The Meaning of Sunnah
by Dr. G.F. Haddad
The Arabic word Sunnah lexically means "road" or "practice." In the language of the Prophet and the Companions it denotes the whole of licit [lawful] practices followed in the Religion [dîn], particularly the pristine (hanîf) path of Prophets, whether pertaining to belief, religious and social practice, or ethics generally speaking.
In its technical sense Sunnah has three meanings. In hadith terminology it denotes any saying (qawl), action (fi'l), approval (taqrîr), or attribute (sifa), whether physical (khilqîyya) or moral (khuluqîyya) ascribed to (udîfa ila) the Prophet , whether before or after the beginning of his prophethood.1 This meaning is used in contradistinction to the Qur'an in expressions such as "Qur'an and Sunnah" and applies in the usage of hadith scholars.
In the terminology of Usul al-fiqh or principles of jurisprudence, Sunnah denotes a saying (qawl), action (fi'l) or approval (taqrîr) related from (nuqila 'an) the Prophet or issuing (sadara) from him other than the Qur'an.
In the terminology of fiqh or jurisprudence, Sunnah denotes whatever is firmly established (thabata) as called for (matlub) in the Religion on the basis of a legal proof (dalîl shar'î) but without being obligatory, the continued abandonment of which constitutes disregard (istikhfaf) of the Religion - also sin (ithm) according to some jurists - and incurs blame (lawm, 'itab, tadlîl) - also punishment ('uquba) according to some jurists.2 However, some jurists have made a distinction between what they called "Emphasized Sunnah" (Sunnah mu'akkada) or "Sunnah of Guidance" (Sunnah al-huda), such as what the Prophet ordered or emphasized in word or in deed, and other types of Sunnah considered less binding in their legal status, such as what they called "Non-Emphasized Sunnah" (Sunnah ghayr mu'akkada) or "Sunnah of Habit" (Sunnah al-'ada).
The above meanings of Sunnah are used in contradistinction to the other four of the five legal categories for human actions - fard (obligatory), sunnah, mubah (indifferent), makruh (disliked), haram (prohibited) - and applies in the usage of jurists from the second Hijri century onwards. However, the jurists have stressed that the basis for all acts of worship categorized as Sunnah is "obligatoriness" not "permissiveness" (al-asl fee al-Sunnah al-wujub la al-ibaha). Sunnah is thus defined as the strongest of the following near-synonymous categories:
"drawing near" (qurba)
"recommended" (raghîba, murghab fîh)
It is antonymous with "innovation" (bid'a), as in the expression "People of the Sunnah" or Sunnis (Ahl al-Sunnah).
Al-Dhahabi relates from Ishaq ibn Rahuyah the saying: "If al-Thawri, al-Awza'i, and Malik concur on a given matter, that matter is a Sunna." Al-Dhahabi comments:
Rather, the Sunnah is whatever the Prophet made Sunnah, and the rightly-guided Caliphs after him. As for Consensus (ijma'), it is whatever the 'ulama of the Community both early and late have unanimously agreed upon, through either assumed (zannee) or tacit (sukutee) agreement. Whoever deviates from such consensus among the Successors or their successors, it is tolerated for him alone. As for those who deviate from the three above-named imams, then such is not named a deviation from Consensus, nor from the Sunnah. All that Ishaq meant was that if they concur on a given matter then it is most probably correct, just as we say, today, that it is nearly impossible to find the truth outside of what the Four Imams of scholarly endeavor agreed upon. We say this at the same time as we admit that their agreement on a given matter does not dictate the consensus of the Community, but we refrain from asserting, in relation to a matter upon which they all agreed, that the correct position is otherwise.3
1 See al-Siba'i, Al-Sunnah wa Makanatuha fi al-Tashri' al-Islami (p.47).
2 See al-Lucknawi, Tuhfah al-Abrar, chapter entitled "The Legal Status of the Emphasized Sunnah and of its Abandonment"
(Hukm al-Sunnah al-Mu'akkada wa Tarkiha) (p. 87-92).
3 Al-Dhahabi, Siyar A'lam al-Nubala' (1997 ed. 7:92).
First of all, we will establish that the Beloved Prophet, Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa, May the peace and blessings of God be upon him, not only received the verses of the Qur'an from God, but he also received other revelation from time to time which is now preserved in the form of hadiths. The following examples show how the Qur'an itself refers to this revelation:
1. According to verse 144 of Surah al-Baqarah (Chapter 2 of the Qur'an), God Almighty commanded the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him,to face the Ka'bah (in Makkah) in his daily prayers instead of Jerusalem.
"We see the turning of thy face to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque; wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction."
But why was the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, facing Jerusalem before that? Verse 143 (of Surah al-Baqarah) shows that God Himself had appointed Jerusalem as the initial Qiblah (i.e. direction faced when praying) for the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him.
"And we appointed the Qiblah to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (from the Faith)."
The appointment of the previous Qiblah is referred to as being in the past. But there is no verse in the Qur'an which commands the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, to face Jerusalem at the beginning of his mission! Therefore, the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, must have received this guidance from God in a form other than the Qur'an. As we have said above, this alternative revelation is preserved in the Sunnah.
2. In verse 5 of Surah al-Hashr (Chapter 59 of the Qur'an), a reference is made to the expedition against the rebellious Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir, during which the Muslims cut down some palm-trees and left others alone.
"Whether ye (O Muslims) cut down the tender palm-trees or ye left them standing on their roots, it was by leave of God, and in order that He might cover the rebellious transgressors with shame."
Here, their action is attributed to the "leave of God" given to them. Nowhere in the Qur'an is such permission found. Hence God guided the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, in this matter but not via the Qur'an.
3. According to verses 17-18 of Surah al-Qiyamah (Chapter 75), God took it upon Himself to collect the Qur'an. The Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, directed the scribes of the Qur'an to arrange its surahs (chapters) in the order found today; this is not the order in which they were revealed. Therefore, since this was God's responsibility, it shows that He guided the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, with respect to the order of the surahs.
These are just a few examples out of many which leave no doubt that the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, used to receive revelation from God either directly or through the medium of the Angel Gabriel (Arabic: Jibreel). Apart of this revelation was preserved word for word under the title of the Qur'an. All other revelation was embodied either in the Prophet's sayings or in his practices which were carefully preserved by the Companions as the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him.
Significance of the Sunnah
No devout Muslim would ever dare to go against the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah, but it is regrettable to note that some of the liberal elite tend to raise the slogan that the Book of God (i.e. the Qur'an) is enough and that there is no need at all for the Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him. Slogans like this are raised mainly by people who want to get rid of the Islamic Law (Arabic: Sharee'ah) completely. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, himself was well-aware that such ill-natured opinions would arise and hence gave a clear warning of this as reported by Al-Miqdam ibn Ma'di Karib, one of his Companions: "I have indeed been given the Qur'an and something similar to it besides it. Yet, the time will come wh en a man leaning on his couch will say, 'Follow the Qur'an only; what you find in it as halaal, take it as halaal, and what you find in it as haraam, take it as haraam.' But truly, what the Messenger of God has forbidden is like what God has forbidden." (Reported by Abu Dawud and Darimi.)
In fact, ANYONE WHO REJECTS THE SUNNAH OF THE BELOVED PROPHET, PEACE BE UPON HIM, DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE QUR'AN, for Almighty God Himself has emphasized the importance of the Sunnah in many verses, of which a few are given below.
"O you who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you; and if you differ in anything among yourselves, then refer it to God and the Messenger if you do believe in God and the Last Day. That is best and most suitable for final determination." (Surah Al-Nisa' 4:59)
"The answer of the believers, when summoned to God and His Messenger in order that he may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, 'We hear and we obey'. It is such as these who will attain success." (Surah Al-Nur 24:51)
"But no, by your Lord! (O Muhammad) They cannot be believers until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest submission." (Surah Al-Nisa' 4:65)
Anas reported that the Most Beloved Messenger of God said: "I have left among you two things; you will never go astray as long as you hold fast to them: the Book of God and my Sunnah." (Reported by Haakim.) The Companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to hold the commandments given by the Prophet, peace be upon him, in a very high esteem, making no distinctions between them and those given by God. Once 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ood quoted this saying of the Prophet (hadith) while he was delivering a sermon: "May God curse the women who tattoo their bodies and those who pluck their eyebrows; those who separate their teeth to make them look more pretty and those who try to change the creation of God." A woman named Umm Yaqub from the tribe of Banu Asad came to know of these words. She approached Ibn Mas'ood and said: "O Abu 'Abd ar-Rahman! It was reported to me that you have cursed such and such women." He said: "Why should I not curse those whom the Prophet, peace be upon him, cursed and who are cursed in the Book of God as well." She said: "I have read whatever is contained between the two covers (i.e. the whole Qur'an)." Had you been a good reader, you would have discovered it. Did you not read the following verse?
"So take whatever the Messenger gives you and keep away from what he forbids you." (Surah Al-Hashr 59:7)
Let us see what the four great Imams (i.e. religious scholars) have said about the authority of the Sunnah.
a) IMAM ABU HANIFAH was asked: "What do we do if we find a saying of yours opposing the Book of God?" He replied: "Leave my saying and stick to the Book of God." The questioner asked: "What if it contradicts a saying of the Prophet?" Abu Hanifah said: "Leave my saying in the face of the Prophet's saying." Again he was asked: "What if it goes against the saying of a Companion?" Again he said: "Leave my saying in the face of the Companion's saying." (Reported in Al-Qawl al-Mufeed by Shawkani.) Imam Abu Hanifah also declared: "My way (Arabic: madh-hab) is whatever hadith (saying of the Prophet) that is proved to be authentic." (Shami 1:50, Al-Fulani in Iqaz, p. 62.)
b) The saying of IMAM MALIK IBN ANAS is well-known: "The saying of any person can be accepted or rejected, except for the Prophet of God, peace be upon him." (Reported by Ibn 'Abd al-Barr and Ibn Hazm. Also in Al-Yawaqeet wa Al-Jawahir 2:96.) He also said: "I am just a mortal; sometimes 1 am wrong, sometimes I am right - so check my opinions. Whatever agrees with the Book (i.e. the Qu'ran) and the Sunnah, accept it; whatever disagrees with them, reject it." (Reported by Al-Fulani in Iqaz, p. 72.)
c) Once IMAM SHAFI'I narrated a saying of the Prophet (hadith). Someone from the audience said: "Do you say so as well?" On hearing this, the Imam was enraged. His face turned pale and he said: "Woe to you! Which earth would carry me, which sky would shelter me if I narrate a saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him and do not hold the same view! Do you see a zunnar (belt worn by non-Muslims)on me? Or have you noticed me coming out of a church? How can I report something from the Prophet, peace be upon him, and not agree with ?!!"
d) IMAM AHMAD IBN HANBAL said: "Do not follow me or Malik or Shafi'i or Auza'i or Thawri, but take from where they took (i.e. from the Qu'ran and authentic Sunnah)." (Reported by Al-Fulani ) He also said: "He who is on the verge of destruction rejects a saving of the Messenger of God, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him." (Reported by Ibn al-Jauzi.)
Praise and thanks to Allah for the givings He granted without Him being obligated to do so, and we ask Allah to raise the status of the Prophet Muhammad and protect his Ummah from that which he fears for it.
We are putting this treatise in the hands of the reader to clarify the case of Ibn Taymiyyah to whoever does not know about it and to refute some of his numerous sayings in which he deviated from the belief and Ijma’ [The ‘Ijma’, one source of Islamic teachings, is defined as the unanimous agreement of the mujtahidun (top scholars) from among the followers of Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, upon a religious matter during a certain period of time.] of the Muslims, their Salaf and Khalaf [The Salaf are the Muslims who lived within the first three-hundred years A.H. [After Hijrah, the immigration of Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) from Mecca to Medina]. This includes the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, i.e., persons who met with Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam), believed in him, and died Muslim) and Tabi’un (Muslims who met with the Companions). The Khalaf are the Muslims who lived afterwards.]. Additionally, this treatise is meant to be an extension to what has been said and composed of articles about Ibn Taymiyyah's case, applying Ayah 110 of Al ‘Imran, which means: You are the best nation that were sent out to people, because you bid the obedience and forbid the disobedience.
We ask Allah to grant us success and the best of intentions. Our goal is to obey Allah.
The Muhaddith, Hafiz, Shaykh ‘Abdullah al-Harari [Muhaddith and Hafiz both refer to a knowledgeable person in the Science of Hadith, with the latter being more knowledgeable. A Hafiz is also a person who memorizes the Holy Qur'an. In this context, Shaykh is the title of a teacher of Islamic knowledge.] may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
Praise and thanks to Allah for the givings He granted without Him being obligated to do so. May Allah raise the rank of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad and protect his Ummah from that which he fears for it. May the mercy of Allah be upon the Al and Sahb of the Prophet. [The Al of Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam), includes his wives, Muslim kin, and the pious Muslims of his Ummah. The Sahb or Sahabah of Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) are the people who met with him, believed in him, and died Muslim.]
Know that the reason for writing this treatise is that many people thought that attributing the hadd (limit) and the jismiyyah (bodily characteristics) to Allah, and prohibiting the tawassul (asking Allah for things by some good people or deeds) by the anbiya' (prophets) and awliya' (righteous Muslims) after their death, and the tabarruk (seeking the blessing of Allah) by visiting their graves are the beliefs and actions of the Salaf.
Since the situation is as such, the necessity called for showing that the truth of the matter is different from what is thought. In other words, the Salaf had the belief that Allah is clear of the hadd, i.e., that Allah never had a hadd. Moreover, Allah does not have a hadd according to His knowledge or to the knowledge of the creation. Performing the tawassul by the anbiya' and awliya' after their death and the tabarruk by visiting their graves hoping for the fulfillment of their du’a' (supplication, asking Allah) at their graves is the condition in which the Salaf were. We wanted to show that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was different from what Ibn Taymiyyah innovated. We saw that it is obligatory to expose this imposture by showing that the Ijma’ permits the tawassul by the anbiya' and awliya' after their death, that the going (of the Muslims) to the graves of those people with the purpose of tabarruk is not shirk (associating partners with Allah), and that touching the grave for tabarruk is permitted, has no shirk in it, and is not haram (prohibited, sinful). This treatise is full of Islamic proofs. The reader, by the will of Allah, will see them in detail.
I.The First Article
Ibn Taymiyyah's Deviations from the Muslims
Know that, although Ibn Taymiyyah had many writings and a fame, he is as the Muhaddith, Hafiz, Faqih, Wali-ud-Din al-’Iraqi, the son of the Shaykh of Huffaz, Zayn-ud-Din al-’Iraqi, in his book "al-'Ajwibat-ul-Mardiyyah" said about him: His knowledge is bigger than his mind. He also said: He infringed the Ijma’ in many issues, which was said to be sixty issues, some of which are in the Usul and others in the Furu’ [Al-'Usul is ‘Ilm-ut-Tawhid, the Science of the belief in Allah and His Messenger. Al-Furu’ deals with the Islamic matters other than those of belief (Usul), such as Salah, Siyam, and dealings.] After the Ijma’ has settled upon those issues, he violated it. Some lay people and others followed him in this violation. The scholars of his time hastened to refute him and charged him of bringing bid’ah [Bid’ah is innovation; something which is new some of which are Islamically acceptable and others are rejected. Here it refers to the prohibited innovation.] Among those was Imam, Hafiz, Taqi-ud-Din ‘Ali Ibn ‘Abd-il-Kafi as-Subki. In "ad-Durrat-ul-Mudiyyah", he said what means: Ibn Taymiyyah innovated the foul things in the Usul of belief and infringed the foundations of al-'Islam, after he was covering himself with following the Book (the Qur'an) and Sunnah, showing outwardly that he is a caller to truth and a guide to the Jannah. Consequently, he deviated from following the Book and Sunnah to innovation, and deviated from the Jama’ah of the Muslims [The Jama’ah is the Muslim group following the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his Sahabah. The full name is Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah. It constitutes the majority of the Muslims.] by infringing the Ijma’. He said what leads to the jismiyyah and composition in the Holy Self of Allah and that it is not impossible that Allah needs a part. He said that the Self of Allah contains hawadith (events, creations), that the Qur'an is muhdath (created) and Allah spoke it after it was not, that Allah speaks and stops speaking, and that wills happen in Him according to the creations. He transgressed to say that the world did not have a beginning. He adhered to his saying that there is no beginning for the creations, thereby saying of the existence of hawadith [Al-Hawadith, the plural of al-hadith, is a creation, i.e., something the existence of which started at some point in time and it may be annihilated any time later. Al-Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannam (Hellfire), two creations of Allah, will never be annihilated because Allah has willed that for them.] without a beginning. Hence, he confirmed that the eternal attribute (of Allah) is created and the created hadith is eternal. No one has ever said both sayings in any religion. He was not among the seventy-three groups into which the Muslim Ummah was divided. In spite of all of this being horrible kufr (blasphemy), it is little compared to what he innovated in the Furu’.
Hafiz Abu Sa’id al-’Ala'i, the Shaykh of Hafiz al-’Iraqi, mentioned many of these issues. This was reported by Muhaddith, Hafiz, and historian Shams-ud-Din Ibn Tulun in "Thakha'ir-ul-Qasr". Among what was reported about Ibn Taymiyyah, is his saying that Allah is the site of creations, that the world is eternal by kind and it always has been created with Allah, and some of which his saying of the jismiyyah, direction, and movement (of Allah). Ibn Taymiyyah wrote a juz' (section) that Allah's knowledge does not pertain to what does not end, like the enjoyment of the people of Jannah, and that Allah does not know everything about the finite, that our prophet Muhammad, ‘alayh-is-salam, has no jah (status) and whoever performs tawassul by him is wrong. He wrote many papers about that. He said exaggeratedly that starting a trip to visit our prophet is a sin which invalidates shortening the Salah in it. Before Ibn Taymiyyah, no Muslim had said what he said. He said that the torture of the people of Hell stops and does not last forever. He was ordered to repent many times, but he broke his promises and agreements every time until he was imprisoned as per the fatwa of the Four Judges [The full text of this fatwa will be mentioned, by the will of Allah, at the end of the book.]one of whom was a Shafi’i, the second Maliki, the third Hanafi, and the fourth Hanbali [A madhhab is a framework inferred by a mujtahid from the Qur'an, Sunnah, Ijma’, and Qiyas, by which he deduces the judgements on the practical matters of al-'Islam such as the Taharah, Salah, Zakah, Siyam, and Hajj. The Sunni madhhayb which are available today are four: The Hanafi Madhhab, the Maliki Madhhab, the Shafi’i Madhhab, and the Hanbali Madhhab. The respective founders of those madhhayb are: Imam Abu Hanifah (80-150 A.H.), Imam Malik (93-179 A.H.), Imam ash-Shafi’i (150-204 A.H.), and Imam Ibn Hanbal (164-241 A.H.)] They passed the ruling that he was a straying man, against whom it is obligatory to warn, as was said in "‘Uyun-ut-Tarikh" by Salah-ud-Din as-Safadi, who was a student of Ibn Taymiyyah and of Taqi as-Subki. King Muhammad Ibn Qalawun issued a decree to be read on the manabir [Manabir is the plural of minbar which is a podium, an elevated platform for a speaker or the like.] in Egypt and ash-Sham (area including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine) to warn people against him and his followers.
Ath-Thahabi, a contemporary of Ibn Taymiyyah, had praised him first. However, when his case was exposed to him, he said in his treatise, "Bayanu Zaghal-il-’Ilm wat-Talab", page 17: By Allah, my eye has not fallen on a person who was more knowledgeable or more intelligent than a man called Ibn Taymiyyah. He showed zuhd (disinterest) in food, clothing, and women. He supported the truth and performed Jihad with every possible means. I got tired in weighing and digging him out. I got bored with that for long years. I found that as a result of his arrogance, self deceipt, excessive love to be the head of the scholars, and disdain with great people, he was falling behind the people of Egypt and ash-Sham; they hated him, degraded him, and charged him with lying and kufr. Look at the consequence of claim and love of appearance. We ask Allah for forgiveness. There are some people who are not more pious, knowledgeable, or zahid (careless about mundane matters) than he is. However, they overlook the sins of their friends. Allah did not empower those people over Ibn Taymiyyah by their piety and greatness, but by his sins. What Allah warded off him and his followers is more; they only got some of what they deserve. Have no doubt about it. This treatise is confirmed about ath-Thahabi, because Hafiz as-Sakhawi reported this statement about him in his book "al-'I’lam bit-Tawbikh" on page 77.
II. The Second Article
Ibn Taymiyyah's Saying of Hawadith with No Beginning Existing Eternally with Allah
This issue is one of the ugliest issues in belief by which Ibn Taymiyyah dissented from the sound mind and the explicit tradition and Ijma’ of the Muslims. He mentioned this belief in five of his books: "Minhaj-us-Sunnat-in-Nabawiyyah", "Muwafaqatu Sarih-il-Ma’qul li Sahih-il-Manqul", "Sharh Hadith-in-Nuzul", "Sharh Hadith ‘Imran Ibn Husayn", and "Naqdu Maratib-il-’Ijma’".
This issue is one of the ugliest issues in belief by which Ibn Taymiyyah dissented from the sound mind and the explicit tradition and Ijma’ of the Muslims. He mentioned this belief in five of his books: "Minhaj-us-Sunnat-in-Nabawiyyah", "Muwafaqatu Sarih-il-Ma’qul li Sahih-il-Manqul", "Sharh Hadith-in-Nuzul", "Sharh Hadith ‘Imran Ibn Husayn", and "Naqdu Maratib-il-’Ijma’".
Ibn Taymiyyah's statement in "Minhaj-us-Sunnat-in-Nabawiyyah", Volume I, page 24 is: If you say to us: You said of the occurrence of the hawadith in Allah, we say to you: Yes, and this saying of ours is what the Shar’ and mind showed.
He replied to Ibn Hazm for reporting the Ijma’ that Allah existed eternally and no thing existed with Him, and that the disagreer with this is a kafir. After these words, Ibn Taymiyyah said: What is stranger than that is his (Ibn Hazm's) reporting the Ijma’ upon the kufr of whoever contended with the belief that Allah existed eternally by Himself and no thing existed with Him.
Ibn Taymiyyah's statement in "Sharh Hadith ‘Imran Ibn Husayn", page 193,: If the kind of the creations is assumed to be eternal with Allah, this companionship is not negated by the Shar’ or the mind, but it is of His perfection. Allah, ta’ala, said that the One Who creates is not equal to whoever does not create. Then Ibn Taymiyyah said: The creation existed eternally with Him. Then he said: but many people confuse the self with the kind.
His statement in "Muwafaqatu Sarih-il-Ma’qul li Sahih-il-Manqul", page 291 is: We said: we do not accept. However, the daily hadith is preceded by hawadith without a beginning.
In the manuscript of "Tashnif-ul-Masami’", page 342, Muhaddith, Usuli Badr-ud-Din az-Zarkashi reported the agreement of the Muslims upon the kufr of whoever says that the kind of the world is eternal. After mentioning that the philosophers said the world is eternal by matter and shape, and that some said it is eternal by matter but its shape is muhdath (has a beginning), he said: and the Muslims charged them (the philosophers) with deviation and kufr. Before that Hafiz Ibn Daqiq al-’Id, Qadi ‘Iyad, and Hafiz Ibn Hajar said the like in "Sharh al-Bukhari". Hafiz as-Subki confirmed this belief about Ibn Taymiyyah in his treatise "ad-Durrat-ul-Mudiyyah" and as said previously, Abu Sa’id al-’Ala'i did too. This belief was reported also by al-Jalal-ud-Dawwani in "Sharh-ul-’Adudiyyah". He said: I saw in a writing of Abul-’Abbas Ibn Taymiyyah the saying that the kind of al-’Arsh is eternal.
The Hanafi ‘Allamah (very knowledgeable Islamic scholar) al-Bayyadi mentioned in his book "Isharat-ul-Maram", page 197, after mentioning the proofs about the beginning of the world: Hence, what Ibn Taymiyyah thought of al-’Arsh being eternal, as reported in "Sharh-ul-’Adudiyyah", is invalidated.
In his poem, which is famous even among the defenders of Ibn Taymiyyah, and which contained refuting al-Hilli then Ibn Taymiyyah, among of what as-Subki said: Ibn Taymiyyah has a refutation to what one of the rawafid (some deviant groups) said that was complete. However, he mixed the truth with the hashw [The hashw is done by a group called al-Hashwiyyah. It is a vile group with ignorant members attributing themselves to Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, who is clear of them. They reported words about him which they misunderstood. Then, they continued with their bad belief claiming to cling to the Hadith. The best of the muhaddithun (pl. of muhaddith) in his time, Ibn ‘Asakir used to refrain from teaching them the Hadith and prevent them from attending his circle in Damascus. This group did not have a head or someone to carry its invalid belief, except some scattered efforts which were foiled by the Muslims. Then, around the end of the 700th Hijriyyah year, Ibn Taymiyyah advocated the invalid beliefs and ideas of this group.] whenever he could. He says that there are hawadith with no beginning that occur in Allah. Praise to Allah; He is clear of what he (Ibn Taymiyyah) thinks about Him.
III. The Third Article
Ibn Taymiyyah's Saying of the Hadd to the Self of Allah
In the book written by Imam at-Tahawi [Ahmad Ibn Salamah at-Tahawi is a great Imam of the Salaf (229 - 321 A.H.).] which he called: "Mentioning the belief of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, according to the Madhhab of the fuqaha' (scholars) of al-'Islam, Abu Hanifah an-Nu’man Ibn Thabit al-Kufi, Abu Yusuf Ya’qub Ibn Ibrahim al-'Ansari, and Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani" his two companions and others, Imam at-Tahawi negated the hadd about Allah by saying what means: He (Allah) is majestically above (He does not have) the hudud (plural of hadd) and ghayat (extensions in area, for example).
Ibn Taymiyyah confirmed attributing the hadd to Allah in his book "al-Muwafaqah", Volume 2, page 33. He said: The Muslims and non-Muslims agreed that Allah is in the sky and they limited Him to this. On page 29, he said: He (Allah) does not have a hadd we know, but He has a hadd that He knows. What he claimed that both Muslims and non-Muslims agreed and had consensus that Allah has a hadd is strange.
The negation of the hadd about Allah have been confirmed in reports by Abu Hanifah, others, and even those before him, namely Imam Zayn-ul-’Abidin ‘Ali Ibn al-Husayn, radiyallahu ‘anhuma [Radiyallahu ‘anhuma means: May Allah be pleased with both of them (here, Zayn-ul-’Abidin ‘Ali and his father al-Husayn).] in his treatise famously known as "As-Sahifat-us-Sajjadiyyah". In "Sharh Ihya'i ‘Ulum-id-Din", Muhaddith, Hafiz Muhammad Murtada az-Zabidi, the explainer of "al-Qamus", mentioned with a muttasil isnad (continuous chain of qualified relators) [A muttasil Hadith is the Hadith heard by the relator from his shaykh and so on back to the Prophet or a Companion without any interruption in the chain of relators.] from him back to Zayn-ul-’Abidin the saying of Zayn-ul-’Abidin in his treatise: He (Allah) is not limited to have a hadd (limit). He also mentioned his saying: No place surrounds Him. The saying of ‘Ali, radiyallahu ‘anh: "not limited" is explicit that it is not consonent with Allah to be limited; He does not have a hadd, neither according to His knowledge nor to the knowledge of the creation.
Where is what Ibn Taymiyyah claimed of the agreement of the Muslims upon attributing the hadd to Allah? The rest of the Salaf were negating the hadd about Allah, evidenced by the aforementioned saying of at-Tahawi. He mentioned this as the madhhab of the Salaf; those four [The four great Salaf scholars mentioned above are: Abu Hanifah an-Nu’man Ibn Thabit al-Kufi, Abu Yusuf Ya’qub Ibn Ibrahim al-'Ansari, Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani, Zayn-ul-’Abidin ‘Ali Ibn al-Husayn.] are among the famous scholars of the Salaf. This is the madhhab of all the Salaf as indicated by his sayings: "Mentioning the belief of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah".
The deceipt of Ibn Taymiyyah has shown up and is exposed. This is his habit. He attributes the belief that he likes to the scholars of the Salaf to delude the weak-minded people that his madhhab is that of the Salaf. This is far from what he thinks.
IV. The Fourth Article
IV. The Fourth Article
Ibn Taymiyyah's Saying of the Sitting of Allah, Ta’ala
Ibn Taymiyyah's saying of Allah sitting is confirmed about him, although some of his followers negated this when they found it ugly. He mentioned this in his book "Minhaj-us-Sunnat-in-Nabawiyyah" by sayings: The majority of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah say that Allah, tabaraka wa ta’ala, [Tabaraka wa ta’ala attributes the giving and perfection to Allah.] descends and al-’Arsh does not get void of Him. He claimed that this was reported about Ishaq Ibn Rahawayh, Hammad Ibn Zayd, Imam Ahmad, and others. He is a fabricator and great lier about that.
In his Tafsir named "an-Nahr", the Grammarian Abu Hayyan al-'Andalusi reported about Ibn Taymiyyah having this belief. He said: In his handwriting, a book of Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah, who was contemporary with us, which he called "Kitab-ul-’Arsh", I read: Allah sits on al-Kursi and has left a space for the Messenger of Allah to sit with Him. At-Taj Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn ‘Abd-il-Haqq al-Baranbari pretended that he is a promoter of his ideas and tricked him, until he took it from him; we read that in it. [The author of "Kashf-uz-Zunun" reported that about him also in Volume 2, page 1438.]
This reporting of Abu Hayyan was omitted from the old printed copy. However, the manuscript confirms it. In his commentary on "as-Sayf-us-Saqil", page 85, az-Zahid al-Kawthari said explaining the reason of omitting these statements of Ibn Taymiyyah: The editor of as-Sa’adah Printing House told me that he found it very ugly and he omitted it upon printing so that the enemies of al-'Islam would not use it. Then he requested that I record that here to catch up what he missed and out of sincerity to the Muslims.
In "al-Muwafaqah", page 29, Ibn Taymiyyah said: Allah, ta’ala, has a hadd no one but Him knows it. One should not imagine that hadd for a purpose in himself, but believe it and leave knowing about it to Allah. His place has a hadd, which is on His ‘Arsh above His skies. These are two limits.
In the twenty-fifth volume of "al-Kawakib-ud-Darari", which is in the Library of az-Zahiriyyah in Damascus, Ibn Taymiyyah said: If Allah willed he would sit on a mosqito, which would carry Him by His power; how about on a large ‘Arsh!
V. The Fifth Article
Ibn Taymiyyah's Prohibiting the Tawassul by the Anbiya' and Awliya' and the Tabarruk by them and their Traces
Among the most famous issues that were confirmed about Ibn Taymiyyah by the reporting of the scholars contemporary to him and others who came after them, are his prohibiting the tawassul by the anbiya' and salihun (righteous Muslims) after their death and in their absence while alive and tabarruk by them and their traces, and his prohibiting to visit the grave of the Prophet, ‘alayh-is-salatu was-salam, for the purpose of tabarruk. As was shown, he accuses the Muslim a'immah (pl. of imam) of treachery. He disagreed with Imam Ahmad and Imam Ibrahim Ibn Ishaq al-Harbi. He is, as Hafiz as-Subki said about him: No one among the Salaf and Khalaf preceded Ibn Taymiyyah to disapprove the tawassul. He said what no scholar before him had ever said.
Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers accuse of kufr the people who perform the tawassul and istighathah (asking for help) by the Messenger of Allah and others of anbiya' and awliya'. What led them to this, is their ignorance of the meaning of ‘ibadah (worship) mentioned in the like of the ayah 5 of al-Fatihah, which means: We worship You (Allah) and we ask You for help and the ayah 3 of az-Zumar, which means: Those who worshipped the idols said: We do not worship them except to achieve a higher status by them from Allah. The ‘ibadah in the language of the Arabs is what the linguists defined. The famous linguist, Imam az-Zajjaj defined it by saying: The ‘ibadah in the language of the Arabs is obedience with subjugation. In "Mufradat-ul-Qur'an" the Linguist, Imam Abul-Qasim ar-Raghib al-'Asbahani said: The ‘ibadah is the ultimate humbleness. Imam, Hafiz, Faqih, Linguist, and Mufassir (Explainer of the Qur'an) ‘Ali Ibn ‘Abd-il-Kafi as-Subki in his tafsir (explanation) of ayah 5 of al-Fatihah which means: We (Muslims) worship You (Allah) said: That is, we make our ‘ibadah (worship), which is the ultimate fear with subjugation, exclusive to You (Allah). Those people (Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers were also ignorant of the meaning of the du’a' mentioned in the Qur'an in many positions, like the ayah 13 of al-Hajj, which means: They perform du’a' to (worship) those idols, the harm of which by being worshipped is closer than their benefit by being intercessors, or the ayah 5 of al-'Ahqaf, which means: Who is more astray than the one who performs du’a' to (worships) other than Allah, who will not answer his du’a'. They thought that the meaning of du’a' in these two ayat mean the mere nida' (calling) and did not know that it is the ‘ibadah which is the ultimate humbleness. The scholars of Tafsir have agreed that the du’a' in those ayat is their ‘ibadah (worship) to other than Allah in this manner. No linguist or scholar of Tafsir explained the du’a' as the mere calling. Consequently, those ignorant people started accusing of kufr whoever says: O Messenger of Allah, or O Abu Bakr, or O ‘Ali, or O Jilani, or the like in the absence of those people while alive or after their death thinking that this calling is an ‘ibadah to other than Allah. This is far from what they think. Did these not know that it is not permissible to explain the Qur'an and Hadith with what disagrees with the (Arabic) language? What would these say about what al-Bukhari related in "al-'Adab-ul-Mufrad" about Ibn ‘Umar that his leg was benumbed severly and he was told: Mention the name of the most beloved person to you. Then he said (what means): O Muhammad. The result was as if his leg was untied from a knot. Would they accuse him of kufr for this calling or what would they do? What would they say about al-Bukhari mentioning this incident? Would they rule that he mentioned shirk in his book to be applied?
