Category Archives: Qabar Pujari Sect

Shah Waliullah (Rahmatullah Alayh)’s View on Shirk

Shah Waliyullah’s words on the Shirk of the Mushrik of Makkah and their similarity with grave worshippers

Below one can see that Shah Waliullah clearly explains the reality of the Shirk of the Mushriks of Makkah, their belief that Allah was their creator, yet they would dedicate some forms of worship to idols made from saints to get close to Allah. Also  Shah Waliyullah clearly said that many people do the same kind of  Shirk at graves, and they have turned the graves of saints into places of worship:

Shah Waliullah explained the different kinds of Shirk (polytheism) in his “Hujjatullah  Al-Balighah” (English translation done by Marcia K. Hermansen):

“CHAPTER 39

The Categories of Associationism (Shirk)

The true nature of associationism (shirk) is that a person should think that the amazing effects emanating from a revered personage only emerge due to his being characterized by an attribute of perfection which is unknown among humans, but which rather is restricted to the Necessary Being, may His magnificence be exalted. Rather he believes that this is not found in anyone else unless God bestows the mantle of divinity upon another, or annihilates this other in His essence, and makes him subsist through His essence, or something of this sort which the believer in these varieties of superstitions holds. An example is what was reported in the hadith, “THE POLYTHEISTS USED TO  UTTER THE FOLLOWING FORMULA OF `TALBIYYA’: `WE ARE AT YOUR SERVICE (LABBAIK), WE ARE AT YOUR SERVICE, YOU HAVE NO PARTNER EXCEPT AN ASSOCIATE OVER WHOM YOU POSSESS  SOVEREIGNTY WHILE HE DOES  NOT.” [Muslim, chapter of Hajj]” 

Thus they humbled themselves to the furthest extent before this  other, and they behaved toward this person in the way people  behave with respect to God, may He be Exalted.

This concept has various embodiments and forms, and the  divine law only discusses embodiments and forms of it  which people practice with the intention of associationism, so that they become anticipated  sources of shirk and customarily inseparable from it. This is similar to the practice of the divine law in establishing the causes that  entail good or evil actions as  being tantamount to those acts themselves. We want to alert you to those things which God, may He be Exalted, has made anticipated sources (mazinnat) of  associationism in the divine law brought by Muhammad, may there  be peace and blessings  upon the one who brought it, so that he forbade them.

1) Among them is their former custom of prostrating before idols and stars, so that prostration before other than God was forbidden. God said, may He be exalted, “Prostrate not to  the sun nor to the moon; but prostrate to Allah Who created them.”‘ [Qur’an 41:37]

Association (of others with God) in prostration necessarily entailed associationism with regard to the divine management, as we have alluded to. The matter is not as certain Theologians think, i.e., that being exclusively worshipped is one of the commands of God,  may He be Exalted, which may vary with the variation in religions and which cannot be pursued  through demonstrated proof. How could it be, for if it were thus, God, may He be Exalted, would not have required them (the associators) to consider Him unique in creation and management. As He, the Greatest  Speaker said, “Say: Praise be to Allah, and peace be on His servants whom He has chosen! Is  Allah better (or those others that  they  associate with Him)” [Quran 27:59] and so on for five verses.’ RATHER THE TRUTH IS THAT THEY HAD ACKNOWLEDGED HIS  EXCLUSIVE CLAIM TO CREATION  AND DIVINE MANAGEMENT IN IMPORTANT MATTERS and they agreed that worship is attendant on these two things, according to what we have indicated in the discussion of the meaning of belief in the unity of God.’ Therefore God held them responsible for what He enjoined  on them,’ and “God has the convincing argument.” [Qur’an 6:149]

2)  Among them (the types of  shirk) is that they used to request assistance with their needs such as in curing the sick and meeting the needs of the poor, from other than God. They would make vows to them, expecting the accomplishment of their purposes through these vows, and they would recite their names, hoping for their blessing. Therefore,  God, may He be Exalted, made incumbent upon them that they say during their prayers: “Thee alone do we worship, Thee alone do we ask for help.” [Qur’an 1:4] And He  said, may He be Exalted, “Call upon no one except God.” [Qur’an 72:18] The meaning of “calling upon”  (du’a) is not “worship” (‘ibada) as certain of the interpreters of the Qur’an said, it rather means “seeking help,” according to the saying of God, may He be Exalted, “No, but you call (tad’una) upon Him and He removes the thing because of which you call upon Him.”” [Qur’an 6:41]

3)  Among them are that they used to call some of the ones whom they associated with Him,  “daughters of God” and “sons of God.” They were then forbidden  this most strongly, and we have explained the secret behind this previously.

4)  Among them is that they used to think that “their rabbis and monks were lords besides God,”” may He be Exalted, in the sense that they used to believe that whatever things they declared permissible were permitted, and that there was nothing wrong with them in themselves; and they believed that whatever they declared forbidden was prohibited and that they Would be blamed for doing it. Then when His, may He be Exalted,  saying was revealed: “They have taken their rabbis and monks,”  [Qur’an 9: 31] ‘Adi ibn Hatim asked the  Prophet of God about  it.  He answered, “They used to  say that things were permitted for them, so that they regarded  them  as  lawful;  and  they  used  to  forbid  them  some  things  so  that  they considered them forbidden.”” The secret behind this is that  making something permitted or forbidden is an expression for a creative process (takwin) that is operative at the level of Malakut whereby one  will or will not be held accountable for a certain thing. Thus this creative process  (takwin) is the reason for a person being or not being held accountable for a thing, and this is part of the Attributes of God, may He be Exalted.” 

As for the attribution of permitting or prohibiting to the Prophet, it is in the  sense of his speech being a decisive  sign (imara) of God’s permitting or forbidding. As for the attribution of them (permitting and forbidding) to the legal interpreters (mujtahidun) of his community, this is in the sense of their transmitting this element of the divine legislation based on the revealed text of the lawgiver, or their inferring the meaning of his words.

You should know that when God, may He be Exalted, sends a Prophet and confirms his message by miracles, and  through him permits some things which had been forbidden to them, some people find in themselves a resistance to this, so that there remains in their hearts an inclination to forbid it due to the prohibition which had existed in their community. This (vacillation) may occur in two ways. If it is due to a hesitation in confirming this divine law, then the person who hesitates is a disbeliever in the Prophet. If it is due to a belief that the first ban took place in such a way as to render abrogation impossible because God, may He be Exalted, had bestowed on some human being a robe of divinity, or because this person was annihilated in God and subsisted through Him, so that his forbidding or disliking an act required that it would produce a loss in a person’s wealth and his family; then this one is a polytheist (mushrik) who affirms that there is a sacred wrath, displeasure, forbidding and permitting on the part of someone other than God.

5) Among them is that people used to seek to gain favor from idols and the stars by sacrificing to them, either through invoking their names during the sacrifice, or by sacrificing to idols designating them, which they were forbidden to do.

6) Among them are that in order to draw closer to those whom they associated with God, they would set free a Sa’iba and a Bahira. Thus God, may He be Exalted, said, “Allah has not made (any rule in the nature of) a Bahira or a Sa’iba.”” [Qur’an 5:103]

7) Among them was their belief that the names of certain people were blessed and exalted, and that to tell a lie while swearing by their name would incur a loss of wealth or an injury to family, so they refrained from doing this. They therefore used to make their opponents swear oaths by the names of those alleged “partners,” then this was forbidden to them. The Prophet said, “Whoever makes an oath by  other than God, commits shirk.”” Some of the scholars have interpreted this as being rigorous and a threat, but I do not hold this position. What is meant, in my opinion, is the oath made in the name of other than God that  one will do or will abstain from  doing something in the future, and an oath in which no exception is made by saying, “If God wills,”” according to the belief which we have mentioned.

8)  Among them is the  performance of a pilgrimage in honor of anyone other than God, may He be Exalted. This occurs when people go to visit spots sacred to those whom they worship other than God, and believe that by alighting in those places they will draw closer to these ones. This the divine law forbade. The Prophet said, “Do not saddle your camel except (to  travel) to three mosques. (Mecca, medina and Jeruslaem”, [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi,  Nasai, darimi, ibn Hambal]

9)  Also among them was their practice of naming their sons “‘Abd al-‘Uzza … … Abd Shams,”  (Such names refer to being the slave of the pre-Islamic God al-`Uzza or the sun (al-shams)) and so forth. God said, “He it is who created you from a single soul,  and made from it its spouse that he might take rest in her, (then when he covered her, she bore a light burden, and she passed [unnoticed] with it, but when it became heavy they cried unto Allah, their Lord, saying: If thou givest unto  us a righteous son we shall be of the thankful.  But when He  gave unto them  a righteous  son,  they  ascribed  unto Him partners in respect of  that which He had given  them. But God is  high exalted  above all that  they  associate with him).”   [Qur’an 7:189-190]

It is reported in the hadith that Eve called her son ‘Abd al Harith’ (Tirmidhi) and that this was due to an inspiration from devil.  It  is confirmed  in  innumerable hadith reports that  the Prophet changed the names of  his companions ‘Abd al-‘Uzza and ‘Abd Shams and such like to `Abd Allah and ‘Abd al-Rahman and other similar names. (Ibn Hambal)
These are embodiments and forms of associationism, which the law giver forbade due to their being forms of it, and God knows better.”

Shah Waliyullah further wrote about the people of Jahiliyah p 361 and after:

“Chapter 74: 

The explanation of what had been the condition of the people of the Jahiliyya which the Prophet reformed

The Children of Ishmael had inherited the codes of their father Ishmael, and remained following that divine law until the time of ‘Amr ibn Luhayy, for he interpolated things into it according to his worthless opinion and thus was led astray, and led others astray. Part of his legislation was the worshipping of idols, allowing a bull to wander at will, and setting free a  she-camel, so religion was thereby falsified, and the sound was mixed with the corrupt, and ignorance, polytheism and unbelief overcame them. Therefore, God sent our master Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, to straighten their deviations and to reform their corruptions. Therefore he, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, examined their divine law and whatever in it agreed with the codes of Ishmael, may peace be upon him, or was from the rituals of God, he retained. Whatever in it was distorted or corrupted or adopted the emblems of polytheism and unbelief he nullified and recorded its nullification. When a thing fell under the topic of customary behaviors, and so on, he explained its proper manners and reprehensible aspects in such a way as to avoid the disasters of conventions, and he forbade the corrupt customs and commanded the sound ones. Whatever issue of principle or practice had been abandoned during the interval, he reinstated as fresh and as lush as it had been before, so that through this the blessing of God was fulfilled and His religion was made straight. The people of the Jahiliyya at the time of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, used to accept the possibility of the mission of the prophets, belief in requital, believed in the principles of the types of piety, and put into practice the second and third stages of the supports of civilization. 

AMONG THE PRINCIPLES AGREED UPON AMONG THEM (THE PEOPLE  OF THE IGNORANT AGE) WAS THE  BELIEF THAT GOD, MAY HE BE EXALTED, HAD NO PARTNER IN THE CREATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH AND THE SUBSTANCES IN THEM, AND THAT HE HAD NO PARTNER IN MANAGING THE GREAT AFFAIRS AND THAT NO  ONE COULD REJECT HIS ORDER NOR FRUSTRATE HIS DECREE ONCE IT HAD BECOME SETTLED AND DECIDED, and this is His saying, may He be exalted, “If you asked them who created the heavens and the earth they would answer Allah,”‘ and His saying, “No; upon Him you will call,”‘ and His saying, “All upon whom you call for help lose their way except Allah.”‘ But it was due to their deviance in religion that they held that there were personages among the angels and the spirits who could manage (the affairs of) the people of the earth except for the most major matters, by improving the status of a person who worshipped them in matters which involved his personal affairs, his children, and his wealth. They compared them to the situation of the kings in relation to the king of kings and to the situation of the intercessors and courtiers in relation to the Sultan administering the power. What gave rise to this were the pronouncements of the divine laws concerning the entrusting of affairs to the angels, and the answering of the prayers of those people who are closest (to God), so they supposed that this was an administration (of power) on their part like the administration of kings, by analogy of the unseen to the visible world, and this was false. 

Among (the accepted principles of the pre-Islamic world) was  God’s transcendence of what is not appropriate for His exalted state and the forbidding of heresy concerning His names, but among their heresies was their claim that God took the angels as daughters, and that the angels were made intermediaries so that God could acquire from them knowledge which He did not have, in analogy to the king and his spies.

Among their beliefs was that God decreed all events before they take place, and this is the saying of Hasan al-Basri, that the people of the Jahiliyya continued to mention pre-destination in their speeches and poetry and the divine law only added a confirmation to this…

(They also knew) that among the divisions of worship is purity, and taking a full bath after a major ritual impurity continued to be a usual practice among them and likewise circumcision and the other natural virtues. It is said in the Torah that God, may He be exalted, made circumcision a brand of Abraham and his descendants. The ablution (wudu’) was performed by the Magians, the Jews, and others, and the wise men among the Arabs used to do it. Prayer was also found among them. Abu Dharr, may God be pleased with him, prayed for three years before he became acquainted with the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, and Quss ibn Saida al-Iyadi used to pray.” What was preserved of the prayer among the religions of the Jews and the Magians and what was left among the Arabs were the respectful acts, especially the prostration, and saying petitionary prayers and litanies; and the alms tax was also found among them. A customary practice among them was the entertainment of the guest and the traveler, supporting the whole family, giving alms to the poor, keeping the bonds of kinship, and helping those struck by the calamities of God; they were praised for these things;  and they recognized that these constituted human fulfillment and happiness. Khadija said (to Muhammad), “By God, God will never debase you, since you honor the bonds of kinship, entertain the guest, support the family, and aid those struck by God’s calamities,”” and Ibn al-Daghina said something like this to Abu Bakr al-Siddiq.’ They also used to practice fasting from dawn to dusk and the Quraish used to fast in ‘Ashura’ during the Jahiliyya and retreat for devotions to the mosque, and `Umar once made a vow to do a night of devotions during the Jahiliyya and he asked the Prophet for advice about that,” and ‘Aas ibn Wa’il left a will that a certain slave should be freed. 

In summary, the people of the Jahiliyya used to perform various acts of religious piety. As for the pilgrimage to the house of God and respecting its rites and honoring the sacred months the matter is too obvious to be obscure. They had among themselves types of incantations and talismans and they had interpolated polytheism into this. Their method of slaughtering continued to be cutting the neck and piercing the throat, and they didn’t strangle the animal nor did they cut open its stomach. They preserved a remnant of the religion of Abraham, may peace be upon him, in abandoning astrology and the discussion of the intricacies of natural phenomena, except those things to which natural insight spontaneously forced them. The foundation of knowing about the future was the art of dream interpretation, and the good tidings of the prophets before them; then soothsaying entered amongst them and casting lots with divining arrows, and augury from the flight of  birds, although they recognized that this was not part of the original religion. This  is the saying of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, when he saw (in the  Ka`ba) a picture of Abraham and Ishmael, may peace be upon them, with divining arrows in their hands, “Indeed they (the Meccans) knew that the two of them never had recourse to divination.”” The descendants of Ishmael had kept the codes of their father until ‘Amr ibn Luhayy arose among them, and this was about three hundred years before the mission of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him.”

