A Balanced View on Shabe Bara’at (15th Night of Sha’baan)

By Shaykh Abdur-Raheem

A significant feature of the month of Sha’ban is that it consists of a night which is termed in Shariah as “Laylatul-bara’ah” (The night of emancipation). This is the night occurring between the 14th and 15th day of Sha’ban.

Does this night have any basis in the shariah or is it’s reverence an innovated practice worthy of being discarded?

This article aims to clarify this issue.
There are certain Hadith which prove that Laylatul-bara’ah” is a meritorious night, in which the people of the earth are blessed by special Divine mercy. Some of these traditions are quoted as follows:

1. Ummul-Mu’mineen ‘Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha says, “Once Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, performed the night Salah (Tahajjud) and made a very long Sajdah until I feared that he had passed away. I searched for him (in the darkness). My hand fell on his sole while he was in sajdah and I heard him saying: ‘I seek refuge of Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and of Your pleasure from Your wrath, and I seek refuge in You from Yourself. I cannot praise You as fully as You deserve. You are exactly as You have praised Yourself.’

Thereafter, when he finished his salah, he said to me: ‘Aishah, did you think that Allah and His Prophet would be unjust to you?’ I said, ‘No, O Prophet of Allah, but I was afraid that your soul was been taken away because your Sajdah was very long.’ He asked me, ‘Do you know which night is this?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘This is the night of the half of Sha’ban. Allah Almighty looks upon His slaves in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness and bestows His mercy upon those who pray for mercy but keeps those who have malice as they were before, (and does not forgive them unless they relieve themselves from malice).’”

2. In another Tradition Sayyidah’ Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has reported that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said, “Allah Almighty descends (in a manner He knows best) in the night occurring in the middle of Sha’ban and forgives a large number of people more than the number of the fibers on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb.”

Kalb was a big tribe the members of which had a very large number of sheep. Therefore, the last sentence of the hadith indicates to the large number of the people who are forgiven in this night by Allah Almighty.

3. In yet another Tradition, she has reported Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, “This is the middle Night of Sha’ban. Allah frees in it a large number of the people from Fire, more than the number of the hair growing on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb. But He does not even look at a person who associates partners with Allah, or at a person who nourishes malice in his heart (against someone), or at a person who cuts off the ties of kinship, or at a man who leaves his clothes extending beyond his ankles (as a sign of pride), or at a person who disobeys his parents, or at a person who has a habit of drinking wine.”

4. Sayyiduna Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said: “Allah Almighty looks upon all those created by Him, in the middle Night of Sha’ban and forgives them, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart”.

There are also many other narrations mentioned in mishkaat ul masaabeeh page 115.

Although the chain of narrations of some of these traditions suffers with some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions are combined together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any special importance to this night. In fact, some of these traditions have been held by some scholars of hadith as authentic and the defects in the chain of some others have been treated by them as minor technical defects which, according to the science of hadith, are curable by the variety of their ways of narration. That is why the elders of the ummah have constantly been observing this night as a night of special merits and have been spending it in worship and prayers.

Imam Ibn-Taimiyyah rahmatullahi alayh was asked about the importance of the 15th night of Sha’ban. He replied:

ﺍﻣﺎﻟﻴﻠﺔ ﺍﻟﻨﺼﻒ ﻓﻘﺪ ﺭﻭﻯ ﻓﻰ ﻓﻀﻠﻬﺎ ﺃﺣﺎﺩﻳﺚ ﻭﺁﺛﺎﺭ ﻭﻧﻘﻞ ﻋﻦ ﻃﺎﺋﻔﺔ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺴﻠﻒ ﺃﻧﻬﻢ ﻛﺎﻧﻮﺍ ﻳﺼﻠﻮﻥ ﻓﻴﻬﺎ ﻓﺼﻼﺓ ﺍﻟﺮﺟﻞ ﻓﻴﻬﺎ ﻭﺣﺪﻩ ﻗﺪ ﺗﻘﺪﻣﻪ ﻓﻴﻪ ﺳﻠﻒ ﻭﻟﻪ ﻓﻴﻪ ﺣﺠﺔ ﻓﻼ ﻳﻨﻜﺮ ﻣﺜﻞ ﻫﺬﺍ – ﻛﺘﺐ ﻭﺭﺳﺎﺋﻞ ﻭﻓﺘﺎﻭﻯ ﺍﺑﻦ ﺗﻴﻤﻴﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻔﻘﻪ ﺝ : 23 ﺹ : 132

As for the 15th night of Shabaan, there are many narrations and Athar (quotes from the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) regarding its virtue. It has been reported of the salaf that they prayed in this night. Therefore, praying alone on this night, having precedence in the salaf, is sufficient evidence and something of this kind surely cannot be denied.

Allama Ibnu-Taymiyyah is a scholar notorious for refuting such things, however he accepts the virtue of the night of Baraat, he says,

“So many Ahaadith and reports exist regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Shabaan that one is compelled to accept that this night possesses some virtue”. Some of the pious predecessors used to specially devote this night for Salaat. [Faydhul-Qadeer. vol 2., pg 317].

Moulana Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri, writes in the commentary of Tirmidhi,

“The sheer number of Ahaadith regarding this night serve as proof against those people who refute the excellence of this night”. [Tuhfatul-Ahwazi. vol 2. pg 53].

The Ahaadeeth relating to the virtues of this night have been narrated by 10 different Sahaaba (Radhiyallahu Anhum),

Al-Albani has classed the Hadith of forgiveness in laylatunnisfi min Sha’abaan as Saheeh.

He has narrated it on the authority of 8 sahabah. Their names are as follows.

Abu Bakr siddique
Muaaz ibn jabal
Abu Tha’labah al Khushani
Abdullah ibn Amr
Abu Musa al Ash’ari
Abu hurayrah
Awf ibn Malik
Aisha Siddiqah
radhiallahu anhum ajmaeen.
After giving references he wrote:

ﻭﺟﻤﻠﺔ ﺍﻟﻘﻮﻝ ﺍﻥ ﺍﻟﺤﺪﻳﺚ ﺑﻤﺠﻤﻮﻉ ﻫﺬﻩ ﺍﻟﻄﺮﻕ ﺻﺤﻴﺢ ﺑﻼ ﺭﻳﺐﻭﺍﻟﺼﺤﺔ ﺗﺜﺒﺖ ﺑﺄﻗﻞ ﻣﻨﻬﺎ ﻋﺪﺩﺍ ﻣﺎ ﺩﺍﻣﺖ ﺳﺎﻟﻤﺔ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﻀﻌﻒ ﺍﻟﺸﺪﻳﺪ ﻛﻤﺎ ﻫﻮﺍﻟﺸﺎﻥ ﻓﻲ ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻟﺤﺪﻳﺚ، ﻓﻤﺎ ﻧﻘﻠﻪ ﺍﻟﺸﻴﺦ ﺍﻟﻘﺎﺳﻤﻲ ﻓﻲ ﺇﺻﻼﺡ ﺍﻟﻤﺴﺎﺟﺪ ﺹ١٠٧ ﻋﻦ ﺍﻫﻞ ﺍﻟﺘﻌﺪﻳﻞ ﻭﺍﻟﺘﺠﺮﻳﺢ ﺍﻧﻪ ﻟﻴﺲ ﻓﻲ ﻓﻀﻞ ﻟﻴﻠﺔ ﺍﻟﻨﺼﻒ ﻣﻦ ﺷﻌﺒﺎﻥ ﺣﺪﻳﺚ ﻳﺼﺢ، ﻓﻠﻴﺲ ﻣﻤﺎ ﻳﻨﺒﻐﻲ ﺍﻻﻋﺘﻤﺎﺩ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ . ﻭ ﺍﻥ ﻛﺎﻥ ﺍﺣﺪ ﻣﻨﻬﻢ ﺍﻃﻠﻖ ﻣﺜﻞ ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻟﻘﻮﻝ ﻓﺈﻧﻤﺎ ﺍﻭﺗﻲ ﻣﻦ ﻗﺒﻞ ﺍﻟﺘﺴﺮﻉ ﻭ ﻋﺪﻡ ﻭﺳﻊ ﺍﻟﺠﻬﺪ ﻟﺘﺘﺒﻊ ﺍﻟﻄﺮﻕ ﻋﻠﻲ ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻟﻨﺤﻮ ﺍﻟﺬﻱ ﺑﻴﻦ ﻳﺪﻳﻚ ‏( ﺳﻠﺴﻠﺔ ﺍﻷﺣﺎﺩﻳﺚ ﺍﻟﺼﺤﻴﺤﻪ ﺹ ١٣٨ / ٣ )

“The summary of our research is that this Hadith, with its collective chains, is without doubt saheeh. Whoever classed it as weak did so due to his hastening and his lack of effort in grasping all the chains of narrations, in the manner in which you have seen in the research before you’
(Silsilatul Ahaadeethis Saheehah p138, vol 3).

What Should be Done in this Night?

In order to observe the Night of Bara’ah, one should try to remain awake in this night as much as he can. If someone has better opportunities, he should spend the whole night in worship and prayer. However, if one cannot do so for one reason or another, he can select a considerable portion of the night, preferably of the second half for this purpose, and should perform the following acts of worship:

(a) SALAAH: . Salah is the most preferable act to be performed in this night. There is no particular number of Rak’at but preferably it should not be less than eight. It is also advisable that each part of the Salah like qiyam, rukoo’ and sajdah should be longer than normal. The longest surahs of the Holy Qur’an one remembers by heart should be recited in the Salah of this night. If someone does not remember the long surahs, he can also recite several short surahs in one rak’ah.

(b) Tilawa. The recitation of the Holy Qur’an is another form of worship, very beneficial in this night. After performing Salah, or at any other time, one should recite as much of the Holy Qur’an as he can.

(c) Dhikr. One should also perform as much dhikr as possible.
Kalima Tayyebah 100x
Third kalima 100x
Astaghfaar 100x

One should also recite Salawaat (durood) on Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as many times as he can. Dhikr can also be done whilst walking, lying on bed, and during other hours of work or leisure.

(d) Dua. The best benefit one can draw from the blessings of this night is prayers and supplications. It is hoped that all the prayers in this night will be accepted by our Lord, insha-Allah.

Prayer itself is an ‘Ibadah, and Allah Almighty gives reward on each prayer along with the fulfillment of the supplicator’s need. Even if the purpose prayed for is not achieved, one cannot be deprived of the reward of the prayer which is sometimes more precious than the mundane benefits one strives for.

The prayers and supplications also strengthen one’s relation with Allah Almighty, which is the main purpose of all kinds and forms of worship.

One can pray for whatever purpose he wishes. But the best supplications are the ones made by Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. These are so comprehensive and all-encompassing prayers that all the human needs, of this world and the Hereafter, are fully covered in the eloquent expressions used in them. Actually, most of the prophetic prayers are so profound that human imagination can hardly match their greatness.

Several books in various languages are available which provide these prophetic prayers, and one should pray to Allah Almighty in accordance with them, whether by reciting their original Arabic text or by rendering their sense in one’s own language.

(e) There are some people who cannot perform any additional Salah or recitations for any reason, like illness or weakness or being engaged in some other necessary activities. Such people also should not deprive themselves completely of the blessings of this night. They should observe the following acts:

To perform the Salah of Maghrib, ‘Isha’ and Fajr with Jama’ah in the mosque, or in their homes in case of their being sick.

They should keep reciting the dhikr, particularly the one mentioned in para (c) above, in whatever condition they are until they sleep.

They should pray to Allah for their forgiveness and for their other objectives. One can do so even when he is in his bed.

(f) The women during their periods cannot perform salah, nor can they recite the Qur’an, but they can recite any dhikr, tasbeeh, durood sharif and can pray to Allah for whatever purpose they like in whatever language they wish. They can also recite the Arabic prayers mentioned in the Qur’an or in the hadith with the intention of supplication (and not with the intention of recitation).

(g) According to a hadith, Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went in this night to the graveyard of Baqi’ where he prayed for the Muslims buried there. On this basis, some of the fuqaha hold it as advisable in this night to go to the graveyard of the Muslims and recite some Qur’an, and pray for the dead. But this act is neither obligatory nor should it be performed as regularly as an obligatory act.

One should also try and fast the three illuminated days (13,14,15 of lunar month). If it’s hard fast for at least the 15th of sha’baan.

May Allah give us Tawfeeq of worship, and the ability to put into practice whatever we learn.

May Allah forgive us and have mercy upon us.
May Allah be pleased with us.
May Allah help us to get ready for Ramadhan.
Aameen

Further Read: The “Daleel” (Proofs) for the Virtue of the Night of 15th Sha’ban

Some Points about the Crucifixion

By Bilal Muhammad

Christian Contention:- “The crucifixion of Jesus was a historical fact that was not challenged in the first century.”

Some of our polemical texts will highlight ambiguities in the crucifixion story as narrated in the Bible, for example:

(1) Contradictions on who carried the cross (Mark 15:21, Matthew 27:32, Luke 23:26, and John).

(2) Contradictions on what was written on the cross. (Mark 15:26, Matthew 27:37, Luke 23:38, John 19:19)

(3) The lack of a clear resurrection story in the earliest manuscripts of Mark, which was probably the earliest Gospel.

(4) The witnesses of the crucifixion depend on the Gospel: some women from afar, or Mary and an apostle up close. (Mark 15:40-41, Matthew 27:55-56, John 19:25)

(5) Contradictions on what hour Jesus was crucified (Mark 15:25, John 19:14-15)

(6) Contradictions on what Jesus’ last words were. (Mark 15:34-37, Luke 23:46, John 19:30)

(7) Contradictions on the number of angels or witnesses at the grave of Jesus.

(8) Questions on the original sin: its place in Judaism, why God would need blood to forgive, how a sacrifice can account for future sins, why God would need to wait thousands of years before sending Jesus to alleviate the original sin.

(9) John the Evangelist was seemingly quelling doubts about crucifixion by including a spear thrust into the side of Jesus, to make sure he was dead, which was not mentioned in the three earlier Gospels. (John 19:34)

(10) The Sanhedrin trial of Jesus has no record besides the Gospels, and the trial breaks tens of rules and procedures that are typical of a Sanhedrin trial.

(11) Pilate offered to free one of two men: Jesus, or a rebel by the name of “Barabbas” – in earlier manuscripts, his name was “Jesus Barabbas”, meaning, “Jesus the son of the Father”, it would be funny if the wrong “Jesus” was crucified.

(12) Belief in the crucifixion would basically negate his prophethood in Judaism, according to Deuteronomy 21:22-23, and this was probably by the Jews wanted Jesus crucified rather than simply assassinated.

(13) Jesus’ descent into Hell would negate his Godhood; and is probably taken from Greek hero myth.

(14) A mass resurrection of saints in Matthew 27:51-53 is mentioned in 3 verses, but the account does not appear anywhere else, neither in the other Gospels nor in other texts, even though such a thing would’ve been notable enough to record; at least more notable than Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem.

(15) According to the Synoptic Gospels, all of Jesus’ apostles and family members forsook Jesus and never attended the crucifixion.

(16) In Mark 16, on the Sunday, the women went to anoint Jesus’ buried corpse with spices – this was not a practice, as in Judaism a tomb is not re-opened after it is closed unless there is reason to believe that the person in it is still alive – so there is a subtle implication that these women believed that the one in the tomb was still alive, and needed to be sought for treatment.

(17) Jesus supposedly prophesied that he would be buried for 3 days and 3 nights, but he was only in the tomb for 1 day and 2 nights.

(18) In Matthew 12:40, Jesus compared his three day burial to Jonah’s three days in the whale; but Jonah was alive in the belly of the whale and not dead.

(19) In Luke 4:10-12, Jesus quotes Psalm 91, which if you read in full, suggests that the Messiah will be saved by God and lifted up.

(20) Sacrifices were never crucified.

