Shah Isma’il & the Belief in Shafa’ah

January 4, 2014

In his classic and conclusive defence of the Ash’ari school, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari, the Imam and Hafiz, Ibn ‘Asakir (rahimahullah) (d. 571 H), quotes Imam al-Juwayni’s praise of the excellent belief of Imam al-Ash’ari. Al-Juwayni lists those beliefs in which Imam Abu l-Hasan al-Ash’ari adopted a via media between the extreme positions of deviants on opposite ends of the spectrum. At one point, he says:

وكذلك قالت الرافضة أن للرسول صلوات الله عليه وسلامه ولعلي عليه السلام شفاعة من غير أمر الله تعالى ولا إذنه حتى لو شفعا فى الكفار قبلت وقالت المعتزلة لا شفاعة له بحال، فسلك رضي الله عنه طريقة بينهما فقال بأن للرسول صلوات الله عليه وسلامه شفاعة مقبولة فى المؤمنين المستحقين للعقوبة، يشفع لهم بأمر الله تعالى وإذنه ولا يشفع إلا لمن ارتضى

“Likewise, the Rafidah say that the Messenger (upon him blessings and peace) and ‘Ali (upon him peace) are entitled to an intercession without the command of Allah (Exalted is He), nor His permission, such that if they were to intercede for the disbelievers, it would be accepted! And the Mu’tazilah say there is no intercession at all. Thus, he (Abu l-Hasan al-Ash’ari) adopted a path between the two, and he said: The Messenger (upon him blessings of Allah and His peace) will have an intercession that is accepted with respect to the believers who are deserving of punishment. He will intercede for them by the command of Allah (Exalted is He) and His permission, and He will not intercede except for one He approves.” (Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari, al-Maktabat al-Azhariyyah, 120-1)

This is the simple belief which no one truly from Ahlus Sunnah can contest or deny. The belief of the Rafidah is clear shirk, and the belief of the Mu’tazilah is clear denial of mutawatir reports. This is also the belief of Shah Isma’il Shaheed, for which the innovators (ahl al-bid’ah) of India accused him of denying shafa’ah! This is a clear illustration of where the innovators have much in common with the Rafidah, and hold beliefs that are shirk or border on shirk.

Here is an answer that was written sometime back to Gibril Haddad who attempted to support this false Barelwi accusation that Shah Isma’il Shaheed denied shafa’ah:

The final accusation made against Shah Isma’ill which Mawlana Nu’mani discusses is that he denied intercession (shafa’ah) (pp. 82-102) and Gibril Haddad regurgitates this claim in his review. Naim al-Din al-Muradabadi claimed in his Atyab al-Bayan that Shah Isma’il’s denial of intercession was more severe than the denial of the Mu’tazilis as they accept intercession for the elevation of ranks in paradise but not for the pardoning of sins, whereas Shah Isma’il denied intercession altogether. The reality, however, is that Shah Isma’il did not deny intercession in its true form but rejected those types of intercession that are inadmissible for Allah.

In the third section (fasl) “ishtirak fi al-tasarruf” he elaborates on the issue of intercession. For an accurate translation of the section in question, see Mir Shahamat’s translation here from pages 338-41.

Shah Ismai’il first quotes some verses of Sura Saba’ which includes the verse, “No intercession can avail in His Presence, except for those for whom He has granted permission.” (34:23)

He then goes on to describe three types of intercession or commendation (safarish) that are known and practiced, and he says the first two are inadmissible for Allah while the third is what is meant by intercession when it appears in Qur’an and hadith:

The first is “intercession by status” (shafa‘at al-wajaha) where the king desires to punish a criminal but because a high-ranking officer interceded on his behalf, fearing the loss of such a valuable officer, the king suppresses his desire to punish the criminal and pardons him.

A second type he discusses is “intercession from affection” (shafa’at al-mahabba) where the king suppresses his desire to punish because of his love for the one who interceded on behalf of the criminal like his wife, son etc.

The third and final type of intercession is that the criminal is deserving of forgiveness because although he committed a crime it was uncommon for him and he was truly repentant and remorseful, and seeing the desire of the king to forgive, a minister comes forward with the king’s approval to intercede on his behalf and seemingly because of his intercession, he pardons him. This is “intercession with permission” (shafaa bi l-idhn).

The first two are impossible with respect to Allah because Allah can never be forced or pressured into acting against His will or His desire because of affection or fear of losing a high-ranking servant, as ultimately all before Him are servants while He is the King of Kings with no need. The Qur’an says “O men! You are they who stand in need of Allah, and Allah is He Who is the Self-sufficient, the Praised One. If He wills, He can be rid of you and bring [instead of you] a new creation, and that is not a hard thing for Allah.” (35:15-7)

The third type is the type of intercession which will occur in the afterlife. Shah Isma’il explicitly mentioned that this is what is meant by the intercession mentioned in verses of the Qur’an and hadiths.

Mawlana Nu’mani after quoting the passage from Taqwiyat al-Iman, comments that no Muslim can deny that what Shah Isma’il said is undeniably true as Allah is completely independent of all creation (ghani) and in absolutely no need of them (samad). It is clear from the passage of Taqwiyat al-Iman that Shah Ismail only denies the first two types of intercession which no Muslim can possibly support, while he accepts the last type.

