[By Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai d.b]
Two mutant accretions which have become attached to Islam in these times are the two deviant groups of Bid’ah, viz., the Barelwi grave-worshippers and the Salafi worshippers of the nafs. Both these groups are extremists, having veered sharply off from Siraatul Mustaqeem (the Straight Path of the Qur’aan and Sunnah). Both groups are guilty of ghulu’ fid-deen (excess committed in the Deen). All types of ghulu’ fid-deen are haraam and destructive. The Qur’aan Majeed prohibits excesses. Allah Ta’ala says:
“O People of the Kitaab! Do not commit ghulu‘ (excess) in your Deen and do not speak about Allah, but the Haqq (truth).” (Qur’an – 4:171)
Bid’ah and Ghulu’ were common acts of deviation perpetrated by the Yahood (Jews) and Nasaara (Christians). Whenever a Muslim veers off from the straight path of the Sunnah, he emulates the example of the Ahl-e-Kitaab in their practise of ghulu’ fid-deen. Just as the Jews and Christians committed ghulu’ in abundance, so do the two deviant Barelwi and Salafi sects.
While the Ahl-e-Kitaab committed excesses in their religions in different ways, they differed in their attitudes. The ghulu’ of the Yahood was the product of their extreme disrespect for the Ambiyaa while the ghulu’ of the Nasaara was the consequence of their extreme veneration for their Nabi (Nabi Isaa – alayhis salaam). The Ghulu’ of the Yahood led them to murder the Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam). In contrast, the ghulu’ of the Nasaara led them to elevate Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) and even his mother, Hadhrat Maryam (alayhas salaam) to the level of gods and beings of worship.
Yahood And Nasara
In our time, the Salafis resemble the Yahood and the Barelwis are the specimen of the Nasaara. The Salafis are totally barren – spiritually dry to the point of vulgarity. They are rude, crude and even cruel in their attitude. They lack respect for the illustrious personalities of Islam, especially for the great Salf-e-Saaliheen, viz., the Fuqaha-e-Mujtahideen who were the Students of the noble Sahaabah. Not only are they crude and disrespectful, but they are also devious, for when they discuss with the Ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah or they speak in public, they guard their tongues. They deviously praise the Fuqaha of the Math-habs while subtly negating the Waajib Shar’i concept of Taqleed. However, in their private discussions or when conversing with ignorant members of the Ahlus Sunnah, they mercilessly and rudely condemn the great Imaams. Thus, they are like the Jews who murdered the Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam) despite their overt acknowledgement of the Nubuwwat of Allah’s Messengers. The only difference between the Salafi deviates and the Jewish murderers of the Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam) is that the crimes of the two groups are committed in different planes. The Yahood physically murdered the Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam). The Salafis spiritually murder the Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) by negating most deviously the Sunnah of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Those who are not prepared to submit to the Fuqaha – the illustrious Students of the Sahaabah – are denying and killing the Sunnah by shaitaani deception.
The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum)
It should be well understood that the Sunnah is inextricably interwoven with the life and teaching of the Sahaabah. The Sahaabah handed the Sunnah most meticulously by way of practical example and teaching to the Taabi-een who constituted the first group of Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen in the Ummah after the Sahaabah. Thus, obedience to these great Scholars and Ulama among the Taabi-een is pure obedience to the Sahaabah, which in turn is the Waajib obedience of the Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
When the Qur’aan and Hadith are subjected to personal opinion or the opinions and interpretations of a single Aalim appearing on the Islamic scene a thousand years after the Sahaabah, are accepted as ‘Wahi’ and the final word of rectitude in preference to the interpretations and rulings of those who had acquired their Ilm (Knowledge) from the Sahaabah, it is pure deviation (dhalaal) and rejection of the Sunnah of the Sahaabah. Such people have no right to call themselves the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. Their claim is palpably baseless.
