Tag Archives: Aqeedah

The Kufr and Shirkiyyah Philosophy of Ibn Taymiyyah

INTRODUCTION

Among the vilest of Ibn Taymiyyah’s beliefs is his hypothesis  of the universe being eternal. By eternity is meant  existing independently without having been created. It is a never-ending existence. It has neither a beginning nor an ending.  The eternity of the universe is  the belief of the Greek philosophers. When Ibn Taymiyyah dabbled with philosophy he lost the path  of Islam. He deviated into the  kufr of the Greek philosophers. Their ‘rational’ arguments exercised a profound impact on him. He thus conjectured the belief: hawaadithu la awwala laha,  that is, temporal things (things which come into existence from non-existence) have no beginning since they are always preceded by another temporal entity ad infinitum.  

Although the coprocreep Salafis of our age are desperately labouring to clear Ibn Taymiyyah of this kufr, they fail miserably in the task for the simple reason that in at least seven of his books, Ibn Taymiyyah has explicitly propounded his theory of the eternity of the universe. Ibn Taymiyyah’s theory of kufr has attained the rank of  Tawaatur  in Ulama circles. The belated attempts to exonerate Ibn Taymiyyah from his kufr belief must be dismissed with contempt. The evidence to confirm his belief is overwhelming. Al-Baani, the devoted muqallid of Ibn Taimiyyah  is the seal  of confirmation. No one can honestly deny the attribution of the kufr concept to Ibn Taymiyyah, when Al-Baani himself confirms it. 

We are not the first to refute this kufr of Ibn Taymiyah. Great Ulama of the past have thoroughly debunked  the kufr and shirk which Ibn Taymiyyah  had promoted with his satanic  hypothesis of the universe  being eternal in species.  The coprocreep Salafis stupidly and monotonously  moan that the great Ulama of the past did not understand the statements of  Ibn Taymiyyah. These stupid coprocreeps labour under the misapprehension that everyone shares in their stupidity. Their contention is ludicrous. They are capable of fabricating  statements of exoneration which they will attribute to Ibn Taymiyyah, but they will not be  able to deny what Ibn Taymiyyah propounded in his seven kutub which are published and available. That Ibn Taymiyyah had in fact propounded the theory of the eternity of the  universe, is undeniable. The denial of the Salafis is of no consequence and is dismissed with contempt.

This short post is based on  the Refutation of Ibn Taumiyyah’s kufr beliefs authored by Shaikh Abdullah Al Harari. Extracts from his kitaabAl-Maqaalaatus Sunniyyah fi Kashfi Dhalaalaati Ahmad Bin Taimiyyah, are presented in paraphrased  form for better comprehension of an English reading public.

IBN TAYMIYYAH’S AVERMENT THAT TEMPORAL (NON-ETERNAL) ENTITIES HAVE NO BEGINNING

Ibn Taymiyyah subscribed  to the belief that  the genus of temporal (non-eternal) entities has no beginning. The genus  of all things has always existed with Allah. In other words, Allah Ta’ala did not precede the genus  of non-eternal entities. They  are co-eternal with Him. His precedence is over specific elements or members of the  non-eternal entities. In other words, each individual non-eternal entity is, intrinsically, new and created. However, non-eternal entities as a genus have been eternal just as Allah Ta’ala is eternal. Simply put, he believed that Allah Ta’ala did not exist before the genus of the myriads of  entities in the universe.

Consider the example of a donkey. The donkey exists in the mind in the abstract form  as a genus. This donkey genus has millions and  billions  of donkeys  ad infinitum  in existence in the material world. According to the theory of Ibn Taymiyyah, while all these trillions and ‘impossibillions’ of donkeys  ad infinitum will die one after the other, the donkey species will never come to an end. It will continue  ad infinitum  since it is  eternal with Allah Ta’ala, never having had a beginning nor will there ever be an ending for the donkey species. It is not possible for the species of donkeys to ever become extinct.

There always had been donkeys co-eternally with Allah Ta’ala. This bizarre concept vividly displays the stupidity of Ibn Taymiyyah who propounded the preposterously stupid kufr belief that despite the donkeys in the species  perishing, the donkey species always existed co-eternally with Allah Ta’ala. He was too dumb in his brains to understand  that  with individual donkeys in the material world,  there can be no donkey species
being eternal. He miserably failed to understand  the simple reality  of every donkey perishing regardless of a donkey  having preceded it. Even the preceding ass had perished, and the one which had preceded it, and the one preceding it and so on until the point of the first created donkey is reached. But in the belief of this lunatic there was never a first donkey because a  donkey is always preceded by another donkey. Ibn  Batutah had indeed struck the nail on the head of  Ibn Taymiyyah’s insanity when he commented about him:  “There is something amiss with his brains.”

This vile kufr concept of Ibn Taymiyyah applies to all  things in the universe. In terms of this weird theory of kufr, Hadhrat Aadam (alayhis salaam) was not the first created human being because human beings  are a species to which belongs  the myriads of people. So whilst the individual persons in the human species are of temporal origin and liable to perish, the human species can never be annihilated since it is co-eternal with Allah Ta’ala. Thus, Aadam (alayhis salaam) was preceded by another Aadam or some other human being who in turn was preceded by another  person and so on  ad infinitum.  This is Ibn Taymiyyah’s corrupt belief of kufr which he states in the words:  Alhawaadithu bin-Nau’ la awwala laha (Temporal or non-eternal things have no beginning). 
  
According to him, the universe is co-eternal with  Allah Azza Wa Jal in so far as its genus is concerned. In other words, a universe precedes it (i.e. the current universe) with another universe which in turn was preceded by another universe  ad infinitum.  This is the most repugnant of his beliefs. It is abundantly clear that such a corrupt belief is the  effect of  mental disequilibrium. In this belief, Ibn Taymiyyah is  violently in conflict with the  clear textual evidence of the Qur’aan, Sunnah and the Ijmaa’ (consensus) of Muslims.  He has submitted this  vile belief of kufr in seven of his kutub (works), namely,   

1.Muwaafaqatu Sareehil Ma’qool Lisaheehil Manqool  
2. Minhaajus Sunnatin Nabawiyyah 
3. Kitaabu Sharhi Hadithin Nuzool  
4. Kitaabu Sharhi Hadithi Imraan Bin Husain  
5. Kitaabu Naqdi Maraatibil Ijmaa’  
6. Majmoo’atu Tafseer Min Sitti Suwar  
7. Kitaab on Fataawa.  

All these works are published and they testify to the corrupt belief of kufr to which Ibn Taymiyyah subscribed.

His Irrational Theory of Kufr in Muwaafaqatu Sareehil Ma’qool In  Muwaafaqatu Sareehil Ma’qool 

He states:  “The majority of the Ahl Hadith and those who concur with them do not view species to be non-eternal, but eternal.  In other words the species (or genus) of things have no temporal origin. They did not come into existence in time, but  are co-eternal with Allah Ta’ala. 

They distinguish between the non-eternity of the species and the non-eternity of an individual member of the species, just as the majority of intellectuals distinguish between perpetuity of species and perpetuity of any given  member of the species.”  Thus, in terms of his corrupt hypothesis, whilst the species, e.g. the human being is eternal, the individual members of this genus such as Zaid, Bakr, Abdullah  ad infinitum, are not eternal. The individual members of the genus are  created in time whilst the genus, i.e. humans, is uncreated. Only a severely corrupted brain sees logic in this insanely illogic and irrational theory of kufr.

At another place, in refutation of another stupid principle of the philosophers, viz., that  whatever is not void of a non-eternal element is non-eternal for contrary to that the non-eternal element will then be eternal, he (Ibn Taimiyyah) cites Al-Abhari who says:  “We do not accept this (aforementioned principle).

The corollary will only follow  if a particular motion is indispensable to a physical body, whereas this is not the case. On the contrary, every motion is preceded by a motion without a beginning.”  Ibn Taymiyyah then comments:  “The pattern here is the same as before.  The indispensable eternal entity is the species of the non-eternal entity, not the actual non-eternal entity. We do not accept that a current non-eternal entity is dependent on the termination of that which has no limit, assuming that motion is non-eternal in the realm of eternity. On the contrary, the current non-eternal entity is preceded by non-eternal entities without a beginning.” 

These rubbish so-called ‘principles’ are mentioned here merely to present the evidence for the claim that Ibn Taymiyyah believed in the eternity of the universe  –  that it is co-eternal with Allah Ta’ala. He postulates this kufr concept by saying with the self-contradictory hypothesis that a created (non-eternal) object is preceded by another temporal (non-eternal) object, which again is preceded by another temporal object and so  on,  is the process of procession from a preceding object  ad  infinitum.    The bunkum of this rubbish is self evident.

Yet again he says in his book, Muwaafaqatu Sareehil Ma’qool Lisaheehil Manqool:  “Where in the Qur’aan is there clear indication of every moving entity being non-eternal or a possible, that movement exists only with a non-eternal entity or a possible entity, that non-eternal entities are never void of what exists with them, and that a non-eternal is that which is  not free of non-eternal members?  And where is the possibility  negated in the Qur’aan of non-eternal entities (such as the donkey and the pig) not having a beginning.”  

This extremely weird concept of Ibn Taymiyyah testifies to  his idiocy. Only a brain jarred and eternally damaged with some sort of insanity can conjecture the stupidity of a temporal (created in time) being  not having an origin in time. He was too stupid to understand the meaning of the Qur’aanic aayat which states that only Allah Ta’ala was the First. And, his brains could not understand the simple meaning of the Hadith which categorically affirms a beginning for creation and the Hadith stating that the Qalam  or the  Arsh  was the  first created object. Despite  this unequivocal affirmation, Ibn  Taymiyyah insists that there was always an Arsh before the current Arsh, and that the species of Arsh is co-eternal  with Allah Ta’ala, there never  ever having been a moment when there was no Arsh. Divine Thrones are created and annihilated  one after the other in rapid succession. But never was there a time when there was no Arsh because Arsh is co-eternal with Allah Ta’ala. This then is the conspicuous kufr of Ibn Taymiyyah. Thus, Allah Ta’ala does not possess the power to annihilate the Arsh  or even the donkey species because what is eternal  has no beginning and no ending, hence it is indestructible. This then is the concept of Allah’s attribute of Qudrat (Power) in the brains of Ibn Taymiyyah. He, by means of this bizarre, irrational, weird concept of kufr stripped Allah Ta’ala of His Attributes and rendered Him an impotent  creating force lacking omnipotence over what ensues from him. Only a  man with a scorbutic sensorium is capable of such a dastardly paroxysm. 

Ibn Taymiyyah averred that the eternity of the universe is eternal as a species while the individual members of the abstract theory of the universe are temporal or not eternal. Kaethari’s response in his annotation to  As-Saifus Saqeel Fir Raddi  Ala Ibniz  Zafeel  is:  “How can the species be eternal  (in the past) whilst its individual members are non-eternal? Such an averment can only be uttered by one in a fit of insanity. The future differs. Abu Ya’la Hambali states in Al-Mu’tamad: ‘Noneternal entities have a beginning whence they issued. The mulhidah (heretics) believe otherwise.’  (As-Saifus Saqeel  was written by the Shaafi’ authority, Imaam Taqiyyud Deen As Subki (rahimahullah) in refutation of Ibn al Qayyim’s  An-Nuniyyah  in which he (Ibn al Qayyim) espouses the corrupt beliefs of his Ustaaz, Ibn Taimiyyah)

He (Abu Ya’la) is among the imaams of the composer  –  i.e. Ibnul Qayyim. Thus, he (Ibnul Qayyim) and his shaikh (Ibn Tayyimah) are among the heretics according to Abu Ya’la. They are therefore worse off than him (Abu Ya’la) in deviation. We ask Allah Ta’ala for safety (of Imaan, Aameen).”

Although Abu Ya’la the deviate, is their  imaam, he too condemns the belief  of created beings having no beginning, propounded by Ibn Taymiyyah as heresy in view of the extreme corruption and irrationality of this kufr belief.

His  Self-Contradiction  and  Pure  Shirk  in  Minhaajus Sunnah

Ibn Taimiyyah says in  Minhaajus Sunnatin Nabawiyyah:  “If you tell us that we have affirmed non-eternal entities for Allah, our response to you is, ‘Yes’. This is our declaration  which the Shariah and intelligences point out.”  

In it (Al-Minhaaj) he furthermore says:  “…Negation of the possibility of non-eternal entities not having a beginning is an unprecedented approach in the Shariah by the consensus of the Ulama of the Sunnah. It is a dangerous and dreaded approach intellectually. In fact, it is decried by numerous parties.”

At another place (in Al-Minhaaj) he says:  “Thus, it is not possible for something of this universe to be eternal,  although it is permissible for the species of non-eternal entities to be perpetual from eternity.  The reason for this is that eternity is not defined as a limited entity. On the contrary, every set time  is preceded by another time. Thus, it does not follow from the perpetuity of the species the eternity of a given object.

From this it is obvious that Ibn Taymiyyah acknowledges and believes in the timelessness of the individual members of species without specification. Despite a specific member perishing, the membership of  the species is eternal in his  stupid, irrational theory.  His contention,  ‘it is not possible for something of this universe to be eternal’, is therefore, a manifest self-contradiction in that the procession of donkeys is never-ending, for if it would ever end, the logical conclusion would  be the annihilation of the species, and this is negated by Ibn Taymiyyah’s corrupt kufr belief of  the eternity of the genus of things.  This is the gist of what he is saying, together with what Al-Jalaal Ad-Dawwaani quoted from him in  Kitaabu Sharhil Adhudiyyah,  that: “I have seen in some script of Ibn Taymiyyah this statement of his  –  i.e. timelessness of the genus  –  in regard to the Arsh.” In other words, he (Ibn Taymiyyah) believes that the genus of Arsh is eternal  –  never was there an Arsh but an Arsh  existed before the previous Arsh from eternity, and that an Arsh comes into being then becomes non-existent then comes into being then becomes non-existent ad infinitum. Simply put, the genus of Arsh is eternal and eternally existed with Allah. Whilst  the  existence of a specific Arsh at this present moment of time is non-eternal, the species of Arsh, however,  is eternal. Thus, the species which is also ‘something of this universe’  is eternal. The self-contradiction of Ibn Taymiyyah is therefore conspicuous.  Just as the individual members of the species, e.g. a black donkey, a brown donkey, etc., are entities of the universe, so too is the donkey species an entity of the world because without individual donkeys there can be no donkey species in existence.

The postulate that the donkey species is not of the universe, hence is eternal, is pure  shirk  to which Ibn Taymiyyah subscribed.

Elsewhere in  Al-Minhaaj  he says:  “Some say that it is with the will and power of Allah  –  that is, the action of Allah is with His will and power  –  one after the other. However, He was always attributed with it (action).  Thus, it (the action of Allah) is noneternal in relation to the individual members, and timeless (eternal) in species,  as is the view of the Imaams of the Ahl Hadeeth and others, viz. the followers of Shaafi’, Ahmad and other groups.”  Just look at this  fabrication and blatant falsehood! It is his old  habit of attributing fabricated and vile statements to the Muhadditheen. He is completely alone in this (fabrication), conforming only to the later philosophers. But he attributes a pure fabrication to the Muhadditheen and Fuqaha of the Shaafi’, Hambali and other Madhabs. He in fact slanders them. None of them ever proclaimed this stark kufr which Ibn Taymiyyah attributes to them.

By means of this slander his ploy was to disseminate his fabricated belief among Muslims of weak minds whilst portraying himself too great to be accused of conformity with the philosophers in this aqeedah. He has been unable to cite  the name of even a single authority of the Ahlus Sunnah who  had subscribed to his concept of blatant kufr and shirk.

His Brazen Kufr in Naqdu Maraatibil Ijmaa’ 

Ibn Taymiyyah rebutted Ibn Hazm in  Naqdu Maraatibil Ijmaa’ on account of the latter quoting Ijmaa’ on the belief that Allah Ta’ala was eternally alone and nothing was with Him (in the eternal past), and on the belief that anyone having a contrary belief is a kaafir in the unanimous opinion of Muslims. Upon this Ibn Taymiyyah averred:  “Even more  astonishing is his (Ibn Hazm’s) narration of Ijmaa’ on the kufr of one who disputes that Allah Subhaanahu was eternally on his own and nothing was with him.”  These words of Ibn Taymiyyah unequivocally affirm his i’tiqaad (belief) that the universe as a genus is eternal; Allah Ta’ala did not precede it in existence. He believed that the material universe is co-eternal with Allah Ta’ala, and that it is impossible  for Allah Azza Wa Jal to ever have been alone at any stage in eternity. He further brazenly claims that to believe that Allah Ta’ala existed before the universe and that He was Alone without any creation, is kufr.

His Hypothesis of Kufr in His Sharah of the Hadith of Imraan Bin Husain   

In the  Sharh of the Hadith of Imraan Bin Husain (radhiyallahu anhu),  he says: “There is neither Shar’i nor logical negation of the  hypothesis that the species of temporal entities were eternally with Him. On the contrary,  these temporal entities  are of His perfection. Allah Ta’ala states: “Is that Being Who creates like those who do not create? Don’t you take lesson?” (Surah Nahl, Aayat 17) 

He (Ibn Taimiyyah) furthermore says:  “Creation has always been with Him…However, many people confuse species with a specific member (of the species).”

His Kufr Commentary of Hadithun Nuzool

In the commentary of the Hadith pertaining to the  Nuzool (Descent) of  Allah Ta’ala,  he says in refutation of those who declare that whatever is not free of  temporal members, is itself non-eternal, and in refutation of those who say that whatever does not  precede temporal entities, is itself non-eternal:  “(They make these contentions) because  they have not differentiated between the species of non-eternal entities and between a particular non-eternal entity.” 

By this Ibn Taymiyyah intends that the view  which predicates with the Dhat of Allah Ta’ala temporal entities which have no beginning does  not demand Him being non-eternal. He argues in confusion like a  drunken  man. A temporal entity is temporal because it has an origin in time. Nothing of the Dhat  of Allah Azza Wa Jal is temporal. If temporality is affirmed for the Divine Dhat it logically follows that He  –Nauthubillah!  –  is non-eternal.

Kufr in his Fataawa

In his  Fataawa  he avers:  “From this, too, is clear that the sound rational proofs of the  philosophers (he refers to the Muslim philosophers) also point out to the math-hab of the Salaf, for the thrust of their arguments is that the Supreme Being was always faa’il (active), and that it is not possible rationally for Him to be active after dormancy and for an activity or action to be possible for Him after  it was not possible.  This and all their arguments simply affirm the eternity  of the species of action.

Kufr in His Tafseer

In his  Tafseer of Surah A’laa  he states:  “The  proof of the  view espousing  the impossibility of temporal entities having no beginning has been established to be weak.”

Confirmation  by  the  Ulama  of  the  Kufr  of  Ibn Taymiyyah’s Beliefs 

This aqeedah of Ibn Tai
Ymiyyah has been confirmed by Hafiz Subki in his treatise,  Ad-Durratul Mudhiyyah  and by Hafiz Abu Sa’eed Al-Alaa-ee. It is furthermore established from Subki’s famous Qaseedah narrated by his student,  As-Safdi who is also the student of Ibn Taymiyyah. In fact,  it is  reported by even the supporters of Ibn Taymiyyah. The qaseedah is composed of a rebuttal of Al-Huliyy and then of Ibn Taymiyyah for his view of the eternity of the universe as a genus and his view of temporal entities having no origin for their existence just as there is no beginning for the existence of Allah…

Allaamah Al-Bayaadhi Hanafi states in his kitaabIshaaraatul Maraam  after a dissertation on the proofs of the non-eternity of the universe:  “Ibn Taimiyyah’s notion of the  eternity of the Arsh
is thus  baatil (false and corrupt), as mentioned  in Sharhul Adhudiyyah.” 

The Muhaddith and Usooli (Aalim of Ilmu Usoolil Fiqh), Badrud Deen Zarkashi quoted consensus of Muslims in Tansheeful Masaami’  on the kufr of one who views the universe to be eternal in species. After citing the view of the  philosophers who contend that  the universe is eternal in matter and form, while some are of the view that it (the universe) is eternal in matter but non-eternal as far as form is concerned, he (Zarkashi) asserts: “Muslims declare them to be astray and kaafir.”

Haafiz Ibn Daqeequl Eid, Qaadhi Iyaadh Maaliki, Haafiz Zainud Deen Al-Iraaqi, Haafiz Ibn Hajar in the Sharh of Bukhaari as well as other Ulama have issued similar statements.

In Ash-Shifaa, Qaadhi Iyaadh states:  “Similarly, we categorically declare  kaafir one who avers that  the universe is eternal (neither having  a beginning nor an ending) or has any doubts in this regard following the doctrine of certain philosophers and atheists.” 

Ibn Taymiyyah adopted  this kufr view of the philosophers after effecting a minor cosmetic change to it.

In  Fat-hul Baari  Haafiz Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaani (rahimahullah) states:  “Our Shaikh, Al-Iraaqi, says in Sharhut Tirmizi: ‘The correct protocol in declaring to be kaafir one who rejects Ijmaa’ is to confine it to matters of the Deen  whose wujoob (compulsory nature) is known self-evidently, such as the five daily Salaat. Some explain it as: ‘Rejection of something known through tawaatur, among which is the non-eternity of the world,”  (i.e. the temporality and annihilation of the universe are established by such nusoos (narrational evidence) which is of the Tawaatur category). 

Ibn Daqeequl Eid said:  ‘There has arisen  a person who has claimed mastery in the  rational sciences and who is inclined to philosophy.  He opined that one who  opposes the temporality of the world will not be declared to be a kaafir  in view of it (i.e. declaring  him a kaafir)  being  in conflict with Ijmaa’. He has latched on to our statement that a rejecter of Ijmaa’ will not be declared kaafir unconditionally. Textual Shar’i evidence has to be produced  by way of tawaatur (for substantiating  a belief to be kufr).’

