Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Abdul Hayy Lakhnawi Hanafi: Advent of a Prophet after Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is NOT Impossible

Maulana Abul Hasanaat Abdul Hayy of Lucknow, Farangi Mahal (1848-1886) was an erudite and very well known Hanafi scholar from India. He is particularly respected by the Deobandi and Nadwi schools of thought.
He wrote the treatise Dafi’ ul-Waswas in order to defend the controversial Athar of Ibn Abbas (R.A):
سَبْعَ أَرْضِينَ ، فِي كُلِّ أَرْضٍ نَبِيٌّ كَنَبِيِّكُمْ ، وَآدَمُ كَآدَمَ ، وَنُوحٌ كَنُوحٍ ، وَإِبْرَاهِيمُ كَإِبْرَاهِيمَ ، وَعِيسَى كَعِيسَى

“There are Seven Earths, in each Earth there is a Prophet like your Prophet (Muhammad), an Adam like Adam, a Noah like Noah, an Abraham like Abraham, and a Jesus like Jesus.”

Maulwi Abdul Hayy, like Qasim Nanautawi (Founder of Deoband) staunchly defended this saying attributed to Sayyidina Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) even though Muhaditheen (scholars of Hadith) consider it as Shaadh (an oddity in the terminology of Hadith science).
The Deobandis in particular passionately defend this Athar and believe in its contents whole-heartedly, while other sects reject it.

One of the objections made against this Athar by those who deny it is that it contradicts the Holy Qur’an’s pronouncement that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is the Khaatam an-Nabiyyeen (Seal of the Prophets) so there can not be any prophet after him.

In answering this objection to the Athar, Maulwi Abdul Hayy of Lucknow writes:
مولانا ابوالحسنات عبدالحئی فرنگی محل
بعد آنحضرت ﷺ کے یا زمانے میں آنحضرت کے مجرد کسی نبی کا ہونا محال نہیں بلکہ صاحب شرع جدید ہوناالبتہ ممتنع ہے ۔
دافع الوسواس
Translation: “The advent of a mere prophet after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) or in his lifetime is not an impossibility. To introduce a new law is indeed not permissible.”
Reference: Dafi ul Waswas Fee Athar Ibn Abbas; p.12

In conclusion, the position of Maulawi Abdul Hayy al-Hanafi of Farangi Mahal is identical to the belief of the Ahmadiyya sect; There is the possibility of a Prophet to appear after the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) provided such a prophet is a follower of the Shari’ah of Muhammad and not bringing his own Shari’ah (Law). As I have proven repeatedly with literally dozens of references on this blog, the position of the real Ahlus Sunnati wal Jama’ah concerning Khatam an-Nubuwwah, since time immemorial has been that after Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) the advent of law-bearing Prophets is forever terminated and now impossible, but the advent of Prophets who are in obedience and compliance with his Shari’ah has never been ruled out.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Ignorant Barelwi Mulla: “The Earth is Stationary”

Founder of the Barelwi sect, Mulla Ahmad Reza Khan (1856-1921) was a bitter opponent of the so called “Wahhabis”. He wrote countless books and issued various Fatawa declaring Wahhabis and Deobandis as misguided. He also issued a fatwa and wrote books against Hadrat Mirza sahib of Qadiyan.

Today, majority of the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) are followers of this Mulla and his polytheistic sect known as “Barelwis”.

They have many unscientific and illogical, indeed absurd doctrines. For example, they believe that the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is Noor-e-Mujassim (physically made from Light), that the Prophet is Haadhir wa Naadhir (omnipresent and witnessing all things), that he is Mukhtaar-i-Kull (omnipotent), that he is Aalim-ul-Ghaib (knower of the unseen), and that he and the other Awliya have the power to help the living and answer their petitions from beyond the grave.

But the blind Mulla Ahmad Reza was so unapologetic about rejecting the discoveries of modern science and intent on clinging to obscure medieval doctrines that he even went out of his way to refute the well known scientific fact that the Earth is in motion and orbits the sun (!!!).

For this objective, he wrote several books, the most famous being his Fawz-e-Mobeen Dar Radd-e-Harkat-e-Zameen (A Manifest Success in Repudiating the Idea of the Motion of the Earth). The other books include Nuzool-e-Ayaat e Furqaan bi Sukoon-e-Zameen o Asmaan and Mo’een-e-Mobeen Behr Daur-e-Shams o Sukoon-e-Zameen.

Modern-day Barelwis, when confronted with the undeniable scientific evidence which clearly establishes the fact that the Earth is in motion and not stationary, and that it orbits around the sun, are left dumbfounded and unable to reply. Some are even forced to admit that their so called Imam Ala Hazrat (Ahmad Reza) made an error in denying this fact.

However, the implications of admitting such a massive blunder are grave. First of all, Ahmad Reza has not written one but several books where he desperately tries to refute the idea that the Earth is an object in motion. He declares that such a belief will rob the Muslims of their faith and religion. He even quotes Verses of the Holy Qur’an as his evidence against this now accepted scientific fact. Therefore, Barelwis have no option but to admit that Ahmad Reza Khan is not worthy of being considered an Islamic scholar, let alone praising him with such lofty titles as “Ala Hazrat”, “Mujaddid”, and “Imam Ahle Sunnat”, etc.

