Lies, distortions, and slanders by GF Haddad

April 28, 2012

As some of you are probably aware, brother Muzammil Husayn has written a number of posts on sunniforum refuting Shaykh GF Haddad, during which clear slanders, distortions and lies have surfaced. I have gathered a few of these statements into one post as an example of the deception perpetrated by this tradionalist scholar who exercises some degree of influence online, to the extent that many brothers have fallen for his slanders against certain righteous ulama. The sample below should be enough to alert brothers to the fact that this scholar is not a reliable source of information. If anyone here has contact with the Shaykh, then he is requested to bring this sample to the Shaykh’s attention:

1. GF Haddad said: “It is also a remarkable revision of history to represent Ismā.īl Dihlawī as a reviver of jihād. In reality, he was a rebel bāghī who opposed the jihād against the British declared by the last Mughāl Sultan of India.”

The last Mughal sultan of India was Bahadur Shah who came to power in 1837 several years after the death of Shah Isma‘il. Shah Isma‘il did not oppose any jihad.

2. GF Haddad said: “[Taqwiyat al-Iman of] Ismā.īl Dihlawī was also immediately opposed by a host of Indian Sunnī Ulema beginning with his own family and the Ulema of Delhi such as his two paternal uncles Shāh .Abd al-.Azīz Muh.addith Dihlawī (d. 1239/1834) (the son of Shāh Walī Allāh and one of those considered a Renewer of the thirteenth Hijrī century) and Shāh Raf.ī al-Dīn Muh.addith Dihlawī in his Fatāwā””

Shah Rafi‘ al-Din passed away in 1233 H/1818 AD before Taqwiyat al-Iman was even written, so it is not possible he wrote a refutation. Also Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz died in 1824 not 1834.

3. GF Haddad said: “Ismā.īl Dihlawī wrote Taqwiyat al-Īmān in the wake of his H.ijāz years (1236-1239), at which time he had come under the tutelage of Wahhābī missionaries.”

In the period Shah Isma’il went to perform Hajj (“his Hijaz years”), the followers of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab had already been expelled from the Hijaz, and it was under Ottoman rule when the followers of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab were vilified, and they held no sway in these lands. Besides this clear historical indication that Shah Isma’il most probably had no contact with “Wahhabi missionaries,” scholars of his movement find no evidence of any relation or connection between them.

Harlan O. Pearson an academic researcher on Sayyid Ahmad Berelwi’s movement (called Tariqah Muhammadiyyah) wrote while discussing Shah Isma‘il and the Tariqah Muhammadiyyah’s pilgrimage: “The Indian Muhammadi [i.e. the movement of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and Shah Isma’il] had no apparent connection with the Arabian Wahhabi movement. By performing the pilgrimage, they were performing a basic religious duty in preparation for their later activities.” (Islamic Reform and Revival in Nineteenth Century India, Yoda Press,2008, p. 39)

Muhammad Hedayatullah wrote in his Masters thesis for McGill University on Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi: “His [Sayyid Ahmad’s] relation with the Arabian Wahhabis is not historically proved.” (A Study of the Religious Reform Movement of Sayyid Ahmad of Rae Bareli, p. 26)

4. GF Haddad said: “The night of the Mawlid Sharif is of greater significance and merit than Laylat al-Qadr which is the position of some of the Maliki Imams as cited by Abu al-`Abbas al-Wansharisi (d. 914) in his encyclopdia of Maliki fatwas titled _al-Mi`yar al-Mu`rab wa al-Jami` al-Mughrib fi Fatawa Ahl Ifriqya wa al-Andalus wa al-Maghrib (11:280-285).”

“Some” normally means “more than one,” but this encyclopaedia only cites one person stating this view.

5. GF Haddad said: “Secondly, it is patently false that the origin of the two `Eids cannot be attributed to any particular event of history that had happened on these dates as the books of Tafsir are replete with the story of the sacrifice of Ibrahim (as) with his son Isma`il (as) on the occasion of which was offered a huge ram as stated in the Holy Qur’an.”

