Category Archives: Deoband

Deobandi Sufi

Tasawwuf is an essential element of religion according to the Deobandis.

It is this tasawwuf that produces life in the physical forms of worship done and makes them worthy of being accepted. Without it Shariah is a body without a soul.

However, it must be clear that tasawwuf alone without the actions prescribed by Shariah is heresy (zindaqah).

All great scholars of Deoband were either shuyukh or mureedeen in Chishti, Naqshbandi, Qadri or Suharwardi tariqahs.

For example, Qutub e ‘Alam Mawlana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi , Hakeemul Ummat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanavi and Shaykhul-Hadith Mawlana Zakariyyah Kandhlawi (rahimahumullah) were from Chishti silsilah. Mawlana Aziz ur Rehman, Mawlana Habibur Rehman and Mawlana Badar e Alam Meerthi (rahimahumullah) were Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi. Mawlana Taj Mehmood Amrooti and Mawlana Ahmad Ali Lahori (rahimahumullah) were Qadiri. Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (rahimahullah) had ijaza’ from his father in Suharwardi tariqah.

Also, most of the present day serious Deobandi scholars are into Tasawwuf practically. This is evident by their demeanor, speech, mutual and financial dealings, etc. Not by mere lip-service and boastful claims.

As it is said in Persian proverb: mushuk (musk) does not need a label to let others be aware that it is musk. Its smell in enough advertisment.

A very important fact is that real tasawwuf exists in these Deobandi shuyukh to date.

In Muslim world you find a lot who claim to be sufi, whereas in reality they are not. It is a ritualistic or ceremonial SUFISM  they follow. It has nothing to do with effacement of destructing moral characteristics like pride, envy, love of wordly etc and establishment of elevating moral traits, like sincerity, love of Allah Ta’ala and His Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), humility, perpetual remembrance, etc. all leading to a firm and acceptable relationship with Allah Ta’ala (that is, ta’aluq ma’Allah).

The real Tasawwuf  is thriving, vital and pristine in Deobandi-tradition. It is totally subservient to Shariah and hence, in complete harmony with Sunnah. It is a unique treasure to be acquired as soon as possible.

It is within our home. Why ignore and look outside at the flashy gimmicks?

Please, take time to reflect!

We, the admirer of Deobandi-tradition where do we stand?

Are we following the real inheritors of this tradition?



By: Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi

Translated from the original Arabic by Ustadh Tariq Pandor


They said: You have worked in Oxford for twenty years on an academic project looking at the history of the Islamic sciences in India and its Madrassas and centres of learning. So what is the best madrassa in the long history of India, given the multitude of its madrassas and the variety of its institutes and the differences in its centres of teaching?

I said: That would be Darul Ulum Deoband.

They said: We find this statement of yours odd. Are you being truthful or [speaking in] jest? Are you being serious or joking?

I said: I seek refuge in Allah from being from the ignorant. Do you want me to be sectarian or to be sincere? To be discerning or to mislead? To be prejudiced or to be just?

They said: We know you to be sincere, discerning and just. So reveal to us the aspects in which you prefer Darul Ulum Deoband over the other madrassas.

I said: That would take volumes [to write].

They said: Spare us your volumes as we have become tired of them. Summarise for us some of their points which would be indicative of others and we will be most grateful to you.

I said: I have summarised them in three points so listen to them and remember them.

The first point is the attention paid by Darul Ulum to the noble prophetic hadiths. The teaching curricula in India were deficient in noble prophetic hadiths. Those in charge of the curricula had not stipulated any books of hadith except for “Mashariq al Anwar” of Saghani which they then replaced with “Mishkat al Masabih”. As for the six primary collections, they were not added to the studied texts until the arrival of Imam Ahmad ibn Abd al-Rahim, better known as Shah Waliullah al-Dehlawi, who added some of them, as well as the “Muwatta”, to the curriculum. Things remained like this for a century, then Darul Ulum was established. It was the first madrassa to concern itself with teaching the six primary collections as well as the “Muwatta”, according to the narrations of both Yahya ibn Yahya al-Laithi and Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Shaibani, and “Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar”. This is a merit by which Darul Ulum Deoband is distinguished from the other madrassas in India, and even across the entire islamic world.

They said: You have an interest in isnads (chains of narrations) and ijazahs (certificates of authority). So who are you connected with from the hadith scholars of Deoband?

I said: I am connected with all of them via many routes and various isnads, and to Allah belongs all praise and thanks.

They said: So what is your highest sanad to them, the most noble and the strongest?

I said: That would be my narration from the most erudite scholar and muhaddith Ahmad Rida al-Bijnuri, the commentator of Sahih Bukhari, from the Hafidh of India, it’s Muhaddith and Imam in the hidden defects in hadith and narrator criticism, the erudite scholar Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri, followed by my narration from the erudite scholar and muhaddith Nasir Ahmad Khan, as well as from the long-lived Shaikh Ahmad Ali al-Surti, both from the long-lived Hafidh Abdur Rahman al-Amrohi.

They said: You have certainly attained high, noble chains of narration, all of whose narrators are imams of fiqh and accurate experts of hadith. So bring us the second point.

I said: The second point is Darul Ulum Deoband’s revival and dissemination of the Sunnah of the Master of the Messengers and its strenuous effort in eliminating innovations and newly invented matters. For all of India was under the influence and powerful grip of innovations and superstitions until the scholars of Deoband stood up and opposed them and removed them. We do not know of any movement which played a role similar to that of Deoband in eliminating innovations and superstitions and preventing evil.

They said: Who is their head and leader in that?

I said: The imam, the unique luminary, the pious, the pure, the devout scholar, the inimitable Shaikh Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi, may Allah show him abundant mercy, raise his ranks and make him of those close to Him. No mother has been capable of giving birth to his likeness and history has been unable to produce similar to him. He is the one for whom my heart has been filled with love and appreciation. He resembles the two imams, Sufyan al-Thawri and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in the purity of his heart and the strength of his faith, in his servitude to Allah and submission to Him, and in his revival of the Sunnah and vanquishing of innovations.

They said: Has anyone else been similar to him in the long history of India?

I said: [Can there be anyone] other than this one?

They said: We beseech you to answer our request.

I said: Will you excuse me (from having to mention anyone in a similar way)?

They said: We do not excuse you.

I said: Well if you refuse then perhaps Imam Muhammad Isma’il ibn ‘Abd al-Ghani ibn Waliullah al-Shahid, may Allah have mercy on him. I adjure you to not ask me for a third to go with these two.

They said: Bring us your third point.

I said: The third point is Darul Ulum’s production of practising scholars who cultivated their inner aspects before building their outer aspects, who purified themselves of all depravities, who cleansed their hearts of envy, hatred, malice and loathsomeness, who lived lives of piety, cautiousness, asceticism, contentment and sufficiency, who devoted themselves to worship and to the teaching and upbringing of the people, and who prepared followers who resembled them in purity and virtue and who spread to all corners of India and even beyond, calling mankind to the worship of Allah, exalted is He, and to following the Sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.

They said: Name them.

I said: The list will be long.

They said: Tell us the names of their most eminent scholars.

I said: The first of them is the Imam, the caller [to Islam], the educator, Muhammad Qasim al-Nanotwi, the founder of Darul Ulum and colleague of the erudite scholar Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi. Then the erudite scholar and muhaddith Khalil Ahmad al-Saharanpuri, as well as “Shaikh al-Hind” Mahmud al-Hasan al-Deobandi, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Raipuri, “Hakim al Ummat” Ashraf ‘Ali al-Thanwi, Shaikh ‘Abd al Qadir al-Raipuri, and the erudite scholar and muhaddith Husain Ahmad al-Faizabadi al-Madani.

They said: This will suffice for us. We have heard you speak in the most laudatory terms of the erudite scholar Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi. Can you please point us to a source containing his biography?

I said: The best biographer of him was the erudite scholar and muhaddith Muhammad ‘Ashiq Ilahi al-Mirti, who wrote [his biography] in urdu.

They said: Does he have an Arabic biography?

I said: His biography in “Nuzhat al-Khawatir” is one of the best and most comprehensive. I have had the intention to write a detailed biography of him and have collected the material so ask Allah that he gathers my resolve and makes me successful in completing it.


We had mailed the Majlisul Ulama alerting them on Akram Nadwi’s deviant views since they had put up the above article, now they had it removed from their website. We have received the following attachment mail from the Majlis in response:




[By Majlisul Ulama]

1 Jamadul Ula 1438 (30 January 2017)

Commenting on our publication of an article on Darul Uloom Deoband by Akram Nadwi, a Concerned Brother writes:

I was slightly surprised to see shaykh Akram Nadwi’s appraisal of Darul Uloom Deoband in your recent Article, though there is absolutely no fault in it, but the fear-factor is involved when a layperson sees his name and endorsement in your site and begin to think that he might be a true scholar who can be listened through lectures and his books can be read.

The reason for my dissatisfaction with this person is because some of his views are totally deviant which he propagates in the name of ‘Hanafi Fiqh’, 4 years ago some Muftis have exposed his modernist views.

The following link has some detailed exposition of Akram Nadwi’s fallacies: Mu8rgFRQXPOgznoLYfxvRQ

Maulana Saheb, I’d request you to please type a notification in a bracket above ‘Darul Uloom Deoband -Best Madrasah’ Article in your site stating that the Majlis does not endorse this scholar’s deviant views.

(End of letter)

We thank you for drawing our attention to Akram Nadwi. Frankly, we are not aware of him or his views. We have not read any of his articles. The article on Deoband is his first article which has crossed our path. If we had been aware of his deviance, we would not have published his article regardless of its worth. We therefore removed it from our website. Jazaakallaah for the Naseehat.

[End of the clarification from the Majlis]

We Thank the respected Maulana Saheb of Majlisul Ulama for heeding our mail and clarifying their stance on the said person and the above article.

Principles of Deobandi Fiqhi Approach

[Hazrat Mufti Syed Abdush Shakoor Tirmizi (rahimahullah)
(Khalifa of Mawlana Zafar Ahmed Usmani and Mufti Mohammad Shafi’)]


Firstly it is essential to reiterate the fact vividly obvious to anyone who studies the works of senior Deobandi scholars. That is, their beliefs and practices conform completely with the teachings of Quran, hadith and hanafi fiqh. Their sulook and tasawwuf is also exactly according to the Sunnah. They are staunch hanafi and high caliber ahle-sunnah. Neither any of their beliefs is against Qur’an and hadith, nor any of their fiqh ruling against Hanafi fiqh.

Deobandiyat is not a separate maslak (route). In our day and age it is synonymous with maslak of Ahlus Sunnah wal jama’ah.

Few guiding principles:

If the following essential principles are kept in mind the Shari’ah ruling regarding all the contemporary bid’at/innovations will be easy to know:

First Principle:

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says:

ولا تسبوالذین یدعون من دون اللیسبو الل عدوا بغیر علم

Commenting under the heading, Hakeemul Ummat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanavi (rahimahullah) said:

“The defamation of idols (gods) is per se a mubah (permissible) act. However, if it becomes a cause of a prohibited act, that is, denigration of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, it will become prohibited (منھی عن) and objectionable (قبیح).

This forms the proof of a fiqh ruling. That is, if a permissible act becomes the cause of a prohibited act that (mubah) act itself becomes haram.

[Bayanul Qur’an volume 1 page 119]

Second Principle

Although, numerous verses of Quran mention tawheed (Oneness of Allah Ta’ala), prophethood, negation of disbelief and polytheism and on various occasions’ infidels (kuffar) mocked at them and denigrated Allah and His Prophet (salallaahu alayhi wasallam). These incidents are well documented in various places. But there is no prohibition of discussing these things.

The reason for this variance is that the discussion of these subjects is essential (wajib) and required by Shariah. If some corruption happens secondary to their discussion even then they will not be abandoned.

This proves the second principle.

Both of these principles are treasure trove of knowledge. Orders and rulings regarding numerous peripheral issues can be found from them. In ‘Ruhul Ma’ani’ this difference has been documented from the answer of Abul-Mansoor (rahimahullah) with Ibn e Sireen (rahimahullahl agreeing  to it.

The net result of these two principles is that,

If a permissible act, and similarly mustebbat & Sunan za’idah become contaminated with prohibited acts, then it will be essential (wajib) to abandon that permissible act. In actions that are themselves essential (wajib) and required by Shari’ah if there is any contamination with prohibited acts then even they will not be abandoned. However, it will be necessary to rectify those wrong doings.

This is the very difference which if not kept in mind leads to propagation of innovations.

Third Principle

Allah Ta’ala says:

یاایھاالذین امنوالاتقولوا رعنا

From this order we come to know the ruling that if an individual’s own permissible act becomes a source/excuse for another individual to commit a prohibited action, then that act becomes impermissible for the first person (to start with).

For example, if a scholar’s act is used to justify an ignorant person’s prohibited action, then if that act is non essential it will become impermissible for the scholar also. [Bayanul Qur’an volume 1 page 57]

This is documented in ‘Durr mukhtar’ and its explanation ‘Raddul mukhtar’ under the discussion of “prostration of thankfulness:

وسجدۃ الشکر مستحبۃ بھ تی لکنھا تکر بعد الصلوۃ لان الجھلۃ یعتقدونھا سنۃ او واجبۃ وکل مباح یودی الیمکرو۔ وی الشرح: وحاصل ان ما لیس لھا سبب لا تکر ما لم یود علھا الی اعتقاد الجھلۃ سنیتھا کالتی یعلھا بعض الناس بعد الصلوۃ  [الشامی جلد 1 ص 731]

It is based on these principles derived from Qur’an, Hadith and ruling of Hanafi jurists, the Deobandi scholars have spoken regarding the contemporary rituals and polemic issues.

[Maqalat e Tirmizi  page 216-218, Darul Ishat, Karachi. 1426H]

Applications of these principles

Based on these well established principles they have said that appointing special dates and other specific requirements for rituals like mawlid shareef gatherings, customs of fathiha (esal-e-thawab),  third and tenth day (post-death) esal e thawab gatherings, etc. to be bid’at.
By fixing these specification and precise requirements belief of them being necessary was developing.  Even if the person performing them had correct beliefs the danger of corrupting the beliefs of less knowledgeable was arising.
It is an established fiqh principle that as important it is to save one’s self from a destruction essentially important is to save others from any loss. That is, as important it to preserve one’s own beliefs equally important is to save others beliefs also.
‘Allamah Shami (Ibn Abideen) rahimahullah has written this principle in the discussion of fixing recitation of particular Surah in Salah. That is, wherever there is possibility of distorting shari’ah rulings or misunderstanding of ignorants. He writes:

“واقول حاصل معنی کلام ھذا الشیخین بیان وج الکراۃ ی المداومۃ وھو انان رای ذالک حقا یکر حیث تغیر المشروع والا یکر من حیث ایھام الجاھل”
[شامی جلد 1 ص 508]

The reason to stop the general people is  تغیر المشروعand for elite is ایھام الجاھل.

A general principle established is that mubah should not exceed its limits (both in knowledge and practice) and mutlaq must not change from its itlaq, both in knowledge and practice and a muqqiyad must not change similarly. There are many verses and hadith to prove this. As this is an established principle I do not need to mention daleel. Just to remind forgetful I mention,
It is narrated in Muslim:
قال رسول الل صلی الل علی وسلم لا تختصوا لیلۃ الجمعۃ من بین اللیلی ولا تختصو یوم الجمعۃ لقیام من الایام الا ان یکون ی یصوم احدکم  (الحدیث)

As Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had mention numerous merits of jumu’ah day and salatul jumu’ah there was a possibility that some will decide himself to specially select them for praying and fasting. For this Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself negated this thinking and reiterated that only those things that he had mentioned in this regard are recommendable and a Sunnah. If some one exceeds them then it will not be acceptable.
Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) explains this principle:
احتج ب العلماء علی کراھۃ ھذ الصلوۃ المبتدعۃ التی تسمی الرغائب قاتل الل “واضعھا” و مخترعھا قھا بدعۃ منکر من البدع الضلال و الجھال
[Maqalat e Tirmizi pg 219-20]

The most striking thing we see in these days is that a mubah is given so much significance that people will easily ignore a person who does not pray salah or fast or makes ghiyba or lies but if a observant Muslim does not perform mawlid he is chastised, looked down upon and called names.
Is it not exceeding the mubah from its limits?? 

