Muftī Ṣadruddīn Āzurdah’s Appraisal of Taqwiyat al-Īmān and Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl Dehlawī

April 14, 2020

Muftī Ṣadruddīn Āzurdah/Dehlawī (1790 – 1868) was asked about Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl (1779 – 1831) and Taqwiyat al-Īmān. He responded as follows:

I have looked at Taqwiyat al-Īmān briefly. Based on principles and the primary objective, it is very good. I have seen Maulawī Ismā‘īl Ṣāḥib [and found him] such that I have not seen anyone after him like him.

These people are from those that Allāh, glorified and exalted is He, has said: “Let there be from you a group that calls to virtue and commands good and forbids evil, and those are the successful”, and He said: “Certainly those that believe and those that migrate and struggle in Allāh’s cause, those anticipate Allāh’s mercy; and Allāh is forgiving, merciful,” and: “Allah singles out whoever he wants with His mercy, and Allāh possesses immense grace.”

Thus, whoever calls him a disbeliever or misguided is himself misguided.

Muftī Ṣadruddīn Āzurdah is respected across the spectrum, and excelled in the rational and literary sciences. He had studied under Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz Dehlawī, Shāh Rafī‘uddīn Dehlawī, Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir Dehlawī (sons of Shāh Waliyyullāh Dehlawī) and Faḍl e Imām Khairābādī.

Note: The fatwā was published in the lifetime of Muftī Ṣadruddīn Āzurdah by one of his disciples, and has been recorded in many publications thereafter.


Did Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismā’ῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh say that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has turned to sand?

April 8, 2020

 

Original question and answer from AskImam

 

QUESTION

Assalaam alaikum,

I was going through a website on the internet which says that deobandis are KAFIR due to their false beliefs. Please reply since i am very disturbed .

FALSE BELIEF 2: “The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had died and is mixed in the sand.” (“Taqweeyat-ul Imaan” by Ismaeel Dehlwi).

It has been stated in the Hadith: “Verily, Almighty Allah has made it Haraam upon the earth to eat the bodies of the Ambiya”. It has also been stated that Ambiya are alive and are blessed with Sustenance from Almighty Allah.

 

ANSWER

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is the view of the ‘Ulamā of Deoband that the earth cannot eat or decompose the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalam after their deaths. Rather, the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalam are alive in their graves.

Moulānā Khalῑl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrῑ Raḥmatullahi ‘Alayh writes in Al Muhannad ‘Alal Mufannad; a book detailing the beliefs of the ‘Ulamā of Deoband:

عِنْدَنَا وَعِنْدَ مَشَائِخِنَا حَضْرَةُ الرِّسَالَةِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَيٌّ فِيْ قَبْرِهِ الشَّرِيْفِ وَحَيَاتُهُ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ دُنْيَوِيَّةٌ مِنْ غَيْرِ تَكْلِيْفٍ وَهِيَ مُخْتَصَّةٌ بِهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَبِجَمِيْعِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ 

“According to us and our elders, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is alive in his blessed grave. His, Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s, living [in his grave] is the same as his living in this world, without any restrictions. This is specific for the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam, all the Prophets Ṣalāwatullāhi ‘Alayhim and the Martyrs”[1]

Taqwiyatul mān is a book written by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh.

Let us first briefly introduce this great personality from the Indian subcontinent.

A Brief Biography of Moulānā Shāh Ismāl Shahd Ramatullāhi ‘Alayh

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh was born on 12th Rabῑ’ Al Thānῑ 1193 AH (1779 CE) in Delhi. He was the son of Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul Ghanῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d. 1227 AH) and the grandson of the erudite scholar, Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH).

At the age of 8, he completed the memorisation of the Holy Qur’ān. After this, he began to study the books of Arabic grammar (Naw), Arabic morphology (arf) and logic (Maniq) under his father.

After the passing of his father, he was nurtured by his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (1230 AH).

Upon completion of his studies, he began to study the field of Ḥadῑth under his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), the masterly scholar, Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azῑz Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1239 AH).

He also studied under his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), Ḥadhrat Shāh Rafῑ’ Al Dῑn Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1233 AH).

During his days of study, he not only focused on the books that he was studying, but also endeavoured to train his body in vocational arts such as archery, swimming, and fencing.

He was also a passionate ūf, taking a pledge (bay’ah) at the hands of Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH) and writing a book in the field titled; aqqat-e-Tasawwuf.

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh also wrote many other books. They include:

1)     Al irāt Al Mustaqm

A book compiling the sayings of Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH).

2)     dāh Al aq Al ar F Akām Al Mayyit Wal ar 

A book detailing the laws of innovation (bid’ah)

3)     Manab Imāmah

A book detailing the status of Prophethood.

4)     Imkān Al Nazr Wa Imtinā’ Al Nazr

5)     Raddul Ishrāk Wal Bida’

A book in the Arabic language in refutation of polytheism (shirk) and innovation (bid’ah).

6)     Risālah Fῑ Usūl Al Fiqh 

A treatise in the Arabic language on the principles of Fiqh (Usūl Al Fiqh). 

7)     Tanwrul ‘Aynayn F Ithbāt Raf’il Yadayn

8)     Silk Nūr

9)     Taqwiyatul mān

A book which is a translation in Hindi of the first chapter of his book, Raddul Ishrāk Wal Bida’.

He was married to Ummu Kulthūm Bint ‘Abdir Raḥmān, who was the niece of Shāh Rafῑ’ Al Dῑn Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1233 AH) and the granddaughter of Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1230 AH).[2]

There are many great stories mentioned regarding Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s bravery, knowledge, forbearance, and altruism.

On one occasion, he was invited to give a speech. During the speech, the people noticed that his tone was very low. The people found out that he had not eaten for a full day. When they presented some food to him, he smiled and said: “My companions are also hungry, I will not eat until they are also fed”.[3]

His memory was such that he would dictate five different articles to five different people at the same time.[4]

His teacher, Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azῑz Al Dehlawi (d.1239 AH) referred to him as:

حُجَّةُ الْإِسْلَامِ 

“A proof for Islām”[5]

The author of Nuzhatul Khawātir, Shaykh ‘Abdul Ḥayy Al Ḥasanῑ (d.1341 AH), describes Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as:

أَحَدُ أَفْرَادِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الذَّكَاءِ وَالْفَطِنَةِ وَالشَّهَامَةِ وَقُوَّةِ النَّفْسِ وَالصَّلَابَةِ فِي الدِّيْنِ 

“A unique individual in the world in terms of intelligence, acumen, magnanimity, self-power and steadfastness in religion”[6]

He participated in many wars against the Sikhs during the reign of Ranjit Singh. He was considered the main advisor to Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH)[7] and was martyred in 1246 AH in Balakot.

He was buried in Balakot.[8]

Did Moulānā Shāh Ismāl Shahd Ramatullāhi ‘Alayh hold the view that the Prophet Sallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has turned to sand?

A detailed answer showing the misinterpretation of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s comments has been given by the late Moulānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh in his critically acclaimed work in the Urdu language:

عبارات اکابر

“The statements of the elders”

We have translated his response.

Moulānā Sarfrāz Khāafdar writes[9]:

The claim:

[Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ and his followers have raised an objection upon Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh that he has, Allah forbid, claimed that after the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s demise, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam turned to sand, in his grave. This is despite the fact that it is mentioned in an authentic narration that Allah Ta’āla has forbidden for the ground to eat the bodies of the blessed Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām.

Thus, [Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib [Barelwῑ] writes:

“In Taqwiyatul mān, page 20, a [portion of a] Ḥadῑth has been mentioned:

أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِيْ أَكُنْتَ تَسْجُدُ لَهُ 

“Do you see that if you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate before it?”

