Lies of Asrar Rashid

December 20, 2018

Ahmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī (1856 – 1921) and his successors, known as “Barelwis”, had/have a penchant for distorting texts/history to paint their opponents in a bad light, and even to make completely unjustified takfīr of them.

This tradition is upheld by English-speaking Barelwi preachers in the west. One such preacher is Asrar Rashid of Birmingham, UK. He has openly attacked Deobandis, a group of Sunnī Ḥanafī scholars who Barelwis treat as their greatest opponents. In doing so, Asrar Rashid has had to resort to distortions and falsifications just like his Barelwi predecessors. The following will document ten such lies/distortions that have surfaced from only a few of Asrar Rashid’s talks. If someone had the will and energy to scour through other talks of his, who knows how many more lies would be uncovered?

The following is a short summary of these ten lies:

  1. Asrar Rashid claimed that Basṭ al-Banān, Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī’s refutation of the false allegation made against him by Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī, was written after the latter’s death. This is categorically false. It was written in 1911, several years before his death.


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed the “Wahhābī scholar” al-Tuwayjirī authenticated a ḥadīth in Ṭabarānī mentioning that the world appeared to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) like the palm of one’s hand, and said it is ṣaḥīḥ. This is false – he did not say it is ṣaḥīḥ. The ḥadīth is in fact very weak.


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed Faḍl e Ḥaqq Khayrābādī was hanged. This is false. He died a natural death while imprisoned on the Andaman Islands.


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed that Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir – a work he does not like – misreports that Faḍl e Ḥaqq Khayrābādī only rebelled against the British because the British stopped paying him. This is false – nothing like this is found in Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir.


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed that Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī referred to Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb as a “reviver of Islām”. This is false. Mawlānā Gangohī never referred to Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb as a “reviver of Islām”.


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed that Taqwiyat al-Īmān was written in 1821. This is categorically false, since the earliest known manuscript of the work dates to 1818.


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed the British distributed an Urdu edition of Taqwiyat al-Īmān in India, claiming this is a “fact”. This is false and an unproven myth.


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd was said to have gone to Balakot (where he was martyred) to preach Tawḥīḍ or to fight the British. This is false. Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd went to Balakot as part of a contingent of Mujāhidīn to continue activities in establishing Islāmic governance and overthrowing a brutal Sikh regime.


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed that according to (the Ṣūfī tract) Ṣirāṭ e Mustaqīm to think “of the best of creation” invalidates the ṣalāh. This is false – Ṣirāṭ e Mustaqīm does not say anywhere that to think of the Beloved Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in ṣalāh invalidates it. (In fact, it states the opposite – that at times the thought of prophets can be from the blessings of ṣalāh).


  1. Asrar Rashid claimed that a passage of Barāhīn e Qāṭi‘ah states that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) being in the higher abode does not make him any better than Malak al-Mawt (the angel of death). This is a completely false reading of the passage in question. The passage in question actually states that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) is superior to Malak al-Mawt and is in the highest ‘Illiyyīn, but despite this one cannot claim he has equal knowledge to Malak al-Mawt in areas that the latter is known to have greater awareness (like the locations/times of death of people).

For documentation and details of these lies, visit:

When it is at the expense of opponents or in favour of their own misguidance, Barelwis like Asrar Rashid don’t appear to have any problem with outright lies.

Asrar Rashid had ample time to retract some of the above false claims. If an individual does not take back clear falsehoods and persists on them, he will be considered a “liar”. Ibn Ḥibbān said: “One whose error was explained to him and he comes to know of it, but does not take it back and persists on it, he is a liar.” So like others of his ilk, Asrar Rashid is a flagrant liar, and nothing he says should be trusted without proper verification.

Further Lies of Asrar Rashid al-Barelwi

December 16, 2018

Barelwism can be characterised (amongst other things) as a tradition bent on distorting texts and history to paint opponents in a bad light. Asrar Rashid is a contemporary Barelwi who upholds this distinctive Barelwi tradition. Under our previous post documenting some of Asrar Rashid’s lies*, a commenter posted a relatively old talk of his in which he regurgitates Barelwi “reasons” for making takfeer of the Deobandi Akabir. The talk is titled “Refutation of Nuh Keller’s ‘Iman, Kufr and Takfir’”. Since we are on the topic of Asrar Rashid’s lies, it would be fitting to list a few lies that have surfaced from this talk.

First Lie

Asrar Rashid claims:

With [Hifz al-Iman] is Bast al-Banan wa Taghyir al-Unwan which he wrote after to defend his statement, after he was taken to task by al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan. He wrote these works after al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan passed away.

