By Madrasah Islamia Arabia, Azaadville
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MAUDUDI CALAMITY
(Translation of an Editorial appearing in “The Bayyinaat” by ALLAAMAH MUHAMMAD YUSUF BINNURI – R.A.)
To achieve mastery in any subject, it is incumbent to benefit from the company and association of a master of that particular subject. It is an accepted fact that for any simple or artistic occupation a teacher or even a guide is necessary. Without these even an intelligent and genius cannot reach the desired stage, be it in the fields of engineering, medicine, or any other subject for that matter. For every occupation or trade it is necessary and incumbent that one should atleast learn the basics from a teacher. In this mannet when it is necessary to seek knowledge and guidance in materialistic fields, how can it be possible to attain the Uloom of Nubuwwat- Teachings of the Ambiya Alaihissalaam – and the intricacies of the Shari’ah without the guidance of a tutor? The sciences of this nature are beyond the grasp of human intelligence. They have reached the Ummat through the wahi (revelation) of the Almighty, and continues through heavenly training, rearing, divine commands, instructions and guidance. Then in these Divine Sciences the attention and considerations of the tutor and guide; and the practical participation in his company has a more important bearing than words. The attaining of correct thinking, understanding and practical Tarbiyah (rearing) is more important than only attaining knowledge. On that ground, the longer the companionship of the master, the more benefit and experience one will reap. The more perfect the tutor, the more benefit and excellence will be attained. As the purpose of the Uloom-e-Nubuwwat is the guidance of the creation of Allah. In its understanding, there is a strong probability, through the enmity of the accursed Shaytan, to be led astray. The Shaytan does not interfere where one strives to attain perfection in material aspects. The Shaytan sits in comfort. He does not need to interfere, npr is it necessary for him to show his enmity. However, where the Hereafter and religion are concerned, the Shaytan becomes restless in creating mischief. He uses his strength in every possible manner, where success and Hidayah may be turned into ruin and cause deviation from the straight path. The greatest asset of the accursed Iblis is Talbis, that is to mix the truth with falsehood in such a manner, that where a thing outwardly appears to be beneficial, in reality it becomes a source of wrong doing and detriment. Then too, bearing in mind that the tricks of the human Nafs supercedes this, it is the human nature to be arrogant, haughty, deceptive, show-off and have love for rank and high-status. These are such diseases that it is difficult to eradicate them even after lengthy training and discipline.
For this reason, it is incumbent to remain in the companionship of a master for quite some time, in order to save oneself from the effects of the Shaytaan.
If Allah’s grace and mercy are present, then surely one reforms, otherwise, the human just wanders around in the deserts of knowledge and intellectualism. After studying the educational history of the world, this point becomes very clear that all the mischief and chaos that were created, were all at the hands of intellectuals and geniuses. During the period of ‘ilm (knowledge) a greater portion of fitnah (mischief) appeared by the way of ‘ilm. Even among the ‘Ulama-e-Haq, many geniuses due to their sharp intelligence and eccentricity became victims of their wrong thoughts and ideas. This fact became evident that by completely relying on their own acuteness and flowing intellect, they became entangled in ilmi kibr (educational arrogance), and self-conceited of their own views, they were not fortunate enough to undergo a beneficial amount of spritiual training. As a result, this led them to great lengths. In our time, there exists many such examples. Since they possess ilmi acumen and, as many a time they say or write excellently, they become a cause for additional fitnah. Those individuals who were not fortunate enough to attain a deep knowledge or a spiritual training, easily become their adherents and quickly begin supporting and endorsing their new ideologies. The Shaytaan is always busy in his occupation. A personality that may be of use to guide and direct the Ummah, becomes a means of deviation and ruin for the Ummah. There are examples of these in every era. Imam al-Ghazali (Rahmatullahi Alaih) has written in his “Maqaasidul Falaasifah” that after observing the correctness in the elementary and mathematical sciences of the Greeks, the people began to accept all their teachings as correct. The accepted the teaching of the Greeks even in the subjects of Theology and Natural Philosophy, which led them astray. Well, when the very learned, geniuses and capable people become entangled in such fitnahs, then those personalities who possess very little ilmi capabilities and have a tremendous ability to write, and are quick witted and intelligent, but void of a spiritual training under an accomplished master they very quickly become engulfed in self-conceitedness and begin to degrade the Ummah. All the scholarly reasearches of the Ummat are despised; all the great deeds of the Salaf Saaliheen are made a joke of and a laughing stock; and by criticising every personality from beginning till the end, falls in a deep and dangerous pit, becoming a means of leading all humanity into destruction. Among such people today is a famous personality by the name of Janab Abul A’la Maududi Saheb, who was acute and quick witted since childhood, but was troubled by economic difficulties. In the beginning he was employed by the Madinah Periodical at Bijnor. Thereafter, he was attached to the “Muslim”, a magazine of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind. After a few years he was employed by the “Al-Jamiat”, Delhi, a journal of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, which was then probably published every third day. His articles captioned “Tarikh ke Jawahir Paaro” appeared with great lustre. In this manner Maududi Saheb was trained as a writer by Maulana Ahmed Saeed Sahib. After the death of his father, Maududi Sahib was unable to complete his studies, but had to leave studies during the early Arabic primary stages, nor was he fortunate enough to attain a secular education. He later studied English and attained some competence in it. He greatly benefitted from the books, magazines and writings of reputable authors of those days. His writing ability increased by the day. Unfortunately he was unable to benefit from any Religious institution, neither became a graduate of modern education, nor did he gain the company of an experienced and proficient aalim of the Deen. He has admitted this in an article published during the era of United India in reply to some questions posed to him by Maulana Abdul-Haqq Madani Moradabadi. He was unfortunate to experience the company of Niyaaz Fatehpuri, an atheist and infidel.
