Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Ibadi/Kharijite Alliance with Zionists and Takfir of Major Sinners

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين
وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين
Recently, the Zionist prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, toured the Sultanate of Oman as the special guest of Sultan Qabus. The majority of Omanis are adherents of the Ibadiya sect, including the Sultan. Oman’s government officially promotes Ibadiya. As I have explained previously, the Ibadiya are a Kharijite sect, in fact, one of the original factions of the Khawarij that emerged in the early days of Islam. The closeness and developing alliance between the Zionists and Oman’s Ibadi/Khariji government is highly significant. The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said:
سَيَخْرُجُ أُنَاسٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ يَقْرَءُونَ الْقُرْآنَ لَا يُجَاوِزُ تَرَاقِيَهُمْ كُلَّمَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُمْ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ كُلَّمَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُمْ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ حَتَّى عَدَّهَا زِيَادَةً عَلَى عَشْرَةِ مَرَّاتٍ كُلَّمَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُمْ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ الدَّجَّالُ فِي بَقِيَّتِهِمْ
“There will emerge from the east some people from my nation who recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats. Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off.” The Prophet repeated this and on the tenth time he said, “Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off until the Dajjal emerges from their remnants.” (Musnad Ahmad)
A major characteristic of the Khawarij is their takfir of Muslims who commit major sins. The Ibadiya claim they are moderates in this regard, but their most authoritative text of Hadith, the Musnad of Rabi bin Habib, includes a chapter entitled:

الحُجَّة عَلَى مَنْ قَالَ: إِنَّ أَهْلَ الكَبَائِرِ لَيْسُوا بِكَافِرِينَ

The proof against the one who says: “Major sinners are not disbelievers”

Barelwi Shirk: Salat al Ghawthiya (Prayer to Shaikh Abdal Qadir Jilani)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

In a recent discussion with some Barelwis, I mentioned the idolatrous Salat al-Ghawthiya which their sect approves of and encourages. They denied its existence or feigned ignorance of it, knowing full well that such a thing constitutes shirk and kufr, but unwilling to disassociate from the Barelwi sect. In this entry, I shall direct the readers to some of the Barelwi books in which Salat al-Ghawthiya and its method of offering have been detailed. Firstly, Salat al-Ghawthiya, according to the Barelwis, is offered as two optional Raka’at after Salat al-Maghrib. Then after making the Taslim, the worshiper invokes salat and salam upon the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam). Then he faces in the direction of Baghdad, Iraq, where the tomb of Shaikh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (rahimahullah) is located, and while walking eleven steps toward it recites an idolatrous prayer to the Shaikh, supplicating to him for help (Fada’ile Nawafil p.13):

This idolatry is being published by the so-called “Da’wate Islami” sect led by Ilyas Qadiri, the largest Barelwi religious organization. The founder of the Barelwi sect, Ahmad Rida Khan Barelwi, wrote a risala justifying the Salat al-Ghawthiya entitled Anharul-Anwar man Yam Salatil-Asrar:

Similarly, another Barelwi mulla, Muhammad Amir Shah Qadiri Gilani, has written a book Salate Ghawthiya in which he has also sought to justify the idolatrous practice of offering this prayer:

Ja'far al-Sadiq's عليه السلام Denial of Being an Imam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين
The Imamiya, Shi’a sect regard sayyidina Ja’far al-Sadiq (rahimahullah) as their sixth infallible Imam to whom unquestioning obedience was due in his lifetime. However, in this entry I shall quote a narration attributed to Ja’far al-Sadiq (rahimahullah) in the most authoritarive book of the Twelvers, namely, al-Kafi, in which he explicitly denied being an Imam:
عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ وَهْبٍ عَنْ سَعِيدٍ السَّمَّانِ قَالَ كُنْتُ عِنْدَ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ( عليه السلام ) إِذْ دَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ رَجُلَانِ مِنَ الزَّيْدِيَّةِ فَقَالَا لَهُ أَ فِيكُمْ إِمَامٌ مُفْتَرَضُ الطَّاعَةِ قَالَ فَقَالَ لَا
A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa from Ali bin al-Hakam from Mu’awiya bin Wahb from Sa‘id al-Samman who said: “I was in the presence of Abu Abdillah (Ja’far al-Sadiq alayhis-salam) when two men from the Zaydiya entered upon him. They both asked, “Is there among you an Imam obedience to whom is obligatory.” (Ja’far al-Sadiq) said: “No.” (al-Kafi v.1 p.168):

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Understanding Fitnah of Dajjal

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين

والعاقبة للمتقين

The greatest tribulation that the Believers will face is that of the Dajjal - the false messiah. Like all tribulations, it is a test of our faith and dedication to the one and only Elah. The critical element for the success of any Muslim in the face of this momentous trial is true knowledge. It is possible that many otherwise pious and sincere people will be duped by the trickery of the Dajjal due to their ignorance and lack of understanding of his reality, as is the case with all false prophets and deceivers who appear in sheep’s clothing but underneath are ravenous wolves. The Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) informed us that the one who memorizes the first ten verses of the eighteenth chapter of the Quran will be safe from the danger posed by the Dajjal:

مَنْ حَفِظَ عَشْرَ آيَاتٍ مِنْ أَوَّلِ سُورَةِ الْكَهْفِ عُصِمَ مِنَ الدَّجَّالِ

’’Whoever memorizes the ten Ayat from the beginning of Surat al-Kahf is protected from the Dajjal.’’

