Friday, 30 June 2017

Deobandi Fatwa: Crow is Halal (Part 2)

In a previous entry on my blog, I’ve shown the reader that the Deobandis consider eating crow as not only permissible, but worthy of Thawab. Hence, the Deobandi elder Rashid Gangohi, issued a Fatwa stating:
جس جگہ زاغ معروفہ کو اکثر حرام جانتے ہوں اور کھانے والے کو برا کہتے ہوں تو ایسی جگہ اس کوا کھانے والے کو کچھ ثواب ہوگا۔یا نہ ثواب ہوگا نہ عذاب؟
الجواب: ثواب ہوگا
Question: Where most people consider the well-known crow as forbidden (to eat), and dislike those who eat it, in such a place would it entail Thawab (reward) to eat such a crow, or will there be neither Thawab nor punishment?
Answer: There will be Thawab (reward)!
Reference: Ta’lifat-e-Rashidiya; p.489

I have also proven that in fact this is the verdict and position of the Hanafi madhhab, and it is ironic that the Barelwis, who themselves blindly follow the Hanafi madhhab, attack the Deobandis for considering the well-known crow, which feeds on filth and carrion, as Halal.
Nevertheless, some Deobandis argue that the fatwa cited from Fatawa Rashidiya is concerning a crow that feeds on grain, known as the ‘Aq’aq in Arabic, and not the well-known crow that is jet black and feeds on filth and carrion. This despite the fact that the fatwa of Rashid Gangohi was regarding the Zaagh-e-Ma’rufa, which in Persian means “the well-known crow”. But to further clarify the point that the Deobandis consider this well-known, jet black crow that feeds on filth as Halal, I reproduce another fatwa of Rashid Gangohi below:
شرع کا کیا حکم ہے کہ کوّا دیسی جو عموما بستیوں میں پایا جاتا ہے حلال ہے یا حرام فقہاء نے بعض اقسام کوّے کو حلال لکھا ہے اور بعض کو حرام اب یہ دریافت کرنا منظور ہے کہ یہ کوّا قسم حرام میں ہے یا حلال میں؟
Question: What is the ruling of the Shari’a concerning the Desi crow which is ordinarily found in these areas; is it Halal or Haram? The Fuqaha (jurists) have written that some types of crows are Halal, and some are Haram. So is this crow (Desi crow which is ordinarily found in these areas) from the Haram type or from the Halal?
پس یہ کوّا جو ان بستیوں میں پایا جاتا ہے اگر یہ عقعق نہ ہو تو بھی اسکی حلّت میں شبہہ نہیں ہے
Answer: This crow which is found in these areas, even if it is not ‘Aq’aq, even then there is no doubt in it being Halal.
Reference: Tadkirat-ul-Rashid; p.178


People of Book believing in Jesus before THEIR Death (Sura 4:159)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

As I’ve proven repeatedly on my blog, the Holy Qur’an explicitly and unequivocally teaches that Prophet and Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth عليه السلام is dead. Those who oppose this idea have nothing explicit and unambiguous from the Qur’an or even the Sunna that states that Jesus did not die but is still alive. Instead, they bring some Verses of the Holy Qur’an through which they claim there is implicit and suggestive evidence for the idea that Jesus did not die but is still alive. In this entry I will examine some of those Verses. In the previous entry I discussed the two Verses regarded the Rafa or ascension of Jesus of Nazareth, and argued they are referring to a spiritual ascension and not a bodily raising to the Heavens. Those who insist, however, that the Verses of Rafa (3:55; 4:158) prove that Jesus was raised to the Heavens alive in his earthly body conveniently ignore the fact that those Verses omit any mention of “heavens” or “sky”, instead they say that Allah raised Jesus up to Himself. Apart from the Salafis/Atharis, the majority of traditionalist Sunnis, such as the Asharis and Maturidis, believe that Allah exists without a place, and would otherwise find it reprehensible to believe that a human being could be physically raised in his body up to where God Himself is. This would likewise be the feeling of the Shi’ites. Yet all of these Muslims consider the Verses of Rafa (3:55; 4:158) as evidence that Jesus was physically and bodily raised into Heaven, again, despite the fact that the Verses omit any mention of the word السماء (“sky”).
In fact, the Holy Qur’an alludes to the fact that it is not possible for a Bashar (mortal human being) to ascend into Heaven, at least in his physical body:

أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَىٰ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّىٰ تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَّقْرَؤُهُ ۗ قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي هَلْ كُنتُ إِلَّا بَشَرًا رَّسُولًا

“Or you have a house of gold or you ascend into the sky. And [even then], we will not believe in your ascension until you bring down to us a book we may read.” Say, “Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger?”

