Monday, 31 August 2020

Ali Shariati and Red Shi'ism


باسمك اللهم
وصلاتك وسلامك على نبيك وعبدك محمد
وعلى آله وازواجه وذريته
Ali Shariati (1933-1977) was a radical leftist who is considered among the theorists of Iran’s so-called “Islamic” revolution of 1979. There is no doubt this individual was highly influenced by revolutionary Marxism, and sought to introduce such alien concepts into Islam.

Let's analyze Shariati's book Red Shi'ism and see how his interpretation of Shi'ism is through a Marxist-Leninist lens. This may be understandable, as some concepts in Shi'ism are similar to revolutionary Marxism, but Shariati has taken it to the extreme. Hence the title of the book "Red Shi'ism", red is clearly a reference to its association with the radical Left, socialism, communism, Marxism, etc.. Shariati writes:
"Choose justice and overthrow the system of paradox and discrimination in ownership"
"Like a revolutionary party, Shi'ism had a well-organized, informed, deep and well-defined ideology, with clear-cut and definite slogans and a disciplined and well-groomed organization."
"opiate for the masses" [plain use of Marxist language and terminology]
"This is what causes Shi'ism, during this period, to appear as the fountainhead of rebellion and the struggle of the downtrodden and oppressed masses, especially among the rural people. It flourished wondrously in multiple facets and directions, moderate or extreme, in the form of various movements of the masses against the powers of the day, like the terrorism of Hasan Sabbah, the communal living of the Qaramateh, the extremist cultural and religious beliefs of the Ghalat, and the rebellion for free-thinking of some of the Sufi sects of the revolutionary and Shi'ite school of thought, against the harsh prejudices and the soulless, petrifying censorship of the theological and legal system attached to the ruling group."
Observe how Ali Shariati actually praised the "terrorism of Hasan Sabbah" and the Qaramitah. He was being quite honest when he characterized them as among the "multiple facets and directions" of Shi'ism!
"a revolutionary movement based on Alawite Shi'ism, against foreign domination, internal deceit, the power of the feudal lords and large capitalists, arises in arms for the salvation of the enslaved nation and the deprived masses, led by peasants seven hundred years ago, under the banner of justice and the culture of martyrdom"
Carefully analyze the language and terminology of Ali Shariati. There is the unmistakable influence of revolutionary Marxism and Leninism. He speaks of a class struggle between peasants and feudal lords and large capitalists. He uses the term "opiate for the masses", the phrase coined by Karl Marx to describe Religion. He says Shi'ism is a "revolutionary party", the same phrase and concept behind the creation of Communist workers' parties. He speaks about overthrowing the system of discrimination in "ownership".

Amir al-Mu'minin Ali's كرم الله وجهه Reluctance to Become Amir

باسمك اللهم
وصلاتك وسلامك على نبيك وعبدك محمد
وعلى آله وازواجه وذريته
According to the Imamiyah Shi’ah, the Ithna Asharis, the Twelve Imams, beginning with Amir al-Mu’minin Ali bin Abi Talib كرم الله وجهه الكريم were divinely-appointed to the Imamate, and they alone had the exclusive right to the Caliphate. For this reason, they regard the first three Rightly-Guided Caliphs, sayyidina Abi Bakr, Umar and Uthman رضى الله عنهم as “usurpers” (God forbid) and do not recognize the validity of their respective caliphates. In essence, the Twelver Shi’ah do not recognize the legitimacy of any government or state in the world which is not led by a divinely-appointed Imam or a deputy of his. But this obnoxious theory is easily refuted by the fact that the first of the Twelver Shi’ah Imams, Amir al-Mu’minin Ali bin Abi Talib رضى الله عنه not only pledged allegiance at the hands of our first three Caliphs, he also served them in the capacity of minister and adviser. He never contested the validity of their Caliphates, let alone raise the sword against them to acquire his supposed divine right.
The text Nahj al-Balaghah is highly regarded by the Imamiyah Shi’ah. It is a collection of sermons attributed to Amir al-Mu’minin Ali al-Murtada رضى الله عنه. In it is mentioned that upon the martyrdom of sayyidina Uthman bin Affan رضى الله عنه, the Muslims sought to make sayyidina Ali رضى الله عنه their Amir and give him the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance), but he said to them:
دَعُوني وَالْـتَمِسُوا غَيْرِي
وَإِنْ تَرَكْتُمُونِي فَأَنَا كَأَحَدِكُمْ; وَلَعَلِّي أَسْمَعُكُمْ وَأَطْوَعُكُمْ لِمنْ وَلَّيْتُمُوهُ أَمْرَكُمْ، وَأَنَا لَكُمْ وَزِيراً، خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ مِنِّي أَمِيراً
"Leave me and seek some one else." "If you leave me then I am the same as you are. It is possible I would listen to and obey whomever you make in charge of your affairs. I am better for you as a counselor than as chief." (Sermon 91)