Mawlana Nu’mani says: wherever in the Qur’an intercession is mentioned in the affirmative, it always qualifies this with the condition “with permission” (bi al-idhn), the very type that Shah Ismail shows to be the only type of intercession possible with respect to Allah. It is also clear from the hadiths that without permission not even the closest servant can come forward to Allah to intercede for anyone. Mawlana Nu’mani then goes on to offer proofs from the Qur’an, its commentaries, and the hadiths and their commentaries, some of which are provided below:

Allah says: “Who is he that intercedes in His presence except with His permission?” (2:255) Al-Nasafi says in its commentary: “It is not [possible] for anyone to intercede in His presence except with His permission, and this is a demonstration of His sovereignty and His greatness, and that no one has the ability to speak on the Day of Resurrection except when He gives him permission to speak.”

ليس لأحد أن يشفع عنده إلا بإذنه وهو بيان لملكوته وكبريائه، وأن أحداً لا يتمالك أن يتكلم يوم القيامة إلا إذا أذن له في الكلام

Allah says: “There is no intercessor except after His permission” (10:3) Al-Baghawi says: “Its meaning is that the intercessors will not intercede except after His permission.”

معناه: أن الشفعاء لا يشفعون إلا بإذنه

Khazin says: “Meaning, no intercessor will intercede in His presence on the Day of Resurrection except after He gives permission to him to intercede.”

لا يشفع عنده شافع يوم القيامة إلا من بعد أن يأذن له في الشفاعة

Alusi says in his tafsir of this verse: “I.e. there is no intercessor interceding on behalf of another in any one time except after His (Almighty) permission based on [His] manifest wisdom, and that is when the intercessor is from the chosen [servants] and the one interceded for is deserving of intercession.”

أي ما من شفيع يشفع لأحد في وقت من الأوقات إلا بعد إذنه تعالى المبني على الحكمة الباهرة وذلك عند كون الشفيع من المصطفين الأخيار والمشفوع له ممن يليق بالشفاعة

Allah says: “On that day shall no intercession avail except of him whom the Beneficent allows and whose word He is pleased with.” (20:109) Nasafi: “I.e. the intercession will avail none except the intercession of the one the Beneficent allows i.e. the intercessor He allows to intercede.”

أي لا تنفع الشفاعة إلا شفاعة من أذن له الرحمن أي أذن للشافع في الشفاعة

Alusi says there are two possible interpretations of the one who the Beneficient “allows,” either the intercessor or the one interceded for. On the second possibility he writes: “The sum meaning of this is intercession will avail none except one who the Beneficent allows to be interceded for while he was a believer.”

وحاصل المعنى عليه لا تنفع الشفاعة أحداً إلا من أذن الرحمن في أن يشفع له وكان مؤمناً

Allah says: “Say: Unto Allah belongs all intercession” (39:44) Alusi says: “The meaning is that Allah is possessor of all intercession. No one can intercede unless the one interceded for is approved [by Allah] and the intercessor is allowed [by Allah to intercede].”

والمعنى أنه تعالى مالك الشفاعة كلها لا يستطيع أحد شفاعة ما إلا أن يكون المشفوع [له] مرتضى والشفيع مأذوناً له

Khazin says: “None intercedes on behalf of another except by His permission so busying oneself with His worship is worthier, because in reality He is the Intercessor and He allows intercession from whoever of His servants He wishes.”

أي لا يشفع أحد إلا بإذنه فكان الاشتغال بعبادته أولى لأنه هو الشفيع في الحقيقة وهو يأذن في الشفاعة لمن يشاء من عباده

Mawlana Nu’mani comments: This is precisely what Shah Isma’il said in the section of Taqwiyat al-Iman in question.

He then quotes the hadith of intercession from Bukhari which shows the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) only interecedes with Allah’s permission and he mentions specifically in this hadith: “He places boundaries for me [i.e. for my intercession]” under which al-‘Asqalani said quoting from al-Tibi: “He shows to me in every stage of the intercession a boundary I must stay within and not trespass e.g. He says: I allow you intercession for those who were deficient in congregational [prayer], and then those who were deficient in prayer, and then those who drank wine, and then those who committed adultery, and in this fashion.”

قَوْلُهُ فَيَحُدُّ لِي حَدًّا يُبَيِّنُ لِي فِي كُلِّ طَوْرٍ مِنْ أَطْوَارِ الشَّفَاعَةِ حَدًّا أَقِفُ عِنْدَهُ فَلَا أَتَعَدَّاهُ مِثْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ شَفَّعْتُكَ فِيمَنْ أَخَلَّ بِالْجَمَاعَةِ ثُمَّ فِيمَنْ أَخَلَّ بِالصَّلَاةِ ثُمَّ فِيمَنْ شَرِبَ الْخَمْرَ ثُمَّ فِيمَنْ زَنَى وَعَلَى هَذَا الْأُسْلُوبِ كَذَا حَكَاهُ الطِّيبِيُّ

Answering the Challenge of Munawwar Ateeq Rizwi to True Sunni Muslims

September 30, 2013

Answering the Challenge of Munawwar Ateeq Rizwi to True Sunni Muslims

In this recently uploaded video, Barelwi preacher, Munawwar Ateeq Rizwi, issues a challenge to true Sunni Muslims:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EodNE_g7fV8

Most of the video is the usual nauseating drivel, full of rhetoric, boasts, self-promotion and emotional blackmail, lacking any real substance. However, he issues a couple of challenges to Sunni Muslims, which I felt I should answer.

I will break this response down into two parts, in answer to both challenges of Munawwar. His first challenge was to find any statement from the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wherein they define ‘ilm al-ghayb or ghayb in such a way that it is exclusive to Allah and inapplicable to creatures. His second challenge was to prove that after the completion of the revelation of the Qur’an, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was unaware of any worldly knowledge or event.

