Tag Archives: Shariah

Present-Day Sufis & Bid’ah

[Majlisul Ulama]

Some of the ‘khulafaa-e-mutakh-khireen’ (the later spiritual mentors) of this lofty branch (of Tasawwuf, viz., Naqshabandiyah) have been guilty of the introduction of bid’ah practices into the Path. Consequently, they strayed from the Path of the Seniors (Akaabir). They have thus lost the direction of the Senior Mentors of this Path. A group of the disciples of these later mentors (who had gone astray by their introduction of bid’ah) hold the i’tiqaad (belief) that the perfection of this Path (of Naqshabandiyah) is to be achieved via the means of these bid’ah practices. Allah forbid! Never is this possible.

A large group of ‘sufis’ have made their exit from the confines of the Shariah. They labour in the deception that they have emerged from the shell of the Shariah and have attained the essence of Tariqat. This deception is among the errors of the sufis. In this way many imperfect persons have embraced atheism and irreligiosity and have made their exit from the glittering circle of the Shariah. Thus have they gone astray and have led others astray as well.

Barkat and Fuyooz (spiritual grace and benefit) remains only as long as bid’ah has not been introduced into the Path (tareeqat). When bid’ah is innovated into the Path (of Tasawwuf), the spiritual effulgence and benefit of the Path come to a halt The mashaa-ikh (spiritual mentors) of other Paths of Tasawwuf too have introduced bid’ah practices based on their intentions and opinion. And, among these mentors of Naqshabandiyah too, a group of later mentors have shunned the lofty Way of their predecessors and have innovated the practices of samaa and raqs (spiritual darkes and music) and zikr jahr (loud forms of zikr).

(Note: According to the general  purport of the Ahaadith, Thikr bil  Jahr is prohibited. This is also the  view of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). Hadhrat  Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) was a Faqeeh  and the greatest among our Buzrugs. According to him it is  bid’ah to consider Thikr bil Jahr to be better and more meritorious. However, for gaining concentration it is permissible, but if this same act is given more larger stage as Masnoon Ibadat, then it will be a bid’ah, and this is what the present-day sufis are guilty of by conducting such mass collective-loud “Thikr-programmes”.)

People of this calibre ( i.e. mentors who have introduced bid’ah) by virtue of spreading bid’ah have extremely little relationship with the Seniors of this Path (of Naqshabandiyah) which is a Path established of Sunnah. There are those in this Path who have by virtue of their short-sightedness accepted the bid’ah practices and by means of these bid’ah have; attracted the hearts of people towards themselves. They labour under the deception that their bid’ah practices have achieved the perfection of this Path. Allah forbid! Never is this possible. In reality, this group (of innovators) have initiated the annihilation of this Path.

The way of najaat (salvation) is obedience to the Shariah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), both in belief and practice. The mureed (disciple) submits himself to an Ustaad or Peer (Spiritual Mentor) for this very reason – that the way of the Shariah is indicated and by virtue of its grace, practice and belief of the Shariah is made easy. The purpose of being initiated into the Path is not to obtain freedom for the disciples so that they may do as they please and eat as they please the Spiritual Mentors becoming the shield of their disciples, saving them from the punishment (of the Hereafter). This is a hollow wish. There (in Qiyaamah) no one will be able to intercede on behalf of another. without Divine Permission.

In this age many have donned the garments of the Sufis and are masquerading (as spiritual mentors). They are advertising the question of ‘wahdatul wujood’ (unification with Allah) and besides this question they know of no other goodness. They have deprived themselves of the reality of true knowledge. They have dragged the actions of the Senior Mashaa-ikh into the scope of their forged and baneful interpretations and in this manner have set themselves up as the leaders of the community. By means of their deception they are seeking to create a boom in the slump which their market (which involves the plunder of mean) has suffered.

Spiritual exercises which have been adopted besides the taqleed (following) of the Sunnah of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are of no significance because even Hindus, Yogis, Brahmins and the Greek philosophers are their co-partners in such forms of soul-exercising practices. These soul and mind exercises are nothing but error for them. They are led astray by these very practices. These ‘mind over matter’ practices indicates to them no road other than the path of spiritual ruin.

In the view of Tareeqat even the ‘shathiyaaf (statements which are made in ecstacy) of the Mashaa-ikh which are in contradiction of the Shariah, are on the stage of kufr. The true Auliyaa who have been infused with the wealth of Islam are pure from such disrespect and are the firm followers of the Ambiyaa, both in the zaahir (external path) and in the baatin (internal path).

These mentors of bid’ah accord priority to the observation of the day of Aashuraa, the day of Baraat, the 27th night of Rajab and the first Jumu’ah night of the month which they name ‘lailatur – raaghib’. They observe these occasions with the utmost of preparation, and with the fullest of contentment do they perform Nafl Salaat in congregation. They regard these practices as meritorious. But, they are unaware that these practices (the manner in which the innovators are practicing) are among the deceptions of shaitaan who presents evil in the form of virtue.

Also Read: The reasons for un-Islamic ideas being mixed into True Islamic Tasawwuf

Status of Beard According to Shari’ah

By Maulana Najeeb Qasmi

What is the stature of beard in Shari’ah, is it obligatory or Sunnah?? And is shaving impermissible or makrooh or forbidden (Haraam)? Majority of the scholars of Hadith, jurists, our respected Ulama and all the four Imams (rahimahumullah) (i.e. Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shaafi’i, Imam Maalik and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal) agree that beard is obligatory. Even in the present times almost all the schools of thought in Islam, in the light of the Holy Qur’an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), are convinced about its status as obligatory.

On this topic, I studied statements of Hadeeth scholars, jurists and our respected Ulama recorded in numerous books written in Arabic and Urdu. All of them have acknowledged that in the light of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) growing a beard turns out to be obligatory because Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has commanded the Muslim Ummah to grow beard and a commandment signifies obligation unless some other statement or act of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or act of companions of Prophet Muhammad reveals that the commandment of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was not about obligation but more of an insistent expression. However, with reference to the topic we are discussing at the moment, the life of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his companions (radhiyallahu anhuma) categorically informs us that Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) injunction to his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Ummah in relation to growing beard is about its obligatory status. Therefore, during the best of periods, from amongst the companions of the Prophet, Tabi’een (those who saw the companions of Prophet in a state of faith and died as believers) or Taba’ Tabi’een (those who saw a Tabi’ee in a state of faith and died as believers) not even a single scholar of Hadeeth, jurist or Aalim passed a decree that declared growing beard as non-obligatory. Rather, everyone has pronounced it obligatory. For details in relation to this particular topic please refer to Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi’s (rahimahullah) Arabic book titled Wujoob I’faa‘illihyah.

Even if we were to agree that growing beard is only Sunnah then it cannot be one of those common or ordinary Sunnahs. Instead, alongside being an extremely important Sunnate Mu’akkadah, growing beard is also to be understood as an essential part of Islam’s adage, and it has been a Sunnah of all the prophets (alayhimussalaam). Moreover, it is something that is natural in the case of human beings and there is simply no scope for changing human nature as Allah has mentioned in Surah Al-Rum, verse no. 30.

An iconic scholar of Hadeeth from the subcontinent Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi (rahimahullah) has written in his book Hujjatullaahil Baalighah (1/152) that trimming or shaving beard is altering the creation and shape given by Allah. This does not get over here. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has declared that trimming or shaving of beard is the way of infidels and Zoroastrians and the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not even like to look at the faces of those who trimmed or shaved their beard.

Let us first go through the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in relation to beard:

Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Oppose the polytheists, by growing your beards and trimming your moustaches.” According to another report the words are, “Trim your moustaches properly and grow your beard.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that once when a Zoroastrian (one who worships fire) was mentioned before Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “These people grow their moustaches and shave their beards. Thus you should oppose these people.” (Sahih Ibn Hibban).

‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was commanded to trim the moustache and grow beard. It came to people’s knowledge that the commandment to grow beard is from Allah, the Ruler of all the rulers. The word of Amara (أمر) too is found in books, which means that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has ordered us to trim our moustache and grow our beard (Muslim).

Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Polytheists grow their moustache and trim their beard. Thus, you oppose them and grow your beard and trim your moustache (reported in Bazzaaz on the authority of a Hasan Sanad). Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Trim your moustache and grow your beard and oppose the Zoroastrians.” (Muslim).

Ayesha (radhiyallahu anha) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has declared ten traits as natural. Out of those the first one is trimming of moustache and the second is growing of beard (Muslim). It means that growing beard is natural for human beings and is an Islamic motto. Moreover, it is the Sunnah of all the prophets (alayhimussalaam) as mentioned by Allamah Ibne Hajar Asqalaani (rahimahullah) in Bukhari’s commentary Fathul Baari (339/10) and by Allama Jalaaluddin Suyuti in Tanveerul Hawaalik, summary of Mu’atta Imam Maalik (219/2), while summarising nature (Fitrah).

When Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wrote to different kings calling them to Islam, one of the letters was also written to Chosroes, the King of Persia. When the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) letter reached him he tore it apart and wrote to the governor of Yemen to send two well-built persons to Hijaaz so that they could bring him the person who wrote to him the letter. So, by the permission of the King of Persia, the governor of Yemen sent two soldiers to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). They both came to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Their beards were ‘clean-shaved’ and their moustaches were grown. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not even care to look at them. Then the Prophet addressed them and said, “There is chastisement for both of you, who has ordered you to do this?” They said, “Our lord, meaning Kisra has ordered us to do this.” Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “But my Lord has ordered me to grow beard and trim moustache.” (Al-Bidaayah Wan-nihaayah 4/270, Taarikh Ibne Jareer 3/90-91). This incident has been recorded by Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Sahab Kandhalvi in his famous work Hayaatus Sahaabah (Volume 1, Page 115) with different Sanad.

A person from the community of Zoroastrians came to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who had shaved his beard and grown his moustache. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) asked him, “What is this?” He said, “This is our religion.” Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “But in our religion we grow beard and trim moustache.” (Ibn Abi Shaibah 8/379)

Jaabir bin Samrah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates, “Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) beard had a lot of hair”. (Muslim)

Hind bin Abi Haalah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) beard was dense” (Tirmidhi and Baihaqi). The same has been reported by Baraa (radhiyallahu anhu) (Nasai 5232) and ‘Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu) (Musnad Ahmad 2/102).

Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) beard was extremely dense. (Musnad Ahmad (1/127).

Ayesha, Uthman bin Affaan, Ammaar bin Yaasir, Abu Ayyub Ansari (radhiyallahu anhuma) and other companions of Prophet Muhammad have been quoted in Hadeeth books saying that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to run his wet fingers through his beard during ablution.

The beard should be left on its own, as in from any of the sides no hair should be trimmed or cut. Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) has made two statements in this regard out of which one that has been declared correct by Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) and, in addition, one of the opinions of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) is the same.

The beard should be left on its own, however, after performing pilgrimage or Umrah it could be trimmed from the right and left sides. Out of two statements of Imam Shaafi’i (rahimahullah) this is the second one which is declared correct by Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah).The hair that goes unkempt on the right and left side of the beard could be cut without holding them in the fist. Imam Maalik (rahimahullah) has the same opinion which has been declared correct by Qadhi ‘Iyaadh (rahimahullah). After holding the beard in the fist the remaining (length wise) should be trimmed. Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) has the same opinion that sunnah is to keep beard that could be held in a fist and less than a fist is not permissible. This opinion has been declared correct by all Ulama of Hanafi Fiqh. Renowned student of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) has written in his book Kitaabul Aathaar that we narrate from Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) and he narrated from Haitham  and he narrated from Abdullah bin Umar (rahimahullah) that [Abdullah bin Umar (rahimahullah)] used to take his beard in his fist and he would trim whatever was left outside the fist. Imam Muhammad (rahimahullah) says that he has adopted that stance only and the same opinion is held by Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah). Therefore, in all the renowned and celebrated texts of Hanafi jurisprudence the same opinion is found that one has to keep beard that could be held in a fist and in case the beard is shorter than that then it is not permissible to trim it.      

On the day when Makkah was conquered, Abu Qahaafah (radhiyallahu anhu) was brought before Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in such a way that his hair was totally white. So Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Change his hair’s whiteness, however, stay away from black colour.” (Muslim, Abu Daud, Nasaai, Ibn e Maajah, Musnad Ahmad).

Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “In order to change the whiteness of hair use henna or Katam.” (Abu Daud, Nasaai, Tirmidhi, Ibne Maajah).

Abdullah bin Abbas (radhoyallahu anhu) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “During the last days (close to qiyaamah), few people will dye their hair with pure black colour. Those people won’t even get the smell of the paradise.” (Abu Dawud, Nasaai).

Description of Prophet Muhammad’s Beard:

Leader of all the prophets and apostles, seal of prophets and Khairul Bariyyah (the best of all human beings) Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) always had beard as we find frequent references to Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) beard in Hadeeth books.

The fact of the matter is that the companions of Prophet Muhammad have referred to his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) beard in different ways. The gist of their description is that Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) beard was dense and had a lot of hair. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also used to run his wet fingers through his beard while performing ablution, and at times he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would also apply henna on it. The Hadeeth books have references of the beard of the righteous caliphs and other companions of the Prophet but I am skipping them so that the article does not get too lengthy. Not even a single companion of the Prophet shaved his beard or had sported one that could not be held in his fist.

Size of beard

On the basis of categorically clear instructions majority of scholars of Hadeeth, jurists and our respected Ulama are in favour of beard being obligatory but for a very long time Ulama and jurists have expressed disagreement vis-a-vis what will be the size of the beard and whether Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself set a certain size of beard to be kept in mind. It can be said with considerable authority that in the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) there is not much clarity with reference to the size of the beard. Yet, as per a Hadeeth recorded in Tirmidhi, which is indeed weak in terms of authenticity, Prophet Muhammd (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to trim extra hair in length and breadth. Moreover, several companions of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), for instance it is substantiated by an authentic Hadeeth that Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) used to hold his beard in his fist and trim the extra hair, as mentioned by Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) (Bukhari).

As a matter of fact, in relation to the size of the beard, few opinions are to be found of Tabi’een, Taba’ Tabi’een and our respected Ulama who belonged to subsequent periods. However, in relation to keeping a beard that is less than the hold of a fist, no companion of Prophet Muhammad or Tabi’ee or Taba’ Tabi’ee or any other reliable scholar of Hadeeth or jurist has given an argument.

Statements made by jurists in relation to the size of the beard:

Through the most authentic and reliable sources clear cut teachings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in relation to beard have reached the Muslim Ummah through Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) only who is among those companions of Prophet Muhammad from whom even renowned companions of Prophet Muhammad sought opinion on different matters. Moreover, Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was an ardent follower of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and he was always among those who zealously followed each and every Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). His acts are presented as standards in themselves. Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) presented Abdullah bin Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu) act in relation to beard as a standard that when he would get done with pilgrimage or Umrah, he would untie his Ihram (the cloth wrapped for pilgrimage) and hold his beard in his fist and trim the extra hair (Bukhari).

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) in his commentary on Bukhari, narrating from Tabari, informs that one group says that when the beard grows longer than a fistful then the extra length of hair ought to be trimmed, then, on his own authority, Tabari (rahimahullah) has narrated from Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) that they did the same.

Jaabir bin Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates, “We used to keep the front portion of our beard grown but in Hajj and Umrah (meaning once they completed Hajj or Umrah) we used to trim that part.” (Abu Dawud).

In relation to beard, after Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), maximum number of reports is from Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu). It has been mentioned that with reference to his beard he too used to trim whatever remained extra after holding it in his fist (Nasabur Raayah).

Imam Ghazali (rahimahullah) writes in his book (Al-Ahyaa’, 1/143) that Ulama disagree in relation to trimming the beard more than a fistful (such that after trimming the beard cannot be held in the person’s fist) but in case someone trims his beard after it can be properly held in the fist then there is no problem because there is evidence for the same from Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and Tabi’een. Allamah Ibn Siren (rahimahullah) has affirmed that keeping a beard that could be held in a fist is better.

Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlvi (rahimahullah) writes in his book (Ashi’atul Lama’at, vol. 1, page no. 228), “Shaving beard is forbidden and growing it till it becomes a fistful is obligatory.”

Allamah Ibn Taymiyyah writes in his book (Sharhul Umdah, 1/236) that, “I’afaul Lihyah means leaving the beard on its own but in case someone trims his beard after it has become more than a fistful or trims the unkempt hair from the sides then it is not disliked (Makrooh) because Abdullah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) has done this.

An article by the author of Safwat At-Tafaaseer’s and teacher at the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) mosque, Sheikh Muhammad bin Ali Al-Saabooni which was published in the famous newspaper of Arabia Al-Madinah on 24 Muharram 1415 AH, wherein along with arguments he had written that beard’s hair should not be left unkempt. Instead, unkempt hair should be trimmed in order to give the beard a proper look. Nor should be the beard left (to grow) in such a way that children start fearing and elderly start avoiding.

Note: Several Ulama of the present times have given fatwa justifying keeping beard that is less than a fistful. However, these Ulama too encourage growing beard till it could be held in a fist.

Clarification of a doubt:

Few people ask that where is it written in the Holy Qur’an to grow beard?? I would like to enquire those people that where is it written in the Holy Qur’an that we have to practice only on those things that are mentioned in it, and where is it written in the Holy Qur’an to not obey the injunctions of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Instead, in the Holy Qur’an, there are numerous occasions where Allah has commanded believers to obey Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and, more importantly, Allah has declared obedience to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as following Him (Surah Al-Nisaa, verse no. 80). Moreover, at different places in the Holy Qur’an, Allah has declared that alongside obeying Him it is necessary to obey Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In case the Holy Qur’an is sufficient for us then why has Allah commanded us repeatedly in the Holy Qur’an to obey Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)?

It is impossible to understand the Holy Qur’an without the aid of Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). As specified clearly by Allah in Surah Al-Nahl verses 64 and 144 that the first commentator of the Holy Qur’an is Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has been assigned the responsibility by Allah that he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) may explain to the Muslim Ummah the commandments present in the Holy Qur’an in absolutely simple and clear terms.

Still, in order to satisfy these people it needs to be highlighted that beard has been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an (Surah Taha, verse no. 94). When Prophet Moosa (alayhissalaam) held the beard of Prophet Haroon (alayhissalaam), the latter said, “O son of my mother, do not hold me by my beard.

Colouring the beard by applying Henna or Khizaab:

In case, hair of beard or head have turned grey because of old age then our respected Ulama, in the light of sayings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), unanimously agree that hair cannot be dyed with pure black colour because it implies altering the order of nature. However, in case a person’s hair turns grey during youth because of some disease then, in relation to dying hair with pure black colour during youth, the Ulama have disagreement but it is better to avoid. However, other than pure black colour, dying hair with henna or a shade closer to black is, whether it is done by young or old, not only permissible but recommended.


My dear friends, keeping beard is the obedience of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), following and expressing love for him. The commandment of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) signals that growing beard is obligatory. However, in the times we live in, few people don’t care at all about what Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) commanded and not only do they get their beards shaved but they start passing various comments on it. Do remember that not growing beard is a sin but to pass false comments on beard or making fun of it pertains to infidelity.

May Allah make us all true lovers of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and may He make us one of those who grow beard, Aameen!

Taqleed and Salafism


Once,  Hazrat  Bahlool  (Rahmatullah  alaih)  passed  by  an  Aalim  who was  quarrelling  with  someone.  Hazrat  Bahlool  (Rahmatullahi  alaih) commented:

If  this  person  [the  Aalim]  had  ma’rifat  [real  perception]  of Allah,  he  would  not  have  squandered  his  time  by  quarrelling with an ignoramus.

Life  is  short  and  transitory.  The  goal  is  Divine  Pleasure  through obedience  to  Allah  Ta’ala  and  His  Beloved  Rasool,  Muhammad (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam).  In  view  of  the  extremely  short  stay  in  this temporary  abode,  people  who  have  come  to  realize  the  purpose  of  their creation  are  continuously  in  pursuit  of  proximity  unto  Allah  Ta’ala. They  shun  idle  talk  and  idle  pastimes.  As  much  as  an  Aalim  who  has ma’rifat  of  Allah  Ta’ala  detests  being  drawn  into  argumentation,  as  he rather  prefers  worship  of  his  True  Beloved,  Allah  Subhaanahu  wa Ta’ala,  circumstances  however  necessitate  that  he  comes  to  the  defence of  the  Deen e Haq  from  the  fabrications  and  falsities  of  the  people  of falsehood. 