And Allah knows best.

NASEEHAT FOR IMAAMS

By Mujlisul Ulama

The Sahaabi, Hadhrat Uthmaan Bin Abil Aas (Radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that when Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sent him to be the Imaam of Banu Thaqeef, the last naseehat (advice) of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was:

“O Uthmaan! Shorten the Salaat. Gauge people (the Muqtadis) on the basis of their weak ones because among them are the old, the young,  the weak and those in need.”

In the narration recorded by Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal (Rahmatullah alayh), the following is also mentioned:

“You are their Imaam. Consider the weak ones among them, and appoint such a Muath-thin who will not accept wages for his Athaan.”

Imaams are supposed to observe this Sunnah. Although there are specific sized Surahs which are Masnoon for the various Salaat, the Imaam should understand which Sunnah to adhere when he leads a jamaa’t consisting of old, weak, sick and such persons who have to make haste to get to their work. It is Sunnah for the Imaam to shorten his Qir’aat.

This shortening advised by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) applies to the Qiraa’t. It is not Sunnah to omit any Masnoon acts of the Salaat. On the contrary, it is Makrooh and forbidden to omit the Masnoon acts. The advice which some moron muftis give during Ramadhan for shortening the Salaat is evil and haraam. It is not permissible to omit Thana, the Durood and Dua after At-Tahiyaat in the last raka’t of every two raka’t of Taraaweeh. This practice is abominable and not permissible.

Who Should We Follow??

QUESTION: Whom should we Hanafis follow when there is a conflict of opinion among our Ulama? For example Mufti Taqi Uthmaani says that Islamic banking, digital pictures, etc. are permissible whereas the Mujlisul Ulama refutes this view. So how does a layman make a choice?

Answer (By Mujlisul Ulama):

If two medical doctors or two lawyers give conflicting opinions on the same issues, who will you follow? How will you decide whom to follow? Use the same criterion in the event of conflicting opinions of the Ulama.

In the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta’ala reprimanding the masses (the laymen) of Bani Israaeel, states: “They take their Ulama and their Mashaaikh as gods besides Allaah.” Now why does Allah Ta’ala criticize and reprimand the ordinary people for following the rulings of their learned men when it is incumbent for the laity to follow the rulings and guidance of the Ulama? In reality, the ordinary people who love to follow their nafs, and the easy way, do understand what is Haqq and Baatil. Thus, they quickly follow such rulings which satisfy their nafsaani desires whilst deep down in their hearts they know that they are following baatil. For such miscreants and slaves of the nafs, the Qur’aan Majeed says: “In fact, man has awareness of his nafs even though he puts forth excuses (to justify his haraam, nafsaaniyat and shaitaaniyat).”.

Allah Ta’ala has bestowed to insaan a treasure called Aql (Intelligence) which the Mu’min is required to utilize constructively with ikhlaas (sincerity). Then he will arrive at the correct opinion, and follow what is the Haqq.

The Shariah also emphasizes abstention from doubtful issues. The Deen also instructs us to choose the option in which there is ihtiyaat (caution). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Shun that which plunges you into for that which does not cast you into doubt.” Two glasses of water are placed in front of you, and it is said that one glass contains pure water while the other glass of water contains a few drops of urine or a drop of a lethal poison, but it is not known which glass of water is pure and which one is the contaminated one. In this situation of conflict, which glass will you opt for? If someone, regardless of his elevated status, suggests that you opt for any one of the glasses, or take the one on your left or on your right, etc., will you take the chance? We are certain that you will shun both and opt for caution.

Now when one Aalim says that ‘this meat is haraam carrion’, and the other one says that it is ‘halaal’, why should you dither and be in doubt as to the option you should adopt? In Deeni or spiritual matters, people throw caution aside and blindly follow their bestial nafs presenting the hollow pretext that a certain Aalim says that it is permissible irrespective of the lasting spiritual damage which consumption and participation in the haraam cause.

If one Aalim says that a picture is not a picture, and the other one says that a picture is a picture, then you the layman, is required to use the Aql bestowed to you by Allah Ta’ala so that you do not come under the scope of the above-mentioned Qur’aanic aayat of Divine Reprimand. You are not expected to debase your Aql by enslaving it to your carnal instincts. Your intelligence will be sufficient to convince you that the one who says that a digital picture is not a picture resorts to skulduggery and propagates what his nafs orders him, not what his Aql demands.

Similarly, if one Aalim says that the so-called ‘dividends’ of a so-called ‘Islamic’ bank are riba, and another Aalim says that it is not riba, then even the layman whose brains are not welded to stupidity, will understand that it is in his best Deeni interests and for his Aakhirah to abstain from such a dangerous sin as riba. The principle of Ihtiyaat (Caution) and abstention from doubt should be adopted in every conflict, namely, adopt caution and for practical purposes act on Ihtiyaat and abstain from doubt, and utilize your Aql. You will then be on Rectitude, and there will remain no doubt in you as to what and who is the Haqq.

REVIVAL OF EEMAAN AND RECTIFICATION OF ‘AAMAAL …Need of The Hour

ALLAH determines who rules us. Just look at the mongol hordes. After the Ummah collapsed under the rampage of these savage barbarians, the ummah finally started reforming themselves on a significant scale. Then, ALLAH opened the hearts of the kings of these savage barbarians to Islam. One by one, all of Genghis Khan’s grandsons & subsequent generations accepted Islam & they eventually became the biggest propagators of Islam. That is only the handiwork of ALLAH, the like of which HE bestows to an Ummah who deserves such a bestowal.

We do not need to be perfect. We just need to try our best, do Taubah for our mistakes & stop making excuses for our sins. Just look at how many so-called practising brothers today indulge & soothe their conscience over kabeerah sins such as videography which used to be regarded unanimously as kabeerah by the most pious Ulama of the previous generation.

Can one really delude themselves that all the Akabireen Ulama were wrong unanimously & the modernists of their time were all along correct, & escape divine retribution..?

Just because we want to believe something to be Halal will not make it so on day of judgement. And of course the punishment starts in this dunya with ALLAH granting our worst enemies power over us.

It’s not chicken & egg situation. Khilafah will obviously accelerate the process of reformation of society, but according to hadith,

“your deeds are your rulers”

and many others, khilafah will not take place until first a good fraction of us do Taubah & reform ourselves.

If enough of the ummah strive to take care of the matters within their control (eg their sins), then ALLAH will take care of the matter which is largely beyond our control – political dominion. That is the Sunnah of ALLAH for which there is no change.

HOW LONG WILL THAT TAKE..?

That’s like asking how long would it have taken for enough people to accept Sayyiduna Nuh’s (‘alaihissalaam) perfect dawah, for that Ummah to have been granted political dominion. Or why did it take so many years for Sayyiduna Musa’s (‘alaihissalaam) Ummah to accept his perfect & sublime Dawah & do Taubah, only after which ALLAH created the circumstances for firawn’s downfall & the instant changing of political dominion.

It can happen overnight or it can take more than 900 years. Or it can take till the era of Imam Mahdi. But Imam Mahdi will not disrupt the Sunnah of ALLAH. A good portion of the Ummah will already have reformed themselves & be waiting for ALLAH’s Help, for them to deserve the long awaited saviour of the Ummah.

It’s up to us (individually first & collectively next) to determine how long will it take for the Ummah to deserve political power again.

 

The Benefits Of Raw Honey

By Mujlisul Ulama

Honey in its natural raw state contains 2 predominant natural sugars (Fructose and Glucose) 11 enzymes, 14 minerals, 21 amino acids, all the vitamins that nutrition­ists consider necessary for health A,D.K. Rutin. Nico­tinic acid, B vitamins, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine and Biotin as well as Ascorbid Acid (Vit. C.).

HONEY PROCESSING

Most honey sold today has been commercially proc­essed, resulting in enzymes (which help digestion) and vitamins, being destroyed and protein (pollen) being removed. This processing involves heating and filtering through a cloth or fine filter paper. The end product will remain in a liquid state for a long period of time. When it finally starts to granulate, crystals will begin to form at the bottom of the jar, moving upwards (a sure sign of a refined and processed product, despite the label “Pure” Honey).

WHAT CAN RAW HONEY DO FOR YOU?

Raw Honey was and still is credited with marvelous curative powers. A whole book could be written on all the medicinal uses of honey, from thousands of years of folk medicine to the scientific of the present time.

In addition to its age-retarding properties raw honey has been proven to be from beneficial to extraordinary ef­fective in the following:

* As honey is a pre-digested food (a process done by the bees) it enters the blood stream directly producing en­ergy quickly, unlike refined sugar which has to be di­gested.

  • Proline, an amino acid in Raw honey is the primary component in collagen. Collagen is the main structure in bones. (Proverbs 16.24—health to the bones) Cal­cium is also found in two forms in Raw Honey.
  • Increases Haemoglobin count and can prevent or cure It is rich in iron and copper.
  • Is an excellent mild laxative, especially recommended as such for infants and children.
  • Raw Honey will prevent and even cure Botulism Poi­soning, because it contains an enzyme called Glucose Oxidase, (this enzyme is easily destroyed with heat). Botulism spores can only develop in the intestines of infants when chronically constipated
  • It has been shown to be useful in Rheumatic and Ar­thritic cinditions, especially in combination with Apple Cider Vinegar (Dr D.C. Jarvis).
  • It has been used successful in the treatment of liver and kidney disorders. diseases of the respiratory and di­gestive tracts. weak heart action, infectious diseases, colds, insomnia, poor circulation, and bad complexion.
  • It is not mere theory. but has been proved that bacte­ria cannot live in the presence of raw honey, for the rea­son that raw honey is an excellent source of potassium. The potassium draws from the bacteria the moisture which is essential to the very existence. A bacteriologist who did not believe this, after a series of tests discov­ered to his amazement that the disease germs he tested (typhoid. Bronco-pneumonia and Dysentery producing germs) were all killed off,in the presence of raw honey.
  • In this book “Folk Medicine”. Dr Jarvis an ear, nose and throat specialist reveals some startling facts about raw honey and honeycomb. He says the honeycomb is excellent for the treating of stuffy nose, nasal sinusitis and hay-fever. He always says that raw honey can pro­duce healing for skin bums and is essential in the diet of children because it provides the composite of minerals needed for the growing body ( iron, copper, manganese, silica, chlorine, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, alu­minium, magnesium, zinc, lead and sulphor ).
  • Probably the most beneficial effect of pollen (contained in raw unfiltered honey) is that, taken inter­nally it quickly produces the same anti-putrefactive ef­fect as lactic foods and thus contributes to a healthy di­gestive system and good assimilation of nutrients—absolute prerequisites for good health and long life.

Eating pollen rich raw honey causes rapid combustion, consuming fats which speed up the burning of fat, and continues through the bloodstream at a trickle stimulat­ing the heart without hannful side effects.

MUSLIM PARTICIPATION IN KUFR POLITICS

By Mujlisul Ulama

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

SECTION ONE:

VOTING IN A NON-MUSLIM ELECTION

Our response to an article on this issue by certain Ulama

Having carefully perused the article compiled by the Ulama-e-Kiraam it isquite evident that the fatwaof permissibility to vote in the forthcomingelections has been based on two factors:

One, Hazrat Mufti Shafee sahib’s {Rahmatullahi alaihi) exposition on the issue of voting, as published in Jawaaharul Fiqah, and two, the practices of some of the Akaabir Ulama-e-Deoband when the British were ousted from India in 1947.

Let us pursue the matter on the basis of these two factors.

Firstly, the above-mentioned article of Hazrat Mufti sahib (rahmatullahi alaihi) is no doubt a very expert and professional exposition of the matter under discussion, in which the entire issue was brought under the scrutiny of Shar’ee principles. Truly, a task which only Hazrat Mufti Sahib was capable of (may Allah fill his qabr shareef with noor). However, the context of Hazrat Mufti sahib’sarticle differs from the circumstances that prevail in our political scene. Hazrat Mufti sahib’s article was directed at an electorate which consisted entirely of Muslims. The candidates for governmentwere all Muslims. Under these circumstances it would be Islamically true and correct to apply the usool which Hazrat Mufti sahib evolved, whereby we could testify or intercede on behalf of, or be represented by, Muslim leaders, some of whom even had quite sound Islamic morals and background. It should also be born in mind that according to the hadeeth shareef of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam if the Imaam that has assumed control of the country is a faasiq, it will be completely lawful for Muslims to give him the pledge of allegiance (bay’at). In other words, a Muslim will be supported in spite of his fisq, but kufr cannot be tolerated. [I’laa-us Sunan 12:618 of Hazrat Moulana Zhafar Ahmed Thanwi rahmatullahi alaihi, quoting from Muslim Shareef and Naylul Owtaar.]

So the article written by Hazrat Mufti Shafee sahib rahmatullahi alaihi is applicable in a Muslim country where all candidates are Muslims and there exists the strong possibility that certain candidates, should they come to power, would implement Islamic rule.

In the South African elections this of course would not be the case. There are no Islamic parties, and Muslim candidates. In our context these terms refer to parties and candidates who stand for the Shariah. The meaning here is not Islamic and Muslim merely in names. Above all, the whole constitution of this country is based on western, non-Muslim law. Therefore, the article of Hazrat Mufti sahib rahmatullahi alaihi should not be used sweepingly in our political context. At this juncture, we could do one of two things: we could either use the general principles laid down by Hazrat Mufti sahib as regards to voting and see if their application in a non-muslim political set-up is permissible, or we could deal with this matter from an entirely different angle.

Lets consider the first. According to Hazrat Mufti sahib, voting constitutes one of three Shar’ee principles:

Testimony (Shahaadat), Intercession (Shafa’at, or Representation (Wakaalat). Shahaadat in the form of a vote means that the Muslim voter testifies to the credibility of the non-Muslim candidate. He bears evidence that the non-Muslim candidate has ‘the capabilityand qualifications to govern and rule. Surely such evidence, in our elections, would be false, since the first requisite of leadership is Islam, which is, obviously not found in a non-Muslim. In addition, adaalat is also a requisite for a leader (Reference for this will appear further on insha-Allah). Evidence of this nature is therefore tantamount to Shahaadat-uz-zoor, which is haraam in the Shariah.

It should be noted here that Islam regards leadership of a country to be thehighest post granted to an individual in this world and such government infact acts in the capacity of Almighty Allah’s vicegerent, being the authority responsible for the administration of the Divine Shariah. Hence Islam, along with adaalat is a pre-requisite for such a high post.

Intercession through voting means that the voter earnestly wants leadership of government (in this particular case) to be granted to the non-Muslim candidate. This entails tacit approval of whatever type of law or government the non-Muslim will implement, including all unjust, un-Islamic forms of legislation. This is without doubt shafa’ate sayyi-ah as described by The Quran-e-Kareem. One whose intercession is for a good cause receives his share of the reward for that good, and by the same token one whose intercession occurs on behalf of evil-doers who will perpetrate injustices and rule in conflict fill the Law of Quran will also carry the blame for such wrongdoing. (See Qurtubi 5:295 and Ma-aariful Quran 2:498)

The same could be said about representation. The Muslim voter appoints aparticular non-Muslimparty as his/her representative to act on his/her behalf. The agent (wakeel) is of course one who acts on behalf of his principal (muakkil). The wikalat in the context of voting is of a general nature (mutlaq) by virtue of which the wakeel has the right to act as, how and when he deems it appropriate and necessary. Here too, the Muslim voter has in essence given the non-Muslim candidate and his party an open mandate to implement the form of government they feel appropriate and expedient. For a period of five years thereafter the voter has no choice but to stand by and witness the wrongs perpetrated by the party of his choice. The Muslim is therefore guilty of awarding implicit consent and agreement to all un-islamic policies enacted by the non-Muslim government. The similitude of this in fiqah is like a muakkil appointing a wakeel to commit a haraam act, either explicitly or implicitly when he is aware that his wakeel is prone to commit that particular unlawful act. Clearly such wikaalat is haraam in Islam. It should also be remembered that basically Kufr is one millat, and all parties involved are bound by a constitution totally foreign to Islam.

