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Raising the Hands for Du’a upon the Mimbar on the Day of Jumu’ah

By Mujahid Aziz

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Rahimahullah) states regarding two acts which were labelled bid’ah despite having a clear precedence and basis in the Shar’iah:

“And Imaam Ahmad reported with a good sanad from Ghadeef Ibn ul-Haarith who said, ‘al-Maalik Ibn Marwaan sent (someone) to me and he said: indeed we gather the people for two matters: raising the hands (for du’aa) upon the mimbar on the day of jumu’ah, and giving exhortations after the fajr and ‘asr prayers.

So he said: as for these two, then they are examples of your innovations in my opinion and I will not accept anything of them from you because Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “A people do not introduce an innovation except that a sunnah the likes of it is raised (i.e.forgotten and neglected)’ and adhering to the sunnah is better then introducing a bid’ah”

So if this was the answer of this sahaabee concerning a matter that has a basis in the religion, then what do you think the case would be concerning a matter that has no basis in the Deen?” [Fath al-Bari (13/314)]


Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi’s Exegesis of the Phrase “Seal of the Ambiya” in Tahzir al-Naas

Tahzirun Naas is a treatise in the form of a legal response (fatwa) from Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi to a question posed regarding the narration of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) confirming the existence of  Ambiya like the Ambiya on this earth, on six other ‘earths’ (planets). Is this narration authentic? How does acceptance of the narration impact on Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) status as the last and final Nabi? [Tahzir al-Naas min Inkaar Athar ibn ‘Abbas, Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi, Idarat al-‘Aziz Publishers, 2001, p. 40] 

He begins with a lengthy explanation of the term “Seal of the Ambiya” mentioned in the Qur’aan, which he states if fully understood, will assist in answering the question. Then he presents an exegetical dilemma on the interpretation of this phrase in the context of the  Qur’aanic verse. In the understanding of the common people, this simply means the last of a series of Ambiya. However, appearing before or after in the chronological sense, does not of itself confer excellence, for example, Nabi Ibrahim (Alayhis salaam) is superior to many Ambiya who came after him. (ibid. p. 41)  The term “Seal of the Ambiya” must be a term of merit and praise for two reasons:

First, those things which are not of relevance in relation to his Nubuwwat, e.g. physical form, colour, lineage, etc. are not given as titles to him in the Qur’aan, so its mention without merit would be imagined as an “excess” in His (Allah’s) Speech, as there would be no difference whether it is  mentioned or not.

Second, with respect to the people of perfection, like Ambiya and Auliya, titles used for them are for the purpose of lauding them with praise and merit, as is clear from historical writings. Thus the assumption that such titles are without any intent of praise may lead to denigration of  the greatness of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). (ibid. p. 42)

An objection to this reasoning is that the term “Seal of the Ambiya” in this meaning (i.e. without intent of praise) is not devoid of purpose and benefit, as Islam, being the final religion, must negate the legitimacy of any false future claimants to Nubuwwat who will be the cause of the misguidance of many. Hence, with this meaning of “the Seal of the Ambiya,” this door of misguidance is closed. (ibid. p. 42)
The (term of) Conjunction  (istidraak) in the Qur’an 33:40 implies that the term “Seal of the Ambiya” affirms Spiritual Fatherhood (as well) 

Mawlana Nanotwi explains that, even then, (i.e. if the only meaning of the term) “Seal of the Ambiya” is “last Nabi chronologically speaking” then this meaning is not free of difficulties. This is because the verse reads: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Ambiya.” (33:40). The word “but” (laakin) is a conjunction (‘atf) used for istidraak (rectification), that is, to correct (or eliminate) a doubt (shubh) or false assumption that may have been created from the previous sentence. Hence, the sentence that he is “the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Ambiya,” corrects a possible misconception that may arise from the sentence, “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men.” (ibid. p. 42)

While the verse clearly negates biological and physical (jismani) fatherhood, the doubt may arise that he does not deserve the respect a father deserves, or that he does not hold the position of a spiritual (ma‘nawi) father to anyone. This erroneous assumption is corrected by the sentence, “but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of Ambiya.” Thus, by this latter sentence, the doubt that he is not the “father” in any sense of the word is eliminated. Spiritual fatherhood of this Ummah is implicit in the phrase “the Messenger of Allah,” and  that he is the spiritual fatherhood of all previous Ambiya, and by implication of  their peoples, is established by the phrase “the Seal of the Ambiya.” (ibid. p. 57) 

The term “Messenger” implies he is the spiritual father of the Ummah. Mawlana Nanotwi explains this at length in conjunction with the verse of the Qur’an which states, “The Rasool is closer to the believers than themselves.” (33:6) Because our belief is a consequence of his revelation from Allah. Mawlana Nanotwi writes extensively on this point based on linguistic, theological and philological analyses. (ibid. pp. 58-64)

Essential Sealship and its Proofs

In his elaboration, Mawlana Nanotwi explains that the status of the Nubuwwat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is absolutely independent in that it was not an acquisition from any other Nabi, but was a direct bestowal to him by Allah Ta’ala, while the Nubuwwat of all others  is derived from his Nubuwwat. Therefore, their Nubuwwat and all the excellences of their respective Nubuwwat terminated upon his Nubuwwat. Thus, even in this sense he is the “Seal of the Ambiya.” (ibid. p. 43) Mawlana Nanotwi elaborately substantiates this in three ways:

