[Maulana Manzur Nu’maani (rahimahullah)]
Mawlawi Ahmad Rida Khan Sahib wrote on page 15 of Husam al-Haramayn:
These are followers of the accursed Satan of the horizons, and they are also scions of the one who attributes lies [to Allah], al-Gangohi, for indeed he [i.e. Mawlana Khalil Ahmad al-Saharanpuri] stated clearly in his book al-Barahin al-Qat‘iah – and by Allah it only cuts (qati‘ah) what Allah has ordered to tie – that their master, Iblis, has more expansive knowledge than the Messenger of Allah (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace). This is his deplorable text with his despicable wording:
“Indeed this expanse in knowledge was established for Satan and the Angel of Death by clear text. Which decisive text is there regarding the expansive knowledge of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) such that all texts will be rejected because of it and a shirk will be established?”
He wrote before this:
“Indeed this shirk does not contain a mustard seed of faith.”
Then after transmitting some “blessings” lines:
on the author of Barahin, he wrote after a few Indeed it says in Nasim al-Riyad as has preceded:
“Whoever says, ‘so-and-so is more learned than him (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace),’ indeed he has faulted him and degraded him, so he is an insulter, and the ruling on him is the ruling of an insulter without distinction. We make no exception of any situation thereof, and all of this is consensus from the Companions (Allah be pleased with them).”
Then I say: Look at the effects of Allah’s seal, how it makes the seeing blind, and how he chooses blindness over guidance. He believes in encompassing earthly knowledge for Iblis, and when the mention of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace), comes, he says, “This is shirk.” Shirk is only to affirm a partner for Allah Almighty, so when affirming something for any of creation is shirk, it will definitely be shirk for all creation, since it is not possible for anyone to be a partner of Allah Almighty. So look, how he believes that Iblis is His (Glorified is He) partner, and partnership is negated only from Muhammad (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace).
Then look at the cover of the anger of Allah Almighty over his sight. He demands for the knowledge of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) a clear text, and he will not be satisfied with it until it is decisive (qat‘i), and when he comes to negating his (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge, in this explanation on page 46, six lines before this disgraceful [statement of] disbelief, he himself adheres to a false hadith having no basis in the religion and ascribes it falsely to one who did not transmit it but refuted it with a clear refutation, where he said:
“Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haqq (rahmatullah alayh) narrated from the Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that he said: ‘I do not know what is behind this wall.’”
However, the Shaykh (May his Soul be sanctified) only said in Madaarij al-Nubuwwah, as follows:
“Here this is made problematic because it has come in some narrations that the Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘I am only a slave. I do not know what is behind this wall.’ The answer to this
speech is it has no basis, and it is not valid to transmit it.”
So look at how he draws proof from, “don’t come near Salah” and omits, “while you are drunk.”
In this passage, to fulfil his yearning to pass the judgement of kufr, the injustice which Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib committed against honesty and integrity, will only be reckoned by the One, the Irresistible. His interrogation will, if Allah wills, take place tomorrow on the Day of Judgement. However, fair-minded people in this world can also determine the degree of dishonesty in the explanation and in the verdict of this person who claims to be a reviver (mujaddid).
In this passage, Khan Sahib hurled the following calumnies against the author of al-Baraahin al Qati‘ah:
1. He (Allah forbid!) averred that the blessed knowledge of Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was less than the knowledge of the accursed Satan.
2. He maintained that the affirmation of all encompassing knowledge of the world for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was shirk, yet he affirmed this [knowledge] for the accursed Satan, while whatever is shirk to affirm for any creature, its affirmation for any other creature is certainly also shirk, so it is as though the author of Baraahin (Allah forbid!) made Satan a partner with Allah.
3. He demanded absolute texts for affirming the knowledge of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), but when negating this knowledge for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he relied on a baseless narration.
4. Moreover, he mendaciously attributed the narration of this hadith to such a person who didn’t transmit it but had quoted it in order to vehemently refute it.
This is a summary of the entire passage by Khan Sahib.
Before presenting the answer, I will outline a number of introductory principles:
First Introductory Principle
There are two types of knowledge: intrinsic (dhati) and granted (‘ata’i). Intrinsic knowledge is that which is inherent in a being. It is not granted or acquired from another being. Granted knowledge is that which has been acquired from somebody. The first type is exclusive to Allah Almighty. Whatever knowledge is possessed by creation is all granted and acquired. If someone were to affirm intrinsic knowledge for any Wali, Nabi or Angel, it is shirk by Consensus. This is a famous principle, agreed-upon by the entire Ummah. To prove it, it will suffice to quote the statements of Khan Sahib Barelwi as “ the accuser is a thousand times weightier than your witness”
Khan Sahib wrote in Khaalis al-I‘tiqad, page 28:
“Knowledge is certainly from those attributes that for other than the Creator, it can [only] be acquired through the bestowal of Allah. Thus, in terms of intrinsic (dhati) and acquired (‘ata’i), its categorisation is certain (yaqini). The division of [knowledge into] encompassing and non-encompassing is intuitive (badihi). From these [subcategories of knowledge], those that are accepted as exclusive to Allah are the first from each category, meaning, intrinsic [knowledge] and absolutely all-encompassing [knowledge].”
Furthermore, in the same Khaalis al-I‘tiqad, he wrote on page 32:
“Undoubtedly, for others besides Allah, there is not even one atom of intrinsic knowledge. This belief is from the necessities of religion, and its denier is a disbeliever.”
And, in the “First Section” (al-Nazr al-Awwal) of al Dawlat al-Makkiyyah, on page 6, he wrote:
“The first (i.e. intrinsic knowledge) is restricted to the Master (Glorified and Exalted is He) and is impossible for other than Him. And whoever affirms a part of it, even if less than an atom for any of the worlds, he has disbelieved, associated a partner [with Allah], and is destroyed and ruined.”
Second Introductory Principle
In relation to every atom in existence, Allah Almighty has infinite knowledge, and since no creature can have unlimited knowledge, it can be said that no creature can attain encompassing knowledge of the true reality of even one atom.
In proving this, I will also rely on the statements of Khan Sahib Barelwi. The aforementioned [Khan Sahib] wrote on page 9 of al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah:
“Rather, He (Glorified and Exalted is He) has sciences in every atom that are unending, because every atom in relation to every [other] atom that was, will be or can be, has a relationship in terms of
nearness, distance and direction, different in time with different places that are actual or possible from the first day till eternity; and all is known to Him (Glorified and Exalted is He) in actuality, so His knowledge (Great is His Glory) is infinite multiplied by infinite.
And it is accepted that the knowledge of creation does not encompass in any single moment an infinite quantity [of knowledge] in actuality with complete detail whereby every particular is distinguished in that [knowledge] from its counterpart with complete distinction.”
Furthermore, in the same al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah on page 212, he wrote:
“I have explained that He (Glorified is He) has in each and every atom sciences that are never ending, so how can anything be disclosed to creation in the way it is disclosed to the Creator (Great and Glorious is He)?”
Third Introductory Principle
In establishing a point of belief, decisive evidence is necessary, and in negating [a point of belief], merely the absence of proof is sufficient evidence. This is why in refuting the false thoughts and corrupt beliefs of the idolaters, the Qur’an mentions that these are personal imaginations and Satanic whispers, and there is no evidence or proof presented from the Lord.
Furthermore, Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib himself in Inba’ al-Mustafa accepts that in establishing beliefs decisive evidence is necessary.
Fourth Introductory Principle
There are two types of knowledge: one which is related to religion, like all religious sciences of the Shari‘ah; and second, that which is not related to religion, like knowledge of the particular states of Zayd, ‘Amr, Ganga Persaud, Mr Churchill etc., knowledge of the number of insects on the earth and fish in the sea, and knowledge of their special properties, their general movements, consumption of food and drink, excretion and defecation. It is apparent that knowledge of these things has no relation to religion, and nor does knowledge of them have any impact on human perfection, and nor is absence of it a defect!
Although this principle is obvious and everyone possessing even a little intellect accepts it, for some time now, the spiritual descendants of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib have begun to deny it with persistent cunning, claiming that there is no knowledge in the world that has no relation to religion and that has no impact on human perfection. Thus, here too, I feel it would be sufficient to just present one quote of Khan Sahib. Khan Sahib in his Malfuzat, Part 2, page 62, wrote: “Simiya (letter magic) is an impure science.” From this short but significant sentence of Khan Sahib, it is immediately understood that some knowledge is impure, and it is obvious that the science that is impure cannot be religious knowledge, nor can it be a reason for perfection in any person.
Fifth Introductory Principle
The knowledge which the Shari‘ah has praised and encouraged people to pursue, and which invites divine pleasure is only that knowledge which has a connection with the Deen. Human perfection is dependent on this knowledge. For example, the Glorious Qur’an says: “Are those who know and those who do not know equal?” (Qur’an 39:9)
Elsewhere, the Qur’aan says: “Allah elevates those among you who believe and those given knowledge by degrees.” (Qur’an 58:11)
It is obvious that by these verses, neither English is intended, nor Sanskrit nor any other language, nor science, nor geography, nor magic, nor poetry, rather only knowledge of the Deen is intended, for that is beloved to Allah Ta’ala. In a noble hadith, it is mentioned: “Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim.” In another hadith it says: “Verily, the Ambiya do not bequeath dinars or dirhams. They bequeath only knowledge. So whoever takes from it, takes a large share.”
