Category Archives: Dhikr

دائمی ذکر

نبی صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کا ارشاد ہے کہ:

“تیری زبان ذکراللہ سے برابر رہے-“

اللہ تعالی کا نام موئمن کی زبان پر ہر وقت رہنا چاہیے۔ رات کو بستر پر لیٹتے وقت اللہ کے ذکر کے ساتھ سو جایا کرو- اس سے ہر سانس تسبیح میں شمار ہوگی اور ایک فرشتہ رات بھر تمہاری حفاظت کرےگا-

دائمی ذکر وہ نہیں ہے جو بشکل مروجہ حلقہ ذکر کی بدعت اور جس کو مساجد میں کچھ جعلی قسم کے صوفی بر سر عام عوام الناس کو پھنسانے اور فریفتہ کرنے کے لیے کرتے ہیں- دائمی ذکر یہ ہے کے ذکر کے ساتھ، جس صیغہ سے بھی ہو،  لا الہ الا اللہ بھتر ہے، زبان مسلسل جاری رہے-

نتیجہ ایسے ذکر لسانی کا یہ ہوگا کہ دل میں ذکر راسخ اور جاگزیں ہوجائےگا- اس ترح دل بیدار ہوجائےگا اور اللہ کی یاد میں لگا رہےگا- اس سے دل اللہ کے نور سے منور ہو جائےگا-

چلتے پھرتے، اٹھتے بیٹھتے، کام کرتے ہوئے اور ہر حال میں ذکر جاری رہے- اس کی برکت سے گناہ کی بات تو کیا، لایعنی گفتگو سے بھی نفرت پیدہ ہو جائےگی-

ذکر کا کوئ جزباتی اثر دل پر محسوس نہ ہونے سے فکر میں نہ پڑئے- آپ کا فریضہ ذکراللہ میں مشگول ہونا ہے- روحانی لزت، فرحت، اور رقت  قلبی پیدا کرنا انسان کی بس کی بات نھیں ہے- ایسے غیر اختیاری حالات و کیفیات انعامات کی قبیک سے ہیں جو اللہ تعالی اپنی مشیت اور حکمت کے تحت عنایت فرماتے ہیں- آپ کو سرف اپنے اختیاری امور کے سلسلہ میں فکر کرنی چاہیئے-

جذباتی امور بھی زیادہ تر زندگی گزارنے کے طریقہ پر موقوف ہے- جو شقص واٹس ایپ، فیس بک، ٹیلی وژن، میں غیر محرموں کو گھورتا ہے وغیراہ وغیراہ، اہنی آنکھیں، کان، دماغ کو ملوس کرتا ہے تو اس کو کس قسم کی محمود جذباتی حالت کی توقع نہیں کرنا چاہیئے- تاہم ان برائیوں میں تلوث کے باوجود اسے ذکراللہ کو ترک نہیں کرنا چاہیئے- ذکداللہ میں مداومت سے، انشاہ اللہ، آخرکار ان گناہ کے کاموں سے نفرت پیدا ہو جائگی-

قرآن مجید میں ہے:

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“اور میں نے جنات اور انسانوں کو سرف اس لئے پیدا کیا کہ وہ میری بندگی اختیار کریں-“

تو ذکراللہ بنیادی مقصد ہے جس کے لئے اللہ تعالا نے ہمیں پیدا کیا ہے- دیگر تمام سرگرمیاں جیسے تبلیغ، علم اور ہر قسم کے مستحسن عمال، دکراللہ کے مقابلہ  میں ثانوی حیثیت رکھتے ہیں-

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Zikr-E-Ilahi – REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH

BY Hadhrat Maseehul Ummat, Maulana Muhammed Maseehulah Khan Sherwani (Rahmatullah Alayh)

INTRODUCTION
ZIKR-E-ILAHI or Remembrance of Allah is one of the many lectures of Maseehul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Shah Muhammad Maseehulláh Khan Sherwáni (May Allah Ta’ala maintain his shadow of barkat over us for many more years). In this lecture Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb diagnoses the spiritual degeneration in which the Ummah is caught up today. Not only does he diagnose the malady, but he provides the cure for this spiritual affliction of ours.

Organizations and movements, luminaries and dignataries of the world, time and again, come up with their self invented theories for the solution of the ills with which mankind is suffering. All such theories and solutions offered by modern man fail and will always fail to solve the miserable condition of moral and spiritual degeneration in which the Ummah is floundering today. They all fail for the simple reason that they have hopelessly failed in  pin-pointing the malady. Their diagnosis is far off the mark and their prescriptions have no Divine flavour.

The prescription offered by Hadhrat Maseehullah Sáheb is the prescription enshrined in the Qurán Sháreef — — the prescription of Allah Ta’al a — — the only sure remedy for the elimination of our degeneration. This booklet will, therefore, serve the purpose of the earnest and sincere seeker of the Truth in his journey towards Allah Ta’ala.

Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb is well-known to many thousands of Muslims of South Africa and he requires no introduction as far as they are concerned. Those who do not know this great Sufi and Saint of our time may write to the Mujlisul Ulama for the booklet which sets out in brief the history of Hadhrat Maseehul Ummat. Was-Salaam.

MULISUL ULAMA OF S.A.
P.O. BOX 3393, 
PORT ELIZABETH.
Muharram, 1401 November, 1980 SOUTH AFRICA.

“(O Believers!) Do not become like those who became forgetful about Allah (by abstaining from practising in accordance with the Law of Allah – they opposed the commands of Allah and indulged in His prohibitions.) In consequence Allah caused them to become neglectful of their own souls (in such a way that they could not discern what is truly beneficial for themselves.) Indeed these are the transgressors (who will suffer the chastisement of transgression).” (Bayanul Qur’an)

This is a short ayat at the end of Surah Hashr. In this ayat, like in other ayat, is contained a very important topic.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSTAHABBAT
Every part of the Qur’an Shareef is of the greatest importance. No part of it is redundant or of no value. Those verses which do not discuss Faraidh and Wajibat (compulsory laws) but mention only the Mustahab aspects are also of tremendous significance. Nowadays Mustahabbat are not regarded as of any importance. It is correct that in so far as practise is concerned, Mustahabbat are not on the same level as Faraidh and Wajibat, however, to be educated in the Mustahabbat is essential for two reasons:

(1) Knowledge will rectify any misconception regarding the category which Mustahab practices occupy in the Shariah. By being educated in the Mustahabbat one will not regard such practices as unlawful, fardh or wajib. This knowledge is of utmost importance in regard of the rectification of I’tiqad (belief).
(2) The barakat (spiritual lustre and effulgence) and beneficial results are innumerable. Ignorance of these many benefits and significances of Mustahab practices will not engender in any inclination towards these valuable practices.

Knowledge of the many and great benefits which can be obtained from such Mustahab acts which are regarded as most insignificant, will create in one the realization of the great loss which is suffered by abstaining from such valuable acts which in reality are priceless jewels. The need of Mustahabbat is for the perfection of deeds. Righteous deeds attain their full perfection and efficiency by means of the Mustahab etiquettes linked to them. Thus, the mention of Mustahabbat in the Qur’an Shareef is not unnecessary. Such practices have been mentioned because of tremendous importance and significance attached to them. If one possesses love for Allah, one will value and honour these Mustahabbat. The Ashiq-e-Sadiq (true lover of Allah) possesses an unique temperament. He constantly searches for every   aspect which will please the Mahboob (beloved Allah Ta’ala). When the true ashiq realizes that the Beloved is pleased with a certain thing then he hastens towards it and endeavours to fulfil it, ever striving to please Him by not omitting anything which is pleasing to Him. If our temperament becomes imbued with love, then we will realise the value of Mustahabbat, and will regard its narration as the Rahmat of Allah and the Shafqat   (affection) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This realization will dawn upon one when one discovers the detailed explanation of these rules and importance accorded them by Allah Ta’ala.

MUSTAHABBAT – THE PEACE AND TRANQUILITY OF THE ASHIQ

If in the Shariah was only the order for Faraaidh and Wajibat, the ashiq of Allah would have been overtaken by great distress and restlessness because the ashiq is not satisfied by only that which is necessary, for that which is necessary is regarded by the ashiq as a mere duty and obligation. Besides duty, the ashiq’s quest is for that which will direct the attention of the Mahboob to him, more and more.

We entertain the misconception that our relationship with Allah Ta’ala is merely constitutional, i.e. we are legally obliged to obey Him. It is because of this misconception that we regard as sufficient the discharge of Faraaidh and Wajibat, and neglect the Mustahabbat, regarding them as unimportant. If our link with Allah Ta’ala was a bond of Muhabbat (love) and devotion, then we would have never obtained contentment from only the Faraaidh and the Wajibat, but would have been in the constant search of Mustahabbat. We would then have hastened to everything which Allah Ta’ala loves and which is pleasing to him. And, on the other hand we would have remained miles away from acts which are displeasing to Him. If our relationship with Allah Ta’ala was a bond of love and devotion we would not have investigated whether an act is detestable in a higher or lower degree (as people are in the habit of  asking ‘is such an act haram or ‘only’ makruh?’, the motive underlying the enquiry being the desire to indulge in it if it is makruh — a lesser detestation than haraam). For the ashiq it suffices that he knows the things and acts which displease his Mahboob. This knowledge is sufficient as a deterrent against the commission of acts displeasing to Allah Ta’ala. The ashiq does not probe the degree of displeasure, i.e. whether an act is greatly displeasing or slightly displeasing. His disposition is to refrain totally from all factors of displeasure, be these slight or great. To the ashiq all cases of displeasure are grave regardless of whether such displeasure results in slight annoyance or severe punishment.

OUR  BOND WITH ALLAH TA’ALA  HAS SLACKENED

Our condition now has degenerated to the degree of indifference where we enquire into the nature of the sin in view to practise it. Once it is known that a certain act is sinful, we pose the question: Is it a kabeerah sin or a sagheerah sin? This attitude is a clear indication that our relationship with Allah Ta’ala has weakened considerably, although not totally, for even this question (viz., probing the degree of gravity of a sin) is proof of the bond with Allah Ta’ala. At least that much connection with Allah Ta’ala remains that the perpertrator of the sin is not prepared to court the greater displeasure of Allah. If even this (weakened) bond was non-existent, then this question would have not occurred… the question of minor and major sin. It is therefore plain that there is yet fear for the major sins in view of considerable Divine displeasure  ensuing in the wake of its commission. However, because of the weakness of our bond with Allah Ta’ala, displeasure of a lesser degree is countenanced and agreeable.

The question: Is it a major or minor sin?, is evidence of the bond with Allah Ta’ala as well as evidence of the weakness of that bond. Those who are in this habit of posing this question will be delighted from the aforegoing explanation that their relationship with Allah Ta’ala has been accorded a firm footing. To a degree this delight is justified.

MERE RELATIONSHIP NOT SUFFICIENT – PERFECT RELATIONSHIP IS THE GOAL

One should understand, reflect and remember that one should not be satisfied with mere relationship. Social ties exist among ourselves, but we do not content ourselves with the mere existence of such ties. On the contrary, the desire is there to perfect each bond of relationship. Thus, it will be realised that the mere concept of relationship with the wife is extremely weak. It is given force by only two statements (of ijaab and qubool proposal and acceptance), and the same bond of marriage is rent asunder by a single word, viz., talaq. Notwithstanding this, no man contents himself with the mere relationship he has with the wife. Every man desires that his relationship with his wife attains perfection. Precisely for this reason no one stops at only the discharge of the obligatory rights, but in order to strengthen the bond and gain the pleasure of the wife, the husband by far exceeds the obligatory demands and rights of the wife and provides a variety of comforts and luxuries out of his own free will and accord. This attitude of the husband is clearly motivated to strengthen and perfect the bond which exists between the wife and himself. Should the husband regard his wife with a consitutional (or legal) attitude and provide nothing more than her obligatory rights, then inspite of the existence of the legal bond between them, the relationship will be devoid of pleasure and love. In fact, in this attitude lies the danger of renting asunder the relationship.

A relationship will endure only if ways and means are devised to strengthen and perfect it. Although the marriage bond (i.e. the mere legal connection) is extremely weak, every man finds unbearable and peace-shattering its severance. Great pains are undertaken and many a scheme is devised to maintain the endurance of this marriage relationship. When this is the attitude to wards a weak relationship, then indeed, it is most astonishing that we remain satisfied with the mere relationship which we have with Allah Ta’ala. The bond with Allah Ta’ala  is the strongest of all relationship. No relationship is comparable with man’s relationship with Allah Ta’ala. What then is the reason for our indifference? Why do we have no fikr (concern and desire) to strengthen the greatest of all bonds? Why are we contented with the mere relationship? And, why do we not regard the perpetuation of this bond to be based upon strengthening it like we do in regard to our mundane relationships? The mere existence of a relationship is not sufficient for its perpetual endurance. In fact the danger of destroying and eliminating this bond is ever present. Is the elimination of the Divine bond existing between man and his Rabb bearable to anyone? Never! Why then is no concern shown in the direction of strengthening and perfecting this bond? Maulana Rumi (rahmatullahi alayhi) says:

“O you who are perpetually engaged in pleasing the wife and children! How is it possible that you never have time to please your greatest Benefactor and Creator?”

And, again he says:

“In developing this contemptible world you have no moment to spare. But, how unconcerned are you of the pleasure of that Creator Who has arranged and assembled all these bounties?”

Alas! In worldly affairs we cannot bear nor countenance the slightest indifference and imperfection. We are unable to bear the slackening of weak and despicable ties, but in weakening our bond with Allah Ta’ala we do not feel the slightest pang of regret and pain of heart. Although even the mere relationship with Allah Ta’ala is a great favour, nevertheless to be contented with a weak bond is grave injustice. Certain people are even satisfied with the non-existence of relationship with Allah Ta’ala. But they are the kuffaar who are not our audience on this occasion. Some others again are contented with a weak relationship with Allah Ta’ala. This group is represented by us, Muslims of today. The effect of this is that we do not value the Mustahabbat. Once Hazrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayi) observed:

“In childhood I was once in the habit of performing Nafl Salaat in abundance. Upon studying Muniyatul Musalli I learnt that non-observance of Mustahabbat is not sinful. Upon realising this, I discontinued the performance of Nafl. At that time I did not realise what I was doing. But, now I have realised that evil condition, for it implied the desire to maintain only a legal relationship with Allah Ta’ala, hence the attitude to only discharge the compulsory duties and neglect those factors which are pleasing to Allah Ta’ala.”

OMISSION OF MUSTAHAB ON SHAR’I GROUNDS
It is entirely a different issue to omit Mustahab on Shar’i grounds. For example: Omitting the Mustahab in order to indicate to others that the act is not Wajib (compulsory); in a journey to omit the performance of Nafl Salat in consideration of one’s travelling companions; or because of any difficulty occurring in some essential work; or due to much tiredness, the Mustahabs are omitted. Such omission of Mustahabbat is not reprimandable. Even the hadith says:

“Verily, your soul too has a right over you.”

But the hadith orders us to seek protection against abstention from Mustahabbat due to indolence.

“O Allah! Verily, I seek refuge with You from weakness and indolence.” (Hadith)

It should be well remembered that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exhorted us to seek comfort and in its pursuit, he (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exhorted certain Sahabah to abstain from even some Mustahabbat and reduce the performance of Nafl Salaat. On the contrary he exhorted the seeking of protection from indolence. There is a difference in these two occasions of abstention from Mustahabbat. The quest for comfort is after one has made full effort and laboured fully in accordance with one’s capability. When one has done so, the Shar’i command is that one should not labour and toil more than could be borne by one’s ability and strength. The order is then to take rest and comfort. If, on the other-hand, one labours a bit and not to one’s full capacity, and then refrains from the work, then it will be said that the cause is indolence. It is of such indolence that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ordered the seeking of protection.

THE BARKAT OF MUSTAHABBAT Since our relationship with Allah Ta’ala is solemn, great and vital, the execution of Mustahabbat too is vital. This discussion was initiated by the assertion that every part of the Quran of Allah Ta’ala is of importance. It was said in this regard that in the Quran Kareem is the mention of Mustahabbat, but inspite of this, these Mustahabbat are considered to be unimportant; it is necessary to educate and instruct in these; their benefits and significance are innumerable. One such benefit is that at times Mustahabbat act as a prevention against sin. One who is constant in Tahajjud, Ishraq, Chasht and Awwabeen will abstain from sin to a greater degree than one who performs only the five Fardh Salat. Furthermore, a regular performer of Tahajjud, etc. is considered a pious person by others. This consideration in itself acts as an impediment to sin since such a person will feel ashamed to perpetrate sins.

Another benefit of Mustahabbat is that sometimes Allah Ta’ala is pleased so much with a certain Mustahab act that najat (salvation) is obtained by virtue of it.

An interesting episode is related here to indicate this importance. Someone saw in a dream, Seebaway, the expert of Arabic grammar, and enquired of him as to how he fared by Allah. Seebaway by belief belonged to the Mu’tazili sect. he replied: “Allah forgave me.’ When asked: “On what basis did Allah forgive you?” he replied: “On the basis of a question in grammar.” He outlined the question as follows:

“The experts of grammar have differed in regard to the question of Ma’rifah (proper noun). Among the Dhamais A’raful Mair (pronouns which are a class of Ma’rifah) which Dhameer arif? Some said that A’raful Ma’ar (1st  person — if is the Dhameer of the Mutakallim the speaker); others said the Mukhátab (second person — — the one who is being addressed). And I said that the word Allah is A’raful Ma’arif; that there is no Ma’rifah superior to it, because the word Allah refers to the Being of Allah exclusively, there being no other possibility. This was pleasing to Allah Ta’ala Who said: ‘You have honoured MY NAME well. Go you are forgiven.’”

Thus it will be realized that the forgiveness and salvation of this grammarian were attained on something which he said without even having had the intention of gaining reward, but he obtained victory on its basis.

EPISODE NO. 2
A saint was walking once at night time in severe cold. In the dark he saw a kitten shivering in the cold. He took pity on the kitten and brought it home where it was warmed. After the saint died, Allah Ta’ala asked him: “What have you brought for Me?”

He ruminated: “My deeds are not worthy of presentation, but by grace of Allah, I possess the treasure of Imán in which there could not have been any trait of ostentation (riyá). I should present this to Allah Ta’ala.”
He then stated: “I have brought Tauheed.”

He was then reminded: “Do you remember the night of the milk? The night when you drank milk and attributed the ensuing stomach-pain to the milk, saying that: “the milk caused the pain’. What! Is this Tauheed? You overlooked Me and attributed the act to the milk whereas I am the true Cause.”

Upon this revelation, the saint trembled in fear. 

Allah Ta’ala exclaimed: “You have now realized the reality of your claim? Now, I will forgive you because of an act which you never dreamt would be the medium of salvation. One night you took pity on a kitten shivering in the cold and gave it succour. You were merciful to My creature. It is a greater requirement that I be merciful to you. Go, you have been forgiven.” 

Such is the grace, barakat and favour of Mustahabbát. The ahádith are replete with such instances — — such insignificant occurrences which countenanced salvation.