First, verse 3:81 of the Qur’aan: “[Remember] when We took the covenant of the Ambiya: Indeed, that which I have given to you of the Book and Wisdom, then (when) a Messenger [i.e. Muhammad – Sallallahu alayhi wasallam] confirming what is with you comes to you, believe in him and aid him.” This verse proves that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the “Nabi of the Ambiya” (Nabi al-Anbiya), hence all the Ambiya are commanded to believe in him and to aid him if he were to appear in their time. Thus, Mawlana Nanotwi concludes that their Nubuwwat is subject to his absolute Nubuwwat. This is also indicated by the hadith which states: “If Musa (Alayhis salaam) was living, he would have had no option but to follow me.”  This is also indicated by the fact that when Nabi ‘Isa (Alaihis salaam) returns to earth, he will be a follower of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). In this way, the Nubuwwat of all other Ambiya ends at the Nubuwwat of the Seal of the Ambiya (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). His Nubuwwat is not an effusion (faydh) of or an acquisition by the medium (bi wasitah) of any other Nubuwwat. On the other hand, the Nubuwwat of all the other Ambiya is an effusion of his Nubuwwat. Hence,  all the excellences of the Ambiya are accumulated in his Nubuwwat and Seal. The hadith, “I was the Seal of the Ambiya by Allah while Aadam was an admixture of clay,” can be understood in this way, that his Nubuwwat was the initial springboard of Nubuwwat from which the other Ambiya acquired their Nubuwwat. (ibid. p. 44)

Second, there are two types of excellences: knowledge and deeds. Four categories of people are praised in the Qur’an: The Ambiya, the Auliya (siddiqeen), the Shuhada (martyrs) and the Saliheen (the pious). (4:69). The first two have excellences in knowledge and the second two in deeds. The Ambiya are the sources of perfection in knowledge and the Auliya are the repositories for this. The Shuhada are the source of perfection in deeds and the pious are the repositories for this. The word nabi is derived from naba’a which means to inform, and siddeeq is derived from saddaqa which means to assent, so the Ambiya are the fountainheads of knowledge and the Auliya are its repositories i.e. those who assent to that knowledge. This is also corroborated by the hadith, “Whatever Allah infused into my breast, I infused into the breast of Abu Bakr,” who is known as “the greatest Siddeeq.”

Here, Mawlana Nanotwi also makes the point that because Nubuwwat is perfection in knowledge and not deeds, apparently (bi-zaahir) a follower’s deeds may become equal to or exceed the deeds of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). (ibid. pp. 44-48) The reason he mentions “apparently” or “outwardly” is because this is in terms of the “quantity” and not the quality of deeds. His knowledge is both quantitatively and qualitatively superior.

Although this statement was misused by the detractors (the Qabar Pujaris) of Mawlana Nanotwi to malign him, the very same point was articulated by Imam al-Razi under verse 2:34 of the Qur’an, in which he says, “We do indeed find in the Ummah those who have a longer life and strive more rigorously than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).” This statement of fact, that sometimes outwardly a follower performs more good deeds than Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was used by al-Razi as a premise in his argument just as it was by Mawlana Nanotwi.  

Mawlana Nanotwi also explains in some detail how martyrdom and piety are perfections in deeds and not knowledge. (pp. 48-49)

The knowledge of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was complete and perfect, while the knowledge of the  other  Ambiya was not as complete and perfect as his. Hence, he said, “I was taught (‘ullimtu),” or “I was given (utitu) the knowledge of the first and the last,” i.e. my knowledge encompasses the spiritual knowledge of all peoples. This is because he is the true knower (‘alim haqiqi) while the knowledge of all other knowers is derived from him. In the same way our knowledge from our sensual faculties combine in our rational soul (nafs natiqah). The senses do not themselves “perceive,” knowledge of the divine and  transcendental realities which combine in Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and originate in him, while for everyone else before and after him, it is derived from him. Verse 3:81 of the Qur’an describes Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as “confirming all that which is with you [i.e. the Ambiya],”. Here the word ma (that) is general (‘aam), hence it includes all the knowledge in the Scriptures of the Ambiya who  were sent previously. Hence, his absolute knowledge – absolute in the sense that it is not derived from any other person, but was bestowed to him directly by Allah. Absolute knowledge is a necessary corollary of his absolute Nubuwwat since Nubuwwat is perfection in knowledge. Another proof which Mawlana Nanotwi presents for this perfection in knowledge is his greatest miracle, the Qur’aan, which is a Book of knowledge and “an explanation of all things”   (Qur’an 16:89). (ibid. pp. 44-50) 

Third, the hadith, “I was a Nabi while Aadam was between body and spirit” proves that his Nubuwwat was established at a time before the creation of Aadam (Alayhis salaam), and that his Nubuwwat supersedes the Nubuwwat of  all the Ambiya. (ibid. p. 50)

On the basis of these evidences Mawlana Nanotwi concludes that the Nubuwwat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is absolute, i.e. it is not derived from any other Nabi, while that of other Ambiya is of a secondary nature having been derived from his Nubuwwat. In this manner the term, “the Seal of the Ambiya stated in the Verse” implies that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the spiritual father of the Ambiya. This meaning is the logical extrapolation of the conjunctive term  laakin (istidraak) in the verse.

Chronological Seal of the Ambiya (Khatm Nubuwwat Zamani) is a Necessary Consequence of the Intrinsic Seal (Khatm Nubuwwat Zaati):

Mawlana Nanotwi explains that the Intrinsic Seal as described above also necessarily implies that he is the last of all the Ambiya chronologically. This is because a hypothetical new nabi will either bring a new shariat, or he will not. In both cases, the Intrinsic Seal of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prevents this from happening.  