It is therefore clear that the principles so expertly devised by Hazrat Mufti Shafee Sahib rahmatullahi alaihi must essentially be applied to Muslim candidates and parties in an Islamic state, which is the original context of Hazrat’s treatise.

We now study the question of casting votes for a non-Muslim party from an entirely different viewpoint. Voting in a general election (which is the subject matter of our discussion) is actually the process of electing a government. And this is by no means new to Islam, as any student of Deen will testify. The process of electing a leader has been very clearly defined and expounded by The Shariah. Whereas in Shariah the bay’at or pledge of allegiance is offered verbally and practically by the clasping of the hands, in the method invented by the West this pledge is expressed through the ballot. The votes in an election process represent the approval and consent of people to have the candidate as their leader, and by placing a cross next to his or her party’s name they are actually indicating their full support and allegiance to that leader. The ballot has come to be used as a means of expressing approval and allegiance to a particular party or candidate. In short, voting is merely an innovative way introduced by non-Muslims, of electing the head of state.

Once this fact has been established, it is quite obvious that Islam has devised its own method of electing a leader, a method which can be proven from categoric proof (nusoos) and which has been employed by all our great pious predecessors (salf-e-saaliheen). Since Islam has its own alternative to the practice of the ballot it goes without saying that Muslims are bound by the Shariah to adopt the methodology and system of Islam. If Muslims are in a position to implement the Islamic electoral procedure, it becomes wajib upon them to do so. Where only the system of the kuffaar exists and no need or exigency exists to indulge in such a process, it devolves upon them to abstain therefrom. (About this need or expediency more will be said later on Insha-Allah.) Though we are quite sure the Ulema-e-kiraam are well acquainted with these aspects of Islamic political theory, we shall however cite a few noteworthy points from some of the books of fiqah on this subject.

THE INSTITUTION OF KHILAAFAT IN ISLAM

The election of a leader (or Khilaafat) in Islam is not merely a mashroo’ act, it is infact an injunction accorded the status of wujoob. And that too, among the important waajibaat of Islam, so much so that it even takes precedence over the burial of the former leader. The Books of Aqaaid and Fiqah are quite clear on this issue. Since this is a wajib institution in Islam, it will necessarily be accompanied by a prescribed method and procedure, like all other wajib and fardh injunctions, such as salah, zakah, hajj, etc. There are conditions and regulations attached to this important duty, and these are mentioned very elaborately in the books of fiqah.

The Fuqaha have described leadership of state as Imaamat-e-Kubraa (Raddul Muhtaar (Shaami) 1:548), the major imaamat, in contrast to Imaamat-e-Sughra or minor Imaamat which applies to salah. This type of Imaamat has been ordained by Allah as a representation of the office of Nubuwwat as regards to the safeguarding and management of all Deeni affairs. The establishment of such an office in the Ummat is wajib according to Ijmaa’ or the consensus of all Ulema. However, the wujoob here is alal kifayah, so if a few assume and subsequently fulfil this responsibility, the rest will be absolved. [(Al-ahkamus-sultaniyyah of Allama Abul Hasan Ali bin Muhammad Mawardi (d.450) page 5)]

ESTABLISHING THE OFFICE OF IMAAMAT

In the institution of Khilafat or Imaamat two groups play an important role: one is the Ahlul Ikhtiyaar or those who will elect the Imaam or head of state. In modern day terms we could refer to this group as the electorate or constituency; the other is the Ahlul Imaamat or the candidates; those who will be chosen for this office. There are conditions which have to be present for each group before they can be considered eligible to fulfil their respective tasks. For the ahlul ikhtiyaar the following conditions are compulsory:

1. Adaalat- Moral uprightness and integrity, as explained in the booksof fiqah.

2.Knowledge- whereby one is able to discern the qualifications andrequisites for Imaamat in a candidate.

3. Wisdom and experience in political matters. [Al-Ahkaam p.6]

The above three conditions are unique in that they ensure all-round protection for the Ummah. In adaalat it is ensured that the “voter” will be qualified to elect a leader and will do so with utmost sincerity, with the interests of the Ummah at heart. Ilm enables one to establish the credentials and qualifications of a candidate and thereby ensures that a suitably qualified man is placed at the helm of this Ummat’s affairs. Experience and wisdom in politics ensure worldly or material benefit.

Conditions for Imaamat

According to the unanimous decision of the Ulema, the one being elected to Imaamat must be: A Muslim, adult, male, free person (not in bondage), sane, knowledgable on Islamic matters, experienced and prudent in political affairs, courageous and brave, in possession of all faculties of physical perception, sound and healthy in body and limb. [Shaami & Durre Mukhtaar 1:548; Al-Ahkaam p.6]

Some have stipulated the condition of adaalat or uprightness in character and morals. However, according to the Ahnaaf Ulema if a faasiq is appointed to this post, such an appointment is valid, but to do so without a Shar’ee reason is a major sin. If the removal of that faasiq from the post of imaamat does not result in fitnah (strife, anarchy and breakdown of law and order) then it becomes wajib upon the ahlul ikhtiyaar to dismiss him and appoint someone fit and qualified for this position. Otherwise, such a fasiq’s rule will be tolerated in the interests of peace and security in the country.

It is thus very clear that Islam has its own elaborate procedure of electing a leader of state. When we compare the above-mentioned Shar’ee procedure immediately with the voting system of non-Muslims we immediately realise the great difference between the two. The Shariah has meticulously defined certain conditions for one who “votes”, or elects a leader. In the western system of voting none of these conditions is found. In the ludicrous democracy of the kuffaar, any person, of whatever state of mind and moral disposition, can vote a candidate into parliament, even if he does not have the faintest notion as to the ability and qualification of that candidate. Merely on the basis of pecuniary gain, or some short term benefit, political parties are given the vote. The gravity and far-reaching consequences of such an ill-conceived system have not yet sunk into the minds of people. The whole situation has developed into a major farce, the ill effects of which are being witnessed daily, worldwide. It is not conceivable that such a system would be allowed to operate in a true Islamic state, and our understanding of the fiqhi rulings on this matter militates against its acceptance or adoption.

Glancing at the conditions which apply to the candidate, the disparity between the two systems appears even more glaring and conspicuous. At the very outset Imaamat cannot be established in favour of a non-Muslim (I’laa us Sunan 12:618). As explained earlier, the ballot signifies the voter’s approval for the party next to whose name he puts his mark. This means that should that party win the elections by a clear majority, the voter has put its leader into power. Voting therefore entails election of a leader. We do not see how it is Islamically legal or lawful for a Muslim to bring into power, through the medium of his vote, a non-Muslim party and its leader.

Similarly, a woman cannot be elected to the post of Imaamat. Compare this medium of to the policy of so-called democratic governments in outlawing discrimination on the grounds of religion and sex. A more thorough study of such policies will reveal many other ideas or practices which conflict with our Shariah.

The election of an Imaam (head of state) is an important task in Islam, upon which rests the function of all major departments of the Deen. It has to be looked at in this light.

There are two ways in which an Imaam is elected to power:

1) By nomination and/or appointment of the outgoing or former head of state, such as was done by Sayyiduna Abubakr Siddeeq radhiyallahu anhu  when he appointed Hazrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu as his successor, and by Hazrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu when he nominated the committee of six (Uthman, Ali, Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Talha, Zubair and Sa’d bin Abi Waqqaas radhiyallahu anhum) from whom his successor was to be elected. [Al-Imamah Siyaasah by Allama Ibni Qutaiba rahmatullahi alaihi (213-286) p.24]

2) By election of Ahle Hall wa Aqd (earlier referred to as Ahlul Ikhtiyaar). [Shaami 1:549].

If a leader usurps power through force, such as a coup d’etat, and his rule and law are implemented throu ghout the country, such leadership automatically recognised as valid and authentic, and it is then the duty of all to pledge allegiance to him. [Ibid]

Here again it must be noted that a non-Muslim’s rule over Muslims is not recognised in Islam and is therefote invalid. This is proven from the following verse of The Holy Quran:

“And never shall Allah grant power, domination to the unbelievers over the believers”

A faasiq’s rule and domination are recognised, in spite of being unlawful, as explained earlier on.

Ahle hall wa aqd refers to such members of the Muslim community who are prominent in Deen, experienced in political matters and upright in character. It is not a condition that they be Ulama in the technical sense of the word, but they must possess that amount of knowledge which is fardh. The number of such a group does not matter much. According to most Fuqaha they must be at least five in number, and this is based on the practice of Hazrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu when he nominated six people who will mutually select one of them for the khilaafat. [Al-Ahkaam pp.6, 7]

Some Fuqaha are of the view that even one aadil, pious person can select the man of his choice for khilaafat, and if the selected person is fully qualified, such a selection will be valid. The basis of this is the sole induction by Hazrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu of Hazrat Abubakr radhiyallahu anhu to the khilaafat at a time when the Sahaaba were still busy discussing the issue in the Saqeefa Bani Saaida. Upon Hazrat Umar taking the initiative, the rest of the Sahaaba followed suit. Hazrat Umar’s practicew as thus supported by the consensus of the Sahaaba radhiyallahu anhum. [Ibid]

This is in stark contrast to western democracy where elections are decided only through majority vote, and that too, the ignorant masses. The western system of democracy is just not compatible with the Divine system of Islam.

THE PRINCIPLE OF BALIYYATAIN OR TWO EVILS

Undoubtedly this is a valid and well known principle of fiqah which needs no explanation. Whether this principle applies fully here is, in our opinion, debatable for the reasons that follow.

The term baliyyah or ibtilaa signifies an unavoidable crisis, wherein one is faced up with one of two options. If such a situation develops that a Muslim is torn between two evils, both of which are unavoidable, and as such he is forced to choose between either one then most certainly this fiqhi principle will apply. In the coming general elections of this country the Muslim is not facing a situation where he will be compelled to select either of two evils. If the elections will be truly democratic, as is claimed, then the right to vote is to vote. So the question of the prerogative of the individual. No one is forced to vote, so the question of ibtilaa does not apply. By opting not to vote, one is merely exercising one’s democratic right. Here there exists an alternative, the option to abstain, which is what this article intends to present to the readers. It may be argued that the factor of ibtilaa does indeed exist due to the danger that becomes imminent should the party ‘hostile’ to Islam win the elections and not the party sympathetic to our cause. In answering this we firstly need to be explained the nature of this hostility or danger. Does there indeed exist such danger which will allow us to adopt a practice alien to Islam? Secondly, we would like to point out that the leaders and hierarchy of certain political organisations have given clear assurances that they would allow religious freedom, that “islamic personal law” would be incorporated into the judicial system of their government, etc. Since the major parties contesting the elections give pious assurances of upholding the concept of freedom of religion, the issue of baliyyatain (two evils) does not arise. We have not been placed in a situation compelling us to choose the “lesser evil”. When such a situation develops, the need will arise to firstly determine which party is the “lesser evil”.

If these assurances are regarded as hollow utterances merely intended to woo voters and to appease the electorate then let it be said that through The Grace and Mercy of Allah the Muslim Ummah in South Africa has never ever been dependent upon such promises of compromise and condescension. Such levels of recognition has never yet been accorded to the ahkaam of Islam in the past, yet the Deen of the Ummah continued to thrive and no fear existed in the hearts of the believers. This has been proven through experience. So even if any future government fails to introduce such measures as recognising our personal law, etc. it will not change the status quo that has existed in the ummah for the past centuries.

Hence, there are no grounds upon which the principle of ibtilaa or “opting for the lesser of the two evils” could operate. There does not seem to be any  dhuroorat or necessity whereby an unlawful act may be legalised in the Shariah. Furthermore, for the above usool to be freely operable the impending “evils” or “dangers” must be thoroughly defined and spelt out. These should not remain only as a figment of our imagination. Only then can we justifiably adduce proof for the permissibility of voting from verse 28 of Surah Aal e Imraan, where Almighty Allah makes the exemption: “….except if you fear from them some danger.” We have pointed out above that voting represents election of a leader of state or government, and Islam, the eternal Deen of Allah, has given us a clear and specific method of electing a leader, thus precluding us from adopting any other system or method.

If any fear does exist in our minds, it is the breakdown of law and order, civil strife, etc. in the country that may follow the elections. This fear exists even in the hearts of non-Muslims, and will even affect them too, and is not subject to whether we vote, or for whom we vote. For this we have to implement a stringent program of tableegh and taleem to urge Muslims to turn to Allah and seek His Divine Aid, for only this can save us from the punishment that has ravaged and destroyed other nations and communities throughout the globe.

Along with Inaabat ilallah (turning in repentance and remorse unto Allah) we should also encourage Muslims towards physical preparation and defensive awareness, since the world is aalamul asbaab where material agencies have to be utilized in accordance with the Guidance of the Shariah. We are sure all will realise that such a terrible situation is not regulated or directed by voting or abstention. May Allah protect us through His Infinite and Divine Aid, Ameen.

The above points are logical and religious reasons for Muslims abstaining from the elections. A further logical argument to prove that our voting remains politically insignificant is the fact that we are a very small minority, and this minority is exacerbated by the deep divisions in the community. A large percentage of Muslims are inclined towards the ANC, Muslim while many others may vote for the NP. (This article was written at the advent of the transformation of the political system from one system of kufr to another system of kufr). Some may have other allegiances. It is therefore quite clear that our votes will not have any bearing on the outcome of the elections. Looking at the matter strictly from a worldly or political standpoint, this seems even more so because of the overwhelming numbers favouring one particular party.

Be that as it may, we come back to our main theme, which was to prove that besides voting being an un-Islamic practice, it is not permissible for Muslims to participate in the law-making process of the non-Muslims, which is what elections are all about. Muslims should therefore be encouraged to abstain.

This, in our opinion, is an incumbent Islamic duty, as is the shunning of any act or practice which does not conform to Islamic teaching and doctrine.

The permissibility of Mudaaraat, Muaamalaat (subject to certain conditions) and Muwaasaat is in no way affected or impinged upon by the views  expressed in this article. All these types of Islamic behaviour could and should still be maintained even if Muslims abstain from casting their votes. On the other hand, the permissibility of these factors can in no way be construed as license or Shar’ee permission to participate in voting, or electing a non-Muslim government. Looking at the ahadeeth of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam we find a unique comparison between what the Noble Messenger of Allah taught to his Sahaaba and the situation in which we find ourselves today. We quote the relevant hadeeth shareef here.

Hazrat Huzhaifa bin Yamaan radhiyallahu anhu narrates a hadeeth wherein Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam discussed the evil and corruption that will bedevil this Ummat in latter times. He says: I then said: ‘What do you advise me to do should these evil times overtake me, O Prophet of Allah?’ The Holy Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam replied: “Cling fast to their Imaam.” I then asked: ‘And if they do not have the Muslim jama’at and any jama’at nor an Imaam?

He said: “Then disassociate yourself from all those parties, even if you have to cling fast to the root of a tree, until death overtakes you whilst you are in this state.” [Bukhari Shareef 2:1049 (Kilabul Fitan)]

The application of this hadeeth shareef in our times is very appropiate. It is as if the Holy Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam had foreseen the arrival of circumstances wherein Muslims would be tempted to join parties who in some way or other would be the cause of great fitnah (evil, corruption and anarchy). There is absolutely no ambiguity in the guidelines presented to sallallahu alaihi wasallam in this hadeeth shareef. The Imaam mentioned us by Rasoolullah in this hadeeth means the Muslim ruler, and the jama’at refers to those who have united under the  leadership of such an Imaam. [Fathul Baari of Allama Ibni Hajar rahmatullahi alaihi, 13:37]

In the light of this interpretation, the proper import of the hadeeth becomes apparent. In other words, in the absence of a Muslim political ruler and his following, Muslims are ordered by Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam to break entirely away from other political parties, all of whom have served to fragment and disunite the Ummah.