EPISODE NO. 3
Another illustration is the episode of a prostitute which has been narrated in the hadith. Once she saw a dog in the intense heat licking the ground due to thirst. She took pity on the dog. Nearby was a well, but there was no rope and bucket with which to draw the water. She used her scarf as a rope and her leather sock as a container. With these she managed to draw sufficient water to quench the thirst of the almost dying dog. After a while this woman died. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that she was forgiven and attained salvation because of this merciful act shown to the dog. It has been well said:

‘The Rahmat of Allah is in search of some excuse so as to forgive (people their sins). It does not search for any price.”

My friends! Never regard any good act as insignificant or despicable. It is not known which act appeals to Allah Ta’ala. Nowadays there are people who are disposed to abstain from practicing righteous deeds upon hearing episodes of Allah’s bountless mercy.

THE EFFECT OF NARRATIVES
The similitude of these episodes is like the rain. Not only these  episodes, but even Nusoos (Quranic verses and Ahadith) bear the same similitude. Rain in itself is highly beneficial and life-giving. However, its effect on different substrata varies. If the ground is fertile, the beneficial effect is manifested in the luxurious growth. If the ground is arid and barren, then the more the rainfall, the more thorn-trees, brambles and shrubbery. Shaikh Sa’di (rahmatullah alayhi) says:

“There is no doubt in the beneficial effect of rain. If it rains in a garden, tulips grow; if it rains in arid ground, thorns and brambles grow.”

Similar is the effect of episodes of Rahmat on different persons. People of different dispositions are affected differently by these stories of mercy. Those of a sick disposition and unhealthy temperament interpret these incidents of mercy in a grossly distorted manner. They say if Allah Ta’ala forgives on the basis of such trivial acts, then there is no real need for righteous deeds. On the other hand, those of a healthy disposition and who are straight-thinking, upon hearing such incidents of Rahmat increase their acts of obedience. In fact, at times, if forgiveness is obtained without punishment, those whose hearts are imbued with Divine Recognition are smitten with shame far greater than the shame which they would have suffered if they had received some punishment. Only those who have suffered this state know its reality.

THE EXAMPLE OF THE INCIDENT OF UHUD

Whoever has understood this condition (of extreme shame for obtaining forgiveness without being punished) will understand without the slightest difficulty the tafseer of the âyat:

‘Thus, (Allah Ta’ala) awarded you with grief as a recompense for grief so that you may not (again) grieve.”

The reference in this verse is to an incident which occurred during the battle of Uhud. Prior to the commencing of the battle, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) posted fifty Sahabah to guard the mountain pass — — to thwart any attack from the rear. They were instructed not to leave their posts without Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) permission, no matter what the condition of the main army may be. After this arrangement Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ordered the Muslims to attack. By the fadhl of Allah the Muslims gained victory within a very short while. The kuffár were decisively routed. Abu Sufyan lbn Harb who at that time was the commander of the kuffár army, fled with his army. The flag which he was holding fell down. The Muslims pursued the fleeing enemy. On observing this total route of the kuffar, a difference arose among the Muslims guarding the mountain-pass. Some were of the opinion that since victory has been achieved there no longer remained the need to guard the pass as the purpose for this duty no longer existed. In their opinion they would not be disobeying the order of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) if they now left their position. They argued that thus far they had not actively participated in the battle and they now felt the need to join in the pursuit of the kuffar. However, some others opposed this view, saying that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) issued strict instructions not to leave the post under any circumstances and without his express consent. But, the first group rejected this advice and forty men left the position which they were guarding and became engaged in the gathering of booty. This was an error of judgement on their part.

Khálid Bin Walid who at that stage had not yet embraced Islam and who was in the army of the kuffar observed this move. He had left some spies at the mountain to keep him informed of the position at the mountain- pass. While he was on the run with the army of the kuffar his spies informed him that the fortification at the mountain was abandoned. Khalid Bin Walid who was well-experienced in military tactics and a seasoned officer immediately retrenched his steps with five hundred soldiers and soon reached the post now guarded by only eleven Sahabah. The Sahabah defended valiantly but were overwhelmed and martyred. Khalid Bin Waleed then commenced his attack on the Muslims from the rear. Seeing the tables being turned, the rest of the kuffar army joined in the attack on the Muslims who were now encircled. The danger which caused Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to fortify the mountain pass now materialised. Seventy Muslims were martyred in the ensuing engagement.

Hearing the false cry of the shaitan that Muhammad is slain, the feet of many Sahabah were uprooted and the tables were completely turned on the Muslims. Inspite of this severe setback the Muslims were not defeated. Sayyiduna Muhammadur Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with a handful of devotees held their ground, never turning their backs. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ordered the Sahaabi to regroup. With one call all the Muslims regrouped.

Allah Ta’ala attributes the calamity upon the Muslims to the error in judgement which they made when they abandoned their position without the permission of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), The Quraan, therefore says:

“And, you disobeyed (the order of Rasulullah) after He (Allah) showed you that which you loved (i.e. the victory of the Muslims).”

They are then reprimanded by Allah Ta’ala:

“Thus He awarded you with grief as a recompense for the grief (which you caused Rasulullah by departing from his command) so that you may not grieve over that which has slipped by you.

The wisdom underlying this retribution is stated: “So that you do not grieve over that which has slipped by you.”

This disgression was necessitated by the assertion that some persons of noble disposition undergo greater shame and regret if no retribution is taken, hence the purport of the áyat (mentioned above) is:

We recompensed you with a little hardship so that you may not grieve much if forgiven without retribution having being taken.

The Sahabah were the beloved devotees of Allah and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), If their error was forgiven without any recompense being meted out, they would not have been able to raise their heads all their life because of regret and shame. Thus they were given a slight punishment so as to save them from great grief. It will now be realised that punishment is not always to inflict grief. On the contrary, it is meted out sometimes to reduce grief.

AUDACITY– A SIGN OF AN UNHEALTHY DISPOSITION
This explanation was necessary because some people upon hearing narratives of Rahmat become audacious and neglect righteousness. In this regard one should reflect: Will one who remains restless if not punished for error, become audacious in the commission of sin upon hearing narratives of mercy? Certainly, those who possess a healthy disposition and have a bond of love with Allah Ta’ala, will increase their obedience upon hearing episodes of Allah’s Rahmat. The slave whose folly is overlooked without punishment and inspite of this, he becomes audacious in his disobedience is indeed a person of great degeneration.

The slave who, inspite of being forgiven his folly without being punished and is audacious in disobeying his master, is of the lowest calibre and most contemptible. A noble man is he who observing a favour of his master submits himself lifelong. It is for this reason that it was said that those who become audacious in neglecting good acts upon hearing narratives of Rahmat are people of an unhealthy disposition. They should be concerned with the rectification of their condition and endeavour to create a bond of love with Allah Ta’ala. The method of attaining this goal is for a while to remain in the company of the pious saints. They will then not misconstrue the narratives of Rahmat and will acquire the true benefits of the Mustahab acts. Thus a lifetime of misfortune will be obliterated. Indeed instructing us in the Mustahabbát is a great favour and mercy of Allah Ta’ala upon us.

REVERTING TO THE MAIN TOPIC It will now be realised that every part of the Quran Kareem is of importance, and the Mustahabbát in so far as instruction and education are concerned too are of great importance. Regarding ‘aml’ (righteous deeds) Mustahabbát are of great efficiency in producing results. The claim that every statement of Allah and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is essential, is therefore correct. It is also correct to claim that in the áyát under discussion is a very important subject similar in importance to subjects of other áyat. In this áyat Allah Ta’ala informs us of a very simple remedy for our evil plight and condition. There is no doubt in the fact that our plight is evil. No one is free from this vile condition. However, although the evil condition is common in us all, there exist differences in the degree of degeneration. In some the degeneration and destruction are of a greater degree and in others, of a lesser degree.

DISTRESSED IS HE WHOSE DEGENERATION IS OF A LESSER DEGREE
The one whose condition is of a lesser degree of degeneration will be more distressed than those whose condition is degenerated to a much higher degree. This discussion, therefore, is applicable to people of all degrees of degeneration. In fact, those whose degeneration is of a lesser degree stand in greater need of this discussion because they are overtaken by distress. This could be better understood by means of an analogy. It has been observed that those who are in great debt are worried to a lesser degree than those who have lesser debt. The reason for this being that the one with great debt has already become addicted to debt and feel the strain much less than the one who is not in the habit of accruing debt. The one who is not habituated to debt suffers much although he has hope of liquidating his debt. He remains restless all night, and he wonders at those who can sleep peacefully in spite of being drowned in debt.

CONCERN OVER HARDSHIPS When there is hope of overcoming the difficulty then there is concern and worry about it. When this hope vanishes then concern too disappears. One then ceases to be worried about the difficulty since it assumes one’s second nature. One becomes like a permanent invalid. Likewise, those who do not sin much, remain worried and full of regret, and those who commit sin in abundance, are not concerned much. Constant commission of sin has desensitized them. At times abundance of sin induces in one the condition of hopelessness, i.e. one loses all hope in the mercy of Allah Ta’ala, labouring under the impression that forgiveness is no longer possible. When this state of degeneration is reached, man sins and derives full pleasure. He now opens his heart and sins most audaciously until when maut arrives, then too, he does not incline towards lstighfár and Taubah. Should he be instructed at this stage to resort to lstighfár and Taubah, he will vehemently refuse. In this regard Imam lbn  Qayyim (rahmatullah alayhi) said:

“While a man was dying those present instructed him to recite the Kalimah, but he refused saying: ‘Of what benefit is a single statement? My sins are so numerous that a thousand Kalimahs too will not be able to obliterate them.”

This was the state of hopelessness which had been reached. This state of hopelessness is kufr. May Allah Ta’ala protect every Muslim, Ameen.

AT TIMES EVEN OBEDIENCE HAVE DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS The detrimental effects of abundant sin are manifest. It is astonishing that at times such  harmful effects flow in the wake of obedience as well. This could not have been understood by anyone other than Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who was educated by Allah Ta’ala, Himself. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“My Rabb educated me; He gave me the best of education, My Rabb schooled me in etiquette: He gave me the best of etiquette.”

Since, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was taught in this gracious manner by Allah Ta’ala his far-sightedness and insight can never be overemphasised. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explained that at times even obedience produces harmful results. His far-sightedness could be gauged from this instruction. Superficially it seems that obedience in any amount is meritorious. The more the obedience the better, hence there should not be limits prescribed for obedience. But Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) understood this mystery well. He therefore explained that obedience too has a limit. A sick person requires medicine, but inspite of the medicine being beneficial, it has prescribed limits. If given in excess, the harmful result will be understandable. The same applies to obedience. Although in itself, obedience is meritorious and beneficial, but the physicians of the Rooh, the Ambiya (alayhimus salam) and their heirs have informed us that obedience too is like a remedy which has prescribed limits.

Khauf (Fear) of Allah Ta’ala is a state of great obedience. The Quran and Ahádith, over and over, instructs us to inculcate this Khauf. But, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prescribed a limit for this Fear. Hence, in one dua he says:

“O Allah! Verily, I ask You that amount of Your Fear which will act as a barrier between us and disobeying You.”

In this dua it has been shown that fear without any limit is not the goal. That much of fear is desired which will prevent us from disobedience.

THE WISDOM OF PRESCRIBING LIMITS TO OBEDIENCE

Experience has proven that an excess of innate fear is harmful. A person afflicted with excess fear perpetually fixes his gaze on the Wrath of Allah Ta’ala. He does not consider any evil act worthy of forgiveness nor does he consider any of his deeds worthy of acceptance in the Court of Grandeur of Allah Ta’ala. Thus he does not entertain the hope of salvation. The end result will be that such a person will lose all hope in the mercy of Allah Ta’ala, and such hopelessness is kufr. Who other than Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) could prescribe that excess of obedience too could be detrimental? Allah Ta’ala says:

“Verily, none loses hope in the mercy of Allah, but a nation of unbelievers.”  

Precisely for this reason did Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) say:

“… so much fear which will act as a barrier between us and disobeying You (i.e. sin).”

THE PHILOSOPHERS AND THE AMBIYA (ALAYHIMUS SALAM) The ancient philosophers on observing the eternal truths propounded by the Ambiyá (alayhimus salam) were stunned. In their books they were constrained to attest to the reality of Nubuwwat. In this regard they claimed that it is possible that from the First Cause of Grace  (a crude reference to the  Creator — conception of the All-Powerful Allah Azza wa jal — — — the philosophers had no clear translator) knowledge could be transmitted directly to certain persons. Because of this view, no philosopher denied the Nubuwwat of any Nabi during his time. They even went to the extent of saying that the lofty knowledge possessed by the Ambiya cannot be gained by means of spiritual exercises. Inspite of this acknowledgement, the philosophers committed the fatal blunder of claiming that the Ambiyá (alayhimus salam) were sent for the masses for the ignorant and the illiterate. They, therefore, did not feel obliged to follow the Ambiyá (alayhimus salam), claiming that they could purify their own souls by means of knowledge and spiritual exercises. Hence, in their opinion they stood in no need of a spiritual guide. Certain Mufassireen have said that in regard to such philosophers Allah Ta’ala says in the Qurán Kareem:

“And, when the Rusul (Ambiya) came to them (philosophers) with clear signs, they became boastful because of the (worldly) knowledge they possessed. And, they were hemmed in by that which they mocked.”

They regarded this mundane life as the goal and were proud with the ability they possessed in this regard. They rejected the Akhirah, dubbed the quest for the Akhirah insanity and treated the warnings for rejection with mockery. Allah’s atháb (punishment) finally overtook them.

The attitude of these philosophers was the same as that of those Jews who while acknowledging the Nubuwwat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was indeed a Nabi, but a Nabi for only the Arabs. They denied that he was a Nabi for them since they asserted that they possessed a Scripture. The folly of their thinking is manifest. They acknowledged that he was a Nabi. A requisite of a Nabi is that he is truthful. That very person whom they acknowledged as a Nabi, albeit for only the Arabs; declared:

“I am the Nabi unto all mankind. Obedience to me is obligatory. There is no salvation without following me.”

Their rejection of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is, therefore, in own claims and understanding, illogic and irrational.

SO-CALLED PHILOSOPHERS OF TODAY

The ancient philosophers were unlike the so-called philosophers and scientists of today. These so-called philosophers of today reject the very reality of Nubuwwat. In fact those of today are not philosophers. On the contrary they are technologists. Technology will remain beneficial as long as it is not misused. But technology does not qualify one as a wise man. Hikmat (wisdom) is acquired through spiritual and metaphysical knowledge.

But, the so-called philosophers (the scientists, theosophists, evolutioners, etc.) are absolutely devoid of any spiritual knowledge. It is because of the total lack of this form of knowledge that they reject outrightly Nubuwwat.

REVERSION TO THE ORIGINAL TOPIC

This digression followed in explanation of the assertion that at times harmful effects ensue in the wake of  righteousness as well. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made this abundantly clear. And, this was presented in explaining that sometimes abundance of sin causes one to lose hope in the mercy of Allah; and when such a condition is reached, one indulges in sin shamelessly and audaciously. Sin then ceases to bother or worry such a perpertrator. But one who has sinned slightly does not lose hope in Maghfirat and Rahmat. He always entertains hope and is concerned with his condition. He strives to abstain from sin. For this reason was it said earlier that those whose spiritual condition is on a lesser degree of degeneration, stand in greater need of this discourse.

THE CONDITION OF THE KHAWAS IN SIN

Among those of lesser degeneration, the condition of the khawás (special devotees of Allah Ta’ala) is more acute. Their state is aptly summed up in the couplet:

“If from the garden of the Salik (the devotee journeying in the quest of Allah) a single blade of grass is reduced
Thousands of pangs of grief smite his heart.

In other words: leave alone sin; if even a slight change undergoes his heart, a mountain of grief breaks down upon him, If at that juncture of grief a qualified spiritual guide is at hand, the devotee is consoled and saved from destruction, for at times the devotee is utterly annihilated by the unbearable grief. (This condition of extreme grief is called “Qabdh” in the terminology of Tasawwuf). About this condition Maulana Rumi (rahmatullah alayhi) says:

“When the condition of qabdh appears, contemplate the condition of bast (bast is the opposite condition of qabdh), remain happy and display no sign of grief. This is indeed a statement of great wisdom and experience.”

QABDH ALSO BENEFICIAL
Although it is quite natural to be worried during the condition of qabdh, but to remain intelectually perturbed even after being consoled and comforted by a Shaikh Kaamil (a qualified spiritual mentor) is regrettable. This consolation of the Shaikh Kaamil is based on the benefits which are given effect by the condition of qabdh. The state of qabdh is not to be interpreted as the negation of kamal (perfection).

Leave aside ordinary mortals, even Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on the first occasion of Wahi, was overwhelmed by the heaviness of Wahi or by the grandeur and splendour of Allah Ta’ala, so much so that he was gripped by uncontrolable shivering. In fear Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) returned home from the Cave of Hira, wrapped himself in a blanket and went to sleep. After having rested, Hadhrat Khadeejah (radiallahu anha) went with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to Warqah Bin Naufal who was a great AIim of the Taurah and Injeel. After listening to the episode of Nabi (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) — the incident of Wahi — Warqah gave Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) the glad tidings of Nubuwwat. He then observed:

“Alas! One day your community will expel you from Makkah. If I remain alive, I will aid you wholeheartedly.” 

After this first incidence of Wahi, the Revelation ceased for a period of three years. These three years — the period of Wahi-cessation — — were of unbearable grief to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The grief and sadness increased to such an extent that at times Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) climbed the mountain and decided to throw himself from it ending his misery. What was this state of extreme grief and sorrow? It was nothing but the state of qabdh. This condition of qabdh is not a state in contradiction to the Shariah. If it was, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would not have experienced it. It was the love for Wahi which brought about this condition of grief in Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). In this state of extreme restlessness, Jibraeel (alayhis salam) would appear and comfort and console Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He would say:

“O Muhammad! You are the Nabi of this Ummat. Allah Ta‘ala has raised you as the Nabi, Do not fear nor grieve.”

If this then was the state of even Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), then who else can there be who will not be overtaken by grief during the condition of qabdh?

By being conscious of the beneficial effects of qabdh, the heart experiences pleasure to a certain degree. At times one has an awareness of these beneficial effects although only in brief. In this regard Maulana Rumi (rahmatullah alayhi) says:

“O Salik! When qabdh alights upon you then do not be overwhelmed by grief, for it is the medium of your reformation,”

Thus it is clear that qabdh too has its benefits and that it is not an evil condition. The sálik should, therefore, not consider himself to be accursed when this condition overtakes him. Says Maulana Rumi:

“When qabdh alights then contemplate the condition of bast (which is the opposite of qabdh). Remain cheerful and happy and display no sign of grief.”

Maulana Rumi shows here that there is a strong likelihood of bast following the condition of qabdh. Like it is said:

“After every difficulty is ease. (Quraan), so too, after every qabdh is bast.”