In the assumption, if the hypothetical nabi who was commissioned after the Seal of the Ambiya came with a different law, this would mean a nabi of lower status abrogated the law of a Nabi of superior status, and this is contrary to the rule established in verse 2:106 of the Qur’aan which states: “We do not abrogate any revelation, or cause it to be forgotten, except we bring better than it or the like of it.” (ibid. p. 52)

And if he were to bring the same law, this nubuwwat would hold no meaning as Nubuwwat is a perfection in knowledge and all knowledge has culminated in Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and his perfect knowledge in the Book that is an “explanation of all things” will forever be preserved (Qur’an 15:9) as opposed to the Ambiya of lesser status – the Ambiya of Bani  Israaeel. The knowledge given to them was corrupted by their followers. Therefore, no new nabi can appear after the Seal of the Ambiya, with or without a new law. Hence, chronological finality (ta’akkhur zamaani) is a necessary consequence of Absolute finality. (ibid. pp. 52-53)

The Multiple Meanings of Finality

Coming first or last (taqaddum/ta’akhkhur) is a generic (jinsi) attribute which manifests in three different ways: chronological (zamaani), spatial (makaani) and positional (rutbi). Seal (khaatam) implies finality. It also bears these three possible meanings. If however only one of the three meanings is meant in the statement “Seal of the Ambiya”,  i.e. it is either khaatam zamaan al-nabiyyin (seal  as applicable to the chronological order  of the Ambiya), or khaatam rutbat al-nabiyyin (seal pertaining to the status of the Ambiya) or khaatam makaan al-nabiyyin (seal of the place of the Ambiya). However, in such generic words, if all meanings can be adopted, then  that is the preferred option. Hence, the preferred view according to Mawlana Nanotwi is that the evident indication (dalala mutabiqi) of the term “the Seal of the Ambiya” is finality in terms of time, place and position. (ibid.p. 53-55)

This is akin to the verse, “Wine, gambling, altars and divining arrows, are only filth (rijs),” (5:90) where “filth” is a general (‘aam) word including physical and spiritual filth since wine is a  physical/material filth and the others  are spiritual filth. In the same way “filth” is inclusive of a number of sub-categories with differing qualities included under its general meaning, “Seal” is inclusive of a number of sub-categories under its general meaning. Finality in merit was explained as Absolute Sealship. Chronological finality means his era came after all the Ambiya. And, spatial finality entails Nubuwwat manifesting on the highest of all earths, which is explained in Ahaadith which reveal that the earth we inhabit is the uppermost of all earths. The other six earths also have Ambiya as confirmed in the narration of Ibn ‘Abbas (Radhiyallahu anhu) in the question. 


The benefit of this interpretation, Mawlana Nanotwi insists, is that it eliminates the ambiguity (istidraak) present in the verse. It explains what Seal means in the best possible way, while not compromising on the chronological finality of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He writes: “Now you can see that if this view is accepted, the conjunction between the two sentences, will become clear, and the meaning of the Seal is established in the best possible way. At the same time Chronological Seal is also not lost.” (ibid. p. 57)

Al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi’s Explanation of the Designation, “Seal of the Ambiya” in Kitaab Khaatm al-Awliya’

Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi (230 – 320H), a great Scholar of Hadith and Usul, author of the well-known work Nawaadir al-Usul, and from the great masters of Tasawwuf, wrote in his work Kitaab Khaatm al-Awliya’:

A speaker said to him [al-Hakim  al-Tirmidhi]: What is the Seal of Nubuwwat?

He replied: The Proof of Allah over His creation, in realisation of His (Exalted is He) statement: “and give good news to those who believe that they have a ‘Pedestal of Truth’ with their Rabb.” (10:2)

So Allah certified for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) true servitude. Thus when the Judge appears in His majesty and greatness, on that plane, and He says: “O My bondsmen! I created you only for My obeisance (i.e. to worship Me)! Therefore, worship Me (in total submission)!” There will be no sense or movement left for anyone due to the awe and grandeur of that position, except Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). For by that Pedestal of truth that he has, he proceeds ahead of all the ranks of Ambiya and Rusul (Messengers) because he was (enabled to offer) the highest stage of obeisance to Allah Azza Wa Jal. So Allah will accept it [i.e. obeisance] from him and elevate him to the Praised Platform (al-maqam al-mahmud) near the Divine Kursi. Thereupon, the veil over that Seal will be removed, and Noor will encompass him. The rays of that Seal will shine over him. From his heart to his tongue will spring such praise which none from His creation had hitherto heard. Thus, all the Ambiya will know that Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was the most knowledgeable of them regarding  Allah Azza Wa Jal. He will be the first converser and the first intercessor, so he will be given the Standard of Praise and Keys of Generosity. The Standard of Praise is for the bulk of the believers while the Keys of Generosity for the Ambiya. The Seal of Nubuwwat has a profound condition and station, more profound than you can bear, so I hope that this much is sufficient for you of its knowledge.”

So Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) becomes the  intercessor for the Ambiya, the Auliya and for others  besides them. Do you not see his (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) speech regarding the station of the Praised Platform: “Even Ibrahim the Khaleel (Friend) of the Allah, The Merciful, will need me on that day”? That was narrated to me by Jarud from al-Nadr ibn Shumayl from Hisham al-Dastawa’i from Hammad who traced it to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Do you not see that Allah Azza Wa Jal mentioned good news to the believers in many verses but did not mention it except with a condition: “and give good news to those who believe and do righteous deeds”   (2:25) and he mentioned it here without a condition [i.e. without the condition of “righteous works”]: “and give good news to those who believe that they have a Pedestal of Truth with their Rabb,” informing them that the salvation of all on that day is through this Pedestal of Truth [i.e. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam)]

As for the proof, it is as though He says to the Ambiya (Alayhimus salaam): “O Assembly of Ambiya! This is Muhammad. He came at the end of time, weak in body, weak in might, weak in livelihood, short in life. He produced what you have seen of true obeisance and copious knowledge. And you in your speech, your lives and your bodies did not produce what he produced.” Thereupon, the veil over the Seal will be removed, and all talk will end, and it will become a proof over all creation; because the object which is sealed is guarded. And thus is Allah’s (Exalted is He) administration over us in this world: when a thing is found with its seal, doubt is removed and argumentation ends amongst people.

