The Misguidance of the Barelwīs

March 14, 2015

by Mufti Zameelur Rahman
A time old Barelwī trick has been to mask its deviation from the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah by casting unfounded accusations against its adversaries. Those who show opposition to Barelwī beliefs are castigated as deviants, or worse, disbelievers and detractors of the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), with an attempt to create mistrust about their arguments against the ostensibly “Sunnī” beliefs it espouses.

Fortunately, the mask has slowly slipped away. The Barelwī allegations against its foremost rivals in India, the illustrious scholars and saints of Deoband, have been exposed as forgeries, slanders, deceptions and lies. The scholars of Deoband do not believe that prophethood may continue after the advent of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). They do not believe his (peace and blessing be upon him) blessed knowledge of unseen realities is equal to that of animals, madmen and children. They do not believe Satan has more expansive knowledge than the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). They do not believe Allāh has spoken lies or that it is permissible to believe this. We seek Allāh’s protection from all these heinous and blasphemous beliefs. The beliefs of the scholars of Deoband are expressed clearly in many books, most notably the brief collection of responses in al-Muhannad ‘ala l-Mufannad by ‘Allāmah Khalīl Ahmad Sahāranpūrī (1269 – 1346 H) in Arabic and the more lengthy ‘Aqā’id al-Islām by the muhaddith and mufassir, ‘Allāmah Idrīs al-Kandhlewī (1317 – 1394 H/1899 – 1974 CE), in Urdu.

The objective of this brief essay is to illustrate the misguided beliefs entrenched in the Barelwī ideology and movement. Their extremism in showing mock respect towards the personality of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) has led to clear opposition to the teachings of the Qur’ān and Sunnah and the beliefs espoused by the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah in general and the illustrious Māturīdī Hanafī theologians in particular.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

لا يستهوينكم الشيطان، أنا محمد بن عبد الله، عبد الله ورسوله، والله! ما أحب أن ترفعوني فوق منزلتي التي أنزلني الله

“Let not the Satan run with your desires. I am Muhammad, son of ‘Abdullāh, the slave of Allāh and His Messenger. I do not like that you raise me above the position Allāh has placed me.” (Musnad Ahmad, Mu’assasat al-Risālah, 20:23; with an authentic chain)

‘Allāmah ‘Abdul Hayy al-Laknawī writes: “Attributing a virtue or a rank to his purified essence, the existence of which is not established in the holy prophetic essence by verses or reliable hadīths, is also from the greatest of major sins. The preachers should, therefore, pay attention, and the story-tellers and the exhorting and reproving sermonisers should beware, since they attribute many things to the holy person, the existence of which has not been established therein, and they think that in this is great reward due to establishing a virtue for the holy essence and elevating its stature, yet they are unaware that the prophetic virtues established in the authentic hadīths dispose of the need for these flimsy falsehoods. By my life, his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) virtues are outside the limit of encompassment and enumeration, and his merits, by which he excels all creation, are very many without end, so what is the need to extol him using falsehoods? Rather, this is a cause for great sin and deviation from the Straight Path.” (al-Āthār al-Marfū‘ah, Dārul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, p. 36)

There are three beliefs in particular which we will highlight in this article:

1. Firstly, Barelwīs believe the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was given knowledge of the precise timing of the Final Hour

Ahmad Ridā Khān al-Barelwī, the founder of the Barelwī movement, said:

فثبت حصول العلم به قبل قيامها له صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم

“Thus, his (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) acquisition of knowledge of it [i.e. the exact timing of the Hour] before its commencement is established.” (Footnotes to al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah)

The followers of Ahmad Ridā Khān also upheld this belief. For example, respected Barelwī scholar, Ahmad Yār Khān (1314 – 1391 H), writes: “The Lord Almighty also gave this knowledge to the Prophet upon him peace.” (Jā’ al-Haqq, Maktabah Ghawsiyyah, 1:290)

This belief conflicts with many evidences of the Sharī‘ah from the Qur’ān and Sunnah. From the Qur’ān, one may study the authoritative commentaries of the following verses: 20:15*, 7:187, 67:25-6, 10:48-9, 17:51, 21:108-9, 72:25, 6:2, 27:65, 41:47, 43:85, 79:42-5, 6:59 and 31:34. The meanings of these verses and the statements of the major commentators regarding them are categorically clear: no one besides Allāh knows the exact time when the Hour will commence, and this will remain so right until the moment before the Final Hour.

