Tuesday, 28 February 2017

False Principles of Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) Concerning the Caliphate

One of the controversies of our time is the issue of Khilâfah and the call of certain sects, groups and parties among the Muslims for a single, unified caliphate over the entire world. I intend to prove here that this notion is fanciful and lacks any basis from the divine Revelation of the Book and Sunna. A certain “Islamic” party, namely, Hizb-ut-Tahrîr (lit. “Party of Liberation”) is infamous for pushing the cause of a single, new caliphate over the entire world of Islam. Founded by Taqiuddin al-Nabahani (1909 – 1977), the Hizb-ut-Tahrir is dedicated to a top-down approach of radical reconstruction of Muslim societies. It aims to remove all current governments, states and regimes ruling over the Muslim world and replace them with a single, unitary caliphate. Hizb-ut-Tahrir is banned in the vast majority of Muslim countries because of this objective, which it hopes to practically achieve by recruiting military officers in places of influence so that the Hizb would be in a position to launch coups throughout the world in order to bring about its desired caliphate. According to the so-called Draft Constitution published by Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) on one of their official websites:
“The ruling system of the State is that of a unitary ruling system and not a federation” (Article 16)
However, as we shall see, HT’s idea that the ideal Islamic state should be a “unitary ruling system” is not at all obligated by the teachings of Islam. On the contrary, I shall prove that the Prophet Muhammad himself did not create a “unitary ruling system” nor did he ever command such a system. According to Article 19 of HT’s “draft constitution”, a slave is not permitted to take charge of ruling. Although at present this is a purely theoretical issue, nevertheless I raise it because the Prophet explicitly stated:
اسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا وَإِنِ اسْتُعْمِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌ حَبَشِيٌّ كَأَنَّ رَأْسَهُ زَبِيبَةٌ
“You should listen to and obey your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian slave whose head (has become deformed) like a raisin” (Bukhari)
Hypothetically speaking, if the Ummah were to be enslaved by a foreign nation, like how Bani Israel were enslaved by Pharaoh in Egypt, it would still be necessary for there to be someone from among the enslaved Muslims to lead and represent the community.
Now moving on to Article 21 of HT’s “draft constitution”:
“Muslims are entitled to establish political parties to question the rulers and to access the positions of ruling through the Ummah”
This is in fact a direct contravention of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, which expressly forbid Muslims from dividing into factions and political parties:
“And indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so fear Me.” But the people divided their religion among them into sects - each faction [HIZB], in what it has, rejoicing. So leave them in their confusion for a time.” (Sura 23: 52 – 54)
Do not be of those who associate others with Allah [or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction [HIZB] rejoicing in what it has. (Sura 30: 31 – 32)
The Holy Qur’an commands unity and forbids Muslims from dividing among themselves into sects, parties and factions:
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided (Sura 3: 103)
Indeed, HT itself is a Hizb (political party) whose very existence is a contravention of the principle teachings of Islam. According to Article 22: “The appointment of one Khaleefah into office is an obligation upon all Muslims.” I will, In Sha Allah, dispel this false notion of HT.
According to Article 26: “Every mature male and female Muslim, who is sane, has the right to participate in the election of the Khaleefah”
This article has no precedence from the Book or Sunna. According to the teachings of Islam, women do not play any role in public, political affairs of the Ummah. Women’s role is not to participate in electing a Khalifa, as is evident from the early history of Islam, such as the history of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. In light of this, Article 111 is also incorrect: “A woman can participate in elections and giving of the bai’ah to the Khaleefah, and elect, and be amember of the Majlis al-Ummah, and can be appointed as an official of the State in a non-ruling position.” There is no precedence in early Islamic history or in the time of the rightly-guided Caliphs that a women ever participated in the election of a Khalifa, or was ever a member of a consultative body.
