How Paul Inducted Pagan Doctrines Into Christianity and Corrupted the True Teachings of Jesus [‘Eesa (alayhissalaam)]

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                     Paul of Tarsus

There was an apostle, who wrote an epistle,

strange faith did he jostle, and scriptures entwistle.

His doctrines pentacostal, made GOD’s people bristle,
and blapshemy collosal, led to his dismissal.

Apostle, epistle, collossal, dismissal,
His writings bescissel, make faith so afissile.

GOD created man in Adam’s image.
Then the Christians came along and recreated GOD in man’s image.
_Anonymous

Quite a number of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) wish they could Turn you (people) back to infidelity after ye have believed, from selfish envy, after the Truth hath become Manifest unto them: But forgive and overlook, Till Allah brings about His command; for Allah Hath power over all things. (Qur’an Surah Al-Baqarah 2:109)

In the annals of religious history, Paul happens to be a surprise. Why??, he is the only figure to admit to lying and strangely enough, justifying it as well. When the prophets clearly condemned this evil habit, Paul glorified it, and put a new meaning to the ends will justify the means.

During the ministry of Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam), Saul (Paul) was a dedicated member of a powerful, exclusive Jewish sect called Pharisees (ACTS 26:5). Their pretensions to sanctity had labelled them as hypocrites. When these overbearing vainglorious Jews confronted Jesus, he called them:

“You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
(John 8:44)

Saul, a zealous persecutor of the devoted disciples of Christ, became the first Christian missionary and an Apostle to the Gentiles after converting himself to Christianity by a “vision”, which he claims he had, while on the road to Damascus. The missionary changed his name from Saul to Paul and became the biggest contributor to the Books of the New Testament.

From the above verse, Jesus like many of his predecessors condemned lying, deceit and hypocrisy. Lying is condemned several times throughout the Bible, and deceit by its own nature, is sinful and can only lead to hazardous consequences. What does Peter say in regards to guile (which means cunning, deceit, trickery, treachery)

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that speak no guile
(1 PETER 3:12)

The verse speaks for itself. One of the factors that hinder mans success in this world and eternal life in the hereafter, is the use of guile. But on his own admittance, what does Paul say?:

But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless being crafty, I CAUGHT YOU WITH GUILE
(2 CORINTHIANS 12:16)

On his own admission, Paul is saying that he uses deception in his modus operandi. In all the new versions of the Bible, the more common term of deceit is replaced instead.

This statement is made long after his conversion to Christianity, in the phase when he supposed to be blessed and righteous, and most importantly of all, being guided by Christ.

For our exhortation [was] not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: (1 Thessalonians 2:3)

Paul now speaks with two tongues, guile he can

But what I do, that will I do, that I may cut off occasion from those which desire occasion;…
(2 CORINTHIANS 11:13)

In the New Revised Standard Version, the verse reads in order to deny an opportunity to those who want an opportunity to be recognized as our equals.. He can’t be any clearer or succinct, If any other Christian group tries to rival Pauls mission, he will seek to utilise means of destroying any opportunity that may arise for his opponents. This goes completely against the morals from what we know of Jesus and the Prophets of age. If Paul believed he had the truth, there would be no need to play games and power struggles, as the truth will always prevail in the end. The use of deceit and craftiness is the mark of the insecure and paranoid, not so certain that his own faith is correct, he had more hope in his will and ways prevailing, rather than the truth of the message of Christ.

For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them under the Law, that I might gain them that are under the Law;
To them that are without the law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ) that I might gain them that are under the law.
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
(I CORINTHIANS 9:19-22)

What better illustration of hypocrisy could be given. For the sake of the truth, Paul will use all means of deceit, insincerity, ruse etc in order to gain more followers. Just like his successors today, the missionaries put on a face of every ethnic race. You can see them at many of their websites, to the Muslims; they put themselves under the guise of WORLD VISION and other aid programs, and when they inject the needle, they also try to inject the needle of Christianity along side it. To the Jewish people, the Christian missionaries love Jews, Israel and Zionism (one point that they could never mention to the Muslims), bagels and Seinfeld. This love becomes so much that its insincere face starts to show.

It is the wish of a section of the People of the Book to lead you astray. But they shall lead astray (Not you), but themselves, and they do not perceive!
Sura Al-Imran 3.69

For if the truth of God, hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory: why yet am I also judged as a sinner? (ROMANS 3:7)

Even though Paul admits to lying (like he has in many other places), never how much he tries to defend his actions, the rational spiritual mind will never accept it. Lying is at the root of falsehood, the very element that is completely opposed to truth. The truth is a means to an end. If a Muslim wanted to build a Mosque and he required funding to do so; there are several ways he could go about it. If he decided to rob a bank and used the stolen cash to build the Masjid, all his efforts will be in vain. Allah will never accept it from him, even though the man did it for Allah’s sake. The fact is that the ends don’t justify the means, to get to paradise, you must choose the road that leads to paradise. And deceit is definitely not on that road.

Cursed [be] he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, …
(Jeremiah 48:10)

ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS

The turning point in the life of Paul happens to be his crucial trip from Jerusalem to Damascus. Many would agree that if Paul did see a vision of of Christ, it would leave an undeniable imprint in his mind. And the fact that this is supposedly recorded in the “Book of God”, their should be consistency in the way the incident is narrated. As God is not the author of confusion.

NARRATION 1

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
(ACTS 9:3-7)

NARRATION 2

And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
(ACTS 22:6-10)

NARRATION 3

Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
(ACTS 26:12-20)

DISCREPANCIES IN THE NARRATIONS

In the first we have a record of Paul’s men, hearing a voice and seeing no man (i.e Jesus). In the second narration, we have Paul claiming that the men saw Jesus, but did not hear a voice. The possibility of Paul manipulating this “event” is clearly revealed in the second narration, we have Paul defending himself before the Hebrew counsel, and twisting the point that his companions saw a light, but did not hear the voice; apperantly adds more credibility to his phenomenal vision. As a voice could be anyones voice for what the Jews care. Yes there is a contradiction, but from what we have seen from the character of Paul, it should not come as a surprise. In the third narration, he omits any mention of the specific incident.

The first and second narration are consistent when it comes to claiming only he fell to the ground when he saw the light. In the third narration, he claims he and his companions fell down. Why the change of retrospect, given the fact that Paul was defending himself in the third narration at the Court of King Agrippa, dramatising the vision by claiming all his men fell to the earth highlighted the desire to show the great impact this event had not just on his life, but those who were in his presence.

What clearly reveals the flaw-ness of his vision, is that in the third narration when addressing King Agrippa and his Gentile court. He makes the claim that in his vision, Jesus told him that he will be Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee. So in effect, Paul is claiming that Jesus sent him to the Gentiles, (possibly in order placate the crowd present). And in the second narration to the Jews, he brings absolutely no mention of this “I’am sending you to the Gentiles” alleged statement that Jesus told him. Why not?, the obvious answer lies in the respective audience being addressed.

In a Court of Law, such contradictory evidence would be held suspect and hence dismissed or cross-examined.

Back to the specific issue of whether the disciples heard the voice or not. The Apologisers for the New Testament, as well as the NIV bible, have tried to cover up the contradiction between Acts 9:7 and 22:9 by translating Acts 9:7, “akouontes men tes phones” (literally “they heard the voice”, but, skewing the words of Acts 22:9, “phonen ouk hakousan” (literally, “they did not hear the voice”) into, “they did not understand the voice”.

And, according to Luke’s own report of Paul, Paul was well familiar with better words for “understanding”. In Acts 28:26,
Paul says,

“In hearing, you shall hear but not understand.”

The Greek work he uses for “understand” is syniete. He also uses the word in Rom 3:11, 15:21, 2 Cor 10:12, and Eph
5:17. Luke also uses this word frequently, Luke 2:50, 8:10 (when Jesus is allegedly concealing his meaning from
folks), Luke 18:34, 24:45, and Acts 28:27 to indicate a lack of understanding. So, if Paul (or Luke) had meant that
Paul’s companions heard the voice but did not understand it, they could have easily chosen to use “syniete” instead, so
that there would have been no question of contradiction in testimony. You’d think this would be important. Could it be possible that Paul fell victim to his own theory

…For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2 CORINTHIANS 11:14

Regardless of the voice his campanions heard (and did not hear), there is the issue of the big light that persuaded Paul.

Even before he is told who his Big Light is, Paul addresses it as “lord” (which tends to make the whole account sound rather
contrived). But, Paul already recognises an “Angel of Light” as Satan (see 2 Cor 11:14 above).

And, in fact, an Angel of Light is
identified in Isaiah 14:12 as Tyre the Morning Star, who is the enemy of GOD fallen from heaven for claiming to ascend to
heaven (Tyre is often seen as representative of Satan). So, for Paul to immediately call a Big Light his “lord” is quite telling.

It is too much of a paradox, because the verse prior to the one above (in which he refers to his rivals as discussed earlier). Paul states

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ. (2 CORINTHIANS 11:13)

The saint (?) is accusing others of being deceitful while he himself, not only practices deceit, but admits to it as well as takes pride in it. According to this strange mentality, he thinks he can beautify the word “deceit”, and expect everyone to buy into it. The term deceit does not having opposing definitions, i.e., a positive connotation for Paul and a negative one for his competitors.

Who can be more wicked than one who inventeth a lie against Allah, or saith, “I have received inspiration,” when he hath received none, or (again) who saith, “I can reveal the like of what Allah hath revealed”? If thou couldst but see how the wicked (do fare) in the flood of confusion at death! – the angels stretch forth their hands, (saying),”Yield up your souls: this day shall ye receive your reward,- a penalty of shame, for that ye used to tell lies against God, and scornfully to reject of His signs!”
(Al -An’am 6:93)

Yes folks, another surprise is awaiting. What does he do now, he rallies against those who practice deceit in the upcoming verses.

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:2)

Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:
(Romans 3:13)

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (Romans 1:29)

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds (Colossians 3:9)

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (1 Timothy 4:2)

So much for abiding by the “practice what you preach” motto. The whole Bible is full of such verses; to make sure Paul is not alone in this manner. His contemporaries speak

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
(James 3:14)

I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
(1 John 2:21)

If Paul has a difficult time applying such moral teachings to himself, he should take heed of what Christ’s discpiles warned in the above. And also what the Old Testament, the books he is so fond of quoting when it suits his interests has to say.

Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
(Psalms 5:6)

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue [is] mischief and vanity. (Psalms 10:7)

Thou lovest all devouring words, O [thou] deceitful tongue.
(Psalms 52:4)

He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. (Psalms 101:7)

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. (Psalms 109:2)

Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit [is] falsehood.
(Psalms 119:118)

Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, [and] from a deceitful tongue.
(Psalms 120:2)

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful [witness] speaketh lies. (Proverbs 14:25)

Bread of deceit [is] sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
(Proverbs 20:17)

Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6)

Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
(Ecclesiasticus 27:25)

Whoso casteth a stone on high casteth it on his own head; and a deceitful stroke shall make wounds. (Mark 7:22)

PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE

Deception was not an uncommon tool of the Paulian church. At first, ‘St.’ Paul considered deception (guile) and flattery to be inappropriate tools for his ministry. Paul grouped Guile with the evils of deceit and uncleanliness, denying to his Thessalonian church that he had used guile on them,

For our urgent request was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in Guile… For neither at any time used we flattering words, as you all know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness: Nor did we seek glory from men, neither from you nor others, though perhaps we had burdened you… (1st Thessalonians 2:3-6)

“Burdened you” is a euphamism, used often, for “asked you for money”. And, as you will see below, after a few years, ‘St.’ Paul used both flattery and guile in getting his Corinthian church to accept their “burden”.

But, later, writing to the church at Corinth, Paul admits to them that he had used guile (trickery/deception), sending others (such as Titus) instead of himself (whom he knew some of them opposed) to motivate them into a generous state (2 Cor 8:6). How sending others amounted to trickery is not specifically stated… merely that it did. A very likely reason is this: It is known that there was dissent among those in the Corinthian church over which apostle to follow. Not everyone was loyal to St. Paul, or believed in his authority (for one of many examples, see 2 Cor 13:3). Thus, some Corinthians were reluctant to make donations to St. Paul, and he clearly wrote a great deal of the 2nd Corinthians Letter for the express purpose of convincing them of their obligation to give (voluntarily, of course). Whatever the case, Paul admits that he used guile, and associates it with his sending others to them to solicit donations.

For the third time I am planning to visit you; and I will not burden you. For I seek not what is yours (money), but you. For children ought not save up for the parents, but parents for the children. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you… But be that as it may, I myself did not burden you. Rather, being crafty, I took you in with Guile. But, did I make a profit from you by those whom I sent to you? I chose Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a profit from you?… I fear that, when I arrive… there shall be arguments, jealousies, wraths, strifes, slanderings, whisperings, swellings, and tumults.
(2nd Corinthians 12:14-20)

Ironically, Paul is careful not to mention “beguilings” in his list here. As for flattering words, the entire Letter of 2nd Corinthians is absolutely dripping with phrases saying how proud Paul is of them, how he praises them and boasts of the generosity he expects to receive from them (see 2nd Cor 1:14, 7:4, 7:15, 8:24, 9:2). Paul tells them he has “godly” jealousies for them (2 Cor 11:2). The whole notion of psychological manipulation such as this reeks of guile. And, his boasting has purpose

After flattering the Corinthians with his bragging of them, of their eagerness to give, Paul tries to play on their sense of pride and
embarrassment, playing them against the Macedonian church:

We want you to know about the gifts of God which was shown in the churches of Macedonia: Despite great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the wealth of their generosity. For they gave to their limit, I assure you, and were willing to give more than their means, and with much appeal they implored us that we accept the hospitality and gifts in ministry to the church leaders. …So, we have urged Titus that he should secure from you this work of grace (giving) as he had already begun to do… See that you excel in this gracious work.
(2 Cor 8:2-7)

We hope that no one will object to the generous gifts that we are arranging… So, give proof, before the churches, of your love and of our boasting of you to these men.
(2 Cor 8:20,24)

For regarding the offering to the church leaders, it is unnecessary for me to motivate you. For I know the eagerness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia… Yet I had sent the others to you instead, for fear that our boasting of you should be unfounded in this respect (that, as I said, you all may be prepared (to give)), for fear that, if by chance some from Macedonia came with me and found you unprepared to give, we would be ashamed (we, and not you, no) due to this confident boasting. (2 Cor 9:1-4)

Guile is certainly deception. Flattery is simply rather shameful. And they lend themselves nicely to each other. But, deception (especially for the sake of proselytising) was to lay the foundation of the European church. And the missionaries of today seem to have no qualms in utilising it. This will be looked at separately later on.

Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
(PSALMS 32:2)

PAUL WAS INFLUENCED BY SHAITAAN MAR(SATAN/DEVIL)

The Pauline Epistles and the narrative of Acts of the Apostles, present the vast majority of information that we have today on Paul of Tarsus.

Paul is essentially one of the greatest influences on early Christian theology, his struggles, his preaching, his conversion all constitute major plot elements of the early Christian narrative. I would like to begin this exposition by stating that this is not a simple and erratic attack on Paul.

Rather, this is an examination of his statements as recorded in the New Testament, accompanied by commentaries from illustrious Christian exegetes. It is not my intention to hurt the sensitivities of our Christian brethren, but as a Muslim, it is my duty to examine the veracity of the Christian faith which claims to be the truth, above and beyond my own religion of Islam. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what we’ll be seeking to understand:

The New Testament Source.

YHWH/ Christ commands the
Messengers of Satan.

Paul is afflicted by a Messenger of Satan.

Paul writes Epistles while under the influence of the Messenger of Satan.

Paul learns about Christ’s grace through a Messenger of Satan.

The New Testament Source:

Recorded in the Second Epistle to Corinth, we read of an experience that Paul encounters:

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.

If we were to read from the beginning of this Epistle, we would easily derive the understanding that Paul is being taught a lesson by God. This is in doing so that Paul, can avoid becoming conceited through his own experiences, thus, God has put a ‘thorn in his side’ – a messenger of Satan. This however is not a position unique to Paul, according to the Old Testament, God has, and frequently does, send evil Spirits/ Messengers of Satan to his own people.

YHWH/ Christ Commands the Messengers of Satan:

As the verse itself indicates, it is God who commanded the Messenger of Satan to become a ‘thorn in Paul’s side’. This presents a problem for the Christian faith, specifically because:

How can it be a Messenger of Satan if it is being commanded by God??

Therefore it has to be a Messenger of God as it is abiding by the commands of the Lord.

The Messenger of Satan therefore, according to the Bible is also the Messenger of God.

The question begs itself, if the Messengers of Satan are also the Lord’s messengers, then how can we can distinguish between the messages that the Messengers are bringing, if the messenger is simultaneously under the authority of God and Satan? Paul himself, prayed for God to remove a Messenger of Satan sent by God from tormenting him, but God refused his request. Therefore we have Paul refusing to listen to a Messenger as sent by God to him. This would therefore have to mean that all Messengers of Satan are also Messengers of God.

Paul is Afflicted by the Messenger of Satan:

According to the verse, Paul became tormented by this messenger of Satan:

I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

In what exact way the messenger of Satan/ God tormented Paul, is up for much discussion. Various exegetes have derived polarising views on the exact meaning of what the torment could be, however, there are a few general views on this issue. Let’s first read Adam Clarke’s exegesis:

What this thorn in the flesh might be has given birth to a multitude of conjectures:
Tertullian thought it dolor auriculae, the ear ache;Chrysostom , the head ache; Cyprian, carnis et corporismulta ac gravia tormenta, many and grievous bodily torments. I believe the apostle to refer simply to the distresses he had endured through the opposition he met with at Corinth; which were as painful and grievous to him as a thorn in his flesh , or his being bound to a stake;
Therefore we can deduce the torment as given to Paul by the Messenger of Satan as being:

1. Ear aches.
2. Head aches.
3. Bodily torments.
4. Difficulties in preaching.

However, we have a much more detailed and reference list of supposed ailments that could have been what the tormenting was, according to the Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testaments, he states:

Tertullian thought it was a headache.

Klausner believed it was epilepsy.
Ramsay identified it as recurrent malarial fever.

Chrysostom said it was “all the adversaries of the Word.
John Calvin made it “fleshly temptation.”

Martin Luther considered it “spiritual temptation.”

John Knox decided it was “infirmities of the mind.”

Catholic commentators generally say “lustful thoughts.”

McGarvey: “acute, disfiguring ophthalmia.”

Macknight spoke of some who believed it was “the false teachers.”

Lightfoot suggested “blasphemous thoughts of the devil.”

Alexander was sure it was “Malta fever.” Etc., etc.

Therefore, the ailments can be summarised as such:
1. Bodily.
2. Of the mind.
3. Of the Spirit.

Whichever of these the case may be, the point is that Paul was most definitely indeed, emotionally at pain and suffering from some form of physical impediment, to the extent he could not bare it and called upon God to help him.

Epistles were Written Under the Influence of the Messenger of Satan:

According to verse 14 of the same chapter, Paul continues to preach while under the influence and torment of the Messenger of Satan/ God, the verse reads:

Now I am ready to visit you for the third time

In verse 20, Paul reaffirms that something is not right with him, something is amiss, so he tells the people at Corinth to not expect him to be normal upon his arrival:

you may not find me as you want me to be

Up to this point, Paul has not yet been able to remove the torment/ influence of the Messenger of Satan/ God upon him and he admits in Chapter 13 of the same Epistle that he continues to write while under the influence:

This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority— the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.

While Paul is under the influence of the messenger of Satan, he continues to write and continues to hold the authority of the Lord.

This brings into validation my earlier argument that since the messenger of Satan was under the authority of the Lord, then it was indeed a messenger of the Lord. What qualified my statement, was that even Paul who was being directly influenced and tormented by the messenger of Satan (the Lord), he persisted in laying claim to God’s authority. Therefore even while under the directives of the messenger of Satan, Paul continued to write to Churches and still carried the ‘authority’ of God. Hence the question begs itself, if this is as the case presents itself, how can we distinguish between the authority of the Lord and the influence of the Messenger of Satan/ the Lord? Paul here, indirectly refers to Satan (who is influencing him presently) as giving him the authority of the Lord!

The Messenger of Satan Teaches Paul, Christ’s Grace:

According to the verse, Paul asks Christ (his God) to remove the influence/ torment of the messenger of Satan. However God’s reply is strange, God says to Paul that the messenger is meant to teach him grace, as only grace an save him from the punishment of the messenger of Satan:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “ My grace is sufficient for you , for my power is made perfect in weakness. ”

Therefore, as the verse clearly demonstrates, the purpose of the messenger of Satan, was to teach Paul of Tarsus the true message of Christ’s grace.

The case henceforth, is that Paul was sent a messenger of Satan, who is truly a messenger of God, to torment Paul. The tormenting could be bodily, of the mind or spiritually, perhaps even a combination of two or all three ailments. Paul received this messenger of Satan because he became prideful (self conceited), the use of the messenger was also to teach Paul grace. A Messenger of Satan was sent to teach Paul the true meaning of grace. Last but not least, Paul was unable to rid himself of this messenger of Satan, who remained with Paul and influenced/ tortured him as he preached and wrote Epistles, which are in today’s Bible.

WHY DID PAUL PREACH TO THE GENTILES (Non-Jews)??

Source: callingchristians.com/2013/01/01/why-did-paul-preach-to-the-gentiles/

At Paul’s time there were two primary groups of which he could have targeted to preach his new self developed brand of soteriology to; the Jews and the Gentiles.

However, as history dictates, Paul chose the gentiles and quickly won favour among their peoples. So much so, that he eventually entitled himself with the position of the ‘Apostle of the Gentiles‘:

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office – Romans 11:13.

The question therefore begs itself, why did Paul choose to preach to the gentiles over the Jews? After all, he was a Pharisee and would have been familiar with the knowledge, teachings, methodologies and mistakes of his Pharasaic brothers. Thus, he would have been the best person to preach to them his interpretation of soteriology. Yet he did not do so. He left the task to James, Peter and the rest, dubbing them as the ‘super apostles’.

The real reason Paul preached to the gentiles is because they were ignorant. They did not know the Torah. They did not possess intimate knowledge of Judaism, its scripture or its doctrine.

Therefore Paul was not presenting his new religion to his own brethren because they would be able to debunk him. Due to this, logically speaking, he preached to those who would find his new faith appealing. The gentiles would not argue about Christ’s deity, or about the new doctrine of salvation, but the Jews would and vehemently so. Thus the path of least resistance is among the gentiles who would eventually see him as an authoritative figure, as opposed to the Jews who would see him as a heretic and shame him. Yet with the gentiles, he is able to avoid these problems and ascend to power and authority very quickly.

               
                    Anti-Christ Paul     

[Abdullah Smith]

Follow Jesus or Follow Paul??

The New Testament gives us a choice; either we follow Jesus Christ, or the anti-Christ Paul of Tarsus:

Each one demands his followers to accept his teachings:

Be ye followers of me … that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered [them] to you. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31)

Amazing, the former preached against the teachings of Jesus, and the latter, (Jesus) teaches that salvation is only attained by following him. According to Deuteronomy 24:16, Ezekiel 18:20-21, and Micah 6:7-8, a man is responsible for his own sin.

Jesus rejected the Pauline doctrine of “vicarious atonement”. Compare the two passages below:

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
(Hebrews 9:22)

Jesus was teaching his disciples in the outer court of the
Temple and one of them said unto him: Master, it is said by the priests that without shedding of blood there is no remission. Can then the blood offering of the law take away sin? And Jesus answered: No blood offering, of beast or bird, or man, can take away sin, for how can the conscience be purged from sin by the shedding of innocent blood? Nay, it will increase the condemnation. (Gospel of the Nazorenes, Lection 33, verses 1-2)

Jesus was circumcised, Paul rejected circumcision:

This [is] my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. (Genesis 17:14)

When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. (Genesis 21:4)

And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. (Exodus 12:48)

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him,
he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. (Luke 2:21)

And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. (Acts 15:1)

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23)

The Jewish Law commands the circumcision on the eighth day. The reason why Christians are not circumcised is because they follow Paul. They have broken the covenant of Circumcision according to Jesus himself (5:19)

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Galatians 5:6, KJV)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor
uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (NIV)

The Talmud states the following to those who break the Covenant:
“The one who voids the covenant of Abraham has no portion in the world to come (Avot 3:16).

Christians may not have any “portion in the world to come” because they have totally rejected the Message of Jesus, replacing the Gospel with the Gospel of Paul.

“The Christianity which the nations claim to follow is the religion of Paul, who is admittedly the chief and almost the only theologian that the Church recognizes. Because of his betrayal of the Master’s teachings, the vision of true Christianity has been so dimmed that men have been able to defend war and a host of other evils, such as flesh eating and slavery, on the authority of the Bible.” (Christ or Paul? Rev. V.A. Holmes-Gore)

“Let the reader contrast the true Christian standard with that of Paul and he will see the terrible betrayal of all that the Master taught…. For the surest way to betray a great Teacher is to misrepresent his message…. That is what Paul and his followers did, and because the Church has followed Paul in his error it has failed lamentably to redeem the world…. The teachings given by the blessed Master Christ, which the disciples John and Peter and James, the brother of the Master, tried in vain to defend and preserve intact were as utterly opposed to the Pauline Gospel as the light is opposed to the darkness.” (ibid, Rev. V.A. Holmes Gore)

“True Christianity, which will last forever, comes from the gospel words of Christ not from the epistles of Paul. The writings of Paul have been a danger and a hidden rock, the causes of the principal defects of Christian theology.” (Ernest Renan, Saint Paul)

“There is not one word of Pauline Christianity in the characteristic utterances of Jesus…. There has really never been a more monstrous imposition perpetrated than the imposition of Paul’s soul upon the soul of Jesus…. It is now easy to understand how the Christianity of Jesus… was suppressed by the police and the Church, while Paulinism overran the whole western civilized world, which was at that time the
Roman Empire, and was adopted by it as its official faith. (Androcles and the Lion, George Bernard Shaw)

The Christian missionaries today are preaching the Gospel of Paul, and rejecting the Gospel of Jesus. Paul emphasized that salvation is attained through “faith and grace” which is blatantly opposite of what Jesus taught.

“Paul… did not desire to know Christ…. Paul shows us with what complete indifference the earthly life of Jesus was regarded…. What is the significance for our faith and for our religious life, the fact that the Gospel of Paul is different from the Gospel of Jesus?…. The attitude which Paul himself takes up towards the Gospel of Jesus is that he does not repeat it in the words of Jesus, and does not appeal to its authority…. The fateful thing is that the Greek, the Catholic, and the Protestant theologies all contain the Gospel of Paul in a form which does not continue the Gospel of Jesus, but displaces it.” (The Quest for the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer)

“We have already noted that every teaching of Jesus was already in the literature of the day….. Paul, the founder of Christianity, the writer of half the NT, almost never quotes Jesus in his letters and writings.” (Professor Smith in his “The World Religions”, p 330)

Saul/Paul had set out initially to subvert Jesus’ teachings. Later he used his new doctrines to undermine the power of the Jewish church as well as the defied Roman Emperor. Paul sought to torpedo Judaism in its calcified form, its narrow interpretation of the Judaic law. Jesus had initiated this process but did not subvert the law. Paul had no such inhibitions; he rejected wholesale many fundamental laws of God. In the attempt Paul succeeded in undermining both the Jewish and Nazarene teachings.

He steered Christ’s teachings away from monotheism and from the Jews, (the lost sheep of Israel) and directed these teachings in a corrupted form to Non-Jews…As Jesus had not succeeded during his mission in converting the majority of his Jewish brothers and sister to his divinely inspired interpretations of Judaism, Paul ensured that after Jesus had departed, that Jews would not be temped to follow Jesus’ Teachings. To this end, Paul so adulterated Jesus’ life, purpose, mission and claims to make the new dogma (Paul’s version of Jesus’ teachings) repugnant to the Jews. (Farouk Hosein, Fundamentalism Revisited, Eniath’s Printing Company Trinidad, p. 49)

The Jewish Christians reacted strongly to Paul, they rejected his pagan ideas of the “divinity of Christ”, and they rejected the concept of the “divine sonship” of Jesus, whom they regarded as a Prophet and Messenger.

The Jewish Christians rejected Paul’s version of ‘Christ’, to them the ‘Christ’ was anointed and fully human. Many characters in the Bible were called ‘Christ’ (anointed) but they were never divine ‘god-men’. Paul changed the original meaning of this title to make it conform to the Gentile thinking. The Romans considered their Emperors to be the ‘sons of God’, or personages of the sun. Similarly, the Hindus consider their heroes to be the ‘incarnations’ of God.

“A true Jew would have immediately recognized the teaching of Jesus as a reaffirmation of what Moses had taught. But to many a pagan, it must have seemed new and strange and perhaps a little complicated.

Most of the pagans still believed in a multitude of gods who, it was thought, mixed freely with human beings, mated with them, and took part in every sphere of human life. To the common people of Greece, any description of Jesus (made by Paul) must have seemed like a description of one of their gods, and they were probably quite ready to accept Jesus in this capacity. There was always room for one more god. However, the actual teaching of Jesus negated all their gods, since it affirmed the Divine Unity”. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus: Prophet of Islam 1992 edition, p. 62)

Paul’s reasoning had two major consequences. It not only resulted in further changes being made to what Jesus had taught, but also prepared the way for completely changing people’s ideas of who Jesus was. He was being transformed from a man to a conception in people’s minds.

Divinity had been attributed to Jesus even when he was on earth by some of those who marveled at his words and miracles, and who, mistakenly, considered him to be more than a prophet.

Some of his enemies had also spread the rumor that he was the “son of God”, hoping to rouse the orthodox Jew’s anger against him for associating himself with God. Thus, even before he disappeared, there had been a tendency to obscure his true nature and ascribe godhood to Jesus. This imaginary figure of Christ, who apparently had the power to annul what Jesus had previously taught, was clearly no ordinary mortal, and, inevitably, became confused by many with God. Thus, this imaginary figure became an object of worship, and was associated with God. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, p. 70)

Maududi alludes to the deification of Jesus by the “Christians”.

The false tendencies, born of centuries of deviations, ignorance and malpractice, now took another form. Though they accepted their Prophets during their lives and practiced their teachings, after their deaths they introduced their own distorted ideas into their religions. They adopted novel methods of worshipping God; some even took to the worship of their Prophets. They made the Prophets the incarnations of God or the sons of God; some associated their Prophets with God in His Divinity. (Towards Understanding Islam, p. 39)

Jesus taught Salvation comes through Faith and Works, Paul distorted it:

Jesus taught salvation is attained by keeping the commandments, physical prayer, fasting, and observing the Law of Moses. Paul neglected these commands and distorted the Path to Salvation preached by Jesus.

Paul said that “salvation comes through faith and grace” which is exactly what the missionaries are saying today. Let us read the words of Jesus.

Fasting is commanded:
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and
fasting. (Matthew 17:21)

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29)

Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with
sackclothes, and earth upon them. (Nehemiah 9:1)

And in every province, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, [there was] great mourning among the Jews, and fasting , and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. (Esther 4:3)

But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing [was] sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. (Psalms 35:13)

When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. (Psalms 69:10)

My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness. (Psalms 109:24)

Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye [even] to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: (Joel 2:12)

Christians do not fast, Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadhan, so they must be considered the true followers of Jesus. The (only) excuse Christians have for not fasting is echoing the teachings of Paul, who discarded these laws altogether!

Physical Prayer is commanded:

The Prophets of God prayed with their forehead touching the ground. Likewise, the Muslims also pray in this manner:

And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, (Genesis 17:3)

And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son. (Genesis 24:48)

And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What
saith my lord unto his servant? (Joshua 5:14)

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer
and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: (Daniel 9:3)

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt]. (Matthew 26:39)

Paul rejected these laws; he disobeyed the physical prayer to Yahweh. He distorted the prayer and directed it towards His Prophet, Jesus!

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; (Philemon 2:10)

This verse is absolutely outrageous and repulsive, totally disgusting! The Old Testament teaches that Prayer is due to God alone:

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isaiah 45:23)

It seems that Christians have abandoned this verse, following the teaching of Paul by worshipping Jesus! According to the Holy Quran, associating partners (in worship) with God is unforgivable:

Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin
Most heinous indeed. (Qur’an 4:48)

In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: “Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every – one that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He
createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things.” (Qur’an 5:17)

They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. (Qur’an 5:72)

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! (Qur’an 5:75)

They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him). (Qur’an 9:31)

Jesus Forbade the Gentiles:

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10:5-6)

But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost
sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 15:24)

Paul rejected this command of NOT preaching to the Gentiles, they were restricted. Paul openly preached among the Gentiles, a totally different religion:

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: (Romans 11:13)

Don’t be like the pagans!

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8)

And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. (Leviticus 20:23)

The Church Father Iranaeus condemned Paul for inventing ‘Christianity’ from pagan beliefs:

Iranaeus believed in One God and supported the doctrine of the manhood of Jesus. He bitterly criticized Paul for
being responsible for injecting doctrines of the pagan religions and Platonic philosophy into Christianity. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus Prophet of Islam, 1992 edition, p. 77)

The pagans used to wear tattoos and eat swine, the unclean pig. The “Christians” are imitating them today:

‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:28)

And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he [is] unclean to you. No Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they [are] unclean to you. (Leviticus 11:7-8)

The Bible says that decorating trees is PAGAN; this refers to the “Christmas tree”.

For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one]
cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. (Jeremiah 10:3-4)

Paul corrupted the teachings of Jesus claiming that his supposed “sacrifice on the cross” is the only way to salvation. We have already seen how this concept is false, according to the Bible itself, and the Gospel of the Nazorenes.

After Jesus’s time, there came to be two sects of Christians: those who followed St. Paul (who is the real founder of modern Christianity) and those who followed the Apostles of Jesus. In course of time, the Pauline sect overshadowed the Apostles’ sect. So Paul’s own writings, as well as the Gospels written under his influence, came to be accepted by the later Christian Church as Scripture. The Gospels are Hellenistic religious narratives in the tradition of the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament, which constituted the “Scriptures” to those Greek-speaking Christians who wrote the four canonical Gospels and who appealed to it, explicitly or implicitly, in nearly every paragraph they wrote. (Randal Helms, Gospel Fictions, p. 16)

The New Testament was written under the influence of Paul, the four Gospel writers were Gentile converts to Pauline Christianity. Hence, there is nothing Jewish about the New Testament, it was solely written for Pauline Christians whose background was pagan.

The Hebrew Scriptures of the Nazarenes and Ebionites were destroyed by the Pauline Church. The original sayings of Jesus were lost forever. The New Testament today exists in Greek, and not Hebrew or Aramaic, the spoken tongues of Jesus.

The Gospel of Matthew seems to be the “most Jewish” book in the New Testament,

Luke was a Gentile and not eye-witness

Mark was Barnabas’s nephew and not eye-witness

John was martyred decades before the Gospel (bearing his name) was even written.

Nevertheless, the four Gospels are NOT mentioned by name before the year 190 CE. We have scholarly quotations to back this claim.

Unfortunately, the sources we have on Jesus are very scarce and scanty, Ignatius (died 110 CE) records the baptism of Jesus but he fails to record any thing else.

The Apostolic Church Fathers never mention the miracles in the Gospels; they fail to mention the four Gospels by name. The story of the “resurrection” (as told in the Gospels) was fabricated later because they fail to record it. The seven epistles of Ignatius fall into the category of silence, they speak nothing about Jesus.

Paul has written his own personal account of the “resurrection” which contradicts the Gospels. In conclusion, the Gospels are fabricated because Philo
Judaeus and many other historians fail to mention their supernatural events.

The New Testament makes it clear that nobody witnessed the “resurrection”, the disciples never witnessed the “resurrection”, they all ‘forsook him and fled’ at Gethsemane.

Paul says Jesus Christ is a mystery!

In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, (Ephesians 3:4)

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ , for which I am also in bonds: (Colossians 4:3)

According to Paul, Jesus was not a real person; he was a spiritual conception in people’s minds:

Paul’s reasoning had two major consequences. It not only resulted in further changes being made to what Jesus had taught, but also prepared the way for completely changing people’s ideas of who Jesus was. He was being transformed from a man to a conception in people’s minds. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus Prophet of Islam, p. 70)

Paul did not care about the historical Jesus, whom he never met. He transformed Jesus into a ‘god-man’.

His reluctance to say very much at all about Jesus the man, in his letters, he quoted hardly any of the sayings of Jesus, in his apostleship to the Gentiles. Jesus, according to the flesh that is historical Jesus, did not serve his purpose.

Pauline Christology has only minimally to do with the actual historical Jesus. Hence, the faith in Christ as held by primitive preaching led by Paul was something new in comparison with the preaching of Jesus, it was a new type of religion based god-man of Pagan Religion.
(The Hijacking of Christianity, Al Haj A.D. Ajijola, p. 4)

PAUL EXPOSED

As we’ve seen, Paul, the founder of Christianity, rejected the message of Jesus (and everything he stood for) while replacing the Gospel with his own distorted version.

The message of Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) was pure and simple, the complete submission and surrender to God alone. He preached the religion of Islam; he fasted and prayed in the manner taught by the Prophets before him. He abstained from eating pork and drinking wine.

Paul rejected these laws and concocted his own religion, claiming “salvation comes through faith only” (sound familiar?) and not physical action or bodily prayer.

The Bible teaches the exact opposite, the stories of the Prophets teach us that salvation is attained through fasting, physical prayer, and righteous deeds, not just having faith, which is merely an article required in any
organized religion.

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone . (James 2:17)

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (James 2:21-22)

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:24)

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)

The Holy Quran harmonizes these verses by teaching that salvation is attained through faith and works:

Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Holy Qur’an 2:227)

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing. (Holy Qur’an 2:177)

Allah did aforetime take a covenant from the Children of Israel, and we appointed twelve captains among them. And Allah said: “I am with you: if ye (but) establish regular prayers, practice regular charity, believe in my messengers , honor and assist them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, verily I will wipe out from you your evils, and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you, after this, resisteth faith, he hath truly wandered from the path or rectitude.” (Holy Qur’an 5:12)

And convey good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that they shall have gardens in which rivers flow; whenever they shall be given a portion of the fruit thereof, they shall say: This is what was given to us before; and they shall be given the like of it, and they shall have pure mates in them, and in them, they shall abide. (Holy Qur’an 2:25)

And when it is said to them: Believe as the people believe they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do not know. (Holy Qur’an 2:13)

FASTING:

O you who believe ! fasting is prescribed for you , as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil). (Holy Qur’an 2:83)

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (Matthew 4:1-2)

Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and
fasting. (Matthew 17:21)

PHYSICAL PRAYER:

And when We made the House (at Makkah) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying): Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship). (Holy Qur’an 2:125)

Those that turn (to Allah) in repentance; that serve Him, and praise Him; that wander in devotion to the cause of Allah,: that bow down and prostrate themselves in prayer; that enjoin good and forbid evil; and observe the limit set by Allah;- (These do rejoice). So proclaim the glad tidings to the Believers (Holy Qur’an 9:112)

Come, let us bow down in worship , let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; (Psalms 95:6)

And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son. (Genesis 24:48)

And the people believed: and when they heard that the
LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 4:31)

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him , saying, As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. (Genesis 17:1-4)

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelations 7:11-12)

And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until eventide, he and the elders of Israel , and put dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast Thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the
Jordan! (Joshua 7:6-7 )

And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them. ( Numbers 20:6 )

Jesus (Prophet ‘Eesa alayhissalaam) rejected that salvation can be attained through blood sacrifice and ‘faith only-ism’

I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13)

But if ye had known what [this] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. (Matthew 12:7)

” The law teachers and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ chair. This means you’re supposed to observe and follow everything they tell you. But don’t do what they do;
after all, they’re all talk and no action.”  (Matthew 23:2)

Christianity is “all talk and no action” exactly what Christian missionaries are preaching today, the Pauline law of lawlessness! The following verse hammers the nail:

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9, NIV)

Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (The Amplified Bible)

Islam is a Religion of action; Christianity is a religion of fabulous words. It does not have the answers to the problems of mankind. Islam superiorly has the solutions to the problems of mankind, the social corruptions in the society.

Islam demands a very high standard of morality which fixes the problems of the world. It’s is a Challenge to religion; a complete system of Life. The lawlessness of Christianity cannot be denied, since Christianity is based on emotions and not history.

Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) taught the very opposite of what Christianity teaches today. The purpose of Jesus’ mission was to preach the Torah, not to be crucified. He taught salvation came through observing the Law, and not by the ‘eloquent words’ of the later Church. Jesus declared in Matthew 17:21 that salvation is attained through “fasting and prayer”.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have
come.” (Mark 1:38)

The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. (Psalms 19:7)

Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the
law of the LORD. (Psalms 119:1)

Jesus came to uphold the Mosaic Law and restore its teachings which had been discarded; he never founded a new religion. The followers of Jesus regarded him as the ‘new Moses’ sent to the Children of Israel. Jesus declared he was only sent to the Jews.

Paul is the founder of Christianity who established lawlessness; the doctrine of “salvation through faith only” is simply an echoing of Paul’s words and distorted teachings.

Christians are following the anti-Christ without knowing it.

“If Christianity needed an Anti-Christ, they need look no further than Paul”
— The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

“We have already noted that every teaching of Jesus was already in the literature of the day….. Paul, the founder of Christianity , the writer of half the NT, almost never quotes Jesus in his letters and writings.” (Professor Smith in his “The World Religions”, p 330)

Paul rejected the Jewish Law (Torah) and fabricated a religion called “Christianity” which deviated from the teachings of Jesus, transforming him into a god.

“Although I am free from everyone, I have enslaved myself to all of them in order to win a larger number. To the Jews I behave as a Jew; to those under the Law as one who is under the Law, although I am not under the Law, to gain those who are under the Law. To those who are without law I am without law, although not lawless toward God but committed to Christ’s Law, in order to win those who are without law” (1 Corinthians 9:19)

Paul is a liar, he claims to follow the Law of Christ when the Law of Christ was the observance of the Torah (Matthew 5:17-20) the very Law that he strongly rejected! The hypocrisy of Paul is further exposed in the following verse:

For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my
lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? (Romans 3:7, King James Version)

But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? (English Standard Version)

But if the truth of God through my lie abounded unto his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? (American Standard Version)

Muhammad Ataur-Raheem comments on the verse above:

“It would seem from this statement that, although he knew he was lying, Paul felt that the means justified the ends, but it is not understood how truth would abound through a lie…
Paul produced a religion which encompassed different contradictory elements. He took the Unitarianism of the Jews and added to it the philosophy of the pagans”. (Jesus: Prophet of Islam, 1992 edition, p. 71)

Paul is the anti-Christ, the supreme liar, the pathological liar, and the corrupter of Jesus’ Gospel. The Jewish Christians (Nazarenes and Ebionites) considered him an ‘apostate’ from Judaism, yet historical accounts say that he was born Gentile.

The author Roshen Enam says:
“Paul abolished the Law, which was followed and preached by Jesus (pbuh), and corrupted the whole religion, giving it a new form. The main ambition behind all this was, in his own words, “to win a larger number” of followers; the followers of a new religion “the Pauline Christianity”. (Follow Jesus or Follow Paul p. 69)

“The message of Christianity is that the Law is a curse. If the Law is a curse, then all that it ordains or prohibits must also be a curse.” (A.D. Ajijola states in his book “The Myth of the Cross”)

Amazingly, Paul went to such extremes that he claimed Jesus destroyed the Jewish Law!
“He (Jesus) brought the hostility to an end, by abolishing the Law of commandments with its regulations”. (Ephesians 2:14)

Needless to say, the passage contradicts Matthew 5:17-20 where Jesus specifically states that he came to preach the Law, not to destroy it.

Paul gave evidence that he was building a new religion, a complete deviation from Jesus’ teachings:

Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: (Romans 15:20)

What is Paul implying here?? Muhammad Ataur-Raheem gives us the answer:

If Paul had been spreading the original teaching of Jesus, then “another man’s foundation” would have been the same as his. They would both have been involved in building the same structure. The people who were hearing about Jesus, or rather Christ, for the first time from Paul’s lips, had no means of comparing his account with that of the Apostles who still held to Jesus’ teaching. Paul’s version was the only one to which they had access. (ibid, Jesus Prophet of Islam)

Paul was developing a new religion under the doctrines he was fabricating According to Acts, Paul traveled to Arabia for three years:

Paul then left Damascus and, instead of seeking out the company of the other followers of Jesus, went into the Arabian Desert where he remained hidden for three years. It may well have been here that he began to formulate his own version of what Jesus had taught. This involved a rejection of the Jewish Law, which in turn meant his turning away from the fact that throughout his life Jesus had remained a practicing Jew, and always sought to uphold the teachings which Moses had brought before him. (Jesus Prophet of Islam, 1992 edition)

“In the solitude of the Arabian desert, he had marked out a course of action for himself in which he would not accept any interference or advice. Had he discussed this matter with the apostles or taken any of them into his confidence, it would mean a definite setback to his scheme of preaching a modified religion to the Gentiles. The apostles would have very strongly opposed the whole idea, and would have denounced the whole idea as an abomination. There is ample proof provided by the New Testament that the Disciples and the earliest followers of Jesus abhorred the innovations of Paul.
(A.D. Ajijola states in his book “The Myth of the Cross”)

Paul corrupted the Gospel of Jesus and replaced it, as the scholar Albert Schweitzer points out:

What is the significance for our faith and for our religious life, the fact that the Gospel of Paul is different from the Gospel of Jesus? The attitude which Paul himself takes up towards the Gospel of Jesus is that he does not repeat it in the words of Jesus, and does not appeal to its authority…. The fateful thing is that the Greek, the Catholic, and the Protestant theologies all contain the Gospel of Paul in a form which does not continue the Gospel of Jesus, but displaces it.”
(Albert Schweitzer, The Quest for the Historical Jesus)

“The Christian beliefs formulated by St. Paul are unreasonable and repugnant to the conscience of man; such beliefs cannot expect any reasonable allegiance from the advanced nations of the world as it is a religion of primitive people. The whole of modern Christian doctrines was not formulated by Jesus, but by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans where he laid the foundation of Modern Christian doctrines and based his exposition on the heathen practices of his day.” (A.D. Ajijola states in his book “ The Myth of the Cross”)

Paul was disguising the true face of Jesus with a hideous mask; this ‘mask’ later became known as “Christianity”. It is mysterious that Jesus was transformed into God ‘incarnate’ when Moses, his twin predecessor was not.

I have inquired into some of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity; the examination has led me to the conclusion that the dogmas of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the Divine-Sonship, the Original Sin and Atonement are neither rational nor in conformity with the teachings of Jesus. These dogmas came into being and were due to pagan influences. They show that Christianity has departed considerably from the religion of Jesus.
(A.D. Ajijola states in his book “The Myth of the Cross”)

In the preface to the book Jesus: Prophet of Islam, Muhammad Ataur-Raheem says:

An eminent scholar of Christian history admits that the present-day Christianity is a “mask” on the face of Jesus but goes on to say that a mask worn for a long time acquires a life of its own and it has to be accepted as such. The Muslim believes in the Jesus of history and refuses to accept the “mask”. This, in a nutshell, has been the point of difference between Islam and the Church for the last fourteen hundred years.

“I am convinced that Christianity has indeed misunderstood Jesus and that it needs to make a radical rediscovery of his person and message” (Tom Harper, by Akberally Meherally, Understanding the Bible through Koranic Messages)

A basic contrast between the Old Testament and the teachings of Paul reveal hundreds of contradictions. Paul established his own Church which later became the ‘Roman Catholic Church’ (sound familiar?).

James, the brother of Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam), established the first ‘Church’ at Jerusalem (in 50 CE) before Pauline Christianity existed. It was sadly destroyed by the Pauline Church after the Jewish War (66-70 C.E.) and the Nazarenes were suppressed by the followers of Paul.

The Pauline “Christians” that exist today do not follow Christ, they should be called Paulians. The true Christians were the Nazarenes and Ebionites that no longer exist.

Paul degraded Jesus in the following verses:

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (Hebrews 6:1, English Standard Version)

Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (Hebrews 6:1, 21st Century King James Version)

Paul emphasized that Christ was not perfect (na’audhubillah), hence his teachings should be discarded, because according to Paul, they are like ‘filthy and useless rags’ (Isaiah 64:6) and we must excel towards “perfection and maturity”. The deceptive editors changed the English translation of Paul’s damaging words. This outrageous statement has been softened in many other versions of the Bible:

So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. (Hebrews 5:7. New Living Translation)

We must try to become mature and start thinking about more than just the basic things we were taught about Christ. We shouldn’t need to keep talking about why we ought to turn from deeds that bring death and why we ought to have faith in God. (Hebrews 5:7, Contemporary English Version)

The convert to Islam, Dr. Roshan Enam, comments:

“Paul not only distorted the teachings of Jesus Christ (Nabi ‘Eesa alayhissalaam) he even dishonored them; arguing that Jesus gave immature and defective teachings to his followers, and that they were not worth following. Instead, the people should follow the teachings preached by Paul, which according to him, are mature and complete” (Follow Jesus or Follow Paul, p. 38)

As mentioned earlier, Paul established the doctrine of lawlessness, which is the great cause for our social corruptions. The Christian religion gave birth to diseases like fascism and communism:

Christianity has been most prolific of spawning “isms”. Atheism, Communism, Fascism, Totalitarianism, Nazism, Mormonism, Moonism, Christian Scientism and now Satanism. What else will Christianity give birth to? (Deedat, Is the Bible God’s Word?)

Jesus (‘Eesa alayhossalaam) observed the laws of the Torah, but Paul changed the Gospel, corrupting it before it reached Europe.

“Paul deviated people towards lawlessness, through his strange philosophy that, the observance of the Law motivates to sin, thus justifying his innovation regarding the abolition of the Law” (ibid, p. 42)

“…not a single human being will be made righteous in God’s sight through observance of the Law. For through the Law comes the knowledge of sin”. (Romans 3:20)

“Christ has ransomed us from the curse of the Law in as much as He became a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13)

“the Scripture has all men imprisoned under sin” (Galatians 3:22)

What Paul invented was a great misconception. Purpose of revelations from God Almighty is never to mislead the people, or to induce them with sin, instead, they are always for the guidance of mankind. With the same purpose, the Law of commandments were revealed to prophet Moses (Nabi Musa alayhissalaam), and in later age, prophet Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) was to sent to confirm and honor them, and finally to complete them, but not to abolish them (ibid, p. 42)

According to Jesus (Qur’anic ‘Eesa alayhissalaam), the lawless ones will be thrown in Hell. (This includes all Christians)

“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:40-42 New American Standard Bible)

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE
LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:23, New American Standard Bible)

For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. (Mark 9:49)

“So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:28)

Christians are indeed hypocrites, they ignore the practical teachings of the Bible and discard the Jewish Law followed by Jesus (Matthew 5:17-20, 23:23) they practice what is called ‘selective morality’ and ignore the teachings of the Gospels, paying close attention to the epistles of Paul (only).

Christians adhering to Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) do not exist:

· Jesus commanded fasting (Matthew 4:2, 6:16) yet Christians do not fast.

· Jesus abstained from eating pork and drinking wine (Leviticus 10:9, 11:7, Matthew 5:17-20) yet Christians practice the exact opposite, they eat pork and drink wine! Paul said it was okay to drink wine 1Timothy 5:23.

· Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day of infancy (Luke 1:59) yet Christians are not circumcised like Jesus. This equates to death penalty (see: Genesis 17:14)

· Jesus established the death penalty for those who abandon his teachings (John 15:6) yet Christians have abandoned his teaching but they are not being punished accordingly! The governments of Christian countries reject the Jewish Law because of the innovations of Paul. (He made everything permissible for them!)

· Jesus observed the Sabbath, (which is Saturday) yet Christians have broken this law by working on the Sabbath. This equates to death penalty (see: Exodus 31:14)

The laws which exist in the “Christian” countries of the West, the laws governing birth and death, the formation and dissolution of marriage, the rights over property within and outside marriage or in the event of divorce or death, adoption and guardianship, commerce, and industry, are not to be found in the gospels. They are not the laws which have been revealed to man by God. They are the fruits of deductive knowledge. They are either inherited from the Roman system of law, or are based on the common practice of people over a long period of time, or are statutes erected and amended in accordance with the democratic method, which is the bequest of the ancient Greeks. No one in today’s courts of law can refer to the gospels as a binding authority in his dealings with another man, and have it accepted.
(Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus Prophet of Islam, 1992 edition, p. 205)

Jesus said his true followers will enter Paradise, those who follow his teachings.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; (John 8:31)

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:26-29)

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:26-27)

The outright foolishness of Christians cannot be denied, Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) rebukes today’s ‘adherents’ who boldly call themselves “Christian”.

But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9)

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46)

“I do not accept praise from men, (John 5:41)

The authentic Hadith says:

I heard the Prophet saying, “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Apostle.”
Narrated ‘Umar
Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 654.

The Holy Quran says:

Say: “O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by, – who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even way. (Holy Qur’an 5:77)

From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done. (Holy Qur’an 5:14)

The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! (Holy Qur’an 9:30)

As stated earlier, the teachings of Jesus were based on the Law, yet the Law is rejected by Christians today, so how could they be called Christians??

Moreover, the “Christians” do not follow the Gospel of Jesus; they follow the Gospel of Paul. The Nazarenes and Ebionties were followers of Jesus’ Gospel, which no longer exists today.

Nevertheless, the “Christians” of today are not implementing the teachings of their “lord and savior” (see John 8:31) The Nazarenes/Ebionites never degraded Jesus by calling him “lord and savior”; they considered him a great Prophet and Messenger.
There is so much diversity and clash, so much chaos, in the Christian Church today that the old idea of a unified or systematic Christian truth has gone. For this, the ecumenical movement is too late. What has happened is that the Christian world has moved into that situation of open variety, of optional alternatives. It would seem no longer possible for anyone to be told or even to imagine that he can be told, what it means or should mean, formally and generically, to be a Christian. He must decide for himself and only for himself (Christianity on Trial, I, Colin Chapman, pp. 51-52)

The act of affirming what is in the Old Testament, and the gospels for that matter, and at the same time affirming belief in the doctrine of Trinity, is perhaps the greatest illustration of the exercise of doublethink within Christianity today. Thus the logic of the established Church’s metaphysic, based on doctrines which were not taught by Jesus, obscures not only the nature of Jesus, but also the Divine Unity. The metaphysic of Christianity today is totally opposed to the metaphysic which Jesus brought. The physical aspect of what Jesus brought, his code of behaviour, is today irrecoverably lost. To live as Jesus lived is to understand his message, yet there is virtually no existing record of how Jesus behaved. And what little knowledge exists is often ignored. The most fundamental act of Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) was that of worship of the Creator, the whole purpose for which man was created. Yet it is evident that no Christian today makes the same acts of worship which Jesus made. Jesus usually prayed in the morning, at mid-day, and in the evening. The exact form of his prayer is no longer extant, but it known that is was based on the prayer which Moses was given. Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) said that he had come to uphold the law and not to destroy it one jot or one tithe. Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) was educated in the synagogue in Jerusalem from the age of twelve. He preached in the synagogue. He used to keep the synagogue clean. No Christian today can be found performing these actions. How many Christians have even been circumcised in the manner that Jesus was? The services now held in today’s churches were developed long after Jesus had disappeared. Many of them come directly from the pagan Greeco-Roman mythological rites. The prayers they use are not the prayers which Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) made. The hymns they sing are not the praises which Jesus sung. Due to the innovations of Paul and his followers, there is no revealed teaching left as to what to eat and what not to eat. Anyone given a “Christian education” today eats what he feels like. Yet Jesus and his true followers only ate kosher meat and were forbidden to eat pig’s flesh. The last meal Jesus is known to have eaten before his disappearance was the Passover meal. No Christian today celebrates this longstanding Jewish tradition to which Jesus so meticulously held.
(Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus, Prophet of Islam, pp. 199-200)

In the preceding arguments, I have inquired into some of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity; the examination has led me to the conclusion that the dogmas of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the Divine-Sonship, the Original Sin and Atonement are neither rational nor in conformity with the teachings of Jesus.
These dogmas came into being and were due to pagan influences. They show that Christianity has departed considerably from the religion of Jesus . (A.D. Ajijola states in his book “The Myth of the Cross”)

Unfortunately, the observance of Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) is not possible today because his teachings have been seriously corrupted and altered. The scholars of “Christianity” admit that they do not possess the original manuscripts from which we can derive the authentic words of Jesus. Hence, the only way to follow Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) today is by following Islam:

He who follows Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) automatically follows the true Jesus’ teachings:

“The guidance imparted through the Prophets of the past was not complete. Every Prophet was followed by another who effected alterations and additions in the teachings and injunctions of his predecessors and, in this way, the chain of reform and progress continued. That is why the teachings of the earlier Prophets, after the lapse of time, were lost in oblivion . Obviously there was no need to preserve the earlier teachings when amended and improved guidance had taken their place. At last the most perfect code of guidance was imparted to mankind through Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and all previous codes were automatically abrogated, for it is futile and imprudent to follow an incomplete code when the complete code exists. He who follows Propher Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) follows all the Prophets , for whatever was good and eternally workable in their teachings has been embodied in his teachings. Whoever, therefore, rejects and refuses to follow Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) teachings, and chooses to follow some other Prophet, only deprives himself of that vast amount of useful and valuable instruction and guidance which is embodied in Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) teachings, which never existed in the books of the earlier Prophets and which was revealed only through the Last of the Prophets”
(Towards Understanding Islam, p. 79)

Christian Missionaries using the same tool which Paul used: Deception

Paul has been denounced by theologians and scholars throughout history, the hatred which he incited by his teachings against the Jewish Law, and the political support he gave to the Roman emperors, show how desperate he was to destroy the Nazarene sect, the followers of the early Jesus movement, known as The Way (Acts 9:2, 19:23) Paul’s claim to being Pharisaic is lying of the highest order. Paul was a Gnostic by the style of his own literature! He persecuted the followers of Jesus to please the heart of Popea, but when he failed; he burst into rage, inventing “Christianity” by preaching against the Jewish Law and the doctrines. He produced Christianity for the sole purpose of converting Gentiles. In order to win Gentiles, he became like a Gentile, to win Jews, he became like a Jew. The verse reads:

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. (1 Corinthians 9:19-21)

This Pauline deceptive tactic is vigorously being used today. In Africa, for example, the mosques are constructed to resemble churches, so Muslims are deceived into entering the church, believing that it’s a mosque.