This is manifest proof that sayyidina Ali رضى الله عنه did not regard himself as a divinely-appointed leader, for whom leadership was a divine right, otherwise he would not have told the people to find another person to be their Amir, nor would he have offered to give his obedience to whoever else the people elected instead of him, nor would he offered to have co-operated with another Amir, serving him as minister.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Review of Sayyid Qutb's Milestones (Part 2) "Ummah Doesn't Exist"

باسمك اللهم
وصلاتك وسلامك على نبيك وعبدك محمد
وعلى آله وازواجه وذريته
Sayyid Qutb was among those who introduced the dangerous concept of the non-existence of the Muslim Ummah, in part to justify his innovated political fikr which assumes the Muslim world is steeped in a state of jahiliyah. It is this idea which gives rise to the phenomenon of wholesale takfir, Kharijism, violence and terrorism. Qutb writes:
وجود الامة المسلمة يعتبر قد انقطع منذ قرون كثيرة
The Muslim Ummah has been extinct for many generations”
وهذه الامة بهذه الواصفات قد انقطع وجودها منذ انقطاع الحكم بشريعة الله من فوق ظهر الارض جميعا
The Muslim Ummah with these characteristics vanished the moment judgment of the Shari’ah of Allah ceased completely upon the face of the Earth”
فقد غابت الامة المسلمة عن وجود وعن شهود دهرا طويلا
The Muslim Ummah has vanished from existence and observation for a long time” (Ma’alim fit-Tariq, pp.5-6):


Contrary to such a foolish notion, the Apostle of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم reportedly said:
نَحْنُ آخِرُ الأُمَمِ
We are the last of the Umam”
وَأَنَا آخِرُ الأَنْبِيَاءِ وَأَنْتُمْ آخِرُ الأُمَمِ
I am the last of the Prophets and you are the last of the Umam”
Now logically, if the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم has ceased to exist, for a long time (as Qutb claims), then according to the Prophetic tradition it cannot be reconstituted. If the Ummah ceased to exist absolutely, then the reconstitution of the Ummah ultimately means the creation of a new Ummah, which would falsify the Hadith “We are the last Ummah” and “You are the last Ummah”.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Prophet عليه السلام Was Elected to Temporal Authority


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على سيدى رسول الله
وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه

The Angel Gabriel عليه السلام came to our beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم while he was in a state of seclusion at the Cave of Hira, and came to him with the Word of Allah, the divine Revelation. He was informed that he is a Prophet of God and was subsequently instructed to announce his Prophesy to the people. For some thirteen years, in his native Mecca, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم prophesied, but he did not possess any administrative authority. Nor did he tell the people that administrative authority over Mecca or anyone else was his divine right.
When some of the people of Yathrib came into contact with him, and were persuaded that he was a true Prophet, they confessed faith in him. As their numbers grew, they consulted among themselves and made up their minds to invite the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to join them in Yathrib (Medina). They desired that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم not only dwell among them so they could benefit from the company of a Prophet, but that the Prophet serve as an arbitrator and judge among them, to settle their internal disputes. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم graciously accepted their invitation, and consecrated it through the Second Pledge of Aqabah. Sayyidina Ka’b bin Malik رضى الله عنه who was present on that occasion narrates: We gathered in the ravine to wait for the Messenger of God. He came to us accompanied by his paternal uncle al-Abbas b. Abd al-Muttalib, who at that time still adhered to the religion of his people, but wished to be present when his nephew was negotiating and to see that there was a firm agreement. When he had sat down, al-Abbas b. Abd al-Muttalib was the first to speak, and said, "People of the Khazraj (the Arabs used to call the Ansar, the Khazraj and the Aws together, by the name of the Khazraj), you know what Muhammad's position is among us. We have protected him against those of our people who have the same religious views as ourselves. He is held in honor by his own people and is safe in his country. He is determined to leave them and to join you, so if you think that you can fulfill the promises which you made in inviting him to come to you and can defend him against his enemies, then assume the responsibilities which you have taken upon yourselves. But if you think that you will abandon him and hand him over after he has come to you, then leave him alone now, for he is honored by his people and is safe in his country." We said to him, "We have heard what you have said. Speak, Messenger of God, and choose what you want for yourself and your Lord." The Messenger of God spoke, recited the Qur'an, summoned us to God, and made us desirous of Islam. Then he said, "I will enter a contract of allegiance with you, provided that you protect me as you would your wives and children." (Tarikh at-Tabari):