Among their suspicious matters is their quoting the Hadith of al-Bukhari and others: The du’a' is the worship. Al-Bukhari related it in "al-'Adab-ul-Mufrad" and Ibn Hibban did. They want to let the people believe that the tawassul by the anbiya' and awliya' after their death or in their absence if alive is shirk and ‘ibadah to other than Allah. The answer is: The meaning of the Hadith is that the du’a' which is imploring Allah, as the scholars of language defined the du’a', is among the greatest types of worship, with the meaning of what is done to achieve a better status from Allah, because the Salah which, after the belief, is the best action to seek a better status from Allah includes the du’a'. This is from the ‘ibadah which is one of the two meanings according to the norm of the scholars of the Religion. It is like naming relief ‘ibadah. The Messenger of Allah said: Awaiting the relief is an ‘ibadah (Ibn Hibban). This naming stems from the general definition of ‘ibadah which is the ultimate humbleness, because when the slave (of Allah) performs du’a', he implores Allah, ta’ala, since He is the Creator of benefit and harm, then he has humbled himself to Allah with the ultimate humbleness. Our performance of obedience to Allah and our avoidance of disobedience to Allah is due to Allah's help and protection, respectively.
Those negators of tawassul want, by mentioning this Hadith, to accuse of kufr whoever says: O Messenger of Allah, or O Messenger of Allah, help me, or the like, such as the saying of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar when his leg was benumbed: O Muhammad. They are told: If the saying of someone upon calamity: O Muhammad or O Messenger of Allah is shirk according to you, then [would you] accuse of kufr the scholars of Hadith who put this in their writings, such as al-Bukhari and others!
Then it is known that the ‘ibadah is used Islamically by the carriers of the Shari’ah (Islamic Law) as whatever is done to seek a better status from Allah. It was mentioned in the sahih (authentic) [A sahih Hadith is a Hadith which is related by an ‘adl from another ‘adl back to the Prophet or Sahabi, devoid of any shuthuth or defect.] Hadith to mean the hasanah, like the Prophet's saying: Awaiting the relief is an ‘ibadah (Ibn Hibban), i.e., a hasanah by which one seeks a better status from Allah. In this meaning, are the sadaqah (charity), Siyam (fasting), and doing obedience and the good things to people; this is very much widespread.
Among the proofs of the people of truth for the permissibility of tawassul by the Messenger of Allah in his life and after his death are:
In his mu’jaman, al-Mu’jam-ul-Kabir and al-Mu’jam-us-Saghir [Al-Mu’jam is a book of Hadith in which the Ahadith are mentioned according to the alphabetical order of the shuyukh. Al-Mu’jaman is the dual form of al-mu’jam.] at-Tabarani akhraj about ‘Uthman Ibn Hunayf that a man used to go to ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan who did not pay attention to him and did not look into his case. He met ‘Uthman Ibn Hunayf and complained to him about it. He said: Go to the wash place, perform Wudu' and rak’atan, then say (what means): O Allah, I ask You and direct my request to You by our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad, I direct my request to Allah by you to be fulfilled. Then let us go together. The man went and did what he was told. Then he came to the gate of ‘Uthman. The gateman came, took him by hand, admitted him to ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan, and seated him on his rug. ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan asked him: What is your wish? He mentioned his wish to him. ‘Uthman fulfilled his wish and said: I did not remember your wish until this time. Then the man left and met ‘Uthman Ibn Hunayf and said: May Allah reward you with good things. He would not have looked into my wish had you not talked to him about me. ‘Uthman Ibn Hunayf said: By Allah, I did not talk to him, but I witnessed a blind person who came to the Messenger of Allah complaining about losing his sight. The Messenger of Allah said (what means): If you would be patient or else I will make a du’a' for you. He said: O Messenger of Allah, losing my sight is hard for me and I have no guide. He said (what means): Go to the wash place, perform Wudu', pray rak’atan, then say: O Allah, I ask You... to the end of the du’a'. The man did what he was told. By Allah, neither had we departed yet nor had the sitting lasted for long time, the man came to us sightful as if he had never had any problem.
In his Mu’jaman, at-Tabarani said that the Hadith is sahih. According to the scholars of Hadith, the word Hadith is reserved to what has been marfu’ [Al-Marfu’ is a Hadith which is attributed to the Prophet by a Companion.] to the Prophet and to what is mawquf [Al-Mawquf is a Hadith which is attributed to a Companion, but not to the Prophet.] to the Sahabi, as it is established in the books of Istilah (Science of Hadith). Imam Ahmad used the word Hadith for an athar [Al-'Athar refers to the marfu’ and mawquf Hadith or to the mawquf Hadith only.] of ‘Umar about cheese brought by the Majus (fire worshippers) whose habit was to use the rennet of the maytah [Al-Maytah is an animal which was not slaughtered as per the rules of al-'Islam. It is a great sin to eat a maytah.].
The Hadith of ‘Uthman Ibn Hunayf is an evidence for the permissibility of tawassul by the Messenger of Allah in his life and after his death, in his presence and his absence. The matter is not like what Ibn Taymiyyah says: It is not allowed to perform tawassul except by the alive and present person. Since al-'Albani follows him, he discredited the portion of the Hadith which is mawquf by saying: The mawquf Hadith is munkar [Al-Munkar is the opposite of ma’ruf Hadith; it is a Hadith which is related by one person who has not reached a proper level of memory and trusworthiness.]. The source of the confusion of al-'Albani is his going beyond his limit. He did not stop at the statements of the scholars of the Hadith that whoever did not reach the level of Hafiz has no right to judge whether a Hadith is sahih, da’if [Ad-Da’if is a Hadith which lacks any of the requisites of the sahih or hasan Hadith.], or mawdu’ [Al-Mawdu’ is a Hadith which is fabricated upon the Prophet.]. This Hadith was related also by Hafiz as-Subki and Hafiz al-Bayhaqi.
Another proof is the Hadith: Whoever says when he goes out to the masjid (mosque): O Allah, I ask You by the right of the askers upon You and by the right of this walking of mine, because I did not go out discontentedly, or to be praised or for fame; I went out to avoid Your punishment and seek Your acceptance. I ask You to save me from Hellfire, and to forgive my sins; no one forgives the sins except You, Allah accepts his du’a' and 70,000 angels ask Allah to forgive him. It is related by Ibn Majah. Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani and Hafiz Abul-Hasan al-Maqdisi said: it is hasan [Al-Hasan is a Hadith, the relators of which are known for their trustworthiness and good memory. Included is the Hadith which is related in more than one riwayah (rendition) all of which are devoid of any defect that blemishes its authenticity. It is accepted by the scholars of al-'Islam, and is used for inferring Islamic rulings.]. There is no attention to al-'Albani's tad’if of the Hadith after these Hafizan (dual of Hafiz) said it is sahih, because al-'Albani is not at the level of Hafiz; he is far from it as far as the sky is from Earth. Moreover, he admitted in some of his books that he did not reach the level of Hafiz.
The condition for considering a Hadith sahih, da’if, or mawdu’ is that it is not taken except from the words of a Hafiz as stated by as-Suyuti in "Tadrib-ur-Rawi". Is the daring of al-'Albani to say about Hadith that it is sahih, da’if, or mawdu’ a result of his ignorance of the words of the people of the Mustalah (Science of Hadith)? Or is it that he knew what they said, but his desires, and the love of showing up and claiming what is not his, thinking that he could fool the people if he said about Hadith that it is sahih, hasan, or da’if are the ones which dragged him?
Let us mention here the statement of Hafiz Ibn Hajar in summary, since this will remove any ambiguity that some people imagined for not differentiating between the Hadithan (dual of Hadith): the practical Hadith and the verbal Hadith. The practical Hadith is the one which is da’if, but the verbal Hadith is thabit (confirmed). Ibn Hajar said: The saying of an-Nawawi: We related in the book of Ibn as-Sunni from Bilal and by the previous sanad [Sanad or isnad refers to the chain of people relating a Hadith.] to Abu Bakr Ibn as-Sunni many times; ‘Abdullah Ibn Muhammad al-Baghawi told us al-Hasan Ibn ‘Arafah told us ‘Ali Ibn Thabit al-Jazari from al-Wazi’ Ibn Nafi’ from Abu Salamah Ibn ‘Abd-ir-Rahman from Jabir Ibn ‘Abdillah, ‘radiyallahu ‘anhuma, from Bilal, ‘radiyallahu ‘anh, [Radiyallahu ‘anh means: May Allah be pleased with him.] the mu'addhin of the Prophet, sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa ‘ala alihi wa sallam, [Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘ala alihi wa sallam means: May Allah raise the rank of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad and his Ahlu-l-Bayt.] who said what means: When the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘ala alihi wa sallam, went for Salah, he used to say: In the Name of Allah. I believe in Allah. I rely on Allah. No one avoids disobeying Allah except with the protection of Allah and no one has the strength to obey Allah except with the help of Allah. O Allah, I ask You by the right of the askers upon You and by the right of this going out of mine, because I did not go out discontentedly, or to be praised or for fame; I went out seeking Your acceptance and to avoid Your punishnent. I ask You to protect me from Hellfire, and to admit me to Paradise. This is a very da’if Hadith. Ad-Daraqutni akhraj it in "al-'Ifrad" from this way and said what means: Al-Wazi’ is the only relator of this Hadith. The author reported that it is agreed that he is da’if and his Hadith is munkar. I (Ibn Hajar) said: There is a tougher saying about him. Yahya Ibn Mu’in and an-Nasa'i said: He is not a thiqah (trustworthy). Abu Hatim and others said: His Hadith is matruk [Al-Matruk is a Hadith related by a da’if person, because, e.g., he is known to lie. His Hadith is abandoned.]. Al-Hakim said: He related mawdu’ (fabricated) Ahadith. Ibn ‘Adi said: All of his Ahadith are not mahfuz [Al-Mahfuz is a Hadith in which the addition of the relator of a sahih or hasan Hadith to its wording disagrees with what a more trustworthy person related. The relating of the latter outweighs that of the former and is known as a mahfuz Hadith. The outweighed Hadith is known as a shathth Hadith.]. I said: He committed idtirab [Al-'Idtirab refers to the case when a person relates a Hadith in more than one version, such as adding more words in one version or changing the wording or meaning of the Hadith. Additionally, the two versions are equally authentic, but neither one version outweighs the other nor it is possible to bring the two versions together. The Hadith is called mudtrib.] in this Hadith. In "al-Yawm wal-Laylah", Abu Nu’aym akhraj it in another version from him. He said: From Salim Ibn ‘Abdillah Ibn ‘Umar from his father from Bilal. There is no other evidence to strengthen the Hadith.
His saying: And we related in the book of Ibn as-Sunni means from the riwayah (rendition) of ‘Atiyyah al-’Awfi from Abu Sa’id al-Khidri from the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘ala alihi wa sallam. ‘Atiyyah is da’if also. I said: His da’f is due to his tashayyu’ (following the Shi’ah) and tadlis [At-Tadlis is relating a Hadith in a delusive manner so that people would accept the Hadith from one. The tadlis is done by the relator, because, e.g., his shaykh is young or da’if, by dropping the name of his shaykh from the chain or mentioning him in such a way that people think that he is talking about another person.]. He himself is saduq (truthful). Al-Bukhari akhraj for him in "al-'Adab-ul-Mufrad" and Abu Dawud akhraj for him many Ahadith about which he kept silent. At-Tirmithi said that many of his Ahadith were hasan, some of which are of his ifrad [ Al-'Ifrad refers to the case when the relating of a Hadith is confined to one person or to one person from another person, or to a group of people from a certain area, for example.] . So do not think that he is like al-Wazi’.
I read, in Damascus, under Fatimah Bint Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn ‘Uthman, the Dimashqiyyah (from Damascus) from Abul-Fadl Ibn Abu Tahir. He said: Isma’il Ibn Zufr told us; Muhammad Ibn Abu Zayd told us; Mahmud Ibn Isma’il told us; Abul-Husayn Ibn Fathshah told us; at-Tabarani in the chapter on "Du’a'" told us; Bishr Ibn Musa told us; ‘Abdullah Ibn Salih, who is al-’Ajali, told us; Fudayl Ibn Marzuq told us from ‘Atiyyah from Abu Sa’id al-Khidri, radiyallahu ‘anh, who said: The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘ala alihi wa sallam, said what means: If a man went out of his house for Salah and said: O Allah, I ask You by the right of the askers upon You and by the right of this walking of mine, because I did not go out discontentedly, or to be praised or for fame; I went out to avoid Your punishment and seeking Your acceptance. I ask You to save me from Hellfire, and to forgive my sins; no one forgives the sins except You, Allah assigns 70,000 angels to ask Allah to forgive him and He accepts his du’a' until he finishes his Salah. This is a hasan Hadith which Ahmad akhraj from Zayd Ibn Harun from Fudayl Ibn Marzuq. Ibn Majah akhraj it also from Muhammad Ibn Yazid Ibn Ibrahim at-Tustari from al-Fadl Ibn Muwaffaq. Ibn Khuzaymah akhraj it also in the book "at-Tawhid" from the riwayah of Muhammad Ibn Fudayl Ibn Ghazwan and from the riwayah of Abu Khalid al-'Ahmar. Abu Nu’aym al-'Asbahani akhraj it also. All of them akhraj it from the riwayah of Abu Nu’aym al-Kufi from Fudayl Ibn Marzuq. We related it in the chapter on as-Salah by Abu Nu’aym. He said in his riwayah from Fudayl from ‘Atiyyah: He said: Abu Sa’id told me and he mentioned it but did not attribute it to a Sahabi. Consequently, he was safe from the tadlis of ‘Atiyyah.
I was surprised by the Shaykh how he mentioned the riwayah of Bilal without Abu Sa’id and how he attributed the riwayah of Abu Sa’id to Ibn as-Sunni without Ibn Majah or others. Allah is the One who gives success [This is the end of Ibn Hajar's statement.].
In this Hadith, there is an evidence about the permissibility of performing the tawassul by the live and dead people, because the word 'askers' includes both of them, and the permissibility of tawassul by the good deed, which is the walking of the man to the masjid for the sake of Allah. The Shar’ did not differentiate between the tawassul by the good selves and the good deed. One may say: How would the tawassul by the self of the Messenger of Allah, who is the most honorable creation of Allah, not be permissible and it would be permissible to do that by the Salah, Siyam, and sadaqah of the slave? Both are creations of Allah: the good selves are creations of Allah and the good deeds, which the slaves perform, are creations of Allah. For what reason is the differentiation?
Most of the confusion which they adduce to prohibit the tawassul and visiting the grave of the Messenger are matters which are irrelevant to the tawassul, like the marfu’ Hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas and in it: If you ask, ask Allah and if you ask for help, ask Allah for help. The answer is: This Hadith does not contain: Do not ask other than Allah or Do not ask other than Allah for help. The Prophet meant: Allah is more worthy to be asked and His help is more worthy to be sought. How do these people fabricate upon the Messenger of Allah and Ibn ‘Abbas to prove their claim of accusing of kufr the one who performs the tawassul and asks help from the Messenger? This Hadith is like the saying of the Messenger of Allah in the Hadith related by Ibn Hibban: Do not accompany except a believer and let no one except a pious eat your food. Does this Hadith contain that accompanying the non-Muslim is prohibited? Would one understand from it that feeding the non-pious is prohibited? In His Book (al-Qur'an), Allah permitted the Muslims to feed their kafir (non-Muslim) prisoner and praised it in al-'Insan, 8: They feed the food out of their love for Allah to the needy who cannot earn, orphan, and the (non-Muslim) prisoner .
Among their suspicious actions is their adducing the Hadith of ‘Umar that he asked Allah for rain by al-’Abbas. They claimed that ‘Umar performed the tawassul by al-’Abbas, because the Messenger had died. The answer is: Did ‘Umar or al-’Abbas tell you that this tawassul was because the Messenger had died? No! Neither ‘Umar nor al-’Abbas said that or indicated it. It is only out of your fabrications upon them to support your desire to accuse of kufr the one who performs the tawassul by the Prophet.
As one of their suspicious things, they may mention a Hadith, which is agreed that it is da’if: Abu Bakr said (what means): Let us perform istighathah by (ask for the help of) the Messenger of Allah against this hypocrite. The Messenger of Allah said what means: I am not someone by whom help is asked. Allah is the only One Who is asked for help. The answer to this suspicious matter is: Firstly, this Hadith has Ibn Lahay’ah among its relators, who is da’if. Secondly, this Hadith is contradictory to the Hadith that al-Bukhari akhraj in his Sahih from the marfu’ Hadith of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, and in it the sun approaches the heads of the people on the Day of Judgement. While they are like that, they ask Adam for help. How do they cling to an unconfirmed Hadith when it is opposed by the sahih Hadith.
In the book "Kashshaf-ul-Qina’", Volume 2, page 68 is mentioned: As-Samiri and the author of at-Talkhis said (what means): There is no objection to perform the tawassul by the shuyukh (plural of shaykh) and the poius scholars. In "al-Muthahhab" he said: It is permissible to ask Allah by performing the intercession by a righteous man, and it is said: it is mustahabb (liked) to do so.
In his Mansak which he wrote to al-Marwazi, Ahmad said: It is sunnah for the one who is asking Allah for rain to perform the tawassul (ask Him) by the Prophet. He determined it in "al-Mustaw’ab" and others. Then he said: Ibrahim al-Harbi said (what means): The du’a' at the grave of Ma’ruf al-Kurakhi is the tested antidote. Ibrahim al-Harbi [Ath-Thahabi said what means: He was born in the year 198 A.H. He acquired the Fiqh under Ahmad and was one of his most respectable companions. In "Tathkirat-ul-Huffaz", ath-Thahabi said what means: As-Salami said (what means): I asked ad-Daraqutni about Ibrahim al-Harbi. He said (what means): He used to be compared with Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his zuhd, knowledge, and piety.] is one of the contemporaries of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. He died forty years after Ahmad. He was one of the most respected and trustworthy scholars of Hadith. The saying of Ibn Taymiyyah that it is an ugly innovation is refuted by the agreement of the a'immah. The statement of Imam Ahmad and of Ibrahim al-Harbi, who was one of the respected scholars of Salaf, testify to the refutation. Where is the agreement that Ibn Taymiyyah claims?
The meaning of what is mentioned about Abu Hanifah that he hated to say: I ask You by the right of Your anbiya', is not prohibiting the tawassul in general in all of its forms and wordings. Abu Hanifah hated this expression: by the right of Your anbiya', as the people of his madhhab said, because it may seem to mean that the slaves have a right which is obligatory upon Allah (to fulfil). The people of his madhhab are more aware of his words. The followers of Abu Hanifah have been and are still performing tawassul by the anbiya' of Allah and consider it something by which they seek a better status from Allah.
Concerning that he said (what means): Allah is not asked by other than Him, is far from being true. How could it be true when it is confirmed in the Sahih that due to rain, three men took shelter in a cave. A rock fell and blocked the entrance of the cave and they could not exit. Every one of them asked Allah by his good deed to relieve them of their calamity [; the rock moved away]. Al-Bukhari and others akhraj this Hadith. How would one pay attention to this report about Abu Hanifah which contradicts the sahih? Al-'Albani mentioned in some of his circles: Abu Hanifah saved us the trouble concerning the tawassul, meaning that Abu Hanifah prohibits the tawassul in general as they do. Let those prove, if they can, that Abu Hanifah said: it is prohibited to perform the tawassul by the Prophet after his death, or while alive in his absence as the followers of Ibn Taymiyyah claim in his saying: It is not permitted to perform the tawassul except by the alive and present person.
The tawassul, tawajjuh (directing oneself), and the istighathah (asking for help) lead to the same thing as Hafiz Taqi-ud-Din as-Subki said. He is one of the linguists, as as-Suyuti said. This is evident. In the Ramadah Year, a companion went to the grave of the Messenger of Allah and said: O Messenger of Allah, ask Allah to give rain to your Ummah; they are close to perish. It is correct to call what he did tawassul and istighathah, because he went to the grave of the Messenger asking him to save them from the calamity that hit them by him (the Messenger) asking Allah to give them rain. Al-Bayhaqi and Ibn Kathir in his "Tarikh" said that this Hadith is sahih. This occurring from Ibn Kathir is an evidence that he did not follow Ibn Taymiyyah in the issue of tawassul, because he did not find the evidence with him.
The negators of tawassul, the followers of Ibn Taymiyyah, say: Why do you make a wasitah (an intermediary) by your saying: O Allah, I ask you by your slave fulan? [Fulan is equivalent to John Doe in the USA.] Allah does not need a wasitah! It is said to them: The wasitah may come with the meaning of helper which is impossible for Allah to have. However, the wasitah with the meaning of a means is not negated by the Shar’ or intellect. Allah is the Creator of the means and their causes. Allah is the Creator of medicines and the Creator of healing by them. Also, Allah, ta’ala, made the tawassul by the anbiya' and awliya' a means to benefit those who are performing it. Had the tawassul not been a means of benefit, the Messenger of Allah would not have taught the blind man the tawassul by him. Additionally, Allah is the Creator of the tawassul and of the benefit that happens by it, by the will of Allah. Performing the tawassul by the anbiya' and awliya' is of seeking the means, because the means are either necessary (essential) like eating and drinking, or unnecessary (non-essential) like the tawassul. Each is among the means. The believer who performs tawassul by the anbiya' and awliya' does not believe that their being wusata' (intermediaries) between him and Allah means that Allah uses their help to get the benefit to the performer of tawassul or that He cannot do it by Himself. They consider them as means made by Allah to achieve the benefit, by the will of Allah.
The goal of the performer of tawassul may or may not happen, as much as the one who takes medicine; he may or may not recover by it. Also, Allah made the visit to the graves of the anbiya' and awliya' seeking blessing, with the hope of having one's du’a' fulfilled there, a means to achieve benefit. This is known among Muslims, the lay ones and the scholars. No one before Ibn Taymiyyah renounced it. An example is the aforementioned story of the companion who visited the grave of the Prophet in the Ramadah Year. Its authenticity was confirmed by al-Bayhaqi and Ibn Kathir.
The saying of the negators of tawassul: Why do you make wusata' between you and Allah and why do you not ask Allah for your needs has no sense, because the Shar’ permitted the believer to ask for his need with or without the tawassul. Whoever says: O Allah I ask You by Your Prophet or by the status of Your Prophet or the like, he has asked Allah. Whoever says: O Allah I ask You for this and that, he has asked Allah. Both matters comprise the slave asking his Lord. Both are included in the Hadith: If you ask, ask Allah.
Taymiyyun (followers of Ibn Taymiyyah), the matter is not like what you claim. You and your imam, Ibn Taymiyyah, will meet the consequences of what occurs from you, since he spread this invalid belief of considering the tawassul and visiting the graves for tabarruk as straying and kufr, because it goes under the Hadith: Whoever initiates in al-'Islam a bad deed, he will carry its burden and the burden of everyone who acts in that way after him.
In another position, Ibn Taymiyyah declared that going to the grave to make du’a' there is an ugly innovation. Al-Buhuti, the author of "Kashshaf-ul-Qina’", said reporting about the author of "al-Furu’": Our shaykh- meaning Ibn Taymiyyah- said: one's going to the grave for du’a' hoping for its fulfillment there is an innovation and not something by which one seeks a better status from Allah by the agreement of the a'immah. The author of "al-Furu’" is Shams-ud-Din Ibn Muflih, al-Hanbali and one of Ibn Taymiyyah's students. In another place in "Kashshaf-ul-Qina’", he said: The shaykh- meaning Ibn Taymiyyah- said: By the agreement of the a'immah, it is prohibited to perform Tawaf around other than al-Bayt-ul-’Atiq (al-Ka’bah), then he said: They agreed that he does not kiss it or rub his body with it; it is of the shirk. He said: Allah does not forgive the shirk even if it was the smaller shirk. This is the statement which al-Buhuti reported about him. In the folds of these words is accusing Abu Ayyub al-'Ansari, about whom it was confirmed that he placed his forehead on the grave of the Prophet, of kufr. Marwan Ibn al-Hakam saw him and held his neck. Abu Ayyub turned his face towards him. Marwan went away. Abu Ayyub said: I did not come to the stone. I came to the Messenger of Allah. I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Do not weep for al-'Islam if the qualified people were in charge, but weep for it if it was under the charge of the unqualified. Al-Hakim related it in "al-Mustadrak" and said it is sahih. Ath-Thahabi agreed to his authentication. If putting the face on the grave was not objected to by any of the Companions, what would Ibn Taymiyyah say? Would he accuse Abu Ayyub of kufr or what would he do? Then what would he do with the statement of Imam Ahmad reported by his son ‘Abdullah, which was mentioned previously in other than this article, that he said about kissing and touching the minbar and grave of the Prophet seeking the blessing and a better status from Allah: No objection to that.
Al-Buhuti said in "Kashshaf-ul-Qina’": Ibrahim al-Harbi said: It is mustahabb (liked) to kiss the chamber of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Then al-Buhuti said: No objection to one's touching it (the grave) with one's hand.
Then he reported the words of Ibn Taymiyyah: Rubbing one's body with, performing Salah at, and going to the grave (of the Prophet) believing that performing du’a' there is better than elsewhere, or committing a nathr (oath) for it or the like, the shaykh -meaning Ibn Taymiyyah- said: This is not of the Religion of the Muslims, but is of what has been initiated of the ugly innovations which are of the branches of shirk. In "al-'Ikhtiyarat", Ibn Taymiyyah said: The Salaf and a'immah agreed that whoever says salam to the Prophet or other prophets and righteous people does not rub his body with the grave or kiss it. They agreed that he does not hold or kiss except the Black Stone. The Yamani Rukn is held, but correctly is not kissed. Then in response to Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Buhuti said: I said: But Ibrahim al-Harbi said: It is mustahabb (liked) to kiss the chamber of the Prophet. Al-Buhuti is a Hanbali (follower of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal), but when he knew of the incorrectness of Ibn Taymiyyah's words, he repelled his words, thereby refuting Ibn Taymiyyah's claim about the agreement of the Salaf to prohibit the kissing of the grave. He did not catch Ibn Taymiyyah; he died after the year 1000 A.H.
In "Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah": Abu Bakr- meaning Ibn Abi Shaybah- told us; he said: Zayd Ibn Habbab told us; he said: Abu Mawdudah told me; he said: Yazid Ibn ‘Abd-il-Malik Ibn Qasit told me; he said: I saw a group of the Companions of the Prophet if the Masjid was free for them, they stood up and went to the free rummanah (knob) of the minbar, rubbed it, and made du’a'. He said: and I saw Yazid do that.
Some followers of Ibn Hanbal, like Abul-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi and his Shaykh Ibn ‘Aqil declared that it is makruh (disliked) to go to the grave for du’a'. However, they did not prohibit it. No one of the Salaf and Khalaf prohibited it. What was cited about some scholars is the karahah (disliking) and not the tahrim (prohibiting). However, Ibn Taymiyyah's pen trespassed the limits; he deviated from the truth to accusing the Muslims of kufr for that. Whoever tracked the biographies of the muhaddithun and ‘ulama' finds in a lot of them that a fulan of the scholars of Hadith or the righteous was buried in a certain town; he is visited and the du’a' is fulfilled there. Among that is what Hafiz Ibn ‘Asakir mentioned in the biography of Hafiz ‘Abd-ul-Ghafir Ibn Isma’il al-Farisi. He said: He was buried in Naysabur and his grave is visited and the du’a' is fulfilled there. It was mentioned previously that Ibrahim al-Harbi said:: The grave of Ma’ruf is the tested antidote. This was mentioned in "Tarikh Baghdad" by Hafiz al-Baghdadi. In his book "al-Hisn-ul-Hasin" and its summary "‘Uddat-ul-Hisn-il-Hasin", Hafiz, Muhaddith, the Shaykh of the Qurra' (Reciters of al-Qur'an) Shams-ud-Din Ibn al-Jazari mentioned that the graves of the righteous are among the places of having the du’a' fulfilled. He came after Ibn Taymiyyah and was a study mate of Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani.
How does Ibn Taymiyyah rule that this matter, which is mutawatir [A mutawatir Hadith is one related by a large number of Muslims in a way which was impossible for them to have agreed to lie about it, from the beginning of the chain of relators to the end. They have seen or heard what they related and it was true, i.e., not misconstrued. (The number of mutawatir Ahadith is around fifty.)] among the Muslims, is shirk. Praise to You Allah; this is a foul fabrication.
By this, it is clear that Ibn Taymiyyah attributed the opinion of his which he desires to the a'immah and claimed their agreement upon it without any proof. Let this be known to those who took Ibn Taymiyyah's saying and ruled with kufr upon those who visited the grave of the Messenger and others for performing du’a' there, that visiting the grave with this intention is shirk. Let them be warned against it and let them quit the blind imitation. The truth of the matter is what as-Subki said: It is preferred to perform the tawassul by the Prophet and no one of the Salaf or Khalaf objected to it, except Ibn Taymiyyah; he said what no scholar before him had said.
Their citation of ‘Umar's cutting the tree of Bay’at-ur-Ridwan to support their prohibiting the tabarruk by the graves of the anbiya' and salihin is of no value. It is interpreted as that ‘Umar was worried that there will come a time when people would worship the tree. He did not mean to prohibit the tabarruk with the traces of the Messenger. Had it been like what they thought, his son ‘Abdullah would not have come to the tree of samur, under which the Messenger used to sit, seeking the tabarruk. He used to water it so that it does not dry out. Ibn Hibban related it and said it is sahih. There is no doubt that ‘Abdullah understood his father's biography more than Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers did.
We challenge whoever is fanatic about Ibn Taymiyyah to bring forth a sahih report from the Salaf or Khalaf prohibiting visiting the grave of the Prophet for tabarruk or the tawassul by him in his life or after his death. They will not find it. That is why Ibn Kathir disagreed with his shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah in the issue of tawassul. However, he followed him in the issue of divorce and was tortured for that. Ibn Kathir declared in his Tafsir with the liking of tawassul by the Prophet after his death and asking help by him. He mentioned it in his history book "al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah" in the biography of ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab.
As for their prohibiting the travel to visit the grave of the Prophet, inferrring from the Hadith [related by al-Bukhari]: There is no extra merit in packing luggage except to three masajid (mosques): al-Masjid-ul-Haram, al-Masjid-ul-'Aqsa, and my Masjid (Masjid-ur-Rasul), the answer is the following: No one of the Salaf understood what Ibn Taymiyyah understood. Visiting the grave of the Messenger is sunnah whether with or without traveling as for the residents of Medina. The Hanabilah stated, as others did, that the visit to the grave of the Prophet is sunnah, whether or not one meant to do it with traveling.
The meaning of the Hadith which the Salaf and Khalaf understood is: There is no extra merit in traveling to pray in a masjid except traveling to those three masajid, because the reward of Salah in them is multiplied up to 100,000 times in al-Masjid-ul-Haram, to 1000 times in Masjid-ur-Rasul, and to 500 times in al-Masjid-ul-'Aqsa. What is meant by the Hadith is: The traveling to perform Salah. This is shown by what Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal related in his "Musnad" from the route of Shahr Ibn Hawshab, from the marfu’ Hadith of Abu Sa’id: Animals should not be ridden to a masjid in which Salah is sought, except to al-Masjid-ul-Haram, al-Masjid-ul-Aqsa, and my Masjid (al-Masjid-un-Nabawi). Hafiz Ibn Hajar said that this Hadith is a hasan Hadith, and it shows the meaning of the previous Hadith. Explaining the Hadith with another Hadith is better than the perversion of Ibn Taymiyyah. In his Alfiyyah (Poem of about one-thousand lines) of the Mustalah of Hadith, al-’Iraqi said: The best way to explain a text (ayah or Hadith) is by another text (ayah or Hadith).
What felled Ibn Taymiyyah in this perversion is his ill-understanding. He is as Hafiz Wali-ud-Din al-’Iraqi said about him: His knowledge is greater than his mind. He mentioned that in his book "Al-'Ajwibat-ul-Mardiyyah ‘alal-'As'ilat-il-Makkiyyah", which was mentioned previously.
From what was said, it is known that the calamity of those who accuse the performers of tawassul and istighathah by the anbiya' and awliya' after their death and in their absence while alive is their ill-understanding of the ayat and Ahadith which they use to support their view. They thought that the meaning of ‘ibadah is the nida' (calling someone), isti’anah (seeking help), khawf (fear), raja' (hope), and istighathah (seeking help). This, in their thinking, is the ‘ibadah that whoever directs it to other than Allah would become mushrik (person who commits shirk). They also thought that whoever asks other than Allah for things which are not habitually asked becomes mushrik.
How was it justifiable to them to do that when it was confirmed that al-Harth Ibn Hassan al-Bakri, radiyallahu ‘anh, said: I ask refuge with Allah and His Messenger from being like the envoy of ‘Ad. This is the Mashhur Hadith [Al-Mashhur is a Hadith related by more than two persons. It can be sahih or otherwise.] that Imam Ahmad related in his "Musnad", and Hafiz Ibn Hajar said that it is a hasan Hadith. The evidence in it is that the Messenger did not say to al-Harth: You committed shirk for having said: and His Messenger, since you asked refuge with me!
It was also confirmed that Ibn ‘Abbas related that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: Allah has angels, other than the Hafazah (angels who record man's deeds) who roam (on Earth) writing what fall of tree leaves. If any of you fell in a calamity in a desert let him call: O slaves of Allah help. Hafiz Ibn Hajar related it in "al-'Amali" and said that it is a hasan Hadith.