This argument is utterly baseless.  It is the product of either intellectual blindness or deliberate blindness.  The case of the temporality of the world  is substantiated with  Ijmaa’ and tawaatur transmission.” (End of Ibn Hajar’s dissertation)

The Lexicographer and Haafiz of Hadith, Muhammad Murtadha Az-Zabeedi states in  Sharhul Ihya  whilst discussing the  takfeer  (charge of kufr) against the philosophers:  “And similarly, is their view of the  eternity  of the universe, for no Muslim has ever subscribed to anything of this sort (of kufr).”

Elsewhere he states:  “In Sharhu Aqeedat-Ibni Haajib, Subki says:  ‘Be aware that the position of atoms and occurrences is that all are temporal. Thus the whole world is temporal. There is consensus among Muslims, in fact among all faiths on this score. Anyone holding a dissenting view is a  kaafir for going against Qat’i Ijmaa’ (Absolute Consensus).”

Ibn Taymiyyah’s Shirk in the Light of the Qur’an 

Ibn Taymiyyah’s averment of the species of the world being eternal is in conflict with the Qur’an, the explicit Hadith, the Ijmaa’ of the Ummah and the demand of intelligence. Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan:  “He is  the First and the Last.” (Surah Hadeed, Aayat 3)

The only meaning of:  “He is the First,”  is that the Eternal Being is nothing other than Him. In other words, First in every respect is Allah Alone; besides Him nothing else. Then Ibn Taimiyyah committed  shirk  by assigning other objects as associates with Allah Ta’ala in the conception of  Him being the First, whereas Allah Ta’ala declared it (being the first) to be His exclusively. On the other hand precedence or priority in so far as created beings are  concerned is a relative issue. The one is before the other. Thus, water enjoys relative precedence, that is, it is the first created object followed by the Arsh, followed by the Sublime Pen and Lauh Mahfuz, followed by the earth, then the firmament and then as mentioned by Allah Ta’ala in the Aayat:  “He (Allah) then spread out the earth.”  (Surah Naazi’aat, Aayat 30)

Ibn Taymiyyah Discarding an Authentic Hadith for His Baseless Opinion of Kufr

In the Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) states: “Allah Ta’ala existed when nothing else  besides Him existed.”  This Hadith is narrated by Imaam Bukhaari in  Kitaabu Bad-il Khalq  and also by others. Similarly  is another narration corroborating this Hadith, reported by Abu Mu’aawiyah:  “Allah Ta’ala existed before everything else,”  and the narration: “Allah Ta’ala existed whilst nothing existed with Him.”  Thus there was nothing before Him and nothing  with Him because ‘Firstness’  (being the first) is exclusive with Him. Being  ‘First’ is not a relative concept with respect to Allah Azza Wa Jal.

Regarding  the narration of Bukhaari at the end of his  Jaami’, namely,  the Hadith:  “Allah Ta’ala existed whilst nothing preceded Him,”  it  will definitely be understood in the light of the narration which appears in  Kitaabu Bad-il Khalq. It is not permissible to give preference to the narration:  “Allah Ta’ala existed whilst nothing preceded Him,”  over the narration: “Allah Ta’ala existed when nothing else existed,”  as Ibn Taymiyyah alluded to in view of the  meaning of:  “Allah Ta’ala existed whilst nothing preceded Him,”  apparently  conforming to his baseless opinion. Haafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) referred to it in  Sharhul Bukhaari  when citing the Hadith:  “Allah Ta’ala existed whilst nothing preceded Him.”  Thus, speaking of Ibn Taymiyyah’s aim of giving preference to this narration over the former to infer his belief of affirming temporal entities having no beginning, he (Haafiz Ibn Hajar) says:  “This is among the most  despicable views attributed to Ibn Taimiyyah.”

Similarly, the narration of Imaam Muslim (rahimahullah):  “O Allah! You are the First. Thus, nothing precedes you,” will be read in conjunction with Bukhaari’s narration:  “Allah Ta’ala existed when nothing else existed.”  If the narration of Muslim is not read in conjunction with Bukhaari’s narration, but given preference, it will be tantamount to subscribing to the view of the philosophers and rendering Bukhaari’s narration void.

In Bukhaari appears these two Hadith narrations:  

(1) “Allah existed when nothing existed with Him.”

(2) “Allah existed whilst nothing existed before Him.

In order to bolster his kufr view of the eternity of the universe, Ibn Taymiyyah gave preference to the second narration from which he inferred that whilst nothing existed before Allah Ta’ala, the universe existed together with Him, that is, the universe is co-eternal with Allah Ta’ala. In so doing, he arbitrarily without any valid Shar’i basis implied the refutation of the first  narration and similar others which explicitly declare that at one stage  nothing existed with Him.  Another Hadith also explicitly negates anything being co-eternal with Him:  “Allah existed and nothing existed with Him.

It is either Ibn Taymiyyah’s perversity or ignorance or mental derangement which constrained him to discard  an authentic Hadith, and adopt another narration from which he  extravasated support for his baseless opinion of kufr. He furthermore, failed to provide a viable explanation for the narrations which explicitly negate co-eternity of any thing with Allah Azza Wa Jal.

All the narrations have to be read in conjunction for a proper understanding. There is no conflict. The primary Hadith on this topic is:  “Allah existed and nothing existed”,  and the corroborative narration:   “Allah existed and nothing existed with Him.”  The other Hadith (No.2 above) has to be incumbently understood in the light of this primary Hadith which  affirms eternity for only Allah Ta’ala, and negates eternity for all other things.

Thus, Ibn Taymiyyah flouted the Qur’aan, the Hadith and the demand of intelligence which only atheists and their ilk have defied. 

The attribution of this (kufr) to Ibn Taymiyyah is not dubious, for he stated it in seven of his kutub as we have mentioned. In some he termed it  ‘the eternity of the universe as a  genus’. Even if it be assumed that Ibn Taymiyyah  did not explicitly mention it (his kufr belief) in his seven works which are available for anyone who wishes to gain first-hand knowledge, as these works have been published, the testimony of the two eminent Haafiz and Imaams, Taqiyyud-Deen Subki and Abu Sa’eed Alaai (rahimahumullah) who are unanimously accepted as authorities, would be sufficient.

Ibn Taymiyyah, the Philosophers and the Salaf

Ibn Taymiyyah acquired this concept, that is, the eternity of the universe in  species, from the later philosophers due to his engrossment in philosophy as stated by Imaam Dhahabi,  despite his (Ibn Taymiyyah’s)  vehement criticism of Aristotle and others besides him over their view of the universe being eternal in genus, composition and external form. Be that as it may, a class of philosophers does not subscribe to this doctrine. Ibn Ameerul Haaj states in his kitaab,  At-Taqreer Wat Tahbeer:  “Moreover, historical data reveals that among them, that is, the philosophers, there are those  who say that the  universe is  of temporal origin. Thus, there is no consensus among them  on this score.

It should be noted that this man (Ibn Taymiyyah) frequently hurls invectives at the philosophers, whereas he is in accord with their later generation.  He does this to pull wool over the eyes of people; to give the impression that he speaks on the pedestal of the Muhadditheen, whereas he is in total conflict with the Ulama of Hadith and  Fuqaha by virtue of his claim that  the world in genus is eternal; it  has been with Allah eternally; the temporal entities being only the specific individuals of creation. With this (false notion) he belied the Kalaam of Allah and started blurting out a series of incoherent utterances. 

How is it possible and conceivable for  a species to exist without individual members? Furthermore, his averment of the species being eternal whilst the individual members of the species are temporal defeats his case. The human species cannot exist without individual human beings.  The species is a reality only  with the reality of individual members. His affirmation of temporality  for the individual members  is in fact affirmation of temporality for even the species to which the individual members are attached.  The self-contradiction is thus conspicuous.
The origin of this calamity which befell him (Ibn Taymiyyah) was his dabbling with philosophy, hence one of their theories clung to his  brains. Dhahabi has narrated that  Ibn Taymiyyah dabbled with philosophy and  Ilmul Kalaam (i.e. the rational science developed by the Ulama-e-Haqq to refute the kufr of the philosophers). But the kalaam in which Ibn Taymiyyah immersed himself was evil rationalism which is the kalaam of the deviates –  the people of desire who are the sects of bid’ah in I’tiqaad (Belief).

Thus, on what basis does he align himself with the Salaf and on what basis do his followers regard him to be a follower of the Salaf? In fact, he revolts against the Salaf. The Salaf, all of them without exception, were unanimous in the belief that Allah Alone is the Absolute First; nothing shares this attribute with Him. He (Ibn Taymiyyah), on the other hand, makes the species and genus of the world Allah’s partners. He is therefore adrift from Tawheed. Whither is he and whither is Tawheed?  They are poles apart, mutually repellent.

Allah Ta’ala’s Eternal Attributes of Ghadhab (Wrath) and Ridha (Pleasure)

According to Ibn Taymiyyah the  speech and the will of temporal entities belonging to an  eternal species is predicated  to the Dhaat (Being) of Allah Ta’ala. In effect this will mean that an attribute of Allah Ta’ala is temporal and perishable, since a temporal member of the imagined eternal species is perishable. However, this fallacy of Ibn Taymiyyah is debunked by what Abul Fadhl At-Tameemi in his kitaab,  I’tiqaadul Imaam Ahmad, states. He writes: “According to the Madhab of Ahmad  Bin Hambal (rahmatullah alayh),  Allah Azza Wa Jal becomes enraged and He also  becomes pleased. He possesses the attributes of wrath and pleasure. In support,  Imaam Ahmad recited the Aayat:  ‘And do not transgress the limits in it (food) lest My wrath descends upon you. Those upon whom My wrath descends have indeed fallen by the wayside.’  (Surah Taha, Aayat 81) Here Allah Ta’ala associates wrath with His Dhaat.

And Allah Azza Wa Jal says:  ‘When they caused grief to Us, We extracted retribution from them.’ (Surah Zukhruf, Aayat 55) Interpreting the words,  ‘When they made Us grieve,’  Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) said: ‘It means:  ‘they angered Us.” Similarly, Allah Ta’ala declares:  “His  punishment is Jahannam wherein  he will dwell forever, and Allah is displeased with him and curses him.” (Surah Nisaa, Aayat 93)

There are numerous Aayaat in the Qur’an similar to these. Divine Anger/Wrath and Divine Pleasure  are two of Allah’s eternal attributes. Thus,  Allah’s Wrath and Pleasure are predicated with His Eternal Prescience related to the temporal occurrences. In other words, Allah Azza Wa Jal eternally possessed fore-knowledge of the  temporal episodes to which either His Wrath or Pleasure will be directed.   

The Hanaabilah (Ulama of the Hambali  Madhab) refute the contention  of the Divine Attributes of Wrath and Pleasure being of temporal origin or creations. Hence they state:  ‘One who avers so has to necessarily accept that Allah Azza Wa  Jal’s anger at the kaafireen will terminate and, similarly, His pleasure with the Ambiya and Mu’mineen. Thus, eventually He will not be pleased with His Friends and nor displeased with His enemies.” (Whilst we  agree 100%  with the belief that Allah’s Attributes of Wrath and Pleasure are eternal, we differ with the rational argument proffered by the Hanaabilah in substantiation of this Waajib Belief. There is no incumbency to believe that a temporal or a created entity/being  will necessarily terminate because a created being can perpetually  endure, forever and forever without ever being annihilated. Such entities are the souls of the Mu’mineen, Jannat, Jahannum and there may be  numerous other beings and entities whose perpetuation Allah Ta’ala has desired. And, Allah knows best.  The simple rational argument to debunk Ibn Taymiyyah’s kufr is to say that the predication of temporality for the Divine Attributes implies a defect in the Dhaat of Allah Azza Wa Jal – Nauthubillaah! – Mujlisul Ulama) 

“Certain things are figuratively designated with an attribute on account of being the product of the attribute. Hence, the adhaab  and  iqaab  (punishment and chastisement) of Allah Ta’ala are designated  ghadhab  and  sakhat  (anger and displeasure) in view of being the products of Wrath. When experiencing earthquakes and heavy rains, Muslims unhesitatingly say that these are the Qudrat (Power) of Allah Ta’ala. There is no censure among them for such a statement for it means that the phenomenon is the product of Allah Ta’ala’s Qudrat.

Sometimes a person says in his Du’aa: ‘O Allah! Forgive us according to Your Ilm (knowledge) about us.’ The purport here is: ‘…the acts  which You have knowledge about.’  Thus, what is known  ((ma’loom)  is described by the term  knowledge  (Ilm).   Similarly,  murtadha (the effect of  ridha-pleasure)  is described as ridha (pleasure),  and  maghdoob (the object of  wrath) is called ghadhab (wrath).”     (End of Abul Fadhl’s Dissertation)

The meaning of this explanation is that while the occurrences, e.g. the earthquake and the beneficial rain, are the  temporal (having originated in time) products of  the Divine Attributes of Ghadhab (Wrath) and Ridha (Pleasure) respectively, these (i.e. the Attributes) are eternal

The above is a wonderful dissertation. It scuttles the argument of Ibn Taymiyyah’s followers that the Sifaat (attributes) of Allah Ta’ala are temporal, i.e. they are acquired in time  –  that at one time they did not exist and came into existence later.  They make this fallacious contention on the basis of the well-known Hadith of Shafa’ah (Intercession on the Day of Qiyaamah) when Aadam (alaihis salaam) will say:  “Allah’s Wrath today is unprecedented. Never did He become so wrathful and never will He become so wrathful.” 

These  Mushabbihhah (anthropomorphists  –  Ibn Taymiyyah and his  followers) opine that on that occasion of Qiyaamah there will develop  for Allah Ta’ala a new attribute in His Dhaat (Being).  

The above dissertation (of At-Tameemi in elaboration of Imam Ahmad’s stance on the Sifaat of Allah Ta’ala) exposes the corrupt understanding of those who seek to align themselves with the Madhab of Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah), whereas, in reality, they are in conflict with him.

Ibn Taymiyyah Displaying His Ignorance

Ibn Taymiyyah’s self-contradiction can be adequately gauged from his statement that,  “We only attribute to Allah Ta’ala such sifaat which He attributes to Himself.”  But, in diametric contradiction of this contention he says in  Al-Muwaafaqah: “Where is  it in the Qur’aan that the concept of ‘no beginning for non-eternal entities’ is impossible?

Our response is:  Where  in the Qur’aan and Sunnah is mentioned this concept of  hawaadith laa awwala laha  –  there is no beginning for non-eternal entities? This aqeedah is faasid (corrupt) and violently clashes with the Aqeedah of Islam. Muslims have absolutely no relationship with this belief.    

In having proffered this corrupt question, Ibn Taymiyyah has simply displayed his ignorance. There are innumerable tenets of Islam,  despite not being in the Qur’an,  constitute even fundamentals of the Deen. In the Qur’an there is no mention of the 5 Fardh Salaat, the number of raka’ts, the method of performance of the Salaat, the wordings of the Athaan, that Athaan is to be proclaimed  for the Five daily Salaat, and no mention of the thousands of masaa-il which are attached to all departments of the Deen. Ibn Batuta had correctly observed: “There is something wrong with this man’s brains.”

The  Absurdity  of  Ibn  Taymiyyah’s  ‘Hawaadith  Laa Awwala Laha’ Postulate 

The Imaam of Hadith and Lughat, Muhammad Murtadha Az-Zabeedi said in his  Sharh of Ihyaa-ul Uloom  which is integrated with the  matan (the original text of Imaam Ghazaali  –  in refutation of Allah Ta’ala being haadith or  non-eternal  and in refutation of Ibn Taymiyyah’s kufr): “If He (Allah Ta’ala) is haadith, and not  Qadeem, He will be in need of a  muhdith (that is, an entity originating Him  from non-existence to existence, Na’uthubillah)  and that  muhdith  will  be in need of another muhdith  ad infinitum.   Something dependent on a chain  ad infinitum (tasalsul)  will never be obtained. In other words, if the chain is  ad infinitum  it follows that a  haadith  (a temporal entity) will never be obtained from it, for previously it was mentioned that the absurdity, that is, the existence of  hawaadith laa awwala laha, necessarily means that the existence of a current  haadith  is impossible. Furthermore, the  ad infinitum  chain leads to a vacuum in  an infinite  chain  in view  of a current  haadith  being unobtainable. And this is inconceivable. 

If the matter reaches a finite number then  daur  (unending rotation/vicious circle) will necessarily follow which is also absurd, for it necessarily means that an entity precedes and follows itself! Thus, in the light of hudooth (the concept of timebound objects not having a beginning) leading to  daur  or tasalsul  which are absurd, it follows that the concept of hawaadith laa awwala laha is absurd.

In  Sharhul Fiqhil Akbar, Mulla Ali  Qaari (rahimahullah )states:  “Then you should know that the term Ahlul Qiblah (the people who follow the Qiblah  –  Muslims) refers  to those people who agree with and accept the axiomatic tenets (Dhururiyaat  –  the fundamentals) of the Deen, such as the hudooth (non-eternity) of the world, the resurrection of physical bodies, Allah Ta’ala’s knowledge of universal and individual entities and other issues of a similar nature. Thus, regardless of life-long constancy in acts of Taa-at and Ibaadat (obedience and worship), a man  will not be from the Ahlul Qiblah if he subscribes to the belief of the eternity of the universe, or he negates evil (being the creation of Allah), or he negates the (all-embracing) knowledge of Allah Subhaanahu of the particulars and details in creation.”

On the basis of this established principle of the Deen (as explained by Mullah  Ali Qaari, above), understand  the logical proof for the temporality of the universe, which is everything besides Allah. May Allah grant you taufeeq to understand through His Mercy.

A physical body is never free of motion and rest. These two actions  are temporal for with the coming into being of one the other becomes non-existent.  Therefore, whatever is not free of will never be obtained from it, for previously it was mentioned that the absurdity, that is, the existence of  hawaadith laa awwala laha, necessarily means that the existence of a current  haadith  is impossible. Furthermore, the  ad infinitum  chain leads to a vacuum in  an infinite  chain  in view  of a current  haadith  being unobtainable. And this is inconceivable.  If the matter reaches a finite number then  daur  (unending rotation/vicious circle) will necessarily follow which is also absurd, for it necessarily means that an entity precedes and follows itself! Thus, in the light of hudooth (the concept of timebound objects not having a beginning) leading to  daur  or tasalul  which are absurd, it follows that the concept of hawaadith laa awwala laha is absurd.” In  Sharhul Fiqhil Akbar, Mulla Ali  Qaari (rahimahullah) states:  “Then you should know that the term Ahlul Qiblah (the people who follow the Qiblah  –  Muslims) refers  to those people who agree with and accept the axiomatic tenets (Dhururiyaat  –  the fundamentals) of the Deen, such as the hudooth (non-eternity) of the world, the resurrection of physical bodies, Allah Ta’ala’s knowledge of universal and individual entities and other issues of a similar nature. Thus, regardless of life-long constancy in acts of Taa-at and Ibaadat (obedience and worship), a man  will not be from the Ahlul Qiblah if he subscribes to the belief of the eternity of the universe, or he negates evil (being the creation of Allah), or he negates the (all-embracing) knowledge of Allah Subhaanahu of the particulars and details in creation.” On the basis of this established principle of the Deen (as explained by Mullah  Ali Qaari, above), understand  the logical proof for the temporality of the universe, which is everything besides Allah. May Allah grant you taufeeq to understand through His Mercy. A physical body is never free of motion and rest. These two actions  are temporal for with the coming into being of one the other becomes non-existent.  Therefore, whatever is not free of temporality  is itself temporal (having originated  in time). Thus, all physical objects are of temporal origin. There are three premises in this proof.

One: Physical objects are not free of motion and rest. This premise is palpable and self-evident. There is no need for reflection to comprehend this issue.  One who understands a physical body to be neither at rest nor in motion is an enemy of intelligence and blindly arrogant to reality.

Two:  Motion and rest being temporal is evidenced by the one alternating  with the other. This is witnessed in all physical bodies. And in so far  as those objects are concerned in which this is not discernable, intelligence rules the possibility of a motionless body moving and a moving  body halting. Thus, the arrival of  one of the two states (motion or rest) is temporal by virtue of its arrival (in time), whilst the former state is temporal by virtue of its passing into oblivion. If its eternity is confirmed its non-existence would be impossible.

Three:  Whatever is not free of temporality is also  temporal, and cannever be eternal. If this is not the case, it will follow that every temporal entity is preceded by temporal entities having no beginning (hawaadith laa awwala laha). And whatever from the temporal entities does  not have a beginning  does not end at the existence of the present temporal entity. Furthermore, the cessation of something which has no end is absurd and impossible, for if you consider the present temporal  entity, then turn to the one before it and so forth in sequence, you will never come to an end point. The entry into existence of some temporal entity which has no end is impossible.  And if reaching the end is possible then a beginning for those temporal entities is confirmed which proves the hypothesis (of Ibn Taymiyyah) to be fallacious.

In adequately and  convincingly proving rationally the fallacy of  hawaadith laa awwala laha  and affirming the correctness of a continuous future chain of time-bound entities  ad infinitum  the
Ulama-e-Haqq have proffered the example of one who vows:  “I will not give that person a dirham on a particular day until I give him a dirham a day before. And I will not give him a dirham a day before until I give him a dirham before that ad infinitum.” It is obvious that giving the other person the promised dirham on the set day is impossible as it hinges on something impossible  – completion of an unbroken and continuous chain of giving a dirham ad infinitum. Undoubtedly, their claim of  hawaadith laa awwala laha  fits this example. The Active Agent, for example, sets a universe into orbit  in our present time and in the times of the past suspended on setting prior motion one by one into eternity. The motion for the universe in a set time represents the promised dirham which is preceded by infinite dirhams. Thus, motion coming into existence  for the universe in the present time is impossible just as it is impossible for the promised dirham to be realised in a given time for the beneficiary.

Then there is the example of the bounties of Jannat. A person vows:  “I will not give so-and-so person a dirham unless I give him a dirham after that and so forth forever and ever.”  Any intelligent person will not doubt the rational possibility of this. It translates to the one taking the vow never terminating his gifting of a dirham once he starts giving. This example is clearly in accord with what we subscribe to in regard to the bounties of Jannat for the Mu’mineen and in accord with our belief of punishment in Jahannam for the philosophers who advocate the concept of the timelessness of the universe and people of their ilk – the scientists – and all the kuffaar.