In these noble hadiths, the objective is the science of Shari‘ah and the science of the Deen. Only a wretched person can say that worldly sciences are also a Deeni obligation. Only a wretched person deprived of insight can say that such evil and futile sciences as magic and sorcery are also part of the inheritance of the Ambiya, it is manifestly obvious that the knowledge which the Shari‘ah orders and encourages, and which has an impact on human perfection is the knowledge of the Deen. In fact, the Shari‘ah has forbidden delving into those matters which are useless and irrelevant. The Nabi of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “From the excellence of a man’s Islam, is his avoidance of what does not concern him.”
A person asked Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib some questions regarding the Ta‘ziyah ceremony and related matters. Amongst them, the twelfth question, regarding the martyrs of Karbala, Allah be pleased with them, was: “After martyrdom, which blessed heads were sent to Damascus and which were returned?” In answer to this, the aforementioned Mawlawi Sahib wrote: “It says in a hadith that the excellence of a man’s Islam is to leave irrelevant matters.” The complete fatwa of Khan Sahib in which this question and answer is included was printed and published several times in various places, and its original with his seal and handwriting is preserved with me, and if here as in all his fatwas, full attention was given to its [correct] transmission as I have heard, then most probably here too its transmission is preserved. There is no date on the fatwa, and on the cover, besides the seal of the Daak Khana, nothing else is clear. After some deliberation, I concluded, based on overwhelming conjecture, that this fatwa was sent from Bareli to Daak Khana in October of 1920 – and Allah knows best!
From this fatwa of Khan Sahib, it is clearly understood that there is even some knowledge that is irrelevant or useless, which is better not to acquire. It is also obvious that the question in response to which Khan Sahib wrote this was not related to Zayd, ‘Amr, Bakr, animals, beasts, the fish of the sea, frogs or the creepers of the earth, but the question was regarding the blessed heads of the noble Ahl-al-Bayt and the great martyrs. And in answering this, Khan Sahib said the excellence of a man’s Islam is to avoid irrelevant matters.
Sixth Introductory Principle
It is possible someone lower in rank may have more extensive knowledge than one higher in rank in those sciences which are not requisites for human perfection, and which mankind were not ordered by Allah Ta’ala to attain, for example, particular daily events, and the personal and domestic affairs of particular individuals. It is possible that one despised may have more extensive knowledge in these matters than one accepted by Allah Ta’ala. In fact, in irreligious and unnecessary matters, it is possible that at times the knowledge of a person who is not a Nabi is more than a Nabi’s knowledge (i.e. knowledge of futility). However, in the sciences of the Shari‘ah, essential matters and the Deen, the Nabi’s knowledge is always more vast, because in the transmission of those sciences they (the Ambiya) are the greatest medium for the entire nation, and it is through them that these sciences reach the community. Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (Rahmatullah alayh) wrote in al-Tafsir al Kabir:
“It is possible that a non-Nabi is higher than a Nabi in sciences on which his Nubuwwat does not depend. (5:495)
Seventh Introductory Principle
Lack of knowledge of matters unrelated to the Deen in no way whatsoever diminishes the elevated status of the noble Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and of the other Maqbool (Accepted) servants of Allah Ta’ala. Such lack of awareness does not detract from the perfection of their knowledge. In fact, the idea that lack of such knowledge which is unrelated to the Deen and unnecessary for the elevated ranks of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) diminishes their lofty status is ludicrous, foolish and demonstrates the gross ignorance of the one who entertains such a baseless notion regarding the elevated position of Nubuwwat.
‘Allamah Qadi ‘Iyad, who had such love and devotion for the Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) which is worthy of emulation, in explaining this point, wrote in al-Shifa’:
“Regarding such sciences which are related to the mundane affairs of the material world, infallibility is not a condition with respect to the Ambiya,…… There is no defect in them in this (i.e. in being unaware of such sciences). Their aspiration is the life hereafter, and their concern pertains to matters of the Shari‘ah, while the affairs of the world are in conflict with these lofty objectives. They are unlike others whose focus is on only this world, and about whom the Qur’aan states: “They know the zaahir (the superficial, outward dimension) of the worldly life, and are unaware of the afterlife.” (Qur’an 30:7) (Al-Shifa, p. 254)
Then, after supporting this statement with a number of noble hadiths, he wrote on page 302:
“Unawareness of the affairs of the world which do not concern the science of the Deen, nor its beliefs, nor its teachings, is possible for him (Rasulullah – Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) since this does not bring about any defect or demotion in his lofty status. Such mundane issues are known to those who experience them and who are concerned about them. They make it their occupation. The heart of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), however, was filled with gnosis (Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala) and his soul was brimming with the sciences of the Shari‘ah.” (Shifa’ Qadi ‘Iyad, p. 302)
Thus, if knowledge of mundane matters which are unrelated to the Deen is acquired by a person who is not a Nabi while the Nabi has not acquired it, there is no resultant defect in the Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) have no specific relationship with these worldly matters. This is why the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “You are more learned in the affairs of your world.” (Sahih Muslim)
This narration of Sahih Muslim is an extremely clear and glittering proof for our stance. Furthermore, he said: “When it is something from the matter of your world, you are more learned about it. And when it is something from the matter of your religion, [refer it] to me.” Ahmad and Muslim narrated it from Anas (radhiyallahu anhu), and Ibn Majah from Anas and ‘A’ishah, and Ibn Khuzaymah from Abu Qatadah. (Kanz al‘Ummal, 6:116)
Eighth Introductory Principle
If a low-ranking person has the knowledge of some particular events and a higher-ranking one does not possess it, or a follower possesses it while the Nabi does not, it cannot be said that the follower is ‘more knowledgeable.’ For example, the information related to the technology and scientific inventions of today acquired by an atheist of Europe, was certainly not acquired by Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) and Imam Malik (Rahmatullah alayh).
The knowledge in inventing a gramophone which was possessed by its non-Muslim inventor was certainly not possessed by the noble Hazrat Ghawth (Rahmatullah alayh). However, which idiot will dare to say that because of these material and worldly matters, those atheists of Europe are more knowledgeable than Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh), Imam Malik (Rahmatullah alayh) and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (Rahmatullah alayh)?
The knowledge related to cinema and theatre possessed by a sinful and wicked person, nay a disbeliever and a polytheist clown, was certainly not acquired by any great Allah-fearing person. Can any obfuscator say that every showman/clown is more knowledgeable than the Scholar (of Deen)? The knowledge that criminals possess regarding their crimes did not even dawn on the revered Ulama of the Deen. Is every thief, robber, pickpocket and drunkard entitled to claim superiority in knowledge to an Aalim of the Deen on the basis of his knowledge of crime and debauchery (which the Ulama and Auliya do not possess)?
Furthermore, is it not a reality that filth-eating insects have more knowledge of the taste of filth which every honourable human being is unaware of? So is now every insect more knowledgeable than human beings?
Anyhow, it is a self-evident principle that a person cannot be called “more knowledgeable” merely because he possesses more knowledge in such sciences which are unrelated to the Deen and which have no bearing on human perfection.
(“More knowledgeable” is a relative issue. One being can most certainly be more knowledgeable than another being, be that being a Nabi, in a particular field, as all the aforementioned examples testify. – Mujlisul Ulama)
Ninth Introductory Principle
In the Qur’an and Hadith, many examples can be found in the life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) where he became aware of many particular events as a result of information provided by others. Several examples are given below:
1. In the Battle of Tabuk, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, the hypocrite said: “Do not spend upon those who are with the Messenger of Allah.” (Qur’an 63:7) Furthermore, in that gathering he also said: “Indeed if we return to Madinah, the honourable ones will expel the despicable ones.” (Qur’an 63:8)
These evil statements were heard by Hazrat Zayd ibn Arqam (Radhiyallahu anhu), and he related it to his uncle who mentioned it to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Nabi (Alayhis salaam) summoned ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy and his companions, and asked them for an explanation. Those hypocrites swore an oath that they did not make the statements. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) believed them and rejected the claim of Zayd ibn Arqam (Radhiyallahu anhu). Zayd said: “A depression overcame me the like of which had never afflicted me. I avoided coming out of the house. Then Allah Ta’ala revealed the first verses of Surah Munafiqun. Thus, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was apprized of the truth that indeed the hypocrites had made the offensive remarks. Then, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) summoned me and recited the verses unto me, and he said, ‘Verily, Allah has vouchsafed your truthfulness.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al Tafsir)
2. In regards to some hypocrites, it says in Surah Tawbah: “And among those Bedouins who are around you there are hypocrites, and among the people of Madinah as well. They are adamant on hypocrisy. You do not know them. We know them.” (9:101) It is understood from this verse that in the era of the Nubuwwat in Madinah itself and surrounding areas, there were such hypocrites regarding whom Allah Ta’ala said: “O beloved! You do not know them.” And it is obvious that those hypocrites themselves had knowledge of their own hypocrisy.