Building churches that look similar to mosques: Muslims were turned off from entering churches because they looked different, that also made them feel very uncomfortable with them. They also changed the internal structure of the church to look similar to a mosque; the people sit on the floor and in lines.
(Christian Missionaries Sweeping the Islamic World, Sheikh Salman Al-Odeh)

This is practical evidence that Christians follow Paul, not Jesus. The blatant deception to deceive unwary Muslims is directly inspired from 1 Corinthians 9:19-21.

Another example demonstrates how a Christian tries to imitate a fasting Muslim, trying to “win her” in accordance with Paul’s teachings.

I decided to ask Sarah to my fellowship group. But she said no. She didn’t think Christians would accept her. It was important to her that Christians respect her beliefs and get to know her as a person, instead of just dismissing her because she was a Muslim. I decided I would remain her friend and keep telling her about Jesus.

During the term, the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan began. Sarah explained to me that it was their month of fasting. Suddenly it dawned on me: This was my opportunity to show Sarah I accepted her and really wanted her to know Christ.

“I’m fasting today,” I told Sarah one morning about a week into the fasting period.

“Why?” she asked.

“I just want to fast with you,” I answered.

She stared at me in disbelief. I’ve been told that Muslims often asked their friends to offer encouragement by fasting with them. But at our boarding school, no one wanted to give up their already meager share of food. Sarah had not even asked me. She thought since I was a Christian, I would have nothing to do with a Muslim tradition.

“Why are you fasting with me when you are a Christian?” Sarah asked me later. I told her I didn’t think there was anything wrong with fasting, and I was only doing it to show her that I accepted her and respected her religion.
(Read the story at http://www.christianitytoday.com/cl/2000/001/8.54.html )

The Pagan roots of Christianity cannot be denied, Christians only fast because they want to “win Muslims”. They don’t fast because the Bible commands it.

Muslims are not encouraged to become deceived; they fast only to “win Muslims” is the sheer embodiment of Paul’s teachings. Is there any greater evidence to show they follow Paul, the corrupter of the Gospel??

It was Thomas Jefferson who said: “Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corrupter of the Gospel of Jesus”.

The Contradictions

(1) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (Romans 3:20)

Contradicted by:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2:13)

(2) Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Contradicted by:

For each one should carry his own load. (Galatians 6:5)

(3) For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, (1 Peter 3:18)

Contradicted by:

The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright. (Proverbs 21:18)

(4) Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)

Contradicted by:

But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. (1 Corinthians 7:28)

(5) No man hath seen God at any time . If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12)

Contradicted by:

I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered. (Amos 9:1)

(6) If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: (Job 31:33)

Contradicted by:

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. (1Timothy 2:14)

* The verse says that Adam sinned, yet the New Testament says that Adam did not sin, but only Eve sinned.

According to Jesus, Paul was a hypocrite:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites ! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (Matthew 23:13)

Compared with:

Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 23:6)

Paul wants people to be sinners!

I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. 1 Corinthians 7:6-7

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners— of whom I am the worst. (1 Tim. 1:15)

Paul testifies there is nothing good in him:

More Contradictions

(1) Full God or Emptied God:

“Christ Jesus who, though existing in the form of God, did not consider his equality with God something to cling to, but emptied Himself as he took on the form of a slave” (Philippians 2:6)

Contradicted by:

“For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell (Colossians 1:19)

(2) God or Mediator or None:

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5)

Contradicted by:

“But there is no call for an intermediary in case of one, and God is one” (Galatians 3:20)

(3) The Law Abolished or the Law Upheld:

He brought the hostility to an end, by abolishing: the Law of commandments with its regulations” (Ephesians 2:14)

Contradicted by:

Do we then overthrow the Law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the Law.” (Romans 3:31)

(4) Righteousness; with the Law or without the Law:

not a single human being will be made righteous in God’s sight through observance of the Law” (Romans 3:20)

Contradicted by:

For not the hearers of the Law are righteous before God but those who practice the Law will be pronounced righteous” (Romans 2:13)

(5) Salvation; by Confession or by Deeds:

if you confess with your lips the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)

Contradicted by:

For he (God) will repay according to each one’s deeds; to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (Romans 2:6)
(Source: Roshan Enam, Follow Jesus or Follow Paul? p. 65-55)

(6) Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. (Acts 10:34-35)

Contradicted by:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation , a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Most Greek-speaking authors heard these traditions in the Aramaic vernacular and committed them to writing in Greek. None of these writings is dated prior to the year 70 C.E.; there is not a single instance in these works where the author has cited an authority for an event or maxim attributed to Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) in order that we might construct a chain of transmission.

Furthermore, even their works have not survived. Thousands of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament were collected, but none of them is older than the fourth century C.E.; rather the origin of most of them does not go beyond the period intervening between the 11th and the 14th centuries.

“The real death of a Prophet consists not in his physical demise but in the ending of the influence of his teachings. The earlier Prophets have died because their followers have adulterated their teachings, distorted their instructions, and besmirched their life-examples by attaching fictitious events to them” (ibid, Maududi, Towards Understanding Islam, p. 57)

“The original copies of the New Testament books have, of course, long since disappeared. This fact should not cause surprise. In the first place, they were written on papyrus, a very fragile and perishable material. In the second place, and probably of even more importance, the original copies of the New Testament books were not looked upon as scripture by those of the early Christian communities.” [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter’s Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 1, pp. 599 (Under Text, NT).]

Paul and his Pagan teachings had nothing at all to do with the Original Message of Jesus

The book of Acts demonstrates that Paul was preaching very similar doctrines to the pagans.

They professed to believe in the blood sacrifice (crucifixion) and resurrection of their own god-men before Paul had arrived, as the following passage indicates:

Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. (Acts 17:17-18)

The Gentiles already knew the stories of dying and rising gods before Paul came to them, he was only recycling the legends of the Mystery Religions.

“The divine teacher is called, is tested by the “adversary”, gathers disciples, heals the sick, preaches the Good News about God’s kingdom, finally runs afoul of his bitter enemies, suffers, dies, and is resurrected after three days. This is the total pattern of the sun god in all the ancient dramas”. (Tom Harper, The Pagan Christ, p. 145)

“A true Jew would have immediately recognized the teaching of Jesus as a reaffirmation of what Moses had taught. But to many a pagan, it must have seemed new and strange and perhaps a little complicated. Most of the pagans still believed in a multitude of gods who, it was thought, mixed freely with human beings, mated with them, and took part in every sphere of human life. To the common people of Greece, any description of Jesus must have seemed like a description of one of their gods, and they were probably quite ready to accept Jesus in this capacity . There was always room for one more god. However, the actual teaching of Jesus negated all their gods, since it affirmed the Divine Unity”. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus: Prophet of Islam 1992 edition, p. 62)

It is commonly supposed that religious honors were paid to the sun as a deity by a few isolated peoples or sects, such as the Parsees and the ancient Ghebers of Persia, and some African tribes. In correction of this view we are prepared to support the declaration that the worship of the Sun-god was quite universal in the ancient world. It ranged from China and India to Yucatan and
Peru. The Emperor and the Mikado, as well as the Incas, and the Pharaohs were Sun-god figures. And is the belief only an empty myth?? So far from being such, it is at once the highest embodiment of religious conception in the spiritual history of the race. Likewise in the ancient Mystery dramas the central character was ever the Sun-god the role being enacted by the candidate for initiation in person. He went through the several initiations as himself the type and representative of the solar divinity in the field of human experience…These Sun-god characters, of none of whom can it be said positively that they were living personages, were, it must be clearly noted, purely typical figures in the national epics of the several nations. (The Great Myth of the Sun-gods, Alvin Boyd Kuhn)

These ‘saviors’ who died and resurrected after three days were symbols of the sun, and these fables (or fairytales) were borrowed by the Church and attributed to Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) after his departure. Thus, Jesus became the Sun of God before the ‘Son of God’, both titles are pagan.
The early Jewish Christians (Nazarenes and Ebionites) did not believe Jesus was God, or the ‘son of God’.

The Christian conception is a distorted one, it teaches that Jesus was crucified on the ‘cross’ for the sins of other men, and resurrected on the third day. This story is not different from what we find in the Mystery Religions.

“The worship of suffering gods was to be found on all sides, and the belief in the torture of the victims in the rites of human sacrifice for the redemption from sin was very general. The gods Osiris, Attis, Adonis,
Dionysos, Herakles, Prometheus, and others, had all suffered for mankind; and thus the Servant of Yahweh was also conceived as having to be wounded for’ men’s transgressions. But as I say, this conception had passed into the background in the days of Jesus”
(The Paganism in Our Christiantiy, Arthur Weigall, 1928, p106)

The Roman/Greek/Egyptian gods were sacrificed for the ‘sins of mankind’ and resurrected on the third day. There is a tradition that Krishna was also crucified (yet upon a tree) to deliver his people from sin. worked the same miracles of dieing and raising, they were both “incarnations” as well.

The true genesis of Pauline Pagan Christianity lies in ancient India. It is the life of Kristna in the Bagavad Gita over 5000 years ago that we can look for the prototype of Christ. We can also find 180 similarities between the life of the Egyptian god Horus in the Book of the Dead, written in 1700BC. Both of these gods reformed the corrupt rule of the priesthood of their time and had them thrown out of the temples and instituted a system of worship and spirituality so pure that we see millions rushing to find these truths today in foreign countries.

When he was sixteen, Krishna left his mother to spread his new teaching throughout India. He spoke out against corruption among the people and the princes, everywhere supported the weak against oppression and declared that he had come to Earth to release people from suffering and sin, to drive out the spirit of evil, and to restore the rule of righteousness. He overcame tremendous difficulties, fought alone against entire armies, performed a wide range of miracles, raised the dead to life, healed lepers, gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, and made the lame walk .

Paul created a doctrine about “salvation through the cross” while discarding the teachings of Jesus in its totality.

He established the falsehood that “faith in the resurrection” is the way to salvation while totally rejecting the sayings of Jesus (Matthew 9:13, 12:7, Hosea 6:6, Micah 8:7-8)

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:14-17)

“…the doctrine of resurrection on which many Christian scholars’ belief hangs, is the sole work of Saint Paul as there is nothing in the teachings of Jesus himself on this issue.”
(Alhaj AD Ajijola, Myth of the Cross,)

The Old Testament teaches that ‘human sacrifice’ is wrong, and the verses Job 7:9, 14:14, Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 deny the resurrection!

[As] the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no [more]. (Job 7:9)

Christianity Pagan Beliefs Before Jesus

The ‘human sacrifice’ is entirely a pagan ritual which dates back thousands of years. Jesus could not have been a ‘human sacrifice’ on the cross because the practice was pagan and not Jewish. The Jews believed they’d crucified Jesus to prove he was false, yet God saved Jesus from the cross (Psalms 20:6) to disprove the notion that Jesus was accursed (Deu 13:5, 21:23)

The pagans used to sacrifice human beings for the “redemption of sins”. According to the Gospel of the Nazorenes, Jesus rejected the doctrine of vicarious atonement.

“The worship of suffering gods was to be found on all sides, and the belief in the torture of the victims in the rites of human sacrifice for the redemption from sin was very general.
(The Paganism in Our Christiantiy, Arthur Weigall, 1928, p106)

Jesus was teaching his disciples in the outer court of the
Temple and one of them said unto him: Master, it is said by the priests that without shedding of blood there is no remission. Can then the blood offering of the law take away sin? And Jesus answered: No blood offering, of beast or bird, or man, can take away sin, for how can the conscience be purged from sin by the shedding of innocent blood? Nay, it will increase the condemnation. (Gospel of the Nazorenes, lection 33)

Blood sacrifice is the oldest and most universal act of piety. The offering of animals, including the human animal, dates back at least twenty thousand years, and, depending on how you read the scanty archaeological evidence, arguably back to the earliest appearance of humanity. Many religions recount the creation of man through the bloody sacrifice of a God-man –a divinity who is torn apart to sow the seeds of humanity. (Patrick
Tierney , The Highest Altar: The Story of Human Sacrifice, quoted in Acharya’s Suns of God)

This is very similar to Christianity, which teaches that Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) was the ‘god-man’ that took away the “sins of mankind”, a doctrine foreign to the Jewish mind!

During the 4th century, the cult Christianity was made the official “religion” of the Roman Empire, and Constantine was the political leader of the Church based in Rome. He introduced the pagan doctrine of ‘trinity’ at the Council of Nicea, and he changed the Sabbath (originally held on Saturday shifted to Sun-day) for the commemoration of the sun-god.

The ancient Christian monuments, from which I have drawn my facts and illustrations, reveal so many obvious adaptations from the Pagan mythology and art, that it became necessary for me to investigate anew the Pagan symbolism: and this will account for the frequent comparisons instituted, and the parallels drawn between Christianity and Paganism. Many of the Pagan symbols, therefore, are necessarily used in this work–such, for instance, as seem to be types of Christian verities, like
Agni, Krishna, Mithra, Horus, Apollo, and Orpheus. Hence I have drawn largely from the most ancient Pagan religions of India, Chaldea, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and somewhat from the old Aztec religion of
Mexico. These religions were all, indeed, systems of idolatry, perversions and corruptions of the one primeval truth as held by such patriarchs as Abraham and Job; and yet these religions contained germs of this truth which it became the province of Christianity to develop and embody in a purer system for the good of mankind.

It is a most singular and astonishing fact sought to be developed in this work, that the Christian faith, as embodied in the Apostles’ Creed, finds its parallel, or dimly foreshadowed counterpart, article by article, in the different systems of Paganism here brought under review. (Lundy, quoted in Acharya’s Suns of God)

The earth-shattering statement:
That which is known as the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist, from the beginning of the human race until the time when Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion, which already existed began to be called Christianity.” (St. Augustine, Retractationes 1.12.3)

“The religion published by Jesus Christ to all nations is neither new nor strange…For though, without controversy we are of late, and the name of Christians is indeed new; yet our manner of life and the principles of our religion have not been lately devised by us, but were instituted and observed….from the beginning of the world, by good men, accepted by God; from those natural notions which are implanted in men’s minds”.
(Eusebius of Caesarea, 260-340 CE)

“The Christian religion contains nothing but what Christians hold in common with the heathen; nothing new” (Greek philosopher Celsus,)
The above quotations are derived from Tom Harper’s book The Pagan Christ. He further states on page 29:

The evidence of close similarities between Christianity and other ancient world faiths is massive, detailed, extremely specific, and quite incredibly far-flung, stretching from the Vedic wisdom of India to the Norse myths of Scandinavia, the legends of the Incas, and the original spirituality of the indigenous peoples of North America.

These are false charges against Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) which Islam clears away. The true version of Jesus can be found in the Holy Qur’an. What the Qur’an says about Jesus is supported by the Bible itself. The Bible requires the acceptance of Islam.

Below are quotations against Paul:

“If Christianity needed an Anti-Christ, they need look no further than Paul”
— The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

“We have already noted that every teaching of Jesus was already in the literature of the day….. Paul, the founder of Christianity, the writer of half the NT, almost never quotes Jesus in his letters and writings.” (Professor Smith in his “The World Religions”, p 330)

“Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ….. Fundamentalism is the triumph of Paul over Christ.”
–Will Durant (Philosopher)

“Paul’s words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul- a vast difference.”
–Bishop John S. Spong, Episcopal Bishop of Newark. (Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, p. 104, Harper San Francisco, 1991)

“Paul insists that there is only one ‘gospel of Christ’ (Galatians 1:7), so why did later Christians accept as ‘Scripture’ four written gospels?”
–Graham N. Stanton, “The Gospels and Jesus”, The Oxford Bible Series (1989), p.125

The following quotations are summarized:

I have inquired into some of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity; the examination has led me to the conclusion that the dogmas of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the Divine-Sonship, the Original Sin and Atonement are neither rational nor in conformity with the teachings of Jesus. These dogmas came into being and were due to pagan influences. They show that Christianity has departed considerably from the religion of Jesus. (The Myth of the Cross, Alhaj A.D. Ajijola)

This mysterious disappearance of Jesus could certainly be put to an advantageous purpose. Moreover, it was commonly known that Jesus was born of a virgin mother though many were skeptical about it. Paul turned all these ideas to his own advantage and concocted the theory of sonship. (ibid, Alhaj A.D. Ajijola)

“Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.”
(Thomas Jefferson, The Great Thoughts by George Sildes,
Ballantine Books, New York, 1985, p.208)

“Where possible he (Paul) avoids quoting the teaching of Jesus, in fact even mentioning it. If we had to rely on Paul, we should not know that Jesus taught in parables, had delivered the sermon on the mount, and had taught His disciples the ‘Our Father.’ Even where they are
specially relevant, Paul passes over the words of the Lord .”
(Albert Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, p. 171)

“What kind of authority can there be for an ‘apostle’ who, unlike the other apostles, had never been prepared for the apostolic office in Jesus’ own school but had only later dared to claim the apostolic office on the basis on his own authority? The only question comes to be how the apostle Paul appears in his Epistles to be so indifferent to the historical facts of the life of Jesus….He bears himself but little like a disciple who has received the doctrines and the principles which he preaches from the Master whose name he bears.” ( Ferdinand Christian
Baur , Church History of the First Three Centuries)

Paul, not Jesus, was the founder of Christianity as a new religion which developed away from both normal Judaism and the Nazarene variety of Judaism.”
(Hyam Maccoby , Paul: The Mythmaker and the Invention of Chrisianity, p. 16)

“No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.” (George Bernard Shaw)

“Paul did not desire to know Christ. Paul shows us with what complete indifference the earthly life of Jesus was regarded…. What is the significance for our faith and for our religious life, the fact that the Gospel of Paul is different from the Gospel of Jesus?
The attitude which Paul himself takes up towards the Gospel of Jesus is that he does not repeat it in the words of Jesus, and does not appeal to its authority…. The fateful thing is that the Greek, the Catholic, and the Protestant theologies all contain the Gospel of Paul in a form which does not continue the Gospel of Jesus, but displaces it.”
(The Quest for the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer,)

“There is not one word of Pauline Christianity in the characteristic utterances of Jesus…. There has really never been a more monstrous imposition perpetrated than the imposition of Paul’s soul upon the soul of Jesus…. It is now easy to understand how the Christianity of Jesus… was suppressed by the police and the Church, while Paulinism overran the whole western civilized world, which was at that time the Roman Empire, and was adopted by it as its official faith.” (George Bernard Shaw, Androcles and the Lion)

“Paul abolished the Law, which was followed and preached by Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam), and corrupted the whole religion, giving it a new form. The main ambition behind all this was, in his own words, “to win a larger number” of followers; the followers of a new religion “the Pauline Christianity”.
(Dr. Roshan Enam, Follow Jesus or Follow Paul, p. 69)

“From the time Jesus left earth to the second half of the Second century, there was a struggle between two factions. One was what one might call Pauline Christianity and the other Judeo Christianity. It was only very slowly that the first supplanted the second, and Pauline Christianity triumphed over Judeo Christianity”.
(Dr. Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Quran, and Science, p. 67)

Thus, quite soon after Jesus’s disappearance from earth, there was a definite and widening divergence between the followers of Jesus and the Pauline Church, which was later to become known as the Roman Catholic Church. Differences between the two were not only evident in life-style and belief, but were also clearly delineated geographically. As the Pauline Church grew more established, it became increasingly hostile to the followers of Jesus.
It aligned itself more and more with the rulers of the Roman Empire, and the persecution which to begin with had been directed at all who called themselves Christians, now began to fall mainly on those who affirmed the Divine Unity. Attempts began to be made to change their beliefs and forcefully to remove those who refused to do so, together with the books they used. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus, Prophet of Islam)

Naturally, those who deviated from the teaching of Jesus were prepared to change the Scriptures too, and even introduce false writings in order to support their opinions. (ibid)

The Ebionites were stigmatized by the Church as heretics who failed to understand that Jesus was a divine person and asserted instead that he was a human being who came to inaugurate a new earthly age, as prophesied by the Jewish prophets of the Bible. Moreover, the Ebionites refused to accept the Church doctrine, derived from
Paul, that Jesus abolished or abrogated the Torah, the Jewish law. Instead, the Ebionites observed the Jewish law and regarded themselves as Jews. The Ebionites were not heretics, as the Church asserted, nor ‘re-
Judaizers’, as modern scholars call them, but the authentic successors of the immediate disciples and followers of Jesus, whose views and doctrines they faithfully transmitted, believing correctly that they were derived from Jesus himself. They were the same group that had earlier been called the Nazarenes, who were led by James and Peter, who had known Jesus during his lifetime, and were in a far better position to know his aims than Paul, who met Jesus only in dreams and visions. Thus the opinion held by the Ebionites about Paul is of extraordinary interest and deserves respectful consideration, instead of dismissal as ‘scurrilous’ propaganda — the reaction of Christian scholars from ancient to modern times.
(Hyam Maccoby, The Myth Maker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity)

“Let the reader contrast the true Christian standard with that of Paul and he will see the terrible betrayal of all that the Master taught…. For the surest way to betray a great Teacher is to misrepresent his message…. That is what Paul and his followers did, and because the Church has followed Paul in his error it has failed lamentably to redeem the world…. The teachings given by the blessed Master Christ, which the disciples John and Peter and James, the brother of the Master, tried in vain to defend and preserve intact were as utterly opposed to the Pauline Gospel as the light is opposed to the darkness.”
(Rev. V.A. Holmes-Gore: Christ or Paul? )

“More and more people are now aware that the Christianity they know has little to do with the original teaching of Jesus. During the last two centuries the research of the historians has left little room for faith in the Christian “mysteries”, but the proven fact that the Christ of the established Church has almost nothing to do with the Jesus of history does not in itself help Christians towards the Truth. The present dilemma of the Christians is illustrated by what the Church historians of this present century write”. (Muhammad Ataur – Rahim, Jesus, Prophet of Islam, 1992 edition, p. 13)

Conclusion:

The “Christians” are commanded to follow the Old Testament, the observance of the Torah (Matthew 5:17-2)

The Holy Quran rebukes them for not following the true Gospel of Jesus and discarding the Torah, the Law of Moses which Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) cherished, and Christians reject!

Say: “O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.” It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord, that
increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But sorrow thou not over (these) people without Faith. (Holy Quran, 5:68)

From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the
day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done. (Holy Qur’an 5:14)

Say: “O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by,- who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even way. (Holy Qur’an 5:77)

Seeker of Truth can easily conclude that Christianity and its missionary  promote the Paganic  religion of Paul and not the true teachings of Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam).

Does Islam allow wife-beating?? A response to Anti-Islamists

Regarding an allegation made by anti-islamists, that in Islam, wife beating is permissible

Wife beating anytime and for any reason is never allowed in Islam.

What Muslims may or may not do is another discussion altogether. The teachings of Islam are however clear, and that is the basis upon which Islam has to be judged.

Wife beating is not allowed in Islam!

Before we start, I’d like to first say that because Arabic is a complex language, and because Allah Almighty purposely and carefully chose certain words to be placed in certain Noble Verses, I strongly believe that Allah Almighty allowed for the interpretation of NOT beating wives to be valid. In other words, a Muslim man would not be going against Allah Almighty’s Divine Will if he doesn’t beat his wife, and instead, deserts her by leaving the house and living for instance with his parents for a period of time until the disobedient wife comes back to her senses, which would be as equivalent as the first interpretation, since the end result is the same, which is to discipline the bad wife and to get her back on the Right Path of what makes GOD Almighty satisfied with her.

Let us look at Noble Verses 4:34-36

“(34). Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
(35). If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation: For Allah hath full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things.
(36). Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious;”

The Arabic word used in Noble Verse 4:34 above is “idribuhunna”, which is derived from “daraba” which means “beat”. The thing with all of the Arabic words that are derived from the word “daraba” is that they don’t necessarily mean “hit”. The word “idribuhunna” for instance, could very well mean to “leave” them. It is exactly like telling someone to “beat it” or “drop it” in English. It has a similar meaning to tap, and not BATTER as Anti-Muslim evil devils allege.

Allah Almighty used the word “daraba” in Noble Verse 14:24

“Seest thou not how Allah sets (daraba) forth a parable? — A goodly Word Like a goodly tree, Whose root is firmly fixed, And its branches (reach) To the heavens”. “daraba” here meant “give an example”. If I say in Arabic “daraba laka mathal”, it means “give you an example”.

Allah Almighty also used the word “darabtum”, which is derived from the word “daraba” in Noble Verse 4:94, which mean to “go abroad” in the sake of Allah Almighty:

“O ye who believe! When ye go abroad (darabtum) In the cause of Allah, Investigate carefully, And say not to anyone Who offers you a salutation: ‘Thou art none of a Believer!’ Coveting the perishable good Of this life: with Allah Are profits and spoils abundant. Even thus were ye yourselves Before, till Allah conferred On you His favours: therefore Carefully investigate. For Allah is well aware Of all that ye do. (The Noble Quran, 4:94)”

So “daraba” literally means “beat”, or “go abroad”, or “give” but not in the sense to give something by hand, but rather to give or provide an example.

Important Note: Notice how Allah Almighty in Noble Chapter (Surah)  He used “daraba (4:34″ and “darabtum (4:94)”, which are both derived from the same root. He used both words in the same Chapter, which tells me that “daraba” in Noble Verse 4:34 means to desert or leave, since that’s what its derived word meant in Noble Verse 4:94. The next section below will further prove my point.

I am sure there are more Noble Verses that used words derived from “daraba” in the Noble Quran, but these are the only ones I know of so far. In the case of Noble Verse 4:34 where Allah Almighty seems to allow men to hit their wives after the two warnings for ill-conduct and disloyalty, it could very well be that Allah Almighty meant to command the Muslims to “leave” the home all together and desert their wives for a long time in a hope that the wives would then come back to their senses and repent.

So it is not the brutal thrashing proposed by non muslims. The word used in the Quran has many meanings which are equally viable.

If we take the meaning of beat for example, it will be as to tap someone or to give them a sign that what they are doing is wrong. It is not to BEAT them up. Its like tapping someone on the shoulder and saying STOP. This is not beating.

If we take the other meanings, it means to remove oneself from their presence. The best example of the teachings of the Quran is Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Any tom dick or harry cant come along and practice Islam how they think it is, and intepret verses how they want – especially not non-muslims who have an anti islamic agenda. If we look at the conduct of the prophet, he NEVER mistreated his wives, which clearly shows the Qur’an does not allow wife beating. He had problems with them just as anyone would, but he did not beat them. If the Quran allows for it, then why wouldnt the prophet of Islam do it??

Noble Verses and Sayings that support the prohibition of any type of wife-beating:

The following Noble Verses and Sayings from the Noble Quran and Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) respectively seem to very well support the above interpretation:

“…Do not retain them (i.e., your wives) to harm them…(The Noble Quran, 2:231)”

“If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men’s souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, God is well-acquainted with all that ye do. (The Noble Quran, 4:128)”

Narrated Mu’awiyah al-Qushayri radhiyallahu anhu): “I went to the Apostle of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2139)”

Narrated Mu’awiyah ibn Haydah: “I said: Apostle of Allah, how should we approach our wives and how should we leave them? He replied: Approach your tilth when or how you will, give her (your wife) food when you take food, clothe when you clothe yourself, do not revile her face, and do not beat her. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2138)”

Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan) as saying: “He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet. Act kindly towards woman, for woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is its top. If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, its crookedness will remain there. So act kindly towards women. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 008, Number 3468)”

“O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. (The Noble Quran, 4:19)”

“And among God’s signs is this: He created for you mates from amongst yourselves (males as mates for females and vice versa) that you might find tranquillity and peace in them. And he has put love and kindness among you. Herein surely are signs for those who reflect. (The Noble Quran 30:21)”

“Women impure for men impure. And women of purity for men of purity. These are not affected by what people say. For them is forgiveness and an honorable provision. (The Noble Quran 24:26)”

Narrated Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu): “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Volume 8, Book 73, Number 135)”

Narrated Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu): “A man said to the Prophet , ‘Advise me! ‘The Prophet said, ‘Do not become angry and furious.’ The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet said in each case, ‘Do not become angry and furious.’ (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Volume 8, Book 73, Number 137)”

Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu) reported: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as saying: One is not strong because of one’s wrestling skillfully. They said: Allah’s Messenger, then who is strong? He said: He who controls his anger when he is in a fit of rage. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Virtue, Good Manners and Joining of the Ties of Relationship (Kitab Al-Birr was-Salat-I-wa’l-Adab), Book 032, Number 6314)”

Allah Almighty loves those who restrain anger: “Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good. (The Noble Quran, 3:134)”

Linguistic element

The key to the problem is the mistranslation of the two key words nushuz and adriboo. Some of the possible meanings for both the words are given below. Again, the appropriate meaning will depend on the context of the verse.

Nushuz: Animosity, hostility, rebellion, ill-treatment, discord; violation of marital duties on the part of either husband or wife.

Adriboo (root: daraba): to beat, to strike, to hit, to separate, to part.

In the context of the above verse the most appropriate meaning for nushuz is ‘marital discord’ (ill-will, animosity etc), and for adriboo is ‘to separate’ or ‘to part’.

Otherwise, it is inviting the likelihood of a divorce without any reconciliation procedure. Such a step would blatantly contravene the Qur’anic guidance shown in verse 4:35 below. Therefore, a more accurate and consistent translation of the above verse would be:

(4:34) […]as for those women whose animosity or ill-will you have reason to fear, then leave them alone in bed, and then separate; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek a way against them.

The separation could be temporary or permanent depending on the reconciliation procedure. Such as construction is legitimate within the terms of the language and fits in very well with the divorce procedure outlined in the Qur’an (see 8:5).

The verse following the above verse gives further weight to the above translation.

(4:35) And if ye fear a breach between them twain (the man and the wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Aware.

Added weight to the meanings outlined above is given by verse 4:128 quoted below. Here, in the case of a man, the same word nushuz is used, but it is rendered as ‘ill-treatment’ as against ‘rebellion’ in the case of a woman as shown earlier in the traditional translation of verse 4:34. One find oneself asking whether since the ill-treatment is on the part of the husband, a process of reconciliation is here to be encouraged!

(4:128) If a wife fears ill-treatment (nushuz) or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best[…]

This, obviously, is a double standard and the only way to reconcile the meanings of the two verses, in the contexts they are being used, is to accept the meaning of adriboo as: ‘to separate’ or to ‘part’. In this connection I would like to refer the reader to an excellent article by Rachael Tibbet from which I quote:

(a) Qur’anic commentators and translators experience problems with the term Adribu in the Qur’an not just in this verse but in others, as it is used in different contexts in ways which appear ambiguous and open to widely different translations into English. ‘Daraba’ can be translated in more than a hundred different ways.

(b) The translation of adribu as ‘to strike’ in this particular verse (4:34) is founded upon nothing more than:

(i) The authority of hadiths (Abu Dawud 2141 and Mishkat Al-Masabih 0276) that this is what Adribu means in this context.

(ii) The prejudices and environment of the early commentators of the Qur’an which led them to assume that ‘to strike’, given the overall context of the verse, was the most likely interpretation of the many possible interpretations of adribu.

Conclusion: Wife beating is not prescribed in the Qur’an

Warning on Discarding of Salaat

[Shaikh Zakariyya Kandhlawi (rahimahullah)]

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Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that he heard the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saying:

There is no place in Islam for a person who does not say his salaat, and there is no salaat without wudhu.”

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) also heard the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) saying, “There is no Islam in a person when there is no salaat by him. The position of salaat in Islam is as the position of the head in a body.”

Let those who do not offer salaat, and not only call themselves Muslims, but also boast of their being champions of the Muslim cause, ponder over these words of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam).They dream of reviving the past glory of Islam but would not care to know how rigidly the people responsible for that glory stuck to the practices of Islam.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) suffered from cataract of the eye. People told him that the disease could be treated but he would have to miss his salaat for a few days. He said: “This is not possible: I have heard
the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) saying. ‘A person who does not say his salaat shall stand before Allah while Allah shall be angry with him.” The companions of the Prophet would rather like to go blind than to forego salaat (though permissible under such circumstances) even for a few days. When on his last day Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) was stabbed by a Majoos, he often remained unconscious and eventually expired due to excessive bleeding. While on his death-bed. he was made conscious of the approaching salaat hours and he performed salaat in that very condition, and would remark: “There is no lot in Islaam for a person who does not say his salaat.”  These days it is considered unkind and improper to induce the patient or even allow him to say his salaat. What a world of difference is there between the view-points and approach of tlie Muslims of these two ages!

Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu) once requested the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) to give him a servant. The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said “Here are three slaves; take anyone you like.” Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu) said, “You may kindly choose one for me.” The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) pointed towards a certain man and said, “Take this one he is particular about his salaat. But you are not to beat him. We are forbidden to beat one who says salaat.” We, on the other hand, mock at our servant and consider him a liability if he goes for salaat.

Sufyaan Thauri (Rahmatullah alaih), the famous Sufi once fell into a state of ecstasy. He remained in his house for seven days without sleep, food and drink. When his Shaikh was informed of his condition, he inquired if Sufyaan was observing the hours of his salaat. He was told that his salaat was quite regular and safe. At this, the Shaikh remarked, “Glory be to Allah, Who has not allowed the Devil to have an upper hand on him!

[Fadha’il e Namaaz]

Answering Darwinism/Evolution

[By Adnan Oktar (Book: Darwinism refuted)]

                  INTRODUCTION

Anyone who seeks an answer to the question of how living things, including himself, came into existence, will encounter two distinct explanations. The first is “creation,” the idea that all living things came into existence as a consequence of an intelligent design. The second explanation is the theory of “evolution,” which asserts that living things are not the products of an intelligent design, but of coincidental causes and natural processes.

For a century and a half now, the theory of evolution has received extensive support from the scientific community. The science of biology is defined in terms of evolutionist concepts. That is why, between the two explanations of creation and evolution, the majority of people assume the evolutionist explanation to be scientific.  Accordingly, they believe evolution to be a theory supported by the observational findings of science, while creation is thought to be a belief based on faith.  As a matter of fact, however, scientific findings do not support the theory of evolution. Findings from the last two decades in particular openly contradict the basic assumptions of this theory. Many branches of science, such as paleontology, biochemistry, population genetics, comparative anatomy and biophysics, indicate that natural processes and coincidental effects cannot explain life, as the theory of evolution proposes.

In this section/category, we will analyze this scientific crisis faced by the theory of evolution. This work rests solely upon scientific findings. Those advocating the theory of evolution on behalf of scientific truth should confront these findings and question the presumptions they have so far held. Refusal to do this would mean openly accepting that their adherence to the theory of evolution is dogmatic rather than scientific.

HISTORY OF DARWINISM

Despite having its roots in ancient Greece, the theory of evolution was first brought to the attention of the scientific world in the nineteenth century. The most thoroughly considered view of evolution was expressed by the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, in his Zoological Philosophy (1809). Lamarck thought that all living things were endowed with a vital force that drove them to evolve toward greater complexity. He also thought that organisms could pass on to their offspring traits acquired during their lifetimes.  As an example of this line of reasoning, Lamarck suggested that the long neck of the giraffe evolved when a short-necked ancestor took to browsing on the leaves of trees instead of on grass.

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This evolutionary model of Lamarck’s was invalidated by the discovery of the laws of genetic inheritance. In the middle of the twentieth century, the discovery of the structure of DNA revealed that the nuclei of the cells of living organisms possess very special genetic information, and that this information could not be altered by “acquired traits.” In other words, during its lifetime, even though a giraffe managed to make its neck a few centimeters longer by extending its neck to upper branches, this trait would not pass to its offspring. In brief, the Lamarckian view was simply refuted by scientific findings, and went down in history as a flawed assumption.

However, the evolutionary theory formulated by another natural scientist who lived a couple of generations after Lamarck proved to be more  influential. This natural scientist was Charles Robert Darwin, and the theory he formulated is known as “Darwinism.”

Charles Darwin based his theory on various observations he made as a young naturalist on board the H.M.S Beagle , which sailed in late 1831 on a five-year official voyage around the world.  Young Darwin was heavily influenced by the diversity of species he observed, especially of the different Galapagos Island finches. The differences in the beaks of these birds, Darwin thought, were a result of their adaptation to their different environments.

After this voyage, Darwin started to visit animal markets in England. He observed that breeders produced new breeds of cow by mating animals with different characteristics. This experience, together with the different finch species he observed in the Galapagos Islands, contributed to the formulation of his theory. In 1859, he published his views in his book The Origin of Species . In this book, he postulated that all species had descended from a single ancestor, evolving from one another over time by slight variations.

What made Darwin’s theory different from Lamarck’s was his emphasis on “natural selection.” Darwin theorized that there is a struggle for survival in nature, and that natural selection is the survival of strong species, which can adapt to their environment. Darwin adopted the following line of reasoning:

Within a particular species, there are natural and coincidental variations. For instance some cows are bigger than others, while some have darker colors. Natural selection selects the favorable traits. The process of natural selection thus causes an increase of favorable genes within a population, which results in the features of that population being better adapted to local conditions. Over time these changes may be significant enough to cause a new species to arise.

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Charles Darwin developed his theory when science was still in a primitive state. Under primitive microscopes like these, life appeared to have a very simple structure. This error formed the basis of Darwinism.

However, this “theory of evolution by natural selection” gave rise to doubts from the very first:

1-What were the “natural and coincidental variations” referred to by Darwin?? It was true that some cows were bigger than others, while some had darker colors, yet how could these variations provide an explanation for the diversity in animal and plant species??

2-Darwin asserted that “Living beings evolved gradually.” In this case, there should have lived millions of “transitional forms.”  Yet there was no trace of these theoretical creatures in the fossil record. Darwin gave considerable thought to this problem, and eventually arrived at the conclusion that “further research would provide these fossils.”

3-How could natural selection explain complex organs, such as eyes, ears or wings? How can it be advocated that these organs evolved gradually, bearing in mind that they would fail to function if they had even a single part missing?

4-Before considering these questions, consider the following: How did the first organism, the so-called ancestor of all species according to Darwin, come into existence?? Could natural processes give life to something which was originally inanimate??

Darwin was, at least, aware of some these questions, as can be seen from the chapter “Difficulties of the Theory.” However, the answers he provided had no scientific validity.

H.S. Lipson, a British physicist, makes the following comments about these “difficulties” of Darwin’s:

On reading The Origin of Specie s, I found that Darwin was much less sure himself than he is often represented to be; the chapter entitled “Difficulties of the Theory” for example, shows considerable self-doubt.  As a physicist, I was particularly intrigued by his comments on how the eye would have arisen.1

Darwin invested all his hopes in advanced scientific research, which he expected to dispel the “difficulties of the theory.” However, contrary to his expectations, more recent scientific findings have merely increased these difficulties.

The Problem of the Origin of Life

In his book, Darwin never mentioned the origin of life. The primitive understanding of science in his time rested on the assumption that living things had very simple structures. Since mediaeval times, spontaneous generation, the theory that nonliving matter could come together to form living organisms, had been widely accepted. It was believed that insects came into existence from leftover bits of food. It was further imagined that mice came into being from wheat. Interesting experiments were conducted to prove this theory. Some wheat was placed on a dirty piece of cloth, and it was believed that mice would emerge in due course.

Similarly, the fact that maggots appeared in meat was believed to be evidence for spontaneous generation. However,  it was only realized some time later that maggots did not appear in meat Louis Pasteur destroyed the belief that life could be created from inanimate substances. spontaneously,  but were carried by flies in the form of larvae, invisible to the naked eye. Even in the period when Darwin’s Origin of Species was written, the belief that bacteria could come into existence from inanimate matter was widespread.

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Louis Pasteur destroyed the belief that life could be created from inanimate substances.

However, five years after the publication of Darwin’s book, Louis Pasteur announced his results after long studies and experiments, which disproved spontaneous generation, a cornerstone of Darwin’s theory.

In his triumphal lecture at the Sorbonne in 1864, Pasteur said, “Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow struck by this simple experiment.”2

Advocates of the theory of evolution refused to accept Pasteur’s findings for a long time. However, as scientific progress revealed the complex structure of the cell, the idea that life could come into being coincidentally faced an even greater impasse. We  shall consider this subject in some detail in this book.

The Problem of Genetics

Another subject that posed a quandary for Darwin’s theory was inheritance.  At the time when Darwin developed his theory, the question of how living beings transmitted their traits to other generations—that is, how inheritance took place—was not completely understood. That is why
the naive belief that inheritance was transmitted through blood was commonly accepted. Vague beliefs about inheritance led Darwin to base his theory on completely false grounds. Darwin assumed that natural selection was the “mechanism of evolution.”  Yet one question remained unanswered: How would these “useful traits” be selected and transmitted from one generation to the next? 

At this point, Darwin embraced the Lamarckian theory, that is, “the inheritance of acquired traits.” In his book The Great Evolution Mystery, Gordon R. Taylor, a researcher advocating the theory of evolution, expresses the view that Darwin was heavily influenced by Lamarck:

Lamarckism… is known as the inheritance of acquired characteristics… Darwin himself, as a matter of fact, was inclined to believe that such inheritance occurred and cited the reported case of a man who had lost his fingers and bred sons without fingers… [Darwin] had not, he said, gained a single idea from Lamarck. This was doubly ironical, for Darwin repeatedly toyed with the idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics and, if it is so dreadful, it is Darwin who should be denigrated rather than Lamarck… In the 1859 edition of his work, Darwin refers to ‘changes of external conditions’ causing variation but subsequently these conditions are described as directing variation and cooperating with natural selection in directing it… Every year he attributed more  and more  to the agency of use or disuse… By 1868 when he published Varieties of Animals and Plants under Domestication he gave a whole series of examples of supposed Lamarckian inheritance: such as a man losing part of his little finger and all his sons being born with deformed little fingers, and boys born with foreskins much reduced in length as a result of generations of circumcision.3

However, Lamarck’s thesis, as we have seen above, was disproved by the laws of genetic inheritance discovered by the  Austrian monk and botanist, Gregor Mendel. The concept of “useful traits” was therefore left unsupported. Genetic laws showed that acquired traits are not passed on, and that genetic inheritance takes place according to certain unchanging laws. These laws supported the view that species remain unchanged. No matter how much the cows that Darwin saw in England’s animal fairs bred, the species itself would never change: cows would always remain cows.

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The genetic laws discovered by Mendel proved very damaging to the theory of evolution.

Gregor Mendel announced the laws of genetic inheritance that he discovered as a result of long experiment and observation in a scientific paper published in 1865. But this paper only attracted the attention of the scientific world towards the end of the century. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the truth of these laws had been accepted by the whole scientific community. This was a serious dead-end for Darwin’s theory, which tried to base the concept of “useful traits” on Lamarck.

Here we must correct a general misapprehension: Mendel opposed not only Lamarck’s model of evolution, but also Darwin’s.  As the article “Mendel’s Opposition to Evolution and to Darwin,” published in the Journal of Heredity , makes clear, “he [Mendel] was familiar with The genetic laws discovered by Mendel proved very damaging to the theory of evolution. The Origin of Species …and he was opposed to Darwin’s theory; Darwin was arguing for descent with modification through natural selection, Mendel was in favor of the orthodox doctrine of special creation.”4

The laws discovered by Mendel put Darwinism in a very difficult position. For these reasons, scientists who supported Darwinism tried to develop a different model of evolution in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Thus was born “neo-Darwinism.”

The efforts of Neo-Darwinism

A group of scientists who were  determined to reconcile Darwinism with the science of genetics, in one way or another, came together at a meeting organized by the Geological Society of  America in 1941.  After long discussion, they agreed on ways to create a new interpretation of Darwinism and over the next few years, specialists produced a synthesis of their fields into a revised theory of evolution.

The scientists who participated in establishing the new theory included the geneticists G. Ledyard Stebbins and Theodosius Dobzhansky, the zoologists Ernst Mayr and Julian Huxley, the paleontologists George Gaylord Simpson and Glenn L. Jepsen, and the mathematical geneticists Sir Ronald  A. Fisher and Sewall Wright.5

To  counter the fact of “genetic stability” (genetic homeostasis), this group of scientists employed the concept of “mutation,” which had been proposed by the Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries at the beginning of the 20th century. Mutations were defects that occurred, for unknown reasons, in the inheritance mechanism of living things. Organisms undergoing mutation developed some unusual structures, which deviated from the genetic information they inherited from their parents. The concept of ” random mutation ” was supposed to provide the answer to the question of the origin of the advantageous variations which caused living organisms to evolve according to Darwin’s theory—a phenomenon that Darwin himself was unable to explain, but simply tried to side-step by referring to Lamarck. The Geological Society of  America group named this new theory,  which was formulated by adding the concept of mutation to Darwin’s natural selection thesis, the ” synthetic theory of evolution ” or the ” ” modern synthesis .” In a short time, this theory came to be known as neo-Darwinism ” and its supporters as “neo-Darwinists. ”

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The architects of Neo-Darwinism: Theodosius Dobzhansky,
Ernst Mayr, , and Julian Huxley.

Yet there was a serious problem: It was true that mutations changed the genetic data of living organisms, yet this change always occurred to the detriment of the living thing concerned.  All observed mutations ended up with disfigured, weak, or diseased individuals and, sometimes, led to the death of the organism. Hence, in an attempt to find examples of “useful mutations” which improve the genetic data in living organisms, neoDarwinists conducted many experiments and observations. For decades, they conducted mutation experiments on fruit flies and various other species. However, in none of these experiments could a mutation which improved the genetic data in a living being be seen.

Today the issue of mutation is still a great impasse for Darwinism. Despite the fact that the theory of natural selection considers mutations to be the unique source of “useful changes,” no mutations of any kind have been observed that are actually useful (that is, that improve the genetic information). In the following chapter, we will consider this issue in detail.

Another impasse for neo-Darwinists came from . Even in Darwin’s time, fossils were  already posing an important obstacle to the theory. While Darwin himself accepted the lack of fossils of “intermediate species,” he also predicted that further research would provide evidence of these lost transitional forms. However,  despite all the paleontologists’ efforts, the fossil record continued to remain a serious obstacle to the theory. One by one, concepts such as “vestigial organs,” “embryological recapitulation” and “homology” lost all significance in the light of new scientific findings.  All these issues are dealt with more  fully in the remaining chapters of this book.

A Theory in Crisis

We  have just reviewed in summary form the impasse Darwinism found itself in from the day it was first proposed. We  will later start to analyze the enormous dimensions of this deadlock. In doing this, our intention is to show that the theory of evolution is not indisputable scientific truth, as many people assume or try to impose on others. On the contrary, there is a glaring contradiction when the theory of evolution is compared to scientific findings in such diverse fields as the origin of life, population genetics, comparative anatomy,  paleontology, and biochemistry. In a word, evolution is a theory in “crisis.”

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                 Micheal Denton

That is a description by Prof. Michael Denton, an  Australian biochemist and a renowned critic of Darwinism. In his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), Denton examined the theory in the light of different branches of science, and concluded that the theory of natural selection is very far from providing an explanation for life on earth.6 Denton’s intention in offering his criticism was not to show the correctness of another view, but only to compare  Darwinism with the scientific facts. During the last two decades, many other scientists have published significant works questioning the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

In this section, we will examine this crisis. No matter how much concrete evidence is provided, some readers may be unwilling to abandon their positions, and will continue to adhere to the theory of evolution. However, reading this book will still be of use to them, since it will help them to see the real situation of the theory they believe in, in the light of scientific findings.

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1.  H. S. Lipson, “A Physicist’s View of Darwin’s Theory”,
Evolution Trends in Plants, vol.2, No. 1, 1988, s. 6.

2.  Sidney Fox, Klaus Dose. Molecular Evolution and The Origin of Life. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1977. s. 2

3.  Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, London: Abacus, 1984, s. 36- 41

4.  B.E. Bishop, “Mendel’s Opposition to Evolution and to Darwin,” Journal of Heredity 87 (1996): s. 205-213; ayrýca bkz. L.A. Callender, “Gregor Mendel: An Opponent of Descent with Modification,” History of Science 26 (1988): s. 41-75.

5.  Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis . London: Burnett Books, 1985

6.  Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis , Burnett Books, London, 1985.

Reality of Shirk (Polytheism)

[By: Maulana Shah Ismail Shaheed (rahimahullah)]

Shirk  does  not  only  imply  that  an  entity  be  equated  with  Allah  or  be  reckoned  as  His  counterpart, but  it  goes  much  further  to  include  the  things  and  manners  which  Allah  has  peculiarized  to  His Qualities  and  that  represent  the  signs  of  worshipping  and  obeisance  which  He  has  specified  for his  slaves  to  observe  for  Him  Alone.  In  case,  someone  observes  those  signs  and  exhibits  them  in front  of  any  other  entity  whatsoever  other  than  Allah,  such  a  practice  also  lies  within  the definition  of  Shirk:  this  practice  includes  making  prostrations,  sacrificing  an  animal  in  the  Name of  Allah,  making  vows,  calling  upon  Him  in  distress,  considering  Allah  to  be  Himself  present everywhere,  and  maintaining  that  the  others  do  have  a  role  to  play  in  the  matters  of  one’s  fate  and destiny.  All  the  above  are  different  shapes  and  varieties  of  Shirk.  Prostration  is  particularized  to be  performed  for  the  sake  of  Allah  only,  animal  sacrifice  is  done  for  Him  Alone,  vows  are  made to  Him  Alone,  He  is  the  One,  Who,  in  times  of  distress  (situations),  is  called  upon.  He  is  the Omnipotent  and  All-Powerful  and  He  is  the  Supreme  Authority  over  everything.  If  any  of  these qualities  are  ascribed  to  any  other  entity  other  than  Allah,  it  is  known  as  Shirk,  even  if  such  an entity  is  regarded as  inferior  to Allah or  is  reckoned  to  be  a  creature  or  slave  of  Allah.

All  such  beings  and  entities  like  a  Prophet,  saint,  jinn,  Satan,  ghost,  apparition  and  fairy  shall  all be  treated  equally  in  this  matter  and  whoever  considers  them  as  having  Divine  powers  commits an  act  of  Shirk  and  the  doer  of  such  a  thing  will  become  a  Mushrik  (the  one  who  associates partners  with  Allah).  Hence  Allah  has  brought  down  His  wrath  on  the  Jews  and  Christians  too even  though  they  did  not  practice  idolatry,  but  treated  their  Prophets  and  saints  in  a  similar manner  (i.e.  they  attributed  to  them  the  qualities  which  are  purely  Divine  in  nature)  as  Allah  has stated in the following Qur’anic verse:

They  (Jews  and Christians)  took  their  rabbis  and  their  monks  to be  their  lords  besides  Allah,  (by obeying  them  in things  which they  made  lawful  or  unlawful  according  to their  own desires without  being  ordered  by  Allah)  and (they  also took  as  their  lord)  Messiah, son of  Mary, while they  (Jews  and Christians)  were  commanded (in  the  Torah  and the  Gospel)  to worship  none  but One  (God-Allah)  La  ilaha  ilia Huwa  (none  has  the  right  to  be  worshipped but  He).  Praise  and glory  is  to Him, (far  above  is  He)  from  having  the  partners  they  associate  (with Him). (Qur’an 9:31)

It  means  that  even though  they  considered  Allah  as  the  Most  Supreme  Lord,  but  besides  that, they also  gave  their  recognition  to  other  mini-lords,  which  are  their  priests  and  monks.  These  people were  never  instructed  to  commit  such  acts  of  Shirk.  Allah  is  all  Alone  worthy  of  being worshipped.  He  has  no  partners.  Everyone,  whether  big  or  small,  are  none  but  His  helpless slaves. Allah states in one of the verses of the Noble Qur’an:

There  is  none  in the  heavens  and  the  earth but  comes  unto  the  Most  Beneficent  (Allah)  as  a slave.  Verily, He  knows  each one  of  them, and has  counted  them  a  full  counting.  And everyone  of them  will  come  to Him  alone  on the  Day  of  Resurrection (without  any  helper, or  protector  or defender). (Qur’an 19:93-95)

It  means  that  regardless  whether  a  creature  happens  to  be  an  angel  or  a  human  being,  it  carries  a status  of  no  more  than  being  a  slave  before  Allah.  A  slave  lies  under  an  absolute  hegemony  of Allah  and  therefore,  is  completely  helpless  and  powerless.  Everything  lies  under  Allah’s  control. He  gives  nobody  under  anyone’s  control.  Everyone  shall  have  to  appear  in  His  Presence  to account  for  his  deeds.  No  one  will  advocate  for  anyone  there  nor  one  could  lend  his  support  to anyone  else.  There  are  hundreds  of  verses  mentioned  in  this  regard  in  the  Noble  Qur’an  whereas only  we,  as  a  specimen,  have  made  a  mention  of  a  few  of  them.  Whosoever  understands  them clearly,  shall  have  a  clear  understanding  of  the  concept  of  Shirk  and  Tauhid.  In  sha  ‘Allah

CATEGORIES  AND  ASPECTS  OF  SHIRK

It  is  necessary  to  gain  knowledge  about  the  characteristics  which  Allah  has  peculiarised  for Himself  so  that  none  of  them  be  attributed  to  any  other  else.  Such  things  are  countless.  We,  on  our  part,  shall  be  mentioning  some  of  those  things  and  prove  them  in  the  background  of  Qur’an and  Hadith  so that  the  people  may  understand  the  other  pertinent  things  also with their  help.

1.  Shirk  in  knowledge:

The  first  thing  is  that  Allah  is  present  everywhere  by  His  Knowledge  which  means  that  His Knowledge  encompasses  everything.  This  is  why  He  has  a  complete  cognizance  of  everything, every  time,  whether  a  thing  happens  to  be  far  or  near,  hidden  or  apparent,  up  in  the  heavens  or inside  the  earth,  on  the  tops  of  the  mountains  or  at  the  bottom  of  an  ocean.  This  magnificence belongs  to  none  but  Allah.  If  a  person  calls  upon  someone  (by  invoking  his  name)  other  than  Allah,  while  doing  his  everyday  routine  chores,  so  that  the  one  called  upon  may  help  him  obviate his  distress,  or  attacks  an  enemy  by  invoking  his  name,  or  keeps  pronouncing  his  name  on  the beads  of  a  rosary,  or  makes  a  vow  in  his  name  or  conjures  up  his  picture  in  his  imagination  by nursing  a  faith  that  whenever  he  invokes  his  name,  or  think  of  him  vividly  in  his  mind  or contemplate  on his  grave,  he  gains  cognizance  of  him;  none  of  his  affairs  is  hidden  from  him,  and whatever  circumstances  he  goes  through,  namely,  sickness  and  good  health,  abundance  and distress,  life  and  death,  sadness  and  happiness  etc.,  are  all  known  to  him;  any  word  which  his mouth  utters  is  heard  by  him  and  he  knows  about  his  thoughts  and  imaginations.  All  the  above things  and  acts  prove  the  presence  of  the  elements  of  Shirk.  This  is  called  a  Shirk  in    knowledge which  means  one  is  trying  to  prove  that  someone  other  than  Allah  possesses  a  similar  kind  of knowledge  which is  only  the  prerogative  of  Allah.

By  nursing  this  kind  of  faith,  a  man  undoubtedly  turns  into  a  Mushrik  (polytheist)  whether  he nurses  such a  faith in  regard to an  honorable  human being  or  any  of  the  exalted angels, or  whether such  a  knowledge  which  is  attributed  to  him,  happens  to  be  a  personal  one  or  granted  by  Allah. Whatever  the  situation may be, this  is  an absolutely  polytheistic  faith.

2.  Shirk  in  disposing:

Disposing  the  matters  of  the  universe  with  intention,  exercising  authority,  killing  at  will  and resuscitating,  awarding  abundance  and  giving  distress,  giving  healthiness  and  sickness,  giving victory  and  defeat,  succeeding  and  preceding,  fulfillment  of  one’s  desires,  obviating  calamities, providing  help  in  distress  situations  and  whenever  one  stands  in  need  of  it,  are  all  attributed  to Allah and  none  but  Him  Alone.  None  but  Allah can  have  this  magnificence.  A  human  being  or  an angel,  despite  acquiring  great  ranks,  may  never  have  these  characteristics.  A  person  who  seeks  to prove  that  an  entity  other  than  Allah  may  have  an  authority  of  this  nature,  makes  vows  to  this entity  or  makes  an  animal  sacrifice  for  the  purpose  of  fulfillment  of  his  wishes,  and  invokes  it’s name  in  distress  so  that  it  can  obviate  his  troubles,  such  a  person  is  called  ‘Mushrik‘  and  this  kind of  act  is  called  ‘Shirk  in  authority’  or  disposing.  It  means  that  cherishing  a  belief  that  any  entity other  than  Allah  may  have  this  authority,  whether  as  the  one  granted  by  Allah  or  as  one  of  it’s personal  traits,  is  a  polytheistic  faith anyway.

