Distribution of Wealth in Islam

[Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (rahmatullah alayh)]


The  distribution  of  wealth  is  one  of  the  most  important  and  most  controversial subjects  concerning  the  economic  life  of  man,  which  have  given  birth  to  global revolutions  in  the  world  of  today,  and  have  affected  every  sphere  of  human activity  from  international  politics  down  to  the  private  life  of  the  individual.  For many a century  now,  the  question  has  been  the  center  not  only  of  fervent debates,  oral  and  written  both,  but  even  of  armed  conflicts.  The  fact,  however,  is that  whatever  has  been  said  on  the  sub ject  without  seeking  guidance  from Divine  Revelation  and  relying  merely  on  human  reason,  has  had  the  sole  and inevitable  result  of  making  the  confusion  worse  confounded.

In  the  present  study,  we  propose  to  state  as  clearly  as  possible  the  point  of  view of Islâm  in  this  matter,  such  as  we  have  been  able  to  deduce  from  the  Holy Qur’ân,  the  Sunnah,  and  the  writings  of  the  “Thinkers”  (to  use  a  current  idiom) in  the  Islâmic  tradition.  The  time  and  space  at  our  disposal  being  short,  it  would not  be  possible  to  di scuss  the  subject  in  detail  so  as  to  cover  all  aspects.  We  shall, however,  try  to  set  down  the  essential  and  fundamental  points  in  a  concise  but comprehensive  manner.

Before  explaining  the  position  of  Islâm  on  the  subject  of  the  distribution  of wealth  such as  we  have  been  able  to  understand  from  the  Qur’ân,  the  Sunnah, and  the  Fiqh,  it  seems  to  be  imperative  to  clarify  certain  fundamentals  that  have an  essential  and  basic  importance  with  regard  to  almost  every  aspect  of  Islâmic economics.  Give  them  whatever name you please  call  them  “the  principles  of the  theory  of  the  distribution  of  wealth”,  or  its  “philosophy”,  or  the  “ultimate object”  of  this  theory.  In  any  case,  they  are  certain  basic  principles  which  one can  derive  from  the  Qur’ân,  and  which  distinguish  the  Islâmic  point  of  view  in economics  from  non-Islâmic  systems  of  economy.

The Position of the Economic  Question

No doubt,  Islâm  is  opposed  to  monasticism  and  views  the  economic  activities  of man as  quite  lawful,  meritorious,  and  sometimes  even  obligatory  and  necessary. It  approves  of  the  economic  progress  of  man,  and  considers  “lawful  or  righteous livelihood”  as  “an  obligation  next  to  the  obligation”  that  is  to  say,  an  obligation  of  the  secondary  order.  Notwithstanding  all  this,  it  is no  less  a  truth  that  it  does  not  consider  “economic  activity”  to  be  the  basic  problem  of  man,  nor  does  it  view  economic  progress  as  the  be-all  and  end-all  of  human  life.

Even  common  sense  can  suffice  to  show  that  the  fact  of  an  activity  being  lawful or meritorious  or  necessary  is  one  thing,  and  its  being  the  ultimate  goal  of human life  and  the  center  of  thought  and  action  is  quite  another.  Many misunderstandings  about  Islâmic  economics  arise  just  from  confusion  between these  two  distinct  and  separate  things.  It  is,  therefore,  very  essential  to  make  the distinction  as  clear  as  possible  at  the  very  outset.  In  fact,  the  profound,  basic, and  far reaching  difference  between  Islâmic  economics  and  materialistic  economics  is  just  this — according  to  materialistic economics,  “Livelihood”  is  the fundamental  problem  of  man  and  economic  developments  are  the  ultimate  end  of  human  life,  while,  according  to  Islâmic  economics,  these  things  may  be necessary  and  indispensable,  but  cannot  be  the  true  purpose  of  human  life.  So, while  we  find  in  the  Holy  Qur’ân  the  disapprobation  of  monasticism  and  the injunction  to  “seek  the  munificence  of  Allâh” (62:10)  while  we  find  the  honorific  terms  like 

“the  munificence  of  Allâh” for  trade  and commerce, 

“good  things”  (100:8; 38:32; etc.,), and  “what  Allâh  has  caused  to be  your  sustenance”  (4:4) for  possessions, 

“the  clean  and  pure things  by  way  of  nourishment” (7:31)  for  food,

“adornments  from Allâh” ( 7:31)  for  dress, 

“place  of  rest”  (16:80)  for dwellings,  we  at the  same  time  find  an  expression  like  “allurement  or  delusion” ( 3:185) for  worldly  life. 

And  all  these  things  in  their  totality  have  been  designated  as “ad-Dunyâ”  (“the mean”)  a  term  which,  in  its  literal  sense,  does  not  have  a  pleasant  connotation.  Even  from  the  total  context  of  the  Holy  Qur’ân  one  can infer  the  meanness  and  worthlessness  of  the  thing  so  designated.

On this  particular  point,  shortsightedness  may  easily  lead  one  to  suspect  a contradiction  in  terms.  But,  in  fact, the  secret  behind  the  apparent  contradiction is  that,  according  to  the  Qur’ânic  view,  all  the  means  of  livelihood  are  no  more than  just  stages  on  man’s  journey,  and  his  final  destination  lies  beyond  them and  that  destination  is  the  sublimity  of  character  and  conduct,  and, consequently,  the  felicity  of  the  other  world. 

The  real  problem  of  man  and  the fundamental  purpose  of  his  life  is  the  attainment  of  these  two  goals.  But  one cannot  attain  them  without  traversing  the  path  of  this  world.  So,  all  those  things  too  which  are  necessary  for  his  worldly  life,  become  essential  for  man.  It  comes to  mean  that  so  long  as  the  means  of  livelihood  are  being  used  only  as  a  path leading  towards  the  final  destination,  they  are,  “the  munificence  of  Allâh”,  “good things”,  ” adornment  from  Allâh”,  and  “place  of  rest”;  but  as  soon  as  man  gets  lost in  the  mazes  of  this  pathway  and  allows  himself  to  forget  his  real  destination, the  very  same  means  of  livelihood  turn  into  an  “allurement  or  delusion”,  into  a  “trial”  (8:28 ),  into  a  veritable  “foe”  (64:14).

The  Holy  Qur’ân  has  enunciated  this  basic  truth  very  precisely  in  a  brief  verse “Seek  the  other  world  by  means  of  what  Allâh  has  bestowed  upon  you” (verse 28:77).  This  principle  has  been  stated  in  several  others  too,  but  it  is  not  necessary  to  cite  them  all  before  this  learned  gathering. The  writer  believes  that  if  this  attitude  of  the  Holy  Qur’ân  towards  the  economic  activity  of  man  and  its  two  aspects  are  kept  in  view,  it  would  be  very  helpful  in solving  many problems  of  Islâmic  economics.

The Real Nature of Wealth and Property

The  other  fundamental  principle  which  has  a  great  importance  with  regard  to the  problem  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  that,  according  to  the  elucidation  of the  Holy Qur’ân  itself,  “wealth”  in  all  its  possible  forms  is  a  thing  created  by Allâh,  and  is,  in  principle,  His  “property”.  The  right  of  property  over  a  thing which  accrues  to  man  is  delegated  to  him  by  Allâh.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  explicitly says:

“Give  to  them  from the property  of  Allâh  which  he  has  bestowed  upon  you.” (24:33)

Why  this  should  be  so  has  also  been  explained  by  the  Holy  Qur’ân  in  another place.  All  that  man  can  do  is  invest  his  labor  into  the  process  of  production.  But Allâh  alone,  and  no  one  else,  can  cause  this  endeavor  to  be  fruitful  and  actually productive.  Man  can  do  no  more  than  sow  a  seed  in  the  soil,  but  to  bring  out  a seedling  from  the  seed  and  make  the  seedling  grow  into  a  tree  is  the  work  of someone  other  than  man.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  says:

“Have  you  considered  what  you  till?  Is  it  you  yourselves  who  make  it  grow,  or is  it  We  who  make  it  grow?” (56:63)

And  in  another  verse:

“Have  they  not  seen  that,  among  the  things  made  by  Our own hands,  We have created  cattle  for  them,  and  thus  they  acquired  the  right  of  property  over  them?” (36:71)

All  these  verses  throw  ample  light  on  the  fundamental  point  that  “wealth”,  no matter  what  its  form,  is  in  principle  “the  property”  of  Allâh,  and  it  is  He  who has  bestowed  upon  man  the  right  to  exploit  it.  So,  Allâh  has  the  right  to  demand that  man  should  subordinate  his  exploitation  of  this  wealth  to  the commandments  of  Allâh.

Thus  man  has  the  “right  of  property”  over  the  things  he  exploits,  but  thi not  absolute  or  arbitrary  or  boundlesss  right  is it  carries  along  with  it  certain  limitations and  restrictions  which  have  been  imposed  by  the  real  owner  of  the  “wealth”.  We must  spend  it  where  He  has  commanded  it  to  be  spent,  and  refrain  from spending  wh ere  He  has  forbidden.  This  point  has  been  elucidated  more explicitly  in  the  following  verse:

“Seek  the  other  world  by  means  of  what  Allâh  has  bestowed  upon  you,  and  do not  be  negligent  about  your  share  in  this  world.  And  do  good  as  Allâh  has  done good by  you,  and  do  not  seek  to  spread  disorder  on  the  earth.” (28:77)

This  verse  fully  explains  the  Islâmic  point  of  view  on  the  question  of  property.  It places  the  following  guidelines  before  us:

(1)  Whatever  wealth  man  does  possess  has  been  received  from  Allâh – “Allâh  has bestowed  upon  you”.

(2)  Man  has  to  use  it  in  such  a  way  that  his  ultimate  purpose  should  be  the  other world-  “seek  the  other  world”.

(3)  Since  wealth  has  been  received  from  Allâh,  its  exploitation  by  man  must necessarily  be  subject  to  the  commandment  of  Allâh.

(4)  Now  the  Divine  Commandment has  taken  two  forms:

a.  Allâh  may  command  man  to  convey  a  specified  portion  of  “wealth”  to another.  This  Commandment  must  be  obeyed,  because  Allâh  has  done  good  by you,  so  He  may command you  to do  good  by  another “do good as Allah has done  good  by  you”.

b.  He  may  forbid  you  to  use  this  “wealth”  in  a  specified  way.  He  has  every  right to  do  so,  because  He  cannot  allow  you  to  use  “wealth”  in  a  way  which  is  likely  to  produce  collective  ills  or  to  spread  disorder  on  the  earth “do  not  seek  to  spread  disorder  on  the  earth”.  

This  is  what  distinguishes  the  Islâmic  point  of  view  on  the  question  of  property from  the  Capitalist  and  Socialist  points  of  view.  Since  the  mental  background  of Capitalism is,  theoretically  or  practically,  materialistic,  it  gives  man  the unconditional  and  absolute  right  of  property  over  his  wealth,  and  allows  him  to employ  it  as  he  likes.  But  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  adopted  an  attitude  of disapprobation  towards  this  theory  of property,  in  quoting  the  words  of  the nation  of  Hazrat  Shu’aib  (alayhissalaam).  They  used  to  say:

“Does  your  way  of  prayer  command  you  that  we  should  forsake  what  our  forefathers  worshipped,  or  leave  off  doing  what  we  like  with  our  own property?” (11:87)

These  people  used  to  consider  their  property  as  really  theirs  (“our  property” ),  and  hence  the  claim  of  “doing  what  we  like”  was  the  necessary  conclusion  of  their  position.  But  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has,  in  the  chapter  “Light”  (Surah al-Nur),  substituted  the  term expression  “the property  of  Allâh” for  the  “our  possessions”,  and  has  thus  struck  a  blow  at  the  very  root of  the  Capitalistic  way  of  thinking.  But,  at  the  same  time,  by  adding  the qualification “what  Allâh  has  bestowed  upon  you”,  it  has  cut  the  roots  of  Socialism  as  well,  which  starts  by  denying  man’s  right  to  private  property. Similarly, “thus  they  acquired  the  right  of  property  over  them”  a  verse  in  the  chapter  “Yâ Sîn”, explicitly  affirms  the  right  to  private  property  as  a  gift  from  Allâh.

Now  we  are  in  a  position  to  draw  clear  boundary  lines  that  separate  Islâm, Capitalism,  and  Socialism  from  one  another:

Capitalism  affirms  an  absolute  and  unconditional  right  to  private  property.

Socialism  totally  denies  the  right  to  private  property.

But  the  truth  lies  between  these  two  extremes  that  is: 

Islâm  admits  the  right  to private  property  but  does  not  consider  it  to  be  an  absolute  and  unconditional right  which  is  bound  to  cause  “disorder  on  the  earth”.

The  Objects  of  the  Distribution of  Wealth  According  to  Islam 

If  we  consider  the  injunctions  of  the  Holy  Qur’ân,  it  would  appear  that  the system  for  the  distribution  of  wealth  laid  down  by  Islâm  (a  sketch  of  which  will be  presented  later  on)  envisages  three  objects:

(a)  The  establishment  of  a  practical  system  of  economy The  first  object  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  that  it  would  be  the  means  of establishing  in  the  world  a  system  of  economy  which  is  natural  and  practicable, and  which,  without  using  any  compulsion  or  force,  allows  every  individual  to  function  in  a  normal  way  according  to  his  ability,  his  aptitude,  his  own  choice  and  liking,  so  that  his  activities  may  be  more  fruitful,  healthy  and  useful.  And  this  cannot  be  secured  without  a  healthy  relationship  between  the the  employee,  and  without  the  proper  utilization  employer  and of  the  natural  force  of  supply and  demand.  That  is  why  Islâm  does  admit  these  factors.  A  comprehensive indication  of  this  principle  is  to  be  found  in  the  following  verse:

“We  have  distributed  their  livelihood  among  them  in  worldly  life,  and  have raised  some  above  others  in  the  matter  of  social  degrees,  so  that  some  of  them  may  utilize  the  services  of  others  in  their  work.” (43:32)

(b)  Enabling  everyone  to  get  what  is  rightfully  due  to  him 

The  second  object  of  the  Islâmic  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  to  enable  everyone  to  get  what  is  rightfully  his.  But,  in  Islâm,  the  conception  and  the  criterion  of  this  right  is  somewhat  different  from  what  it  is  in  other  systems  of economy.  Under  materialistic  economic  systems,  there  is  only  one  way  of  acquiring  the  right  to  wealth,  and  that  is  a  direct  participation  in  the  process  of production.  In  other  words,  only  those  factors  that  have  taken  a  direct  part  in producing  wealth  are  supposed  to  be  entitled  to  a  share  in  wealth,  and  no  one else.  On  the  contrary,  the  basic  principle  of  Islâm  in  this  respect  is  that  wealth  is  in  principle  the  property  of  Allâh  Himself  and  He  alone  can  lay  down  the  rules  as  to  how  it  is  to  be  used.  So,  according  to  the  Islâmic  point  of  view,  not  only  those  who  have  directly  participated  in  the  production  of  wealth  but  those  too  whom Allâh  has  made  it  obligatory  upon  others  to  help,  are  the  legitimate  sharers  in  wealth.  Hence,  the  poor,  helpless,  the  needy,  the  paupers,  and  the destitute  they  too  have  a  right  to  wealth.  For,  Allâh  has  made  it  obligatory  on  all  those  producers  of  wealth among  whom  wealth  is  in  the  first  place  distributed  that  they  should  pass  on  to  them  some  part  of  their  wealth.  And  the Holy  Qur’ân  makes  it  quite  explicit  that  in  doing  so  they  would  not  be  obliging the  poor  and  the  needy  in  any  way,  but  only  discharging their  obligation,  for  the  poor  and  the  needy  are  entitled  to  a  share  in  wealth  as  a  matter  of  right.  Says  the Holy  Qur’ân:

“In  their  wealth  there  is  a  known  right  for  those  who  ask  for  it  and  those  who have  need  for  it.” (70:24-25)

In  certain  verses,  this right   has  been  defined  as  the right  of  Allâh.  For  example, this  verse  in  connection  with  harvests:

“and  pay  what  is  rightfully  due  to  Him  on  the  day  of  harvesting.” (6:142)

The  word  “right”  in  these  two  verses  makes  it  clear  that  participation  in  the process  of  production  is  not  the  only  source  of  the  right  to  wealth,  and  that  the needy  and  the  poor  have  as  good  a  right  to  wealth  as  does  its  primary  owners. Thus  Islâm  proposes  to  distribute  wealth  in  such  a  manner  that  all  those  who have  taken  a  part  in  production  should  receive  the  reward  for  their  contribution to  the  production  of  wealth,  and  then  all  those  too  should  receive  their  share whom  Allâh  has  given  a  right  to  wealth  (These  two  groups  of  sharers  will  be discussed  in  greater  detail  later  on).

(c)  Eradicating  the  concentration  of  wealth

The  third  object  of  the  distribution  of  wealth,  which  Islâm  considers  to  be  very important,  is  that  wealth,  instead  of  becoming  concentrated  in  a  few  hands, should  be  allowed  to  circulate  in  the  society  as  widely  as  possible,  so  that  the distinction  between  the  rich  and  the  poor  should  be  narrowed  down  as  far  as  is natural  and  practicable.  The  attitude  of  Islâm  in  this  respect  is  that  it  has  not permitted  any  individual  or  group  to  have  a  monopoly  over  the  primary  sources of  wealth,  but  has  given  every  member  of  the  society  an  equal  right  to  derive benefit  from  them.  Mines,  forests,  unowned  barren  lands,  hunting  and  fishing, wild  grass,  rivers,  seas,  spoils  of  war, etc.,  all  these  are  primary  sources  of wealth.  With  respect  to  them,  every  individual  is  entitled  to  make  use  of  them according  to  his  abilities  and  his  labor  without  anyone  being  allowed  to  have any  kind  of  monopoly  over  them.

“So  that  this  wealth  should  not  become  confined  only  to  the  rich  amongst you.” (59:7)

Beyond  this,  wherever  human  intervention  is  needed  for  the  production  of wealth  and  a  man  produces  some  kind  of  wealth  by  deploying  his  resources  and labor,  Islâm  gives  due  consideration  to  the  resources  and  labor  thus  deployed, and  recognizes  that  man’s  right  of  property  in  the  wealth  produced.  Everyone  shall  get  his  share  according  to  the  labor  and  resources  invested  by  him.  Says  the  Holy  Qur’ân:

“We have distributed  their  livelihood  among  them  in  worldly  life,  and  have  raised  some  above  others  in  the  matter  of  social  degrees,  so  that  some  of  them  may utilize  th e  services  of  others  in  their  work.” (43:32)

But  in  spite  of  this  difference  among  social  degrees  or  ranks  certain  injunctions have  been  laid  down  in  order  to  keep  this  distinction  within  such  limits  as  are necessary  for  the  establishment  of  a  practicable system  of  economy,  so  that wealth  should  not  become  concentrated  in  a  few  hands.

Of  these  three  objects  of  the  distribution  of  wealth,  the  first  distinguishes  Islâmic  economy  from  Socialism,  the  third  from  Capitalism,  and  the  second  from  both  at  the  same  time.  (This  point  will  be  discussed  in  detail  later  on.)

Having  indicated  these  basic  principles  of  Islâmic  economy,  we  would  now proceed  to  a  brief  exposition  of  the  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  which  one  can  derive  from  the  Qur’ân,  the  Sunnah,  and the  elucidations  of  the  Muslim jurists  (Fuqahâ).

The  Capitalist  View  of  the  Distribution  of  Wealth

In  order  to  understand  the  Islâmic point  of  view  fully,  it  would  be  better  to  have a  look  at  the  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  that  is  obtained  under  the  Capitalist  economy.  This  theory  can  be  briefly  stated  like  this – wealth  should  be distributed  only  over  those  who  have  taken  a  part  in  producing  it,  and  who  are described  in  the  terminology  of  economics  as  the factors  of  production.  According to  the  Capitalistic  economics,  these  factors  are  four:

1 – Capital – which  has  been  defined  as  “the  produced  means  of  production”  (that is  to say,  a  commodity  which  has  already  undergone  one  process  of  human production,  and  is  again  being  used  as  a  means  of  another  process  of production).

2 – Labor – that  is  to  say,  any  exertion  on  the  part  of  man.

3 – Land – which  has  been  defined  as  “natural  resources”  (that  is  to  say,  those things  which  are  being  used  as  means  of  production  without  having  previously undergone  any  process  of  human  production).

4 – Entrepreneur or Organization – the  fourth  factor  which  brings  together  the  other three  factors,  exploits  them  and  bears  the  risks  of  profit  and  loss  in  production.

Under  the  Capitalist  economy,  the  wealth  produced  by  the  cooperation  of  these  four  factors  is  distributed  over  these  very  four  factors  like  this:  one  share  is given  to  capital  in  the  shape  of interest,  the  second  share  to  labor  in  the  shape  of  wages,  the  third  share  to  land  in  the  shape  of rent (or  revenue),  and  the  fourth  share  (or  the  residue)  is  reserved  for  the  entrepreneur  in  the  shape  of profit.

The  Socialist  View  of  the  Distribution  of  Wealth

Under  the  Socialist  economy,  on  the  other  hand, capital and land,  instead  of being  private  property,  are  considered  to  be  national  or  collective  property.  So, the  question  of  interest  or  rent  (or  revenue)  does  not  arise  at  all  under  the philosophy  of this  system.[3]

Under  the  Socialist  system,  the entrepreneur  too  is  not  an  individual  but  the  state itself.  So,  profit  as  well  is  out  of  the  question  here – at least  in  theory.  Now,  there remains  only  one  factor–namely, labor.  And  labor  alone  is  considered  to  have  a  right  to  wealth  under  the  Socialist  system,  which  it  gets  in  the  shape  of  “wages.”

The  Islâmic  View  of  the  Distribution  of  Wealth 

The  Islâmic  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  different  from  both.  From  the Islâmic  point  of  view,  there  are  two  kinds  of  people  who  have  a  right  to  wealth:

(1)  Those  who  have  a primary  right – that  is  to  say,  those  who  have  a  right  to wealth  directly  in  consequence  of  a  participation  in  the  process  of  production.  In other  words,  it  is  those  very  “factors  of  production”  which  have  taken  a  part  in the  process  of  producing  some  kind  of  wealth. 

(2)  Those  who  have  a  secondary right – that  is  to  say,  those  who  have  not  taken  a  direct  part  in  the  process  of production,  but  it  has  been  enjoined  upon  the  producers  to  make  them  co-sharers  in  their  wealth.  We  shall  discuss  in  some  detail  these  two  groups  of people  who  have  a  right  to  wealth. 

[1] The  condition  of  “proper  utilization”  has  been  postulated  because  it  is possible  to  make  an  improper  use  of  the  forces,  and  it  has  been  the  case  under Capitalism.  Islâm  has  struck  at  the  very  root  of  such  an  improper  use,  and  has thus  eradicated  the  unbridled  exploitation  of  private  property.
[2] It  should  be  kept  in  mind  that  this  verse  initially  concerns  the  spoils  of  war which  are  one  of  the  primary  sources  of  wealth.

[3] Let  it  be  made  clear  that  we  are  here  concerned  with  the  basic  philosophy,  or  theory,  of  Socialism,  and  not  with  its  present  practice,  for  the  actual  practice  in Socialist  countries  is  quite  different  from  this  theory.

Those  who  have a  Primary  Right  to  Wealth

As  indicated  above  the  primary  right  to  wealth  is  enjoyed  by  “the  factors  of production”.  But  “the  factors  of  production”  are  not  specified  or  technically defined,  nor  is  their  share  in  wealth  determined  in  exactly  the  same  way  as  is done  under  the  Capitalist  system  of  economy.  In  fact,  the  two  ways  are  quite distinct.  From  the  Islâmic  point  of  view,  the  actual  factors  are  three,  instead  of being  four:

1- Capital – that  is,  those  means  of  production  which  cannot  be  used  in  the process  of  production  until  and  unless  during  this  process  they  are  either  wholly  consumed  or  completely  altered  in  form,  and  which,  therefore,  cannot  be  let  or leased  (for  example,  liquid  money  or  food  stuffs etc.).

2- Land – that  is,  those  means  of  production  which  are  so  used  in  the process  of production  that  their  original  and  external  form  remains  unaltered,  and  which can  hence  be  let  or  leased  (for  example,  lands,  houses,  machines etc.).

3 – Labor – that  is,  human  exertion,  whether  of  the  bodily  organs  or  of  the  mind  or  of  the  heart.  This  exertion  thus  includes  organization  and  planning  too. Whatever  “wealth”  is  produced  by  the  combined  action  of  these  three  factors would  be  primarily  distributed  over  these  three  in  this  manner:  one  share  of  it would  go  to  capital  in  the  form  of profit (and  not  in  the  form  of interest);  the second  share  would  go  to  land  in  the  form  of  rent,  and  the  third  share  would  be  given  to  labor  in  the  form  of  wages.

Socialism  and  Islâm

As  we  have  said,  the  Islâmic  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  different  from  Socialism  and  Capitalism  both.  The  distinction  between  the  Islâmic economy  and  the  Socialist  economy  is  quite  clear.  Since  Socialism  does  not admit  the  idea  of  private  property,  wealth  under  the  Socialist  system  is  distributed  only  in  the  form  of  wages.  On  the  contrary,  according  to  the  Islâmic  principles  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  which  we  have  outlined  above,  all  the things  that  exist  in  the  universe  are  the  property  of  Allâh  Himself.  Then,  the larger  part  of  these  things  is  that  which  He  has  given  equally  to  all  men  as  a common trust.  It  includes  fire,  water,  earth,  air,  light,  wild  grass,  hunting, fishing,  mines,  un-owned  and  un-cultivated  lands etc.,  which  are  not  the  property  of  any  individual,  but  a  common  trust.  Every  human  being  is  the beneficiary  of  this  trust,  and  is  equally  entitled  to  its  use.

On  the  other  hand,  there  are  certain  things  where  the  right  to  private  property must  be  recognized  if  only  for  the  simple  reason  that  without  such  a  recognition  it  would  not  be  possible  to  establish  the  practicable  and  natural  system  of economy  to  which  we  have  alluded  while  discussing  the  first  object  of  the distribution  of  wealth.  If  the  Socialist  system  is  adopted  and  all  capital  and  all land  are  totally  surrendered  to  the  state,  the  ultimate  result  can  only  be  this – we  would  be  liquidating  a  large  number  of  smaller  Capitalists,  and  putting  the huge  resources  of  national  wealth  at  the  disposal  of  a  single  big  Capitalist – the State -which  can  deal  with  this  reservoir  of  wealth  quite  arbitrarily. Socialism, thus,  leads  to  the  worst  form  of  the  concentration  of  wealth.  Moreover,  it  produces  another  great  evil.  Since  Socialism  deprives  human  labor  of  its  natural  right  to  individual  choice  and  control,  compulsion  and  force  becomes indispensable  in  order  to  make  use  of  this  labor,  which  has  a  detrimental  effect  on  its  efficiency  as  well  as  on  its  mental  health.  All  this  goes  to  show  that  the  Socialist  system  injures  two  out  of  the  three  objects  of  the  Islâmic  theory  of  the distribution  of  wealth-namely,  the  establishment  of  a  natural  system  of economy,  and  securing  for  everyone  what  rightfully  belongs  to  him. These  being  the  manifold  evils  inherent  in  the  unnatural  system  of  the  Socialist economy,  Islâm  has  not  chosen  to  put  an  end  to  private  property  altogether,  but has  rather  recognized  the  right  to  private  property  in  those  things  of  the  physical  universe  which  are  not  held  as  a  common  trust.  Islâm  has,  thus,  given  a separate  status  to  Capital  and  to  Land,  and  has  at  the  same  time  made  use  of  the natural  law  of  “supply  and  demand”  too  in  healthy  form.  Hence,  Islâm  does  not distribute  wealth  merely  in  the  form  of  wages,  as  does  Socialism,  but  in  the  form of  profit  and  rent  as  well.  But,  along  with  it,  Islâm  has  also  put  an  interdiction on  the  category of  “interest”,  and  prescribed  a  long  list  of  the  people  who  have  a secondary  right  to  wealth.  It  has  thus  eradicated  the  great  evil  of  the concentration  of  wealth  which  is  an  essential  characteristic  inherent  in Capitalism,  an  evil  which  Socialism  claims  to  remedy.

Islâm  and  Capitalism

This  is  the  fundamental  distinction  of  the  Islâmic  view  of  the  distribution  of wealth  which  sets  it  apart  from  Socialism.  It  is  equally  essential  to  understand fully  the  difference  that  exists  between  the  Islâmic  view  of  the  distribution  of wealth  and  the  Capitalist  point  of  view.  This  distinction  being  rather  subtle  and complicated,  we  will  have  to  discuss  it  in  greater  detail.

By  comparing  and  contrasting  the  brief  outlines  of  the  Islâmic  and  the  Capitalist systems  of  the distribution  of  wealth,  we  arrive  at  the  following  differences between  the  two:

(1)  The  entrepreneur,  as  a  regular  factor,  has  been  excluded  from  the  list  of  the factors  of  production,  and  only  three  factors  have  been  recognized  instead  of four.  But  this does  not  imply  that  the  very  existence  of  the  entrepreneur  has been  denied.  What  it  does  mean  is  just  this-the  entrepreneur  is  not  an independent  factor,  but  is  included  in  any  one  of  the  three  factors.

(2)  It  is  not  interest  but  profit which  has  been  considered  as  the  “reward”  for  Capital.

(3)  The  factors  of  production  have  been  defined  in  a  different  manner. Capitalism  defines  “capital”  as  “  the  produced  means  of  production.”  Hence, capital  is  supposed  to  include  machinery etc.  as  well,  beside  money  and food stuffs.  But  the  definition  of  “capital”  that  we  have  presented  while  discussing  the  Islâmic  view  of  the  distribution  of  wealth,  includes  only  those  things  which cannot  be  utilized  without  their  being  wholly  consumed,  or,  in  other  words, which  cannot  be  let  or  leased-for  example,  money.  Machinery  is  to  be  excluded from  “capital”,  according  to  this  definition.

(4)  In  the  same  way,  “land”  has  been  defined  in  a  more  general  way.  That  is  to say,  all  those  things  have  been  brought  under  this  head  which  do not  have  to  be  wholly  consumed  in  order  to  be  used.  Hence,  machinery  too  falls  under  this category.

(5)  The  definition  of  “labor”  too  has  been  generalized  so  as  to  include  mental labor  and  planning.

Let  us  now  go  into  the  details  of  this  discussion.  Under the  Capitalist  system, the  most  important  characteristic  of  the  entrepreneur  (which  entitles  him to profit)  is  supposed  to  be  that  he  bears  the  risk  of  profit  and  loss  in  his business.  That  is  to  say,  from  the  Capitalist  point  of  view,  “profit”  is  a  kind  of reward  for  his  courage  to  enter  into  a  commercial  venture  where  he  alone  will  have  to  bear  the  burden  of  a  possible  loss,  while  the  other  three  factors  of production  will  remain  immune  from  loss,  for  Capital  would  get  the  stipulated interest,  Land  the  stipulated rent,  and  Labor  the  stipulated wages.

On the  other  hand,  the  Islâmic point  of  view  insists  that  the  ability  to  take  the risk  of  a  loss  should,  in  reality,  inhere  with  capital  itself,  and  that  no  other  factor should  be  made  to  bear  the  burden  of  this  risk-in  other  words,  the  man  who wants  to  invest  his  money  in  a  certain  business  venture  must  take  this  risk.

Consequently,  the  Capitalist,  in  so  far  as  he  takes  the  risk,  is  an  entrepreneur too,  and  the  man  who  is  an  entrepreneur  is  a  Capitalist  as  well.

Now,  there  are  three  ways  in  which  capital  can  be  invested  in  a  business venture:

(1) Private  business:  the  man  who invests  capital  may  himself  run  the  business without  the  help  of  any  partners  or  shareholders.  In  this  case,  the  return  which he  gets  may  be  called  “profit”  from  the  legal  or  popular  point  of  view;  but  in economic  terms,  this  “reward”  would  be  made  up  of  (1) “profit”,  in  as  much  as capital  has  been  invested,  and  (2) “wages”,  as  earnings  of  management.

(2) Partnership:  The  second  form  of  investment  is  that  several  persons  may  jointly  invest  capital,  jointly  manage  the  business,  and  jointly  bear  the  risk of  profit  and  loss.  In  the  terminology  of  the  Fiqh,  such  a  venture  is  called “Shirkat-ul-‘Uqûd” or  “Partnership  in  contract”.

According  to  the  terminology  of  economics,  in  this  case  too  all  the  partners  will be  entitled  to  “profit”  in  so  far  as  they  have  invested  capital,  and  also  entitled  to  “wages”  in  so  far  as  they  have  taken  part  in  the  management  of  the  business. Islâm  has  sanctioned  this  form  of  business  organization  too.  This  form  was common before  the  time  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam).  He  permitted  people  to  retain  it,  and  since  then  there  has  been  a  consensus  of  opinion  on  its  permissibility.

(3) Cooperation  of  Capital  and  Organization:  The  third  form  of  investment is  that  one  person  may  invest  Capital  while  another  may  manage  the  business,  and  each  may  have  a  share  of  the  profit.  In  the  terminology  of  the  Fiqh,  it  is called  “Mudârabat”.  According  to  the  terminology  of  economics,  in  this  case,  the  person  who  invests  his  capital  (Rabb-ul-Mal) in  the  form  of  “profit  will  get  his  share”,  while  the  person  who  has  actually  managed  the  business will  get  it  in  the  form  of  “wages”.  But  if  the  person  who  has been  managing  the business  (“Mudârib”)  eventually  suffers  a  loss  in  the  business,  his  labor  will  have  gone  to  waste  just  as  the  capital  of  the  investor  has  gone  to  waste.

This  form  of  business  organization  too  is  permissible  in  Islâm.  The  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  himself  had  made  such  an  agreement  with  Hazrat  Khadijah  (radhiyallahu  anha) before  their  marriage.  Since  then  there  has  been  a  complete  consensus  of opinion  on  this  too  among  the  jurists  of  Islâm.

Beyond  these  three  forms,  Islâm  does  not  allow  any  other  way  of  investing capital  in  a  business.

Money  Lending  Business

The  fourth  form  of  investing  Capital  which  has  since  ever  been  practised  in  non-Islâmic  societies  is  the  money  lending  business.  That  is  to  say,  one  person  lends  out  capital  in  the  form  of  a  debt,  and  a  second  person  puts  in  his  labor;  if  there  is  a  loss,  it  has  to  be  borne  by  labor,  but,  profit  or  loss,  interest  does  accrue  to capital  in  any  case.  Islâm  has  interdicted  this  form  of  investment.

“O,  believers,  fear  your  Allâh,  and  give  up  what  is  still  due  to  you  from  the interest  (usury),  if  you  are  true  believers.  But if  you  do  not  do  so,  then  take  notice  that  Allâh  and  His  Messenger  shall  war  with  you.”

The  Holy  Qur’ân  also  says:

“Yet  if  you  repent  (of  usury)  you  shall  have  your  principal.  Do  not  be  unjust  to any  one,  nor  should  any  one  be  unjust  to  you.” (2:278)

In  these  two  verses,  the  phrases  “what  is  still  due  to  you  from  the  interest”  and “you  shall  have  the  principal”  make  it  quite  explicit  that  Allâh  does  not  condone  the  least  quantity  of  interest,  that  “giving  up  the  interest”  implies  that  the credi tor  should  get  back  only  the  principal.  Thus,  one  can  clearly  see  that  Islâm considers  every  rate  of  interest  (except  zero  %)  to  be  totally  inadmissible.

In  the  pre-Islâmic  period,  certain  Arab  tribes  used  to  carry  on  their  trade  with  the  help  of  money  borrowed  on  the  basis  of  interest  from  other  tribes.  Islâm  put  an  end  to  such  transactions  altogether.  Ibn  Juraij  says:

“In  the  pre-Islâmic  period,  the  tribe  of  Banu  Amr  bin  Auf  used  to  take  interest from  the  tribe  of  Banu al-Mughira,  and  the  Banu al-Mughira  used  to  pay  this interest.  When  Islâm  came,  the  latter  owed  a  considerable  amount  of  money  to the  former.”

And  further  on:

“The  Banu al-Mughira  used  to  pay  interest  to  the  Banu  Thaqif.”

Let  it  be  understood  that  the  position  of  every  Arab  tribe  was  like  that  of  a  joint company,  carrying  on  trade  with  the  joint  Capital  of  its  individual  members.  So, when a tribe  would  borrow  collectively  from  another  tribe,  it  would  usually  be  for  the  purposes  of  trade.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  prohibited  even  this  practice.

Thus,  under  the  Islâmic  system  of  economy,  if  a  man  wants  to  lend  his  money  to  a  businessman  for  being  invested  in  business,  he  will  have  first  to  decide  clearly  whether  he  wishes  to  lend  this  money  in  order  to  have  a  share  in  the  profit,  or simply  to  help  the  businessman  with  his  money.  If  he  means  to  earn  the  right  to a  share  in  the  profit  by  lending  his  money,  he  will  have  to  adopt  the  mode  of “partnership”  or  that  of  “co-operation”  (will  have  to  bear  the  responsibility  of  profit  or  loss).  That  is  to  say,  he  too  if  there  is  eventually  a  profit  in  the  enterprise,  he  shall  have  a  share  in  the  profit;  but  if  there  is  a  loss,  he  shall  have  to  share  the  loss  too.

On the  other  hand,  if  he  is  lending  this  money  to  another  person  by  way  of  help, then  he  must  necessarily  regard  this  help  as  no  more  than  help,  and  must  forgo  all  demand  for  a  “profit”.  He  will  be  entitled  to  get  back  only  as  much  money  as he  has  lent  out.  Islâm  considers  it  not  only  unjust  but  also  meaningless  that  he  should  fix  a  rate  of  “interest”  and  thus  place  all  the  burden  of  a  possible  loss  on  the  debtor.

This  discussion  makes  it  clear  that  Islâm  places  the  responsibility  of  “taking  the  risk  of  loss”  on  Capital.  The  man  who  invests  capital  in  a  risk-bearing  business  enterprise  shall  have  to  take  this  risk.  Thus  while,  according  to  most economists,  the  essential  characteristic  of  an  “entrepreneur”  is  that  he  takes  a  risk , Islâm  considers  it  to  be  in  principle  the  characteristic  of  “Capital”.  Thus,  under  the Islâmic system  of  economy, Capital  and  Entrepreneur  become  one  and  the same,  and their  share  in  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  profit,  not  interest.  But  if  one  were  to regard  (as  some  economists  do) the  essential  characteristic  of   an  entrepreneur  to  be management  and  planning,  then  this  activity  falls  under  the  head  of  “labor”  and  to consider  it  as  a  separate  factor is  unnecessary  elaboration.

If a man invests capital borrowed on the basis of “debt without interest” and has not made any agreement with the creditor  for a“partnership”  or “cooperation”, the  debtor  himself  becomes  then owner of this  capital  after  having borrowed  it, and  now  he investsit in  the  capacity  of  a Capitalist. So,  he  himself  shall have  to  bear  the  responsibility of  loss.

The  Difference  between  Rent  and  Interest

The  foregoing  discussion  has  sufficiently  established  the  fact  that  Islâm  considers  “profit”  and  “wages”  to  be  lawful  and  “interest”  to  be  unlawful.  Now we  are  left  with  the  fourth  item  namely  “rent”.  Islâm  considers  this  too  as lawful.  But  there  arises  a  question  in  the  minds  of  some  men  on  this  point – when  taking  or  giving  interest  on  capital  is  unlawful  because  of  there  being  a  fixed  rate,  why  should  rent  on  land  (which  includes  machinery,  according  to  our terminology)  be  lawful,  rent  also  being  something  fixed?

In  order  to  answer  this  question,  one  should  first  understand  that  important distinction.  The  material  resources  employed  in  economic  operations  are  of  two kinds.  On  the  one  hand  are  those  goods  which,  in  order  to  be  utilized  and  exploited,  do  not  have  to  be  wholly  consumed  but  may  retain  their  form  as  such  while  being  utilized, e.g. ,  land,  machines,  furniture,  carriages, etc .,  which  can  be  utilized  without  impairing  their  identity.  Since  such  commodities  are exploitable  in  themselves,  and  the  modes  of  utilizing  them  are  such  that  the  person  who  takes  them  on  rent  does  not  have  to  exert  himself  in  the  least,  while  their  constant  use  depreciates  them  in  value,  so  taking  or  giving  “wages”  for  the  utility  yield  is  quite  just  and  reasonable.  It  is  to  these  “wages  for  the  utilities provided”  that  Islâm  gives  the  name  of  “rent”.

On  the  other  hand,  money  is  a  commodity  which  has  to  be  wholly  consumed  in order  to  be  utilized.  One  cannot  derive  any  benefit  from  it  until  one  has  bought  something  for  this  money.  So,  money  is  not  utilizable  in  itself.  Hence,  on  the  one  hand,  no  matter  what  the  benefit  which  the  debtor  wishes  to  derive  from  it,  he has  to  spend  the  money  and  then  to  put  in  his  own  labor  in  order  to  derive  that  benefit;  on  the  other  hand,  the  value  of  money  does  not  suffer  on  account  of being  used  by  him.  That  is  why  it  would  be  unreasonable  to  impose  a  fixed  rate  of  interest  on  this  money.  The  owner  of  the  money  has  the  free  choice  either  not  to  lend  his  money  at  all  or  to  enter  into  a  “partnership”  or  “cooperation”  with  the  person  who  needs  the  money.  But  if  he  lends  the  money  in  the form  of  a  debt,  Islâm  cannot  allow  him  to  charge  an  interest  on  it  according  to  a fixed  rate.

It  is  on  this  basis  that  we  have  defined  our  terms  like  this – the  things  which  are not  utilizable  in  themselves  without  being  wholly  consumed  would  be  called  “capital”;  when  they  enter  into  a  commercial  enterprise  as  a  factor  of production,  they  would  be  entitled  to  profit;  the  things  which  are  utilizable  even without  being  wholly  consumed  would  be  called  “land”,  and  on  account  of having  participated  in  the  process  of  production  they  would  receive  some  part of  the  wealth  in  the  form  of rent.

The  Prohibition  of  Interest  and  its  Effect  on  the Distribution  of Wealth

As  the  foregoing  discussion  has  made  clear,  one  of  the  basic  differences  be tween the  Islâmic  system  and  the  Capitalist  system  with  regard  to  the  distribution  of wealth  is  that  Capitalism  allows  interest,  while  Islâm  forbids  it.  Now,  it  would  be  proper  to  have  a  cursory  glance  at  another  aspect  of  the  problem  too – what  are  the  consequences  that  follow  from  the  interdiction  placed  upon  interest?