The Slander against Hakim al-Ummah Hazrat Thanawi (Rahmatullah alayh): Degrading the Status of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and its Reply

By Maulana Manzur Nu’mani

With  regards  to  Hakim  al-Ummah  Hazrat  Mawlana Ashraf  ‘Ali  Sahib  Thanawi  (Rahmatullah  alayh), Mawlawi  Ahmad  Raza  Khan  Sahib  Barelwi  wrote  on pages  20-1  of  Husaam  al-Haramayn:

From  the  seniors  of  these  Satanic  Wahhabis  is another  man  from  the  scions  of  Gangohi  called Ashraf  ‘Ali  al-Thanawi.  He  compiled  a  small  treatise that  does  not  reach  four  pages  and  stated  clearly therein  that  the  equivalent  of  the  Messenger  of Allah’s  (Allah  bless  him  and  grant  him  peace) knowledge  of  the  unseen  has  been  acquired  by every  child  and  every  madman,  rather  every  animal and  every  beast.  These  are  his  accursed  words:

“If  the  assessment  of  the  knowledge  of  unseen  for the  holy  essence  of  the  Nabi  is  valid  as  said  by Zayd,  it  will  be  asked:  What  did  he  intend  by  this  – is  it  a  portion  of  the  unseen  or  all  of  it?  If  he intended    a  portion,  then  what  speciality  is  there  in this  for  the  Revered  Rasool,  for  indeed  the equivalent  of  this  knowledge  of  unseen  has  been acquired  by  Zayd  and  ‘Amr,  rather  every  child  and madman,  rather  all  animals  and  beasts?  And  if  he intended  all  whereby  no  part  is  excluded,  its invalidity  is  established  by  narration  and  reason.”

I  say:  Look  at  the  effects  of  the  seal  of  Allah Almighty  –  how  he  equates  [the  knowledge  of]  the Messenger  of  Allah  (Allah  Almighty  bless  him  and grant  him  peace)  to  [the  knowledge  of]  such-and such  and  such-and-such!

Here,  I  cannot  give  any  answer  to  those  ghastly  and disgusting  words  which  Khan  Sahib  has  attributed to  Hazrat  Hakim  al-Ummah.  Its  word-for-word retort  can  be  given  by  those  vulgar  people  who have  also  reached  the  status  of  “revivers”  in  the  art of  vulgarity  and  abuse.  I  am  completely  free  of  and helpless  in  this  craft.  The  Wise  Qur’an  states:  “Tell My  servants  that  they  should  speak  that  which  is best.  Surely,  Satan  creates  discord  among  them. Indeed,  Satan  is  an  open  enemy  to  mankind.” [17:53]    Elsewhere  (in  the  Qur’aan)  Allah  Ta’ala addressed  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam): “Repel  evil  with  that  which  is  best.”  [23:96]  Thus, according  to  this  Qur’anic  imperative,  in  reply  to this  abuse  and  vulgarity  of  Khan  Sahib,  I  will  only offer  [this  plea]  to  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal:  O  My  Rabb! Khan  Sahib  has  passed  on  from  this  world.  Now save  his  successors  from  this  evil  practice  which  is  a shame  and  humiliation  in  this  world  and  deprivation and  loss  in  the  afterlife.

Only  Allah  guides  to  the  path  of  righteousness.  It seems  that  when  writing  Husaam  al-Haramayn, Khan  Sahib  took  an  oath  that  he  will  not  be  truthful and  honest  in  any  act.  Ponder:  What  is    the  actual statement  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  and  its  true  meaning, and  what  is  the  accursed  calumny  of  Khan  Sahib’s slander,  viz.,  –  that  the  extent  of  the  knowledge  of the  unseen  which  is  possessed  by  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  is  also  possessed  by every  child  and  madman,  nay  every  animal  and every  beast  (Allah  forbid!)??  If  before  broadcasting his  slander  of  disbelief,  Khan  Sahib  had  quoted  the entire  text  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  without  mutilation, readers  would  have  known  the  truth,  then  there would  not  have  been  the  need  for    this  refutation.

Hifz  al-Imaan  is  a  short  treatise  by  Hakim  al-Ummah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  in  which  are  three topics.  The  third  topic  is:  “Is  calling  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), ‘knower of the ghayb’ (Aalimul  Ghaib)  correct  or  not?”  It  is  clear  that  the discussion  of  Mawlana  was  not  regarding  whether  or not  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had knowledge  of  the  ghayb,  and  if  so,  how  much? Rather,  here,  Mawlana  only  wanted  to  establish  that it  cannot  be  said  that  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  is  “knower  of  the  ghayb”  (Aalimul Ghayb).  There  is  a      vast  difference  between  the two  issues.

An  attribute  which  belongs  to  a  being  may  not  be utilized  in  an  unrestricted  manner  for  that  being.   In  the  Noble  Qur’an,  Allah  is  described  as  “the Creator  of  all  things”  [Qur’an  6:102,  13:16,  39:62, 40:62].  It  is  the  belief  of  all  Muslims  that  everything in  the  world,  small  or  big,  great  or  insignificant,  was created  by  Allah  Ta’ala.  However,  despite  this,  our  jurists  have  clearly  stated  that  it  is  impermissible  to call  him  “the  Creator  of  monkeys  and  swine.” Likewise,  in  the  Noble  Qur’an,  “farming”  is attributed  to  Him  (Qur’an  56:64),  yet  it  is  incorrect to  describe  Him  as  a    “farmer”.  Similarly,  the  Arabs   use  the  term  rizq  (sustenance)  in  general  for  the provisions  and  positions  which  the  commander endows  to  the  men  of  his  army.  Thus  in  many  books of  Arabic  language  the  sentence  “the  commander sustained  the  army”  is  written,  although  it  is incorrect  to  refer  to  the  commander  as  raziq  or razzaq  (sustainer). It  is  narrated  by  Hazrat ‘A’ishah Siddiqah (Radhiyallahu anha)  that Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  would  mend his  own  shoes  and  milk  his  camels  himself.

Despite  this,  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) may  not  be  referred  to  as  a  cobbler  or  milkman. The  reality  is  that  in  some  instances  despite  the existence  of    an  attribute  in  someone  or  some being,  it  may  not  be  used  in  an  unqualified manner  for  that  person/being.

I  hope  that  from  this  introduction  my  readers  have understood  that  the  question  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  possessing  knowledge of  ghayb  or  not  is  a  separate  discussion,  apart    from the  issue  of  the  permissibility  or  impermissibility  of   using  the  designation  of  Aalimul  Ghayb  (“The knower  of  the  ghayb”)  for  him.  There  is  no necessary  correlation  between  the  two.

Now  understand  that  the  objective  of  Hazrat Mawlana  (Rahmatullaah  alayh)  in  Hifz  al-Imaan  was  only  to  establish  that  it  is  impermissible  to    use the  title  of  Aalimul  Ghaib    (Knower  of  the  Ghayb)  in an  unrestricted,  all-embracing  manner  for Rasulullah   (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  and  to prove  that  this  designation  (Aalimul  Ghayb)  may not  be  used  for  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  in  the    way  that  the  titles  “the  Seal  of  the  Ambiya,”  “the  Chief  of  the  Messengers,”  “the Mercy  to  all  Worlds”  etc.  etc.  are  used.  In  support of  this  claim,  Mawlana  presented  two  proofs.

The  upshot  of  the  first  evidence  is  that  in  the general  usage  of  the  Shari‘ah,  the  title  of  Aalimul Ghayb  (Knower  of  the  Ghayb)   applies  to  only    The Being  who  knows  the  matters  of  the  ghayb intrinsically,  without  having  acquired  it  via  any medium.  This  is  the  exclusive  distinction  of    Allah Azza  Wa  Jal.    If  any  other  being  is  called  “knower  of the  ghayb,”  in  this  meaning,  it  will  create  the impression    that    the  other  being  besides  Allah Ta’ala   also  possesses  knowledge  of  ghayb intrinsically,  i.e.  without  having  acquired  it  from  any  medium.  This  is  an  explicit  belief  of  shirk.  Thus,  to refer  to  anyone  besides  Allah  Ta’ala  as  “Knower  of the  Ghayb”  is  incorrect  as  it  confuses  it  with  a belief  of  shirk.

This  is  why  in  the  Qur’an  and  Hadith  such  dubious words    which  could  create  misunderstanding    are forbidden.  For  example,  the   Qur’an  Shareef prohibits  addressing  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) with the word, ra‘ina [2:104], and the Hadith  prohibits  calling  one’s  servants  “my  slaves” because  these  words  are  suggestive  of  a  false meaning  even  if  it  is  not  the  intention  of  the speaker.  This  is  a  summary  of  Hazrat  Mawlana Thanawi’s  first  evidence.

However,  since  Khan  Sahib  did  not  object  to  this proof  of  Mawlana  Thanawi  –  in  fact,  in  many  places of  his  book  al-Dawlat  al-Makkiyyah,  Khan  Sahib states  approximately  the  same  contention  in complete  detail,  there  is  no  need  for  me  to  present any  justification  or  support  for  it.

Now,  I  will  turn  my  attention  to  the  second  evidence of  Mawlana.  Khan  Sahib  claimed,  “He  stated  clearly therein  that  the  equivalent  of  the  knowledge  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  regarding  the  unseen  realities  has  been  acquired  by  every child  and  every  madman,  in  fact,  by  every  animal.

But  before  quoting  the  original  passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan,  in  order  to  facilitate  the  understanding  of the  readers,  I  feel  it  will  be  appropriate  to  mention that  in  this  second  proof,  Mawlana  divided  the matter  into  two  options  for  the  opponent. Then  he proved the inaccuracy and falsity of both.

The  upshot  of  the  second  proof  of  Mawlana  is  that  a person,  for  example  Zayd,      uses  the  designation  of Aalimul  Ghayb  (Knower  of  the  Ghayb)  for  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  without  qualifying  the term.  This  entails  one  of  two  meanings.  One: Rasulullah    (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam))  has  partial knowledge  of    the  ghayb  or  he  has  total  and  allencompassing  knowledge  of  the  ghayb.  The  second   meaning  is  obviously  false  because  narrational (Naqli)  and  rational  (Aqli)  proofs  negate  allencompassing,  intrinsic  Ilm  of  the  Ghayb  for   Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).    In  fact, even  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Raza  Khan  Sahib  himself concedes  this.

The  first  meaning,  i.e.  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  is  Aalimul  Ghayb  because  he  is  aware  of   some  ghayb,  is  also  erroneous  and  baseless.  It  is obvious  that  in    this  scenario  it  would  entail  that every  person,  rather  even  animals,  can  be  called “knower  of  the  ghayb”  because  some  matters  of  the ghayb  are  possessed  by  all. Every  animate  being  necessarily  has  some  knowledge  which  is  hidden from  others.  On  this  basis  it  follows  that everyone  may  be  called  “knower  of  the  ghayb”,    but this  is  rationally,  scripturally  and  customarily,  that is,  in  every  way,    erroneous.  This  is  a  summary  of Mawlana’s  entire  argument.  Now,  I  will  present  the original  passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  with  clarification [in  parenthesis].

The  Passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  and  its Clarification

After  explaining  the  first  scenario,  Mawlana  writes: If  according  to  Zayd,  it  is  valid  to  predicate  the knowledge  of  ghayb  to  Rasulullah  –  Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam  –  (i.e.  meaning,  calling  Rasulullah  – Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam  –  the  “Knower  of  the Ghayb”  in  the  all-encompassing  meaning),  then  he (i.e.  this  Zayd)  will  be  asked:  “Does  this  refer  to some  ghayb  or  total  ghayb?”

Here,  Hazrat  Mawlana  asked  this  person  (i.e.  Zayd) who  called  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) the  “Knower  of  the  Ghayb”:  “On  what  basis  do  you refer  to  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  as “knower  of  the  ghayb”?  Is  it  because  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  has  some  knowledge  of ghayb?  Or  is  it  because  he  has  total  knowledge  of ghayb?)

If  some  knowledge  of  ghayb  is  intended  (meaning, because  of  some  knowledge  of  ghayb,  you  called Rasulullah=  Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam  –  the “Knower  of  the  Ghayb”,  and  your  principle  is  that whoever  has  some  knowledge  of  ghayb  you  refer  to him  as  “Knower  of  the  Ghayb”),  then  what distinction  is  there  in  this  (meaning  of      knowledge of  merely  some  ghayb  for  Rasulullah  -Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)?  Such  (partial)  knowledge  of  the ghayb  (because  of  which  you  believe  it  is  necessary to  call  someone  “knower  of  the  ghayb,”)  is  available to  Zayd  and  ‘Amr,  rather  every  child  and  madman, rather  even  all  animals  and  quadrupeds  because every  person  has  knowledge  of    some  matter  which is  hidden  from  a  second  person.  Thus,  everyone should  be  called  “knower  of  the  ghayb”  (based  on your  principle  that  because  of  mere  knowledge  of some  ghayb,  a  person  may  be  called  “knower  of  the ghayb”).

An  Explanation  of  the  Distortion  of  Khan  Sahib Barelwi  of  the  Passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan

This  was  the  original  passage  of  Hazrat  Mawlana, and  this  was  its  clear  and  explicit  intent  which  I have  presented.  However,  Khan  Sahib,  in  his commentary,  gave  it  such  a  meaning  that  even Satan  after  listening  to  it  will  seek  refuge.  In  this respect,  a  brief  description  of  Khan  Sahib’s distortion  is  as  follows:

1. The  word  aysa  (such/like  this)  appears  in  the passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan,  and  its  intent  is  some knowledge  of  ghayb  in  a  specific.  It  does  not  refer to  the  blessed  knowledge  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).  However,  Khan  Sahib  claimed  that the  intention  is  the  blessed  knowledge  of Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Hence he wrote:  “He  stated  clearly  therein  that  the  equivalent of  the  Messenger  of  Allah’s    knowledge  of  the unseen  has  been  acquired  by  every  child  and  every madman,  rather  every  animal  and  every  beast.”

1. The  original  passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  was  as follows:  “Such  knowledge  of  the  ghayb  is  available to  Zayd  and  ‘Amr,  rather  every  child  and  madman, rather  even  all  animals  and  quadrupeds;  because every  person  has  knowledge  of  certain  issues  which are  hidden  from  others..”  Khan  Sahib  totally  omitted this  underlined  sentence  in  the  middle  of  his  quote because  it  is  clearly  understood  from  it  that  the knowledge  that  is  conceded  for  Zayd,  ‘Amr  etc.  is some  knowledge  of  ghayb  in  a  specific  sense,  not (Allah  forbid!)  the  blessed  knowledge  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).

2. After  the  abovementioned  passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan,  the  conclusion  of  the  ilzami  argument  is worded  as:  “then  all  should  be  called  ‘knower  of  the ghayb’.” Khan Sahib also omitted this, because from  this  sentence  it  is  completely  clear  that  the discussion  of  the  author  of  Hifz  al-Iman  was  not about  the  extent  of  the  knowledge  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Rather,  his  discussion was  only  about  the  unqualified  usage  of  the  title  of   “knower  of  the  ghayb.”  After  having  realised  this, the  reality  of  the  entire  scheme  of  Khan  Sahib  is laid  bare.    

Anyhow,  in  order  to  declare  the  author  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  a  disbeliever,  Khan  Sahib  committed  this deception,  and  those  sentences  from  which  the meaning  of  the  passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  can  easily be  understood  were  completely  omitted  in  the middle,  and  he  only  quoted  the  first  and  last  part  of the  passage.  Shrewdly,  in  the  Arabic  translation  of the  passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  which  he  presented  to the  Ulama  of  the  two  Harams,  he  gave  no  indication from  which  those  revered  Ulama  could  have understood  that  in  the  middle  of  this  passage  some sentences  were  missing.  Our  readers  can  see  this handiwork  in  the  Arabic  passage  of  Khan  Sahib’s Husaam  al-Haramayn,  which  I  quoted  from    at  the beginning  of  this  discussion  with  its  exact  wording.

More  Explanation  of  the  Passage  from  Hifz  al-Iman

Although  the  dishonesty  of  Khan  Sahib  and  the condition  of  his  fatwa  will  be  understood  by  the readers  from  this  explanation,  to  explain  further,  I wish  to  shed  more  light  on  its  particular  parts.

The  upshot  of  the  second  evidence  of  Hazrat  Hakim al-Ummah  was  this:

There  are  two  scenarios  in  which  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  can  be  called  “Knower of  the  Ghayb.”  One  is  that,  because  of  full  ghayb, he  is  called  “Knower  of  the  Ghayb.”  The  second  is that,  because  of  some  ghayb,  [he  is  called  so].  The first  option  is  false  because  the  absence  of  his knowledge  of  all  ghayb  is  established  by  narrational   and  rational  proofs.  And  the  second  option  is  false because  some  knowledge  of  ghayb  is  possessed even  by  insignificant  things  in  this  world.  Based  on this  principle,  everyone  should  be  called  “knower  of the  ghayb”,  but  this  is  baseless  in  every  way.

If  the  parts  of  this  proof  are  broken  down,  it  will  be realised  that  its  basic  premises  are  as  follows:

1. So  long  as  a  principle  does  not  subsist  in  a certain  being,  its  morphological  derivative  [for example,  the  active  participle]  cannot  be unqualifiedly  used  for  it.  For  example,  a  person  can be  called  “knower”  when  the  attribute  of  knowledge is  found  in  him;  a  person  is  called  “ascetic”  in  whom the  attribute  of  asceticism  subsists;  and  a    person  is called  “writer”  who  has  achieved  the  ability  of writing;  and  other  such  examples.

1. With  the  cause,  its  effect  must  be  found.  It  is not  possible  that  the  cause  has  no  effect.

2. Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  did  not acquire  knowledge  of  all  ghayb.

3. Generally  some  awareness  of  the  unseen  is available  to  even  those  who  are  not  Ambiya,  and even  to  non-humans.