That is because Mulla Ahmad Reza has implicitly declared as unfaithful anyone who rejects his doctrine that the Earth is stationary by bringing verses of the Holy Qur’an (according to his interpretation) as evidence.

Furthermore, Mulla Ahmed Reza Khan went to the extent of claiming that he was inspired by Allah to write his book Fawz-e-Mobeen using modern-day arguments and philosophy to prove that the Earth is stationary. He writes:
فقیر بارگاہ عالم پناہ مصطفوی عبد المصطفے احمد رضا 
محمدی سنّی حنفی قادری برکاتی بریلوی

کے دل میں ملک الہام نے ڈالا کہ اس بارے میں باذنہ تعالی ایک شافی و کافی رسالہ لکھے کہ اسی کے اقراروں

سے اس کا زعم زائل اور حرکت زمین وسکون شمس بداہتہ باطل ہو، و باللہ التوفیق

Translation: “Ahmad Reza Barelwi [referring to himself in the third person] was inspired in his heart by the Angel of Ilhaam (Inspiration) that, with the permission of Allah Most High, to write a Risalah (Article) falsifying the claim of those who say the Earth is in motion and that the Sun is static (Stationary).”

Reference: Fawz-e-Mobeen; p.245

The dilemma for Barelwis is quite evident now. Their “Imam” and “Ala Hazrat” has not only put forward the argument that the Earth is stationary as his personal opinon which has the possibility of being correct or incorrect. Rather, Mulla Ahmad Reza claims that he was inspired by an Angel through Ilhaam (divine inspiration) to write the book refuting those who claim the Earth is in motion.

Finally, some extreme Barelwis, who are fanatical blind-followers of the Mulla, argue that essentially scientific discoveries and observations may be flawed, but the verdict of the Holy Qur’an, being the Word of Allah, is perfect and true, and since Mulla Ahmad Reza has quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an to prove that the Earth is stationary, therefore, Muslims are obliged to accept the Word of God and reject modern scientific discoveries and observations.

The answer to this flawed argument is that Mulla Ahmad Reza has not brought any Verse from the Holy Qur’an which explicitly states that the Earth is stationary. Therefore, I challenge any Barelwi or anyone else for that matter to bring a single Ayah of the Holy Qur’an which explicitly states that the Earth is not in motion, that it is Saakin (Stationary, static, motionless). You will find that nowhere in the Holy Qur’an is the Earth described as being Saakin.

Mulla Ahmad Reza has only brought his own personal interpretation of the Holy Qur’an and at best quoted some medieval scholars. He has not explicitly proven from the Holy Qur’an that the Earth is motionless.

In fact, for the interested reader, I refer him or her to the following insightful article which gives an alternative interpretation, with quite strong argument I may add, that the Holy Qur’an actually implies that the Earth is in motion:

From my own research into the following Verse:
لَا الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِي لَهَا أَن تُدْرِكَ الْقَمَرَ وَلَا اللَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ

Translation: The sun does not reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each is floating in orbit. (Surah 36:40)

Now it is a scientific fact that all bodies in the universe are in motion and an orbit. Even the sun is not stationary. It is rotating around the heavy cluster of stars at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.

The Holy Qur’an in this blessed Verse does not claim that simply the sun and moon are floating (or swimming) in an orbit, but even the night and day are included in the indefinite noun كُلٌّ.

The night and day are not objects in themselves but states of being. Day means that state when the surface of the Earth is exposed to the rays of light emanating from the Sun, while Night refers to the state when that part of the surface of the Earth is concealed from the face of the Sun.

By stating that the Night and Day are included in a continuous orbit (Rotation) the Holy Qur’an has implicitly affirmed that the Earth too is in motion, because the rotation of the Night and Day (which are already understood as not being solid objects but modes/states that relate to the Earth). The motion proven here is that the Earth spins on its axis, which is the reason for the continuous rotation of night and day.

Can any Barelwi answer?

Barelwi Mulla Ahmad Reza: Death of Jesus is a Subsidiary Issue. Examination of Surah 16:20-21

The founder of the Barelwi sect, Mulla Ahmad Reza Khan, when confronted with a solid and powerful argument from the Qur’an al-Karim declaring in no uncertain terms that the Messiah Jesus of Nazareth (peace be upon him) is dead and not alive, was forced to admit that the issue of the life or death of the Messiah is a subsidiary issue (Furu’ee Mas’alah ) and also a disputed issue. He went on to say that having a position either way far from being a matter of faith or infidelity, is not even a matter of guidance and misguidance. Hence he writes:

حیات ووفات سیدنا عیسے رسول اللہ علی نبینا الکریم وعلیہ صلوات وتسلیمات اللہ کی بحث چھیڑتے ہیں، جو ایک فرعی مسئلہ خود مسلماں میں ایک نوع کا اختلافی مسئلہ ہے جس کا اقرار یا انکار کفر تو درکنار  ضلال بھی نہیں

Translation: “They dispute about the issue of the life or death of our master Jesus the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings of Allah upon him and our Prophet), which is in fact a subsidiary issue [Furu’ee Mas’alah] concerning which the Muslims themselves differ. Acceptance or rejection (of the life or death of Jesus) is, far from being a matter of Kufr (unbelief) does not even result in a state of being misguided.”