In  fact,  the  prohibition  of  interest  has  very  far-reaching,  beneficial,  and  profound  effects  on  the  whole  system  of  the  production  of  wealth  itself.  But  this  discussion  would  lead  us  far  beyond  the  subject  of  this  article.  So,  for  the  moment,  we  shall  only  summarily  indicate  the  effects  which  Islâmic  injunctions  do  have  on  the  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth.  A  very  simple  consequence of  the  prohibition  of  interest  is  that  it  produces a  balance  and  uniformity  in  the  distribution  of  wealth.  The  necessary  characteristic  of  the  economy  based  on interest  is  that  the  profit  of  one  of  the  parties  (i.e., Capital)  is  assured  in  a  fixed  form  under  all  circumstances,  but,  contrarily,  the  profit  of  the  other  party  (i.e. Labor)  remains  uncertain  and  doubtful.  Big  commercial  enterprises,  no  matter  how  profitable  they  become,  can  never  be  considered  immune  from  risk. In  fact,  while  the  “risks”  of  big  business  have  been  decreased  because  the  means of  production  are  available  in  an  adequate  measure,  they  have  at  the  same  time  been  increased  by  certain  external  factors.  The  bigger  is  the  enterprise,  the greater  these  risks  are.  So,  under  the  Capitalist  economy,  the  balance  of  the distribution  of  wealth  becomes  very  unsteady.  Sometimes  the  debtor  has  to  bear severe  loss,  while  the  creditor  goes  on  minting  money.  Sometimes,  on  the  other  hand,  the  entrepreneur  earns  a  huge  profit,  while  the  man  who  has  provided  the capital  gets  only  an  insignificant  share  from it.

Contrary  to  it,  since  Islâm  prohibits  interest,  it  would  in  practice  allow  only  two  forms  of  investing  capital  in  the  modern  world  “Cooperation” and “Partnership”.  Both  these  forms  are  completely  free  from  this  injustice  and  imbalance  in  the  distribution  of  wealth.  Under  these  two  forms  of  investment,  if  there  is  a  loss,  it  has  to  be  borne  by  both  the  parties,  and  if  there  is  a  profit,  both  have  a  proportionate  share  in  it.  This  mode  of  investment  to  a  great  extent  serves  as  an  effective  check  on  the  concentration  of  wealth,  which  is  the  greatest  evil  of  the  Capitalist  economy.  Wealth,  instead  of  becoming accumulated  in  the  hands  of  a  few,  is  so  distributed  over  a  very  large  number  of  individuals  in  the  society  that  no  injustice  is  done  to  a nyone.  Under  the  Capitalist  system,  economy  being  based  on  interest,  Capitalists  come  not  only  to  own  the  greater  part  of  national  wealth,  but  also  to  control  the  whole  market and  to  run  it  in  their  own  selfish  interest.  As  a  result  of  this,  the  system  of “the  supply  of  commodities”  and  that  of  “prices”  can  no  longer  function  in  a  natural manner,  but  becomes  artificial  in  so  nefarious  a  way  that  no  sphere  of  life,  from  economy,  manners  and  morals  to  politics,  can  escape  its  evil  influences.

By  prohibiting  interest,  Islâm  has  struck  at  the  very  root  of  these  evils.  Under  the Islâmic  system,  every  one  who  invests  his  money  has  a  share  in  the  enterprise and  its  policy,  bears  the  responsibility  of  profit  and  loss  both,  and  thus  he  is  no longer  allowed  to  have  his  own  way  in  business.

A  Doubt  and  its  Clarification

It  is  necessary  to  clarify  a  doubt  that  may  arise  here.  In  discussing  the  evils  of the  economy  based  on  interest,  we  have  said  that  it  produces  an  imbalance  in  the  distribution  of  wealth,  and  that  one  of  the  two  parties  in  a  business enterprise  is  necessarily  affected  by  it.  Some  people  are  quite  likely  to  raise  the objection  that  the  man  who  suffers  a  loss  in  a  transaction  based  on  interest,  suffers  it  through  his  own  choice – if  he  deliberately  exposes  himself  to  such  risk, why  should  the  law  of  the  Shari’ah  interfere  with  his  right  to  do  so?

Even  a  little  reflection  would  easily  solve  this  problem.  A  slight  acquaintance  with  the  Islâmic  way  of  life  should  be  sufficient  to  bring  out  the  principle  that,  according  to  Islâm,  the  mutual  consent  of  two  parties  does  not  always  justify  a  certain  transaction.  If  a  man  is  willing  to  get  murdered  by  another  man,  this  fact  would  not  absolve  the  murderer  of  his  crime.  Even  in  the  case  of  fornication,  which  the  West  in  its  short-sightedness  considers  to  be  a  private  affair  of  the individual,  mutual  consent  of  the  two  parties  cannot  absolve  the  criminals.  The  question  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  and  economic  welfare  goes  much  beyond  this.  We  have  already  explained,  with  due  quotations from  the  Holy  Qur’ân,  that  wealth  is  in  principle  the  property  of  Allâh  Himself,  and  that  the  ownership  He  has  bestowed  upon  man  is,  far  from  being  unconditional  and  unbridled,  subject  to  certain  principles  laid  down  by  Allâh  Himself.  That  is  the  reason Islâm  does  not  allow  the  mutual  consent  of  the  parties  concerned  to  be  treated  as  a  justification  for  a  transaction  which  Islâm  regards  as  intrinsically  unjust  or which  can  prove  to  be  detrimental  to  the  collective  welfare  of  society.  This  is the raison d’être behind  the  strong  prohibition,  in  the  tradition  of  the  Holy Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam),  of (buying  grain  from  the  caravans  coming  from  the country-side  before  they  reach  a  town),  of  from  the  country   -side  through  a  middle  man  in  the  days  of famine), of (exchanging  grain  that  is  yet  in  the  ears  for  grain  that  has  already  been  harvested),  of (exchanging  fruits  on  a  tree  for  plucked  fruits),  and  of (taking  a  fixed  amount  of  grain  from  the  harvest  of  a  land  given  on  lease),  inspite  of  their  being  based  on  the  mutual  agreement  of  the  parties  involved.  Hence,  the  mere  fact  that  the  parties  involved  have  agreed  upon  it, cannot  serve  as  a  valid  justification  for  a  transaction  based  on  interest.

In  the  early  days  of  Islâm,  the  objection  which  people  bred  in  the  pre-Islamic  ways  generally  raised  against  the  prohibition  of  interest  was  this:

“Trade  is  exactly  like  interest.” (2:275)

The  Holy  Qur’ân  refutes  this  argument  in  a  concise  phrase:

“And  Allâh  has  permitted  trade,  and  forbidden  interest.”  (2:275) 

It  is  worth  noticing  here  that,  in  refuting  this  objection,  Allâh  the  Exalted  has  not enunciated  any  principle  or  purpose  of  the  prohibition  of  interest,  but  has,  so  to  say,  simply  indicated  that  since  Allâh  has  declared  trade  lawful  and  interest unlawful,  one  shall  have  to  abide  by  this  commandment,  whether  one understands  its raison  d’être  or  not.  Instead  of  elucidating  the  justifying principles  in  this  place,  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  adopted  the  mode  of  authority, which  cuts  off  the  very  root  of  all  objections  to  the  prohibition  of  interest.

In  short,  the  prohibition  of  interest  by  Islâm  is  the  wisest  solution  of  the  problem  which,  on  the  one  hand,  eliminates  many  evils  of  the  Capitalist  economy,  and,  on  the  other,  leaves  no  need  for  the  adoption  of  the  tyrannical  and  unnatural  economic  system  of  Socialism.  This  is  the  middle  way  which  alone  can  save  the modern  world  from  the  two  extremes  of  license  and  servitude,  and  lead  it towards  a  balanced  and  equitable  economic  system.  The  French  orientalist  Lou Massignon  has  said  something  very  pertinent  on  this  point:

“In  the  conflict  between  Capitalism  and  Socialism,  only  that  culture  can  be  assured  of  a  secure  and  bright  future  which  not  only  prohibits  interest  but  also  makes  people  abide  by  this  prohibition.”

The Problem of Wages

So  far  we  have  been  able  to  establish  one  basic  distinction  between  Islâm  and  Capitalism  with  regards  to  the  distribution  of  wealth  and  this  distinction  is  related  to  the  subject  of  interest.  Now,  there  is  another  distinction  between  the two  which  one  must  bear  in  mind,  and  which  concerns  the  relationship  between the  employer  and  the  employee.  This  would  necessitate  a  discussion  of  the  problem  of  wages.

The  violent  reaction  against  the  Capitalist  system  in  the  present  age  is  largely  an outcome  of  the  conf licts  between  employers  and  employees  and  of  the  problems arising  from  the  fixation  of  wages.  Since  the  Capitalist  economy  is  based  on  the principle  of  selfish  and  unqualified  private  ownership,  the  relationship  of “ Supply  and  Demand ”  between  the  employer  and  the  employee  is  only  a mechanical,  harsh,  and  formal  relationship  which  rests  on  undiluted  self-interest.  The  employer  respects  the  humanity  of  the  employee  (laborer)  only  so far  as  he  is  obliged  to  do  so  in  the  interest  of  his  own  business.  As  soon  as he  no  longer  feels  this  obligation,  he  readily  adopts  oppressive  measures.  On  the  other hand,  the  employee  is  interested  in  the  work  of  the  employer  and  prepared  to  carry  out  his  orders  only  so  long  as  his  livelihood  depends  on  the  employer.  The moment  this  dependence  is  over,  he  will  unscrupulously  shirk  his  work  and  even  go  on  strike.  This  results  in  a  perpetual  struggle  between  the  Laborer  and  the  Capitalist,  making  it  impossible  for  a  healthy  rapport  to  emerge  between  the  two.

On the  contrary,  although  Islâm  does  admit  the  principle  of supply  and  demand  as  affecting,  to  a  certain  extent,  the  relationship  between  the  employer  and  employee,  yet  it  has  at  the  same  time  imposed  certain  restrictions  on  the  supply  as  well  as  the  demand of  labor  in  such  a  manner  that  their  business  relationship  no  longer  remains  merely  mechanical,  but  becomes  almost  fraternal.  As  to  what  should  the  attitude  of  the  employer  be  towards  the employee,  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  made  it  quite  explicit  in  a  short  but  comprehensive  phrase,  while  citing  the  words  of  Hazrat  Shu’aib  (alayhissalaam). Hazrat  Shu’aib  (alayhissalaam) stood  in  the  position  of  the  employer  for  Hazrat  Musa  (alayhissalaam) and  said 

“I  do  not  desire  to  lay  (an  undue)  burden  of  labor  on  you.  If  Allâh  wills,  you  will certainly  find  me  to  be  one  of  the  righteous.” (28:27)

This  verse  makes  it  quite  clear  that  an  employer  who  is  a  Muslim  and  whose  ultimate  goal  in  life  is  hence  to  become  “righteous”,  cannot  be  “righteous”  until  and  unless  he  has  the  desire  to  protect  his  employee  from  the  burden  of unnecessary  labor.  The  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam) has  elucidated  this  point  further  in  explicit  terms:  

“Your  brethren  are  your  servants  whom  Allâh  has  made  your  subordinate.  So,  the  man  who  has  his  brother  as  his  subordinate,  should  give  him  to  eat  from what  he  himself  eats,  and  to  wear  what  he  himself  wears.  And  do  not  put  on  them  the  burden  of  any  labor  which  may  exhaust  them.  And  if  you  have  to  put  any  such  burden  on  them,  then  help  them  yourselves  (in  this  work).”

Another  tradition  says:

“Pay  his  wages  to  the  worker  before  his  sweat  gets  dried.”

The  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi  wasallam)  also  said  that there  are  three  people  who  will  find  him on  the  Day  of  Judgement  as  their  enemy.  One  of  these  three  is:

“The  man  who  employs  a  worker  on  wages,  then  takes  the  full  measure  of  work from  him,  but  does  not  pay  him  his  wages.”

How  solicitous  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was  about  the  rights  of  the  laborer  can  be gauged  from  a  tradition  which  comes  down  from  Hazrat  Ali  (radhiyallahu  anhu). He  reports  that  before  his  departure  from  this  world,  the  last  words  of  the  Holy Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  were:  “Take  heed  of  the  (daily)  prayers  and  of  (the  rights  of)  those  who  are subordinate  to  you.” 

In  consequence  of  these  injunctions,  the  laborer  was  able  to  receive  a  dignified  and  brotherly  position  in  Islâmic  society,  and  we  find  countless  examples  of  this in  the  history  of  the  Early  Period  of  Islâm.  One  can  say  with  absolute  confidence and  certainty  that  it  is  not  possible  to  safeguard  the  rights  of  the  laborer  in  a  better  way.

On  the  other  hand,  Islâm  has  laid  down  certain  other  injunctions  which  bind  the employee  as  well,  and  has  thus  made  his  relations  with  the  employer  still  more  congenial.  From  the  Islâmic  point  of  view,  the  laborer,  in  undertaking  the responsibility  of  doing  some  work  for  an  employer,  enters  into  a  contract  which  he  must  honor  not  only  for  earning  his  livelihood  but  also  for  his  felicity  in  the  other  world  which  is  his  real  and  ultimate  goal.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  has  this  to  say on  the  subject:

“O  believers,  fulfil  your  bonds.” (5:1)

And  further  on:

“Surely  the  best  man  you  can  hire  is  the  one  who  is  strong  and  trustworthy.” (28:26)

And  still  further:

“Woe to  those  who are  dishonest  in  weighing  and  measuring  those  who  exact  full  measure  when  they  receive  their  due  from  others,  but  give  less  than  due  when  they  measure  or  weigh  for  them.” (83:1)

According  to  the  elucidations  of  the  jurists  of  Islâm  (Fuqahâ),  the  word  “tatfeef” (underweighing  and  undermeasuring)  in  this  verse  includes  in  its  connotation  even  the  laborer  who  receives  in  full  the  wages  that  have  been  agreed  upon,  and yet  does  not  give  the  full  measure  of  work,  and  employs  that  portion  of  time  which  he  has  given  away  to  the  employer  in  doing  some  other  work,  contrary  to the  wishes  of  his  employer.  These  injunctions,  thus,  declare  the  shirking  of  work  to  be  a  great  sin,  and  make  it  quite  clear  to  the  employee  that  once  he  has  taken  upon  himself  the  responsibility  of  doing  some  work  for  an  employer,  the  work has  now  become  his  own,  and  that  he  is  under  the  obligation  to  complete  it  with  perfect  honesty,  application,  and  zeal,  otherwise  he  will not  be  able  to  attain  the  felicity  in  the  other  world  which  is  his  real  and  ultimate  goal.

With  regard  to  the  problem  of  wages,  in  short,  Islâm,  while  admitting  to  a certain  extent  the  principle  of  “supply  and  demand ”  has  at  the  same  time  laid down certain  injunctions  for  the  employer  and  the  employee  both,  so  that  the system  of  supply  and  demand  has  come  to  be  based  on  human  sympathy  and brotherhood,  and  not  on  self-interest. One  may  possibly  have  a  doubt  here  down  that  the  nature  of  the  injunctions  laid by  the  Qur’ân  and  the  Sunnah  in  order  to  control  the  employer  and  the  employee  both,  is  similar  to  that  of  moral  precepts,  which  have  no  validity  from  the  economic  or  legal  point  of  view.  But  such  an  objection  would  arise  from  an  improper  understanding  of the  spirit  of  Islâm.  One  should  all  the  time  bear  in mind  that  Islâm  is  not  a  mere  economic  system,  but  a  complete  code  of  life  in  which  all  the  spheres  of  human  life  function  as  inter -related  parts  of  a  whole. The  attempt  to  consider  any  one  of  these  spheres  in  isolation  from  others  would necessarily  produce  many  misunderstandings.  The  true  aspect  of  each  of  these spheres  can  emerge  only  when  it  is  given  its  proper  place  within  the  total  code of  life,  and  is  viewed  in  this  perspective.  So,  it  would  not  be possible  to  exclude  these  so-called  “moral  precepts”  from  any  discussion  of  the  Islâmic  economy.

Then  there  is  another  distinctive  feature  of  Islâm.  If  one  takes  a  larger  view,  even these  “moral  precepts”  are  in  reality  legal  injunctions,  for  the  reward  or  the  punishment  of  the  other  world  finally  depends  on  them  and  it  is  the  reward and  punishment  which  has  the  fundamental  importance  in  the  life  of  a  Muslim. It  is  just  this  “Doctrine  of  the  Other  World”  which  has  not  only  given  the authority  of  Law  to  Ethics,  but  has  also  been  at  the  back  of  “laws”  in  the technical  sense.  If  you  carefully  consider  the  Qur’ânic  idiom,  you  will  find  that the  notions  of  “fear  of  Allâh”  and  “solicitude  for  the  other  world ”  are  always appended  to  every  legal  or  ethical  injunction.  The  secret  behind  it  is  that,  in  fact, man can  never  be  made  to  abide  by  laws  merely  out  of  fear  of  human  force  or coercion  until  and  unless  “solicitude  for  the  other  world”  is  there  to  keep  a constant  watch  over  each  and  every  action,  movement  or  thought  of  man.  As  for that,  the  several  thousand  year  old  history  of  mankind,  which  has  been  full  of  numberless  oppressions,  inequities  and  crimes  inspite  of  all  the  legal imperatives,  can  easily  bear  witness  to  this  irrefutable  fact.  And,  in  particular,  the so-called  “civilized  world”  of  today  has  made  it  clear  like  daylight  that  the  speed  with  which  crimes  have  been  increasing  is  far  greater  than  the  speed  with which  legal  machinery  is  being  strengthened  to  overtake  them.

So,  the  fond  belief  that  the  relations  between  the  employer  and  the  employee  can  be  improved  with  the  help  of  legal  provisions  is  no  more  than  a  self-delusion  of  the  worst  sort.  Its  real  remedy  is  only  the  “solicitude  for  the  other  world”  and  nothing  else.  And  Islâm  has  put  all  possible emphasis  on  just  truth  in  this  matter. 

The  modern  mind,  which  has  gotten  itself  entangled  in  the  confusions  of  the  worldly  life  and  has  thus  lost  the  capacity  to  look  beyond  matter,  may  perhaps  find  it  difficult  to  understand  this  truth.  But  it  is  certain  that  if  mankind  is  at  all destined  to  attain  a  peaceful  existence,  it  will,  after  a  hundred  pitfalls,  arrive  finally  at  the  truth  which  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  stressed  again  and  again.  The world  has  already  witnessed  sufficiently  the  veracity  of  this  Qur’ânic  concept  during  the  time  when  Islâm  was  really  functioning  as  a  system  in  actual practice.  In  the  history  of  that  period,  one  would  seek  in  vain  for  an  example  of  the  conflicts  between  employers  and  employees  which  have  been  upturning  our  world  for  some  time  past.  It  was  just  these  “moral  precepts”  of  the  Qur’ân  and  the  Sunnah  which  made  a  practical  demonstration  of  how  this  problem  could  be  solved  in  a  satisfactory  way,  and  because  of  which  the  history  of  the  Early  Period  of  Islâm  is  almost  free  from  the  violent  disputes  and  workers’  strike  of today.

The  Secondary  Heads  of  the Distribution  of  Wealth

So  far  our  discussion  has  been  concerned  with  those  who  have  a  primary  right  in  the  distribution  of  wealth.  A  significant  characteristic  of  the  Islâmic  theory  of the  distribution  of  wealth  is  that,  in  order  to  strengthen  the  weaker  elements  of society  and  to  make  those  who  have  no work  to  do  capable  of  useful  work,  it  has  prescribed,  beside  the  factors  of  production,  a  long  list  of  those  who  have  a secondary  right  to  wealth,  and  has  laid  down  a  regular  system  for  gaining  this  objective.

In  the  introductory  part  of  this article,  it  has  already  been  indicated  that  wealth  is  in  principle  the  property  of  Allâh  Himself,  that  He  is  the  real  creator  of  wealth,  and  it  is  He  who  has  bestowed  upon  man  the  right  of  ownership  over  it. Man  is,  no  doubt,  the  owner  of  the  reward  which  he  gets  in  return  for  his  endeavour,  but  it  is  Allâh  who,  in  His  grace,  gives  him  the  ability  to  make  this  endeavour  and  it  is  He  who  has  created  wealth.  So,  man  is  not  altogether  free  to put  his  property  to  any  use  he  likes,  but  is  bound  by  the  Commandments  of  Allâh.  Man  is  hence  under  the  obligation  to  spend  this  wealth  where  Allâh  commands  him  to  spend. This  basic  idea  automatically  leads  to  a  second  category  of  entitlement  to  wealth  outside  the  factors  of  production  that  is  to  say,  according  to  the  Islâmic  point  of  view  every  such  person  is  entitled  to  wealth  to  whom  the  primary  owners  of  wealth  are bound  under  an  obligation  laid  on  them  by  Allâh  to  convey  it.  Thus  we  arrive  at  a  long  list  of  the  secondary  heads  in  the  distribution  of  wealth,  under  each  of  which  there  are  persons  entitled  to  a  share  in  wealth.

In  laying  down  these  categories,  Islâm  in  fact  wants  that  wealth  should  be  given  as  wide  a  circulation  in  society  as  possible,  and  that  the  restrictions  that  have  been  imposed  on  the  concentration  of  wealth  through  the  prohibition  of  interest  should  be  further  extended.  It  is  not  possible  to  give  a  detailed  account  of  these categories  in  this  short  article.  We  would,  however,  enumerate  them  briefly:

(a)  Zakât 

The  first  and  the  widest  of  these  heads  is  Zakât.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  has  mentioned  this  obligation  in  numerous  places  along  with  Salât  (the  daily prayers).  Every  person  who  possesses  silver  or  gold  or  cattle  or  merchandise  in a  certain  prescribed  quantity  a nd  above  it  is  under  the  obligation  to  spend,  after the  passage  of  one  year,  a  certain  part  of  his  possessions  on  other  needy  persons. And  with  regard  to  the  man  who  does  not  fulfil  this  obligation,  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  this  to  say:

“Those  who  treasure up  gold  and  silver,  and  do  not  spend  them  in  the  way  of  Allâh  give  them  tidings  of  painful  chastisement,  the  day  this  (wealth)  shall  be  heated  in  the  fire  of  Hell,  and  their  foreheads,  their  sides,  and  their  backs  shall  be  branded  with  it.  (It  will  be  said  to  them,)  ‘This  is  what  you  had  treasured  up for  yourselves;  now  taste  of  what  you  were  treasuring.’” (9:34-35)

Then  the  Holy  Qur’ân  itself  has  laid  down  eight  items  where  this  Zakât  is  to  be spent.  By  prescribing  eight  items  of  expenditure  under  the  single  head  of  Zakât, the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  opened  the  way  to  the  widest  possible  circulation  of wealth.

The  common  factor  among  these  items  of  expenditure  for  Zakât  which  entitles  a person  to  receive  it  is  “poverty”  and  “neediness”.  And  this  head  (Zakât)  is  chiefly  meant  for  the  eradication  of  poverty.  An  indication  of  how  wide  the distribution  of  wealth  among  the  poor  and  the  needy  can  be  made  under  the head  of  Zakât,  is  provided  by  the  fact  that  the  national  income  of  Pakistan  was  nearly  Rs.15,300,000,000  in 1965;  now,  if  we  levy  Zakât  on  this  national  income at  its  lowest  rate  (that  is  2.5%),  it  comes  to  mean  that  at  least  Rs.  302,500,000  can  be  distributed  among  the  needy  and  the  poor  annually.  One  can  easily  see  what  a  huge  amount  of  money  will  every  year  pass  from  the  pockets  of  the  Capitalists  to  the  hands  of  the  needy  and  the  poor,  if  all  the  factors  of  production  pay  the annual  Zakât  regularly,  and  how  soon  the  glaring  inequality  in  the  distribution  of  wealth  will  thus  be  done  away  with.

(b)  ‘Ushr

Ushr  is  in  fact  a  form  of  Zakât  which  is  levied  on  land  produce.  But,  since  human  labor  is  comparatively  less  involved  in  this  kind  of  production,  the  rate  of  the  levy  here  is  10%,  or  in  some  cases  20%  instead  of  2.5%.  This  levy  is  due  only  on  the  produce  of  those  lands  which,  according  to  the  expositions  of  the  Fiqh,  come  under  the  special  category  of  ‘Ushri  lands.  ‘Ushr  is  spent  on  the  same items  as  Zakât.

(c)  Kaffârât

Islâm  has  prescribed  another  regular  mode  of  transmitting  wealth  to  hundreds  of  individuals  in  a  society  and  that  is  the  mode  of  “Kaffârât” (expiation  money).  If  someone  breaks  his  fast  during  Ramadân  without  a  proper excuse,  or  kills  another  Muslim  unintentionally,  or  compares  his  wife  with  the back  of  a  female  within  prohibited degrees  of  relationship  (which amounts  to  taking  an  oath  not  to  have  connubial  relations  with  her),  or  breaks  a  vow after  having  taken  it,  he  has  been  enjoined  to  spend  (compulsorily  in  some  cases,  and  voluntarily  in  others)  some  of  his  wealth  over  the  needy  and  the  poor. This  can  be  done  in  the  form  of  cash,  and  also  in  the  form  of  food  or  clothes.

(d)  Sadaqat ul-Fitr 

Besides  this,  it  has  been  made  compulsory  for  those  whose possessions  come  up  to  a  certain  specified  quantity  that  on  the  occasion  of  the  Î’d-ul-Fitr  they  should,  before  going  to  the  prayers,  distribute  among  the needy,  the  poor,  orphans  and  widows,  wheat  or  its  price  at  the  rate  of  1  3/4 seers  per  number  of  the  family.  Everyone  has  to  pay  this  sum  not  only  on  his  or her  own  behalf ,  but  even  on  behalf  of  one’s  minor  children.  To  make  such  charity  obligatory  this  condition  too  is  not  necessary  that  the  possessions  which  give  rise  to  the  obligation  should  consist  of  objects  of  growth  or  should  have  been  held  for  one  complete  year.  So,  the  sphere  of  this  obligation  is  even  wider than  that  of  Zakât,  and  it  can  lead  to  the  greatest  possible  demonstration  of  the principle  of  brotherhood,  particularly  on  the  occasion  of  a  collective  festivity.

These  four  categories  are  intended  to  distribute  wealth  among  the  needy  and  the poor.  Beside  them  there  are  two  more  categories  which  are  intended  to  provide help  to  one’s  relatives  and  to  give  them  a  share  in  one’s  wealth.  One  of  them  is the  category  of  “Nafaqât”  (Maintenance)  and  the  other  is  that  of  “Wirâsat” (Inheritance).

(e)  Nafaqât  

Islâm  has  placed  on  everyone  the  responsibility  of  supporting  his  close relatives,  some  of  these  relatives  are  such  as  must  be  supported  in  any  case compulsorily,  whether  one  is  well  to  do  or  poor  does  not  matter  among  such  relatives  are,  for  example,  one’s  wife  and  minor  children.  Then,  there  are  other  relatives  who  have  to  be  supported  only  if  one  possesses  the  means  to  do  so. The  Islâmic  law  provides  a  long  list  of  such  relatives.  This  injunction  gives  rise  to  a  very  fine  arrangement  for  the  maintenance  of  the  helpless  and  weak members  of  a  family.

(f)  Wirâsat 

The  Islâmic  system  of  inheritance  has  a  basic  importance  in  the  Islâmic system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth.  It  is  not  really  necessa ry  to  expatiate  upon the  inequity  produced  in  the  distribution  of  wealth  by  the  restricted  forms  of inheritance.  One  of  the  greatest  causes  of  the  inequity  that  is  found  in  Western  countries  in  this  sphere  is  just  this,  and  many  economists  have  admitted  this fact.

The  system  of  inheritance  that  is  generally  prevalent  in  Europe  is  the  rule  of primogeniture that  is  to  say,  all  the  property  of  the  deceased  goes  to  the  eldest  son  and  all  the  other  children  are  totally  deprived  of  it.  Moreover,  in  certain  places,  a  man  can,  if  he  so  wishes,  dispose  of  his  whole  property  by  will  to  any  person,  thus  depriving  even  his  male  offspring  of  a  share  in  the  inheritance.  As  a result  of  this  system,  wealth  gets  concentrated  instead  of  being  circulated.  On the  other  hand,  according  to  the  Hindu  code,  the  male  members  of  the  family  jointly  inherit  the  property,  and  the  females  are  totally  excluded  from inheritance.  This  is  an  obvious  injustice  to  women.  Moreover,  the  sphere  of  the circulation  of  wealth  is  even  here  narrower  than  what  it  is  under  the  Islâmic  system.

On  the  contrary,  the  system  of  dividing  inheritance  laid  down  by  Islâm  does  away  with  all  these  evils.  The  characteristics  peculiar  to  this  Islâmic  system  are as  follows:

(a)  A  long  list  of  inheritors  has  been  prescribed  in  accordance  with  the  degrees of  relationship,  because  of  which  the  inherited  wealth  gets  a  very  wide  circulation.  It  should  be  noticed  here  that,  in  order  to  give  a  wide  circulation  to wealth,  it  could  be  as  well  enjoined  that  the  whole  inheritance  should  be distributed  among  the  poor  or  be  deposited  in  the Bait-ul-Mâl (Public Exchequer).  But,  in  that  case,  everyone  would  have  tried  to  spend  all  his  wealth during  his  own  lifetime,  and  this  would  have  only  upset  the  economy.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  Islâm  has  laid  down  a  system  which  requires  that  the inheritance  should  be  divided  amongst  the  relatives  of  the  deceased  an  arrangement  which  should  be  the  natural  desire  of  the  owner  of  this  wealth.

(b)  As  against  all  the  other  systems  of  inheritance  in  the  world,  Islâm  has  given to  woman  also  the  right  to  inherit  property.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  says:

“There  is  a  share  for  men  from  what  is  left  by  parents  and  kinsmen,  and  there  is a  share  for  women  from  what  is  left  by  parents  and  kinsmen,  whether  it  be  little or  much and  it  is  a  determinate  share.”

(c)  The  deceased  has  not  been  given  the  prerogative  to  deprive  a  legal  heir  of  his or  her  share,  nor  to  make  any  kind  of  modification  in  the  prescribed  share  of  any  heir.  This  injunction  puts  a  complete  end  to  the  possibility  of  a  concentration  of wealth  resulting  from  inheritance.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  says:

“You  do not  know  which  one  of  them, among  your  fathers  and  your  sons,  is  nearer  in  profit  to  you.  This  is  the  law  laid  down  by  Allâh.” (4:10)

(d)  No  distinction  has  been  made  among  children  on  the  basis  of  priority  of  birth.  An  equal  share  has  been  allotted  to  the  elder  and  the  younger.

(e)  It  has  been  forbidden  to  make  a  bequest  in  favour  of  an  heir,  in  addition  to the  prescribed  share.  Thus,  no  heir  can  receive  anything  from  the  estate  of  the  deceased  over  and  above  his  or  her  own  share  of  the  inheritance.

(f)  A  part  of  the  property  can  be  bequeathed  to  one  who  may  not  be  an  heir.  This also  helps  in  the  circulation  of  wealth,  for  a  part  of  the  property  is  given  away  as legacy  before  the  sharing  of  inheritance  takes  place.

(g)  But  a  testator  cannot  dispose  of  all  his  property  by  will.  He  is  allowed  to  bequeath  up  to  one  third  of  his  property,  and  has  no  legal  right  to  exceed  this  limit.  This  injunction  thus  serves  to  avoid  that  danger  of  the  concentration  of  wealth  which would  arise  if  a  man  were  allowed  to  dispose  of  all  his  property by  will.  At  the  same  time,  it  also  safeguards  the  rights  of  the  near  kindred.

(g)  Khirâj  and  Jizyah  

Beside  the  above  categories,  there  are  two  more  which  require  the owners  of  wealth  to  pay  a  part  of  it  to  the  government  of  the  country- one  is “Khirâj”  (tribute)  and  the  other  is  “Jizyah.”

Khirâj  is  a  kind  of  levy  on  land  which  is  imposed  only  on  those  lands  which  come  under  the  category  of  Khirâji according  to  the  expositions  of  the  Fiqh,  and  the  government  can  spend  it  on  community  projects.  Jizyah,  on  the  other  hand,  is  received  from  those  non-Muslims  who  are  citizens  of  an  Islâmic  state  and  the protection  of  whose  life,  property,  and  honor  is  the  responsibility  of  the  state, and  also  from  those  non-Muslim  states  with  which  peace  has  been  made  on  the  condition  of  their  paying  the  Jizyah.  This  sum  as  well  is  to  be  spent  by  the  state  on  projects  of  collective  unity.

The  secondary  categories  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  outlined  above  are  only  those  in  which  it  has  been  enjoined  upon  the  primary  owners  of  wealth  to  spend  a  part  of  it  as  a  matter  of  individual  responsibility.  Besides  these  categories, there  are,  in  the  Qur’ân  and  the  Sunnah,  exhortations  to  spend  wealth  on  the  poor  and  the  helpless  and  for  the  collective  good  of  the  Muslims.  Says  the  Holy Qur’ân:

“They  ask  you  as  to  what  they  should  spend.  Say  ‘What  is  left  over.’” (2:219)

This  verse  makes  it  clear  that  what  is  commendable  in  the  eyes  of  Allâh  is  that  a  man should  not  confine  himself  to  spending  only  as  much  as  he  is  under  an  obligation  to  spend,  but  should  consider  it  to  be  a  great  blessing  for  himself  to  give  everything  that  exceeds  his  own  needs  to  those  members  of  his  society  who are  destitute  of  wealth.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  and  the  Traditions  of  the  Prophet  ( are  full  of  exhortations  on  the  subject  of  “spending  in  the  way  of  Allâh.”

The Eradication of Beggary  as  a Profession

The  measures  adopted  for  giving  the  weaker  members  of  society  the  right  to have  a  share  in  the  wealth  of  the  rich  were  at  the  same  time  likely  to  produce  another  evil  in  society – that  this  section  of  society  might  become  parasitical,  and  live  as  a  permanent  burden  on  society.  In  order  to  check  this  tendency,  the  Shariah  has  subjected  these  people  as  well  to  certain  special  regulations:

(i)  A  man  who  is  healthy  and  physically  fit  has  not  been  given  the  right  to  beg, except  under  special  circumstances.  According  to  the  Holy  Qur’ân,  the commendable  quality  of  the  genuine  “Fuqarâ”  (beggars)  is  that:

“They  do  not  beg  of  men  importunately.” (2:273)

(ii)  The  man  who  has  the  wherewithal  for  a  day  has  been  forbidden  to  beg.

(iii)  A  tradition  of  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  condemns  begging  as  a  humiliation.

(iv)  The  man  who  possesses  wealth  up  to  the  prescribed  quantity  has  been  forbidden  to  accept  charity  even  without  begging.

(v)  The  poor  and  the  helpless  have  been  persuaded  to  shun  charity,  to  earn  their  livelihood through  their  labor  as  far  as  possible,  and  to  look  upon  hard  work  as  noble.

(vi)  Those  who  possess  wealth  have  been  admonished  that  it  is  not  enough  merely  to  set  apart  a  sum  of  money  for  charity – they  are  also  responsible  for seeking  out  those  who  are  really  needy  and  thus  genuinely  entitled  to  charity, and  for  distributing  it  among  them.

(vii)  Through  the  department  of  moral  censorship,  provision  has  been  made  for the  eraditation  of  beggary.

In  consequence  of  the  healthy  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  which  Islâm  has  instituted  by  means  of  these  injunctions,  our  history  offers  instances  of  a state  of  society  where  one  sought  in  vain  for  a  man  who  would  accept  charity.


These  are  only  some  of  the  salient  features  of  the  Islâmic  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth.  In  this  short  article,  we  have  not  been  able  to  do  more  than  to  show  a  glimpse  of  this  system.  But  we  hope  that  these  scanty  observations  must  have  made  it  clear  how  the  Islâmic  economy  differs  from  Capitalism  and  Socialism  both,  and  what  its  fundamental  characteristics  are.

Haraam Hookah


Majlisul Ulama

QUESTION:  What  is  the  Shariah’s  viewpoint  regarding smoking  hookah?  It  has  become  a  craze  among  many youngsters  –  boys  and  girls. One  Maulana  says  that  it  is Makrooh  Tanzihi.   Please comment.

ANSWER:  There  is  no  scope   for  permissibility  in  the  Shariah  for  the  filthy,  harmful hookah  fad.  It  is  absolutely intolerable  for  Muslim  girls  to indulge  in  this  act  of  satanism. Medical  experts  have  confirmed  that  it  causes  mouth cancer  –  (South  African Dental Association).

MIND AND BODY:  Mouth cancer  warning  to  young  people


“The  Association  released  shock  statistics  on  oral  and oro-pharyngeal  cancers  at  a recent  media  briefing,  including  the  link  with  smoking  dagga.  In  the  past  these  types  of cancer  mostly  occurred  in adults  over  the  age  of  45,  but they  have  become  increasingly prevalent  in  people  between 20  and  30.       

The  hubbly  bubbly  pipe  exposes  the  user  to  a lot  more  carbon  monoxide than  cigarette  smoke.”  [The Herald]

According  to  the  Shariah Dharar  (the  element  of  harm) is  a  factor  of  prohibition.  Poison  is  haraam  on  account  of  Dharar  and  so  is  eating  sand, glass,  etc..  Hookah  is  haraam on  the  basis  of  several  factors of  prohibition:

Dharar,  fisq  and  fujoor  gatherings  of  teenagers,  destruction  of  the  haya  of  girls,  and wastage  of  money  and  time.  There  is  no  scope  for  permissibility  of  hookah.  

Also Read: Shari’ah Prohibits Cigarettes & Tobacco


[Majlisul Ulama]

(An Extract from the Foreword of  Dr. Ahmad Ghorab’s enlightening book  which  exposes  the satanic  WESTERN PLOT AGAINST ISLAM)

“Dr.  Ahmad  Ghorab  is  to  be  commended  for  his  fine  book, Subverting  Islam:  The  Role  of  Orientalist  Centres.  His  courage and  forthright  honesty  are  an  inspiration  for  concerned  Muslims in  search  of  the  truth.  He  has  succeeded  in  identifying  an important  front  in  the  current  Euro-American  crusade  against  the Islamic  movement:  the  formation  of  an  anti-Muslim  network  of institutions  and  scholars  marching  under  the  banner  of  ‘Islamic Studies’.

(These  are  the  Departments  of  ‘Islamic  Studies’  attached  to  the kuffaar universities—The Majlis)

In  his  insider  expose  of  “Islamic  Studies”,  Dr.  Ghorab demonstrates  how  the  new  school  of  thought  derives  legitimacy by  employing  compliant  Muslim  scholars  (mercenaries  who  have sold  Islam  down  the  drain  for  dollars  –The  Majlis)  and professors,  such  as  Ja’far  Sheikh  Idris,  Yusuf  al-Qardawi  (The Ghabi  who  had  recently  disgraced  himself  in  South  Africa  –  The Majlis),  Abdullah  and  Akbar  Ahmed,  to  name  just  a  few. Christian  missionaries  and  professors,  such  as  Bishop  Kenneth Cragg,  Rev.  Montgomerry  Watt  and  John  Esposito,  are,  as  Dr. Ghorab  shows,  always  close  at  hand  to  guide  various  ‘Islamic Studies’  programmes,  both  in  the  Muslim  world  and  in  various European and American academic institutions.

Dr.  Ghorab  provides  a  detailed  discussion  of  the  Oxford  Centre for  “Islamic  Studies”,  and  also  mentions  other  institutions  with similar  programmes,  such  as  Hartford  Seminary,  College  of  the Holy  Cross,  or  Princeton  University.  By  naming  people  and places  subverting  Islam,  Dr.  Ghorab  has  done  a  great  service  for the  Islamic  movement.  Muslims  who  are  considering  attending these  institutions  or  consulting  with  these  scholars  should  first study  Dr. Ghorab’s book  carefully.

Many  additional  books  can,  and  should,  be  written  about  the numerous  “Islamic  Studies”  programmes  proliferating  in  western academic  institutions.  This  is  especially  urgent,  since  some Muslim  government-run  institutes,  such  as  Malaysia’s  Institute  of Islamic  Understanding,  manage  their  programmes  almost exclusively by “Islamic scholars” from western universities.

Columbia  University  in  New  York  City,  fits  Dr. Ghorab’s description  of  a  centre  for  subverting  Islam.  While  there  is  no department  of  Islamic  Studies  per  se,  Islam  is  the  focus  of  various components  within  the  Departments  of  Middle  East  Languages and  Cultures  (MELAC),  Religion,  Music,  and  Anthrapology,  as well  as  the  Middle  East  Institute.  Though  staffed  primarily  by Jews  and  Christians,  there  are  also  a  few  Muslim  professors  on hand  for  good  measure…….MELAC  is  especially  popular  with new  or  weak  Muslims  who  hope  to  increase  their  faith  or  learn more  about  their  religion  and  history  by  taking  a  few  courses  in the Department.

The  faculty  includes  Maan  Madina,  Hamid  Dabashi,  George Saliba,  and  Jeanette  Wakin…………. Maan Madina  is  an  avid  collector of  Islamic  art,  and  occasionally  offers  courses  in  affiliation  with the  New  York  Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art.  To  him,  Islam  is  a vestige  of  the  Arab  past,  to  be  revisited  by  western  scholars  or curated in museums.”

Wakin  offers  courses  on  Islamic  texts.  Although  teaching  at Columbia  University  for  many  years,  she  apparently  has  no  Ph.D; her  academic  legitimacy  comes  from  being  a  student  of  Joseph Schacht,  the  notorious  orientalist  who  sought  to  discredit  the Shariah  on  the  grounds  that  it  was  time-bound  and  irrelevant  to modern  society.  Wakin  ascribes  to  this  belief,  as  well  as  to Schacht’s  other  ‘great  contribution’  to  ‘Islamic  Studies’,  his insistence  that  the  hadith  are  all  fabricated  and  therefore unreliable  as  sources!  Wakin’s  courses,  also  disguised  as  language study,  are  carefully  focused  attacks  on  the  foundation  of  Islamic civilization.”

In  the  current  era  the  plot  of  the  orientalist  –  the  plot  to undermine  and  destroy  Islam  –  has  been  taken  over  by  the ‘Islamic  Studies’  faculties  of  the  various  kuffaar  universities. Juhala  (Ignoramuses)  –  so-called  professors  –  posing  as Muslims,  are  the  most  successful  accomplishment  realized  by the  western  orientalists.  Some  decades  ago,  the  conspiracy  was directly  manipulated   and  given  effect  by  non-Muslim professors.  Today,  this  dirty  and  destructive  work  has  been handed  over  to  the  ‘Muslim’  professors  who  have  been schooled,  indoctrinated  and  brainwashed  with  kufr  by  the orientalist  enemies  of  Islam.  Dr.  Ahmad  Ghorab  who  was  a professor  at  several  western  universities,  the  last  being  the University  of  Riyadh  from  where  he  was  expelled  when  he commenced  to  expose  the  elaborate  orientalist  plot  in  which Saudi  Arabia  too  is  a  big  cog  with  its  finance,  in  his  book, SUBVERTING ISLAM  – THE ROLE OF THE ORIENTALIST CENTRES,  reveals  the  bare  facts  and  the  names  of  the  actors  of these  centres  of  conspiracy.  Among  the  Muslim  clerics employed  by  the  plotters to  give  legitimacy  to  the  Plot,  is YUSUF QARDAWI,  the  Ghabi,  who  had  recently  attempted  to  give Islamic  credibility  to  women’s  ‘liberation’  in  South  Africa  by propagating  the baatil  idea  of  the  permissibility  of  female  influx into  the  Musaajid.  This  article  is reproduced from his book.

Many  of  the  students  who  study  languages  at  Columbia  do  so either  to  train  for  the  Israeli  Mossad  or  the  American  Central Intelligence  Agency  (CIA).  American  students  with  mediocre grades,  but  who  desire  such  careers,  get  scholarships  to  continue studying  in  places  like  the  American  University  in  Cairo  or  Robert College  in  Turkey.  MELAC  (Middle  East  Languages  and Cultures)  students  also  include  Muslims  training  to  serve American  officialdom.    One  Jordanian-American  Muslim  student admitted  he  was  mastering  Arabic  so  he  could  pass  a  US  State department  examination.  Politically  motivated  language  study disguised  as  ‘cultural’  studies  gives  this  department  its  legitimacy, and guarantees a continuous line of funding.

