Tuesday, May 26, 2009

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLISM - PART 20

In the name of Allah (SWT) the Most Beneficent and Most Compassionate

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLIMS IN THIS WORLD AND THEIR SALVATION IN HEREAFTER


(Part 20)


The work on compilation of Quran was started in Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (RU) Caliphate and the first compiled Quran in the handwriting of Hazrat Osman (RU) is preserved even today and is available for public viewing in Hast Imam locality, Old Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Central Asia. The Quran was compiled by As-hab-e-Rasulullah (SAWS) on the instructions by Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).

Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) used to depute Quran teachers for various places in the Islamic territory to teach reading and writing of Quran to people. This way Quran was taught and published during the time of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS). There were hundreds of Quran conners (Huffaz) who had memorized Quran during Prophet’s (SAWS) time. Thus, the narration of Quran from Prophet’s (SAWS) time till today is authentically and uninterruptedly established beyond doubt. The people of 7 recitals and 10 recitals from the time of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) are still existing and this chain of continuous narration will Inshallah continue for ever. It is in Quran – ‘We (Allah SWT) have descended Quran and We only will preserve it’.

The Ahadith were collected by the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) during his life time. It was the practice of As-hab-e-Rasulullah (SAWS) to write and / or memorize his traditions. These traditions were later compiled in book forms by prominent Imams of Ahadith. Those who collected Ahadith, scrutinized the trustworthiness of the narration and evaluated the chain of narrators stringently. This way, the traditions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) were preserved from the time of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) in an authentic uninterrupted way. Hadith scholars have divided Ahadith collection into three main categories; (i) Continuous Narration (Hadith-e-Mutwatir), (ii) Acceptable Narration (Hadith-e-Mustafeedh), and (iii) Infrequent Narration (Ahad).

Continuous Narration (Hadith-e-Mutwatir) - The Continuous Narration is that Hadith which has been narrated by so many people that the mind does not contemplate that all of them might have concord with lie. Thus the continuous narration is believable. A narration against it, is not acceptable. There are two types of continuous narration, as follows.

(a) Continuous by word – A Hadith whose words are more or less identical in all the narrations is known as continuous narration by word (Hadith-e-Mutwatir bil lafz).

(b) Continuous by meaning – A Hadith whose words may be less or more in various narrations but the narration carries the same meaning is known as ‘continuous by meaning’ (Hadith-e-Mustafeedh). This narration is also believable. The denial of the Ahadith which comes under the category of ‘continuous narration (Hadith-e-Mutwatir) is equal to the denial of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).

Acceptable Hadith (Hadith-e-Mustafeedh) – A Hadith that has frequently been narrated but did not reach to the extent of the continuous narration is known as ‘Acceptable Hadith (Hadith-e-Mustafeedh). However, in this Hadith, presumption has been dominant.

Infrequent Hadith (Ahad) – The narration that has been narrated by one or two persons and has not reched to the extent of the ‘Acceptable narration’ (Mustafeedh) is known as Infrequent narration. All disputes are related to the infrequent narration.

It is the consensus opinion of Muslims that Bukhari and Muslim are the most authentic Hadith collections. Therefore their books are called (i) Sahih Bukhari and (ii) Sahih Muslim, meaning most authentic and correct Ahadith.

There are four other collections of books that are held in great reverence by Muslims throughout the world. These are (iii) Sunan At-Tirmizi, (iv) Sunan An-Nasa'ii, (v) Sunan Abu Dawud, and (vi) Sunan Ibn Majah.

All these Ahadith collection books together; (i) Sahih Bukhari, (ii) Sahih Muslim (iii) Sunan At-Tirmizi, (iv) Sunan An-Nasa'ii, (v) Sunan Abu Dawud, and (vi) Sunan Ibn Majah, are known as Saha Sittah (the authentic six).

Arabic versions with their English translations of all Saha Sitta Ahadith books; viz., (i) Sahih Bukhari ( 9 Volumes ), (ii) Sahih Muslim ( 7 Volumes ), (iii) Sunan At-Tirmizi ( 6 Volumes ), (iv) Sunan An-Nasa'ii ( 6 Volumes ), (v) Sunan Abu Dawud ( 5 Volumes ), and (vi) Sunan Ibn Majah ( 5 Volumes ) will be made available on our site soon.

There are other collections of Ahadith, although, not as popular as the above, but contain many authentic Ahadith that are referred by people all over the world. These include, (i) Muwatta, by Imam Malik, (ii) Musnad of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, (iii) Sahih of Ibn Khuzaima, (iv) Sahih of Ibn Hibban, (v) Mustadrak of Al Haakim, and (vi) Musannaf of Abdul Razzaq.

Hadith scholars recommend all Hadith readers that, while they study the books of Ahadith, they should also go through Hadith guides like (i) Fatahul Bari, (ii) Umdatul Qari, (iii) Qustalani, (iv) Bazlul Juhood, etc., for better comprehension of Prophet’s (SAWS) traditions.

Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) - The famous historian Ibn Khaldun describes fiqh as ‘knowledge of the rules of Allah (SWT) that concern the actions of persons who are bound to obey the law, respecting what is required (Wajib), forbidden (Haraam), recommended (Mandoob), disapproved (Makruh) or permitted (Mubah).

Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) covers two main areas, (i) Rules in relation to actions (Amaliyya) and (ii) Rules in relation to circumstances surrounding the actions (Wadia’).

Rules in relation to actions (Amaliyya) covers five areas; (i) Obligation (Fardh), (ii) Recommendation (Mandoob), (iii) Permissible (Mubah), (iv) Approved but not recommended (Makrooh), and (v) Prohibited (Haram).

Rules in relation to circumstances (Wadia) consist of (i) Condition (Shart), (ii) Cause (Sabab), (iii) Preventor (Ma'ni), (iv) (a) Permission with relaxation (Rukhsah), (b) Enforcement (Azeemah) (v) (a) Valid (Sahih), (b) Corrupt (Faasid), (c) Invalid (Batil), and (vi) (a) Performance in time (Adaa), (b) Delayed Performance (Al-Qadha), (c) Repeat (I'ada).

Muslim Jurists are called ‘Alim’ (plural - ‘Ulama’), from the Arabic word ‘Ilm’ (knowledge). They are also known as ‘Faqeeh (plural ‘Fuqahaa’) from the Arabic word ‘fiqh’.

The important fields of Islamic Jurisprudence are (i) Islamic economical jurisprudence, (ii) Islamic political jurisprudence, (iii) Islamic marital jurisprudence, (iv) Islamic criminal jurisprudence, (v) Islamic etiquette jurisprudence, (vi) Islamic theological jurisprudence, (vii) Islamic hygiene jurisprudence, and (viii) Islamic military jurisprudence.

The approach of the Muslim Jurists towards deciding specific issues is known as the ‘Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence’ (Usul-e-Fiqh). There are different approaches used in Fiqh to derive Sharia from the Islamic sources. These approaches are known as Islamic Schools of Thought.

Schools of Thoughts in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) - There are 4 schools of thought in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh); (i) Hanafi, (ii) Maliki, (iii) Shafi’i, and (iv)Hanbali. These schools represent clearly spelled out methodologies for interpreting the Shari'a. It is a consenses opinion that a Muslim should choose a single School of Thought and follow it in all matters. However, rulings from other Schools of thoughts can be sought as relaxation (Rukhsa) in exceptional issues. The basic Islamic law (Sharia) does not change but Fiqh rulings can change as per requirements. For instance, when tobacco appeared in the market it was declared 'disliked' because of its smell. When it was known that smoking was injurious to health, that ruling was changed to 'forbidden'.

The Muslims Sects should not be confused and overlapped with the School of thoughts of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh). A school of thought (Maktab-e-Khiyaal) is not to be considered a religious sect. As per Webster English Dictionary, sect means ‘a group of people sharing a particular religious, philosophical or political opinion, who have broken away from the main body’. When we talk of different sects of Muslims, it means that these groups have broken away from the ‘Correct Islamic Faith’, though they claim themselves to be truthful Muslims.

Historical perspective - The Islamic schools of thoughts were developed as a natural evolution in the Umayyad time (661-750) when Judges were sent by the Central Government to the newly acquired territories of the Muslim Empire. These Qadhis faced totally new environment and new issues to deal with in these new territories. They tried to base their decisions on Quran and act according to Sunnah. When they could not relate a clear evidence about a specific case in both these resources, they had to judge cases as per their Jurisprudential abilities. This usually included considerations of what was customary in that area. This practice was later known as ‘Opinion or Analogical Reasoning’ (Ra’y and Qiyas).

The recognition of ra'y or Qiyas, as an approved source of law, was based on the instructions of the Prophet (SAWS) and the early Caliphs given to the officials who were sent to administer justice in newly acquired territories.

The Hanafi school came from Kufa, Iraq. Hazrat Ali (RU) had transferred Islamic Capital to Kufa during his Caliphate which resulted in migration of many As-hab-e-Rasulullah (SAWS) to Kufa. The Hanafi school developed under the patronage of Hazrat Ali (RU) and other Ahl-e-Baith-e-Rasulullah (SAWS) and many companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) who settled in Kufa.

Maliki school came from the people of Madina who were heavily inclined in favor of the Islamic practice (Sunnah) of the local community of Medina.

Both these schools, especially the Hanafi, were countered by a movement which was known as Traditionists (Ahl-e-Hadith) movement. The Traditionists opposed the inclusion of Ra'y in Islamic Jurisprudence. They relied only on Prophet’s (SAWS) Ahadith they were collecting at that time.

The “Traditionists’ movement is the most important single event in the history of Islamic jurisprudence in the second century Hijra. They opposed the practice of earlier schools alleging them to be based heavily on Ra’y (opinion). According to them, fiqh had to be based exclusively on Ahadith of Prophet (SAWS). Traditionists existed in all great centers of Islam where they formed groups in opposition to, but nevertheless in contact with, the local schools of law, and the polemics (theological disputes) between them and the ancient schools occupied most of the second century Hijra.

The adherents of old schools, Hanafi and Maliki found it difficult to contain the rising tide of Traditionists. They defended their schools by explaining that their schools of thoughts were not personal emulations, rather their alleged analogical reasonings were per the Prophet’s (SAWS) traditions. This may be the reason that the main contents of the Kitab Al-Athar of Imam Abu Yusuf and the Kitab Al-Athar of Imam Shaybani explained in detail that the Hanafi traditions have been derived from Imam Abu Hanifa, and from Hammad Ibn Abi Sulayman (d. 736), and from Ibrahim Al-Naka'i and further backwards from Hazrat Ibn Mas’ud (RU) and others.