4. Every  Zayd  and  ‘Amr  cannot  be  called “knower  of  the  ghayb.”

5. The  falsity  of  the  consequence  (lazim) necessitates  the  falsity  of  that  which  it  is consequential  upon  (malzum),  meaning,  if  the acceptance  of  something  necessarily  leads  to  an absurdity,  it  is  itself  absurd.

From  these  premises,  the  first  two  and  the  last  two are  rationally  accepted  principles,  and  obvious.  No sane  person  in  the  world  will  dispute  this.  I  shall establish  the  third  and  fourth  premises  from  the clear  statements  of  Khan  Sahib.

The  accuser  is  a  thousand  times  weightier  than  your witness

Proof  of  the  most  Important  Premises  of  Hifz al-Imaan  from  the  Statements  of  Khan  Sahib himself

The  third  premise  of  Hazrat  Mawlana  Thanawi  was that  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  did  not acquire  full  knowledge  of  the  ghayb. Now    note  its proofs  from  the  statements  of  the  Barelwi  learned man:

Khan  Sahib  wrote  on  page  25  of  al-Dawlat  al-Makkiyyah:

For  indeed  we  do  not  claim  that  he  (Allah  bless  him and  grant  him  peace)  had  encompassed  all  the things  known  to  Allah  (Glorified  and  Exalted  is  He), for  indeed  it  is  impossible  for  creation.

And  in  the  same  al-Dawlat  al-Makkiyyah,  he  writes:

And  we  do  not  affirm  through  the  bestowal  of  Allah Almighty  also  but  a  part.  (al-Dawlat  al-Makkiyyah,  p 28)

And  this  very same Raza Khan  writes  on  page  34  of  Tamhid  e Iman:

Even  the  knowledge  of    the  Nabi  (Allah  bless  him and  grant  him  peace)  does  not  encompass  all  things known  to  the  Divine  Being.

Furthermore,  on  page  34  of  this  Tamhid  is  written:

And  encompassing  knowledge  of  all  things  known  to the  Divine  Being  is  also  false  and  against  most scholars.  (i.e.  if  attributed  to  others  besides  Allah Ta’ala).

The  import,  nay  the  objective,  of  all  these  passages of  Khan  Sahib  is  that  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  did  not  acquire  knowledge  of  all  ghayb. The  acquisition  of  detailed  knowledge  of  all  the unseen  is  impossible  for  him,  nay  for  all  creatures, and  believing  in  this  is  false.  This  is  precisely  the third  premise  in  Mawlana  Thanawi’s  evidence.  With praise  to  Allah,  from  the  explicit  statements  of  Khan Sahib,  this  has  become  clear  as  daylight.  So  all praise  is  due  to  Allah.

The  fourth  premise  of  the  evidence  of  Mawlana Thanawi  under  inspection  was  that  generally awareness  of  some  unseen  matters  is  acquired  by non-Ambiya  and  even  non-humans  too.

Take  note  of  its  proof  from  the  statements  of  Khan Sahib  Barelwi  also:

The  aforementioned  learned  man  wrote  on  page  13 of  al-Dawlat  al-Makkiyyah:

Indeed  we  believe  in  the  Resurrection,  and  in  the Garden  and  the  Fire,  and  in  Allah  Almighty  and  the seven  fundamentals  of  His  (Exalted  and  Majestic  is He)  attributes,  and  all  of  this  is  ghayb.  And  we know  each  in  its  own  right,  distinguished  from  other than  it,  so  this  necessitates  the  acquisition  of general  detailed  knowledge  of  the  unseen  for  every believer.

Moreover,  this  Khan  Sahib  says  on  page  24  of  Khalis al-I‘tiqad:

Allah  Almighty  said  about  the  Muslims,  “they believe  in  the  unseen”  (Qur’an  2:3).  Belief  is consent,  and  consent  is  knowledge.  The  thing  which is  fundamentally  unknowable,  how  is  its  belief possible?  Indeed  [it  says]  in  al-Tafsir  al-Kabir: “There  is  no  obstacle  in  saying,  ‘We  know  of  the ghayb  that  for  which  we  have  evidence.’”

It  is  known  from  these  two  passages  of  Khan  Sahib that  some  knowledge  of  the  ghayb  is  necessary  for every  believer.

Khan  Sahib  said  regarding  a  prophecy  of  his  father:

This  was  a  prophecy  made  forty  years  ago.  Allah Almighty  grants  His  accepted  slaves  knowledge  of ghayb  because  they  are  the  bearers  of  the  shoes  of the  slaves  of  the  slaves  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (Allah bless  him  and  grant  him  peace).  (Malfuzat  A‘la Hazrat)

In  proving  that  in  itself,  kashf    (inspiration)  is nothing  of  perfection.  It  may  occur  to  even  non-Muslims,  nay  to  even  non-humans.  Khan  Sahib quoted  from  one  of  his elders  whom  he  explicitly called  a  “friend  of  Allah”,  the  story  of  a  strange  and wonderful  donkey  who  had  the  ability  of    kashf:

I  was  going  to  Egypt.  There  was  a    huge  gathering. I  saw  a  man  with  a  donkey  whose  eyes  were  tied with  a  stone.  One  person’s  belongings  would  be placed  in  the  possession  of  another  person.  Then the  donkey  would  be  asked  about  its  location,  and the  donkey  would  circle  the  entire  gathering,  until  it reached  the  person  who  had  it,  and  in  front  of  him he  would  bow.  [Malfuzat,  Part  4, p. 11]

After  this,  Khan  Sahib  said:

Thus,  it  is  understood  that  the  attribute  which  is possible  for  a  non-human,  it  is  not  a  perfection  for  a human  being.  [Part  4, p. 11]

It  is  known  from  this  statement  of  Khan  Sahib  that according  to  him,  this  donkey  also  knew  some hidden  things.  And  this  is  the  objective.

I  have  quoted  one  passage  from  Khan  Sahib’s  al-Dawlat  al-Makkiyyah  in  which  is  clearly  stated  that Allah  Ta’ala,  His  attributes,  the  Garden  and  the  Fire, the  Angels  etc.  etc.  are  all  matters  of  the  ghayb, and  this  is  completely  correct.

Based  on  this,  even  though  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  himself  is  not  ghayb,  his  Risaalat is  undoubtedly  a  matter  of  the  ghayb,  because  it  is not  a  tangible  and  physical  entity.  There  is  a  hidden relationship  between  Allah  and  the  Rasool  which  is beyond  the  comprehension  of  our  intellectual faculties.  Based  only  on  the  integrity  of  the  Rasool,   is  he  accepted  as  the  Messenger  of  Allah.  Thus, whoever  acquires  knowledge  of  the  existence  of Allah  Ta’ala,  His  Oneness  or  of  the  Risaalat  of  the Rasool,  he  has  acquired  some  knowledge  of  the unseen.  Khan  Sahib  concedes  that  everything  in existence,  even  the  leaves  of  trees  and  sands  of  the desert,  are  accountable  for  believing  in    Tawhid  and   Risaalat.  They    glorify  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal    and  they   testify  to  the  Nubuwwat  and  Risaalat  of  the Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).

For  example,  on  Part  4,  page  77,  of  Khan  Sahib’s Malfuzat,  he  writes:

Everything  is  accountable  for  believing  in   Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  for glorifying  Allah  Ta’ala. Moreover,  on  page  78  of  it  is  written:

A  particular  spirituality  is  connected  to  every  plant and  every  inanimate  object,  whether  that  is  called  a “soul”  or  something  else,  and  that  thing  is accountable  for  faith  and  glorification.  It  says  in  a hadith:  “There  is  nothing  but  it  knows  that  “I  am the  Messenger  of  Allah,  except  the  rebellious  of  the jinn  and  man.”

The  following  matters  are  established  from  these statements  of  Khan  Sahib:

1. Every  believer  must  know  some  matters  of the  ghayb

1.  Even  non-Muslims  experience  kashf

2. Even  a  stupid  animal  like  a  donkey  has knowledge  of  some  hidden  matters

3. All  things  in  existence,  even  plants  and inanimate  objects,  know  some  things  of  ghayb

And  this  was  the  fourth  premise  in  the  proof  of Mawlana  Thanawi.

The  result  is  that  those  premises  on  which Mawlana’s  proof  were  based,  four  are  accepted principles  of  reason  and  are  conspicuously apparent,  and  two  were  dependent  on  proofs,  which I  have,  with  praise  to  Allah,  proven  from  the  clear expressions  of  Khan  Sahib.  Thus,  our  readers  will understand  that  the  entire  basis    on  which  Khan Sahib  applied  the  ruling  of  kufr  on  Hazrat  Mawlana   is  also  shared  and  accepted  by  Khan  Sahib,  and  if it  necessitated  kufr,  then  Khan  Sahib  has  an  equal share  in  that  kufr.

Although  there  is  no  need  to  present  anything  else regarding  the  statement  of  Hifz  al-Imaan,  but  for further  clarification,  I  shall  present  an  illustration.

An  Illustration  of  the  Statement  from  Hifz  al-Imaan

Assume  that  some  disciple  or  devotee  of  Khan Sahib  refers  to  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  as  the  “Knower  of  the  Ghayb”  and believes  it  to  be  permissible.  To  him  I  ask:  “Do  you refer  to  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  as the  ‘Knower  of  the  Ghayb’  because  of  all-encompassing  ghayb  or  partial  ghayb?  If   encompassing  ghayb,  then  that  is,  according  to   Mawlawi  Ahmad  Raza  Khan  Sahib,  absurd  rationally, and  false  scripturally,  rather,  impossible.  On  the other  hand,  if  you  refer  to  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  as  the  ‘Knower  of  the  Ghayb’ because  of  some  ghayb,  and  it  is  your  principle  that whoever  has  knowledge  of  some  ghayb,  you  will  call him      the  ‘Knower  of  the  Ghayb,’  then  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  will  have    no  distinction in  this  because  some  matters  of  ghayb  are possessed  by  every  believer,  infact,  by  all  of humanity,  all  things,  even  animals  and  inanimate objects.  Therefore,  based  on  your  principle  it  is necessary  that  you  call  everything  in  the  world ‘knower    of  the  ghayb.’  Now,  if  you  say  that  you  call everything  ‘knower  of  the  ghayb,’  then  what superiority  and  excellence  have  been  conferred upon  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)    by also  calling  him  ‘knower  of  the  ghayb’?    According to  your  logic  and  view  everyone  (and  everything)  is  a  ‘knower  of  the  ghayb’?”

Respected  readers,  note:  Will  any  sane  person understand  from  my  argument    that  I  have,  Allah forbid!,  equated    the  knowledge  of  other  beings and  creatures  to  the  knowledge  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)?

Take  note  of  another  more  general  illustration:

The  king  of  a  country  is  extremely  generous.  He operates  a  public  kitchen,  and  he  feeds  thousands of  needy  and  poor  people  in  the  morning  and evening.  Now,  some  idiot,  for  example  Zayd,  calls that  king  raziq  (sustainer).  A  second  person,    ‘Amr, asks  him:  “Brother,  why  do  you  refer  to  the  king  as raziq?  Is  it  because  he  gives  sustenance  to  all creation?  Or  is  it  because  he  feeds  some  people?
The  first  is  obviously  false,  so  only  the  second option  remains,  which  is  that  the  king  is  called  raziq because  he  feeds  some  people.    However,  giving him  the  title  in  this  second  meaning  there  is,  no distinction  for  him  because  even  a  poor  man  and  a menial  labourer  fill  the  bellies  of  their  children.   Besides  humans,  even  small  birds  feed  their  chicks, so  according  to  your  principle,  everyone  and  every creature    may  be  called  raziq.”

It  should  be  asked,  did  ‘Amr  mean  by  this statement  that  the  generous  and  beneficent  king and  every  poor  and  menial  labourer  are  equal  in their generosity?  It  is  obvious  that  this understanding  is  a  manifestation  of  the  idiocy  of  the one  who  understood  it.  Thus,  whatever  was  said  in Hifz  al-Imaan  is  nothing  more  than  this.

I  shall  now  cite  a  statement  from  Sharh  al-Mawaqif of  the  accepted  Scholar  of  Ahl  al-Sunna,  Imam ‘Allamah  Sayyid  Sharif  (rahmatullah  alayh),  which  is identical  to  the  statement  of  Hifz  al-Imaan,  so  that after  reading  this  no  Sunni  Muslim  will  dare  to  open his  mouth  against  Hifz  al-Imaan,  because  whatever is  in  Hifz  al-Imaan,  is  approximately  a  translation  of this  passage  from  Sharh  al-Mawaqif.  The  ‘Allamah wrote  [underlined  is  the  original  text  of  al-Iji  and the  remainder  is  from  the  commentary,  Sharh  al-Mawaqif]:

As  for  the  philosophers,  they  say:  He  i.e.  the Nabi  is  the  one  in  whom  three  special  features combine,  by  which  he  is  distinguished  from others.  The  first  of  them,  i.e.  the  first  of  the matters  that  are  exclusive  to  him,  is  that  he  is cognizant  of  the  ghayb,  the  present,  the  past  and the  future.

After  this,  in  a  few  lines,  he  proves  on  behalf  of  the philosophers  that  this  matter  is  not  farfetched  for the  Ambiya  (upon  them  peace).  Then  he  says  on behalf  of  the  philosophers:

And  why  would  this  cognizance  [of  the  ghayb]  in respect the Nabi be considered farfetched,  when  that  is  found  in  those  you  say his  preoccupations  are  exercise  with  [various] types  of  [spiritual]  struggles,  or  illness,  averting the  soul  from  preoccupation  with  the  body  and using  sensory  organs,  or  sleep,  disconnecting thereby  his  external  senses;  since  these [individuals]  are  cognizant  of  the  ghayb  and  give information  about  it  as  attested  to  by  transmission and  experience  whereby  no  doubt  about  it  remains for  those  who  are  just? This  was  a  description  of  the  position  of  the philosophers  and  their  proofs. 

After  this,  the  author (Allah  have  mercy  on  him)  gives  an  answer  on behalf  of  the  Ahl  al-Sunnah  wa  al-Jama‘ah,  and says:

We  say: What  you  mentioned  is  rejected  for [various] reasons:  because  cognizance  of all  ghayb  is  not  necessary  for  the  Nabi  by agreement  between  us  and  you,  and  for  this [reason]  the  Chief  of  the  Prophets  said,  “Had  I knowledge  of  the  ghayb,  I  should  have  abundance of  wealth,  and  adversity  would  not  touch  me” [Qur’an  7:188];  and  a  part,  i.e.  cognizance  of  part [of  the  ghayb],  is  not  specific  to  him,  i.e.  to  the prophet,  as  you  have  agreed,  since  you  allowed  it for  the  exercisers,  the  ill  and  the  sleepers,  so  the Nabi  is  not  distinguished  thereby  from  others.

Fair  readers  should  take  note,  what  is  the  difference between  this  passage  of  Sharh  al-Mawaqif  and  the passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  under  inquiry?

I  hope  that  after  this  explanation  of  the  passage from  Hifz  al-Imaan,  no  doubt  of  the  opponents remains.  To  complete  the  proof  for  this,  I  will  briefly quote  the  answer  which  Hazrat  Mawlana  Thanawi wrote  in  his  reply  to  this  slander.

When  this  fatwa,  Husaam  al-Haramayn,  of  Mawlawi Ahmad  Raza  Khan  Sahib  was  published,  and  it caused  a  great  stir,  the  respected  Mawlana  Sayyid Murtaza  Hasan  Sahib  wrote  a  letter  to  Mawlana Thanawi:

“Mawlawi  Ahmad  Raza  Khan  Sahib  Barelwi  wrote with  respect  to  you  that  you  (Allah  forbid!)  stated explicitly  in  Hifz  al-Imaan  that  the  equivalent  of  the knowledge  the  Messenger  of  Allah  (Allah  bless  him and  grant  him  peace)  possesses  from  the  matters of  the  ghayb  is  possessed  by  every  child  and  every madman  and  every  animal.  Did  you  write  this anywhere  in  Hifz  al-Imaan,  and  is  this  your  belief? And  if  this  is  not  your  belief,  what  is  your  position towards  someone  who  holds  this  revolting  belief?” (Summarised  from  Bast  al-Banaan)

Hazrat  Mawlana  Thanawi  gave  the  answer:

“I  did  not  write  this  disgusting  content  in  any  book. Let  alone  writing  it,  this  thought  never  crossed  my heart.  Nor  is  it  the  necessary  conclusion  of  any speech  of  mine,  as  I  will  explain  later.  Since  I understand  this  content  to  be  revolting,how  can  it be  my  intent?  The  person  who  believes  this,  or without  belief  utters  it  explicitly  or  implicitly,  I believe  him  to  be  outside  the  fold  of  Islam  because he  has  denied  decisive  texts  and  denigrated Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).”