3.  Shirk  in  worship:

Allah  has  particularised  all  acts  of  worship  for  Him  Alone  which  are  defined  as  Ibadat  like prostrating,  bowing,  standing  with  folded  hands,  giving  charity  in  the  Name  of  Allah,  fasting  in His  Name  and  undertaking  long  journeys  to  visit  His  Sacred  House  by  putting  on  such  a  clothing that  the  people  may  distinguish  them  as  the  visitors  of  His  Sanctified  House,  invoking  Allah’s Name  on  the  way,  avoiding  indecent  talk  and  hunting,  circumambulating  His  House  with  an utmost  caution,  making  prostrations  in  its  direction,  carrying  the  animals  of  sacrifice  towards  it, making  vows  there,  putting  a  covering  on  Ka’bah,  making  supplications  while  standing  on  the threshold  of  Ka’bah,  asking  for  the  virtuosities  in  the  religious  as  well  as  worldly  matters,  kissing of  the  Black-Stone,  touching  the  walls  of  Ka’bah  by  one’s  mouth  and  chest,  making  supplications by  getting  hold  of  the  fringes  of  its  covering,  illuminating  its  surroundings,  taking  up  residence there  as  one  of  its  servants,  sweeping  and  cleaning  it,  offer  drinking  water  to  the  pilgrims, providing  water  for  Wudu  (ablution)  and  bathing,  partaking  of  Zamzam  water  by  considering  it  as a  sanctified  act,  getting  oneself  drenched  with  it,  drinking  it  to  one’s  heart  content,  distributing  it among  themselves,  carrying  it  to  be  presented  to  one’s  relatives,  venerating  the  forest  surrounding it, to  refrain from  hunting  there,  not  to  cut  trees  there, not  to  pullout  grass  from  there,  not  to  graze animals  there:  these  are  acts  which  Allah  has  prescribed  for  Muslims  to  be  observed  as  His worship.

Now,  if  a  person  makes  a  bow  or  prostration  before  the  grave  of  a  Prophet,  saint,  ghost, apparition,  jinn,  fairy  or  any  of  the  real  or  fake  graves  or  a  specified  place  inside  a  tomb,  or  a certain  sign  or  house,  or  a  Eucharist  and  coffin;  observes  fast  in  their  names;  stands  in  front  of them  with  folded  hands;  makes  offerings  to  them  or  hoisting  a  flag  in  their  name  or  walking backwards  (with  a  reverse  motion  of  feet);  kisses  a  grave  or  undertakes  a  long  journey  to  visit graves  and  other  places;  lights  earthen  lamps  there  or  makes  arrangements  for  illuminating  them; or  puts  coverings  on  their  walls  or  offers  a  sheet  as  a  covering  on  the  grave,  manually  fanning  the air  by  hand (by   using  a  Morchhal, a  fanning  contrivance);  erects  a  tent  there;  kisses  it’s  threshold; offers  supplications  there  with  folded  hands;  asks  for  the  fulfillment  of  wishes  there;  serves  the shrine  by  becoming  its  servant  and  venerates  the  forest  around  it:  anyone  doing  any  of  the  above acts  commits  a  clear  and manifest  Shirk.

In  brief,  all  the  above  acts  and  the  alike,  are  called  “Shirk  in  worship.”  It  implies  paying  one’s respect  to  an  entity  other  than  Allah  in  a  manner  which  is  prescribed  for  Allah  Alone  either  by believing  that  this  particular  entity  is  personally  entitled  to  such  a  veneration  or  by  believing  that Allah  becomes  pleased if  any  of  these  entities  are  held  in  high  esteem  or  with the  blessing  of  their veneration,  troubles  are  warded  off  and  done  away  with.  Whatever  may  be  the  case,  such  faith  is purely  polytheistic  in  its  nature.

4.  Shirk  in  one’s  daily routine  chores:

Allah  the  Exalted  has  taught  His  slaves  the  norms  of  respect  to  the  effect  that  they  should remember  Allah  while  performing  their  everyday  worldly  chores  and  pay  Him  their  tributes  for the  enhancement  of  their  Faith  and  to  secure  Allah’s  blessing  in  day-to-day  assignments.  These norms  include:  (1)  making  vows  to  Allah  and  calling  upon  Him  Alone  whenever  a  catastrophe befalls  his  slave;  (2)  invoking  His  Name  for  His  blessing  whenever  commencing  an  assignment; (3)  slaughtering  animals  to  express  one’s  gratitude  to  Allah  in  the  case  of  having  been  blessed with  a  child;  (4)  giving  one’s  children  such  names  as  Abdullah,  Abdur-Rahman,  Ilahi  Bakhsh, Allah  Diya,  Amatullah,  Allah  Di  etc.;  (5)  taking  out  a  small  portion  of  the  crop  produce  and giving  it  away  in  the  Name  of  Allah;  (6)  apportioning  some  of  the  fruits  to  His  name  out  of  the total  produce;  (7)  specifying  some  of  the  animals  and  allocating  them  for  the  purpose  of  sacrifice in  the  Name  of  Allah;  (8)  treating  the  animals  which  are  carried  to  the  House  of  Allah  with  due respect  by  neither  riding  them  nor  mounting  any  load  on  them;  (9)  observing  Divine  Instructions in  the  manners  concerning  food  and  dress;  (10)  restricting  oneself  to  the  use  of  permissible  things only  and  avoiding  the  ones  that  are  not  allowed;  (11)  considering  that  all  the  different  conditions and  situations  which  one  comes  across  in  this  world,  like  expensive  and  inexpensive  rates  and prices,  health  and  sickness,  victory  and  defeat,  succeeding  and  preceding,  sadness  and  happiness, are  all  commanded  by  Allah;  (12)  pronouncing  a  standard  formula  of  In  Sha’  Allah  while  making an  intention  to  perform  an  assignment;  (13)  pronouncing  the  Name  of  Allah  the  Exalted  One  in such  a  manner  that  His  Greatness  is  conspicuously  highlighted  and  one’s  slavery  is  clearly exhibited,  by  using  such  words  like,  our  Rabb,  our  Master,  our  Creator  or  Ma’bud  (the  object  of our  worship)  etc.;  (14)  in  case  a  need  arises  on  a  certain  occasion  to  administer  an  oath  at  all, undertaking  an oath only  in  the  Name  of  Allah.

These  and  the  other  similar  things  have  been  singled  out  by  Allah  as  His  own  and  personal prerogative  for  the  sake  of  His  veneration  and  magnificence.  Anybody  showing  such  kind  of respect  to  an  entity  other  than  Allah,  commits  Shirk;  as  for  example:  making  a  vow  to  it  with  the intention  of  facilitating  a  difficult  assignment;  giving  one’s  children  names  like  AbdunNabi, Imam  Bakhsh,  Peer  Bakhsh  etc.;  apportioning  part  of  the  produce  of  one’s  farm  or  orchard  to  it’s name;  separating  part  of  the  fruits  and  keeping  them  aside  (in  the  name  of  a  deity)  immediately after  they  are  picked  up  from  trees  and  then  only  putting  the  rest  to,  one’s  use;  dedicating  some animals  from  among  the  whole  herd  to  a  deity  and  then  treating  those  animals  with  respect  by  not removing  them  from  the  fodder  and  water  and  not  to  strike  them  with  stick  or  stone;  observing customs  and  traditions  in  terms  of  dress  and  food  to  the  effect  that  a  specified  group  of  people should not  eat  such and such food and should not  wear  such and such dress;  attributing  the  virtues and  evils  of  the  world  to  them  by  making  such  statements  that  as  long  as  that  particular  person has  been  cursed  by  that  particular  deity,  he  has  gone  mad  or  that  certain  person  has  turned  into  a handicapped  person  due  to the  fact  that  he  was  driven away  by  that  deity  or  by  saying  that  as  long as  that  person  was  blessed  by  a  certain  saint,  he  is  now  on  a  flood  tide  of  success;  or  that  famine was  wrought  by  that  star  or  by  observing  that  this  assignment  was  not  accomplished  as  long  as the  same  was  commenced  at  a  certain  time  and  on  a  certain  date  or  by  observing  that  if  Allah  and His  Prophet  will  it,  one  would  be  coming;  or  by  saying  that  it  will  happen  if  one’s  religious mentor  wishes  it  to  take  place  or  using  such  adjectives  like,  the  Sustainer,  Independent,  Lord  of lords,  the  Master  of  the  universe  or  the  King  of  kings  etc.;  the  undertaking  of  an  oath  in  the  name of  the  Prophet  or  the  Qur’an  or  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) or  an  Imam,  or  a  religious mentor  or  their  graves  or  one’s  own  self  etc. All  the  above  practices  generate  Shirk  which  is  called  a  ‘Shirk  in  day-to-day  chores’,  which implies  paying  one’s  respect  to  an  entity  other  than  Allah  exactly  in  the  same  manner  as  the  one prescribed  for  Allah.

Tafsir of Surah Al Baqarah | Verses 1 to 7

             SURAH AL BAQARAH
                     ( The Cow )
MADINITE                        286 VERSES

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The  name  and  the  number  of  verses , According  to  the  ahadith  of  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu  alayhi wasallam) and  the reports  relating  to  his  blessed  Companions,  the  name  of  this  Surah  is Al-Baqarah.  The  riwayah  or  narration  which  prohibits  this  name  is  not authentic  (Ibn  Kathir).  It  comprises  of  286  verses,  6201  words  and  25500 letters  (Ibn  Kathir).

The  period  of  revelation

The  Surah  is  Madinite  –  that  is  to  say,  it  was  revealed  at  Madinah after  the  Hijrah;  some  of  the  verses  included  here  were  revealed  at Makkah  at  the  time  of  the  last  Hajj  of  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), but,  in accordance  with  the  terminology  of  the  commentators,  they  too  are regarded  as  Madinite.  This  is  the  longest  Surah  in  the  Holy  Qur’an. It  was  the  first  Surah  to  be  revealed  at  Madinah,  but  different  verses were  revealed  at  different  times,  covering  quite  a  long  period  so  much so  that  the  verses  with  regard  to  riba  (interest  or  usury)  were revealed  in  the  last  days  of  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  after  the conquest  of  Makkah.  Actually,  the  verse:

Fear  the  day  when  you  will  return  to  Allah  (2:281), is  the  very  last  verse  of  the  Holy  Qur’an to  be  revealed  –  this  happened on  the  10th  of  Dhu al-Hijjah  10 A.H.,  when  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was in  the  course  of  performing  his  last  Hajj,  and  only  eighty  or  ninety days  later  he  departed  from  this  world,  and  the  process  of  Divine Revelation  came  to  an  end  for  ever.  (Qurtubi)

The  Merits  of  Surah Al-Baqarah

It  is  not  only  the  longest  Surah  in  the  Holy  Qur’an,  but  also contains  quite  a  large  number  of  injunctions.  The  Holy  Prophet has said:  “Make  a  habit  of  reading  the  Surah  Al-Baqarah,  for  reading  it brings  down  on  you  the  barakah  or  blessings  of  Allah,  and  neglecting  it is  a  matter  of  regret,  and  a  misfortune.  And  men  of  falsehood  cannot overcome  it”.  Al-Qurtubi cites  the  blessed  Companion  Mu’awiyah  (radhiyallahu anhu) to the  effect  that  the  men  of  falsehood  referred  to  here  are  sorcerers,  and the  implication  is  that  one  who  keeps  reading  this  Surah  becomes immune  to  the  effect  of  black  magic  (Qurtubi, from  Muslim,  a.  narrated  by  Al Umamah  Bahili).  The  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has  also  said  that  Satan flees  from  the  house  in  which  this  Surah  is  read  or  recited.  (Ibn  Kathir from  Hakim)  Another  hadith  says  that  this  Surah  is  the  apex  of  the  Holy Qur’an,  and  that  a  retinue  of  eighty  angels  had  accompanied  each  of its  verses  when  it  was  revealed  (Ibn  Kathir from  Musnad  Ahmad)  The blessed  Companion  Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) reports  from  the  Holy Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that  there  is  a  verse  in  this  Surah  which  enjoys  a superiority  over  all  the  other  verses  of  the  Holy  Qur’an,  and  that  verse is  the  Verse  of  the  Kursi  (Ayat  al-Kursi 2:255) (Ibn  kathir from  Tirmidhi) The blessed  Companion  Abdullah  ibn  Mas’ud  says  that  ten  verses  of  this Surah have  such  an  efficacy  that  if  one  recites  them  at  night,  neither Satan  nor jinn  would  enter  one’s  house,  nor  would  one  and  one’s  family be  afficted  with  illness  or  calamity  or  sorrow  that  night,  and  that  if they  are  recited  over  a  man  suffering  from  a  fit  of  madness,  his condition  will  improve.  The  ten  verses  are  these:  the  first  four verses of  the  Surah, three  verses  in  the  middle  (that is,  the Ayat  al-kursi, and the  two  following  verses), and  the  last  three  verses  of  the  Surah.

This  Surah  enjoys,  with  regard  to  its  contents  as  well,  a  special distinction.  Ibn  al-‘Arabi reports  from  his  elders  that  in  this  Surah there  are  one  thousand  injunctions,  one  thousand  prohibitions,  one thousand  subtle  points  of  wisdom,  and  one  thousand  parables  and references  to  historical  events  (Qurtubi and  Ibn  Kathir). That  is  why  the great  Caliph  ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu) spent  twelve  years  in  learning  and meditating  over  this  Surah,  and  the  blessed  Companion  Abdullah  ibn ‘Umar  spent  eight  years  to  learn  it. (Qurtubi)

As  we  have  said,  the  Surah  Al-Fatihah  is  the  gist  and  the  essence of  the  Holy  Qur’an.  It  deals  with  three  basic  themes  –  firstly,  the affirmation  of  Allah  as  the  Lord  (Rabb) of  the  universe;  secondly,  the affirmation  that  Allah  alone,  and  none  else,  is  worthy  of  being worshipped;  thirdly,  the  prayer  for  guidance.  Thus,  the  Surah Al-Fatihah  ends  with  the  request  for  the  straight  path,  and  the  whole of  the  Qur’an  is,  in  fact,  an  answer  to  this  request  –  that  is  to  say,  the man  who  seeks  the  straight  path  will  find  it  only  in  the  Holy  Qur’an.

Hence  it  is  that  the  Surah  Al-Fatihah  is  immediately  followed  by the  Surah  Al-Baqarah  which  begins  with  the  words, “That  is  the Book”,  indicating  that  this  book  is  the  straight  path  one  has  been seeking  and  praying  for.  Having  defined  the  nature  and  function  of  the Holy  Qur’an, the  Surah  proceeds  to  state  in  a  very  brief  manner  the basic  principles  of  the  Islamic  faith  –  namely,  oneness  of  God, prophethood  and  hereafter  (Risalah,  Akhirah).  These principles  have  been  presented  in  detail  at  the  end  of  the  Surah.  In  between,  the  Surah  lays  down  the  basic  principles,  and  sometime  even secondary  rules  in  detail,  for  providing  guidance  to  man  in  all  spheres of  life,  modes  of  ‘ibadah  (worship),  ethics,  individual  and  social behaviour,  economic  relationships,  ways  and  means  of  improving oneself  externally  and  internally.

                        Verses  1  –  7

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                    TRANSLATION

With  the  name  of  Allah, The  All-Merciful, the  Very-Merciful.

Alif.  Lam.  Mim.  That  Book  has  no  doubt  in  it  –  a  guidance  for  the  God-fearing,  who  believe  in  the unseen,  and  are  steadfast  in  salah,  and  spend  out  of what  We  have  provided  them; and  who  believe  in  what has  been  revealed  to  you  and  what  has  been  revealed before  you,  and  do  have  faith  in  the  Hereafter.  It  is these  who  are  on  guidance  given  by  their  Lord;  and  it  is just  these  who  are  successful. (Verses 1-5)

The  Surah  begins  with  the  Arabic  letters  Alif,  Lam  and  Meem (equivalents  of  A,  L  and  M).  Several  Surahs  begin  with  a  similar combination  of  letters,  for  example,  Ha Meem,  or  Alif,  Lam,  Meem,  Sad. Each  of  these  letters  is  pronounced  separately  without  the  addition  of  a  vowel  sound  after  it.  So,  the  technical  term  for  them  is (Muqatta’at:  isolated  letters).

According  to  certain  commentators,  the  isolated  letters  are  the names  of  the  Surahs  at the  beginning  of  which  they  occur.  According to  others,  they  are  the  symbols  of  the  Divine  Names.  But  the  majority of  the  blessed  Companions  and  the  generation  next  to  them,  the Tabi’in,  and  also  the  later  authoritative  scholars  have  preferred  the view  that  the  isolated  letters  are  symbols  or  mysteries, the meaning  of which  is  known  to Allah  alone  or  may  have  been  entrusted  as  a  special secret  io the Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) not  to  be  communicated  to anyone  else.  That  is  why  no  commentary  or  explanation  of  these letters  has  at  all  been  reported  from  him.  The  great  commentator Al-Qurtubi has  adopted  this  view  of  the  matter,  which  is  summarized below:

“According  to  ‘Amir  al-Sha’bi, Sufyan  al-Thawri ,masters  of  the  science  of  hadith, and  many every  revealed  book  contains  certain secret  signs  and  symbols  and  mysteries  of  Allah;  the  isolated  letters too  are  the  secrets  of  Allah  in  the  Holy  Qur’an,  and  hence  they  are among  the  (Mutashabihaat: of  hidden  meaning),  the  meaning  of which  is  known  to  Allah  alone,  and  it  is  not  permissible  for  us  even  to enter  into  any  discussion  with  regard  to  them.  The  isolated  letters  are not,  however,  without  some  benefit  to  us.  Firstly,  to  believe  in  them and  to  recite  them  is  in  itself  a  great  merit.  Secondly,  in  reciting  them we  receive  spiritual  blessings  from  the  unseen  world,  even  if  we  are not  aware  of  the  fact.  Al-Qurtubi adds:  “The  Blessed  Caliphs  Abu Bakr,  ‘Umar,  ‘Uthmaan  and  ‘Ali, and  most  of  the  Companions  like ‘Abdullah  ibn  Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhum),  firmly  held  the  view  that  these letters  are  the  secrets  of  Allah,  that  we  should  believe  in  them  as having  descended  from  Allah  and  recite  them  exactly  in  the  form  in which  they  have  descended,  but  should  not  be  inquisitive  about  their meanings,  which  would  be  improper”.  Citing  al-Qurtubi and  others, Ibn Kathir too  prefers  this  view.  On  the  other  hand,  interpretations  of the  isolated  letters  have  been  reported  from  great  and  authentic scholars.  Their  purpose,  however,  was  only  to  provide  symbolical interpretation,  or  to  awaken  the  minds  of  the  readers  to  the  indefinite possibilities  of  meanings  that  lie  hidden  in  the  Holy  Qur’an,  or just  to simplify  things;  they  never  wished  to  claim  that  these  were  the meanings  intended  by  Allah  Himself.  Therefore,  it  would  not  be justifiable  to  challenge  such  efforts  at  interpretation  since  it  would  go against  the  considered  judgment  of  veritable  scholars.

The  sentence  “That  Book  has  no  doubt  in  it”  raises  a  grammatical and  exegetical  problem,  for  the  first  phrase  in  the  Arabic  text  reads  as : Dhalikal kitaab.  Now,  the  word  dhalika  (that) is  used  to  point out  a  distant  thing,  while  the  word  kitab  (book) obviously  refers  to  the Holy  Qur’an  itself,  which  is  present  before  us.  So,  this  particular demonstrative  pronoun  does  not  seem  to  be  appropriate  to  the situation.  There  is,  however,  .a  subtle  indication.  The  pronoun  refers back  to  the  prayer  for  the  straight  path  made  in  the  Surah al-Fatihah, implying  that  the  prayer  has  been  granted  and  the  Holy  Qur’an  is  the answer  to  the  request,  which  gives  a  detailed  account  of  the  straight path  to  those  who  seek  guidance  and  are  willing  to  follow  it.

Having  indicated  this,  the  Holy  Qur’an  makes  a  claim  about  itself: “There  is  no  doubt  in  it”.  There  are  two  ways  in  which  doubt  or suspicion  may  arise  with  regard  to  the  validity  or  authenticity  of statement.  Either  the  statement  itself  is  erroneous,  and  thus  becomes subject  to  doubt;  or,  the  listener  makes  a  mistake  in  understanding  it. In  the  latter  case,  the  statement  does  not  really  become  subject  to doubt,  even  if  someone  comes  to  suspect  it  out  of  a  defective  or distorted  understanding  –  as  the  Holy  Qur’an  itself  reminds  us  later  in the  same  Surah :’If  you  are  in  doubt …”  (2:23). So,  in  spite  of  the  doubts  and  objections  of  a  thousand  men  of  small  or  perverse understanding,  it  would  still  be  true  to  say  that  there  is  no  doubt  in this  book  –  either  with  regard  to  it  having  been  revealed  by  Allah,  or with  regard  to  its  contents.

“A guidance  for  the  God-fearing”:  The  Arabic  word  for  the God-fearing  is  Muttaqeen, derived  from  Taqwa  which  literally  means “to fear,  to  refrain  from”,  and  in  Islamic  terminology  it  signifies  fearing Allah  and  refraining  from  the  transgression  of  His  commandments.  As for  the  Holy  Qur’an  being  a  guidance  to  the  God-fearing,  it  actually means  that  although  the  Holy  Qur’an  provides  guidance  not  only  to mankind  but  to  all  existents  in  the  universe,  yet  the  special  guidance which  is  the  means  of  salvation  in  the  other  world  is  reserved  for  the God-fearing  alone.  We  have  already  explained  in  the  commentary  on the  Surah  “Al-Fatihah” that  there  are  three  degrees  of  divine  guidance –  the  first  degree  being  common  to  the  whole  of  mankind  and  even  to animals  etc.,  the  second  being  particular  to  men  and jinns,  and  the third  being  special  to  those  who  are  close  to  Allah  and  have  found  His favour,  the  different  levels  of  this  last  degree  being  limitless.  It  is  the last  two  degrees  of  guidance  which  are  intended  in  the  verse  under discussion.  With  regard  to  the  second  degree,  the  implication  is  that those  who  accept  the  guidance  will  have  the  hope  of  being  elevated  to the  rank  of  the  God-fearing.  With  reference  to  the  third  degree,  the suggestion  is  that  those  who  are  already  God-fearing  may  receive further  and  limitless  guidance  through  the  Holy  Qur’an.  This explanation  should  be  sufficient  to  remove  the  objection  that  guidance is  needed  much  more  by  those  who  are  not  God-fearing,  for  now  we know  that  the  specification  of  the  God-fearing  does  not  entail  a  denial of  guidance  to  those  who  not  possess  this  qualification.

The  next  two  verses  delineate  the  characteristic  qualities  of  the God-fearing,  suggesting  that  these  are  the  people  who  have  received guidance,  whose  path  is  the  straight  path,  and  that  he  who  seeks  the straight  path  should  join  their  company,  adopt  their  beliefs  and  their way  of  life.  It  is  perhaps  in  order  to  enforce  this  suggestion  that  the Holy  Qur’an,  immediately  after  pointing  out  the  attributes  peculiar  to the  God-fearing, proceeds  to  say:

It  is  these  who  are  on  guidance  given  by  their  Lord,  and  it  is just  these  who  are  successful.

The  delineation  of  the  qualities  of  the  God-fearing  in  these  two verses  also  contains,  in  essence,  a  definition  of  Faith  (‘Iman) and  an account  of  its  basic  tenets  and  of  the  fundamental  principles  of righteous  conduct: ,

Who  believe  in  the  unseen,  and  are  steadfast  in  Salah  and spend  out  of  what  We  have  provided  them.

Thus,  the  first  of  the  two  verses,  mentions  three  qualities  of  the God-fearing  –  belief  in  the  unseen,  being  steadfast  in  Salah,  and spending  in  the  way  of  Allah.  Many  important  considerations  arise  out of  this  verse,  the  most  significant  being  the  meaning  and  definition  of ‘Iman  (Faith).

         Who  are  the  God-fearing

The  Definition  of  Iman

The  Holy  Qur’an has  provided  a  comprehensive  definition  of  ‘Iman in  only  two  words ”Believe  in  the  unseen”.  If  one  has  fully understood  the  meanin;  of  the  words  ‘Iman and  Ghayb,  one  will  have also  understood  the  essential  reality  of  ‘Iman.

Lexically,  the  Arabic  word  ‘Iman signifies  accepting  with  complete certitude  the  statement  made  by  someone  out  of  one’s  total  confidence and  trust  in  him.  Endorsing  someone’s  statement  with  regard  to sensible  or  observable  facts  is,  therefore,  not  ‘Iman.  For  example,  if  one man  describes  a  piece  of  cloth  as  black,  and  another  man  endorses  the statement,  it  may  be  called  Tasdiq (confirmation)  but  not  ‘Iman, for such  an endorsement  is  based  on  personal  observation,  and  does,  in  no way,  involve  any  confidence  or  trust  in  the  man  who  has  made  the statement.  In  the  terminology  of  the  Shari’ah, ‘Iman  signifies accepting  with  complete  certitude  the  statement  made  by  a  prophet only  out  of  one’s  total  confidence  and  trust  in  him  and  without  the need  of  personal  observation.’

As  for  the  word  Ghaib, lexically  it  denotes  things  which  are  not known  to  man  in  an  evident  manner,  or  which  are  not  apprehensible through  the  five  senses.  The  Holy  Qur’an  uses  this  word  to  indicate  all the  things  which  we  cannot  know  through  the  five  senses  or  through reason,  but  which  have  been  reported  to  us  by  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). These  include  the  essence  and  the  attributes  of  Allah,  matters pertaining  to  destiny,  heaven  and  hell  and  what  they  contain,  the  Day of  Judgment  and  the  things  which  happen  on  that  Day,  divine  books, all  the  prophets  who  have  preceded  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in short,  all  the  things  mentioned  in  the  last  two  verses  of  the  Surah Al-Baqarah. 

Thus,  the  third  verse  of  the  Surah  states  the  basic  creed of  the  Islamic  faith  in  its  essence,  while  the  last  two  verses  provide  the details. So,  belief  in  the  unseen  ultimately  comes  to  mean  having  firm  faith in  everything  that  the  Holy  Prophet  has  taught  us  –  subject  to  the necessary  condition  that  the  teaching  in  question  must  have  come down  to  us  through  authentic  and  undeniable  sources.  This  is  how  the overwhelming majority  of  Muslim  scholars  generally  define  ‘Iman (see al-‘Aqidah  al-Tahawiyyah,  ‘Aqa’id  al-Nasafi  etc.).

According  to  this  definition,  ‘Iman signifies  faith  and  certitude, and  not  mere  knowledge.  For,  a  mental  knowledge  of  the  truth  is possessed  by  Satan  himself,  and  even  by  many  disbelievers  –  for example,  they  knew  very  well  that  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was truthful  and  that  his  teachings  were  true,  but  they  did  not  have  faith in  him  nor  did  they  accept  his  teachings  with  their  heart,  and  hence they  are  not  Muslims.

The  Meaning  of  ‘Establishing’ Salah . 

The  second  quality  of  the  God-fearing  is  that  they  are  “steadfast in  the  prayer.”  The  verb  employed  by  the  Holy  Qur’an  here  is
yuqimoona  (generally  rendered  in  English  translations  as  “they which  comes  from  the  word  Iqamah  signifying  “to straighten  out”).  So,  the  verb  implies  not  merely  saying  one’s  prayers, but  performing  the  prayers  correctly  in  all- possible  ways  and observing  all  the  prescribed  conditions,  whether  obligatory  (Fard) or necessary  (Wajib) or  commendable  (Mustahabb). The  concept  includes regularity  and  perpetuity  in  the  performance  of  Salah  as  also  an inward  concentration,  humility  and  awe.  At  this  point,  it  may  be  noted that  the  term  does  not  mean  a  particular  salat,  instead,  it  includes  all fardwajib  and  nafl  prayers.

Now  to  sum  up  –  the  God-fearing  are  those  who  offer  their  prayers regularly  and  steadfastly  in  accordance  with  the  regulations  of  the shariah,  and  also  observe  the  spiritual  etiquette  outwardly  and inwardly.

Spending in  the  way  of  Allah:  Categories

The  third  quality  of  the  God-fearing  is  that  they  spend  in  the  way of alms-giving.  The  correct  position  in  this  respect,  which  has  been  adopted by  the  majority  of  commentators,  is  that  it  includes  all  the  forms  of spending  in  the  way  of  Allah,  whether  it  be  the fard  (obligatory) Zakat or  the  Wajib  (necessary)  alms-giving  or  just  voluntary  and  nafl (supererogatory) acts  of  charity.  For,  the  Holy  Qur’an  usually  employs the  word  Infaq  with  reference  to  nafl  (suspererogatory) alms-giving  or in  a  general  sense,  but  reserves  the  word  Zakat  for  the  obligatory : “Spend  out  of  what  We  have provided  them”  inspires  us  to  spend  in  the  way  of  Allah  by  drawing our  attention  to  the  fact  that  anything  and  everything  we  possess  is  a gift  from  Allah  and  His  trust  in  our  hands,  and  that  even  if  we  spend all  our  possessions  in  the  way  of  Allah,  it  would  be  proper  and just  and no  favour  to  Him.  But  Allah  in  His  mercy  asks  us  to  spend  in  His  way “out  of’  what  he  has  provided  –  that  is,  only  a  part  and  not  the whole.

Among  the  three  qualities  of  the  God-fearing,  faith  is,  of  course, the  most  important,  for  it  is  the  basic  principle  of  all  other  principles, and  no  good  deed  can  find  acceptance  or  validity  without  faith.  The other  two  qualities  pertain  to  good  deeds.  Now,  good  deeds  are  many; one  could  make  a  long  list  of  even  those  which  are  either  obligatory  or necessary.  So,  the  question  arises  as  to  why  the  Holy  Qur’an  should  be content  to  choose  for  mention  only  two  –  namely,  performing  Salat  and spending  in  the  way  of  Allah.  In  answering  this  question,  one  could say  that  all  the  good  deeds  which  are  obligatory  or  necessary  for  man pertain  either  to  his  person  and  his  body  or  to  his  possessions.  Among the  personal  and  bodily  forms  of  ‘Ibadat  (acts  of  worship),  the  most important  is  the  Salah.  Hence  the  Holy  Qur’an  mentions  only  this form  in  the  present  passage.  As  for  the  different  forms  of  ‘Ibadat pertaining  to  possessions,  the  word  Infaq  (spending) covers  all  of  them. Thus,  in  mentioning  only  two  good  deeds,’the  Holy  Qur’an  has  by implication  included  all  the  forms  of  worship  and  all  good  deeds.  The whole  verse,  then,  comes  to  mean  that  the  God-fearing  are  those  who are  perfect  in  their  faith  and  in  their  deeds  both,  and  that  Islam  is  t,he sum  of  faith  and  practice.  In  other  words,  while  providing  a  complete definition  of  ‘Iman  (Faith), the  verse  indicates  the  meaning  of  Islam  as well.  So,  let  us  find  out  how  ‘Im&  and  Islam  are  distinct  from  each other.

The  distinction  between  ‘Iman and  Islam

Lexically, ‘Iman  signifies  the  acceptance  and  confirmation  of something  with  one’s  heart,  while  Islam  signifies  obedience  and submission. ‘Iman  pertains  to  the  heart;  so does  Islam,  but  it  is  related to  all  the  other  parts  of  the  human  body  as  well.  From  the  point  of view  of  the  Shari’ah,  however,  ‘Iman  is  not  valid  without  Islam,  nor Islam  without  ‘Iman.  In  other  words,  it  is  not  enough  to  have  faith  in Allah  and  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) in  one’s  heart  unless  the tongue  expresses  the  faith  and  also  affirms  one’s  allegiance  and submission.  Similarly, an  oral  declaration  of  faith  and  allegiance  is  not valid  unless  one  has  faith  in  one’s  heart.

In  short,  ‘Iman,  and  Islam  have  different  connotations  from  the lexical  point  of  view.  It  is  on  the  basis  of  this  lexical  distinction  that the  Holy  Qur’an  and  Hadith  refer  to  a  difference  between  the  two. From  the  point  of  view  of  the  Shari’ah,  however,  the  two  are inextricably  linked  together,  and  one  cannot  be  valid  without  the  other –  as  is  borne  out  by  the  Holy  Qur’an  itself.

When  Islam,  or  an  external  declaration  of  allegiance,  is  not accompanied  by  ‘Iman  or  internal  faith,  the  Holy  Qur’an  terms  it  as Nifaq  (hypocrisy),  and  condemns  it  as  a  greater  crime  than  an  open rejection  of  Islam:

Surely  the  hypocrites  will  be  in  the  lowest  depths  of  Hell. (14:145)

In  explanation  of  this  verse  let  us  add  that  so  far  as  the  physical  world goes,  we  can  only  be  sure  of  the  external  state  of  a  man,  and  cannot know  his  internal  state  with  any  degree  of  certainty.  So  in  the  case  of men  who  orally  declare  themselves  to be  Muslims  without  having  faith in  their  heart,  the  shariah  requires  us  to  deal  with  them  as  we  would deal  with  a  Muslim  in  worldly  affairs;  but  in  the  other  world  their  fate would  be  worse  than  that  of  the  ordinary  disbelievers.  Similarly,  if iman or  acknowledgment  in  the  heart  is  not  accompanied  by  external affirmation  and  allegiance,  the  Holy  Qur’an regards  this  too  as  kufr  or rejection  and  denial  of  the  Truth  –  speaking  of  the  infidels,  it  says:

They  know  him  (that  is,  the  Holy  Prophet  sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as they  know their  own  sons (2:146);

or  in  another  place: 

as Their  souls  knew  them  (the signs  sent  by  Allah) to  be  true, yet they  denied  them  in  their  wickedness  and  their  pride. (27:14)

My  respected  teacher,  ‘Allamah  Sayyid  Muhammad  Anwar  Shah used  to  explain  it  thus  –  the  expanse  which  ‘Iman  and  Islam  have  to cover  in  the  spiritual journey  is  the  same,  and  the  difference  lies  only in  the  beginning  and  the  end;  that  is  to  say,  ‘Iman  starts  from  the heart  and  attains  perfection  in  external  deeds,  while  Islam  starts from external  deeds  and  can  be  regarded  as  perfect  when  it  reaches  the heart. To  sum  up,  Iman  is  not  valid,  if  acknowledgment  in  the  heart  does not  attain  to  external  affirmation  and  allegiance;  similarly,  Islam  is not  valid,  if  external  affirmation  and  allegiance  does  not  attain  to confirmation  by  the  heart.  Imam  Ghazzali and  Imam  Subki (rahimahumullah) both  have arrived  at  the  same  conclusion,  and  in  Musamarah, Imam  Ibn al-Humam  reports  the  agreement  of  all  the  authentic  scholars  in  this respect2

… who  believe  in  what  has  been  revealed  to  you  and  in  what  has been  revealed  before  you,  and  do  have  faith  in  the  Hereafter.

This  verse  speaks  of  some  other  attributes  of  the  God-fearing,  giving  certain  details  about  faith  in  the  unseen  with  a  special  mention  of faith  in  hereafter.  Commenting  on  this  verse.  the  blessed  Comnanions ‘Abdullah ibn  Mas’ud  and  ‘Abdullah  ibn  ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhum),  have said  that  in  the  days  of  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) God-fearing  Muslims were  of  two  kinds,  –  those  who  used  to  be  associators  and  disbelievers but  accepted  Islam,  and  those  who  used  to  be  among  the  people  of  the book (that  is,  Jews  and  Christians) but  embraced  Islam  later  on;  the preceding  verse  refers  to  the  first  group,  and  this  verse  to  the  second. Hence  this  verse  specifically  mentions  belief  in  the  earlier  Divine Books  along  with  belief  in  the  Holy  Qur’an,  for,  according  to  the hadith, people  in  the  second  group  deserve  a  double  recompense, firstly,  for  believing  in  and  following  the  earlier  Books  before  the  Holy Qur’an came  to  replace  them,  and  secondly,  for  believing  in  and following  the  Holy  Qur’an  when  it  came  as  the  final  Book  of  Allah. Even  today  it  is  obligatory  for  every  Muslim  to  believe  in  the  earlier Divine  Books  except  that  now  the  belief  has  to  take  this  form: everything  that  Allah  has  revealed  in  the  earlier  Books  is  true (excepting  the  changes  and  distortions  introduced  by  selfish  people), and  that  it  was  incumbent  upon  the  people  for  whom  those  Books  had been  sent  to  act  according  to  them,  but  now  that  all  the  earlier  Books and  Shari’ahs  have  been  abrogated,  one  must  act  according  to  the  Holy Qur’an  alone.3

An  argument  to  the  Finality  of  Prophethood

The  mode  of  expression  helps  us  to  infer  from  this  verse  the fundamental principle  that  the  Holy  Prophet  Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is  the  last  of  all  the  prophets,  and  the  Book  revealed  to  him  is  the  final revelation  and  the  last  Book  of  Allah.  For,  had  Allah  intended  to reveal  another  Book  or  to  continue.  The  mode  of  revelation  even  after the  Holy  Qur’an,  this  verse,  while  prescribing  belief  in  the  earlier Books  as  necessary  for  Muslims,  must  also  have  referred  to  belief  in the  Book  or  Books  to  be  revealed  in  the  future.  In  fact,  such  a statement  was  all  the  more  needed,  for  people  were  already  familiar with  the  necessity  of  believing  in  the  Torah,  the  Evangile  and  the earlier  Books,  and  such  a  belief  was  in  regular  practice  too,  but  if prophethood  and  revelation were  to  continue  even  after  the  Holy Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ,  it  was  essential  that  the  coming  of  another prophet  and  another  book  should  be  clearly  indicated  so  that  people were  not  left  in  doubt  about  this  possibility.  So,  in  defining ‘Iman, the Holy  Qur’an  mentions  the  earlier  prophets  and  the  earlier  Books,  but does  not  make  the  slightest  reference  to  a  prophet  or  Book  to  come “after  the  last  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  .  The  matter  does  not  end  with  this  verse. The  Holy  Qur’an  touches  upon  the  subject  again  and  again  in  no  less than  forty  or  fifty  verses,  and  in  all  such  places  it  mentions  the prophets,  the  Books  and  the  revelation  preceding  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nowhere  is  there  even  so  much  as  a  hint  with  regard  to  the  coming of  a  prophet  or  of  a  revelation  in  the  future,  belief  in  whom  or  which should  be  necessary.  We  cite  some  verses  to  demonstrate  the  point:

And  what  We  have  sent  down  before  you.  (16:43)

And  We  have  certainly  sent  messengers  before  you”.  (4038)

And  certainly  before  you  We  have  sent  messengers. (20:47)

And  what  was  revealed  before  you.  (4:60)

And  it  has  certainly  been  revealed  to  you  and  to  those  who have  gone  before  you  …  (39:65)

Thus  He  reveals  to  you  and  He  revealed  to  those  who  have gone  before  you.  (42:3)

Fasting  is  decreed  (literally, written)  for  you  as  it  was  decreed for  those  before  you.  (2:183)

Such  was  Our  way  with  the  messengers  whom  We  sent  before you.  (17:77)

In  these  and  similar  verses,  whenever  the  Holy  Qur’an  speaks  of the  sending  down  of  a  Book  or  a  revelation  or  a  prophet  or  a messenger,  it  always  attaches  the  conditional  phrase,  Min  qabl (before)  or  Min  Qablik (before  you),  and  nowhere  does  it  employ  or suggest  an  expression like  min  ba’d  (after  you). Even  if  other  verses  of the  Holy  Qur’an  had  not  been  explicit  about  the  finality  of  the prophethood  of  Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  about  the  cessation  of  revelation, the  mode  of  expression  adopted  by  the  Holy  Qur’an  in  the  present verse  would  in  itself  have  been  sufficient  to  prove  these  points.

The  God-fearing have  Faith  in  the  Hereafter

The  other  essential  quality  of  the  God-fearing  mentioned  in  this verse  is  thht  they  have  faith  in  Aakhirah (the  Hereafter).  Lexically the  Aakhirah  signifies  ‘that  which  comes  after  something’;  in  the present  context,  it  indicates  a  relationship  of  contrast  with  the physical  world,  and  thus  signifies  the  other  world  whlch  is  beyond physical  reality  as  we  know  it  and  also  beyond  the  sensuous  or rational  perception  of  man.  The  Holy  Qur’an  gives  to  the  Hereafter other  names  too  –  for  example,  Dar  al-Qarar  (the  Ever-lasting  Abode), Dar  al-Hayawan  (the  Abode  of  Eternal  Life)  and  Al-‘Uqba  (the Consequent).  The  Holy  Qur’an  is  full  of  vivid  descriptions  of  the Hereafter,  of  the  joys  of  heaven  and  of  the  horrors  of  hell.  Although faith  in  the  Hereafter  is  included  in  faith  in  the  unseen  which  has already  been  mentioned,  yet  the  Holy  Qur’an  refers  to  it  specifically because  it  may,  in  a  sense,  be  regarded  as  the  most  important  among the  donstitutive  elements  of  faith  in  so  far  as  it  inspires  man  to translate  faith  into  practice,  and  motivates  him  to  act  in  accordance with  the  requirements  of  his  faith.  Along  with  the  two  doctrines  of  the Oneness  of  God  and  of  prophethood,  this  is  the  third  doctrine  which  is common  to  all  the  prophets  and  upon  which  all  the  Shari’ah  are agreed.4

Faith  in  the  Hereafter: A  revolutionary  belief

The  belief  in  the  Hereafter,  among  Islamic  doctrines,  is  the  one whose  role  in  history  has  been  what  is  nowadays  described  as revolutionary,  for  it  began  with  transmuting  the  morals  and  manners of  the  followers  of  the  Holy  Qur’an,  and  gradually  gave  them  a  place  of distinction  and  eminence  even  in  the  political  history  of  mankind.  The reason is  obvious.  Consider  the  case  of  those  who  believe  that  life  in  ‘ the  physical  world  is  the  only  life,  its  joys  the  only  joys  and  its  pains the  only  pains,  whose  only  goal  is  to  seek  the  pleasures  of  the  senses and  the  fulfilment  of  physical  or  emotional  needs,  and  who  stubbornly refuse  to  believe  in  the  life  of  the  Hereafter,  in  the  Day  of  Judgment and  the  assessment  of  everyone’s  deeds,  and  in  the  requital  of  the deeds  in  the  other  world.  When  such  people  find  the  distinction between  truth  and  falsehood,  between  the  permissible  and  the forbidden,  interfering  with  tne  hunt  for  the  gratification  of  their desires,  such  differentiations  naturally  become  intolerable  to  them.

Now,  who  or  what  can  effectively  prevent  them  from  committing crimes?  The  penal  laws  made  by  the  state  or  by  any  other  human authority  can  never  serve  either  as  real  deterrents  to  crime  or  as agents  of  moral  reform.  Habitual  criminals  soon  grow  used  to  the penalties.  A  man,  milder  or  gentler  of  temperament  or  just  timid,  may agree  to  forego  the  satisfaction  of  his  desires  for  fear  of  punishment, but  he  would  do  so  only  to  the  extent  that  he  is  in  danger  of  being caught.  But  in  his  privacy  where  the  laws  of  the  state  cannot  encroach upon  his  freedom  of  action,  who  can  force  him  to  renounce  his pleasures  and  accept  the  yoke  of  restraints?  It  is  the  belief  in  the Hereafter — and  the  fear  of  Allah,  and  that  alone,  which  can  bring  man’s private  behaviour  in  line  with  his  public  behaviour,  and  establish  a harmony  between  the  inner  state  and  the  outer.  For  the  God-fearing man  knows  for  certain  that  even  in  the  secrecy  of  a  well-guarded  and sealed  room  and  in  the  darkness  of  night  somebody  is  watching  him, and  somebody  is  writing  down  the  smallest  thing  he  does.  Herein  lies the  secret  of  the  clean  and  pure  society  which  arose  in  the  early  days of  Islam  when  the  mere  sight  of  a  Muslim,  of  his  manners  and  morals, was  enough  to  make  non-believers  literally  fall  in  love  with  Islam.  For true  Faith  in  the  Hereafter,  certitude  must  follow  Oral  Affirmation.

Before  we  proceed,  we  may  point  out  that  in  speaking  of  faith  in the  hereafter  as  one  of  the  qualities  of  the  God-fearing,  the  Holy Qur’an does  not  use  the  word  yu’minuna  (believe)  but  the  word yuqimuna  (have  complete  certitude), for  the  opposite  of  belief  is  denial, and  that  of  certitude  is  doubt  and  hesitation.  Thus,  we  find  a  subtle suggestion  here  that  in  order  to  attain  the  perfection  of  Iman  it  is  not enough  to  affirm  the  hereafter  orally,  but  one  must  have  a  complete certitude  which  leaves  no  room  for  doubt  –  the  kind  of  certitude  which comes  when  one  has  seen  a  thing  with  one’s  own  eyes.  It  is  an essential  quality  of  the  God-fearing  that  they  always  have  present before  their  eyes  the  whole  picture  of  how  people  will  have  to  present themselves  for judgment  before  Allah  in  the  hereafter,  how  their  deeds will  be  assessed  and  how  they  will  receive  reward  or  punishment according  to  what  they  have  been  doing  in  this  world.  A  man  who amasses wealth  by  usurping  what  righfully  belongs  to  others,  or  who gains  petty  material  ends  by  adopting  unlawful  means  forbidden  by Allah,  may  declare  his  faith  in  the  hereafter  a  thousand  times  and  the Shari’ah  may  accept  him  as  a  Muslim  in  the  context  of  worldly concerns,  but  he  does  not  possess  the  certitude  which  the  Holy  Qur’an demands  of  him.  And  it  is  this  certitude  alone  which  transforms human  life,  and  which  brings  in  its  wake  as  a  reward  the  guidance and  triumph  promised  in  verse  5  of  this  Surah:

It  is  these  who  are  on  guidance  given  by  their  Lord;  and  it  is just  these  who  are  successful.

                            Verses  6-7

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Surely for  those  who  have  disbelieved, it  is  all  the  same whether  you  warn  them  or  you  warn  them  not:  they would  not  believe.  Allah  has  set  a  seal  on their  hearts and  on  their  hearing,  and  on  their  eyes  there  is  a covering;  and for  them  there  lies  a  mighty  punishment. (Verses  6-7)

After  affirming  the  Holy  Qur’an  as  the  Book  of  Guidance  and  as being  beyond  all  doubt,  the  first  five  verses  of  the  present  Surah  refer to  those  who  derive  full  benefit  from  this  Book  and  whom  the  Holy Qur’an  has  named  as  Mu’mineen  (true  Muslims)  or  Muttaqun  (the God-fearing),  and  also  delineate  their  characteristic  qualities  which distinguish  them  from  others.  The  next  fifteen  verses  speak  of  those who  refuse  to  accept  this  guidance,  and  even  oppose  it  out  of  sheer spite  and  blind  malice.  In  the  time  of  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) there  were  two  distinct  groups  of  such  people.  On  the  one  hand  were those  who  came  out  in  open  hostility  and  rejection,  and  whom  the  Holy Qur’an  has  termed  as  kafirun  (disbelievers); on  the  other  hand  were those  who  did  not,  on  account  of  their  moral  depravity  and  greed,  had even  the  courage  to  speak  out  their  minds  and  to  express  their disbelief  clearly,  but  adopted  the  way  of  deceit  and  duplicity.  They tried  to  convince  the  Muslims  that  they  had  faith  in  the  Holy  Qur’an and  its  teachings,  that  they  were  as  good  a  Muslim  as  any  and  would support  the  Muslims  against  the  disbelievers.  But  they  nursed  denial and  rejection  in  their  hearts,  and  would,  in  the  company  of disbelievers,  assure  them  that  they  had  nothing  to  do  with  Islam,  but mixed  with  Muslims  in  order  to  deceive  them  and  to  spy  on  them.  The Holy  Qur’an  has  given  them  the  title  of  Munafiqun  (hypocrites).  Thus, these  fifteen  verses  deal  with  those  who  refuse  to  believe  in  the  Holy Qur’an  –  the  first  two  are  concerned  with  open  disbelievers,  and  the other  thirteen  with  hypocrites,  their  signs  and  characteristics  and their  ultimate  end.

Taking  the  first  twenty  verses  of  this  Surah  together  in  all  their detail,  one  can  see  that  the  Holy  Qur’an  has,  on  the  one  hand,  pointed out  to  us  the  source  of  guidance  which  is  the  Book  itself,  and,  on  the other,  divided  mankind  into  two  distinct  groups  on  the  basis  of  their acceptance  or  rejection  of  this  guidance  –  on  the  one  side  are  those  who have  chosen  to  follow  and  to  receive  guidance,  and  are  hence  called Mu’minun  (true Muslims)  or  Muttaqun  (the  God-fearing); on  the  other side  are  those  who  reject  the  guidance  or  deviate  from  it,  and  are hence  called  Kafirun  (disbelievers)  or  Munafiqun  (hypocrites). People of  the  first  kind  are  those  whose  path  is  the  object  of  the  prayer  at  the end  of  the  Surah  Al-Fatihah, the  path  of  those  on whom  You  have  bestowed  Your  grace”,  and  people  of  the  second  kind are  those  against  whose  path  refuge  has  been  sought  “Not  of  those  who  have  incurred  Your  wrath,  nor  of  those  who have  gone  astray. This  teaching  of  the  Holy  Qur’an  provides  us  with  a  fundamental principle.  A  division  of  mankind  into  different  groups  must,  in  order  to be  meaningful,  be  based  on  differences  in  principle,  not  on considerations  of  birth,  race,  colour,  geography  or  language.  The  Holy Qur’an has  given  a clear  verdict  in  this  respect:

“It  was  He  that  created  you:  yet  some  of  you  are  disbelievers and  some  of  you  are believers”  (64:2).

As  we  have  said,  the  first  two  verses  of  this  Surah  speak  of  those disbelievers  who  had  become  so  stubborn  and  obstinate  in  their  denial and  disbelief  that  they  were  not  prepared  to  hear  the  truth  or  to consider  a  ciear  argument.  In  the  case  of  such  depraved  people,  the usual  way  of  Allah  has  always  been,  and  is,  that  they  are  given  a  certain  kind  of  punishment  even  in  this  world  –  that  is  to  say,  their hearts  are  sealed  and  their  eyes  and  ears  stopped  against  the  truth, and  in  so  far  as  truth  is  concerned  they  become  as  if  they  have  no mind  to  think,  no  eyes  to  see  and  no  ears  to  listen.  The  last  phrase  of the  second  verse  speaks  of  the  grievous  punishment  that  is  reserved for  them  in  the  other  world.  It  may  be  observ;d  that  the  prediction that:  “they  shall  not  believe”  is  specifically  related  to  those disbelievers  who  refused  to  listen  to  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and who,  as  Allah  knew,  were  going  to  die  as  disbelievers.  This  does  not apply  to  disbelievers  in  general,  for  there  were  many  who  later accepted  Islam.

What  is  Kufr ?  (Infidelity)

As  for  the  definition  of  kufr  (disbelief),  we  may  point  out  that lexically  the  word  means  to  hide,  to  conceal.  Ingratitude  is  also  called kufr,  because  it  involves  the  concealing  or  the  covering  up  of  the beneficence  shown  by  someone.  In  the  terminology  of  the  Shari’ah, kufr  signifies  the  denial  of  any  of  those  things  in  which  it  is  obligatory to  believe’.  For  example,  the  quintessence  of  ‘Iman as well  as the  very basis  of  the  Islamic  creed  is  the  requirement  that  one  should  confirm with  one’s  heart  and  believe  with  certitude  everything  that  the  Holy Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has  brought  down  to  us  from  Allah  and  which has  been  established  by  definite  and  conclusive  proof;  therefore,  a  man who  has  the  temerity  to  question  or  disregard  even  a  single  teaching  of this  kind  will  be  described  as a  kafir  (disbeliever  or  infidel).

The  meaning of  ‘Indhar’ (warning) by  a  Prophet

In  translating  the  first  of  these  two  verses,  we  have  used  the English  verb  ‘to  warn’  for  the  Arabic  word  Indhar.  This  word  actually signifies  bringing  news  which  should  cause  alarm  or  concern,  while Ibshar  signifies  bringing  good  news  which  should  make  people  rejoice. Moreover,  Indhar  is  not  the  ordinary  kind  of  warning  meant  to frighten  people,  but  one  which  is  motivated  by  compassion  and  love, just  as  one  warns  one’s  children  against  fire  or  snakes  or  beasts. Hence  a  thief  or  a  bandit  or  an  aggressor  who  warns  or  threatens others  cannot  be  called  a  indhar (warner).  The  latter  is  a  title specially  reserved  for  the  prophets (alayhissalaam)  for  they  warn  people against  the  pains  and  punishments  of  the  other  world  out  of  their compassion  and  love  for  their  fellow  men.  In  choosing  this  title  for  the prophets,  the  Holy  Qur’an  has  made  the  subtle  suggestion  that  for those  who  go  out  to  reform  others  it  is  not  enough  merely  to  convey  a message,  but  that  they  must  speak  to  their  listeners  with  sympathy, understanding  and  a  genuine  regard  for  their  good. In  order  to  comfort  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) the  first  of  these verses  tells  him  that  some  of  the  disbelievers  are  so  vain,  arrogant  and opinionated  that  they,  in  spite  of  recognizing  the  truth,  stubbornly persist  in  their  refusal  and  are  not  prepared  to  hear  the  truth  or  to  see obvious  proofs,  so  that  all  the  efforts  he  makes  for  reforming  and converting  them  will  bear  no  fruit,  and  for  them  it  is  all  one  whether he  tries  or  not. The  next  verse  explains  the  reason,  that  is,  Allah  has  set  a  seal  on their  hearts  and  ears,  there  is  a  covering  on  their  eyes,  all  the  avenues of  knowing  and  understanding  are  thus  closed,  and  now  it  would  be futile  to  expect  any  change  in  them.  A  thing  is  sealed  so  that  nothing may  enter  it  from  outside; the  setting  of  a  seal  on  their  hearts  and  ears also  means  that  they  have  altogether  lost  the  capacity  for  accepting the  truth. The  Holy  Qur’an  describes  the  condition  of  these  disbelievers  in terms  of  their  hearts  and  ears  having  been  sealed,  but  in  the  case  of the  eyes  it  refers  to  a  covering.  The  subtle  distinction  arises  from  the fact  that  an  idea  can  enter  the  heart  from  all  possible  directions  and not  from  one  particular  direction  alone,  and  so  can  a  sound  enter  the ears;  an  idea  or  a  sound  can  be  blocked  only  by  sealing  the  heart  and the  ears.  On  the  contrary,  the  eyes  work  only  in  one  direction,  and  can see  only  the  things  which  lie  in  front  of  them;  if  there  is  a  covering  on them,  they  cease  to  function.  (See Mazhari)

Favour  withdrawn  by Allah  is  a  punishment

These  two  verses  tell  us  that  the  other  world  is  the  place  where  one would  receive  the  real  punishment  for  one’s  disbelief  or  for  some  of one’s  sins.  One  may,  however,  receive  some  punishment  for  certain sins  even  in  this  world.  Such  a  punishment  sometimes  takes  a  very grievous  form  –  that  is,  the  divine  favour  which  helps  one  to  reform oneself  is  withdrawn,  so  that,  ignoring  how  one’s  deeds  are  to  be assessed  on  the  Day  of  Judgment,  one  keeps  growing  in  disobedience and  sin,  and  finally  comes  to  lose  even  the  awareness  of  evil.  In delineating  such  a  situation  certain  elders  have  remarked  that  one punishment  for  an  evil  deed  is  another  evil  deed  which  comes  after, and  one  reward  for  a  good  deed  is  another  good  deed  which  comes after.  According  to  a  Hadith,  when  a  man  commits  a  sin,  a  black  dot appears  on  his  heart;  this  first  dot  disturbs  him  just  as  a  smudge  on  a white  cloth  is  always  displeasing  to  us;  but  if,  instead  of  asking  Allah’s pardon  for  the  first  sin,  he  proceeds  to  commit  a  second,  another  dot shows  up,  thus,  with  every  new  sin  the  black  dots  go  on  multiplying till  the  whole  heart  turns  dark,  and  now  he  can  no  longer  see  good  as good  nor  evil  as  evil,  and  grows  quite  incapable  of  making  such distinctions.  The  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  added  that  The  Holy Qur’an  uses  the  term  Ra’n  or  Rain  (rust)  for  this  darkness:  as  in Mishkat  from  the  Musnad  of  Ahmad  and  Tirmidhi.

