Thursday, 31 August 2017

Heretical Doctrines of Mu'tazilite Sects (Part 1)

The Prophet Muhammad said:

تَفْتَرِقُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةُ ثَلاثَةً وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً كُلُّهَا فِي النَّارِ ، إلا وَاحِدَةً , قَالُوا : وَمَا تِلْكَ الْفِرْقَةُ ؟ ، قَالَ : مَنْ كَانَ عَلَى مَا أَنَا عَلَيْهِ الْيَوْمَ وَأَصْحَابِي

“This Umma shall split into seventy-three sects; all of them in the Fire except One.” They asked: Which Sect is it? He said: “The One which is upon what I am upon today, and my Companions.”
(Mu’jam al-Awsat of Tabarani)

In the time of the Prophet’s own Companions, four major sects emerged; 1. the Khawarij, 2. the Shi’a, 3. the Qadariya, and 4. the Murji’a. Virtually all of the seventy-two deviated sects and parties are derived from a few major branches, particularly these four. In this entry we will look at some of the peculiar and heretical doctrines of various Mu’tazilite sects. Keep in mind the Mu’tazila are included within the Qadariya branch:

1. Hudhailiya: Abu ‘l-Hudhail Hamdan b. al-‘Allaf (752 – 840 CE).

Doctrine: The movements of those who dwell eternally in heaven or hell will cease, and will be followed by an everlasting rest and stillness. In this state of rest those in heaven will experience all their pleasures and those in hell all their suffering. Abu ‘l-Hudhail was forced into this position in order to overcome a difficulty about the beginning of the universe, namely, that phenomena which have no beginning are like those which have no end as they are both infinite. To this he replied: ‘I do not believe in a movement that has no end, just as I do not believe in a movement that has no beginning; all will turn into an everlasting rest.’

2. Nazzamiya: Ibrahim b. Sayyar b. Hani’ al-Nazzam (775 – 845 CE).

Doctrine: God created all existing things as they are now in the one act of creation: minerals, plants, animals and men. His creation of Adam did not precede that of his posterity except that some of them were put in a latent condition in others. The order of their precedence is simply the result of their coming forth from this hidden state, not that of their creation and coming into being at that time.

The miraculous nature of the Qur’an, according to Nazzam, consists in giving information about past and future events, in averting temptations to challenge the Qur’an, in [God’s] forcibly preventing the Arabs from engaging in such attempts and rendering them incapable. Had they been left to themselves, they would have been able to produce a chapter like one in the Qur’an with its beauty, eloquence and style.

3. Khabitiya: Ahmad b. Khabit (d. 332 H).

Doctrine: They assign to the Messiah one of the divine prerogatives, agreeing with the Christians in their belief that he is the one who will call mankind to a reckoning in the next life. He is the one meant by God’s words: ‘Your Lord comes with angels in their ranks.’ He is also the one who will come in shadowing clouds, and who is referred to by the words of God: ‘Until your Lord comes.’ Again, he is the one of whom the Prophet spoke when he said, ‘God created Adam in the image of the Most Merciful.’ Also when he said, ‘The Most Powerful will put his foot in the fire.’ Ahmad b. Khabit maintained that the Messiah put on a body of flesh.

Ibn Khabit says that every species of animal forms a separate community, according to God’s words: ‘There is not an animal that lives on the earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings but forms part of communities like you.’ To every community, moreover, there is a messenger of its own kind; as God says, ‘There never was a community without a warner having lived among them.’

4. Bishriya: Bishr b. al-Mu’tamir (d. 210 H / 825 CE).

Doctrine: Whoever repents of a grave sin and commits it again deserves punishment for the first sin also, because his repentance was accepted on condition that he did not sin again.

5. Mu’ammariya: Mu’ammar b. ‘Abbad al-Sulami (d. 215 H / 830 CE).

Doctrine: It is related of Mu’ammar that he objected to saying that God is qadim (eternal), because the word qadim is taken from qaduma, yaqdumu, hence qadim (active participle). It is, therefore, a verb, as for example, ‘He took from it both what had become old, qaduma, and what was new, hadutha.’ He also said that qadim implies priority in time, whereas God’s existence does not belong to the sphere of time.

6. Murdariya: ‘Isa b. Subaih known as Abu Musa al-Murdar (d. 226 H).

Doctrine: On the question of power he said God can lie and do injustice; and if he did lie or commit an injustice then he would be a lying and unjust God.

With respect to the Qur’an he held that men have power to produce something similar to it in diction, style and excellence of composition.

