THE EVIL OF THE MERRYMAKING JALSAHS OF RIYA, TAKABBUR AND ISRAAF

By Mujlisul Ulama

ALLAAMAH SHA’RAANI’S NASEEHAT FOR THE MERRYMAKING JALSAH MOBS

Proffering Naseehat to the vile molvis, miserable sheikhs and the bogus khaanqah ‘spiritual guides’, Allaamah Abdul Wahhaab Sha’raani (Rahmatullah alayh) of the 10th Islamic century, begins with the citation of the following Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

“By Allah! If you knew what I know (of Maut, the Qabr and the Aakhirah), you will laugh little and cry much; you will not derive pleasure from your wives in your beds, and you will flee into the wilderness beseeching Allah Azza Wa Jal (for  refuge and safety).”

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu) narrated:

“It is indeed surprising to see a man laughing while Jahannam is ahead of him, and it is surprising to see a man happy while Maut is hotly pursuing him.”

Allaamah Sha’raani says: “Whoever saw Hasan Basri (Rahmatullah alayh), he would conclude that he (Hasan Basri) had just emerged from a momentous calamity. This was because of the grief observable on him.”

Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“There are numerous people lost in laughter (and merrymaking) while their kafan has just arrived.”

Hadhrat Ibn Marzooq (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“A man who claims to be remorseful and grief-stricken for his sins, but then indulges in delicious foods is a liar.”

Presenting the tafseer of the Qur’aanic Aayat: ‘It (the Book of Deeds) does not omit any sagheerah (sin) or kabeerah (sin), but it records it.’, Imaam Auzaai’ (Rahmatullah alayh) said that the meaning of sagheerah is tabassum (to smile), and the meaning of kabeerah is qahqahah (loud laughter).” Commenting on this tafseer, Allaamah Sha’raani  said that in the context of Imaam Auzaai’s tafseer, tabassum  means  such smiling  in which there is sound although substantially less than qahqahah (loud laughter).

Thaabit Bunaani (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “A Mu’min laughs only when he is oblivious (ghaafil) of Maut.”

Aamir Bin Qais (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “Those who indulge in much laughter on earth, will cry much in Jahannam.”

Saeed Bin Abdul Azeez (Rahmatullah alayh) had not laughed for forty years until his death.

Hadhrat Anas Bin Maalik (Radhiyallahu anhu) said: “In a gathering, there is a shaitaan with every person who laughs.”

There is israaf (waste) in everything. Wahab Bin Al-Ward (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “Laughing without israaf is to smile without exposing the teeth. Clothes without israaf are garments sufficient to cover the body and shield it from the weather conditions.  Food without israaf, is food which is sufficient for eliminating hunger and which does not fully fill the stomach.”

Abdul Bin Abu Zaid (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “When some among the Sahaabah began joking (being merry), the following Qur’aanic Verse was revealed:  ‘What! Has the time not arrived for the people of Imaan that their hearts become tender for the Thikr of Allah and for the truth He has revealed? Do not be like those who have been given the Kitaab before you (i.e. the Yahood and Nasaara). Then after a long period lapsed (and they became desensitized) their hearts hardened. Numerous of them are faasiqoon.”      (Al-Hadeed, Aayat 16)

Hadhrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) narrated that once when Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) entered the Musjid he found some Sahaabah laughing. With his mubaarak face reddening, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Are you laughing despite your Rabb not having revealed that you are forgiven? Concerning your laughter, Allah Ta’ala has revealed this verse……. (as above).”

Smitten with remorse, the Sahaabah asked: “What is the kaffaarah (expiation) for us having laughed?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Cry as much as you have laughed.”

Once when some people from Yamaama were by Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu), this verse was recited. The people began to weep. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) commented: “We also used to cry like this. Then there came such people whose hearts were hard.” (i.e. Like the jalsah merrymaking mobs).

Allaamah Sha’raani (Rahmatullah alayh) said:  “There are two factors which distinguish the Ahlullah (People of Allah) from the Ghair Ahlullah (those who are not the people of Allah, but are the people of the devil). The People of Allah are perpetually focused on the Aakhirah, and they engage in making preparations for the Aakhirah.” These two features of the Ahlullah are not to be found in the merrymaking Ghair Ahlullaah jalsah mobs who indulge in festivities, eating, laughter, waste and riya.