Our arguments have conclusively validated the theory of substances being time-bound. Substances inherently carry temporary states which are time-bound. And anything inherently carrying a time-bound entity will be time-bound. Thus, this world can never be eternal and timeless as Ibn Taymiyyah has falsely tried to promote.

A SIMPLE ELABORATION

The academic  arguments of the Ulama in  refutation of Ibn Taymiyyah’s  belief of kufr  and shirk will generally not be understood. The facts which have been presented are extracts from the Refutation of Ibn Taymiyyah’s beliefs by Shaikh Abdullah Al-Harari, Al-Maqaalaatus Sunniyyah fi Kashfi Dhalaalaati Ahmad Bin Taimiyyah, which we have paraphrased for better comprehension. However, despite the paraphrasing, much of the arguments will be incomprehensible to laymen. We therefore present this simple elaboration for easy and better understanding.

Ibn Taymiyyah  subscribed to the kufr view of  the eternity of the universe which was propounded by  some Greek philosophers.  Despite his overt and vehement criticism of the philosophers, he dabbled in their philosophy and became entrapped in its quagmire of kufr. His study of philosophy exerted the  terrible impact of kufr on him. Thus, Ibn  Taymiyyah became the victim of  the kufr expounded by the philosophers. Although he dabbled in philosophy, Ibn Taymiyyah was a mere simulacrum of the philosophers as well of the Muhadditheen. He tried in vain to walk along two divergent paths at the same time, hence he was neither in the camp of the philosophers nor in the camp of the Muhadditheen as the Qur’aan says of the munaafiqeen“They are neither here nor there; they fluctuate between that.” 

From these atheist Greek philosophers he acquired the belief of the eternity of the universe, namely the universe is uncreated and has been existing co-eternally with Allah Azza Wa Jal, and being an eternal eternity, the universe will never come to an end. This postulate is pure  shirk  in its  shirk fil wujood  or to associate a being or entity in the eternity attribute of Allah. When eternity is attributed to a being/entity it implies the independent everlasting existence of the being; that it had no origin in time; that  it will never end; that it is indestructible; that Allah Ta’ala lacks the power to annihilate it; that it exists as a partner with Allah Azza Wa Jal in eternal life and indestructibility. 

Whilst he vehemently berated the philosophers, he abortively attempted to acquit himself in the style and language of the Muhadditheen, proclaiming himself  a follower of the Madhab of Imaam Ahmad Bin  Hambal (rahmatullah alayh). In  this devious exercise he resorted to blatant lies by making the sweeping claim that the Muhadditheen and Imaam Ahmad also subscribe to the kufr view of the eternity of the universe. However, despite his sweeping claims  he has miserably failed to cite the specific statements of  any  authority of the Ahlus Sunnah to substantiate his vile contention of the eternity of the universe.

In propounding his kufr theory, he displayed weird irrationality which leads one to conclude that he suffered some kind of mental derangement. According to his theory and belief of  the eternity of the universe,  temporal entities (things which have an origin in time) while perishable, the species to which they belong is eternal.    The species or genus is uncreated and co-eternal with Allah Ta’ala according to his belief. As such it is indestructible. Allah Ta’ala is  unable to annihilate the eternal genus. Since the universe is eternal in Ibn Taymiyyah’s belief, it is indestructible by virtue of its attribute of eternity in the same way as Allah Azza Wa Jal is indestructible and cannever be annihilated.

Ibn Taymiyyah seeks to overcome the palpable obstacles to his theory by affirming  the attribute of eternity to the genus of things, not to the individual members of the genus/species. For example  donkey is a species consisting of innumerable individual donkeys. While  the individual donkeys come into existence in time and also perish, the donkey species will never perish nor become extinct. The automatic creation of donkeys will continue eternally  ad infinitum, and Allah Azza Wa Jal lacks the power to bring to an end the  donkey species.  The procession of donkeys will automatically take place eternally. Only a man with donkey brains can so brazenly postulate such a donkey theory which puts even asses to shame.

Far from overcoming any obstacle to his donkey postulate  of hawaadith la awwala laha (i.e. temporal/created things have no beginning),  he only complicates the irrational incongruency sinking deeper into the quagmire of irrationality and stupidity by predicating his theory  to species/genus.  The palpable ludicrousness of  this kufr is established by the  self-evident fact that a species of any thing cannot exist without its individual members. If there are no individual donkeys, there can be no donkey species in real existence. For a species to be eternal, the imperative corollary is that there has to be a donkey or some donkeys which are also eternal. There has to be somewhere in the universe a donkey or a few donkeys who have had no beginning in time. These donkeys  are ageless and timeless. Trillions of years cannot be attributed to them since the postulate affirms eternity for them, neither did they have a beginning nor will they have an ending. These donkeys  –  the gods of Ibn Taymiyyah – did not come into being from non-existence.  

Whilst the Ahlus Sunnah Wal  Jama’ah affirms such existence for only Allah Azza Wa Jal, Ibn Taymiyyah predicates it (eternal existence) for even donkeys.

Al-Baani’s Dissociation from Ibn Taimiyyah’s Abhorrent Beliefs of Kufr and Shirk

The abhorrence of this belief of kufr and shirk constrained even a deviant like Al-Baani who is Ibn Taymiyyah’s devoted and ardent muqallid, to aver:

“In the Hadith: ‘Verily, the first object created by Allah Ta’ala was the Pen.’  , there  also is refutation of the one who contends:

Temporal things have no beginning, and that every creation is preceded by a creation ad infinitum’, so that it is not possible to say that this was the first creation. The Hadith negates this view. Prior to the Qalam (Pen) there was absolutely no creation. Verily, Ibn Taymiyyah in his elaboration in refutation of the philosophers, attempting to prove (his theory) of temporal things have no beginning, came up with arguments which bewilder the intelligence and which most hearts cannot accept.  …….

That view of his is not acceptable. On  the contrary it is rejected by this Hadith. Many a time we (Ibn  Taymiyyah’s followers) yearned  that Ibn Taymiyyah had not dabbled in this domain (of philosophy) because  discussion therein resembles philosophy and Ilmul Kalaam (which Salafis abhor).”    (Saheeh of Al-Baani, Vol.1, page 208)

Again in his  Commentary of Aqeedatut Tahaawi,  Al-Baani says:  “Verily,  the Ulama are unanimous that there was a first creation. Those who maintain that temporal things had no beginning are in conflict with this Consensus (Ijma’)  since they explicitly claim that every creation was preceded by a creation ad infinitum as Ibn Taimiyyah has expressly said in some of his kutub.”  (Page 35)

Belated attempts have been made by coprocreep Salafis to exonerate Ibn Taymiyyah  from his beliefs of kufr and shirk, but to no avail. Even Al-Baani the devoted follower of Ibn Taymiyyah, and the ‘mujaddid’ of Salafi’ism in this era, had no option other than to denounce and reject this vile belief of kufr and shirk propounded by his Imaam. Al-Baani’s explicit rejection is more than adequate confirmation for the contention that Ibn Taymiyyah had  subscribed to the kufr view of  the eternity of the universe. Hanging his head with shame and grief, Al-Baani had no alternative other than to dissociate from the kufr of his master, Ibn Taymiyyah, albeit acquitting himself very mildly in relation to the vitriolic  vituperation which Salafis disgorge against the Aimmah of the Madhabs in general, and Imaam Maturidi and Imaam  Ash’ari (rahimahumullah( in particular. In  this  biased attitude they portray their  dubiousness and dishonesty. On the one hand, they  apologize for Ibn Taymiyyah’s explicit kufr and shirk, but  the prolixity of the stupidities their brains excrete testifies to  their insincerity and deviation.

Ibn  Taymiyyah  in  Abnegation  of  Every  Belief  of  Islam Related to Creation 

This belief of Ibn Taymiyyah is in diametric conflict with not only the Ijma’ of the Ulama, but with the uncorrupted intelligence of every Muslim who understands the simple truth that  only Allah Azza Wa Jal is the One and Only Eternal Being Who has no partner and  no co-existing entity. Muslims do not require any  daleel  for understanding and accepting this transcendental truth which is inborn in the heart of every Mu’min. The postulation  of co-existence with Allah Azza Wa Jal is shirk in His Wujood (Existence) which is an idolatrous concept  of the mushrikeen.  There is no  scope in Islam for such beliefs of shirk.

On the basis of this belief of kufr and shirk, Ibn Taymiyyah  by implication, is in abnegation of every Belief of Islam related to creation. Thus, Hadhrat Aadam (alayhis salaam) is not the first created man because the kufr belief affirms that every creation is preceded by another created being/thing of the same species. If Hadhrat Aadam (alayhis salaam) is  treated as an individual member of the species of mankind, it  follows that there had existed  other human beings before him. This is explicit kufr.  If Hadhrat Aadam (alayhis salaam) is regarded as a member of a specific species designated ‘Aadam’ apart from the general genus of  mankind, then it follows that  the Aadam (alayhis salaam) whom Allah Ta’ala  created in Jannat and about whom He said to the Malaaikah“Verily, I shall be  creating a Khalifah on earth.”,  was not the first Aadam since the kufr theory hallucinated  by Ibn Taymiyyah postulates another Aadam of the same kind having preceded him. This is utter ludicrous, irrational kufr.

The very same kufr is the consequence of denial of the  Qalam (The Pen)  being the first  created object as stated explicitly by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Whilst Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the  Qalam  is the first created object, Ibn Taymiyyah contends with his kufr theory that the Qalam was preceded by another Qalam which in turn was preceded by another Qalam and so on  ad infinitum,  there being no first Qalam ever since the species of Qalam is co-eternal with Allah Azza Wa Jal. The kufr of the theory is absolutely shocking. What type  of a brain could have  disgorged  such sewerage muck?

Even the Arsh, the  Malaaikah, the Jinn and every creation of Allah Azza Wa Jal  are all co-eternal with Him according to Ibn Taimiyyah’s theory of shirk and kufr. Even if the numerous deflections from the Path of the Ahlus  Sunnah to which Ibn Taymiyyah subscribe in both Belief and Practice have to be ignored, this one belief of  hawaadith la awwala laha  is sufficient to condemn him to everlasting perdition in the Aakhirah.

The authentic Ahaadith explicitly proclaim that the Arsh did not exist at one stage. Allah Ta’ala brought it into existence from pure non-existence. But Ibn Taymiyyah  claims that the species of the Arsh is co-eternal with Allah Ta’ala, there never ever having been a time when there was no Arsh, and there  never will be a time in the future when there will be no Arsh, and by virtue of its (the Arsh’s) eternity,  Allah Ta’ala lacks the power to  annihilate it – Nauthubillaah!

The Kufr Consequence of Ibn Taimiyyah’s Belief 

Furthermore, an axiomatic  consequence arising from this belief is the impotence of Allah Azza Wa Jal  –  Nauthubillah!

The logical consequence of the belief of the eternity of the universe by species is that Allah Ta’ala is not in control of creation, and that created beings, things and objects are automatically generated by the entities preceding them.  The theory postulates the eternity of the species. Eternity is independent of a Creator. It (the eternal being) perpetuates itself by virtue of its existence being self-subsisting, having had  no origin and being itself uncreated. It is therefore a massive canard and the perpetration of deliberate fraud to assert that the individual  members of an eternal species  are the creations of an independent Creator apart from the eternal species to which  the individual donkey belongs.

The individual donkey being a member of the eternal donkey species, in terms of the kufr theory, does not require a Creator for its (the donkey’s) appearance is necessitated by the donkey which preceded it. If this is not so, the species would not be predicated with eternity. It is simply a rational necessity for donkeys to evolve of their own accord  ad infinitum  to sustain the eternity of the donkey species. Thus, Allah Azza Wa Jal is not the Creator of the individual members of the species according to the logical demand of the theory of kufr and shirk, for if it be assumed that Allah Ta’ala wills a cessation of  the individual donkeys appearing on earth, the logical conclusion would be the termination of the species. But  an eternal  entity cannot be terminated or annihilated. If it can, it would not be eternal.

This argument holds good for every thing, every iota, and every atom in the universe. Each object belongs to a species, and the kufr  theory contends that all species are eternal, hence all the successive individual member of temporal origin in the myriads of species owe their origin to the eternity of the parental species whose existence and perpetual subsistence are entirely independent of Allah Azza Wa Jal. Every thing in the universe thus generates as a logical consequence of its eternal species. Thus, Allah Ta’ala is not the Creator of a single thing in the universe, the universe itself being eternal according to the kufr of Ibn Taymiyyah. Yet, the Qur’aan declares:  “When Allah intends to create anything, He (simply) says: ‘BE!’,  and that thing comes into existence (from the state of pure nonexistence).”   It does not come into existence  as an automatic consequence of a preceding entity of the same species, which has now disappeared into oblivion.

Creation according to the Qur’an is the effect of Allah’s  Will and Power. It is not  the product of  any  self-subsisting  eternal species which perpetuates itself eternally by the automatic substitution of one individual member by another ad infinitum.

The upshot of Ibn Taymiyyah’s kufr and shirk theory is that all entities in the universe  –  the sun, moon, planets, stars, mankind, the animal kingdom, birds, insects, the stone kingdom and whatever there happens to  be in the universe, big or small, progress automatically from preceding members of the species to which they belong. This automatic progression from preceding entities is an eternal process which sustains the eternity of the species. Thus, all entities in  the  universe cease to be the makhlooq (created beings)  of Allah Azza Wa Jal. On the contrary, every thing is the automatic creation of the species to which it belongs. Everything is beyond the power and control of Allah Azza Wa Jal.

This could be easily understood by a simple illustration.  The millions of donkeys roaming on the earth are members of the donkey species which according to Ibn Taymiyyah is eternal. Now does Allah Ta’ala have the power to annihilate all donkeys and terminate the donkey species? The answer can  only be  ‘yes’ or  ‘no’. There is no third option. If it is yes, then  the whole rubbish, irrational kufr  theory of Ibn Taymiyyah falls flat  – debunked and deposited into the gutter for the simple reason that what is eternal cannot be terminated or annihilated.  It is meaningless and downright  stupid to contend that an eternal species can be annihilated.  

Therefore, to sustain the kufr theory, it can only be said:  ‘No’, Allah Ta’ala  does not have the power to terminate the eternal species  by  annihilating all the donkeys. The vile kufr of this conclusion is self-evident. In fact, this is precisely the logical consequence of Ibn Taymiyyah’s theory of the eternity of the species. In  the final analysis according to  the kufr theory Allah Ta’ala is not the Creator of anything in the universe since  all species are eternal, hence they procreate automatically to sustain their own eternity.

This evil theory of kufr is  also the belief of the atheist scientists of our age. According to them everything in the universe simply came into existence automatically without the intervention of a conscious, powerful eternal Creator Who possesses all the attributes of excellence. 

Debunking All the Rubbish of Ibn Taymiyyah

Debunking all the rubbish of Ibn Taimiyyah, the Qur’an Majeed says:

“What! Do you not see that,  for Allah prostrate whatever is in the heavens, whatever is in the earth, the sun, the moon, the mountains, the trees, the animals and numerous among mankind. And for numerous has  the punishment been decreed. Whomever Allah disgraces, for him there is no  one to honour. Verily, Allah does as He wills.”  (Al-Hajj, aayat 18)

Allah Azza Wa Jal is a conscious Being Who creates as He wills and whatever He wills. He is not  subservient  to any hallucinated  eternal species which sustains its own imagined eternity by perpetuating  the automatic progression of its individual members, one after the other  ad infinitum.  While Ibn Taymiyyah postulated that the entire universe with its species is eternal, whose existence is independent from Allah Ta’ala, not at all reliant on Allah Ta’ala, the Qur’an Majeed declares:

“It is He Who has created for you everything which is in the earth. Then He focused  towards the sky and fashioned it into seven skies. And, He is aware of everything.” (Baqarah aayat 29)

“All praise is for Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth, and Who has created  darkness and light.” (AlAn’aam, aayat 1)

“Verily, your Rabb is Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth in six days.” (Yoonus, aayat 3)

“Verily, the number of months by Allah  is  twelve in the Book of Allah from the day He created the heavens and the earth…..” (At-Taubah, aayat 36)

The Qur’an is replete with hundreds of aayaat  explicitly stating that Allah had created the heavens and the earth  –  that creation of the universe had a beginning  –  that the twelve months commenced from the day Allah Ta’ala had created the heavens and the earth. The Qur’aanic announcement  of the creation of the universe by Allah Ta’ala debunks the satanic kufr theory of the eternity of the universe.  This one single theory of kufr  is in fact a denial of the whole of Islam. It denies the advent of Qiyaamah.

Since the universe is eternal and indestructible according to the mushrik’s hallucination, the destruction of the universe explicitly stated in the Qur’an  is a logical  ‘falsehood’ being an axiomatic  consequence of the kufr theory. Describing the destruction of Ibn Taymiyyah’s eternal universe, the  Qur’an states;

“When the sun loses its light; when  the stars fall down (scattered and destroyed); when the mountains  will be made to  fly about; when the pregnant camels are forsaken………when the sky will be opened up;……..( Surah Takweer)

“When the  sky splits (into bits and pieces); when the stars are scattered (and fall into destruction); when the oceans pour forth; when the graves are inverted………”  (  Surah Infitaar)

So while Ibn Taymiyyah subscribed to the eternity of the universe, Allah and His  Rasool taught this Ummah that the universe will one day come to an end. But an ‘eternal’ entity cannot end. It cannot be annihilated. This kufr is the product of Ibn Taymiyyah’s theory of the eternity of the universe.

Soul-Searching for the Salafis

The  devotees of Ibn Taymiyyah should answer: Does Allah have the power to annihilate the universe  –  its species and its individual members? As long as they seek to interpret and cover up the kufr of Ibn Taymiyyah with their  confounded prolixity, and not  outrightly reject the abominable kufr theory, they will not be able to answer. They will find themselves inextricably entrapped with either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer.  If they say that Allah Ta’ala does have the power to destroy the universe, they would then be  debunking Ibn Taymiyyah’s eternity of the universe concept of kufr. But they are not prepared for this. On the other hand, if they uphold the vile theory and say that Allah Ta’ala lacks the power to destroy the universe, they become murtadd of the worst order.

Salafis should ponder and understand the implications of Ibn Taimiyyah’s evil theory and  their attempt to make it presentable by means of  evil interpretation. The effect of this vile hypothesis is to predicate Allah Azza Wa Jal with impotency. It is to believe that Allah Ta’ala is not the Creator since the universe with its myriads of species procreates automatically by virtue of  its imagined eternity. It is irrational and downright stupid and false to maintain that Allah Ta’ala is the Creator of the individual members of a species when the species itself is eternal, having had no beginning and  will be never-ending. It is a self-subsisting eternal entity which cannot be destroyed and which compulsorily sustains its own eternity by procreating automatically its own individual members  ad infinitum.  Thus,  the universe being eternal is a denial of the advent of Qiyaamah which will bring about the destruction of the universe. But how can such destruction find room in Ibn Taymiyyah’s eternal universe?

With  this kufr postulate, Ibn Taimiyyah has stripped Allah Azza Wa Jal of all of His Sifaat (Attributes), rendering him an inanimate  mechanical force from which ensues some sort of activity over which He has no control and no knowledge such as the sun emitting light and heat without  having the power to control the  emission of light and heat and without  having knowledge of its activity.  But, the Qur’an states:  “The sovereignty of the heavens and the earth belong only to Allah. He creates whatever He wishes…..Verily, He is fully aware and knowledgeable (of his creation and what He creates).”    -(AsShuraa’, aayat 49)

Even the early mushrikeen possessed a clearer understanding of the Creator than Ibn Taymiyyah who became entrapped with philosophy. The Qur’aan  says:  “And, if you (O Muhammad!) ask them (the mushrikeen): ‘Who created the heavens and the earth?’, they will most assuredly say: ‘Al-Azeez (The Mighty Allah), Al-Aleem (The All-Knowing Allah) created it.” (AzZukhruf, aayat 9)  Even  the mushrikeen did  not believe  the universe to be an uncreated entity having existed eternally, independent of Allah Azza Wa Jal.

The attempt which coprocreep Salafis of our time are making to defend Ibn Taymiyyah is  nothing but pulling wool over the eyes of the ignorant  and unwary. They are citing statements allegedly made  by Ibn Taymiyyah denying  the eternity of the universe. They should explain Ibn Taymiyyah’s explicit statements pertaining  to the eternity of the universe  to be found in at least seven of his kitaabs–  the names of  these kutb  are mentioned  in this refutation. Even Al-Baani, the devoted and ardent follower of Ibn Taymiyyah expressed concern, regret and grief for this kufr view of Ibn Taymiyyah. The Salafis cannot claim  ignorance in this regard. Surely, they are aware of  AlBaani’s refutation of Ibn Taymiyyah’s view of the eternity of the universe.  Ibn Taymiyyah having propounded the theory of the universe’s eternity is irrefutable. Countless Ulama and great authorities of the Shariah have examined and refuted his kufr statements. The claim that all the Ulama did not understand Ibn Taymiyyah’s words should be referred to the  eternal baboons and eternal donkeys which are the individual members of  Ibn Taymiyyah’s eternal species  stemming from the eternity of  the universe.  

These Salafis who  are desperate to salvage the  kufr image of Ibn Taymiyyah are among the worst liars. They will fabricate just any  lie to save Ibn Taymiyyah’s skin. They should  refer to the seven books of Ibn Taymiyyah wherein he  has explicitly propounded his  theory of the eternity of the universe. Furthermore, Salafis are notorious for their  taqiyah (holy hypocrisy).  In the  attempt to peddle their beliefs and practices, they will resort to blatant lies. This is an attitude  which has been inherited from  Ibn Taymiyyah the founder of the Salafi religion who resorted to double-talk calculated to deceive. When he was arraigned in the court of the Qaadhi to answer for his kufr, he overtly repented, proclaiming himself to be a Shaafi’ and a follower of Imaam Ash’ari. After being freed, he lapsed again into the propagation of his kufr

This kufr theory of Ibn Taymiyyah has hitherto been hidden from the Ummah of this age. The coprocreep, anonymous Salafi who had written a virulent and baseless  condemnation of Imaam Maturidi and the Ulama of Deoband  has provided the opportunity for an in depth study of Ibn Taymiyyah’s writings. Now, much of his deviation,  even kufr and shirk which were hitherto unknown to Muslims is surfacing. It devolves on the Ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah to expose the scourge represented by Ibn Taymiyyah. The flabby arguments and  Taqiyah  of the Salafis will not be able to conceal the  kufr and shirk of Ibn Taymiyyah.