When their understanding was ill, they made those things ‘ibadah to other than Allah for their mere wordings. They charged Muslims with kufr for a matter upon the permissibility of which, the Salaf and Khalaf agreed. This is an evidence that they did not understand the meaning of the ‘ibadah mentioned in the Qur'an, according to the Arabic language rules. The linguists stated the meaning very clearly and without any ambiguity. Their definition of ‘ibadah as the ultimate humbleness was mentioned before. How did the negators of tawassul rule that asking for what it is not the habit to ask is shirk and made it a rule, when the Companion Rabi’ah Ibn Ka’b al-'Aslami asked the Messenger of Allah to be his companion in the Jannah. The Messenger did not object to him and out of humbleness said to him: Do you want any thing else? The Companion said: This is it. He said to him: perform a lot of sujud (Muslim).
What would be shirk is when one asks a creation to do what Allah is the only One Who does, such as asking some one to create a thing, i.e., bring it from non-existence into existence, and to ask him for forgiveness of sins. Fatir, 3 means: Is there any Creator other than Allah (i.e., no one is the Creator except Allah). Ayah 135 of Al ‘Imran means: Who forgives the sins except Allah (i.e., no one forgives the sins except Allah). In Maryam, 19 it is mentioned that Jibril said to Maryam: (I was sent by Allah) to give you a pure boy. Actually, the giver of the boy, who is ‘Isa, to Maryam is Allah, but Allah made Jibril a means and Jibril attributed the giving to himself. Jibril's case shows the excessive deviation of those who accuse of kufr the performers of tawassul and istighathah, just because they said: O Messenger of Allah I have no way out, O Messenger of Allah help me, and the like of these statements, which they say and do not mean by them that the Messenger of Allah creates, or deserves the ‘ibadah, which is the ultimate humbleness. They mean that he is a wasitah, i.e., a means to obtain the intended matter and blessing from Allah. They do not understand from the wasitah except the meaning of having a means even if they call it wasitah. Allah made it the norm to relate the effects with the means. Allah had the power to give Maryam that pure boy without having Jibril as a means for that.
How did they justify charging Muslims with kufr for the mere saying of: The nabi or the wali is a wasitah, meaning a means. The shirk is to confirm the wasitah, i.e., say that there is something which helps Allah or that Allah cannot do that thing independently except through the nabi or the wali. This is the shirk, if they [the Taymiun] would just understand.
This is an emphasis to what was mentioned before that the Muslim scholars used to deem the tawassul and istighathah by the Prophet after his death permissible and unobjectable.
Hafiz ‘Abd-ur-Rahman Ibn al-Jawzi mentioned in the book "Al-Wafa bi Ahwal-il-Mustafa" and Hafiz ad-Diya' al-Maqdisi mentioned also: From Abu Bakr al-Minqari; he said: At-Tabarani, Abush-Shaykh, and I were in the Haram of the Messenger of Allah in a bad situation. Hunger had affected us and we continued fasting that day. When the time of ‘Isha' came, I came to the grave of the Messenger of Allah and said: O Messenger of Allah, hunger, hunger; and I left. Abush-Shaykh told me: Sit down, either there will be provision or death. Abu Bakr said: Abush-Shaykh and I slept, while at-Tabarani was sitting looking into something. An ‘Alawi [a descendent of Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam)] came and knocked the door. He had two servants, each had a big straw bag full of things. We sat, ate, and thought that the rest will be taken by the servant. However, he departed and left the rest for us. When we finished eating, the ‘Alawi said: O people, did you complain to the Messenger of Allah? I saw the Messenger of Allah in the dream; he ordered me to carry something to you.
In this story, there is that those great people deemed the istighathah by the Messenger a good, permissible matter. Then the scholars conveyed it in their writings, some of which were the Hanabilah and others. In the eyes of the Muslims, those are muwahhidun (believers in Allah), not just that, but among the greatest muwahhidun. However, in the eyes of the negators of the tawassul who followed Ibn Taymiyyah they have committed shirk, because whoever likes shirk commits kufr. What is the answer of those people about the likes of this incident which if traced would come in a large volume. Let those prepare an answer when they are asked on the Display-of-Deeds Day.
Among such incidents is what Hafiz Abu Bakr al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, about whom it was said: The writers of the books of Hadith dirayatan [Dirayatan means knowing about the related Hadith and its relator in the context of accepting or rejecting it.] are in need of him, said: Qadi Abu Muhammad al-Hasan Ibn al-Husayn Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ramin al-'Istarbathi told us; he said: Ahmad Ibn Ja’far Ibn Hamdan al-Qati’i told us; he said: I heard al-Hasan Ibn Ibrahim, Abu ‘Ali al-Khallal say: Any time I had a problem, I went to the grave of Musa Ibn Ja’far and performed the tawassul by him; Allah made what I liked easy for me.
Isma’il Ibn Ahmad al-Hiri told us; he said: Muhammad Ibn al-Husayn as-Salami told us; he said: I heard Abul-Hasan Ibn Maqsam say: I heard Abu ‘Ali as-Saffar say: I heard Ibrahim al-Harbi say: The grave of Ma’ruf is the tested antidote.
Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Ibn ‘Umar al-Barmaki told me; he said: Abul-Fadl ‘Ubaydullah Ibn ‘Abd-ir-Rahman Ibn Muhammad az-Zuhri told us; he said: I heard my father say: The grave of Ma’ruf is tested for the fulfillment of needs. Whoever said there : "Qul Huwallahu Ahad" one-hundred times and asked Allah, Ta’ala, what he wanted, Allah would fulfil his need.
Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn ‘Abdillah as-Suwari told us; he said: I heard Abul-Husayn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Jami’ say: I heard Abu ‘Abdillah Ibn al-Mahamili say: I have known the grave of Ma’ruf al-Kurakhi for seventy years. Allah will relieve the distress of any person who comes to it.
Qadi Abu ‘Abdillah al-Husayn Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad as-Saymari told us; he said: ‘Umar Ibn Ibrahim al-Muqri told us; he said: ‘Umar Ibn Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim told us; he said: ‘Ali Ibn Maymun told us; he said: I heard ash-Shafi’i say: I perform tabarruk by Abu Hanifah and come to his grave every day, i.e., visiting. If I needed something, I would pray rak’atan, come to his grave, and ask Allah there. It would not be too long before my need was fulfilled.
The Graveyard of Bab-ul-Burdan has a group of meritorious people. At the Musalla prescribed for Salat-ul-’Id, there was a grave known as the Grave of Nuthur (pl. of nathr) [An-Nathr is an oath to Allah by which one commits oneself to do any good deed which is not obligatory, such as fasting a certain number of days or paying charity. It is obligatory to fulfil one's nathr.]. It is said that in it was buried a man who was a descendent of ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib. People perform tabarruk by visiting him, and whoever had a need would come to him to have his need fulfilled.
Qadi Abul-Qasim ‘Ali Ibn al-Muhsin at-Tannukhi told me; he said: My father told me; he said: I was sitting in the presence of ‘Adud-ud-Dawlah while we were camping near the A’yad Musalla in the eastern part of the city of as-Salam aiming to go with him to Hamathan. In the first day he attended the camp, his eye fell on the construction made on the Grave of Nuthur. He said to me: What is this construction? I said to him: This is the Mashhad (Grave) of Nuthur. I did not say grave, because I knew his superstition of this. He liked the wording and said: I knew this is the Grave of Nuthur, but I wanted its matter to be explained. I said: This is a grave, it is said, of ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn ‘Umar Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Husayn Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib. It is also said: It is the grave of ‘Ubaydullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn ‘Umar Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib. It is said that one ruler wanted to have him killed secretly. A ditch was made for him. He was taken on it without him knowing and fell into it. Then the sand was thrown over him while alive. The grave was famous as the Grave of Nuthur, because every single nathr made for him was valid, the nathir (one who performs the nathr) achieved what he wanted and is obligated to fulfil his nathr. I am one of those who made nathr for it many times that I cannot count for hard mattrers. I achieved them; fulfilling the nathr became obligatory upon me and I did fulfil it. He did not accept this saying and said what implicated that this occurred accidentally. Then lay people marketed it magnified and spread false news about it. I stopped talking.
Few days later while we were camping in our position, he sent after me in the afternoon. He said: Ride with me to the Mashhad of Nuthur. We rode along with some of his retinues until we reached to the place. He entered and visited the Grave. There, he prayed rak’atan after which he made a sujud in which he made a long du’a' in a such a way that no one heard him. Then we rode back to his tent and stayed for days. Then we moved to Hamathan. We reached it and stayed with him for months. Then he sent after me and said: Do you remember what you told me about the Mashhad of Nuthur in Baghdad? I said: Yes, I do. He said: I addressed you with its meaning without that which was in me to have a good company with you. What was in me is that all of what was said about the Grave was a lie. A short time after that something occurred to me that I was afraid it would happen. I worked hard to avoid its happening even if it amounted to spend all of what I had in my treasuries and employing my soldiers. I could not find a way to that. Then I remembered what you told me about the nathr for the Graveyard of Nuthur. I said: Why do I not try that? I performed a nathr that if Allah protected me from that matter, I would carry 10,000 full Darahim to the box of this Mashhad. Today I got the news of being protected from that matter. I told Abul-Qasim ‘Abd-ul-’Aziz Ibn Yusuf -his writer- to write to Abur-Rayyan, who was his delegated ruler in Baghdad to carry them to the Graveyard. Then he looked at ‘Abd-ul-’Aziz who was present and said: Surely, I wrote that and the order in the letter was executed [This is the end of the statement by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi.].
In "al-Mi’yar", Vol. 2 page 82, Abul-’Abbas Ahmad Ibn Yahya, al-Wansharisi, al-Maliki, who died in Fas in the year 914 A.H. said: Some villagers were asked about those who performed a nathr to visit the grave of a righteous Muslim or an alive righteous Muslim. He answered: He is obligated to fulfil his nathr even if one rode an animal to get there. Ibn ‘Abd-il-Barr said (what means): One is obligated to fulfil every act of worship, visit, ribat (guard post), or other acts of obedience other than Salah. The Hadith which says: The animals are not ridden...[ Ahmad akhraj it in his Musnad.] is particular to Salah. However, there is no difference about (the permissibility of) visiting the alive brothers and shuyukh and performing a nathr to do that and ribat, and the like. The sunnah leads to this of visiting the brother in the Religion of Allah and ribat in the places of ribat. Some people hesitated about visiting the graves and the traces of the righteous Muslims. There should not be a hesitation about them, because they are of the acts of worship other than Salah, and because it is out of visiting and reminding for the saying of the Prophet: Visit the graves; they remind you of death [Al-Bayhaqi akhraj it in his Sunan.]. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to go to Hira' when he was in Mecca, and to Quba' when in Medina. The goodness is in following him and and his traces by word and action, especially those who showed obedience to him.
Let it be known that we do not say of the validity of the nuthur for the graves of the shuyukh and awliya', with the belief that those places have piculiarities in bringing benefit or warding off harm without those people seeking a better status from Allah by paying charity on the behalf of the buried so that Allah fulfil their needs. We say as al-'Athru’i, may Allah's mercy be upon him, said: Many of the nuthur of the laypeople for the graves are invalid and prohibited, because they mean that those places bring benefit and ward off harm by a peculiarity of theirs. Allah, subhanahu wa Ta’ala, knows best.
What proves that the scholars of Hadith and others did not care about the deviation of Ibn Taymiyyah in prohibiting the tawassul by the Messenger after his death is that Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani performed the tawassul by the Prophet in his poems known as "an-Nayyirat-us-Sab’". Also his shaykh Zayn-ud-Din al-’Iraqi did that at the end of his poem in "Tafsiru Mufradat-il-Qur'an". This has been and is still the habit of the scholars of the Salaf and Khalaf. No one avoided that except those who were deceived by Ibn Taymiyyah's innovation, the great innovation of his prohibiting the tawassul by the Prophet who is dead or not present.
Among the innovations of the Mushabbihah (group of people who liken Allah to His creation) who followed Ibn Taymiyyah that they stipulate three things for the correctness of one's Islam: Tawhid-ul-'Uluhiyyah, Tawhid-ur-Rububiyyah, and Tawhid-ul-'Af’al. The answer for that is: Tawhid-ul-'Uluhiyyah along with understanding the meaning is enough. This is evidenced by what is sahih of the questioning in the grave. The buried is asked: Who is your Lord? What is your Religion? Who is your Prophet? Had the matter been like what this group of people say, the Hadith would have said: Who is your Lord? Who is your God? However, since the meaning is included, the Messenger of Allah was satisfied with mentioning: Who is your Lord? What they take a long breath about is a refuted argument. Where are those from the saying of the Prophet: I was ordered to fight people until they profess that no one is God but Allah, and that I am the Messenger of Allah? It is a mashhur Hadith. However, some scholars of Hadith said that it is mutawatir.
Among their confusing the Muslims is in the issue of the giving of the recitation to the dead people. Let us be content with proving that by mentioning the Hadith of al-Bukhari that the Prophet said to ‘A'ishah: If that happened while I am alive, I would ask for forgiveness for you and I would make a du’a' for you. The evidence in the Hadith is his saying: ' I would make a du’a' for you '. These words include the du’a' with [all of] its kinds. Included in this is the du’a' of the man after reciting some ayat of the Qur'an to deliver the reward to the dead person by saying the like of: O Allah, deliver the reward of my recitation to fulan. What was famous about ash-Shafi’i of saying that recitation does not reach the dead is interpreted as the recitation that is without a du’a' to deliver it and for the recitation which is done at other than the grave, or else ash-Shafi’i approved it.
VI. The Sixth Article
Ibn Taymiyyah's Disagreement with the Ijma’ of the Muslims in the Divorce Issue
Imam Muslim related from ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas his saying: During the time of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Abu Bakr, and the beginning of ‘Umar's Khilafah (Caliphate) the divorce pronounced thrice was deemed pronounced once. Then ‘Umar said what means: People have hastened in a matter with which they used to have patience. We should carry this out upon them; he did that. It is not permissible to act upon the seeming meaning of this Hadith [The correct meaning of the Hadith will be given soon.]. The answer for it is [twofold]:
1. Either it is said that it is da’if by shuthuth [Ash-Shuthuth is the case when a Hadith is shathth (see mahfuz).] as Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal ruled it. This was mentioned by Hafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his refutation to whoever said that the three in one pronouncement are one. It is also ruled to be da’if by shuthuth, because it disagrees with what was confirmed about ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas that he passed the judgement upon whoever pronounced the divorce thrice all at once that it is deemed three. This was mutawatir about Ibn ‘Abbas. Al-Bayhaqi mentioned in "as-Sunan-ul-Kubra" with his asanid (pl. of isnad) from eight of his trustworthy students that Ibn ‘Abbas ruled that.
2. Or it is said: This is interpreted as that the meaning of the divorce three times was deemed one is that the battah divorce [A battah divorce is the three-time divorce when a man says to his wife: You are divorced the battah. Consequently, the divorced woman cannot return to her exhusband (the man who divorced her) except after her iddah from this divorce has expired, another man marries and has sexual intercourse with her, then he divorces her , and her ‘iddah of the latter divorce has expired.] used to be used to emphasize the one-time divorce. Then people started using it during the time of ‘Umar to mean the three-time divorce. Consequently, ‘Umar carried out his ruling according to their intentions. The explanation of this is that the saying of the people: "You are divorced the battah" was used with the intention of emphasizing the one-time divorce, then it became famous to indicate the three-time divorce. Hence, the madhhayb of the scholars were different about it. Some of them made the (word) battah and also the saying [of a man to his wife]: You are forbidden to me or you are ba'in [Ba'in refers to divorcing the wife three times, as much as a battah divorce is.] to indicate the three-time divorce. Others made the battah according to the intentions. What shows that the matter as mentioned above is what is in some of the copies of Imam Muslim's Sahih of the Magharibah: During the time of the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr, and the beginning of ‘Umar's Khilafah, the battah used to be one, as Hafiz Abu Bakr Ibn al-’Arabiy mentioned in his book: "al-Qabas ‘ala Muwatta' Malik Ibn Anas".
In his explanation of al-Bukhariy, in his last, vast discussion of the issue of combining the three pronouncements, Hafiz Ibn Hajar mentioned that this Hadith should not be used to oppose the Ijma’ upon deeming the three pronouncements three in the time of ‘Umar. There is no disagreement in this issue. The disagreement that comes after the Ijma’ is a negligible disagreement. As for what Hafiz Ibn Hajar conveyed that a disagreement was related about ‘Ali and others, he did not convey it with determination. He meant that some people said that about ‘Ali and others. This does not contradict the Ijma’ which he stated at the end of the discussion. Had he believed what was conveyed about ‘Ali and those who were mentioned with him confirmed, he would not have ended the discussion with his saying what means: There is Ijma’ upon the issue.
No disagreement was confirmed about any of the mujtahidun of Ahl-us-Sunnah in this issue. Even Ibn Taymiyyah who brought up this disagreement had stated the Ijma’ and said that whoever disagreed with it was a kafir. Hafiz Abu Sa’id al-’Ala'i related this about him. Ibn Taymiyyah is not a mujtahid. This disagreement of his is like his disagreement in the issue of the perpetuity of Hell. In his book "Minhaj-us-Sunnat-in-Nabawiyyah", Ibn Taymiyyah had mentioned the Ijma’ upon the perpetuity of Paradise and Hell, and that no one disagreed except Jahm Ibn Safwan and that he was charged with kufr. Then he infringed this Ijma’ and said: The fire of Hell will vanish.
Also he said that the provisional divorce with the purpose of yamin [Al-Yamin is swearing by one of the Names or attributes of Allah.] does not occur when the provisional matter happens, and that only the kaffarah is due. In this, he infringed the Ijma’ of the scholars of al-'Islam that the provisional divorce occurs when the provisional matter happens, whether or not it was with the purpose of yamin. Hafiz Abu Sa’id al-’Ala'i reported also that Ibn Taymiyyah had said that there had been Ijma’ upon this issue and whoever disagreed with it was a kafir. Is it allowed after all of that to consider one like this man an imam and mujtahid and thereby take his saying which is his ijtihad? The reporting about those people whom Ibn Taymiyyah related that they took his saying was not confirmed. It was ascribed to them. A saying would not be confirmed about an imam just because it was ascribed to him.
We thank Allah that the Saudi courts discarded the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah in divorce. There is no justification for the Egyptian courts to agree with him (in this isssue), because this is a rejection of the Ijma’ of the four madhhayb and others. The Saudi judges refused Ibn Taymiyyah's opinion, because it is against the madhhab of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, in addition to its disagreement with the Ijma’. Ahmad and all of his companions agree that Ahmad's madhhab is that the three divorce pronouncements all at once are deemed three.
Whoever takes the seeming meaning of the Hadith accuses ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab and Ibn ‘Abbas with betrayal. As for their accusing ‘Umar wih betrayal, it is their allegation that he ruled prohibiting the women, who were divorced three times by one pronouncement, upon their husbands except after they marry other men while he knew that the Messenger and Abu Bakr ruled differently. Additionally, this entails accusing ‘Umar of kufr, because whoever perverts a ruling which he knows the Messenger of Allah enacted commits kufr. Moreover, this entails accusing of betrayal the Companions who were at that time, like ‘Ali, radiyallahu ‘anh, for remaining silent, according to their claim, about the perversion of ‘Umar. ‘Umar said what means: We ask refuge with Allah of a problem without Abul-Hasan [Abul-Hasan is the kunyah of ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib. The kunyah of a man is a name that starts with "Abu", meaning the father of. ‘Umar is praising ‘Ali's intelligence and courage to solve problems.]. How is it appropriate with Abul-Hasan to be silent if he knew that it was different from the ruling of the Messenger. Praise to You Allah; this is a foul fabrication.
This is different from what ‘Umar did concerning hitting the drinker of alcohol eighty times after he had been beaten forty times in the time of the Messenger and Abu Bakr, because this does not contain what the issue of the divorce had, as said by ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib: Whipping forty is a sunnah and whipping eighty is a sunnah (related by Muslim and others). It is not permissible to make this similar to that, since what ‘Umar did in the issue of whipping does not entail annuling a ruling put by the Messenger of Allah, because the deed of the Messenger (whipping forty) does not include that other than this number is prohibited.
As for accusing Ibn ‘Abbas of betrayal, whoever of them said that Ibn ‘Abbas passed the judgement that the three pronouncements at one time are three in spite of his knowledge that the ruling of the Messenger of Allah is different than that [according to their claim], he attributed to him perverting the ruling of the Messenger of Allah intentionally.
The reason of changing the rules in the Egyptian courts that during our time, there was a judge who was infatuated with Ibn Taymiyyah. He revived his deviation agreeing with the desires of the ignorant and hasty people in divorce. He made them dare to pronounce the divorce thrice thinking that they could return these women. This is according to one of the two sayings of Ibn Taymiyyah. The other saying of his is that pronouncing the divorce thrice is nothing. Whoever follows him in this saying returns to his woman who was divorced thrice without returning her to him or without renewal of marriage contract after she marries another man [If a woman is divorced once or twice by her husband, he can return her to him by saying: I return you to me. This must be said before the expiration of three non-menstruating intervals of the woman, or else a new marriage contract is required. For the woman who is divorced three times by her husband, see our footnote on the battah divorce.].
Whoever considered Ibn Taymiyyah among the mujtahidun who are allowed to be followed is far from being right. How could it be so when Ibn Taymiyyah is the one who said that the world is eternal by kind, i.e., Allah did not precede in existence the kind of the world, but He preceded in existence the specific elements (individual members) only? The Muslims have agreed to charge with kufr whoever says that the world is eternal with Allah, whether he made it eternal by kind only or by kind, constituents, and elements. Ibn Taymiyyah stated that in five of his books as we mentioned previously.
How did these people infatuated with Ibn Taymiyyah dare to consider him a mujtahid when al-'Islam is one of the prerequisites of a mujtahid, and whoever says those sayings is definitely kafir?
Let us mention what al-Mardawi said in "al-'Insaf"Vol 9 page 4: His saying: If he said: You are divorced, or divorce is incumbent upon me and the like intending three times, the woman is divorced thrice. However, there two renditions in case one did not intend anything or said: You are divorced and intended the three-time divorce. Know that the correct saying in the madhhab that his saying: You are divorced, or divorce is incumbent upon me and the like is explicit in divorce, whether it was uncoditional, provisional, or sworn upon. It is stated and most of the [Hanabilah] companions follow it and many of them affirmed it. Whether it is explicit of being three or one will come later; it is said to be metonymical. The author of "al-Qawa’id-ul-Fiqhiyyah" and followed it in "al-'Usuliyyah" said what means: If one intended by it (the divorce statement) what is less than three, does what he intended specifically occur or does the three-time divorce occur by it, considering his statement an explicit statement of the three-time divorce? There are two opinions in this issue for the companions [of the Hanbali madhhab].
Shaykh Taqi-ud-Din, may Allah have mercy upon him, mentioned that his saying: The divorce is incumbent upon me and the like is a yamin agrred upon by the wise people, nations, and fuqaha'. He came with this opinion employing the statements of Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon him. The author of al-Furu’ said what means: This [saying of Ibn Taymiyyah] is in disagreement with the explicit statements of Imam Ahmad.
Shaykh Taqi-ud-Din, may Allah have mercy upon him, said also what means: If one swore by it like [saying]: Divorce is incumbent upon me and intended the nathr with it, he fulfils a kaffarah according to Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon him. The author of al-Furu’ mentioned about him in the chapter on al-'Ayman and supported it in his book "A’lam-ul-Muwaqqi’in" along with the previous saying [The statement of al-Mardawi is ended.].
Ibn Taymiyyah's claim of the agreement of the wise people, nations, and fuqaha' that one's saying: The divorce is incumbent upon me and the like is a yamin is refuted by the author of al-Furu’in his saying: This [saying of Ibn Taymiyyah] is in disagreement with the explicit statements of Imam Ahmad. Surely, it appears that he claimed the consensus in a matter that Ahmad stated differently. The purpose of Ibn Taymiyyah by doing that is to support his opinion, which is against ijma’, that the divorce pronounced in the manner of yamin does not occur; only a kaffarah is due. It is clear that the goal of Ibn Taymiyyah in this is to support his desire. In this exposition is another benefit that Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah attribute to Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: Whoever claims Ijma’ is a lier. Do you not see his haphazard talk in his claim of the agreement of the wise people, nations, and fuqaha'. Moreover, the statements of Ahmad of Ijma’ in several issues were confirmed.
This issue of divorce in which Ibn Taymiyyah deviated is the same issue that Hafiz al-’Ala'i said: Ibn Taymiyyah reported the Ijma’ upon the occurrence of the three-time divorce by one pronouncement and the occurrence of the provisional divorce if the provision happened, then he infringed the Ijma’ in both matters. Hafiz Shams-ud-Din Ibn Tulun related this about Hafiz al-’Ala'i in "Thakha'ir-ul-Qasr fi Tarajimi Nubala'-il-‘Asr".
by Iqbal Ahmad A'zami
'Imam Tahawi's al-'Aqidah, representative of the viewpoint of Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jama'ah, has long been the most widely acclaimed, and indeed indispensable, reference work on Muslim beliefs, of which this is an edited English translation. Imam Abu Ja'far Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Salamah ibn Salmah ibn `Abd al Malik ibn Salmah ibn Sulaim ibn Sulaiman ibn Jawab al-Azdi, popularly known as Imam Tahawi, after his birth-place in Egypt, is among the most outstanding authorities of the Islamic world on hadith and fiqh and kalam. He lived 239-321 H., an epoch when both the direct and indirect disciples of the four Imams: Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Ash-Shafi'i and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal - were teaching and practicing. This period was the zenith of hadith and fiqh studies, and Imam Tahawi studied with all the living authorities of the day. He began as a student of his maternal uncle, Isma'il ibn Yahya Muzni. a leading disciple of Imam al-Shafi'i. Instinctively, however, Imam Tahawi felt drawn to the corpus of Imam Abu Hanifah's works. Indeed, he had seen his uncle and teacher turning to the works of Hanafi scholars to resolve thorny issues of Fiqh, drawing heavily on the writings of Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani and Imam Abu Yusuf, who had codified Hanafi fiqh. This led Imam Tahawi to devote his whole attention to studying the Hanafi works and he eventually joined the Hanafi school. Imam Tahawi stands out not only as a prominent follower of the Hanafi school but, in view or his vast erudition and remarkable powers of assimilation, as one of its leading scholars. His monumental scholarly works, such as Sharh Ma'ani al-Athar and Mushkil al-Athar, are encyclopedic in scope and have long been regarded as indispensable for training students of fiqh. Al-'Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah, though small in size, is a basic text for all times, listing what a Muslim must know and believe and inwardly comprehend. There is consensus among the Companions, Successors and all the leading Islamic authorities such as Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'i and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal on the doctrines enumerated in this work. For these doctrines shared by Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jama'ah owe their origin to the Holy Quran and consistent and confirmed ahadith - the undisputed primary sources of Islam. Being a text on the Islamic doctrines, this work draws heavily on the arguments set forth in the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. Likewise, the arguments advanced in refuting the views of sects that have deviated from the Sunnah, are also taken from the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah. As regards the sects mentioned in this work, a study of Islamic history up to the time of Imam Tahawi would be quite helpful. References to sects such as Mu'tazilah, Jahmiyyah, Qadriyah, and Jabriyah are found in the work. Moreover, it contains allusions to the unorthodox and deviant views of the Shi'ah, Khawarij and such mystics as had departed from the right path. There is an explicit reference in the work to the dangerous controversy on Khalq-al -Qu'ran in the times of Ma'mun and some other `Abbasid Caliphs. While the permanent relevance of the statements of belief in al-'Aqidah is obvious, the historical weight and point of certain of these statements can be properly appreciated only if the work is used as a text for study under the guidance of some learned person able to elucidate its arguments fully, with reference to the intellectual and historical background of the sects refuted in the work. Such study helps one to better understand the Islamic doctrines and avoid the deviations of the past or the present. May Allah grant us a true understanding of faith and include us with those to whom Allah refers as
"Those who believe, fear Allah and do good deeds; and he who fears Allah, endures affliction, then Allah will not waste the reward of well-doers."
We say about Allah's unity believing - by Allah's help - that Allah is One, without any partners. There is nothing like Him. There is nothing that can overwhelm Him. There is no god other than Him. He is the Eternal without a beginning and enduring without end. He will never perish or come to an end. Nothing happens except what He wills. No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him. He is different from any created being. He is living and never dies and is eternally active and never sleeps. He creates without His being in need to do so and provides for His creation without any effort. He causes death with no fear and restores to life without difficulty. He has always existed together with His attributes since before creation. Bringing creation into existence did not add anything to His attributes that was not already there. As He was, together with His attributes, in pre-eternity, so He will remain throughout endless time. It was not only after the act of creation that He could be described as `the Creator' nor was it only by the act of origination that He could he described as `the Originator'. He was always the Lord even when there was nothing to be Lord of, and always the Creator even when there was no creation. In the same way that He is the `Bringer to life of the dead', after He has brought them to life a first time, and deserves this name before bringing them to life, so too He deserves the name of `Creator' before He has created them. This is because He has the power to do everything, everything is dependent on Him, everything is easy for Him, and He does not need anything.
"There is nothing like Him and He is the Hearer, the Seer". [ash-Shura 42:11]
He created creation with His knowledge. He appointed destinies for those He created. He allotted to them fixed life spans. Nothing about them was hidden from Him before He created them, and He knew everything that they would do before He created them. He ordered them to obey Him and forbade them to disobey Him. Everything happens according to His decree and will, and His will is accomplished. The only will that people have is what He wills for them. What He wills for them occurs and what He does not will, does not occur. He gives guidance to whoever He wills, and protects them, and keeps them safe from harm, out of His generosity; and He leads astray whoever He wills, and abases them, and afflicts them, out of His justice. All of them are subject to His will between either His generosity or His justice. He is exalted beyond having opposites or equals. No one can ward off His decree or put back His command or overpower His affairs. We believe in all of this and are certain that everything comes from Him.
And we are certain that Muhammad, sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is His chosen servant and selected Prophet and His Messenger with whom He is well pleased. And that he is the Seal of the Prophets and the Imam of the God-fearing and the Most Honoured of all the Messengers and the Beloved of the Lord of all the Worlds. Every claim to prophethood after Him is falsehood and deceit. He is the one who has been sent to all the jinn and all mankind with Truth and Guidance and with Light and Illumination.
The Qur'an is the word of Allah. It came from Him as speech without it being possible to say how. He sent it down on His Messenger as revelation. The believers accept it, as absolute truth. They are certain that it is, in truth, the word of Allah. It is not created, as is the speech of human beings, and anyone who hears it and claims that it is human speech has become an unbeliever. Allah warns him and censures him and threatens him with Fire when He says, Exalted is He:
"I will burn him in the Fire." [al-Muddaththir 74:26]
When Allah threatens with the Fire those who say
"This is just human speech." [al-Muddaththir 74:25]
We know for certain that it is the Speech of the Creator of mankind and that it is totally unlike the speech of mankind.
Anyone who describes Allah as being in any way the same as a human being has become an unbeliever. All those who grasp this will take heed and refrain from saying things such as the unbelievers say, and they will know that He, in His Attributes, is not like human beings.
The Seeing of Allah by the People of the Garden' (Al-Jannah) is true, without their vision being all-encompassing and without the manner of their vision being known. As the Book of our Lord has expressed it:
"Faces on that Day radiant, looking at their Lord'. [al-Qiyamah 75:22-3]
The explanation of this is as Allah knows and wills. Everything that has come down to us about this from the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in authentic traditions, is as he said and means what he intended. We do not delve into that, trying to interpret it according to our own opinions or letting our imaginations have free rein. No one is safe in his religion unless he surrenders himself completely to Allah, the Exalted and Glorified and to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and leaves the knowledge of things that are ambiguous to the one who knows them.
A man's Islam is not secure unless it is based on submission and surrender. Anyone who desires to know things which it is beyond his capacity to know, and whose intellect is not content with surrender, will find that his desire veils him from a pure understanding of Allah's True Unity, clear knowledge and correct belief, and that he veers between disbelief and belief, confirmation and denial and acceptance and rejection. He will be subject to whisperings and find himself confused and full of doubt, being neither an accepting believer nor a denying rejecter. Belief of a man in the seeing of Allah by the people of the Garden is not correct if he imagines what it is like, or interprets it according to his own understanding since the interpretation of this seeing' or indeed, the meaning of any of the subtle phenomena which are in the realm of Lordship, is by avoiding its interpretation and strictly adhering to the submission. This is the Din of Muslims. Anyone who does not guard himself against negating the attributes of Allah, or likening Allah to something else, has gone astray and has failed to understand Allah's Glory, because our Lord, the Glorified and the Exalted, can only possibly be described in terms of Oneness and Absolute Singularity and no creation is in any way like Him. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.
Al-Mi'raj (The Ascent Through the Heavens) is true. The Prophet, sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa-sallam, was taken by night and ascended in his bodily form, while awake, through the heavens, to whatever heights Allah willed for him. Allah ennobled him in the way that He ennobled him and revealed to him what He revealed to him,
"and his heart was not mistaken about what he saw" [al-Najm 53:11].
Allah blessed him and granted him peace in this world and the next.
Al-Hawd, (the Pool which Allah will grant the Prophet, sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as an honour to quench the thirst of His Ummah on the Day Of Judgement), is true.
Ash-Shaf'ah, (the intercession), is true, as related in the (confirmed) ahadith.
The covenant `which Allah made with Adam and his offspring' is true. Allah knew, before the existence of time, the exact number of those who would enter the Garden (Al-Jannah) and the exact number of those who would enter the Fire (Jahannam). This number will neither be increaser nor decreased. The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah knew they would be done. Everyone is cased to what he was created for and it is the action with which a man's life is sealed which dictates his fate. Those who are fortunate are fortunate by the decree of Allah, and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of Allah. The exact nature of the decree is Allah's secret in His creation, and no angel near the Throne, nor Prophet sent with a message, has been given knowledge of it. Delving into it and reflecting too much about it only leads to destruction and loss, and results in rebelliousness. So be extremely careful about thinking and reflecting on this matter or letting doubts about it assail you, because Allah has kept knowledge of the decree away from human beings, and forbidden them to enquire about it, saying in His Book,
"He is not asked about what He does but they are asked". [al-Anbiya' 21:23]
So anyone who asks: `Why did Allah do that?' has gone against a judgement of the Book, and anyone who goes against a judgement of the Book is an unbeliever. This in sum is what those of Allah's friends with enlightened hearts need to know and constitutes the degree of those firmly endowed with knowledge. For there are two kinds of knowledge: knowledge which is accessible to created beings, and knowledge which is not accessible to created beings. Denying the knowledge which is accessible is disbelief, and claiming the knowledge which is inaccessible is disbelief. Belief can only be firm when accessible knowledge is accepted and inaccessible knowledge is not sought after.