So Allah gathered the particles of Nubuwwat for Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and He perfected them and sealed them with His seal. So neither his self (nafs) nor his enemy can find a path to enter the place of his Nubuwwat due to that Seal. Do you not see the hadith of al-Hasan al-Basri (Rahmatullah alayh) from Anas ibn Malik (Radhiyallahu anhu)? In the hadith of intercession by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that he said: “When they come to Aadam they will ask him to intercede for them by their Rabb. Aadam will say to them: ‘What is your opinion, if your goods were collected in your absence and then sealed [i.e. tied away], will the goods only be approached from the seal? So go to Muhammad for he is the Seal of the Ambiya.’” Its meaning according to us is that Nubuwwat in its entirety has culminated in Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). His heart was made a vessel for the perfection of Nubuwwat and then it was sealed.

Allah did not leave the proof concealed in the inside of his heart for He made it manifest. Between his shoulders  that Seal was conspicuous like the egg of a pigeon. This is for him a great station the story of which is long.
Indeed the one who is blind to this information, he thinks that the interpretation of “the Seal of the Ambiya” is only that he is the last of them in being sent. But what virtue is there in this? And what perfection in knowledge is there in this? This is the interpretation of ignorant people.
Most recite khaatam (seal) with fath on the ta’. As for those from the Salaf who recited with kasr on the ta’ [i.e. as khaatim], its interpretation is that he is a khaatim (sealer) in the sense of the active participle. That is, he sealed Nubuwwat by the Seal which he was given. Confirming this reality is what was narrated in the hadith of the Ascension (Mi‘raj) from the hadith of Abu Ja‘far al-Razi from al-Rabi‘ ibn Abi al-‘Aliyah from what he mentioned regarding the meeting of the Ambiya in the Aqsa Musjid: “So every Nabi (Alayh Salaam) mentioned the favour of Allah upon him, and it was from the speech of Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that he said: ‘He made me the Sealer and the Opener.’ So Ibrahim (Alayhis salaam) said: ‘By this, Muhammad is superior to all of you.’”

[Kitaab Khaatm al-Awliya’, Edited by Othman I. Yahya, Imperial Catholique, Beirut, pp. 338-342]

The Consequences of Kufr-Interfaith

Mujlisul Ulama


The following letter from a Brother in the U.K. reveals the extent of satanism to which the shaitaani kufr interfaith movement has descended. Whilst ‘muslim’ agents of Iblees support the vile interfaith movement, the kuffaar missionaries have made inroads into the Musaajid with the active connivance of the rotten, munaafiq, murtad ‘maulanas and sheikhs’ who are embracing with open arms kufr propagation by the kuffaar priests right inside the Musjid. Now read about all the kufr the Brother writes about:

“In the name of interfaith dialogue, our Imaam Saheb turned the House of Allah into the House of Kufr. An internationally renowned Moulana who studied under one of the greatest Ulama of our time, he invited a Christian delegation to our mosque in London.

The Christians distributed in the House of Allah leaflets in English and booklets in Somali. This literature – containing phrases such as Jesus is our Lord – was placed on the shelves on top of the Quraan. Astaghfirullah. The word of Allah was desecrated in the House of Allah in the presence of a Moulana in whose heart Allah had placed the Quran so that he would be among its custodians. As if this was not enough a representative of the Christian community was given an opportunity to address the mixed gathering of Muslims and Christians, men and women, boys and girls.

He said, in the House of Allah, that Jesus is our Lord, that Jesus is our abba, our father, that Allah does not demonstrate love, that God loves us and he loves us so much that he came down in the form of Jesus and he died for our sins on the cross. I could not believe what I was hearing in the mosque but the speech of kufr upon kufr continued. He also said that the Quran is mixed up and the Quran is historical, unlike the bible. At one point he called on us to join him in reciting verses of the bible. Fortunately, none of us – the Muslim brothers, sisters and  children who were present – joined in.

What I have written is just some of the kufr that the Christian representative engaged in. In fact he spoke kufr upon kufr for more than 20 minutes. He also said we should read the bible and we will learn that Jesus died on the cross for us, that Jesus is our salvation. He also spoke of the gospel accounts and referred to Matthew, Paul and Isaiah. All in all, a Christian sermon was given in the House of Allah. As church congregations drop, our Imaam, wittingly or unwittingly, gave him an opportunity to do his missionary work in the mosque.

After the Christian spoke, our Moulana stood up to give the rebuttal and to explain Islam. What disappointed me was that while the Christian stuck to the language of the bible (except when he told us that Jesus is our abba) our Imaam Saheb did not stick to the language of the Quraan Majid. He often referred to Allah as God, and spoke of Jesus, Moses and Noah, rather than of Hazrat Isa alaihis salaam, Hazrat Moosa alaihis salaam and Hazrat Nooh alaihis salaam. Finally, I told a few brothers and pious elders who were present that we cannot allow such kuf  to take place in the House of Allah. One brother told me that I must change, and that I must stop being militant. An elder said he could not understand what I was objecting to because the event did not take place within the mosque boundary. I told him that’s being technical and it is irrelevant. In the final analysis, kufr upon kufr took place in an area that we regard on a day to day basis as being part of the mosque.