No  But  what  they  did  has  rusted  their  hearts  (83:14)

According  to  another  authentic  Hadith  reported  by  Tirmidhi  from the  blessed  Companion  Abu  Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu)  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan) has  said,  “When  a  person  commits  a  sin,  his  heart  grows  dark, but  if  he seeks  Allah’s  pardon,  it  becomes  clear  again”.  (See Qurtubi)

It  should  be  carefully  noted  that  in  announcing  that  it  is  all  one whether  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) warns  the  disbelievers  or  not, the  Holy  Qur’an  adds  the  condition  ‘Alaihim  (for  them), which  clearly indicates  that  it  is  all  one  for  the  disbelievers  alone,  and  not  for  the Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu for  he  would  in  any  case  get  a  reward  for bringing  the  message  of  Allah  to  his  fellow-men  and  for  his  efforts  to teach  and  reform  them.  That  is  why  there  is  not  a  single  verse  in  the Holy  Qur’an which  should  dissuade  the Holy  prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) from calling  even  such  people  to  Islam.  From  this  we  may  infer  that  the man  who  strives  to  spread  the  Word  of  Allah  and  to  reform  his fellow-men  does  always  get  a  reward  for  his  good  deed,  even  if  he  has not  been  effective.

A  doubt  is  removed

We  may  also  answer  a  question  which  sometimes  arises  in connection  with  the  second  of  these  two  verses  that  speaks  of  the hearts  and  the  ears  of  the  disbelievers  having  been  sealed  and  of  their eyes  being  covered.  We  find  a similar  statement  in  another  verse  of  the Holy  Qur’an: 

But  what  they  did  has  rusted  their  hearts.  (83:14)

which  makes  it  plain  that  it  is  their  arrogance  and  their  evil  deeds themselves  that  have  settled  dn  their  hearts  as  a  rust.  In  the  verse under  discussion,  it  is  this  very  rust  which  has  been  described  as  ‘a seal,’  or  ‘covering’ .  So,  there  is  no  occasion  here  to  raise  the  objection that  if  Allah  Himself  has  sealed  their  hearts  and  blocked  their  senses, they  are  helpless  and  cannot  be  held  responsible  for  being  disbelievers, and  hence  they  should  not  be  punished  for  what  they  have  not themselves  chosen  to  do.  If  we  consider  the  two  verses  (2:7  and  83:14) together,  we  can  easily  see  why  they  should  be  punished  –  in  adopting the  way  of  arrogance  and  pride  they  have,  wilfully  and  out  of  their  own choice,  destroyed  their  capacity  for  accepting  the  truth,  and  thus  they themselves  are  the  authors  of  their  own  ruin.  But  Allah,  being  Creator of  all  the  actions  of  His  creatures,  has  in  verse  2:7  attributed  to Himself  the  setting  of  a  seal  on  the  hearts  and  the  ears  of  the disbelievers,  and  has  thus  pointed  out  that  when  these  people  insisted, as  a  matter  of  their  own  choice,  on  destroying  their  aptitude  for receiving  the  truth,  Allah  produced,  as  is  His  way  in  such  cases,  the state  of  insensitivity  in  their  hearts  and  senses.

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Footnotes:

1. It  would  be  helpful  to  note  that  in  the  everday  idiom  of  the  West,  and  even in  modern  social  sciences,  “faith”  has  come  to  mean  no  more  than  an intense  emotional  state  or  “a  fixed  emotion”.  As  against  this,  the  Islamic conception  of  ‘Iman  is  essentially  intellectual,  in  the  original  signification of  “Intellect” which  the  modern  West  has  altogether  forgotten.

2.  Today  one  finds  a  very  wide-spread  confusion,  sometimes  amounting  to  a total incomprehension,  with  regard  to  the  distinction  between  Islam  and ‘Iman,  essentially  under  the  influence  of  Western  modes  of  thought  and behaviour  and,  to  be  more  specific, that  of  the  ever-proliferating  Protestant sects  and  schools  of  theology.  Since  the  middle  of  the  19th  century  there have  sprouted  in  almost  every  Muslim  country  a  host  of  self-styled Reformists,  Revivalists,  Modernists  et  al,  each  pretending  to  have understood  the  “real”  Islam  for  the  first  time,  and  each  adepting  an extremist,  though  untenable,  posture  with  regard  to  Islam  and  ‘Iman.  On the  one  hand,  we  have  people  claiming  that  Islam  is  only  a  matter  of  the “heart”  (a  word  which  has  during  the  last  four  hundred  years  been  used  in the  West  as  an  equivalent  of  “emotion”  or,  worse  still,  of  “emotional agitation”)  or  of  “religious  experience”  (a  very  modish  term  brought  into currency  by  William  James).  As  a  corollary,  they  stubbornly  refuse  to  see the  need  for  a  fixed  ritual  or  an  ethical  code,  all  of  which  they  gladly  leave to  social  exigency  or  individual  preference.  They  base  their  claims  on  the unquestioned  axiom  that  religion  is  “personal” relationship  between  the individual  and  “his”  God.  It  is  all  too  obvious  that  this  genre  of  Modernist “Islam”  is  the  progeny  of  Martin  Luther  with  cross-pollination  from Rousseau.  On  the  other  hand,  we  have  fervent  and  sometimes  violent champions  of  Islam insisting  a  merely  external  performance  of  rituals  – more  often  on  a  mere  conformity  to  moral  regulations,  and  even  these,  of their  liking.  They  would  readily  exclude,  and  are  anyhow  indifferent  to,  the internal  dimension  of  Islam.  A  recent  modification  of  this  stance  (in  the wake  of  a  certain  Protestant  pioneering,  it  goes  without  saying) has  been  to replace  divinely  ordained  rituals  by  acts  of  social  service  or  welfare,  giving them  the  status  and  value,  of  acts  of  worship.  Counselling  on  divorce, abortion,  premarital  sex  and  the  rest  of  the  baggage  having  already  become a  regular  part  of  the  functions  of  a  Protestant  cl’ergyrnan,  it  would  not  be too  fond  to  expect,  even  on  the  part  of  our  Modernists,  the  speedy  inclusion of  acts  of  entertainment  as  well.  There  is  still  another  variety  of deviationists,  more  visible  and  vociferous  than  the  rest,  and  perhaps  more pervasive  and  pernicious  in  their  influence,  finding  easy  credence  among  a certain  section  of  Muslim  with a  sloppy  western-style  education.  While dispensing  with  the  subtle  distinctions  between  Islam  and  ‘Iman,  they reduce  Islam  itself  to  a  mere  system  of  social  organization,  or  even  to state-craft.  According  to  their  way  of  looking  at things,  if  Muslims  fail  to  set up  a  social  and  political organization  of  a  specified  shape,  they  would  cease to  be  Muslims.  Applied  to  the  history  of  Islam,  this  fanciful  notion  would lead  to  the  grotesque  conclusion  that  no  Muslim  had  ever  existed. These  are  only  a  few  examples  of  the  intellectual  distortions  produced  by refusing  to  define  Islam  and  ‘Iman  clearly  and  ignoring  the  distinction between  the  two.  Contrary  to  all  such  modernizing  deviations,  Islam  in  fact means  establishing  ‘a  part~cular relationship  of  obedience  and  servitude with  Allah  This  relationship  arises  neither  out  of  vague  “religious experiences”  nor  out  of  social  regimentation;  in  order  to  attain  it,  one  has  to accept  all  the  doctrines  and  to  act  upon  all  the  commandments  specified  In the  Holy  Qur’an,  the  Hadith  and  the  Shari’ah.  These  doctrines  and commandments  cover  all  the  spheres of  human  life,  individual  or  collective, right  up  from  acts  of  worship  down  to  social,  political  and  economic relations  among  men,  and  codes  of  ethics  and  behavlour,  morals  and manners,  and  their  essential  purpose  is  to  produce  in  man  a  genuine attitude  of  obedience  to  Allah.  If  one  acts  according  to  the  Shari’ah  one,  no doubt,  gains  many  worldly  benefits,  individual  as  well  as collective.  These benefits  may  be  described  as  the  raison  d’etre  of  the  commandments,  but are  in  no  way  their  essential  object,  nor  should  a  servant  of  Allah  seek  them for  themselves  in  obeying  Him,  nor  does  the  success  or  failure  of  a  Muslim as  a  Muslim  depend  on  attaining  them.  When  a  man  has  fully  submitted himself  to  the  commandments  of  Allah  in  everything  he  does,  he  has already  succeeded  as  a  Muslim,  whether  he  receives  the  related  worldly benefits  or  not

3.  Exactly  as  predicted  by  a  Hadith,  today  we  see  all  around  us  a proliferation  of  “knowledge” and  of  “writing”. One  of  the  dangerous  forms the  process  has  taken  is  the  indiscriminate  translation  at  least  into European  languages  and  the  popularization  of  the  sacred  books  of  all possible  religious  and  metaphysical  traditions  –  not  only  the  Hindu,  the Chinese  or  the  Japanese,  but  also  the  Shamanic  or  the  Red  Indian.  The lust  for  reading  sacred  books  has  virtually  grown  into  a  mania,  specially among  the  modern  young  people  with  their  deep  sense  of  being  uprooted and  disinherited,  and  all  considerations  of  aptitude  have  been contemptuously  set  aside.  In  these  circumstances,  Muslims  with  a Western  orientation  are  naturally  impelled  to  ask  themselves  as  to  what they  can  or  should  make  of  such  books  which  sometimes  seem  to  offer similarities  and  parallels  to  the  Holy  Qur’an  itself,  and  more  often  to  the Sufi  doctrines.  The  problem  has  already  attained  noticeable  proportions, for  in  1974  the  government  of  Turkey  found  it  necessary  to  ban  the  entry of  certain  Hindu  sacred  books  like  the  Bhagavadgita  and  Upanishads. The  correct  doctrinal  position  in  this  respect  is  that  it  is  obligatory  for every  Muslim,  as  an  essential  part  of  the  Islamic  creed,  to  believe  in  all the  prophets  and  messengers  of  Allah  and  in  the  Divine  Books  (not  in their  distorted  forms,  but  as  they  were  originally  revealed)  that  have specifically  been  mentioned  by  their  names  in  the  Holy  Qur’an,  and  also to  believe  that  Allah  has  sent  His  messengers  and  His  books  for  the guidance  of  all  the  peoples  and  all  the  ages,  and  that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the  last  prophet  and  the  Holy  Qur’an  the  final  Book  of  Allah  which  has come  down  to  replace  the  earlier  Books  and  Shari’ahs.  As  to  the  question of  the  authenticity  and  divine  origin  of  a  particular  book  held  in reverence  by  an  earlier  religion  or  metaphysical  tradition,  a  Muslim  is not  allowed  to  affirm  such  a  claim  unequivocally,  nor  should  he unnecessarily  reject  such  a  possibility.  In  so  far  as  contents  of  the  book concerned  agree  with  what  the  Holy  Qur’an  has  to  say  on  the  subject,  we may  accept  the  statement  as  true,  otherwise  spiritual  etiquette  requires an average  muslim  to  keep  quiet  and  not  meddle  with  things  which  he  is not  likely  to  understand.  As  for  reading  the  sacred  books  of  other traditions,  it  should  be  clearly  borne  in  mind  that  a  comparative  study  of this  nature  requires  a  very  special  aptitude  which  is  extremely  rare,  and hence  demands  great  caution.  A  cursory  reading  of  sacred  books, motivated  by  an  idle  curiosity  or  by  a  craze  for  mere  information,  may very  well  lead  to  an  intellectual  disintegration  or  to  something  still worse,  instead  of  helping  in  the  “discovery  of  the  truth”  and  the acquisition  of  “peace”  which  a  comparative  study  is  widely  supposed  to promise.  Even  when  the  aptitude  and  the  knowledge  necessary  for  the task  is  present,  such  a  study  can  be  carried  out  only  under  the supervision  of  an  authentic  spiritual  master.  In  any  case,  we  cannot insist  too  much  on  the  perils  of  the  enterprise

4.  There  is  a  deplorable  misconception  with  regard  to  the  Hereafter,  quite wide-spread  among  those  who  are  not,  or  do  not  want  to  be,  familiar  with the  Holy  Qur’an  and  who  have  at  the  same  time  been  touched  by  the rationalism,  materialism  and  libertarianism  of  the  Western  society,  which makes  them  cherish  certain  mental  and  emotional  reservations  at  least about  the  horrors  of  hell,  if  not  about  the joys  of  heaven.  Some  of  them  have gone  to  the  preposterous  length  of  supposing  that  these  are  the  inventions of  the  ‘Ulama’  whom  they  describe  as  ‘abscurantists’  –  of  course,  in  the jargon  of  the  Western  Reformation  and  of  the  so-called  Enlightenment. They  ignore  the  obvious  fact  that  faith  in  the  Holy  Qur’an  necessitates  faith in  every  word  of  the  Holy  Qur’an,  and  that  it  is  not  possible  to  affirm  one part  of  the  Book  while  denying  another  and  yet  remain  a  Muslim  :  “What,  do  you  believe  in  one  part  of  the  Book  and  deny another?”(2:85)  Moreover,  these  enlightened  Muslims  have  never  made  a serious  attempt  to  take  into  account  the  complex  historical  factors  that  led to-the  rise  of  the  Enlightenment  in  Europe,  nor  the  meaning  of  the subsequent  development  in ethical  ideas.  We  may,  therefore,  ave a  few  and very  brief  indications.  There  has  been  no  dearth,  even  in  the  hey-day  of  the Enlightenment,  of  thinkers  who  have  had  no  scruples  in  dispensing  with ethics  altogether  which  they  look  upon  as  superstition  or  tyranny  and hence  a  blight  for  the  human  personality. But  even those  thinkers  who  have  recognised  the  indispensable need  for  regulations  and  rules,  if  not  principles,  for  human  conduct  in  order to  preserve  social  order  or  to  make  social  life  possible,  have  in  general  had no  qualms  about  discarding  the  very  idea  of  divine  sanction  –  despite  the intimation  of  Voltaire,  the  arch-priest  of  relationalism,  that  man  would have  to  invent  God,  even  if  He  did  not  exist.  As  to  the  nature  and  origin  of the  ethical  regulations  and  the  sanction  behind  them,  Western  thinkers have  from  time  to  time  tried  to  promote  various  agencies  –  the  sovereign state,  social  will  or  convention  or  custom,  the  supposedly  pure  and  innocent nature  of  man  himself  with  its  capacity  for  self-regulation,  and  finally biological  laws.  The  second  half  of  the  twentieth  century  has  witnessed  the withering  away  of  all  these  ethical  authorities  which  has  left  the  modern man  without  even  a  dim  prospect  of  constructing  a  new  illusion.  It  is  only in  this  perspective  that  one  can  properly  consider  the  significance  of  the belief  in  the  hereafter  for  human  society.

Abul A’la Maududi Mocks the Sunnah

[By Maulana Yusuf Ludhianvi (rahimahullah)]

Criticism on ‘Sunnah’:

The practices of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) have been divided by the Ulama into two categories viz. Sunnan-e-Huda (those aspects relating to Deen which are essential to follow) and Sunnan-e-A`diya (personal habits which do not constitute a Shar`i command), although these acts are not compulsory to follow, taking heed of them is indeed a means of great fortune. If we find ourselves unable to imitate Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) we should realize that the reason is not because his lifestyle is unworthy of following, but it is due to the deficiency of our capabilities.

Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) is the beloved leader of the Ummah. Every act of the beloved is beneficial. Hence to adopt his way is a declaration of true love. Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) is the embodiment of all virtue, having been protected from all evil by Allah.

Consequently imitating his example can be regarded as a means of achieving great virtue and a protection from evil. Imaam Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayh) states:

“Actual good fortune lies in following Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) in every movement. Accordingly all actions are of two types; firstly, worship such as Salaah, fasting, Hajj, Zakaat, etc. Secondly, habits like eating, drinking, sleeping etc. It is essential for Muslims to follow Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) in both types of acts….” [Tableegh-e-Deen, page 39]

Subsequently to deriving the Shar`i and logical proofs for following the Sunnah in general habits, Imaam Ghazaali (rahimahullah) states:

“Whatever we have mentioned was for encouraging the adoption of the Sunnah in general habits. Concerning those acts connected to worship, and whose rewards have been mentioned abundantly, the disregarding of such acts without a valid excuse can be due only to hidden disbelief or open stupidity.” [Page 42]

Contrary to this, Maududi has mocked the Sunnah of our Nabi (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). He states that most pious people have the misconception that regarding the following of Nabi (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and the Salf-e-Saaliheen is as follows:

“Just like the clothes they wore, we must wear, we must eat the type of food they ate, just as they conducted themselves in their personal lives we must imitate them precisely in the same way.”

According to Maududi, this type of imitation is incorrect, the correct way according to him is:

“This method of following which has been thrust upon the minds of religious Muslims for centuries is in reality completely contrary to the spirit of Islam. Islam never taught us to be living replicas of the past, nor to stage a drama of ancient civilization.” [Tafheemaat, page 209/210]

Undoubtedly to benefit from the technologies of modern times is not sinful. By remaining within lslaamic limits, it is permissible to adopt new ways of conducting our social relations. But to express the dress and manners of our beloved Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) in such despicable words as “ancient relics” and “a drama of ancient civilization” is not only contrary to the expression of love, but is also removed from the necessities of showing honour to the noble Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).

This Philosophy of Maududi is also strange:

“Islam does not give us a form, Instead it gives us a spirit. Due to changes in time and place, all the different forms which will be created till Qiyaamah, should be filled with the very same spirit.”

In other words, according to Maududi, the Islamic form is unnecessary . He could create any form he chooses, but by filling it with an Islamic spirit he could make it acceptable to Islam. I fail to see in which factory this Islamic spirit is made. Based on this logic, Maududi has also created two categories of the cinema – Islamic and un-Islamic.

If the Islamic spirit is blown into the cinema, it becomes Islamic. This is the understanding of Islam and the value of the Sunnah in his view.

Fourthly, because he only believes in the Islamic spirit, the Islamic form is an innovation in his opinion.

According to this philosophy, Rasulullaah’s (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) external Sunnah becomes a Bid`ah (innovation). He writes:

“I regard the terms ‘uswah’ (example), ‘Sunnah’, ‘Bid`ah’ (innovation) etc. as misunderstood, in fact they are distortions of Deen. Your belief of maintaining a long beard like Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) means that you regard it as a Sunnah which the Messengers came to establish. I not only regard this definition of Sunnah as incorrect, but I perceive this to be a form of Bid`ah and a form of changing the Deen, having disastrous consequences in the past and in the future as well.” [Rasaail Wa Masaa`il page 307]

Maududi has committed two errors here. One is that he has rejected the keeping of beard as Sunnah, by naming it a habit, whereas Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has proclaimed it an unanimous Sunnah of all Messengers. The Ummah has been given clear instructions to follow it. That is, to oppose the way of the kuffaar. Hence to regard it as a Sunnan-e-Adiyah (habit) and to aver that to refer to it as a Sunnat of the Deen is audacious.

The second mistake made by Maududi is that he avers Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has commanded the lengthening of the beard, but he did not specify any length. Hence according to him the beard has no prescribed length, whereas this is incorrect because Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has commanded the lengthening of the beard but never gave a command of clipping it. Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) permitted the Sahaabah to maintain the beard at a length of one fist. If a shorter beard had been permissible he would have allowed it. Consequently none of the jurists have permitted clipping the beard shorter than one-fist length.

Maududi not only rejects this unanimous Sunnah, but mocks it by calling it a distortion. Can a person who is so daring regarding the rejection of the Sunnah be worthy of being given the status of an Aalim?

The Differences Of The Imam’s

 [By  Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (rahimahullah)]          

                      INTRODUCTION

All  praise  is  due  to  Allah  and  peace  and  salutations  upon  the  Messenger  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

For  some  time  now  people  have  been  occupied  with  the  question  that,  since  the  Imams  (of  various  schools)  have established  everything  from  the  sayings  and  practices  of  the  Messenger  of  Allah  ,  why  are  there  differences  of opinion  among  them?  The  numerous  sessions  of  debates  and  the  excessive  number  of  publications  on  the  issues  of controversy  have  rendered  the  problem  even  more  menacing.  The  issue  has  reached  such  dire  proportions  that  those who  object  (to  why  she  Imams  have  differed)  have  split  into  two  groups. 

The  first  group  is  haplessly  trapped  in their  evil  thoughts  of  the  Imams,  so  much  so  that  even  if  they  wish  to  disentangle  themselves  from  this  vicious  web just  out  of  good  thought  for  the  Imams,  they  are  unable  to  free  themselves  from  this  trap  because  they  are  further ensnared  by  the  apparent  disparity  between  the  sayings  of  the  Imams  and  some  of  the  clear  source  texts.

The  second  group,  on  the  other  hand,  has  gone  even  further  and,  let  alone  the  Imams,  they  have  started  harboring insolent  thoughts  about  the  Messenger  of  Allah  himself;  simply  because  of  the  apparently  contradictory  hadiths transmitted  from  him.  However,  the  fault  lies  in  referring  to  (English  or)  Urdu  translations  of  the  hadiths,  because in  order  to  get  a  clear  picture  of  the  meaning,  one  has  to  posses  the  intellectual  capacity  to  comprehend  the  hadiths together  with  a  proper  understanding  of  the  background  and  the  prelude  of  the  hadiths.  In  the  absence  of  these prerequisites,  the  mere  translation  of  the  hadiths  is  bound  to  lead  to  objections  and  misgivings.  

The  repercussions  of  these  differences  have  reached  such  proportions  that  people  have  split  up  into  various  sects grappling  and  contending  with  one  another.  The  wudu’  of  one  group  is  considered  invalid  by  the  other  while  the salat  of  one  group  is  considered  void  by  the  other,  and  so  forth.  In  zakat,  sawm,  hajj  and  virtually  every  other  act  of worship  [‘ibada]  as  well,  there  is  inevitably  some  difference  or  other  which  has  led  to  people  debating  with  one another. 

Therefore,  It  has  become  necessary  to  expose  the  basis  of  the  differences  (of  opinion)  found  among  the  Imams.  The reasons  for  these  differences,  dating  back  to  the  first  epoch  of  Islam,  will  be  expounded  upon  to  demonstrate  that the  apparently  contradictory  texts  of  the  hadiths  leave  no  scope  for  doubting  the  Messenger  of  Allah,  nor  do  they give  anyone  the  right  to  cast  aspersions  on  the  Companions  [sahaba],  the  Followers  [tabi’in]  or  the  Imams  (may Allah  have  mercy  on  them).  The  fact  is  that  all  the  Imams  [mujtahidin]  were  leaders  of  the  correct  path  and  they encouraged  and  guided  the  masses  toward  the  correct  path  as  well.  Any  slanderous  remark  cast  against  them  is  a sure  sign  of  the  deprivation  of  Allah’s  mercy  [hirman].  May  Allah  protect  us.  Amin.  

There  is  obviously  no  doubt  about  the  importance  of  this  issue.  I  would  have  preferred  to  see  the  topic  addressed  by someone  much  more  capable  than  myself.  I  pray  that  my  writing  does  not  merely  add  to  the  confusion  rather  than clarifying the master.  Nevertheless,  I  had  excused  myself  from  this  mammoth  task,  but  the  insistence  of  the  people  of  Mazahir  ‘Ulüm compelled me to put pen to paper. While acknowledging my incompetence, I present my disordered work. 

The  differences  among  the  Imams  are  divided  into  three  stages.  The  first  involves  contradictory  narrations [riwayat];  in  other  words,  the  apparent  contradictions  between  the  words  and  deeds  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH). The  second  stage  deals  with  the  contradictions  found  in  the  athar,  meaning  the  apparent  contradictions  between  the words  and  actions  of  the  Companions  [sahaba]  and  Followers  [tabi’in].  The  third  stage  encompasses  the  differences found  among  the  schools  of  thought  [madhahib]  in  other  words;  the  apparent  contradictions  between  the  recognized opinions  of  the  various  Imams,  which  later  became  the  established  views  of  their  followers.

Since  these  differences  have  occurred  at  three  stages,  I  consider  it  necessary  to  write  briefly  on  each  of  these  stages. Also,  since  the  second  and  third  stages  of  these  differences  are  actually  an  offshoot  of  the  first  stage.  I  will  base  my writings according to the same order as well. And from Allah do we seek divine guidance.  The  Primary  Reason

                          PART ONE

THE ERA OF THE MESSENGER (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)

VARYING COMMANDS FOR
DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND CIRCUMSTANCES

During  the  time  of  the  Messenger  of  Allah,  the  present-day  system  of  imparting  Islamic  law  was  not  in  operation. There  were  no  comprehensive  books  of  Islamic  jurisprudence  [fiqh]  available  and  in-depth  compilations  on specialized  subjects.  The  fundamentals,  etiquette,  conditions  and  interdictions  of  the  laws  [ahkam]  and  rulings [masa’il]  were  not  recorded  separately.  The  only  method  of  imparting  Islamic  rulings  was  that  whenever  a command  was  revealed,  the  Messenger  of  Allah  used  to  inform  the  people  verbally  and  demonstrate  it  practically Once  the  verses  of  wudu’  [ablution]  were  revealed  he  showed  his  community  how  to  perform  wudu’.  When  the verses  of  salat  were  revealed,  the  Angel  Jibra’il  actually  demonstrated  the  correct  procedure  of  salat  before  the Messenger  of  Allah  and  he  in  turn  taught  the  Umma  how  to  perform  salat.  There  were  no  distinctions  whatsoever between  a  certain  act  being  fard  or  wajib,  or  a  certain  posture  being  a  sunna  or  integral  [rukn],  etc.  The Messenger’s  demonstration  left  no  complexities  or  uncertainties.  

Even  the  Companions  refrained  from  digressing  into  possibilities  and  rationalities.  If  someone  had  to  finely examine  or  challenge  laws,  it  was  considered  rude  and  such  a  person  would  be  admonished  for  his  impudence.  

Abdullah  ibn  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) once  narrated  that  Allah’s  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)   said,  ‘A  person  should  not  prevent  his  wife attending  the  masjid  if  she  wishes  to  perform  bsalat  therein.”  One  of  Ibn  ‘Umar’s  sons,  considering  the  prevalent conditions  (of  his  time),  declared  “We  will  not  allow  them  to  attend  salat  at  the  masjid.”  Since  this  statement  was  in apparent  contrast  to  the  hadith  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  ,  Ibn  ‘Umar  found  it  extremely  offensive  and  not  only did  he  admonish  his  son,1  but  according  to  the  narration  of  Musnad  Ahmad,  he  refrained  from  speaking  to  him  right until  his  death.  

Similarly,  Ibn  ‘Umar  was  once  asked  if  witr  salat  was  wajib  or  sunna.  He  responded:  “‘The  Messenger  of  Allah  as well  as  the  Companions  [sahaba]  always  performed  the  witr  salat.  “The  questioner  continued  asking  the  same question  repeatedly  and  Ibn  ‘Umar  continued  to  provide  the  same  answer.2  

The  reason  for  his  unwavering  answer  was  simply  to  draw  attention  to  the  fact  that  those  who  sincerely  wish  to practice  Islam  will  not  delve  into  any  intricacies.  If  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    and  his  Companions  consistently carried  out  a  certain  action,  its  obligation  [wujub]  is  self-evident.  In  short,  the  laws  of  Islam  used  to  be  taught  in  a practical  manner  according  to  the  need  of  the  occasion.  The  Companions  used  to  detest  questions  based  on  mere assumption:  questions  such  as,  if  a  certain  act  is  omitted  in  wudu’  or  something  additional  is  done,  what  is  the ruling?”  

Ibn  ‘lJmar  says  that,  ‘Umar  invoked  the  curse  of  Allah  on  a  person  who  posed  hypothetical  questions.  The Companions  would  only  ask  the  Messenger  of  Allah  about  issues  (masa’il)  which  occurred  in  reality.  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH)    would  then  issue  a  verdict  according  to  the  circumstances  and  conditions  of  the  questioner. Differences  and  contradictory  narrations  are  quite  obviously  destined  to  follow  from  this.  A  few  examples  are  listed below  which  demonstrate  this  fact  even  more  explicitly.   Imam  Muslim  narrates  on  the  authority  of  ‘Abdullah  ibn  ‘Umar  that  a  blind  Companion  [sahabi]  once  approached Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    and  submitted:  “I  did  not  have  anyone  to  guide  me  to  the  masjid,  please  excuse  my absence  from  the  masjid  for  the  congregational  salat  and  permit  me  to  perform  my  salat  at  home.’  The  Messenger of  Allah  granted  him  permission.  However,  when  he  learnt  that  this  Companion  lived  in  close  proximity  to  the masjid  and  he  was  able  to  hear  the  adhan,  the  Messenger  (PBUH)    withdrew  his  permission  and  ordered  the  man  to join  the  congregational  salat  in  the  masjid.3 

Conversely  in  the  case  of  ’Itbãn  ibn  Malik.,  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    accepted  his  excuse  of  blindness  and  exempted  him  from  attending  the  congregational  salat.4

Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    had  permitted  ‘Abdullãh  ibn  Zayd,  who  had    heard  the  words  of  the    call  to  prayer (adhan]  in  a  dream  to  make  the  call  to  commence  [iqama]  inspite  of  Bilãl    calling  out  the  adhan.5  However,  once on  a  journey  Ziyad  ibn  Hárith  al-Suda’i  called  out  the  adhan  and  Bilal  was  about  to  call  out  the  iqama  when  the Messenger  of  Allah    said,  “Whosoever  calls  out  the  adhan,  has  the  right  to  call  out  the  iqama  as  well.”  Saying  this, he  restrained  Bilal  from  calling  out  the  iqama.6

Once,  Abü  Bakr  gave  his  entire  wealth  in  charity  and  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   accepted  it.  However,  when certain  other  Companions  decided  to  give  their  entire  wealth  in  charity  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    did  not  accept it.

These  are  not  isolated  incidents.  There  are  thousands  of  such  incidents,  which  clearly  demonstrate  that  the Messenger  of  Allah  issued  varying  orders  for  different  people.

Abu  Hurayra  narrates  that  a  person  once  asked  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    if  he  was  permitted  to  hug  and  kiss  his wife  while  fasting.  The  Messenger  (PBUH)   granted  him  permission.  However,  when  another  Companion  sought permission  to  do  the  same,  he  was  declined  permission.  Abu  Hurayra  said,  “I  immediately  understood  the  reason for  the  disparity  between  the  two.  The  one  who  was  permitted  was  an  old  man  while  the  other  Companion  was  a young  man.”7

In  cases  like  the  above-mentioned  incident,  each  narrator  will  narrate  what  he  heard  directly  from  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH).  The  person  who  was  granted  permission  to  kiss  his  wife  while  fasting  will  obviously  narrate that  hugging  and  kissing  does  not  nullify  the  fast.  However,  the  other  person  will  narrate  his  hadith  in  direct contrast  to  this  and  will  vehemently  deny  the  permissibility  of  kissing  and  hugging  while  fasting.  This  apparent contradiction  between  the  two  narrations  is  not  only  confined  to  two  isolated  narrators.  In  fact,  there  were  always groups  of  students,  devoted  followers,  enquirers,  visitors,  delegates,  and  others  in  the  presence  of  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH)    who  would  have  heard  these  exchanges  and  related  them  according  to  their  own understanding.

For  this  reason,  the  two  groups  who  heard  two  conflicting  laws  would  narrate  only  what  they  heard  from  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH).  Any  number  of  conflicting  narrations  falling  under  this  fundamental  rule  will  still  be considered  negligible  because  every  gathering  consisted  of  various  people,  the  exempted  [ma’dhur]  as  well  as  the healthy,  the  able-bodied  as  well  as  the  weak.  The  Law  took  into  consideration  the  health  of  one  and  the  weakness  of the  other.  This  is  the  reason  for  the  apparent  contradiction.  

One  of  the  people  in  the  gathering  was  so  strong-hearted  that  even  if  he  gave  all  his  wealth  in  charity,  there  was  no fear  of  him  ever  complaining.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   was  quite  confident  that  no  matter  what  calamity afflicted  that  particular  person,  he  would  become  ever  more  engrossed  in  turning  his  attention  toward  Allah  and totally  at  ease  with  the  fate  issued  by  Him.  

On  the  other  hand,  there  were  other  personalities  in  the  gathering  upon  whom  he  did  not  have  such  confidence.  In fact,  these  was  a  fear  of  them  exceeding  even  the  boundaries  of  lamentation  if  they  gave  away  all  of  their  wealth  in charity.  Hence,  he  prohibited  them  from  doing  so.  

Similarly,  for  a  traveler  who  is  quite  strong  and  able,  it  is  most  appropriate  for  him  to  fast  in  the  holy  month  of Ramadan.  He  should  not  postpone  the  fast  when  traveling,  thereby  forfeiting  the  great  virtues  of  this  month.  On  the other  hand,  if  a  person  is  extremely  weak  and  fasting  while  traveling  will  most  probably  be  detrimental  to  him,  he  is not  permitted  to  last,  Due  to  such  differences,  the  hadiths  narrating  laws  pertinent  to  fasting  while  traveling  are  sure to  differ  as  well.  

Abu Sa’id  al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates,  “On  the  sixteenth  of  Ramadan  we  set  out  for  a  battle  in  the  company  of  Allah’s Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  Some  of  our  friends  observed  the  fasts  of  Ramadan,  while  others  decided  sane  to  fast. However,  each  group  had  no  objection  against  the  other.  Those  fasting  did  not  accuse  chose  abstaining  nor  did  the latter  challenge  the  former.”8

Hamza  ibn  ‘Amr  Aslami  narrates  that  he  once  asked  the  Messenger  of  Allah  whether,  since  he  was  in  a  habit  of fasting  excessively  it  would  be  permissible  for  him  to  fast  while  traveling.  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    replied, “You  are  at  liberty  to  fast  or  to  abstain  from  fasting.  You  may  do  as  you  please.”9  However,  Jabir  narrates  that Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said, “There is no good in fasting while traveling”10 In  fact,  one  hadith  even  refers  to those  who  fast  when  traveling  are  sinners.  Notwithstanding  this,  ‘Abd  al-Rahmãn  lbn  ‘Awf  (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates  that  Allah’s Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “The  one  who  fasts  while  traveling  is  like  a  person  who  breaks  his  fast  while  at  home.”11 In  short,  the  disparity  of  narrations  stems  from  the  disparity  of  conditions.  As  evident  from  the  aforementioned incidents,  the  Messenger  of  Allah  (sometimes)  issued  two  utterly  different  orders  for  different  individuals.  The group  that  was  present  when  the  first  order  was  given  will  obviously  differ  from  the  group  that  was  present  when the  second  order  was  issued.  As  a  result,  two  large  groups  became  narrators  of  two  totally  conflicting  rulings.

There  could  have  been,  in  fact  there  were,  some  people  who  were  present  in  both  gatherings,  and  they  were  most certainly  compelled  to  ponder  over  the  disparity  between  the  rulings  and  reach  a  decision  whereby  both  rulings  are taken  into  account.  As  explained  above,  Abu  Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu)  provided  the  conflicting  narrations  about  kissing  and  hugging while  fasting.  He  narrated  the  reason  for  the  disparity  as  well.

There  are  thousands  of  other  similar  incidents,  which  cannot  be  contained  here  wholly,  and  it  is  not  our  purpose  to do  so  here.  Even  though  the  aforementioned  fact  (regarding  the  difference  of  narrations)  is  quite  evident,  a  few testimonial  incidents  proving  this  fact  were  provided  merely  to  drive  the  point  home.  

Following  such  diverging  narrations,  the  responsibility  now  falls  upon  the  Companions  [sahaba],  the  Followers [tabi’in],  and  the  mujtahid  Imams  to  determine  the  source,  occasion  and  correct  juncture  of  each  narration,  and  they should interpret each narration according to the demands of the occasion. 

                        Reason  2

A SPECIAL CASE IS TAKEN AS A GENERAL ORDER

The  second  reason  for  contradictory  narrations  is  that  at  times,  the  Messenger  of  Allah  issued  an  exclusive  order  for a  particular  person  due  to  some  special  reason,  and  the  audience  [majlis]  was  led  to  believe  that  it  was  a  general order  and  not  a  restricted  order.  Thus,  they  started  narrating  it  as  a  general  rule.  

For  example;  according  to  ‘A’isha,  lbn  ‘lJmar  narrates  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)   said;  ‘The  deceased  is punished  due  to  the  crying  of  his  house  folk.”  ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha)  rejected  this  interpretation.  According  to  her,  Allah’s Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    made  this  statement  in  regard  to  a  Jewish  woman  whose  household  was  crying  over  her.  12

Apparent  Contradictions  in  the  Hadiths  

Allow  me  to  point  out  at  this  juncture  that  we  do  not  wish  to  elaborate  on  the  category  of  this  hadith,  nor  do  we wish  to  comment  on  it,  nor  do  we  wish  to  ascertain  whether  ‘A’isha’s (radhiyallahu anha)  hadith  or  Ibn  Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  hadith  is  given preference.  All  we  wish  to  clarify  here  is  that  such  degrees  of  disparity  and  contradiction  exist  in  the  field  of  hadith study. 

For  example,  according  to  the  Hanafi  school  of  thought,  the  salat  for  greeting  the  masjid  [tahiyyat  al-masjid]  is prohibited  while  the  Friday  sermon  [khutba]  is  in  progress.  However,  one  hadith  makes  mention  of  a  very  poor Companion  named  Sulayk  al-Ghatafani (radhiyallahu anhu)  who  entered  the  masjid  while  the  khutba  was  in  progress.  Allah’s Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    ordered  the  Companion  to  perform  tahiyyat  al-masjid  so  that  the  people  could  witness  his poverty  and  constrained  circumstances.13  Together  with  this,  they  also  witnessed  this  special  concession  awarded to  this  particular  Companion  in  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    ordered  him  to  perform  supererogatory  [nafl]  salat while  the  sermon  was  in  progress.  According  certain  narrations,  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    brought  the  sermon  to a  halt  and  remained  standing  to  enable  this  Companion  to  complete  his  salat.

On  the  basis  of  this  narration,  many  people  considered  this  action  as  a  general  ruling,  and  as  an  all-encompassing principle  they  narrate  that  a  person  who  enters  the  masjid  while  the  Friday  sermon  is  in  progress  should  perform two  rak’ats  [units]  of  tahiyyat  al-masjid.

The  story  of  suckling  Salim,  the  slave  of  Abu  Hudhayfa (radhiyallahu anhu) is  also  a  similar  nature.  ‘A’isha    narrates  that  Sahla  bint Suhayl    came  to  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    and  submitted,  “O  Messenger  of  Allah,  I  perceive  a  feeling  of displeasure  on  (my  husband)  Abu  Hudhayfa’s  face  whenever  Sãlim,  our  freed  slave,  comes  before  me.”  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH)    advised:  “Breastfeed  him.”  She  replied,  “He  is  a  bearded  adult.”  He  said,  “Go  ahead  and breastfeed him. You will not perceive any displeasure on  Abu Hudhayfa face thereafter.”14

On  the  basis  of  this  narration,  ‘A’isha,  considered  this  a  general  rule  while  the  other  wives  of  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    rejected  this  opinion.  Umm  Salama,  the  wife  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    ,  comments  on  this:  “We  are not  aware  of  the  actual  reason  for  this  command.  However,  we  are  confident  that  this  rule  was  specifically  confined to  Sãlim  only.”15

Ibn  Qutayba  narrates  in  his  book  Ta’wil  mukhtalaf  al-hadith  that  ‘Imran  ibn  Husayn  says,  “By  Allah,  I  know  so many  Hadiths  that  I  can  narrate  rather  extensively  if  I  want  to,  but  the  practice  of  certain  Companions  impede  me from  doing  So.  They  (i.e.  those  Companions)  heard  many  hadiths  from  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    like  I  did,  and they  remained  in  his  service  like  I  did,  but  some  of  them  have  committed  many  inaccuracies  while  narrating.  I  fear that  if  I  had  to  narrate,  then  the  narration  of  the  hadiths  would  bewilder  me  just  as  they  were  left  bewildered. However,  let  me  draw  your  attention  to  the  fact  that  this  was  only  an  oversight  on  their  part  and  they  had  no intention  of  committing  these  blunders.”16
  
It  was  for  the  same  reason  that  ‘Umar  prohibited  the  people  from  excessive  narration  during  his  caliphate  [khilafa]. In  fact;  he  even  prevented  some  of  the  very  senior  Companions  from  excessive  narrations  of  the  hadiths.  

Abu  Salama  asked  Abu  Hurayra  if  he  used  to  narrate  as  abundantly  during  the  time  of  ‘Umar  as  he  did  in  later times.  Abu  Hurayra  replied,  “If  I  were  narrating  (then)  like  I  am  doing  now,  ‘Umar  would  have  cautioned  me  with his  whip.”  

In  short,  the  second  reason  for  the  apparent  contradictions  in  the  narrations  is  that  at  times,  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    issued  a  special  command  confined  to  one  person  only,  but  a  narrator  narrated  it  as  a  general  rule.  The examples have been explained above. 

                      Reason  3

A GENERAL ORDER IS TAKEN AS A SPECIAL CASE

The  third  reason  for  the  apparent  contradictions  between  narrations  is  the  opposite  of  the  second  reason.  In  other words,  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    mentioned  something  as  an  all-encompassing  rule,  but  the  narrator  confined  it to  specific  individuals  only.  

One  example  is  the  narration  of  Ibn  ‘Umar  regarding  the  punishment  of  the  deceased.  Ibn  ‘Umar  narrated  this  as general  rule.  However,  ‘A’isha  said  that  this  applied  only  to  a  particular  incident  of  a  Jewish  woman  who  was  being mourned  by  her  family.

Hence,  for  the  revision  of  such  narrations,  a  great  need  is  felt  for  the  mujtahids  who  are  aware  of  all  the  various types  of  narrations.  From  these  narrations  they  are  able  to  deduce  which  rules  are  of  general  applications,  which  are special, and what the reasons for rendering something permissible for one and impermissible for the other.

                      Reason  4

A DIFFERENCE OF PERCEPTION

Quite  often,  there  are  apparent  contradictions  in  the  narrations  simply  various  people  saw  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    doing  a  certain  thing  and  they  all  narrated  according  to  their  own  understanding  of  things.  The  beholders of  any  deed  are  obviously  of  diverse  perception.  Some  of  the  witnesses  were  very  discerning.  They  were  able  to understand  every  incident  according,  to  the  occasion.  On  the  other  hand,  some  of  them  were  not  as  discerning,  but they  had  very  retentive  memories.  They  narrated  certain  events  according  to  the  way  they  understood  them.  Many examples  of  this  can  be  found  in  the  hadiths  dealing  with  the  pilgrimage  (hajj).  For  example,  one  of  the  narrators says  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    made  an  ifrad  hajj  because  he  heard  the  Messenger  (PBUH)    saying “Labbayk  bi  hajjatin”  or  “I  have  presented  -myself  in  Your  service  to  perform  the  hajj.”  The  narration  itself  is authentic  and  the  narrator  is  not  guilty  of  any  deficiency.  However,  other  people  narrate  that  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    performed  a  qiran  hajj.  This  narration  apparently  seems  contradictory  to  the  first,  because  the  qiran  hajj  is very  different  from  the  ifrad  hajj.  In  actual  fact  though,  there  is  no  contradiction  between  the  narrations  since  it’s permissible  for  one  performing  qiran  hajj  to  say  “Labbayk  bi  hajjatin”  (as  Allah’s  Messenger  had  uttered).  Only  a mujtahid  is  able  to  bring  about  some  harmony  between  the  apparently  contradictory  narrations  and  avoid  undue confusion.

Similarly  the  hadith  dealing  with  the  Messenger’s  commencement  of  his  ihram  or  “pilgrim  sanctity,”  There  are conflicting  narrations  as  to  exactly  when  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    started  his  ihram.  Due  to  this,  the  Imams have  also  differed  as  so  when  it  is  most  virtuous  for  one  to  initiate  one’s  ihram.  Prompted  by  these  very  same contradictory  narrations,  Sa’id  ibn  Jubayr  ,  an  outstanding  Follower  [tabi’in],  asked  ‘Abdullah  bin  Abbas  to  explain these  contradictions.  Imam  Abu  Dawud  (may  Allah  have  mercy  on  him)  transmits  this  narration  in  complete  detail as  follows:

Sa’id  ibn  Jubayr  said:  I  said  to  Abdullah  ibn  Abbas:  Abul  Abbas,  I  am  surprised  to  see  the  difference  of  opinion amongst  the  companions  of  the  Messenger  (PBUH)    about  the  wearing  of  ihram  by  the  Messenger  of  Allah  when he  made  it  obligatory.  

He  replied:  I  am  aware  of  it  more  than  the  people.  The  Messenger  of  Allah  performed  only  one  hajj.  Hence  the people  differed  among  themselves.  The  Messenger  of  Allah  came  out  (from  Medina)  with  the  intention  of performing  hajj.  When  he  offered  two  rak’ats  of  prayer  in  the  mosque  at  Dhu  al-Hulayfah,  he  made  it  obligatory  by wearing  it.  

At  the  same  meeting,  he  raised  his  voice  saying  ‘labbayk’  for  hajj,  when  he  finished  his  two  rak’ats.  Some  people heard  it  and  I  retained  it  from  him.  He  then  rode  (on  the  she-camel),  and  when  it  (the  she-camel)  stood  up,  with  him on  its  back,  he  raised  his  voice  saying  ‘labbayk’  and  some  people  heard  it  at  that  moment.  This  is  because  the  people were  coming  in  groups,  so  they  heard  him  raising  his  voice  calling  saying  ‘labbayk’  when  his  she-camel  stood  up with  him  on  its  back,  and  they  thought  that  the  Messenger  of  Allah  had  raised  his  voice  saying  ‘labbayk’  when  his she-camel  stood  up  with  him  on  its  back.  

The  Messenger  of  Allah  proceeded  further;  when  he  ascended  the  height  of  al-Bayda’  he  raised  his  voice  saying ‘labbayk’.  Some  people  heard  it  at  that  moment.  They  thought  that  he  had  raised  his  voice  saying  ‘labbayk’  when  he ascended  the  height  of  al-Bayda’.  I  swear  by  Allah,  he  raised  his  voice  saying  ‘labbayk’  at  the  place  where  he prayed,  and  he  raised  his  voice  saying  ‘labbayk’  when  his  she-camel  stood  up  with  him  on  its  back,  and  he  raised  his voice  saying  ‘labbayk’  when  he  ascended  the  height  of  al-Bayda’.17

Since  Sa’id  ibn  Jubayr  heard  various  contradictory  accounts  of  this  hajj  he  felt  he  should  delve  deeper  into  the  true account  of  what  exactly  took  place.  ‘Abdullah  ibn  ‘Abbas    was  fully  aware  of  what  transpired,  so  he  confidently explained  exactly  what  happened.  Since  he  was  a  jurist  [faqih]  as  well  as  a  mujtahid,  he  also  explained  the  reasons for  the  differences  of  narrations  and  at  the  same  time  he  brought  about  harmony  between  all  the  narrations.

In  contrast,  if  an  ordinary  layman  is  confronted  with  all  these  apparently  contradictory  narrations,  the  unfortunate person  will  be  left  perturbed  and  dumbfounded.  Objections  and  various  complications  are  thereafter  bound  to follow.  At  the  end  of  it  all,  even  the  people  who  do  not  adhere  to  any  madhhab  [ghayr  muqallidin],  in  spite  of  their vehemence  and  prejudice,  have  no  retreat  but  to  make  taqlid  (i.e.  resort  to  a  school  of  thought  [madhhab]).

In  his  book,  Sabil  al  Rashad,  Mawlãna  (Rashid  Ahmad)  Gangohi  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  quotes  an extract  from  the  Isha’at  al-sunna  by  Mawlana  Muhammad  Husayn  Batãlwi,  a  leader  of  those  who  do  not  follow  a traditional  school  in  jurisprudence,  who  writes  that  a  non-mujtahid  has  no  retreat  or  option  but  to  follow  a  mujtahid (Isha’at  al-sunna  II:2II).  Mawlana  Batalwi  further  writes:

‘After  twenty-five  years  of  experience,  we  have  become  aware  of  the  fact  that  those  who,  out  of  ignorance,  totally relinquish  following  a  school  altogether  [taqlid]  eventually  relinquish  Islam  altogether.  Some  of  them  convert  to Christianity  while  some  of  them  become  atheists.  The  most  insignificant  outcome  of  this  freedom  is  flagrant violation of Islamic law (ibid II:53).

                      Reason  5

INTENTIONAL ACTION VS COINCIDENCE

At  times  many  groups  of  people  witnessed  the  Messenger  of  Allah  doing  something.  Some  of  them  considered  it coincidental  and  treated  it  as  a  natural  and  habitual  activity  of  his.  Others  considered  it  intentional  and  willful, thereby  narrating  it  as  a  sunna  or  mustahab  (preferred)  action.  There  are  many  examples  of  this  nature  in  the  books of  hadith.  For  example,  on  the  occasion  of  the  farewell  pilgrimage,  it  is  an  accepted  fact  that  the  Messenger  of Allah  camped  at  a  place  called  Abtah.  According  to  Abu  Hurayra  and  ‘Abdullah  Ibn  ‘Umar,  this  lodging  was included  in  the  devotions  of  hajj  and  it  is  sunna  for  a  pilgrim  to  camp  at  Abtah.18 

However,  according  to  ‘A’isha and  ‘Abbas,  this  stay  over  at  Abtah  was  coincidental  and  it  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  devotions  of  hajj.  The servants  pitched  his  tent  at  that  spot:  that  is  why  he  camped  there.  Plus,  it  facilitated  easy  departure  toward  Madinah Munawwara.19

This  is  where  the  services  of  a  mujtahid  or  a  jurist  [faqih]  are  required  to  sift  through  the  various  narrations  and views  of  the  Companions  and  award  preference  to  one  opinion  over  the  other.  The  Imams  have  done  accordingly  on the  basis  of  the  following  hadith:  

“We  will  camp  at  Khayf  Bani  Kinana  where  the  polytheists  had  vowed  to  oppose  Islam.”20  The  Imams  are  of  the view  that  this  lodging  was  not  coincidental  but  intentional.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    intended  to  demonstrate  the magnificence  of  Islam  at  the  very  spot  where  the  disbelievers  displayed  their  rejection  [kufr]  of  Islam.  Together with  this  objective,  if  other  reasons  are  found—for  example,  he  camped  there  to  facilitate  easy  departure  this  does not mean that his stay at Abtah was not intentional.

                     Reason  6

            UNDERLYING CAUSES

At  times,  contradictions  appear  due  to  the  contradictory  underlying  reasons  found  in  the  hadiths.  For  example,  it  is mentioned  in  a  hadith  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    was  once  seated  when  the  bier  [janaza]  of  a  disbeliever passed  by.  He  immediately  stood  up.21  According  to  some  narrations,  he  got  up  in  honor  of  the  angels accompanying  the  bier.22  If  this  is  the  case,  there  is  even  more  reason  for  the  people  to  stand  for  the  passing  of  a Muslim  bier.  The  narrators  who  consider  this  to  be  the  underlying  principle  of  the  hadith  do  not  even  mention  the word  ‘disbeliever’  in  their  narrations.  They  do  not  consider  it  necessary  because  it  is  immaterial  whether  the  bier  is that  or  a  disbeliever,  due  to  the  presence  of  the  angels.

However  if  we  learn  from  other  narrations  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   stoop  up  so  that  the  bier  would  not  pass above  the  heads  of  the  Muslims,  as  this  is  a  form  of  humiliation  to  them.  If  this  is  the  reason  for  his  standing  up, then  the  practice  of  standing  up  for  janaza  will  be  restricted  to  the  bier  of  a  disbeliever  only.  Hence,  in  this  case,  the word  “disbeliever”  must  be  mentioned  in  the  hadith  by  the  narrator.

Similar  is  the  case  of  another  hadith.  Rifi’  ibn  Khadij  says,  “We  used  to  hire  out  our  lands  on  the  basis  of  temporary sharecropping  [muzara’a].  This  was  very  beneficial  to  us  but  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    prohibited  us  from  it. Obedience  to  Allah  and  His  Messenger  precedes  all  benefits.”23  ‘Abdullah  ibn  ‘Umar  says,  “We  used  to  hire  our plots  on  a  temporary  sharecropping  basis  and  regarded  his  beneficial  and  permissible.  However,  since  Rifi’  ibn Khadij  informed  us  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    prohibited  it,  we  abandoned  this  practice.24

In  another  narration,  Rafi’  ibn  Khadij  says,  ‘My  uncle  and  other  family  members  used  to  hire  out  their  lands  on  a temporary  sharecropping  basis.  The  land  owner  and  the  farmer  would  agree  that  the  crop  which  will  grow  around the  water  supply  drains  or  any  other  pre-specified  area  will  belong  to  the  land  owner  while  the  remainder  will belong  to  the  farmer.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    prohibited  them  from  this.”  Rafi’  ibn  Khadij  was  then  asked,  if the  land  owner  lets  his  land  on  a  specified  rental?”  He  replied,  “That  is  quite  in  order.”25  

In  contrast  to  these  narrations,  ‘Amr  ibn  Dinar  relates,  “I  told  Tawüs  to  desist  from  hiring  out  his  land  on  the  basis of  sharecropping  because  the  Companions  prohibited  people  from  doing  this.  Upon  this  Tawus  replied,  ‘The  most learned  of  the  Companions,  ‘Abdullah  ibn  ‘Abbas  informed  me  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   did  not  actually prohibit  this  practice  altogether  What  he  actually  meant  was  that  it  is  better  for  a  person  to  lend  his  plot  of  land  to his  Muslim  brother  for  purposes  of  cultivation  instead  of  letting  it  to  him  in  exchange  of  something.”26  

So,  according  to  Ibn  ‘Abbas;  the  underlying  cause  for  the  prohibition  was  merely  to  ensure  that  people  maintain good  conduct  with  their  fellow  Muslim  brothers.  This  prohibition  was  not  a  juridical  injunction.

However, according  to  Rafi’  ibn  Khadij,  the  underlying  cause  of  this  ban  was  to  demonstrate  its  prohibition  and  nothing  else.   There  are  many  other  examples  of  this  nature  in  the  books  of  hadith.  We  do  not  wish  to  encompass  them  all,  nor  is it  our  objective  to  do  so.  

In  short,  the  narrators  differ  in  the  underlying  cause  for  the  injunction  expressed  in  a  particular  hadith.  Each  narrator will  narrate  the  hadith  according  to  his  own  understanding  of  it.  Hence,  we  consequently  have  two  apparently conflicting  hadiths.  

Nevertheless,  one  who  is  confronted  with  both  hadiths  and  is  cognizant  of  the  principles  of  hadith,  etc.,  is  bound  to grant  preference  to  one  of  the  narrations  only  and  attempt  to  reinterpret  the  other.  This  can  only  be  carried  out  by  a person  who  knows  many  hadiths  on  a  given  subject  and  who  also  knows  the  actual  texts  of  the  various  hadiths.  On the  other  hand,  a  person  who  only  knows  the  translation  of  one  hadith  on  a  particular  topic,  has  no  knowledge  of  a contrary  hadith,  and  is  not  aware  of  the  principles  of  awarding  preference  to  some  hadiths  over  others:  will  he  ever be able to understand which is awarded preference over the other and why?

                        Reason  7

WORDS HAVE MULTIPLE MEANINGS
One  of  other  reasons  for  the  apparent  contradictions  in  the  hadiths  is  that  there  are  many  words  that  are  sometimes used  in  the  literal  sense  and  at  other  times  in  the  technical  or  figurative  sense.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    used  to say  something  using  a  particular  word  in  one  context,  while  some  of  the  Companions  considered  the  usage  in  a different  context.  There  are  not  a  few,  but  thousands  of  instances  of  this  nature.

To  give  one  example,  the  word  wudu’  is  quite  common  in  its  technical  sense  (of  ablution  before  prayer).  However, literally,  the  word  wudu’  means  cleanliness,  purity,  and  washing  of  the  hands.  In  a  narration  of  the  Shama’il  of Imam  Tirmidhi,  Salman  once  told  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    that  according  to  the  Torah,  wudu’  after  meals brings  about  blessings  [baraka]  in  one’s  food.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    added,  ‘Wudu’  before  as  well  as  after  the meal  is  a  source  of  blessing  in  ones  food.”  In  Salman’s  statement  as  well  as  the  statement  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)  ,  the  word  wudü’  unanimously  refers  to  the  washing  of  the  hands. In  addition,  there  is  a  lengthy  hadith  narrated  by  ‘Ikräsh  in  Sunan  al-Tirmidhi.  At  the  end  of  the  hadith  he  says, “After  partaking  of  this  meal,  water  was  brought  before  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  He  washed  his  hands  and thereafter  rubbed  them  over  his  face  and  arms.  He  thereafter  addressed  me,  ‘O  ‘Ikrãsh,  the  injunction  of  making wudu’  after  partaking  of  something  cooked  over  the  fire  refers  to  this  (form  of)  wudu’.”27 

In  spite  of  this  narration being  somewhat  disputed  [mutakallam  fih],  we  can  still  establish  that  the  word  wudu’  is  not  used  in  its  technical sense but in literal sense.

Similarly,  it  is  narrated  in  Jam’  al-Fawa’id  on  the  authority  of  Bazzar  that  Mu’adh  was  asked,  “Do  you  perform wudu’  after  partaking  of  something  cooked  over  the  fire?”  He  replied,  “We  wash  our  hands  and  mouth  after  meals and  interpret  it  as  wudu”28  For  this  reason,  all  four  of  the  Imams  have  unanimously  agreed  that  the  narrations which  mention  (the  obligation  of  performing)  wudu’  after  eating  something  cooked  over  the  fire  refers  to  wudu’  in its  literal  sense  (i.e.  just  washing  the  hands  and  mouth).  Otherwise  such  an  injunction  could  have  been  abrogated.  