He (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh) then translates this Ḥadῑth with the words:

بھلا  خیال  تو  کر  جو  تو  گزرے  میری  قبر  پر  کیا  سجدہ  کرے

“Think! If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?”

In discussing the explanation of the Ḥadῑth, he adds that the meaning of the Ḥadῑth is: “I (Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) will also die and mix in sand one day”. Those who support and honour him (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh), [I ask you], which word of the Ḥadῑth indicates towards this meaning [that he has extracted]? On one side, you have the words of the Ḥadῑth: “If you were to visit my grave” and on the other side, you have the filthy meaning that [he has extracted]: “I shall die and mix in sand”. Look at this open slander upon the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam?

The Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam says:

مَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَيَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ 

“He who lies upon me intentionally should prepare his abode in the [Hell]fire”

Oh Wahhābis! Show us the abode of your scholar (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh) in light of the Ḥadῑth of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam.

Our Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has said:

إِنَّ اللهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ أَنْ تَأْكُلَ أَجْسَادَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ 

“Surely Allah has forbidden the earth from eating the bodies of the Prophets”

Oh Wahhābis! Look at how your scholar has blasphemed our Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam”

[Kawkabah Al Shihābiyyah ‘Alā Kufriyāt Abil Wahhābiyyah, p.27, Maḥal Murād Ābād]

The response

Let us first present the exact statement of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as found in Taqwiyatul mān. Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh first presents the following Ḥadῑth:

عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ قَالَ أَتَيْتُ الْحِيرَةَ فَرَأَيْتُهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ لِمَرْزُبَانٍ لَهُمْ فَقُلْتُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُسْجَدَ لَهُ قَالَ فَأَتَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي أَتَيْتُ الْحِيرَةَ فَرَأَيْتُهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ لِمَرْزُبَانٍ لَهُمْ فَأَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَحَقُّ أَنْ نَسْجُدَ لَكَ قَالَ “أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِي أَكُنْتَ تَسْجُدُ لَهُ؟” قَالَ قُلْتُ لَا قَالَ “فَلَا تَفْعَلُوا”

After mentioning this Ḥadῑth, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh translates the Ḥadῑth into Urdu as follows:

ترجمہ!  مشکوۃ  کے  باب  عشرۃ  النساء  میں  لکھا  ہے  کہ  ابو  داؤد  نے  ذکر  کیا  کہ  (سیدنا  حضرت)  قیس  بن  سعد  (رضی  اللہ  تعالی  عنہ)  نے  نقل  کیا  کہ  گیا  میں  ایک  شہر  میں جس  کا  نام  حیرہ  ہے  سو  دیکھا  میں  نے  وہاں  کے  لوگوں  کو  سجدہ  کرتے  تھے  اپنے  راجہ  کو  سو  کہا  میں  نے  البتہ  پیغمبر  خدا  صلی  اللہ  علیہ  وسلم  زیادہ  لائق  ہیں  کہ  سجدہ  کیجے   ان  کو  پھر  آیا  میں  پیغمبر  خدا  صلی  اللہ  تعالی  علیہ  وسلم  کے  پاس  پھر  کہا  میں  نے  کہ  گیا  تھا  میں  حیرہ  میں سو  دیکھا  میں  نے  ان  لوگوں  کو  کہ  سجدہ  کرتے  ہیں  اپنے  راجہ  کو  سو  تم  بہت  لائق  ہو  کہ  سجدہ  کریں  ہم  تم  کو-  تو  فرمایا  مجھ  کو  بھلا  خیال  تو  کر  جو  تو  گزرے  میری  قبر  پر  کیا  سجدہ  کرے  تو  اس  کو؟ کہا  میں  نے  نہیں!  فرمایا  مت کرو-

ف – یعنی  میں  بھی  ایک  دن  مر  کر  مٹی  میں  ملنے  والا  ہوں  تو  کب  سجدہ  کے  لائق  ہوں-  سجدہ  تو  اسی  ذات  پاک  کو  ہے  کہ  نہ  مرے  کبھی-  اس  حدیث  پاک  سے  معلوم  ہوا  کہ  سجدہ  نہ  کسی  زندہ  کو  کیجیے   نہ  کسی  مردہ  کو  نہ  کسی  قبر  کو  کیجیے  نہ  کسی  تھان  کو  کیوں  کہ  جو  زندہ  ہے  سو  ایک  دن  مرنے  والا  ہے  اور  جو  مر گیا  سو  کبھی  زندہ  تھا  اور بشریت  کی  قید  میں  گرفتار  پھر  مر  کر  خدا  نہیں  بن  گیا  بندہ ہی  بندہ  ہے

“Translation! It has been mentioned in the chapter of the companionship of women (Bāb ‘Ushrah Al Nisā) of Mishkāt that [Imām] Abū Dāwūd [Raḥimahullah] states that Ḥadhrat Qays ibn Sa’d Radhiyallāhu ‘Anhu said:

“I went to a place called Ḥῑrah and saw the people over there prostrating to their king. So, I said [to myself]: “Indeed, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is more worthy of being prostrated towards”. Later on, I came to the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and told him that I went to a place called Ḥῑrah and saw the people over there prostrating to their king, oh Prophet of Allah, you are more worthy of being prostrated towards. So he said “think! If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?” I replied “no”. He responded “don’t do such a thing””

Explanation – the meaning [of the statement “If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?”] is that “I am also to die and mix in sand one day, so how can you prostrate before me? Sajdah is only performed before the Being that does not die”. This Ḥadῑth tells us that prostration should not be made before a living person, a deceased person, a grave or a shrine. This is because everyone that is alive will die and everyone that is dead was once alive and shackled in the chains of humanity. Nobody became a god after death; everyone remained a servant.”

All that Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh has mentioned in the statement above is an explanation and elaboration of a Ḥadῑth. In it, he has explained the reason as to why one should not prostrate to anything or anyone besides Allah Ta’āla. The reason for this is that prostration cannot be made in front of a being that is going to die and be buried in sand. Rather, prostration can only be made in front of that Being who will live forever, will not die, and will not be buried in sand; and who can this Being be other than the Lord? For it is only He who is حي لا يموت – “One Who is Living and will not die”. All others besides Him shall die – كل نفس ذائقة الموت – “Every soul shall taste death”.

Now, let us elaborate upon the statement of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh wherein he interpreted the words of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam to mean:

میں  بھی  ایک  دن  مر  کر  مٹی  میں  ملنے  والا  ہوں

“I will also die and mix in sand one day”

If Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh meant that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s body shall become sand just as the bodies of ordinary human beings shall turn to sand, then this statement is obviously an objectionable statement and contrary to an authentic narration which explicitly mentions that Allah Ta’āla has prohibited for the earth to eat the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām.

However, this is not the intended meaning of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s statement and nor would a Muslim intend such a meaning. Rather, he simply meant that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam would also pass away and would also be buried in a grave; thus his blessed body would touch and meet the sand of the grave. He did not intend that, Allah forbid, the body of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam will turn to sand.

A person once presented this quote from Taqwiyatul mān to the erudite scholar, Muftῑ Rashῑd Aḥmad Gangohῑ Rahmatullahi Alayh, and said:

“This quote creates doubt; what is meant by the statement ملنا میں مٹی – ‘mix in sand’? The opposition, with their leader being Aḥmad Radhā Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ accuse Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh of having the view that the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām shall turn to sand. Please explain.”

Muftῑ Rashῑd Aḥmad Gangohῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh replied:

“The statement ملنا میں مٹی – ‘mix in sand’ has two meanings:

1)     To turn to sand and mix with the earth just as how many things that fall on sand eventually become a part of the sand

2)     To touch the sand

The second meaning is the meaning intended by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as he himself was of the view that the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām do not turn to sand.