Thereafter,  in  that  book,  Bast  al-Banaan,  Hazrat Mawlana  Thanawi  gave  a  detailed  reply  to  this accusation  of  Khan  Sahib  and  explained  the meaning  of  the  passage  from  Hifz  al-Imaan  under discussion.  However,  now  there  is  no  need  to  quote it  because  all  that  I  wrote  to  explain  this  passage above  is  in  effect  an  elaboration  of  this  answer  of Hazrat  Mawlana.

Respected  readers  carefully  note  how  far  the Barelwi  learned  man  was  from  truth  and  integrity  in this  fatwa.

And  Allah  is  the  One  Who  guides  to  the  path  of rightness.
The  Author  of  Hifz  al-Imaan’s  Search  for  Truth and  his  laudable  Declaration  of  Rewording  the Passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan

Respected  readers!  The  debate-style  reply  to  the fatwa  of  disbelief  which  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Raza  Khan Sahib  issued  in  Husaam  al-Haramayn  by  attributing a  heretical  content  to  Hifz  al-Imaan  has  terminated, and  the  readers  will  understand  that  its  reality  is nothing  besides  slander  and  fabrication,  and  the author  of  Hifz  al-Imaan  is  completely  innocent  of this  impure  and  heretical  belief  ascribed  falsely  to him.

A  sincere  person  drew  the  attention  of  Hazrat Mawlana  Ashraf  ‘Ali  Sahib  Thanawi  (Rahmatullah alayh)  by  suggesting  that: 

“although  the  passage  of Hifz  al-Imaan  in  reality  is  completely  sound  and  free of  doubt,  if  the  words  with  which  the  ungodly  and obstinate  people  deceive  the  fickle  simple-minded commoners  were  rephrased,  these  commoners  who are  susceptible  to  fitnah  would  not  succumb  to  the deception,  so  for  the  sake  of  the  fickle  lay-people this  would  be  best.”

Hazrat  Thanawi  made  dua  for  the  one  who  gave  him this  advice  and  wholeheartedly  accepted  the  advice and  changed  the  passage  in  the  following  way: In  the  old  passage,  the  sentence  which  began  as “such  knowledge  of  the  ghayb”  was  substituted  for the  sentence:  “mere  knowledge  of  some  unseen matters  has  been  attained  by  non-Ambiya.”  This incident  occurred  in  Safar  of  1342 H  (September 1923  CE).  Thus,  approximately  32  years  ago  this revision  had  taken  place  in  the  passage  of  Hifz  al-Imaan.  After  this,  Hifz  al-Imaan  has  continued  to  be printed  with  this  revision.  Rather,  the  entire circumstance  behind  this  revision  and  its announcement  on  behalf  of  the  revered  author (Allah  have  mercy  on  him)  was  printed  as  an addendum  to  Hifz  al-Imaan  called  Taghyir  al‘Unwaan.

Thereafter,  in  Jumada  al-Ukhra  of  1354  H,  it happened  that  because  of  the  advice  of  a  certain individual,  the  worthless  writer  of  these  lines (Muhammad  Manzur  Nu‘mani)  himself  proposed  in the  presence  of  Hazrat  Hakim  al-Ummah  (Allah have  mercy  on  him),  that  the  intent  of  the  words “apply  the  ruling  of  the  knowledge  of  ghayb”  at  the very  beginning  of  the  passage  from  Hifz  al-Iman which  the  obstinate  ones  object    to,  is,  without doubt,  the  unqualified  usage  of  “knower  of  the ghayb,”  which  is  obvious  from  the  preceding  and succeeding  parts  of  this  passage,  and  in  Bast  al-Banaan  and  Taghyir  al-‘Unwaan,  Hazrat  stated explicitly  this.  Therefore,  if  in  the  original  passage “ruling”  is  changed  to  “unqualified  usage”  the matter  will  become  even  more  clear  and  will  leave no  room  for  doubt.  Hazrat,  without  any  hesitation, accepted  this  and  changed  the  sentence  as  follows: “Furthermore,  if  unqualifiedly  using  ‘knower  of  the ghayb’  for  the  holy  essence  is  sound  according  to the  statement  of  Zayd…”  And  he  instructed  this worthless  one  to  announce  this  revision  on  his behalf.  Thus,  in  Rajab  of  1354  H,  in  [the  journal]  al-Furqaan,    this  announcement  was  made.

Anyhow,  after  those  two  revisions,  the  passage  of Hifz  al-Imaan  reads  as  follows:

“Furthermore,  if  unqualifiedly  using  “knower  of  the ghayb”  for  the  holy  essence  is  sound  according  to the  statement  of  Zayd,  he  will  be  asked  about  this matter,  that,  is  the  intent  of  this  ghayb  some  ghayb or  all  ghayb?  If  some  unseen  sciences  is  intended, what  distinction  is  there  for  the  Nabi  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  in  this?  Mere  knowledge  of  some unseen  matters  has  been  attained  by  non-Ambiya, so  everyone  should  be  called  “knower  of  the ghayb.”

The  result  is  that  our  elders  declared  their innocence  and  abhorrence  for  the  heretical  beliefs which  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Raza  Khan  Sahib    attributed to them,  and  audaciously  declaring  them disbelievers. In  addition,  our  elders  explained  the true  and  real  meaning  of  those  passages.  They further  proved  that  there  is  nothing  in  their statements  that  is  against  the  teachings  and  beliefs of  the  Ahl  al-Sunnah.

In  order  to  protect    fickle  simple-minded  laymen from  misunderstanding,  if  any  person  sincerely advised  them  to  rephrase  their  statements,  then without  deliberation  and  without  any  ill  feeling,  they accepted  the  advice.  No  doubt  this  is  clear  evidence of  their  sincere  quest  of  the  truth  and  their selflessness.  How  unfortunate!  How  unjust  and wretched are those people who call these noble slaves of Allah disbelievers!

The Deobandi ‘Ulama and Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab

This weak, lowly, undeserving slave asks you to be sincere, and read this without bias, prejudice, nor fanaticism. I ask you, purely for the sake of your Creator (Mighty and Sublime is He), to put aside any hatred, spite, or bitterness which may exist within you, and ponder, sincerely, with the intention of seeking the truth.

Before this undeserving one begins, I would like you to ask yourself a question – does praising someone without having knowledge of their reality now mean that the praiser automatically accepts everything the praised stood for?? If that is indeed the case, then there are many, many Imams of the past who have praised ibn Taymiyyah greatly without disparaging him in any way whatsoever. On the contrary, many wrote books in defense of him, rejecting the rulings of tabdi’ (ie. judging someone to be an innovator) and takfir (ie. judging someone to be a disbeliever) levelled against him.

Any logical thinking, learned individual who has researched ibn Taymiyyah would know that something is a little off in this regard. Why do some major Imams from ahl al-sunnah praise him unreservedly while others harshly criticise him?? The conclusion is pretty simple: they were not aware of his controversial nature in relation to many issues – especially his creed. This is evident from the statements of these Imams in regards to theology. Whenever they defended, or praised him, they would not mention his deviated beliefs and defend them, rather, they would mention his memory, personality, and knowledge. However, that’s not all – within their own books, they thoroughly refuted the beliefs which ibn Taymiyyah held, and in great detail, whilst equating them to deviation and disbelief. However, not once did they mention him when speaking of these said beliefs.

They severely refuted and denounced what he stood for, yet praised and defended him with reverence?? How does that make sense??

There are two possible logical conclusions which come to the sound mind when confronted with this scenario:

1) Either ibn Taymiyyah was free from holding such beliefs, or

2) they were unaware of ibn Taymiyyah holding such beliefs.

Now, the first mentioned conclusion is clearly not plausible due to many factors (which can be mentioned in some detail at another time).

This only leaves us with one plausible conclusion – the Imams who revered ibn Taymiyyah without ever criticising him did not infact know of his reality. Simple, yes? This is also evident from the above-mentioned examples. This could be due to many reasons, for example: they may not have had access to his controversial written works and manuscripts, in regards to which, it is known that he didn’t openly promote these books due to fear of criticism, imprisonment, physical punishment, death, as well as the possibility of facing exile and being abandoned by ahl al-sunnah.

Let us now move on to the issue of the scholars of Deoband praising Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi. Once again, please remember to leave aside any negative bias and proceed with sincerity in seeking the truth.

The Deobandi scholars seem to be divided on the issue of ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, and many have praised him with many others continuing to do so. However, in the same way, just as many others have severely criticised him, with many others continuing to do so. Why is this the case?? Why are the scholars affiliated with Deoband so divided over such a clearly misguided individual?? And why stop there?? Many Deobandi scholars praised ibn Taymiyyah, with many others continuing to do so. While on the other side of the same coin, many Deobandi scholars severely criticised him, with many others continuing to do so.

The answer is pretty simple for an unbiased, truth seeking mind.

Their example is that of those who preceded them. The Imams of the past were divided over the state of ibn Taymiyyah due to some being more aware of his deviations than others. Likewise is the case with the Deobandi scholars. Those who were aware of all his deviations and controversial views, along with his trigger-happy takfiri tendencies and maniacal massacreing of believers, thoroughly refuted and criticised him. Those who were not aware of such, praised him based on what had reached them. This tradition continues among the Deobandi scholars of today, and thus some praise him, while others criticise him.

Most Deobandi scholars who spent time in the Arab lands would heavily criticise (and those of today who have done so, still criticise) both Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab and his hero ibn Taymiyyah. Most of those who have remained confined to subcontinent scholarship in their studies, have near to no knowledge of the reality of either of the two above-mentioned individuals.

The reasons for this are many. Some of which are as follows:

– Many of the books of ibn Taymiyyah and Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab are not available in the subcontinent. Those who do have access to them rarely use or read them except to quote ibn Taymiyyah against the wahhabis of the subcontinent (who call themselves “ahl al-hadith”).

– The so-called “ahl al-hadith” would not (until fairly recently) attack ahl al-sunnah in the subcontinent with their poisonous anthropomorphic creed. Their main focus has always been to attack the fiqh (jurisprudence) of the Hanafi madhhab (school of thought). As a matter of fact, the early wahhabis of the subcontinent have been known to have been inclined towards tasawwuf (sufic mysticism) and would even opt for figurative interpretation of the attributes of Allah.

If anyone still sincerely doubts the above, then my humble advice to them would be to confront a Deobandi scholar with the statements of the scholars from ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s time as well as the critical statements of their Deobandi elders in regards to the reality of his call, beliefs, and understanding. They should also explain all of the above to them in a respectable manner and see if they change their views on ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab.

For anyone who may object and say: “The Barelwis were aware of the reality of ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, so how can it be the case that the Deobandis weren’t??” Then any honest, learned Barelwi would know that the majority of the Barelwis and many of their scholars are not aware of most of the controversies surrounding ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab and ibn Taymiyyah. Their general understanding of being a wahhabi is someone who follows Saudi moonsightings, or objects to their manner of celebrating the mawlid and ‘urs (note: the Deobandis disallow these as a way to blocking the means of many innovated practices of some subcontinent Barelwis which anyone who visits the subcontinent or searches youtube can clearly see. Many celebrate the mawlid and do ‘urs in a manner which in no way resembles that of the Arab scholars). Their knowledge of ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab being a deviant (or in their case – a disbeliever) is based on what they had received/heard, while the Deobandis based their praise or criticism of him on what they had received/heard. This is a point which some people seem to object to, possibly because of their generalisation of Barelwi scholars based on those around them. If that is the case, then please don’t take my word for it, I encourage you to speak to the Barelwi scholars of the subcontinent and their elderly scholars in the west – especially those who were born and raised in the subcontinent, have no link to Arab scholars and have not studied in the Arab lands. Test them on their knowledge of ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab and see the extent of their research on him – better yet, ask them if they’ve ever even read any of his books, and if most of what they know is in fact, based on hearsay. The simple fact that they call the Deobandi scholars “Wahhabis” is in itself, an attestation to the fact that they have no idea what a follower of ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab believes and propagates.

The following is an extract from the declaration of Deoband:

“… then in sum it is this that religiously Darul Uloom is Muslim; as a sect, Ahl-e-Sunnat wal-Jama’at; in practical method, (Mazhab), Hanafi’yat; in conduct, Sufi; dialectically, MATURIDI ASH’ARI; in respect of the mystic path, Chishtiyyah, rather comprising all the Sufi orders; in thought, Waliyullhian; in principle, Qasimiyah; sectionally, Rasheedian; and as regards connection, Deobandi…

… DIALECTICAL MATURIDIISM: That is, as regards beliefs, the sustentation of the power of certitude and the stability of true beliefs with right thinking in accordonce to the laws and principles determined and codified through the method of the Ahlus Sunnat wal-Jama’at and the ASHA’IRA and the MATUREEDIA; for without it escape from the doubts cast by the tergiversators and the conjectural innovations, superstitions and skepticism of the false sects is not possible. It is evident that this branch is connected with faith (iman)…

… Hence among the constituents of the track of Darul Uloom this factor is an important element on which the establishment of the education and training of Darul Uloom working. It comes under Ihsan (god-consciousness), while it is connected with spiritual training. Thus the knowledge of the Shari’at, the following of the path, conformity to the Sunnat, Jurisprudential Hanafi’ism, dialectical MATURIDIISM, defense against deviation, and the taste for Qasimism and Rasheedism are the constituents of this moderate track which answers well to “seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains” (11:261). If these “seven ears” are expressed in shara’i language, they can be interpreted as Iman (faith), Islam, Ashan and Izhar-e- Deen (demonstration of religion), as has been indicated item-wise above. The collection of all these seven articles with the above-mentioned details is the track of Darul Uloom Deoband…


A further point to take note of is the fact that Deobandi scholars do not go around slaughtering and massacre-ing believers while accusing them of shirk. Rather, they do what the scholars have said ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab should have done – they strive to raise awareness of the many prevalent customs in the subcontinent which outwardly denote shirk although the individuals involved may internally be safe from such. Something to ponder upon.

Incase the reader is of the view that the author of this very basic article is biased towards the Deobandi scholars as he himself is a Deobandi, then please know that this was written with the intention of raising awareness among the Deobandis, just as much so, as it was written to raise awareness among the Barelwis and everyone else. A huge problem, and one of the main reasons for disunity, takfir, and tabdi’ in the subcontinent between the Deobandis and Barelwis, is ilzami arguments ie. “You said such and such, which means you believe this”, or “You did such and such, so in turn it means that…” – this is a very unscholarly manner of discussion and in reality, is nothing but specualtion. Both camps need to move away from this tradition which is rampant on both sides. I do not agree with those who have made tabdi’ and takfir of others while utilising this line of argument – whichever group they belong/ed to, and that this is/was an error on their respective part. We are not obliged to follow the errors of the scholars, but should rather learn from their mistakes and we should distance ourselves from such mistakes without bias and fanaticism. Many people need to learn and stop thinking that the Islamic world is based around the subcontinent and their issues of dispute, as sadly, this is case with many individuals.

Rather than making a generalisation of all Deobandi scholars based on those who may have praised Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, it would be more fruitful to join those like myself who strive to make them aware of his reality and that of ibn Taymiyyah. Let us be those who are part of the cure, and not the disease.

A final word of advice: One should keep in mind that true research is that research which is done with the purpose of seeking the truth, and not that which is done to prove someone right or wrong according to ones own understanding based on preconceptions which they are stubborn upon. Have an open mind, and always seek the truth.

And Allah knows best.

Courtesy of: Fulan ibn Fulan al-Deobandi

The Slander against Hazrat Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi rahimahullah of Attributing Lie to Allah and its Reply

[By Maulana Manzur Nu’mani (rahimahullah)]

On  page  13  of  Husam  al-Haramayn,  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  wrote  in  regards to  Hazrat  Mawlana  Gangohi  (rahmatullah alayh):

Then  the  state  of  wrongdoing  and  deviance  persisted  in  him  until  he  stated  in  a fatwa  of  his,  which  I  saw  with  my  eyes  in  his  handwriting  and  with  his  seal,  and  it was  printed  many  times  in  Mumbai  and  [other  cities]  besides  it  along  with  its refutation,  that  the  one  who  attributes  an  actual  lie  to  Allah  Almighty  and explicitly  states  that  He  (Glorified  and  Exalted  is  He)  has  lied  and  this  enormity emerged  from  Him,  then  don’t  attribute  to  him  transgression,  let  alone  deviance, and  let  alone  disbelief,  for  indeed  many  of  the  imams  have  professed  his  opinion and  the  furthest  of  his  matter  is  that  he  has  erred  in  his  interpretation. …

Those  are  the  ones  Allah  Almighty  has  deafened  and  He  has  blinded  their  sights, and  there  is  no  might,  nor  power,  except  with  Allah,  the  High,  the  Great.  (Husam al-Haramayn,  p.  13)

This  worthless  slave  submits  that  the  attribution  of  this  fatwa  to  the  deceased  Hazrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh)  is  outright  fabrication  and  slander. 