Now my thesis is that the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was not divinely appointed as leader, administrator, arbitrator or judge over Medina. He was invited by their people, the Aws and Khazraj, to fulfill that role, and he accepted, under divine guidance. The Believers of the Aws and Khazraj had consulted among themselves and subsequently extended this invitation to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. When he accepted, and sealed that acceptance on both sides through the Second Pledge of Aqabah, then emigrated to Medina and practically assumed the position of authority, it is my assertion that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم took on an additional role to his role and office of Prophesy. The function of judge or administrator is not a necessary part of Prophesy, it is something that is in addition to it. That is of course demonstrated in the example of the vast majority of the Prophets of Israel, who did not possess administrative authority or dominion. And in his capacity of judge or administrator of Medina, with that jurisdiction later expanded to include all Arabia, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم concluded treaties, appointed judges and governors to various towns and provinces, dispatched armies and appointed their commanders, received delegations and entered into negotiations with them, and so on and so forth. These were responsibilities associated not with his divine office of Prophesy, but with his position of temporal authority that he received not through divine right, but having been invited to take it by the people of Medina. So when Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم passed away, he vacated that position of temporal authority, and not his office of Prophesy. That is because Islam fundamentally teaches that Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is the ‘Seal of Prophets’, after him the formal institution of Prophesy has concluded, and there cannot be any prophet after him. Therefore, the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم could not be succeeded in his capacity of Prophet, for the successor of that role would necessarily be a prophet himself, which is impossible. The community of Believers he founded understood this fact. But they also understood that the Prophet had a secondary role of administrator and possessed temporal authority which could be succeeded to. Since the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم himself was not divinely appointed to that role, it was obvious that any successor to that role would not be divinely appointed either. Rather, just as the Prophet was invited to take on the responsibility of administration and temporal authority after consultation among the Believers of Yathrib, likewise, their elders and the senior companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ought to consult among themselves and elect a suitable successor to that role of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. This they did, and consequently sayyidina Abi Bakr رضى الله عنه, the Prophet’s right-hand man and most senior companion, was elected his first Successor or Khalifah (caliph). He assumed only those responsibilities and functions that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم wielded which were not connected to his office of Prophesy.
This argument was inspired to me, and I am fairly positive it has never truly been put forward by any Sunni Muslim to refute the falsehood of Shi’ism prior to this.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Twelver Shi'ah Doctrine: Imams Born from Thighs of Their Mothers!

  بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على سيدى رسول الله
وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه
Among the absurdities of the Twelver Shi’ah sect is the belief that the Twelve Imams were not born in the manner of humans. They attribute the following statement to their eleventh imam, Hasan al-Askari:
إنا معاشر الأوصياء لسنا نحمل في البطون وإنما نحمل في الجنوب ولا نخرج من الأرحام وإنما نخرج من الفخذ الأيمن من أمهاتنا لأننا نور الله الذي لا تناله الدانسات
We the Awsiya are not carried in the bellies but in the side, and we aren’t born from womb, but from the right thigh of our mothers, because we are the light of Allah which is not defiled by impurity.” (Bihar al-Anwar v.51 p.26):



Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Divine Attribute of Arriving, Coming (2:210; 89:22)


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين
والعاقبة للمتقين
Among the divine attributes of Allah Most High are:
الإتيان والمجيء
al-Ityān wal-Majī
These are attributes of activity or صفات الفعلية and they basically mean that Allah comes, as He says:

هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّآ أَن يَأْتِيَهُمُ ٱللهُ
Do they wait but that Allah should come to them
(Surah 2:210)

وَجَآءَ رَبُّكَ
Your Lord has come
(Surah 89:22)

The holy Quran teaches that Allah Most High shall come Himself in His holy Person with all glory in all glory on Judgment Day, with a massive army of Angels in the shade of clouds. Many misguided Muslims object to this doctrine, imagining it to be anthropotheism. They make ta’wil (figurative interpretation) of these Verses, stating that it refers to the coming of Allah’s command and not Allah Himself in His Person. This is because they imagine the divine attributes of ityān and majī (arriving, coming) require harakah (movement, motion), and according to them, movement is negated for Allah. This, of course, is a wrong approach to theology, as it is built on the outdated model of Aristotelian metaphysics. According to that model, movement is an incidental attribute of a substance or body, and since, according to them, Allah is not a substance or body, motion must be negated for Him. Again, based on Aristotelian metaphysics, these misguided Muslims understand Allah to be the unmoved mover. But Islam itself never describes Allah as “unmoved” nor does it explicitly negate movement or motion for Him. Simultaneously, Islam does not affirm movement or motion to Allah either, therefore we avoid the term harakah (movement, motion) with respect to Allah’s Essence, neither affirming nor negating it. But we affirm the attributes of ityān and majī (arriving, coming) for Allah, without expressing that in the modality of movement and motion. It’s modality is known to Allah alone and we are not permitted to speculate upon it. But as for sukūn I affirm this attribute for Allah upon the meaning of dwelling and not the Aristotelian meaning of stasis (rest, stillness). So I believe that Allah Most High occupies the Throne, it is filled with His Glory, and His Presence dwells there. He is settled upon it, and it may be said that He is sitting upon it. And it says in the Torah:
וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתֹוכָֽם
And let them make Me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them
(Exodus 25:8)

The Hebrew verb שָׁכַן shakan means to settle down, abide, dwell, like it Arabic equivalent سكن (rest, dwell).