Shah Waliyullah wrote in his “Al-Fauz Al-Kabir Fi Usul Al-tafsir” p 4, as translated by GN Jalbani and published by Kitab Bhavan, India:

“Polytheism

It means proving existence of attributes, as belong to God alone, in others also. For example, people generally held the belief that there did exist other beings besides God who possessed their own will to act freely as if to say “Be, and it happens”. Or they accepted the existence of beings who possessed personal Knowledge not attainable through sense-organs, rationality, a dream, or an inspiration. They had the wrong notion that these beings could heal a sick, hurl a curse on a person, and, by expressing their displeasure, make a person poor, sick and unhappy, or otherwise could bestow mercy on a person which enabled him to lead a healthy, happy and pleasant life. THESE POLYTHEISTS DID NOT ASSOCIATE ANYBODY WITH GOD IN THE CREATION OF SUBSTANCES AND ADMINISTRATION OF IMPORTANT AFFAIRS. THEY DID  NOT BELIEVE THAT THERE EXISTED POWER IN ANY CREATURE BY WHICH HE COULD  PREVENT GOD FROM DOING THE WORK, HE DECIDED TO  DO. THEIR  POLYTHEISM RELATED TO  AFFAIRS PECULIAR TO CERTAIN SERVANTS. They thought that just as a worldly lord could send his chosen officers to various parts of his country, vesting them with full powers to act  freely in specific cases as long as they did not receive fresh instructions from him and their recommendations for those who sought redress were  accepted by the worldly Lord, precisely in the same manner the Supreme Lord (God) conferred on some of His servants the role of divinity, and pleasure or displeasure of these servants of His had an influence on the fate of the people. Thus, they thought it was necessary to seek the nearness of these select so that their prayers become acceptable to the Absolute Ruler (God), also through the recommendations of these selected persons.

In view of this, the Polytheists decided to bow down before these beings, to offer sacrifices for them, to take an oath by their names, to seek help from their extraordinary powers (namely ‘Be and it becomes’). They would carve their images from stone, copper, glass etc, and make the spirits of the dead focus of their deep attention. With the passage of time, these stone images became semblances of Deity for the ignorant. This is how the great confusion took birth.

Anthropomorphism (Tashbih) 

This means to prove the presence of human attributes in God. They would thus say that angels were God’s daughters, and that He accepted intercession of His select servants made on behalf of the people  even though otherwise He might not find’ them acceptable, just as sometimes do the worldly Kings in relation to their responsible officers. When they could not comprehend the true attributes of God such as Knowledge, and power of hearing and seeing, they started judging them also in the context of their own knowledge, and capacity of hearing and seeing. And this was how they went astray, taking God as corporal and boundable. 

Change (Tahrif) 

The story of the Change is that the children of Prophet Ismail followed their grandfather Abrahim’s Shariah (law) till Amr b. Luhayy, may God curse him, appeared. He carved idols and made their worship compulsory for them. He also instituted superstitions, such as ‘Bahira’, ‘Saba’, ‘Wasila’, ‘Ham’, ‘Al-lqtisam lil Azlam’ and many others!’ This change took place three hundred years before the birth of the Holy Prophet. 

In addition to these evil practices, they adhered to the traditions of  their forefathers, and considered it as a decisive argument in their favour. The Prophets who had gone before had spoken about the Resurrection, and the Gathering, but they had given no details, nor stated it as distinctly with all particulars as given in the Qur’an (though rather very summarily). Since the Polytheists were not given detailed account of life after death, they considered the happening of Resurrection as impossible and far remote. 

Even though these people acknowledged the prophethood of Prophets Abrahim, Ismail, and also that of Prophet Musa, they felt confused about the existence of human qualities in these prophets, which constitute a veil on their perfect beauty, and thus entertained doubts about them. The trouble was that they did not recognise the reality behind the Divine Administration which required that prophets should be raised. What they thought — and were familiar with — was that the prophets should be like Him who has sent them. Therefore, they considered prophets in human forms something very remote and unbelievable, and to support their contention they talked of doubts, weak and not worth listening. For example they asked how a man who needed food and drink could be a prophet. Why did not God send an angel for this purpose? Why did He not send revelation to every person individually? If you ponder a little and take true the picture, which has been drawn of the conditions, creeds, and actions of the Polytheists, then  you better take into consideration the conditions of the people of these times, particularly of those living on the borders of the Muslim countries. THEY HAVE BROUGHT MANY CHANGES AND THINK EXCEEDINGLY HIGH OF THE CULT OF SAINTHOOD  (WILAYAT). Inspire of the fact that they recognise this trait in the ancient saints, they consider the existence of such saints an impossibility in the present age. THEY VISIT THEIR GRAVES AND TOMBS, AND INDULGE IN MANY  FORMS OF POLYTHEISM. Are they not considerably given over to Anthropomorphism and Change? It has been stated in a sound Tradition that ‘you will surely follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before you’, and it  appropriately applies to the Muslim community of the present days, involved as it is in various acts of evil and corrupt beliefs. May God, protect us from this.’”

Shah Waliyullah wrote in “Al-Budur Al-Bazighah” p 151, as translated by GN Jalbani and published by Kitab Bhavan, India: 
“There may be some who believe that God is most noble, He is the master and is effective in the universe but that He has put on one of His servants the robe of honour and deification and has made him effective, enabling him to act freely in a part of the world it is just as the chief king at times puts on some one of his slaves a robe of the king and appoints him as a ruler in some part of his country while he himself remains as the chief of kings and they remain as the kings. Similarly Allah is the God of gods, and they  are simply the gods, but they have a great rank before God and have free hand in His kingdom and can intercede for people with Him. Their tongues hesitate to name them the servants of God and make them equal to the people in general. Thus, they turned away from the reality and named them as the sons of God, His dear ones and His beloveds; and named the rest of the people as their servants. They accordingly named themselves the worshippers of Jesus, the  servants of such and such and of Isfandiyar (the Divine power, goodness) etc. This is the religion  of the Jews, the Christians, the Polytheists, and the extremists among the hypocrites in the religion of  the Holy Prophet in these days of ours. 

THERE ARE PERSONS WHO HOLD THE BELIEF THAT GOD IS ACTUALLY EFFECTIVE IN HIS CREATION BUT THERE ARE HIS SERVANTS WHO HAVE ANNIHILATED THEMSELVES IN HIM. THUS, GOD IS PLEASED IF THEY ARE PLEASED AND IF THEY  ARE PLEASED GOD IS ALSO PLEASED. THUS ACCORDING TO THEM , THEY DO NOT DO AN ACTION BUT THAT THE ACTION OF GOD IS ENTERED INTO THEIR  ACTION. HAD THESE PEOPLE KNOWN THAT THIS BELIEF IS POLYTHEISM and that God is not pleased with that, they would not have entertained such a belief but God blinded them, so they could not see.”

He further wrote in “Al-Budur Al-Bazighah” p 151 

“The Holy Prophet had spoken the truth when he had said “you will surely follow in the foot-steps of those before you span by span, arm by arm, to an extent that if they had ever entered in the hole of a lizard You will follow them in that as well” The Companions asked “O, Prophet  of  God,  you mean the Jews and the Christians”. Thereupon, he said, “May I not tell you what the hypocrites of the prophet’s community had invented namely, rigus of polytheism, and had aroused thereby his trustee to anger and had disquieted the heart of the bearer of his knowledge and his revelation”? VERILY WE HAVE SEEN PERSONS AMONG THE MUSLIMS WHO ARE SO WEAK IN THEIR FAITH, THAT THEY HAVE TAKEN THE RELIGIOUS CHIEFS AND HEADS AS THEIR LORDS AGAINST GOD, HAVE MADE THEIR TOMBS AS MOSQUES, ARE MAKING PILGRIMAGE TO THESE TOMBS, VESTIGES AND TRACES, JUST AS THE JEWS AND THE CHRISTIANS WERE DOING IT. We have seen  persons among them who change the words from their proper places saying “Good is for God and the bad is for us”. It is just as the Jews used to say, “The fire will not touch us but for a few days”, and used intercession and belovedness at the improper places, as it was done by those who went before them. They had picked up some things from the Hindu religion and some from the religion of the Magians. They continue to stick to them tenaciously with the result that they broke up into parties and consequently began to judge the text analogically. This is how they went astray and led others astray.

Have you searched out the truth as to why God had declared the Jews and the Christians as infidels for taking their bishops and monks as Lords against God? Have you not seen that they believed in the eternity of a person while they had acknowledged that such a one was his father and such a one was his mother or believed in the necessity of a person while they had acknowledged that yesterday he was not anything to  be mentioned, or the end of the series of the Being to a man while they had acknowledged, that many generations had passed away before him? Nay, but all these are contradictions and the worst is he who believes in them. Have you not seen them believing in the incarnation of God namely that the eternal one had entered into the temporal one, Then why do they say that God sent such and such and made such and such revelation to him nor such a one died or such and such will intercede before his Lord and that his intercession would be accepted and similar words? The truth is, that they had taken the tombs of their prophets as mosques. The devil had a sway over them and had made them forget the memory of God. Their tongues hesitate to certify that he is the master of something against God.  

The fact is, that if God was to intend to destroy Jesus Christ, son of Mary and his mother and all who are on the  earth, there is none to prevent Him. The belief in the nobility and deification of holy persons had entered into their hearts and impressed them deeply. But a holy person is a human being from among those He has created. His excellence lies in this, that the revelation was made to him and under God’s order he has commanded the people to follow what He has commanded him to do and refrain from what He has prohibited, telling them all this from the side of his Lord. Every nobility is derived from these things and from nothing else. Indeed, we  have brought before you clear proofs and after that no excuse is left for a person, even if he were to bring many an excuse. You, therefore, ponder over this.

Have you not seen the polytheists of Mecca that they acknowledged the termination of the series of Being with God, as God has said, “If you were to ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say, Allah”. But it did not prevent them from associating others with God. You must have heard about the Tradition that “knowledge will be removed away before the Resurrection”. Two persons were quarrelling, one saying beware, sixty years and the other saying that beware, seventy years. They then referred the matter to one who was more learned than them. He told them beware, ninety years, and took an oath of Him in whose hand was his life that it had actually happened in the other verses. I do not find anyone but that there was polytheism in him, as God has said “Many of them will not believe but that they are the polytheists”. GOD HAS DECLARED THE POLYTHEISTS OF MECCA AS INFIDELS BY THEIR SAYING ABOUT A GENEROUS MAN WHO USED TO BRAY THE GRUEL OF PARCHED BARLEY FOR THE PILGRIMS THAT HE HAS BEEN PUT IN THE POSITION OF DEIFICATION. THEY, THEREFORE,  BEGAN  TO  CALL HIM FOR HELP AT A TIME OF HARDSHIPS.”

Comment: So for Shah Waliyullah, Al-Lat was a pious man, who used to make Sawiq, and people started to invoke him for help and this is how they put him in the level of deification and started to worship him. Also Shah Waliyullah repeated many times that Mushrik of Makkah did not make any equal to Allah in His creation of powers, rather they sought intercession of His close ones, the  saints. And nowadays people who build mosques on graves of saints and do pilgrimage to their graves (Urs) are similar to the Mushrik of Makkah. 

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Mawlid/Meelad Queries

THE BID’AH OF MOULOOD AND THE CONUNDRUM OF PROMINENT SCHOLARS

Question: The Ahlul Bid’ah in an article, backed up their moulood celebrations with sayings from some prominent scholars such as Ibn Hajar, Qustulaani, Ibn Jauzi and others, and even Haji Imdaadullah, the Shaikh of Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. What answer is there for this proof which the Barelwis cite?

Answer (Mujlisul Ulama): We are not the muqallideen of ‘prominent scholars’. We are the Muqallideen of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh), and we follow the Shariah as it existed during the era of Khairul Quroon.

The Shariah is the Deen which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah taught and practised. Innovations having a façade of ibaadat, which were introduced centuries after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), have no validity in terms of the Shariah.

Even if thousands of ‘prominent scholars’ support the bid’ah of moulood, it will remain bid’ah sayyiah (evil innovation). Ibaadat is what had existed during Khairul Quroon and substantiated by the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and imparted to posterity by the Fuqaha of our Math-hab.

We are not awed by the names of the prominent scholars which the Qabar Pujaaris (grave-worshippers) cite in substantiation of their evil bid’ah of moulood which consists of acts of fisq, fujoor and shirk. The personal opinions of prominent scholars – opinions unsubstantiated by the Nusoos of the Shariah, remain the opinions of people, and regardless of the lofty stature of the prominent scholars, their opinions may not be hoisted on to the Ummah as if these acts are practices of the Sunnah or deeds commanded by the Shariah.

If a moulood practice is totally bereft of any of the rubbish actions with which the Qabar Pujaaris adorn their satanic exhibitions of merrymaking functions, such as the unadulterated personal practice of Haji Imdaadullah (rahmatullah alayh), then too, it does not constitute a Shar’i act of ibaadat which could be imposed on others. In fact, it is not permissible to invite others to personal acts of devotion even if such acts are devoid of any of the evil flotsam of the Bid’atis. Personal expressions of devotion and love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are to be restricted to the privacy of the home by the individuals engaging in them. They should not be flaunted as acts of Masnoon ibaadat or presented to the Ummah as if they are deeds commanded by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and practised by the Sahaabah. 

Moulood is a baseless practice which has no origin in the Sunnah. The many acts of fanfare, fun, singing, clowning, feasting and merrymaking, render the function haraam and participation in these bid’ah practices is haraam. The moulood practices in vogue, as practised by the Grave-Worshippers, should not be confused with the simple and private act of Haji Imdaadullah (rahmatullah alayh).

It will be salubrious for the Qabar Pujaaris to understand that we are not members of Bani Israaeel whom the Qur’aan Majeed castigates: “They take their (prominent) scholars and their saints as gods besides Allah…” That was the practice of Bani Israaeel. We, the followers of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) acquire our Deen from the Sahaabah via the transmission Chain of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). Our Islam does not begin 8 centuries after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with the advent of Shaikh Subki (rahmatullah alayh), for example, nor does our Islam begin with any of the prominent scholars who appeared on the scene centuries after the Sahaabah. These prominent scholars mentioned by the Qabar Pujaaris are not our arbaab (gods) who we are required to worship. The rulings of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and the Fuqaha override such views and practices of centuries-later Ulama which lack Shar’i substantiation.

It will do the Qabar Puja mob well to reflect the following naseehat of Hadhrat Sayyid Ahmad Kabeer Rifaa’i (rahmatullah alayh) who was a ‘prominent scholar’ and a great Wali:

“Respected People! What is it that you are doing? You say Haarith said so; Baayazid said so; Mansur Hallaj said so. Instead of saying so, say that Imaam Shaafi’ said so; Imaam Ahmad (Bin Hambal) said so; Imaam Maalik said so; Imaam Abu Hanifah said so. The statements of Baayazid can neither lower nor elevate you. On the contrary, Imaam Maalik and Imaam Shaaf’i indicate the path of Najaat (Salvation) and the Shariah.”

So, we are not interested in opinions and practices of Ulama who appeared on the scene many centuries after the Sahaabah. Any of their practices which are alien to the Shariah as it existed during the era of Khairul Quroon have no Shar’i validity. Furthermore, we shall, Insha-Allah, dissect the statements of the prominent scholars in subsequent articles.

IS MEELAAD PERMISSIBLE??