By this association and friendship many incorrect tendencies and inclinations were adopted. In 1933, he began publishing the “Tarjumaanul Qur’aan” from Hyderabad, Deccan, wherein he published splendid articles. Some ilmi and literary things began to appear using the best style and methods. At that time the political situation in the country was very shaky. The movement to free India was in its decisive stages. The best intellectuals of the country were involved in the freedom struggle of India from the British. Maududi Saheb adopted a different stand from the rest and engendered the cry of “Iqaamate Deen” and “Hukumate Ilaahiyyah”.
He strongly and forcefully criticised all the factions involved in seeking the freedom of India. His simple and innocent panygyrists thought that Maududi Saheb was the last straw for the valuable Deen. As a result very quickly praises began to be showered upon him from the pens of Maulana Sayyid Sulayman Nadwi, Maulana Manaazir Ahsan Gilani and Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi. Evidently at that time Maududi Sahib was only a name of an individual. As yet he had no missionary aim, nor an association or movement. Due to his forceful writings and statements, some among the Ahle-Haqq began having great hopes in him. By virtue of his preparedness and through the encouragement of Chaudri Muhammad Niyaaz, the foundation of ‘Darul Islam’ was laid in Pathankot. The Muslim League and Congress began to be degraded.
Such articles were written by him, as well as a book on the political turmoil of the time appeared whereby he began receiving praises from his followers. The political causes stimulated its acceptance. A meeting was held in Lahore, and the foundation of his Imaarat was formally laid. A speech prepared by him was read out, wherein the duties of the present-day Ameer was outlined. Among the participants were also such famous personalities as Janab Maulana Manzur Nu’mani, Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi and Maulana Mas’ud Aalam Nadwi. Maududi Sahib was elected the Chief Ameer and the above-mentioned four personalities were elected deputy Ameers. The Jamaat Islami formally came into existence. Its constitution and charter were published. The public looked forward to it, and from every side hopes began to be attached. Six months had not passed by when Maulana (Manzur) Nu’mani Saheb and Maulana Ali Miyan Saheb (Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi) resigned.
They had observed his ilmi deficiencies and lack of sincerity. They were unable to continue their relationship. These gentlemen kept silent and did not inform the Ummah openly and clearly about their reason for disassociating themselves. I was at that time teaching at Jamia Islamia, Dabhel. I inquired from these two personalities about their reason for quitting. They said many things, but no satisfactory clarification was given. I understood the view of Maulana Marhum Mas’ud Aalam and Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi were quite similar as far as beliefs and conduct were concerned. Hence, they remained for sometime as Maududi Sahib’s right-hand men. Maulan Mas’ud Aalam assissted through the medium of Arabic literary writings and magnificently translated into Arabic the writings of Maududi Sahib. He also trained a few pupils in this field. Maulana Islaahi through his special style and way assissted the Maududi movement. As a result, many good writers and assistants joined the movement. A few excellent books were written on communism and a few other subjects, i.e. interest, alcohol, purdah, etc. A few good books were also written for the modern youth. Some worthy articles were published in the ‘Tahfeemat and Tanqeehat’. Ways and means were adopted to impress the Arabs, eapecially the Shaikhs of Saudi Arabia.
Successful strategies were adopted. All those writings that were contributed by Maududi Saheb’s associates were published in such a manner as if all these writers were indebted to him. As a result the personality of Maududi Saheb began gained fame. He reaped fame from the writings of his associates. He was incapable of composing in Arabic or English. The names of the translators do not appear on his book they are translated into other languages. It is not mentioned that this book is translated by Mas’ud Aalam or Aasim Haddaad. People get the notion that this literary intellectual of the Urdu language, is also an Imam of the Arabic language. A short period had passed when Maulana Gilani Saheb and Sayyid Sulayman Nadwi Sahib became aware and foresaw its detrimental effect; that these writing were a means of creating a new fitnah. He (Maulana Gilani) ceased to address him by the titles conferred on him, such as Mutakallim-e-Islam etc. Maulana Gilani Saheb wrote critical articles under the heanding of ‘Khaarijiyat-e-Jadeedah’ in Maulana Daryabadi’s ‘Sidq-e-Jadid’. Maulana Syed Hussain Ahmed Madani was perhaps the first among the Ulama who pinpointed this fitnah in his correspondence. Gradually other Ulama began to air their views. Shaykhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Saheb studied all the available printed Maududi literature and wrote a valuable booklet on this subject. It is regretted that this booklet has not been printed yet. In this connection, an Ustaaz of Mazahirul Uloom, Saharanpur, Maulana Zakariyyah Quddusi Saheb became inclined towards Maududi Saheb. Taking this into view and trying to correct him, Shaykhul Hadith Saheb wrote a letter to him, explaining all Maududi Saheb’s errors and incorrect interpretations of the Deen.