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Allah is the Creator of Human Deeds (Surah 37:96)


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين
وعلى آله واصحابه اجمعين

Among the Muslims there arose two deviated denominations concerning the subject of free will. The Mujbirah or Jabariyah believe that Allah is the doer of everything in truth, and man can only be said to commit his deeds metaphorically. This false doctrine not only absolves man from responsibility for either the goodness or evil of his deeds, it imputes evil deeds to Allah’s Person, such as the act of adultery (I seek refuge with Allah from such a heinous idea). On the other end of the spectrum are the Qadariyah. They believe man is the independent creator of his own deeds. They hold to this doctrine so as to justify the idea that man alone is to be held accountable for his deeds, good or bad, but consequently impugn the Lordship and Sovereignty of Allah in assigning a rival, independent creator to Him. This is a sort of dualism, which is why the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) reportedly prophecied the appearance of the Qadariyah and named them the “Magians of the Ummah”. Magians or Majus refer to the old, dualist religion of Iran, which believes in two divine beings that are independent of each other, “good” Ahura Mazda and “evil” Angra Mainyu. The false doctrine of the Qadariyah was inherited by two misguided sects, the Mu’tazilah and the Shi’ah, the latter persist and continue to uphold this doctrine.
But as for orthodox Islam, we believe that Allah Most High is the Creator of our deeds and acts, as the holy Quran says:


وَاللهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
Allah created you and that which you do
(Surah 37:96)

So the false belief of the Qadariyah, Mu’tazilah and Shi’ah that man is the independent creator of his own deeds directly opposes the clear teaching of our Scripture. At the same time, orthodox Islam teaches that while Allah creates man’s acts, man earns and performs them of his own intention and volition. This is the doctrine of Kasb, that is, the earning of man’s deeds that are created for him on the basis of the condition of his heart and soul. So while Allah is the Creator of man’s deeds, He is not the doer or performer of those deeds, hence they cannot be ascribed to Him. That is because man does not have the capacity to create his own deeds, indeed, there is no creator in a true and independent sense apart from Allah Himself. In this way, orthodox Islam maintains the Lordship, Sovereignty and Omnipotence of Allah while also relegating responsibility of the good or evil of man’s acts to man alone.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Fitnah of Evil Ulama (Part 1)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
صلى الله على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
اللهم صلى على سيدنا ومولانا محمد وبارك وسلم وصلى عليه

I subscribe to the narrative that the present religious establishment of the Muslims is corrupt to the core. The vast majority of the Ulamā earn their livelihood through discharging of various religious services. Many are on the payroll of the states and governments. It is regarding the corrupt and evil scholars and learned teachers of the Law that Allah Most High puts forward the parable of a donkey carrying a load of scrolls:

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا ۚ بِئْسَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
The example of those who were entrusted with the Torah and then did not take it on is like that of a donkey who carries volumes [of books]. Wretched is the example of the people who deny the signs of Allah. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.
(Surah 62:5)

In another passage, Allah Most High puts forward the parable of a dog:

وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ الَّذِي آتَيْنَاهُ آيَاتِنَا فَانسَلَخَ مِنْهَا فَأَتْبَعَهُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ ۞ وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَرَفَعْنَاهُ بِهَا وَلَـٰكِنَّهُ أَخْلَدَ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ ۚ فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ الْكَلْبِ إِن تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثْ أَوْ تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَث ۚ ذَّٰلِكَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا ۚ فَاقْصُصِ الْقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And recite to them, the news of him to whom we gave [knowledge of] Our signs, but he detached himself from them; so Satan pursued him, and he became of the deviators. And if We had willed, we could have elevated him thereby, but he adhered [instead] to the earth and followed his own desire. So his example is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants. That is the example of the people who denied Our signs. So relate the stories that perhaps they will give thought.
(Surah 7:175-176)

According to majority of the mufassirīn (exegetes), this passage is speaking of one Balaam son of Beor, a wicked scholar in time of the prophet Moses (peace be upon him). These Quranic passages may be extended in meaning to apply to all evil religious scholars and teachers who fit the description given of the Jewish rabbis and scholars and the like of Balaam son of Beor.