There is no proof that the sacrifice of Ibrahim (‘alayhi salam) happened on the day of ‘Id (10th Dhu l-Hijjah).

6. GF Haddad said: “As for death anniversaries, the Prophet definitely visited his wife and uncle’s graves on a regular basis as well as his mother’s.”

No such rigorously authentic narration exists which state he visited any of these relatives on a regular basis.

7. Translating a passage from Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, GF Haddad quotes al-Dhahabi as follows: “As for his celebration of the Noble Mawlid al-Nabawi, words are too poor to describe it. The people used to come all the way from Iraq and Algeria to attend it. Two wooden dais would be erected and decorated for him and his wife… the celebration would last several days, and a huge quantity of cows and camels would be brought out to be sacrificed and cooked in different ways… Preachers would roam the field exhorting the people. Great sums were spent (as charity). Ibn Dihya compiled a ‘Book of Mawlid’ for him for which he received 1,000 dinars. He [Muzaffar] was modest, a LOVER OF GOOD, AND A TRUE SUNNI who loved scholars of jurisprudence and scholars of hadith, and was generous even to poets. He was killed in battle according to what is reported.”

The original passage of al-Dhahabi’s Siyar does not say “a true Sunni” (sunniyyun haqqan), but just “Sunni”. In the deliberately placed ellipsis, al-Dhahabi said: “In them [i.e. the pavilions erected for the mawlid celebration] were musicians and men of play, and he [i.e. al-Malik al-Muzaffar] would come down everyday at ‘Asr and stand at every pavilion and watch/take enjoyment from (the music and play).” (wa fiha jawq al-maghani wa al-la’ib, wa yanzilu kulla yawmin al-‘asra fayaqifu ‘ala kulli qubbatin wa yatafarraj). This was not translated amidst the remainder of the passage for obvious reasons.

8. GF Haddad said regarding the narration in which the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) prayed at Bethlehem during the Night Journey: “and al-Bazzar [narrated it] with a sound chain as indicated by al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id”

On the hadith in question, al-Haythami says in Majma’ al-Zawa’id: “Al-Bazzar and al-Tabrani in al-Kabir narrated it…In it is Ishaq ibn Ibrahim ibn al-‘Ala, considered trustworthy by Yahya ibn Ma’in and weakened by al-Nasa’i.”

رواه البزار والطبراني في الكبير ، إلا أن الطبراني قال فيه : ” قد أخذ صاحبك الفطرة ، وإنه لمهدي . وقال في وصف جهنم كيف وجدتها ؟ قال : مثل الحمة السخنة ” . وفيه إسحاق بن إبراهيم بن العلاء ، وثقه يحيى بن معين ، وضعفه النسائي

And this Haddad claims is an indication of its soundness from al-Haythami though he makes no such judgement.

9. GF Haddad said: “Secondly, the prescription of the commemoration of the birth of Christ *was* prescribed in the early Christian Church, even if its chronological proximity to the pagan commemoration of the winter solstice was co-opted by the political authorities as a means to recycle prevalent social customs in certain regions including those of pagan origins.”

In exact contradiction to this statement, the Catholic Encyclopaedia states: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts; Origen, glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalitia, asserts (in Lev. Hom. viii in Migne, P.G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday; Arnobius (VII, 32 in P.L., V, 1264) can still ridicule the “birthdays” of the gods.” The Encyclopaedia goes on to mention that the first time it was celebrated was two centuries after Christ. It seems, Haddad’s assertion that the commemoration of the birth of Christ was prescribed in the early Church, is simply fabricated and has no basis in fact.