Among  the  people  of  falsehood  in  these  times  are  the  modernist  Salafi Sect  who  has  nothing  to  do  in  life  other  than  to  castigate  the  Madhabs of  Haq  and  vilify  the  followers  of  the  Madhaahib  (plural  of  Madhab). They  have  set  their  whims  and  fancies  as  their  Imams  and  have  left  no stone  unturned  in  their  endeavour  to  waylay  the  Imaan  of  unknowing
and  innocent  followers  of  the  Hanafi  Madhab  in  particular,  and  other Madhabs  in  general.  In   fact,  the  modernist  Salafi  Scholars  with  their  shallow  understanding  of the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah  and  their  rigid  Taqleed  of  the  doctrine  of  Ibn Taimiyyah  are  currently  engaged  in  an  all  out  effort  to  rob  people  of their  practice  of  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  in  the  beautiful  and  most elaborate  way  outlined  in  the  Madhaahib e Arba’ah—the  Hanafi, Shaafi’i,  Maaliki  and  Hambali  Schools  of  Thought.  It  has  thus  become obligatory  upon  the  Ulama e Haq  to  expose  the  baatil  of  these  peddlers of abandonment of Taqleed.

Ignorance  and  arrogance  have  become  major  hurdles  for  the  anti-Taqleed  protagonists.  In  consequence,  they  refuse  to  dump  their  oblique understanding  of  the  Shariah  and  rather  accept  the  Shariah  as understood  and  practised  by  the  four  Schools  of  Fiqh  over  the  past fourteen  centuries  of  Islam’s  existence. This  treatise  is,  therefore,  not directed  to  the  votaries  of  abandonment  of  Taqleed.  It  is  for  the  safety and  strength  of  those  who  have  this  wonderful  path  of  Taqleed  to follow. 

This  treatise  is,  for  the  major  part,  a  condensation  of  a  lengthy  treatise on  the  subject  of  Taqleed  and  Ijtihaad  written  by  the  venerable Mujaddid  of  his  time,  Hazrat  Hakeemul  Ummat  Moulana  Ashraf  Ali Thanwi  (Rahmatullah  alayh).  Hazrat  Moulana  Thanwi  (Rahmatullahi alayh)  entitled  his  treatise  ‘Al Iqtisaad  fit  Taqleedi  wal  Ijtihaad’.  In  view of  this  compilation  and  translation  being  in  principle  a  condensation  of Hazrat  Moulana  Thanwi’s  treatise,  we  have  omitted  the  references  to the  page  numbers  from  the  original  work.  Apart  from  the  work  of Hazrat  Moulana  Thanwi  (Rahmatullahi  alayh),  quotations  have  been included  from  other  reliable  and  authoritative  works.  The  references  of these works have been provided in the footnotes. 

This  treatise  is  almost  a  pure  naql,  i.e.  it  consists  of  almost  only quotations,  extracts  and  excerpts.  We  have  only  rarely  inserted  words  of our  own.  The  reason  for  this  is  twofold.  Firstly,  what  we  have  compiled here  is  not  our  personal  opinion.  It  is  the  view  of  the  Authorities  of DeenSecondly,  the  statements  of  our  elders  and  senior  Ulama  obviate the  need  for  our  statements.  Considering  their  Ilm  and  Taqwa,  their understanding  and  commentary  of  the  Teachings  of  the  Shariat  far outweighs  whatever  we  can  produce.  And,  after  all,  we  are  only muqallideen.

Although  we  have  relied  only  on  quotations,  we  have  however, amended some texts to facilitate comprehension and/or for brevity. 

Kitaabs  and  books  on  the  subject  of  Taqleed  are  numerous.  We  are confident,  however,  that  this  treatise  will  serve  as  a  textbook  on  the subject  of  Taqleed.  It  is  only  through  educating  ourselves  in  the rudiments  of  this  Shar’i  requirement  that  we  can  thwart  the  menace  of Salafism.  And  Allah  Ta’ala  is  the  Giver  of  Towfeeq  and  He  is  the  Best Aid.
Jamia  Maseehiyyah  Ashrafiyyah


1. What is Taqleed??

Taqleed  means  to  accept  someone’s  statement  simply  on  the  basis  of  a favourable  opinion  about  him,  that  is,  he  speaks  on  the  basis  of  proof.

Hence, there is no need to question him about his proof.

The  object  of  Taqleed  is  to  practise  on  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  with ease. 

The  rejecters  of  Taqleed  whose  standard  is  held  precariously  in  these times  by  the  sect  styling  itself  ‘Salafiyyoon’ or  ‘Salafiyyah’  insolently  dub Taqleed ‘blind-following’. 

‘Blind’ bears the following connotations:

without  foresight,  discernment,  intellectual  perception,  or  adequate information not  governed  by  purpose  or  reason reckless 

The  very  nature  of  Taqleed  demands  discernment,  intellectual perception  and  adequate  information  as  a  favourable  opinion  of  an Imam  being  qualified  in  the  field  of  Shar’i  Uloom  (Islamic  Sciences) and  thus  being  worthy  of  being  followed  is  dependent  on  these  factors. Taqleed, therefore, can never be blind-following in this sense.  

The  object  and  purpose  of  Taqleed  has  been  clarified  in  1.2.  Thus  the accusation  of  Taqleed  being  blind-following  in  this  sense  is  palpably false.

When  the  muqallid  or  person  making  Taqleed  follows  an  Imam  or Madhab  he  understands  the  Imam  and  Madhab  to  be  a  trustworthy guide  and  the  safest  course  to  obedience  to  the  commands  of  Allah Ta’ala  and  the  teachings  or  Sunnah  of  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa sallam).  He  (the  muqallid)  understands  his  lack  of  competency  in understanding  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth.  For  him  to  resort  to  a  self-study of  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  and  thereby  form  his  own  opinion  is  akin  to bartering  away  his  Imaan.  He  thus  opts  for  the  safest  and  surest  path  to the  obedience  and  pleasure  of  Allah  and  His  Rasool  (Sallallahu  alayhi wa  sallam),  and  that  is  in  Taqleed.  Is  this  being  reckless?  Is  this  blind following?  May  Allah  Ta’ala  save  us  from  the  deception  of  Shaitaan and the evil schemes of the nafs, Aameen. 

When  none  of  the  senses  of  ‘blind’  portray  true  Taqleed,  the  usage  of this  word  in  relation  to  Taqleed  is  crass  ignorance  or  malicious obstinacy.  May  Allah  Ta’ala  save  us  from  the  evils  of  the  tongue  and nafs.

2. The Taqleed of the Rejecters of Taqleed 

2.1  In  so  far  the  rejecters  of  Taqleed  are  concerned,  it  should  be understood  that  according  to  their  very  own  principle  [of  Taqleed  being haraam]  it  is  not  possible  at  all  for  them  to  practise  on  the  Hadeeth.  The reason  for  this  is  that  practising  on  the  Hadeeth  is  only  possible  through Taqleed  of  the  Ulama  in  the  matter  of  the  Hadeeth  being  Saheeh, Dha’eefWaajibul  AmalMustahab  or  impermissible.  And  this,  as  is obvious  is  strict  Taqleed  in  the  Ahkaam  [Laws  of  the  Shariah/Fiqh]. There  is  no  doubt  to  the  fact  that  a  Hadeeth  being  incumbent  for practice,  or  vice  versa,  or  disallowed  for  practice  or  vice  versa  are issues  pertaining  to  the  Ahkaam.  It  is  precisely  for  this  reason  that  the Fuqaha  discuss  the  various  laws  governing  the  Sunnah—its  acceptance, its  rejection,  its  employment,  its  relaxation  and  the  laws  pertaining  to the  narrators—in  Fiqh  and  Usool e Fiqh;  these  issues  being  the elements of the Ahkaam.

Now when  these  people  reject  Taqleed  then  what  gives  them  the  right  to make  Taqleed  of  the  Muhadditheen  in  these  issues  and  on  what  basis  do they  declare  the  views  and  ijtihaad  of  the  Muhadditheen  in  the  field  of Hadeeth categorization to be hujjat [proof] in the Shariah

3.  Taqleed  during  the  Era  of  Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)

3.1  It  is  reported  from  Aswad  Bin  Yazeed  who  says:  “Mu’aaz (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  came  to  teach  us  the  Ahkaam  of  the  Deen  and  to serve  as  governor.  We  asked  him  the  masalah  of  a  deceased  leaving behind  a  daughter  and  a  sister.  Hazrat  Mu’aaz  (Radhiyallahu  anhu) declared  half  [the  estate  of  the  deceased]  for  the  daughter  and  half  for the  sister.  This  was  in  the  lifetime  of  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa sallam).” —Bukhari and Abu Dawood 

We  learn  from  this  Hadeeth  that  during  the  blessed  lifetime  of Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  Taqleed  was  in  vogue.  The one  posing  the  question  did  not  ask  for  proof.  He  accepted  the  fatwa  of Hazrat  Mu’aaz (radhiyallahu anhu) purely  on  the  basis  of  his  Deeni  integrity. This  is Taqleed.

Then,  there  is  no  evidence  of  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam) disagreeing  with  this  fatwa  and  the  implementation  of  this  fatwa  which transpired  in  his  lifetime.  Nor  for  that  matter  is  any  difference  or rejection recorded. Thus, permissibility of Taqleed and its open and freepractice  without  rebuke  in  the  lifetime  of  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is established.

3.2  It  is  reported  from  Sulaiman  Bin  Yasaar  that  Abu  Ayyoob  Ansaari (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  went  for  Hajj.  On  the  way  to  Makkah  he  lost  his camels.  On  Yaumun  Nahr  [the  10th  of  Zul  Hijjah]  when  Hajj  was  over he  came  to  Umar  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  related  his  story.  Umar (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  said:  “Do  what  a  person  performing  Umrah  does and  you  will  be  released  from  your  ihraam.  Then  wait  for  the  Haj season  next  year  and  perform  Hajj.  For  now,  make  qurbaani  and slaughter  whatever  you  are  in  the  means  of.” —Maalik

From  this  Hadeeth  we  learn  that  those  Sahaabah  who  could  not  make ijtihaad  [i.e.  ascertain  the  ruling  of  a  mas’alah  directly  from  the  Qur’an or  Hadeeth],  they  would  make  Taqleed  of  the  Mujtahideen  Sahaabah. Hazrat  Abu  Ayyoob  Ansaari  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  also  a  Sahaabi and  he  did  not  ask  Hazrat  Umar  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  for  any  proof  for his fatwa.
3.3  Episodes  of  this  nature  among  the  Sahaabah,  and  even  during  the blessed  era  of  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa  sallam)  reports  of istiftaas  [questions]  and  fatwas  without  references  and  proofs  among  the Sahaabah  or  among  the  Taabi’een  and  Sahaabah  have  been  documented with  such  abundance  that  it  is  an  awesome  task  to  compile  all.  Those versed in Hadeeth literature are well aware of this.   

4. Following a Particular Imam or Madhab 

4.1  It  is  reported  from  Hazrat  Huthaifah  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  that Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa  sallam)  said:  “I  do  not  know  how  long I  will  be  with  you  people.  Therefore,  follow  these  two  who  will  be  after me.”  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa  sallam)  indicated  to  Hazrat  Abu  Bakr and  Hazrat  Umar  (Radhiyallahu  anhuma). —Tirmidhi  

The purport of  “who will be after me” is: during their reign of Khilaafat. Thus, the command is to follow them during their respective terms of Khilaafat. And, obviously, the Khaleefah is a single person. The conclusion thus is to follow Hazrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) during his Khilaafat and Hazrat ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) during his Khilaafat.  

Thus, Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) instructed that one particular person should be followed for a specific time. And nowhere did he state that proof for the Ahkaam should also be enquired. Nor was it a standard practice of ascertaining the proof for each and every masalah. This is nothing but following a particular Imam or Madhab

4.2 It is reported from Aswad Bin Yazeed who says: “Mu’aaz (Radhiyallahu anhu) came to us to teach the Ahkaam of the Deen and to serve as governor. We asked him the mas’alah of a deceased leaving behind a daughter and sister. Hazrat Mu’aaz (Radhiyallahu anhu) declared half [the estate of the deceased] for the daughter and half for the sister. This was in the lifetime of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).” —Bukhari and Abu Dawood  

Just as Taqleed being Sunnat is proven from this Hadeeth, as mentioned in its appropriate place [see 3.1], similarly this Hadeeth confirms Taqleed of an Imam or Madhab. The reason for this is that when Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) sent Hazrat Mu’aaz (Radhiyallahu anhu) to Yemen to teach the Ahkaam of the Deen he most assuredly gave permission to the people of Yemen to refer to him [Hazrat Mu’aaz] in all their affairs. This is Taqleed of an Imam.  

4.3 It is reported from Hazrat Huzail Bin Shurahbil that a question was posed to Hazrat Abu Musa (Radhiyallahu anhu). Then the same question was posed to Hazrat Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu) and he was furthermore informed of the fatwa of Hazrat Abu Musa (Radhiyallahu  anhu).  Hazrat  Ibn  Mas’ood  gave  another  ruling.  This  was brought  to  the  notice  of  Hazrat  Abu  Musa.  Upon  listening  to  Hazrat Ibn  Mas’ood’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  answer,  he  said:  “As  long  as  this  ‘Ocean  of  Knowledge’ is in your midst, do not refer to me.’ —Bukhari, Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi

Any  person  can  understand  from  the  words  of  Hazrat  Abu  Musa (radhiyallahu anhu):  “As long  as  he  is  in  your  midst,  do  not  refer  to  me,”  that  he  instructed  them to  take  all  their  questions  to  him  [Hazrat  Ibn  Mas’ood  Radhiyallahu anhu].  And  this  is  Taqleed  of  an  Imam,  that  is,  to  refer  all  one’s questions  to  one  Aalim  due  to  some  precept  and  act  according  to  his fatwa.

5.  Why  it  is  Incumbent  to  Follow  a  Particular Imam or Madhab

5.1  It  should  be  known  that  the  incumbency  and  obligation  of something  [in  the  Shariat]  is  established  in  any  of  the  following  ways:

•  The  Qur’an  or  Hadeeth  directs  special  emphasis  to  some  act, e.g.  SalaahSaum,  etc.

Such  incumbency  is  termed  wujoob biz  zaat.

The  act  itself  has  not  been  emphasized;  however,  practically  it  is  not possible  to  carry  out  those  acts  which  have  been  emphasized  in  the Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  without  resorting  to  this  act.  In  this  case,  this  act will  also  be  considered  necessary.  This  is  the  purport  of  the  Ulama’s words:  “The  foundation  of  a  Waajib  is  also  Waajib.”  Take  as  an example  the  writing  and  printing  of  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  literature. Nowhere  in  the  Shariat  is  this  emphasized.  In  fact,  the  following Hadeeth  clearly  evinces  the  non-compulsion  of  writing.  It  is  reported from  Hazrat  Ibn  Umar  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  that  the  Rasool  of  Allah (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  said:  “We  are  an  Ummi  Nation.  We neither write nor calculate.” —Bukhari  and  Muslim

The  Hadeeth  clearly  indicates  its  purport.  Now,  when  writing  in  general is not waajib, then how can writing something in particular be waajib?

However,  there  is  emphasis  on  the  preservation  of  the  Qur’an  and Hadeeth  and  their  protection  from  loss.  And,  it  is  proven  through experience  and  observation  that  it  is  not  practically  possible  to  preserve the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  without  resorting  to  writing  and  printing. Therefore,  the  writing  and  printing  of  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  are regarded  to  be  necessary.  Accordingly,  there  is  an  implied  unanimity  of the  entire  Ummah  for  the  past  14  centuries  on  its  incumbency  in  this way. Such an incumbency is termed wujoob bil ghair

After  understanding  the  types  of  wujoob  and  their  nature,  now understand  that  when  it  is  said  that  the  Taqleed  of  a  particular  Imam  or Madhab  is  waajib,  then  it  means  wujoob  bil  ghair,  not  wujoob biz  zaat.  Thus,  there  is  no  need  to  produce  an  Aayat  or  Hadeeth which  emphasizes  this  type  of  Taqleed  in  name,  just  as  a  demand  of  an Aayat  or  Hadeeth  is  not  made  for  proof  of  the  incumbency  of  writing and  printing  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  literature,  and  regardless  of  the clear  declaration  of  the  aforementioned  Hadeeth  of  writing  not  being incumbent,  then  too  it  is  considered  to  be  waajib  and  this  is  not  viewed to  be  antithetical  to  the  Hadeeth.  In  the  same  way,  there  is  no  need  to produce  any  Nass  [explicit  Quraanic  or  Hadeeth  text]  to  show  the wujoob of Taqleed of an Imam or Madhab.

Yes,  there  is  a  need  to  prove  two  premisses,  viz.:  
What  are  those  things  which  will  be  harmed  in  our  prevailing circumstances  if  we  do  not  follow  a  particular  Imam  or  Madhab? The wujoob of those factors.

The  following  injunctions  of  the  Shariah  will  be  harmed  in  the  absence of  Taqleed  of  a  Madhab:

1.  A  sincere  niyyat  of  only  Deen  in  Ilm  and  Amal.

2.  The  Deen  governing  one’s  desires,  i.e.  to  make  one’s  desires subservient  to  the  Deen,  not  the  other  way  round.
3.  To  abstain  from  such  things  which  pose  a  real  danger  to  one’s  Deen.  

4.  Not  to  oppose  the  Ijma’  or  Consensus  of  the  Ahle-Haq
5. Not to transgress the perimeters of the Laws of the Shariah

These  being  waajib  biz  zaat  is  emphatically  proven  in  the Ahadeeth

In  so  far  as  the  harm  to  these  factors  in  the  case  of  not  following  a particular  Imam  or  Madhab  is  concerned,  it  is  connected  to  experience and  observation.  [In  other  words,  experience  teaches  and  it  can  openly be  observed  that  those  who  abandon  Taqleed  of  an  Imam  or  Madhab fall  into  the  pitfalls  of  insincerity,  Taqleed  of  their  nafs,  harm  to  their Deen,  opposition  to  the  Consensus  of  the  Ummah  and  transgression  of the  limits  of  the  Shariah.  Details  and  examples  are  too  numerous  to  cite in  this  short  treatise.  Only  someone  blind  to  reality  will  venture  to  claim the  contrary.]  And  the  reason  for  this  is  that  in  these  times  corruption and  personal  motives  have  settled  in  the  disposition  of  most  people. This  is  obvious  and  it  has  been  prophesised  in  the  Ahadeeth  on  Fitnah [trials,  mischief  and  evil  times].  Those  versed  in  Ilm  and  Hadeeth  are fully aware of this.

6.  Why  Confine  Taqleed  to  the  Four  Madhabs?

6.1  Previously  it  has  been  proven  that  Taqleed  of  a  particular  Imam  is necessary.  Furthermore,  taking  views  from  different  Imams  is  fraught with  harm.  Thus,  it  is  imperative  to  make  Taqleed  of  an  Imam  whose Madhab  has  been  compiled  and  codified  into  principles  and  detailed laws  to  such  an  extent  that  almost  all  answers  to  questions  are  found  in it  in  the  form  of  a  particular  or  a  universal  principal.  In  this  way  there remains  no  need  to  refer  to  other  views.

By  Divine  Intervention  this  attribute  is  found  only  in  the  Four  Madhabs  [Hanafi,  Shaafi’i,  Maaliki  and  Hambali].  No  other  Madhab enjoys  this  status.  Thus,  it  is  imperative  to  adopt  one  of  these  four Madhabs,  as  opting  for  a  fifth  Madhab  will  result  in  the  same problem  and  discrepancy  of  flirting  with  the  Madhabs  in  fulfilment  of the  nafs’  desire  to  remain  unfettered  from  the  Shariat.  The  corruption  of this has been clarified earlier. 

This  is  the  reason  for  confining  Taqleed  to  these  Four  Madhabs  and hence  for  centuries  this  has  been  the  standard  practice  of  the  Jumhoor Ulama  of  the  Ummat.  Some  Ulama  have  even  recorded  Ijma’  that  the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah is confined to these Four Madhabs.         

6.2  For  Taqleed  it  is  necessary  that  the  Mujtahid’s  Madhab  be compiled.  Taqleed  of  the  illustrious  Sahaabah  is  difficult,  because  none of  their  Madhabs  are  fully  compiled  and  codified.  However,  through the  medium  of  Taqleed  of  the  Aimmah e Arba’ah  [the  Four  Imams],  we follow  the  Sahaabah.  