Reference: Al-Juraaz ad-Dayyaani ‘alaa al-Murtad al-Qadiyaani; p.612

In summary, the Barelwi sect at least is in no position to declare as Kaafir (unbeliever) anyone who believes that Jesus (peace be upon him) has died. Nevermind that, the Barelwis according to the verdict of Mulla Ahmad Reza, cannot even declare someone who believes Jesus has died as being outside of the fold of Ahlus Sunnati wal-Jama’ah (Walhamdulillah).

Now you may be scratching you head and wandering how such a fanatical Mulla the founder of such an extremely rigid and polytheistic sect was forced to confess this fact. The reason is that the Mulla was confronted by a questioner who posed before him such a powerful argument from the Holy Qur’an which categorically proves the death of Jesus (peace be upon him) that the Mulla had no choice but to state this opinion in order to escape giving an answer to the Verse:
وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ لَا يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ ﴿٢٠﴾ أَمْوَاتٌ غَيْرُ أَحْيَاءٍ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ ﴿٢١﴾

Translation: And those whom they invoke, besides Allah, are unable to create anything, but are themselves created. They are Dead, not living, and are unaware of when they shall be raised back (to life).
(Surah 16:20-21)

This passage of the Holy Qur’an is quite categorical in stating that all those objects of worship and invocation (besides Allah) are dead and lifeless. And please remember that after Allah Himself (God), the person who is most worshiped and invoked by the majority of humanity for the last two millenia is none other than Jesus of Nazareth. Christians, who form the largest religious community in the world, not only believe that Jesus is God incarnated into a flesh and blood body, but on a daily basis worship him, pray to him, and invoke him in their supplications.

Some people argue that this passage is referring only to the idols. That is an extremely weak and baseless argument for a number of reasons.
(1)        Allah says “Those that are invoked besides Allah”. This is a general statement and there is absolutely not specification in this passage whatsoever that Allah is only referring to the idols.
(2)        Elsewhere in the Holy Qur’an, Allah makes it clear that Jesus is included in the category of “besides Allah” (Surah 5:116)
(3)        Allah does not simply refer to the objects of worship intended in this passage as “lifeless” but as Amwaat (dead) which throughout the Holy Qur’an is a term reserved for living, animated creatures (human beings and animals) that have died. The term Amwaat is never used to refer to inanimate objects like idols, statues, etc.
(4)        The passage emphatically states that the intended objects of worship are not aware of when they shall be raised back to life. Idols, statues, etc., are neither buried in graves nor will they be resurrected back to life since they never possessed life to begin with. It is quite clear from the phrase WAMA YASH’URUNA AYYAANA YUB’ATHOON that Allah Most High is referring to dead human beings, including Prophets and Saints, who are falsely invoked by their followers besides Allah.

Regarding the last point, some have desperately tried to argue that “when they shall be raised up” that the imperfect verb and subject pronoun “Yub’athoon” is not referring to “Amwaatun Ghayru Ahyaa’in”. Therefore, they understand it to mean that the dead and lifeless idols are unaware when other people (not themselves) will be raised back to life. In this way they attempt to solve the dilemma of how this verse can refer to idols when idols are not raised back to life and so on.

However, this is an inconsistent way to understand the wording of the Holy Qur’an. Examine the proceeding Verse with similar wording:

قُل لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّـهُ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ

Translation: “Say: None in the Heavens and in the Earth know the Unseen except Allah, nor are they aware when they shall be raised up.” (Surah 27:65)

In this verse the phrase “Wama Yash’uroona Ayyaana Yub’athoon” occurs as it does in 16:21, and it is the Dhameer that is connected to Object spoken of in this verse, in this case “those who are in the Heavens and the Earth.” Likewise, the phrase “Wama Yash’uroona Ayyaana Yub’athoon” as it occurs in 16:21 is referring back to the object of that verse “Amwaatun Ghayru Ahyaa’in”.

Hence there is no possibility that the verse is referring to only idols as is often argued.

If we consult the classical Tafsir al-Baidawi, he has written that there is a possibility for both meanings (the dead lifeless objects are unaware when they themselves will be raised to life, or are unaware when their worshipers will be raised back to life):

ولا يعلمون وقت بعثهم أو بعث عبدتهم

Translation: “And they do not know the time when they will be raised back to life, nor (when) their worshipers will be raised back to life.”