Answering Munawwar’s First Challenge

At around the 34 minute mark, he claims so-called non-Sunnis attempt to define ghayb or ‘ilm al-ghayb so as to negate it from the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Then at around 42 minutes, he issues the following challenge: “Not a single ‘aalim in the history of Islamic civilisation ever gave that definition of ghayb. This is my challenge. My challenge is: not a single ‘aalim in the history of Islamic civilisation from the Ahlus Sunnah ever gave, never ever gave, such a definition to ghayb in which they secluded it only for Allah Subhaanahoo wa Ta‘aalaa. You can never show me such a definition for ghayb….Nobody can show us a definition from the ‘ulamaa’ of Ahlus Sunnah in which the ‘aalim defines ghayb in a way that is specific to Allah.”

In answer to this challenge, I will first present one comprehensive definition given by an accepted scholar of Ahlus Sunnah, followed by some supporting statements from other accepted scholars of Ahlus Sunnah.

The great Māturīdī Imam of ‘Aqidah, ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Ahmad al-Farhārī (see his biography in Nuzhat al-Khawātir, Dār Ibn Hazm, p. 1018) writes in his famous and accepted text on ‘Aqidah, an-Nibrās (a commentary on Taftāzāni’s Sharh al-‘Aqā’id al-Nasafiyyah), which was authored in the year 1239 H/1823 CE:

واعلم أن للناس في مسألة الغيب كلمات غير منقحة والتحقيق أن الغيب ما غاب عن الحواس والعلم الضروري والعلم الإستدلالي وقد نطق القرآن بنفي علمه عمن سواه تعالى فمن ادعى أنه يعلمه كفر ومن صدق المدعي كفر وأما ما علم بحاسة أو ضرورة أو دليل فليس بغيب ولا كفر في دعواه ولا في تصديقه على الجزم فى اليقيني والظن فى الظني عند المحققين

 وبهذا التحقيق اندفع الإشكال فى الأمور التي يزعم أنها من الغيب وليست منه لكونها مدركة بالسمع أو البصر أو الضرورة أو الدليل

فأحدها إخبار الأنبياء لأنها مستفادة من الوحي ومن خلق العلم الضروري فيهم أو من انكشاف الكوائن على حواسهم

ثانيها خبر الولي لأنه مستفاد من النبي أو من رؤيا صالحة أو من إلهام إلهي أو من النظر فى اللوح المحفوظ وهو ثابت من أهل الكشف وإن منعه بعض الفقهاء

تالثها إخبار المحاسب بالكسوف والخسوف لأنه بدلائل هندسية قطعية

رابعها إخبار المنجم والرمال لأن النجوم والرمل علمان استدلاليان منزلان على بعض الأنبياء ثم اندرسا وخلط الناس فيهما فمن استدل بقاعدة نبوية أصاب فى الخبر

خامسها خبر الكاهن لأنه مما يخبره الجن عن مشاهدة أو سماع من الملائكة الذين عرفوا الكوائن المستقبلة بالوحي

تم نقول قد نطق كثير من الأحاديث وأقوال السلف بكفر المنجم والكاهن ومن يصدقهما وذكر غير واحد من المحققين أن التكفير خاص بمن يدعي علم الغيب أو يزعم النجوم مدبرة بالاستقلال أو يزعم الجن عالمة بالغيب

قلت: ومع هذا ليس الإشتغال بالنجوم والكهانة وتصديقهما من فعل الصالحين ولا شك أن فيهما إخلالا بعقائد ضعفاء المسلمين لزعمهم أن المخبر عالم بالغيب على أن الكاهن يصعب أن يسلم إيمانه لاستمداده من الشياطين

فاحفظ هذا التحقيق فإنه من خواص مؤلفاتنا

النبراس شرح شرح العقائد، مكتبة حقانية، ص ٣٤٣-٤

“Know that the people have unrefined words on the issue of ghaybThe verification is that ghayb is that which is hidden to the senses, necessary knowledge and deductive knowledge. The Qur’an has pronounced its negation from (every) one besides Him, Exalted is He. Thus, whoever claims that he knows it has disbelieved, and whoever assents to (the claim of) a claimant has disbelieved. As for that which is known through sense or necessity or evidence, it is not ghayb, nor has one disbelieved by claiming it, nor by assenting to it with certainty in certain (knowledge) and uncertainty in conjectural (knowledge), according to the verifiers.

By this verification, the difficulty in the issues which are assumed that they are from ghayb and are not (in reality) from them as they are perceived by hearing, seeing, necessity or evidence, is dispelled.

One of them is the report of the prophets, because they are acquired from revelation and from the creation of a necessary knowledge in them or from the exposure of existents to their senses.

“The second of them is the report of a saint because it is acquired from a prophet or a pious dream or divine inspiration or from looking into the Preserved Tablet which is established from the Ahl al-Kashf, although some jurists deny it.

“The third of them is the report of an astronomer of (the time of) the solar and lunar eclipse because it is by decisive mathematical evidences.

“The fourth of them is the report of an astrologer and geomancer because astrology and geomancy are two deductive sciences that were sent down on some of the prophets and then they were lost and the people became confused over them, so whoever draws evidence using a prophetic principle, he will be correct in the report.

“The fifth of them is the report of a soothsayer because it is from that which the jinn inform him from observation or hearing the angels who are aware of future existents by means of revelation.

“Then we say: Many of the hadiths and statements of the Salaf have pronounced kufr on the astrologer and soothsayer and whoever assents to them, and many of the verifiers have stated that the anathematisation is limited to the one who claims knowledge of ghayb or believes the stars manage (the creation) independently or believes the jinn know the ghayb.