7. Why the Hanafi Madhab?

7.1  We  reside  in  a  place  where  the  Madhab  of  Imam  Abu  Haneefah (Rahmatullahi  alaih)  is  prevalent  without  any  endeavour  on  our  part. Ulama  and  Kitaabs  on  this  Madhab  are  to  be  found  in  abundance.  Had we  adopted  another  Madhab,  then  it  would  have  been  difficult  for  us to  find  out  the  laws  applicable  to  day today  circumstances.  This  is  due to  the  fact  that  the  Ulama  do  not  possess  that  insight  and  deep understanding  of  another  Madhab  as  they  possess  in  their  own  Madhab.  In  view  of  their  occupation  and  excessive  study  and  teaching  the degree  of  expertise  and  understanding  they  have  of  their  own  Madhab cannot  be  achieved  with  another  Madhab,  although  study  of  the Kitaabs  of  another  Madhab  is  possible.  This  point  is  self-evident  and obvious  to  the  Ahle-Ilm.       

8.  The  Question  of  Taqleed  Being  Prohibited in the Qur’an

8.1  Question: The  Qur’an  censures  Taqleed  in  this  Aayat:  “When  it is  said  to  the  kuffaar:  ‘Follow  the  laws  which  Allah  Ta’ala  has revealed,’  then  they  answer:  ‘No!  In  fact,  we  will  follow  the  path  of  our forefathers.’  (Dismissing  their  response  Allah  Ta’ala  declares):  What! Will  they  keep  to  the  path  of  their  forefathers  regardless  of  their forefathers  lacking  understanding  of  Deen  and  them  being  astray?”   This  shows  that  it  is  evil  to  follow  the  way  of  one’s  predecessors  when we have the Qur’an and Hadeeth.

Similarly,  it  is  stated  in  another  Aayat  that  when  you  have  a  dispute, then  refer  the  matter  to  Allah  and  His  Rasool.  From  this  we  can understand that we should not refer to an Imam or Mujtahid.

Response:  The  mere  translation  of  the  former  Aayat  reveals  that  the Taqleed  of  the  kuffaar  has  no  affinity  with  the  Taqleed  under discussion.  The  Taqleed  of  the  kuffaar  has  been  denounced  for  two reasons. 

The  first  is  that  they  would  reject  the  Aayaat  and  Ahkaam  saying:  “We do not accept it. We would rather prefer to follow our elders.

Secondly,  their  elders  lacked  intelligence  in  the  Deen  and  they  lacked guidance. 

These  two  are  non-existent  in  the  Taqleed  we  are  discussing.  Neither does  any  muqallid  say  that  he  rejects  the  Aayaat  and  Ahadeeth.  In  fact, he  [the  muqallid]  says:  “Our  Deen  is  the  Quraan  and  Hadeeth. However,  I  am  ignorant”  or  “lacking  knowledge”  or  “am  totally incompetent  in  the  field  of  ijtihaad  and  istimbaat.  I  do,  however,  have  a favourable  opinion  and  faith  in  soandso  Aalim”  or  “Imam.  He  was thoroughly  versed  in  the  words  and  meanings  of  the  Aayaat  and Ahadeeth.  Thus,  I  consider  the  purport  which  he  understood  [from  the Qur’an  and  Hadeeth]  to  be  correct  and  the  stronger  view.  Therefore,  I am acting on the Hadeeth, albeit in accordance to his guidance.” 

In  short,  no  muqallid  rejects  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth.  And  the  Imam whom  he  follows  did  not  lack  knowledge  and  guidance,  as  is  proven through  reliable  transmission  from  generation  to  generation  (tawaatur) that they possessed intelligence and guidance. 

Thus,  in  view  of  both  reasons  [for  the  denouncement  of  the  Taqleed  of the  kuffaar]  being  nonexistent  here,  this  Taqleed  [of  the  Madhabs]  is beyond the ambit of the censure in the Qur’an. 

And  how  can  Taqleed  on  the  whole  be  the  purport  of  the  Aayat? Otherwise,  the  Aayat  will  be  in  clear  contradiction  to  all  those  Ahadeeth which  establish  the  validity  of  Taqleed.

9. The  Accusation  of  the  Muqallids Discarding Ahadeeth 

9.1  Just  as  it  is  permissible  to  deduce  a  law  through  ijtihaad,  similarly,  it is  also  permissible  to  regard  a  Hadeeth  to  be  subject  to  rationale  and  act in  accordance  to  the  rationale.  This  entails  specifying  the  sphere  of  the Ahkaam  or  placing  it  on  one  of  several  possibilities  or  restricting  a general  rule  or  acting  on  the  inner  meaning  rather  than  the  external meaning.  This  is  not  antithetical  to  or  discarding  of  the  Hadeeth. Therefore,  such  an  ijtihaad  is  permissible  and  furthermore  Taqleed  of such an ijtihaad is also perfectly permissible.

9.2  In  Bukhari  it  is  reported  from  Ibn  Umar  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  that Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  said  to  the  Sahaabah  after  the Battle  of  Ahzaab:  “None  of  you  shall  read  Asr  Salaah  before  reaching the  Bani  Quraithah.”  ‘Asr  time  came  whilst  some  Sahaabah  were  still  on the  way.  They  were  split  on  what  to  do.  Some  said:  “No,  we  are  going to  read  our  Salaah.  That  was  not  the  purport  of  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu alaihi  wa  sallam).  —His  purport,  rather,  was  to  emphasize  speed  and haste  in  reaching  there  before  Asr.”  —  This  incident  was  brought  to Rasoolullah’s  notice.  He  did  not  reprimand  or  mete  out  punishment  to anyone.           

In  the  above  episode  some  understood  the  actual  purport  by  virtue  of quwwat e ijtihaadiyyah  [power  of  ijtihaad].  The  purport  they understand  was  one  of  the  two  possibilities  and  they  performed  the Salaat.  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  did  not  reprimand them  by  saying:  “Why  do  you  discard  the  apparent  meaning.”  And  nor did he declare them discarders of the Hadeeth

9.3  To  aver  in  relation  to  any  masalah  that  it  is  in  conflict  to  the Hadeeth depends on three things:

The  purport  of  the  masalah  is  correctly  understood.

Its  daleel  is  known.

The procedure of the inference is known.

If  any  of  these  three  factors  remain  obscure  to  the  opposing  party,  their judgement will be erroneous. 

For  instance,  Imam  Abu  Haneefah’s  (rahimahullah) statement  of  Salaatul  Istisqa  not being  Sunnat  is  well known.  The  apparent  meaning  of  this  statement seems  to  be  in  conflict  with  the  Hadeeth  because  it  is  mentioned  in  the Ahadeeth  that  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  performed Istisqa  Salaat.  However,  the  purport  of  this  statement  [of  Imam  Abu Haneefah]  is  that  it  is  not  sunnat e mu’akkadah.  Accordingly, sometimes  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  would  perform Salaah  and  make  du’a  for  rain,  and  occasionally  he  would  make  du’a without  performing  this  Salaah.  Thus,  we  find  the  following  Hadeeth  in Bukhari:  

“It  is  reported  from  Anas  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  that Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  was  delivering  the Khutbah  on  Jumu’ah  day  when  a  person  stood  up  and  said: ‘Yaa  Rasoolallah!  Horses  and  goats  have  perished.  Make  du’a
unto  Allah  Ta’ala  for  rain.’  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa sallam) stretched out both his hands and made du’a.”

The  above  purport  of  Imam  Abu  Haneefah  (Rahmatullah  alaih)  is furthermore  revealed  by  the  following  text  of  Hidaayah:  

“We [the  Ahnaaf]  say  that  he  [Rasoolullah  Sallallahu  alayhi  wa sallam]  did  it  on  one  occasion  and  omitted  it  on  another occasion. It, therefore, is not sunnat.” —Awwalain         

Thus,  once  the  correct  purport  surfaces  the  question  of  opposition  is dispelled. 

Similar  is  the  case  when  the  daleel  remains  obscure.  For  instance, varying  Ahadeeth  are  reported  in  regard  to  one  masalah.  Now  it  will  be incorrect  to  aver  that  a  Mujtahid  has  opposed  the  Hadeeth  merely  by looking  at  one  of  the  Hadeeths.  The  Mujtahid  has  drawn  a  ruling  for  the other  Hadeeth  and  he  presents  a  valid  interpretation  for  this  one.  An example  of  this  is  the  masalah  of  Qiraatul  Faatihah  khalfal  Imam [Reciting  Soorah  Faatihah  behind  the  Imam].  The  Ahadeeth  in  this regard differ.

Or  a  single  Hadeeth  holds  scope  for  several  varying  possibilities.  The Mujtahid  understands  a  certain  possibility,  on  the  basis  of  his  quwwat-e-ijtihaadiyyah,  to  be  stronger.  He  thus  infers  this.  This  too  is  not opposition  to  the  Hadeeth.  An  example  of  this  is  that  it  appears  in  the Hadeeth  that  if  a  person  passes  in  front  of  you  whilst  you  are  reading Salaah  then  you  should  ward  him  off.  The  one  possibility  is  that  the literal  meaning  applies.  The  other  possibility  taking  into  account  other principles  and  rules  is  that  this  Hadeeth  is  by  way  of  warning  and  a deterrent  from  passing  in  front  of  a  Musalli.  If  a  Mujtahid  takes  the second  possibility  then  it  cannot  be  averred  that  he  has  discarded  the Hadeeth. In fact, his practice is precisely on the Hadeeth.

And  similarly,  if  the  procedure  of  inference  is  obscure,  then  too  the judgement  of  conflict  will  be  erroneous.  For  instance,  Imam  Abu Haneefah  (Rahmatullah  alayh)  states  that  the  period  of  breastfeeding extends  to  2  ½  years.  The  daleel,  i.e.  the  Aayat:  “Its  carrying  and weaning…”  is  wellknown.  However,  the  popular  explanation  of  the inference  is  exceptionally  faulty.  In  Madaarik,  however,  the  tafseer  of ‘hamluhu’  [its  carrying]  is  reported  from  Imam  Abu  Haneefah  as  ‘bil akuf’  [with  hands].  By  virtue  of  this  tafseer,  all  objections  are  dispelled. In  this  case,  the  Aayat  means:  After  birth,  the  maximum  period  of  the baby  being  carried  around  in  arms  and  its  weaning  is  30  months.  There is  no  problem  in  this  tafseer  and  the  view  of  Imam  Abu  Haneefah (rahimahullah)  is easily substantiated. 

In  conclusion,  judging  a  masalah  to  be  in  conflict  with  the  Hadeeth  is the  prerogative  of  such  a  person  who  is  thoroughly  versed  in  the Traditions  and  he  possesses  keen  insight  and  strong  mental  perception. One  who  possesses  one  attribute  and  lacks  the  other  is  not  competent  to pass off a masalah to be in violation of the Hadeeth.

It  is  proven  in  the  Hadeeth  [refer  to  10.3]  that  merely  being  a  Hafiz  of the  Hadeeth  does  not  qualify  one  to  be  a  Mujtahid.  Any  unbiased  reader can  understand  from  this  that  when  a  Hafiz  of  Hadeeth  can  be  oblivious to  the  forms  and  procedure  of  inference  then  how  on  earth  can  the ignoramuses  of  today  fathom  all  the  various  ways  a  Mujtahid  employs in  his  deduction  of  the  Masaail?  Thus,  how  audacious  it  is  on  their  part to  stupidly  call  the  Muqallid  ‘discarder  of  Hadeeth’.  May  Allah  Ta’ala reform their condition.  In  this  regard,  whenever  experts  have  found  any  statement  in  conflict with  a  Daleel-e-Shar’i  they  omitted  the  statement  at  once.  Examples  of this  are  the  masalahs  of  the  prohibition  of  consuming  even  a  small quantity  of  an  intoxicant  and  muzaara’at  [farming  on  a  profit-share basis].  There  is  clarity  in  the  Kutub  of  the  Hanafiyyah  that  in  these  two issues  the  view  of  Imam  Abu  Haneefah (rahimahullah)  is  discarded.  However,  the number  of  such  [discarded]  views  probably  does  not  even  reach  ten. 

In this  regard  this  lowly  servant  [Hazrat  Moulana  Thanwi  Alaihir  Rahmah] investigated  and  besides  five  or  six  Masaail  in  which  I  had  some reservations  not  a  single  masalah  was  found  to  be  against  the  Hadeeth.

I  even  recorded  the  various  ways  the  Masaail  correspond  to  the Ahadeeth in a treatise. By coincidence, however, the treatise was lost. 

Nevertheless,  it  is  Haraam  to  revile  a  Mujtahid  because  the  Mujtahid’s error  is  not  intentional.  His  error  is  ijtihaadi  [i.e.  an  error  in  judgement]. In the light of the Hadeeth he is rewarded for this too. 

We  have  said  this  according  to  our  knowledge,  otherwise  it  is  possible that  Imam  Abu  Haneefah (rahimahullah)  had  access  to  a  Hadeeth  which  we  are unaware of.     

9.4  Ibn  Taymiyyah  states  that  the  forms  of  inferences  from  a  Hadeeth  or Aayat  are  so  many  that  no  Mujtahid  can  be  assailed  for  his  inference. This  he  stated  in  his  kitaab  ‘Raf’ul  Malaam  anil  Aimmatil  A’laam.  This kitaab is worthy of perusal.

9.5  Even  if  we  had  to  assume  that  some  Ahadeeth  did  not  come  to  the notice  of  Imam  Abu  Haneefah,  we  nevertheless  find  that  Imam Muhammad,  Abu  Yusuf  Bin  Huthail,  Ibnul  Mubaarak,  Hasan  Bin Ziyaad  and  other  eminent  students  of  Imam Abu Haneefah (rahimahumullah) living  to  the era of Hadeeth Compilation.

Following  them  came  Imam  Tahaawi,  Karkhi,  Haakim  the  author  of Kaafi,  Abdul  Baaqi  Bin  Qaani’,  Mustaghri,  Ibnush  Sharaqi,  Zaila’i  and other  Huffaaz  and  Nuqqaad  [Examiners]  of  Hadeeth  among  the  Ahnaaf  who  flourished  during  the  age  of  the  perfection  of  the  standards  in examining  the  Ahadeeth  from  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam).  They were  fully  cognizant  of  the  SaheehDha’eefMashhoor  and  Aahaad Ahadeeth

Thus,  they  omitted  any  qiyaas  [analogical  deduction]  of  Imam  Abu Haneefah they perceived to be in conflict with the Ahadeeth

Thus,  the  likes  of  Imam  Muhammad,  Imam  Abu  Yusuf,  Zufar  and Hasan  differed  [with  Imam  Abu  Haneefah]  in  a  significant  portion  of his  Madhab.  The  Hanafi  Madhab  again  is  the  collective  statements  of Imam  Abu  Haneefah (rahimahullah) and  these  students  and  associates  of  his. (Rahimahumullah  Ta’ala).

10.  The  Averment:  “The  Quraan  and  Hadeeth are  before  us.  We  can,  therefore,  refer directly to it.”
10.1  One  who  does  not  possess  quwwat-e-ijtihaadiyyah  [refer  to  no.  11] holds no right to resort to ijtihaad.  

10.2  It  is  reported  from  Hazrat  Adi  Bin  Haatim  (Radhiyallahu  anhu) that  when  the  Aayat:  “And  eat  and  drink  until  the  white  thread  becomes noticeable  from  the  black  thread,”  was  revealed,  he  took  a  white  thread and  a  black  thread  and  kept  it.  During  the  night  he  looked  at  it. However,  the  two  threads  were  not  distinguishable  from  each  other.  In the  morning  he  informed  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam). Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  responded:  “Your  pillow  is exceptionally  huge  for  the  white  and  black  threads  (which  actually imply  the  dawn  light  and  darkness  of  the  night)  to  be  under  your pillow.”

Notwithstanding  the  fact  the  this  Sahaabi  was  a  native  who  spoke  the Arabic  language,  he  erred  in  understanding  the  purport  of  the  Qur’anic Aayat  in  view  of  him  not  possessing  quwwat e ijtihaadiyyah. Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa  sallam)  brought  his  mistake  to  his notice  in  a  humorous  way.  In  some  other  Ahadeeth  Nabi  (Sallallahu alaihi  wa  sallam)  did  not  voice  his  disapproval  of  ijtihaad  from  certain Sahaabah.  This  indicates  that  the  Sahaabi  here  did  not  possess  quwwat e ijtihaadiyyah  and  hence  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa  sallam)  did  not credit him for his opinion and perception.

10.3  It  is  reported  from  Hazrat  Ibn  Mas’ood  (Radhiyallahu  anhu)  that Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa  sallam)  said:  “May  Allah  Ta’ala  keep that  person  happy  and  prosperous  who  listens  to  my  Hadeeth,  retains  it, remembers  it  and  delivers  it  to  others.  Indeed,  many  of  those  who  pass on  knowledge  are  not  themselves  versed  in  knowledge,  and  often  a person  passes  on  knowledge  to  someone  who  understands  it  more  than the one who delivered to him.” —Shaafi’i,  Baihaqi  in  Madkhal,  Ahmad,  Tirmithi,  Abu Dawood,  Ibn  Maajah  and  Daarimi  who  reports  from  Hazrat  Zaid  Bin Thaabit (radhiyallahu anhu).

There  is  clarity  in  this  Hadeeth  that  some  Hafizes  of  Hadeeth  do  not understand  the  meanings  of  the  Hadeeth  or  possess  little  understanding of it.      

10.4  The  simple  and  straightforward  test  in  this  matter  is  to  take  a hundred  by-laws  from  a  Fiqhi  kitaab  in  which  the  dalaail  [proofs]  are not  mentioned,  at  random  from  various  chapters  and  trace  their  sources in  the  Qur’an  and  Hadeeth.  Furthermore,  the  principles  governing  the by laws  should  be  proven  from  the  text  or  indications  of  the  Qur’an  and Hadeeth  or  with  sound  rational  arguments.  Once  this  assignment  is complete  it  should  be  compared  to  the  answers  and  proofs  of  the Fuqaha.  Then  one  will  wake  up  to  the  limit  of  one’s  intelligence  and  the worth  of  the  Fuqaha’s  intelligence.  In sha  Allah,  this  will  become evident to one and in future one will not venture to make such a claim. 

10.5  Hazrat  Abdullah  Bin  Mubaarak  (Rahmatullahi  alaih)  furthermore said:   “Had  it  not  been  for  the  fact  that  Allah  Ta’ala  rescued  me through  the  medium  of  Abu  Haneefah  and  Sufyaan,  I would have been just like the others.”

In  other  words,  Allah  Ta’ala  saved  him  through  Imam  Abu  Haneefah and  Imam  Sufyaan  Thawri (rahimahumullah) from  the  perplexity  and  confusion  which  a raawi  [narrator  of  Hadeeth]  is  embroiled  in  when  seeing  the  conflicting Ahadeeth  and  opposing  narrations.  The  two  Imams  (Radhiyallahu anhuma)  would  show  him  how  the  two  [conflicting  Hadeeths]  are reconciled,  which  narration  enjoys  first  preference  and  they  would explain the meanings of the two to him. 

Indeed,  this  [perplexity  and  confusion]  was  the  case  with  not  one,  but many  ruwaat  [plural  of  raawi].  They  were  rescued  by  none  other  than the  Fuqaha-e-Muhadditheen;  those  who  were  experts  in  riwaayat  and diraayat [Traditions and reasoning powers].  Qazi  Iyaadh (rahimahullah)  related  the  following  in  Tadreebul  Madaarik  under  the biography  of  Abdullah  Bin  Wahb  Quraishi  Misri,  the  pupil  of  Imam Maalik  (Rahmatullahi  alaih)  —V.3  pp.  231/6:  

Yusuf  Bin  Adi  said:  ‘I  found  some  people  to  be  faqeehs, not  Muhadditheen  and  some  to  be  muhaddiths,  not faqeehs.  Only  Abdullah  Bin  Wahb  did  I  find  to  be  a Faqeeh, Muhaddith and a zaahid [Buzrug, saint, recluse].’

Ibn  Wahb  said:  ‘Had  it  not  been  that  Allah  Ta’ala  saved  me through  Maalik  and  Laith,  I  would  have  gone  astray.’  He was  asked:  ‘How  is  that?’  He  replied:  ‘I  immersed  myself in  Hadeeth  and  in  consequence  I  became  perplexed.  I would  then  present  my  doubts  to  Maalik  and  Laith  who would  tell  me  which  Hadeeth  to  take  and  which  to  discard [on  account  of  its  unreliability,  abrogation  or  other  factor warranting  its  nonapplication].”  The  end  of  Qazi  Iyaadh’s (rahimahullah) quote.