Now let us deconstruct some of major flaws in HT’s political theory and its so-called “draft constitutions” from the angle of Islam. The first thing to recognize is that Islam does not require the entire Muslim Ummah to be under the authority of a single government or ruler. Though it can be argued that a single government for the entire Muslim Ummah is ideal; I argue that it is neither mandated by Islam nor even practical considering the vastness of the Ummah both numerically and geographically. A contemporary Islamic preacher, Imran N. Hosein, has proven from a Verse in the Qur’an the legitimacy of the multiplicity of rulers in Islam:
“It is of crucial importance to note that the verse of the Qur’an: Oh you who believe, obey Allah, and obey the Messenger (of Allah), and obey those in (lawfully constituted) authority from amongst you. (Qur’an, al-Nisa, 4:59) did not command obedience of ‘he’ (i.e., a single person) who was in authority. It rather required obedience of ‘those’ in authority. The Qur’an thus explicitly recognized the possibility of a (temporary) plurality of leadership in the Ummah so long as there was no Dar al-Islam.” (The Caliphate, the Hejaz, and the Saudi-Wahhabi Nation State; p. 44, Imran N. Hosein)
The Prophet sent letters to the various kings and rulers of the world inviting them to embrace Islam and accept him as God’s Messenger. For example, he wrote to the Roman (Byzantine) emperor Heraclius:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، إِلَى هِرَقْلَ عَظِيمِ الرُّومِ، سَلاَمٌ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَى، أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَإِنِّي أَدْعُوكَ بِدِعَايَةِ الإِسْلاَمِ، أَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ، وَأَسْلِمْ يُؤْتِكَ اللَّهُ أَجْرَكَ مَرَّتَيْنِ، فَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ فَعَلَيْكَ إِثْمُ الأَرِيسِيِّينَ
“In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad, the slave of Allah, and His Apostle, to Heraculius, the Ruler of the Byzantine. Peace be upon the followers of guidance. Now then, I invite you to Islam (i.e. surrender to Allah), embrace Islam and you will be safe; embrace Islam and Allah will bestow on you a double reward. But if you reject this invitation of Islam, you shall be responsible for misguiding the peasants (i.e. your nation) (Bukhari)
What this letter demonstrates is that the Prophet only invited the Roman emperor to convert to Islam, not to abdicate his throne. If the Roman emperor had responded positively to the Prophet’s invitation and become a Muslim, he would not be expected to abdicate his throne, but would continue as the ruler of his domain despite the presence of a separate Islamic state in the Arabian peninsula led by the Prophet and then his Rightly-Guided Successors. Take for example the case of the Negus, the Christian king of Ethiopia. He converted to Islam, and the Prophet even read his funeral prayers in absentia. Incidentally, during the lifetime of this Negus, the Prophet never required him to abdicate his throne and make Hijra (emigrate) to Medina, although all other Muslims were required to do this if they were physically able to. The Negus himself said:
أَشْهَدُ أَنَّهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَنَّهُ الَّذِي بَشَّرَ بِهِ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَلَوْلاَ مَا أَنَا فِيهِ مِنَ الْمُلْكِ لأَتَيْتُهُ حَتَّى أَحْمِلَ نَعْلَيْهِ
“I bear witness that he is the Messenger of Allah (), and it is he about whom Jesus son of Mary gave good news. Were it not for the position of kingship that I am in, I would come to him and carry his shoes.” (Abi Dawud)
Here we see that Negus ruled over his own domain in Ethiopia, a parallel state to the Prophetic state in Medina. The Prophet never commanded the integration of Ethiopia into his own rule in Medina or the Arabian Peninsula. On the contrary, he stated:
دَعُوا الْحَبَشَةَ مَا وَدَعُوكُمْ وَاتْرُكُوا التُّرْكَ مَا تَرَكُوكُمْ
“Leave the Abyssinians (Ethiopians) alone as long as they let you alone; and leave the Turks alone as long as they leave you alone.” (Abi Dawud)
Incidentally, this Hadith proves that the Islamic state is not meant to be expansive, nor is its objective to “conquer the entire world” through “offensive” Jihad. In yet another Hadith it is stated:
غَزَوْنَا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم تَبُوكَ، وَأَهْدَى مَلِكُ أَيْلَةَ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَغْلَةً بَيْضَاءَ، وَكَسَاهُ بُرْدًا، وَكَتَبَ لَهُ بِبَحْرِهِمْ
We accompanied the Prophet () in the Ghazwa of Tabuk and the king of Aila presented a white mule and a cloak as a gift to the Prophet. And the Prophet () wrote to him a peace treaty allowing him to keep authority over his country. (Bukhari)