3. “Among men there is one whose speech, in this life, attracts you. He even makes Allah his witness on what is in his heart, while he is extremely quarrelsome.” (2:204) In Tafsir Ma‘alim al-Tanzil and Tafsir Khazin and others it is mentioned that this verse was revealed regarding Akhnas ibn Shariq al-Thaqafi. In appearance, this person was very handsome and he possessed a very glib tongue. He came before the Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and pretended to be a Muslim. He displayed considerable affection, and even took an oath by Allah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) maintained close companionship with him, yet al-Akhnas was a hypocrite. Tafsir Khazin says: “It was revealed about him, ‘Among men there is one whose speech attracts you,’ i.e. he pleases you and you approve of him and he is exalted in your heart.” (Khaazin, 1:161) From this verse and the reason for its revelation, it is understood that the inward condition of Akhnas ibn Shariq was hidden from Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is obvious that this wretched person certainly knew his own condition.
4. Similarly, regarding a group of the hypocrites, was said to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “And if you see them, their physical bodies would attract you, and if they speak, you would listen to their speech” (63:4) In Tafsir Khaazin and Tafsir Ma‘alim al-Tanzil under the exegesis of “if they speak, you would listen to their speech,” it says: “Meaning, you think that he spoke the truth.”
From these three verses it is known that in the blessed time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), in the Holy City itself, there were some evil hypocrites whose hypocrisy or the degree of their hypocrisy was unknown to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). On the basis of their outward conduct and appearance, he assumed them to be pious, and he believed their lies to be true, yet those wicked people were certainly aware of their own condition although afterwards through the means of revelation, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was made aware.
5. I shall present only one more verse in this regard. Allah Ta’ala states: “We have not taught him poetry, nor is it fitting for him.” (Qur’an 36:69) From this verse it is very clearly understood that he was not granted knowledge of poetry, yet such knowledge was acquired by even the disbelievers.
Anyhow, the Qur’an attests to the reality that knowledge of some unnecessary matters and matters unrelated to the affairs of Nubuwwat were not granted to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), while it was acquired by others, even idolaters and disbelievers. It is indeed extremely ludicrous, deviation and downright stupid to say that others who have such knowledge of mundane issues have more comprehensive knowledge than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Thousands of such incidents could be found in the Ahaadith. Here only a few Ahaadith will be presented briefly by way of example:
1. In Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Sunan Abi Dawud, it is narrated from Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu anhu) that a black woman would usually sweep the Musjid. One day Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not find her, so he asked about her condition. He was told that she had passed away. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Why did you not inform me? Show me her grave.” They guided him to her grave and he prayed over her.
It is known from this hadith that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was unaware of this woman’s demise, whilst the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu anhum) were aware. Moreover, the Sahabah even showed Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) the whereabouts of her grave.
2. In Sunan al-Nasa’i, it is narrated from Hazrat Zayd ibn Thabit that he said: “One day we went out with Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). His gaze fell upon a new grave, and he said: ‘What is this (meaning, whose grave is it)?’ He was told it is the grave of such-and-such a person from such-and-such a tribe and he died in the afternoon. Since Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was that day taking an afternoon nap and he was also fasting, they did no deem it appropriate to wake him. Then Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stood up and formed rows with the people behind him. Then he (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) supplicated at the grave. Then he said: ‘Whilst I am among you, whenever someone dies, inform me because my supplication is a mercy for him.’”
This narration too, confirms our claim with clarity.
3. In Sahih al-Bukhari and the four Sunans, it is narrated from Hazrat Jabir (radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) buried the martyrs of Uhud in pairs within separate graves, and while preparing the graves he would ask the people: “Which of the two had memorised more of the Qur’an”. When one of them was pointed out, he would put him inside the grave first.
4. In Sahih Muslim and Sunan al-Nasa’i, it is narrated from Hazrat Anas (Radhiyallahu anhu) that the Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) heard some sound from a certain grave and he said: “When did this one die?” They said: “He died in the time of [pre-Islamic] ignorance,” and he was pleased by this [news].
5. In Musnad Ahmad and Musnad al-Bazzar, it is narrated from Hazrat ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) that in one battle Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was brought some cheese, so he asked: “Where was this made?” They said: “In Persia.”
6. In Sunan Abu Dawud and Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, it is narrated from Abyad ibn Hammaal that he came before Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and requested him to assign him [the mines of] salt as fief at Marib. So he assigned it to him. When he returned, a man in the meeting asked: “Do you know what you have assigned him as fief, O Messenger of Allah? You have assigned him the perennial spring water.” Thereupon, he took it back from him.
From this narration it is known that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) initially did not know the special quality of this land, and because of his unawareness, he assigned it to Abyad ibn Hammaal.
But after the Sahabi informed him, he became aware of the quality of that land, that it is a place for public benefit, so he repossessed it.
7. In Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, it is narrated from Hazrat ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) that “Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) went to relieve himself, and I brought a water jug for the him (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) for performing wudu. When he came out, he asked: ‘Who put this [here]?’ When he was informed, he said: ‘O Allah! Give him understanding in deen and teach him [correct] interpretation.’”
From this narration it is known that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was made aware of the identity of the one who brought the water.
8. In Sunan Abi Dawud, it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu anhu) that: “I was feverish in the Musjid when Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) approached. When he entered the Musjid and asked: ‘Who has seen the Dawsi lad [meaning, Abu Hurayrah]?’ three times, a man said: ‘O Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)! He is that feverish one at the side of the Musjid “. Then he approached, walking, until he reached me and placed his hand on me.”
From this narration it is clear that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was unaware of Hazrat Abu Hurayrah’s presence in the Musjid. Only after being informed by another individual did Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) become aware of this.
9. In Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, it is narrated from ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Azhar: “I saw Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the Year of The Conquest while I was a young lad, asking about [the whereabouts of] the house of Khalid ibn al-Walid.”
10. In Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan al Nasa’i and Sunan Abi Dawud, it is narrated from Hazrat ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) that Khalid ibn al-Walid informed him that he entered with Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) upon Maymunah, the wife of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). She was his (Khalid’s) maternal aunt and also the maternal aunt of Ibn ‘Abbas, and he found near her a roasted lizard which her sister Hafidah bint al-Harith brought from Najd. She offered the lizard to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Rarely would he move his hand towards food until he was told about it and it was identified for him. So when Allah’s Rasul (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) lowered his hand to the lizard, a woman who was present said: “Inform Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) what you have offered him.” They said: “It is a lizard, O Messenger of Allah.” So Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) lifted his hand.
From this narration it is known that when the food was presented to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he was unaware that it was a lizard.
11 Al-Tabrani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir narrated from Hazrat Bilaal (Radhiyallahu anhu) that once he had some poor quality dates which he sold in exchange for good quality dates for half its weight. When he brought them to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he said “To this day I have not seen such good quality dates, how did you come by this O Bilaal?” So he (Bilaal) explained what he had done. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Go, and return it to its [previous] owner [as it was a riba transaction].”
12 In Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq, it is narrated from Hazrat Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri (Radhiyallahu anhu) that once Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) came to one of his wives. There he saw some excellent quality dates, so he asked: “How did you come by this?” They said: “We exchanged two sa‘ for one sa‘,” so he said: “There is no two sa‘ for one sa‘ and no two dirhams for one dirham [i.e. it is interest, so return it].”
From these two narrations it is known that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) became aware of these two impermissible transactions after being informed by others.
13. Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated in his Musannaf and Imam Ahmad in his Musnad and Abu Nu‘aym in his Kitab al-Ma‘rifah from Hazrat ‘Abd Allah ibn Salam; and ‘Abd al-Razzaq from Abu Umamah al-Bahili; and Ibn Jarir from Ibn Sa‘idah, that when the verse “In it are men who love to cleanse themselves: and Allah loves those who purify (themselves)” (9:108), was revealed with respect to the people of Quba, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) summoned the people of Quba and asked them: “What is the purification for which you have been specified in this verse?” And in some narrations: “And what is your purification?” And in some of them: “Verily Allah has praised you greatly regarding purification.”
14. In Sahih Muslim, Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Sunan Abi Dawud and Sunan al-Nasa’i, it is narrated from Hazrat Jabir (Radhiyallahu anhu) that a slave came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and pledged allegiance to migrate [to Madinah]. He was unaware that the man was a slave. Thereupon, his master came to claim him. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to him: “Sell him to me.” He bought him for two black slaves. He did not accept allegiance from anybody thereafter until he inquired whether he was a slave or not.
15. In Sahih al-Bukhari, Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi and Sunan Abi Dawud, it is narrated from Hazrat Zayd ibn Thabit that: “He [i.e. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ordered me to learn Syriac, and he took oath by Allah that he does not trust the writing of the Jews. Half a month had not passed before I learnt Syriac, and I gained a particular skill therein. Then it was I who wrote letters to the Jews on behalf of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and it was I who read to him their letters.”
The danger of the Jews was due to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) not being versed in the Syriac language, the knowledge of which was possessed by the Jews. Although, to support this claim, it is enough that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was unlettered (ummi) which is established from the Qur’an, I, nevertheless, quoted this narration as it is a practical explanation of his (Ummi) attribute. Thus, there is no room for interpretation.
