not say this.

To understand the passage in question, it would help to clarify a few of the terms Shāh Ismā‘īl used. The book Īḍāḥ al-Ḥaqq al-Ṣarīḥ is on the subject of bid‘ah (innovation). He explains the term “bid‘ah” by reference to the ḥadīth, “Whoever innovates in this matter [i.e. religion] of ours what is not from it, it is rejected [i.e. as bid‘ah].” “Religious matters” in this context, he explains, as those things which the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) assigned ukhrawī (otherworldly) benefits to, as benefits of the afterlife can only be known through the medium of prophets. Such actions of ukhrawī benefit have particular specifications determined by the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) which he came to teach. To make new specifications or change those specifications established from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is what he explains as amounting to bid‘ah.

He assigns two categories to bid‘ah: bid‘ah ḥaqīqiyyah (real bid‘ah) and bid‘ah ḥukmiyyah/‘amaliyyah (effective or practical bid‘ah). The first is where a specified action is done with the belief that it is part of religion i.e. that the specification has ukhrawī benefit (or a specific action is omitted believing it has ukhrawi harm) when it is in fact not part of the religion i.e. it is not established from the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the general practice of the ṣaḥābah. The second (ḥukmī bid‘ah) is where an action is done without holding such a belief, but it is done in such a way that gives the appearance of it being done with the belief in its ukhrawī benefit. He gives the example of īṣāl al-thawāb to the dead, which is in principle permissible, but to specify the day of death and undergo immense difficulty in performing this act on the day of death, despite the many other duties on that day, gives the impression that this specification (i.e. of the day of death for īṣāl al-thawāb) is believed to be of benefit, and it is thus bid‘ah in effect or in practice (‘amali/ḥukmī bid‘ah), though not in reality (ḥaqīqī).

Now Shāh Ismā‘īl’s discussion in the section in question can be understood. A rough translation of this section – which is what Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi and his followers base the above allegation on – is as follows:

“On the explanation of those things which are included in real bid‘ah (ḥaqīqī bid‘ah). First Issue: It should be known that discussing the issue of waḥdat wujūd and shuhūd, and discussing the tanazzulāt khamsa, and discussing the ṣādir awwal and discussing tajaddud amthāl and kumūn and burūz; and likewise the (philosophical) discussions of taṣawwuf, and likewise the issue of the Almighty being abstract and simple in relation to one’s mind, meaning abstract from time, place, direction, māhiyyattarkib of the philosophical kind; and the discussion of attributes being part of Allāh’s essence or additional to the essence, interpreting the mutashābihat, and to affirm the vision of Allah without direction or opposition, and affirming atomistic philosophy while negating hylomorphism or vice versa; and to discuss the issue of qadr, and discussing the world as being emergent and existent by way of necessity, affirming the world as being pre-existent; and likewise engaging in studies of ‘Ilm al-Kalām, Ilāhiyyāt and philosophy; all of this is from the category of real bid‘ah (haqiqi bid’atif those upholding them regard, and have conviction in them, as established beliefs of the religion. And if they do not believe them to be from the beliefs of religion, still such theories and investigations are definitely included in effective innovations (ḥukmī bid’ahin this age. This is because to exert effort in order to understand the reality of these matters, and to assess them, and to include those who discuss these matters amongst the scholars of religion and lordly sages, and to praise them because of this just as truly religious perfections are praised, is not only rampant amongst the commoners but this type of talk is found amongst the elite also.” (Īḍāḥ al-Ḥaqq al-Ṣarīḥ, Urdu Tr, Qadimi Kutub Khanah, p. 77-8)

It is clear that in this entire passage Shāh Ismā‘īl is not discussing “beliefs” per se, but rather the act of studying these issues related to kalām, taṣawwuf and philosophy, while having the belief that these issues are established elements of Islam, which are sought after for their own sake. In effect, he is censuring the study of the peripheral and abstract issues of kalām, philosophy and taṣawwuf. If it is done with the belief that these peripheral matters are established issues of Islamic belief that are learnt for their own sake, this is real innovation, as it is specifying an act in religion that was not specified by the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). However if this is not the belief, then he says that in our time, this is effective innovation due to these elements being treated in such a way by the Muslims that gives the impression that they are as important to them as actual religious matters.