MELAC  offers  more  than  language  courses.  Saliba  deals  with Islamic  sciences,  ascribing  to  Hans  Kung’s  school  of    thought  and  assigning   books like  John  Burton’s Collection of  the Quran  which attacks the  validity  of the  Qur’an  as the word of  God. Dabashi  is  a  disgruntled  Iranian.  Like  other  professors,  he  teaches Islamic  literature  and  philosophy  through  the  prism  of  western tradition,  as  noted  by  Dr  Ghorab:  1)  denying  the  validity  of revelation;  2)  ignoring  the  reliability  of  Islamic  sources;  3) refusing  to  promote  Islam  as  anything  other  than  an  object  of academic study; 4) avoiding any personal commitment to Islam.

At  Columbia  (University),  political  studies  of  Islam  are  the  task of  the  Middle  East  Institute,  a  part  of  the  University’s  school  of International  and  Public  Affairs,  which  is  a  recruiting  front  for  the CIA.  The  Institute  houses  orientalist  historians  like  Richard Bulliet,  as  well  as  a  number  of  zionists.  It  has  a  siege  mentality towards  the  Islamic  movement.  Its  past  directors  include  Linda  S Walbridge,  an  American  Baha’i  scholar  specializing  in  Muslims  of the  US,  and  whose  husband,  also  a  scholar  of  ‘Islamic  Studies,’  is currently editing the encyclopedia of Baha’ism.

One  expects  to  find  this  in  departments  whose  stated  goals  are  to study  Islam  and  the  Middle  East.  However,  other  departments  at Columbia  are  also  staffed  with  like-minded  people.  For  example, the  Division  of  Ethnomusicology  in  the  Department  of  Music  is headed  by  Dieter  Christensen,  who  has  a  long  and  questionable history  of  studying  the  Islamic  world,  including  work  in  Iran under  the  despised  Shah.  He  now  has  a  magic  carpet  to  Oman, invited  by  Sultan  Qaboos  annually  since  1985.  Qaboos  hires western  scholars  to  advise  him  on  Muslim  cultural  policy,  and Christensen runs the Centre for Traditional Music in Muscat.

In  his  seminars  at  Columbia,  Christensen-who  doesn’t  know  a word  of  Arabic-presents  Islam  as  a  hindrance  for  academic  study, often  complaining  about  ‘extremist’  Omani  Muslims  who  take  too many  breaks  for  prayers,  or  how  Ramadhan  disrupts  his  research schedule.  At  the  same  time,  he  gleefully  boasts  of  swilling  beer with  ‘modern’  Omanis.  He  also  edits  the  Yearbook  for  Traditional Music,  which  zionist  and  anti-Muslim  scholars  use  to  attack  Islam and  curate  Muslim  cultures.  Christensen  probably  has  links  to American,  German  and  Israeli  Intelligence  agencies,  and  has  a record  of  advising  graduate students whose  research in the  Muslim works and elsewhere is linked to missionary activities.

The  Muslim  Student  Association  (MSA)  at  Columbia  reflects ‘Islamic  Studies’  in  practice.  During  the  early  1990s,  its  president was  a  Jewish  convert  to  Islam  (who  has  reportedly  now  changed his  mind).  A  model  ‘moderate’  Muslim,  he  was  a  student  in  the Department  of  Religion,  which  projects  Islam  as  a  violent antithesis  to  Buddhism,  the  preferred  religion  for  this  department’s faculty.  During  his  reign  as  MSA  chief,  it  seemed  that  the  campus rabbi  had  more  power  in  the  MSA  than  Muslims.  For  example, when the  regular room  for Jumu’ah was double-booked one  Friday  despite  advance  requests  by  the  MSA-some  Muslims  suggested praying  on  the  sidewalk  in  protest,  since  this  had  occurred  in  the past  as  well  whenever  another  group  needed  space.  After consulting  his  rabbi,  the  MSA  chief  intervened  and  arranged  for Muslims  to  pray  in  the  dungeon-like  basement  of  the  campus church!

Like  most  other  MSA  chapters,  the  one  at  Columbia  also answers  to  the  Saudis.  In  1992  when  Saudi  ambassador  Bandar bin  Sultan  offered  to  join  hands  with  a  group  of  zionists  to commemorate  the  expulsion  of  Jews  and  Muslims  from  Spain, MSA-central  in  Indiana  quickly  called  for  implementation  of  this plan  on  its  satellite  campuses.  When  some  Muslim  students  at Columbia  suggested  inviting  Dr  T  B  Irving,  a  Muslim  scholar  of Islamic  Spain,  the  Jewish  students  protested,  claiming  that  he  was an  ‘extremist’  and  an  ‘anti-Semite,’  the  latter  a  zionist  euphemism for  anyone  who  questions  Israeli  supremacy.  The  programme  was subsequently  cancelled,  after  the  Saudis  and  the  zionists  could  not secure a ‘moderate’ speaker.

These  and  other  stories  need  to  be  heard  and  often.  Dr  Ghorab has  correctly  identified  many  of  the  allegiances  and  dynamics found  within  ‘Islamic  Studies’  programmes.  In  fact,  similar ‘Islamic  Studies’  agendas  can  be  found  in  many  different organizations  outside  academia.  Given  all  this,  it  seems  incumbent upon  concerned  Muslims  who  are  affiliated  with  any  of  these institutions  or  organizations  to  take  Dr  Ghorab’s  initiative  and  help expose the programmes in their own areas.

Much  work  along  these  lines  needs  to  be  done  in  the  US,  the base  of  what Syed Qutb  called  ‘American  Islam.’  In  the  US, people like  Esposito  are  revered  as  Islamic  scholars  by  several  Muslim organizations.  As  Dr  Ghorab  points  out,  Esposito  was  invited  by the  Saudis  as  far  back  as  1983,  when  he  suggested  establishing  an institute  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’  in  the  US.  Since  then,  Shaykh Esposito  has  had  stints  on  the  advisory  boards  of  American Muslim  organizations,  most  recently  the  American  Muslim Council,  sharing  the  latter  distinction  with  other  ‘Islamic  Studies’ mainstays,  including  Hassan  Hathout  and  Ali  Mazrui.  The ubiquitous Ja’afar Sheikh Idris also appears at AMC functions.

The  American  Muslim  Council  (AMC)  needs  to  be  investigated for  ties  to  the  Saudis  and  official  Islam  in  places  like  Egypt,  as well  as  for  its  connections  with  US  government  agencies  and corporations.  Its  debut  was  in  June  1990,  only  two  months  after board  member  Hathout  attended  a  Saudi-sponsored  conference  in Riyadh,  according  to  Dr  Ghorab.  The  first  AMC  newsletter  came out  in  the  fall  of  1990,  at  a  time  when  the  Saudis  were  building Muslim  support  for  the  murderous  American  oil  war  against  Iraq. One  of  the  stated  policy  goals  of  the  AMC  is  to  entangle  Muslims with  American  party  politics,  which  is  also  a  US  government policy  goal  recommended  by  CIA  analysts  and  the  RAND Corporation  in  a  special  report  prepared  for  the  US  department  of Defence  in  1990.  Founding  AMC  member  Robert  Crane,  whose long  history  of  US  government  service  includes  an  appointment  as ambassador  to  the  United  Arab  Emirates  by  US  president  Reagan, is  one  of  the  AMC  ideologues.  He  fits  Dr  Ghorab’s  description  as someone  who  is  seeking  to  “revise”  expediency.  The  AMC  also appears  to  be  playing  a  role  in  dividing  Muslims  between ‘moderates’  and  ‘extremists’,  fulfilling  another  agenda  item  for ‘Islamic  Studies’,  as  is  evidenced  by  public  statements  on  Steve Emerson’s  zionist  jihad’  against  Muslims  or  on  the  rigged  ‘trial’  of Shaikh Omar Abdel Rahman and other Muslims in New York.

Dr  Ghorab  lays  the  methodological  foundation  for systematically  identifying  and  exposing  ‘Islamic  Studies’ programmes  in  western  and  Muslim  institutions.  He  has  linked them  to  the  ongoing  western  crusade  against  the  Islamic movement,  showing  that  such  programmes  operate  in  the  service of  taghut.  Concerned  Muslims  can  and  should  find  ways  to continue  his  efforts  and  help  prevent  ‘American  Islam’  from gaining  any  further  ground,  Insha’Allah.

Toronto, August 1, 1996”

“Orientalism  or  the  Western  study  of  Islam  began  in  medieval Europe  and  has  continued  into  modern  times.  Whoever  knows  its long  history  will  recognise  in  it    the  influence  of  the  mentality  of the  Crusades  and  the  rancour  of  the  Jews  against  Islam.  It  soon becomes  clear  that  the  Orientalists  are  networks  of  Christians  and Jews  who,  behind  the  façade  of  academic  institutions  and  the pretence  of  scholarly  curiosity  and  objectivity,  have  been  engaged in  an  unrelenting  effort  to  distort  Islam  in  all  its  aspects  –  Qur’an, Sunnah,  Aqidah  (creed),  Shariah  (law),  and  the  whole  culture  and civilisation derived from them.

A  number  of  Western  scholars,  after  their  conversion  to  Islam, have  willingly  exposed  the  prejudices  of  the  Orientalists,  their lack  of  honesty  and  objectivity  and,  therefore,  their  lack  of  fitness to  study  Islam.  This  alone,  however,  is  not  enough  to  explain  its feelings  as  regards  Islam.  Here,  and  here  alone,  the  Western attitude  is  not  one  of  indifferent  dislike  as  in  the  case  of  all  other ‘foreign’  religions  and  cultures;  it  is  one  of  deep-rooted  and almost  fanatical  aversion;  and  it  is  not  only  intellectual,  but  bears an  intensely  emotional  tint.  Europe  may  not  accept  the  doctrines of  Buddhist  or  Hindu  philosophy,  but  it  will  always  preserve  a balanced,  reflective  attitude  of  mind  with  respect  to  those systems.  As  soon,  however,  it  turns  towards  Islam  the  balance  is disturbed  and  an  emotional  bias  creeps  in.  With  very  few exceptions,  even  the  most  eminent  European  orientalists  are guilty  of  an  unscientific  partiality  in  their  writings  on  Islam.  In their  writings  it  almost  appears  as  if  Islam  could  not  be  treated  as a  mere  object  of  scientific  research,  but  as  an  accused  standing before  his  judges.  All  in  all,  the  technique  of  the  deductions  and conclusions  adopted  by  most  of  the  European  orientalists reminds  us  of  the  proceedings  of  those  notorious  Courts  of  the Inquisition  in  the  Middle  Ages;  that  is  to  say,  they  hardly  ever investigate  facts  with  an  open  mind,  but  start,  almost  in  every case,  from  a  forgone conclusion  dictated  by  prejudice.  They  select the  evidence  according  to  the  conclusion  a  priority they  intend  to reach.  Where  an  arbitrary  selection  of  witnesses  is  impossible, they  cut  parts  of  the  evidence  of  the  available  ones  out  of  the context,  or  ‘interpret’  their  statements  in  a  spirit  of  unscientific malevolence,  without attributing  any  weight  to  the presentation of the case by the other party, that is, the Muslims themselves.

The  result  of  such  a  procedure  is  the  strangely  distorted  picture of  Islam  and Islamic things  that  faces  us  in  the  orientalist literature  of  the  West.  This  distortion  is  not  confined  to  one country.  It  is  to  be  found  in  England  and  in  Germany,  in  Russia and  in  France,  in  Italy  and  in  Holland  –  in  short  wherever European orientalists turn their eyes on Islam.

This  wilful  Orientalist  distortion  clearly  has  two  main objectives.  Firstly,  to  create  revulsion  against  Islam  in  the  hearts and  minds  of  non-Muslims.  Secondly,  to  embarrass  Muslims themselves  about  their  beliefs,  traditions  and  history,  so  as  to cause them to doubt and,  ultimately, to apostasies:

“Many  of  the  People  of  the  Book  want  to  make  you  unbelievers after  you  have  believed,  through  the  envy  from  their  own  selves, and after the truth has been made  clear to them….” (al-Baqarah, 2:109)

The  history  of  Orientalism  shows  that  it  was  closely  connected with  the  needs  and  purposes  of  colonialism  and  with  Christian missionary  ambitions.  That  connection  remains.  It  has  now become   a  part  of  the  geo-political  strategies  of  Western governments and their intelligence services. Western  study  of  Islam  as  a  formal  discipline  has  long  been established  in  specialist  faculties  called  ‘Oriental  Institutes’,  the best  known  founded  as  long  ago  as  the  early  and  mid-eighteenth century.  They  have  since  spread  much  further  and  are  now  called ‘centres’  for  ‘Islamic  studies’.  The  change  of  name  is  certainly intended  to  deceive  Muslims  who,  naturally  enough,  would distrust  the  Oriental  Institutes.  The  purposes  and  prejudices  of Orientalism  are  now  offered  as  ‘Islamic  studies’;  and  the  purposes of  Christian  missions  are  now  presented  as  ‘Christian-Muslim relations’.  In  the  United  Kingdom,  examples  of  the  former  are centres  in  Oxford,  Exeter  and  Wales,  and  of  the  latter  Selly  Oak College  in  Birmingham  and  in  the  USA,  the  Holy  Cross  College in New York.

It  is  no  co-incidence  that  such  centres  should  have  sprung  up  in the  early  or  mid-eighties.  They  are  part  of  the  long-term  strategy of  response  to  the  revival  of  Islam.  Centres  for  so-called  ‘Islamic studies’  now  exist  in  the  prestigious  academic  settings  of  the universities  of  Havard,  Princeton,  New  York,  Oxford,  Cambridge and Paris. Many  of  them  are, in significant measure, financed,  and also  directly  patronised,  sponsored  and  supported  by  Arab governments,  especially  the  Saudis.  The  support  from  Arab governments  includes  the  appointment  to  the  boards  of  these centres  of  ‘Ulama  as-Sultan  (court  scholars)  in  the  role  of ‘trustees’  or  ‘consultants’.  These  Muslim  names  help  to  legitimise the ‘Islamic studies’ and so deceive the Muslims further.

In  these  centres,  atheist,  Christian  and  Jewish  scholars  have  at least  an  equal,  usually  greater,  authority  than  Muslim  scholars  in the  choice  and  framing  of  topics  for  research  in  Islamic  history and  civilisation  and  in  teaching  of  Islam.  The  ‘court  scholars’ (among  whom  are  Yusuf  Qardawi,  Abdullah  Naseef,  and Abdullah  Turki)  are  rarely,  if  ever,  present  in  the  centres, attending  only  ceremonial  meetings,  at  most  once  a  year:  they  do not  supervise  or  monitor  or  direct  or  decide  anything.  Their  only job  is  to  provide  a  façade  of  legitimacy  and  to  establish  the  fact  of collaboration.

How  should  we  judge  this  collaboration  with  Orientalists otherwise  than  as  the  Qur’an  commands  us  to  judge?  One  of  the duties  of  Muslim  scholars  is  to  invite  non-Muslims,  especially  the People  of  the  Book,  to  Islam,  not  to  work  alongside  them  in denigrating Islam:

“Say:  ‘O  People  of  the  Book,  come  to  an  agreement  between  us and  you  –  that  we  shall  worship  none  except  Allah,  and  that  we shall  associate  no  partner  with  Him,  and  that  none  of  us  shall take  others  for  lords  beside  Allah.’  Then,  if  they  turn  away,  then say:  ‘Be  witness  that  we  are  Muslims  (those  who  have surrendered to Allah).” – (Aal-e-Imraan, 3:64)

To  collaborate  with  Orientalists  is,  in  practice  to  ally  with them,  which  is  the  opposite  of  what  the  Qur’an  commands.  But why  do  we  call  such  collaboration  an  alliance?    Because  it  takes the  form  of  material  and  moral  assistance  to  the  activities  of  the Orientalists  for  their  purposes.  This  helps  to  sustain  their  attack on  Islam  and to  continue  their  ridicule  of the  Qur’an and  the  Nabi, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

“Those  who  choose  unbelievers  for  their  allies  instead  of believers  –  do  they  look  for  power  at  their  hands?  Surely,  all power  belongs  to  Allah.  He  has  already  revealed  to  you  in  the Book  that  when  you  hear  the  revelations  of  Allah  rejected  and made  fun  of,  you  should  not  sit  with  them  until  they  are  in  some other  conversation.  For  surely,  if  you  (did  stay  with  them)  you would be like them.” – (an-Nisaa, 4:139 – 140)

Alliance  with  the  enemies  of  Islam  is  forbidden.  Also  forbidden is  receiving  Islam  from  them.  Muslims  may  not  learn  Islam  from non-Muslims.  How  should  believers  receive  Islam  from  those who  not  only  disbelieve  in  Islam  but  are  hostile  to  it.  How  should they receive right guidance from those who are misguided?

Refusing  to  work  with  the  People  of  the  Book  in  the  study  of Islam  is,  it  is  argued,  an  expression  of  intolerance  when,  as  we  all know,  Islam  requires  Muslims  to  be  tolerant.  But  this  argument  is quite  false  and  based  upon  a    dishonest  confusion  between tolerating  the  People  of  the  Book  and  being  loyal  to  their purposes.

A  Muslim  is  required  to  be  tolerant  of  the  People  of  the  Book, but  he  is  forbidden  to  give  them  loyalty,  that  is,  to  help  them  as allies.”

“The  Muslim’s  way  of  supporting  his  Deen  and  making  a reality  of  its  unique  order  (i.e.  the  Shariah)  cannot  be  harmonized with  the  way  of  the  People  of  the  Book  (the  Yahud  and  Nasaara). No  matter  how  much  friendship  a  Muslim  shows  them,  he  will never  get their approval  or  acceptance  for  him  to  remain a  Muslim or  to  make  a  reality  of  the  Islamic  order.  He  will  never  prevent them  from  allying  with  each  other  in  war  and  conspiracy  against Islam.  It  is  a  naïve  heedlessness  which  thinks  that  they  and  we  are travelling  the  same  road,  especially  in  the  face  of  atheism, because  when  the  battle  is  against  Islam  they  stand  alongside  the atheists.

The  People  of  the  Book  are  like  the  Jews  (in  Madinah)  who used  to  describe  the  mushrikin  (polytheists)  as  better  guided  than the  Muslims  –  And  they  say  so  to  the  unbelievers:  “These  (the idolaters)  are  more  rightly  guided  than  the  believers.”  (An-Nisa 4:51)  –  and  who  used  to  help  the  Mushrikin  against  the  Muslim community  in  Madinah  and  indeed  gave  them  substantial assistance.  The  People  of  the  Book  are  those  who  waged  the Crusades  against  the  Muslims  for  two  centuries.  It  is  they  who committed  the  atrocities  in  al-Andalus  (Spain).  It  is  they  who,  in collaboration  with  atheist  Communists,  made  the  Arab  Muslims refugees  in  Palestine  and  installed  the  Jews  in  their  place.  Again, it  is  they  who  have  driven  the  Muslims  from  their  homes  in Abyssinia,  Eritria,  Somalia,  Algeria.  And  they  are  also  cooperating  with  atheists  in  Yugoslavia,  China,  Turkestan,  India  and in every place.

Those  Muslims  who  in  name  of  seeking  some  ‘rapprochement’ between  the  followers  of  the  revealed  religions,  have  sought  to blur  the  decisive  difference  between  being  tolerant  with  them  and being  their  loyal  allies,  are  in  error.  They  are  in  error  both  in  their understanding  of  the  meaning  of  the  deen  and  in  their understanding  of  the  meaning  of  tolerance.  For  the  one  true revelation  is  the  last  namely,  Islam,  and  tolerance  is  in  personal inter-relations,  not  in  matters  of  faith  (Aqidah)  nor  in  sociopolitical  order.  The  tolerance  of  Islam  is  also  expressed  in  the Muslims’  not  coercing  them  to  accept  Islam  (that  is,  in  leaving them to follow their religion).

“The  Deen  with  Allah  is  al-Islam.  Those  who  received  the scripture  (before)  differed  only  after  knowledge  came  to  them, through  transgression  of  their  own.  Whoever  disbelieves  in  the revelations  of  Allah:  He  is  swift  in  reckoning!”  (Aal-e-Imraan, 3:19)

The  only  Deen  accepted  by  Allah  is  Islam.  Whoever  accepts  a religion  other  than  Islam  will  not  be  accepted  and  he  will  be  lost in  the  life  to  come:  “And  whoever  seeks  a  religion  other  than  al-Islam,  it  will  not  be  accepted  from  him,  and  he  will  be  a  loser  in the hereafter”. (Aal-e-Imraan, 3:85)


1. The  Centre  and  why  it exists: Since  the very  beginning  of  the Islamic  revival  around  the  turn  of  the  century,  the  Orientalists have  (without  ever  changing  their  objectives)  been  re-thinking their  general  approach  and  adjusting  their  tactics.  One  of  the  new tactics  has  been  to  persuade  certain  of  their  Muslim  students  to act  as  their  agents,  especially  in  Islamic  countries  –  men  like  Taha Hussein  and  Ali  Abdur  Razzaq  in  Egypt.  The  former  denied  the truth  of  the  Qur’an  when,  in  his  work  on  pre-Islamic  poetry,  he denied  the  truth  of  the  Qur’an’s  account  of  the  Prophets  Ibrahim and  Ismail,  alaihimas  salaam.  That  particular  point  (as  well  as  the arguments  and  purpose  that  go  with  it)  is  one  specifically  taught by  Orientalist  scholars  like  Margoliouth,  Hurgronje  and  others. Ali  Abdur  Razzaq,  in  his  work  on  Islam  and  the  principles  of governance,  argued  that  Islam  is  merely  a  cult  and  has  no  political order  at  all.  The  purpose  of  this  familiar  and  patently  absurd thesis  was  to  persuade  Muslims,  through  a  nominally  Muslim scholar,  that  they  could  accept  the  rule  over  them  by  any government, even one hostile to Islam and its Shariah (law).

Having  planted  such  thoughts  in  the  minds  of  Muslims,  the Orientalists  then  proceed  to  spread  them  by  praising  the  work  of Muslims  who  ‘accept’  those  thoughts  and  recommending  it  to subsequent  generations;  while,  at  the  same  time,  not  mentioning and  not  recommending  the  work  of  those  truly  Muslim  scholars who  totally  reject  the  arguments  of  Taha  Hussein  and  Ali  Abdur Razzaq.  Where  not  mentioning  and  not  recommending  could  not succeed  –  for  example,  with  such    well-known  writers  as  Sayyid Qutub,  the  Orientalists  were  obliged  to  try  and  marginalise  and vilify  their  work  as  ‘extremist’,  ‘fanatic’,  ‘fundamentalist’,  and so on.

Broadly  speaking,  a  twin-track  strategy  is  operated  –  to  give importance  to  those  Muslims  who  collaborate  with  the Orientalists;  programme,  and  to  attach  opprobrium  to  those  who reject  it.  This  means  according  the  authority  and  prestige  of Western  scholarship  to  Muslims  who  agree  with  Western purposes,  and  the  neglect  or  contempt  of  Western  scholarship  to those  Muslims  who  refuse  Western  purposes.  Prestige  and  funds are allowed to the former and denied to the latter.

A  more  recent  extension  of  this  strategy  is  the  establishment  in the  West  of  new  centres  for  Orientalist  studies  and  calling  them centres  for  ‘Islamic  studies’.  The  intention  is  to  attract  Muslim scholars  to  co-operate  with  them  in  these  centres  –  in  order  to legitimise  their  approach  and,  more  important,  to  gain  for  them credibility  in  Muslim  eyes  as  scholars  of  Islam.  But  changing  the name does not change the substance of what is renamed.

Any  genuinely  Islamic  study  of  Islam  has  the  following minimal  initial  conditions  –  and  I  stress  minimal  conditions: intelligently:

*  to  take  Islam  from  its  own  original  and  authentic  sources  (i.e. the Qur’aan and the Sunnah).

*  To  take  it  as  both  knowledge  and  practice;  (meaning  that  the fruits  of  study  are  not  intended  as  academic  pastime,  nor  is  its immediate  purpose  the  display  of  work  in  a  library  or museum;  rather,  the  aim  is  to  improve  and  extend consciousness of Allah  and to inform submission  to His  Will.

*  To  take  it  from  qualified  Muslim  scholars.  The  qualifications  in question  are  Imaan  (faith),  Ilm  (knowledge)  and  taqwa  (fear  of Allah).

There  are  other  conditions,  also  important,  but  these  are  the barest  minimum.  Even  a  passing  acquaintance  with  modern (i.e. post-Enlightenment)  Western  tradition  tells  us  that  its  minimum conditions  for  the  study  of  Islam  are  the  exact  opposite  in  every case:

1.  Western  scholars  of  Islam  must  not  accept  that  Islam  is  a revealed  religion.  There  work  will  be  condemned  as  ‘unacademic’  if they  regard the  Qur’an  as the Word of  Allah.

2.  They  must  not  take  Islam  from  its  own  sources.  On  the contrary,  they  must  specifically  look  outside  those  sources  in order  to  get  a  ‘true’  picture.  Precisely  because  the  Orientalists regard  the  Qur’an  and  the  Sunnah  as  the  Islamic  equivalent  of what  Christians  call  ‘canonical’,  these  sources  must  be  seen  as the  least  reliable,  and  others  must  be  preferred  in  cases  of conflict.

3.  They  must  not,  not  under  any  circumstances,  promote  Islam  as a  way  of  life  or  even  of  belief.  It  must  be  seen  as  a  thing  of  the past  in  terms  of  relevant  for  the  discipline  of  the  inquirer  – anthropology,  sociology,  philology  or  history  or  whatever.  The result  of  study  must  be  works  that  can  be  shelved  in  the  libraries of  universities, government ministries or  Christian  missions.

They  must  not  have  a  personal  commitment  to  Islam.  Being Muslim  is  a  serious  handicap  and  would  cast  grave  doubt  on  their work.  While  Christian  and  Jewish  accounts  of  Islam  (and  also  of Christianity  and  Judaism)  are  trustworthy;  Muslim  accounts  of Islam  (and,  of  course,  of  Christianity  or  Judaism)  are  suspect. Any  Muslims  who  find  themselves  working  in  a  Western academic  environment  must  learn  to  suspend  their  beliefs  while they study Islam.

It  is  obvious  that  Orientalists  regard  the  Qur’an  not  as  Divinely revealed,  but  as  a  humanly  inspired  book  put  out  by  the Messenger,  working  alone  or  with  the  help  of  others,  whose identity  is  obscure.  They  do  not  regard  the  Messenger,  sallallahu alaihi  wasallam,  even  as  a  Messenger,  let  alone  as  the  last.  The best  they  can  manage  is  to  say  that  he  was  a  great  leader,  or  great social  reformer  or  something  of  this  kind  –  but  even  then  only  in relation  to  his  time  and  place,  meaning  that  his  greatness  is  an academic matter, having no relevance now.

If  only  for  this  one  reason,  the  Orientalists’  studies  of  Islam cannot  be  accepted. But  bearing  in  mind  also  their  historical prejudices,  we  can  only  conclude  that  they  are  not  qualified  to teach  Islam,  nor  is  anyone  else  qualified  to  do  so  who  shares  their manners  and  traditions  and  their  conditions  for  judging  the  truth –  regardless  of  whether  or  not  that  individual  is  presented  as  a believing Muslim.

“….We  can  now  turn  to  a  specific  case,  the  recently  set  up Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’,  whose  new  official  patron,  as proudly  announced  by  the  Centre’s  own  Newsletter,  is  the  future head  of  the  Church  of  England,  Charles,  the  Prince  of  Wales,  and whose  principal  financier  is  the  Saudi  royal  family.  What  are  the aims  of  this  institution?  It  must  have  aims  distinct  from  the  long-established  and  well-staffed  ‘Islam’  department  of  Oxford University’s  Oriental  Institute.  This  is  how  the  spokesman  of  the Centre explained its objectives when questioned about them:

….to  produce  books  and  research  which  can  be  consulted  as published  sources,  written  either  from  an  Islamic  point  of  view  or from  a  moderate  non-Islamic  point  of  view.  It  is  therefore  natural for  the  Centre  to  open  the  pages  of  its  journal  (i.e.  the  Journal  of Islamic  Studies,  published  by  the  Oxford  University  Press)  to whoever  wants  to  write  an  academic  essay  or  article  of  high standard,  even  if  that  essay  or  article  should  be  in  conflict  with the Islamic point of view – ..”

This  statement  contains  a  number  of  very  misleading  and deceptive  propositions:

1.  To  offer  the  writings  of  non-Muslims  as  written  sources  to  be consulted  about  Islam  goes  against  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah  and the consensus of Muslim  scholars throughout  Islamic  history.

2.  To  divide  the  writings  of  non-Muslims  into  ‘moderate’  and ‘non-moderate’  has  never  been  recognized  in  Islam  in  a  way  that would  authorise  a  non-Muslim  to  teach  Islam  to  Muslims  (or indeed non-Muslims), no matter how  ‘moderate’.

3.  The  distinction  of  moderate  and  non-moderate  is  a  specious one.  What  ‘moderate’  actually  means  is  that  whatever  is  cruelly insulting  to  Muslim  belief  and  sensibilities  is  expressed  in  a  form that  promises  to  be  less  cruel,  though  substance  and  content remain.  For  example, in  medieval times, it  was  required as  a  proof of  Christian  allegiance  to  condemn  the  Prophet  Muhammad sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam,  as  an  impostor  and  liar  who deliberately  deceived  in  order  to  obtain  power  over  the  minds  of his  followers.  The  ‘moderate’  version  of  this  proof  of  Christian allegiance  is  exemplified  by  Reverend  Montgomery  Watt,  whose biographical  studies  of  the  Prophet  state  that  he  was  most probably  not  a  liar  or  an  impostor  –  no,  but  the  revelation  he received  came  from  ‘the  creative  imagination’,  a  disturbed  mental state.

The  implication  is  that  he  did  not  deceive  others  intentionally; he  was  self-deceived.  The  consequence  for  Muslims  of  either position,  the  moderate  or  the  non-moderate,  is  the  same:  the authenticity  of  the  Qur’an  is  condemned  in  terms  which  are calculated,  by  Watt,  not  only  to  insult  the  Muslims’  beliefs  but also  their  intelligence.  He  says  explicitly  that  “not…all  the Qur’anic  ideas  are  true  and  sound”,  i.e.  the  Qur’an  contains falsehood.  Further,  since  according  to  Watt,  “the  creative imagination”  can  be  for  good  or  evil,  he  thinks  it  quite  proper  to clarify  his  meaning  by  this  comparison:  In  Adolph  Hitler,  the creative  imagination  was  well-developed,  and  his  ideas  had  wide appeal,  but  it  is  usually  held  that  he  was  neurotic  and  that  those Germans  who  followed  him  most  devotedly  became  infected  by his neurosis.”

What  that  comparison  means  for  the  readers’  estimate  of  the Prophet,  sallallahu  alaihi  wasallam,  and  of  his  Companions,  is  as obvious  as  its  intention  is  evil.  But  it  is  best  to  judge  the  intention of  the  Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’  by  its  production,  and not  merely  by  the  words  in  which  those  intentions  are  so  ineptly disguised  by  its  spokesman.  We  shall  look  briefly  at  actual writings  which  the  Centre,  using  the  resources  of  Muslims,  has put  forward  in  its  first  major  production,  the  Journal  of  Islamic Studies,  as  published  work  for  Muslims  to  consult  about  Islam and Islamic history and civilisation.

The  first  double-volume  of  the  Journal  is  plainly  intended  to declare  the  intentions  of  the  Centre,  to  define  the  tone,  the academic  space,  which  the  Journal  intends  to  occupy.  The prefatory  ‘Editorial’  announces  that  the  Journal  is  open  to  a  range of  opinions  and  to  a  range  of  subjects  having  to  do  with  Islam  and Islamic civilisation………

The  reality  is  that  the  whole,  i.e.  the  overall,  character  of  the Journal  is  Western  in  its  perspectives  and  its  style:  it  makes  no room  whatever  for  articles  or  authors  whose  style  or  content  of thought  belongs  within  the  Islamic  tradition.  On  the  contrary,  all of  those  writers  whose  names  suggest  that  they  are  Muslims,  by submitting  work  to  the  Journal  have  submitted  their  ‘being Muslim’  to  the  ethos  of  modern  Western  academic  attitudes, which  dominate  the  Journal  absolutely.  All  work  is  under  a number  of  constraints  which  make  it  conform  to  a  non-Muslim ethos.

The  first  constraint  is  that  no  writer  for  this  publication,  not even a  believing  Muslim, may  in  any  way  signal his or her belief  – therefore  it  is  forbidden  to  begin  any  article  with  Bismillaah.  It  is likewise  forbidden  to  write,  after  mention  of  the  Prophet, sallallahu  alaihi  wasallam.  To  admit  these  formulas  would  betray the  first  purpose  of  the  Journal,  which  is  to  train  Muslim  authors to  affect  the  distance  and  neutrality  which  Western  academics, quite  falsely,  claim  for  themselves  when  writing  about  Islam. Implicit  in  this  constraint  is  the  acceptance  that  any  work submitted  by  Muslim  authors  must  fit  in  with  Western  academic manners  and  must  not  be  presented  by  them  as  part  of  their  ‘being Muslims’.

The  unspoken  assumption  behind  this  apparently  small  matter of  manners  is  that  intellectual  worth,  quality  and  coherence  of information  or  argument,  can  only  be  found  in  dissociation  from the  manners  proper  to  a  Muslim  writing  as  a  Muslim.  Any Muslim  contributors  to  the  Journal  begin  therefore  in  a  position of  inferiority.  It  also  follows  that,  since  all  contributions  are  equal in  being  non-Muslim  in  their  manners  and  purpose,  the  reader  has no  way  of  knowing  whether  the  information  and  argument  they
convey  are,  from  a  Muslim  viewpoint,  reliable  and  trustworthy. The  only  way  the  reader  has  of  knowing  is  either  to  guess  from the  scholar’s  name  whether  he  or  she  intends  to  be  read  as  a Muslim  or  to  classify  the  subject  of  the  article  to  strictly ‘religious’.  The  Muslim  reader  is  thus  forced  to  read  according  to the  rules  of  the  Western-Christian  separation  of  secular  and religious. …………

Thus,  the  Journal  by  and  large  acclaims  and  relays  Western academic  attitudes to  Islam.  Insofar  as Muslims, particularly  those abroad,  are  fooled  by  the  presence  of  Muslim  names  in  the  list  of consultant  editors  (or  in  the  list  of  contributors)  into  thinking  that the  contents  of  the  Journal  are  sound  and  reliable,  the  intention and  achievements  of  the  Journal  are  pernicious  in  the  extreme.  It does  not,  in  any  degree  (as  it  promises  to  do)  acclaim  Muslim attitudes  to  Islam;  nor  does  it  relay  what  Muslims  as  Muslims think  about  Islam  to  Western  scholars.  In  fact,  it  does  what  the academic  journals  of  Oriental  Institutes  have  been  doing  for  so long,  namely  promote  Western modes  of  thinking  about  Islam. The  danger  is  that  the  collaborative  look  of  the  Journal  and  the fact  that  Muslim  scholars  lend  their  names  to  the  venture,  may deceive  Muslims  into  believing  that  those  Western  modes  of thinking  are  the  only  ones that deserve  consideration.

Under  the  caption:  SAUDI  LOYALTY  TO  THE  KUFFAAR  – SAUDI  ASSISTANCE  TO  THE  ORIENTALISTS,  Dr.  Ghorab lists  several  incidents  to  show  the  Saudi  collaboration  with  the orientalist  enemies  of  Islam.    These  episodes  are  reproduced hereunder.  


It  is  very  important  that  readers  should  understand  how  Saudi collaboration  with  the  Orientalists  and  missionaries  operates,  how the  Saudis  give  the  assistance  that  they  give.  Sometimes  the relationship  is  deliberately  open,  the  well-publicised  case  of  the Oxford  Centre  for  `Islamic  Studies’  being  an  obvious  example. However,  the  relationship  is  not,  and  could  not,  be  a  matter  of continuously  open  public  policy.  It  is  established  slowly,  quietly, under-handedly.  The  direction  of  these  links  is  nonetheless  clear. So  too  is  the  danger  they  pose  to  the  well-being  and  security  of the Ummah. The  best  way  to  spell  out  for  the  reader  what  is  happening  is  to relate  a  number  of  incidents,  the  truth  of  which  I  can  attest  both  as observer  and  direct  participant.  These  incidents  disclose  the interweaving  connections  between,  on  the  one  hand,  senior government  officials  on  the  Saudi  side  and  Muslim  scholars sponsored  by  the  Saudis  and,  on  the  other  hand,  those  Orientalists (academic  or  missionary)  and  other  Western  agents  who  have  a long-term  interest  in  ‘developing’  Muslims  and  Islam.  The general purpose  of these  connections, (never directly  stated)  is:

*  to  introduce  the  Western-Christian  perspective  into  Muslim minds  at  source;  that  is,  to  make  future  and  present  teachers of  Islam  see  and  think  their  religion  and  way  of  life  in  that perspective;

*  to  make  the  hearing  of,  and  dealing  with,  that  non-Islamic  (in fact,  anti-Islamic)  perspective  seem  as  normal  and  proper  as the  hearing  of,  and  dealing  with,  differences  between Muslims themselves;

*  to  achieve  certain  specific  changes  in  the  religion  and  way  of life  of  Islam. These  specific  objectives are:

i.  to  have  Muslims  treat  and  discuss  the  Qur’an  according  to  the principles  and  manners  in  which  the  scripture  of  the  Jews  and Christians is discussed;

ii.  to  separate  the  belief  in  and  worship  of  Allah  from  the  practice of  Islam as a social-political order under Shari’ah;

iii.  to alter  radically  the  relationship  between  the  Shari’ah  as  a body  of  principles  of  law  and  the  implementation  of  those principles in positive  laws:

it  is  intended  that  Muslims  should  regard  certain  Shari’ah provisions  as  `true’  but  no  longer  relevant.  For  example,  the proportions  of  inheritance  for  males  and  females  or  the prohibition  against  non-Muslims  inheriting  from  Muslims  and vice  versa.

It  is  difficult,  at  first,  to  see  how  so  large  and  dangerous  a programme  should  be  embedded  in  activities  so  seemingly innocuous  as people of  different cultural backgrounds sitting around  the  same  public  platform,  working  in  the  same  library, writing  in  the  same  journal.  Because  what  one  sees  on  any  single occasion  is  only  particular  individuals  trying  to  get  along  with each  other,  listening  to,  or  reading  each  other’s  views.  But  in actual  reality,  this  inviting  of  different  individuals  to  give  an address  from  the  same  public  platform,  this  sitting  them  in  the same  academic  space,  this  providing  them  with  funds  to  run journals  and  institutes  together,  is  systematically  creating  an  ethos where  one  party  dominates  and  controls  the  agenda  for  thought and  discussion,  where  one  party  defines  and  controls  the intellectual  space.  That  party  with  the  upper  hand  in  the  affair  is not the  party  of the  Qur’an and Sunnah.

Incident 1

In  1983,  John  Esposito,  working  at  Holy  Cross  College,  a missionary-academic  establishment  in  New  York,  was  invited  to King  Abdulaziz  University  in  Jiddah  to  give  a  lecture  entitled ‘Islamic  Studies  in  America’.  The  reader  should  know  that academic  visits  of  this  kind  do  not  happen  in  Saudi  Arabia without  explicit  permission  of  the  university  and  government authorities  at  the  highest  level.  Did  those  authorities  think  that they  were  inviting  a  speaker  who  was  interested  in  the  spreading of  Islam  in  America  or  even  the  understanding  of  Islam?  It  is unlikely.  At  any  rate,  John  Esposito  spoke  towards  the  end  of  his lecture  of  a  project  he  had  in  mind  for  the  USA.  This  project  was the  establishment  of  an  institute  for  the  study  of  Islam  in  which both Orientalists and Muslim scholars would collaborate.

That,  to  the  best  of  my  knowledge,  is  the  first  public  statement of  a  policy  to  get  Muslims  to  co-operate  with  non-Muslims  in teaching  (or  in  preparing  people  to  teach)  Islam.  When  a  Christian missionary  makes  such  an  offer,  what  should  a  Muslim  think?  As I  gradually  came  to  the  realisation  that  Esposito’s  project  was  to be  set  up  not  only  in  the  USA  but  also  in  Europe  and  perhaps even  in  Saudi  Arabia  (about  which  more  later),  I  felt  that  the senior  ‘Ulama’  in  the  country  should  be  alerted  to  do  something about  it.  I  therefore  wrote  an  open  letter  on  the  subject  to  Shaikh ‘Abd  al-‘Aziz  bin  Baz.  Sadly,  the  most  senior  ‘Alim  in  Saudi Arabia did nothing.

Esposito’s  project  was  realised  not  only  in  the  USA  but  also  in the  UK,  at  Oxford.  The  Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’  was initiated  in  1985  with  the  help  of  the  Saudis.  At  Oxford  itself  the  ‘idea’  for  such  a  centre  was  not  the  dream  of  a  Muslim,  (though  a young  Muslim,  Dr  Farhan  Nizami,  was  appointed  its  Director), but  of  his  very  much  older  colleague  at  St  Cross  College,  Oxford, Dr  David  Browning.  Dr  Browning  is  not  a  Muslim,  not  a Christian  missionary,  not  an  Orientalist.  He  is  a  geographer whose  field  of  speciality  is  –  not  the  Middle  East  –  Latin  America. He  has  retired  from  his  academic  commitment  to  geography  and now  devotes  himself  exclusively  (and  very  strenuously)  to  the cause  of  promoting  the  Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’.  How Dr  Browning  fits  into  the  picture  is  obscure  unless  one  knows that,  through  his  work  abroad  as  independent  ‘foreign  observer’  of national  elections,  he  has  very  strong  connections  with  the  British Foreign  Office.  That  ministry  is  sometimes  incorrectly  described as  ‘pro-Arab’.  It  is  not  in  the  least  pro-Arab;  it  is  pro-Arab  oil.  Its anti-Islamic  postures  and  policies  are  doubtless  an  integral  part  of the  West’s  strategic  interest  in  suppressing  the  Islamic  movements and controlling  the oil resources of the  region.  

Incident  2

Between 18th  and  25th  October, 1986,  a  conference  was  held at  University  College,  Oxford,  entitled  ‘How  to  deal  with Muslims  in  the  Middle  East’.  The  conference,  organised  by Bishop  Dr  Kenneth  Cragg,  was  held  in  association  with  the Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’,  its  Director  being personally  present  there,  as  well  as  Dr  ‘Ali  al-Ghamidi,  the Saudi  Director  of  the  Islamic  Cultural  Centre,  attached  to  the Regents  Park  mosque  in  London.  As  I  happened  to  be  in  Oxford at the  time, a  Muslim  who knew me  suggested that  I  should  attend and, if allowed to do so, try to answer Dr Cragg.