The other extremity of the disease of ghulu’ is the Barelwi sect. While these people purport to follow the Sahaabah and overtly proclaim themselves as followers of the Math-habs, they are bereft of the Aqeedah (Belief) propagated by the Math-habs of the Ahlus Sunnah. Their adherence to the Mathhabs relates to only the external dimension, i.e. to Fiqh, and that too, partially. They commit wholesale Bid’ah (innovation). They destroy their concept of Tauheed with a number of beliefs of shirk. They perpetrate acts of grave-worship. They elevate the Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Auliyaa (rahmatullah alayhim) to the pedestal of Godhood. In their excessive veneration they resemble the Nasaara who deify Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) and his noble Mother, Hadhrat Maryam (alayhas salaam).
Muslims should beware of both these mutant groups. They are astray. They have left the Path of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. Inspite of their deviation, they dub themselves, Ahlus Sunnah and Sunni. But, their claims are false.
The salient features or symptoms of their spiritual diseases are:
The Salafis reject the four Math-habs; they lack taqwa; they are disrespectful, their Salaat is absolutely devoid of khushu’; they fiddle profusely in their Salaat; they are unable to stand motionless in their Salaat; they sway to and from in their Salaat; they are obsessed with obedience to the views of Ibn Taimiyyah and the modernist Al-Albaani.
The Barelwis prostrate to the graves of the Auliyaa; they make tawaaf of the graves; they decorate the graves with expensive quilts and sheets, they practise meelad, urs, etc.; they believe in the omnipresence of the Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam); their headquarters are the graveyards where they erect mausolea (tombs) for generation of financial income.
The opposite poles of these two deviant groups is their diverging beliefs regarding the attributes of omnipresence. The Salafis have stripped Allah Ta’ala of His Attribute of Omnipresence and have assigned Him into a specified section of created space. In stark contrast to this evil concept of the Salafis, the evil belief of the Barelwis have bestowed the attribute of omnipresence to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). While not negating the Omnipresence of Allah Ta’ala, the Barelwis commit shirk in this Divine Attribute, by their shirki bestowal of the Attribute to our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Waseelah literally means medium. Waseelah has different meanings according to the different sects. According to the Ahlus Sunnah, the meaning of waseelah when supplicating, i.e. making Dua to Allah Ta’ala, is to petition Allah Ta’ala for one’s needs and to tender the medium of a Nabi or a Wali or even the medium of one’s own pious deeds. Example:
“O Allah! Accept my dua through the waseelah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) – or through the medium of a certain amal-e-saalih which I had rendered solely for Your pleasure.”
In this type of waseelah, the dua is made directly to Allah Ta’ala, not to the Nabi, etc. It is not permissible to supplicate to any being besides Allah Ta’ala. To make dua to any being besides Allah Ta’ala is shirk in terms of the Shariah.
According to the Salafi extremists, supplicating in this way is not permissible. Even this form of waseelah in which the supplication is made directly to Allah Ta’ala, is considered shirk by the Salafis. According to the Barelwi Bid’atis, it is compulsory to make dua directly to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or to the Wali in the grave. Since Dargah-Puja (or worship of the graves of the saints) forms an integral part of the Aqeedah of the Qabar Pujaari sect, they consider it imperative to make dua to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or to the Auliya in their graves.
From these two issues, viz. the Haazir-Naazir and the Waseelah questions, it will be seen that both these groups have strayed far from the Moderate Path of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. While the one group negates Omnipresence for Allah Ta’ala, the other sect ascribes it to even created brings. While the one group of Bid’atis (the Salafis) refute waseelah in even its lawful form, the other group of Bid’atis (the Barelwis) go to the opposite extreme of developing it into a concept of shirk whereby divinity is conferred to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Auliya. In this deviation, they have fallen into the same trap as the Christian and other peopleof shirk.
Besides the clarity of Shar’i proofs for the views of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, commonsense will acknowledge the simple and convincing reasoning of those who ascribe to the Middle Path of the Deen.
Beliefs cannot be based on weird concoctions of the minds of people. Beliefs require absolute Qur’aanic and Hadith facts and proofs. No shaitaani analogical reasoning is valid for any deduction of masaa-il, leave alone beliefs.
May Allah Ta’ala save Muslims from the evil and ruin of dhalaal (deviation).