From the aforegoing Naseehat of Allaamah Sha’raani and from many Qur’aanic Aayaat and Ahaadith, the villainy and hurmat of the glut of jalsahs should be quite manifest to every sincere seeker of the Haqq. The hifz jalsah held at the Hilal Musjid in Durban as well as all other jalsahs in our time are all in diametric conflict with the teachings and spirit of the Deen. In fact, these jalsahs are immoral and the participants are callously obscene.

How is it possible for Muslims of healthy Imaan to indulge in wasteful merrymaking practices such as are advertised on their posters when the Ummah at large is suffering in their millions. The ulama and the so-called hadhrats are indeed most callous and obscene in organizing and participating in these khuraafaat jalsahs of riyatakabbur and israaf. Their hearts have become hard like those of the Yahood and Nasaara as mentioned in the Qur’aan Majeed specifically in relation to merrymaking.

Muslim refugees are literally freezing to death currently. They are without shelter, without even a small tent to shield themselves against the freezing weather conditions. But these molvis and sheikhs with their obese bodies and gluttonous appetites for sumptuous meals in emulation of Hindu Brahmin priests, are satanically ghaafil about the plight of the Ummah despite them teaching in their darul jahals. Ahaadith such as:

“The Muslimoon (the Ummah) are like one person. If the eye pains the whole body is affected, and if the head pains, the whole body is affected.”

While they teach such Ahaadith and are fully aware of the command implied, they are recklessly oblivious in their shaitaani ghaflat. And the same applies to those who squander large sums of money on so-called ‘umrah’ trips which are nothing but haraam holidaying and merrymaking. While they may succeed in their self-deception they cannot fool Allah Ta’ala. They will rue their callousness at the time of their Maut.

The ulama no longer are the guides of the people. On the contrary, they are mudhilleen (mis-leaders) about whom Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that for his Ummah he feared these mudhilleen so-called ulama more than his fear for even Dajjaal. About these ulama, Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (Rahmatullah alayh) said about 13 centuries ago whilst addressing Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (Rahmatullah alayh):

“O Assembly of the Ulama! What naseehat can I offer you? You were once upon a time the lanterns of guidance for the people. Your light diffused in the cities. But today you are total darkness. First you were Stars of Hidaayat. People dwelling in the darkness of ignorance would find the Road of Guidance through your medium. But now you yourselves are trapped in confusion. You visit the rulers. You sit on their carpets.

You consume their food, and you accept gifts from them. Then you come and sit in the Musjid narrating Hadith from Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). By Allah! Ilm is not acquired for these acts.”

So touching was this naseehat that Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (Rahmatullah alayh) sobbed in such abundance that he became breathless. But today, no amount of naseehat, no amount of the mention of Maut, the Qabr, Jahannam and the Aakhirat has any effect on the hearts of these fussaaq and fujjaar molvis and sheikhs. Their hearts have become indurate, repelling every naseehat of the Qur’aan and Hadith. About such stone-hearted molvis and sheikhs who are plodding the pathway of the Ulama of Bani Israaeel, the Qur’aan Majeed mentions:

“Then their hearts became hard like stone or even harder, for verily from some rocks gush forth rivers, and some rocks split open and fountains emerge, and some stones (boulders) roll from heights out of fear for Allah.”

But the hearts of these molvis and sheikhs remain impervious to all the naseehat of the Qur’aan and Ahaadith, and to even the naseehat of our recent Akaabir such as Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) who had vigorously condemned these jalsahs which are nothing but haraam gatherings of merrymaking organized for the acquisition of nafsaani objectives.

The spiritual necrosis which is gnawing the brains and hearts of the jalsah gangs of molvis and sheikhs have totally blinded their spiritual hearts, hence spiritual perception of realities has become an impossibility for them. About them, Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:

“The physical eyes are not blind. But the hearts within the breasts are blind.”

