Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Mistranslates Verses of Qur’ān

February 13, 2019

We have encountered Abu Hasan Barelwi of sunniport carelessly translating verses of Qur’ān and making horrible errors.* (In one instance, he translated shajara in verse 4:65 as “tree”!!!)

It turns out Abu Hasan was only following the footsteps of his arch-idol, the mujaddid of takfīr and ḍalalāh, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī (1856 – 1921).

Although there were already reputable Urdu translations of the Qur’ān available like that of Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānwī (completed in 1907) or of Mawlānā ‘Āshiq Ilāhī Mīruthī (completed in 1909 under the supervision of Shaykh al-Hind), Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī on the suggestion of his student Amjad ‘Alī A‘ẓamī thought he will try his hand at translating/interpreting the Qur’ān. (Some years later, in 1918, Shaykh al-Hind Mawlānā Maḥmūd Ḥasan Deobandī had completed his own widely-accepted Urdu translation of Qur’ān.)

Unlike other reputable translations, the intention of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s translation it seems was not to be faithful to the message of the Qur’ān, but to put across particular Barelwī ideas in the guise of a translation. (Tanqīd e Matīn, p. 17-20) Hence, there wasn’t any careful study and attention to detail that would be required before writing a translation. Shaykh al-Hind (1851 – 1920), for instance, completed his translation over a period of nearly 10 years (between 1909 and 1918), carefully consulting the earlier reputable Urdu translations (mainly, Mūḍiḥ al-Qur’ān of Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir Dehlawī) and tafsīrs, and having it checked by students and colleagues (like Shāh ‘Abd al-Raḥīm Rāipūrī). (For a detailed study, see Mawlānā Nūrul Ḥasan Kāndahlawī’s Shaykh al-Hind Mawlānā Maḥmūd asan Deobandī Ka Aṣl Muqaddama Tarjama e Qur’ān Majīd.)

On the other hand, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān spontaneously dictated his translation to his student in some free moments at the time of resting at midday or at night, without checking earlier translations or tafsīrs. (Sawāniḥ A’lā Hazrat, p. 367) Barelwīs treat this as a great achievement, claiming that his translation miraculously corresponded to well-known tafsīrs (a false claim). Muslims conscious of the great awe and respect due to the Qur’ān know, however, that such a method is reckless and a great sin.

The clearest example of the “fruits” of such recklessness is mistranslating/misinterpreting verses of Qur’ān. Three examples are given below.

Mistranslation Number One

Allāh says in the Qur’ān:

قُلْ هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِشَرٍّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ مَثُوبَةً عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَنْ لَعَنَهُ اللَّهُ وَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ وَعَبَدَ الطَّاغُوتَ أُولَئِكَ شَرٌّ مَكَانًا وَأَضَلُّ عَنْ سَوَاءِ السَّبِيلِ

“Say: ‘Shall I tell you of a reward with Allāh worse than that: that of those whom Allāh has cursed and [those] with whom He is angry and [those] from whom He has made monkeys and swine and [those who] worshipped false gods/satan? Such people are in a worse situation and further from the right way.’” (Qur’ān, 5:60)

As can be seen this verse lists 4 characteristics of people that are in a worse-off state:

  1. Those who are cursed by Allāh
  2. Those on whom is His anger
  3. Those from whom He has made monkeys and swine
  4. Those who worship false gods/Satan

But how does Aḥmad Riḍā Khān translate it? He translates it as follows:

“…Those on whom is Allāh’s curse, and on whom is His anger, and from whom He has made monkeys, swine and Satan-worshippers.”

The fourth category, those who worship Satan, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān has treated as a third object of the verb ja‘ala (He made). However, this is not possible grammatically. The last category here is ‘abada al-ṭāghūt ([those who] worship Satan/false gods), it is not a noun like qiradah and khanāzīr, so cannot be made an object of ja‘ala. It appears Aḥmad Riḍā Khān mistook ‘abada (worshipped) for abadata (worshippers).

This is a clear error. The meaning of the verse and Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s translation are both very different. The Qur’ān refers to those who worship Satan as a category of people in a worse-off state. But in Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s translation these people were made Satan-worshippers by Allāh Himself as punishment just as He made people into monkeys and swine!

This is not a minor mistranslation or mistake. But shows a daringness in casually interpreting the Qur’ān without prior study. And this is not the only example.

For comparison, Shaykh al-Hind’s translation is as follows:

As can be seen, he correctly translates the last phrase as “and those who worshipped Satan”.