“I say: And despite this, occupation in astrology and soothsaying and assenting to them is not from the practice of the righteous people, and there is no doubt that through them there is harm created in the beliefs of the weak Muslims due to their belief that the one giving the information is knower of ghayb; on top it being difficult to accept the īmān of a soothsayer as he seeks help from the devils.

“Preserve this verification as it is from the specialities of our writings.”

An-Nibrās fi Sharh Sharh al-‘Aqā’id, Maktabah Haqqāniyyah, pp. 343-4

The author of an-Nibrās clearly defines ghayb in such a way that the true meaning of ‘ilm al-ghayb belongs exclusively to Allah, which he says is attested to by verses of the Qur’an. Examples of these verses are:

قُل لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ

“Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the ghayb besides Allah.” (27:65)

قُل لاَّ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَآئِنُ اللّهِ وَلا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ

Say (O Prophet): I do not say to you I have the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the ghayb.” (6:50)

قُل لاَّ أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلاَ ضَرًّا إِلاَّ مَا شَاء اللّهُ وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لاَسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ

“Say: I do not own for myself benefit, nor harm, except what Allah wills; and had I known the ghayb I would have accumulated a lot of good things and no evil would have touched me.” (7:188)

Furthermore, if this wasn’t clear enough, the author of an-Nibrās lists a number of things which people wrongly assume to be ‘ilm al-ghayband he explains why they are not so. The first example he uses is the information given by prophets, as this is received through revelation; and anything to which there is a means or evidence – including revelation – is not classified as true ghayb. In sum, his definition of ghaybentails that it is all knowledge to which creation have absolutely no access.

Many other scholars have said the same. For example, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (d. 974 H) said in his al-Fatāwā al-Hadīthiyyah:

لا يعلم الغيب إلا هو ومن سواه إن علموا جزئيات منه فهو بإعلامه وإطلاعه لهم وحينئذ لا يطلق أنهم يعلمون الغيب إذ لا صفة لهم يقتدرون بها على الاستقلال بعلمه وأيضا هم ما علموا وإنما علموا وأيضا هم ما علموا غيبا مطلقا لأن من أعلم بشيء منه يشاركه فيه الأنبياء ونظراؤه ممن اطلع

رسائل ابن عابدين، ٢:٣١٣

 

None but He (Allah) knows the ghayb, and those besides Him, although they know particulars of it, it is by His revelation and disclosure to them. Therefore, it is not said without qualification that they know the ghayb, since they have no attribute by which they can independently know it. Moreover, they do not know, but were taught. Moreover, they were not taught the unseen in absolute terms because whoever is informed something from it, the Prophets and their peers who have comprehended [that knowledge] participate with him in it.”

Quoted in Rasā’il Ibn ‘Abidin, 2:313

It is clear from this that al-Haythami considers the true meaning of ghayb as being something that is limited to Allah.

An-Nasafi also defines ghayb in his Tafsir in a way that it is exclusive to Allah:

الغيب هو ما لم يقم عليه دليل ولا أطلع عليه مخلوق

Ghayb is that on which no evidence has been erected, nor was a creature informed of it.”

From amongst recent scholars, ‘Allamah al-Kawthari clearly says in his Maqālāt:

العلم بإعلام الله لا يكون من الغيب في شيء

Knowledge by means of disclosure from Allah is not from (true) ghayb at all.

Ibn ‘Abidin said:

ما اختص به تعالى هو الغيب المطلق على أن ما يدعيه العبد ليس غيبا حقيقة لأنه إنما يكون بإعلام من الله تعالى

رسائل ابن عابدين، ٢:٣١٤

 

“That which is exclusive to Him is unrestricted/unqualified ghayb, while that which the servant (i.e. prophet or saint) claims is notghayb in reality because it only comes about by disclosure from Allah, Exalted is He.”

Rasā’il Ibn Abidīn, 2:314

Since this is the true and original meaning of ‘ilm al-ghayb – i.e. that which creatures have absolutely no access to –, this is why the Hanafis have clearly stated that the one who claims ‘ilm al-ghayb (without qualifying it) has committed kufr.

Ibn ‘Abidin says:

ذكر الحنفية في عدة من كتبهم أن من ادعى لنفسه علم الغيب كفر

رسائل ابن عابدين، ٢:٣١١

The Hanafis have stated in a number of their books that the one who claims ‘ilm al-ghayb for himself has disbelieved.”

Rasā’il Ibn Abidin, 2:311

Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari said:

وذكر الحنفية تصريحا بالتكفير باعتقاد أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يعلم الغيب لمعارضة قوله تعالى قل لا يعلم من في السماوات والأرض الغيب إلا الله كذا في المسايرة

منح الروض الأزهر في شرح الفقه الأكبر، دار البشائر الإسلامية، ص ٤٢٢

“The Hanafis have mentioned clearly that by believing the Prophet (upon him blessing and peace) knew the ghayb one is declared a disbeliever due to conflict with His (Exalted is He) statement: “Say: None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen but Allah.””

Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar fī Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, Dār al-Bashā’ir al-Islāmiyyah, p. 422

Ibn al-Humam and Ibn Abi Sharif say the same thing in Musamarah/Musayarah. (Kitāb al-Musāmarah bi Sharh al-Musāyarahal-Matba‘ah al-Kubrā al-Amīriyyah, p. 202)

 

If “’ilm al-ghayb” in its original meaning was a quality shared by Allah and His creatures, this verdict makes no sense. The only way it can be made sense of is by acknowledging that ‘ilm al-ghayb in its true and original sense according to the Hanafis means the knowledge which is completely inaccessible to creation (what al-Tahawi calls al-‘ilm al-mafqūd). To claim such knowledge is certainly kufr (as al-Tahawi mentioned), as it is to claim independent knowledge, which is exclusive to Allah. Thus, again, as with other issues, the claim of the Barelwis to Hanafiyyat has been proven to be an empty claim. In reality, their maslak is ‘Nafsaniyyat,’ not ‘Hanafiyyat.’

It is absolutely clear, therefore, that Munawwar’s statement that no scholar of Ahlus Sunnah has defined ‘ilm al-ghayb so as to exclude every being besides Allah from having this quality is a baseless and totally incorrect claim; unless he wishes to exclude all the above scholars from the Ahlus Sunnah and reserve the name only for his imam, Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi, and his followers (which is what they really mean when they say “Ahlus Sunnah”). In fact, the scholars of ‘Aqidah, Fiqh and Tafsir, particularly those of a Hanafi persuasion, are clear that according to its true and original meaning, ‘ilm al-ghayb is a quality reserved for Allah, Most Exalted, and none share with Him in this quality.

Answering Munawwar’s Second Challenge

After about one hour into the video, Munawwar claims – quoting his imam, Ahmad Rida Khan – that there is not a single decisive proof that after the completion of the Qur’an, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) displayed unawareness of any matter of the world.

I will present one hadith to refute this claim.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrate in several places of their Sahihs on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas:

يُؤْخَذُ بِرِجَالٍ مِنْ أَصْحَابِي ذَاتَ اليَمِينِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ، فَأَقُولُ: أَصْحَابِي، فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَزَالُوا مُرْتَدِّينَ عَلَى أَعْقَابِهِمْ مُنْذُ فَارَقْتَهُمْ، فَأَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ العَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ: وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ، فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنْتَ أَنْتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَأَنْتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ، إِنْ تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ، وَإِنْ تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنْتَ العَزِيزُ الحَكِيمُ

 

“Men from my companions will be seized from the right and the left, so I will say: ‘My companions!’ It will be said: ‘They continued turning back on their heels (i.e. apostatising) since you parted from them.’ So I will say as the righteous slave ‘Isa ibn Maryam said: ‘I was witness over them for as long as I was amongst them, and then when You took me, You became the watcher over them…’”

Thus, it is established that on the plains of resurrection, RasulAllah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) will say he was unaware of the actions of some of those who accompanied him after his death.

In another version of the same hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari:

يُجَاءُ بِرِجَالٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي، فَيُؤْخَذُ بِهِمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ، فَأَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَصْحَابِي، فَيُقَالُ: لاَ تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، فَأَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ العَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ: {وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا، مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ}

In this narration, he is told “You do not know what they innovated after you.”

In another narration from Sahih Muslim it is mentioned that RasulAllah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) will initially say: “They are from me!” attempting to intercede for them. And then when he is told “you do not know what they innovated after you,” he will say: “away (with them), away!” This behaviour clearly shows he will be initially unaware of their actions that they committed after his death.

In another version from Sahih al-Bukhari:

يَرِدُ عَلَى الحَوْضِ رِجَالٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِي، فَيُحَلَّئُونَ عَنْهُ، فَأَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَصْحَابِي، فَيَقُولُ: إِنَّكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَكَ بِمَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، إِنَّهُمُ ارْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَارِهِمْ القَهْقَرَى

In this narration, Allah will say to RasulAllah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam): “You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you.”

Note: Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab narrated this marfoo‘ narration from several “companions” (ashāb) of RasulAllah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Note: This narration (in which certain people who the Prophet – sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam – initially believed to be his true companions are driven away from the Hawd) was narrated with various wordings from a number of the Sahabah, including Ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, Sahl ibn Sa‘d, ‘A’ishah, Anas ibn Malik, ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamān and Umm Salamah, all of which are found the Sahih of al-Bukhari, the Sahih of Muslim or both. Hence, this is a mutawātir narration, proving that the Prophet did not have some knowledge of the world even after the revelation of the Qur’an was complete.

In the end, we can safely say Munawwar’s challenge in no way offers any real challenges to correct Sunni doctrine, and in actual fact, merely reveals his own ignorance and fanaticism.


Another Example of Abu Hasan’s Distortions

February 5, 2013

Another Example of Abu Hasan’s Distortions

There is a common claim made by the Barelwis that Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri/Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi in Barahin Qati‘ah compared the mawlid celebration to Hindu and Rafidi festivals. This false allegation was answered by Mawlana Saharanpuri in al-Muhannad.

Abu Hasan, whose deceptions and distortions have been documented here before, also makes this claim. He says:

comparing celebration of mawlid an-nabiy, to hindus (or worse) commemorating birthday of krishna. barahin, pg.152
then, this repeated celebration of birthday [of the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam] is similar to the gathering[1] of hindus, celebrating the birthday of krishna [2]; or similar to the rafidis who narrate the story of the martyrdom of ahl al-bayt every year; [we seek Allah’s refuge] ma’adhAllah! this is would be equivalent of play-acting [saang] the birth of the Prophet sallALlahu alayhi wa sallam. and this ugly act is in itself worthy of blame and haram [forbidden] and corruption [fisq].

rather, these people are worse than those communities [3] because, they do it on a specific date, and here they have no restriction – they do it whenever they like.
 
http://www.sunniport.com/masabih/showpost.php?p=33166&postcount=4

Apart from failing to mention the context of this statement, he also distorts the meaning of the passage.