My illustrious master, the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:


إِنَّمَا أَخَافُ عَلَى أُمَّتِي الأَئِمَّةَ الْمُضِلِّينَ

I fear for my Ummah misguided Imāms”


As it occurs in this Hadīth, the term A’immah refers to both religious and administrative leaders, but particularly to the former. According to the narration of sayyidinā Abī Dharr al-Ghifārī (radī Allāhu ‘anhu), the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) stated that he fears for his Ummah the misguided Imāms more than he fears for them the tribulation of the Dajjāl/Antichrist (Musnad Ahmad). That these narrations are referring primarily to the religious leadership of the Muslims, meaning their learned scholars and teachers, is inferred from another Hadīth on the authority of sayyidinā ‘Umar al-Fārūq (radī Allāhu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

إِنَّ أَخْوَفَ مَا أَخَافُ عَلَى هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ كُلُّ مُنَافِقٍ عَلِيمِ اللِّسَانِ

What I fear most for this Ummah is every hypocrite with a tongue of knowledge”
(Musnad Ahmad)


According to another narration:


شِرَارُ النَّاسِ شِرَارُ الْعُلَمَاءِ فِي النَّاسِ

The worst of the people are the worst of the ‘Ulamā’ among the people”
(Musnad al-Bazzār)


Althought somewhat weak, the following Hadīth related by Imām al-Bayhaqī reinforces the established narrative from the Prophetic Tradition that during the latter days the worst of people shall be the so-called Ulamā of the Muslims:

يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ عَلَى النَّاسِ زَمَانٌ لا يَبْقَى مِنَ الإِسْلامِ إِلا اسْمُهُ ، وَلا يَبْقَى مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ إِلا رَسْمُهُ ، مَسَاجِدُهُمْ عَامِرَةٌ ، وَهِيَ خَرَابٌ مِنَ الْهُدَى ، عُلَمَاؤُهُمْ أَشَرُّ مَنْ تَحْتَ أَدِيمِ السَّمَاءِ ، مَنْ عِنْدَهُمْ يَمْدَحُ الْفِتْنَةَ

A time will come upon the people when nothing shall remain of Islām except its name, and nothing shall remain of the Qurān except its script. Their mosques will be decorated but bereft of guidance, their Ulamā will be the worst of those under the canopy of Heaven”
(Shu’b al-Īmān)


It is plain to any Believer who is blessed with firāsah and nūr that it is our own time concerning which this Hadīth speaks. There are thousands of mosques that are beautiful in form, considered the finest examples of architecture, such that even the non-Muslims flock to visit them as part of their tourism and sight-seeing. But in reality, these mosques are bereft of guidance. Within them hardly anything of substance is preached that is remnicient of the message and narrative of the Scriptures and the Prophets. Likewise, many of our Ulamā, rather than being a source of knowledge and guidance for ordinary Muslims, have become a tribulation of themselves. They are all too often a source of dischord and mischief in the Ummah, such that they may be described as the worst of creation beneath the canopy of Heaven.

To be continued إن شاء الله

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Review of Sayyid Qutb's Milestones (Part 1)



بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
اللهم صلى على محمد وآل محمد
A little over two years ago, I completed a highly impressive and successful series of articles constituting a detailed critique of ‘Allama’ Iqbal’s Islam and Ahmadism. It is a highly impressive examination and evaluation of the misguided notions and un-Islamic thinking of an individual who is, ironically, considered a great Muslim philosopher and thinker. It was this individual whose modernist and materialist thinking animated the religious and political discourse of the modern-day, so-called “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan. Today, I post the first part of a new critique, similar in spirit and theme to the aforementioned one, that shall constitute an intellectual evaluation of Sayyid Qutb’s (1906-1966) notorious manifesto entitled Ma’ālim fīt-Tarīq (Eng. Milestones or Signposts).