Question: What is the Shar’i ruling on Meelaad? Many early Ulama such as Allamah Suyuti, Ibn Taimiyyah, Allaamah Ibn Kathir, etc. said that it is permissible. In the UK some people march around the city singing naats (songs) when celebrating meelaad. Is this correct? A promoter of meelaad says that Thuwaibah was the slave of Abu Lahab. When she informed him that a son (Muhammad – sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was born in his brother’s house, he set her free. After the death of Abu Lahab he was seen in a dream in which he said: ‘I am in severe punishment, but this is lessened on Mondays.’ Then he showed his forefinger and said that he would suck it. It was with this finger that he indicated that Thuwaibah was free when she informed him of the birth of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Ibn Jawzi states: ‘Abu Lahab is the kaafir who is mentioned specifically in the Qur’aan.’ If such a person can be rewarded for celebrating meelaad of the Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), then imagine how great the reward would be for a Muslim who celebrates it.”

Answer (Mujlisul Ulama0: Firstly, what the early Ulama understood of meelaad is in sharp contrast to the Hindu-type of meelaad rituals of fisq and fujoor which accompany the meelaad celebrations of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah and Qabar Pujaaris (Grave Worshippers). The meelaad celebrations in vogue are evil bid’ah – haraam bid’ah which shaitaan has adorned for the Qabar Puja sect. Such Hindu-type of celebrations are never permissible even according to those early Ulama who had participated in meelaad functions which have no basis in the Sunnah.

The episode pertaining to Abu Lahab has absolutely no relationship with the bid’ah milaad customs in vogue. He freed a slave woman. The claim that he had celebrated milaad will not be believed by even the baboons. To claim that Abu Lahab the kaafir was rewarded for celebrating milaad is a black lie fabricated by the people of bid’ah. Freeing a slave has no relationship with the stupid customs in which the bid’atis indulge.

To understand whether an act is ibaadat or not, one has to refer to the great authorities of the Khairul Quroon era (the first three ages of Islam). Whatever was ibaadat in that era is Islamic ibaadat. What was innovated 700 and 800 years after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is not ibaadat.

Proof for the validity of ibaadat is not Ibn Taimiyyah and Subki, etc. who came 7 centuries after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They should cite the Sahaabah and the Taabieen as proof. But, they jump from the age of the Sahaabah and seek evidence for their innovations from the statements of Ulama who appeared 7 and 8 centuries after the perfection and completion of Islam. Their claims are absolutely baseless. They have no grounds on which to stand. They have nothing in the Qur’aan, Ahaadith and Fiqah to support their drivel haraam meelaad merrymaking functions.

Subki, Ibn Kathir and the other Ulama who appeared on the scene 7, 8 and 10 centuries after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are not the Proofs of the Shariah. As far as Ibn Taimiyyah is concerned, he was a deviate who subscribed to views of shirk and kufr. The Sahaabah, Taabi-een and Tab-e-Taabieen are the Proofs of Islam. In this regard, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Honour my Sahaabah, for verily they are your noblest; then those after them (the Taabieen), then those after them (Tab-e-Taabieen). Thereafter will prevail falsehood.”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also said in this regard: “The best of ages is my age, then the next age, then the next age. Then after them (the Sahaabah, Taabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen) will come such people who will (hasten) to testify without being asked to testify. They will be treacherous people who cannot be trusted. They will take vows without fulfilling them. Among them will prevail obesity……Then will come people who will love obesity.”

Those who love the fun and merrymaking, the feasting and singing of these deceptive ‘religious’ functions of bid’ah meelaad in which numerous evils are committed, are the people among whom prevail falsehood and obesity (ugly fatness). Their stomachs are bloated with all the haraam food they devour in the name of the Deen. Their hollow ‘love’ vociferously professed for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is a canard – a dastardly false slogan designed for their own deception and the deception of the stupid public who indulges in the singing, dancing and merrymaking.

Refuting the ‘Proof’ for Kissing the Graves [Analysis Of the Hadith of Hadhrat Abu Ayyub Ansari (radhiyallahu anhu)]

Question: One of my relative who is a Barelwi justifies his grave-worshipping antics by posting this Hadith:

The Governor of Madinah, Marwan ibn al-Hakam one day saw a man placing his face on top of the grave of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

He (Marwan) asked: “Do you know what you are doing?”

We he (Marwan) came near him, he realized that it was the Sahaabi Hadhrat Abu Ayyub Ansari (radhiyallahu anhu).

He (radhiyallahu anhu) replied: “Yes I came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and not to a stone.” [Mustadrak]

According to him, this proves the so-called “Sajdah Ta’zeemi” they do to the Graves of Awliya. How to answer this Hadith??

Maulana Sahib please comment on this issue.

Answer [By Maulana Ahmad Sadiq Desai of Mujlisul Ulama]:

The Barelwi qabar pujaari is a jaahil. No one has the right to digout hadith  narrations, subject these to opinion and formulate masaa-il. The Shariah has been formulated and finalized 14 centuries ago. The Fuqaha were the highest authorities of the Deen after the Sahaabah.  The rulings of the Fuqaha are  final and may not be
abrogated by juhala of this age who extract Hadith narrations and issue stupid ‘fatwas’ in terms of their crooked understanding.

It is not permissible to kiss graves. The people of today are not Hadhrat Ayyub Ansaari (radhiyallahu anhu) whose profound love for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had delivered him into a state called ‘Istighraaq’ (total absorption beyond himself). Such isolated practices of Sahaabah do not constitute daleel in the Shariah. The Fuqaha understood the Ahaadith better than all the  people of these times.

The fact that Marwan prohibited the act, is evidence for the validity of the prohibition. Since he saw Hadhrat Ayyub (Radhiyallahu anhu) acting in conflict with the law, he (Marwan) prohibited him.

Ahmad Raza Khan Refutes the Qabar Pujaris
Defending their practice of making sajda to the graves of the Auliyaah, the Qabr Pujaaris explain that the sajda which they make to the graves is called ‘Sajda Ta’zeemi’ which is a prostration of respect and not a prostration of ibaadah. But, Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan has written a special treatise in refutation of the sajda made to the graves. The name of the treatise on this question is ‘Zubdatuz Zakiyyah Fi Tahreemis Sujoodit Tahiyyah’. In this treatise he vehemently rejects those who make sajda to their peers and to the graves of the Auliyaah. Molvi Naeemuddin Barailvi writes in Kitaabul Aqa’id:

“The sajda which the Malaaikah rendered to Adam (alayhissalaam) was a sajda ta’zeemi which was by way of the command of Allah. Sajda Ta’zeemi was permissible in previous Shari’ahs. It is not permissible in our Shari’ah.” Sajda Tahiyyah is most certainly haraam and a Kabeerah sin…” [Zubdatuz Zakiyyah, p.6]

On page 56 of Zubdatuz Zakiyyah, Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan says: “The ignorant make sajda to their rebellious peers and they call this practice ‘Paaygah’. According to some Mashaaikh it is kufr. It being a major sin is unanimous. Therefore, if he (the Mureed) considers the sajda for his permissible then he will be a Kaafir…..”

On page 65 of Zubdatuz Zakiyyah, Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan says: “Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) forbade graves to be made places of sajda.”

The Disease of Ghuluww [Committing Excess in Faith]

Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Usmani

Excess  in  Faith

O  people  of  the  Book,  be  not  excessive  in  your  Faith and  do  not  say  about  Allah  anything  but  the  truth… [Qur’an  4: 171]

In  this  verse,  the  People  of  the  Book  have  been  asked  not  to  indulge  in  excess  in  matters  relating  to  their  Faith.  Lexically,  the  Qur’anic  word:  al-Ghuluww  means  to  cross  the  limits  or  transgress.  In  Ahkam  al-Qur’an,  Imam  al-Jassas says:

Excess  in  Faith  is  crossing  the  limit  set  therein.

The  People  of  the  Book,  that  is,  the  Jews  and  the  Christians  were  both  made  addressees  of  this  injunction  because  excess  in  Faith  is  the common  factor  between  them.  Both  groups  have  fallen  victims  to  nothing  but  excess  in  matters  of  Faith.  The  Christians  committed  excess  in  believing  and  honouring  Sayyidna  ‘Isa  (alayhissalaam)  when  they  went  on  to  the  extreme  of  taking  him  to  be  God  or  son  of  God  or  the  third  God.  As  for  Jews,  they  committed  excess  in  disbelieving  and  rejecting  him  –  not  simply  that  they  did  not  accept  him  even  as  a  prophet,  they  were  audacious  enough  to,  God  forbid,  impute  a  false accusation  to  his  revered  mother,  Sayyidah  Maryam  and  to  cast  a  slur  against  her  parentage.

Since  the  disastrous  deviation  of  Jews  and  Christians  in  matters  of  Faith  was  a  common  scene  of  the  time,  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  specially  instructed  his  community  to  be  very  careful  about  it.  According  to  a  report  from  Sayyidina  ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu)  appearing  in  the  Musnad  of  Ahmad,  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:

Do  not  exaggerate in  my  praise  as  was  done  by  Christians  in the  case  of  ‘lsa  son  of  Maryam  (alayhissalaam).  Beware,  I  am  only  a  servant.  So,  call  me  a  servant  of  Allah  and  His  messenger.  [This  narration  has  also  been  reported  by  al-Bukhari  and  Ibn  al-Madini  rating  it  as  sound  and  authentically  reported] 

In  brief,  the  sense  of  what  he  said  is:  I  am  one  with  everyone  in  being  a  servant  of  Allah  and  a  human  being.  The  highest  rank  I  have  is  that  I  am  a  Messenger  of  Allah.  Raising  it  higher  to  the  limit  that  you  go  about  taking  me  as  partner  in  the  attributes  of  Almighty  Allah is  excess  and  I  do  not  want  you  to  fall  into  this  excess  like  the  Christians.  This  excess  in  Faith  practiced  by  the  Jews  and  Christians  did  not  remain  limited  to  prophets  only.  Once  used  to  it,  they  extended  this  attitude  of  theirs  to  the  apostles,  followers  and  deputies  of  the  prophets.  They  had  already  assigned  Godhood  to  their  prophet,  now  they  invested  the  followers  of  the  prophet  with  immunity  from  sin.  While  doing  so,  they  did  not  even  take  the  trouble  of  investigating  and  making  sure  if  such  followers  were  genuine  followers  of  the  prophet and  who  correctly  and  firmly  adhered  to  his  teachings,  or  they  were  no  more  than  hereditary  religious  scholars  and  guides.  This  resulted  in  the  emergence  of  a  leadership  which  was  astray  in  itself  and  could  do  nothing  but  keep  adding  to  the  strayings  of  others.  So,  they  ruined  their  Faith  by  practicing  it  erroneously  from  within.  The  Holy  Qur’an  has  described  this  very  condition  of  these  people  in  the  verse (that  is,  these  people  took  their  religious  leaders  as  objects  of  worship,  other  than  Allah). It  means  that  they  had  already  been  excessive  in  making  their  prophet  a  God,  then,  they  started  worshipping  later-day  religious  leaders  in  the  name  of  following  the  prophet!

The  lesson  to  be  learnt  is  that  excess  in  Faith  is  a  dangerous  attitude  which  has  destroyed  the  Faiths  of  earlier  religious  communities  all  in  the  fair  name  of  Faith.  So  serious  were  the  implications  that  our  noble  master  devised  perfect  defences  to  keep  his  community  safe  against  this  terrible  epidemic.

It  appears  in  Hadith  that  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  asked  Sayyidina ‘Abdullah  ibn  ‘Abbas  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  on  the  occasion  of  Hajj  that  he  should  go  and  collect  pebbles  which  he  could  use  to  throw  at  the  Jamarat.  He  returned  with  average-sized  pebbles  and  presented  them to  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  who  liked  them  very  much  and  said twice:  (a like  these,  like  these)  which  means  that  one  should  do   his  or  her  ramy  at  Jamarat  using  average-sized  pebbles  like  these. Then,  he  said: 

It  is  your  duty  to  avoid  excess  in  Faith  for  communities  before you  were  destroyed  because  of  being  excessive  in  their  Faith.  

Important  Rules  of  Guidance

Some  important  rules  come  out  from  this  hadith:

1.  The  masnoon  limit  placed  on  pebbles  thrown  at  the  Jamaraat  during  the  Hajj  is  that  they  should  be  average  in  size,  neither  too  small  nor  too  big.  Throwing  big  rocks  is  included  under  excess  in  Faith.

2.  The  legal  limit  of  everything  is  what  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  has  left  determined  by  his  word  and  deed.  Going  beyond  this  limit  is  ghuluww,  excess  in  Faith.

3.  Precisely  defined,  excess  in  Faith  is  the  crossing  of  the  masnoon  limit  set  for  doing  something.

The  Limits  of  Materialism

The  greed  for  worldly  wealth  and  luxury  beyond  the  level  of  need  is  considered  blameworthy  in  Islam.  Instructions  to  observe  restraint  against  such  urges  are  profusely  spread  out  in  the  Qur’an.  But,  the Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  while  prohibiting  attachment  to  wordly  life greedily,  has  set  its  proper  limits  by  his  word  and  deed.  He  declared  marriage  to  be  his  way  and  pursuaded  others  to  follow  his  example. He  explained  the  many-faceted  blessings  of  having  children.  To  live  nicely  and  wisely  with  the  family  and  to  fulfill  the  rights  of  everyone properly  were  things  he  prescribed  as  obligatory.  To  work  for  one’s  family  and  earn  a  good  living  was  what  he  called  an  obligation  after the  obligation  (Fareedhah ba’d al-Fareedhah). He  laid  stress  on  people  to  engage  in  business,  agriculture,  industry  and  labour.  The  establishment  of  an  Islamic  Nation  and  government  and  the  promotion  of  a  system  governed  by  Islam  was  something  he  declared  to  be  part  of  the  mandate  of prophethood.  Thus,  by  acting  in  accordance  with  it,  he  went  on  to  establish  a  state  system  throughout  the  Arabian  peninsula  which  was  later  extended  to  other  parts  of  the  world  in  the  East  and  the  West.  All  this  shows  that  being  engaged  in  these  pursuits  within  the  limits  of  need  is  not  counted  as  gross  love  of  the material  nor  as  greed  and  avarice.

The  Jews  and  Christians  did  not  realize  the  truth  of  the  matter  and  got  themselves  involved  in  monasticism.  The  Holy  Qur’an  has  refuted  this  uncalled  for  involvement  of  theirs  by  saying: 

It  means  that  they  took  to  ways  of  monasticism  which  were  not  prescribed  for  them  by  Allah  except  that  they  were  to  seek  the  pleasure  of  Allah  Then,  they  failed  to  fulfill  the  conditions  of  what  they  had  themselves  imposed.  [see Qur’an 57:27]

The  Limits  of  Sunnah  and  Bid’ah

By  his  word  and  deed,  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  has,  in  everything  such  as  religious  acts  of  worship  and  social  transactions  and  dealings,  demarcated  the  limits  of  moderation.  Any  deviation  from  these  limits,  whether  it  be  in  falling  behind  or  in  pushing  ahead  of  them,  is  forbidden  for  it  leads  a  believer  astray  from  the  right  path.  It was  for  this  reason  that  he  has  very  emphatically  blocked  the  incursion  of  bid’at (self-promoted  innovations  in  established  religion)  and  muhdathat:  (the  embracing  of  everything  appearing  recent  and  novel  in  a  given  time  as  if  a  part  of  established  religion  which,  in  our  time,  are  introduced  under  the  fancy  garbs  of  recension  and modernity).  Let  us,  therefore,  remember  what  he  said:

“Every  Bid’ah  is  straying  and  every  straying  ends  in Jahannam.”  

