Wahhabi Fitnah in the Indian subcontinent – 5

In the previous pages, the references and the passages of the leaders of Deoband are based upon misguidance and Kufr

(Copies of the original passages can be seen in “Da’wat e Fikr” by Maulana Muhammad Mansha Tabish Qasauri).

These passages harm the Islamic doctrine about Allah and the sanctity of Prophethood.

These were the root cause of the division among the Muslims of India and this land became a battleground for sectarianism, the effects of which can be seen even today in every village, town and city, destroying the very soul of Islam.

The movement to preserve the sanctity and sacredness of Prophethood and protection of the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah was aided by many great scholars who played a vital role.

Foremost among them was, Muhibbu’r Rasool Taaju’l Fuhool Maulana Abdul Qadir Uthmani Qadri Barkati Badayuni (son of ‘Allama Fazl e Rasool Uthmani Qadri Barkati Badayuni), student of ‘Allama Fazl e Haq Khairabadi who was the student of Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dihlawi and secondly Imam e Ahl e Sunnat Maulana Ahmad Raza Hanafi Qadri Barkati Barelwi (son of ‘Allama Naqi Ali Barelwi), Khalifa of Maulana Sayyid Shah Aal e Rasool Qadri Barkati Marahrawi who was the student of Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dihlawi. These two personalities, in their own era, played an important role. They both had Bay’ah and also Ijazah and Khilafah from Marahra Mutahhara (Eta, U.P.) and their allegiance was always to the luminaries of Marahra Mutahhara.

The distinctive characteristic of Imam Ahmad Raza Hanafi Qadri Barkati Barelwi was his love for the dear Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam.

His great-grandson, Maulana Mufti Akhtar Raza Qadri Azhari Barelwi writes:

“The love of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam was the prime focus in his life. All his sayings and actions were steeped in love for the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam that it can be said that, he was, from head to toe, immersed in the love of Rasoolullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam. Love of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam was his life and that was his message.”

It is worth noting here that his love was not a kind of madness where all sense of judgment is lost; rather, his love bound him to comply with the wishes of the beloved sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam. This is the state in love, where a man’s own wishes are vanquished and he becomes a follower of the wishes of his beloved.

This is the state mentioned in the hadith : ‘that a man’s desires are compliant with that [message] which I have come with.’ [wa an yakunu hawāhu tab’an limaa jiytu bihi]

This aspect is reflected in all his religious services and efforts. His book, Maqal e ‘Urafa’ bi I’zaz e Shar’a wa ‘Ulema is sufficient to demonstrate this. In this book he has shown the loftiness of the Shari’ah, and has eloquently refuted those freethinking Sufis who oppose it. He has strongly refuted rituals and actions that anti-Shari’ah in his books and urged Muslims to abstain from them.

For example, visiting fake graves, visiting of graves by women, festivals and fairs during an ‘Urs, prostration of reverence and making Ta’zia [icons to commemorate the martyrdom of Ahl al-Bayt]. He has strongly advised and urged Muslims to abstain from such rituals.[1]

Prof. Muhammad Mas’ud Ahmad Mujaddidi Mazhari, son of Mufti Muhammad Mazharullah Naqshbandi Mujaddidi (Khateeb and Imam of Masjid Fatehpuri, Delhi) writes:

(1) Imam Ahmad Raza Muhaddith Barelwi considered it to be contrary to adab [respect] to use words or phrases loosely, when referring to Allah ta’ala or the Prophets; because even though the literal meaning might seem correct, they still remain disrespectful.

According to Muhaddith Barelwi, such words are present in Molvi Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi’sTahzeerun Naas, Molvi Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s Hifzul Iman, Molvi Khalil Ahmad Anbethawi’s al-Baraheen al-Qati’ah, Molvi Isma’il Dihlawi’s Sirat-e-Mustaqeemand Taqwiyatul Iman and Molvi Mahmood Hasan Deobandi’s al-Jahd al-Maqal.

Whereas the authors of these books claim that these words should not be taken in the sense that is disrespectful; because even according to them, disrespect is Haram. But the standpoint of Muhaddith Barelwi is that because the passages in these books are in common speech [Urdu].The default meaning is that which is commonly understood by the native Urdu speaker. Therefore, the ruling will be according to such a meaning [not the abstruse one, which can be extracted].

(2) Secondly, Muhaddith Barelwi believed that the praise mentioned about the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam in the Qur’an and Hadith should be taken as it is reported and disseminated likewise so that the status and rank of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam is known to Muslims and their hearts are filled with his love and respect.

However, the Ulema of Deoband chose to be overly cautious in this regard because they believed that this could cause Muslims to transgress the limits.