This letter has been published in a booklet form titled ‘Fitnah Maududiyyat’. (It is nor reprinted under the title ‘Jama’at Islamiyyah, ek lamha Fikriyyah’).
I admired many things about Maududi Saheb and detested many. For a long time I did not wish to degrade him. I felt that from his innovated style of presentation the modern generation would benefit. Although at time such compositions appeared from him that it was not possible to endure it, but taking into consideration the Deeni well-being, I tolerated it and kept silent. I did not foresee that this fitnah would spread worldwide and have a detrimental effect on the Arab world; that every day from his master pen, new bud would keep on blossoming, and indecent words would be used regarding the Sahabah Kiraam Ridhwaanullahi Alayhim and the Ambiya Alayhimussalaam. Later on, such things appeared daily in ‘Tahfimul Qur’an.’
Now it has become known without doubt that his writings and publications are the greatest fitnah of the present times, notwithstanding the few beneficial treatises that have appeared, it is the case of “and the sin of them is greater than its usefulness.” (Surah Baqarah, 219). Now that stage has been reached where to keep silent seems to be a great crime. It is regretted that for forty years an offensive silence was kept. Now the time has dawned, where without fear of rebuttal and censure all his writings from A to Z should be thoroughly studied with a view to fulfill the demands for the preservation of the Deen with Haqq and justice.
Wallahu Subhanahu Wallut Tawfeeq.
CRITICISM AND THE RIGHT OF CRITICISM
A literal translation of a letter titled: “Tanqeed aur Haqqe Tanqeed” which appeared in the Zul-Hijjah 1396 of the ‘Bayyanat’ Karachi
By Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Ludhyanwi
(This translation has been shortened)
CRITICISM AND THE RIGHT OF CRITICISM
A letter to a pious friend
You have a high regard for Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi. This question maybe surprising and shocking to you that why the respected elders of the Ummah are up in arms against Janab Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi and his ‘Islamic Movement. I ask you that why did the Ulama oppose Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s ‘Islah Islam’ Movement, Abdullah Chackralwi’s ‘Qur’aanic movement’, Ghulam Ahmed Pervez’s ‘Tulu Islam’ movement, Dr. Fazkyrragnab’s renewal of Islam movement and the progressive Islam movement of the socialists? In answer you will say that each of these, according to their understanding, created a blueprint in their minds and made this their basic understanding and foundation. Thereafter, whatever suited and met their standards from the Islam of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was incorporated into it, and whatever was unsuitable or against their mode of thinking was either abused, ridiculed, jeered, made a joke of or explained away or far-fetched meanings and interpretations were given so that the original meaning was erased. Obviously their thoughts, senses, feelings and hearts were not aubordinate to Islam, but rather the acceptance or rejection of the tenets of ‘Islam’ was at the mercy of their set standards. It was incumbent upon the Ulama to tear apart this ‘Islamic Talisman’ abd bring forward the original Islam of Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam, which has been oreserved for the last fourteen hundred years in people against this new calamity of ‘Islamic Thinkers’. You know that the Ulama of this Ummah have carried out their duties whilst disregarding all obstacles. They have been sworn at; they have been painted with all types of labels; they have been ridiculed; they have been pierced with the arrows of accusations; but they (the Ulama) had to carry out their duty, and have verily tried to do so. As long as they have life and the power of speech in them, it must not be expected that they will refrain from committing the “offence” of calling a spade a spade or day a day and night a night.
Now listen! In the same manner Janab Maududi Saheb conceived and created a blueprint, which he presented as an ‘Islamic Movement’, and on which foundation the ‘Jamaat Islami’ came into existence. Today his ‘Jamaat Islami’ has an imprint on the big and small. Allah forbid, my intenion is not to convey this, that the law that applies to the previously mentioned individuals also applies to Janab Maududi, as there is a difference in rank and grade. The reason for giving the example of ‘layer upon layer of darkness’ is only to stress that these people fail to understand the True Islam.
They are unanimous in creating a new path and a new map for Islam. It is a different question that the path of some are totally different from the teachings of Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and some have a few differences. What doubt is there in this that all of them have, through the medium of their understanding and thinking, put forward ‘their Islam’ to the masses. They have proclaimed it to be the truth and have invited the people towards it.