Imam Shafi'i belonged to the school of Madina, but he accepted the contentions of Traditionists, defended them in vigorous polemics (theological disputes) with the followers of the earlier schools, and composed in his Risala (booklet) the first treatise on the method of Islamic Jurisprudential reasoning. Thus, he became the founder of the science of ‘the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence’ (Usul-e-fiqh) in a written format. Imam Shafi'i was not a Traditionist to the core, rather he deplored their faulty reasoning, and himself relied on traditions from the Prophet (SAWS) by systematic legal thought of exceptional quality, excluding Ra'y and Istihsan (compassion) and insistence on strict Qiyas (Analogical reasoning).

It happened, however, that some of his disciples, particularly, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, emphasized the traditionist element in Imam Shafi’i’s ‘principles of Islamic Jurisprudence’ (Usul-e-Fiqh) and derived their legal teaching exclusively from traditions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), avoiding human reasoning as far as possible.

The avoidance of drawing conclusions on the basis of Qiyas and Ra'y was put up as a 'principle of Jurisprudence' by Dawud Ibn Khalaf (d.884) who was known as Az-Zahiri (literalist) because he relied exclusively in the literal meaning (zahiri ma’ana ) of Qur'an and hadith and rejected not only ra'y (opinion) and Istihsan (compassion) but reasoning by as well.

Notwithstanding their divergent roots, the orthodox schools of law share a common legal theory which asserted itself in the 9th century, and which accepted Shafi'i and the Traidtionists' principle of overriding authority of the traditions of Prophet (SAWS) as the only evidence of Sunna but subordinated its practical application to the consensus of the scholars.

All four Islamic schools of thoughts, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafe’i and Hanbali, are respected as valid legal schools of Islam that have arrived through their analysis of the Qur'an and Sunnah. In fact the differences between the schools are considered a blessing in disguise as it gives freedom of choice to the people as per their personal inclination.

By tenth century the primary law-making activity was not considered necessary and activity of the jurists remained limited to interpretation and explanation of the existing 4 schools, bringing it up-to-date with life as the conditions changed. The scholars used to put their own doctrines under guidance the of their Imams.

This way, the main contents of the Kitab Al-Athar of Abu Yusuf and of the Kitab al-Athar of Shaybani (both students of Imam Abu Hanifa) represent themselves as having been derived from Abu Hanifa, and from Hammad bin Abi Sulayman (d. 736), and from Ibrahim al-Naka'i and further backwards from Hazrat Ibn Mas’ud (RU) who was a companion of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) settled in Kufa, Iraq.

The Madinese claimed their teachings to derive from the ‘seven lawyers of Medina’ (Fukaha Al-Madina As-Sab'a, namely, (i) Sa'id b. Al-Musayyib. (ii) Urwa b. al-Zubair, (iii) Abu Bakr b. 'Abd ar-Rahman, (iv) Ubayd Allah Ibn Abdullah Ibn Utba, (v) Kharija Ibn Zaid Ibn Thabit, (vi) Sulaiman Ibn Yasar, and (vii) Al-Kasim Ibn Mohammad Ibn Abi Bakr. Their original authority was Abdullah bin Umar (RU).

By the middle of the 9th century the schools of law had transformed themselves into Islamic schools. The bulk of the first school of Kufa transformed itself into the school of the Hanafis. Another group of scholars went into the school of Sufyan at-Thauri. The ancient school of Madina became the school of the Malikis. And the ancient school of Syria became Awza'i School.

Although Imam Shafi'i had disclaimed any intention of founding a school, his disciples, being neither mere Traditionists nor members of another school, became his personal followers, and the movement started by him became Shafi'i school.

The school of Islamic Jurisprudence originated by Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, too, became known as the school of the Hanbalis. This school was a little different from its 'parent Traditionists movement' as it did not absorb the movement fully.

It is the consensus of Islamic Ummah that the 4 schools of thought are alternative and equally valid interpretations of the religious laws of Islam. Notwithstanding their divergent views, they share a common legal theory which asserted itself in the 9th century, and which accepted Shafi'is (and the Traidtionists') principle of the overriding authority of the traditions from the Prophet (SAWS) as the only evidence of Sunna but subordinated its practical application to the consensus of the scholars.

From the middle of the 9th century, the idea began to gain ground that only the great scholars of the past had the depth to independent reasoning in law (Ijtihad). During tenth century a consensus gradually established itself in orthodox Islam to the effect that all future activity would have to be confined to the explanation, application and interpretation of the 4 Schools of thought. This implied that the people should follow these existing schools.

The above continued till 1300 AD. Towards the end of 13th century, Ibn Taymiyyah rejected all these schools alleging them to be personal emulation (Taqleed) of 4 Imams and became the founder of neo Islamist movement called Salafism. After his death, the Salafi doctrine was adopted by a very few people for the following 500 hundred years, until the birth of Ibn Abdul Wahhab in early 18th Century who propagated Salafism on the back of military conquests of Sauds, the tribal ruler of Najd. By early 20th Century Salafism became the official religion of newly formed Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On the back of oil wealth and the occupation of Islamic important places, Khana-e-Ka’aba and Masjid-e-Nabawi, Salafism thrived in the world during the last century.

In the same way, religious doctrines of the Kharijis ('Ibadis of Oman), and of the Shi'a (Ja'faari in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon and Zaidi in Yemen), which split from the Muslim majority on political grounds about the middle of the first century of Islam (660 AD), differed on the question of the leadership of the community and consequential questions of Usul.

In the following we have provided a brief account of the 4 Imam’s of Islamic Jurisprudence.

Imam Abu Hanifah ® (699 – 767 AD) – (81-151 H) is the first of the 4 Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence. His real name was Nu’man Ibn Thabit. He is famous by the name of one of his daughters named Hanifah. He was born in Kufa in 81 H (699 AD) to a businessmen family who had migrated to Iraq from Iran.

Hanafi school of thought is generally considered as compassionate towards people. It is known for its open hearted religious orientation that elevates True Islamic Faith and is tolerant for differences within Muslim communities. Some people believe that this school of thought appeals more to reason. This kind of allegations were made even during the life time of Imam Abu Hanifa ®. When we look at his life history, these allegations prove to be totally false. Sometimes it happens that the Imam deduces an imperative from Quran and Hadith but people are incapable of comprehending it because of their inability to scan minute things and consider it to be based on his personal opinion.

Hanafi Jurisprudential views were preserved primarily by two most important disciples of Imam Abu Haniifa ®, Abu Yusuf ® and Mohammad Al-Shayban ®. The latter's works, known collectively as Zahir Al-Riwaya, remained authoritative for later Hanafis.

A unique feature of the Hanafi school is the method in which the law was codified. Imam Abu Hanifa ® would convene and preside over a board of Jurists (consisting of about 40-50 of his students) and each would give his opinion on a particular legal issue, Imam Abu Hanifa ® would then decide which is the opinion that is to be selected by corroborating it or sometimes would offer his own unique opinion. The sources from which the law is derived by Hanafis, in order of importance and preference are, (i) the Qur'an, (ii) the authentic narrations of the Prophet (Hadith), (iii) Consensus (Ijma) and (iv) Analogical reasoning (Qiyas). Analogical reasoning was applied when a decision could not be arrived at an issue directly from Qur'an or Hadith.

The Hanafi School had based many of its rulings on Prophetic narrations (Hadith) transmitted by his companions residing in Iraq. Thus it came to be known as the Kufan or Iraqi school. The fourth rightful Caliph, Hazrat Ali (RU) had transferred the Islamic capital to Kufa, Iraq and many of the companions of Prophet (SAWS) had settled there. Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (RU) and Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (RU) formed much of the base of this school. In addition, Imam Abu Hanifa ® studied under many Imams of Prophet’s (SAWS) household. His teachers, among others, included Imam Mohammad Al-Baqir (RU), Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq (RU), Imam Zayd Ibn Ali (RU) and Hammad Ibn Sulayman ®.

Hanafi methodology involved the logical process of examining Quran and all available knowledge of the Sunna and then finding an example in them that analogous to the particular case under review. It thus entails the use of reason in the examination of Quran and Sunna so as to come to the logical conclusion necessary for the implementation of Islamic jurisprudence in that case. This made it an ideal legal tool for the central Governance of widely varied Muslim populations.

Today, the Hanafi school is predominant in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and the Caucasus. This school is also followed by major chunks of populations in other parts of Muslim world.

Imam Malik Ibn Anas® (711-795 AD) - (93 – 179 H) was the second Imam of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh). His full name was Abu Abdullah Malik Ibn Anas Ibn Malik Ibn Abi Amir Ibn Amr Ibnul-Harith Ibn Ghaiman Ibn Khuthail Ibn Amr Ibnul-Haarith. He was son of Anas Ibn Malik (not the Sahabi) and Aaliyah bint Shurayk Al-Azdiyya. He was born in Medina. His family belonged to Al-Asbahi tribe of Yemen, but his great grandfather Abu Amir relocated to Madina after converting to Islam in 623 AD. Imam Malik died at the age of 89 in Madina in 795 AD and is buried in the famous Jannatul Baqi cemetery.

Imam Shafi'i ®, who was one of Malik's ® student for nine years and a scholarly giant in his own right, stated, ‘when scholars are mentioned, Malik is like the star among them’. Imam Malik is the second of the 4 Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence. His school is based on the Madina consensus of opinion and uses Hadith as a guide. It appeals to the idea of common good of people. Imam Malik ® did not record the fundamental principles in a written format on which Maliki school of thought is based. In this respect, he resembled his contemporary, Imam Abu Hanifa ®. The Maliki school of thought is predominant in north, central and west Africa and Egypt.

Imam Malik developed his ideas in Madina, where he knew some of the last surviving companions of the Prophet (SAWS) or their immediate descendents. His doctrine is recorded in Muwatta (the book of Hadith written by him) which has been adopted by most Muslims of Africa except in Lower Egypt, Zanzibar and South Africa.

Imam Muhammad Ibn Idris Al-Shafi'i ® (767-820) – (150-204 H) is the third of the 4 Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence. His full name was Abu Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Idris Al-Shafi’i. He was born in Gaza, Palestine. His family moved to Makka when he was about ten years old. He is reported to have studied with the School of Makka and then moved to Madina. Afterwards he lived in Makka, Baghdad and finally in Egypt. His prominent teachers include Imam Malik Ibn Anas and Mohammad Ibn Al Hasan Al Shaybani. He died at the age of 54 on the 30th of Rajab, 204 H (820 AD). He was buried in al-Fustat, Egypt.

He developed the principles of Islamic Jurisprudence in a written format. The sources of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul-e-Fiqh), in order of priority in Shafi’i school are (i) Quran, (ii) Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) based on Hadith narrated by companions of Prophet (SAWS), (iii) Consensus of the Muslim community (Ijma), and (iv) Reasoning (Ra’y). Reasoning is divided into two areas; (a) Analogical reasoning (Qiyas), and (b) Compassion (Istihsan). His principles became the basis of Islamic Jurisprudence which were subsequently used by all the schools.