Likewise,  on  one  occasion,  ‘Ali  washed  a  few  parts  (of  those  normally  washed  during  wudü’)  of  his  body. Thereafter,  he  commenced,  “‘This  is  the  wudu’  of  one  whose  wudu’  is  still  intact.”  Therefore,  washing  only  a  few parts  of  the  body  is  not  referred  to  as  wudu’  in  the  technical  sense.  

These  are  just  a  few  examples  where  the  word  “wudu’”  is  not  used  in  its  technical  sense.  My  aim  in  presenting these  examples  is  to  show  that  the  word  “wudu’”  and  other  words  have  been  utilized  in  their  literal  as  well  as  their technical  sense.  From  this,  one  can  understand  the  principle  cause  of  differences  as  well.  

Quite  frequently,  certain  narrators  will  consider  the  word  wudu’  in  a  certain  hadith  in  its  technical  sense,  and  they will  most  probably  add  an  explanation  like  “wudü’  such  as  wudü’  for  salat.”29  This  is  to  ensure  that  no  doubt remains  and  those  listening  are  not  left  in  any  confusion.  On  the  other  hand,  if  the  word  wudu’  is  not  intended  in  its technical  sense  but  in  its  literal  sense,  a  narrator  will  most  probably  explain  that  it  refers  to  the  washing  of  the mouth  and  hands,  etc.  This  is  explained  in  order  to  avoid  confusion.

It  is  now  clear  that  differences  among  the  narrations  are  bound  to  occur.  Differences  among  the  Companions [sahaba]  and  Followers  [tabi’in]  will  consequently  bring  about  differences  among  the  jurists  [fuqaha]  as  well.  This is  why,  initially,  there  were  differences  over  whether  or  not  the  consumption  of  anything  cooked  over  the  fire nullifies  the  ablution  [wudu’].  However,  since  there  were  relatively  very  few  narrations  supporting  its  nullification in  the  latter  times,  all  four  Imams  unanimously  agreed  that  the  ablution  would  not  be  nullified  by  eating  something cooked  over  a  fire.

There  are  many  other  issues  on  which  the  Imams  [‘ulama’]  and  their  followers  disagree.  One  example  is,  the  issue of  whether  touching  private  parts  nullifies  the  wudü’  or  not.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   said,  ‘whosoever  touches his  private  parts  should  perform  wudu’”.  The  Companions,  Followers,  and  the  Imams  have  all  differed  as  to  the type  of  wudu’  required.  According  to  some  of  them,  the  hadith  is  referring  to  wudu’  in  its  technical  sense,  while some  of  them  assert  that  it  refers  to  the  literal  meaning  of  the  word.  Similarly,  they  have  differed  the  meaning  of  the word  “touch”  in  the  aforementioned  hadith.  Some  of  them  say  that  the  word  “touch”  refers  to  its  literal  meaning. Others  say  that  the  word  “touch”  refers  to  passing  urine,  because  one  normally  touches  one’s  private  part  to  cleanse it  after  urinating.  Similarly  they  have  differed  on  the  status  of  the  wudu’  demanded  by  this  hadith.    According  to some  of  the  jurists,  wudu’  is  compulsory  [wajib],  while  others  regard  this  wudu’  as  preferable  [mustahab].This  will be  explained  in  further  detail  in  the  next  chapter.

Of  similar  nature  is  a  hadith  in  which  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    says,  “The  salat  is  broken  if  a  woman,  dog  or donkey  passes  in  front  of  a  person  performing  salat”  Some  jurists  take  this  hadith  literally.  According  to  them,  the salat  is  technically  nullified  if  a  woman,  dog  or  donkey  passes  in  front  of  one  who  is  praying.  However,  according to  other  Companions  and  jurists,  there  is  no  relationship  between  the  breaking  of  the  salat  and  the  passing  of  one  of these  three.  Therefore,  it  cannot  be  in  taken  in  its  literal  sense.  To  them,  the  breaking  of  the  salat  refers  to  the breaking  of  one’s  concentration  in  the  salat.  There  are  not  one  or  two,  but  scores  of  facts  that  affirm  this  second meaning.  They  are  explained  in  their  respective  places  (i.e.  in  books  of  hadith  commentary).  We  have  omitted  them here for the sake of brevity.

                        Reason  8

DIFFERENT TYPES OF INJUNCTIONS

The  eighth  reason  for  contradictory  narrations  is  closely  related  to  the  seventh,  and  some  aspects  of  it  have  already been  alluded  to  in  the  previous  chapter.  In  every  language  we  find  that  there  are  various  types  of  injunctions.  Thus, when  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   issued  a  certain  command,  some  people  considered  it  so  be  compulsory  i.e.  they believed  in  its  compulsion  [wujub]  A  second  group  considered  it  a  preferable  and  virtuous  action,  while  a  third group  regarded  the  injunction  as  merely  giving  permission  (to  perform  that  action).  

An  example  of  this  is  the  hadith  which  commands  us  to  put  water  into  the  nostrils  while  performing  wudu’.  Taking the  obvious  and  apparent  meaning  into  account,  some  people  regard  this  as  compulsory  [wajib],  whereas  another group  consider  it  preferable,  judging  from  other  factors.  

Similar  in  nature  is  another  hadith  which  makes  mention  of  washing  the  hands  after  waking  up,  before  making wudu’  According  to  some  people,  the  apparent  meaning  of  the  hadith  is  taken,  and  it  is  compulsory  to  wash  the hands  at  that  time.  However,  another  group  asserts  that  this  is  preferable  [sunna]  to  wash  them.  

In  actual  fact,  the  reason  for  the  differences  of  narrations  is  a  long  issue  indeed.  ‘This  matter  can  only  be  reconciled by  a  jurist  [faqih]  or  mujtahid  because  wherever  there  is  a  single  command,  every  individual  is  compelled  to  view other  commands  and  injunctions  as  well.  This  is  necessary  to  enable  him  to  ascertain  rise  status  of  that  individual command.

If  one  hadith  makes  mention  of  reciting  the  “tashahhud”  [prayer  recited  in  the  sitting  posture  of  salat]  while  sitting, another  hadith  says,  “Kill  the  snake  and  scorpion  (if  they  appear  before  you)  while  performing  salat”.  Obviously both  hadiths  can  not  be  of  the  same  status.  This  is  why  even  the  Imams  have  differed  over  whether  this  injunction  is compulsory,  preferable,  or  merely  a  meritorious  act.

Similarly  the  Imams  have  differed  as  to  whether  the  injunctions  pertaining  to  the  takbir  of  salat  or  the  injunction regarding  the  tasbih  of  ruku’  and  sujud,  etc.,  are  compulsory  or  merely  preferable.  With  diligence  and  perseverance, all  the  Imams  have  differentiated  between  all  of  these  apparently  contradictory  narrations,  keeping  in  the    hadiths, the  actions  of  the  Companions,  and  the  principles  of  jurisprudence  [fiqh].  Thereafter,  they  applied  every  injunction to  the  correct  occasion.  This  is  a  clear  indication  of  the  indispensability  of  mujtahid  and  the  necessity  of  adhering  to a  particular  school  thought.

Mere  recitation  of  a  translation  of  Sahih  al-Bukhari  will  not  enable  one  to  determine  whether  a  certain  injunction  is compulsory,  optional  or  permissible.  This  is  why  the  scholars  of  hadith  have  instituted  the  study  of  the  principles  of Qur’an,  hadith,  and  jurisprudence  [fiqh]  as  a  prerequisite  to  the  actual  science  of  Qur’an  and  hadith.  This  will  enable the  mujtahid  to  become  conscious  of  the  various  categories  of  Qur’anic  verses  such  as  the  general  [‘amm],  specified [khass],  ambivalent  [majmal],  unequivocal  [mufassar],  perspicuous  [muhkam],  interpreted  [mu’awwal],  abrogator [nashikh],  abrogated  [mansukh]  etc.  In  addition,  he  should  be  aware  of  the  various  categories  of  hadith  such  as  the continuously  recurrent  [mutawatir],  non-continuously  recurrent  [ghayr  mutawatir],  those  attributed  directly  to  the Messenger  (PBUH)    by  a  Follower  without  mention  of  the  Companion  in  between  [mursal]  continuous  [mutassil], rigorously  authenticated  [sahih],  defective  [mu’allal],  weak  [da’if],  etc.  He  should  also  be  aware  of  the  status  of  the narrators  of  the  hadiths,  and  should  be  well  versed  in  lexicography  and  grammar.  The  statements  of  the Comparisons    and  the  Followers,  their  differences,  and  their  unanimous  decisions  should  also  be  studied  carefully. Apart  from  this,  the  mujtahid  should  be  well  acquainted  with  the  types  and  categories  of  deduction,  analogy,  and logical reasoning [qiyas]. 

                      Reason  9

AN INJUNCTION TO SHARPEN THE MIND

On  some  occasions,  the  Messenger  of  Allah  issued  certain  injunctions  merely  to  sharpen  the  minds  of  his  people.  In other  words,  he  wanted  the  people  to  contemplate  over  the  injunctions  he  issued  to  them.  For  example,  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH)    saw  a  person  performing  salat  while  his  lower  garment  was  suspended  below  his  ankles.  He instructed  the  man  to  repeat  not  only  his  salat  but  his  wudu’  as  well.30  

On  another  occasion,  a  person  performed  his  salat  very  haphazardly  and  in  extreme  haste.  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    ordered  him  to  repeat  his  salat,  saying  his  salat  was  not  valid.  He  repeated  his  salat  but  once  again, Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    ordered  him  to  go  and  repeat  his  salat.  After  this  happened  a  third  time  and  his  salat was  still  considered  invalid,  the  person  submitted,  “Please  explain  to  me.  I  am  unable  to  comprehend  what  is required  of  me.”  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   then  explained  to  him  of  the  repose  and  tranquility  required  in  his salat.31  

Differences  are  bound  to  occur  over  incidents  such  as  these  because  every  individual  who  was  present  in  such  a gathering  will  reinterpret  these  commands  differently.  Although  there  are  very  few  examples  of  this  nature  in  the books of hadith, they do form the basis of some of the differences in narrations.

                    Reason  10

      AFFECTIONATE INJUNCTIONS 

                              VS 

         CAUTIONARY INJUNCTIONS

Allah‘s  Messenger  (PBUH)  was  not  only  the  Prophet  of  the  entire  community,  he  was  also  a  physical  doctor  for  the masses,  a  spiritual  doctor  to  his  lovers,  and  a  leader  to  his  people.  On  the  one  hand,  he  was  more  affectionate  than parents  to  a  child,  though  he  was  also  more  efficient  than  an  ordinary  teacher  and  mentor  in  the  field  of  spiritual nurturing  and  upbringing.  Just  as  it  is  possible  to  find  injunctions  issued  by  the  Messenger  in  an  affectionate  tone, one  will  also  come  across  many  injunctions  which  were  issued  as  stern  warnings  and  reprimands.  This  is  something about  which  there  can  not  be  any  shadow  of  doubt;  it  is  a  clear  truth  exposed  to  everyone.  Many  injunctions  of Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  in  spite  of  being  issued  in  one  context  are  bound  to  be  confused  with  injunctions  issued from  the  opposite  context.

These  factors  are  such  that  each  one  of  them  can  become  an  individual  reason  for  the  vast  differences  of  narrations, but  our  discussion  is  becoming  inadvertently  lengthy.  Owing  to  the  possible  frustration  of  the  reader,  which  is  a consequence  of  lengthy  discussions,  I  have  incorporated  all  those  reasons  into  one.  I  will  terminate  this  discussion concisely  together  with  a  few  examples.

Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  instructed  a  woman  suffering  from  dysfunctional  uterine  bleeding  [mustahada]  to  take  a single  bath  for  Zuhr  and  ‘Asr  prayer,  another  bath  for  Maghrib  and  ‘Isha  prayer,  and  another  bath  for  the  Fajr prayer.  The  Scholars  have  differed  as  to  whether  this  type  of  bathing  is  a  form  of  religious  injunction  or  whether  it is  a  form  of  medical  treatment  to  combat  the  illness.32

Similarly,  one  hadith  mentions  the  compulsion  of  wudu’  after  touching  the  private  parts,  while  another  hadith  says the  private  parts  are  merely  a  piece  of  the  flesh  of  one’s  body.  Therefore,  according  to  this  hadith,  just  as  wudu’  is not  compulsory  after  touching  any  other  part  of  the  body,  it  is  not  compulsory  after  touching  the  private  parts. ‘Allama  Sha’rani  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  explains  this  contradiction  thus:  “The  non-compulsion  of  wudü’ is  for  the  masses  only,  while  its  compulsion  is  confined  to  the  leaders  of  the  Umma.”  

Likewise,  some  narrations  inform  us  that  touching  a  woman  invalidates  the  wudu’  while  we  deduce  from  other narrations  that  the  wudu’  remains  intact.  There  are  conflicting  opinions  of  the  scholars  in  this  regard  and  they obviously,  for  various  conflicting  reasons,  either  awarded  preference  to  one  narration  over  the  other,  or  they established  a  compromise  between  she  two  conflicting  narrations.  ‘Allama  Sha’rani  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with him)  correlated  between  these  two  hadiths  in  the  method  demonstrated  above.  He  ruled  that  the  first  hadith  applies to  the  leaders  while  the  second  is  for  the  general  masses.  

In  one  battle,  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  said,  “Whoever  kills  a  non-  Muslim  on  the  battlefield  is  entitled  to  the goods in the possession of the non-Muslim.” According  to  some  scholars,  this  injunction  is  more  of  a  political  or diplomatic  nature  than  a  religious  injunction.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  issued  this  statement  as  a  king  would issue  a  royal  statement.  Hence,  if  the  leader  of  the  Muslim  army  wishes  to  issue  such  a  statement,  he  may  do  so  if he  feels  it  is  expedient.  Conversely,  some  scholars  assert  that  this  was  a  religious  injunction.  They  argue  that  it  will always  be  applicable  and  can  not  be  subjected  to  the  discretion  of  the  leader.  There  are  thousands  of  hadiths  dealing with  jihad  which  are  perfect  examples  of  the  differences  in  narrations.  

In  addition,  there  are  many  narrations  which  prohibit  his  companions  from  certain  farming  arrangements.  This prohibition  stems  from  the  Messenger  of  Allah’s  affection  toward  the  farm  laborers.  (This  prohibition  is  not general,  since  most  forms  of  farming  are  permitted  in  the  Shari‘a.)  

In  a  similar  vein,  many  people  were  prevented  from  excessive  fasting  on  grounds  of  the  Messenger  of  Allah’s affection  for  them.  ‘Abdullah  ibn  ‘Amr  reports  that  Allah’s  Messenger  once  told  him,  “I  have  been  informed  that you  fast  daily  and  you  observe  optional  [nafl]  prayer  throughout  the  night.”  He  replied,  “This  is  indeed  the  case.” Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  thereupon  said,  “Do  not  do  this.  You  should  fast  on  certain  days  and  refrain  on  certain days.  You  should  perform  salat  during  a  portion  of  the  night  and  sleep  during  a  portion  of  it  as  well.  Your  body  also has  a  right  over  you.  If  you  continue  doing  as  I  advised  you,  you  will  nor  get  tired  Your  family  also  has  a  right  over you.  Set  aside  some  time  for  them  during  the  day  and  night.  Your  friends,  relatives  and  visitors  also  have  a  right over  you.  Therefore  fasting  only  three  days  a  month  and  completing  the  recitation  of  the  Holy  Qur’an  only  once every  month  will  suffice  for  you.”

Abdullah  replied,  “Oh  Messenger  of  Allah!  I  can  massage  more  than  that.”    Following  repeated  requests,  the Messenger  of  Allah  finally  relented  and  said,  “Fine!  I  will  permit  you  no  more  than  the  fast  of  Dawud:  You  may fast  every  alternate  day  and  no  more.  Also  you  are  prohibited  From  completing  the  Holy  Qur’an  once  every  seven days.”  33

This  hadith  has  been  transmitted  with  slight  variations  in  its  text  in  the  various  books  of  hadith.  According  to  the version  mentioned  in  the  Mishkat  al-Masabih  on  the  authority  of  Imam  Bukhari,  the  hadith  prohibits  perpetual fasting.  At  the  end  of  the  narration,  what  else  save  affection  for  ‘Abdullah  had  prompted  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    to  permit  him  to  fast  the  fast  of  Dawud  (i.e.  to  fast  every  alternate  day)?  This  is  why  ‘Abdullah  used  to lament  in  his  old  and  feeble  age,  ‘If  only  I  had  taken  heed  of  the  advice  of  Allah’s  Messenger.”  34

Compelling  Interpretations 

There  are  many  other  hadiths  which  were  conveyed  as  threats  or  admonishments.  For  example,  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    said,  “There  no  fast  for  one  who  observes  perpetual  fasting  [sawm  al-dahr].”35    According  to  some scholars,  this  hadith  is  more  of  an  admonishment  to  abstain  from  perpetual  fasting.  It  does  not  mean  that  (one  who does  this)  will  not  be  rewarded  for  it,  or  that  his  fasting  is  null  and  void.  

Likewise,  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)     cautions,  “A  believer  [mu’min]  does  not  remain  a  believer  while  he  is committing  adultery  nor  does  he  remain  a  believer  while  he  is  stealing”36 Of  a  similar  nature  is  the  hadith  wherein Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)      says,  “Whosoever  consumes  alcohol,  his  salat  is  not  accepted  for  forty  days.”37  

The  aforementioned  reasons  for  the  differences  of  narrations  were  merely  mentioned  as  examples.  This  category  (of differences)  is  not  confined  to  these  examples  only.  All  I  wish  to  prove  at  this  juncture  is  that  the  basis  for  which these  differences  came  about  is  indispensable.  All  the  reasons  for  the  differences  cannot  be  accommodated  in  this brief  assignment  nor,  due  to  my  helplessness,  do  I  wish  to  cover  them  all.  The  objective  of  this  assignment  has  been achieved  up  to  a  certain  degree,  in  that  the  apparent  contradictions  in  the  statements  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   are  all  explainable.    From  among  the  many  reasons  for  these  differences,  some  have  been  explained  above  as examples.  

At  this  point,  I  would  like  to  discuss  other  reasons  for  these  differences  which  surfaced  in  the  era  of  the Companions,  and  the  consequent  differences  that  appeared.  I  will  also  present  a  few  examples  from  these  eras. Before  I  go  further,  though,  I  would  like  to  bring  up  an  unfounded  objection  (which  normally  comes  up)  at  this juncture. 

                  Other  Aspects

         TWO CATEGORIES OF LAWS

An  objection  which  normally  appears  at  this  juncture  is  this:  since  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   was  sent  to  this world  to  convey  injunctions  of  Islamic  law  [Shari  ‘a],  and  this  was  a  primary  reason  for  his  advent,  why  did  he  not convey  all  the  injunctions  of  Shari  ‘a  in  complete  detail  during  his  lifetime?  This  would  have  averted  the  confusion and  anxiety  of  contradictory  narrations  and  other  such  issues.

On  the  outside,  this  objection  looks  quite  clear-cut  and  sensible,  but  in  reality  it  is  unfounded  and  baseless.  This objection  stems  from  a  lack  of  insight  into  the  laws  of  Shari  ‘a.  In  actual  fact  it  is  due  to  an  intense  degree  of affection  toward  this  Umma  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   did  not  regulate  and  gather  all  of  the  by-laws  of  the Shari’a,  since  this  would  have  caused  hardships  to  the  Umma.  Instead,  he  divided  the  laws  of  the  Shari’a  into  two categories:  a  set  of  laws  in  which  contemplation,  deliberation  and  discussion  has  been  abhorred,  and  a  second  set  of laws  in  which  differences  of  opinions  have  been  declared  a  source  of  Allah’s  mercy.  Thus,  every  action,  even  if  the action  is  incorrect,  can  potentially  earn  the  reward  of  Allah,  provided  that  the  error  is  not  due  to  one’s  negligence.

In  essence,  the  Shari’a  has  divided  all  the  laws  into  two  basic  categories:  the  definitive  [qat’i]  and  the  speculative [zanni].  Qat’i  is  a  reference  to  those  laws  which  are  not  left  to  the  intellectual  capabilities  of  man.  They  are  all explicit,  definitive,  and  unequivocal,  and  man  has  no  right  to  reinterpret  or  to  re-expound  these  laws.  Anyone reinterpreting  these  laws  is  in  error  and  would  be  considered  misguided.  The  second  set  of  laws  is  such  that  the Shari’a  has  placed  no  constraints  upon  them.  In  fact,  this  set  of  laws  has  taken  into  account  the  weakness  of  the Umma and  is  intended  to  make  things  simpler  for  the  people.  The  one  who  reinterprets  these  laws  differently  and does  not  practice  them  will  not  be  considered  misguided.  The  first  set  of  laws  is  referred  to  as  fundamental  beliefs [i’tiqadat],  while  the  second  set  is  referred  to  as  by-laws  or  derived  laws  [juz’iyyat  or  far’iyyat].

Under  the  category  of  by-laws,  the  Shari’a  did  not  place  any  constraints.  If  all  the  fundamentals,  compulsions,  etc., were  explained  in  complete  detail  by  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  ,  everything  in  this  category  would  have  also  been incorporated  in  the  first  category.  This  would  have  consequently  placed  hardships  on  the  Umma.  Plus,  even  if  this was  the  case,  it  would  still  have  been  extremely  difficult  to  preserve  these  laws  from  differences  of  opinion. Differences  would  still  have  occurred  because  all  statements  constituting  the  by-Laws  of  Shari’a  are  issued  through the  medium  of  words.  Words  are  multi-facetted  and  can  have  multiple  interpretations.  Hence,  the  Shari’a  has divided  the  laws  into  the  two  categories  of  fundamentals  and  by-laws,  and  made  it  strictly  prohibited  to  debate  on the  first  category  as  is  evident  from  the  following  verse:  

Allah  has  established  for  you  the  same  religion  as  that  which  He  enjoined  upon  Nuh,  and  that  which  We  had revealed  to  you  and  that  which  We  have  enjoined  upon  lbrahim,  Musa  and  ‘Isa;  namely  that  you  should  remain steadier  in  religion  and  make  no  divisions  therein. (Surat  al-Shura  42:13). 

This  verse  sternly  prohibits  any  debate  in  religion  [din]  with  regard  to  the  first  category  of  injunctions.  However, differences  in  the  second  category  are  considered  a  source  of  mercy  upon  mankind.  This  is  why  there  has  been  no prohibition  on  this  type  of  debate  and  differences,  as  evident  from  the  scores  of  incidents  which  occurred  during  the blessed  era  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  I  will  present  just  two  examples  of  this  nature.  

In  one  example,  Imam  Nisai  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  narrates  on  the  authority  of  Tariq  an  incident  of  two Companions  who  were  both  in  need  of  a  compulsory  bath  [ghusl].  Due  to  a  lack  of  water,  one  of  them  refrained completely  from  performing  salat  while  the  other  performed  tayammum  [dry  ablution].  On  their  return  to  Allah’s Messenger,  he  approved  both  of  their  actions.38  

Similarly,  on  another  occasion,  the  Messenger  of  Allah  commanded  a  group  of  Companions  to  perform  their  ‘Asr prayer  at  the  dwellings  of  Banü  Qurayza.  Some  of  them  took  the  command  to  perform  the  ‘Asr  prayer  at  Banü Qurayza  literally  and  acted  accordingly.  Even  though  their  salat  was  delayed  from  its  actual  time,  they  nonetheless executed  what  they  felt  was  the  meaning  of  the  command  issued  to  them  by  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  However, another  group  regarded  this  as  a  command  to  reach  Banu  Qurayza  in  haste  (i.e.  by  ‘Asr  time).  Hence,  they performed  their  Asr  salat    at  its  proper  time,  en-route  to  Banü  Qurayza.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  did  not  object to  the  actions  of  either  of  the  two  groups.39  This  incident  is  mentioned  in  detail  in  Sahih  al-Bukhari.  There  are numerous  other  incidents  of  this  nature.

FUNDAMENTAL AND SUBSIDIARY DIFFERENCES

In  short,  there  is  a  vast  distinction  between  fundamental  differences  and  secondary  differences.  Those  who  consider these  secondary  differences  equal  to  the  fundamental  differences  and  apply  the  Qur’anic  verses  and  hadiths  about the  evil  of  differences  to  these  secondary  differences  are  either  ignorant  or  fooled  into  believing  otherwise.  There  is no  doubt  that  the  Shari’ah  has  placed  great  ease  and  flexibility  on  these  secondary  differences.  If  this  was  not  the case,  the  Umma  would  have  been  encumbered  with  difficulties  beyond  their  endurance.  This  was  one  of  the  reasons why  Imam  Malik  (rahmatullah alayh)  declined  to  comply  with  Caliph  Harün  al-Rashid’s  request  for him  to  hang  a  copy  of  his  Muwatta’  upon  the  wall  of  the  Ka’ba  and  issue  a  command  for  everyone  to  adhere  to  it,  in order  to  ensure  that  people  did  not  differ  over  religious  [dini]  matters.  Imam  Malik  was  requested  repeatedly  to  do this  but  he  emphatically  refused  each  time  and  declared:

The  Companions  also  differed  in  subsidiary  issues  and  all  of  them  were  considered  to  be  correct.  Their  statements and  schools  of  thought  are  practiced  throughout  the  world  and  there  is  no  sense  in  prohibiting  the  people  from  other schools  of  thought.

Similarly,  when  Caliph  Mansur  went  for  hajj,  he  requested  Imam  Malik  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  to  give him  a  copy  of  all  his  works  so  that  he  (Mansur)  could  have  them  published  and  dispatched  to  all  the  parts  of  the Islamic  world.  Mansur  wanted  all  the  Muslims  to  adhere  to  uniform  code  of  Islamic  law.  Imam  Malik  (may  Allah be  pleased  with  him)  replied:  

O leader  of  the  faithful!  Do  not  ever  think  of  doing  this.  The  people  have  in  their  possession  the  hadiths  and  the statements  of  the  Companions  which  they  are  adhering  to.  Allow  them  to  continue  accordingly.

DIFFERENCES: A SOURCE OF MERCY

This  is  a  desired  objective  of  the  statement  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    wherein  he  says,  “The  differences  of  my Umma are  a  source  of  mercy,”  The  fact  that  these  differences  of  opinion  area  source  of  mercy  is  quite  obvious. Every  Imam  has  some  difference  or  another  on  subsidiary  issues  of  Shari’a.  In  addition,  it  is  permissible  to  issue  a religious  verdict  (fatwa)  according  to  the  school  of  thought  of  another  Imam  provided  there  is  a  legal  and  juridical (shar’i)  need  to  do  so.  However  if  there  were  no  allowances  for  such  differences  of  opinion,  it  would  not  be permissible  to  sway  from  one  ruling  to  another  even  if  there  was  a  dire  need  for  it. 

In  short,  the  differences  of  opinion  found  among  the  Imams  are  religiously  required,  and  the  benefits  of  them  are manifold.  Allah  willing,  if  time  assists  me  in  my  endeavors,  I  will  mention  this  topic  in  more  detail  while  discussing the  differences  of  opinion  of  the  third  era.  It  is  not  my  objective  of  discussion  at  this  point.  Those  who  have  some inclination  toward  jurisprudence  [fiqhi]  will  surely  understand  the  aforementioned  benefits  of  the  differences  of opinion.  

Prejudice  toward  any  School 

‘Allama  Sha’rani  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  writes  in  his  book  Al-Mizan,  

‘If  you  view  it  with  an  impartial  eye,  you  will  clearly  realize  that  all  the  four  Imams  and  their  followers  are  on  the path  of  divine  guidance.  Once  you  have  studied  this  carefully,  you  will  not  have  objections  against  the  followers  of any  of  the  Imams.  It  will  be  firmly  impressed  on  your  mind  that  all  the  four  schools  of  thought  are  part  and  parcel of  the  Shari’a,  and  that  the  contradictory  statements  of  the  various  Imams  are  a  source  of  divine  mercy.  Allah  is All-Knowing  and  All-Wise  and  His  expediency  demanded  that  things  should  turn  out  as  they  have  become,  if  Allah abhorred  this  difference  of  opinion,  then  He  would  have  forbidden  it  as  He  had  forbidden  debating  on  the fundamental  teachings  of  the  Shan’a.  If  you  regard  the  subsidiary  differences  of  opinion  as  the  same  as  fundamental differences  in  religion  [din],  you  will  land  yourself  in  an  abyss  of  destruction  because  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   concluded  that  differences  in  subsidiary  issues  of  religion  are  a  source  of  divine  mercy.

In  actual  fact,  the  various  opinions  of  the  Imams  are  all  extracted  from  the  hadiths.  The  only  difference  between  the opinions  of  the  Imams  is  that,  where  one  Imam  considers  a  certain  juridical  [shar’i]  injunction  as  compulsory, another  would  consider  the  same  as  optional.  By  this  statement,  I  am  in  no  way  implying  that  one  is  at  liberty  so select  the  opinion  of  whichever  Imam  one  fancies—either  the  compulsory  or  the  optional.  Some  students  were duped  into  believing  that  this  is  what  I  meant.  This  is  most  definitely  not  what  I  mean,  as  it  would  render  the  entire religion  a  plaything.  What  I  am  saying  is  that  each  of  the  Imams  has  selected  one  of  the  two  options  before  him. However,  whichever  one  they  select,  their  followers  are  bound  to  adhere  to  it.

Whatever  I  have  mentioned  about  the  Imams  I  have  not  said  simply  because  I  cherish  favorable  thoughts  about them.  On  the  contrary,  I  have  established  good  thoughts  toward  them  as  a  result  of  extensive  research  into  their opinions,  deductions,  inferences,  and  corroborating  statements.  Whoever  does  not  believe  me  should  study  my book,  Al-Manhaj  al-mubin  fi  adillat  al-mujtahidin  [Clear  Way  in  the  Proofs  of  the  Mujtahids}.  I  have  assembled  all the  corroborating  statements  of  the  various  Imams  in  that  book  and,  consequently,  established  that  they  were  all divinely  guided.

The  fact  of  the  matter  is  that  as  long  as  one  does  not  cross  all  the  stations  of  the  spiritual  path  (suluk)  through  the companionship  and  direction  of  an  accomplished  spiritual  guide  [shaykh  kamil],  the  complete  reality  of  this,  as  it should  be  understood,  will  not  be  exposed  to  him.  Hence,  if  you  wish  to  savor  its  taste,  you  should  also  proceed  to an  accomplished  spiritual  guide  and  exert  yourself  in  order  to  acquire  the  reality  of  these  metters.  This  is  not  a fabrication  from  myself,  but  an  established  reality  confirmed  by  the  statements  of  the  learned  elders  [masha’ikh].’

Shaykhh  Muhyi  ‘l-Din  ibn  ‘Arabi  writes  in  his  book  Futuhat  al-Makkiyya,  “When  a  person  is  bound  to  a  particular school  of  thought  and  he  also  progresses  in  the  field  of  spirituality  at  the  very  summit  he  reaches  a  sea  (of consciousness)  through  which  all  the  Imams  have  passed.  At  that  time  a  person  realizes  that  all  the  schools  of thought  are  on  the  right  path.  This  can  be  likened  to  a  Prophet  who,  once  he  receives  divine  revelation  [wahy],  has  a good  view  of  all  the  other  religions  as  well.’  

This  priceless  treatise  of  Imam  Sha’rani  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him),  which  runs  into  almost  a  hundred  pages, is  worth  writing  in  gold.  His  topic  is  extremely  beneficial  in  fact;  the  entire  work  is  worth  translating.  

In  short,  what  I  wish  to  say  is  that  the  differences  of  opinion  found  among  the  Imams  which  appear  to  be  disunity are  in  actual  fact  not  disunity.  Whatever  their  stages  of  differences,  they  are  indispensable  and  their  absence  would have  been  a  burden  on  the  Umma.  Furthermore,  since  their  differences  of  opinion  stem  from  the  differences  in narrations,  there  was  a  religious  [dini]  need  so  have  the  narrations  also  revealed  with  some  amount  of  ambiguity.  If these  juridical  laws  were  conclusively  revealed  like  the  fundamental  tenets  of  faith,  there  would  be  no  scope  for  the Imams  to  have  any  differences.  In  that  case,  any  debate  of  the  Imams  would  have  been  a  source  of  misguidance  and the  lack  of  debate  would  have  caused  untold  hardship  to  the  community  at  large.  

Nonetheless,  this  does  not  mean  that  a  person  is  at  liberty  to  infer  and  draw  conclusions  from  the  texts  of  the  Qur’an or  hadiths  according  to  his  own  understanding,  as  this  would  lead  him  astray.  Such  a  difference  of  opinion  is  not sound.  The  only  difference  of  opinion  which  is  reputable  is  that  which  is  subjected  to  judicial  [shari’]  maxims  and principles.  For  instance,  in  the  incident  which  dealt  with  bathing  when  in  a  seminally  defiled  state  [janaba],  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH)    considered  the  actions  of  those  who  had  speculated  based  to  their  own  understanding  as ignorance.

                      PART TWO

THE ERA OF THE COMPANIONS & THE FOLLOWERS

                     Reason  1

             Narration by Meaning

Apart  from  the  reasons  mentioned  regarding  the  first  era,  there  were  many  other  factors  during  the  era  of  the Companions  and  Followers  that  contributed  to  the  conflict  in  narrations.  This  conflict  was  bound  to  occur.  

One  of  the  foremost  reasons  for  these  conflicting  narrations  is  due  to  narration  by  meaning  and  not  narration  by actual  text.  In  other  words,  people  used  to  narrate  the  hadiths  in  their  own  words  and  not  in  the  actual  words  of Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  Ibn  Sirin  says,  “I  used  to  hear  one  hadith  from  ten  people  and  all  of  them  used  to  differ in  the  text  but  they  used  to  be  unanimous  in  the  meaning.”  

Allama  Dhahabi  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  quotes  the  statement  of  Abu  Hãtim  in  his  book  Tadhkirat  alhuffaz:  “I  have  not  seen  any  of  the  hadith  narrators,  besides  Qubaysa,  memorizing  and  relating  the  exact  words  of the  hadiths  (as  they  had  heard  them)  without  any  change  whatsoever.”  

Allama  Suyuti  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  has  dealt  with  this  topic  in  detail  in  his  book  Tadrib  al-rawi, wherein  he  also  transmits  the  various  opinions  of  the  scholars  on  this  issue  of  whether  or  not  narrating  the  meaning of  the  hadith  instead  of  the  actual  text  is  permissible.  However,  Allãma  Suyuti  says  that  all  four  Imams  have unanimously  agreed  that  narrating  a  hadith  by  meaning  instead  of  the  actual  text  is  permissible,  provided  the  other prerequisites  are  found  in  the  narrator.  He  based  its  permissibility  on  a  hadith  narrated  by  Tabarani  and  Ibn  Manda in  which  Abdullah  ibn  Sulayman  once  told  the  Messenger  of  Allah  that  he  was  unable  to  narrate  the  Messenger’s exact  words.  The  Messenger  (PBUH)   permitted  him  to  change  the  text  of  the  hadith,  provided  he  narrated  the meaning  of  the  hadith  in  full.40

The  Difficulty  of  Narrating  by  Memory

It  is  also  very  difficult  to  remember  all  the  actual  words  of  the  hadiths.  On  one  occasion  Makhul  asked  Wãthila  ibn al-Asqa  to  narrate  a  hadith  that  he  heard  from  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    without  adding  or  subtracting  any  words and  without  a  doubt  or  error  in  the  text  of  the  hadith.  Wãthila  asked  him,  “Does  any  one  of  you  know  the  Qur’an  by heart?”  Makhül  replied,  “We  do  not  know  the  Qur’an  so  well  that  we  would  not  make  any  mistakes  whatsoever.” Upon  this  Wathila  commented,  “The  Holy  Qur’an  is  written  out  and  preserved  in  its  original  form.  In  spite  of  this, you  tend  to  make  errors  in  the  letter  “fa”  and  “wãw”  (i.e.  they  are  sometimes  interchanged),  etc.  So  how  can  I narrate  a  hadith  in  the  manner  you  have  requested?  In  fact,  some  of  the  hadiths  I  have  only  heard  once.  When  it comes  to  narrating  the  hadiths  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    consider  the  narration  of  the  meaning  as  sufficient (and  do  not  be  overly  concerned  with  the  actual  text).”  Waki’  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  said,  “If  there  were no  (allowance  for)  narrating  the  meaning  of  the  hadiths  instead  of  the  actual  text,  the  entire  nation  of  Muslims would  have  been  destroyed.”

According  to  Ibn  al-Arabi,  narrating  the  meaning  of  the  hadiths  rather  than  their  text  was  permissible  only  for  the Companions,  and  not  for  anybody  else.  However,  other  hadith  scholars  [muhaddithin]  like  Qasim  ibn  Muhammad, Ibn  Sirin,  Zuhri,  Ibrãhim  (al-Nakh’ay),  Sha’bi,  among  others  have  permitted  this  for  all  narrators,  albeit  with  certain conditions.

‘This  was  one  of  the  main  reasons  why  a  great  multitude  of  the  Followers  [tabi’in]  abstained  from  attributing  a hadith  directly  to  the  Messenger  of  Allah.  Instead,  they  used  to  narrate  the  hadith  in  the  form  of  an  injunction.

Among  others,  the  aforementioned  issue  is  one  of  the  chief  reasons  why  Imam  Abü  Hanifa  (may  Allah  be  pleased with  him)  refrained  from  attributing  the  hadiths  directly  to  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  ,  along  with  the  fact  that  it  is dangerous  to  attribute  (a  hadith)  directly  to  him.  It  is  possible  that  in  narrating  the  meaning  instead  of  the  actual text,  one  may  attribute  something  incorrectly  to  him  and  consequently  become  liable  to  severe  punishment.

Caution in textual narrations

Other  great  scholars  were  also  very  cautious  about  attributing  the  hadiths  directly  to  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   because  it  was  extremely  difficult  to  abstain  from  any  form.  of  error  or  mistakes  while  narrating  the  actual  (text  of the)  hadiths.

Even  a  personality  like  Ibn  Mas’üd  was  extremely  cautious  in  attributing  any  hadith  directly  to  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH).  He  was  one  of  the  greatest  of  the  Companions,  about  whom  Abu  Musa  al-Ash’ari  says,  “He  (Abdullah’ ibn  Mas’ud)  used  to  frequent  the  house  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   to  such  an  extent  that  we  were  initially  under the  impression  that  he  was  a  family  member.”41  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    even  granted  him  permission  to  listen, to  his  personal  secrets.  During  his  lifetime,  the  Messenger  of  Allah  appointed  him  as  a  teacher  of  the  Holy  Qur’an. The  Messenger  (PBUH)    once  said,  “If  I  were  to  appoint  anyone  as  a  leader  [amir]  would  have  appointed  Ibn Mas’ud  as  a  leader.”42

Hadiths  like  this  explaining  the  virtues  of  Ibn  Mas’ud  are  rarely  found  narrated  in  favor  of  the  other  Companions. This  is  why  Imam  Abu  Hanifa  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  decided  to  make  the  religious  verdicts  [fatawa]  of Ibn  Mas’ud  the  basis  of  (much  of)  his  jurisprudence  [fiqh].  We  will  explain  this  in  detail  at  another  time.

What  I  wish  to  make  clear  at  this  point  is  that  in  spite  of  his  excessive  knowledge,  his  lofty  virtues,  and  his numerous  hadiths,  he  rarely  attributed  the  hadiths  directly  to  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  Abu  ‘Amr  al-Shaybani says,  “I  stayed  with  ‘Abdullãh  ibn  Mas’üd  for  a  period  of  one  year  and  I  did  not  hear  him  attributing  any  hadith  to the  Messenger  of  Allah.  lf  he  did,  per  chance,  say  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  said’  in  regards  to  any  sentence,  his entire  body  would  tremble  (out  of  fear  of  attributing  something  incorrectly  to  him).”

Anas,  the  special  attendant  [khadim  khass]  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  says,  “If  I  did  not  have  a  fear  of  slipping up,  I  would  have  narrated  many  hadiths  that  I  had  heard  from  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  However,  I  fear  that  if  I narrate  those  hadiths,  I  will  fall  under  the  threat  of  punishment”

Suhayb    says:  “I  will  be  able  to  narrate  the  incidents  that  took  place  in  our  battles  while  we  were  with  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH)    However,  for  me  to  narrate  that  ‘this  is  what  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   said,’  I  will  not  be able  to  do  that.”

In  short,  there  are  many  such  incidents  which  highlight  the  Companions’  caution  when  it  came  to  attributing  the hadiths  to  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  If  Allah  wills,  I  will  deal  with  this  in  more  detail  when  we  discuss  the allegations  against  Imam  Abü  Hanifa  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  regarding  his  knowledge  of  hadith.  At  this point,  I  have  mentioned  a  few  incidents  to  elucidate  on  the  fact  that,  since  it  was  difficult  to  narrate  the  hadiths word  for  word,  the  narrators  related  the  meanings  of  the  hadiths  instead.  I  have  also  explained  why  the  senior Companions  refrained  from  attributing  anything  directly  to  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).

Since  we  have  established  the  permissibility  of  narrating  (a  hadith)  with  meaning  instead  of  narrating  with  the actual  text,  we  have  also  established  that  differences  in  those  narrations  are  also  inevitable.  Due  to  a  difference  in interpretation,  differences  in  meaning  are  also  bound  to  appear.  This  is  one  of  the  reasons  why  Abü  Bakr,  in  his speech  after  the  death  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH),  forbade  the  people  from  narrating  hadiths,  as  this  would  have created differences and contention among the community.

                         Reason  2

                     ABROGATION

One  of  the  other  reasons  for  differences  in  narrations  during  the  era  of  the  Companions  and  Followers    was  that many  a  time  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   would  say  something  which  later  became  abrogated.  However,  some  of the  people  who  heard  the  initial  injunction  were  probably  not  present  to  hear  its  abrogation  and  thus  continued narrating  what  they  heard  (before  the  abrogation).  For  example,  there  are  many  narrations  which  permit  wiping [masah]  over  the  turban.  However,  Imam  Muhammad  al-Shaybãni  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  writes  in  his Muwatta  “As  far  as  we  are  aware,  wiping  over  the  turban  was  permissible  at  the  very  beginning  of  Islam  and  it  was later  prohibited.”

Similarly,  he  narrates  the  statement  of  Abü  Sa’id  al-Khudri’  that  bathing  [ghusl]  is  compulsory  upon  every  mature person  on  Fridays.  However,  Ibn  Abbãs    said,  “This  compulsion  was  confined  to  the  beginning  of  Islam  only.  At that  time  the  people  used  to  work  in  their  fields  themselves  and  were  unable  to  employ  any  servants  due  to  extreme poverty.  Their  garments  were  made  of  thick  woolen  material  at  that  time.  While  toiling  in  their  fields,  due  to excessive  perspiration,  their  clothing  used  to  give  off  an  offensive  odor.  The  masjid  in  those  times  was  also  very small.  When  all  the  people  used  to  gather  in  the  masjid  for  the  Friday  prayer,  the  odor  given  off  by  some  people used  to  be  very  offensive  to  other  attendees.  This  is  why  they  were  commanded  to  have  a  bath  and  apply  perfume, etc.  Thereafter,  Allah  provided  ease  for  the  Muslims  and  the  masjid  was  also  extended.  Hence,  the  compulsion  of bathing  no  longer  remains.”43

There  is  also  a  comparable  narration  from  Abü  Hurayra  which  says  that  the  wudü’  is  nullified  if  one  consumes anything  cooked  over  the  fire.44  Contrary  to  this,  Jabir’  relates,  “Toward  the  latter  part  of  his  life,  the  Messenger  of Allah’s  habit  was  not  to  make  wudu’  after  eating  something  cooked  over  the  fire.”45  This  hadith  clearly  shows  that the  compulsion  of  wudü’  was  abrogated.  However,  Imam  Abü  Dãwud  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  disagrees with  this  interpretation  of  the  hadith.  This  is  why  we  also  mentioned  another  interpretation  of  this  hadith  previously [see  page  15]:  the  word  wudu’  in  the  hadith  of  Abu  Hurayra  (as  explained  above)  refers  to  the  washing  of  the  hands and the mouth and nor to the technical meaning of wudu’.
                      Reason  3

      THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN ERROR

The  scholars  are  unanimous  in  their  view  that  the  Companions  were  all  reliable  narrators  [‘adul].  They  can  neither be  criticized  nor  censured.  In  his  Isaba,  Ibn  Hajar  al-Asqalani  describes  this  as  the  unanimous  opinion  of  the  People of  the  Sunna  [Ahl  al-Sunna].

However,  everyone  is  afflicted  with  forgetfulness,  errors  and  other  human  shortcomings.  Hence,  there  is  a possibility  of  making  a  mistake  while  narrating  a  hadith.

I  have  already  mentioned  the  statement  of  Imrän  ibn  Husayn,  in  which  he  says,  “By  Allah!  I  know  so  many  hadiths that  I  can  go  on  narrating  for  a  very  long  time.  However,  I  am  restrained  by  the  fact  that  there  are  some Companions  who  heard  the  hadiths  from  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    like  I  did,  but  in  spite  of  this  they  are  prone to  making  mistakes  while  narrating.  Obviously,  they  are  not  doing  this  intentionally.  If  I  had  to  narrate,  I  fear  I would  also  fall  into  the  same  abyss.”

Likewise,  whenever  Ali  would  hear  a  hadith  from  anyone  other  than  Abu  Bakr,  he  used  to  make  the  narrator  swear an  oath  that  he  had  reported  it  exactly  the  way  he  heard  it  from  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).

The  inevitable  existence  of  these  types  of  errors  explains  why,  among  other  things,  it  is  incumbent  to  compare narrations  with  one  another  to  determine  if  there  are  any  errors.  If  there  are  any  contradictions  on  the  part  of  the narrator,  the  contradictions  will  be  resolved.

The  specialists  in  the  field  of  hadith  have  prohibited  the  people  from  acting  upon  the  hadiths  directly  until  they  have the  capability  to  distinguish  between  the  authentic  and  the  unauthentic,  between  the  correct  and  the  incorrect,  and between  the  truth  and  the  fabricated.

There  are  scores  of  examples  of  such  errors  in  the  books  of  hadith.  One  such  example  involves  a  narration  from Abdullah  ibn  Umar  which  states  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   performed  ‘umra  in  the  month  of  Rajab.  When ‘A’isha  heard  of  his  account,  she  said;  “Ibn  Umar  has  forgotten.  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    did  not  perform  any ‘umra  in  the  month  of  Rajab.”46

In  addition,  we  have  already  previously  mentioned  the  case  in  which  Abdullah  ibn  Umar  said,  “The  deceased  is punished  in  his  grave  if  his  family  cries  or  mourns  over  him.”  His  report  was  rejected  by  ‘A’isha,  who  insisted  that Ibn  Umar  had  erred  in  narrating  the  hadith.  According  to  her,  the  hadith  is  as  follows:  “On  one  occasion,  Allah’s Messenger  ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    passed  by  a  deceased  Jewish  woman  who  was  being  mourned  over  by  her  family  members.  He remarked;  ‘These  people  are  crying  over  her  whereas  she  is  being  inflicted  with  the  punishment  of  the  grave!” According  to  ‘A’isha  ,  their  crying  had  nothing  to  do  with  her  punishment.

Likewise,  Abu  Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu)  says  if  a  person  is  in  need  of  a  compulsory  bath  [ghusl]  at  the  time  of  true  dawn  [subh sadiq],  he  is  not  permitted  to  fast  on  that  specific  day.  He  narrates  this  (ruling)  from  Allah’s  Messenger  ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam )  , and  this  was  also  his  personal  ruling  [fatwa]  on  the  issue.  Such  narrations  are  compiled  in  detail  in  Fath  al-Bari,  the commentary  on  Sahih  al-Bukhari,  under  the  chapter  dealing  with  fasting.  However,  in  opposition  to  this,  ‘A’isha and  Umm Salama  report  that  at  times  the  Messenger  ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam )    used  to  be  in  need  of  bathing  [ghusl]  at  dawn,  but  he would  fast  on  those  days  as  well.47

Similarly,  a  group  of  narrators  relate  that  the  salat  is  nullified  if  a  woman  or  dog  passes  in  front  of  one  performing salät.  ‘A’isha  rejected  this  view,  saying  this  narration  is  incorrect.48

Finally,  Fatima  bint  Qays (radhiyallahu anha) narrated  that  a  woman  who  has  been  issued  an  irrevocable  divorce  has  no  right  to  claim food,  clothing,  or  shelter  from  her  husband.  When  Umar  heard  this  he  remarked,  “How  can  I  relinquish  a  Qur’anic verse  for  the  statement  of  one  woman?49

To  sum  up,  one  of  the  reasons  for  the  contradiction  of  narrations  stems  from  the  differences  in  how  the  hadiths  were preserved.  At  times,  those  narrating  the  hadiths  tended  to  slip  up  in  their  narrations.  This  is  not  impossible. Sometimes,  even  the  most  intelligent  person  can  become  confused  with  comprehending,  transmitting,  or  relating the  meaning  of  a  statement.  There  are  many  such  cases  in  which  the  narrators  erred  in  spite  of  being  reliable  and truthful.  This  is  why  the  scholars  have  laid  down  stringent  rules  for  accepting  the  narration  of  a  lone  narrator.  One of  the  rules  is  to  compare  the  narration  with  other  narrations.  If  it  is  conforming  to  the  juridical  principles,  it  will  be accepted;  otherwise  it  will  not.

The  aforementioned  incident  of  Umar  also  supports  one  of  the  principles  of  the  Hanafi  school.  According  to  the Hanafis,  the  hadith  that  is  in  greater  conformance  with  the  Qur’an  will  be  awarded  preference  over  the  hadith  that  is not  as  conforming  to  it,  even  if  the  latter  has  relatively  more  reliable  narrators  or  there  are  other  narrations supporting  it.

All  of  these  incidents  also  verify  what  I  have  repeatedly  indicated:  that  the  only  person  who  can  practice  upon  the hadith  directly  is  the  one  who  has  the  capacity  to  recognize  right  from  wrong.  It  is  quite  bewildering  to  note  that  to determine  the  purity  of  gold,  one  avails  himself  of  the  services  of  a  bullion  dealer,  but  to  practice  upon  the  hadiths, he  considers  the  services  of  an  analyst  as  dispensable.  The  one  who  does  this  is  quite  proud  of  his  own  knowledge in spite of his ignorance. We beseech the assistance of Allah alone.

                          Reason  4

LOVE FOR ALLAH’S MESSENGER ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam )

Companions  were  the  real  devotees  and  ardent  followers  of  Allah’s  Messenger  ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam ).  They  were  prepared  to  lay down  a  hundred  lives  for  every  action  of  his.  They  were  wholly  befitting  of  the  poem:

If  the  Almighty  had  to  bestow  me  with  unlimited  hearts,
I  would  have  sacrificed  a  hundred  for  every  action.

The  relationship  the  Companions  enjoyed  with  Allah’s  Messenger ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam )    cannot  be  expressed  in  words.  Every one  of  the  most  seemingly  trivial  incidents  that  transpired  while  they  were  in  the  company  of  the  Messenger ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam )    is  a  testament  to  their  devotion  to  him.

Anas  narrates,  “The  Messenger  of  Allah  passed  by  the  house  of  a  Companion  who  had  added  an  additional  room  to it.  Allah’s  Messenger  ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam )  asked  who  the  house  belonged  to.  On  being  informed,  the  Messenger  ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam )   did not  utter  a  word.  When  the  Companion  in  question  appeared  before  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  ,  he  declined  to reply  to  his  salam.  The  Companion  made  salam  many  times,  but  to  no  avail.  When  informed  by  the  others  about what  had  transpired  earlier,  he  immediately  went  home  and  demolished  the  extended  room.  Above  that,  he  did  not even  inform  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    of  his  action:  out  of  shame  and  remorse,  he  refrained  from  informing  him. The  Messenger  of  Allah  only  learnt  of  it  when  he  happened  to  pass  by  the  same  house  on  another  occasion.”

The  Companions  used  to  accept  even  the  outward  meaning  of  the  words  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  They  at times  were  quite  aware  that  this  was  not  what  he  meant,  but  taking  the  literal  words  into  account,  they  used  to adhere  to  it.

Once,  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    pointed  to  one  of  the  doors  of  the  masjid  [al-Nabawi]  and  remarked,  “It  would have  been  a  good  idea  to  reserve  this  door  for  the  exclusive  use  of  the  women.”  From  then  on,  Abdullah  ibn  Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) never entered the masjid by that door.

Likewise,  when  Abu  Sa’id  al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu)   was  on  his  death-bed,  he  called  for  a  new  set  of  clothes  and  put  them  on.  He thereafter  said,  “I  heard  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    saying  that  a  person  will  be  resurrected  on  the  Day  of Judgment-  with  the  clothing  he  dies  in.”50  On  the  contrary;  it  has  been  established  by  famous  hadiths  that  everyone will  be  resurrected  naked  on  the  Day  of  Judgment.  This  is  discussed  under  the  commentary  of  the  Quranic  verse, “As  We commenced  the  initial  creation,  so  shall  We  return  it”  (Surat  al-Anbiya  21:104)  This  meaning  is  established on  the  grounds  of  many  hadiths.  It  would  be  preposterous  to  suggest  that  Abü  Said  al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  unaware  of  the meaning,  of  the  hadiths.  He  was  aware  of  it,  but  he  chose  to  act  on  the  literal  meaning  of  the  hadith  and  wear  the new  clothes.

The  books  of  hadith  are  replete  with  such  examples.  On  the  surface,  these  examples  seem  dubious,  but  one  who  has “had  a  sip  from  the  fountain  of  love.”  will  clearly  understand  the  importance  of  even  the  apparent  worth  of  his beloved,  above  and  beyond  the  consideration  of  their  actual  meaning.  This  was  one  of  the  main  reasons  why  the Companions  used  to  narrate  even  the  abrogated  hadiths.  –

On  the  outside,  it  seems  senseless  to  propagate  abrogated  hadiths  (but  such  was  their,  love  for  the  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    and  his  words).  Similarly,  there  are  many  such  hadiths  which  were  narrated  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  their apparent  meanings  were  unanimously  declared  obsolete.

From  this,  we  understand  why  the  hadith  scholars  have  laid  down  such  stringent  rules  and  regulations  for  acquiring the  science  of  hadith,  and  why  they  were  so  cautious  before  saying  or  writing  anything  on  this  subject.  They  have even  laid  down  principles  and  conditions  for  the  seekers  of  this  science.  The  rules  and  regulations  set  out  for  the teachers  and  hadith  scholars  are  even  more  stringent.

The  Advice  of  Imam  Bukhari  to  the  Seeker  of  Hadith

Even  though  the  issue  at  hand  is  growing  more  long-winded,  spurred  by  the  necessity  of  the  present  discussion,  I will  narrate  a  remarkable  quote  from  Imam  Bukhãri  (rahmatullah alayh)  which  will  enlighten  the reader  on  the  diligence  required  to  become  a  seeker  of  hadith,  let  alone  an  accomplished  shaykh  or  scholar  of  hadith [muhaddith].

Allama  Suyuti  relates  (through  his  chain)  that  Muhammad  ibn  Ahmad  said:  “When  Abu  ‘l-Abbas  Walid  ibn Ibrahim  was  deposed  as  the  chief  justice  of  Rayy  (formally  of  the  great  cities  of  Persia  located  a  few  miles  from Tehran)  and  he  came  to  Bukhãrã,  my  teacher,  Abü  Ibrãhim  Al-Khatalli  took  me  with  him  to  see  Walid.  My  teacher requested  him  to  narrate  those  hadiths  to  me  which  he  had  heard  from  his  teachers  [mashä’ikh].  He  replied,  ‘I  have not  heard  anything  from  them.’  My  teacher  was  quite  shocked  and  remarked,  ‘How  can  you  say  that  you  have  not heard  anything  from  them  whereas  you  are  a  deeply-read  scholar?’

Walid  then  related  his  story  saying,  ‘When  I  became  a  rational  and  mature  adult  and  I  developed  a  passion  toward the  science  of  hadith,  I  went  to  Imam  Bukhãri  (rahmatullah alayh)  and  explained  my  intentions  to  him. He  advised  me  thus,  “Son,  before  you  set  out  to  pursue  any  field,  make  sure  you  are  well-grounded  with  its prerequisites  and  demands.  And  remember  that  a  person  cannot  become  a  perfect  scholar  in  the  science  of  hadith [muhaddith]  until  and  unless  he  writes  four  things  with  four  other  things,  which  are  as  indispensable  as  four  things, which  resemble  four  other  things.  (He  must  write  these  things)  in  four  times,  with  four  conditions,  in  four  places, upon  four  things,  from  four  types  of  people,  and  for  four  objectives.  All  of  these  four-angled  things  can  only  be achieved  with  another  four  things  coupled  with  another  four.  Once  all  these  things  are  achieved,  four  things  will become  insignificant  before  him  and  he  will  be  tried  with  four  other  things.  If  he  exercises  patience  in  these  four trials,  Allah  will  honor  him  with  four  things  in  this  world  and  award  him  four  things  in  the  hereafter.”