Hence, due to the fact that a deceased person is surrounded by sand and his body and burial shroud touch the sand, it is said that his body ‘mixes in the sand’. Accordingly, there is no basis for any accusation.

And Allah Ta’āla knows best.

Rashῑd Aḥmad”

[Fatāwā Rashdiyyah, v.1, p.9, Delhi]

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s view that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is alive in his grave may be understood from the following poem written by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh himself:

ان   آنکھوں  سے  ہر  چند  وہ  جسم  پاک

بظاہر  ہوا  مختفی  زیر  خاک

“Although outwardly that pure body is hidden from these eyes beneath the earth”

ولے  نور  ان  کا  ہے  قائم  مقام

کہ  ہر  پاک  دل  میں  ہے  ان  کا  مقام

“Its light stands in its place, as there is a place for it in every sound heart”[10]

If [Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ were to make the effort of picking up an Urdu dictionary, this issue would have been resolved very quickly.

The word ملنا is brought in the Urdu language for many meanings which vary according to the presentation of a sentence and the intention of the speaker. The famous Urdu dictionary, NūAl Lugāt, defines the word ملنا as:

پیوستہ ہونا – ملحق ہونا – چسپاں ہونا –ایک ذات ہونا

“To stick, to be adjacent to, to affix, to become one”

[Nūr Al Lugāt, v.4, p.632]

The Urdu dictionary, Jāmi’ Al Lugāt defines the ملنا as:

دفن ہونا- مٹی میں پڑنا

“To be buried, to lie in sand”

[Jāmi’ Al Lugāt, v.2, p.565]

The Urdu dictionary, Munayyir Al Lugāt defines the ملنا as:

خاک میں ملنا-دفن ہونا

“To meet in dust, to be buried”

[Munayyir Al Lugāt, p.90]

The Urdu dictionary, Nūr Al Lugāt also mentions:

لفظ  “میں”  کبھی  “سے”  کے  معنی  میں  بھی  استعمال  کیا  جاتا  ہے  جیسے  کہتے  ہیں “درخت  میں   باندھ  دو ”  یعنی “درخت  سے  باندھ  دو”

“The word ‘in’ can at times come in the meaning of ‘with’ [in the Urdu language] such as when we say “tie it in the tree” i.e. “tie it with the tree”

[Nūr Al Lugāt, v.4, p.738]

It is a unanimously accepted principle that a statement should be interpreted within its context. In the context of the discussion in reference, it is unprincipled to interpret Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s statement in isolation and make a wrong attribution to Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh about the blessed body of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam.

It is the belief of all the ‘Ulamā of Deoband including that of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh that while the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is in his grave (qabr); which is made of sand, his blessed body is absolutely intact.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best 

Mu’ādh Chati

Student Darul Iftaa
Blackburn, England, UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

____


[1] عقائد علماۓ دیوبند اور حسام الحرمین – المہند علی المفند – (221) دار الاشاعت 

انظر إلى:

“جزء حياة الأنبياء” للبيهقي

“حياة الأنبياء” لتقي الدين السبكي

“إنباه الأذكياء في حياة الأنبياء” للسيوطس

وقد جمع هذه الرسالة الحكميم محمود أحمد ظفر السيالكوتي وهو مطبوع بـإدارة المعارف الإسلامية 

[2] شاہ اسماعیل محدث دہلوی شہید بالاکوٹ لپروفیسر خالد محمود (26) مکتبہ دار المعارف 

[3] ارواح ثلاثہ (53) مکتبہ عمر فاروق 

[4] ارواح ثلاثہ (81) مکتبہ عمر فاروق

[5] شاہ اسماعیل محدث دہلوی شہید بالاکوٹ لپروفیسر خالد محمود (26) مکتبہ دار المعارف 

[6] وكان كالوزير للإمام

نزهة الخواطر (914) دار ابن حزم

 

[7] وكان كالوزير للإمام

نزهة الخواطر (914) دار ابن حزم

[8] وقبره ظاهر مشهور بها

زهة الخواطر (916) دار ابن حزم

[9] عبارات اکابر (74-78) مکتبہ صفدریہ

[10] شاہ اسماعیل محدث دہلوی شہید بالاکوٹ لپروفیسر خالد محمود (132) مکتبہ دار المعارف


Lies of Barelwī Twitter Handle HM_0123

February 29, 2020

Lying and dishonesty is routine for Barelwīs, of both the present – like Asrar Rashid, Abu Hasan, Monawwar Ateeq – and the past. Many lies, distortions and fabrications have been documented on this website.

A Barelwī on twitter going by the handle HM_0123 has been challenging Deobandīs with some “questions”. But questions from diehard Barelwīs of his ilk are more likely than not to be disingenuous. This is evidenced by the fact that he presents clear lies as “evidence”.

For example, in one tweet he wrote the following:

Neither of these statements can be found in Taqwiyat al-Īmān.

Yes, Shāh Ismā‘īl was accused of writing the first statement, but this is based on a passage from Ṣirāṭ e Mustaqīm (not Taqwiyat al-Īmān) that doesn’t actually say what was alleged, and wasn’t even written by Shāh Ismā‘īl to begin with! For details, see here.

On the second issue, Shāh Ismā‘īl wrote an academic treatise arguing the position that Allāh is able to issue a false statement, but it is extrinsically impossible (i.e. for it to occur is impossible). This work is Yak Rozi (again, not Taqwiyat al-Īmān) which was written in response to Faḍl e Ḥaqq Khairabādī.

Regarding the other “filthy stuff” in Taqwiyat al-Īmān, does this include the statement in Taqwiyat al-Īmān that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) is the best of creation and must be considered the master of the world, or the statement that tawassul via saints is permitted (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p82)? For more information on Taqwiyat al-Īmān, see here, here, here, here and here.

One of the questions that HM_0123 posed is regarding so-called opposition to Ḥifẓ al-Īmān before Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī:

Firstly, regarding Ḥifẓ al-Īmān, read this and this.

Secondly, Ḥifẓ al-Īmān was completed in Muḥarram of 1319 H (1901 CE), and Aḥmad Riḍā Khān wrote his screed against it very shortly after in al-Mustanad al-Mu‘tamad (p229) in 1320 H (1902 CE).

Thirdly, the reference HM_0123 provides: Bazm e Khair iz Zaid, the alleged incident is mentioned on page 20 of this edition, and the context makes it clear that it (allegedly) took place in 1329 H/1911 CE (see: p11 onward).

Yet he claims it took place “BEFORE” Aḥmad Riḍā Khān wrote against it!

This is thus another example of false “evidence”.

Such “refutations” by Barelwīs can only be taken seriously when: a) they stop telling lies, and b) they deal with the detailed refutations that have been presented here on this website time and again to the same old regurgitated false Barelwī claims and allegations.

See also:

Detailed Look at Controversial Passage from Barāhīn e Qāṭi‘ah

Eliminating Doubts on Tahdhīr-un-Nas

Brief Responses to Barelwī Allegations of Kufr Against Deobandī Elders


Who was Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl al-Dehlawī Refuting in Taqwiyat al-Īmān?

December 17, 2019

Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl al-Dehlawī (1779 – 1831), who grew up in the household of his uncle Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir al-Dehlawī and studied under his esteemed uncle, Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (d. 1824), wrote Taqwiyat al-Īmān 6 years prior to the latter’s death, in 1818. In those 6 years, no one voiced any opposition to the work.

Taqwiyat al-Īmān was essentially a wake-up call to the common Muslims of India who were stooped in Hindu and Shī‘ī ritual practices and beliefs. It is clear from several places of Taqwiyat al-Īmān itself that Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl Dehlawī is countering the “folk-religion” that had become popular amongst Muslims as a result of Hindu and Shī‘ī influence.