It  is  certain  that  someone  should  respond  to  Cragg’s  very  long and  subversive  campaign  against  Islam.  He  has  openly  stated  his aim  as  not  trying  to  convert  Muslims  (which  he  dismisses  as  the ‘numbers  game’)  but  as  getting  them  to  experience  Christianity’s Christ.  To  this  purpose  Cragg  has,  over  almost  three  decades, dedicated  a  number  of  books,  including  studies  of  the  Qur’an  and Sirah,  and  also  picked  out  for  public  exposure  Muslim  writings that  support  his  programme.  An  example  is  his  translation  of Muhammad  Kamil  Husayn’s  Qaryah  Zalimah  as  City  of  Wrong, in  which  a  Muslim  ‘imagines’  his  way  into  the  Christian experience.  Readers  should  not  be  misled  into  thinking  that  a merely  hypothetical  or  literary  ‘experiencing’  of  Christianity  is offered.  On  the  contrary,  the  aim  is,  after  such  ‘experiencing’,  for Muslims  to  mend  their  ways.  Cragg  would  like,  for  instance, Muslims  to  end  the  legal  prohibition  on  Muslim  women  marrying Christians.  He  also  supports  the  surreptitious  presentation  of Christian  witness’  to  Muslims  in  the  Arab  world:  committed Christians  are  to  accept  work  in  their  professional  fields  in,  say, Saudi  Arabia,  and  through  the  contacts  they  make  as  doctors (especially  women  doctors  who  can  gain  admission  to  the  heart  of the  family),  pharmacists,  engineers,  teachers,  etc.,  to  run  private gatherings  through  which  the  Muslims  can  discreetly  be  offered Christianity.

For  non-Muslims  to  hold  such  a  conference  is  their  right;  for Muslims  to  attend  in  order  to  defend  an  Islamic  view  of  the religion  and  history  of  Muslims  is  also,  unquestionably,  proper. But  why  should  Muslims  assist  in  the  setting  up  of  such  a conference?  That  is  not  proper.  Still  worse  is  it  to  deny  Muslims the  right  to  defend  their  religion  and  history,  to  restrict  their freedom  to  do  so,  and  to  take  punitive  action  against  them  if  they do.

I was  at  that  time  teaching  in  the  Department  of  Islamic Studies  at  King  Saud  University  (KSU)  in  Riyad.  When  I returned,  I  was  summoned  for  disciplinary  investigation  by  Dr Mustafd  al-A’zami,  then  the  Head  of  Department.  Now,  it  seems to  me,  that  what  I  had  said  at  the  conference  in  Oxford  could  in principle  be  questioned  by  any  concerned  Muslim  –  for  its  content or  its  manner.  I  had  not  imagined  that  the  right  (actually  the  duty) to  speak  on  matters  of  deep  concern  to  Islam  and  to  Muslims could  also  be  questioned.  But  that  is  precisely  the  line  that  Dr  al-A’zami  took.  He  did  not  question  what  I  had  said;  he  questioned that  I  had  said  it.  The  complaint  was  presented  as  a  procedural one:  it  is  not  permitted,  I  was  told,  for  any  faculty  member  of  a Saudi  institution  to  speak  at  any  conference  or  other  public occasion without  express  permission to do  so.  What this means, in practice,  is  that  whenever  (and  wherever)  such  collaborative conferences  are  held,  only  those  Muslims  will  be  allowed  to speak  up  who,  broadly  speaking,  agree  with  Muslim-non-Muslim collaborative  ventures in  this field.

Incident 3

In  January  1986,  the  Faculty  of  Arts  of  KSU,  began  issuing  a journal  entitled  al-‘Usur  (Eras)  whose  editorial  board  is  made  up of  Muslims  and  non-Muslims.  Among  the  Orientalists  on  that board  of  consultants  is  Rev  Dr  Montgomery  Watt  who,  as  well  as being  the  author  of  several  mischievous  and  misguiding  works  in the  field  of  Sirah,  is  one  of  the  editors  of  The  Muslim  World, published  by  the  missionary  centre  in  Selly  Oak,  Birmingham. This  journal  was  established  in  1911  by  the  notorious  Samuel Zwemer  and  is  published  jointly  with  the  Hartford  Seminary in  Connecticut,  USA.  Among  other  Orientalist  names  on  the editorial  board  of  al-‘Usur  are:  Rex  Smith  (University  of Durham) and Richard Chambers (University of Chicago).

Now,  it  has  been  claimed  that  a  Western  university  would not  permit  the  setting  up  of  an  academic  centre  for  the  study of  Islam  unless  that  centre  had  a  management  in  which Western  (non-Muslim)  academics  were  sufficiently represented  –  in  other  words,  that  the  price  of  the  prestige  of  a place  like  Oxford  is  the  acceptance  that  non-Muslim  have  a say  in  how  Islam  is  to  be  studied  and  taught.  As  we  have  seen, that  is  a  price  Muslims  should  never  willingly  pay,  unless they  mean  to  weaken  and  betray  their  religion.  But  supposing all  that  is  true  of  a  Western  university,  how  can  it  possibly  be true  of  a  Muslim  university  in  a  Muslim  capital  built  on Muslim  land  with  exclusively  Muslim  resources?  What necessity  can  explain  the  Saudi  authorities  following  the  same pattern  of  collaboration  with  non-Muslims  as  is  followed  by, for  example,  the  Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’?  The answer,  alas,  is  that  it  is  so  not  by  necessity  but  by  volition, by  policy,  chosen  and  implemented.

Incident  4

On  12th  August,  1989,  I  was  invited  to  speak  by  the  student members  of  the  Oxford  Islamic  Society  on  ‘An  Islamic perspective  on  Orientalism’.  In  this  address,  I  criticised Orientalists  and  the  role  of  the  Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic Studies’  in  furthering  their  programme.  To  address  a  small under-graduate  society,  even  in  Oxford,  is  no  major  event. Hardly  worth  anyone’s  notice.  There  are  many  small  societies in  the  University;  many  speakers;  many  addresses.  I  was surprised,  therefore,  that  a  report  on  the  occasion  should  have been  written,  let  alone  that  it  should  then  be  sent  all  the  way to  Riyadh,  to  Dr  al-Azam!,  my  Head  of  Department  at  KSU.

Incident  5

On  26  Safar  1410  (1990),  at  a  meeting  of  the  Department  of Islamic  Studies  of  KSU,  I  talked  about  the  responsibility  of the  ‘Ulama’,  especially  of  those  with  influence  in  Saudi Arabia,  to  at  least  impede,  if  they  could  not  stop,  the infiltration  of  Orientalists  into  the  field  of  Islamic  studies  – something  surely  possible  where  universities  were  under direct  Muslim  administration  and  within  the  jurisdiction  of Muslim  governments.  I  mentioned  by  name  ‘Abdullah  Naseef and  ‘Abdullah  al-Turki  who  are  certainly  influential  in  Saudi Arabia.  They  are  also  trustees  of  the  Oxford  Centre  for ‘Islamic  Studies’.  I  advised  them  to  fear  Allah  for  giving,  in their  position,  encouragement  and  support  to  the  Orientalists.  

Incident 6

On  20  Rajab  1410  (1990),  after  praying  salat  al-‘isha’  in  the  Riyadh mosque  used  by  university  staff  members,  I  stood  up  before  the congregation  and  criticised  two  Saudi  policies:  a)  their encouraging  Orientalist  studies  of  Islam;  and  b)  their  tribalist policy  of  preferring  a  Saudi  to  a  non-Saudi  for  university  entrance to  post-graduate  courses  (a  policy  widely  known  about  and frequently  criticised  in  the  non-Saudi  Arabic  press).  I  quoted  in this  talk,  the  verse  from  al  An’am  revealed  on  the  occasion  when the  Quraysh  asked  the  Prophet,  sallallahu  ‘alaihi  wa  sallam,  to dismiss  from  his  circle  the  non-Arabs  and  the  poor  (i.e.  the socially  weak)  among  the  Muslims,  men  like  Bilal,  Salman  al-Farisi,  Suhayb  ar-Rumi,  Khabbab,  ‘Ammar,  and  ‘Abdullah  ibn Mas’ud.  The  Quraysh  asked  that  these  ‘riff-raff  (Aradhil)  be removed  from  his  presence  and  then  they  would  join  his  circle and hear his preaching.  Allah then revealed in His Book: Do  not  dismiss  [from  your  circle]  those  who  call  upon  their  Lord at  morning  and  evening,  seeking  His  countenance.  You  are  not accountable  for  them  in  anything,  nor  are  they  accountable  for you  in  anything;  if  you  should  dismiss  them  you  would  be  a wrongdoer  (al An’am, 6:52)

I  quoted  also  the  hadith  recorded  in  all  Sahih  collections  that  the search  for  knowledge  is  Faridhah,  an  obligation.  I  concluded  with the  appeal:  Fear  Allah,  O  Mansur  al-Turki!  Fear  Allah!  Fear Allah! (Mansur al-Turki was the Vice Chancellor of KSU.)

Many  people  in  the  congregation  approved  and  applauded  and indeed  rejoiced  because  this  matter  had  at  last  been  aired  in public, and in a mosque.

About  an  hour  later,  after  I  had  returned  home,  two  men  called at  my  flat.  One  of  them  is  the  brother  of  Hasan  ibn  Said  who  is  a member  of  the  Saudi  intelligence  service  in  the  Ministry  of  the Interior.  This  man  threatened  that  my  contract  would  be terminated  if  I  did  not  go  and  apologise  to  Mansur  al-Turki.  I refused. Two months later, the threat was carried out.

Another  consequence  of  my  speaking  in  the  mosque  was  the dismissal  of  Mansur  al-Turki  from  his  post.  The  dismissal  was  of course  called  a  resignation.  The  reason  he  was  dismissed  was  not the  policy  he  pursued  but  the  fact  that  he  had  allowed  that  policy to be criticised in public  by  a  member  of his university.  

Incident 7

During  Sha’ban  1410  (1990)  a  large  seminar  was  held  in  the
Intercontinental  Hotel  in  Riyadh  on  the  subject  of  Da’wah  (the dissemination  of  Islam)  in  the  world.  The  chairman  was  ‘Abdullah al-Turki.  Among  participants  were:  Muhammad  Qutb,  Rashid  al-Ghannoushi,  Hassan  Hathut.  I was asked  to  make  a  comment  and,  in my  short  comment,  I  referred  to  the  danger  to  Islamic  Da’wah  in Europe  of  allowing  non-Muslims  to  collaborate  in  the presentation  of  Islam  in  the  West,  since,  inevitably,  that presentation  was  a  mis-presentation,  a  distortion.  I  pointed  out that,  for  that  mis-presentation  and  distortion  of  Islam  those Muslims  who  are  collaborating  with  it  are  responsible.  I  gave  the Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’  as  an  example.  Many  students were  there  and  approved  openly  and  rejoiced.  Not  so  ‘Abdullah al-Turki  –  understandably,  as  my  comment  certainly  included  his contribution  to  the  activities  of  the  Orientalists,  as  a  trustee  of Oxford Centre.  

Incident 8

Hans  Kung,  the  dissident  Catholic  theologian,  quite  well-known in  Saudi  Arabia,  was  invited  to  give  a  talk  entitled  ‘Original Christianity:  between  the  Gospels  and  the  Qur’an’,  on  the  evening of  Monday,  14th  May  1990,  in  Riyadh.  In  the  morning  of  that  day, he  came,  accompanied  by  Dr  Ja’afar  Sheikh  Idris  and  other figures  from  Imam  University,  to  the  Department  of  Islamic Studies  where  I  was  still  working.  I  attended  the  informal  meeting that  followed.  In  explanation  of  why  Hans  Kung  was  invited,  it was  emphasised  that  he  was  an  Orientalist  sympathetic  to  Islam and  sympathetic  to  the  Arab-Palestinian  cause.  The  meeting  was chaired  by  a  professor  of  physics,  also  an  Islamic  scholar,  Dr Muhammad  al-Mas’ari,  who  encouraged  me  to  speak  up  and answer  Kung.  (In  the  summer  of  1993,  Dr  Muhammad  al-Mas’ari was  dismissed  from  his  post  in  King  Saud University  and subsequently  jailed  and  tortured  for  being  the  spokesman  of  the Committee  for  the  Defence  of  Legitimate  Rights.  (‘Legitimate rights’  means  those  rights  granted  to  human  beings  by  Allah  as established  in  the  Shari’ah.)  In  April  1994,  Dr.  al-Mas’ari escaped  from  Saudi  Arabia  and  arrived  in  London.  He  is  now seeking  political  asylum  in  Britain.)  Some  students  from  KSU also attended this informal, get-to-know-the-speaker meeting.

During  this  meeting,  I  asked  Hans  Kung  the  following questions:

1.  From  where  did  he  derive  his  knowledge  about  Islam?  The answer:  from  various  Orientalists,  especially  Paret,  Kung’s teacher  in  Tiibingen  University.  Evidently,  Kung  was  not qualified in Arabic or  Islamic  studies.

2.  He  is  famous  for  denying  the  infallibility  of  the  Pope;  did Kung also deny  the infallibility  of the  Prophets,  ‘alaihim assalam? The  answer:  he  did  deny  it,  and  certainly  therefore,  he  denied  the infallibility  of  the  Prophet  Muhammad,  sallallahu  ‘alaihi  wa sallam.

3.  How  did  he  view  the  position  and  role  of  the  Americans  on  the Palestinian  question?  The  answer:  he  felt  the  Americans’  attitude was favourable to the Palestinians.

Not  surprisingly,  after  this  discussion,  some  students  got in  touch  with  the  organising  authorities  and  asked  them  to  cancel Kung’s  lecture.  Fearing  a  public  disturbance,  the  authorities consulted  the  Ministry  of  the  Interior.  I  turned  up  at  the  time  and place  appointed  for  Kung’s  lecture;  so  did  many  others:  we  found that it  had been cancelled.

Hans Kung on  Islam

On  that  occasion,  by  the  mercy  of  Allah,  subhanahu  wa  ta’ala, the  truth  about  Hans  Kung’s  attitudes  and  purpose  with  regard to  Islam  and  the  Muslims  were  exposed  by  his  own  words uttered,  just  as  they  are  exposed  in  his  published  words  for those  who  will  take  the  trouble  to  read  them  before,  in  neglect of  their  responsibilities  to  their  religion  and  way  of  life,  they invite  him  to  address  Muslims.

Kung’s  views  on  Islam  are  very  explicitly  presented  in  his book,  Christianity  and  the  World  Religions.  (1986;  Collins, London,  1987.  Page  references  in  the  discussion  immediately following  in  this  section  refer  to  this  edition  of  Kung’s  book.) In  the  part  of  the  book  dealing  with  ‘Islam  and  Christianity’ (pp.  3-135),  Kung  advocates  for  Muslims  what  he  calls ‘critical  method’  in  reading  their  Scripture.  This  is  the procedure  applied,  from  the  early  nineteenth  century,  to Christian  study  of  the  Bible.  Kung  refers  to  various Orientalists  whose  works  have  followed  this  approach. Among  them  are:

1.  John  Wansborough’s  Quranic  Studies  (1977),  in  which  the author  claims  that  the  Qur’an  was  shaped  over  a  period  of  two centuries  by  the  Muslim  community  interpreting  what  were taken to be Prophetic  sayings. (p.33)

2.  John  Burton’s  The  Collection  of  the  Quran  (1977)  which follows  a  similar  approach  but  confines  the  period  of `collection’  to the  Prophet’s lifetime. (p.34)

3.  Gunter  Luling’s  The  Rediscovery  of  the  Prophet  Muhammad (1981)  based  on  On  the  Primitive  Version  of  the  Qur’an (1974)  which  claims  to  distinguish  in  the  Qur’anic  text  a primitive  Christian-Arabian  Qur’an  attributed  to  the Prophet  and  the  rest  attributed  to  a  much  later  period. (p.34)

4.  Angelika  Neuwirth’s  Studies  on  the  Composition  of  the Meccan  Suras  (1981)  with  which  Kung  appears  to  be particularly  pleased:  ‘With  her  training  in  the  formal critical  approach  to  the  Old  Testament,  Neuwirth  can  prove that,  whatever  the  case  with  the  rest  of  the  Qur’an,  the Meccan  suras  were  put  together  by  the  Prophet  himself  for liturgical  recitation…’.  (p.34)

What  business  can  intelligent  Muslims  who  care  about  and for  their  religion  have  with  ‘curiosity’  of  this  kind?  It  is  a curiosity  about  Islam  whose  techniques  are  directly  copied from  Western  models,  regardless  of  whether  the  techniques  are appropriate,  and  whose  aim  is  a  determination  to  reproduce among  Muslims  the  same  reservations  about  the  Qur’an,  as Jews  and  Christians  are  bound  to  have  about  the  Bible.  To  add insult  to  injury,  Kung  offers  this  line  of  scholarship  as  the  road to  peace  and  reconciliation  between  Muslims  and  Christians what  he  means  is  that  Muslims  will  believe  and  think  as modern  Christians  do.

Kung  maintains  that  the  oral  influence  of  Judaic  and Christian  traditions  on  the  composition  of  the  Qur’an  cannot (and  should  not)  be  denied  by  Muslims.  There  were  contacts between  Muslims  and  the  People  of  the  Book  during  the Prophet’s  lifetime,  sallallahu  ‘alaihi  wa  sallam;  and  many  of the  Biblical  prophets  are  mentioned  by  name  in  the  Qur’an,  as well  as  Mary,  the  mother  of  Jesus,  ‘alaihis-salam.  Ming  infers that  all  these  prophets  were  known  to  the  Prophet  Muhammad, sallallahu  ‘alaihi  wa  sallam,  before  revelation  came  to  him.

Sometimes  a  wilful  blindness  accompanies  arrogance:  how can  any  scholar  who,  presumably,  has  at  least  read  the  Qur’an in  translation,  have  missed  the  fact  that  this  particular  line  of argument  is  anticipated  and  answered  by  the  Qur’an  itself?  It  is the  very  argument  put  forward  by  the  arrogant  polytheists  and Jews  during  the  period  of  the  Revelation  which  answered  them:

This  is  [some  part]  of  the  tidings  of  the  unseen  which  We reveal  to  you.  You  yourself  did  not  know  it,  nor  did  your people,  before  this  [revelation]  (Hud,  11:41).

The  Prophet,  sallallahu  ‘alaihi  wa  sallam,  is  altogether innocent,  by  the  testimony  of  the  Qur’an,  of  what  the Orientalists  (like  the  unbelievers  before  them)  mischievously allege.  Their  aim  is  to  enlist  the  support  of  Muslims  themselves in  making  these  allegations.  They  begin  by  saying  that  the Qur’an  is,  like  their  own  discredited  scriptures,  only  partly  true. Kung  himself  states  (p.34)  that  he  believes  the  Qur’an  to  be both  revealed  and  the  work  of  the  Prophet.  He  then  goes  on  to offer  this  position  to  ‘educated  modern’  Muslims  as  a  way  for them  to  apply  to  their  Scripture  the  kind  of  critique  that  was applied  to  the  Christians  scriptures.  Kung’s  point,  evidently,  is, to  imply  that  any  Muslim  who  takes  the  whole  Qur’an  to  be verbatim  the  word  of  Allah  –  which  has  always  been  an  axiom of  Muslim  belief  –  is  neither  educated  nor  modern.  He  writes with  the  conviction  that  Western  culture  has  triumphed  and  it  is up  to  the  Muslims  to  adapt  (i.e.  submit)  to  it:  and  his,  the Christian  scholar’s  task  is  to  make  that  submission  easier,  and to  look  among  Muslim  scholars  for  individuals  who  have  been willing  to  submit  and  can  therefore  be  applauded  for  their ‘constructive’  approach.

Here,  in  a  nutshell,  is  the  whole  ambition  of  the collaboration  which  is  offered  to  Muslims  and  in  which,  alas, so  many  nominal  Muslims  are  willing  to  participate:

Christians  and  Muslims  today  need  to  continue  their conversation  about  this  difficult  but  fundamental  point  of  how to  understand  revelation…  Everyone  knows  that  in  various Islamic  countries  right  now  there  are  powerful  movements  for Islamic  renewal  at  work…  Perhaps  over  the  long  haul,  in  a more  self-conscious  Islamic  world  that  is  trying  in  so  many ways  to  catch  up  with  Western  science  and  culture, historicocritical  study  of  the  holy  book  will  eventually  be allowed  to  become  a  reality.  (p.35)

It  is  only  natural  for  the  enemies  of  Islamic  renewal  to  wish to  divert  its  energies  into  directions  which  harmonise  with cultural  and  religious  preferences  which  have  nothing  to  do with  Islam.  For  Muslims  to  collaborate  in  any  such  programme is  to  capitulate.  But  it  is  to  Allah  that  Muslims  no  matter  what their  circumstances  –  are  required  to  surrender,  not  to  the enemies  of  their  religion.  The  tragedy  is  that  people  like  Kung are  able  to  find  accomplices  not  only  among  officials  of Muslim  governments  but  also  among  Muslims  whose scholarship  should  have  guarded  them  against  any  such betrayal of the din.

How  will  the  Qur’an  be  esteemed  if  the  collaborators  have  their way?  How  else  but  as  Kung  wishes  –  relatively,  intermittently, adaptably.  In his  own words (p.36; the  italics are  Kung’s):

“understanding  the  Qur’an  as  a  living  message,  continually  heard anew…  as  the  great  prophetic  testimony  to  the  one  and  only mighty  and  merciful  God…  A  consistent  testimony  that  may  and should  be  handed  down  in  a  variable  form,  always  freshly  adapted to  the  time,  place,  and  individuals  in  question,  so  as  to  provide  an unambiguous,  constructive  solution  for  the  present-day  conflicts with  science  and  history,  as  well  as  the  modern  ethos  and  sense  of law. That would be a historicocritical approach…”

But  it  is  Jews  and  Christians  who  adapt  their  scriptures  to  their own  transient  needs  and  purposes,  who  fit  their  religion  to  the prevailing  ‘ethos’.  Whereas  the  distinction  of  the  Muslims  has always  been,  by  the  mercy  of  Allah,  to  have  a  Scripture  perfectly preserved,  to  whose  commands  they  adapt  themselves  and  so make  the  Qur’an  the  ‘prevailing  ethos’.  It  is  indeed  difficult  to believe  that  there  could  exist  scholars  who,  while  calling themselves  Muslims,  are  nonetheless  willing  to  go  along  with  the ‘adaptive’  approach  commended  by  modern  Christians  and  Jews. The  intense  pressure  for  this  approach  since  the  early  eighties,  the denigration of all other Muslims  as  ‘fanatics’  and ‘fundamentalists’,  is  evidence  that  the  People  of  the  Book  (having failed  in  their  attempts  at  conversion,  especially  in  the  face  of  the renewal  of  Islam,  resort  to  subversion),  invite  Muslims  to  a  ‘living message’,  when  what  they  really  mean  (and  want)  to  do  is  to  stifle and kill that message.

When,  later  in  his  study  of  Islam,  Kung  deals  with  the  question of  the  Shari’ah,  he  follows  the  same  procedure  and  reaches  the same  conclusion.  Muslims  are  invited  to  learn  the  familiar Christian  distinction  between  law  (which,  in  the  Christian perspective,  must  become  legalism)  and  faith,  to  learn  to  see  the Qur’an  as  a  source-book  for  ethics  and  not,  as  those  who  first heard  it  and  then  gave  their  lives  in  the  effort  to  establish  it,  as  the source  for  laws  as  well  as  values.  Again,  without  much  irony,  he is  able  to  suggest  that  Muslims  have  had  little  choice  in  the  matter in  recent  centuries  and  certainly  none  now:  the  ‘fundamentalist’ programme  for  the  re-introduction  of  Islamic  law  (the  hadd punishments  for  example,  particularly  for  apostasy  and  adultery, and  the  prohibition  of  riba  (interest)  are  doomed  to  fail,  Kung thinks,  because  Westernisation  is  too  well-entrenched).  He  seems to  believe  that  wherever  education  (he  means  secularisation)  lifts the  Muslims  out  of  their  ‘medieval’  cast  of  mind,  they  are  certain to  seek  the  flexibilities  of  a  modern  Christian  attitude  to  sacred law.  And,  once  again,  Kung  is  able  to  enlist  the  views  of ‘modernist’  or  ‘reformist’  Muslim  scholars  (‘Efforts  at  an  intraIslamic  critique  of  the  Law’,  pp.66-9)  and  quotes  extensively,  and with particular relish, from Fazlur-Rahman.

It soon  becomes  clear  what  the  contents  of  the  reforms desirable  for  Muslims  in  the  modern  age  are:  First  of  all,  Muslim must  grasp  the  central  (Christian)  point  that  ‘the  shari’ah  exists  for the  sake  of  man,  and  not  man  for  the  sake  of  the  shari’ah.  Man  is therefore  the  measure  of  the  law’  (p.65;  Kung’s  italics).  Having grasped  that,  Muslims  will  be  able  to  get  rid  of  ‘the  scandalous shortcomings  of  Islamic  law’  –  Kung  especially  wants  ‘dissent’  (he means  blasphemy)  and  the  charging  of  interest  to  be  made acceptable,  and  he  wants  all  the  hadd  penalties  to  be  abolished. He  praises  the  Mu’tazilah  as  being  nearer  to  the  truth  because  they believed  the  Qur’an  to  be  ‘created’  and  ‘therefore  modifiable’-  he fails  to  point  out  that  the  Mu’tazilah  scholars  (however  large  a place  is  given  to  them  by  Western  Orientalists)  had  rather  less influence  on  Muslim  thought  in  general  than  those  Christians  had on  Christian  thought  in  general,  who  urged  the  Church  to  allow polygamy.  It  comes  as  no  surprise  that  Kung  is  ‘against’  polygamy –  it  does  not  fit  the  modern  ethos.  He  calls  for  Muslims  to  join  the women’s  liberation  movement  (p.84),  to  eliminate  the  differences between  male  and  female  rights  of  inheritance,  and  to  make  legal testimony  equivalent  for  both  sexes  –  all  such  laws  were  all  very well in the seventh century, he feels, but not in the twentieth!

That  must  suffice  as  an  illustration  of  Kung’s  sympathetic attitude  to  Islam.  We  turn  now  to  his  sympathy  for  the Palestinians’  cause  against  the  Zionists.  His  attitudes  on  this question  are  explicit  in  his  book  Judaism:  The  Religious  Situation of  Our  Time.  (SCM  Press  Ltd.,  London,  1992;  trans.  John Bowden  from  Die  Religose  Situation  der  Zeit:  Das  Judentum,  R. Piper  GmbH  &  Co,  KG,  Munich,  1991.  Page  references  in  the discussion  immediately  following  refer  to  the  translation.)  We need  to  note  that  this  book,  dedicated  ‘For  my  Jewish  friends throughout  the  world’,  was  most  warmly  welcomed  by  Jews  –  as an  example  see  the  review  in  the  London  Times  (‘A  Catholic  on the  Jews’,  26  March,  1993)  by  Rabbi  Dr  Albert  H.  Friedlander. Kung  devotes  several  paragraphs  in  his  preface  to  re-assuring  the reader  that  he  enjoys  close  and  friendly  relations  with  Israel,  with its  institutions,  with  its  religious  and  political  leaders  inside  and outside  the  country.  He  records  his  lecture  visits  to  the  Van  Leer Institute  in  Tel  Aviv  and  the  University  of  Haifa,  his  association with  the  Swiss-Jewish  society,  and  ‘numerous  conversations  and meetings’  with  the  Israeli  Foreign  Office  and  other  representatives of  official  Israeli  politics.  Kung  does  not  mention  any  meeting, association  or  conversation  with  any  Palestinians  either  inside  or outside  the  country  for  which,  being  secure  in  his  own  homeland, he expresses such interest and concern.

Kung’s  basic  political  understanding  is  that  the  Jews  believe themselves,  exclusively,  to  be  God’s  chosen  people,  and  on  the basis  of  belonging  to  a  race,  have  a  right  to  the  promised  land, that  is,  Palestine.  Kung  is  quite  unembarrassed  by  this endorsement  of  divine  favouritism.  He  is  also  quite unembarrassed  –  despite  his  own  passionate  argument  in  favour  of a  historicocritical  reading  of  all  sacred  scriptures  (the  Qur’an included)  –  by  the  reduction  of  the  Old  Testament  to  a  legal  deed of  title  to  a  piece  of  land.  The  inhumanity  of  forcible  eviction  of that  land’s  native  population  –  despite  their  centuries-long tolerance  of  the  Jews  already  living  there  (in  contrast  to  Christian practice  in  that  same  holy  land)  and  which  broke  down  only  when the  Zionist  programme  became  too  blatant  to  be  ignored  –  is accepted  by  Kung  as  an  inconvenience.  Lest  the  reader  should think  I  am  mispresenting  (or  exaggerating)  Kung’s  position,  I  here quote his own words (pp.45-6):

“…for  Judaism,  which  preserved  its  primal  bond  with  the  land of  Israel  (Hebrew  Eretz  Israel),  even  in  the  time  of  the  ‘dispersion’ (Greek  Diaspora),  the  relation  to  this  particular  land,  the ‘promised  land’,  is  quite  essential…  Whether  or  not  it  is convenient  for  others,  Yahweh’s  chosen  people  and  the  promised land now belong together.”

Kung  shows  no  awareness  that  accepting  the  belonging together  of  Jews  and  Israel  is  also,  necessarily,  an  acceptance  of the  dispossession  of  the  land’s  original  inhabitants  in  favour  of European  colonists,  of  the  forcing  apart  of  Palestinians  and Palestine.  By  what  stretch  of  imagination  can  this  non-awareness (or  denial)  of  the  Palestinians’  rights  be  described  as ‘sympathetic’?

Kung’s  position  is  not,  in  fact,  based  upon  a  genuinely sympathetic  assessment  of  the  needs  or  rights  of  the  Palestinians. On  the  contrary,  it  is  based  upon  a  typically  European-Christian cynicism  about  the  realities  of  power.  That  cynicism  derives,  in turn,  from  the  Christian  attitude  to  legality  as  an  alternative domain  to  the  domain  of  rightness,  and  practical  morality  as  an alternative  to  ideal  spirituality.  Islamic  civilisation  has  always refused  this  division,  although,  unfortunately  (for  mankind  in general,  as  well  as  for  Muslims),  there  are  some  eminent  Muslims who  are  willing  to  play  the  game  of  power,  just  as  Christians  and Jews  do,  for  its  own  sake,  divorced  from  any  commitment  to  the life  of  submission  and  devotion  to  the  will  of  Allah:  indeed,  they achieve  eminence  precisely  by  accepting  that  game  of  power  and its  rules.  When  they  do  so,  they  are  hailed  as  moderates,  men  of vision,  progressive,  open-minded,  tolerant,  and  so  on:  and,  the faithful,  they,  alas,  are  reviled  as  fanatics  and  regressives.  In short,  we  should  not  be  surprised  by  the  cynicism  within  Kung’s projected  ‘compromise’,  nor  should  we  be  surprised  that  the  main elements  of  that  compromise  are  attributed  to  one  of  the  West’s favourite  Muslims,  the  former  President  of  Egypt,  Anwar  al-Sadat.  

“Kung  tells  us  that  Jews,  Christians  and  Muslims  ‘are  bound together by  the major characteristics which they  have  in common’. These  are:  Semitic  origin,  belief  in  the  same  One  God  of Abraham,  their  tribal  ancestor,  belief  in  prophetic  proclamation and  revelation  laid  down  once  for  all  in  scripture  and  which remains  normative;  the  basic  ethos  of  a  fundamental  humanity founded  in  God’s  will,  and  the  ten  commandments,  etc.  (pp.  1718).  He  advocates  peace  on  the  basis  of  a  recognition  of  these common  characteristics,  and  commends  (somewhat  vaguely)  the idea  of  one  nation,  one  religion,  one  prayer.  He  advocates  the expression  of  this  ancient  community  in  a  literal  coming  together to  pray:  Jews  and  Christians  already  have  shared  texts;  it  should not  be  too  difficult  to  find  texts  (and  avoid  rubrics)  which  would enable  Muslims  to  join  in  and  address  the  same  words  to  God  in the same place on the same occasion (p.580).

It  all  seems  very  charming  and  positive  until  the  full implications  (for  legal  and  political  justice,  for  what  is  morally and  spiritually  right  in  the  situation)  become  clear.  How  are  Jews, Christians,  Muslims  to  proceed  with  this  charming  idea  in practice?  Kung  tells  us:

“Perhaps  the  suggestion  of  a  Muslim  can  help  us  here,  that  of Anwar al-Sadat, to whom Israel owes peace with Egypt” (p.578).

Sadat’s  suggestion,  also  based  on  emphasising  common  origins and  sharing  worship  and  places  of  worship,  was  to  build  a  new place  of  worship  dedicated  by  the  adherents  of  all  three  religions and  to  build  it  near  St  Catherine’s  monastery  in  Sinai.  Kung  goes yet  further.  What  need  is  there  of  building  a  new  place?  A  perfect site  already  exists:  the  Dome  of  the  Rock.  The  mosque  could also serve as synagogue and church. (pp.579-80)

The  implications  are  rather  stark.  The  Muslims  do  not  need  to recover  Jerusalem:  they  can  have  it  by  making  a  formal  present  of it to the Jews and Christians.

We hardly  need  offer  a  comment  on  this  suggestion  –  even  if  it were  not  cynically  motivated,  it  would  be  unacceptable.  We  do need,  however,  to  remind  ourselves  of  the  Qur’anic  position  on the  ‘community’  between  Muslims  and  the  People  of  the  Book: the  Qur’an  does  invite  the  People  of  the  Book  to  consider themselves  one  nation  with  the  Muslims,  going  back  to  the Prophet  Ibrahim,  ‘alaihis-salam,  and  to  do  so  on  the  basis  that  he was neither  Jew nor  Christian, but  Muslim:

Abraham  was  not  a  Jew,  nor  yet  a  Christian;  but  he  was  an upright  Muslim  (hanifan  musliman)  and  he  was  not  of  the idolaters.  (Ali  ‘Imran, 3:67)

The  political  and  military  association  between  the  Saudi authorities  and  the  kuffar  is  not,  in  fact,  so  much  a  relationship  of collaboration  as  of  subjection.  The  Saudi  authorities  subject  the lands,  seas,  and  all  the  resources  which  they  should  administer  for the  benefit  of  all  Muslims,  to  Western,  specifically  American, political interests  in the  region.  That has  been  the  case  (though  not so  widely  known  as  now)  since  the  founding  of  the  kingdom under  British  imperial  ‘protection’.  It  has  come  to  be  widely accepted  since  the  Gulf  crisis  of  1990.  At  the  ‘invitation’  of  the Gulf  Arab  rulers,  notably  the  Saudis,  the  military  forces  of  the kuffar  occupied  the  Arabian  Peninsula  in  order  to  prosecute  their war  against  Iraq;  thereafter,  having  destroyed  that  country’s  civil as  well  as  military  structures,  they  continue  to  have  a  very  large and  powerful  military  presence  in  the  Gulf  countries.  This  is  done with  much  less  publicity  than  during  the  Gulf  war  but  with  not much  effort  at  concealment.  The  policy  of  non-concealment  also has  its  purposes  apart  from  its  effect  of  proving  the  Gulf  regimes helpless,  it  makes  them  vulnerable  to  the  discontent  of  their  own people  which  in  turn  makes  them  more  dependent  upon  the Western  presence.  The  situation  is  not  very  different  from  the protection  rackets  run  by  the  mafia:  the  Gulf  Arab  regimes  are required,  in  exchange  for  ‘protection’,  to  spend  huge  sums  of money  on  the  purchase  of  arms  and  other  equipment  (which,  if the  Arabs  could  use  them  effectively  would  not  be  sold  to  them) and  other  back-up  services,  which  returns  the  petrodollars  to  the West  and  keeps  the  Western  military  industry  well-enough supplied  with  funds  to  go  on  producing  new  kinds  and  grades  of weapons  which  their  victims  cannot  match.  It  is  a  vicious  circle  in every sense.

The  ambition  to  dominate  the  Arabian  Peninsula  is  not  a  new one.  The  goal  has  its  roots  in  the  missionary  activities  which  were initiated  in  the  Gulf  towards  the  end  of  the  nineteenth  century. Samuel  Zwemer,  the  American  Christian  who  established  the  first mission  in  the  area  as  long  ago  as  1889,  founded  many  schools and  churches  in  the  coastal  townships.  Zwemer  is  explicit  in  his understanding  of  the  situation  at  that  time  (See  `Abd  al-Malik  al-Tamimi,  Al-Tabshir  fi-Mantiqat  al-khalij  alArabi,  (Missionary activities  in  the  Arab  Gulf  area)  Kuwait  1982,  pp.  48ff.).  The Christian  missionaries  are  to  consider  themselves  as  the  allies  of the  Jews  in  their  hopes  and  plans  for  the  creation  of  a  Jewish homeland  in  the  region.  Zwemer  justifies  this  on  the  grounds  that the  region  had  ‘belonged’  to  Christ:  before  Islam  came  to dominate,  there  had  been  Christian  communities  in  the  Peninsula (in  Najran)  and,  similarly,  Jewish  communities  (in  Yathrib (Madinah),  Khaybar,  etc.).  Western  powers  had  the  right,  in  his view, to bring the region ‘back’ to its former religious affiliations.

An  American  Orientalist,  John  Kelly,  who  served  as  adviser  to the  President  of  the  United  Arab  Emirates,  advocates  the reoccupation  of  the  Gulf  area  by  Western  powers  to  reverse  or replace  the  withdrawal  of  the  British  Empire  east  of  Suez  (See John  Kelly.  Arabia,  the  Gulf  and  the  West,  London  1990 p.504.).  The  primary  motivation  may  be  to  control  the  oil reserves  of  the  region,  but  missionary  ambitions  (religious  and cultural),  and,  most  important  of  all,  control  of  the  peoples  and  of the  Islamic  revival  in  the  area,  are  a  part  of  the  strategic commitment.  The  heartlands  of  Islam,  the  direction  of  daily prayers  for  millions  of  Muslims  and  the  focus  of  the  annual pilgrimage  to  the  holy  cities  of  Makkah  and  Madinah,  could,  if managed  for  the  sake  of  the  Muslim  Ummah,  unify  and  organise the  efforts  and  resources  of  all  the  disparate  Islamic  revival movements  world-wide.  The  political  potential  of  this  region  is therefore  immense  and  the  Western  powers  are  only  too  well aware of this.

As  noted  above,  it  is  a  matter  of  open  knowledge  that  the Americans  and  the  British  have  permanent  military  bases  in  each of  the  countries  of  the  Gulf  except  Yaman.  Kuwait  Bahrain,  the Emirates,  Oman,  Qatar,  each  have  at  least  one  significant American  military  installation.  Saudi  Arabia  is  host  to  several military  bases  which  are  huge  complexes  cut  off  from  the  rest  of the country and run quite independently of it.”

“Who  is  responsible  for  the  presence  of  the  kuffar  in  the  holy lands  of  Islam?  Evidently,  those  who  invited  them,  the  rulers  of these  countries,  and  the  Ulama’  as-Sultan  who  authorised  their invitation.  The  authorisation  was  given  publicly  in  a  formal document  (called  the  Makkah  Document)  on  the  10th  October, 1990.  Among  the  signatories  were  Syed  Abul  Hasan  Nadwi, Yusuf  al-Qaradawi,  Shaikh  Bin  Baz,  and  Manna’  al-Qattan.  The argument  of  these  `Ulama’  was  based  mainly  on  an  appeal  to necessity  whereby  that  which  is  normally  forbidden  may  be temporarily  permitted,  or  whereby  one  may  be  temporarily excused  from  doing  what  is  normally  obligatory.  The  argument  of necessity  is  plainly  meaningless  or  unprincipled  if  the  temporary allowance  becomes  permanent.  But  leaving  that  aside,  let  us  look closely  at  the  argument  of  necessity  as  it  was  used  in  this  case. The  necessity  in  question  was,  of  course,  the  threat  of  invasion and war from Iraq under Saddam Hussain.

We  can  begin  by  asking:  who  convinced  the  Saudis  that  this threat  existed?  Of  course,  the  Americans.  They  claim  to  have shown  the  Saudi  authorities  secret  pictures  of  Iraqi  troop movements,  taken  by  secretly  operated  satellites,  pictures  whose interpretation  requires  very  specialised  training  which  is  also secret.  In  short,  the  Saudis  took  the  Americans’  word  for  it:  they did  what  they  were  told.  (Iraq  invaded  Iran  also,  we  may  recall; there  was  no  similar  response,  not  from  the  West  nor  from  the Gulf  Arab  states,  nor  from  the  ‘Ulama’  as-Sultan.)  In  fact,  there  is no  evidence  of  any  immediate  threat  to  Saudi  Arabia.  The moment  for  the  Iraqis  to  invade  Saudi  Arabia,  had  they  had  any intention  of  doing  so,  would  have  been  immediately  after  the occupation  of  Kuwait,  or,  at  the  least,  well  before  the  ‘allies’  had time  to  establish  themselves  in  that  country.  In  the  end  –  surely  a unique  event  in  military  history  –  the  Americans  enjoyed  six  full months  of  a  totally  unopposed  landing.  Even  assuming  criminal intention  on  the  part  of  Saddam  Hussain  (not  a  difficult assumption  to  make),  one  would  have  supposed  that  he  must quickly  attack  and  occupy  the  oil-fields  in  the  northeast  of  Saudi Arabia,  a  perfectly  realistic  option  in  the  first  month  of  the  crisis, and  hold  them  in  order  to  bargain  for  Kuwait.  But  the  Iraqis  made no such move.

We  begin  by  noting,  therefore,  that  the  necessity  to  which  the ‘Ulama’  as-Sultan  appealed  was  not  correctly  judged:  they  had only  the  word  of  the  kuffaar  that  any  such  necessity  existed.  But let  us  allow  that  this  was  an  error  of  judgement  on  their  part,  not  a wilful  attempt  to  legitimise  the  demolition  of  Iraq.  Let  us  allow that  they  had  no  wish  to  help  the  enemies  of  Islam  kill  huge numbers  of  Muslims  by  long-range  air  and  missile  bombardment, to  so  thoroughly  destroy  the  roads,  bridges  and  utilities  of  Iraq  as to  cause  many  hundreds  of  thousands  of  deaths  for  years  to  come. Let  us  allow  that  they  did  not  foresee  or  wish  any  of  this  to happen.  They  saw  it  as  a  necessity  that  Saudi  Arabia  should  be defended.  Very  well,  but  events  have  unfolded.  We  know  what did  happen,  what  was  done  to  Iraq  and  to  its  people.  The  whole world  knows.  It  was  televised  night  after  night.  Have  the  ‘Ulama’ as-Sultan  expressed  some  sorrow  or  regret  for  the  loss  of  so  many human  lives?  Have  they  no  cause  to  unwish  what  they  did? Evidently  not, for  these  learned men have  remained quite  silent on the  sufferings  of  the  Iraqi  people;  nor,  now  that  the  necessity exists  no  more,  have  they  had  anything  to  say  on  the  continuing military  presence  of  the  Americans  and  the  British  and  the  French in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

Yet,  even  if  we  accord  to  these  scholars  the  best  of  motives  for what  they  did,  it  cannot  make  what  they  did  right.  They  are obliged,  insofar  as  they  are  Muslim  scholars,  to  give  advice  and judgement  according  to  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah.  They  did  not  do so.  Their  judgement  was,  by  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah,  false judgement,  a  grave  surrender  of  their  responsibility  in  favour  of  a slavish  submission  to  what  the  Saudi  government  needed; certainly, their silence about it ever since is an unqualified evil.

The  conditions  and  principles  to  be  taken  into  account  when  a Muslim  government,  in  any  situation  of  necessity  or  otherwise, solicits  or  accepts  the  help  of  non-Muslims,  are  well-established and well-known.