(Sahih Muslim)

Part and parcel of memorizing these ten special verses of the Quran is being acquainted with their meaning and message. Within these ten verses are several themes which is appropriately understood and taken to heart a Muslim believer will be able to discern the reality of the Dajjal’s danger. Firstly, these ten verses extoll the absolute truth that is contained in Scripture, the Quran. Those who base their understanding of Religion on the divinely revealed texts and keep away from un-Quranic superstitions and false metaphysical ideas will be able to clearly recognize the falsehood of the Dajjal. On the other hand, those who neglect reading, understanding and adjusting their thoughts to be in line with the Quran will easily fall prey to the Dajjal’s traps. Despite their prayers and other devotions, because they lack knowledge of the Scripture, they can be easily manipulated to accept actions and ideas that are not only false but blasphemous too. This is why we see many apparently sincere and devoted individuals following false sects like the Barelwi grave worshipers. They are often excessive in their love and devotion to Islam, but because of their ignorance and distance from the Quran they hold all sorts of idolatrous beliefs and practices, and ended up invoking the deceased, making them partners with Allah. Now it is quite understandable how the Dajjal will likewise be able to fool so many otherwise sincere and devoted Muslims because they lack knowledge and neglect study of the Quran.

Secondly, within this special passage of the Quran is a severe warning against the particular heresy that God has taken unto Himself a son. While this is essentially the doctrine that has defined the deviation of Christianity from the truth, it points to the fact that when the Dajjal emerges, he shall claim a demigod status, as though he is literally God’s son, and the deceived people who follow him will commit acts of worship dedicated to him without even realizing their idolatry or the fact that they have repudiated their faith in Tawhid.  The Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam), like some of the ancient prophets and seers before him, informed us that the Dajjal or false messiah will be Jewish. His closest followers will be a party of seventy thousand Jews of Isbahan, wearing distinctive shawls. Generally speaking, Judaism rejects the Christian doctrine of the sonship of God. However, due to the corrupting influence of a ’’mystical’’ brand of Judaism known as Kabbalah, and particularly the Chassidic movement, there is a tendency among many Jews to idolize certain religious leaders, assigning to them mystical powers and elevating them to the status of demigods. Consider for example the Jewish worship of Metatron, and Jewish ideas about a ’’lesser YHWH’’. The Jewish concept of the Messiah has also been infected by this tendency, and it will be the one that prevails in the Jewish minds and attitude to the Dajjal when he does emerge.

Thirdly, within this passage of the Quran is the theme of the temporal nature of this world. Its riches and pleasures are not permanent, so it is a mistake to dedicate one’s life to their pursuit especially if that leads to deserting the way of Truth. This theme is highly relevant to the fitnah of the Dajjal, because the Dajjal shall emerge during a time of famine and want, especially for the Muslims. It will be a great temptation for the latter to follow him and possibly even worship him in return for bread and butter. The Dajjal shall preach his ’’health and wealth gospel’’ to deceive simple minded people into thinking that material prosperity is the ultimate blessing, and those ’’stubborn’’ Muslims who are in poverty and on the verge of starvation are in their unenvious predicament precisely because they have rejected him.

Fourthly, there is, in the last two verses of this passage, the theme of withdrawal from society for the sake of protecting one’s Faith. That is why mention has been made of the youths who retreated into a cave, seeking the mercy of their Lord. Again, this theme is highly relevant for the Believers faced with the tribulation of the Dajjal, because like the Ashab al-Kahf, they too will have to withdraw into remote areas to escape the immediate danger of the Dajjal and to safeguard their faith from the corruption that takes absolute hold over mainstream society.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Civil War in Saudi Arabia? (Part 2)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على نبيه الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