This was Qutb’s last work before his execution in 1966. Regarding this extremely controversial text, Gilles Kepel writes: “Qutb’s last work, Signposts, describes the Nasser regime in particularly severe terms, as seen from the vantage point of a man who knew only its concentration camps. The Nasserist state, Qutb argued, belongs to the Islamic category of jahiliyya, or pre-Islamic barbarism. That designation placed the regime beyond the bounds of Islam. In a simple and lucid style, Qutb presented his analysis of the regime and his recommendation of how to destroy it and replace it with an Islamic state. Although conceived on the basis of Qutb’s observation of the Nasser regime, the basic analysis of Signposts would retain its validity under Nasser’s successor as well. Signposts is therefore a major document offering a direct encounter with the ideology of the Islamicist movement. The actions of the major tendencies of that movement are implicit in the principles it presents, and ultimately it became a manifesto for most Islamicists. The religious scholars (ulema) of al-Azhar and all the various Muslim dignitaries linked to the regime have condemned this last book of Sayyid Qutb as abomination and heresy. The most traditional of the Muslim Brethren consider it a simultaneously fascinating and repellent text, some of whose assertions they consider admirable, others beyond the pale. Signposts, in other words, is the royal road to the ideology of the Islamicist movement of the seventies” (Muslim Extremism in Egypt: The Prophet and Pharaoh, pp.37-38).
With this basic background in view, let us now proceed to read Milestones. Interestingly, Sayyid Qutb begins this manifesto, this supposed blueprint for how mankind may be saved from annihilation, with a detailed criticism of Marxism. Sayyid Qutb belonged to that generation of Muslim thinkers who were now only strongly influenced by Marxism and Leninism, but were at times completely under its spell. These individuals, the “godfathers” of the so-called Islamist or political Islamic movement, did not come from a background of traditional Islamic learning, but were quite often ex-Marxists who had become disillusioned with Marxism and Leninism as a viable solution for the economic and social disparities of their Muslim homelands. Throughout the mid-20th century, certain European political ideologies and philosophies (materialism, modernism, socialism, Marxism, communism, Leninism, Stalinism, fascism, etc.) had deeply penetrated the imagination of Western educated Muslim thinkers and intellectuals. It was only natural their conception and approach to Islam was through the lens of these materialist ideologies. Now according to Qutb, revolutionary Marxism-Leninism, as embodied in the policies of the Soviet Union, is essentially refuted for its failure to produce material prosperity: “But now Marxism is defeated on the plane of thought...But now, even under these circumstances, its materialistic economic system is failing, although this was the only foundation on which its structure was based. Russia, which is the leader of the communist countries, is itself suffering from shortages of food. Although during the times of the Tsars Russia used to produce surplus food, it now has to import food from abroad and has to sell its reserves of gold for this purpose. The main reason for this is the failure of the system of collective farming, or, one can say, the failure of a system which is against human nature.” In summary, Qutb points to economic difficulties and specifically food shortage as evidence for Marxism or communism being “a system which is against human nature”. My purpose in drawing attention to this seemingly minor point is that in Qutb’s mind material prosperity and success is the scale by which various ideologies are to be weighed. It reveals his underlying materialist mode of thinking which is contrary to the teachings and principles of Religion. For Qutb, failure on the plane of thought is contingent to an ideology, when realized, being incapable of adequately addressing material, Earthly problems like food shortage. So we see here how Qutb is setting the stage for Islam to be presented as an ideology that is in the same category as materialist, political ideologies like Marxism and Leninism. We can assume, therefore, that the selling point for “Islam” as an alternative political and economic system, according to Qutb, is that once realized or implemented, material and Earthly problems of mankind shall be solved, problems like food shortage. Here I would like to raise a critical question: Is the purpose of Islam to solve mankind’s material, Earthly problems, or does it have a higher purpose of saving the human soul from damnation in the Afterlife? This is of course a rhetorical question, and the answer should be obvious to any Muslim. Next, Qutb states his thesis: “It is essential for mankind to have new leadership!” This too exposes the materialist and extremely hollow, shallow thinking of Qutb. For him, the issue is leadership, i.e., the change of leadership is what will save mankind from annihilation. Such a view is more or less in line for anyone who views mankind’s dilemma as essentially political. The tragedy with the so-called Islamist movement, particularly this Qutbist strain of it, is that for them the axis of Islam revolves around the issue of leadership. This is a highly reductionist approach to the Religion. Not only that, it has actually disfigured the Religion by putting to the side its most fundamental tenets, that are concerned with the salvation of the soul and establishing a living relationship with Allah Most High.
To be continued ان شاء الله