Before  the  battle  of  Badr,  a  man  came  to  the  Prophet, sallallahu  ‘alaihi  wa  sallam,  and  said  that  he  wanted  to  join  him in  the  fighting.  The  Prophet  asked  him  if  he  believed  in  Allah. The  man  said  he  did  not.  The  Prophet  then  said  to  him:  ‘Go  back [or  go  away].  I  will  not  call  on  the  help  of  a  mushrik’.  And  who does  not  know  what  the  odds  were  that  the  Muslims  face  at  that time?  (This hadith is in  the  Sahih  of  Muslim.)

At  the  time  of  Uhud,  as  is  recorded  in  the  Sirah  of  Ibn  Hisham (As-Siratu  n-Nabawiyyah.  Cairo,  n.d.,  vo1.3,  p.64.),  the  Prophet did  not  wish,  again  despite  the  circumstances,  to  seek  the  help  of the  Jews  in  Madinah.  The  Prophet,  sallallahu  ‘alaihi  wa  sallam, said:  We  do  not  call  for  the  help  of  a  mushrik  against  a  mushrik, nor of a kafir against a kafir.

There  are  two  precedents  in  particular  which  the  ‘Ulama’  asSultan  offered  as  pretexts  for  the  judgement  that  they  gave.  First they  cite  the  case  of  Safwan  ibn  Umayyah  at  the  time  of  the  battle of  Hunayn.  The  Prophet  borrowed  from  this  Safwan  certain weapons  even  though  he  was,  at  that  time,  a  mushrik.  But borrowing  or  buying  weapons  or  any  other  equipment  or technology  from  unbelievers  is  not  the  same  thing  as  calling  on them  to  fight  with  you.  Also,  the  Muslims  certainly  had  the  upper hand and  were  in  full  control of the  affair  –  the  incident referred to occurred  after  the  conquest  of  Makkah.  Finally,  it  is  important  to remember  that  Safwan  was  known  to  be  sympathetic  to  Islam and,  indeed,  soon  afterwards  became  a  Muslim.  The  contrast  with the  Gulf  War  is  all  too  obvious:  the  Arabs  did  not  have  the  upper hand  and  were  certainly  not,  in  any  sense,  in  control  of  the  affair. The  reverse  is  true.  The  war  was  conducted  by  and  for  the Americans  under  the  leadership,  on  the  field  of  battle,  of  General Schwarzkopf  who  is  not,  and  was  not,  in  the  least  bit  sympathetic to  Islam.  The  situation  is  directly  contradictory  to  what  is  required of  the  Muslims  and  promised  to  them  in  the  Qur’an,  a  verse  I quoted  earlier:  …Allah  will  not  give  the  unbelievers  any  [right  off way over the believers (an-Nisa’, 4:141).

Secondly,  the  ‘Ulama’  as-Sultan  cite  the  precedent  of  the  hijra to  Abyssinia  where  the  Muslims  put  themselves  under  the protection  of  the  Negus,  the  Christian  ruler  of  that  country.  But this  was  not  a  situation  involving  fighting  and  war  and,  again,  the Negus  was  not  only  sympathetic  to  the  beliefs  and  cause  of  the Muslims  but  himself  accepted  Islam.  The  Prophet  himself, sallallahu  ‘alaihi  wa  sallam,  did  the  funeral  prayer  for  the  Negus when  news  of  that  noble  man’s  death  reached  him.  (The  incident is  reported  in  the  Sahih  of  Muslim.)  The  help  that  the  emigrant Muslims  received  from  the  non-Muslim  Christians  of  Abyssinia was  not  of  a  military  nature,  not  a  part  or  phase  of  a  military campaign.

In  sum,  there  is  no  permissible  alliance  in  fighting  between Muslims  and  non-Muslims.  (That  it  may  have  happened  in  the later  periods  of  Muslim  history  does  not  make  it  permissible  since these  periods  of  history  have  no  value  except  as  negative precedents,  teaching  us  what  not  to  do.)  The  reason  that  the Muslims  do  not  fight  alongside  the  kuffaar  is  that  they  have altogether  different  aims  –  one  springing  from  iman,  the  other from  kufr.  And  about  this  reason  there  cannot  be  the  slightest dispute  –  it  is  given  in  the  Qur’an  (an-Nisa;  4.76):  Those  who believe  do  battle  for  the  cause  of  Allah,  and  those  who  disbelieve do  battle  for  the  cause  of  idols…  The  Prophet,  sallallahu  ‘alaihi wa  sallam,  was  asked  in  regard  to  people  fighting  to  get  booty  or a  reputation  for  bravery  or  for  various  other  reasons:  ‘Who  is fighting  fi  sabil  Allah  (in  the  way  of  Allah).?’  The  Prophet  said: ‘Whoever  fights  to  cause  the  word  of  Allah  to  be  the  highest,  he  is fighting  fi  sabil-Allah’.  (This  hadith  is  recorded  in  all  major collections;  in  the  version  in  Muslim’s  Sahih  among  the  reasons not  acceptable  are  al-hamiyyah  al-jahiliyyah  (pagan  tribal  pride) and riya’ (vainglory, pretension).)

All  the  kuffaar,  whether  of  the  ex-Communist  East  or  the ex-Christian/Jewish  West,  fight  for  the  wrong  reasons  –  for control  of  populations  (labour  resources)  and  raw  materials,  for national  glory,  for  arrogant  dominion,  or  for  the  love  of  violence, the  excitement  of  defeating  others  and  displaying  massive  force  – like  the  Pharaohs  and  all  other  tyrants  throughout  history.  None  of their  purposes  can  ever  be  fi  sabil  Allah.  It  follows  that  there  can never  be  a  purpose  common  to  believing  Muslims  and unbelievers  which  might  lead  Muslims  to  fight  alongside  and/or under the  direction of  non-Muslims.”

“The  nature  of  the  alliance  between  the  kuffar  of  the  West  and  the rulers  of  Saudi  Arabia  has  three  defining  characteristics.  Let  us now  examine  these  characteristics  in  the  light  of  the  Qur’an  and Sunnah: ¨ 

that  the  alliance  constitutes  a  joining  of  forces  between  the kuffar  and  the  Munaafiqun,  the  unbelievers  and  the hypocrites.  The  Munaafiqun  are  those  who  pretend  to  rule according  to  Islam  but  in  reality  have  an  alliance  with  the kuffar  by  which  they  are  maintained  in  prestige,  power  and privilege.  It  is  an  historical  fact  that  the  power  of  the  Saudi royal  family  was  established  by  the  British  who  paid  King ‘Abdul  ‘Aziz  regular  salary  and  surrounded  him  with  ‘advisers and  helpers’,  notably  the  notorious  British  spy,  John  Philby. Such an alliance  and collaboration is  indicated in the Qur’an:

Convey  to  the  hypocrites  the  news  that  for  them  there  is  a painful  doom  –  those  who  choose  unbelievers  for  their  allies instead  of  believers!  Do  they  look  for  Power  at  their  hands when surely all power belongs to Allah? (an-Nisa’, 4:138-9)

¨  that  their  relationship  is  not  one  of  equals  but  of  master  and servant. The  psychology  of  willing  servitude  to human masters is  such  that,  inevitably,  the  servants  do  more  to  ingratiate themselves  with  their  masters,  more  even  than  is  asked, becoming  ever  more  eager  to  please.  In  the  end,  they  not  only betray  their  religion,  their  nation,  but little  by  little  acquire  the habit  of  vilifying  both  religion  and  nation  by  word  and  deed, and  lose  all  sense  of  judgement  and  decency  until,  in  the  case of  the  Saudi  princes  and  princesses,  they  have  become  the source  of  contempt in the world.

¨  that  there  is  a  powerful  tendency  for  the  wrong-doers  and  the corrupt  to  be  attracted  to  one  another  so  that  they  flock supporting  each  other  in  their  wrong-doing  and  corruption. This condition is  described in the  Qur’an: Now  We  have  set  you  on  a  clear  road  of  authority,  so  follow it,  and  do  not  follow  the  caprices  (ahwa’)  of  those  who  do not  know.  Surely  they  can  do  nothing  to  help  you  with Allah;  and  surely  the  wrong-doers,  they  are  allies  of  each other,  whereas  Allah  is  the  ally  of  those  who  have  taqwa (al-Jathiyah, 45:18-19).

The  corruption  of  the  rulers  of  Saudi  Arabia  has  four  major attributes.  Firstly,  their  rule  is  dynastic,  in  a  fashion  very  similar to that of the  Umayyads:  
(We  differ  with  the  author  on  the  issue  of  ‘dynastic’  rule.

Monarchy  is  not  haraam  in  Islam.  Allah  Ta’ala  Himself  had established  monarchy.  The  Qur’aan  informs  that  Allah  Ta’ala had  created  Ambiya  and  kings  among  Bani  Israaeel.  If  a  king rules  according  to  the  Shariah,  then  he  will  be  a  just  and  a  pious Vicegerent  of  Allah  Ta’ala.  He  will  be  a  legitimate  Khaleefah  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The  Ummayyad  Dynasty had  produced  one  of  the  finest  Rulers  the  world  had  ever witnessed,  viz.,  Hadhrat  Umar  Bin  Abdul  Azeez  (rahmatullah alayh) who is known as Umar The Second.

Islamic  government  is  an  autocracy.  The  Khaleefah,  whether  he is  a  monarch  or  one  appointed  by  a  small  group  of  elite  Muslims, will  be  the  legitimate  ruler  of  the  Ummah  if  his  khilaafate  is according  to  the  Shariah.  The  reign  of  the  Khulafa-e-Raashideen was  autocratic.  They  were  not  appointed  the  Rulers  on  the  basis of universal suffrage which is alien to Islam. 

Western  democracy  is  a  haraam  system  which  Islam  does  not tolerate.  The  First  Four  Khulafa  were  autocrats.  After  them,  all the  Khulafa  who  rules  the  Islamic  empire  were  monarchs  of  three dynasties  –  Ummayad, Abbaside  and Ottoman.  —  The  Majlis)

they  have  appointed  for  themselves  the  worst  of  advisors,  and  go far  beyond  the  Umayyads  in  favouring  members  of  their  own family.  The  injustice  and  illegitimacy  of  their  government  is  such that  they  can  trust  no  one  else  and  so  are  obliged  to  trust  the  least trustworthy  in  their  kingdom,  themselves.  (One  American  official is  reputed  to  have  remarked  that  the  Gulf  States  were  the  only countries  he  knew  of  where  it  was  considered  unremarkable  that all  senior  and  junior  ministers  should  have  the  same  surname.) The  purpose  of  this  favouritism  is  not  to  exploit  the  special  talents or  patriotism  of  a  particular  family,  but  simply  to  retain  all  wealth and  power  of  patronage  within  one  group,  like  a  family  business. The  Western  powers,  having  engineered  this  situation,  are, naturally,  very  content  with  it.  It  enables  them  to  control,  through the  privileged  family,  the  wealth  and  resources  of  the  whole nation.  The  tyranny  of  the  Saudis  is  described  in  the  West  as  a force  for  moderation  and  stability.  But  anyone  who  has  lived there  knows  that  the  Saudi  government  is  a  hukm  al-Jahiliyyah;  it is very  far  removed indeed from having  any  Islamic  character.

Secondly,  there  is  no  shura  or  consultation  in  the  Saudi government,  nor  any  justice.  Their  rule  is  based  on  strict  policing and  coercion,  on  massive  bribery,  and  on  the  ‘protection’  of  the kuffar.  Violation  of  even  minimal  human  rights  is  widespread  – the  Shi’a  minority  (who  are  the  majority  in  the  main  oil-producing region  of  the  country)  have  been  continually  victimised  for  years with  many  well-documented  cases  of  brutal  tortures  and  killings. More  recently,  there  was  the  case  of  the  expulsion  of  more  than 600,000  Yamanis  for  no  fault  of  their  own,  but  simply  because the  Yamani  government  had  refused  to  support  the  kuffar  in  their war against  Iraq.

Thirdly,  the  Saudis  have  consistently  followed  the  policies,  both domestic  and  foreign,  dictated  to  them  by  the  Americans,  even when  these  policies  are  obviously  anti-Islamic.  For  example,  the Saudis  gave  support  to  Islamic  movements  when  these  were judged  by  the  Americans  to  weaken  the  forces  of  Arab nationalism.  Then,  when  the  Americans  judged  that  the  danger  to their  interests  was  from  the  Islamic  movements,  the  Saudis switched  their  support  to  the  Arab  nationalists,  now  regarded  as ‘moderates’.  This  is  precisely  what  has  happened  in  Algeria. Again,  in  Sudan,  now  that  the  Islamic  movement  has  become established  there,  the  Saudis  have  been  instructed  to  support  the animist/Christian  rebels  in  the  south  of  that  country  against  the Muslims,  and  they  are  doing  so.  Similarly,  as  the  battle  lines become  clearer,  the  Saudis  have  been  advised  to  give  visible support  to  the  cause  of  ‘peace  in  the  region’  which  is  a  euphemism for  supporting  the  Israelis  who,  able  to  cope  with  Arabs  fighting as  nationalists,  are  unable  to  cope  with  the  resistance  of  Arabs fighting  as Muslims.  ”


It  should  now  be  clear  to  any  Muslim  reader  that  the  aim  of  these new  centres  of  Orientalist  study  of  Islam  are  pernicious,  and incurably  so.  It  is  no  good  hoping  that,  in  time,  with  longer  and still  more  patient  surrender  to  the  perspectives  and  purposes  of secularists  and  missionaries,  somehow  Islam  will  finally  come  to be  tolerated  in  the  Western  world.  It  will  not.  It  is  no  good  hoping that  because,  as  patron  of  the  Oxford  Centre  for  ‘Islamic  Studies’, Prince  Charles,  the  future  head  of  the  Church  of  England,  has stood  in  the  Sheldonian  Theatre  in  Oxford  University  [These words  were  written  before  the  Prince  gave  his  Oxford  lecture (October  27th,  1993).]  to  appeal  for  mutual  understanding between  ‘Islam  and  the  West’,  that  with  this  a  new  era  of  mutual understanding  has  really  been  ushered  in.  Far  from  it.  All  that  is likely,  if  we  learn  anything  from  the  history  of  the  past  or  from present  realities,  is  that  Muslims  will  be  required  to  accommodate themselves  economically,  politically,  socially  and  morally,  to  the norms  which  the  West  perceives  it  necessary  to  maintain  for  the preservation of  its dominance  in the  world.

The  first  duty  of  Muslims  is  to  find  out  what  threatens  the  Ummah, how  the  threat  is  managed,  what  its  dimensions  and  resources  are. I  have,  insha  Allah,  gone  some  way  towards  that  in  this  book. However,  it  does  not  suffice  to  only  know  what  is  wrong,  and  feel badly  about  it.  It  is  a  part  of  Muslim  conscience  to  take  the  next necessary  steps  –  to  proclaim  and  publish  that  which  is  wrong  so that  people  are  widely  informed  of  the  danger  that  surrounds them,  and  the  will  begins  to  form  in  the  community  to  do something  about  it.  Any  Muslim  who  reads  this  book  and,  after due  consideration,  agrees  with  the  general  tenor  of  its  argument, is  duty-bound  as  a  Muslim  to  inform  other  Muslims,  in  particular imams,  scholars,  teachers  and  students  and  any  others  who  have influence  in  the  community.  More  than  that,  a  Muslim  reader  is bound  to  make  the  effort  to  be  persuasive;  that  is  to  persist  in  the task of  proclaiming  and informing.

The  further  duty  is  to  put  right  that  which  is  wrong.  In  this  case, that  means  sitting  down  with  like-minded  Muslims  to  discuss,  and then  establish,  ways  of  getting  the  appropriate  education  to Muslims, of giving  them  access to  Islamic  perspectives on  Islamic history  and  civilization.  Large  funds  prestige  and  power  will  be denied  to  any  Muslim  who  try  to  do  this.  That  much  can  be anticipated  with  confidence.  However,  in  most  countries  Muslims are  free  to  organise  informally  in  small  circles,  to  learn  the  Qur’an and  Sunnah,  to  invite  informed  speakers,  and  to  read  in  Islamic history.  Such  humble  programmes,  intelligently  and  patiently followed  through  –  not  simply  begun  and  then  let  drop  at  the  first or  second  hurdle  could  eventually  lead,  as  Allah  wills,  to  the establishment  of  an  informal  institution  for  higher  learning  which by  intelligent  association  with  recognised  Muslim  institutions  in Muslim  countries  could  begin  to  function  as  a  formal,  reliable route  for  the  training  of  Muslim  scholars  of  the  future.  This  is  a way  that  requires  much  sacrifice  –  especially  for  the  young.  It  can be  difficult  to  turn  down  the  attractions  of  prestige  and  financial reward  that  Western  academic  institutions  can  offer  to  Muslim scholars  who  will  fit  in  with  them.  But  Muslims  able  to  make such  sacrifices  must  be  found  if  the  pernicious  influence  of  this new  breed  of  Orientalist  centres,  partly  staffed  by  Muslim collaborators  and  partly  funded  by  nominally  Muslim governments, is to be  countered effectively.

The  Qur’an  has  warned  quite  unequivocally  about  the  intentions of  the People  of the  Book:

Many  of  the  People  of  the  Book  want  to  make  you  unbelievers after  you  have  believed,  through  the  envy  from  their  own  selves, and  after  the  truth  has  been  made  clear  to  them  (al-Baqarah, 2:109)
And  the  Jews  will  not  be  pleased  with  you,  nor will  the  Christians, until  you  follow  their  religion.  Say:  ‘Surely,  the  guidance  from Allah  is  the  [only  right]  guidance.’  And  if  you  follow  their  desires after  the  knowledge  which  has  come  to  you,  then  you  will  find  in Allah  no protecting ally  or helper.  (al-Baqarah, 2:120)

But  Allah  has  also  said  in  His  Book  that  the  believers  should  not be  intimidated  by  the  apparent  power  of  the  enemies  of  Islam  nor by  their  seeming  to  be  so  united  in  their  opposition  to  Islam.  They seek  to  wage  war  and  destruction  from  positions  they  think  are impregnable.  In  reality,  they  are  weak  and  divided  amongst themselves and their  modes of thinking  lack true  discernment:

They  will  not  fight  against  you  in  a  body  save  in  well-fortified places  or  from  behind  walls.  Their  enmity  amongst  themselves  is very  great.  You  think  of  them  as  a  unified  body  whereas  their hearts  are  at  odds  [with  one  another].  That  is  because  they  are people who lack  intelligence.  (al-Hashr, 59:14)

The  circumstances  in  which  believers  presently  find  themselves, the  odds  against  them,  enemies  within  and  without  –  all  these  are tests  and  proofs  of  the  quality  of  belief.  For  it  is  not  sufficient  for believers  to  claim,  ‘We  believe’,  and  then  suppose  that  that  claim would not be put to the  test:

Do  people  imagine  that  they  will  be  left  [to  live  in  ease]  because they  say  ‘We  believe’,  and  will  not  be  tested  with  hardship?  (al’Ankabut, 29:2)

wal-hamdu li-llahi rabbi l-alamin.


Supporters  of  the  Oxford  Centre  for `Islamic  Studies’,  and  of  the general  policy  of  facilitating  collaboration  between  Muslim scholars  and  Orientalists  and  missionaries,  have  been  promoted  to influential  positions  in  Saudi  Arabia.  A  few  specific  examples are:

1. ‘Abdullah  Naseef:  promoted  by  King  Fahd  to  the  post  of Deputy  Chairman  of  the  majlis  ash-Shura,  the  so-called consultative assembly.

2. ‘Abdullah  al-Turki:  promoted  to  Minister  of  the  newly-created  Ministry  of  Islamic  Affairs.  (He  recently  held  a conference  in  London  for  Da’wah,  in which papers  were  delivered encouraging collaboration with Orientalists.)

By  contrast,  those  who  have  had  the  courage  to  speak  out against  Saudi  policy,  especially  against  Saudi  Government violations of human rights, were  dismissed from their posts  and/or arrested  and imprisoned.

Arrested  and  imprisoned

3.  Dr.  Safar  al-Hawali,  formerly  Head  of  ‘Aqidah  Department  of Umm  al-Qura  University,  and  author  of  a  long  published  letter  to Shaikh  Bin  Baz,  in  which  he  objects  to  the  occupation  of  the  holy lands  by  the  kuffar,  was  deprived  of  his  passport,  dismissed  from his post and imprisoned.

4. Dr  Ahmad  Tuwaijri,  Professor  of  Education  at  the  King Saud University.

5. Dr  ‘Abdul  ‘Aziz  al-Wuhaibi,  Professor  of  Physics  at  the King  Saud University.

6.  Dr  Sa’d  al-Faqih,  Assistant  Professor,  Faculty  of  Medicine  at the King  Saud University.

7. Dr  Muhsin  al-‘Awaji,  Assistant  Professor,  Faculty  of Agriculture, at the  King  Saud University.

8. Dr  Salih  al-Wuhaibi,  Lecturer  in  Literature  at  the  King Saud University.

Dismissed  from  their  posts,  their  telephones  and  faxes  cut, their  work  stopped  for  forming  the  Committee  for  the Defence  of  Legitimate  Rights under  the  Shad’ah:

9. Dr  Muhammad  al-Mas’ari,  Professor  of  Physics,  at  the King  Saud  University,  and  the  CDLR  spokesman,  who  is  now seeking  political asylum  in Britain  (see  ch.3 footnote  2)

10.  Shaikh  ‘Abdullah  al-Mas’ari,  his  father,  a  retired  judge  and former  head of the  Board  of Complaints (Diwan alMazalim).

11.  Dr  ‘Abdullah  al-Hamad,  Professor  at  the  Imam  University, Riyad, a  university  dedicated to  Islamic  studies.

12.  Dr  ‘Abdullah  al-Tuwaijri,  Professor  at  the  Imam  University, Riyad.

13.  Hamad  al-Sulayfih,  senior  officer  in  the  Ministry  of Education.

14.  Shaikh  ‘Abdullah  al-Jibrin,  senior  member,  under  Shaikh  Bin Baz,  of  the  administration  of  research  and  fatwa.  Sulayman  al-Rashudi,  a  lawyer  whose  office  was  shut  down,  preventing  him from working. ”


Cursing  those  who  initiate  and  aid  efforts  which  minimise  the exclusivity  and  the  absolute  Truth  of  Tauheed  by  placing  it  on  par with  kufr  ideologies,  the  Qur’aan  warns: 

“Verily,  those  who conceal  that  which  We  have  revealed  of  the  Clear  Signs  and Guidance  after  We  have  explained  it  to  the  people  in  the  Kitaab, indeed  Allah  has  cursed  them  and  all  those  who  curse,  curse (them as well).” (Aayat 159, Surah Baqarah)

Allah  Ta’ala  curses  the  participants  of  the  inter-faith  plot,  and so  do  all  sincere  Muslims  who  understand  the  far-reaching  evil consequences of these joint-propagation programmes.  Instead  of  watering  down  the  stance  of  Tauheed,  the  Qur’aan commands  Muslims  to  say: 

“Verily  those  who  commit  kufr  and die  whilst  they  are  kuffaar,  on  them  is  the  curse  of  Allah,  of  the Angels and of all people.” (Surah Baqarah, Aayat 162)

The  apologist  modernists,  half-baked  molvis  and  sheikhs  in  a futile  and  puerile  attempt  to  justify  the  common  platform  of  equal tableegh  for  all  ideologies  and  false  religions  seek  to  appease  the kuffaar  with  the  Aayat: 

“Your  God  and  our  God  is  One  God.”

They  stop  in  the  middle  of  this  aayat,  concealing  the  full  Truth and,  like  dumb  shayaateen  maintain  silence  on  the  evil  beliefs  of trinity  and  idolatry  which  are  never  associated  with  “Our  God” Whom the  very  same  Aayat fully  describes  as follows:

“And,  your God is The  One  God.  There  is no  god  but He,  Who  is  Ar-Rahmaan,  Ar-Raheem.” (Surah Baqarah,  Aayat  163)

Seeing Allah in Dreams

Is it possible to see Allah in a dream? It is reported from Imam Abu Hanifa and others that they saw Allah in a dream, is that true?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The position of the mainstream Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah (Asha’ira and Maturidiyya) is that the vision of Allah Most High with the eyes of the head is rationally (aqlan) possible and that the believers will be blessed with this vision in the hereafter. This vision, however, will be without encompassment (ihata) or delimitation (tahdid) within any given limit (hadd), whether from the front, the back, above, below, right, or left. Allah Most High will be seen (unlike any material being) not in place or in a direction so far as being confronted, nor by the conjunction of the rays of light, nor by a certain definite distance between the one who sees and Allah.

In other words, the believers will see Allah Most High in Paradise without our specifying how and in a manner Allah knows best. It is impossible and wrong to draw analogy for the unseen from the seen. This vision of Allah is certainly unlike the vision of material things in this world, for vision in this world requires the seen to be in a place, direction, at a specific distance, etc, whilst the vision of Allah Most High in the hereafter will be free from such restrictions. Allah Most High will enable the believers to see His esteemed self. (Culled from Mulla Ali al-Qari’s Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar P: 245-246, Taftazani’s Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya P: 131, Nuh Ali Suleyman’s commentary on Jawhara al-Tawhid P: 113 and Bajuri’s commentary on the Jawhara P: 114)

The above is the position that the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah scholars have always maintained. The Mu’tazila and some other groups such as the Shi’a held that Allah Most High could not be seen at all, even on the Day of Resurrection or in Paradise. They interpreted certain verses of the Qur’an erroneously, rejected some sound hadiths claiming that such vision necessitated a physical body for Allah and a direction, which He Most High is free from. However, the position of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah is supported by many evidences of the Qur’an and Sunnah, of which some are presented below:

1) Allah Most High says:

“Some faces, that day, will beam (in brightness and beauty), looking towards their Lord.”(Surah al-Qiyama, V: 22-23)

2) Allah Most High says regarding the Prophet Sayyiduna Musa (Peace be upon him):

“When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: “O my Lord! Show (Yourself) to me, that I may look upon You.” Allah said: “By no means can you see Me (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abides in its place, then you shall see Me…” (Surah al-A’raf, V: 143)

In the above verse, Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him) requested to see Allah Most High. Had the vision of Allah been impossible, the request of Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him) would have been out of ignorance or foolishness or he would be making a request for the impossible, whereas all the Prophets of Allah are far removed from such things. Secondly, Allah Most High connected the vision with the abiding of the mountain firm in its place, which is something that is possible in itself. Hence, that which is connected to the possible is also possible. (Taftazani and Nasafi, Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya, P: 127-128)

3) Allah Most High says:

“There will be for them therein (in Paradise) all that they wish, and more besides in Our presence.”(Surah Qaf, V: 35)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) interpreted “more” saying that it referred to the vision of Allah Most High. (Narrated by Muslim and others)

4) Allah Most High says regarding the disbelievers:

“Verily, from their Lord, that Day, will they be veiled.”(Surah al-Mutaffifin, V: 15)

This verse explains that the disbelievers will be deprived from the vision of Allah; hence by contrast, it implies that the believers will be blessed with this vision. Thus, Sayyiduna Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Allah Most High’s veiling Himself from a people (disbelievers) due to His displeasure indicates that a group (believers) will see Him due to His pleasure. By Allah, had Muhammad ibn Idrees (Shafi’i himself) not been convinced that he will see his Lord in the hereafter, he would not have worshipped him in this world!” (Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid)

5) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the people (companions) said: “O Messenger of Allah! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?” He replied: “Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear (not cloudy) night?” They replied: “No, O Messenger of Allah” He said: “Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?” They replied in the negative. He said: “You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way….” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 773)

6) Sayyiduna Jarir ibn Abd Allah (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that we were sitting in the company of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) on a fourteenth night (of the lunar month), and he looked at the (full) moon and said: “You will see your Lord as you see this moon. You have no trouble in looking at it. So, whoever can should not miss the offering of prayers before sunrise (Fajr prayer) and before sunset (Asr prayer).” Then the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) recited: “And celebrate the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 4570 and others)

7) Moreover, the occurrence of the vision of Allah has been narrated from Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna Huzayfa ibn al-Yaman, Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud, Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas, Sayyiduna Abu Musa al-Ash’ari and many others (Allah be pleased with them all). No Companion (sahabi) of the Messenger of Allah is reported to have rejected the vision of Allah; hence there is complete consensus of the Companions on this. (Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya, P: 131 & Tuhfat al-Murid Sharh al-Jawhara, P: 115)

As far as the verse “Visions comprehend Him not, but He comprehends (all) vision” (6: 139) is concerned, it refers to encompassing Allah Most High with our vision. Vision and encompassment are two different things, the latter is rejected in this verse, in that the visions of humans will not be able to encompass Allah most High (even in the hereafter), whilst the former (vision) has been proven in many verses of the Qur’an and many Hadiths. (ibid)

The vision of Allah Most High in this world

The above few evidences were relating to the possibility of seeing Allah and the believers seeing Him Most High in the hereafter. As far as seeing Allah Most High in this world is concerned, there are two situations here. Seeing Him whist awake and secondly seeing Him in sleep.

a) Seeing Allah whilst awake

There is, more or less, a consensus amongst the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah scholars that, though logically possible, nobody is able to see Allah Most High in this world in the state of being awake. However, there is a difference of opinion as to whether the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw Allah Most High in the night of ascension (me’raj) or not.

The renowned Hadith scholar and Hanafi jurist, Mulla Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“There is an agreement among the Muslims (scholars) that no believer will see Allah Most High with his eyes in this world. The scholars only differed with regards to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) seeing Allah during his ascension to the heavens.” (Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, P: 354)

Mulla Ali al-Qari then said, there is a consensus on the fact that the vision of Allah cannot take place in this world for other than the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). He quoted Ibn al-Salah and Abu Shama saying that the one who claims to have seen Allah whilst being awake will not be believed, for this (vision of Allah whilst being awake) is something that even Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him) was prevented from when Allah Most High said to him: “By no means can you see Me”. However, there is a difference of opinion whether this vision occurred for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). (ibid)

Some scholars went to the extent of considering such a person, who claims to have seen Allah whilst awake, a Kafir, although most scholars were precautions and did not consider such a person to be an outright Kafir. However, there is no doubt that this person will be considered to have severely deviated. (ibid) Hence, no individual (besides the Messenger of Allah) is able to see Allah Most High whilst being awake in this mortal world.

As far as the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is concerned, the Companions differed as to whether he (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw Allah in the night of Isra’ and Me’raj or not. Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas and others (Allah be pleased with them all) related that he did, whilst Sayyida A’isha, Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud and others (Allah be pleased with them all) were of the opinion that he did not see Allah with the eyes of his head during his ascension to the heavens. As a result, the scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah also have conflicting views on this issue.

Imam al-Bukhari relates that Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said regarding the statement of Allah: “And We granted the vision (Ascension to the heavens) which We showed you, but as a trial for men…” (17.60): He said: “The sights which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was shown on the night he was taken to Bayt al-Maqdis (i.e. Jerusalem) were actual sights, (not dreams). And the cursed tree (mentioned) in the Qur’an is the tree of Zaqqum.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 3675)

Imam Tirmidhi has also related some narrations from Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) wherein he states that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did see his Lord in the night of Isra’ and Me’raj. (See: Sunan Tirmidhi, chapter on the commentary of the Qur’an, Surah al-Najm)

On the other hand, Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) has rigorously denied that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw Allah Most High with the eyes of his head. The following is the narration expressing her viewpoint:

Imam al-Bukhari (Allah have mercy on him) narrates from Masruq that the latter said: “I said to A’isha: “O my mother! Did Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace) see his Lord?” She replied: “My hair stands on end because of what you said. Have you no idea of three things? Whoever tells them to you is lying. Whosoever tells you that Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw his Lord, is lying.” She then recited: “Visions comprehend Him not, but He comprehends (all) vision. He is the Subtle, the Aware” and “And it is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil”. (Secondly), whosoever tells you that he knows what shall happen tomorrow is lying.” She then recited: “No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow” And (thirdly) whosoever tells you that he (Allah bless him & give him peace) concealed something, is lying.” She then recited: “O Messenger. Proclaim the (message) which has been sent to you from your Lord”. “However, he (Allah bless him & give him peace) did see (the angel) Jibra’il (peace be upon him) in his actual form twice.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 4574).

Some scholars explained that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) had a vision with the eyes of the heart, and not with the eyes of his head. This is elucidated by Ibn Abbas’ other narrations in Sahih Muslim and elsewhere where he said: “He saw him with his heart.” Hence, in this way, the two opinions may be reconciled. (Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, 8/430)

Imam al-Bajuri (Allah have mercy on him) said that the preferred position according to the Ulama is that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did see his Lord in the night of al-Isra’ and al-Me’raj with the eyes of his head. The Hadith of Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) will be given preference over the position of Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her), as the principle states “Affirmation (ithbat) takes precedence over the negation (nafi)”. Hence, the position of Ibn Abbas and others (Allah be pleased with them all) will be given preference and it will be said that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was blessed with the vision of his Lord in the night of al-Isra’ and al-Me’raj. (Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid, P: 117-118)

The best statement on the issue is of Shaykh Muhyi al-Din ibn Arabi (Allah have mercy on him). He said: This world is that which is below the heavens and anything above the heavens is considered to be part of the next world (akhira). Hence, the vision of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) will not be considered a vision of this world; rather it is a vision of the next world, and there is no disagreement concerning the vision of the hereafter. Hence, this vision of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was also a type of the vision of the hereafter. (See: Ma’arif al-Qur’an, 3/412)

b) Seeing Allah in a dream

As far as the vision of Allah Most High in a dream is concerned, Imam al-Taftazani (Allah have mercy on him) states in his commentary of Imam Nasafi’s al-Aqa’id:

“As far as the vision of Allah in sleep is concerned, it is something that has been related from many predecessors (salaf). And there is no doubt that this is a type of observation by the heart rather than the eye.” (Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya, P: 135)

Mulla Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) states in his renowned Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar:

“The majority of the scholars are of the view that the vision of Allah Most High in sleep is possible, without any given description of modality (kayfiyya), direction (jiha) or quiddity (hay’a). It is recorded that Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) said: “I saw Allah Most High 99 times whilst asleep.” Then he saw Him the hundredth time also, the story of which is long and not feasible to be mentioned here. It is recorded that Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him) said: “I saw Allah Most High in a dream, I said: “O Lord! How is it possible to achieve closeness to You?” He replied: “By the recitation of my speech (Qur’an).” I said: “O Lord! Recitation with understanding or (even) without understanding?” He replied: “With or without understanding.” It is also narrated from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) that he said: “I saw my Lord in my sleep.” Hence, the vision of Allah in sleep is recorded from many predecessors (salaf) and it is a type of observation by the heart observed by noble people…” (Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, P: 356-357)

Imam al-Bajuri (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“As far as seeing Allah Most High in sleep, it is narrated from Qadhi Iyadh that there is no difference of opinion regarding its occurrence and truth, for the Satan cannot take the form of Allah Most High like he cannot take the form of the Prophets (peace be upon them)….. (Tuhfat al-Murid, P: 118)

The above-mentioned few texts of the scholars indicate clearly that Allah Most High can be (and has been) seen in a dream. It is something that His noble and pious servants are blessed with, and one cannot deny its occurrence. Indeed some Ulama did deny the possibility of seeing Allah in sleep, but that is a minority position not accepted by the majority of the scholars.

Imam al-Bajuri (Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned some additional notes regarding the vision of Allah in sleep in his commentary ofJawhara al-Tahid.

He states that, if one sees Allah in a manner that is not impossible for Allah, then one has surely seen Him. However, if one sees Him in a form that is impossible for Him such as seeing Him in a form of a specific individual, then that is not Allah rather it is the creation of Allah, and the dream will need to be interpreted by those qualified to do so. Some scholars said that even in such a case, one did actually see Allah, but the form seen is not the reality of Allah; rather, it is reflecting the mind of the one having the vision. (Tuhfat al-Murid Sharh Jawhara al-Tawhid, P: 118)

Imam Ibn Sirin (Allah have mercy on him), a major classical scholar considered to be a master in the science of interpreting dreams, states in his renowned book, The Interpretation of Dreams: (This book incidentally covers over 900 dreams with their meanings explained. It explains what facts are to be taken into account when interpreting a dream, when is a dream regarded as true or false, etc.)

“Sayyiduna Daniyal (peace be upon him) relates that if a believer was to see Allah Most High in his dream unequalled and incomparable, as is related in the verses of the Qur’an and in the Hadiths, he will be blessed with the magnificent sight of Allah Most High (in the hereafter) and his needs will also be fulfilled. If an individual was to see a dream in a manner that he was standing before Allah Most High and that He Most High was watching him, then the dream is a sign of his piety and spiritual well-being. He will be chosen for forgiveness, and if he is sinful he will repent.” (Ta’bir al-Ru’ya, P: 67)

Imam Ibn Sirin then goes on to mention many types of dreams in which one sees Allah Most High and gives their interpretations. For example, if one sees that Allah Most High is talking secretly with one, then this means one is close to Allah Most High. If one sees that Allah Most High is advising one and giving one Nasiha, then this alludes to the fact that Allah Most High is not completely happy with one’s actions. A glad tiding from Allah is a sign of His pleasure and admonition from Allah is a sign of His wrath and anger (ibid). For more details, one may refer to Imam Ibn Sirin’s above-mentioned book, but one should consult a reliable scholar of knowledge, piety and wisdom before coming to any sort of conclusion.

To sum up, the vision of Allah Most High is rationally possible and the believers will be blessed with this vision in the hereafter. However, no one is able to see Allah in this world whilst in a state of being awake besides the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), and regarding the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) too, there is a difference of opinion amongst the Companions (Allah be pleased with them all). As far as seeing Allah in sleep is concerned, this is possible and is related from many pious servants of Allah, saints and scholars.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam 
Darul Iftaa 
Leicester , UK


Did Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) Deny Faatimah (Radhiyallahu Anha) her Inheritance??

[Majlisul Ulama]

Shiahs accuse Hadhrat Abu Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu) of depriving  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) her inheritance. On this  issue Shiahs claim:

(a) In order to deprive Hadhrat  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) of  her inheritance, he gave  preference to his own statement,  viz. “I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) say: ’We are of  the group of the Ambiyaa. We do  not inherit from anyone nor does  anyone inherit from us.’”

(b) Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  claim is (according to Shiahs) in  conflict with the Qur’aan which says: “Allah, commands you  regarding your children. For a  male is a share of two females.”

This Aayat in its generality brings  Ambiyaa and non-Ambiyaa  within its scope.

(c) Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  action also conflicts with the  Qur`aanic Aayat: Sulaimaan also  inherited from Dawud.”

The Qur`aan also says: “Grant me from Your side an heir who will  inherit from me and inherit from  the progeny of Ya`qub.”

Thus, it is clear that the children  of Ambiyaa do inherit, i.e.  according to the Shiah claim.


This Shi`i claim and arguments  are baseless for the following reasons:

(1)  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) refusing to  comply with Hadhrat Faatimah’s (radhiyallahu anhu) request for  inheritance was on account of  the directive of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and not because of any hatred for  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) as alleged by Shiahs. If  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) had to inherit, it would  follow that the wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) were also heirs. Among  the Holy Wives, was Hadhrat  Aishah (radhiyallahu anha), the  daughter of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu). All  of them were blocked from  inheriting. In terms of Shiah logic,it would have to be said that  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) maliciously deprived all the  wives of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) including his  own daughter, Aishah  (radhiyallahu anha) of inheritance. But this is ridiculous and has no  substantiation. But Shiahs are  silent on the issue of “depriving”  Hadhrat Aishah (radhiuallahu anha) and the other wives of  inheritance to which they would  be entitled if Hadhrat Faatimah’s (radhiyallahu anha) inheritance is  conceded. If inheritance for  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) had to be conceded, then  almost half of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) estate  would have been the inheritance  of Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu), the paternal uncle. From  the very inception of the  Khilaafat, Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) was Hadhrat  Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) advisor and close companion. How can it be accepted that  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) had deprived him too of  inheritance? The claim that  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu) had relied only on his own  statement is a pure lie. According  to the books of Hadith, the  Hadith of Hadhrat Abu Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu) is
supported by the narrations of  Huzaifah Bin Yamaan, Zubair Bin  Awwaam, Abu Darda, Abu Hurairah Abbaas, Ali, Uthmaan,  Abdur Rahmaan Bin Auf and  Sa`d Bin Abi Waqqaas (radhiyallahu anhum), all senior Sahaabah. Bukhaari narrated  from Maalik Bin Uwais Bin Hadhthaan Nasri that Umar  Bin  Khattaab stated in the presence  of the Sahaabah among whom  were Ali, Abbaas, Uthmaan,  Abdur Rahmaan Bin Auf, Zubair Bin Awwaam and Sa`d Bin Abi  Waqqaas : “I give you an oath by  Allah, He with whose command  the heaven and earth operate!  Are you aware that Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:     ‘We (i.e. the Ambiyaa) have no  heirs. Whatever (assets) we leave  are Sadaqah.”  They (the  Sahaabah) said: “O Allah! Yes, so  it is.”  Then he (Umar) addressing  Ali and Abbaas, said: “I give both  of you an oath by Allah do you  know that Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) said so??”

They (Ali and Abbaas) said: “O Allah! Yes!”

Besides all these evidences of the  Ahlus Sunnah, even Shiah recordsconfirm that the Ambiyaa do not leave any estates to be inherited  by their relatives. The following  appears in Al-Kaafi, one of the most authentic books according  to the Shiahs: “Abul Bakhtari  narrates from Abi Abdullah Ja`far  Bin Muhammad Saadiq who said:  ’Verily, the Ulama are the heirs of the Ambiyaa. i.e. the Ambiyaa do  not leave inheritance.”

In one version it appears: “They  do not inherit Dinars and  Dirhams. Verily, they leave the  inheritance of their Ahaadith.  Thus, whoever takes a share of it,  has indeed taken a great Share.” In this narration of the Shiahs the term appears. This word, evenaccording to Shiahs, emphasises  the restrictive meaning, i.e.  “Only”. The sentence thus means: The Ambiyaa leave only the  inheritance of their Ahaadith  (and nothing else).

Furthermore, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) heard  the Hadith directly from  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), without the medium  of an intermediary. Hence,  assuming that he was the only  one who had heard the Hadith,  then too, following its directive  would be incumbent on him. But  as the situation stands, he was  corroborated by numerous senior  Sahaabah. For people of  knowledge, it will prove beneficial to remember the  following principle: The  categorisation of Hadith into  Mutawaatir and non-Mutawaatir  classes applies to those who did not acquire the Ahaadith directly  from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam). It does not concern those who had heard the  Ahaadith directly from the  blessed lips of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This  principle is unanimously accepted  by both Sunni‘s and Shiahs.

Thus, a person who heard the  Hadith directly from Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is  under compulsion to act  according to its directive. For him  it has greater significance than  even the Mutawaatir category.  Hence, Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu) had no need to search for  corroboration from any other sources. The Shiah claim of  Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu  anhu) narration being in conflict  with the Qur`aan is baseless and  false. The pronoun (your) in the  first Aayat (stated above) refers  to the Ummah. It is not an  address directed to Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), while  the Hadith negating inheritance  of the Ambiyaa is a specific  address directed to the Ambiyaa.  It should not be viewed as  Mukhassis (i.e. a factor which  excludes members from a  general order this is a rule relating to Usool).

Even if it is accepted to be a  Mukhassis, there is no conflict  with the Aayat because  exceptions to this very Aayat has  been made in several respects,  e.g. the Kaafir children of Muslim  parents are excluded from inheriting; similarly are murderers,and slaves.