The Christian representative uttered his kufr on a musallah, in an area where farz salaah, sunnah salaah, nafil salaah and tilaawat of the Quraan is made five times a day. Sadly, the House of Allah was turned into an interfaith religious centre where the Bible was read and taught. 

Our Imaam said the next inter-faith session will be hosted by the Christians at their place. The Christian representative thanked him for allowing them to attend the sacred place of Islam and said he looked forward to hosting us. May Allah guide us all.


Slaves in Islam – The Concept & Their Rights

By Ebrahim Saifuddin

Slavery is a concept that existed since pre-recorded history. However the way it was practiced in the Islamic world differs greatly than how it was practiced in the rest of the world. Even in the more recent times, centuries after the introduction of Islam, the non-Muslims have practiced slavery in the most barbaric manner. The whole Trans-Atlantic nonsense that was practiced by the Americans is one of the worst forms of slavery man has witnessed. The slaves were not treated as humans and did not have any rights. This way was much similar to the form practiced before the advent of Islam in the Times of Ignorance (Jahiliyyah). Islam indeed came as a blessing to all Mankind and it was seen that slaves were given rights, something which the rest of the world never gave them.

Treatment of Slaves

Apart from giving the slaves their rights, Islam also took it a step ahead and discouraged slavery from being practiced. It is seen in history that slaves were mistreated in the non-Islamic world. Not only were they verbally abused, they were physically abused as well. The master would overburden the slave and make them work all day. Slaves would wear torn and tattered clothes while the masters would dress with the finest threads available. When it would come to food, the slaves would get leftovers or if not, very little food which would certainly not include good quality food. Some would not even get meat or fruits which their masters ate. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with Divine Inspiration from Allah forbade such acts. Masters could not abuse their slaves and had to give them the same that they ate and wore.

Narated by Al-Ma’rur: At Ar-Rabadha I met Abu Dhar who was wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a similar one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, “I abused a person by calling his mother with bad names.” The Prophet said to me, ‘O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names you still have some characteristics of ignorance. Your slaves are your brothers and Allah has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them (slaves) to do things beyond their capacity (power) and if you do so, then help them.’” – [Bukhari, Vol.1, Book 2, #29]

The introduction of Islam and with the application of Islam by Muslims, slavery had a new meaning altogether. It no longer meant that you have a beast under your control and hence you could abuse it, make it work like a beast all day and at the end of the day give it crumbs to eat so that it stays alive. Islam made it clear to every follower that a human being who is a slave is yet the brother of a Muslim and the slave had their rights which is compulsory for a Muslim to fulfill. It taught that slaves and masters are equal in the sights of Allah and if a Muslim was given a brother under his command then he had to make sure that the brother was given the rights which Islam prescribed.

In another narration the importance of giving slaves education and teaching them good manners is stressed by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:

Narrated Abu Burda’s father: Allah’s Apostle said “Three persons will have a double reward:

1. A Person from the people of the scriptures who believed in his prophet and then believed in the Prophet Muhammad (i .e. has embraced Islam).
2. A slave who discharges his duties to Allah and his master.
3. A master of a woman-slave who teaches her good manners and educates her in the best possible way (the religion) and manumits her and then marries her.” – [Bukhari Vol.1, Book 3, #97A]

Here it is seen that not only education has been given importance but slavery is also discouraged. It is well known that a person belonging to the People of the Book would receive a double reward for accepting Islam. Similarly the same double reward is offered to a person who would free his woman-slave and marry her after giving her education and teaching her good manners. This way slavery is discouraged in the Islamic world. The Muslims were also forbidden from forcing their slave-girls into prostitution so that they would earn money out of it. There was an incident when the slave-girl of an Ansari was forced after which a verse relating to the act was revealed by Allah.

Narated by Jabir ibn Abdullah: Musaykah, a slave-girl of some Ansari, came and said: My master forces me to commit fornication. Thereupon the following verse was revealed: “But force not your maids to prostitution (when they desire chastity).” – [Abu Dawud, Book 6, #2304]

The Lessons of Equality

There can be found numerous evidences in the Islamic traditions which teach us that slaves are to be treated like any other human being. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has taught us that slaves are equal to everyone else. People belonging to the days of ignorance would not stand next to a slave while Muslims stand next to them in prayers showing a sign of unity and uniformity in their status in front of Allah. Hadhrat Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu) was one of the first slaves to accept Islam. He was tortured by the pagans so that he would renounce Islam and come back to the pagan ways. However he did not reject Islam and adhered to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He was also the first person to stand on top of the Ka’aba and give the Adhan (the Muslim call for prayer). It is also important to note that further evidence for the equality and recognition of slaves as normal human beings is seen in the numerous ahadith narrated by the slaves and freed slaves that are considered as true and followed by millions of Muslims in the world today. This means that their testimony is also recognized and accepted. We can also see from the traditions that slaves would not only stand shoulder to shoulder with others Muslims during prayer but would also lead the prayers.

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: When the earliest emigrants came to Al-’Usba a place in Quba’, before the arrival of the Prophet ﷺ – Salim, the slave of Abu Hudhaifa, who knew the Qur’an more than the others used to lead them in prayer. – [Bukhari, Vol.1, Book 11, #661]

In the Qur’an one can see clearly that the woman-slaves and man-slaves who have accepted Islam are better than the free women and men from the disbelievers. Muslims are advised to get the son or daughter married to a woman-slave or man-slave rather than a free woman or man from among the idolaters.

Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise. – [Quran 2:221]

Islam goes a step ahead in giving respect to the slaves and it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked people not to refer to a slave saying “this is my slave” but rather to say “this is my man” or “this is my woman”.