“Haqq has arrived and baatil has vanished.” (Qur’aan)

Are the Prophets Alive in their Graves??

Hadith on the Life of the Prophets

By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

(from http://www.deoband.org)

Haddab ibn Khalid and Shayban ibn Farrukh narrated to us: they said: Hammad ibn Salamah narrated to us: from Thabit al-Bunani and Sulayman al-Taymi: from Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu): that Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“I came – and in the narration of Haddab ‘I passed’ – by Musa the night I was taken on the night journey (Isra’) at the red dune and he was standing, praying in his grave” (Sahih Muslim)

A group of verifiers adduced this hadith as proof that the Prophets (alayhimussalaam) are alive in their graves. Controversy on this issue has been ongoing in our time, so we will give a brief synopsis here of the [correct] view on this topic. And Allah (Glorified is He) is the Helper.

The Issue of the Life of the Prophets (alayhimussalaam)

Indeed the starting point of this issue is Allah’s statement (Blessed and High is He) “And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: ‘They are dead.’ Nay, they are living, though ye perceive [it] not” (al-Qur’an 2:154). Since the life of the martyrs is established, the life of the Prophets (alayhimuss) is established by indication of this text, because the rank of the Prophets is higher than the rank of the martyrs without doubt. Al-Shawkani said in Nayl al-Awtar (Adab al-Jumu’ah 3:211):

A textual proof in Allah’s Book is revealed with regards to martyrs, that they are living and sustained, and that the life in them pertains to the body, so what of the Prophets and Messengers?

In this topic, a hadith with unequivocal import has been reported which Abu Ya’la transmitted in his Musnad (6:147, no. 3425) from Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) that he said: “Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘The Prophets are alive in their graves, praying’”. Al-Haythami mentioned it in Majma’ al-Zawa’id (8:211) and said: “Abu Ya’la and al-Bazzar narrated it and the narrators of Abu Ya’la are trustworthy”. Al-Dhahabi weakened it in al-Mizan because of al-Hajjaj ibn al-Aswad but al-Hafiz ibn Hajar disagreed with him in al-Lisan and said: “He is al-Hajjaj ibn Abi Ziyad al-Aswad, known as Ziqq al-’Asal and he was Basran … Ahmad said: ‘trustworthy and a pious man’; ibn Ma’in said: ‘trustworthy’; Abu Hatim said: ‘passable in narration’; and ibn Hibban mentioned him in al-Thiqat.” The hadith was also transmitted by al-Bayhaqi in his volume on the life of the Prophets (p. 3) and he authenticated it. Likewise, al-Munawi authenticated it in Fayd al-Qadir.

This hadith is further corroborated by what Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated in this chapter. Imam al-Bayhaqi devoted a short volume to this issue in which he collected the hadiths which prove the life of the Prophets (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). ‘Allamah Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (rahimahullah) has a treatise on this with the title Inba’ al-Adhkiya’ fi Hayat al-Anbiya’ in which he collected the hadiths related to this issue.

From the hadiths which prove the life of the Prophets after their death is the hadith of Aws ibn Aws about the virtue of Friday, in which it is mentioned: “So increase in your blessings on me, for indeed your blessings are shown to me.” Aws said: “They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! How will our blessings be shown to you when you have decomposed?’ He said: ‘Indeed Allah (Great and Glorious is He) has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of Prophets.’” Al-Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, ibn Majah, al-Darimi and al-Hakim transmitted it; (al-Hakim) authenticated it and al-Dhahabi agreed with him in Talkhis al-Mustadrak (1:278).

In mentioning the perpetuity of his body after his death in the context of blessings being presented to him there is an indication that his blessed soul has a connection to his body, and when blessings are shown, it is to both his body and soul, for otherwise there would be no meaning to mentioning the physical body in the answer.

From them is the hadith of Abu ‘l-Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu) that he said: “Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘One does not send blessings on me except his blessings are shown to me until he finishes with it.’” Abu ‘l-Darda’ said: “I said: ‘And after death?’ He said: ‘After death, indeed Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of Prophets, so the Prophet of Allah is alive and given sustenance.’” Ibn Majah transmitted it.

From them is what Abu ‘l-Shaykh transmitted in Kitab al-Thawab with a good chain from Abu Hurayrah ( radhiyallahu anhu ) in marfu’ form: “He who sends blessings near my grave I hear it and he who sends blessings on me from far, it reaches me.” Al-Hafiz mentioned it in al-Fath (6:488, chapter 48 from Kitab al-Anbiya’); and Abu Dawud transmitted it from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) with the words “Send blessings on me! For indeed your blessings reach me wherever you may be.”

From them is what Abu Dawud transmitted from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) through another route in marfu’ form: “None sends peace on me but Allah restores to me my soul so I can respond to him [by sending him] peace”. Its narrators are trustworthy as al-Hafiz clarified in al-Fath. It may be problematised by [claiming that] the restoration of the soul to the body entails that it was previously detached from the body, which is death, so the hadith only proves that the soul returns upon sending peace.

Imam al-Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) responded to this problem in his treatise on the life of the Prophets (p. 5) by his saying: “He only intended, and Allah knows best, ‘and Allah restored to me my soul so I [am able to] respond to him by sending peace.’” Its upshot is that the assumption in the expression is : “None sends peace on me but Allah has restored to me my soul before that so I can respond to him.” Hence, his statement (Allah bless him and grant him peace) “Allah restored to me my soul” is in the context of responding to a greeting, and the intended meaning is that “I respond to him by sending peace (upon him) due to my soul having already been restored to my body.”

‘Allamah al-Suyuti explained this in Inba’ al-Adhkiya’ (p. 5) based on Arabic principles and said “His statement ‘Allah restored’ is an adverbial phrase (jumlah haliyyah) and the Arabic principle is that qad (already) is assumed in an adverbial phrase when it occurs as a perfect verb.” This is like His statement “or those who approach you with hearts restraining” (4:90) i.e. it has already been restrained. This is how it is assumed here. The sentence in the perfect tense [implies the restoration of the soul] precedes greetings from everyone. “Hatta” (so) is not for an explanation (ta’lil) [of why the soul was restored], rather it is only a particle of conjunction (harf ‘atf) with the meaning “and” (wa). Thus, the assumption of the particles is that “None sends peace on me except Allah has already restored to me my soul before that and I [can thus] respond to him”. Al-Suyuti (rahimahullah) mentioned at the end of his stated treatise “then after that I saw the hadith in question transmitted in the book Hayat al-Anbiya’ by al-Bayhaqi with the words ‘but my soul has already returned to me’ and the words ‘wa qad‘ were clearly in it, so I praised Allah abundantly.”

In sum these hadiths, together with the hadith of the chapter, prove the Prophets are alive after their death, and this is the belief of the majority of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. However, at times it is problematised by some people [who ask] how can life be determined for them while unequivocal texts have pronounced that death has overtaken them and they will gather on the Day of Resurrection like all [other] men? This difficulty only arises from a lack of understanding of the meaning of the life established for the Prophets and the martyrs after their death. Some people claim that it is exactly like the worldly (dunyawi) life which they experienced before their death. The truth is that no one says the life of the Prophets is established after their death in this sense. The meaning of their “life” is in the sense that their souls have a strong connection to their noble bodies buried in the graves, and by this strong connection their bodies come to have many unique features from the features of the living, like hearing greetings and replying to them, being preoccupied in worship and other similar things of the said features.

No one from the people of truth says [this life] established for them after their death is characterised by all the features of their previous life. ‘Allamah al-Subki (rahimahullah) says in Shifa’ al-Siqam (p. 191): “The life being real does not entail that the bodies have life as it did in the physical world, in needing food and drink and in it being impossibile to pass through a dense barrier and other features from the qualities of physical bodies, which we observe. Rather it has another law. Thus, nothing in the intellect prevents the affirmation of a real life for them.”

The conclusion that is reached by analysing the texts is that although “death” is an expression about the departure of the soul from the body, after death the soul continues to have a connection to the body which it departed, and by this connection the body feels pain at the punishment of the grave and is delighted by the blessings of the intermediary realm (Barzakh), in accordance with the opinion of the majority of the Ahl al-Sunnah that the punishment of the grave happens to the body and the soul. This is the meaning of the soul returning to the body when questioning [the inmate] of the grave and when punishing him as has been recorded in clear texts the authenticity of which has been verified by Ibn al-Qayyim in Kitab al-Ruh. The soul being restored to the body after death does not imply resurrection (ihya) after death. Rather it implies only the development of a connection between their bodies and their souls and there is no way of knowing the true nature of that connection.

However this connection is not on the same level for all the dead. Thus, the dead differ in the strength and weakness of this connection. Consequently, this connection in the generality of the dead is very weak, since their bodies are consumed by the earth. Hence the designation of “bodily life” is not generally assigned for them after death overtakes them, although some ‘ulama also used the designation of “bodily life” for the restoration of the soul to their bodies. See Ahkam al-Qur’an by al-Jassas (1:185).

As for martyrs, the connection of their souls to their bodies is stronger in relation to all the dead to the degree that the earth does not consume their bodies. Thus the Qur’an assigned for them the designation of “living”. If the meaning of their life is intermediary (barzakhi) or spiritual (ruhiyya) only, there would be no difference between them and others. The difference between them and the rest of the dead is that their souls have a strong connection to the bodies. This is the meaning of their bodily lives.

As for the Prophets (alayhimussalaam), the connection of their souls to their noble bodies is the strongest of connections which is conceivable of a man after death has overtaken him. This strong connection affects some of the worldly rules also. Thus, their properties are not divided between their heirs and it is not permissible for one to marry their wives after their death. Our master Abu Bakr (radhoyallahu anhu) would spend on them as Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would spend [on them]. As such, the Prophets (alayhimussalaam) acquired some of the unique features of life which are not established for others besides them after death.

Hence, complete and real bodily life is designated for a number of degrees in the connection of the soul to the body, some of them stronger than others. What is established for the Prophets and martyrs after their death is a real bodily life due to the presence of many of the features of the previous life upon death, although it parts with this worldly life, which was established for them before their death, in many [physical] laws. The outcome of this real bodily life is a strong connection of the soul to the body which goes beyond the connection which the rest of the dead acquire.

As for discussion about understanding the true nature of this connection it is a discussion about that which man has no means of knowing, for indeed the states of the intermediary realm and the Afterlife is not perceived by these minds [of ours]. Therefore, whoever recognises this much, established by clear texts, and consigns its true nature to Allah Most High, his creed will be safe if Allah Most High wills. As for discussion about the true nature of the states of the intermediary realm and striving to perceive the reality of the connection of the soul to the body or contesting about terminologies of the designation of this connection as bodily life or intermediary life, it is not the concern of the people of truth and not from the path of the people of knowledge.

As for debating (mujadala), contestation (mira’), mutual hatred (tabaghud) and argumentation (niza’) on these semantic or theoretical issues as has occurred in our time, it is very far from the etiquette of the people of knowledge. Likewise denying this connection between the soul and body which is established by many textual proofs which there is no scope in denying is erroneous and presumptuous. It is not permissible for one of the people of knowledge and balance to deny them expressly. Al-Hafiz ibn al-Qayyim said in Kitab al-Ruh (p. 86) “It is authentic from him that he saw Musa (alayhissalaam) standing in prayer in his grave during the Night of Isra’ and he saw him in the sixth or seventh heaven. Thus, the soul was in heaven and it has a connection with the body in the grave, ennobles it and has a relationship with it, whereby he prays in his grave and responds to the greeting of one who greets him, while the soul is in the Greater Company (al-Rafiq al-A’la).”

So the realities which are necessary to recognise according to the texts are as follows:

[1] The noble souls of the Prophets have a strong connection with their bodies after their death

[2] This connection is much stronger than the connection of other souls of other dead people to their bodies

[3] By virtue of this connection unique features of the previous life occur in them after their death and this is indeed known by clear texts

[4] It is accurate to designate this strong connection as “life”, and its people as “living” as has been reported in the texts

[5] This life attained by them after their death is not the worldly life in its essence or with all its features rather it is similar to the worldly life in some of its features, some expressed clearly and some assumed

People continue to recognise these realities (haqa’iq) for they are in accordance with the beliefs of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, and there is no need to discuss about its details more than what we have mentioned here. Allah (Glorified is He) knows best.

(Takmilah Fath al-Mulhim, vol. 5 pp. 23-7)

Allamah Zafar Ahmad Uthmani on the Life of the Prophets (alayhis salaam)

[It was narrated] from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “No Muslim sends peace upon me except Allah restores my soul to me so that I reply to his salutation.” Abu Dawud narrated it with an authentic (sahih) chain, and Ibn Qudamah mentioned it from the narration of Ahmad with the wording: “None sends peace upon me at my grave…” Al-Bayhaqi opened with this [hadith] the chapter on visiting the grave of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). A group of the Imams relied on this [hadith] for support of it [i.e. visiting the grave], from them Imam Ahmad. Al-Subki said: “It is a valid support.” Such was mentioned in Wafa’ al-Wafa’ (2:403).

I say: The meaning of his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) statement, “except Allah restores my soul to me,” the intent of the restoration of his soul – and Allah knows best – is “spiritual attentiveness” and descending to the planes of humanity from absorption in the Transcendent Presence, since his noble soul is busy in the presence of the [Divine] Presence and the Greatest Company away from this world, so when peace is sent upon him, his soul turns to this world to attain the peace-salutation and to reply to the one who sent peace. This was said by al-Subki as mentioned in Wafa’ al-Wafa’ (2:407).

Al-Khafaji said: “That which is apparent in the exegesis of the hadith without affectation is that the prophets and the martyrs are living, and the life of the prophets is stronger, and since the earth is not administered over them they are like sleepers, and the sleeper does not hear and does not speak until he awakens, as Allah (Exalted is He) said: ‘Allah it is who takes away souls at the time of their death, and those which die not in their sleep; then He withholds those on which He has decreed death, and sends back the rest for an appointed term.’ (39:42) Thus, the intent is the “sending back” which is mentioned in the verse, so its meaning is that when he hears the peace-salutation he awakens and replies to it, not that his soul is taken and is then breathed and returned [to him], so there is no [exegetical] dilemma at all.” Such was mentioned in ‘Awn al-Ma‘bud (2:170).

Hence, there is no indication in this of the discontinuity of life as some of them assert. ‘Abd al-Haqq (d. 581 H) narrated in al-Ahkam al-Sughra – and he said “its chain is authentic” – from Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu), he said: Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “No one passes by the grave of his believing brother that he knew and he sends peace upon him, except he will recognise him and return his salutation.” Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr also narrated it and authenticated it as transmitted by Ibn Taymiyyah. Ibn Abi al-Dunya narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu), he said: “When a man passes by a grave whose [inhabitant] he knew, and he sends peace upon him, he returns his salutation and recognises him; and when he passes by a grave whose [inhabitant] he did not know and he sends peace upon him, he returns his salutation.” The narrations with this meaning are many.

Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned in Iqtida’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqim that the martyrs, rather all believers, when a Muslim visits them and sends peace upon them, they recognise him and reply to their salutation. Since this is about the individuals of the believers, what about the master of the messengers (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? A clear mention of his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) hearing the peace-salutation of a visitor is mentioned in a narration narrated by a group from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) with the wording: “Whoever sends blessing on me near my grave, I hear it, and whoever sends blessing on me from afar, it reaches me.” In it is Muhammad ibn Marwan al-Suddi al-Saghir who is weak, and al-Khallal narrated the like of it through the route of al-Buhtari who is very weak from ‘Ubayd Allah ibn ‘Umar from Nafi‘ from Ibn ‘Umar raised [to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)] with the wording: “Whoever sends blessing on me near my grave, I reply to him, and whoever sends blessing on me from another place, they send it to me.” Multiple paths offer strength. Al-Subki said: “What indicates that he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) hears one who sends peace on him near his grave and he replies to him, knowing his presence, is to come. And this is sufficient as a true virtue for the king of the world to spend until he reaches it [i.e. the blessed grave] from the furthest regions of the world.” End quote from Wafa’ al-Wafa’ summarised (2:404).

There is no doubt in his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) life after his departure, and likewise all the remainder of the prophets (alayhimussalaam) are living in their graves, a life more complete than the life of the martyrs which Allah Almighty gave information of in is Mighty Book, and our Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the master of the prophets and master of the martyrs and the deeds of the martyrs are in his scale.

He (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “My knowledge after my death is like my knowledge during my life.” Hafiz al-Mundhiri narrated it. Ibn ‘Adi narrated in his Kamil from Thabit from Anas (radhiyallahu anhu), he said: Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The Prophets are living in their graves, praying.” And Abu Ya‘la narrated it with trustworthy narrators, and al-Bayhaqi narrated it and authenticated it.

Ibn Majah narrated with a good chain as said by al-Mundhiri from Abu al-Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu), he said: Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Increase in sending blessing on me on Friday for it is attended by angels, and no one sends blessing on me except his blessing is shown to me when he finishes with it.” I said: “And after death?” He said: “And after death. Verily, Allah has forbidden the earth from consuming the bodies of prophets, so the prophet of Allah is living and sustained.” This is the wording of Ibn Majah.

It is not contradicted by what Thabit narrated from Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) raised [to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)] that “the prophets are not left in their graves after forty nights, but they pray in front of Allah until the trumpet is blown” since Ibn Abi Layla is in its chain and he had a bad memory so the contradiction of what he narrated with the hadiths of trustworthy narrators is unacceptable. Al-Bayhaqi said: “Even if it is authentic with this wording, the intent is – and Allah knows best – they are not left not praying except for this period, and then they begin to pray in front of Allah Almighty.” End quote from Wafa’ al-Wafa’ summarised (2:405,6).

I say: Its outcome according to this is that the prophets are not like other than them from the children of Adam that when they die, their deeds are cut off, rather their deeds continue after death also, and it does not cease but for forty nights. Allah Almighty knows best.

(I‘la al-Sunan, Idarat al-Qur’an wa al-‘Ulum al-Islamiyyah, 10:504-6)

 Common Objections By The Salafi Sect

The following refutation by Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai against a Salafi whom he refers to as “coprocreep”, adequately deals with most of the common objections to the position held by the Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah for 1400 years.

THE COPROCREEP’S ALLEGED 4TH INCONSISTENCY

In the 4th alleged inconsistency which the coprocreep attributes to the Ulama of Deoband, he rants some rubbish about ‘hayaatis’ and mamaatis’. Propounding the rubbish figment of his imagination, the coprocreep states:

“Some Hayaatis have compromised and have invented ‘levels of life’ in the Barzakh – the highest being reserved for the prophets and they say this is strongest/closest to the worldly life.”

Then in pursuance of his rubbish, he asks:

“Why do you endlessly want to equate the Barzakh life to the world life?”

The very first essential principle to understand regarding the Ulama of Deoband is that when we say ‘Ulama of Deoband’, the reference is not to mediocre Molvis who had acquired knowledge at Deobandi Darul Ulooms nor to any Ulama who have deviated from the Minhaaj of the Akaabir Ulama of Deoband. When the term ‘Ulama of Deoband’ is used it refers to Giants and Stars of Ilm and Taqwa such as Hadhrat Maulana Qaasim Nanotwi, Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Hadhrat, Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayhim), and to the glittering galaxy of senior Ulama-e-Haqq associated with Darul Uloom Deoband. These illustrious Souls are the Seal of the Ulama of Deoband. Any view which clashes with the unanimous stance of these noble Ulama of Deoband, is never the view of our Ulama (the Ulama of Deoband).

It should be well understood that Darul Uloom Deoband has long ago been infiltrated by men of the Maudoodi sect and men with Salafi leanings and views. Thus, any conflicting view tendered by such miscreants who happened to have studied at Darul Ulooms linked to Deoband is never the view of the Ulama of Deoband.

There is no need to delve into the silly discussion pertaining to the ‘hayaati and mamaati’ concepts which the coprocreep presents with derogation. In so doing, he endeavours to cast a veil of deflection and deception on the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah (the Four Madh-habs) on the issue of Rasulullah’s life after his earthly death. The issue at hand is whether Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is hayaat (alive) in his Qabr Shareef (in Barzakh). The details and exact nature of this noble Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) are of no significance. The fundamental issue is: “Are the Ambiya alive after they had died an earthly death??”

On this issue there is no difference of opinion among the Ulama of Deoband. (Bear in mind who the Ulama of Deoband are!). According to the Qur’aan, Sunnah and Ijma’ of the Ummah, the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) are alive in Barzakh, and so are the Shuhada (the Martyrs). However, it is quite obvious that the Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) is of a higher state than the Hayaat of the Shuhada. Furthermore, all mankind, including the kuffaar, have life in Barzakh. The questioning in the grave, the torments and pleasures in the grave, etc. are all related to Barzakh. These states are not related to inanimate objects such as stones. It is therefore, simple logic that the Hayaat if the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) in Barzakh will not be of the same level as the ‘hayaat’ of the kuffaar in Barzakh.

On this issue, the belief of the Ulama of Deoband is the precise belief of the Ahlus Sunnah as it has been propagated and believed since the era of the Salf-e-Saaliheen of Quroon-e-Thalaathah. The Ulama of Deoband do not stand apart from the Ahlus Sunnah in this belief. In his famous kitaab, Al-Muhannad, Hadhrat Maulana Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi (rahmatullah alayh) records the questions posed by the then Ulama of Haramain Shareefain, who were not Salafis, but staunch Muqallideen of the Madh-habs, and his answers. On the question of Rasulullah’s Hayaat after his earthly death, the Ulama of Haramain Shareefain asked:

“What is your view regarding the Hayaat of Nabi (alayhis salaatu was salaam) in his blessed Qabr. Is that (life) special with him or is it similar to Barzakhi Hayaat of all the Mu’mineen?”

Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh) answered as follows:

“According to us and our Mashaaikh, Hadhrat Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is alive in his Qabr Shareef. His Hayaat is dunyawi (i.e. like the worldly life) without (its) obligations. And, that is special with him (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and all the Ambiya (salawaatullah alayhim) and the Shuhada. It is not like the barzakhi life common to all Mu’mineen, in fact common to all mankind. Thus, Allaamah Suyuti explicitly states in his treatise, Abnaaul Azkiya wa Hayaatil Ambiya that Shaikh Taqiuddin As-Subki said: ‘The hayaat of the Ambiya and the Shuhada in their graves is like their hayaat on earth. Testifying for this is the Salaat of Musa (alayhis salaam) in his Qabr. Verily, Salaat demands a living body…….” Thus this substantiates that the Hayaat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is dunyawi (also) Barzakhi because it exists in the Realm of Barzakh.”

This is the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah, hence it was approved and endorsed by the Ulama of the Haramain Shareefain. The Ulama of Haramain Shareefain had bestowed glowing accolades on Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh) for his answers which 100% represented the Belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah on the question of the Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam), as well as on the other 25 questions which the illustrious Allaamah Khalil Ahmad answered, and with which answers all the noble Ulama of Haramain Shareefain concurred. The following is the concurrence of Hadhrat Shaikh Muhannad Saeed Baabaseel Shaafi’, Shaikhul Ulama in Makkah Mukarramah, and the Imaam and Khateeb of Musjidul Haraam:

“Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem. I have studied these answers of the illustrious Allaamah to the questions posed in this treatise, and I have found them (the answers) completely correct. May Allah Ta’ala reward him who had responded, my honoured, unique Brother Shaikh Khalil Ahmad. May Allah Ta’ala perpetuate his goodness and glory in both worlds, and with him (Maulana Khalil Ahmad), by the honour of Sayyidul Mursaleen may Allah break the heads of the deviates and the envious ones until the Day of Qiyaamah, Aameen.”

Ulama of Makkah, Madinah, Egypt and Damascus, of all Four Math-habs, lauded accolades on Allaamah Khalil Ahmed and concurred with his answers which were unanimously confirmed to be the Aqaaid of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah while paying glowing tribute to him for stating the Haqq with clarity. Thus, the attempt by the coprocreep to create the false impression that the Hayaat belief of the Ulama of Deoband is in conflict with the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah is most despicable and dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

The coprocreep, in subservience to the Saudi Salafis and other deviated ghair muqallideen are notorious for their Shiah-type taqiya stunts. Deceit is their salient feature. Therefore, the coprocreep speaks as if the Ulama of Deoband are alone in the belief of Hayaat, i.e. the concept of the Hayaat of the Ambiya to which the Ulama of Deoband subscribe.

The argument of Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) performing Salaat in his grave has not been originated by the Ulama of Deoband. Shaikh Taqiuddin Subki mentions it, and Imaam Suyuti narrated it. This fact alone should be sufficient to dispel the falsehood that the concept of Hayaat propagated by the Ulama of Deoband is not the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. While there is complete consensus on the issue of Rasulullah’s Hayaat after his earthly demise, the precise details of this concept are not explained in the Qur’aan and Ahaadith. No one has the right to claim that his personal understanding of an ambiguous concept has the status of Wahi. It suffices to say that the concept to which the Ulama of Deoband subscribe has not been originated by them. It has come to them from the Salf-e-Saaliheen by way of authentic narration. We therefore find that the Maaliki, Shaafi’, Hanafi and Hambali Ulama of the Haramain Shareefain upholding the elaboration tendered by Hadhrat Allaamah Khalil Ahmad. If the concept of the Ulama of Deoband was an innovation, the Ulama of the Haramain Shareefain, Damascus and Egypt would not have concurred.

The ‘rational’ arguments which the coprocreep presented in no way whatsoever succeeds in making even a kink in the belief propounded by the Ulama of Deoband in view of the fact that their view is the view of the Four Math-habs. Logic may not be tendered as a daleel for refuting what has been established and upheld by the narration of the Four Math-habs. There is no factor (murajjih) to confer preference to the conjecturing of the coprocreep and his Salafi cohorts. On the contrary, the established view of the Four Math-habs is as old as Islam, and it totally eliminates any conflicting concept.

Displaying considerable density of intellect, the coprocreep avers:

“If one looks at al-Muhannad by M.Khalil Ahmed Sahaaranpuri, he says: “His life is Dunyawi, but Barzakhi as well as it is in the Barzakh life.” So here we see a person living BOTH the dunyawi AND the barzakhi life. It’s as if a person is in the World of Souls and the World of the Dunya at the same time, or in Barzakh AND the Hereafter at the same time. What an impossibility! How can a person be inside a house AND outside it at the same time?”

The ‘impossibility’ is a figment of corrupt and defective understanding. The concept of the Ahlus Sunnah presented by Allaamah Khalil Ahmed (rahmatullah alayh) in his kitaab, Al-Muhannad, was firstly upheld and lauded by the Ulama of the Four Math-habs of Haramain Shareefain, Damascus and Egypt. Secondly, it was never contended that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was in two different physical abodes at one and the same time. The simple explanation is that the dunyawi dimension of Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) exists in one realm, the Realm of Barzakh. There is neither a rational impossibility nor a Shar’i impossibility to preclude the validity of this concept.

It is the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah that punishment in Barzakh occurs to the physical body as well. Furthermore, in the life Hereafter, it will be a physical life – a dunyawi life. By ‘dunyawi’ is not meant existence on earth. It refers to the physical nature of life. There is no daleel to deny the reality of dunyawi (physical) existence of Insaan in Barzakh and in Qiyaamah. Dunyawi does not mean the world. It is an adjective describing worldly attributes. Therefore, the contention that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is postulated to be in two physical abodes at one and the same time is baseless and absurd.

This stupid analogy confirms that the coprocreep is unaware of the meaning of Mahaal-e-Aqli (rational impossibility). It will serve him well to gain re-admission to a Madrasah to acquire the basic knowledge of mantiq (logic) to enable him to understand the meaning of ‘impossible’. The idea that one plus one equals three is a rational impossibility. But, to imagine an animal with a 100 heads is not mahaal-e-aqli. It is not a rational impossibility despite it not being a normal possibility. There is no valid rational reason for contending that a human being has no physical existence – his physical body with his worldly personality – in Barzakh.

According to the Hadith, the qabr of the successful Mu’min will be increased manifold in size and a variety of comforts will be bestowed to him. On the other hand, terrible punishment in the grave awaits the kuffaar and the disobedient Muslims. This comfort and torment will be meted out to the dunyawi body and soul of man in Barzakh. It is thus plain stupidity and density of brains corrupted by stercoracious substances of dhalaal to deny the possibility, in fact, the established belief of physical punishment/reward in Barzakh.

The coprocreep says:

“The rules of dunya do not apply to barzakh in the slightest.”

To which ‘rules’ is he referring? If he is alluding to the rules of the Shariah, no one has ever contended that such rules are applicable in Barzakh. In fact, Allaamah Khalil Ahmed (rahmatullah alayh) in his answer explicitly makes mention the terms ‘min ghair takleef’. Whatever the coprocreep means by ‘rules of the dunya’, no one has claimed that the ‘rules of the dunya’ apply to Barzakh. However, this non-applicability does not negate the existence of a dunyawi personality in Aalam-e-Barzakh. There is no daleel for substantiating such a contention, neither Shar’i nor rational.

The stupid coprocreep further avers:

“Regarding Me’raj and Israa, our Prophet talked to the past prophets while the Prophet was in his dunyawi life whereas the people he was talking to (except for Jesus) were in their Barzakhi life. This is just a miracle of our Prophet – i.e. being able to talk to those of the Barzakh, NOT that all the prophets were still in the Dunya.”

Before demolishing the coprocreep’s self-contradictory statement, it is necessary to comment on his use of the name ‘Jesus’ for Hadhrat Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam). Perhaps he is one of the interfaithers who subscribe to the kufr doctrines of the interfaith movement financed and espoused by the Saudi king. What constrains a Muslim when addressing other Muslims to refer to Hadhrat Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) with the Christian kufr name of ‘Jesus’? Let him search his heart.

In the aforementioned averment the coprocreep switches, but not dexterously, from ‘dunyawi’ to dunya. Who had claimed that the Ambiya to whom Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) spoke on the Night of Mi’raaj were in the dunya? This episode of Mi’raaj is cited by the Ulama-e-Haqq to support the rationality of the belief that the Ambiya were with their dunyawi personalities in Barzakh. The coprocreep, in his statement, has conceded that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with his physical body – his dunyawi personality – addressed the Ambiya in Barzakh. So how was this possible? By a miracle he was in two different houses at one and the same time? If the ‘miracle’ had made the ‘impossibility’ of the coprocreep possible on the Night of Mi’raaj, what precludes the re-enactment of the ‘miracle’ after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)?

In this averment, the coprocreep has trapped himself in a self-contradiction. Earlier he had claimed that this was impossible, now by the ‘miracle’ the impossible has become possible. The whole Mi’raaj from beginning to end was one wonderful Miracle. It was the command of Allah Azza Wa Jal. How can it be impossible for Allah Ta’ala to decree a dunyawi existence for the Ambiya in Barzakh? Again, we should remind the coprocreep that by ‘dunyawi’ is not meant the world. It is not being suggested that the Ambiya are in two different abodes at one and the same time. The Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) were performing Salaat in Barzakh. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) observed them with their dunyawi bodies performing Salaat. They were not invisible celestial souls whom Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw and spoke to.

Another interesting fact is that whislt the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) were in their Barzakhi life, they all were present in Musjidul Aqsa on the Night of Mi’raaj, where Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) led them in Salaat. Regardless of what interpretation is tendered, the fact remains that the Ambiya were present on earth during their Barzakhi life. This as well as many episodes of the Shuhada confirm that whilst they are in Barzakh they do appear on earth with Allah’s permission. Their Barzakhi life is undeniable, and so is the dunyawi dimension. The coprocreep’s confusion stems from his deficient understanding of the term ‘dunyawi’. He has stupidly concluded from this word that the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah entails the notion of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) being in two different abodes at one and the same time.

A being in Barzakh can, with Allah’s permission, make an appearance on earth or any where else in Allah’s universe, whilst he will still be in the state of Barzakh. His appearance on earth such as the appearance of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) in Musjidul Aqsa on the Night of Mi’raaj, does not negate the fact that they were in Barzakh. Barzakh is not a fixed physical abode such as the earth with geographic frontiers. It is the existence of human life after Maut until Qiyaamaah. While that phase of life in relation to man is described ‘Barzakh’, it is not Barzakh for the Angels who are present during this phase of human life. Wherever Allah Ta’ala allows the deceased person to reside or be in Barzakh, he/she will occupy that abode without Barzakh being negated. Thus, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) being in his Qabr Shareef with his blessed worldly (dunyawi) body in no way whatsoever negates Barzakh. The physical body can and does exist in Barzakh.

The earth does not consume the blessed bodies of the Ambiya and the Shuhada. Wherever Allah Ta’ala allows them to reside after their demise, that place is in the Realm of Barzakh notwithstanding the endurance of their physical (dunyawi) bodies and personalities. The coprocreep has spoken absolute rubbish. He is ignorant of the Shariah’s concept of Barzakh.

Dwelling aimlessly in his state of confusion, the coprocreep alleges:

“Also, if the prophets are alive due to the various evidences they bring, then why don’t they ever apply the dunyawi principle to the martyrs as well, who too have evidence that proves their life.”

From this statement it appears that the coprocreep is in fact denying the Hayaat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This statement appears to be the cat which has slipped out of the bag. The true belief of the coprocreep lies embedded in this statement. He asks:

‘If the prophets are alive due to the various evidences they bring…”

The logical conclusion of this question is that he does not believe in the Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam). If this is indeed so, then Allah have mercy.

In fact, the Ahlus Sunnah does ‘apply the dunyawi principle’ to the Martyrs as well. It is our belief that the Shuhada too enjoy this kind of superior life in Barzakh, albeit of a lower level than the status of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam). Confirming this belief, Allaamah Khalil Ahmed (rahmatullah alayh) states in his Al-Muhannad in response to the question posed by the Ulama of Haramain Shareefain:

“It (the life in the grave being dunyawi as well) is exclusive with him (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), all the Ambiya (salawatullaahi alayhim) and the Shuhada. It is not barzakhi as it is for all the Mu’mineen, in fact, for all mankind.”

This answer annihilates the erroneous conclusion the coprocreep has made regarding his imagined inconsistency relative to the belief of life in Barzakh for the Ambiya and the Shuhada. The Shuhada do enjoy a similar kind of life although of a lower category than the life of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam).

Inconsistently pursuing his claim of ‘inconsistency’ of the Ulama of Deoband, the coprocreep avers:

“Some Hayaati Deobandis have compromised and have invented ‘levels of life’ in the Barzakh – the highest being reserved for the prophets and they say this is strongest/closest to worldly life. Once again this is Batil.”

The claim that ‘levels of life’ do not exist in Barzakh is stupid and baatil. A high degree of Aql is not a requisite for understanding that a Muslim fornicator, bandit and murderer even if he has been forgiven will not occupy the same lofty level of life in Barzakh and Jannat as the Ambiya would. The contention of the coprocreep is astonishingly absurd. Will criminals and the Shuhada have the same level of life in Barzakh? And, for even the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) there will be different levels. The Qur’aan Majeed is explicit in stating that some Ambiya have higher ranks than other Ambiya. This difference in rank will not be obliterated in Barzakh, nor in Jannat. Islam does not propagate the communist doctrine of a classless society. Even in Jannat it will not be a classless society. There will be ranks above ranks, not only among the Ambiya and Shuhada, but also among the ordinary Mu’mineen. This argument of the coprocreep is too stupid to pursue further.

The coprocreep accuses the Ulama of Deoband of equating the life of Barzakh to the life of the world. The density of his sensorium constrained him to arrive at this stupid conclusion. No one has equated the superior life of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) in Barzakh to the inferior life of this world. The attributive word, ‘dunyawi’ is not an equation. It does not equate the superior life of Barzakh to the worldly life. It only explains man’s physical attributes and personality which constituted him in the world. These attributes and personality will not be annihilated in Barzakh. Insaan will remain Insaan in Barzakh. There is Hayaat for all human beings in Barzakh. But, the Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) is of the highest category. If life in Barzakh is negated, what then is the meaning of reward, comfort pain and punishment in the Qabr? What is the meaning of the questioning in the grave if hayaat is negated? The coprocreep compounds his rubbish with more and more rubbish.

Hayaat in the realm of Barzakh is undeniable. Denial of it is kufr. Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan Majeed regarding the Shuhada (Martyrs):

“Do not say about those who have been slain in the Path of Allah that they are dead. In fact, they are alive, but you are unaware.” (Baqarah, aayat 154)

“Do not think of those who have been slain in the path of Allah that they are dead. In fact, they are alive, by their Rabb they are being given rizq, enjoying the bounties Allah gave them from His kindness……..” (Aal-e-Imraan, aayats 269/170)

The Qur’aanic negation of ‘death’ for the Shuhada is the death as understood by human beings. The Qur’aan explicitly says: “Do not say that they are dead.”, despite the fact that they had died an earthly death – death as man understands it. The ‘life’ which the Shuhada have been granted is life which is the opposite of earthly death, hence the emphasis: “In fact, they are alive.” The Qur’aan tells us that they are alive just as we are alive here on earth prior to earthly death. In addition to them being alive, they are enjoying a variety of bounties and are being given sustenance (food) to eat.

Now when the Qur’aan Majeed confirms dunyawi life, albeit of a superior kind, for the Martyrs, then by what stretch of Islamic logic do the juhhaal deny this type of superior dunyawi life for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in particular, and the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) in general? There is neither logical impossibility nor Shar’i impossibility for the existence of this type of life in Barzakh. And, if it appears ‘impossible’ to the fossilized sensorium of coprocreeps, it matters not. The density of brains of deviates constrains them to deny simple and self-evident Qur’aanic facts.

The fact that the bodies of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and of the Shuhada do not decompose, is further evidence for the bestowal of dunyawi (i.e. physical) life of a lofty kind. It is undeniable to even the Salafis that the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and the Shuhada are in Barzakh. By accepting that their bodies are intact, they have no logical reason for refuting the presence of the physical bodies of the Ambiya and Shuhada in Barzakh. Now whether their bodies are in the physical graves or transferred to some other abode, their presence in Barzakh is undeniable. Barzakh is not a physical abode with territorial boundaries such as the earth. It is therefore downright jahaalah to contend that a being cannot be in Barzakh and on earth at one an the same time. The impossibility would develop only if Barzakh was a distinct physical abode with physical boundaries. But Barzakh is a phase of existence which commences from after Maut and endures until Qiyaamah.

The coprocreep, we are sure, unless we are mistaken, believes that the mubaarak body of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is not the subject of decomposition. His body is intact. Now where is the mubaarak physical body of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Wherever it is, it is the physical body in the state of Barzakh. This is the meaning of dunyawi life which is a special bounty awarded to the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and the Shuhada.

In an extremely stupid and flabby attempt to bolster the Salafi denial of Hayaat for the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and the Shuhada, the coprocreep avers:

“….the bodies being preserved is not a sign of worldly life, but it is the divine order of Allah, for both the prophets as well as the martyrs. It is divine law in itself, not because the prophets are still alive in the worldly sense.”

Everything in creation is the ‘divine law’ of Allah Ta’ala. Nothing happens without His command. The Ahlus Sunnah do not contend that mere preservation of the physical bodies is the basis of the belief of the post-Maut Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and the Shuhada. A dead body could be preserved for ages in a deep freezer without it decomposing. No one will say that such preservation is a sign of worldly life. Nevertheless, the body preserved intact in a deep freezer on earth is in the state of Barzakh. Physical presence on earth does not negate the existence of Barzakh. While it is quite possible for the bodies of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and of the Shuhada to remain intact without life by the command of Allah Ta’ala, it is kufr to subscribe to such a corrupt belief because to do so would be in denial of the Qur’aan and other proofs stated in the Ahaadith.

The Qur’aan explicitly and emphatically declares life for the Shuhada, and warns against saying they are dead. Allah Ta’ala is addressing human beings and mentioning Maut and Death to them as they understand these two states. The Qur’aan tells us to refrain from saying that the Shuhada are dead – dead in the worldly sense, despite them having died a physical death. While their physical death is undeniable, it does not follow that no revival and restoration to physical life takes place in Barzakh. Aside from the fact that this is not a logical impossibility (mahaal-e-aqli), it is expressly confirmed in the Qur’aan that they are alive – alive in the way we understand life to be. The relevant aayaat stating the Hayaat of the Shuhada are not among the Mutashaabihaat (allegorical verses). They are matter of fact verses with literal meanings.

Furthermore, what exactly does the coprocreep mean by ‘worldly life’? It devolves on him to expound his theory of ‘worldly life’ to enable us to respond with greater clarity. Does he mean that the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and the Shuhada are dead, i.e. bodies without souls in Barzakh? But the Qur’aan says that they are alive – alive in the worldly meaning. This does not mean that they are living a worldly life as they lived prior to their death. It only means that their physical bodies are together with their souls. In other words they are completely Insaan (human), having their senses all intact, in fact to a far greater degree.

Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

“The Ambiya are alive in their graves and perform Salaat.”

Imaam Baihaqi, in addition to narrating this Hadith from Allaamah Subki, also narrates it from Imaam Abu Ya’la. Commenting on the sanad of the Hadith narrated by Imaam Abu Ya’la, Allaamah Haithami said:

“The narrators of Abu Ya’la are thiqaat (reliable).” 

Allaamah Azeezi states in As-Sitaahun Niyarah: “This Hadith is Saheeh.”

Allaamah Ibn Hajar states: “Baihaqi has authenticated this Hadith.” (Fathul Baari, Vol.6, Page 352).

Mullah Ali Qaari narrates in Mirqaat, Vol.2, page 212:

“The narration that the Ambiya are alive in their graves is Saheeh.”

Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri states in Faidhul Baari, Vol.2, page 64:

“Haafiz Ibn Hajar concurred with Imaam Baihqi (regarding the authenticity of this Hadith).”

Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri also says:

“Many a’maal (acts of ibaadat) occur in the graves, e.g. Athaan and Iqaamah according to Daarmi, and recitation of the Qur’aan according to Tirmizi.” (Faidhul Baari, Vol.1, page 183)

Mufti Muhammad Yusuf Ludhianwi states:

“From the time of Khairul Quroon until the 14th century there was no difference in this mas’alah. All the Akaabir had elaborated on this mas’alah in their writings in their own style. Among the Akaabir of the Aslaaf some had written special treatises on this subject (the Hayaat of Rasulullah- sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They had substantiated with clarity the issue of the Hayaat of the Ambiya. It is a clear issue and a belief on which there exists the Ijma’ of the Ummah.

While the Hayaat of the Shuhada is proven by the clear text of the Qur’aan Kareem, the Hayaat of the Ambiya-e-Kiraam is proven from the Qur’aan Kareem by way of Dalaalatun Nass. May self-opinionated people be destroyed. They have introduced jahaalat (ignorance) in the name of research, and bid’ah in the name of Sunnah. On this fictitious basis so-called ‘muhaqqiqeen’ (researchers) have, in addition to interpolating in other Ijma-ee masaa-il, refuted this Aqeedah (of the Hayaat of the Ambiya).”

The coprocreep following blindly his jaahil Salafi handlers is at pains to show that the belief of Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) has been invented by the Ulama of Deoband about one and half centuries ago. He abortively tries to conceal the irrefutable fact that many centuries before the existence of Darul Uloom Deoband, this belief was entrenched in the Ummah, and that it has come down from the Khairul Quroon. Neither Imaam Suyuti nor Allaamah Subki, who both were Shaafis, was among the Ulama of Deoband. Darul Uloom Deoband had not even existed in that era many centuries ago. So why does the miserable coprocreep single out the Ulama of Deoband for his baseless criticism?

The Saheeh riwaayat of Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) who is among the most senior Sahaabah, dismisses the rubbish belief of the coprocreep and his Salafi bosses.