Muslims in Indonesia, Lower Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, Somalia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, India, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Yemen and Kurds in the Kurdish regions follow Shafi’i school.

Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal ® ( 780 – 855 AD ) - ( 164 -241 H ) was born in Central Asia to Arab parents. His full name was Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal Abu Abdullah Al-Shaybani. After the death of his father, he moved to Iraq where he completed his religious studies. He was a student of Imam Shafi’i. Despite persecution, he held to his belief that the Qur'an was not a creation of Allah (SWT). His school of law is followed primarily in the Arabian Peninsula. He is the last of the 4 Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence. Hanbali School of thought is the smallest of all the four schools. It derives its decrees from the Qur'an and the Sunnah, which it places above all forms of consensus, opinion or inference. The school accepts as authoritative an opinion given by a Companion of the Prophet, provided there is no disagreement with another Companion. In the case of such disagreement, the opinion of the Companion nearest to that of the Qur'an or the Sunnah is taken into consideration.



Monday, May 18, 2009

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLIMS PART - 19


In the name of Allah (SWT) the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful

RECITATION OF NA'AT, SAMA AND SALAM

IN THE LIGHT OF QURAN AND AHADITH



(Part 19)



At the time of the advent of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) people who lived in Hijaz were mostly descendants of the followers of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Hazrat Ismail (AS). The historians say that the period between Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) was over 2000 years. During this period, they gradually deviated from the teachings of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and though they believed in one God, but started worshiping idols of all kinds. Many of these idols were brought to Makka Al-Mukarrama from far of places where Arabs used to go for merchandise. Some of these Arabs were the followers of other prophets after Ibrahim (AS); like Hazrat Moosa (AS) and Hazrat Isa (AS) who were known as Jews and Christians respectively. In Islamic history, this period is known as ‘the days of illiteracy (Ayyam-e-Jahiliyyah).

What changes took place after the advent of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS)?

Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) brought the Arabs back to Islam; introduced worship of Allah (SWT) and showed them how to worship Him. Certain practices of Arabs, like killing of girl child, wine drinking, usury, etc., were forbidden. Some other things were not banned, but regularized as per Islamic laws. Like unlimited polygamy was stopped and people were allowed to marry a maximum of 4 women with certain conditions. Improvement on humanistic behavior was introduced which helped them to become sincere human beings.

If anyone tries to sum up the change in Arabs in the hands of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), he will conclude that the Prophet (SAWS) cleansed their hearts and changed their mindset and made them good Muslims.

From their past traditions, what was allowed to be continued by Prophet Mohammad (SAWS)?

The day to day lives of Arabs mostly remained unchanged with the exclusion of certain areas where Islamic reforms were introduced. Their living, their eating habits, their clothing, their cultural traditions, their practice of doing business, and many more things continued, rather new Islamic rules further improved their living conditions. For instances they were not required to change their names. They were allowed to continue with their wives and children. They were allowed to live in their own houses and encouraged to continue their businesses/agriculture as usual, except that usury was prohibited. There were hundreds of tribes of Arabs living in Arabian Peninsula and Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) did not force them to change anything except certain areas where Islamic reforms were introduced.

Arab tribes had different accent in their colloquial Arabic. They were allowed to recite Quran in their own accent. But these recitals did not have any bearing on the understanding of the Quran. These recitals were later known as ‘seven recitals’ and ten recitals. Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) did not force them to use the accent of Quraish in reading Quran. In all these recitals, Hazrat Hafs (RU) recital was very close to the accent of Quraish.

Singing as a show happiness was wide spread in Prophet’s (SAWS) time. Certain cultural traditional dances remained unchanged. In a nutshell, Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) did not touch the cultural life of Arabs except in certain areas where Islamic values were introduced.

Islam is a versatile and happening religion. It is meant for the people of the whole world until the day of Resurrection. The cultural values of people of the whole world can be accommodated within the parameters of Islam. Islam has taught people certain basic requirements in their lives. These have to be as per the basic laws of Islam as taught by Prophet Mohammad (SAWS). Islam does not impose anything against the basic nature of human beings. It reforms their nature and facilitates them to become good human beings.

It is in Quran – ‘O’ people of belief, do not consider forbidden those good things that Allah (SWT) has allowed. (Al-Maa’ida – 87).

It is in Hadith – It is narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira (RU) that the Apostle (SAWS) said, ‘one who does not recite Quran with rich (vocal) recitation, is not among us. (Bukhari and Muslim).

It is in Hadith - It is narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira (RU) that the Apostle (SAWS) said Allah (SWT) does not listen to anything the way He listens to the loud vocal recital of Quran by the melodious voice of the Prophet (SAWS). (Bukhari and Muslim).

Writing of poetry and its recitation

It is in Hadith - It is narrated by Hazrat Buraida (RU) that I heard Prophet (SAWS) saying, some (couplet) is convincing speech, some are ignorant talk, and some couplet is wisdom and some are narrow mindedness’ (Abu Dawood).

Writing of Na’at (Eulogy of Prophet Mohammad –SAWS) and its recitation was very much liked by the Prophet (SAWS)

It is in Hadith - The mother of believers, Hazrata Aisha (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAWS) used to keep a Pulpit ( stand ) at the Prophet’s (SAWS) mosque for Hazrat Hassaan Bin Saabith (RU), and Hazrat Hassaan (RU) used to climb over it and used to express pride for, and defend Prophet (SAWS) (meaning he used to recite Na’at) and the Prophet (SAWS) used to say that Allah (SWT) supports Hassaan from Hazrat Jibreel (AS) as long as he expresses pride for and defends the Apostel (SAWS). (Bukhari).

Playing of tambourine (Daf) and flute and dancing in joy was allowed and liked by Prophet Mohammad (SAWS)

It is in Hadith – Hazrata Aisha (RA) has narrated that the Apostel (SAWS) said that ‘make announcement for the marriage ceremony and perform the ceremony at mosque and play on the tambourine (Daf). (Tirmizi).

It is in Hadith – It is narrated by Hazrat Mohammad Bin Haatib (RU), and he narrates it from Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) who said that the difference between lawful (halaal) and unlawful (Haraam) is that in marriages singing and drum beating is performed. (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Nasa’ee and Ibnu Maaja).

It is in Hadith – Hazrata Aisha (RA) narrates that when one Ansari’s bride was sent to her groom’s house in her bridal attire, the Prophet (SAWS) said that ‘Don’t you have some play and fun because the Ansar’s like fun’. (Bukhari).

It is in Hadith – It is narrated by Hazrata Aisha (RA), she said ‘I swear to Allah (SWT), I saw the Prophet (SAWS), and the Habashis (a tribe of Madina) are playing (dancing) with spears and the Prophet (SAWS) hides me with his coverlet so that I could see their play from between his ear and shoulder. Then he stays for me until I myself will return back’. (Bukhari and Muslim).

It is in Hadith – It is narrated by Hazrat Abu Moosa (RU) that the Prophet (SAWS) said, O’Moosa, you have been given a flute of the people of Dawood (AS). (Tirmizi).

It is in Hadith – Hazrata Aisha (RA) narrates that Hazrat Abu Bakr (RU) came to our home when two girls were clapping and playing on the tambourine (Daf) during ‘Mana’, and in another narration (the girls were) singing such couplets which were recited by Ansaars during the war of Ba’as. When Hazrat Abu Bakr (RU) chided these girls, the Prophet (SAWS) took out the (bed) sheet from his face and said O’Abu Bakr (RU), leave them, as this is festival time. And in one narration (it is said) O’ Abu Bakr (RU), every nation has festival and this is our festival.’ (Bukhari and Muslim).

During Prophet’s (SAWS) time, there were only two musical instruments, flute and tambourine and both these instruments were permitted. Now a days many new musical instruments have been made. If someone uses them in singing, why can’t these be allowed?

If we are singing something which explains physical beauty of a woman or describes polytheism and infidelity or idolatory, its recital and singing is senseless, waste of time and will be considered as sin. Similarly, singing and dancing of young men and women together on stages cannot be allowed.

Every aspect of human activity has positive and negative features. Islam disallowed negative features and allowed the positive side. Fornication and infidelity is not allowed. But you can have legal marital bliss.

Singing, music and dancing which leads people towards sin cannot be allowed. But if someone recites the eulogy of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), meaning recites Na'at, with musical instruments, how can it be disallowed?

If someone sings in praise of his parents because they have supported him in his life, how can we disallow it?

If someone sings in praise of his teacher for his services, how can it be disallowed?

If someone recites a poetry in praise of his Shaikh who taught him Arabic, Quran and Hadith, how can this be disallowed?

If someone sings, dances and plays musical instruments in times of joys, festivals, marriages, how can it be disallowed?

If someone arranges ‘Sama’ gatherings and recital of poetry in praise of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and As-hab-e-Rasulullah (SAWS) and legendary Shaikhs of Ihsan and uses musical instruments, this will be treated as Sunnah because Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) has allowed and liked it.

If people recite Salam and Durood in chorus with music on Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) it will be treated as Sunnah because Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and Allah (SWT) both like it.

The tradition of hearing of vocal music is proved from companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and their first and second generation followers. Read the following 15 Ahadith.

(i) It is narrated by Ibne Abdul Bar that Hazrat Omer (RU) heard vocal music.

(ii) It is narrated by Madarvi and Rafa’ee that Hazrat Osman (RU) heard vocal music.

(iii) It is narrated by Ibn Abi Shaibah that Hazrat Abdul Rahman Bin Auf (RU) heard vocal music.

(iv) It is narrated by Baihaqi, Ibn Maaja, Sa’eed Bin Mansour and Wahidi that Hazrat Abu Obaidah bin Jarrah (RU) heard music.

(v) It is narrated by Baihaqi that Hazrat Bilal (RU), Hazrat Abd bin Arqam (RU) and Hazrat Osama Bin Zaid (RU) heard it.

(vi) It is narrated by Ibn Zaher that Hazrat Hamza (RU) heard it.

(vii) It is narrated by Abu Nayeem that Hazrat Barra bin Malik heard it.

(viii) It is narrated by Ibn Abdul Bar that Hazrat Abdullah Bin Jaber (RU) heard it.

(ix) It is narrated by Abu Talib Makki that Hazrat Abdullah Bin Zubair (RU) heart it.

(x) It is narrated by Abu Tafra Asbahani that Hazrat Hassaan Bin Saabith (RU) heard it.

(xi) It is narrated by Zubain bin Akkar that Hazrat Abdullah bin Omer (RU) heard it.