* Imām al-Tabarī narrated with an authentic chain to Qatādah ibn Di‘āmah (60 – 118 H) that he said regarding this verse: “And by my life! Verily, Allāh has kept it hidden from the angels brought near and the prophets sent.” (Tafsīr al-Tabarī, Hajr, 16:35) Ibn Abī Hātim narrates from Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Suddī (d. 127) under the same verse: “There is no one in the heavens and the earth except Allāh has kept the knowledge of the Hour hidden from him. In the reading of Ibn Mas‘ūd [the verse reads as follows]: ‘I almost kept it hidden from My self.’ He is saying [in this verse]: ‘I conceal it from the creatures such that had I been able to conceal it from My self, I would have!’” (p. 2419) This interpretation of the verse – that Allāh “almost concealed the Hour from Himself”, expressing His intent to keep it hidden from His creation – is the dominant explanation given by the early commentators, which led Imām al-Tabarī to discount all other possible interpretations of the verse.

Some people have a misunderstanding that this is an insignificant or peripheral issue related to ‘aqīdah. In fact, it is a fundamental issue, in which holding the incorrect view may even amount to kufr as recorded from at least one of the earlier imāms of ‘aqīdah. The Barelwī opinion was espoused by some unknown figures from the early period and some people of knowledge from the later period like al-Sāwī al-Mālikī. However, it is a rejected view on account of its clear opposition to texts of the Sharī‘ah and the explicit statements of the ‘ulamā’.

From amongst Hanafi Māturīdī imāms, Imām Abū Mansūr al-Māturīdī himself in several places of his commentary of the Qur’ān explains that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) was not given knowledge of the Hour. He says, for example:

فجائز أن يقال: إنه يعلم بعض هذه الأشياء بأعلام…إلا الساعة فإنه لا يطلع عليها أحدا

“[He may reveal parts of the five things mentioned in 31:34] except for the Hour, because He does not disclose it to anyone.” (Ta’wīlāt Ahl al-Sunnah, Mu’assasat al-Risālah, 4:80)

Imām al-Tahāwī says in his famous text on ‘aqīdah:

“The basis of qadr is a secret of Allāh (Exalted is He) in His creation, which neither an angel brought close nor a prophet sent is made aware of.”

Qādi al-Qudāt Sirāj al-Dīn ‘Umar ibn Ishāq al-Ghaznawī (704 – 773 H), a great Hanafī jurist who spent most of his life in Egypt, said in the commentary of this statement: “The intellects of man come short of encompassing the reality of divine wisdoms, and the insights come short of comprehending the lordly secrets, so qadr is from the unseen, the knowledge of which Allāh has taken exclusive possession, and He made it a secret hidden from His creation, which does not become apparent to an angel brought near or a messenger sent.” (Sharh ‘Aqīdat al-Tahāwiyyah, p. 99)

Further, al-Tahāwī says: “For knowledge is two types: a knowledge available to creation and a knowledge unavailable to creation. Denial of available knowledge is disbelief and claiming unavailable knowledge is disbelief.” Ghaznawī comments: “Available knowledge in the universe and creation is knowledge established from obvious signs and manifest evidences like knowledge of the Creator…His purity from the attributes of imperfection…Thus, this knowledge is available to creation so its denial is disbelief. As for unavailable knowledge it is knowledge which Allāh has hidden from His creation like the knowledge of the unseen, the knowledge of which He has taken exclusive possession, like knowledge of [the reality of] qadā and qadr, and the [timing of] the commencement of the Hour, as He (Exalted is He) said: ‘Say: None in the heavens and the earth know the unseen besides Allāh.’ (27:65) And he (Exalted is He) said: ‘None reveals it at its time besides He.’ (7:187). Thus, claiming this knowledge and seeking it is also disbelief, because it is to claim equivalence with Allāh in that of which He has taken exclusive possession.” (p 100)

Hence, this eighth-century Māturīdī imām considers it an act of disbelief to claim that anyone was given knowledge of the precise timing of the Hour.

Muftī Abu l-Su‘ūd Muhammad ibn Muhammad (898 – 982 H), a great Ottoman Hanafī jurist, wrote in his famous commentary of the Qur’ān:

لإظهاره على بعض غيوبه المتعلقة برسالته، كما يعرب عنه بيان من ارتضى بالرسول، تعلقا تاما، إما لكونه من مبادئ رسالته بأن يكون معجزة دالة على صحتها وإما لكونه من أركانها وأحكامها كعامة التكاليف الشرعية التي أمر بها المكلفون وكيفيات أعمالهم وأجزيتها المترتبة عليها فى الآخرة وما تتوقف هي عليه من أحوال الآخرة التي من جملتها قيام الساعة والبعث وغير ذلك من الأمور الغيبية التي بيانها من وظائف الرسالة، وأما ما لا يتعلق بها على أحد الوجهين من الغيوب التي من جملتها وقت قيام الساعة فلا يظهر عليه أحدا أبدا على أن بيان وقته مخل بالحكمة التشريعية التي عليها يدور فلك الرسالة