There is a proverb in Arabic: ‘For everything that falls, there is one who will find it.’ Everyone surely finds someone with whom one shares common ideas and thoughts. This is a brief answer to your question. But I feel that this will not satisfy you, hence I will have to elaborate on it. In today’s discussion I invite you to think and ponder on one point only. You must have read in the constitution of the Jamaat Islami this sentence from the pen of Janab Maududi Saheb:-
“No human should be made a ‘measure of truth’ besides Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, no one should be regarded as free from ‘criticism’, no one should be engrossed in the ‘mental slavery’ of anyone. As Allah has shown, everyone should with a complete standard examine and inspect every person, and according to that measure, whatever grade befits a person, that person should be regarded as such”. [Maududi Madhab, p. 53]
In this constitutional belief, Janab Maududi Saheb has induced every member of the ‘Jamaat’ – whatever position one holds – not to think that any human is above criticism besides Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam, nor should one fall under the sway of another’s ‘mental slavery’, and with the examining powers that Allah Ta’ala has given Maududi Saheb and his ‘Jamaat’, everyone should be pecked at and examined. After attaining the results, whatever grade one attains should be conferred on that person. Now let us read from the ‘Maududi Mazhab’ and see that while criticizing, how Maududi Saheb has peeled and skinned the Salaf (pious predecessors). Listen, Maududi Saheb says that:
1. The example of Musa Alaihis Salaam is of the hasty victorious commander, who marches forward without strengthening and establishing his authority, and behind him mutiny spreads in the conquered lands like wild fire in a jungle. [Maududi Madhab, page 23]
2. The danger of the highway robbery of a mischievous soul also confronts the Ambiyaa. An illustrious prophet like Nabi Dawood Alaihis Salaam, was warned on that occasion that. ‘……..and follow not the desire that that beguile thee from the way of Allah.’ Surah Saad [ibid, page 21]
3. Dawood Alaihis salaam became influenced with the customs of the Israeli society of his time and requested Orya to give a divorce. [Ibid, page 24]
4. Dawood Alaihis Salaam had a speck of carnal desire in his deeds. [Ibid, page 25]
5. Human weaknesses overcame Nuh Alaihis Salaam and he became a prey to the passion of the jahiliyyah. [Ibid, page 26]
6. Actually ismat (chastity) is not a requisite with the soul of the Ambiyaa. This is a lateef (delicate) point. Allah Ta’ala had intentionally lifted His protection at some time or the other from every Nabi, so that one or two trangressions are committed, hence the people may not regard the Ambiyaa as Gods, and will know that these are human too. [Ibid, page 30]
7. The Ambiyaa trangressed too, they are even punished. [Ibid, page 31]
8. Younus Alaihis salaam committed a few deficiencies in the fulfilling of the faraa’id of risalat, and probably became impatient and left his position before time. [ibid, page 35]
9. The Sahabah were at time overcame with human shortcomings; they reviled one another (read the balance of this paragraph later on. I am ashamed of copying it further).
10. The Sahaabah Kiraam many a time erred in understanding the original spirit of Jihad fi Sabilillah.
[Ibid, page 59]
11. Once a humble person like (Abu Bakr) Siddique Akbar who was immersed in Lillahiyyat (the way of Allah) erred (blundered) in fulfilling a delicate demand of Islam.
12. Personal greatness overcame and made Umar Radhiallahu Anhu helpless for the few moments at a time of the demise of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. [Ibid, page 60]
13. Hazrat Uthman, on whom the burden of this great duty (of Khilafat) was placed, did not possess the qualifications that were granted to his noble predecessors. Therefore, Jahiliyyah found an inlet to creep into the social code of Islam. [Ibid, page 65]
14. The verdict of the Khulafa Rashideen, which they issued as Qadis, did not become law in Islam. [Ibid, page 66]
15. Hazrat Uthman, one after the other, appointed his relatives to high posts, and gave them other such concessions, which generally became a source of criticism among the people. [Ibid, page 71]
16. For example he bequeated on Marwan (5 lakh Dinars) from the booty of Africa. [Ibid, page 71]
17. History reveals, and it truly shows, that Marwan and Yazeed are despised personalities among the Muslim Ummah. These are the softest words which can be said regarding Marwan and Yazeed. [Faraan Monthly, September 1976, page 42]
18. These policies of Uthman Radhiallahu anhu are without doubt erroneous. A wrong will remain a wrong, irrespective of who commits it. To try and prove it correct by oratory and fabrications is not the demand of logic and justice, nor is it the requirement of the Deen, that an error of a Sahaabi should not be called an error. [Maududi Mazhab, page 73]
19. One very despicable Bid’ah began during the reign of Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah, that be he himself, and by his orders, all his governors, while delivering Khutbas on the mimbers reviled Hadhrat Ali Radhiallahu Anhu. To revile and swear a person after his demise, forger the Shari’ah, it was against human etiquette to do so, and especially to soil the Jum’ah Khutbah with such filth is a very debased act according to the Deen and etiquette. [Ibid, page 75]
20. The effort of joining together (Istilhaaq) Ziyaad bin Simayyah are also among those acts of Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu, wherein because of political reasons he contravened an accepted law of the Shari’ah. [Ibid, page 76]
21. Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu in trying to make him (Ziyaad) his supporter and helper took evidence on the adultery of his father (Abu Sufyan). And after concluding proof thereof made Ziyaad his (Abu Sufyan)’s illegitimate son, and on that source made him his brother and a member of the family. This act in whatever manner it may be despised morally, is evident. But according to law too this is an illicit thing, because in the Shari’ah paternity is not proven from adultery. [Ibid, page 77]
22. ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas committed two such acts, that there is no way out but to call it wrong. [Ibid, page 84]
23. Hadhrat Ali appointed Maalik bin Haarith and Muhammad bin Abu-Bakr as governors, whereas, these two people had a hand in the murder of Uthman. This is known to everybody. During the entire reign of Ali Radhiallahu Anhu this is the only deed that it seems, cannot be called anything else but wrong. [Ibid, page 85]
24. Hadhrat Aysha Radhiallahu Anha and Hafsah Radhiallahu Anha became bold, and began to ‘stretch their tongues’ in the presence of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. [Ibid, page 88]
25. After studying history it is found that till now, no thorough Muhaddid was born. It was near that ‘Umar bin Abdul-Aziz attained that position, but he was not successful. [Ibid, page 91]
26. In the reviews of Imam Ghazali, there are a few ilmi and fikri flaws, and that may be distributed into three portions. One type is those flaws, that resulted in his work due to the poor knowledge of Hadith. The second type from among those flaws is due to the Aqliyyah overpowering his mind. And the third type from among these flaws is his leaning towards tasawwuf more than that which was necessary. [Ibid, page 92]
27. The first thing that rattles in me regarding the rival mission from the time of Hazrat Mujaddid Alf Thani to the time of Shah Waliyullah Saheb and his disciples, in this, that, in Tasawwuf they did not estimate the illness of the Muslims. They prescribed for them the same food from which they should have been completely kept away.