Imam Ibni Jareer Tabari, commenting on this hadeeth, says: “When there exists no Imaam (leader) among Muslims and people have broken up into factions and parties, one should not follow any of these factions. Instead, one should remain aloof from all of them if possible, for fear of evil.” [Ibid]

Allama Ibni Hajar comments: “A lesson to be taken from this hadeeth is the to condemnation of people who invent a basic principle for Deeni practice which is contrary to the Quran and Sunnah, and then make both these scriptures subservient to that fabricated principle (i.e. they expound the laws of Quran and Sunnah according to their concocted reasoning).” [Ibid]

These evidences establish the stance we have adopted of non-participation and total abstention in the political arena.

THE ACTIONS OF THE AKAABIREEN DEOBAND IN BRITISH RULED INDIA

We now proceed to examine the second basis for the fatwa of permissibility to vote in non-Muslim elections. Undoubtedly the situation here in South Africa at present very closely resembles the state of political affairs in India at that time. However, just as we quote the statements and practices of those who participated in the Congress Party’s movement against British Colonialism, we must not lose sight of the fact that there were prominent Ulema who also vehemently disagreed with the actions of these Akaabir, solely on the basis of Shar’ee Dalaa’il. Looking back at the events that unfolded in India during that critical period of its history, there are some invaluable lessons to be learnt. We narrate here two malfoozhaat (sayings) of the late Hazrat Moulana Maseehullah rahmatullahi alaihi in connection with the political situation in India at that time.

Malfoozh no. 1:

Someone once said to Hakeemul Ummat Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi rahmatullahi alaihi: “Why do you not participate in the struggle, when your pious predecessors stood up and fought?”

Hazrat Hakeemul Ummat replied without hesitation: “You saw them standing up, but I saw them sit down (and refrain from such politics)!”

This indicates that eventually there came a shift in the policy of even those who initially stood up against the British. We believe this shift of policy surely must have some Shar’ee significance and basis.

Malfoozh no. 2:

Some months after India gained independence, its first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, along with some of his Cabinet Ministers, came to Deoband  to visit Hazrat Moulana Husein Ahmed Madani rahmatullahi alaihi. During their struggle for freedom Nehru had great respect and admiration for Moulana Madani, both of whom were key figures in the All India Congress party. When they arrived at Hazrat Maulana’s residence in Deoband, they sought permission to enter. One of the aides of Hazrat Madani brought him the news that Nehru and his party had come to see him. Moulana Madani gave him the following message to convey to Prime Minister Nehru: “Tell him I do not wish to see the face of a Munaafiq (hypocrite)!”

The Prime Minister, obviously taken aback by this scathing remark, made several further requests for an audience with Hazrat, but each time the reply was the same. Eventually Nehru and his party had to go back dejected and scorned, with this stern retort still ringing in their ears.

This episode should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind as to the major shift which occurred in the policy of the very Akaabir Ulama who were embroiled in the struggle for independence, towards participation in non-Muslim politics. We do not intend reviving the debate as to which group among our akaabir was justified in the stance they adopted, nor do we wish to go into the details of this ikhtilaaf. All these great people are our seniors whom we respect and revere. Suffice to say however, that in spite of the Muslims joining the Congress party and aiding them to evict the British, at the end of the day they (the Musalmaan Ummat) had to suffer the worst brutality and cruelty ever in the history of India. The very day of independence the Muslims experienced the one of the worst outbreaks of violence. Muslim blood was literally flowing in the street gutters. According to Hazrat Moulana Maseehullah rahmatullahi alaihi, one of the Ulama who was in the forefront of the political struggle alongside the Hindus had to flee Delhi and barely managed to avoid the murderous Hindu mobs on his way to Deoband. When these Hindu savages were reminded by their Muslim victims that: “We too were with you in the struggle for freedom”, the answer they shouted back was: “Yes, certainly, but after all you people are still Muslims!”

This resultant bloodshed proves what The Holy Quran has time and again warned Muslims of:

“O people of Iman! If you will follow the unbelievers they will turn you back on your heels (i.e. away from your Deen) and then you will return as losers. Instead, Allah is your Friend and He is the Best of Helpers.” (Aale Imraan, verses 149, 150.)

“O people of Iman! Do not take bosom friends besides your own (believers). They (the unbelievers) will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of your destruction. They desire that which will harm you. Hatred has already become appare nt from their mouths, but what their hearts conceal is even worse.” (Aale Imraan, verse 118)

It is unfathomable how, under such traumatic circumstances, could it be claimed that these great Ulama freed the masses from the shackles of tyranny and oppression, when the tyranny and violence only really started after independence. By the same token, it is difficult to comprehend how Ulama who are presently members of the Congress party could claim to be safeguarding Islam and the interests of Muslims in India when this decade has seen some of the most violent scenes of carnage and destruction perpetrated on Muslim communities. When experience has time and again shown that occupying such positions is pointless and futile, what Islamic or for that matter, worldly justification is there for further participation?

Furthermore, participation of the Ulama in hindu politics does not constitute a Shar’I daleel. We are not obliged by the Shariah to offer Taqleed to the opinion of the Ulama who had participated in the politics of the idol-worshippers. To say the least, it is insipid and childish to counter our Shar’I dala’il with the acts and opinions of Ulama who had deemed it expedient to throw their lot with the mushrikeen of India.

As regards to the Ulama who fought in Shaamli and other areas, we would prefer calling their struggle a Jihad, which it truly was, rather than a fight for freedom and justice. Furthermore, that jihad was not in collusion with Hindus; instead, it was based strictly on Shar’ee principles to establish Allah’s Law.

With reference to the Fataawa cited in the article we would like to point out that all these fataawa have based the permissibility of involvement in politics on the hope and/or assurance of benefit, aid and stability being granted to the Muslims by the party for which they have voted. One might ask: Were these benefits and ideals forthcoming under the new Hindu leadership in India?

On hindsight we say without fear of contradiction that it certainly was not. The above citations are enough proof of this gruesome reality. In fact, the  Muslims were in an infinitely better position under the British domination  because the latter constituted the “lesser evil”.

In the context of South African politics, we fail to see what benefits of significance, without which we may suffer in Deen or dunya, will accrue to the Muslims in voting for one party or another.

TO SUMMARIZE:

Voting in a general election is a method devised by non-Muslims to elect a government. Our Shariah has, through the agency of Rasoolullah Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam ordained its own singular system of electing a leader of state or Shar’ee government and this issue has been discussed at length and in much detail in the books of fiqah. It therefore behoves a Muslim that, the path alien or foreign to his religion should be avoided at all costs in order to earn the Pleasure of Allah.

The Quran-e-Kareem declares: “What, do they seek the alien or foreign to his law of Jahiliyyah? And who can be superior to Allah in Law, for a nation who has yaqeen.” (Surah Maaidah)

We concede however, that on the basis of the fiqhi rule “Necessity legalizes unlawful acts”, should there exist a valid Shar’ee necessity to vote (such as the presence of an Islamic party who would be able to implement some form of Islamic leadership upon coming to power) then voting would not only be lawful, but encouraged. It has yet to be conclusively proven that the necessity to vote exists to such a degree whereby a non-permissible act can become lawful, or that some valid, tangible benefit will accrue to Muslims as a result of their vote. As explained above in detail, we have an option through which we can avoid invo lvement in the non-permissible act, and that is to abstain from voting. As regards can to the fear of harm befalling Islam or Muslims, should such fears materialise, the cause of it can in no way be attributed to abstention from voting.

We seek Allah’s protection, but should there occur a breakdown of peace its effects will ripple through communities who voted as w and stability in the country, ell as those who abstained. We once again emphasise the importance of encouraging the sleeping Ummah to awake from its slumber and embark on both a spiritual and a physical state of preparedness and awareness before it is too late. Rather this, than debating the issue of whether Muslims should vote and whom should they support in the coming elections.

AND ALLAH KNOWS BEST, FOR HIS KNOWLEDGE IS ABSOLUTE.

A malfoozh of Hakeemul Ummat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi rahmatullahi alaihi:

A man once asked Hakeemul Ummat the following: “Hazrat, if there is a person who is an expert in political affairs, but he is a non-Muslim, what is wrong if we follow him in purely political matters?”

Hazrat replied: “The example of this is exactly like that of a non-Muslim who is well versed. So, will it be permissible to follow him in salah? The basis of the misunderstanding here is that people do not regard politics as Deen. This alone is a major error and gross ign orance of Deen. Politics is also Deen. Having such ill-conceived notions is tantamount to claiming that Islam does not teach politics. What a great fabrication in Deen this is! So how can it be possible to follow a nonMuslim in Deen? Furthermore, is this (following a non-Muslim and urging other Muslims to do so) not humiliating to Islam and Muslims? Can what, is there no such person among Muslims who is versed in politics? Yes, it will be permissible to join the unbelievers and work with them in such a manner that they always remain subservient and obedient to the Muslims.” [Islaahul Muslimeen p. 181].

SECTION TWO

KUFR POLITICS AND MUSLIM FEAR

The Holy Quran declares:

“Most Certainly, the earth belongs to Allah. He grants it to whomsoever of his servants He wishes.” (Surah A ‘raaf aayat 128)

The earth belongs to Allah Ta’ala. The appointment and dismissal of rulers and governments are by The Decree of Allah Azz a wa Jall, The Sovereign of the universe. The rise and fall of political kingdoms and empires are by The Command of Allah Ta’ala. This is part of Islamic belief with which no Muslim has the right to differ. He also says in The Quran Majeed: ” Say (O Muhammad): O Allah! Master of Sovereignty, You grant dominion (political power) to whomever You wish and You snatch away dominion from whomever You wish.” (Surah Aala Imraan, aayat 26)

Since this is the belief which Islam propagates, the Muslims should understand that they have no choice in the matter of the appointment of a government in this non-Muslim state inhabited by the handful of Muslims.

RULERS

The fear and anxiety which are gripping many in the community are the consequences of having turned away from Islam. In the wake of transgressions of Muslims, fear has been divinely imposed over them. The overriding fear is: What will happen after the elections? The fear which Muslims have nowadays for worldly governments is much greater than the fear they have for even Allah Ta’ala. In fact, their gross disobedience to the laws of Allah Ta’ala indicates that they are entirely devoid of fear for Allah, hence they violate the Shariah without compunction. In consequence of their rebellion, they are becoming enslaved to the political systems of the kuffaar. They do not know who the rulers will be tomorrow, therefore, they dwell in a state of fear and uncertainty. Will it be a white kufr government or a black kufr government? This is their concern. Their concern is not to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

Muslims fail to understand that no matter how they endeavour to woo and appease the political party of their choice, such a party cannot protect them from the Punishment of Allah Ta’ala.

ALLAH’S ATHAAB

When the Decree of Allah’s punishment is issued, no political party will be able to stave it off. In fact, Allah’s Athaab at times assumes the form of Zulm manifested at the hands of the kuffaar rulers. When Allah Ta’ala has decided that a certain government shall execute His Punishment, so shall it be. The fact that Muslims had voted for that government will not avail them. But, on account of extreme weakness of Imaan, Muslims fail to perceive and comprehend this reality which The Quran and Hadeeth propound.

FOR WHOM TO VOTE?

Everyone seems to have lost their Islamic bearings, hence Muslims fail to understand simple Islamic facts. Why are the forthcoming elections in this country befogging the thinking of Muslim? Why are they so much concerned about the future government which will assume power? The concern is plainly fear which is the result of an extremely slack bond with Allah Ta’ala. Whomever Allah Ta’ala install will be the government of the day. We have no choice in the matter. In this country there were many elections which were none of our concern. There is no need to ask: ‘For whom should we vote?’

Muslims should understand that they will not be asked to appoint an Islamic government. A non-Muslim political system is in conflict with the Shariah. The laws which will be promulgated by any non-Muslim government will necessarily be un-Islamic and in conflict with the Shariah. Muslims cannot be a party to any such government.

The system of voting, especially for a non-Muslim government, is un-Islamic. It is haraam for Muslims to vote for kuffaar and even Muslims who are fussaaq. All Muslims who are presently  occupying prominent governmental positions are fussaq, communists, atheist or  neo-atheists – the likes of the Wadis, Kathradas, Meers etc. Voting should therefore not be of any concern to Muslims. As far as elections and the politics of non-Muslims are concerned, we should remain detached. We have no share in the appointment of a non-Muslim government or even a government operated by fussaaq Muslims.

PARTICIPATION

Abstention from kuffaar politics is a religious requirement. It is not motivated by any ill designs for any of these parties. But abstention from participation in their politics does not preclude dialogue with whoever constitutes the government of the day. We cannot escape the fact that we are living in this country ruled by non-Muslims. Discussing and having dialogue with the government to secure better rights and concessions for Muslims are permissible. Such dialogue is not participation in non-Muslim politics in the same way as trading with non-Muslims is not participation in non-Muslim economics. Should Muslims indulge in Riba and in all the baatil trade practices of the kuffaar, then such action will be participation in and adoption of kuffaar economics.

Similarly, talking to a non-Muslim government in an endeavour to safeguard the welfare and the interests of Muslims, is not participation in their politics. But, voting for a non-Muslim government will be part of the law-making process and is clearly participation in kuffaar politics, which is not permissible.

DEMOCRACY

Islam does not condone the system of government known as democracy which in reality is mob-rule. Nevertheless, the votaries of democracy should have no squeals when Muslims abstain from voting because in terms of their own conception of democracy, every citizen has the democratic right of abstention. If voting is by intimidation and coercion, the system will cease to be democratic. In a democracy the individual is supposed to be free to vote or abstain. Our abstention is ordered by Deeni demands which a government professing the policy of freedom of religion should respect. The fears which Muslims therefore have are baseless and spawned by their flagrant violation of Allah’s Commands. In consequence Allah Ta’ala has filled our hearts with the fear for this one and that one.

CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT

When non-Muslim governments change, it is simply a substitution of one system of injustice with another system of injustice. No non-Muslim government will accommodate Islam nor is this expected of them. Muslims have to order their lives according to Islam in a non-Muslim country as best as they can. As long as Muslims refuse to transform their spiritual and moral lives of decadence, they will witness their self-oppression and injustice materializing in the form of oppressive non-Muslim governments. If Muslims wish to change their worldly condition for the better, it is imperative that they change their own moral and spiritual states of corruption and walk the path of Divine Pleasure by offering their full submission to the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam. Allah Ta’ala will then do the rest for us.

With our present state of moral an d spiritual degeneration we cannot hope for our worldly status and condition to change. We must expect to be trodden on and abused by others. The Holy Quran declares:

“Allah will never change the condition of people as long as they do not change what is within themselves.” (Surah Ra‘d, aayat 11)

If Muslims persist to maintain their internal state (moral and spiritual) in corruption and decadence, they should not expect Allah’s aid to come in our support. They should not expect Allah’s  protection against the atrocities which a cruel and oppressive government will unleash. Muslims should become alert and heed what is happening to Muslim communities elsewhere. There exists a conspicuous link between the brutality they are suffering at the hands of non-Muslims and their own state of moral depravity. In short, the zulm of the kuffaar is a form of Allah’s punishment for a people who have gone beyond the confines of no return. When Muslims destroy their Imaani fibre by participation in and adoption of non-Muslim ways of life, sinning flagrantly and justifying their life-style of corruption, then the Ghadhab (Wrath) of Allah becomes halaal for them.