“‘Except one He chooses from a rasūl’ (Qur’ān, 72:27), meaning: except a messenger He chooses, due to his disclosure to him of some unseen things connected to his risālah – as describing the one chosen as ‘rasūl’ clarifies – with a complete connection, either because of it being from the foundations of his risālah, in that it is a miracle proving its veracity, or because of it being from its pillars and laws, like the general obligations of Sharī‘ah with which accountable people have been ordered and the conditions of their actions and the rewards consequential upon them in the afterlife and what it depends on from the conditions of the afterlife, from amongst which is the commencement of the Hour and the resurrection and other than that from the unseen things, the explanation of which is from the duties of risālah. As for that [knowledge] which does not relate to it in either of the two ways from unseen things, from the totality of which is the timing of the commencement of the Hour, He will never disclose it to anyone, while an explanation of its timing infringes on the legislative wisdom around which the orbit of risālah revolves.” (Irshād al-‘Aql al-Salīm, Maktab al-Riyād, 5:409)

Ibn ‘Ābidīn al-Shāmī al-Hanafī al-Māturīdī quotes this passage approvingly. (Majmū‘at Rasā’il Ibn ‘Ābidīn, 2:3:313-4)

Mullā ‘Alī al-Qāri’ quotes the following statement of Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah approvingly:

وقد جاهر بالكذب بعض من يدعي في زماننا العلم…أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يعلم متى تقوم الساعة

“Some who claim knowledge in our time has openly announced a lie…that the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) had knowledge of when the Hour will commence.” (al-Mawdū‘āt al-Kubrā, p. 431)

Imām Kamāl al-Dīn Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Bayādī (1044 – 1097 H), a great Hanafī Māturīdī scholar from Bosnia, said after quoting the hadīth of Jibrīl:

فإن الأنبياء لا يعلمون من الغيب إلا ما علمهم الله تعالى ووقت الساعة ليس منه

“For verily the prophets do not know from the unseen except what Allāh (Exalted is He) has taught them and the timing of the Hour is not from it.” (Ishārāt al-Marām, Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, p. 50)

Hence, the Barelwīs who claim to be Sunnī Māturīdī Hanafīs must reassess their claim against the statements quoted above. If their claim is true, will they accept that the view of their imām, Ahmad Ridā Khān al-Barelwī, is incorrect? Or will they turn a blind eye to the documented and established position of the Māturīdī school in favour of this unacceptable view of Ahmad Ridā Khān?

2. Secondly, Barelwīs believe the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was given encompassing and detailed knowledge of all events in creation from the beginning of creation right until the Final Hour.

Ahmad Ridā Khān Barelwī says in al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah:

وأما نحن معاشر أهل الحق فقد علمنا – ولله الحمد – أن هذا الذي ذكرنا من تفاصيل كل ما كان من أول يوم وما يكون إلى آخر الأيام ليس بجنب علوم نبينا صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم إلا شيئا قليلا

“As for us, the assemblies of the adherents of truth, we know, with praise to Allāh, that that which we mentioned, of the details of all that was from the first day [of creation] and all that will be till the last day [before the Hour] is not but very little in relation to the knowledge of our Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace).” (al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah)

This is also in conflict with clear evidences of Sharī‘ah. The Qur’ān lists five things which are kept exclusively with Allah (31:34). The meaning of exclusivity with respect to these five things is that knowledge of them in their totality rests only with Allah, although He may disclose some specific aspects of them to others. According to the Barelwī belief, the Prophet (peace be upon him) possessed total knowledge of all five things: of rain; of what is in wombs; of where and when people will die; in full detail from the beginning of creation right until the Final Hour.

Mullā ‘Alī al-Qārī said: “The meaning is: none but Allāh knows the universals of each of them, while some of His chosen ones may be acquainted with some particulars from them.” And he said: “If you say: The prophets and saints gave information of many things from that so why is there a restriction? I say: The restriction is by consideration of their universals not their particulars.”

Imām Abū Mansūr al-Māturīdī said:

ويعلم ما فى الأرحام: من انتقال النطفة إلى العلقة وانتقال العلقة إلى المضغة وتحول ما فى الأرحام من حال إلى حال أخرى وقدر زيادة ما فيه في كل وقت وفي كل ساعة ونحو ذلك لا يعلمه إلا الله، وأما العلم بأن فيه ولدا وأنه ذكر أو أنثى فجائز أن يعلم ذلك غيره أيضا

“He knows what is in the wombs, in terms of shifting from a small drop to a blood clot and shifting from a blood clot to a lump of flesh and the transformation of what is in the wombs from one state to another state and the amount to which what is in it increases at every moment and in every period. The like of that is known to none but Allāh. As for the knowledge that there is a child in it and that it is a boy or a girl, it is possible that He gives knowledge of that to other than Him also.”

Hence, according to Imām al-Māturīdī, complete detailed knowledge of each of these five things is hidden from all besides Allāh, although certain particulars from them may be disclosed to some of creation.

The interpretation offered by Barelwīs that the restriction refers to “intrinsic knowledge” or knowledge that is not acquired through a means, so it is possible that complete knowledge of any one of these five things was acquired via revelation from Allāh, is invalidated by the narrations which clearly state that revealed knowledge is also negated.

