Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah on the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam being a “Brother”

January 12, 2020

Some Barelwīs allege that Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī/Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī are guilty of blasphemy for describing the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah as a “brother” to people. For example, Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi wrote in 2010: “The blasphemous comments of the scholars of Deoband include…that the Prophet was a brother to people etc. (in…Baraheen Qaatiah)!”

The following is a translation of the complete section of Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah in reference so readers can assess whether this really is “blasphemy” (as Munawwar claims) or another example of the Barelwī passion to call out anything as “blasphemy” when it comes from their theological opponents.

When the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) forbade ṣawm wiṣāl (continuous fasting without ifṭār) and when some companions, in order to justify their violation of this prohibition, said that he (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) himself performs it, he replied: “Which of you is like me? I spend the night while my Rabb feeds me and gives me drink.” (Bukhārī) And in another version, he said: “I am not like any of you…” (Muslim)

‘Abd al-Samī‘ al-Rāmpūri used this narration in Anwār Sāṭi‘ah to criticise those who regard the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) as our “brother” (which is an indirect reference to Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd and his Taqwiyat al-Īmān, where he referred to all prophets and men of piety as “brothers” in humanity – as opposed to gods – while commenting on a ḥadīth in which the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam described himself as “your brother” – see for an explanation here).

In response, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī writes in Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah:

I say:

In the ḥadīth, “Which of you is like me?” the intent is likeness in proximity to Allāh Almighty, which is clearly indicated by the words he said after this: “My Rabb feeds me and gives me drink.” The same is the case with the verse: “You [O wives of the Prophet] are not like any of the women” (Qur’an 33:32), in which is intended negation of likeness in terms of the honour of being the wives [of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam] and the consequences of being the wives [of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam].

Not even the least Muslim will claim likeness with the Pride of the World (upon him blessings) in proximity to Allāh and his lofty perfections. However, all children of Ādam are equal to him in the very property of being human (nafs bashariyyat) as Allāh Himself states: “Say: I am but a man like you.” And after this, the qualification “revelation comes to me” (Qur’an 18:110), again establishes the position of proximity to Allāh after affirming likeness in being human.

Thus, if anybody says that he is a brother, in the sense of being from the descendants of Ādam, there is no contradiction with the texts, but it is perfectly in line with the texts [of Qur’ān and Ḥadīth]. The Pride of the World (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said: “I hoped to see my brothers.” (Muslim) Thus, he has affirmed brotherhood based on being from the children of Ādam and this basis is completely in line with Qur’ān and Ḥadīth, and attacking this is an attack on Qur’ān and Ḥadīth, and disagreeing with this is opposition to the clear texts [of Qur’ān and Ḥadīth]. Thus, the one who says he is a brother means it in the sense that he is from the children of Ādam, not because he believes in likeness in terms of proximity to Allāh! Thus, an attack on this stems from nothing but an opposition to the texts.

To take out his (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) person from being human – which is the noblest and most exalted of creation – and placing him in another species is pure disrespect and degradation of his lofty station. The author has not yet understood what the one who said this meant, and the author’s attack is [in reality] of the Qur’ān and Ḥadīth themselves. Nonetheless, this is surely him exposing his own lack of understanding. The verse, “You [O wives of the Prophet] are not like any of the women” is understood in the same way.

I say:

There is no doubt that brotherhood in the very property of being human, and equality in terms of being from the children of Ādam, has been established in the text of the Qur’ān; while, in the perfections of proximity, nobody has called him a brother or believes him to be equal [with others]. Thus, this objection is complete sophistry, against understanding and reason. (Barāhīn Qāṭi‘ah, p. 7)

Where is the blasphemy in this passage? In this passage, the author states no one is equal to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in proximity to Allāh and his lofty perfections. But in the very property of being human, he is equal to all human beings, as confirmed in Qur’ān and Ḥadīth, and in this sense he has been referred to as our brother (as found in some ḥadīths).

Nur and Bashar explained

February 2, 2016

A short talk by Mawlana Khalid Mahmood on the topic of Nur and Bashar. Remember that the Barelwis have nobody in the world, not even from the very sufi-inclined Arab scholars who claim that the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhi wa sallam) was a physical (hissi) nur, as stated explicitly by the Barelwi scholars such as Icharwi and others.

The fact that not a single scholar outside the barelwi realm (let alone the statements of the scholars of aqida) can be found who agrees with the Barelwis on this issue, which would make the whole world wahhabi.

