Mufti Abdul Ghani Patialvi’s al-Junnah li Ahlissunnah

December 23, 2018

Mufti Abdul Ghani Patialvi, who was the headmaster at one of the famous Deobandi Madaris located in Delhi, Madrasa Aminia (where Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlawi famously taught), wrote a work against Barelwis called al-Junna li Ahlissunnah, available here:

The title was suggested by Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, who endorsed the book. It was also endorsed by Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlawi.

The work consists of three separate books/chapters written in the 1920s and 1930s. The first is a defence of Shah Isma’il Shahid; the second is a response to Ahmad Rida Khan’s allegations against the four Akabir; and the third is on the topic of innovation (bid’ah). There is also a lengthy introduction which refutes the claim that Shah Isma’il Shahid was influenced by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, a “foreign person, whose integrity and knowledge is unknown.” (al-Junnah, p. 14) Indeed, all of Shah Isma’il’s positions that supposedly reflect influence by Wahhabis are found explicitly in the writings of his predecessors (ibid.), like Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlawi and Qadi Thanaullah Panipati. Extensive quotes from these scholars and others are presented to show that they were Shah Isma’il’s sources, not Wahhabis. A detailed description is also provided on the nature of the beliefs of the common and ignorant Muslims that Shah Isma’il was addressing. Shah Isma’il’s liberal usage of the term “shirk” is also discussed – that he sometimes meant true shirk and sometimes an action associated with mushrikun though not true shirk.

Abaqat of Shah Isma’il Shahid – Arabic

October 16, 2018

Several posts were written previously refuting allegations against Shah Isma’il Shahid of having Wahhabi tendencies, as well as other allegations made against him.

See, for example:

In the first of these refutations, a reference was made to the Urdu translation of Shah Isma’il’s work, ‘Abaqat, in which he negated the belief that Allah (SWT) has a direction. The original Arabic of Abaqat has now been made available on PDF:

The passages referred to in the post are found in this Arabic edition as follows:

ولا يشك عاقل من الملئين  وغيرهم في أن الوجود الإمكاني إذا قيس في جنب الوجود الواجبي يصير هباء منثورا إذ كل شيء هالك إلا وجهه، وإن الواجب يتصرف فى الممكن بمحض العلم والإرادة لا بالمباشرة والآلات، وإنه إن شاء أبطل جوهر العالم وأفناه إفناء مطلقا بحيث يصير معدوما مطلقا، وإنه لا يتصف بالنسبة إلى الممكنات  بكونه في جهة ما ولا بالقرب والبعد المكانيين ولا بالاتصال والانفصال، ولا يتصور بينهما مسافة لا متناهية ولا غير متناهية

“No sane person from the two groups or others will doubt that the possible existent when compared to the Necessary Existent is like scattered dust, since everything will perish besides His countenance; and that the Necessary Being intervenes in the possible existence by mere knowledge and will not by physical interaction and instruments; and that if He wanted He would eradicate the essence of the universe and make it disappear such that it becomes completely nonexistent; and that He is not characterised as being, in relation to possible existents, in a particular direction, nor as being distant or near in terms of place, nor as being physically joined or separated; nor is a distance between them, whether finite or infinite, conceivable.” (Abaqat, p. 35)

وبه ثبت للاهوت أنه موجود فى الخارج ليس في جهة ولا مكان ولا متصل ولا منفصل منزه عن تجدد الصفات كالعلم والإرادات دائم العناية والتأثير فى العالم

“Thus it is established that the Divine exists external [to the mind], not in a direction, nor place, nor physically joined or separated…” (Abaqat, p. 102)

In ‘Abaqat, Shah Isma’il mentions the Ash’aris and Maturidis as being from the Ahl al-Haqq (adherents of truth). He writes:

قد وقع بين كل فن تفرق واختلاف، وهو على نحوين، تفرق بين المبطلين والمحقين كالتفرق بين فقهاء الشيعة و أهل السنة والأشاعرة والمعتزلة  أو الوجودية الملاحدة والوجودية العرفاء أو بين من يستعين في مراقاباته بالخمور والمسكرات  وبين من يستعين فيها بالأذكار والصلاة أو بين من يعالج عجب القلب بترك شعائر الشرع وبين من يعالجه بملاحظة المعاصي أو القصور فى الطاعات وهكذا فقس، فالحكم في مثل هذا التفرق وجوب تصويب أحد الجانبين وتخطئة الآخر كذلك، وتفرق بين أهل الحق كالتفرق بين الأئمة الأربعة أو بين الأشعرية والماتريدية أو بين الوجودية الورائية والشهودية الظلية أو بين أهل الطرق، فالحكم فيه أن كل واحد منهم في أكثر المسائل على طريق حق، ولكل واحد هو موليها فاستبقوا الخيرات، فمن اتبع واحدا منهم فاز بالمقصود