(Sura 17:93)

This Verse is in the context of several challenges put forward by the disbelieving polytheists to our beloved Prophet . The last challenge that is quoted in this Verse is that if the Prophet Muhammad is truthful, he should ascend into Heaven and bring down with him a book that the people can read. In answer to this and other challenges, Allah Most High instructs His beloved Prophet to say: “Holy is my Lord! Am I not but a human messenger?” meaning that the challenge put forward to our Prophet to ascend into Heaven is impossible for a Bashar. This is like the fact that it is impossible for a Bashar, including a Prophet, to live forever, or to live without nourishment and sustainance. Similarly, the Holy Qur’an is teaching in this Verse that it is impossible for a Bashar to ascend physically and bodily into the Heavens.
Now let us come to a Verse quoted by those who believe that Jesus is alive, and is unique in this respect in comparison to the rest of the Prophets who have died:

وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا

And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness.

(Sura 4:159)

Now I have quoted the translation of Saheeh International, but in fact this translation is somewhat problematic, because Jesus’s name is omitted in the actual text of the Verse. Instead there are two pronouns “There is none from the People of the Book except he believes in him/it (به) before his death (موته).” The reader should be aware that there is a difference of interpretation among the classical exegetes concerning to whom these pronouns are referring back to. Those who regard this Verse (4:159) as a strong evidence that Jesus is alive quote the interpretation of Abu Huraira رضى الله عنه who cited this Verse when narrating the Hadith regarding the descent of Jesus, implying it is a proof for him being alive. (Sahih al-Bukhari).
According to this interpretation, Allah is saying that the Jews and Christians (People of the Book) will all believe in Jesus before Jesus dies. Hence, when Jesus comes down before Judgment Day, the Jews and Christians will all believe in him as he is meant to be believed in, and then Jesus will die thereafter. Since at present, the Jews and Christians do not believe in Jesus, as least in the way they are supposed to believe in him, as a true, human Prophet of God, it means that Jesus has not yet died; because all the Jews and Christians will believe in Jesus before his death.
Although apparently this is the personal interpretation of Abu HurairaRA, nevertheless, there are some obvious problems with it:
The Verse says there is none from the People of the Book except that he will believe in Jesus. In other words, every single Kitabi (Jew and Christian) will believe in Jesus before Jesus dies. Firstly, there have been millions if not billions of Jews and Christians who have already died without believing in Jesus. Secondly, the Hadith prophecies themselves state that when Jesus comes down he will be faught against by the Jewish followers of the Dajjal. Instead of those Jews repenting and believing in Jesus, the Hadith states that they will be exterminated:
قَالَ عِيسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ افْتَحُوا الْبَابَ ‏.‏ فَيُفْتَحُ وَوَرَاءَهُ الدَّجَّالُ مَعَهُ سَبْعُونَ أَلْفِ يَهُودِيٍّ كُلُّهُمْ ذُو سَيْفٍ مُحَلًّى وَسَاجٍ فَإِذَا نَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ الدَّجَّالُ ذَابَ كَمَا يَذُوبُ الْمِلْحُ فِي الْمَاءِ وَيَنْطَلِقُ هَارِبًا وَيَقُولُ عِيسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ إِنَّ لِي فِيكَ ضَرْبَةً لَنْ تَسْبِقَنِي بِهَا ‏.‏ فَيُدْرِكُهُ عِنْدَ بَابِ اللُّدِّ الشَّرْقِيِّ فَيَقْتُلُهُ فَيَهْزِمُ اللَّهُ الْيَهُودَ فَلاَ يَبْقَى شَىْءٌ مِمَّا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ يَتَوَارَى بِهِ يَهُودِيٌّ إِلاَّ أَنْطَقَ اللَّهُ ذَلِكَ الشَّىْءَ لاَ حَجَرَ وَلاَ شَجَرَ وَلاَ حَائِطَ وَلاَ دَابَّةَ - إِلاَّ الْغَرْقَدَةَ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ شَجَرِهِمْ لاَ تَنْطِقُ - إِلاَّ قَالَ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ الْمُسْلِمَ هَذَا يَهُودِيٌّ فَتَعَالَ اقْتُلْهُ
'Eisa (as), will say: "Open the gate." So they will open it and behind it will be Dajjal with seventy thousand Jews, each of them carrying an adorned sword and wearing a greenish cloak. When Dajjal looks at him, he will start to melt as salt melts in water. He will run away, and 'Eisa (as), will say: "I have only one blow for you, which you will not be able to escape!" He will catch up with him at the eastern gate of Ludd, and will kill him. Then Allah will defeat the Jews, and there will be nothing left that Allah has created which the Jews will be able to hide behind, except that Allah will cause it to speak - no stone, no tree, no wall, no animal - except for Al-Gharqad (the box-thorn), for it is one of their trees, and will not speak - except that it will say: "O Muslim slave of Allah, here is a Jews, come and kill him!"
So what then is the correct interpretation of this Verse (4:159)? Based on what many exegetes have said, I believe the Verse is saying:
“There is none from the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) except that he will believe in Jesus, right before he (Jew or Christian) dies.”
In other words, when the Jew or Christian is about to die, it will be disclosed to him through a sort of Kashaf that Jesus is a true Prophet of God, or that he was neither killed nor crucified, but that Allah raised him to Himself (as stated in the two preceeding Verses – 4:157-158). This interpretation has been narrated from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, ‘Ikrima, al-Dahhak, al-Hasan al-Basri, and Muhammad b. Sirin رضى الله عنهم  among others.
Reference: Tafsir Ibn Jarir; v.7, p.667-671