Fatwas on Bashariyyah of the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

August 27, 2012

The fuqaha and the ‘ulama have clarified that believing in the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as a bashar is a necessary part of the religion. If anyone, let alone denying him as a bashar, express his ignorance about the matter, he will turn kafir because he did not learn a fundamental belief, as the reliable and authentic books of the Hanafi Fiqh state: “One who says that he does not know whether the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was a human being or a jinn, he will turn kafir.” (Fusul Imadiyyah, 1350, India; Fatawa Alamgiri, 2:291, Egypt)

This is because acceptance of his bashariyyat is a fundamental belief and this individual  is unaware of it.

‘Allamah Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Baqi al-Zurqani al-Maliki (d. 1122 AH) writes in Sharh al-Mawahib: “If you ask whether having knowledge of his being a bashar and an Arab is a precondition for belief (iman) to be valid or it is fardh kifayah (obligation if performed by some will be considered for all) on parents, for example, if one teaches it to his mature son, his other partner will not be questioned about.

Shaykh Wali al-Din Ahmad bin ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Iraqi al-Hafiz ibn al-Hafiz replied that it is precondition for iman to be valid. So, if a person says: I believe in Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) as Messenger to all creation, but I do not know whether he is from amongst the bashar or angels or jinn, or he says: I do not know whether he is an Arab or ‘Ajam (non-Arab), he will undoubtedly become a kafir as he rejects the Qur’an where Allah says: ‘He is the One who raised amidst the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves.’ (62:2) and ‘nor do I say to you that I am an angel’ 96:50). Such a person also belies what was received by the Muslims generation to generation and it is known fully to all the classes and masses. According to me, there is no difference of opinion in this matter. (Sharh Mawahib, 2:68, Egypt)

وقد سئل الشيخ ولي الدين العراقي هل العلم بكونه صلى الله عليه وسلم بشراً ومن العرب شرط في صحة الإيمان أو من فروض الكفاية؟ فأجاب بأنه شرط في صحة الإيمان، ثم قال: فلو قال شخص: أومن برسالة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى جميع الخلق لكن لا أدري هل هو من البشر أو من الملائكة أو من الجن، أو لا أدري هل هو من العرب أو العجم؟ فلا شك في كفره لتكذيبه القرآن وجحده ما تلقته قرون الإسلام خلفاً عن سلف وصار معلوماً بالضرورة عند الخاص والعام ـ ولا أعلم في ذلك خلافاً ـ فلو كان غبياً لا يعرف ذلك وجب تعليمه إياه فإن جحده بعد ذلك حكمنا بكفره انتهى

‘Allamah Sayyid Mahmud al-Alusi al-Hanafi (d. 1270 AH) writes: “Shaykh Wali al-Din al-Iraqi was asked whether having knowledge of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) being bashar and an Arab is a condition for iman to be valid or is it fardh kifayah? So, he replied that it is necessary for iman to be valid. He further said: if a person says: I believe in Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) as Messenger to all the creation, but I do not know whether he is from amongst the bashar or angels or jinn, or he says: I do not know whether he is an Arab or Ajam, then there will no de doubt in his kufr as he rejects the Qur’an and denies what was received by the Muslims generation after generation and was essentially known to all the classes and masses. According to me, there is no difference of opinion in this matter. If someone is ignorant and unaware of it, he should be informed of it, and if he denies it afterwards, we will declare him kafir.” (Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani, under vers 3:164, 4:101, Egypt)

(Taken from: Nur wa Bashar, ‘Allamah Sarfaraz Khan Safdar)

Sufis on the Bashariyyah of the Holy Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)

August 12, 2012

(1) ‘Allamah Busiri, the renowned Sufi, says in Qasidah Burdah: “Our utmost knowledge about him says that he is a bashar (human being). He is the most distinguished and the best, out of all of Creation.”

(2) Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyyi al-Din ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 638H) writes: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), in spite of being on the high post of risalah (messengership) and khilafah (vicegerency) always said that he is a human being (bashar) like others, so his high status did not prevent him to recognize his reality.” (Futuhat Makkiyah, 2:23, Egypt)

I.e. though Allah bestowed him the lofty status of risalah (messengership) and khilafah (vicegerency), but he did not hesitate to admit himself as human being in open and clear words, and he did not deny it.

(3) Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi Mujaddid Alf al-Thani (d. 1034H) states: “O brother, Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), in spite of his lofty status, was a bashar characterized with mortality and transience.” (Maktubat, Letter 73, First Vol., p.177)

I.e. neither he was qadim and wajib (immortal and infinite) nor eternal and perpetual, rather he was a mortal human being.