THE SOLUTION

The solution for the ills of Muslims is nothing other than the complete adoption of Islam. With moral and spiritual elevation will come divine aid which will infuse power into the weakened hearts of the Muslims. Submission to Allah’s Law will kindle the dormant Noor of Imaan and wonders will happen Everything is in Allah’s power and control. For Him nothing is wonderful. All forces of creation operate by His direction. It is only for us to engage ourselves in our Islaah (moral reformation). This should be our concern, not voting and not participation in kuffaar politics. Should we refuse to do so, then a time will come when heeding will be too late. The Holy Quran states:

“And turn to Allah in repentance and submit fully to Him before there comes to you the (dreadful) punishment. Then you will not be aided. (Surah Zumar, aayat 54)

There is no other way for Muslims but this Quranic prescription of obedience to Allah, everything else will be in vain. If Muslims are not prepared to accept the Quranic solution, but seek protection behind the skirts of some nonMuslim political organization, they will soon be sorely disappointed. It is Allah Ta’ala who sends oppressors against us to inflict His punishment on us.

The Glorious Quran states:

“When the first of the two promises materialized, We sent against you (O Muslims) such of Our servants who were powerful and cruel. Thus they penetrated the homes (of Muslims). And that was a Decree which had come to pass.” (Surah Bani Israel, verse 5)

When the Ummah during the times of the Bani Israel flagrantly disobeyed Allah Ta’ala, He sent against them powerful and cruel kuffaar armies which ravaged, plundered and pillaged the Muslims and their homes. This very same Sunnah of Allah Ta’ala can be observed even today in a number of places all over the globe where Muslims are suffering under kuffaar zulm and brutality. It is impe rative that Muslims wake up from their miserable slumber of evil.

ALLAH’S HELP

What doubt can Mu’mineen entertain regarding the Divine Promise of aid? The Qur’an says:

“Most certainly Allah will aid those who aid Him In other words,” (Surah Hajj, aayat 40)

In other words, those who aid Allah’s Deen by adopting Islam as their way of life, will most assuredly be aided by Allah Ta’ala. But, our wanton disobedience has cancelled Divine Aid. We wonder why Allah Ta’ala is not aiding Muslims suffering under kuffaar oppression. But we do not wonder over our own state of corruption and moral decadence. We are not concerned with our own rebellion against the Shariah. When haraam, fisq, and fujoor have become our way of life, how can we expect the Nusrat of Allah Ta’ala? Allah Ta’ala declares with emphasis in the Holy Quran: “In fact, Allah is your Protector and He is the best of Helpers.” (Surah Aala Imraan, aayat 150)

When the Mu’min has Allah on his side as his helper, what fear is there which is deranging the mind and causing an imb alance in the heart? But, the fear will be perpetuated as long as our transgression continues. As long as the Muslim lives in emulation of the kuffaar, he will never develop yaqeen in the promises which Allah makes in the Quran Shareef. He then looks askance to the kuffaar hoping against hope for the protection of aliens, but, he will be rudely shocked into realization. He will understand the reality when it will no longer avail; when it is too late for amends. We have made them our leaders, hence Allah has made them our rulers.

MUSLIM DOMINATION

Muslim power and Muslim domination are not dependent on numerical superiority nor on the possession of an abundance of superior technology. Muslim might depends on the obtaining of Allah’s Pleasure which could be achieved only by climbing the spiritual ladder. When Muslims have attained the desired degree of moral and spiritual elevation, then Allah’s promise of aid will materialize. The Glorious Quran says:

“Soon will your Rabb destroy your enemies and install you as rulers in the land. Then will He see how you behave.” (Surah A ‘raaf aayat 129)

When Muslims learn to behave Islamically, they will see the change which they wish for. How a small and insignificant community can acquire political dominance should not be our worry. That is left to Allah Ta’ala. He enacts every episode on earth and elsewhere in the creation. The Holy Quran says: “There were many small groups who vanquished large armies with the permission of Allah.” (Surah Baqarah, aayat 249)

Thus the need is to purify and build our Imaan. The need is not to worry about voting. The need is not to participate in the systems which stand in conflict with the Shariah. Our direction to follow is not hazy. Siraatul Mustaqeem is a clear path for Muslims to follow. The verdict of the Shariah is clear: Do not participate in alien politics-politics which conflict with Allah’s Shariah. Turn to Allah Ta’ala. Reform your moral life. Develop yourself spiritually. Become an embodiment of virtue and see the transformation wh ich Allah Ta’ala will effect.

May Allah Ta’ala remove the blindness from our contaminated hearts and souls, Aameen yaa Rabbal aalameen.

SECTION THREE:

ANSWERS TO ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF PARTICIPATION IN NON-MUSLIM POLITICS

Nabi Yusuf alaihis-salaam and Fir’oun’s government:

Among the spurious arguments used by certain modernist organizations to justify participation in non-Muslim politics, one is the one is the appointment of Nabi Yusuf alaihis-salaam as Administrator of the country’s Treasury and resources under the leadership of the Fir’oun of his time.

The proponents of non-Muslim politics argue that since Nabi Yusuf alaihis-salaam accepted a post in the government of Fir’oun without waiting for the Egyptian people to denounce paganism and embrace Islam, it follows that Muslims should not be hesitant to involve themselves in non-Muslim politics. They further claim that Nabi Yusuf s “seizing of the most important post in Fir’oun’s government” was designed to establish an Islamic state.

Our reply:

The postulations made in this claim are really devoid of any substance. In fact they are laughable. Firstly, it must be noted that the term Fir’oun was a title used for all Kings of Egypt in the past. There were some 34 Kings of Egypt that bore this title. The King in the time of Nabi Yusuf alaihis-salaam was not the same Fir’oun who ruled in the time of Nabi Moosa. For this reason, some Ulama aver that the Fir’oun of Nabi Yusuf was a pious person who had embraced the Deen of Islam. [Al-ahkaamus sultaniyyah p.75; Ma-aariful Quran 5:91] In that case, the whole argument of political involvement in a non-Muslim government falls flat on its face.

Secondly, on the assumption that this Fir’oun was a pagan or non-Muslim, the Ulama say that Nabi Yusuf had a completely free reign in managing and administrating the finances and food supplies of the country. He could act independently, and was not under any obligation to the Fir’oun. As a result of such freedom and control, no law of the Shariah of that time was flouted. Nabi Yusuf was at liberty to manage the affairs of his department in total conformity to his Shariah as revealed in that era. [Ma-aariful Quran 5:92; Qurtubi 9:215.] This is a far cry from the present political dispensation in non-Muslim governments. They have their own man-made constitutions, based on kufr policies, and all who serve in their governments are compelled to abide by such policies. We therefore fail to understand how this appointment of Nabi Yusuf alaihis-salaam could be used as an analogy for participation in non-Muslim government and politics.

In fact, it was due to Nabi Yusuf being able to fulfil his official tasks andduties in accordance with his Shariah, that proved his ability and competence to rule and later on earned him the entire Kingdom of Egypt.

In today’s age of spiritual decadence, it is indeed very remote in fact highly impossible to find a Muslim who can enter the field of non-Muslim politics and at the same time keep his Deeni principles intact, let alone effect an Islamic evolution in such governments. Hence, we have no hope of emulating the divinely orchestrated achievement of Hazrat Yusuf alaihis-salaam. No matter how great the feeling a Muslim may have for his Deen, under non-Muslim rule one is always heavily restricted in applying the Islamic concept of politics and government. Should such a situation develop today where a Muslim will be allowed to operate any governmental department in accordance with his Shariah then it would not only be permissible, but wajib for a Muslim to secure such a post. This however, is mere wishful thinking, as experience has shown.

The Holy Quran has given us clear guidance on this matter. It says:

“And whosoever does not rule according to what Allah has revealed, such people are unbelievers . (Surah Maa-idah)

In the next two verses such people are described as “oppressors and transgressors.”

“And when you dispute in any matter, its decision lies with (the Law of) Allah.” (Surah Shoora, aayat 10)

“And whatever the Rasool of Allah brings to you, grab hold of it; And whatever he prohibits, abstain therefrom;” (Surah Hashr , aayat 7)

“And when it is said onto them: ‘Come towards that which Allah has revealed and towards (the teachings of) his Rasool’, you see the hypocrites turning completely away from you.” (Surah Nisaa, Aayat 61)

Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said:

“There is no obedience to the creation in disobeying the Creator.” [Faizul Qadeer by Allama Manawi 6:433]

“What is wrong with people, they stipulate conditions and clauses which are not found in The Book of Allah! Any condition not found in the Book of Allah is null and void, be there a hundred such conditions. The Law of Allah takes precedence (over any other Law), and the conditions stipulated by Allah are most perfect (for practice).” [Bukhari Shareef vol.1 p.377 (Kitabush Shuroot)]

Whatever the circumstances may have been under which Nabi Yusuf accepted a post in a non-Muslim government, the fact of the matter is that we, the Ummat of Nabi Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam, are fully obliged shareef. to follow his Shariah, comprising of the Quran-e-Kareem and hadith shareef. Upon the advent of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam all former Shariahs were abrogated, as the above citations amply demonstrate.

Al halful fadhool:

Another argument in support of political participation under non-Muslim government is the pact known as Al halful Fadhool. This was a pact taken during the period of jaahiliyyah, about fifteen years before nubuwwat. This pact came about as a result of an incident in which a trader from Yemen, of the Zubaid tribe, came to Makka to sell his wares. Aasi bin Waail, a businessman of stature and influence among the Qu raish, purchased his goods but refused to forward payment. The Zubaidi trader tried his utmost to extract his due from the Quraishi nobleman, but to no avail. When all efforts to secure payment had failed and he was in danger of losing all his wealth, the Zubaidi trader went up onto Mt. Abu Qubais from where he raised a hue and cry, calling out to the people of Makka for justice to be done. Senior members of the Quraish tribe came out to investigate the matter. Eventually these chiefs prevailed on the Quraishi business, who then effected immediate payment. This incident however, was quite disturbing to the Quraish chiefs.

They subsequently gathered in the house of one Abdullah bin Jud’aan and formed a mutual agreement, declaring solidarity with each other in securing the dues of people and aiding those whose rights have been withheld in the manner just witnessed. Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, who was at that time about twenty five years old, was also among them and pledged his support for this pact. Several years later, alluding to this incident Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam remarked:

I witnessed (at that time), in the house of Abdullah bin Jud’aan, a pact which was dearer to me than the most beautiful of camels. And if I have to be invited to such a pact in Islam, I would most certainly respond. [Seerat Ibni Hisham, Rowdhul Unuf 1:90; Al Ahkaamus-sultaniyyah p.79; Al bidayah, Ibni Katheer 2:270]

The proponents of non-Muslim politics claim that just as Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, in the course of this pact, aligned himself with the Quraish, who were kuffaar at that time, to sta oppression and injustice, mp out so is it permissible for Muslims to participate in the politics of the kuffaar. Moreover Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam expressed his inclination towards such an alliance even during the Islamic period.

Our reply:

The analogy employed here is wholly incorrect. The pact referred to was an event which transpired prior to the revelation of Allah’s Religion, Islam. At a time when the Arab world was plunged in darkness and oppression Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam was only too willing to participate in a venture which would ensure the fulfilment of huqooq or rights of people whom were wronged. This was the natural inclination of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam since childhood. In fact, as he grew up in the surroundings of Makkah Mukarrama Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam earned a reputation of being one who cared for the poor and needy, helped the oppressed, and so forth. This great act of aiding the needy and extending help to the oppressed is the cornerstone of Islamic A’maal, hence Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam applauded this pact so highly many years later. It should be noted here that in his praise Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam was not referring to the act of participating in a joint venture with the kuffaar. Instead, his compliments were directed at the contents of that Noble pact, which, per se, were deeds of great virtue. For this reason The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam expressed his readiness to respond to a pact of that nature in Islam. This clearly means that he would prefer Muslims to initiate and organise such a pact, rather than joining kuffaar.

The basis upon which this pact was founded is in essence pure Islamic teaching. The entire pledge known as hal ful fadhool was based on practices totally in conformity to Islam. How then can we use this as a basis to justify participation in a system which is in total conflict with our Shariah? How can we as Muslims participate and become party to a lawmaking pr ocess which will enact laws and ordinances that Islam will have no hesitation in condemning as open zulm and usurpation of rights, such as the un Islamic institution of Ribaa, haraam taxation, expropriation of property, etc.? Whether the present regime remains in power, or an entirely new government is elected, the fact remains that none of either would represent the law of Islam, nor can this be expected of them. Any subsequent government will represent the law of kufr, over which no alliance or pact is Islamically permissible.

The halfhul fadhool never represented an agreement on any un-Islamic practice, whilst participation in non-Muslim politics is an alliance based on  anti-Shariah policies and law. Upon the perfection ofthe Deen of Islam, Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam upheld the good and noble practices which  existed in the times of jaahiliyyah, hence he states in one hadeeth shareef:

“Those who were the best among you during the jaahiliyyah era are the best during Islam, provided they obtain fiqah (of Deen).” (Bukhari, Muslim – Mishkaat p. 417)

Today, should the need arise for such a pact which is based on practices conforming to our Shariah, it would be entirely lawful for Muslims to enter  into such a pact with non-Muslims as long as no law of the Shariah is flouted and our Islamic identity is retained. Forging an alliance in which un-Islamic and anti-Shariah practices will occur is condemned in the following verse of the Quran-e-Kareem:

“And aid each other in good and piety, but do not assist each other in sin and transgression” (Surah Maaidah, verse 2).

The hijrat of Sahaaba to Abyssinia:

Another argument in favour of political participation in a non-Muslim government is the hijrat of the Sahaaba-e-Kiraam to Abyssinia where they sought and received asylum under the wing of King Najaashi (radhiyallahu anhu). The supposition here is that Najaashi was a non-Muslim (of the Christian faith) and the Sahaaba emigrated there to seek political asylum. Hence, participating with nonMuslims in a politically motivated venture or scheme becomes lawful.

Our reply:

Such superficial and shallow argumentation does not really warrant a reply. The fallacy of the argument presented here is selfevident and glaring. What has politics to do with this emigration, which was solely to escape the persecution of the Quraish in Makka and be able to practice their faith? The Sahaaba were not political figures. They were not involved in a political struggle against the Quraish of Makka. Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam time and again reminded the Quraish that he had not come to usurp power from the leaders.

The Sahaaba’s migration to Abyssinia and their request for protection in that country was not due to any political reasons. Taking refuge in Abyssinia was the lesser of the evils. The first evil was to live under a cruel, oppressive mushrik government in Makkah and be subjected to persecution and torture. In addition, they could not perform even Salat in public. They had to conceal their Deen.

The other “evil” was to live under the protection of a benevolent, pious king of the Ahl-e-Kitaab who accorded them honour, respect, protection and the full freedom to practice Islam.

It should be abundantly clear that the presence of the Muslims in Abyssinia was not participation in kufr politics. Rather, it was seeking refuge in a friendly country without participating in its politics. Since they knew of the noble reputation of King Najaashi, Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam felt the best course to avoid the persecu tion of the kuffaar was to seek the protection and sanctuary of his kingdom. For this reason the Sahaaba never became embroiled in the politics of his country, nor even in the battles that Najaashi waged against his enemies. Take the following example:

Hazrat Ummi Salma radhiyallahu anhaa (who was among the people that had migrated to Abyssinia) narrates: “When we had settled comfortably in Abyssinia, we found ourselves in a good land and in good company. We could worship our Lord in peace, until one day enemy forces arrived to confront King Najaashi and his people.

