Sunday, 28 July 2019

Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith's Position on Mu'awiya bin Abi Sufyan

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم
Another controversy raging within the Barelawi maslak is the status and position of Mu’awiya bin Abi Sufyan. Presently, the maslak has more or less been splintered into two camps; a camp which seeks to defend Mu’awiya and raises the slogan bey qasur bey khata Mu’awiya Mu’awiya and includes a major Barelawi organization, Da’wate Islami led by Ilyas Attar Qadiri. This group has even begun organising conferences and programs defending and praising Mu’awiya, following in the footsteps of the Deobandis especially the Sipahe Sahaba, as well as directing na’t khwans to sing songs extolling the virtues of Mu’awiya. The opposing camp is extremely disturbed by this novel trend and views it as a conspiracy to move the Barelawi maslak away from their traditional devotion to the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them). The gaddi nashins of Ajmer in particular are spearheading this reaction, since historically they have been at the forefront in promoting Sunni-Shi’i unity. Recently, one Kamran Chishti presented a citation from the writings of the great scholar of Hadith, Shah Abd ul-Aziz Muhaddith of Delhi, in which he addresses a question concerning the reality of Marwan bin al-Hakam and Mu’awiya bin Abi Sufyan:
“Question: What is proven from Ahl us-Sunna regarding speaking ill of Hadrat Mu’awiyaRD and Marwan?
Answer: Love for the Ahl al-Bayt is from the obligations of faith, not the necessities of the Sunna. And from the love of the Ahl al-Bayt is to speak ill of Marwan curse be upon him, and one’s heart should bear enmity toward him for it was particularly he who misbehaved in the extreme with Hadrat Imam HusainRD and the Ahl al-Bayt, and had complete enmity for them. With this understanding, one should have extreme hatred for this devil (Marwan). But Hadrat Mu’awiyaRD bin Abi Sufyan was a Sahabi his merit has been mentioned in some Ahadith. There is therefore a difference of opinion among the Ulama of Ahl us-Sunna regarding him. The Ulama of Transoxiana, the Mufasirin, and Fuqaha say that Hadrat Mu’awiya’sRD fighting and contesting with Hadrat AliRD was only an error in ijtihad. The researchers of the people of Hadith, based on their checking of narrations, concluded that [Mu’awiya’s] acts were not free from selfish motives, and likewise not free from the allegation of tribal bigotry among the Umayyads in the matter of Dhi Nurain UthmanRD. This is why such acts occurred from Hadrat Mu’awiyaRD, the result of which is that he be declared as having committed a great sin and rebellion. But the fasiq (sinner) is not worthy of being cursed.” (Fatawa Azizi pp.250-251):

I myself tend to agree with what Shah Abd ul-Aziz Muhaddith of Delhi (rahimahullah) has written here. The reader will notice that I do not add invoke the prayer radi Allahu anhu (may Allah be happy with him) for Mu’awiya, and neither do I invoke this prayer for Abu Sufyan and his wife Hinda. This is in keeping with the Prophet’s (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) instructions:
مَنْكَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَسْكُتْ
“Whoever believe in Allah and the Last Day should either say good or be silent.”
(Sahih Muslim)
إِذَا ذُكِرَ أَصْحَابِي فَأَمْسِكُوا
“When my Companions are mentioned then withhold.”
Since I have nothing good to say about Mu’awiya, his father Abi Sufyan and his mother Hinda, I remain silent regarding them, neither invoking prayers for them nor cursing or criticising them as the Shi’a do. This is position of safety I have adapted out of caution and taqwa, and I ask Allah to compensate me for it with His mercy and bounty (Amin).