Imām Ahmad narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

قد علم الله خيرا، وإن من العلم ما لا يعلمه إلا الله: الخمس

“Allāh has taught (me) well, but verily there is some knowledge which only Allāh knows: the five…”

Hāfiz Ibn Kathīr states its isnād is sahīh. (Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr, p. 1471)

Similarly, in a mutāwatir hadith narrated by over a dozen Sahābah through different chains of transmission, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained that some of the people who accompanied him in this world will be driven away from his hawd (fount); recognising them he will call out, “my companions”, “they are from me” and so on; but the angels and Allāh Himself will explain that they turned their back on the religion after his demise and he was not aware of this; consequently, he will say, as reported in some of these narrations: “I was a witness over them for as long as I was amongst them. When you caused me to die, You became the Watcher over them.” This has been narrated from the following Sahābah:

1. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ūd

2. ‘Ā’ishah

3. Umm Salamah

4. Asmā’ bint Abī Bakr

5. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbās

6. Sahl ibn Sa‘d

7. Anas ibn Mālik

8. Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamān

9. Abū Sa‘īd al-Khudrī

10. Abū Hurayrah

11. Abud Darda

12. Abū Bakrah

13. Umar

The narrations in Arabic with their references can be found in the endnote. [1]

Some may object that this conflicts with the hadīth stating that the deeds of the ummah are shown to the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, this refers only to the actions of his true ummah and community: the believers. It does not refer to disbelievers, heretics, hypocrites and renegades from the religion, as stated by Ibn al-Mulaqqin, Badr al-Dīn al-‘Aynī and others. Thus, Ibn al-Mulaqqin said:

فإن قلت: كيف خفي عليه حالهم مع إخباره بعرض أمته عليه؟ قلت: ليسوا من أمته كما قلنا وإنما يعرض عليه أعمال الموحدين لا المرتدين والمنافقين

“If you say: How was their condition hidden to him despite his report of [the actions of] his ummah being shown to him? I say: They are not from his ummah as we said. Only the actions of the monotheists will be shown to him, not the apostates and hypocrites.” (Tawdīh, 19:371)

And finally, this Barelwī belief entails the false belief discussed earlier that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has knowledge of the precise timing of the Final Hour, because if the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has full knowledge of all future events, including their timings and dates, he must be aware of the exact timing of the Final Hour.

This belief also conflicts with the Hanafī school. Imām Abu l-Qāsim al-Saffār (d. 336), a great early Hanafī faqīh, said it is disbelief for a person to make Allāh and His Messenger a witness over his marriage as it amounts to claiming the Prophet (peace be upon him) has knowledge of this particular marriage session and that is from the ghayb (i.e. something to which there is no proven means for his acquisition of it). This was transmitted from him by many of the authors of Hanafī fatāwā, e.g. al-Fatāwā al-Walwālijiyyah, Khulāsat al-Fatāwā, al-Muhīt al-Burhanī, al-Fatāwā al-Bazzāziyyah, al-Fatāwā al-Tatārkhāniyyah etc. However, it is reported from the author of al-Multaqat – probably Abu l-Qāsim al-Samarqandī, a Hanafī jurist of the sixth century – that he did not agree that this statement is disbelief on the grounds that some particular aspects of the future are disclosed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he is in the grave, and it is possible that this marriage session is amongst them. Hence, the author of Majma‘ al-Anhur states: “If one were to marry a woman with the testimony of Allāh, Exalted is He, and His Messenger, the marriage is invalid, and according to Abu l-Qāsim al-Saffār, it is pure disbelief because he believes that the Messenger of Allāh, upon him peace, knows the ghayb, and that is disbelief. In al-Tatārkhāniyyah [quoting from al-Multaqat], it states that it is not disbelief because some things are shown to his soul, upon him blessing and peace, so he is aware of some of the unseen.” It should be noted, however, that both these views contradict the claim that complete knowledge of future events until the Final Hour are disclosed to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Hence, this Barelwī belief, just like the previous belief, is also in opposition to the Hanafī Māturīdī school.

3. Thirdly, many Barelwīs believe the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was only a human being as far as the laws of the material world are concerned. However, with respect to his true reality, he is not a human being, but a physical light.

Ahmad Ridā Khān al-Barelwī alluded to this view in his translation of the Qur’ān where he translated the verse, “Say: I am but a man like you” as follows: “Say: I am like you in outward human appearance.”