In  the  first  discussion (over here) ,  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida Khan  Sahib  joined  three  separate  passages  from  Tahzir  al-Nas  to  create  a  content  of disbelief.  Here,  even  this  was  not  possible.  With  praise  to  Allah,  I  can  say  with  full confidence  that  these  words  are  not  found  in  any  fatwa  of  the  deceased  Hazrat,  nor  are they  the  meaning  of  any  fatwa.  Rather,  the  reality  is  that  this  is  a  clear  fabrication  by either  Khan  Sahib  or  one  of  his  rivals.  With  praise  to  Allah,  we  and  our  elders  (akabir) declare  such  person  a  disbeliever,  and  an  accursed  apostate,  who  attributes  lie  to  the Lord  Almighty,  and  says  a  lie  actually  issued  from  Him.  Rather,  that  wretched  person who  doubts  that  this  is  disbelief,  we  believe  that  even  he  is  outside  the  fold  of  Islam. Hazrat  Mawlana  Rashid  Ahmad  Sahib  Gangohi  (rahmatullah alayh)  himself  wrote  in his  published  Fatawa  on  volume  1,  page  118:

The  Pure  Essence  of  the  Real  Almighty is  pure  and transcendent  from  being  described  with  the  attribute  of  lie,  Allah  forbid.  There  is no  trace  of  falsehood  in  His  speech.  Allah  Almighty  said:  “And  who  is  more truthful  than  Allah  in  speech?”  (Qur’an  4:122)

The  person  who  holds  the  belief  of  this  attribution  towards  the  Real  Almighty,  or says  this  with  his  tongue,  he  has  spoken  a  lie  and  is  certainly  an  accursed disbeliever  and  an  opponent  of  Qur’an,  hadith  and  the  consensus  of  the  ummah. He  can  never  be  a  believer.  Allah  is  beyond  what  the  oppressors  say  with  great loftiness.

Readers  should  assess  fairly  that  after  such  a  clear  and  unequivocal  fatwa,  to  slander Hazrat  with  believing  (Allah  forbid!)  that  the  Lord  has  actually  lied,  or  to  say  the  one  who said  this  remains  a  Muslim,  what  degree  of  evil  it  is.  Judgement  will  take  place  on  the Day  of  Judgement!

Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib’s  statement  “which  I  saw  with  my  eyes  in  his handwriting  and  with  his  seal”  remains.  In  reply  to  this,  I  will  only  say  that  since  in  this fourteenth  century  [after  Hijrah],  a  “scholar”  and  “mufti”  sliced  three  separate  passages from  pages  3,  14  and  28  of  a  printed  and  published  book,  Tahzir  al-Nas,  and  by distorting  them  created  a  content  of  disbelief  and  attributed  that  to  the  author  of  Tahzir al-Nas,  what  difficulty  is  there  for  him  to  fabricate  a  fatwa  with  another’s  handwriting and  seal??  Are  there  no  fabricators  or  forgers  in  the  world??  It  is  well-known  that  in  Bareli and  its  neighbouring  towns  there  are  many  experts  in  this  field  whose  livelihood  is  by means  of  such  forgeries.

Anyhow,  the  fatwa  of  Hazrat  Gangohi (rahumahullah) which  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  mentioned has  no  basis.  Fatawa  Rashidiyyah  which  was  printed  and  published  in  three  volumes  has no  mention  of  it,  rather  the  complete  opposite  of  it  is  found  in  several  fatwas  within  it,  of which  one  was  quoted  above.  Even  assuming  Khan  Sahib  truly  saw  a  fatwa  of  this  kind, it  is  certainly  the  result  of  the  fabrication  and  machination  of  a  rival  “scholar”  or predecessor  of  his.

To  bury  the  glory  and  greatness  of  the  revered  scholars  and  masters,  jealous  people committed  such  types  of  actions  in  earlier  times  too.  In  this  respect,  I  will  relate  some enlightening  incidents:

The  great  jurist  and  hadith  master  of  this  ummah,  Hazrat  Imam  Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal (rahmatullah alayh),  was  on  the  verge  of  passing  on  from this  world,  and  a  truly envious,  wretched  person  at  that  time  put  under  his  pillow  some  papers  with  writing  on them that  were  full  of  heretical  beliefs  and  views.  Why??  Purely  for  the  reason  that  people will  believe  these  writings  to  be  the  fruits  of  Imam  Ahmad  ibn  Hanbal’s  (rahmatullah alayh)  mind,  and  when  they  are  found  to  be  contrary  to  Islamic  teachings,  they will  hold  a  bad  opinion  of  the  Imam,  and  his  greatness  and  honour  will  be  removed  from people’s  heart.  And  then  the  light  of  our  [i.e.  the  forgers]  markets  which  due  to  the overwhelming  effusion  of  the  Imam  was  diminished  will  rise  again.  

The  Imam  of  lexicography,  ‘Allamah  Majd  al-Din  al-Fayruzabadi  (rahmatullah alayh),  the  author  al-Qamus,  was  alive.  He  was  a  famous  imam and  an  authority  for  the elite  and  commoners.  Hafiz  Ibn  Hajar  al-‘Asqalani  (rahmatullah alayh),  as  great  a hadith  master  he  was,  benefited  from  his  knowledge.  Envious  people  could  not  stand  this widespread  acceptance.  In  order  to  taint  his  greatness  and  popularity,  they  wrote  a whole  book  with  insults  against  Imam  Abu  Hanifah  (rahmatullah alayh)  under  his name  which  very  forcefully  and  stridently  accused  Hazrat  Imam  A‘zam  (rahmatullah alayh)  of  disbelief.  This  fabricated  book  was  spread  till  it  reached  distant  and  unfamiliar places.  In  the  Hanafi  world,  opposition  to  ‘Allamah  Fayruzabadi  (rahmatullah alayh)  reached  the  utmost  degree  of  hysteria.  However,  the  innocent  ‘Allamah  was completely  unaware  of  this  until  the  book  reached  Abu  Bakr  al-Khayyat  al-Baghawi  al-Yamani,  whereupon  he  wrote  a  letter  to  ‘Allamah  Fayruzabadi  asking  about  the  book. The  aforementioned  ‘Allamah  wrote  in  his  reply:

If  this  book  has  reached  you,  burn  it,  because  it  is  a  fabrication  of  enemies.  I  am from  the  greatest  believers  in  Imam  Abu  Hanifah,  and  I  have  listed  his  virtues  in a  book.

Imam  Mustafa  al-Qarmani  al-Hanafi,  with  extreme  effort,  wrote  a  detailed  commentary of  Muqaddamah  Abu  al-Layth  al-Samarqandi.  When  he  completed  it,  he  came  to  Egypt with  a  view  to  showing  it  to  the  scholars  after  which  he  will  publish  it.  With  praise  to Allah,  the  compilation  was  successful.  Some  jealous  people  were  irritated  by  this,  and they  believed  that  by  its  publication  the  light  of  our  markets  will  be  diminished.  They were  unable  to  do  anything  besides  the  wickedness  of  fabricating  [into  the  book]  from themselves.  In  the  chapter  of  the  etiquettes  of  relieving  oneself,  on  the  issue  of  not facing  the  sun  and  moon  while  relieving  oneself,  they  added:  “because  Ibrahim  (alaihissalaam)  would  worship  them”  (Allah  forbid!).  ‘Allamah  al-Qarmani  was  unaware  of this  evil.  Without  knowledge  of  this,  he  presented  the  book  before  the  scholars  of  Egypt and  when  their  eyes  fell  on  this  proof  there  was  severe  outrage  and  there  was  uproar  in all  of  Egypt  against  ‘Allamah  al-Qarmani.  The  Qadi  of  the  time  decreed  that  he  deserved the  death  penalty.  The  poor  soul  fled  from  Egypt  in  the  night  to  save  his  life,  for otherwise,  he  could  not  give  up  chase  without  his  head.

The  pious  knower  [of  Allah],  Imam  ‘Abd  al-Wahhab  al-Sha‘rani,  wrote  an autobiographical  note  in  his  book  al-Yawaqit  wa  al-Jawahir:

Likewise,  they  –  the  jealous  folk  –  fabricated  against  me  in  my  book  called  alBahr  al-Mawrud  a  number  of  false  beliefs,  and  they  propagated  those  beliefs  in Egypt  and  Makkah  for  around  three  years,  and  I  am  free  from  them as  I explained  in  the  introduction  to  the  book  when  I  revised  it.  The  ‘ulama  wrote [endorsements]  on  it  and  licensed  it,  and  the  chaos  did  not  abate  until  I  sent  to them the  copy  on  which  was  their  endorsements.

Only  a  few  incidents  [have  been  related]  in  this  [brief]  account. If  historical  and biographical  works  are  consulted,  one  will  find  many  similar  shameful  incidents  of  the fabrications  of  the  wretched  and  envious  people.

Thus,  if  the  reality  is  that  the  Barelwi  learned  man  was  truthful  in  this  explanation,  that he  [in  fact]  saw  this  fatwa  of  the  deceased  Hazrat  Gangohi (rahimahullah) with  the  abovementioned content  with  his  handwriting  and  seal,  it  is  certainly  such  [i.e.  fabricated].  Yet,  still  it would  never  have  been  permissible  for  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  to  issue  a  fatwa of  disbelief  based  on  it,  until  it  had  not  been  verified  whether  it  was  the  fatwa  of  Hazrat Mawlana  or  not.  It  is  a  well-known  and  accepted  principle  of  jurisprudence  that  “one handwriting  resembles  [another]  handwriting”  or  “one  handwriting  may  be  confused  with [another’s]  handwriting.”  Khan  Sahib  himself  is  not  unaware  of  this.  For  example,  to prove  that  it  is  not  permissible  to  determine  moon  sighting  by  means  of  handwriting  and telegram,  he  states:

In  all  books  it  is  clearly  written:  “One  handwriting  resembles  [another] handwriting,”  “handwriting  is  not  acted  upon.”  (Malfuzat  A‘la  Hazrat  2:52)

Since  handwriting  is  not  taken  into  consideration  in  such  small  matters  as  moon  sighting, how  can  takfir  which  is  a  far  more  grave  matter  be  established  by  this  consideration??

Those  proofs  which  Khan  Sahib  presented  to  authenticate  the  attribution  of  this fabricated  fatwa  to  the  deceased  Hazrat  Gangohi  in  Tamhid  e  Iman remain,  which  are extremely  foolish  and  weaker  than  a  spider’s  web.  Readers  will  shortly  see  and  ascertain this  for  themselves.

The  aforementioned  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  wrote  in  Tamhid  e  Iman  with regards  to  this  fabricated  fatwa:

It  has  been  18  years  since  this  impure  fatwa  attributing  lie  to  the  Lord  was published  in  1308  with  the  treatise  Siyanat  al-Nas  from  Hadiqat  al-‘Ulum  Press, Meerut,  along  with  a  refutation.  Then  in  1318  H  from  Gulzar  e  Hasani  Press, Mumbai,  it  was  printed  again  with  a  more  detailed  refutation.  Then  in  1320  H, with  another  stronger  refutation  it  was  printed  in  Tuhfat  e  Hanafiyya  Press  in Patna,  Azimabad.  The  person  who  gave  the  fatwa  died  in  Jumada  al-Akhirah  1323 H,  and  remained  silent  till  the  last  dying  breath.  He  did  not  say  “this  is  not  my fatwa”  although  it  was  easier  than  rejecting  a  fatwa  published  in  books.  And  he didn’t  say  that  its  meaning  is  not  what  the  scholars  of  Ahl  al-Sunnah  [meaning, himself  and  others]  said,  rather  my  intention  was  so-and-so.  Disbelief  is  no  small matter to which no attention is paid.

After  removing  the  filth  and  excess,  the  upshot  of  Khan  Sahib’s  proof  boils  down  to  the following:

1.  The  fatwa  with  a  refutation  was  printed  three  times  in  the  lifetime  of  the deceased  Mawlana  Gangohi (rahimahullah).

2.  He  did  not  deny  the  attribution  of  this  fatwa  to  himself,  nor  did  he  mention another  meaning  of  it.

3.  And  since  the  matter  is  so  grave,  silence  and  inattention  will  not  be  taken  into consideration.

4.  Thus,  it  is  established  that  this  fatwa  is  his,  and  its  meaning  is  also  that  on  which I  based  my  takfir.

Even  though  the  foolishness  and  nonsensicalness  of  this  proof  is  in  no  need  of  my examination  and  criticism,  as  every  person  with  a  little  intellect  can  with  little deliberation  and  consideration  understand  its  nonsensicalness,  yet  it  seems  appropriate to  shed  some  light  on  every  part  of  it  while  also  giving  the  readers  some  insight  into  the “knowledge”  and  “revivalism”  of  Khan  Sahib.

Khan  Sahib’s  first  premise  was  that  the  fatwa  with  a  refutation  was  printed  three  times. It  is  acknowledged  in  this  premise  that  the  fabricated  fatwa  was  only  printed  by opponents  of  the  Mawlana.  It  was  never  published  on  behalf  of  the  Mawlana  or  any  of  his close  associates.  With  regards  to  this,  I  will  only  say  that  if  the  explanation  of  Khan Sahib  is  accepted  as  being  true  and  it  was  conceded  that  the  fatwa  was  printed  and published  several  times  with  its  refutation  in  the  lifetime  of  the  deceased  Hazrat Gangohi (rahimahullah),  still  it  is  not  necessary  that  it  reached  Hazrat  or  even  that  he  was  aware  of  it.  If it  was  sent  to  him,  the  question  is:  Was  it  sent  by  a  definite  path  or  an  indefinite  one?? And  was  Khan  Sahib  informed  of  its  arrival  to  him??  If  he  was,  was  that  through  definite or  probabilistic  means?!  Giving  a  definitive  certain  verdict  of  disbelief  while  ignoring  all these  sides  of  the  issue  can  never  be  allowed.  Anyhow,  as  long  as  it  is  not  established with  certainty  that  Hazrat  Gangohi  (rahmatullah alayh)  wrote  any  such  fatwa,  and that  the  definite  and  stipulated  meaning  was  that  which  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan Sahib  wrote,  based  on  these  conjectural  principles,  passing  a  ruling  of  disbelief  is definitely  undeserved  and  sinful.  Hazrat  Mawlana  Gangohi (rahimahullah) was  a  reclusive  knower  of Allah  whose  condition  was  without  exaggeration:

In  remembrance  of  the  beloved,  from  the  world  is  he  distracted

A  special  part  of  this  humble  one’s  [i.e.  Mawlana  Manzur  Nu‘mani]  time  till  now  has  been spent  only  in  the  hospitality  of  the  people  of  falsehood,  and  till  today  I  have  been deprived  of  the  visit  of  these  three  editions  of  this  fabricated  fatwa  which  were mentioned  by  Khan  Sahib.  Thus,  they  may  exist,  but  this  reasonably  indicates  that  the deceased  Hazrat  was  not  even  aware  of  this  tale.

Khan  Sahib’s  second  premise  was  that  the  deceased  Mawlana  Gangohi  (rahimahullah) did  not  deny  the fatwa,  nor  did  he  offer  any  interpretation  of  it.  In  relation  to  this,  first,  it  is  asked  that since  awareness  is  not  established,  what  is  there  to  deny  and  what  is  there  to  interpret?? And  supposing  he  was  aware  of  it,  he  felt  that  this  impure  act  of  ungodly  fabricators does  not  deserve  [my]  attention  and  the  decency  of  [my]  notice,  or  in  order  to  consign the  affair  to  the  Lord,  he  preferred  to  maintain  silence.

[The  premise]  that  the  attribution  of  disbelief  is  no  small  matter  such  that  it  is  not  given attention  remains.  It  is  not  necessary  from  the  first  assertion  [i.e.  the  attribution  of disbelief  is  no  small  matter]  that  the  second  [i.e.  such  that  it  is  not  given  attention] follows  from  it  [i.e.  it  is  a  non  sequitur].  It  is  possible  he  did  not  believe  denial  was necessary  because  believers  would  not  accept  such  filthy  slander,  or  he  thought  that those  repulsive  people  who  launched  this  [slander]  will  have  no  place  in  the  academic and  religious  world,  thus  there  would  be  no  consideration  of  their  speech.  Anyhow, maintaining  silence  may  have  had  these  reasons.  Yet,  regardless  of  these  explanations, it  is  incorrect  to  say  that  “the  matter  of  disbelief  is  grave.”  Undoubtedly  before  the advent  of  the  “revival”  of  Khan  Sahib,  takfir  did  hold  such  a  high  importance.  But,  I  seek forgiveness  from  the  soul  of  Khan  Sahib  and  his  present  [spiritual]  descendents,  that  [I am forced  to  say  that]  from the  day  that  the  pen  case  of  fatwa  went  into  the  intrepid hands  of  Khan  Sahib,  takfir  became  such  a  light  matter,  that  Allah’s  refuge  is  sought!

[His  verdicts  include:]  Those  belonging  to  Nadwat  al-‘Uluma  are  disbelievers,  and  those who  do  not  call  them disbelievers  are  disbelievers.  The  scholars  of  Deoband  are disbelievers,  and  those  who  do  not  call  them  disbelievers  are  disbelievers.  The nonconformists  (ghayr  muqallidin)  of  the  Ahl  e  Hadith  are  disbelievers.  Mawlana  ‘Abd  alBari  Sahib  Farangi  Mahalli  is  a  disbeliever,  as  well  as  another  who  committed  the  crime of  joining  the  Khilafat  Movement,  his  brother  in  Tariqa,  Mawlawi  ‘Abd  al-Majid  Badayuni. Mawlawi  ‘Abd  al-Qadir  Sahib  Badayuni  is  a  disbeliever.  Of  disbelief  he  was  a  relentless machinegun,  Allah  have  mercy.  Besides  the  few  groups  of  people  in  Bareli  no  one remains  a  Muslim.