Reference: Tafsir al-Baidawi; v.3 p.223

And perhaps the reality is that both meanings are correct, for Jesus of Nazareth (peace be upon him) and other human beings that are invoked besides Allah are dead and lifeless, they are unaware of both things 1. When they themselves will be raised back to life, and 2. When their “worshipers” will be raised back to life.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Arrogance of Mawdudi: Belittling the Huruf al Muqattaat of the Holy Qur'an

Abul-Alaa Mawdudi (1903-1979) was the founder and first Amir of the so called Jama’at-e-Islami, a radical Islamist political party which has never been successful in achieving its stated aims since its founding in the 1940s (more than seventy years ago).

Mawdudi’s real disservice to Islam, however, was his introduction of a new and dangerous ideology into the Muslim Ummah which has caused nothing but destruction and misguidance. Mawdudi inspired men like Syed Qutb, who in turned inspired with his writings the modern phenomena of “Islamic” terrorism. The origins of modern-day “Islamic” terrorism, political violence, turmoil and Takfir (excommunication of other Muslims) lies in the pen of Mawdudi.

With utmost regret, many Muslims praise the writings of Mawdudi as being a “breeze of fresh air” in contrast to the “stifling” atmosphere and “staleness” of traditional Islamic thought. They particularly praise a few of his “monumental” works such as his commentary of the Holy Qur’an entitled Tafhim ul-Qur’an.

However, after having reviewed this so called monumental commentary and explanation of the Holy Qur’an, I come to the conclusion that Mawdudi has not brought anything “fresh” or “groundbreaking” as is allegedly claimed.

In fact Mawdudi’s interpretation and explanation of the Holy Qur’an is quite superficial, ordinary and lacking in any real deep insight.

For example, his commentary of Surah al-Fatihah, which is the “Mother of the Qur’an” and the most virtuous and powerful Surah in the entire Book of Allah, is only a measly three pages!

Mawdudi in fact betrays his extreme arrogance and disingenuity throughout the pages of his so called “Tafsir”.

Whatever Mawdudi is unable to explain due to his woeful lack of knowledge and wisdom he dismisses out of hand as being “unimportant” and unworthy of deep study and attention. For example, with respect to the Huruf al-Muqatta’at (the disjointed letters which appear as verses of the Holy Qur’an at the beginning of certains Surahs), Mawdudi writes:

لیکن یہ ظاہر ہے کہ نہ تو ان حروف کا مفہوم سمجھنے پر قرآن سے ہدایت حاصل کرنے کا انحصار ہے اور نہ یہی بات ہے کہ اگر کوئی شخص ان کے معنی نہ جانے گا تو اس کے راہ راست پانے میں کوئی نقص رہ جا‏ئے گا۔ لہذا ایک عام ناظر کے لیے کچھ ضروری نہیں ہے کہ وہ ان کی تحقیق میں سرگردان ہے۔

Translation: “But it is evident that understanding the meaning of these Letters (Huruf al-Muqatta’at) is not necessary for acquiring guidance from the Qur’an. If anyone does not know their meaning it is not a deterrent to him finding the right path. Therefore, for an ordinary viewer it is not necessary at all that he should busy himself in researching these Letters.”

Reference: Tafheem-ul-Qur’an; v.1 p.49

When confronted about his scandalous dismissal of the importance of studying and researching the meaning of the Letters that appear throughout the Holy Qur’an, Mawdudi defended himself by saying:

یہ حروف چونکہ خطیبانہ بلاغت کی شان رکھتے ہیں اور ان میں کوئی خاص حکم یا کوئی خاص تعلیم ارشاد نہیں ہوئی ہے۔ اس لئے اگر آدمی ان کا مطلب نہ سمجھ سکے تو اس کا یہ نقصان نہیں ہے کہ وہ اللہ تعالی کے کسی حکم کو جاننے سے یا کسی تعلیم کا فائدہ اٹھانےسے محروم رہ گیا۔
Translation: “Because these Letters [Huruf al-Muqatta’at], are an expression of oratory eloquence, and they do not contain any particular command or any particular knowledge, that is why if a man fails to understand their meaning it does not hurt him in the sense of being deprived of knowing some command of Allah Most High or from benefitting from any piece of knowledge.”
(Rasa’il-o-Masa’il; Part 2, P. 82)

In summary, Mawdudi claims that the purpose of these Huruf al-Muqatta’at is only for eloquence, otherwise, they do not contain any hidden meaning, any knowledge, and command, and therefore if a person fails to grasp their meaning or significance he is in no way deprived of any beneficial thing.

In opposition to this, Allah Most High says:
إِنَّ هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا

Translation: Verily this Qur'an directs you to the path that is straight, and gives happy tidings to those who believe and do the right: For them is a great reward. (Surah 17:9)

Hence, the entire Holy Qur’an, from cover to cover, its every verse, its every word and every letter is such that it is a means of guidance to the Straight Path. To dismiss any part of the Holy Qur’an as inconsequential to a person’s guidance and as not necessary or beneficial in knowledge is a grave heresy and misguidance which Mawdudi has brought due to his pride and ego.