The  word  Bid’ah  used  In  the  hadith  refers  to  everything  (assumed to  be  a  part  of  religion)  which  is  not  there  in  the  word  and  deed  of  the Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  clearly  or  through  hint.  Hadrat  Shah Waliyyullah  has  said  that  Islam  condemns  Bid’ah  as  a  serious  offence because  it  opens  the  doors  to  alteration  in  religion.  This  is  what  happened  with  earlier  religious  communities.  They  added  up  things  on their  own  to  what  their  Book  said  and  their  prophet  taught.  Then came  another  generation,  and  the  generations  that  followed,  each  adding  its  share  to  the  original.  Finally,  everything  got  so  mixed  up  that  it  became  impossible  to  identify  the  true  religion  as  distinct  from  the  additions  introduced  by  its  adherents.

In  his  famous  book,  Hujjatullah  al-Balighah,  he  has  also  given details  of  circumstances  under  which  efforts  have  been  made  all  over the  world  to  inject  alterations  in  the  religion  of  Islam.  He  has  also  pointed  out  to  the  concern  shown  by  the  Shari’ah  of  Islam  which  has installed  defensive  mechanisms  on  all  such  doors  of  incursion  so  that  there  remains  no  single  outlet  through  which  this  disease  could  hit  the  Muslim  community  in  epidemic proportions.

The  Moderate  Course  in  honouring  and  following  religious leaders

One  such  cause  referred  to  above  is  the  practice  of  excess  in  Faith  (Ghuluww fid Deen). Two  factors  distinctly  contribute  to  the  emergence  of  this  attitude:  Firstly,  the  desire  to  undertake  deep  investigations  unnecessarily  or  to  be  involved  in  far-fetched  interpretations;  and  secondly,  the  choice  of  a  hardened  stance.  It  is  a  matter  of  great  regret  that, despite  so  much  elaborations  made  by  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  active  restrictions  placed  by  the  Shari’ah  of  Islam,  the  Muslim community  is  suffering  fatally  from  this  very  disease  of  excess.  Its  fallout  can  be  distinctly  noticed  in  all  departments  of  our  Faith.  Out  of  these,  the  field  most  affected  is  that  of  religious  leaders  where  the  question  is:  Whom  to  follow?

Stretching  between  two  extremes,  a  group  of  Muslims  has  gone  far  out  by  holding  that  there  is  no  such  thing  as  a  religious  leader  or  teacher  or  ‘alim  or  Shaykh.  They  would  say:  ‘The  Book  of  Allah  is  suffi- cient  for  us  If  they  understand  the  Book  of  Allah  so  do  we  –  – ‘They  are  men,  so  are  we.’  The  result  was  that  every  ambitious  pseudo-intellectual  –  unlettered  in  Arabic  and  uninitiated  into  the  facts  of  and  insights  into  the  Qur’an  and  unfamiliar  with  the  exegetical  clarifications  given  by  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  –  considered  it  sufficient  to  look  at  translations  of  the  Qur’an  and  be  hoisted  as  a scholar  of  the  Qur’an!  How  can  a  tafsir  or  explanation  of  the  Qur’an  which  has  been  authentically  reported  from  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  or  from  his  direct  disciples,  the  noble  Companions,  be  ever  ignored  or  bypassed?  But,  such  is  the  breed  of  these  dabblers  in  the  discipline  that  they  would  dismiss  anything  in  favour  of  their  brain  wave  and still  have  the  temerity  to  tie  it  with  the  Qur’an?  Although, had  a  book  without  a  teacher  been  enough,  Almighty  Allah  had  the  power  to  make  written  copies  of  the  book  become  available  for  people  at  their  homes  – there  was,  then,  no  need  to  send  a  prophet  to  teach.  A  little  reflection  would  reveal  that  this  is  not  something  peculiar  to  the  Book  of  Allah. No  one  can,  by  simply  looking  at  the  translation  of  any  book  in  the  arts  and  sciences,  become  an  expert  in  those  fields.  We  have  yet  to  find  a  physician  who  became  a  physician  through  a  familiarity  with  translations  of  medical  books.  No  engineer  became  an  engineer  by  browsing  through  engineering  texts.  Even  the  study  of  common  books  on  sewing  and  cooking  has  not  made  anyone  succeed  as  a  master  tailor  or  chef.  So,  the  truth  lies  elsewhere  –  the  system  needs  the  elements  of teaching  and  learning  under  a  teacher.  This  is  all  too  established  for  everyone.  But,  it  is  indeed  sad  to  see  that  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah  alone,  of  all  things  around  us,  have  been  taken  so  casually  as  not  to need  any  teacher.  Thus,  a  fairly  large  group  of  educated  people  drifted  down  in  the  direction  of  serious  deficiency  when  they  took  the  lone study  of  the  Qur’an  as  all  sufficient  and  totally  dispensed  of  with  the need  to  consult  the  exegesis  and  interpretation  of  early  scholars,  and  to  be  guided  by  them.

On  the  other  side  of  the  extreme,  a  large  group  of  Muslims  got  involved  in  a  kind  of  excess  which  goaded  them  to  take  just  about  anyone  as their  religious  guide  almost  blindly,  and  blindly  it  was  that they  started  following  them.  They  never  took  the  trouble  of  finding  out  whether  or  not  the  person  they  were  taking  as  guide  came  up  to  the  standard  of  high  intellectual  achievement,  corresponding  personal  behaviour,  concern  for  the  good  of  people  and  the  genuine  sense  of responsibility  before  Allah.  They  did  not  even  care  to  apply  a  much  simpler test  by  looking  at  the  kind  of  teaching  such  a  person  was imparting  and  making  sure  that  it  was  not  against  the  Qur’an and  Sunnah.

The  Ideal  Solution

The  Shari’ah  of  Islam  has  wisely  shielded  Muslims  from  falling  into  the  trap  of  excess.  The  middle  course  In  between  the  two  extremes  it  has  suggested  is:  Learn  the  Book  of  Allah  (Kitabullah)  from  the  Men  of Allah  (Rijalullah)  and  recognize  the  Men  of  Allah  from  the  Book  of  Allah.  In  other  words,  one  should  first  recognize  those who are engaged  in  learning  and  communicating  the  true  knowledge  of  the Qur’an  and  Sunnah  through  the  all  too  well-known  teachings  of  these  twin  sources  of  Islamic  Faith.  Once  this  is  settled,  no  intricate  problem  relating  to  Qur’an  and  Sunnah  will  ever  bother  you  –  if  you  give  precedence  to  their  explanation  above  your  own  opinion,  and  follow  them.

THE ‘MYSTICAL’ PATH OF THE SATANISTS

Mujlisul Ulama

Tasawwuf  or  Sufi’ism  is  an  integral  constituent  of  Islam. Tasawwuf  which  has  been  erroneously  described  as ‘mysticism’,  is  the  product  of  the  Qur’aan  and  Sunnah. Tasawwuf  is  completely  subservient  to  the  Shariah.  Any  brand of  sufi’ism/tasawwuf  which  is  in  conflict  with  the  Shariah  is  Satanism. 

Elaborating  this  subject,  Hadhrat  Sayyid  Abdul  Qaadir  Jilaani  (rahmatullah  alayh)  classified  these  Satanists  into several classes.

1)  Hulooliyyah   or  the  Incarnationists:  They  believe  that it  is lawful  to  stare  at  a  woman  or  a  man  whether  they  happen  to  be wives  or  husbands,  daughters  or  sisters,  etc. They  intermingle and dance  together.

2)  Haaliyyah:  They  claim  to  be  in  ecstasy.  They  are  entranced  by  singing,  jumping,  shouting  and  clapping  hands. They  believe  that  their  sheikhs  are  above  the  laws  of  the Shariah

3)  Auliya-iyyah:  They  claim  to  have  achieved  divine proximity  of  the  loftiest  stage,  hence  all  the  injunctions  of  the Shariah  are  not  applicable  to  them.  They  also  claim  that  a  wali has  a  higher  status  than  a  Nabi.  They  believe  that  while knowledge  came  to    Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) via  Jibraeel  (alayhis  salaam),  it  comes  to  the  wali  directly  from Allah Ta’ala.

4)  Shamuraaniyyah:  These  heretics  believe  that  the  world  is eternal.  It  never  had  a  beginning  nor  will  it  ever  end.  They  consider  themselves  above  the  ahkaam  of  the  Shariah  which  they  believe  do  not  apply  to  them.  There  is  nothing  such  as  haraam  and  halaal  in  their  belief  concept.  Musical  instruments  are  used  in  their  so-called  religious  rituals.  They  do  not differentiate  between  man  and  woman  regarding  them  to  be  the  same.

5)  Hubbiyah:  They  believe  that  when  a  person  attains  the stage  of  ‘love’,  they  are  freed  from  the  obligations  of  the Shariah.  They  also  believe  in  nudism.  They  expose  their private  parts.

6)  Huriyyah:  They  seek  to  gain  ecstatic  experiences  by  means of  shouting,  singing  and  clapping  hands.  They  claim  to  having  sexual  relations  with  the  houris  of  Jannat.

7)  Mutakaasiliyyah:  Laziness  is  a  cardinal  article  of  their  faith.  They  beg  from  door  to  door  for  their  sustenance.  While  they  rot  in  their  laziness  they  claim  that  this  is  renunciation  of  the world.

8)  Mutajaahiliyyah:  They  deliberately  feign  ignorance,  dress immodestly  and  emulate  non-believers  (They  resemble  the  modernists  of  our  age.  –  The  Majlis)

9)  Waafiqiyyah:  They  claim  that  no  one  can  understand  and know  Allah  Ta’ala,  hence  they  deliberately  abandon  the  Shariah  on  the  basis  of  this corrupt  assumption.

10)  Ilhaamiyyah:  They  believe  in  ilhaam  (inspiration). Thus  they  abandon  knowledge  and  forbid  its  acquisition.  They believe  that  the  Qur’aan  is  a  barrier  for  them.  Poetry  and  music are  their  Qur’aan.  (On  the  occasion  when  Allah  Ta’ala expelled  Iblees  from  the  heavens,  he  supplicated  for  a ‘qur’aan’.  Granting  his  supplication,  Allah  Ta’ala  informed  him that  his ‘qur’aan  will  be  poetry   and singing.  This  group  of  Satanists  follow  him  in  this  aspect.  They  receive  their  ‘ilhaam’ (inspiration) from shaitaan. – The Majlis)

Besides  these  sects  of  Satanists,  there  were  many  others  as  well  such  as  the  Qalandaris  (wandering  beggars),  Haydaris (those  who  pretend  to  be  heroes)  and  Adhamis  (those  who  fraudulently  pretend  to  follow  Hadhrat  Ibraahim  Adham’s  path  of  renunciation. He  had  abandoned  the  throne of  Balkh).

A  very  prominent  sect  of  Satanists  in  our  era  is  the  Qabar  Pujaari  sect.  They  worship  the  graves  of  dead  saints  and  claim  to  ascend  to  lofty  spiritual  stages  via  the  avenue  of  ecstasy  while  in  reality  their  ‘ecstasy’  is   nothing  but  pure  hallucination,  the  product  of  smoking  dagga  (hashish)  and  opium.  Their  headquarters  are  always  located  at  the  graves  of  Auliya  which  they  have  converted  into  haunts  of  shirk  and kufr.

Hadhrat  Abdul  Qaadir  Jilaani  (rahmatullah  alayh)  states  in his  kitaab,  Sirrul  Asraar  that  there  are  two  signs  of  the  people of  Truth  who  follow  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).  One  sign  is  zaahir  (external).  They  follow  the  ahkaam  of  the  Shariah  meticulously.  They  are  firmly fettered  to  the  Shariah.  The  other  sign  is  baatin  (internal  spiritual).  They  follow  the  Akhlaaq-e-Hasanah  (Beautiful Moral  Character)  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam). Thus,  they  are  firmly  anchored  to  the  Shariah  and  the  Sunnah. And,  this  is  the  Naaji  group  –  the  only   group  of  the  73  sects, which  will  attain  salvation in  the  Aakhirah.

Warning  Muslims  of  the  Satanist  trap  of  deception,  Hadhrat  Sayyid  Abdul  Qaadir  Jilaani  (rahmatullah  alayh)  says  in  his  kitaab:  “Beware, O  Traveller  in  search  of  the  Truth!  Beware of the  blind  leading  the  blind. Your  sight  should  become  so  fine  to enable  you  to  distinguish  between  the  slightest  particle  of  good  and  evil.”

Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s View On Ahle Bid’ah

[By  Hadhrat  Shaykh  Abdul  Qaadir  Jilaani  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  (Extract  from  Ghunyatut  Taalibeen  of  which  Hadhrat  Jilaani  is  the  author)]

Every  Person  of  Imaan  who  has  intelligence  and  insight  should  obey  the  Sunnat  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and    flee  from  Bid’aat  (innovations). Abstain  from mubaalaghah  and ghulu’  (excess,  extremism,  bigotry  and  the  like  for  it culminates  in  Bid’ah  –  The  Majlis)  in  the  Deen,  for  suddenly  you  will  slip  from  Siraatul  Mustaqeem  and  be destroyed. 

Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  said: “Follow  the  Sunnat  of  the  Rasool   (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  This  is  sufficient  for  you,  and  do  not  approach  near  to Bid’ah.”  It  is  incumbent  for  every  Person  of  Imaan  to  follow  the  Sunnat  of  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  Jamaa’t  (i.e.  Ahlus  Sunnah  Wal  Jamaa’t).  The meaning  of  Sunnat,  is  the  Way  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi wasallam),  and  the  meaning  of  Jamaa’t  is  the  unanimous  issues  of  the  Offices  of  the  Khulafa-e-Raashideen  (which  in  our  era  are  confined  to  the  Four  Math-habs  –  The Majlis).

Refrain  from  debate  and  discussion  with  the  Bid’atis.  Salaam  to  them  is  not  permissible.  Imaam  Ahmad  Ibn  Hambal  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “Whoever  makes  Salaam  to  a  Bid’ati,  it  is  tantamount  to  loving  him  because  it  is  mentioned  in  the  Hadith:  ‘Spread  Salaam  and  love.”  (Thus,  making  Salaam  to  Bid’atis  is  tantamount  to expressing  love  for  them – The Majlis).

It  is  not  permissible  for  the  People  of  Imaan  to  have  any  association  with  the  Ahl-e-Bid’ah, hence  the  following  acts are  not  permissible:

•  To  mingle  and  fraternize  with them

•  To  congratulate  them  on  Eid  and  on  occasions  of  happiness

•  To  perform  their  Janaazah Salaat

•  To  laud  and  speak commendably  of  them.

For  the  Sake  of  Allah, have    aversion  and  enmity  for  them.  Believe  that  their  way  is  baatil  (false).  For  this  entire  attitude, the  intention  should  be  the  acquisition  of  great  and  abundant  Thawaab  (reward)  from  Allah  Ta’ala.

It  is  mentioned  in  the  Hadith  that  Allah  Ta’ala  will  fill  the heart  with  safety  and tranquillity  –  the  heart of  the  one  who  regards  a  Bid’ati  as  his  enemy  for  the  Sake  of  Allah  Ta’ala.  And,  on  the  Day  of  Qiyaamah  Allah  will  grant safety  and  peace  to  the  one who  harshly  rebukes  a  Bid’ati.

Allah  Ta’ala  will  elevate  by  a  hundred  ranks  in  Jannat  a  person  who  looks  with contempt  at  a  Bid’ati.  The  one  who  meets  a  Bid’ati  happily  and  pleases  him,  is  as  if  he  has  held  in  contempt  the  Qur’aan  which  Allah  Ta’ala  has  revealed  to  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Ibn  Abbaas  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)   narrated  that  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said that  as  long  as  a  Bid’ati  does  not  repent  from  his  Bid’ah,  Allah  Ta’ala  does  not  accept   any  of  his  good  deeds.