We believe in al-Lawh (The Tablet) and al-Qalam (The Pen) and in everything written on it. Even if all created beings were to gather together to make something fail to exist, whose existence Allah had written on the Tablet, they would not be able to do so. And if all created beings were to gather together to make something exist which Allah had not written on it, they would not be able to do so. The Pen has dried having written down all that will be in existence until the Day of Judgement. Whatever a person has missed he would have never got it, and whatever one gets, he would have never missed it. It is necessary for the servant to know that Allah already knows everything that is going to happen in His creation and decreed it in a detailed and decisive way. There is nothing that He has created in either the heavens or the earth that can contradict it, or add to it, or erase it, or change it, or decrease it, or increase it in any way. This is a fundamental aspect of belief and a necessary element of all knowledge and recognition of Allah's Oneness and Lordship. As Allah says in His Book:
"He created everything and decreed it he a detailed way." [al-Furqan 25:2]
And He also says:
"Allah's command is always a decided decree". [al-Ahzab 33:38]
So woe to anyone who argues with Allah concerning the decree and who, with a sick heart, starts delving into this matter. In his delusory attempt to investigate the Unseen, he is seeking a secret that can never be uncovered, and he ends up an evil-doer, telling nothing but lies.
Al-'Arsh (the Throne) and al-Kursi (the Chair) are true. He is independent of the Throne and what is beneath it. He encompasses everything and is above it, and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him.
We say with belief, acceptance and submission that Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate friend and that He spoke directly to Musa. We believe in the angels, and the Prophets, and the books which were revealed to the messengers, and we bear witness that they were all following the manifest Truth.
We call the people of our qiblah Muslims and believers as long as they acknowledge what the Prophet, sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, brought, and accept as true everything that he said and told us about. We do not enter into vain talk about Allah nor do we allow any dispute about the religion Of Allah. We do not argue about the Qur'an and we bear witness that it is the speech of the Lord of all the Worlds which the Trustworthy Spirit came down with and taught the most honoured Of all the Messengers, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. It is the speech of Allah and no speech of any created being is comparable to it. We do not say that it was created and we do not go against the Jama'ah of the Muslims regarding it.
We do not consider any of the people of our qiblah to he unbelievers because of any wrong action they have done, as long as they do not consider that action to have been lawful.
Nor do we say that the wrong action of a man who has belief does not have a harmful effect on him. We hope that Allah will pardon the people of right action among the believers and grant them entrance into the Garden through His Mercy, but we cannot be certain of this, and we cannot bear witness that it will definitely happen and that they will be in the Garden. We ask forgiveness for the people of wrong action among the Believers and, although we are afraid for them, we are not in despair about them. Certainty and despair both remove one from the religion, but the path of truth for the people of the qiblah lies between the two (e.g. a person must fear and be conscious of Allah's reckoning as well as be hopeful of Allah's mercy). A person does not step out or belief except by disavowing what brought him into it. Belief consists of affirmation by the tongue and acceptance by the heart. And the whole of what is proven from the Prophet, upon him be peace, regarding the Shari'ah and its interpretation is true. Belief is, at base, the same for everyone, but the superiority of some over others in it is due to their fear and awareness of Allah, their opposition to their desires, and their choosing what is more pleasing to Allah. All the believers are `friends' of Allah and the noblest of them in the sight of Allah are those who are the most obedient and who most closely follow the Qur'an. Belief consists of belief in Allah. His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and belief that the Decree - both the good of it and the evil of it, the sweet of it and the bitter or it - is all from Allah. We believe in all these things. We do not make any distinction between any of the messengers, we accept as true what all of them brought. Those of the Ummah of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who have committed grave sins will be in the Fire, but not forever, provided they die and meet Allah as believers affirming His unity even if they have not repented. They are subject to His will and judgement. If He wants, He will forgive them and pardon them out of His generosity, as is mentioned in the Qur'an when He says:
"And He forgives anything less than that (shirk) to whoever He wills" [an-Nisa' 4: 116]
and if He wants, He will punish them in the Fire out of His justice and then bring them out of the Fire through His mercy, and for the intercession of those who were obedient to Him, and send them to the Garden. This is because Allah is the Protector of those who recognize Him and will not treat them in the Next World in the same way as He treats those who deny Him and who are bereft of His guidance and have failed to obtain His protection.
O Allah, You are the Protector of Islam and its people; make us firm in Islam until the day we meet You. We agree with doing the prayer behind any of the people of the qiblah whether right-acting or wrong-acting, and doing the funeral prayer over any of them when they die. We do not say that any of them will categorically go to either the Garden or the Fire, and we do not accuse any of them of kufr (disbelief), shirk (associating partners with Allah), or nifaq (hypocrisy), as long as they have not openly demonstrated any of those things. We leave their secrets to Allah. We do not agree with killing any of the Ummah of Muhammad, sall-Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, unless it is obligatory by Shari'ah to do so. We do not recognize rebellion against our Imam or those in charge of our affairs even if they are unjust, nor do we wish evil on them, nor do we withdraw from following them. We hold that obedience to them is part of obedience to Allah, The Glorified, and therefore obligatory as long as they do not order to commit sins. We pray for their right guidance and pardon from their wrongs. We follow the Sunnah of the Prophet and the Jama'ah of the Muslims, and avoid deviation, differences and divisions. We love the people of justice and trustworthiness, and hate the people of injustice and treachery. When our knowledge about something is unclear, we say: `Allah knows best'. We agree with wiping over leather socks (in Wudu) whether on a journey or otherwise, just as has come in the (consistent and confirmed) ahadith. Hajj and jihad under the leadership of those in charge of the Muslims, whether they are right or wrong-acting, are continuing obligations until the Last Hour comes. Nothing can annul or controvert them.
We believe in Kiraman Katibun (the noble angels) who write down our actions for Allah has appointed them over us as two guardians. We believe in the Angel of Death who is charged with taking the spirits of all the worlds. We believe in the punishment in the grave for those who deserve it, and in the questioning in the grave by Munkar and Nakir about one's Lord, one's religion and one's prophet, as has come down in ahadith from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and in reports from the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. The grave is either one of the meadows of the Garden or one of the pits of the Fire. We believe in being brought back to life after death and in being recompensed for our actions on the Day of Judgement, and al-'Ard, having been shown them and al-Hisab, brought to account for them. And Qira'at al-Kitab, reading the book, and the reward or punishments and in al-Sirat (the Bridge) and al-Mizan (the Balance). The Garden and the Fire are created things that never come to an end and we believe that Allah created them before the rest of creation and then created people to inhabit each of them. Whoever He wills goes to the Garden out of His Bounty and whoever He wills goes to the Fire through His justice. Everybody acts in accordance with what is destined for him and goes towards what he has been created for. Good and evil have both been decreed for people. The capability in terms of Tawfiq (Divine Grace and Favour) which makes an action certain to occur cannot be ascribed to a created being. This capability is integral with action, whereas the capability of an action in terms of having the necessary health, and ability, being in a position to act and having the necessary means, exists in a person before the action. It is this type of capability which is the object of the dictates of Shariah. Allah the Exalted says:
"Allah does not charge a person except according to his ability." [al-Baqarah 2: 286]
People's actions are created by Allah but earned by people. Allah, the Exalted, has only charged people with what they are able to do and people are only capable to do what Allah has favoured them. This is the explanation of the phrase: `There is no power and no strength except by Allah.' We add to this that there is no stratagem or way by which anyone can avoid or escape disobedience to Allah except with Allah's help; nor does anyone have the strength to put obedience to Allah into practice and remain firm in it, except if Allah makes it possible for them to do so. Everything happens according to Allah's will, knowledge, predestination and decree. His will overpowers all other wills and His decree overpowers all stratagems. He does whatever He wills and He is never unjust. He is exalted in His purity above any evil or perdition and He is perfect far beyond any fault or flaw.
"He will not be asked about what He does but they will he asked." [Al-Anbiya 21: 23]
There is benefit for dead people in the supplication and alms-giving of the living. Allah responds to people's supplications and gives them what they ask for. Allah has absolute control over everything and nothing has any control over Him. Nothing can be independent of Allah even for the blinking of an eye, and whoever considers himself independent of Allah for the blinking of an eye is guilty of unbelief and becomes one of the people of perdition. Allah is angered and can be pleased but not in the same way as any creature.
We love the Companions of the Messenger of Allah but we do not go to excess in our love for any one individual among them nor do we disown any one of them. We hate anyone who hates them or does not speak well of them and we only speak well of them. Love of them is a part of Islam, part of belief and part of excellent behaviour, while hatred of them is unbelief, hypocrisy and rebelliousness. We confirm that, after the death of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the caliphate went first to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, thus proving his excellence and superiority over the rest of the Muslims; then to `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him; then to `Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him; and then to `Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him. These are the Rightly-Guided Khaliphs (al-Khulafa ar-Rashidun) and upright leaders. We bear witness that the ten who were named by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and who were promised the Garden by him, will be in the Garden, as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, whose word is truth, bore witness that they would he. The ten are: Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, `Ali, Talhah, Zubayr, Sa`d, Sa`id, `Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf and Abu `Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah whose title was the trustee of this Ummah, may Allah be pleased with all of them. Anyone who speaks well of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his wives and offspring, who are all pure and untainted by any impurity, is free from the accusation of hypocrisy.
The learned men of the first community and those who followed in their footsteps - the people of virtue, the narrators of the ahadith, the jurists and analysts- they must only be spoken about in the best way and anyone who says anything bad about them is not on the right path. We do not prefer any of the saintly men among the Ummah over any of the Prophets but rather we say that any one of the Prophets is better than all the awliya' put together. We believe in what we know of Karamat, the marvels of the awliya' and in authentic stories about them from trustworthy sources. We believe in the signs of the Hour such as the appearance of the Dajjal and the descent of `Isa ibn Maryam, peace be upon him, from heaven and we believe in the rising of the sun from where it sets and in the emergence of the Beast from the earth. We do not accept as true what soothsayers and fortune-tellers say, nor do we accept the claims of those who affirm anything which goes against the Book, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslim Ummah.
We agree that holding together is the true and right path and that separation is deviation and torment. There is a single Din of Allah in the heavens and the earth and that is the religion of Islam. Allah says:
"Surely Din in the sight of Allah is Islam'. [Al `Imran 3:19]
And He also says:
"I am pleased with Islam for you as Din". [Al-Ma'idah 5:3]
Islam lies between going to excess and falling short, between Tashbih (likening of Allah's attributes to anything else), and Tatil (denying Allah's attributes), between Fatalism and refusing Decree as proceeding from Allah and between certainty (without being conscious of Allah's reckoning) and despair (of Allah's Mercy).
This is our religion and it is what we believe in, both inwardly and outwardly, and we renounce any connection, before Allah, with anyone who goes against what we have said and made clear.
Allah says in Q4:58: “Allah orders you to hand over the trusts (back) to their owners,” and He says in the end of Surat al-Ahzab (Q33:71-72) that He charged us with the Divine Trust (Amaanah), and caring for it as His khulafa’ (vicegerents) and returning it to Him as it came to us.
Also in Surat al-Ahzab, Allah uses a certain progression of functions to describe the role of our Prophet . He begins with “witnesser,” for on the Day of Alastu bi-Rabbikum (Q7:172, 3:81, 33:7) [Day of Promises, al-`ahad wa'l-meethaaq], he witnessed Allah the Truth and we witnessed Him in his witnessing, for without his witnessing our witnessing would have no meaning. This witnessing of the Divine Reality was recounted in the mi’raj (night ascension).
Then He goes on to describe him as “giver of good news and warnings,” for in this role he is the furqan (agent of discrimination), dividing between the truth and falsehood, and giving good news to the people of truth and warnings to the people of falsehood.
So thru this role he sets up the dichotomy that creation was based on. For it is the Sunna of Allah that He created the creation in pairs, and that it must be returned from this dichotomy to His Oneness. That is why this is the Din of Tawhid – to make one – instead of wahda – to be one.
For although Allah is One in reality, it is not so in our coarse perceptions, and in this paired creation we must revive the recognition of the Divine Oneness permeating deeply in all things. So it is a process of re-becoming what we originally are.
Then He goes on to describe him as “caller to Allah by His permission,” for he seeks to return and hand over the creation back to Allah, and hand over the Trust back to their Owner. Allah sent down the rope of His Word to us so that we are pulled back up to Him.
Allah says that He taught (‘allama) Adam all the Names (Q2:30), but the word ‘allama also means “to make a mark,” and so in this teaching of the Names, (which was not didactic), He marked Adam with all the Divine Names and Qualities, reflecting the traces of each of them in the Adamic form. Our servitude to Him means exactly our returning our qualities to Him – their origin – and relinquishing any power or strength (hawl wa quwwa), for Allah is ‘ala kulli shay’in qadir (over all things powerful).
This process is the return arch of the circle back to Him. He ends, “and a lamp giving light.” Here we have arrived at the true reality of the Muhammadan presence (Haqiqa Muhammadiyya), for the light that reflects from his face to us is the same light that Allah shines on his face. From him comes the essential light-mercy that keeps the creation living in tasbih and hamd. As long as it abides in the life of its essential tasbih and hamd, it is able to return the Trust of the Divine Qualities back to its owner. That is its true life.
Consider the meaning of the statement of the Prophet when he said: “the difference between the one who invokes Allah and the one who is heedless of Him is as the difference between the living and the dead.” Shaykh al-Akbar Muhammad Muhyiddeen ibn ‘Arabi wrote about the Haqiqa Muhammadiya in his books and said, “from the niche of his prophet-hood, all of the prophets received their prophet-hood thru his light-emanation.”
It is related in the authentic hadith narrations that on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will gather all the people on an expansive plain. He will reveal Himself to each of them, but in a form they do not recognize, for every human has a form or image of Allah with which he recognizes Him. So the people will not recognize Him and say, “we will not move from this place of ours until our Lord comes to us.”
At this point, Allah will now reveal (tajalli) Himself to them in the form they do recognize, and they will recognize Him, accept Him and follow Him. About this hadith, Shaykh al-Akbar said, “the people worship the Lord of their own predisposition and capacity. So when Allah tells him, ‘indeed, We told you that your Lord has encompassed all the people, (Q17:60). He means that all of the lords of the predisposition of the humans is to be found in and comprehended by Muhammad , and that we each all have received our (activated) worship from him.”
Allah Most High created the creation in a state of suspended readiness and incompletion, like a body without a soul, as Imam ‘Ali says that the cosmos is a big man. So Man (Adam) is the inner (baatin) reality of the creation, the life-giving meaning behind/within the form. This is paralleled by the clay of Adam without a spirit…and when was Muhammad given the prophet-hood? He was given it when the spirit and clay of Adam were still not combined. So the meaning behind each creation is actualized with the coming of the human.
Take wealth for example, something to which our love is attached. In itself, it has no good or bad attached to it. Look at what our Nabi , who had direct understanding of creation, said about wealth, “how excellent is wholesome wealth in the hands of a righteous person!”
And about the world, “this world is accursed (mal’una) – all that is within it – except for the remembrance of Allah (dhikrullah) and all things related, or a teacher or student of knowledge.” And he said, “I was sent as a teacher of knowledge,” and “as a completer of noble character traits.”
Allah also names him “dhikrullah” in Q65:10-11. He says: “Allah has indeed sent to you a remembrance, (namely), a Messenger who recites to you the clarifying Ayat of Allah, to take out those who are secured in Iman and do wholesome righteous acts into the Light.”
So he is the dhikr and all things related, and he is the teacher of the knowledge which he received from Allah as a student. In other words, anything which does not have a share of his inheritance, it is cursed. And linguistically, being “cursed” (mal’un) means being barred and deprived of the mercy, and he is the mercy of all the worlds and universes and realms.
When we – through Iman and ‘Amal (secured belief and righteous action) – enter into this Nur (light) Muhammad , then at that point Allah promises us in Surat an-Nur: “Allah promises those who believe and do good works that He will establish them in the earth as (His) vicegerents…and He will replace their sense of fear with security…so establish the Salat and pay the Zakat and obey the Messenger, that you may receive mercy.” So going back to the money, it receives its quality of good or bad from the way we use it.
If we use it correctly, it becomes something noble, and if we use it incorrectly (and how frequently that occurs!), it becomes something ignoble, a curse and a distraction. Its nobility is in serving us as is meant to be, and its ignobility is in us serving it.
The most noble way to use it is by giving it away in charity. Shaykh al-Akbar said that there are three categories of those who give wealth away in charity:
1) those who give in charity so that Allah will increase them in purity and blessing and forgive them.
2) those who give others charity so that others may eat and continue living, and thus participate in keeping their tasbih and hamd ongoing. So these people give for the sake of maintaining the tasbih of the creatures.
3) those who give others charity so that Allah will continue to have forms in which to manifest His Names and Qualities. For Allah manifests His Qualities in all of creation, and this person is maintaining this Divine manifestation by helping maintain its vesicle (namely, the needy human).
And this third level is the most sublime and most rare. It is similar with the lower world in general. Before our appearance on the scene, the creation was incomplete, unfulfilled, lacking in meaning, and un-gathered.
When the human was brought in to this world, it was the same as Allah breathing into the form of Adam from His Ruh (Spirit), for the human is the ruh of the world.
The perfect human – meaning the human whose potential is fully actualized – gives the world meaning, spirit, life, direction, and gathers it and returns it to its Maker, thereby returning the trust to its owner. And the Prophet fulfilled this function perfectly as Allah described in Surat al-Ahzab. When he came into this world, the world became covered with his blessings and the emanation of Divine truth from him.
The idols were all overturned and broken, shaytan and his deputies wept, the animals and sheep were full of milk, light shown so that his mother could see all the way to the palaces of Sham, the beasts of the earth and fish of the sea gathered to proclaim his coming…all of these are effects of life-giving mercy, which was his very nature. Shaykh Nazim Qubrusi, who is the murshid of the shaykh who will speak later tonight (Shaykh Hisham Kabbani), said something very wise and insightful. He said that every verse in the Qur’an, without exception, contains praise of Muhammad and an explanation of an aspect of his reality, even if it might not be apparent to most people.
I would like to explore with you the example of Musa and Harun (upon them be peace) as a small example of this. And how Harun (alayhi salam) was an example of the birth of Muhammad . We all know his story, and how he had killed the Egyptian when defending a Hebrew, and how he fled to Midian for safety and married the daughter of Shu’ayb and tended his sheep, and how many years later he was ready for Allah to give him the message, and send him to invite Fir’aun to the truth.
So he said, out of apprehension of this mission: “O Lord! I fear that they may reject me, and that my chest be constricted and my tongue be hampered from speaking, so send the message also to Harun.” So he was expressing the same state that creation was in before the Prophet’s coming into the world.
All of these are signs of the lack of mercy…fear, constricted chest, heavy locked tongue, etc. When you are cut off from the source, this is how you are. And what was one of the unique graces of the merciful Prophet?
“Did We not expand your chest…?” (Q94:1). So with Harun joining Musa, it had the same effect as this ayah (94:1) here says, for Harun represents the merciful gathering of the Divine Jamal, while Musa represents the rigorous separation of the Divine Jalal. You can see this in Surah TaHa (which is one of his names), when Musa said to the people, “your God is Allah, other than Whom there is no God,” using the Lafz al-Jalala, or Name of Supreme Majesty: ALLAH.
Whereas Harun said to the people, “your Rabb is ar-Rahman, so follow me and obey my command” so he calls in the Name of the All-Merciful, and just like in the ayah from Surat an-Nur above, he calls them to “obey the messenger, that they may receive mercy.” Also, instead of employing the impersonal quality of Divinity (uluhiyya) like Musa (alayhi salam) did, he employed the personal quality of Cherishing Lordship (rububiyya).
Incidentally, there is also the narration recorded in the Siyar that the most beautiful creation was Sayyidina Muhammad, then the second was Sayyidina Adam, then the third was Sayyidina Yusuf, then the fourth was Sayyidina Harun (upon all of them be blessings and peace). This episode in the Qur’an, which is so often repeated, contains deep within it - for those who have eyes – praise of the Prophet, for he is to the creation exactly like Harun was to Musa (upon them be peace), mercifully re-gathering what was separated under the Majesty of Allah (as reflected in Sayyidina Musa).
Reflect then on the saying of our Imam, Abu’l Abbas al-Mursi (Allah be pleased with him), who said, “all of the Prophets were created from mercy, but the Prophet Muhammad was created from the source-spring (‘ayn ar-rahma) of mercy.”
So we learn from all this the meaning of his birth and his coming into the world, and what function his birth and mission represented.
For Sayyidina Musa and Sayyidina Harun, just like all the other prophets, took their prophet-hood from the Nubuwwa of the Final Prophet, just like Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn ‘Arabi said. May Allah open our eyes and inspire our spirits to understand the Haqiqa Muhammadiyya, and enable us to reflect it in our lives to our utmost capacities, and make us His Khulafa’, ameen.
Thank you, was-salaam.
Courtesy: Aisha Bewley Homepage
Allahu ta'ala, pitying all the people on the earth, creates and sends useful things to them. In the next world, He will forgive whomever He chooses of those disobedient believers who are to go to Hell and will bless them with direct access to Paradise. He, alone, is the One who creates every living being, keeps all beings in existence every moment and protects all against fear and horror. Trusting ourselves to the honorable name of Allahu ta'ala, we begin to translate this book.
Infinite thanks be to Allahu ta'ala! Peace and blessings be upon His most beloved Messenger, Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam)! Beneficent prayers be upon the pure Ahl al-Bayt and upon all the just and devoted companions (as-Sahabat al-kiram) of this exalted Prophet!
Allahu ta'ala has had great mercy upon His human servants and wishes them to live in comfort and peace in the world and to attain eternal felicity in the Hereafter. To this end, He has made the most superior and best of mankind into Prophets and, by revealing holy books to them, has shown the way to peace and happiness. He has declared that attaining happiness requires first believing in Him and His Prophets and then obeying the commandments in His holy books. One who possesses this belief and accepts the commandments is termed a Mumin (believer) and Muslim.
To explain the Existence and Oneness of Allahu ta'ala and the way to believe in Prophets, Islamic scholars wrote many books in almost every language. Among the ones that have been written in a compendious, explicit and comprehensible style so as to remove doubts and misgivings, the Arabic book Ithbat an-nubuwwa is very useful. The great Islamic scholar al-Imam ar- Rabbani Ahmad al-Faruqi (quddisa sirruh) wrote this book when he was eighteen years old. It contains selections made by him and their explanations from the last part of the book Sharh-i Mawaqif. It was first published together with its Urdu translation in Pakistan. Al-Imam ar-Rabbani was born in the city of Sirhind, India, in 971 H. (Hijri) (1564 A.D.) and passed away there in 1034 H. (1625 A.D.)
We humbly pray so that all people, by avoiding the misleading effects of devouring and deceptive articles, will read this book with concern and common sense, and thereby attain comfort and peace in this world and eternal felicity in the Hereafter.
In the text, the translated ayats of the Qur'an al-karim are given as ma'al Sharif (meanings concluded by Mufassirs), which may or may not be the same as what Allahu ta'ala means in the ayat.
Infinite thanks be to Allahu ta'ala, who has sent Prophets to guide people to the way of salvation and who has revealed four of His major Books to them; these Books contain no aberration or abnormality. The Book He has revealed to His Last Prophet, Muhammad 'alaihi 's-salam', is Qur'an al-karim; in which everything necessary for His human servants has been revealed. Unbelievers have been warned of Hell's torment while believers who carry out the requirements of Islam have been given the good news of Paradise. By sending Muhammad 'alaihi 's-salam', Allahu ta'ala has completed the faith (din) of His human servants. He has declared that He will be pleased with those who are in the Islamic religion (ad-Din). For His servants of earlier times, too, He sent Prophets with clear revelations and great miracles. He has declared in the Qur'an al-karim that no Prophet will succeed Muhammad 'alaihi 's-salam'. He has decreed that, as a blind person entrusts himself to those who will lead him or as a helplessly ill person commits himself to the care of compassionate doctors, people must submit themselves to Prophets He has sent so that they will attain benefits beyond the mind's grasp and escape calamities. He has made Muhammad 'alaihi 's-salam' the highest, the most merciful of Prophets, and his Umma the most equitable people. He has made his religion the most perfect of all. He has announced through ayats in His Book that his conduct has no excess or defect, that his grade is very high and that he is the Prophet for all creatures. For His servants, He has sent him as the Last Prophet to communicate the fact that Allahu ta'ala is One and without any likeness, to correct the knowledge and deeds of His servants, and to treat their sick hearts. May abundant prayers and good wishes, from us, be upon him, his household (Al), and companions (as-Sahaba) day and night! They are the stars guiding to the right way and the sources of light illuminating darkness.
Let it be known that this servant, that is, [al-Imam ar-Rabbani Mujaddid al-Alf ath-Thani] Ahmad ibn 'Abd al-Ahad, who is greatly in need of Allahu ta'ala's compassion, the first of them being to protect him, his ancestry, masters and disciples against the troubles of the Rising Day, for which I offer Him my invocations, has seen with regret that the people of our time have become increasingly slack in believing in the necessity of Prophets' coming, in the twenty-five Prophets whose names are given in Qur'an al-karim, and in obeying the religion brought by the Last Prophet. Moreover, some powerful people with authoritative positions in India have been torturing pious Muslims who diligently follow Islam. There have appeared people who mock the blessed name of the Last Prophet and substitute the blessed names given to them by their parents with absurd names. Sacrificing a cow, which is wajib for a Muslim to butcher during 'Id al-Adha, has been prohibited in India. Mosques are either being demolished or turned into museums or stores. Islamic cemeteries are being made into playgrounds or places for rubbish. Disbelievers' churches are being restored in the name of monuments. Their rituals and festivals are being celebrated by Muslims, too. In short, Islam's requirements and Islamic customs are being abhorred or totally abandoned. They are being called "retrogressive." Disbelievers' and atheists' customs, false religions, immoral and shameless acts are being praised. Efforts are being made to spread them. Depraved and squalid books, novels and songs of the Indian disbelievers are being translated into the languages of Muslims and sold. In this way efforts to annihilate Islam and Islam's beautiful ethics, which result in Muslims' iman weakening, are being carried on while unbelievers and rejecters are increasing. Moreover, even men of religion, who must be healers for the disease of disbelief, are falling for this disaster and drifting into calamity.
I have studied the causes for this corruption in Muslim children's belief and have scrutinized the origin of their doubts. I have come to the conclusion that there is only one reason for the slackness in their iman. And the reason is that much time has elapsed since Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam), while at the same time some fanatical, short-sighted, religiously nescient politicians and some ignoramuses, who pass themselves off as scientists, talk on religious matters and have their words accepted as true. I have spoken with people who read and believe the articles of such fanatics of science and who therefore describe themselves as enlightened, modern people. I have seen that they err mostly in comprehending the rank of prophethood (nubuwwa). I have heard many of them say, "Prophets endeavored so that people should get on well with one another and form beautiful habits. This has nothing to do with life in the next world. Books of philosophy, too, provide ways of getting on well and forming good habits. Imam Muhammad al- Ghazali divides his book Ihya 'ulum ad-din into four sections. In the first section he explains beautiful habits, which he terms Munjiyyat (things that save). In the other three sections, he writes about salat, fasting and other 'ibadat. This book of his resembles books of philosophy. And this shows that 'ibadat are not Munji (able to save) and that salvation depends upon beautiful habits. Others say, "One who has heard of the Prophet, his ayats and miracles but who disbelieves this information because centuries have passed ever since, is like a person who lives in the mountains or in a desert and has not heard about the Prophet at all. Like the latter, the former may not have iman, either."
In response to them, we say that to perfect people and to cure the diseases in their hearts, Allahu ta'ala pitied them in the eternal past and willed to send Prophets. In order to fulfill these duties of theirs, Prophets must threaten the disobedient and give good news to the obedient. They must inform the former of the torment and the latter of the rewards in the Hereafter. Man desires to attain things that come sweet to him. In order to attain them, he goes astray, sins and harms others. The sending of Prophets was necessary for protecting men from doing evil and for providing them with a peaceful and comfortable life in this and the next worlds. Life in this world is short. Life in the next world is endless. For this reason, attaining happiness in the next world takes precedence. Some ancient philosophers, in order to sell more of the books they had prepared with their own views and imagination, embellished them with ways of beautifying one's morals and doing useful acts, which they had read in heavenly books or heard from those who believed in these books. Concerning Hujjat al-Islam Imam Muhammad Ghazali's (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) explaining 'ibadat in his book, scholars of fiqh explained how to carry out 'ibadat, but they did not describe their subtle particulars because their purpose was to state the conditions for and manners of performing 'ibadat properly. They did not look to men's souls and hearts. The task of describing devolved on scholars of tasawwuf. Al-Imam al-Ghazali combined the knowledge of religion that provided for the betterment of bodies and outward deeds with the knowledge of tasawwuf, which enables one to attain inner cleanliness. He explained both of them in his book. He named the latter Munjiyyat, that is, teachings that prevent calamity, yet he said that 'ibadat, too, were Munji. The way of making 'ibadat a means of salvation can be learned from books of fiqh. Those teachings of salvation which pertain to the heart cannot be learned from books of fiqh. They can be understood better by reading the explanations from that exalted imam.
We have not seen the medical scientist Calinos or the grammarian 'Amr Sibawaih. How do we know that they were experts in those branches of knowledge? We know what the science of medicine means. We read Calinos's books and hear some of his statements. We learn that he gave medicine to the ill and cured them. Hence we believe that he was a doctor. Likewise, when a person who knows the science of grammar reads Sibawaih's books or hears some words of his, he knows and believes that he was a grammarian. By the same token, if a person knows well what prophethood is and studies Qur'an al-karim and the Hadith ash-Sharif, he will understand thoroughly that Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) was in the highest grade of prophethood. As one's belief in the above-mentioned scholars would never be upset, so the slanders and vilifications of the ignorant and deviated will never undermine one's iman in Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), since all the sayings and actions of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) guide people to perfection, make their beliefs and actions correct and useful, and illuminate their hearts so as to cure them of diseases and purify them of bad habits. And this is what prophethood (nubuwwa) means.
One who lives in mountains or in a desert [or a communist country] and has not heard of Prophets is called shahiq al-jabal. It is impossible for such people to believe in prophethood or that Prophets were sent. It is as if no Prophet has come for them. They are excusable. [After their accounts are settled following death, they, like animals, will be eternally annihilated without entering Paradise or Hell. The same is the case for disbelievers' non-adolescent children.] They are not commanded to believe in Prophets. Concerning them, Surat al-Isra declares: "We do not torment unless We send a Prophet before!"
With the intention of removing the doubts and suspicions of those who acquired their religious knowledge from the books of religiously ignorant people and from the venomous pens of the enemies of the religion, I have thought of writing what I know. In fact, I have deemed this a task, a debt which I owe to humanity. By writing this book, I have tried to explain what prophethood means, to verify that Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) was in full possession of prophethood, to eliminate the doubts of the unbelievers concerning this fact, and to display the wickedness and harms of a few fanatics of science who attempt to suppress this fact with their own thoughts and opinions. Citing documents from the books of Islamic scholars and adding my humble thoughts, I have tried to rebut their thoughts. The book consists of an introduction and two articles. And the introduction is divided into two topics. Trusting myself to Allahu ta'ala, I begin writing.
Hijri Kamari 990 Miladi 1582
It is written at the end of the book Sharh-i Mawaqif by Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani that, according to the scholars of Kalam, a person to whom Allahu ta'ala says, "I have sent thee to the people in such and such a country or to the whole of mankind," or "Reveal [My will] to my servants!" or gives a similar command is called a "nabi" or "payghambar" (Messenger or Prophet). Being a Prophet does not require having certain conditions like riyada or mujahada or having been born with qualities suitable for prophethood. Allahu ta'ala can bestow this gift upon anyone He chooses. He knows everything and does what is best. He does whatever He wills to do. He is the Almighty. According to scholars of Kalam, it is not necessary for a Prophet to display a mujiza (miracle), either. It was said that he had to display miracles so that people would know that he was a Prophet, but this still is not a condition for him to be a Prophet. According to ancient Greek philosophers, to be a Prophet requires three conditions: firstly, to reveal the ghaib (unknown, mystery), that is, to explain past and future events when required; secondly, to do extraordinary things, that is, things that are mentally and scientifically impossible; thirdly, to see an angel in object and body and to hear Allahu ta'ala's wahy from the angel.
Neither for us nor for them [philosophers], is it necessary for a Prophet to know all of the unknown. And knowing some of it is not peculiar only to Prophets. It is admitted also by philosophers that those who undergo riyada, that is, those who isolate themselves in a room and eat only enough so as not to die, some sick people who have lost consciousness, and some people while asleep disclose some mysteries. In this respect such people are not different from Prophets. Perhaps, what philosophers call the "ghaib" are the extraordinary and unusual things which are rarely seen. However, these are not the real unknown. Knowing them or reporting them once or twice does not mean to transcend the ordinary. This point keeps Prophets and others distinct. Scholars of Kalam also report that Prophets will know the real mysteries revealed to them by Allahu ta'ala, but they say that knowing mysteries is not a requirement for being a Prophet. Also, the aforesaid grounds which philosophers put forward with respect to knowing the unknown are not correct. They are incompatible with Islam's fundamentals. Furthermore, knowing the unknown on such grounds is quite a different subject. They are extraordinary wonders. There is no use in particularly dwelling on this.