28. Neither Hadhrat Mujaddid Saheb nor Shah (Waliyullah) saheb was aware of this illness. Criticism regarding this is found in the writings of both. It is possible that they did not truly estimate the seriousness of this ‘disease’. For this reason these two venerable personalities gave these sick people the same food, which had proven to be fatal. The outcome of this was that gradually, both circle became influenced by the same disease. [Ibid, page 94]
29. Although Maulana Ismail Shaheed R. Alayhi understood this reality well and adopted the same course as that of Ibn Taymiyyah, but, as this was present in the literature of Shah Waliyullah Saheb, the effects of which remained in the writing of Shah Ismail Shaheed R. Alayhi, the chain of the Peeri-Mureedi continued in the movement of Sayyid Saheb. Therefore, this movement could not be free from the germs of the ‘disease of sufiyyat'” [Ibid, page 95]
30. And we note this ‘Jahalah’ – with the exception of a very small Jamaat – among the general Muslims from East to West, be they from illiterate public; or graduate Ulama; or mendicant Mashaa’ikh; or graduates of colleges or universities. The thoughts, ways and manners of all these are different, but they are unanimous in not knowing the truth and soul of Islam. [Ibid, page 19]
I have presented a few drops from the enraged ocean of Janab Maududi Saheb’s criticism. All this, according to his own assertion, is written after examining by the ‘standards’ shown by Allah, I do not wish to discuss or debate each point. Think for yourself that after all these criticism what picture is formed of Islam in the mind. Nevertheless, I feel that for your convenience a few basic points should be presented.
The instruction of Janab Maududi Saheb that besides Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam no human is above Tanqeed (criticism). Before thinking of its outcome, first ponder that what is Tanqeed (criticism)? (The Oxford Dictionary says that it is judging of merit; critical observation). Tanqeed is an Arabic word which means to gauge, assay, examine, inspect, teast and to ascertain truth from the untruth. In the Urdu usage it mean to be, seize on trifling faults, revealing shortcomings: i.e. Tanqeed will mean that after examining a thing, an error is ascertained, then its weak points are proclaimed. When we say that a certain person criticised someone, then nothing else will be understood besides that the weak points of the person criticised are brought to light. That person was examined and all faults and shortcomings were revealed.
Whatever thing or person that is the centre of criticism, the first picture that comes to mind regarding that thing or a person is that it of that person is not reliable, hence it or that person needs examining. Only after an examination could it be ascertained whether this thing or person is reliable, because that which is hundred percent reliable does not necessitate an examination. I am sure that you have not yet seen a wise person in this world, who goes around examining reliable things. It is an accepted fact that, there is no necessity to test or inspect reliable things or personalities. Those things that are worthy of criticism are not reliable. For example, regarding weights and measures that are stamped by the government and used in commerce, one will not find people while purchasing articles going around, asking merchants: “Mister, are these measures and weights used by you correct or not?” After being stamped by the government these weights and measures are above criticism, and do not need any further examination. After all this, if one is found to do do, then what will be said of him?.
Now, when Maududi Saheb tells us that no human besides Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is above criticism, then, nothing else is meant, but, that save Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), no human is reliable before us. Janab Maududi Saheb labels this reliability as ‘mental slavery’, and that none should be influenced by the ‘mental slavery’ or any human besides Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
For this reason, according to his oen picture of Islam, he has not granted the verdicts of the Khulafaa Raashideen, as legally lawful, whereas, Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam has in strong terms advised his Ummah to strongly hold onto the Sunnahs of the Khulafaa Raashideen. You must have read this hadith in the Mishkaat Sharif:
Irbaad bin Saariyah (radhiallahu anhu) reports: Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam after leading the Salaah, turned his face towards us, and delivered a very dynamic lecture, (as a result of which) tears flowed from the eyes and hearts were moved. (Thereafter) a person said, “O Messenger of Allah!, this was like a farewell lecture, please advise us.” He said, “I advise you to fear Allah, and obey and accept (your leaders), even if he be a habshi slave, because the one among you who will live after me, shall witness many discords. It is incumbent upon you (to hold fast) unto my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Khulafa Raashideen. Hold fast onto it, and keep it tight with the teeth. Beware and stay away from new (modern) ideas and acts. For every new acts (that is thought to be a part of religion) is Bid’ah and ever Bid’ah (leads) astray.” [Musnad Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi; ibn Majah, Mishkaat page 29]
Do you know that when one criticizes another, what is meant by this? Listen, if the knowledge of a person criticised (even if it is regarding one mas’alah or an affair, it will mean that in this Mas’alah the opposite person’s view is incorrect, or the knowledge of the criticiser is superior. If the understanding of one is attacked, it will mean the criticiser’s understanding is superior. If the deeds of a person are attacked, it will mean that the deeds of the criticiser is of a higher standard. In short, for whatever reason the next person is criticised, it will mean that the knowledge, deeds, intelligence and understanding of the criticiser is superior.
