Accusation of Committing a Sin
The critics of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu state:
There is no doubt with regard to the fact that ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the rightful khalifah and the consensus of the entire Ummah is on it. The manner in which Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu dealt with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is not acceptable under any circumstance. Assuming this action of his to be a mere error in ijtihad and regard it to be a means of reward is indeed questionable. Arriving at a wrong conclusion after utilising all means available to him in a Shar’i matter is something else. However, with regard to worldly and political matters to regard such an error, which was a reason for such great trouble and tribulation, to be a means of reward; is indeed the height of naivety and injustice. We understand the status of being a Sahabi and we hold no enmity towards Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu but we are unable, under any circumstance, to regard the actions of’ Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be the result of an error in ijtihad.
We wish to draw your attention towards a few points:
1) As far as Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being the rightful khalifah is concerned, no sunni Muslim has ever disputed this fact. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a rightful khalifah and he was the most deserving of caliphate at that time.
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah (d. 728 A.H) writes:
وعلى أحق الناس بالخلافة في زمنه بلا ريب عند أحد من العلماء………. من لم يربع بعلي من الخلافة فهو أضل من حمار أهله
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the most deserving of caliphate in his era. This is such a reality that none of the ‘ulama have ever doubted… the one who does not regard ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be the fourth khalifah is more ignorant than a donkey.
2) As far as the superiority of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is concerned; there can be no comparison between the ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is from amongst the fore-runners of the Muhajirin, whereas Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is amongst those who embraced Islam after the conquest of Makkah. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in acknowledgment of being amongst those who embraced Islam later says:
By the oath of Allah! I regard you to be the most rightful of caliphate, more rightful than me. You are from amongst the fore-runners of the Muhajirin… I was not able to attain such an early acceptance into Islam and such closeness to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
والله إني لأعلم أن عليا أفضل مني وأحق بالأمر
By the oath of Allah, (I do not regard myself to be an equal to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu) I fully understand that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is superior to me and more rightful of the matter (caliphate) than me.
From this speech of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it is evident that he regarded Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be superior and more rightful of the caliphate than himself. This humble servant deems it necessary to put forward this point that just as the difference between the status of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is incomparable, in the same manner the status of those who came after (the conquest of Makkah) is not comparable to the status of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If the difference between these two illustrious Sahaba is as the difference between the earth and the sky then the difference between Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and those who came later, is as the distance between the first and seventh heaven.
3) The battle that ensued between Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as explained in the beginning on the authority of Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah and Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah (d. 1034 A.H), was not waged to seize the caliphate. Instead, both parties opposed each other on the grounds of which is the best way of protecting the interests of din and the ummah. Allamah al Sha’rani rahimahu Llah (d. 976 A.H) and Allamah Kamal al Din al Maqdasi al Shafi’i rahimahu Llah mention while explaining the reason for the whole conflict:
وليس المراد بين علي ومعاوية المنازعة في الإمارة كما توهمه بعضهم وإنما المنازعة كانت بسبب تسليم قتلة عثمان رضي الله عنه الى عشيرته ليقتصوا منهم.
The dispute between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not about power and rule as assumed by some. The dispute was with regard to handing over the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to the family of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu so that they may take Qisas.
Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah reports the saying of Imam al Ghazzali rahimahu Llah:
The dispute between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not regarding the caliphate rather it was regarding taking Qisas from the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the beginning of ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu caliphate.
Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself said:
ما قاتلت عليا إلا في أمر عثمان
I only fought against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the matter of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
و أما الخلافة فلسنا نطلبها
As for the caliphate, we do not seek it.
Sayyidina Abu al Darda radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Abu Umamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu attempted to resolve this dispute. Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu instructed them to take the following message to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
فقولا له فليقدنا من قتلة عثمان ثم أنا أول من بايعه من أهل الشام
Hand over the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu then I will be the first from the people of Syria to pledge allegiance to him.
Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, acknowledging the sincerity of Sayyidina Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu claim said:
والظاهر أن ربنا واحد و نبينا واحد و دعوتنا في الإسلام واحدة لا نستزيدهم في الإيمان بالله و التصديق برسوله و لا يستزيدوننا: الأمر واحد إلا ما اختلفنا فيه من دم عثمان و نحن منه براء
(Nobody should have a misconception regarding the battle that occurred between us and the people of Syria) It is obvious that our Rabb is one, our Nabi is one and our call to Islam is one. Until we have the connection of faith in Allah and affirmation of Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, we will not demand more nor will they. All our matters were unified except that we differed regarding the matter of the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and we are free from blame.
Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu heard someone speaking ill of the people of Syria and admonished him:
لا تقولوا إلا خيرا إنما هم زعموا أنا بغينا عليهم و زعمنا أنهم بغوا علينا فقاتلناهم
Do not say but good about them. They thought we rebelled against them and we thought that they rebelled against us, therefore the battle occurred.
The Shia Muhaddith- Abu al ’Abbas ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar al Himyari al Qummi reports on the authority of Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah who narrates from his father that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to say regarding those fighting against him:
We did not fight them due to disbelief nor did they fight us due to disbelief,
و لكنا رأينا أنا على حق و رأوا أنهم على حق
but we considered ourselves to be on the truth and they considered themselves to be on the truth.
Once someone asked Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the martyrs of Siffin and he replied:
لا يموتن أحد من هؤلاء و قلبه نقي إلا دخل الجنة
Whoever passed away from them with a pure heart will enter Jannat.
He also said:
قال علي رضي الله عنه قتلاي و قتلا معاوية في الجنة رواه الطبراني و رجاله وثقوا
Our martyrs and the martyrs of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu are both in paradise.
It is for this reason that at the end of the battle, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu personally participated in the preparation and shrouding of the martyrs and himself led their janazah salah. In the history of the world, such a battle has never occurred in which those who fought each other during the day assisted each other in the shrouding and burial of their martyrs at night.
Molana Hali al Marhum (d. 1935 A.H) has definitely spoken the truth when he said:
If they did indeed differ with each other
Then most certainly it was based upon sincerity
There might have been a dispute but there was no evil intent
They fight today for the peace of tomorrow
4) Until now, the discussion pertained to the sincerity of both groups, now we need to determine the status of this dispute in the eyes of our Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in many ahadith has hinted towards the occurrence of this battle, which indicates that the cause of this battle would be a difference in ijtihad. In the authentic hadith compilation of Imam Muslim rahimahu Llah and the Musnad of Imam Ahmed rahimahu Llah it has been narrated, through many authentic chains of transmission, from Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
تمرق مارقة عند فرقة من المسلمين تقتلهم اولى الطائفتين بالحق
At the event of mutual disagreement between the Muslims, one group will exit (the boundaries of the ummah.) And from both of the remaining two groups of Muslims, the one which is closer to the truth will fight this group which has exited the fold of the ummah.
Mufti Muhammad Taqi ‘Uthmani writes under the commentary of this narration:
In this hadith, the group which will “exit the Ummah” refers to the sect called the Khawarij. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his army, whom Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam referred to as “being closer to the truth”, killed them. It is clearly apparent from these words of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that the disagreement between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not that of truth and falsehood, rather it was a disagreement which had scope for a difference of opinion from both parties. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was comparatively closer to the truth. If this was not the intention of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then he would have said that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his group will be on the truth as opposed to saying that he will be closer to the truth.
Similarly, in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih al Muslim, as well as other books of ahadith; this hadith has been transmitted with an extremely reliable chain of narration that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
لا تقوم الساعة حتى تقتتل فئتان عظيمتان تكون بينهما مقتلة عظيمة دعواهما واحدة
Qiyamah will not take place until two great groups of Muslims fight one another. There will be severe bloodshed between them, even though their call will be the same.
In addition, Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmani writes:
‘Ulama have said these two great parties refer to the groups of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu (Sharh al Muslim li l-Imam al Nawawi vol. 2 pg. 390) and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam referred to the call of both these groups as one. This makes it clear that their motives were not to gain power or authority. Rather both groups stood for the call of Islam and were well-wishers for the prosperity of Islam, according to their understanding. It is for this reason that during the Battle of Siffin, it was not clear to some of the Sahaba which side is on the truth. This is why they remained completely abstinent from the dispute. In fact, it is the saying of Imam Muhammad ibn Sirin rahimahu Llah that the majority of the Sahaba did not participate in this battle. The question is: if the stance of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was clearly false and (Allah forbid) based on the disobedience of Allah, then why did such a large number of Sahaba not support ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu? If they were explicitly the transgressors then it was a clear commandment of the Qurʼan that they should be fought. Why then would the majority of the Sahaba leave this Qurʼanic commandment? Hafiz Ibn al Kathir rahimahu Llah has also said after reporting the two aforementioned ahadith in his Tarikh:
و فيه ان اصحاب علي رضي الله عنه ادني الطائفتين الي الحق و هذا هو مذهب أهل السنه و الجماعة ان عليا رضي الله عنه هوالمصيب و ان كان معاوية رضي الله عنه مجتهدا وهو مأجور ان شاء الله (البداية و النهاية ج2 ص279)
It is also been proven from this hadith that the companions of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu were closer to the truth from both the groups and this is the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was correct even though Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a mujtahid and, Allah willing, he will also be rewarded for his ijtihad.
After mentioning the reference of Imam al Nawawi rahimahu Llah, Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmani writes:
This is the correct stance of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah, which is based on strong evidence from the Qurʼan and hadith and other authentic reports as well as the overall biographies of the Sahaba. Now if a person’s heart, despite all these clear proofs, strong ahadith and opinions of the leaders of din; is still fascinated by the tales of Hisham al Kalbi and Abu Mikhnaf, and based on their reports, insists on accusing Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and proving him to be a sinner, then what can be done for him except supplicate for his guidance? Who has a remedy for that person who prefers darkness over light? Such a person should deeply consider that this matter will not only remain at Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu but will necessitate the accusation of disobedience against Umm al Muʼminin ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Amr ibn al ’As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and ‘Ubadah ibn Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well as the lofty group of prominent Sahaba who saw these people committing this disobedience but remained aloof from this dispute with the rest of the Muslim ummah and left ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who was fighting against this, without any aid. They too will not be exempted from the accusation of disobedience. Thus, they will have to believe that Sa’d ibn Abi al Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the ‘Asharah Mubasharah and other senior Sahaba such as Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Abdullah ibn Salam radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Qudamah ibn Madh’un radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Ka’b ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu, No’man ibn Bashir radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Hassan ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Abu al Darda radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Abu Umamah al Bahili radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Maslamah ibn Makhlad radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Fudalah ibn ‘Ubaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu; that they abandoned assisting ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and instead strengthened the force of falsehood, thus leaving the obedience of the true Imam and opting for disobedience.
If a person is ready to accept all these points, then he may call Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu a fasiq (sinner) but then, as opposed to concealing his true beliefs, he should openly admit to all these points and should in clear words announce those beliefs that the reverence and sanctity of the Sahaba, the claim of them being the most virtuous and having attained the honour of being the best of nations; are all deceit. If he fails to do so then there is not the slightest difference between him and today’s politicians.
Keeping these requests in mind, the claims against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu can be summarised into the following points:
- The behavior Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu adopted against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is in no way praiseworthy.
- An error in ijtihad when pertaining to a Shar’i ruling, after exerting all possible efforts, may be acceptable but to deem such a mistake in worldly and governmental affairs, which becomes a means of tribulation, as reward is not in line with wisdom and justice.
- This cannot be regarded as error in ijtihad.
Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu behavior with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu
As far as this claim is concerned, we have clarified this time and again that Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarded Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be more virtuous than himself and also more rightful to the caliphate. Yes, this is definitely true that he had vowed only to pledge his allegiance after the qisas (death penalty) was carried out upon the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
If this claim is made with regards to Siffin, then it should be borne in mind that commencement of the Battle of Siffin was carried out by Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When the Iraqi forces reached the location of Dakhliyyah, Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had to unwillingly come onto the field for the purpose of defense.
Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah writes:
لم يكن معاوية ممن يختار الحرب ابتداء بل كان من أشد الناس حرصا على أن لا يكون قتال
Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not initiate the battle rather he was the most desirous that the opportunity of mutual war between the Muslims should not arise.
Also Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first in attempting to stop the battle. When a large number of the Sahaba became martyrs, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:
قد فنى الناس فمن للثغور؟ و من لجهاد المشركين و الكفار
If people are destroyed like this, who will protect the borders and who will fight against the mushrikin and the kuffar.
Ibn al Athir al Jazri rahimahu Llah explains that Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:
هذا حكم كتاب الله بيننا و بينكم من لثغور الشام بعد أهله من لثغور العراق بعد أهله
This book of Allah is the judge between us. After the people of Syria (are destroyed), who will protect the borders of Syria? And after the people of Iraq (are destroyed), who will protect the borders of Iraq?
Allamah Khalid Mahmud writes:
In the battle of Siffin despite the fact that the Syrian forces were very strong and were in large numbers, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu through the means of opened copies of the Qurʼan stopped the bloodshed and pondered deeply over solving the problem. No one should think that his staying far from the battle was due to weakness and cowardliness. That revered person who severely attacked Rome in such a way that he destroyed centuries of civilisation and the years of deficiency, such a thing cannot be perceived regarding him. Hafiz Ibn al Kathir rahimahu Llah writes in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah (vol. 8 page 133): “Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu attacked the countries of the Roman Empire sixteen times. The bravery of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the naval battles is from amongst the great engravings in the history of Islam, which no future misinterpretation can wash away.”
During the battle between Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, taking advantage of the clashes amongst the Muslims, the king of Rome gathered a large army to attack the Muslims. When Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to know of this, he wrote a letter to the Caesar of Rome:
If you have resolved to fulfill your motives, then I take an oath that I will reconcile with my brother ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the name of the first warrior in the army which will be dispatched against you will be Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. I will make Constantinople into a burnt coal and I will uproot and flank your empire like uprooted carrots and radishes.
Hafiz Ibn al Kathir rahimahu Llah mentions this very same incident:
و الله لئن لم تنته و ترجع إلى بلادك يا لعين لأصطلحن أنا و ابن عمي عليك و لأخرجنك من جميع بلادك و لأضيقن عليك الأرض بما رحبت فعند ذالك خاف ملك الروم و انكف
“O accursed! If you do not change your motive and do not return towards your cities then I swear by Allah, my cousin and I will reconcile against you and we will remove you from your country and will narrow the earth on you despite its vastness.” The Caesar of Rome became fearful after reading this letter and turned back from his intention.
Muhammad ibn Mahmud al ’Amili rahimahu Llah has mentioned in his book, Nafaʼis al Funun that when Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was mentioned in the presence of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he said:
كان علي والله كالليث إذا دعا وكالبدر إذا بدا وكالمطر إذا ندا فقال له بعض من حضر: أنت أفضل أم علي؟ فقال: خطوط من علي خير من آل أبي سفيان
By Allah! ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to be like a lion when he spoke, like a full moon when he appeared, and like the rain when he would give. A person asked from the gathering: “Are you more virtuous or ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu?” He replied: “A few streaks of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu are better than the family of Abu Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.”
When news of the martyrdom of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu reached Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he began to weep. His wife told him that whilst alive you fought him and now you weep? He replied:
ويحك! انك لا تدرين ما فقد النلس من الفضل و الفقه و العلم
Woe unto you! You do not know what great amount of knowledge and understanding people have lost through his martyrdom.