The whole section of Barahin here, from p. 151 onwards, is a quotation of a fatwa from Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, in reply to a question specifically on standing (Qiyam) at the mention of the birth of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam). It is NOT about the mawlid in general.

He first explains in quite some detail that this practice (i.e. standing at the mention of the birth) is not found in the pious early generations, thus to consider it an act of religion constitutes bid‘ah.

Then he moves on to some of the “justifications” given for standing at this moment, where he says:

Alhasil qiyam waqt zikr e wiladat ki ya yeh wajh he

“In sum, standing at the moment of the mention of the birth either has the justification that…”

He mentions two such justifications: mawdu hadiths, and statements/actions of the pious, and explains that both of these are invalid proofs in the Shari‘ah.

And then he says:

Ya yeh wajh he ke ruh pak ‘alayhissalam ki ‘alam e arwah se ‘alam e shahadat meh tashrif lae is ki tazim ko qiyam he to yeh bhi mahz hamaqat he kyun ke is wajh meh qiyam kurna waqt wuqu wiladat sharifah ke hona chahiyeh ab hur roz konsi wiladat mukarrar hoti he? Pus yeh hur roz iadah wiladat ka to misl hunud keh sang kanhaya…

“Or the justification is that the pure spirit [of the Prophet] (upon him peace) came from the world of spirits to the world of seeing, so in reverence of this, one stands. This too is pure idiocy because in this justification, standing is to be done at the moment of the noble birth. Now, each day, which birth is being repeated? Thus, the re-enactment of birth is like the festival of Kanhaya of the Hindus…” (p. 152)

He is basically saying that one of the ways these people justify this practice is that at the moment of the birth of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam), his blessed soul arrived from the world of spirits to the present world, so we should stand at his arrival. But Mawlana Rashid Ahmad retorts that this would only be valid at the moment of his birth not at the mention of his birth. And to re-enact his birth and then to behave as though he is being born (by standing at his arrival) is similar to the practice of the Hindus and Rafidis.

He then goes on to say: “There is no precedent in the Shari‘ah for this, that some supposed matter is enacted and treated in the manner of reality; rather this is haram in the Shari‘ah.”

Aur is amr ki Shar meh kehin nazir nahin keh koi amr farzi thera kur haqiqat ka muamalah is ka sath kiya jaye, bulkeh yeh shar meh haram hey

It is clear, therefore, that in this passage, Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi is merely challenging one of the justifications given for the Qiyam at the mention of the birth of Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam). This justification is invalid, he says, because the birth does not recur in these days, so one cannot behave as though the birth is happening – as this has no precedent in the Shari‘ah and would be similar to the festivals of non-Muslims.

Now consider what Mawlana Gangohi actually said, and the way in which Abu Hasan distorted his statement to say: “then, this repeated celebration of birthday [of the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam] is similar to the gathering[1] of hindus.”

Notice, he starts his translation of the passage midway so the reader does not understand that Mawlana Gangohi is talking about the Qiyam, and not mawlid. Moreover, nowhere does Mawlana Gangohi say “the repeated celebration of birthday.” He is referring to the re-enactment of the birth. When he says “hur roz iadah wiladat” (repetition of the birth everyday), he is NOT talking about “celebrating” the birthday, but about envisioning a recurrence of the actual birth of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam). “Wiladat” here does not mean the “mawlid celebration” but the event of the birth of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) itself.

Thus, as is routine with Abu Hasan – and his Barelwi brethren – not only does he not mention the context of the passage in question, but in order to make it fit with what he is trying to put in the author’s mouth, he also distorts it from its original meaning.


Reply to Abu Hasan’s Latest Antics‏

January 6, 2013

Reply to Abu Hasan’s Latest Antics‏

Zameelur Rahman

Abu Hasan of sunniport released a new ebook on the biography of his “Alahazrat,” Ahmad Rida Khan, the founder of the Barelwi school. In the course of the biography, he repeatedly disparages Deobandis, Deobandi elders and their forerunners – in what is supposed to be a biography of his leader – and then claims it is the Deobandis who have an axe to grind! Anyhow, with reference to Deobandis, there are a number of inaccuracies, lies and slanders, in highlighting which I hope it is clear to readers that Abu Hasan is not a trustworthy source. Moreover, it should also be clear that he does not address the substantial replies already available.

 

On pg. 17, he said: “Deobandis are Wahabis with a difference: they accept and adhere to madh’habs.”

Deobandis have many other differences to the Arabian Wahhabis listed in for example Mawlana Manzur Nu’mani’s book on Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab called Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab aur Hindustan ke ‘Ulama Haqq.

For example, Deobandis believe it is recommended to visit the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from far, Wahhabis don’t; Deobandis allow tawassul through personalities, Wahhabis don’t; Deobandis differentiate between different intentions associated with istighathah, Wahhabis don’t; Wahhabis are neutral or antagonistic to Tasawwuf, Deobandis embrace it; etc.

On pg. 17, he said: “Deobandi elders believe that it is not impossible for Allāh táālā to lie”

Deobandis believe it is impossible for Allah to lie; but they differ from Barelwis as to the reason for its impossibility – is it an intrinsic impossibility or one contingent on Allah’s choice? Deobandis opt for the latter – an opinion found in classical kalam works. This is therefore purposely misleading as it gives the impression Deobandis believe it is actually possible for a lie to occur in Allah’s speech! Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri wrote in al-Muhannad, signed by many prominent Deobandi elders: “We and our elders (Allah Most High have mercy on them) declare and are convinced that all speech that issued from the Creator (Great and Glorious is He) or will issue from Him is absolutely truthful, and it is certain that it concurs with reality. Undoubtedly, there is no trace of falsehood in any part of His (Exalted is He) Speech, nor any doubt about [the absence of] contravening reality [in His Speech]. Whoever believes contrary to this or conceives of a lie in any part of His Speech, is a disbeliever, apostate and heretic, and does not have even a trace of faith.”