10. GF Haddad said in his review of Kitab al-Tawhid: “Citing another weak narration that “a Companion” said: “Let us all go seek the help of the Messenger of Allâh (qûmû binâ nastaghîthu birasûlillah) against this hypocrite [`Abd Allâh ibn Ubay ibn Salûl who challenged Abû Bakr to ask the Prophet for a major miracle],” whereupon the Prophet said: “Innahu lâ yustaghâthu bî innamâ yustaghâthu billâh * “Help is not sought with me, it is sought only with Allâh.” Ibn `Abd al-Wahhâb references it to al-T.abarânî. [10]
First neither the wording nastaghîthu birasûlillah nor innahu lâ yustaghâthu bî innamâ yustaghâthu billâh is found in any book of h.adîth and there is no chain for them! The reference to “al-T.abarânî” shows blind imitation of Ibn Taymiyya’s incorrect referencing of these wordings to al-T.abarânî’s al-Mu`jam al-Kabîr in al-Radd `alâ al-Bakrî and Majmû` al-Fatâwâ.”

In fact, the exact narration as quoted by Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab was narrated by al-Tabrani. In Majma’ al-Zawa’id (Kitab al-Ad’iyah, Bab Fima Yustaftah bihi al-Du’a…vol 10, page 246 Darwish ed.), al-Haythami said:

عن عبادة بن الصامت قال قال أبو بكر قوموا نستغيث برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من هذا المنافق فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم انه لا يستغاث بى إنما يستغاث بالله عزوجل
رواه الطبراني ورجاله رجال الصحيح غير ابن لهيعة وهو حسن الحديث

After narrating it with the wording presented by Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab with “Help is not sought from me, it is only sought from Allah,” al-Haytami says: “Al-Tabrani narrated it and its men are the men of the Sahih besides Ibn Lahi’ah whose hadiths are hasan.”


Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and the Students of Shah Abd al-Aziz

September 19, 2011

Courtesy of SF. The article below illustrates that Sayyid Ahmad Shahid was a well-accepted scholar amongst the elite scholars in India. He was widely accepted by scholars who were famous in the circle of Shah Abd al-Aziz, the son of Shah Waliyullah:

Sayyid Ahmad ibn ‘Irfan Shahid al-Berelwi (1201/1786 – 1246/1831) enjoyed wide popularity and acceptance during his brief role as Sufi master and preacher. One of the greatest indications of this is that many of the direct students of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (1159/1746 – 1239/1824) who had become recognised scholars in their own rights pledged allegiance to him and became his disciples. Sayyid Ahmad Shahid was himself a spiritual successor (khalifah) of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. The early hagiographical biographies of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid like Makhzan Ahmadi [authored by Shaykh Muhammad ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Subhan al-Tuki (1195/1781-1266/1850), a nephew and disciple of Sayyid Ahmad, several years his senior] and Waqa‘i Ahmad [by Muhammad ‘Ali al-Sadrpuri (d. 1287)] mention that Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz conferred to him the status of wilaya (sainthood). These sources mention that although Sayyid Ahmad Shahid disagreed with Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz on the point of shughl barzakh, Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said this was a blessing of his “prophetic” wilaya as opposed to “saintly” wilaya. Sayyid Ahmad Shahid’s Sirat i Mustaqim was completed several years before the death of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and there are no reports that he expressed disapproval of its contents.

The following is a list of some scholars who were direct students of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz that became disciples of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid which I found while scanning through the biographies of Indian ‘ulama from the 13th century Hijri from Nuzhat al-Khawatir by ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Hayy ibn Fakhr al-Din al-Hasani (1286/1869 – 1341/1923). Many of those mentioned took the spiritual path from him during the lifetime of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz himself.

1. Shah Muhammad Isma‘il ibn ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Dihlawi (1193/1779 – 1246/1831). He was brought up in the household of his uncle Shah ‘Abd al-Qadir and studied with him and his two elder brothers, Shah Rafi‘ al-Din and Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. He was the most renown disciple and successor of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid who was several years his junior.