Extraordinary events, such as, affecting objects and substances as one wishes; effecting the wind, earthquakes and fires when one likes or a ship's sinking; a man's dying or a tyrant's going to his doom upon one's wish are the human soul's influence on matter. In fact, Allahu ta'ala, alone, is the One who affects matter. Allahu ta'ala creates this effect on whomever He wills, whenever He wills. For this reason, it cannot be said that extraordinary things or wonders are peculiar to Prophets only. This is admitted by philosophers, too. Therefore, how could this ever be the distinction between Prophets and others?
Although ancient Greek philosophers said that wonders could also happen through non-prophets, they did not accept the frequency or the degree of wonders reaching the capacity of ijaz (miracle). They said that because such extraordinary things happen through Prophets a Prophet is distinguishable from others.
Philosophers' stating that an angel manifesting itself to Prophets and revealing Allahu ta'ala's wahy as a condition for prophethood contradicts their own philosophy. Their saying such things are intended to mislead holders of iman, for, according to them, angels are immaterial and speechless. To produce sounds requires being material, they say. Sound is produced through waves of air. We can say that these conditions put forward by philosophers might come to mean that angels can show themselves and talk by taking material forms.
To us, a mujiza is the thing that proved the truthfulness of a person who said he was a Prophet. There were conditions for a mujiza:
1- Allahu ta'ala made it in the absence of ordinary means, and in this way He would help His Prophet be confirmed.
2- It had to be extraordinary. Ordinary things, such as the sun's rising in the East every day or flowers blooming in the spring, could not be mujizas.
3- Others had to be incapable of doing it.
4- It had to happen whenever the person who announced his prophethood wished it to.
5- It had to agree with his wish. For example, if he said that he would enliven a certain dead person and if some other marvel took place, for example, if a mountain was broken into two, it would not be a mujiza.
6- The mujiza happening upon his wish should not belie him. For example, while he was miraculously talking with a certain beast, if the beast said, "This man is a liar," it would not be a mujiza.
7- The mujiza should not happen before he said he was a Prophet. Wonders that happened before [the announcement of his prophethood], such as 'Isa's (Jesus) "alaihi 's-salam" talking when he was in a cradle, his being handed dates when he asked for dates from a withered-up tree, and in Muhammad's ('alaihi 's-salam) childhood, the cleavage of his chest and his heart being cleansed by washing, there being a cloud over his head continuously and his being greeted by trees and stones were not mujizas, but karamas. They are called irhasat (preparatory signs of a Prophet). They emphasized prophethood. It is possible for such karamas to happen through Awliya as well. Before Prophets were informed of their prophethood, their status was not lower than that of the Awliya'. Karamas were seen from them. A mujiza could happen immediately after a Prophet was informed of his prophethood. For example, if he had said that such and such an event would take place a month later, the event would become a mujiza when it took place. But it would not be necessary to believe in his prophethood before it took place.
A mujiza demonstrating that a Prophet is telling the truth is not only a requirement of the intellect. That is, it is unlike the case of some work denoting the existence of its agent. For the intellect's realizing that something is the proof of something else requires some relationship between the two things. When the proof is seen, the existence of the related thing, not the existence of something else, is realized. The case is not so with a mujiza. For example, heavens being broken into pieces, stars being scattered and mountains being pulverized will take place when the end of the world comes, at the time of Doomsday. This will not be the time for the coming of a Prophet. These are the mujizas foretold by every Prophet. But, it is not necessary for those who hear about them to know that they are mujizas. So is the case with a wali's karama being the mujiza of a Prophet, though it does not have any connection with that Prophet. What we have stated so far is explained in detail in the book Sharh-i mawaqif by Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani.
According to most 'ulama', though open tahaddee (challenge), that is, saying, "Go ahead and do the same! But you can't!" is not a condition for a mujiza, the meaning of a mujiza contains tahaddee. Because a tahaddee is not a matter of question in the reports made about the states of the Rising Day and future events, these are not mujizas against disbelievers. believers believe that these reports are mujizas. The karamas of Awliya' are not mujizas because they do not claim prophethood and because there is no tahaddee in them. The fact that such non- challenging wonders do not prove the truthfulness of a person claiming prophethood does not necessarily show that mujizas do not prove it. On the contrary, this is what is expected from a mujiza.
Question: "Mujizas prove the truthfulness of the person claiming prophethood because they are wonders. Does a mujiza have a special effect on proving [prophethood]?"
Answer: Such is not the actual case. A mujiza's proving the validity of a claim of prophethood is due to the fact that others cannot do it, which means a mujiza has a special effect. In fact, this is the real proof.
Question: "In Sharh-i Mawaqif, Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani says, 'Naql (narration) cannot be a proof by itself because it is necessary also to believe in the truthfulness of the person who says that he is a Prophet, and this takes place by the intellect's admitting it. Upon seeing a mujiza, the intellect believes that a Prophet has told the truth.' This passage from al-Jurjani says that a mujiza demonstrating a Prophet's truthfulness is judged through the intellect, whereas a while before he said that it would not be judged through the intellect. Don't these two statements of his contradict each other?"
Answer: The above passage says that the intellect studies the mujiza that proves the truthfulness of a Prophet. It does not say whether or not the intellect has an effect on the mujiza's proving his truthfulness. Even if we were to admit that it says that it has some effect, it still does not say that this is judged only through the intellect. Since there is no one saying that the intellect has no effect in this matter, such a contradiction is out of place. Sayyid al-Jurjani's statement was made while explaining a narrated (naqli) mujiza, for which such a statement is most appropriate. A mujiza's denoting a Prophet's truthfulness is not a belief resulting out of hearing, either. It is a natural indication. That is, when a mujiza is seen, Allahu ta'ala creates in the person who sees it the knowledge that the person announcing his prophethood is telling the truth. Such is Allahu ta'ala's divine law. This is so because, though it is possible for a liar to display a mujiza, it has never happened. If the person announcing his prophethood lifts up a mountain and says, "If you believe me, this mountain shall go back to its place. If you don't believe me, it will fall on your heads," and if they see that the mountain moves back towards its place when they want to believe and towards them when they think of not believing, it will be understood, through divine law, that he is telling the truth. Yes, it is possible - in view of the intellect - for such an absolute mujiza to happen from a liar, but it is not the divine law of Allahu ta'ala. That is, it has never been seen. ( Intellect admits a liar's displaying mujizas and says, "Since Allahu ta'ala is Almighty, He can do this, too." This conclusion, which is not compatible with divine law, or even the rare occurrence of events suitable with this conclusion, does not harm our knowledge of events that are compatible with the divine law of Allahu ta'ala. For example, killing or reviving by the ad-Dajjal, the liar who will come towards Doomsday, does not change our knowledge about his being a liar. The fact that Nimrod's fire did not burn Ibrahim ('alaihi 's-salam) does not change Allahu ta'ala's law that gives a burning capacity to fire. However, the occurrence of events contradicting information acquired by the intellect through proofs gives harm to this information.) This is exemplified as follows: A man claimed to be a ruler's messenger and said, "If you don't believe me, take my letter to the ruler." The letter read: "If it is true that I am your messenger, get down from your throne and sit on the floor!" They took the letter to the ruler, who read it and did as it was written. Those who saw this believed definitely that he told the truth. This belief is unlike the case of "likening the unknown to the witnessed," that is, understanding [the existence of] something not seen by seeing something else. For, a mujiza definitely proves truthfulness. According to the Mutazila, it is not possible for a liar to display a mujiza.
Magic and similar things are the occurrence of certain events by doing the things that are their causes, or, sometimes, they are illusions which figure up in one's imagination though they do not really exist. They are not wonders.
Man is aware of nothing at the time of his creation. The creation around him, however, is so vast that only Allahu ta'ala knows its extent. This is reported in the thirty-first ayat of Surat al-Muddathir. A child begins to perceive classes of beings through its sense organs. Each class of beings is termed an 'alam. The sense organ created first in man is the tactile organ; with the ability of touch, man perceives cold, hot, wet, dry, soft, hard and the like. The tactile organ cannot perceive colors or sounds, and these are thought to be nonexistent. Then his organ of sight is created, and with it colors and shapes are perceived. The world perceived by this organ has more variety and more numerous beings than the tactile world. Next his organ of hearing functions. With this sense organ sounds and tunes are perceived. Afterwards, his ability to taste and then his ability to smell are created. Thus the five senses which reflect the world of perception are completed. Towards the seventh year of life, his power of discretion (tamyiz) is created by which things that cannot be comprehended through the sense organs are realized. This power differentiates things that are perceived by the sense organs from one another. Then his intellect or wisdom is created. What is useful, harmful, good or bad is ascertained by the power of discretion; wisdom distinguishes the necessary, permissible, possible or impossible from one another. Wisdom comprehends things that cannot be grasped by the powers of perception and discretion. Besides wisdom, Allahu ta'ala creates one more power in some of His chosen servants. With this, things that cannot be understood or learnt through wisdom and things that will happen in future are known. This is called the power of prophethood (nubuwwa). Because the power of discretion cannot comprehend the things comprehended by wisdom, it just discounts them. And because wisdom cannot understand the things comprehended by the power of prophethood, it disbelieves and denies them. Denial of what cannot be comprehended is the result of not comprehending, not knowing. Likewise, a person born blind will know nothing of colors or shapes if he does not hear about them. He will not believe in their existence. To reveal to His servants that the power of nubuwwa also exists, Allahu ta'ala created dreams in men similar to this power. In dreams, man might see what will happen in future clearly or in its vision in the alam-i mithal. If a person who does not know what dreams are is told, "When man's consciousness is suspended and thoughts and senses are gone like that of a dead person, he sees unknown things that are beyond mind's grasp," he will deny it. He will even attempt to prove that such a thing is impossible, saying, "Man perceives his surroundings by his sense organs. With these organs out of order, especially when they do not function at all, he will perceive nothing." He will reason rather coarsely. As sense organs cannot comprehend things that are known by wisdom, likewise, wisdom cannot perceive things that are known by the power of prophethood.
Those who doubt the existence of the power of prophethood doubt its possibility or, if its possibility is accepted, its occurrence. Its existence or occurrence shows that it is possible. And its existence is demonstrated by Prophets' giving information beyond the intellect's ability. This information, which cannot be acquired through the intellect, calculation or experimentation, was acquired only from Allahu ta'ala's ilham (inspiration placed upon the heart by Allahu ta'ala or His angels, that is, through the power of prophethood). The power of prophethood has also other peculiarities. Since dreams, which resemble one of its peculiarities, exist in men, we have given it as an example. Its other peculiarities are revealed through dhawq (tasting, sensitivity) to those who strive in the way of tasawwuf. The peculiarity we have given must suffice as a proof to make one believe in prophethood. Imam Muhammad al-Ghazali, too, wrote this peculiarity as a proof for believing in prophethood in his book Al-munqidh min ad-dalal.
According to ancient Greek philosophers, it is useful to believe in prophethood. They said, "To believe in prophethood helps wisdom. Meditating over the existence, power and knowledge of Allah is similar to this. Also, many useful things beyond the intellect's ability are learned from Prophets. Examples of this are the Rising Day, teachings pertaining to the next world, revelation of what things are good and what others are bad, and knowing whether some foods and medicines are harmful or not."
Those who do not believe in prophethood say:
1- "A person sent as a Prophet should have known that the one who said, 'I have sent thee as a Prophet. Communicate my message!' was Allah. And knowing Allah, in its turn, has no way. It may be a genie who uttered these words. All religious people believe in genies.' " Answer: The person who was sent (as a Prophet) proved by mujizas that he was sent as such. Allahu ta'ala is the One who creates the mujiza. Genies cannot perform it. Nor can any other creature.
2- "If the angel who brought wahy to the Prophet was an object, it must have been seen by all those who were present there. You, too, say that it was not seen. If it wasn't an object but a spirit, it would have been impossible for it to speak or to be heard. If your answer is: 'The angel that brought wahy from Allahu ta'ala to the Prophet was an object. Allahu ta'ala willed that it would not be seen, which is within His power,' then we would necessarily not see a mountain in front of us or hear a drum played near us, which is ridiculous."
Answer: The one who brought the wahy was an angel. An angel is a fine, transparent object. It is not Allahu ta'ala's law for colorless and transparent things to be seen. Air is a substance. But because it is transparent and colorless, it is not seen. It would be ridiculous if we said that solid things are not seen. It is possible for a spirit to take a visible shape, to speak and to be heard, which has happened many times.
3- "To believe in a Prophet, it is necessary to understand that he is a Prophet. And this is possible only after long observation. The obligation to confirm him on the spot is nonsensical."
Answer: After seeing a Prophet's wonders and mujizas, it becomes impossible not to acknowledge that he is telling the truth. Those who see or hear about them must acknowledge and believe the fact immediately.
4- "It is a Prophet's task to command useful things and to prohibit harmful things. And this, in its turn, would be unfair for it means enforcement or compulsion upon mankind. You say, 'Allahu ta'ala creates man's actions; man has no role in these actions.' Therefore, it means to compel the human servant to do what he could not do."
Answer: The servant's power has no effect on the creation of his actions, but he may wish their creation and prepare their causes. This is called "kasb" (acquirement). The human servant is encumbered to use his capacity called kasb. It is just that he is commanded to do so.
5- "Doing the command will tire the human servant, and he shall be tormented if otherwise. Both choices are harmful to the servant. Allah is Hakim (All-Wise), He does not do harmful things."
Answer: Our response to this is that all the commandments are useful both in this world and in the Hereafter. Their usefulness surpasses multiple times over the exhaustion they cause. It is unwise to miss so many benefits by trying to avoid so little labor.
6- "If there is no advantage in the recompense for the exhaustion caused by doing the command, it is nonsensical to give the command. If there are benefits in it and if all of them are useful for Allah, this means that He needs His servants, which is contrary to fact. If they are useful to men, it is unreasonable to command something useful and then to punish those who do not do it. In other words, this command means, 'Either do what is useful to yourself or I shall torture you eternally!' "
Answer: The intellect's finding something beautiful, ugly or nonsensical is not always valid. Nor is it correct to say that all the creations of Allahu ta'ala must be useful. We shall prove this later on. Eternal punishment will be given not because something useful is not acquired, but because the servant did not carry out the command of his Owner and Creator. Not doing His command is infidelity, sacrilege and flippancy towards Him.
7- "Even though Allah knows that His servant cannot do it or that he will not want to do something useful for himself, why does He command it? Wouldn't such a command be ugly and harmful to His servant?"
Answer: As we have stated above, even if we were to admit that such a command might be harmful to His servant, attaining great rewards necessitates putting up with insignificant difficulties. According to the Mutazila, one of the seventy-two heretical groups in Islam, there is also some value in proposing [Allahu ta'ala's] commands and prohibitions to a disbeliever. Encouraging him to earn thawab is valuable. Thawabs are blessings resulting from the performance of the commandments by the one who is propositioned. They are not blessings arising from the proposition. [For example,] a person invites someone to dinner though he is certain that he will not come. Thus, he wants to show his generosity and kindness. If he does not invite him, he will not be able to express his intentions. At this point I find it useful to report the statements of Muslim thinkers:
Allahu ta'ala has created men weak and needy. They need clothes, food, lodging, protection against their enemies, and many other things. A person cannot procure his needs by himself. His life is too short for this. Men have to cooperate and live together. One man gives an implement he has made to another, who in return gives him something else he needs. This need for cooperation is expressed as "Man has been created civilized." Living in civilization, that is, in societies, requires justice. Everyone desires to get what he needs. This desire is called shahwa. He becomes indignant with anyone who takes his advantages away. Quarrels, cruelties and torture between them ensue. Society disintegrates. To regulate all kinds of business transactions and to establish justice in a society, many principles have to be known, each of which becomes a law. They must be made known in the most equitable manner. If men cannot come to a mutual agreement in preparing them, chaos starts again. Therefore, they must be prepared by One who is equitable and above mankind. In order for his decisions to be accepted, He has to be powerful, and it must be understood that the decisions came from Him. Mujizas are the means by which this is proven. Those who run after their own pleasures and shahwa and behave arrogantly do not like the rules of Islam. They do not want to obey these rules. They violate others' rights and commit sins. By declaring that those who obey Islam shall be given thawab and those who do not obey them shall be tormented, the system of Islam becomes stronger. Therefore, the One who has ordained these rules and who will inflict the punishment must be known. For this end, worship ('ibada) has been commanded. By worshipping every day, He is remembered. Worship begins with confirming, believing in His existence, His Prophet and the blessings and torments in the next world.
Three things arise from believing in them and performing 'ibadat: Firstly, one becomes safe against following one's lust; the heart and soul get purified, and one does not get angry any more; lust and anger are hindrances against remembering the Creator. Secondly, one enjoys different information and pleasures that are unrelated with those obtained through the sense organs or through experiments with the matter. Thirdly, as it is meditated upon that the good shall be given blessings and the evil- doers shall be tormented, justice gets established among men. These statements of Muslim thinkers are similar to the statement of Mutazilas: "It is reasonable that proposals are useful."
8- "If the performance of the duty enjoined by Allah was predestined in the eternal past, such an injunction would be unbecoming, nonsensical and unreasonable. It would be a useless injunction to propose a duty which is absolutely inevitable. On the other hand, it would be torture to enjoin the performance of a duty which has not been predestined in the eternal past. It would mean to imply, 'Do the impossible!' "
Answer: Since man has the power to carry out the duty, it would not be torture to command it. All Allahu ta'ala's commandments are within man's ability. Our answer to this question concerning the commandments will be the same as the answer given to the question asked about Allahu ta'ala's creating. That is, it cannot be said that Allahu ta'ala has to create something which has been predestined in the eternal past. Nor can it be said that He is incapable of creating something which has not been predestined.
9- "Injunctions that are difficult for the body will deter man from considering and realizing Allah's existence. And it will not leave time for doing many other things."
Answer: The benefits in the injunctions induce meditation and an understanding of Allahu ta'ala's existence and regulation of life. We have explained this in detail in the answer to the seventh quotation above. (It is essential in iman to accept the commandments, that is, to believe that it is necessary to do the commands and to abstain from the prohibitions. One who believes most of the commandments but disbelieves only one of them and does not want to obey it will have disbelieved Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). He will become an unbeliever. Being a Muslim requires believing in all the commandments. If a Muslim, though he believes the commandments, disobeys them, e.g. does not perform salat out of laziness, or, following his bad friend or nafs, has alcoholic drinks, or, in case of a woman or girl, goes out with her arms and /or head uncovered, he or she does not lose their iman or become an unbeliever. A person of this sort is a sinful, disobedient Muslim. If he does not want to obey even one of the commandments, that is, if he disapproves it, does not esteem it as a duty or slights it, he loses his iman and becomes a murtad (renegade). Such statements as, "What if I do not perform salat and go out with a bare head? Living and doing favors to people have precedence over salat" mean to approve some of the commandments and disapprove others. Every Muslim must pay attention to this subtle point, and those who disobey the commandments must be vigilant lest they should lose their iman. Neglecting the commandments is different from wishing not to obey them. These two should not be confused!)
10- "The intellect does the thing it finds useful and does not do the thing it thinks harmful. When it cannot understand whether something is useful or harmful, it does it when there is need to do it. In view of this function of the intellect, sending Prophets is unnecessary."
Answer: There are many things which are misunderstood or which cannot be understood by the intellect, and they have to be taught by Prophets. A Prophet is like a specialized doctor. He knows the effects of medicines well. Effects of some medicines might be found by laymen through the intellect after long experiences, but men of intellect might face risks and harms before learning them, and it would require a great deal of time and work. They would have no time left for using their intellect in doing other necessary jobs. By giving the doctor a little recompense, however, they attain the benefits of medicines and rid themselves of their illnesses. To say that Prophets are unnecessary is like saying that doctors are unnecessary. Since the commandments taught by a Prophet are wahy revealed by Allahu ta'ala, they are all true and beneficial. The doctor's knowledge, although being the result of thought and experience, cannot be said to be wholly true.
11- "The mujiza's existence is not admissible. Since it is a wonder outside of normal events, it is not something which the intellect can accept. For this reason, prophethood is not something reasonable, either."
Answer: Creation of earths and heavens from nothing has much more wonder in it than a mujiza does. If it is impossible for certain things to happen outside of the laws of nature, this does not mean that wonders cannot happen outside of these laws. Wonders have happened through Prophets and Awliya' for centuries. A man of intellect cannot deny these events. A mujiza is intended to demonstrate that a Prophet has told the truth. It has to be a wonder; something done within the laws of nature cannot be a mujiza.
12- "A mujiza cannot prove that a Prophet is telling the truth. It is not certain whether a mujiza is created by Allah or made by a Prophet himself. Magic is a wonder, too. You also believe in magic and incantation."
Answer: The intellect putting forward various possibilities, i.e. hypothesis and theories, does not refute the knowledge acquired by the sense organs or experimentation. The occurrence of a certain thing does not prevent us from thinking of its nonexistence. Allahu ta'ala, alone, is the One who effects everything's coming into existence, as explained above. In other words, a mujiza is created by Allahu ta'ala, not by a Prophet. Even though everybody cannot perform magic and incantation, they do not resemble the wonders of [a Prophet's] splitting the sea, bringing a dead person back to life, restoring sight to a blind person, or curing a person whose illness has become hopeless from the medical point of view. Therefore, they are not confused with mujizas, which are wonders.
13- "Occurrence of a mujiza is known either by seeing or by hearing reports which are tawatur.(Tawatur is the state of being widespread or being reported by most people, which is a document for authenticity and makes denial impossible.) A report cannot be considered factual even if it is tawatur. Therefore, those who have not seen a mujiza will not know of a Prophet, for there may be liars among those who report it as tawatur: that is, commonly known.
Answer: In most worldly affairs, reports that are communicated through tawatur are believed. For example, such facts as there being a city named Delhi, that the earth is larger than the moon and smaller than the sun, that Muhammad the Conqueror conquered Istanbul from the Byzantine Greeks are believed by hearing them from others.
14- "We have studied religions. We have found things that are contradictory to reason and science. Thus, we have concluded that they have not been revealed by Allah. Examples of these are the permission given to cause pain to an animal for the purpose of eating; fasting at certain times; the prohibition of eating and drinking some delicious foods and drinks; the commandment imposing troublesome journeys for the purpose of visiting a certain place; performing sa'y and tawaf like insane people or children; throwing pebbles without any certain target; kissing a valueless stone; the prohibition of looking at an independent but ugly woman, and the permission to look at pretty jariyas."
Answer: Even if the intellect could distinguish good from bad and if we were to admit that Allahu ta'ala must command His human servants to do useful things, it is obvious that the intellect could not have the ability to grasp the benefit of the things mentioned in this question. This inability of the intellect does not show the absence of their value. Allahu ta'ala has given these commandments because He knows their worth. As we have explained before, there are many things which cannot be comprehended by the intellect but which are comprehended by the power of prophethood. We shall explain this with more detail at the beginning of the second article.
Works and events carry many benefits that are beyond the comprehension of the intellect, so that it sometimes even denies these benefits. We shall deal with the evidences proving the existence of these benefits. Some medicines kill some people when they are given in small doses, while they do not harm others even when they are given in much bigger amounts. (Examples of these are given in the book Endless Bliss; refer to 'idiosyncrasy' and 'allergy'.) Many people do not believe this, though it is a fact established by experience. They even attempt to prove the contrary. So did the ancient Greek philosophers and worshippers of matter, who disbelieved in the existence of Prophets and put forward some reasons for their disbelief. Supposing the information about Allahu ta'ala, Prophets, genies, angels, Paradise and Hell to be like the things that can be comprehended by their intellect, they denied their own suppositions. If you attempt to describe dreaming to a person who has never dreamt and add, "Man sometimes gets into a state in which all his senses, reason and thoughts are suspended; in this state he sees things the intellect cannot grasp," he will not believe it; he will say that it is impossible. If he is told, "There is a small thing in this world which, when put in a city, will consume the whole city. Then it will consume itself," he will answer that it is impossible. However, these words describe fire. Those who disbelieve the heavenly religions and life in the Hereafter resemble him. They believe and take the necessary precautions when a scientist of doubtful trustworthiness says, out of supposition and suspicion, that a catastrophe is impending, but they do not believe the dangers in this and the next worlds as foretold by Prophets, whose truthfulness is well-known and who have displayed many mujizas. They do not take any measures in order to escape very bitter and eternal torment. They liken 'ibadat, the value of which is clarified by Prophets, to childish plays and insane actions.
Question: "Useful things reported by philosophers, materialists and doctors are believed because they have been discovered by experience. 'Ibadat are not believed in because their usefulness has not been experienced."
Answer: Scientists' experimentations are believed when they are heard of. Things reported and experienced by Awliya' are communicated in the same manner. Also, the benefits of most things enjoined by Islam have been seen and experienced.(Furthermore, some medicinal preparations which have been found useful by scientists and doctors by means of experimentation and bought eagerly for considerable sums of money by everybody are frequently found out to be harmful afterwards. Lists of such preparations, each concluded with a sentence banning their sale, are regularly dispatched by health authorities to drugstores. Factories manufacturing such drugs are closed down by governments. It has become a usual subject for daily newspapers that some much-sought-after medicines have proven to be harmful afterwards. It has appeared again in daily newspapers repeatedly in recent years that hundreds of popular medicines that are called antibiotics cause heart disease and cancer and that some detergents are harmful to health.)
Even if the advantages within the rules of Islam were not revealed by experimentation, it would still be reasonable to believe in them and to fulfill their requirements. Let us say that a physician's wise son, who does not know anything about drugs, becomes ill. He has heard from many people and has even read in newspapers about his father's achievements and knows that his father loves him very much. His father gives him some medicine and says that if he takes it he will recover immediately, for the has tried it many times. But when he sees that the medicine will be injected and hurt him, would it be reasonable for him to react to his father by saying, "I have never tried this way." Who in the world would approve such an answer?
Question: "How can it be known that the Prophet loves his umma as much as a father loves his son and that his commands and prohibitions are useful?"
Answer: How can a father's love for his son be known? This love itself is not something visible or tactual. It can be known only from his behavior, attitude and words towards his son. If a wise and fair person pays due attention to Rasulullah's (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) utterances and studies the reports describing his efforts to guide men to the right course, his strictness in protecting everybody's rights, and his magnanimous and compassionate efforts for the establishment of beautiful morals, he will clearly see that his love for his umma is much more than that of a father for his son. A person who realizes his astounding accomplishments, the astonishing reports in Qur'an al-karim, which were revealed through his tongue, and his utterances foretelling the bewildering events that will happen at the end of the world, will certainly see that he attained high grades above the intellect's capacity and comprehended facts beyond the intellect's limit of comprehension and realization. Thus, it will be apparent to him that his words are all true. A reasonable person who learns and meditates over the knowledge revealed in Qur'an al-karim and who studies his life will see this fact clearly. Imam Muhammad al-Ghazali (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) said, "A person who doubts whether or not someone is a Prophet should either see his life or study objectively the reports about his life. A person who knows the science of medicine or fiqh acquires information about a scholar of medicine or fiqh by studying the reports about his life. For example, knowing whether or not al-Imam ash-Shafi'i (rahmat- Allahi 'alaih) was a scholar of fiqh or whether or not Calinos was a physician requires learning the concerned branches of knowledge well and then studying their books in these branches. Likewise, a person who acquires knowledge of prophethood and then studies Qur'an al-karim and the Hadith ash-Sharif will completely understand that Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is the Prophet and occupies the highest degree of prophethood. And if he learns of the effectiveness of his words in purifying the heart and then obeys his revelations, by which his own heart begins to see the truth, his belief in his prophethood will become absolutely certain (yaqin). He will gain continuous realization of the truth in the hadiths, 'If a person lives up to his knowledge, Allahu ta'ala teaches him what he does not know'; 'He who helps a cruel person will suffer harm from him,' and, 'The person who only thinks of attaining Allahu ta'ala's love every morning will be given his wishes for this world and the Hereafter by Allahu ta'ala.' Thus his knowledge and iman will be strengthened. For the iman to become dhawqi, that is, to improve it into a state wherein one feels as if one sees the reality, requires endeavoring in a path of tasawwuf.
The scholars of Islam have proven by various methods that Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is Allahu ta'ala's Prophet. We will explain some of them:
Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) proclaimed that he was the Prophet and displayed mujizas to prove his word. This fact has been transmitted up to the present time with tawatur, that is, unanimity. The greatest mujiza is Qur'an al-karim.
Qur'an al-karim is mujiz, that is, no one can produce its equivalent. He challenged: "Go ahead and say the like!" Famous poets of Arabia did their best, but could not say the like. The 34th ayat of Surat at-Tur declared: "Then, say the like of it!" The 13th ayat of Surat al-Hud declared: "Tell them: 'Now you try and say ten suras like the suras of the Qur'an, which you suppose I said by myself!' " The 23rd ayat of Surat al-Baqara declared: "If you have any doubts about [what We have stated in] the Qur'an, which We have revealed to Our servant [Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam)], you, too, try and say one sura like it! For doing this, ask for help from all those you trust. You will not be able to say one sura like it!" In those days, the Arabs had a special interest in poetry. There were many poets among them. They organized poetry contests and were proud of the winners. They all cooperated to compose a short sura that would resemble those of Qur'an al-karim. They strove hard. Before taking these poems to Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), they compared them with a sura in Qur'an al-karim. Because they could see the eloquence in the sura, they were ashamed of their own poetry and could not take them to Rasulullah ('alaihi 's- salam). Nonetheless, they could not find a solution other than giving up opposition through knowledge and taking up coercive measures. They drew swords and attacked Muslims. They decided to kill Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam). They attempted to fulfill the plot they had prepared to this end, but, as everybody reads in history, they suffered an ignominious defeat. If after being challenged so defiantly by Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) and after striving collectively they had been able to say something as laconic and as eloquent as one of the suras, they would have read it to him and made a clamor. That inordinate action of theirs would have become a general topic of conversation and would have been recorded in history. It would have become as famous as an orator's being killed on a platform. Their failure openly shows that Qur'an al-karim is mujiz and that it is not human words.
Question: "Poets outside of Mecca might not have heard of the ayats declaring: 'You, too, try and say the like of it,' or a similar challenge of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). Or, perhaps, they kept themselves aloof in return for some advantage or for the realization of some other agreement or goal we do not know of. For example, they might have fallen for a promise of being given some privileges in the state he was going to establish. Or, at the outset they paid little heed to his proclamations and did not deign to answer him; but later, seeing that he was gaining power and his followers were increasing in number, they did not dare to answer him. Or, competent poets might have had problems in earning their livelihood and they therefore found no time to answer him. It is also probable that due answers were given, but their success was forgotten or could not be passed on to later generations for some reasons. For example, after increasing in number, getting stronger and spreading over three continents, Muslims might have annihilated the reports of such accomplishments. Or, such reports might have been lost, being forgotten in the long course of time."
Answer: Answers to these various doubts have been given briefly in the previous article. I have stated that if the things created by Allahu ta'ala within His laws [of causation], that is, some of the teachings acquired through the sense organs and by experience, are contrary to reason, this does not prevent them from being taught. I have said that the teachings acquired through the sense organs are so. Now we will give answers to each of the above-quoted doubts separately. First of all, it must be concluded that the person who said he was a Prophet spoke the truth if he displayed a mujiza demonstrating his prophethood and challenged others to do the same and no one could stand against him. That is, it is necessary to believe him. Anything said later against him is nonsensical, invalid and worthless. It is also inappropriate to say that they did not respond to him since they had slighted him at the outset and feared afterwards. Because it would have been a great honor and a dignifying act of superiority acceptable to everybody to counter someone's challenge and excellent work; everyone would have praised, loved and followed such a person. Who on earth would not have liked it? If a person who could do it had not wanted to do it, this would have shown that his opponent was right and truthful. As for the third doubt, it is known well that a person who has competence needs not only to answer him but also to demonstrate it; it is only by demonstration that the purpose will be attained. Existence of conditions limiting some people at some place and at some time does not necessarily show that the same conditions always existed everywhere. In fact, this is openly witnessed. It is impossible for a written answer to remain secret. Therefore, the doubts stated in the question are groundless.
Islamic authorities gave different explanations concerning the ijaz of Qur'an al-karim. Many said that the poetry in Qur'an al-karim was very astonishing (gharib) and its style was very wonderful ('ajib); it was mujiz because its poetry and style did not resemble those of the poets of Arabia. It is also the case with the prose in the beginning and closing sections as well as in the narrations in the suras. The openings between the ayats are like the saj's in them.(Saj' means the continuous cooing of the dove. In prose, it means the rhyming that occurs at the end of sentences.) These literary elements existing in Qur'an al-karim are unlike those in the Arab poets' utterances, who could not use them as exhibited in Qur'an al-karim. A person who knows Arabic well sees its ijaz clearly. Qadi Baqillani (Abu Bakr Baqillani, died in 400 A.H.) said that its ijaz stemmed both from its lofty eloquence and from its astounding poetry. In other words, its poetry is quite unusual. Some said that its ijaz originated from its giving information about the unknown. For example, the third ayat of Surat ar-Rum, "Though they have won, they shall be defeated in ten years," foretold that the Byzantine emperor Heracles (Heracles died in 20 A.H.) would defeat the army of the Iranian Shah Husraw Perwiz within ten years. And it happened as it was foretold. According to some 'ulama', the ijaz of Qur'an al- karim is in its possessing no contradictions or inconsistency, though it is very long and repetitive. It is for this reason that the 81st ayat of Surat an-Nisa declares in brief: "Were this Qur'an al-karim the word of someone other than Allahu ta'ala, it would contain many incongruities." According to some others, the ijaz of Qur'an al-karim lies in its meaning. Before our Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam), the Arabs could compose statements similar to those of Qur'an al-karim, but Allahu ta'ala prevented them from writing like Qur'an al-karim. How He prevented them has been explained in various ways. Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al- Isfaraini (Ibrahim Nishaburi passed away in 400 After Hijra.), a master among the Ahl as-Sunnat, and Abu Ishaq Nizam al-Basri of the Mutazila say that the fear of losing worldly advantages prevented them. [The author of the book Husniyya] Ali Murtada, a Shiite scholar, says that Allahu ta'ala made them forget their knowledge which would have enabled them to compete with Qur'an al-karim.