Mujaddid says at another place: “Do not you see that the prophets (may peace be upon them) are equal to other people in being bashar and all are equivalent as per their haqiqah and person (dhat). Yes, they are superior in status as per their perfect attributes. (Maktubat, First Vol, part 4, p.128)

At another place, he writes: “However, there is a status of prophethood which cannot be accessed by an angel. The status was obtained due to the element of soil, so this is characteristic to human being.” (Maktubat, First Vol. Part 4, p.123)

(Taken from Nur wa Bashar – ‘Allamah Sarfaraz Khan Safdar)

Our belief regarding the Holy Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)

August 8, 2012

Mawlana Muhammad Fayyaz Khan Sawati writes, “My respected uncle and teacher, Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah, Muhaddith A’zam of Pakistan, Researcher of his time, Imam of asma’ al-rijal, Shaykh al-Qur’an and Hadith, Mawlana ‘Allamah Muhammad Sarfaraz Khan Safdar writes in his book entitled Tanqid Matin pages 84 and 85:

“It is our belief and research that the leader of all messengers and Seal of the prophets, Sayyiduna Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is bashar as well as nur; as per his genus and person he is bashar, but as per his attribute and guidance he is nur. Due to him, the dark world experienced light, the darkness of kufr and shirk was dispersed and the surface of earth was lit with the rays of iman and tawhid. Those who were wandering in the darkness of carnal desires and lusts and were falling in the deep pits of disputes and contentions started marching ahead on the bright highway of peace and guidance. None of the Muslims can deny this reality. But, if he is considered nur in a sense that – Allah forbid – he is denied to be bashar and human being all together, then we will oppose it tooth and nail as it is against the nusus (sources of Islam).”

Letter of ‘Allamah Shah Isma’il to Mulla Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-Baghdadi

July 14, 2012

[Following is a translation of a letter of ‘Allamah Shah Isma’il Shahid to Mulla Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-Baghdadi. Mulla Baghdadi wrote a letter to ‘Allamah Shahid while he was in Kanpur asking for clarification on certain points. ‘Allamah Shahid sent his reply to Delhi. Mulla Baghdadi read out this letter to Mawlana Muhmmad Ya’qub Dahlawi [brother of ‘Allamah Muhaddith Shah Ishaq Dahlawi] because he lived at his madrassah. Some of those present in the gathering made a copy of this letter.]

Translated by Zameelur Rahman

[‘Allamah Shahid writes]

“We praise the One Who is in unique in [the quality of] beginninglessness, for all things that is besides Him was preceded by nonexistence. He has no partner in creation and administration. There is no volition for anyone in His dominion to [the extent of] a speck (naqir) and the membrane of a date stone (qitmir), so even the prophets do not intercede except after His permission. And there is no salvation for anyone except by His grace and His favor. And we send blessings on the best of creatures, the intercessor of nations, were it not for whom the world would not have been brought out of nonexistence, and the one who taught us the proofs of divine oneness and Islam, and brought us out of the darkness of idolatry and the worship of idols; and on his progeny, and his companions and on the one who helps his religion and loves him.

To proceed:

The person who ascended the stairways of Islam, the offspring of the beloved Jaylani Sayyid, Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-Baghdadi, the learned scholar, has [my] special greeting and salutation.

It is not hidden to you that when I saw the common Muslims of India were immersed – due to their ignorance – in idolatry and innovations (bid‘at), and they adhered to flimsy doubts, and they began to worship graves and their inhabitants, and asked their needs from them – the small of them and the big of them – I composed a treatise in refutation of associating [partners] with Allah, and I adduced 26 verses from the speech of Allah as proof, and I translated them into Hindi [Urdu], in order to make it easy for them to benefit [from it] and to uncover the veil from the ugliness of their supports and their proofs; thus, with praise to Allah, thousands of women and men were guided; and none hesitated therein except some obstinate ignoramuses. It has reached me that this treatise was read before you, and you said: “[This is all] true except making idols and all people and prophets equal in the chapter of createdness and non-volition, which although true and part of faith, it is a form of disrespect that must have support or proof, because an idol is impure so how can it be mentioned along with the master of the pure ones (Allah bless him and grant him peace)?”