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

جواهر الخمس Five Gems

بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين
وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين
خاکسار پر الہام ہوا ہے کہ جاو، توحید کا تبلیغ کرتے رہو، اور وہی ربّ تمہارا ساتھ ہوگا جو موسی اور ہارون کا ربّ ہے۔ علی نبینا وعلیہما الصلوات والتسلیمات۔ میں ملک کینیڈا میں ایک اجنبی ہوں، اس لیے کہ اگرچہ میرا پیدائش یہاں کا ہے، میرے آبا‍‌ؤ اجداد سر زمین ہند کے تھے، سو میں اس سماج کا نہی ہوں۔ اس کے علاوہ، میں کلمہ گو مسلم ہوں، اور دین اسلام کا وہ خاص سلسلہ کا وارث ہوں جو سید احمد شہید اور شاہ اسماعیل شہید نے دنیا میں قائم کیے تھے۔ علیہما الرضوان۔ سو جس طرح ان دونوں نے توحید خداوندی کی خاطر جہاد کیے تھے، میں بھی اس کام کے لیے مأمور ہوا ہوں۔ کیا کوئی مؤمن میرا اس وزارت توحید پر اعتراض کرسکتا ہے؟ انگریز کے درمیان رہائش پذیر ہوں۔ یہ میرا قوم نہی ہے۔ سو جس طرح نبی یونس علیہ السلام نینواہ شہر کی طرف مبعوث کیا گیا، حالانکہ وہ اسرائیلی تھے اور نینواہ والے نے آپ کو غیر ملکی تصور کیے تھے، حکمت الہی نے میرے لیے بھی یہی فیصلہ کی کہ غیروں کے وطن میں رہے گا۔ میں اس قوم کو انتہا حکارت کے ساتھ دیکھتا ہوں۔ ان کے پاس نہ کوئی شریعت ہے اور نہ کوئی ہدایت۔ بہر حال، ہمارا امت مسلمہ کی اپنی حالت خراب ہے۔ قبروں اور مردوں سے مانگتے ہیں۔ شریعت کی احکام اور حلال و حرام کو بڑی آسانی کے ساتھ در کنار کرتے ہیں۔ ہر جگہ عریانی و فہاشی کو فروغ دیے ہیں۔ زنا اور شراب کا بازار گرم ہے۔ نماز کی طرف اکثر مسلمان کو خیال ہی نہی آتا۔ جھوٹ اور بدمعاشی مسلمان کے عادت بن چکی ہے۔ اس صورت حال میں کوئی شخص اگر اندھا کیوں نہ ہو، اگر اس کے دل میں بصیرت ہے وہ جانتا ہے کہ امت مسلمہ راہ راست سے ہٹ گئی اور انہیں اصلاح کا ضرورت ہے۔ اصلاح کے خاطر اللہ جل شانہ نے سلسلہ نبوت جاری فرمایا تھا۔ سو، آدم صفی اللہ سے لیکر حضرت محمد نبی صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم تک، نبی اور رسول آتے رہے اور لوگوں تک پیغام خداوندی پھنچاتے رہے۔ لیکن جب دین کو مکمل کرنے کا ارادہ تھا، تو آخری نبی محمد مصطفی صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کو دنیا میں مبعوث فرمایا۔ سو سلسلہ نبوت ختم ہو چکی ہے، لیکن ابھی بھی ہدایت و اصلاح و تجدید کی ضرورت ہے۔ قیامت تک اسکی ضرورت ہوگی۔ لہاذہ، ختم نبوت کی آر میں یہ باطل خیال نہ کر کہ اب اللہ نے انسان کے ساتھ کلام کرنا چور دیا۔ متکلم ہونا اللہ وحدہ لا شریک کا ذاتی صفت ہے۔ اللہ جو سچا خدا ہے اور جھوٹے معبودان یعنی اصنام و اوثان میں یہ فرق موجود ہے کہ سچا الہ بولتا ہے جبکہ دوسرے گونگے ہیں۔ چنانچہ اللہ رب العزۃ اپنا کلام مقدس میں فرماتا ہے کہ
أَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّهُ لَا يُكَلِّمُهُمْ وَلَا يَهْدِيهِمْ سَبِيلً
کیا بت پرستوں نے یہ نہی دیکھا کہ انکے بت نہ ان سے بات کرسکتا ہے اور نہ ان کو راستہ دکھا سکتا ہے۔
افسوس کہ ہمارے جاہل ملاوں نے ختم نبوت کی آر میں اللہ تعالی کا صفت متکلم کو معتل کیا ہے، اور انکے تصور خدا ویسا ہے جیسے کہ بت پرستوں کا ہے، یعنی ایک ایسا خدا جو نہ لوگوں سے بات کرتا ہے اور نہ ان کو ہدایت دے سکتا ہے۔ یہ زمانہ کا بدترین الہاد ہے۔ علماء کے خرابی کا واضح علامت ہے۔ یقین کر، ہمارے علماء کے دلوں ویسے ہیں جیسے یھود کے احبار کے تھے، یعنی ایک دم سخت اور کالے۔ سو اپنا دل کو نرم کر، تا اللہ عز وجل اس میں اپنا روح القدس اس میں نفخ کرے گا۔ اور تم نور الہام سے اپنا سینہ کو منوّر پاو گے۔ اللہ کا پاک نبی صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے امت اجابہ کو بشارت دی کہ ہر صدی کا آغاز میں اللہ لاظماً ایک مجدد کو مبعوث فرماے گا۔ مجدد نبی علیہ السلام کا خلیفہ، وصی، وارث، وزیر، نائب، اور وکیل ہوتا ہے۔ اس کے علاوہ، مجدد مامور من اللہ ہے، اور لاظماً صاحب الہام و کشف بھی ہے۔ وہ تجدید دین کے لیے مہنت کرتا ہے، اور لوگوں کے غلط عقائد و افعال کے تصحیح فرماتا ہے۔ اور اودہ تجدید کا ساتھ ساتھ سلسلہ ولایت بھی ہے۔ ولی اللہ وہ ہے جن کا رات عبادت و ذکر الہی میں گزرتا ہے۔ وہ شریعت کا سخت پابند اور سنّت رسول صلی اللہ علیہ کا عکسی تصویر ہوتا ہے۔ اگرچہ اس زمانہ میں اولیاء اللہ کے تعداد نسبتاً قلیل ہے، یہ مبارک افراد انبیاء بنی اسرائیل کے مثل ہیں۔ اور جیسے میں نے آغاز میں اشارہ کیا، خاکسار یونس نبی علیہ السلام کا مثیل تو نہی ہوں، لیکن آپ کا شان کا ایک جھلک مجھ میں نظر آتا ہے۔ سو میں بھی ایک وقت مچھلی کا پیٹ میں تھا، لیکن اللہ سبحانہ نے مجھے وہاں سے نکالا تھا، کیوںکہ میں نے یونس رسول علیہ السلام کی طرح ربّ کو پکارا تھا۔
کوئ ذی شعور آدمی یہ سب کچ پڑھ کر یہ خیال کر سکتا ہے کہ خاکسار وہی باتیں دہرا رہا ہے جو صوفیاء حضرات فرماتے ہیں۔ البتہ میں کوئی صوفی نہی ہوں۔ آج کہ صوفیاء خرفات اور بدعات میں غرق ہیں الّا ما شاء اللہ۔ یہ طبقہ علماء کے طرح خراب ہوا ہے۔ میں دنیا کو بتانے کے لیے آیا ہوں کہ انکے خرابی کی جڑ دین کو روزی کمانے کا ذریعہ بنانے کا ہے۔ یہ وہ چیز ہے جس نے یہود و نصاری کو حلاک کیا تھا۔ اچھی طرح ذہن نشین کر کہ درباری ملّا کبھی حق کا پرچار کر ہی نہی سکتا۔ دنیا کے ریاستیں اور دولت مند طبقہ پوری طرح ابلیس کا قبض قدرت میں ہے۔ بہر حال، جب بھی کوئی سچا ولی اللہ دنیا میں ظاہر ہوگا، ان کے دشمنان کے اوّل صف میں ملّا اور جعلی پیر ہونگے۔ تصوّف کا محض نام رہا، ورنہ اصل صوفی وہ ہے جو قدیم صوفیاء کے طرح شہرت نہی چاہتا بلکہ اللہ تعالی کا موّدت میں غرق ہے۔ اسکا دل ربّ الہ کا غیرت کے لیے جلتا ہے۔ سچا صوفی وہ ہے جس کے باطن یعنی سیرت کو دیکھ کر کسی قدیم اسرائیلی نبی کا یاد تازہ ہو جاتا ہے۔
میری دعوت ایک الہامی دعوت ہے۔ دل میں روح القدس نے یہ باتیں القی فرمائی کہ اللہ کی وحدانیت کی طرف بلاو۔ اسکا مطلب یہ ہے کہ فقط ایک خدا کا عبادت و عکافت کیا کر۔ مزارات کی عکافت چھوڑ۔ یہ پہلا گوھر ہے۔
پھر یہ دعوت ہے کہ شریعت مصطفوی اور سنّت مبارکہ پر عمل کر۔ اس دعوت کی تفصیل یہ ہے کہ حرام کاموں سے پرہیز کر، اور نبی مطہر صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کے پیارے سنّتیں کو پکڑ۔ یہ دوسرا گوھر ہے۔
پھر یہ دعوت ہے کہ دنیا کی محبت دل سے نکال، اور کثرت عبادب یعنی نماز، دعا، ذکر الہی، تسبیحات، نبی کریم پر درود و سلام، اور تلاوت قرآن کریم کیا کر۔ یہ تیسرا گوھر ہے۔
پھر یہ دعوت ہے کہ غریب، یتیم، کمزور، بیمار اور لاوارث کا خدمت کر۔ یہ تصفیت قلب کا ایک جیّد طریقہ ہے اور دین اسلام کے اخلاقی تعلیم میں سے ہے۔ یہ چوتھا گوھر ہے۔
پھر یہ دعوت ہے کہ انبیاء و رسل علیہم السلام کے سیرت پر چل کر، نکل کر دعوت و تبلیغ کا کام انجام دے۔ لوگوں کو کلمہ طیبہ یعنی لا الہ الا اللہ محمد رسول اللہ کی طرف بلا۔ اس کام کو عبادت کی نیت سے کر۔ یہ پانچواں گوھر ہے۔
سو اللہ سبحانہ وتعالی نے میرا دل میں یہ پانچ جواہر ڈال دیا۔ میں عوام الناس کو اپنی ذات کی طرف نہی بلاتا، بلکہ ذات کبریاء جلّ جلالہ کی طرف دعوت مقصود ہے۔
وَمَا عَلَيْنَا إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ

خاکسار
عبد القادر ملہم

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