From these five verses and fifteen Ahaadith, it is established that during the time of Nubuwwat, there were many particular events of which Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was unaware while others had knowledge thereof. But simply because of such knowledge which was unrelated to matters of the Deen and the obligations of Nubuwwat, it cannot be said they were more knowledgeable than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), nor can it be said that because of the unawareness of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of such matters there was some deficiency in his perfect knowledge.
‘Allamah Sayyid Mahmud al-Alusi, the Mufti of Baghdad (Rahmatullah alayh), wrote in his unparalleled exegesis, Ruh al-Maani:
I do not believe in the loss of perfection with lack of knowledge of particular worldly matters, like the lack of knowledge in what Zayd is doing for example in his house and what transpires in his day and his morrow. (Ruh al-Ma‘ani, 8:35)
Tenth Introductory Principle
If Zayd had knowledge of a thousand things, and ‘Amr of hundreds of thousands and millions of things, but within the thousand facts of information of Zayd there are ten or twenty such facts which were not acquired by ‘Amr, then Zayd cannot be unrestrictedly be called “more knowledgeable than ‘Amr.” Indeed it can be said that Zayd has such-and-such knowledge which ‘Amr does not have. For example, Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) had acquired millions of facts of the Shari‘ah, and Ibn Rushd too was especially gifted in the sciences of Shari‘ah, but did not have even a hundredth of the knowledge of Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah. However the knowledge of Greek philosophy which Ibn Rushd acquired was certainly not acquired by Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) because in his time Greek philosophy had not been translated into Arabic. But because of this it cannot be said Ibn Rushd was more knowledgeable than Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh).
Similarly, Hazrat Imam al-Shafi‘i (Rahmatullah alayh), Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah alayh) and Imam Muslim (Rahmatullah alayh) had acquired thousands of facts of the Book and Sunnah, but in the field of history and biographies the knowledge possessed by Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Khallikan was certainly not possessed by them, because within the knowledge of Ibn Khallikan and Ibn Khaldun were many historical events which occurred after the death of those Imams. No historian of today can say that Ibn Khallikan and Ibn Khaldun were more knowledgeable than those Imaams of the Deen.
Based on this, the knowledge that a driver possesses regarding driving and the information regarding shoe-making acquired by a cobbler were certainly not acquired by Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib, but in my view, even the highest-ranking idiot will not dare say that because of this, the driver and cobbler have more extensive knowledge than the aforementioned Khan Sahib.
Anyhow, whenever a person is called “more knowledgeable” with respect to another person, it is only in terms of the totality of sciences, and specifically in terms of religious and Shar‘i sciences. If any person concedes Zayd’s expertise in any specific science, but does not accept this for ‘Amr, it is not a necessary consequence thereof that he has accepted Zayd as more knowledgeable than ‘Amr, unless that science is from the lofty sciences, especially when the aforementioned person accepts thousands and millions of sciences.
Ten introductory principles have been presented. Here I end this section and I turn my attention to the original discussion. It is unfortunate that first in addressing this matter too, I am forced to lament the dishonesty of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib. If this Khan Sahib, in quoting the passages of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah and in explaining its meaning, did not commit deceit, the need for adopting such a lengthy answer would have been obviated.
In al-Baraahin al-Qat‘iah, neither was the discussion on the issue of comprehensive absolute knowledge, nor was the discussion on the superior, perfect sciences. Rather, the discussion was only about the knowledge related to the world. A like-minded partner of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib, Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘ Sahib, after proving this extent of knowledge for Satan and the Angel of Death in his book al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah with proofs, analogised Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with them, and based on this analogy, he affirmed expansive knowledge of the world for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (Rahmatullah alayh), the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, refuted this analogy. Al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah is a reply to al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah.
Anyhow, the entire discussion in al-Baraahin al Qati‘ah was about expansive knowledge of the world, which has no connection with the Deen and Ibaadat, the obligations of Nubuwwat and Risaalat. Regarding such sciences, I quoted the statement of Imam al-Razi (Rahmatullah alayh) under the sixth introductory principle from his al-Tafsir al-Kabir that in these sciences “it is possible that a non-Nabi is more knowledgeable than a Nabi.” [Likewise within the eighth introductory principle, with extremely clear evidences, I proved that if in these sciences somebody had more expansive knowledge, he cannot be considered more knowledgeable in absolute terms in relation to another. When someone is called “more knowledgeable” in relation to another that would be said in terms of the perfecting sciences and the totality of knowledge, as was established in the last introductory principles. (Mawlana Manzur Nu‘mani)]
However, Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib, with his “revivalist” shenanigans, wrote: “He stated clearly in his book al-Baraahin al-Qat‘iah that their master, Iblis, has more expansive knowledge than the Messenger of Allah (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace).”
It should be considered carefully: There is a vast difference between comprehensive worldly knowledge, and comprehensive absolute knowledge?.
To make it easy for readers, I will present an illustration, by which the passages from al-Baraahin al-Qat‘iah will become completely clear.
Suppose that like the author of al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah, for example Zayd, claims that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had acquired knowledge of poetry, and as his proof for this claim, he argues that many sinners and disbelievers possess knowledge of this craft. Imra’ al-Qays was an evil disbeliever, yet he was a sophisticated poet. Al-Firdawsi was a heretical Shiite, yet one of the best Persian poets. Thus, since even sinners and disbelievers have acquired knowledge of this craft, and since Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is noblest of the Ambiya, he must have acquired it. In response to this, someone following the same methodology as Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib says:
The condition of Imra’ al-Qays and al-Firdawsi is known by recurrent historical attestations. Now, to analogise Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with them, and conclude that equivalent or greater knowledge for him is established, is not the job of any sane person of knowledge.
Firstly, the issues of Imaan are not established by analogy (Qiyaas). Beliefs are absolute and are established by absolute texts. Even solitary reports (Khabr-e-Waahid) are of no use here. No attention can be accorded to corrupt analogy.
Secondly, the opposite is established in the Qur’an and hadith. In the Qur’an it says: “We have not taught him poetry, nor is it fitting for him.” (Qur’an
36:69) It is narrated in the books of Hadith that Rasulullah (Sallahu alayhi wasallam) in his entire lifetime never recited one full poem, and in the famous book of Hanafi jurisprudence, Fatawa Qadi Khan, it says: “Some scholars have said: ‘Whoever said, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) recited poetry,’ has disbelieved.”
Thirdly, if this was a basis for superiority, then every pious Muslim should be a better poet than Imra’ al-Qays and al-Firdawsi. If by looking at the condition of Imra’ al-Qays and al-Firdawsi, using merely corrupt analogy, knowledge of poetry is established for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), in contradiction of absolute texts texts, it will most certainly be heresy. The comprehensive knowledge of poetry of Imra’ al-Qays and alFirdawsi is known by historical testimony. Which absolute text (in the Qur’aan or Hadith) confirms the comprehensive knowledge of poetry of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)?
Some spiritual offspring of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib gave the fatwa:
This person in his statement has stated clearly that Imra’ al Qays and al-Firdawsi have more knowledge than the Nabi (Allah bless him and grant him peace)…and indeed it says in Nasim al-Riyad:
Whoever says, so-and-so is more learned than him (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace), indeed he has faulted him and degraded him, so he is an insulter.” [The abovementioned quote is the same as that of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan, but to accord with the illustration, instead of Iblis, the names of Imra’ al-Qays and al-Firdawsi were written].
The fair and unbiased reader will not fail to understand that this mufti committed deception. The passage which he has quoted does not in any way relate to absolute knowledge or to the lofty and transcendental sciences of moral and spiritual excellence and perfection. It appears that this ‘mufti’ had predicated comprehensive absolute knowledge or knowledge of the lofty sciences of moral and spiritual perfection to Imra’ al-Qays and Firdawsi.
Hazrat Mawlana Khalil at no stage negated or denied comprehensive absolute knowledge for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Nor did he deny the sciences pertaining to Nubuwwat. There is not even a hint of such denial in the passage cited above. Only the science of poetry was discussed. Based on the acceptance of the fact that a disbeliever like Imra’ al-Qays, al-Firdawsi and others were experts of poetry, and negating it
expertise in comprehensive poetry) from Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), to draw the conclusion that he (Hazrat Mawlana Khalil) asserted a disbeliever like Imra’ al-Qays and a deviant like al-Firdawsi have more extensive knowledge than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the handiwork of an imposter and a schemer who, in order to justify his own inanity creates discord amongst the Muslims, or it is the work of an ignoramus and idiot who does not even understand the meaning of “more knowledgeable” and “more expansive knowledge.”
In the ten introductory principles, I have established that one will be more knowledgeable with respect to another in terms of the lofty perfecting sciences and the totality of knowledge; otherwise it would entail that it is correct to say that a cobbler, and a driver, in fact, filth-eating insects are more knowledgeable than Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib. The details of this have passed in the eighth and tenth principles.
For people of understanding, this much is enough. However, such unfortunate groups existed in the past who were extremely ignorant, and even the ‘ulama’ (i.e. among the Bid’atis) were not less in ignorance than these groups of ignoramuses (among the masses). On the contrary, their ignorance is worse. I shall, therefore, present one more example for further clarity.
Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib told a tale of a strange and wonderful owl: Khan Sahib said:
Three people on a journey, from considerable distance saw a gathering of many people in a jungle. A chief was sitting on a saddle. His courtiers were present. One vile woman was dancing. A candle was burning. One person from the three was very experienced in archery. They told each other that this gathering of sin and wickedness should be ended. What plan should they execute [i.e. what should the archer target]? One said to kill the chief because he was responsible for everything. A second suggested killing the dancing woman. The third one said, ‘Don’t kill this one either, because she did not come of her own accord, but came under instructions from the chief, and as the aim was to end the gathering, the candle should be extinguished. This opinion was accepted. He aimed above the candle and shot the arrow. The candle was extinguished. Now, neither the chief remained, nor the vile woman, nor the gathering. They were extremely surprised. They stayed for the rest of the night. When it was morning, they saw a dead owl with the arrow in its beak. It was understood that all this work was done by the soul of that owl. [Khan Sahib related this story when explaining the reality of Mesmerism. See Malfuzat, Part Four, Hasani Press, Bareli. (Mawlana Manzur Nu‘mani)]
Now, suppose that a disciple of Khan Sahib, who believes Khan Sahib is a hadith-scholar, exegete, jurist, sufi, hafiz and reciter, but says that A‘la Hazrat [a title used by his followers for Ahmad Raza Khan] was not skilled in mesmerism while another disciple says that A‘la Hazrat did have experience in mesmerism, and the proof he presented is: the abovementioned episode narrated by A‘la Hazrat. The reasoning being that the owl was so adept in the science of mesmerism that with one glance it enacted an extraordinary dramatic scenario, while our A‘la Hazrat, the reviver of religion, who is a great and accepted slave of Allah Ta’ala was certainly thousands, nay millions, of times superior to that owl, so why should he not possess expertise in mesmerism?
Refuting this argument, the other disciple says that the owl’s expertise in mesmerism is known from the narration of A‘la Hazrat, but there is no basis for establishing A‘la Hazrat’s expertise in mesmerism, and analogising an owl with A‘la Hazrat is a corrupt analogy.
Will it now be proper for some disciple of Khan Sahib to claim that the other disciple degraded the knowledge of A‘la Hazrat by saying that an owl has more extensive knowledge than A‘la Hazrat, the great ‘reviver’ of religion? [This is what Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib’s disciples and followers say. (Mawlana Manzur Nu‘mani) ] Indeed, it should be quite simple to understand that this conclusion is absolute drivel. If on the basis of such nonsense the disciple is expelled from the Raza Khani brethren, knowing well that it is devious propaganda fabricated against him, then it would be the most despicable of deceit and deception.
Anyhow, Khan Sahib’s first deception was that:
Al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah discussed the vastness of one particular science, that is, knowledge regarding the world. Mawlawi Abd al-Sami who is the ilk of Mawlawi Ahmed Raza Khan had with proofs predicated such knowledge for Shaitaan and Malakul Maut. Then on the basis of Rasulullah’s superiority he affirmed such knowledge for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The author of al-Baraahin refuted this corrupt analogy. (It is indeed a corrupt and ludicrous analogy to attribute a certain type of knowledge to Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam on the basis of Shaitaan’s awareness.)
Furthermore, in expressions of the author of Al Baraahin (i.e. Hazrat Maulana Khalil), such words are present that restrict the discussion to knowledge of the world. For example, on page 47 of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, the page from which Khan Sahib quoted, these words are found at its beginning:
In sum, it should be carefully considered, that by looking at the condition of Satan and the Angel of Death, to affirm encompassing knowledge of the world for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in conflict with explicit texts (of the Qur’aan and Hadith) without any proofs besides corrupt analogy, if not shirk then which part of faith is it?
In this sentence, “encompassing knowledge of the world” is present. This statement eliminates any doubt or confusion. However, Khan Sahib’s dishonesty can be understood from the fact that in Husaam al-Haramayn, he quotes the last underlined part of this sentence, and omits the first part where encompassing knowledge of the world is clearly mentioned. Despite this, such titles as “reviver of the current century,” “defender of the pure faith” etc. etc. are given to him. (Awarded to the Bid’ati by his moron grave-worshipping followers).
Furthermore, here, another deception of the same kind is observed. Exactly two lines before the passage which Khan Sahib quoted on that page, the sentence begins as follows:
Thus, merely on the basis of the lofty status of the Blessed Soul (i.e. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the highest (heavenly realm of) ‘Illiyyin, and because of his superiority to the Angel of Death, it can not be affirmed that his knowledge in these matters are equal to the Angel of Death, or in excess to him.
In this passage too, the phrase “these matters” clearly explains that the discussion is only about knowledge regarding the world, not knowledge in general, nor the lofty sciences of perfection on which human virtue, moral and spiritual progress depend. But Khan Sahib also clearly omitted this sentence.
(The issue which the Bid’ati molvi has obfuscated is quite simple. The chief of the Qabar Pujaaris, Raza Khan with his rigmarole of deception has deceitfully laboured to create the abhorrent notion that Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Saharanpuri had claimed that Malakul Maut had more knowledge in general than Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This is a fallacious and a slanderous charge against Hadhrat Maulana Khalil.
Every Muslim understands that Malakul Maut is in charge of the deaths of all people. He has total knowledge in this regard, namely, who is to die when and where and how. It comes in the Hadith that all mankind is in front of Malakul Maut just as a plate of food is in front of a person.
On the Night of Mi’raaj, when Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw Malakul Maut in action, engrossed in his duties of commanding the deaths of people, he (Rasulullah –Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) enquired from Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) about this Being. Who was he? Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) informed that this was Israaeel, the Angel of Death. From this episode it is abundantly clear that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was not even aware of the Angel in whose presence he was. To a far greater degree was Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) unaware of the multitudes of people who are being earmarked for death every moment.
But, Malakul Maut has this knowledge. Thus, to say that Malakul Maut has more knowledge than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the matter of the deaths of people, never ever implies degradation or belittling of that vast and comprehensive knowledge in general which Allah Ta’ala had bestowed to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is only minds incorrigibly convoluted with stercoral matter, and driven into inanity in proximity to insanity, which intransigently maintain otherwise.
Anyhow, despite all these clear statements from al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, by which it is clearly understood that here the discussion is only about encompassing knowledge of the world (and that too of a specific type), and not absolute knowledge in general, Khan Sahib writes:
He stated clearly in his book al-Baraahin al-Qat‘iah…that their master, Iblis, has more expansive knowledge than the Messenger of Allah (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace).
Thus far, an explanation of Khan Sahib’s first deception was presented, and his first objection has been satisfactorily answered. There remains no scope for doubt for an unbiased person. In fact not even for a biased and fanatical person. So all praise is due to Allah!
The upshot of the answer is that in al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, based on those evidences which Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘ Sahib, the author of al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah presented, only comprehensive knowledge of the world is conceded for Satan and the Angel of Death, and that such knowledge is not confirmed by textual evidence for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Interpreting this as rejection of the comprehensive and absolute knowledge bestowed to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and concluding that he (Maulana Khalil) said that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had lesser knowledge than Satan’s, is only the work of an ignorant and foolish person who restricts the lofty knowledge of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to the lower material world. But for the person who believes that his (Rasulullah’s) knowledge is higher than the Arsh and the Kursi, it is not possible to entertain such an absurd, stupid and vile notion.
If someone says that in the science of architecture, the knowledge possessed by some English or European person is more than the knowledge of Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) in this field, not even a moron will understand that this person has claimed that Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifah’s (Rahmatullah alayh) knowledge is less than the knowledge of the disbelieving Englishman. Likewise if someone says that a certain drunkard has much knowledge pertaining to wine, while a certain Ghawth or Qutb lacks such knowledge, it will never be understood from this that the person believes the drunkard to be more knowledgeable than the Ghawth or Qutb.
The truth is that in order to misguide people, the means and ways which Satan required were all granted to him by the Allah Azza Wa Jal, in order to test humanity. He gave him life till Resurrection. He gave him such strange and extraordinary powers that he is able to traverse man’s vessels just like blood. The knowledge that is needed to misguide the slaves of Allah was all given to him, so that he may accomplish his pernicious objectives, and so that the world realises how futile his weapons and snares are against the true Slaves of Allah Ta’ala.
For the requisites for his satanic mission, essential for the misguidance of mankind, he has been given the knowledge of their passions and desires. He should know that in a place there is a young woman alone and a wandering youth can reach there with a certain plan. He has to be aware of the dens of vice and evil to ply his trade of deception and immorality. The lofty Souls (the Ambiya and Auliya) have no purpose to achieve with such knowledge pertaining to evil and futility. Their duty is to provide guidance and to teach the Truth. The lofty and pure sciences which are needed for accomplishing their holy mission were given to them in full measure by Allah Azza Wa Jal.
Thus, even if Satan has acquired some knowledge of the menial mundane world, and the revered Ambiya did not acquire it, which idiot and which follower of Satan will say that merely because of these lower sciences, Satan is more knowledgeable than the Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or any other Nabi? This does not detract from the divine sciences and the transcendental disciplines which they have acquired in such a large measure which no Mukarrab (Close to Allah) Angel has achieved.
Within the introductory principles I have shed more than enough light on this subject. I shall now present only one further issue, and with that, if Allah wills, this part of the discussion will end. I have no expectation of gaining the friendship of enemies. Yes, those whom Allah has given the ability to love truth, I certainly hope that they will accept the truth.