Islamic Uprisings Against Tyrants (Part 1)

According to the Holy Qur’an, true Believers are those who resist obedience to the Jabbârîn meaning dictatorial tyrants. In condemning the tribe of ‘Ad, the Most High says:
وَاتَّبَعُوا أَمْرَ كُلِّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ
And [they] followed the order of every obstinate ruler (Sura 11: 59)
Regarding the Verse of the Holy Qur’an:
وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ
And when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, “Indeed, I will make you a leader [Imam] for the people.” [Abraham] said, “And of my descendants?” [Allah] said, “My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.” (Sura 2: 124)
Concerning this Verse, the eminent Hanafi jurist, Abu Bakr al-Jassas (d. 942 C.E), writes:
فلا يجوز أن يكون الظالم نبيا ولا خليفة لنبي ولا قاضيا ، ولا من يلزم الناس قبول قوله في أمور الدين من مفت أو شاهد أو مخبر عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم خبرا
“So is it not permissible for the Zâlim (wrongdoer) to be a Prophet, nor a Khalîfah of a Prophet, nor a judge. Nor is it necessary for the people to accept his saying in the affairs of the Religion, nor a witness testimony, nor any report attributed to the Prophet
Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas goes on to state that the Madhhab of Abu Hanifah does not distinguish between a judge and a Khalifa in the sense that justice is required of both of them. Therefore, the Fâsiq (grave sinner) cannot be a Khalifa or a Hâkim (ruler); just as the sinner’s testimony cannot be accepted, nor a Hadith he reports from the Prophet so how can he be a Khalifa when neither his narration is acceptable nor his command executable?
لا ينال عهدي الظالمين هذه المعاني كلها ومن الناس من يظن أن مذهب أبي حنيفة تجويز إمامة الفاسق وخلافته وأنه يفرق بينه وبين الحاكم فلا يجيز حكمه ، وذكر ذلك عن بعض المتكلمين وهو المسمى زرقان وقد كذب في ذلك وقال بالباطل ، وليس هو أيضا ممن تقبل حكايته ولا فرق عند أبي حنيفة بين القاضي وبين الخليفة في أن شرط كل واحد منهما العدالة ، وأن الفاسق لا يكون خليفة ولا يكون حاكما ؛ كما لا تقبل شهادته ولا خبره لو روى خبرا عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وكيف يكون خليفة وروايته غير مقبولة وأحكامه غير نافذة
Reference: Ahkam-al-Qur’an; v. 1 p. 85