Islam Stresses on Freeing Slaves

Importance was stressed upon manumitting slaves a lot by Allah through his last and final prophet ﷺ. Even if a disbeliever practiced slave-manumitting before accepting Islam, it is told that he would yet be rewarded for this good deed after accepting Islam. In Islam there is a concept that all good done for the sake of Allah will be rewarded and all those done for other causes e.g. fame, fortune etc will not be rewarded in the Hereafter. Manumitting slaves is among those good deeds which are rewarded even if done before accepting Islam.

Narrated Hakim bin Hizam: I said to Allah’s Apostle ﷺ, “Before embracing Islam I used to do good deeds like giving in charity, slave-manumitting, and the keeping of good relations with Kith and kin. Shall I be rewarded for those deeds?” The Prophet ﷺ replied, “You became Muslim with all those good deeds (Without losing their reward).” – [Bukhari, Vol.2, Book 24, #517]

Allah through His Prophet ﷺ stressed the good in freeing a slave. A person once came to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saying that he had sexual intercourse with his wife while he was fasting and thus wished to seek guidance in that matter. The first form of compensation which Prophet Muhammad ﷺ informed him of was the freeing of a slave.

Narrated by Abu Huraira: While we were sitting with the Prophet ﷺ a man came and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have been ruined.” Allah’s Apostle ﷺ asked what was the matter with him. He replied “I had sexual intercourse with my wife while I was fasting.” Allah’s Apostle asked him, “Can you afford to manumit a slave?” He replied in the negative. Allah’s Apostle ﷺ asked him, “Can you fast for two successive months?” He replied in the negative. The Prophet asked him, “Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?” He replied in the negative. The Prophet ﷺ kept silent and while we were in that state, a big basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet ﷺ. He asked, “Where is the questioner?” He replied, “I (am here).” The Prophet ﷺ said (to him), “Take this (basket of dates) and give it in charity.” The man said, “Should I give it to a person poorer than I? By Allah; there is no family between its (i.e. Madinah‘s) two mountains who are poorer than I.” The Prophet ﷺ smiled till his pre-molar teeth became visible and then said, ‘Feed your family with it.” – [Bukhari, Vol.3, Book 31, #157]

There were times when a slave was jointly owned by two people. In such cases there were times when one owner, for the sake of Allah would want to manumit his share in the joint ownership. Under such circumstances it was told that the person manumitting his share of the ownership should also pay for the remaining share to ensure that the slave is freed completely. However if he could not do so, the remaining price would then be estimated and the slave had the right to work and pay the amount required for his freedom to the other owner.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever manumits his share of a jointly possessed slave, it is imperative for him to get that slave manumitted completely by paying the remaining price, and if he does not have sufficient money to manumit him, then the price of the slave should be estimated justly, and he is to be allowed to work and earn the amount that will manumit him (without overburdening him)”. – [Bukhari, Vol.3, Book 44, #672]

Further in the Qur’an it is seen that people are encouraged to marry the slaves. If a person cannot marry a free woman for whatever reason, to prevent him from committing sin, the Qur’an asks them to marry from among the slave women.

If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: And Allah hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable. – [Quran 4:25]

They can take the permission of the master and marry the slave. This was yet another example of Allah ensuring that slaves would be freed as marriage with the slave of another would make the slave a free person.

Why Gradual Elimination?

There is no doubt that Islam encouraged the freeing of slaves. However one would ask that as slavery is a social disease, why Islam did not make it forbidden. Firstly slavery as seen in Islam is poles apart than the one practiced by those who do not follow the guidelines presented by Islam. Secondly slavery could not have been forbidden in those days. Islam did not allow the selling of free people as slaves. Majority of the slaves were the people captured in the battles fought by the Muslims against the non-Muslims. Due to the lack of prison systems in those days, it was important to keep the captured people as slaves. If these people would be allowed to live freely within the Muslims, they would have regrouped and not only attacked the Muslims but probably would have also tried to assassinate the Sahabah or even Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. By giving these people as slaves, they were distributed and thus could not regroup and attack the Muslims.

Islam never started slavery and it is well known that slavery was practiced much before the introduction of Islam. Islam actually laid down all the rules so that eventually slavery would be eliminated completely. There are many great rewards for freeing a slave. Allah has given man all the incentive to free slaves which would in return eventually eradicate slavery completely. Another narration goes as follows:

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever frees a Muslim slave, Allah will save all the parts of his body from the (Hell) Fire as he has freed the body-parts of the slave.” Said bin Marjana said that he narrated that Hadith to ‘Ali bin Al-Husain and he freed his slave for whom ‘Abdullah bin Ja’far had offered him ten thousand Dirhams or one-thousand Dinars. – [Bukhari, Vol.3, Book 46, #693]

Islam’s Stand on Slavery

Islam teaches its followers to respect all Mankind regardless of their color, race or their bank balance. Slaves were given rights which were not heard of in other societies. Islam gave them protection and asked people to treat them as brothers and give them to eat of what they ate and to wear what they wore. The Bible too speaks about slaves and lays down laws regarding the treatment of slaves.

“If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.” – [Exodus 21:20-21]

As it can be seen, the Bible allows a person to beat their slave and the master will not be punished unless the slave dies. The slave is treated as a personal property of the master. Islam came to correct such manmade rules regarding not only slavery but a lot of concepts. Islam has been the original advocate for humanity and has always taught men the importance of humanity.