Hafiz  Ibn  Abdul  Barr (rahimahullah) documented  this  in  Intiqa  with  a  similar  text.  Our Shaikh,  Muhaqqiq  Kawthari  (Rahimahullahu)  annotated  it  with  the following  words:

Ibn  Asaakir’s  text  with  his  chain  to  Ibn  Wahb  is:  ‘Had  it  not been  for  Maalik  bin  Anas  and  Laith  bin  Sa’d,  I  would  have perished.  I  was  under  the  impression  that  everything  reported from  Nabi  (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam)  had  to  be  carried  out.’ In  one  narration  it  appears:  ‘…  I  would  have  gone  astray,’  i.e. in view of the conflict between the Ahadeeth, which happens to many ruwaat who are strangers to Fiqh; who cannot distinguish between a Hadeeth with which practice is associated from one unlike the previous.”

10.6 Qazi Bishr Bin Waleed said: “We would be by Sufyaan Bin Uyainah. When a problematic masalah would come to us, he [Imam Sufyaan] would ask: ‘Is there anyone here from the Ashaab [students, associates] of Imam Abu Haneefah?’ My name would be taken. He [Imam Sufyaan] would say [to me]: ‘Answer.’ I would then answer. He would then remark: ‘Safety in Deen is to turn to the Fuqaha.’

11. What is Quwwat-e-Ijtihaadiyyah

11.1 Now listen to the Hadeeths from which the nature of quwwat-e-ijtihaadiyyah will become manifest.  

Hadeeth One: It is reported from Hazrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) stated: “The Qur’an was revealed in seven dialects. Every Aayat has an apparent meaning and an inner meaning. And for every horizon there is a view. (In other words: the external purport of the Aayaat can be understood through Arabic linguistics and the hidden purport through intellectual and reasoning powers.) —Mishkaat Shareef from Sharhus Sunnah 

Hadeeth Two: Urwah Bin Zubair reports: “I enquired from Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) about this Aayat: ‘Verily Safa and Marwah are among the salient signs of [the Deen of] Allah Ta’ala. Thus, whoever performs Haj or Umrah there is no sin on him if he makes sa’ee between the two.’ I said: ‘This Aayat teaches that there is no sin  on a person who does not make sa’ee of Safa and Marwah (which is the apparent purport of the Aayat because when there is no sin in making sa’ee the apparent meaning is that sa’ee is permitted. If one does not make sa’ee then too it will be permissible.)’ Hazrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) replied: ‘O Nephew! You have made a big mistake. If this Aayat meant what you have understood from it then it would have read: ‘There is no sin in not making sa’ee between the two.”—Maalik, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmithi and Nasaai. 

Hadeeth Three: Speaking on the virtues of the Sahaabah Hazrat Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu) said: “They are the most virtuous of the entire Ummah; their hearts are pure, they possessed the deepest knowledge and they were very open and informal.”—Razeen. 

Hadeeth Four: Hazrat Ibn Juhaifah reports: “I asked Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu): ‘Do you have some knowledge which is not found in the Qur’an?’ He responded: ‘I take an Oath in that Being Who split the seed and created life! We do not have any knowledge, except for a distinct perception which Allah Ta’ala grants to whomever He wishes in [understanding] the Quraan.” —Bukhari, Tirmidhi and Nasaai.
Hadeeth Five: Hazrat Zaid Bin Thaabit (Radhiyallahu anhu) reports: “During the occasion of the battle with the people of Yamaamah, Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) sent someone to call me. When I came to him, I saw Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) sitting by him. Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) spoke to me and said: ‘Umar came to me and advised me that many Qurra of the Quraan fell. He said: ‘I fear that if this continues then a major portion of the Quraan will be lost to us. Therefore, my advice is that you instruct the compilation of the Quraan.’ I responded: ‘How can I do something which Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) never did?’ Umar replied: ‘Wallah! There is  only  good  in  this.’  He  repeated  this  over  and  over  again  until  I  was contented and I understood what he had understood.” —Bukhari and Tirmidhi.

From  the  aforementioned  Five  Hadeeths  collectively,  the  following points  are  clear:

Some  meanings  of  the  Nusoos  [Qur’an  and  Hadeeth  texts]  are  apparent and  some  of  the  purports  are  hidden  and  subtle.  The  latter  are  mysteries, reasons  and  wisdom.  

The  level  of  understanding  the  Nusoos  vary  among  individuals.  Some only  understand  the  apparent  meanings,  whilst  others  penetrate  the hidden  meanings.

In  this  disparity  in  comprehension,  virtue  and  merit  is  not  due  to  mere difference  in  comprehension  as  this  is  the  case  with  any  two individuals.  Rather,  this  virtue  and  merit  is  exclusive  to  a  special  level of  depth  and  penetration  and,  this  is  the  level  of  knowledge  worth  of consideration.  

This  special  level  of  understanding  is  not  the  product  of  human  effort.  It is Allah given.
Thus,  the  summary  of  its  [quwwat e ijtihaadiyyah’s]  nature  as concluded  from  the  above  Ahadeeth  is  that  it  is  an  exclusive  Allah given  proficiency  and  power  of  comprehension  and  deduction  by  virtue of  which  those  who  possess  this  power  discover  the  hidden  purport  and subtle  meanings  of  the  Nusoos  and  the  mysteries  and  reasons  for  the Ahkaam  pertaining  to  practice  and  belief  in  such  a  matter  that  they  are contented. Others cannot penetrate where they have penetrated.

Sometimes,  however,  their  hearts  are  contented  with  another  view.  In such a case they retract their first view.

This  power  is  called  fehmfiqhraaiijtihaadistimbaat  and  other  terms also  are  used  to  refer  to  it  in  the  Aayaat  and  Ahadeeth.

12.  The  Question  of  the  Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen Prohibiting their Taqleed  

12.1  Question:  The  Aimmah e Mujtahideen  have  themselves  said that  it  is  not  lawful  to  practice  on  their  statements  until  the  proof  is know.  Thus,  those  whom  you  make  Taqleed  of,  prohibit  this  self same Taqleed.

Response:  The  audience  of  the  above  statement  of  the  Mujtahideen is  not  those  people  who  do  not  possess  quwwat e ijtihaadiyyah, otherwise,  this  statement  of  theirs  will  firstly  clash  with  those  Ahadeeth which  permit  Taqleed  which  we  have  mentioned  earlier,  and  secondly, it will clash with their practice and other statements of theirs. 

The  clash  with  their  practice  is  that  it  is  not  documented  anywhere  that the  Mujtahideen  would  furnish  proof  when  answering  each  and  every person’s  question.  Similarly,  there  was  no  strict  adherence  to  record dalaail  [proofs]  with  their  Fataawa  which  they  compiled,  as  is  evident  in the  Kitaabs  such  as:  Jaami’  Sagheer,  etc.  It  is  an  obvious  fact  that  an answer  is  given  for  the  sake  of  practice,  whether  the  answer  is  verbal  or recorded in a book. Thus, this practice of theirs is Taqleed per se. 

The  clash  [of  the abovementioned statement]  with  their  other  statements is  that  it  is  reported  in  Hidaayah  Awwalain,  etc.  from  Imam  Abu  Yusuf (Rahmatullah  alayh)  that  if  a  person  has  blood  removed  from  his  body in  the  state  of  fasting  and  thereafter  he  intentionally  eats  or  drinks thinking  that  his  fast  had  broken  on  the  basis  of  the  Hadeeth:  “The  fast of  both,  the  cupper  and  the  one  who  was  cupped  is  broken,’  then  such  a person  will  have  to  necessarily  keep  kaffaarah.  Presenting  the  argument for  this  masalah  Imam  Abu  Yusuf  says:  “It  is  obligatory  on  a  layman [i.e.  a  non-Aalim]  to  explicitly  follow  the  Fuqaha  as  he  has  no understanding of the Ahadeeth.”

This  statement  clearly  shows  that  the  former  statement  of  the Mujtahideen  is  addressed  to  those  who  possess  quwwat e ijtihaadiyyah, not to those who lack this power. Accordingly, reflecting on that statement reveals this restriction. This is due to the fact that the words: “until the proof is not known,” evinces that they were speaking to people who had the potential to comprehend the dalaail. One who lacks quwwat e ijtihaadiyyah may be able to listen to the proof; he cannot however comprehend the proof.  

It is takleefemaa laa yutaaq [imposing the unbearable] which is Shar’i wise baatil [null and void], for a person who lacks the power to comprehend the proofs to try to comprehend the proofs. Thus, it is evident that this address [i.e. the statement of the Mujtahideen in the question] is directed to a Saahib e Ijtihaad, not to a non-Mujtahid.  

12.2 Ibn Taymiyyah states: “The Aimmah barring Taqleed is only in relation to one who has the power to draw Ahkaam from the dalaail.”—Fataawa Ibn Taymiyyah.

13.  The  Error  of  Judging  the  Ahadeeth  of  the Fuqaha on the Criteria of the Muhadditheen 

13.1  In  so  far  as  those  Ahadeeth  are  concerned  which  are  dha’eef according  to  the  Muhadditheen,  firstly  all  those  rules  and  principles  are presumptive  on  which  the  Muhadditheen  have  based  the  strength  and weakness  of  the  Ahadeeth  and  in  which  the  major  factor  is  the credentials  of  the  raawi  [narrator].  Accordingly,  in  certain  principles, the Muhadditheen themselves are split. 

Similarly,  a  raawi  being  thiqah  [reliable]  or  ghair-thiqah  [unreliable]  is also  presumptive  [i.e.  speculative,  not  categorical].  Hence,  the Muhadditheen  differ  in  regard  to  many  narrators.  Furthermore, preference  for  declaring  a  narrator  unreliable  over  his  reliability  is conditional  to  many  restrictions  and  it  is  not  accepted  that  all  the conditions  are  found  everywhere.  The  books  on  this  subject  reveal  the veracity of this point.

When  these  rules  and  principles  are  presumptive  then  how  can  they  be binding  on  all?  When  the  Fuqaha  have  formulated  other  principles  to judge  the  strength  and  weakness  of  the  Ahadeeth  on  the  basis  of  dalaail, as  appears  in  the  Usool e Fiqh  Kitaabs,  there  is  no  reason  then  for objection.  Thus,  it  is  quite  possible  that  a  certain  Hadeeth  is  unreliable in  the  light  of  the  Muhadditheen’s  standards,  but  according  to  the standards  of  the  Fuqaha  the  same  Hadeeth  is  worthy  of  being  a  basis  for formulating Ahkaam

Secondly,  dhu’f  or  weakness  is  not  an  inherent  quality  of  a  Hadeeth. Dhu’f  is  due  to  the  raawi.  Thus,  it  is  quite  possible  that  a  Mujtahid received  a  Hadeeth  with  a  Saheeh  sanad  [authentic  chain]  and  later  on the  sanad  was  tarnished  by  the  addition  of  a  weak  narrator.  Therefore, the  later  dhu’f  does  not  harm  the  earlier  contention  and  proof  of  the Mujtahid

Once  the  Mujtahid  has  employed  a  Hadeeth  in  his  argument—bearing in  mind  that  employing  a  Hadeeth  for  this  purpose  is  dependent  on  the authenticity  of  the  Hadeeth—then  the  Mujtahid  has  actually authenticated  the  Hadeeth.  This  is  the  purport  of  the  Ulama’s  statement: “When  a  Mujtahid  advances  a  Hadeeth  in  his  argument  it  is  his authentication  of  the  Hadeeth.”  Thus,  regardless  of  its  sanad  being doubtful,  according  to  the  muqallid  the  Hadeeth  will  be  judged  to  be Saheeh,  as  is  the  case  with  the  Ta’leeqaat  of  Imam  Bukhari (Rahmatullahi  alayh).  Therefore,  there  is  no  disadvantage  to  the Mujtahid’s argument on account of such a Hadeeth.      

13.2  It  is  only  befitting  to  mention  here  that  the  Thulaathiyyaat [Ahadeeth  in  which  there  are  only  3  links  to  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu alayhi  wa  sallam).  These  Ahadeeth  are  much  prized  by  the Muhadditheen]  by  Imam  Bukhari  and  other  Muhadditheen  are  very  few. You  can  judge  from  this  that,  in  the  entire  Bukhari  Shareef  there  are  not more  than  2022  Thulaathiyyaat.  Imam  Abu  Haneefah,  on  the  other hand,  by  virtue  of  him  being  earlier,  and  a  Taabi’i,  his  narrations  are predominantly  Thulaathiyyaat.  In  fact,  there  are  even  Thunaaiyyaat [Ahadeeth  with  only  2  links  to  Rasoolullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wa  sallam) to  his  credit].  Hence,  Imam  Shar’aani  Shaafi’i  has  written:  “I  have studied  authentic  copies  of  Imam  Abu  Haneefah’s  3  Masaaneed [Hadeeth  works  with  chains  that  are  linked  to  Rasoolullah  Sallallahu alaihi  wa  sallam]  endorsed  by  the  Huffaaz  of  Hadeeth.  I  found  every Hadeeth  to  be  the  report  of  excellent  and  righteous  Taabi’een,  the  likes of  Aswad,  Alqamah,  Ataa,  Ikrimah,  Mujaahid,  Makhool,  Hasan  Basri and others.

Thus,  between  Imam  Abu  Haneefah  and  the  Office  of  Risaalat (Sallallahu  alaihi  wa  sallam),  all  the  narrators  were  honest  and  up righteous  Aalims,  and  they  were  eminent  Buzrugs  [Saints].  None  of them  was  a  liar  or  one  accused  of  mendacity.  It  is  for  this  reason  that the  Aimmah e Hadeeth  and  the  Ulama  have  concluded  that  the Ahadeeth  with  which  the  Aimmah e Matboo’een e Mujtahideen  have formulated  Fiqh,  are  much  more  reliable  and  accredited  than  the  later Ahadeeth,  because  those  illustrious  Fuqaha  were  the  Asaatizah

Islam and Nationalism

The contents of this article are listed below:

1. Understanding the bonds with which humans identify and relate to each other in Society
2. Characteristics of Nationalism
3. Secularism and Nationalism are twin brothers
4. History of Nationalism
5. How nationalism made inroads into Muslim world
6. Rise of Nationalism as a creed and a pseudo-religion
7. Illogical Basis of Nationalism
7.1 Territory and country
7.2 Language
7.3 History, culture and civilization
7.4 Race
7.5 Political organization and economic factors:
8. Nationalism defeats its own objectives
9. Dangers of Nationalism
9.1 Tribal prejudice
9.2 Nationalism culminates in racism
9.3 Nationalism results in a desire to colonize
9.4 Narrowing man’s mental horizon
10. Islam and nationalism are two opposite poles
11. The Prohibition of Nationalism in Islam

1. Understanding the bonds with which humans identify and relate to each other in Society

The concept of nationalism cannot be understood without studying the way humans identify and relate to each other in society.

This study will enable a differentiation to be made between various forms of grouping and nationalism. Human beings can identify or group together on the basis of:

• Love of a particular land or a country – patriotism

• Tribe, lineage or race – nationalism

• Religion – spiritual bond

• A particular issue – bond of interest

• A creed – ideological bond

Patriotism arises when people come together due to the love of a country. It is a form of  unity that comes about when that particular country is under external threat e.g. military conflicts with other nations. The effect of this bond results in people of different backgrounds setting their differences aside to form a common front in support of the
government. A classical example of patriotism was found during the so-called invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina. Public opinion in the United Kingdom was
mobilised against Argentina through the media machinery, uniting political parties of  all shades in the process. The message was simple: “We are fighting for Queen and country.” This unity, based on patriotism, soon evaporated after the Falkland Islands were captured from Argentina.

The inherent weakness of patriotism, as a basis of uniting people, is that it unites people temporarily, and only then if an external threat is looming in the horizon. Hence, patriotism has no role to play during peace time, and it cannot, therefore, be a basis of a
permanent unity.

Nationalism is a bond between people that is based upon family, clan or tribal ties.

Nationalism arises among people when the predominant thought they carry is that of  achieving domination. It starts from the family, where one member asserts his authority to achieve leadership in the affairs of the family. Once this is achieved, the individual extends his leadership to the wider family. In this way, the families would also try to achieve leadership in the community they reside in. The next stage is that of tribes competing with each other, all trying to dominate others in order to enjoy the privileges and the prestige that comes with this authority.

Nationalism cannot unite the people because it is based on quest for leadership. This quest for leadership creates a power struggle between the people and this leads to conflicts among various strata of society. Examples of power struggles can be clearly seen in many Muslim countries, such as in Saudi Arabia where the Saud family has achieved leadership over others by force, and in Sind, Pakistan, where the Bhutto’s have secured massive influence through feudalism.

Another drawback of nationalism is that it gives arise to racism. This is expected if people are allowed to compete with each other on the basis of their race. Some whites, for example, may see themselves as superior to the blacks, or vice-versa, leading to
polarisation of the races and a divided society.

The spiritual bond is a grouping of people based on their ‘religious belief’ which is not a comprehensive belief covering every aspect of life. An example of a spiritual bond is when people identify with each other on the basis of being a Christian, a Hindu or a Jew. Spiritual bond does not unite people on issues other than matters of belief and worships,
hence it is limited and cannot be the basis of any lasting unity.

Another way people group together is on the basis of some common interest. Pressure
groups are an example of such groupings, where people unite over a particular issue which affects their life. Examples of such groups are the Suffragettes from the past and, more recently, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Anti-Nazi League, Farm Animal Welfare Council and so on. Normally, once the issue has been resolved this type of grouping disappears.

Uniting over common interest does not serve to unite people permanently because when
the issue is resolved, people will disperse. Besides, people can hold different opinions over the same issue, thus leading to a clash. For example, some people may support the deployment of nuclear weapons as a means of security whilst others, like members of
CND, will call for nuclear disarmament. Hence, common issues do not provide the basis of a permanent unity.

The final way in which people can group together is on the basis of an ideology. An  ideology is a creed that provides a set of rules and regulations according to which man lives and which he refers to in order to solve his problems . This is commonly known as an ideological bond. It only takes into account the creed and nothing but the creed.
Colour, race and gender are irrelevant. This type of bond is found amongst Muslims,
Capitalists and Communists.

Ideological bond is a permanent bond because it arises from a creed, which is an intellectual conviction pertaining to the meaning of life. The creed is never influence by colour, race, language, love of a land or local issues. Hence, it is the only basis for
permanent unity. Islam calls for this type of unity, as it will be seen later in this essay.

2. Characteristics of Nationalism

The school of nationalism is built upon two animal instincts of man which he has in common with other creatures, namely the ‘group instinct’ and the ‘love of home’.

Nationalism begins with these two instincts, eventually ending in a pseudo-religion which causes these relatively innocent sentiments to become dangerously fanatical. It is similar to tribal system. In the tribal system, wars and peace were made for the tribe’s sake. A person was proud of his membership in the tribe and very often looked with scorn upon others. The tribe was an organization under whose umbrella, the members felt secure. Nationalism also gives rise to similar sentiments.

Giving authenticity to territory, blood or language is the basis of nationalism. It bases unity on language, territory and race. Homeland and nationality become the axis of patriotism. All the loyalty is centred upon the homeland. All other loyalties such as loyalty to God, religion, belief and ideology are subordinated to loyalty to the country and nation. No loyalty should check patriotism, and when religious sentiments come in opposition with patriotic sentiments, the latter must prevail. This is a principle which no nationalist can ignore. Man lives for his country and offers his life for it, and not for anything else. It is attachment to nationality that gives direction to one’s individual and social postures, not attachment to ideology. A human being takes pride in his national achievements and feels dependent on its cultural heritage.

A nationalist believes deeply that nation and country are superior to all others, attributing all the good things to them. It considers sovereignty as a tool to protect the country and its citizens, not one for enforcing a particular ideology and system.

Economy, too, is based on national interest and welfare, not on what is legitimate or illegitimate. Culture, art, poetry and literature are the means for depicting national pride and greatness and creation of solidarity and inspiring racial sentiments.

To nationalism, the strongest factors directing individual and social life, determining intellectual and political postures, are the country and nation. Some of the other characteristics of nationalism are:

1) Belief that one should defend a compatriot against a foreigner, whether the former is in the right or not.