The following verse of the Holy Qur’an therefore applies to his fallacious ideas:

أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ

Translation: “Do you then believe a part of the Book and reject a part?” (Surah 2:85)

الَّذِينَ جَعَلُوا الْقُرْآنَ عِضِينَ

Translation: “Those who have made the Qur’an into fragments” (Surah 15:91)

Clarification about Khatam an-Nubuwwah (Part 1)

Clarification about Khatam an-Nubuwwah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الصلوة والسلام على اشرف الانبياء والمرسلين
نبينا محمد وعلى آله واهل بيته اجمعين

This is a clarification about my personal belief regarding Khatam an-Nubuwwah (Finality of Prophethood) which I have felt the necessity of writing due to repeated questions on the subject which I have been on the receiving end of.

Let the respected reader take note of the following fundamental points of my Aqeedah:
·        By Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) I am referring to the same beloved Muhammad son of Abdullaah and Bibi Aaminah who was born in 6th century Arabia in the city of Mecca and who lies buried in the pure and noble tomb in the City of Light (Medina)
·        The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is Insaan al-Kaamil (the most perfect human being), he possesses the greatest excellence among all of the Prophets and is the most superior creation of Allaah.
·        The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is Ma’soom ‘anil-Khataa’ (Innocent and protected from error) with regard to conveying to us through his person, words, actions and behavior the Deen of Allah. He never committed any sin or disobedience to Allah. He was perfect and excellent in every respect and is the pinnacle and climax of human perfection and the supreme example of one who worships Allah. In other words, there can be no possibility of someone worshiping Allah in a more excellent and superior way than the person of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).
·        The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is the greatest Imaam in the Deen. It is binding upon all human beings to follow him and obey him until Judgment Day. Obedience to the Prophet is synonymous with obedience to Allah Himself. To obey anyone’s command over and above the command of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is Kufr (infidelity). In other words, to take anyone as an Imam or object of emulation and obedience over and above Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) makes a person outside the circle of Islam.
·        The Shari’ah (code of laws) that was brought by Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) which are derived from the Holy Qur’an and his Sunnah is the final, complete and perfect Law which is binding upon all humanity to accept and adhere to until Judgment Day (end of the world). No other Shari’ah or canon of law can abrogate even a single letter from the Shari’ah of Muhammad. Anyone who claims to bring a new Shari’ah or follows a Shari’ah other than the Shari’ah of Muhammad is a Kaafir (unbeliever) and is outside the circle of Islam.

So these are five very important fundamentals of my Aqeedah which there can be no question about. All Muslims of Ahlus Sunnati wal Jama’ah are also agreed upon these fundamentals which are related to the issue of Khatam an-Nubuwwah.

Now let us move on the heart of the matter, which is the Prophet Muhammad being the last and final Prophet.

My belief is that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is indeed the last and final Prophet of Allah both chronologically (in relation to passage of linear time) as well as with respect to excellence and virtue. The latter clause (“with respect to excellence and virtue”) requires a little bit of elaboration for an average layman.

What it means is that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is that Prophet in whose Dhaat (Personality/Essence) all excellences, beauties, and virtues find their ultimate manifestation and maximum expression.

This latter belief is in fact one of the meanings of him being Khaatam an-Nabiyyeen (Seal of the Prophets). So he is the last Prophet from the perspective of time and he is the last meaning after him there never was and never will be anyone who reaches his level of perfection and status.

Aside from being described as the Last of the Prophets in the Holy Qur’an (Surah 33:40), the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said repeatedly that there is no Prophet after him. This is from absolutely authentic and perhaps Mutawaatir Hadith. To reject this is also included as being Kufr.

Anyone who claimed to be a Prophet or Messenger of God after Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is a Kaafir, and among such false claimants there was Musaylimah the Liar, Aswat al-Ansi, so called “Baha Ullah” of Iran, Rashad Khalifa, and others. All of these individuals who claimed to be a Nabi (Prophet) or Rasul (Messenger of God) were liars and unbelievers – may the curse of Allah be upon them.

Now I would also like to clarify that it is my belief that if a Muslim, who follows the Shari’ah of Muhammad and who belongs to the Ummah of Muhammad, and follows it very strictly and becomes so drowned in the love and obedience of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) than Allah raises the status of such a Wali (saint) and Saalih (pious person) that although he does not reach the status of being a Prophet, but he comes to a station which is the highest station after Nubuwwah.

Such a person, as he becomes more pious and drowned in the love and obedience of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) begins to reflect some of the Light and excellences of Nubuwwah. He becomes infused with some of the light of Nubuwwah and begins to manifest some (partial) aspects, qualities and characteristics of Nubuwwah and even (partially) some aspects, qualities and characteristics of individual Prophets of the past, including Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

In Sufi terminology this is known as Fanaa’ fil-Rasul (Annhialation of oneself into the person of the Messenger of Allah). What it means is that a Muslim, a true Believer from the Ummah of Muhammad, acquires such a strong connection with the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) due to such a high intensity and level of obedience and worship of Allah and piety, that his own unique personality begins to fade away. His own identity and personality is no longer discernable because he he is manifesting so strongly and with such radiance and power the personality of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Thus, such a person is reflecting the Nubuwwah of a true and real Prophet. Such a person is not a Prophet in reality or independently of his own virtue and person. Rather, he is an Ummati (a follower of the Prophet) but having a much higher station than an ordinary Ummati in the realm of excellence, virtue and piety. He is at the highest station of Wilayah (sainthood) above which the only higher station is that of actual real Nubuwwah.