Those who do not accept that Qur'an al-karim is mujiz say, "Ijaz must be obvious. The fact that there are various explanations of ijaz shows that its meaning is not known for certain. In answer to this, scholars have said that the explanations in some respects does not show that the whole Qur'an al-karim is not a mujiz. Eloquence of Qur'an al-karim, its unequalled poetry, the information describing the unknown and the wisdom it contains about knowledge and practices and many other elements of ijaz, like those mentioned above, are quite manifest. Differing explanations, which originate from the differences in men's views and understandings, should not indicate that it is not mujiz. If one of the qualities we have mentioned above is not found by someone to be a cause for it being mujiz, this should not come to mean that all of them are not causes for it being mujiz. Many a poet can produce extremely eloquent prose and verse, but cannot do it at another given time. That is, achieving it once does not mean that one can do it every time. A group does not necessarily have to have the properties of each of the units within it. This answer implies that Qur'an al-karim is mujiz as a whole but its short suras may not be mujiz. But this is not true; as we have previously explained, its shortest sura is also mujiz. It might be said that the answer means that the whole Qur'an al-karim is mujiz in every respect but its suras are mujiz only in some respects. However, this would not be the answer to the question above. The question demands a clear explanation of the cause of the ijaz. So, such interpretation of the answer would not uncover the cause of the ijaz.
Their second antithesis states: "The Sahaba were in doubt about some parts of Qur'an al- karim. 'Abdullah ibn Masud [radi-Allahu 'anh] said that surat al-Fatiha and the suras of Mu'awwizatain ( The two suras beginning with "Qul-a'udhu.") did not belong in the Qur'an. However, these three suras are the most renowned suras of the Qur'an. If the eloquence in them were in a degree of ijaz, they would not so manifestly resemble texts other than that of the Qur'an, and no one would doubt that they belonged to the Qur'an."
Answer: The Sahabat al-kiram's doubt about some suras' belonging to Qur'an al-karim was not because of their eloquence or ijaz; it was because each of these suras was only reported by one person. According to the principles of usul al-hadith, information transmitted by one reporter is not certain, but doubtful. Something transmitted by tawatur becomes certain information. Qur'an al-karim was corroborated entirely by tawatur, that is, with unanimity. For this reason, it is known with certainty that Qur'an al-karim is the Word of Allahu ta'ala. It is known with certainty also that those suras transmitted by only one reporter were revealed by Allahu ta'ala to Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) and had eloquence within a degree of ijaz. However, there was disagreement as to whether or not they belonged to Qur'an al-karim, which brings no harm against our cause.
Their third antithesis states: "While Qur'an al-karim was being compiled [after Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) passed away and while Hadrat Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi- Allahu 'anh) was the caliph], if a person not known well reported an ayat, he would be required either to take an oath or to bring two witnesses since his integrity was uncertain; therefore, only after it was understood that it belonged to Qur'an al-karim, would it be included in Qur'an al-karim. If the eloquence in an ayat were in a degree of ijaz, it would be concluded from its eloquence that it was an ayat and this would confirm the integrity of the person who reported it; an oath or two witnesses would not be needed."
Answer: These conditions were put in order to determine the places of the ayats in Qur'an al-karim and to know if an ayat preceded or followed others. They were not intended to indicate whether or not they belonged to Qur'an al-karim. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to recite Qur'an al-karim and listen to those who recited it. It was definitely known that each ayat revealed was from Qur'an al-karim. An oath or witnesses were required for ascertaining the sequence of ayats. Furthermore, their eloquence being in a degree of ijaz showed that they were ayats. If the eloquence of one or two ayats are not in a degree of ijaz, it is not important. Since the shortest sura contains three ayats, all the suras of Qur'an al-karim are mujiz.
Their fourth antithesis states: "Every branch of art has a boundary, a limit. It cannot be exceeded. There always exists a master surpassing his colleagues in his art. So Muhammad (alaihi 's-salam) might have been the most eloquent of the poets of his time. He might have uttered things that could not be expressed by the poets of his time. If this were supposed to be mujiz, anything that were done by a pre-eminent master of any branch at any time but which could not be done by his colleagues, would necessarily be said to be mujiz, which, in its turn, would be an absurd statement."
Answer: Mujiz means that which happens at one time and bears a great value because it cannot be done by most people of that time and which has been done at the highest level by those who have been able to do it and which it is unanimously admitted will not be surpassed by human power and which could be surpassed, if ever, only by a person who is believed to manage it by Allahu ta'ala's Will. Something without these qualities cannot be called a mujiza. Magic was known as such during the time of the Prophet Musa "Moses" ('alaihi 's-salam); in those days, those who practiced sorcery knew that the highest degree of magic was to conjure up unreal, nonexistent things or illusions in [others'] imagination as if they were existent. When they saw that the rod of Musa ('alaihi 's-salam) became a large serpent and ate the snakes which were of their own witchery, they saw that it was beyond the boundaries of magic and above human power. Thus they believed [in the prophethood of] Musa ('alaihi 's-salam). Pharaoh, being unaware of this reality, had the wrong impression that Musa ('alaihi 's-salam) was the leader of the wizards and taught them magic. The same was the case with medicine during the time of 'Isa ('alaihi 's-salam); it was at a very advanced level. Doctors took pride in their achievements. Famous specialists said that their medical knowledge would not suffice to revivify the dead or to open the eyes of congenital blind people. They believed that such people could be cured only by Allahu ta'ala. During the time of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) the arts of poetry and eloquence had reached the highest levels. Poets boasted to one another about the eloquence in their poetry. In fact, the seven odes with the best prosody won the admiration of poets and were hung on the door of the Kaba. No one could write the like of them. This is written in detail in history books. When Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) brought Qur'an al-karim, conflicts arose among the people. Some denied the fact that it was the Word of Allahu ta'ala and died as unbelievers. Some poets, seeing the ijaz in Qur'an al-karim's eloquence, realized that it was the Word of Allah and became Muslims. Some others had to follow their example and became Muslims unwillingly, and they were called munafiqs (hypocrites). Some attempted to defy the truth by giving some vague responses; they only brought derision upon themselves in the eyes of those who reasoned. For example, as a rejoinder to the ayat, "Wazzariyat-i zar'an," they said, "Fal-hasilat-i hasdan wattahinat-i tahnan wattabikhat-i tabkhan fal-akilat-i aklan." ( They themselves did not like this, so they could not read it in the presence of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). And the remaining people took to fighting. In a vengeful effort to kill Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), they risked their properties, lives, wives and children. Thus it was understood with certainty that Qur'an al-karim was revealed by Allahu ta'ala. ( As it is seen in the previous passage, a mujiza is created by Allahu ta'ala. Everything is created by Allahu ta'ala. There is no creator other than Allahu ta'ala. Only, in order for there to be order in the world and in worldly affairs, He has made the creation of everything dependent upon some causes. A person who wishes something to be created applies the cause related to that thing. Most causes are things that can be found by thinking, experience or calculation. When the cause of something is applied, Allahu ta'ala creates it if He wills to. The case is not so with a mujiza or karama. Allahu ta'ala creates these in an extraordinary way, without causes. Holding fast to the causes means to follow His law of causation. When He creates something without causes, He suspends His law and creates it extraordinarily. A mujiza happens only through Prophets. It does not happen through other people. Saying, "He performed a miracle," or "He was saved miraculously", which are said to praise someone, is the same as saying that the person in question is a Prophet. In this matter, not the intention but the expression should be considered. It causes disbelief to ascribe prophethood to someone. He who does so loses his iman. So is the case with calling anyone other than Allahu ta'ala "Creator" or saying that somebody has created such and such a thing. Muslims must avoid uttering such dangerous words.)
Their fifth antithesis states: "There have been disagreements concerning both the recitation and the meaning of Qur'an al-karim among the scholars of Islam. On the other hand, Allahu ta'ala intimates that Qur'an al-karim contains no points open to disagreements. For example, He declares in the eighty-first ayat of the Surat an-Nisa': 'Were this Qur'an al- karim the word of someone other than Allahu ta'ala, it would contain many incongruities.' The phrase 'kal'ihni 'l-man-fush' in the fifth ayat of Surat al-Qari'a was read as 'Kassafi 'l- manfush' by some. In the ninth ayat of Surat al-Juma, Fas'aw ila dhikri' llah' was said as 'Famdu ila dhikrillah.' The 74th ayat of Surat al-Baqara says, 'Fa-hiya kalhijarati'; there were those who said it as 'fa-kanat kalhijarati.' The 61st ayat of Surat al-Baqara says, 'alaihimu 'dh-dhillata wal-maskanata'; there were those who read it as 'alaihimu'l-mas- kanata wa'dh-dhillata.' The disagreements pertaining to meanings in Qur'an al-karim can be exemplified as follows: the 19th ayat of Sura Saba' states, 'Rabbana ba'id baina asfarina.' It means, 'O our Rabb! Take our books away from us.' It is an invocation to Allah. Some read it as 'Rabbuna ba'ada baina asfarina' which means, 'Our Rabb has taken our books away from us.' The 115th ayat of Surat Ma'ida says, 'Hal yastati'u Rabbuka,' which means, 'Will your Rabb accept your prayer?' Some read this ayat as 'Hal tastati'u Rabbaka,' which means 'Will you pray to your Rabb?' "
Answer: The above-cited disagreements were caused by one person each. The scholars of tafsir and qira'a refused the forms of reading of those who caused these disagreements. They accepted the form of reading on which there was consensus. Our Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Qur'an al-karim was revealed on seven harfs, (The word 'harf', as it is written in the book Riyad an-nasihin, means dialect, reading. The copy of Qur'an al-karim compiled by Hadrat Abu Bakr contained all of the seven different kinds of readings. When Hadrat 'Uthman became Khalifa, he convened the Sahabat al-kiram and it was unanimously decided that the new copies of the Qur'an would be written as Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) had recited it in the last year of his life. It is wajib to read the Qur'an as such. It is also permissible to read it in the other six ways.) each of which is curative and sufficient." For this reason, the disagreements arising from the readings and the meanings of Qur'an al-karim do not undermine its being mujiz.
Their sixth antithesis states: "The Qur'an contains useless melodies and iterations. For example, 'Inna hazani la-sahirani' is such a melody. An example of an iterative reading is Surat ar-Rahman. An example of iterations in meaning are the stories about Musa and 'Isa ('alaihima 's-salam)."
Answer: ...(Here, al-Imam ar-Rabbani (quddisa sirruh), referring to the book Sharh-i mawaqif, writes in detail that, according to a branch of knowledge called balaghat (rhetorics), the ayat "Hazani la-sahirani" is in a degree of ijaz. We have not translated that part.) As for the iterations, the fact that their repetition serves to fix the meaning into the mind is indisputable. The value of the art of explaining some meaning through various expressions is known by those who are cognizant of the knowledge of eloquence. Even in a single story covering various events, its repetition at various places lays stress on different facts.
Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) had many mujizas; such as, the moon's splitting into two parts when he made a sign with his blessed finger, stones and trees talking and moving with him, his making beasts speak, satiating many people with a small amount of food, water flowing from between his fingers, his describing past and future facts not known by anyone, and many others. Although not all his mujizas were reported by consensus, he had many mujizas that were reported by consensus. They have been general topics of conversations just as the bravery of Hadrat 'Ali and the generosity of Khatam-i Tai [and the cruelties and tortures of Nero, the fifth Roman emperor] have. We would be contented with this much evidence to believe in his prophethood.
The second way of proving the prophethood of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is to study his manners, beautiful moral qualities and utterances that were full of wisdom before he was declared a Prophet, when he announced his prophethood and after his prophethood was known. For example, he never lied, neither for worldly affairs nor concerning matters of the Hereafter. If he had lied once in his lifetime, his furious enemies would have raced with one another in spreading it far and near. Before or during his prophethood, he was never seen doing something unseemly. Though he was ummi, [that is, he had never received an education from anybody], his speech was fluent and sweet. For this reason he said, "I am gifted with jawami' al-kalim (ability to give much information in a few words)." He put up with many inconveniences for communicating Allahu ta'ala's religion. In fact, it was for this reason that he said, "No other Prophet suffered the tortures I have suffered." He suffered them all. He never gave up his duties. After his enemies were subdued and everyone accepted his commandments, no change took place in his beautiful morality, compassion or modesty. Throughout his lifetime, he pleased everyone. He never felt superior to anybody. To all his umma, he was as compassionate as father [to his children]. It was on account of his extraordinary compassion that he was commanded, "Do not feel sorry about their wrong acts!" in the eighth ayat of the Surat al-Fatir, and, "Should you destroy yourself by sorrowing over their wrong deeds?" in the sixth ayat of the Surat al-Kahf. His generosity was beyond limit. To brake this, the twenty-ninth ayat of the Surat al-Isra was revealed to him: "Do not be so open-handed as to give away all your property!" He never looked at the world's temporary and deceptive beauties. During the days when he first announced his prophethood, the notables of Quraish said to him, "We shall give you as much property as you like. We shall marry you to the girl of your choice. We shall give you any position of authority you want. But give up this sort of thing." He did not even pay attention to them. He was merciful and modest towards the poor and the destitute, and dignified and serious towards those who owned much property and land. He never attempted to turn back even during the most horrifying moments of such desperate battles as Uhud, Ahzab (Trench) and Hunain. This shows the strength of his blessed heart and the degree of his courage. If he had not had full trust in Allahu ta'ala's Protection, for example, in His promise in the seventieth ayat of Maida sura, "Allahu ta'ala protects you against men's harms!", it would have been impossible for him to show such extraordinary courage. Changing circumstances and conditions did not make any change in his beautiful morality or behavior towards others in the smallest degree. Those who read true and objective history books written by competent hands will understand our statements better. One of these attributes, alone, could not be documentary evidence for prophethood, that is, a person's differing from others by having one of these superiorities would not indicate his prophethood, yet only Prophets could have an accumulation of all of these superiorities. Muhammad's ('alaihi 's-salam) having an accumulation of all of these superiorities is one of the strongest evidences demonstrating the fact that he is Allahu ta'ala's Prophet.( For those who wish to know about the beautiful life of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), we recommend the Turkish books Qisas-i Anbiya and Mawahib-i ladunniyya. Also, there is detailed information in the first part of the Turkish original, and in the first fascicle of the English version (Chapter 56) of Endless Bliss, under the heading Hilye-i Se'adet.)
The third proof verifying that Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is Allahu ta'ala's Prophet is the one that was reported by Imam Fakhr ad-din ar-Razi. Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) became the Prophet among a community who were quite unaware of heavenly books and stranded in knowledge and science. It was such a community that, having dissented from the true way, the polytheists were worshipping idols [statues and human figures they had made from stones or metals]; some of them had been deceived by Jews and had adopted their false, superstitious stories as a religion; magians, a minor group, worshipped two gods and married their own daughters and immediate relatives; and the others, Christians, believed that 'Isa ('alaihi 's-salam) was the "Son of God" and worshipped three gods. Among such deranged people, Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) became a Prophet. A book titled Qur'an al- karim was revealed to him by Allahu ta'ala. He sorted out the beautiful habits from the ugly ones and the good deeds leading to felicity from the bad ones leading to calamity. He taught true iman and 'ibadat. Those who believed him were enlightened by this iman and 'ibadat. He rescued humanity from distorted, made-up religions. He attained the victory promised by Allahu ta'ala. All his enemies soon perished. Depraved, factious, provocative words and actions came to an end. People were rescued from dictators, usurpers and the cruel. Every place became illuminated with the sacred lights of the sun of tawhid and the moon of tanzih. This is what prophethood implies, for 'Prophet' means the superior person who beautifies people's morals and offers medicine for illnesses of hearts and souls. Most people are the slaves of their nafses. Their souls are sick. A specialist of the soul and ethics is necessary to cure them. The religion brought by Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) became a medicine for these illnesses. It eradicated the evils and malignancies in hearts. This case absolutely demonstrates that he is Allahu ta'ala's Prophet and is the Highest of Prophets (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa 'alaihim wa 'ala ali wa Ashabi kullin ajmain). Hadrat Imam Fakhr ad-din ar-Razi explains in his book al-Matalib al-'aliyya that this case is the most obvious evidence proving his prophethood.
At the beginning of my book, I have explained what prophethood means and proved that it did not happen to anyone as it did to Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). Thus, it has been understood that he is superior to the others. This superiority can also be proven by studying his mujizas. But this approach is more similar to the way chosen by thinkers for proving prophethood. Their way can be summarized to mean that men need a code of law sent by Allahu ta'ala for attaining comfort and peace in this and the next worlds.
This is the end of the second article of my book. Thus it has become clear that the ancient Greek philosophers were on the wrong way and that those who read the harmful books which they have written with their personal points of view on religion and prophethood will acquire wrong religious information and will drift towards perdition.
Hijri (989) Miladi (1581)
Courtesy of Hizmet Books (1998)
VISITING THE SHRINE OF THE BELOVED PROPHET
SALLA ALLAHU TA'ALA ALAYHI WA SALLAM
written by Allama Dr Abu Baker Siddiq
According to the consensus of scholars visiting the sacred tomb of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa sallam is Sunnah and cause of a great virtue. Allah Almighty has incited Muslim Ummah to visit the Blessed tomb of the Most Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Sallam in these words. He, the Exalted, says,
" And We have not sent any Messenger, but that he should be obeyed by Allah's will. And if when they do injustice unto their souls, then O beloved! They should come to you and then beg forgiveness of Allah and the messenger should intercede for them, then surely, they would find Allah Most Relenting, Merciful."
Sura An nisa verse 64
In this verse Muslim Ummah have been incited to come in the court of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam and to ask for forgiveness. This quranic order does not specific with apparent life of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Sallam but it is common to all times. The Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam even today ask forgiveness for his ummah as the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Sallam himself told. Imam Bazzar narrates with the fine chain of narrators from Abdullah Ibne Masood radi Allahu ta'ala anhu that the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Sallam of Allah azzowajal and salla Allahu alahi wa Sallam says," My life is better for you. You ask me(about halaal and haraam) and I tell you(by revelation) commands. And my death is better for you. Your actions will be presented before me. And I will thank Allah seeing your virtuous deeds and I will ask forgiveness seeing your vicious deeds.
Therefore the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam gave good news to the sinners of his ummah that I will ask for them forgiveness after my death. By the Holy Quran it come to know that who ask his Lord for forgiveness and comes in the court of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam, the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam supplicate for him for forgiveness. Hence the scholars of the ummah wrote clearly that this status of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam did not come to an end due to his apparent death. The companions of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam not only used to visit the sacred grave of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam but think it the cause of great mercy. Here I write down to incidents to prove above statement.
1.When Hazrat Umar Farooq radi Allahu anhu made an agreement of peace with the people of Baitul Muqaddas, Kaab Ahbar came to meet him and entered in the enclosure of Islam. Umar Farooq radi Allahu anhu pleased by his action very much and said," Do you want to go to Madina Shareef with me so that you may get the blessings of visiting the holy grave of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam." Hazrat Kaab Ahbar accept it.(Zurqani alal muwahib)
2. Hafiz Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Musa bin Numan narrated by Hadrat Ali radi Allahu ta'ala anhu that a villager came to us after three days of the burying of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam. He fallen himself on the grave of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and put some earth from the grave on his head. Then he said,’ O Apostle of Allah! Whatever you said we listened to it. Allah Almighty revealed Qur'an al-Kareem upon you, in which He Almighty said,
’ And if when they do injustice unto their souls, then O beloved! They should come to you and then beg forgiveness of Allah and the messenger should intercede for them, then surely, they would find Allah Most Relenting, Merciful.’
I have committed injustice with my soul and I came to you so that you ask for forgiveness for me.
Hadrat Ali radi Allahu ta'ala anho says that we listened a voice from the sacred grave of the Most Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam that you have been forgiven.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this essay told that according to the consensus of the scholars of fourteen century visiting the sacred and revered shrine of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is not only allowed but it is the greatest cause of getting the mercy of Allah, the Exalted. However there a few misguided people who denies the blessings of visiting the holy grave of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. Ibne Tayymiya is also one of them. He denied too the blessings of visiting the revered grave of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and called it an innovation (Bidah). Allama Noor Bukhsh Tawakkli rahmatullahi alaihi writes,
" There are some people who give fatwa that to travel towards the graves of Prophets alaihimus salaam, Awliya and Martyrs rahmatullahi alaihim is unlawful. The father of Wahabia wrote fatwa in obvious word that to travel intending the grave of the Most Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is a sin. The Prayer will not be made Qasr in this travel. This is why the angels who descend, daily in the morning and evening, on the shrine of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and recite Darood Shareef, are sinners.
This is the worst contempt in the court of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. A mischief rose in Syria and Egypt. The Syrian asked about Ibne Taimiya. Allama Burhan bin Al Farqah wrote an essay of forty lines and called him kafir. Allama Shahab bin Jahbal agreed with him. In Egypt when the same question was asked by the four judges, Badr Bin Jama Shafai wrote that Ibne Taimiyah must be stopped, forcely, to give such fatwa. If he do not stop to write such fatwa he must be put in prison.
Muhammad Bin Al Jarairi Ansari Hanafi wrote that he, immediately, be put into prison. Muhammad Bin Abi Bakr Malki wrote that he should be punished in such a way that he has to leave such things. Ahmad Bin Umar Muqaddasi Hanbli also gave the same decision. Consequently Ibne Tayymiyah was prisoned in the fort of Damascus, in Shaban 726 of Hijra and he died in the same prison on 20th Diqada of 728 Hijra.
Now I write some of the narrations which show the importance of the visiting the sacred grave of the Most Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa Sallam.
The Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said," 1.He who visit my grave, my intercession is proved for him." (Dare Qutni and Baihaqi)
2. He who visit my grave, my intercession is lawful for him. (Bazzar)
3. The one who come to visit me in such a way that no other cause incite him to come, so it his right upon me that I will be his intercessor on the day judgement. (Tabrani in Kabeer and Ausat, Dare Qutani)
4. He who perform Hajj than visit my grave after my demise he is like that who visited me in life. (Dare Qutni and Baihaqi)
5. He who performed Hajj and did not visit me he pained me. (Kamil for Ibnu Adi)
6. He who visits me in Madinah I will be his witness and intercessor. (Sunan of Daruqutni)
7. He who visited my grave or visited me I will be his intercessor or witness. And the one who dies in one of the Haramain he will be raised in peaceful people.
(Abu Dauwd Tayalisi)
8. He who visited me intentionally he will be in my neighbourhood in the day of judgement. (Abu Jafar Uqaili)
9. He who visited me after my demise as if he visited me in my life. And he who died in one of Haramain he will be raised in peaceful people. (Dare Qutni)
10. He who performs Hajj in Makkah then he visits me in my mosque he will be given the reward of two Hajj (pilgrimage). (Musnadul Firdous)
May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala give us taufeeq to visit the Blessed grave of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa Sallam and save us from all misguided people. Ameen.
AL-Busiri's Poem in Praise of the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) Entitled QASIDAT AL-BURDA
Excerpted from Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine,
by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, 1998
What is the position of Ahl al-Sunna regarding Qasida al-Burda, which is read in full by millions of people and Islamic scholars from the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, and North Africa?
Can we continue reading and reciting it as we have been taught by the scholars that we know?
What is the position of Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab regarding that poem?
Chapter One: THE GREATNESS OF QASIDAT AL-BURDA
Sharaf al-Din Muhammad al-Busiri's (608-696?) illustrious poem, al-Kawakib al-durriyya fi madh khayr al-bariyya (The resplendent stars in the praise of the Best of Creation), which became known as Qasidat al-Burda, is one of the literary treasures of the Arabic language. It is a model of true and excellent praise for the Prophet, which contains the rarest pearls and lessons on the etiquette of humility and respect before the Elect One of creation and the Beloved of the Lord of the worlds.
This poem was taught, copied, distributed, recited, transcribed on mosque walls, memorized, commented on, studied, and considered required reading by countless scholars, including the hadith masters Sakhawi and Suyuti, and their students. Hafiz Abu Shama wrote a commentary on it that is yet unpublished. Ibn Taymiyya, in the book attributed to him under the title al-Sarim al maslul `ala shatim al-rasul (The drawn sword against those who disrespect the Prophet), said:
The foundation of the religion of Islam is built on praising, glorifying, and treating with dignity the Leader of all the Prophets, may peace be upon them all. Such praise, glorification, and treating with dignity is praise for the entire Religion; and its removal is the end of the Religion. By not giving such respect to the Prophet, all religion comes to an end.
Below is a translation of some of the most beautiful verses of that poem, followed by a refutation of the false views cast against them by the "Salafis."
EXCERPTS FROM IMAM AL-BUSIRI'S QASIDAT AL-BURDA
26. astaghfirullaha min qawlin bila `amalin / laqad nasabtu bihi naslan li dhi `uqumi
I ask Allah's forgiveness for talk without deeds, for I have thereby claimed an offspring for one who is seedless.
27. amartuka al-khayra lakin ma atmartu bihi / wa mastaqamtu fa ma qawli lakastaqimi
I ordered you to do good deeds, but I did not follow that order. I have not been upright. What value have my words to you: Be upright?
28. wa la tazawwadtu qabla al-mawti nafilatan / wa lam usalli siwa fardin wa lam asumi
I did not make provision of supererogatory deeds before death. I did not pray or fast beyond what is obligatory.
29. zalamtu sunnata man ahya al-zalama ila / an ishtakat qadamahu al-durra min warami
Verily, I have wronged the Way of him who kept awake in the dark night, praying until his feet complained of their swelling,
30. wa shadda min shaghabin ahsha'ahu wa tawa / tahta al-hijarati kishhan mutrafa al-adami
Who bound up his entrails due to hunger, and girded beneath stones his delicate flank,
31. wa rawadathu al-jibalu al-shummu min dhahabin / `an nafsihi fa araha ayyata shamami
Whom lofty mountains endeavored to turn from himself with offerings of gold, whereupon he showed them greater loftiness,
32. wa akkadat zuhdahu fiha daruratuhu / inna al-darurata la ta`du `ala al-`isami
And what confirmed that he renounced them was his necessity. Verily, necessity has no sway over those made immune by Allah;
33. wa kayfa tad`u ila al-dunya daruratu man / lawlahu lam tukhraji al-dunya min al-`adami
And how could necessity attract to the world the one were it not for whom the world would not have come out of inexistence?
34. muhammadun sayyidu al-kawnayni wa al-thaqalay / ni wa al-fariqayni min `urbin wa `ajami
Muhammad – Master of the Two Worlds, and of the Two Dense Kinds [human and jinn], and of the Two Branches, Arabs and non-Arabs,
35. nabiyyuna al-amiru al-nahi fa la ahadun / abarra fi qawli la minhu wa la na`ami
Our Prophet – who commands and forbids. None is more truthful in saying No or Yes.
36. huwa al-habibu al-ladhi turja shafa`atuhu / li kulli hawlin min al-ahwali muqtahimi
He is the Beloved whose intercession is dearly sought against every terror's onslaught.
37. da`a ilallahi fal-mustamsikuna bihi / mustamsikuna bi hablin ghayri munfasimi
He called unto Allah. Those who take hold of him have grasped a rope that shall never break.
38. faqa al-nabiyyina fi khalqin wa fi khuluqin / wa la yudanuhu fi `ilmin wa la karami
He surpasses all Prophets in form and character. None of them approaches his knowledge or generosity.
39. wa kulluhum min rasulillahi multamisun / gharfan min al-bahri wa rashfan min al-diyami
All of them come and take from Allah's Messenger a handful of his ocean or a sip of his continuous rains.
40. wa waqifuna ladayhi `inda haddihim / min nuqtati al-`ilmi aw min shaklat al-hikami
They stand before him – each at his limit – possessing but one dot of his science and a glimpse of his wisdom.
41. fa huwa al-ladhi tamma ma`nahu wa suratuhu / thumma istafahu habiban bari'u al-nasami
He is the one whose innermost and outward form were made perfect, after which the Creator of souls took him for His Beloved Friend.
42. munazzahun `an sharikin fi mahasinihi / fa jawharu al-husni fihi ghayru munqasimi
He is exalted above having a partner in his excellent qualities. The essence of his beauty was made indivisible.
43. da` ma idda`athu al-nasara fi nabiyyihim / wahkum bi ma shi'ta madhan fihi wa ihtakimi
Put aside what the Christians have claimed of their Prophet; then pronounce what you will in praise of him, and be wise;
44. fansub ila dhatihi ma shi'ta min sharafin / wansub ila qadrihi ma shi'ta min `izami
And attribute to his person whatever nobility you will, and ascribe to his worth whatever greatness you will,
45. fa inna fadla rasulillahi laysa lahu / haddun fa yu`riba `anhu natiqun bi fami
For the superiority of Allah's Messenger has no limit that a speaker can express with his mouth.
46. law nasabat qadruhu ayatuhu `izaman / ahya ismuhu hina yud`a darisa al-rimami
If his signs had matched his worth, the mere utterance of his name would have brought back to life the dust that once was bones;
47. lam yamtahinna bima ta`ya al-`uqulu bihi / hirsan `alayna fa lam nartab wa lam nahimi
But he did not test us with what makes impotent the minds, out of great concern for us, so that we should not doubt nor become perplexed.
48. a`ya al-wara fahmu ma`nahu fa laysa yura / li al-qurbi wa al-bu`di minhu ghayra munfahimi
Creation is, in truth, powerless to understand his secret. You will not see any near him or far, except it makes them bewildered,
49. ka al-shamsi tazharu li al-`aynayni min bu`din / saghiratan wa tukillu al-tarfa min amami
As the sun appears small to the eyes from a distance, and yet exhausts their sight upon a second look.
50. wa kayfa yudriku fi al-dunya haqiqatahu / qawmun niyamun tasallaw `anhu bi al-hulumi
And how could one perceive his reality in this world, who belongs to a sleeping race distracted from him with dreams?
51. fa mablaghu al-`ilmi fihi annahu basharun / wa annahu kharyu khalqillahi kullihimi
The sum of their knowledge concerning him is that he was a mortal, and that he was the best of all Allah's creation.
52. wa kullu ayin ata al-rusulu al-kiramu biha / fa innama ittasalat min nurihi bihimi
And every single sign brought by the noble Prophets was theirs only in connection to his light,
53. fa innahu shamsu fadlin hum kawakibuha / yuzhirna anwaraha li al-nasi fi al-zulami
For verily he is a sun of perfection of which they are the moons bringing its light to people in the midst of darkness.
54. akrim bi khalqi nabiyyin zanahu khuluqun / bi al-husni mushtamilin bi al-bishri muttasimi
How noble was the form of this Prophet adorned with a high character that encompassed beauty and was marked with cheerful countenance!
55. ka al-zahri fi tarafin wa al-badri fi sharafin / wa al-bahri fi karamin wa al-dahri fi himami
A form like the soft lilies and the full moon in splendor, a character like the ocean in generosity and Time in endeavors,
56. ka'annuhu wa huwa fardun fi jalalatihi / fi `askarin hina talqahu wa fi hashami
Seeming, due to his majesty, even when you met him alone, to head an army or a large company,
57. ka'annama al-lu'lu'u al-maknunu fi sadafin / min ma`dinay mantiqin minhu wa mubtasimi
As if the very pearl concealed inside the shell were formed in the two molds of his speech and his smile.
58. la tiba ya`dilu turban damma a`zumahu / tuba li muntashiqin minhu wa multathimi
There is no fragrance equal to the earth that encloses his bones. Blessed is he that breathes its scent and kisses it.
145. in ati dhanban fa ma `ahdi bi muntaqidin / min al-nabiyyi wa la habli bi munsarimi
If I commit a sin, my covenant is not broken away from the Prophet, nor is my connection to him cut,
146. fa inna li dhimmatan minhu bi tasmiyati / muhammadan wa huwa awfa al-khalqi bi al-dhimami
For I hold a bond from him in my being named Muhammad, and he is the most trustworthy one in creation in keeping his bonds,
147. in lam yakun fi ma`adi akhidhan bi yadi / fadlan wa illa fa qul ya zallata al-qadami
And if he were not, on the day of my return to Allah, to take my hand out of munificence, then you may say of me: the foot will slip!
148. hashahu an yuhrima al-raji makarimahu / aw yarji`a al-jaru minhu ghayra muhtarimi
Far be it from him to deprive the petitioner of his graces. Far be it from him that the seeker of refuge return from his presence discomfited.
149. wa mundhu alzamtu afkari mada'ihahu / wajadtuhu li khalasi khayra multazimi
Yea, since I devoted my thoughts to praising him, I have found him the best of contractors for my deliverance.
150. wa lan yafuta al-ghina minhu yadan taribat / inna al-haya yunbitu al-azhara fi al-akami
Wealth from him will never fail the hands that became destitute – verily, the rain makes flowers grow even on rugged hills –
151. wa lam urid zahrata al-dunya al-lati iqtatafat / yada zuhayrin bi ma athna `ala harimi
But I do not desire the splendor of this world, which the hands of Zuhayr seized when he praised Harim, the King.
152. ya akrama al-khalqi ma li man aludhu bihi / siwaka `inda hululi al-hadithi al-`amami
O noblest one in creation, I have none from whom to request protection other than you when the Universal Event befalls.
153. wa lan yadiqa rasulallahi jahuka bi / idha al-karimu tajalla bi ismi muntaqimi
Your great standing, O Messenger of Allah, will not diminish for advocating me, if the Generous One manifests Himself with His name of Avenger,
154. fa inna min judika al-dunya wa darrataha / wa min `ulumika `ilma al-lawhi wa al-qalami
For your generosity encompasses both this world and the one that comes next, and your sciences encompass the knowledge of the Tablet and the Pen.
155. ya nafsi la taqnati min zallatin `azumat / inna al-kaba'ira fi al-ghufrani ka al-lamami
O my soul! Do not despair because of a terrible footslip. Grave sins, under the covering of forgiveness, are as small ones.