The moron asks:

“If the Prophets were still living a worldly life then what was the need to wash our Prophet and perform Janaazah over him?” 

The stupidity of this argument is self-evident. But only morons fail to discern the stupidity. That Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) died a physical death in this world has never been denied. The Qur’aan also testifies that death will overtake Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The issue does not revolve around denial of his physical death – death as it occurs to all human beings. The issue is his life in Barzakh. The contention of the Ahlus Sunnah is that in Barzakh the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) enjoy a superior form of life – a life in which their bodies and souls exist together in the form of human beings. They are not in an abstract spiritual state. When the Qur’aan Majeed explicitly confirms such physical life for the Shuhada, then to a greater degree by way of Dalaalatun Nass, will the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) be enjoying a physical life in Barzakh of a higher degree than even the Shuhada.

With regard to the subsistence of Rasulullah’s marriages to his wives, this is a contentious issue among the Ulama. While some Ulama maintain that the marriages of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) subsisted even after his earthly death, others do not subscribe to this belief. However, the belief of the Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and the Shuhada is not based on the subsistence of Rasulullah’s Nikahs nor on the fact that the Ambiya do not leave an estate for inheritance. These are subsidiary issues which are presented to bolster the original belief of Hayaat which is not reliant on these masaa-il.

While the coprocreep calls on us to base our case on only the Qur’aan and Sunnah, he is in total denial of the Qur’aan by refuting Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) and the Shuhada. What constrains these deviates to interpret away the verses stating emphatically the physical life of the Shuhada? They are falsifying the Qur’aanic aayaat solely to bolster the corrupt belief of their deviant Imaam. One of the fundamental issues of sharp conflict between the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah and the Wahhaabi Salafis is the belief of Rasulullah’s Hayaat in his blessed Grave. While the deviates deny Hayaat for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Ahlus Sunnah affirm it.

They also deny the authentic Hadith of Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) who explicitly mentioned that the Ambiya are alive in their graves and perform Salaat. We have already cited above the references for the authenticity of this Hadith. Thus, the coprocreep blindly follows his deviant handlers whose corrupt beliefs he laps up like a dog licking up vomit.

The belief of the Hayaat of the Ambiya in their Graves is based on the Qur’aanic verse in which the Hayaat of the Shuhada is explicitly mentioned, and on the Ahaadith such as the narration of Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) who states this belief with great clarity, and on other Ahaadith in which it is mentioned that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw the Ambiya performing Salaat, and their performing Salaat behind him in Musjidul Aqsa. This is a belief which has come down in the Ummah from the age of the Sahaabah. Coprocreeps and the miscreant Salafis are in denial since they have strayed from the Siraatul Mustaqeem.

The first to deviate from Siraatul Mustaqeem regarding this belief was Ibn Hazam who denied the return of the souls of the Ambiya to their bodies. In his concept, ‘hayaat’, means the life of the soul – only a spiritual existence. This is palpably false since the Qur’aan categorically prohibits us from saying that the Shuhada are dead. The Qur’aan unequivocally say that they (i.e. the Shuhada – body and soul) are alive and by Allah they are being fed.) Allah Ta’ala addresses all the Mu’mineen and speaks to us in the terms that we understand. In order to refute the baseless notion of Ibn Hazam, the Ulama deemed it incumbent to describe the life of the Ambiya in the graves with the term ‘dunyawi’. In other words, they are alive with their physical bodies.

Their existence in the graves is not on the same level as the life of the ordinary Muslims and of entire mankind which includes the kuffaar. It is contumacious to even suggest that the hayaat of the Ambiya is the same as the hayaat of even the kuffaar who are all living in Barzakh at a level far below the lofty status and form of the Ambiya.

We really are not in need of these rational arguments to prove the dunyawi Hayaat of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam). The Qur’aan, Ahadith and the Ijma’ of the Salf-e-Saaliheen are more than adequate to confirm the veracity of this belief. Ibn Taimiyyah and Ibn Hazam appeared on the scene several centuries after the Salf-e-Saaliheen of Khairul Quroon. Allaamah Samhudi (rahmatullah alayh), died 911 Hijri, states:

“There is no doubt in the Hayaat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) after his demise. The same applies to all the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam). They are alive in their graves. Their hayaat is of a higher status than the hayaat of the Shuhada about whom Allah Ta’ala has informed in His noble Kitaab.” “The proofs for the Hayaat of the Ambiya necessitate hayaat of the physical bodies such as was the condition in the dunya…..”
(Wafaaul Wafa, Vol.4)

Stating the belief in terms of the Shaafi’ Math-hab, Allaamah Taajuddin As-Subki (rahmatullah alayh), died 777 Hijri, states:

“Hadhrat Anas narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘The Ambiya are alive in their graves and are performing Salaat.’”

“According to us (the Shawaafi’), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is alive, in his full senses…. The deeds of the Ummah are presented to him, and the Durood and Salaam (recited by the Ummah) reach him.”

“Among our Aqaaid (Beliefs) is that the Ambiya are alive in their graves. Where then is Maut? (i.e. How can he be dead when he is alive?). Imaam Baihqi (rahmatullah alayh) had authored a treatise on the Hayaat of the Ambiya in their graves. We have heard it.”
(Tabqaat, Vol.3)

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahmatullah alayh), died 852 Hijri, said:

“Verily, the Hayaat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in his Qabr is such that it will not be followed by Maut. On the contrary he will remain alive. The Ambiya are alive in their graves.” (Fathul Baari, Vol.7)

“When it has been substantiated by narrational proof that the Ambiya are alive, then rational proof also substantiates since the Hayaat of the Shuhada is established by the explicit text of the Qur’aan. The Ambiya are superior than the Shuhada.” (Fathul Baari, Vol. 6)

Among the Hanaabilah, Ibn Uqail (rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is alive in his Qabr and he performs Salaat.
(Raudhatul Bahiyyah, page 14)

Imaam Baihaqi (rahmatullah alayh), died 458, said:

“Verily, Allah Jalle Shanuhu has returned to the Ambiya their souls, hence they are alive by Allah as are the Shuhada……” (Hayaatul Ambiya, page 14; Sharhi Mawaahib Zurqaani, Vol.5)

Imaam Shamsuddin Muhammad Bin Abdur Rahmaan As-Sakhaawi (rahmatullah alayh), died 902 Hijri, said:

“We believe and we acknowledge that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is alive. He is being given Rizq in his Qabr. The earth does not consume his blessed body. There exists Ijmaa’ on this.” (Al-Qaulul Badee’, page 173)

Allaamah Jalaluddin Suyuti (rahmatullah alayh), died 911 Hijri, said:

“The Hayaat of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in his Qabr and of all the Ambiya is a fact known to us by such knowledge which is Qat’i (absolutely authentic). According to us the proofs for this are well established, and the narrations are Tawaatur indicating this fact.” (Al-Haawu lil Fataawa, Vol.2)

“Among the Tawaatur narrations from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is the (narration) about the Hayaat of the Ambiya in their graves.” (Sharhul Bughawi, page 4)

Allaamah Abdul Wahhaab Sha’raani (rahmatullah alayh), died 973 Hijri, said:

“The Ahaadith regarding Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) being alive in his Qabr performing Salaat with Athaan and Iqaamah, are undoubtedly authentic.” (Manhul Minnah, page 92)

Mullah Ali Qaari (rahmatullah alayh), died 1014 Hijri, states:

“Among the reliable beliefs is that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is alive in his grave just as all the Ambiya are alive in their graves. They are alive by their Rabb. Their souls have a relationship with the Ulwi (celestial) and Sifli (terrestrial) realms as was their dunyawi condition. With regard to the heart, they are of the Arsh, and with regard to the body, they are of the earth.”
(Sharh Shifa’, Vol.2)

Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullah alayh), died 1052 Hijri, said:

“There is consensus on the Hayaat of the Ambiya. There is no difference of opinion on this issue.” (Ash-atul Lam’aat, Vol.1)

Even Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhaab Najdi (rahmatullah alayh), died 1206, the Imaam of the Najdi Salafis, confirming the Hayaat of the Ambiya said:

“It is our belief that the status of our Nabi is totally superior to the ranks of creation. He is alive in his Qabr with perpetual life, superior than the life of the Shuhada about which the revealed Qur’aan explicitly mentions. This (superior life is) because he is the noblest of them without any doubt. Verily, (i.e. Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam)) hears those who recite Salaam on him.” (Ittihaaf, page 415)

Maulana Abul Ateeq Abdul Haadi Muhannad Siddique Najeebabaadi Al-Hanafi states:

“Verily, they (the Muhadditheen) are unanimous on the Hayaat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). There is no difference among them on this issue.” (Anwaarul Humood-Sharh Abi Dawood, Vol.11)

Alhamdulillah, the coprocreep’s alleged 4th inconsistencies are devoid of Shar’i and logical arguments. The Salafi belief regarding the Hayaat (Life) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is baatil.

Proofs That Deeds Are Presented to the Prophet
(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)

By Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hafiz al-Makki

Translator — The article below was published in Roshni, a religious supplement published each Friday with the Saudi-based Urdu News newspaper, in clarification of a column published a few weeks earlier, discussing a story about a man who was told on his death bed that he had been forgiven due to his devotion to sending Blessings and Peace (Salat wa Salam) to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) each morning.

The column also included a discussion on how, according to the writer, it is contrary to Islamic doctrine to believe that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is alive in his grave and that the Umma’s deeds are presented to him — viewpoints that Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hafiz felt compelled to clarify. The shaykh’s article was published on 4 Jumada ‘l-Ula, 1429 (9 May, 2008). Comments within square brackets are not part of the original article and have been included by the translator for clarity.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hafiz writes:

There are a few points to note in Dr Sayyid Sa’id ‘Abidi’s article, Are Our Actions Presented to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)?, which appeared on page eight of the Roshni supplement on 27 Rabi’ al-Ula, 1429 (4 April, 2008).

In response to the above question, Dr ‘Abidi considers the story to be contrary to Islamic belief (‘aqida) and therefore makes some serious accusations against the author [of the book in which the story was originally mentioned]. In reality, the purpose of such stories, which the noble ‘ulama often include in their books, is not to explain belief but to encourage readers to diligently carry out actions mentioned within, as, sometimes, they are a means of gaining Allah Most High’s acceptance.

The author’s purpose [in narrating the story] was only to show that the mercy of Allah Most High turns to the writing and recitation of Blessings and Peace (Salat wa Salam) to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). It is unknown which action will be accepted; because of this one should persistently send Blessings and Peace to him. One should not consider such a deed to be trivial, as a great deal of encouragement to send Blessings and Peace to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has been narrated in the blessed hadiths. Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim and others have mentioned innumerable benefits of this. The purpose of narrating this story is not to explain belief; rather, it is to encourage the sending of Peace and Blessings. It is for this that senior ‘ulama — such as Hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi, Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim, Hafiz Dhahabi and others — have always included such stories in their writings.

In fact, it has been narrated from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself that an immoral woman, seeing a thirsty dog at the side of a well, felt sorry and lowered her shoe inside. Having filled it, she gave the dog water to drink. On this, Allah Most High forgave her. It is not Islamic belief that is being explained here that — we seek refuge with Allah — sin as much as you want and then at the end feel sorry for an animal and feed it; you will be forgiven. Rather, Allah Almighty’s generosity and kindness is being explained that if He, who is the kindest of all (Akram al-akramin), wishes then he can even forgive such a sinful woman on such a small action. In other words, one is being encouraged to mercy the creation, something that draws Allah’s mercy.

Regarding the hadith about the deeds of the Umma being presented to the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), Dr ‘Abidi, in an unbefitting fashion, writes: “Were the actions of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) also presented to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) when he was alive? So, how and for what reason are they presented after the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) death?” Such boldness and disrespect is totally inapt.

The question of why actions are presented [as mentioned by Dr ‘Abidi in his article] remains. However, the Messenger of Allah has clarified this in that very hadith[1]: “Whatever good I shall see, I shall praise Allah for that; and whatever bad I shall see, I shall seek repentance on your behalf.” The purpose has been explained by the Prophet of Guidance and Mercy (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself — something at which Dr ‘Abidi and all of us should rejoice. May Allah Most High, through His bounty, accept the Messenger of Allah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) repentance on our behalf and forgive us all of our sins. Amin.

What remains now is the issue surrounding this hadith, which Dr ‘Abidi has separated into two parts and then individually explained at great length. Regarding this, it suffices to say that senior hadith scholars — those who have an extremely high standing in the subject — have considered it to be authentic (sahih). It is the words of these experts and specialists that will be relied upon and accepted. Personal opinions that run contrary to the views of these masters of hadith will definitely not be deliberated on. This is an accepted principle.

Hafiz ‘Iraqi says the chain of narration (isnad) of this hadith is excellent (jayyid). Imam Hafiz Haythami also mentions the same in Majma’ al-Zawa’id and writes that Imam Qastallani, the commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari, considers it to be authentic (sahih). The great hadith scholar, Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari has also mentioned it to be authentic in Sharh al-Shifa and writes that Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti has mentioned it to be authentic in his books. Imam Munawi has mentioned it to be authentic in Fayd al-Qadir, likewise, Imam Zurqani in Sharh al-Mawahib has considered it to be authentic and so has Imam Shihab al-Khafaji in Sharh al-Shifa.

In addition, the hadith has been narrated mursal[2] from a different chain of narration — this has been mentioned by Hafiz Isma’il al-Qadi in Juz’ al-Salat ‘ala ‘l-Nabi. Shaykh Nasir al-Din al-Albani writes that it is mursal sahih and Hafiz Ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi al-Hanbali has mentioned it authentic in his book Al-Sarim al-Munki. The great hadith scholar ‘Allama ‘Abd Allah al-Ghumari has also penned a booklet, entitled Nihayat al-Amal fi Sihha wa Sharh Hadith ‘Ard al-’Amal, solely on this hadith.

Further to this, Hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi — who has been quoted by Dr ‘Abidi, and who is considered to be among those hadith scholars known for their critical research and stringency — has penned a brilliant two-volume book on the Prophet’s life, entitled Al-Wafa bi Ahwal al-Mustafa (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In its introduction to the book, Hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi writes that he has only included authentic hadiths and kept it completely clear of lies. Hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi also devotes an individual chapter comprising three hadiths to the subject — Al-Bab al-Sabi’ wa w’l-Arba’un fi ‘Ard ‘Amal Ummatihi ‘Alayh (The Forty-Seventh Chapter Regarding the Presentation of His Umma’s Action to Him).

The first of these hadiths has been narrated by Sayyiduna Aws ibn Aws (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Noble Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The best of your days is Friday. On that day Adam (peace be upon him) was created, on that day he died, on that day the Trumpet will be blown and on that day all of creation will swoon. So send a great deal of blessings upon me, for your blessings will be shown to me.” They said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, how will our blessings upon you be shown to you when you have turned to dust?” He said, “Allah has forbidden the Earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets (alayhimussalaam).

The second hadith is the one mentioned by Dr ‘Abidi — not the one from Sayyiduna ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud, but one from Bakr ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Muzani, which is mursal and which Albani says is mursal sahih.

The third hadith has been narrated by Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “My life is also good for you in that wahy (revelation) comes to me from the sky and that I can inform you about what is permissible and what is impermissible; and my death is also good for you in that your actions will be presented to me every Friday. So whatever is good, I shall praise Allah for that; and whichever sins I shall see, I shall seek repentance on your behalf.

In sum, it can be said that the hadiths about the presentation of deeds — including the presentation of Peace and Blessings, as that is also a deed — have been narrated from three individuals: Sayyiduna ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud, Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik and Bakr ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Muzani (radhiyallahu anhum).

One of the hadiths regarding “peace and blessings” has been narrated from Sayyiduna Aws ibn Aws and one from Sayyiduna Abu ‘l-Darda’, which, at the end, includes the wording: “Hence the Messenger of Allah is alive and being given his sustenance.” This hadith [contrary to what Dr ‘Abidi writes in his article] has also been considered authentic by Hafiz Mundhiri, ‘Allama Zurqani, Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani, Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari, Qadi Shawkani and others. Further to this, the noble ‘ulama and great hadith scholars have said the ‘ulama are united (ijma’) that “the Noble Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is alive in his grave and is being given sustenance (rizq).”

Regarding this, Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim in his book, Zad al-Ma’ad, writes in detail that: “It is definitely known that the pure body of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is completely fresh in his blessed grave. The Companions (radhiyallahu anhum) asked the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) how Peace and Blessings would be presented to him after his death? At this, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that Allah Most High has forbidden the Earth from consuming the bodies of the Messengers. If the Prophet’s pure body was not in the noble grave then he would definitely not have replied as such. Likewise, it has been authentically established from the Prophet that Allah Most High has appointed angels at his noble grave to convey the greetings of his Umma. It is also authentically established that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) once stood between Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna ‘Umar and said: ‘We will be raised like this.’

“With all these truths, it is also absolute that the Prophet’s blessed soul is in the Highest Heaven (A’la ‘Illiyyin) at the Rafiq al-A’la together with the souls of the other messengers (alayhimussalaam). Hence, the soul is there and is in connection with his pure body, which is in his blessed grave. The relationship between the soul and the body is such that the Prophet offers prayer (salat) in his noble grave and responds to the greetings of those who visit him. On the basis of this relationship between the soul and the body, he saw Sayyiduna Musa (alayhissalaam) offering prayer standing in his grave.”

In conclusion, there is no room for anyone to reject in anyway that which has been clearly mentioned in the blessed hadiths regarding the life of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in the afterlife (barzakh) — this is regardless of whether one can or cannot comprehend the issue. One should supplicate to Allah Most High that He grants us the ability to make our minds and comprehension subject to that which is explicit in the Qur’an and Sunna — this is the straight path. May Allah grant us all steadfastness on it, and bestow us with His proximity by granting us sincerity and piety in all our actions and states. Amin.

 THE MARTYRS ARE NOT DEAD

Mufti Shafi’ in Ma’riful Qur’an

One who dies in the cause of Allah is a Shaheed (Martyr) and, although, it is correct and even allowed to call him “dead”, yet we are forbidden to regard their death like ordinary deaths. For, though, life in Barzakh is given to everybody which gives him perception of reward and punishment but Shaheed in the Barzakh life is qualitatively different from the one given to other persons. The distinction a Shaheed has over others in Barzakh is that in effect, for the fullness and sensitivity of life, his perception is, keener and deeper. As, for instance, the life sensation is there in finger tips, as also, it is there in heels, but the sensitivity of finger tips is sharper than that of heels. The effect of the finer life-quality of a Shaheed in Barzakh reaches his physical body as well; whereas ordinarily bodies remain unaffected. Consequently, a Shaheed’s body does not waste away, decay or mingle with dust. On the contrary it retains it freshness and a semblance of being alive too. This is duly endorsed by Ahadith and observations. They are, therefore, reported as living and we are forbidden to call them dead. However, for all worldly purposes they are treated at par with the dead; their properties are divided and their wives can remarry. Lives of prophets in Barzakh have a further distinction. Their life-sensitivity is even finer and keener than that of Shaheeds. In Barzakh their bodies retain their life-quality and, in some ways, its manifestation is extended to this life as well; their properties are not divided and their wives cannot again enter into wedlock.

The most strong in the retention of this life-quality are the prophets, then are the Shaheeds, then the ordinary human beings. Nevertheless, according to some ahadith some of the men of Allah and virtuous people share this excellence with Shaheeds. Apparently, those who die while exercising stringent discipline against their selves (Mujaahidatun Nafs) are ranked with Shaheeds. In other words, though this verse specifically refers to Shaheeds as against the broad humanity, it does not, for that reason, exclude the virtuous and the truthful. If, therefore, the body of a Shaheed returns to dust, as bodies of ordinary persons, generally do, the chances are that the person did not, perhaps, die in the cause of Allah which is the only criterion of martyrdom (Shahaadah).

In case a person who fulfilled all the prerequisites of martyrdom and, beyond, any doubt, died in the cause of Allah and whose martyrdom (Shahaadah) has been unmistakably and repeatedly demonstrated, his body must not, on the authority of a hadith, return to dust. If, in spite of Ahadith, the body mingles with earth (what, in fact, has made the author of Ruh al-Ma’ani doubt is how can, in spite of Ahadith, the body of a Shaheed be eaten away by earth) the explanation would be that according to Hadith the body would not return to dust; however, it does not deny the process of decay and decomposition caused by other factors like geo-chemical reaction, body enzymes, and bacteria. Neither does it confute the verse. Other compound objects like weapons, medicines, food, and the commingling of various natural elements like water, fire and air had, undoubtedly, their effects on the bodies of prophets in this world and, obviously, the life-quality of Shaheed in Barzakh is not superior to that of the prophets in this world; if, therefore, the other ingredients register their impact on the bodies of Shaheeds in Barzakh it does not confute, in any sense, the meanings of Ahadith which say the Shaheeds bodies are sacred to earth.

Another answer is that the distinction which Shaheeds have over others is apparent from the fact that, comparatively, their bodies remain unspoiled for a pretty long time, although the liklihood of their disentegration in the longer run does exist. The aim of the hadith should, therefore, be explained by saying that the immunity from decay for such a long time is, in itself, an excess on the customary behaviour of dead bodies. Eternal preservation, and preservation for a considerable long time, both are an “excess on the customary behaviour” of dead bodies. By the words, “Laa Tash’aroon”: “you perceive not”, the Holy Qur’an asserts the fact that the life in Barzakh transcends all sensory perceptions.

 HADITH ON THE HEARING OF THE DEAD

By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

‘Abd ibn Humayd narrated to us: Yunus ibn Muhammad narrated to us: Shayban ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman narrated to us: from Qatadah: Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated to us: he said: Allah’s Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Verily when the servant is put in his grave, and his companions turn away from him, he hears the noise of their sandals” (Sahih Muslim)

The Issue of the Dead Hearing

His statement “he hears the noise”: this hadith is a proof for those who affirm the hearing of the dead and this is the position of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (rahimahullah) mentioned that it is the preferred view of ibn Jarir al-Tabari, ibn Qutaybah and most of the ‘ulama.