(3) Muhaddith Barelwi was of the opinion that celebrating the birthday of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam was permissible and desirable, whereas the scholars of of Deoband were against it.

(4) Muhaddith Barelwi considered Qiyam [to stand in respect] to be a praiseworthy act in the gatherings of Mawlid an-Nabi sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam whereas the scholars of Deoband considered this to be Bid’ah or an innovation.

(5) Muhaddith Barelwi considered ‘Urs to be permissible (as long as these gatherings did not contravene the Shari’ah) whereas the scholars of Deoband considered them to be impermissible.

(6) Fatiha [donating the
reward to deceased] was considered permissible by Muhaddith Barelwi [again as long as it did not have any element against Shari`ah] but the scholars of Deoband considered it to be impermissible.

A few paragraphs later, Prof. Muhammad Mas’ud Ahmad writes:

The Spiritual Master and Murshid of the elders of Deoband, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki, had the same opinions as Muhaddith Barelwi did; and he wrote a monograph, Faisla Haft Mas’ala to unite these two groups. However, the Ulema of Deoband did not accept his views.[2]

From the Salaf (predecessors) to the Khalaf (their successors) it is an unanimous belief that disrespect towards the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam is a gross crime and manifest Kufr. The Qur’an, Hadith and the sayings of the Sahaba and Tabi’een form the evidence for this ruling.The Shaykh-ul-Hadith of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Husain Ahmad Tandwi, writes concerning the issue:

“Disrespecting the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam is Kufr. Never mind clear disrespect, even if a person utter words that [are ambiguous and hence] might resemble disrespect, even this will cause it to be ruled Kufr.” [3]

Similarly, Ilhad and Zandaqah are also Kufr; and after Shar’i proof is obtained, it is obligatory to rule someone an apostate [Takfeer] who denies a matter deemed among the necessities of faith. Maulana Ameen Ahsan Islahi from Madrasatul Islah (Azamgarh, U.P.) writes in a letter:

“Maulana Thanwi’s fatwa has been published that Maulana Shibli Nu’mani and Maulana Hamiduddin Farahi are Kafir and because the Madrasatul Islah is part of their mission, it is a Madrasa of Kufr and apostacy up to the stage that those Ulema who attend the missionary gatherings of the Madrasa they too are Mulhid and non-Muslims.” [4]

When the mureed and Khalifa of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, wrote a letter to Maulana Thanwi which consisted of praise for Maulana Shibli Nu’mani and Maulana Farahi’s knowledge, their piety and their religious services, Maulana Thanwi replied by writing:

“These are all actions (a’maal). Belief (‘aqaid) is a separate entity to this. Good beliefs can be coupled with bad actions just as bad beliefs can be coupled with good actions.”[5]

Further details on this topic can be found in books like Kitab al-Shifa’ by Qadi Iyad Maliki al-Andalusi, As-Sarim al-Maslool of ibn Taymiya, Ikfar al-Mulhideen by Anwar Shah Kashmiri (Shaykh-ul-Hadith, Darul Uloom Deoband), Ashaddul ‘Adhaab by Murtada Hasan Darbhangwi (Head of Education, Deoband) and two new books – Naamoos-e-Rasool aur Qanoon-e-Tauheen-e-Risalat by Justice Muhammad Isma’il Qureshi and Gustaakh-e-Rasool ki Shar’i Haysiyat by Mufti Muhammad Gul Rahman Qadri.

The scholars of Ahlu’s Sunnah defended the sanctity of Prophethood and they performed a Jihad against attacks on established beliefs. Following in their footsteps, the Imam of Ahlu’s Sunnah, Maulana Imam Ahmad Raza Hanafi Qadri Barkati Barelwi protected the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah with his pen; Books like Kanz al-Iman fi Tarjumat al-Qur’an, Al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiya fi al-Fatawa al-Ridawiyya, Jadd al-Mumtar ‘ala Radd al-Muhtar, Hadayiq-e-Bakhshish and Al-Daulat al-Makkiyah are proof of his efforts to ward of the mischief. As a part of this service are his Fatawa al-Haramain Bi Rajafi Nadwat al-Mayn (1317 AH, 1899 CE), Al-Mu’tamad al-Mustanad (1320 AH, 1902 CE) and Husaam al-Haramayn (1324 AH) in which he passed the juridical verdict that the aforementioned writings were Kufr and presented it to the scholars of Haramayn (Makkah and Madinah) who wrote approvals [taqriz] for that fatwa. Read Fazil-e-Barelwi ‘Ulema-e-Hijaz ki Nazar Mein written by Prof. Dr. Mas’ud Ahmad for more details.