References below are from this edition of Taqwiyat al- Īmān.

Shāh Ismā‘īl says in one place:

It is realised from this ḥadīth that at the end of time even the ancient Shirk will become popular. This has occurred in accordance with what the Messenger of God foretold. Meaning, just like Muslim people behave idolatrously with prophets, saints, imāms and martyrs, in the same way, they are spreading the ancient Shirk and regarding [as divine] the idols of the disbelievers and are perpetuating their customs, like consulting the Brahmans, taking omens, believing [in the ill-omen of inauspicious] times, asking Shitala and Masani…,all such customs of Hindus and Majūs have found popularity amongst the Muslims. It is realised from this that the path of Shirk will open up for Muslims in this manner, such that they abandon Qur’ān and Ḥadīth and fall behind the customs of their ancestors. (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p64)*

He also says:

In just the same manner that Christians say that all the workings of the universe and the universe [itself] are in the control of Ḥaḍrat ‘Īsā (upon him peace), and whoever accepts him and relies on him will not need to engage in any servitude, and no sin will harm him, and he will not have to distinguish ḥalāl and ḥarām, he will become as God’s shadow, whatever he wants he may do & will be protected in the afterlife with Ḥaḍrat ‘Īsa’s intercession for him, similarly, ignorant Muslims maintain a similar belief with respect to Ḥaḍrat Messenger (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), and in fact even below him, with imāms and saints, and in fact maintain this belief in respect to all mullās and mashāyikh. May Allāh give guidance. (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p91)

He further explains which Shirk he is refuting towards the beginning of the work:

In short, whatever Hindus do with their idols, these fake Muslims undertake with saints, prophets and imāms, angels and fairies, and make the claim of being Muslim. Subḥānallāh! This is the practice and this the claim. Allāh Ṣāḥib [2] has spoken the truth in Sūrah Yūsuf:

وما يؤمن أكثرهم بالله إلا وهم مشركون

“Most of them do not believe in Allāh but do Shirk.”

That is, most people who make the claim of īmān are caught up in Shirk. Further, if a sensible person were to ask these people: “You claim īmān but do acts of Shirk, why do you combine these two [contradictory] paths?” They answer:

“We don’t do Shirk, but we are expressing our devotion towards prophets and saints. We would only be Mushrik if we regarded these prophets, saints, pirs and martyrs as equals to Allah. This is not what we believe. Rather, we regard them to be slaves of Allāh and to be His creatures. The power of discretion (taṣarruf) Allāh Himself gave to them. By His approval they apply their control over the universe. Calling on them is the very same as calling onto Allāh, asking help from them is the very same as asking Him. They are beloved to Allāh, so whatever they want they will do. They will intercede to Him on our behalf and are agents. By reaching them we reach Him and by calling them we draw near to Allāh. The more we obey them the closer we get to Allāh.”

And they express [other] such superstitions. (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p8)

From this, it is clear that Shāh Ismā‘īl al-Dehlawī is targeting a specific belief that the ignorant masses would hold: that beings apart from Allāh have independent powers of discretion (bestowed upon them by Allāh), based on which devotion of the kinds he listed are expressed towards them. It is not the case that he believed all such actions or devotions were in and of themselves impermissible or Shirk, but rather that they represent a culture of Shirk emerging from the idolatrous belief he describes. He refers to such idolatrous beliefs of the common people in other sections of Taqwiyat al-Īmān also.

He says in another place:

Meaning, [idolaters amongst Jews and Christians] would regard Allāh to be the greater Owner but would determine other, smaller, owners apart from him – the learned and the dervishes. They were not commanded to do this, and based on this, Shirk was established on them. He is unique, no one can be His partner.

Thus, He states in Sūrah Maryam:

إن كل من فى السموات والأرض إلا آتى الرحمن عبدا، لقد أحصهم وعدهم عدا وكلهم آتيه يوم القيمة فردا

“All who are in the heavens and the earth will come to the All-Merciful as slaves. He has control of them and has counted them. Each of them will come to him alone on the Day of Resurrection.”

Meaning, no angel or man maintains a position higher than slavehood, and are helpless in His grip, maintaining no power, and He applies His discretion over each one, not putting any in the control of another, and in every affair each will be present before Him alone, without making any a protector or agent over another. There are many other such verses bearing such meaning. Whoever understands these two to four verses, will be vigilant of the matter of Shirk and Tawḥīd. (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p12-3)

In one place, he defines a person “free of Shirk” as “he does not regard any other apart from Allāh as owner, and does not recognise any place to flee from Him, and it is well established in his heart that a sinner has no refuge to flee to from Him, and that no-one’s strength has any force in opposition to Him, and no-one’s protection in opposition to Him has any force, and no-one can intercede for another by their own power”.  (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p28)

He describes two mistaken beliefs in intercession, one which entails there are those whose dominion Allāh fears, and another which entails there are those whose love (na‘ūdhū billāh) incapacitates Allāh from executing His will (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p43-5). Such beliefs probably originate from the Shī‘ah.

He speaks against the Muḥarram rituals of the Shī‘ah (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p61-2), as explained in Abu ‘l-Ḥasan ‘Alī Nadwī’s footnotes to his Arabic translation (Risālat al-Tawḥīd, p108-10). Beliefs that most likely derive from Shī‘ah are also described e.g. believing in all encompassing knowledge of creation for prophets and imāms. (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p13-4)

Hence, Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl Dehlawī was refuting a culture of mistaken beliefs towards Allāh, that derive from regarding Allāh as a “superior” divine being, while there are other “inferior” divine beings with powers which were attained from Allāh Himself, and in which they are independent. He says in Radd al-Ishrāk, a work written approximately 20 years before Taqwiyat al-Īmān on which the latter work is based:

Realise that the shirk which the divine books came to nullify and the prophets were sent to eradicate is not limited to someone believing that the one he worships is equal to the Creator (Blessed and Exalted is He) in the necessity of existence or in encompassing knowledge of all creation or in creating the basic existents like the heaven and the earth, because it is not from the character of a human being to be mixed up with such belief unless he is disfigured like Fir‘awn and his likes, and no one can believe that the divine books were revealed and prophets were sent only to correct such disfigured ones only. How can this be when the Arab idolaters who the Prophet (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) called “idolaters” and fought and spilt their blood, put their children into captivity, and took their wealth as spoils, would not believe this as evidenced by His (Exalted is He) statement: “Say: In Whose hand is the dominion of all things and He grants protection and is not granted protection against, if you know, and they will say: Allāh. Say: Then how are you deluded?’ (Qur’ān, 23:88-9) and there are many such verses?