The Prophet  condemned the evil, oppressive and tyrannical rulers; but nevertheless forbade his followers from raising the sword against them provided they continue to establish the Salat. However, if any evil, tyrannical ruler ceases to establish the institution of Salat, he forfeits his right to persist in the leadership and rulership of the Muslims.
When the evil tyrant Yazid b. Mu’awiya ceased the rulership of the Muslims by force; the eminent and senior companions of the Prophet alive at the time refused to give him the pledge of allegiance. First, the Prophet’s grandson, al-Imam al-Hussain b. Ali (Allah be pleased with him) went out towards Kufa with the intention of establishing his Imamate; but he was tragically martyred by Yazid’s governor and their forces on the plains of Karbala. Then in Mecca, sayyidina Abd Allah b. al-Zubair (Allah be pleased with him) launched an uprising against Yazid and the successive Umayyad rulers until he was martyred at the hands of Abd al-Malik b. Marwan’s general, al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf. Similarly, another eminent companion, sayyidina Suleman b. Surad al-Khuza’i (Allah be pleased with him), the leader of the Tawwabun (penitent) movement, launched an uprising against the oppressive Umayyads with the objective of enacting revenge for the martyrdom of al-Imam al-Hussain (peace be upon him). He and his followers achieved martyrdom at the hands of the Umayyads in the Battle of Ain al-Warda in 685 C.E. In the year 740 C.E., al-Hussain’s grandson, Imam Zaid b. Ali (Allah be pleased with him) led an uprising against the Umayyad ruler Hisham b. Abd al-Malik in Kufa, and achieved martyrdom. Interestingly, Imam Abu Hanifa financially supported this uprising of Imam Zaid against the oppressive Umayyads.
The Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads and established their own dynasty. Though they were an improvement compared to the Umayyads, they too were generally oppressive and tyrannical. A great and saintly Imam from the Ahl-al-Bait, namely, Muhammad b. Abd Allah b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him), known as Nafs al-Zakiyah (“the Pure Soul”) led an uprising against the oppressive and tyrannical Abbasid ruler al-Mansur in the sacred town of Medina, where he was martyred in 762 C.E.
And there were several other eminent figures from the Prophet’s Household (peace be upon them) who led uprisings against oppressive Umayyad and Abbasid rulers in order to establish their own caliphates. I will list them here:
1. Imam Yahia b. Zaid’s uprising in Khorasan against the Umayyad ruler al-Walid b. Yazid b. Abd al-Malik until he attained martyrdom
2. We have already mentioned the uprising of Imam Muhammad b. Abd Allah (Nafs al-Zakiya) in Medina
3. Ibrahim b. Abd Allah’s (brother of Imam Nafs al-Zakiya) uprising in Basra; he was martyred by the forces of the Abbasid ruler al-Mansur in Ahwaz
4. Ibrahim b. al-Hasan al-Muthanna, who was the uncle of the two brothers Muhammad and Ibrahim. He was imprisoned by al-Mansur and died in prison
5. al-Hasan b. Ibrahim b. Abd Allah b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Abi Talib’s abortive uprising in the time of al-Mansur until he was arrested and died in prison
6. Abd Allah’s, the son of Imam Nafs al-Zakiya, uprising against al-Mansur
7. Isa b. Zaid b. Ali b. al-Hussain b. Ali b. Abi Talib’s uprising during the time of the Abbasid ruler al-Mahdi
8. The uprising of al-Hussain b. Ali b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Abi Talib against the Abbasid ruler al-Hadi. He was martyred in the battle of al-Fakhkh, near Mecca.
9. Yahya b. Abd Allah b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Abi Talib’s uprising in Dailam against the Abbasid ruler Harun al-Rashid
10. The uprising of Muhammad b. al-Qasim b. Ali b. Umar b. Ali b. al-Hussain b. Ali b. Abi Talib in Taliqan against the Abbasids
And dozens of other uprisings by men from the Ahl-al-Bait against oppressive and tyrannical rulers.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Mu'tazila Deny the Karamaat (Miracles) of the Saints

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ


The rationalist Mu’tazila sect, who called themselves Ahl-al-Tawhid wal-‘Adl meaning ‘people of monotheism and justice’ distinctively deny the Karamât (miracles) of the Awliya (saints). A medieval Mu’tazilite theologian, al-Qadi Abdal Jabbar (935 – 1025) claimed that non-prophets are unable to produce miracles otherwise it would not be possible to make a distinction between a Prophet and a saintly non-prophet.


Reference: Mukhtasar Fi Usul al-Din; p. 271


This weak objection was answered in the classical Sunni work Sharh al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyya (1/395):


نفي كرامات الأولياء، فقالوا: لا يجوز خرق العادة إلا لنبي؛ لأنه لو خرقت العادة لغير نبي لالتبس على الناس أمر النبي بالولي، فلا يحصل التمييز.

وأجيب عن هذه الشبهة: بأن الولي الذي تحصل على يديه الكرامة، وهي: الأمر الخارق للعادات لا يدعي النبوة إذ لو ادعى النبوة لم يكن وليا، ولم يكن ما جرى على يده كرامة


Meaning that a Wali (saint) by definition is someone who does not lie and fabricate such a slander upon God by claiming to be a Prophet when in fact he isn’t one. In other words, the Mu’tazilite argument that if saintly non-prophets can produce miracles it would be impossible for the public to distinguish between a prophet and a non-prophet is nullified by the fact that a saintly non-prophet would never claim to be a prophet in the first place. If someone did claim to be a prophet but was lying he would be unable to produce a miracle.