Some from the Salaf even had an alternative reading of the Verse “before his death” as قبل موتهم “before their death”, with the pronoun being pluralised clearly indicating the correct interpretation that none from the people of the Book will die before having believed in Jesus.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Confused Shi'ite Doctrine of Imamate (Part 4)

بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

والصلوة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى آله واهل بيته اجمعين


Confused Shi’ite Doctrine of Imamate (Part 4)
In this entry I will focus on the Kaysaniya sect and their fragmentation over the issue of the Imamate and succession. The name “Kaysan” was either the title of Mukhtar b. Abi Ubaid al-Thaqafi, who championed the cause of the Imamate of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya, a son of Ali b. Abi TalibRA by his wife Khawla bint Ja’far from the Bani Hanifa tribe; or it was the name of one of the mawali of Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali b. Abi TalibRA, who was the originator of some of the basic ideas that came to characterise this particular sect.
As I have mentioned in an earlier entry, the concept of Ghayba or occultation among the Shi’a originated with the Kaysaniya sect. Some of the Kaysaniya, such as the followers of Abu Karib al-Darir, i.e., the Karibiya, believed that their Imam, Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya, did not die, but rather went into hiding on Mt. Radwa near Medina. They hold that he is the awaited Mahdi.
Nevertheless, the bulk of the Kaysaniya recognised the death of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya, and gathered around his son Abu Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad as his father’s legitimate successor. They were naturally known as the Hashimiya. Apparently Abu Hashim had no son, and so the Hashimiya fragmented upon his death concerning his succession. It is said that Abu Hashim bequeathed the Imamate to Muhammad b. Ali b. Abdallah b. Abbas, known as “Muhammad al-Imam”, the progenitor of the Abbasid dynasty. In this way, the Abbasid movement inherited much of the Hashimiya and Kaysaniya following. Another subsect held that the Imamate was transferred from Abu Hashim to Abdallah b. Mu’awiya, a descendant of Ja’far b. Abi Talib. This sect became known as the Janahiya or Tayyariya. Abdallah b. Mu’awiya led an uprising to establish his own Imamate. He sought asylum in Khurasan, but was imprisoned and killed under the orders of the general for the Abbasid revolution, Abu Muslim al-Khurasani. Some of the followers of Abdallah b. Mu’awiya refused to accept his death, instead positing that he was hidden somewhere in the mountains of Isfahan and would return as the Mahdi (Messianic Beliefs & Imperial Politics in Medieval Islam: The Abbasid Caliphate in the Early Ninth Century, p.25).
Other factions of the Hashimiya refused to accept that Abu Hashim had transferred the Imamate outside of the family of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya, especially to the non-Alids like the Abbasids. Some of them said that after Abu Hashim, the Imamate passed to his nephew al-Hassan b. Ali b. Muhammad b. Abi Talib, while others disputed this, saying the Imamate passed first to his brother Ali, then to Ali’s son al-Hassan (Abu Hashim’s nephew). The Imamate then passed from al-Hassan b. Ali to his son Ali b. al-Hassan, who then passed the Imamate to his son al-Hassan b. Ali b. al-Hassan b. Ali b. Muhammad b. Ali b. Abi Talib. In this way, according to them, the Imamate remained within the progeny of Imam Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya. Finally, there was a faction of the Hashimiya who refused to the accept the death of Abu Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad, instead believing he is alive and the awaited Mahdi.
Reference: Firaq al-Shi’a, p.44; al-Milal wan-Nihal, p.150