I am Seal of the Prophets While Adam Was Unformed in Clay

At present a doctrinal controversy is raging in Pakistan within the Barelwi maslak regarding the Nubuwwa of Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam). Apparently, the standard creed of the Barelwis and many other Muslims is that Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) was a prophet in prehistory, according to the supposed Hadith:
كُنْتُ نَبِيًّا وَآدَمُ بَيْنَ الْمَاءِ وَالطِّينِ
“I was a prophet (when) Adam was between water and clay.”
But this is an outright fabrication on the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam). One of the major figureheads of the Barelwis, famous for apologetics and debates defending his sect, Sa’id As’ad, came out and denounced the standard Barelwi creed, claiming it presents an irreconciliable paradox for the doctrine of khatm un-Nubuwwa. If Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) was a prophet from prehistory before the creation of primordial Adam was even complete, then the coming of a multitude of prophets after him, from Adam to Jesus, numbering perhaps as many as 124 thousand, logically means that Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) was not the last and final prophet after whom there is no other prophet. While we accept the view of the Barelwi mulla Sa’id As’ad in this matter and commend his courage for going against his own maslak, it is important to understand his basic motivation for doing so. Truth is, Sa’id As’ad had made a name for himself in criticizing the rival Deobandis for having “opened the door” for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the Qadianis. This is in reference to the founder of Deoband, Muhammad Qasim of Nanawta, having written the treatise Tahdhir un-Nas, which controversially sought to redefine the meaning of khatam an-Nabiyyin to mean something other than strict chronological finality. Now according to the Barelwis, the meaning of khatam an-Nabiyyin is that sayyidina Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) is the last and final prophet absolutely in the chronological sense, and the slightest qualification of this basic doctrine is tantamount to outright kufr, i.e., rejection of Islam. Therefore, in order to remain consistent in their criticism of the Deobandis and Qadianis, Sa’id As’ad feels the Barelwis must reject the idea that Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) was a prophet in prehistory before the creation of Adam was complete, and stick with the belief of other Muslims that Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) became a prophet at the age of forty after his experience in the Cave of Hira. Now keep in mind that Sa’id As’ad’s apparent concern for maintaining a strict literal understanding of the doctrine of khatm an-nubuwwa which doesn’t allow for even the slightest, nuanced qualification is the product of modern day political developments and the mainstream Sunni Ulama’s reaction to the Ahmadiyya/Qadiani movement. Otherwise, numerous statements from the explanation of the classical Ulama and the mystics of Islam can easily be cited demonstrating that those elders of our Religion did indeed have a very nuanced and qualified understanding of the finality of prophesy based on their enlightened wisdom and deep understanding of the spirit of Islam. The narrations presented by Barelwis and others to prove the prehistoric nubuwwa of Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) actually deal with the pre-decree of Allah and His having preordained matters. For example:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ : قَالُوا : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَتَى وَجَبَتْ لَكَ النُّبُوَّةُ ؟ قَالَ : وَآدَمُ بَيْنَ الرُّوحِ وَالْجَسَدِ
Abi Huraira (radi Allahu anhu) narrates: They asked: “O Messenger of Allah, when was prophesy ordained for you?” He (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: “(When) Adam was between spirit and body.”
(Jami at-Tirmidhi)
In another Hadith:
إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَابِ لَخَاتَمُ النَّبِيِّينَ ، وَإِنَّ آدَمَ لَمُنْجَدِلٌ فِي طِينَتِهِ
“I am the slave of Allah in the Mother of the Book, Seal of the Prophets (while) Adam was unformed in clay.”
(Musnad Ahmad)
Sa’id As’ad has correctly explained the matter and brought various examples. He mentions the incident of when Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) ascended Mount Uhud with three of his successors, sayyidina Abi Bakr, sayyidina Umar and sayyidina Uthman (radi Allahu anhum) and the mountain suddenly began to shake, so he (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Be firm, Uhud, for there is not upon you except a prophet, a siddiq and two martyrs.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
So he (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) named sayyidina Umar and sayyidina Uthman (radi Allahu anhuma) martyrs before they had attained martyrdom.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Ta'ifat al-Mansura (The Aided Group Upon Truth)