On pg. 17, he said: “[Deobandi elders believe] that it is bidáh to believe that Allāh does not have a direction”

In Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri’s al-Muhannad ‘ala l-Mufannad, signed by many of the Deobandi elders (including Shaykh al-Hind and Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi), it says: “As for direction and place, we do not allow affirming them for Him – Exalted is He – and we say that He – Exalted is He – is pure and transcendent beyond them and from all qualities of temporality.” (وأما الجهة والمكان فلا نجوز إثباتهما له تعالى ونقول إنه تعالى منزه ومتعال عنهما وعن جميع سمات الحدوث)

A more glaring slander and lie, one cannot find.

On g. 33, he says: “We ask Deobandis who pretend to be Sunnis and claim to have nothing to do with Wahhabism, to show us a single book or booklet written by any of their prominent scholars denouncing Wahhabism.” He continues: “A couple of words in a book by one of their scholars is no proof; is there a full fledged refutation of Wahabis anywhere? How can it exist when it was the kingpin of their ideology, Ismāýīl Dihlawī, who introduced this heresy in India.”

He asks this question, as though “Wahhabism” itself is an identifiable “heretical belief.” You have to first describe the particular belief of “Wahhabism” that is heretical in order to refute it. And indeed Deobandis have refuted many wrong beliefs commonly associated with Wahhabis; e.g. total abandonment of taqlid (see: http://attahawi.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/al-din-al-qayyim.pdf), antagonism to tasawwuf, vilification of the Hanafi school and Abu Hanifah (see: I’la al-Sunan), prohibiting visitation to the prophet’s grave (peace be upon him) from afar (see: http://attahawi.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/chapters-on-the-prophetic-visitation2.pdf), rejection of the correct kind of tawassul, understanding Allah’s attributes literally etc.

Furthermore, Shah Isma’il did not introduce any version of “Wahhabism” in India as he had no access to it. When he traveled to the Hijaz for Hajj the Wahhabis had already been expelled. See: http://www.deoband.org/2010/06/history/answering-distortions-and-lies/shattering-the-wahhabi-myths-surrounding-shah-isma%E2%80%98il-shahid/

On pg. 33, he says: “True, they [Deobandis] claim to oppose Anti-Madh’habism” and in his footnote he mentions: “See works by Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī and Abū Ghuddah.”

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah is not representative of the Deobandi school; so this is an example of inaccuracy. Furthermore, there are no well-known works where ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri tackles the issue of madhhabism (yes, he has books defending the Hanafi madhhab, but that is another matter).  Another inaccuracy.

On pg. 33 he says: “Nuz’hatu’l Khawāţir has scholarly slanders; and dozens of books like Shihāb al-Thāqib, booklets of Chandpūrī, and Al-Baraylawiyyah of Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer are remarkable for cheap and tawdry insults”

He says this as though he hasn’t read “Alahazrat’s” works! According to him, the harsh words of Mawlana Madani and Mawlana Chandpuri are “cheap insults” but the filthy language of his Alahazrat is completely justified. If we are fair, we will say both sides engaged in ad hominem attacks, but who started the insults? Sure enough, it was his “Alahazrat.” Mawlanas Chandpuri and Mawlana Madani only responded.

On pg. 33, he says: “It is also true that Ismāýīl Dihlawī, their grand imām, was the first to introduce Wahabi thought in India and derided adherence to madh’habs.  Modern spinmeisters present him as a Ĥanafī, and Deobandis choose to ignore the subject”

Firstly, Shah Isma‘il held the position that taqlid mutlaq (i.e. taqlid not restricted to a particular madhhab) is binding on a common person, as mentioned in Nuzhat al-Khawatir (p. 915). Some Deobandis also held this view. For example, in al-Din al-Qayyim, Mawlana Thanawi’s student, Mawlana Habib Ahmad al-Kiranawi said: “If all the madhhabs are prevalent in a town from the towns and they are well-known, and large numbers of scholars specialised in every madhhab are present therein, it is permissible for the layperson to follow whichever madhhab from the madhhabs he wishes and all of them with respect to him are equal. It is also permissible for him not to adopt a specific madhhab and seek fatwa from whoever he wishes from the ulama of those madhhabs, this madhhab one time and that madhhab another time, as the pious predecessors (Allah be pleased with them) would do, with the condition that there is no talfiq in an action, and no seeking out of concessions and following of desires.”. [However, elsewhere in the book he seems to suggest taqlid shakhsi is obligatory in this time based on it being difficult for common people to avoid these consequences, of talfiq, seeking out concessions etc.] Shah Isma’il has precedence for this in some of the writings of his grandfather, Shah Wali Allah.