(xii) It is narrated by Ibn Qutbla that Hazrat Hazrat Qurazta bin Ka’ab heard it.

(xiii) It is narrated by Bukhari that Hazrata Aisha (RA) heard it.

(xiv) It is narrated by Abu Talib Makki that Hazrat Mugaira bin Sha’aba (RU) heard it.

(xv) It is narrated by Madravi that Hazrat Umroo bin Aass (RU) heard it.

The listeners of Audition (singing/recital with music) are numerous in Prophet’s (SAWS) time and later among his companions and their second generation ta’aba’een (known as Salaf).

All 4 Imams of Fiqh and Ibn Ainia and Sha’afais have supported this school of thought.

All Hadiths relating to prevention of Singing (Gina) have been proved to be ‘weak hadiths’ by all Imams of fiqh.

Salafis always mention a Hadith in which it is mentioned that ‘wine, fornication, silky wear and singing are not allowed’. It is obvious, the singing will be judged as per the assembly of people and what they are singing. But, how can they impose this Hadith on the recitation of Na’at of the Prophet (SAWS) which was liked by him very much?

If anyone denies authentic Prophet's (SAWS) Ahadith, he will go out of Islam as an arrow goes out of the bow. If we accept this claim of Salafis, Deo Bandis, Tablighis, Ahle Hadith, etc., for argument sake, then we will have to deny so many authentic Ahadith in which Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) heard music. If we do that, we will go out of Islam. In addition we will have to accept that the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) were involved in wrongful things (Nauzubillahi) because it is proved by so many Ahadith mentioned above that they listened to singing with musical instruments.

What kind of following of Salaf is this? The above groups say they follow the Salaf ( the companions of Prophet Mohammad – SAWS and their first generation followers – ta’aba’een ), but in practice they do exactly the opposite of it and in the process they prove the Salaf were doing wrong things. (Astaghfirullahi).

It is in Quran – ‘O’people of belief, do not consider forbidden those good things that Allah (SWT) has allowed. (Al-Maa’ida – 87).

Salafis have the habit of imposing Quranic verses and Ahadith meant for disbelievers, on Muslims in order to misrepresent Islam on the gullible people. Innocent people get carried away by their utterances and get mislead. They do not realize that by their actions, they may get some worldly benefits or may be leadership of some Muslim countries, but what will happen in Hereafter should be a matter of concern for them.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLIMS - PART 18

In the name of Allah (SWT) the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful


THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLIMS IN THIS WORLD AND THEIR SALVATION IN HEREAFTER


(Part 18)



Around 1950s and 60s people used to study science as one subject. Gradually, the subject expanded into new fields and we came to know about major divisions of science. Firstly, it was sciences and applied sciences; then came technology, followed by physics, chemistry, biology; then came engineering physics, nuclear physics, applied physics, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, medical sciences, biomedical sciences, management sciences, human sciences, psychological sciences, engineering sciences, mobile engineering, telecommunications, aviation engineering, space engineering, computers, internet and so on and so forth. This is a natural evolution of science which took place during the life time of many of us. If scientist and technologists did not work in this evolution and creation of innovative things, we would not have seen the comforts of travel in space age jets, fast trains, versatile cars/transportation vehicles, shipping, etc. We would not have witnessed the communication revolution of mobile phones and internet. Look at the development of science and technology in every field of human activity. In all these innovations, can anyone tell, has there been a change in the basic laws of science? Our answer will be an emphatic No. Laws of science remain the same but we develop new things making use of those basic laws.

The same thing applies in religious issues. In the times of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and his companions, Muslims looked upon, and acted on, religious issues in a composed format. As the time passed by, the composed format of religion gradually developed into its detailed version. We had Imams (scientists) of Ahadith who worked hard on this subject and developed the science of Hadith. There are many Imams of Hadith, among them, 6 have been accepted as most authentic. Their books of Hadith are accepted as most authentic versions of Hadith. Why we accept them as Imams and follow their books? Because we accept that this is a natural evolution of the subject of Hadith. Are not they innovators? Indeed they are as they have brought in front of us various shades of Prophet’s (SAWS) traditions which were not available in the times of the first generation companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) in this detailed and written format. Their innovation is based on the basic rules of Islam. What has been proved of this? Any new thing which is based on the basic rules of the religion is an acceptable, rather necessary innovation.

Similarly, the science of Exegesis of Quran developed. Earlier, we had Hazrat Abdullah Bin Abbas (RU) whose opinions on Quranic verses were available. Now we have many versatile Muslims who have written translations and exegesis of Quran. Many of these exegesis are undisputed and widely read by Muslims.

Similarly, the Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) developed. As the time progressed, we had different Imams (scientists) of Islamic Jurisprudence who served the nation during their life times. Out of the many Imams who have done research in this subject, four are widely accepted by Muslims as most authentic. All Muslims who worked to develop this subject are indeed innovators because they developed the science of Islamic law. These Imams portray the development of Muslim society into this modern age. Without them, the Muslim nation would have remained frozen in history. They are scientists of their times and we should learn to respect them for their hard work.

In the same way, the ‘Science of Purification of Heart (Tazkia Nafs) was developed. Earlier, in Prophet’s (SAWS) and his companions’ time, it was in a composed format. People whose hearts were required to be purified belonged a small Arab region. As Muslim areas expanded in the world, many nations came under the banner of Islam. These nations had a strong culture of their own from thousands of years. Our Ulema and Sufis had the difficult task of purifying hearts of these multi-cultured new Muslims. The scientists of Purification of hearts had to developed new ways and means to strengthen the believes of these new converts. As has been the case with other fields of religion, new techniques were developed in purifying the hearts of people to make them truthful Muslims. The Sufis and Shaikhs of Ihsan conducted case studies on these new Muslim nations and as per their nature and cultural background, they adopted various ideas to bring these huge population into the Islamic fold. Sufi Shaikhs in various regions of the world became popular. The people who followed them in different regions of the world were identified with their names/silsilas. In Iraq, Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qader Jeelani ®, in Central Asia, Hazrat Bahauddin Naqshband ®, in Easten Asia, Hazrat Khaja Moinuddin Chishti ®, in Africa, Hazrat Ali Bin Abdullah Abul Hasan Shazli ® and Shahabuddin Suharwardi ® and Hazrat Ahmad Kabir Rafa’i ®, and in Europe Hazrat Jalaluddin Maulana Room ® became popular. Are they innovators? Yes they are. They have helped Muslim nation to transform itself into the modern times. Without them, we would have remained frozen in the pages of history. The nation which develops itself with time, remains alive. Those who do not want to adopt to the new environment by developing new skills, are left behind. Look at the impact these Sheikhs had on the history of Islam. We should learn to respect our elders and thank them for their extra-ordinary efforts in serving the nation rather than destroying their graves and try to eliminate their names from history.

We can explain things to the people who are willing to listen to reason. Illiterates and strong headed people cannot be brought to the right path of Islam.

The religion of Islam focuses more on human soul rather than human body. The human soul (rooh) is hidden, and our material body is visible.

What is faith? Can we (physically) see it? No. It is the attribute of soul. Can we show the face of belief? No. It is the attribute of soul, therefore it is hidden but it will remain with us in this world and in Hereafter. Many things are related to our hearts which remain hidden from others. When someone lies, can it be seen from our eyes? No. We will have to feel that this guy is lying. Tazkia Nafs is the science of heart. Without Tazkia Nafs, no one can have 100% pure Iman. When peoples’ hearts are purified, they move up into the zone of Ihsan where, as per the Hadith of Ihsan, they can visualize their sustainer.

The sciences of the understanding of Quran, Hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence and purification of heart (Tazkia Nafs) developed simultaneously. Many people participated in the development of these sciences. Like other fields, in Tazkia Nafs, many Shaikhs of Ihsan, Soufis came on Islamic horizon at different times during the history of Islam. These Shuyooks adopted different ways to cleanse people’s heart. The Shaikhs of Ihsan or the truthful Sufis are the physicians of our souls. Like a medical doctor is important to keep our body healthy, the Sufis are important to keep our soul healthy. The truthful Sufis help us to keep the Muslim society spiritually healthy. If you brand them as wrongdoers and innovators, you are not doing any harm to them. Rather you are making the entire Muslim community sick. Remember sick nation is useless and is a burden on earth. Therefore, it is important that we do not neglect this area of Islamic activity. We should locate these truthful people in our society and train our people under their able guidance so that the Muslim nation could be kept spiritually healthy for generations to come.

Salafis say that till the time of Companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), the religion was pure and after that innovations appeared.

Their statement is like some one saying that the science book we studied in 1950s was pure and the following decades the new science subjects came up were all innovations. If someone says like this, what will be your reaction? Will you not call him crazy?

Life in itself is an evolution. When Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) appeared, the Islamic laws were made most comprehensive in the shape of Quran. Before that, the scriptures of other prophets did not contain so much details. The basics of Islam were completed during Prophet’s (SAWS) time.

It is in Quran – ‘(O’Prophet) This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion’. (Al-Ma’ida – 3).

If a scientist tells us more details about the solar system and discovers new planets which were unknown to us, it will be treated as the development of science. But if someone says that the Sun has hands and eyes and ears, but these are not similar to human beings, he will be treated as a innovator because he is reporting against the fact of the matter.

Let us look at our living in the 21st Century and compare it with the living of human beings in 7th Century. Today we use cars, bikes, buses for our travel. At that time people used to walk and some affluent men used to ride horses. Today we use transportation vehicles as goods careers, at that time people used camels, carts for transportation of goods. Now we travel from one continent to another in a matter of few hours. Then people needed several years to travel from one place to another. Now, we have communication devices like phones, internet, news papers, electronic media, etc. These things were not available then. Now we live in high rise multistorey buildings. Previously people lived in mud houses. We have magnificent mosques and educational institutions for our religious studies, earlier these facilities were not avaialble. Previously we read Quran which was hand written, now it is printed in big electronic machines. Previously people used to drink water from small wells. Now people use purified sea water for drinking. You talk of anything from then and now, everything has changed. All these changes are essentially required innovations for our survival on this planet. We have not broken any natural laws for this development.

The basic laws of nature were in composed form earlier. Now they are in expanded format. Similarly, the composed laws of religion of Islam also developed into their detailed version. Some people think that every thing new is an innovation. They try to drag people back by 1400 years into History and want us to do things in the same way as people did at that time. How could this be possible?

They say only beating of ‘Duf’ is allowed in Islam as this instrument was used during Prophet’s (SAWS) time. The music instruments now available were not there in Prophet’s (SAWS) time. At that time, 'Duf' was allowed. Then why not ‘Dhol’ and ‘Drum’ is allowed now because these are the developed version of the old 'duf'. They should think these things coolly and question themselves how come they are living in high rise buildings now when during Prophet’s (SAWS) time no one lived like that. When someone talks about these simple logical things, they start branding him as innovator.