In a recent column, I predicted, based on both a spiritual premonition and an in depth analysis of current events and the geopolitical situation, that Saudi Arabia is headed for political instability and then civil war. I wrote that the diabolical figure of so-called ’’crown prince’’ Muhammad bin Salman, or MBS, is serving as the catalyst for political dissension in that country. I noted some of his reckless acts, such as initiating the catastrophic war in Yemen, which has become the Saudis’ ’’Vietnam’’, blockading Qatar and kidnapping the Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri. Internally, there was a severe crackdown on some of the outspoken clerics like Safar al-Hawali, Salman al-Awda, who was sentenced to death, and many others. Non-religious political activists and feminists have also been imprisoned. MBS was responsible for the episode that occurred in the Ritz Carlton hotel of Riyadh. He had billionaire Walid bin Talal and other senior royals of the House of Saud detained and tortured for the purpose of extorting billions of dollars from their coffers. When a prominent Saudi citizen and political activist, a journalist for the Washington Post, Mr. Jamal Khashoggi, voiced criticism of MBS, the latter had him brutally tortured and murdered at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi government initially denied they had done anything to Khashoggi, claiming he left the consulate alive. They then cast suspicion on other governments for his disappearance and possible death. But as the evidence began to pile up, the Saudis suddenly admitted that Khashoggi did indeed die while in their custody, though his killing was accidental, the result of a ’’fistfight’’. Finally, the Saudis were forced to confess that Khashoggi was murdered and that they had supposedly arrested the culprits - individuals with ties to the regime’s security and intelligence apparatus. At this point the Saudis are insisting that it was a ’’rogue operation’’, and that MBS is innocent - an obvious lie. Significantly, this whole episode has severely damaged Saudi Arabia’s credibility. MBS was not expecting such a strong international reaction to Khashoggi’s murder, and the subsequent extremely negative coverage of him and his government by the mass media. Major transnational corporations have decided against attending his highly publicized ’’Davos in the Desert’’ event, meant to attract investment in key Saudi projects part of Vision 2030, MBS’s brainchild. The strong reaction from both the U.S. President, Donald Trump, and the bipartisan condemnation of Saudi Arabia in the U.S. Congress for Khashoggi’s murder, is unprecedented in the history of Saudi-American relations. This is a signal that Saudi Arabia is no longer such a strategic and indispensable ally for the United States. The latter is by now largely energy independent, thanks to the shale revolution, and can easily afford to walk away from the Middle East. Saudi Arabia still has important regional allies, notably, Pakistan, Egypt and the UAE. But in the event of an internal uprising against MBS, bound to be led by rival princes in the House of Saud, it can be expected that the Saudi military will factionalize, and so the country’s regional allies will be confused and reluctant to commit their own forces to an intervention. Pakistan, for example, has previously pledged to commit their formidable armed forces solely for the protection of the sacred shrines of Mecca and Medina, and not necessarily to defend the Saudi monarchy. That pledge was made in the context of the potential danger posed by the Hûthi insurgency to the security of the Haramayn. Now if some of the rival princes of the House of Saud do decide to launch a coup against MBS, and this snowballs into a wider armed conflict involving factions within the Saudi military, one can reasonably expect that other repressed forces within the country will seize the opportunity to assert themselves too. Perhaps the Shi’ites of the Eastern Province will rise up, and also various Jihadist factions like al-Qaeda, Islamic State, etc. The Isma’ilis of Najran and Bedouin tribesmen may jump into the fray and take advantage of the instability of the central state. Externally, the Huthis would surely be emboldened to launch an offensive, and their forces could penetrate into Saudi territory along the border. If the Huthis, encouraged by Iran, mobilize to ’’liberate’’ Mecca and Medina from Saudi ’’occupation’’, the Pakistani military will most likely intervene. It is in this scenario and atmosphere of chaos and uncertainty that we can then expect the awaited Imâm, the Mahdî عليه السلام والرضوان to finally appear.  He is the man who shall take refuge in the Sacred Mosque. The people shall recognize him and forcefully give him the bay’ah in the shade of the Ka’bah, between the Rukn and the Maqâm, but Allâh knows best. What is absolutely established from the authentic Ahâdîth is that the Sacred Mosque shall be attacked by an army. It is mentioned that that army will have been sent against a man who has taken refuge in the sacred precinct of Mecca, probably the expected Mahdî. The authentic Ahâdîth state that this army shall be destroyed. The earth shall collapse beneath their feet at a place called Baydâ, either a specific place or meaning a generic plain. I shall in future entries elaborate on these Ahâdîth which speak about the forthcoming destruction of an army sent to attack the Sacred Mosque in Mecca that will be swallowed by the earth at Baydâ, إن شاء الله

Here I must point out that it is traditionally expected that the promised Mahdi shall emerge during a time of bewilderment, political instability and chaos. I too intuitively hold this view, but must clarify that any specific interpretation of the prophecies contained in the Hadîth literature are not at all definite. They are not purely speculative either, but are based upon intensive study and deep introspection into today’s situation and the continuously unfolding events. What is clear to me is that the position of the Saudi monarchy has become precarious due to a number of factors, economic and geopolitical. The Saudis have powerful adversaries, primarily Iran but now Turkey too. Both of these regional powers have proxies that are actively involved in armed conflicts with the Saudis that show no sign of dissipating anytime soon. While Iran is backing various Shi’ite militants like so-called Hizbullâh, the Hûthis, Hashd al-Sha’bi, and wields considerable influence over the states of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; Erdogan’s Turkey is the main backer of the Muslim Brotherhood and has cemented its ties with the wealthy Gulf state of Qatar. And as these two forces come closer together, despite their own disagreements with each other, Saudi Arabia will find itself completely surrounded.

Homosexualist Agenda Against Islam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على نبيه الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

I have coined the term homosexualism to describe a political agenda which seeks to normalize homosexuality, and more ominously,  have it be something celebrated and cherished within mainstream society. The homosexualist lobby is extremely influential. They were able to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to recognize same-sex marriage in a nation which only a few years prior, during the Bush administration, was seriously considering a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman. The homosexualists are part of a broader movement or tendency emanating from the so-called ’’sexual revolution’’ of the 1960s which liberalized and changed traditional and moral attitudes toward the public expression of sexuality. It normalized things previously considered taboo or immoral like pre-marital sex and having children out of wedlock. The homosexualists do not merely want tolerance for homosexuality but celebration of it. It is observed that the younger generation, including, sadly, the younger generation of Muslims, are more open to accepting homosexuality than their elders. This is due to the relentless homosexualist campaign to brainwash children in the public school system, and to penetrate their perspective into the mainstream media. Hollywood has also been instrumental in promoting the homosexualist agenda, as have many of the political parties. The annual ’’pride parades’’ held in major cities in the West, each year attracting greater participation from the public, is an obvious example of how the homosexualists have succeeded in implementing the goals of their insidious agenda. It is an absolutely devastating tragedy that the annual gay pride parade is even held in the holy and sacred city of Jerusalem, affectionately and reverently referred to as al-Quds, ’’the Holy’’, by the Muslims. This is in fact one of catastrophes of aggressive Zionism that has directly led to the outrageous desecration and defilement of our holy city. It should motivate the pure forces of Islam to retake Jerusalem from the vile, secularist, atheist and now homosexualist regime that calls itself the ’’State of Israel’’. But even within relatively conservative Arab and Muslim states, there has not been a necessary strong crackdown on the growing problem of homosexuality, which is increasingly public and politically assertive. The police and intelligence agencies of these states know full well about the activities of these immoral and disgusting individuals, yet give them a free pass, or if they are arrested and prosecuted, very light prison sentences, a mere slap on the wrist. Simultaneously, pious, God-fearing Muslims who express any kind of desire for greater implementation of the Sharî’ah, or call for the values of Islâm, such as social justice and sexual morality, are viciously persecuted and tortured by the ultra-authoritarian and autocratic regimes. Believing Muslims must remember that when a society dispenses with all boundaries of moral behavior, especially with regard to sexuality, it is cursed and fair game for a particularly horrific divine retribution.