Thus  it  is  possible,  believing  this  turmoil  and  uproar  from  Khan  Sahib  and  those  like  him who  call  godly  people  disbelievers,  to  be  the  barking  of  dogs,  he  preferred  to  maintain silence.  The  principle  is:

Indeed  I  pass  by  the  base  one  who  insults  me

I  pass  by  from  there  saying:  It  does  not  concern  me

And  it  is  possible  that  the  deceased  Hazrat  Mawlana (rahimahullah)  was  aware  and  he  also  denied  the fabricated  fatwa,  but  Khan  Sahib  was  unaware  of  this  denial.  How  can  the  absence  of denial  be  known  from  unawareness  [of  that  denial]??  Does  absence  of  knowledge necessitate  the  absence  of  the  thing??

The  people  of  knowledge  and  possessors  of  fairness  should  assess  that  with  all  these possibilities  is  takfir  still  permissible??  The  claim  was  that:

This  extremely  cautious  person  (meaning,  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib himself)  never  called  those  enemies  (Hazrat  Gangohi  and  others)  disbelievers until  their  explicit  disbelief  was  not  definitively,  clearly,  brightly  and  manifestly brighter  than  the  light  of  the  sun,  in  which  no  room  [for  doubt]  and  no interpretation  emerged  at  all,  at  all,  ever,  ever.  (Tamhid  e  Iman  p.  44)

Yet  the  evidence  is  so  weak  that  it  does  not  even  offer  speculative  knowledge  (zann).  If with  such  evidences  disbelief  was  established,  then  may  Allah  protect  Islam  and Muslims.  Any  ignorant  or  madman  calls  a  godly  man  a  disbeliever  and  thinking  it  is  an unacceptable  address  he  turns  away  from  it  and  offers  no  clarity  before  him  –  then according  to  Khan  Sahib’s  principles  he  is  a  disbeliever.  How  wonderful!

If  it  was  only  this  mufti  and  this  fatwa

The  work  of  faith  will  be  completely  undone

Here  you  have  those  statements  of  the  noble  jurists  that  if  there  were  99  possibilities  of disbelief  and  one  possibility  of  Islam,  even  then  takfir  is  not  permissible.  And  here  you have  in  the  fourteenth  century  this  self-made  reviver  Sahib  who  with  shrillness  joined those  purely  fanciful  and  conjectural  premises  to  produce  this  [unfounded]  conclusion [that  the  fatwa  in  question  was  authored  by  Mawlana  Gangohi rahimahullah]  and  a  certain  definitive takfir  that  whoever  doubts  is  a  disbeliever.

Look  at  the  difference  in  paths,  from  where  to  where??

Till  now,  this  was  a  discussion  in  the  format  of  a  debate  (munazarah).  However,  after this,  I  also  wish  to  say  that  when  one  of  Hazrat  Gangohi’s (rahimahullah) associates  saw  the  fabrication of  the  innovators  towards  the  end  of  his  life,  he  wrote  a  request  to  the  deceased  Hazrat enquiring  about  it,  and  Hazrat  in  his  reply  declared  his  innocence,  and  expressed  his displeasure  at  the  accursed  content.  Khan  Sahib  was  aware  of  this,  and  yet  he  did  not retract  the  fatwa  of  disbelief.  By  this,  the  intention  of  these  champions  of  takfir  and  their descendents  is  exposed.

Thus,  on  1323  H,  when  Hazrat  Mawlana  Murtaza  Hasan  Sahib  (rahmatullah alayh)  saw  this  fabricated  fatwa  discussed  in  a  treatise  of  a  firm  supporter  of Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib,  Miyanji  ‘Abd  al-Rahman  Pukhrirawi,  at  that  time  he sent  a  request  to  Gangoh  asking  about  the  reality  of  the  fatwa  with  this  content  that  was being  attributed  to  the  Hazrat.  So  he  responded:  “This  is  an  outright  fabrication  and  pure slander.  Can  any  sensible  person  write  such  a  thing?”

The  answer  of  the  deceased  Hazrat  was  quoted  in  many  treatises  of  Mawlana  Sayyid Murtaza  Hasan  Sahib  (rahmatullah alayh)  including  al-Sahab  al-Midrar  and Tazkiyat  al-Khawatir,  and  all  of  these  treatises  were  sent  to  Khan  Sahib  in  his  lifetime.

Also,  when  this  slander  first  began  to  spread  in  Bareli,  from  here,  too,  some  associates of  the  Hazrat  sent  a  request  inquiring  about  the  reality  of  the  situation.  In  this  answer, the  deceased  Hazrat  also  expressed  his  displeasure,  and  this  written  answer  of  the deceased  Hazrat  was  witnessed  by  Khan  Sahib  but  it  had  no  effect  on  his  heart  of  stone, and  the  fear  of  the  Lord  did  not  make  him  ready  to  admit  his  error.

“Then  your  hearts  hardened  thereafter,  so  they  are  as  stones  or  stronger  in  hardness: and  verily  of  stones  there  are  some  from  which  gush  forth  rivers,  and  verily  there  are  of them some  that  cleave  asunder  and  water  issues  from  them,  and  verily  there  are  of them some  that  fall  down  in  awe  of  Allah.” (Qur’an  2:74)

These  are  those  conditions  and  realities  because  of  which  I  am  forced  to  believe  and  say that  Khan  Sahib’s  verdict  of  disbelief  from  the  very  first  day  was  not  based  on  a misunderstanding  or  ignorance,  but  the  reality  is  that  it  was  born  purely  out  of  the unreserved  flame  of  spite,  love  of  fame  and  indulgence.  “And  those  who  do  injustice  will soon know to which place they will return.” (Qur’an 26:227)


Refutation of The False Allegation of Barelwi against Hazrat Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Sahib Nanotwi (rahimahullah) of Denying the Prophetic Sealship

[By Mawlana Manzur Nu’mani (rahimahullah)]

On  pages  12-13  of  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib’s  Husam  al-Haramayn,  from  where the  takfir  of  senior  scholars  of  the  Ahl  al-Sunnah  begins,  he  wrote  regarding  Hazrat Mawlana  Muhammad  Qasim  Sahib  Nanotwi  (rahmatullah alaih),  the  founder  of Dar  al-‘Ulum  Deoband: 

Qasim  al-Nanotwi,  the  author  of  Tahzir  al-Nas,  who  said  therein: 

If  a  new  prophet  were  supposed  in  his  (Allah  bless  him  and  grant  him  peace) time,  rather  if  it  were  to  occur  after  him  (Allah  bless  him  and  grant  him  peace), that  would  not  infringe  on  his  Sealship  (khatamiyyah),  and  it  is  only  the commoners  who  imagine  that  he  (Allah  bless  him and  grant  him  peace)  is  the Seal  of  the  Prophets  with  the  meaning  ‘last  of  the  Prophets’  although  there  is  no virtue  in  this  at  all  according  to  the  people  of  understanding”  to  the  end  of  what he  mentioned  of  irrational  talk.  

It  says  in  al-Tatimmah  and  al-Ashbah  and  [other  books]  besides  them: “When one  does  not  recognise  that  Muhammad  (Allah  Most  High  bless  him and  grant  him peace)  is  the  last  of  the  Prophets,  he  is  not  a  Muslim,  because  it  is  from  the necessities.”  (Husam  al-Haramayn,  p.  12)

This  slave  [i.e.  Mawlana  Manzur  Nu‘mani]  submits  that  the  ruling  of  disbelief  which  has been  levelled  at  Mawlana  Muhammad  Qasim  Sahib  (rahmatullah alaih)  in  this statement  of  Khan  Sahib  Barelwi  is,  according  to  the  view  of  this  helpless  one,  nothing besides  deception  and  deceit. 

Even  the  aforementioned  Khan  Sahib  is  not  so  ignorant and  dimwitted  to  the  degree  of  ignorance  and  dimwittedness  that  is  understood  as  a consequence  of  this  fatwa.  And  Allah  knows  best. 

[Proofs  of  the  Deception  of  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan]

The  reasons  for  [concluding  that]  the  verdict  is  erroneous  and  pure  distortion  and  deceit are:

First  Reason

In  quoting  this  text  of  Tahzir  al-Nas,  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  undertook  the most  sorrowful  display  of  distortion  (tahrif)  after  which  this  cannot  be  said  to  be  a  quote from  Tahzir  al-Nas  in  any  way.  The  reality  is  that  this  text  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  was manufactured  by  joining  separate  sentences  from  three  different  pages!  Thus,  one sentence  is  from  page  3,  another  from  page  14,  and  another  from  page  28.  Apart  from the  different  page  numbers,  there  is  no  demarcation  between  the  sentences,  and  as  a consequence,  any  [casual]  reader  will  not  be  able  to  understand  that  these  are  from different  places;  rather,  he  will  be  forced  to  believe  that  this  is  one  contiguous  quote. Moreover,  it  does  not  end  here.  Rather,  to  create  a  content  of  pure  disbelief,  the aforementioned  Khan  Sahib  even  changed  the  order  of  these  sentences.  Thus,  he  first wrote  the  sentence  from  page  14,  and  then  after  this,  the  one  from page  28,  and  then the  one  from page  3.

The  result  of  Khan  Sahib  changing  the  order  was  that  if  the  three  sentences  from  Tahzir al-Nas  were  read  separately  in  their  respective  places,  nobody  would  conceive  of  [the author]  denying  the  Prophetic  Sealship.  But,  in  the  way  he  quoted  the  statements  from Tahzir  al-Nas,  denial  of  the  Prophetic  Sealship  will  clearly  be  understood.  And  this  is  a consequence  of  the  handiwork  of  his  pen.

  Otherwise,  the  author  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  is  free from  this,  which  –  if  Allah  wills  –  will  be  made  completely  clear  in  the  coming explanation.  By  translating  these  sentences  from  Tahzir  al-Nas  into  Arabic,  which  he then  presented  before  the  scholars  of  the  two  Harams,  he  committed  even  greater injustice,  and  insolently  completed  the  fabrication.  He  undertook  the  work  of  editing  the sentences  from  pages  14  and  28  in  order  to  manufacture  one  sentence.  Thus  he  deleted the  subject  from  the  first  sentence  [on  page  14]  and  made  the  subject  of  the  second sentence  [on  page  28]  the  subject  of  the  first  sentence  also  in  such  a  way  that  no  one will  imagine  that  these  are  statements  from  different  places.  These  actions  of  his  are called  tahrif  in  the  parlance  of  the  Qur’an.

The  Mighty  Qur’an  describes  the  tahrif  of  the  Bani  Isra’il  in  the  following  words: “They distort  the  words  from  its  places.” (Qur’an  4:46) 

The  aforementioned  Khan  Sahib  himself in  one  place  described  such  an  action  as  “dangerous  tahrif”  (khawfnak  tahrif).  Khan Sahib  in  his  treatise  Bariq  al-Manar  wrote  that  a  person  whose  hypothetical  name  is Zayd  quoted  the  Qur’an  to  say  tattakhidhuna  ‘alayhim  masajida  [which  was  made  by joining  three  separate  words  of  the  Qur’an].  In  regards  to  this,  the  aforementioned [Khan  Sahib]  wrote  on  page  17  of  Bariq  al-Manar:

The  most  dangerous  tahrif  is  this,  that  tattakhidhuna  ‘alayhim  masajida  has  been constructed  as  a  Qur’anic  phrase,  whereas  this  is  nowhere  [to  be  found]  in  the Mighty  Qur’an.  These  three  words  indeed  come  separately  in  the  Mighty  Qur’an.

From this  quote  of  Khan  Sahib  it  is  clearly  understood  that  to  take  words  from  separate places  of  any  book  and  join  them  to  make  one  contiguous  quote  and  then  to  attribute  it to  [the  author  of]  that  book  is  the  most  dangerous  tahrif,  and  this  type  of  tahrif  changes the  original  meaning;  and  it  is  not  farfetched  that  [as  a  consequence  of  such  tahrif]  an Islamic  speech  may  become  pure  disbelief.  Tahzir  al-Nas  is  a  book  authored  by  a  human being.

  If  some  wretched  person  wanted  to  create  a  content  of  disbelief  from  the  speech of  Allah  using  this  type  of  tahrif,  he  would  be  able  to  do  so,  yet  such  a  person  would probably  not  have  to  undergo  such  strenuousness  as  Khan  Sahib  did  when  selecting  one sentence  from  page  14,  and  another  from  page  28,  and  another  from  page  3.  

In  one  chapter  of  the  Wise  Qur’an,  rather  one  verse,  this  type  of  action  would  change  it to  a  content  of  disbelief.  For  example,  the  Mighty  Qur’an  states:  “Verily  the  righteous  are in  bliss,  and  verily  the  wicked  are  in  the  Fire.”  (82:13-4)  Now,  if  a  follower  or  student  of Khan  Sahib  were  to  act  upon  the  sunnah  (practice)  of  Khan  Sahib,  and  just  made  this degree  of  tahrif  in  the  noble  verse,  of  replacing  “bliss”  with  “fire”  and  “fire”  with  “bliss,” the  meaning  will  be  completely  altered,  and  the  sentence  will  become  clear  disbelief  – whereas  all  words  are  from  the  Qur’an  and  only  the  places  of  two  words  were  changed. This  is  only  one  example.  If  readers  paid  careful  attention,  they  would  be  able  to  extract thousands  of  examples  like  this.  Here,  the  places  of  words  are  changed.  In  some situations  just  by  changing  the  places  of  vowels  (harakat),  a  meaning  of  disbelief  will  be created.  For  example,  the  Noble  Qur’an  says:  “Adam  disobeyed  his  Lord,  and  erred.” (20:121)  Now,  if  some  wretched  person  were  to  change  the  vowels  of  “Adam”  (adam) and  “Lord”  (rabb)  and  place  a  fathah  instead  of  the  dammah  on  the  mim  of  adam  and place  a  dammah  instead  of  the  fathah  on  the  ba  [of  rabb]  [which  would  change  the meaning  to:  “His  Lord  disobeyed  Adam”],  just  this  amount  of  change  will  make  this [originally]  pure  speech,  the  reading  of  which  would  have  been  a  cause  for  reward,  into pure  disbelief.

Anyhow,  the  reality  is  manifest  that  in  some  instances  a  slight  distortion  of  a  statement changes  the  meaning  and  this  creates  the  difference  between  Islam  and  disbelief;  let alone  the  great  alteration  that  will  occur  by  slicing  sentences  from  different  places, making  them  into  one  contiguous  sentence,  and  even  changing  the  order  of  the sentences.  Since  Khan  Sahib  gave  the  ruling  of  disbelief  after  making  this  type  of  tahrif, and  since  this  tahrif  and  alteration  of  the  sequence  of  the  text  from  Tahzir  al-Nas completely  changes  the  meaning  and  creates  a  meaning  constituting  denial  of Chronological  Prophetic  Sealship,  I  was  forced  to  believe  the  verdict  is  deliberately deceptive  and  purposefully  distorting.

Second  Reason

The  second  reason  and  the  second  evidence  for  this  opinion  [that  the  passage  from Husam  al-Haramayn  is  pure  deceit]  is  that  in  the  Arabic  translation  of  the  sentences from  Tahzir  al-Nas,  Khan  Sahib  undertook  the  most  sorrowful  display  of  deceit,  which  is that  the  sentence  on  page  3  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  is  as  follows:

magar  ahl  e  fahm  pur  roshun  hoga  ke  taqaddum  ya  taakhkhur  zamani  meh  bizzat kuch  fazilat  nehih

“But  it  will  become  clear  to  the  people  of  understanding  that  in  coming  earlier  or later  in  time,  there  is  intrinsically  no  virtue.”

It  is  apparent  that  in  this  sentence  only  intrinsic  virtue  is  negated,  which  according  to the  implied  meaning  (mafhum  al-mukhalafah)  necessitates  the  affirmation  of  extrinsic virtue ,  but  Khan  Sahib  made  the  Arabic  translation  as  follows:

ma‘a  annahu  la  fadla  fihi  aslan  ‘inda  ahl  al-fahm

“Although  there  is  no  virtue  in  this  at  all  according  to  the  people  of understanding.”

The  meaning  of  which  is  that  there  is  absolutely  no  virtue  in  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  being  the  last  prophet  according  to  the  people  of understanding.  In  this  there  is  negation  of  every  type  of  virtue,  and  between  the  two there  is  the  difference  between  the  earth  and  sky,  as  is  not  hidden.  

Third  Reason

The  third  reason  and  the  third  evidence  for  this  opinion  is  that  the  preceding  and succeeding  sections  of  those  sentences  from  Tahzir  al-Nas  which  Khan  Sahib  quoted  in this  passage,  from  which  their  true  meaning  would  become  clear  and  there  would  be  no room  for  misunderstanding  from  readers,  were  deleted.  The  evidence  for  this  will  come later.