We cannot explain to people who do not want to understand simple things and behave irrationally.

They say taking picture, or hanging pictures of human beings on walls is not allowed. Well, we also know about it as there are definite Ahadiths about it. But, let someone look at Saudi Arabia. Every home and every office has pictures of King and his family members. Their TV channels show serials and movies which are highly objectionable from their own standards. Their news papers, magazines, electronic and print media are all full of pictures of women, men, animals and what not?

Before talking of innovations, they should first cleanse themselves from the modern living in real terms. They should destroy everything that has been built in the name of development and start living in mud houses as people lived during the time of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS). Why don’t they follow the Salaf in everything they did?

Apparently they did not understand the basics of the religion. They got mislead by reading books independently and they lead others to believe in their misconceptions about Islam. We do not want to dig more because what kind of objectionable things Salafis do in their homes or in their countries is not our subject of discussion. We are all human beings and we all falter in one way or another. By giving these examples, we are trying to clear their misunderstanding on innovation in religion.

What is innovation in Religion? If some one goes against the fact of the matter and says something which is contrary to the basic beliefs of Islam, it will be treated as innovation. Like Wahhabis say that Allah (SWT) has hands, eyes, but how they are is not known to people. This kind of statements are against the fact of the matter, therefore are innovation in the religion. Well, it is more than innovation, it is giving creature attributes to the Unity of Allah (SWT) which is Shirk.

Differences of opinions are common in Muslim Community. There was no opposition to the earlier four Imams of Fiqh even though they differed with each other in many issues. What was the reason that the entire Muslim community stood unequivocally against Ibn Taymiyyah when he introduced new faith and rejected all Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence?

Allah (SWT) had rewarded Ibn Taymiyyah with exceptional memory and a good analytical mind. When we look at his biography written by his followers we realize that he did not have the opportunity, or may be he did not like, to sit as an obedient student in front of expert sheikhs of his time. To become an expert in Shariah, you need to spend 20-30 years in the company of able Shuyooq to understand the fine tuning of that subject. Ibn Taymiyyah was a zealous young man. He read many books, memorized them all, including Quran and Hadith books and before he could complete his teens (19 years), he thought himself to be a scholar in various Islamic subjects. Since he had an exceptional memory and argumentative power, he considered it was sufficient. When scholars of his time drew his attention that what he deduced by his independent study was wrong, he should have headed to their call and tried to discipline himself for a few more years and spent some time with variety of experts and listen to their arguments with a positive mind frame. He did not do all that. He preferred to face them head on with his self acquired knowledge. If he had allowed himself to be polished with the attention of the Shaikhs of Ihsan of his time, he could have been very useful to Muslims. He used his expertise to make people believe his way of thinking. He did mesmerized crowds with his argumentative skills and encyclopedic knowledge. But he remained aloof from the intrinsic spirit of Islam. He suffered for his new beliefs through out his life as he was imprisoned several times during his life time and in the end he died in Jail on Sunday, 26th September, 1328 AD at the age of 65. But by that time he had implanted the seed of a new sect. This seed was provided with water and manure by many people, primarily by his student Ibn Al-Qayyim ( 1292 - 1350) and later by his dedicated follower Ibn Abdul Wahhab (1703–1792). The seed has now grown into a massive banyan tree.

The doors of deducing rules as per new requirements of times is generally an ongoing process. The subject is very vast, therefore we will describe it briefly here. There are 4 types of people associated with Islamic Jurisprudence.

The Absolute Interpreter (Mujhtahid-e-Mutlaq) - He is a person of Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. His approach of deducing things and reasoning is exclusive. The 4 Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence, Hanafi, Shafe’i, Maliki and Hanbali are covered in this category.

The Interpreter of the School of Thought ( Mujhtahid fil mazhab) - He is greatly influenced by his Imam/Shaikh. At times he differs from his Shaikh in principles; though it happens very rarely. In related issues, he deduces things as per his interpretations. He can find solutions to any new thing faced by the people. He considers minutely on Hadiths and if some Hadith is proves closer to the issue, he gives edicts differing with his Shaikh.

The Interpreter of Preference (Saheb-e-Tarjeeh) - He gives preference in the sayings of various Imams in a specific issue. As he has less strength of distinguishing things as compared to the above interpreters, he gives preference to one saying from among the sayings of the above interpreters.

The Jurisprudential Counselor (Mufti) - Muftis deduce things from the books of Islamic Jurisprudence. As a matter of fact they are only narrators. Their individual effort is only to the extent that they go through the books and bring out the answer in a given issue.

The essential requirements of Jurisprudential doctors are; they should be well versed with ancient and modern Arabic phraseology, its grammar, syntax, philology, idiomatic usage and rhetoric. In addition, they should have the knowledge of Quran, its exegesis and the principles of exegesis. The knowledge of Hadith, its principles and encyclopedic classification of narrators is a requirement. The knowledge of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and its principles are required. They need to know logic, the issues related with consensus of Muslims opinion and the differences of opinions between Imams of various fields. They should know the circumstances and issues of their times, the law of the country and general public trend in Muslim society. But most important of all is the requirement that they should thoroughly know the spiritual requirements of Islam, should have purified their hearts under eminent Shaikhs of Ihsan and should be trained in all the above subjects under able scholars of their times by spending decades in their company to learn the complexities of these subjects.

Following of four Jurisprudential Imams is not their personal emulation (taqleed). They are accepted teachers of Muslims in the area of Islamic Jurisprudence. The question here is not blind emulation (taqleed), rather it is the matter of trust Muslims have in these great Imams.

It is in Quran - ‘Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) is an exemplary model (for all of you) (Al-Ahzab – 21). What is the meaning of this verse? Simply follow the Prophet (SAWS) in whatever he does. Who will follow the Prophet (SAWS)? The one who has complete trust in him. They hypocrites in Prophet’s (SAWS) time did not follow him because they lacked the requirement of trust in him.

After Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), people trusted the rightful Caliphs and followed them.

After the companions, people followed the Ta’abaeen (first generation followers of the companions of Prophet Mohammad -SAWS) because they trusted in their sincerity and knowledge. Then came the time of Taba-taba’een (the followers of Ta'abaeen) and people followed them. Then came the times of Imams of various Islamic subjects. This period was followed by the Shaikhs of Ihsan or truthful Sufis. People followed all these spiritual leaders because they had trust in them.

Every time, every period in Islamic history we do have rightful people who can be followed. These virtuous souls are there in every place and every time. They are our practical examples in the following of the religion.

If the requirement of following was not to be there, then in the presence of Quran, Allah (SWT) would not have asked people to follow the Prophet (SAWS) in whatever he did. It is not blind following, rather it is the trust in a knowledgeable individual which helps us overcome our day to day problems in religious life.

Why do we go to Muftis for their edicts in certain issues? It is because we trust them for their knowledge and their sincerity in religion. If this following is removed from society, how will we deal with various issues? We believed in all Imams of Hadith, particularly the 6 famous Imams. This is the reason we follow the Hadiths mentioned in their books. First we need to have trust in Imam Bukhari, then we will believe in the Hadith mentioned in his book. This way, are not we following Imam Bukhari ®?

Muslims follow all venerable Imams, Shaikhs of Ihsan, truthful legendary Sufis, As-hab-e-Rasulullah (SAWS) in all their actions. This is the foundation on which the building of Islam rests. If you remove this foundation and ask people to go back to the books of Hadith and Quran on their own and lead the life of a Muslim; will it be possible? No, we will lose the track. We will be mislead and go astray.

If you do not study a subject under the able and experienced teacher, there is 100% possibility that you will be mislead. This is what has happened with Salafis. They thought, by reading books they can emulate and follow As-habe-Rasulullah (SAWS). It is not possible. They were mislead from the Quran and Hadith because they interpreted these books as per their limited understanding.

We have famous Salafi/Ahle Hadith scholars in our times also who have studied Quran and Hadith on their own and have memorized hundreds of books. Their talks and logical explanations look impressive on the face. They are big crowd pullers. They have learnt the art of debates and arguments. They mesmerize people from their photo finish memory. But, alas, they have been completely mislead in their basic faith. They use their skills in misguiding thousands of people. They seemed to have ignored the fact that the study of Shariah cannot be undertaken without the help of reliable Islamic teachers. Shariah cannot be perfected without practice and close contact with the experts. This is the reason they could not understand the wisdom of the four Imams of Islamic Fiqh and rejected them en masse. They do not say openly that they reject all 4 Imams, they say that they will follow the Imam only when his saying is in accordance with Hadith books. Meaning, they are the judge of those famous Imams and with limited, unskilled knowledge acquired by their self study, they will judge the scholars and teachers of Ummah? This shows their distrust in them. What an illiteracy is this?

This is the reason our respected Ulama warned Muslims not to seek study and understand Quran through a person who has only memorized it without knowing its contents through an expert.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLIMS - PART - 17

In the name of Allah (SWT) the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLIMS IN THIS WORLD AND THEIR SALVATION IN HEREAFTER


(Part 17)



It is very difficult to make a person believe something on the strength of an argument. Therefore, we should not get bogged down in thinking why certain human beings are involved in all kinds of evil activities in the world in spite of repeated warnings and why people belonging to certain Muslim sects do not understand the simple logic behind truthful Islamic beliefs?

Occurrence of faith is not a discretionary thing. By consideration and attention our minds get affected and we start believing. Faith is the name of certainty, and belief is its reaction. Meaning, faith comes and we believe. In this process there cannot be a coercive influence or force that can make you believe.

It is in Quran – ‘ There is no compulsion in Islam. Truth and untruth is abundantly clear and distinct from each other. Now whoever wishes accepts the faith, whoever wishes rejects the faith, negate it ’. (Al-Baqra – 256).

Allah (SWT) created human beings with intelligence and provided them with knowledge and gave them free will. Therefore they are expected to use these faculties as per the commandments of Allah (SWT). If they act against this requirement, they will be punished.

As far as religious intelligence and analytical skills are concerned, people can be divided into the following three categories.

Superior

Those who have elevated virtuous nature, pay attention towards their natural instincts and carry out good deeds easily and, as such, success and leadership is associated with them.

The nature of Prophets and Apostles is such that they have natural conformity with the spiritual world. It is in their natural disposition that they take from Allah (SWT) and give to His servants. They listen from the truthful Being (Allah –SWT) and transfer back to His creatures. It is in Quran – Allah (SWT) knows it well who is capable for Apostleship’. ( An-A’am - 124).

Average

With a little effort and hard work, they achieve their virtuous objectives in the guidance and leadership of the superior persons.