Barelwī debater, ‘Umar Icharwī (1319 – 1391 H), explicitly says: “Thus it is established from this verse that the reality of the Chosen One (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) was not of human nature, but his reality was of light.” (Miqyās e Nūr, p 24) And he says: “The Chosen One (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) was really light, and the divine power sent him into the world through the intermediary of his mother and father by giving the light a human and celestial form. The Muhammadan reality of light overpowered his blessed body. Thus, from amongst the creatures made of light, angels were also of light. However, when Hazrat Jibril Amīn (upon him peace) appeared, dressed in a human body, his human body overpowered his celestial nature, such that in this specific bodily form he could not fly to the furthest lote tree, and in fact he could not go to the first heaven. But the true light of the Chosen One (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) overpowered his human body, which together with the bodily and celestial nature traversed all the heavens…” (26-7)

Ahmad Yār Khān states that the Prophet was only a man in terms of the laws of the world. His evidence is that humanity began with Ādam (peace be upon him), yet it is proven from hadīths that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was a prophet while Ādam was between spirit and body. Hence, according to him, his reality at that time was not a human being but another creation. He merely appeared in the form of a man in this ephemeral world. His reality, however, is neither that of a man, jinni or angel. Hence, he states, a person from the followers of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) may not refer to him as a man or a human being. It is necessary to avoid calling him a man because it is similar to how the non-Muslims referred to him. As far as the Qur’ānic command: “Say I am a man like you,” is concerned, he says this was permitted only for the Prophet, and was intended to attract the disbelievers to him, since a person is naturally averse to a being with a different nature. Hence, the statement “I am a man like you” can be likened to a hunter who imitates the voice of his prey so as to attract it to him and capture it! (Jā al-Haqq, p. 392-4)

This is a rejected and baseless opinion. It is also an extremely dangerous belief that may amount to denial of the reality of the Prophet’s humanity, which is disbelief. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), like all people, was created as a human being. Moreover, it is untrue that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) described himself as a “man like you” only to the disbelievers. Rather, he said this on many occasions to his own companions, the Sahābah, as recorded in a number of authentic hadīths. Hence, in his humanity, he is no different to other human beings. In his spirituality and his lofty position with Allāh, he is of course completely different from all other human beings. Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī al-Thānawī issued a fatwā of disbelief on one who believes that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a human being only in his outward form, but not in reality (Imdād al-Fatāwā, 5:234).


These misguided views, some of which border on disbelief, are not the only problematic opinions held by Barelwīs. The three views discussed above were presented as examples. Or else, there are other beliefs professed by Barelwīs which oppose the clear teachings of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah, like the belief that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has universal authority (mukhtār al-kull) and is able to accomplish anything in creation merely by his intent and will; the belief that the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) hearing while in his grave extends to all places, remote and near; and the belief that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is not in reality unlettered (ummī) but can in fact read and write.

Imām ‘Abdur Rahmān al-‘Awzā‘ī (may Allāh have mercy on him) is reported to have said: “Whoever adopts the isolated positions of the ‘ulamā’ leaves Islām.” The Barelwī methodology is one of adopting rare and at times, unfounded, positions in its beliefs about the being and attributes of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Hence, the Barelwī movement cannot be regarded as a branch of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. Rather, it is a deviant and misguided group, rivalling the Wahhābīs in its liberal and reckless attitude to takfīr, while basing its ideology on a belief-system centred around the personality of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) at odds with the established creed of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah.

[1]ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا سُفْيَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا المُغِيرَةُ بْنُ النُّعْمَانِ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: ” إِنَّكُمْ مَحْشُورُونَ حُفَاةً عُرَاةً غُرْلًا، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ: {كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُعِيدُهُ وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ} [الأنبياء: 104]، وَأَوَّلُ مَنْ يُكْسَى يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ إِبْرَاهِيمُ، وَإِنَّ أُنَاسًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِي يُؤْخَذُ بِهِمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ، فَأَقُولُ أَصْحَابِي أَصْحَابِي، فَيَقُولُ: إِنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَزَالُوا مُرْتَدِّينَ عَلَى أَعْقَابِهِمْ مُنْذُ فَارَقْتَهُمْ، فَأَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ العَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ “: {وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي} – إِلَى قَوْلِهِ – {العَزِيزُ الحَكِيمُ} – متفق عليه، واللفظ للبخاريعبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، وَأَبُو كُرَيْبٍ، وَابْنُ نُمَيْرٍ، قَالُوا: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ، عَنِ الْأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ شَقِيقٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” أَنَا فَرَطُكُمْ عَلَى الْحَوْضِ، وَلَأُنَازِعَنَّ أَقْوَامًا ثُمَّ لَأُغْلَبَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ، فَأَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَصْحَابِي، أَصْحَابِي، فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّكَ لَا تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ – متفق عليه، واللفظ لمسلم

أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه

حَدَّثَنَا مُسْلِمُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، حَدَّثَنَا وُهَيْبٌ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ العَزِيزِ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” لَيَرِدَنَّ عَلَيَّ نَاسٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِي الحَوْضَ، حَتَّى عَرَفْتُهُمْ اخْتُلِجُوا دُونِي، فَأَقُولُ: أَصْحَابِي، فَيَقُولُ: لاَ تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ – متفق عليه، واللفظ للبخاري