We had never yet experienced a bigger threat than this. We said to each other:- ‘If the opposing King defeats Najaashi, he (the enemy) will not grant us the same rights as were accorded to us by Najaashi’. We then all made sincere dua that Allah grant victory to Najaashi.  When the battle commenced Hazrat Zubair bin Awwaam radhiyallahu anhu volunteered to act as an observer and bring us the outcome of the conflict. In the meantime we all continued our supplications in earnest before Allah. After some time we noticed a rider splashing across the river Nile waving a cloth. It was Zubair bin Awwaam. As he approached he shouted out to us: “Good news! Allah has granted victory to Najaashi, and has destroyed his enemies, and Allah has once more established the rule of King Najaashi over Abyssinia.” [As-siyarul Kabeer of Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Shaibani rahmatullahi alaihi, vol.4 p. 14-24]

Furthermore, for argument’s sake, even if w e do accept political participation in this hijrat, the historians are unanimous that Najaashi had embraced Islam during the period that the Sahaaba were under his protection. Therefore, whatever support the Sahaaba gave to King Najaashi was based on the Deen of Islam. This should amply demonstrate that this incident can in no way be used to prove political participation by the Sahaaba in a non-Muslim government. Living under the rule and shelter of a non-Muslim government. Living under the rule and shelter of a non-Muslim government (as we find ourselves here in South Africa) cannot by any stretch of the imagination be construed as participation in the political policies and legislation of the government of the day.

Does voting represent approval for the policies of a non-Muslim government?

Some have argued that voting for any political party does not constitute approval for the religion or beliefs of that party, nor does it signify that the voter has aligned himself with all the policies of that party. So, on this basis there should be no harm in voting.

In response to this we say:

While voting may not denote acceptance or ratification of any party’s aqaa-id (beliefs) the same cannot be said with regard to political policy and legislation. The electoral process entails voting into power a government that would enact and implement laws which are in direct conflict with the Shariah. When a Muslim therefore votes he automatically becomes one of the contributors to the political cause of the party for whom he has voted, a cause that is founded on anti-Shariah principles. Through the medium of his vote he has aided and abetted a non-Muslim Muslim party in its rise to state authority. Moreover, by casting his vote for a particular party the Muslim has actually vested in that party legislative rights, on the basis of which it (the party) would enact laws of kufr, should it come to power. It is therefore evident that the Muslim’s vote definitely  signifies blessing, support and backing for that party and whatever it stands for on the political front. In fact, Hazrat Mufti Shafee’ sahib rahmatullahi alaihi states in his tafseer Ma-aariful Quran (vol.2 p.498) that the sin incurred through intercession on behalf of evil is not dependent on the acceptance of such shafa’at or intercession. Even if the intercession was not effective at all, the mere act of voicing support for evil, or displaying willingness to support evil, is a sin in itself. This will not be the case however, should the Muslim have a valid Islamic motive, or pressing need (as defined by the Shariah) to vote for any particular party. We have explained earlier on, in the first section of this article, that there does not exist any expediency or exigency for a Muslim to participate in the political processes that are being evolved in this country.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud radhiyallahu anhu narrates that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Whosoever increases (or adds to) the number of a people, is (regarded as) one of them.” [Al-Maqaasidul Hasana of Allama Sagaawi, p.667; Fathul Baari 13:37.]

According to Allama Badrud-Deen Aini, this hadeeth will even apply to a person who unintentionally or unwittingly enlists himself in a group thereby causing their numbers to swell.

O ALLAH! SHOW US THE TRUTH AS IT IS, AND GRANT US THE ABILITY  TO FOLLOW IT. AND SHOW US FALSEHOOD AS IT IS, AND GRANT US THE ABILITY TO ABSTAIN FROM IT AAMEEN YA RABBAL AALAMEEN.

Late Marriages and the Traps of Shaitaan

By Brother Ali Asghar Shah

One of the major bid’ah of our time is the incessant delay in marriage due to high worldly aspirations and other vain reasons. What actually this does is that it helps in increasing divorce rates and haram in the society because;

1. Late marriage: By this time man or women or both become already so complex in their thinking and many of them (Not all) have had past illicit relationships and this leads to clash in compatibility, unsettles heart and mind and sophisticated thinking.

2. Carefree life: One gets used to carefree life, a women no longer recognizes Allah’s given way of life for her and she plays being a man in a society and this ultimately leads to a clash which is going against the Nizam of Allah. Like day and that of night. (Turning night into day vice versa). How many have fallen in this trap and how many end up fixing the appointment with a psychiatrist for depression.

3. Mass Media and new trends of feminism: Most of the marketing we find through movies, bollywood/hollywood and other programmes is that they are promoting “feminism” and promoting a mindset which undervalues the actualy purpose and role of marriage in the society. Such mindset is carried by the couples and in turn causes much disarray in their thoughts and eventually argumentation. The impact of mass media is catastrophic for the ideal Islamic lifestyle. You cannot stop being influenced to some degree of the other.

Family members who themselves were raised by materialistic people obviously imbibe these values as inheritance and their criteria of marriage is so high and aspirations so high that they make marriage a very costly and expensive affair where the boy has to be not less than owner of a white house or palaces etc etc. This would eventually become a burden for the financially less affluent people in the society and in turn cause more delay.

Consequences;

Divorce is after marriage but before that this gives a license to the already weak believers to get into haram relationships and cause more damage to their soul. The parents do not mind it as much as they mind their early decision of marriage. SubhanAllah look at the state of affairs!

This is one of the tricks of Shaytaan and Dajjalic system to increase Zina and ruin the beauty of a family life and to ruin the chastity and in turn the Imaan of the person.

The women have problems in conceiving because of late marriage too. The person they end up marrying has had already many girlfriends or still has extramarital affairs.

I do not generalize this thing but marriage has purpose of safeguarding our eyes and Iman and purpose of having a pious and productive and a healthy family a more contribution to Deen and the society at large.

May Allah grant us tawfiq to abstain from these Bidats and follow the Nur of Sunnah.

Some people will cry a lot at the mention of the name of Bibi Fatima Zahra (Radhiyallahu Anha) and they would go to extremes in the limits of Shairah and do acts in ghulu which Shariah has given no permission of. With only lip servicing without any actions, or with actions for show and hypocrisy.

What comes from the hands is generally hypocricy and what comes from the eyes is what comes from the heart. The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has not left any field of human life from birth to passing away devoid of any guidance, rather Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam) has taught us way of life covering all aspects in our earthly abode.

Be it going to the market, or graveyard or marriage or warfare or politics or in grief and mourning in merry making and all aspects of life is covered. Best way of life is the Prophetic way of life and any innovation is discarded for then an innovation would imply that the Prophetic way of life is incomplete! Allah forbid!

Having said this my main aim is that many people who claim and exclaim their love for such great personalities of Islam are the very people who end up following the materialistic way of life which is poles apart from the pious life of Bibi Fatima (Radhiyallahu Anha)

Our women do not take Bibi Fatima, Bibi Khadija, Bibi Ayesha (Radhiyallahu Anhum) as their role models but claim to love them a lot and follow them.
Some even state that it is not possible to follow them then I ask them who is greater Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) or Hazrat Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) or Bibi Fatima or Bibi Ayesha. Answer is ofcourse the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is Afzal of all but the Quran tells us that in the life and model of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) we have an excellent example.

And time and again in the Qur’an al Karim it is mentioned to Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger and to follow the Prophet. Why would Allah Almighty command us to follow the Uswa e Hasanah of Imamul Ambiyaa (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) then.

But the times we live in are different where pride in the mantle of many sadaats and many think they are the best only because of lineage. But let me tell them it is reported that “ A Habshi slave who follows Islam is better than a Quraishi Hashmi who does not” It is the actions of the person which elevate him in front of Allah and not lineage. For Miyaar for Allah is Taqwa.

The import of what I am saying is the importance of following Islam with the zaahir and the baatin is the real Maqsood here.

But look at the situation at hand today Alas! we are eager to follow the west and its lifestyle instead. Religion has just been confined to a few rituals to be part of society but the Ruh is missing.
Even your appearance is not like Ummati of Prophet Muhammad Saws. You feel ashamed to follow the Sunnnah of Bibi Fatima s.a of Purdah and Hijab and you feel ashamed of keeping a beard which is Sunnah of Imamaul Ambiyaa (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) but you will follow the Sunnah of Majoos and Kuffar of clean shaving your beard.

When one adopts the appearance of a people he starts to like their things and culture and ways. This is a human nature.

This is weakness of Iman and corruption of heart and is a result of disease of the heart.

Change now before it is too late change before it is time to go to grave for at the time of death no Taubah is acceptable. How many of your loved ones passed away in front of your very eyes yet you do not change yourself. O ibn Adam do not commit zulm and oppression on your own selves.

Obey the Messenger and Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. This is the straight path.

What is greater than Allah loving us and being in the company of Prophets and Saaliheen in Jannah. Ahh what all will many will miss out on. Ask those who departed that if they were given one day in this life back what will they do???? And you will get the answer.

Wasalaam

7 WAYS YOU MIGHT BE BACKBITING…

By Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng

Backbiting is a major sin in Islam and should never be taken lightly.

The clear warnings against backbiting in both the Quran and Sunnah are severe enough to make us take heed of every word, facial expression and even gesture we make.

Some of us are oblivious to exactly what constitutes backbiting while many consider it as something insignificant. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam straightforwardly said, “A Qattat (backbiter) will not enter Paradise.” (Bukhari Shareef)

So what exactly is considered backbiting? Let us together shed some light on the types of backbiting we should avoid at all costs.

1. The Common Backbiting

The messenger of Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) once asked the Companions Radiallahu Anhum:

“Do you know what backbiting is?”

They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Saying something about your brother that he dislikes.” It was said, “What if what I say about my brother is true?” He said, “If what you say is true then you have backbitten about him, and if it is not true, then you have slandered him.” Sahih Muslim 2589

This is the most common and direct form of backbiting and in most cases, is accompanied by slandering and gossiping, both of which are undoubtedly grave sins.

Gheebah (backbiting) means that you speak about your Muslim brother in his absence in a manner which he would not like to hear or have it mentioned had he been present. It is attributing to that person his faults or shortcomings in order to belittle or speak ill of him. This includes statements said about his/her physical appearance, traits, manners, behavior, religious commitment, lineage, dress, habits (i.e. sleeps too much) etc.

Slandering on the other hand is saying something about your brother which is not true.

Both these actions are strictly forbidden and in the Quran, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) has likened backbiting to eating the flesh of your dead brother:

“Neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful” [49:12]

2. Gestures

‘Aishah (RadiaAllahu Anha) said:

“I told Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam about a man, so he said: ‘I do not like to talk about a man, even if I were to get this or that (for doing so).” She said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Safiyyah is a woman who is …” and she used her hand as if to indicate that she is short – “So he said: ‘You have said a statement which, if it were mixed in with the water of the sea, it would pollute it.”  Tirmidhi Shareef

‘Aishah ((RadiaAllahu Anha) did not utter a single word, rather it was a mere gesture she made to describe the stature of Safiyyah, which constituted a form of backbiting. The idea here is that this kind of gesture was meant as something bad due to some jealousy, and although many of us may have deemed it as insignificant, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam clearly criticized Aishah ((RadiaAllahu Anha) for her action.

3. Facial Expression

Backbiting isn’t necessarily restricted to verbal expression. Even mere expression of the face can convey to others a shortcoming about your brother. This can be conveyed through expressions of annoyance, resentment, and suspicion whenever a particular person is mentioned. Examples include: rolling your eyes, giving unpleasant looks, or showing doubt.

4. Implicit Backbiting

Talking about a particular individual without mentioning his/her name can also constitute backbiting if those listening have understood who is being implied by the statement. Accordingly, it is best to avoid speaking about an individual if giving a description would easily hint the identity of that person.

5. Mimicry

Another form of backbiting includes mimicking or imitating a person by the way they talk, walk or act for the purpose of mocking or making others laugh. This is absolutely prohibited and far from the traits of a true believer.

6. Showing Interest to the words of the backbiter

Another subtle form of backbiting is displaying your interest and amazement while the backbiter is speaking. The more excited and interested the audience of listeners are, the more they are encouraging the backbiter to speak. So making expressions such as “Are you serious?”, “Wow, didn’t know that!”, and the likes, indicates to the speaker that what he/she is saying is of interest, therefore encouraging him to backbite more.

7. Mass backbiting

Allah Ta’aala says:

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. [49:11]

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. [49:13]

Talking negatively and disparagingly about a specific group of people based solely on their race, ethnicity, nationality, tribal affiliation, political orientation & creed is a dangerous form of backbiting that should be avoided.  It unjustly targets a large number of people and you will be taken into account for every single person you backbit/slandered.

Punishment of backbiting

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: When I was taken up to heaven I passed by people who had nails of copper and were scratching their faces and their breasts. I said: Who are these people, Jibbriel? He replied: ‘These are the people who ate flesh of others (by backbiting) and trampled people’s honour.” Abu Dawud Shareef

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “..a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.” Bukhari Shareef

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “He who has done a wrong affecting his brother’s honour or anything else, let him ask his forgiveness today before the time (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) when he will have neither a dinar nor a dirham. If he has done some good deeds, a portion equal to his wrong doings will be subtracted from them; but if he has no good deeds, he will be burdened with the evil deeds of the one he had wronged in the same proportion”. Bukhari Shareef

Source: اسلام اانفو

Al-Nanawtawi’s Political Ideology

Al-Nanawtawi’s Islamic Political Ideology: Paradigms from Rudad, Sawanh Qasimi and other Selected Writings

Author: Dr. Atif Suhail Siddiqui*

Abstract

Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi’s intellectual height is not limited to only Islamic religious sciences. At the one hand he is known as the most towering figure who revived Islam’s intellectual heritage in the Indian-subcontinent, on the other hand, he was also aware about the political and diplomatic loss of Muslims. He defended political and diplomatic affairs of the Muslims from Islam’s point of view. Al-Nanawtawi addressed not only the common people but also the Ulama and convinced them to raise concrete steps for defending the political hegemony of Muslims in their respective regions against the aggressive forces. This paper studies the religio-political arguments of Al-Nanawtawi, which he produced in the defense of his opinion and was successful to mobilize the larger section of elite and common Muslims in one political direction. This paper also gives a direction to develop ideas about the religio-political impacts of Al-Nanawtawi’s thoughts, which even until the modern period are most significant factor for different political movements among the present Muslim communities.

Introduction

The most important factor in the development of Al-Nanawtawi’s personality is his balanced thought. As a political leader, he was actively engaged in war against British imperialism and wanted to liberate his home country from external aggression and occupation. Secondly, as a social reformist he initiated several social reform movements, and thirdly as a neo-philosopher, thinker and polemicist, he served knowledge and Islamic religious sciences. Thus, Al-Nanawtawi’s entire life was focused on three dimensions[1]. While his thoughts in religious, political and social reforms were single-dimensional and they were premised upon Islam’s fundamental teachings and traditions of Prophet Muhammad. The exceptionality of Al-Nanawtawi’s thought is its functionality in the practical fields of human life. Instead of merely philosophical ambiguity and gnomic, Al-Nanawtawi’s thoughts are pragmatic in social, religious and political arenas. His thoughts are erected upon the paradigms from the character (sIrah) of the Messenger of God and his pious companions.[2]

In the Battle of Shamli

In 1857 during mutiny of sepoys against British colonial regime in India Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi actively participated in an armed struggle. Armed participation against British imperialism is an important chapter of his life and movements.[3] The epicenter of the mutiny was Meerut Cantonment, where several sepoys raised weapons against their officers and killed them. This mutiny spread in different parts of North India and thus, Al-Nanawtawi did not remain uninfluenced.[4]

After the news of munity reached to Thana Bhawan,[5] Al-Nanawtawi’s spiritual mentor Haji Imdad Allah Muhajir al-Makki was elected Amir al-Mu’minin (the leader of the believers), while Al-Nanawtawi was elected Commander-in-Chief for leading the armed struggle against the British colonial forces.[6]

During famous battle of Shamli,[7]Al-Nanawtawi was injured[8], while one of his famous companions Hafiz Muhammad Zamin was killed.[9] Eventually, the Muslim empire of India came to an end, Delhi fell to the British. Also the battle of Shamli came to an end with loss of lives to both sides. Imdad Allah left permanently to Makkah, Al-Nanawtawi was declared a rebel and sought for trial in British court, which was feared into a death penalty. On the behest of his relatives, Al-Nanawtawi went to hiding, he spent three days in hiding. After three days, he came out from the hiding and said, “I cannot spend more than three days in hiding, because the sunnah of the hiding[10] is only three days.[11]” This statement of Al-Nanawtawi is an evidence of his religio-political aphorism, which he developed from the example of the life of the Messenger of God.