At times the criticiser is truly better than the opposite, but the criticiser in self vain imagination and aggrandisement regards himself to be superior. In Islam this is called “Kibr” or “Takabbur”. This is the same “Kibr” which overtook Iblis, and through this wrong self aggrandisement, instead of being a “muallim Malakut”, he was cursed till the day of Qiyamah. Now put these Usul (principle) before you, and ponder over the criticism, and the Usul of Maududi Saheb’s criticism. He gives every Tom, Dick and Harry the right to criticise everybody from among the Salaf Saaliheen except Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam). You tell me what would this be called? According to Maududi Saheb, does every member of his Jamaat have better knowledge and understanding than the Salaf Saaliheen? If not, then what else can his motive be besides self conceited imaginations and notions? When Maududi Saheb sayd that Younus alaihis salaam committed a few errors in fulfilling the Risalat, at that time his claim would tantamount to this, that he understood the responsibilities of Risalat more than Younus Alaihis salaam, and possibly (Na’audhubillah) more than Allah, because the least, expected from Maududi Saheb is that he will not confer an important post in his Jamaat to someone that he knows will not diligently carry out his duties. But according to Maududi Saheb, Allah Ta’ala conferred the Risalat on Younus Alaihis salaam and did not take this precaution. In like manner when he says that the passion of jahiliyyah overcame Younus Alaihis salaam, then it is, as if he is claiming that his foresight on the passions of Jahiliyyah is greater than that of Younus Alaihis Salaam, and that he has the strength to withstand the passions of the Jahiliyyah. He says regarding himself:
“It is Allah’s faith that I did not commit any deed or say any word under the influence of my passions, nor did I commit it. Every word that I uttered in my lectures, I measure each one of them before saying them, remembering that I would have to account for it before Allah and the creation. Therefore, I am assured in my position that I did not utter a word against Haq.” [Maududi Mazhab, Page 29]
When he says that Dawood Alaihis Salaam was influenced by the customs of the Israeli society and committed certain acts, he forgets that the one that is captivated by the ‘mental slavery’ of one’s society can never be a Nabi. With all this, it gives one the impression that if Hazrat Maulana Abul Ala Maududi was in the place of Hazrat Dawood Alaihis Salaam, he would never had asked Orya to divorce his wife.
When he says that in certain matters Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu did not even take into consideration human morals, at that time he thinks for himself as a greater Aalim in human morality than Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu. When he says that Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu openly disobeyed a certin fundamental of the Shariah, at that time he presents himself as a greater Aalim of the Shari’ah than Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu
When he says that from the time of ‘Umar bin Abdul-Aziz Rahmatullahi Alaih till the time of Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed Rahmatullahi alaih, there was a shortcoming in the Tajdeedi missions of all the Mujaddids, at that time he tries to make believe that he understands Tajdeed and revival of the Deen more than all those pious elders. And when he very proudly claims this:
“Instead of understanding the Deen from the present or previous personalities, I have always tried to understand it from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Therefore, always when trying to know what the Deen of Allah wants from me and every Mu’min, I never try to see what the certain Buzrugs have said, but rather, I try to see what the Qur’aan says and what the Rasul says.” [Maududi Mazhab, page 98]
Who taught you the Qur’aan and the Sunnah? People of the present or the past? The angels of the Mala Aala?, or like Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani, he came with it from the stomach of his mother? It is the height of ungratefulness. Those through the Barakah of whom a few correct or incorrect words were learnt, are being rejected and discarded.
He is actually trying to show to the people that in the long history of the Ummah there was not born anyone besides himself who understood the Deen. Well, this is a different subject, on which Insha Allah, when time permits, I will say something. Briefly, I would say this, that the motive of criticism is always that one feels ‘Ana Khayrum Minhu’ (I am better than him). If one is really superior to another in knowledge, understanding, deeds and morals, then verily one has the right to criticise another who has a lower standard. If one on his own accord feels superior, and this is his motive, then every Mu’min should beseech Allah for His protection.
Now in reality if Janaab Maududi Saheb is superior in knowledge, deeds, understandings and taqwa etc than those whom he has criticised, then, without doubt, he has the right to criticise them. But if in comparison to these gentlemen, he really is lower, and has the urge to criticise, then what can be his motive be besides high-mindedness, arrogance, self-conceit and Takabbur?