With the introduction of Islam slaves were treated as human beings rather than personal property. Moreover Islam made sure that gradually people will not perform this act and encouraged the freeing of slaves. Manumitting a slave was encouraged for the smallest of reasons. If there was a solar eclipse, people were recommended to free a slave – If there was a lunar eclipse, people were recommended to free a slave. It can be seen that Muslims were encouraged to free slaves for any and every reason. Islam gave security to the slaves and laid down directions so that slavery would eventually be eliminated completely.


The Necktie – Symbol of Shirk


Question: A Mufti says that it is permissible to wear a tie in a place where both Muslims and non-Muslims are wearing it, and that it will not be permissible in a place where only the kuffaar wear it. Is this right? Please comment in detail. The fatwa seems very confusing.

Answer (by Mujlisul Ulama):
It is very confusing because it is a forked tongue fatwa of a fence-sitting mufti. Zina, liquor and riba will be haraam in all places   whether in a place only kuffaar indulge in these acts of abomination or whether both Muslims and non-Muslims perpetrate these acts of immorality. The mufti has grievously erred.

Instead of bringing Muslims closer to Allah Ta’ala by emphasizing the incumbency of Sunnah attire, and the abomination of kuffaar dress style, the mufti renders the Ummah and Islam the great disservice of widening the gulf between Muslims and their Creator. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the one who emulates a people is one of them. One enters the fold of the kuffaar by emulating their useless and superfluous styles. On the other hand, one becomes Allah’s beloved by emulating the Sulaha/Auliya even if one is not among them. A Buzrug said: “I love the Sulaha although I am not one of them. Perhaps by virtue of this love, Allah will reform me.”

The function of a mufti is not to indulge in mental gymnastics and  create unnecessary and futile latitude in the ahkaam thereby weakening further the extremely deficient bond which Muslims of this era have with the Deen and   with Allah Ta’ala. The obligation of the mufti is to draw Muslims closer to Allah Ta’ala and to cultivate in them a realization of Maut, the Qabr and Qiyaamah. These goals can never be achieved by encouraging Muslims to adopt the ways, styles and customs of the kuffaar.

It should be understood that kuffaar attitudes accompany kuffaar styles and customs. The one who will wear a tie, will think and behave like a kaafir. There is takabbur and riya in the kuffaar tie whilst there is tawaadhu (humility) in the simple dress style of the Ambiya (Alayhimus salaam), adoption of which is Waajib for Muslims. The Mufti should confine technicalities to his Madrasah students during academic discussion, and emphasize to his pupils that the objective of technicalities which   appear to provide leeway is never to water down the ahkaam and to eliminate Taqwa. Cultivation of Taqwa is a Qur’aanic and a Sunnah imperative. Minus Taqwa a Muslim is a vagabond, and this is the category into which the molvis and muftis of this era have cast the Ummah with their   flapdoodle and flotsam fallacious arguments which are nugatory of the Maqaasid of the Deen.

Adoption of haraam by Muslims does not equate to halaal. Thus, if the crucifix loses its religious significance and both non-Muslims and Muslims wear chains with crosses around their necks, this practice of shirk is not transformed into permissibility. It will forever remain haraam for Muslims to wear crosses around their necks or keep it even concealed in their pockets.

This is the status of the kuffaar tie. It is the symbol of the cross – of the Christian deity hanging on the cross. This was the origin of the tie regardless of the religious significance being divested. E. Qureshi Sabri commenting on the origin of the necktie, said:

“Towards the end of the 19th Century, the Europeans omitted from dictionaries and Encyclopaedias the introductory phrase about the necktie being a symbol of the cross … A glance of Encyclopaedias printed before 1898 will confirm this point.”

In another report, it is said that the practice of the necktie started on the insistence of the Pope in the year 1790 and that by 1850 all Christian nations had accepted and implemented this order of the Pope.  

Regardless of the tie no longer having religious significance, and regardless of the assumption that it never symbolized the cross, the fundamental fact is that it is a superfluous item of kuffaar dress exhibiting stupidity, ujub (self-esteem), takabbur (pride) and riya (show). There is absolutely no goodness and no worldly benefit in wearing this moronic dress atrocity of the kuffaar. It is a glaring example of Tashabbuh Bil Kuffaar (emulating the kuffaar) which is haraam, and which even has the effect of kufr. Preferring any specific custom/practice of the kuffaar is also kufr.

Tashabbuh bin nisaa’ (emulating females) is haraam for men. Men  who imitate women in any manner are maloon (on whom settle the curse of Allah) according to the Hadith. Even if a man emulates the dress style of a Muslim woman, he will be maloon. Will the mufti condone Muslim men wearing abayas/ burqahs? What if in a place most Muslim men begin wearing abayas because it has developed into a kuffaar fashion? And, this is not far-fetched. Men are nowadays even walking in public with female panties. Will it then be permissible for Muslim males to wear burqahs? Allah’s la’nat is on such men who perpetrate Tashabbuh bin nisaa. To a greater degree will the la’nat settle on Muslim men committing Tashabbuh bil kuffaar. After all, Muslim women have Imaan whilst the kuffaar are bereft of Imaan.

The attitude of halaalizing kuffaar dress styles and other superfluous and stupid practices on the basis of the dress style having gained popular acceptance by both non-Muslims and Muslims is absolutely putrid and satanic. With the passage of time the entire Sunnah becomes eroded and even displaced for the adoption of kuffaar culture which brings along with it all the attitudes, thinking and concepts of the kuffaar. It is this creeping disease which has made praying in churches and standing in the ranks with kuffaar priests and pundits acceptable. That is why there are characters of the ilk of reverend Bham and MJC carrion halaalizing sheikhs who accept and participate in kuffaar acts of worship.