I  said,  “May  Allah  have  mercy  upon  you.  Please  explain  these  four-angled  things  for  me.”  He  said,  “Certainly.  The four  things  he  has  to  write  are:

(1)  the  statements  and  commands  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

(2)  the  sayings  of  the  Companions  and  their  relative  ranks.  

(3)  the  sayings  of  the  Followers  and  their  ranks  (i.e.  who  among  them  are  reliable  and  who  are  not), and

(4)  the  conditions  of  all  the  narrators  who  narrate  hadiths.

These  (four  pieces  of  information)  must  be  written  together  with  the  following  four  things:

(1)  the  actual  names  of  the  narrators,

(2)  their  appellations  or  titles  [kuna],

(3)  their  places  of  residence,  and

(4)  their  dates  of  birth  and  death  (to  determine  whether  the  narrator  actually  met  the  people  he  has  narrated from).

(These  are  indispensable  to  him)  just  (as  four  things  are  necessary  with  four  other  things:)

(1)  as  praises  [tahmid]  of  Allah  (are  necessary)  with  the  khutba,
(2)  as  salutations  [salawat],  (are  necessary)  with  mention  of  the  name  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

(3)  as  (the  recitation  of)  bismillah  (is  necessary)  with  a  süra  (of  the  Qur’an),  and

(4)  as  the  takbir  (is  necessary)  with  the  salat.

These  resemble  four  other  things  (which  are  names  of  four  categories  of  hadith):

(1)  the  musnadat  [narrations  traceable  to  the  Messenger],

(2)  the  mursalat  [narrations  transmitted  by  a  Follower  from  the  Messenger  directly  without  a  Companion  in between],

(3)  the  mawqufat  [narrations  traceable  only  to  a  Companion  ],  and

(4)  the  maqtu’at  [narrations  traceable  only  to  a  Follower].

(These  things  must  all  be  written)  in  four  times:

(1)  in  his  childhood,

(2)  in  his  age  of  discernment  (i.e.  close  to  maturity),

(3)  in  his  youth,  and

(4)  in  his  old  age.

(In  other  words,  he  must  continue  acquiring  hadiths  at  all  times  throughout  every  stage  of  his  life?  They  must  be written)  under  four  conditions:

(1)  while  his  is  occupied,

(2)  while  he  is  free,

(3)  in  his  poverty,  and

(4)  in  his  affluence.

(In  other  words,  he  must  diligently  pursue  the  knowledge  of  these  things  no  matter  what  his  circumstances  may  be. This  is  done)  at  four  places:

(1)  in  mountainous  terrain,

(2)  on  the  seas,

(3)  in  cities,  and

(4)  in  rural  areas.

(In  other  words,  he  must  endeavour  to  acquire  this  science  from  the  right  teacher,  no  matter  where  that  teacher  is located.  He  writes  what  he  has  acquired)  upon  four  things:

(1)  upon  stones,

(2)  upon  shells,

(3)  upon  skins,  and

(4)  upon  bones.

(In  other  words,  even  when  be  does  not  find  paper  he  will  continue  recording  it  somewhere)  until  he  finds the  paper  upon  which  to  preserve  it.  (He  acquires  it  from  four  different  types  of  people: )

(1)  from  his  seniors,

(2)  from  his  juniors,

(3)  from  his  counterparts,  and

(4)  from  the  books  of  his  father,  provided  he  has  firm  conviction  that  these  are  his  father’s  books.

(In  other  words,  he  endeavours  to  acquire  this  science  in  every  way  possible  without  feeling  ashamed  to  obtain  it even  from  his  juniors.  He  has  four  objectives  for  doing  all  of  these  thing 🙂

Thereafter,  the  aforementioned  four  things  cannot  be  acquired  (unless  he  has  first  acquired)  four  other  things  that are  part  of  human  acquisition:

(1)  the  knowledge  of  how  to  read  and  write,

(2)  lexicography  and  vocabulary,

(3)  morphology,  

(4)  syntax,

Together  with  four  other  things  that  are  not  of  human  acquisition,  but  are  bestowed  by  Allah  :

(1)  sound  health,

(2)  ability,

(3)  an  ardent  desire  for  learning,  and

(4)  a  retentive  memory.  

Once  all  the  aforementioned  four-angled  things  are  attained  by  him,  then  four  things  will  become  insignificant before  him:

(1)  to  acquire  (this  science)  solely  for  the  pleasure  of  Allah  ,  

(2)  to  practice  upon  the  hadiths  which  confirm  to  the  verses  of  the  Holy  Qur’an,

(3) to propagate (the science) to those who seek it, and

(4)  to  write  it  out  so  that  it  can  be  a  source  of  guidance  to  those  who  will  come  after  him.

He  will  then  be  afflicted  with  four  things:

(1)  his  enemies  will  rejoice  at  his  distress,

(2)  his  friends  will  reproach  him,
(3)  the  ignorant  will  taunt  him,  and

(4)  the  scholars  [ulamà]  will  be  jealous  of  him.

Once  he  exercises  patience  on  these  calamities,  Allah  will  honor  him  with  four  things  in  this  world:

(1)  the  honor  of  contentment  [qana’a],

(2)  conviction  coupled  with  awe  and  dignity,

(3)  the  pleasure  of  sacred  knowledge  [‘ilm]  and

(4)  eternal  life.

(On  top  of  that,)  Allah  will  honor  him  with  four  things  in  the  hereafter:

(1)  the  honor  of  intercession  on  behalf  of  whomever  he  pleases,

(2)  the  shade  of  the  throne  of  Allah  on  the  day  when  there  will  be  no  shade  available  except  the  shade  of  His throne,

(3)  the  privilege  to  provide  water  to  whomsoever  he  pleases  from  the  pool  of  Muhammad  [al-Kawthar],  and

(4)  close  proximity  with  the  Prophets  [anbiya’]  in  the  Highest  of  the  High  Places  [a’lã  ‘illiyyin].
So  now,  my son,  I  have  told  you  whatever  I  have  heard  from  my  teachers  [mashä’ikh].  Now  you  have  the  choice  to either  pursue  this  field  or  to  abstain  from  it.”

These  are  the  principles  and  rules  Imam  Bukhäri  has  laid  out  for  every  individual  who  wishes  to  become  a  hadith scholar  or  a  student  of  hadith.  We  should  take  heed  of  Imam  Bukhãri’s  advice  and  hold  firmly  onto  it.  In  actual  fact, the  science  of  hadith  is  even  more  difficult  to  attain  than  Imam  Bukhãri  (rahmatullah alayh)  describes.

Our  present  times  of  extreme  negligence  and  laziness,  where  the  maximum  extent  of  education  in  this  science  is (normally  limited  to  studying)  the  six  authentic  books  of  hadith  [sihah  sitta]  for  one  to  call  himself  a  hadith  scholar, can  be  likened  to  “a  monkey  who  has  a  bit  of  turmeric  powder  and  wishes  to  be  called  a  grocer.”  The  extent  to which  this  group  of  half-baked  molwis  [scholars  graduating  from  madrasas]  has  made  a  mock  of  our  religion  [din] cannot  be  found  in  the  time  of  our  predecessors,  even  if  we  were  to  search  for  it.  The  main  cause  for  this  current degeneration  among  the  scholars  stems  from  our  confidence  in  our  virtues  and  our  reliance  upon  our  defective  and unsound  knowledge.  In  fact,  the  jurists  of  the  later  centuries  [muta’akhkhirin]  have  prohibited  us  from  issuing  any religious  verdicts  [fatawa]  based  on  our  own  opinions.  Instead,  they  have  advised  us  to  transcribe  the  verdicts  from similar  religious  verdicts  of  the  past.  But  alas!  In  these  times,  even  the  most  intricate  of  scholastic  issues,  let  alone ordinary  concerns,  have  become  subjected  to  the  people’s  whims  and  fancies.  To  Allah  alone  do  we  complain  and He  alone  is  the  Helper.  

This  subject  is  out  of  our  present  range  of  discussion,  so  I  will  now  return  to  our  previous  discussion.  In  the  second era,  from  among  the  numerous  reasons  for  the  differences  of  opinions,  I  have  sufficed  by  mentioning  a  few  reasons. During  the  times  of  the  Companions  [sahaba],  Followers  [tabi’in],  Followers  of  the  Followers  [atba’  al-tabi’in], mujtahid  Imams  and  the  hadith  scholars  [muhaddithin],  the  reasons  that  led  to  differences  of  opinion  increased.  In other  words,  the  further  we  moved  away  from  the  era  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  ,  the  more  the  reasons  for  these differences  also  increased.  This  increase  is  quite  rational  because  (as  an  Urdu  expression  goes)  “The  more  the mouths, the more the statements.”

                            Reason  5

EXCESSIVE LINKS BETWEEN NARRATORS

The  fifth  reason  for  differences  is  basically  due  to  the  excessive  number  of  links  in  conveying  the  hadiths  (between the  time  of  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  the  current  era).  The  more  the  links  in  conveying  the  hadiths  increased,  the more  the  disparities  between  them  increased.  The  reason  for  this  is  quite  clear  as  well.  If  you  relay  a  message  to someone  and  there  are  many  links  involved  in  conveying  the  message,  an  inconsistency  in  the  message  is  bound  to occur.  This  is  why  the  hadith  scholars  have  considered  a  hadith  with  a  smaller  number  of  links  as  having  a preferential  factor  over  other  hadiths.  If  Allah  wills,  I  will  explain  this  in  detail  at  some  other  point.  All  I  would  say at  this  point  is  that  an  excessive  number  of  links  is  a  major  cause  for  differences,  a  fact  which  one  can  determine logically,  traditionally,  practically  and  through  sound  discernment.  According  to  the  Hanafi  school,  the jurisprudence  [fiqh]  of  Imam  Abü  Hanifa  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  is  awarded  preference  over  the jurisprudence  and  statements  of  the  other  jurists  and  hadith  scholars  because,  among  other  reasons,  there  are relatively  fewer  links  between  him  and  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  In  order  to  clarify  this,  the  dates  of  birth  and death  of  the  famous  Imams  are  listed  below:

Imam             Birth      Death      Age
Abu Hanifa    80 AH      150 AH     70

Malik              95 AH      179 AH     84

Shafi’i          150 AH      204 AH     54

Ahmed          164 AH      241 AH     77

Bukhari        194 AH     256 AH      62

Muslim          204 AH     261 AH      57

Abu Dawud   202 AH     275 AH      73

Tirmidhi        209 AH     279 AH      70

Nasa’i            214 AH     303 AH      89

Ibn Majah     209 AH     273 AH     64

From  this  table,  it  is  quite  evident  that  since  a  period  of  two  hundred  years  separates  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  from  Imam  Bukhari  and  Imam  Muslim,  there  are  bound  to  be  many  links  between  them.  Contrast  this  with  the  era of  Imam  Malik  and  Imam  Abu  Hanifa  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them):  not  even  a  period  of  one  hundred  years separates  them  from  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).

Among  other  things,  an  excessive  number  of  links  is  one  of  the  causes  for  differences  between  narrations.  Also, since  the  compilation  of  the  various  hadith  books  only  began  in  the  second  century,  there  were  relatively  more narrators (at that time). This consequently brought about more differences in the wording of the narrations.

                   Reason  6

               WEAK NARRATORS

The  sixth  reason  is  caused  by  the  weakness  of  a  narration.  Due  to  the  excessive  number  of  links  in  a  narration,  a weak  or  unreliable  narrator  sometimes  finds  his  way  into  the  chain  of  narrators.  Some  narrators  have  a  tendency  to narrate  something  very  different  from  what  they  heard,  either  due  to  a  weak  memory  or  due  to  some  other  disorder. Some  narrators  were  such  that  their  books  or  their  memories  could  be  relied  upon,  but  due  to  some  problem  or other,  they  began  making  blunders  in  their  narrations  and  narrating  incorrectly.  This  is  why  the  Imams  of  hadith have  concluded  that  if  a  person  wishes  to  practice  upon  a  particular  hadith,  he  should  be  well  aware  of  the conditions  of  its  narrator.  This  is  also  one  of  the  major  reasons  why  the  learned  elders  [mashã’ikh]  prohibit  the ordinary  laymen  from  practicing  upon  a  hadith  directly  without  the  consent  of  the  scholars.  Imam  Nawawi  writes  in his  commentary  on  al-Arba’in:

“The  person  who  wishes  to  prove  anything  on  the  basis,  of  any  of  the  hadiths  appearing  in  the  Sunan  collections  of Imam  Abü  Dãwüd,  Tirmidhi,.  Nasã’i  Ibn  Mäja  and  in  the  Musannafs  of  Ibn  Abi  Shayba  or  Abd  al-Razzaq’  ibn  alHumans,  and  other  hadith  books  which  have  many  weak  narrations  and  that  person  has  tile  capability  to differentiate  between  the  authentic  and’  unauthentic,  (he)  is  still  not  permitted  to  employ  a  particular  hadith  to prove  something  until  he  verifies  the  continuation  of  the  link  of  narrators  and  studies  the  conditions  of  its  narrators.

If  he  does  not  possess  these  capabilities,  he  is  compelled  to  fallow  an  Imam  and  he  is  not  permitted  to  draw  his  own deductions  from  the  hadiths,  lest  he  should  fall  into  falsehood.”

At  a  later  stage  we  will,  Allah  willing,  explain  in  a  more  detail  that  most  of  the  jurists  and  hadith.  scholars  have explicitly  concluded  that  a  person  cannot  be  permitted  to  practice  upon  hadith  directly  if  he  does  not  have  the capacity  to  differentiate  between  the  reliable  and  unreliable,  between  the  hadith  that  abrogates  and  the  one  that  is abrogated,  and  between  the  general  statements  and  the  specifying  statements  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    .  This is  so  obvious  that  it  does  not  require  any  explicit  mention.  How  can  a  person  who  is  unable  to  distinguish  between the reliable and unreliable practice upon a narration?

                     Reason  7

          FABRCATION OF HADITHS

The  era  of  the  best  of  generations  [khayr  al-qurun]  (i.e.  the  first  three  generations  of  Muslims),  gave  way  to  the  era of  falsehood  and  fabrications,  as  foretold  by  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  (At  that  time,)  people  began  fabricating hadiths  willfully.  This  is  why  many  hadith  scholars  compiled  books  focusing  only  on  fabricated  hadiths  (in  order  to expose  them  as  unauthentic).  Inspired  by  their  vested  interests,  many  of  the  fabricators  used  to  concoct  false hadiths.  Consequently,  whatever  differences  do  occur  in  the  accepted  narrations  will  still  be  considered  minimal (compared  to  what  the  situation  could  have  been).

Ibn  Lahi’a  says,  “There  was  a  person  who  was  once  a  leader  [shaykh]  of  the  Khawãrij  (a  deviated  sect).  He  later received  divine  guidance  to  repent  for  all  his  wrongdoings.  He  advised,  ‘Before  you  accept  a  hadith,  make  sure  you study  the  conditions  of  its  narrators.  When  we  (the  Khawarij)  wanted  to  propagate  something,  we  used  to  fabricate a  narration  accordingly.”

Hammãd  ibn  Salama  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  narrates  the  statement  of  a  Rãfidi  (a  member  of  the  Shiite Twelver  sect):

“Whenever  any  proposals  used  to  be  passed  in  our  gatherings,  we  would  fabricate  a  hadith  accordingly.”

Masih  ibn  Jahm  narrates  the  incident  of  an  innovator  [mubtadi]  who,  when  he  repented,  taking  an  oath,  said:  “We had  fabricated  many  baseless  narrations  which  you  narrated  from  us,  and  we  used  to  consider  leading  you  astray  to be  a  meritorious  act.”

The  hadith  scholars  have  recorded  many  similar  statements.  Hãfiz  ibn  Hajar  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  has made  particular  mention  of  such  incidents  in  his  book  Lisan.

Some  Reasons  for  the Fabrication  of  hadiths 

My objective  in  relating  a  few  of  these  incidents  is  to  point  out  that  the  fabricators  themselves  have  confessed  to concocting  hadiths.  Some  of  these  fabricators  used  to  fabricate  solely  for  what  they  called  the  preservation  of  their ideology  [din],  such  as  the  Rãfidis,  the  Khawãrij,  etc.  This  is  why  the  hadith  scholars  have  laid  down,  among  other principles,  the  rule  stating  that  if  a  person  is  known  to  have  inclinations  to  the  Rafidi  sect,  his  narrations  regarding the  household  [ahl  al-bayt]  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    will  not  be  accepted.

Hammãd  ibn  Zayd  said,  “The  hypocrites  have  fabricated  fourteen  thousand  hadiths.  One  of  them  was  Abd  al-Karim ibn  AbI  al-Awja’,  who  was  hung  in  the  time  of  (the  Abbasi)  Caliph  Mahdi.  While  he  was  being  hung  he  said,  “I  had fabricated  four  thousand  hadiths  in  which  I  had  made  many  unlawful  things  lawful  and  vice  versa.”

Some  people  used  to  fabricate  hadiths  merely  to  appease  a  king  or  a  leader.  Their  stories  are  mentioned  in  detail  in the  books  dealing  with  fabricated  hadiths.

One  of  the  categories  of  hadith  which  has  come  under  criticism  by  the  Imams  includes  the  hadiths  of  the  Sufis  and the  Preachers  [wã’izin].  The  Sufis,  having  good  thoughts  of  all  and  sundry,  readily  accepted  all  types  of  narrations. Considering  such  narrations  to  be  authentic,  they  used  to  transmit  them  to  others.  Since  the  Sufis  were  regarded  as reliable  people,  the  others  in  turn  accepted  their  narrations.  Imam  Muslim  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  has dealt  with  this  topic  extensively  in  the  introduction  to  his  Sahih.

Similar  is  the  case  of  the  “Hadiths  of  the  Preachers.”  Many  a  time,  preachers  tended  to  fabricate  hadiths  merely  to add  a  bit  more  spice  to  their  lectures.  In  fact,  some  people  believed  that  it  was  permissible  to  fabricate  hadiths  with intent  to  create  a  yearning  in  the  hearts  of  the  people  toward  the  delights  of  the  hereafter,  or  to  instill  fear  in  them  of the  catastrophes  of  doomsday.  The  narrations  of  the  Preachers  can  also  be  found  in  the  books  dealing  with fabricated  hadiths.

Imam  Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal  and  Yahya  ibn  Ma’in  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them)  once  went  into  a  certain  masjid  to offer  their  salat.  After  the,  salat,  a  preacher  [wa’iz]  began  narrating  hadiths  attributed  to  these  two  Imams  during  his lecture.  At  the  termination  of  his  lecture,  Yahya  ibn  Ma’in  beckoned  the  preacher  with  his  hand  to  come  over  to them.  Under  the  false  impression  that  he  was  being  summoned  to  be  rewarded,  he  came  over  to  them.  Yahya  asked, “Who  narrated  these  hadiths  to  you?”  Once  again,  he  mentioned  their  names.  This  ignorant  fool  did  not  even  know who  he  was  talking  to.  Since  these  two  personalities  were  very  famous  in  the  world  of  hadith,  he  had  simply  made use  of  their  good  names.

Yahya  said,  “I  am  Yahya  ibn  Ma’in  and  this  is  Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal.  We  did  not  narrate  these  hadiths  to  you  nor  have we  ourselves  heard  them  (from  someone  else).  The  preacher  then  asked,  “So  you  are  Yahya  ibn  Ma’in?”  “Surely that  is  me,”  replied  Yahya.  Upon  this,  he  commented,  “I  always  heard  that  Yahyã  ibn  Ma’in  is  a  stupid  fool  but today  this  hearsay  has  been  confirmed.”  “How  is  this  confirmation  possible?”  asked  Yahya.  The  preacher  replied, “How  can  you  be  under  the  impression  that  the  names  ‘Yahya  ibn  Ma’in  and  ‘Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal’  refer  only  to  you two?  I  have  heard  hadiths  from  seventeen  people  by  the  names  Yahyã  ibn  Ma’in  and  Almad  ibn  Hanbal.”  While  this was  taking  place,  Imam  Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal  covered  his  face  out  of  grief  while  the  lecturer  brushed  the  whole incident  off  as  a  joke  and  vanished.

This  was  one  of  the  main  reasons  ‘Umar  placed  constraints  on  lecturing  during  his  time.

Abü  Nuaym  writes  in  AI-Hilya  that  Imam  Zuhri  said,  “When  there  are  two,  three,  or  even  four  links  in  a  chain  of narrators  (for  a  hadith),  there  is  no  problem  with  the  narration.  However,  the  moment  the  chain  exceeds  this number,  it  is  better  to  remain  silent.”

Khabbab  ibn  al-Aratt    narrates  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   said,  “The  annihilation  of  the  Bani  Isrã’il  was  also triggered  by  their  indulging  in  (baseless)  sermons.”

Hafiz  Zayn  al-Din  al-Iraqi  says,  “One  of  the  predicaments  of  the  Preachers  [wa’izin]  is  their  tendency  to  narrate anything  and  everything  before  the  masses.  Often,  the  common  laypeople  are  unable  to  fathom  what  is  being  said. This  eventually  leads  to  corrupt  beliefs.  When  this  is  the  case  with  true  and  authentic  statements,  what  will  then  be the  situation  with  fabricated  statements?”

These  were  the  reasons  which  prompted  the  scholars  to  compile  special  books  on  fabricated  hadiths.  Just  as  they compiled  books  on  authentic  hadiths,  they  also  compiled  books  on  fabricated  hadiths,  to  ensure  that  those  who came after them do not fall into a trap of deception.

                       Reason  8

TAMPERING WITH SOUND NARRATIONS.

This  reason  is  also  quite  similar  to  the  previous  reason.  Many  a  time,  a  narrator  himself  is  trustworthy  and  reliable, but  a  malicious  or  antagonistic  person  tampers  with  his  writings  and  brings  about  certain  changes.  This  creates contradictions  between  the  narrations;  though  the  actual  narrator  himself  is  reliable.  That  is  why  his  (other) narrations  are  not  rejected:  he  confusion  in  his,  narration  only  occurred  because  of  some  other  conspiracy.  ‘Those who  specialize  in  the  principles  of  hadith  study  [usul  al-hadith]  have  explicitly  mentioned  that  Hammãd  ibn Salama’s  books  had  been  tampered  with  by  his  adopted  son  Abü  al-Awjã’.  Similarly,  a  hadith  was  added  into  the books  of  Mu’ammar  by  one  of  his  nephews  who  converted  to  the  Rafidi  sect.  There  are  many  other  such  incidents mentioned  in  the  books  of  the  hadith  scholars.

Apart  from  the  aforementioned  reasons,  there  are  many  other  reasons  for  the  differences  of  opinions,  many  of which  are  not  worth  delving  into  before  a  mainstream  audience,  who  may  not  possess  the  full  intellectual  capacity needed  to  grasp  these  extremely  complex  issues.  There  is  a  risk  that  some  people  may  develop  evil  thoughts  of  the hadiths  due  to  their  lack  of  understanding  and  awareness  of  juridical  [shar’i]  knowledge.  ‘Therefore,  this  discussion has  remained  brief.

The  subject  matter  that  we  are  dealing  with  is  not  so  simple  that  it  can  be  explained  to  all  people,  nor  does  every individual  have  the  capacity  to  grasp  its  reality.  This  is  why  the  scholars  have  prohibited  the  explanation  of  certain complicated  issues  to  the  laymen.  Also,  for  this  reason,  our  past  scholars  considered  certain  branches  of  knowledge mandatory  even  before  one  ventures  into  the  field  of  hadith.  This  knowledge  would  develop  a  capacity  to understand  the  hadiths.

The  principles  of  hadith  and  jurisprudence  [usul  al-hadith  and  usül  al-fiqh]  are  particularly  singled  out  as prerequisites  for  the  field  of  hadith.  This  background  knowledge  would  enable  a  person  to  understand  the  reality  of the  hadiths,  and  he  would  be  able  to  assess  the  truthfulness  of  the  hadiths  as  well.  Zayn  al-Iraqi  said,  “One  of  the shortcomings  of  the  Preachers  [wa’izin]  is  their  tendency  to  lecture  to  the  laymen  on  issues  which  they  (the  laymen) are  unable  to  understand.  This  in  turn  leads  to  corrupt  beliefs.”  Abdulläh  ibn  Masüd  says,  “If  you  narrate  such hadiths  to  a  group  of  people  who  are  unable  to  understand  what  you  are  saying,  it  will  be  a  cause  of  turmoil  [fitna] to  them.”  Imam  Muslim  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  has  also  mentioned  this  in  the  introduction  to  his  book, and  Imam  Bukhãri  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  narrates  something  to  this  effect  from  ‘Ali  ibn  Abi  Talib.

Weak  Hadiths  in  the  Later  Generations

In  our  times,  these  have  no  longer  remained  very  sensitive  issues  because  the  scholars  of  hadith  have  already  sifted through  the  hadiths.  They  have  separated  the  fabricated  from  the  authentic  and  distinguished  the  reliable  from  the unreliable.  For  example,  Imam  Bukhãri  selected  the  hadiths  compiled  in  his  book  from  a  collection  of  six  hundred thousand  hadiths.  Imam  Muslim  selected  his  from  a  collection  of  three  hundred  thousand,  and  Imam  Abu  Dãwüd from  a  total  of  five  hundred  thousand  hadiths.

SUMMARY OF THE DIFFERENCES IN THE SECOND ERA

At  this  juncture,  I  will  now  terminate  the  discussion  of  the  differences  of  opinion  in  the  second  era.  The  main objective  of  this  section  was  to  demonstrate  the  reasons  contributing  to  the  vast  differences  found  in  the  hadiths. Apart  from  these  reasons  being  obvious,  they  are  also  intellectually  compatible.  Eighteen  reasons  were  mentioned from  the  first  era  and  eight  from  the  second  era.

As  time  went  along  and  the  links  in  the  chains  of  narrators  increased,  differences  in  the  actual  texts  of  the  narrations also  increased.  This  is  one  of  the  main  reasons  why  there  are  so  few  weak  narrations;  in  fact  there  may  not  be  any, in  Imam  Bukhäri’s  Collection.  This  was  so  because  he  lived  during  the  second  century.  On  the  other  hand,  many weak  narrations  found  their  way  into  the  book  compiled  by  Imam  Daraquni  because  he  compiled  his  collection  of hadiths  at  a  much  later  stage.  The  era  of  the  four  mujtahid  Imams  predates  even  the  era  of  Imam  Bukhäri.  Imam Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal  was  the  last  of  the  four  Imams,  and  he  preceded  Imam  Bukhâri.  This  is  why  there  were  fewer weak  hadiths  in  their  era,  and  there  were  not  so  many  differences  in  the  narrations  as  we  have  today.

In  conclusion,  due  to  the  aforementioned  reasons  for  the  differences  in  narrations,  and  owing  to  the  appearance  of many  weak  narrations,  the  Imams  of  hadith  and  jurisprudence  [fiqh]  realized  the  urgent  need  for  sifting  through  all the  hadiths.  They  selected  all  the  reliable  [mu’tabar]  narrations  and  rejected  the  fabricated  and  unreliable  ones. Thereafter,  they  sifted  through  all  the  reliable  narrations,  separating  the  preponderant  [ràjih]  from  the preponderated  [marjuh]  and  the  abrogating  hadiths  [nasikh]  from  the  abrogated  [mansukh].  However,  such  sifting through  the  volumes  of  hadiths  was  obviously  bound  to  bring  in  its  wake  differences  of  opinion  among  the  Imams. Every  one  of  them  realized  that  certain  narrators  may  be  acceptable  to  one  of  them  and  not  acceptable  to  the  others, or  that  a  narrator  may  be  considered  reliable  by  one  of  them  and  not  by  the  others.  This  is  why  the  Imams  of jurisprudence  had  differences  in  their  views,  and  these  led  to  differences  in  their  schools  of  thought  as  well,  a  fact which  is  quite  natural  and  acceptable.  On  that  note,  we  will  now  briefly  explain  the  reasons  which  led  to  the differences of opinion among the Imams of jurisprudence.

                    PART THREE

THE ERA OF THE MUJTAHID IMAMS & SOME PRINCIPLES OF HADITH AND JURISPRUDENCE

THE MAIN REASON FOR THE DIFFEENCES BETWEEN THE IMAMS

As  explained  in  the  previous  section,  there  were  some  changes  made  on  the  part  of  the  narrators  in  reporting  their hadiths.  These  changes  were  either  intentional  or  unintentional,  and  occurred  (within  the  narration  itself)  either  in transmitting,  or  in  a  person’s  understanding  of  the  narration.  To  account  for  this,  a  need  was  felt  by  the  Imams  of hadith  and  jurisprudence  to  assess  all  the  narrations  and  choose  some  of  the  narrations  over  the  others.  The  Imams awarded  preference  to  the  correct  and  reliable  narrations  based  on  their  own  research.  At  the  same  time,  they rendered  the  unreliable  narrations  unworthy  of  implementation.

It  is  an  accepted  fact  that  the  opinions  of  the  mujtahids  are  extracted  from  the  teachings  of  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH).  Often,  their  views  were  extracted  from  the  explicit  texts  of  the  Shari’a.  At  times,  certain  injunctions  were deduced  on  the  basis  of  a  particular  cause  found  in  the  speech  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).

In  short,  specific  rules  and  principles  are  required  for  practicing  on  the  hadiths  which  enable  one  to  award preference  to  some  hadiths  over  others.  The  Imams  of  hadith  and  jurisprudence  have  differed  over  the  matter  of which  principles  apply  in  awarding  this  preference.  It  is  a  very  lengthy  discussion  which  we  would  prefer  not  to discuss  in  detail  (here).  In  fact,  the  principles  of  hadith  and  jurisprudence  are  taught  even  before  the  major  hadith books in our madrasas.

         Some  Principles  of  Hadith

               TYPES OF HADITHS

Some  of  these  principles  will  be  mentioned  briefly.  The  Imams  of  hadith,  due  to  the  aforementioned  reasons,  have divided  the  hadiths  into  three  different  categories:  mutawatir  [continuously  recurrent],  mashhür  [well-known],  and khabaral-wahid  [a  single  person’s  report]  or  ahãd  [solitary  hadith].

A mutawatir  hadith  is  one  for  which  the  narrators  are  so  numerous  in  any  given  era  that  it  is  virtually  impossible  for such  a  large  number  of  people  to  agree  on  a  fabrication  or  an  error.  Examples  of  this  include  the  existence  of Bombay  and  Calcutta,  the  number  of  rak’ats  in  salat,  or  the  number  of  fasts  (to  be  observed  in  Ramadan).

The  second  type  of  hadith  is  called  mashhür.  This  category  is  similar  to  mutawatir  in  some  respects,  but  since  there is  very  little  or  no  difference  of  opinion  regarding  these  two  types  of  hadiths,  we  will  not  discuss  them  in  much detail  here.  The  only  difference  of  opinion  lies  in  the  number  of  narrators  required  for  a  mutawatir  narration  and whether  a  mashhür  narration  should  be  classified  in  the  category  of  mutawatir  or  khabar  al-wahid,  or  whether  it should  be  a  separate  category.

At  this  juncture,  we  only  wish  to  discuss  the  third  type  of  hadith,  i.e.  khabar  al-wahid.  This  category  refers  to  those hadiths  which  do  not  reach  the  standards  of  mutawatir.  Most  narrations  fall  under  this  category.

First  of  all,  this  type  of  narration  is  divided  into  two  types:  accepted  [maqbul]  and  rejected  [mardud].  The  great hadith  master  Ibn  Hajar  al-Asqalani  says,  “Besides  mutawatir  hadiths—which  are  undoubtedly  acceptable—all other  types  of  hadiths  can  be  divided  into  two  categories:  maqbul  and  mardud.  Maqbul  is  that  type  of  hadith  upon which  practicing  is  obligatory.  Mardud  is  that  hadith  the  reliability  of  which  supersedes  its  unreliability.  Therefore, a  hadith  which  is  comprised  of  contradictory  angles,  in  other  words  some  angles  pointing  to  its  authenticity  and reliability  and  others  indicating  its  unreliability,  will  fall  under  the  category  of  rejected  [mardud].  However,  if  the angles  warranting  its  acceptability  are  predominant  then  the  hadith  will  fall  under  the  category  of  reliable [maqbul].”

Thereafter,  Ibn  Hajar  says  that  a  rejected  [mardüd]  hadIth  is  not  necessary  to  practice  upon  [wäjib  al-’amal]. However,  acceptable  [maqbul]  hadiths  are  of  two  types:  those  that  are  necessary  to  practice  upon  [wãjib  a1-’amal] and  those  that  are  not  necessary  to  practice  upon  [ghayr  wäjib  a1-àmaI].  In  other  words,  a  hadith  can  technically  be an  accepted  hadith  [maqbul],  but  due  to  some  reason  or  another  it  is  not  necessary  to  practice  upon  it.

Ibn  Hajar  further  states,  “At  times  an  accepted  hadith  is  not  necessary  to  practice  upon  in  spite  of  it  being  an accepted  hadith,  because  of  its  contradiction  with  another  hadith.  In  such  a  case,  both  hadiths  will  be  compared  to see  if  some  harmony  can  be  brought  about  between  both.  For  instance,  the  scholars  have  brought  about  some harmony  in  the  following  two  contradictory  hadiths.  The  first  hadith  states,  ‘There  is  no  such  thing  as  contagious diseases  in  Islam,’51  while  another  hadith  states,  ‘Flee  from  a  leper  as  you  would  flee  from  a  lion.’52 There  is  an apparent  contradiction  between  these  two  hadiths,  (though)  both  of  them  are  authentic  and  reliable.  The  scholars have  brought  about  some  harmony  between  these  two  hadiths  in  various  forms.  Our  aim  at  this  juncture  is  not  to elaborate  on  their  opinions.  All  we  wish  to  say  is  that  where  there  is  an  apparent  contradiction,  the  first  and foremost  step  will  be  to  bring  about  some  harmony  between  them.

Conversely,  if  no  harmony  can  be  brought  about  between  them,  then  we  will  assess  whether  one  has  precedence over  the  other,  either  in  terms  of  its  date  or  its  occurrence.  If  this  can  be  established,  then  the  latter  of  the  two  will be  accepted  and  practiced  upon.  If  this  is  not  possible,  we  would  search  for  an  external  reason  to  grant  preference  to one  over  the  other.  However,  if  this  proves  futile,  both  narrations—in  spite  of  being  authentic—would  be  included in the category of rejected [mardud] hadiths, because of their apparent contradiction.

THE BASIS OF REJECTION AND PREFERENCE

At  this  juncture,  two  points  have  attracted  lengthy  discussions  from  the  scholars:  the  basis  of  rejection,  i.e.  the causes  that  render  a  hadith  weak  and  unreliable;  and  the  basis  of  preference.  In  other  words,  on  what  basis  will  one narration  have  preference  over  another  in  the  case  of  two  narrations  that,  in  spite  of  being  apparently  contradictory, are  both  authentic?

Under  these  two  extensive  points  of  discussion,  there  have  obviously  been  many  other  minor  differences  of  opinion among  the  scholars.  This  is  evident  from  the  rules  mentioned  above.  Let  us  examine  the  case  of  two  apparently contradictory  hadiths.  These  two  hadiths  will  not  necessarily  be  considered  contradictory  to  every  single knowledgeable  person.  In  fact,  at  the  very  outset,  the  meaning  of  one  of  the  two  hadiths,  according  to  a  mujtahid, may not  be  contradictory  to  the  other  hadith. 

However,  even  if  there  is  some  contradiction  between  the  hadiths,  it does  not  necessarily  mean  that  there  cannot  be  some  harmony  brought  about  between  them.  There  is  a  possibility, according  to  some  people  that  harmony  can  be  brought  between  them,  though  others  may  disagree.  Once  it  is established  that  harmony  cannot  be  brought  about  between  them,  it  is  obvious  that  differences  of  opinion  are  bound to  occur  regarding  which  of  the  hadiths  should  be  given  preference  over  the  other.  This  is  so  because  there  is  a possibility  that  one  of  the  mujtahids  will  present  such  an  analysis  that  renders  one  of  them  to  be  the  latter  category [nasikh],  thereby  abrogating  the  other.  On  the  other  hand  another  mujtahid  may  not  reach  such  a  conclusion. However,  if  it  cannot  be  established  that  one  is  the  abrogator  and  the  other  is  the  abrogated,  then  once  again differences  of  opinion  will  occur  as  to  whether  one  of  the  two  narrations  can  be  preferred  over  the  other  due  to certain  other  reasons.  We  will  discuss  this  briefly  at  a  later  stage.

Such  differences  of  perspective  among  the  mujtahids  are  quite  natural  and  understandable.  For  instance,  a  narrator narrates  a  hadith.  Zayd  considers  the  narrator  to  be  a  reliable  person  while  Amr  regards  the  narrator  to  be  a  liar.  In another  case,  Zayd  considers  this  narrator  to  be  intelligent,  whereas  Amr  regards  him  to  be  dull  of  perception.  There could  be  many  other  reasons  for  these  differences  of  opinion  in  this  case;  the  narrator’s  hadith  is  acceptable according  to  Zayd,  whereas  Amr  dismisses  him  as  unreliable.

In  short,  due  to  the  aforementioned  reasons,  many  differences  of  opinion  have  occurred  among  the  Imams  of  hadith and  jurisprudence  [fiqh]  in  many  of  the  by-laws  of  Islam.  Our  objective  in  briefly  explaining  this  is  to  expose  the reasons  for  the  differences  of  opinion  among  the  scholars.

In  these  circumstances,  one  has  either  of  two  alternatives.  The  first  is  that  he  has  the  capability  to  assess  all  the reasons  for  the  differences  of  opinion  and  he  is  in  a  position  to  award  preference  to  one  over  the  other  and  practice accordingly.  He  has  the  authority  to  do  this  and,  Allah-willing,  he  will  be  rewarded  for  his  efforts.  Such  a  person  is referred  to  as  a  mujtahid.  On  the  other  hand,  if  he  does  not  have  this  capability  to  grant  preference  to  some  of  those opinions  over  others,  the  next  option  is  to  follow  a  knowledgeable  person.

Even  under  normal  everyday  circumstances,  if  a  person  does  not  know  the  road,  he  tends  to  follow  someone  who knows.  However,  before  following  anybody,  one  should  examine  the  person  he  is  following.  Is  he  himself  aware,  or is  he  lost  like  his  followers?  If  a  person  changes  his  leader  at  every  cross-road,  there  is  nothing  but  misguidance  in store  for  him.  This  is  why  the  scholars  have  compelled  the  masses  to  follow  one  particular  scholar,  and  they  have prohibited them from following various scholars at random.

       ASSESSMENT OF A NARRATOR

Nonetheless,  due  to  the  aforementioned  reasons,  the  scholars  have  differed  greatly  on  two  different  aspects  of  the hadiths.

First,  they  have  differed  on  the  basis  of  assessment  [ta’n]  of  a  narrator;  in  other  words,  on  what  grounds  a  hadith can  be  considered  untenable.  The  hadith  scholars  have  counted  ten  different  reasons  for  the  defectiveness  of  a hadith.  Five  of  these  are  related  to  a  narrator’s  reliability  [‘adala],  while  the  other  five  are  related  to  his  memory [hifz].  The  five  relating  to  his  reliability  are  as  follows:

(1)  He  is  a  liar.

(2)  He  is  accused  of  lying.

(3)  He  is  a  flagrant  violator  of  Islamic  law  [fasiq].  This  could  either  be  in  deed  (e.g.  he  is  a  fornicator)  or  it could  be  in  speech  (e.g.  he  is  a  backbiter).

(4) He is guilty of reprehensible innovation [bid’ati].

(5)  He  is  unknown.

As  for  the  five  relating  to  his  memory;  they  are  as  follows:

(1)  He  narrates  incorrectly  in  most  cases.

(2)  He  has  a  tendency  to  be  negligent  when  narrating.

(3)  He  has  misgivings  about  his  narration.

(4)  He  narrates  contrary  to  other  reliable  narrators.

(5)  His  memory  becomes  impaired.

The  scholars  have  differed  on  the  aforementioned  ten  factors  from  two  different  angles.  First  of  all,  they  have differed  as  to  how  these  factors  will  render  a  hadith  weak.  For  example,  if  a  narrator  is  guilty  of  reprehensible innovation  [bid’ati],  will  this  render  his  narration  unconditionally  weak,  or  will  his  narration  be  unacceptable  only when  he  narrates  according  to  his  innovation  [bid’a]?

The  second  angle  from  which  the  scholars  have  differed  deals  with  whether  or  not  a  narrator  actually  possesses  the defect  mentioned  about  hint.  If  a  narrator  is  accused  of  having  one  of  the  above  ten  defects,  does  it  really  mean  that he  has  that  deficiency?  For  example,  if  a  narrator  is  accused  of  speaking  lies,  this  may  be  true  according  to  the opinion  of  some  people  while  others  may  consider  him  to  be  truthful  and  consider  the  error  to  be  that  of  other narrators  (in  the  chain).

Apart  from  these,  there  are  other  angles  of  differences  among  the  scholars.  For  example,  according  to  some scholars,  if  a  narrator  removes  one  of  the  links  from  the  chain  of  narrators,  he  is  thereby  considered  unreliable  and the  hadith  is  rendered  weak.  However,  according  to  others,  it  is  not  an  absolute  rule  that  wherever  a  narrator  is removed  from  the  chain,  the  hadith  is  weak.  There  is  more  detail  to  this  point.  The  scholars  will  first  examine  who the  missing  link  is.  Is  he  a  Companion  or  is  he  someone  else?  They  will  also  examine  the  person  who  removed  that link:  is  he  reliable  or  unreliable?  Similarly,  there  are  many  other  angles  from  which  the  scholars  have  differed  over which  factors  would  render  a  hadith  weak.  One  group  may  consider  certain  points  as  contributing  to  the  weakness of  a  hadith.  Hence,  wherever  one  of  those  points  is  found  in  any  of  the  hadith,  that  hadith  will  be  considered  weak and  the  injunction  that  hadith  mentions  will  not  be  established  On  the  other  hand,  another  group  of  scholars  may  not consider  these  points  as  factors  that  weaken  a  hadith.  Hence,  the  hadiths  that  contain  these  points  are  not  weak according  to  them,  and  the  injunctions  mentioned  in  those  narrations  will  be  established  on  the  basis  of  those hadiths.

My heart  desires  to  write  more  in  detail  on  this  subject,  but  since  this  is  an  academic  topic  which  would  bore  the average layman, I have tried to be as brief as possible.

THE INDISPENSABILITY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF HADITHS

To  sum  up,  one  of  the  major  reasons  for  the  difference  of  opinion  found  among  the  mujtahids  is  that  different Imams  have  different  criteria  for  establishing  the  reliability  of  a  hadith.  This  is  why  the  scholars  of  hadith  consider it  imperative  to  teach  the  principles  of  hadith  [usul  al-hadith]  before  teaching  the  actual  books  of  hadith.  This enables  the  student  to  understand  the  reasons  why  some  hadiths  have  been  disregarded.  At  the  same  time,  he  will understand  why  scholars,  in  spite  of  an  explicit  proposition  appearing  in  a  hadith,  act  contrary  to  it.

This  is  why  it  has  always  been  my  fervent  desire  to  request  that  the  people  who  teach  the  translations  of  the  hadiths would  at  least  teach  a  brief  summary  on  the  principles  of  hadith.  This  would  ensure  that  ordinary  people,  who zealously  read  the  hadiths  in  translations  because  they  are  the  speech  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)  ,  are  not  led astray.  It  would  also  ensure  that  they  do  not  become  disinclined  to  the  juridical  rulings  [masa‘il  fiqhiyya],  and  that they  do  not  develop  any  evil  thoughts  about  the  hadiths.  All  of  these  factors  can  lead  to  a  fatal  deficiency  in  their faith  [din].  And  Allah  guides  whom  He  wills  to  the  straight  path.

The  author  of  the  Tadhkira  writes,  “There  is  a  very  intricate  and  difficult  issue  in  the  field  of  hadith  that,  since  the fabricators  and  the  preachers  have  fabricated  many  hadiths,  and  many  other  pious  people  have  misunderstood  the meaning  of  the  hadiths,  the  mujtahids  felt  a  need  to  establish  a  set  of  principles  to  assess  the  validity  of  a  hadith. This  set  of  principles  will  differ  from  the  principles  set  up  by  the  Imams  of  hadith.”

There  are  also  other  factors  which  render  a  hadith  unreliable.  Until  a  person  has  knowledge  about  them,  it  is  not permissible for him to practice upon the hadiths directly.

           Some Principles  of  Fiqh

PRINCIPLES OF THE JURISTS FOR THE VALIDITY OF HADITHS

The  jurists  [fuqaha’]  have  composed  a  set  of  rules  for  the  assessment  of  the  validity  of  a  hadith.  These  are  placed under  the  heading  Bäb  al-Sunna  [Chapter  on  the  Sunna]  in  the  books  on  principles  of  jurisprudence  [usül  al-fiqh].

We will  briefly  explain  a  few  principles  of  the  Hanafi  school  (in  this  regard),  which  will  enable  us  to  recognize  the necessity  of  understanding  the  hadiths.  These  principles  will  also  expose  how  unaware  the  so-called  “followers  of hadiths”  are.

The  scholars  of  the  principles  (of  jurisprudence)  have  clearly  stated  that  just  as  a  certain  amount  of  knowledge  is required  for  the  understanding  of  the  Qur’an,  there  is  also  a  need  to  understand  the  rules  and  principles  of  hadith study  [usül  al-fiqh].  For  instance,  a  certain  word  in  the  Qur’än  may  be  common  or  general;  it  could  have  more  than one  meaning,  or  it  could  be  confined  to  a  certain  meaning  only.  Is  a  certain  word  taken  literally,  or  does  it  have  a figurative  meaning  as  well?  Is  a  certain  order  given  as  a  command,  or  is  it  optional  or  is  the  statement  giving permission  to  perform  this  action?  One  has  to  be  well-versed  in  all  these  principles  which  deal  with  the  significance of  the  Qur’an  and  hadith.  In  exactly  the  same  way,  one  has  to  be  well-versed  in  the  principles  that  deal  exclusively with  the  5adiths.  These  principles  are  divided  into  a  few  categories.

The  first  of  these  categories  deals  with  the  chains  of  narrators  linking  us  to  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  These chains  render  a  narration  mutawatir,  mashhür  or  khabar  al-wahid.  Mutawatir  hadiths  have  already  been  explained [see  page  39].  Mashhur  is  that  type  of  hadith  of  which  the  narrators  were  only  one  or  two  individuals  from  the  era of  the  Companions,  but  after  them  the  number  of  narrators  reached  the  level  of  mutawãtir.  Khabar  al-wähid  refers to  that  type  of  hadith  which  fails  to  reach  the  status  of  mutawatir  right  up  to  the  last  set  of  narrators.

The  scholars  have  differed  greatly  as  to  whether  the  latter  type  of  hadiths  compels  one  to  act  upon  it  or  not. According  to  the  Hanafi  school  of  thought,  at  times  it  is  necessary  to  act  upon  them,  while  at  other  times  it  is  not. According  to  the  Mãliki  school  of  thought,  if  a  hadith  of  this  nature  is  illogical,  it  is  not  necessary  to  practice  upon it.  However,  according  to  the  Hanafi  school  of  thought,  if  the  narrator  is  perceptive  and  discerning  (for  example,  the narrator  is  one  of  the  Four  Caliphs,  Abdullãh  ibn  Masüd,  Abdullãh  ibn  Umar  Abdullãh  ibn  Abbs,  Abdullãh  ibn  alZubayr,  Zayd  ibn  Thãbit,  Mu’ãdh  ibn  Jabal,  A’isha  the  Truthful,  and  so  forth),  then  that  type  of  hadith  will  compel us  to  practice  upon  it,  whether  it  is  logical  or  illogical.  However,  if  the  narrator  is  not  as  well-known  in  the  field  of jurisprudence  [fiqh],  his  narration  will  not  be  accepted  if  the  narration  is  contrary  to  other  more  rational  narrations.

This  is  why  when  Abü  Hurayra  said  that  the  consumption  of  anything  cooked  over  fire  nullifies  wudu,  Abdullah  ibn Abbãs,  dismissed  his  narration  by  asking,  “If  water  heated  over  fire  is  used  for  wudu,  will  it  be  necessary  to  repeat the  wudu’?”53  Hence,  Abdullãh  did  not  consider  this  narration  worthy  of  establishing  as  an  injunction.

If  the  narrator  of  any  hadith  is  unknown  in  the  field  of  hadith,  but  the  other  narrators  who  are  narrating  from  him are  reliable,  then  he  will  also  be  considered  as  a  known  narrator  and  his  narration  will  be  accepted.  However,  there are four conditions for the reliability of a narrator:

(1) he should be a Muslim,

(2) he should be sane, 

(3) his memory should be sound, and

(4)  he  should  not  be  a  flagrant  violator  of  Islamic  law  [fasiq]. 

Each  one  of  these  conditions  is  mentioned  in  detail  in  its  appropriate  place.  For  example,  that  a  person  should  not be  a  fasiq  means  that  he  should  not  perpetrate  major  sins,  nor  should  he  be  guilty  of  consistently  perpetrating  minor sins.  Similarly,  that  a  person  should  be  of  a  sound  memory  means  that  he  heard  the  hadith  with  complete  attention, he  remembers  it  while  he  conveys  it,  and  he  understands  the  meaning  of  the  hadith  while  listening  to  it.

The  second  category  deals  with  the  succession  [ittisal]  and  interruption  [inqita’]  of  a  hadith.  The  specialists  dealing with  the  principles  of  hadith  have  divided  interruption  into  two  types:  apparent  [zahiri]  interruption  and  hidden [batini]  interruption.  Apparent  interruption  means  that  a  link  is  missing  in  the  chain  of  narrators,  either  among  the Companions  or  the  other  narrators.  The  scholars  have  differed  on  this  issue,  as  well  as  the  issue  of  when  a  hadith  is worthy  of  establishing  as  an  injunction  and  when  it  is  not.  The  second  form  of  interruption  is  called,  a  hidden interruption,  It  is  not  exactly  an  interruption,  at  first  glance,  but  due  to  their  penetrative  insight  and  their  respect  to the  hadiths,  the  scholars  have  labeled  it  an  interruption.  This  is  why  many  scholars  do  not  include  it  in  the  category of  interruption.  This  hidden  (or  rather  esoteric)  form  of  interruption  can  be  due  to  many  reasons.  It  could  be  because the  hadith  is  contrary  to  the  Qur’an.  For  example,  there  is  a  hadith  that  states,  “Salat  is  not  permitted  without  Surat al-Fatiha.”54  This  hadith  apparently  falls  in  contradiction  to  the  general  verse  of  the  Qur’an,  “Read  from  the  Qur’an whatever  is  possible  for  you  [ma  tayassara]”  (Surat  al-Muzzammil  73:20).  This  is  why  the  scholars  say  that  the hadith  in  question  has  an  hidden  form  of  interruption  in  it.

This  form  of  interruption  could  also  be  due  to  a  particular  hadith  being  contrary  to  a  more  famous  authentic  hadith. For  example,  there  is  a  hadith  that  says,  “Judgment  can  be  passed  with  one  witness  and  an  oath.”  In  other  words, instead  of  the  compulsory  two  witnesses  required  in  court,  if  there  is  only  one  witness,  an  oath  will  be  taken  by  the plaintiff  in  place  of  the  other  witness  and  a  judgment  can  still  be  passed.  However,  this  hadith  is  contrary  to  an authentic  hadith  which  specifies,  “A  plaintiff  is  compelled  to  produce  evidence  (in  the  form  of  witnesses,  etc.)  and if  he  is  unable  to  do  so,  the  defendant  should  take  an  oath.”  On  the  basis  of  the  latter  narration,  the  first  hadith would not be acceptable.

Similarly,  if  a  narrator  relates  only  a  part  of  a  famous  incident  and  omits  the  other  portion,  this  is  proof  enough  that the  narration  is  a  bit  dubious.

In  addition,  if  the  Companions  do  not  accept  a  certain  hadith  and,  following  discussion  among  themselves,  they infer  their  own  judgments,  this  indicates  that  the  hadith  is  not  acceptable.  Likewise,  if  a  narrator  refutes  his  own narration,  or  he  acts  in  contrary  to  his  own  narration,  or  he  issues  religious  verdicts  [fatawa]  against  his  own narration,  his  hadith  is  considered  dubious.

I  do  not  wish  to  lengthen  this  subject.  The  specialists  of  the  principles  of  hadith  have  analyzed  this  matter  in  great detail. Whoever wishes to do so should consult their books.

THE MOST BASIC REASON FOR DIFFERENCES

In  short,  all  the  Imams—whether  they  are  Imams  of  jurisprudence  or  hadith—have  a  specific  set  of  rules  for assessing  whether  or  not  a  hadith  should  be  practiced  upon.  This  has  contributed  greatly  to  a  difference  of  opinion among  the  Imams  with  regard  to  the  hadiths.  One  hadith  may  be  accepted  by  some  scholars  because  it  reaches  the standards  set  by  them,  while  the  same  hadith  will  be  rejected  by  the  others  because  it  does  not  conform  to  their established  standards.  The  only  person  who  will  be  able  to  come  to  some  decision  is  the  one  who  is  wholly  aware  of the  standards  and  principles  set  out  by  both  of  these  groups.  As  for  the  person  who  is  unaware  of    both,  he—as  the Persians  would  say—’himself  is  astray,  so  how  can  he  guide  others?“

Quite  frankly,  I  am  surprised  at  the  people  who  do  not  follow  any  particular  school  of  thought  [ghayr  muqallidin] who,  in  spite  of  knowing  what  is  right,  provoke  the  masses  into  believing  that  those  who  do  follow  a  school  of thought  do  not  give  much  weight  to  a  hadith  that  is  in  opposition  to  the  opinions  of  the  Imams.  The  masses  of  those who  do  not  follow  a  school  of  thought  are,  after  all,  ordinary  laymen.  I  do  not  have  any  complaint  against  them. However,  I  do  have  a  complaint  against  the  people  of  knowledge  who,  in  spite  of  having  knowledge,  conceal  the truth from the masses. They are actually disguising the truth and deceiving the Umma.

       The  Four  Schools  of  Fiqh

THE OPINIONS OF THE IMAMS ARE ALL FROM THE HADTHS

The  status  of  the  Imams  is  extremely  exalted.  It  does  not  befit  their  eminence  to  act  contrary  to  the  hadiths.  Not even  an  ordinary,  unlearned  Muslim  would  accept  the  opinion  of  a  great  scholar  if  it  were  contrary  to  the  hadiths  of Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  However,  it  is  quite  obvious  that  when  it  comes  to  bringing  about  harmony  between two  apparently  contradictory  hadiths  or  awarding  preference  to  one  over  the  other,  the  opinions  of  the  four  revered Imams  will  take  preference  over  the  contemporary  scholars.  This  is  an  accepted  fact,  and  to  refute  it  is  tantamount to  unfairness  and  injustice.

In  short,  one  of  the  chief  reasons  for  the  differences  of  opinion  among  the  Imams  is  the  basis  of  preference.  Some narrations  may  be  preferred  by  one  group  of  Imams  while  other  narrations  may  be  preferred  by  another  group  of Imams.  The  group  that  prefers  a  certain  hadith  might  consider  another  hadith  contrary  to  it  as  defective,  baseless,  or reinterpreted.

Those  people  who  have  studied  books  dealing  with  the  subject  of  the  differences  of  the  imams,  for  instance,  alMizan  of  Allãma  Sharäni,  Kitãb  al-Mughni,  Bidayat  al-mujtahid,  and  Kashf  al-ghumma,  are  quite  aware  of  the  fact that  the  opinions  of  the  Imams  are  all  extracted  from  the  very  teachings  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  The  only difference  lies  in  the  deduction  and  inferring  of  rulings  [masa’il].

We will  reproduce  in  brief  a  portion.  of  one  of  the  chapters  of  Ibn  Rushd’s  Bidayat  al-mujtahid,  which  will elucidate  the  fact  that  the  opinions  of  the  Imams  are  all  extracted  from  the’verses  of  the  Qur’an  and  the  hadiths: Only  the  method  of  inferring  differs.

Examples  of  the  Multi  -Faceted  Methods  of  Inference

Ibn  Rushd  says,  “The  basis  for  the  factors  which  invalidate  wudü’  is  the  verse  ‘[…]  or  if  any  one  of  you  comes  after relieving  oneself  or  you  touched  women’  and  the  hadith  ’Allàh  does  not  accept  the,  salat  of  the  person  who  has nullified  his  wudü’  until  he  performs  wudu”  On  the  grounds  of  this  hadith  the  scholars  are  unanimous  that  the passing  of  urine,  stool,  wind,  pre-coital  fluid,  etc.,  invalidate  the  wudu.  However,  there  are  seven  other  factors  upon which  the  scholars  have  differed  in  this  issue.

First,  they  have  differed  over  the  impure  substances  that  are  emitted  by  parts  of  the  body  other  than  the  private parts.  The  scholars  have  three  different  opinions  on  this  matter.

One  group  of  scholars  considers  the  emission  of  impurity  to  be  the  cause  of  the  breaking  of  the  wudü’.  They  hold that  the  emission  of  impurity  invalidates  the  wudu  regardless  of  which  part  of  the  body  emits  it.  This  is  so, according  to  them,  because  the  cause  (for  nullifying  the  wudu  i.e.  the  emission  of  impurity)  is  present.  The  people who  hold  this  view  are  Imam  Abü  HanIfa  and  his  school,  Imam  Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal,  and  Sufyan  al-Thawri  (may Allah  be  pleased  with  them  all).  A  group  of  Companions  was  also  inclined  to  this  view,  and  their  narrations  support this  view.  According  to  this  group,  the  emission  of  any  impurity  from  any  part  of  the  body  invalidates  the  wudu such  as  bleeding  of  the  nose,  blood-letting,  vomiting,  etc.