2) Eulogizing and almost worship of national personalities and historical heroes of one’s country.

3) Revival of past traditions such as ancient idolatry. Neo-nationalism too, in this connection, relies on myths, ancient and dead customs.

4) A tendency to distort historical facts to glorify one’s country, and to invent stories and create models to show one’s nation at its best.

5) Like old Totemism, there are special emblems in nationalism which are given sanctity. The flag, national emblem, and national anthem are considered sacred, for each of which a human being has the duty of self-sacrifice.

3. Secularism and Nationalism are twin brothers

Nationalism is closely linked with secularism, in view of the necessity of separation between government and religion, and politics from creed. One of the basic principles of nationalism is a rejection of religious bonds and an acceptance of a secularist order.

Secularism means that religion is something subjective that must be confined to an individual’s private and family life, and religious feelings and ideas should not interfere in the socio-politico set-up, be the concern of nationalism only. So the socio-politico roots of religion should be severed from politics.

Nationalism leads directly to secularism. The belief that national unity must be based on a common land, race or language, necessitates that religion be kept apart from politics. Thus, secularism paves the way for the domination of nationalism, since according to this school of thought, religion and nationalism cannot rule at the same time in the same realm.

Secularism is the twin brother of nationalism and it changes the meaning of minorities. In a government founded on religion, the followers of other creeds and schools are regarded as minorities, but with nationalism and secularism, there are only racial, political and regional minorities. Nationalism claims that religious beliefs prevent national unity and religious minorities feel themselves alienated. The only proper basis is geographical, racial or lingual nationality. The main duty of everyone is the patriotic duty, and religious duty is subordinate to it, and confined to personal belief. The patriotic duty of everyone is to sacrifice everything, even religion, for the nation and country and serve and fight for them.

4. History of Nationalism

While some of the characteristics of nationalism may be witnessed in the tribal system of the Greek city-state many thousand years ago, nationalism as a political, social and ideological school of thought took birth in the West following the French Revolution.

The main fabric of the school of nationalism was laid by the French Revolution, where it was first put to practice. It was then that the stimulation of emotions towards the flag and country, the glorification and worship of national heroes, the composition of the national anthem, the emphasis on the sanctity of the French language and race, the creation of great national festivals and ceremonies in the style of religious rites, a pride in the history of France and a belief in the great mission of the French nation, emerged and displayed themselves one after another in the course of the Revolution.

The 19th century is called ‘the golden age’ of nationalism. It was in that century that Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine set up the foundations for American nationalism. In England, Jeremy Bentham gave nationalism a new scope. With William Gladstone, British nationalism reached its height. Nationalism spread as an intellectual movement and school in the whole of central and Western Europe. Mazzini, who rose in Italy is regarded as one of the greatest theoreticians of the school of nationalism of the 19th century. Other great propounders and banner-bearers of nationalism in that century were Giuseppe Garibaldi in Italy, Victor Hugo in France and Otto Bismarck in Germany.

The history of nationalism in the 20th century can be divided into two periods:

A- Nationalism in the first half of the 20th century.

B- Nationalism in its second half.

In the first half of the 20th century, up to the Second World War, the clearest manifestation of nationalism was seen in Europe and Japan resulting in a universal war. It revived in them the dream of colonizing the whole world, and led them to start two calamitous wars. Most scholars admit that the main cause for the First and Second World Wars was nationalistic sentiments. In this period, the true off-springs of nationalism who elevated this school to its highest position and gave it its severest form were Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany, Peron in Argentina, Franco in Spain and Salazar in Portugal. This was the wicked product that nationalism gave to mankind and this way is still continued. Nationalism is still looked upon as a formal religion by international aggressors such as the U.S.

In the contemporary world, colonization having become a thing of the past, and the colonies having secured their independence, nationalism has come to be used by colonization and imperialism in another form, and its role is somewhat changed.

Neo-colonization uses nationalism to prevent the union of former colonies, so as to keep them weak and dependent on stronger powers.

The imperialists on realizing that they could no longer keep eastern nations under their direct yoke, and that their union would be a serious threat to their interests, started exporting nationalism to the East in a bid to weaken them and encourage conflicts among the newly independent nations of Asia and Africa. This way, they aimed at sowing the seed of hostility and dispersion among them to check their unity and solidarity. This is why we see that wherever colonization has made an exit, the rein of affairs is held by an evil westernized educated minority, and nationalistic forces are encouraged to stand against Islamic forces.

5. How nationalism made inroads into Muslim world

After failing to defeat the Muslims in the Crusades, Britain and France along with the United States focused their attention to separate Muslims from Islam. One of these means was to inject nationalism into the Muslim Ummah.

Using Missionaries who operated in the Uthmani Khilafah (Ottomans), there were many attempts (and failures) to try and establish associations and organizations of members belonging exclusively to one ethnicity (tribe) – such as “Arab” or “Turk”. In 1857, the missionaries were successful in establishing the Syrian Scientific Association and in 1875 the Secret Association was established in Beruit. These organizations, would promote “Arabism” and its related pre-Islamic culture while criticizing the Uthmani Khilafah and accusing the “Turks” of stealing the Khilafah from the “Arabs”. In this manner, Arab nationalism was re-introduced into the Muslim Ummah. By the turn of the 20th century, the fever of nationalism had spread to all corners of the Islamic regions of the Middle East.

When the Colonialists occupied various parts of the Islamic regions, by dividing it into nation states, patriotism (the temporary bond between people of a geographical location against an external threat) emerged among the Muslims as a reaction to the political and economic oppression by the Colonialists. By the time the Islamic Ottoman Caliphate was abolished Muslims were no longer bound solely by the Islamic Aqeedah. Rather, there were additional ties of race, ethnicity, tribe and geographical location.

The important question that arises is why the idea of nationalism which penetrated Islamic lands through Western ideas and colonial plots, was welcomed by some sections of the Muslim masses and how did it expand??

Firstly, the masses could not see the difference between ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’ and to their unconscious mind, both concepts seemed to denote the same idea as that of Islamic ‘Ummahism‘. From the beginning, Islam had created a strong feeling of the ‘Ummah‘ and had divided the world into the “House of Islam” and the “House of War”. The masses believed nationalism to be the same as ‘Ummahism‘ and therefore welcomed it.

Secondly, contrary to the main pioneers of nationalism, who propagated it as a result of their dependence on colonial powers and the West, the masses manifested nationalistic sentiments in opposition to social tyranny or to the colonial influence of Britain and France. To the masses, nationalism was a sentiment, not a school, but to the Western, so-called ‘enlightened class’ and politicians, it was an ideology and a political creed.

6. Rise of Nationalism as a creed and a pseudo-religion

Man cannot live without a faith, an ideology, to which he can show affection and love. In the Middle Ages in the West, this faith, ideology, were found in Christianity and the religion of the Church. But Christianity was an unrealistic, imperfect and one dimensional religion, and since it had an unscientific and anti-intellectual basis, it could not last as a permanent and universal religion and ideology.

The Renaissance and subsequent changes dealt the church a heavy blow, and Christianity could no longer make its presence felt as a living faith in Europe, and soon became a dead creed.

In the absence of an inspiring force that would revive them, the westerners were left in the dark. Christianity was dead. Since man cannot live in a vacuum (of belief) and needs an ideology to follow, to inspire and love, ‘Aazar, the idol-maker’ of Western ideas hewed the idol of nationalism, and offered it to the West as a new religion and a new god to fill the vacuum and that was welcomed by thirsty devotees. This vacuum was later on filled by Marxism, and both these schools owed their creation to the weakness and failure of Christianity in satisfying the religious longing of Westerners.

7. Illogical Basis of Nationalism

Herbert Luthy says: “Nationalism is a creed based on a handful of dogmas that cannot be accounted for from a scientific and intellectual point of view, and have authenticity only in the minds of their followers.”

Nationalists have been unable to explain explicitly how their principles can be applied universally, and what are the factors which build up the independent identity of a nation and what is the distinction of a nation which naturally or psychologically sets it apart from other nations, so that these qualities cannot be found in any other nation. The works of the nationalist propounders give us no indication in this connection, but a show of such disharmonious ideas which are not logically acceptable.

Nationalist theoreticians rely on geographical, lingual, racial, political, economic, cultural and historical factors, and regard the territory, country, blood and history as the factors that build up a nation’s separate identity.

Now we will analyze the validity and logic of each of the above factors as a so-called unifying factor and as a yardstick for measuring the independent identity of a society.

7.1 Territory and country

These words are rather conventional, than natural. A human being feels at home to be in his town, village and locality as a result of persistent suggestion from outside.

If one is to consider more than the above, why should he regard himself an Egyptian and not an Arab?? And if he is a member of the Arab world, why not be an Asiatic?? This is something conventional and personal, not logical. Why should a man, born in Ireland, consider his country to be Britain and not Ireland?? The frontiers of many countries are imaginary demarcations. Nationalists want the people to show attachment to these crooked lines that colonial powers have drawn on the maps of Asia and Africa, and turn this affection into an ideology. They drew these lines, made them look real and forced people on this side of the line to consider themselves as belonging to that country, and those outside that line as foreigners, without giving a logical reason for it. The attachment of a person to his land is natural, not logical. When it is suggested constantly to a person that a country is his homeland, he comes to believe it, and to consider others as aliens. From a geographical viewpoint, ‘homeland’ is constantly changing. What Afghanistan is today, was considered Iran yesterday. Why then should an Afghan regard himself an Afghan and not an Iranian? This is only a matter of suggestion.

7.2 Language

The German school of nationalism with Herbert Luthy (1744-1803) and Johan Fichte (1762-1814), particularly, who had been its greatest representatives in the 18th and 19th centuries considers language and history to be the most important factors behind the national identity of a people. They regard language as being especially significant in the creation of a national spirit and identity. Following them are some nationalists of the Islamic world like Namegh Kamal of Turkey and Nadim of Egypt who attach the greatest importance to language as a basis of nationality. But the fact is that the language and common history of a people have not been sufficient in themselves to kindle a national awareness.

The Americans of George Washington’s time had the same language and history as those of England, and yet they segregated from Britain and became an independent nation. Switzerland has three different languages in three regions, and yet the feeling of nationality is strong there. If language is a determining factor of unity and independent national solidarity, why did not England and North America form a single nation in spite of their common language?? Why did not the Latin American countries (except Brazil) which have a common language like Spain, Brazil or Portugal become united??

We do not want to deny the role of a common language in accelerating the process of unity and solidarity, since it is evident that language is a means of direct communication, offering a nation a common literature. What we mean is that language is not the principal factor in shaping nationality, even if it speeds the process. Many nations have become nations in spite of differences in languages (like Switzerland), while there are many nations which are remote from one another in spite of a common language. Thus language cannot be regarded as a firm basis for nationality. Nasser and other Arab nationalists tried to set up a united Arab nation on the basis of a common language but they failed. The Maronite Christians and Muslims of Lebanon speak the same language but they have been fighting each other for the last six years, and these Christians feel closer to the Europeans than to the Muslims.

Moreover, in every country, we come across several languages, not one. What is called a dialect is in fact a different language. Is it easier for a Persian-speaking individual to understand the Afghani Dari or the Azari of Tabriz?? The people of Arabia do not understand even ten percent of the Arabic of Libya. All these facts show that language is a weak factor and basis of nationality and any reasoning opposing this assertion will be illogical and defective.

7.3 History, culture and civilization

It is true that the history and culture of a people create a feeling of unity and of communal interests, but nationalists forget the fact that in the East, especially in the world of Islam, the unity of history, culture and civilization is based on belief, not on geographical factors. Culture and civilization-wise, post-Islamic Iran is more close to Arab countries and Pakistan, than to the ancient Zoroastrian culture. Similarly, Egypt in its culture and civilization is closer to post-Islamic Iran than was the Pharaonic civilization. Our history and culture are based on ideology and belief. All the Muslims after the rise of Islam have the same history and culture. The past civilization of Iranians, Arabs, Turks, Pakistanis and Indian Muslims is nothing but an Islamic one. Nationalism tries in vain to call this civilization an Iranian or Arab civilization in order to rouse the national sentiments or unearth the decayed bones of pre-Islamic history and culture which has nothing to do with our present culture and civilization. That is why the relics of those civilizations cannot warm the hearts of the people in comparison with Islamic history and civilization, and lead them towards unity and victory.

Nationalists do not only try to revive the memory of the ancient civilization through exaggerations, suppositions, bombasts, self-Praise and fallacious reasonings, but they also resort to a scorn of Islamic history and civilization in order to elevate the racial greatness of Iranians, Arabs or Turks, and, try to ignore Islam altogether. But this is wrong and prejudiced and it defeats the objective. As a teacher  has pointed out: “During the whole course of history, the Iranian race (and the Turks, Arabs and other Muslim nations) has never found a better opportunity than the brilliant Islamic centuries to show its talent and ability.

Contrary to the nationalists, since the seventh century A.D., Iran, Turkey and the Middle East embraced Islam, so strongly that their history is the same as that of Islam, and their course has been the same with the course of Islamic history, culture and civilization. The greatness and honor of these nations lie in their share in promoting Islam and in their creation of a magnificent Islamic culture and civilization. They are the achievements of these Islamic nations whose past history is not in any way comparable with their religion, and if Islamic countries wish to be proud of their past, they have no basis but Islam.

Moreover, the choice of history as a factor in building up a man’s identity is a feeble and illogical one, since the frontiers of countries have not been the same throughout history. Afghanistan was once part of Iran. How then can history be considered as the basis of independent nationality??

7.4 Race

Most nationalists regard race as a factor which determines nationality. But a careful analysis of it shows the weakness and illogicality of it, like other factors based on prejudice, illusion and superstition.

What is racism?? It is a feeling of unity based on kinship. The first line of this attachment is an objective reality, namely the bond with one’s father and mother. When this is extended, it reaches one’s family, tribe and lastly one’s race. But extending it to race, the bond becomes so remote from common ancestors that the racial root cannot be scientifically and logically proved. Has there ever existed in history a thing called the Aryan or Semitic race?? Moreover, who can prove that a man is an Aryan?? For example half of the Iranians are Sayeds, who are descendants of the Prophet of Islam who was not himself an Aryan. Can those non-Sayeds claim that during these thousands of years, their blood has not been blended with non-Aryan blood??

Belief in the race and racial unity has no objective and scientific reality; it is only a subjective illusion on which nationalism wishes to base its social-political relations. How comical and illogical!

Thirdly, if we were to adopt blood as a basis, as racism and nationalism do, why should we not have our first ancestors, namely Adam and Eve, as the basis of human generation. In such a case, instead of racism, we may turn to humanism, and instead of nationalism to internationalism. This would be a more logical and convincing idea than the question of race which cannot be proved. Even if the Aryan, Semitic and other races have a historical authenticity, if we do not stop at this point and go far back in history, all these races end In common ancestors. Then why should we not adopt this as a basis?

7.5 Political organization and economic factors:

Some nationalistic schools consider political organization and economic factors as the basis of nationality. From apolitical angle, the Irish form part of Britain, and yet they consider themselves independent. There are many similar cases in the present and past history.

Economics has sometimes acted as a factor of unity like the union of the customs among the various German provinces between 1819 and 1952, which was a prelude to their political union. But such cases are only exceptions to the rule. Economic harmony and collaboration of various groups are not the requisites of national unity.

It is thus clear that the main foundations of nationalism are weak, invalid and illogical, even though they may help occasionally in rousing nationalistic sentiments. They are not determining the fundamental factors behind unity and solidarity. An effort to create unity on the above basis leads to greater differences and conflicts among human beings. A unity based on geographical boundaries, race or language cannot include all human beings. It is more like walls set up between them, separating them, and intensifying their division. Ideological boundaries can expand without force or imposition with the free acceptance of that school by individuals and nations, and intellectually it is not impossible for it to end with the unity of all mankind.

Nationalism creates division among mankind and thus, it cannot lead to universal unity. In such a unit, the questions of minorities and aliens, too, become insoluble. But an Ummah founded on belief is an ‘open unit’ and it can admit people from every race, color, language and territory who accept that belief. This unity can, therefore, expand and lead to man’s universal brotherhood.

In fact the only proper, scientific and logical basis for nationality and unity is belief and ideology. Other factors as compared to these are insignificant.

Thus we see that none of the principles that nationalists rely on are universal and logical. But the nationality based on belief and ideology which Islam upholds has an intellectual authenticity and is justifiable. Those who have the same ideology possess the same world vision, religious belief, culture, objective and destination, form thus a single Ummah.

8. Nationalism defeats its own objectives

The aim of nationalism is the creation of unity, but its result is the reverse and it defeats its own objective. The means adopted by nationalism to realize its objectives of creating unity is to kindle sharp sentiments of solidarity on the basis of race, language or nationality.

But in every country, there exist racial and lingual minorities. When these minorities come to face nationalistic sentiments incited by the propaganda of the majority, they may lose their own independent identity within the majority and react. It is often seen that such propaganda directed at inciting nationalistic sentiments by the majority rouses a regional, racial or lingual nationalism among the minorities and results in the dispersion and disunion of the country.

Logically there is no reason why the majority’s nationalism should be considered right and the minority’s one wrong. Why should British nationalism be regarded as right and laudable, while the Irish one, as blameworthy and condemnable. If Iraqi Baathists have the right to speak of Arab nationalism all day and night, why shouldn’t an Iraqi Kurd have the right to turn to Kurdish nationalism. If territorial, racial and lingual prejudice is good, then it is good for both sides, and if it is bad, it is so for both. We cannot judge by two different criteria. If the nationalism of America’s whites is good, why should that of its blacks be bad??

We see, then, that nationalism has no logical basis, and it defeats its own purpose, and has to establish solidarity by force. It secures what is contrary to its goal, namely division and dispersion.

Contrary to the nationalists’ claim, it is not ideological beliefs, but nationalistic feelings which check unity and produce division in the country. The result of half a century of the nationalistic propaganda of Reza Khan and Muhammad Reza was rebellion in Kurdestan and Turkeman Sahara.

Nationalism has at no time been able to solve the question of racial, lingual and regional minorities. On the, contrary it has intensified oppositions and made them perpetual.

As the criterion is race, language or territory, and as race and language and the like are not changeable, therefore those not belonging to a certain race or having a certain language are always regarded and live as a minority group and cannot share the sentiments of the majority. Those who through emigration or change of geographical boundaries or invasions become nationals of a country, even after many generations and centuries, feel themselves to be a segregated and alienated group, and others feel the same towards them. Armenians in Turkey, Syria and Iran, and Kurds, Scots, Irish and American negroes are the clearest examples of this.

9. Dangers of Nationalism

To glorify itself, nationalism generally resorts to suppositions, exaggerations, fallacious reasoning, scorn and inadmissible self-praise, and worst of all, it engages in the distortion of history, model-making and fable-writing. Historical facts are twisted to imaginary myths as it fears historical and social realism.

Misinterpretation of history is one of the greatest harms of nationalism. It may be argued that the case is so where an extreme form of nationalism exists. But that is not the case. Any kind of nationalism by essence inclines towards self-pride and scorn of others, for so long as it does not rouse in people a false sense of pride in their nation, how can it turn national prejudice in favor of itself and against others??

9.1  Tribal prejudice

As nationalism is based on man’s animal instincts, not on belief and intelligence, therefore, tribal prejudice is its foundation and one of its peculiarities.

The accidental birth of a person in a certain country gives him the wrong baseless idea that he may scorn others and consider them as enemies. Having been born in Europe and having a white skin for example, he gives himself the right to plunder the blacks and refuse to employ towards others criteria he uses towards his own compatriots. Even a genius like Einstein is disliked by a German because he is a Jew. Taking birth in Germany or France, both a matter of accidental birth in a certain land and not one of conscious choice, is no reason to dislike other, be prejudiced and evaluate human beings with two different criteria.

Can anything be more inhuman and unreasonable that to prefer a wicked, corrupt and incompetent compatriot of the same race or language to an honest, benevolent and competent person who is born beyond one’s frontiers??

A person is judged on the basis of his race, language, country and considered a compatriot or alien, without the least consideration of his deeds, virtues or views. Human honor and good deeds are disregarded simply because one is born in a certain land. The yardstick for evaluating the individual becomes territory and blood, not action, faith, chastity or obligation.