Dirar al Sadaʼi, who was a close associate of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, was once asked by Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to relate to him the qualities of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When he mentioned his qualities, Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu remarked:
رحم الله ابا الحسن رضي الله عنه!كان والله! كذالك
May Allah Ta’ala have mercy upon Abu al Hassan (‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu). By Allah! He was definitely like that.
This is a reality that even the Shia can never deny. This is why the Shia Mujtahid- Sayed Hashim al Bahrani writes:
When Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu heard the qualities that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu possessed, he could not control himself and broke down crying. He wiped his tears as they trickled down to his beard. The people in the gathering cried so much that they lost their voices. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on Abu al Hassan. By Allah! He was like this.”
This narration can be found in a number of Shia compilations, with different wording, such as Al Amali of Saduq, Durr al Najafiyyah and Sharh Ibn Abi al Hadid.
Respected readers! The list of these factual stories is never ending. We have mentioned only a few incidents through which you will come to understand that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu were the true personification of the verse:
رُحَمَآءُ بَیْن َُهُمْ
They are compassionate amongst each other.
The differences that existed between them were not based upon evil intentions but rather were the result of misunderstandings and confusion. It is not farfetched for such disagreements to arise in a time of misunderstanding, disarray and disorder. Molana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi rahimahu Llah mentions:
The differences between Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was akin to those between Nabi Musa ‘alayh al-Salam and Nabi Harun ‘alayh al-Salam. It is incumbent upon us not to find faults in them. Any disagreement and dispute between Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu should be understood and treated in the same manner as the disputes and arguments between Nabi Musa ‘alayh al-Salam and Nabi Harun ‘alayh al-Salam, between Nabi Yusuf ‘alayh al-Salam and his brothers or between Nabi Musa ‘alayh al-Salam and Khidr ‘alayh al-Salam. These incidents are mentioned in the Noble Qurʼan and there are no grounds to negate them. However, the differences between the Sahaba radiya Llahu ‘anhum are not mentioned in the Qurʼan, neither are they mentioned in the books of hadith. Such tales are only mentioned in the books of history, and how can we rely on such books of history, especially those books of history authored by the Shia?
The conduct of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu
After studying the conduct of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, let us have a look at the conduct of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu suggestedto Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to allow Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to remain as the governor of Syria, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied:
فو الله لا أولي منهم أحدا أبدا، فإن أقبلوا فذلك خير لهم: وإن أدبروا بذلت لهم السيف
By Allah! I will never appoint anyone as a governor from those people. It would be best for them if they accept this. If they tend to be rebellious and they do not accept, then I will use the sword against them.
He also said:
والله لا اعطيه الا السيف
By Allah! Besides the sword, I will not give Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu anything.
Hafiz Ibn al Kathir rahimahu Llah writes:
ولما ولي علي بن أَبي طالب الخلافة أشار عليه كَثير من أُمرائه ممن باشر قتل عثمان أن يعزل معاوية عن الشام ويولي عليها سهل بن حنيف فعزله
When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu became the khalifah, the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu advised him to dismiss Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and replace him with Sahl ibn Hunayf radiya Llahu ‘anhu. So he discharged him.
Remarking on this, Hafiz Ibn al Kathir rahimahu Llah writes:
و انتشرت الفتنة و تفاقم الأمر و اختلف الكلمة
(After this) Evil spread amongst the people and the unity that people had through the kalimah of Islam turned into disunity.
Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah mentions:
بل قد أشار عليه من أشار أن يقر معاويةَ على إمارته في ابتداء الأمر، حتى يستقيم له الأمر، وكان هذا الرأي أحزم عند الذين ينصحونه ويحبونه. فدل هذا وغيره على أن الذين أشاروا على أمير المؤمنين كانوا حازمين. وعلي إمام مجتهد، لم يفعل إلا ما رآه مصلحة.لكن المقصود أنه لو كان يعلم الكوائن كان قد علم أن إقراره على الولاية أصلح له من حرب صفين، التي لم يحصل بها إلا زِيادة الشر وتضاعفه، لم يحصل بها من المصلحة شيء، وكانت ولايته أكثر خيرا وأقل شرا من محاربته، وكل ما يظن في ولايته من الشر، فقد كان في محاربته أعظم منه.
A few people advised ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to retain Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the governor till all matters are sorted out. This opinion was given to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu by those people who were well wishers of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and who loved him. This clearly indicates that the people who gave advice to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu with regards to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu were very cautious and prudent individuals. However, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu -who was a Mujtahid and Imam- only did that which he thought was beneficial. If he knew what would transpire and result through his decision, he would definitely have deemed leaving Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the governor to be a better option then engaging in the Battle at Siffin, which carried no benefit at all. In fact, it allowed more evil to spread. Retaining him as governor was a better option compared to fighting him. The evil that came about by fighting him was far more than the possibility of evil that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu feared would come about by leaving Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as governor.
Errors in political affairs cannot be termed as an error in ijtihad
The second claim made is:
An error in ijtihad when pertaining to a Shar’i ruling, after exerting all possible efforts, may be acceptable but to deem such a mistake in worldly and governmental affairs, which becomes a means of tribulation, as reward is not in line with wisdom and justice.
In this regard a few crucial matters need to be understood:
a) After the oppressive murder of Amir al Muʼminin ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, an extremely difficult plight overcame the Muslim Ummah, which ultimately led to the Battles of Jamal and Siffin. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who remained in the blessed company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for twenty-three years, and about whom Rasululla salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
يحب الله ورسوله ويحبه الله ورسوله
He loves Allah and His Rasul and in turn Allah and His Rasul love him.
One who has been given the honourable title of:
The most accurate in decision making.
A personality who surpassed everyone in knowledge (in his era of caliphate) as well as in taqwa, wisdom, understanding and far-sightedness. And now a person of this calibre says:
فانا مستقبلون امرا له وجوه و الوان لا تقوم له القلوب و لا تثبت عليه العقو ل و ان الافاق قد اغامت لمحجة قد تنكرت
We are faced with such a tremendous matter which has such angles and colours to it that no heart or mind can have conviction. The horizons have become clouded and the paths confused.
If this was the situation of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu then what decision and conclusion can we arrive at today, centuries after the actual events transpired, by merely studying selected reports of history? Confusion and uncertainty was truly the actual scenario the Muslim Ummah faced at the time.
b) The insurgents and rebels hid in the midst of the Muslims and in the sacred city of Madina Munawarrah itself, and in the very presence of al Masjid al Nabawi and the blessed grave of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam they mercilessly murdered Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, shattering the foundations of the Islamic caliphate.
c) The rebels, in order to strengthen their cause, proclaimed false love for the family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in particular. They carried much influence in the various camps of the Muslims. It would not be incorrect to say that the reigns of caliphate was in their control. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would say:
يملكوننا و لا يملكهم
They have control over us. And we do not have authority over them.
d) The question which needs to be asked here is whether seeking qisas for the blood of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a minor issue or not? Who is ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu after all? He was the rightful khalifah, the best after Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and yet he was ruthlessly murdered after being held in house arrest for forty days. The pen is unable to write the heart breaking incident. The very same ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, when the false rumour of his martyrdom spread in the Muslim camp, Rasulullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself took a pledge from 1400 Muhajirin and Ansar to fight to the death to avenge his blood, upon which verses of the Qurʼan were revealed. Rasulullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu even went to the extent of placing his blessed hand in place of the hand of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Again the questioned is asked: was seeking qisas for the blood of ‘Uthmanradiya Llahu ‘anhu a minor issue or not? Furthermore, is seeking qisas not seeking to fulfil that which is fard (compulsory) in light of the following verse:
ٓیٰاَیُّهَا الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا كُتِبَ عَلَیْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِی الْقَتْلٰی
O you who have iman! Qisas has been made obligatory for you in the case of murder.
It is reported in a hadith:
من قتل متعمدا ادفع الى اولياء المقتول فان شائوا قتلوا و ان شائوا اخذوا الدية
If a person intentionally takes the life of a person, then he shall be given over to the heirs of the deceased. They can decide between executing him or taking diyah (monetary recompense) from him.
e) Qisas is indeed a law of Shari’ah, the obligation of which is established by the Qurʼan and hadith. Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu never claimed caliphate or imarah (leadership). Molana Zafar Ahmed ‘Uthmani (d. 1394 A.H) states:
When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had sent a delegation to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to take his pledge of allegiance, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “I will most certainly pledge myself to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on condition that he take qisas for the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu or he award me the task.” He then recited the following verse:
وَ مَنْ قُتِلَ مَظْلُوْمًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِیِّهٖ سُلْطٰنًا فَلَا یُسْرِفْ فِّی الْقَتْلِؕ اِنَّهٗ کَانَ مَنْصُوْرًا
Whoever is killed unjustly, then verily We have granted authority to his heir, so let him not transgress in execution. Indeed he shall be assisted.
Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:
At this point I became convinced that if qisas for the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not taken then Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu would definitely take charge.
On the one hand, the atmosphere was rampant with the demand for the murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be executed, and the situation was such:
حجة معاوية زمن معه ما وقع معه من قتل عثمان مظلوما و وجود قتلته باعيانهم فى العسكر العراقى
The proof of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and those with him was that ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was oppressively murdered and the murderers were present in the Iraqi army.
The killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu concealed themselves beneath the banner of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Delhwi rahimahu Llah writes:
The murderers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had no choice but to seek political refuge in ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and pledge their allegiance to him. Therefore, they strove hard to strengthen their allegiance to him and therefore displayed the utmost obedience to him; so that in whichever way their allegiance to him may be fortified.
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah also writes:
They fabricated false narrations and invented new ideologies so that they can corrupt Islam and deviate those who are naive and gullible. They exerted themselves in the assassination of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and this was the very first fitnah. Thereafter, they gathered around ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu not because they loved ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Ahlul Bayt, but rather in order to create fitnah among the Muslims. Thus, they fought alongside ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Shortly thereafter, a group from among them labelled ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu a kafir and fought against him. They were called the Khawarij. The Khawarij were the first to wage war against the Muslims. A group from amongst them would speak ill of the three khalifas and they were called Rawafid.
f) Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said that he does not have sufficient power to capture them and in reply to this two demands were made from him:
Hand them over to us and we will take Qisas.If this too is not possible then grant us permission to capture them ourselves, and absolve yourself from them.
However, despite these suggestions, the Battle of Siffin was initiated by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and not Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In fact, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu rather opted to defend himself. Furthermore, the battle was ended by Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
In fact, Molana ‘Abd al Shakur Lucknowi rahimahu Llah has written:
In this battle, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was really struggling due to the cowardice and rebellious attitude of his men.
If Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was truly desirous of caliphate and leadership then he would have very conveniently brought his army in the Battle of Siffin or could have attacked after the Battle of Naharwan when Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would have been vulnerable. Molana ‘Abd al Shakur Lucknowi rahimahu Llah further states:
After the Battle of Siffin, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had practically lost the entire country, to such an extent that he only had Kufa and the surroundings of Kufa in his control.
Shah Waliullah rahimahu Llah mentions something very similar to this in Izalat al Khafa (vol.1 pg. 479).
If Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu so wished, he could have announced his caliphate immediately after the martyrdom of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu but he did not. How could he, whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself had praised with the virtue:
معاوية ابى سفيان احلم امتي واجودها
Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the most tolerant of my ummah and the most generous.
How can he do such a thing? Thus, qisas, which is a Shar’i and religious injunction, can never be referred to as a governmental matter.
After this lengthy discussion and clarification, we wish to ask the critics one question. Molana Zafar Ahmed ‘Uthmani rahimahu Llah writes:
This mystery has still not been solved. When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu knew about the disturbance and that the rebels were mischief-mongers then why did he include them in his army? Why did he award Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and Malik al Ashtar al Nakhai such high ranking positions, when it was they who had incited this mischief. Why did he keep them with him in all of his gatherings and important affairs. They were at the forefront in the important political and war affairs. Can those who are criticising us and wish to attain the level of ijtihad, please take the trouble to solve this riddle for us?
Failing to understand ijtihad
Thirdly, the claim was made:
This cannot be regarded as error in ijtihad.
We are instructed to understand the Qurʼan and Sunnah through the interpretation and explanation mentioned by the pious predecessors. Any explanation of the Qurʼan or interpretation of the hadith which has not been proven by the pious predecessors will be considered to be incorrect. This is the least that we have learnt from our pious ancestors. The author of Ma’arif al Sunan, the renowned Muhaddith- Molana Sayed Muhammad Yusuf Binori rahimahu Llah (d. 1397 A.H) mentions:
This world is a place of truth and falsehood. In this place, falsehood disguises itself in a cloak of truth. Many times, a person considers his false ideologies to be the truth and embraces it because of which he gradually becomes mentally deranged. Eventually he does not even possess the ability to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. This is detrimental. It is not the way of the people of the truth and research. They say: “This is my understanding”, when he himself is dwelling in misconception. When they are reprimanded out of sincerity and goodness then they proffer an array of excuses. The way of the people of the truth is that when they are made aware of any inappropriate words they have uttered or written, they immediately return to the truth.
Similarly, the author of Aujaz al Masalik- Molana Muhammad Zakariyyah Saharanpuri rahimahu Llah (d. 1402 A.H) writes:
The reality is that in this era of trials, a person is only considered to be a research scholar when he criticises the pious predecessors. Therefore, this unworthy one is a follower of the pious predecessors, step for step, and if this unworthy one ever does utter anything contrary to them then it will be absurd and rejected.
To then disagree with them, and that too in the disputes of the Sahaba, which is a bridge in the chapter of iman; sharper than a sword and finer than a strand of hair. The pious have given advice to control both the pen and the tongue in this regard, because in this chapter it is very difficult to save oneself from excess and deficiency, exaggeration and derision. A small mistake can be a means of one losing his iman. Especially with regards to Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, extreme precaution has to be exercised. Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah offers a piece of advice:
O my brothers! In this matter, Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not alone. Approximately half of the Sahaba were with him in this matter. If those who fought Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu are branded as kafir and fasiq (sinners), then none will remain with iman in complete din, because it was due to their efforts of propagation that Islam has reached us. Only a zindiq (renegade), whose object is to falsify din, will say that it is permissible.
It can be understood from the above that by not considering the dispute between Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be a matter of ijtihad and describing it to be mere “stubbornness” and issuing rulings of kufr and fisq upon them, is nothing short of disbelief. The purpose of this is not to support the Ahlul Bayt, rather it is to create doubts in Islam.
Now we will present a few references, wherein our senior scholars have unambiguously termed this dispute to be a matter of ijtihad.
Imam Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari
Imam Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari rahimahu Llah writes:
فأما ما جرى بين علي والزبير وعائشة رضي الله عنهم أجمعين فإنما كان على تأويل واجتهاد وعلي الإمام وكلهم من أهل الاجتهاد وقد شهد لهم النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم بالجنة والشهادة فدل على أنهم كلهم كانوا على حق في اجتهادهم وكذلك ما جرى بين سيدنا علي ومعاوية رضي الله عنهما فدل على تأويل واجتهاد
The dispute that came about between Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidah ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was based on differences in interpretation and ijtihad. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the khalifah of the time. All of these great personalities had a right to exercise their judgement. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had given them glad tidings of Jannat and martyrdom. We can understand from this that everyone was correct in praciticng ijtihad. Similarly, the dispute between Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was also based on ijtihad.
Imam Abu Ishaq al Isfaraʼini
Imam Abu Ishaq al Isfaraʼini rahimahu Llah (d. 418 A.H) states:
فإنه أي التخاصم والنزاع والتقاتل والدفاع الذي جرى بينهم ، كان عن اجتهاد قد صدر من كل واحد من رءوس الفريقين ، ومقصد سائغ لكل فرقة من الطائفتين ، وإن كان المصيب في ذلك للصواب واحدا ، وهو علي رضوان الله عليه ومن والاه ، والمخطئ هو من نازعه وعاداه ، غير أن للمخطئ في الاجتهاد أجرا وثوابا ، خلافا لأهل الجفاء والعناد ، فكل ما صح مما جرى بين الصحابة الكرام وجب حمله على وجه ينفي عنهم الذنوب والآثام
Verily, the dispute, conflict, repulsion and fighting that took place between the Sahaba was due to ijtihad that the leaders of the two groups made. Both groups had noble intentions even though only one group was correct in their ijtihad. That was the group of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his supporters. Those people who disputed and fought against Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu were at fault. Nevertheless, the group that was at fault will still receive one reward. Only the oppressors and obstinate have disputed regarding this doctrine. Therefore it is wajib to expound on even the authentic narrations regarding the dispute of the Sahaba, so they can be exonerated from all blame.
Hafiz Ibn Hazam al Andalusi
Hafiz Ibn Hazam al Andalusi rahimahu Llah (d. 456 A.H) explains:
فبهذا قطعنا على صواب علي رضي الله عنه وصحة إمامته وأنه صاحب الحق وأن له أجرين أجر الاجتهاد، وأجر الإصابة وقطعنا أن معاوية رضي الله عنه ومن معه مخطئون مجتهدون مأجورون أجراً واحدا
Because of these (above mentioned) reasons we have strong conviction that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was correct in his ijtihad and his position of leadership was correct and he was also right. He will be rewarded double. One reward for making ijtihad and the second reward because his ijtihad was correct. We also have conviction that Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his supporters were also mujtahidin but had erred in their judgement. Due to their error they will be given one reward.
Imam al Ghazzali
Imam al Ghazzali rahimahu Llah(d. 505 A.H) mentions:
وما جرى بين معاوية وعلي رضي الله عنهما كان مبنيا على الاجتهاد لا منازعة من معاوية في الإمامة
The dispute that occurred between Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was based on ijtihad. It was not a dispute pertaining to leadership.
Allamah Ibn al Athir al Jazri
Allamah Ibn al Athir al Jazri rahimahu Llah (d. 630 A.H) elucidates:
وذهب جمهور المعتزلة إلى أن عائشة وطلحة والزبير ومعاوية . وجميع أهل العراق والشام فُسَّاق بقتالهم الإمام الحقوكل هذا جُرأة على السلف تخالف السنة ، فإن ما جرى بينهم كان مبنيًا على الاجتهاد
The majority of the Mu’tazilah are of the opinion that Sayyidah ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, Sayyidina Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, all of Iraq and Syria are classed as fasiq because they fought against the leader. This is an audacious claim on the pious predecessors and is against the Sunnah because everything that had transpired between them was on the basis of ijtihad.
Allamah Qurtubi al Maliki
Allamah Qurtubi al Maliki rahimahu Llah (d. 671 A.H) writes:
لا يجوز أن ينسب إلى أحد من الصحابة خطأ مقطوع به ، إذ كانوا كلهم اجتهدوا فيما فعلوه وأرادوا الله عز وجل ، وهم كلهم لنا أئمة ، وقد تعبدنا بالكف عما شجر بينهم ، وألا نذكرهم إلا بأحسن الذكر ، لحرمة الصحبة ولنهي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن سبهم ، وأن الله غفر لهم وأخبر بالرضا عنهم
It is not permissible to explicitly attribute an error to the Sahaba especially when they had used their ijtihad in whatever they did and their intentions were solely to please Allah. We believe they were all guides. We have been commanded to control our tongues regarding the disputes that took place between them. We should remember them with good words because of the honour of the Sahaba, and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam warning us not to defame them. The reason for this is because Allah has forgiven them and informed them that He is pleased with them.
Imam Muhiyy al Din al Nawawi
Imam Muhiyy al Din al Nawawi rahimahu Llah (d. 676 A.H) mentions:
واما معاوية رضي الله عنه فهو من العدول الفضلاء والصحابة النجباء رضي الله عنه واما الحروب التي جرت فكانت لكل طائفة شبهة اعتقدت تصويب انفسها بسببها وكلهم عدول رضي الله عنهم ومتأولون في حروبهم وغيرها ولم يخرج شئ من ذلك احدا منهم عن العدالة لانهم مجتهدون اختلفوا في مسائل من محل الاجتهاد كما يختلف المجتهدون بعدهم في مسائل من الدماء وغيرها ولا يلزم من ذلك نقص احد منهم
Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is among those who are just and among the noble Sahaba. The war that took place between them was on account of doubt amongst both groups, which they considered to be the truth. All of them are just. They have their interpretation for the internal fighting. None of the reasons are such that it can remove their quality of being just since they were all mujtahids. Their disputes occurred only in matters of ijtihad. Similarly, there were many differences of opinion in ijtihad among the mujtahidin that came after them, only this did not bring about any dispute amongst them.
Hafiz Imad al Din ibn al Kathir
Hafiz Imad al Din Ibn al Kathir rahimahu Llah (d. 774 A.H) writes:
وفيه أن أصحاب علي أدنى الطائفتين إلى الحق، وهذا هو مذهب أهل السنة والجماعة أن عليا هو المصيب وإن كان معاوية مجتهدا، وهو مأجور إن شاء الله
It is also proven from this hadith that the companions of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu were closer to the truth from both the groups. This is the position and stance of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was correct (in his ijtihad) even though Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu will also be rewarded in his capacity as a mujtahid.
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah
The statements of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah al Hanbali rahimahu Llah (d. 728 A.H) has been mentioned previously. He said:
ولهذا اتفق أهل السنة على أنه لا تفسق واحدة من الطائفتين وإن قالوا في إحداهما إنهم كانوا بغاة لأنهم كانوا متأولين مجتهدين والمجتهد المخطىء لا يكفر ولا يفسق
It is for this reason that the Ahlus Sunnah have consensus on the matter that none of the two groups are fasiq, even though they may have called each other rebels. This is because both the groups were mujtahids. A mujtahid who errs cannot be termed as a kafir nor a fasiq.
Allamah al Taftazani
Allamah Sa’d al Din Mas’ud al Taftazani rahimahu Llah (d. 808 A.H) mentions:
وليسوا كفارا ولا فسقة ولا ظلمة لما لهم من التأويل وإن كان باطلا فغاية الأمر أنهم أخطأوا في الاجتهاد وذلك لا يوجب التفسيق فضلا عن التكفير ولهذا منع علي رضي الله تعالى عنه أصحابه من لعن أهل الشام وقال إخواننا بغوا علينا
They are not kafir and nor are they fasiq and they cannot be classified as oppressors because they had a reason for their actions, even if it may have been incorrect. The most that can be said is that they had erred in their judgement. By this error, a person does not become a fasiq, let alone venture into kufr. It was for this reason that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu admonished those people who were cursing the people of Syria and said to them that they are our brothers who have rebelled against us.
Allamah Ibn al Khaldun al Maghribi
Allamah Ibn Khaldun al Maghribi rahimahu Llah (d. 808 A.H) writes:
كان طريقهم فيها الحق والاجتهاد، ولم يكونوا في محاربتهم لغرض دنيوي أو لإيثار باطل أو لاستشعار حقد، كما قد يتوهمه متوهم وينزع إليه ملحد
They acted upon the truth and exercised ijtihad in these matters. Their internal fighting was not because of any worldly motives or obstinacy as the worshippers of imagination think and the route the heretics also take.
Ibn Hajar al ’Asqalani
Ibn Hajar al ’Asqalani rahimahu Llah (d. 852 A.H) explains:
واتفق أهل السنة على وجوب منع الطعن على أحد من الصحابة بسبب ما وقع لهم من ذلك ولو عرف المحق منهم لأنهم لم يقاتلوا في تلك الحروب الا عن اجتهاد وقد عفا الله تعالى عن المخطئ في الاجتهاد بل ثبت أنه يؤجر أجرا واحدا وان المصيب يؤجر أجرين كما سيأتي بيانه في كتاب الأحكام
The Ahlus Sunnah have consensus on this matter that it is forbidden to curse the Sahaba because of the disputes that took place between them, even though the group that were on the truth may be known. This is because their internal fighting was based upon ijtihad (and not due to arrogance). Allah has forgiven those who err in their ijtihad. It also a proven fact that the mujtahid who is correct in his ijtihad receives two rewards and the mujtahid who errs receives one reward.
Allamah Ibn al Humam
The commentator on Hidayah- Imam Kamal al Din Ibn al Humam al Hanafi rahimahu Llah (d. 861 A.H) mentions:
وما جرى بين معاوية وعلي رضي الله عنهما كان مبنيا على الاجتهاد لا منازعة من معاوية في الإمامة
The events that unfolded between Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu were based on ijtihad. Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not dispute regarding the caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Ibn Hajar al Makki
Ibn Hajar al Makki al Shafi’i al Haythami rahimahu Llah(d. 974 A.H) writes:
و من اعتقاد اهل السنة و الجماعة ايضا ان معاوية لم يكن فى ايام علىّ خليفة و انما كان من الملوك و غاية اجتهاده انه كان له اجر واحد على اجتهاده و اما علىّ فكان له اجران اجر على اجتهاده و اجر على اصابته
Also amongst the fundamental beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah is that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not a khalifah during the lifetime of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu but he was a king. The outcome of his ijtihad is that he will receive one reward. As for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he will receive two rewards- one for his ijtihad and another because it was correct.
Mujaddid Alf-e Thani
Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah (d. 1034 A.H) says:
The differences that occurred amongst the Sahaba were not based upon worldly desires as their inner-selves had been purified (by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and had transcended from Nafs al Ammarah (which inclines man towards evil) to Nafs al Mutmaʼinnah (which inclines man towards good).Their desires had been brought in conformity with Shari’ah. In fact there differences are termed as ijtihad and “Raising the call of truth”.
Allamah al Khaffaji
Allamah Shihab al Din al Khaffaji rahimahu Llah (d. 1099 A.H) writes:
فيما كان بينهم من الفتن كما وقع بين علي و معاوية رضي الله عنهما أحسن التأويلات و المحامل لأ نها أمور وقعت باجتهاد منهم لا لأغراض نفسانية و مطامع دنيوية كما يظنه الجهلة
The different trials which occurred in the era of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu are based on favourable interpretations because these were matters based on their ijtihad. It was not due to ulterior motives or out of greed for the paltry gains of this world, as is assumed by the ignorant.
Mulla ‘Ali Qari
Mulla ‘Ali Qari rahimahu Llah (d. 1014 A.H) writes:
فلا يشكل باختلاف بعض الصحابة في الخلافة و الامارة قلت الظاهر ان اختلاف الخلاف أيضا من باب اختلاف فروع الدين الناشئة عن اجتهاد كل لا من الغرض الدنيوى الصادرعن الحظ النفسي
The objection should not be raised against this saying of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that some of the Sahaba differed in the matter of caliphate and governorship, as according to me, apparent differences in caliphate also fall under the category of subsidiary differences; which were all based on the ijtihad of each involved and not ulterior motives relating to one’s personal inclinations.
Allamah ‘Abd al ’Aziz al Farharawi
Allamah ‘Abd al ’Aziz al Farharawi rahimahu Llah (d. 1240 A.H) states:
وقال اهل السنة كان الحق مع علي وان من حاربه مخطئ في الاجتهاد فهو معذور وان كلا من الفرقين عادل صالح ولايجوز الطعن في احد منهم
The Ahlus Sunnah hold the opinion that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was on the truth and those who waged war against him had erred in their ijtihad and are thus exonerated. Both parties are just and pious. Therefore it will not be permissible to revile any of them.
Molana Rashid Ahmed Ghanghohi
Molana Rashid Ahmed Ghanghohi rahimahu Llah (d. 1323 A.H) writes:
And whatever occurred from some of them, whether it is regarding the war waged against Amir Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu or any other deficiency of human-nature, it is an error based on ijtihad.
Molana Sayed Hussain Ahmed Madani
The illustrious Sheikh of the Arab and non-Arabs- Molana Hussain Ahmed Madani rahimahu Llah (d. 1377 A.H) elucidates:
The imams of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah regard the differences of the Sahaba radiya Llahu ‘anhum as errors of ijtihad.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi’
The grand Mufti of Pakistan- Molana Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ rahimahu Llah (d. 1395 A.H) explains:
Especially concerning the disagreement of the Sahaba radiya Llahu ‘anhum, just as the ummah has consensus that it is necessary to revere both parties and it is impermissible to revile any one of them, on the same note there is consensus that in the Battle of Siffin, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was on the truth and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu with his companions on the other side were at fault. However, their fault is categorised as an error of ijtihad, which does not qualify as a sin in Shari’ah, such that one will be taken to task by Allah. On the contrary, after exhausting one’s abilities in applying the requisites of ijtihad, if one happens to err in his conclusion; he too will not be deprived of reward and will be awarded a single reward. It is the consensus of the ummah that this dispute of the Sahaba falls in the same category of ijtihad differences which will not cause a blemish to any party or individuals. In this way, truth has been differentiated from the false and the reverence and honour of the Sahaba upheld. This has to be added to the fact that remaining silent and not delving into their disputes has been given preference and therefore it would not be permissible to delve into those narrations discussing the opposition party at the time of war without any valid cause.
Khawajah Shams al Din Siyalwi
Khawajah Shams al ’Arifin rahimahu Llah (d. 1300 A.H), who was the spiritual mentor of Mohr ‘Ali Shah Golarwi, has mentioned the following in his advices:
The conversation thereafter led to the battle that took place between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuand Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon which Khawajah Shams al ’Arifin mentioned: “The cause of dissention and disagreement between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is based on ijtihad and not due to opposition.” Thereafter he mentioned: “O dervish! Although Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was at fault, a mujtahid who errs still gets a single reward .Therefore it is highly detestable for a dervish to vilify the honour of the Sahaba.”
These are a mere twenty one references from reliable sources of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah which were penned down after a very superficial search, whereas the reality is that there is not a single proficient scholar of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah who stated that the differences between them were based upon opposition and not on ijtihad; rendering an alternate excuse for the course taken by Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah went to the extent of saying:
فلا جرم خطأ معاوية خير من صوابهما ببركة الصحبة
The error of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu surpasses the accuracies of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al ’Aziz rahimahu Llah and Uways al Qarni rahimahu Llah, through the blessing of the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Therefore, the entire life of good deeds of the critics of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and their mentors combined cannot equal the reward Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu accrued through this error in ijtihad.
In conclusion, I would like to present the view of Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah in which he explained that errors of ijtihad are acceptable according to the Ahlus Sunnah:
وكتب القوم مشحونة بالخطاء الاجتهادي كما صرح به الامام الغزالي والقاضي ابوبكر وغيرهما. پس تفسيق وتضليل درمحاربان حضرت امير جائز نباشد
And the works of the ‘ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah are filled with opinions based on errors in ijtihad, as has been clearly mentioned by Imam al Ghazzali rahimahu Llah and Qadi Abu Bakr al Baqillani rahimahu Llah, and others. Therefore it will not be permissible to brand those who fought ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as sinners or astray.
This leaves no need for further elucidation on the topic. However, the words of the author of Nam wa Nasab’ are worth mentioning here:
When a big group of understanding people accept something, then the disagreement of a few weak-minded in some journals will not make any difference.
The ijtihad of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu
Beloved Readers! You have continuously been reading about ijtihad and errors in ijtihad, therefore I would like to present before you the following question to add to your knowledge.
The burning question is: what was the issue of contention between the two since Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was seeking retaliation for the murder of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu too was in favour of the same? At times, great events are based on minute issues and the consequences more severe. The actual issue of importance might be something small or even abstract yet the fruits and consequences turn out to be major. This is exactly what transpired in the disputes of the Sahaba. All that occurred was that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu agreed to the necessity of punishing the murderers but differed concerning the hastiness of the issue, which eventually led to a battle between them.
Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu preferred, based on his ijtihad, to first attend to the stability of the caliphate before meeting out justice and until all the regions were not re-instated under the caliphate, its power and strength should not be directed towards punishment and seizing the criminals. Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the other hand, based on his ijtihad, was of the opinion that punishing the murderers of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu itself will lead to the stability of the Islamic Empire. His proposal was that if Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself attended to the retaliation then well and good, otherwise he should hand over the murderers to the heirs of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, thereby acting upon the ruling of the Qurʼan:
فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِیِّه سُلْطٰنًا
We have granted authority to his heir.
In this case, he would readily pledge his allegiance to him. If Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is unable to establish justice and bring the assassinators and rebels to book then how can he be worthy of attending to the great requirement of the caliphate as he himself said:
ايها الناس إن احق الناس بهذا الامر اقواهم عليه واعلمهم بامر الله فيه
O people! The most worthy of caliphate is he, who is most profound in establishing and seeing to its smooth running and is most well-versed with regards to the disposition of it according to the law decreed by Allah.
However, if Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu concentrated on meeting out punishments and neglected the caliphate, it could have proven to have been more detrimental for the Islamic Empire. It is for this reason that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was of the view to first unify and strengthen the disorganised and disordered powers and thereafter punish the murderers of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In this delicate situation, the views of both parties can be accommodated and it will not be permissible to regard any side as sinners or transgressors, even though the senior Sahaba were also of the opinion that the caliphate should first be established. Despite all this, to still cavil and clamour over the faults of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, thinking it to be a means of great success and the pinnacle of expressing one’s love for the Ahlul Bayt is propostrous and the following poem aptly fits:
ایں خيال اسث محال اسث جنوں
This is mere conjecture, impossible, and madness.
Hafiz Ibn al ’Asakir rahimahu Llah (d. 261 A.H) narrates regarding Imam Abu Zur’ah al Razi rahimahu Llah (d. 261 A.H) that once somebody said to him: “I hold ill feelings for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.” On enquiring about the reason, the latter exclaimed: “He fought against ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.” Imam Abu Zur’ah rahimahu Llah replied:
ويحك ان رب معاوية رحيم ,وخصم معاوية خصم كريم فأيش دخولك بينهما ,رضي الله عنهما
Woe to you! The Rabb of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is Most Merciful and his rival (‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu) the most gallant. Who are you to then intrude when Allah is pleased with both of them?
The reference of Molana ‘Abd al Rahman Jami rahimahu Llah
The writings of Molana ‘Abd al Rahman Jami al Naqshbandi rahimahu Llah is often quoted. He said:
One group denied pledging allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and they erred in their rebelliousness.
Molana Jami rahimahu Llah in the same treatise writes in a poem:
And the other Sahaba who differed with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the matter of caliphate (i.e. Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu), the truth at that juncture was with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and waging war against him was an appalling error.
In reply to this it should be noted that the majority of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah regard the dispute between Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be an error in ijtihad. This has been elucidated over the previous pages with references to the stalwarts amongst the ‘ulama of Islam. Regarding the aforementioned author, by whose writings Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his entire group have been branded as rebels, which also includes a great number of the Sahaba according to the count of Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah; this will only be used by a deviant whose intention is to falsify din itself. Can anyone who claims that Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his group are sinners, which comprised of many other Sahaba as well, still be regarded as a follower of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah? As for the poems of Molana Jami rahimahu Llah, we find no need to comment since its refutation is clear from the following wise words of Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah (d. 1034 A.H):
Molana ‘Abd al Rahman Jami has exceeded the limits by calling an error in ijtihad an “appalling error”. It is a great injustice to label this as anything more than an error. Thereafter what Molana Jami mentioned that “if he is worthy of being cursed…” too is inappropriate. This is not the place of refutation nor a place of confusion! If this was mentioned regarding Yazid it would be understandable but saying such things about Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is extremely detestable. It has been narrated in hadith on the authority of reliable narrators that
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made the following supplication for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
اللهم علمه الكتاب و الحساب وقه العذ اب
O Allah! Grant Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu the knowledge of the Qurʼan and the laws of inheritance and protect him from the punishment.
On another occasion Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
اللهم اجعله هاديا مهديا
O Allah! Make him a guide for others and guide him as well.
The supplication of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is readily accepted. After taking all of this into consideration, it is apparent that this statement of Molana Jami was uttered in error. Furthermore, Molana Jami in this poem did not clearly mention any names. Instead he said “and the other Sahabi”. This depicts a sense of unhappiness with the Sahaba and for this reason we beseech Allah Ta’ala saying: “O Allah! Do not take us to task over our forgetfulness and mistakes.”
Shia insertions in the books of the Ahlus Sunnah
When we walk through the corridors of history, we are yet to find an example equal to the damage and destruction the Rawafid have inflicted upon Islam and the Muslims. If Islam had not been the final religion upon which the divine seal of protection was attached, the mischief of Rafd or Shi’ism would have been sufficient to destroy Islam. This was that movement of kufr and hypocrisy whose ultimate purpose was to cause mischief and anarchy on earth. It has a played a major role in many of the catastrophic attacks upon the ummah.
Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah (d. 728 A.H) writes:
ومنهم من ادخل على الدين من الفساد ما لا يحصيه إلا رب العباد فملاحدة الاسماعلية و النصيرية و غيرهم من الباطنية المنافقين من بابهم دخلوا واعداء ا لمسلمين من المشركين و اهل الكتاب بطريقهم وصلوا واستولوا بهم على بلاد الاسلام و سبوا الحريم وأخذوا الاموال واسفكوا الدم الحرام وجرى على الامة بمعاونتهم من فساد الدنيا والدين ما لا يعلمه الا رب العالمين إذ كان اصل المذهب من احداث الزنادقة المنافقين
Amongst them are those who injected such poisons into din, which cannot be counted except by Allah Ta’ala, such as the Isma’iliyyah and Nusayriyyah and other hypocrites from the Batiniyyah, who used this avenue to attack Islam. Similarly it was through this means that the enemies of Islam from amongst the polytheists and Christians intervened and conquered the lands of the Muslims, captured our womenfolk and children, looted our wealth and shed the blood of the innocent civilians. In short, the Shia were the chief orchestrators behind such great catastrophes afflicting the religious and worldly lives of the Muslims, the extent of which is known to Allah alone. All of this is because the roots of the Shia religion originate from the hypocrites and infidels.
The harms caused to the monumental works of the Ahlus Sunnah
Leave aside the tumult and bloodshed the Rawafid were instrumental in, the damage which the literature of the Ahlus Sunnah suffered at their hands is most devastating. We will present a summary of such incidents, in the words of Shah ‘Abd al ’Aziz Muhaddith Delhwi rahimahu Llah (d. 1239 A.H). The readers should observe the manner in which the Rawafid have tampered with the books of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah and interpolated it with their own narrations and thereby deceived not only the general masses but the elite too.
Sixteenth deception: Their ‘ulama under the guise of Taqiyyah portrayed themselves to be muhaddithin of the Ahlus Sunnah and began acquiring the knowledge of hadith from the famous Sunni Muhaddithin. They memorised authentic chains of narration and beautified themselves with outward abstinence and taqwa. When the ‘ulama began relying on them, they began combining their fabricated narrations with authentic narrations, due to which the masses as well as some scholars were fooled. However, all praise is due to Allah who brought to the fore Muhaddithin of such calibre, who skilfully sieved through the narrations and eradicated all these interpolations.
Nineteenth deception: They inspect the names in the authentic narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah and if they find any to have a name or title similar to one of their (Shia) narrators, they attribute his (Shia) narrations to the narrators of the Ahlus Sunnah. This complicates matters since both names or titles are identical.
Twenty first deception: They compile books containing insults and accusations against the Sahaba with clear refutation of the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah and publish it, attributing it to some high ranking scholar of the Ahlus Sunnah.
Twenty second deception: They quote derogatory remarks about the Sahaba and connotations rejecting the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah from rare books which cannot be found.
Thirtieth deception: With great fervour, they cast the impression that a certain scholar is an ‘extremist’ Sunni and some even go the extra mile in calling him a Khariji (or Nasibi) after which they ascribe such opinions to him which are in favour of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (twelvers) Imamiyyah sect and falsifies the way of the Ahlus Sunnah. The purpose of this is to confuse the onlooker, by alluding him into thinking that if a ‘hardcore’ Sunni of this calibre quotes such narrations without criticising it then it must definitely have some basis.
Thirty second deception: A group of the Shia scholars with great difficulty and tireless efforts search for rare books of tafsir and history which are uncommon to the ‘ulama and students of the Ahlus Sunnah. They then alter it, so that it conforms to the Shia creed and refutes the beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah.
Thirty sixth deception: Another way of deception adopted by them is by interpolating and forging the poems of the leaders of the Ahlus Sunnah. They achieve this by fabricating a few couplets on the same rhyme of the initial poem, in accordance with their whims, which emphatically negates the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah and then include it in the actual poem. This type of discrepancies are usually carried out in the poems of famous accepted poets of the Ahlus Sunnah such as Sheikh Farid al Din al ’Attar rahimahu Llah, Sheikh al Wahidi rahimahu Llah, Shams al Tabrezi rahimahu Llah, Hakim al Sunaʼi rahimahu Llah, Molana Rumi rahimahu Llah, Hafiz al Shirazi rahimahu Llah, Khawajah Qutb al Din Delhwi rahimahu Llah, and others.
Aside from these, the Shia have not even left Imam Shafi’i rahimahu Llah alone and have conspired and interpolated his poems as well.
We have concisely presented seven ways of their deception for the benefit of the readers, whereas Shah ‘Abd al ’Aziz rahimahu Llah has indicated a hundred and seven ways of their deception.
Are the books of the esteemed Sufiyah free from discrepancies?
Just as iman and Islam are two independent branches of din, on the same line, ihsan too is an independent branch attending to the perfection of din which begins with:
انما الاعمال بالنيات
Actions are judged by intentions.
and finally manifests itself with:
ان تعبد الله كانك تراه
To worship Allah with complete consciousness as if you are seeing Him.
Our history of Islam is replete with examples of the concurring existence of the teaching of the Qurʼan and the Sunnah together with the rectification of the inner soul and heart which gradually adopted the name of Tasawuf. Tasawuf has many other names as well, such as Tariqah, Suluk, Ihsan, ‘Ilm al Akhlaq, ‘Ilm al Qalb, etc, but it is more commonly known as Tasawuf. In essence, some actions pertain to the outer limbs and some pertain to the inner. The aforementioned category is known as A’mal Zahirah (outward actions or Shari’ah) and the latter is known as A’mal Batinah (inward actions or Tariqah). The position of the outward actions is like the similitude of the body, while the inward actions playing the role of the soul. In this way, each component is in need of the other.
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Delhwi rahimahu Llah states:
Shari’ah without Tariqah is a mere philosophy and theory and Tariqah without Shari’ah eventually leads to apostasy and infidelity.
What is the reality of this Tasawuf or Tariqah, for this we will reproduce a comprehensive definition from Allamah al Shami rahimahu Llah:
هو علم يعرف به انواع الفضائل وكيفية اكتسابها وانواع الرذائل وكيفية اجتنابها
Tasawuf is that branch of knowledge which deals with the varieties of noble character together with its method of attainment and the varieties of ill-traits and how to abstain from it.
The extent to which purifying ones heart is necessary can be well understood from the following quote of Molana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi rahimahu Llah (d. 1366 A.H):
The aspect of Shari’ah which deals with inward actions is called Tasawuf or Suluk and the aspect dealing with outward actions is called Fiqh. The subject matter of Tasawuf concerns reformation of character and the objective is attaining the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. The methodology adopted is complete adherence to the laws of Shari’ah. So to say, Tasawuf is the soul and perfection of din which purifies a person’s soul from ill-traits and bad manners and beautifies his character with virtuous actions and upright morals and ethics, thereby acquiring attentiveness to Allah, which is the objective of life. Therefore, Tasawuf and Tariqah are definitely not contrary to Shari’ah; rather it is necessary for every Muslim to be a sufi, without which he cannot become a complete Muslim.
It is a reality upon which the sufiyah and the ‘arifin have unanimously agreed; just as that Tasawuf which is taught and recommended by Islam is a means of guidance for the universe, in a like manner that Tasawuf which is adopted from other sources besides Islam (which entered into the ummah after the fourth century) demolishes and destroys the fabric of a Muslim’s iman. It is for this reason that we find from the likes of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah (d. 728 A.H) and Hafiz Ibn Qayyim rahimahu Llah (d. 751 A.H) to the likes of Molana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi rahimahu Llah (d. 1366 A.H) and Molana Sayed Hussain Ahmed Madani rahimahu Llah (d. 1377 A.H), and every other reformist of the ummah, that they zealously called for jihad against all un-Islamic forms of Tasawuf and repeatedly warned the Muslims of its harms. The poem of Dr. Iqbal Marhum very aptly discusses this un-Islamic Tasawuf:
This is a very delicate matter, so guide me to your pleasure
Protect me from falling into your displeasure through this path-(Tasawuf)
Just as Islam remains un-blemished through the wanderings of a few individuals, similarly a blanket rule cannot be placed over Tasawuf due to the deviation of a few sufiyah.
The causes of un-Islamic ideas being mixed into Islamic Tasawuf
How did un-Islamic Tasawuf find its way into Islam? Hereunder we mention the explanation of Professor Salim Chishti rahimahu Llah:
At the time when the Karmathians began their efforts of propagation, Tasawuf had already begun amongst the Muslims and (its) various schools had already been established. For the sake of being accepted in the circles of the sufiyah, the Karmathians portrayed themselves to be the same, i.e. they began misleading the sufiyah in the garb of Tasawuf. Thus, mixing un-Islamic beliefs into Tasawuf, they laid the foundations for un-Islamic Tasawuf in Iran, which gradually spread amongst all the Muslims and became merged into Islamic Tasawuf, to the extent that it had become impossible for the general masses to distinguish between Islamic and un-Islamic Tasawuf.
On the one hand, the Karmathians (imposters and heretics) accustomed the Muslims to un-Islamic Tasawuf. On the other hand, with great dexterity, they interpolated the works of upright sufiyah and with it misled the Muslims with their false beliefs. The great thinker of Islam- Molana Sayed Abu al Hassan ‘Ali Nadwi rahimahu Llah (d. 1420 A.H), writes in the biography of Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah (d. 728 A.H):
Some incautious and denominationally prejudiced authors have attributed such statements to him which necessitate kufr (disbelief) according to the general belief system of the Ahlus Sunnah and the vast majority. Such statements have been attributed to him which denote disrespect and disparagement of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (May Allah save us and all the Muslims from such an act). Such treatment has not only been meted out to Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah but other elders of the ummah have also been subject to this ploy of the antagonists. Not only has such statements and beliefs been attributed to them of which they were completely innocent, but such content has been introduced into their books which necessitates disbelief and deviation.
These enemies of Islam have went a step further, by themselves authoring separate books (that contained statements of disbelief) and attributing them to well-known sufiyah, after which they circulated it among the masses. Molana Abu al Hassan ‘Ali Nadwi rahimahu Llah says:
The same approach was faced by Hujjat al Islam Imam al Ghazzali rahimahu Llah. A very large group of the scholars believe that Al Madnun bihi ala Ghayr Ahlihi, Al Madnun bihi ala Ahlihi, Ma’arij al Quds and Mishkat al Anwar are books which are unfounded and attributed to other than their actual author. The adversaries and evil-wishers of Imam al Ghazzali rahimahu Llah authored them and thereafter attributed them to him.
Imam al Sha’rani rahimahu Llah and others believe this practice to have been carried out and interpolation to have taken place in the contents and subject matter of the books of Sheikh Muhiyy al Din Ibn al ’Arabi rahimahu Llah.
The great mystic, Imam al Sha’rani rahimahu Llah (d. 976 A.H.) writes in connection with his own book, an interesting incident which serves as an eye-opener. He states in Al Yawaqit wal Jawahir:
وكذلك دسوا عليّ أنا في كتابي المسمى: البحر المورود، جملة من العقائد الزائفة وأشاعوا تلك العقائد في مصر ومكة نحو ثلاث سنين، و أنا بريء منها كما بينت ذلك في خطبة الكتاب لما غيرتها وكان العلماء كتبوا عليه وأجازوه فما سكنت الفتنة حتي أرسلت إليهم النسخة التي عليها خطوطه ، وكان ممن انتدب لنصرتي الشيخ الإمام ناصر الدين الكتاني المالكي رضى الله تعلى عنه، ثم إن بعض الحسدة أشاع في مصر ومكة أن علماء مصر رجعوا عن كتاباتهم على مؤلفات فلان كلها، فشك بعض الناس في ذلك فأرسلت نسخة للعلماء ثالث مرة فكتبوا تحت خطوطهم:كذب والله من ينسب إلينا أننا رجعنا عن كتابتنا على هذا الكتاب وغيره من مؤلفات فلان، وعبارة سيدنا ومولانا الشيخ ناصر الدين المالكي – فسح الله تعالى في أجله – بعد الحمد لله وبعد، فما نسب إلى العبد من الرجوع عما كتبته بخطي على هذا الكتاب وغيره من مؤلفات فلان باطل باطل باطل.
Similarly, they have interpolated against me as well, in my book named Al Bahr Al Mourud, a collection of deviated beliefs and they have spread such beliefs in Egypt and Makkah for close to three years, whereas I am free of it (i.e. these beliefs that they have interpolated) as I have clarified in the prologue of the book when I edited it. The scholars have written regarding it (i.e. what I have written) and consented to it. Thus, the crisis only subsided, when I dispatched to them (i.e. these scholars) the copy which had on it their handwritings. From amongst those who rose to support me was Sheikh Imam Nasir al Din al Kattani rahimahu Llah, the Maliki scholar. Thereafter, some jealous individuals promulgated in Egypt and Makkah that the scholars of Egypt had retracted what they had written with regards to all the works of so-and-so. Hence, (as a result of such propaganda) some people doubted in that (matter). So I dispatched the copy to the scholars for the third time. Thus, they wrote below their handwriting: “By the oath of Allah, whoever attributes to us that we have retracted our support for this book and others that the author has written has lied upon us.” The words of Sayyidina Molana Nasir al Din, the Maliki scholar – May Allah increase his lifespan – after praising Allah were: “As for what follows, that which has been attributed to the servant (i.e. referring to himself), viz. retracting from what I have written (with my own hand) regarding this book and others from amongst the works of so-and-so is false, (it is) false.”
There are many examples of this interpolation and falsification (which the Karmathians and heretics effected within the writings of the noble sufiyah) which may be observed in the book of the honourable Professor Salim Chishti rahimahu Llah, Islami Tasawuf mein Ghayr Islami Nazriyyat ki Amezish (The Mixing of un-Islamic ideas into Islamic Tasawuf).
The reason for the interpolation in the books of the sufiyah
Due to the fact that the honourable sufiyah were overwhelmed with observing good thoughts of others, many matters according to them were excluded from (the aspect) of academic criticism, even though the worldly abstinence of these people (i.e. the sufiyah) is accepted by one and all. Professor Salim Chishti rahimahu Llah writes:
The weakness of these sufiyah was that they were neither scholars of hadith nor were they historians. Over and above that, as a matter of fact, according to these people (i.e. the sufiyah) academic criticism and scholarly appraisal – all of it – entered into (the domain of) disrespect. The Tasawuf of Junaid rahimahu Llah was: “We will evaluate every issue, making the Qurʼan and Sunnah the criterion. If anything contradicts the Qurʼan and Sunnah, then it is rejected, regardless of whoever’s tongue it was emitted from. However, in the ninth century after hijrah, with the wicked endeavours of the Karmathians, the mindset of the Sunni sufiyah changed and instead of observing whether the statement was good or evil, they began looking at the one who stated it. In other words, no matter how mentally or reportedly incongruous a narration was, if it was attributed to any pious person, then by this mere attribution to him it was considered worthy of being relied upon; while academically reviewing and examining it would be construed as disrespect. It is for this reason that for centuries false narrations continued to be passed down and today no person has the moral courage to declare them untrue, and thus relinquish his popularity and reputation.
Molana Najm al Din Islahi rahimahu Llah, the khalifah (spiritual vicegerent) of the Sheikh of the Arabs and non-Arabs- Molana Sayed Hussain Ahmed Madani rahimahu Llah, writes in the sub-notes of (the book) Maktubat-e Sheikh al Islam:
In the books of the sufiyah (the statement): “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad” has been asserted as being an authentic hadith. However, Ibn Hajar al ’Asqalani rahimahu Llah reports that Imam Nasaʼi rahimahu Llah said it to be the words of Ibrahim ibn Ulayyah. The assertion of the words is a strong indication that this cannot be the words of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Furthermore, such an eminent scholar of hadith such as Shah ‘Abd al ’Aziz rahimahu Llah has not seen it in any of the books of hadith. Thus, the decision of (what is) hadith and (what is) not hadith should be made in light of the principles and standards of the scholars of hadith, because if the opinion of a master in the field is not accepted then immunity will be lost and the Shari’ah will continue to lose its credit. The unfortunate sufiyah who were overtaken by maintaining good thoughts (of people), where did they have the time to critically examine (statements)? Nor was it their habit (to do so). Whatever they heard or witnessed, they believed to be true. By this (concept) of theirs of maintaining good thoughts (of people), the words of any person being the statement of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will not be established.
Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah writes:
One should know that in each of those issues wherein a difference of opinion exists between the scholars and the sufiyah, if one examines them carefully then it would become apparent that the truth is on the side of the scholars. The underlying reason for this is that the basis for following the Prophets according to the scholars is their perfection of nubuwwah which encompasses their knowledge as well, whereas according to the sufiyah it is their perfection of wilayah and is confined to their knowledge. Hence, the knowledge derived from nubuwwah will undoubtedly be superior and true compared to that which is derived from the wilayah.
The condition of Molana Jami’s rahimahu Llah books
Molana ‘Abd al Rahman Jami rahimahu Llah (d. 898 A.H.) is recognised in the circles of the Ahlus Sunnah as a sufi, eloquent poet and a linguist; more so when his poems of love and reverence for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are recited by the orators in their unique way, wherein an ecstatic atmosphere is created. Nevertheless, the question which needs to be asked: Are the books of Molana Jami rahimahu Llah free from interpolations like the books of other sufiyah, or did the Shia distort them as well; inserting statements contrary to the belief system of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah? The late Professor Salim Chishti rahimahu Llah writes:
The plague of interpolation and falsification had become so widespread in the poems of the sufiyah that when Molana Jami rahimahu Llah arrived in Baghdad, there was a throng of Rawafid present there. They raised a few objections against Molana’s book Silsila al Dhahab. A certain Rafidhi wrote some poetry, filled with exaggeration with regards to the status of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and attributed it to Molana.
A debate was arranged in the Jami’ Masjid of Baghdad, the purpose of which was for the Rawafid to present their objections. Nevertheless, the first objection raised was against those poems which the Rafidhi attributed to Molana. It was the Ahlus Sunnah who raised the objection against those poems.
From this incident, I merely wish to point out that a favourite pursuit of the Isma’iliyyah, Qaramitah and Rawafid was to distort the words of the sufi poets; inserting poems filled with exaggeration regarding Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and at times declaring the divinity of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu (or disparagement for Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu).
One might ask how they dared to do such a thing and the response will be that all schools and followers of the sufiyah – without exception – admire Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, honour him and regard him worthy of reverence. The specific reason for this is that from amongst the four links (of Tasawuf) three links culminate from Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is for this reason that wherever the sufi poets impressively praised the merits of the three khalifas, they expressed even greater praise for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Therefore, the Rawafid and Qaramitah did not find it difficult to make insertions to their poems. Suppose Molana Jami rahimahu Llah compiled a poem regarding the status of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu comprising of twenty-one verses; if anyone were to discreetly insert two or three verses into this poem raising Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to a deity, it would easily pass unnoticed.
A few examples of interpolation in Shawahid al Nubuwwah
We will now present a few references to the book of Molana Jami rahimahu Llah- Shawahid al Nubuwwah. You be the judge whether these are the beliefs of the Shia or of the Ahlus Sunnah.
1) Molana Jami rahimahu Llah mentions in his book the incident of a monk embracing Islam at the hands of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and writes that when becoming a Muslim he recited the following:
أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله وأشهد أنك علي وصي رسول الله
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His servant and Rasul, and I bear witness that you- ‘Ali, are the wasi of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Is the belief of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being the wasi of the Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the belief of the Shia or that of the Ahlus Sunnah?
Molana Jami might have intended to say that just as it is necessary to bear witness to the oneness of Allah and the nubuwwah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when becoming a Muslim, so too is it necessary to recognise the virtue and merit of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which is why Molana Jami rahimahu Llah mentions this incident without any criticism or doubt under the karamat (miraculous feats) of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
2) Molana Jam’i radiya Llahu ‘anhu writes:
Amir al Muʼminin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the first of twelve Imams.
Is the belief in twelve Imams a belief of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (twelvers) or that of the Ahlus Sunnah?
3) Molana Jam’i rahimahu Llah writes:
After the martyrdom of Amir al Muʼminin Imam Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahu Llah came to visit Sayyidina Zain al ’Abidin rahimahu Llah one day and said to him: “Due to the fact that I am elder than you and I am also your uncle, thus I am more deserving and worthy of caliphate than you are. Therefore hand over the weapons of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to me.” Imam Zain al ’Abidin rahimahu Llah retorted: “O my uncle! Fear Allah. Do not quarrel regarding what you have no right to.” After much discussion, they both accepted to make the al Hajar al Aswad (Black Stone) the arbitrator and sought a judgment from it. Thus the al Hajar al Aswad (Black Stone) bore witness to the leadership of Imam Zain al ’Abidin rahimahu Llah.
The belief of Imamah being a divine decree of Allah is a Shia concept and the exact words mentioned above can be found in the most relied upon Shia books such as Usul al Kafi vol. 1 pg. 48, and Al Shafi vol. 2, p. 314. The Ahlus Sunnah have no connection to this false belief.
4) Molana Jam’i rahimahu Llah has mentioned in his book that the birth of Imam Mahdi took place in the home of Imam Hassan al ’Askari rahimahu Llah. Furthermore he has mentioned that he spoke in his childhood.
This too is a belief of the Shia. For further details, refer to the book of Molana Diya al Rahman al Faruqi al Shahid radiya Llahu ‘anhu (d. 1417 A.H.)- Imam Mahdi, and for a exhaustive rebuttal refer to Mirqat al Mafatih, the commentary of Mishkat al Masabih by Mulla ‘Ali Qari rahimahu Llah (d. 1041 A.H.) vol. 10, p. 179-180.
5) Molana Jam’i rahimahu Llah has written in Shawahid al Nubuwwah that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was poisoned by his wife- Ja’dah, on the instruction of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whereas Allamah Ibn Khaldun rahimahu Llah (d. 808 A.H.) writes:
And what has been reported that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu poisoned him in conjunction with his wife- Ja’dah bint al Ash’ath is from the fabricated narrations of the Shia. It is farfetched that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu would carry out such an act.
6) Contrary to the majority of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah, the opinion of Molana Jami rahimahu Llah regarding Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that he committed a grave error which – Allah forbid – necessitates a companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam becoming a fasiq, which in itself is a fundamental tenet of the Shia faith.
I will suffice on these six points and will address the issue again if necessity arises. Ultimately, our readers should make the decision for themselves whether it is possible for a stringent follower of the Ahlus Sunnah to hold these types of beliefs. If these texts were written by Molana Jami himself then no doubt Molana Jami is a Shia. However, if he did not write this then our claim is proven that some deviants inserted these words in Molana Jami’s works. Allah alone knows the number of Muslims in the last six hundred years who were ruined by such writings on account of the prominence and virtue of Molana Jami rahimahu Llah. Even if these texts were to be accepted as interpolated, still the enemies of Islam have succeeded in their objective, and even if these interpolated texts were to now be erased, it would be tantamount to:
Stitching silk over coarse cloth
The status of Molana Jami rahimahu Llah
There is significant difference of opinion regarding the personality of Molana ‘Abd al Rahman Jami rahimahu Llah. Some have classified him to be from amongst those who were inclined towards Shi’ism, while others have openly stated that he was amongst those who practised taqiyyah (dissimulation)and a far cry from being a member of the Ahlus Sunnah but rather a Shia in his beliefs and doctrines.
Furthermore, they claim that the poems he composed in praise of the four khalifas are all also based on taqiyyah, as the beliefs Molana Jami rahimahu Llah propagated in his books, especially in Shawahid al Nubuwwah, are clearly Shia beliefs. Sayed ‘Arif Naushahi in his biography of Molana Jami rahimahu Llah- entitled Jami, writes under the chapter of the beliefs of Molana Jami:
- He was a Shia inclined towards the Ahlus Sunnah.
- Briefly, in light of the content of the above-mentioned book (Shawahid al Nubuwwah) it is clear that the author is a Sunni, whose heart is free from sectarianism and together with this, he is inclined towards the beliefs of the Imamiyyah sect.
- In the ideas of Jami there is proof of a mixture of Shia and Sunni beliefs.
Iranian Shia who hold Jami in high regard, will go out of their way to prove Jami to be a devout Shia. He will regard these poems and statements of Jami which mention praise for the three khalifas as taqiyyah. Consequently, they refer to the following part of his final poem in his book- Sajjat al Abrar, wherein he criticizes the three khalifas and praises ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu by implication and insinuation:
پنجہ در كن اسد اللہى را * بيخ پر كن دو سہ روباہى را
The lion of Allah extended his claws
Towards the three, who were more cunning than foxes.
The Shia scholar ‘Abbas al Qummi writes in his Al Kuna wal Alqab regarding Jami rahimahu Llah:
المولى عبد الرحمن بن أحمد بن محمد الدشتي الفارسي الصوفي النحوي الصرفي الشاعر الفاضل … ويقال له الجامي لأنه ولد ببلدة جام من بلاد ما وراء النهر سنة 817 ه … وله سبحة الأبرار وشواهد النبوة في فضائل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والأئمة عليهم السلام … وهل هو من علماء السنة كما هو الظاهر منه بل من المتعصبين كما هو الغالب على أهل بلاد تركستان وما وراء النهر ولذا بالغ في التشنيع القاضي نور الله مع مذاقه الوسيع، أو أنه كان ظاهرا من المخالفين وفي الباطن من الشيعة الخالصين، ولم يبرز ما في قلبه تقية كما يشهد بذلك بعض أشعاره، منها ما عن سبحة الأبرار قوله:
پنجہ در كن اسد اللہى را * بيخ پر كن دو سہ روباہى را
واعتقده السيد الأجل الأمير محمد حسين الخاتون آبادي سبط العلامة المجلسي (وينقل) حكاية في ذلك مسندا وحاصلها أن الشيخ علي بن عبد العالي، كان رفيقا مع الجامي في سفر زيارة أئمة العراق عليهم السلام وكان يتقيه فلما وصلوا إلى بغداد ذهبا إلى ساحل الدجلة للتنزه فجاء درويش قلندر، وقرأ قصيدة غراء في مدح مولانا أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام ولما سمعها الجامي بكى وسجد وبكى في سجوده، ثم أعطاه جائزة ثم قال في سبب ذلك اعلم أني شيعي من خلص الإمامية ولكن التقية واجبة وهذه القصيدة مني وأشكر الله أنها صارت بحيث يقرأها القارئ في هذا المكان. ثم قال الخاتون آبادي: وأخبرني بعض الثقاة من الأفاضل نقلا عمن يثق به أن كل من كان في دار الجامي من الخدم والعيال والعشيرة كانوا على مذهب الإمامية، ونقلوا عنه أنه كان يبالغ في الوصية بأعمال التقية سيما إذا أراد سفرا والله العالم بالسرائر.
Moula ‘Abd al Rahman ibn Ahmed ibn Muhammad al Dashti al Farsi al Sufi al Nahwi al Sarfi, the poet and scholar. He was called Jami because he was born in Jam, a town in Ma Wara al Nahr, in the year 718 A.H. Amongst his works are Sajjat al Abrar and Dalaʼil al Nubuwwah, which discusses the virtues of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the honourable Imams. Was Jami a scholar from the Ahlus Sunnah as is apparent or more precisely an extremist Sunni, as is famous in Turkistan and the areas of Ma Wara al Nahr, which could be the reason why, despite being inherently lenient, he severely reprimanded Qadi Nur Allah al Shostari. Or perhaps he might have outwardly portrayed himself to be from the opposition (Ahlus Sunnah) and inwardly was a devout Shia and out of taqiyyah did not expose what he truly believed? This (second possibility) is endorsed by some of his poetry such as the following poem in Sajjat al Abrar:
پنجہ در كن اسد اللہى را * بيخ پر كن دو سہ روباہى را
The lion of Allah extended his claws
Towards the three, who were more cunning than foxes
This is further supported by the story mentioned by Amir Sayed Hussain al Khatun Abadi, the grandson of Mulla Muhammad Baqir al Majlisi. The summary of this narration is as follows:
Sheikh ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al ’Ali once accompanied Jami on a journey towards Iraq to visit the graves of the saints. He would embark on these journeys by means of taqiyyah. When they reached Baghdad both went to the shores of the Tigris River. Meanwhile a dervish arrived and recited a few heart-rendering couplets in praise of Moula Amir al Muʼminin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When Jami heard this poem, he began sobbing and fell into prostration, reduced to tears. He further gave the poet a gift and told him: “You should be aware that I am a Shia and a devout follower of the Imamiyyah but taqiyyah is necessary. These poems are my collection and I thank Allah that he has spread it to this extent.” Thereafter Muhammad Hussain al Khatun Abadi said: “An authentic exemplary narrator has reported this to me on the authority of authentic narrators that the entire household of Jami, near and far, are all upon the beliefs of the Imamiyyah and have been given strict orders by Jami to practise taqiyyah; especially when he undertakes journeys and Allah alone is the Knower of secrets.”
The story narrated by ‘Abbas al Qummi can also be found in Diwan Kamil Jami Bakhshish Dahm pg.194.
Due to the fact that wherever Shia beliefs are mentioned in the books of Molana Jami, it is also accompanied with the beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah, no precise conclusion can be made. However, since the senior ‘ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah always accepted Molana ‘Abd al Rahman Jami rahimahu Llah as a Sunni sufi and counted him as one of the Muslim poets, always praising him and entertaining good thoughts regarding him; we too will not accept the irrational conclusions the Shia have arrived at regarding him. As far as these references are concerned, my claim is as follows:
The Sabbaʼiyyah (those who curse the Sahaba radiya Llahu ‘anhum), Batiniyyah and enemies of the Sahaba have deliberately created doubts in the beliefs of the famous sufiyah, thereby confusing those who hold them in high regard with the doubt that they could have adopted taqiyyah or that they had inclinations towards Shi’ism. The purpose of such ploys would be to incline others towards Shi’ism as well, making it easier to convert them to what they would refer to as the “Religion of your fore-fathers”. This claim will be proven in due time. The tombs of majority of the Sunni saints in Pakistan have been taken over and are cared for by people of the Imamiyyah sect and they inform their ignorant followers that these saints were in actual fact followers of the Imamiyyah. What a strange spectacle it has become that the tomb of a Sunni is now being taken care of by a Shia trustee! Without doubt, this is the ‘poisoned apple’ which this sect has used for the past thousand years, claiming that the sufiyah and auliya were followers of the Imamiyyyah sect, so that the general masses will be inclined to follow in their footsteps.
Basic principles to protect oneself from Shia conspiracies by Molana Qasim Nanotwi rahimahu Llah
Molana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi rahimahu Llah has mentioned in his famous book- Hadiyyat al Shia, six basic principles to be applied before accepting the words of any book or author in order to protect the ummah from the evils and conspiracies of the Shia. It is imperative that we scrutinize any reference given by the Shia or anyone affected by them using these principles. If the reference conforms to these principles then it will be accepted by all means, and if not then it will be rejected or alternatively interpreted. He says:
Firstly, as a precaution, the book at hand must be that of a notable and trustworthy author. Just as there are many grades of authors old and young, trustworthy and untrustworthy, those with understanding and those without, in the same way books are also of many grades. The unfaithful and irreligious have written the names of many great scholars in their works but have also filled their books with hundreds of false claims and narratives. Likewise, most of the great works of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah for the benefit of the people were left in their unedited form so that they could be reviewed but due to circumstances, this revision did not take place and eventually this unedited magnum opus fell into the wrong hands. Some of these books were considered extremely rare and valuable and others were even considered lost. However, these were later found in the hands of irreligious and like-minded people. They eventually added their fabricated narrations to these books and attributed it to them when debating the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah in order to silence them. Referencing such books is a common practice amongst the Shia. Therefore it is of utmost importance to first question a reference when debating with them. Thereafter it should be seen if the reference is reliable. Gauging the reliability is based upon the six basic principles:
The purpose of the author must be to explain and expound upon facts and not merely to gather whimsical fairy tales or storytelling. If this is not the case then a genre of flowery and colourful stories, fairy tales, strange and fictitious narrations will become widespread.
The author should be unbiased, and his accuracy and trustworthiness in narration should also be well-known such that no doubts arise at the mention of his name. If this is not the requirement, then should not the volumes of heroic tales sung by the young girls in praise of their forefathers and the cowardice of their enemies also be accepted? And what is the value of any narration if the words of every individual is taken into consideration? If we unify our call and accept every deviant belief and the Ahlus Sunnah begin to accept the Shia chain of narrators and vice versa, turning a blind eye to differences in the strength of narrators and weaknesses as well as differences in their memory and truthfulness etc, then what reliance would remain in narration?
The author should possess an acceptable degree of expertise on the topic at hand regardless of his truthfulness or reliability. He should not be a personification of the proverb:
Half a Mulla is as dangerous for iman as half a doctor is for health
The fourth principle to be considered is that any book despite possessing the afore-mentioned qualities should be well-known and accepted by the earlier generation of scholars, who also possess the afore-mentioned qualities and it should be passed down through a reliable chain. If this were not the case then the Bible and Torah should have been as reliable as the final revelation of the Noble Qurʼan.
The fifth principle is that the author must make it a precondition upon himself to only narrate authentic and established narrations, like those from the Sihah Sittah; whose authors placed the condition of only narrating what is authentic (according to them) because of which they are called “Sihah”. So if any book has been compiled in an unedited form by the author with the intention that he will in due time differentiate between right and wrong, true and false and delete any unauthentic narrations (as was done by Imam Bukhari rahimahu Llah and Imam Muslim rahimahu Llah) or that he will explicitly mention which narrations are authentic, fabricated, or weak following the narration (as Imam Tirmidhi rahimahu Llah had done) but coincidentally fate did not allow the author the opportunity to fulfil this desire and his soul was taken prior to completing his task, then the book will not be considered reliable because every author compiles his book all-encompassing with the intention of sifting through it later. There are many narrations mentioning that Imam Bukhari rahimahu Llah sifted through six hundred thousand ahadith to compile his Sahih. Imam ‘Abd al Razzaq rahimahu Llah narrates from Imam Bukhari rahimahu Llah himself that he compiled all of these ahadith in an unedited form on three different occasions before settling on the Bukhari of his Sahih. This is mentioned in the second or third chapter of the foreword to Sahih al Bukhari’ printed in Delhi by Ahmedi Publications. In any case, these types of unedited masterpieces attributed to great scholars of hadith do exist. If Imam Bukhari rahimahu Llah had compiled all of his Sahih al Bukhari and before sifting through them left this temporary abode, would we still consider it reliable even though it would be the work of Imam Bukhari rahimahu Llah himself? Everyone knows that if this were the case then Imam Bukhari rahimahu Llah would not have undertaken the job of sifting through them. Imam Bukhari rahimahu Llah is himself testifying to the fact that the unrevised version of his book is unreliable. So why should we rely upon the work of any scholar of hadith solely based on the attribution of a hadith or narration to him without a secondary revision? If any book of this sort is found, no matter how great a scholar the author may be, it is considered unreliable and unacceptable; not only to the scholars but even to the common layman. In any case, this point should be kept in mind that many people may fall into this trap merely because of the name of a great scholar.
If several narrations differ from each other, reaching a level of contradiction and it cannot be conclusively established which of them is not authentic then preference will be given based on the strength of the chain of narrators. If this were not the case then the Shia would have to accept that their narrations and the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah are both correct.
Molana Qasim Nanotwi rahimahu Llah speaking further on the topic says:
These tricks of the Shia have been carried out with ease in books which are uncommon. For this reason, the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah consider their books like the Bible and the Torah in severity and have deemed them unreliable. Their narrations will be gauged against the narrations from the reliable books of the Ahlus Sunnah. Those narrations which will conform with our narrations will be upheld and those contradicting our narrations will be considered deceitful innovations. As for narrations which are not categorized as being conformist or contradictory to our narrations but stand alone, they are the same as those narrations that contradict our narrations, if they disagree with logical reasoning. The reason being that even though it may not contradict our narrations, they definitely do not lend support to them. Subsequently, even if a narration appears in any of their works and there is no apparent meddling by them nor does this contradict a narration of the Sihah, even then this narration will be approached with scepticism and not used as a proof by us, it will be considered similar to a narration of the Bible or the Torah i.e. we will not negate nor affirm it.
The above mentioned details make it clear that the ijtihad of Molana Jami rahimahu Llah cannot be used as a proof against the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah. According to the scholars of Islam, Molana Jami rahimahu Llah is regarded as a great sufi, a poet, and an imam in the sciences of grammar and language. However, he is not considered to be a muhaddith, muffasir or a faqih. The scholars of Islam have agreed that the opinions of the sufiyah will not be considered as a valid proof in Shari’ah regarding matters of halal and haram. Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah (d. 1024 A.H) said it most beautifully:
The actions of the sufiyah regarding halal and haram are not a proof. It is sufficient for us to consider them excused and not rebuke them leaving their matter to Allah. Here we shall consider what Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahu Llah, Imam Abu Yusuf rahimahu Llah, and Imam Muhammad rahimahu Llah have to say and not what Abu Bakr al Shibli or Abu al Hassan al Nuri said.
The rule of Imam Ibn al Jouzi rahimahu Llah is no secret:
إذا وقع في الإسناد صوفي فاغسل يديك منه
When a sufi appears in the chain of narration then dust that narration off your hands.
Molana Sayed Hussain Ahmed Madani rahimahu Llah (d. 1377 A.H) said:
The reality is that these are great scholars in the field of Tasawuf and Tariqah, but not scholars of the external and Shari’ah. The Imams of this field are Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahu Llah, Imam Muhammad rahimahu Llah, and Imam Abu Yusuf rahimahu Llah and the fuqaha. It is their opinions which will be upheld as proof in this field. The legal verdicts of Sheikh ‘Abd al Qadir al Jilani rahimahu Llah, Sheikh Junaid al Baghdadi rahimahu Llah, Sheikh Khawajah Bahaʼ al Din al Naqshbandi rahimahu Llah, Sheikh Khawajah Muhiyy al Din al Sanjari rahimahu Llah will not be considered as reliable proofs although they may have been giants in the field of Tariqah.
لكل فن رجال
Every field has its experts.
Allamah Qadi Ibrahim al Hanafi rahimahu Llah (d. 1000 A.H) says:
Those ascetics who are not of the people of ijtihad will be viewed as laymen. Their opinions will not be relied upon. If their opinions conform to reliable books then we will take them into consideration.
Sheikh ‘Abd al Haqq Muhaddith Delhwi rahimahu Llah (d. 1025 A.H) writes:
The way of any sufi sheikh is not a proof, rather a proof will be drawn from the Qurʼan and Sunnah.
It was said most beautifully by one of the ascetics:
The saying and actions of any sheikh is not a proof, rather hold fast to the sayings of Allah and the actions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
It becomes clear from the above that the words of the sufiyah are not a proof in the rulings of halal and haram except when in conformity to the Shari’ah. When we are not allowed to draw proof from their words in matters of fiqh then how can we draw proof from their words in the matter of ‘aqidah (beliefs)? Especially in one as delicate as the differences of the Sahaba and more so where their opinions contradict the opinion of the majority? In such a case, a sahih hadith will not even be taken into consideration. Ahmed Rada Khan Barellwi said:
With regards to beliefs, the sahih ahadith of Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih al Muslim will be put aside when they are not explicit or mutawatir, so what can be said about weak narrations. Hypothetically, if Jami had not been accused of being a Shia and even if the additions of the Shia had not been established in his book, then too his words would still be rejected because of his contradiction of the vast majority of the scholars.
Reference to Maududi
Often reference to the book of Abu al ’Al’a al Maududi- Khilafat wa Mulukiyyat is quoted. In this book, Maududi has levelled several accusations and objections against Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Maududi (d. 1974) is considered amongst the leading authors and writers of recent times. Just as he had been blessed with the qualities of vast research, mastery of composition, open-mindedness, and a mind for critical analysis; he lacked the right channels of education and spiritual reformation. Along with this, he remained in the company of the astray and secularly deranged and began to use his pen as his means of livelihood. All of this overshadowed his talents. His nature became self-centred. His greatest talent lay in his composition and style of writing articles and on this point even we acknowledge and admit to his mastery in penmanship. But what more can be said? Unfortunately, the fervour and severity with which he was affected by western philosophies and modern ideologies is evident in his writings regarding the Prophets, the Sahaba, and the pious predecessors. He wittingly and wholeheartedly became the spokesperson for falsehood. On account of his liberal mindedness and boldness, the respect for these great personalities was not taken into cognisance. He considered his criticism of the Prophets, Sahaba, and pious predecessors to be his “academic duty” and a “search for truth”, and would label anyone who stood up to defend the purity of these esteemed personalities as an advocate for “concealing the truth” and referred to their proofs as “by-the-way pleasantries” and “irrational interpretations”. He viewed lending an ear to their proofs as “endangering one’s capacity to differentiate between right and wrong”. He viewed following the pious predecessors as “intellectual slavery” and would mock such adherence. Taqlid according to him was “even more severe than sinning”. He claimed to possess the understanding of the scholars of earlier generations without acknowledging their role as transmitters of knowledge. He considered the principles of hadith and its transmission in this era as “nonsense of earlier generations”. He viewed Tasawuf as a “drag of heroine” and Sufism as a “sickness”. Although Maududi may have written some beneficial works but it is as the Qurʼan says:
اِثْمُهُمَا اَكْبَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِمَا
Its harm outweighs it benefits.
Before I discuss excerpts from Maududi’s works to prove my point, I would like to quote a passage written by the grand Mufti of Pakistan-Molana Mufti Muhammad Shafi rahimahu Llah, regarding Maududi, which has been written in a very honest and moderate tone. He says:
According to this humble slave, the fundamental mistake made by Maududi is that he adhered to his personal ijtihad in matters of ‘aqidah (beliefs) and ahkam (practice) where his ijtihad contradicted the majority of the early scholars, even though the requirements of ijtihad were not found in him. Based on this core mistake, many of his views in his literature are incorrect and contradictory to the vast majority of the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah.
Along with this, he has chosen an unacceptable style of criticism aimed at the early scholars and Sahaba radiya Llahu ‘anhum which is absolutely incorrect, especially in his work Khilafat wa Mulukiyyat. He not only criticises some of the Sahaba radiya Llahu ‘anhum, but abuses them and renders them blameworthy. Even after being alerted to this gross injustice by many scholars, he still continued to adhere to the view which contradicts the approach of the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah. Moreover, the general effect of his literature, which results in complete loss of trust in the earlier generation of scholars, can be sensed on those who read his works. According to us, this trust plays a major role in the preservation of din. Without it, a person can become completely misguided, despite having the purest of intentions. Yes, it is not correct for me to put him on the same list of those who outright reject hadith, the Qadiyani, or those who have legitimised clear prohibitions like interest, alcohol, and gambling by misinterpreting the Qurʼan and Sunnah, as some of his writings may have defended Islam against some of the groups mentioned above in western educated circles. However, if someone takes this statement of mine as a basis to say that I agree with the views of Maududi that he held contrary to the majority of the scholars, then this is completely incorrect and contrary to the truth. As according to the rules of any group, Maududi and Jama’at-e Islami are two separate entities. As a rule, whatever may be said regarding Maududi cannot necessarily be said about Jama’at-e Islami. However, practically Jama’at-e Islami not only made the literature of Maududi their academic pride and basis of practice but have made defending it with tongue and pen a routine and their apparent symbol. This is proof that the members of Jama’at-e Islami hold the same view. However, there are certain individuals who differ with Maududi in his views and we do not include them in this general ruling.
Regarding prayer, the ruling is that only that person should be made imam who adheres to the ideology of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah. Therefore, those people that stand with the views of Maududi should not be made imam if one has the choice. However, if one does pray behind a follower of Maududi his prayer would be correct.
The contentious Orientalist ‘masterpiece’ of Maududi
As if what Maududi had written in his many works was not enough, he went on to write Khilafat wa Mulukiyyat, which he considered to be a great service to Islam. The book calls out to the Orientalists, Shia, and Khawarij, challenging them: “Do you think you can equal me when it comes to writing openly against personalities such as the great khalifah ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and ‘Amr ibn al ’As radiya Llahu ‘anhu?
There is no doubt that the scars left on the minds of people by the Shia and Orientalists are far less than what Maududi alone has left by writing this one book. I do not want to delve into discussion regarding the authenticity of all of the Orientalists narrations that raise objection upon the honourable Sahaba and how much consideration Maududi has given to honesty and integrity when narrating them. Over and above this, what right does Maududi possess in raising objections against these pure souls? With the grace of Allah Ta’ala, scholars of this nation have exposed the reality of Khilafat wa Mulukiyyat with undeniable and irrefutable proofs, which can be easily referenced if one so wishes. One can understand Maududi’s method of research from his own words when he says:
I have adopted an open-minded approach and not restricted myself with regards to them (i.e. trustworthy early scholars).
I do not believe it is necessary to say anything more after having quoted this statement of his. This statement alone is a clear reflection of the unacceptability of his writings and research.
Several references of Maududi’s ‘liberal’ approach
- The reality of human weakness can be understood from the incident of Adam ‘alayh al-Salam; because of one instantaneous emotional urge under the influence of satanic greed, he absent-mindedly lost control of his inner-self and fell from the lofty position of obedience into the throes of disobedience.
- Even the Prophets were not safe from the dangers of the evil inner-self. This is why high ranking Prophets such as Dawood ‘alayh al-Salam were warned by Allah Ta’ala as mentioned in the Qurʼan:
وَلَا تَتَّبِعِ الْهَوَاءَ فَيُضِلُّكَ عَنْ سَبِيْلِ اللّٰهِ
And do not follow your whims, lest it lead you away from the path.
- Carnal desire played a role in the actions of Dawood ‘alayh al-Salam. It played a role in the misuse of his authority. It was such an action which tainted the image of an obedient and just man of authority.
- The basis of this was merely that Dawood ‘alayh al-Salam was affected by the general Jewish society when he asked for divorce from Auria.
- It so happens that in delicate and emotional circumstances even the most high and honourable human being such as a nabi succumbs to his human weakness for a short period of time but as soon as he realises it or Allah Ta’ala admonishes him for dropping from the desired standard, he immediately repents and in rectifying his mistake does not waste even a single moment. What better way of explaining the conduct of Nuh ‘alayh al-Salam, when he saw his own young son drowning in front of him causing him much pain. However, when Allah Ta’ala alerted him to the fact that his son had chosen to follow disbelief and on the mere basis of blood relation, he should not adhere to this sentiment based on ignorance, he immediately abandoned this chain of thought. He immediately turned a blind eye to the pain in his heart and treaded the path that Islam calls for.
- Before being graced with nubuwwah even Musa ‘alayh al-Salam committed a major sin by killing a human.
- In reality, innocence is not an essential part of nubuwwah. However, Allah Ta’ala has protected them from mistakes for the benefit of carrying out their duty as Prophets in a proper way. If Allah Ta’ala removes this protection for even a short while, then even Prophets can make mistakes and forget just as other humans do. This is a fine point that Allah Ta’ala intentionally removes this protection from the Prophets at some point in time and allows them to err so that people understand them to be humans and not gods.
- …until even the Prophets committed mistakes and were even punished for it.
- Yunus ‘alayh al-Salam showed deficiency in carrying out his prophetic duty. It seems that he showed impatience and left his job before time.
- This is the reason that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was given the Arabs who had the highest level of potential, because if, Allah forbid, he had been given weak spirited, unenthusiastic, and unreliable people, do we think he would have achieved the same results?
- (Maududi says in the commentary of Surah al Nasr)…in this manner when the mission he was given drew near to completion, he was commanded not to have pride by thinking that this is his accomplishment. Your Rabb is the only one Who is free from any deficiency and fault. So on the accomplishment of your mission, praise and glorify Him and ask Him: “O my Master! Forgive me for any shortcomings and deficiencies that have occurred on my part in these twenty-three years of service in carrying out my duty.”
- The Sahaba time and again misunderstood the essence of jihad in the path of Allah.
- (He writes regarding the Sahaba, who participated in the battle of Uhud) in whichever society interest in rife there will always be two types of ethical deficiencies due to the effects of interest. The people consuming the interest will be afflicted with materialism, avarice, and greed and those involved in paying interest will have anger, frustration and jealousy. Both of these factors played a vital role in the defeat at Uhud.
- ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon whom this great task was entrusted did not possess those special qualities which the other forerunners of that time possessed. Therefore the ways of ignorance gained an opportunity to enter into the Islamic social structure.
- Even those rulings passed by the Rightly Guided Khalifas as judges were not legislated within Islam.
- Whilst distributing the booty, Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu also violated the vivid teachings of the Qurʼan and clear Sunnah.
- ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu assigned Malik ibn Harith al Ashtar and Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr governing posts whereas it was well known that these two had a hand in the killing of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
- ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha became bold and discourteous in their speech towards Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
- If one glances through history one will not find a perfect reformer to have been born. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al ’Aziz nearly achieved this but fell short.
- In the fiqh of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahu Llah, one would notice many rulings based upon mursal, Mu’dal, and Munqati’ (disjointed) ahadith, whereby a strong hadith was discarded to adopt a weak hadith. On the one hand the hadith instructs one thing but Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahu Llah rules something else. Similarly, the case of Imam Malik rahimahu Llah and Imam Shafi’i rahimahu Llah is no different.
- The foremost issue which disturbs me from the time of Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah until the era of Shah Waliullah rahimahu Llah is that as far Tasawuf is concerned they did not completely gauge the ailments of the Muslims. Thereafter they gave them such solutions from which they were truly meant to abstain from.
- There is no need for tafsir of the Qurʼan. A profound professor with an in-depth knowledge of the Qurʼan has an aptitude for understanding and teaching the Qurʼan in a modern manner.
These are but a few examples of the ‘priceless criticisms’ of Maududi from his ‘ocean of research’. He began writing in accordance to the commands of Allah Ta’ala but was overtaken by emotions, failing to save himself from its blemishes, and regarded it to be the absolute truth. What a picture it creates in the minds of the general masses, who have not delved into the depths of theoretical and academic study. How much and to what point will the connection with the Prophets, Sahaba and auliya remain intact. In our opinion, after relying on these criticisms one will be overwhelmed by an inferiority complex and self-defeat. Is this what you would call “The establishment of din”, “The renewal of din” or “The revival of din”?
In this regard, let us analyse another point mentioned by Maududi, which proves the free-thinking nature and vanity of Maududi. He writes:
And we see this ignorance except from a minority (i.e. Jama’at-e Islami) amongst the Muslim community throughout the world, whether it be a layman or a qualified scholar, a wise old man or fresh graduate from college and university, the manner and approach of each varies distinctively but they are all equally ignorant when it comes to the reality and essence of Islam.
Examine another dangerous and troublesome claim made by him, namely; the Muslims who deny the teachings of Jama’at-e Islami’ and Maududi have the same position as the Jewish people. He said:
At this moment in time, I wish to be frank in saying that there is a particular claim of theirs which is similar to ours and that is something will arise within the Muslims which will bring upon them very difficult times. When the truth is polluted by scattered arrays of falsehood then there is a valid reason for the Muslims not to accept or take sides with such a deviated group. However, when truth manifests itself in a pristine form and those who outwardly claim Islam are invited towards it, they have no choice but to take their side in rendering service, which is the basic objective of the Muslim global community. This is opposed to not taking sides with them and adopting the same opposition that was held by the Jewish people before them. In this case, these are the only two ways. Now because this effort of preaching and inviting has prevailed in India, this horrific hour of trial and tribulation has definitely come upon the Muslims of India. As for the rest of the countries, we are preparing to convey our message to them. If we are successful in doing so then whoever hears our message, the Muslims will face the same trial and tribulation.
Ponder over the danger of this claim. The essence of which is that it is identical to the claim of the Prophets, and only a nabi and rasul has the right to make such a claim; no other reformist has the right to decree those who deny him to be Jews. We now wish to quote an enlightening and distinct remark of Molana Muhammad Yusuf Ludhiyanwi rahimahu Llah (d. 1421 A.H), which encapsulates his life and ideology:
One can gauge from the philosophies of Maududi regarding the Qurʼan, Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the Sunnah of the al Khulafaʼ al Rashidin how corrupted his mind is when it comes to the fundamental sources of Islamic law. He does not consider the ijtihad of any person to be reliable, besides his own. Therefore his understanding of din is based solely on his own intellectual ability and capacity of ijtihad.
The points mentioned above clearly points out the deviated mindset he possessed and as I have mentioned previously, the list of his misunderstandings is extremely long. In my humble opinion, Maududi is not from amongst the people of truth who followed in the footsteps of the pious predecessors nor from the Ahlus Sunnah. The reality is that he understood and interpreted din through his own intellect and understanding, regardless of how far he differed with the pious predecessors.
The major reasons for Maududi’s shortcomings, in my opinion are as follows:
1. He did not seek knowledge from any teacher but studied on his own. Perhaps, he regared it as unnecessary for a literate person to seek knowledge from another.
2. In his youth, Maududi had befriended a few deviated individuals, who played a major role in building his personality. He relates the story himself:
Two and a half years of experience has taught me that if one wishes to spend his life with honour then it is necessary for him to stand on his own feet. There is no way to achieve independence but through tireless efforts. I was gifted with literary skills and through simple passive reading, this was further improved. It was during this time that I became acquainted with Niyaz Fatahpuri. His company became a great motivation for me….in conclusion, due to all these reasons it was decided that writing should become my means of living.
3. Even the most intelligent people in the world, if they do not receive correct upbringing then they later take matters into their own hands. They always consider themselves to be very capable and elite, while the rest of the world seems insignificant to them. This is exactly what happened to Maududi. Allah Ta’ala had gifted him with the best of abilities but unfortunately his intellect was overrun by his emotions. He attained such a level of wishful and unproductive thinking that in the eyes of the elders of the ummah, he became a unique example of deviation. This wishful and unproductive thinking became the means of his downfall and self-admiration.
The effects of the modern age overawed him to such an extent that he found it difficult to present din in its pristine form. It was for this reason that he deemed it necessary to reform and shape din in accordance to the times of the modern age, unconcerned whether this was true reform or whether Islam would be saved by it. Just as following the mainstream has become the call of today, he attempted to shape Islamic law in line with the mainstream.
Considering all of the above, the might of his pen coupled with his bold writing spurred him to exceed the bounds of etiquette, which is due to the seniors of this ummah. Obscenity and disrespect was common place and prevalent in all his works. If only someone as intelligent and apt as Maududi had received the proper scholastic upbringing then he would have been a means of blessings for this ummah and a source of pride.
According to the author of Nam wa Nasab overlooking the services rendered by Maududi is pure partisanship; which is why we have quoted the ‘spectacular services’ rendered by Maududi, from his own books. We ask the reader to be just in his outlook and guage whether these were truly services to din and if overlooking it can be termed as partisanship? Bear in mind that these references are a few drops from the “oceans of effulgence” of Maududi.
Was Maududi a Deobandi?
Any claim made of Abu al ’Al’a al Maududi being a Deobandi is false and mere conjecture. The works of Maududi make it vividly clear that he had no regard for the ‘ulama of Deoband. Just as he had considered it his mission in life to criticise the Prophets, Sahaba, and pious predecessors so too was it his mission to criticise and attack the ‘ulama of Deoband. In addition, it was the ‘ulama of Deoband who took upon themselves the task of refuting his deviations. there is probably no other school of thought that has come close to the efforts they made in refuting him and succeeded in doing. The ‘ulama of Deoband have personally addressed him and warned him of his mistakes. They attempted to protect the general masses from his poisonous and corrupt beliefs through lectures and books. In this regard, instead of referring to my own books, I will now refer you to two trustworthy scholars, who are not of the same school of thought as myself (so as to emphasise my point without any biased sentiment). These two ‘ulama are:
1) Arshad al Qadari, who wrote: “The ‘ulama of Deoband consider the system and ideology of Jama’at-e Islami as invalid and disastrous for the ummah at large.”
2) Mushtaq Ahmed Nizami, who writes in his book- Jama’at-e Islami ka Shish Mahal that he has deduced from the lectures of Molana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi rahimahu Llah, Molana Sayed Hussain Ahmed Madani rahimahu Llah, Molana Ahmed ‘Ali Lahori rahimahu Llah, Molana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasimi rahimahu Llah, Molana Shams al Haqq Afhghani rahimahu Llah, and Molana Khayr Muhammad Jalandhari rahimahu Llah; that the ideologies and beliefs of Maududi are unacceptable.
The world is fully aware that the ‘ulama of Deoband are followers of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahu Llah. I earnestly wish to say that in the world today, there is a general widespread of Hanafi followers and more specifically in the Asian subcontinent. We will at another time mention the virtues and accolades of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahu Llah and the detailed services rendered by the ‘ulama of Deoband in defending the fiqh of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahu Llah. Our opposition are completely devoid of such services and honours. Returning to our initial discussion; pertaining to the issue of taqlid, the ‘ulama of Deoband are ardent supporters of taqlid whereas Maududi says:
According to me it is impermissible and a sin or worse for a man of knowledge to make taqlid.
Our standpoint on taqlid is manifest, now study his ruling on the issue:
Hanafi, Sunni, Deobandi, Ahlul hadith, Barelwi, Shia, etc are all products of ignorance.
I do not consider the Ahlul hadith nor the Hanafi or Shawafi to be accurate in what they say.
After all these statements it is impossible to consider Maududi a Hanafi or a Deobandi and to do so is outright dishonesty and ignorance. Maududi writes:
It is our firm belief that besides this line of effort all other avenues are invalid.
In reality, Maududi fell prey to independent thinkin g and abandoning taqlid. It is for this reason that in the fourteenth century he could not see anybody correct except himself.
 Nam wa Nasab pg. 532
 Minhaj al Sunnah vol. 4 pg. 208
 Sulaym ibn Qais page 161
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 8 pg. 169
 Al Yawaqit wal Jawahir vol. 2 pg. 77, Al Musamarah vol. 2 pg. 158
 Maktubat Imam-e Rabbani letter: 251
 Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah vol. 11 pg. 92
 Wak’at al Siffin pg. 70
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 7 pg. 260
 Nahj al Balaghah pg. 186, Sermon: 58
 Minhaj al Sunnah vol. 3 pg. 61
 Qurb al Asnad pg. 45
 Muqaddamah Ibn Khuldun page 215
 Majma’ al Zawaʼid vol. 9 pg. 594
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 7 pg. 277, Tahdhib Ibn al ’Asakir vol. 1 pg. 74
 Musaddas al Hali pg. 25
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 7 pg. 278
 Hadrat Muawiyah awr Tarikhi Haqiqat pg. 243
 Bukhari vol. 2 pg. 1054, Muslim vol. 2 pg. 390
 Hadrat Muawiyah awr Tarikhi Haqiqat pg. 243
 Minhaj al Sunnah vol. 2 pg. 219
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 7 pg. 273
 Al Kamil vol. 3 pg. 161
 ‘Abqat pg. 231
 Taj al ’Urus vol. 7 pg. 208
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 8 pg. 119
 Al Nahiyah pg. 23
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 8 pg. 129
 Al Isti’ab vol. 3 pg. 209
 Hulyat al Abrar vol. 1 pg. 345
 Surah al Fath: 29
 Ajwibah Arba’in pg. 188
 Tarikh al Tabri vol. 4 pg. 440
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 8 pg. 21
 Ibid vol. 7 pg. 229
 Minhaj al Sunnah vol. 4 pg. 179
 Nahj al Balaghah pg. 45 sermon: 92
 Ibid pg. 92 Sermon:168
 Surah al Baqarah: 178
 Tirmidhi vol. 1 Pg. 258
 Surah Bani Isra’il: 33
 Izalat al Khafa vol. 1 pg. 434, Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 8 pg. 21
 Fath al Bari vol. 13 pg. 288
 Qurrat al Aynayn pg. 143
 Al Khulafa Al Rashidin pg. 222
 Al Khulafa Al Rashidin pg. 216
 Tathir al Jinan wal Lisan pg. 12
 Bara’at-e Uthman pg. 42
 Basa’ir wa ‘Ibar vol. 1 pg. 192
 Makatib Sheikh al Hadith pg. 502-503
 Maktubat-e Imam Rabani Letter: 251
 Al Ibanah pg. 69, f
 Sharh ‘Aqa’id Isfaraʼini vol. 2 pg. 386
 Al Fasl fi l-Milal wa al Nihal vol. 4 pg. 161
 Ihyaʼ al ’Ulum vol. 1 pg. 115
 Jami’ al Usul vol. 1 pg. 89
 Al Jami’ li Ahkam al Qurʼan vol.16 pg.321
 Muslim vol. 2 pg. 272
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 7 pg. 279
 Minhaj al Sunnah vol. 2 pg. 205
 Sharh al Maqasid vol. 2 pg. 305
 Muqaddamah Ibn Khaldun pg. 205
 Fath al Bari vol. 13 Pg. 3
 Al Masamarah pg. 314
 Al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah pg. 217
 Maktubat-e Imam Rabbani letter: 80
 Nasim al Riyad vol. 3 pg. 421
 Mirqat al Mafatih vol. 11 pg. 367
 Al Nibras pg. 307
 Hidayat al Shia pg. 29
 Maktubat-e Sheikh al Islam vol. 3 pg. 43
 Maqam-e Sahaba pg. 89-90
 Mirʼat al ’Ashiqin pg. 109
 Maktubat-e Imam Rabbani letter: 251
 Nam wa Nasab pg. 457
 It should be noted that ijtihad is necessary for a mujtahid and a mujtahid is confined to practicing on his own ijtihad. It is not imperative for a mujtahid to be correct in every decision of his. When an issue revolves around opinions then the possibility of him reaching the correct decision as well as erring arises and his contemporaries who are mujtahidin have the right to differ with him. However, to the mujtahid, he may regard his opinion to be correct and true, and therefore according to the majority of ‘ulama, it is not permissible for him to follow another mujtahid. Although, whether the mujtahid has indeed erred or reached a correct decision is another topic altogether.
The world renowned Muhaqqiq- Hafiz Ibn al Humam rahimahu Llah (d. 861 A.H) writes:
المجتهد بعد اجتهاده في الحكم ممنوع من التقليد فيه اتفاقا والخلاف قبله والاكثر ممنوع
It is unanimously agreed that a mujtahid cannot follow anyone in a ruling after applyi ng his own ijtihad. The difference of opinion is before he has applied his own ijtihad, can he follow someone else or not, and here too, most of the ‘ulama are of the view that he cannot. (Al Tahrir pg.540)
Hafiz Ibn al Humam rahimahu Llah in another book of his states:
والوجه الصحيح ان المجتهد مامور بالعمل بمقتضى ظنه اجماعا
The correct unanimous opinion is that a mujtahid is required to practice upon his ijtihad. (Fath al Qadir vol. 5 pg. 491)
Allamah Abu Bakr ibn Mas’ud al Kasani rahimahu Llah (d. 587 A.H) writes:
لان المجتهد مامور بالعمل بما يؤدي اليه اجتها ده فحرم عليه تقليد غيره
It is impermissible for a mujtahid to follow someone else due to the command that he should follow his own ijtihad. (Badaʼi’ al Sanaʼi’ vol.7 pg.54)
Mujaddid Alf-e Thani rahimahu Llah (d. 1034 A.H) also writes:
The crux of the matter is that each one had his own opinion and it is a known fact that every mujtahid should necessarily follow his own ijtihad. The difference of opinions, thus inevitably led to a dispute and dissention as each one perceived the necessity of acting in accordance to his ijtihad and opinion. (Maktubat-e Imam Rabbani letter: 36)
Molana Qasim Nanotwi rahimahu Llah (d. 1297 A.H) writes:
Secondly, the mujtihidin are required to follow their ijtihad. It is not permissible for them to follow other mujtihidin and even if it is permissible, it is not necessary. (Maktubat-e Qasimi pg. 8)
 Nahj al Balaghah pg. 94
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 8 pg. 131
 Nam wa Nasab pg. 533
 Maktubat-e Imam Rabbani letter: 251
 Minhaj al Sunnah vol. 1 pg.3
 Summary of Tuhfa Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (twelvers)
 Tashil Qasd al Sabil pg. 8
 Radd al Muhtar vol. 1 pg. 127
 Shari’ah wa Tasawuf pg. 16
 Islami Tasawuf mein Ghair Islami Nazriyyat ki Amezish pg. 31
 Tarikh Da’wat wa Azimat, vol. 2, pg. 157
 Ibid pg. 158
 Al Yawaqit wal Jawahir vol. 1 pg. 7
 Islami Tasawuf mein Ghayr Islami Nazriyyat ki Amezish pg. 84-85
 Maktubat-e Sheikh al Islam vol. 1, p. 324
 Maktubat-e Imam Rabbani letter: 266
 For further details of this incident, refer to Hayat al Jami by Dr. Ali Asghar Hikmat, p. 83
 Islami Tasawuf mein Ghayr Islami Nazriyyat ki Amezish, p. 45-46
 Shawahid al Nubuwwah, p. 155, Rukn-e Sadis dar Bayan-e Dalail wa Shawahid
 Shawahid al Nubuwwah, p. 150, Rukn-e Sadis dar Bayan-e Dalail wa Shawahid
 Summarized from Shawahid al Nubuwwah, p. 169, Rukn-e Sadis dar Bayan-e Dalail wa Shawahid
 Shawahid al Nubuwwah, p. 198, Rukn-e Sadis dar Bayan-e Dalail wa Shawahid
 Shawahid al Nubuwwah pg. 163
 Tarikh Ibn Khaldun vol. 2, pg. 1135
 Mizan al Kutub by the late Molana Muhammad ‘Ali, pg. 511-513
 Jami pg. 254
 Ibid pg. 255
 Ibid 256
 Al Kuna wal Alqab vol.2 pg.138-9
 Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Nasaʼi, Ibn Majah
 Hadiyyat al Shia pg. 255-258
 .Hadiyyat al Shia pg. 260-261
 Maktubat-e Imam Rabbani letter: 266
 Al ’Alalat al Naji’ah pg. 77
 Maktubat-e Sheikh al Islam vol. 3 pg. 225
 Nafaʼis al Izhar tarjama Majalis al Abrar pg. 127
 Akhbar al Akhyar pg. 93
 Fatawa Ridwiyyah vol 2 pg. 505
 Jawahir al Fiqh vol. 2 pg. 171-172
 A few references: Hadrat Muawiyah aur Tarikhi haqaiq by Mufti Muhammad Taqi ‘Uthmani, ‘Adilana Difaʼ by Molana Sayed Nur al Hassan Bukhari rahimahu Llah. Shawahid al Taqaddus awr Tardid-e Ilzamat.by Hadrat Molana Muhammad Mia Ansari.
 Khilafat wa Mulukiyyat. pg. 320
 Tafhim al Qurʼan vol.2 pg. 133
 Tafhim al Qurʼan pg.163
 Tafhim al Qurʼan vol. 4
 Ibid vol. 2 pg. 56
 Ibid vol. 4 pg. 344
 Rasaʼil wa Masaʼil vol. 1 pg 22
 Tafhim al Qurʼan vol.2 pg. 56
 Tarjuman al Qurʼan May 1955. pg.31
 Tafhim al Qurʼan vol. 2 pg. 312
 Tarikh-e Islami ki Akhlaqi Bunyade pg. 20-21
 Qurʼan ki Char Bunyadi Istilahe pg. 156
 Ibid pg.57-59
 Ibid vol.1 pg.287-288
 Tajdid wa Ihya al Din pg.23
 Tarjuman al Qurʼan se Maududi Mazhab pg.66
 Ibid pg.146
 Haft Roz Asia pg.134
 Tajdid wa Ihya al Din pg.21
 Tafhim al Qurʼan
 Tajdid wa Ihya al Din pg.73
 Tanqihat pg. 193
 Tafhim al Qurʼan vol.1 pg. 36
 Rudadi Jama’ati Islami vol.2 pg.17-18
 Nam wa Nasab pg. 534
 Jama’at-e Islami pg. 7-8
 Jama’at-e Islami ka Shish Mahal pg. 5-8
 Rasaʼil wa Masaʼil vol. 1 pg. 244
 Mulakhas Khutbat-e Maududi pg. 128
 Rasaʼil wa Masaʼil vol. 1 pg. 235
 Tarjuman al Qurʼan vol. 26 pg. 111
 To truly understand the beliefs of Maududi refer to the following books;
Maududi Mazhab by Molana Qadi Mazhar Hussain Chakwali rahimahu Llah
Ilmi Muhasabah” by Molana Qadi Mazhar Hussain Chakwali rahimahu Llah
Al Ustadh al Maududi by Molana Sayed Muhammad Yusuf Binnori rahimahu Llah
Fitna Maududiyyat by Molana Muhammad Zakariyyah Saharanpuri rahimahu Llah
Maududi ke Sath meri Rifaqat ki Sarguzisht aur ab Mera Mauqaf by Molana Muhammad Manzur No’mani rahimahu Llah
Maududi Sahib aur Takhrib-e Islam by Molana Rashid Ahmed Ludhiyanwi rahimahu Llah
Ikhtilaf-e Ummah awr Sirat al Mustaqim of Molana Yusuf Ludhiyanwi rahimahu Llah