Mistranslation Number Two 

Allāh says in the Qur’ān:

وَمَا بِكُم مِّن نِّعْمَةٍۢ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِذَا مَسَّكُمُ ٱلضُّرُّ فَإِلَيْهِ تَجْـَٔرُونَ

“Any blessing you have is from Allāh. Then when harm touches you, it is to Him you cry for help.” (16:53)

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān translated this as follows:

As can be seen, he translated the last verb taj’arūn as “you take refuge in Him”. Yet this verb is from ju’ār, meaning to “cry out”, not from ijārah, to grant protection/refuge. Aḥmad Riḍā Khān apparently mistook the latter for the former. This is another glaring error. Even a perfunctory glance at the tafsīrs would have borne this out.

Shaykh al-Hind translates it correctly as follows:

Mistranslation Number Three

Allāh says in the Qur’ān:

ذو العرش المجيد

“Glorious Owner of the Throne.” (85:15)

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān mistranslates it as follows:

“Owner of the Glorious Throne.”

As can be seen, there is a ḍammah on the “majīd” (glorious) which means it is a characteristic of Owner (“dhū”), not of the throne (‘arsh). Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made it a characteristic of the Throne. This is another clear error.

Shaykh al-Hind’s translation is as follows:

“Owner of the Throne, One of High Status.”

Concluding Remarks

The above is clear proof that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī didn’t even, at places, while dealing with the most sacred and perilous of tasks, glance at the tafsīrs. Barelwī biographers admit this, but perversely take pride in it.

Can a person who makes such reckless “translations” of verses of the Qur’ān be regarded as a pious Muslim authority? Let alone a mujaddid?! Of course not.

This is an objective test for any Barelwī claiming to be “sincere”, “neutral” and “objective” (like the liar Asrar Rashid). They cannot escape the fact that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was careless and reckless in his translation of the Qur’ān, and given that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has severely warned against such a practice and said such a person “should prepare his place in the Fire”, he is guilty of a grave and major sin. Can such a flagrant and incompetent fāsiq be taken as one’s guide and leader?

* https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/abu-hasans-distorted-translation-of-quran-verses/ . It should be noted Abu Hasan has acknowledged these stupid and careless errors.

UPDATE (23/03/19)

Abu Hasan Barelwī has written a response to the above.

On the third verse (dhu l-‘arsh al-majīdu), he points out that it is common knowledge that majīd can be read with both ḍamma and with kasra. According to the latter reading, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s translation will be correct. But it is also common knowledge that the reading Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was using is not the one with kasra but the one with ḍamma. And in fact, this is what is found in the Arabic script itself alongside which the “translation” is written! So are we to suppose, the Arabic can reflect one reading and the translation another?!

He further claims Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī in his translation treated majīd as an adjective of ‘arsh also, just like Aḥmad Riḍā Khān. But one can easily verify that Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī’s translation (‘arsh ka malik aur azmat wala hai) treats it as an attribute of Allāh:

https://ia801900.us.archive.org/17/items/BayanUlQuranurdu-MoulanaAshrafAliThanviRh.a/BayanUlQuran.pdf (p. 1216)

https://ia600501.us.archive.org/15/items/TaraajimAlQuran-Urdu/AlQuranTarjamaThanvi-AshrafAliThanvi.pdf (p. 773)

On the second verse, he claims Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s translation is the intended meaning, not the direct or literal meaning, and thus his translation of taj’arūn as “seeking refuge” is fine. The literal meaning of taj’arūn is to cry out. Yes, it means to cry out taking refuge from Allāh. But there is no reason to translate it as “taking refuge from Allāh” when there would be no problem, linguistic or otherwise, to translate it as crying out. Unless of course Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s objective was to, na‘ūdhu billāh, improve on the Qur’ān (!), rather than simply convey accurately what it says. (For more examples of this, see Tanqīd e Matīn and other critiques of Kanz al-Īmān.) Of course, if there are idioms or expressions in the Qur’ān or linguistic barriers to a direct translation, a non-literal translation can be employed to help convey what the Qur’ān is saying. But here there is no need whatsoever to move away from a literal translation.

On the first verse, he claims Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s “and Satan-worshippers” is not a third object of ja’ala but a fourth characteristic of those who are in a worse-off state (as it should be). While this is a possible reading of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s translation, it is certainly not how a person who saw only the translation (with no background knowledge regarding the verse) will understand it. What is immediately understood from his translation is that “Satan-worshippers” is made an object of ja’ala just like monkeys and swine. Abu Hasan’s ta’wil is a bit of a stretch, so we are justified in regarding Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s rendition to be a mistranslation.

—————

Abu Hasan the hypocrite claims this genuine critique is a result of “hate”. While we do not deny hating Aḥmad Riḍā Khān for his deviation and wickedness, there is no evidence that this hate has taken us out of fairness. The Qur’ān orders that despite the hate that we harbour for enemies this should not swerve us from justice.

But with Abu Hasan his hatred for the ulama of Deoband is undeniable. And it is also undeniable that his hatred has led him to lie against them.* These lies Abu Hasan has not accounted for, and by the looks of it never will. Hence he is not only a liar and a fraud, he is a hypocrite.