Will a Muslim with his kurtah on wear a tie? There is consensus of all and sundry, including the mufti who halaalizes the tie, that no Muslim wearing a kurtah will put on a tie while dressed in a kurtah. But if he is dressed in western attire or a suit, then without hesitation he will don the kuffaar tie? Why this difference? Why will he wear a tie with a western shirt, but not with a kurtah? There is no need to even answer this question.

Western dress comes with its effects and attitudes of kibr, ujub and riya. It is an acceptable dress for a man who wants to visit a casino, a brothel, a gambling den and any evil haunt. On the contrary, Islamic dress prevents a Muslim from frequenting these dens of Iblees. Wearing the kuffaar tie of shirk is haraam. The mufti has grievously erred in providing leeway for its adoption.

Further Reading: Islamic Dress Code According To The Sunnah   


The 40 Day Practices of Barelwis and Tablighi Jamaat

Question: What is the difference between the Tabligh Jamaat’s 40 day chilla, and the Barelwi’s 40 day khatam ceremony?

Answer (Mujlisul Ulama):

There is much difference between these two acts. The 40 day khatam ceremony of the Barelwis and of others besides the Barelwis is an accretion into the Deen. A new act in the form of ‘ibaadat’ has been innovated. It is elevated to the status of wujoob. It implies that the system of   Isaal-e-Thawaab of the Sahaabah and the Salafus Saaliheen was deficient, hence the need to   fabricate the 40 day custom.

The 40 day custom of the Bid’atis has not been introduced to protect any Masnoon act of ibaadat or Shar’i institution. It is in entirety a new practice innovated as an independent act of ‘ibaadat’, and which has been   elevated to the status of wujoob.   It is not a method to protect the Sunnah or the Shariah.

Further aggravating the villainy of this bid’ah is the accompaniment of other factors such as feasting after reciting the Qur’aan. In   essence it is a merrymaking party promoted as ibaadat.

People died in the age of the Sahaabah and at all times. The Qur’aan existed from the age of the Sahaabah. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah had adequate awareness of the method of despatching Thawaab for the amwaat. When the 40 day khatam custom did not exist in the noblest of ages among the noblest of people, the bid’ah and haraam status of the 40 day custom of the Qabar Pujaari sect should be quite manifest.

On the other hand, the 40 day Tablighi activity of the Tabligh Jamaat does not introduce any new act of ibaadat in the Deen. Its objective is not the fabrication of a new act of ibaadat. The objective of the 40 day excursion is to teach, promote and inculcate in people the very same   fundamental acts commanded by Allah Ta’ala, namely, the Kalimah, Salaat, Saum and observance of the Sunnah in daily life. The 40 day Tablighi Jamaat programme is supposed to strive to secure these objectives which Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) propagated. 

The 40 day programme of the Tabligh Jamaat is simply a method – a permissible method of Tabligh and Ta’leem of the very same teachings of the Deen taught by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Just as the Madaaris have 5 year and 7 year study courses, so too does the Tabligh Jamaat have 40 day and one year   Tabligh courses. 

The ghulu’ of the Tablighi Jamaat is a separate issue. It is their attitude of ghulu’ which has despoiled their permissible methods. Shaitaan has managed to sidetrack and divert them from the Straight Path, hence they have come to believe that all other methods of Ta’leem, Da’wat and Tabligh are superfluous and that only their method is correct, and in fact Waajib. If it transpires that they are promoting their 40 day programme or any other of their methods to be Waajib, then obviously it will enter into the domain of bid’ah and be condemned.



By Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng

The following are a few ettiquettes concerning promises which have been extracted from Aadaabul Mu’aasharaat by Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Rahmatullahi Alayh

(1) Fulfill a promise made. Do not act in conflict with a promise without any valid reason. 
(2) Do not make promises in haste. 
(3) Do not make promises to unlawful things. It is not permissible to fulfill such an unlawful promise. 
(4) Do not make promises if you have no intention of fulfilling it. 
(5) If a child is enticed with something, it will also be a promise which should be honored. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Aamir (Radiallahu anhu) narrates that one day, (while he was a child), his mother called him saying that she had something to give him. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who happened to be present asked:“What do you intend to give him?” Aamir’s mother replied: “I intend to give him some dates.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam commented: “Verily, if you do not give him anything, a lie will be recorded against you.”


(1) The mudarris (Deeni teacher) of the Maktab in Jalalabad became ill. The principal of the Maktab requested me to send someone for a few days to teach in the place of the muddaris. To avoid any pressure being excercised on anyone, I informed the principal to come over for a few days. If anyone voluntarily agrees to go, he has my consent. 
The principal convinced one Thaakir (a person who passes his time in Thikrullaah) to take the place of the mudarris for a few days. The Thaakir agreed, but said that he would first obtain my consent. The principle meanwhile had left. The following day the Thaakir came to me and informed me of his reason for having decided not to go. I told him that he should have explained his reason to the principal. This Thaakir had made a promise to go on condition I consented. Now by refusing to go, the principal will labour under the impression that although the Thaakir wanted to come, I had prevented him from doing so. “Do you want an accusation to be leveled against me? This act is extremely improper. Now go to Jalalabad and explain to the principal that I have given you permission, but you are unable to be present because of a certain reason. It is indeed very bad to cause suspicion against others.”

(2) Someone requested some surmah from Hadhrat. He did not promise that he would give it, instead he said: “Send a child and I shall give it to him.” A child was sent after Zhur and Hadhrat gave the surmah. Hadhrat commented:
“By acting according to principles and in s methodical way, everything proceeds well. People describe this system as strictness. If I had said: I shall bring the surmah, and then forgotten about it, but was later reminded about it, then it would have been violation of a promise as well as a delay in fulfilling the request. But in this method which I had adopted the work was done with ease.”