The story of Sodom’s destruction is prominently mentioned in the Holy Qurân to describe the condition and reality of homosexuals. The Sodomists proclaimed their desire to expel the Prophet Lot and his followers from the town of Sodom because:

إِنَّهُمْ أُنَاسٌ يَتَطَهَّرُونَ

’’They are a people who keep themselves pure’’

Sûrah 27:56

How correctly the Qurân has described the psychology of the Sodomists, who deride their opponents, the Believers and those who oppose their corruption, with names and characterizations that are ironically positive and virtuous. Does it not reveal the warped thinking of the Sodomists that they ridicule the righteous for wanting to remain ’’pure’’. This is a universal and timeless characteristic of the Sodomists. Whenever their arrogance becomes excessive and they lose all sense of decency and shame, they boast about their dirtiness. It is no coincidence that the annual parades of the homosexualists, in which they literally march in the nude or are otherwise dressed in the most obscene manner conceivable, are called pride parades. They are proud of their shamelessness, and so modesty and shame are disgraceful qualities in their minds.

Not only Islam, but the other so-called ’’Abrahamic’’ religions of Judaism and Christianity likewise consider homosexuality an accursed abomination. According to the holy Torah:

’’And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them’’

Leviticus 20:13

For this reason, the homosexualist agenda particularly seeks to neutralize the power and influence of religion, specifically the ’’Abrahamic’’ religions, in the world. Muslims should not be surprised to discover that there is a disproportionately large homosexualist presence in much of the anti-Muslim and Islamophobic campaigns that are being waged in Europe. Although these campaigns and this Islamophobic tendency in Europe is generally characterized as ’’Far-Right’’ or nationalist, it is not rooted in Christianity as a faith, but only invokes Christendom as the civilization of the West whose culture must be preserved by opposing Islam and Muslims. Part of those Western values and European ’’culture’’ is the tolerance and celebration of homosexuality. Gays largely view the presence of large number of Muslims in the West as the greatest danger to their lifestyle. This explains why they are flocking to Far-Right, anti-Muslim political parties and movements. It turns out that homosexualists, who agitate for the recognition of homosexuality in the name of equality and tolerance, aren’t so tolerant after all. Muslims should feel vindicated and not at all disturbed that they are the number one target of homosexualist contempt. Despite the general downfall of the Muslims, our Faith apparently has a lot more vitality than Christianity and Judaism since there is such an active and vicious campaign against it by an alliance of the most immoral homosexualists, the new atheists, racists and White supremacists, hypocritical, spiritually dead Pharisees and Zionists, and cow-worshiping Hindutva fascists. The evil of this diabolical cast of characters is quite self-evident to any sensible person whose eyes have not been blinded to the truth. One of the ways to recognize the path of goodness and truth is to see how all the forces of filth and falsehood are arranged against it. They are not arranged against Christianity or the Roman Catholic Church. Let those who have eyes see and those who have ears hear.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Allah is Without Beginning or End

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على نبيه الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

With respect to theology, or beliefs concerning Allâh, I strongly endorse the Aqîdah al-Tahâwîyyah of the Imâm, Abû Ja’far al-Tahâwî al-Hanafî. He was upon the madhhab of the Ahnâf in jurisprudence, but in creed he was neither an Asharî or Mâturîdî. I also generally adhere to the Hanafî madhhab, but like Imâm al-Tahâwî, I am not an Asharî or Mâturîdî. In fact, I repudiate the serious theological errors of those two medieval schools of theology which are regrettably promoted by a large fraction of the contemporary Sunnî Ulamâ. The simple and straightforward creed set out in the Aqîdah al-Tahâwîyyah affirms the divine attributes of Allâh while negating any resemblance between Him and His creation. I can confidentaly say that this text is the best and most agreed upon exposition of Islamic theology in the world of orthodox, Sunni Islam. Some naïve people may question the necessity of such a text while we have in our possession the Qurân and the Hadîth. The fact of the matter is that there are numerous heretical sects within the Ummah, holding all sorts of heterodox doctrines contrary to the orthodox, Sunni creed, which claim they have extrapolated their heresies from the Qurân and Sunnah. Consider, for example, the orthodox Sunni belief that Allâh is eternal, without any beginning or end. In fact, this belief is accepted by the overwhelming majority of Muslims, including those belonging to various non-Sunni sects. Now neither the Qurân nor any authentic Hadîth explicitly states that Allâh is without beginning or end. True, the Qurân says:

هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ

He is the First and the Last

Sûrah 57:3

In explanation of this Ayah, the Prophet sall Allâhu alayhi wasallam stated:

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الأَوَّلُ فَلَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَىْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الآخِرُ فَلَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَىْءٌ

’’Allâhumma, You are the First, there is nothing before You, and You are the Last, there is nothing after You’’

Sahih Muslim

كَانَ اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ شَىْءٌ قَبْلَهُ

’’Allah was, and there was nothing before Him’’

Sahih al-Bukhari

However, these statements from the Qurân and Hadîth affirming that Allâh is the First and that nothing preceded Him, do not explicitly state that Allâh did not have a beginning. It is, however, explicitly stated in the Aqîdah al-Tahâwîyyah:

قَدِيمٌ بِلَا ابْتِدَاءٍ دَائمٌ بِلَا انْتِهَاءٍ

Ancient without beginning, lasting without end

The fact of the matter is that our most basic theology and beliefs regarding Allâh, the imparted knowledge of Tawhîd and Îmân, precede and are independent of the Qurân and Sunnah. In other words, a Muslim is first taught Tawhîd and Îmân before he is acquainted with either the Qurân or Hadîth, and among those matters from this orally transmitted theology, passed down from generation to generation, is the belief that Allâh is eternal without beginning, and everlasting without end. We understand the statements in the Qurân and Hadîth about Allâh being the First and Last without anything preceding Him to include the meaning that He is without beginning or end. Though this may not be stated explicitly in the Qurân or Hadîth, our approach to these two divinely authorized revelations and sources for our creed must be in accordance with our preconceived Tawhîd and Îmân that we have acquired from the teachings of the Apostles and  Prophets of Allâh passed down to us from generation to generation. Thus it is possible for some misguided Muslims who are strictly ’’textualist’’ and discount any preconceived idea of Tawhîd or Îmân apart from what is explicitly stated in the Qurân and Hadîth to believe that Allâh may have had a beginning, especially if they go by a literal reading of the Qurân without any preconceived theology or ideas. Historically, this may have even been the case. In some of the books of heresiography, it is mentioned that the pretender Mukhtâr al-Thaqafî and some of his followers from among the so-called Kaysânîyyah, believed in the doctrine of al-Badâ. In her English translation of al-Farq bayn al-Firaq, entitled Moslem Schisms and Sects, Kate Chambers Seeyle, Ph.D., renders a passage on pages 57 and 58 regarding Mukhtâr: ’’As to the reason for his words claiming that Allah may have had a beginning...And this is how the Kaisânîyah came to believe that Allah may have had a beginning.’’ Now the context of that passage may also simply be referring to the well known Shi’ite doctrine of Badâ, meaning that Allâh may alter some of His decisions since the future is undetermined and Allâh has not written any set course for human history. Of course this belief too is a heresy, as it necessarily negates the omniscience and foreknowledge of Allâh. It is somewhat understandable why the schismatic Shi’ites and other heretical sects have adapted this and other doctrines, because they do not hold to the preconceived, orthodox Tawhîd and Îmân that I am speaking of, and are therefore able to manipulate the text of the Qurân freely. The statement of creed in the Aqîdah al-Tahâwîyyah that Allâh is ’’ancient without beginning, lasting without end’’ is in fact derived from the orthodox, preconceived idea of Tawhîd and Îmân that is pre-Quranic. The purpose of the Qurân is not that Believers should begin with a clean slate concerning theology, but in fact to reaffirm the theology that has been passed down to us from the teachings of the Apostles and Prophets and the pre-Quranic Scriptures revealed to them.

Allah Breathes from His Spirit

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على نبيه الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

One of the holy names of Allâhumma is al-Hayy, the Living. Allâh possesses the divine attribute of hayât or life, He is a living God unlike the ’’gods’’ of the idolaters, which are dead and lifeless. According to the Torah:

וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם, עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה, וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו, נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים; וַיְהִי הָאָדָם, לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה

Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:7

The fact that Allâh breathes is one of His attributes. It points to the fact that He is a living God. The Torah says that Allâhumma breathed the breath of life into man whom He formed from dust. The Qurân reaffirms this:

الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ ۖ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الْإِنسَانِ مِن طِينٍ ﴿٧﴾ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسْلَهُ مِن سُلَالَةٍ مِّن مَّاءٍ مَّهِينٍ ﴿٨﴾ ثُمَّ سَوَّاهُ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِهِ ۖ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٩﴾

Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his posterity out of the extract of a liquid disdained. Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His Spirit and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful.

Sûrah 32:7-9

The breath or breathing of Allâh Most High from His Spirit is what gives life to man. The Nafakh or breath of Allâh not only animates man, but is one of the forms of divine inspiration to him. This is evident in the example of the virgin Mary:

وَالَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهَا مِن رُّوحِنَا وَجَعَلْنَاهَا وَابْنَهَا آيَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ۞

And the one who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her from Our Spirit and We made her and her son a sign for the worlds.

Sûrah 21:91

وَمَرْيَمَ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا وَصَدَّقَتْ بِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّهَا وَكُتُبِهِ وَكَانَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِينَ۞

And Mary daughter of Amram, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and she believed in the Words of her Lord and His Scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.