Hadhrat  Fudhail  Bin Iyaadh  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “Allah Ta’ala  destroys  the  deeds  of  a  man  who  has  affection  for  a Bid’ati.  The  Noor  of  Imaan  is  extinguished  from  his  heart,  (i.e. from  the  heart  of  the  one  who  has  affection  for  a  Bid’ati).  I  have  hope  that  Allah  Ta’ala  will  forgive  a  man  who  cherishes  aversion  and  animosity  in  his  heart  for  a  Bid’ati,  even  if  he  has  a  paucity  of  good  deeds.”

Hadhrat  Ibn  Uyainah  (Rahmatullah  Alayh)  said:  “A  person  who  accompanies  the janaazah  of  a  Bid’ati,  is  the  target  of  Allah’s  Wrath  and  Punishment  until  he  returns.”

Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  invoked  La’nat  (Allah’s  curse)  on  a  Bid’ati,  and  he  said: “Whoever  innovates  a  bid’ah  or  gives  refuge  to  a  Bid’ati,  the  La’nat  of  Allah,  the Malaaikah  and  of  all  people  descends  on  him,  and  Allah  rejects  his  Fardh  and  Nawaafil acts  ibaadat)”  

The Shenanigans of Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi in the Hijaz

Source

Al-Shihāb al-Thāqib and the Response of the Arab Scholars to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān

Introduction and Background to al-Shihāb al-Thāqib by Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī

Since al-Shihāb al-Thāqib by Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī (1296 – 1377 H/1879 – 1957 CE)* is an important work in both explaining the background to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī’s shenanigans in the Ḥijāz/exposing him as a fraudster and deceiver, as well as in showing the differences between the Akābir of Deoband and the Wahhābīs, it will be worth sharing a translation of the introduction to the book so that the background to, and reasons for, its authorship can be appreciated.

Along with getting an idea of the contents of the work, one will also be able to appreciate the efforts made to give a detailed response to the slanders and lies of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī (1856 – 1921) directly by the Akābir.* The introduction translated below makes up about 5 pages of a book consisting of a total of over 90 pages.

The book was written around the year 1910 CE (i.e. many years before the Saudi/Wahhābī takeover of Ḥijāz) while Mawlānā Madanī was still residing in Madīnah, having lived there for over ten years. (He lived in Madīnah between the years 1899 and 1914 CE). A lengthy, and illuminating, part of the introduction contains a somewhat detailed description of the reaction of the scholars of Makkah and Madīnah to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s arrival in the Ḥijāz and to his request for their signed approvals to his fatwā. This part has not been translated, but a summary of it is given below.

[*In a letter dated 1370 H/1950 CE, Mawlānā Madanī wrote about the work al-Shihāb al-Thāqib: “Since it was written against Mawlawī Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī’s refutation, Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn, the discussion on Wahhābīs came as a secondary [discussion], the objective of which is [to show] that our predecessors are aloof of both extremism and laxity – their track was of moderation, and they are the true followers of the noble predecessors of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. That which was expressed in this book remains my position, and it is the way of my noble predecessors.” (Cherāgh e Muḥammad, p. 118)]

[** Of course, the Akābir who were themselves accused also made direct refutations: Mawlānā Thānawī in a detailed discussion in his Basṭ al-Banān, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī in his Muhannad, and even Mawlānā Gangohī rejected the attribution of the fabricated fatwā to himself as reported by his student, Sayyid Murtaḍā Ḥasan Chāndpūrī (Majmū‘ah Rasā’il Chāndpūrī, 1:106).]

The following is a translation of the introduction to the book:

The Piercing Projectile on the Eavesdropping Liar

Praise to the One Who adorned the sky of the two Noble Ḥarams with stars of pious ‘Ulamā’ and protection from every accursed rebellious devil. ‘They do not eavesdrop on the highest company and are bombarded from every side, repelled, and they have a lingering punishment – except for one who snatches a fragment, who is then followed by a piercing projectile.’ (Qur’ān, 37:8-10)

Thanks to the One Who granted the lordly imāms with a plentiful share of the Prophetic Legacy and those things left behind by al-Muṣṭafā, even to the point that He appointed for each of them ‘an enemy, devils of man and jinn, inspiring one another with fancy words to deceive’ (Qur’ān, 6:112) and ‘to strive for corruption on the earth’ (Qur’ān, 5:33), ‘for indecency to spread amongst the believers’ (Qur’ān, 24:19) and to split the adherents of Islām, so that they gain in aversion amongst themselves – and thereafter, He punished them causing their fancies and contrivances to vanish, and exposing them over the heads of witnesses, revealing their ploy and expelling each of them from the cosmos of [His] mercy, condemned and defeated.

And blessing and peace be upon the one who brought guidance and the Religion of Truth to make it manifest over all religion, even if the idolaters detest it; and [who brought] signs that break the necks of those who wish to extinguish the light of Allāh with their mouths, but Allāh refuses but for His light to be complete, even if the wicked are angered; and [blessing and peace be] upon his progeny and his companions who cleansed the upright religion from the impurities of doubt, unconcerned by those who oppose them from the obstinate ones, and [who] expended their efforts in making the word of the Sunnah and Congregation high, giving no attention to the innovations of the deviated People of Desires; and [blessing and peace be] upon their followers in excellence and sincerity till the Day of Judgement – for verily they are the nation from all communities holding firmly to justice, and with sincere concern for truth, till the Day of Resurrection, neither harmed by those who oppose them nor forsaken because of those who abandon them, by assistance of the Most Merciful of the merciful ones, and they are the pivots of the Bright Sharī‘ah and of the White Monotheism, by glad-tidings of the Unlettered Prophet, Allāh bless him and grant him, his progeny and his companions peace.

To proceed.

The servant of the students [of Dīn], Ḥusayn Aḥmad ibn Sayyid Ḥabībullāh al-Ḥanafī al-Ḥusaynī al-Chishtī al-Ṣābirī al-Rashīdī al-Fayḍābādī thumma l-Madanī, submits in the holy service of all Muslims residing in India that:

A long period ago, this lowly one, having left his ancestral hometown, the province of Fayḍābād, with his honorable father – may his honor remain –, had entered into the shadow of Prophetic Bounty (upon him blessing and peace) – that is, Madīnah Munawwarah. Because, since childhood, and in fact since infancy, I have had no other preoccupation besides academic engagements, this is why there too I have not engaged in any preoccupation besides studying, teaching and keeping the company of scholars and students. Till now, the part of my life spent there, I have endeavored as far as possible to spend in these activities. This is why I have gained a complete familiarity with the Muslim residents of the Pure City and a full acquaintance with their conditions, beliefs and ideas. I can say with conviction that the revered noble scholars living in Madīnah Munawwarah – Allāh increase it in honour and excellence – follow completely the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah and the seniors of the predecessors in beliefs and so on, and they agree with all the beliefs of the revered Elders of the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband and Sahāranpūr, both in particulars and universals, without even slight variation.

However, at the start of 1324 H (1906 H), an astonishing disaster occurred, that one “Ḥaḍrat Barelwī,” who is referred to by his devotees as “reviver of the present century,” journeyed to the Ḥijāz in this year. And there is no doubt that he is indeed “reviver of the present century,” since those individuals of the past who endeavoured and struggled hard to declare the Elders and People of Truth to be deviant and wicked, regarding the targeting of their dignity and honour and spending one’s precious life in debasing and anathematising them a cause of salvation and high rank, for some time, their zeal had become extremely diminished, and their power had become close to being non-existent. This “A‘lā Ḥaḍrat” Barelwī gave life to their decomposed bones. He transformed their weakness into strength. He brought into existence such varying types of injustice and savagery that he became the ultimate reminder and revival of his predecessors from the people of deception and injustice, and in fact he became the pride of all previous fabricators. A practising scholar, researcher and the Sunnī ‘Ulamā of India [in general] are unfortunate who were not martyred at the savage hands of this “A‘lā Ḥaḍrat”. In fact, no group in those lands will be of the “saved group” who this Barelwī reviver and his followers did not slaughter with their pens and tongues.

Friends! This prophecy of the Accepted Messenger (upon him peace) is still manifesting. In how many ways is, ‘You will surely follow the ways of those before you…’ [1] ultimately being put into effect? The Jews were filled with [the qualities of]: ‘they slaughter the prophets without right’ (Qur’ān, 3:112), ‘their killing of the prophets’ (Qur’ān, 3:181), ‘their consumption of the impermissible’ (Qur’ān, 5:62), and ‘they take words out of context’ (Qur’ān, 4:46). Thus, in accordance with the statement of the Prophet (upon him peace): ‘the scholars of my ummah are like the prophets of Banū Isrā’īl’ [2], these [followers of theirs] strive to anathematise the erudite scholars and learned ones of excellence, which is far greater than murder. If by murder, it is intended to eliminate the body and negate bodily life, the intent of takfīr is eliminating the soul and destroying the life of īmān. If the Jews would consume the impermissible, then these [followers of theirs] treat interest as their nourishment. If they manipulated the words of Tawrāh, then these [followers of theirs] manipulate the meanings of Qur’ān and ḥadīth and mutilate the words of reliable ‘Ulamā’. Then, why would it not be said that they are the ultimate reminders of their predecessors from the Israelites and revivers of taḍlīl and tafsīq of a deceased nation? Well, whatever will be, will be. I have no purpose in this to [explain] which bright sun of the cosmos of misguidance and which luminous full moon of the constellation of deviance he is.

When “Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid al-Takfīr Ṣāḥib” (reviver of takfīr) arrived at the lands of Ḥijāz, he propagated astonishing deception and fraud, and deceived the ‘Ulamā’ of the two Noble Ḥarams using various kinds of plots and ploys. Some unacquainted simple-hearted individuals undoubtedly fell prey to his plot of forgery; but those who Allāh (Exalted is He) granted complete powers of discretion, criticism and insight, or those who someone alerted, did not at all fall prey to his deception.

To maintain his agenda, “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib” had to undoubtedly endure various kinds of hardships, difficulties, indignities and insults. In fact, because of this disturbance, all the ‘Ulamā’ of India were debased and humiliated in the eyes of others. Thus, I have time and again, at that time and after that time, heard the people of Egypt, Levant, Ḥijāz and other [places] attacking this “Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid al-Takfīr Ṣāḥib”, as well as the whole population of India. Although in Tamhīd Shayṭānī and other [books] also, many praises and commendations are quoted, but at the same time, they are a few numbered individuals, and even they [made these statements] before they were aware of his reality; otherwise, the people of Ḥijāz in general, in the end, came to know of his nature. See Risālah Madīnah, what was and was not written with respect to him. I will write details of this later. Since this lowly one was at this time present in Madīnah Munawwarah, may Allāh increase it in honour and excellence, this is why I am fully aware of all of these events as they unfolded, and know very well those who explicitly opposed him.

Ḥaḍrāt! He made very severe allegations against the revered ‘Ulamā’ and Elders of Deoband, describing them in such a way that seeing which, every religious person would express severe dislike and aversion. Since this lowly one has plucked the fruits of the revered Elders of Deoband and Gangoh and is wrapped up in their hem of compassion, & for seven to eight years I was a sweeper at the court of these Elders and acquired the service of straightening their shoes, this is why I know the beliefs, ideas and practices of these Elders very well. Because of this, at that time also, I had exposed these ploys and allegations in Madīnah Munawwarah, and I showed people the treatises of the Elders. However, those individuals who had already put their signatures before this awareness, as I will describe later, became helpless, and they said after this recognition: “We had put conditions in our respective commendations [i.e. that the fatwā is only valid if the information in the question was correct].”

The upshot is that “Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid al-Taḍlīl Ṣāḥib” came to the Ḥijāz with the idea of achieving [currency for] his falsehood by very hard efforts and immense labour. Achieving some incomplete and complete success, he returned from Madīnah Munawwarah in Rabī‘ al-Thānī of the aforementioned year (i.e. 1324/1906), and for some time kept this hidden, from which the idea came that maybe he received some admonition and became ashamed of his ugly actions; because when the general and special [people] head to the two Noble Ḥarams, this is their intent: that by virtue of attendance and performing worship at those blessed spots, sins are eliminated and lessened. “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib” Barelwī performed this journey with only a sinful purpose, in fact with the purpose of the greatest of major sins, and undertook to deceive the gullible and simple ‘Ulamā’ there. He had drawn those helpless ones to himself, but what is the error of these innocents? What knowledge did they have of what substances of taḍlīl, tafsīq, misguidance and so on, this Barelwī Ṣāḥib was filled with? They worked according to good expectations (ḥusn al-ẓann), and endorsed his speech and practice.

In 1327 H (1909 CE), this lowly one arrived at the lands of India for some personal needs and observed that the compilation of those invectives and takfīrs of the Elders, along with those seals, was printed. It was being taken around here and there by some ignoramuses, seducing the general Muslims away from the People of Truth and making them lose faith in them, using various machinations to get their treat. Seeing this, I became convinced that my earlier thought with respect to “Mujaddid al-Takfīr Ṣāḥib” of having been reformed was completely incorrect. In fact, he was subject to [the description in the verse]: ‘in their hearts is an illness and Allāh has increased them in illness’ (Qur’ān, 2:10) and is an example of: ‘deaf, dumb and blind, so they will not come back [to truth].’ (Qur’ān, 2:18) He had not retreated from his personal practices and the traits of his forbears.

I had intended in Madīnah Munawwarah to properly describe the events of “Mujaddid al-Taḍlīl Ṣāḥib” that unfolded here, making them clear to the Muslim residents of India. However, two things stopped me from this.

First, several reports reached me that “A‘la Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid Barelwī” upon returning was quiet, so [my] tongue remained moist with “reconciliation is best.” (Qur’ān, 4:128) Thus my feeling [about him] mentioned earlier remained attached [to myself]. The content [of the ḥadīth]: ‘The one who repents from a sin is like one who has no sin’ was what hindered the abovementioned intention.

Second, Mawlānā Shaykh Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm Ṣāḥib Naqshbandī [3] and Mawlānā Munawwar ‘Alī Ṣāḥib Muḥaddith Rāmpūrī [4] had written the conditions of this “Mujaddid Barelwī” to those who met with them, and these individuals circulated all of these events in the newspapers.

But alas, caution [is required]! When I saw that people had forgotten these matters and these news reports have been lost, then the initial poison which he who was with me [in Madīnah] brought from there, and because of which he undertook this blessed journey, and wasted thousands of rupees in this endevour, it now became necessary for me to, in notifying you people of those sketchy circumstances authentically, based on what I witnessed or heard there through reliable means, make you aware of his fabrications and contrivances; because the revered ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband, Sahāranpūr etc. are engaged in their academic engagements such that they give no attention to anything else, and believing all matters of “Mujaddid Barelwī” as senseless delusions, they regarded turning their attention in this direction to be opposed to their standing as scholars and opposed to honorable conduct, while elsewhere the ignorant innovators and the opposing party, finding the arena clear, are misguiding the general Muslims. Thus it was necessary, that the extravagant self-boasts made with respect to him in Tamhīd, their reality is recognised; and this too comes to light that those Elders on whose hem of innocence “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib” wanted to put a mark, they are completely clean and pure of those impurities.

It is the fruits of “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib’s” self-interests, search for fame and worldly esteem that is written down in this treatise (i.e. Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn). Those Elders are far removed from those corrupt ideas.