اشهد ان لا اله الا الله وحده لا شريك له
واشهد ان محمدا عبده ورسوله
Our time is witnessing divisions within the Muslims being exacerbated. While I do not advocate the false gospel of unity for the sake of unity, it is nevertheless quite alarming that our people have developed a sectarian mindset which prevents them from not only considering the views of others with an open mind and with the intention of seeking the truth, but even showing due regard and courtesy to those of different persuasions. In the world of religion, there are two basic levels of distinction: 1. religious tradition or community and 2. sect or denomination. The first level of difference deals with fundamental differences in the Articles of Faith. Simply put, belief in the Oneness of Allah, the Prophesy of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Afterlife are what set apart our religious tradition and community from others. Anyone who rejects one of these matters or deviates so completely in them that it becomes unrecognizable from the original belief cannot be considered a part of our religious tradition and community, namely Islam. But apart from these fundamental Articles of Faith, Islam has numerous other doctrines where Muslims themselves have differed, in some instances, considerably so. These are divisions in the branches of belief which led to the emergence of denominations and sects. During the early period of Islam, including during the latter period of the Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them), the main deviations that took hold were deviations from the Prophet’s Sunna. That is why the Muslims in that era who held on to the correct doctrine and way distinguished themselves from the host of deviated sects within Islam with the name Ahl as-Sunna or Ahl as-Sunna wal-Jama’a (people of the Sunna and the Congregation). In this designation, the term Sunna refers to the Sunna of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his rightly-guided Caliphs or Successors, and the term Jama’a refers to the collective way of the Prophet’s Companions. In distinguishing themselves from the heterodox Khawarij, Shi’a, Qadariyya, Murji’a, Mu’tazila and the like of early deviated groups, this was certainly the correct approach. However, we are living in an altogether different era with radically different circumstances. The main faultlines within the Muslims we see today are in fact much more serious than before. In particular, the deviations of tomb veneration, amulets and false doctrines such as the deceased being able to hear and the Prophets and martyrs being alive in their graves (these two doctrines are the ideological foundation for the widespread deviation in the Muslim world of calling upon the deceased). These are in fact deviations from the true and original conception of Tawhid which the Prophets of old came with and which is emphasized in the holy Scriptures. Therefore, the Muslims of our time who cling to the truth and the original teachings of Islam should distinguish themselves as people of Tawhid just as the earlier generations of Muslims distinguished themselves as people of Sunna. Of course, by Tawhid I mean the Tawhid of worship, i.e., Tawhid al-Uluhiya or Tawhid al-Ibada, and not the so-called Tawhid of the Mu’tazila. The Prophets of Allah came with the Tawhid of worship against the idolatry of their peoples, the age-old idolatry that persists today. The so-called Tawhid of the Mu’tazila has nothing to do with the Tawhid of the Prophets; rather, it is their baseless misconception that the Oneness of Allah means He does not possess any attributes. Likewise, the false “tawhid” of the Jabariyya ‘La Fa’il illa Allah’ (there is no doer except Allah), the false “tawhid” of the monist, pseudo-Sufi heretics ‘La Wujud illa Allah’ (there is no existent except Allah), and the false “tawhid” of the political fikr of hakamiyya advanced by the likes of Mawdudi that the true meaning of ‘La ilaha illa Allah’ is ‘La Hakim illa Allah’ (there is no ruler except Allah). On the contrary, the Tawhid of the Prophets is La ilaha illa Allah’ (there is none worthy of worship except Allah). Now it is certainly true that many great Muslim scholars who lived at times when they were beginning to see the deviations of calling upon other than Allah surface wrote in refutation of such a phenomenon. However, the individuals who launched full scale movements and dedicated the essence of their da’wa to Tawhid of worship and fighting idolatry were shaikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab in Arabia and Sayyid Ahmad of Barailly and Shah Isma’il of Delhi in India. Now this is the pure stream of Islam which is often termed Wahhabism with derision. Of course, I see nothing wrong with the people of Tawhid taking ownership of the term ‘Wahhabi’ and using it casually for the sake of convenience. After all, al-Wahhab (the Bestower) is one of the holy names of Allah, and so literally a Wahhabi is one who is ascribed to al-Wahhab, meaning God Himself. Therefore, I reiterate it is not so important for the Muslims who are upon the truth and the right way to identify themselves with the term Sunna as it is to identify with the term Tawhid. Indeed, the deviated groups of today call themselves people of Sunna or Sunni. For example, the grave-worshipping Barelwis and the Deobandis who believe the Prophets are alive in their graves and that the deceased can hear, and validate the unholy trade in amulets and talismans proudly claim to be Ahl us-Sunnati wal-Jama’a. In reality, they have hijacked that label and do not deserve to be given such a lofty ascription. But for the sake of convenience and for the reason I have already mentioned, let the Muslims who have the correct belief in Tawhid and who hate the idolatry of grave veneration and other un-Islamic superstitions refer to themselves as people of Tawhid or Muwahhidin and distinguish themselves from the so-called deviant “Sunni” groups. As for the term ‘Salafi’, while the so-called Salafis share our conception of the Tawhid of worship, the term Salafi should be avoided for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are different types of Salafism including the worst one which is modernist Salafism that can be traced back to Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida. Even some of those who push the false narrative of Hakamiyya and the political fikr, and engage in acts of terrorism, making takfir of other Muslims, have branded themselves ‘Salafi’. Then there is the modern Ahl al-Hadith movement which really originates in India during the 19th century with such figures as Siddiq Hasan Khan of Bhopal and Nadhir Hussain of Delhi. They are another variant of Salafism which prioritise the science of Hadith over the principles of Tawhid. This to the extent that some of them believe the deceased can hear while others validate the unholy trade in amulets. Therefore, stick to the call and mission of the great reformers of our era like Sayyid Ahmad of Barailly and Shah Isma’il of Delhi (may Allah have mercy on them both and accept their martyrdoms). Consider the fact that these individuals did not advocate the false political fikr of Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb. Nor were they modernists like Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Muhammad Abduh, Rashid Rida and the party of Ulama which came to dominate al-Azhar University in Egypt. Nor were they Takfiri extremists. In fact, it has reached me that these two individuals were moderate Hanafis who respected the school of Imam Abi Hanifa (rahimahullah) unlike the non-conformist “Ahl al-Hadith”. They acknowledged the validity of the Sufi path of mysticism, while condemning the innovations and superstitions that had taken hold among the pseudo-Sufis of our time. Therefore, the maslak of Tawhid need not be in conflict with the way of the Sufis or with the legal school of Imam Abi Hanifa. In fact, the latter is more strict than the school of Imam ash-Shafi’i in condemning innovations and grave veneration. The Salafism of the Arabs today is severely lacking because of its opposition to the Sufi path. A major factor in that opposition is the huge influence of modernism on Salafism today. That influence is primarily in lifestyle and approach to Religion, which may be described as ‘Protestant’. It is certainly right to compare the textualist Salafis to the Christian Protestants. Their approach to religion is minimalist, essentialist, in other words, dry and narrow. It lacks both intellectualism and mystic passion. The various sects and groups in Islam each have taken something that is apparently from the Religion and emphasized it to the point that it has become deeply connected to its identity. For example, the Barelwis call to the love and devotion to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Shi’a call to the following of his family and progeny (peace be upon them). The Deobandis call to the Prophet’s Companions (Allah be pleased with them), and its missionary wing, Jama’at at-Tabligh, call to going out in the path of Allah to preach the virtues of good deeds and the lifestyle of the Companions. The Salafis call to following the Sunna and the way of the Salaf and opposing the innovations that have taken people away from the Sunna. The various Sufi orders call people to seek nearness to Allah by attachment to a guide who has inherited the legacy of the saints through an unbroken chain, and through frequent remembrance of Allah and purification of the heart. The political groups call to establishing an Islamic state or the imposition of Islamic law. The Ulama tend to call people toward acquiring religious knowledge by studying at their feet. The Jihadists call people to fight the infidel forces and defend the Muslim lands from the invaders, occupiers and colonial powers. All of these groups have taken something from Islam and emphasized it as the most critical mission. But they are all wrong. The most critical mission of Islam is to call people to worship Allah alone and to fight against idolatry in its various manifestations. This was undoubtedly the mission and work of the Prophets, therefore, how can any other effort or ministry be superior to it?
Now one of the doubts raised by the opponents of our maslak and silsila of Tawhid in this time by the propagandists of the deviated sects, especially those who identify as ahl as-Sunna, is that we are on falsehood because we do not possess an unbroken chain that includes the great saints, sages and scholars of this community and which terminates back to the time of the Prophet and his Companions. This is basically the argument of the traditionalists. It is an argument for their authenticity via inheritance of legacy. It is true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that a group upon the truth shall never cease to exist within his community. But this doesn’t necessitate that such a group will always be present in the same land or locality. Nor does it mean they will exist as an unbroken silsila. On the contrary, the institution of the Mujaddid proves otherwise. The Mujaddidin of every century appeared in disparate places and often had no familial or scholastic connection to each other. They were simply pious Muslims who Allah raised up for the reformation of the community and to revive an aspect of the Religion that had been altered or neglected. 