حذيفة بن اليمان رضي الله عنهما

وحَدَّثَنِي عَمْرُو بْنُ عَلِيٍّ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنِ المُغِيرَةِ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ أَبَا وَائِلٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” أَنَا فَرَطُكُمْ عَلَى الحَوْضِ، وَلَيُرْفَعَنَّ مَعِي رِجَالٌ مِنْكُمْ ثُمَّ لَيُخْتَلَجُنَّ دُونِي، فَأَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَصْحَابِي، فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّكَ لاَ تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ ” تَابَعَهُ عَاصِمٌ، عَنْ أَبِي وَائِلٍ، وَقَالَ حُصَيْنٌ: عَنْ أَبِي وَائِلٍ، عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – صحيح البخاري

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ الرَّقَّامُ، ثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ الْقُلُوسِيُّ، ثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ حَمَّادٍ، نَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنْ حُصَيْنٍ، عَنْ أَبِي وَائِلٍ، عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «لَيَرِدَنَّ عَلَى الْحَوْضِ أَقْوَامٌ، فَأَعْرِفُهُمْ، فَيَخْتَلِجُوا دُونِي، فَأَقُولُ: مِنِّي، فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّكَ لَا تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ – المعجم الأوسط

سهل بن سعد رضي الله عنه

حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي مَرْيَمَ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مُطَرِّفٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو حَازِمٍ، عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنِّي فَرَطُكُمْ عَلَى الحَوْضِ، مَنْ مَرَّ عَلَيَّ شَرِبَ، وَمَنْ شَرِبَ لَمْ يَظْمَأْ أَبَدًا، لَيَرِدَنَّ عَلَيَّ أَقْوَامٌ أَعْرِفُهُمْ وَيَعْرِفُونِي، ثُمَّ يُحَالُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ» قَالَ أَبُو حَازِمٍ: فَسَمِعَنِي النُّعْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي عَيَّاشٍ، فَقَالَ: هَكَذَا سَمِعْتَ مِنْ سَهْلٍ؟ فَقُلْتُ: نَعَمْ، فَقَالَ: أَشْهَدُ عَلَى أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخُدْرِيِّ، لَسَمِعْتُهُ وَهُوَ يَزِيدُ فِيهَا: ” فَأَقُولُ إِنَّهُمْ مِنِّي، فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّكَ لاَ تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، فَأَقُولُ: سُحْقًا سُحْقًا لِمَنْ غَيَّرَ بَعْدِي – متفق عليه، واللفظ للبخاري

أبو هريرة رضي الله عنه


وَقَالَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ شَبِيبِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ الحَبَطِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، عَنْ يُونُسَ، عَنْ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ المُسَيِّبِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ: أَنَّهُ كَانَ يُحَدِّثُ: أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” يَرِدُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ رَهْطٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِي، فَيُحَلَّئُونَ عَنِ الحَوْضِ، فَأَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَصْحَابِي، فَيَقُولُ: إِنَّكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَكَ بِمَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، إِنَّهُمُ ارْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَارِهِمْ القَهْقَرَى – متفق عليه، واللفظ للبخاري

أبو سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه

حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي مَرْيَمَ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مُطَرِّفٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو حَازِمٍ، عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنِّي فَرَطُكُمْ عَلَى الحَوْضِ، مَنْ مَرَّ عَلَيَّ شَرِبَ، وَمَنْ شَرِبَ لَمْ يَظْمَأْ أَبَدًا، لَيَرِدَنَّ عَلَيَّ أَقْوَامٌ أَعْرِفُهُمْ وَيَعْرِفُونِي، ثُمَّ يُحَالُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ» قَالَ أَبُو حَازِمٍ: فَسَمِعَنِي النُّعْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي عَيَّاشٍ، فَقَالَ: هَكَذَا سَمِعْتَ مِنْ سَهْلٍ؟ فَقُلْتُ: نَعَمْ، فَقَالَ: أَشْهَدُ عَلَى أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخُدْرِيِّ، لَسَمِعْتُهُ وَهُوَ يَزِيدُ فِيهَا: ” فَأَقُولُ إِنَّهُمْ مِنِّي، فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّكَ لاَ تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، فَأَقُولُ: سُحْقًا سُحْقًا لِمَنْ غَيَّرَ بَعْدِي – صحيح البخاري

عائشة رضي الله عنها

وَحَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي عُمَرَ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سُلَيْمٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ خُثَيْمٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ اللهِ بْنِ أَبِي مُلَيْكَةَ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ عَائِشَةَ، تَقُولُ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: وَهُوَ بَيْنَ ظَهْرَانَيْ أَصْحَابِهِ ” إِنِّي عَلَى الْحَوْضِ أَنْتَظِرُ مَنْ يَرِدُ عَلَيَّ مِنْكُمْ، فَوَاللهِ لَيُقْتَطَعَنَّ دُونِي رِجَالٌ، فَلَأَقُولَنَّ: أَيْ رَبِّ مِنِّي وَمِنْ أُمَّتِي، فَيَقُولُ: «إِنَّكَ لَا تَدْرِي مَا عَمِلُوا بَعْدَكَ، مَا زَالُوا يَرْجِعُونَ عَلَى أَعْقَابِهِمْ» – صحيح مسلم