Now this station I am describing has been named with various names. It can be called the station of Siddeeq as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an (Surah 4:69). All Muslims of Ahlus Sunnati wal Jama’ah are agreed that Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was blessed with attaining this particular high status and was a Siddeeq.

However, unlike actual real Nubuwwah, the station of Siddeeq has not been terminated, sealed or ended until Judgment Day. The station of Siddeeq is attainable even though it is quite rare that any Ummati has attained it.

This station is also described as being that of the Muhaddath. In Islamic terminology, based on the Hadith of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) a Muhaddath is that person who receives, quite frequently, divine inspiration from Allah, and is conversant with Allah. He is blessed frequently with receiving Wahi but that kind of Wahi which is particular to saintly people, not the Wahi that is particular to Prophets. This type of Wahi may also be described as being Ilhaam.

The Muhaddath therefore receives inspirations and visions from Allah, quite frequently, but he is not an actual Prophet, nor does he receive any Shari’ah or new laws which abrogate the laws brought by the Prophet. Rather, the Muhaddath is an Ummati of the Prophet and is under his absolute obedience like any other Ummati.

The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) confimed that his beloved companion ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was a Muhaddath, and there is the possibility that other Muhaddaths can come from within the Ummah.

Now in Sufi terminology these people who are blessed with this particular status may also be described as being a Nabi (Prophet) not literally but figuratively, metaphorically, and by way of reflection. And please remember that the Sufi terminology should not be confused with the Shari’ (Shari’a-based) terminology. In the Shari’ terminology, as I have explained, this status is named Siddeeq, Muhaddath, and possibily Mujaddid (promised reformer), Mahdi (guided by Allah), Wali (saint), and perhaps other names, but never as Nabi (Prophet).

But in Sufi terminology, which is highly figurative, expressive and metaphorical, a person attaining this status through Fana fil-Rasul can in a very limited sense, and only occassionally not frequently, be named as a Prophet. Now if the Sufi terminology causes confusion and leads to a wrong idea and conclusion it should definitely be avoided, or explained in a proper way if that is possible.

The best analogy I can think of is that of the sun and moon.

The sun is a glorious sphere that generates light from its own essence. It is an independent source of light.

The moon, by contrast, is a much smaller sphere of rock that does not generate any light from its own essence.

However, the barren surface of the moon reflects the light of the sun like a mirror, and at times that light becomes visible to us on Earth during the night when the Sun itself is absent from our field of vision. The moon is reflecting the light of the Sun. It is the Sun’s own light and not the moon. The moon itself cannot generate any light. But the moon, so to speak, loses its own personality and identity and reflects so beautifully the Sun’s own light that one can describe the moon as being the Sun for us while it is night.

Thus metaphorically the moon has been described as being the Sun, even though in reality the moon is a distinct essence from the sun, but due to it reflecting the sun’s light it is metaphorically described as being a second sun.

So to summarize, my belief is that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last in final Prophet and there will be no Prophet after him. However, from among his Ummah there is the possibility that some individuals, due to being drowned in his love and obedience begin to reflect his personality and their own personalities begin to fade so that they themselves are no longer visible but only the light of Nubuwwah which they are manifesting and reflecting. They are acting as mirrors to reflect the light of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in eras and lands that are far removed from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) spatially and temporally. They are not prophets in an independent or real sense, but they are only described as being prophets (according to a Sufi terminology) in a purely metaphorical and figurative expression.

Rather than detracting from the Finality and Perfection of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), the existence of such individuals from his Ummah who attain this status through obedience and love of him is in fact a manifestation and proof of his grandeur and excellence. Rather than detracting from his light, it is magnifying it (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam)!

The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said:

لَا نُبُوَّةَ بَعْدِي إِلَّا الْمُبَشِّرَاتِ " قَالَ : قِيلَ : وَمَا الْمُبَشِّرَاتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ؟ قَالَ : " الرُّؤْيَا الْحَسَنَةُ " ، أَوْ قَالَ : " الرُّؤْيَا الصَّالِحَةُ

Translation: There is no Nubuwwah (Prophethood) after me except al-Mubashshiraat.

Someone asked “What is al-Mubashshiraat, O Messenger of Allah?”

He said: Good visions. Or he said: Pious visions.

Reference: Musnad of Imam Ahmad

According to this Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said that all of Nubuwwah has ceased except for a specific type of Nubuwwah, which is called al-Mubashshiraat.

This al-Mubashshiraat is a partial manifestation of Nubuwwah, which consists of forty-some parts.