If you people notice any harsh word with regards to him and his group, then excuse this as a mistake of this lowly one. The insulting language which “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib” has used in Tamhīd Shayṭānī and Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn, if they were to be responded to, and if an answer was written according to the dictates of that, then only God knows to where that will lead! I have restrained my instincts completely, and will proceed with the discussion very cautiously. But what am I to do? In places, because of the swears and delusions of this maligner, my instincts go out control, and I am thus rendered helpless. But even still, there too I will not come outside the bounds of dignity and knowledge as far as possible. A full response to him in this respect can be done by those ignoramuses and savages of low stock and bad manners, but that too would be written in the deeds of “Mujaddid Ṣāḥib”. The statement of the Messenger (upon him peace): “Whatever two people swearing at each other say, it [falls] on the initiator” [5] is a clear text.

The upshot is that when this lowly one arrived at India, I noticed that many savages, who don’t know the difference between alif and bā’, were taking this treatise around to various places, and encouraging people, giving them the idea of circulating it…This is why I felt it appropriate for the purpose of making people informed, a short treatise called al-Shihāb al-Thāqib ‘ala l-Mustariq al-Kādhib be circulated in which the slanders and lies of “Ḥaḍrat Mujaddid al-Muḍillīn” (reviver of the deviators), and the reality of the slanders against the innocent Elders [6], and the details of such deceptions are known – which he undertook to fulfil his egotistic wants and satanic desires, and for which day and night he remained in thought and concern.

There are two chapters and a conclusion to this short treatise:

Chapter One: An explanation of the deceits and deceptions undertaken in order to acquire the fatwās, and there are many angles to this.

Chapter Two: On an exposé of the allegations against the Elders and detailed answers to them. There are 9 sections in this [chapter]: The first section is on an explanation of the allegation against Mawlānā Nānotwī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him). The second section is an explanation of Khatm al-Nubuwwa in brief. The third section is on explaining the allegation against Mawlānā Gangohī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him). The fourth section is an explanation of the issue of the possibility and impossibility [of lying]. The fifth section is on explaining the allegation against Mawlānā Sahāranpūrī (may his blessing remain). The sixth section is on explaining the passage from al-Barāhīn al-Qāṭi‘ah. The seventh section is on explaining the second allegation against Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Sahāranpūrī (may his blessings remain). The eighth section is on explaining the allegation against Mawlānā Thānawī (may his blessing remain). The ninth section is a clarification of Mawlānā Thānawī’s passage in Ḥifẓ al-Īmān. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, Dār al-Kitāb, p. 198-202, 214)

[1] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

[2] ‘Allāmah Munāwī writes: “Ḥāfiẓ al-‘Irāqī was asked about what is famous on the tongues, vis-a-vis the ḥadīth, ‘the ‘ulamā’ of my ummah are like the prophets of the Banū Isrā’īl’. He said: ‘There is no basis for it nor a chain with this wording. [The ḥadīth]: “the ‘ulamā’ are the heirs of the Prophets,” frees [us] of [the need for] it; and that is an authentic ḥadīth.” (Fayḍ al-Qadīr, 4:384)

[3] He is described in Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir as follows: “The shaykh, the righteous ‘ālim, Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm ibn ‘Abd al-Rashīd ibn Aḥmad Sa‘īd al-‘Umarī al-Sirhindī thumma l-Dehlawī, one of the prominent ‘ulamā’ in fiqh and ḥadīth. He was born in Delhi on the 9th of Shawwāl, in the year 1263 (1847 CE). He studied ‘ilm with ‘Allāmah Muḥammad Nawāb ibn Sa‘dullāh al-Khāliṣpūrī and with his father. Then he received ḥadīth, tafsīr etc. from the uncle of his father, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghanī ibn Abī Sa‘īd al-‘Umarī al-Dehlawī. He took ṭarīqah from his grandfather, Shaykh Aḥmad Sa‘īd, and travelled with him to the two noble ḥarams in the year 1274 (1858). When his grandfather died, he kept the company of his father in Madīnah Munawwarah and took from him. When his father died, he arrived at India and lived in Rāmpūr, and Nawāb Kalb ‘Alī Khān al-Rāmpūrī honoured his visit, and made a stipend of four hundred rupees per month for him so he was happy to stay there; he stayed there for a long time, and then travelled to the Ḥijāz and lived in Madīnah Munawwarah. I [Sayyid ‘Abd al-Ḥayy] met him in Rāmpūr. He was a pious shaykh, dignified, of immense position and great stature. He teaches and gives instruction of dhikr to his disciples in morning and evening. He has numerous works. He died on the tenth of Sha‘bān in the year 1341 (1923).” (Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir, p. 1373)

[4] He is described in Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir as follows: “The shaykh, the ‘ālim, the muḥaddith: Munawwar ‘Alī ibn Maẓhar al-Ḥaqq al-Ḥanafī. He was born and brought up in Rāmpūr. He read the short texts with his father and then with Mawlānā Muḥammad Ṣiddīq al-Rāmpūrī. Then he received Manṭiq and philosophy from ‘Allāmah ‘Abd al-Ḥaqq ibn Faḍl Ḥaqq al-Khayrābādī, and received ḥadīth from Sayyid Muḥammad Shāh ibn Ḥasan Shāh al-Ḥusaynī al-Rāmpūrī. Then he took up a teaching position at Madrasa ‘Āliya, where he taught for some time. Then he travelled to the Ḥijāz in the year 1323 (1905), performed ḥajj and ziyārah, and remained there for a full year, and then returned to India. He died in the year 1351 (1932).” (Nuzhat al-Khawāṭir, p. 1385)

[5] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

[6] For a detailed refutation of these slanders, one may read the second chapter of al-Shihāb al-Thāqib in Urdu, or the English translation of Fayṣlah Kun Munāẓarah available at the following link: ahlussunnah.boards.net/thread/35/decisive-debate-deobandi-barelwi-conflict

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Response of the Arab Scholars to Aḥmad Riḍa Khān’s Visit to the Ḥijaz

[Summarised from Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī’s al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 202 – 215]

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān arrived at Makkah in the year 1323 H (1905 CE). A short while after he completed the ḥajj, a document was sent from India to Mawlānā Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm (an Indian scholar residing in Makkah) for it to be presented to the Sharīf of Makkah. The document was intended to warn the Sharīf that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was a person of fitnah who is very liberal in issuing fatwās of takfīr, tafsīq and taḍlīl to support his strange views. It also mentioned some of his misguided opinions. The document contained signatures from several scholars of India.

A close confidante of the Sharīf, ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Shaybī, came to know of this document. He became enraged at seeing it, and said he will himself take it to the Sharīf. The Sharīf also became very angry, and both he and al-Shaybī made a firm resolution for Aḥmad Riḍā Khān to at once be put in prison. Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī here mentions that he came to know of this resolution through several reliable means. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 203) However, Mawlānā Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm and Mawlānā Munawwar ‘Alī Rāmpūrī both insisted to al-Shaybī that he not be put in prison, but instead be interrogated on his beliefs. It appears their motives were for their country, India, to not come into disrepute on account of one of their fellow countrymen being imprisoned in the Ḥijaz. Al-Shaybī agreed.

The works of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān were not at this time available in Makkah, but there was an Urdu commendation he had written on the work of a scholar from Rāmpūr. (Mawlānā Madanī is probably referring to an early edition of: al-Anwār al-Sāṭi‘ah). Based on the contents of this commendation, he was asked three questions: on his usage of azalī (pre-eternal) and abadī (eternal) for the knowledge possessed by the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam); his statement that not even an atom’s weight is excluded from his (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) knowledge; and his conclusion with the words: “blessings be upon the first, the last, the manifest and the hidden” (صلى الله على الأول والآخر والظاهر والباطن), terms that are used in this sequence for Allāh in the Qur’ān. He was told that without clarifying his position on these issues, he will not be free to leave Makkah. Hence, a week or two later, he answered with his usual tact of obfuscation, as follows: by azalī, I meant the start of the world, not “beginningless” as it usually means; there is a mistranslation, I did not say an “atom’s weight” in the Urdu; and there is a typographical error in this phrase, it should have read: “blessing be upon the manifestation (maẓhar) of the First, the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden.” These answers were of course unsatisfactory, so the Sharīf wished that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān be removed from Makkah as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān had expressed great pride in his belief that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) possessed full and complete knowledge of everything that was and will be from the start of the world until its end. He presented his findings to the Makkan scholar he found most connection with, Shaykh Muftī Ṣāliḥ Kamāl. The latter then argued on behalf of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān with two learned Makkan scholars: Shaykh Aḥmad Faqīh and Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Mālikī, the latter of whom was at that time “Makkah’s greatest scholar, no-one having a study circle equal to his in the Noble Ḥaram.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 205) Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Kamāl was defeated, and these two scholars put it to him that he is arguing on behalf of someone who is clearly misguided. The argument became heated, and eventually came to the attention of the Sharīf, who realised from this episode also that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān is someone stirring up fitnah. On account of this too, he wanted Aḥmad Riḍā Khān to be escorted out of Makkah at the earliest convenience. Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī here mentions that he has presented these details in brief, and if anyone would like more information, he is free to contact Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Mālikī, Shaykh Aḥmad Faqīh, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Shaybī, Shaykh Muḥammad Ma‘ṣum or Mawlānā Munawwar ‘Alī Rāmpūrī (who were all alive at the time). (p. 205)

While this was going on, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān sent a message to the Sharīf via Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Kamāl, stating that you are making this great fuss over me even though I am from the leaders of Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah, all the while there is a man here in Makkah [referring to ‘Allāmah Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī, who had also come to perform ḥajj in the same year] who (na‘ūdhu billāh) regards Allāh as being untruthful and Satan as having more knowledge than the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), and he has not been admonished in the slightest! When this message reached the Sharīf, Shaykh Aḥmad Faqīh and Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Mālikī who were present with him, both said that it is not possible that any Muslim could say such speech and this is pure slander. The Sharīf agreed with them. As a result, Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Kamāl felt quite embarrassed for conveying this message.

Up to this point, Shaykh Shu‘ayb had not met Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī. When this reached Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī he made a visit to Shaykh Shu‘ayb and spoke to him. He explained that this slander was directed at him, and he doesn’t at all hold these impure beliefs. He explained, however, that he supports the view of the rational possibility of Allāh going back on His word, while he believes its occurrence is completely impossible. Shaykh Shu‘ayb responded that as soon as he heard the allegation, he knew it to be a lie, and said the view that Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī espoused is supported by the statements of the Mutakallimūn. After Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī explained what he actually said in his al-Barāhīn al-Qāṭi‘ah with respect to the knowledge of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and demonstrated that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was guilty of slander, Shaykh Shu‘ayb agreed with him completely, and even went on to present many evidences from Qur’ān and ḥadīths from memory proving that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s view that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has full and thorough knowledge of all creation is false. They also engaged in further discussions.

Following this, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī also visited Muftī Ṣāliḥ Kamāl. At first, Muftī Ṣāliḥ Kamāl was uneasy with the meeting because of what he had heard from Aḥmad Riḍā Khān. However, once Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī explained the truth, he became fully content and accepted everything Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī said.

These were events that took place following the ḥajj. Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madani explains that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān had intended to blemish the honour of Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī before the ḥajj, but by Divine Aid, he fell ill and was unable to carry out his plans. And at this time, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī saw a dream in which Ḥājī Imdādullāh Muhājir Makkī appeared to him and tied something around his waist – which was interpreted as divine assistance (imdādullāh) coming to him. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 207) After performing the ḥajj, when Aḥmad Riḍā Khān intended to go forward with his plans, the aforementioned events unfolded starting with the document that came from India – so rather than Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī getting into trouble, it was he that fell into serious trouble! By Divine Aid, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī performed the ḥajj with complete ease and peace of mind, and then proceeded to Madīnah without any blemish to his honour. On the other hand, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was at the time that Mawlānā left for Madīnah, humiliatingly forced to remain in Makkah to answer the questions put to him.

[In Naqsh e Ḥayāt, Mawlānā Madanī briefly describes Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī’s visit to Madīnah: “At the start of 1324 H, Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Ṣāḥib arrived at Madīnah Munawwarah after completing the ḥajj, and remained there for approximately fifteen days. Since he was amongst my noble teachers, this is why the students of Madīnah Munawwarah flocked to him, and generally, the ‘Ulamā’ of Madīnah came to visit and receive him. A very large group took ijāzah of the books of ḥadīth and the sciences from him in a large circle within the Noble Masjid, after hearing the opening sections of the books of ḥadīths.” (Naqsh e Ḥayāt, p. 118) He further mentions that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān only arrived at Madīnah some time after Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī had already departed.]

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān had prepared a short treatise full of deception, fraud and deceit, intended to excite the emotions of simple ‘Ulamā’. (This treatise together with signed approvals of it were later compiled as Ḥusām al-Ḥaramayn). Following the above events, he took his treatise to the ‘Ulamā’ of Makkah to get their signed approvals of it. Simple and gullible ‘Ulamā’ were deceived by his words and his flattery of them. However, the great ‘Ulamā’ of Makkah (some of whom were already aware of his nature) saw right through him, and based on their natural intelligence and foresight, knew better than to give their endorsements to his fatwā. The following are some of these great scholars:

1. “The most eminent shaykh, the greatest man of virtue, one unmatched in his era, unique in his time, the perspicacious ocean, the vast ocean, the Nawawī of the time, the Rāzī of the present era, the respected, Shaykh Ḥasabullāh al-Makkī al-Shāfi’ī” [1244 – 1335 H/1828 – 1917 CE]. He was a contemporary and equal to the deceased Shāfi‘ī muftī, Shaykh Aḥmad Zaynī Daḥlān. He was an intelligent, perceptive, pious and scrupulous scholar. In all sciences in general, and Shāfi‘ī fiqh and tafsīr in particular, there was no one equal to him in the whole of Makkah. Mawlānā Madanī says: “Further, in age he has surpassed eighty years. In these days, he has lost his eyesight. Many of the ‘Ulamā’ of the two ḥarams are from his students. It is heard often from the Shāfi‘īs that in Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah there is no greater scholar in the Shāfi‘ī madhhab than him. Anyone who stopped by at Makkah for even a few days will most certainly come to know of him. Whoever wants may ask the people of the two noble ḥarams of his condition. This lowly one has not given his description in any way that matches with his real condition. In brief, he, on account of precaution, refused to endorse ‘Mujaddid Ṣāḥib’s’ treatise.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 208) [Note: Mawlānā Madanī narrated ḥadīth from Shaykh Ḥasabullāh. See: al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan by Shaykh Yāsīn al-Fādānī, p. 59; Cherāgh e Muḥammad, p. 106]

2. “The sun of the sky of investigation, the full moon of the cosmos of scrutinisation, combiner of rational and transmitted [knowledge], gatherer of peripherals and principles, the imām of the muḥaddithīn, the chief of the mufassirīn, Mawlānā Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Mālikī, may his blessings last, Mālikī imām and khaṭib at the Noble Ḥaram.” His study circle was the greatest in the ḥaram. He had memorised thousands of ḥadīths with both matn and isnād.

3. “The eminent imām, the noble man of virtue, pivot of purity and chivalry, chief of generosity and courage, foremost amongst the knights of the rational sciences, gatherer of the highest positions in the fields of transmitted sciences, Mawlānā Shaykh Aḥmad Faqīh, imām and khaṭīb at the noble ḥaram, may his excellence remain.” He was also a man of great learning. These latter two scholars were also amongst the close associates of the Sharīf.