The jalsah molvis are rotten with the disease of riya. It is gangerine of the brains and hearts, hence they crave for recognition. Thus, they deem it imperative to advertise their madrasahs and whatever other so-called deeni activities they are involved in. About these men of riya, Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “If you see an Aalim becoming happy when praised by the wealthy and the people of the dunya, then understand that he is a riya kaar.”

A sure sign of the disease of riya in a person is that he takes affront and becomes agitated when this disease is pointed out to him. Hadhrat Saalih Al-Marri (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “A man who believes that he has Ikhlaas in his Ilm should focus on his nafs when people say that he is a riyaa kaar. If he becomes pleased for being thus charged, then he is truthful (in his belief of ikhlaas). If his heart becomes constricted (i.e. he is affronted), then he should understand that he is a riya kaar.” 

So, O Clique and Gang of molvis and sheikhs, when reading our naseehat, examine your hearts, fear Allah and know well that Maut is hovering over you.

Proferring naseehat to the masses, Hadhrat Saalih Al-Marri (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “Beware of the company of a worldly Aalim. He will cast you into deception with his glib tongue (and eloquent speech), and whilst not practising (on the Ilm he had acquired), he will praise the Ulama (to deceive you).”

Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “It is inappropriate for an Aalim to express happiness over his Ilm. Yes, he may do so only after he has crossed the Pul Siraat (the Bridge over Jahannam).”

The only objective of all of these shaitaani jalsahs is riya or money or both. That is why they advertise themselves, their institutions and their students. Whereas true Ilm cultivates Tawaadhu’ (humility) and Khashiyat (fear), the juhala stock which these darul jahals nowadays produce are drunk with ostentation. They stupidly dwell in the deception of them being Ulama when they lack the ability to even read the Arabic texts of the Kutub correctly. Instead of guiding the students along the Pathway of Tawaadhu’ and Khashiyat, the Madaaris of this era ruin the Akhlaaq of the Talaba and pave the path of Jahannam for them.

Allah Ta’ala, describing who the Ulama are, says in the Qur’aan Majeed:

“Verily, of His servants only the Ulama fear Allah.”

Is there any semblance of tawaadhu and khashiyat in these satanic jalsahs of israaf and riya? Merrymaking is the ethos of jalsahs. If the jalsah molvis had been true repositories of Ilm, never would they derive pleasure in all the self-expression and in their quest for recognition, and in their crave for donations. Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “Disinclination from the dunya is proportionate with increase in Ilm. The more progress is made in Ilm, the more one develops an aversion for the dunya. But today (i.e. several centuries ago) it is seen that the more knowledge a man gains, the greater becomes his love for the dunya. His desire for expensive garments, delicious food, mansions, etc. increases.”

This is exactly the condition of today’s ulama. Hadhrat Sufyaan Bin Uyainah (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “How is it possible for a reciter of the Qur’aan to make amal on it when he sleeps away the night, abstains from (Nafl) fasting during the day and eats mushtabah and haraam food.”

The obesity and diseases generally plaguing the molvis of this age are the effects of devouring carrion chickens, carrion meat, mushtabah and haraam. Hadhrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “If the Ulama were alive, they would suffer the pains of fire when filling their stomachs with haraam. But they are dead, hence they wander around consuming fire.” Their hearts are harder than stone, hence their intransigence and the numerous infractions of the Shariah perpetrated by them. This is the meaning of them being ‘dead’ according to Hadhrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (Rahmatullah alayh).

With the evil riya of their jalsahs, these ulama are destroying the wonderful treasure of Ilm-e-Deen and the immense Thawaab promised for the correct observance of the rights of Ilm. Hadhrat Rabee’ Bin Khaisham (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “How can riya ever be permissible for an Aalim (when it is not permissible for even the worst jaahil). He knows that riya constrains him to impart knowledge for (the pleasure) of others besides Allah, and he knows that it deracinates amal (practise). How can they have pride with something which utterly destroys amal?”