156. la`alla rahmata rabbi hina yaqsimuha / ta'ti `ala hasabi al-`isyani fi al-qasami
It may be that my Lord's mercy, when He distributes it, shall match the transgressions in proportion.
157. ya rabbi wa ij`al raja'i ghayra mun`akisin / ladayka wa ij`al hisabi ghayra munkharimi
O my Lord! Do not let my hope be reversed in Your presence, and let not my account be deemed deficient,
158. waltuf bi `abdika fi al-darayni inna lahu / sabran mata tad`uhu al-ahwalu yanhazimi
And be kind to Your servant in the Two Abodes, for his is a kind of fortitude which calamities hail and overcome,
159. wa'dhan li suhbi salatin minka da'imatin / `ala al-nabiyyi bi munhalli wa munsajimi
And grant showerings of blessings from You upon the Prophet, copious and continuous!
160. thumma al-rida `an abi bakrin wa `an `umarin / wa `an `aliyyin wa `an `uthmana dhi al-karami
And may Allah's good pleasure be with Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Ali, and `Uthman the noble one,
161. wa al-ali wa al-sahbi thumma al-Tabi`ina lahum / ahli al-tuqa wa al-nuqa wa al-hilmi wa al-karami
And with the Family of the Prophet and his Companions, and their Successors the People of Godwariness and Purity and Kindness and Nobility
162. ma rannahat `adhabat al-bani rihu saban / wa atraba al-`isa hadi al-`isi bi al-naghami
As long as the gentle Eastern wind waves the stalks of the moringa-tree, and the camel-leader enlivens the camel with his songs.
163. ya rabbi bi al-mustafa balligh maqasidana / wa ighfir lana ma mada ya wasi`a al-karami
O my Lord! with the Elect One make us attain our goals, and forgive us for what has passed, O Most Munificent One!
164. wa ighfir ilahi li kulli al-muslimina bi ma / yatluhu fi al-masjidi al-aqsa wa fi al-harami
And forgive, O my God, all Muslims who recite this in the Farthest Mosque and the Holy Sanctuary,
165. bi jahi man baytuhu fi tibatin harami / wa ismihu qasamun min a`zami al-qasami
For the Honour and sake of the one whose house lies in the verdant sacrosanct land, and whose name is one of the greatest oaths.
The Conduct of the MUREED with his Brothers and Sisters
The first duty of the mureed (disciple) is to love his brothers and sisters in the Silsila (in Sufism) with all his or her heart, because the Shaykh loves them, and to love the Shaykh is to love those he loves.
If the mureed doesn't treat everyone with the same respect as he or she has for the Shaykh, then he/she must consider that he hasn't reached love of the Shaykh.
A mureed must keep their respect in their presence as well as in their absence so as not to backbite anyone.
The mureed must think good about his brothers and sisters and not to seek out their bad manners.
A mureed should accept an apology if a brother or sister apologizes.
A mureed should make peace between others and ask their forgiveness in case he/she harms them.
Mureeds should support each other when they are attacked.
Mureeds must show humbleness with each other as much as possible
The permissability of kissing the hands of Pious people ?
1]. Some people say that to kiss the hands and the feet of the pious people are prohibited and Shirk (associating partners with Allah). They say that by bending (like in Ruku) and kissing the feet of the pious we are making Sajdah to a creation of Allah Ta’ala.
2]. The Ahl as-Sunnah w'al Jama'ah believes that this act is permissible and desirable as the books of Ahadith prove that the Ahl al-Bayt and the Sahaba-e-Ikraam kissed the blessed hands and feet of the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) and they even kissed the hands and the feet of one another.
3]. The word Sajdah in the Shari’h is meant that while doing Sajdah eight parts of the human body must touch the ground, namely both feet (toes), both the knees, both the arms (hands), nose and the forehead, with the express intention (Niyah) of doing Sajdah.Without the clear intention of Sajdah if a person lies on the ground by bending his legs and feet (as is usually done when some one feels extreme cold or he is inflicted with some ailment), this will not mean Sajdah. Therefore, to kiss the feet of the elders or pious persons is not Sajdah since it does not satisfy the conditions of Sajdah.
4]. Sajdah is of two kinds:
(a) Sajdah Tahiyah (by way of greeting) is when a person meets some dignitary,then to express his reverence the one meeting the dignitary touches the ground with his forehead, while the Sajdah is to regard some one as a deity or god.
(b) Sajdah Ibaadah (worship) is Haraam in every Shari’ah.
5]. Sajdah Tahiyat was permissible from the time of Hadrat Adam (alayhis salaam) to the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam). The Angels offered Sajdah before Hadrat Adam (alayhis salaam). Hadrat Yaqub (alayhis salaam) and the brothers of Hadrat Yusuf (alayhis salaam) offered Sajdah
to Hadrat Yusuf (alayhis salaam). Later on, this Sajdah Tahiyah was declared as Haraam in the Shari’ah of Islam as well. Any one doing Sajdah-e-Tahiyah is guilty of a sin and committing act of Haraam. But he is not a Mushrik or a Kaafir. He can offer repentance (Taubah) in the presence of Allah.
6]. As far as the question of bending before someone is concerned, this bending is of two kinds. If it is by way of respect to anyone, provided it is not to the extent of bending as in Ruku. If it is so then it is Haraam
and Islamic Jurists have forbidden this kind of bending. The other kind of bending is while doing some other work such as picking the shoes with a spirit of respect.This latter posture is permissible (Halaal) as it has no
tinge of worship.
7]. When the Most Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) visited the house of his daughter, Hadrat Fathima Zahra (radi Allahu ta'ala anha) she would stand up for him in respect, take his hand and kiss it and make him sit in her place.When Hadrat Fathima Zahra (radi Allahu ta'ala anha) visited the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam), then he would stand up for her, hold her hand and kiss it and allow her to sit in his place. (Abu Dawood; Mishkaat Shareef)
8]. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Umar (radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) says that the Sahaba-e-Ikiram kissed the blessed hands of the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam). (Abu Dawood)
9]. Hadrat Ashbah (radi Allahu anhu) went to the court of the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam), held the hand of the Noble Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) and kissed it. The Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) said,"In you there are two habits which is dear to Almighty Allah and the Noble Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam)" (Adabul Mufrad) From this incident it is clear that the kissing of the hands is a desired action, which was even preferred by the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam).
10]. Once, two Jews came to the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) and asked him a question. The Noble Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) answered them. Thereafter, they kissed the hands and the feet of the Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) and told him that they bear testimony that he is a Nabi. (Tirmidhi Shareef; Mishkaat Shareef)
11]. A man came to the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) and told him that he had taken a vow that should Allah Ta'ala grant Rasoolullah (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) victory over Makkah, he would go the Beloved Kaaba and kiss the chaukat. The Noble Prophet (Salla allahu Ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam) instructed him:'Go and kiss the feet of your mother.Your vow will be complete'
12]. Imam al-Ghazzali (radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) states that Hadrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) kissed the hand of Hadrat Umar Farouk (radi Allahu ta'ala anhu). (Kimya-e Sa'adat; Awaariful Mu'aarif)
13]. Whenever the Sahaba-e-Ikraam would return from a journey they would embrace one another and kiss the hands of one another. (Bustaanul Arifeen)
14]. It is said in "Alamgiri", Bab Mulaqatul Muluk, that if someone kisses the hand of a learned Scholar or the just King because of his erudition (learning) and the quality of justice with his people then there is no harm in it.
15]. In the same book "Alamgiri", Bab Ziyaratil Qubur, it is said that it does not matter much if some one kisses the graves of his parents.
16]. There are five kinds of kisses:
(a) the kiss of affection and love like a father kissing his son,
(b) the kiss of meeting (mulaqat) like a Muslim kissing another Muslim on meeting one another,
(c) the kiss of love and regard like a son kissing his parents,
(d) the kiss of friendship, when some one kisses his friend, and
(e) the kiss of sensual love, like the husband kissing his wife or vice versa.
Some have added another kind of kiss as a mark of religious sanctity like of the Hajar-e-Aswad.(Alamgiri)
17]. There is another kiss and it is in respect of religious sanctity and it is the kissing of Hajar-e-Aswad and the threshold of the Blessed Kaaba. Some have said that kissing the Qur'an al-kareem is Bid’ah. However, it is reported that Hadrat Umar (radi Allahu Ta'ala anhu) used to kiss the Noble Qur'an al-kareem every
morning by holding it in his hands. Kissing the bread (roti) is permissible before Imam Shafa’ee (radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) as a permissible Bid’ah or Bid’at-e-Hasanah. (Durre Mukhtar)
18]. It is now obvious that to kiss the hands and feet of the pious and respected persons is Sunnah and those who regard this Shirk and a Bid'at have no basis in their arguments.
To Celebrate the URS of the Awliyah and to Visit their Mazaars:
1. ‘Urs is the day of the passing away of the noble Saints and Prophets. The word ‘Urs has been taken from the Hadith: "Sleep just like the bride." (Mishkhat) The Angels say to the Pious in the grave, "Sleep with restfulness and
comfort just like a bride."
2. On the day of the passing away of a Saint or on a specific date,his admirers, disciples, followers and relatives
assemble together at the grave of the Saint to obtain spiritual benefit and celebrate the anniversary with rejoice.
3. It is also very worthy to recite the Qur'an Shareef and pass on the Sawaab (reward) to their soul and to recite Fateha and distribute sweetmeat among' those present.
4. The object of fixing the day and time of ‘Urs is that the people become aware of this auspicious occasion gather together and that they should make Du’a and obtain the full spiritual benefits.
5. There is no harm for fixing up the day for a permissible affair. To cite a few examples :
a). The Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta'ala 'alaihi wa Sallam) himself has commanded to observe fast on the Day of 'Arafat, ‘Ashura and the 15th of Shabaan, and he has also commanded to perform the prayer of Ishraaq (sun-rise).
b). Similarly, he has commanded to perform the child's Aqeeqah on the 7th day.
c). Rasoolullah (Salla Allahu Ta'ala 'alaihi wa Sallam) went to Ghazwa-e-Tabook on a Thursday and he preferred
to journey on a Thursday.
d). He used to keep fast on Mondays and Thursdays.
e). The Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa Sallam) would go every Saturday to Masjid-e-Quba.
The Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa Sallam) has fixed the timings of all these things; had it been non-permissible, he would not have fixed the timings.
6. After the Beloved Prophet's (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa Sallam) demise, Hadrat Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) prepared a good deal of food on the 12th day, and on reading Fateha, he entertained the people of Madinah with it. He had so much of food prepared that it was enough for the people of Madinah. People began to enquire "What is today?" Those who were knowing replied, "Today is the 'Urs of the Beloved Messenger of Allah, today is the 'Urs of the Messenger of Allah." It has become evident from this that the noble Companions celebrated the 'Urs of the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa Sallam). (Fathul Ma'ani)
7. It has been stated in the Noble Qur'an al-kareem that Hadrat 'Isa (alaihis salaam) said: "O Allah! Our Lord, send down upon us a tray from the Heaven so that it should be a festival for us, for the first one of us and the last one of us ... ." This verse indicates that we should rejoice on the day of receiving a bounty, and honouring and respecting that it is counted among the teachings the Prophets (alaihim as-salaam), and a source of Allah's Pleasure. (Tafseer Kabeer, Tafseer Roohul Bayan)
8. To rejoice on the day of the demise of the noble Saints and the pious men is far much better than and
meritorious because it is the day that they get "union" with Allah Ta'ala.
9. Hadrat Mawlana Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlwi (radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) has written that if the day of 'URS is meant for invocation or reminding for the deceased one, there is no harm. That gives benefit to the living as well as the deceased ones. (Fatawa Aziziyah)
10. Those who object to the ‘Urs celebrations say that we are practising Polytheism (Shirk) by worshipping a dead person, calling us "Qabar Pujaris". We, the Ahl as-Sunnah wa'l Jama’ah, do not ever take the person in the grave (whether he be a Wali or a Prophet of Allah) to be the permanent and real authority. We do not believe that the person in the grave to be a partner of Allah Ta'ala.
11. On the date of the ‘Urs of a Wali or some special date set aside for it's celebration, people go to the graves of the Friends of Allah Ta'ala to seek blessings and out of love for them, stand before the graves of the Saints and pray to Allah Ta'ala through the intercession of the Wali in the grave, whom they supplicate to intercede with Allah Ta'ala on their behalf. Doing so can never be called grave-worship or Shirk (associating partners with Allah).
Placing of Ghilaaf on the Grave
1. Ghilaaf or Chadar (cloth) is placed on the grave of a Wali or pious Muslim for the benefit of the visitors so that they may understand and realise the status of the deceased Muslim.
2. It is allowed to put on a Ghilaf on the graves of Awliya and Ulema when it is recognised that the majority respect the person in the grave. People are also aware of the holy person's status and gain auspiciousness from the holy person who is resting in the grave.
3. In the famous book, "Raddul Mukhtaar", it is stated: "It is permissible to place a cloth on the Qabar of a Wali or pious Muslim so that visitors be more respectful when visiting the grave. We should also realise that the basis of action is upon the intention".
The Burning of Incense sticks, Lobaan,etc.
1. To light incense sticks (agarbatti) and lobaan in the Mazaar of the Awliya (or the gatherings of khatams) and for the benefit of the visitors is permissible.
2. One should bear this in mind that it is done not for the deceased but rather for the comfort of the visitors, as they will feel better in a sweet-scented environment.
3. The action of doing good deeds for others is also a means of Sadaqa and the deceased also receive the
Sawaab of this Sadaqa performed by those who are living.
Placing of flowers on the Grave
1. The placing of flowers on the grave of an ordinary or a pious Muslim is permissible.
2. The flowers or plants are a creation of Allah Ta’ala and as long as they remain fresh they continuously recite the Tasbih of Allah Ta’ala, praising and glorifying Him. The heart of the deceased is satisfied. Allah Ta’ala says in the Noble Qur'an: "There is not a thing but celebrates His praise".(Bani Israeel: 44)
3. It is recorded in Sahih Bukhari Shareef that the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa Sallam) once broke a green branch in two pieces and placed each of them on separate graves. Hadrat Shaykh Muhaddith Dehlvi (Radi Allahu anhu) states with regard to this: "This very Hadith has been accepted by the Ulama
as proof in placing flowers on the graves".(Ashatul Lam’aat)
4. Allama Tahtawi (Radi Allahu anhu) states: "Some among our preceeding Ulama have given a legal verdict that the action of placing flowers or fresh branches is Sunnat and is proven from Hadith".
5. Wet grass should not be removed from the grave because the wet grass prays the Tasbih of Allah Ta’ala and gives solace to the buried. If it is removed then you have committed an unjust deed for the deceased.
Kissing of the Grave and making Tawaaf
1. It is forbidden to kiss or perform circumbulation around the grave. (Bahar Shariat, Ash'atul Lam'aat).
Time and day of Visiting
1. It is Sunnat to visit the graves. One should go once a week, either on a Friday, Thursday, Saturday or
Monday. The best time is on a Friday morning.
2. While visiting the Mazaar of a Wali, if you see something there which is against the Shari’ah, such as facing women or hearing music, then do no not stop going, but think of it as bad and try and avoid it because to stop a pious act because of seeing bad things is not correct.
3. It is a wise thing that women should be stopped from visiting the graves.(Radd al-Mohtar;Fatwa-e-Razvia)
Ya-Muhammad Website Address: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ya_muhammad/
May Allah (Subhana wa ta'ala) open the eyes of our Muslim brothers & Muslim sisters and bless them.
"If we are really Muslims than we can not love and follow Shaytan Abdul Wahhab Najdi who declared the (Sunni-Sufi-Barelwi-Muslims) Ahl as-Sunna Wah Jama'ah as 'Kafirs'. He passed a ruling that it was lawful to kill men, women and children belonging to the Ahl as-Sunnah Wah Jama'ah. Even nowadays lovers of Najdi's Wahhabism-Salafi (Deobandism-Tableeghi) are the real enemy of Sunni-Sufism (Sunni-Barelwism) Islam all over The World".
Yours In Islam,
Dr. Haq Khan.
Dr. G.F. Haddad
It is evident that the claim that "Islam condems building edifices over graves for whatever reasons" is failse since Islam has condoned the edifices over the graves of the Prophet (saws), his Companions (ra), and the pious `ulama since the early centuries. Was Islam so weak back then as to be unable to stop the edifices being built, as it is weak today and incapable of stopping the destructive hand of those at work in the Hijaz, destroying those very grave sites? What is condemned is to build such structures for worldly considerations such as pride, luxury, or imitation of non-Muslims.
The topic of tombs is present in the Qur'an. The verse from Surat al-Kahf is in fact adduced by some to illustrate the permissibility of tombs. Those who say "Islam condemns" when in fact the reverse is true, silence themselves through lack of proof. Their (lack of) authority should definitely be exposed as uninformed and unethical.
The reply to the claim of a close relationship 'between graves exaltation and rearing the causes that lead to associating other gods -no matter how minor and in whatever form - with Allah Almighty' is that this is gibberish by and for unthinking minds. "And speak not, concerning that which your own tongues qualify (as clean or unclean), the falsehood: "This is lawful, and this is forbidden," so that ye invent a lie against Allah. Lo! those who invent a lie against Allah will not succeed."
As for the "genuine religious leaders" who oppose the Ul`u of the Umma in every day and age, this is the wont of the people of bid`a in every day and age. They all claimed they were genuine although they were and are misguided. Wa min Allah al-Tawfiq.
Now for the proofs and fatawa of the `ulama on the issue of tombs:
The first Sahabi buried in the cemetery of al-Madina, al-Baqi`, was `Uthman ibn Maz`un (ra), the milk-brother of the Prophet (saws). The latter placed a large boulder on top of his grave to mark it, saying: "By this I shall know where the grave of my brother `Uthman is and add to him my relatives." Abu Dawud and others narrated it.
A stronger proof than any non-mutawatir text is the universal practice of the Umma from the earliest centuries in building up tombs over the graves of those celebrated for their piety so that they would find them easily during their visitation, as ordered by the Prophet (saws): "Visit the graves." Hence Fatima (ra) had also marked the grave of her uncle Hamza (ra) with a rock, as she used to visit it every Jumu`a.
Imam al-Shawkani admitted that the Salaf built up the graves high. Concerning the hadith of `Ali ordering the destruction of tombs in the Sahihayn, Sunan, and Musnad with various wordings:
Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Tahqiq said: "This [hadith] is understood to refer to the elevated graves they used to build with high and beautiful structures." Al-Zayla`i mentioned it in Nasb al-Raya.
Imam al-Nawawi in his Sharh Sahih Muslim said: "The Sunna is that the grave not be raised up a lot above the earth['s surface], nor rounded, but that it be raised up approximately a hand-span (shibr) and flattened, and this is the madhhab of al-Shafi`i and those [of the other schools] who agreed with him, while al-Qadi `Iyad related that most of the `ulama prefer it to be rounded [in the shape of a mound], and this is the madhhab of Malik."
Al-Shawkani in Nayl al-Awtar added to this that it is haram to build them up high and he claimed that the fact that the Salaf and Khalaf built them up high is no proof that it is not haram, and al-`Azim Abadi approved him whole-heartedly in `Awn al-Ma`bud.
But the Amir al-San`ani in Subul al-Salam said: "The Jumhur - vast majority - hold that the prohibition of building up and plastering graves is one of preference (tanzih) [i.e. not strictness (tahrim)]."
Indeed, there is nothing wrong in signalling the graves of the awliya, as stipulated by Shaykh `Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi and others. See the article by Ustadha Umm Sahl under the subtitle: "Domes over the Grave of the Awliya."
Dawud ibn Salih said: "[The governor of Madina] Marwan [ibn al-Hakam] one day saw a man placing his face on top of the grave of the Prophet. He said: "Do you know what you are doing?" When he came near him, he realized it was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. The latter said: "Yes; I came to the Prophet, not to a stone." Narrated by Ahmad (5:422) and al-Hakim in his Mustadrak (4:515 "sahih") cf. al-Subki in Shifa' al-siqam (p. 126) and Ibn Taymiyya in al-Muntaqa (2:261f.).
The use of the word "stone" in the previous hadith, if authentic, indicates that the Prophet's (saws) grave was built up with stone already in the time of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (ra).
The Ulema cited two reasons for the permissibility of building up the grave or plastering it with gypsum: to protect it from collapse generally speaking, and to keep it in the public view if it is the grave of a Shaykh, a Scholar, or someone from the family of the Prophet (saws) as mentioned in Ibn `Abidin's Hashiya (1:601).
Shaykh Isma`il Haqqi said in his Qur'anic commentary Ruh al-Bayan under the verse "The mosques of Allah may only be built and maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement, perform the prayers and give zakat, and are afraid of none other than Allah and they are those who are guided" (9:18):
Shaykh `Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi said in Kashf al-Nur `an Ashab al-Qubur ("The Unveiling of Light from the Occupants of the Graves") the sum of which is that a good innovation that agrees with the objectives of the Sacred Law is called a sunna. Thus, building domes over the graves of Scholars, friends of Allah (awliya') and the righteous and placing covers, turbans and cloth over them is permissible if the objective therein is to create reverence in the eyes of ordinary people so that they will not disdain the occupant of that grave.
If the above were not the case, or if it were not in conformity with the Sunna, then ponder the statement of our Mother `A'isha in Abu Dawud's Sunan: "When the Negus died, we were told [i.e. by the Prophet (saws)] that a light would be seen perpetually at his grave."
May Allah enlighten our understandings, our hearts, and our graves with His kindness and forgiveness. Amin.
2:34: "And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever."
7:11: "And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration."
15:28-31: "And remember when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am creating a mortal out of potter's clay of black mud altered. So, when I have made him and breathed into him of My spirit, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him. So the angels fell prostrate, all of them together save Iblis. He refused to be among the prostrate."
17:61: "And when We said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis, he said: Shall I fall prostrate before that which Thou hast created of clay?"
18:50: "And remember when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the Jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command."
20:116: "And when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, they fell prostrate all save Iblis; he refused."
38:71-73: "When thy Lord said unto the angels: lo! I am about to create a mortal out of mire, and when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down before him prostrate, the angels fell down prostrate, every one."
God taught Adam the names of everything in creation: the inner nature and the outer, qualities and quantities, and the secret of all existence. It is by virtue of this knowledge that He elevated him to a state of purity and perfected him to reach the divine knowledge from which angels derive the nectar of their own knowledge. God thus enabled Adam to teach and inform the angels, although he was created after them.
These verses point to the essence of the human condition, whereby human beings can reach a station where they command angelic power. They teach us that angels can take the form of human beings, and that human beings can purify themselves to the point of carrying angelic attributes.
God has placed the angels at the service of His beloved creation, and caused them to appear to mankind and help them. This is symbolized by their prostration to Adam. It was Adam whom God chose as His viceroy on earth and not the angels. "And had We willed We could have set among you angels to be viceroys in the earth" (43:60). Many stories illustrate this angelic service to humankind in the following pages.
It is related that when Adam approached death he assembled his children and he told them that he desired to taste of the fruit of Paradise again. All his children went in search of such fruit. The angels knew that Adam was going to die. They received his children with heavenly shrouds in their hands and water from the rivers of Paradise for Adam's final ablution. Adam's children were surprized. "How did you know that our father was ill?" The angels replied: "What are you looking for?" The children answered that their father was sick and that he desired a fruit of Paradise. "Perhaps that will heal him," they said. The angels told them: "O children of Adam! Paradise was created for you. We are but the caretakers of that place for you. How can the owners ask permission from the caretakers? But if you wish to enter it again, you have to come back to the divine presence and reclaim your angelic reality as before." "How can we do that?" asked the children of Adam. The angels replied: "You have to long earnestly to meet your Lord, and he will teach you the way back to Him." "And then?" asked the children of Adam. The angels said, "Then, you have to enter through the door of death."
Adam died, the angels came down and buried him themselves, showing his children the manner of this ritual and teaching it to them for the first time. After that, the sun and the moon were eclipsed for seven days and seven nights.
Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions.
It is universally known, based on these sources, that God created the angels to carry out His orders and transmit the messages that pertain to human beings. Angels are honored, subtle beings created from light who serve their Lord. They exemplify the qualities of perfection, obedience, and dedication. They can take any form they like at any time and place. They carry unlimited miraculous powers through which they can reach anyone in the blink of an eye to help and to heal, to serve and to console, to love and to be loved.
Angels take any form they wish in the physical world. As crystal water takes the form of the cup in which it is poured, angels can take the form of any creation which they visit. They do not retain their full original form of light when they are sent to human beings: "Say: If there were in the earth angels walking secure, We had sent down for them from heaven an angel [without change] as messenger" (17:95). Angels can come as birds, as human beings, or as a form of light like a rainbow adorning the sky. They have a mind and a heart, but no will and no desire other than to serve and obey God. They are never too proud to obey Him.
Angels worship day and night without fatigue. They do not need to sleep, as their eyes never tire. They know no heedlessness. Their attention never wavers. Their food is glorification of God, their drink is to sanctify and to magnify Him. Their intimacy is in calling their Lord through hymning and singing His praise. Their enjoyment is to serve Him. They are devoid of any and all physiological restraints. They suffer no mood-changes.
Angels inhabit Paradise and the seven heavens. They worship more than human beings because they came before them and they have greater and more powerful faculties than they. They are more pious than human beings because they are innocent and unable to fall into mistakes or wrongdoings. They never ask forgiveness for themselves but always for human beings. This shows us how much they care for us and to what extent God created them to look after us. God made them our guardians because a guardian is more perfect than the one he guards.
Angels are more knowledgeable than human beings. The teacher, again, is better than the student. Their knowledge is of two kinds: intellectual and traditional. "Intellectual" means here: "of the essence of reality" or "of the heart." "Traditional" means: "revealed and translated down from above."
Intellectual knowledge is a must, such as knowledge about God and His attributes. It is impossible for angels, the prophets, and pious people to fail to possess it. They have no excuse in failing to know it. The knowledge that is not obligatory is the way in which God has created the wonders of creation, such as knowledge of the Throne, of the Pen, of Paradise, Hell and Heavens. In addition there is the knowledge of the different kinds of angels, human beings, the inhabitants of the earth on the ground, under the ground, in the air, and under the sea. In the latter kind of knowledge angels are undoubtedly more versed than human beings. This is because they were created long before them: angels accompanied the entire process of creation of the universes as well as that of human beings. They are also more familiar with that knowledge because of their God-given vision and hearing. But such knowledge is only attainable to those who have purified their heart and vision among human beings.
As for traditional knowledge, it is the prophetic knowledge that cannot be known by human beings without benefit of revelation. Only angels are able to bring that kind of knowledge to them. They were indeed the intermediary between God and human beings in that respect. Furthermore, it is possible that they are the continuous intermediaries of the events of the Last Day, after having been those of past and present events up to the Last Prophet, Muhammad, Peace be upon him. They are knowledgeable in the traditions that particularly regard them and with which God has entrusted them. That is the reason why angels are far more knowledgeable than human beings and carry six kinds of perfect attributes:
The perfect state of human beings can no doubt never be achieved until the angelic power is linked with it. By God's permission, angels monopolize that angelic power which enlightens any human individual that connects with it. The perfection of human beings, therefore, depends on the capacity to annihilate the human soul in the crucible of the angels. The conclusion of this process is described in the Koranic verse: "Thou soul in complete rest and satisfaction! Return unto thy Lord, accepted and accepting! Enter thou among my servants (angels), and enter thou my Garden!" (89:27-30)
According to that verse, God causes the spirit of human beings to enter the throng of the angels first, then Paradise. A condition of entering Paradise is to receive angelic greetings and revelation, at which time one enters it as a spirit endowed with angelic attributes. God then makes of such spirits messengers for His continuous creations; they are granted the happiness of living in Paradise and enjoying the sight of their Lord. God made the greetings of angels necessary for human beings when their spirits enter into the angelic power. This is to elevate them to a higher state and produce for them a great happiness. Therefore, without the heavenly input of angels, the spirit of human beings cannot reach everlasting happiness.
The contribution of the angels to human happiness is derived from their perfection. Angels are free from any kind of anger, illusion, imagination, or delusion. This characteristic gives them the power to be in the divine presence and under God's divine light. It is because of these shortcomings that human beings are prevented from being in the divine presence. Because perfection resides only in the state of reaching the divine presence, only angels can properly be said to have the attribute of perfection among created beings.
The spiritual dimensions of angels have different aspects. The angel is a sublime luminescence. His knowledge is perfect and complete because he knows the secret of the unseen and is acquainted with the hidden secrets of creation. His knowledge is real, active, and continuous. The action of the angel is genuine because angels are committed to serve and their commitment is perfectly carried through.
Angels inhabit the seven moving planets, the polestar, and all the fixed stars of every o ther galaxy. Orbits are like their bodies whose hearts are the planets. The movements of these planets in their orbits is the principle of the changes on this planet earth. The movements of angels in this universe has an influence on the states of human beings on this earth. From the movements of these angels, by God's order, the connection is made between the movements of galaxies. The transmission of signals even millions of light-years away from us affect the states of human nature. The heavenly world thus always holds sway over the earthly world.
Everything is created in hierarchies and everything is connected to what is above it. Human beings always look up, not down. The desire for betterment is built into them at both the material and the spiritual levels. Everything in creation always looks up to that model. The principle of the heavenly influences is founded upon this: the effect of the upward on the downward and the aspiration of the downward to the upward.
God created the sun from the angelic light. It allows this world to see everything of the material objects that were previously wrapped in darkness. Without that light of the sun nothing can be seen. The result of the creation of light is the formation of day and night. Yet the sun is always shining day and night and its light never extinguished. Because the earth turns on its axis the changes are felt between the two states. The earth makes the sunlight appear to be extinguished. Similarly, angelic power always shines upon the earth. But the revolution of human beings around their desires create a day and a night in their heart: one side shines and the other is in darkness.
Since the moon has no light of its own, it takes its light from the sun. The latter always shines and reflects on the moon like a mirror so that it appears like a shining body. In the same way human beings, though they are inscribed by an angelic power, darken themselves through the oppression of their ego. Never theless, they are in a position to be always shining, and shining far more radiantly than the moon.
The moon possesses nothing of the light of the sun by itself; it only reflects at best. The main power belongs to the sun. Similarly, God has placed and organized in every orbit of the heavens, skies, galaxies, planets, and Paradises a creation differing from one orbit to ano ther. They act like mirrors that reflect the light of the angels from the divine presence. These celestial phenomena extend that angelic light, mirror-like, for the benefit of human beings and other creations. That light is "made subject" (musakhkhara) to whatever is needed by creation. That light is the source of the angelic power, the very angelic power itself. Indeed, it is the substance of goodness and benefits every place of creation.
As the angels move in the divine presence, their lights move in and upon the orbits which God created to be governed by them. Angelic powers affect the movements and contents of these orbits. Since these orbits reflect angelic lights upon earth, we see how human beings can in turn be affected by the movements of orbits in their lives. Angelic lights also affect feelings, moods, manners, and actions.
The elements and qualities of human beings and other created objects on earth vary according to their respective distances from the sources of angelic power. Hence we find differences between human beings, even though their bodies are similar. This is because they differ in respect to their connections with angels. The differences are not really in bodies but in the human beings' spiritual attributes and characteristics.
Human beings carry from childhood ei ther the characteristics of goodness and holiness, or those of evil and wrongdoing. That is a very real picture of the spiritual "dress" of human beings and their hierarchies: one receives an angelic power while the other does not. This is what makes one better than the other, just as diamonds excel emeralds, which are better than sapphire, which is better than rubies. All these are rare jewels but they vary in exellence. For all these jewels are more precious than gold. Gold is more precious than silver and silver is more precious than iron. The latter ends up as scrap while the others are always kept as valuable elements.
Light is better than darkness. The transparent is better than the opaque. The subtle is better than the dense. The enlightened person is better than the one in darkness. The beautiful is better than the ugly. The one calling to goodness is better than the one calling to evil. The shy, courageous, generous, patient one is better than the one who carries hatred, enmity, darkness, evil, greed, and stinginess. All the above-mentioned characteristics depend on the nearness or farness of their respective bearers to the sources of angelic power.
Therefore, in this world the human spirit is a sign pointing dimly to the perfection of the higher world. It is like the light of the candle in relation to the light of the sun, or a small drop in relation to the ocean. Angelic light is the means of visibility of light on earth, both material and spiritual. We know about the sun from its rays. Similarly, we know about God from the creations of the heavens and the earth, the perception of which is brought about by the shining of angelic light upon them and their expression through revelation by that light. There is no darkness for us deeper than the non-existence of angelic light. There is no light of God more expressive for us than the angelic light. The appearance of each single thing is the result of this light, just as the existence of each thing proceeds from its existence. In this way God preserves creation through the light of the angels.
Another way to describe the way the human spirit signifies the heavenly world is through the analogy of the solar eclipse. If a portion of the sun is eclipsed you can see the sun in a cupful of water. The veil of the eclipse is the angelic light. It makes possible the appearance of the source of light. Human beings are themselves like a veil or eclipse of the angelic light. That is, they eclipse the angelic light which eclipses the light of God. Thus you can see the attributes of the Creator through His wonderful creations. This is the meaning of the Prophet's saying: "Think of the creations of God. Do not think of His essence."
The spirits of human beings can be described as atoms inside the heavenly world and their bodies as the houses of their spirits. Now, the house has a state and the inhabitant of the house has a state distinct from the first state. It is clear to us that the inhabitant is more honorable than the house, for the greatness of the house depends on its inhabitant.
These human spirits are an actual part of the angelic spirits. That is why the condition of entry into Paradise for the soul of a dying person is that it be accepted into the angelic realm first, as we have said. That is also why the human spirit is qualified to receive transmission from the angelic powers, as the satellite dish is made to receive transmission from the main station.