Sometimes one acquires detailed knowledge of the beneficial results of qabdh. In that case the sálik becomes fully consoled and comforted by this awareness. Sometimes the purpose of qabdh is to eliminate the destructive force of riya (ostentation) and kibr (pride which had developed in the salik during the state of bast. Sometimes during the state of qabdh a new condition of spiritual elevation is awarded to the sálik. This results in some pride which leads the sálik to consider himself a great man of piety. If at that critical juncture Allah’s protection is not forthcoming, then the sálik will be utterly destroyed in pride and vanity. Allah Ta’ala protects the sálik in a variety of ways from these maladies and destructive forces. Sometimes Allah Ta’ala produces the state of qabdh and eliminates the pleasure and delight of the bast which had produced the harmful effects. The sálik then, instead of regarding himself as superior and with vanity, considers himself to be the most despicable and contemptible in the whole world. Truly, in that condition of qabdh, the sálik sees no one on earth as contemptible as himself. And, the true purpose of Tasawwuf is precisely this, that one considers one’self as the meanest and most despicable.

TRAVERSING SULOOK  (TASAWWUF) — A REQUISITE FOR UNDERSTANDING THE STATEMENTS OF THE AHLULLAH (SAINTS OF ALLAH)

These states of spiritualism described will only be understood if experienced. Until such experiences have been attained, the words of the Ahle Dil (the People of the Heart. i.e. ,the Auliyá) cannot be understood. It has been aptly observed:

“Someone enquired from me the nature of love I said: When you become like me you will understand the nature of love.”

Hadhrat Mujaddid Alfe Thani (rahmatullah alayhi) said:

“One cannot be an árif until one considers one’self more contemptuous than a káfir.”

If this condition has not passed over one, one will not be able to understand it. Nevertheless, it may be understood by reflecting on the end of one’s life. What will be my end? Perhaps the end of a kâfir may be better. (One may possess lmam today, but at death kufr manifests itself or a káfir may just before death be blessed with the wealth of Iman). Every person should always think along the line of the final result, and school one’s nafs with the lesson: When I am not aware of my own end, what right do I possess to consider myself superior or nobler to others? What right have I to regard others as inferior?

Although there is no certainty that one is the most despicable of all, nevertheless the possibility exists. In the face of this possibility it is not intelligent to consider one superior to others. The safest course, therefore, is to consider one’self to be the most contemptible. However, care should be exercised that this feeling does not degenerate to the level of “yás” (losing all hope in the mercy of Allah), because this condition of yás is kufr. Someone said excellently:

“Despair not of the mercy of Allah Ta’ala. At times those drowned in immorality suddenly reach the destination by a single call”

THE WISDOMS OF QABDH
Thus when during the state of bast there results the manifestation of spiritually elevated experiences, a condition similar to pride sets in. At that stage Allah Ta’ala produces the condition of qabdh so that the sálik beholds in him the impressions of servitude and insignificance. He then regards himself as the most contemptible. This in reality is a condition of great Rahmat for the sálik, for it has become a medium of a wonderful blessing. If the state of qabdh did not settle over the sálik, he would have been destroyed in the condition of bast.

Besides this benefit, another advantage of qabdh is the removal of the hijáb (veil) which sometimes is created for the sálik by anwár and tajalliyát (spiritual illumination and effulgence). Such spiritual illumination is the result of Zikrullah (Remembrance of Allah). The sâlik becomes lost in ecstacy in the resultant tajalliyát. His attention is thus diverted from Allah Ta’ala Who is the true Purpose and Motive for the striving of the spiritual traveller (salik).

Hadhrat Haji lmdadullah Muhajir Makki (rahmatullah alayhi) said:

“There are two types of hijab (spiritual veils or impediments), viz. Zulmáni (of spiritual darkness) and Nuráni (of spiritual illumination). Hijab Zulmáni comprises evil whisperings (waswás) and suspicions (khatrat). Such factors enter the heart at the time of Zikrullah and they pertain to mundane affairs. Directing one’s attention towards these factors of spiritual darkness is detrimental. Hijáb Nuráni is the revelation of the tajalliyát and anwar of Alame Malakut or the realm of the angels. Since Alame Malakut is also an existence apart from Allah Ta’ala, the attention should not be focussed on it. Attention on anything besides Allah is diversion from Allah Ta’ala. Such diversion has to be shunned.”

Hijáb Nurani is a graver condition than Hijab Zulmáni because it retains the attention more by virtue of its spiritual effulgence. Another diversionary aspect of Nurani Hijáb is the revelation of new and amazing phenomena. Observing these super-natural phenomena the sálik considers himself spiritually perfect whereas the truth is that he is as yet involved with ghair-Haqq (that which is besides Allah). Thus such spiritual illumination constitutes an obstacle for the sálik in his spiritual sojourn towards Allah Ta’ala. Furthermore, the sálik experiences a state of ecstacy during the flow of such spiritual illumination and effulgence, hence, he is overcome with immense grief if such illumination ceases. At this juncture Allah Ta’ala overtakes the sálik with the state of qabdh and eliminates the tajalliyát which were previously experienced. In this manner the sálik is awakened from his ecstacy; his attention is diverted from ghair-Haqq and rivetted to Allah Ta’ala Who is the true and original Purpose of the sálik.

There are other wisdoms and advantages of the state of qabdh. If it was not for this condition, the salik’s attention will be diverted from his true purpose. Therefore, if any zákir and shághil (one engaged in the Zikr of Allah and in spiritual exercises) at any time experiences this condition of qabdh he should not fear, but should consider it the Rahmat of Allah Ta’ala. In it is betterment. The sálik, himself, on most occasions will discover the wisdoms underlying the state of qabdh. By being conscious of these benefits and advantages of qabdh, the heart derives peace and consolation which results in pleasure. The qabdh in itself is not something of comfort or consolation. On the contrary it is an aspect of worry and concern. The consolation is derived by being conscious of the advantages ensuing in its wake.

NATURAL CONCERN DURING QABDH

It is obvious that in worldly setbacks, loss and hardship, the result is grief and sorrow. Although the loss in itself is something painful and of concern, the heart could be solaced by thinking about the sawáb in the Akhirat resulting from the loss or by instituting measures of safety to prevent a recurrence of the loss which was due perhaps to negligence. Inspite of the consoling factors in such cases, one does not become pleased with the actual loss or hardship. The similitude of qabdh is the same. It is a spiritual loss which in the analogy is comparable with material loss occassioning natural grief. Like the mundane loss is not something of consolation, so too, the qabdh in itself is not a phenomenon of comfort and consolation. It is a different matter that meditation on the advantages of qabdh produces consolation. Like in mundane affairs, a new and increased income daily is a cause of comfort, so too, is the condition of bast which is the actual state of happiness and comfort. The continuous inspiring of the heart with spiritual illumination is the actual state of delight and pleasure. The esoteric self (bátin) steadily and continuously progresses in such states of Tajalliyát-e-Haqq.

IT IS THE ONE WHO SINS LESS WHO IS CONCERNED
This discussion was initiated upon the assertion that among those who sin less, the khás (special devotees) are smitten with extreme grief and restlessness by even the loss of a spiritual state or experience, leave alone the commission of sin. The grief suffered by the sálik by the slightest loss of a spiritual rank is far greater than the loss which a king suffers by losing his kingdom. It should now be clear that one who sins less is smitten by greater concern and grief than one who sins much. His example is like one who has never borrowed from anyone. He always possessed and gave to others. If at anytime his funds are depleted — — leave alone borrowing – he is overtaken with extreme worry. The thought of incurring debt is  repulsive to one who has never borrowed.

EVEN THE POSSIBILITY OF SIN CREATES SHIVERS IN THE AULIYA

Leave alone sinning, the Ahlulláh (Saints of Allah) shudder at the mere possibility and thought of sin. They are terrified by even a reduction in their spiritually illumined experiences and inspirations, because such a reduction creates the suspicion or fear of demotion and being distanced from the Proximity of Allah Ta’ala.

They suffer and grieve more than others in the event of having committed a sin because they are pained and wounded severely by the spear of sin. On the contrary those who have been dessensitized by abundance of sin do not refrain from sin even after repenting. It is reported in the Hadith that the commission of a sin results in a black spot forming on the heart. With each sin a new black spot forms until finally the whole heart is engulfed by the blackness of abundance of sin.

The feeling of concern over committing sin is common to all although in various degrees of perception. Some perceive it more, some less. One who is not at all pained by sin is indeed on an extremely low ebb of degeneration. His very condition of indifference is a cause for extreme pity. Firstly, we (as Mu’min) should be reduced to tears by merely gazing on sin, and if this is not our condition then we should lament and be grieved for not being in the position to shed tears when gazing on sin. Such a condition of hard-heartedness is indeed lamentable. My friends! If one cannot shed tears then at least assume the form of shedding tears. In this regard the Hadith states:

“And, if you do not cry then assume the form of crying.”

In this Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) substituted ‘tabáki’ (assuming the form of crying) for ‘buka’ (actual crying) because shedding actual tears is not the motive or purpose. The true purpose is the crying of the heart. Therefore, although in ‘tabaki’ actual crying does not occur, the crying of the heart does take place. The nature and reality of the heart crying is concern and grief, sorrow and regret. It has been well said:

“Noble is the eye which sheds tears in the remembrance of the Beloved (Allah Ta’ala)
Noble is the heart which is scorched in the fire of separation (separated from its Beloved Allah Ta’ala),”

Once Hadhrat Isa (alayhis salám) delivered a discourse, The effect of the talk was so profound that the audience started to tear their clothing. Hadhrat Isa (alayhis salám) said: “Tear not your garments, tear your hearts.”

It should not be inferred from this that those who had torn their garments by being overwhelmed in grief are to be criticized. The statement merely means that the ‘asl maqsood’ (true and actual purpose) is the ‘tearing’ of the heart. One should endeavour in this direction and not criticize those who tear their garments in a state of uncontrollable grief and sorrow. Shaikh Sa’di (rahmatullah alayhi) says:

“Do not be amazed at the superficial errors of the Saints, for they are drowned in the ocean of Allah’s Love.”

In this statement of Shaikh Sa’di is counsel for us not to criticize and find fault with the Auliyá. 

Vindicating the Auliya, Shaikh Sa’di (rahmatullah alayhi) says:

“ln the effort to obtain the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala they droop their heads in their garments. When the grief becomes unbearable they rent their garments.”

THE KAMIL POSSESSES THE ABILITY TO CONTROL KA’FIYAT

The kámil (a saint who has attained spiritual perfection) superficially seems to be sákin (dormant) whereas in actual fact he is progressing at an extremely swift pace. He takes immense strides (in the spiritual realm) in the shortest of time. However, occasional states of ecstacy, e.g. tearing of garments, unconsciousness and uncontrollabl  shedding of tears are not negatory of his kamál (perfection). Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) once fell into a swoon upon mentioning the name of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Who could be on a higher pedestal of spiritual perfection and illumination than the Sahábah Kirám?

The Sahábah Kirám were the strongest and possessed the most independent dispositions. The demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was an event of the greatest and gravest occurrence to the Muslims. However, besides shedding tears and crying they did nothing else. If they had to wail and tear their garments as much as they could, all would be slight in the face of this momentuous event. Nevertheless, they all showed superb restraint and control. Some change which had undergone certain among the sahábah was quickly rectified by the wise counsel of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu). Despite their extreme grief and sorrow, the Sahábah immediately involved themselves in the activities of the Deen. The ability to exercise control and restraint in conditions of extreme grief and sorrow was common to all the Sahábah Kirám. Their ability of control during spiritual states and experiences was of such a high degree that they never were overwhelmed. They neither danced in ecstacy nor tore their  garments. They had full control of themselves during the states of kayfiyat. Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Haq Radwali (rahmatullah alayhi) said:

“Hadhrat Mansur (rahmatullah alayhi) was an ‘infant’ (i.e. not having attained, perfection in this Path), hence he screamed in a mere drop (of that Eternal and Divine Love) which overwhelmed him. But here (referring to, the Sahábah) were men (a reference to their great courage and capacity to bear themselves during spiritual experiences of elevation). They (were such men) who consumed oceans of Divine Love without even a sign showing.”

The ocean (of Divine Love) of the Sahábah Kirám did not take the route of wajd (ecstacy), raqs (spiritual dances) and shath (statements uttered during ecstacy, having meanings other than that conveyed by the words). Their ocean took another   direction, viz, benefit and service to Allah’s creation. Their enthusiasm and their clamour were directed and chanelled into the service of the seekers of the Truth. In consequence, thousands of people attained the rank of wilayat (sainthood). If at times their ocean of love was beyond enduring then it found an outlet in tears. It is said:

“O Rabb! What kind of fountain is the Fount of Love? I drank a drop and an ocean of tears flowed.”

The shedding of tears when overwhelmed by such grief is not a deficiency. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also at times shed tears during Salát, and a sound like a boiling cauldron would emerge from his breast.

THE OVERWHELMED IS EXCUSED Screaming, tearing garments and spiritual dancing are not acts of kamál (perfection). These are mere conditions which are neither desirable nor reprehensible. The desirable conditions are those which bear likeness to the states of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The greater the resemblance to the conditions of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the greater the degree of perfection. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has, therefore, said that the true (and desired) crying is the crying of the heart, not mere shedding of tears. But, assuming the form of crying is not without advantage. In it is obedience to the order of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Thus, at times when shedding tears is not forthcoming, then by imitating this advice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the desired goal is attained.

OUR CONDITION — IN NEED OF REFORMATION

Indeed, our condition stands in dire need of reformation. Those who are involved in even less sin should also regret. Those who do not regret should indeed regret because of their impervious and hard condition. This condition of indifference to sin — — the  condition in  which there is no regret — — is a more dangerous situation. It is graver if it remains static even after being reminded. Sometimes, one fails to regret one’s deplorable state of degeneration, but upon being reminded, one is induced to reflect. Such reflection too is an opportunity. Those who have no regret for their sorrowful state of sin do, however, acknowledge that they are sinful, for every person is constrained to confess that he is sinful. Thus everyone realises the malady, but the deficiency is in respect of remedying the disease. There is no concern shown in this direction. Abstaining from treating the disease is highly dangerous. This is quite obvious. It is therefore imperative that attention be paid to treating the spiritual maladies.

THE REASON FOR CHOOSING  THE AYAT UNDER DISCUSSION

The áyat which I had recited contains the remedy for this common disease. Allah Ta’ala says:

“And, do not become like those who forgot Allah. Thus Allah caused them to become forgetful of their own souls. Indeed, these are the transgressors.”

Subhánallah! Indeed, Allah Ta’ala has honoured his servants in this áyat by refraining from saying: Do not become of those people who have forgotten Allah. Since the áyat is directed to Muslims and it is indeed remote from the dignity of a Mumin to forget Allah, it has been said:

Do not become like those who have forgotten Allah.

The affection, love and honour in this style of address are manifest. The purport of this manner of address is:

Forgetting Allah is remote and not expected of your love, but it is possible that you may become like those who have forgotten. You should not be like them.

Another implication of this style of address is that one who totally forgets Allah is a kafir whereas the audience of the áyat is Muslim, and it is not possible for Muslims to be káfir. For this reason it has not been said:

DO NOT BECOME OF THOSE WHO HAVE FORGOTTEN ALLAH.

Instead it has been said: Do not become like those who have forgotten.

Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ya’qub (rahmatullah alayhi) said that it is not conceivable that a person who has been a Muslim becoming a renegade. Cases of certain “Muslims” having reneged from Islam and adopted some other religion are not at all surprising, for such people never were Muslims at heart. Their claim to Islam was confined to lip-service. Their hearts were devoid of lmán. At times the condition (kayfiyat) of the heart and the statement of the tongue become factors for the negation  of  lmán.  In such cases where Imán has already been negated people consider themselves to be Muslims whereas in actual fact their Iman has been annihilated. By Allah they are not Believers.

AN EPISODE OF GREAT ADMONITION
I shall relate an amazing and awful incident in which there is great admonition and lesson. I have personally heard this incident from Hadhrat Thanvi (rahamátullah alayhi) who said that Shaikh Dahhán, a senior AIim of Makkah Muazzamah narrated:

“A certain AIim in Makkah Muazzamah passed away and was buried there;  After sometime another man also died there. The heirs of the deceased desired that he be buried in the same grave as that of the AIim. In accordance with their wishes the grave of the AIim was opened. To their utter shock and astonishment they discovered that instead of the AIim, there laid the body of a beautiful young girl. On closer examination it was found that the body was of a European girl. All stood in astonishment. Co-incidentally, a man from the gathering recognized the girl since he had previously seen her. He informed the people that the body was that of a French girl. She was the daughter of Christian parents, and she had studied Urdu by him. In secrecy she had embraced Islam and that he had taught her some Deeni books. The reason for the miraculous transfer of her body after death was now obvious. She was a Muslim and pious as well, hence the transfer to holy ground. But, the question remained: What has happened to the body of the AIim who was buried in that grave? It was then suggested to the instructor of the girl that upon his return to Europe after Hajj he should investigate the grave of the girl. The grave should be opened to see if the body of the AIim was perhaps transferred into her grave. This was agreed upon. A man who knew the AIim well accompanied the girl’s teacher to Europe.

On reaching Europe, the girl’s teacher narrated the episode of the girl and her grave in Makkah to her parents, They were greatly perturbed when hearing this astonishing story. They finally agreed to the request to have her grave in France dug open. When the coffin was opened its contents were amazing, for it was the body of that AIim who had died and was buried in Makkah Muazzamah,”

This news caused much concern to the people of Makkah Muazzamah, What was the reason for the transference of this AIim’s body to a place of kufr? It was decided to ask his wife for some clue to the mystery. There surely must have been some vile deed of his which was the cause of this miraculous transfer from an abode of holiness to a place of kufr. A deputation went to the home of the AIim and requested his wife: “Was there anything contrary to Islam in your husband?” She replied:

“He was a constant and concientious reciter of the Qurán, steadfast on Salát and performer of Tahajjud.”

People asked her to ponder and reply, for his body after burial in Makkah Muazzamah has been transferred to a place of kufr. There must certainly be something in him which was in opposition to Islam, His wife then said:

“The only thing that I can think of is that after sexual relations  when  he prepared for ghusal he would always say:

A nice thing of the Christian religion is that ghusal janaabat is not Fardh,’”

It was then said to her:

“Indeed this is most assuredly the cause of the transference,”

This was then the reason for Allah Ta’ala having dumped his body among the Nasárá whose way he preferred.”

This episode will illustrate that although externally this man was a complete and perfect Muslim, but investigation established that he contained an aspect of kufr, viz., preference for a custom of the kuffár. Since preference for kufr is in fact kufr, it is manifest that this man was not a believer from the very inception. It should not, however, be inferred that in such cases bodies will always be transferred. Such rare incidents take place by the command of Allah to act as direction and admonition for us. In this regard, the Qurán says about Shaitán: “And, he was of the káfireen.”