He is claiming that Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi’s Bast al-Banan – which is a refutation of the false allegation made against him by Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi and of the false reading of a passage from Hifz al-Iman – was written after the death of Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi. This is false. Bast al-Banan was written in 1911, many years before the death of Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi. Bast al-Banan is dated Sha‘ban of 1329 AH (1911 CE) (Hifz al-Iman, Darul Kitab, p 32). Mawlana Sarfraz Khan Safdar (1914 – 2009) writes: “Hazrat Thanawi (Allah Most Exalted have mercy on him) published this lengthy answer with the title Bast al-Banan in Sha‘ban of 1329 which is appended to Hifz al-Iman itself. After the publication of this answer, Khan Sahib was alive for around 11 (lunar) years, but despite this clarification and explanation of Hazrat Thanawi Sahib, Khan Sahib did not part from his kufri determination…” (Ibarat e Akabir, p 191)

Bast al-Banan of course did not go unnoticed by Barelwis, hence some wrote “refutations”. One of these Barelwi refutations, Waq’at al-Sinan is clearly dated to 1330 AH – several years before the death of Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi. Asrar Rashid’s claim, therefore, that Bast al-Banan was written after the death of Ahmad Rida Khan is resoundingly false.

Second Lie

Referring to Sirat e Mustaqim, Asrar Rashid says:

Where the statement regarding the Muslim praying in his prayer and he thinks of a donkey his prayer is not invalid but if he thinks of the best of creation his prayer is invalid. Everyone has heard this statement. This is found in this book Sirat e Mustaqim.

This statement is not found in Sirat e Mustaqim. The discussion in Sirat e Mustaqim is not about the validity or invalidity of salah, but about certain distractions and preoccupations of the mind, and which are worse than which. Hence, Asrar Rashid’s claim that Sirat e Mustaqim states that the salah is invalid because of thinking of the best of creation is false and another lie. In fact, in one place of the discussion in question from Sirat e Mustaqim, it states that on some occasions the thought of prophets can be from the blessings of salah – almost exactly the opposite of what Asrar Rashid imputes.

A detailed discussion of the passage in question can be found here:

Third Lie

Discussing a sentence of Barahin e Qatiah of Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, Asrar Rashid says:

On page 52 he has worse statements where he says “a‘la ‘illiyyin mein ruh mubarak alayhissalam ki tashrif rakhna aur malak al-mawt se afzal hone ki wajh se hargiz sabit nehin hota”, that if you say the Messenger sallallahu alayhi wasallam went to the higher abode then this does not in any way make him any better than Malak al-Mawt.

This is a false reading of the passage from Barahin e Qatiah. Asrar Rashid is claiming that the sentence states the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is not proven to be greater than Malak al-Mawt (Angel of Death) on account of being “in the higher abode”. This is not at all what it says.

The actual passage says that on account of his blessed soul being in the ‘Illiyyin and on account of his superiority to Malak al-Mawt, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cannot be said to have knowledge of certain things (like the locations and times of death of people) that Malak al-Mawt possesses. As one can see, Asrar Rashid’s reading is completely false. He did not read the full Urdu sentence, and nor did he translate the sentence correctly. The full Urdu sentence reads:

“Pass a‘la ‘illiyyin mein ruh mubarak alayhissalam ki tashrif rakhna aur malak al-mawt se afzal hone ki wajh se har giz sabit nehin hota keh ilm aapka in umoor mein malak al-mawt ki barabar ho cheh jaikeh ziyadah.”

A translation of which is:

“Thus, due to the blessed soul, upon him peace, being in the Higher ‘Illiyyin and being superior to Malak al-Mawt, it is not established at all that his knowledge is equal in these matters (about the locations and times of death of people etc.) to that of Malak al-Mawt, let alone being greater.”

Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri is refuting the fallacious reasoning that just because someone is superior or more virtuous, he must therefore possess more knowledge than another in matters on which virtue does not depend (like the locations/times of death of people).

Thus, these are three further lies that have surfaced from an older talk of Asrar Rashid. These are only the clear lies and falsehoods. Otherwise, there are many problems and holes in Asrar Rashid’s arguments, but this is not the place to go into detail. Readers can find detailed responses to these old arguments on this website and elsewhere.


More Lies of Asrar Rashid al-Barelwi

December 4, 2018

Some lies of Asrar Rashid were documented in a detailed response to one of his talks:

These are “lies” because Asrar Rashid refuses to acknowledge or correct them. Two clear lies from the above response are noted here:

  1. His claim that Fadl e Haqq Khayrabadi was hanged
  2. His claim that Nuzhat al-Khawatir reports that Fadl e Haqq Khayrabadi only rebelled because the British stopped paying him

Both of these claims are completely false. Why does Asrar Rashid not retract? Is it because he is afraid of what it will do to his credibility? Is it because he is not interested in the truth when it does not serve the cause of his sectarian agenda? Whatever the case may be, he will justifiably be deemed a liar.