* For examples, see here and here.

—————

It should be noted that these are not the only examples of mistranslations or highly problematic translations in Kanz al-Īmān. Apart from Tanqīd e Matīn, one may consult the following books:

https://ia802703.us.archive.org/26/items/FazilBarelviKayKirdarONazriyatKaMukhtasarJaizaByProf.AbuUbaidDehlvi_201412/FazilBarelviKayKirdarONazriyatKaMukhtasarJaizaByProf.AbuUbaidDehlvi.pdf

https://ia902703.us.archive.org/29/items/KanzulImanKaTehqiqiJaizaByMolanaMuhammadIlyasGhumman/KanzulImanKaTehqiqiJaizaByMolanaMuhammadIlyasGhumman.pdf

Update 2 (24/03/19)

In the interest of fairness, we acknowledge that Abu Hasan’s response to verse 1 and verse 2 above do have some merit. However, the objections also hold merit. Truly neutral readers can assess for themselves which perspective they deem stronger.

Note, however, there was no foul play in writing the above. Abu Hasan on the other hand has many documented distortions and lies – clear examples of foul play, incompetence and carelessness. Will he acknowledge them? Don’t count on it.


Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Sloppy Research

February 10, 2019

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān states in his treatise al-Kawkabat al-Shihābiyyah:

“Wahhābīs are attributed to ‘Abd al-Wahhāb Najdī. Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb was their first teacher. He wrote Kitāb al-Tawḥīd, in which he treated all Muslims apart from his vile group as open Mushriks…Taqwiyat al-Īmān is a translation of this very Kitāb al-Tawḥīd.” (Fatāwā Riḍawiyyāh, Riḍā Foundation, 15:235)

In Sayf al-Jabbār, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s predecessor, Fāḍl al-Rasūl Badāyūnī, claimed Taqwiyat al-Īman was akin to a commentary of Kitāb al-Tawḥīd.

The reality is Taqwiyat al-Īman and Kitāb al-Tawḥīd are two very different books. Refuting these preposterous claims of Badāyūnī and Barelwī, Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī highlights and explains the “massive difference in the nature” (naw‘iyyat mein boht barā farq) of the two works. (For more detail, see: Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb aur Hindūstān Ke ‘Ulamā’ e Ḥaqq, p. 66-8)

This is thus either an example of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s sloppy research or a further example of his deception and lies.


Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Allegations: Deliberate Slanders or Innocent Misunderstandings? – A Conversation between Ḥakīm al-Ummat Thānawī and Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī

January 14, 2019

Once while Mawlānā Manẓur Nu‘mānī was in the company of Ḥakīm al-Ummat Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī, the latter asked him: “You are well-read on Mawlawī Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Ṣāḥib’s books. What is your opinion – that which he has written about us and our Akābir, did he really misunderstand and understand it in that way, or did he knowingly make these false allegations?”

He further said: “I don’t understand how a person who has even a little īmān and fear of God can knowingly make such false allegations?

Mawlānā Manẓur Nu‘mānī replied: “Ḥaḍrat, Allāh Ta’ālā knows the reality, but having read his books I reached the conclusion that he is not an ignoramus, he was very knowledgeable. Nor was he short of understanding or stupid, he was very smart and intelligent. So my heart can never accept that he misunderstood. If it was some stupid person or ignoramus, there might have been room for such speculation. My feeling is his mentality and attitude was just as the Qur’ān Majīd describes the scholars of Banū Isrā’īl.

Ḥakīm al-Ummat said: “I would entertain the doubt that he misunderstood.”

After reporting this conversation, Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī comments: “Had Ḥaḍrat (Allāh have mercy on him) seen his books, he would most probably not have entertained such a doubt.”

(Barelwī Fitnah Kā Nayā Rūp, p. 15-6)

 


The Clear Blasphemy & Kufr of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī – Ḥakīm al-Ummat Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī and ‘Allāmah Khālid Maḥmūd

January 14, 2019

Ḥakīm al-Ummat Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānawī raḥimahullāh addresses the “explicit kufr in which there can be no ta’wīl” of some heretics who claimed that Shaykh ‘Abdul Qādir al-Jīlānī is equal to, or has surpassed, Allāh Ta‘ālā in the quality of the creation being in need of him! Na‘ūdhu billāh. (Imdād al-Fatāwā, Maktabah Dārul ‘Ulūm Karāchī, 6:75)

Ḥakīm al-Ummat Thānawī raḥimahullāh explains that, “The being and characteristics of Allāh, the Absolutely Powerful (Qādir Muṭlaq), are themselves outside the Divine Power. Otherwise, it would necessitate believing that He is able to bring into existence His own likeness, which is absurd.” (ibid. 76)