Virtuous souls like the family members of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), his companions, Imams of various Islamic fields, and Shaikhs of Ihsan, who are described in Quran as ‘friends of Allah (SWT) reach to the elevated states in closeness of Allah (SWT) in the guidance and with assistance of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS).

Truthful Muslims achieve their objective of success in this world and salvation in Hereafter, under the guidance and following of the virtuous souls and friends of Allah (SWT).

Ordinary

Those who are with inferior nature, never come to the right path, even if they are explained repeatedly. They are blind and deaf from the beginning and remain petty minded throughout their lives.

Eternally wretched cannot be guided from the sermons of Awliya-Allah (friends of Allah- SWT). They cannot be guided even from the guiding light of the Prophets.

It is in Quran – ‘Deaf, dumb and blind, they will not return (to the right path). (Al-Baqara – 18).

It is in Quran – ‘And if they believe not in this declaration (Islamic Testimony – Shahadah), it does not follow that you, O’Prophet (SAWS) should not vex yourself to death by going after them. (Al-Kahaf – 6).

It is in Quran ‘ You (O’ Mohammad) cannot guide everyone you like (to the desired objective), but Allah (SWT) guides whom He will. And He is Best Aware of those who walk aright (who can follow guidance). (Al-Qasas – 56).

Muslim community in the world has 73 sects and innumerable sub groups which are increasing by the day. As per the Hadith (Tirmizi), only one sect or sub group will be rewarded, the rest will be thrown into the fire. Thus, we know that out of the huge population of over 1.2 billion Muslims, a very small fraction is on the right path. The remaining Muslims, about 1.19 billion people are in red who may probably be thrown into hell fire permanently.

In spite of knowing these details, everyone feels that he will be rewarded with Jannah. How could this be true? 99.6% of the present day Muslims are under the looming danger of being rejected by Allah (SWT) in this world and in Hereafter.

What is wrong with Muslim community as only 4 out of 1000 may probably be on the right path?

It looks 996 persons out of 1000 Muslims have passion for certain misguided beliefs. They are mistaking their passion as their faith. They do not realize that it is dangerous to replace faith with passion. Passion makes people adamant and inflexible. The Makkans of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWS) time had the passion for idol worship. This was the main cause that they could not understand Islamic teachings.

What happens when we try to instill truthful Islamic believes in the minds of passionate people? They feel hurt. Their hurt is exposed by their heated arguments. They have been brainwashed by their sect’s Emirs. They have been taught their sect’s interpretations of Quranic verses and Ahadith.

What happens when their arguments fail? They go back to their Emirs (local leaders) with the questions they could not answer. The Emirs first try to convince them and bring them back to their fold. But if they persist to know more, Emirs scare them and advise them not to go near that person again. When this attempt also fails, all the local sects leaders sit together and invite their regional and country leaders and discuss this issue and decide to start a personal slander campaign against the person who is trying to teach the truthful believes. His life history and his family's life history is studied. All his human weaknesses are gathered, like the size of his beard is checked, he goes to which mosque is checked, his family’s past record in locality is studied, his books, video tapes and all published information is gathered. Everything is studied meticulously in order to find faults with him. When all data is collected, they make CDs where his human weakness are glaringly portrayed and his statements are referred in ‘out of context’ fashion and he is maligned with this fabricated evidence. On the basis of this fabricated information, they issue Fatwas against him.

When the person refutes all charges in public and explains his innocence, they try to physically stop him from his campaign in collusion with local authorities using influence and money.

When this also fails, they start his character assassination. Recently, we came to know about a CD where a very reputed and respected scholar of Islam was shown on the door or a pub. With digital technology, his photo was affixed around the pub in such a way that common people will believe this evidence. What a shame!

Who does this kind of things? Makkan disbelievers used to do such gimmicks against the Prophet (SAWS). These people follow the Makkan tradition. What will they achieve by misguiding people by such tricks? It is obvious, they want keep their leadership intact in this world.

It is advisable that persons should be judged on the strength of their explanation of truthfulness. It is important that we control our passions and be positive and keep our minds open for good counseling. Let us not close the door of truthful Islam on ourselves. Let us not become part of the sect/group who have gone astray.

It is in Bukhari, narrated by Hazrat Ali (RU) that he heard Prophet Mohammed (SAWS) saying that ‘towards the end (before resurrection – Qiyamah) a Jama’at (group) of young and ignorant people will rise who will talk about the religion, which will look good on the face of it, but Islamic beliefs will not go down their throats (meaning they will not understand them). They will go out of Islam as the arrow goes out of the bow’.

Salafis say that blind following (taqleed) of the four Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence is not correct. Therefore, one should read Quran and the books of Hadith and independently deduce their meanings and act accordingly. Once a person agrees to this logic, they give him Salafi books and ask him to follow their interpretations.

Let us make it clear that the question of blind following does not arise in following Imams. If Muslims were blind followers, they would not have had four schools of thought. They would have been following only one Imam. Where was the need for the other three? The fact that we have 4 different schools of thought is a testimony that Muslims are not blind followers.

Consensus is an important Islamic practice from the time of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS). The entire Muslim community jointly agreed that all four schools of thought are correct and people are independent in following any one of these.

When Imam Shafe’i ® differed in some issues from Imam Abu Hanifa ®, there was dispute. There was no problem when other two Imams gave their different opinions on various issues. These Imams were very popular in their countries. They had huge following during their life times. Many people follow them even after their deaths.

The question is why we see no major disputes in Islamic history on this issue when the four Imams were alive or even after their deaths?

The reason is they differed on issues which were not central to the basic faith of Islam and the respect of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and his companions. In addition, they did not reject the opinions of other Imams en masse (outright). They did not denounce other Imams of other schools of thoughts. They did not ask people to go and read Quran and Hadith independently and deduce issues directly. They realized the importance of studying Shariah under the watchful eyes of expert Ulema and Shaikhs. All Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) spent their life times under able teachers before venturing into the field of Islamic Jurisprudence. Their life histories are documented in detail. In view of this, the Muslim Community jointly agreed on the authenticity of their opinions in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh).

As against the above, look at the founder of Salafis, Ibn Taymiyyah.

Al-Subki said, ‘He (Ibn Taymiyyah) memorized a lot and did not discipline himself with a Shaikh’.

What is the meaning of Al-Subki’s observation? It means that Ibn Taymiyyah was not taught by reliable Islamic Shaikhs or Ulama who were specialized in their fields. He received the knowledge mostly from books, understood it by himself and deduced what he wanted. He had not even completed his teen age ( before 19 years) he considered himself a big scholar of Islam, better than the 4 Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafe’i, Hanbali and started giving fatwas against their established opinions. He rejected them en masse. He seemed to have ignored the fact that the study of Shariah cannot be undertaken without the help of reliable Islamic teachers. Shariah cannot be perfected without practice and close contact with the experts. This is the reason he could not understand the wisdom of the four Imams of Islamic Fiqh and rejected them altogether. This is the reason our respected Ulama warned Muslims not to seek study and understand Quran through a person who has only memorized it without knowing its contents through an expert.

Salafis say that they follow Salaf ( the companions of Prophet Mohammad –SAWS and their first generation followers - taba’een). How far this is true?

The knowledge is gained through a teacher, rather than directly from a book. Why people go to Harvard University, London Business School, MIT, IIT, etc? Because in these institutions we get good teachers and if we study and learn under their guidance, follow their learning techniques and take advantage of their experience we stand to gain a lot by way of good employment and positions of power in the world. Similarly, it is important that we look for truthful religious teachers, follow them and learn in their company? If we study and learn under their guidance, we stand to gain in this world and in Hereafter.

It is a known fact that education cannot be acquired by books. If this was the case, nobody would have gone to those prestigious Institutions. Certification from these Institutions are recognized world over. Similarly, if we find an outstanding Shaikh of Ihsan and learn from his expertise, what is wrong in it? This practice is proved by innumerable Quranic verses and Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWS) traditions.

Salafis scare people from various interpretations of this Prophet’s (SAWS) Ahadiths and claim that Shaikhs of Ihsan or Religious guides and Sufis take the pledge (ba’it) for submission of pupil to them and not to Allah (SWT) and His Apostle (SAWS). This is a blatant misrepresentation of facts. For argument sake, let us think that this is true with certain self proclaimed Shaikh who is taking advantage of people. But, Allah (SWT) has given us common sense. Why should we go to a person who is not worthy of guiding people. Nobody is forcing us to go to a person for guidance who is sure to exploit you. There are some dishonest people everywhere, in every society and we should be away from them. But taking this as an excuse and stopping people from this important Prophet’s (SAWS) tradition is an attempt to mislead people from truthful Islamic faith and practices.

Salafis encourage people to gain knowledge by reading Quran and Hadith books directly without any teacher. When you agree to it, they will give you their books which contain misinterpretations of the meanings of Quranic verses and Ahadith. This practice on their part is an attempt to legitimize their sects’ beliefs in the eyes of innocent people. Is it possible to learn religion directly from books? Can anyone become an engineer or doctor or scientist by just reading concerned books? If this was possible, then there was no need to have so many schools, colleges, universities and technological and scientific Institutions through out the world.

Ibn Taymiyyah was b0rn in 1263 AD. The time of the Companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and their first generation followers – Taba’een ended around 750 AD. There is a gap of almost 550 years between Salaf (companions of Prophet Mohammad –SAWS and their first generation followers – Ta’abaeen) and Ibn Taymiyyah. How could Ibn Taymiyyah possibly follow the Salaf when they were unavailable physically to teach him Islam? He did that by reading their books. We know, we cannot get knowledge only by reading books. We need a physical teacher to explain sensitive issues of Shariah. Development of knowledge and learning is a continuous process under able teachers. When you break this important link, you will not gain truthful knowledge. Rather you will be misguided by your independent study and wrong interpretation of these books. Thus, the claim of Salafis that they are following the ‘Salaf’ is unfounded.

Ibn Abdul Wahhab claimed that the faith and deeds of all Muslims till his time, after the period of Salaf (between 750 and 1750) were incorrect. He accused them of involvemengt in all kinds of polytheism and innovations. In other words he claimed that billions of Muslims who lived during 1000 years were not Muslims.

A prominent Islamic Scholar of Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s time, Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin wrote in his celebrated work ‘Hashiyya Radd Al-Mukhtar’ (Vol. 3, Page 309). “In our time Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi appeared and attacked the two noble sanctuaries (Makkah and Madinah). He claimed to be a Hanbali, but his thinking was such that only he alone was a Muslim, and everyone else was a polytheist! Under this guise, he said that killing the Ahle Sunnah was permissible”.

