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.

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.