To the extent that these individuals are connected to the angelic powers, they become undoubtedly more and more important to other human beings on earth. However, human bodies remain a compound of many different elements mixed together. The bodies of angels, on the other hand, are only made of light from the divine presence. It is important to know that this difference never goes away in the material world. That is why the angels prefer to support the spirits of the bodies of prophets. For the prophetic spirits have elevated their bodily receptacles to the point where they acquire all manners of gnosis and spiritual states. These in turn enable them to become beacons of light spreading heavenly gifts and carrying God's message to His creation. All these relations between angels and prophets, saints and pious people, obtain by God's will and His permission.
Angels are honored because of their knowledge and status as inhabitants of Paradise and recipients of God's satisfaction. They always look at their Lord and seeing nothing but their Lord. As we said previously, the inhabitant is more important than the body it inhabits. This is evident in the fact that the Prophets are more precious than their mothers, although they inhabited their mothers' wombs. The status goes to the prophets, not to their mothers, because of the prophets' greater connection to the angelic powers. As an illustration we may say that the spirit of Jesus is better than his mother's body, and similarly that the spirit of the Messenger of God (Muhammad) is better than his mother's body.
When God created creation, He said: "Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, the Beneficent; with Whom none can converse. On the day when the angels and the Spirit stand arrayed, they speak not, saving him whom the Beneficent alloweth and who speaketh right." (78:37-38) God shows in these words that the angels are from among His greatest creations. They stand second to him and they are His messengers of revelation sent to His prophets. He has honored them by letting them reveal the astounding knowledge in two ways: spiritually and phenomenally. He reveals it spiritually by letting prophets bring such knowledge in heavenly books and thereby guide others to the faith and honorable manners characteristic of the servants of God. He reveals it phenomenally by inspiring the hearts of humankind to investigate and discover the visible world and accumulate empirical data. Hence, they achieve the most sophisticated technology that can possibly be reached by them in every given century.
This opens another window into understanding the role of angels among human beings. Scientists are actually using the energies that radiate from the angels on this earth to build up technological knowledge. By use of angelic energy they achieve a perfect mode of living: educating, helping, and healing those in need.
Spiritual people use the angelic power as a path of discovery for different purposes. They use this power in the knowledge that it is special grant from God. He gives them a sacred and noble trust that has the potential to govern countless bodies other than their own. This ability is defined as " the angelic power in them." These spiritual people are known in Islamic spirituality as abdal: "changed ones." They can move from one place to another in the blink of an eye. They can live at one and the same time in the first and the second place. They can live in many other places as well and yet maintainn the same appearance as their original self. This is called ubiquity. Famous abdal in sufi history are al-Junayd, Abd al-Qadir Jilani, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Muhyiddin ibn Arabi, Mansur al-Hallaj.
Sufi scholar-saints such as these, also known as knower-saints or gnostics (`arif, pl. `arifun), have confirmed that there is another world between that of human bodies on earth and that of angels, and have called that world the imaginal world. This imaginal world is more subtle than the earthly world and yet denser than the angelic world. This characteristic of the imaginal world allows the abdal to travel within that dimension in the way that we have mentioned.
The method used by these spiritual people can be described as a self-riddance of the trappings of gravity. Everything yearns for its origin and the body yearns for earth which is pulled by gravity. The spirit, however, yearns to the heavenly realm which pulls upwards. These abdal were capable of balancing the opposite elements earth/heaven, or upward/downward, within themselves in such a way that the element earth which once dominated over the other is now dominated by the other and follows it.
The intellect dominates the conscience to the extent that some have said that the conscience is in the prison of the mind. If the intellect is of the destructive type, that person will use knowledge and self-discovery to hurt instead of to heal. Laser beams can be used for destruction as well as healing, but they are the same rays in either case. If that intellect does not balance properly between right and wrong, then it will be using the knowledge it acquires in an inappropriate way. If, however, the conscience dominates and plays a greater role, it will at one point dominate over the mind and ensure that it is controlled by the yearning to do good. That is best for himself and for humanity at large, for that person will be constantly motivated to use his knowledge to help and to serve others.
This is the case in the body that imprisons the spirit: the person who can balance the two poles within will be qualified as a wise one. Further down the road, if that person can progress more in the heavenly direction, he can use his spirit to dominate the body and acquire those powers that cut through the fetters of gravity. This enables him to use the spirit to move the mass of the body, not only his own but those of others as well. For such a spirit, when it connects with its angelic power, will become a form of energy and light. These entities can move mass at higher speeds than the mind can conceive.
This is how these pious people known as saints or abdal were known to appear at any critical time and any place that they liked. Thus, they help people and teach them. The ubiquitous appearances of one's person in many places are like reflected images of the same one body through the mirror of an angelic power. This mirror produces thous ands upon thousands of pictures at the same time, except that those pictures are every bit as real as the original which is being reflected.
God will create an angel called al-Natiq, " the Uttering Angel,"out of His own dhikr (remembrance) of Himself for every one of these types of realized people. That angel is instructed to inhabit the heart of the pious servant of God. His duty is to continuously inform that servant of his duties and obligations in each twenty-four hour cycle, besides the known duties of worship. This link of information establishes a further possibility for the saint of reaching other human beings through the power of his heart.
Furthermore, God will enable him to hear the minutest cell in his body. The angel speaks to him and explains why God created it, what physical purpose it serves in the body, what can poison it, and what can heal it. Moreover, it will inform him how to heal himself from any disorder of his body, and enable him to heal others through his acquired angelic energy.
The saint's angelic power thus enables him to converse freely with every cell in his body as if he were speaking to another person sitting in the same room. This ability will open for him the understanding that the human body to which is joined an angelic power is greater and even less fathomable than this entire universe. Indeed, each cell is a world unto itself. It is inhabited by all kinds of infinitesimally small spiritual laborers. Their function is to run the life support system of that cell. A factory needs all kinds of instruments and machines, labor and managers to keep it alive and protect it from any kind of error and destruction. In the same way, scientifically speaking, the cell has its own defense system against any invader from outside: that protection is produced by the tiny angelic staff whom God created for that purpose.
As the saint becomes more and more perceptive in his inner hearing and speaking, he will concentrate his entire power. He then places it in his heart exclusively of any other focal point. This process can be compared to the concentration of light which does not burn if scattered over the paper, but burns if reassembled into one ray under a magnifying glass. At that time the saint will be able to send that gathered angelic light out of his heart in order to reach any human being on this earth and any heavenly being above.
The continuous build-up of this angelic power in the saint's heart allows him to witness heavenly sights and acquire heavenly knowledge. This continues until the day comes when an indescribable light appears in the horizon of his heart. This light expands the heart to an infinitesimal degree. It removes from it all the remaining veils that up to this point prevented it from reaching the realities of the heavenly world. Meanwhile, God orders the angels, each one in his state, duty, and position, to inform that pious individual of three things: the reason of his creation, his position in the divine scheme, and his duty within creation. Every single one of these angels will thereupon adorn that pious person. They will endow him with a kind of gift. At a certain point, he will himself become "dilated" which, in the language of mystics, means that he will be clad in a subtle body of light, the same light that characterizes angelic beings. That body is not visibly transparent to other human beings. Nevertheless, they can feel the light that emanates from the saint's body and be attracted to him as a magnet attracts other elements.
When people are attracted to this Knower-saint, however, he must not show that he is different from others and pretend to be higher than them. He must be an instrument of this angelic power. Being proud puts him in the same category as Satan. Although the latter possesed an angelic power he fell from heaven because of pride and that power was taken away from him. The saint must only use angelic power in a constructive way, for the happiness and benefit of human beings. He must do so without asking for anything in return from those he helps. Angels never ask anything for themselves, rather, they always ask for the sake of human beings.
Children have not been involved in the low desires that strip the heart of its angelic power. In fact, they are at the rank of saints although they themselves are unaware of it, much less their parents and relatives. The child that declares that he has visions and sights is telling the truth; whereas the parent who hears the child's accounts sifts them through the grid of the mind and does not consider them factual. "I heard music," "an angel came to me," "people came and disappeared," "they brought me gifts," are frequent utterances of children who blurt out these statements as the event occurs. The child cannot control himself, however, the saint keeps all these events hidden from others.
An intermediary state of knowledge exists between that of children and knower-saints which may be called a "premature sainthood." In that state many people experience visitations and sights and sounds which may be few and far in-between, or on the contrary frequent. These happenings seem discontinous and even perhaps incoherent, like someone being addressed in a foreign language and struggling to underst and. The reason is that those experiencing them have not achieved the state of purity that permits them to converse fluently with their angelic power. Like children, they cannot help revealing these experiences as soon as they occur or shortly thereafter in ways that may or may not make sense to them or to others.
The happiness that these retellers of angelic visitations feel in telling others of their experiences is like the happiness of a child who receive candy. A child will become happy with its candy and forget about a diamond. Nevertheless the goal remains the diamond. It is important for persons to always re-direct themselves towards that goal: the continous connection of their heart with angelic power at every moment of their life.
Each human spirit evolves from the point when it was present and testified before God on the Day of promises, to the reality of earthly life then to the life of the grave then to eternal life. This evolution consists in changes from one image to another. The garment the spirit takes in the fourth month of its life in the womb is kept until death. Another dress is put on in the grave, which also deteriorates. Finally, the spirit puts on the body of the hereafter. This body changes to an angelic body at the time it enters among the angels, as we have already mentioned in relation to the Koranic verse "Enter thou My servants."
That angelic body will keep on changing, continuously and forever, from one excellent dress to one even more excellent, according to God's infinite creation of the levels of Paradise. Each dress of paradise, when worn, opens a new level. When one sees this new level, he desires to attain it. He puts on this new garment by divine permission. And a resurrection from one level of Paradise to the next continues ad infinitum. This astonishing phenomenon shows the great extent of God's power of creation.
In every period of evolution from one dress to another prior to Paradise the individual can understand his surroundings and in what state he is. He will be living in that very state and experiencing it but he cannot understand the other states. A person is virtually imprisoned in the state he is in and cannot see any other state. On the other hand, the individual who reaches the full state of sainthood can understand everything from beginning to end. That is what differentiates the ordinary individual from the saint. A saint has already acquired the subtle body of light which enables him to see the past, present and future in one brief moment. Indeed, he can attain the knowledge of the souls from the moment they stood in the divine presence to the day they came to this world, entered the grave, were resurrected and stood before God again, and entered Paradise. This reality is expressed in the following prophetic tradition in which one of the Companions of the Prophet was asked by the latter to give those present a glimpse of his angelic vision:
Harith ibn La`man said: "Once I went to the Prophet and he asked me in what state I spent the day. I replied : "As a true believer." Then the Prophet asked me the state of my faith. I replied: "I see the throne of God and the people of Paradise helping each other, and the people of hell lamenting in hell. I see in front of me eight heavens and seven hells as clear as idol-worshipers see their idols. I can recognize each individual just like a miller can recognize wheat from barley. That is, who is to go to paradise, and who is to be found in hell. In front of me people are like fish and ants. Shall I stay silent or continue?" The Prophet told me to stop and say no more." [Abu Hanifah, "al-Fiqh al-Akbar"].
One of these accomplished saints in more recent times said:
"The angel continued:
'Your master can hear and see the image of every created object in this universe. In this universe, there is nothing but these created reflections. They represent angels, human beings, and every element, living and non-living; and all of them are praising their Lord. All creation, except human beings who did not reach the state of angelic vision, are given a knowledge that enable them to hear each other's praising and hymning in whatever orbit of space or existence they move. Everyone praises his Lord with his own attributes and in the words of his own language. God gives everyone the understanding of the other's language but not the permission to use it. He has to use his own language.'"
"I interrupted the angel:
- 'Even the inanimate elements can underst and the praising of others?'
- 'Yes, even they can underst and. A stone is inanimate to human eyes but it is a living and praising creation. Haven't you heard of those who heard the stones praising God in the presence of the Prophet and his Companion-saints?'"
'We angels have been created out of divine light, and we have been greatly honored! Yet we both admire and pity you, human beings, because you have been created in God's image. Haven't you heard the saying of the Prophet: 'God created Adam after his likeness'? We understand this to mean that human beings have been elevated to a rank where He honored them by allowing them to reflect His image. This honor has raised human beings to a very high level. That is why God said in the Holy Koran: 'Verily We have honored human beings, and We have carried them over the earth and over the sea' (17:70). These two bodies, earth and the ocean, here represent the external knowledge and the internal."
"Such honoring of human beings is chiefly represented by their face, and the head is the true center of gravity of human beings. For you cannot say that the perfect place denoted by the word 'likeness,' in God's creation of human beings, consists in this or that limb of the body, as they are all the same from one person to another. But every one has a different face and there lies God's likeness. That is why the Prophet scolded the man who struck another on the face and forbade the striking of the face of human beings, even in battle."
"When God wants to manifest Himself, He looks at His creation. His first attention goes to human beings because they resemble him. Those who resemble Him the most among them, are the saints; hence the Prophet said of them: 'They remind you of God.' We angels may speak to prophets alone, except for saints."
"We also pity you because human beings are unwilling to open themselves to attract the angelic power by which they reach the state of heavenly knowledge that is their inheritance. That makes us appear in your human form in varying shapes and degrees of light, in different places and to different ages of human life, to remind you that you have been honored with an angelic power and a divine likeness. Keep the likeness! Use the angelic power! It shall elevate you to that luminous station without which God said: 'Verily, those for whom God did not appoint light, they will never inherit light!' (24:40) and He said: 'Light upon light!' (24:35) declaring that the light of the heart's vision must be connected with the light of angelic power, ensuring success and guidance to all human beings. That light shall then appear over the entire human realm like a rising sun and a rising moon over all of creation, without ever setting. The light of this power, at that time, will make every individual like a moon, that is, a heavenly body that will reflect the original light for the rest of creation. By this light, this world will be preserved, the love of nature will rule the earth, and everyone will live in peace and love, swimming in the ocean of angelic beauty and harmony."
The angel spoke this, then he gave me the angelic greeting of peace and left.
Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions.
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
(regarding the Verse) "And We granted the vision (Ascension to the heavens "Mi'raj") which We showed you (O Muhammad as an actual eye witness) but as a trial for mankind.' (17.60): Allah's Apostle actually saw with his own eyes the vision (all the things which were shown to him) on the night of his Night Journey to Jerusalem (and then to the heavens). The cursed tree which is mentioned in the Qur'an is the tree of Az-Zaqqum.
(Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 8, Book 77, Number 610)
Here is one account of what happened on the Night Journey and the Ascension.
Narrated Abbas bin Malik:
Malik bin Sasaa said that Allah's Apostle described to them his Night Journey saying, "While I was lying in Al-Hatim or Al-Hijr, suddenly someone came to me and cut my body open from here to here." I asked Al-Jarud who was by my side, "What does he mean?" He said, "It means from his throat to his pubic area," or said, "From the top of the chest." The Prophet further said, "He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray of Belief was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Belief) and then returned to its original place. Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me." (On this Al-Jarud asked, "Was it the Buraq, O Abu Hamza?" I (i.e. Anas) replied in the affirmative). The Prophet said, "The animal's step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal's sight. I was carried on it, and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven.
When he asked for the gate to be opened, it was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel answered, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has Muhammad been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened, and when I went over the first heaven, I saw Adam there. Gabriel said (to me). 'This is your father, Adam; pay him your greetings.' So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me till we reached the second heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel answered, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel answered in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened.
When I went over the second heaven, there I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and 'Isa (i.e. Jesus) who were cousins of each other. Gabriel said (to me), 'These are John and Jesus; pay them your greetings.' So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the third heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened, and when I went over the third heaven there I saw Joseph. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is Joseph; pay him your greetings.' So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fourth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excel lent visit his is!'
The gate was opened, and when I went over the fourth heaven, there I saw Idris. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is Idris; pay him your greetings.' So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fifth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked. 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is! So when I went over the fifth heaven, there I saw Harun (i.e. Aaron), Gabriel said, (to me). This is Aaron; pay him your greetings.' I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the sixth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked. 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. It was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!'
When I went (over the sixth heaven), there I saw Moses. Gabriel said (to me),' This is Moses; pay him your greeting. So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' When I left him (i.e. Moses) he wept. Someone asked him, 'What makes you weep?' Moses said, 'I weep because after me there has been sent (as Prophet) a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the seventh heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked,' Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!'
So when I went (over the seventh heaven), there I saw Abraham. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is your father; pay your greetings to him.' So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.' Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Gabriel said, 'This is the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) . Behold ! There ran four rivers, two were hidden and two were visible, I asked, 'What are these two kinds of rivers, O Gabriel?' He replied,' As for the hidden rivers, they are two rivers in Paradise and the visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.'
Then Al-Bayt al-Ma'mur (i.e. the Sacred House) was shown to me and a container full of wine and another full of milk and a third full of honey were brought to me. I took the milk. Gabriel remarked, 'This is the Islamic religion which you and your followers are following.' Then the prayers were enjoined on me: They were fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Moses who asked (me), 'What have you been ordered to do?' I replied, 'I have been ordered to offer fifty prayers a day.' Moses said, 'Your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by Allah, I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel (in vain). Go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers' burden.' So I went back, and Allah reduced ten prayers for me. Then again I came to Moses, but he repeated the same as he had said before. Then again I went back to Allah and He reduced ten more prayers. When I came back to Moses he said the same, I went back to Allah and He ordered me to observe ten prayers a day. When I came back to Moses, he repeated the same advice, so I went back to Allah and was ordered to observe five prayers a day.
When I came back to Moses, he said, 'What have you been ordered?' I replied, 'I have been ordered to observe five prayers a day.' He said, 'Your followers cannot bear five prayers a day, and no doubt, I have got an experience of the people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel, so go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your follower's burden.' I said, 'I have requested so much of my Lord that I feel ashamed, but I am satisfied now and surrender to Allah's Order.' When I left, I heard a voice saying, 'I have passed My Order and have lessened the burden of My Worshipers."
(Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 58, Number 227)
The Last Sermon of A'la Hadrat
Mujaddid-e-Deen O Millet As-Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Rehmatullahi alaih
According to the group of Nass-e-Quran (Verses of Quran which are clear and definite in their meanings) and in consonance with the famous and frequently narrated Ahadith and also the Unanimity of the blessed followers of Ummat (people of Faith) following are the foundation pillars of the palace of Shariah (Revealed Laws) which are free from any kind of doubts and they do not need further interpretations.
A sure and authentic argument and their submission support each one of this and obedience is obligatory. They are approved by the Person and Attributes of Allah and also by the prophet hood and by the Sacred Scriptures and by the Angels and Jinn’s and by all those who are raised and gathered and scattered in the Universe. They are in consonance with the fact of establishment of the Day of Resurrection and determined by the predestination, inclusive of what were existing and what are present therein. They are all authentic and true and we (Sunni's) believe in all of them.
Firstly; We believe in paradise and its life increasing details inclusive of the great bounties, its bountiful pimps and most favourite and desired for pleasures and enjoyments, which can neither be sighted nor heard, nor even be pondered over nor imagined by human mind by any means.
Secondly; We believe in Hell and its painful and dreadful surroundings and conditions which are inclusive of all kinds of troubles and tortures which can not also be guessed about or imagined or comprehended, except a meager part of it (as revealed in al-Qur'an and narrated in Ahadith).
Thirdly; we believe in the favour of grave and torment of the grave. It is either one of the lawns of paradise or deep abyss of the Hell.
Fourthly; we believe in the questioning of Munkir and Nakir and their answers (in the grave) Munkir and Nakir are the names of angels who will question the freshly buried human beings about their belief, etc.).
Fifthly; we believe in the establishment of the Day of Resurrection and of the accountability (of the human deeds performed in the worldly life).
Sixthly; we believe in the measurement of the weight of the deeds of which the full details are unimaginable by the human mind.
Seventhly; we believe in Kausor (Kauthar) which is a vast spring of the paradise or a big tank of the plain of resurrection. Eigthly; We believe in "Bridge of Sirat" which is a thin delicate and sharper than sword bridge on the backside of the Hell.
Ninthly; We believe in the intercession of the major sins of the late Ummah for which we offer prayers begging their pardon and earnestly expect that as a result of such prayers exoneration from all the major sins and any other sinful events and incidents occurred during their wordily life becomes possible. All (the nine beliefs enumerated above) are true, nothing but true and have to be believed to be true.
It is false to believe in "Jabar and Qadar" (imposition and Destiny). It is wrong to think that one is totally oppressed or is under the control of an absolute authority. In fact a midway between the two should be believed in as a safe path and any undue guesswork in these matters should be avoided because such guessing is a cause of distinction. Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique (Radi Allahu Anhu) and Hadrat Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) have prohibited discussing on these issues.
So how can we dare to ponder ever such things, which can not be encompassed by our common sense? Therefore we (the followers of Sunni Faith) do not unnecessarily indulge into such terms or indulge in delicate issues aforesaid. So sincerely we commit them to the change of Allah and we say; "We believe in all those things which are from the Divine presence of our Rabb."
So said A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza in this connection.
"THE BIRD OF WISDOM TIRED AND COLLAPSED WHEN IT REACHED THE MAXIMUM HEIGHT, BUT THAT HEIGHT WAS STILL THE FIRST STATION FAR FROM THE ACTUAL DESTINATIONS".
(So we can not trust our common sense to prove the concepts of Jabar and Qadar (Imposition and Destiny).
We should bear in mind that meanings of the following terms are the same as are well known among the Muslims:
1) The descent of divine revelation.
We Muslims believe in them as the necessities of religion for the last fourteen hundred years and we will continue to believe as such in future.
If a person accepts in words that these things are true and then coins some different meanings then he invents lie against Allah. For example if he says this way that the paradise and the Hell, gathering and scattering, requital and torment do not have their apparent literary meaning or if he says that requital, means to be pleased to see the good (noble) deeds and torment means to be sad witnessing the bad deeds or he regards them to be spiritual enjoyments and feelings (and have their inner meanings) then surely such a person is an infidel and a heathen, non-believer, who denies the details about the "necessities of religion" which are already envisaged in Noble Qur'an and are referred to in the sacred Ahadith. This is also infidelity to say that whatever the prophets had uttered before their followers saying that it was the word of Allah was not in fact the divine because it was something which was based upon their guess work and their ideas and imagination. (Such ideas gushed out like springs from the hearts of prophets and later engulfed their minds). Further if somebody says casually that there are neither snakes, scorpions and chains in the Hell nor there exists any torment so frequently mentioned by the Muslims and that the Hell does not physically exists or if some one utters that it will so happen that for all the disobedience of the commands of Allah there will be a spiritual torture which will be felt severely or rather in the highest degree and such feeling only is the other name of Hell. Then such talks and guess works are acts of manifest infidelity.
By the way if it is so comprehended that there is no paradise with its gardens, palaces, rivers and the Hoors (Paradise blondes) and the Ghilman (the paradise boys) and that the paradise does not physically exists, or a belief that as a reward of obedience some spiritual comforts will be provided by Allah and their pleasure or feeling is called paradise such mistaken ideas and false imagination are acts of infidelity and disbelief.
In addition to this if it is said that the angels of Allah who are mentioned in Noble Qur'an do not have any physical existence and that it is impossible to have any such existence or that the characteristics of several creations of Allah such as hardness of mountains the flow of water, the growth of vegetation etc. are the forces which are called the angels or in other words then, the forces of noble deeds are actually the angels. Beliefs of such kind are also infidelity and transgression.
Further the refusal of existence of Jinns and the Shaytan and naming them as evil forces is also the act of infidelity. Those who believe in such fallacious things are surely infidels and renegades. They are outcasts of the Islamic brotherhood.
The Glorious advantages
In religion approved things are of four kinds:
1) Necessities of religion.
They are repeatedly proved by revelations of Noble Qur'an and Ahadith or by absolute unanimity of arguments of scholars and they possess manifest utilities in which there can be no room for any doubt or further interpretation.
They are also proved by absolute arguments but there may be room for doubt and interpretation in them. Therefore, one who denies them is not an infidel but he may be regarded as to have gone astray or have become follower of base religion or wrong belief.
3) The established proofs.
An assumed argument is sufficient for them when its utility is accepted by majority of opinion. Further it should be so authentic that it can render any contradictory opinion to be unfounded, feeble and dis-interesting. For its proof only an individual Hadith, (correct or believable) or any saying of the Muslim majority of a country or the masses of scholars of religion is available. We believe that the hand of Allah is always upon the group of people (of true faith). One who refuses them by providing evidences is neither a wrong doer nor a sinner nor a transgressor nor gone astray nor he is neither a follower of bad religion nor an outcast of Muslim brotherhood.
4) The doubtful pre-emptied.
For their proof an assumed presumption is sufficient which the opponents can contradict. One who denies them is only regarded to be wrong and mistaken. He may not be categorized as a sinner or said to be gone astray. He can in no case be called an infidel.
Out of the above found kinds of approved things every thing demands appropriate proof of its category. So one who does not distinguish between them and demands a proof of higher category in respect of any one of them may be regarded either simpleton or a cunning person.
Especially in respect of verses of Qur'an, Ahadith and even in respect of high quality of necessities of religion there is no need of manifest explanation. There are many things included in the necessities of the religion whose denial is definitely infidelity, including such necessitates whose apparent mention is not made in the verses and the Ahadith such as an act of any negative attribute of Allah like "Impossibility of ignorance" (Jahal Mahal, or lack of knowledge) etc.
In the Noble Qur'an the knowledge of Allah and the jurisdiction of His knowledge is mentioned at many places but no where the impossibility of any kind of knowledge is referred to Him. So it is right for every person to believe that verily Allah knows everything and He is knower of all the visible and the invisible things and that none of the particle of the Universe is out of His knowledge and notice.
But if one says that Allah has become unaware of anything then (let Allah forbid it) he would definitely become an infidel by such utterance. Anybody who does not regard him to be infidel then he too may be deemed to have become an infidel. So those people who demand every approved thing to be proved by the verse of Qur'an in fact commit an act of ignorance and have gone astray. However there is no remedy for fanaticism and prejudice. So always believe firmly that one who says that he does not accept the word of Imam except what is written in Qur'an and is included in Ahadith then he has gone astray. And if some body says that we do not believe in Hadith and we want a proof of Qur'anic verse then he is the follower of a bad religion and in fact an ill wishes of Islam.
So we Muslim should not listen or pay attention to the arguments of such people who have gone astray. If they create a doubt for us in Qur'an then we should consult the relevant Hadith and if they create a doubt in Hadith then we should seize the skirt of any Imam of the religion so that the truth becomes manifest and the falsehood becomes apparent and the unnecessary arguments of such mischief monger are thus falsified and they disappear from the scene. For them Allah reveals:
"THEY ARE LIKE THE WILD ASSES WHO ARE RUNNING AWAY FROM THE LION". (AL-QURAN).
From the Hanafi fiqh list
Allah Most High said, “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17: 78-79]
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) was asked, “What prayer is most virtuous, after the obligatory prayers?” He said, “Prayer in the depths of the night.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah]
Abd Allah ibn Salam (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “O people! Spread the salams, feed others, maintain family ties, and pray at night when others sleep and you will enter Heaven safely.” [Tirmidhi, Hakim]
Abu Umama al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” [Tirmidhi, and others] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”
Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The virtues of night prayer over day prayer is like the virtue of secret charity over open charity.” [Tabarani] The scholars explain that this refers to voluntary prayers.
Imam Saffarini, the Hanbali faqih and sufi, explained in his Sharh Mandhumat al-Adaab:
“Night prayer is superior to day prayer because:
It is more concealed and closer to sincerity. The righteous early Muslims (salaf) used to strive hard to hide their secrets [f: i.e. the actions between them and Allah].
Hasan [al-Basri] said, ‘It used to be that a person would have guests staying over and he would pray at night without his guests knowing…’
And because night prayer is harder on the lower self, because night is a time of rest from the tire of day, so leaving sleep despite the lower self being desirous of it is a tremendous struggle (mujahada). Some have said, ‘The best of works are those the lower self is forced to perform.’
And because recitation in night prayer is closer to contemplation, because things that busy the heart are mostly absent at night, so the heart is attention and is with the tongue in understanding, as Allah Most High said, ‘O! The night vigil is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain. [Lo! You have by day a chain of business. So remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself with a complete devotion.]’ (Qur’an, 73: 6-7) It is because of this that we have been commanded to recite the Qur’an in night prayer in a steady recital (tartil).
And it is because of this that night prayer is a shield from sin…
And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntary worship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.
And because it is a time when the doors of the sky are opened, supplications answered, and the needs of those who ask fulfilled.
Allah has praised those who wake up at night for His remembrance, supplication, and to seek forgiveness and entreat Him, saying, ‘They forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of what We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid from them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.’ [Qur’an, 32: 16-17]
And He said, ‘Those who pray for pardon in the watches of the night.’ [Qur’an, 3: 17]
And, ‘[The (faithful) servants of the Merciful are they who walk upon the earth modestly, and when the foolish one address them answer: Peace;] And who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing…’ [Qur’an, 25: 63-64]
Allah most negated similitude between those who pray at night and those who do not: ‘Is the one who worships devoutly in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, fearful of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, (to be accounted equal with a disbeliever)? Say: are those who know equal with those who know know? But only people of understanding will pay heed.’ [Qur’an, 39: 9]” [Saffarini, Ghidha al-Albab Sharh Mandhumat al-Adaab,
Imam Abu Sa’id al-Khadimi said,
“There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that among the best of virtuous acts is the night vigil prayer.” [al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya]
The scholars derived the following from the Qur’an al-kareem and prophetic hadiths:
1. The minimal night vigil prayer is 2 rakats. [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]
2. Its optimal recommended amount is 8 rakats, because this was the general practice of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions). [Hindiyya, quoting Fath al-Qadir]
3. Lengthier recitation is superior to a larger number of rakats prayed. [Durr al-Mukhtar, Radd al-Muhtar]
4. If one divides the night in thirds, then the final middle third is most virtuous. [Durr al-Mukhtar]
5. If one divides the night in half, then the second half is more virtuous. [ibid.]
6. Voluntary (nafl) prayer at night is more virtuous than voluntary prayer during the day. However, the full reward mentioned in the Qur’anic verses and Prophetic hadiths refers to worship that was preceded by sleep. This is also understood from the very linguistic meaning of tahajjud, which is to struggle rid oneself of sleep. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Ibn Amir Haajj’s Halba]
7. Ibn Nujaym and Haskafi both affirmed that night prayer is recommended. [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, and al-Durr al-Mukhtar; chosen in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya] Kamal ibn al-Humam, the brilliant mujtahid who was the greatest Hanafi faqih of the latter half of Islamic history, however, wavered between it being recommended or a confirmed sunna. This is because while the spoken hadiths indicate recommendation, the continued practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) would seem to indicate it being a confirmed sunna. This was also chosen by Ibn al-Humam’s student, Ibn Amir Haaj in his Halba. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
8. It is disliked to leave the night vigil prayer for one who has made it their habit, unless there is an excuse, because the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him), “O Abd Allah! Do not be like so-and-so. He used to pray at night and then left it.” [Bukhari and Muslim] Therefore, one should take on an amount of works one can sustain, for the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The most beloved of actions to Allah are the most constant, even if little.” [Bukhari and Muslim] [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, from Ibn Amir Haajj’s Halba]
9. It is recommended to start the night vigil with two short rakats, because of the hadith of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “It you get up for night prayer, start with two short rakats.” [Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawud]
10. Supplications in the depths of the night are answered, as the hadiths have mentioned.
Ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) was asked, ‘I cannot pray at night.’ He said, ‘Your sins have prevented you.’
And Allah alone gives success.
The Excellence of the Ahl al-Bayt
By Imam El-Shaykh Sayyad Mubarik Ali Shah Jilani El-Hashimi
Hadrat Hakim, May He purify his secret, has narrated from Hadrat Abu Saeed, Radi Allahu anhu, that Sayyad-e-Aalam, (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa Sallam), said:
"O My Ahl al-Bayt, Whoever shall bear enmity with us, Allah Jalla Majadahu will place him in Hell."
Hafiz Abu Ya’ala, Imam Bazar, and Imam Hakim (may He purify their secrets) narrated from Hadrat Abu Zar Radi Allahu anhu, that he, Radi Allahu anhu, said: "I have heard Sayyad -e-Aalam (Salla allahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) saying:
Do you listen, indeed amongst you the example of my Ahl al-Bayt is like that of Noah’s boat; whoever boards it, he obtains najat (safety) and one who missed it, he stood doomed to destruction."
Imam Tirmidhi and Imam Hakim (may He purify their secrets) narrated from Hadrat Zaid bin Arqam, Radi Allahu Anhu that Sayyad-e-Aalam, (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) said:
"I am going while leaving two things amongst you:
1.) One, the Kitab of Allah
2.) And the other, My Ahl al-Bayt."
Imam Tirmidhi narrated from Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbas, Radhi Allahu Anhu, that Sayyad-e-Aalam, (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa Sallam), said:
"(Just as) the stars are shelters for those living on Earth to protect them from being drowned (similarly) my Ahl al-Bayt are the resorting place for the difference (of opinion) amongst my Ummah. Hence whenever any tribe stands in rivalry against my Ahl al-Bayt, they will suffer from internal strife amongst themselves and thus that will become a satanic group."
Imam Hakim narrated from Hadrat Anas Radi Allahu anhu, that Sayyad-e-Aalam, (Salla Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) said:
"In respect of my Ahl al-Bayt, my Allah Jalla Majadahu has promised that whoever amongst them have confessed Tauheed and Risalat, He will not put them under Adhab (torture, punishment)."
Imam Tibrani narrated from Hadrat Abu Amama Radi Allahu Anhu that Sayyad-e-Aalam, (Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam), said:
"It is permissible Sallam, said: "It is permissible for one person in a majlis (sitting) to stand up to pay respect to his brother. But brother. But Banu Hashim cannot stand up for anybody’s respect."
Ibn-e-Asakir narrated from Hadrat Anas Radi Allahu Anhu that Sayyad-e-Aalam, (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa Sallam), said:
"Except for Hasnayn Kareemayn, Radi Allahu anhuma, and their children, nobody is required to stand up from his majlis to pay respect to anybody."