Another  group  of  scholars  consider  the  emission  of  anything  from  the  private  parts  as  the  cause  of  the  breaking  of wudu’.  Hence,  according  to  them,  whatever  comes  out  of  the  private  parts,  whether  it  is  blood  or  pebbles,  and  no matter  how  it  comes  out,  in  good  health  or  due  to  some  illness  or  the  other,  the  wudu’  will  be  invalidated.  This  rule, according  to  them,  will  not  apply  to  anything  that  comes  out  of  any  other  part  of  the  body.  This  view  is  held  by Imam  Shãfi’i  ‘(may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  and  his  school

The  third  group  has  taken  into  account  the  emitted  substances  as  well  as  the  place  of  emission..  They  are  of  the opinion  that  the  emission  of  any  normal  substance  from  any  of  the  two  private  parts,  such  as  urine,  pre-coital  fluid [madhy],  etc.  invalidates  the  wudu’.  However,  if  any  abnormal  substance  emerges  from  any  of  the  private  parts, such  as  a  worm  or  insect,  the  wudü’  will  still  be  intact.  This  view  is  held  by  Imam  Mãlik  (may  Allah  be  pleased with  him)  and  his  school.

The  very  same  verse  has  been  employed  by  all  four  Imams  in  extracting  the  juridical  rulings  [masã’il]  on  wudu However,  since  they  differed  over  the  actual  cause  of  the  breaking  of  the  wudü  they  subsequently  differed  over which  rules  are  applicable  to  the  factors  that  invalidate  wudu’.  Due  to  these  differences  in  principles,  the  Imams have  differed  in  the  narrations  as  well.

Imam  Abü  Hanifa,  Imam  Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal,  and  Imam  Shãfi’i  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them)  maintain  that even  though  the  hadith  only  mentions,  “whatever  comes  out  of  the  two  private  parts”  this  is  merely  a  sort  of prototype  or  example.  The  injunction  is  a  general  one.  Hence,  a  woman  suffering  from  dysfunctional  uterine bleeding  [istihada]  should  also  make  wudu’.  They  also  take  support  from  the  hadiths  which  mention  that  such  a woman  performs  wudu’.

On  the  other  hand,  according  to  Imam  Mãlik  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him),  the  command  in  this  verse  is  not general,  but  is  confined  to  what  is  actually  mentioned.  Hence,  the  hadiths  which  mention  a  woman  who  suffers from  dysfunctional  uterine  bleeding  performing  wudü’  are  reinterpreted  or  found  to  be  defective  by  him.  He considers  the  excess  wudü’  for  this  woman  to  be  an  unfounded  practice.

The  second  aspect  of  discussion  regarding  the  aforementioned  verse  on  the  factors  which  invalidate  wudü’  is  sleep. Regarding  this,  there  are  three  schools  of  thought  among  the  scholars.  Some  of  them  are  of  the  opinion  that  sleep unconditionally  breaks  the  wudü  while  others  assert  that  sleep  does  not  nullify  the  wudü’  under  any  circumstance. The  third  group  is  of  the  opinion  that  sleep  will  break  the  wudü’  at  certain  times  only,  while  at  other  times  it  will not  affect  the  wudü’  at  all.  These  differences  appeared  among  the  scholars  because  there  are  conflicting  narrations regarding  sleep.  According  to  some  narrations,  sleep  does  not  nullify  the  wudu’.  Ibn  Abbãs  says  that  Allah’s Messenger  (PBUH)    once  went  to  Maymuna’s  house  and  slept  so  deeply  that  they  heard  him  snoring.  When  he awoke,  he  performed,  salãt  without  performing  wadu’.  Similarly,  there  is  another  narration  that  mentions  certain Companions  sleeping  in  the  masjid.  They  used  to  nap  while  waiting  for  salat,  and  then  perform  the  salat  without making  wudu’.  However,  there  are  many  other  narrations  in  contrast  to  this  Safwan  ibn  Assal  narrates  that  the Messenger  of  Allah  said,  It  is  not  necessary  to  remove  the  leather  socks  (to  make  wudü’)  after  passing  urine  or stool,  or  after  sleeping.  Wiping  [masah]  over  them  is  quite  sufficient.  However,  wiping  will  not  suffice  in  a  state  of major  impurity  [janaba].”  Similarly,  Abu  Hurayra  narrates,  “Wudu’  is  obligatory  upon  one  who  lies  down  and sleeps.”

The  scholars  have  assumed  two  different  stances  on  these  narrations.  Some  of  them  have  taken  up  the  path  of granting  preference  to  one  narration  over  the  other.  This  group  has  again  been  divided  into  two;  some  of  them  have found  more  angles  of  awarding  preference  to  the  first  category  of  hadiths,  while  the  second  group  awards preference  to  the  second  category  of  hadiths.  Finally,  the  third  group  does  not  find  any  preferential  factor  to  favor any  one  of  the  categories  over  the  other.  Therefore,  they  have  brought  about  harmony  between  the  hadiths  by dividing  sleep  into  various  categories.  Some  types  of  sleep  will  invalidate  the  wudu’  while  the  others  will  not.

The  third  issue  of  contention  between  the  scholars  is  whether  the  touching  of  a  woman  invalidates  the  wudü’  or  not. One  group  is  of  the  opinion  that  if  a  man  touches  a  woman  without  anything  separating  them  both,  his  wudü’  is broken.  The  second  group  asserts  that  this  rule  is  not  unconditional.  They  maintain  that  the  wudü’  is  broken  only  if there  is  touching  by  lust,  otherwise  it  will  remain  intact.  According  to  the  third  group  of  scholars,  the  wudü’ remains  intact  under  all  circumstances  if  one  touches  a  woman.  This  issue  has  remained  one  of  debate  even  among the  Companions.  This  is  what  prompted  the  three  differing  schools  of  thought  among  the  Companions  and Followers  .  Among  the  Imams,  Imam  Shafi’i  holds  the  first  opinion  and  Imam  Mãlik  is  of  the  second  opinion,  while the  third  opinion  is  held  by  Imam  Abü  Hanifa  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them  all).

The  very  basis  for  the  differences  found  among  these  Imams  regarding  this  issue  is  that  the  word  Lams  or “touching”  (in  the  verse)  is  ambiguous;  or  rather,  it  is  a  homonym  [mushtarak].  Allah  says,  “If  you  touched [lamastum]  a  woman”  (Surat  al-mã’ida  5:6).  The  word  “lams”  has  a  dual  meaning  in  the  Arabic  language.  It  refers to  sexual  intercourse  as  well  as  literal  touching  with  the  hand.  Consequently,  the  Imams  differed  over  what  sort  of injunction  should  be  extracted  from  this  verse  as  well.  According  to  some  of  them,  the  verse  refers  to  sexual intercourse.  Therefore,  this  verse  does  not  deal  with  the  factors  which  invalidate  wudu’.  This  is  the  view  of  Imam Abü  Hanifa  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him).  However,  according  to  the  others,  this  verse  is  dealing  with  the factors  which  invalidate  wudu  and  the  word  “lams”  refers  to  touching  a  woman.  Within  this  group,  once  again, there  is  a  difference  of  opinion  as  to  whether  this  injunction  is  general  or  restricted.  According  to  the  Shãfi’is,  the injunction  is  general.  Hence,  by  merely  touching  a  woman,  a  man’s  wudu’  is  unconditionally  broken.

Imam  Malik  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  is  of  the  opinion  that  this  is  a  restricted  injunction.  He  restricts  it  to lust.  Only  when  a  person  touches  with  lust  will  his  wudü’  become  invalid.  Every  one  of  these  Imams  has  some proof  or  basis  to  substantiate  his  assertion.  For  instance,  Imam  Abü  Hanifa  and  Imam  Mãlik  (may  Allah  be  pleased with  them)  prove  their  opinions  with  the  following  narration:

A’isha    relates  that  on  many  occasions  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    used  to  touch  her,  either  in  salat  or  outside  of salat,  and  he  did  not  repeat  his  wudu’  after  that.  On  one  occasion,  the  Messenger  of  Allah  was  performing  tahajjud salat  in  total  darkness.  At  that  time  there  was  no  lamp  or  any  source  of  light  in  his  house.  Aisha    was  sleeping  in front  of  him  and  whenever  he  wanted  to  go  into  prostration  [sajda],  the  Messenger  (PBUH)    used  to  move  her  feet away  to  enable  him  to  perform  sajda  (since  the  room  was  very  small).

From  this  it  is  deduced  that  touching  a  woman  does  not  nullify  the  wudu’

Now,  the  question  arises  as  to  whether  all  types  of  touching  nullify  the  wudü’,  or  only  specific  types  of  touching. According  to  the  Mãlikis,  if  one  touches  without  lust,  the  wudü’  is  not  nullified.  According  to  the  Hanafis,  this  is  a general  rule:  the  wudu’  remains  intact  despite  all  types  of  touching.  This  is  so  because  of  another  hadith  in  which ‘A’isha    says,  “At  times  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   used  to  kiss  his  wives  and,  without  performing  wudü’  he  used to  observe  his  salat.”  Obviously,  this  kissing  stems  from  lust  because  a  person  generally  kisses  his  wife  out  of desire.

In  short,  all  these  differences  found  among  the  Imams  stem  from  the  differences  found  in  the  narrations,  as  I  have explained  in  detail  in  previous  chapters.  This  is  further  compounded  by  the  various  differences  regarding  the grounds  for  preference  and  rejection  among  the  Imams.

Summary  of  the  Above  Discussion

To  sum  up,  the  main  reason  for  the  differences  among  the  Imams  stems  from  their  analysis  and  evaluation  of  the various  hadiths.  At  times,  one  hadith  may  be  regarded  as  authentic  according  to  the  research  of  one  Imam,  and  he considers  whatever  to  be  established  from  it  to  be  obligatory.  However,  the  same  narration  may  not  reach  the required  stage  of  reliability  according  to  another  Imam.  Hence,  the  second  Imam  does  not  consider  that  hadith strong  enough  to  establish  an  injunction  based  on  the  contents  of  the  narration.  In  reality,  these  differences  are  quite in  order  and  are  completely  logical.
Since  the  basis  of  the  weakness  or  reliability  of  a  narration  is  based  upon  the  conditions  of  its  narrators,  there  are bound  to  be  differences  in  practicing  upon  the  narrations  as  well.  The  metaphor  for  this  is  a  sick  person  who  seeks the  treatment  of  various  doctors.  One  of  them  might  say  his  illness  is  fatal,  while  the  other  might  consider  it  mild. The  third  doctor  might  brush  it  off  as  a  psychological  problem,  and  he  will  not  consider  it  an  illness  at  all.  In exactly  the  same  manner,  a  narrator  might  be  considered  unreliable  and  rejected  by  some,  while  others  might  regard him  as  reliable,  trustworthy,  and  truthful.  In  such  circumstances,  neither  the  doctors  nor  the  Imams  of  hadith  can  be criticized.  The  nurse  attending  to  the  sick  person  or  the  followers  of  the  Shari‘a  will  be  advised  to  adhere  to whomever  they  feel  is  reliable.  Allah  will  assist  them.  Obviously,  the  patient  who  has  visited  various  doctors  cannot apply  all  of  their  treatments  together.  He  only  has  to  take  the  medication  prescribed  to  him  by  the  doctor  he  is currently  seeing.

The  Parable  of  the  Imams  of  Hadith

The  Imams  of  hadith  have  likened  the  critique  of  the  narrators  to  that  of  a  bullion  dealer.  The  moment  he  sets  eyes on  the  gold,  he  can  ascertain  whether  it  is  genuine  or  artificial.  Hãfiz  ibn  Hajar  writes  in  his  Sharh  Nukhbat  al-fikr.

From  all  the  various  branches  of  the  field  of  hadith,  the  most  complex  and  intricate  is  that  of  (sifting  through)  the defective  [mu’allal]  hadiths.  Only  one  gifted  by  Allah  with  an  ingenious  mind  and  a  comprehensive  memory  can  be proficient  in  this  field.  Together  with  this,  he  needs  also  to  be  cognizant  of  the  status  of  all  the  narrators  and extremely  knowledgeable  of  the  chain  of  narrators  as  well  as  the  actual  texts  of  the  hadiths.  This  is  why  a  very small  group  of  people  has  ventured  into  this  field.  For  example,  Ali  ibn  al-Madini,  Imam  Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal,  Imam Bukhãri,  Daraqutni  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them  all)  are  some  of  the  few  hadith  scholars  who  ventured  into  this field.

He  further  writes,

At  times,  the  hadith  scholar  relating  the  deficiency  in  a  hadith  does  not  explicitly  specify  whether  any  injunction can  be  deduced  from  the  hadith  or  not.
Similarly,  ‘Allãma  Suyuti  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  writes  in  his  Tadrib  al-rawi,

The  eighteenth  type  of  hadith  is  the  defective  [mu’allal]  hadith.  This  type  of  hadith  is  the  most  important  and intricate.  Only  those  people  who  are  of  perfect  memory  and  proficient  in  analysis  are  able  to  gain  some  control  over this  type  of  hadith.

Hakim  al-Naysãburi  states,

At  times,  a  hadith  is  considered  defective  [mu’allal]  even  though  there  may  not  be  any  apparent  factors  rendering the  hadith  as  such.  According  to  us  the  only  proof  we  have  for  its  defectiveness  is  memory,  comprehension,  and deep  understanding  of  the  hadiths.

Ibn  Mahdi  states,

It  is  better  for  me  to  learn  of  the  defectiveness  [‘illa]  of  one  hadith  than  to  learn  ten  new  hadiths.

Allãma  Nawawi  states,

The  defectiveness  [‘illa]  of  a  hadith  is  a  reference  to  a  very  subtle  type  of  deficiency  in  a  hadith.  There  might  not  be any  type  of  apparent  deficiency  in  the  hadith,  but  there  will  be  some  inconspicuous  flaw  in  it.  This  could  be  either due  to  the  narrator  being  alone  in  the  narration  of  this  hadith,  or  due  to  his  narration  being  contradictory  to  other narrators,  or  due  to  other  reasons  which  the  knowledgeable  are  aware  of.

Ibn  Mahdi  was  once  asked,  “At  times  you  consider  some  hadiths  weak  and  some  of  them  to  be  authentic.  How  do you  go  about  determining  this?”  He  replied,  “When  you  take  your  coins  to  a  bullion  dealer,  do  you  ask  him  why  he considers  some  of  them  to  be  genuine  and  some  to  be  counterfeit?  In  actual  fact,  due  to  excessive  exposure  with  the hadiths  and  constant  sifting  through  them,  one  builds  up  this  proficiency.”

Abu  Zur’a  was  once  asked,  “On  what  grounds  do  you  consider  same  of  the  hadiths  to  be  weak?”  He  replied,  If  I  tell you  that  any  hadith  is  defective,  go  and  inquire  from  ibn  Dara  and  then  from  Abü  Hãtim.  If  they  tell  you  the  same thing,  you  will  understand  the  reality  of  it  all.”  This  person  did  accordingly  and  he  found  this  to  be  true.

I  do  not  wish  to  encompass  all  their  opinions  in  this  regard.  My  only  objective  is  to  expose  the  fact  that  the  Imams have  differed  mainly  because  of  the  apparent  contradictions  found  in  the  narrations,  as  explained  in.  the  above discussion.  I  have  also  explained  that  differences  are  obviously  going  to  be  found  in  their  editing  as  well  as  their compilations.

          INFERENCE IN OUR TIMES

In  our  times,  acquaintance  with  sacred  knowledge  [‘ilm]  is  a  thing  of  the  past.  Hence,  besides  the  ordinary  layman, many  deficient  so-  called  “intellectuals”  are  deceptively  led  to  believe  that  the  inferences  [ijtihad]  of  the  Imams  are contrary  to  one  another  (and  therefore,  their  inferences  are  not  reliable).

In  spite  of  the  inferences  of  the  Imams  being  in  contrast  to  one  another,  it  does  not  mean  that  they  make  inference [ijtihad]  of  the  Islamic  by-laws  according  to  their  own  whims  and  fancies  without  any  proof  and  basis.  They primarily  extract  all  the  laws  from  the  hadiths  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  They  only  differ  in  their  angles  of inference.

In  short,  the  main  reason  for  the  differences  found  among  the  Imams  is  due  to  the  difference  of  the  status  they  give to  the  law-  bearing  narrations.  A  narration  demonstrating  a  certain  law  might  be  accepted  by  one  Imam,  while another  hadith  contrary  to  the  first  one  may  be  accepted  by  another  Imam.  The  second  Imam  considers  the  second hadith  authentic;  hence,  he  accepts  what  it  says.  The  Imams  of  jurisprudence  [fiqh]  are  likened  to  doctors  and

bullion  dealers;  it  is  their  profession  to  accept  or  reject  a  narration.  Hence,  it  would  be  foolish  to  object  as  to  why  a certain  Imam  has  rejected  a  certain  narration.

Today,  after  thirteen  hundred  (now  fourteen  hundred)  years,  it  is  not  possible  for  us  to  determine  whether  the narrations  that  we  have  before  us  have  exactly  the  same  chain  of  narrators  as  the  narrations  of  the  people  of  the past.  Nor  is  it  possible  for  us  to  verify  whether  the  reasons  for  the  rejection  of  a  certain  hadith  which  we  are  aware of,  or  which  Imam  Bukhãri  or  Imam  Muslim  mention,  are  the  only  reasons  for  the  rejection  of  that  hadith,  or whether  there  were  any  other  reasons  for  its  rejection.

Moreover,  the  status  and  era  of  the  Imams  precedes  that  of  Imam  Bukhãri  and  Imam  Muslim.  If  this  is  the  case  with these  two  Imams,  what  about  those  that  came  after  them,  like  Imam  Abu  Dãwud,  Imam  Tirmidhi,  Imam  Nasa’i,  and Imam  Ibn  Maja.  As  for  those  who  came  even  after  them,  like  Daraquni  and  Bayhaqi,  what  status  do  they  hold relative  to  the  Imams?  In  spite  of  their  magnificence  in  the  field  of  hadith,  they  had  no  option  in  the  field  of jurisprudence  [fiqh]  but  to  follow  one  of  the  Imams,  Memorizing  a  hadith  is  one  thing,  but  to  extract  a  juridical proposition  or  injunction  from  that  hadith  is  another  matter  altogether.

The  second  angle  of  differences  found  between  the  Imams  of  jurisprudence  is  due  to  their  various  reasons  for  the preference  of  a  hadith.  Even  though  this  was  mentioned  in  brief  in  a  previous  chapter,  I  feel  it  is  necessary  to mention  it  separately  in  a  bit  more  detail  because  this  is  one  of  the  major  reasons  contributing  to  the  differences found  among  the  Imams.

In  spite  of  two  apparently  conflicting  hadiths  being  authentic,  there  are  differences  among  the  Imams  regarding  the preference  of  one  narration  over  the  other.  In  other  words,  what  are  their  reasons  for  awarding  preference  to  one  of the  two  conflicting  narrations?  This  is  also  a  very  lengthy  discussion.  One  may  study  the  works  of  the  four  famous Imams  and  get  an  understanding  of  the  reality  of  this  topic.  I  will  merely  explain  this  briefly  in  the  form  of  an example..

Sufyan  ibn  ‘Uyayna  says

Imam’Abü  Hànifa  and  Imam  Awza’i  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them)  once  met  in  one  of  the  bazaars  of  the blessed  city  of  Makka.  Imam  Awzã’i  said  to  Imam  Abü  Hanifa,  “Why  do  yeu—the  Hanafis—not  observe  the raising  of  the  hands  [raf’  al-yadain]  while  proceeding  toward  rukü’  and  while  rising  from  ruku’  Imam  Abu  Hanifa replied,  “We  do  not  observe  this  because  its  veracity  is  not  established  from  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).”  Imam Awzã’i  thereupon  narrated  the  following  hadith:  “Zuhri  narrates  from  Sãlim  and  he  in  turn  from  Ibn  Umar    that Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)    used  to  observe  the  raising  of  the  hands  while  commencing  the  salat,  while  proceeding toward  ruku’  and  while  rising  from  it.”  Imam  Abü  Hanifa  replied,  “Hammäd  narrates  from  Ibrãhim  al-Nakh’ay  and he  in  turn  from  ‘Alqama  and  Aswad  and  they  narrate  from  Ibn  Mas’ud  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH)   would  not raise  his  hands  in,  salat  except  at  the  beginning  of  the  salat  while  observing  the  opening  takbir  [tahrima].”

Upon  this,  Imam  Awzã’i  commented,  “There  are  only  three  links  of  narrators  between  me  and  Allah’s  Messenger (PBUH)    in  the  hadith  I  have  narrated,  whereas  there  are  four  links  in  the  hadith  you  have  narrated.  (Hence,  the shorter  link  of  narrators  renders  my  hadith  more  authentic.)”  Thereupon  Imam  Abü  Hanifa,  comparing  the  two chains  of  narrators,  said,  “Hammãd  is  amore  superior  jürist  [faqih]  than  Zuhri,  Ibrãhim  Nakh’ay  is  also  superior  to Sälim  and  Alqama  is  also  not  inferior  to  Ibn  Umar    in  jurisprudence.  If  Ibn  Umar  has  the  virtue  of  being  a Companion,  then  Alqama  also  has  certain  virtues.  As  for  the  final  link  in  my  chain  of  narrators—Abdullah  ibn Mas’ud—there  s  no  need  to  mention  his  virtues.”  Imam  Awza’i  was  thereupon  compelled  to  remain  silent.

Abü  Bakr  Ibn  al-Arabi  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him)  writes  in  his  commentary  of  Sunan  al-Tirmidhi,  “If  there are  any  contradictions  in  the  views  of  Ibn  Mas’ud  and  Ibn  ‘Umar,  then  the  view  of  Ibn  Mas’üd  will  be  awarded preference.”

My aim  in  quoting  this  debate  between  these  two  scholars  is  merely  to  expose  the  reasons  for  preference  that  each one  of  them  held.  According  to  Imam  Awzâ’i  and  also  according  to  the  Shäfi’is,  the  narration  with  the  shorter  link of  narrators  is  awarded  preference  over  the  narration  with  the  longer  chain.  However,  according  to  Imam  Abu Hanifa,  preference  is  awarded  to  a  narration  according  to  the  degree  of-expertise  in  jurisprudence  among  the  chain of  narrators.

According  to  the  principles  of  the  Hanafi  school,  if  there  is  a  contradiction  found  between  two  narrations,  the narration  of  a  jurist  [faqih]  is  awarded  preference  over  the  other.  This  sounds  quite  logical  because  the  more intelligent  a  narrator,  the  more  perfectly  he  will  narrate  the  hadith.

Similarly,  according  to  Imam  Mãlik  (may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him),  if  there  is  a  contradiction  between  some hadiths  and  the  practice  of  the  people  of  Madina  Munawwara  conforms  to  any  one  of  them,  that  hadith  will  be awarded  preference  over  the  others.  The  practice  of  the  people  of  Madina  Munawwara  is  (to  him)  a  preferential factor.  This  is  quite  evident  from  his  book  Al-Muwatta’.

The  Mãliki  scholar  Ibn  al-Arabi  writes  in  the  commentary  of  Sunan  al-Tirmidhi,  “It  is  a  principle  of  the  Mäliki school  of  thought  that  if  a  hadith  is  popular  among  the  people  of  Madina  Munawwara,  there  is  no  need  to  analyze its  chain  of  narrators.”

There  are  many  factors  by  which  some  hadiths  are  awarded  preference  over  others.  Häzimi  has  mentioned  fifty such  factors  in  his  book  Kitab  al-Nasikh  wa  ‘l-mansukh.  Allama  Iraqi  enumerated  over  one  hundred  such  factors  in his  Kitab  al-Nukat.

Obviously,  not  all  these  factors  are  unanimously  agreed  upon  by  all  of  the  various  Imams.  Those  who  claim  to follow  the  hadiths  directly  are  urged  to  analyze  the  hadiths  thoroughly  and  determine  which  of  the  apparently conflicting  hadiths  have  more  preferential  factors  than  the  others.  This  will  enable  them  to  practice  upon  the  hadiths which have more preferential factors, as opposed to those which have less.

THE APPROACH OF THE HANAFI SCHOOL OF THOUGHT

Occasionally,  the  Hanafi  school  of  thought  awards  preference  to  those  hadiths  which  have  a  weaker  chain  of narrators  or  even  to  those  hadiths  whose  chains  of  narration  may  not  be  as  superior  to  the  others.  This  is  so  because the  narrations  may  possess  some  other  more  superior  preferential  factors.  For  example,  the  fact  that  a  hadith  is  in greater  conformance  with  the  text  of  the  Qur’an  is  one  of  the  most  noteworthy  preferential  factors  that  render  a particular  hadith  superior  to  those  that  contradict  it,  according  to  the  Hanafi  school.  This  makes  a  great  deal  of sense,  because  the  words  of  many  of  the  hadiths  are  not  the  actual  words  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (PBUH).  In  most cases,  they  are  the  words  of  the  narrators  who  narrated  the  meaning  of  the  hadith,  as  explained  previously.  On  the other  hand,  the  words  of  the  Qur’an  are  the  actual  words  (of  Allah)  transmitted  by  the  narrators.  Therefore,  from two  conflicting  narrations,  the  narration  which  is  in  greater  conformance  to  the  text  of  the  Qur’an  will  obviously gain  more  preference  over  the  other  narration.

In  one  example  of  the  above  principle,  the  Hanafis  award  preference  to  the  narration  that  does  not  mention  raising of  the  hands  in  salat  over  the  narration  which  does  mention  it.  This  is  so  simply  because  the  Holy  Qur’an  declares, “And  stand  before  Allah  with  ease  and  tranquillity”  (Surat  al-Baqara  2:238).  Hence,  from  among  the  conflicting narrations,  the  Hanafis  award  preference  to  those  hadiths  which  conform  more  closely  to  this  form  of  tranquillity.

This  ruling  is  also  established  from  other  previous  occurrences.  In  the  early  days  of  Islam,  it  was  permissible  to speak  (and  to  make  salãm)  in  salat,  but  this  was  gradually  abrogated  and  the  salat  metamorphosed  into  a  more tranquil  action.  Hence,  the  narrations  which  conform  more  to  tranquillity  are  more  juridically  preferable  in  the Hanafi  school.

In  addition,  the  narrations  which  do  not  mention  any  recitation  while  performing  salat  behind  the  Imam  are awarded  preference  over  those  narrations  which  mention  this  practice.  This  is  so  because  of  the  Qur’anic  verse, “And  when  the  Qur’an  is  being  recited,  listen  to  it  attentively  and  remain  silent”  (Surat  a1-Araf  7:204).

Similarly,  it  is  better  to  delay  the  Fajr  and  ‘Asr  prayers  because  it  is  in  greater  conformance  with  the  Qur’anic  verse, “And  glorify  the  praises  of  your  Lord  before  sunrise  and  before  sunset”  (Sura  Qaf  50:39).  “Before  sunrise”  and “before  sunset”  means  a  time  which  is  close  to  them.  A  period  of  three  to  four  hours  before  sunrise  or  sunset  is  not normally  referred  to  as  being  “before”  sunrise  or  “before”  sunset.  Hence,  the  Hanafis  are  of  the  opinion  that  it  is better  to  delay  the  Fajr  and  ‘Asr  prayers.  Furthermore,  the  Hanafis  have  chosen  the  qunut  (a  supplication  made  in the  witr  salat)  of  ‘Allahumma  inna  nastainuka…”  in  the  witr  salat  because  they  were  considered  as  two  sürats  of the  Holy  Qur’an.

There  are  thousand  of  examples  of  this  nature,  but  out  of  fear  of  long-windedness,  I  will  leave  them  out.  All  I  wish to  add  at  this  point  is  that  it  is  extremely  important  for  those  who  claim  to  follow  the  hadiths  directly  to  acquaint themselves  with  the  elements  that  contribute  to  the  weakness  of  a  narration  and  to  understand  the  factors  which render  a  particular  hadith  more  acceptable  than  the  others.  Without  this,  it  is  not  possible  to  practice  upon  the narrations.

During  my  student  days,  I  commenced  compiling  a  summary  on  the  basic  principles  of  the  Imams  and  a  summary on  the  factors  that  render  one  hadith  more  acceptable  than  the  others.  However,  time  did  not  assist  me  in completing it. And Allah is the best of guides.

                        EPILOGUE

I  had  written  more  on  this  subject,  but  only  managed  to  find  rough  manuscripts  of  these  pages.  Also,  the  magazine Al-Mazahir  was  terminated  due  to  a  lack  of  resources.  (‘This  was  the  magazine  toward  which  the  author  used  to contribute  articles  on  this  topic.)

My colleagues  insisted’  that  I  complete  this  book  and;  it  was  also  my  desire  to  do  so.  I  had  lengthy  and  detailed discussions  in  mind  and  I  had  initially  decided  to  write  about  four  to  five  hundred  pages,  but  due  to  my  extremely busy  schedule,  I  was  unable  to  complete  it.  Since  this  book  before  you  is  incomplete,  I  had  no  hope  whatsoever  of  it ever  coming  into  print.  Whenever  my  friends  insisted  publish  it,  I  used  to  put  them  off  saying  that  it  is  incomplete.

Nonetheless,  during  one  of  my  journeys  to  Hijäz,  my  friend  Mawlãna  Aziz  unearthed  those  lost  pages  from  Allah knows  where.  One  or  two  parts  were  still  missing  from  the  original  manuscript,  but  in  spite  of  this  he  insisted  on printing  it,  saying  that  even  an  incomplete  book  of  this  nature  would  still  be  beneficial.  My  other  colleagues respected  Mufti  Mahmüd,  Mawlanã  Yünus,  Mawlãnã  Aqil,  Mawlãnã  Salman,  and  others  had  also  insisted  that  this book  be  published.  Hence,  I  permitted  Mawlanã  Shãhid  to  go  ahead  in  printing  this  book.  May  Allah  grant  benefit to  him  as  well  as  to  those  who  read  this  book.

(Mawlãnã)  Muhammad  Zakariyya –    – 22 Jumada ‘l-Ulã  1391 AH

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REFERENCES:

For  the  books  of  Hadith  available  on  internet  i.e.  Bukhari,  Muslim,  Abu  Dawud,  Muwatta  and  Tirmidhi, Hadith numbering is according to what is in vogue on internet.

1  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  4)  Hadith  888.

2  Muwatta  Malik,  Kitabul  Salat  al-Layl  (Book  7)  Hadith  266  (Book  7  :  Hadith  7.3.17)

3  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  4),  Hadith  1374

4  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  11),  Hadith  636

5   Sunan  Abu Dawud, Kitabul  Salat  (Book  2),  Hadith  512

6   Sunan  Abu Dawud,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  2),  Hadith  514

7   Sunan  Abu Dawud, Kibaul  Siyam  (Book  13),  Hadith  2381

8   Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Sawm  (Book  6),  Hadith  2477

9   Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Sawm  (Book  31),  Hadith  164

10  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Sawm  (Book  6),  Hadith  2474

11  Sunan  Nisai,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  22),  Hadith  2286-2288

12  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  2),  Hadith  2027

13  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  4),  Hadith  1902

14  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Nikah  (Book  8),  Hadith  3424

15  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Nikah  (Book  8),  Hadith  3427  (that  Sayyida  ‘A’isha  thought  it general ) Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Nikah  (Book  8),  Hadith  3429  (Sayyida  Umm  Salma  and  other     wives  of  Holy  Prophet  (pbuh)  took  it  as  special  case)  

16  Ibn  Qutayba  al-Dainwari,  Ta’wil  mukhtalaf  al-hadith,  vol.1  p.11,  bab  zikr  al-ashaab al-kalaam  wa  ashaab

17  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Manasik  al-Hajj  (Book  10),  Hadith  1766

18  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Hajj  (Book  7),  Hadith  3006

19  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Hajj  (Book  26),  Hadith  818

20  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Hajj  (Book  26),  Hadith  659

21  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Jana’iz  (Book  23),  Hadith  398

22  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Jana’iz  (Book  20),  Hadith  3171

23  Sahih  Muslim.  Kitabul  al-Buyu  (Book  10),  Hadith  3742

24  Sahih  Muslim.  Kitabul  al-Buyu  (Book  10),  Hadith  3726

25  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Mudhari’  (Book  39),  Hadith  537

26  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Buyu  (Book  10),  Hadith  3754

27  Jami’  Tirmidhi,  Kitabul  At’ima  (Book  28),  Hadith  1855

28  Imam Haithmi,  Majma’  al-Zawa’id  wa  Manba’  al-Fawa’id,  1/156

29  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Taharah  (Book  1),  Hadith  207  etc.

30  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Salat  (Book  2),  Hadith  638

31  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  12),  Hadith  759

32  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Taharah  (Book  1),  Hadith  295

33  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Fadhail  al-Quran  (Book  61),  Hadith  572

34  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Sawm  (Book  31),  Hadith  196

35  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Sawm  (Book  6),  Hadith  2592

36  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Hudood  (Book  81),  Hadith  773

37  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Ashriba  (Book  26),  Hadith  3672

38  Sunan  Nisai,  Kitabul  Taharah  (Book  1),  Hadith  325

39  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Maghazi  (Book  59),  Hadith  445

40  Mu’jam  al-Tabarani  al-Kabeer  6/213,  Hadith  6372

41  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Manaqib  (Book  57),  Hadith  107

42  Jami’  Tirmidhi,  Kitabul  Manaqib  (Book  52),  Hadith  3834

43  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Taharah  (Book  1),  Hadith  353

44  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Taharah  (Book  1),  Hadith  194

45  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Taharah  (Book  1),  Hadith  192

46  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Umra  (Book  27),  Hadith  4

47  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Sawm  (Book  6),  Hadith  2451

48  Sahih  Bukhari,  Sutra  al-Musalla  (Book  9),  Hadith  490  

49  Sahih  Muslim,  Kitabul  Talaq  (Book  9),  Hadith  3524

50  Sunan  Abu  Dawud, Kitabul  Jana’iz  (Book  20),  Hadith  3108

51  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Tib  (Book  71),  Hadith  649

52  Sahih  Bukhari,  ,  Kitabul  Tib  (Book  71),  Hadith  608

53  Jami’  Tirmidhi,  Kitabul  Taharah  (Book  1),  Hadith  79

54  Sahih  Bukhari,  Kitabul  Salat  (Book  12),  Hadith  723

Tasawwuf/Sufism – Part- 2: Qualities of a Qualified Shaykh, Obedience and Giving Bayah, Majzoob, Quality of Ibaadaat

Continued from: Tasawwuf/Sufism-Part-1: What is Tasawwuf, Kashf (inspirations), Karaamat (miracles), Spiritual States, Mesmerism, Celestial lights, Sufi Zikr Practices

EXTREME CAUTION REQUIRED WHEN SELECTING A SHAYKH

DO NOT BE HASTY WHEN CHOOSING A SPIRITUAL GUIDE
Do not be hasty in accepting a man as your Shaikh (Spiritual Guide). Study him well. When you are thoroughly satisfied with his credentials and credibility then only enter into the oath of allegiance (Ba’yt) with him.

TAQWA AND ITTIBAA-E-SUNNAT (FIRM ADHERENCE TO SUNNAH) ARE THE CRITERIA
I have read the stories of the Auliya of former times. It is apparent that their condition and style were not like that of the majority of Masha-ikh of today. These (present-day) Masha-ikh do not consider obedience to the Shariah a requisite for Wusool ilallaah (Attainment of Divine Proximity). In fact, they believe Shariat and Tariqat to be two separate entities.

On the contrary, the state of Taqwa, tahaarah and ittibaa-e-Sunnat (obedience to the Sunnah) of the former Masha-ikh resembles that of the Sahaabah. It is narrated that once Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen Chishti (rahmatullah alayh) while making wudhu forgot to make khilaal of his fingers. A voice from the Ghaib (Unseen Realm) reprimanded:

“You claim love for the Rasool, but abandon the Sunnat of the Rasool!”

He immediately repented. Whenever he saw a fire, he would shiver with fear because of the feeling that on the day of Qiyaamah he may be punished for having omitted the Sunnat (of Khilaal). Thus, the condition of those Masha-ikh regarding obedience to the Sunnah was similar to the state of the Sahaabah.

A KAAMIL (PERFECT UPRIGHTEOUS) SHAIKH
The features of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil (a perfect uprighteous spiritual guide) are: He is a staunch and perfect follower of the Shariah; total abstention from bid’ah and shirk; abstention from futile and silly talk; the effect of his companionship is reduction in worldly love and increase in Divine Love; he pays attention to the spiritual ailments of the mureed and he provides prescriptions; benefit is perceived in his prescriptions by an obedient mureed; incremental progress is perceived in moral reformation by the mureed who follows the Shaikh’s instructions.

LEVEL OF ADHERENCE TO SUNNAH IS THE BAROMETER
The thing to look for in a Shaykh is the proportion of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) he has integrated into his actions. Unveiling of your secrets (makashafat) etc. can be an act of mesmerism. These are under the control of one’s thoughts. (So do not rely on this sign alone.) The real and major thing to look for is the level of congeniality (munasbat) with Holy Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him). And this congeniality should be spontaneous and consistent.

A DECEIT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO IMITATE ALL THE SUNNAH
A deceit cannot imitate the Sunnah. The effect of Sunnah is spiritual reality which the deceit can never acquire. The difference between a deceit and a true follower of the Sunnah will become manifest by observation.

DAJJAL – UNABLE TO FOLLOW SUNNAH DESPITE SUPERNATURAL POWERS
People who are much enamoured by supernatural displays, will be with Dajjal in greater number. I have heard this from my seniors. I have also heard that Dajjal will have the appearance of a Majzoob. (Majzoob is a saint whose mind appears to be deranged as a result of his total engrossment with Allah’s remembrance and love.) This indicates that haal (a spiritual state) is not sufficient. The vital need (for rectitude) is obedience to the Sunnah.

Those people whose attention is focused only on spiritual/supernatural states while not accepting the Deen as the requisite for Tasawwuf, will find it very difficult to be saved from the traps of Dajjal. Dajjal will do everything, but he will not be able to act in accordance with the Sunnah. Only the followers of the Sunnah will be safe from Dajjal’s trap.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MUTTAQI AND ONE DEVOID OF TAQWA
Visit two Alims. One who is mutaqqi (pious) and one who is simply an alim devoid of piety. I take oath and say that you will find the pious Alim to be very intelligent and wise. On the other hand the one lacking in piety will be extremely shallow (in his grasp) and devoid of understanding. In fact, I further say that even an illiterate man who happens to be pious will have such intelligence and understanding which will not be found in an Alim lacking in piety. The majority of the Sahabah (radhiallahu anhum) could neither read nor write. However, when they addressed kings and emperors inviting them to Islam, they (kings) were astonished by their talks.

Once in the court of the emperor Heraclius, when the emperor addressing the Muslim delegation asked for a description of the character.of the Khalifah Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), an illiterate member of the delegation, dressed in simple garments, replied: “He neither deceives nor can be deceived.” In a single statement did he sum up the character of the Khalifah. The emperor was left speechless and amazed. This was the barkat (blessing) of obedience).

By virtue of obedience, divine understanding was acquired. Allah Ta’ala was their supporter and helper. The emperor addressing his courtiers and noblemen said: “These two qualities in their Khalifah are such that the entire world cannot oppose a man in whom these exist. It is clear from the statement, ‘He does not deceive’, that he is a man of piety, and piety is the head of kingship. The statement, ‘He cannot deceived,’ indicates that he is a man of great intelligence. A man in whom piety and intelligence unite, will dominate all.”

SIGNS OF AN EXPERT, QUALIFIED SHAYKH
Experience has proven that the following ways are highly efficacious in strengthening one’s resolve and in overcoming weakness and lack of courage.

1. Association with a Kaamil (expert and qualified) Shaikh of Tasawwuf (Spiritual Mentor or Guide). The following are the signs of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil, a. He possesses sufficient knowledge of the Deen. b. He is a firm adherent of the beliefs, practices and morals of the Shariah. c. He is devoid of worldly greed. d. He lays no claim to perfection and excellence. e. He had lived a while in the company of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil. f. The contemporary uprighteous Ulama and Mashaa-ikh hold him in esteem . g. Comparatively, more intelligent persons than ignorant ones incline towards him. h. The condition of the majority of his mureeds in relation to obedience to the Shariah and reduction in worldly greed, is good. i. He is alert and is concerned about the conditions of his mureeds. He reprimands and admonishes them for their wrongs and defects. He does to permit his mureeds to be the slaves of their desires. j. After having been in his company several times, one feels a reduction in worldly love while at the same time discerns progress in the love for Allah Ta’ala. k. He engages in Thikr and Shaghl (spiritual exercises). Without such practice there is no barkat in ta’leem (instruction and teaching).

Kashf (a form of revelation which comes to the Auliya), karaamat (miracles), istijabat-e-dua (acceptance of dua) and tasarrufaat (metaphysical acts) are not requirements of a Shaikh. The companionship of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil is wonderfully efficacious. However, for achieving the benefits of a Shaikh, the mureed’s intention must be sincere.

The mureed, himself must desire spiritual progress and obedience. He must desire to be imbued with a detestation for sin. It is essential that the mureed keep his Shaikh informed of the changing conditions of his heart. Whatever the Shaikh prescribes, the mureed should accept and practise accordingly.

2. The second way will apply when the company of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil is not available. In this case, read and study the life-conditions and spiritual strivings of the Ahlullah (the Saints of Allah). But, never engage in the mystical practices of Tasawwuf which are written in relation to the lives of the Sufis. Yes, readily follow their advices and statements regarding spiritual purification.

3. The third way in which to eliminate weakness of heart and lack of courage is Muraaqabah (meditation) of Maut and Muraaqabah of the period which will follow Maut. This form of meditation consists of setting aside at least twenty minutes daily. Meditate in solitude about the events which will occur from the time of Sakaraat (pangs of death) until entry into Jannat or Jahannum. Think about these future events, e.g. the questioning in the grave by the two Angels, the punishment and comforts of the grave, resurrection, the scaling of deeds, reward, crossing the Siraat, etc.

The attributes of excellence, e.g. zuhd (being abstemious of the world), khashiyat (fear of Allah), etc., which are influenced by the development of courage, will attain perfection by means of this form of Muraaqabah.

THE SHARIAH IS THE STANDARD
Rectification of the false belief that following the Shari’ah is not important for becoming a Sufi is originally from the book Futuhat Makkia [by Ibn al-Arabi] in which it also says, “Anything that opposes the reality of the Shariah is falsehood.” It says in another place, ‘Whosoever says there is another path to Allah besides the Shari‘ah is a liar. Therefore, such a person should not be chosen to be one’s spiritual mentor who does not have propriety.” It also says, “There is no way for us except the Shari‘a and that which He has taught us in the Shari‘a.”

Shaikh Bayazid Bustami says, “Do not be fooled if you observe a person bestowed with supernatural wonders [karaamat] even if he flies in the sky, unless you see him strict upon the laws of the Shari‘a, upon avoiding the forbidden acts, and vigilant about staying within the boundaries of the Shari‘a.” Shaikh Junaid says, “All the different avenues are closed to the world except the one which follows the Blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) every step of the way.” In another place in Futoohat it says, “He has no worth in the eyes of Allah who does not know His rule [the Shari‘a] because Allah has never made any ignorant person a friend…”

NO HOPE FOR SPIRITUAL REFORMATION WITH A DISEASED SPIRITUAL GUIDES
Speaking about spiritual guides who themselves suffer from spiritual maladies, Hadhrat Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “Nowadays, there remain only policies (of personal and worldly motives). Imam Ghazali said: ‘O honourable friend! What hope have you for your spiritual reformation when your mentor himself is afflicted with (spiritual) maladies?’”

VERY DIFFICULT TO FREE ONESELF FROM A BID’ATI SHAYKH
If one has a bid’ati mentor (spiritual guide), it is firstly difficult to extricate oneself form him. Even if one somehow succeeds in withdrawing from him, then too, in most cases his influence endures.

FOCUSED ON CALLING ON OTHERS APART FROM ALLAH
“When Allah, the One and Only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when [gods] other than He are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy!” [Quran]

Similar to it is the condition of some ignorant claimants of tasawwuf. That is, at the mention of pure tawheed they are sickened. And [are delighted to] do istighatha [calling for help] with awliya. Tawheed is one of the essential muqamat [stations] in Tasawwuf.

IGNORANCE OF THE TAREEQ PREVALENT AMONGST EVEN THE MASHAIKH
(The Path of moral purification, reformation and spiritual elevation is called Tareeq) Ignorance of the Tareeq has degenerated to such a low ebb that even the so-called mashaaikh, leave alone the Ulama (of book knowledge), are ignorant of the Path. The Tareeq is an independent subject. Without expertise and accomplishment in this field, one will always stumble and fall over impediments strewn in this Path. The Road will not be visible. Once a senior Aalim said to someone: “Do you engage in thikr and shaghl (devotional exercises)?” The person said: “Yes”. The Aalim asked: “Do you see anything (i.e. any spiritual revelations)?” The response was in the negative The Aalim dejectedly commented: “Anyhow, at least you will obtain thawaab. Other than this, you did not derive any benefit.”

(When this episode was reported to Hadhrat Thaanvi, he commented): I was dumbstruck on hearing this. Despite being an Aalim he made such a (ludicrous) comment. The objective of alla’maal (virtuous deeds) is thawaab and the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala to gain His Proximity—nothing else. What else is there besides this on which the devotee has to focus his gaze, and which the Aalim described as ‘benefit’? The Aalim’s comment is the consequence of ignorance of the Tareeq which is an extremely delicate. The need is to tread warily.

THE INDISPENSABILITY OF A QUALIFIED KAAMIL SHAYKH
If someone asks: “What is the need for a shaikh when the prescriptions for moral reformation are recorded in the books of tasawwuf?” the answer will be: Prescriptions, remedies and treatments for physical illness are also recorded in medical books. What is the need for doctors? Why then do people consider it necessary to consult doctors? The need which necessitates consulting a doctor also necessitates consulting a shaikh (who is a doctor of spiritual ailments).

The sick person is able to perceive his physical ailments, hence he sets out in search of a physician whose function it is to diagnose the illness and prescribe remedies. On the other hand, the spiritual diseases known as Razaail, e.g. ujub (vanity), ghuroor (haughtiness), takabbur (pride), riyaa (show), hirs (greed), hasad (jealousy), etc. on account of their subtlety remain hidden. In most cases the ailing person does not even perceive the existence of these ailments. When he is unaware of his ailments, he is not concerned with diagnosis and treatment.

It is the Shaikh-e-Kaamil who is the expert in detecting spiritual ailments, who informs the ailing mureed of his spiritual ills even though the latter considers himself to be spiritually healthy. Nowadays most people are unaware of their spiritual and moral diseases because of the abundance of books and the preponderance of diversionary factors producing ghaflat(carelessness, inertia and neglect). Leave alone the masses. The Ulama too are caught up in this malady. One becomes aware of one’s moral and spiritual ailments only by the suhbat (association, companionship) of the Auliya or by studying the books of the Mashaa’ikh or by the admonition of one’s Murshid (spiritual guide).

ASTRAY SHAYKHS WHO LEAD OTHERS ASTRAY
Alas! Nowadays people are unaware of even the maqsood. (Maqsood or goal in this context refers to the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala attained by means of obedience to the Shariah which is possible only by way of islaah of the nafs. ‘People’ here means the mashaaikh or spiritual guides). Nowadays khilaafat no longer needs a standard. What service (i.e. the sphere of guiding mureeds) can they (the khalifas) render? In fact they come within the scope of the hadith:“They are astray and they lead others astray.” Furthermore, the understanding of people has become so fossilized that they lack discernment. (This deficiency is widely prevalent in the khalifahs of this age. They cannot be termed Shaikhs of Tasawwuf when they are blissfully ignorant of the meaning, purpose and goals of Tasawwuf. Islaah of the Nafs is foreign to them—Mujlisul Ulama)

RELEVANCE OF HUSN-E-ZANN WHEN SELECTING A SHAYKH
Husn-e-zann means to think good of others; to interpret their faults and to refrain from criticizing. Iqtidaa means to follow another. In Husn-e-zann there is considerable latitude in me. However in the matter of Iqtidaa I am extremely rigid. In fact, it should be so. It is highly dangerous to exercise latitude in this respect (i.e. one should not easily become the mureed of someone). The road (of tasawwuf) is nowadays cluttered with (spiritual) bandits and dacoits. May Allah save us! The essential need is to institute proper inquiry and investigation (to establish the authenticity and ability of a prospective shaikh—spiritual guide). As long as one is not fully satisfied, never become a man’s mureed no matter how well-known and famous a shaikh may be. Complete confidence is necessary.

SEVER TIES WITH A UNRELIABLE SHAYKH
If after having become a mureed a man discovers that he is trapped in the company of an unreliable shaikh (or he lacks confidence in his shaikh), the mureed should refrain from acquiring ta’leem from the shaikh even if the latter takes offence. In this instance the displeasure of the shaikh is baseless, hence not harmful.

However, the mureed should not oppose the shaikh nor be disrespectful towards him. (He should honourably sever his ties with the shaikh). It is futile to acquire ta’leem from a man on whom the mureed has no confidence. Confidence is conditional for gaining benefit from the shaikh. If one lacks confidence in the shaikh, his ta’leem will not have a beneficial effect on the heart. It is for this reason that I refer mureeds to other Mashaaikh. When I observe that they lack confidence in me, I send them to others (i.e. to other Mashaaikh).

A TRUE SHAYKH WILL TERMINATE RELATIONSHIP WHEN REQUIRED
It should be well-remembered that when the shaikh realises that the mureed lacks compatibility with him, then he (the shaikh) should certainly expel the mureed from his company. If the shaikh is a true shaikh, he will do so. However, if he is a ‘trader’ (i.e. earning his living from the gifts of mureeds) then obviously he will see no reason for terminating the relationship. He will then prevent the mureed from going elsewhere. Another reason why Mashaaikh do not expel mureeds, is their extreme concern and affection for the mureed. In this class was our Hadhrat (i.e. Haaji Imdaadullah). He left no stone unturned in serving his mureeds. When people come to me, I always bear in mind their welfare. I desire to make them the servants of Allah, not my servants. If someone does not gain benefit from my company, I ask him to leave, whether before or after bay’t.

INITIATING MUREEDS TO ENLARGE ONE’S CIRCLE BETRAYS FASLSEHOOD
He is not among the Ahl-e-Haqq who initiates mureeds in order to increase and strengthen his circle. A man whose gaze is on others cannever be a person of the Haqq. Confound such ideas. The power of Haqq is such that if in the entire world there is only one man who is on the Haqq and all others are people of Baatil, then too, the man of Haqq dismisses them as insignificant. He understands that by virtue of the Haqq he will overwhelm them. If a man lacks in this perception then he is not among the Ahl-e-Haqq.

CANVASSING FOR MUREEDS
* A mureed should not exhort others to become the mureeds of his Shaikh. Such canvassing creates a bad impression of the Shaikh in the minds of people. People will entertain the notion of the Shaikh having let loose his underlings to canvass on his behalf and to apprehend and drag people to him. Suspicion about the Auliya can lead to grave moral and spiritual consequences.” (In the present era, the sheikhs in fact appoint canvassers. His ‘khaas’ (special and close) mureeds roam about canvassing and trying to rope in mureeds for the sheikh. This conduct is most despicable and is motivated by base nafsaani desires.—Mujlisul Ulama)

* In this age there exists the disease of canvassing for mureeds. A mureed strives to rope in others to become the mureeds of his Shaikh. I am so averse to this, that if I slightly suspect that a man has been brought by someone, I will not initiate him as a mureed. If a man is in the quest for the truth, he does not need anyone to intercede for him.

DISPLAYS OF OSTENTATION BY PRESENT DAY MASHAIKH
Munaasabat (compatibility) with the Shaikh is the most important requisite for the acquisition of benefit in the spiritual Path of reformation. Ittiba’ (obedience) is another vital requirement along withMunaasabat. This is necessary for attainment of the goal (Divine Proximity). It is a grave error to believe that a buzrug’s companionship without the mureed practising the teachings of the buzrug is adequate for moral reformation. One with this attitude is merely spending a holiday in the khaanqah.

Cause for lamenting is also the attitude of most of the present-day mashaaikh who are desirous of decorative gatherings—displays of ostentation—to convey the impression that the shaikh has a large following. The achievement of such ostentatious displays is nothing other the ruin of time. Alhamdulillah! I do not have any of these functions of ostentation. This brings about the annoyance of people since they desire such functions of show. It is indeed dishonourable for the shaikh to pursue the mureed by fulfilling his desires. In this inversion the searcher becomes the object of search. It is utterly ridiculous that while the Taalib (the searcher—the mureed) is in need, the Shaikh has to flatter and pamper him.

THE NEED FOR CIRCUMSPECTION
It is related on the authority of Nafi’ that he heard Aslam say to Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) that ‘Umar (radhiyallah anhu) once saw Talhah (radhiyallahu anhu) wearing a dyed garment as ihram, so Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) asked him about it. Talhah (radhiyallahu anhu) replied, “It’s brick-dust dye.” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) then replied, “You are looked upon as a leader, and people follow your example. Now, if an ignorant person were to see you in these clothes, he might go around telling people that Talhah ibn Ubaydullah (radhiyallahu anhu) wears a dyed garment for ihram. Therefore, Talhah, do not wear any sort of dyed garments [as ihram]. This hadith was related by Malik in his Muwatta.

From this hadith it is evident that the people who are looked up to as leaders in Islam have more need for prudence and piety than do the majority of Muslims. Since the Sufis are looked up to by most Muslims, it is clear that they need to be extra careful in their practice of Islam. Unfortunately, however, in our own times the reverse has become the norm. Indeed, it is negligence and unconcern which characterise most of our present day Sufis. Some have even gone so far as to deny the necessity of the Shariah and its emphasis on externals. May Allah deliver us from their ignorance!” [Haqiqat al-Tariqa min as-Sunnah al-Aniqa]

AVOIDING WHAT GIVES RISE TO SUSPICION
Ali ibn al-husayn related that Safiyyah said: “The Messenger of Allah was in seclusion (itikaf) so I went to visit him one night. I spoke to him for some time and then got up to leave. He accompanied me until, when he reached the door of the masjid, two men from the Ansar passed by. When they saw the Messenger of Allah a they hastened [so that they may leave the precinct of the masjid quickly because they saw Safiyyah with him, and etiquette demanded that they do this]. The Messenger of Allah said to them: ‘Walk slowly [there is no need to hurry]. This is Safiyyah bint Huyayy [my wife. Do not have any other thoughts].’ They said: ‘Glory to Allah, O Messenger of Allah! [Can we have any evil thoughts about you that some strange woman is in solitude with you?!]’ He a said: ‘Satan flows in man as blood flows through his veins. I feared he might cast some evil in your hearts’, or he said: ‘some evil thoughts in your hearts.’”

Some Sufis are extremely imprudent. Despite their adherence to the Shariah, they make careless statements or perform acts which cause not only the masses, but also their close associates to have negative thoughts about them. Such Sufis should ponder the lesson of this hadith, how cautious the Messenger of Allah was! As for those Sufis who really do not consider it essential to follow the Shari‘ah, what can be said about them?! These days, most aspirants are like this [not bothered about following the Shari’ah], and so are their masters.

DIFFERENT DISPOSITIONS
The Auliya are of a variety of dispositions. On some Tawaadhu’ (Humility) is overwhelming; on some Shafqat(Affection); on some Rahmat (Mercy); on some Jamaal (Tenderness), and on someJalaal  (Awe-inducing). None may be criticized. These dispositions are not voluntary acquisitions. (These are the natural dispositions which are inherent in the Auliya).

THE TRUE MASHAIKH POSSESS ANGER FOR THE SAKE OF DEEN
When the Haq was trampled upon then the anger of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was unstoppable until he restored the Haq to its position of dominance. He would, however, neither become angry out of self-interest and nor would he avenge on account of a personal matter.

WHY ARE THE AHLULLAH BRANDED MAJNOON??
When a person reaches the lofty ranks of Divine Love, then his actions, intelligence and lifestyle are in conflict with worldly objectives. The people of the world then describe him as Majnoon (insane). Thus, the kuffaar of Makkah had labelled the Sahaaba with the term ‘As-Sufaha’ (ignoramuses), for they had abandoned their families and wealth for the sake of Imaan.

BARAKAT IN THE TIME OF THE AULIYAA
It is well-established that there is considerable barkat in the time of the Auliya. According to Hadhrat Maulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh) in time there is a length duration which everyone is aware of. This consists of minutes and hours, etc. In addition, time also has a breadth which is unknown to most people.  The Auliya accomplish great feats  during the breadth of time.

THE UNFIT GUIDE DESTROYS THE IMAAN OF OTHERS
Those who expound spiritual mysteries and the masaa-il of Tasawwuf on the basis of what they read in the kitaabs of Tasawwuf destroy their own Imaan and the Imaan of others. Only a man who is in possession of a ship (i.e. true Ilm) or is able to swim (i.e. he is a Saahib-e-Haal) is permitted to venture into this ocean (of spirituality).