Therefore, an individual Muslim of the Ummah who is blessed with receiving this al-Mubashshiraat and who is frequently receiving such true Visions from Allah is manifesting a type of Nubuwwah and – in accordance to Sufi terminology – can be called a Nabi (Prophet) in a metaphorical, figurative sense but in reality is not a real Nabi only reflecting the Nubuwwah of Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and infused with a partial Nubuwwah (a single aspect of Nubuwwah) and not the complete characteristics and blessings of Nubuwwah which is impossible to attain after Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Ezekiel's Vision in the Holy Qur'an: A Discussion on Dead Returning to the World

Continuing from my previous post on the subject of the impossibility for the souls of the dead to return to this world, one of the proofs presented by those who dispute this fact is the proceeding Verse of the Holy Qur’an:
أَوْ كَالَّذِي مَرَّ عَلَىٰ قَرْيَةٍ وَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا قَالَ أَنَّىٰ يُحْيِي هَـٰذِهِ اللَّـهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا فَأَمَاتَهُ اللَّـهُ مِائَةَ عَامٍ ثُمَّ بَعَثَهُ قَالَ كَمْ لَبِثْتَ قَالَ لَبِثْتُ يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ قَالَ بَل لَّبِثْتَ مِائَةَ عَامٍ فَانظُرْ إِلَىٰ طَعَامِكَ وَشَرَابِكَ لَمْ يَتَسَنَّهْ وَانظُرْ إِلَىٰ حِمَارِكَ وَلِنَجْعَلَكَ آيَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَانظُرْ إِلَى الْعِظَامِ كَيْفَ نُنشِزُهَا ثُمَّ نَكْسُوهَا لَحْمًا فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ قَالَ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Translation: Or (take) the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: "Oh! how shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after (this) its death?" but Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long didst thou tarry (thus)?" He said: (Perhaps) a day or part of a day." He said: "Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thy food and thy drink; they show no signs of age; and look at thy donkey: And that We may make of thee a sign unto the people, Look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh." When this was shown clearly to him, he said: "I know that Allah hath power over all things." (Surah 2:259)
Those who argue that the souls of the dead can return to the world use this verse as their strongest evidence. For example, Abul Ala Mawdudi, founder of the Islamist group (Jama’at-i-Islami) writes: “It is certainly of no avail at this juncture to open the debate as to whether the Holy Christ is dead or exists alive somewhere in the world. Supposing he is dead, God has the power to raise him alive, otherwise also it is not beyond the Divine power of God to keep a man alive somewhere in the cosmos for as long as thousands of years; and to bring the man back to the world at His Will.”
In the footnote to this comment, Mawdudi says: “Those who deny this possibility should go through verse 259 of Surah al- Baqarah, in which God affirms in clear words that He let one of His creatures lie dead for a hundred years and at the end of this period He raised the man alive.”
Reference: Finality of Prophethood by A. A. Mawdudi
Before an answer can be given to this apparently solid argument, we need to first unlock one of the mysteries presented by this blessed Ayah of the Holy Qur’an. That is concerning the identity of the man spoken of in Surah 2:259.
According to the majority of the classical Mufasireen (commentators of the Holy Qur’an), the man spoken of in this verse is Uzair (Ezra). However, this is based on pure speculation on their part since there is no evidence from either the text of the Qur’an itself or any Hadith which confirms the identity of the man in question as being Ezra.
On the other hand I shall demonstrate with irrefutable arguments (In Sha Allah) that the man mentioned in this verse is the Prophet Ezekiel. Firstly, even classical Tafasir like Ibn Abi Hatim’s and Durr al-Manthur of Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti mention this opinion. For example, it is narrated from Suleman b. Muhammad al-Yasari that a man from the people of Sham said that the one who Allah caused to die for a hundred years then raised him back to life was named Hizqeel b. Buzi (Ezekiel son of Buzzi):

Reference: Durr al-Manthur; v.3 p.212

However, the main reason for identifying this person as being the Prophet Ezekiel son of Buzzi is from the details given in the Ayat itself which so perfectly match the details given regarding Ezekiel’s Vision as described in the Hebrew Bible:
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and the LORD carried me out in a spirit, and set me down in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones; and He caused me to pass by them round about, and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And He said unto me: 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered: 'O Lord GOD, Thou knowest.' Then He said unto me: 'Prophesy over these bones, and say unto them: O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.' So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a commotion, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I beheld, and, lo, there were sinews upon them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them. Then said He unto me: 'Prophesy unto the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.' So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great host. Then He said unto me: 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. Therefore prophesy, and say unto them: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, O My people. And I will put My spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I will place you in your own land; and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken, and performed it, saith the LORD (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Even a cursory reading of this passage will make anyone realize how closely it resembles and matches the Qur’anic account in Surah 2:259.
First pay attention to the sentence in Surah 2:259:
وَلِنَجْعَلَكَ آيَةً لِّلنَّاسِ
And We shall make you a Sign for the people
We read throughout the Book of Ezekiel that the Prophet Ezekiel is repeatedly described with similar wording:
For I have set thee for a sign unto the house of Israel. (Ezekiel 12:6)
Say, I am your sign (Ezekiel 12:11)
Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign (Ezekiel 24:24)
And thou shalt be a sign unto them (Ezekiel 24:27)
Other similarities are listed below:
1.      Ezekiel’s vision in the valley of dry bones matches the Holy Qur’an description of him passing by a habitation which had fallen into disarray.
2.      In the Holy Qur’an the man asks how can Allah bring back the habitation to life after its death. In the Book of Ezekiel God Himself asks if these bones can live to which Ezekiel replies that only God knows.
3.      In the Qur’anic account Allah tells the man to look at the bones as they become clothed with flesh and are re-animated. Exactly the same image is given in the Book of Ezekiel.