Sûrah 66:12

In these two Verses, Allâh refers to Himself and His act of breathing into the virgin Mary from His Spirit in the plural: ’’We breathed into her of Our Spirit’’. This may indicate that Allâh’s blowing from His Spirit into the virgin Mary was through the agency of the Angels, and thus for the purpose of inspiring her to ’’believe in the Words of her Lord and His Scriptures’’. In the case of Adam, however, Allâh speaks in the singular:

فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ۞

So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him from My Spirit, then fall down for him in prostration

Sûrah 15:29; 38:72

This indicates that Allâh’s blowing of His Spirit into Adam was direct without the agency or intermediation of the Angels. In fact, the latter were being addressed by Allâh.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The Great Prophecy (78:1-5)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

وَالصَّلَاة وَالسَّلَام عَلَى خَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ

وَالعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

The Qurân al-Azîm consists of thirty parts, with the thirtieth part bearing an unmistakably apocalyptic theme. The very first five Âyât acquaint the reader with that theme. These appear in the 78th Sûrah of the Qurân, named an-Nabâ, meaning “the Prophecy”. The word نَبَأ means: “news, tidings; disclosures, revelations; prophecy” (Arabic-English Dictionary of Quranic Usage, pp.914-915). The word Nabî (prophet) is derived from the same triconsonantal root. In this entry, we shall examine the beginning of this Sûrah, i.e., its first five Âyât:

عَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ۞

About what are they questioning one another?

It is not immediately clear to whom the Qurân is referring to here. However, it appears that this is a reference to any group of people who discuss and ask each other about the “Great News” or the “Great Prophecy”:

عَنِ النَّبَإِ الْعَظِيمِ۞

About the Great News

As has already preceded, Nabâ usually means news  that is predictive, informing about an event that shall take place in the future. Generally, the classical exegetes consider “the Great News” as referring to the prophecy regarding Judgment Day, when the dead are resurrected from their graves and made to stand before Allâhumma for the final judgment. The prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad صلوات الله وسلامه عليه is largely concerned with warning mankind about Judgment Day. Being the last and final prophet, the content of his prophecies are regarding the greatest event that shall soon occur. This does not mean that the Prophet’sصلوات الله وسلامه عليه prophecies or the Qurân do not speak of other monumental events and other things that shall happen in this world before Judgment Day. The Sûrah itself indicates that the “Great News” is the news about يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ the “Day of Decision” (78:17), and then expands on the reality of that Day in graphic detail in the proceeding verses, leaving no room for doubt that it is speaking of Judgment Day and the Resurrection.

الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ مُخْتَلِفُونَ۞

Which they are, concerning it, differing

The people who are discussing and questioning each other about the “Great News” are actually in disagreement with each other regarding its reality. They are at variance with each other about not only whether it shall occur or not, but possibly this may encompass another kind of differing, i.e., those who believe in the occurrence of Judgment Day but differ with each other regarding some of its particulars, but Allâh knows best.

كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ۞ ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ۞

No way! They will soon know.

Then again, no way! They will soon know.

Kallâ is a particle of aversion and repulsion used for emphasis. The second of these two verses is to further emphasize the imminence of the event, Judgment Day, which the “Great News” points to. Its reality will shortly become known to those who are differing regarding it. While in our dimension Judgment Day may seem far off, once a person dies he enters into another dimension in which he immediately discovers that this world is not all that there is, and that his soul is going to be held accountable for its sins and that he shall be resurrected to stand before Allâhumma for the final judgment. Hence the imminence of Judgment Day is based on the imminence and proximity of death, which is why the latter is also described as the “Hour” for the individual soul that shall experience death, and is a kind of “judgment day” in itself.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Transfer of Good Deeds and Benefit to the Deceased

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

وَالْصَّلَاةُ والْسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ الْكَرِيمِ

وَعَلَى اَهْلِ بَيتِهِ الْطَّيِّبِينَ الْطَّاهِرِينَ الْمَظْلُومِينَ

One of the salient features of Islam is the concept of ايصال or the receiving of reward and benefit for the deceased through the prayers and certain other good deeds done on their behalf by their living relatives. The Holy Quran teaches Believers the following prayer:

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ

Our Lord forgive us and our brethren who preceded us in Faith

(Sura 59:10)

Thus it is established in Islam that Allah not only forgives those who pray for their own individual forgiveness, but loves that Believers should pray for the forgiveness of their fellow Believers, and this means He will obviously forgive the latter for the prayers of the former. The Prophet  صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said:

إِذَا مَاتَ الإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ ثَلاَثَةٍ إِلاَّ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ

“When a human dies, his deeds cease except for three: ongoing charity or beneficial knowledge or a righteous child praying for him.”

(Sahih Muslim)

The first two are quite understandable because there are examples of how someone’s good deeds while he was alive continue to have an effect after his death, and so it is obvious why he should continue to receive thawaab, ajr and hasanaat for it, written in his book of deeds, after his death. As for a righteous child who prays for his or her parent, it is likewise understandable why this should be considered a good deed for the deceased parent, because the righteousness of the child is at least in part due to the parent’s righteousness. Generally, it has to be understood that Islam teaches that a person’s good deeds only benefit himself:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ

Whoever does a good deed, it is for himself

(Sura 45:15)