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Parable of the Brick (Part 2)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وأفضل الصلاة وأتم التسليم على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله الطيبين وصحبه الغر المحجلين ومن والاهم واتبع هداهم إلى يوم الدين

Several months ago, I discussed the Hadith of the Brick, in which the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wa-aalihi wasallam) said:

إِنَّ مَثَلِي وَمَثَلَ الأَنْبِيَاءِ مِنْ قَبْلِي كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى بَيْتًا فَأَحْسَنَهُ وَأَجْمَلَهُ، إِلاَّ مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ مِنْ زَاوِيَةٍ، فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ يَطُوفُونَ بِهِ وَيَعْجَبُونَ لَهُ، وَيَقُولُونَ هَلاَّ وُضِعَتْ هَذِهِ اللَّبِنَةُ قَالَ فَأَنَا اللَّبِنَةُ، وَأَنَا خَاتِمُ النَّبِيِّينَ
“Verily, my parable and the parable of the prophets before me is like that of a man who built a house• He beautified it except for the place of a brick in the corner• People circle it in wonder, but say: ‘Would that this brick be placed’• I am that brick, and I am the Seal of the Prophets”

This Hadith is often presented as the strongest proof from the Sunna in the arsenal of that tendency which argues for an absolute, unqualified chronological finality to the prophesy of Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam)• My own interpretation, however, is somewhat more nuanced and enlightened; hence I wrote: “This parable clearly illustrates that the purpose of the final brick is to complete the perfection and beauty of the house, without which the latter has an obvious flaw despite its general attraction at which people stare at it in appreciation and wonder”
Keep in mind this Hadith of the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a parable, meaning it is not meant to be taken literally• The Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) is not literally a brick made from clay, lime, concrete or some other material• Likewise, in the parable while it is the brick that is placed last chronologically which completes the building, this does not necessitate that sayyidina Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) completes or perfects the edifice of prophesy by virtue of being the last prophet to come chronologically• It is critical to understand this point, because unlike a material building which cannot be said to be complete or perfect until the last gap is filled with a brick, the edifice of prophesy is completed and perfected by such a prophet who is the culmination of the best qualities of the other prophets, irrespective of whether he appeared at the beginning of the chain of prophesy, or somewhere in the middle or at its very end• Know that it is the greatest of the prophets in whose person the institution of prophesy reaches the pinnacle of beauty and excellence who has the most right to be compared to the last brick through which a material building is completed• That is, after all, the purpose of the parable, to illustrate how the edifice of prophesy is perfected through the person of Prophet Muhammad in the way a building is perfected when the space for a final brick is filled•
The celebrated historian and medieval Islamic thinker, Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), mentioned this nuanced and accurate understanding of the Hadith of the Brick:
إشارة إلى حديث البخاري في باب خاتم النبيين، قال صلى الله عليه وسلم: " مثلي فيمن قبلي من الأنبياء كمثل رجل ابتنى بيتاً وأكمله، حتى إذا لم يبق منه إلا موضع لبنة فأنا تلك اللبنة " . فيفسرون خاتم النبيين باللبنة التي أكملت البنيان، ومعناه النبي الذي حصلت له النبوة الكاملة. ويمثلون الولاية في تفاوت مراتبها بالنبوة، ويجعلون صاحب الكمال فيها خاتم الأولياء أي حائز الرتبة التي هي خاتمة الولاية، كما كان خاتم الأنبياء حائزاً للمرتبة التي هي خاتمة النبوة. فكنى الشارع عن تلك المرتبة الخاتمة بلبنة البيت في الحديث المذكور. وهما على نسبة واحدة فيها
“With reference to a tradition reported by al-Bukhari in the chapter on the Seal of the Prophets: Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: I and the prophets before me are like a man who built a house and finished it save for one brick still to be placed. I am this brick’• Therefore, the (scholars) interpret the Seal of the Prophets as the brick needed for the completion of the building. It means the prophet who has obtained the perfect prophecy. Sainthood in its different degrees is compared (by the Sufis) to prophesy. The perfect (saint) is considered to be the seal of the saints, that is, the saint who is in the possession of the rank that is the final (sealing) stage of sainthood, exactly as the Seal of the Prophets was the prophet who was in possession of the rank that is the final (sealing) stage of prophesy. In the tradition quoted, the lawgiver used the phrase the ‘brick (that completes) the house for that final stage The two things correspond to each other•” (Muqaddima Ibn Khaldun, v1 p536):