The only difference seems to be that which the Biblical account is clearly understood by both Jews and Christians to be describing a Vision, Muslims have mistakenly interpreted the Qur’anic account of the same incident and personality (Ezekiel) as having been an actual event.
However, one prominent classical commentator, Ataa b. Abi Rabah (d.114 H) recognized the episode described in Surah 2:259 as being a parable and not an actual event:

Reference: Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah; v.2 p.282

There are other very pertinent clues within the verse itself which plainly indicate that it was a sort of Kashaf (Vision) and not an event occurring in this world and in this dimension of time.
One such clue is that after causing Ezekiel to die for a hundred years than raising him back to life, Allah Most High draws Ezekiel’s attention to his food and drink which have not spoiled. Had really a hundred years lapsed from our point of view and Ezekiel had literally died for that duration than brought back to life there would be no trace left of his food and drink. Allah also draws attention to his donkey which is also still present and alive.
Furthermore, keep in mind the context of this verse of the Holy Qur’an, whose purpose is to produce certainty in our hearts and minds about the reality of the bodily resurrection which will happen on Judgment Day. This is one of the powerful proofs and arguments which Allah Most High is presenting to convince Ezekiel as well as the rest of us about His power to raise the dead back to life. The verse mentions that although Ezekiel died for a hundred years, when he was raised back to life he perceived that only a day or part of a day had lapsed. This indicates the duration of his vision from our point of view, though in the vision itself Ezekiel had been taken and his time occupied for a hundred years. In the actual vision he is made to see the re-animation of rotting bones being brought back to life and being clothed with flesh. He sees a vision of the habitation coming back to life which convinces him of the power of Allah to raise the dead. It is not necessarily that the habitation comes to life in his own time, as this is also historically proven that Jerusalem and the House of Israel were only restored after the Babylonian captivity. However, the Prophet Ezekiel never lived to see the end of the Babylonian captivity and the restoration of Jerusalem except through the divine vision described in this Verse.
The question arises that if this was a Vision, why did Allah Most High say:
فَأَمَاتَهُ اللَّـهُ مِائَةَ عَامٍ ثُمَّ بَعَثَهُ
So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years than raised him up
The word death, in Islamic terminology, refers to both actual death as well as sleep. For example, the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said:
النَّوْمُ أَخُو الْمَوْتِ
Sleep is the sister of Death (Hadith)
Even more profound are the Masnoon supplications that Muslims are recommended to read before going to sleep and after waking:
باسْمِكَ اللهُمَّ اَمُوتُ وَاَحْيَا
In Your Name, O my Allah, do I die and come back to life (Masnoon Du’a before going to sleep)
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِىْ اَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَآ اَمَاتَنَا وَاِلَيْهِ النُّشُوْرُ
All praise belongs to Allah Who has given us life after causing us to die and to Him is the return (Masnoon Du’a after waking from sleep)
The author of the well-respected Tafsir Mazhari, Qadi Thana Ullah Panipati has also explicitly clarified that the death and resurrection of Ezekiel as mentioned in this verse refers to his sleep and being awoken from sleep after the vision:

Reference: Tafsir Mazhari; v.2 p.31

Another piece of evidence presented by those who claim the dead can return to this world is Surah 2:243:
لَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ خَرَجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِمْ وَهُمْ أُلُوفٌ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ فَقَالَ لَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مُوتُوا ثُمَّ أَحْيَاهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ
Have you not considered those who left their homes in many thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, "Die"; then He restored them to life. And Allah is full of bounty to the people, but most of the people do not show gratitude. (2:243)

The fact of the matter is that this verse is intimately connected to the one already under discussion (2:259). Ibn Wahb narrates from Ibnu Zayd concerning 2:243 that is speaks of the same people whose bones are mentioned in 2:259 which were passed by Ezekiel when he came upon their habitation:

Reference: Tafsir Ibn Jarir; v.4 p.584

Therefore, what is mentioned about such people dying and then being brought back to life must be understood in light of what we have already established about 2:259, that it occurred through Ezekiel’s Vision.

These people were perhaps the Israelites during the Babylonian captivity who had been banished from the Holy Land beginning around 597 BCE. It was their nation which had died and was in a state of death. Nevertheless, Allah, out of His grace, restored the nation and caused them to be released from captivity and return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple in 538 BCE after Cyrus’s proclamation.

Sayyidatuna Aishah (RA): Say He is Seal of Prophets But Don't Say 'No Prophet After Him'

  باسمك اللهم اللهم صلى على سيدنا محمد The Mother of Believers, sayyidatuna A’ishah سلام الله عليها reportedly said: قُولُوا خَاتَمُ الن...