Apparently, the founders of Salafism did not understand the theory of evolution in the world. Their wrongful ideas of ‘religious innovation’ have now penetrated every single Muslim home around the Globe. They have extensively propagated the idea of deducing Shariah independently from reading books, magazines, newspapers and internet. The result is for everyone to see. The Muslim society is totally disintegrated and has lost its direction. Every individual thinks about Sharia as per his own mind and every home has become a battle ground for its residents who debate religious issue heatedly. Their passionate arguments create a permanent war like situation at homes and create discord among family members.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLIMS - PART - 16

In the name of Allah (SWT) the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful


THE NEED FOR REVIVAL OF MUSLIMS IN THIS WORLD AND THEIR SALVATION IN HEREAFTER


(Part 16)


A brief biographical sketch of the founders of Salafism is given below for our readers to understand the environment in which the new thought was originated and developed. The information is collected mostly from the published historical data available in books and on internet.

Ibn Taymiyyah - (1263 – 1328)

The original thinker and founder of salafi thought is a Kurdish scholar, Ibn Taymiyyah who is regarded as Shaikhul Islam by his followers. The critics call him literalist, rebel, blasphemer, disbeliever, militant, deviated innovator, anthropomorphist and what not. But he is held in high regard by his followers who consider him as a savior and revivalist.

Taqi’ud-deen Abul Abbaas Ahmad Ibn Abdul Haleem Ibn Abdus Salaam Ibn Taymiyyah Al-Harraanee, was born on Monday, 22nd January 1263 AD at Harraan, a Kurdish area located in what is now Turkey, close to the Syrian border. His grand father Majd-ud-deen Ibn Taymiyyah (d -1255 AD) and his father Shihaab-uddeen Abdul Haleem Ibn Taymiyyah (d -1284 AD) were both followers of Hanbali mazhab. There are no Islamic teachers mentioned in his biography except that he studied Quran and Hadith in his childhood from his father. He had an encyclopedic knowledge and memorized many Islamic books, including Quran on his own. By the time he reached 19, it is reported that he started giving his independent Islamic edicts (fatwas) on matters of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) without following any of the four established Islamic schools of thoughts, Hanafi, Shafe’i, Maliki and Hanbali. It is reported that his opinions and assumptions were strange and unheard before.

It is not known whether his father approved Ibn Taymiyyah’s new thinking or not. His father died when Ibn Taymiyyah was 21. After his father’s death, he started propagating his new beliefs in his speeches from Umayyad mosque in Damascus where his father used to address people. Ibn Taymiyyah’s rhetoric and his new logic earned him fans and foes both.

Ibn Taymiyyah was known for his exceptional memory and encyclopedic knowledge. Kamaal ad-Deen Ibn az-Zamlakaanee, who debated with Ibn Taymiyyah on more than one occasion, observed - ‘Whenever he (Ibn Taymiyyah) was questioned on a particular field of knowledge, the one who witnessed and heard concluded that he had an encyclopedic knowledge’.

He was Jihadi to the core. He was politically active and encouraged people for Jihad against Muslim rulers whom he regarded as nonbelievers. He organized civilian resistant against Tartars (Mongols) who invaded Syria. He rebelled against the moral authorities of the Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence. He fought against the Shaikhs of Ihsan and legendary Soufis accusing them of apostasy.

Al-Subki said, ‘He (Ibn Taymiyyah) memorized a lot and did not discipline himself with a Shaikh’.

What is the meaning of Al-Subki’s observation? It means that apparently Ibn Taymiyyah was not taught by reliable Islamic Shaikhs or Ulama who were specialized in their fields. He received the knowledge mostly from books, understood it by himself and deduced what he wanted. He seemed to have ignored the fact that the study of Shariah cannot be undertaken without the help of reliable Islamic teachers. Shariah cannot be perfected without practice and close contact with the experts. This looks to be the reason he could not understand the wisdom of the Imams of Islamic Fiqh and rejected them en masse (altogether). This is the reason, our respected Ulama warned Muslims not to seek study and understand Quran through a person who has only memorized it without knowing its contents through an expert.

He formed a Jama’at of his students and fans and started spreading his new beliefs. His activities caught the attention of the rulers and the Ulama in Syria and adjoining areas and as a result he was imprisoned on several occasions during his lifetime . It is reported that, irked by his self styled fatwas and his rebellious opinions in every issue of Islamic jurisprudence, the theologians of his time jointly issued a fatwa preventing him from expressing unsolicited legal opinions. This fatwa was endorsed by the royal edict issued from the Central Government in Cairo. It is reported that even these extreme actions did not deter him from interfering openly in the established legal system. As a result he was imprisoned again for 16 months and later for 3 years in Damascus jail where he breathed his last on Sunday, 26th September, 1328 AD at the age of 67. He was buried in Damascus. He has written many books in Arabic. Some of his books have also been translated in English.

Ibn Al-Qayyim - ( 1292 - 1350)

He was the student of Ibn Taymiyya. His biography does not give any details about his childhood and youth, except that he is reported to have studied under his father in his childhood. His full name as per his followers was Shamsuddin Abu Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Abi Bakr Ibn Sa'd Al-Dimashqi Al-Zur'i Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyya. His father’s name was Abu Bakr, Shihaab Al-Abir, Taqiyyud-Deen Sulaymaan, Safiyyud-Deen Al-Hindee. Originally, he followed Hanbali mazhab but later joined his teacher in Salafism. It is reported that he was astronomer, philosopher, psychologist, chemist, and theologian.

He was born on February 4, 1292 AD in Izra’in Hauran, a locality in Damascus, Syria. Very little is known about his childhood and youth except that he loved books. He stayed with his teacher Ibn Taymiyyah from 1312 until his death in Jail in 1328. He defended Ibn Taymiyyah’s new beliefs and compiled and edited most of his works. He also accompanied Taymiyyah in Jail several times and both teacher and student used to get jail terms for their rebellion against authorities. Al- Jawziyah was in jail with Ibn Taymiyyah when Ibn Taymiyyah breathed his last in 1328. After the death of Ibn Taymiyyah, he was released from Jail. After his release, he furthered his studies, holding study circles and classes. He taught his new faith at Al-Sadriyya school in Damascus. Later he held the position of the Head of the Jawziyyah School.

Most of Ibn Al-Qayyim’s writings were compilations of Ibn Taymiyyah’s works, although he authored some books. The manuscripts of his handwritten works are preserved in the central Library in Damascus. He provided strange interpretations of Quranic Verses and Ahadith that were never heard before. He died on September 23, 1350 at the age of 60.

Ibn Abdul Wahhab - (1703–1792)

Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab An-Najdi At-Tamimi was born in Uyayna in Najd, Eastern Province of present Saudi Arabia, in 1703.

The followers of Abdul Wahhab quote his biography from two main books, (i) Rawdhatul Afkar Wal Afham by Ibn Ghannam, and (ii) Unwan Al-Majd fi Tarikh Najd by Ibn Bishr. Both these authors lived in Najd, the birth place of Ibn Abdul Wahhab.

Ibn Abdul Wahhab belonged to Arab tribe Banu Tamim who lived in Najd. Originally, he also belonged to Hanbali Mazhab. He is reported to have studied in his child hood from his father named Abdul Wahhab. It is reported that Ibn Abdul Wahhab spent some time in Basra, Southern Iraq from where he traveled to Makka Al-Mukarrama and Madina Al-Munawwara for Hajj. All historians agree that his new thinking on Salafism was developed when he was in Basra. When he returned to his native town in 1740 at the age of 37, he had completely transformed into a rebel against the jurisprudential authorities of the Imams of Fiqh - Hanafi, Shafa’i, Maliki and Hanbali. On his return to Najd, he started propagating his new beliefs in his lectures.

It is reported that Ibn Abdul Wahhab managed to convince his towns Incharge Uthman Ibn Mu’ammar and with his support he started implementing his new beliefs in the town by force. The first thing Ibn Abdul Wahhab did was, by convincing and colluding with Ibn Mu’ammar, he destroyed, leveled and erased the grave of Hazrat Zayd Ibn Al-Khattab (RU) who was a companion of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and brother of Hazrat Umr Ibn Al-Khattab (RU), the second Caliph of Islam. Destruction of the grave of Hazrat Zayd Ibn Al-Khattab and his rebellious speeches in collusion with local authorities drew the attention of Sulaiman Ibn Mohammad Ibn Gurayr of Bani Khalid, the Tribal Chief of Al-Hasa and Qatif in Najd. They became furious and ordered his arrest for his destructive activities. The news reached Ibn Abdul Wahhab in time and he fled from his home town. Ibn Abdul Wahhad knew the brothers of the neighboring tribal ruler Mohammad Ibn Saud. With their help he took refuge in a place called Dir’iyya in 1740 where Mohammad Ibn Saud was the ruler. In Dir’iyya, Ibn Abdul Wahhab first developed acquaintance with the wife of the tribal ruler and convinced her of his new beliefs. Gradually, the ruler and all his family members were converted into new faith. Thus, Ibn Abdul Wahhab became defacto Minister of Religious Affairs in the territory held by Saud’s, who belonged to Banu Hanifah tribe in Najd. Later he married the sister of the ruler. The new faith and new rules were gradually implement in the areas held by Sauds. Armed with the new faith and a zealous Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the Sauds fought many battles for the next 140 years mounting many military campaigns with the help of other neighboring tribes of Kuwait, Bahrain, etc. They won and lost several wars. But finally took control of the whole Arabian Peninsula in 1922 with British support.

In the second world war Turkey was defeated and Muslim Caliphate was abolished in March 1924. In the following decades oil wells were discovered and the new Kingdom gained a lot of wealth from their oil fields. The Najdi based Da'awah of Salafism began to be heard vociferously following the discovery of Oil. With massive oil wealth and control of holy places of Muslims, the zealous Wahhabi missionary thrived in the Middle East and the rest of the world. Islamic publishing houses in Cairo, Beirut, India, Pakistan, Central Asia and Far East were subsidized by Wahhabi organizations, which prevented them from publishing traditional works on Islam. As the oil wealth increased, the subsidy and financial assistance was also expanded in the world which has resulted in the current chaos in Muslim world.

From the times of Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the Religious Affairs are controlled by the direct descendants of Ibn Abdul Wahhab in Arabian Peninsula. Ibn Abdul Wahhab's descendents are known as ‘Ahl al-Shaikh’ (House of the Shaikh), on the lines of ‘Ahl An-Nabi’ (House of the Prophet –SAWS) in Saudi Arabia. The family of Ahl al-Shaikh has included several Salafi scholars, including the former grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Ibn Ibrahm Ahl al-Shaikh, who issued the fatwa calling for the abdication of King Saud in 1964. Both the current Saudi Minister of Justice and the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia are also descendents of Ibn Abdul Wahhab.