Ibn Khaldun has written this in the context of his discussion on the Sufi concept of the Mahdi, whom they regard as the ‘Seal of the Saints’ just as the Prophet Muhammad is ‘Seal of the Prophets’• The Mahdi is given the title of the Silver Brick, while the Prophet is the Golden Brick• Now it is quite obvious that the Mahdi being the Seal of the Saints is not in a chronological sense, for no one denies the possibility of sainthood after him•

Murji'a Jews of the Qibla

  بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وأفضل الصلاة وأتم التسليم على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله الطيبين وصحبه الغر المحجلين ومن والاهم واتبع هداهم إلى يوم الدين

Previously I discussed the Qadariyya sect being termed the ‘Magians of the Umma’• Another early sect that broke away from the mainstream of Islam was the Murji’a• If the Qadariyya are the Magians of the Umma, then the Murji’a are best described as the ‘Jews of the Umma’, as has been reported from the eminent jurist among the Tabi’in, Sa’id b Jubair (rahimahullah):
الْمُرْجِئَةُ يَهُودُ الْقِبْلَةِ
“The Murji’a are the Jews of the Qibla”
(as-Sunna of Abd Allah bAhmad b Hanbal)

In a nutshell, the Murji’a are those who expel deeds from the reality of faithThey are the polar opposite of the Khawarij who claim that the one who commits a major sin loses his faith altogether and cannot be termed a Believer• The Mu’tazila adapted yet another absurd view that the one who commits a major sin is neither a Believer nor a disbeliever, but in a position between the two (al-manzila bayn al-manzilatayn), an idea first advocated by Wasil b Ata when he broke away from the circle of the great Imam, Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullah)• As for the creed of the people of Sunna, the orthodox Muslims, it is that deeds are included in the reality of faith, and that good deeds result in an increase of faith while bad deeds result in decreasing and diminishing of faith• Committing a major sin does not necessitate expulsion from faith•
Returning to the Murji’a, I have outlined six of their major factions and their respective particular doctrines• Among the scandalous statements of the Murji’a is that the faith of a grave sinner is equal to the faith of the Angel Gabriel (peace be upon him), and this is a necessary result of their doctrine that faith is static, not fluid or fluctuating• The vast majority of the Murji’a adapted the Hanafi madhhab, and they were mostly based in the northeastern land of Transoxania• Counter-intuitively, the early Murji’a were not a pro-government group which sought to cement the thrones of the hedonistic dynastic rulers• On the contrary, an early prominent Murji’ite, al-Harith b Surayj, led an armed insurrection against Umayyad rule in the early to mid 8th century CE• While acknowledging that even the most corrupt and sinful Muslim who confesses the creed of Islam is a Believer on par with the Angels, Prophets and Saints, this apparently did not mean that the Muslim committed to justice and obedience to Allah could not fight against and overthrow those corrupt and sinful Believers who hold political authority• Incidentally, this is by and large the position of the Hanafi madhhab; a tyrannical, unjust and corrupt Muslim ruler may be fought against and overthrown by his own Muslim subjects if they deem that necessary• This unholy marriage between Hanafi jurisprudence and Murji’ite theology particularly took off in the northeastern lands of the Muslim dominion, notably, Transoxania• Today, the predominant inhabitants of that region are the various Turkic groups; the Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Turkmen, and Kirghiz who have each recently attained statehood after the collapse of the Soviet Union• Consequently, the Murji’a of today are basically the Muslims of Central Asia• Perhaps it was their lax Murji’ite tendency among these people which facilitated their conquest by the Russian infidels and atheistic, communist Soviets• For the better part of the 20th century they were subject to aggressive Soviet indoctrination and the suppression of Islam along with religion in general• For this reason, the least observant Muslims, in general, are the people of Central Asia• Although recently freed from communist Soviet rule, the ‘Stans’ are autocratic, secular dictatorships where the practice of Islam remains severely restricted• Now it becomes apparent why it has been prophesied that the Turks shall be in the forefront of following the Antichrist• As for Sa’id b Jubair’s (may Allah have mercy on him) terming the Murji’a “Jews of the Qibla” that is something which requires deep insight and nuanced understanding• I shall explore this from the angle of communal description without going into any similarity between the defining creed of the Murji’a with Judaism as a belief system• Recall that I had compared the Hadith which states that the Antichrist shall be followed by 70 thousand Jews of Isbahan wearing tallis (prayer shawls) with another Hadith that describes these 70 thousand as having Turkic physical features:
لَيَنْزِلَنَّ الدَّجَّالُ خُوزَ وَكَرْمَانَ فِي سَبْعِينَ أَلْفًا ، وُجُوهُهُمْ كَالْمَجَانِّ الْمُطْرَقَةِ
“The Dajjal shall descend to Khuz and Kerman among seventy thousand; their faces are like shields coated with leather”
(Musnad Ahmad)
In other Ahadith in which the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) predicts future fighting with the Turks, he describes them as having faces like shields coated with leather• The Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, including the small community of Jews that are presently in Iran, do not fit this description• But if we understand the Hadith of 70 thousand Jews following the Dajjal to possibly mean the ‘Jews of the Qibla’ ie.the Murji’a, it makes perfect sense• There is a peculiar connection between the Jews or Judaism to the Turks going back to the legendary Khazars who may have converted to Judaism, though to what extent is currently being debated by academics and historians• It is also noteworthy that Turkic states, though Muslim, have relatively good relations with the State of Israel, for example Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan• Israel maintains embassies in each of those countries• Even the Republic of Turkey, before the current Erdogan government, had relatively good relations with Israel• In conclusion, it remains to be seen just how Turkic or Judaic (or perhaps both) the 70 thousand followers of the Antichrist will be• There is no denying a bizarre connection between the Turks and the Jews, and that the stage is being set for the emergence of the Antichrist from a region that is inhabited by Muslims that belong to heterodox tendencies•