Based on their reading of this and some other verses in the Quran, certain modernist sects like the Parwezis, absolutely deny the fact that a deceased person can receive the good deeds of his or her children. This Ayat al Mubaraka, for example, does not specifically negate the fact that a child’s prayers for his or her deceased parent are written in the latter’s register of good deeds. The fact of the matter is, when Allah Most High says “whoever does a good deed...” (45:15), this includes the good deeds whose reward is transferred to him. That good deed is considered his own, thus there is no contradiction between the Quran and the concept of eesaal thawaab. Some other Muslims believe that the transfer of rewards to the deceased is limited to the du’aa (supplication) on his behalf by his child. However, the truth is that the transfer of reward to the deceased person by his close, living relatives is not limited to supplications on his behalf, but may include other acts of worship. When the mother of the illustrious Sahabi and chief of the Khazraj, sayyidina Sa’d bin Ubada رضي الله عنهما, died, he asked the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم if he could spend sadaqa (charity) on her behalf and if that would benefit her. When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم replied in the affirmative, sayyidina Sa’d bin Ubada رضى الله عنه made him صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم a witness to the fact that he had given away his garden, al-Mikhraf, as charity on behalf of his deceased mother (Sahih al-Bukhari #2756).

Sayyidina Ibn Abbas رضى الله عنه narrates that a woman of the tribe of Juhaina came to the Prophetصلى الله عليه وآله وسلم  and asked him if she could perform Hajj on behalf of her mother, who had vowed to perform it but died before she could fulfil her vow. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم answered:

نَعَمْ‏.‏ حُجِّي عَنْهَا، أَرَأَيْتِ لَوْ كَانَ عَلَى أُمِّكِ دَيْنٌ أَكُنْتِ قَاضِيَةً اقْضُوا اللَّهَ، فَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ بِالْوَفَاءِ

“Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it? So, pay Allah’s debt, for Allah has more right to be paid.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari #1852)

Regarding obligatory fasts, Umm al-Mu’minin A’ishaرضى الله عنها  narrates the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم commanded:

مَنْ مَاتَ وَعَلَيْهِ صِيَامٌ صَامَ عَنْهُ وَلِيُّهُ

“Whoever died and had fasting upon him, his guardian must fast on his behalf”

(agreed upon)

Therefore, it is not only the supplications on behalf of the deceased by their children that benefit them, but also certain other acts of worship such as monetary charity (including animal sacrifices), pilgrimage and fasting will benefit the deceased if they are performed by their close relatives on their behalf.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Reality of the Khawarij (Part 3)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

وَالْصَّلَاةُ والْسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ الْكَرِيمِ

وَعَلَى اَهْلِ بَيتِهِ الْطَّيِّبِينَ الْطَّاهِرِينَ الْمَظْلُومِينَ

In the third installment of this series on the deviant Khawarij sect, we shall examine what remains to be examined of the Prophet Muhammad’s (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) encounter with Dhu al-Khuwaisira. Recall that Dhu al-Khuwaisira objected to the Prophet’s distribution of some gold that the Muslims had obtained under the command of sayyidina Ali bin Abi Talib (radi Allahu anhu) in Yemen. Dhu al-Khuwaisira rebuked the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) with the words “be just!”, indicating the apparent concern for justice and fairness as one of the primary motivations of the Khawarij. It should be clarified here that the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) would seek to win the hearts of various tribes and their chieftains that were new to Islam and solidify their commitment to their new Faith, or seek to incline them to Islam, by distributing wealth among them. His aim was to soften their hearts hoping that gradually their Faith would increase and through their support Islam would spread further. The neo-Kharijites of our own time, like Dhu al-Khuwaisira and the original Khawarij, raise slogans demanding justice, especially economic justice and social justice. It is ultimately due to the injustice or perceived injustice of the modern-day Muslim rulers that the neo-Kharijites make blanket takfir of them, and then proceed to the next step of justifying armed revolt and even terrorism against the state which they regard as “apostate”. The Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said:

يَكُونُ بَعْدِي أَئِمَّةٌ لاَ يَهْتَدُونَ بِهُدَاىَ وَلاَ يَسْتَنُّونَ بِسُنَّتِي وَسَيَقُومُ فِيهِمْ رِجَالٌ قُلُوبُهُمْ قُلُوبُ الشَّيَاطِينِ فِي جُثْمَانِ إِنْسٍ ‏‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ كَيْفَ أَصْنَعُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَدْرَكْتُ ذَلِكَ قَالَ ‏تَسْمَعُ وَتُطِيعُ لِلأَمِيرِ وَإِنْ ضُرِبَ ظَهْرُكَ وَأُخِذَ مَالُكَ فَاسْمَعْ وَأَطِعْ

“There shall be, after me, leaders who are not guided by my guidance nor follow my Sunna. Among them shall be men whose hearts are the hearts of devils in human bodies.” (Hudaifa b. al-Yaman) said: “What should I do, O Apostle of Allah, if I reach that (time)?” He said: “Hear and obey the Amir, even if he flogs your back and takes your wealth, hear and obey!” (Sahih Muslim)

The Khawarij hate and resent this Hadith, because the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) has explicitly commanded his Umma to obey the ruler, even if that ruler has the heart of a devil, doesn’t follow the Prophet’s Sunna and guidance, oppressively beats the people and unjustly takes their wealth. The original Khawarij and rebels were not even satisfied with the caliphates and rule of the likes of sayyidina Uthman and sayyidina Ali (radi Allahu anhuma), against whom they not only rebelled but assassinated too. They tend to consider the Hadith quoted above and others like it commanding obedience to the ruler even if he is oppressive and unjust, as being Umayyad and Abbasid fabrications. According to this narrative, various oppressive and indulgent dynastic rulers encouraged and bribed the religious leaders of their time to fabricate such Ahadith and attribute them to the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) in order to prevent the Muslims from participating in armed revolts and rebellions against their rule. But the neo-Kharijites of today, who are upon the same fikr and mindset of the original Khawarij, outwardly claim to be from ahl us-Sunna wal-Jamaa, and therefore acknowledge the authentic Ahadith compiled by the Sunni muhaddithin like Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal in his Musnad or the likes of Muhammad b. Isma’il al-Bukhari, Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Nishapuri, Abi Dawud al-Sijistani, Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad b. Shu’ayb al-Nasa’i, Ibn Maja al-Qazwini, etc., in their respective collections of Hadith.