Hashimiya Line:
1. Ali b. Abi Talib
2. al-Hassan b. Ali
3. al-Hussain b. Ali
4. Muhammad b. Ali
5. Abdallah b. Muhammad
6. Ali b. Muhammad
7. al-Hassan b. Ali
8. Ali b. al-Hassan
9. al-Hassan b. Ali

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Ascension of Jesus (Sura 3:55; 4:158)

بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

والصلوة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى آله واهل بيته اجمعين


The Ascension of Jesus
It is often argued, especially by the mainstream Ulema, that the bodily ascension of Prophet Jesus of Nazareth عليه السلام is cited in the Holy Qur’an itself:
إِذْ قَالَ اللَّـهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ
When Allah said: “O Jesus, verily I shall cause you to die, raise you to Myself”
(Sura 3:55)
بَل رَّفَعَهُ اللَّـهُ إِلَيْهِ
Rather, Allah raised him (Jesus) to Himself
(Sura 4:158)
Undoubtedly, the word رفع  means to “raise”, but the question needs to be asked whether Allah Most High raised Jesus to Himself bodily, or in spirit only. The Holy Qur’an also speaks of raising of degrees درجات (Sura 2:253; 6:83; 6:165; 7:176; 12:76; 43:23; 56:3; 58:11).
Before we continue the discussion on رفع, let us re-examine Sura 3:55, where Allah speaks about causing Jesus to die. An eminent companion of the Prophet and one of his relatives by kinship, Abdullah b. AbbasRA, clearly interpreted the phrase Innee Mutawaffeeka to mean “I shall cause you to die”:
حَدَّثَنَا حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي ، ثنا أَبُو صَالِحٍ ، حَدَّثَنِي مُعَاوِيَةُ بْنُ صَالِحٍ ، عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَلْحَةَ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ،  قَوْلُهُ : إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ سورة آل عمران آية 55 , يقول : إِنِّي مُمِيتُكَ
Reference: Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim #3580; Tafsir Ibn Mundhir #527
*Note: Some scholars, such as Zubair Ali Zai, have criticised this narration of Ibn Abbas, arguing that the narrator Ali b. Abi Talha never met him. However, deeper research reveals that the narrations of Ibn Abbas in Tafsir through Ali b. Abi Talha are acceptable.
Logically, the fact that Innee Mutawaffeeka, which we have established as meaning “I shall cause you to die” preceeds wa Raafi’uka Ilayya “and raise you up to Myself”, we can only conclude that before Jesus was raised up to Allah he experienced death. The Holy Qur’an teaches that death is when Allah seizes a person’s soul:
اللَّـهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا ۖ فَيُمْسِكُ الَّتِي قَضَىٰ عَلَيْهَا الْمَوْتَ وَيُرْسِلُ الْأُخْرَىٰ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى
Allah takes away the souls at the time of its death, and that which dies not, in its sleep. He keeps that (soul) upon which is the decree of death and sends back the other until an appointed term
(Sura 39:42)
In other words, when Allah causes someone to die, He does it by taking out his soul from his body, taking it up to Him, and withholds it from returning. Hence, death is the permanent separation of soul and body. The dead body or corpse remains behind in this world, which is why it is given a burial, while the soul ascends up with the Angels:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ‏:‏ ‏ "‏ الْمَيِّتُ تَحْضُرُهُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ فَإِذَا كَانَ الرَّجُلُ صَالِحًا قَالُوا ‏:‏ اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الطَّيِّبَةُ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ اخْرُجِي حَمِيدَةً وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ فَلاَ يَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ ثُمَّ يُعْرَجُ بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَيُفْتَحُ لَهَا فَيُقَالُ ‏:‏ مَنْ هَذَا فَيَقُولُونَ ‏:‏ فُلاَنٌ ‏.‏ فَيُقَالُ ‏:‏ مَرْحَبًا بِالنَّفْسِ الطَّيِّبَةِ، كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ ادْخُلِي حَمِيدَةً، وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ ‏.‏ فَلاَ يَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الَّتِي فِيهَا اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet () said:
“Angels come to the dying person, and if the man was righteous, they say: ‘Come out, O good soul that was in a good body, come out praiseworthy and receive glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven, and it is opened for it, and it is asked: ‘Who is this?’ They say: ‘So-and-so.’ It is said: ‘Welcome to the good soul that was in a good body. Enter praiseworthy and receive the glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it is brought to the heaven above which is Allah.” (Sunan Ibn Maja)
This Hadith explains the fact that at death, the Angels take out the soul from the body, and ascend with the soul up into the Heavens until they convey the soul to Allah Himself. When asked who the soul is, the Angels respond by giving his Name. Hence, when the Holy Qur’an says that Allah raised Jesus up to Himself, it means He raised Jesus’s soul and not necessarily his body. In fact, if Allah did raise up Jesus’s body to the Heavens, this would be highly unusual, and such an interpretation would require explicit evidence to that effect, while the wording of these Verses do not indicate anything unusual or extraordinary about the raising up of Jesus after his death in themselves.
The Prophet’s own grandson, Hassan b. AliRA, expressed his own belief that it was only the spirit of Jesus that was raised up by Allah and not his body, when he delivered a eulogy upon the martyrdom of his father, Ali b. Abi TalibRA:
ولقد قبضه الله في الليلة التي قبض فيها وصي موسى، وعرج بروحه في الليلة التي عرج فيها بروح عيسى بن مريم
“Allah took him (Ali b. Abi Talib) in the same night He took the successor of Moses (Joshua), and He raised his (Ali’s) spirit in the same night He raised the spirit of Jesus son of Mary.”
Reference: Majma az-Zawa’id, v.9 p.146; Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, v.3 p.37
Now it is obvious that Allah did not ascend the body of Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali b. Abi TalibRA to the heavens, and so likewise, He only raised up the soul of Jesus son of Mary and not his corpse.
Likewise, one of the Masnun supplications the worshiper can recite between the Sajdatain is:
رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَاجْبُرْنِي وَارْزُقْنِي وَارْفَعْنِي
“My Lord, forgive me, have mercy on me, improve my situation, grant me provision, and raise me.”
(Sunan Ibn Maja)
Now it is obvious that this is not a supplication to Allah that He raise one to the Heavens bodily, but rather a supplication for spiritual exaltation.
Coming back to the Holy Qur’an, there is another example of a رفع of a Prophet of God:
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِدْرِيسَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَّبِيًّا ﴿٥٦﴾ وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا
And mention in the Book Idris. Verily he was a truthful Prophet. And We raised him up to a high place
(Sura 19:56-57)
The exegetes are generally agreed that the high place to which Allah raised the Prophet Idris was Jannah. But was it an ascension of the body or the soul only? There are some legendary accounts that an Angel was commanded by Allah to take up Prophet Idris in his body to the fourth Heaven, where the Angel of Death was then sent to take out his soul and cause him to die. However, this account clearly contradicts the verdict of the Holy Qur’an which states that human beings will live, die and be resurrected from the Earth, not the Heavens:
قَالَ فِيهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيهَا تَمُوتُونَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُونَ
He (Allah) said: “Therein (Earth) you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).”
(Sura 7:25)
So regarding the ascension of Prophet Idris, Ibn Atiyyah (d.546 H) mentions the view of a group of exegetes in his Tafsir:
فقال جماعة من العلماء هو رفع النبوءة والتشريف والمنزلة وهو في السماء كما سائر الأنبياء
“A group from the Ulama say that he (Idris) was raised in Prophethood, nobility, and status, and that he is in Heaven like the rest of the Prophets.”


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