7. Hishamiya: Hisham b. ‘Amr al-Fuwati (d. 230 H / 845 CE).

Doctrine: An imam, he said, may not be appointed in time of civil war and strife, but may be appointed only when there is concord and peace.

Hisham also held the unusual view that heaven and hell are not yet created, because there is no advantage in their existence if they are both empty, and if no one is enjoying them or suffering in them.

8. Jahiziya: ‘Amr b. Bahr Abu ‘Uthman al-Jahiz (776 – 869 CE).

Doctrine: Among the heresies of al-Jahiz there is also his view that Allah does not cause anyone to enter hell, but that hell attracts its people of itself by its very nature, and then holds on to them of itself forever.


To be continuedان شاء الله

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Reality of Heaven and Hell (Part 3)



Allah Most High says:

فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُم بِسُورٍ لَّهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظَاهِرُهُ مِن قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ

And a Wall will be placed between them with a Gate, its interior containing mercy, but on the outside of it is torment.

(Sura 57: 13)


Imam Ibn Jarir al-Tabari mentions in his Tafsir the view that this Wall is the Eastern Wall in Jerusalem (Bait-al-Maqdis), its interior containing the Masjid al-Aqsa and outside of it being the Wadi Jahannam (Valley of Gehinnom). This is narrated from Ali b. Abdillah b. Abbas from his father (Ibn Abbas), from Ubada b. Samit, Abdullah b. Amru b. al-Aas and from Ka’b al-Ahbar (may Allah be pleased with them). Known as the Golden Gate, the Bab al-Rahma and Sha'ar HaRachamim (שער הרחמים), ‘Gate of Mercy’.

وقد قيل: إن ذلك السور ببيت المقدس عند وادي جهنم. ذكر من قال ذلك:

حدثني عليّ، قال: ثنا الحسن بن بلال، قال: ثنا حماد، قال: أخبرنا أبو سنان، قال: كنت مع عليّ بن عبد الله بن عباس، عند وادي جهنم، فحدّث عن أبيه قال: { فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِسُورٍ لَهُ بابٌ باطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظاهِرُهُ مِنْ قِبَلِهِ العَذَابُ } فقال: هذا موضع السور عند وادي جهنم.

حدثني إبراهيم بن عطية بن رُدَيح بن عطية، قال: ثني عمي محمد بن رُدَيح بن عطية، عن سعيد بن عبد العزيز، عن أبي العوّام، عن عُبادة بن الصامت أنه كان يقول: { بابٌ باطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظاهِرُهُ مِنْ قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ } ، قال: هذا باب الرحمة.

حدثنا ابن البرقي، قال: ثنا عمرو بن أبي سلمة، عن سعيد بن عطية بن قيس، عن أبي العوّام مؤذّنِ بيت المقدس، قال: سمعت عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص يقول: إن السور الذي ذكره الله في القرآن: { فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِسُورٍ لَهُ بابٌ باطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظاهِرُهُ مِنْ قِبَلِهِ العَذَابُ } هو السور الشرقيّ، باطنه المسجد، وظاهره وادي جهنم.

حدثني محمد بن عوف، قال: ثنا أبو المُغيرة، قال: ثنا صفوان، قال: ثنا شريج أن كعباً كان يقول في الباب الذي في بيت المقدس: إنه الباب الذي قال الله: { فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِسُورٍ لَهُ بابٌ باطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظاهِرُهُ مِنْ قِبَلِهِ العَذَابُ }.

Reference: Tafsir Ibn Jarir; v.22, p.402–403




The ‘Golden Gate’ or ‘Gate of Mercy’ was sealed by the Ottoman Turks under Suleman ‘the Magnificent’ in 1541. According to Jewish folklore, the Ottoman sultan sealed up the Wall in a vain attempt to prevent the future Jewish Messiah from entering through it. However, it is more likely that the Gate was sealed for purely defensive reasons, or in accordance with the prophecy of Ezekiel:

Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. The Lord said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it. The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the Lord. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.” (Ezekiel 44: 1–3, NIV)

The fact that the Valley of Jahannam is in the east of Jerusalem, outside the Eastern Wall of the Temple Mount, was confirmed by the Prophet’s companion Ubada b. Samit:

عَنْ أَبِي الْعَوَّامِ ، قَالَ : رَأَيْتُ عُبَادَةَ بْنَ الصَّامِتِ شَرْقِيَّ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ ، فَقُلْتُ : يَا أَبَا الْوَلِيدِ ، مَا يُبْكِيكَ ؟ فَقَالَ : كَيْفَ لا أَبْكِي ؟ وَقَدْ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، يَقُولُ : هَذَا وَادِي جَهَنَّمَ

Abil-‘Awwam said: I saw Ubada b. al-Samit at the east of Bait-al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and said: O Abal-Walid! What makes you weep? He said: How can I not weep when I heard Allah’s Messenger saying: “This is the Valley of Jahannam” (Musnad al-Shamain of Imam al-Tabarani)

أَنَّ عُبَادَةَ بْنَ الصَّامِتِ ، قَامَ عَلَى سُوَرِ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ الشَّرْقِيِّ ، فَبَكَى ، فَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ : مَا يُبْكِيكَ يَا أَبَا الْوَلِيدِ ؟ قَالَ : " مِنْ هَا هُنَا أَخْبَرَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ رَأَى جَهَنَّمَ

(Sahih Ibn Hibban)

There is a Christian church in this area, either the Tomb of the Virgin, believed to be the tomb of Mary (peace be upon her) or the Church of Mary Magdalene (an Eastern Orthodox church). It is said that sayyidina Umar b. al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) offered two units of prayer here but later regretted it when he realised where he had prayed:

أن عمر بن الخطاب -رضي اللَّه عنه- صلى في الكنيسة التي في وادي جهنم ركعتين ثم قال بعد ذلك كنت غنيا أن أركع ركعتين على وادي جهنم، وعنه أن عمر -رضي اللَّه عنه- لما فتح بيت المقدس مر بكنيسة مريم التي في الوادي فصلى فيها ركعتين ثم ندم لقوله -صلى اللَّه عليه وسلم-: هذا واد من أودية جهنم" ثم قال "ما كان أغنى عمر أن يصلي في وادي جهنم

When ‘Umar b. al-Khattab conquered Jerusalem, he passed by the Church of Mary, peace be upon her, in the valley, prayed and performed two rak’as there, and then felt remorse because of the words of the ProphetSWS: “This is one of the valleys of Jahannam”

The great sage and Islamic scholar, Ka’b al-Ahbar (Allah be pleased with him) likewise said:

لا تقولا ايلياء ولكن قولو بيت الله المقدس كما أنه نهاهما عن زيارة كنيسة مريم، والعموريين فإنهما طاغوت من أتاهما حبطت صلاته إلا أن يعود من ذي قبل ويختم كعب حديثة بقوله: قاتل الله النصارى ما أعجزهم أما بنوا كنيسة إلا في وادي جهنم

“Do not come to the Church of Mary or approach the two pillars, for they are idols [Taghut]. Whoever goes to them, his prayers will be as naught until he returns (to his previous place). Cursed be the Christians for not seeing the things to come. They could not find a place in which to build a church except the Valley of Jahannam.”

Reference: Fada’il Masjid al-Aqsa, al-Suyuti; p.213–214


Prostration Outside of Salat


بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

وعاقبة للمتقين

وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِب

Prostrate and draw near to Allah!

(Sura 96: 19)


The act of prostration, or Sajda, when done with the intention of degrading oneself before Allâh, is an extremely high and beautiful form of worship that has come to distinguish Islam from virtually all other religions. The Prophet said:

أَقْرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ فَأَكْثِرُوا الدُّعَاءَ

“The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he in prostration, so make supplication (in that state)” (Sahih Muslim)

Ma’dan b. Abi Talha reported: I met Thawban, the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger and asked him to tell me about an act for which, if I do it, Allah will admit me to Paradise, or I asked about the act which was loved most by Allah. He gave no reply. I again asked and he gave no reply. I asked him for the third time, and he said: I asked Allah’s Messenger about that and he said:

عَلَيْكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُودِ لِلَّهِ فَإِنَّكَ لاَ تَسْجُدُ لِلَّهِ سَجْدَةً إِلاَّ رَفَعَكَ اللَّهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً وَحَطَّ عَنْكَ بِهَا خَطِيئَةً

“Make frequent prostrations before Allah, for you will not make one prostration without raising you a degree because of it, and removing a sin from you, because of it.” (Sahih Muslim)

Rabi’a b. Ka’b said: I was with Allah’s Messenger one night and I brought him water and what he required. He said to me: Ask (anything you like). I said: I ask your company in Paradise. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Or anything else besides it. I said: That is all (what I require). He said:

فَأَعِنِّي عَلَى نَفْسِكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُودِ

“Then help me to achieve this for you by devoting yourself often to prostration.” (Sahih Muslim)

Salafis and many other Muslims insist that the Sajda whose virtues have been extolled in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, such as those cited here, refer to the Sajda which is offered during the Salat and not outside of it. According to them, to offer a single, isolated prostration outside of the Salat without any reason except for drawing closer to Allah or as a supplication to Allah, is a dispraised innovation. They contend that a only a prostration of Tilawa (recitation of the Qur’an) and the prostration of Shukr (gratitude) are legislated in the Religion, but apart from these two it is not allowed to offer an isolated prostration outside of the Salat. To this end, Imam al-Nawawi is cited as saying:

لو خضع إنسان لله تعالى فتقرب بسجدة بغير سبب يقتضي سجود شكر ففيه وجهان حكاهما إمام الحرمين وغيره ( أحدهما ) : يجوز , قاله صاحب التقريب ( وأصحهما ) : لا يجوز

“If a person humbled himself to Allah, the Exalted, and sought nearness to Him through an (isolated) prostration (sajdah) without any reason necessitating that a prostration of gratefulness be made (to Allah), then it has two positions, Imam al-Haramayn (al-Juwayni) and others have cited it. The first, that it is permissible, this was said by the author of al-Taqrib, and [the second] and most sound of them both is that it is not permissible.” (al-Majmu Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (Maktabah al-Irshad, Jeddah, 3/565))

An example of the prostration of Shukr (gratitude) is not only that a worshiper prostrates when he is granted some blessing, such as the birth of a child, but also prostrates when he sees a Sign of Allah:

Narrated ‘Ikrimah: After Salat As-Subh, it was said to Ibn ‘Abbas that so-and-so - one of the wives of the Prophet - has died, so he prostrated. So it was said to him: Do you prostrate at this hour? So he said: Has not the Messenger of Allah [already] said:

إِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ آيَةً فَاسْجُدُوا

“If you see a Sign then prostrate?”

Then which sign is grater than the passing of (one of) the wives of the Prophet ()? (Tirmidhi; Hadith Hasan)

As for offering prostration outside of Salat for the purpose of supplication, it is mentioned that Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyya (rahimahullah) favored it:

“Seeking to get closer to Allaah by prostrating outside the prayer for other than the sujood of the recitation of the Quran or for thanking Allaah for a blessing that he bestowed on a person is an act that is not permissible according to the view of the majority of scholars. However, some scholars considered it to be permissible if there is a reason that necessitates it; such as wishing to supplicate, for example. This is the view favored by Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him. Therefore, if a person wants to do sujood and ask Allaah for a need, and he did sujood for this and supplicated Allaah, then this act is permissible according to the view of some scholars.”

Similarly, ‘Islamweb’ admits that: “As for prostrating for no given reason, it was narrated as lawful in the Shafi’e school.”

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sultan Sikander Butshikan 'Breaker of Idols'

This is part of a series extolling the memory of great Islamic heroes and champions of Tawhid in history, the likes of Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi, his minister Shah Isma’il of Delhi (both were martyred at the Battle of Balakot); Mujaddid Alf Thani, i.e., Ahmad Sirhindi known as Imam Rabbani, a Naqshbandi spiritual reformer who influenced the Mughal emperor Aurangzaib; Shaikh-ul-Qur’an Mawlana Ghulamullah Khan; Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab of Uyayna.


In this entry we will briefly mention Sikander known as Butshikan (lit. ‘idol-breaker’) a great Muslim ruler of the Shah Miri dynasty in Kashmir. He reigned from 1389 to 1413 C.E. He was influenced by the Sufi saint Hadrat Mir Muhammad Hamadani, son of Hadrat Sayyid Ali Hamadani. During his reign, many idol-worshiping temples of the Hindus were destroyed. Thus this great Islamic hero was a warrior-king of Tawhid and mighty champion of Islam with the spirit of the ancient King Hezekiah. Sayyid Ali Hamadani, known as ‘Amir-i-Kabir’ and ‘Shah-i-Hamadan’, a great mystic and preacher instrumental in the spread of Islam among the Hindus of Kashmir, was influenced by the great Kubrawi Sufi and spiritual reformer, Hadrat Alaa-ud-Dawla Simnani (rahimahullah). The latter opposed the innovated doctrine of Ibn Arabi known as Wahdat-ul-Wujud and emphasized a return to Sunni orthodoxy and a moderated Sufism that was compliant with the Shari’a.

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