4. “Chief of the practising scholars, leader of the perfect men of virtue, one adept in the sciences of Arabic, surpassing his contemporaries in the literary sciences, the master of the muḥaddithīn and the imām of the mutakallimīn, Mawlānā Shaykh ‘Abd al-Jalīl Āfandī al-Ḥanafī.” He was a man of great piety and grew to an old age. He was unparalleled in the field of Arabic literature. He died at the start of the year 1327 H (1909 CE). Although originally a scholar of Madīnah, he remained in Makkah for several years. He was present at Makkah when Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made his visit. The latter took his treatise to him to get his signed approval, but “being a man of experience, intelligence and perceptiveness, and a person of great age, he immediately recognised that he is not someone to be trusted.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 209) [Note: Mawlānā Madanī also narrated ḥadīth from him. See: Cherāgh e Muḥammad, p. 106]

Mawlānā Madanī comments: “These four individuals were at this time, from the greatest and most famous of the ‘Ulamā’ of Makkah. Their condition in knowledge, virtue and excellence was most certainly not found in those whose seals and approvals ‘Mujaddid al-Taḍlīl’s’ hands had touched. Whoever wishes may discover their conditions from the people of Makkah themselves.” (ibid.) There were other senior scholars who refused to sign the fatwā also, but these four famous ‘Ulamā’ are sufficient for our purposes. There were more junior ‘Ulamā’ who either in search of fame or due to their simplicity became prey to Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s trickery, and gave their signed approvals to his fatwā. Many of these ‘Ulamā’ are such that they “have no part in academic ability, and nor are they involved in studying and teaching, and are not even counted amongst the ‘Ulamā’ of Makkah!” (ibid.) [1]

With regards to the situation in Madīnah, Mawlānā Madanī mentions that he is more acquainted with this as he was himself present in Madīnah at the time, and had been for several years. A few days after his arrival, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān very secretively visited several individuals with his treatise, asking for their signed approvals. Some of the ‘Ulamā’ there already had a good opinion of him from what was presented to them by his associates, regarding some discussions he made on some unfamiliar, peripheral issues that they had not previously examined – like the issue of paper money. These associates boasted of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s skills in debate and his having authored hundreds of works. But despite all this, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān made attempts to acquire their seals in secrecy. Mawlānā Madanī argues that he did this for fear that had it been done openly, Mawlānā Madanī would have interfered and exposed his lies. [2]

Unlike the condition in Makkah, ‘Ulamā’ of Madīnah did not hold a negative view of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān: some had positive views of him and others were neutral. Even still, some of the most famous and eminent scholars of Madīnah did not fall for his deceptions, and refused to sign his fatwā. Others who did sign, later became aware of his lies, while others clearly put conditions to their endorsements, stating that only if the information in the question is correct will the ruling be as he mentioned.

Mawlānā Sayyid Aḥmad Barzanjī, the mufti of the Shāfi‘īs, initially felt that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān was reliable and a person of learning. Based on this good opinion, he signed his treatise, and even encouraged others to do so. However, when he had his final meeting with him in the house of Sayyid ‘Abdullāh Madanī, and they discussed the issue of ‘ilm al-ghayb, he realised the academic and ideological reality of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān, and began to regret his previous actions. At this time, he took back his commendation and demanded his seal be erased, and told them that he has come to realise that Aḥmad Riḍā Khān is a person of misguidance, and spoke very harshly to him.

Muftī Aḥmad Barzanjī himself told Mawlānā Madanī afterwards that on the following day, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān’s son came to him, kissed his feet and hands, and begged him to keep the seal on the commendation, saying: “Do not take back the endorsement because we have no disagreement on these issues, and while we disagree on the issue of ‘ilm al-ghayb, let that remain as it is.” He also showed extreme flattery and servility in speech and actions. Muftī Aḥmad Barzanjī used some harsh words, but feeling embarrassed at his pleading, said it will be fine to keep the seal. However, he also pointed out that the seal is of no benefit to them, because he made his endorsement conditional.

A number of other ‘Ulamā’ from the ḥaramayn made their endorsements conditional. (Mawlānā Madanī quotes some of these on page 215-6). [3] Mawlānā Madanī notes that even those ‘Ulamā’ who did not put conditions, it is obvious that their endorsements were premised on the information in the treatise being correct.

Sayyid Aḥmad Barzanjī, soon after the last meeting with Aḥmad Riḍā Khān, began to pen a detailed refutation of the latter’s views on the knowledge of ghayb given to the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). Mawlānā Madanī said this treatise is in the process of being published. (It was eventually published as Ghāyat al-Ma’mūl). In this treatise, Sayyid Barzanjī, and by extension those who approved of it, used harsh words against Aḥmad Riḍā Khān. The positive words that were said of him by some of the scholars, either out of good character or because of not being fully aware of his true character, must be weighed against the negative words used by Sayyid Barzanjī.

Aḥmad Riḍā Khān rushed back to India soon after this debacle. Some of the great ‘Ulamā’ of Madīnah refused to sign his treatise. Mawlānā Madanī lists a total of 25 such scholars as examples (p. 212-3). Five of these are as follows:

1. Shaykh Yāsīn al-Miṣrī al-Shāfi‘ī, who would lecture on taṣawwuf and Shāfi‘ī fiqh in the morning at Bāb al-Raḥmah.

2. The muḥaddith and mufassir, Shaykh ‘Abdullāh al-Nābulsī al-Ḥanbalī [1247 – 1331 H], who taught ḥadīth, tafsīr and Ḥanbalī fiqh after ‘Aṣr and Maghrib, and was a person of great age, piety and knowledge. He was also regarded as a great teacher.

3. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ḥakīm al-Bukhārī, a learned and elderly scholar.

4. Sayyid Amīn Riḍwān al-Shāfi‘ī a very elderly and pious man. From those who gave ijāza for Dalā’il al-Khayrāt at this time, none were greater than him.

5. Shaykh Ma’mūn Barrī al-Āfandi, who was the main khaṭīb of Masjid Nabawī.

[1] See the testimony of Shaykh Bashīr al-Ibrāhīmī below which also mentions that many of the scholars delivering lessons at the ḥaram were weak in knowledge. (Although his testimony is regarding the ḥaram of Madīnah, not Makkah, the situation was probably similar in both places).

[2] Mawlānā Madanī explains his role in the matter in more detail in Naqsh e Ḥayāt as follows: “These proceedings were undertaken with great effort and secrecy. I was only aware that he was making efforts to come to these ‘Ulamā’, Muftīs and people of influence, but I had absolutely no knowledge that he had some [specific] agenda behind these undertakings. I only thought that since Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Ṣāḥib had just visited, and great scholars and many students met with him here, and acquired sanad of ḥadīth and ijāzah, having gained acceptance amongst the people of learning, haters and enemies would like to spread propaganda against him, and in so doing against us [also]. But together with his, I also thought that if anything would be said against us or our Akābir, at the minimum, we would be asked about it. Several days passed in this manner. Then, after investigating I came to know he is getting endorsements for some write-up, so I searched for what this write-up was. In the end, when this write-up reached Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Shalabī al-Ṭarāblusī*, he called me and showed me the treatise. I informed him of the reality of the matter. Then I went to Amīn al-Fatwā Shaykh ‘Umar Ḥammād, and showed him the passages of Taḥdhīr al-Nās, Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah etc., upon which he expressed great remorse [for having signed the fatwā]. Then I went to the muftī of the Ḥanafīs, Tāj al-Dīn Ilyās, and explained the full reality to him, and he too expressed great remorse, and said: ‘We had no knowledge of the reality, so why did you not inform us earlier?’ Since I had deep connections with them before – Muftī Ṣāḥib’s grandson would read to me and youngsters of high families from the people of Madīnah were either close to me or read to me** – this is why I said: ‘I trusted that if any information reached you regarding me or any of my teachers, you would most certainly have asked me.’ He replied: ‘I had no knowledge that those individuals were your teachers! Anyhow, what has happened has happened. We were very careful in endorsing, and said that if in reality these individuals hold these views and beliefs and their retraction has not been proven, then the view of the author of the treatise is correct. If I had knowledge of this before, I wouldn’t have even given this endorsement.’ Other individuals gave similar answers.” (Naqsh e Ḥayāt, 137-8) Before the ‘Ulamā’ of Madīnah could take any action after having learnt of the reality, Aḥmad Riḍā Khān hurried back to India.

[3] Mawlānā Madanī writes: “Those scholars of dīn with regards to whom he acquired fatwās of kufr from the two ḥarams, he put false allegations against them, of which they are completely innocent and pure. Such beliefs and ideas were attributed to them which those sanctified scholars of Hindustan are completely free of, and which they themselves regard as kufr. The scholars of the two noble ḥarams gave their answer in accordance to the question, and gave the judgement of kufr on those who maintain such beliefs, because everyone knows that the answer is written in accordance with the question. If this question was written, putting this allegation and slander on someone else, and presented before those sanctified scholars, they too would give a judgement of kufr. Thus, several questions came in the service of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Gangohī, [asking]: ‘What is the ruling on the person who regards Satan as more knowledgeable than the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) or God as being untruthful?’ He issued a fatwā of kufr on these [beliefs]. We will later present the quotations from his Fatāwā. This is why some intelligent and careful scholars of the two noble ḥarams wrote that if the questioner’s description is accurate and these individuals really do hold these beliefs, [only then] are they kāfirs and people of jahannam. Thus by way of example, the statements of a few scholars, from their fatwās, will be quoted. One scholar said: ‘One who adopts these views, believing in them as clarified in this treatise, there is no doubt that he is from the misguided.’ (من قال بهذه الأقوال معتقدا لها كما هي مبسوط في هذه الرسالة لا شبهة أنه من الضالين)…A second scholar wrote: ‘They are – when the outcome is what you have mentioned – deviant disbelievers.’ (فهم والحاصل ما ذكرت كفرة مارقون)…A third scholar said: ‘One who asserts this has disbelieved.’ (من ادعى ذلك فقد كفر)…A fourth scholar was extremely careful, and wrote with great clarity that if these matters are proven from those individuals, that is those things that the Barelwī Shaykh has written, of Ghulām Aḥmad claiming prophethood, and it is proven from Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Ṣāḥib, Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Ṣāḥib and Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī that they disrespected the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace), then there is no doubt in these individuals having committing kufr and deserving execution. (إن ثبت عنهم ما ذكره هذا الشيخ من ادعاء النبوة للقادياني وانتقاص النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من رشيد أحمد وخليل أحمد وأشرف علي المذكورين فلا شك في كفرهم ووجوب قتلهم)…In a fifth place, in a lengthy write-up, there are these words: ‘This is the ruling on these groups and individuals if these vile beliefs are established from them.’ (هذا حكم هؤلاء الفرق والأشخاص إن ثبت عنهم هذه المقالات الشنيعة)…Even those individuals in whose statement this condition is not found, their intent is also this, because the ruling is on the one who believes in these things.” (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 215-6)

* On Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Ṭarāblusī’s views on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān, see: zakariyya.wordpress.com/2007/04/02/molwi-ahmed-radha-khan-among-the-arab-ulama/

** Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī’s teaching and lectures in al-Masjid al-Nabawī in Madīnah were well-received by the people. He was also a highly-regarded scholar. The reason for his acceptance may be gleaned from the following testimony of Shaykh Bashīr al-Ibrāhīmī, a contemporary and student of Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī. Shaykh Bashīr al-Ibrāhīmī (1889 – 1965 CE) was a well-known scholar from North Africa of the last century who had travelled to Cairo, Damascus and Ḥijāz, and sat with many of their scholars. He arrived in Madīnah towards the end of the year 1911 CE. Near the end of his life, when writing a short autobiography, he wrote the following while describing his stay at Madīnah: “I circled the circles of ‘Ilm at the Prophetic Ḥaram, testing [them out]. None of them stood out to me, but it was [like] froth put out by a group having no connection with ‘Ilm or Taḥqīq. I did not find true ‘Ilm except with two men, who are my teachers: Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz al-Wazīr al-Tūnisī and Shaykh Ḥusayn Aḥmad al-Fayḍ Abādī al-Hindī. These two, truth be told, are erudite scholars, their horizons of perception vast in the sciences of ḥadīth and understanding of Sunnah. I had no interest in anything besides extra knowledge of ḥadīth, both in transmission and understanding, and knowledge of tafsīr, so I stuck by them as a shadow. I took al-Muwaṭṭa’ from the first with understanding, and then his erudition in the remaining Islamic sciences struck me, so I remained in his lessons on Mālik’s fiqh and his lessons on al-Tawḍīḥ of Ibn Hishām. I accompanied the second [i.e. Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī] in his lessons on Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim. I give testimony that I have not seen an equal to these two shaykhs from the ‘Ulamā’ of Islām till now. I have reached old age and I have great experience, and I have consummate skill in some sciences, and I have met from the mashāyikh as [many as] Allāh wanted me to meet. But I have not seen the like of these two shaykhs in eloquence of expression, depth of insight, delving into meanings, illuminating ideas, clarification of ambiguities and bringing distant meanings closer. Because of my expansive reading of books of biographies, I had formed an image of a prominent scholar in the Islāmic sciences, derived from how the biographical literature would describe some of those that they put in their biographies. For a long time, I did not believe that that mental image would materialise in external reality. But I found it realised in these two eminent scholars. Shaykh al-Wazīr died in Madīnah at the wake of the First World War. As for Shaykh Ḥusayn Aḥmad, Sharīf Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī handed him over to the English at the end of his ill-fated revolution, and they exiled him to Mālṭah, and then they sent him back to his original hometown of India. He lived there for years, and the leadership of ‘Ilm culminated at him in the City of Knowledge, Deoband. When I visited Pakistan in the year 1952 CE, I wrote to him and he insisted that I visit India, but that was not destined for me. In these latter times, it has reached me that he passed away in India.” (Āthār al-Imām Muḥammad al-Bashīr al-Ibrāhīmī, 5:275-6)

Turning the tables on the Barelwīs, Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī in the following section of his al-Shihāb al-Thāqib (where he begins his lengthy discussion on the differences between the Wahhābīs and the Akābir of Deoband) shows that it is in fact Barelwīs who share with the Wahhābīs in their most characteristic feature: reckless takfīr. Mawlānā Madanī writes:

This is an enormous deception and trickery of “Dajjāl al-Mujaddidīn” and his followers, because of which [the usage of the name of] this group [i.e. “Wahhābīs”] has gained in popularity amongst the Arabs in particular and the Indians in general. By exploiting this name and deceiving the world, they acquire their [daily] bread. This is the foundation of all trickeries and the basis of all deceptions.

Friends! Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb al-Najdī emerged from Najd, Arabia, at the start of the thirteenth century. Since he held false ideas and corrupt beliefs, this is why he slaughtered and fought the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. He kept on imposing his ideas on them by force. He deemed their properties to be spoils [of war] and permissible [for the taking]. He considered their slaughter a cause of reward and mercy. He caused great distress to the people of the two Ḥarams in particular, and the people of Ḥijāz in general. He used words of great disrespect and impudence with respect to the pious Salaf and their followers. Many people had to leave Madīnah Munawwarah and Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah because of the severe hardships he [caused]. Thousands of people were martyred at his and his forces hands.

In short, he was an oppressor and rebel, a wicked blood lusting person. This is why the people of Arabia had and still have a particular hatred – from the heart – for him and his followers: such [hate] that they harbour for neither the Jews nor the Christians nor the Zoroastrians nor the Hindus. In brief, because of the aforementioned reasons, they have the highest degree of hostility towards this group, and undoubtedly, since he caused such hardships, so should it most certainly be. These people do not have as much anguish and hostility towards the Jews and Christians as they do towards the Wahhābīs.