Furthermore, according to Shiahs  their “infallible” Imaams have  prohibited some heirs from  inheriting certain items of their  (Imaam’s) estates, e.g. sword,  Qur`aan, ring and bodily  garments. These items were excluded from the Shi`i law of  inheritance and reserved for the  new Imaam (i.e. the son of the  deceased Imaam). Now, while the  Shiahs assert the invalidity of  making exceptions to the  Qur`aanic Aayat in so far as Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) is concerned, they  themselves are guilty of making  similar exceptions.

Of great significance is the  attitude and direction adopted  by Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the estate of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when he donned the  mantle of the Khilaafat. When he became Khalifah and the estate  devolved to his custody, he  excluded Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu), his children  and the wives of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) from inheriting in the estate of Nabi-e Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This is clear and glittering proof for the validity of Hadhrat  Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  action based on the Hadith he  had acquired directly from  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

If Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  had not concurred with Abu Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu) and if he was of the opinion that the latter had  erred in his decision, he (Ali)  would most certainly have  rescinded the decision when he assumed the Mantle of Khilaafat.

He would have restored the  property to those who were  allegedly the rightful heirs. But  he did nothing of the sort. He  upheld what Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) had decided  and instituted.

Let us now discuss the verse: “And Sulaimaan inherited from  Dawud.”

The Hadith pertaining to  inheritance in relation to the  Ambiyaa has already been  discussed. The Hadith explicitly  and emphatically negates  inheritance for the Ambiyaa.  Authoritative Shiah accounts  accept this fact as has already  been shown. Clearly, therefore,  this Aayat pertains to something  else. It does not have a literal  meaning. It refers to the  inheritance of Ilm and Nubuwwat as the Hadith states, not to the inheritance of tangible wealth  and property.

The Shi`i authority, Kulaini  narrates that Abu Abdullah  narrated:

“Verily, Sulaimaan inherited from  Daawud, and Muhammad  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  inherited Sulaimaan.”

This Shi`i exposition of the  relevant Aayat makes it  abundantly clear that the  meaning is inheritance of Nubuwwat, which Sulaimaan  (alayhisalaam) inherited from  Dawud (alayhisalaam).

Hadhrat Daawud (alayhissalaam)  had 19 sons. However, the Qur`aan describes only Hadhrat Sulaimaan (alayhisalaam) as the  heir of Daawud (alayhisalaam). If  the Aayat literally referred to inheritance of gold, silver and  tangible assets, it would not have  been restricted to Sulaimaan  (alayhisalaam) since all sons inherit equally. Thus, intelligence  confirms that the Aayat does  not refer to inheritance of  tangible assets. The inheritance  of Nubuwwat was restricted to  Sulaimaan (alayhissalaam).

Furthermore, it is common  knowledge that every son inheritsin his father’s estate. If the  meaning of the Aayat was  tangible assets, the statement  would have been superfluous  because the son being an heir is a known fact. But, it is  unimaginable that the Qur`aan the Word of Allah contains superfluous statements. This  further confirms that inheritance  in the context of the Aayat does  not refer to tangible assets or an estate of gold, silver, etc.

The Aayat pertaining to  Sulaimaan (alayhissalaam) lauds  the inheritance he had gained. If  this inheritance referred to gold  and silver, what is its peculiarity  and speciality? Why would the  Qur`aan laud an inheritance in  which every person on earth  participates which is common to  all men and women? This further reinforces the claim that the  inheritance in the context of the  Aayat is the inheritance of Nubuwwat.

Elsewhere, the Qur`aan Majeed  states:

“Then We made those whom We chose from Our servants to inherit the Kitaab…”

This Aayat explicitly indicates the  meaning of inheritance in  relation to the chosen servants  of Allah Ta’ala. Thus, “inheritance”  used in the Qur`aan does not  always mean the inheritance of  tangible wealth.

Regarding the verse: “He will  inherit from me and inherit from  the children of Ya`qub”, the  meaning is self- evident. Hadhrat  Zakariyya (alayhissalaam) was  supplicating for a son who would  be the Nabi after him. If the  meaning was inheritance of  tangible wealth, it will follow that  the tangible assets of the “Aal of Ya’qub” were still intact and un-distributed. But, this is absurd  since there was a span of 2,000  years between Ya`qub (alayhis  salaam) and Zakariyya (alayhis  salaam). From this lop-sided  logic of the Shiahs the conclusion is that Yahyaa  (alayhissalaam) – Hadhrat  Zakariyya’s (alayhissalaam) son – was the heir to the tangible  wealth and assets of the entire  Bani Israeel. The stupidity of this argument fallaciously raised on the basis of the Qur`aanic Aayat  is extreme.

Every person of even slight  intelligence will readily  understand that Nabi Zakariyya  (alayhissalaam) in his oldage had  supplicated for a son to succeed  him as the next Nabi. He did not  ask for a son for the purpose of  passing on the inheritance of  physical wealth – gold and silver.  Such supplication is not in  conformity with the lofty office  of Nubuwwat.

Should someone aver that the  Wives (Azwaaj-e-Muttahharaat)  inherited from Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) the  rooms which were their  respective homes, We shall respond that this argument is baseless. The rooms/homes were  not acquired by the Azwaaj-e-Muttahharaat by way of inheritance. They were the  owners of their respective homes  during the lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Some Shiahs argue that if the  law of inheritance did not apply  to Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) estate, then why were  the sword, etc. of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) given  to Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)? Indeed, the reasoning of  Shiahs is surprising. Far from  proving inheritance, the contrary  is confirmed. If the law of  inheritance was applicable, then  in terms of the Shariah, Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) would not  be Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) heir. His heirs would  have been Hadhrat Faatimah, the  Azwaaj-e-Muttahharaat and the  paternal uncle, Hadhrat Abbaas  (radhiyallahu anhum). 

The assets of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) after  his demise were in the category  of Waqf.

The Khalifah was entitled to  distribute such assets according  to his discretion. In the opinion  of the first Khalifah, these items  would serve a better purpose in  the possession of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), hence  ownership of the sword, etc. was  given to him.

Similarly, some of Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  assets were given to Zubair Bin  Awwaam (radhiyallahu anhu), the  paternal cousin of Rasulullah  (salaam alayhi wasallam). Even  Muhammad Bin Muslimah  Ansaari (radhiyallahu anhu) received some of the assets. This  further proves that the distribution of Rasulullah’s  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) assetswas not by way of inheritance.  None of the recipients were heirs  in terms of the Shariah’s law of  inheritance.


Shiahs claim that during his  lifetime Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made a gift of  Fadak to Hadhrat Faatimah ( radhiyallahu anha) However, after his demise, the Orchard was  denied to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) who had  even produced Hadhrat Ali and  Umme-Aiman (radhiyallahu anhuma) to testify in her favor. But Hadhrat Abu Bakr ( radhiyallahu anhu) rejected her  claim. She departed from him in great annoyance and anger.

There is no basis for this  accusation in any books of the  Ahlus Sunnah. Shiahs should  therefore not expect the Ahlus  Sunnah to accept such  fabrications. Regarding this matter, the following narration appears in Abu Dawud:

“ When Umar Bin Abdul Azeez  (rahmatullah alayh) became the  Khalifah, he assembled the  people of Banu Marwaan and  said: ‘Verily, Fadak belonged to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam). He would spend from it. From it he would give to the  minor children of Banu Haashim  and from it he would spend for the marriage of widows.  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) had  asked him to give the Orchard to her, but he declined. This  position remained during the  lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) until he finally departed. When Abu Bakr ( radhiyallahu anhu) became the  Khalifah, he handled Fadak as  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) had acted during his  lifetime. After Abu Bakr departed,  Umar became Khalifah. He  handled it as his two  predecessors had acted until he finally departed. Thereafter,  Marwaan took custody of it (i.e.  he it took it into his ownership).  Then it came to Umar Bin Abdul  Azeez. I reflected that Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had  refused to give it to Faatimah ( radhiyallahu anha). Hence, I have no right to it. I make you witness  that I have returned it to the  state in which it was during the  time of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam), Abu Bakr and  Umar (radhiyallahu anhum).” It is  thus conclusively established  that Fadak was never gifted to  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha).


According to both Sunnis and  Shiahs, hibah (gift) is valid only  if possession of the gifted item is taken. All sources agree that until  the end, Fadak was in  Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) possession. He utilised  it and its income according to his  discretion.

When Shiahs realised that their  claim of Fadak having been  gifted to Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) is not valid even in terms  of their own jurisprudence, some  of their scholars then fabricated  the claim that Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had  made wasiyyat (bequeathed)  Fadak to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). This claim is also baseless. There  is no evidence for this claim in  the books of the Ahlus Sunnah  nor in any authoritative book of  the Shiahs. According to Sunnis  and Shiahs, Wasiyyat (bequest) is the sister of Meeraath (inheritance). A bequest is valid  in such wealth (assets) in which  inheritance is valid. When inheritance is not valid in the  estate of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam), it follows that  wasiyyat too is not valid. Furthermore, since Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had  declared:

“Whatever  we  leave  behind  is  Sadaqah”,

The wasiyyat argument has no  validity. It is simply another  legless and desperate attempt of  Shiahs to prove what cannot be  proven in anyway whatever. If for  a moment it is accepted that  wasiyyat was made and it is valid,  then what prevented Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) from  rectifying the position during his  Khilaafat? In fact, he continued to utilise the income of Fadak in  the same way as his predecessors  had done. According to the wasiyyat argument of the Shiahs,  it follows that Hadhrat Ali ( radhiyallahu anhu), their first “infallible” Imaam, had deprived  Hadhrat Hasan, Hadhrat Hussein  and their sisters from their  rightful inheritance, viz. Fadak,  the “property” of the mother,  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) according to the Shiahs. Shiahs have tried to respond to  this charge and argument of the  Ahlus Sunnah in four ways as follows:

(1)  The Ahle-Bait do not take  back usurped property. In  support it is said that after the  conquest of Makkah, Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did  not the take his usurped house  from the usurper. This argument  falls flat because Hadhrat Umar  Bin Abdul Azeez (rahmatullah  alaih) had handed Fadak to  Imaam Baaqir (rahmatullah alaih)  who was the “infallible” Imaam of  the Shiahs. He accepted it.  Thereafter it went into the  custody of the Abbaasi Khulafa.  In 220 A.H., the Abbaasi Khalifah,  Ma`moon instructed his governor, Qusham Bin Ja`far to  hand over Fadak to the children  of Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha).  Imaam Ali (the Imaam of the  time) accepted it.

Then the Abbaasi Khalifah,  Mutawakkil re-possessed Fadak.  The Abbaasi Khalifah, Mu`tahid  once again returned it. Muktafi,  the Abbaasi Khalifah, then  re-possessed it, only to be returned  by Muqtadir.

Qaadhi Nurullah has explained  the episode of Fadak in detail in  Majaalisul Mu`mineen. The falsity  of the Shiah assertion is thus  manifest. Also, why did Hadhrat  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) attempt  to retrieve his shield from the  Jew who had usurped it? Yet  Shiahs claim that the Ahle-Bait  do not retake usurped property!

(2)  In not taking back Fadak,  Shiahs say that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) followed in  the footsteps of Hadhrat  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). Since she did not derive benefit  from it, he too refused to acquire  its benefit. This argument too is  baseless. Others whom the  Shiahs consider to be their  infallible Imaams, had derived  benefit from Fadak. Why did they not deem it necessary to follow  in the footsteps of Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anhu)?

Let Shiahs answer: Was it  compulsory to follow Hadhrat  Faatimah’s action or not? If it  was Fardh (compulsory), then  the other Imaams who had taken  Fadak and its benefits were guilty of abandoning a Fardh. Why did  they do this? Yet they are  supposed to be infallible. If  following Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) in this matter was optional (not Fardh), then it follows that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) abandoned an obligatory Shar`i  demand for the sake of an  optional act. It is Fardh to restore  the right (Haqq) of the rightful owners. But, in terms of Shi`i  logic, Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) failed in the execution of  this obligatory demand. The  argument of the Shiahs is indeed  stupid. According to them, Fadak  was usurped and denied to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). Thus, she had no option in  the matter. She did not  voluntarily refuse acceptance of  the benefits of Fadak. How can  Hadhrat Ali’s abstention be argued on the basis of something which was not in the control of  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha)?

(3)  Shiahs say that the  testimony of Hadhrat Ali  (radhiyallahu anhu) in favour of  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) was not for personal gain,  but was for the sake of Allah  Ta`ala. Firstly, it has already been  mentioned that the story of  Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  testifying is a Shiah fabrication.

Secondly, according to Shiahs,  the orchard of Fadak was  usurped, hence the need for  Hadhrat Faatimah, Hadhrat  Ali  and Umme-Aiman (radhiyallahu  anhum) to testify. Now if we  accept this fabrication as being the truth, why did Hadhrat Ali  and Hadhrat Faatimah attempt  to re-possess usurped  property?  According to Shiahs, the  Ahle-Bait do not take what has been  usurped. They Shiahs indeed trip  and fall all over the show in the  contradictions which their fabrications breed. Thirdly, why  did Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) advise his offspring to  refrain from acquiring the benefits of Fadak to ensure that  they too follow him in his decision to follow Hadhrat  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha)? History records that the “infallible” Imaams did not follow  Hadhrat Faatimah’s example  allegedly followed by Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). In so doing, they violated the wishes and  Sunnah of Hadhrat Faatimah and  Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu  anhuma).

(4)  In a desperate attempt to  save the skin of their credibility,  Shiahs claim that the action of  Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) was based on Taqiyah (the Shi`i  principle of holy hypocrisy). But,  they have forgotten their own  law in this regard. According to  Shi`ism when an Imaam emerges  for war then Taqiyah is Haraam. Hence, according to them Imaam  Hasan and Imaam Hussein ( radhiyallahu anhuma) did not  adopt Taqiyah. Rather, they  sacrificed themselves and were  martyred. Therefore, if Hadhrat  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) during his  Khilaafat had adopted Taqiyah, it  will follow that he was guilty of  having perpetrated a Haraam  act. This slander is the logical  conclusion of Shi`i arguments. It  is furthermore, not compatible  with infallibility. To crown all the  Shi`i conflict, self-contradictions  and confusion we have the  following explicit confession, of Sheikh Ibn Muttahhir Hilli in the  kitaab ‘Minhaajul Karaamat’:

“ Verily, when Faatimah  admonished Abu Bakr regarding  Fadak, he wrote to her a letter  and returned Fadak to her.” This  claim of Hilli clinches the Shi`i  cases regarding the issue.


At this juncture it is  appropriate  to discuss Hadhrat Faatimah’s  attitude which had developed in consequence of her claim of  inheritance. Initially, Hadhrat  Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) was  annoyed on this issue. Hadhrat  Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) had  to abide by the directive of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of which Hadhrat  Faatimah was unaware. Shiahs  endeavour to capitalise on her feelings to convey the idea because she was wronged, she  had directed that Hadhrat Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) should not attend her Janaaza and that  she remained angry with him  until her demise. Insha Allah,  these fictitious claims and  accusations of the Shiah will be  dispelled with solid arguments.

Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was not motivated by ill-feeling or malice for Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) in  the dispute regarding inheritance.In fact, placating her, he  frequently said: “By Allah!, Oh  daughter of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)! Kindness to the relatives of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is more beloved  to me than my kindness with my  own relatives.”

According to both Sunni and  Shiah narrations, Hadhrat Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was  greatly by the developments and  by Hadhrat Faatimah’s  displeasure. He went to great  lengths to please her while remaining firm on the Shariah.  He went to her home, stood at  her door in the midday sun and  asked Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu  anhu) to be his intercessor in his  sincere attempt to placate and  please Hadhrat Faatimah ( radhiyallahu anha). Ultimately  she became pleased with him and accepted his decision. These narrations appear in Madaarijun  Nubuwwah, Kitaabul Wafaa, Baihaqi and in the commentaries of  Mishkaat (all authoritative  Kitaabs of the Ahlus Sunnah). Kitaabul Muwaafiqah narrates  that Anaani said:

“Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) came to the door of Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) said: ‘I shall in the midday sun and said: ‘I shall not leave from here as long as  the daughter of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  remains displeased with me.  Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  came to Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) and giving her an oath  urged her to become pleased.  Then she became pleased (with Hadhrat Abu Bakr).”

Shiah records also confirm that  Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu  anha) became pleased with  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu). The Imaamiyyah Shiah  author of Hujjaajus Saalikeen  states:

“Verily, when Abu Bakr saw that  Faatimah was annoyed with him,  shunned him and did not speak  to him after this on the issue of  Fadak,  he  was  much  aggrieved  on account of this. He resolved  to please her. He went to her  and said: ‘Oh daughter of  Rasulullah! You have spoken the  truth in what you have claimed,  but I saw Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) distributing it  (i.e. the income of Fadak). He  would give it to the Fuqaraa,  Masaakeen and way-farers after  he gave your expenses and expenses of the workers.’ She  then said: ’Do with it as my father, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had done.’ Abu Bakr  said:’ I take an oath by Allah for  you! It is incumbent on me to do with it what your father used do  with it.’ Faatimah said: ‘By Allah!  You should most certainly do so.’

Abu Bakr said: “By Allah! I shall  most certainly do so.’ Faatimah  said: ‘O Allah! Be witness.’ Thus she became pleased with this  and she took a pledge from Abu  Bakr. Abu Bakr would give them  (Faatimah and others of the Ahle- Bait) expenses therefrom and  distribute the balance to the  Fuqaraa, Masaakeen and wayfarers.”

This narration is also in other  books of the Imaamiyyah Shiahs.  It confirms that Hadhrat Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) believed  that Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) was truthful in her  claim, but the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) convinced him that ownership was not given to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). The accusation against Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) is therefore pure slander.

Regarding the claim that Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) was averse to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) attending her Janaazah, is also baseless. She was buried secretly during the night by Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) in accordance with her wish. She was a Lady of extreme modesty and shame. She dreaded any ghair-mahram viewing her body even after death. According to authentic narrations she said during her last illness that she felt ashamed that her body be borne after death among ghair-mahrams without Purdah. In response, Asmaa Bint Amees (radhiyallahu anha) explained that she had seen in Abyssinia that the body was concealed with date-branches. Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) requested her to prepare such a receptacle in her presence. This she did. When Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) saw the purdah, she became delighted and smiled. This was the first occasion she had smiled since the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). She instructed Asmaa to give her body ghusl after death and besides Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) no one else should be present. This was the reason for the secrecy surrounding her burial. When Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Hadhrat Umar and other Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) complained the next day of not having been informed, Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) explained that it was Hadhrat Faatimah’s wish that no ghair-mahram should look at her Janaazah, and that she should be buried at night.

According to another narration, although Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was not present at the burial, hein fact led the Janaazah Salaat with the consent of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu).

It is not conceivable that Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) had not wanted Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) to perform her Janaaza Salaat because she was aware that just six months prior to her death Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had ordered with great emphasis that Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) should lead the Salaat. She was aware of this command of her father. Thus, the circumstances surrounding her burial are unrelated to her earlier dispute with Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu).

Mr Maududi’s View on Imam Mahdi (Alaihissalaam)

[Maulana Yusuf Ludhiyanwi Shaheed (rahimahullah)]

Moulana Maududi states in his  book “Tajdeed Wa Ahyaa-e-Deen”, regarding Imaam Mahdi (alaihissalaam):

“Those Muslims who believe in  Imaam Mahdi are not very far  behind in their misconception from those revivalists who do not  believe in him. They think that  Imaam Mahdi will be some kind of  future molvi or sufi who will  suddenly emerge from a certain  Madrasah or khanqah with a tasbeeh in his hand. Upon arrival  he will announce “I am Mahdi”.  The Ulama and Mashaaikh will  proceed to him with books in  hand and recognize him by  comparing the written signs with his external features. Then the  pledge will occur and the  announcement of Jihad will be proclaimed. The forty day sages  and the old-fashioned  predecessors will gather under his flag. They will use their swords as a mere formality to fulfil the  conditions of Jihad. The actual  work will be performed by  blessings and spiritual powers.  They will be victorious due to  incantations and wazifas. On  whichever kafir their sight falls, he will fall unconscious. By mere dua, tanks and aircraft will be infested with worms.”   [Page 55]

I cannot believe that such  disparaging fairy tales can  emanate from the pen of an Aalim. Maududi’s hatred for the  pious servants of Allaah has  driven him to mock and humiliate  them. Does he claim that any  victory can be achieved without  any Barakah (blessings)? Just as  he has mocked Imaam Mahdi,  how will Maududi react to  someone who mocks Nabi  (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) in a  similar manner (Nauthubillaah)?  Is he denying the Mu`jizaat of  the Ambiyaa (alaihi salaam) and  Karaamaat of the Auliyaa? Did  the battle of Badr, which was won by two horses, eight swords and three hundred and thirteen  dedicated soldiers against a well-equipped army lack in blessings?  On the occasion of Badr Nabi  (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) spent the entire night supplicating to  Allaah Ta`ala. He made the  following dua: “O Allaah! If you annihilate this little group (of  Sahaabah) there will be none to  worship You after this day.” Did the Assistance of Allaah Ta`ala descend without Barkat (blessings)? 

On the occasion when Nabi  (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) cast  the sand rearding which Allaah Ta`ala says in the Qur`aan  Majeed: “And you did not throw  when you threw, indeed it was Allaah who threw.”  In Moulana’s  estimation was this not Barkat?  When Moulana Maududi can poke fun and jest at the coming of Imaam Mahdi (alaihi salaam) it is not far-fetched for an atheist to go one step further and mock at the Battle of Badr.

Moulana Maududi goes on to say this about Imaam Mahdi:

“My estimate is that the person  will be a modern leader of the  times. He will have a deep insight into all the prevailing sciences of  the day. He will possess a proper understanding of all the important daily laws. He will have complete authority in mental leadership, political strategy and war-time expertise. He will be so much more modern than the others that I fear the molvis and sufis will be first to raise a hue and cry.” [page 55]

Are the statements of  Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi  wasallam) not sufficient  regarding Imaam Mahdi that  Maududi has to conjure up his  own predictions concerning a  personality that is to appear in the future? Predictions are either  formulated by means of divine  inspiration, correct intuition or  by stronomers who combine fact  with fiction. What is Maududi’s  “estimation” of Imaam Mahdi based upon?

Disregarding Maududi’s fear of  the molvis and Imaam Mahdi’s  ‘modernism’, I wish to ask him what quality he (Maududi) lacks  from amongst the qualities he has assigned to Mahdi? He possesses all the above-mentioned qualities but yet his  movement has not progressed.  Let alone the entire world, he has  not even been able to forge his  authority on Pakistan. Leave  aside Pakistan, he has failed to  create an Islaamic government  even in his own village. Imaam  Mahdi, according to Maududi will  not be super-human. Hence if all  blessings, Thikr, dua, tasbeeh and the musAllaah are taken away from him, will he be able to forge his authority with all his modernism? Has Maududi  pondered over these issues when  making his predictions. In reality, Maududi wanted only to mock  the saints, their khanqas and  their blessings in the shadow of Imaam Mahdi. In fact he falls short in his own logical deductions.

The 4 Paths of Guidance

Translation of the Introduction to “Radiant Benefits of the Biographies of the Hanafis” (Fawaid Bahiyya fi Tarajim Hanafiyyah) by Imam ‘Abdul Hayy Lucknowi (rahmatullah alayh).

Know that the essence of our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is like the source of fountain springs from which rivers of knowledge flow. The first of those who channelled and set in motion this knowledge were the rightly guided Companions, in particular the caliphs. In knowledge, they are all like the stars; if you were to follow any one of them you will be guided. They are the true inheritors of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and his representatives in spreading the religion. From them, the knowledge then flowed to those who benefited from them, and then to their followers. Amongst them, according to the most correct and established position, are our greatest Imam and the foremost of those who are followed, Abu Hanifa, N’uman ibn Thabit. This knowledge then passed to their followers, and then to their successors who include in their ranks mujtahid Imams. From them, it passed on to their followers, amongst whom were Fuqaha and Muhaddithun. This system will remain until the Day of Judgement. Every one of them endeavoured their utmost to spread knowledge and to pass it on to intellectual masters, through reminders, writings, orally and by facilitating understanding. May Allah shower His vast mercy upon them and shade them with clouds of His perfect favours. Had it not been for them, we would never have been guided and would have remained upon what we were upon.

Know that the affair is not, as is imagined by corrupt, ignorant people with dull minds, that the differences between the Companions and mujtahidun of this Community has complicated matters and made the task more difficult. The truth is that these differences are a mercy for this Community, having made the religion easy and removed any difficulty from it. Equally, it should not be imagined that if everything had sprung from the source of one river, the matter would have been easier than it is, having sprung from a variety of sources. These various schools of the Imams and mujtahidun of this Community all connect back to the rivers of the Companions. These, in turn, are connected to the source; the recipient of the Divine message, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Thus, every one of the schools is on guidance and whoever follows anyone of them is guided. However, whomsoever imagines that only one of them is on guidance, whilst the remainder are misguided, has fallen into the pit of misguidance.

Know that many mujtahidun, with groups of scholars following them, have appeared in this Community. Every one of them spent their time channelling the rivers of Sacred Law and expended their efforts in determining the upright path. In fact, no century has passed without the appearance of reformers mujaddidun, with their followers, nor does an age pass by without the appearance of a group of mujtahidun across the lands, even if they themselves may seem to be mere followers. This process is from the complete favour of Allah to his slaves, which requires constant gratitude towards Him. By them, we are guided, provided with sustenance, blessed with rain and remain on the straight path. However, from all of these, only four schools have become universally accepted with their understanding having been archived, their methods having been identified and their proofs having been clarified. With the passage of time they have received acceptance from intellectual masters across the lands. They are Abu Hanifa, Malik, Ahmad and Shafi’i. The first of these was the first. The second was his contemporary. It is said that the first related a little from the second. It is also said that, in fact, the second was a student of the first. The third was a student of the fourth. The fourth was a student of the second and some of the students of the first. Amongst the remaining mujtahidun, who either preceded or came after the aforementioned four, some never had any followers and thus complete benefit was never gained from them. Others did have groups of followers and their schools spread through their documented books. However, after a short period of time these schools disappeared, and no narrations remained from them.

As a consequence, some have said that there is no accepted path except for these four paths. However, this claim is disputed. Most people, then, began to follow these four schools, with very few taking from any other way. The school of Ahmad spread in areas within Baghdad. However, in other places its spread was less than the other schools. The school of Malik spread throughout North Africa and parts of Hijaz. The school of Shafi’i spread through most of Hijaz, Yemen, parts of India and the border regions of Bengal, parts of the border regions of Khurasan and Turan. The school of Abu Hanifa spread to distant lands and many cities. These include areas of Baghdad, Egypt, Eastern Europe, Balkh, Bukhara, Samarqand, Isfahan, Shiraz, Azerbaijan, Jurjan, Zinjan, Tus, Bistam, Istiribad, Marghaynan, Farghana, Damghan, Khawarizm, Ghazna, Karman, most of India, Sindh and Bengal, parts of Yemen and other areas. Each one of them spread the knowledge of their Imam through dictating, teaching and writing.

This system will remain until the appearance of the mujtahid mutlaq, the last of the true scholars, the rightly guided one, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, the Mahdi. ‘Isa, peace and blessings be upon our Prophet and upon him, will also descend, and from that point on, following the schools will no longer remain valid. Their rules will be based on taking from the Qur’an, Sunnah and by extracting from the Prophetic example based on the correct opinion. This has been stated by leading scholars in their notes and books such as ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani, Jalal Suyuti, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Rasul Barzanji, ‘Ali Qari and Shaykh Muhyiddin ibn ‘Arabi. As for the statement of some ignorant bigots that ‘Isa and the Mahdi will follow Abu Hanifa and will not, in any way, oppose his school: it is absurd, as has been stated by legal and spiritual masters. In fact, it is undoubtedly an attempt at guessing the unknown.

Know that the followers of the four Imams have become known by their being affiliated to these great Imams, from whence we have the titles Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali. This allows for each one to be clearly identified and known from the other. The reality is that each one of these schools is from the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, because, each one, by treading the path of their Imam is treading the Prophetic path, and drinking from that greatest of all sources. Whoever disdains affiliation to any one of these agreed upon schools, and regards them as being in opposition to Sacred Law, acts rashly and wanders blindly. Such a person is ignorant and will spread ignorance, is astray and will lead others astray.


1. The mujtahid is a scholar qualified to issue expert legal opinion.

2. Fuqaha is the plural of faqih. Faqih is a scholar of Islamic law.

3. Muhaddithun is the plural of muhaddith. Muhaddith is a scholar whose expertise is in the Prophetic traditions.

4. Mujtahidun is the plural of mujtahid, the definition of which has preceded.

5. Mujaddidun is the plural of mujaddid who is the one who returns people back to the Prophetic way.

6. Mujtahid mutlaq is the absolute mujtahid who is not restricted in any way in law.

Hadhrat Nabi Isa Dead or Alive?: A Response to Qadiani Claims

[Majlisul Ulama]


No one on this earth—  be he Muslim or non-Muslim—disputes the fact that Islam in its final form was the Message delivered to mankind by Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) more than 1425 years ago. There is consensus of all people that Islam is not the product of this age or of a few decades ago or of a couple of centuries ago. When it is said that Muhammad Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) delivered to mankind the Islam which Allah Ta’ala had revealed to him, it is understood thereby that he handed to the world a set of beliefs and practices  – the Aqaaid and A’maal  of Islam. He did not leave Islam as an ambiguous concept subject  to the understanding and interpretations of the multitudes of people.

It is only logical and a simple fact to understand that the beliefs and practices of the Sahaabah and the early Muslims of the Khairul Quroon  (the Three noblest Ages of Islam) constitute Islam, and that only their Beliefs and Practices are authentic and valid. Any belief or practice which conflicts with the  Aqaaid and A’maal  of the Sahaabah will not be part of Islam. Thus, if someone today has to claim that there are only three Fardh Salaat instead of the five that we know of and adhere to, then the first question such a proponent will have to answer is: When did this belief or teaching of three Salaat develop in Islam? If he cannot prove that it originated with the Sahaabah, then obviously it will be expunged as kufr and branded a figment of the shaitaan’s evil whispering into the heart of the one who contended the belief or act of kufr

If a belief or practice cannot be reliably and authoritatively traced to the Sahaabah, it shall be thrown out into the garbage can of kufr. The very first obstacle any propounder of kufr has to surmount is to prove that the doctrine he is propagating has always been the belief of the People of Islam from the inception of Islam. No man can impose his personal idea as Islamic doctrine and claim that this is what the Qur’aan says, if his personal doctrine has not been the official belief or practice of the Ummah from the time of the Sahaabah.

Islam is not an interpretation of the Qur’aan which modernists or deviates of this age present. Irrespective of how much the interpretation may appeal to and appease the western mind and the western intellectual masters of the modernists, it will never be part of Islam if it cannot be substantiated on the basis of the Ijma’ of the Ummah. Such consensus has its roots in the Beliefs and Practices of the Sahaabah. Hence, the proponent of a belief which is at variance with the Beliefs of the Ummah or in conflict with the  Ijma’ which has been transmitted down the centuries from the age of the Sahaabah is under obligation to furnish his Shar’i evidence for his theory/idea. Evidence is not personal opinion nor is evidence of the Shariah a man’s interpretation of the Qur’aan. Evidence of the Shariah is what the official position of the belief or practice was during the age of the Sahaabah and the Khairul Quroon,  and whether the belief advocated by the deviate was the belief or practice of the Ummah from the inception of Islam.   

It is on the basis of this criterion of authenticity that the beliefs pertaining to Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) as well as all other beliefs and alleged beliefs are to be examined. Any belief, practice or teaching which does not satisfy this criterion stands rejected and will be branded as kufr which expels the proponent from the fold of Islam. Explicity and emphatically stating this conception of Ijma and this criterion of authenticity  which is the belief and practice of the Ummah from the time of the Sahaabah, the Qur’aan Shareef says:    

“And among the people are those who say: “We believe in Allah and the Last Day, while (in reality) they are not Mu’mineen (Believers). They (try to) deceive Allah and those who have Imaan. However, they deceive none but themselves whilst they lack understanding.”    (Surah Baqarah, aayats 8 and 9)

“And when it is said to them: “Believe in the manner in which the people (i.e.the Mu’mineen) believe, they say: ‘What shall we believe as the ignoramuses believe?’   Heed well! Verily, they are the ignoramuses, but they do not know.” (Surah Baqarah, aayat 13) 

It is quite evident from these verses of the Qur’aan Majeed, that Imaan is not the personal idea or conception of any person. A man’s contention of belief in Allah and the Aakhirah is of no significance and validity if it is in conflict with the Belief of “The People”, i.e. the People of Islam who inherited their Beliefs and Practices from the Sahaabah. The Sahaabah are in the highest category of “The People” whom the Qur’aan commands to follow. Elsewhere in the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta’ala commands the selfsame obedience and following to “The People” of Imaan. Thus He says:

“And, follow the Path of those who turn (and lead) towards Us.”  

These as well as other Qur’aanic aayaat categorically command the Mu’mineen to follow the Path of  “The People”, not the path of personal opinion.  Hence, the Consensus of the  “The People” is the criterion of authenticity for the beliefs and practices of Is lam. Any concept which is at variance with or in conflict with the conception of Imaan of “The People” of Imaan and Islam is kufr which extinguishes Imaan and assigns the proponent into irtidaad (making him a renegade) for which the punishment in a truly Islamic nation is Qatl (execution).


One  mulhid  who has sprouted up from somewhere, seeking some cheap publicity, stating his ideas about Hadhrat Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam), wrote to the non-Muslim press that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) is dead. He is not alive in Heaven as the Ummah of Islam believes and has believed from the age of the Sahaabah. He presents as his ‘proofs’ the following arguments: 

(1)   The Sunni Muslims derive their support from their ‘priests’ whose basis is the traditions (Ahadith). These Ahadith are derived from Israeli sources.  

(2)   These sources were from Jews and Christians who embraced Islam, and who had introduced their ‘apocryphal’ literature in the Ahadith and the commentaries of the Qur’aan. 

(3)   The Qur’aan declares “Messengers had passed away before Him (Muhammad).” (Q3:144)

(4)   “Further: God will cause you (Jesus) to die (or take  You away) and exalt, honour and raise You in My  Presence.” (Q3:55) 

(5)  “God caused Jesus to die or took Him up”. (Q5:120) 

(6)  “That Jesus is dead is confirmed by the Qur’an and some Ahadith (traditions), jurists and modern scholars.”

If these are called ‘proofs’ (daleel), then we must say that they are an insult to the term as well  as an insult to intelligence. Although these stupidities do not warrant  an intelligent response, nevertheless, such a response becomes necessary in view of the large scale ignorance prevailing among the Muslim masses on the issue of Aqaa-id  (Beliefs). Unwary persons and simple-minded folk are quickly misled by the most absurd specimens of kufr offered by just any  jaahil  who reads a few lines of  Yusuf Ali’s commentary. 

The proponent of the kufr belief has made claims without presenting any substantiation whatsoever. He makes allegations about the Qur’aan and “some Ahadith” confirming the death of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) without tendering the relevant Qur’aanic verses and “some Ahadith” which he claims support his idea of kufr

The very first attack against the belief of Hadhrat Isaa’s death is that it miserably fails the Criterion of Authenticity explained earlier. The death of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) never was a doctrine  of Muslims at any time in the history of Islam. If the deviate claims that it was, then it devolves on him to produce his evidence, not his opinion. At what stage in Islam’s history did the belief in Nabi Isaa’s death develop among Muslims? Did the Sahaabah believe in the death of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam)? Was this the belief of  “The People”  whose obedience the Qur’aan commands? If it was, the zindeeq should produce his proof. 

He should not endeavour to conceal himself in ambiguity and say that according to “some Ahadith” Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) has died. He should produce these “some Ahadith” and the academic discussion pertaining to such traditions. If this mulhid is reborn and he devotes his entire new life to the search for proof to prove that  “The People”  of Islam had ever held this belief of kufr, then too he will miserably fail to do so other than making baseless claims which cannot be substantiated on the basis of Shar’i evidence.

The Mulhid’s First  and Second arguments

In this stupid ‘proof’ he claims that Islam’s belief of Hadhrat Isaa’s death is based on ‘apocryphal’ traditions which Jews and Christians had introduced into Islam when they had embraced this religion. The absurdity of this ludicrous claim is not hidden from  any person who has made even a superficial study of the Science of Hadith compilation. Even a man who lacks expert Islamic Knowledge, but has read some English books on the subject of Hadith compilation, will laugh at the stupid claim which this mulhid has ventured so audaciously. It is said that fools  rush in where angels fear to tread. This is the similitude of the proponent of Nabi Isaa’s death. Can any sane Muslim who does not have kufr concealed in his heart  –who is not a munaafiq  –ever accept  that the wonderful and authentic Hadith compilations of the illustrious Muhadditheen who devoted their entire lives to the science of Hadith authentication are ‘apocryphal’ as the zindeeq alleges? (Apocryphal refers to traditions which are baseless, untrue, legendary, and fabricated). 

The mulhid has made his claim that the belief the People of Islam regarding Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) being alive in Heaven is based on ‘apocryphal’ traditions which Jews and Christians  had interpolated into the Hadith Compilations which the  People of Islam  regard to be correct and authentic. It devolves on him to now produce these ‘apocryphal’ traditions which he claims constitute the basis of the Belief of  “The People”  whom the Qur’aan commands us to submit to. Any Tom, Dick, Harry and atheist can present their personal ideas of whim and fancy, and tender just any stupid and absurd argument. But they cannot present evidence to back up the kufr they gorge up. We want to know about these ‘apocryphal’ traditions which the Jew and Christian converts had introduced into Islam.
It might benefit the mulhid to hear what Allah Ta’ala Himself says about the Christians who had converted to Islam. The Qur’aan Majeed says in this regard:    

“And, most certainly, you will find the closest (to you, O Muslims!)in love, are those who say: ‘Verily, we are Nasaaraa’. That is so because among them are men of justice and Ulama who are  not proud. And, when they hear what has been revealed to the Rasool, you will see their eyes flowing with tears because they have recognized the Haqq.”    (Qur’aan, Surah Maaidah, aayats 82 and 83) 
The reference here is to the early  Nasaaraa who had embraced Islam. There  were highly qualified Ulama and experts of the Taurah and Injeel among them. It is an insult to the Qur’aan  to claim that these noble, pious and knowledgeable members of  Ahl-e-Kitaab  had introduced ‘apocryphal’ traditions into Islam. It is an even greater insult to claim that ‘apocryphal’ traditions of the Jews and Christians were used by the illustrious authorities of Islam to formulate  Aqeedah  when it is a fact as clear as daylight that Beliefs are based on only Ahaadith which are of the  Qatiyuth Thuboot category. The ignorance of the mulhid is stark and quite evident. He simply does not know what he is trumpeting. 

This deviate who in all probability lacks knowledge in the very elementary teachings of Islam  is too stupid to understand or to even know that the Fuqaha (Jurists of Islam) never employed Dhaeef  (Weak, technically speaking) Ahaadith which are au thentic, as basis for  Fardh and Waajib Ahkaam, leave alone Aqaa-id. His sweeping statement simply displays his crass  jahaalat. His argument is absolutely devoid of substance. 

His claim that “Sunni Muslims”  believe in Isaa (alayhis salaam) being alive on the basis of “support from their priests and jurists” is designed to ridicule. This type of stupid childish stratagems of ridicule is a salient feature of the mulhideen who are bereft of rational and Islamic arguments for their concepts and theories of kufr.  If the beliefs of the Sunni Muslims are supported by their “priests” and jurists, it lends more strength to the authenticity of the beliefs of the masses. It is evidence for the correctness of the beliefs of the masses. It shows that the beliefs of the masses are based on scholarly, rational and factual basis, and are not the product of wild speculation of the vacillating nafs (whim and fancy –self-opinion) of men of ignorance. It is  simply logical and acceptable that the masses accept the beliefs as explained to them by their “priests” and jurists. These “priests” and jurists are members of the class of men whom the Qur’aan designates  “The People”,  and whose obedience the Qur’aan commands. The Qur’aan commands that Muslims should believe as “The People” believe, not as the nafs dictates. 

An intelligent mind will present evidence to substantiate the claim that the “priests” and the jurists have erred and that they had in  turn based their belief on the ‘apocryphal’ traditions of the Jews and Christians. What proof does the zindeeq have for his contention in this regard? If he has even a vestige of evidence, let him produce it. The zindeeq is guilty of a blasphemous slander for his contention that the Jurists of Islam had based the beliefs pertaining to Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) on the apocryphal traditions of the Jews and Christians.

It is incumbent for him to define exactly what he means by ‘apocryphal traditions’ and  on which such traditions of the Jews and Christians did  “The People”  of the Qur’aan base their belief.  Since he has manipulated the term ‘apocryphal’ to serve his kufr idea, he has to explain his criteria for labeling a Jewish or a Christian tradition as ‘apocryphal’. Or perhaps he is a  muqallid (blind follower) of the Jewish and Christian theologians and priests who have categorized their own respective traditions. Just look at this zindeeq! He becomes a blind  muqallid  of the Jewish and Christian theologians and priests who have studied and classified their traditions, but he refuses to accept the highly authentic Ahaadith classified by the illustrious Muhadditheen such as Imaam Bukhaari, Imaam Muslim and others of high rank. He must say who had classified the relevant Jewish and Christian traditions to be apocryphal, and  on what basis does he (the zindeeq) accept such classification. Then he should provide his  dalaa-il  for his biggest calumny, viz., the Fuqaha of Islam had based the beliefs regarding Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) on such ‘apocryphal’ traditions of the Jews and Christians.

Another stupidity of the ‘apocryphal’ argument is that as far as the Jews are concerned, they do not even accept Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis  salaam) to be a Nabi. His ascension into Heaven, his second advent and him being alive or dead do not concern them. They have no apocryphal literature on Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). 

The Christians on the otherhand believe that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) had first died a physical death, then after resurrection he ascended into the heaven. But the Qur’aan rejects  the notion of his death. He was not crucified nor killed in any manner whatsoever. This is the official and authoritative belief of “The People” whom the Qur’aan commands us to follow.  Since the Christians do believe in Nabi Isaa’s ascension , his existence in the heavens and his second advent, their narrations are not apocryphal for them on this particular issue.  Those narrations and traditions which are in conflict with their beliefs are rejected by the Christians and termed ‘apocryphal’, e.g. the Gospel of Barnabas which predicts the advent of our Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Thus, the argument that the People of Islam based their beliefs regarding Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) on the ‘apocryphal’ traditions of the Jews and Christians is utterly stupid and fallacious. 

Furthermore, if Muslims had based their beliefs on any such traditions, the belief of Isaa’s death would have also been incorporated into Islamic  Aqeedah  in terms of the logic of the zindeeq because he claims that Islamic Belief is the consequence of Christian and Jewish ‘apocryphal’ (but non-existent) traditions. The absurdity of the mulhid’s arguments should thus be conspicuous. 

In  Tafseer  Durr-e-Manthur  appears the following narration: “Ishaaq Bin Bishr and Ibn Asaakir narrating from  Jauhar  who narrates from Dhuhhak who narrates from Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) (the tafseer) of the Allah’s statement: “Verily, I shall cause you to die and raise you up to Me”—i.e. “Shall raise you, then cause you to die in the last of ages (aakhiruz zamaan).”   (Page 36, Vol. 2) 

Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) was not a Jew or a Christian who had embraced Islam. He does not present the  tafseer  of this aayat No.55 of Surah Aal-e-Imraan on the basis of  any narration or tradition of Bani Israaeel. He states the meaning as he had acquired it from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) is known as Raeesul Mufassireen (The Chief of the Mufassireen).