Fourth  Reason

The  fourth  reason  and  the  fourth  evidence  for  this  opinion  is  that  Khan  Sahib’s  ruling  of disbelief  is  based  solely  on  the  notion  that  Tahzir  al-Nas  denies  the  Prophetic  Sealship, while  from  its  start  to  its  finish  there  is  not  even  one  word  from  which  denial  of  the Messenger’s  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  Chronological  Sealship  emerges. Rather,  the  subject  matter  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  is  the  preservation  and  protection  of  every kind  of  Sealship  for  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam),  whether essential,  chronological,  spatial  or  otherwise.  And,  specifically,  with  respect  to Chronological  Sealship,  there  are  absolutely  clear  and  obvious  statements  in  it.  For example  on  page  3,  after  the  sentence  which  the  Barelwi  learned  man  quoted  last,  the deceased  Mawlana  wrote:

Rather,  the  [Prophetic]  Sealship  is  based  on  another  consideration  by  which chronological  finality  and  blocking  the  aforementioned  door  (i.e.  blocking  the  door of  claimants  to  prophethood)  will  be  necessitated  automatically,  and  prophetic excellence  will  be  multiplied.

Likewise,  on  page  10  of  Tahzir  al-Nas,  the  deceased  Mawlana,  after  completing  his explanation  of  the  primary  hypothesis,  writes:

Therefore,  if  [Sealship]  is  absolute  and  general  [i.e.  includes  all  three  types  of Sealship:  chronological,  spatial  and  essential 5 ],  then  the  establishment  of Chronological  Sealship  is  obvious.  Otherwise  [i.e.  if  only  Essential  Sealship  is 6 taken  as  the  immediate  meaning  of  “Seal”],  accepting  the  necessity  of Chronological  Sealship  by  implicative  indication  (dalala  iltizami)  is  immediately established .  Here,  the  explicit  statements  of  the  Prophet,  like:  “You  [i.e.  Ali]  are to  me  at  the  level  of  Harun  to  Musa,  but  there  is  no  prophet  after  me,”  or  as  he said,  which  apparently  is  derived  from  the  phrase  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  in  the aforementioned  manner 7 ,  are  sufficient  in  this  subject,  because  it  reaches  the level  of  tawatur.  Furthermore,  consensus  (ijma‘)  has  been  reached  on  this. Although  the  aforementioned  words  were  not  transmitted  by  mutawatir  chains, despite  this  lack  of  tawatur  in  the  words,  there  is  tawatur  in  the  meaning  here, just  like  the  tawatur  of  the  number  of  rak’at  of  the  obligatory  prayers,  the  witr prayer  etc.  Although  the  words  of  the  narrations  stating  the  number  of  rak’at  are not  mutawatir,  just  as  the  one  who  denies  that  is  a  disbeliever,  in  the  same  way, the  one  who  denies  this  [i.e.  Chronological  Sealship]  is  a  disbeliever.

In  this  passage,  the  deceased  Mawlana  establishes  Chronological  Sealship  for  the Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  in  five  ways:

 1.  The  Chronological  Sealship  of  the  Holy  Prophet  is  established  by  the  complete signification  (dalala  mutabiqi) of  the  text  “Seal  of  the  Prophets.”  In  this  way, “Seal”  is  accepted  as  inclusive  of  Essential  and  Chronological  [Sealship].

2.  Or  by  means  of  the  generality  of  the  metaphor  (‘umum  al-majaz) 9 ,  the  indication of  the  word  “Seal”  applies  to  both  types  of  Sealship.

3.  Or  it  applies  directly  to  one  of  them  and  indirectly  to  the  other.  In  all  three  cases, Chronological  Sealship  is  established  from  the  text  of  the  Qur’an.

4.  The  Chronological  Sealship  of  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallan)  is  established  from  the  mutawatir  hadiths.

5.  There  is  consensus  of  the  ummah  on  Chronological  Sealship.

After  establishing  Chronological  Sealship  of  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  in  these  five  ways,  the  deceased  Mawlana  also  stated  that  the  denier  of Chronological  Sealship  is  a  disbeliever  in  much  the  same  way  as  one  who  denies  the necessities  and  decisive  elements  of  religion.

Despite  such  clear  statements  in  Tahzir  al-Nas,  to  say  that  there  is  denial  of  the Prophetic  Sealship  in  it,  if  it  is  not  severe  injustice  and  deceit,  what  is  it??

Furthermore,  such  clear  statements  are  not  found  only  in  one  or  two  places,  but  it  would be  difficult  to  miss  it  on  nearly  every  page.  At  this  juncture,  I  will  present  only  one  more text  from  Tahzir  al-Nas  for  the  readers  in  which  the  deceased  Mawlana  Nanaotwi explained  Chronological  Sealship  of  Prophethood  using  a  wonderful  and  marvellous philosophical  concept.  On  page  21  of  Tahzir  al-Nas,  he  writes:

If  time  is  to  be  considered  as  motion,  it  must  also  have  an  endpoint,  upon reaching  which  the  motion  ends.  Thus,  for  the  motion  of  the  series  of prophethood  [which  is  one  motion  within  the  motions  of  time],  the  point  of  the essence  of  Muhammad  (Allah  bless  him and  grant  him  peace)  is  its  endpoint.  And this  point  is  in  relation  to  the  chronological  and  spatial  lines  just  as  the  apex  of  an angle  [in  which  two  lines  meet  and  end  at  one  point].  By  this  indication,  the reality  is  known  that  his  prophethood  is  comprehensive  of  cosmos  and  space, earth  and  time.

Then  after  a  few  lines  on  the  same  page,  he  says:

From amongst  the  motions  [of  time]  is  also  the  motion  of  the  series  of prophethood.  Thus,  due  to  attaining  the  greatest  endpoint,  the  essence  of Muhammad  (Allah  bless  him  and  grant  him  peace),  that  motion  returns  to  rest. Definitely  other  motions  [of  time  besides  the  motion  of  the  series  of  prophethood] still  remain.  This  is  also  another  reason  for  his  appearance  at  the  end  of  time. (Tahzir  al-Nas  p.  21)

Furthermore,  this  is  not  restricted  to  Tahzir  al-Nas.  Such  clear  statements  are  also  found in  other  works  of  the  deceased  Hazrat.  Just  by  way  of  example,  note  some  passages from  Munazarah  ‘Ajibah.  When  this  topic  in  Munazarah  ‘Ajibah  begins,  the  first  line  is:

The  Chronological  Sealship  of  the  Revered  Seal  of  the  Messengers  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  is  accepted  by  all,  and  it  is  also  accepted  by  all  that  he is  the  first  of  creation  [either  absolutely  or  relatively].

Further,  on  page  39  he  says:

Chronological  Sealship  is  my  religion  and  faith,  though  certainly  there  is  no  cure for  undeserved  accusations.

Further,  on  page  50  he  writes:

I  never  denied  Chronological  Sealship.  Rather,  it  would  be  more  correct  to  say  I left  no  room  for  the  deniers  to  deny  it.  I  hold  the  [Prophet’s]  superiority,  and have  strengthened  the  foothold  of  those  who  believe  in  this.
Moreover,  I  believe in  the  prophethood  of  other  Prophets,  but  I  do  not  consider  anyone  equal  to  the Messenger  of  Allah  (Allah  bless  him  and  grant  him  peace). Further,  on  page  69  he  writes:

Yes  it  is  accepted  that Chronological  Sealship  is  a  unanimous  creed. Further,  on  page  103,  he  writes: There  is  no  possibility  of  another  prophet  appearing  after  the  Messenger  of  Allah (Allah  bless  him  and  grant  him  peace).  I  consider  the  one  who  believes  this  a disbeliever.

These  five  passages  are  only  from  Munazarah  ‘Ajibah.  After  this,  one  more  passage  from the  deceased  Hazrat  Nanotwi’s  final  book  Qiblah  Nama  will  be  quoted.

  On  page  1  of Qiblah  Namah,  he  says:

His  religion  is  the  last  of  all  religions,  and  since  religion  is  the  name  of  divine decree,  the  one  whose  religion  is  last,  he  will  be  the  chief,  because  [only]  that person  whose  religion  is  last  will  be  the  master  of  all.

These  were  ten  passages  from the  writings  of  Hazrat  Qasim  al-‘Ulum  (his  secret  be sanctified). 

Can  any  person  of  integrity  and  intellect  say  after  these  clear  statements that  this  person  denies  the  Chronological  Seal  of  Prophethood??  But  there  is  no  cure  for fabricators.  Regarding  such  fabricators,  ‘Arif  Jami  (Allah  have  mercy  on  him)  said:

This  they  do  in  jest

This  they  say  –  how  evil  and  how  farfetched!

Because  of  this  a  righteous  face  is  made  ugly

And  a  mended  heart  is  broken

The  clear  statements  mentioned  above  from  the  various  writings  of  the  deceased  Hazrat Nanotwi,  and  the  academic  and  practical  efforts  of  other  Deobandi  scholars  against  the Qadiyani  group  relating  to  this  issue  of  the  Prophetic  Seal  which  till  today  appears  in  the form  of  books  and  debates  that  are  known  and  accepted  in  the  Islamic  world,  are  more than  enough  for  a  fair  person  to  recognise  the  clear  position  of  the  founder  of  Dar  al‘Ulum  Deoband  and  the  scholars  of  Deoband  regarding  the  Prophetic  Seal. “And  Allah guides  whoever  He  wishes  to  the  straight  path,”  (Qur’an  2:213) “and  those  who  do injustice  will  soon  know  to  which  place  they  will  return.”
(Qur’an  26:227)

[An  Explanation  of  the  Correct  Meaning  of  the  Passages  from  Tahzir al-Nas]

After  this,  it  will  be  appropriate  to  present  with  some  detail  the  true  meaning  of  the three  sentences  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  which  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  sliced  and joined  together  to  slander  the  author  with  denial  of  the  Chronological  Sealship  of prophethood.  But  for  this  it  is  necessary  to  summarise  the  methodology  and  theoretical viewpoint  of  the  deceased  Mawlana  Nanotwi  with  regards  to  the  exegesis  of  the  phrase “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  (33:40)  from  the  Qur’an. The  Deceased  Hazrat  Nanotwi  and  the  Exegesis  of  “the  Seal  of  the  Prophets” Firstly,  the  hypothesis  is  made  that  the  Messenger  of  God  (may  my  soul  and  my  heart  be ransomed  for  him  –  Allah  bless  him  and  grant  him  peace)  in  reality  has  two  types  of Sealship:

1.  One  is  chronological  (zamaniyyah),  which  simply  means  he  is  the  last  of  all prophets,  and  his  time  comes  after  all  the  prophets  (alayhi mussalaam),  and  no prophet will be sent after his time.

2.  The  second  is  Essential  Sealship  (zatiyyah)  which  means  that  he  embodies  the attribute  of  prophethood  essentially,  and  other  prophets  (alayhimussalaam) accidentally.  Meaning,  Allah  Almighty  granted  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  prophethood  directly,  and  to  other  prophets  (alayhimussalaam) through  the  medium  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).  Just as  the  Lord  Almighty  gave  light  directly  to  the  sun  and  its  light  is  not  gained  from the  light  of  anything  else  in  the  world  of  means,  in  the  same  way  Allah  Almighty gave  the  prophetic  perfections  directly  and  without  any  medium  to  the  Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam),  and  his  prophethood  is  not  gained  from the  prophethood  of  any  other  prophet.  And  just  as  Allah  Almighty  granted  the moon  and  other  heavenly  bodies  light  through  the  medium  of  the  sun  and  they are  dependent  on  the  light  of  the  sun  for  light,  in  the  same  way  He  granted  the other  prophets  (alayhimussalaam)  prophethood  through  the  medium  of  the Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).  Those  revered  personalities  are truly  prophets  but  their  prophethood  draws  from  the  effusion  of  the  prophethood of  Hazrat  Muhammad,  the  Messenger  of  Allah  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  –  and  all  this  is  with  the  permission  of  Allah  Almighty.  And  just  as  the series  of  everything  that  has  an  accidental  property  ends  upon  something  that has  an  essential  property  and  does  not  precede  it,  like  light  that  illuminates  a room  through  the  means  of  a  mirror  can  be  said  to  have  originated  from the mirror  and  the  light  of  the  mirror  can  be  said  to  be  a  reflection  of  the  sun,  but once  the  sun  is  reached  [in  this  process]  the  series  comes  to  an  end  and  no  one can  say  that  the  sun’s  light  is  a  reflection  of  the  light  of  such-and-such  a  body from  the  world  of  means  because  the  sun  was  given  light  directly  by  Allah Almighty;  in  the  same  way,  it  can  be  said  in  relation  to  the  prophethood  of  all prophets  (alayhimussalaam)  that  it  was  acquired  from  the  Seal  of  the  Prophet’s prophethood,  but  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  is  a  seal to  this  series  and  in  relation  to  him  none  can  say  his  prophethood  was  acquired from  such-and-such  a  prophet  because  he  is  the  essential  prophet  by  the permission  of  Allah.  This  is  called  “Essential  Seal”  and  this  rank  is  called “Essential  Sealship.”

After  this  brief  introduction,  it  should  be  known  that  the  conclusion  of  the  research  of Hazrat  Mawlana  Nanotwi  and  other  verifiers  is  that  when  the  Mighty  Qur’an  calls  the Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  both  types  of Sealship,  essential  and  chronological,  are  established  by  it,  while  the  commoners  derive only  one  type  of  Sealship  as  its  intended  meaning,  i.e.  only  chronological.

However,  the  disagreement  between  the  deceased  Hazrat  Mawlana  and  the  commoners is  not  over  the  Chronological  Sealship  of  prophethood,  nor  is  it  over  the  phrase  “Seal  of the  Prophets”  being  intended  for  Chronological  Sealship,  because  Mawlana  accepts  both these  things,  but  the  disagreement  is  over  whether  the  phrase  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  is intended  for  both  Chronological  Sealship  and  Essential  Sealship  or  not.

  Hazrat  Mawlana is  a  proponent  of  the  [former]  view,  and  he  wrote  a  few  possible  scenarios  for  its [linguistic  viability]:

1.  The  word  “Seal”  is  a  homonym  relating  to  the  meaning  (mushtarak  ma‘nawi) and  just  as  in  a  homonym  relating  to  the  meaning  all  its  components  are intended,  in  the  same  way,  here,  in  this  noble  verse  too,  both  types  of  Sealship are intended.,

2.  The  second  scenario  is  that  one  meaning  is  literal  and  the  other  is  metaphorical and  by  the  method  of  “the  generality  of  the  metaphor”  (‘umum  al-majaz) 14,  such a general meaning will be taken which incorporates both types of Sealship. In  both  these  scenarios,  the  indication  of  the  word  “Seal”  is  completely  (mutabiqi) towards both types of Sealship.

3.  A  third  scenario  is  that  only  Essential  Sealship  is  intended  by  the  word  “Seal”  in the  Noble  Qur’an,  but  since  by  rational  and  transmitted  proofs,  Chronological Sealship  is  a  necessary  consequence  of  it,  in  this  scenario  too,  Chronological Sealship  will  be  indicated  by  the  noble  verse  in  an  implicative  (iltizami)  way .

After  writing  these  three  scenarios  on  page  9  of  Tahzir  al-Nas,  Hazrat  Mawlana  (rahimahullah)  states  his  own  preference,  which  is  that  “Sealship”  is  a  genus  and Chronological  and  Essential  Sealship  are  two  species  of  it,  and  the  Mighty  Qur’an  intends both  types  from  the  term “Seal,”  in  much  the  same  way  as  the  noble  verse,  “Wine, gambling,  altars  and  divining  arrows,  are  only  filth  (rijs),”  (5:90)  where  “filth” simultaneously  includes  both  external  and  internal  types  of  filth.  In  fact,  if  considered carefully,  Essential  Sealship  and  Chronological  Sealship  are  not  as  far  apart  as  wine  and gambling  are  in  terms  of  the  degree  of  their  difference  in  impurity.

The  upshot  of  Hazrat  Mawlana  Qasim  Sahib’s  (rahimahullah)  methodology  in the  exegesis  of  the  word  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  is  that  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  is  both  the  Chronological  Seal  and  the  Essential  Seal,  and  both these  types  of  Sealship  emerge  from  the  phrase  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  in  the  Noble Qur’an.

The  Correct  Meaning  of  the  Passages  from  Tahzir  al-Nas

After  this,  I  will  present  the  correct  meaning  of  the  three  sentences  which  Mawlawi Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  joined  together  to  create  a  content  of  disbelief:

The  first  sentence  is  from  page  14,  and  here  the  deceased  Hazrat  is  further  explaining the  above mentioned  research  on  “Essential  Sealship,”  and  in  this  particular  place,  the full  passage  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  is  as  follows:

The  objective  is  that  if  Sealship  in  the  meaning  I  presented  [i.e.  Essential Sealship]  is  determined [as  one  of  the  meanings  of  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”],  then his  position  as  the  Seal  will  not  be  specifically  in  relation  to  past  prophets,  for  if  it were  assumed that  in  his  own  time  any  prophet  appeared,  even  then  his position  as  the  seal  will  remain  sound.