Rather, the meaning is to make another besides Allāh a partner with Him (Exalted is He) in divinity (ulūhiyyah) or lordship (rubūbiyyah). The meaning of “divinity” is to believe in respect to him that he has reached such a degree in qualities of perfection like encompassing knowledge, control by mere power and will, that he is beyond comparison and similarity with the rest of creation; which is by believing that nothing occurs…but that it is impossible for it to be hidden from his knowledge and he is witness to it; or believing that he controls things by force, meaning his control is not part of the means [Allāh has put in creation] but he has control over the means. The meaning of “lordship” is that he has reached such a degree in referring needs [to him], asking for solutions to problems and asking for the removal of tribulations by his mere will and power over the means that he deserves utmost servility and humbleness. That is, there is no limit to the extent of servility and humbleness shown to him, and there is no servility or humbleness but it is good in respect to him, and he is deserving of it… (Radd al-Ishrāk, p15-6)

This is also the type of Shirk that Shāh Waliyyullāh al-Dehlawī defines in his celebrated Ḥujjatullāh al-Bālighah:

The Mushrikūn agreed with the Muslims on the management of the major affairs, and in those things that have been decided and resolved and no choice has been left for another, but did not agree with them in everything else. They took the view that the righteous before them worshipped Allāh and gained nearness to Him so Allāh granted them divinity and they deserved worship from all of Allāh’s creation – just like the highest king, his slave serves him well so he grants him the cloak of kingdom, and hands over to him the management of a land so he deserves to be heard and obeyed by the residents of that land. They say worship of Allāh is not accepted unless joined to their worship, and in fact Allāh is in the height of loftiness so worshipping Him will not achieve drawing near to Him but rather it is necessary to worship these [co-gods] so they bring one near to Allāh; and they say they hear and see and intercede for their slaves and manage their affairs and assist them, so they carved out stones in their names and made them a qiblah for when they would turn their attention towards these [co-gods]… (Ḥujjatullāh al-Bālighah, p116)

If one reads the entire section of Ḥujjatullāh al-Bālighah on Tawḥid and Shirk, one will find Taqwiyat al-Īmān is effectively a restatement and expansion of what is found there. It should be noted Shāh Ismā‘īl was very familiar with his grandfather’s Ḥujjatullāh al-Bālighah and even taught it in the Ḥaram when he travelled to make Ḥajj in 1821/1822 with Sayyid Aḥmad Shahīd and his group. Shāh Waliyyullāh also said this type of Shirk is prevalent amongst the ignorant masses.

Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd also says in Taqwiyat al-Imān that Shirk is of two kinds: those that make a person a Kāfir and those that do not (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p19). Some actions and beliefs he condemns (e.g. prostrating to another, slaughtering for another and taking oath by another) should therefore be understood to be referring to the latter kind; while some beliefs he mentions (e.g. belief in independent supernatural powers for individuals; belief in an incarnation; and belief in the incorrect types of intercession he describes) should be understood to be from the first kind.

If these two points are kept in mind:

  1. Shāh Ismā‘īl was refuting the folk-religion of common Muslims engrossed in actual Shirk of the type found amongst Hindus and extreme Shī‘ah
  2. He differentiated between Shirk that takes one out of Islām and one that doesn’t

One will not find anything that is problematic in Taqwiyat al-Īmān.

Note that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī held the absurd belief that Taqwiyat al-Īmān is a translation of Kitāb al-Tawḥīd. Are any of the above passages (or the passage translated below) found in Kitāb al-Tawḥīd? Does Kitāb al-Tawḥīd say one should take a person as their Ustādh and Pīr, as Taqwiyat al-Īmān does (see below)? Does Kitāb al-Tawḥīd say it is permitted to make Tawassul via a personality, as Taqwiyat al-Īmān (p82) does? Does Kitāb al-Tawḥīd refer to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) as master of all the world and the greatest of creation, as Taqwiyat al-Īmān does?

* One point of note here is that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī claimed based on this passage that Shāh Ismā‘īl Dehlawī admitted to being a disbeliever, and had thus committed disbelief! (al-Kawkabat al-Shihābiyyah; al-Fatāwā al-Riḍawiyyah, Riḍā Foundation, 15:177-8) He bases this on the fact that the ḥadīth Shāh Ismā‘īl is commenting on talks about a wind that will take the lives of all believers and people will then return to the idolatry of their forefathers, under the commentary of which Shāh Ismā‘īl said: “This has occurred in accordance with what the Messenger of God foretold.” (Which, in his usual deceptive manner, is the only sentence Aḥmad Riḍā Khān quotes from the paragraph.) But it is clear from the entire paragraph that Shāh Ismā‘īl is talking about the beginning phase or the setting stage of what the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) foretold. This is also clear in both the English translation of Mir Shahamat Ali (“so the prophecy of the Prophet has begun to be verified in the present age”) and the Arabic translation of Abu ‘l-Ḥasan ‘Alī Nadwī (وقد تحقق ما أخبر به الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم فقد بدأ الشرك القديم), and the subsequent explanation of Shāh Ismā‘īl himself, and the fact that he ends by saying “the path of Shirk will open up for Muslims in this manner…”. See a refutation of this absurd objection in al-Junnah li Ahl al-Sunnah, p 81.

This is on top of the fact that Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd says clearly in Taqwiyat al-Īmān that he is a believer, in the very first paragraph: “My God: Thousands upon thousands of thanks to Your Pure Being for having bestowed upon us thousands of favours, and having demonstrated to us Your true Dīn, and brought us onto the straight path, and taught us true Tawḥīd, and made us from the Ummah of Your Beloved.” (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p3). And he closed the book with the following: “Oh Owner of ours! Send thousands of blessings and peace upon this merciful and generous Messenger of Yours. The extraordinary efforts he has made to teach ignorant ones like us the Dīn, You repay this effort, for we are helpless slaves, completely powerless. And just as You have by Your grace taught us the meaning of Shirk and Tawḥīd well, and taught us the meaning of lā ilāha illAllāh well, and brought us out from the Mushrik people and made us Muwaḥḥids and pure Muslims, in the same manner, make us understand the meaning of Bid‘ah and Sunnah well, and teach us well the meaning of Muḥammadur Rasūlullāh, and bring us out from the deviant innovators and make us Sunnīs and pure adherents of Sunnah. Āmīn O Lord of the Worlds.” (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p96)

———————————————-

We end here with a fresh translation of the first 10 or so pages of the book (which make up 1/10 of the book).

In Allāh’s Name, the Most Merciful, the Beneficent

My God:

Thousands upon thousands of thanks to Your Pure Being for having bestowed upon us thousands of favours, and having demonstrated to us Your true Dīn, and brought us onto the straight path, and taught us true Tawḥīd, and made us from the Ummah of Your Beloved, Muḥammad, the Messenger of Allāh, Allāh bless him and grant him peace, and put in us the passion to learn his way, and put in us love for his representatives who show his way and bring [people] to his path.

O Lord:

Send thousands upon thousands of salutations upon Your Beloved, his progeny, companions and his representatives, and show mercy on those who follow him, and make us of them, and keep us on this path in life and death, and count us amongst his followers. Āmīn, Lord of the Worlds.

To proceed:

It should be heard that all people are Allāh’s slaves and a slave’s job is servitude. The slave who does not serve is not a slave. The foundation of servitude is to correct one’s īmān, since when there is any infringement in īmān no service will be accepted, and when īmān is sound, then even a little servitude will be much. Thus, every person should make considerable effort to correct his faith, and should consider the obtainment of this as having priority over all else.

In this time, in regards to religion, people have trodden upon different paths. Some hold onto the traditions of those before them; many look to the tales of the saints; some hold as support what the Molvīs hastily extract with their minds; and some involve their own intellects. A superior path to all of these is to keep the statement of Allāh and His Messenger as foundation and hold it as support and have no intrusion of personal reason; and the tales of the saints and speech of the Molvīs that are in agreement with them are to be accepted and those that are not in agreement will not be held onto as support; and the custom that is not in agreement with them will be abandoned. [1]

The Words of Allāh and His Messenger are for Everybody

That which is popular amongst the common people [who say]:

“It is very difficult to understand the speech of Allāh and His Messenger. Immense knowledge is needed for this. We don’t have the ability to understand their speech, and to tread this path is the activity of great personalities, so what ability do we have to proceed in accordance with them? In fact, we have to suffice on such things.”

Such statements are very wrong because Allāh Saḥib [2] has said that the statements of the Qur’ān Majīd are very clear and straightforward. There is no difficulty in understanding them. Thus, He says in Sūrah Baqarah:

ولقد أنزلنا إليك آيات بينات وما يكفر بها إلا الفسقون

“Undoubtedly, we have sent to you clear verses, and only the lawless refuse them.”