Cause of Muslim Decline (Refutation of Nabahani and HT)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وأفضل الصلاة وأتم التسليم على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله الطيبين وصحبه الغر المحجلين ومن والاهم واتبع هداهم إلى يوم الدين

The tiresome rhetoric of the advocates of the political fikr is that the cause of the spiritual and moral decline of the Muslim Umma is the absence of the caliphate or an Islamic state• The founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a dangerous, fascist political party which deceptively uses the name of Islam, Taqi al-Din al-Nabahani (1909-1977), wrote: “The Muslims after they lost their State - despite its weakness and shortcomings - saw the return of Islam in the building of masaajid, the publishing of books and the educating of morals (akhlaaq) whilst they kept silent over the domination of kufr on them and about its colonisation upon them•. They also concentrated on studying the rules of prayer and fasting, marriage and divorce, and they neglected the study of the rules of jihad, al-Ghanaim (spoils), Khilafah, the judiciary, land taxation (al Kharaj) and so on•” (Mafahim Hizb ut-Tahrir/Concepts of Hizb ut-Tahrir p5)
The State which Nabahani is referring to here is the Ottoman empire which was dismantled by colonial powers after its defeat in the First World War, and the office of the so-called caliph abolished by the Turks themselves under Mustafa Kemal ‘Ataturk’ in 1924• Now to imagine the root of the Muslim world’s decline was the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate is ludicrous• The spiritual and moral fall of the Muslim world started centuries upon centuries before the Ottomans even appeared on the scene• Moreover, the onset of modernism, the penetration of poisonous European ideas and the secular lifestyle into the Muslim world started in the 19th century, well in advance of the fall of the Ottomans• The Ottoman empire itself was not any kind of ideal Islamic state• They committed many atrocities including episodes of ethnic cleansing which can’t be justified• Nabahani writes that Muslims were mistaken in thinking they could bring about the restoration of Islam in the mere construction of mosques, publication of literature and education relating to akhlaq (morals) while ignoring their political subjugation to colonialist powers• In truth, the colonisation and continued political subjugation of the Muslim world to the foreign, non-Muslim powers is only a symptom of its decline, but by no means is it the cause• Allah Most High says:
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ
Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves
(Sura 13:11)
If the Muslims focus their efforts on resisting and overcoming their political subjugation, they will inevitably fail because that subjugation to the foreign powers is from Allah Himself• Only He Himself can remove it, and He will only remove it if the Muslims change their internal condition through spiritual and moral reform• The construction of mosques to facilitate worship and bring a locality closer to Allah and likewise an educational effort to bring about moral reform in the community by means of printing literature and other sound methods is definitely something which the Muslims should prioritise, contrary to Nabahani’s absurd objection which originates in his warped, materialist thinking• Think about why Allah has obligated us to seek religious knowledge, improve our morals, and offer acts of worship to Him, but has not at all obligated us to establish a state, caliphate or any kind of polity• Those who advocate the political fikr, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, are challenged to produce a single proof from the Book of Allah to the effect that the Believers have been ordered to establish a state or any kind of sovereign, political entity• Even during the time of the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam), the command to struggle and fight in the path of Allah was not for the objective of establishing a state, but to establish the Oneness of Allah in the land and put an end to idolatry• Jihad fi Sabil Allah (struggle in the path of Allah) is a broad term which includes Qital fi Sabil Allah (fighting in the path of Allah) but is not restricted to it• There are also non-violent forms of engaging in Jihad fi Sabil Allah, such as travelling in the land and calling the people to Allah• This extremely virtuous activity only takes the form of armed combat when the opposing party resists the call violently and begin persecuting the Believers, driving them out of their homes and forbidding them to worship Allah alone• Presently, the Muslims in certain places where Islam is being violently persecuted may be justified in raising arms to defend themselves and their Religion, such as the Uighurs in western China•
As for the argument that it is imperative to learn to Islamic rules pertaining to fighting, spoils of war, government, land taxation, etc•, and that the learning of these subjects must be given equal attention to the study of prayer and fasting, that is manifestly incorrect• In Islam, a Muslim is only obligated to learn that which is required to carry out his personal religious duties• In other words, a shopkeeper must learn the Islamic rules pertaining to trade and business transactions, but is not obligated to learn the Islamic rules pertaining to land ownership and agriculture• Likewise, in the absence of an Islamic state or government, how can the Muslims be obligated to learn the nitty-gritty of Islamic political theory and statecraft? Furthermore, the knowledge of that would only be mandatory for those Muslims who are in positions of political authority• They would be obligated to seek the counsel of the Ulama with regard to the affairs of running the state in accordance with Islamic principles and rules• To obligate and occupy the general public with the study of governance and statecraft is absolutely absurd• On the other hand, the offering of the Salat is a universal obligation upon each and every sane, adult Muslim man and woman, therefore its study has to be prioritised•