“Divergence and disagreement has occurred in every field. It is of two kinds. One is divergence between those who are wrong and those who are right, like the divergence between jurists of the Shi’ah and of Ahl al-Sunnah; and between Ash’aris and Mu’tazila; or between the heretical Wujudis and the learned Wujudis, or between those who use wine and intoxicants in their meditations and those who use litanies and prayer, or between those who treat the vanity of the heart by abandoning the main features of Shari’ah and those who treat it by giving attention towards sins and falling short in good deeds – you can find similar examples. The rule on such divergence is the necessity of calling one group specifically correct and calling the other incorrect similarly. Another kind of divergence is amongst adherents of truth like the divergence between the four imams or between the Ash’aris and Maturidis or between the Wara’i Wujudis and the Zilli Shuhudis, or between the adherents of the different Tariqas. The rule on this is that each of them are on a right road in most issues, and each have a direction to which they turn, so compete with each other in virtues. Whoever follows any one of them will succeed in attaining the goal.” (Abaqat, p. 174)

Shah Isma’il also mentions that his main source of guidance is the teachings of his uncles (i.e. Shah Abdul Aziz, Shah Abdul Qadir and Shah Rafiuddin). (Abaqat, p. 3)

Given the above, and that Shah Isma’il was a Sufi-philosopher, and given his location and history, it is nonsensical to say Shah Isma’il was a “Wahhabi”. Yet, Barelwis continue to make this slander and false accusation because to them facts don’t matter as much as what the “grand-master” of takfir and deception, Ahmad Rida Khan, claimed.

It should be noted such slanders against Shah Isma’il predate the lying dajjal Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi. One such allegation was that the Arabic work of Shah Isma’il Shahid, Radd al-Ishrak, from which the Urdu Taqwiyat al-Iman derives, was a translation or summary of Kitab al-Tawhid of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. As Mawlana Nurul Hasan Rashidi shows in a detailed academic research on Radd al-Ishrak and Taqwiyat al-Iman, there are several genuine manuscripts of Radd al-Ishrak available, but in one fabricated copy a fabricator changed the contents of Radd al-Ishrak and reworded it to make it appear to be a summary of Kitab al-Tawhid of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Then based on this fabrication some claimed Shah Isma’il’s Radd al-Ishrak/Taqwiyat al-Iman are based on Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s Kitab al-Tawhid!

Note: A PDF of the genuine Radd al-Ishrak is available:

Uthman Nabulusi, a student of Sa’id Fuda in Jordan and author of a work refuting mistaken Wahhabi conceptions on “Tawhid”, commented after reading Shah Isma’il’s introduction to the above work (Radd al-Ishrak):

هذه المقدمة لا غبار عليها، والفرق شاسع جدًأ بين كلامه وكلام محمد بن عبد الوهاب

“This introduction is completely unproblematic, and there is a massive difference between what he said and what Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab said.”

Shah Isma’il himself clarified that in some parts of Taqwiyat al-Iman he used the term “shirk” not literally (as Wahhabis did), but to refer to practices associated with shirk. This is discussed in an earlier post:

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

Letter of ‘Allamah Shah Isma’il to Mulla Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-Baghdadi

July 14, 2012

[Following is a translation of a letter of ‘Allamah Shah Isma’il Shahid to Mulla Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-Baghdadi. Mulla Baghdadi wrote a letter to ‘Allamah Shahid while he was in Kanpur asking for clarification on certain points. ‘Allamah Shahid sent his reply to Delhi. Mulla Baghdadi read out this letter to Mawlana Muhmmad Ya’qub Dahlawi [brother of ‘Allamah Muhaddith Shah Ishaq Dahlawi] because he lived at his madrassah. Some of those present in the gathering made a copy of this letter.]

Translated by Zameelur Rahman

[‘Allamah Shahid writes]

“We praise the One Who is in unique in [the quality of] beginninglessness, for all things that is besides Him was preceded by nonexistence. He has no partner in creation and administration. There is no volition for anyone in His dominion to [the extent of] a speck (naqir) and the membrane of a date stone (qitmir), so even the prophets do not intercede except after His permission. And there is no salvation for anyone except by His grace and His favor. And we send blessings on the best of creatures, the intercessor of nations, were it not for whom the world would not have been brought out of nonexistence, and the one who taught us the proofs of divine oneness and Islam, and brought us out of the darkness of idolatry and the worship of idols; and on his progeny, and his companions and on the one who helps his religion and loves him.