The Shamli battle did not bring desired results. Al-Nanawtawi changed his modus operandi; he alienated from direct political movement and avoided confrontation with the government, and he and his colleagues launched the movement of educational uplift of the Muslim society. Dar al-Uloom Deoband and other similar institutions were developed for protecting the religious ideologies of Muslims in India. Al-Nanawtawi though excluded politics from the curriculum of these institutions but the succinct mottoes of these institutes have broad explanations; according to the beliefs of Islam, he and his colleagues kept alive the spirit of struggle of independence and religious-political persuasions.[12]

Explanation for participation in the Battle of Shamli

Before the battle of Shamli, the Ulama were discussing the possible strategy against British forces but amid these talks influential scholar Shaykh Muhammad Thanwi disagreed with this formula that the Muslims should go in direct and armed confrontation with the British forces. He was of this opinion that in such pathetic and weak conditions, Muslims will only suffer from severe losses. This disagreement from such influential person was evidently affecting the opinion of a large section of community. Other leading Ulama tried to convince him privately and publicly but they were unable to force him to change his opinion. At the end in the presence of Imdad Allah Thanwi Al-Nanawtawi put his arguments, which Shaykh Muhammad Thanwi simply rejected. Shaykh Muhammad Thanwi said,

“In case all your arguments in favor of an armed struggle against British forces are accepted, but the major condition for jihad is to have an Imam. Where is an Imam, under whose guidance we fight?”[13]

Without thinking even a single moment Al-Nanawtawi immediately responded his question, he pointed out towards Imdad Allah Thanwi[14], because of his fame in Tadhkiyah and Suluk  Imdad Allah was the most revered personality of his time. Hundreds of Ulama and common Muslims already had paid their allegiance to him. Al-Nanawtawi said to Imdad Allah Thanwi that he was their leader in the affairs of religion, so he requested him also to take the responsibility of worldly administrative affairs and by holding the office of the Chief of the believers to settle their differences.[15]

Ashiq Ilahi further writes that Imdad Allah had to accept their offer.[16]At the end, Al-Nanawtawi questioned, “Are we weaker than the mujahidin of Badr?”[17] It made Muhammad Thanwi speechless. One single sentence of Al-Nanawtawi ended the confusion and disagreement.[18]

Al-Nanawtawi further suggested that all the important offices, which shall work under the Chief (AmIr), should be accordingly set. In the words of Al-Nanawtawi’s biographer,

Imdad Allah Thanwi was receiving the allegiance from the mujahidin as the Chief of the Believers (Amir al-Mu’minin). Muhammad Zamin was the flag bearer of the jihad, Rashid Ahmad Gangohi was the preacher, who was motivating the mujahidin, while Al-Nanawtawi was the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.”[19]

At the home, Al-Nanawtawi feared that he could also face opposition from his mother. He did not directly inform his mother about his participation in armed struggle against British colonial forces. At the first stage, Al-Nanawtawi explained the importance of jihad against the oppressors, he explained the importance of jihad from Qur’anic perspectives and the traditions of the Messenger of God, Muhammad (Peace be upon him and mercy of God) and the Sahabah. He motivated his mother and explained about the rewards to the parents who sacrifice their wealth and children in the path of Allah.[20]

After these explanations, Al-Nanawtawi informed his mother about his intention. He also included that, “Creatures’ opposition has no value in following the instruction of the Creator.”[21] The purpose was to make his mother aware that while neither they (Al-Nanawtawi’s parents) required him for personal services nor were they in need of his services,[22] in such a condition, if they try to stop him from jihad, it shall not be mandatory upon him to follow their instruction. Thus, he requested his mother, “I wish, you allow me to participate in jihad gladly and get full reward from Allah.”[23] His mother, who was a very pious and learned lady, said, “You are from Allah and I give you to Allah gladly.”[24]

A Review of Rudad: Support to Turks

In 1874 CE (1294 AH), Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi wrote a religious decree for supporting Ottomans against Russian Empire. A report (Rudad)was compiled regarding the efforts of the Ulama for collecting funds to support the Mujahidin in Balkan. These Mujahidin were the part of the Ottoman Empire and were fighting war against Russian aggression on the Balkan territories of Ottoman Empire. This report has great importance for understanding the religio-political philosophy of Al-Nanawtawi. In 1294 A.H., Al-Nanawtawi has written a detailed treatise in Farsi (Persian), in which he had explained the importance of this war including supporting the Turk-Ottoman army and especially to provide them financial support. This treatise was translated in different languages and was published in numerous newspapers and magazines.[25] It got vibrant support from the Ottoman Empire.[26]

In the first step, this report mentioned Russian attempts on Turkish-Ottoman territories and its negative impacts including the killings of Muslim men, women and children. Later, this report mentioned the importance of the Caliph’s authority, which is very important for the safety and dignity of the two Holy Shrines of Islam in Makkah and Madinah. This report forecasted the global harm of the Muslim community if the Muslim community decentralized; this centrality exists due to the Caliph’s regime.[27]Thus to support the Caliphate is must and compulsory. It is a religious obligation and duty, which every Muslim must fulfill. If the centrality of the Muslims is decentralized, the entire Islamic world will face the severe consequences.[28]

The Rudad (report) explained motivating factors with special reference to Islam’s teachings. This Rudad is a fine example of Al-Nanawtawi and his colleagues’ Islamic religious political ideology. It depicts their political perceptions strictly confined within the fold of religion; they did not allow any outside, secular or non-religious factor to pollute it.  The first factor is counted as Islam’s urge to support the oppressed. It portrays the Turk troops as the oppressed ones who were guarded for the protection of the Holy Shrines of Islam and a war has been imposed upon them. Now their lives are under serious threat and the Muslims should firmly stand to support them in dire needs.[29] Secondly, Muslim sensitivity on any issue related to Islam is one of the major factors behind the call to support the Turk forces.[30]Thirdly, it motivates Muslims to pay other Muslim brothers and fellows from the bounties of God, which they are enjoying without any hindrance. At the time of hardship of other Muslims, it becomes incumbent to support them from these favors.[31]Fourthly, it explains a hierarchy in actions, during the time of jihad the priorities are shifted. It is important to be aware about the priorities; thus, some actions become compulsorily primary and others become secondary. For instance, building mosques and serving the pilgrims can never be equal to fighting and spending in the way of God.[32] Fifthly, the Rudad explains from the worldly and Godly point of view. In case the Turks are fighting for mere worldly and political benefits even their support is compulsory. It strictly condemns the conjectures regarding intentions of Turk troops. It belongs to God only. Even they fight for worldly political gains, their victory would be better than the victory of the infidels in all circumstances.[33] Finally, from the then political circumstances in India this Rudad motivates Muslims to support Turks. During this war, the British regime was in support of Turks against Russia. It was a good opportunity to provide maximum support to the Turk forces.[34]

In the opinion of Al-Nanawtawi, his disciples and colleagues at that time, the most important task was to support Turk forces against Russian aggression and this task was more important than building the mosques and supporting the educational institutions. Even according to them, any other religious obligation became secondary against the support of Turks. Initiatives like building mosques and supporting educational institutions were not considered as important as to support Turkish forces, because they were seen as the catalysts that could help to maintain Islamic centrality and unity.[35]

Al-Nanawtawi decided to raise two steps in support of Turk forces and the regional Muslims in the fighting zones of the Turkish Empire. First was to provide financial support to the Mujahidin and the armed forces of Turkish Empire including the widows and orphans of the army personnel and common Muslims in Eastern Europe. This support, according to Al-Nanawtawi, would boost them on moral grounds and they will not feel themselves alone in their struggle and hardship. They should realize that their Muslim brothers in India are with them in their hardship and time of sorrow[36].[37]

Al-Nanawtawi was the first person who donated the first amount for the Turk forces. He donated the jewelry of his wife. This donation was given immediately after his marriage with the fair consent of his wife.[38]

The biographer of Al-Nanawtawi Manazir Ahsan Gīlānī describes this event as:

“At the first night after his marriage, he (Al-Nanawtawi) persuaded his wife for donating all her jewelerywith the noble purpose to support Turkish forces. His wife donated all her ornaments immidiately at that night. When his wife went to her father’s home and her father saw her without even a single peice of ornament, he questioned about the matter. When he knew about the fact, he purchased new jewelry for the daughter. But Al-Nanawtawi did the same with new ones.”[39]

The other people who were involved in collecting funds were Ahmad Ali Muhaddith of Saharanpur, Mazhar Nanawtawi and great jurist and friend of Al-Nanawtawi Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. These learned scholars of Islam have done their best efforts for collecting the funds. The collected amount was delivered to the Consulate of the Ottoman Empire in Bombay. This amount was sent in several installments.[40]

This collection was not limited to Deoband or local vicinities, on the behest of Al-Nanawtawi, it had become a national movement. Muslims, rich or poor, from each part of the country were collecting funds with zeal and enthusiasm, which was filled in them. This zealous effort was for saving and protecting the dignity of the Muslim centrality, which was associated with the centrality of the Ottoman Caliph. The total amount, which was collected and delivered to the Ottoman Consulate in Bombay, reached 1.2 million rupees[41]. During that period, which was of severe financial scarcity and economic anarchy in India, this amount was outstanding and historic.[42]According to the financial circumstances at that period, collection of this amount was unimaginable, even today this amount is believed to be a huge financial support to any cause.

After the amounts were received at the Ottoman Consulate, the receipts were delivered to the donors with this commitment that this outstanding donation will be published in Al-Jawa’ib[43]. Later on the amounts were received at Bab-i Aali; the then Prime Minister of Ottoman Empire Ibrahim Adaham sent a letter of thanks to Al-Nanawtawi and other elders of Madrasah Islamiyah ArabiyahDeoband (Dar al-Uloom, Deoband)on May 23, 1877 corresponding to Jamadi al-Awal 9, 1294 AH.[44]

After the success of the first step Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi motivated his disciples and colleagues for raising the second step and this was to join the Mujahidin and Turkish forces in Balkan. However, in contrast to the public call of financial support by everyone and by each individual the call to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Turk forces was not made public. Al-Nanawtawi knew that each individual is not capable to join the armed jihad, this service needs specific training and energy, thus, even having the enthusiasm for an armed jihad everybody is not capable to join the Turk troops at the fronts of the war.

Al-Nanawtawi further explains that an action becomes obligatory when there is a need of this action. Thus, joining troops for each individual Muslim neither is practical nor is mandatory. And in such case that the untrained individuals would bring damages more than the benefit, more important is they provide moral and financial support to the Mujahidin. In this decree, Al-Nanawtawi writes that motivating unarmed and untrained individuals for joining the troops at the fronts of war is not so important. More important is to provide the Ottoman troops with financial support. He was of this opinion that the numbers of the trained and official troops at the fronts of war is sufficient but for war expenditures financial support is obligatory. Al-Nanawtawi wrote that it is not possible that everybody can join the war and fight against the infidel forces but it is very possible that everybody can provide financial support according to his or her capacity. By quoting the Qur’an[45] Al-Nanawtawi wrote that Allah commands for both kinds of the jihad—with arms and with finance, and do not destroy yourself by hoarding the money while your brothers are in need.[46] In dire conditions, spending money for the cause of Allah is compulsory and there is no maximum and minimum limit of this support, and those who still are not willing to spend the money they could face harms in both of the lives.[47]

The ‘ulama decided to travel to Hijaz for getting better glimpse of the situation in Balkan. A huge number of ‘Ulama began traveling for Hajj. Sayyid Asghar Husayn writes that in Shawwal 1294 AH the elders of the ‘Ulama decided to travel for holy journey to Makkah. The leaders of the caravan were Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Due to this famous leadership, a huge number of common people and ‘Ulama gathered. Hundreds of poor and rich religious Muslims planned their journey to Makkah.[48]He further writes,

“From India such a sacred group of people and popular caravan journeyed (to Makkah) that there is neither any example in the entire history nor is there any hope in the future.”[49]

Though during the Russia-Turk war, the British Government was in support of Turkey against Russia but it was also not easy to announce openly to travel for the purpose of jihad. The ‘Ulama were aware about the sensitivity of this journey from political and social point of view. Therefore, no direct announcement was done of this purpose that the ‘Ulama along with the common citizens ultimately aim to travel to Balkan after performing Hajj. Ashiq Ilahi gives an account of this fact,

“When common Muslims of India saw that all of a sudden a community of elite is moving towards Hejaz, so whoever could be able, they immediately agreed to join this caravan. Itself a belief developed in the mind of people that these people, for religious support but as a pretext to Hejaz, are actually travelling to Rome. For the side of Turkish Empire they will join voluntarily Mujahidin, and in whose fate is a martyrdom he will receive an eternal life.”[50]

In the Context of Religion Al-Nanawtawi’s Arguments to Support Turks against Russian Forces

Al-Nanawtawi’s original decree related to this war was published in several magazines and booklets at that time.[51] The original manuscript is preserved at Mufti Allah Bakhsh Academy, Kandhla, Muzaffarnagar. This decree was conceived as a motivating factor for collecting financial and moral support to the Turkish army against Russians. Al-Nanawtawi has written this letter to Maulana Ahmad SaÑId. In this letter, he explained the importance of this jihad, need to support the Turks and especially financial support by collecting the money. All his arguments are from the point of Qur’an’s view and prophetic traditions. He commences his decree with the support of the Qur’anic verse[52] and says that in situation of the aggression from the enemies jihad becomes eminent and according to the Qur’anic[53] measurements it becomes compulsory to provide support to the mujahidin.[54]

Al-Nanawtawi wrote a very brief annotation in this epistle and described the verse[55] of the Qur’an. Al-Nanawtawi explains in the light of the verse that despite necessity the people who do not emigrate from a state, which is a Dar al-Harb, they fall in the class of the infidels. Al-Nanawtawi gives further support to this argument from al-Tawbah[56] and explains that such people who are no more in state of consociation, they are no more firm believers (mu’min).Furthermore, in desperate situation support of downtrodden people becomes deontic and obligatory. For fulfilling this deontological duty to follow the fundamentals of Iman and maintaining the state of consociation is compulsory. So in such a condition support to the mujahidin becomes deontological and obligatory.[57] In case solidarity between infidels[58]against Islam, a consociation amongst Muslims is compulsory. It is also obligatory upon Muslims to stand firmly for protecting the sanctity[59] of the holy shrines in Makkah and Madinah.

Al-Nanawtawi counts three reasons for supporting Ottoman Empire and the Ottoman caliph. First reason is infidels’ expeditions against Muslims and the Qur’an[60] advocates this support against the invaders, secondly, because Muslims seek support from other Muslims[61] and thirdly, for protecting the sanctity of the Holy Shrines in Makkah and Madinah.