We shall discuss this tafseer further in the ensuing pages, Insha’Allah. Suffice here to say that the Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), not only the noble Ulama of the Yahood and Nasaaraa who had embraced Islam, taught the belief that Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) did not die but was physically raised into the Heavens. This belief which the Sahaabah propagated was not based on any apocryphal tradition of the Jews and Christians. The mulhid should present his proof for his fallacious contention of kufr

For ignoramuses it is quite easy to tender sweeping and ridiculous contentions. But to substantiate such claims is entirely a different matter. When proof for their  nafsaani  speculation is demanded, they are adept in  the art of seeking refuge in impregnable fortresses of silence and in childish stratagems of ridicule. It behoves this mulhid to produce his Qur’aanic and historical evidence for his absurd contention that the Beliefs of Islam pertaining to Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) are based on apocryphal traditions of the Jews and Christians. He supposedly regards himself as a member of the ‘enlightened intellegentsia’. If so, he has to necessarily provide his rational and historical evidence  for his claim. Just when  – at which period in the history of Islam- did the belief of Isaa’s death on the basis of Jewish and Christian  traditions develop in Islam? Let the miserable zindeeq answer. 

The Mulhid’s Third argument

In this argument the mulhid avers: “The Qur’aan declares: ‘Messengers had passed away before Him (Muhammad)”. Q3:144” 

The ignorance of the mulhid is manifest from his citation of this aayat which does not have the remotest relevance to Hadhrat Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). Even the  general purport of the aayat cannot be adduced  to substantiate the kufr belief of the zindeeq.

He is unable to even present a correct translation of the verse he cites as his ‘proof’  for  the imagined death of Nabi Isaa  (alayhis salaam). Since the mulhid has merely lapped up what Yusuf Ali says in his translation, he presents the erroneous translation of Yusuf Ali as well. The translation of the aayat is:  “Verily, numerous Messengers passed before you.”  By saying “passed away”, the meaning of ‘died’ is proffered. Although it is understood that the numerous Ambiya who appeared before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had passed away (died), the word in this aayat does not mean “passed away” or ‘died’. 

Even if  the meaning of “have died” or have passed away is taken, it does not in any way whatsoever support the contention that Hadhrat  Isaa (alayhis salaam) too had died. The aayat does not say that each and every  Messenger before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) without any exception had died. The tenor of the aayat does not preclude exceptions. It is a general statement simply mentioning that just as the Messengers before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had died so too will he also die.  The exception  of Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam)  is based on other dalaa-il.  

The contention  is not that  Nabi Isaa  (alayhis salaam) will never die. The belief of Islam is that  he has not yet died and that after his  Nuzool  (Descent) from the Heavens, he will die a normal physical death. The mulhid believes that he is an intellectual and a member of the ‘intellegentsia’. However, his stupidity boggles the mind. He is totally ignorant of the fact that  Aqeedah (Belief) is not the product of interpretation and opinion, least  of all the absurd opinions of  juhala and mulhideen.  Beliefs are based on Qur’aanic aayaat or Ahaadith-e-Mutawattirah  which are Ahaadith of absolute certitude, which do not brook the slightest vestige of doubt, ambiguity or uncertainty. The number of the raka’ts, for example, are established on the basis of such Proofs. 

Instead of presenting any  daleel  of absolute certitude, the mulhid presents a verse which has no relevance whatsoever with Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). He employs and misinterprets this aayat in blind imitation of the Qadiani mulhideen who went before him, and  on the basis of such fallacious interpretation, he offers the belief of Hadhrat Isaa’s death.  And, in his presentation of this kufr belief he perpetrates the chicanery of endeavouring to convey the impression of originality, namely, that his own ‘ingenuity’ has unraveled the mystery surrounding Hadhrat Isaa  (alayhis salaam)  –the mystery  which the Christians had failed to unravel. He fails to acknowledge his ‘imaam’, Yusuf Ali and others of his ilk who had peddled these baseless, legless and stupid arguments. 

The Qur’aanic averment that Messengers had  “passed away” before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) does not negate the fact and belief that Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam)  had not died and that he was raised bodily into the Heavens whilst alive and awake. These beliefs are structured on  independent  Dalaail  of the Shariah. This specific aayat does not negate the longevity of the lifespan of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). The demise of innumerable Messengers, in fact all except Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam), before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) does not rationally or logically or Islamically preclude any being born before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) outliving him. What is the rational argument to prove that a person who was a Nabi and born before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), could not have lived beyond the lifespan of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? Only mulhids who deny the infinite Power of Allah Ta’ala, covertly refute the Qur’aanic proclamation: “Verily, Allah has power over all things.”  

What is the Islamic proof for claiming that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) was not alive  when Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was born and that he  did not remain alive after the demise of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and that he will not remain alive until  the great signs of Qiyaamah materialize?  Independent proof of the category of absolute certitude (Qatiuyuth Thuboot)  is imperative for claiming a belief which conflicts with the 14 century belief of  The People  –the Sahaabah, Taabieen, Tab-e-Taabieen  –all the Aimmah Mujtahideen, Fuqaha, and the entire Ummah down the long corridor of Islam’s history. 

It devolves on the mulhid to prove with Shar’i facts the stages of origin of the two diametrically opposite beliefs—the belief that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) is alive and the kufr belief of his death. While  we can conclusively claim that  the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah  –the belief of  The People of the Qur’aan  –  has its origin in the Qur’aan and Ahaadith, the zindeeq fails hopelessly to produce even one valid argument to substantiate his belief of kufr

It is thus illogic and in conflict with Islam to claim the death of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam)  on the basis of the aayat which merely states that numerous Messengers had passed away before Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

The Mulhid’s fourth argument

In this argument, the mulhid offers the aayat No.55 of Aal-eImraan. Thus he says: “Further:  God ‘will cause You (Jesus) to die (or take You away) and exalt, honour and raise You in My Presence.”

Firstly, he has ventured a corrupt translation. The correct translation of the aayat is: “(Remember) when Allah said: ‘O Isaa! Verily, I shall cause you to die and I shall raise you towards Me, and I shall exonerate you from the disbelievers………”  

He translates the word  ‘raafiuka’ to mean ‘exalt, honour and raise you in My Presence”.   But  this word in the context of the aayat does not mean ‘exalt and honour’. When the term  ‘rafa’  is used with the word  ‘ilaa’, it does not mean exalting the rank of a person. It clearly refers to physical raising or lifting . Furthermore, this meaning has been determined by the explanations of the Sahaabah. It has thus to be translated in the context of the meaning and belief of  The People  whom we are commanded by the Qur’aan to follow. Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) already had an exalted rank by Allah Ta’ala. He was among the great Ambiya.  The  figuritive meaning ascribed to the term in the context of this aayat is  palpably erroneous. In other verses where the term  rafa’  is used for elevation of rank, the term  ilaa  is not used.  Hence, the Qur’aan says: “He has elevated   some  over  others by ranks.” “Allah exalts the Believers among you….”  

In these verses and many others, the word  rafa’  to mean elevation of ranks is used without ‘ilaa’. It should thus be clear that the term  ilaa  when used in conjunction  with the word,  rafa’ produces the meaning of physical lifting or raising upwards physically. There is also  no need for us to substantiate the belief of  Isaa (alayhis salaam) on the basis of this interpretation of the word  rafa’.  The belief is based on the  Ijma’ of the Ummah— “The People” whom the Qur’aan says we have to obey and follow. 

The physical transportation of Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) into the Heavens is further confirmed with emphasis in the following aayat of Surah Nisaa, which  rejects the notion that Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) was killed:

“They most certainly did  not kill him. But, on the contrary, Allah lifted him (Isaa) to Him (Allah Ta’ala).”  The word  rafa’  (lifted) is brought here in this aayat to negate and refute the claim of the Yahud that they had physically killed Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). Refuting their contention, the Qur’aan Majeed declares with emphasis that they did not kill him. On the contrary, Allah Ta’ala saved Isaa (alayhis salaam) by lifting him up to the Heavens. The meaning  of ‘exalting’ or ‘honouring’ will be improper in the context of the refutation stated in this aayat.


The translation which even the Mulhid presents, is:“cause you to die” . The aayat does not say that Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) had died. Allah Ta’ala does not say: “Isaa is dead or has died.” In this verse, Allah  directly addressing Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam), says:  o “O Isaa! Verily, I shall cause you to die, and I shall lift you up to Me”. Isaa (alayhis salaam) at the time  of the Divine Address was being pursued by the Yahood  who wanted to have him killed. Allah Ta’ala in this aayat assures him of  the failure of the plot of the Yahood. Hence, the Qur’aan states immediately  before this aayat:  “They (the Yahood) plotted, and Allah plotted, and Allah is the best of plotters.”  

The aayat assures Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) that the Yahood will not succeed in killing him. He will die at some time in the future. Meanwhile he will be raised up into the Heaven. It is absurd to infer from an event which has not yet transpired that it has already happened. The absurdity is obvious. By what warped and stupid logic does the mulhid argue? He claims that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) has died. But in support he presents an aayat which says that Allah Ta’ala will cause Isaa (alayhis salaam) to die in the future. 

Islam does not negate the future death of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). “The People”  do not contend that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) will never die. The belief is only that he has not yet died, but will die after his descent from Heaven. The fallacy of this argument of the mulhid should also be conspicuous.

The Mulhid’s fifth argument

In this argument he says: “God caused Jesus to die or took him up. Q5:120”  

Firstly, aayat No.120 of Surah Maaidah does not remotely refer to Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). The translation of aayat 120 is: “Unto Allah belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatever is therein. And, He is All-Powerful over everything.”  

However, the mulhid, Yusuf Ali, in his erroneous numbering of the verses has numbered the relevant aayat No.120 when in fact it is No.117. Pick up any copy of the Qur’aan and it will be seen that the number of the aayat to which the mulhid and Yusuf Ali refer is No.117. The translation of the relevant portion of the aayat to which the mulhid has referred is:

“I was a witness over them while I was among them. Then, when you took me away (i.e.caused me to die), then You were the Guard over them.”  (Aayat 117, Surah Maaidah) 

The entire discussion of  the aayat (the above is only a portion of the aayat) is an event which will transpire in Qiyaamah  – in the future. It is not a discussion which Allah Ta’ala already had with Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). It is a discussion which will yet take place after resurrection in Qiyaamah. Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) says (in this aayat): “You caused me to die”. It should be obvious that he is speaking here after his death, not prior to his death. To claim that this discussion took place on earth prior to Nabi Isaa’s death is absurd. He himself says :When  You (O Allah!) caused me to die”.  Hence the discussion logically will take place after resurrection in Qiyaamah. And this is confirmed by the authentic Ahaadith. 

Since this is a discussion which will yet take place in the Hereafter, it is fallacious to present it in substantiation of the kufr belief. The manner in which the Mulhid quotes the portion of the aayat out of its context, is designed to convey the deceptive idea that Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) has already died., hence the zindeeq says:  “God caused Jesus to die” It is not refuted that Allah Ta’ala will cause Nabi Isaa to die. But his death will be caused after his Nuzool to earth. It is therefore baseless to present this aayat as proof for the contention that Isaa (alayhis salaam) is dead.

The Mulhid’s sixth argument

In this ‘argument’, the Mulhid merely makes a claim without providing any evidence. He simply says: “That Jesus is dead is confirmed by the Qur’an,and some Ahadith (traditions), jurists and modern scholars.”  

In his letter there is not a single Qur’aanic verse to confirm his claim. We have refuted and demolished the arguments which he had based on certain   Qur’aanic verses which do not even remotely suggest that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) had died. 

He speaks of “some Ahadith” which allegedly confirm the kufr belief. Firstly, he should not cite Ahaadith because in terms of his own claim, Ahadith are the products of the apocryphal traditions of the Jews and Christians. Secondly, he should present these Ahaadith for examination.  There are no Ahaadith which confirm the belief of the death of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). 

Then he speaks about confirmation by the ‘jurists’. The Mulhid is the last man who should speak about the jurists. According to his claim the Jurists had formulated the belief of Hadhrat Isaa’s death on the basis of the apocryphal traditions of the Jews and Christians. He should now not seek to extract capital from the Jurists for his kufr belief. It is, furthermore, a blatant falsehood to claim that the Fuqaha or some of them believe in the death of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). He should provide his proof for this claim of confirmation by the Fuqaha. 

As far as “modern scholars” are concerned, their ranks  preponderate with mulhids and zindeeqs. Anyone whose beliefs conflict with the  Ijmaaee  Belief of  The People  of Islam is not a scholar of Islam. Such a modernist is a deviated ignoramus. He is unacceptable to Islam. The views of some of these  modern day “scholars” are repugnant and of no concern. Their views cannot be cited as proof of the Shariah. It is truly amazing that a man who regards himself as an “investigative” scholar and researcher  –a deviate who is prepared to denounce and reject a Belief which the Ummah has believed in for the past 1438 years— citing “modern scolars:”  as his proof. How rapidly does he become a  muqallid  of just anyone whom he thinks is worthy of eking out support. Thus, while he rejects and criticizes the Fuqaha, he is quick to cite “some” of them when he thinks that there is some support for his doomed cause of kufr. No one is interested in the “modern scholars” of deviation (dhalaal),  false hood  (baatil) and kufr.  The views of such “scholars” do not occupy the category of any class of Shar’i proof, leave alone the highest class of evidence on the basis of which Aqeedah is structured. 

Alhamdulillaah! We have adequately refuted and demolished the fallacious arguments of the Mulhid. We now present the Proofs of  those People whose system of Imaan, according to the Qur’aan, is the only valid conception of Belief (Imaan), and whom we have been commanded to follow.


The strongest  daleel  (proof/evidence) for any belief, practice or teaching of Islam is  Ijma.  This  Daleel  is the command of Allah Ta’ala stated in several aayaat of the Qur’aan Majeed.

“Whoever opposes the Rasool after the Hidaayah (Guidance of the Deen) has become manifest, and he follows a path other than  the Path of the Mu’mineen,  We divert him to that (path of deviation) which he follows. And, We shall cast him into Jahannum. Indeed, it is an evil abode.”    (Qur’aan, Aayat 115, Surah Nisaa’)   

“And follow the Path of him who turns to Me.”  

The basis of the validity of Imaan is to believe as the Ummah believes, i.e. to subscribe to all the beliefs  which the Ummah has acquired from  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) via the agency of the Sahaabah.  The Qur’aan says in this regard:      

“Among mankind are those who say: ‘We believe in Allah and the Last Day”, while (in reality) they are not Mu’mineen (Believers)”. (Surah Baqarah, aayat 8)      

“And, when it is said to them: ‘Believe just as the people (believe)’, they say: ‘What! Shall we believe like the ignoramuses believe?’ Behold! Verily, they  are the ignoramuses, but they know not.”   (Surah Baqarah, aayat 13) 

The Qur’aan Majeed does not instruct Muslims to follow their personal opinions and understanding of the Qur’aan. It commands us to follow  The People, The Mu’mineen.  Those who diverge from the Path of the Mu’mineen, the Qur’aan declares unequivocally:

“We shall cast them into Jahannum”. It is abundantly clear from the Qur’aanic aayaat that in order to be among the  Mu’mineen, the essential requisite is to  “Believe as the People believe.” Thus, any belief, interpretation, idea or view which  conflicts with the Beliefs of the Sahaabah who were the very first Wrung in the Ladder of  The People  to whom the Qur’aan commands obedience, is kufr.

Ijma’  is the Path of the Mu’mineen from which divergence according to the aforementioned aayat leads to Jahannum.  Ijma’  is in the category of the Qur’aan  Majeed since the Qur’aan commands Muslims to follow the Path of the Mu’mineen. There is no difference of opinion among the Fuqaha and Authorities of Islam  on the issue of  Ijma being a  Hujjat  (Proof and Authority) in the category of the Qur’aan. Denial of any belief or teaching evidenced by  Ijma’  is kufr. This is the unanimous ruling of  all Authorities of Islam.

Ijma  of the Ummah  –of  The People  to whom obedience is commanded in the Qur’aan, has been recognized as  Hujjat  for the Ahkaam of the Shariah from the very inception  of Islam since it is a command of the Qur’aan itself. There is no need to delve further on this subject in this concise booklet. Only a moron will deny that the Ummah’s  beliefs pertaining to Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) are  structured on the basis of  Ijma .Inspite of the Mulhid’s denial of the validity and truth of these beliefs, he does concede that Isaa (alayhis salaam) being alive is the Belief of this Ummah. Hence, he had no alternative but to concede: “The belief that Jesus is still alive in heaven is held by both Christians and Sunni Muslims.” Whoever now denies this Belief denies the validity of  Ijma’  and in consequence he has to be prepared to be cast into Jahannum by Allah Ta’ala Who has warned in the Qur’aan Shareef that those who diverge from the Path of the  Mu’mineen will be the inmates of Hell-Fire.


Ijma’ on the Beliefs centering around Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) are structured on the basis of the Qur’aan and Ahaadith-e-Mutawaatirah  – the highest category of authentic and reliable Ahaadith. Refuting the belief of Hadhrat Isaa having died, the Qur’aan Majeed declares with the greatest emphasis and unambiguity:

“And (the punishment they received) was because of their claim: ‘Verily, we have killed the Maseeh, Isaa, the  son of Maryam who was the Rasool of Allah’. (However), they neither killed him nor crucified him, but they (the Yahood) were thrown into confusion (regarding Hadhrat Isaa)………..And most certainly they did not kill him. On the contrary, Allah lifted him up to Him. And, Allah is Mighty, The Wise.”  (Surah Nisaa, aayat 157).   

The Qur’aan in this aayat categorically rejects the claim of the death of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). The Yahood had claimed that they had killed Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). Vehemently refuting this claim the Qur’aan affirms the ascension of Nabi Isaa into the Heavens. There is absolutely no difference of opinion among the Authorities of Islam on this belief. It is an  Ijmaaee Belief that this aayat confirms the physical ascension into the Heavens of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). This is the belief of the Mu’mineen  – the unanimous belief from the earliest time of Islam. Any Mulhid who in his stupidity is so audacious as to deny the fact that these beliefs are based on  Ijma’  of the Ummah, should produce his proof in refutation of this claim we are making. 

Aayat No.159 of Surah Nisaa’ states: 

“And there will be none of the Ahl-e-Kitaab, but he will believe in him (Isaa) before his Maut (death).”  

In the tafseer of this aayat, Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

“Nabi (alayhis salaam) said: ‘Most assuredly, the Son of Maryam will descend (to earth) as a just ruler. Then he will most certainly slay Dajjaal, kill pigs and destroy crosses. And, (at that time) Sajdah (Ibaadat) will be exclusively for Allah Rabbul Aalameen.’ Then Abu Hurairah said: If you wish recite (aayat No.159)’ He added: ‘Before the Maut of Isaa. He repeated this thrice.”    (Ma-aariful Qur’aan) 

All members of the Ahl-e-Kitaab will ultimately accept Imaan at the hands of Nabi  Isaa (alayhis salaam) before his death. This too testifies to the belief of him still being alive. Millions and millions of Ahl-e-Kitaab have not yet believed in Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) in the way Islam requires belief. This will happen after his   Nuzool from the Heavens. 

The  Nuzool  of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) is further confirmed by aayat 61 of Surah Zukhruf:   “Verily he (Nabi Isaa) is certainly a sign for the Hour. Therefore, never ever doubt in it (i.e. the Hour of Qiyaamah) and obey me.”  
The Mufassireen commenting on this aayat say that Isaa (alayhis salaam) will be a sign of Qiyaamah. This aayat conveys the information of his descent  from Heaven in close proximity to Qiyaamah.. Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas, the eminent Sahaabi who is known as Raeesul Mufassireen, narrated regarding this statement of Allah Ta’ala:  “(It means) the emergence of Isaa (alayhis salaam) before the Day of Qiyaamah.” 

The Nuzool  of Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) presupposes him being alive in the Heaven.The unanimous Belief of the Mu’mineen is that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) was raised bodily into heaven while he was alive; that he is alive in Heaven; that he will return to earth before Qiyaamah. There is complete unanimity of the People of Islam on these beliefs. Only munaafiqeen and mulhideen deny these unanimous beliefs of the Mu’mineen. 

Also declaring that Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) was not killed and that he was raised up bodily into the Heaven, the Qur’aan states:

“O Isaa! I shall cause you to die, and I shall raise you to Me, and I shall exonerate you from the unbelievers…”    (Surah Aale-Imraan, aayat 55) 

There is complete unanimity of the Mufassireen and Authorities of Islam regarding the meaning of this aayat. They all state without any difference that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) was lifted alive and physically into the Heaven. The Authorities of Islam unanimously aver that  Allah “will cause Hadhrat Isaa to die” before Qiyaamah after his descent to earth. It is only mulhideen who have taken up the cause of the Qadiani impostor, Mirza Gulam Ahmad. After thirteen centuries of complete unanimity in the beliefs pertaining to Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam), Mirza, the impostor  presented his kufr misinterpretation and opinion of Isaa’s death, etc. The mulhideen in our day are all the muqallideen of the dajjaal, Mirza of Qadian.


The proofs of the Sunnah are overwhelming. Only a total  kaafir –  one who  has been destined for Jahannum from the moment he was conceived  – denies the Sunnah with its vast volume of authentic Ahaadith which the Qur’aan Majeed imposes on Muslims to accept and obey as an integral part of Imaan, without which, Imaan is not valid. In many Qur’aanic aayaat, Allah Ta’ala commands:

“Obey Allah and obey the Rasool….. 

This is an oft-repeated aayat and theme of the Qur’aan. In another aayat, the Qur’aan states:   “Whatever the Rasool brings to you, hold on firmly to it, and whatever he forbids you of, abstain from it.” 

Obedience to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with the axiomatic consequence of accepting and submitting to the  Saheeh  Ahaadith is denied only by those who have no share in Imaan. Refutation of the Ahaadith is precisely denial of the Qur’aan which commands obedience to the Rasool. The teachings, instructions, commands, prohibitions and beliefs delivered and explained by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are all encapsulated in the  Saheeh  Ahaadith. Denial of these Ahaadith is denial of  Allah Ta’ala and Islam because it is Allah Ta’ala Who in the Qur’aan Majeed commands acceptance and obedience to the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). That the  Saheeh  Ahaadith are part of  Wahi  revealed by Allah Ta’ala, is confirmed by the aayat:   “He (Muhammad) does not speak of desire (whim, fancy and personal opinion). It (his speech) is nothing but Wahi which is revealed to him (from Allah Ta’ala).”  

If one stupid Mulhid today refutes without being able to furnish the slightest vestige of Shar’i evidence the beliefs pertaining to Hadhrat Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam), then on the basis of the stupid ‘logic’ of Mulhid No.1, tomorrow Mulhid  No.2 can contend that the daily five Salaat are not Fardh because this perculiar institution of Salaat is the product of the apocryphal traditions of the Jews and Christians. The Qur’aan is silent on the number of times, viz.5,  that Salaat has to be performed daily. It is even more silent on the number of raka’ts and the multitude of  masaa-il  related to Salaat.  By the same shaitaani token, Mulhid No.3 can claim that the one fortieth annual Zakaat tax which the Jurists have fixed is based on apocryphal traditions of the Jews and Christians because the Qur’aan is silent on this issue. In fact, the Qur’aan does not even say that Zakaat means payment of money annually. The literal meaning of Zakaat is NOT payment of annual tax. In this way, the multitude of mulhidsmunaafiqs and zindeeqs who lay  hidden among the ranks of the Mu’mineen can torpedo and extinguish the whole of Islam. In fact, this is precisely the conspiracy of the West which is in progress at this moment. The satanic  plot is being spread like mines  and being planted, to bring about total change in the Immutable Shariah by means of “internal initiatives”. This plot is being  applied in different dimensions of Islam. Every mulhid is a cog in this plot.

ALL the Ahaadith on which are based the Islamic doctrines related to Hadhrat Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) are of the highest category of authenticity on par in force and strength with Qur’aanic aayaat in the Shariah’s law-formulation process. Ahaadith-e-Mutawaatirah produc ing the effect of  Qatiyuth Thuboot  (Authenticity of such a lofty degree which does not admit the slightest vestige of uncertainty) constitute the basis for these  Aqaaid. There is not a single authentic Hadith of a lesser class, leave alone Israeli fabrications and apocryphal traditions, which forms the basis for the beliefs pertaining to Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). Only morons, ignoramuses and doomed men with stercoraceous minds will claim that these highly authentic Ahaadith which have the force of Qur’aanic aayat, are the products of the  apocryphal traditions of the Jews and Christians. 

Shayaateen of this ilk imply by their ludicrous opinions that from its very  inception Islam was smothered and it did not attain its pinnacle of perfection to which the Qur’aan attests.
In fact, this noxious opinion of these  juhhaal  leads to the inevitable conclusion that the whole of Islam, in fact the Qur’aan itself, is a fabrication based on Jewish and Christian legend and mythology because it is an irrefutable fact which no sane Muslim or non-Muslim will deny that the authenticity of the Qur’aan is based on Ahaadith-e-Mutawaatirah. Without Hadith there is NO Qur’aan. 

The Qur’aan Kareem makes a brief reference to the physical lifting of Hadhrat Isaa (alayhis salaam) just as it makes a brief reference to Zakaat in its verses, and just as it makes brief references to Salaat in the verses commanding Salaat. The elaboration of these concepts and institutions has been assigned to the Ahaadith. Thus, the Qur’aan Majeed commands:  “Verily whoever has obeyed the Rasool has obeyed Allah.”  

In exactly the same concise style  the Qur’aan refers to the descent of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam), leaving the explanation to the Ahaadith. These Ahaadith as mentioned earlier are of the  Tawaatur  category, denial of which is kufr of the highest degree. Haafiz Bin Hajar states this fact explicitly in Fathul Baari, Sharh (commentary) of Bukhaari Shareef. The illustrious Mufassir, Haafiz Ibn Katheer confirms these Ahaadith and their category in his famous Tafseer. In  Tal-kheesul Habeer, Haafiz Ibn Hajar states:

“All the authorities of Hadith and Tafseer have concurred  that the ascension of Isaa (alayhis salaam) was a physical ascension.” 

Haafiz Ibn Katheer has compiled in his Tafseer ten big pages full with these Ahaadith which state and describe Hadhrat Isaa’s bodily ascension while he was alive, his presence in the Heaven in his physical state, i.e. with his physical body, and his appearance on earth in close proximity to Qiyaamah. It has been explicitly mentioned that these issues are  Ijmaaee, Qat’i and Ittifaaqi  in which there exists absolutely no difference of opinion. 

The entire life of Hadhrat Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) was a  Mu’jizah (Divine Miracle). His mother, Hadhrat Maryam (alayhas salaam) was a Virgin. He was born  without the agency of a father. He spoke when he was an infant of a day old proclaiming his Nubuwwat and the Ahkaam of Salaat and Zakaat. He left this world alive in the miraculous state of ascension into the Heavens. He lives there to this day, alive in the way all human beings are alive. His descent to earth will be miraculous. His task of slaying Dajjaal will be miraculous. Are all these irrefutable facts of Imaan the products of the apocryphal traditions of the Jews and Christians? Only men whose kufr was stamped on their hearts when they were still in the wombs of their mothers can have the audacity of denying these  Aqaaid  of incontrovertible truth. 

We supplicate to Allah Ta’ala to preserve our Imaan and to eliminate the kufr from the hearts of the mulhideen in our midst. After all, Allah Ta’ala has the power to eliminate kufr from even the sealed and stamped hearts of zindeeqs. “Verily, Allah has power over all things.”

NUZUL (Decension) of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam)

By Hazrat Maulana Muhammed Badre-Alam

Common Muslim belief

Muslims believe that Nabi Isaa (Alayhis Salaam) will suffer a natural death after Nuzul  (decension).  They differ with other people only about his previous death.     

According to common Muslim  belief Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) has been taken up to the heavens bodily alive and that he will return to this world and die a natural death.  There are no sectarian differences among Muslims on these points from the early days of Islam.  Not to speak of many other incidents of his life which strongly disprove the Divinity of Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam), the belief about future death stands out almost as final repudiation of  such  divinity. Consequently, once you believe in his physical birth and death there remains absolutely no risk of conceding even a shadow of divinity though you also believe that  he had ascended safely to the heavens.      

Here we may refer to the interpretation of  “I shall receive you” as “I will cause  you to die”  which has been given by Hazrat Ibne Abbas and so it is no way inconsistent with beliefs entertained by Muslims.  The suggested interpretation can neither be correctly to the great commentator of  Qur’aan nor has it been countenanced by any Muslim authority of repute.  In fact there are several other traditions on the authority of Hazrat Ibne Abbas which unequivocally affirm the common Muslim belief that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) will descend into this world and thereafter die a natural death.        


People of deficient knowledge have fallen victim to serious mis understanding in that the single version of Hazrat Ibne-Abass referred to, occurs in the compilation of Imam Bukhari which fact leads to an inference that the latter also agreed with it. Besides the foregoing comments, it may not be overlooked that in this very compilation elsewhere specific traditions relating to “Nuzul” are included.  How then can it be argued that death of  Nabi Isa (alayhis salaam) mentioned in the version in dispute signifies a foregoing one.  Since in the other traditions the views of Hazrat Ibne Abass are clearly brought out,  why not infer that Imam Bukhari held the same belief, knowing as we do that Bukhari itself records numerous traditions to that effect and the Imam must be supposed to have taken full responsibility for the authenticity of these traditions.     

Another authority who is often quoted in  support of the view of previous death is Ibne Hazm.  The uncorroborated opinion of a single authority of medium rank can hardly have any weight against the unanimous pronouncements of leading Ulama. And Ibne Hazm is already notorious in holding arbitrary views on different subjects.  He too in certain places has clearly opined that Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) is destined to descend to the earth towards  the end.  In his well- known book,  Al Muhalla, page 391, he has described the doctrine of “Nuzul” as one of the basic beliefs of  the majority of Muslims.  The same opinion has been expressed by him in  Kitaabul-Fasl,  see pages 23, 55, 73, 77 and 87.  One such extract from the book runs as follows:     

“The reliable narrators who  have conveyed to us the doctrines of prophethood of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) proclaimed that no new Prophet will appear after him except Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam).  The prediction of his “Nuzul” is embodied in authentic traditions.  It is the same apostle of Allah who had been sent unto Bani Israel and whom the Jews claimed to have killed by crucifixion.  Hence it is incumbent upon us to believe in these things. And it is proved from reliable sources that no new Nubuwwat will exist after the passing away of our Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).



“One Faqeeh is sterner on shaitaan than a thousand Aabids.” (Hadith)

(Aabid is a man of adequate knowledge who devotes the greater part of his life to only ibaadat. However, he lacks in the divinely bestowed attribute of faqaahat — a Noor of Understanding which Allah Ta’ala infuses into the heart of the Mu’min.)

The Chain of the Fuqaha commences with the Sahaabah who were the Students of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). While all the Sahaabah were not Fuqaha, a great many were Fuqaha (Jurists of Islam) of the highest class. These Fuqaha among the Sahaabah spread out into the distant lands of the Islamic Empire after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They imparted and disseminated the Ilm of the Qur’aan to those who became the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and Fuqaha of the first and highest class in the era of the Taabieen.

The Taabieen duplicated the function and the activities of their Sahaabah-Ustaadhs. In this way, from one generation to the next, came into existence great and illustrious Fuqaha who raised the Edifice of the Divine Immutable Shariah on the Foundations of the Qur’aan and Sunnah.


The vital and indispensable links  in the Chain of the Shariah  leading up to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are  the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen such  as Imaam Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullah alayh), Imaam Maalik (Rahmatullah alayh) and many other Mujtahid Imaams of  the Salafus Saaliheen era of the  first and second centuries of Islam.

The Aimmah Mujtahideen had structured the edifice of the  Shariah on the basis of the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith which  reached them authentically from  the Sahaabah. Numerous of the  Taabieen Ulama were among the Aimmah Mujtahideen. Minus the  Aimmah Mujtahideen, there is no  Islam. These Mujtahid Imaams are  a special group of the greatest Ulama created by Allah Ta’ala for the specific task of formulating  and codifying the Shariah. Hence, (Sallallahu  Rasulullah alayhi wasallam) ordered his Sahaabah to deliver to posterity every Hadith. He added that some of those to whom the Ahaadith would be delivered will understand it more than those who had delivered it. This was a reference to the Aimmah Mujtahideen. Numerous of them were the direct Students of the  Sahaabah. Nothing of Islam can be separated from the Aimmah  Mujtahideen.

This was that Jamaat of Men whom Allah Ta’ala had chosen to guard and defend the Deen of Islam. There is no comparison with them. They were unique in every aspect. They were Fuqaha, Muhadditheen, Mufassireen, etc. of the highest category. None of the later Muhadditheen such as Imaam Bukhaari (rahmatullah alayh) attained the rank of Ilm which was occupied by the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.

No one, neither Muhaddith nor Mufassir of any age, was independent of the Fuqaha. Every authority in Islam on any subject had to incumbently refer to and bow their heads in subservience to the Fuqaha. For the safety of Imaan the need to accept without scrutinization and with complete submission the rulings of the Fuqaha, is imperative. Whoever has attempted to set himself up as an adversary to the Fuqaha has miserably failed and ended up in the dregs of deception and deviation —far, very far from Siraatul Mustaqeem. Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) explains the imperative nature of submission to the Fuqaha in the following answer to a question posed to him.


Whenever the Ahnaaf Ulama issue a fatwa on any mas’alah, they always refer to Durr-e-Mukhtaar, Raddul Muhtaar, Shaami, Aalamghiri, etc. They do not say: ‘Allah said so or Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said so…’ Why have they adopted this practice when Qur’aanic and Hadith references are more convincing to a Mu’min?

ANSWER by Hakimul Ummat

“In fact, you have not even seen the kutub of the Ahnaaf Ulama.  You will find for example Hidaaya replete with Aayaat and Ahaadith references. The same will be found in Badaai’ and Mabsoot. The same applies for Durr-e-Mukhtaar and Raddul Muhtaar. Why do present-day Muftis refrain from citing the Qur’aan and Hadith? Its answer is that today all Ulama are Muqallideen. They do not possess the ability to deduct ahkaam directly from the Qur’aan and Hadith. It is for this reason they cite the reference of such Ulama-e-Mujtahideen who had made use of ijtihad and had compiled the kutub.

If they do not do so, and of their own accord deduct masaail from the Qur’aan and Hadith, even the questioner will have no confidence. Furthermore, such a Mufti is the victim of thousands of errors. When he is not on the pedestal of Ijtihaad, how can he employ ijtihaad to formulate masaail from the Qur’aan and Hadith? Besides reading the superficial translation and deceiving people, he does nothing else. In the present age, there is a group of people who are trapped in the disease of self-deception imagining themselves to be among the Mujtahideen.

If their ‘ijtihaad’ is examined, the state of their error will be understood. In view of the condition of today’s claimants of ijtihaad, it is the Ruling of the Ulama that taqleed of the illustrious Predecessors (the Salf) is Waajib.  Hence, they issue Fataawa by reference to these kutub in which are compiled the Ahkaam which have been formulated on the basis of the Qur’aan and Hadith (by the Aimmah-e-Mujtahiddeen)”

(Imdaadul Ahkaam, Vol.1, page 228)


In this age of liberalism, the disease of pride has impelled many half-baked students of Deeni knowledge to lay claims to Ijtihaad and to imagine that they are Mujtahiddeen, Muhadditheen and Mufassireen. They consider themselves competent to deduct Shar’i ahkaam directly from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and feel themselves independent of the Fuqaha.

In this regard, Shaikh Yusuf Bin Ismaaeel An-Nibhaani writes in his treatise, Hujjatullaahi Alal Aalameen:

     “Today it is only a man who is mentally deranged and whose Deen is corrupt, who will lay claim to Ijtihaad. This has been said by Shaikhul Akbar Muhayyuddin. Imaam Al-Munaawi said in his Sharhul Kabir alal Jaami’is Saghir that Allaamah Shihaab Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami said:

“When Al-Jalaal As-Suyuti claimed Ijtihaad (for himself), his contemporaries (among the Ulama) stood up and unanimously criticized him. They forwarded to him a questionnaire consisting of a number of questions (each one having) two views. They said that if he possessed the ability of the lowest category of Ijtihaad, namely, Ijtihaadul Fatwa, then he should comment on the Raajih (Preferred view) from the views presented, and he should expound the daleel for each view in terms of the principles of the Mujtahideen. Allaamah Suyuti returned the questionnaire without answering the questions and presented the excuse of the volume of work which prevents him from studying the questions.”

Ibn Hajar then adds: Now ponder the colossal difficulty of this category, namely Ijtihaadul Fatwa, which is the lowest category of Ijtihaad. It will then become manifest to you that the one who lays claim to even this lowest category of ijtihaad, leave alone Ijtihaad-e-Mutlaq, is trapped in bewildering confusion in his affairs and he languishes in mental corruption. He is among those who wander aimlessly in blindness”

Imaam Nawawi says in Ar-Raudhah:“Istimbaat (Deducting masaail) directly from the Kitaab (Qur’aan) and Sunnah is not permissible except for one who has attained the pedestal of Ijtihaad. This has been explicitly said (by the Fuqaha).”

Grievous errors are nowadays perpetrated by mediocre molvis who ludicrously seek to elevate themselves to the pedestal occupied by the illustrious Mujtahideen of the  early eras of Islam. The miscreant molvis, due to half-baked or quarter baked knowledge, awed by the methodology of the deviate Salafis of our time, commit the fatal blunder of digging in the Kutub of Ahaadith. They extract a Hadith, subject it to their opinion to formulate masaa-il to appease the Salafi Manhaaj (ideology).

We refute and oppose Salafis day & night for negating the rulings & usuls based by Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and their clinging onto the isolated views of the seventh century Aalim, Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) & his student Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah), but it has now become a norm that our very own Muqallid Molvis are making flawed-ijtihad to support their views, while they pick and choose from personal views of different scholars to suit their agenda resulting in negating the ruling made by Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.

For example, some molvis cite the personal view of 8th century scholar Imam al-Suyuti (rahimahullah) to subtantiate Mawlid while negating the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen who didn’t formulate a day for Mawlid nor they heeded the Salaf who never celebrated Mawlid.

If such personal opinions of scholars are made a daleel in the Shariah, then we would have never criticized the salafis for their deviance!. Therefore, personal opinions of the later day scholars which opposes the Ijmaa’i view of the Imam’s of  Math-hab’s cannot be identified as hujjah in the Shariah.

Then on the other hand, the modern-day Molvis are making flawed ‘ijtihad’ and labelling Riba (Interest) as ‘Profit’ and legalizing it while negating the unanimous view of Riba being haraam as per the rulings of the Imams from the Khairul-Khuroon epoch.

Nowadays, the modern scholars are legalizing Digital pictures, this too results in total rejection of the unanimous view of the 4 Madh-habs rulings on this issue who declared pictures as haraam irrespective of any modern-day techniques to produce it.

We have mentioned a few examples above, while there are many such instances where the modern-day scholars make their own personal opinions while rejecting the rulings of Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.

The Consequences of such rulings based on personal ‘Ijtihaad’ is that the lay-person are deprived of the original rulings of Aimmah Mujtahideen and they fall into deviancy as similar to that of Salafis & Bidatis.

Formulating masaa-il on the  basis of the Hadith and Qur’aan  was the function of only the  Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen. That  methodology has ended during the era of Khairul Quroon. The  corrupt methodology of the  Salafis is haraam, and may not be  emulated. Masaa-il decided and  finalized by the Aimmah Mujtahideen are not open for interpretation/re-interpretation  and mutilation. Islam was finalized and perfected during  the very time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as    the Qur’aan confirms. Re-interpretation is explicit KUFR.

There is no need to comment further on those who have embarked on deviation on the basis of their misconceived ability of ‘ijtihaad’.


Question: What is meant by the doors of Ijtihaad are closed? If  Ijthaad is no longer permissible,  how will the status of the many  new developing issues be  decided? Innumerable things did  not exist during the age of the  Sahaabah, Taabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen. Please explain.

Answer: The Doors of Ijtihaad being closed applies to the Usool  (Principles) and Furoo’ detailed  masaa-il) formulated by the  Aimmah Mujtahideen. The issues which the Aimmah Mujtahideen  had settled and finalized may not be subjected to ijtihaad. For  example, the Aimmah  Mujtahideen of all Math-habs have unanimously ruled that  three Talaaqs uttered in one  breath are three, not one as the  deviant Salafis opine on the  basis of their understanding of  certain Hadith narrations.

The Doors of Ijtihaad having  closed is not applicable to new  development e.g. preforming Salaat on the moon or using  scientific instruments/ calculations to determine the  Islamic months or to decide the  permissibility or impermissibility  of performing Salaat in the air or  for deciding the impermissibility  of digital picture, etc., etc.

The rulings for all new developments will be based on  the Principles evolved by the  Aimmah Muhtahideen and also  on similar particular mas’alahs  already existing in the Shariah. Re-interpreting existing Principles and Particulars is  haraam.

The Deviant Beliefs of ‘Sir’ Sayyid Ahmad Khan

'Sir' Sayyid Ahmad Khan

[By Maulana Mufti Muhammad Na‛im Sahib and translated by Maulana Mahomedy]

Naturalism: the belief that all religious truth is based not on revelation but rather on the study of natural causes and processes.

(Collins English Dictionary)


After the end of Muslim rule in India and the arrival of the British there, the naturalist sect was the first deviated sect to come into existence. [Aqa’id Islam, vol.1, p. 179].

Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan was a Ghayr Muqallid in the beginning. He then became a mujtahid. When he went to England, he became a mulhid. Subsequently, he openly commenced propagating his naturalist sect. [Imdad al-Fatawa, vol. 6, p.167]

The British formed this sect with the sole purpose of dividing the Muslims so that they [British] could rule over India without interference or hindrance. They put Sir Sayyid to proper use for this purpose. The following is noted by an insightful Englishman:

Every person belonging to our government in India – whether he is involved in foreign affairs, the courts or the administration of the army – must always bear in mind the principle of divide and rule.

In order to realize their objective, the British first utilized Sir Sayyid. The above statement of the Englishman is more or less conveyed by Sir Sayyid in the following way:

The disruption and disorder which we experienced is solely as a consequence of the ingratitude of the Indians. You did not show gratitude to God and have always been ungrateful. God imposed this situation on you Indians because of your ingratitude, and allowed you to experience again a sample of the government of former times, after he suspended English rule for a short time.

Sir Sayyid was the one who referred to the 1857 war for independence as a rebellion and a mutiny [Sarkashi Dila‛ Bijnaur, p. 47]. On the other hand, Muslims considered it to be a battle for independence.

Sir Sayyid himself writes that there is none from among the Muslim Nawabs and Hindu noblemen in Bijnaur district who has the ability to rule so that the masses could live in an atmosphere of justice and peace.
[Ibid. pp.75-76].

This is why Sir Sayyid constantly received titles from the British government. Queen Victoria referred to him as CSI.

Furthermore, in order to please the British government, Sir Sayyid audaciously changed Islamic teachings in a manner which is not possible for a Muslim. [Angrez Ke Baghi Musalman, p. 408]

It was Sir Sayyid’s view that Muslims should adopt British culture and ways so that they can acquire honour in the eyes of the British. This is why he opened ‛Ali Garh College. He and his ilk made the intellect the basis for  everything and rejected anything  which could not be fathomed  through the intellect.

This sect came into existence  around the year 1855. A group of  people accepted his beliefs. The  more well-known among them  were the following: Nawab Muhsin al-Mulk, Deputy Nadhir Ahmad Khan Dehlawi, Shams al-‛Ulama’ Maulwi Dhaka’ullah Dehlawi, Altaf Husayn Hali,  Maulwi Mushtaq Husayn, Nawab Intisar Jang, Maulwi Chiragh ‛Ali Khan, Mahdi ‛Ali Khan, Nawab A‛zam Mahir Jang, Shibli Nu‛mani A‛zamgarhi and others.