Shāh Ismā‘īl’s qualification “in this age” clearly indicates that he believed that these areas of study are not in and of themselves blameworthy. Only when they are done with the belief that they are intrinsic elements of Islam (in which case they will be ḥaqīqī bid’ah) or are treated in such a way (in which case they will be ḥukmi bid’ah), are they considered innovations. However, his explanation allows for these discussions in the correct context and with the correct belief and treatment. In fact, he himself discusses many of these issues in another work called al-‘Abaqāt. Under one of the discussions in the latter work, he clarifies that the reason for entering into these investigations is to stave off doubts produced by the misguided, although the default rule is that they should not be entered into. (al-‘Abaqāt, Urdu Translation*, p. 182-3).

And in fact, in the work al-‘Abaqāt, Shāh Ismā‘īl explicitly negates direction and place for the being of Allāh (ibid. p. 76, 211), which, for objective and fair-minded observers, should lay this allegation to rest – not forgetting, of course, that the allegation to begin with is baseless, as the passage from Īḍāḥ al-Ḥaqq al-Ṣarīḥ does not in any way imply that the belief in Allāh’s transcendence from direction and place is innovation.


Reply to Abu Hasan on Deobandi fatwa on Isbal

July 1, 2013

Reply to Abu Hasan on Deobandi fatwa on Isbal

Abu Hasan attacked the fatwa of a respected Deobandi Mufti ( here:

He says:

the “mufti” and his approver are both idiots. and his words reek of the stench of wahabism they drown in when nobody is looking.

I’m sure these cheap insults are consoling for him and his crew but for those who are after truth, his insults mean nothing. And the truth is there is no “wahhabism” in this fatwa, as it carefully describes where and how it is following principles of Hanafi fiqh. And it is Abu Hasan that is the idiot which has again and again been proved on this very site, and a few of his idiocies are described below.

In answer to the comment in the fatwa by the Deobandi scholar: “It is amazing to see that inspite of this hadith being quoted in five of the six authentic books, the Barelwis still opt to give a reference of a hadith from a Fiqh book,” Abu Hasan says:

so deobandi fatawa are only hadith citations? or do they doff the ‘hanafiyat’ when it is not conducive?

Which as usual is a complete distortion of what was being said. The Mufti in the fatwa merely explained that it is strange that in the Barelwi fatwa quoted in the question, the so-called (Barelwi) mufti giving the fatwa quotes a famous hadith (on not folding one’s garments) from a fiqh book. Of course you would quote fatwas and fiqh from fatwa and fiqh books, but the norm and convention is to quote hadith from reliable hadith-books, as fiqh/fatwa books are not reliable sources of hadith. This is the simple and straightforward point that was being made which Abu Hasan not only overlooked but twisted and distorted.

He then quotes some commentators of hadith to “prove” that having the garments below the ankles without pride is only makruh tanzihi, and not makruh tahrimi as stated by the Deobandi Mufti. From amongst these commentators, he quotes Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani; whereas the truth is that Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani in his lengthy explanation inclines to the view that it is makruh tahrimi (i.e. haram) when garments are deliberately below the ankles even without pride! Abu Hasan in fact does not give the full quotes of Ibn Hajar. For example in the explanation of a Bab title, Abu Hasan quotes Ibn Hajar as follows:

“on he who drags his garment but not out of pride. that is such a person is exempt from the dire warnings mentioned [for those who let flow their garments dragging behind them]”
However, Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani goes on to discuss that there is another condition: if it is done for an excuse (‘udhr), then there is no blame on the person. But if (without pride) one does it without an excuse, Ibn Hajar says there is detail to this issue, which he discusses later. And in his discussion, he explains that some are of the view that it is makruh tanzihi and others that it is makruh tahrimi; and he brings a number of proofs for the latter view. For example he shows that the prohibition was not restricted to the state of pride by the fact that Umm Salamah asked about the ruling for women after the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned this. If it was restricted to the condition of pride, Umm Salamah would not have asked this, as the lowering of the garments was only a manifestation of pride for men. Similarly, he quotes the hadiths which say that lowering the garments itself is “from pride” (من المخيلة) to show that this condition of pride is not to exclude those who do it without pride but to clarify that this act itself is a prideful act. For a long quote from Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani where he gives other reasons from hadiths why the prohibition is not restricted to the condition of pride, see here:
This view was not only elaborated by Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, but the Maliki imam, Ibn al-‘Arabi.
Abu Hasan paraphrases a recent Salafi commentator:

however safiyu’r RaHman mubarakpuri in his commentary of muslim says that there are three types who drag their clothes:

1. out of pride
2. unwittingly or unknowingly or for a necessity
3. not out of pride, and not of necessity, but deliberately.

according to the mubarakpuri mazkur, 1 and 3 are haram and 2 has no sin.

He does not realise however that these distinctions are found also in Ibn Hajar’s Fath al-Bari.

 He then says:
i don’t know which hadith these three categories are mentioned; if it is istinbat or derivation from hadith, or ‘understood’ from the hadith, why should you be forgiven for ‘interpretation’ and ulama are accused of rejecting hadith if they do the same?
Again Abu Hasan puts things in the mouth of the scholar . Which ‘ulama’ were accused of rejecting hadith if they do this istinbat based on the hadiths? In the entire fatwa no such accusation was made. In fact it was conceded in the fatwa that major ‘ulama of hadith and of fiqh held this view, that to let the garments go below the ankles is haram with pride and makruh tanzihi without. But all it argued was that based on a number of hadiths condemning the practice, the harshness and severity of the warning, the favoured interpretation of the Deobandi scholars that the prohibition is with and without pride, and the aspect of caution, it has been decided to give fatwa on the view of prohibition (makruh tahrimi) with or without pride; and there is no authoratative ruling in the madhhab contradicting this.
He then says:
regardless, qaDi iyaD, nawawi, ibn Hajar, sanusi, qastallani on one side – pretenders of the 15th century on other side. choose your pick.
Which as has been explained above is inaccurate. Ibn Hajar and Ibn al-‘Arabi held the view supported by the Deobandi mufti, and the Deobandi scholars take this opinion on the strength of its evidence and in accordance with the principles of Hanafi fiqh.
Finally, another of Abu Hasan’s idiocies:
 He says: “in ikmal [of ubayy d.828AH]” whereas the name of this author is “Ubbi” not “Ubayy”

Abu Hasan’s Distorted Translation of Qur’an Verses

June 14, 2013

Abu Hasan’s Distorted Translation of Qur’an Verses

We have by now seen numerous examples of Abu Hasan’s inept, and sometimes deceptive, translations of various Arabic passages. Here we will take a look at one of his terrible translations of a Qur’an verse.

Qur’an 25:23 says:

وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاء مَّنثُورًا

Which Abu Hasan translates as:

“And they sent forth to us from their deeds, [but] we made them useless, like spent wool.” page 2

This is Abu Hasan’s own concocted translation.

The first part of the sentence does not mean “they sent forth to us from their deeds.” The word “qaddama” means to send forth, but here the word “qaddama” is not used; instead the word “qadima” is used. Furthermore the subject of the word qadima is not “they” but is We i.e. Allah. “Qadima” means to go towards/approach/advance/proceed towards. So the first part of the sentence means: “We will proceed to what they did.” Which Abu Hasan translates as: “they sent forth to us from their deeds.” One can notice the clear difference in the meanings of the two.

The second part of the sentence says “We will make it haba’ manthur.” “Haba” refers to the dust particles that become visible when the rays of sun enter a room through a window; and “manthur” means scattered. So this part means: “We will make it scattered particles of dust.” Which Abu Hasan mistakenly translates as “spent wool.”