The Powerful Testimony of Mawlawi ‘Abd al Sami‘ and Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib which Absolves Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (Rahmatullah alayhi)
The decision of the accuser in my favour is better As Zulaykha declared the innocence of the Moon of Canaan [Meaning, the Prophet Yusuf (alayhissalaam)]
From our previous discussion it was clear that the only ‘crime’ committed by the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah was that, based on the proofs which Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘ presented in al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah, he accepted the expanse of one particular science, meaning, knowledge of the world, for Satan and the Angel of Death, and he said this expanse was not established by text for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), but:
Such a crime this is that those of your city commit it!
Shortly after this discussion, these are the words of al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah:
The supporters of the gathering of Milaad do not claim that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is present in all pure and impure, religious and irreligious, gatherings. The presence of the Angel of Death and Iblis is found in even more places than him, (in places) of purity and impurity, disbelief and belief.
Look! Even Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib did not write with such audacity and impunity. He [i.e. Mawlana Khalil Ahmad] referred to only comprehensive specific knowledge of the world which was not documented in the texts for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This like-minded brother of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib, namely, Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘ Sahib, clearly says that the presence of the Angel of Death and Satan is in more places than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The abovementioned sentence of al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah was in its first edition which was printed together with al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah; and also in the edition which was revised by Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami and thereafter published. Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib wrote about 4 pages of commendation in which he lavishly praised Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami Sahib and his al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah. Therefore, Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib’s successors and followers should answer:
1) Is Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘ a disbeliever because of this passage or not?
2) And where does Khan Sahib himself stand because of writing a commendation on it?
May Allah Ta’ala give me and you the faculty of insight. Do you see the miracle of the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad
Sahib (Rahmatullah alayh)? Khan Sahib himself was caught up in the very accusation he hurled at him.
I will now close this discussion, and I think it is appropriate as a conclusion to the discussion that I quote the statement of the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah (Rahmatullah alayh) in al-Tasdiqaat li Daf‘ al-Talbisaat [also known as al-Muhannad ‘ala al-Mufannad] in which he answered this Satanic slander.
When Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib took the yield of his labour and efforts, i.e. the fatwa of disbelief (kufr), to the two noble Harams, and he solicited endorsements from the noble Ulama there, who were unaware of the reality of the situation, by deceiving them, and this initiated a discussion even in the two noble Harams, some of the people of knowledge sent 26 questions pertaining to beliefs to the revered Ulama of Deoband and Saharanpur. The answers to these questions were given by Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib, the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah. The answers to all 26 questions were sent to the Ulama of Haramain Shareefain, Levant, Damascus, Halab, Egypt etc. for endorsement and confirmation. These noble Ulama and senior Muftis endorsed it and declared it sound. These answers along with the endorsements were printed. Its first edition with translation was printed as al-Tasdiqat li Daf‘ al-Talbisaat (Endorsements to Repel Distortions). Then after that, many editions of it were published.
The nineteenth answer is related to this Satanic slander of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib. I shall quote the exact question and its answer. Readers will notice that my explanation in this discussion is in fact an elaboration of this brief reply which the author of Baraahin himself gave during his lifetime:
Do you believe that Iblis, the accursed, is more knowledgeable than the Chief of Creation, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and that he has more comprehensive knowledge than him in absolute terms? Have you written this in a book? And how do you judge one who believes this?
Answer: A review of this issue preceded from us, that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the most knowledgeable of creation in general, of the sciences, the judgement, the secrets and other than that from the Kingdom of the Heavens, and we believe with certainty that one who says that soand-so person is more knowledgeable than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has disbelieved. Our elders have given the verdict of disbelief for one who says that Iblis, the accursed, is more knowledgeable than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). So how is it possible that this matter is in a certain book we authored?
However, the concealment of some insignificant particular things from Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) due to his inattention to it does not cause any defect in his (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) position as the most learned, since it is established that he is the most knowledgeable of creation in the noble sciences that are fitting to his lofty station. Similarly, cognizance of most of the menial (and mundane) issues, due to the intensity of Iblis’s attention to them, does not cause glory and perfection of knowledge in him, since this is not the criterion of virtue. Therefore, it is not correct to say that Iblis is more knowledgeable than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) just as it is not correct to say about a child who knows some particulars that he is more knowledgeable than an erudite research scholar in the sciences merely on account of those particulars being hidden from him. We have recited unto you the story of Hud-hud with Sulayman (upon our Nabi and upon him be peace) and his statement, “I comprehend that which you do not comprehend.” (Qur’an 27:22) The records of Hadith and the books of exegesis are replete with abundant examples of this which are well-known amongst people. [In the ninth introductory principle, I presented five verses with the statements of the exegetes and fifteen hadiths on this matter. (Mawlana Manzur Nu‘mani)]
The physicians are agreed that Plato and Galen and their likes are from the most knowledgeable of physicians about the qualities of diseases and their states, despite their knowledge that maggots are more knowledgeable about states of filth, their taste and their qualities. Hence, the lack of Plato’s and Galen’s knowledge of these despicable states does not detract from them being the most learned. No intelligent person and not even a moron will be satisfied with the view that maggots are more knowledgeable than Plato, although they have more extensive knowledge than Plato about the states of filth.
The innovators of our lands affirm for the blessed Soul of the Nabi (upon it a million greetings and peace) all the sciences of the base, lowly things and the lofty virtuous things, saying that since he (upon him be peace) was the best of all creation, it is necessary that he should possess all of those sciences, every particular and every universal. We rejected the establishment of this matter using this corrupt analogy without a proof-text from the authoritative texts. Do you not see that every believer is more virtuous and more honourable than Iblis so following this logic it would be necessary that every person from the individuals of this ummah possesses the sciences of Iblis, and it would be necessary that Sulayman (upon our Nabi and upon him be peace) knew that which Hud-hud knew, and that Plato and Galen had all the knowledge of maggots? These concomitants are absurd in their entirety as is obvious.
This is a summary of what we said in al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah in order to sever the veins of the foolish deviants and break the necks of the forging deceivers. Hence, our discussion about it was only in regards to some of these temporal particulars, and for this reason we used the demonstrative noun to indicate that the objective in affirmation and negation was those particulars, and nothing besides them. However, the iniquitous ones distort the speech and do not fear the reckoning of the Knowing King. We are certain that those who say that so-and-so individual is more knowledgeable than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is a disbeliever, as more than one of our respected ‘Ulama stated. And whoever concocts about us that which we did not say, upon him is the burden of proof, and he should fear the interrogation before the Recompensing King. Allah is witness over what we say.
For Allah’s sake, be fair! After this reply of the author of Baraahin himself, is there any room left for this slander? No, by Allah! Judgement will be on the Day of Judgement.
Reply to Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib’s Second Objection to al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah
The second substantial objection of Khan Sahib Barelwi against the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (Rahmatullah alayh), was that he accepted encompassing knowledge for Satan and labelled its affirmation for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) shirk, whereas anything which is shirk when affirmed for any single creature is also shirk when affirmed for another being. Hence, it is as though the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah accepts Satan as a partner of Allah Azza Wa Jal.
If the respected readers carefully considered this allegation, it would be realised that this objection is more erroneous and more unfounded than the first, and its reality is pure dishonesty, just as Khan Sahib’s fatwas are far from honesty and integrity.
The actual truth is that in al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, the affirmation of intrinsic knowledge for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was regarded as shirk. (Intrinsic Knowledge – Knowledge not derived from any external source – Knowledge which is inherent. This Knowledge is exclusive with Allah Azza Wa Jal.). Based on the proofs which the like-minded brother of Khan Sahib, Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘, presented in al-Anwar al-Sati‘a, he (i.e. Hazrat Maulana Khalil) accepted only granted knowledge for Satan. (i.e. Such knowledge granted to him by Allah Ta’ala). The affirmation of intrinsic knowledge necessitates shirk as proven from Khan Sahib’s own statements, quoted in the first introductory principle.
In al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, such statements are found in different places from which it is clearly understood that only ‘granted knowledge’ is conceded for Satan, and shirk was determined for intrinsic knowledge, which Khan Sahib himself does not dispute. However, it is unfortunate that based on his “revivalist integrity,” ignoring all these statements from al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, he wrote explicitly:
He believes in encompassing earthly knowledge for Iblis, and when the mention of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace), comes, he says, “This is shirk.” Shirk is only to affirm a partner for Allah Almighty, so when affirming something for any of creation is shirk, it will definitely be shirk for all creation, since it is not possible for anyone to be a partner of Allah Almighty.