Returning to the Prophet’s (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) encounter with Dhu al-Khuwaisira, when the latter turned his back and went away, the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said:

إِنَّ مِنْ ضِئْضِئِ هَذَا قَوْمًا يَقْرَءُونَ الْقُرْآنَ لاَ يُجَاوِزُ حَنَاجِرَهُمْ، يَمْرُقُونَ مِنَ الإِسْلاَمِ مُرُوقَ السَّهْمِ مِنَ الرَّمِيَّةِ، يَقْتُلُونَ أَهْلَ الإِسْلاَمِ وَيَدَعُونَ أَهْلَ الأَوْثَانِ، لَئِنْ أَدْرَكْتُهُمْ لأَقْتُلَنَّهُمْ قَتْلَ عَادٍ

“Out of the offspring of this man, there will be people who will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats, and they will go out of Islam as an arrow goes out through the game, and they will kill the Muslims and leave the idolators. Should I live till they appear, I would kill them as the killing of the nation of Aad.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

In the narrations present in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said that if he were to reach their time, he would slaughter them like the slaughtering of Thamud. These narrations mention several features of the Khawarij: 1. They recite the Quran, and according to other versions fo the Hadith:

يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ رَطْبًا

“They recite the Book of Allah elegantly”, but it does not go beyond their throat, meaning they do not understand it nor does it truly penetrate their hearts and minds, 2. They go through the Religion of Islam like how an arrow goes in and out of its target, 3. They kill the Muslims but not the mushrikin (polytheists, pagans or idolaters). These are the three primary and universal characteristics of the Khawarij through which we can recognize them.

The original Khawarij were in fact the Qurra (Quran-readers) of Iraq, who were present in large numbers in the camp of sayyidina Ali (radi Allahu anhu). They were people known for their devotion to the reading and recitation of the Quran. The intellectuals and thinkers of the neo-Kharijite tendency likewise were rigorous readers and exegetes of the Quran. Both Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb wrote literary commentaries of the Quran, while largely neglecting the Prophet’s Sunna and Hadith. And despite their emphasis on the Quran, both these individuals ultimately could not understand its actual narrative. They only manipulated the text of the Quran in an attempt to force a meaning onto it that was in accord with their preconceived political ideas which they had acquired under the influence of Marxism and other Western, materialist and modernist philosophies.

The Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said that the Khawarij go through the Religion like how an arrow goes through the game, meaning, they enter the Religion superficially but exit it rapidly, having neither true understanding or nurturing upon the Religion of Islam. It is observed that many of the modern-day neo-Kharijites who are quick to join various terrorist factions, most notably, “Islamic State” (ISIL/Daesh), are youths who have no prior tarbiya (nurturing and training) upon Islam. They are usually former criminals and thugs who have superficially adapted Islam only as a means to continue the same lifestyle of violence and thuggery but this time with a supposed “higher” purpose. The original Khawarij appeared almost immediately after the Prophet’s death, but there was not a single Sahabi among them. They did not have the privilege of having been nurtured and trained through companionship with the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam), and hence lacked true understanding of the Religion, or appreciation of its actual temperment and objectives.

The third charactertistic of the Khawarij, and perhaps the one which is easiest for recognizing the neo-Kharijites of today, is their killing of the Muslims while leaving alone the mushrikin. Historically, the Khawarij did not engage in fighting with the exterior foes of Islam, such as the Romans. From the very beginning, the Khawarij drew their swords against the Muslims themselves. They murdered Abd Allah b. Khabbab, his wife, and her unborn child. It was only after this totally cold blooded murder of an innocent Muslim family that Amir ul-Mu’minin Ali b. Abi Talib (radi Allahu anhu) was forced to deal with these Kharijite renegades and virtually wiped them out in the famous battle of Nahrawan. Subsequently, various Kharijite factions emerged, the most notorious being the Azariqa, who indiscriminately went about killing the Muslims, while never once raising their sword against the non-Muslims and polytheists. In our own time, the neo-Kharijites like Daesh primarily target Sunni Muslims whom they brand as apostates. In Syria, they went after various Sunni Muslim factions that were in revolt against the neo-fascist, Baathist regime of Assad and in Afghanistan, they turned their weapons on the Taliban, who were busy resisting the American occupation of their country. One would think that these neo-Kharijites who sanction their raising of arms in the name of Jihad would at the very least focus their efforts on fighting the foreign, non-Muslim invaders. Instead, their first target is always the Muslims whom they brand as apostates merely for not joining their ranks. The neo-Kharijites justify this by saying that the murtad (apostate) is worse than the original disbeliever, but it comes down to the fact that they essentially regard any Muslim who doesn’t agree with them as an apostate, and in this way they fulfil the Prophet’s prediction against them without even realizing it!

To be continued إن شاء الله

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