THE YAQEEN OF THE ARIFEEN

If someone raised on objection or expressed a doubt when Hadhrat Haji Saheb had given a discourse on any subject, he would comment:

“This is not a Madrasah. This (what has been explained) is for practicing. Give practical expression to it and then observe the result.”

Madrasah Ustads have the practice of disputing and entertaining objections. On the other hand, the Arifeen feel suffocated by such questions and answering. Those who are engrossed action, discern the reality and truth. Their condition is unlike that of general public. They (the Arifeen) are in peace and contentment. Hadhrat Haji Saheb (i..e. Haji Imdadullah) detested questioning and answering. Since the truths and unveiled realities (of the Deen) were in front of him, there remained no doubt and uncertainly. If it is said to a person that the sun has and he, instead of conceding, initiates an argument seeking proof for the rising of the sun, the repugnance and frustration which such disputation will cause are quite apparent.

The degree of certainly and conviction which the people of insight (the Arifeen, the Auliya) have regarding haqa-iq (realities and transcendental truths) is like the certainty which a man has regarding the identity of his father in which he has no doubt. In fact, the degree of certitude of the Arifeen is higher because there exists the possibility of doubt in a certain man being one’s father. Indeed, such a higher degree of certainty and clarity is a wonderful ni’mat (favor of Allah).

THE QUALITY OF THE SALAAT OF THE AARIF IMMEASURABLE
Hadhrat Haaji Imdaadullah (rahmatullah alayh) said that two raka’ats performed by an Aarif is superior to two hundred thousand rak’ats of a non- Aarif. This is on account of the ikhlaas and baseerat of the Aarif. These attributes exercise a special influence on the excellence of deeds.

THE MUNTAHI – THE ONE WHO HAS REACHED THE GOAL
The meaning of a Muntahi is a person who has gained such excellence and control that he has the ability to keep his nafs in subservience and shaitaan is unable to deceive him. He also does not labour in vainglory.

INTERFERING WITH THE AULIYA SPELLS DESTRUCTION
In a Hadith Qudsi Allah Ta’ala says: “When My beloved servants (the Auliya) are interfered with, I become as wrathful as a lioness when her cubs are interfered with.” Entire cities were destroyed by Divine Punishment because its inhabitants had hurt and grieved a Saint of Allah.

THE ZUHD OF THE AARIFEEN
(Zuhd means renunciation of the world) Gold and silver, in fact the whole world with all its possessions, have no attraction for the Aarifeen whose gaze is on Allah Ta’ala and His treasures. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not prefer the world for himself and his beloved family members. He did not tolerate them keeping even a single dinaar.

DO NOT JUDGE THE STATEMENTS OF SAINTS PREMATURELY
The talks and terminology of the Auliya cannot be comprehended without staying in their company. In Delhi there was a buzroog (a saint) who was heard saying: “I am not your servant and you are not my god. Why then should I obey you?” On hearing this expression, the people proclaimed the verdict of kufr against the buzroog. He was apprehended and brought to the Qaadhi who asked: “Hadhrat ! To whom were you speaking?” Smiling the buzroog commented: “Alhamdulillah! In Delhi at least there is one intelligent man, hence he has asked me for an explanation. My nafs is demanding that I feel it a certain delicacy. In answer to its demand I was saying: “I am not your servant and you are not my god. Why then, should I obey you?” (When people refrain from associating with saintly persons, they (the buzroogs) suffer no harm. On the contrary, people harm themselves (by depriving themselves of the benefits of holy company).

REMAINING UNMARRIED DOES NOT DETRACT FROM THE SHAYKH’S PIETY
“It is related on the authority of Awf ibn Malik that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “I and a woman with parched cheeks [one who has had to toil and suffer] will be like these two [i.e. as close as the index finger is to the middle finger] on the Day of Judgement; a woman whose husband died and left her a widow, a woman who, despite social pressures and her own beauty, refused to remarry for the sake of her children [in order to devote herself to them more completely], until finally they grew up and set out on their own, or died.” (Abu Dawud, 5149)

In order to keep their worldly ties to a minimum, or in order to avoid any kind of real or imagined interference in their relationship with the Almighty, some Sufis never marry. As a result, certain narrow-minded individuals have accused the Sufis of not adhering to the Sunnah or way of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In the above hadith not only do we find permission for remaining single, we also find that wherever there is a possibility of a child’s being neglected, it is better to abstain from marriage. This is, of course, on the condition that one’s practice of Islam will not be adversely affected. So, when the possibility that a child will be neglected is a legitimate excuse for not marrying, what then of the possibility that Allah will be neglected?

THE UNFIT SPIRITUAL GUIDE AVOIDS RECTIFYING HIS STUDENTS
1. People write to me complaining of my strict manner of admonishing them. However, I say that a doctor who does not admonish a patient who neglects the prescription is an abuser of trust. Such a doctor is unfit to treat patients.

2. If a Shaikh (spiritual guide), in spite of being aware of his mureed’s action which the Shari’ah, refrains from rectifying him, then I believe him (the Shaikh) to be a kha-in (abuser of trust). Such a person should not be appointed as one’s spiritual guide. When they (such guides) lack the ability to cure, why do they mislead people? For which sickness are they a remedy? When they refrain from treating the (spiritual) ailments of people, then why do they lead people into deviation?

People think that the meaning of amanat (trust) is only to keep in safe custody the valuables of others. The talibeen (those who are desirous of reformation) and the thakireen (those who are engaging in abundant Thikr) have submitted themselves to us (spiritual guides). If then, we fail to discharge the duty of tarbiyat (spiritual guidance and treatment), will we not be guilty of abuse of trust? When they have submitted their Deen and Iman to you, then why do you not concern yourselves with their islah (reformation). What reliance could be put on a man who abuses Iman? He is capable of doing anything. Whoever is careless of Imani matters, cannot be trusted in financial affairs.

3. Those who hanker after jaah (i.e. name and fame) are perpetually imprisoned by fears of the opinions others have of them. They are always concerned about losing any of their followers. They fear criticism. They fear doing something which will displease others. This applies especially to the mashaaikh (spiritual mentors) of the present age. They do not want any of their mu’taqideen (followers / mureeds or those who have confidence in them) to become the mu’taqid(follower) of someone else. (That is, they are offended if any of their mureeds initiate an islaahi relationship with another shaikh. A true shaikh will not take offence if any of his mureeds terminate his relationship and accepts another shaikh as his guide).

IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICAL TRAINING
A man entered the presence of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) without permission. Rasulullah (sallallahu alyhi wasallam) ordered him out and instructed another man to teach him the manner of entering so that he may return observing the correct etiquette. This incident indicates that practical training is also sunnat. Without such training people with dense minds do not remember.

EXPELLING THOSE WITH HUBB-E-JAH
The senior Ulama of former times would expel from their circle of dars (teaching) a person in whom they detected the ailment of hubb-e-jah. Nowadays no measures are adopted against this disease.

THE SHAIKH’S STERNNESS
Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qaasim Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh) frequently said: “If the Shaikh is not stern and reprimanding, reformation of the mureed will not be accomplished.”

TENDERNESS AT THE WRONG TIME IS INJUSTICE
Justice does not mean tenderness. When severity is necessary, it should be adopted. If tenderness is adopted when the demand is for severity then such tenderness is injustice.

FOR ISLAAH THERE IS NO NEED TO PLEASE PEOPLE
Reprimanding a person, Hadhrat Thaanvi said: “Elsewhere buzrugi (sainthood) is doled out. But here by me, insaaniyat(humanity) is distributed. I teach the elementary rules. There are seniors present to teach the advanced subjects. In fact, I tell my friends to refrain from encouraging people to visit me. I am unable to please people. In fact, for islaah there is no need to please people. The need is to purify the hearts. In former days this was achieved by pleasing the hearts. The searchers of reformation were intelligent people. Their obedience would increase by the Shaikh’s concession (and showing favouritism).

The present time is an age of corrupt intelligence. If in this age the Shaikh should adopt the policy of pleasing mureeds, they will gain the impression that he has some worldly motive. It is therefore inappropriate in the present time to please mureeds (in the process oftarbiyat). The Shaikh should conduct himself with istighna (independence) without having contempt for anyone. While istighna is a virtue, despising others is evil.” (Refraining from pleasing the whims and fancies of mureeds is not motivated by contempt for them nor by indifference towards them. Istighna of the Shaikh is incumbent for the reformation of the mureed, especially in this era of corrupt ideas, motives and self-esteem—Mujlisul Ulama)

BALANCED ATTITUDE WITH THE WEALTHY
If wealthy people come to a buzrug, he should treat them with consideration and concession. He should attend to their comfort without clinging to them. Neither should he be extravagant in entertaining them nor despise them. There is neither pride nor disgrace in this balanced attitude. (Rasulullah—sallallahu alayhi wasallam—said: “Treat people according to their status.”—Mujlisul Ulama)

99 EXCUSES – BUT NOT FOR MUREEDS

1. If I observe in members of the general public who have no spiritual ties with me, ninety faults and virtue, my gaze goes to the virtue. In contrast, regarding those who have submitted themselves to me for self-reformation, if I observe in them ninety nine excellences and one fault, my gaze goes to the fault. It is the duty of the Shaikh to remedy the fault.

2. Suspicion and probing are not good in every place. However, if the moral reformation of a person is one’s responsibility, then making investigation will be appropriate, in fact, necessary some times.

SUHBAT (COMPANIONSHIP)
THE FASTEST WAY TO PROGRESS

WHATEVER THE SAHABAHS (RADHIYALLAHU ANHUM) GAINED WAS FROM SUHBAH
The main object is islah (reformation). Having knowledge is not a requirement for islah. In fact, knowledge without suhba (company of the pious) is worthless. The islah of a person without knowledge but who adopts the company of the pious is easier. I usually advise people to send their secularly educated offspring to the pious, for they will benefit greatly from this. We promise that we will not question the length of their trousers nor their beards. We will not punish them regarding their salat. Just by sitting together we will develop an attachment and affection for each other. The result is that an affinity with din will be formed. This affinity is the root and foundation. ͑Ilm (knowledge) and ͑amal (practice) are the branches. All the Sahaba (Companions) were not ͑alims (scholars). Whatever they gained, they gained through suhba. The Ahlullah have always taken great care regarding suhba. They concentrated more on suhba than on knowledge.

SUHBAT IS NO GUARANTEE OF ISLAAH
*Sometimes, when sincere and conscious efforts are not made in the direction of self-reformation then a degeneration of moral character occurs despite begin in the close association of saints. One Molvi sahib who happens to be the right- hand man of a certain buzroog wrote a letter of intercession to me on behalf of a man. In his letter he described the man as prominent businessman, hence special attention should be paid to him. I severely reprimanded him (the Molvi Sahib) telling him that he sought to impress and awe me with the business and prominence of the man “You attempt to dangle a bait in front of me.”

* As long as a person himself is not concerned about his islah (moral reformation), nothing will be gained by simply staying with a pious man.

SINCERE DESIRE REQUIRED ALONGSIDE SUHBAT
Whoever desires hidaayat (guidance), Allah Ta’ala will assuredly guide him. The Qur’aan states: “Those who strive in Our (Path), most assuredly, We shall guide them to the Paths (of Rectitude).” The Shaikh cannot reform a person who does not desire to be reformed. (This principle applies to even sincere non-Muslims who are in search of the Truth. Allah Ta’ala ultimately guides them to the Path of Imaan—Mujlisul Ulama).

NO GUIDANCE WITHOUT CORRECT INTENTION
* As long as a person has no intention of reforming himself, the teaching and training of  a murshid (guide) will be of no benefit nor will  anyone’s dua normally be of benefit. Who can be a greater guide and teacher than Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and whose dua can be more acceptable than Rasulullah’s dua? His uncle, Abu Talib had profound love for him. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) constantly made endeavours in the hope that Abu Talib would accept Imaan. However, since Abu Talib himself had no intention of reforming, all endeavours were of no avail.

NIYYAT OF BENEFIT WHEN SITTING WITH PIOUS
A Molvi Saheb asked: “When sitting in the company of a buzrug, what niyyat should one have??” Hadhrat replied: “Simply intend the obtainal of benefit. This benefit is of a general kind which includes Ilm, Amali and Haali benefit. In the company of pious there is nothing but benefit. Alhamdulillah, there is never any vestige of harm.” (Ilmi, i.e. that which pertains to knowledge. Amali, i.e. that which pertains to practical deeds. Haali i.e. that which pertains to emotional states.)

LOOKING AT THE PIOUS – A MEANS OF SHEDDING SINS?
A man wanted proof for the popular claim that sins are forgiven simply by looking at a buzrug. Hadhrat said: “Apparently there is no proof for this claim. Perhaps this has been inferred from the Hadith: “The best servants of Allah are those who, when they are seen, remind of Allah’s thikr.” The thikr of Allah is ibaadat and ibaadat eliminates sins. Thus, the buzrug becomes the medium for forgiveness of sins. It is therefore commonly said that by looking at a buzrug sins are forgiven.

EVIL ATTRIBUTES STEMS FROM LACK OF SUHBAT
Nowadays every person is the victim of Akhlaaq-e-Razeelah (evil attributes of the nafs). The primary cause for this is that people are deprived of the suhbat (companionship) of the devotees of Allah.suhbat is an essential need. People do not appreciate it because they are bereft of concern for the Aakhirah. One who has the fikr (concern) of the Aakhirah will never think that he is independent of suhbat. In fact, I say that in this age suhbat with the Saaliheen is Fardh-e-Ain. This age is extremely delicate. Besides other things, Imaan itself is under grave threat. The safety of Imaan in this age is ensured only by companionship with these pious men. What doubt can there be in something being Fardh-e-Ain when the safety of Imaan is dependent on it?

TABARRUKAAT
The impression of the heart becomes conspicuous in the speech andon even the garments of a person. It is precisely for this reason thatthere are good effects in the Tabarrukaat of the Ahlullaah.(Tabarrukaat refers to the memorabilia which the pious ones give)

SECLUSION ACHIEVED BY COMPANY OF THE PIOUS
The meaning of Khalwat (seclusion) is that the heart should be perpetually attached to Allah Ta’ala. Remain in seclusion while the heart remains attached to Allah Ta’ala. When the heart is overtaken by disturbance and abundance of distracting thoughts, then remain in the company of people. But it should be the company of the pious. The avalanche of disturbing thoughts will then dissipate. At such a time the jalwat (being in public) will be classified as khalwat because the Maqsood (aim) is that the heart should be attached to Allah Ta’ala, and when this has been achieved even in company, then such jalwat is like khalwat.

MEANING OF KHALWAT
The meaning of khalwat (seclusion/solitude) is that the heart should not have any relationship other than with Allah Ta’ala. This is the state of peace. However, nowadays, people have converted the heart into a  railway station (or airport) where all and sundry mingle whereas the heart is the abode of only One Being (Allah Ta’ala). When the Divine Being has settled in the heart, then every displeasing development appears pleasing.

EVEN THE PERFECTED SHAYKH SHOULD ADOPT KHALWAT (SECLUSION)
People of Ma‛rifah are shown many effects of one’s statements and actions. They are shown that an advice to do something by a person who himself is void of its practice does not take effect. Similarly they are also shown that the advices given by someone who also practices them take fruitful effect. This is why the Shuyūkh of Sulūk advice that even an ‛Arif should adopt seclusion (khalwah), just like the laity. He is in need of seclusion just like a beginner in the Sulūk needs it. This seclusion will be of benefit for other Sālikīn who are following this Sheikh. He can gather newer ulūm and bounties in seclusion (khalwah) aside from the bounties which he has already dispensed to the muridīn in open (jalwah). This way the stream will continue to flow.

THE EFFECT OF PIOUS COMPANY IS DISCERNMENT OF ONE’S FAULTS
Even if complete reformation is not achieved from the company of the pious, one will at least gain the ability to discern one’s own faults. This too is a substantial gain and it is the key to the Tareeq (Path of Reformation).

BARKAT IN THE COMPANY OF THE AULIYA
An Aalim who is a lover of the world and does no practise according to his knowledge is a jaahil (ignoramus). There is a special barkat in the hearts of the Ahullaah (Men of Allah). If this barkat is focussed on someone, Allah Ta’ala by its virtue bestows His fadhl (grace and kindness). When the hearts of the Auliya incline to someone, Allah Ta’ala bestows His fadhl on that person. (This is one of the important benefits for being in the suhbat- company- of the pious Mashaaikh).

COMPANY, BAD OR GOOD, HAS A HUGE EFFECT
Companionship of the pious produce noor (spiritual light) in the heart. On the contrary, evil company creates zulmat (spiritual darkness) in the heart. The consequence of companionship of the evil is the reflection of the darkness of their hearts on one’s heart.

ASSOCIATION WITH KUFFAAR AND FUJJAAR
Nooraaniyat (i.e. the Noor of Imaan) is extinguished by association with kuffaar and fujjaar (immoral persons). Zulmat (spiritual darkness) then develops. The knowledge which emanates from the niches of Nubuwwat contain Noor, and what emerges from the heart of a faasiq is zulmat.

WORLDLY TALK OF PIOUS PERSON MORE BENEFICIAL THAN DEENI TALK OF AN IRRELIGIOUS PERSON
Zulmat (spiritual darkness) accompanies even the Deeni talks of an irreligious person. Even the words he writes are enwrapped in a measure of darkness. In contrast, there is Noor in even the worldly talk of a pious person. Speech in reality springs from the heart. Therefore, the state of the heart will most certainly exercise its effect in a man’s speech and writing. Since the impression of the speaker’s heart is in his speech and in his writing, one should not be in the company of irreligious persons nor study their books.

THE ZULMAT OF EVEN BOOKS
Once when several persons visited Hadhrat Mirza Jaan Jaanaan (rahmatullah alayh), he perceived  a veil  of spiritual darkness (zulmat) emanating from them. Hadhrat commented: “They have kitaabs of zulmat with them”. It was then discovered that they had  Ibn Sina’s (Avicenna’s) kitaabs, AshShifa’.

TOTAL DEVOTION TO AND CONFIDENCE IN THE SHAYKH

TOTAL OBEDIENCE RELATES ONLY TO SPIRITUAL MATTERS
Obedience to the Shaikh (one’s spiritual guide) is not absolute nor in everything. For example, if the Shaikh requests that his mureed should give his daughter in marriage to his (the Shaikh’s) son or to someone else, then accepting this request is not incumbent. Obedience to the Shaikh is only in the matter of Islaah of the nafs. Furthermore, obedience even in this sphere is incumbent only if the Shaikh’s prescription is permissible in the Shariah.

However, it is improper to debate with the Shaikh. At the same time it is not permissible to violate the Shariah.  In such a state of conflict, maintain respect and seek a fatwa from the Ulama. Then inform the Shaikh that a certain act in the Silsilah is not permissible. Thereafter if the Shaikh still insists on his instruction, then abandon the Shaikh and terminate the relationship. This is the meaning of perfect obedience.

THE MEANING OF ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE
This following is neither in beliefs (aqaid) nor in unveiling (kashafiyat), other collective issues (masail) and economic matters. It is only in methods of approach, diagnosis, instructions and treatment of spiritual diseases and issues related to spiritual reformation. Moreover,this following is further restricted to the mutual agreement of murid and the Shaykh on the permissibility of the issue. If there is a difference of opinion then it is against the way of people of the path (tareeq) to indulge in a debate with the Shaykh, when following his advice will be against the Shariah ruling. In this situation the best etiquette (adab) between the two proprieties (adab of Shariah and Shaykh) is to consult the scholars or do research of his own (if he is capable of it) and establish a ruling. He should then inform the Shaykh that I do not consider this particular action to be permissible and it is from the teaching of our path (silsila), what should I do? If the Shaykh still instructs him to do the same then it is best to abandon this Shaykh. However, if he gives the permission to forgo this action then this is also following his instruction in proxy.

This is the meaning of absolute following (itiba’ e kamil).

That is, complete following (of the Shaykh) must be done in whatever diseases of the lower self (nafs) he has diagnosed, the prescription he has provided and the permissible actions he has instructed to carry out, the permissibility of which Shaykh and murid agree mutually upon. Murid should not interfere in these issues at all with his opinions. It does not entail following in matters beside these issues.

THE BASIS OF PIETY
The basis of piety of a person is on the confidence one has on a Buzrug and following him. But, there is an imperative need to first investigate the Buzrug whom one intends appointing as one’s guide otherwise one will be deviated from the Path.

DISRESPECT IS DESTRUCTIVE IN THIS PATH
By showing disrespect to the Shaikh (Spiritual Guide), the Mureed is deprived of batini (inner, spiritual relationship) with the Shaikh becomes severed. Disrespect is highly dangerous in the spiritual path. Its peculiar effect is worse than the effect of sin. In this Path (of spiritual reformation) all defects are tolerated, but criticism and disrespect. Total devotion and confidence in the Shaikh are essential in this Path.

IN THE HANDS OF A QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN ABANDON PERSONAL IDEAS
Two things are very beneficial. If a person adopts them, he will not go astray. One: He should annihilate his personal opinion. Two: He should not hanker after results. He should act according to the instructions of his Shaikh (Spiritual Guide). Hadhrat Hajee Imdadullah (rahmatullah alayh) usually commented: “The Taufeeq (inclination) to do good, in itself is a great wealth.” [The above advice pertains to spiritual and moral reformation where one is following the guidance of a qualified Shaikh who is an expert in the field of spiritual reformation. The mureed (disciple) should submit to his Shaikh’s instructions and abandon his personal ideas.]

SELF-OPINION AFTER HAVING REPOSED TRUST
Self-opinion in this path is a notorious bandit and a fatal poison. A man in whom this exists will be totally deprived of benefit. He will not gain any benefit in this Path. The very first step in this path (of moral reformation) is self-annihilation.

THE DISEASED SHOULD SUBMIT TO THE PHYSICIAN, NOT VICE VERSA
If the Ulama join the ranks of the ignorant, what benefit will there be? Yes, if the ignorant submit to Ulama, then will they gain benefit (Deeni and spiritual benefit). This is a simple and self-evident fact. If a medical doctor submits to the whims of the sick, they (the sick) will not derive any benefit. The sick will benefit only if they remain subservient to the physicians. This subservience will be laudable and wise because the patient has submitted himself to a wise and qualified person. A doctor who submits to the whims of igno rant patients, displays gross ignorance.

IKHTILAAF SHOULD NOT GIVE RISE TO KHILAAF
If one has affection and confidence in a person, then even if some ikhtilaaf(difference of opinion) develops, there should not be any khilaaf (ill—feeling / enmity).

EMOTIONAL LOVE IS INSUFFICIENT
Muhabbat-e-Tab’i (emotional love) with the Shaikh (Spiritual Guide) is insufficient (for the acquisition of moral and spiritual benefit). For the acquisition of moral and spiritual benefit from the Shaikh,Muhabbat-e-Aqli (rational/intellectual love) is necessary. Abu Taalib, Rasulullah’s uncle, had a profound emotional love for Nabi-e- Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). But this love did not benefit him. If he had Muhabbat-e-Aqli as well, he would have been the first person to have benefited and accept Imaan(Muhabbat-e-Aqli is a intellectual harmony and confidence which the mureed has in the ta’leem and tarbiyat of his Shaikh. He has no doubt whatever in the correctness of the teachings of the Shaikh.)

ATTACHMENT WITH THE SHAYKH HAS LIMITS
The Mashaaikh advise that a mureed should not be perpetually attached to his Shaikh (i.e. following him all over the show and in all conditions being with him). The reason for this is that no person is devoid of human frailties. When the focus of the mureed falls on such human frailties of his Shaikh, the honour of his Shaikh in his estimate will be diminished, and this will prove morally and spiritually fatal for the mureed.  The diminished attitude of the mureed will constitute a formidable barrier between himself and his Shaikh and the door of spiritual benefit will close.

But this should not be misconstrued. It never means that the mureed should labour in deception regarding his Shaikh’s supposed  greatness if he (the mureed) observes the Shaikh persisting in the indulgence of haraam and major sins. In such a state it is haraam for the mureed to entertain the idea of the piety of the Shaikh.  It becomes incumbent on the mureed to cancel his bay’t to the Shaikh. At the same time, the mureed should not become insolent towards the Shaikh (with whom he has terminated the bay’t relationship).

ALLAH CAN BRING RESULTS TO THE SINCERE SEEKER WHO HAS BEEN DECEIVED
Once a robber, abandoning his profession, took up residence in a hut along the river banks. He involved himself in Thikrullah. People started to visit him, labouring under the impression that he was a saint. Some even became his mureeds and become involved in Thikr. By the qudrat (power) of Allah Ta’ala some of these mureeds attained high ranks of spiritual elevation.

One day some of his spiritual elevated mureeds by means of Muraqabah several times, they could not discern any elevated spiritual rank for their spiritual guide. Finally, they reported their discovery to their Shaikh who truthfully revealed.to them his story and told them very clearly that he was, in fact, a non-entity. All the mureeds together made dua to Allah Ta’ala for the elevation of their Shaikh. As a result, Allah Ta’ala elevated the shaikh to a high spiritual rank. In this episode the determining factor was nothing but aqeedat (implicit faith and devotion). Such faith cleared the road.

THE STATUS OF BAY’T
Bay’t (the mureed placing his hand in the hands of the Shaikh to denote his allegiance) is not of imperative importance. Of great importance is Ittiba’ (obedience) and muhabbat (love). Placing hand in hand is merely for the solace of the seeker.  It contents him to know that he has pledged allegiance to a particular guide. Besides this, bay’t has no share in the acquisition of spiritual benefit. I give the assurance that even without the ceremony of bay’t there will be not an iota of reduction in the benefit. Bay’t is a burden on me. In fact I desire that no one becomes bay’t to me, but they should extract Deeni service from me.

TA’LEEM IS NOT DEPEDENT ON BAY’T|
* The basis (of Islaah-e-Nafs) is Ta’leem(teaching of the Shaikh). Bay’t is not essential. However, it (Bay’t) strengthens the relationship. The Shaikh by virtue ofbay’t regards the reformation of the mureed an incumbent duty on himself. He therefore, pays greater attention to him.

*When a man insisted to be initiated as a mureed, Hadhrat said: “As long as the hearts of both parties (i.e. Shaikh and Mureed) have not united (in compatibility), this relationship is not beneficial. In fact, it is harmful. Haste produces regret. The feeling of being trapped develops (in the Shaikh and Mureed if there is no mutual compatibility). The relationship of Bay’t confines both parties into a life-long prison. Never fall into this prison without the pleasure of both parties. Besides this, I am always at the service of all Muslims with dua. Some people think that ta’leem (imparting moral instructions) and spiritual benefit are dependent on bay’t or without bay’t there will be no benefit. I believe a man (i.e. spiritual guide / shaikh) is a highway robber and dacoit if he hesitates to impart ta’leem without bay’t. Honestly, I do not hesitate in imparting ta’leem to any taalib (searcher of moral reformation).”

BAY’T IS NOT NECESSARY
*Bay’t is not necessary. The imperative demand is ta’leem and i’tiqaad (confidence on the Shaikh). It is also necessary that the Shaikh belongs to an authentic Silsilah. Confidence alone is of no value if the sheikh does no belong to an authentic Order of Tasawwuf.

*For islaah (reformation) of the nafs, bay’t is not imperative. The belief that bay’t is necessary for islaah is a bid’at. The first obligation of the Shaikh is the islaah of the mureed. He should not conceal anything in consideration of others.

BAY’T— A MUSTAHAB ACT CAN TRANSFORM INTO BID’AH
Bay’t is not bid’ah. However, to believe that it is Waajib is bid’ah. The benefit which is obtainable from bay’t could be acquired even without bay’t. The acquisition of moral and spiritual benefits are not dependent on bay’t. Bay’t is certainly a Mustahab Sunnah. (But when a Mustahab is assigned the status of Wujoob or excesses are committed regarding the practice, then it becomes bid’ah).

BAY’T IS MERELY A CUSTOM TODAY
What will be achieved only from bay’t if the instruction (ta’leem) is not obeyed? Nowadays the practice of bay’t is merely a custom devoid of reality. Similarly, staying with a buzrug will not benefit if there is no obedience to his teaching.

INSTANT INITIATION OF MUREEDS
Some people say that whoever comes should simply be accepted in bay’t (i.e. made a mureed) otherwise he may become trapped at the hands of some bid’ati peer (one who initiates mureeds). In response to this argument I say that on the contrary, I have saved him (the one who was refused) from the clutches of a bid’ati. The reason for my procrastination (i.e. not immediately making bay’t) is to convey that there should not be haste in this relationship. This relationship should be cultivated only after considerable reflection. Assuming a particular man who was refused does become the mureed of a bid’ati, another 50 will be saved from falling into the clutches of bid’atis. They will understand that they should refrain from haste and think before making their decision. Thus, my attitude prevents people from bid’ati’s. If anyone does fall into a bid’ati’s trap, he does so out of his own free will. He, himself, is responsible for this action.

BAY’T IS USELESS WITHOUT OBEDIENCE
Of what use is mere bay’t when the mureed does not obey the ta’leem? Nowadays bay’t has become a mere custom. Similarly, there is no benefit staying in the company of a buzrug without obedience to his ta’leem. Staying minus obedience is like a pawned object. The pawnee does not derive any benefit from the pawned item. However, if the item is sold, there will be benefit. The pawned item remains idle in the custody of the pawnee and will be reclaimed by its owner. The one who desires to gain the benefit of the Tareeq, should ‘sell’ himself to the Guide (i.e. he should not remain redundant like a pawned item).

COMMERCIAL PEERS AND BAY’T
The commercial peers (spiritual guides) say that they will not divulge the special mysteries without one becoming bay’t to them. This is nothing but their fabrication. Indeed, what are the special mysteries which they will not divulge? Most certainly, whatever mysteries were essential (for Muslims) were delivered to the world by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) from the hilltops, from the mimbars and in public. In fact, whatever ‘special mysteries’ they (the commercial mentors) claim to know of — mysteries which are apart from what Rasulullah ( sallallaahu alayhi wasallam ) had divulged — are evils. By means of such evils they are desirous of trapping people in their pernicious nets of deception. Most assuredly, they are unable to publicly divulge such evils. Indeed, their ‘special mysteries’ are such evils which they can not divulge even after one has become bay’t to them, for no one will divulge his own faults and evils.

THE MUREED’S NIYYAT (INTENTION)
* The mureed’s intention should not be to become a guide. The niyyat should be only to be able to see the Path  (i.e. become morally reformed and gain the ability to be saved from the deception of the nafs and shaitaan.)

* Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah) received a letter from a person requesting spiritual advice. In reply Imam Hakim al-Ummah Thanwi wrote: “Read the transcripts of twenty of my spiritual discourses and practice upon them. Once you have done that, inform me of your condition.” That is, let me know whether or not you feel some spiritual elevation and change within you.

After reading the transcripts of twenty lectures the person replied: “Unfortunately, I do not feel any change within myself at all.” Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi wrote back: “Either you have not read those lectures with the intention of spiritual rectification or the subject matter was not related to spirituality. If that is not so, it could be that there is nothing within you which needs rectification. The person wrote back admitting that he had not read the lectures with the intention of spiritual rectification, to which Imam Hakim al-Ummah Thanwi replied advising him to read them once again, but with the proper intention of rectification. Once again the person wrote saying: “Al-Hamdu lillah, I have acquired enormous spiritual elevation and benefit from the lectures. An amazing change has now taken place within me.”

Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah) comments: “If I had merely prescribed some dhikr, he would not have benefited so much. Truly, if a person does something the right way, fulfilling its rights and conditions, Allah, Most High, will definitely put benefit in that thing. But our problem is that we do things according to our own understanding and deficient conjectures. Due to this we end up frustrated and confused. Today’s fake pirs and money-making sufi shaykhs have cheated the people, taking money from them and giving them wazífas to read. Is it ever possible to spiritually rectify oneself through wazífas and awrad? Spiritual rectification and elevation can only be acquired through [the proper procedures of] spiritual rectification.”

WHEN UNDERGOING ISLAAH DO NOT GET DISTRACTED
A Shaikh ordered one of his mureeds to go for a while to a certain place and apply himself to Thikr and Shaghul (spiritual exercise). After sometime the mureed wrote informing his Shaikh of disunity and animosity prevailing between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities of that place. Hence, he requested the Shaikh for dua. The Shaikh wrote reprimanding the mureed: “Have I sent you to dispatch news reports or for working (i.e. engrossing yourself in Thikr)?” Someone asked: “Dua is Sunnat. Why the reprimand?” Hadhrat Thanvi replied: “If a Sunnat act prevents a person from a Fardh act, he will be instructed to forgo the Sunnat act. Islah of the Nafs (i.e. self-reformation) is Fardh. (Involvement in the affairs of the community impeded the spiritual progress of the mureed, hence the reprimand).”

DEBATING IS HIGHLY DETRIMENTAL IN THE PATH OF SELF-RECTIFICATION
One should not ask one’s Shaikh (one’s Spiritual Guide) such Fiqhi Masa- il (rules of Fiqh) which entail debate and discussion. Debate and objection are highly detrimental in this Path of Tasawwuf.

                       MAJZOOB

MAJZOOB ARE THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR SENSES
1. With regard to the earthly existence, Majzubs are devoid of understanding. They are not in need of this understanding. They require another kind of understanding which they do possess. In this group, there is no intelligence (aql) although their physical senses or a child lacking intelligence before buloogh (puberty) even though the senses are fully functional. The presence of the physical senses does not negate the state of mujzubiyat nor do the laws of the Shari’ah, e.g. Salat, become obligatory simply because of the physical sense being fully functional. For the incumbency (fardhiat) to these laws, aql is the requisite.

Hence, both the majnoon and the majzub are absolved of the Shar’i laws on account of the lack of aql in them. However, it is difficult to differentiate between these two groups. This is a delicate task. A probable criterion for this differentiation is the relationship or treatment which the sulaha and atqiya (i.e. the Auliya) have for the majzub/majnoon. If the Auliya honour or ignore the person, others too, should behave in this manner. The general public should not act according to their opinion.

ALLAH USES THE MAJZOOB FOR SOME TASKS
A Molvi Saheb said: “Hadhrat, it is difficult nowadays to differentiate between a majzub and a majnoon.” (Majzub: A person who lost his worldly sense in the pursuit of Divine Love. Majnoon: An insane person.-Translator) Hadhrat Thanvi (rahmatullah alayhi) commented: “Absolutely correct. Someone may be a majzub and another one may be a majnoon. Saintly people are able to recognize them.” I have heard from buzroogs that in Deoband Hadhrat Maulana Yaqub (rahmatullah alayhi) was the chief of the jamaat (group) of majzubs. An episode confirms this.

A majzub who was a foreigner came to live in Deoband. He took up residence in the Chattah Musjid. But prior to taking up residence he sought permission from Maulana Yaqub Saheb (rahmatullah alayhi). We, the students would pester the majzub to curse certain kuffar. But, he would never respond other than say: “Alright, alright!” After his death it was learnt from some of our buzroogs that he was the supporter of certain kuffar (whom we had asked him to curse). Regarding this support, Hadhrat Thanvi (rahmatullah alayhi) said: “Majzubs are like the Mala-ikah. Among the Malaikah are those who are responsible for also the training (and maintenance) of the kuffar.”

KEEP ALOOF FROM MAJZOOBS
One should not expect any benefit from this jamaat (the majzubs). As far as possible keep aloof from them. Since they lack aql, there is the danger of them causing harm.

VERY STRONG SPIRITUAL STATE CAN SNATCH AWAY SENSES
A Molvi Saheb asked: “What is the reality of majzub? How does one become a majzub?” Hadhrat Thanvi (rahmatullah alayhi) replied: “Sometimes a very strong warid snatches away the aql. (Warid is a spiritual inspiration). This rank of majzubiyat is acquired by way of majahadah (striving against the desires of the nafs). The various affairs of this world are entrusted of these majzubs. They are responsible for the systems which operate in the world. On the other hand the Ahl-e- Irshad (those Auliya who are actively involved in the moral reformation of the Ummah) are the Representatives of the Rasool. Their rank is far superior.

The actual thing is obedience (to Allah and His Rasool) Kashf and Karamat are not excellences. Similar (seemily miraculous) wonderful feats are demonstrated even by the Ahl-e-Batil (kuffar, magicians, sorcerers, etc). Once the wife of a man in either America or Germany, who was deeply in love with her, died. The husband took a photograph of her dead body. When he developed the film, to his surprise, five photographs emerged.

Of these five, one was of his wife and four other people. He recognised two of the photographs. The other two were the pictures of strangers whom he did not recognize. The man concluded that the only explanation is that at the time of taking the photos, the souls of the other four deceased must have been present, hence the five photographs. However, what is amazing is the photographing of invisible entities. How did this happen? (Also, how did five different photos emerge from the single photograph taken by the man?-Translator) Look! Such amazing feats are manifested on the hands of even Ahl-e- Batil. It is precisely for this reason that the Ahl-e-Haq (Ulama-e-Haq) say that the criterion is obedience to Allah and the Rasool.”

INFORMATION BY A MAJZOOB
(A Majzoob is a saintly person who has become mentally deranged in his quest for Divine Love. Sometimes he makes future predictions which materialize. Commenting on this, Hadhrat said): The predictions of a Majzoob pertaining to future events materialize in accordance with what has already been ordained. Even if the Majzoob did not predict an event, it would still most certainly materialize. There is no new dimension to the prediction. People consider such predictions to be an attribute of excellence (in the Majzoob). They also labour under the erroneous notion that events materialize as a consequence of the statements made by the Majzoobs, whereas this is not so. The only thing is that people are made aware of an event prior to its occurrence. Besides this, there is no new dimension. This pertains to worldly events. As far as Deeni benefit is concerned, the Muhaqqiqeen say that there is no Deeni benefit in the company of a Majzoob. Benefit is acquired from the companionship of a Saalik.”

INSANE PEOPLE WHO SPEAK WORDS OF WISDOM
Someone asked a Buzrug regarding the Majzoobs: “These people are insane, yet they speak words of hikmat (wisdomand ma’rifat (divine knowledge). What is the underlying mystery?’ The Buzrug explained: ‘Initially these people had possessed two things: Aql and Fadhl. Allah Ta’ala eliminated their Aql, leaving them with Fadhl, hence they speak words of hikmat and ma’rifat.’ (Fadhl refers to the special grace of Allah Ta’ala.)

             QUALITY OF IBAADAH

DESIRE FOR RESULTS
Nowadays there is a great calamity — while there is indifference towards effort and struggle, the desire is to obtain the results and fruits of effort. Is the taufeeq of engagement in the effort an insignificant result? A person complained to Hadhrat Haaji Imdaadullah (rahmatullah alayh): “I engage in thikr, but do not discern any benefit.” Hadhrat said: “Is your engagement in thikr an insignificant benefit?” A person said to me: “I do not derive pleasure in thikr.” I said: “What pleasure do you expect in thikr? Where are you searching for pleasure?” People understand such issues as the goal when in reality these things are not the goal. This attitude is proof for a person’s unawareness of the Path. People have become total strangers of this Path. Leave alone the poor masses. Even the Ulama are trapped in such misconceptions.

TRUE PEACE ONLY IN ZIKRULLAH
True peace is not attainable without Thikrullaah. I can take an oath and say that no one enjoys the peace of the Ahlullaah although it may appear that there is no difference between them and others in relation to physical difficulties and hardships. Notwithstanding the physical difficulties and discomforts, their hearts are at peace on account of their engrossment with Thikrullaah. “Hark! With the Thikr of Allah to hearts find peace.”—Qur’aan

CONSTANCY IN ZIKR WILL EVENTUALLY PRODUCE RESULTS
Be constant in dhikr even if the heart and mind is not present and there is no enjoyment. In due course the dhikr will develop into such a habit, there will be no repose without it. For example, initially when a person smokes a huqqa (smoking pipe), he experiences giddiness, nausea and vomiting. By regularly smoking, this condition changes and now he cannot do without it, so much so that even if he doesn’t have food, he must have a few drags on the huqqa.

On another occasion Hadrat said (on the same subject):

Although not felt, benefit (from dhikr) is achieved from the very beginning. A child grows daily, but it can never be determined how much the child has grown for a particular day. One can gauge the growth of the child only after a considerable amount of time has passed by comparing his present condition to the previous. A major difference will be noted. In the same way, dhikr, in the initial stages seems to be devoid of benefit, but actually he is receiving benefit all the time (without realizing it).

Once Hadrat said:

Drops of water continuously fall on a stone resulting in eventually a hole being formed. Can it be said that the last drop formed the hole on the stone? Never! The first drop was just as effective as the last drop in forming the hole. Never consider the first drop to be useless. In the same way, the first day’s dhikr that one considered to be without benefit is undoubtedly beneficial! The special (spiritual) condition that has been achieved is the result of the first dhikr just as the latter dhikrs.

THE IMMEDIATE BENEFIT OF ZIKR
Be constant in Thikr regardless of lack of spiritual enthusiasm. Gradually the thaakir will become so much addicted to Thikr that he will have no peace without it. The benefit of Thikr begins from the very first day although this is not perceived. After a considerable period of time, if the thaakir’s present state is compared with his previous condition, the difference will be discerned. In the beginning it appears that there is no benefit whilst in reality the benefit is constant.

Water constantly dropping on rock ultimately creates a deep impression in the rock. The deep impression is not the effect of the final drop. The very first drop has the same effect as the last drop. It is therefore improper to negate the efficacy of the first drop.  The Thikr of the first day has the same effect as the Thikr of the last day has on the ultimate spiritual state of the thaakir (the one who engages in thikr).

DO NOT OVER-EXERT YOURSELF IN CONCENTRATION
A cursory concentration suffices in salat, dhikr, etc. Do not exert yourself otherwise the heart and mind will be harmed. Exertion in concentration also causes tiredness and distress, resulting in the disruption of benefit. Proficiency in concentration will gradually, step by step be achieved through cursory concentration.

Also, do not exert yourself to preserve a certain [spiritual] condition, nor hanker after such a condition. Extremism is harmful. Do what you are required to do. Ability and conditions will form on its own. Don’t agitate yourself nor concern yourself with results and conditions. The main objective is to keep oneself engaged and occupied.

THE OBJECTIVE IS AMAL NOT SPIRITUAL BLISS
The objective of enthusiasm is amal (i.e. to practise the ahkaam of the Deen). The objective of amal is not attainment of enthusiasm (or some spiritual state –Kaifiyat). As long as there is constancy in amal, the Maqsood (objective) has been achieved even if the amal is not accompanied by enthusiasm (or by some spiritual condition such as pleasure, elation, etc.). One should not become grieved for failure to attain any spiritual condition (kaifiyat). Of importance is to ensure that there is no deficiency in amal.

WAITING FOR PERFECT SENERITY IS FUTILE
To wait for total settling of the mind (i.e. complete devotion to Allah) is futile. This is not possible while one is caught up in this world (with its responsibilities and duties). To achieve this, even in a troubled and perplexed condition, start the connection with Allah Most High. Gradually such single-minded devotion will follow. Otherwise life will come to an end (waiting) and complete devotion will not be achieved.

NO HARDSHIP IN IBAADAH
Nowadays, people regard Ibadat to hardship. Wallah! There is no hardship in Ibadat. Ibadat is like varieties of delicious foods. There is no hardship in participating in such varieties of delicacies. If this is branded as hardship, it will be tantamount to denying the quality of nourishment of food. I take oath by Allah! These virtuous deeds of the shari’ah are like bread. Initially the baby finds difficulty in eating bread and seeks to abstain from it. However, once the realization has dawned on the child, he will understand the bread to be a mercy. Similarly, the worshipper experiences some difficulty initially in Ibadat. But later, when experiences the pleasure of Ibadat, he will engross himself wholeheartedly therein.

WE FLEE FROM IBAADAT
Alas! We are increasingly becoming the enemies of such things which create the love of Allah. We flee from the Ibadat of Allah. On the other hand, we adopt the things which distance us from Allah.

COMPLETE SUBMISSION WILL RESULT IN BARKAT
I claim with emphasis that if a person submits fully (to the Shari’ah), the result will be barakat (blessings) in abundance. But one should be steadfast. In the beginning one will not discern benefit. However, later such noor (spiritual light) will be perceived that peace of mind without obedience will not be possible. In fact, the effect of such obedience will extend to others.

COMFORT AND PLEASURE COMES AFTER ACCOMPLISHMENT OF WORK
People search for comfort (and pleasure) in the works of the Deen. While such comfort does occur, it is only after accomplishment of the work. But people desire to attain this comfort first. Their similitude is that of a sick man who complains of his ill- health. While he wishes for good health, he abstains from medicine. Health without eliminating the sickness is not possible. The eliminating of sickness cannot be effected without medical treatment. However in the affairs of the Deen the intelligence of people has become deranged (because they are reluctant or refuse to adopt correct methods for spiritual reformation and benefit).

WE CAN ATTAIN GOAL ONLY BY ALLAH’S (AZZA WA JAL) FADHL
Although we lack the ability to reach the goal of Divine Proximity, we can attain it by means of His Fadhl (Kindness), not by our efforts. Even if our efforts are useless, He is such a Gracious One Who ensures that we attain the Goal. At least we are expected to get up and walk. Then His Rahmat will take us into His Merciful Lap. It is however necessary that we be constant in our effort.

RESTLESSNESS IS ALSO A BLESSING
In reply to a Molvi Saheb who had complained about his feeling of restlessness, Hadhrat commented: “What really is the incumbency for tranquillity (sukoon)?? Even if one does not achieve sukoon throughout life, there is no harm? Restlessness (Idhtirab) is also a great ni`mat (bounty) of Allah Ta’ala. There is also much wisdom for this state.”

CONSTANCY IN ZIKR IS THE AIM
Hadhrat Haji Saheb was in Tareeqat, the Imaam and Mujtahid of his time. In this field he was a Muhaqqiq and a Mujaddid. Once a man complained to Hadhrat Haji Saheb, “I engage in thikr, but do not discern any benefit.” Haji Saheb said, “What! Is your constancy in thikr and the taufeeq to engage in thikr not a benefit?” Nowadays, people are averse to striving. They want to attain the ranks of wilaayat andqutubiyyat in a day. This is the path in which you even spend your entire life without realizing if you have achieved anything or not. Even if you discern that you have achieved nothing, the reality is that you have attained success. Everything has been achieved. The condition of constancy is very blessed. The aim is to achieve this condition.

PERPETUAL THIKR IS NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT ISLAAH
It is possible to sit for a day and engage in Thikr for some time. But, perpetual Thikr is not possible without Islaah (self-reformation) and seclusion. The focus on perpetual Thikr is the effect of Divine Focus on a person. It is a bestowal of Allah Ta’ala. If Allah’s Focus is not directed to a man, he will never acquire the taufeeq for perpetual Thikr. Awaariful Ma-aarif is a kitaab of Hadhrat Shaikh Shuhaabuddin Suharwardi (rahmatullah alayh). He narrates therein the episode of a Buzrug who one day found that he was unable to move his tongue with Thikr. He had the intention and the sanity, but his tongue refused to co-operate. Greatly distressed, he supplicated to Allah Ta’ala to apprize him of his sin to enable him to repent. By way of Ilhaam (divine inspiration) he was informed that on a certain day an evil word had slipped from his mouth. He was now suffering its punishment. After considerable supplication, remorse and shedding tears, he was forgiven and his tongue regained the ability of Thikr.

THE REWARD FOR HAVING SINCERE INTENTION FOR ZIKRULLAH
After Hadhrat Ibraaheem Bin Adham (rahmatullah alayh) had passed away, a Buzrug saw him in a dream and asked how he had fared by Allah Ta’ala. Hadhrat Ibn Adham said: ‘Alhamdulillah! Allah Ta’ala bestowed His fadhl (grace and favour) and lofty ranks. However, near to my home lived a poor man. He always yearned to devote all his time for the Thikr of Allah, but he never gained the opportunity. I did not receive the lofty ranks which Allah Ta’ala had bestowed to him.’

PLEASURE IN OBEDIENCE
The accepted servants of Allah who derive pleasure in obedience of Allah Ta’ala have neither need nor desire for worldly kingdoms and political power. Even if these should be bestowed to them, they yearn for the pleasure which is the effect of the obedience. They have no desire for the pomp and pleasure of the world.

PLEASUREABLE STATES DEPENDENT ON STEADFASTNESS
* “Pleasurable spiritual states (ahwaal) are dependent on istiqaamat (steadfastness) and A’maal-e-Saalihaat (pious deeds).”

* “Nisbat (a special relationship) with Allah Ta’ala is the effect of Allah’s Ridha’(Pleasure), and this is attainable only by way of obedience.”

* “On some the effects of Love for Allah are dominant, while on others the effects of Love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) appear dominant. There is no conflict between the two. Both are the same. It is only a difference of colour.”(Love for Rasulullah – (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the effect of Love for Allah Ta’ala. The Qur’aan says: “Whoever obeys the Rasool, verily, he has obeyed Allah.”)

COMFORT IN SALAAT COMES WITH EFFORT AND MORAL REFORMATION
The reality of success is comfort. The comfort which the heart derives from Salaat cannot be gained from even a thousand varieties of delicious food. However, the perception of this comfort is attained after a specific time period which varies for different persons (depending on their effort and moral reformation).

THE REWARD FOR OBEDIENCE IS IN THIS WORLD TOO
The great and primary reward of Taa-at (obedience to Allah Ta’ala) is thawaab (reward) in the Aakhirat. This reward is attainable if the act of obedience is  executed  correctly by observing its conditions and etiquettes (aadaab). Another benefit is the special barakaat of the good deed which is manifested even in this world. However for this achievement it is necessary to  have  the intention of it at the time of  rendering the deed. For example, one of the benefits of Namaaz according to the Qur’aan is  the taufeeq to abstain from sins. This benefit will be obtained only if Namaaz is correctly performed with its conditions and etiquettes and also the intention  of gaining the taufeeq to abstain from sins.

THIKR WITHOUT PLEASURE
By means of constancy in even Thikr without experiencing pleasure (sweetness), divine proximity and spiritual health are achieved. This achievement overshadows all kinds of pleasure.

MAKE THIKR AND FIKR INCUMBENT
Make thikr and fikr incumbent on yourself. (Fikr is to ponder, reflect and derive lesson). Allah’s remembrances becomes embedded in the heart by means of fikr. Then Allah’s remembrance becomes simple at all times. The remembrance of Allah produces  peace in the heart. The effect of thikr is the flight of shaitaan whereas the effect of ghaflat (obliviousness) is shaitaani wasaawis.

Keep the tongue moist at all times with the thikr of Allah whether you are able to concentrate or not. The gain of thikr is virtue.  The tongue is the organ  involved the most in sin. Thikr prevents the tongue from indulgence in sin. The cause of sin is forgetfulness. Its remedy is Thikrullaah.

ENGROSS YOUR EVERY MOMENT WITH ZIKRULLAH
Even if reciting continuously, ‘Allaahu, Allaahu’ is not accompanied by sincerity, it is not futile. However, as a result of continuous repetition the ability (for Thikr) will be cultivated. The very initiation of this act will be an aid for future endurance. Therefore, do not consider even a little effort to be futile. Not a single moment should be devoid of some activity. (Every moment of the Mu`min’s life should be occupied with something beneficial).

EXERCISE MODERATION
* If while engaged in Thikr/Tilaawat (or one’s daily quota of auraad), sleep overwhelms you, take a rest. Go to sleep. Do not combat the overwhelming sleep. This could lead to a dryness in the brains. The consequence of this is the development of corrupt thoughts. Sometimes the zaakir gains the impression that such thoughts are ilhaam (divine inspirations) and he begins to think of himself as a buzrug. Such a person ultimately becomes insane. It is for this reason that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There should be no extremes in sleeping.” (Sleep should neither be excessive nor too little.)

* Once a Zakir told Hadhrat Maulana [Rasheed Ahmed]Gangohi (Rahmatullah alayh), that at the time of Zikr he gets tired. He replied, “Either take a pillow and sleep or do your Zikr. There’s no cure of tiredness except sleeping.

ISTIQAAMAT (FIRMNESS) GREATER THAN KARAAMAT (MIRACLES)
Firmness in the perpetuity of one’s ma’mulaat (programme of daily ibaadat) is an elevated, wonderful acquisition. With this acquisition, the lack of any new spiritual experience is not disadvantageous. Firmness is termed Istiqaamat. The Akaabir (senior Mashaaikh) aver that Istiqaamat surpasses Karaamat (miracles).

PERSISTENCY IS THE WAY TO IMPROVE DEFECTIVE DEEDS
Continue practising deeds as best as you can. Never abandon deeds because of deficiencies. By constancy the defects are removed and perfection attained. This is the way to improve and perfect deeds.

SWEETNESS OF IBAADAT MISSING DUE TO SPIRITUAL ILLNESSES
In our times people are not geared up to focus on actions. Leave aside the laity, even the distinguished ones mostly run after secrets (asrarāt) and pleasures (dhaukiyāt) of sulūk. Hence this topic has become very necessary to tackle. The reason why some Sālikīn may not be inclined towards actions (a’maal) is because there is not much leisure or delight in a’maal in the beginning, while the dhaukiyāt are filled with delight.

An example of action is that of a medication. It is not pleasant to one’s taste in the beginning, but once it becomes an addiction then it starts to give delight like food. This is why those who have reached higher levels in sulūk find more delight in actions. This has been mentioned in Hadīth, “Coolness of my eyes has been placed in the Salah”.

Those seekers who complain that they do not get any pleasure in dhikr, salah or fasting, make me laugh. Has anyone ever complained to a doctor that the medicine does not have a good taste? Then what is the meaning of such a complaint in this case? The dhikr and salah has been given as a medication for the seeker, so should a seeker be worried if there is any delight or taste in this medication? Indeed, once one has made these actions as their habit, the actions start giving pleasures like food as well.

Just like opium and tobacco are medications in essence, once a person’s body makes a habit of it, it becomes pleasurable items. Moreover, if the sheikh gives a way which brings ease in action then that was never his duty, rather it is a good gesture on his part. Hence a doctor is only liable to gives a prescription. The patient does not have the right to demand additional cardamom and pān (beetle leaf delight). If the doctor gives a prescribed medicine as well as some delight thereafter, then that is his generosity.

Some doctors in the past used to have this habit that they would give the medication as well as relaxation in diet. It is known about Maulana Hakeem Mu‛īn ad-dīn rahmatullah alayh that he would allow his patients to eat whatever they wish in front of him but not afterwards. This was because whatever the patient would eat in his presence, he would be considerate of it in the prescription. This is only due to his compassion otherwise the patient has no right to demand such treatment.

HADHRAT UMAR AND THE ROMAN ENVOY

Once the ambassador of the Emperor of Rome came to Madinah with many gifts. Arriving at Madinah, he enquired from the people the whereabouts of the palace of the King of Madinah. The people replied: “Our King has no palace. However, our leader, the leader of the believers has a mansion – his respected self which has a special contact with Allah and which has become enlightened through the splendour of His nearness. Thus this has made him independent of the need for royal palaces. ”

They further informed him: “You will find the leader of the believers, Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in the graveyard of Madinah”. The Roman Ambassador then went to the graveyard and there saw Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) lying down, having taken off his shirt with a sheet covering the lower part of his body. He was lying down fast asleep on the ground with no throne or crown on his head. Neither were there any soldiers nor any bodyguards. But as the ambassador looked at his face, he began shaking with fear. Within himself he said:

“I have seen many great Kings in this life

And have been the companion and confidant of many Rulers. Never have I any fear for any King.

But the awe and fear I feel for this one

Dressed in such tattered clothing is causing my senses to depart.

This person without any weapons and without any forces sleeping here alone on this ground.

What is it that causes my whole body to shake and tremble in awe of him?

Even if I had seven bodies, they would not bear it and all would tremble. ”

Then the envoy said to himself:
“This awe and fear that I feel is not for this one who is dressed in tattered clothes.

In fact, this is fear of Allah for this tattered clothed one has a heart that is blessed with Allah’s contact and nearness.”

Thus this envoy, through the blessings of Hazrat Umar’ s (radhiyallahu anhu) company and grace converted to Islam.

Maulana Rumi (rahmatullah alayh) says:

“He who fears Allah and adopts a life of righteousness, him the jinn and men fear .

And whoever sees him is overpowered by awe and fear. “

             Lesson from this Story

This story teaches us the lesson that true honour for men is brought about by true and deep contact with Allah and not by outward shows of beauty and adornment. But the foolish ones of our age are displeasing Allah and in spite of committing sins are endeavouring to acquire honour and respect by building beautiful mansions, dressing in expensive clothing and putting their trust in their businesses. But we see that the honour they acquire is such that in their absence, those very same people who honour them in their presence swear them.

Today, he may be the President of the country, but the moment he vacates that position or is removed from this position, then there is no more any honour for him in the newspapers. Similarly is the position of the Kings. But Saints of Allah, the Awliyaa Allah, are the true Kings. Hence they are called Shah. This is their true position and description in this world as well as after their demise. They continue to be mentioned with honour even after their death.

Read more about Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and get inspired! :

Story of Hazrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu’s conversion to Islam

Hazrat Umar [radhiyallahu anhu] and The Fear of Allah

WHO IS THE GREATEST CONQUEROR IN HISTORY: Alexander the Great or Hazrat Umar Al Farooq ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨ?…