Contrary to the Mu’tazilite belief, miracles of saints are a reality and proven from the Qur’an and Sunnah. It is mentioned in the same book Sharh al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyya (ibid):


ومن كرامات الأولياء التي في القرآن ما في قصة مريم وولادتها لعيسى عليه السلام


The incident of the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus (peace be upon him) is an example of a saintly miracle mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:


قَالَتْ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُ بَغِيًّا ﴿٢٠ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ


She (Mary) said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?” He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, It is easy for Me” (Sura 19: 20 – 21)

The Meaning of Paraclete: Answering an Objection

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

A member of the Khatme Nubuwwat Forum, Mr. Zia Rasul Amini, launched an impure accusation against Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, alleging that the latter blasphemed against the Prophet Muhammad (God forbid). He alludes to a quotation attributed to Hadrat Mirza:

حضرت عیسی ع نے اپنے بعد فارقلیط کے آنے کی پیشگوئی کی تھی۔ عیسائیوں نے اس سے روح القدس مراد لی۔ حلانکہ فی الحقیقت اس سے حضرت نبی کریم ص مراد تھے۔ لفظ فارقلیط ۔ دو الفاظ فارق اور لیط سے مرکّب ہے۔ لیط شیطان کو کہتے ہیں۔

Translation: Jesus prophesied the coming of Paraclete after him. Christians take it to mean the Holy Spirit. But in reality it is referring to the Prophet MuhammadS. The word “Paraclete” is a compound of two words – Fârq – and – Lît. Satan is called “Lete”.

Reference: Malfuzat-i-Ahmadiyya; v.3 pp. 3 – 4


So it becomes clear that the objection against this passage is that it implies that, God forbid, the Prophet has been called “Satan” because Hadrat Mirza affirms that he is the Paraclete – and Lete, the second part of Paraclete, means Satan.

Before I answer this deceptive but altogether baseless objection, the reader should bear in mind that this quote is taken from a book compiled by one Muhammad Manzur Ilahi, a member of the Anjuman Isha’at-i-Islam, Lahore, the official name of the “Lahori” branch of the Ahmadiyya movement. The “Lahori” branch is nowadays an obscure, tiny sect with very few followers, as compared to the mainstream group of Ahmadiyya presently led by Mirza Masrur Ahmad, who are commonly known as the “Qadiani” branch.

But even supposing that this quotation of Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad attributed to him by Manzur Ilahi is authentic; far from being a blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad it is actually a commendation and tribute to his praiseworthy status. While the one who made this objection pointed to the fact that “Lete” means Satan according to Ghulam Ahmad, he failed to understand that just because “Lete” means Satan doesn’t mean that the Prophet Muhammad is, God forbid, “Lete”. Rather, Ghulam Ahmad affirms that Prophet Muhammad is Paraclete, and not simply Lete. The difference between “Paraclete” and “Lete” is like the proverbial difference between the sky and the earth!

The word Paraclete (Farqlit) is a compound of two words: farq and lit. The former means ‘one who breaks or crushes’ and the latter means ‘serpent’, ‘the devil’ or ‘Satan’. Paraclete thus means ‘one who crushes the devil’s head’

Concerning the word “Farq”:

William Gesenius and Francis Brown, A Hebrew and English Lexicon. This word or its derivatives are used in the sense of ‘breaking to pieces’, ‘rending asunder’ and ‘crushing’ in the following verses as well: Genesis, 27 : 40; Lamentations, 5 : 8; Zechariah, 11 : 16; Exodus, 16 : 32; 1 Kings, 19 : 11; Ezra, 19 : 12

Concerning the word “Lit”:

Leviathan means ‘a serpent’ and also Satan (A Hebrew and English Lexicon). This word is also used in this very sense in Job, 41 : 1.