In other words, from the very beginning, he was a káfir. It is not that he was a believer in the beginning and later became a kafir. This is an erroneous notion which people entertain. On the contrary, he was always a káfir, but his kufr lay dormant and hidden, and only became manifest with his refusal to make sajdah for Hadhrat Adam (alayhis salam). Shaitan had already learnt from the Luh Mahfooz that a being will become káfir, but because of his external piety he became unconcerned and negligent of himself. He could not conceive that being such a great worshipper, he could become káfir, Shaitan thus was utterly destroyed by his takabbur (pride) and indifference. On the contrary, all the Maláikah were extremely perturbed when they learnt that a being will become a kafir. They prayed that this misfortune should not be the lot of any among them. As a result of their fikr (concern) and tawadhu’ (humility) they remained in the Court of Divine Acceptance, and Shaitán was rejected and cursed because he never was within Divine Acceptance. Once a person is accepted by Allah Ta’ala, he never is rejected, just like one who has attained buloogh (physical maturity) never returns to the state of physical immaturity (nabáligh). Similarly, once a man has accepted Islam with sincerity of heart, he never becomes káfir.

A mature person is one who after having accepted Islam submits his whims and desires to the Command of Allah. Not only does he submit himself, he totally annihilates himself in the obedience of the Divine Command. And, an immature person is one whose lowly desires dominate him. Maulana Rumi (rahmatullah alayhi) says:

“All creation are like children (immature and inexperienced), save the one who is engrossed with Allah Ta’ala. Only he is mature (and developed) who has obtained freedom from lowly desire.”

Truly, once Imán has settled in the heart, its expulsion is not possible even if attempted. It is recorded in Bukhari Shareef that Hadhrat Sufyán lbn Harb (radiallahu anhu) prior to embracing Islam was questioned by the emperor, Heracleus:

“Has anyone after embracing this religion of Islam reneged from it in detestation (i.e. disliking anything of it?)”

When Abu Sufyàn (radiallahu anhu) replied in the negative, Heracleus exclaimed:

“Indeed, such is Iman after having settled in the recesses of the heart.”

Iman is synonomous with love, hence the Qurán states:

“Those who have accepted Imán are strongest in the love for Allah.”  

In this áyat, lmán is defined as love. If the love is true it will never leave the heart. This is exactly the case of lmán. It is for this reason that the devotees of Allah (the Auliya) do not accord place in their heart for even a love which is lawful so that at the time of maut their attention is not taken towards the love which is transitory and perishable. At the time of departure from this ephemeral abode they do not wish to have any love in their hearts besides the love of Allah and His Rasul (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Should we (ordinary mortals) not be able to abstain from excess of lawful love then at least we should abstain from unlawful love. This is imperative.

If we desire a life and death like the chosen one’s of Allah, then we should link up with them. Insha’Allah, then one day we too will be bestowed with this treasure which they possess.

Reverting back to our original topic, the audience of the áyat:

“Do not become like those who have forgotten Allah.”

cannot be the kuffár. It applies to only the Believers. Further, the ayat says:

“.. thus, He caused them to become forgetful…”

This statement indicates a significant point. However, before understanding this point it is necessary to explain something. Allah Ta’ala states:

“We are closer to man than his jugular vein,”

If after knowing this, man still becomes forgetful of Allah Who is closer to him than his jugular vein, then it is inconceivable that he will remember himself. It should now be obvious that the one who has forgotten Allah Ta’ala, has, in fact, forgotten himself. He who remembers Allah Ta’ala, will remember himself, albeit not directly and independently, but as a creature of Allah, He will remember himself by virtue of his bond of love with Allah; by virtue of the bounties of Allah Ta’ala; by virtue of the possessions which he holds as an amánat (Trust) of Allah Ta’ala. Such a person remembers and thinks of everything through the Medium of Allah Ta’ala, just like an ashiq thinks of the things of his beloved. Thinking of things associated with the beloved is in fact remembering the beloved.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AHLE DUNYA AND AHLULLAH

The Ahlulláh (AuIiyá of Allah) care for themselves and all their connections and associates in the manner of a servant. They do not behave like employers. We (Ahle Dunyá – the people of the world) eat merely to fill our stomach whereas they eat to care for the machine awarded by the Owner (Allah Ta’ala). It should now be simple to understand the wisdom underlying the Divine prohibition of suicide. Allah Ta’ala states:
“Do not kill yourself.”

Suicide is forbidden because life does not belong to man. Since it is not man’s property, he is not at liberty to use and misuse it as he pleases. Life too is Allah’s property and He has not permitted us to employ it without His Consent. In the same way, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Verily, your body has a right over you; your soul has a right over you,’ verily, your eye has a right over you.”

Because of the natural rights which all parts of the human body has over man, it is not permissible for man to sterilize or destroy his sexual ability or to deliberately eliminate his sight. The Arifeen — — the Auliyá of Allah — — thus regard their bodies as the property of Allah Ta’ala, hence they nourish and care for it with this intention. In material needs end fulfilment we sometimes consider the Auliyá to be like us, whereas in actual fact there is no resemblance. About the Auliyá it has been wisely said:

“The ignorant are unaware of the condition of the Arifeen; it is best, therefore, to be brief in talk in their regard.”

The AhIe Dunyá drink cold water for pleasure and to quench thirst. But, the árif drinks water so that he fulfils the shukr of Allah on every gulp. Truly speaking, we do not belong to ourselves. We are the property of Allah Ta’ala. Whoever remembers Allah, will remember himself. In remembering himself, he will firstly remember Allah Ta’ala and then himself. Such indirect remembrance of the self is not tawajjuh ilal ghair (attention on others besides Allah) which is forbidden. The gaze of the Ahlulláh is firstly on Allah Ta’ala. The gaze of creation is secondary, resulting from the gaze and attention on Allah because such creation belongs to Allah. On the contrary, our gaze is firstly on creation and secondly on Allah Ta’ala as the Creator and Fashioner.

ALLAH IS NEAR: NAFS IS FAR

It is established that the gaze of the Ahlulláh falls first on Allah Ta’ala and thereafter upon themselves. Thus, to them Allah Ta’ala is closer than their own nafs. If Allah Ta’ala was not closer, no person’s gaze would be directed firstly to Him. Hence, whoever forgets Allah Ta’ala has forgotten himself. This is what is conveyed by the Quranic statement:

“… thus, He (Allah) caused them to forget their own selves.”

Such people are then classified by Allah Ta’ala:

“Indeed, they are the faasiqoon (transgressors).”  

This portion of the áyat is presently under discussion since the purpose of the discussion is to explain the remedy for the degenerate condition stated in the áyat. The word, uláikah in this portion of the áyat is a demonstrative pronoun (Ism ishárah). It indicates the word fásiqoon (the transgressors), hence the meaning of fàsiqoon is applicable to uláikah. According to the rule of Ilm-e-Balághat (Rhetoric and Eloquence) the demonstrative pronoun is reiterated in the ism ishárah (i.e. the demonstrative pronoun) and the order or conclusion of the musharun ilayhi is based upon the qualities of the mushárun ilayhi stated previously. It is on the basis of this rule of rhetoric that the Ulama of Tafseer have said in the tafseer of the verse:

“These people (ulá-ikah) are on guidance of their Rabb; and these people (uláikah) are the ones who are successful.”  

that the ism ishárah here establishes that the order of guidance and success is based and dependant upon the qualities stated prior to the ism ishárah, viz. Imán bil ghaib, Iqamate Salát, Acceptance of the Divine Books, Spending wealth, etc. In the same way, here in

“These are the people who are the transgressors.”,

the quality of nisyán (forgetfulness) is repeated. This quality of nisqán has been stated previously in:

“Those who have forgotten Allah.”
Thus the conclusion of fisq (transgression) is based upon this quality of forgetfulness. The result, therefore, is that transgression is the consequence of being forgetful of Allah Ta’ala. In actual fact, a fásiq and a transgressor is one who has forgotten Allah Ta’ala.

THE REALITY OF FISQ (TRANSGRESSION)

The meaning of fisq is to transgress commands, and this is the reality of sin in which we are involved. Alhamdulillah! This ayat quite clearly informs us of the original cause of the malady. The cause of our degenerate condition is our forgetting Allah Ta’ala. According to the principle, cure by opposite’ (aliláj bidh-dhid), the remedy for our forgetfulness should be by its opposite, viz, remembrance. Since the cause of the degeneration is forgetfulness, the remedy should be remembrance. Thus the true and proper remedy for sins is the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. In other words, the curing of the disease will follow the elimination of the cause of the disease. Here the cause is nisyán, the elimination of which is necessary. And, this elimination of nisyán, stands in need of Zikrulláh. Remembrance of Allah will result in the elimination of forgetfullness. Since these two are opposites, their co-existence is a logical impossibility. In the same way, the elimination of both is logical impossibility. The conclusion, therefore is: the cure for sin is remembrance of Allah.

HOW TO REMEMBER ALLAH TA’ALA

How is Allah Ta’ala to be remembered? A variety of mediums of remembering Allah Ta’ala exists. For example: Remembrance by means of love; remembrance by means of fear; remembrance by means of shame. These mediums of remembrance are then divided into different types. Take, for example, remembrance by means of love. This love for Allah may be motivated by love for His being (Zát) or it may be the result of the motive of sawáb for good acts. Similarly is the case of fear. Fear may be for the Being of Allah or it may be induced by His punishment. Likewise, shame (hayá) which may be hayá for His Zát or for His lhasánát (bounties and blessings). With regard to the medium and form of remembrance, the dispositions of people vary. In some people the Muhabbat (love) for Zát is dominant. In other words, their disposition is so much overwhelmed by the grandeur and splendour of Allah Ta’ala that they are compelled into the muhabbat of Zat. They are engrossed in Zikrulláh neither for the acquisition of Jannat nor for salvation from Jahannum. They are motivated in their Zikr solely by the consideration of pure muhabbat for Allah Ta’ala.

Others again are motivated by the desire to acquire Jannat in their Zikrullah, as well as the motive of being saved from Jahannum. There is no wrong in this motive since the actual purpose is Zikrullah, and this motive or medium is lawful in its attainment. Should one commence one’s Zikr even with this intention — — viz.,  acquisition of Jannat and salvation from Jahannum — — then, lnsha’Allah, a day will dawn when one’s Zikr will be by the motive of the higher degree. One’s Zikr will then be solely as a result of true and pure muhabbat for Allah Ta’ala. On that stage of Zikr one will be concerned with nothing but the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

The motives of Zikrullah could be better understood by means of an analogy. Consider two students engaged in acquisition of knowledge. One studies solely for the sake of acquiring knowledge, deriving pleasure out of his studies, and the other studies for the acquisition of some material gain which will be the ultimate consequence of him qualifying in his branch of study. Undoubtedly, the condition of the former student is superior since he has not been motivated by any greed or base desire. Although the second student is of a lower calibre, nevertheless, no intelligent person will advise him to discontinue his studies because of his lower motive. Any such advice will culminate in only being deprived of knowledge.

THE OBJECT IS ZIKRULLAH

The actual object is Zikrulláh, and not the medium of its attainment. It is therefore wrong for certain people of shallow insight to criticize those who engage in Zikrulláh because of their desire for Jannat and salvation from Jahannum. Such criticism is reprehensible since Allah Ta’ala, Himself, encourages us towards Jannat:

“Hasten towards the maghfirat (forgiveness) of your Rabb and towards Jannat, the vastness of which is like the vastness of the heaven and earth.”

Some critics have concluded that the motive of Jannat in Zikrulláh is contemptible. In fact, they are levelling their criticism against Allah Ta’ala, for He, Himself exhorts this motive for Zikrulláh. All means and methods instructed by Allah Ta’ala are of a superb quality and highly meritorious although one method is superior to another, nevertheless, all mediums instructed by Him are magnificent and worthy of acquisition. Zikrullah for the sake of only Divine Pleasure is the highest degree, but the motivation of Jannat is also a motive of a high degree. The motive of Jannat in Zikrulláh should be that Jannat is the bounty of Allah Ta’ala; its acquisition will be the consequence of His Pleasure and that He has commanded us to request it. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also asked Jannat, hence viewing the motive from his angle, it is likewise of the highest degree. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“O Allah! I ask You for Jannat and such acts and words which draw towards Jannat.”  

This Hadith establishes that petitioning for Jannat is not an inferior motive or method of Zikrulláh. If it was not a worthy motive,Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would not have made this duá. It was said earlier that to the ashiq, everything of the Mahboob is beloved, hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) supplicated for Jannat. Further, the Mahboob has instructed to ask of Him, hence supplicating in obedience to His Command is the cause of His Pleasure. When Allah Ta’ala, Himself expresses a Desire for us to fulfil, then contentment and abstinence (qana’at) are to be confounded. The árif kámil (perfect saint of Allah) is one who does not display independence from the slightest blessings of Allah Ta’ala, not to speak of such a lofty ni’mat as Jannat.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) requested Jannat also because it will be the abode where man will see the Vision of Allah. Thus in reality, Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) request was a supplication for the Vision of Allah Ta’ala. Someone observed:

“Those who are áshiq, desire Jannat because it will be the meeting place of friends.”

For this reason one saint said that since he discovered that friends will meet one another in Jannat, he became eager for Jannat. Jannat and all factors leading and encouraging towards it constituting the motive for Zikrulláh, are therefore, among the highest of methods. Another subtle point in the request for Jannat is at times the request is not motivated by only the Vision of Allah Ta’ala, which will occur in Jannat, but by the thought that one is not worthy of asking for something as lofty as the Divine Vision; at least it will be a great blessing if the abode of Vision is visited. This intention too is worthy of merit. Hadhrat Hajee lmdádullah (rahmatullah alayhi) said: “Those who wish for the vision of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are indeed fortunate. I do not regard myself worthy of even glancing at the green dome (of Musjid Nabawi).”

It has been aptly said:

“A hair of your lock is sufficient for me (O heart!) Yearn not in greed, for even the fragrance is a blessing.”

Sometimes the request for Jannat is the result of tawadhu’ (humility) becoming dominant in one. The áshiq does not consider himself worthy of his Mahboob. He therefore desires to be at least in an abode of proximity to the Mahboob. Sometimes in order to exhibit dependence and need, Jannat is wished for. In short, different persons have different intentions in asking for Jannat, and effort is made in its attainment. The purpose of all is finally obtain the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. The difference is only in the difference of means and methods. It does not matter if the goal is attained by a direct method or an indirect one; whether we advance towards Him or He draws us towards Him.

THE FORMS OF FEAR (KHAUF)
Like muhabbat has various forms, so too has khauf. Some have the fear of the Zát (the Being of Allah, Himself). The fear is induced by the grandeur and splendour of Allah Ta’ala. Others again have fear of reprimand and punishment in the Akhirah. Both these forms are good in their appropriate places. The grandeur and splendour of Allah Ta’ala do not manifest to some, hence fear of punishment acts as their protection against sin. Therefore, there is no criticism to be levelled against those who practice righteousness because of the fear for Divine Punishment. This condition of fear is not inferior, but on the Contrary it is a lofty status, although the manifestation of Divine Splendour acting as the protection against sin is Superior.

So far the kinds of Divine Remembrance have been explained. There are two such kinds, viz, through the medium of muhabbat and through the medium of khauf.

A THIRD FORM OF DIVINE REMEMBRANCE

A third form of Divine Remembrance is called ‘remembrance of hayá’ or remembrance via the agency of shame. This agency is utilized by those in whose disposition hayá (shame) is dominant. They practice righteousness and engage in Zikrulláh as a result of this dominant trait of hayá in them. They are ashamed of being forgetful of their Creator. Khauf and muhabbat are not their motivating force in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. Although such persons are not devoid of muhabbat, nevertheless, it (muhabbat) is not a dominant feature in them. Haya is their dominant disposition, and such hayá is sometimes because of Zát and sometimes because of In’ámát (blessings and bounties).

Thus, in some, muhabbat is dominant, in some, khauf and in some, hayá. The dominant feature in each person is the cause for that person’s obedience and remembrance of Allah.

SPECIFIED EFFECT OF ZIKR NOT THE GOAL

It has been seen that there are many forms of Zikr and the purpose of these various forms is th  same, viz., attainment of the goal., which is the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. The one who engages in zikr should, therefore not aspire for the acquisition of states of ecstacy or some kayfiyat, for these are not attainable by one’s volition. The bandah (servant of Allah) is not required to strive after acts and affairs beyond the scope of his volition. It is because of the misconception (i.e. striving to attain states not within one’s  ability) that regret and frustration set in when the zákir (one who is engrossed in zikr) after having made zikr for a considerable time fails to realize any spiritual state or kayfiyat. Yet no one knows which kayfiyat is beneficial for him, and which is detrimental. Allah Ta’ala brings about His Recognition sometimes by causing laughter, sometimes by inducing tears and sometimes by regret and worry. It has been well said:

“What have you said to the flower that it is ever laughing and what have you said to the nightingale that it is ever crying?”

What is obtained from the Mahboob, should be regarded as best and one should be pleased with it. Those who have understood this mystery are happy and pleased in all states and circumstances. If khauf dominates them, they do not search for muhabbat; if hayà is dominating in them, they do not search for muhabbat or khauf. In all states they are resigned in pleasure.

CAUTION TO THE SALIKEEN

This what has been said is of special benefit to the sálikeen because they entertain great spiritual ambitions. The disease of desiring kayfiyat and lofty ranks is marked among them. They should know that such ambitions are contrary to the abdiyat (being a slave). Abdiyate Kámilah (true and perfect state of subjection and submission to Allah) consists of annihilating all desires and yearnings in the Desire of Allah Ta’ala. Some zákireen, after having made Zikr, complain that they experienced no pleasure in the Zikr. Alas! Life has been squandered in the pleasures of the nafs. When will you turn towards the Mahboob? Remember that the mathhab (the  way) of the áshiq is:

“Love is the fire which when it blazes consumes everything besides the beloved.”

It is also said:

“When the sword of Là (i.e. Là in Là iláha il ghair– laIláh) is brandished in the annihilation of Haqq (all that is other than Allah) then see what remains after Là”

Once Là iláha iIlallah has been said, everything besides Allah is negated, thus it is obvious that after this will remain only illallàh (but Allah only). Everything else besides Him will be annihilated. Such love which devours and destroys partnership in the Divine Love is to be congratulated. Now do not hanker after any special kayfiyat or special rank. Remain only in the quest of Allah Ta’ala. Be pleased even if nothing is obtained. It is accepted that your desire is noble, but ponder! The desire of your Mahboob is that you remain with desire unfulfilled. Is your desire then superior to the desire of the Mahboob? If you do not realise your desires, then too nothing is lost, for you will attain to Him., and once He has been attained, everything is attained.

ZIKR AND FIKR THE GOAL

My bretheren! The duty of the servant is only to engage in the zikr of Allah Ta’ala. He should regard as the aim and object, remembrance of Allah and constant reflection. The gaze should not be on the attainment of any kayfiyat (spiritual experience). Allah Ta’ala has addressed us:

“Do not become like those who have forgotten Allah. Then, Allah caused them to forget themselves.”  

We should not become among those who are guilty of such forgetfulness, for then the Divine Decree:

“Indeed these people are the fasiqoon”, will be applicable to us as well.