Meaning, there is no difficulty in understanding these verses. However, applying them is difficult to the soul because the soul does not like obedience to anyone. Thus, those who are lawless refuse them. Immense knowledge is not needed to understand the speech of Allāh and His Messenger since the Messenger came to show the way to the unlearned, to make the ignorant understand and to teach the religion to the ignorant. Thus, Allāh (Exalted is He) says in Sūrah Jumu‘ah:

هو الذي بعث فى الأميين رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم آياته ويزكيهم ويعلمهم الكتب والحكمة وان كانوا من قبل لفي ضلال مبين

“He is the One who sent a Messenger to the unlettered from amongst them, reciting His verses onto them, purifying them and teaching them the Book and Wisdom. Undoubtedly they were in manifest error before.”

It is a great blessing of Allāh that He sent such a Messenger who made the uninformed informed, the impure pure, the unlearned learned, the foolish intelligent, the misguided guided. Whoever, having heard this verse, says that no one besides the learned can understand the speech of the Messenger, and no one besides the saints can follow his path, they have rejected this verse and have not valued this blessing. Rather it should be said that an ignorant person, having understood his speech, will become learned, and misguided folk, following his words, will become saints.

An example of this speech is like that of a great physician and a very ill person. So, someone says to this ill person: “Go to so-and-so physician, and get treatment from him.” The ill person responds: “Going to him and getting treatment from him is the job of very healthy people. How can I do so since I am very unwell?” This ill person is a great fool, and is rejecting the skill of this physician because a physician’s purpose is only to treat ill people. One who treats the healthy, and they are the ones who benefit from his medicine, and the sick gain no benefit, what kind of a physician is he?

In short, the greater the ignorance, the greater desire there should be to understand the word of Allāh and His Messenger (Allāh bless him and grant him peace). And the one who is a greater sinner should try harder to follow the path of Allāh and His Messenger (Allāh bless him and grant him peace). Everyone, the public and the elite, should study the speech of Allāh and His Messenger, understand them, follow them, and correct their īmān according to them.

Two Components to Īmān

Thus, it should be heard that īmān has two components:

  1. To recognise God as God
  2. To acknowledge the Messenger as Messenger

 

  • Recognising God as God is done in this way: that none is regarded as His partner (sharīk). And the Messenger is recognised as Messenger in this way: that besides his [path], no other path is adopted.

The first component is called Tawḥīd and its opposite Shirk. And the second component is called Ittibā‘ al-Sunnah and its opposite Bid‘ah.

Thus, everyone should strongly hold on to Tawḥīd and Ittibā‘ al-Sunnah and stay far-removed from Shirk and Bid‘ah since these two things cause an infraction to true īmān, while all [remaining] sins are beneath them because they cause an infraction to deeds. One who is very accomplished in Tawḥīd and Ittibā‘ al-Sunnah and is very far from Shirk and Bid‘ah and people acquire this quality by staying in his company, you should regard as your Pīr and Ustādh.

This is why several verses and ḥadīths which describe Tawḥīd and Itibbā al-Sunnah and [describe] the evils of Shrik and Bid‘ah will be compiled in this treatise. And the translation of the resultant meaning of these verses and ḥadīths will be made in simple Urdu so that that the public and elite can equally derive benefit from it. May whoever is granted Tawfīq by Allāh come onto the straight path, and become a means to the salvation of the one providing this explanation. Ᾱmīn, O God of all things.

The treatise’s name has been kept as Taqwiyat al-Īmān. Two chapters have been determined for it, the first chapter on the explanation of Tawḥīd and the evil of Shirk and the second chapter on Ittibā‘ al-Sunnah and the evil of Bi‘dah. [3]

Chapter One: On the Explanation of Tawḥīd and Shirk

It should be heard that Shirk is very widespread amongst people and true Tawḥīd rare. Most people don’t even know the meaning of Shirk and Tawḥīd and claim īmān while being engaged in Shirk. Thus, firstly the meaning of Shirk and Tawḥīd must be understood, so that the evil and good of them can then be realised from the Qur’ān and Ḥadīth.

Thus, it should be heard that most people call out to Pīrs, Messengers, Imāms, martyrs, angels and fairies at the time of difficulties and ask their desires of them and make vows to them. For fulfilling needs they make vows and offerings (nazr wa niyāz) to them. To remove afflictions, they attribute their children to them. Some keep their child’s name as ‘Abd al-Nabī (the Prophet’s slave), some as ‘Alī Bakhsh (a gift from ‘Alī), some as Pīr Bakhsh (a gift of Pīr), some as Madār Bakhsh (a gift of Madār) and some as Sālār Bakhsh (a gift of Sālār), some as Ghulām Muḥyiddīn (‘Abdul Qādir al-Jīlānī’s slave), some as Ghulām Mu‘īn al-Dīn (Mu‘īn al-Dīn Chishtī’s slave). For [their children] to live, some keep a lock of hair in someone’s name. Some tie a garland in someone’s name. Some put on a garment in someone’s name. Some put chains on in someone’s name. Some slaughter an animal in someone’s name. Some cry out [to someone] at the time of hardship. Some, in their speech, take oath on someone’s name.

In short, whatever Hindus do with their idols, these fake Muslims undertake with saints, prophets and imāms, angels and fairies, and make the claim of being Muslim. Subḥānallāh! This is the practice and this the claim. Allāh Ṣāḥib has spoken the truth in Sūrah Yūsuf:

وما يؤمن أكثرهم بالله إلا وهم مشركون

“Most of them do not believe in Allāh but do Shirk.”

That is, most people who make the claim of īmān are caught up in Shirk. Further, if a sensible person were to ask these people: “You claim īmān but do acts of Shirk, why do you combine these two [contradictory] paths?” They answer:

“We don’t do Shirk, but we are expressing our devotion towards prophets and saints. We would only be Mushrik if we regarded these prophets, saints, pirs and martyrs as equals to Allah. This is not what we believe. Rather, we regard them to be slaves of Allāh and to be His creatures. The power of discretion (taṣarruf) Allāh Himself gave to them. By His approval they apply their control over the universe. Calling on them is the very same as calling onto Allāh, asking help from them is the very same as asking Him. They are beloved to Allāh, so whatever they want they will do. They will intercede to Him on our behalf and are agents. By reaching them we reach Him and by calling them we draw near to Allāh. The more we obey them the closer we get to Allāh.” And they express [other] such superstitions.

The reason for such statements is that they have involved their intellects and abandoned the speech of God and the Messenger (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), and they have fallen after false tales, and held as support wrong customs. If they were to investigate the speech of Allāh and the Messenger, they would come to realise that disbelieving folk would make such statements before the Messenger of God (Allāh bless him and grant him peace). Allāh Ṣāḥib did not accept a single one of these [excuses] and became angry at them and called them liars. Thus, Allāh Ṣāḥib says in Sūrah Yūnus:

ويعبدون من دون الله ما لا يضرهم ولا ينفعهم ويقولون هؤلاء شفعاءنا عند الله، قل: أتنبئون الله بما لا يعلم فى السموات ولا فى الأرض؟! سبحانه وتعالى عما يشركون

“They worship besides Allāh things that do not harm them nor benefit them and say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allāh.’ Say: ‘Do you inform Allāh of something He does not know in the heavens nor on the earth?’ Glorified is He and Exalted beyond what they ascribe to Him.”

Meaning, those that people call upon, Allāh has not given them any power, neither to give benefit nor to cause harm, and that which they assert, that these are our intercessors with Allāh, this was not communicated by Allāh, so are you more aware than Allāh to tell Him what He does not know?!