A Short Biography of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan

He was born on 17 October 1817  in Delhi. His early studies were  undertaken at home. His father  passed away when he was quite  young. This is why he had to find  employment. He commenced by  working as a permanent  government employee.

He was then employed by the  East India Company and then  made into an associate in the  court. He continued progressing  in this way. During the war for independence, he was a sub-judge in Bijnaur. He progressed  further and became the District Magistrate. He was then  transferred to Muradabad. While  in Muradabad, he wrote Asbab  Baghawat-e-Hind and other  books.

He was transferred to  Ghazipur in 1862 where he established the Scientific Society  whose aim was to translate  English scientific literature into  Urdu. He also opened a school  here.

When he was transferred to ‛Ali  Garh in 1864, he moved the  offices of the Scientific Society  from Ghazipur to ‛Ali Garh. From  here he published a periodical under the auspices of ‛Ali Garh Institute. Its publication continued until his death.

His beliefs: Sir Sayyid was initially a Ghayr Muqallid. He then started making his own ijtihad. He proceeded to England in 1869 with his sons. The path to atheism opened from there and he began propagating his beliefs.

He wrote several books, some of which are:

(1) A’in Akbari.
(2) Tarikh Firoz Shahi (with corrections and footnotes).
(3) Athar as-Sanadid.
(4) Tahdhib al-Akhlaq.
(5) Asbab Baghawat-e-Hind. He passed away on 27 March 1898 in ‛Ali Garh and was buried near the College.

Beliefs And Doctrines

1. There is no such a thing as angels. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 31; Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 46].

2. There is no such a thing as Shaytan. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 31]

3. Hadrat Adam ‛alayhis salam did not eat of the forbidden tree. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 31]

4. There is no punishment in the grave. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 65]

5. He rejects Paradise and Hell. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 110; Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 39]

6. There will be no bodily resurrection. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 110; Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 39]

7. There is no such a thing as doe-eyed damsels of Paradise. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 110; Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 39]

8. He rejects pre-destination. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 9]

9. He rejects miracles. [Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, vol. 3, p. 31]

10. The heavens do not exist. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 2, p. 52]

11. Ijma‛ is not a valid proof. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 2, p. 52]

12. No abrogation took place in the Qur’an. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 4, p. 16]

13. Pictures of animate things are permissible. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 14, p. 115]

14. Most Ahadith are not authentic. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 14, p. 187]

15. There is no such a thing as jinn. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 5, p. 7]

16. He rejects the miracles of Hadrat Musa ‛alayhis salam. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 5, p. 54]

17. Hadrat ‛Isa ‛alayhis salam passed away and he was not raised to the heavens. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 22, p. 6]

18. Hadrat ‛Isa ‛alayhis salam had a father. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 1, p. 3]

19. He rejects the miracle of the splitting of the moon. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 9, p. 1]

20. He rejects the opening of the chest of Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam. Anyone who rejects this is not a kafir according to him. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 1, p. 1]

21. He rejects the Mi‛raj. [Ibid]

22. He rejects Imam Mahdi. He will not come before the day of Resurrection. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 3, p. 96]

23. An ordinary person can be equal to a Prophet. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 3, p. 57]

24. No Prophet perfected the teaching of tauhid. (Allah forbid) all their teachings on tauhid were defective. [Nur al-Afaq, vol. 3, p. 63]

25. There is no such a thing as conveying rewards to the deceased (Isal-e-thawab). [Nur al-Afaq, (Jumada al-Ula/Ramadan 96)]

Answers From The Qur’an And Hadith to Naturalist Beliefs And Doctrines

1st Belief: Angels Do Not Exist.


This belief is against the Qur’an and Hadith. There are countless verses in the Qur’an which make reference to angels. For example:

Thereupon the angels prostrated all of them together. Except for Iblis. [Surah al-Hijr, 15: 30-31]

Angels are mentioned in several places in the Qur’an. Some of them are:

Surah al-Baqarah – 10 verses Surah Al ‛Imran – 8 verses
Surah an-Nisa’ – 4 verses
Surah al-A‛raf – 5 verses
Surah al-Anfal – 3 verses
Surah Hud – 2 verses
Surah Yusuf – 1 verse
Surah ar-Ra‛d – 2 verses
Surah al-Hijr – 4 verses
Surah an-Nahl – 5 verses
Surah al-Isra’ – 4 verses
Surah al-Kahf – 1 verse
Surah Ta Ha – 1 verse
Surah al-Ambiya’ – 1 verse
Surah al-Hajj – 1 verse
Surah al-Mu’minun – 1 verse
Surah al-Furqan – 4 verses
Surah as-Sajdah – 1 verse
Surah al-Ahzab – 2 verses
Surah as-Saba’ – 1 verse
Surah Fatir – 1 verse
Surah as-Saffat – 1 verse
Surah Sad – 2 verses
Surah az-Zumar – 1 verse
Surah al-Muddath-thir – 1 verse Surah an-Naba’ – 1 verse

When your Sustainer said to the angels: I am going to make a vicegerent in the earth. [Surah al-Baqarah, 2: 30]

When We ordered the angels: “Prostrate to Adam”, they all fell into prostration except Iblis. [Surah al-Baqarah, 2: 34]

The Ahadith mention the angels in many places. For example:

Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam said: When it is Laylatul Qadr, Jibril descends with a troop of angels. [Mishkat, vol.1, p.183]

The person who reads Surah ad-Dukhan at night shall wake up the next morning with 70,000 angels seeking forgiveness for him. [Mishkat, vol. 1, p.187]

Allah ta‛ala read Surahs Ta Ha and Ya Sin 1,000 years before He created the heavens and the earth. When the angels heard the Qur’an being recited, they said: Glad tidings to the nation on which this will be revealed. Glad tidings to the hearts which will memorize this. Glad tidings to the tongues which will read this. [Mishkat, vol.1, p.187]

The books of aqa’id state that belief in the angels is from among the essentials of Din and that rejecting the angels is undoubtedly kufr. [Aqaa’id Islam]

2nd Belief: Rejection of Shaytan


Rejecting the existence of Shaytan entails rejecting the Qur’an and Hadith because he is mentioned in countless places. For example:

Except Iblis. He did not obey and displayed arrogance. And he was from the unbelievers. [Surah al-Baqarah, 2: 34]

Then Satan caused them to slip from that place and removed them from that honour and comfort in which they were.   [Surah al-Baqarah, 2:36]

Those who devour usury (interest) will not rise on the day of Resurrection except as the rising of a person whose senses Satan has squandered by clinging (to him).  [Surah al-Baqarah, 2: 275]

Shaytan is mentioned profusely in the Ahadith as well. For example:

Hadrat Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu ‛anhu said: Shaytan comes to one of you and asks: Who created this, who created that? [Mishkat, vol.1, p.18]

Shaytan flows in man just as blood flows in him. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Every infant that is born is most certainly touched by Shaytan at the time of his birth. [Bukhari and Muslim]

3rd Belief: Hadrat Adam Did Not Eat The Forbidden Fruit


This is also against the Qur’an and Hadith. For example:

Do not approach this tree or else you will become of the transgressors. [Surah al-Baqarah, 2:35]

Your Sustainer did not forbid you from this tree except for the reason that you might become angels or that you live forever.  [Surah al-A‛raf, 7:20]

Did I not prohibit you from that tree and did I not tell you that Satan is your open enemy?   [Surah al-A‛raf, 7: 22]

4th Belief: Rejection of Punishment of The Grave


This belief is also against the Qur’an and Hadith. For example:

It is the fire which is displayed before them in the morning and evening. [Surah al-Mu’min, 40:46]

Behind them is a veil till a day when they shall be raised. [Surah al-Mu’minun, 23:100]

Now today you will be recompensed with a humiliating punishment. [Surah al-Ahqaf, 46: 20]

The ‛ulama’ state that there are countless Ahadith which affirm the punishment of the grave. The Muhaddithun classify them as mutawatir Ahadith which cannot be rejected. For example:

Hadrat ‛A’ishah radiyallahu ‛anha narrates that a Jewish woman came to her and was talking about punishment of the grave. The woman said to her: “May Allah protect you from the punishment of the grave.” ‛A’ishah radiyallahu ‛anha then asked Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam about punishment of the grave and he said: “Yes, the punishment of the grave is certain.” ‛A’ishah radiyallahu ‛anha relates: Subsequently whenever Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam performed a salah, he sought refuge in Allah ta‛ala from the punishment of the grave.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Hadrat Abu Sa‛id Khudri radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam said: Ninety nine serpents are let loose on an unbeliever in his grave. They continue biting and stinging him until the day of Resurrection. If just one of those serpents were to spit on earth, it will not produce any greenery. [Darimi and Tirmidhi]

Hadrat Asma’ bint Abi Bakr radiyallahu ‛anha narrates: Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam stood up to deliver a sermon and he spoke about the tribulation of the grave which would put a person to test. When he related this, the Muslims began screaming and crying. [Bukhari]

5th Belief: Rejection of Paradise And Hell


The Qur’an and Hadith mention Paradise and Hell profusely. For example:

Those who continued fearing their Sustainer will be driven towards Paradise in groups. Till when they reach it and its gates are opened, its keepers will say to them: “Peace be upon you. You are pure people. So enter it, abiding therein forever. [Surah az-Zumar, 39:73]

Enter it with peace. This is the day of eternity. [Surah Qaf, 50: 34]

As for those who are fortunate, they shall be in Paradise. Abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure. [Surah Hud, 11:108]

Those who were unbelievers shall be driven towards Hell in groups.   [Surah az-Zumar, 39: 71]

Similarly, Paradise and Hell are mentioned profusely in the Ahadith. For example:

I will be the first to knock on the door of Paradise.  [Muslim]

I will go to the door of Paradise on the day of Resurrection and ask for it to be opened. The guard will ask: “Who are you?” I will reply: “Muhammad.” He will say: “I was ordered not to open it for anyone before you.” [Muslim]

Hell is mentioned abundantly in the Qur’an and Hadith. For example:

For them is a bed of Hell [from below].  [Surah al-A‛raf, 7:41]

However, those who are sinners, they shall remain in the punishment of Hell forever.   [Surah az-Zukhruf, 43: 74]

The following is stated in the books of aqa’id: 

Paradise and Hell have already been created. [Sharh Aqa’id Nasafi]

They will remain forever; they will never perish. There is unanimity of the ummat in this regard.

‛Allamah Shihab ad-Din Khifaji rahimahullah writes:

We classify as a kafir the one who rejects Paradise and Hell themselves or the places in them. [Naseem ul Riyadh]

6th Belief: Rejection of Physical Resurrection


This belief is against the Qur’an, Hadith and consensus of the ummat. We learn from several Qur’anic verses that after dying, people will be raised with their physical bodies on the day of Resurrection. For example:

The trumpet will be blown. They will then rush forth from their graves towards their Sustainer. [Surah Ya Sin, 36:51]

He puts forth for Us a simile and forgets his [own] creation. He says: “Who will give life to the bones when they have crumbled to dust?” Say: “He will give life to them who had created them the first time. And He knows every creation.” [Surah Ya Sin, 36:78-79]

Similarly, it is learnt from countless Ahadith that people will be assembled on the field of Resurrection. For example:

People will be assembled on a single plain on the day of Resurrection. [Mishkat, 487]

People will be assembled on the day of Resurrection on a white field which will be level like a flat loaf of bread with no sign on it. [Mishkat, 482]

‛A’ishah radiyallahu ‛anha narrates: I asked Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam about the verse: “The day when the earth and heavens will be replaced by another earth”, where will people be on that day? He replied: They will be on the Sirat (the bridge over Hell). [Mishkat, vol. 1, p. 482]

The books of aqa’id state that the concept of life after death is as clear as the day. This is unanimously accepted by the ummat and there is no room whatsoever for any rationalization. [Aqa’id al-Islam, vol. 1, p. 83]

People who reject this are out of the fold of Islam. The ‛ulama’ of every era classified such people as kafirs. [Ibid. vol. 2, p. 92]

7th Belief: Rejection of Doe-Eyed Damsels of Paradise 


This belief is against the Qur’an and Hadith. The Qur’an makes several references to the doe-eyed damsels of Paradise. For example:

There are maidens confined to tents. [Surah ar-Rahman, 55:72]

Therein are women of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinn will have touched before.   [Surah ar-Rahman, 55:56]

We created those maidens in a wonderful way. We then made them virgins. Loving companions of the same age. [Surah al-Waqi‛ah, 56: 35-37]

The Ahadith also mention the doe-eyed damsels profusely. For example:ََََّْْ

When a person stands up for salah, Paradise is opened for him, the veils between himself and His Allah are removed, and he faces the doe-eyed damsel as long as he does not spit nor blows his nose. [Tabarani]

The number of doe-eyed damsels is much more than you. They pray for their partners thus: O Allah! Assist him on Your Din, turn his heart to Your obedience, O the most Merciful of those who show mercy! Convey him to us with Your special proximity. [Al-Targheeb Wa’l Tarheeb]

If a person suppresses his anger while having the ability to give vent to it, Allah ta‛ala shall call him before the entire creation on the day of Resurrection and give him the choice to choose whichever doe-eyed damsel he likes.

8th Belief: Rejection of Predestination


The Ahl as-Sunnah’s belief is that Allah ta‛ala has knowledge of everything before the occurrence of incidents and events. Allah ta‛ala recorded all this in the Preserved Tablet. The issue of predestination is proven from countless Qur’anic verses and Ahadīth. For example:

That if Allah wills, He could have brought all the people to the path. [Surah ar-Ra‛d, 13: 31]

But you cannot will it unless Allah, the master of all the worlds, wills. [Surah at-Takwir, 71: 29]

Allah leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills.   [Surah al-Muddath-thir, 74:31]

Belief in predestination is also explained profusely in the Ahadith. For example:

Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Amr radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam said: Allah ta‛ala recorded the destinies of the creations 50,000 years before He created the heavens and earth. His Throne was on water at that time. [Muslim]

Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Umar radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam said: Everything is predetermined – even incapability and intelligence. [Muslim]

Hadrat Sahl ibn Sa‛d radiyallāhu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam said: A person continues doing the actions of the people of the Hell-fire but he becomes of the people of Paradise. A person continues doing the actions of the people of Paradise but he becomes of the people of the Hell-fire. [Bukhari]

9th Belief: Rejection of Miracles


A definition of a miracle:

The majority of theologians define a miracle as a matter which is different from the norm accompanied with tahaddi, i.e. a claim to messenger-ship, while it cannot be opposed.

Miracles are given to Prophets by Allah ta‛ala so that they can serve as proofs of their messenger-ship and prophet-hood. This is clarified in many places in the Qur’an. For example:

So these are two evidences from your Sustainer. [Surah al-Qasas, 28:32]

This is because there used to come to them their Messengers with clear signs. But they rejected [them]. So Allah seized them. Surely He is powerful, severe in punishment. [Surah al-Mu’min, 40:22]

We gave to Musa nine clear signs   [Surah Bani Isra’il,17:101]

We have come to you with a sign from your Sustainer. [Surah Ta Ha, 20:47]

The Ahadith also describe the miracles of the Prophets ‛alayhimus salam. For example:

Hadrat Jabir radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates: The people got thirsty at Hudaybiyah. Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam had a pitcher of water from which he performed wudu’. The people went towards him. He asked them: “What is it?” They replied: “We do not have any water for wudu’ or to drink except the water which you have in front of you.” Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam placed his hand in the pitcher and water began gushing forth like fountains. We drank and performed wudu’. The narrator asked Jabir: “How many people were you?” He replied: “If we were 100,000 it would have sufficed us. We were 1,500.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

Hadrat Barra’ ibn ‛Azib radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates: We were about 1,400 with Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam at Hudaybiyah. There was a well whose water we used up, not leaving a single drop. When Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam came to know of this, he came to the well, sat on its edge, and asked for a utensil of water. He performed wudu’, then gargled his mouth and threw that water into the well. He said: “Leave the well for a little while.” Thereafter, all who were present satiated their thirst from it, and gave to their animals also. They continued utilizing water from the well until they departed. [Bukhari]

Hadrat ‛Ali ibn Abi Talib radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates: I was with Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam in Makkah when we went to one of its outlying areas. As we were walking, every rock and tree which came before him [on the path] greeted him by saying: “Peace be to you, O Rasulullah!” [Tirmidhi, Daarimi]

10th Belief: Rejection of Ijma‛


Ijma‛ refers to the unanimity of the jurists and mujtahids on an injunction of the Shari‛ah in any era after the era of Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam.

It becomes necessary to practise on it as it is to practise on the Qur’an and Hadith. Ijma‛ is proven from the Qur’an and Hadith.

Hold fast to the rope of Allah altogether and do not sow dissension [Surah Al ‛Imran, 3:103]

O believers! Continually fear Allah and remain with the truthful.   [Surah at-Taubah, 9: 119]

Whoever opposes the Messenger after the straight path has become manifest to him and treads the path against all the Muslims, We shall hand him over to that which he himself has chosen and We shall cast him into Hell. He has reached a very evil place. [Surah an-Nisa’, 4:115 ]

There are many Ahadith on the subject of ijma‛ which are classified as mutawatir. A mutawatir Hadith refers to a Hadith which has been related by such a large number of people in every era that it is impossible for so many of them to concur on fabricating a lie or committing a mistake.

My ummah or the ummah of Muhammad (sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam) will never concur on deviation. Allah’s hand is on the group. The one who separates himself [from the main body] shall be separated in the Hell-fire. [Tirmidhi]

The condition of this ummah will remain straight and upright until the Final Hour. [Bukhari]

Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates: I heard Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam saying: My ummah will never concur on deviation. If you see any disunity, hold on firmly to the main body of Muslims. [Ibn Majah]

Whose Ijma‛ will be a proof

There are several opinions in this regard:

1. Imam Malik rahimahullah is of the view that the ijma‛ of the people of Madinah will be considered. (Al-Taqrir Sharh al-Tahrir)

2. Some are of the view that only the ijma‛ of the Sahabah radiyallahu ‛anhum will be considered.  (Tahseel al-Wusool)

3. The most balanced view is that it is sufficient for the jurists and mujtahids of any era to concur on a ruling of the Shari‛ah. Thereafter, the opposition of the Ahl-e-Bid‛at, flagrant sinners and masses will not be considered.

The third view is the most preferred by the majority of scholars. (Al-Taqrir Sharh al-Tahrir)

11th Belief: No Abrogation Took Place in The Qur’an  


Abrogation means cancelling a certain ruling. In other words, to replace one ruling by another. The exegists are of the view that abrogation is of three types:

Words are abrogated but the ruling remains. For example, the verse related to stoning to death. Its words have been abrogated but the ruling is still valid.

2. The words are present but the ruling is abrogated. For example, bequests for relatives: “A bequest for parents and relatives with equity.” [Surah al-Baqarah, 2:180]

3. The words and ruling are both abrogated. For example, a Hadith states that Surah al-Ahzab was equal to Surah al-Baqarah, but its recitation and ruling are both abrogated.

Based on the importance of abrogation, the exegists hold it in very high regard. Abrogation is from among the essential sciences required by exegists.

The ummat is unanimous about abrogation in the Qur’an. No one from the past – except a few Mu‛tazilah – rejected it. The exegists severely refute the Mu‛tazilah on this subject. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

Imam Qurtubi rahimahullah writes:

Knowledge of this science [abrogation] is essential and its benefit is immense. The scholars cannot do without knowledge of this science and none but the foolish ignoramuses can deny it. [Tafsir Qurtubi]

The following is stated in Ruh al-Ma‛ani:

Only Abu Muslim Asfahani rejected abrogation. He says that abrogation of divine injunctions is possible but it did not occur. [Ruh al-Ma‛ani]

To sum up, none of the past and latter day scholars rejected abrogation outright. Yes, there are differences as to the number of abrogated verses, but not outright rejection of the occurrence of abrogation. [Ma‛arif al-Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 286]

It should be clear that abrogation did not take place in the Qur’an because Allah ta‛ala did not have pre-knowledge, later He realized, and therefore He abrogated the previous ruling. Rather, Allāh ta‛ala had knowledge before issuing a ruling, He also knew that conditions will change, and that a different ruling will have to be issued. This is similar to a specialist physician who knows that a certain medication has to be given to a patient bearing in mind his current condition. He also knows that the patient’s condition will change after a few days and that he will have to give him another type of medication. This is why he prescribes one medicine in the beginning and changes it after a few days.

The specialist physician could have also prescribed all the medicines on the first day and instructed his patient by saying: Take this medicine for two days, and then you must take this other medicine. However, this would have been weighty on the patient and also the danger of his taking the wrong medicine and causing damage to his health. [Ma‛arif al-Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 283]

It is also incorrect to hold the belief that pictures of animate objects are permissible. It is the belief of the Ahl as-Sunnah that every picture of an animate object – whether of humans or animals – is haraam. This is proven from many Ahadith. For example:

A man came to Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Abbas radiyallahu ‛anhu and said: “I make these images, I would like you to give me a verdict in this regard.” He said: “Come near me.” The man came close. He said: “Come closer.” The man came closer. ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Abbas radiyallahu ‛anhu then placed his hand on the man’s head and said: I will tell you something which I heard from Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam. He said: “Every image-maker shall be in the Hell-fire. A physical body will be created for every image which he produced which will then punish him in the Hell-fire.” If you really have to produce any images, make of those which have no soul, like a tree.

A man came to Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Abbas radiyallahu ‛anhu and said: “I make these images, I would like you to give me a verdict in this regard.” He said: “Come near me.” The man came close. He said: “Come closer.” The man came closer. ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Abbas radiyallahu ‛anhu then placed his hand on the man’s head and said: I will tell you something which I heard from Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam. He said: “Every image-maker shall be in the Hell-fire. A physical body will be created for every image which he produced which will then punish him in the Hell-fire.” If you really have to produce any images, make of those which have no soul, like a tree. [Muslim]

Hadrat Qatadah radiyallahu ‛anhu relates: I was sitting with Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Abbas radiyallahu ‛anhu…he replied to a question which he was asked: I heard Muhammad sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam saying: Whoever produces an image In this world will be compelled to blow life into it on the day of Resurrection and he will not be able to do it. [Bukhari]

Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Umar radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam said: Those who produce these images will be punished on the day of Resurrection. They will be ordered: “Give life to your creations.” [Bukhari]

It is the ijma‛ of the entire ummat and the fatwa of all four Imams that it is forbidden to make images of animate objects.

Allamah Nawawi rahimahullah writes:

Our elders and other ‛ulama’ said that producing images of animate objects is severely prohibited. It is from among the major sins because very severe warnings against it have been issued in the Ahadith. This is irrespective of whether the image is of something which is disrespected or not. Producing such an image is forbidden under all conditions because it entails imitating Allah’s attribute of creating…

12th Belief: Most Ahadith Are Not Authentic


This belief is also against the Qur’an and Hadith. For example:

Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it. Whatever he forbids you, abstain from it.   [Surah al-Hashr, 59: 7]

It is not for a believing man nor a believing woman, that when Allâh and His Messenger have decided a matter, to have a choice in their matter. [Surah al-Ahzab, 33:36]

It is He who raised among the unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and wisdom. And before this they were lying in manifest error. [Surah al-Jumu‛ah, 62:2]

The scholars and exegists concur that the word “wisdom” in the above verse refers to the blessed Ahadith of Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam. It is clearly known that many verses of the Qur’an cannot be understood without resorting to the blessed Ahadith. For example:

Establish salah and pay zakah. [Surah al-Baqarah, 2:43]

The questions which arise are: When must the salah be performed? How many salahs? At what time must they be performed? What must be read in the salah? How must it be performed? What is the sequence as regards the bowing, prostrating, sitting, standing postures? Many other points about salah have to be learnt but they are not to be found in the Qur’an. All these are found in the Ahadith. The Qur’an itself states that in addition to the Qur’an, Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam receives revelation (which is known as Ahadith). There are several verses of the Qur’an which make reference to this. For example:

Whatever date-palms you chopped off or left standing on their roots, it is by the order of Allah. [Surah al-Hashr, 59:5]

A brief background to this verse is that during the expedition to Khaybar, the Jews locked themselves in their forts. Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam instructed the Sahabah radiyallahu ‛anhum to chop down their orchards so that they come out of their forts. Some of the trees were to be left untouched so that when the Muslims gain victory, they could be of benefit to them. The Jews spread the story that Muslims cause destruction. A reply to the allegations of the Jews was given in the above verse. That is, whatever happens does so by the order of Allah ta‛ala. However, this order is not found in the Qur’an. It was Jibra’il ‛alayhis salam who came and conveyed it to Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam. This is known as Hadith. The exegists refer to it as wahy ghayr matluw (un-recited revelation).

This is why Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahullah said:

Had it not been for the Sunnah, none of us would have understood the Qur’an. The following are few Ahadith on this subject.

Hadrat Miqdad ibn Ma‛dikariba radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam said: Listen! I have been given the Qur’an and the like of it with it. Listen! A person with a full stomach resting on his couch may well say: “This Qur’an is enough for you. Consider to be lawful whatever it makes lawful, and consider to be unlawful what it makes unlawful.” Whereas the things which Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam says to be unlawful are as if Allah ta‛ala made them unlawful. [Abu Dawud]

Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam said: I have left you two things, you will never be misguided as long as you hold on to them. They are the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.

13th Belief: Rejection of Jinn


Jinn is a creation which Allah ta‛ala created from fire. They have the ability to take whatever form they like. The Qur’an and Ahadith are filled with discussions on jinn. There is no room for their rejection. A quick overview of jinn in the Qur’an:

Surah al-An‛am – 4 verses
Surah al-A‛raf – 2 verses
Surah Hud – 1 verse
Surah al-Isra’ – 1 verse
Surah al-Kahf – 1 verse
Surah an-Naml – 2 verses
Surah as-Sajdah – 1 verse
Surah as-Saba’ – 3 verses
Surah as-Saffat – 1 verse
Surah adh-Dhariyat – 2 verses Surah ar-Rahman – 5 verses
Surah al-Jinn – 6 verses
Surah an-Nas – 6 verses
Surah Fussilat – 1 verse
Surah ash-Shura – 1 verse
Syrah az-Zukhruf – 3 verses
Surah Muhammad – 3 verses Surah an-Najm – 2 verses
Surah at-Tahrim – 1 verse
Surah at-Tariq – 1 verse
Surah al-Ma‛arij – 1 verse
Surah al-Fajr – 1 verse 
Surah al-Qadr – 1 verse

A few Qur’anic verses

[Remember] the time when We sent a group of jinn to you, listening to the Qur’ān. Then when they attended [its recitation], they said: “Remain silent.”   [Surah al-Ahqaf, 46:29]

Say: It has been revealed to me that a group of jinn listened [to the Qur’an] and they then said: “We have heard a wonderful recitation. [Surah al-Jinn, 72:1]

Of jinn, there were many who laboured before him by the command of his Sustainer.   [Surah Saba’, 34:12]


Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam was asked about fortune tellers. He said: They cannot be relied upon.” The Sahabah said: “O Rasūlullāh! Sometimes they relates things which are true.” He said: “The jinn sometimes hear things from the angels and convey them into the ears of their friends [fortune tellers] who then mix it with more than a hundred lies. Allah ta‛ala then prevented the devils from overhearing the conversations of the angels by striking them [with shooting stars]… [Bukhari, 857]

It is not right to reject jinn solely because we cannot see them. There are countless things which humans cannot see but they believe in them and accept them. For example, the soul, man’s intellect, angels and so on. This is why the scholars say that rejection of jinn entails rejection of the Qur’an and Hadith, and is therefore kufr. [Aqa’id Islam, vol. 2, p.62]

14th Belief: Rejection of The Miracles of Hadrat Musa  


This is also kufr because it entails rejection of the Qur’an and Hadith. The affirmation of miracles in favour of the Prophets ‛alayhimus salam is proven through Qur’anic verses and mutawatir Ahadith. Miracles are essentially given to the Prophets ‛alayhimus salam in support of their claim to prophet-hood so that these miracles could become proofs of the authenticity of their claim to prophet-hood. The miracles of Hadrat Musa ‛alayhis salam are mentioned in the Qur’an. For example:

We gave to Musa nine clear signs. [Surah Bani Isra’il,17:101]

When Musa asked for water for his people, We said: “Strike your staff on the rock.” Then there gushed forth from it twelve springs. [Surah al-Baqarah, 2:60]

Press your hand to your side, it will come forth white without any blemish – another sign. [Surah Ta Ha, 20:22]

We have come to you with a sign from your Sustainer. [Surah Ta Ha, 20:47]

Hadrat Maulana Idris Kandhlawi rahimahullah writes with reference to miracles:

Miracles are signs of the truthfulness of the Prophets ‛alayhimus salam. It is similar to when the kings of this world select certain people as their close associates. The latter are given certain signs to demonstrate their honour and distinction. These are beyond the wishes of ordinary people. In the same way, when Allah ta‛ala confers prophet-hood to a person, He gives him special signs which distinguish him from the rest of the world. [Aqa’id Islam, vol. 2, p. 68]

15th Belief: Hadrat ‛Isa is Dead


This belief is also in conflict with the texts of the Qur’an and Hadith.

And for their saying: “We killed the Messiah, ‛Isa, the son of Maryam, who was a Messenger of Allah.” They neither killed him nor did they crucify him, but it was made to appear like that before them. Those who hold conflicting views about it are in doubt thereof. They have no knowledge whatsoever thereof. They are merely following conjecture. They certainly did not kill him. Rather, Allah raised him towards Himself. And Allah is powerful, wise.   [Surah an-Nisa’, 4:157-158]

Ruh al-Ma‛ani states: “He is alive in the heavens.” All the exegists concur on this.

All the groups of the people of the Book will have conviction in ‛Isa prior to their death. And on the day of Resurrection he shall be a witness against them.   [Surah an-Nisa’, 4:159.]

He is a sign of the Resurrection. Therefore do not be in doubt thereof, and obey Me. This is a straight path.  [Surah az-Zukhruf, 43:61]

It is learnt from many Ahadith which could be classified as mutawatir that Hadrat ‛Isa ‛alayhis salam was taken up to the heavens and will descend before the day of Resurrection. There was no difference of opinion in this regard in the era of the Sahabah radiyallahu ‛anhum and the succeeding generations.

Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Abbas radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam said: My brother, ‛Isa ibn Maryam, will descend from the heavens. [Bukhari]

Hadrat Abu Hurayrah radiyallāhu ‛anhu narrates that Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam said: One of the astonishing things to take place is when [‛Isa] ibn Maryam will descend from the heavens to you and he will rule by the Qur’an [and not by the Injil]. [Wafa’ al Wafa’]

Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn ‛Umar radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam said: ‛Isa ibn Maryam will come down to earth, he will marry, children will be born to him, he will remain on earth for 45 years and die. He will be buried with me in my grave. ‛Isa ibn Maryam and I will then get up from one grave, and Abu Bakr and ‛Umar will be between us.

Muslims unanimously concur that Hadrat ‛Isa ‛alayhis salam was raised to the heavens and will return close to the day of Resurrection. This is also stated by the four Imams.

Shaykh ‛Abd al-Wahhab Sha‛rani rahimahullah writes:

The descent of Hadrat ‛Isa ‛alayhis salam is established from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Christians claim that Nasutah was crucified and Lahutah was raised. The fact of the matter is that Hadrat ‛Isa ‛alayhis salam was raised physically to the heavens. Belief in this is mandatory. Allah ta‛ala says: Rather Allah raised him towards Himself.

16th Belief: Rejecting The Splitting of The Moon  


The incident concerning the splitting of the moon is established from the Qur’an and authentic Ahadith. The gist of this incident is that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam was in Mina when the idolaters of Makkah asked him for a sign of his prophet-hood. Allah ta‛ala displayed the miracle of splitting the moon in two. After the people saw this happening, Allah ta‛ala rejoined the moon.

People who arrived from other regions also acknowledged witnessing this incident. ‛Allamah Tahawi rahimahullah and others are of the view that the narration which makes reference to the splitting of the moon is mutawatir. Under no situation is it permissible to reject it. The following are some of the narrations in this regard:

Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn Mas‛ud radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that the moon split into two in the time of Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam. When the people saw it clearly, he said: “Testify.” [Bukhari wa Muslim]

Hadrat Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that the people of Makkah asked Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam to show them a sign. So Allah ta‛ala showed them the moon in two pieces to the extent that they could see Mt. Hira’ between them.
[Bukhari Wa Muslim]

Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn Mas‛ud radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that the moon split in two while they were in Makkah. The Quraysh unbelievers – the people of Makkah – said: “This is magic with which Ibn Abi Kabshah [Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam] bewitched you. Wait for travellers to come from outside. If they also saw the moon in two pieces, he [Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam] is speaking the truth. But if the outside travellers did not see it, he has certainly performed magic with which he bewitched you.” When the travellers from all regions arrived and they inquired from them, they all attested to seeing the moon in two pieces. [Abu Dawud]

It is stated in Aqa’id Islam that it is obligatory to believe in the miracle of the splitting of the moon, and that its rejection is kufr. Trying to rationalize it is misguidance and there is a fear of kufr because this miracle is established from explicit texts in which there is no room for rationalization. [Aqa’id Islam, vol. 2, p.72]

17th Belief: Rejection of The  Opening of The Chest of Rasulullah


Erudite ‛ulama’ are of the opinion  that the opening of his chest was experienced by Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi  wasallam on  four occasions:

1.  When he was four years old.

2.  When he was ten years old.

3.  When he was 40 years old just  before receiving prophet-hood.

4.  Just before going on Mi‛raj.

The opening of the chest of Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa  sallam used to take place as  follows: Jibril ‛alayhis salam and  Mika’il ‛alayhis salam would come  to him, open his chest, remove  his heart, wash it with Zam Zam,  and return it to its place as it had been. These four instances are  established from authentic narrations and reliable Ahādīth.  The ‛ulama’ explain many  underlying reasons and wisdoms  behind the opening of  Rasulullah’s chest (but this is not  the place to mention them). It is incorrect to reject this merely by  claiming that it is difficult and impossible. ‛Allamah Qastalani rahimahullah and ‛Allamah Zurqani rahimahullah state:

Whatever is narrated with regard to opening of the chest, removal of the heart and other extraordinary incidents have to be accepted as they have been reported without trying to change it from its reality. [Sharh Muwahib]

Imam Qurtubi, Tibi, Taurbishti, Hafiz Ibn Hajar ‛Asqalani, Suyuti and other erudite scholars state that the opening of the chest is accepted in its reality. It is also supported by authentic Hadith that the Sahabah radiyallahu ‛anhum used to see traces of stitches on Rasulullah’s blessed chest. ‛Allamah Suyuti rahimahullah says some ignoramuses of our times reject the opening of the chest and consider it to be a metaphysical event. This is clear ignorance and a vile error which stems from Allah’s forsaking such people, and because of their occupation with philosophical sciences, and their distance from the sciences of the Sunnah. May Allah ta‛ala safeguard us against sin.

18th Belief: Rejection of Mi‛raj


Mi‛raj refers to Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam being taken at night from earth to the heavens where he was shown Paradise and Hell. It is a well-known incident during which the five salahs were made compulsory on the ummat of Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam. The ‛ulama’ refer to the journey from al-Musjid al-Haram to al-Musjid al-Aqsa as Isra’, and the journey from al-Musjid al-Aqsa to the seven heavens as Mi‛raj. Sometimes, the entire incident is referred to as the Mi‛raj. This incident is established from the Qur’an and Hadīth. It is therefore not possible for a believer to reject it. The Qur’an states:

Exalted is He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Musjid to the Aqsa Musjid – the precincts of which We have blessed – so that We may show him some signs of Our power. He alone is the hearer, the seer.   [Surah Bani Isra’il, 17:1]

There are many Ahadith which make reference to this even. For example:

Hadrat Ibn ‛Abbas radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that whatever Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam saw on the night of mi‛raj were seen with his eyes. [Bukhari]

Hadrat Abu Bakr radiyallahu ‛anhu said to Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam on the night he experienced the mi‛raj: “O Rasulullah! I searched for you in your house last night but did not find you.” Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam said that Jibril had taken him to al-Musjid al-Aqsa. [Al-Shifa]

Mulla ‛Ali Qari rahimahullah writes in Sharh Fiqh Akbar with reference to those who reject the Mi‛raj:

Whoever rejects the Mi‛raj we will have to check: If he rejects the night journey from Makkah to Bayt al-Maqdis, he is a kafir. If he rejects the journey from Bayt al-Maqdis (to the heavens) he will not be classified a kafir. This is because the night journey from Makkah to Bayt al-Maqdis is established from a Qur’anic verse which is an explicit proof. As for the Mi‛raj from Bayt al-Maqdis to the heavens it is proven from the Sunnah which is a tacit proof. [Sharh Fiqhul Akbar]

It is stated in Aqa’id Islam that it is compulsory to believe in the miracle of the Mi‛raj, rejecting it is kufr and rationalizing it is misguidance. [Aqa’id Islam, vol. 2, p. 72]

Note: A full investigation of the Mi‛raj can be seen in Kitab Dau’ as-Siraj fi Tahqiq al-Mi‛raj of Maulana Muhammad Sarfaraz Khan Safdar.

19th Belief: Rejection of Hadrat Mahdi


According to the Ahl as-Sunnah, the coming of Hadrat Mahdi close to the day of Resurrection is established from mutawatir Ahadith. For example:

Hadrat Umm Salamah radiyallahu ‛anha narrates: I heard Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam saying: Mahdi will be from my progeny, from the progeny of Fatimah. [Abu Dawud]

Hadrat ‛Ali radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam said: There will come a person from the progeny of [my son Hasan] a person who will have the name of your Prophet, his character will be similar to him, and he will the earth with justice. [Abu Dawud]

Hadrat ‛Abdullah ibn Mas‛ud radiyallahu ‛anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam said: A person from my family will rule over the Arabs. His name will be the same as mine, and his father’s name will be the same as my father’s name. [Tirmidhi]

The ‛ulama’ state that under no condition is it permissible to reject Hadrat Mahdi. There is unanimity of the ummat as regards his arrival.

20th Belief: An Ordinary Person Can be Equal to a Prophet  

According to this belief, an ordinary person can be equal to a Prophet and he can acquire this rank by striving for it.


This belief is against the Qur’an and Hadith. The ummat of Muhammad sallallahu ‛alayhi wa sallam unanimously states that prophet-hood is an Allah-conferred rank which Allah ta‛ala confers to whomever He wills. It has nothing to do with spiritual exercises and striving or any meditation. Allah ta‛ala says:

He alone is of high ranks, master of the throne. He sends down the secret [spirit] by His command upon whomever He wills of His servants so that He may warn of the day of meeting. [Surah al-Mu’min, 40:14]

He sends the angels after giving them the secret by His command to whomever He wills of His servants: “Warn that there is no worship for anyone but Me, so fear Me.” [Surah an-Nahl, 16:2]

Those who are unbelievers from among the people of the Book and the polytheists do not wish that any good be sent down to you from your Sustainer. But Allah singles out through His mercy whom He wills. Allah is possessor of great bounty. [Surah al-Baqarah, 2:105]

Imam Ghazzali rahimahullah says that just as the humaneness of the human race and becoming an angel cannot be earned through striving and exercises, in the same way the prophet-hood and messenger-ship of the Prophets and Messengers cannot be earned. [Ma‛arij al-Quddus]

The entire ummat is unanimous in this regard. Furthermore, it is against the Qur’an, Hadith and Ijma‛ to claim that (Allah forbid) none of the Prophet’s teaching of tauhid was perfect and that all were defective. A person who holds such a belief is unanimously classified as a kafir.

21st Belief: A Deceased Person Does Not Receive Rewards


This belief is against that of the Ahl as-Sunnah. It is established from the Qur’an and Hadith that a person can convey the rewards of his good deeds to the deceased. The Ahl as-Sunnah is unanimous in this regard. Several narrations contain the incident of a Sahabi who dug a well for the sake of conveying rewards to his mother after consulting Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam in this regard. [Mishkat]

Similarly, Rasulullah sallallahu ‛alayhi wasallam permitted a woman to perform hajj for her father.  [Mishkat]

The Qur’an states:

O Sustainer! Show mercy to them as they reared me when I was little.  [Surah Bani Isra’il,17:24]

Those who are carrying the throne and those who are around it – they glorify the praises of their Sustainer, they believe in Him, and they seek forgiveness for the believers. [Surah al-Mu’min, 40:7]

‛Allamah Ibn Humam rahimahullah writes in this regard:

These narrations and those which were quoted before them, and other similar narrations in the Sunnah which have been related by many persons which we left  out for the sake of brevity – the  common point which is  concluded from them all is that  through the conveying of rewards  for the deceased, Allah ta‛ala confers benefits on the  deceased. This point has reached  the level of tawatur. In the same  way, the Qur’an which instructs  us to pray for parents: “O Sustainer! Show mercy to them  as they reared me when I was  little”, and where the Qur’an  makes reference to angels  praying for the forgiveness of believers: “Those who are  carrying the throne and those  who are around it – they  glorify  the praises of their Sustainer,  they believe in Him, and they  seek forgiveness for the  believers” provide absolute proof that the deeds of one benefit others. [Fathul Qadeer]

Fatawa With Reference to The  Naturalist Sect

When the naturalist sect was on  the ascendancy, Maulana ‘Ali Bakhsh Khan went to Makkah Mukarramah and obtained fatawa  from the muftis of the four  juridical schools against the  religious beliefs of Sir Sayyid. The  muftis of all four schools concurred that:

This person is deviated and is  leading others astray. In fact, he  is the deputy of the accursed Shaytan. He aims to deceive Muslims. His tribulation is worse  than that of the Christians and  Jews. It is obligatory on those of  authority to take him to task, and  to discipline him by beating him  and imprisoning him.

Maulana ‛Ali Bakhsh Khan then  obtained a fatwa from the chief  mufti of Madinah Munawwarah  who wrote:

The essence of whatever is learnt from the marginal notes of ad-Durr al-Mukhtar is that this person is either a mulhid, has inclined towards kufr from the very beginning, or is a zindiq without any religion. It is gauged from the explanations of Hanafi scholars that the repentance of such people after they are apprehended is not accepted. If this person repents before he is apprehended, retracts from his blasphemous beliefs, and the signs of repentance are apparent on him, he will not be killed. If not, it is obligatory to kill him. [Layl wa Nahar, 19 April 1970]

It is stated in Tajanub Ahl as-Sunnah that anyone who comes to know of any one of the absolute and certain kufr beliefs of Sir Sayyid and still doubts the latter being a kafir and murtad, or abstains from labelling him a kafir and murtad, then he too is – according to the pure Shari‛ah – most certainly a kafir and murtad. If such a person passes away without repenting, he will be eligible for eternal punishment. [Tajanub Ahl as-Sunnah, p. 86]

The famous scholar of the Barelwi sect, Hashmat ‛Ali, also issued a fatwa of kufr against Sir Sayyid. [Layl wa Nahar, 19 April 1970]

Hadrat Maulana ‛Ashraf ‛Ali Thanwi rahimahullah also issued fatawa of kufr with reference to some of his beliefs and classified some of his other beliefs as deviated. [Imdad al-Fatawa contains a detailed discussion about this sect. Volume 6, pp. 166-185].

Shared from the Book Deviated Sects.

Also Read: “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan – The “Reformer” of Western Dajjalic History Textbooks was In reality a Modernist-British Agent