2. Mufti Ilahi Baksh ibn Shaykh al-Islam ibn Qutb al-Din al-Siddiqi al-Hanafi al-Kandehlewi (1162/1750 – 1245/1829). He studied under Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz for a long period and became his disciple. His mastery in Hanafi fiqh led him to become the mufti of Bhopal. He took the Qadiri tariqa from his brother Hajj Kamal al-Din. “Then he took the Naqshbandi tariqa from Shaykh Imam Ahmad ibn ‘Irfan al-Shahid al-Berelwi and he compiled al-Mulhimat al-Ahmadiyya regarding the practices and litanies of the tariqa and he filled it with praises of Sayyid Imam (Allah have mercy on him).” (Nuzhat al-Khawatir p. 921) Mufti Ilahi Bakhsh was nearly forty years senior to Sayyid Ahmad, and was one of the foremost students of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (Nuzhat al-Khawatir p. 1014). His pledge at the hand of Sayyid Ahmad is therefore a great testament to the latter’s profound spiritual station and his acceptance amongst the scholarly elite. One of Mufti Ilahi Baksh’s students mentioned in Nuzhat al-Khawatir, Mughith al-Din al-Saharanpuri, also became a disciple of Sayid Shahid and even participated in the jihad with him.

3. Sayyid Awlad Hasan ibn Awlad ‘Ali al-Qinnawaji (1210/1796-1253/1837). He was the father of Siddiq Hasan Qinnawaji. He studied under Shah Rafi‘ al-Din and Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz for some time, and he was a khalifa and close disciple of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid. (Nuzhat al-Khawatir, p. 931)

4. Mawlana Haydar ‘Ali ibn ‘Inayat ‘Ali al-Dihlawi al-Tuki (1203/1788 – 1273/1856). He studied under Shah Rafi al-Din and Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, and he opposed in writing Fadl Haq al-Khayrabadi’s views against Shah Ismai’il. ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Hayy said of Haydar ‘Ali: “He was extremely intelligent, very perceptive, a master in the knowledge of the Book and Sunnah and disagreements, and a treasure-filled ocean in philosophical sciences.” (Nuzhat al-Khawatir p. 960) He was a respected teacher of the Islamic sciences, and taught the well-known Mufti ‘Inayat Ahmad al-Kakarawi author of ‘Ilm al-Sighah. (Nuzhat al-Khawatir p. 1048)

5. Shaykh Khurram ‘Ali al-Balhuri (d. 1271/1855). He studied the traditional books under the sons of Shah Wali Allah, and then became a disciple of Sayyid Ahmad. He translated sections of al-Durr al-Mukhtar on Hanafi fiqh, called Ghayat al-Awtar, which was then completed by other ‘ulama after his death. He translated Mashariq al-Anwar by al-Saghani and he translated al-Qawl al-Jamil of Shah Wali Allah and called it Shifa al-‘Alil. He has a popular work called Nasihat al-Muslimin similar to Shah Isma‘il’s Taqwiyat al-Iman (Nuzhat al-Khawatir, p. 963)

6. ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Hayy ibn Hibat Allah ibn Nur Allah al-Burhanawi (d. 1243). He studied with Shah ‘Abd al-Qadir and Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz, and he was a relative of the latter. “He was extremely intelligent, with a strong memory, very involved in research and reading.” (Nuzhat al-Khawatir, p. 1005). He became a disciple of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid in the lifetime of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. He co-authored al-Sirat al-Mustaqim with Shah Isma‘il and then translated it to Arabic. Qadi Shawkani of Yemen sent to him a written general ijaza. Muhsin ibn Yahya al-Turhati wrote in al-Yani’ al-Jani fi Asanid al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghani (completed in Rajab 1280/1863): “He was the best of them [i.e. the students of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz] in fiqh and the most experienced of them in the traditional books….” (p. 1005) Shah Muhammad Ishaq al-Dihlawi (1197/1783 – 1262/1846), the grandson and successor of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, read Sarf and Nahw up to al-Kafiya under Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hayy and studied fiqh with him, before specialising in hadith under Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (Nuzhat al-Khawatir, p. 911). Although his year of birth is not mentioned, as he was a teacher of Shah Muhammad Ishaq, he must have been at least a decade or two older than Sayyid Ahmad Berelwi. ‘Allamah Wajih al-Din al-Saharanpuri was a student of ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Hayy and took isnad from him; he was the hadith-teacher of the famous Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali al-Saharanpuri, founder of the Matba‘ Ahmadi printing press; one of the latter’s chains is therefore: from Wajih al-Din al-Saharanpuri from ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Burhnawi from Shah ‘Abd al-Qadir from Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz… (Nuzhat al-Khawatir p. 907, 1132) His more famous chain is through Shah Muhammad Ishaq from Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz.