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Qadariyya Magians of the Umma Shi'a of Dajjal

A growing controversy these days is the issue of praying in the funeral of a deceased person belonging to a misguided sect The general rule in Islam is that a Muslim has the right to have his greeting of Salam replied to and his funeral prayer offered by the Muslim community But there may be an important exception for the Muslim who belongs to a misguided sect The Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) reportedly said:
الْقَدَرِيَّةُ مَجُوسُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ إِنْ مَرِضُوا فَلاَ تَعُودُوهُمْ وَإِنْ مَاتُوا فَلاَ تَشْهَدُوهُمْ
“The Qadariyya are the Magians of this Umma If they get sick do not visit them and if they die do not witness for them (join their funeral)”

The authenticity of this Hadith is disputed though Albani declared it sound (Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud #4691):

The terms Qadariyya and Majus (Magians) should not be cause for confusion Qadariyya does not mean those who believe in al-Qadar (divine decree or destiny), but rather those who ascribe Qadar or the ability to decree and determine to humans, making the latter partners with Allah in the matter This is why the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) likened them to the Magians, meaning the people who followed the pre-Islamic religion of Iran, which is dualism The Magians/Zoroastrians/Fire-worshipers believe in two “gods”: a “god of light” Ahura Mazda, and a “god of darkness” Angra Mainyu also known as Ahriman This is the worst form of the dualist heresy From among this Umma, there is a sect, the Qadariyya, who are similar to the Magians and inherited the dualist theology from them in that they believe human activity is independent of the power and decree of Allah Most High Hence, in another version of the Hadith the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) himself reportedly explained what he meant by the ‘Magians of this Umma’:
لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ مَجُوسٌ وَمَجُوسُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ لاَ قَدَرَ مَنْ مَاتَ مِنْهُمْ فَلاَ تَشْهَدُوا جَنَازَتَهُ وَمَنْ مَرِضَ مِنْهُمْ فَلاَ تَعُودُوهُمْ وَهُمْ شِيعَةُ الدَّجَّالِ وَحَقٌّ عَلَى اللَّهِ أَنْ يُلْحِقَهُمْ بِالدَّجَّالِ
“For every nation are Magians, and the Magians of this Umma are those who say there is no Qadar (divine decree) If one among them dies do not witness (attend) his funeral, and if one among them becomes sick do not visit them They are the Shi’a (partisans) of the Dajjal (Antichrist) and Allah will join them with the Dajjal
(Sunan Abi Dawud #4692)

The Hadith is slightly weak due to the unknown narrator from the Ansar who narrates from the companion Hudhaifa b.Yaman (radi Allahu anhu) Nevertheless, it is from the shawahid with strengthens the authenticity of the first version of the Hadith I quoted above According to yet another version of the Hadith, the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) reportedly said:
إِنَّ مَجُوسَ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ الْمُكَذِّبُونَ بِأَقْدَارِ اللَّهِ إِنْ مَرِضُوا فَلاَ تَعُودُوهُمْ وَإِنْ مَاتُوا فَلاَ تَشْهَدُوهُمْ وَإِنْ لَقِيتُمُوهُمْ فَلاَ تُسَلِّمُوا عَلَيْهِمْ
“The Magians of this Umma are the deniers of the Aqdar (decrees) of Allah If they are sick do not visit them, if they die do not witness for them (join their funeral) and if you meet them do not invoke Salam upon them
(Sunan Ibn Maja #92)