Most Deobandis believe in the obligation of taqlid shakhsi (i.e. sticking to one madhhab) due to secondary, circumstantial reasons i.e. to prevent the masses from falling into talfiq, following desires, seeking out concessions and following shadhdh opinions. See: http://www.deoband.org/2012/07/general/taqlid-and-ijtihad/the-issue-of-taqlid-and-adopting-a-madhhab/

As for the claim “Deobandis choose to ignore the subject,” it is demonstrably false and another clear inaccuracy. Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi himself addressed the issue! He said in Fatawa Rashidiyyah: “That which this slave has heard, it was the condition of the deceased Mawlana [i.e. Shah Isma‘il] that as long as a non-abrogated authentic hadith could be found, he would act on that; and if it could not be found, he would do taqlid of Imam Abu Hanifah – And Allah Ta’ala knows best…” (p. 93) He goes on to say this is what becomes clear from reading his books.

Nuzhat al-Khawatir also mentions that Shah Isma’il believed in the divisibility of ijtihad and taqlid; which means the permissibility of doing ijtihad in one area when having mastered that area to the level of ijtihad; while doing taqlid in other areas where one has not reached the level of ijtihad. This is consistent with what Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi mentioned. Hence, Shah Isma‘il’s own preferences in fiqh may be based on a mix of personal ijtihad and adherence to the Hanafi school. There is no inherent heresy in this.

On pg. 35, referring to Taqwiyat al-Iman, he said: “commonly accepted practices like tawassul were slammed as polytheistic”

In fact, far from saying it is polytheistic, Shah Isma‘il said tawassul through personalities was correct in Taqwiyat al-Iman! He wrote: “But if it is said, ‘O Allah, give me for the sake [i.e., for the sake of his close relationship to You and his virtuous deeds] of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir’, then this is allowed” (Taqwiyat al-Iman, p.123). http://www.deoband.org/2010/06/history/answering-distortions-and-lies/shattering-the-wahhabi-myths-surrounding-shah-isma%E2%80%98il-shahid/

On pg. 35, he says: “Deobandi/Wahābī literature is chock full of rulings making takfīr on numerous things, yet Nadawi chose to describe Alahazrat as the flag-bearer of takfīr”

Notice the difference: Deobandis do takfir of numerous things, (like the belief the Prophet – peace be upon him – has knowledge of literally all ‘things’ including the time of the Hour, or he is literally a light and a human only in form). But “Alahazrat” did not do takfir of “things” but of people. He named specific people and went on a campaign to the Haramayn to have them declared kafirs. The description “flag-bearer of takfir” is therefore quite appropriate for him. Deobandis did not go out of their way to name and shame particular individuals, but focused on problematic beliefs; on the other hand, “Alahazrat’s” sole mission was to declare certain prominent individuals kafir.

On page 36, he asks a list of questions and then claims “Alahazrat” was careful in his takfir. This is an example of where he does not address already available material. All his questions and the patent lie that “Alahazrat” was careful in takfir are addressed in Fayslah Kun Munazarah, now translated – of which Abu Hasan is fully aware. (https://barelwism.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/the-decisive-debate-mawlana-manzur-numani/)

On pg 38, he said: “Nadawi, probably afraid that Arabic reading scholars would not buy the slander, resorted to falsehood when he accused Alahazrat that he “believed RasūlAllāh had complete knowledge of the unseen.””

Mawlana Nadwi also explained what is meant by this in “Ala’hazrat’s” usage where he continued to say:

“Thus, [according to Ahmad Rida Khan,] he [i.e. the Prophet – peace be upon him] knows all the universals and particulars from the beginning of creation till the establishment of Qiyamah, nay till entrance into Paradise and Hell, no minor thing straying from his knowledge, and no atom escaping his encompassment…” (Nuzhat al-Khawatir p. 1181)

Nadwi therefore describes Rida Khan’s beliefs accurately, as he certainly did believe and defended the view that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had full knowledge of all existents (literally: kullu shay’).

On pg. 56, he says: “Ismāýīl…was slain by upright Muslims in Balakot – but Deobandi/Wahābī followers colour it as a martyrdom”

Shah Isma’il was killed by Sikhs. The Balakot Battle was led by Maharajat Sher Sing. See for example, Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Nadwi’s Idha Habbat Rih al-Iman, 181-8. And the academic, Harlon O Pearson says: “In 1831, in a full-scale battle at the town of Balakot located in the Himalayan foothills, the Sikh army decisively defeated and dispersed the mujahidin. The two Muhammadi leaders, Sayyid Ahmad Brelwi and Muhammad Isma’il were killed.” (Islamic Reform and Revival in Nineteenth Century India, p 41)

Therefore, either this is another slander, or Abu Hasan believes that Sikhs are “upright Muslims.”

On pg. 56 with regard to the allegations against Shah Isma’il he says: “We invite Deobandis and other assorted Wahābīs to write a detailed refutation of this book and disprove Alahazrat.”

The common allegations against Shah Isma’il have been answered; see:

http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?74735-A-critical-look-at-Gibril-Haddad%92s-Review-of-Taqwiyat-al-Iman%26%238207%3B&p=641474&viewfull=1#post641474

http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?74735-A-critical-look-at-Gibril-Haddad%92s-Review-of-Taqwiyat-al-Iman%26%238207%3B&p=641668&viewfull=1#post641668

http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?74735-A-critical-look-at-Gibril-Haddad%92s-Review-of-Taqwiyat-al-Iman%26%238207%3B&p=642584&viewfull=1#post642584

http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?74735-A-critical-look-at-Gibril-Haddad%92s-Review-of-Taqwiyat-al-Iman%26%238207%3B&p=642773&viewfull=1#post642773

http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?74735-A-critical-look-at-Gibril-Haddad%92s-Review-of-Taqwiyat-al-Iman%26%238207%3B&p=655740&viewfull=1#post655740

But again, Abu Hasan refuses to address the substantial replies already available.