7. ‘Allamah Ghulam Jilani ibn Ahmad al-Sharif al-Rampuri (1154/1742-1234/1819). He took hadith from Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. He became a renowned teacher and was one of the teachers of Haydar ‘Ali mentioned above. He became a disciple of Sayyid Ahmad who was over forty years his junior. He was in fact some years older than even his teacher Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz! Despite his eminence and old age he wished to accompany Sayyid Ahmad Shahid to jihad, but when Sayyid Ahmad refused because he was too elderly, he began to weep as mentioned in Wasaya al-Wazir (Nuzhat al-Khawatir, p. 1051)

8. Shaykh Mahbub ‘Ali ibn Musahib ‘Ali al-Ja‘fari al-Dihlawi (1200/1785-1280/1864). He gained direct ijaza from Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. He was a disciple of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and he even travelled to the Frontiers to fight, but due to unknown reasons had to turn back. (Nuzhat al-Khawatir, p. 1078) He was one year older than Sayyid Ahmad Shahid.

9. Shaykh Wahid al-Din ibn Mu‘in al-Din al-Puhulti al-Dihlawi. He studied under Shah Isma‘il and he accompanied Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz and Shah ‘Abd al-Qadir for thirteen years, and then he accompanied Sayyid Ahmad Shahid. He went to Hajj with him and then returned to India and then accompanied him to the Frontiers. (Nuzhat al-Khawatir, p. 1133)

Besides these scholars, there were many other associates of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and indirect students who took the tariqah from Sayyid Ahmad Shahid. This is sufficient reason to believe that there was no conflict between the teachings and methodology of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and the spiritual teaching of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and his tariqa.

Shah Muhammad Ishaq al-Dihlawi (1197/1783 – 1262/1846), the grandson and successor of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi, supported Sayyid Ahmad Shahid’s jihad on the Frontiers. He dictated a work called Mi’at Masa’il in which he defended the ideological views of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and Shah Isma‘il. In a British journal article dated November 1832 – Journal of the Asiatic Society No. 11. November 1832. “Notice of the peculiar Tenets held by the followers of Syed Ahmed, taken chiefly from the “Sirat-ul-Mustaqim,” a principle Treatise of that Sect by J.R. Colvin (of which I own a copy) – J.R. Colvin writes: “The writer [i.e. J.R. Colvin] has seen another Treatise printed in the course of last year (1831), the Miayatul Masail, or the hundred questions: being answers by Shekh Mohammed Ishak, a grandson of Shah Abdul Aziz, to queries stated to have been put to him by some of the Royal family at Delhi.”

Under the biography of Shaykh Ahmad Allah ibn Dalil Allah al-Annami, ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani writes: “He has a treatise called Mi’atu Masa’il fi Tahsil al-Fada’il bi al-Adillat al-Shar‘iyya wa Tark al-Umur al-Manhiyya, in which he compiled issues from the written [answers] of his shaykh, Ishaq. He compiled it in the year 1245 (1830).”

There is therefore no doubt that a work called Mi’atu Masa’il was circulating in the early 1830s under the authorship of Shah Muhammad Ishaq, long before his death. If he knew it was misattributed to him, he would have clarified that it is not his. Shah Muhammad Ishaq migrated to Mecca in the year 1258 H more than ten years after the publication of this work in India. Furthermore, Ahmad Rida Khan and Ahmad Yar Khan recognised the work to be his and claimed it is contrary to the beliefs of the “Ahl al-Sunnah”.