According to the viewpoint of Janab Maududi Saheb, when no induvidual of the 1400 year old Ummah is above criticism, nor can anyone be relied upon, and according to the standards shown by Allah, it is incumbent to examine every person, then this question arises, that the Deen that has reached the Ummah of today through the Naql Riwaayah, knowledge and deeds of the Salaf Saaliheen, could it be relied upon? Do you know that the proofs and arguments of our Deen are taken from four sources:
(a) The Kitaab of Allah
(b) The sunnah of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam
(c) The Ijmaa of the Ummah
(d) and the Qiyaas of the Mujtahideen
The Fiqhi Masaa’il of the A’immah Mujtahideen have been abrogated in such a manner, that Mashaa Allah, Maududi himself is a Mujtahid Mutlaq. He is not in need of benefitting from and past or present tutor to understand the Deen. When the whole Ummah is in need of a critical examination and are thought to be unreliable, then it is clear that ijmaa will be of no value. The dependence of the Kitaab and Sunnah are on Riwaayat and Diraayat, especially when according to the research of Janab Maududu Saheb, the Sahaab Kiraam Radhiallahu Anhum attacked one another and (Na auzubillah) called one another liars. If in reality Na auzubillah, the Sahaabah Kiram Radhiallahu Anhum were as pictured by the criticism of Maududi Saheb, then it is evident that the Ummah that will come after this will be even worse. The result will be that beginning from the Qur’aan and Hadith till the Ijmaa and Qiyaas, everything will be doubtful and will be regarded as unreliable, until Maududi Saheb will show us through the standards shown to him by Allah, that how reliable a certain thing is and how unreliable others are. In all fairness, please tell us, what else besides this did Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani and Mr. Ghulam Ahmed Pervez say? Where did Maududi Saheb attained this ‘Allah’s Standard’, in the light of which every individual from the Salaf Saaliheen have been examined and graded? What! will Wahi be again revealed to him, or will he leap back fourteen hundred years and personally hear the Qur’aan and Sunnah from Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam? When he does not accept the connections of any personality of the past or present, nor is he prepared to shoulder the ‘mental slavery’ of anyone, then from which cave will he receive the ‘Standards of Allah’?
You may also know that Allah Ta’ala has taken upon Himself to safeguard this last Deen of ours till the Day of Qiyaamah. The Deen can only be safeguarded when the words of the Nusus of the Deen are preserved without any changes. Its meanings are also preserved. Then the manner in which Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam practised these in his presence, should also be preserved. Then through these deeds the proficiency in Islamic thought and pleasure; the path of ihsaan; and the understanding of the Deen that is created; should also remain preserved. Briefly, four things are mentioned here: words, meanings, deeds and Islamic thought. We who are engrossed in ‘mental slavery’ do not think, but it is our belief that Allah Ta’ala has without any break or interruption preserved these four things, and we are indebted to those through whom these were preserved. They are our guides and leaders. We have complete reliance on them. We are their ‘mental slaves’, and we are thankful for their kindness and benevolence. If hypothetically these great personalities are removed from in between, abd it is thought that in a cdrtain period of words, meanings, deeds and Islamic thought could not have been preserved, or it could not be relied upon, then, because of this, the entire structure of the Deen is being put into a negative light. But according to the viewpoint of Maududi Saheb, not one of the four things mentioned remains credible, because the disgrace of being ‘mentally enslaved’ to the personalities of past or present is totally unacceptable in his lofty court; nor will he accept in any way. Even if we give him the benefit of doubt, that the words of the Qur’aan and Sunnah are preserved, then too the stages of interpreting the words and giving them their proper meanings, and through practising them, for one to reach the stages of Islamic thought, will yet have to be covered. Since Maududi Saheb does not accept the ‘mental slavery’ of any human, therefore he will have to traverse this whole path on his own, and in the same manner he will also have to cover the path through his own intellect and understanding. The result that will ensue and the picture that will form of the Deen needs no comments. It is a fact that a person that wants to remain in the Deen of Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam, will have to become a ‘mental slave’ of those Salaf Saliheen who had upheld the Deen. The person that cannot withstand this ‘disgrace’ or does not want to follow it, cannot attain true Islam (The Islam brought by Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam), even if one reaches the highest of positions. After refuting the reliability of the sayings and conditions of the Salaf Saaliheen and not becoming engrossed in their ‘mental slavery’, if Janab Maududi Saheb has invented some scientific way, we will be looking forward to know about it, on condition that it is a bit different from the styles and modes of Mr Pervez and Mirza Qadiani.
I accept that Janab Maududi Saheb is a good author and has a flowing pen, but I feel that he in his lofty thoughts, sometimes uses such words that according to the situation are utterly out of context. For example, take the words ‘above criticism’ and ‘mental slavery’. These, according to their coherence are meaningless. Ponder, that if ‘mental slavery’ is not a shortcoming in the Islamic religion, but is a thing to be proud of a thousand times, then should one not be proud of following the path of the Salaf Saaliheen and those who have shouldered the burden of Islam? What shall be the meaning of this saying of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam:
“That my Ummah will never unite on falsehood.”
Picture a child of the grades who went to Madrasah or school for the first time. The Ustaaz began teaching him the alphabets, and taught him that this is ‘Alif’ this is ‘Baa’. In reply to this the pupil says: “Sir, I am the thinker of the fourteenth century (or nineteenth century A.D), why should I accept your ‘mental slavery’?”. It is apparent what type of education will this ‘thinker’ attain. We do not even hold this position in relation to the Sahaabah and the Salaf Saaliheen, as the relation of the modern ‘thinker’ had with his Ustaaz. We learnt the rudiments of Deen from these noble personalities. The result of the revolt against conforming to their ‘mental slavery’ is not different from that pupil who claimed to be a ‘thinker’. May Allah forgive me. I am of the opinion that those who severe their links from the Salaf Saaliheen, and throw off the yoke of their ‘mental slavery’, and are trying to map out a new path of ‘Islam’, in essence do not acknowledge Islam, but repeatedly use the words of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, but there is no other way to spread their Kufr and disbelief among the Muslim public. I do not regard Janab Maududi Saheb among them, but it is regretted that he has, by rejecting the ‘mental slavery’ of every personality of the Salaf Saaliheen, given preference to the ‘mental slavery’ of the orientalist western disbelievers, and he has adopted the ‘mentality of the free thinkers’ after whom the modernists of today are running.