Abu Hasan therefore mistranslated both parts of this verse.

It is of course a far more heinous crime to interpret/translate the Qur’an based on one’s deficient understanding than it is any other text. The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever interprets the Qur’an with his own opinion, let him prepare his seat in the Fire.” (Tirmidhi)

This is not the first time Abu Hasan was informed of an error in his personal translation of a Qur’an verse, and was warned of the dangers of this. Several years ago, he was, after been corrected on a mistranslation, advised not to produce his own translation but to rely on already available ones; his response was to correct his mistaken translation and say: “the verse has been corrected as pointed out by the brother. may Allah ta’ala reward him amply for his naSihah.” Yet, many years later he adopts the same careless attitude of (mis)translating the words of Allah using his own manifestly deficient knowledge and understanding.

In the same “work” linked above he attacks a Deobandi scholar, saying: “It is incredible that a person who claims to believe in Judgement day – can slander and lie with such ease.” Is it not then incredible that someone who believes in Judgement day can be so careless when it comes to interpreting the words of Allah, even after having been previously warned?

Pir Mehr Ali Shah Never Called a Deobandi a Kaafir

November 2, 2012

As proclaimed by the Barelwi preacher Naseer ud Din Naseer citing the student of Pir Mehr Ali. He cites from Mufti Abdus Shakur Hazarwi from Wazirabad saying that his teacher Muhibbun Nabi, who was the student of murid of Pir Mehr Ali, said that he never called any Deobandi a Kaafir (5:00 minutes).

Pir Mehr Ali also immensely respected Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri in his meeting with him:

Green Turbans are an Innovation – Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Qadri al-Barelwi

October 7, 2012

It has become a symbol of the Barelwis, especially Barelwis associated with Dawate Islami, to wear green turbans. Whenever you visit them, they wear green turbans and even have green flags all over the place. Their founder, Ilyas Qadri, also does the same.

The fact remains that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) never wore a green turban. It is not proven in a single authentic hadith that the Prophet wore one. On the contrary, we have come to know that the army of Dajjal will wear green turbans!

Now we have a Barelwi scholar from their midst, stating that wearing the green turban is an innovation, especially how Barelwis from Dawate Islami have made this colour their mark.

The book of Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Qadri can be downloaded here:

The book was also linked here, on a youtube video made by a Barelwi highlighting the difference of opinion on this issue: U kunt het oorspronkelijk boek hier downloaden:

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:

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.

The Barelwi Sect

November 23, 2011

A new book has been put online by Mawlana Ilyas Ghuman, dealing with the Barlewi sect: Firqa Barelwiyat:

The book consists of 617 pages. It is divided in 10 chapters. The first chapter deals with the founder of the Barelwi sect: Ahmad Raza Khan and his so-called mastery of the Islamic sciences.  The second chapter (p. 210) mentions the specific beliefs of the Barelwi sect:  1. Knowledge of the Unseen 2. Present and Seeing 3. Mukhtar Kull 4. Nur and Bashar 5. Calling others than Allah for Help. Third chapter deals with the filthy and offensive beliefs of the Barelwis.  Chapter 4 deals with the teaching of the Barelwis and innovations such as building over graves, putting clothes on graves, kissing the thumbs, performing chaleeswa, performing dua after the funeral prayer etc. Chapter 5 deals with the shameless stories prevalent in the Barelwi literature. Chapter 6 deals with the Barelwi views surrounding the 2 holy places. Chapter 7 deals with Barelwism and their view of the movement for the creation of Pakistan. Chapter 8 deals with the takfir of Muslims by Barelwi scholars. Takfir of the scholars of Deoband, Nadwa, Khilafat movement etc. Chapter 9  deals with the views of scholars about Barelwism and mentions the quotes about Barelwis being in favour of the British. Chapter 10 states the list of those books written against the Barelwi sect. Books written by Ml. Chandpuri, Ml. Manzur Nu’mani, Ml. Sarfraz Khan, Ml. Khalid Mahmud, Ml. Muhammad Ramazan Nu’mani and others.