In Accord with Shari’ah and Observance
Hadhrat Sheikh-ul-HaajMoulanaMuhammad Zakariya Sahib Muhajir Madni
Endorsed by Sheikh-ul-Hadith HadhratMoulana Yusuf Motala Sahib
Shari’ah and Observance
I have not translated this book completely word for word, but have sometimes substituted words for a terminology closer to the actual meaning. This is because Urdu and English are two very individual languages, each with their own set of unique rules of eloquence and etymologies. The footnotes are also unique to this translation and will not be found in the original or in any other translations of this book. If any mistakes have occurred, than I ask for Allah’s forgiveness and assure the readers that the mistake was due to my deficient understanding and lack of knowledge, therefore has no reflection on Hadhrat Sheikh’s original work. As Hadhrat Sheikh write, ‘your understanding isn’t enough yet.’
This town was in the district of Muzafarnigar, and at that time it was the oasis and treasury of knowledge. It was commonly known as ‘The Land between the Two Rivers’ and it is still called that today. Our elders addressed it by this name on several occasions. This area consists of Delhi, Meert, Muzafurnigar and Saharanpur. It was called this because RiverJamna is west of it and the River Ganges is east of it, both of which are well known rivers, even today. This region was the treasury and centre of Shar’iah and Observance. It began with the family of a ‘friend of Allah’ and its spiritual influence spread through the local Jamm’at. The effects of this region was that during the lifetime of Qutub-ul-Irshad Hadhrat Gangohi, everyone of his Murid’s, including the novices and the unlearned were all dedicated practitioners of the Sunnah. I saw that some of the completely illiterate were so punctual in their tahajud (desirable nightly prayer), that they outdid some of their peers. The level of observance was such that near Hadhrat’s Khanqah was a lake that was well known locally, where fifty to seventy washer-men gathered at the end of each day. Instead of calling out their individual lyrics, they all iterated ‘Allah, Allah’ in harmony. This individual never had the honour of visiting anyone from Hadhrat’s family, but managed to frequently visit many individuals, great and small, from the families of those who aided him.
I also did not get the opportunity to visit Sayyadit-taaifah Hadhrat Hajji Imdaddullah, for he died two years after I was born, on the 12th or 13th Jamadiul Thani, 1317 A.H, in Makkah. Similarly, I did not meet Hujutal-Islam Hadhrat Nanotuvi, for he died 18 years before my birth, on 4th Jamadiul Awwal, 1297 A.H, in Deoband. Neither did I meet my grandfather Hadhrat Ra’sul-Atuqyah Moulana Muhammad Ismail Juhnjhanuvi, for he past away twenty days before I was born, on 4th Shawwal, 1315 A.H, in the Nawab-Wali Mosque, in Delhi. I have heard from my elders that when the news of my birth reached my grandfather, he said, ‘My replacement has arrived and it is time for me to go.’
Despite this, I have heard so many accounts about these saints that they cannot be measured or counted. However, I visited Sheikhul Mashaikh Hadhrat Ghangohi many times, becasuse Hadhrat passed away eight years after my birth, on 8th Jamadiu-thani, 1323 A.H, in Gangoha.
I remember Hadhrat’s appearance well. I also remember the times when he would be sitting cross-legged in his Khanqah and I would come and wrap my arms around his neck. I was given the honour of eating with Hadhrat on many occasions and travelling with him to the Eid-ghaa in his litter, which was carried by the great teachers of that time. This era was a pinnacle for Shari’ah and Observance. From Rajab 1328 A.H, Hadhrat Moulana Khalil Ahmad became my spiritual guide and leader, until Zilqaadah 1345 A.H. In the following year, this humble one departed from Madinah on 16th Zilqaadah 1345 A.H, where Hadhrat Murshidi passed away on 16th Rabiu-thani, 1346 A.H. Hadhrat Sheikul Hind passed away on 18th Rabuil Awwal, but I did not get a chance to meet him. The reason being that he stayed in Malta for several years and his visits to Deoband before and after visiting Asaarat were very brief. I did meet a number of his best students and the elders of Deoband several times.
Hadhrat Shah Abdur Rahim Raipuri was another one of my contemporaries, who passed away on 24th Rabiu-thani, 1338 A.H. I had a lengthy acquaintance with Mulhaqe Isagir Bil-Akabir Hakimul Ummah Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi, for he passed away on 12thRajab, 1362 A.H. The reason why I added Bil-Akabir to his epithets is because he was Bait to Hadhrat Hajji Imdadullah, thus all of Hadhrat Hakimul Ummah’s Murid’s and followers are spiritually linked to Hadhrat Hajji Imdadullah. That is only in Observance, in Shari’ah Hadhrat Thanvi received permission to take narrating lineage from Hadhrat Moulana Fazlur Rahman Ghanj Muraadabadi. Hadhrat Muraadabadi had studied with Hadhrat Shah Abdul Aziz. Thus it is written in Arwaah-e-Thalatha, p.347, that Hakim Nae’matullah asked Hadhrat Hakimul Ummah, ‘I have heard that the good sir has studied by Hadhrat Moulana Shah Abdul Aziz?’ He replied, ‘Yes, I asked of him to let me read some Ahadith to him, so I may gain his permission for the sake of abundance. After listening to several Ahadith from Miskaat Shareef, he said, “I have given you permission,” and urged punctuality in my actions.’
It was the wish of this humble one that he gain permission form Hadhrat Hakimul Ummah, so that he may gain an eminent lineage. I made the journey to Thanabhun several times on this very purpose. However, each time I had stopped to ask myself in shame that how could I ask for permission of Ahaadith, from one such as he, when I know nothing. This was despite the fact that several of my students had already received permission form Hadhrat. In this light, these exalted students have a more eminent lineage then myself.
Sheikh-ul-Islam Hadhrat Madni was also my peer, for he passed away on 12th Jamdiul Awwal, 1377 A.H, in Deoband; as well as my benefactor, Hadhrat Moulana Al-Haajj Shah Abdul Qadir Raipuri who died on 14th Rabiul Awwal, 1382 A.H. I was privileged to enter Hadhrat’s service. I also spent a great deal of time with my respected uncle, Hadhrat Moulana Ilyas. My dear uncle passed away on 21st Rajb, 1363 A.H.
These are my forefathers, bring their likes O’ Jarir,
On the Day the Gatherer gathers us O’ Jarir.
He who gazes on these effigies of light will remember God,
The heirs of the Prophethood, these are the shadows of mercy,
Their sleep is more eminent then our worship,
Their abstinence is the pride of all Muslims,
It is only befitting that they be the heirs to Prophethood,
It is they, who have become custodians of religious custom,
Unattached to the world they reside on,
Untouched by the sea in which they swim,
When they are sitting in solitude, they still enjoy the congregation,
When they come to a congregation, their silence becomes eloquence.
The reason why I mentioned the epochs of these elders who were my peers is because; it was through the eminence of these stars of guidance that Shari’ah and observance have spread to every inch of ‘the Land between the Two Rivers’. It was their eminence, which placed in everyone’s mind that Shari’ah and observance are in accord with each other. Each of them is the true definition of:
Overflowing is the glass of Shar’iah, overflowing is the anvil of love,
For every fanciful proclamation voiced is given away an anvil or glass.
The reason behind this is that they had a connection with Shari’ah and Observance and a link with it since childhood, that it became ingrained in their hearts in such a way that nothing could replace it. Whatever becomes ingrained into the mind in childhood becomes as if written in stone. Like the certainty of the bite of a snake or the rending of a lion in everyman’s mind is hard to erase, even though most people have never seen a snake biting or a lion rending.
During my life as a student, I read in the beginning of Mishkaat Shareef the Hadith about Hadhrat Jibrael (Archangel Gabriel), related for the education of the Ummah. With the mention of belief and Islam, the following was also related, ‘Mal-ahsaana Qaala An Taabudullaha Ka’anaka Tara’h,’ meaning that the worship of Allah should be done as if you are looking upon Him. This is Tariqat, this is Tasawuf, this is Salook and any other name given to this art, they are all defined here. I will go into greater detail about Tariqat later. After that I will relate all the Hadith textbooks that have been read and taught and their link with Shari’ah and Observance with the heart. They have become so deep-rooted in me that when I hear something against either of them, I think of it as ignorance. The origin of the pure Shari’ah is the Qur’aan; its commentary is the Sunnah of the Prophet e, which is the essence of Fiqh. If anything is heard against them, it is deemed unworthy of consideration. Whenever I used to hear people unfamiliar with religious knowledge saying, ‘take whatever meaning you understand from the Qur'aan as correct, there is no need for the many books of Qur’aanic commentaries,’ I would think them mad. If the Qur'aan were so easy to interpret, there would have been no need for the Noble Prophets of Allah. The Qur'aan would have been hung from the Kaa’ba and people would have learnt it from there. A great part of the scheme of sending Prophets was that they might show the commands of the Magnificent through actions and completion. It is the great boon of Allah that he created this chain, and much gratitude is owed to Him for the fact that there is no doubts left in the Qur'aan, and many precepts and fundamentals have been made clear, that no dilemma remains in them either. The Prophet e was sent to dress Shari’ah in the garment of actions. Whatever was not against the dignity of Prophethood was revealed through the Prophet e. E.g. Lailatul Ta’rees, when the Prophet e and a group of his companions did not awake for the Fajr prayer. This despite the fact that the servants of the servants of the Prophet e, once they had given their Bait to someone, found it hard to sleep after two o’clock in the morning. Muhaditheen also argue the amount of times the Prophet e was made to oversleep. Some say that it only happened once and some say several times as it is written in Aujaz (V.I, pg. 25). It is my opinion that it occurred three times.
There is a note for Tasawuf here as well. It was not the habit of the Prophet e to ask who would wake him when he would lie down. It is written in Bukhari (pg.89) that the Sahabah asked the Prophet e to lie down and rest awhile. The Prophet e expressed his fear that he may miss the Fajr prayer,upon which Hadhrat Bilal t volunteered, ‘I will wake you.’
There are two precepts of conduct in this account. The first is that the Prophet e expressed his fear over missing Fajr, wherefore that it was the custom of the Arabs to travel by night and rest before dawn. Why did the Prophet e express his fear of missing the Fajr prayer on this night? It can be derived from this that sometimes a coming event is revealed to the hearts of saints, or they are given a forewarning.
The second is that Hadhrat Bilal t said that he would wake the Prophet e. It is written in Aujaz (V.I, pg.25) that the elders say this happened to chastise Hadhrat Bilal t on his statement. In other words, the Prophet e expressed his fear of missing Fajr due to Hadhrat Bilal’s statement. There arises an objection that it is the popular opinion of scholars that Laitul Ta’rees occurred several times, though Hadhrat Bilal only made this statement on one occasion. The answer to this is that on this occasion it was due to this statement of Hadhrat Bilal and there were other reasons on the other occasions.
There have never been any such objections regarding forgetfulness in Namaaz. The reason being that the Prophet e had already made it clear with his statement, ‘Inee La Ansa Wa Lakin Unsati La Sinin’ I do not forget in Namaaz, but I am made to forget so that I may teach you the way. I.e. that he may teach them the method of Sajda-e-sahwa when they make mistakes in Namaaz. There is more detail of this Hadith in Aujaz (V.I, pg.317), in Baabul Ammal.
For this reason I have never been confused by the big mistakes made by some of the Sahabah. The occurrence of such mistakes in our elders is an unlikely thing, and the greatest of them is no match for the lowliest of the Sahabah. Therefore I have no objection to their conduct, due to the bounties of the Almighty, Allah.
Exercise your whims on my neck the blood of two worlds.
These noble people have put themselves forward so that the pure Shari’ah may reach completion. They were prepared to be stoned to death, to have their hands amputated and to be whipped. It is my opinion that only these people are worthy of the Qur’aanic verse, ‘Fa Ulaika Yu-badi-lullahu Sai-yi-atihim Hasnaat’ that these are the people whose sins Allah will convert to good deeds. These are the people who are worthy of the Ahadith of forgiveness, in which it said to some fortunate people, ‘Each of your sins will be replaced by a good deed.’
Hadhrat Abu Dharr t relates a hadith from the Prophet e; a man will be called on the Day of Judgement (this is not particular to any one person but a group, from which each individual goes through this, like in another hadith the word Naas comes instead of the word Rajul). The Angels will be commanded to bring forth his smallest of sins. His greater sins will be hidden and his smallest of sins will be revealed. It will be said to him that you committed such and such a sin on such and such a day. He will have no excuse but to confirm this, and he will be in fear that so far only the small have been brought forward, what will happen when the greater ones are revealed? The command will be given to write each of his sins as a good deed, then he will say, ‘O Lord there are many more sins yet which have not been brought forward. Abu Dharr t relates that at this moment the Prophet e began to smile so that his teeth became visible.
In another Hadith, Abu Hurraira t narrates that the Prophet e said that on the Day of Judgement there will be many people who will wish that they had committed many sins. The Companions asked who will these people be, the Prophet e replied that these would be those people whose sins will be turned into good deeds.
It should be taken into account here that this is called kingly compassion, that due to kingly compassion murderers have been forgiven the punishment of death by hanging. But no one has the confidence to kill someone on the basis of thinking he will be let off due to kingly compassion. But it is my belief that all the Sahabah are counted in this, because of the stories of their mistakes which come in the Ahadith are all worthy of kingly compassion. When Hadhrat Muadh t committed adultery, he entered the presence of the Prophet e and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah e, purify me.’ The Prophet e replied, ‘Go, repent and do Istighfar.’ He went away some distance but still felt ill at ease. He returned and repeated his request, and received the same reply from the Prophet e. This happened four times, in which the Prophet turned him away by telling him to repent and do Istighfar. On the fourth time, the Prophet e ordered that he be stoned as was required by the Shari’ah.
On this two other Sahabah’s said that Allah had hidden this persons sin, but he brought himself forward until he was stoned like a dog. The Prophet e remained silent when he heard this. When he went a little further he came upon a dead donkey. Its stomach was bloated due to which one of its legs was swollen. The Prophet e said, ‘Where is so and so?’ They said, ‘We are here, O Prophet e.’ The Prophet e said, ‘Eat of this carcass.’ They asked, ‘Who could eat of this?’ Then the Prophet e stated, ‘you attacked the honour of your Muslim brother, which was much more difficult than this. I swear by Him in Whose Hands my life is, he is swimming in the rivers of paradise at this very moment.’
Similarly, there is the account of the lady Sahabiah (Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha) who came and made the same request to the Prophet e, ‘O Messenger of Allah e, purify me.’ The Prophet e sent her away with the same order, to repent and do Istighfar. She then said, ‘O Prophet of Allahe, you wish to send me away in the same way you sent Muadh t. I swear by Allah that I have been made pregnant by adultery.’ The Prophet e stated, ‘You cannot be stoned until you have given birth to the child.’ Once she had given birth, she returned and said, ‘I have given birth to the child, now please purify me.’ The Prophet e stated, ‘Breastfeed him until he leaves off your milk.’ Once the child left off her milk, she brought the child with a piece of bread in its hand. She then said, ‘O Prophet of Allah e, he has started to eat bread.’ The Prophet e gave the command as according to Shari’ah that she be stoned.
Hadhrat Khalid t was amongst those who were stoning her. A drop of her blood splattered his face. Hadhrat Khalid t cursed her.The Prophet e said, ‘Khalid, do not say such of her.She has performed such repentance that it would be sufficient even for a tax officer (tax officers are notorious for their oppressive levies and behaviour).’ In another similar incident, Hadhrat Umar t asked, ‘Are we going to pray Janazahover her even though she committed adultery?’ The Prophet e said, ‘She has repented so much that if it were distributed between seventy men, it would be sufficient for them. What could be greater than this that she has sacrificed herself.’
There are many narrations in the Ahadith of Kitabul Hudood regarding such accounts. Is there anyone from our peers who has ever become so restless upon a sin as these honourable people?
It is the statement of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Masood t, ‘When a believer does a sin, he feels as if he is sitting beneath a mountain and he fears that this mountain may fall upon him. When a malefactor sins, he feels so much at ease, it is as if a fly had sat on his nose and he had just brushed it away.’
The Glorious Lord, Allah is the Keeper of the Hidden Knowledge. He knows the sins of everyone and he knows their state following the sins. That is why the Respected Sahabah have been granted His Pleasure and Forbearance in many places, despite their sins. ‘Wassabiqoon Al-Awaloon Min Al-Muhajireena Wal-Ansar Waladhina Atabi’oohum Bi-Ihsaan Radiullahu Anhum Wa Radoo Anhu Wa’a Adalahum Janaatin Tajri Tahtahal Anhar Khalideena Fiha Abadan Dhalikal Fauzul Azeem.’ (Those who were the first to come, of the Muhajireen and Ansaar and those who followed them sincerely, Allah, the Most High, is pleased with them and they are all pleased with Him. And Allah has made such gardens for them, under which run rivers, and they will remain there forever, and this is a great achievement.)
In a footnote of Bayanul Qur'aan the commentary on Waladhina Atabi’oohum Bi-Ihsaan taken from Durul Manthoor, narrating from Ibn Zaid, that all the Muslims that will come until Judgement Day, who follow the Sahabah sincerely are included in Waladhina Atabi’oohum Bi-Ihsaan. Therefore to criticise any of the Sahabah and their followers regarding their sins is a great personal loss, for Allah is pleased with them, but not with you. The gladtidings of forgiveness and clemency for the Sahabah have been mentioned in a great number of Qur’aanic verses. The Keeper of the Hidden Knowledge knows their sins and He also knows that He has forgiven them and granted them entrance to Paradise. To criticise the Sahabah after this is a grave injustice and idiocy. To take their mistakes and to use them as justification to sin is even greater idiocy, for they have been forgiven in clear verses, but for us to do so is self-destructive. It is the clear statement of Allah, Most High and Magnificent, regarding the Respected Sahabah, ‘Wa Lakin Allaha Hababa Ilaikum Al-Imaana Wa Zayinahu Fi Quloobikum Wa Karaha Ilaikum Al-Kufra Wal-Fusook Wal-Isyaan Wa Ulaika Humur Rashidoon. Fadhlan Minallahi Wa Ne’matu Wallahu Alimun Hakim.’ (But Allah has granted you love for belief and has made it dear to your hearts, and has placed an aversion in you to disbelief, hypocrisy and wrongdoing. These people are on the right way due to the Grace and Bounty of Allah. Allah is All-Knowing and All-Wise.)
This was followed by the explanation that Fusook means the greater sins and Isyaan are lesser sins, in Bayanul Qur'aan. Therefore, if Allah wills it, the Sahabah have been forgiven both their greater and lesser sins. To criticise them on their mistakes and to use them as an excuse for sinning is very dangerous and self-destructive.
In the ‘Victory of Makkah’, when the letter of Hadhrat Khatib Ibn Bulta’a t to warn the people of Makkah of the Prophet e intentions of war was discovered, it was inevitable that Hadhrat Umar t would lose his temper. He asked the Prophet e, ‘Give me permission so I may behead this hypocrite.’ The Prophet e replied, ‘He is a Badri Sahabit, how do you know that Allah hasn’t forgiven the people of Badr and given them permission to do as they will.’
Sheikul Islam Ibn Taimi writes in Aqidah Wasatiya pg.142, that it is a rule of the Ahl-e-Sunnah that they guard their hearts and tongues in regards to the Sahabah.
It is the saying of the Prophet e, ‘Do not malign my Companions. I swear by Him in Whose Hands my life is, if you were to spend a mountain of gold the size of Uhud, it would not be able to compete with half a Mhud, let alone one Mhud, of my Companions.’
The Ahle-Sunnah accept all the epitaphs of the Sahabah which have appeared in the Qur'aan, Hadith and Ijma’a. The Lord Almighty has said that the people of Badr may do as they please, for they have already received forgiveness. They also believe that all those who paid allegiance to the Prophet e at the time of Sulh-e-Hudaibiyah will not enter Jahanum,as it is in the Ahadith, Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him.
The Ahle-Sunnah abstains from discussing the differences that occurred between the Sahabah. They say that all those narrations that relate the faults of the Sahabah are either complete fabrications or have been tampered with. In those that are authentic, the Sahabah were absolved due to misjudgement or misconception. Despite this, the Ahle-Sunnah do not claim that the Sahabah are innocent, they can sin but their status and actions are such that even if they did sin, they would be forgiven. Furthermore, they would be forgiven even those sins, which would be unforgivable for those who came after them. This is due to possessing such good deeds that cancel out their sins, which those who followed could not possible earn.
If any of Sahabah ever sinned, then they would have repented or performed such deeds that those sin would be forgiven. Or even due to their being the first of the Muslims, or due to the intercession of the Prophet e, for no one is more worthy of the Prophete intercession then the Sahabah. Or they may have received such hardships in life that would atone for their sins. This is in regards to the veritable sins. In the matter where the Sahabah did Ijtihad,if they judged correctly, then they received double the reward, but if they were in error, then they still received a reward and forgiveness for their error (as is the rule that applies to Mujtahids). Then again, the amount of objections placed against the Sahabah are insignificant when compared to their status, righteousness, belief in Allah and His Prophet e, Striving in the path of Allah, migration, help, beneficial knowledge and good deed. Whoever studies the lives of the Honourable Sahabah with vision and knowledge and sees with what status Allah has endowed them with, they will assuredly realise that the Sahabah are the greatest of the human race after the Blessed Prophets and Messengers of Allah themselves. There are none to match them from those who preceded them, or those who have come after them. They are the chosen companions of the most perfect human being.
What Sheikh-ul-Islam has written is absolutely correct. The status, deeds and abstinence of the Sahabah have appeared quite frequently in the Qur’aan. It is the statement of the Almighty Allah, ‘Lilfuqara’ Al-Muhajireen Aladheenal Ayah’ (28th Para) (stated in regards to the spending of excess funds).
It is the right of these impoverished Muhajireen, they who left their homes and their wealth, they are in need of Allah’s pleasure and blessings, and they are the helpers of the Allah and His Prophet e; these are the true Muslims. And those who were already in the ‘Home of Islam’, and had already become firm believers. They showed love for those that had migrated towards them, and envied them not for what they received, and placed them before their own selves, even if they were in starvation. The people whom remain safe from miserliness are the ones who are successful.
In another place it is stated, ‘Faladhina Hajaroo Wa Ukhrijoo Min Diyarihim Ayah.’ (Qur'aan 3:195) So those who migrated and were driven out of their homes, and suffered harm in My Cause, and who fought, and were killed in My Cause, verily, I will remit from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow. A reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards.
There are many other verses of this kind, which tell of the remittance of deeds, and Allah, the Most Effulgent, says with great persistence, verily, He will forgive their sins. But the plaintiff is idle and the witness is vivacious. Our fools say that they are sinners and are so and so.
It is the saying of the Prophet e that Allah states, ‘Whosoever bares animosity towards Our friends, We declare war against him,’ and who can exceed the Sahabahs in being the Friends of Allah. Thus the Prophet e has said, ‘Fear Allah. Fear Allah in regards to my Companions. Do no make them a target (for your objections) after me,’ and, ‘whoever bares love for my Companions loves them through loving me. Whoever bares animosity towards my Companions bares it through animosity towards me. Whoever gives trouble to my Companions has given trouble to me. Whoever troubles me, he also troubles Allah and whoever troubles Allah will soon be seized by Him.’
Hafiz Zahabi states that only those people, who are familiar with the lives and circumstances of the Sahabah during the life of the Prophet e and after, are familiar with their status. They who are familiar with the fact that the Sahabah were the first Muslims, that they battled against the infidel, spread the religion, announced the elements of Islam to the world, lifted the words of Allah and His Prophet e and taught the knowledge of Faraidh and Sunnah. If they had never been, then the knowledge of truth would have never reached us and we would be unfamiliar with all of the Sunnah and Faraidh. We would be strangers to the Ahadith and the life of the Prophet e. Therefore, whoever shows disrespect to the Sahabah has left the way of Muslim’s and is no longer a part of this religion. No one can make such accusations, unless they believe it to be the truth and until they bare animosity towards the Sahabah in their heart. Not until they have rejected the status of the Sahabah, which Allah has revealed in the Qur'aan, and their deeds and love for the Prophet e. That is why the accusers of the Sahabah have been ejected from the Islam. These Sahabah are an excellent source of history and relation (of the Ahadith). When you make an accusation against the source, you are making it on the reality; to refute the relater is to refute the relation. These affairs are for one whom researches and studies, with a heart that is pure of hypocrisy, paganism and apostasy. The sayings of the Prophet e are enough for the recording and accounting of the status of the Sahabah. As Hadhrat Anas t relates that some of the Sahabah came to the Prophet e saying that people were slandering them. The Prophet e stated, ‘Whosoever slanders my Sahabah will be cursed by Allah, His Angels and His people.’
In another narration by Hadhrat Anas t, the Prophet e states, ‘Allah chose me and chose my Sahabah for me, he made them friends, brothers and relatives. There will come a people who will make accusations against them and try to lessen their status. Do not eat or drink with them, do not marry them, do not pray salaah with them and do not read Jinazah on them.’
Hafiz Zahabi has related many more narrations like these in his book ‘Kitaabul Kaba’ir’. He relates the opinion of the scholars, ‘Whosoever defames the Sahabah or searches for their mistakes, or relates their errors, or even denotes an error towards them; such a person is a Munafiq.’
This concise article cannot fully record all the sayings of the scholars regarding the people who show grave disrespect to the Sahabah or spread rumours of their errors.
In the same way I have never experienced any doubts in narrations regarding Baag-e-Fuduk, etc. I have heard many objections and criticism. I have always thought about the portion of the Prophet e heart, who in her fathers lifetime used to grind flour with her own hands and carry water buckets until her body became marked with welts. How could she have come upon such heritage after her fathers passing to no longer speak to the Rightly Chosen Caliph, Hadhrat Abu Bakr t? This difference and the many other differences, which occurred in the branches of the Sahabah, have always been commentated to being their strength of faith. Hadhrat Fathima radiullahu anhu, Hadhrat Ali t and Hadhrat Abbas t did not desire to hoard wealth. How could they, when even the servants of their servants did not desire such? All these differences are due to strength of faith, beliefs and knowledge, that was the heritage left by the Prophet e a Shari’ inheritance or not? The Shiekhain considered ‘Ma Tarakna Sadaqtu’ to be general and the above thought it to be specific. This was a knowledgeable difference in verdicts. Hadhrat Fathima radiullahu anha, not speaking to Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq t, as in the narrations, is in regards to the Fuduk issue. It means that they regretted their question; therefore they no longer wished to speak of this matter, as Hafiz Ibn Hajr has mentioned several narrations in his Fathul-Bari in support of this view. This is the view of the commentators and it has been the view of this person that this question was not because of desire for wealth, but to clarify the Act of Shari’ah, because they thought themselves to be the recipients in accordance with Shari’ah. Therefore they expressed their disinclination towards mentioning this subject, which I believe is completely within the parameters of religion. That is why Hadhrat Ali t and Hadhrat Abbas t addressed this issue again in the era of Hadhrat Umar t to see what his opinion was and found him in agreement with Hadhrat Abu Bakr t.
The era of the first three ‘Rightly Guided’ Caliphs was inappropriate for such differences to occur, but this is not the place to go into the particulars of this issue. The era of the first three Caliphs had many other issues to resolve. By the time they had been determined, the Caliphate of Ali t had begun, and it had become necessary for the issues of opposition against the Caliphate had to be resolved, so that all the major issues could be addressed within the era of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Thus I have no perplexities in understanding that the differences were due to the strength of their faith and not because of personal gain or animosity. Whatever they believed to be a just cause, they did not shy away from arguing and fighting to protect and uphold this cause. I have never deemed any madman who believes their actions and words to be due to human weaknesses as worthy of respect or courtesy, and neither would anyone who has a deep understanding of the Ahadith.
This humble person has written further on the subject of the difference of opinions between the Honourable Sahabah in his booklet Al-I’tidaal. The Battle of Jamal (the battle which was fought between the forces of Hadhrat Ali t and ‘Mother of the Umma’ Hadhrat Aisha) was a fierce clash, in which twenty thousand men were martyred. But when the battle had started, and just before it grew heated, Hadhrat Ali t rode forward and called Hadhrat Zubair t out from the opposition’s ranks. They embraced and shed tears, and Hadhrat Ali t asked him, ‘What has compelled you to come and oppose me?’ To which Hadhrat Zubair t replied, ‘Vengeance for the murder of Hadhrat Uthman t.’ The conversation continued for a length of time. This is the conduct of two people who are sitting with drawn swords ready for battle. The battle took place after this conversation and Hadhrat Ali’s t force was victorious. Many people from the opposing force were captured. Some of Hadhrat Ali’s t men pressed for them to be executed, but Hadhrat Ali t denied them this and instead retook the pledge from the captives and forgave them. He declared the wealth of the defeated as booty but spared their lives from captivity. Some argued that if their wealth was to be taken as booty then they too should be enslaved. At first Hadhrat Ali t refused to consider it, then finally said, ‘Alright, then first tell me who of you is prepared to take Hadhrat Aisha radiaullahu anha in their share?’ The gathered people repented and said, ‘We seek Allah’s forgiveness, this cannot be.’ Hadhrat Ali t said upon this, ‘And I also seek the forgiveness of Allah.’
Do any of us keep safe the dignity of those who oppose us? To have a sword risen against in you in confrontation and hostility is a big thing, could we match the courtesy of these noble men towards each other when facing each other with blades, with someone who we have a slight difference with. At the end of this conflict, Hadhrat Aisha’s (who was at the head of the opposing force) camel collapsed due to an injury. Hadhrat Ali t quickly ordered, ‘See that ‘Mother of the Umma’ received no discomfit.’ Then Hadhrat Ali t made his way over to Hadhrat Aisha’s camel and said, ‘Mother dear, did you receive any discomfit? May Allah forgive you your mistake.’ Hadhrat Aisha radiaullahu anha replied, ‘May Allah forgive you too.’
This was the courtesy between two opponents, and their extreme respect for each other. If we ever gain the upper over an enemy, will we be compassionate towards anything from his life, possessions and dignity?
Safeen is the name of the well-known battle that took place between Hadhrat Ali t and Hadhrat Muawiyah t. Several historians have documented that during the battle, by day the two forces fought, by night they attended each other’s burial rituals and prayers. And whenever one faction had a problem, they would send someone to the other faction to see it resolved; this was the state of their faith in religion.
The Caesar of the Rome sought to take advantage of this civil war, and intended to mount an expedition against them. When Muawiyah received intelligence on this matter, he sent a letter saying, ‘If you settle upon fulfilling your intention then I swear to you I will make peace with my friend (Hadhrat Ali t). Then when he sends an army against you, I will join the first squadron and I will burn Constantinople to ashes, chop up your empire and cast it aside like scraps.’
The details of this matter are that the Caesar of Rome had sent Hadhrat Muawiyah a letter saying, ‘Hadhrat Ali is troubling you, should I send a Legion of troops to aid you?’ Upon this Hadhrat Muawiyah t replied, ‘O Christian dog, you wish to take advantage of the friction between Ali t and myself? Remember this, if you cast even a pointed glance at Ali t, then I will be the first of Hadhrat Alit soldiers to tear your eyes out.’
In the same way, it has been narrated from Hadhrat Muawiyah that he swore an oath and said, ‘Ali t is better than me and is more virtuous than me, and my only difference with him is upon the matter of retribution for Hadhrat Uthman t. If he gains retribution for the murder of Hadhrat Uthman t than I will be the first of the Syrians to take the pledge at his hands.’
During the reign of Hadhrat Muawiyah t, an incident occurred in which, a man named Ibn Khaibiri caught his wife committing adultery and killed her in his rage. The case reached Muawiyah t and he was stumped at what judgement to pass. The punishment for murder is the death penalty, but the crime had taken place under strange circumstances. Hadhrat Muawiyah wrote to Musa Asha’ri t to ask Hadhrat Ali t regarding this case and to write back his answer.
Could any of us express our ignorance in such a way before a political adversary regarding a reciprocal litigation, and ask his opinion too? The statements of our political adversaries are not plausible enough nor are they worthy of being asked their opinion on any matter.
There are many famous incidents such as this of Hadhrat Muawiyah t and Hadhrat Ali t. My dear friend Moulana Yusuf has written many such stories in his Hayat-e-Sahabah. Hadhrat Dharaar Ibn Dhamarah Kanani t (who was a part of Hadhrat Ali t’s faction) visited Hadhrat Muawiyah t some time after Hadhrat Ali t demise. Hadhrat Muawiyah t asked him to eulogize Hadhrat Ali t qualities. Hadhrat Dharar t asked, ‘Will Amir-ul-Mu’mineen excuse from doing this?’ To which Muawiyah t replied, ‘Absolutely not, I insist.’ Hadhrat Dharar said, ‘If you insist then listen, by Allah, Hadhrat Ali t was a man of great status and strength. He spoke concisely and judged justly. Knowledge frothed from his every pore and his wisdom was eloquently forthcoming. He ostracized the world and all its beauty and was familiar with the darkness of the night. I swear by Allah, his tears were plentiful, his consideration was great and he would turn his palms upward and he would question his own conscious. He liked simple clothing and ate the food of simple people. By Allah, he would live amongst us as if he was just like us, and went we were with him he would sit us close and answer our questions. But despite his friendliness and humbleness we still could not speak in awe of his powerful aura. He respected the pious and loved the destitute. Even the strongest of people were despondent of succeeding in their evil intentions in his presence, and even the weakest of people were confident of his fairness. I make God my witness that I saw him several times in the darkness of the night, sitting in his Mehrab clenching his beard in such anxiety, like he had been bitten by a poisonous creature, and crying like he was deeply aggrieved, and it is as if I can still hear him today, repeating again and again, “O’ my Lord, O’ my Lord,” and then he would address the world and say, “Do you only wish to ensnare me, and do you only beautify yourself for me? Go away from me, find someone else to ensnare, I divorce you threefold. Your lifespan is too short and your company is base, and your problems are diminutive. Oh, oh, my provisions for the Hereafter are few and the journey is so long, and the road is dangerous.”’
After hearing this, Hadhrat Muawiyah wept until his beard was drenched with tears, and he began to wipe his eyes with his sleeves, and his companions were also breathless with grief, then Hadhrat Muawiyah t said, ‘You speak the truth, Abul Hasan (the patronymic of Hadhrat Ali t) was like that, may Allah have mercy on him.
‘Dharar, how great is your grief upon his demise?’ Dharar replied, ‘like the grief of a mother whose only child has been sacrificed in her lap, that her tears can be staunched and her grief will never diminish.’ After that Hadhrat Dharar t got up and left.
Hadhrat Ali t was a part of the completion of Islam, for these prevalent reasons all of that had to occur in this era. It is for this reason that the Prophet e has said, ‘Ana Darul Hikmah, Wa Ali Babuha’ (I am the home of wisdom and Ali is its door). Almost all the paths to Salook, Tasawuf and knowledge started from Hadhrat Ali t.
Therefore all who believe that Tasawuf started from fakirs are completely unaware of Islam. Tasawuf started in the epoch of the Prophet e, and particularly from the era of Hadhrat Ali t. This is a very deep issue, if only my health permitted it, I would have written in greater detail on this subject.
I do not want anyone to think that I have never had any questions regarding a Hadith, due to the above sub-article. Whenever I have come across such a Hadith, and am unable to reach a resolution, I put it down to my own deficient understanding and lack of knowledge. I have had an anecdote written in my autobiography regarding one of younger daughters. When she was reading the Baghdadi Qaida she came across a lesson in which it was written: ‘Alif Karah Dhabar = Aa, Noon Dhabar = Na = AaNa. Ba Alif Dhabar = Baa, Noon Dhabar = Na = BaaNa, TaaNa, ThaaNa, etc.’ Near the end of the lesson her mother taught her: ‘Hamdha Alif Dhabar = Aa, Noon Dhabar = Na = Aana,’ upon which my daughter asked, ‘Why do we read it AaNa, why not HamdhaaNa?’ Her mother avoided answering her by saying, ‘Ask your father when he comes home.’ Even I was defeated in trying to make her understand, so I told her, ‘your understanding isn’t enough yet, when you grow older, you will come to understand it yourself.’
In the same way whenever I have a problem understanding a Hadith, I remember what I said to my daughter, ‘your understanding isn’t enough yet.’
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4)Ishtaqaq (Knowledge of Derivation), because when a word can be derived from two roots, it will have different meanings. E.g. the word Maseeh can be derived from Masah, which means to pass damp hands over something, and can also be derived from Masahat, as in measurement.
5)Ilm-e-Ma’ani (Knowledge of Arabic Semantics), through which one can understand the form of a sentence through semantics.
6)Ilm-e-Bay?n (Knowledge of Exposition), through which one learns the surface meaning, the subtle meaning, the allegory and the metaphor in a sentence.
7)Ilm-e-Bad?’e (Knowledge of Arabic Rhetoric), through which one sees the beauty of a sentence through interpretation. The last three subjects are known as Ilm-e-Balagat (Knowledge of Eloquence), and it is very important for a Commentator to know these, through which one may recognise the miracle, which is the Holy Qur’aan for what it is.
8)Ilm-e-Qir’aat (Knowledge of Arabic Articulation), for different meanings can be recognised via different articulation, thus one can decide which meaning to give precedence to.
9)Ilm-e- Ak?id (Knowledge of Islamic Doctrine), because there are such verses in the Qur’aan, the most surface meanings of which are unsuitable to attribute to the Lord Almighty. Therefore some elucidation will required, e.g. Yadullahu Fauqa Ai’diyahim.
10)Asool-e-Fiqha (the Laws of Islamic Jurisprudence), so that one may be able to understand the reason of the analysis and the deduction.
11)Asbab-e-Nazool (Reason of Revelation), knowledge of why a verse was revealed helps explain the meaning better, and sometimes reaching the true meaning of a verse can be completely dependant on knowing the reason of the revelation.
12)Nasikh Mansookh (the Abrogated and the One that Abrogates), with this knowledge one can recognise which commands ate annulled from those, which are still valid.
13)Ilm-e-Fiqha (Knowledge of Jurisprudence), so that one may reach a conclusion through examination of the separate pieces.
14)The Knowledge of those Ahadith, which contain the commentary of whole sections of the Qur’aan.
15)After all the above, the final field of knowledge that is required is that hidden knowledge which is the special gift of the Almighty Lord to His chosen people, which is indicated in the following Hadith, ‘When a person acts upon what he knows, than Allah grants him knowledge of that which he does know.’
Jurists have written that to act upon the Shar’iah, one must be familiar with its principles, which are formed from the Qur’aan, Hadith, Ijmah and the fourth being Qiyaas, which his based on the first three. To act upon the knowledge of the Qur’aan one must know four things, the order of the Qur’aan according to form and language. That is sub-divided into four divisions: Khaas, Aam, Mushtarak and Muawal. The second division is the mode of expression, which also has four sub-divisions: Zahir, Nas, Mufasar and Muhkam, which possess four opposites: Khafi, Mushkil, Mujmal, and Mutashabi. The third division is how to apply the order of the Qur’aan, which also has four sub-divisions: Haqiqat, Mujaaz, Sareeh and Kinayah. The fourth is the methods of finding the meanings of the Holy Qur’aan. As were the others, this too is sub-divided into four categories: Ibira-tun-Nas, Ishara-tun-Nas, Dalala-tun-Nas and Iqtidha-un-Nas.
There is another category after these categories that encompasses them all. This category is also sub-divided into four divisions: to know the original derivation, to understand its idiomatic definitions, to know its formulae and the decrees that are based upon the formulae. It is necessary to know where a command is to express necessity and where it is to express permissibility, desirability, and where it is for ramification. Sometimes the word Adah means Qadha in the Qur’aan, and sometimes vice versa. Then a command can be generalised or conditional. A conditional command has four categories. All these commands appear in the books of Juristic Law with greater detail, we have copied the above rules from Noorul Anwaar, in a condensed form.
A saying of Hadhrat Muadh Ibn Jabala t has been recorded in Abu Dawood (Vol 5. Pg 191), ‘After you will come a time of calamities, when wealth will be abundant and the Qur’aan will become a common thing, until Believers and Non-Believers, men, women, the elderly, the young, captives and free people will all be reading the Qur’aan, then there will be one person who will say, “Why don’t the people follow me even though I have read the Qur’aan? They will not follow me until I don’t contrive something new.” Hadhrat Muadh t then said, ‘ Protect yourself from all these new innovations, because which ever innovation arises, it will lead you astray.’
Those people who boast about spreading the Qur’aan throughout the world are in the light of this Hadith, spreaders of doom and calamity. To keep a translation of the Qur’aan for the purpose of prosperity is in its place is okay. But to try and elicit answers for issues from the Qur’aan without expertise in the necessary fields is completely impermissible. The knowledge of the Qur’aan is only accessible via expertise in the fields mentioned above. It has been narrated from Hadhrat Ibn Abbass t in Durul Manthoor: Yu’til Hikmata Miyashaa Ul Ayah. It means that to recognise the Qur’aan is to know its Nasikh, Mansookh, Muhkam, Mutashabi’, Muqadam, Mu’akhar, Halal, Haraam and all their examples.
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To be continued...
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