Janab Maududi Saheb has satirized and ridiculed the following of the path of the Salaf Saaliheen as ‘mental slavery’ which the Qur’aan proclaims as ‘Sabilul Mu’minin’ (a way for the believers) and has warned those who disregard it of a severe punishment in Jahannam. This is the same ‘mental slavery’ that the Qur’aan describes as “As siraatul Mustaqeem” (The straight path), and instruts to supplicate for its guidance. Also, this is the same ‘mental slavery’ for which the Muslims rub their noses five times a day and make du’aa. What a bad and distasteful interpretation this is, that the path on which countless caravans of pious people have trodden, the following of whom is today labelled as ‘mental slavery’.
If you have studied the emergence of all the false sects during the Islamic period, then this truth will dawn upon you that the Foundation of all these sects are on ‘Ana wala ghayri’ (Me and no one besides me). All these have felt ashamed of the ‘mental slavery’ of the Salaf Saaliheen, and have floated their lofty thoughts in the jungles of their on intelligence and understanding. Thereafter, whichever way their heads rose their thoughts began to float in that way.
The first fitnah in Islam was introduced by Abdullah bin Saba, a Jew, whose basic thinking was founded on that no one is above criticism besides the noble personality of Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. Then from the stomach of this Saba’iyyah the fitnah of the Khawaarij was born, who exclaimed aloud that Ali Radhiallahu anhu and the Sahaabah did not understand Islam. “We understand more than them.” Then on the same basis the sects of Mu’tazilah, Murjiyyah, Qadariyyah, etc, took root. Each one of them portrayed the following of the Salaf as ‘mental slavery’. They went astray and led others astray. In our modern times the new sects that emerged, although their basis and viewpoints differ, you will find that they are more or less unanimous on the above point. It is fashionable today to satirize the Salaf Saaliheen; to extract worms from their deeds; injure their personalities; shoot arrows of criticism on them; and label their following as, revisionism, out modeled, obsolete, orthodoxy, mental slavery, etc, etc. It is sad that Janab Maududi Saheb also place his ‘Islamic Movement’ on these lines. When we read the history of the Khawaarij, we were surprised at their boldness. They claimed to understand the Deen more than such a personality wo had seen with his own eyes the Sun of Islam rise, and who had been an associate and confidant of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam during his 23 years period of Nubuwwat; who had eye-witnessed every incident of the Nuzul Wahi; who had spent his whole life from childhood till old age in the service of Islam. We fail to understand that what has happened to their senses? They vehemently criticise his religious understanding. History repeats itself. Today the criticisms of Janab Maududi Saheb (his attack on Uthman Radhiallahu anhu and other Sahabah) has removed our astonishment and surprise regarding the Khaarijis. Maududi Saheb tries to make us understand that Uthman Radhiallahu anhu was not able to upkeep the ‘Islamic System’, nor did anyone after him have the guidance and power to do so. Now Janab Maududi Saheb’s ‘Islamic Movement’ will spear the Islamic System. ‘In hiya Illa khaarijiyyatun Jadidatun’ (Verily it is a new Khaariji order).
The Angels of Allah are modest in the presence of Uthman Radhiallahu anhu.
Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam says:
“Should I not feel modest before that person, in the presence of whom the Malaa’ikah feel modest” [Muslim, Mishkat Page, 562]
Maududi Saheb does not feel a jerk by this, but showers licentious criticism on him. Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam in recognising the great sacrifices of Uthman Radhiallahu anhu says:
“Whatever Uthman (Radhiallahu anhu) does after this, there shall be no accusation upon him.” [Mishkat, Tirmizi]
But Maududi Saheb feels it an honour to heap accusations on him. Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam advises the Ummah:
“Fear Allah regarding my Sahaabah (Companions), Fear Allah regarding my Sahaabah. Do not make them a source of criticism after me. That person who has loved them, has loved them because they love me, and those who hate them, have hated them because they hate me.” [Tirmizi]
But Maududi Saheb deems it important to criticise them by sifting them all through a sieve. It grants every Tom, Dick and Harry the right to criticise. By criticising them it instructs the Ummah to despise and hate them, so that people may keep away from becoming their ‘mental slaves’. This is a same Khaarijiyyah in a new colour, which surface during the time of Sahaabah. It is stated in the Hadith that the ‘Later one’s among this Ummah will curse its forebearers.’
I end this letter, by mentioning the command of the Faqihul-Ummah, Abdullah bin Mas’ud Radhiallahu anhu. You may compare the ‘standard of truth’ between that of this great Sahaabi and that of Maududi Saheb. He says,
“If you want to follow anyone, then follow the path of those who have passed away, because one is not safe from the fitnah of a living person. I mean those who are among the Sahaabah of Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. They were the best among this Ummah; they possessed the clearest of hearts; they attained the deepest of knowledge; and had the least formalities. Allah Ta’ala had chosen them as the companions of His Nabi and to upkeep His Deen. Therefore, recognise their virtues, and follow their footsteps. As far as possible hold fast onto their characters and qualities, because they are on the straight path”.
May Allah Ta’ala give us and the entire Ummah the towfeeq of following this golden advice, and keep us on the straight path. (Aameen)
Muhammad Yousuf Ludhianwi.