It is realised from this verse that in the whole of the heavens and earth, there is no such intercessor for anyone who to recognise [as divine] and call out to will cause any benefit or harm. In fact, the intercession that the prophets and saints have is within the control of Allāh. Nothing will happen from calling out to them or not calling out to them. It is also realised that one who worships another regarding him to be an intercessor, he too is a Mushrik.

Allāh Ṣāḥib says in Sūrah Zumar:

والذين اتخذوا من دونه أولياء، ما نعبدهم إلا ليقربونا إلى الله زلفى، إن الله يحكم بينهم فيما هم فيه يختلفون، إن الله لا يهدي من هو كاذب كفار

“And those who take protectors from apart from Him, [they say:] We do not worship them but for them to bring us near to Allāh closely. Certainly, Allāh will judge between them in that in which they differ. Certainly, Allāh does not guide the one who is lying, ungrateful.”

Meaning, abandoning that which is truth: that Allāh is nearest to a slave, and taking others as protectors; and not fulfilling the right nor giving thanks to Allāh’s favour, that He, purely by virtue of His grace, directly fulfils the desires of everyone and stalls all tribulations, but rather seeking them from others; and then in this inverted path, they seek nearness to Allāh! Thus, Allāh will never give them guidance, and from this path they will never acquire nearness to Him, but rather those who proceed on this path will become distant from Him.

It is realised from this verse that whoever considers another as protector [4], even if recognising that on account of asking him nearness is achieved to God, he too is Mushrik and is a liar and ungrateful to Allāh.

Allāh Ṣāḥib says in Sūrah Mu’minūn:

قل من بيده ملكوت كل شيء وهو يجير ولا يجار عليه إن كنتم تعلمون سيقولون لله قل فأنى تسحرون

“Say: Who is it that has the control of all things in his hand, and he grants protection and none can be granted protection against him, if you know? They will say: ‘Allāh.’ Say: ‘Then wherefrom your befuddlement?’”

Meaning, when the disbelievers are asked whose control is the entire world under, and against whom no protection can be made, they will say this is Allāh’s character. Thus, to then regard others [as divine] is pure befuddlement.

From this verse it is realised that Allāh Ṣāḥib has not given the power of control within the world, and no one can protect another, and it is also realised that at the time of the Prophet of God, the disbelievers too did not regard their idols to be equal to Allāh, but considered them His creation and slave, and they would not affirm power for them comparable to Him [5], but calling out to them, and making vows to them, and making offerings, and considering them their agents and intercessors, this was their disbelief and Shirk. Whoever treats another in this way, even if they regard him Allāh’s slave and creation, he and Abū Jahl are equal in Shirk.

It should be understood that Shirk does not depend on regarding someone equal to Allāh and comparable to Him, but rather the meaning of Shirk is that those things Allāh has made specific to Himself, and has specified as signs of His slaves’ servitude, doing them to another; like prostrating, slaughtering an animal on their name, taking a vow by them, and calling them in time of difficulty, and regarding them to be present and seeing at every place, and affirming the power of discretion for them. From these matters, Shirk is established, even if thereafter he regards them to be less than Allāh and to be His creation and slave. In this matter, there is no distinction between saints and prophets, and jinn and shayṭān, and spirits and phantoms. Meaning, with whomever one behaves in this way, he becomes a Mushrik, whether with the prophets or saints, or the pīrs and martyrs, or spirits and fairies. Thus, just as Allāh was angry with those who worshipped idols, He was just as angry with Jews and Christians, even though they would behave in this way with prophets and saints. Thus, it comes in Sūrah al-Barā’ah:

اتخذوا أحبارهم ورهبانهم أربابا من دون الله والمسيح بن مريم وما أمروا إلا ليعبدوا إلها واحدا، لا إله إلا هو، سبحانه عما يشركون

“They determine their scholars and dervishes as their owners apart from Allāh, as well as the Messiah son of Maryam, while they were commanded to worship One God, there is no God but He; He is Unique from those they make His partners.”

Meaning, they would regard Allāh to be the greater Owner but would determine other, smaller, owners apart from him – scholars and dervishes. They were not commanded to do this, and based on this Shirk was established on them. And He is unique, no one can be His partner. Thus, He states in Sūrah Maryam:

إن كل من فى السموات والأرض إلا آتى الرحمن عبدا، لقد أحصهم وعدهم عدا وكلهم آتيه يوم القيمة فردا

“All that are in the heavens and the eeath will come to the All-Merciful as slaves. He has control of them and counted them. Each of them will come to him alone on the Day of Resurreciton.”

Meaning, no angel or man maintains a position higher than slavehood, and are helpless under His sovereignty, maintaining no power, and He applies His discretion over each one, not putting any in the control of another, and in every affair each will be present before Him alone, without making any a protector or agent over another. There are many other such verses bearing such meaning. Whoever understands these two to four verses, will be vigilant of the matter of Shirk and Tawḥīd.

Now, this matter ought to be scrutinised, which matters has Allāh Ṣāḥib made specific to Himself, which no one can be made partner with Him in? These are many. But it is necessary to mention several matters and prove them from Qur’ān and Ḥadīth, so that people can understand all other matters from them.

[1] Shāh Ismā‘īl Dehlawī is not denouncing all adherence to scholarly and saintly guidance, but only that which goes against clear teachings of Qur’ān and Ḥadīth. Otherwise, very shortly after this, he instructs readers to take a scholar and saint as one’s Ustādh and Pīr, when they adhere strictly to the fundamental teachings of Qur’ān and Ḥadīth (of Tawḥīd and Ittibā‘ al-Sunnah).

[2] “In old Urdu the expression ‘Allāh Ṣāḥib said…’ would be used, but in new Urdu its use has been discarded. It appears that at that time, it would be treated as a term of veneration, but in the later vernacular it did not hold such veneration that it be used for Allāh Most Exalted, noble prophets or ṣaḥābah/tābi‘īn.” (Mawlānā Yūsuf Ludhyānwī) Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī was asked if the expression ‘Allāh Ṣāḥib’ is permissible; he replied: “It is permissible.” (Malfūẓāt A‘lā Ḥaḍrat, Da‘wat Islāmī, p. 327)

[3] Shāh Ismā‘īl did not include the section on Bid‘ah in this work.

[4] An independent protector, apart from Allāh.

[5] From this it is clear that Shāh Ismā‘īl al-Dehlawī believed that the disbelievers would affirm independent powers (bestowed by Allāh Himself) for the gods, albeit powers that were not on par with Allāh’s powers.

 

 


Opposition to Taqwiyat al-Īmān and the 1824/1240 Meeting at the Delhi Grand Masjid – Maulānā Nūrul Ḥasan Rāshid Kāndhlewī

December 10, 2019

Maulānā Nūrul Ḥasan Rāshid Kāndhlewī writes:

The very first to object [to Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd and Taqwiyat al-Īmān] was Maulānā Faḍl e Ḥaqq Khayrābādī. However, regarding this objection, and the subsequent discussions and events, there is a great blunder. Thus, it is felt to be necessary here to scrutinise and correct this very famous historical error, in fact misrepresentation.

It is commonly believed that:

“Ḥaḍrat Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl’s greatest opponent was Maulānā Faḍl e Ḥaqq Khayrābādī. Maulānā Khayrābādī publicly opposed Shāh Shahīd. Khayrābādī even had debates or a debate with Shāh Shahīd. There was always argumentation between the two.”

However despite great popularity (and being repeated in almost fifty books), this is definitely an error and is baseless.