The more popular nationalism becomes, the more intense will fanatical ignorance and racial prejudice become, and the more limited will be one’s vision. A nationalist defends everything related to his country solely through intellect or reflection. He considers everything outside his country as alien and ignominious. Right and wrong become meaningless concepts.

This is fanatical ignorance which is strongly condemned in Islam, it is inherited from the inhuman tribal system, but with a more dangerous dimension.

9.2  Nationalism culminates in racism

Nationalism inevitably ends in racism and racial prejudice. In any land where it attempts to base unity on the co-existence of a particular group so as to create fanaticism and make that group an independent, separate unit, it must attribute a certain name to that group like Iranian, Turk or some other name; it must brainwash those in that group into believing that they are superior to other on the basis of their race, blood etc. Without attention to the criteria of virtue, belief and action. Eventually, other neighboring countries come to manifest similar feelings, leading to perpetual clashes, rivalry and racial hostilities.

History bears witness to the fact that nationalistic sentiments have always ended in racism. The Greeks at the height of their civilization called non-Greeks as ‘barbarians.’

Aristotle said:

It is nature’s will that barbarians be the slaves of the Greeks.” The Jews who were a national unit before being a religious unit, regarded themselves as God’s selected people. The Romans at the height of their civilization believed that there were only three nations on earth, the Romans, their confederates and the ‘barbarians’ (non-Romans).

9.3   Nationalism results in a desire to colonize

Nationalism results in a desire to dominate and colonize seeking domination due to three factors:

1- Strong prejudice

2- Superiority complex

3- Self-interest (and disregard of others interests)

Nationalism relies on all these three factors and that is why it eventually leads to domination and colonization. Nationalism has been the cause of clashes, aggressions, and constant rivalry between nations, causing much riot and bloodshed the world over. When a country thinks only in terms of its own interests and gives itself the right to dominate others, the result will obviously be conflicts, aggressions and colonization. Some think that this is only true of extreme nationalism. But history has taught us that there are no such things as healthy or unhealthy nationalism, since nationalism in whatever form ultimately ends in chauvinism and racism.

As mentioned in the previous chapters, the savage colonialism of the West in the 19th century which spread over the Third World was caused by nationalistic sentiments. The calamitous World Wars and the Nagasaki and Hiroshima disasters and hundreds of other wars which have tainted man’s history with blood, are living proofs of nationalism as a dominating evil force.

Nationalism is a factor of expansionism and a basis of injustice and aggression. It has been the source of imperialism and it cruelly transgresses over weak nations, imposing its illegitimate ambition on others in the name of national desires and national expediencies.

9.4  Narrowing man’s mental horizon

Nationalism narrows man’s mental horizon in two ways: Firstly, it discourages man to think of the whole of mankind and of ways to help and guide the latter. It encourages him to consider his compatriots only and limit the radius of his vision within the framework of frontiers. Secondly, it encourages man to reject belief, the spirituality, the intellect, and to focus on land, blood, country and race, thereby narrowing down his mental horizon.

Nationalists are the slaves of emotions, and have no regard for the intellect and intelligence. Ideology, on the other hand, relies extensively on reflection and by creating a sense of obligation and responsibility, the intellect comes to dominate over emotions and not the other way round as is the case with nationalism.

10.  Islam and nationalism are two opposite poles

Simple patriotic sentiments, so long as they do not contravene the higher conviction of man is permissible in Islam, like the affection one feels towards one’s father, son and family. But nationalism does not stop at simple sentiments. It is a socio-political creed and an actual way of life which aims at controlling man’s individual and social conduct. Islam, too, being a school having its own independent, spiritual, practical, political and social system and comprising a particular set of beliefs, it naturally comes into conflict with the school of nationalism.

Unlike other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism etc, Islam is not confined to religious rites and metaphysical convictions. Had Islam been only a religion of devotions, it might have agreed with nationalism. But Islam is a religion with a social and philosophical worldview, and provides for economic and political principles. Nationalism, too, has its own social and political principles based however on different beliefs and criteria. Therefore, conflict between Islam and nationalism is inevitable. The Islamic ideology is not compatible with any other ideology on the question of sovereignty over the private and social life of Muslims. A Muslim cannot at the same time be a Muslim and a polytheist, or a Muslim and communist. In Islam, there is no room for one to be a loyal and genuine nationalist. It is a question of identity, and one negates the other.

Nationalism is incompatible with Islam, both schools having two opposite ideologies. These two assume two totally opposite poles in their spirit, essence, direction and goal.

Nationalism attaches value only to the historical traditions, culture, civilization, ideas and historical figures of its own nation, but Islam’s vision goes beyond the frontier, race, tribe and nation.  Musa (alayhissalaam) (Moses), Nabi ‘Eesa (alayhissalaam) (Jesus) , and Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are considered as belonging to all mankind. Islam wishes all nations to regard the Qur’an as their Book, and the Ka’aba as their Qibla.

It is very hard for nationalism to accept this view. According to its limited vision, it considers the entry of Islam as a transgression or as something dangerous. It associates the nation to Cyrus and Darius, not to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). It intends to revive its ancient past which Islam calls paganism. Islam curses the Pharaoh, but Egyptian nationalism makes him a national hero to be worshipped.

The logical result of this attitude is to revive national creeds. It is not surprising that during the nationalistic regime of Pahlavi, the creeds of Zoroastrianism and Baha’ism which were regarded as Iranian faiths, were encouraged by the regime. In the time of Hitler’s domination over Germany, Nazi thinkers belonged to one of the two following groups: one group considered Christ as a Palestinian Jewish descendant and thus rejected Christianity, and the other group turned to Christianity and wanted to prove that Christ was not Palestinian, but of the Nordic race.

Islam says that all the Muslims in the world are members of the same body and all Arab, non-Arab, Turk, Afghan, Indian, black, white and yellow belong to one ummah in their belief. But nationalism considers the religious solidarity of a country with other nations as a danger for national and tribal identity.

Thus, nationalism’s vision about society and politics is quite opposite to that of Islam, and these two cannot go together. That’s why the nationalists of other Islamic lands regard separation from Islam a condition for nationalism to succeed, even if they do not utter it. Their acts reveal their hatred towards those who seek Islam.

Nationalism is based on giving authenticity to racial and national units. It divides human society into limited and independent units according to geographical boundaries or factors of race, language, history, political organization etc., and considers all others outside these units as aliens, and very often encourages hostility between them. Nationalism does not address the whole of humanity, but restricts itself to national units, and its goal is the establishment of national states, not a universal society.

But Islam addresses all of mankind as a single unit. Its system is not for a nation, a race, a special region, but for the whole human society. Those who accept this system are regarded as equals and brothers, and have equal rights and duties in devotion, politics, economy and social life. The ultimate goal of Islam is to establish a universal monotheistic society which goes beyond geographical, racial, lingual and cultural boundaries, and joins them all in one community. Islam condemns the division of mankind on the basis of blood and territory in national and racial units, and grants no authenticity to national and racial differences. Its only test of individual worth is chastity, belief, faith and good deeds. The Quran emphasizes the universal unity of mankind:

 “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women.” (Qur’an 4:1)

Differences in race, tribe, nation and family have no legal authenticity and they are not the basis of unity or criteria of superiority and inferiority. They are only the means of facilitating human relations:

 “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa” (Qur’an 49:13)

Thus, divisions into tribes and groups is for the purpose of knowing one another better, not for taking pride, showing love or hate, seeking superiority or engaging in disputes. The only criteria are faith, belief and chastity.

There is not a single verse in the Qur’an concerning the authenticity of nationality and division of mankind on the basis of land and blood. The Qur’an calls all men to kindness and happiness, not to national and racial privileges.

Nationalism believes the country to be the focus of loyalty while Islam believes God and His religion should be this focus. As the Quran says:

“The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allâh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him;” (Qur’an 12:40)

In nationalism, deep affection to’ one’s country is a basis, whereas in Islam, the basis is belief in God and absolute loyalty to Him.

“You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help” (Qur’an 1:5)

Nationalism aims at having man given the greatest share of his loyalty and affection to the country, and to even subordinate the loyalty to God to the love of the nation. This in itself is a kind of polytheism.
To nationalism, what matters the most is national interests, whether from an individual or social point of view, but in Islam it is love of God and divine injunctions. Love and hate, friendship and enmity, war and peace are all for the sake of God and His religion. No other factor is of importance.

“Say (O Muhammad Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists) ;” (Qur’an 6:162)

In nationalism, sovereignty belongs to the nation and the criterion is national interests. But in Islam, God is the sovereign, and no other factor is of significance before His laws.
“So the judgement is only with Allâh, the Most High, the Most Great!” (Qur’an 40:12)

Nationalism considers all people in a country as compatriots and those of other nations even if they are Muslims as foreigners. Islam believes in the contrary: All relationships, even that of a son, father, wife, husband, are subordinated to belief, and those who do not believe in the school are aliens in spite of their close relationships:

“O you who believe! Take not for Auliyâ’ (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers).” (Qur’an 9:23)

11.  The Prohibition of Nationalism in Islam

Nationalism is a concept alien to Islam because it calls for unity based on family and tribalistic ties, whereas Islam binds people together on the ‘aqeedah, that is, belief in

Allah and His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In other words, Islam calls for the ideological bond.

Grouping together on tribalistic lines is clearly forbidden. It is narrated by Abu Dawud  that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

He is not one of us who calls for ‘asabiyyah, (nationalism) or who fights for ‘asabiyyah or who dies for ‘asabiyyah.

And in another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) describes the one who calls for  nationalism as being like the worm that crawls in the bottom of the dung, and in the hadith recorded in Mishkat al-Masabih, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

He who calls for ‘asabiyyah is as if he bit his father’s genitals

There are many examples in the seerah where the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had rebuked those who upheld nationalism. On one occasion a party of Jews conspired to bring about disunity in the ranks of the Muslims after seeing the ‘Aus and Khazraj within Islam. A youth from amongst them was sent to incite remembrance of the battle of Bu’ath where the ‘Aus had been victorious over the Khazraj, and he recited poetry to bring about division between them. As a result there was a call to arms. When the news reached the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), he said:

O Muslims, remember Allah, remember Allah. Will you act as pagans while I am present with you after Allah has guided you to Islam, and honoured you thereby and made a clean break with paganism; delivered you thereby from disbelief; made you friends thereby?

When they heard this they wept, and embraced each other. This incident clearly highlights how the messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rebuked any forms of tribalism. Allah  then revealed,

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam. And hold fast together all of you to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favours on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace you became brothers; and you were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah make His signs clear to you that you may be guided.” [Qur’an 3:102-103]

It is transmitted by at-Tabarani and al-Hakim that in one incident some people spoke very lowly about Salman al-Farsi (radhiyallahu anhu). They spoke of the inferiority of the Persian in relation to the Arabs, and upon hearing this the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasalla ) declared, “Salman belongs to ahl al-bayt (the Prophet’s family).” This statement of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) disassociates all links based on lineage and tribal considerations.

It is also transmitted, in two different versions, by Ibn al-Mubarak (rahimahullah) in his two books, Al- Birr and As-Salah, that some disagreement occurred between Abu Dharr and Bilal (radhiyallahu anhum) and Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhi) said to Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu), “You son of a black woman.” The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was extremely upset by Abu Dharr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) comment, so he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rebuked him by saying, “That is too much, Abu Dharr. He who has a white mother has no advantage which makes him better than the son of a black mother.” This rebuke had a profound effect on Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhu), who then put his head on the ground swearing that he would not raise it until Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu) had put his foot over it.

The incidents above demonstrate that tribal ties have no place in Islam. Muslims are commanded to stick together and not to disassociate themselves from each other just because they comes from different tribes. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also said,

The Muslims are like a body, if one part of the body hurts, the rest of the body will also suffer

meaning that the Muslims, whether they are of Chinese, African, European or Asian origin, are one Ummah and they cannot be separated from each other. No tribalistic ties should ever break their unity.

Some people claim that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) approved of nationalism because during the migration to Madinah, he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said about Makkah with tears in his mubarak eyes, “You are the most beloved land of Allah to me.” However, this saying has nothing to do with nationalism, and this can be seen from the full saying which people often do not quote, “You are the most beloved land of Allah to me because you are the most beloved land of Allah to Allah.” The Messenger of Allah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) love for Makkah was based on the noble status that Allah has given to Makkah, and not because he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was born there. All Muslims should have this love and affection for Makkah because it is the most beloved land in the sight of Allah. After all, the Muslims pray towards Makkah and go there to perform hajj there as it houses the Ka’ba. The above saying of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) therefore has nothing to do with nationalism.

Not only does Islam forbid people from grouping on nationalistic ties, but it also prohibits the establishment of more than one state, whether these states are based on nationalism or otherwise. The only state that is allowed for the Muslims is the state of Islamic Shari’ah, which is a state that is governed exclusively by Islam. Allah addressed the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),

“And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you, and do not follow their vain desires away from the truth which came to you” [Qur’an 5:48]


“And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you and do not follow their whims, and beware (be on the alert) that they may deviate you away from even some part of what Allah revealed to you.” [Qur’an 5:49]

The speech of Allah  to the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhu wasallam) is a speech to his  Ummah unless specific evidence comes to restrict this. In this case, there is no such restriction, and so it becomes obligatory for the Muslims to rule according to Islam. And ruling according to Islam leaves no room for nationalistic constitutions whatsoever because what is applied, and what forms the criteria for judgement, is the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan).

Ruling according to Islam can only be achieved in one state, with Islamic Shariah. It is reported in Sahih Muslim that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that he heard the

Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhu wasallam) say,

He who gave the bay‘ah to an Imam, giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart has to obey him as long as he can. If another comes to dispute with him (his authority) strike the neck of that person.”

Abu Said al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,

If a bay‘ah is taken for two Khaleefahs, kill the latter one.”

And ‘Arafaja (radhiyallahu anhu) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say,

If someone comes to you when you are united over one man and wants to break your strength and divide your unity, kill him.

This unity of the Muslims was clearly highlighted in the document that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wrote when he established the Islamic Statw in Madinah. In this document, which was to regulate the relationships of Muslims and non-Muslims in the Islamic State, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said regarding the Muslims, “Allah’s covenant amongst them is one” and “Believers are brothers to the exclusion of others” and “The peace of the believers is indivisible. No separate peace shall be made when believers are fighting in the way of Allah.” These statements serve to indicate that Muslims are one body and they are not to be treated separately.

Furthermore, the obligation for having one state, and not many nationalistic states, also comes from the Ijma’ of the Sahabah. When the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left this world, the Sahabah convened to discuss the appointment of the Khaleefah in the courtyard of Bani Sa‘ida. One person had proposed that the Ansar should elect their own amir and the Muhajireen their own, but Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated the hadith that forbids the Ummah from having more then one leader. So the Sahabah never allowed more than one ruler and their consensus is a legitimate evidence for us.

Islam therefore leaves no room for the Saudi state, an Egyptian state, or a Pakistani state. Islam calls for one state with one ruler where all Muslims are tied together by the ‘aqeedah of Islam. And this is a matter decided by Islam to which we must submit to, for Allah says,

  “It is not for a believer (male or female) that when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter that they should have any choice in the matter.” [Qur’an 33:36]

And those who still uphold nationalism, remember what Allah  says,

“Those who oppose Allah’s order have to be warned that a calamity may strike them or a painful doom may fall upon them.” [Qur’an 24:63]

The Month of Rajab: Do’s & Dont’s

By Mufti Taqi Usmani

Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ashhur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet . It is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, because Ramadan follows it after the intervening month of Sha’ban. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:

O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”

Yet no specific way of worship has been prescribed by the Shari’ah in this month. However, some people have invented some special rituals or practices in this month, which are not supported by reliable resources of the Shari’ah or are based on some unauthentic traditions. We would like to explain here the correct position about them.

1. Celebration of Lailatul Mi’raj

It is generally believed that the great event of Mi’raj (ascension of the Holy Prophet to the heavens) took place in the night of 27th of Rajab. Therefore, some people celebrate the night as “Lailatul- Mi’raj” (the night of ascension to heavens).

Indeed, the event of mi’raj was one of the most remarkable episodes in the life of our beloved Holy Prophet . He was called by Almighty Allah. He traveled from Makkah to Baitul-Maqdis and from there he ascended the heavens through the miraculous power of Allah. He was honored with a direct contact with his Creator at a place where even the angels had no access. This was the unique honor conferred by Allah to the Holy Prophet alone. It was the climax of the spiritual progress which is not attained by anybody except him. No doubt the night in which he was blessed with this unparalleled honor was one of the greatest nights in the history of this world.

But, Islam has its own principles with regard to the historic and religious events. Its approach about observing festivals and celebrating days and nights is totally different from the approach of other religions. The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet did not prescribe any festival or any celebration to commemorate an event from the past, however remarkable it might have been. Instead, Islam has prescribed two annual celebrations only. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is Eid ul-Adha. Both of these festivals have been fixed at a date on which the Muslims accomplish a great ‘ibadah (worship) every year. Eid-ul-Fitr has been prescribed after the fasts of Ramadan, while Eid-ul-Adha has been fixed when the Muslims perform the Hajj annually. None of these two eids is designed to commemorate a particular event of the past which has happened in these dates. This approach is indicative of the fact that the real occasion for a happy celebration is the day in which the celebrators themselves have accomplished remarkable work through their own active effort. As for the accomplishments of our ancestors, their commemoration should not be restricted to a particular day or night. Instead, their accomplishments must be remembered every day in the practical life by observing their teachings and following the great examples they have set for us.

Keeping this principle in view, the following points should be remembered with regard to the “Lailatul-mi’raj”:

(1) We cannot say with absolute certainty in which night the great event of mi’raj took place. Although some traditions relate this event to 27th night of the month of Rajab, yet there are other traditions that suggest other dates. Al-Zurqani, the famous biographer of the Holy Prophet has referred to five different views in this respect: Rabi-ul-Awwal, Rabi-u-Thani, Rajab, Ramadan and Shawwal. Later, while discussing different traditions, he has added a sixth opinion, that the mi’raj took place in the month of Zulhijjah.

Allama Abdulhaq Muhaddith Dehlawi (rahimahullah), the well-known scholar of the Indian subcontinent, has written a detailed book on the merits of Islamic months. While discussing the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ has mentioned that most of the scholars are of the view that the event of mi’raj took place in the month of Ramadan or in Rabi-ul-awwal.

(2) It is also not known in which year the event of Mi’raj took place. The books of history suggest a wide range between the fifth-year and the twelfth year after the Holy Prophet was entrusted with prophethood.

Now, if it is assumed that the event of Mi’raj took place in the fifth year of his prophethood, it will mean that the Holy Prophet remained in this world for eighteen years after this event. Even if it is presumed that the mi’raj took place in the twelfth year of his prophethood, his remaining life-time after this event would be eleven years. Throughout this long period, which may range between eleven years and eighteen years, the Holy Prophet never celebrated the event of mi’raj, nor did he give any instruction about it. No one can prove that the Holy Prophet ever performed some specific modes of worship in a night calling it the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ or advised his followers to commemorate the event in a particular manner.

(3) After the demise of the Holy Prophet also, no one of his companions is reported to celebrate this night as a night of special acts of worship. They were the true devotees of the Holy Prophet and had devoted their lives to preserve every minute detail of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet and other Islamic teachings. Still, they did not celebrate the event of mi’raj in a particular night in a particular way.

All these points go a long way to prove that the celebration of the 27th night of Rajab, being the lailatul-mi’raj has no basis in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet or in the practice of his noble companions. Had it been a commendable practice to celebrate this night, the exact date of this event would have been preserved accurately by the Ummah and the Holy Prophet and his blessed companions would have given specific directions for it.

Therefore, it is not a Sunnah to celebrate the Lailatul-mi’raj’. We cannot declare any practice as a sunnah unless it is established through authentic sources that the Holy Prophet or is noble Companions have recognized it as such, otherwise it may become a bid’ah about which the Holy Prophet has observed in the following words: “Whoever invents something in our religion which is not a part of it, it is to be rejected.”

Being mindful of this serious warning, we should appreciate that the 27th night of the month of Rajab is not like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ for which special merits have been mentioned expressly either by the Holy Qur’an or by the Holy Prophet .