The cause of degeneration as pointed out is nisyán (forgetting Allah), and the remedy for this nisyán is zikr and fikr. There is now a simple method of eliminating our degenerate condition and abstaining from sin. That simple but most efficacious method consists of appointing a time for zikrullah in solitude. The zikr which is to be carried out in the appointed time of solitude should be by both tongue and heart, otherwise it will be:

“Tasbeeh in hand; taubah on the lips and heart filled with the taste of sin. Sins too are ashamed of our taubah”

Remembrance by the mere lips produces no quick and effective result. The remembrance by both tongue and heart brings about the desired effect swiftly. When sitting in remembrance of Allah, then do not deliberately introduce thoughts other than Allah into your heart. Stray thoughts which enter the mind involuntarily will be of no harm. A sentry standing guard will be a criminal if he deliberately permits unauthorised persons to enter, but if entry is gained by overpowering the sentry, he will not be considered a criminal. Similar is the case of thoughts entering the mind during Salát and Zikr. Deliberate introduction of thoughts is sinful and harmful whereas stray thoughts assaulting the mind are of no substance.

In the twenty four hours of night and day, fix at least one hour for this specific remembrance of Allah. During this hour of solitude engage in the zikr of either La ilâha il alláh or Allahu Allah. This must be a daily practice. I am showing you a wonderful prescription. By Allah! Constancy in zikr will firstly divest you of sin. You will not approach sin. Involvement in this spiritual degeneration will be brought to an end. Then, even if sometimes one is overpowered by the nafs and shaitan, the Noor in the heart will immediately react. Immediately it will seem as if a spear has pierced the heart. Peace of heart will be utterly shattered. The servant will then hasten towards taubah. You will be constrained towards taubah.

Insha’Allah, in this way you will be freed from all sin. Indeed, this is an extremely simple prescription for curing our degeneration and abstaining from sin.

CONCLUSION
The summary of this wa’z (lecture) is:

In the áyat (recited in the beginning), the sentence

“They are indeed the people who are the fásiqoon.”. is the effect of (forgetting Allah). This establishes that the cause of the degeneration and transgression is nisyân (forgetfulness). To be cured of this condition Zikrullah is imperative. This is precisely what Allah Ta’ala indicates to His servants in this áyat. He addresses the Muslims in loving tones and with love. In other words, Allah Ta’ala is saying in this áyat:

O Muslims! You should not be deceived into indifference and forgetfulness — forgetting the remembrance of Allah. You  should not behave like the kuffár who have forgotten Allah. There is no resemblance between them and you.”

O my brothers! After having heard this Call of Allah, it is essential that we regard the remembrance of Allah as an obligation of life. We should be constant in making dua for taufeeq, the inclination and ability to engross ourselves in zikrullah.  Finally, we will come within the purview of the áyat.

“Remember me and I shall remember you.”

I now conclude with the duá that Allah Ta’ala grant us all the taufeeq of zikr and obedience. Aameen.

Perpetual Thikr

By Majlisul Ulama

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Your tongue should remain ever fresh with Thikrullah.”  

The Name of Allah Ta’ala has to be compulsorily on the tongue of the Mu’min throughout the day.  When retiring for the night, fall asleep with Allah’s Thikr. Then every breath will be recorded as a Tasbeeh, and an Angel will guard you throughout the night. 

Perpetual Thikr is not the customary, bid’ah forms of ‘halqah (circle) thikr sessions which some miscreant fake ‘sufis’ conduct in the public in Musaajid to lure and impress the public. Perpetual Thikr is to constantly keep the tongue moving with Thikr – any form – preferably Laa ilaha il lallaah

Ultimately, such thikr of the tongue will become embedded and entrenched in the heart. The heart will then become alert and remain wakeful in Allah’s remembrance. The heart will then  be adorned with Noor

Be constant with Thikr whilst walking, sitting, working and in all walks of life. Such Thikrullah will create an aversion for futile talk, leave alone sinful conversation. Do not be concerned if you do not perceive any emo-tional effect of the Thikr on your heart. Your obligation is to engage in Thikrullah. The effects of spiritual sweetness, pleasure and tenderness of the heart are beyond one’s power of acquisition. Such effects are bounties which Allah Ta’ala  awards according to His Will and Wisdom. Be concerned with issues within your volitional control. 

The emotional effect is also largely  reliant on the manner in which one conducts one’s daily life. A person who soils his  eyes, ears, mind, etc. with whatsapp, facebook, television, staring at ghair mahaareem, etc., etc.,  should not expect  any emotional  state for his Thikr. Nevertheless, de-spite his indulgence in  these evils, he should not abandon Thikrullaah. Constancy in Thikrullaah  will, Insha-Allah, ultimately create an aversion for these activities of sin.  

The Qur’aan Majeed says:

“I have not created jinn and man except that they worship Me.”

Thus Thikrullaah is the primary objective for which Allah Ta’ala has created us. All other activities such as Jihad, Tableegh,  Knowledge, and every other  laudable deed are all secondary in relation to Thikrullaah.

The Bid’ah of Halqah Thikr

[A BAYAAN BY Hadhrat Mufti Sa’eed Palanpuri  Sahib (Shaikhul Hadith of Daarul Uloom Deoband), delivered at Darul Uloom Zakariyya]

“…..The second topic is Ijtimaa’i (congregational) and Haiat Ijtimaa’i (specific/peculiar form of congregation adopted for thikr).  Ijtimaa’ of Thikr (congregation of  Thikr) is mentioned in numerous  Ahaadith. One is: “Whenever  people gather to make the Thikr  of Allah Ta’ala, the Malaaikah  enshroud them…”  This  is Ijtimaa’

What is Haiat Ijtimaa’? I saw this Haiat-Ijtimaa’ in the UK. There is  a Maulana Isma’eel Wadiwala over there. He is a very pious  person; a buzrug. I saw his halqahs (gatherings); a very pious gathering, something to be viewed. Then Maulana would say:  “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah” prompting everyone to repeat in chorus, “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah”. Then all of them  in unison would chant: “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah”. This is Thikr in a  specific congregational form (Haiat-e-Ijtimaa’i Thikr). This is what Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) condemned  and this type of Thikr is not correct.

On the other hand we have Thikr  of a congregation, i.e. khalwat  dar anjuman (individual practice in a gathering). For instance, we  all are sitting and individually  engaged in Thikr. Each person is occupied with his own Thikr; this  one with his, that one with his.  This is termed khalwat dar anjuman; and this Khalwat dar  Anjuman Thikr is Thikr of a  congregation (Ijtimaa’i Thikr).  This is masnoon. (Musallis  sitting in a Musjid engaging  silently in their respective thikr,  dua, tilaawat and Nafl Salaat, come within the  scope of individual Thikr in  congregation mentioned in the Nusoos- The Majlis) This is (documentations of the Shariah),  whilst the peculiar/specific congregational form of Thikr  was condemned by Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu).

Our Hadhrat Maulana (This is a  reference is to Mufti Radhaul Haq  Sahib and his book promoting Halqah Thikr in the Musaajid Translator.) criticized Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood in his kitaab. I read  it yesterday. Hadhrat’s criticism  was distasteful to me. (It is in  fact extremely distasteful and shocking since it is a criticism  directed at one of the most seniorSahaabah who had the closest association with Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam- The  Majlis)

Hadhrat (i.e. Maulana Radhaul  Haq) criticised Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) [see: Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and the Incident of Halqah Dhikr] on the assumption that he did not  understand this mas’alah (of  Halqah Thikr). Laa haula walaa quwwata illabillaah! If Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  never understood this mas’alah  then who else is there to  understand it? The two examples  which Hadhrat (i.e. Maulana  Radhaul Haq) proffered in  condemnation of Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), viz. tatbeeq (placing the hands together  between the knees in Ruku’)  and  the Imaam positioning musallis  to his right and left are not  correct.

How is it possible for Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) who was the Companion of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on  journey and at home, indoors and outdoors, one who kept the  pillow, miswaak, shoes and water  (for Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to be unaware of how  to make Ruku’ and how to  position two musallis!!! How is it possible for one who enjoyed  constant companionship in  journey and at home; that  Sahaabi whom Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) allowed entry into his home  without taking permission, saying: “My presence at home is  sufficient for you to enter  without formalities”, one who  enjoyed such close contact, not  knowing glaring aspects of Salaat!!! (Indeed such an idea is preposterously absurd-The  Majlis) Some suitable interpretation has to be offered.

Similarly, Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s  condemnation (of Halqah Thikr)  was justified condemnation; it was condemnation of the  peculiar congregational form of  Thikr (which had been innovated -The Majlis). He did not condemn the gathering for Thikr. (Mark and understand the important difference -The Majlis) Gathering  for Thikr is substantiated by the  Qur’aan and Hadith. People get  together and engage in individual  Thikrullah; every person on his  own; Khalwat dar Anjuman. They sit together, whilst each one occupies himself with his own work. This is permissible on the basis of the Nusoos. It is proven  from the Qur’aan and Hadith.  However, a peculiar form of congregational Thikr, like I have  mentioned about Hadhrat Maulana Isma’eel Saheb of the  UK, was condemned by Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood.”  (At this stage, Mufti Radhaul Haq  raised an objection).

Mufti Radhaul Haq:  Hadhrat! You  said that I criticised Hadhrat  Abdullah Bin Mas’ood. What I wrote was that it was his personal  view.

Mufti Sa’eed Palanpuri:  That in  fact is criticism. What you had  written is in fact criticism. It has nothing to do with personal view.  It is conspicuously obvious that a  Sahaabi who had such close association with Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), could  not have been unaware of salient and obvious aspects of Salaat?  How can that be possible? You  will have to offer some interpretation for this. You will  have to proffer a plausible  explanation.

Mufti Radhaul Haq:  Then we will  put it down to azeemat. It was a  matter of azeemat for him.

Mufti Sa’eed Palanpuri:  No! It was  not even azeemat. The reality of  it is that preservation of all the  Ahaadith is compulsory.  Understand this discussion well.  Preservation of all the Ahaadith  is compulsory. However, Hadith is  not hujjat (Proof in the Shariah); Hujjat is the Sunnah. There is a difference between Hadith and  Sunnah. Hadith is: Maa udheefa  ilan Nabiyyi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) min qualin aw fi’lin aw  sifatin aw taqreerin (a statement  or an action or an attribute condonation by silence ascribed to Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). This is Hadith.

And Sunnah is: At-Tariqatul Maslookatu Fid Deen or (an  standard practice in the Deen).  Thus, that which was attributed  to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) is Hadith, not  necessarily a Sunnah. Those  Ahaadith which speak of an action of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alaihi wasallam) done to merely evince permissibility, are Ahaadith, not Sunnah practices.  Take the once-in-a-lifetime instance of passing urine  standing. It is not Sunnah and,  hence Muslims do not urinate  standing (although reported in the Hadith). 

The specific, isolated action of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) was due to some  exigency. These are Ahaadith, but  they are not the Sunnah.

Now, preservation of all the Ahaadith is necessary, but practice will be on the Sunnah. It  is for this reason that after Kitaabul Imaan etc. in Mishkaat the chapter of Al’Itisaamu  Bil  Kitaabi Was-Sunnah (Holding  Steadfast onto the Qur’aan and  the Sunnah) is mentioned. The  wording is not Bil Kitaabi Wal  Hadith (With the Kitaab and  Hadith).

Further, read the entire chapter  of AlI’tisaamu Bil Kitaabi Was-Sunnah. There are six Ahaadith mentioned. Each one exhorts  holding steadfastly onto the  Sunnah. There is not a single  Hadith in it which instructs  holding firmly onto Hadith. None  of the six Hadith speaks of this.

The virtues of memorizing Hadith,  preserving Hadith, transmitting  Hadith are cited (in the Kutub of  Hadith). However, in so far as  steadfast practical adherence is  concerned, the word “Sunnah” invariably appears. For this  reason we are the Ahlus Sunnah  Wal Jama’ah, not Ahlul Hadith.

There is a group known as Ahlul  Hadith. They feast on every Hadith. Once, Nabi (sallallahu  alaihi wasallam) came with his grand daughter (to the Musjid).  He performed Salaat carrying her.  They called Ahlul Hadith) also  come to the Musjid with their  children. The children run in between the Saffs, jump and play  around. When questioned they  are quick to cite the Hadith. Simpletons! The Hadith merely  indicates permissibility  occasioned by need.

Sometimes it is possible that a  person is in the fields with a  child. To leave the child sitting  aside is potentially dangerous.  Someone may abduct the child.  A wild animal may prey on the  child. Or a woman may have a  child with no one around to look  after the child. What must she  do? In this situation she can  perform her Salaat whilst  carrying the child. It is not  permissible for her to allow her  Salaat to become qadha. The  only condition required is for the  child’s body and clothes to be clean.

Thus, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) practically demonstrated this on one occasion for the benefit of all mothers and  fathers of this Ummah. He never  did this to encourage bringing children to the Musjid. If you  happen to bring your kids to the  Musjid then seat them one side. Don’t leave to run helterskelter  in between the saffs. Was this theway of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), like these ghair  muqallids who read Salaat carrying their kids and then let  them loose to run wildly between  the saffs wreaking havoc to  everyone’s Salaat? (Justifyng  their action they say): “It comes  in the Hadith,” Where does it  come in the Hadith to let  children run a racquet in the  Musjid? Do just as it comes in the  Hadith (i.e. when there is a need  to bring a child to the Musjid  then bring the child, at the same  time overseeing the behaviour of  the child in the Musjid).

Be that as it may, Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam)  carried out many actions to  demonstrate certain masaa’il.  Consider what would mothers  have done had Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) not  practically shown what to do  when a person has a child and  there is potential danger to the  child? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) demonstrated that the  child should be carried, and l in  that state Salaat should be  performed. There should not be amal-katheer (excessive action).  The child is in one’s arms. When  going into Ruku’, put the child  down to stand next to one. Then  lift it up again.

In any case, there is a difference  between the Sunnah and Hadith.  The Sunnah is: At-Tariqatul Maslookatu Fid Deen (the  authoritative and standard  practice in Deen). Hadith is of  general import. And that was  that age. Today, all the Ahaadith  are preserved in the kutub, even  the mansookh (abrogated)  Ahaadith. The Mansookh Ahaadith are also Hadith, but they are not the Sunnah.

In the first era of Islam, however,  the whole collection of Ahaadith  had to be committed to memory.  The mode of writing was not in  vogue. Now, if it was a case of  memorizing just a statement it  does not register in the mind as  it should. If, however, it was  backed by practice, then based  on the practice a person  remembers the statement.

Once, a Sahaabi called out five  Takbeers in Janaazah Salaat.  People enquired after the Salaat. Hadhrat Anas said that  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) said five Takbeers.  After the burial as people were  returning he (Hadhrat Anas) said:  “Remember this action of mine.  Remember these five Takbeers  which I called out.”

Once, Hadhrat Maalik Bin  Huwairith went to a certain  Musjid. The people requested him  to lead the Salaat. He replied:  “One of you lead the Salaat. And  I will inform you why I am not  going to lead the Salaat”. He then  related to them the Hadith:  “Whoever visits a people he  should not lead the Salaat.  Rather, one of them should step  forward to perform the Salaat”.

Students pose a question here  that the Hadith does draw an  exception when permission is granted. And here they even  requested Hadhrat Maalik to be  the Imaam in Salaat? Why did Hadhrat Maalik not perform the  Salaat as Imaam then? The  answer is that Hadhrat Maalik did not lead the Salaat so that people  may remember the Hadith  through this incident. A  happening facilitates remembrance.

The same is the case with Rafa’  Yadain (lifting the hands during  Salaat). There was Rafa’ in the Salaat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). It is not, however, Sunnah.

Aameen loudly was also part of  the Salaat of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as a  means of teaching the Ummah.  When the age of the senior  Sahaabah passed by and the age  of the junior Sahaabah came  people started to forget those  Ahaadith. The junior Sahaabah  gave practical effect to those  Ahaadith for the sake of  preservation. However, everything new is appealing;  some people started regular  practice of those acts. The age of  the Mujtahideen came (and some among them) gave those  practices the status of Sunnah.  Such differences do occur.

Similarly, tatbeeq (placing the hands  between the knees in Ruku’) was part of Rasulullah’s Salaat. Hadhrat Sa’d Bin Waqqas’s  statement that it is mansookh conveys that it was part of Salaat.
There are two people; two  muqtadis and no place to stand  in front or behind, or not just  two but ten and no place either  in front or at the back, then how  should they stand? Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood explained the mas’alah  that in this case, not only if there  happens to be just two muqtadis,  even if there are ten muqtadis  they could stand to the right and  to the left of the Imaam. And  that action of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood which Hadhrat Sa’d  commented of being a former  practice of the Sahaabah, Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood carried it out for  students of the Deen to  remember it. The action will thus  be instilled into their minds. This  is the reality of that practice,  otherwise it just cannot be  accepted that a Sahaabi who had  permission to enter the home (of  Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam) at all times and whose  title was, “The keeper of the pillow, water and shoes”, was  unaware of the manner of making  Ruku’. How can that be possible?  If Ibn Mas’ood did not know then  no Sahaabi in the world knew.

And if he did not know how to  stand in Salaat then no Sahaabi  knew. Such a view is erroneous. A  suitable explanation has to be  searched for. There must have  been some reason for him to do  so. And the condemnation he  levelled was not at a gathering of  Thikr; his condemnation was  directed at the specific form of  congregational Thikr, and his condemnation was correct.

Question: In Pakistan Hadhrat  Maulana Ihtishaamul Haq would  recite Laa ilaaha Illallaah, whereupon the whole gathering would repeat in chorus.

Mufti Sa’eed Sahib: This is that  peculiar form of congregational  Thikr which Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) censured. I  have mentioned that in the UK  Maulana Isma’eel Wadiwala also  makes Thikr in this fashion. (Maulana Ehtishaamul Haq’s  peculiar act of thikr is not  a  daleel. His personal practice  being in conflict with the Shariah,  has to be set aside. The attempt  was made to even scuttle the  action of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood.  By what stretch of logic then is  Maulana Ehtishamul Haq’s  personal practice proffered as  Shar’i proof? –The Majlis)

The Thikr of our Akaabir was khalwat dar anjuman. Each person would be engaged in his own Thikr. No one had anything to take from another.” [End of Maulana’s Bayan]

Loud Dhikr and the Arguments of Ahle Shirk

(Maulana Sarfaraz Khan Safdar rahimahullah)

The thikr of Allaah Ta’ala is one  great act of ibaadat. To make dua  (supplicate) is also a noble deed  and means of gaining proximity  to Allaah Ta’ala. However, all this  has to be done in the manner  which the Shariah has ordained. Wherever the Shariah has  ordained that thikr be made loudly, like on the days of Tashreeq or the Talbiya of Hajj, then it will be Sunnah to make it  loudly on these occasions. However, where the Shariah has  not ordained thikr be made loudly, then on those occasions  it is best to make is softly. In this  way will the object of the Shariah  be fulfilled. The same ruling applies to dua

Although Saahibain (Imaams Abu  Yusuf and Muhammad) had  preferred that on some occasions  thikr be made loudly, and Imaam  Ibn Hazm (rahmatullah alayh) and  other Sufiya had preferred on  most occasions that Thikr be  made loudly, they all, nonetheless, never censured those who did not do so, or ever  called them ‘Wahaabis’.  Nevertheless, if we cast a glance  at the proofs, then the truth of  the matter is that the best form  for thikr and dua is that it be  made softly. This is the view and  opinion of Imaams Abu Hanifah,  Shaafi’, Maalik and Ahmad bin  Hambal (rahmatullah alayhim).    When all the four Imaams are unanimous on the same ruling,  then one can be pretty certain that the Haqq is on their side.