I completely agree with this principle of Khan Sahib, that whatever is shirk to affirm for any creation will certainly be shirk when affirmed for any other being in this world. However, although I completely agree with this principle of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib, applying it to the author of Baraahin is the particular act of Khan Sahib which is called deception or distortion. Apart from the difference between intrinsic and granted knowledge, here, Khan Sahib openly slandered the author of Baraahin saying that he accepted “encompassing knowledge” for Satan, but this is a lie that is devoid of even a trace of truth [When the phrase “encompassing knowledge of the world” is mentioned in al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, it is addressing the knowledge which is wrongly affirmed for the nabi (peace and blessings be upon him) based on the invalid analogy with Satan and the Angel of Death, not the knowledge that is conceded for the latter. The knowledge that is conceded for the latter is what is described in the work being refuted, al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah, quoted in the next paragraph above. Hence, the deception in Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan’s comment, “He believes in encompassing earthly knowledge for Iblis,” which Mawlana Manzur Nu‘mani is highlighting here]. But it is unfortunate that in the Raza Khani group (i.e. the Barelwi Qabar Pujaari sect) no truthful and uprighteous person comes to mind who will accept this revolting act of his leader as even an unintentional error, let alone deliberate deception. The reality is that the like-minded brother of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib, viz. Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘ Sahib, in proving expansive knowledge for Satan in al-Anwar al-Sati‘ah, wrote:
In al-Durr al-Mukhtaar in the section of Salaah it is written that Satan stays with the sons of Aadam in the day and his children stays with the offspring of Aadam in the night. ‘Allamah al-Shaami wrote in its commentary that Satan stays with all the children of Aadam except those whom Allah saves. After this he wrote: “Allah gave him this power just as He gave the Angel of Death a similar power.”
Thus, whatever knowledge Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami Sahib has confirmed for Satan by such evidence, it was certainly accepted by Mawlana Khalil Sahib. If this is what Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib understands as encompassing knowledge of the world, this then is the quality (and worthlessness) of his academic ability which can be judged by the people of knowledge. What is the relationship between Satan’s continuous presence with people and encompassing knowledge of world? His presence with people does not necessitate the knowledge of every leaf and every atom.
And if the mind of Khan Sahib accepts this (i.e. continuous presence) as encompassing knowledge, even then, the first to believe in it, rather, the first to call others to believe in it, is the like-minded brother of Khan Sahib, Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami Sahib, and the first to exemplify the fatwa of kufr and shirk is him, because it was he who proved this extent of knowledge for Satan with ‘proofs’, while Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (Rahmatullah alayh) only said “we accept.” Anyhow, here Khan Sahib slandered the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah falsely by baselessly claiming that he believed in encompassing knowledge of the world for Iblis.
The second deception (of the Qabar Puraari) was that in al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, based on those evidences which Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami Sahib presented, only granted knowledge (i.e. knowledge acquired from Allah Ta’ala) was accepted for Satan (by Hazrat Mawlana Khalil) while he labelled intrinsic knowledge (i.e. such eternal and limitless Knowledge which is exclusively the Attribute of Allah Azza Wa Jal) for ( Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), shirk. Khan Sahib had certainly seen this strong distinction made between intrinsic and granted knowledge. Now I will present evidence for both these matters, that granted knowledge was conceded [for Satan and the Angel of Death], and shirk was determined for intrinsic knowledge.
Proving the first matter
In this discussion of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, on the fortieth line of page 50, it says: “The extent of the knowledge given to Satan…” Then four lines after that, it says: “And Satan and the Angel of Death who were given this extent in knowledge...” There is clarity in these two sentences that the knowledge which was conceded for Satan was knowledge granted by Allah Ta’ala.
Proving the Second Matter
First it should be understood that the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, in this discussion, refutes the logic that, since Satan and the Angel of Death have acquired this expanse in knowledge, therefore, because of the superiority of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), more knowledge of the world than this is axiomatically inherent in him. It is this assumption that the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah called shirk.
In the first line of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah from where this discussion begins, it says:
The entire Ummah has the belief that affirming even one iota of knowledge more than the quantity of knowledge which Allah Azza Wa Jal favoured for and imparted to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and all creation, is shirk. This is derived from all books of the Shari‘ah. It is known from this text that the opinion of the author of Baraahin is that it is only shirk to affirm such knowledge for creation which has not been bestowed by Allah Azza Wa Jal. Such knowledge is termed “intrinsic knowledge.” In the same discussion, shortly afterwards, he said:
The belief of the Ahl al-Sunnah is that no attribute of Allah Azza Wa Jal (in its Intrinsic eternal state) can be found in any created being. Whatever He bestows of His attributes to man, are mere shadows. Man’s attributes are in entirety reliant on Allah Azza Wa Jal. A created attribute is not an intrinsic quality. Furthermore, there can not be even an atom’s increase in whatever quantity of knowledge Allah Ta’ala has bestowed to anyone. The extent of knowledge which Satan and the Angel of Death have, cannot increase by virtue of their own ability. (i.e. By independent acquisition.)
Then he said:
The quantity of the knowledge of the hidden which was acquired by Hazrat Khidhr (Alayhis salaam), had been bestowed to him by Allah Azza Wa jal. Khidhr is not able to increase on it. Similarly, Hazrat Musa (Alayhis salaam) despite his superiority over Khidhr – Alayhis salaam), lacked it (i.e. the knowledge of the hidden which was bestowed to Khidhr – Alayhis salaam). Thus, Nabi Musa (Alayhis salaam) and Khidhr (Alayhis salaam) are equal in their inability to independently generate knowledge.
From this it should be clear that the understanding that a superior person, due to his superiority, can gain an increase in an attribute of perfection over an inferior person without the bestowal of Allah Azza Wa Jal, is incorrect. After proving this statement, the author of Baraahin says:
The upshot is: based on the states of Satan and the Angel of Death regarding their knowledge of the places of the world, as is understood from the evidences of Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami‘ Sahib, to affirm encompassing knowledge of the world (i.e. intrinsic knowledge) for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) without absolute textual evidence, but on the basis of corrupt analogy, is shirk. The analogy posits that since Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the most superior being in creation, he possesses intrinsic knowledge.
This expanse for Satan and the Angel of Death (meaning, with Allah’s command having knowledge of many places of the world) is proven by text (meaning, those texts which Mawlawi ‘Abd al-Sami’ Sahib presented). However, for the expansive knowledge of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) – i.e. assumed intrinsic knowledge on the basis of corrupt analogy and pure opinion — which decisive text (of the Qur’aan or Hadith) is there, on the basis of which all texts are rejected and shirk is established? The end result is that the sections before and after the passage in question clearly show that the author of Baraahin is speaking only about intrinsic knowledge, and this is what he termed shirk.
Thus far, I proved my claim on the basis of implications of the context. Although these indications are not less than clear and explicit statements, I shall, nonetheless, now present a clearer statement from the author of Baraahin in which, he explains with complete clarity that his discussion pertains only to intrinsic knowledge (which is Allah’s eternal, uncreated attribute), and not to granted knowledge. In this very discussion, several sentences after the sentence quoted by Khan Sahib, Hazrat Mawlana Khalil states:
This discussion is about establishing such knowledge (i.e. all-encompassing eternal knowledge) for him intrinsically, as is the belief of the ignorant. If he believes that by Allah’s Will Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is present, it will not be shirk, but without proof of Shari‘ah, having this belief is incorrect.
Now ponder! The author of Baraahin clearly explained that the ruling of shirk is only in the situation where any person affirms intrinsic knowledge for him (i.e. for Rasulullah –Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). In the first introductory principle, I quoted the references of al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah and Khalis al-I‘tiqad from the statements of Khan Sahib himself that whoever affirms any share of intrinsic knowledge, even if “less than, less than” an atom for any one besides Allah, he has committed shirk.
Thus, Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (Rahmatullah alayh) is not guilty of a ‘crime’ in which Khan Sahib does not have an equal share. And assuming this clear statement was not in Baraahin and these implications were not in the context which compelled us to accept the intent as intrinsic knowledge, then too, it would never have been permissible in any way for Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib to read into this place the intent of comprehensive granted knowledge. In Khalis al I‘tiqad, on page 28, as a general principle, he wrote:
In the verses, hadiths and statements of ‘ulama which condemn the affirmation of knowledge of unseen for others, most certainly these two types (intrinsic or intended. encompassing knowledge) are intended.
Thus in al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, the knowledge which is labelled shirk should be understood as intrinsic or completely encompassing knowledge. (This is the logical conclusion). But it is unfortunate that for the crave of takfir, he forgot his own written principles. It is true that:
Your love for something blinds and deafens.
Thus far, Khan Sahib’s second objection has been answered, the upshot of which is that he criticised [al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah] for describing as shirk the very knowledge that was affirmed for Satan whereas, the reality is contrary to this, as granted knowledge was conceded for Satan and shirk was applied to affirmation of intrinsic knowledge. The difference is quite evident.
Reply to Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib’s Third Objection against al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah
The third objection of Khan Sahib Barelwi against the author of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah, Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (Rahmatullah alayh), was that:
He demands for the knowledge of Muhammad (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace) an absolute text, and he will not be satisfied with it until it is absolute (qat‘i). However, when he comes to negating his (Allah Almighty bless him and grant him peace) knowledge, in this explanation on page 46, six lines before this disgraceful [statement of] disbelief, he himself adheres to a baseless hadith.
Regarding the classification of the narration (which the Bid’ati labelled baseless), I shall if Allah wills, explain it in the answer to the fourth objection. Here I only wish to answer Khan Sahib’s academic fallacy that “he demands for affirmation (of Rasulullah’s knowledge) an absolute text, but for negation (of knowledge) he presents one narration.”