It was narrated from ‘A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) that she opined that the dead do not hear and interpreted the hadith of the well of Badr (which contained the corpses of the disbelievers) [in this way]. A group of ‘ulama agreed with her on this. Al-Qadi Abu Ya’la from the great Hanbalis preferred this view. Ibn al-Humam (rahimahullah) mentioned that most Hanafi scholars take the view that the dead do not hear, using as proof His statement (Most High) “Truly thou canst not cause the dead to listen” (27:80) and “Thou canst not make those to hear who are (buried) in graves” (35:22) and for this reason, the Hanafis say: if one swears he will not speak to someone and he speaks to him when he is dead, he has not broken his oath.

The hadith of the chapter proves unequivocally that the dead hears the noise of the sandals of his companions. It is also authenticated from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) according to a hadith that is to come shortly that he addressed the disbelievers from the dead of Badr and said to the Companions (radhiyallahu anhum): “You do not hear better [than them] to what I say to them.” The two shaykhs [Bukhari and Muslim] transmitted it.

Hafiz ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) said in the commentary of Surah al-Rum (3:438): “The correct view according to the ‘ulama is the view of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, due to corroborations to its authenticity from many paths. From the most well-known of these is what ibn ‘Abd al-Barr narrated, authenticating it, from ibn ‘Abbas in marfu’ form that ‘none passes by the grave of his Muslim brother that he knew in the world and greets him except Allah restores his soul to him and he returns the greeting to him.’ It is established from him that he instructed his ummah, when they greet the inhabitants of the graves to greet them with the greeting of one addressed [directly], thus the one greeting says ‘peace be on to you, abode of the group of believers’ and such an address is [only] for one who hears and thinks. Were it not so, this address would be akin to addressing an absent person or an inanimate object. The predecessors (salaf) are agreed on that as the narrations from them that the dead person knows of the visit of the living to him and rejoices are mass transmitted (tawatur).”

Despite this preponderant view in this issue, the moderate verifiers from the ‘ulama, did not adopt it. [They took the view that] it is the norm in the dead that they cannot hear, but it is not impossible that Allah Most High makes them hear a speech in some situations by way of breaking the norm and such an incidence has been established in the hadith of this chapter, in the hadith of the dead of Badr and in the hadith of ibn ‘Abbas which ibn ‘Abd al-Barr narrated and authenticated. Hence, it is required that we believe in the hearing [of the dead] in these instances and stop short [at giving judgment] about other instances which no text is recorded about.

My father ‘Allamah Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (rahimahullah) said in his Ahkam al-Qur’an (3:168): “The view of the generalisation of the hearing of the dead in every part of every moment is a statement [expressing] that which you have no knowledge and the view of its complete negation rivals the aforementioned cited texts. For this reason we say it is established in general, I mean in some times and not other times, for one person and not other persons, in some speech and not other speech, and by this explanation the texts and the cited narrations in this topic are in agreement.” He wrote at length in verifying this issue, listed the texts and narrations pertaining to it and spoke about them with moderation and balance in which the hearts find rest and the chest finds relief so whoever wants further detail should refer to it.

(Takmilah Fath al-Mulhim, vol. 6 pp. 188-9)

 QUESTION
What Aqidah should we have for the people that are dead? Some people say the Prophets are alive in their graves, is this true? Please give me evidence.

ANSWER
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The belief (Aqidah) of the mainstream Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah is that our beloved Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and all the other Prophets are alive in their graves.

This life is physical and worldly (dunyawiyyah), and not just a spiritual one with the sole (barzakhiyyah), as the latter is common for all the people. They are usually involved in performing Salat and worshiping Allah (out of their own choice and not binding on them), and we can normally not see or feel them.

This was the Aqidah held by the Sunni Muslims throughout the ages, and many books in Arabic have been written on this subject. The great Imam Suyuti (rahimahullah) compiled a whole work on this subject titled ‘Inba al-Azkiya bi Hayat al-Anbiya’ (Informing the intelligent regarding the living of the Prophets), in which he quoted many evidences in support of this belief. Similarly, other scholars such as: Imam al-Bayhaqi, Imam Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha’rani and Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in his book ‘al-Ruh (The Soul) have also written and gathered evidences with regards to this.

Evidences on the prophets remaining alive in their graves:

There are many evidences in the Qur’an, Hadith and sayings of the predecessors regarding the prophets remaining alive after death. Some are reproduced here:

1) Allah Most High says:

“And question thou (O Muhammad) our Messengers whom we sent before you. Did we appoint any deities other that Allah, Mot gracious, to be worshiped?” (Surah al-Zukhruf, 45).

Many commentators (mufassirun) of the Qur’an have stated in their respective exegeses that the living of the Prophets can be proved from this verse (See: Durr al-Manthur of Suyuti, Ruh al-Ma’ani by al-Alusi and others).

2) Allah Most High says:

“And say not of those who are martyred in the way of Allah, “they are dead”, nay, they are living, though you perceive it not” (Surah al-Baqarah, 154).

Regarding this verse, the great Hadith expert (hafidh), Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (rahimahullah) states in his monumental commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, ‘Fath al-Bari’:
“When the living of the martyrs is proven from the text of the Qur’an, then this is also proven from an analogical point of view. And the Prophets are superior then the martyrs” (Fath al-Bari, 6/379).

3) Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: “On the night of Isra, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) passed by the grave of Sayyiduna Musa (alayhis salaan), and found him performing Salat in his grave” (Recorded by Imam Muslim in his Sahih, and others).

4) Anas ibn Malik narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The Prophets are alive in their graves performing Salat” (Recorded by al-Bayhaqi in his ‘Hayat al-Anbiya’ and Abu Ya’la in his Musnad).

The above Hadith has been authenticated by many Hadith scholars, such as: Ibn Hajar, al-Haythami, Ali al-Qari, al-Munawi, al-Shawkani and others.

5) Aws ibn Aws (radhiyallahu anhu0 narrates the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as saying: “Send salutations in abundance on me on Friday, as your sending salutations are presented to me. The Companions inquired: “How is it possible that you receive our salutations when your body will have been decayed? The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily Allah has made forbidden on the earth that it eats the bodies of the Prophets” (Recorded by Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Darami and others, and authenticated by many, such as Ibn al-Qayyim).

6) Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “None of you greets me except that Allah returns my soul on me until I return his greeting” (Musnad Ahmad, 2/527 and Sunan Abu Dawud, 1/279).

7) Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The Prophets are not kept in their graves for more than forty nights, but they remain worshiping Allah until the trumpet will be blown” (Sunan al-Bayhaqi).

Due to the fact that there are many narrations regarding the living of the Prophets (of which only a few have been reproduced as an example), Imam al-Suyuti (rahimahullah) is of the view that these narrations have reached the level of certainty (tawatur).

8) The great Hadith master, Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (rahimahullah) states: “Death will never come to the blessed Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in his grave, rather he will remain alive, due to the fact that the Prophets remain alive in their graves” (Fath al-Bari, 17/22).

9) Imam al-Subki (rahimahullah) states: “It is from our beliefs that the Prophets are alive in their graves”. (Tabqat al-Shafi’iyya al-Kubra, 6/266).

10) The great Hanafi jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (rahimahullah) says: “The Prophets are alive in their graves, as proven from the Hadith” (Rasa’il of Ibn Abidin, 2/203).

11) Imam al-Shawkani (whom the Salafis and La-Madhhabis normally refer to) states: “The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)) is alive in his grave, as has been established in the Hadith “The Prophets are alive in their graves”. (See: Nayl al-Awtar, 5/101).

12) Also, one of the major incidents that prove this, is the incident of Me’raj (Ascension of the Prophet to the heavens), where he met and conversed with many Prophets. He also led them in prayer in Masjid al-Aqsa.

The above evidences from the Qur’an, Hadith and the sayings of the predecessors (salaf) are sufficient to prove the fact that the Prophets remain alive in their graves after they pass away from this world. There are many other evidences which we have not mentioned here, due to the fear of prolonging our discussion.

This is the reason why this Aqidah has been held by the mainstream Sunni scholars throughout the eras. It is only recently that some people have objected to this view.

For more details on this subject in Arabic, one may refer to Imam Suyuti’s ‘al-Inba’ and Imam al-Bayhaqi’s ‘Hayat al-Anbiya’.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

 

Question
In one of your fatwahs you mentioned that all Prophets (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are alive in their graves. Could you please explain in what ways they are alive? JazakAllah Khair

Answer
The bodies of the Prophets are preserved and remain intact in the grave. This is mentioned by Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] himself and is authentically proven. The Prophets are also alive in their graves.

We do not know the reality and exact nature of the life of the Prophets [alayhis salaam] in their graves. However, it is mentioned in the Hadith that when a person comes to visit Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] and greets Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam], he (Rasulullah) hears the greeting and also replies to the greeting. When a person sends greetings to Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] from far, the angels carry that salaams and convey it to Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam].

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

 Question
Assalamu-alaikum, Brother, what are “Mamathees and Hayathees”? I will explain…a scholar called Maulana Yunus Nomani came to a local masjid, some people started to say do not give him charity because he is a “Mamathee”, they claim to be linked to the madrassah Deoband but are actually misguided. They were saying that they have belief like the “Wahhabis” like do not believe that the Prophet sallallaho alihi wasalam is alive which sometimes leads to becoming a “Usmani”(?????!!!!). They (the people who where talking about Maulana Younus Nomani) said that they are “Hayatis” and they believe that the Prophet salallahoalaiwasalam is alive and so are the other Prophets peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all and so are the Shaheeds. Please explain is this true about “Mamaathees and Hayatis”? What is Usmani? If it is true (about Mamathees and Hayathees) please tell me according to Qur’an and Sunnah who is right? Jazakallah

Answer
We are unaware of the terminology of Hayatees and Mamathees, however they seem to be referring to the famous controversial topic of Hayatul Ambiyaa (Are the Prophets Alaihimus Salam alive in their graves).

The view of the wahabi/Salafis is that Nabi sallalahu Alaihi wasallam and all the other ambiyaa as well are not alive in their grave. This view has been incorrectly attributed to the Ulama of Deoband. The correct view on the topic is that the Ambiyaa and Shuhadaa are alive in their graves, in a manner like that of their lives in this world, without having to do any Ibadat etc. (Hayaatun Dunyaweeyah bilaa Takleefin). This is the unanimous belief of the Ulama of Deoband and has been mentioned in the book “AL-Muhannad alal Mufannad” (Pg. 38) which clearly states the beliefs of the Ulama of deoband and which as been attested to by all the senior Ulama of deoband.

We are unaware of who is an Uthmani.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

 QUESTION:

With regard to question no 3195 & 7729. Dear Mufti, could you give us proof from Qur’an and Sunnah what you have explain[ed] and you cliam that Ahlus sunnah Wal Jamaa beleive prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is alive in his grave….

The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was a human being who suffered from sickness and real death the same as any other human being. Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):

Verily, you (O Muhammad) will die, and verily, they (too) will die” [al-Zumar 39:30]

And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad); then if you die, would they live forever?” [al-Anbiyaa’ 21:34]

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died and was buried in his grave, hence al-Siddeeq Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Whoever used to worship Muhammad, Muhammad has died, but whoever used to worship Allaah, Allaah is alive and will never die.”

ANSWER:

In your question, you have quoted a few Aayats and the incident of Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu). In actual fact, these have nothing to do with Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) being alive in his grave because the Aayat and the incident of Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) have to do with Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) passing away from this Dunyaa. This is an accepted fact. Everyone agrees that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) passed away for this earthly life.

Everyone also agrees that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is alive in his grave but what has to be understood is how is Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) alive in his grave. If this is understood, I am sure that your objection will evaporate.

Firstly, it should be known that after the death of a person, the life of Barzakh (interval between death and resurrection) takes place. In this regards, both the Muslim and the Kaafir are equal. This is the view of Ahlus sunnah wal Jamaa. This has been proven through many Ahaadith. To cite a few: “When a person is placed in his grave and his companions depart from him, verily, he hears their footsteps, two angels come to him, they make him sit up, then they address him…” (Mishkaat pg.24; Qadeemi)

Once a Jewess came to Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha), she spoke about the punishment of the grave and then said, “May Allah protect you from the punishment of grave.” Later, Hadhrat Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) questioned Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) concerning the punishment of the grave. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, “Yes, the punishment of the grave is Haqq…” (Mishkaat pg.25; Qadeemi)

These Ahaadith explicitly prove that after a person passes away, he enters into a different phase of living and this is the life of Barzakh. However, in regards to this life there are various levels. Allah Ta’ala says in regards to the Shuhadaa, “And do not term those who have been killed in the path of Allah as dead. In fact, they are living but you perceive not.” (Baqarah 153). From here, it is even more evident that a person dying in the world does not affect his status of being alive in the life of Barzakh.

The question that now arises is, what is the meaning of them being alive? Mufti Shafi (rahimahullah) commentating on this verse in his Ma’ariful Qur’aan explains, “It is well known that from the Islamic viewpoint, every dead person has a special type of life in Barzakh through which he experiences either punishment or enjoyment. However, there are different levels in this life. There is the level which is general for all, and there are special levels for the Ambiyaa, the martyrs and the pious.” With regards to the reality of those levels, the best explanation is given by Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah) in his Bayaanul Qur’aan.

The difference between the life of a martyr and of a normal person is that the effects of life is stronger in a martyr. Its example is that of the difference of feeling between the fingertips and the heel of the foot. Life flows in both of them, but feeling and perception is much greater in the fingertips. In the same manner is the effect of life greater in the martyr to the extent it even affects the body of the Shaheed in that it stays fresh in the grave and does not decompose, as is substantiated in the Ahaadith and from eye-witness accounts. This effect of life is only in regards to Barzakh, therefore, in Dunya all the laws that apply to a dead person will also apply to the martyr, his inheritance will be divided and his wife will be able to marry another person. A similar type of life is granted to the Anbiyaa but the effect of their life is even stronger to the extent that together with their bodies being preserved, some effects of their lives in Barzak also become apparent in Dunyaa, hence, their inheritance is not divisible and neither can their wives remarry.

This is what we mean when we speak of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) being alive in his grave. Now for some proofs:

From Aayat 2:253, it is proven that the martyrs are alive in their graves. Which this is established for the martyrs, then it is also established for the Anbiyaa, because:

This position has been bestowed on the martyrs as an honour for them. There is no doubt that there is no rank higher than the rank of the Anbiyaa and that the position of the Anbiyaa is higher and more perfect than the position of all the Shuhadaa. Therefore, it is impossible that this honour is given to the Shuhadaa and the Anbiyaa remained deprived of it;

This position is granted to the Shuhadaa is a recompense for their Jihaad and for spending their lives in the way of Allah. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was the one who instituted this practice, who called them to this practice and guided them towards it. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, “Whoever institutes a noble practice, for him is its reward and the reward of those who act on it until the day of Qiyaamah.”

Anas ibn Maalik (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “The Anbiyaa (Alayhis salaam) are living in their graves, they perform Salaat.” (Majmauz-zawaaid vol.8 pg.211)

The lives of the Anbiyaa (Alayhis salaam) are also proven through the Ahaadith of Mi’raaj narrated by Bukhari and Muslim where it is mentioned that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) led the Anbiyaa (Alayhis salaam) in Salaat and also his meeting them in Jannah.

Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Verily, Allah has angels travelling through the earth, they bring to me the salaams of my Ummah.” (Targheeb wat Tarheeb vol.2 pg.498)

Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Whoever recites Salawaat upon me in my presence, I hear it and whoever sends Salawaat to me and he is not by me, his Salawaat is brought to me.” (Nasaaie)

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

REGARDING THE ‘MAMATI’ SECT 

Maulana Hamood from sunniforum.com states:

“…The mamatis have been categorically rejected by all the senior Deobandi scholars of our times, many seminaries in Pakistan don’t even allow them admission and they are booted out if caught studying under-cover. Our scholars consider them outside the fold of Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah. Nobody does their takfir although there have been a few among their ranks who have fallen into kufr because in trying to deny the hayat of the Prophet they went so far that they ended up insulting and disrespecting the Prophet .May Allah save us from their evil.

The Aqidah of Hayat al-Anbiya is certainly an essential aspect of our maslak, those who deny it should not associate themselves with the Akabir of Deoband. In the eyes of our ‘ulama, there is no valid ikhtilaf on this issue.

Those who can understand Urdu and would like to know more about this subject should read Taskin al-Sudur fi Ahwal al-Mawta wa al-Qubur of Allamah Sarfraz Khan Safdar (ra). He has thoroughtly refuted their false beliefs and also their dancing around the issue by saying the Prophets are “alive” but not really alive because they are alive in barzakh. Something which we may have already witnessed already on this thread.”

Maulana Zameelur Rahman quotes from the above mentioned book:

“There is also this on p. 37 which should leave no doubt about the position of the Deobandi Akabir:

The Way of the Elders of Deoband from the Present Age in Relation to the Issue of the Life of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan) and their Unanimous Announcement

With respect to the holy revered personality, the Noble Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and all noble prophets (alayhimussalaam), the way of the elders of Deoband is this:

1. that after [their] demise they are alive in their graves;
2. and their sacred bodies, themselves, are preserved;
3. and with the material body, they enjoy a life in the Barzakh World;
4. and it is similar to the Dunyawi Life.

It is only that they are not burdened with the laws of Shari’ah. Nonetheless, they even offer prayers. That blessing (durud) which is recited at the sacred garden [i.e. the grave], he hears it directly.

This is the way of the majority of the hadith masters and the theologians of the Ahl al-Sunnah.

Such clarifications are available in various treatises of the elders of Deoband. An independent write-up of Hazrat Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi (rahimahullah) on the life of the prophets with the title Abe Hayat is available. Hazrat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Sahib (rahimahullah), who was from the most upright of the successors of Hazrat Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (rahimahullah), his treatise al-Muhannad ‘ala l-Mufannad is sufficient for the people of fairness and the people of insight.

At present, those who assert [a belief] contrary to this way, this much is certain, that they have no connection to the way of the elders of Deoband.

And Allah speaks the Truth, and He guides to the [right] path.

[Signatories] 

1. Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf Binnori (Allah pardon him) – Madrasah ‘Arabiyyah Islamiyyah, Karachi
2. Mawlana ‘Abd al-Hayy (may he be pardoned) – Muhtamim, Dar al-‘Ulum Haqqaniyyah, Akora Khattak
3. Mawlana Muhammad Sadiq (Allah pardon him) – Previous Nazim, Mahkamah Umur Mazhabiyyah, Saharanpur
4. Mawlana Zafar Ahmad al-‘Uthmani (Allah pardon him) – Shaykh al-Hadith, Dar al-‘Ulum Islamiyyah
5. Mawlana Shams al-Haqq (Allah pardon him) – Head, Wifaq al-Madaris al-‘Arabiyyah, Pakistan
6. Mawlana Muhammad Idris (may Allah be for him) – Shaykh al-Hadith, Jami’ah Ashrafiyyah, Lahore
7. Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Hasan, Muhtamim, Jami’ah Ashrafiyyah, Lahore
8. Mawlana Rasul Khan (Allah pardon him) – Jami’ah Ashrafiyyah, Nila Gumbad, Lahore
9. Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (Allah pardon him) – Muhtamim, Dar al-‘Ulum Karachi
10. Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali (may he be pardoned) – Amir, Nizam al-‘Ulama and Amir, Khuddam al-Din, Lahore

These are ten in total.

Rabi’ al-Awwal 1380 H, September 1960″

Taskeen as Sudoor p. 37

***********************************

(Courtesy: reliablefatwas.com)

The Issue of the Ambiguous Attributes of Allah

[An original Deoband.org article
By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
Translated by Zameelur Rahman]
image

Zuhayr ibn Harb and Ibn Numayr narrated to me: both of them from al-Muqri’. Zuhayr said: from ‘Abdullah ibn Yazid al-Muqri’: he said: Haywah narrated to us: Abu Hani informed me: that he heard Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Hubuli: that he said: ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-’As (radhiyallahu anhu) says: that he heard Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say:

“Verily all the hearts of the children of Adam are between two fingers of the fingers of the Most Merciful like one heart. He disposes of them however He wills.” Then Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “O Allah! Disposer of Hearts, dispose our hearts to Your obedience.” (Sahih Muslim)

His statement “two fingers of the fingers of the Most Merciful”: al-Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “This is one of the hadiths of attributes and there are two views in regards to them which have just preceded:

One of them is to believe in them without venturing into
ta’wil (interpretation) or trying to understand its meaning. Rather, one believes it is the truth and that its outward purport is not intended. Allah Most High said: ‘Naught is as His likeness’ (42:11).

And the second is to interpret them in a manner that is befitting. According to this, the intended meaning is figurative. This is just as is said, ‘such and such a person is in my grasp and in my palm’; it is not intended by it that he took up residence in his palm, rather the intent is: he is under my power. It is said, ‘such and such a person is between my two fingers, I turn him however I wish’ i.e. that he is under my control and I will dispose of him how I wish. Thus, the meaning of the hadith is that He (Glorified and High is He) disposes of the hearts of His servants and other hearts besides them however He wills. None of them are thwarted from him, and what He intends does not escape Him, just as what is between the two fingers of man is not thwarted from him. Thus, He addresses the Arabs [in a manner] by which they will understand it and the like of it by [making use of] sensual meanings that give assurance to their souls. If it is said: Allah’s Power is one, and ‘two fingers’ (isba’an) is for duality, the response is that it has preceded that this is figurative and metaphorical, so the simile (tamthil) occurred in accordance to what they are used to without intending thereby duality or plurality. And Allah knows best.”

The weak servant (Allah pardon him) says:

Imam al-Nawawi (rahimahullah) only mentioned two paths (madhhabs) of the‘ulama of Ahl al-Sunnah in the likes of these texts which attribute a finger to Allah (Most High), or a hand, or a palm, and other things besides these.

The first of them is the path of tafwid (relegation) and this is the position of the majority of the muhaddithin (hadith scholars) and predecessors (salaf), and the second is ta’wil (interpretation), and this is the position of most mutakallimin (scholastic theologians).

There is a third path which a group of the predecessors took, and al-Hafiz al-Dhahabi, ‘Allamah Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahumullah) preferred, and it is that the intended meaning of “finger” is its literal sense (ma’naha l-haqiqiyyah) but it is an attribute of Allah (Most High), is not a limb and is not like the fingers of creation, rather its kayfiyya (modality) is unknown.