But the inebriation with riya has totally blinded their spiritual eyes and blighted their intellect. Indulging in their merrymaking feasting and excreting, they block the spiritual channel by means of which there is the transcendental transmission of Anwaar constantly cascading from the Arsh of Allah Azza Wa Jal. These Anwaar seek abodes in which to settle. A heart darkened with mushtabah, haraam, futility and merrymaking can never be a repository for these Anwaar which bypass the heart putrefied by merrymaking, riya and the villainous moral consequences of this vile characteristic. Thus, as a warning for the merrymaking Ulama who indulge in Brahmin type feasting, Hadhrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “It is evil for an Aalim to fill his stomach with even halaal food. What then is the frightening condition of the one who fills his stomach with haraam? The true piety of the Ulama is to abandon lust (shahwat).” 

The molvis participating in these ill-conceived jalsahs are the victims of lust (shahwat). It is shahwat which goads them on to innovating these merrymaking practices which have no origin in the Sunnah, and which diverts the hearts and minds from Allah Ta’ala despite the ostentatious display of ‘deeni’ talks full of sound and fury signifying nil. They make a mockery of Allah’s Name and the Deen by organizing their khuraafaat under Deeni guise.

It is nafsaani shahwat which has afflicted them with the disease of obsession with women, hence they go to great lengths to violate the Qur’aanic and Hadith prohibition of women emerging from their homes. Their shahwat demands the presence of the females who are lured out of their homes to gratify the satanic lusts of misguided molvis who pillage and plunder the Deen in the dastardly endeavour to achieve their villainous objectives.

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “Devouring mushtabah and haraam is today the dominating characteristic of the Ulama. They are the victims of the stomach and lust in which they are drowned. They have made their Ilm a trap with which they entrap (the people) of the dunya (for gratification of their desires and lusts).”

For the Ulama of shahwat, Hadhrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullah alayh) has the following advice: “If a man acquires all knowledge and engrosses himself in ibaadat to the extent that he becomes as thin as a rake, but he does not investigate the food which he ingests, whether it is halaal or haraam, then by Allah his ibaadat is not accepted.”

What can be said about the molvis who destroy their souls in merrymaking jalsahs – who consume the haraam carrion chickens halaalized by the agents of Iblees – who lure women out of their houses in flagrant violation of Allah’s prohibition – who waste huge sums of Lillah funds for gluttonous feasting and unnecessary travelling and other concomitant expenses- who are the victims of riya and takabbur?

Criticizing these jalsahs, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“The summary of these Shar’i obstacles is that when carefully viewed and evidenced by experience, the major reason for conducting these jalsahs is twofold; receiving donations and broadcasting one’s activities.

We can also describe this as the honour and prestige of the madrasah, which boils down to hubb-e-maal and hubb-e-jaah (love for money and love for fame) which have been prohibited in numerous Nusoos (Qur’aan and Hadith injunctions).

Although when money and fame are desired for the sake of Deen then this is not condemned, but it is debatable whether on such occasions (jalsahs) the Deen is the objective or the dunya. So, even though ta-weel is made (that is, defences are made to justify the jalsahs) and it is said to be for the Deen, however, Allah Ta’ala has made a yardstick for every intention whereby the validity or corruption of intention can be gauged.

Now on these occasions (of madrasah jalsahs), if one reflects, the sign of talab-dunya (seeking the world) is evident. Let us expand on this. If the Deen was the objective then anything contrary to the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala would not be adopted. But since such (haraam) things are opted for, it clearly shows that the objective is the dunya. By way of example some of these factors are enumerated hereunder.

1. In asking for donations the Rules of the Shariah are not observed. The Injunction of the Shariah is: “A man’s money is not lawful without his heartfelt consent”. In collecting funds, schemes are devised to apply pressure on the hearts of those addressed, be this pressure in the form of coercion, embarrassment or empathy. People on whom this pressure is applied are targeted. In front of the audience, needs of the madrasah are presented. It is insisted that they attend the jalsah. It is known for certainty that a rich man will fear insult and humiliation coming empty-handed. The madrasah authorities broadcast their expenses; the rich guest fears disgrace.

2. Riya (ostentation) being haraam is a Shar’i Hukm. In most cases in such functions the giver harbours riya in his heart. The cause of this riya is also sinful. (In other words, the jalsah is the occasion of this riya, hence the jalsah is sinful.)