If nowadays, loud thikr is preferred and practiced and on the other hand silence is  maintained regarding the  opposite view, that is one issue,  but the moot point of contention here is that those who do not  participate in loud thikr are branded as ‘Wahaabis’, etc., etc.  and vile epithets are being hurled.  Nowadays, people only regard  you as a Muslim and part of the  Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat if you  participate in loud-group thikr. If  you join in then you are a Sunni,  otherwise you are a ‘wahaabi’. It is  for this reason that this Mas’alah requires further dilation and study. We will briefly present some proofs.

Allaah Ta’ala states, “And make  Thikr of your Rabb in your hearts,  humbly, with fear and without  loudness in speech.” [Para 9, Surah A’raaf, Aayat 24]

Elsewhere, Allaah Ta’ala says,  “Call unto your Rabb with humility  and fear. Indeed He does not love  those who transgress the limits.” [Para 8, Surah A’raaf, ruku 7]

In these noble Aayaat, there are  two conditions for thikr and dua.  One is that thikr and dua be  made with utmost sincerity,  humility, modesty and meekness,  and the second is that it be made  with softness, because Allaah  Ta’ala does not love those who  transgress the limits. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) once  came across some Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) making  thikr loudly. On that occasion he  admonished them saying, “O  People! Have mercy on your  souls. Indeed you are not calling  out to a deaf one neither to one  who is not present. Indeed you  are calling out to The One Who  Listens and is close by. He is with  you.” [Bukhaari, vol. 2, page 605  / Muslim, vol. 2, page 346]

From this narration we realise  that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) preferred soft thikr by  preventing them from making  loud thikr. In this regard, Imaam  Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh)  states, “In this narration (is proof)  for it being Mustahab to lower  the voice with thikr, as long as  there is no need to raise it.” [Sharah Muslim, vol. 2, page 346]

Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahmatullah  alayh) states that Imaam Ibn  Hazam Zaahiri (rahmatullah alayh)  [passed away 456 A.H.], etc.  regarded as Mustahab the  recitation of loud thikr after  Salaat, but, “Ibn Battaal (rahmatullah alayh) said that the  ruling of the four Math-habs is to  the contrary (i.e. that it is not  Mustahab).”  [Al-Bidaaya wan  Nihaaya, vol.1, page  270/ Also in  Haashiya of Bukhaari, vol.1, page 116]

The proof of Imaam Ibn Hazam  (rahmatullah alayh) and others  lays in the narration of Hadhrat  Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu), “Indeed  raising of the voices in thikr upon completion of Fardh Salaat was  in vogue amongst the people  during the era of Nabi (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).” [Muslim, vol.1, page 217]

Hadhrat Imaam Nawawi  (rahmatullah alayh), explains this narrations thus, “Ibn Battaal and  others have narrated that the  Aimmah of the Math-habs, which  most people follow (i.e. the four  Imaams) and others also, are  unanimous that it is not  Mustahab to make loud thikr and  Takbeer. Imaam Shaafi’  (rahmatullah alayh)  explains this  narration of Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) thus that the  loud thikr was only made for a  short duration of time, in order to  teach the masses. It was not done perpetually.” [Sharah Muslim, vol. 1, page 217]

This view appears most correct  and balanced. If this was not the  case,  then it would most certainly have been the constant  practice of all the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) to make  loud thikr, and also a high-ranking Sahaabi like Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) would not  have castigated the group of  people making loud thikr in the  Masjid and he would not have  told them that they are brining  darkness upon the Ummat right  in the midst and presence of the  Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum)  of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), by introducing this  bid’ah. This loud recitation was  done by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as a means of teaching  the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum), just like he would recite ‘Bismillah’ loudly, to teach them.  These acts were not carried out  subsequently. To perpetuate  these practices is bid’ah,  as  reported by Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu). Similar is the  case with the mas’alah of loud  thikr. Allamah Halbi Hanafi writes,  “It is reported from Abu Hanifah  that to raise the voice in thikr is  bid’ah, which is in diametric  opposition to the Aayat of Allaah  Ta’ala, ‘Call unto your Rabb…’” [Kabeeri, page 566]

It is abundantly clear from this  text that it is the view of Imaam  A’zam (rahmatullah alayh) that to  make thikr loudly is both, in  conflict with the Aayat of Allaah  Ta’ala and also a bid’ah. It is  indeed a shame that the  perpetrators of this bid’ah label  others ‘Wahaabi’, and that they  deem loud thikr  as a sign of the  Ahle Sunnah. Laa Howla Wa Laa Quwwata.

Hadhrat Mullah Ali Qaari  (rahmatullah alayh) states, “It has  been reported from some of our  Ulama that to raise the voice in  the Masjid, even if it be for thikr,  is Haraam.” [Mirqaat, vol. 2, page 470]

You have noted that Imaam Ibn  Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh)  regards loud thikr as a bid’ah, and  that it has been reported from  Mullah Ali Qaari as being Haraam. However, Mufti Ahmad Yaar  Khaan (the mubtadi Molvi) avers,  “The opposition say it (loud  thikr) is Haraam, and they employ various tactics to prevent it. One  of their ploys is to say that loud  thikr is a bid’ah, that it is  contrary to the principles of the Hanafis…”   [Jaa-al Haqq, page 329]

Let us now be fair—who exactly  has referred to it as being a  bid’ah and Haraam? Do you now  brand Imaam A’zam and Mullah  Ali Qaari also as part of your  opposition? Are they also  amongst those who employ various tactics to prevent loud  thikr? Come to your senses and  give an unbiased reply.

Imaam Nawawi writes, “There is  no difference of opinion that dua  be made softly.”  [Sharah  Muslim,  vol. 1, page 311]

Imaam Sirajuddeen Hanafi and  Mullah Ali Qaari (rahmatullah  alayh) state, “Softness is  Mustahab in dua, and to raise the  voice in dua is a bid’ah.”  [Fataawa Siraajia, page 72 / Moudo’aat-e-Kabeer, page 17]

All these references are as clear  as daylight insofar as their import  is concerned. This view is the  better one and closer to the spirit of the Shariah

Now remains the one reference  made by Mufti Ahmad Yaar  Khaan which he cites from  Shaami that,“The Mutaqaddimeen and Muta-akhireen are unanimous that it is Mustahab for a group to make loud thikr in a Masjid, provided it  does not disturb one who is  sleeping, performing Salaat or  reciting Qur’aan Majeed.” [Jaa-al Haqq, page 332]

This is most certainly not worth  paying any attention to, because  firstly, when the Qur’aan Majeed  and Hadith Shareef have  explicitly forbidden loud thikr,  then can the action and  statement to the contrary of any  person be used as a proof?    Secondly, all four Imaams of Fiqh  have stated that loud Thikr is not  Mustahab and Imaam Saheb has labelled it a bid’ah. He also further  states that this is contrary to the  explicit Command of Allaah  Ta’ala.  When all four Imaams are  unanimous on the impermissibility of loud thikr,  how then can there be unanimity  on its permission? Are the  Aimmah-e-Arba’a not amongst  the Mutaqaddimeen?

Thirdly, even the Ulama-e-Muta’akhireen are not unanimous  on loud thikr  being Mustahab.  The Ulama of all four Math-habs have objected to it. Even the  Sufiya are not unanimous  regarding it. Look at the  Maktoobaat of Mujaddid Alfe  Thaani (rahmatullah alayh). In  similar vein study the kitaabs of  other Fuqahaa, Ulama and Muhadditheen on this subject.  This mas’alah will not be resolved  unless one studies it with an  open an unbiased mind.

Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan citing  from Sheikh Muhammad Saheb  Thaanwi (rahmatullah alayh), “Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  would recite Tasbeeh and Tahleel  in a loud voice, after Salaat, with  the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anha).” [Jaa-al Haqq, page 330]

This proof is also not very  weighty, because, firstly, if this narration cannot be proven to be  authentic via the normal channels  of Hadith Usools, how then can it  be used as a proof? Secondly, if it  can be proven to be authentic,  then too, we can present the  explanation of Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) which he  gave for the narration of Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) that  this was only done as a means of  teaching, and it was only carried  out for a limited period and not continuously. If it was done  continuously, then the Aimmah-e-Arba’a would never have ruled  that loud thikr is not Mustahab.  This is an obvious fact, which  cannot be disputed.

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and the Incident of Halqah Dhikr

Among the strongest dalaail (proofs and arguments) in  refutation of bid’ah acts such as collective Dhikr performances in  the Musaajid which appear in the  form of ibaadat expulsion of a halqah zikr, is the group from the  Musjid by the illustrious Sahaabi,  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu).

A group of people engaging in Alhamdulillaah and Allahu Akbar halqah Thikr were reciting Lailaha  illallaah, Subhaanallah, in chorus.  They all recited the Thikr loudly  and congregationally. Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), the eminent  Sahaabi of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), branded the  group as Mubtadieen (bid’atis)  and ordered their expulsion from the Musjid.

The action of Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  is the strongest and most direct  rejection of any superficial act  presented in the form of ibaadat.  Any act which was not ibaadat to  the Salf-e-Saaliheen but  presented as ibaadat is bid’ah in  the light of the Qur’aan, Sunnah  and practice of the Salf-e-Saaliheen.

The type of loud collective Thikr  (Ijtimaa’ jahri Thikr) programmes  which have of recent developed in  the Musaajid under the aegis of  those who are associated with  the Deoband School and the  Chishti Silsilah, come conspicuously within the scope  of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood’s condemnation.

The venerable Mufti Sahib has laboured in vain to dismiss the  hadith and action of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood in the  attempt to justify the loud collective Thikr  performances in  the Musaajid. Once Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) was informed  of a group of people engaging in  a perculiar form of Thikr. The  leader of the group instructed his  companions to recite la Ilaaha  illallaahu 100  times. Then in  chorus the group recited. Then he  instructed them to recite Subhaanallaah, then Allaahu  Akbar each 100 times. This they  did in unison. Meanwhile they were counting the number with  pebbles. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu),  addressing them said:

“Use the pebbles to count your  sins. I guarantee that none of  your virtuous deeds will be destroyed (by counting your sins).  Alas! O Ummah of Muhammad!  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). How  swiftly have you fallen in ruin! The  Sahaabah of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are still numerous in your presence.  The garments of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have  not become old and his unbroken  utensils are still present. But you  have opened the door of deviation.”  [Musnad Daarmi]

Allaamah Qaadhi Ibraahim  narrates as follows:

“I am Abdullah Bin Mas’ood. I take oath by Him (Allah) besides  whom there is no deity. Verily, you have produced a dark bid’ah or you have surpassed the As-haab of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).”, i.e. in knowledge and  practice”  [Majaalisul Abraar]

Shaykhul Islam Ibn Daqeeq  presents the riwaayat as follows: 

“I am Ibn Mas’ood. So, whoever knows me, knows who I am.  Whoever does not know me, then  know that I am Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood. Do you think that you  are more guided than Muhammad  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and  his Ashaab? Verily, you have  innovated a dark bid’ah, or you  have acquired greater status in knowledge than the As-haab of  Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).” Ibn Mas’ood has refuted this act notwithstanding  the probability of it coming within the scope of Thikr in  general.” [Ahkaamul  Ahkaam]

Allaamah Muhammad Bin  Muhammad Al-Khawaarzami  narrates:

Thikr bil Jahr is haraam since it  has been authentically reported  that Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) had expelled a group from  the Musjid. They were reciting  Tahleel and Durood loudly, and he  commented: ‘I deem you to be  nothing but mubtadieen  (bid’atis).”  [Shaami]

In sheer desperation, the  venerable Mufti Sahib, clutching  at straws, first seeks to dismiss  the entire Hadith by citing the  version of Allaamah Aalusi in  Ruhul Ma’aani. He also refers flabbily to some doubts cast by  Allaamah Suyuti regarding the  narrators of the Hadith. On the  basis of these figments of conjecture, the venerable Mufti  Saheb, concludes: “Thus it is clear that these words are not proven to be the words of Hazrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu).”

Despite his claim of lack of proof,  the venerable Mufti Sahib in the  very next line inexplicably contradicts himself by saying:

“However, on the other hand we  find that these words of Hazrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu) are narrated in Sunan-e-Daarmi, Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq and Tabraani, thus how can it be said that these words are not proven to be those of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud  (Radhiyallahu anhu)? From the  narrations of Sunan-e-Daarmi,  Abdur Razzaaq and Tabraani it is  proven that this incident (i.e. of  the group of people who were  occupied in making loud zikr in  the Masjid) did take place; however it is not proven from any  narration that Hazrat Abdullah  Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu)  commanded them to leave the  Masjid. Yes, the narrations of  Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq  Tabraani suggest that Hazrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu) commanded  them to disperse. However one narrator from amongst chain of narrators of this Hadith has been omitted. Therefore the fact that  Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu) made them leave the Masjid is not proven from any authentic narration.”  

This strange warped argument is  bereft of validity. First he maintained that “these words are not proven”. Then the Mufti Sahib himself questions this averment, and presents reliable Muhadditheen who have recorded  the narrations in this regard. On  the basis of the appearance of  this narration in Daarmi,  Musannaf of Abdur Razzaaq and  Tabraani, the venerable Mufti Sahib concedes:“it is proven that  this incident did take place.” claim that “this incident did take place” Now on what basis does the  Mufti Sahib? Obviously on the  basis of the three reliable Hadith  Kutub which he has mentioned.  After admitting the proof for the  occurrence of this incident, the venerable Mufti Sahib astoundingly claims the expulsion of the group is not proven. If the expulsion is not proven, on what basis is the incident proven?

The incident comprises the expulsion as well. If the narration describing the incident is proven, then automatically the expulsion too is proven. The proof for the  ‘incident’ accepted by the venerable Mufti Sahib, is the  proof for the expulsion as well.

With regard to the narration in  Sunan-e-Daarmi, the venerable  Mufti Sahib has committed a grave injustice with his fleeting  reference to it, and by a distorted  presentation to convey the impression that Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu anhu) was not annoyed with them nor objected  to their bid’ah. The hadith is  recorded in Sunan Daarmi as  follows:

“Al Hakam Bin Mubaarak narrated  to us that Amr Bin Yahya said: ‘I  heard from my father narrating his father who said: ‘We were seated at the door of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood before the evening  Salaat. When he would come out,  we would walk with him to the  Musjid. Then (while we were  waiting), Abu Musa Ash’ari (A  Sahaabi) came and said: ‘Has Abu  Abdur Rahman (i.e  Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood) emerged?’ We said: ‘No.’  Then he sat with us until he (Ibn  Mas’ood) came out. When he  emerged, we all stood up. Abu  Musa said:  ‘O Aba Abdir  Rahmaan! I have just now seen in  the Musjid an act which is  displeasing to me, (but) Alhamdulillaah, I did not see  anything but goodness.’ He (Ibn  Mas’ud) said: ‘And what is that?’  Abu Musa said: ‘You shall soon  see. I saw some groups in the  Musjid sitting in a halqah (circle)  waiting for the Salaat. In every  halqah there is a man, and in  their hands are pebbles. (i.e. in  each groupleader’s hand is a pebble). He says: ‘Recite takbeer  100 times. Then they will recite  takbeer 100 times. Then he says:  Recite tahleel 100 times. Then  they recite tahleel 100 times.  Then he says: Recite Tasbeeh 100  times. Then they recite Tasbeeh  100 times.’

Ibn Mas’ood said: ‘What did you  say to them?’ Abu Musa Ash’ari  said: ‘I said nothing to them in  anticipation of your opinion or  your command.’ Ibn Mas’ood said: ‘Why did you not command them  to count their sin’s (with the  pebbles), and assure them that  their virtues would not be ruined (by counting their sins instead of  making Thikr in this way)?’

Then he went and we accompanied him until we came to one of the halqahs. He stood  by them and said: ‘What is this that I am seeing you do?’ They said: ‘O Aba Abdillaah! These are  pebbles with which we count the  takbeer, tahleel and tasbeeh.’ Ibn  Mas’ood said: ‘Then count your sins. I assure you that your good  deeds will not be destroyed in the  least bit (by counting your sins  with the pebbles). Alas, O Ummah of Muhammad! How swiftly have you been ruined? These are the Sahaabah of your Nabi (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam), who are still numerous among you. These are his clothes which have as yet not become old.  These are his utensils which are not yet broken. (By this he indicated the close proximity to the age of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam). I take oath by  That Being in Whose Hand is my life! Are you perhaps on a way which is more guided than the Millat  of Muhammad? Or have you opened a doorway to deviation (dhalaalah)?’ They said: ‘Wallaah!  O Aba Abdir Rahmaan! We  intended nothing but goodness.”  Abdullah IbnMas’ood said: ‘There  were many who intended  goodness which they never  attained. Verily, Rasulullah (sall allahu alayhi wasallam) said to us:  “Verily, there will be people who  will recite the Qur’aan, but it will  not go beyond their throats.” By  Allah, I do not know if perhaps  most of you are from among  them.’ Then he turned away from  them. Amr Bin Salmah said: ‘I saw  most of the people of these  halqahs fighting against us (the  Sahaabah) on the day of the  Battle of Nahrawaan with the  Khawaarij.”

From the slipshod and sketchy  manner in which the venerable  Mufti Sahib has presented a shadow of this narration of Sunan Daarmi, the injustice is apparent.  The narration emphatically registers the annoyance and  criticism voiced by Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) when he  beheld the bid’ah halqah Thikr  which had been innovated.  Hence, he described their act as  the opening of the doorway of dhalaalah (deviation). While the  actual words of expulsion which  appear in other versions of this  narration in other Hadith kutub,  are not to be found in this  particular narration of Daarmi,  the fatwa of dhalaalah is stated  emphatically by Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu). 

Should it be momentarily  assumed that he did not  physically expel the bid’atis from  the Musjid, which according to  the venerable Mufti ‘is not proved’ , then at least the Mufti Sahib should concede that the fatwa  of dhalaalah’ and his displeasure  and other comments of criticism  are proved beyond any shadow of doubt. 

It is highly improper to refute the  expulsion merely because the  words describing it do not appear in Daarmi. The expulsion of the  innovators is described in  narrations appearing in other books of Hadith. There is no valid  reason for faulting the claims of  expulsion. And, even if the expulsion version is intransigentlydenied without basis, then too,  the fact that the halqah Thikr was branded ‘dhalaalah’ by this   Jaleelul Qadr Sahaabi should be  adequate for the comprehension of every unbiased Mu’min in quest  of the Haqq.