Some of the opponents have questioned the nature of this war. Some people believed that this war was not a religious one (jihad Fi sabil Allah), it was merely a political war. Al-Nanawtawi answered their doubt. Other than Allah none knows the intentions of any one. If someone blames us that our prayers and fasts (Salat wa sawm) are for show (riya), how would we justify it? Similarly, none has the right to question the Jihad of Turk forces. If prayer (Salat)means to face towards qiblah and performing the actions of the prayers, thus, jihad means Muslims fight against infidels. If for jihad a sound intention is required similarly for Salat a good intention is also required. If the intentions of the Turks are not good, how is good your intentions? What is proof of the bad intentions of the Turks and how would you prove good intentions of yours?[62]Furthermore, there is a hope of good reward from Allah on the payment to a non-Muslim architect of a mosque, so why will there not be a reward on the financial support to a mujahid, even suppose in his intention he is fighting for worldly benefits? By the efforts of an architect, the religion is served and the house of Allah is built. Similarly, a mujahid protects the religion and implications of his efforts remain long lasting which help protect the religion (din).[63]

Further to support his decree, Al-Nanawtawi wrote a comparison between few verses of the Holy Qur’an.[64] Elaborating these verses, Al-Nanawtawi wrote that the most important compulsion upon a Muslim is to sacrifice his life, if it is not so, a Muslim must sacrifice his wealth and as per the least action a Muslim should donate some of his wealth to please his God. Al-Nanawtawi ends his decree by explaining that our life and wealth both are already of God. The verse, “they fight in the path of God”[65]absolutely indicates the compulsion of fighting in the cause of Allah and avoiding it is just like denying a King on his public call for a special kind of support even the King is fully capable to protect his sovereignty without any outside support, but those who will defy King’s call will face the wrathof the King.[66]

Impact of Al-Nanawtawi’s Religio-political Thoughts upon the Later Generations of the Ulama

Al-Nanawtawi’s political thinking brought massive and most significant impact on his most distinguished disciple Shaykh al-Hind Mahmoud Hasan. At the time of Sepoy’s Mutiny in 1857 Hasan was not in the contact of Al-Nanawtawi. But during the Russia-Turk war he closely watched and observed the activities of his teacher and other eminent Ulama. At that time Hasan was a young man, who was fully aware about the sentiments of his teacher. Later he could trace the roots of the political ideas of his teacher and contemporary Ulama, they were striving for independent cultural, political and social identities of Muslims not only in India but everywhere in the world.[67] These thoughts, which were developing Hasan’s personality, played very important role in the future, they helped him to develop as an Islamic political leader and freedom fighter for India’s independence. In original sense Mahmoud Hasan did not inherit Al-Nanawtawi’s intellectual legacy only, but in true sense he was the original and the only interpreter of Al-Nanawtawi’s religio-political ideology.

In the later age, India’s prime political leaders and freedom fighters got ideological strength from Mahmoud Hasan. The very prominent leaders like Ansari, Ajmal Khan, Muhammad Ali, and Abul Kalam Azad were influenced by Mahmoud Hasan. Among these political leaders, Ansari paid allegiance to him.[68]

The growing political tussle between the British regime and the Muslims in India and the Balkan war of 1912 provided an opportunity of the establishment of Nazarah al Ma’rif. This was an ideological training center with the aim of keeping alive the spirit of religious political ideas among Muslim youths.[69]

An impression of Al-Nanawtawi’s training is evidently witnessed upon his most distinguished disciple and student Mahmoud Hasan. Mahmoud Hasan was detained by the British government. In Feb 1917, he was sent to Malta because of his anti-British government campaign in India and his rapidly growing influence.[70] He was released from Malta jail in March 1920.[71]After his arrival back to Dar al-Uloom Deoband a decree (fatwa) about Non-cooperation Movement was asked from him. Mahmoud Hasan asked his three distinguished disciples Mufti Kifayat Allah, Husayn Ahmad and Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani to write this decree. His disciples hesitated and requested that in his presence it is not possible for them to write a decree. Shaykh al-Hind Mahmoud Hasan replied,

“Sentimentally, I am filled with full hatred against the English people. Therefore, I am not confident that I shall do justice and it would be against Qur’an’s instruction—[72]“Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice.”[73]

Al-Nanawtawi left such paradigms, which helped his successors to reinstate the political influence of Muslims in the later stage. It included rebuilding the confidence of Muslim community.  After the fall of Delhi and failed mutiny of 1857, the aggressive British rulers got all kinds of superiority and advantages upon the conquered Muslim community. It has also changed the direction of British politics and diplomacy.[74]

According to the new policy of the new and colonial government, the last aggression was intellectual. It was decided now to defeat the Muslim community at intellectual level by raising questions on Islam’s viability and relevance.[75]Al-Nanawtawi was proved the most significant pillar in the defense of Islam’s intellectual heritage. He also changed his strategy, instead of fighting with sword, he designed new policy and it was to counter the intellectual aggression of British forces against Islam and Muslims. In the new policy of Al-Nanawtawi and his colleagues, they suspended entirely political ambitions. They were of this opinion that any political effort now would bring more serious disaster to the Muslim intellectualism. For them it was now the most important priority to protect the Islamic faith and Muslim beliefs from the new policy of the Imperial British Government.

Conclusion

In fact, Al-Nanawtawi was the last bearer of the legacy of Shah Wali Allah of Delhi. Al-Nanawtawi picked the essence of Shah Wali Allah’s cultural, social, political and religious thoughts and believed that Muslims cannot give up their right to rule the land of God. But the module of the governance of Muslims needs appropriate strategy and it is not merely diplomatic and political. He also observed that in the time of political suppression intellectual superiority, governed by a sublime Islamic ideology, should be maintained. At any rate, Muslims should never lose their link with their intellectual heritage; community’s connection with intellectual heritage is the best fight against social, political and cultural anomalies.

According to Al-Nanawtawi’s belief political suppression is timely, while intellectual loss is most disastrous and dangerous; its impacts are long lasting. Al-Nanawtawi insisted on the changing nature of strategy and policy. He himself produced the paradigms of changes. His life is categorized with three different phases. The first phase of his life is full of political struggle, while in the second phase, he changed his policies and engaged in polemics with Christian and Hindu missionaries and in addition continued several revival movements. The third and the most successful phase of his life is the intellectual and academic revolution, for which he became most famous. But in all three phases of his life, Al-Nanawtawi always was struggling for Muslim political and intellectual superiority.

Thus, the paradigms left by Al-Nanawtawi became footprints for his successors; they sporadically and permanently were engaged in different political movements. But none of his successors ever differed from the main maxim, which Al-Nanawtawi has set for them in the last stage of his life and it was Muslim inclination and absolute reversion towards religio-cultural heritage and it was preserved in the intellectual heritage of Islam.

 

* Dr. Atif Suhail Siddiqui is the founder president of Deoband Institute of Islamic Thoguht.

[1] Akhtar Imam Adil, Tahaffuz-e Din ke Masa’i-e Jamilah- Mawlana Nanawtawi—Ahad awr Khidmat, in Hujjat al-Islam Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi: Hayat, Afkar, Khidmat, (New Delhi: Tanzim Abna-e Qadim Dar al-Ulum Deoband, 2005), 114-115.

[2] Shams Tabriz Khan, Fikr-i Qasmi ke Chand Asasi Rujhanat, in Hujjat al-IslAm Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi: Hayat, Afkar, Khidmat, 125.

[3] For detailed biography of Muhammad Qāsim Al-Nānawtawī see, Manazir Ahsan Gīlānī, Sawānh-i Qāsmī, (Deoband: Maktabah Dārul Ulum, 1383AH); Muhammad Ya’qub Nānawtawī, Hālāt Janāb-i Tayyab Mawlvī Muhammad Qāsim Sahab (Bhawalpur: Matba’ Sādiqul Anwār, AH 1297); Muhammad Anwrul Hasan Qāsmi, Anwār-i-Qāsmī(Pakistan: Idārah Sa’diyah Mujaddadiyah, 1969) and Nur al-Hasan Rāshid Kāndhalwi, Qāsim al-Ulum HaÌrat Mawlānā Qāsim Nānawtawī: AÍwāl wa Óthār wa Bāqiyāt wa Muta’lliqāt, (Muzaffarnagar: Maktaba-E Noor, 2000).

[4] Nadim al-Wajidi, “Hazrat Mawlana Qāsim Nānawtawī ki fikri Basirat awr Dawr-i Hazir men uski Ma’nwiyat”, in Hujjat al-Islam Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi: Hayat, Afkar, Khidmat, 135-136.

[5]Thana Bhawan is a small town in Muzaffarnagar District in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh around 120 km from Delhi. During 1857 war of independence Thana Bhawan became the center of strategy against British colonial forces which ultimately turned in the famous Battle of Shamli, which took place between the forces of Haji ImdAd Allah and Britain. See, Shaykh Muhammad Ikram, Tarikh-e Hindustan Mawj-e Kawthar, (Delhi: Adabi Dunya, n. d.), 196, Husayn Ahmad Madani, Naqsh-i Hayat,(Deoband), 43, Sayyid Muhammad Miyan, Ulema-I Hind ka Shandar Mazi, v. 4, (Karachi: Maktabah Rashidiyah, 1986), 281.

[6] Husayn, 43.

[7] Shamli is a city and district headquarters in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, it became the battle ground between the forces of Mujahidin, led by Haji Imdad Allah and Al-Nanawtawi against British colonial forces in 1857. The battle of Shamli is one of the important chapters in India’s freedom struggle. See Manazir, v. 2, 121-204

[8] A bullet hurt him, but the injury was not serious. It was recovered very soon. See, Muhammad Ya’qub Nānawtawī, Hālāt Janāb-i Ùayyab Mawlvī Muhammad Qāsim Sahab (Bhawalpur: MaÏbaÑ Øādiqul Anwār, AH 1297), in Nur, 202.

[9] Ikram,196.

[10] Al-Nanawtawi here refers to the Messenger of God Muhammad (peace be upon him and mercy of God). The Holy Prophet went on hiding for three days in Thawr Cave enroute from Makkah to Madinah. See Manazir, v. 2, 173.

[11] ManāÐir, v. 2, 49. The arrest warrant remained effective until the British Government announced clemency against those who were declared rebels throughout the country. But Al-Nanawtawi’s name remained in the record of the British police, which always affected his activities. During the period of warrant, there were several police raids on possible hideouts. But Al-Nanawtawi could never be arrested. See, Muhammad Ya’qub Nānawtawī, in Nur, 202. Also his biographers, Manazir,  Ya’qub and others have given accounts of the events how always Al-Nanawtawiescaped from the arrests despite sudden raids on his possible hideouts. There is an interesting and famous account mentioned about his escape from arrest in Masjid Chattah by his biographers, Al-Nanawtawi was standing in the mosque, suddenly one police officer entered the mosque who did not know Al-Nanawtawi by face. The police officer asked Al-Nanawtawi “Did you see Muhammad Qasim?” Al-Nanawtawi moved two-three steps behind from his place and replied to the police officer, “Yes, Muhammad Qasim was standing here and pointed out the place from where he moved a few steps.” The police officer did not ask any further question and left the mosque quickly. His biographers write that he never spoke lie and God saved him due to his piety and pious intentions. See, Ashiq Ilahi, Tadhkirah Al-Rashid,v. 1, (Saharanpur: Kutub Khanah Isha’at al-Ulum, 2014), 120, Manazir, v. 2, 176-177. Al-Nanawtawi’s colleague Rashid Ahmad Gangohi writes that, “I was arrested because before the battle of Shamli I was confused and Al-Nanawtawi was never arrested because he was fully confident before the battle, God helped him because he was fully relying on the support from Allah.” See, Akhtar,116.

[12] Sayyid Muhammad Miyan, Ulema-e- Hind kA Shandar Mazi, v. 4, 287

[13] Manazir, 123.

[14] Imdad was the most revered personality of his time. His fame was due to his piety, which attracted thousands of common people and hundreds of contemporary eminent Ulema. They all paid allegiance to him. According to Al-Nanawtawi’s biographer, nobody could dare to oppose his name as the Chief, because he was fulfilling all the conditions, which a person requires for appointing as a Chief of the Believers. Thus, without any opposition all opponents of the battle of Shamli agreed to pay the allegiance to Imdad and agreed upon his leadership. See, Manazir, v. 2, 125-126.

[15] Ashiq, Tadhkirah Al-Rashid, v. 1, 114.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Muhammad Salim Qasmi, “Al-Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi ki Shakhsiyat ke imtiyazi pahlu”, in Hujjat al-IslAm Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi: Hayat, Afkar, Khidmat,71-72.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Manazir, v. 2, 127.

[20] Ibid, 129.

[21] Ibid. Also see the Qur’an, upon which Al-Nanawtawi made the premise of his  arguments, (Qur’an, 31:15)

[22] During the battle of Shamli Al-Nanawtawi was the young man of 25, his parents had not also reached to this age that they needed his services. His parents also not crossed age of 45, their health was absolutely fine, and his parents used to work themselves without any support and help.

[23] Manazir, v. 2, 129.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Nur, 146.

[26] In this report the letters from Al-Nanawtawi and the officials including Prime Minister of Ottoman Empire are described. This report is a fine example of how Al-Nanawtawi, his disciples and his colleagues were engaged in a conversation with the high officials of Ottoman Empire and in what manner the Ottoman Empire acknowledged this support. See, Rudad Chandah-i Balqan, (Meerut: Matba’ Hashmi, 1294 A. H.), 1-5.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Nur, 99-100.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Manazir, v. 1, 511.

[39] Ibid, 513.

[40] Through Rashid Ahmad Gangohi three installments of amount comprising of 784 Rupees, 87.5 Rupees and 200.25 Rupees were delivered to the Consulate of Ottoman Empire in Bombay, while Ahmad Ali of Saharanpur delivered total amount of 4230 Rupees in five installments. This receipt of amount was published in a report by the Consulate of Ottoman Empire, See, Daftar A’anat-i Hindiyah, (Bombay: Consulate of Turkish Empire in India, n. d.), 1-161; See also Nur, 103.

[41] The comparative value of the currency in the 80s of 19th century and first decade of 21st century is highly different. Now this amount is equal to more than 100 million rupees. See, Nur, 104.

[42] Nur, 103.

[43]Al-JawA’Ib was the official weekly mouthpiece of Ottoman Empire, which used to be published from Bab-i Aali (the administrative town or block of the Ottoman Empire). The first publication began in 1860.  Few copies of Al-Jawa’ib are preserved in the library of Nadwatul Ulema, Lucknow, India.

[44]Rudad, 10-11.

[45] Qur’an, (2: 195).

[46] Al-Nanawtawi, Makateb, op. cit.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Sayyid Asghar Husayn, HayAt-i Shaykh al-Hind, (Lahore: Idarah Islamiyit, 1977), 22.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ashiq, Tadhkirah al-Rashid, v. 1, (Deoband), 229.

[51] Nur, 146.

[52] Qur’an, (2: 38).

[53] Qur’an, (8: 72; 9: 38).

[54] Al-Nanawtawi, Maktub ba silsilah-i Jang Rus wa Turki, (1294 AH),see in Nur, 149-150.

[55] Qur’an, (8:72).

[56] Qur’an, (9:71).

[57]Al-Nanawtawi, Maktub, opcit.

[58] Qur’an, (8:73).

[59] Qur’an, (9:28).

[60] Qur’an, (9:38).

[61] Qur’an, (8: 72, 8:73).

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Qur’an (9: 19-22, 9:111).

[65] Qur’an, (9:111).

[66]Al-Nanawtawi, Maktub, op. cit.

[67] Nur, 93.

[68] Sayyid Muhammad Miyan, Ulema-i Haq awr unke Mujahidanah Karname, v. 1, (Deoand: Faisal Publications, 2003), 93.

[69] Miyan, 93.

[70] Miyan, Safarnamah Asiran-e Malta, (Deoband: Kutub Khanah Na’imiyah, 2002), 73.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Manazir, 84.

[73] Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, (5:8).

[74] Akhtar, 118.

[75] Punjab and Sind, Miss NSS, 249, see in Nasim Ahmad Qasmi, “Hujjat al-Islam Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi, Khidmat awr Karnamay”in Hujjat al-IslAm Imam Muhammad Qasim Al-Nanawtawi: Hayat, AfkAr, Khidmat,107.

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