3. The Ulama frequently go to the doors of the rich and engage in flattering them.

4. If they (the Ulama) get money which they understand not to be halaal, they will never refuse to accept the money.

5. They generally project the status of their madrasahs much higher than it actually is, either explicitly or by implication. This translates to falsehood and deception.

6. If someone questions something about the madrasah, and even if he is right, it is never accepted. On the contrary, they will attack the person and labour to refute the question, even though in their hearts they know that it is the truth. This is subversion of the Haqq.

7. If another madrasah is established nearby, then in spite of this new madrasah being in a good state they (the authorities of the older madrasah) will look at it (the new madrasah) as if it is a thorn tree and in their hearts they will wish for its demolition and termination, whereas it is something to be happy about that Deeni work is being carried out at several places. However, for fear of the new madrasah becoming famous and contributions increasing for the new madrasah and diminishing for their madrasah they are unhappy over this new madrasah.

8. They publicise their activities, praise themselves, give preference to their own madrasah, show off their work to be better and more intensive and for this they are at pains to increase the volume of their Ta’leem and introduce kitaabs which are beyond the capacity of the students to show the magnitude of the work being carried out, whether the students understand the work or not.

From the above signs, the first four are love for wealth not for the sake of the Deen and the last four are signs of love for fame not for the sake of the Deen. Due to the basis being corrupt the effects produced are just the same. ………..

The obligation of discarding something is not conditional to intentional evil. In fact, unintentional evil is sufficient. It is already accepted that many jalsahs, in fact all are plagued with the previously stated evils. It is also evident that to stop these is necessary as far as possible. It is prohibited (manhi anhu) to popularize such wrongs intentionally and unintentionally. In this scenario, if some muhtamim sahib conducts a jalsah with extreme care, then although he may not be directly involved in the wrongs, but there is no doubt that he is a cause for the spreading of the wrongs in other careless jalsahs.

In many issues the Fuqaha have strongly debarred some permissible acts simply to close the avenues (saddan lil baab) and to uproot corruption (hasman li maaddatil fasaad). In this regard the Muhaqqiqeen Ulama in this age debar the customary maulood, faatihah and urs gatherings, regardless of the organizer being cautious in I’tiqaad and Amal. The reason for this is that others who are careless will have justification. It will lead to these becoming widespread among irresponsible people. This rule applies equally and consistently to gatherings of da’wat and gatherings of the madaaris. After observation it suffices to reflect.

The benefits of these jalsahs are not disputed. However, when benefits and wrongs clash then preference is accorded to the effect of the wrongs, when the benefits are not categorized as essential in the Shariah. In what we are discussing it is obvious that there is no Shar’i Zaroorat. In fact, the acquisition of the benefit is not confined to this particular way. Helpers could be informed with a written report. Students could be awarded without any ceremony associated.

In so far as bayaans are concerned, firstly it is difficult to openly give naseehat to the audience of such gatherings. Consideration for ill feelings prevents that. Then this objective (that is, hidaayat and naseehat) can be fulfilled independently in good measure.” (End of Hadhrat Thaanvi’s Fatwa of Prohibition)

The motivation for doling out prizes and awards to students is pure riya and takabbur. Only morons fail to discern the haraam ostentation plastered with a thin veneer which serves only the shaitaaniyat of self-deception. The objective of the pursuit of Ilm-e-Deen and Hifz of the Qur’aan Majeed is nothing other than Ridha-e-Ilaahi (The Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala). This objective is the furthest from the hearts of the organizers of the stupid jalsahs, and even further from the minds of the misguided students who are embodiments of Akhlaaq-e-Razeelah. The madaaris in these days do not cater for Islaah of the Nafs. Both the Asaatizah and the Talaba are grounded in the vortex of the evil nafsaani attributes.

Most lamentably, the madaaris are today among the signs of Qiyaamah:

“Ilm will be imparted and acquired for purposes other than the Deen.” (Hadith)

“The dunya will be pursued with the amal of the Aakhirat.” (Hadith)

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