Here, in addition to not visiting them when they are sick and not offering their funeral prayer when they die, the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) has reportedly added not greeting them with Salam It should be noted that all three of these things are essential rights of the Muslim Again, this Hadith appears to be slightly weak due to the narrator Muhammad b al-Musaffaa al-Himsi Nevertheless, I deem it correct to act upon this Hadith if one wishes to and refuse to give or reply to the Salam of a Qadari, and by extension and analogy those of other sects which are at the same level of deviation or worse than the Qadariyya 
Today the most prominent division within the Muslim Umma is the Sunni-Shi’i divide The Shi’a are a breakaway sect from the mainstream of Islam who are guilty of many heresies and deviations from the principles, teachings and laws of Islam as laid down in the holy Qur’an and the Sunna Among their heterodoxies is that they have by and large adapted the specific perversion of the Qadariyya The Qadariyya were once an independent sect whose heresy originated with or was popularized by figures such as Abu Yunus Sinbuya Aswari, Ma’bad b.Khalid al-Juhani, and Ghaylan al-Dimashqi But as an independent sect, the Qadariyya have long vanished Their heresy was inherited by the Mu’tazila and the Shi’a, the latter having carried it to the present
The most authoritarive text for the Shi’a is al-Kafi, compiled by Muhammad b.Ya’qub al-Kulayni (d 329 H) The first part of this text, known as Usul al-Kafi, deals with the fundamental principles and doctrines of Twelver Shi’ism It consists of narrations attributed to the twelve Imams, though for us orthodox Muslims the authenticity of most of these narrations is doubtful Concerning the belief in Qadar, it is narrated that Amir ul-Mu’minin Ali b Abi Talib (alayhis-salam) having returned to Kufa from the Battle of Siffin, was approached by a certain individual who was concerned about the spiritual reward for the journeys in the path of Allah in light of the prevailing view that all of man’s actions have been decreed and determined by Allah; logically, how can a person be rewarded for good actions when he was compelled to do them since they were predetermined by Allah? In his answer, Amir al-Mu’minin allegedly said:
وتظن أنه كان قضاء حتما وقدرا لازما؟ إنه لو كان كذلك لبطل الثواب والعقاب والامر والنهي والزجر من الله وسقط معنى الوعد فلم تكن لائمة للمذنب ولا محمدة للمحسن ولكان المذنب أولى بالاحسان من المحسن ولكان المحسن أولى بالعقوبة من المذنب، تلك مقالة إخوان عبدة الاوثان وخصماء الرحمن وحزب الشيطان وقدرية هذه الامة ومجوسها
“Do You think it was all due to unavoidable decree and binding determination? Had it been so all the reward, punishment, commandments, orders and warnings from Allah would remain invalid and meaningless.The promise and warnings would fall apart. No one could blame the sinners and no one would praise the people of good deeds. The sinners could have been more deserving than the people of good deeds and the latter ones could have deserved more punishment Such can only be the belief of the idol worshippers, the enemies of the Beneficent and of the party of Satan and determinist of this nation (Ummah) and her Magians” (al-Kafi; Kitab at-Tawhid, pp110-111):

These words that have been put in the mouth of Amir al-Mu’minin (radi Allahu anhu) reflect exactly the creed and argument of the deviant Qadariyya who deny that man’s deeds are a result of the “unavoidable decree” and “binding determination” of Allah Our response to this argument that if man’s deeds have been created and determined by Allah it means he is coerced and not deserving of reward or punishment is the doctrine of kasb. In other words, man earns his deeds, good or evil, which Allah creates for Him in accordance with what man deserves based on the condition of his heart and Allah’s wisdom and foreknowledge

In another narration of al-Kafi attributed to Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (alayhis-salam):
من زعم أن الله يأمر بالفحشاء فقد كذب على الله ومن زعم أن الخير والشر إليه فقد كذب على الله
“Whoever claims that Allah orders people to commit sins has lied upon Allah and whoever claims good and evil are from Him has lied upon Allah” (ibid):

Now we orthodox, Sunni Muslims believe, based on tawatur texts of the Qur’an and Sunna, that Allah is the Creator of both good and evil, and that the divine decree, both its good and its evil, is from Him:

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ ﴿١﴾ مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ

Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the daybreakFrom the evil of that which He created
(Sura 113: Ayat 1-2)

قَالَ فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الإِيمَانِ ‏‏ قَالَ ‏‏ أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلاَئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ
(Gabriel) said: “Inform me about faith”(The Prophet) said: “It is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Scriptures, His Apostles, the Last Day, and to believe in Qadar (the divine decree), its good and its evil
(Sahih Muslim)

Having exposed the Shi’ite heresy in the matter of al-Qadar, we can safely conclude that the Shi’a are the Qadariyya of today, and the Hadith “the Qadariyya are the Magians of this Umma•••” is applicable to them
In the Hadith of Hudhaifa which I quoted above, the additional wording “they are the Shi’a (partisans) of Dajjal (Antichrist) and Allah will join them with the Dajjal” is quite significantLikewise, the Qur’an also uses the word Shi’a (Sura 6:65; 6:159; 19:69; 30:32) in the original linguistic meaning of “sect”, “faction” and “partisans”However, I believe the Qur’an has emphasized this particular term “Shi’a” because it has become the well-known name of a specific denomination with her numerous sub-sects in order to warn about and help us identify themThis too is likely the case with the Hadith about the Magians of this Umma “they are the Shi’a of the Dajjal and Allah will join them with the Dajjal”
The Shi’a claim that their full description is ‘Shi’a of Ali’, but as this Hadith explains the reality is they are the Shi’a of DajjalBased on this prophecy we can expect that at the forefront of the followers of the Dajjal will be the Shi’a, particularly those of IranFrom other Hadith we know that the Dajjal will emerge from the territory of Khurasan and be followed by a band of 70 thousand people of Isbahan wearing peculiar shawlsKhurasan and Isbahan are locations that correspond to eastern Iran• 

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

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