I say, and accordance is from Allah:

This passage occurs in my treatise in refutation of the doubt of the commoners, since they say: “Seeking help and worship and prostration are only banned for idols, not the noble prophets and great saints,” so I said: “True seeking of help (al-isti‘anah al-haqiqiyyah) is not permissible according to the intellect except from the one who has volition in the administration of the cosmos, and it is established in decisive Qur’anic texts that there is no volition for other than Allah. So in this particular matter, I mean of deserving prostration and sending down rain and giving children, there is no preference of prophets and saints over idols and all people. As for the nearness of the Prophets in Allah’s presence (Exalted is He) and their perfections and virtues – to the pavilions of which other than them do not reach – [this is] accepted, and it is another matter which has no bearing on lordliness and divinity.”

It is extremely strange from your respected self that you conceded that this matter is true and part of faith, and then you said that it is disrespect. Would that I knew! When a matter is established from the proofs and included in faith, how can it be conceived that it is disrespect? So your speech indicates towards a combination of two opposites. And proof is sought for that which is established by proof, while this matter is established in general in the Qur’an, so what harm is there in elaborating the generality? Despite this, indeed Allah (Exalted is He) said to His Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the Qur’an: “Say: Verily, I am only a man like you; it is revealed to me that your God is only One God.” (Qur’an 18:110). And it is not hidden that those addressed by his saying: “Verily, I am only a man like you” were idolaters. Thus, [it may be asked:] why did Allah (Exalted is He) liken – in terms of humanity – His Prophet to the idolaters whose impurity is established in the Qur’an where Allah (Exalted is He) said: “Verily, the idolaters are only filth, so they must not come near the Sacred Mosque” (Qur’an 9:28)? While, idols, from the perspective that they are stones and inanimate objects, there is no impurity in them, for otherwise it would imply all stones are impure. The impurity in them is a result of the idolaters who fashioned them and assigned them as objects of worship. Thus, the idolaters are filthier than the idols. So, understand and deliberate! If it is said: “Although this matter is established, but what is the need to mention it?” I say: The need to mention it is to refute the commoners since they claim that the prophets and saints freely dispose (yata-sarrifun) in the world, doing whatever they wish.

[Having said] this, it has been proven to me that the Punjabi man is whispering to you, but dear shaykh, you are unaware of his condition, for indeed he is a man with a disordered intellect, defective senses, stupid, and ignorant, and claims for himself that he an experienced learned scholar, [yet he] does not know the right from left, since he is in reality a deputy of Dajjal; because sometimes he says I am slave (‘abd) of Mahbub Subhani and sometimes he says that ‘Abd al-Qadir is the Sustainer (al-raziq) – we seek protection from Allah from these heretical words which the ignorant do not allow let alone the scholars. Thus, it is asked from your esteemed presence to not assent to his speech regarding my affair because he is a deceptive man – may Allah guide him to the Straight Path, and keep us and you firm on His upright religion, and may Allah send blessing on our master and our leader and our intercessor, Muhammad, the Chosen One, and on his family, the suns of guidance, and his companions, the full-moon in the darkness.”

This letter was completed when I was residing in Kanpur in the year 1240 to Sayyid al-Baghdadi when the ignoramuses whispered to him. Then after reading this letter of mine, he came to me remorsefully, and he said: “I agreed with what was composed in your treatise, and what I said concerning you was due [only] to not grasping your speech, because your speech in your treatise was in Urdu, and I am an Arab, and do not understanding Urdu, and the Punjabi man had concocted [lies] against you and made many errors in translation, so do not be angry.”

(Taqwiyat al-Iman ma’ Tazkir al-Ikhwan, p.392-398)

Comparison with deceiving hunters

November 12, 2010

One of the other weird analogies made by Barelwis was regards to the Prophet (peace be upon him) being a human. Here again, some of the Barelwis claim the Prophet was a bashar [human] from the outward, and in essence a literal light. They forbid people to call the Prophet (Allah bles him and give him peace) a human being. Now to prove this belief, the Barelwis had to make faulty explanations regarding those verses and ahadith where the Prophet himself was quoted that he was a human being.

Thus, the false analogy was given with hunters who deceive animals with false voices in order to catch them.

It was stated in Ja al-Haq on p. 171 after quoting the verse “I am but a bashar” (18:110):

“In this verse the unbelievers are being addressed. Because each thing has a dislike for something coming from a different genus than themselves. It was accordingly said, “O unbelievers! Do not fear me [the Prophet]. I am from your genus, I am a Bashar. Hunters imitate the voices of their prey to catch them. The object behind the ayat is to make the Kuffar inclined [towards the Prophet]. If Deobandis are also amongst the unbelievers, then this statement may also apply to them.”

Ask yourself the question. How can a Nabi be compared with a hunter who tries to deceive the animal in order to catch it? The call of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) was free from such trickery!