However, all the recognized modes of ‘ibadah (worship) like Salat, recitation of the Holy Qur’an, dhikr, etc. are commendable any time, especially in the late hours of night, and obviously the 27th night of Rajab is not an exception. Therefore, if someone performs any recognized ‘ibadah in this night from this point of view nothing can stop him from doing so, and he will be entitled to the thawab (reward allocated for that recognized ‘ibadah insha-Allah.) But it is not permissible to believe that performing ‘ibadah in this night is more meritorious or carries more thawab like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’, because this belief is not based on any authentic verse or on a sunnah of the Holy Prophet . Similarly, it is not a correct practice to celebrate this night collectively and to invite people to special ritual congregations.

(4) Some people suggest some special modes of worship to be performed in this night. Since no special mode of worship is prescribed by the Shari’ah in this night, these suggestions are devoid of any authority and should not be acted upon.

It is believed by some that the Muslims should keep fast on 27th of Rajab. Although there are some traditions attributing special merits to the fast of this day yet the scholars of hadith have held these traditions as very weak and unauthentic reports which cannot be sufficient to establish a rule of Shari’ah. On the contrary, there is an authentic report that Sayyidna ‘Umar (RadiAllahu anhu), used to forbid people from fasting on this day, rather to compel them to eat if they had started fasting.

It should be borne in mind here that a “nafl” fast can be observed any day (except the six prohibited days of the year); therefore, fasting on 27th of Rajab is not prohibited in itself. What is prohibited is the belief that fasting on this day is more meritorious than fasting in other normal days. One should not fast in this day with this belief. But if someone fasts therein, believing it to be a normal nafl fast, there is no bar against it.

Sacrifice (qurbani) in the month of Rajab

In the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah) the Arabs used to offer the sacrifice of a goat in the month of Rajab. This sacrifice used to be called “Atirah‘ or ‘Rajabiyyah‘. This sacrifice was offered in the name of different so-called gods and their icons. In the beginning of Islam, this custom was retained, but the Muslims modified it by offering the sacrifice of ‘Atirah in the name of Allah instead of the false gods. But finally, this custom was abandoned and the Holy Prophet prohibited the offering of ‘Atirah. In a tradition of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllahu anhu) reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet has said: “Fara’ is nothing and ‘Atirah is nothing.

Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllahu anhu), has explained in the same tradition that ‘Fara” was the first child of a she-camel. Whenever a she-camel delivered its first child, the Arabs used to sacrifice it in the name of their so-called gods, while the ‘Atirah‘ was a goat used to be sacrificed in the month of Rajab. Since the Holy Prophet stopped both these customs, ‘Atirah is no longer a recognized practice.

‘Umrah in the month of Rajab

Ibn ‘Abidin (rahimahullah), the well-known scholar of the Islamic jurisprudence, has mentioned that the people of Makkah (in his days) used to perform ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. Perhaps they believed that performing ‘umrah in this month is more meritorious than in other months. Then Ibn Abidin himself has rejected the authenticity of this practice, because no tradition of the Holy Prophet is found to this effect. Conversely Sayyidah ‘Aishah (RadhiAllahu anha), has expressly negated the presumption by saying that the Holy Prophet never performed an ‘umrah in the month of Rajab (Sahih Muslim 1:409)

However, Ibn ‘Abidin has quoted a narration that ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, (RadhiAllahu anhu), completed the renovation of Ka’bah shortly before 27th of Rajab, and as a sign of gratefulness he performed ‘umrah and slaughtered some animals. But this report cannot form the basis of a recognized annual practice, firstly because the report is not very authentic, and secondly because it does not mention that Abdullah ibn Zubair (RadhiAllahu anhu), had adopted it as a continuing practice. At the most, he performed ‘umrah once as a sign of gratefulness on the completion of Ka’bah. It does not mean that he performed it as a characteristic of the month of Rajab. Therefore, performing ‘Umrah in this month is like performing it in any other month and no special merit can be attached to it merely because it has been performed in the month of Rajab.

The Salat of “Ragha’ib”

Another special mode of worship attributed by some people to this month is the Salat of Raghai’b. According to the custom of such people, this Salat is performed in the night of first Friday of the month of Eajab. The Salat of Raghaib is said to consist of twelve rak’ats to be performed in pairs with six salams, and in each rak’at the surah al-qadr is recited three times followed by the Surah-al-ikhlas. This type of Salat is also not based on any sound source of Shari’ah. Therefore, almost all the jurists and scholars of Shari’ah have held that the Salat of Raghaib is a baseless practice and it is not permissible to treat it as a recognized practice of this month. It is true that there is a tradition, narrated by Razin, the author of a book of hadith, which attributes the origin of this practice to the Holy Prophet but almost all the scholars of the science of hadith have held it to be absolutely unauthentic. Therefore, no importance can be attached to it.

Distribution of Breads:

Another baseless practice in the month of Rajab is that the people bake special types of breads and, after reciting some verses and prayers on them, distribute them among their friends and neighbors. This custom has two different shapes.

1). In some communities, this custom is celebrated on 17th of Rajab on the assumption that Sayyidna Ali (RadhiAllahu anhu), was born on 11th of Rajab and the 17th of Rajab is the day on which his ‘Aqiqa (Shaving of his head) was performed. In order to celebrate this happy event, the breads of some special type are prepared and after reciting Surah Al-Mulk on them, they are distributed among the relatives and friends. These breads are generally called “breads of Tabarak” because Surah Al-Mulk is usually recited on them.

This practice is baseless because it is never proved that Sayyidna Ali, (RadiAllahu anhu), was born on 11th of Rajab or that his Aqiqa was performed on 17th of this month and, as explained earlier, even if these events are proved to have happened in those days, their commemoration through these specific rituals is not warranted by the Shari’ah.

2). A more common practice of this type is observed on 22nd of Rajab whereby some breads and meals of a special type are prepared and distributed among the people. Since these special meals are usually placed in some bowls made of clay, the custom is usually known as “Kunda“, an Urdu equivalent of such bowls. It is usually believed that the custom is designed to make ‘isal-al-thawab to the soul of Sayyidna Jafar Al-Sadiq (rahimahullah) who himself has directed his followers to observe this custom and has promised them that whoever observes it, his desires will be fulfilled.

All these assumptions also have no basis at all, neither historically, nor according to the principles of Shari’ah. In fact, the date of 22nd of Rajab has no concern whatsoever with Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq (Rahimahullah). According to the historians, he was born on 8th of Ramadan 80 A.H. and died in Shawwal 148 A.H. No specific event of the life of Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq is proved to have happened on this date. The people believing in the custom refer to a coined story mentioned in an unauthentic book named “Dastaan-e-Ajeeb“.

Briefly stated, the gist of the story is that a poor woodcutter lived in Madinah in the days of Jafar Al-Sadiq (rahimahullah). He went abroad to earn his livelihood. His wife was employed in the house of the Prime Minister. Once she was cleaning the courtyard of the Prime Minister when Sayyidna Jafar al-Sadiq passed by her. It was 22nd of Rajab. He advised her to bake some breads of a special type and make ‘isal-al-sawab to him. According to this story, he promised her that if her desire is not fulfilled after this practice, she can catch hold of him at the doom’s day. On hearing this, the woman made a vow that if her husband will come back with a considerable wealth, she will observe the custom of “Koonda“. On the same day her husband, who was in another country, found a valuable treasure in the earth and came back with it to Madinah where he established himself as a rich man and started living in a magnificent castle. When his wife told the story to the wife of the Prime Minister, she disbelieved her and because of this disbelief, she and her husband, the Prime Minister, were punished by Allah. He was removed by the king from the prime minister-ship and was imprisoned in a jail and was ordered to be hanged. While being in the prison, the wife of the Prime Minister remembered that she had disbelieved the story of Jafar al-Sadiq (rahimahullah) told to her by her maidservant and their misery might be the punishment of their disbelief. On this point, she and her husband repented before Allah and made a vow to observe the custom of “Koonda“, if they are released from the jail. After they made such a vow, the whole scenario of the events changed suddenly. The king released the Prime Minister from the jail and reinstated him on his former position.

As it can be seen by any reasonable person, this story is totally forged on the face of it. The person who has coined this story did not even know that Madinah had never a king nor a Prime Minister. All the Muslim rulers were named as caliphs and had no Prime Minister at all. In the days of Umayyads, their capital was Damascus and in the days of Abbasids, their permanent seat was in Baghdad.

It is ironical that the story of such a woodcutter is not even known to anybody in Madinah, nor in any city of the Arab countries. No Arabic book has ever referred to it. It has no mention except in an Urdu book ‘Dastaan-e-Ajeeb‘, the author of which is unknown. One can easily see that a custom based on such a fallacious and mythical story can never be an Islamic custom. Islam has always been far away from such superstitions.

Therefore, this baseless custom should completely be avoided by the true Muslims. Some historians have opined that in fact, this custom has been coined by some Shi’ites because the date of 22nd of Rajab is the date of the demise of Sayyidna Mu’awiyah (radhiAllahu anhu) whom they take as their biggest enemy. They took that date as a happy occasion and made the Sunni Muslims also to celebrate it on the pretext of the above mentioned story.

Be that as it may, it is evident that such customs have crept into the Muslim society by their long association with Hindus who commemorate different historical events of their religion in the like manner. The Muslims must be careful about these customs, because they are not only an invention of ignorance but also the imitation of non-Muslims in their religious rituals. No doubt the “‘isal-al-thawab‘ to the soul of a deceased Muslim, and particularly to a pious person is not only permissible but also a commendable practice but the Shari’ah has not prescribed a particular date, nor a particular mode to do so. If someone wants to make “‘isal-al-thawab” to Sayyidna ‘Ali (RadiAllahu anhu), or to Ja’far al-Sadiq (rahimahullah), he can do it any day and by performing any act of worship, like Salat, fast, Sadaqah, dhikr etc. There is no reason why it should be restricted to a special type of meal or bread distributed on a particular date. What makes this practice worse is the fact that the people accustomed to this practice deem it as necessary as a fard (obligation); rather they treat it as more necessary than fard because they do not care to perform the obligatory Salat or to fulfill the rights of men obligated on them, but they are very strict and punctual to perform these activities. Moreover, if a person does not observe this practice, they reproach him and call him with bad names. Such behavior makes this custom a bid’ah which is condemned by the Holy Prophet as a misguidance. Therefore, the Muslims must abandon all such practices and should not cling to it only because it has been the practice of their society for many years. A Muslim is supposed to follow the dictates of Shari’ah and not the practice of the society, if it violates any of its principles.


The upshot of the above discussion is that the Shari’ah has not prescribed any specific way to observe the month of Rajab or to perform a specific mode of worship or a ritual in any one of its dates. However, being a prologue to the month of Ramadan, it should be availed of for preparing oneself for Ramadan and one should pray Allah to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.

[Courtesy of alBalagh.net]

The Ruling Regarding Women Attending the Masjid

By Mufti Ehzaz Ajmeri

At the outset, it is important to point out the place of women in an Islamic society. Allah has created mankind and He alone knows what is best for mankind. In today’s time people have raised the slogans of women’s rights and gender equality. These slogans might seem true to those who see the role of women as same as men. In Islam, our understanding is that Allah has created men and women differently and both have different roles which are complimentary to each other. Allah has kept it in the nature of man to be brave, bold, and take responsibility over the family’s affairs while it is in the nature of women to have modesty, gentleness, and softness. Shari’ah has stipulated the roles for each according to their nature. Men are responsible for earning an income, providing shelter, and security for his family. Shari’ah understands the temperament of women and caters for it. Therefore, it is not required from her to leave her house and step into this immodest world to earn her own living or provide shelter for herself. At the same time, Shari’ah does not prevent women from earning her own income, on condition that no laws of Shari’ah are violated.

It is clear from this that it is a general rule to remain in the confines of her home based on the feminine nature of women. Shari’ah has also considered circumstances based on need and necessity.

In view of the fitnah and immoralities of the time, a woman should not attend the masjid. Shari’ah has not made it compulsory upon her to perform salah with congregation. She could perform salah by herself. There is no compelling need for her to attend the masjid. There is no need to bend this rule as in the case of a woman being put in an unwilling situation to earn an income.

In the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) women had permission to perform their salah at the masjid, but the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also expressed that it is better for women to perform salah at home instead of the masjid.

عن عمته أم حميد امرأة أبى حميد الساعدى أنها جاءت إلى النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم فقالت يا رسول الله إنى أحب الصلاة معك قال قد علمت أنك تحبين الصلاة معى وصلاتك فى بيتك خير لك من صلاتك فى حجرتك وصلاتك فى حجرتك خير من صلاتك فى دارك وصلاتك فى دارك خير لك من صلاتك فى مسجد قومك وصلاتك فى مسجد قومك خير لك من صلاتك فى مسجدى قال فأمرت فبنى لها مسجد فى أقصى شىء من بيتها وأظلمه فكانت تصلى فيه حتى لقيت الله عز وجل (مسند احمد)

It was narrated from Umm Humayd (radhiyallahu anha), the wife of Abu Humayd al-Sa’idi (radhiyallahu anhu), that she came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I love to pray with you.” He replied, “I know that you love to pray with me. However, your prayer in your storage room is better than your prayer in your bedroom; your prayer in your bedroom is better than your prayer in your courtyard; your prayer in your courtyard is better than your prayer in the mosque of your people; and your prayer in the mosque of your people is better than your prayer in my mosque.” [The sub-narrator] said, “She requested that a prayer area be built for her in the deepest and darkest part of her house, and she prayed therein until she met Allah Most High.” (Musnad Ahmad, 6:371)

There is no doubt that in the era of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) women were permitted to come to the masjid to perform their salah. This was due to the fact that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was alive and would daily teach new injunctions of Shari’ah. The situation changed after the demise of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) states:

عن عمرة بنت عبد الرحمن أنها سمعت عائشة زوج النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم تقول لو أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رأى ما أحدث النساء لمنعهن المسجد كما منعت نساء بنى إسرائيل قال فقلت لعمرة أنساء بنى إسرائيل منعن المسجد قالت نعم (صحيح مسلم)

‘Amrah bint ‘Abd al-Rahman narrates that she heard A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) the wife of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say, “If Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) were to see the condition of the women (of today), he would have verily prevented them from coming to the masjid how the Israelite women were preventing from coming to their place of worship. The narrators say, “I asked ‘Amrah, were the Israelite women prevented form coming to the masjid?” She replied, “Yes”. (Sahih al-Muslim, 4:895)

More than 1400 years have passed by and the fitnas have increased. Immodesty, intermingling of the sexes, crime, etc are prevalent in our societies.

It is not necessary for women to perform her salah in the masjid, but it is wajib to abstain from fitna. In order to abstain from fitna, it will be makruh for women to go to the masjid, whether it be for the daily the salah, Jumu’ah, ‘Id, talim, or to listen to a lecture.
_(AlDurr al-Mukhtar, 1:566)

( ويكره حضورهن الجماعة ) ولو لجمعة وعيد ووعظ ( مطلقا ) ولو عجوزا ليلا ( على المذهب ) المفتى به لفساد الزمان ، – الدر المختار

If a woman has to go the masjid for a genuine reason, e.g. the family is out on the road and need to perform salah, then it will not be makruh (prohibitively disliked) for her to perform salah in the masjid, as this was done out of necessity.

A woman can perform salah at home without any decrease in the rewards. In fact, as stated above, it is more virtuous to perform at home. If it was possible for women to acquire knowledge at home without leaving her house on the same level as the university, then the analogy would have been correct. Nevertheless, if she does not adopt Shari’i purdah and there is a great risk offitna, then it will not be permissible for her to go to university, shopping centers, and other places as well.
_(Fatawa Rahimiyyah, 6:151)

And Allah knows best.

Al-Albani and Freemasonry

The intrigues of the  Kuffâr  against Islam  and Muslims, the correspondence of which to unfolding events being too glaring to doubt, are accurately delineated in the preceding Zionist excerpt.

The  Kuffâr  do not fear the Muslims  per se. They do not fear the speculative opinions of misguided individuals. But  what they do fear, indeed, is the justice of Islâm  and the equity of its  Sharî‘ah. Islam  did not ascend to glory, conquering the hearts of men and the world, from  China to Spain, in some juridical and legislative vacuum. Islâm  did not rule over the world without a comprehensive system of law. It was the  Madhâhib  of the illustrious Fuqahâ’  that gave to the Islamic  Khalîfates  of times gone by the sovereignty, justice, and advancement  that Muslims are so rightly proud of. It is ‘ that ’  Sharî‘ah  that is feared, not the  Sharî‘ah  of ‘ revisionist ’ Islam. Wahhâbîsm or Salafism  offered the enemies of Islam  the ideal opportunity, in the guise of ‘fundamentalist  tawhîd  ’, to subvert the supremacy of the  Sharî‘ah symbolized by the  Khalîfate. But Wahabism, with its treachery, subterfuge and blood-stained history, would always be totally unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of Muslims the world over. So  Wahhâbîsm  had to coin a new identity, free from  its reputation of the past. It was to be given credibility by the very name  of its orthodox adversaries, the Pious predecessors (Salaf as-Sâlihîn). The new name …… ‘ Salafîsm ’

The modern day Salafiyyah claim  to take their name  from  the celebrated Hadîth of the Holy Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who said :  ‘

The best of people are my  generation, thereafter those who follow them, and thereafter those who will follow them.                 (Bukhârî)

These first three generations of the true believers are known as the ‘Salaf as-Sâlihîn’ (The Pious Predecessors), hence, they have derived an epithet from this Hadîth and, as such, call themselves ‘Salafis’  or ‘Salafiyyah’.

The ‘Salafiyyah’ were, in fact, dissenters from  the  Hanbalî  Madhhab  who simply misappropriated the name  ‘Salafiyyîn’.  Abu’l Faraj ibn al-Jawzî al Hanbalî (d.508/1114) (not Ibn Qayyim  al-Jawziyyah) and many other prominent scholars of the  Hanbalî Madhhab, unequivocally declared that these dissenters were not  the adherents of the ‘Salaf as-Sâlihîn’ neither were they specifically of the  Hanbalî Madhhab, but were rather  mubtadi‘în (heretical innovators), belonging to the dissident group of  Mujassimah  (a deviant sect who believed that Allah  was a material body). In the seventh century after  Hijrah, Ibn Taymiyyah pursued this blasphemous  fitnah (mischief) anew. 

Before Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim , there was not any  Madhhab whatsoever called ‘Salafiyyah’, nor even the word ‘Salafiyyah’ used. In order to inveigle the unsuspecting Muslim  masses  and to persuade the youth that they were on the ‘ straight path ’. The name  ‘ Salafiyyah’  from  the term ‘Salaf as-Sâlihîn’ (The Pious Predecessors), was forged, so as to give credence to their corrupt ideas and seduce the unenlightened. They incriminated the true orthodox Islamic  scholars, who were the successors of the  Salaf as-Sâlihîn, accusing them of  bid‘ah  (innovation in religious matters) and of dissenting from  their contrived touchstone, ‘Salafiyyah’. Ibn Taymiyya was advanced as a  Mujtahid, the ‘champion’ who revived the path of the ‘Righteous Predecessors ’. And its latter-day champion was to become Muhammad Nâsir ud-Dîn al-Albânî.

The neo-Khârijîte  nature of  Wahhâbi-Salafîsm  makes it intolerant of all other forms of Islamic expression. Because it has no coherent  fiqh  of its own – it rejects the orthodox  Madhâhib  – and has only the most basic and primitively anthropomorphic ‘aqîdah, it has a fluid, amoeba-like tendency to produce divisions and subdivisions among those who profess it. No longer are the Islamic groups essentially united by a consistent  Madhhab   (Ash ‘arî   and  Ahl as-Sunnah )  ‘aqîdah  (doctrine). Instead, they  are all trying to define the  Sharî‘ah  and  ‘Aqîdah  from  the  Qur’ân  and the  Sunnah  by themselves. The result is the appalling state of division and conflict which disfigures the moderm Salafî condition.

Muhammad Nâsir ud-Dîn al-Albânî is  described by many orthodox scholars as the the arch-innovator of the  Salafîs in the modern age. A watch repairman by trade, al-Albânî is  a self-taught claimant to  Hadîth  scholarship who has no known mentor in any of the Islamic sciences and has admitted not to have memorized the Book of Allah nor any book of  hadîth,  fiqh, ‘aqîda, usûl, or  lughah. He achieved notoriety by attacking the great scholars of the  Ahl al-Sunnah (Normative Islam)  and reviling the science of fiqh  with exceptional malice towards the school of his father who was a Hanafî scholar. 