Confirming the expulsion of the halqah group of innovators, Fataawa Bazzaaziyyah: “It the  following is recorded in is  mentioned in Fataawa Qaadhi  that raising the voice with Thikr  is haraam. Verily, the narration  from Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu  anhu) is Saheeh (authentic). He  had heard a group had  congregated in the Musjid. They  were reciting Tahleel and Durood  on Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) aloud. Then he  reprimanded them and said: ‘We  did not practise this during the  age of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam). I do not see you  but as innovators (mubtadieen).’ He  continued repeating this  statement until he expelled them  from the Musjid.”

The venerable Mufti Sahib says: “Yes, the narrations of Musannaf  Abdur Razzaaq and Tabraani suggest that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu)  commanded them to disperse.”

There is no substance in this  argument. Assuming that  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) had not  expelled the group, but had only  ordered them to disperse, in  which way would his action serve  the cause of the venerable Mufti  Sahib? Whether he ordered dispersal or expulsion, the reason  for his action is the same. He  entered the Musjid and saw the halqahs engaging in Thikrullaah.  He intervened, stopped them,  severely castigated and reprimanded them as all narrations pertaining to this  episode confirm. The salient  factors in these narrations in  Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq as well  as in the narrations in the other  kutub of Ahaadith, are:

 Do you think that you are  more guided than the Ashaab of  Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)

 You are hanging on to the tail  of dhalaalah (deviation).

 You have innovated a dark bid’ah.

 Have you surpassed in  knowledge the Sahaabah of  Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? If you have acted in  conflict with the tareeqah of the  Sahaabah, then you have gone  far, very far astray.

The Hadith in Musannaf Abdur  Razzaaq states: “Then he (Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood) ordered them to disperse.” In this narration there is no ‘suggestion’  of dispersal as the venerable Mufti Sahib claims. There is an  explicit command to break up the halqahs and  to  disperse. Reading  this narration in conjunction with  other versions which explicitly  mention expulsion, it should be obvious that the expulsion was  preceded by dispersal of the groups inside the Musjid.

Even on the assumption that they were not expelled, but only dispersed, then too, the conclusion is clear,  namely, Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) having branded their specific form of loud halqah Thikr as a dark bid’ah, terminated the activity. The participants were ordered to disperse. When atleast the breakup of the halqahs and  the dispersal of the groups are  confirmed, then what constrained the Mufti Sahib to say that the  narration only ‘suggested’  dispersal? The sheer desperation  in the quest for ‘proof’ which in  reality does not exist culminates  in irrationality.

This narration pertaining to the  dispersal/expulsion of the  innovators is also narrated in Al-I’tisaam with an Isnaad which  varies from the different Chains of Narration mentioned in Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq. The  narration in Al-I’tisaam reads: “Abdullah (Ibn Mas’ood) passed  by a man in the Musjid who was  instructing his companions to  recite tasbeeh ten times and tahleel ten times. Then Abdullah  said: ‘Either you are more guided  than the Ashaab of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or you  are astray……………Have you been  guided to that to which your Nabi  was not guided? Verily, you have  taken firm hold of the tail of  deviation (dhalaalah).”

The following narration also  appears in Al-I’tisaam: “It was  mentioned to Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) that  some people in Kufa were  reciting tasbeeh with pebbles in  the Musjid. He then approached  them. Everyone among them had  a heap of pebbles in front of himself. Then he (Ibn Mas’ood)  struck them repeatedly with the  pebbles until they were expelled from the Musjid, and he said:  ‘Verily, you have produced a dark  bid’ah and you have (conveyed by your actions) that you have  superseded the Ashaab of  Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) in knowledge.”

This narration also appears in the  kutub, Al-Mudkhal, Az-Zuhd Li’I bnil Hambal, Talbees Iblees, etc,  and has been used by these  authorities in refutation of  bid’ah. They all have accepted the authenticity of the narration, hence it is presented as a basis  for refuting bid’ah and practices which superficially appear as ibaadat.

In another desperate and ludicrous attempt to dislodge  these narrations, the Mufti Sahib states:“However, one narrator  from amongst the chain of  narrators of this Hadith has been omitted. Therefore the fact that  Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu anhu) made them leave the Masjid is not proven  from any authentic narration.”  

The Mufti Sahib’s claim is  baseless. It is absurd to reject the  authenticity of the Hadith merely on account of the name of one  narrator not being explicitly  mentioned in one Hadith. There  are other Chains of Narration for this Hadith, which mention all the names of the narrators. In fact, in one Isnaad the person who had directly informed Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) was another senior Sahaabi, namely, Hadhrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (radhiyallahu anhu).

The name of the supposedly  ‘missing link’ is explicitly stated  in the Hadith which is recorded in Hulyatul Auliya where it is  mentioned as follows: Qais Bin  Abi Haazim and Abuz Za’raa’  narrated it from Abdullah Bin  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu  anhu). Then Abuz Za’raa’, referred to as  ‘the man’ who came to him. Then  he said: Musayyib Bin Najeeh  came to Abdullah.” The full isnaad  is: Sulaiman >Ali > Abu Naeem >  Sufyaan > Salmah Bin Kuhail >  Abuz Za’raa’ who said that  Musayyib Bin Najeeh came to  Abdullah Bin Mas’ood………..” (Hulyatul Auliya)

The claim of the ‘unknown’  narrator is thus dispelled. And, even if he is unknown, the accumulative effect of the  different Asaaneed elevates the  status of the Hadith.. Furthermore, this Hadith is  presented by numerous Authorities of the Shariah in  refutation of innovations. It has  thus satisfied the criterion of Talaqqi bil Qubool which is a  principle on the basis of which a narration is authenticated. The  accreditation by the Fuqaha validates the Hadith and it is then not reliant on even an Isnaad for its authenticity. This principle has  already been explained earlier on.

In Ihkaamul Ahkaam, the Hadith  of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) is also cited  in refutation of bid’ah. The Hadith  is accepted as authentic, hence it is said in Ihkaamul Ahkaam: “Similarly, is the narration which  is reported from Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), which is recorded by Tabarani in his Mu’jamah with its Sanad from  Qais Bin Abi Haazim.”

Fataawa Rahimiyyah also  presents this Hadith in refutation  of Bid’ah. Thus it is mentioned:  “It is Mustahab to recite Takbeer  along the route to the Eidgah, but  not collectively in unison. Since it  is not the established method of  reciting it, the Fuqaha said that it  is not permissible.”

In Ahsanul Fataawa, Hadhrat  Mufti Rashid Ahmad  (rahmatullah alayh), after  narrating the various versions  and different Asaaneed of the  Hadith of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), as well as the  arguments of those who claim  that these narrations are weak or unsubstantiated, says: “Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), after branding as mubtadieen (bid’atis)  those who had engaged in loud  collective Thikr, and reprimanding  them, expelled them from the  Musjid.” Commenting further,  Hadhrat Mufti Rashid Ahmad said:

“Those who legalize Thikr  sessions (loud collective Thikr)  have presented three arguments against this narration of Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu):

(i) There is no substantiation for  this narration in the books of  Hadith.

(ii) This narration is in conflict with other authentic Ahaadith  which explicitly permit Thikr bil  jahr.

(iii) The group of people  (mentioned in the narration) must  have added some act of bid’ah,  hence they were expelled.

The first argument is incorrect  because Tabaraani has narrated it  with several Asaaneed. Besides  this, most of the Fuqahae Kiraam authenticated and validated this  narration with the statement:  “Verily the narration from Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is  Saheeh.”

The second argument is an invalid  refutation. (There is no conflict as  alleged). Therefore, the third  averment is applicable.” End of Ahsanul Fataawa’s comments.

As far as the authenticity of the  narration is concerned, the  claims of it being unauthentic are baseless. A synopsis of the  discussion on this issue is:

 Many Muhadditheen have  narrated the Hadith of Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) in their  compilations.

 No solid grounds for denouncing the authenticity have been  produced. The only flimsy argument presented is that one  narrator is ‘unknown’. This claim  too is devoid of substance as the  name of the supposedly unknown  narrator is stated in one narration. There has been no serious assault on the Isnaad.

 The Hadith is narrated by  different Chains. The  accumulative effect is the  elevation of the status to  authenticity. 

 The Authorities of the Shariah  have utilized this Hadith as a  strong basis for criticizing and refuting bid’ah, notably, loud  collective Thikr in Musjids.

 The strongest argument in  favour of the authenticity of the  Hadith is the acceptance of the  narration by the Fuqaha. They  have utilized this Hadith in  substantiation of their Fiqhi rulings. This by itself is the  evidence for the authenticity of  the Hadith.

Thus, the following appears in  Qaadhi Khaan: “Raising the voice  with Thikr is haraam. Verily, it has  been authentically narrated from  Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  that a group of people had gathered………..”  Hadhrat Mufti  Rashid Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh), Author of Ahsanul Fataawa, states: “Most of the  Fuqaha had authenticated the  Hadith with the comment: “Verily,  the narration has been authentically narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)….”  

There is therefore, no scope for  the claim that the Hadith of  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is not authentic.

Ahsanul Fataawa after presenting  the aforementioned three  arguments tendered in refutation  of the narration of Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), concisely  dismissed the arguments as  baseless. We have already  expanded on the ‘authenticity’  question. Regarding the second  argument (mentioned above), the  venerable Mufti Radhaaul Haq  Sahib states:

“Answer 2: Ulama have stated  that even if the Hadith of Hazrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu  anhu) is proven, it contradicts  many other authentic Ahaadeeth  of Rasoolullah (Salallahu alaihi  wasallam). There are also other  narrations of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu) which contradict this statement of his. For example, Hazrat Abu Waa’il (Radhiyallahu anhu) says: “Some people are of the opinion that Hazrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu) was not in  favour of the practice of loud Thikr, but this was not so……….’ 
Thus we see that the actions of  Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud  (Radhiyallahu anhu) contradicts  his words, therefore preference  would be given to his actions over  his words.”

Firstly, the averment, “Preference  would be given to his actions over his words”, is an incorrect ‘principle’. The principle is the  other way around, namely,  preference should be given to  words over action. For example, a  particular action of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) which conflicts with his commands, may  not be cited to cancel the  commands he has issued. Thus, Rasulullah’s act of allowing  Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) to view the Habshis engaging in a singing performance or his action of not  reprimanding a group of females  whom he had heard singing, may  not be presented as proof for the  alleged permissibility of singing  and music. These isolated actions  of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) cannot be presented in  refutation of the mass of Qur’aanic and Hadith evidence – Rasulullah’s explicit commands – prohibiting music. There exists  valid interpretation for the  seemingly contradictory action  of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).

Similarly, assuming that there is  a contradiction between the words and actions of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), then  preference will be given to his  explicit words and commands, not to his actions which appear in  conflict with the Qur’aanic and  Sunnah evidence. His seemingly  contradictory action will have to be incumbently reconciled with  the clear commands and meanings of the Qur’aan and the  Sunnah, as well as with his own  teachings and expressions.

Secondly, the claim of  contradiction between the words  and actions of Hadhrat Abdullah  ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  is fictitious. The current dispute is  not on the question of loud Thikr being permissible or not  permissible. The permissibility of  loud Thikr is not refuted. However, the venerable Mufti  Sahib has diverted the discussion  from the real issue of contention  and has dwelt on another  uncontested question, namely,  permissibility of loud Thikr.

It is glaringly incorrect to say that  Ibn Mas’ood’s expulsion of the innovators is in conflict with his  words and practice of audible  Thikr.  These are two different  issues and different practices. There is no conflict here. Hadhrat  Abdullah Bin Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) condemned, reprimanded and expelled the  group, not on the basis of loud  Thikr. He expelled them because  of the new innovated form of the  Thikr the halqah form in which  they were reciting loudly in chorus. This was a form which had no origin in the Sunnah, yet  it was being given prominence and publicly portrayed as if it was  a Masnoon act of ibaadat. If he  had not nipped the bid’ah in the  bud, the practice would have  become entrenched in the Ummah. Citing from Rasaa’il, Mufti Rashid Ahmad of Ahsanul  Fataawa states: “If the expulsion  from the Musjid was literal, then it is probable that it was on  account of their belief that (their  new act) was ibaadat, and (on  account of) teaching people that  it is bid’ah. It is possible for a  permissible act to become  impermissible because of some  accretion.”

In fact, the venerable Mufti Sahib  concedes the probability of an  accretion which constrained Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) to evict the  innovators. Thus, the Mufti Sahib  says:“it was in order to prevent  the door of innovation from  being opened.” This is precisely the  primary reason for the criticism  against the current loud collective  Thikr programmes being conducted in the Musaajid. If the  danger of the door of bid’ah  opening existed during the time  of even the Sahaabah, hence  Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) deemed it  appropriate and imperative to  resort to the extreme measure of  preventing the Thikr programme  and expelling the perpetrators from the Musjid, then to a much  greater degree does this danger  exist in this age.

There is hardly any piety left in people. The venerable Mufti Sahib himself has claimed that the hearts in this era are hardened and spiritually corrupt. Islaah of the Nafs (self reformation) has become a closed avenue. Even the  so called sheikhs of today lack  understanding and expertise in this sphere. It is for this reason  that we find them staging public  Thikr performances as a subterfuge to conceal their gross  incompetence and ignorance in  this field. In fact, in giving prominence and in purveying  collective loud Thikr performances in the Musaajid,  they are resembling the juhala to  whom Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) has referred in relation to one such Ijtimaai’ Thikr programme.

There is no doubt that these public performances are developing into entrenched  hardcore bid’ah practices, hence  even the venerable personalities  who practise these non-Sunnah  acts in public rush to vindicate  their acts of display. They rush  seeking the aid of even shaitaani  radio stations of the fussaaq and  fujjaar in their desperation to  sustain their bid’ah sayyiah. In  fact, they not only embark on  defending and justifying their  unsubstantiated practices, they  demote the actual Sunnah acts  and bestow preference and higher  status to their personal activities  portrayed as Masnoon ibaadat  which they back up with dreams  which in turn are equated to the  status of Shar’i dala’il.

If the venerable Mufti Sahib’s  desperate defence of collective  loud Thikr is viewed intelligently, without bias and emotionalism,   the extremely low ebb to which he  has descended in his quest for  ‘proofs’ will be clearly discerned.  When a senior Mufti fails to  understand the simple mas’alah of the superiority of silent Thikr  being a unanimous ruling of  the  Authorities of the Ummah since the age of the Sahaabah, and he  labours painfully to elevate a  permissible act of lower degree  to a status above the Masnoon act, then the bid’ah dimension is conspicuous.

The venerable Mufti Sahib as well  as others before him have conceded, albeit very reluctantly, that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s  extreme action was to close the  door of bid’ah. Yet he sees no  need to follow the example of  this great Sahaabi to ensure that  the evil gate of bid’ah is not  opened in our community by  initiating practices unsubstantiated in the Sunnah,  and in emulation of the Ahle-Bareilwi bid’atis.

It has to be reiterated for the  sake of greater clarity that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s action was primarily constrained by the new  form of the Thikr programme  which the innovators had introduced. He therefore  sarcastically instructed them to  rather count their sins with the  pebbles instead of using them for Thikr.

No one can accuse Hadhrat Ibn  Masood (radhiyallahu anhu) of  preventing Thikrullaah. Obviously  this was not the purpose of the  expulsion. He was preventing a  bid’ah gaining a foothold in the  community. When he did not  prevent Thikrullah, the question is: What did he prevent? And, why  did he expel ‘thaakireen’ from the Musjid? Only prejudice clouds the mind rendering it incapable of understanding such a simple  issue. The expulsion was not because they were engaging in Thikrullaah. The action was on  account of the bid’ah method  which they had introduced.

There is therefore no conflict  between Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s  words and actions. His action was  to prevent the door of bid’ah  opening, not to prevent any type of Thikr  which is lawful.

The venerable Mufti Sahib also  presenting another flimsy  argument attributed to Allaamah Aalusi (rahmatullah alayh), says: “According to Allamah Aaloosi  (Rahmatullah alaih), it could also be that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu)  prevented these people from  making loud zikr in the Musjid as  they were screaming when making zikr.”

Nowhere in the many variants of  the Hadith attributed to Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  is it mentioned that these  thaakireen were screaming when  making Thikr. The inference is utterly baseless. There is no  indication in any of the many  narrations to suggest that they  were ‘screaming when making  zikr’. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood’s focus was on the  manner in which the  programme  was being executed. He clearly  informed them that their  practice was in conflict with the  Thikr practices of the Sahaabah.  He did not order them to lower  their voices. He branded the  whole Thikr practice of these  people as a dark bid’ah. He  remarked that they should rather  use their pebbles to enumerate  their sins. If it was jahr-e-mufrit which he was targeting, he  would have emulated Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and  ordered: “Have mercy on your souls!”. Thus, there is no  substance in the figment offered  by the venerable Mufti, viz., these people were perhaps screaming  in their Thikr.

Presenting another legless and  fallacious argument, the  venerable Mufti Sahib says: “The narration of Sunan-e-Daarmi  suggests that the people who  were making loud zikr in the  Masjid belonged to a deviated  sect and their only intention was  to initiate an innovation amongst Muslims.”  

At the juncture when this  episode had transpired there was  absolutely no suggestion of them belonging to a deviate sect. Yearslater, these innovators had linked  up with the Khwaarij to fight against the Sahaabah. Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) was aware  that the perpetrators of bid’ah  would at a later stage develop  into a sect of bid’atis. The  Bareilwi bid’atis have developed  their own sect. Now the Mufti  Sahib is following in the same  direction. This is the way in which sects develop. If this new bid’ah  of public performances of Thikr  becomes entrenched, then in the  generations to come, there will  be a Deobandi sect of bid’ah.  The one bid’ah will lead to  another bid’ah. The Deobandi  bid’atis and the Bareilwi bid’atis  will then become bed-fellows and  compatriots in a coalition aligned  against the Ahl-e-Haqq who  condemn all bid’ah and  dhalaalah of whatever persuasion  and  breed.

The Mufti Sahib says: “their only  intention was to initiate an  innovation” . Now what was that act which was an innovation which those people had initiated?  Was it their Salaat or their Qiraa’t? What exactly was that act which even the Mufti  Sahib says is ‘an innovation’?  Which act did Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  brand as a dark bid’ah? The act  of bid’ah for which they were  castigated and expelled was their  loud collective Thikr in the Musjid.This is the precise reason for the  desire in this era to prevent  people from staging public  performance of Thikr practices  which have neither origin nor  sanction in the Sunnah.

From  whichever angle the practice of the deviates is viewed, even the Mufti Sahib is constrained to concede that their act of public, loud collective Thikr in the Musjid was bid’ah.

All the arguments presented in  the exercise to dislodge and  dismiss the Hadith of Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) are  misdirected and baseless. Some  of these arguments would have  been valid if this Hadith was  presented in total refutation of  audible Thikr. But this is not the  case. The action of Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is  cited in refutation of bid’ah.  Even the venerable Mufti Sahib  and everyone else concede that  bid’ah is haraam. Hence no one is  justified to fabricate grounds for  the dismissal of this narration  when it is utilized to refute bid’ah, especially after the Fuqaha have  authenticated it. Since we are not  presenting this narration in an attempt to prove audible Thikr  to be prohibited, the entire  argument of the venerable Mufti Sahib is bereft of substance and  direction.

The Hadith of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated  by Tabraani by way of a number  of Asaaneed, by Daarmi,  Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq and by  many other authorities, and authenticated by the illustrious  Fuqaha does not negate audible  Thikr within prescribed limits of the Shariah. Its  focus was on  elimination of bid’ah and closing  the avenue of bid’ah. It is  therefore absurd to produce in  opposition to this narration, other  Ahaadith from which  permissibility of audible Thikr  could be inferred.

Pursuing a futile argument in the  bid to establish a futile aim, the  venerable Mufti Sahib says: “When an action is proven from the Glorious Qur’an or Ahaadeeth,  then too it is not pernicious for a  Sahabi to classify it as an  innovation.”

The translator of the venerable  Mufti Sahib’s booklet has  incorrectly translated. The term ‘pernicious’ means ‘ruinous,  destructive’. This word renders the meaning in the context of the discussion atrocious and incorrect. From the several  examples the Mufti Sahib tenders  to illustrate his statement, it  appears that the word ‘proper’  should have been used by the translator. What the Mufti Sahib  says is that it is not proper for  even a Sahaabi to classify as an innovation an action which is  proven on the basis of the Qur’aan and Ahaadeeth. This line  of argument is ludicrous.

There is no Sahaabi who ever  branded any such proven act or  teaching of the Shariah as innovation. It is quite probable  that a Sahaabi was unaware of  something which another  Sahaabi attributed to Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and  on the basis of his unawareness  he may have labelled the act bid’ah. Giving an example of his  contention, the Mufti Sahib says: “Similarly Hazrat Abdullah Ibn  Mughaffal (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  has said that to recite Bismillah  aloud in Salaah is an innovation,  but this very act is Sunnah to  Imaam Shafi’ee (Rahmatullah  alayh).”

This is an extremely poor  example proffered for the grave  and ludicrous charge of a Sahaabi possibly having labelled as bid’ah  an act which is proven by the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith. The Mufti Sahib has made this contention  in a weird attempt to show that  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood’s prevention and expulsion of the  group of bid’ati thaakireen were  in conflict with the Qur’aan and Ahaadith in view of the fact that  these two primary sources of the  Shariah ordain, exhort and emphasize the importance and significance of Thikrullaah. This  attempt is untenable in terms of the principles of the Shariah. It is  also despicable and lamentable.  There is absolutely no justification for entertaining  such a suspicion with regard to  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) or any other  Sahaabi. All the examples of  Sahaabah conflicting with the Qur’aan and Sunnah, which the  Mufti Sahib presents are highly  erroneous and ludicrous.

The action of Hadhrat Abdullah  Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  was not a measure of preventing  Thikrullaah. It was an action to  prevent and eliminate bid’ah. It is  therefore extremely misleading  to have even posited this  ridiculous hypothesis. Hadhrat  Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu)  did not clash with the Qur’aan or  the Sunnah in his view. The Mufti  Sahib’s insinuation is vile in the  extreme. Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) said: “All my Sahaabah are just. Whomever of them you follow, you will be guided.” 

It is a preposterous misconception to believe that a Sahaabi’s  ruling could be faulted and discounted on the basis of  Imaam Shaafi’s view. Despite  Imaam  Shaafi’s contention of  the Sunniyat of reciting Tasmiah  audibly during Salaat, the fatwa  of bid’ah issued by the Sahaabi, Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) has  precedence and greater validity.  Hence, his view is the Math-hab  of Imaam Abu Hanifah and of  innumerable thousands of Fuqaha, and of the greater segment of  the Ummah. The Mufti Sahib in  having resorted to this type of  confused argument in his quest  for evidence to substantiate the  collective loud Thikr  performances, has belittled the  lofty rank of the Sahaabah.

The crime is of an aggravated  nature in view of the fact that  the Mufti Sahib is a professed Hanafi who is supposed to  uphold the Ruling of Imaam A’zam (rahmatullah alayh) based on  the explicit pronouncement of  the Sahaabi, Hadhrat Ibn  Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu).  But, veering sharply from the  Straight Path, he attempts to  dislodge Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  and Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhuma) with the view of Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullah alayh), and with baseless  interpretations respectively.

The Sahaabi, Hadhrat Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) cannot be  indicted of holding a view in conflict with the Qur’aan and  Sunnah. The probability of error  is greater in the Shaafi’ viewpoint than the view of the Sahaabi. He  was fully entitled in holding the  view of audible reciting of the Tasmiah in Salaat being bid’ah  regardless of the viewpoint of  Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh). It is bizarre to insinuate on  the basis of Imaam Shaafi’s view  that the Sahaabi Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu) had acted in contravention of the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith. In fact, Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah  alayh), on the very basis of the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith proves that  it is Sunnah to recite Bismillaah  silently in Salaat. Each Math-hab has its own respective arguments. A Sahaabi’s lofty status entitled him to brand a practice bid’ah  even if such practice is valid in the view of other Sahaabah.

The venerable Mufti Sahib has  clearly been unable to  understand the basis of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mughaffal’s    pronouncement of bid’ah, and on  the basis of this lack of understanding he entertains the  idea that this Sahaabi had erred  in saying that reciting Bismillah aloud in Salaat is bid’ah. However, the great Akaabir Ulama have not  understood the issue in this manner. They accepted and  endorsed Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal’s view. Thus, Allaamah  Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi states in  his Baraahin-e-Qaatiah in  refutation of the Ahle-Bid’ah who  regard unsubstantiated practices  as beautiful (Mustahsan) and  even superior (Afdhal):

“The Sahaabi, Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mughaffal, labelled as bid’ah and  rejected loud recitation of  Bismillah together with Surah  Faatihah in Salaat inspite of  Bismillah being a Thikr, and jahr  with Thikr is not prohibited.  However, since jahr has not been  narrated (in the Hadith) at this  juncture (of Surah Faatihah during  Salaat), he branded it bid’ah. This Hadith is narrated in Tirmizi and other Hadith kutub. According to Imaam Abu Hanifah, reciting Takbeer aloud along the route to  the Eidgah on the Day of Fitr is bid’ah because according to him silent recitation of the Takbir is  substantiated at this juncture. Hence jahr (reciting aloud) at a  juncture unsubstantiated by the Shariah is bid’ah despite jahr with Takbeer and Thikr being mustahsan.”

Elaborating on the Hadith of  Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu), it appears in I’laaus Sunan:

“The Hadith indicates that  abstention from jahr with  Bismillah according to them (the great body of Sahaabah and  Taabieen) was the inheritance  from their Nabi, which their later generations inherited from those  before them. This by itself is  sufficient for this mas’alah….”

The venerable Mufti Sahib has not  conducted himself honourably in citing the statement of Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu), He has attempted to convey the impression of this being an isolated view (i.e. reciting Bismillaah aloud before Surah Faatihah is bid’ah) of a Sahaabi being in conflict with the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith. Hence, he  presented Ibn Mughaffal’s proclamation of bid’ah as an issue  devoid of substance which is  unsustainable.

This attempt is a grave injustice  committed by the Mufti Sahib. In  view of this misrepresentation,  there is a need to present some elucidation on this mas’alah so  that Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal’s  statement is viewed and  understood in proper  perspective.

The full text of the Hadith is: “Ibn  Abdullah Bin Mughaffal narrated:  ‘While I was in Salaat, my father  heard me reciting  ‘Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem’. He then  exclaimed: ‘O my son! ‘You are  innovating. Beware of bid’ah!’ He  (Abdullah) said: ‘I have not seen  any of the Ashaab of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  abhorring innovation in Islam more than him (my father).’He said: ‘I have performed Salaat with Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), with Abu Bakr, Umar and with Uthmaan, but I had not  heard anyone of them saying it  (i.e. reciting Bismillaah audibly). Therefore, do not say it. When  you perform Salaat, then say:  ‘Alhamdulillaah Rabbil Aalameen.’ 

”Ikramah narrated from Ibn Abbaas who said regarding  reciting Bismillaah aloud: ‘That is  the act of the A’raab’ (the simple  and ignorant village dwellers).’  Tahaawi narrated it, and its Isnaad is Hasan – Aathaarus Sunan  (I’laaus Sunan)

Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) had proclaimed this act bid’ah on the  basis of strong dalaa’il. It was not  an isolated, weak view of an  unknown Sahaabi. It is highly  improper for the Mufti Sahib to  attempt to dismiss Ibn Mughaffal’s bid’ah proclamation  with Imaam Shaafi’s view. If  according to Imaam Shaafi’  (rahmatullah alayh) reciting Tasmiah audibly is ‘Sunnah’, it does not detract from the validity  of Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal’s fatwa  of bid’ah, and that is the fatwa  which is the view of the Ahnaaf,  and which should be the view of  the venerable Mufti Sahib whom we understand is a follower of  the Hanafi Mathhab.

It is 100% correct to follow  Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) and hold the  bid’ah view notwithstanding Imaam Shaafi’s viewpoint. There  is an avalanche of authentic and  valid dalaail corroborating the view expressed by Hadhrat Ibn  Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu).  Thus, for the Mufti Sahib to tender Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal’s  fatwa of bid’ah to illustrate his  (the Mufti Sahib’s) baseless  hypothesis, is lamentable. His  fallacious hypothesis is:“When  an action is proven from the  Glorious Qur’an or Ahaadeeth, then too it is not pernicious for a  Sahabi to classify it as an  innovation.” Commenting on his  own hypothesis, the Mufti Sahib  says:“From this we learn that  an action does not become an  innovation merely because a certain Sahaabi classified it as  such.”

The error of the Mufti Sahib’s  conclusion is self-evident. As far  as the ‘certain Sahaabi’ is concerned, he is correct and fully entitled to brand an act bid’ah. He  does so on the basis of evidence  in his possession. When a Sahaabi brands an act a bid’ah,  he does not suck it out of his thumb. His fatwa is based on his  knowledge of the mas’alah as he  had acquired it from Rasulullah (esallallahu alayhi wasallam). The  question of promoting and  perpetuating his fatwa was the  task of the Aimmah-Mujtahideen  to whom we, the Muqallideen  submit. The Aimmah-Mujtahideen  were the authorities to research  all the proofs and issue the final  verdeict which we have to  incumbently accept. Since the  view of Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) has been  upheld by the Aimmah  Mujtahideen of the Hanafi Mathhab on the basis of the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith, it was a  gross and manifest error for the  venerable Mufti Sahib to present  the bid’ah classification of  Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu) to illustrate  his untenable hypothesis.

The Sahaabi’s classification to  which the Aimmah Mujtahideen  and Fuqaha of the Ahnaaf subscribe, may not be challenged  and derogated by a Hanafi Mufti  citing as his daleel the view of Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh).

The other examples which the  Mufti Sahib presented to  substantiate his hypothesis also  suffer the same fate as his  misconceived illustration with the  Hadith of Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu). In another  similar misconceived example to  denigrate the classification of a Sahaabi, the Mufti Sahib says: “For example, Hazrat Ibn Umar  (Radhiyallahu anhu) said that Salaatut Dhuhaa is an innovation,  whereas it is infact Mustahab.” In  terms of the Mufti Sahib’s baseless hypothesis, the logic  here is: There is consensus that  Salaatut Dhuhaa is Sunnat/Mustahab. Despite this, the  Sahaabi Abdullah Bin Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu) classified it  as bid’ah. The inference to be  drawn from this line of  reasoning  is: An act is not bid’ah merely because a Sahaabi branded it  bid’ah. The conclusion: Thus,  Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Masood’s classification of the group of  thaakireen as being innovators is  incorrect. Their act of loud collective Thikr in the Musjid is  not bid’ah despite Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood’s classification and his action of expelling them from the  Musjid.

This conclusion extrapolated on  the basis of the postulation of the Mufti Sahib is baseless since  it is raised on a baseless postulate, which is his hypothesis  mentioned above. Let us revert to  the Salaatut Dhuhaa issue. It is  inconceivable for a Sahaabi,  especially a Sahaabi of the calibre of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar, to  classify a practice of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as bid’ah and to prevent others  from practising such an  established well-substantiated  Sunnah.

While the Mufti Sahib has  attempted to show the ‘error’ of  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar’s bid’ah classification, the  Akaabireen had a different view.  In fact they cited Hadhrat Ibn  Umar’s classification in refutation  of the bid’ah of the Ahle-Bareilwis. Hadhrat Allaamah  Khalil Ahmad Ambethwi states in  his Baraahin-e-Qaatiah:

“It is in Bukhaari that Hadhrat Ibn  Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) seeing people performing Salaatut Dhuhaa in the Musjid, said that  this is bid’ah wheras Salaatut  Dhuha is Sunnat and Mustahab,  and going to the Musjid is also  Mustahab. But, because this Salaat was not to be performed collectively in the Musjid, he  branded it bid ’ah, and he refuted  it.”

It is significant that Hadhrat  Allaamah Khalil presented Hadhrat Ibn Umar’s action in  refutation of bid’ah whereas the  venerable Mufti Sahib portrays it  as an error the – error of  classifying a Sunnat as innovation. This is indeed a  misrepresentation of the action  of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu). When he saw  the prominence which was being  accorded to a Salaat which  everyone had to perform in the  privacy of the home, he feared it  developing into a bid’ah. Hence,  nipping the feared accretion in  the bud, he outrightly branded  their performance as bid’ah.  While the Mufti Sahib appears to  be the first person to depict this  action as well as the action of  other Sahaabah as isolated and  erroneous acts in conflict with the Qur’aan and Ahaadith, the  authorities of the Shariah in all  ages upheld these classifications  by the Sahaabah and provided  appropriate interpretations. But,  in view of the Mufti Sahib’s  desperate quest for ‘dalaa’il’ to  bolster the current loud  collective Thikr performances in  the Musaajid, he felt constrained  to derogate even the fataawa of  senior Sahaabah.

Another bizarre example which the Mufti Sahib produces to  illustrate the imagined conflict of a Sahaabi with the Qur’aan and  Sunnah, is his statement:“In a  similar manner, Hazrat Abu Malik Ashja’i (Radhiyallahu anhu) says  that according to his father, to  recite Qunoot in the Fajr Salaah  is an innovation. This is also a  Sunnah act according to Imaam  Shaafi’ee (Rahmatullah alaihi).”

It may be a Sunnat act for the  Shaafi’s. It is not a Sunnat act for  the Ahnaaf. The Sahaabi who maintained that it is Bid’ah,  possessed the requisite  entitlement to have issued his  fatwa of bid’ah. It is therefore  despicable to present this  Sahaabi’s view in the bizarre  attempt to illustrate the fallacious theory of a Sahaabi’s  view being in conflict with the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith. The views  of the Sahaabah are all based on  valid Shar’i dalaa’il. Their views  were not products of whimsical  imagination.

Underlying the presentation of  such erroneous examples is the  motive to illustrate the bizarre inference that Hadhrat Abdullah  Bin Mas’ood’s prevention and  expulsion of the group of thaakireen was in conflict with  the Qur’aan and Ahaadith, hence  improper, and not worthy of emulation. This line of reasoning  is absolutely absurd from the  Shar’i point of view.

There is not a semblance of conflict between the action of Hadhrat Ibn Masood  (radhiyallahu anhu) and the  Qur’aan Majeed nor with any  Hadith whatsoever. In fact,  his  action was fully in consonance  with Rasulullah’s numerous  commands stated in  condemnation of bid’ah.

It should be well understood that  a bid’ah can be constituted of  several perfectly lawful acts of ibaadat. These acts taken  individually will be highly  meritorious. However, when given  a collective form, the ruling  applicable to the accumulation or  to the whole new act will differ. Hadhrat Allaamah Khalil Ahmad  states in Baraahin-e-Qaatiah:

“If the form of the collective action is haraam, then the ruling  pertaining to the collection (of acts) will change even if all the  individual acts are permissible.”

In the loud collective Thikr  performances, the following acts  are all permissible if done individually:

Thikrullaah, moderate jahr in  privacy, non-Sunnah athkaar prescribed by the Mashaaikh, and Tilaawat of the Qur’aan. However,  if these acts are combined in a  collective form in a public performance in the Musjid, then  the whole collection will be  classified as bid’ah in the same  way as Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ ood (radhiyallahu anhu) had  branded the loud collective Thikr performance in the Musjid bid’ah,  and in the way Hadhrat Abdullah  Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) classified the public performance  of Salaatut Dhuhaa as bid’ah.

The venerable Mufti Sahib does  concede the need“to prevent the  door of innovation from being  open”. The criticism directed to  the loud collective Thikr displays  in the Musjid is precisely for this  purpose to  prevent the door of  bid’ah opening up. All such public  performances unsubstantieated  by the Sunnah ultimately develop  into entrenched acts of  bid’ah.  This was the error of the Ahl Bareilwi, and our Deobandi molvis  of this era are now emulating that dangerous example.

Tahajjud and Dhikr: the two missing components

By Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri
Edited by ‘Abd Allah bin Muhammad al-Afriqui

A summary of an ‘Ulama address by Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri (Allah protect at him) of Jami’ah Islamiyyah Dabhel at Madrasah Talim al-Din, Isipingo Beach on Sunday, 1 Sha’ban 1434; 9 June 2013.

We all take pride in linking ourselves to our akabir (elders) who had laid the foundations of the various dini (religious) works that we are involved in.

However, what is required of us is to see what were the sifat (qualities) that they possessed which enabled them to achieve success and progress. There were two outstanding qualities in their lives that are decreasing in our ‘ulama presently.

The first is the performance of Tahajjud salah (voluntary night prayer). Initially it was the first fardh (obligatory) salah. Study Surat al-Muzzammil (Qur’an, 73) and see the link that it has with the dini work that we are involved in. Who could have been more occupied than Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), yet Allah instructed His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to spend a minimum of a third (1/3) of the night in Tahajjud salah. It is through this that one will gain energy for the rest of the day.

The hadith speaks of Shaytan tying three knots on the nape of a sleeping person saying to him that he should continue sleeping. Thus, even if our eyes open early we will look at the clock and say to ourselves that there is still plenty of time left, resulting in us not getting the opportunity to perform Tahajjud salah.

It was a common feature in the lives of all the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), tabi‘in, muhaddithin, and our akabir (rahimahumullah), whether those whom we had seen or those before them. They were punctual on this practice irrespective of whether they were travelling or not.

The second common feature was that of dhikr Allah (remembrance of Allah). This was their spiritual energy. They never left out their daily adhkar and  ma’mulat  (prescribed routine). Mawlana Habib al-Rahman (rahmatullah alayh) who was the vice principal of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband would daily make 125,000 dhikr of ‘Allah’ despite his busy schedule of seeing to the administration of the madrasah.

In a letter to one of his khulafa’  who was a principal of a madrasah, Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhalawi (rahmatullah alayh) impressed upon him the need to spend at least two and a half hours daily in dhikr and inabat ilallah in order for his madrasah to prosper and progress.

Dhikr Allah will be in the form of one’s ma’mulat , the morning and evening adhkar and du’as, and tilawah (recitation) of the Qur’an. Mawlana Zakariyya al-Kandhalawi would daily recite eight to nine juz’ (parts) in spite of his busy schedule of teaching, mutala’ah and tasnif. Each one of us needs to ask ourselves, how much of the Qur’an do we recite daily.