Ḥaḍrat Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl (born 12 Rabī‘ al-Thānī, 1193 H) wrote his contentious work Radd al-Ishrāk in 1213 H, and Taqwiyat al-Īmān was written in Ramaḍān al-Mubārak 1233 (July 1818). Thereafter the movement of Sayyid Aḥmad Shahīd began. It is from this that the message and invitation of Taqwiyat al-Īmān became widespread, and spread throughout the entire country. Until the death of Ḥaḍrat Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz no one sounded any opposition to Ḥaḍrat Shāh Shahīd and his ideas. 7 months after Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz’s death (7 Shawwāl 1239, 6 June 1824), for the first time in 29 Rabī‘ al-Thānī 1240, several scholars of Delhi held a gathering in the Jāmi‘ Masjid of Delhi in which there was discussion and analysis of some of Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl’s ideas.* Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl and Maulānā Faḍl e Ḥaqq were both present on this occasion. In this gathering, Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl announced: “Whoever has any objection or doubt over Taqwiyat al-Īmān, bring it before me and present it to me here so it can be answered.” However, Maulānā Khayrābādī remained completely silent. Maulānā Khayrābādī neither supported this disagreement, nor objected or raised any doubts concerning Taqwiyat al-Īmān.

6 months after the Jāmi‘ Masjid Delhi Dialogue (at the end of Shawwāl 1240, June 1825), Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl had set off on the journey of Jihād from Delhi, which was Shāh Shahīd’s final journey from Delhi – and in fact, Hindustan. He never returned from this journey. However, all the way up to this time, no write-up was put together in refutation of or objection to Shāh Shahīd or Taqwiyat al-Īmān. Approximately 8 months after Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl’s final departure from Delhi, in Jumāda ‘l-Ukhrā 1241 (Junuary/February 1826), Maulānā Faḍl e Ḥaqq wrote his first write-up or brief treatise in objecting to Taqwiyat al-Īmān: Taqrīr I‘tirāḍ bar Taqwiyat al-Īmān, in which, objecting to a simple passage of Taqwiyat al-Īmān**, he began a delicate academic and philosophical debate over Shafā‘ah and Imkān/Imtinā‘ al-Naẓīr.***

Sḥāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl was staying at Sindh in company with the caravan of Mujāhidīn at the start of Dhu ‘l-Ḥijjah 1241 (July 1826), when in 10 Dhu ‘l-Ḥijjah he came across this treatise of Maulānā Khayrābādī. At this time, in that very sitting, Shāh Ismā‘īl took up his pen and wrote an answer. This is why Shāḥ Muḥammad Ismā‘īl’s work and answer is called Risālah Yak Rozī. Here Maulānā Khayrābādī’s treatise in refutation of Maulānā Shahīd was being publicised and there copies of the treatise Yak Rozī was shared widely.

Furthermore, the long effort and struggle, and mission which had started, against innovations and customs via the movement of Sayyid Aḥmad Shahīd, in support of it the scholars and students from the Waliyyullāh family put together a detailed fatwā or treatise. This treatise or fatwā was also widely read, and became very famous. Maulānā Khayrābādī did not dare to answer the treatise Yak Rozī, but Maulānā Khayrābādī wrote in response to this fatwā (apparently in Jumāda ‘l-Thānī, 1242, January 1827): Ibṭāl al-Ṭaghwā fī Taḥqīq al-Fatwā.

Ḥaḍrat Sayyid Aḥmad Barelwī and Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl were martyred at Balakot in Dhu ‘l-Qa‘dah 1246 (8 May 1831), but until then Maulānā Khayrābādī did not write any other fatwā or any kind of write-up against Shāh Ismā‘īl. He also remained quiet after the martyrdom of Shāh Ismā‘īl. 24 to 25 years after this event, in 1270-73 (1855-57), Maulānā Hidāyat ‘Alī Jonpūrī, Maulānā Faḍl e Ḥaqq’s student, put together Imtinā‘ al-Naẓīr in response to another book by Maulānā Ḥaydar ‘Alī Tonkī, which has been attributed to Maulānā Faḍl e Ḥaqq, while it is not correct to attribute Imtinā‘ al-Naẓīr to Maulānā Khayrābādī. Imtinā‘ al-Naẓīr is Maulānā Jonpūrī’s book.

What actually happened is that the main person behind the commotion of inciting opposition to Shāḥ Muḥammad Ismā‘īl and Taqwiyat al-Īmān was Mawlawī Rajab ‘Alī of the Shī‘ah. Rajab ‘Alī was from the residents of Jagraon. He was appointed as an agent and spy for the English in Delhi. It is now fully confirmed and established that the person who caused most harm to the Mujāhidīn and Jihād movement in the 1857 movement of Delhi was this individual. He was the greatest traitor of that time and the greatest informant and agent of the English in Delhi. He is the one who blew up the Delhi arsenal; and he is the unfortunate one who set the trap for arresting Bahādur Shāh Ẓafar; and used Mirzā Ilāhī Bakhsh; and it was also his handiwork to raise commotion in opposition to Ḥaḍrat Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl and Taqwiyat al-Īmān, and cause scholars of Delhi and of other sides to debate, and take this matter further. Although Maulānā Faḍl e Ḥaqq Khayrābādī had disagreement over Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl’s ideas, he never came out into the field for this argumentation. [1]

[1] For historical investigation and academic proofs of all the abovementioned events, please await the writer’s Taqwiyat al-Īmān aur Shāh Muḥammad Ismā‘īl ke Khilāf barpa Shaurash Tārīkh wa Ḥaqīqat Āīneh Mein (The Commoition of Inciting Opposition to Shāḥ Muḥammad Ismā‘īl and Taqwiyat al-Īmān in Light of History and Reality), half of which or a little less has already been published in 15 issues of al-Furqān Lucknow’s journal (from July 1991 to December 1993).

(Ustāzul Kull Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Mamlūk al-‘Alī Nānotwī, p206-8)

* The main issue was over referring to practices like kissing the grave within the context of acts of shirk. Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd clarified that he did not mean to refer to such actions as major shirk, but as acts associated with shirk. Shortly after this meeting, in Jumāda ‘l-Ūlā of 1240, he wrote a fatwā clarifying exactly this (copies of which are available). A detailed report of the 1824 meeting (who was in attendance and the discussion that ensued) was written in Farsi at the time, a manuscript of which is available.

** The simple passage is as follows: “It is the nature of this King of Kings that in a single moment, had He so wished with one command of ‘Kun’, He would create thousands of prophets, saints, jinn and angels equal to Jibra’īl, upon him peace, and Muḥammad, Allāh bless him and grant him peace; and would turn the whole universe from the throne to the earth upside down and put another creation in its place.” (Taqwiyat al-Īmān, p44) It was said in the context of describing a mistaken conception of Shafā‘ah, and how Allāh has no need for His creation.

*** Muftī Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Dehlawī (1790 – 1868), an expert in the philosophical and rational sciences, wrote a treatise on Imkān al-Naẓīr in favour of Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd’s view and against Maulānā Faḍl e Ḥaqq Khayrābādī’s. This treatise was printed in the lifetime of Muftī Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Dehlawī, and a manuscript of it is also available. This is described in the following passage from a work of Maulānā Nūrul Ḥasan Kāndhlewī:

Mawlānā Mamlūk al-‘Alī Nānotwī (1789 – 1851), who had studied one lesson with Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz Dehlawī, and learnt from his leading students, Mawlānā Rashīd al-Dīn Khān Kashmīrī Dehlawī & Muftī Ilāhī Bakhsh Kāndhlewī, was the greatest of the scholars of Delhi in his time from the Waliyyullāh tradition. He endorsed a treatise defending Shāh Ismā‘īl Shahīd on the topic of Shafā‘ah (intercession). The manuscript of this treatise is preserved, and described in Mawlānā Nūrul Ḥasan Kānhdlewī’s detailed biography of Mawlānā Mamlūk al-‘Alī. (Ustāzul Kull Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Mamlūk al-‘Alī Nānotwī, p205-6)