Khan  Sahib  deleted  the  underlined  part  from  which  every  person  understands  that  this text  of  the  Mawlana  is  regarding  Essential  Sealship  and  is  not  in  regards  to  Chronological Sealship,  and  he  quoted  an  incomplete  passage.

  He  further  committed  the  injustice  of joining  it  to  a  sentence  from  page  28  in  such  a  way  that  not  only  is  the  page  number  not mentioned  but  between  the  sentences  there  is  no  demarcation.  In  quoting  this  sentence [from  page  28],  there  is  also  clear  deception.  Here,  the  full  passage  is  as  follows:

Yes,  if  Sealship  in  the  sense  of  an  intrinsic  embodiment  of  the  quality  of prophethood  is  taken,  as  this  humble  one  has  submitted,  then  besides  Allah’s Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  any  other  individual  intended for  creation  cannot  be  considered  equal  to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).  Rather,  in  this  way  not  only  is  his  superiority  over  external  individual prophets  established,  his  superiority  over  even  conceivable  (muqaddara) individuals  is  established.  Therefore,  even  if  it  were  assumed  after  the  time  of  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  that  any  prophet  was  born,  even then  there  would  be  no  difference  to  the  Muhammadan  Sealship .

In  this  passage  also,  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  undertook  the  action  of  deleting the  very  important  part  from  the  first  section  –  from  which  readers  will  clearly understand  that  here  only  Essential  Sealship  is  being  discussed  not  chronological,  and they  will  also  know  the  belief  of  the  author  in  relation  to  the  superiority  of  the  Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  –  and  he  only  quoted  the  underlined  part.  He, further,  joined  this  incomplete  sentence  to  another  incomplete  sentence  of  page  3 without  any  separation  between  them.

Anyhow,  in  these  sentences  on  pages  14  and  28,  the  deceased  Mawlana  was  only discussing  Essential  Sealship,  explaining  that  this  is  such  a  Sealship  that  supposing  if  in his  time  or  after  his  time  any  prophet  were  to  come,  even  then  no  difference  will  come to  this  Sealship  of  his.  Here,  Chronological  Sealship  is  not  discussed  at  all,  and  no  sane person  can  say  that  if  a  prophet  were  to  come  after  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam),  that  would  cause  no  difference  to  his  Chronological  Sealship.

Explaining  the  Intent  of  Mawlana  Nanotwi  (rahimahullah)  from  a General  Example

Undoubtedly,  an  illustration  of  this  explanation  is  exactly  like  the  following:

In  some  country  a  pandemic  spreads.  One  after  another,  many  doctors  are  sent  by  the king  and  they  treat  patients  according  to  their  ability.  At  the  end,  this  kind  and  generous king  sends  the  greatest  and  most  skilled  doctor  who  was  the  teacher  of  all  the  doctors sent  previously,  and  he  announces:  “Now  after  him  no  doctor  will  come.  In  the  future whenever  anybody  becomes  ill,  the  prescription  of  this  final  doctor  should  be  used,  and he  will  be  cured,  and  after  him  whoever  claims  to  be  a  doctor  sent  from the  king,  he  is lying  and  must  be  executed.”  Then  this  doctor  opens  his  clinic  and  multitudes  and multitudes  of  patients  attend  and  are  cured.  In  one  decree,  the  king  addressed  this doctor  as  “the  seal  of  doctors.”  Now,  the  commoners  understood  from  this  that  its meaning  is  only  that  this  doctor  is  the  last  doctor  in  terms  of  time  and  no  other  doctor will  be  sent  from  the  king,  but  one  group  of  the  people  of  understanding,  while  knowing with  certainty  that  this  is  the  last  doctor  that  was  sent,  said  that  this  great  doctor  was not  called  “the  seal  of  doctors”  only  for  the  reason  that  he  is  the  last  doctor;  rather,  it  is also  because  the  medical  knowledge  of  all  the  earlier  doctors  culminates  at  this  great doctor,  and  all  other  doctors  are  his  students  and  only  learnt  the  science  of  medicine from  him.  This  is  a  second  reason  for  calling  him  “the  seal  of  doctors.”  And  these  two types  of  sealship  emerge  from  the  term “seal  of  doctors.”  And  if  you  think  carefully  you will  realise  that  the  king  sent  this  skilled  doctor  at  the  end  also  because  in  the  science  of medicine  he  surpasses  all  and  is  more  skilled  than  all  doctors  and  he  is  their  teacher,  as the  principle  is  that  doctors  are  referred  to  in  the  order  of  hierarchy.  After  crossing  all lower  stages,  the  king  sent  the  highest  doctor.  Anyhow,  this  doctor  is  not  the  seal  in terms  of  time  alone,  rather  he  is  also  a  seal  in  terms  of  perfection  in  the  science  [of medicine],  and  this  second  sealship  is  such  that  supposing  that  in  his  time  and  even after  him  another  doctor  were  to  come,  there  would  be  no  difference  in  this  sealship  of his.

Readers  should  assess  that  if  any  stubborn  adversary  said  with  respect  to  this  group  of people  of  understanding  that  these  people  do  not  accept  the  seal  of  doctors  as  the  last doctor  and  they  deny  this  belief,  how  great  a  distortion  and  unadulterated shamelessness  will  this  be  –  for  this  group  from  the  people  of  understanding,  while proclaiming  the  essential  and  positional  aspect  of  the  sealship  of  this  imperial  doctor, also  clearly  state  that  with  respect  to  time  he  is  also  the  last  doctor,  and  after  him  no doctor  will  be  sent  from  the  king,  rather  if  any  doctor  after  him  claims  to  be  sent  from the  king,  he  must  be  executed??

Till  here,  the  correct  understanding  of  the  sentences  from  pages  14  and  28  was presented.  The  third  sentence,  from  page  3  of  Tahzir  al-Nas,  which  Khan  Sahib  quoted last,  remains.  It  should  be  understood  that  this  sentence  is  in  effect  the  beginning  of Tahzir  al-Nas.  The  words  are  as  follows:

After  praising  [Allah]  and  sending  blessings  [on  the  Prophet],  before  answering the  question,  I  ask  that  the  meaning  of  “the  Seal  of  the  Prophets”  first  be understood,  so  that  no  time  is  taken  in  answering  the  question.  Thus,  it  is  the understanding  of  the  commoners  that  the  Messenger  of  Allah  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  is  a  Seal  in  the  sense  that  his  time  came  after  the  time  of  the earlier  prophets  and  that  he  is  the  last  of  all  prophets.  But  it  will  become  clear  to the  people  of  understanding  that  in  coming  earlier  or  later  in  time,  there  is intrinsically  no  virtue.

There  are  two  things  worth  noting  from  this  passage:  first,  the  deceased  Mawlana  is  not speaking  about  the  issue  of  the  prophetic  seal,  rather  he  is  discussing  the  meaning  of the  phrase  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”;  second,  taking  the  intent  of  Chronological  Seal  from “Seal”  was  not  regarded  as  the  understanding  of  the  commoners,  but  its  restriction  to Chronological  Sealship  was  regarded  as  the  understanding  of  the  commoners,  and  this understanding  was  disputed  by  Mawlana.  Otherwise,  taking  the  meaning  of  Chronological Sealship  with  Essential  Sealship  is  the  preferred  methodology  of  the  deceased  Mawlana himself,  which  was  demonstrated  earlier,  and  which  Mawlana  explained  in  full  detail  on pages  8  and  9  of  Tahzir  al-Nas.

Anyhow,  since  according  to  Hazrat  Mawlana,  Chronological  Sealship  is  also  intended  by,  that  is  why  it  must  be  accepted  that  here  it  is  only the  restriction  [to  Chronological  Sealship]  which  Mawlana  expressed  as  the understanding  of  the  commoners,  and  Mawlana’s  intent  is  that  the  commoners  believe that  from  the  phrase  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  only  Chronological  Sealship  is  established and  besides  this  nothing  else  is  established,  while  according  to  the  people  of understanding  both  Chronological  and  Essential  Sealship  are  established  from  this phrase  of  the  Glorious  Qur’an.   From this,  the  objection  that  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  produced  against  this passage  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  in  al-Mawt  al-Ahmar  is  also  answered  –  that  is:  In  this  [book],  taking  the  meaning  of  Chronological  Seal  from  “Seal  of  the Prophets”  was  expressed  as  the  understanding  of  the  commoners  while  this meaning  of  “Seal”  was  stated  by  the  Prophet,  the  Joy  of  the  World  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam),  and  is  also  narrated  from  his  noble  Companions.

Consequently,  according  to  the  author  of  Tahzir  al-Nas,  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  and  all  the  noble  Sahabah  are  included  amongst the  commoners.  (Allah  forbid!)

The  answer  is  that  the  author  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  did  not  consider  taking  the  intent  of Chronological  Sealship  from  “Seal”  as  the  understanding  of  commoners;  rather,  he regarded  restriction  of  “Seal”  to  Chronological  Sealship  as  the  understanding  of  the commoners.  And  restriction  is  not  established  from  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  or  any  Sahabi.  Rather,  restriction  has  not  been  stated  clearly  by  the firmly-grounded  scholars,  and  nobody  can  venture  to  claim  such  restriction,  since  the Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  said  regarding  the  verses  of  the Qur’an,  “For  every  verse  there  is  an  outward  and  an  inward,  and  for  every  letter  there  is a  boundary,  and  for  every  boundary  there  is  a  spectacle,”  from  which  is  known  that every  verse  of  the  Qur’an  has  at  least  two  meanings.  And  if  the  wording  of  restriction  is found  in  the  speech  of  the  scholars  of  the  past,  that  is  not  literal  restriction  which  the deceased  Mawlana  Nanotwi  expressed  as  the  understanding  of  the  commoners,  but  its intent  is  relative  restriction  i.e.  in  relation  to  the  false  interpretation  of  the  heretics.

Anyway,  if  anyone  maintains  this  slander  against  the  author  of  Tahzir  al-Nas,  that  he (Allah  forbid!)  described  the  explanation  of  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  as  the  understanding  of  the  commoners,  . he  should  prove  restriction  from  the Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  or  any  Sahabi.

Furthermore,  the  deceased  Mawlana  in  his  Maktubat  (letters)  also  clearly  explained  what is  meant  by  “commoners”  in  the  subject  of  Qur’anic  exegesis.  On  this  subject,  the deceased  Hazrat’s  words  are:  “Apart  from  the  prophets  and  the  scholars  well-grounded in  knowledge,  all  are  to  be  counted  amongst  the  commoners  in  the  science  of  exegesis.” (Qasim  al-‘Ulum,  no.  1,  letter  2,  p.  4)

With  this  clear  statement,  to  say  with  respect  to  the  author  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  that  he included  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  and  the  noble  Sahabah amongst  the  commoners  is  extreme  dishonesty.

Support  for  Mawlana  Nanotwi’s  Methodology  in  the  Exegesis  of  “Seal  of the Prophets”  from  the  Statements  of  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib  himself

After  this,  I  also  want  to  say  that  those  people  who  derive  only  one  meaning  from  the phrase  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  and  restrict  the  meaning  of  “Seal  of  the  Prophets”  to  this meaning,  they  are  according  to  the  Barelwi  learned  man  also  included  amongst  the commoners  and  not  amongst  the  people  of  understanding.  The  aforementioned  learned man  wrote  on  page  43  of  al-Dawlat  al-Makkiyyah:

It  is  narrated  from  Abu  al-Darda’  (radhiyallahu anhu):  “A  man will  not  understand  with  full  understanding  until  he  realises  multiples  viewpoints in  the  Qur’an.”  I  say:  Ibn  Sa‘d  transmitted  it  from  Abu  al-Darda’  (radhiyallahu anhu)  in  al-Tabaqat,  and  Abu  Nu‘aym  in  al-Hilyah  and  Ibn  ‘Asakir in  his  Tarikh  and  Muqatil  ibn  Sulayman  mentioned  it  at  the  start  of  his  book  on the  interpretations  of  the  Qur’an,  tracing  [it  to  the  Prophet  (peace  and  blessings be  upon  him)]  with  the  wording:  “A  man  will  not  have  understanding  with complete  understanding  until  he  finds  many  viewpoints  in  the  Qur’an.”  It  says  in al-Itqan:  “Some  of  them  interpreted  it  in  that  the  intent  is  to  find  one  word is  a   bearing  multiple  meanings  such  that  one  accepts  them  [all]  when  they  are  not conflicting;  and  he  does  not  restrict  it  to  one  meaning.”

From this  passage  of  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib,  rather  from this  narration  of  Abu al-Darda’  (radhiyallahu anhu),  it  is  clearly  recognised  that  the  person  who  takes only  one  meaning  from  a  verse  of  the  Qur’an  and  restricts  it  to  this  one  meaning  will  be included  amongst  the  commoners  and  not  from the  people  of  understanding.  One  will only  be  a  complete  person  of  understanding  when  multiple  non-conflicting  meanings  are taken  as  the  intent  of  a  single  verse,  just  as  Hazrat  Mawlana  Muhammad  Qasim  (rahmatullah alaih)  established  three  types  of  Sealship  for  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallan)  from the  one  phrase  “Seal  of  the  Prophets,”  meaning essential,  chronological  and  spatial.  

All  praise  to  Allah,  the  correct  meaning  of  the  three  sentences  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  has  been explained,  and  it  is  known  to  the  readers  that  those  people  who  the  deceased  Hazrat Nanotwi  called  commoners  on  page  3  of  Tahzir  al-Nas  are  commoners  according  to  the Barelwi  learned  man  also.  After  this  I  also  want  to  say  that  from  this  research,  the Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam),  along  with  being  the  Chronological Seal  is  also  the  Positional  Seal  and  Essential  Seal,  i.e.  he  is  the  essential  prophet  while other  prophets  are  accidental  prophets.  His  prophetic  perfections  were  given  directly  by Allah  Almighty  while  the  other  prophets  received  it  through  the  medium  of  the Messenger.  In  this  too,  the  deceased  Hazrat  Nanotwi  is  not  alone.  Rather,  many  earlier research  scholars  stated  exactly  this.  However,  I  feel  there  is  no  need  in  making  the speech  long  and  the  book  big  by  quoting  their  statements  because  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida Khan  Sahib  himself  also  stated  this,  after  which  there  is  no  need  to  quote  any  other  text. This  is  why  I  will  quote  one  passage  from  him  in  this  respect  to  conclude  the  discussion. The  aforementioned  learned  man  wrote  on  page  23  of  his  treatise  Jaza’  Allah  ‘Aduwwah:

And  from  recurrent  clear  texts  of  the  noble  saints  and  the  glorious  imams  and luminous  scholars  it  is  evident  that  every  blessing,  whether  little  or  much,  small or  big,  physical  or  spiritual,  religious  or  worldly,  outward  or  inward,  from  the  first day  till  now  and  from  now  till  the  Resurrection,  and  from  the  Resurrection  till  the afterlife,  and  from  the  afterlife  to  eternity,  whether  a  believer  or  disbeliever, obedient  or  disobedient,  angel  or  man,  jinn  or  animal,  rather  everything  besides Allah  which  is  acquired  by  anyone  or  has  been  acquired  or  will  be  acquired,  its bud  opens  or  opened  or  will  open  with  his  gracious  breeze,  and  is  distributed  or was  distributed  or  will  be  distributed  from  his  hand.  He  is  the  secret  of  existence and  the  foundation  of  existence  and  the  greatest  vicegerent  of  Allah  and  the  one given  charge  of  the  bounty  of  the  world  (Allah  Almighty  bless  him  and  grant  him peace).  He  (Allah  Almighty  bless  him  and  grant  him  peace)  said  this  himself:  “I am Abu  al-Qasim.  Allah  gives  and  I  distribute.”  Al-Hakim  narrated  it  in  alMustadrak  and  authenticated  it  and  the  critics  agreed  with  him.

From this  passage  of  the  Barelwi  learned  man,  it  is  acknowledged  that  whatever spiritual,  bodily,  worldly,  religious,  outward  and  inward  blessing  is  acquired  by  anyone,  it is  a  consequence  of  the  generous  favour  of  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).  And  since  prophethood  is  also  one  of  the  highest  levels  of  spiritual  blessings, therefore,  this  too  is  acquired  through  the  medium  of  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)  by  other  Prophets  (alayhimussalaam).  The  name  of  this  reality according  to  the  terminology  of  Hazrat  Mawlana  Qasim  Nanotwi  is  “Essential”  or “Positional  Sealship.”  I  will  now  close  the  discussion  here,  and  I  will  turn  my  attention towards  Mawlawi  Ahmad  Rida  Khan  Sahib’s  slander  against  Mawlana  Rashid  Ahmad Sahib Muhaddith Gangohi of attributing lie to the Lord of Glory (Great is His Majesty). (Will be posted later In Shaa Allah!)

[Taken from fayslah kun munazarah]