He then explains this as divine punishment for the Mubtadi‘īn (innovators) who lay false allegations against the noble ‘ulamā’ of dīn:

The Mubtadi‘īn who have waged war against those who wrote that [creating] a likeness of the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) is under the Power of the Creator (Exalted is He) but extrinsically impossible, and have popularised the [correct] belief of expressing the Power of the Absolutely Powerful under the [ambiguous] slogan of “imkān al-kidhb” and thereby have created ill-feeling amongst the ignorant for the ‘ulamā’ of dīn, those [very same Mubtadi‘īn] have fabricated the [false] belief about Ḥaḍrat Shaykh [‘Abdul Qādir al-Jīlānī] that, Allāh forbid, Allāh has made him His equal, and in fact made him superior to Himself, which is certainly explicit kufr. This punishment has befallen these people on account of the bad language they have used in relation to the respected ‘ulamā’ of dīn and as a result have acquired the mark of blackened faces in both worlds. (ibid. 6:76)

The “blackened faces” in this world refers to humiliation and being exposed. (Muṭāla‘ah Barelwiyyat, by Dr. ‘Allāmah Khālid Maḥmūd, Hafzi Book Depot, 5:69)

Ḥakīm al-Ummat Thānawī raḥimahullāh explains further that the one who entertains such a belief is “certainly a Mushrik and Kāfir”. He then quotes two poems which are “in the same vein” (Imdād al-Fatāwā, 6:76). The first poem states that, na‘ūdhu billāh, Allāh, the Sovereign, has made the one He has given His attention to equal to Him and thus he is “not less than Allāh”! He writes that this poetry is “explicit shirk”, and “the one who composed this verse is worthy of being considered a Mushrik and outside of Islām.” (ibid.)

Then he refers to a second verse of poetry that says:

I will call you Mālik (the Owner) for you are the Mālik’s beloved, for there is no otherness/separation between the beloved and the lover.

Ḥakīm al-Ummat Thānawī raḥimahullāh states that “Mālik” here has been used in the meaning of “God” (Khudā), and thus the clear meaning of the verse is that the person being addressed “is Allāh’s beloved and there is no difference between the beloved and the lover, and thus he is also, Allāh forbid, divine!” Thus, the writer of the verse “is deserving of the same ruling which has been given for the first verse. The ruling cannot change based on any ta’wīl because the words are completely clear.” (ibid. 6:76-7)

‘Allāmah Khālid Maḥmūd ḥafiẓahullāh comments:

The fatwā that Ḥakīm al-Ummat (Allāh have mercy on him) gave on the first verse is that the one who said this verse is a Mushrik and outside of Islām.

Now, he has given this same fatwā on the one who said this second verse. To whom does this second verse of poetry belong? It belongs to Mawlānā Aḥmad Riḍā Khān. (Muṭāla‘ah Barelwiyyat, 5:70)

The line can be found in Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s Ḥadā’iq Bakhshish. (Scans below).

Those who lie and slander the great imāms of dīn should take heed. Allāh has declared war against those who show enmity to his Awliyā’. It would not be farfetched that the one Allāh has declared war against, the greatest gift Allāh has given him – his īmān – will be snatched away from him in one way or another. Shaykh al-Islām Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī raḥimahullāh explains:

Based on a prophetic statement, the takfīr will fall back on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwī. It is found in a clear text and an authentic ḥadīth that one who does takfīr or curses anyone, it will certainly fall back on one of the two: if that individual is deserving [of takfīr or the curse], then on him, and if not, it will turn back on the speaker. Thus, since the respected Elders of Deoband and Sahāranpūr are innocent of this [takfīr], this is why all of these takfīrs and curses, turning back on Barelwī and his followers, will become a cause of punishment for them in their graves, and a cause of īmān coming out and certainty and conviction departing them at the time of death. Upon Judgement, these [takfīrs that turn back on them] will be a cause of the Angels saying to Ḥuḍūr regarding all his followers: “You do not know what they did after you!” and, saying, “[Go] far away, far away!”, Rasūl Maqbūl (upon him peace) will push them away from the Fount from which drink is taken and from the Praiseworthy Intercession, [treating] them worse than dogs; and they will be denied the reward, positions and bliss of this blessed Ummah. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 290)


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:

https://www.basair.net/sectarianism-and-its-roots-in-the-indian-subcontinent-a-response-to-asrar-rashid/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/more-lies-of-asrar-rashid-al-barelwi/

https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/further-lies-of-asrar-rashid-al-barelwi/

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

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.

* https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/more-lies-of-asrar-rashid-al-barelwi/


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:

https://www.basair.net/sectarianism-and-its-roots-in-the-indian-subcontinent-a-response-to-asrar-rashid/

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)

And:

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: http://ahlussunnah.boards.net/thread/17/muhammad-wahhab-sight-deobandi-ulama

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»