As a Faqih (jurist) and a Mufti, he wrote thousands of fatawa and answered all kinds of questions. Other Sunni contemporaries also rendered this service, but his rank was that of a spokesman for all of them. He was always at the forefront against false belief and anti-Islamic philosophies. He refuted the Wahabi sect and its offshoots with utmost brilliance and this is the reason why he became a target for many a false accusation. He writes himself in Tamhid e Iman:

“To deceive the public these people have contrived a scheme. They say, “What is the reliability of these scholars of Ahlus Sunnah? These people [Sunnis] make takfir on petty things. Their machines churn out only the decrees declaring people as infidels. They have ruled Isma’il Dihlawi, Molvi Ishaq, Molvi Abdul Hay as Kafirs” [here the imam implies that he has not said so].

And those without shame say that I have ruled Kafir – I seek Allah’s refuge – Shah Abdul Aziz, Shah Waliullah, Haji Imdadullah, Maulana Shah Fazlurrahman [all scholars of Ahlus Sunnah] and those beyond all boundaries of shame, say that I have ruled Kafir – I seek Allah’s refuge – that I have did Takfeer of Shaykh Mujaddid Alfi Thani rahimahullah [implying I have never said so].

They mention the names of whosoever the person they are talking to holds in great esteem. In fact some of them went to Maulana Muhammad Husain Ilahabadi and said that I have done Takfeer of – I seek Allah’s refuge – Shaykh al-Akbar Muhiyuddin ibn al-‘Arabi quddisa sirruhu! May Allah grant the Maulana an exalted place in paradise for he did not believe those liars. Rather he obeyed the verse: “If a fasiq comes to you with news, make sure of it” [investigate its truthfulness] and he wrote to me asking whether I had done so. I wrote to him back negating it in the form of a booklet by name, Inja al-Bari an Waswasil Muftari. When the Maulana read it he said “La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah”, warding off the deceit of these people.”[6]

A prominent scholar of the Ahlus Sunnah, Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Sa’eed Kazmi Amrohawi (Anwar-ul-Uloom, Multan) writes:

“On the issue of Takfeer [ruling someone as an apostate], our stance has always been that, whosoever utters words of Kufr we shall not refrain from pronouncing Takfeer against them; whether they be Deobandi or Barelwi, follower of the League or the Congress, Nechari [naturalists] or Nadwi. On this issue we shall not differentiate whether someone is a friend or a foe.

This certainly does not mean that if one follower of the League utters a word of Kufr, all the followers of the League are Kafir; or if one Nadwi committed Kufr that all Nadwis are apostates. We do not declare all the residents of Deoband as Kafirs due to passages of Kufr written by some Deobandis.

We and our elders have repeatedly said that we do not decree any resident of Deoband or Lucknow as a kafir just because they live there. According to us, only that person is a kafir who commits insults against Allah, His Prophets and the chosen people of Allah and despite repeated warnings, does not repent. We also consider those people to be kafir who are aware of such Kufr and are aware of the clear meanings of these insults, and despite this they consider the insults to be the truth, the insulter to be a believer and their leader.

And that is it.

Apart from this, we do not declare anyone who claims to be a Muslim as an apostate. The number of people we have ruled as apostates are very few in number and restricted [to a specific issue]. Apart from these specific individuals, no Muslim from Deoband or Bareilly is termed an apostate. Neither are [Muslim] followers of the League or the Congress. We consider all Muslims to be exactly that – Muslims.”[7]

Mufti Muhammad Sharif al-Haq Amjadi, an exegete of Al-Bukhari, and head of the fatwa division [Dar al-Ifta’], al-Jamiat al-Ashrafiya, Mubarakpur (India) writes:

“Mere currency among common folk [úrf] is not sufficient to issue a ruling. Rather, rulings must take the real meanings of words into consideration. Therefore, a person who calls himself a Deobandi, is known by others as a Deobandi, believes these four Ulema-e-Deoband to be his leaders, even labels the Ahlus Sunnah as Bid’atis, but is not aware of the infamous statements of Kufr of these four scholars, then in reality he is not a Deobandi [who is ruled kafir]. Such a person is not ruled as a disbeliever or that performing his funeral prayer is disbelief. And Allah knows best.”[8]

Note by the translator: The reason why the shaykh says ‘he is not a Deobandi in reality’ is because in the fatwas of Imam Ahmed Raza and other prominent Sunni scholars, the tag ‘Deobandi’ is used for a specific group. People should not confuse this to accuse these scholars of indulging in blanket takfir. Allāh táālā knows best.