To proceed:

The person who ascended the stairways of Islam, the offspring of the beloved Jaylani Sayyid, Sayyid ‘Abd Allah al-Baghdadi, the learned scholar, has [my] special greeting and salutation.

It is not hidden to you that when I saw the common Muslims of India were immersed – due to their ignorance – in idolatry and innovations (bid‘at), and they adhered to flimsy doubts, and they began to worship graves and their inhabitants, and asked their needs from them – the small of them and the big of them – I composed a treatise in refutation of associating [partners] with Allah, and I adduced 26 verses from the speech of Allah as proof, and I translated them into Hindi [Urdu], in order to make it easy for them to benefit [from it] and to uncover the veil from the ugliness of their supports and their proofs; thus, with praise to Allah, thousands of women and men were guided; and none hesitated therein except some obstinate ignoramuses. It has reached me that this treatise was read before you, and you said: “[This is all] true except making idols and all people and prophets equal in the chapter of createdness and non-volition, which although true and part of faith, it is a form of disrespect that must have support or proof, because an idol is impure so how can it be mentioned along with the master of the pure ones (Allah bless him and grant him peace)?”

I say, and accordance is from Allah:

This passage occurs in my treatise in refutation of the doubt of the commoners, since they say: “Seeking help and worship and prostration are only banned for idols, not the noble prophets and great saints,” so I said: “True seeking of help (al-isti‘anah al-haqiqiyyah) is not permissible according to the intellect except from the one who has volition in the administration of the cosmos, and it is established in decisive Qur’anic texts that there is no volition for other than Allah. So in this particular matter, I mean of deserving prostration and sending down rain and giving children, there is no preference of prophets and saints over idols and all people. As for the nearness of the Prophets in Allah’s presence (Exalted is He) and their perfections and virtues – to the pavilions of which other than them do not reach – [this is] accepted, and it is another matter which has no bearing on lordliness and divinity.”

It is extremely strange from your respected self that you conceded that this matter is true and part of faith, and then you said that it is disrespect. Would that I knew! When a matter is established from the proofs and included in faith, how can it be conceived that it is disrespect? So your speech indicates towards a combination of two opposites. And proof is sought for that which is established by proof, while this matter is established in general in the Qur’an, so what harm is there in elaborating the generality? Despite this, indeed Allah (Exalted is He) said to His Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the Qur’an: “Say: Verily, I am only a man like you; it is revealed to me that your God is only One God.” (Qur’an 18:110). And it is not hidden that those addressed by his saying: “Verily, I am only a man like you” were idolaters. Thus, [it may be asked:] why did Allah (Exalted is He) liken – in terms of humanity – His Prophet to the idolaters whose impurity is established in the Qur’an where Allah (Exalted is He) said: “Verily, the idolaters are only filth, so they must not come near the Sacred Mosque” (Qur’an 9:28)? While, idols, from the perspective that they are stones and inanimate objects, there is no impurity in them, for otherwise it would imply all stones are impure. The impurity in them is a result of the idolaters who fashioned them and assigned them as objects of worship. Thus, the idolaters are filthier than the idols. So, understand and deliberate! If it is said: “Although this matter is established, but what is the need to mention it?” I say: The need to mention it is to refute the commoners since they claim that the prophets and saints freely dispose (yata-sarrifun) in the world, doing whatever they wish.

[Having said] this, it has been proven to me that the Punjabi man is whispering to you, but dear shaykh, you are unaware of his condition, for indeed he is a man with a disordered intellect, defective senses, stupid, and ignorant, and claims for himself that he an experienced learned scholar, [yet he] does not know the right from left, since he is in reality a deputy of Dajjal; because sometimes he says I am slave (‘abd) of Mahbub Subhani and sometimes he says that ‘Abd al-Qadir is the Sustainer (al-raziq) – we seek protection from Allah from these heretical words which the ignorant do not allow let alone the scholars. Thus, it is asked from your esteemed presence to not assent to his speech regarding my affair because he is a deceptive man – may Allah guide him to the Straight Path, and keep us and you firm on His upright religion, and may Allah send blessing on our master and our leader and our intercessor, Muhammad, the Chosen One, and on his family, the suns of guidance, and his companions, the full-moon in the darkness.”

This letter was completed when I was residing in Kanpur in the year 1240 to Sayyid al-Baghdadi when the ignoramuses whispered to him. Then after reading this letter of mine, he came to me remorsefully, and he said: “I agreed with what was composed in your treatise, and what I said concerning you was due [only] to not grasping your speech, because your speech in your treatise was in Urdu, and I am an Arab, and do not understanding Urdu, and the Punjabi man had concocted [lies] against you and made many errors in translation, so do not be angry.”

(Taqwiyat al-Iman ma’ Tazkir al-Ikhwan, p.392-398)