Al-Albânî was born in the city of  Ashkodera, the capital of Albania in 1914 C.E. While he was young his parents migrated to Damascus, Syria, during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. His father,  Shaykh  Nûh al-Albânî, was, as stated, a strict Hanafî scholar under whom  Al-Albânî studied  tajwid  or ‘Qur’anic recitation’ and perhaps the Hanafî  fiqh  primer  Marâqî al-Falâh (‘The Ascents to Success’). It is likely that he also studied some  other primary subjects in Hanafî  fiqh  under  Shaykh  Muhammad Sa‘îd al-Burhânî, who taught in the Al-Tawbah Masjid near his father’s shop, in the quarter of the Turks on the side of Mount Qâsiyûn.

Popular belief has it that at an early  age he was captivated by the science of Hadîth  and spent his time incessantly seeking knowledge of this science. Al Albânî deemed it to be more profitable to spend time in independent, unsupervised study of books and manuscripts at the famous library of Damascus, Al-Maktabat uz-Zâhiriyyah,  and not attend the lectures of the acknowledged scholars of the day.

Al-Albânî has attained notoriety  amongst scholars and students for his inadmissible reclassification and reappraisal of the Prophetic  Hadîth . However, he does not seem  to have  been given any authorization (ijâzah) in Hadîth  from  any recognized scholar of  Hadîth . He seems to have ‘taught   himself’  the science of Hadîth. 

As for his professed  ijâzah  or ‘warrant of learning,’ it is reported that a Hadîth  scholar from  Halab (Aleppo),  Shaykh    Râghib al-Tabbâkh , visiting the Dhâhiriyyah Library while in Damascus, was introduced to Al-Albânî who was pointed out to him  as a promising student of  Hadîth. After having spoken to him  for a while it is said that the  Shaykh  conferred upon him  a general  ijâzah, even though Al-Albânî did not attend his lessons nor studied any book of  Hadîth  under his tutelage. 

Indeed, Shaykh Râghib al-Tabbâkh  had chains of successive mentors reaching all the way back to  the authors of the foremost  Hadîth as  the  Sahîh  of  al-Bukhârî  works, such   and the  Sunan  of  Abû Dâwûd, and hence the prestige of a  contiguous chain  going back to the Holy Prophet. But this was an authorization (ijâzah) of  tabarruk, or ‘blessing’, not a ‘warrant of learning’.

This type of authorization (ijâzah), that of  tabarruk, is a known practice of some  traditional scholars and is intended  to serve as an encouragement to the student whom  they have met and whom  they find capable or hope will become a scholar. 

Though the authorization be given and signed by a specialist scholar of Hadîth , it in no way makes the individual to whom  it is issued a  Hadîth scholar. The scholarly value of such  ijâzahs is merely to establish that the two have met and to serve as an added impetus to pursue the course of study in the specified field. 

In later life he was given Professorship of  Hadîth  at the Islamic University of Madînah. It is a known fact that  Madînah university and like institutions within Saudi Arabia have been  the mainstay in spreading  Wahhâbî  tenets throughout the world and calumniating the beliefs and practice of the  Ahl asSunnah. Incidentally, the same is  to be said  of the Saudi-Wahhâbî  inspired ‘ Râbitah al-‘Âlam al-Islâmî  ’(Muslim  World League) in Makkah who have hired and indoctrinated hundreds of  ignorant men from  every country to their way of thinking. These hirelings and their Saudi-Wahhâbî  sponsored organisations, camouflaged as religious authorities, in turn become instrumental in propagating the heretical tenets of  Wahhâbîsm  which they often insidiously brand as ‘ The Fatwâ’s of world Muslim unity ’.

Al-Albânî was a rabid reviler of the  Awliyâ’  (Friends of Allah) and the Sûfîyâ’. He was expelled from  Syria then  Arabia, and finally settled in Amman, Jordan, under house arrest until  his death in 1999. He remains the object of devotion of the most strident innovators and self-styled ‘reformers’ of Islam. 

Muhammad Nâsir ud-Dîn al-Albânî was especially influenced by the writings of the notorious Egyptian Freemasons, Muhammad Rashîd Ridâ (d. 1935 C.E.) and his mentor,  Shaykh  Muhammad ‘Abduh (d. 1905 C.E.) who was both Grand  Muftî  of Egypt and Grand Master of the United Masonic Lodge of Egypt. These individuals were noted for employing, to a great extant, the writings of Ibn Taymiyyah  and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim  al Jawziyyah in furthering their nefarious Masonic agenda. The four abovementioned personalities held idiosyncratically corrupt beliefs (aqîdah) and legal positions on certain particularly  contentious points, like the gross anthropomorphism’s attributed to Allah and the denial of the Orthodox Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence (Madhâhib). 

It is a well known fact that Muhammad Rashîd Ridâ and his teacher Muhammad ‘Abduh, the grand  Muftî  of Egypt at the time, were both Freemasons, who endeavoured to reinterpret the  Sharî‘ah,  claiming to ‘ reform ’ Islam from ‘ extraneous accretions ’, which led to their call for the abandonment of  Taqlîd; hence the need for the  abolishment of the four schools of Islamic Jurisprudence. In reality, they represented the hypocritical element who fought against Islam  from  within. One of the greatest
impediments in the endeavor to ‘ modernise ’ Islam  to conform  to western standards of reason and its  underlying agenda is the  Shar’î  demand for Taqlîd  (ie. following a School of Islamic Law).  Taqlîd  is a thorn in their flesh and it has to be eliminated for the attainment of their pernicious goal. This conspiracy was realized by many scholars of their day and , as a result, many a man of knowledge exposed them  for what they were, for example, Shaykh Muhammad Bâkhit al-Mutî‘î (d. 1935) – a grand  Muftî  of Egypt and one of the leading Hanafî scholars of his time. 

During the administration of Muhammad Alî Pâshâ, the Ottoman governor of Egypt in the mid nineteenth century, ‘Abduh was brought to the board of management of the  Jâmi’ al-Azhar,  the prestigious institute of Islamic learning and scholarship which had for  centuries educated Muslim savants. It was from  then on that the Scotch  Freemasons, having infiltrated, began to destroy Egyptian Muslims economically and spiritually. Through these Freemasons, the British were successful in  demolishing, not just the spiritual and intellectual heritage of Egyptian  Muslims, but also the mighty Ottoman Empire from within.  Shaykh  Muhammad ‘Abduh, incidentally, was  the disciple of the notorious Freemason Jamâl ud-Dîn al-Afghânî, regarded as one of the chief architects of the ‘ revisionist ’ movement of his time. Al-Afghânî left an abiding impression of his ‘ reformist ’ ideas  on the intelligentsia of Egypt and Constantinople (Istanbul), the Capital of the then Ottoman Empire. His contacts and discourses on ‘progressive’ Muslim  philosophy, jurisprudence and religion couched in  persuasive, deceptive   language fired many young ‘ liberal ’ writers and scholars in Egypt  and other parts of the Muslim  world with a missionary anti-orthodox zeal. Not  least effected by his writings were the secular ‘Young Turks’ who, under  the leadership of a donmeh Jew named Mustafâ Kamâl Ataturk, went on to destroy the last vestiges of the Ottoman  Khalîfate.  

Al-Afghânî and ‘Abduh were ‘master and  disciple’ and there exists no significant difference in their thought aside from  Al-Afghânî being more erudite in nefarious  Shî‘îsm  and ‘Abduh in  degenerate  Tasawwuf. Al Afghânîs real name  was Sayyid Jamâl ud-Dîn al-Asadabâdî. Asadabâd is a city in Iran, whose population is known to be 100 %  Shî‘âh.

Al-Afghânî bears the ignominy of introducing the Nahj al-Balâgha in Egypt. This book is regarded by the  Sh î‘âh  as second in importance only to the Holy Qur’ân. It is a known fact that this book contains a large number of spurious and false sayings attributed to  Sayyidinâ  ‘Alî (radhiyallahu anhu). It contains the most abominable invectives against the august Companions of the Holy Prophet    including  Sayyidinâ  ‘Uth mân, ‘Â’ish ah, Talhah, Zubayr and Mu‘âwiyah (radhiyallahu anhuma). Worst still is that it reflects most negatively against Sayyidinâ ‘Alî (radhiyallahu anhu). since, by attributing to him  those words, it implicates him in the most impious conduct and malevolent assertions against those noble personalities. ‘Abduh went so far  as to prepare a commentary on  Nahj al Balâghah  so as to further popularize it. 

Al-Afghânî and ‘Abduh also attempted to interpret Islamic history through the ideas and themes expressed in the book. In other words they had endeavored to teach Muslims a  Shî‘îte version of Islamic history which is warped to say the least.  Al-Afgh ânî and ‘Abduh tried their level best to convince Muslim  scholars that the  Sunnî-Sh î‘ah  divide was merely the result of variations in their respective political stances, and that the so-called ‘Ja‘farî’  Sh î‘îte school of law  must be accepted as legitimate (note that  Imâm Ja‘far as-Sâdiq rahimahullah was a noble descendant of the Holy Prophet    and an upright  Ahl as-Sunnah scholar). 

As regards Hasan al-Bannâ,  it is true that he was not a Wahhabî per se, but to consider him  an  Ahl us-Sunnah  scholar or a  Sûfî  of note, as many do, is not correct. He was a teacher in an elementary school, initially a member of a  Sûfî  tarîqah  and a high-ranking exponent of  British Masonry in Egypt. He was a follower of the ‘reformist theory’, preached by Al-Afgh ânî and was vehemently opposed by Muslim  Scholars and especially the Ottoman ‘Ulamâ’  of the day. He disassociated himself from  his  Qâdirî Tarîqah, believing that traditional  Sûfîsm  was old-fashioned, antiquated and irrelevant. His project was to create  a ‘Muslim secret society’, a kind of ‘Islamic Masonry’. The British government actively supported him  in much the same  way it had sponsored Ibn Sa‘ûd, this primarily because of his subversive influence and antagonism  towards the central  Khalîfate. 

After his demise, Sayyid Qutb assumed  leadership of his movement. He, like al-Albânî as described earlier,  was not a qualified scholar. His  Tafsîr  (Fî Dh ilâl al-Qur‘ân), is described by many scholars of note as a collection of the most absurd mistakes and baseless interpretations. What is most disconcerting about the commentary is its insults against the  Sahâbah, especially its claims to  correct “‘Uthmân’s (radhiyallahu anhu’s) inadequacies”, and its denial of the validity of the four Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence. 

When Egypt and Saudi Arabia were embroiled in the war for control of Yemen, the movement of Sayyid Qutb,  the Muslim  Brotherhood, began to depend on Saudi financing and thus became very much influenced by Wahhabîsm. Ever since they have been active in disseminating the  Wahhabî creed and its  literature worldwide, a more popular example being the printing and  translation of a book called ‘Minhâj al-Muslim’  by Jâbir al Jazâ‘irî, which represents the quintessence of  Wahhabîsm. Their organization (WAMY) also publishes ‘Fath al-Majîd’  by Ibn Abd al Wahhâb, the ‘gospel’ of Wahhabîsm. 

To conclude, among al-Albânî’s absurdities and innovations in Religion are the following:

1) In his book  Adab al-Zafaf  he prohibits women from  wearing gold jewelry – rings, bracelets, and chains  – despite the Consensus of the Scholars of Islam  permitting it.

2) He claims  that it is permissible for menstruating women and those in a state of major defilement (junub) to recite, touch, and carry the Holy Qur’ân.

3) He declares it prohibited (harâm) and an innovation to lengthen the beard over a fistful’s length although there is no proof for such a claim in the entire corpus of Islamic Law.

4) He claims that whoever carries a  tasbîh  (rosary) in his hand to remember Allah is misguided and an innovator.

5) He absolutely prohibits fasting on Saturdays.

6) He claims that 2.5% zakât  is not due on money obtained from commerce, ie. the main activity  whereby money circulates among Muslims.

7) He claims  that among the innovations in religion is the Prophet’s  grave in Madinah.

8) He claims that whoever travels  intending to visit the grave of the Prophet  or to ask for his intercession is a misguided innovator.

9) In many of his books he calls for  the demolition and  removal of the Prophet’s  grave.

10) He  states:  “I have found no evidence for the Prophet’s    hearing the salutation of those who greet him at his grave.”  These are among his greater enormities and bear the unmistakable signature of innovation and deviation.

11) He advocates in his ‘Salât al-Nabî’  the formula  “Peace and blessings upon  the  Prophet”  instead of  “…upon  you, O Prophet”  in the tash ahhud  in contradiction of the Four Orthodox Schools of Jurisprudence. The Prophet    himself instructed Muslims to pray exactly as he prayed saying:  “Peace and blessings upon  you, O Prophet”  without telling them  to change it after his death. Furthermore the major Companions (whose  Sunnah  or precedent we are ordered to emulate together with that of the Prophet ), such as Abû Bakr and ‘Umar, did not teach the Companions   and Successors otherwise!

12) He expresses hatred for those who read Imâm al-Busîrî’s masterpiece, Qasîdat al-Burdah, and calls them cretins (mahabil), in other words, millions of Muslims past and present, including the likes of Imâms Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalânî, al-Sakhâwî, and al-Suyûtî  who all included it as required reading in the Islamic curriculum. 

13) He published so called ‘corrected’ editions of the two  Sahîhs of al Bukhârî and Muslim, which he deceitfully called ‘Abridgments’ (mukhtasar) in violation of the integrity of these motherbooks.

14) He published newly-styled editions of the Four Sunan, al-Bukhârî’s al-Adab al-Mufrad, al-Mundhirî’s  al-Targhîb wa al-Tarhîb, and al-Suyûtî’s  al-Jâmi` al-Saghîr, each of which he split into two works, respectively prefixed  Sahîh  and  Daîf,  in violation of the integrity of these motherbooks.

15) He suggests that al-Bukh ârî is a disbeliever for interpreting the Divine Face as dominion or sovereignty (mulk) in the verse  “Everything will perish save His countenance” (28:88) in the book of  Tafsîr  in his Sahîh:  “ ‘Except His countenance’ means ‘Except His Sovereignty’, and it is also said: ‘Except whatever  was done for the sake of His countenance’.”  Albânî blurts out:  “No true believer would say such a thing.” 

16)  He fabricated a physical position  to Allah, namely above the  ‘Arsh (Throne), which he named  al-makân al-‘adamî  – ‘The non-existent place’.

17) In imitation of the Mu‘tazilah, he declared  tawassul  (seeking means) as prohibited acts in Islam  (harâm) tantamount to idolatry (shirk) in open denial of the numerous sound and explicit narrations  to that effect, such as al Bukhârî’s narration of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) from  Ibn `Umar: “Truly the sun shall draw so near on the Day  of Resurrection that sweat shall reach to the mid-ear, whereupon they shall ask  help from Âdam , then from Mûsâ  , and thereafter from Muhammad   who will intercede and that day Allah shall raise him to an Exalted Station, so that  all those who are standing [including the unbelievers]  shall glorify him (yahmaduhu ahl ul-jam`i kulluhum).”

19) Like the rest of the Wahhâbî  innovators he declares the Ahl us Sunnah, namely the Ash ‘arîs, Ma‘tûrîdîs, Atharis and Sûfiyâ’ to be outside the pale of Islam,  although Allah and His Prophet  praised them! Upon revelation of the verse  “Allah shall bring a people whom He loves and who love Him”  (5:54), the Prophet    pointed to Abû Mûsâ al-Ash ‘arî (radhiyallahu anhu) and said:  “They are that man’s People.”  Al-Qush ayrî, Ibn ‘Asâkir, al-Bayhaqî, Ibn al-Subkî, and others said that the followers of Abû al Hasan al-Ash‘arî (rahimahullah) i.e. Ash‘aris who were mostly Sûfîs – are included among Abû Mûsâ al-Ash ‘arî’s (radhiyallahu anhu’s) people.

As for the Ma‘turîdîs, they are referred to in the narration of the Prophet  from  Bishr al-Khath‘amî or al-Ghanâwî (sahîh) chain according to al-Hâkim, al-Dhahabî, al-Suyûtî, and alamî with a sound:  “Truly you shall conquer Constantinople and truly what a wonderful leader will her leader be [Sultân Muhammad Fâtih ], and truly what a wonderful  army will that army be!”  Both the leader and his army  were classic Hanafî  Ma‘tûrîdîs and it is known that Sultân Muhammad Fâtih loved and respected the Sûfiyâ’. Moreover, enmity against the Ash‘arîs, Ma‘tûrîdîs, and Sûfiyâ’, is  nifâq (hypocrisy) of the highest order and manifest enmity against the Ummah of Islam  as most of the ‘Ulamâ’ of Islam  are thus described.

20) He  issued  the  fatwâ  that Muslims should exit Palestine en masse leaving it to the Jews as, he reasoned, it is part the Abode of War (dâr al-harb). This fallacious reasoning seems to bear the hallmark of complicity as displayed all too often by the Wahhabî traitors. 

21) He prohibits performing more than 11  raka‘ât  (cycles) in  Tarâwîh prayers in blatant rejection of the Prophet’s  explicit command to follow his  Sunnah  as well as the precedent  of the rightly-guided Khalîfs  after him.

22) He prohibits retreat (i`tikaf) in any but the Three Masjids.

23) He considers it an innovation to visit relatives, neighbors, or friends on the day of E‘Îd and prohibits it.

24) He considers it an innovation to pray four  raka‘ât  between the two adh âns  of  Jumu‘ah  and before  Salâh, although it is authentically narrated that  “…the Prophet  prayed four raka‘ât before Jumu‘ah and four raka‘ât after it.” 

25)  He gives free rein to his propensity to insult and vilify the ‘Ulamâ’  of the past as well as his contemporaries. As a result it is difficult to wade through his writings without  being affected by the nefarious spirit that permeates them. For example, he considers previous editors and commentators of al-Bukh ârî’s  al-Adab al-Mufrad  (Book of Manners) ‘sinful’, ‘unbearably ignorant’, and even ‘liars’ and ‘thieves’. Such examples  actually fill a book compiled by Shaykh Hasan ‘Alî  al-Saqqâf entitled Qamûs Shatâ’im al-Albânî wa Alfâzihî al-Munkara al-Latî Yatluquhâ `alâ `Ulamâ’ al-Ummah  (‘Dictionary of al-Albânî’s Insults and the Heinous Words He Uses Against the Scholars of the Muslim  Community’). Al-Qurtubî said:  “One of the knowers of Allah has said: A certain group that has not yet come up in our time but shall show up at the end of time, will curse the scholars and insult the jurists.

26) He compares Hanafî  fiqh  to the Gospel, ie. corrupt and unreliable.

27) He calls people to emulate him rather than the  Imâms  and founders of the Four Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence.

28) He derides the  fuqahâ‘  of the  Ummah  for accepting – in their overwhelming majority – the  hadîth  of Mu‘âdh  ibn Jabal on  ijtihâd  as authentic then rejects the definition of knowledge (‘ilm) in Islam  as pertaining to  fiqh  claiming that it pertains to  hadîth  only. This despite the fact that the ‘Ulamâ  of the  Ummah  have explicitly stated that a hadîth  master without  fiqh  is a misguided innovator! 

29) He revived Ibn Hazm’s  anti-Madhhabî  claim that differences can never be a mercy in any case but are  always a curse on the basis of the verse “If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much discrepancy.” (4:82). Imâm  al-Nawawî long since refuted this view in his commentary on  Sahîh  Muslim  where he said: “…no-one says this, except an ignoramus or one who affects ignorance.”  Similarly, al-Munawî  said in Fayd al-Qadîr:  “This is a contrivance that showed up on the  part of some of those who have a sickness in their heart.

30)  He perpetuates the false claim  first made by Munir Agha the founder of the Egyptian Salafiyyah Press,  that Imâm  Abû Muhammad al Juwaynî – the father  of Imâm al-Haramayn  – “repented” from Ash‘arî doctrine and supposedly authored a tract titled  Risâlah fi Ithbât al Istiwâ’ wa al-Fawqiyyah  (‘Epistle on the Assertion of ‘Establishment’ and ‘Aboveness’).

This spurious attribution continues to be promoted without verification – for obvious reasons – by the Wahhabîs who adduce it to forward the claim that al-Juwaynî embraced anthropomorphist concepts. The Risâlah in question is not mentioned in any of the bibliographical and biographical sources nor does al-Dhahabî cite it in his encyclopedia of anthropomorphist views entitled ‘al-‘Uluw’. More conclusively, it is written in modern argumentative style and reflects typically contemporary anthropomorphist obsessions.