If only, before presenting this objection, Khan Sahib had first carefully considered the question: Did the author of Baraahin, present those hadiths as a claimant producing evidence, or as an objector and opponent? He should have also researched the difference between these two functions in the principles of debate.
The reality is that the author of Baraahin (Rahmatullah alayh) demanded an absolute text for affirmation (i.e. for the affirmation of intrinsic knowledge to Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam). For establishing belief, an absolute text is undoubtedly necessary. Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib himself accepts this in principle (see Inba’ al-Mustafa).
However, in refutation of analogy (qiyaas), let alone hadiths, even another analogy can be produced (see Munazarah Rashidiyyah and its commentaries).
Reply to Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib’s Fourth Objection against al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah
The fourth objection was that the author of Baraahin was deceptive in quoting, and the narration which Hazrat Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Dihlawi (Rahmatullah alayh) refuted after quoting, was quoted [by Mawlana Khalil Ahmad] while attributing it to him, and there was no mention of the refutation. Thus, it is as though he selectively quoted “Don’t approach Salah” [from the Qur’an] and omitted “while you are drunk.”
I ask the spiritual descendants of Khan Sahib to forgive me, as I am forced to say here that since this act (of deception) is normal for him, he projects this onto others, but he should know that such tactics are only requisites of the people of falsehood (especially those who worship graves). The Seekers of Truth have no need for it. However, since this objection of Khan Sahib is not related to the subject of takfir, I shall be brief in my reply.
Firstly take note of the words used by the author of Baraahin. On page 51 on the seventh line he wrote:
And Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haq narrates (the Hadith) that: “I do not even have knowledge of what is behind a wall.”
Here the author of Baraahin did not give the name of any particular book of the Shaykh. So if this narration is mentioned in any book of the Shaykh without criticism and refutation then the reference of the author of Baraahin will be absolutely correct, and it will be understood that he quoted from there. Now take note of the last hadith of al-Fasl al-Thaalith of Mishkat al-Masabih, Bab Sifat al-Salah:
Narrated from Abu Hurayrah: He said: Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prayed Zuhr with us, and in the last rows was a man who ruined [his] prayer. When he made salaam, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) called him and said: “ Do you not fear Allah? Do you not see how you pray? You think that something you do is hidden from me. By Allah! Indeed I see from behind me [in Salaah] as I see in front of me. (Ahmad narrated it)
Hazrat Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haqq Dihlawi (Allah have mercy on him) while commenting on this hadith on page 392 of Ashi‘at al-Lam‘at wrote:
Know that Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) vision from behind was a miraculous form (kharq al-‘adah), by means of revelation or inspiration, and it was only an occasional feat. It was not permanent. This is supported by the hadith that when the blessed camel of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was lost, he did not know its whereabouts. So the hypocrites said: “Muhammad says that he receives news from the heavens, and he has no news of the whereabouts of his camel!” Then Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “By Allah! I know not but what my Rabb has taught me. Now, my Rabb has informed me that it is in a certain place, and its rein is tied to the branch of a tree.” Also Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I am a man. I do not know what is behind this wall,” meaning, without being informed by the Allah Azza Wa Jal. (Ashi‘at al-Lam‘at, 1:392)
Here, the Shaykh quoted the narration and did not mention any criticism of it. Therefore, the reference of Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (Rahmatullaah alayh) is absolutely correct. In fact if considered carefully, from this statement of the Shaykh, it is known that the narration is worthy of consideration according to him because here the Shaykh presented it to support his claim, and it is inconceivable that the Shaykh would present a narration as proof for his claim if he believed that it to be completely baseless. Thus his quotation of this narration in the context of proof is clear evidence that it is reliable according to him.
The question remains that the Shaykh in one section of Madarij al-Nubuwwah said regarding this narration that “it is baseless.” Although answering this question is not our responsibility, nevertheless, in order to remove confusion from the readers, I will comment briefly on it.
The reality is that even the well-known authority of Hadith, Hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi quoted this narration without its chain of transmission (Sanad) in some of his Kitaabs notwithstanding his meticulous appraisal of Ahaadith, expertise in this science, and deep insight. He exercised utmost caution in accepting and rejecting Hadith narrations. His citation of a narration without criticism is sufficient evidence for acceptance of the Hadith. Thus, the Shaykh (Rahmatullah alayh) accepted the narration to be reliable, and in the abovementioned passage of Ashi‘at al-Lamat presented it as support for his claim.
However, since no chain has been transmitted for this narration, he averred in Madarij al-Nubuwwah, that “it is baseless,” meaning, it has no chain. By this, the contradiction in the Shaykh’s speech is repelled. Indeed, it is a strange coincidence that even in the appraisal of Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani regarding this very narration, there is an apparent contradiction. Thus, al-Qastallani in al-Mawahib al-Ladunniyyah quotes from al-Sakhawi’s (Rahmatullah alayh) al-Maqasid al-Hasanah:
Our teacher, Shaykh al-Islam, Ibn Hajar said regarding the hadith, “I do not know what is behind this wall of mine, “It has no basis.” However, in Talkhis Takhrij Ahadith al-Rafi‘i commenting on al-Rafi‘i’s statement in al-Khasa’is (on this Hadith), “And he sees from behind his back as he sees from his front”: “It is in the two Sahihs, etc. from the Hadith of Anas and others. The hadiths transmitted in this regard are restricted to the condition of Salaah, and by this it can be reconciled with his (i.e. Rasulullah’s) statement: ‘I do not know what is behind this wall of mine.’” This indicates it is transmitted.
‘Allamah al-Zurqaani, after quoting this passage of Hafiz al-Sakhawi (Rahmatullah alayh), said in Sharh al-Mawahib: This statement, “It has no basis” is a contradiction. It is possible that by this is meant that the defect is not such which is worthy for consideration, as it was cited without chain. Therefore, it does not mean that that the narration is false. Thus, the explanation that I gave for the apparent contradictions of the Shaykh (Rahmatullah alayh) is exactly how ‘Allamah al-Zurqani explained it [the apparent contradiction] of Hafiz Ibn Hajar.
Whatever I have presented regarding the Shaykh’s comment, viz. “it is baseless”, was beyond my obligation. It was only my responsibility to find in a Kitaab of the Shaykh mention of this narration without criticism. This, I have shown. The narration is reliable according to him. I have eliminated the apparent contradiction between his two statements. So all praise and thanks is due to Allah!
Apart from what has been explained, there is no doubt that the narration is true in its meaning. Many authentic Ahaadith support its content. For example, in the two Sahihs and Sunan al-Nasa’i, it is narrated from Zaynab, the wife of Ibn Mas‘ud (Radhiyallahu anhu), that she came to the door of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to ask a question about Zakaat. When she reached there, another Ansaari wife was standing there with the same need. Then Hazrat Bilaal (Radhiyallahu anhu) came to them and she said to him: “Go to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and inform him that two women are at the door asking: ‘Is their charity permissible on behalf of their husbands and the orphans in their care,’ and don’t inform him who we are.” So Bilaal asked him, and Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to him “Who are they?” he said: “A woman from the Ansaar and Zaynab.” He said to him “Which Zaynab?” He said: “The wife of ‘Abdullah [ibn Mas‘ud].” He said: “For them are two rewards: the reward of [maintaining good] relations, and the reward of charity.”
Thus, if Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was aware of all matters behind a wall, what was the need for him to ask Hazrat Bilaal (Radhiyallahu anhu) about the names of the women? He furthermore, enquired, “which Zaynab?” This is clear proof that he was not aware of everything behind a wall.
Furthermore, in the last days of his life in the state of illness, in order to see his congregation, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) went to the door of his blessed chamber, and opening the curtain, he saw those praying in congregation in the Musjid. This is mentioned in the authentic Kutub. He repeatedly and specifically asked during the final days: “Are the people performing Salaat?” Yet between the Sacred Musjid and the holy chamber was only one wall. This is clear proof that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not know everything behind a wall. Thus, the narration in a hadith, “By Allah, I do not know what is behind this wall of mine”, is not at all surprising. There is nothing repulsive about it? No one can deny the correctness of the meaning of this narration.
Furthermore, if all of this ignored, every unbiased person will accept that the author of Baraahin presented this narration in the context of negating intrinsic knowledge, because we have established from the statements of the author of Baraahin himself that his entire discussion pertains to intrinsic knowledge. Thus he understood this narration as a negation of intrinsic knowledge. In fact, we have established from the statements of Mawlawi Ahmad Raza Khan Sahib that he, himself too does not profess intrinsic knowledge for anyone besides Allah. On the contrary, whoever affirms even one atom of intrinsic knowledge for any person besides Allah or even less than less than that, he is according to him a disbeliever and polytheist. Based on this, this narration is correct in its meaning according to Khan Sahib too, and he himself has stated: “In the verses, hadiths and statements of ‘ulama which condemn the affirmation of the knowledge of unseen for others, these two types (intrinsic or encompassing knowledge) are definitely intended.” (Khalis al-I‘tiqad, p. 28)
Thus, since Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (Rahmatullah alayh) understood this as negating intrinsic knowledge, what room for objection does Khan Sahib or his intellectual descendants have?
The inquiry in the statements of al-Baraahin al-Qati‘ah is now complete. I have completed answering, with Allah’s help, the four objections of Khan Sahib.