Recently Asrar Rashid was preaching Barelwism to a student from South Africa. Some more lies surfaced from this conversation. Two further lies will be documented here:

First Lie

Asrar Rashid said:

Rashid Ahmad Gangohi in his Fatawa, he says that Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was a reviver of Islam

He then repeats the claim:

Now if you went back to your teachers and you told them that I disagree with Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi saying Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab is a reviver of Islam

Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi never said Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab is a “reviver of Islam”. This is a clear falsehood and lie, and indeed a slander.

Yes, based on limited knowledge of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab and his movement, Mawlana Gangohi held a positive opinion of them – but never called Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab a “reviver of Islam”! These are the two complete statements found in his Fatawa:

People call Muhammad b. Abdul Wahhāb ‘Wahhābi’. He was a good person, and I have heard (sunā hey) that he follows the Hanbali School of thought and acts upon the Hadith. He used to prevent people from innovation and idolatry, but he was harsh in his attitude. (Fatawa Rashidiyyah, p. 292)


The followers of Muhammad b. Abdul Wahhāb are known as Wahhabis. They had good beliefs and their school of thought was Hanbali. They were very stringent in their attitude but he and his followers were good people. Yes, those who exceeded the limits were overcome by corruption. The belief of all is the same, and the difference they have in actions is like that of the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali schools of thought. (ibid.)

As can be seen, nowhere does Mawlana Gangohi refer to Ibn Abd al-Wahhab as a “reviver of Islam”.

Mawlana Gangohi’s major students like Allamah Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri and Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani all clearly spoke negatively of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Mawlana Madani even explained that the reason Mawlana Gangohi held a positive opinion of the movement is because of his lack of knowledge about it. For details, see:

Second Lie

Asrar Rashid says:

In a hadith in Tabarani the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: إن الله رفع لي الدنيا, that Allah subhanahu wa ta‘aalaa raised for me the world and I look at it like the way one of you looks at the palm of your hand. Yes, that’s a hadith in Tabarani. That hadith is authenticated even by Wahhabi scholars. You know there’s a Wahhabi called al-Tuwayjiri. Al-Tuwayjiri authenticates the hadith. He says it’s sahih.

Tuwayjiri has a work on the signs of the Final Hour. He refers to the hadith Asrar Rashid cites in 2 places of this work (Ithaf al-Jama‘ah bima ja’a fi l-Fitan wa l-Malahim wa Ashrat al-Sa‘ah, 1:6, 12). In neither place does he say the hadith is “sahih”. The hadith* is in fact da‘if jiddan (extremely weak) or mawdu (fabricated). It hinges on a Sa‘id ibn Sinan al-Shami, about whom Ibn Hajar concludes “discarded (matruk), al-Daraqutni and others accused him of forgery” (Tahrir al-Taqrib, 2:33). Hence, in his comment on the hadith, al-Haythami in his Majma’ al-Zawa’id refers to the “excessive weakness” of Sa‘id ibn Sinan.

The hadith is thus not sahih and nor did Tuwayjiri authenticate it. This is another of Asrar Rashid’s lies. If Asrar Rashid wants to know what Wahhabis say about the hadith, he can have a look at Albani’s comments in Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Da‘ifah where Albani describes the hadith as “da‘if jiddan”.

The above has referenced/detailed 4 lies of Asrar Rashid. Like his Barelwi comrade, Abu Hasan, it is fast becoming clear that Asrar Rashid is another fraud and liar.

Perhaps the biggest lie of all is Asrar Rashid’s claims of being “objective” in his judgement on Deobandi-Barelwi disputes.

Needless to say, people should be careful not to accept Asrar Rashid’s claims – they may turn out to be lies made in the service of advancing a Barelwi agenda.

* The full hadith in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir is as follows:

حدثنا بكر بن سهل، ثنا نعيم بن حماد المروزي، ثنا  بقية ، عن سعيد بن سنان ، ثنا أبو الزاهرية، عن كثير بن مرة، عن ابن عمر، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إن الله عز وجل قد رفع لي الدنيا، فأنا أنظر إليها وإلى ما هو كائن فيها إلى يوم القيامة، كأنما أنظر إلى كفي هذه؛ جليان من الله جلاه لنبيه كما جلاللنبيين من قبله»