أم سلمة رضي الله عنها

وحَدَّثَنِي يُونُسُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْأَعْلَى الصَّدَفِيُّ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ وَهْبٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي عَمْرٌو وَهُوَ ابْنُ الْحَارِثِ أَنَّ بُكَيْرًا، حَدَّثَهُ عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ عَبَّاسٍ الْهَاشِمِيِّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ رَافِعٍ، مَوْلَى أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ: كُنْتُ أَسْمَعُ النَّاسَ يَذْكُرُونَ الْحَوْضَ، وَلَمْ أَسْمَعْ ذَلِكَ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَلَمَّا كَانَ يَوْمًا مِنْ ذَلِكَ، وَالْجَارِيَةُ تَمْشُطُنِي، فَسَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: «أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ» فَقُلْتُ لِلْجَارِيَةِ: اسْتَأْخِرِي عَنِّي، قَالَتْ: إِنَّمَا دَعَا الرِّجَالَ وَلَمْ يَدْعُ النِّسَاءَ، فَقُلْتُ: إِنِّي مِنَ النَّاسِ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” إِنِّي لَكُمْ فَرَطٌ عَلَى الْحَوْضِ، فَإِيَّايَ لَا يَأْتِيَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ فَيُذَبُّ عَنِّي كَمَا يُذَبُّ الْبَعِيرُ الضَّالُّ، فَأَقُولُ: فِيمَ هَذَا؟ فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّكَ لَا تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، فَأَقُولُ: سُحْقًا – صحيح مسلم

أسماء بنت أبي بكر رضي الله عنهما

حدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا بِشْرُ بْنُ السَّرِيِّ، حَدَّثَنَا نَافِعُ بْنُ عُمَرَ، عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي مُلَيْكَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَتْ أَسْمَاءُ: عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: ” أَنَا عَلَى حَوْضِي أَنْتَظِرُ مَنْ يَرِدُ عَلَيَّ، فَيُؤْخَذُ بِنَاسٍ مِنْ دُونِي، فَأَقُولُ: أُمَّتِي، فَيُقَالُ: لاَ تَدْرِي، مَشَوْا عَلَى القَهْقَرَى – متفق عليه، واللفظ للبخاري)

أبو بكرة رضي الله عنه


حَدَّثَنَا عَفَّانُ حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادُ بْنُ سَلَمَةَ عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ زَيْدٍ عَنِ الْحَسَنِ عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” لَيَرِدَنَّ عَلَى الْحَوْضِ رِجَالٌ مِمَّنْ صَحِبَنِي وَرَآنِي حَتَّى إِذَا رُفِعُوا إِلَيَّ اخْتُلِجُوا دُونِي فَلَأَقُولَنَّ: رَبِّ , أَصْحَابِي , فَلَيُقَالَنَّ: إِنَّكَ لَا تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ – مصنف ابن أبي شيبة

أبو الدرداء رضي الله عنه

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ خُلَيْدٍ قَالَ: نا أَبُو تَوْبَةَ قَالَ: نا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مُهَاجِرٍ، عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ أَبِي مَرْيَمَ، عَنْ أَبِي عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ مُسْلِمِ بْنِ مِشْكَمٍ، عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لَا أُلْفِيَنَّ مَا نُوزِعْتُ أَحَدًا مِنْكُمْ عَلَى الْحَوْضِ، فَأَقُولُ: هَذَا مِنْ أَصْحَابِي فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّكَ لَا تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ» . قَالَ أَبُو الدَّرْدَاءِ: يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ، ادْعُ اللَّهَ أَنْ لَا يَجْعَلَنِي مِنْهُمْ. قَالَ: «لَسْتَ مِنْهُمْ»

عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه

وقال الحافظ أبو يعلى الموصلي: حدثنا زهير، حدثنا يونس بن محمد، حدثنا يعقوب بن عبد الله الأشعري، حدثنا حفص بن حميد، عن عكرمة، عن ابن عباس، عن عمر بن الخطاب، رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “إني ممسك بحجزكم: هلم عن النار، هلم عن النار، وتغلبوني وتقاحمون فيها تقاحم الفراش والجنادب، فأوشك أن أرسل حجزكم وأنا فرطكم على الحوض، فتردون علي معا وأشتاتا، أعرفكم بسيماكم وأسمائكم، كما يعرف الرجل الغريب من الإبل في إبله، فيذهب بكم ذات اليمين وذات الشمال، فأناشد فيكم رب العالمين: أي رب، قومي، أي رب أمتي فيقال: يا محمد، إنك لا تدري ما أحدثوا بعدك، إنهم كانوا يمشون بعدك القهقرى على أعقابهم. انتهى من تفسير ابن كثير