In conclusion, the objection against Hadrat Mirza is baseless. The name Paraclete means “one who crushes the devil’s head”. The person who made this objection, Mr. Zia Rasul Amini of the Khatme Nubuwwat Forum, simply picked up on one word of the compound noun meaning ‘Satan’ and made the fatal mistake of ignoring the entire meaning ‘One who crushes Satan’, an apt description of our beloved Prophet Muhammad

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Deobandi Fatwa: Fat of Vermin can be Pure

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In a previous post we talked about how Deobandis associate Qurban (animal sacrifice) with vermin. Moving forward on that theme take a look at how the Hakim-ul-Ummat of the Deobandis, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, issues a Fatwa that legitimizes “vermin sacrifice” implicitly:

اگر چوہا بلا ذبح اور کسی طریقہ سے مرجاوے تو اس کی چربی نجس رہے گی

“If a mouse was not slaughtered but died in another way then its fat remains impure”

Reference: Imdadul Fatawa; v. 1, p. 134

Implicit in this Fatwa is the notion that the fat of a mouse is pure if it was slaughtered according to the method of Islamic Dhabîha. Strangely enough, this means that theoretically at least Deobandis can catch mice and slaughter them according to the Islamic method by taking the name of Allah at the time of cutting the mouse’s throat with a sharp blade. Then, according to this Fatwa, the fat of the mouse will be considered pure and thereby edible!

Deobandi Fatwa On Why Hindus Cannot Enter a Mosque

Some rigid sects of Islam prohibit the entry of non-Muslims into a Mosque. According to them, non-Muslims, particularly mushrikîn or polytheists and idolaters, are impure; hence forbidden from stepping foot in such a sacred place as a Mosque.

While it is the verdict of the Holy Qur’an that polytheists are Najas or “impure”, they are only forbidden from approaching the Sacred Mosque in Mecca because of its special sanctity:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلَا يَقْرَبُوا الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَـٰذَا

O you who believe! Verily the Polytheists are impure, so let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year of theirs (9:28)

The Holy Qur’an singles out the Sacred Mosque in Mecca as off-limits to the polytheists but no other Mosque. But as for other mosques: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) tied up his prisoner Thamaamah ibn Athaal al-Hanafi in the mosque before he became Muslim, and the delegations of Thaqeef and the Christians of Najraan stayed in the mosque before they became Muslim. There were many benefits offered by doing this: they could hear the speeches and sermons of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), see people praying and reciting Qur’aan, and other benefits that are gained by those who visit the mosque. Hence it is proven from the Sunnah that there is no prohibition on non-Muslims entering a mosque in general.

Now an elder of the rigid Deobandi sect, Ashraf Ali Thanwi, issued a Fatwa forbidding Hindus from entering a mosque. But what is really surprising is one of the reasons Ashraf Thanwi gave for this edict:

اور دوسرے موانع میں سے بڑا مانع یہ ہے کہ وہ مندروں میں مسلمانوں کو نہیں جانے دیتے تو غیرت اسلامی ضرور مانع ہونا چاہئے۔

Translation: “One of the major reasons for preventing Hindus from entering a Mosque is that they do not allow Muslims to go inside Mandirs [Hindu temples]; so the jealousy for Islam should be a reason to likewise prevent Hindus from entering into a Mosque.”

Reference: Imdadul Fatawa; v. 2, p. 692

In other words, Ashraf Thanwi believes that because Hindus forbid Muslims from entering into a Hindu temple, Muslims, out of jealousy for the respect of Islam, should pay them back in their own coin and prevent them from entering a mosque. Why this “fatwa” is so problematic should be obvious to any ordinary Muslim. Hindu temples are places of idolatry, inhabited by idols and forbidden images of false “gods”. As such, Muslims are not allowed to enter into a Hindu temple, even if the Hindus welcomed them:

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw images in the Ka’bah and he did not enter until he had ordered that they be erased. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3352).

If the Prophet did not even enter the sacred Ka’ba, the holiest place on Earth, until it had been cleansed from idols, how can it be possible for Muslims to enter into a Hindu temple?

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