Ibn Abdul Wahhab built his Islamic ideology on the principles developed by Ibn Taymiyyah. He wrote many books which are famous among his followers. These include, Kitab at-Tauhid (The Book of the Unity of God); Kitaabul Kabaa'ir (The Book of Great Sins); Kitabul Imaan (The Book of Belief), etc.

Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s father and his brother Sulaiman were the followers of Hanbali school of thought. They are regarded as virtuous people by many historians. They reported to have strongly opposed Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s actions in spreading the new faith. They first tried to explain him the ill effects of his actions. They refuted his claims from the verses of holy Quran and Ahadith. It is reported that Ibn Abdul Wahhab never agreed to consider the sayings of earlier or later scholars, whoever they may be, other than Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibn al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah. He considered their sayings as explicit (plain) verses of the religion. When he stayed adamant, they together wrote a book entitled ‘Divine lightning’ refuting the claims of Ibn Abdul Wahhab. This book was published in Iraq in 1888.

Historians also mention that Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s brother Sulaiman openly questioned his beliefs and refuted him emphatically in public. He wrote his refutations in a book titled ‘Faslul Kitab Fi Ar-Radd Ala Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab (The Empathic speech on the Refutation of Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab). It is reported that Ibn Abdul Wahhab had declared that whoever contradicted him was a blasphemer and thus his killing was legalized in the areas controlled by Wahhabis. When Sulaiman did not yield to Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s line of thinking, it is reported that many attempts were made on his life, in his house, in the market and even in the mosque where he used to go for prayers but he survived all these attacks.

His followers claim that Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab’s movement was an effort to purify Islam. But the history portrays a different picture altogether. Wahhabis are famous for many things. They cleansed their territory from their main rivals, Sunnis. The massacre of Taif is a testimony of the brutal ethnic cleansing. They erased everything that was reminiscent of Islam until their occupation of Arabian Peninsula. They destroyed all relics of Islam that were kept safe from centuries. The Wahhabis claim that they follow the Salaf (Companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) and their second generation followers -Ta’aba-een). But they made mockery (ridicule) of their own claim when they destroyed, leveled and erased the graves of every single Salaf, including Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWS) family members, As-habe-Rasulullah (SAWS), their second generation followers (Ta’aba-een) and all important personalities of Islam from Prophet’s (SAWS) time till date. They even attempted to destroy the tomb of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) twice, but Allah (SWT) protected it. They did not stop at that, they started equating prophets with normal sinful human beings. They continue to make all out effort in their teachings and propagation to downgrade the respect of Prophets, particularly the respect of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), his family and his companions. They publicly accuse Imam Hussain (RU) as guilty and praise his assassins as virtuous. Ibn Abdul Wahhab denounced legendary Soufi Shaikhs as being heretical for respecting prophets, and elders in Islam. He stopped celebration of the birth day of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS). The list is too long.

A few of the prominent Islamic scholars who refuted Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s actions are mentioned below.

(i) Egyptian scholar Ibn Ahmad Barakat Al-Shafe’i, who wrote a book named ‘Kitab Radd’ Ad-Dalala wa Qam Al-Jahala. The content of his arguments circles round refuting Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s ideas, quoting a considerable number of Qur'anic verses.

(ii) Ali Al-Shafe'i al-Basri Al-Qabbani who wrote two books, (a) The Fasl Al-Khitab fi Radd Dalalat Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (The unmistakable Judgment in the refutation of the delusions of Ibn Abdul Wahhab,") and (b) The Kashf Al-Hijab an Wajh Dalalat Ibn Abdul Wahhab (Lifting the veil from the face of the delusions of Ibn Abdul Wahhab).

(iii) A prominent Islamic Scholar of Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s time, Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin wrote in his celebrated work ‘Hashiyya Radd Al-Mukhtar’ (Vol. 3, Page 309).

“In our time Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi appeared and attacked the two noble sanctuaries (Makkah and Madinah). He claimed to be a Hanbali, but his thinking was such that only he alone was a Muslim, and everyone else was a polytheist! Under this guise, he said that killing the Ahle Sunnah was permissible”.

(iv) Shaikh Zayni Dahlan wrote in his book ‘Futuhat Al-Islamiyya’ (Vol. 2, Page 268).

‘The sign of the Khawarij (the first deviant sect that appeared during the time of the Companions of Prophet Mohammad -SAWS) concerning the shaving of the head (he was referring to a famous Hadith of Prophet Mohammad –SAWS) was not found in the Khawarij of the past, but only in the Najdis of our time!’

(v) Shaikh Hussain Ahmad Al-Madani wrote in his book ‘Ash-Shihab As-Saqib’ (Page 42).

‘Ibn Abdul Wahhab arose in the beginning of the thirteenth Islamic century in Najd. His thinking was false, and his beliefs were corrupt; on these grounds he opened the way for killing of Ahle Sunnah’.

(vi) A more contemporary view on the Wahhabism has been expressed by Abdul Hakim Murad in the Journal Islamica (Page - 9).

‘Ibn Abdul Wahhab, however, went far beyond this (Ibn Taymiyya). Raised in the wastelands of Najd in Central Arabia, he had little access to mainstream Muslim scholarship. In fact, when his Da'wah appeared and became notorious, the Scholars and Muftis of the day applied to it the famous Hadith of Najd: Ibn Umar (RU) reported the Prophet (SAWS) as saying: ‘Oh God, bless us in our Syria; O God, bless us in our Yemen’. Those present said: ‘And in our Najd, O Messenger of God!’ But he said, ‘O God, bless us in our Syria; O God, bless us in our Yemen’. Those present said, ‘And in our Najd, O Messenger of God!’ Ibn Umar said that he thought that he said on the third occasion: ‘Earthquakes and dissensions (Fitnah) are there, and there shall arise the horn of Satan (Qiranish Shaitan)’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari). And it is significant that almost uniquely among the lands of Islam, Najd has never produced scholars of any repute.’

(vii) A well known scholar of the Salafis, Dr. Yusuf Al-Qardawi wrote in his book ‘Islamic awakening between Rejection and Extremism’ (page - 42).

‘One of the causes of such shallowness is that extremists (Wahhabis) never listen to people who hold different views (and I can personally testify to that), never accept any dialogue with them or imagine that their own views could be tested in the light of others, and may thereby be either accepted or rejected. Most of them have not been taught by reliable Muslim Ulama who are specialized in the field. Rather, they have received semi-knowledge directly from books and newspapers without any opportunity for revision or discussion which could test the learner's understanding and analyze the depth of his knowledge. They simply read, 'understand', then deduce what they wish. However, their reading, understanding, and deduction may well be wrong or deficient. There might be someone somewhere who opposes their opinions on stronger and more valid bases, but they are not aware of that because nobody has drawn their attention to such a possibility. These devout young people have ignored the facts that if they want to study Shari'ah, they must seek the help of reliable Muslim scholars. They cannot venture into this extensive and entangled discipline without the guidance of reliable Muslim scholars who can interpret and explain obscurities, define terms, and point out the relationships between the parts and the whole and also equate similarities. Those who venture into it alone will meet with the same catastrophic results which could certainly befall the unskilled swimmer who ventures into dangerous waters. Proper knowledge of Shari'ah cannot be perfected without practice and close contact with the experts, especially in those areas where opinions diverge, evidences seem to contradict each other, and certain matters seem to be under suspicion. This is why our venerable 'Ulama' have warned us not to seek to study and understand Al Quran Al Karim through a person who has only memorized it without any knowledge of its contents, nor to seek knowledge through a person who has acquired his own "knowledge" from reading newspapers and journals only, without being properly instructed by reputable and qualified scholars’.

On page 41, of his book ‘Islamic Awakening between Rejection and Extremism’ Dr. Yusuf Al-Qardawi wrote.

Quote - ‘Imam al-Shatibi (R) wrote ( in his book Al-I'tisam, 2. 182-4) - 'Ibn Abbas (RU) was right. When a person knows the reason behind certain Verse or Surah, he knows how to interpret it and what its objectives are. However, ignorance of that leads people to misinterpret it and to have different opinions, without an insight and knowledge which could lead them to the truth and prevent them from indulging ignorantly in such matters with no support or evidence from Shari'ah, and therefore go astray and lead people astray.

This can be demonstrated by what is reported by Ibn Wahab from Bakir. Once Bakir asked Nafi'; What does Ibn Umar (RU) think of Al-Haruriyyah (Khawarij who were also called Al-Haruriyyah after the place Harawra, where they gathered and were found by Hazrat Ali -RU and others?)

Nafi' answered: He thinks they are the most evil of people. They applied the verses which pertain to the kuffar on the believers.’ Unquote.

Imam Bukhari ® also recorded Ibn Umar (RU) as saying (Sahih Bukhari - vol.9, pg.50; English Edn) These people ( the Khawarij and heretics ) took some verses that had been revealed concerning the disbelievers and interpreted them as describing for the believers.

Many scholars have noticed the extreme tendencies in Salafis for lack of respect for the Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence – Hanafi, Shafe’i, Maliki and Hanbali. They also noticed the extreme tendencies in their Islamic beliefs and untenable juristic positions they have produced. These scholars came to the conclusion that Salafis look like Neo Kharijites in their behavior and attitude towards other Muslims. This is because they seem to have certain traits which were only found amongst the Kharijites of the past. One of the most striking things noticed in these Neo Kharijites, is their direction of Quranic verses that were revealed specifically for the unbelievers. They use these verses on Muslims. This was a well known practice of the past Kharijites.

The Neo Kharijite nature of Salafis makes them intolerant of all other forms of Islamic expression. Since, they do not have any coherent Fiqh, they reject the four prominent Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence. They try to derive the Shari'ah and the Aqidah (belief) from Quran and the Hadith by themselves. And they do not consider it necessary to study Quran and Hadith under the watchful eyes of Ulama and Shuyooks of Ihsan. The results are there for everyone to see. Look at the state of affairs of Muslims throughout the world. Look how the Muslim society is divided today. Look at the horrendous state of divisions and conflicts which has mutilated salafi Islamist movement in the world today. New groups of Salafis are coming up in every part of the world. New sub divisions are emerging on weekly basis. A few of their prominent sub divisions are, Ahle Hadith, Dev Bandis, Jama’at-e-Islami, Muslim Brotherhood, Tablighi Jama’at, Talibaan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, etc. These divisions are splitting the Muslim society into bits and pieces. This has resulted in abuse of Muslims in the hands of selfish people in power in many countries. Look at how they are being treated around the Globe. Look how Muslim countries are falling prey to anarchy one after another.

Is it not a clear indication that Allah (SWT) and His Apostle Mohammad (SAWS) are angry? We need to think about these facts and correct ourselves and seek Allah’s (SWT) forgiveness for the wrong faiths and deeds that are unchecked and uncontrolled in our society.