قال ابن كثير تحته: وقال علي بن المديني: هذا حديث حسن الإسناد، إلا أن حفص بن حميد مجهول، لا أعلم روى عنه غير يعقوب بن عبد الله الأشعري القمي. قلت: بل قد روى عنه أيضا أشعث بن إسحاق، وقال فيه يحيى بن معين: صالح. ووثقه


Ahmad Raza Stating that Abd al-Qadir Jilani was Present during Mi’raj

May 9, 2011

In his Fatawa Afriqa, Alahazrat Ahmad Raza Khan stated that Abd al-Qadir Jilani was present during the ascension of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Note that Abd al-Qadir Jilani was born 5 centuries after the Prophet. Did any scholars of the salaf and khalaf had this wicked belief? Another question pops up: if he was present, then why did not the Sahaba and the generations after performed the Ghyarwi gathering?

See for the original scans from Fatawa Afriqa:

See also this link from the Barelwi website:

The book can be downloaded on their website here:

How to recognize a Barelwi

November 11, 2010

One needs to understand first that there are different groups amongst the Barelwis. Some of them might not know anything about some of the major beliefs of the Barelwis while some others again are very hardcore in propagating in Barelwi beliefs. The less they know, the better.

The points mentioned below can be applied to the average Barelwi who claims to follow Mawlana Ahmad Raza Khan and his representatives. However, sometimes laymen have trouble in recognizing a Barelwi due to the fact he simply does not know those unique stances of the Barelwi. The following points can help laymen into spotting a Barelwi:

1. The Barelwi describes those who follow the scholars of Deoband as “Wahhabis.” They are unbelievers. One should not pray behind Deobandi Imams. The Tablighi Jamaat is Wahhabi too and it is strictly forbidden to go out with them. They have supposedly insulted the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
2. They agree with the mass takfir of Mawlana Ahmad Raza Khan mentioned in Hussam al-Haramayn. Everybody who does not agree that Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi, Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi are apostates is himself an unbeliever.
3. The Barelwi keeps on talking about so-called Wahhabis every day. Not a day goes by where these “disgusting” Wahhabis are not mentioned. While they themselves proudly claim that they are true lovers of the Prophet [Ashiq Rasul] by singing naats all day. At friday prayers, khatams and even at funerals they will keep on singing.

Nur and Bashar:
4. The Barelwi keeps on saying that the Nabi is literally made of light [nur] and is hesitant in calling the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) a human being [bashar].

Eid Milad al-Nabi:
5. The Barelwi believes that one should definately take part in celebrating the birthday of the Prophet. One who does not perform Eid Miladun Nabi on 12 rabi’ al-awwal is certainly a Wahhabi. Also, walking in a march during this “eid” with a model of the Ka’ba and Masjid Nabawi is done. Participation is very praiseworthy according the Barelwi Ulama.

Kull Ilm al-Ghayb:
6. The Barelwi believes the Prophet has the full knowledge of unseen [ilm al-ghayb] to such an extent that he knows every single detail what is happening in this world. He knows in exact details what happened and what will happen. What we are thinking and what the fishes in the water do. Even the knowledge of the Hour is known by the Prophet.

Hadir Nadhir:
7. The Barelwi believes that the Prophet is present and seeing everywhere. He sees what is happening in this entire world. He can see the whole world through one glance. He even is witness of the vile deeds committed by the people, like murder, theft, adultery, etc.

8. The Barelwi believes that loving the Nabi is enough for one’s salvation. Some of them might even believe that loving Abd al-Qadir Jilani is enough for your salvation, since he will intercede for you.
9. The Barelwi believes that Prophet can do whatever he wants. He has full power over issues such as giving life, giving sustenance, making people healthy. He divides it how he wishes. Some awliya such as Abd al-Qadir Jilani have this power too. That is why they are called upon and according to the Barelwi belief they come to rescue no matter when or where you call. They can remove your difficulties in issues such as rizq, honour, health etc. even though they have passed away, nor are they present.

Ghayrwi and Urs:
10. The Barelwi believes khatam is a necessary function at days such as the third, seventh, 10th, 40th, or after a year. The gathering of urs and ghyarwi is also a must for every true Barelwi. Anybody who disputes these issues is a Wahhabi.

Other innovations:
11. They will keep on insisting on practices such as kissing the thumbs when hearing the name of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), permissibility of calling yourself Abd al-Nabi, recommendation of reciting salawat before and after every adhan etc. Anybody who refutes these issues, is a Wahhabi.

These are the main issues where Barelwis might have a problem with other Muslims around the globe. There are other issues, which we will highlight in our other posts when we will sum up the differences between Barelwis and other Muslims.