Since the objective of “Mujaddid al-Muḍillīn” and his followers was to show before the eyes of the people of Arabia in particular and the people of India in general that they are their well-wishers while others their enemies and opponents of Religion, this is why they did not find any title better than this title.

Wherever any follower of Sharī‘ah and imitator of Sunnah was found, immediately he was branded “Wahhābī” so as to draw [people] away from him, and so that there is no effect to their interests and payoffs which are acquired through various forms of trickeries. [The attitude of such people is as follows:] “Friends, drink wine, shave your beards, devote yourselves to graves, take vows by other than Allāh, commit fornication, sodomy, leaving congregation, fasting and prayer, whatever you do, all of these are signs of being from the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah; and whoever acquires obedience of Sharī‘ah in form and practice, he becomes a Wahhābī.” It is famous that some Nawāb Ṣāḥib said to his companion, “I heard you have become Wahhābī.” He answered: “Ḥuḍūr, I shave my beard, how can I possibly be Wahhābī?! I am pure Sunnī.” See how the sign of being Sunnī has come to be to shave the beard.

For his particular agenda, “Dajjāl al-Mujaddidīn” has in this treatise called these Elders “Wahhābīs”, so that the people of Arabia upon seeing it will become agitated by anger and fury, and without asking anything, without contemplating, will give fatwās of takfīr. Further, he mentioned the term Wahhābī in various places using different expressions with filthy words.

[This is] all the while there is the difference between the sky and earth between the beliefs of the Wahhābīs and the beliefs and practices of those Elders, and in fact a greater difference than this! These revered ones are fully upon the beliefs of the pious Salaf. They strictly follow Imām A‘ẓam (Allāh’s mercy be upon him) and the way of the Ḥanafī jurists in every way, in knowledge and practice. They do not wish for even small variation. The sulūk of the seniors of the four Orders, in particular Chishtī Ṣābirī, is practised by them.

Mawlānā Madanī: Barelwīs are Wahhābīs

Now, I will briefly present several beliefs of the Wahhābīs and in contrast, the statements of these Elders, so that from this small sample it becomes clear to you the degree of the slander that is being made against these Elders, and what great injustice and slander “Barelwī Mujaddid” and his followers are perpetrating against the People of Truth.

It was Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb’s belief that all the people of the world and of all Muslim lands are idolatrous and disbelieving, and it is permissible, in fact obligatory, to slaughter and fight them and take their properties. Thus, Nawāb Ṣiddīq Ḥasan Khān has himself explicitly mentioned these two things [i.e. the permissibility of slaughtering and taking the property of Muslims] in his [Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb’s] biography. Ḥaḍrat, these two are undoubtedly matters of great severity. Now check whether this is found in the followers of these Elders or not? And if not, then who is truly the follower of Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb?

A discussion of the first matter is forthcoming. But, regarding the second matter, you yourself ponder over it. “Dajjāl al-Mujaddidīn” has done tafsīq and taḍlīl of all the people of Nadwah, at which time many ‘Ulamā’ were part [of it]. He has done taḍlīl, takfīr and tafsīq of all the ‘Ulāmā’ of Deoband, while the group of these revered ones has spread throughout the world. Generally, the ‘Ulamā’ and teachers and the religious men of virtue in the lands of India, Afghanistan etc. are these people and their students and followers. Thousands, in fact hundreds of thousands, of ‘Ulamā’ are from them, and are coming to be from them, and if Allāh, the Almighty, wishes, will continue to be from them till the Day of Judgement, despite the humiliation of the enviers. This “Mardūd” (rejected individual), like his Najdī shaykh, regards it to be prohibited to marry and sit with all these Elders. He regards it to be obligatory to hurt them, blemish their honour, and cause them personal and monetary damages. Thus, the start and end of his treatise is a good demonstration [of this]. Thus, in reality he is a complete follower of his Najdī shaykh, and he himself and his followers are “Wahhābīs”.

Now I will present some words briefly from the Elders of Religion, how carefully they operated in the matter of doing takfīr of Muslims and tafsīq of believers. Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Gangohī, Allāh sanctify his precious soul, says in Laṭā’if Rashīdiyyah (p. 31) under the commentary of the ḥadīth, “The last man to enter Paradise”: “…Thus, īmān has such position that no angel or messenger can fathom. With Allāh, it necessitates salvation and is highly regarded. Thus, no believer may be said to be definitely a person of Hellfire, and nor should īmān be looked at with scorn no matter how hidden [it is]. Because of this, the jurists of the Ummah have stated that if from a hundred possibilities, one possibility can be of īmān, takfīr may not be made of a believer. The number ‘hundred’ is not for specification (taḥdīd) but to express a large number (takthīr). If there is only one possibility from a thousand, even then takfīr cannot be done. Īmān has a very great stature, as it is affirming the oneness of Allāh (Exalted is He), the unique quality of Allāh (Exalted is He). Say: He is Allāh, the One. Then, one in whose nature the light of this special quality has entered, even if hidden to some degree, will he not be accepted and a person of Paradise? Entering the Fire is for his purification and rectification not for degradation and punishment. However it is apparently punishment, just like hitting an enemy and hitting a beloved child to discipline [him] are similar [in appearance], although there is a difference in the two…”

Ḥaḍrāt! Now ponder, Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Gangohī, Allāh sanctify his precious soul, how careful he and his followers were in takfīr and declaring others “mushriks” etc., and how diligent they were in following the pious Salaf, as distinguished from the Wahhābīs, who make everyone kāfir and mushrik at the slightest imagined doubts, and regard their properties and blood to be permissible. [Persian couplet]: Look at the difference in path, from where to where?!

However, “Mujaddid al-Dajjālīn” and his followers are undoubtedly step by step [followers] of Wahhābīs. Taking mental leaps from afar and contrived imagined interpretations, they strive and struggle to make [others] kāfir. They spend their day and night thinking how to make the Muḥammadan Ummah more restricted and smaller. Can these people be lovers of the Messenger (upon him peace) or supporters of the Ummah? Never! Is it the work of the ‘Ulamā’ of the Ummah to make Muslims into kāfirs by zealously misrepresenting the meanings [of texts] and mutilating passages? – or is it [rather] the demand of prophetic inheritance and knowledge of Sharī‘ah to passionately bring disbelievers into Islām, mushriks into Īmān and munāfiqūn into certainty? Would the Messenger of Allāh (upon him peace) support their method? Is this what the noble imāms would teach? Was this the salient feature of the pious Salaf? It is very unfortunate that the fear of God has been lifted from their hearts. A divine seal and shadow has been cast over their hearts. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 221-4)

Mawlānā Madanī on the Accusation that Sayyid Aḥmad Shahīd was “Wahhābī”

Some Barelwīs are of the belief that Sayyid Aḥmad Shahīd Barelwī and his disciples had come into contact with Wahhābīs while they were in the Ḥijāz, and as a consequence picked up Wahhābī views. Echoing this sentiment, Gibril Haddad wrote: “Ismā‘īl Dihlawī wrote Taqwiyat al-Īmān in the wake of his Ḥijāz years (1236-1239), at which time he had come under the tutelage of Wahhābī missionaries.” This view has been shown to be false in an earlier piece, quoting nonpartisan neutral western scholars stating that there is no proof that Sayyid Aḥmad Shahīd or his disciples had any contact with the Arabian Wahhābīs.

Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī had also addressed this allegation in his Naqsh e Ḥayāt as follows:

It becomes very clear from the aforementioned events that Ḥaḍrat Sayyid [Aḥmad Shahīd] Ṣāḥib and his companions arrived at Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah at the end of 1237 H, that is at the beginning of 1823. This is the time in which no remnant or sign remained of the Wahhābī government and its communities in either Ḥijāz or any town or village of Najd. In fact, five years before this, Egyptian forces under the command of Ibrāhīm Pāshā ibn Muḥammad ‘Alī Pāshā, the viceroy (Khedive) of Egypt, under instructions from Sulṭān ‘Abd al-Majīd Khān, had crushed them, in not only Madīnah Munawwarah and Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah, but in the whole of Ḥijāz and the famous regions of Najd. Those that were left of them became absconders, fleeing to far off places in the mountains and jungles. Thus, Shāmī has mentioned them clearly in the Ḥāshiyah of al-Durr al-Mukhtār, in the third volume, [stating] that in 1233 H, Egyptian forces completely annihilated this group.

On page 87 [of The Indian Musalmans] W.W. Hunter, after mentioning that the Wahhābīs took control of Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah, Madīnah Munawwarah and other regions, wrote: “It was Mehmet Ali, Pasha of Egypt, who at last succeeded in crushing the Reformation (Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb and his followers). In 1812, Thomas Keith, a Scotchman, under the Pasha’s son, took Medina by storm. Mecca fell in 1813; and five years later, this vast power, which had so miraculously sprung up, as miraculously vanished, like a shifting sand mountain of a desert.”

Since this community of Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb caused trouble to all the inhabitants of Madīnah, Makkah and Ḥijāz, during this duration of their stay in Ḥijāz, kept going on with killing people, beating and looting, humiliating, and other such actions, as is famous and well-known there, and the author of Radd al-Muḥtār has written that these people only considered themselves Muslims and regarded others as Mushriks and non-Muslims, and considered looting and putting to waste their properties and lives permissible, this is why the people of the two Ḥarams harboured extreme hostility and hatred towards the Wahhābīs. This is why the people of Ḥijāz would not at all tolerate that any Najdī who had any connection with this sect would remain here in the Ḥijāz. After stirring up such an immense rebellion against the Turkish government and its governors, and wasting such money and lives in [efforts to] extinguish them, how could they tolerate that any Wahhābī remains there?

In short, when Sayyid Ṣāḥib and his companions reached Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah in Sha‘bān of 1237 H, no Wahhābī ruler, scholar or preacher was there, and nor were they at the borders or fringes. Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb’s death had occurred long before. This is why they had no chance of adopting the Wahhābī methodology from them, and nor is it established through any reliable means that they had met with any Wahhābī. Thus, to affiliate these respected ones to this sect is a completely slanderous and false propaganda.

These respected ones were disciples of Ḥaḍrat Shāh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Ṣāḥib Dehlawī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him), and are his followers in external and esoteric knowledge. They had received such perfection from the benefit they acquired [from him] that no match or equal of them could be found in depth [of knowledge], juristic understanding, taṣawwuf, speech and writing, neither in Hindustan nor in Arabia, Egypt, Levant etc. Their writings, speeches and actions are witness to this. How can such people of perfection become followers and imitators of others? How can this come to a sound mind? Especially when these others are less than them in every perfection?

In Wahhābī belief and practice, it is impermissible to travel with the objective of visiting the revered Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace). Thus, their writings and works are available [stating exactly this]. If, Allāḥ forbid, this was the belief of these respected ones, why did the entire group having travelled to Makkah Mu‘aẓẓamah go to Madīnah Munawwarah? And why did they remain there for three months, from the end of Dhu l-Ḥijjah till Rabī‘ al-Awwal? (Naqsh e Ḥayāt, p. 431-2)

Mawlānā Madanī goes on to explain that the first to brand Sayyid Aḥmad Shahīd’s group as “Wahhābīs” were the English as they feared his popularity and thus wished to stigmatise him in this way so as to cause divisions between him and the Muslims of India.

Mawlānā Madanī: Barelwīs are “Little Rāfiḍīs”

After a lengthy discussion on different areas of disagreement between Wahhābīs and the Elders of Deoband, Mawlānā Madanī concludes:

Friends, these few matters have been discussed for your consideration, in which the Wahhābīs disagreed with the ‘Ulamā’ of the two Noble Ḥarams and continue to do so. Because of this, when they forcefully became sovereign of the two Noble Ḥarams, they put thousands to the sword, making them martyrs, and they brought great troubles to thousands [of others]. At times, these [issues] were debated. In all these issues, our Elders are very much against them. Thus to accuse them of having Wahhābī tendencies (tawahhub) or being Wahhābī is a major slander and falsehood. And since this is their greatest ploy in creating a bad opinion [of the Elders of Deoband], this is why we went into great detail on it. Now it will be completely plain to those with intelligence how great a trick and deception this was of “Mujaddid Barelwī”, and how much scheming has been employed in this. It is Allāh that will take recompense, and the complaint is put to Him.

This methodology of these people is just like [how] the Rawāfiḍ regard the Ahl al-Sunnah and the elders of the ṣaḥābah and the two shaykhs (Allāh be pleased with them) as enemies of the Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) and as being from the Khārijī sect. This is precisely the methodology of these little Rāfiḍīs. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 246-7)

Mawlānā Madanī: Barelwī Takfīr Falls Back on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī and his Followers

Concluding al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, Mawlānā Madanī writes:

I feel, after this, it is necessary to submit this much:

From the above explanation it has become very clear that whatever “Dajjāl Barelwī” ascribed to those Elders is pure slander and fabrication. These Elders are completely pure and clean of these senseless things and filthy fancies. Only for the purpose of seeking fame, seeking dinar and dirham, and misguiding creation, “Mujaddid Barelwī” perpetrated this trickery and deception. This is why whatever commendations and endorsements there are from the ‘Ulamā’ of the two Ḥarams, they become as “scattered dust” (Qur’ān, 25:23), because they are all premised only on these respected ones having said these filthy things, and since they are pure of them, no mark can be made on their hem of purity. This is why many ‘Ulamā’ wrote in their statements that if these beliefs and opinions are those of these individuals, then [only] can the mentioned ruling apply, and otherwise it will not.

Indeed, all these commendations and statements will become a weight on the shoulders of “Mujaddid Barelwī”, and the burdens of all of them will be on his shoulders, because those helpless ones, the ‘Ulamā’ of the two Ḥarams, were unacquainted with the conditions of these Elders. “Mujaddid Barelwī” deceived them in making takfīr. Thus they will all take hold of his hem [at the Judgement].

In fact, based on a prophetic statement, the takfīr will fall back on Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwī. It is found in a clear text and an authentic ḥadīth that one who does takfīr or curses anyone, it will certainly fall back on one of the two: if that individual is deserving [of takfīr or the curse], then on him, and if not, it will turn back on the speaker. Thus, since the respected Elders of Deoband and Sahāranpūr are innocent of this [takfīr], this is why all of these takfīrs and curses, turning back on Barelwī and his followers, will become a cause of punishment for them in their graves, and a cause of īmān coming out and certainty and conviction departing them at the time of death. Upon Judgement, these [takfīrs that turn back on them] will be a cause of the angels saying to Ḥuḍūr regarding all his followers: “You do not know what they did after you!” and, saying: “[Go] far away, far away!”, Rasūl Maqbūl (upon him peace) will push them away from the Fount from which drink is taken and from the Praiseworthy Intercession, [treating] them worse than dogs; and they will be denied the reward, positions and bliss of this blessed Ummah.

May Allāh blacken their faces in both worlds, and make their hearts heard, for they will not believe until they see a painful torment – āmīn, O master of all worlds. May Allāh (Exalted is He) bless the best of His creation, our leader and our master, Muḥammad, the seal of prophets, and the leader of messengers, and his progeny and all his companions.

The neediest of the students of knowledge of the pardon of His Independent Master, His slave, called Ḥusayn Aḥmad – may our Unique Master forgive him, his parents and his teachers – Ḥanafī in madhhab, Chishtī Ṣābirī Rashīdī in track, and Deobandī in residence and Ḥusaynī in lineage, wrote it with his hands and said it with his tongue. (al-Shihāb al-Thāqib, p. 289-90)