‘Allamah Ibn Daqiq al-’Id mentioned a fourth method which was approved by many ‘ulama. He said: “We say about the problematic attributes, it is true and truthful according to the meaning Allah intended. Whoever interprets it, we consider [the interpretation]. If its interpretation is close, in accordance with the language of the Arabs we do not reject it, and if it is distant, we refrain from it and return to affirming [the intended meanings of the attributes] while declaring transcendence. That which is from the attributes whose meaning is apparent and clearly understood from the conversation of the Arabs we understand it in accordance with that, like His statement ‘In that I neglected the side of Allah (janb Allah)’ (39:56), for indeed the intended meaning of it in their popular usage is ‘duty to Allah (haqq Allah)’, so there is no hesitation in understanding it in accordance with this [meaning]. Similar is his statement: ‘Verily, the heart of the son of Adam is between the two fingers of the Most Merciful’, for indeed the intended meaning of it is that the will of the son of Adam’s heart is controlled by Allah’s Power and what He brings down on it.” Al-Hafiz transmitted this in Fath al-Bari (13:383), Kitab al-TawhidBab ma Yudhkaru fi l-Dhati wa l-Nu’ut

All four paths are conceivable (muhtamilah). Multitudes of the verifying scholars have taken every one of them. For indeed the important thing in creed (‘aqidah) is declaring Allah (Most High) beyond tashbih (comparison) and ta’til (negation), and every one of these four paths is firmly convinced of this. The difference between them is not a difference in creed, for indeed the creed is declaring Allah beyond tashbih and ta’til, and it is only a difference of opinion in expressing that creed and basing them on the texts. So not one of these paths is entirely baseless or absolutely misguided, even if theoretical debates and arguments have not ceased to run between them for many centuries. Occasionally browbeating, exaggeration and excess occurred in them from the various sides and occasionally one of them steered in the direction of trespassing the limits of moderation, but the truth is that the basis of the dispute is nothing but an ijtihadi (judgemental) dispute, akin to the differences of the fuqaha (jurists) in juristic matters which are open to interpretation (mujtahad fiha). For this reason, outstanding scholars of the ummah, adherent devotees to the Book and the Sunnah of whose being from the people of truth and from the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah is not in doubt, took every opinion from these four opinions.

It is apparent that the path of the majority of the predecessors (salaf) was tafwid, and this is the safest, most prudent [path] and most in accordance with His statement (Most High): “no one knows its interpretation except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: we believe therein’” (3:7). We have spoken on this matter in some detail in our writings around Tafsir ‘Uthmani which is from the sum of our Arabic essays. See, for elaboration of all sides of the matter, Kitab al-Asma’ wa l-Sifat by al-Bayhaqi, Daf’ Shubah al-Tashbih by Ibn al-Jawzi, Sharh Hadith al-Nuzul by Ibn Taymiyyah and Bawadir al-Nawadir by Shaykh Ashraf ‘Ali al-Thanawi (Allah Most High have mercy on them).

(Takmilah Fath al-Mulhim Vol 5. pp. 379-80)

***************************

Note: This article was originally taken from here

Introduction to the Science of ‘Aqeedah

Islamic Beliefs and the Importance of Its Study                                                

Ilm al-tawhid, the science of divine oneness, is one of the most important and noble sciences. Not only does it refine one’s understanding of the Creator, His messengers, and His communication with creation, but it also enables one to gain insight into the reality and purpose of this world and into the eschatological matters of the Hereafter. These are in fact the three major themes of any work on Islamic beliefs:

(1) The divine being and attributes (ilahiyyat)

(2) The functions of prophethood (nubuwwat)

(3) Eschatology and that which comes after death (maghibat).

In the face of the present-day onslaught of varied ideologies and beliefs, and the promotion of unfettered freedom of thought, it is essential for all Muslims, the youth in particular, to have a firm grasp on their beliefs. The basic understanding one absorbs by being brought up in a Muslim home is scarcely adequate.

There is ample textual proof to the necessity of learning Islamic doctrine. In the Qur’an it states, “No that there is no other deity worthy of worship except Allah” (47:19), and the Messenger of Allah said, “Say, ‘I believe in Allah,’ and thereafter stand firm” (Muslim ).

Studying philosophy without a prior grounding in Islamic theology has many times been ruinous to the faith of some Muslims. Those with exposure to confused renditions of metaphysics and other recondite disciplines sometimes find it very difficult to accept the Islamic beliefs of which they were hitherto unaware. They are compelled, then, to assess these beliefs in light of the ideas that they have subconsciously or knowingly adopted. For some, this path leads to immense intellectual and emotional confusion and trauma which takes years to overcome.

Others are swallowed up by their predicament and become staunch proponents of “reform” and “progressivism” in the religion. Certain extreme cases-Allah forbid-end in outright apostasy. Only sincere believers who are blessed by Allah with the light of true knowledge and recourse to Him are saved.

Another benefit of studying one’s ‘aqidah , beyond this very basic level, is attaining a real and true appreciation of one’s beliefs and a deeper understanding of them, both of which lead to the elimination of doubts. Further study also curtails unnecessary and unconstructive debates regarding the nature of divinity. “Where is Allah?” “How Powerful is He and how much control does he have?” “Does Allah evolve?” “What is Allah and what is He not?” “What constitutes true belief?” “Are deeds important or is just calling oneself a Muslim sufficient for one’s salvation?” “Are prophets capable of sin?” “What is our perspective on the Companions?” “Are there other creations of Allah beyond what we can see?” “What comes after death?” “Is there such a thing as eternity?”

Questions like these can easily be answered by studying more advanced books on Islamic doctrine under the tutelage of reliable scholars. However, the true benefit of this learning lies beyond any intellectual satisfaction that one gains in this world; there is a higher purpose. The scholars, while explaining the first rules (mabadi’ ) of this science, state that its objective is to attain, by the mercy and grace of Allah, success in the Hereafter, the good pleasure of the All-Merciful, and entry into the gardens of eternal bliss.

Brief Sketch of the Origins of Islamic Theology

The earlier generations had little need for a codified form of theology. Most of the time, Surat al-Ikhlaṣ would suffice. Moreover, during the lifetime of the Messenger’s lifetime, in particular, whenever a question of faith or belief arose, he was there to answer it. There was no need then to formally systematize ‘aqidah , just as there was no need to do so for
fiqh , tafsir, and other religious sciences. Nearly the same was the condition of the era of the Companions and that of the Followers, the blessed period known that of the pious predecessors (salaf salihin).

Nevertheless, although Islamic belief and practice were for the most part unshakable during this period, faint tremors ominously signaled the quake that would soon rumble, then rock, the Umma. Seeing the danger posed to sacred Islamic knowledge by deviant individuals, ambitious politicians, and an increasingly confused populace, scholars from each successive generation, in response to the exigencies of their respective times, compiled and systematized Islamic norms, ideas, and beliefs, and meticulously crafted the disciplines we recognize today.

The origin of rigorous theological study can be traced back to as early as the caliphate of ‘Uthman. During his time, various alien ideas took root, with varying durability, in Muslim society and found an eager audience. During the Abbasid period, starting around the middle of the second century AH, the introduction of Greek (or more precisely Hellenistic) philosophy into Muslim lands led to heated discord. The newly formed Mu‘tazila managed to attain great favor with the ruling class, winning several caliphs over to their beliefs. They used their powerful political purchase to question and reinterpret many fundamentals of Islam and force conformity to their beliefs, or at least cow any would-be dissenters into silence. Those who had the courage to object were mercilessly persecuted, most notably Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal  ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ , who was cruelly put to the lash for refusing to accept false doctrines concerning the Qur’an. It was in this turbulent setting that the orthodox theological schools of Abu ‘l-Hasan al-Ash‘ari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ and Abu Mansur al-Maturidi ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ emerged.

Many of the differences one will find in Islamic doctrine and scholastic theology (kalam) literature are primarily between the Ash‘aris and Maturidis and the Mu‘tazila and, on a lesser scale, the Khawarij, Jabariyya, Murji’a, and a few other groups. The differences that some point to between the Ash’aris and the Maturidis are not theologically significant and have clear historical reasons, which we shall touch on below. It is more appropriate to view them as two approaches to the same theology and treat them as one. Indeed, the scholars do just that, referring to both groups collectively as Ash’aris when contrasting them with other sects. Both groups have always been mutually tolerant and never labeled the other innovative or heretical. It is only when these are set against the Mu’tazili and other doctrines that we see major theological divergence. An exhaustive study of each of these groups, and of others, and the effects their interplay had on Muslim government and society has been charted in the venerable tomes of history and theology. It is far beyond our purpose here to give even a synopsis of these works, but to gain a proper context in which to place al-‘Aqīdah al-Tahāwiyya , it is fitting to give a brief overview of the major theological groups.

The Ash’aris

The eponymous founder of the Ash’ari school was the “Imam of the Theologians,” ‘Ali ibn Isma‘il ibn Abi Bishr al-Ash‘ari al-Yamani al-Basri (Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala’ 15:88). A descendant of the famous Companion Abu Mūsā al-Ash‘ari, he was born in Basra in the year 260/873 and died in 324/935.

Imam Ash‘ari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ  was born at a time when several bickering sects were busying themselves with leveling charges of heresy and unbelief at other Muslims. Of these, the Mu‘tazila emerged as the strongest by far and earned the most adherents, especially once they started to garner support from the caliphate.

Abu ‘l-Hasan al-Ash‘ari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ  himself began as a Mu‘tazili. Growing up as the step-son and student of the famous Mu‘tazili teacher Abu ‘Ali al-Jubba’i (d. 303/915), he became firmly grounded in their ideology and proficient in their methods of argumentation, and he was a skilled debater to boot. All these qualities made him the ideal candidate to be the Mu‘tazilis’ star scholar, a post he held for many years. However, at the age of forty, he shocked all by severing himself from them and renounced their beliefs. He also publicly announced his repentance from their beliefs, and then set out to defend the true beliefs of the Ahl al-Sunna wa ‘l-Jama‘a held by the great jurists and
ḥadīth scholars of the time.

Much has been related regarding Imam Ash’ari’s ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ  conversion to orthodoxy. The great ḥadīth master and historian Ibn ‘Asakir relates from Isma‘il ibn Abi Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Ash‘ari    ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ, “Ash‘ari was our shaykh and Imam, the one in whom we placed our reliance. He persisted on the ideology of the Mu‘tazila for forty years. Then he disappeared into his home from the public for fifteen days. When he came out, he went to the Grand Masjid, ascended the pulpit, and said, ‘O people, I retreated from you for this period because, in my study of the evidences [of certain theological matters], they seemed to me to be on par with each other, and the truth over the false or the false over the truth was not discernible to me. I thus sought guidance from Allah, Most Blessed, Most High, and He guided me to the beliefs that I have recorded in this book of mine. I am now divested of all that I believed, just as I am divested of this garment of mine.’ He took off the garment he was wearing and cast it aside, and he passed the books on to the people. Among them were Al-Luma‘ (The Sparks). He then said, ‘Henceforth, I shall endeavor to refute the doctrines of the Mu‘tazila and lay bare their mistakes and weaknesses.’

When the scholars of ḥadīth and jurisprudence read these books, they adopted their contents and embraced them wholeheartedly, so much that their school of thought came to be attributed to him.”

Another incident, related by Qari, Taftazani, and others, may have also contributed to his conversion.

They relate that Shaykh Abu ‘l-Hasan al-Ash‘ari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ  once asked his teacher Abu ‘Ali al-Jubba’i, “What is your opinion regarding three brothers, one of whom dies obedient, another disobedient, and the third as a child?” He replied, “The first will be rewarded, the second punished with Hellfire, and the third will neither be punished nor rewarded.” Ash‘ari asked, “If the third one says, ‘O Lord, why did you give me death at a young age and not leave me to grow up so I could be obedient to you and thus enter Paradise?’” Jubba’i replied that Allah would say, “I knew that if you had grown up you would have disobeyed and thus entered the Hellfire, so it was better for you to have died young.”

So Ash‘ari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ said, “If the second one says, ‘My Lord, why did you not let me [too] die young so I would not have disobeyed and entered Hellfire?’ What will the Lord say then?” Jubba’i was confounded.

Ash‘ari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ abandoned the Mu’tazila doctrine and took to refuting it and establishing what had been transmitted from the Sunna and confirmed by the jamāʿa , or community, of Companions and pious predecessors. Therefore, he and his followers were called Ahl al-Sunna wa ‘l-Jamāʿa or “the People of the Sunna and Community” (Minaḥ al- Rawḍ al-Azhar 220, Sharḥ al-ʿAqā’id al-Nasafiyya ).

The Maturidis

Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Maḥmūd, Abu Mansur al-Maturidi  ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ the “Imam of the Theologians,” was the eponymous founder of the second major Sunni school of theology.

He was born in Māturīd, a district of Samarqand, in present-day Uzbekistan. Aside from being one of the Imams of the fundamentals of Dīn, he was a prominent jurist of the Ḥanafī school, having studied under Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā al-Balkhī.

Abu Zahra (d. 1396/1976) says in his Al-Madhāhib al-Islāmiyya, “Abu Mansur al-Maturidi ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ    and Abu ‘l-Ḥasan al-Ash’ari ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ were contemporaries, and both were striving in the same cause. The difference was that Imam Ash’ari was closer to the camps of the opponent [the Mu‘tazila]. Basra had been the birthplace of the Mu‘tazili ideology and the place from where it grew and spread, and it was also one of the main fronts in the ideological war between the Mu‘tazila and the scholars of ḥadīth and jurisprudence (fiqh).

Though Abu Mansur al-Maturidi   ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ was far from this battlefield, its echoes had reached the lands where he lived, and hence, there were Mu’tazila in Transoxiana mimicking the Mu‘tazila of Iraq. It was Maturidi who stood up to combat them.”

What we learn from the biographies of the two Imams is that their goal was one: to defend the orthodox beliefs of the Ahl al-Sunna wa ‘l-Jama‘a against the onslaught of innovators, especially the Mu‘tazila. Though their objectives were the same, certain elements of their methodologies inevitably diverged, commensurate with the unique circumstances of each Imam’s locality.

Some scholars sum up their differences as follows: Ash‘ari did not set great store by reason in the presence of sacred texts, even if they were transmitted by lone narrators ( khabar ahad ) rather than through uninterrupted transmission (tawatur ), while Maturidi would attempt to reconcile between reason and the transmitted text (manqul), as long as it was possible to do so without too much difficulty or without sacrificing fairness. This slight difference in methodology did not produce any substantial discrepancy in their theological precepts, but indeed served only to make the existing theological discourse all the richer. The differences were on ancillary matters that had no bearing on agreed-upon fundamentals, and most could be reduced to mere differences in phraseology. These two schools are thus both classified as orthodox schools of Islamic theology and of the Ahl al-Sunna wa ‘l-Jama‘a, with the Maturidis coming under the general heading of “Ash‘aris” when contrasted with the Mu‘tazila, Khawarij, and other innovators.
It should be interesting to note that most of the followers of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence have historically been followers of the Maturidi school of theology.

However, one third of them, along with three-quarters of the Shafi‘is, all of the Malikis, and some Hanbalis, adhere to the Ash‘ari school. A few Ḥanafīs, Hanbalis, and Shafi‘is subscribed to the Mu’tazili school, and aside from another group of Hanbalis, who remained on the school of the predecessors (salaf) in the practice of tafwid (consigning the knowledge of the details of ambiguous [ mutashabihat ] sacred texts to Allah), many others adopted the Hashawiyya ideology ( Muqaddimat al-Imam al-Kawthari ).

The Mu‘tazila

Isolationists or Dissenters. The Mu‘tazila doctrine originated in Basra in the early second century, when Wasil ibn ‘Ata’ (d. 131/748) left the circle of Hasan al-Basri ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ after a theological dispute regarding al-manzila bayn al-manzilatayn, and whether a person guilty of enormities remains a believer. Hasan Basri  ﺭﺣﻤﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﮧ ﻋﻠﯿﻪ said, “‘Ata’ has dissented from us,” and thereafter, he and his followers were called the Dissenters, or Mu‘tazila.

The Mu‘tazila (also called Mu‘tazilites) named themselves
Ahl al-Tawhid wa ‘l-‘Adl (The People of Divine Oneness and Justice), claiming that their theology grounded the Islamic belief system in reason. Mu‘tazili tenets focused on the Five Principles:

(1) tawhid (divine oneness)

(2) ‘adl (divine justice)

(3) wa‘d wa wa‘id (promise and threat)

(4) al-manzila bayn al-manzilatayn (the rank in between two ranks)

(5) amr bi ‘l-ma‘ruf wa ‘l-nahy ‘an al-munkar (enjoining good and forbidding evil).

The founders and leaders of this sect included Abu ‘Ali Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Jubba’i, ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd, Bishr ibn Sa‘id, Ibrahim ibn al-Nazzam, Yashama ibn al-Mu‘tamir, Abu ‘l-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf, and Abu Bakr ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Kisan al-Asamm.

Over time, the Mu‘tazila split into more than twenty subgroups, such as the Wasiliyya, Hudhaliyya, and Nazzamiyya, each named after its founder, and some of them even considered the other subgroups to be unbelievers. However, they shared opposition to the Ahl al-Sunna wa ‘l-Jama‘a in several core beliefs, one of which was their negation of the attributes (sifat al-ma‘ani ).

Unlike the Ahl al-Sunna wa ‘l-Jama‘a, they claimed that Allah knows, wills, and sees through His essence, not through the attributes of knowledge, will, and sight. Furthermore, they denied the beatific vision by the dwellers of Paradise. They believed that Allah creates His speech in a body and that the Qur’an is therefore created; that reason can dictate the righteous and wicked to Allah and obligate him to declare it as such; that it is obligatory on Allah to punish the sinner and reward the obedient; that the servant is the creator of his willful actions; and that unbelief and disobedience are not created by Allah (hence, they are also Qadariyya). Nevertheless, it must be remembered that although such beliefs are corrupt and invalid, orthodox Muslim scholars did not necessarily charge the Mu‘tazila with apostasy, nor did they regard it permissible to label them unbelievers because of their views. However, they did render them the status of innovators and transgressors.

The Qadariyya

Libertarians. These were proponents of absolute free will, or libertarianism. The ideology of the Qadariyya (sometimes called Qadarites) is fundamentally shared by the Shi‘a and the Mu‘tazila, both of whom deny that Allah creates evil but ascribe to man the ability to create evil. Ma‘bad ibn Khalid al-Juhani (d. 80/699) was the first to speak in denial of qadar (predestination).

The Khawarij

Separatists or Seceders. The Khawarij (or Kharijites) were the first sect to split from mainstream Islam. After the arbitration between ‘Ali ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ and Mu‘awiya ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ, a small number of pietists separated from them and withdrew to the village of Harura‘ under the leadership of Ibn Wahb and were joined near Nahrawan by a larger group. This was the group responsible for the assassination of ‘Ali ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ and the failed attempts to assassinate Mu‘awiya ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ  and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ  . Even more extreme than the Mu‘tazila, they held actions to be an integral part of faith and thus considered anyone guilty of an enormity to be an unbeliever.

There were some other theological sects that emerged which did not have as much influence as the Mu‘tazila, but nonetheless added to the fierce sectarianism that characterized the period.

The Jabariyya

Fatalists. The belief of the Jabariyya (or Jabarites) is diametrically opposed to that of the Qadariyya. They had a fatalistic outlook and believed that man has no free will in his actions; that man is under compulsion, or jabr, just as a feather is at the mercy of the winds; and that he has no choice even in his intentional actions. A subgroup of the Jabariyya are the Jahmiyya.

The Jahmiyya

They were followers of Jahm ibn Safwan al-Samarqandi (d. 128/745) and considered pure fatalists (jabariyya). Jahm expressed his heretical beliefs in Termez (present-day
Uzbekistan) and was killed by Muslim ibn Ahwaz al-Mazini in Marw (present-day Turkmenistan). Like the Mu‘tazila, he rejected the eternal divine attributes, but he also held other heretical beliefs. For example, he was one of the first to say the Qur’an was created, having learned this idea from his Damascene teacher Ja‘d ibn Dirham. Other beliefs attributed to him are that Paradise and Hell are transient. A number of beliefs are sometimes falsely ascribed to him, according to Imam al-Kawthari, and people sometimes hurl the name Jahmiyya as an insulting epithet upon any disagreeable opponent. Certain beliefs held by Jahm ibn Safwan do take one out of Islam into unbelief, as do some of those held by the Karramiyya.

The Karramiyya

Their name and beliefs are traced to Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad ibn Karram (d. 255/868). About them, Shahrastani writes, “They believed that many contingent things exist in the essence of Allah. For example, they believe that the informing of past and future events exists in His essence just as the books revealed to the messengers exist in His essence [rather than being through His attributes]. They are anthropomorphists (mujassima), for Muḥammad ibn Karram declared that his god (as Allah is transcendent above what he ascribes to Him) rests on the Throne; that He is “above,” as in the physical direction; that He is substantive; and that there are [physical] movement, displacement, and descension for Him, among other irrational ideas. Some Karramiyya also claimed that Allah is a body (jism ).
The Karramiyya divided over time into twelve sects
(Shahrastani, Al-Milal wa ‘l-Nihal 1:108-109).

The Murji’a

Postponers, Deferrers, or Antinomians. They were group of innovators who claimed that disobedience in faith does not harm one, but that Allah forgives all sins as long as one has faith, thus going to the opposite extreme of the Khawarij. Because of their belief, they frequently neglected their religious rites.

Although these sects may no longer exist today as formal groups, some of their beliefs have continued and are heard being advocated by contemporary figures who style themselves as reformers. All praise is due to Allah, then, who has preserved His faith and created in it the power to continually cleanse itself of innovations and spurious reformations. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “This sacred knowledge will be borne by the reliable authorities of each successive generation, who will [preserve it and] remove from it the alterations of the excessive, the interpolations of the corrupt, and the false interpretations of the ignorant”
( Bayhaqi; Khatib al-Baghdadi, Sharaf Ashab al-Hadith ).

[Excerpt from al-Fiqh al-Akbar Explained, Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf]