Sunnism versus cults and sects

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Ibn Hajar al-Makki wrote: "One of Ibn Taymiyya's superstitious absurdities was his denial of tawassul or istighatha, putting Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) as an intermediary when praying to Allahu ta'ala. No scholar before him had ever said so. Because of this absurd idea of his, he became the subject of Muslims' conversations. The opposite of his fatwa is the truth. It is always good to put Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) as an intermediary. He could be put as an intermediary before and after he was born, and in this world as well in the next world. One of the proofs showing that he could be put as an intermediary before he was born is the fact that prophets and the awliya' of their ummas had done so. Ibn Taymiyya's slanderous word was not based on any fact or rule. A hadith reported by Hakim an-Nishapuri, a hadith scholar, declares that, 'When Adam ('alaihi 's-salam) was mistaken, he said, 'O my Rabb! Forgive me for the right of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam).' Allahu ta'ala said, 'I have not created Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) yet. How do you know him?' And he said, 'O my Rabb! When Thou created me and gave me soul, I raised my head and saw the writing, "La ilaha ill Allah Muhammadun Rasul Allah," all around the 'Arsh. I understood that Thou had put the name of him whom Thou loved most among Thine human creatures next to Thine Name.' And Allahu ta'ala declared, 'O Adam! You have said the truth. Among Mine human creatures, he is the one whom I love most. Since you asked my pardon for his right, I have forgiven you immediately. If it were not for Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) I would not have created you.' Muhammad's ('alaihi 's-salam) right' means 'Allahu ta'ala's loving and cherishing him very much' or 'his rights upon other human creatures' or 'his right which Allahu ta'ala, as a blessing upon him, recognizes upon Himself'. Likewise, it was said in a hadith, 'What is human creatures' right upon Allahu ta'ala?' In this context, 'right' does not denote something that must be done by Allahu ta'ala, for Allahu ta'ala does not have to do anything. He does it if He wills. Asking something from Allahu ta'ala for Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) right cannot be said to be polytheism since it is not asking it for him. Allahu ta'ala declares that He loves His Messenger ('alaihi 's-salam) very much and that He has endowed a high rank upon him. Allahu ta'ala is asked to give for the right, for the sake of his love and this high rank. One of the blessings, gifts which Allahu ta'ala has endowed upon His Messenger is that He accepts those prayers sent through his right, through his high rank. For the person who disbelieves this blessing, the greatest loss is his deprivation of it. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) was put as an intercessor when he was alive, too. An-Nasai and at-Tirmidhi reported that a blind man came to Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam). He begged him to pray so that his eyes might open. Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) said to him, 'I will pray if you wish, but you can be patient if you like. Patience will be better for you.' When the man said, 'I would like you to pray. I have nobody to lead me. I am in great difficulties,' Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) said, 'Perform ablution and then say, "O my Rabb! I turn towards Thee through Thine Beloved Prophet, whom Thou hast sent as a blessing upon people. I ask from Thee! O Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam)! I turn towards my Rabb through thee. O my Allah! Make him an intercessor for me!" ' Also Imam al-Baihaki reported that the blind man stood up and, seeing, walked away. Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) himself did not pray but taught him the prayer. He wanted him to turn towards Allahu ta'ala, to entreat Him and to put Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) as an intercessor and wished his prayer to be accepted in this way. He was and has been put as an intercessor both when he was alive and after his death. The Salaf as-Salihin, after his death, said this prayer very often and attained their purposes through it. As reported by at-Tabarani and al-Baihaki, a man whose request was not accepted by the Caliph 'Uthman (radi-Allahu 'anh) went to Hadrat 'Uthman ibn Hanif, a Sahabi, and asked his help. He taught him this prayer. When he approached the Caliph after saying the prayer, his request was accepted. In a hadith reported by at-Tabarani, Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam), when praying, said, 'For the right of Thine Prophet and Thine other prophets preceding him'. Tawajjuh, tawassul, istighatha and tashaffu' through him, through other prophets or awliya' all mean the same thing. Islam has also declared it permissible to put some kind of deed or 'ibada as an intermediary. The Hadith informs that, of old, some people who were imprisoned in a cave, entreated by mentioning their old deeds done only for the sake of Allahu ta'ala and the stone that had plugged the opening of the cave opened the way and they were rescued. While a prayer is accepted for the sake of one's good deeds, it is certain that the prayers sent through those who have performed the best deeds will be accepted. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (radi-Allahu 'anh) prayed for rain by putting Hadrat 'Abbas (radi-Allahu 'anh) as an intermediary. None of us, Sahabat al-kiram objected to it. The reason why he did not pray through Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) or through his blessed grave but through Hadrat 'Abbas was because he deemed himself very low and considered Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) relatives higher than himself. His praying through Hadrat 'Abbas, in actual fact, was praying through Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam). The words 'tawassul', 'tawajjuh' or 'istighatha' do not show that the one through whom is prayed is higher than the one to whom is prayed, because the one with a high status is made an intermediary in asking from the one with a higher status. 'Istighatha' means 'asking for help from somebody by putting someone else as an intermediary'. The former is higher than the intermediary. Muslims, when praying through Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) or awliya', do not think otherwise. No other thing comes to their hearts when saying these words. Allahu ta'ala alone is the One who is prayed to and is asked from; the Prophet is an intermediary, a mediator between. Only Allahu ta'ala helps by creating or making; the Prophet is the cause, the intermediary of the help. Allahu ta'ala is the Real Helper, and Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) is the symbolic helper. A hadith reported by al-Bukhari declares, 'On the Day of Resurrection, they will pray first through Adam, then through Musa and then through Muhammad ('alaihimu 's-salam).' 'Praying through Rasulullah' means 'asking him to pray'. He is alive in his grave and understands the demand of the person who asks from him. According to an authentic narration, there was dearth in the time of Amir al-Muminin 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) and a Sahabi visited Rasulullah's ('alaihi 's-salam) grave and said, 'O Rasul-Allah! Pray for your umma so that it shall rain! Your umma are about to perish.' Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) showed himself to him in his dream and said that it would rain. And it did rain. He also said in the dream, 'Go to 'Umar! Tell him my greetings! Give him the good news that it will rain. Tell him to act mildly.' 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) was severe and strict in carrying out the commands of the religion. The Sahabi told the Caliph about his dream. The Caliph listened and wept. According to some reports, this Sahabi was Bilal ibn Harith al-Muzani (radi-Allahu 'anh). Here, the point is not the dream but the Sahabi's praying through Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) at his dream. As it is seen, Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) can be asked also after his death, as it was done when he was alive, to pray so that one's wishes might come true. In addition to the fact that wishes have come true through his praying and intercession, there is the fact that others' prayers sent through him before he was born, when he was alive or after his death have been accepted. On the Day of Resurrection, he will intercede with Allahu ta'ala for his umma, and his intercession will be accepted. This fact has been reported as ijma' by Islamic scholars. Hadrat 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas (radi-Allahu 'anhuma) reported the hadith saying that Allahu ta'ala declared to 'Isa ('alaihi 's-salam), 'O 'Isa! Believe in Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam)! And command your umma that those of your umma who will live in his time believe in him! Had it not been for Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), I would not have created Prophet Adam ('alaihi 's-salam). Had it not been for Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), I would not have created Paradise and Hell. I created the 'Arsh on the water. It moved. When I wrote, "La ilaha ill Allah," on it, it stopped.' This hadith was reported with sahih references by Hakim. Would not a prayer be accepted, which is asked for the sake of such a prophet, who has such a high status and infinite honor, and who attained Allahu ta'ala's blessings? Would not a prayer sent by asking for his intercession be accepted?" [This passage is translated from Ibn Hajar al-Makki's Jawhar al-munzam. It is also quoted in Shawahid al-haqq.] The prayers which Nuh[This passage is translated from Ibn Hajar al-Makki's Jawhar al-munzam. It is also quoted in Shawahid al-haqq.], 'Ibrahim and other prophets had asked for the sake of Muhammad ('alaihimu 's-salam) are written in tafsir books.

Imam as-Subki, as quoted Shawahid al-haqq, said:

 "There are two forms of tawassul of Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam); the first one is to ask from Allahu ta'ala for the sake of his high status and baraka. One of the terms 'tawassul', 'istighatha' and 'tashaffu' ' is used when praying so. All of them mean the same. He who prays by expressing one of these terms asks from Allahu ta'ala by putting Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) as an intermediary. He asks from, prays to, Allahu ta'ala through him. In even worldly affairs, He immediately gives the thing which is asked from Him by putting someone whom He loves very much as an intermediary. The second form of tawassul of Rasulullah ('alaihi 's-salam) is to ask him to pray to Allahu ta'ala so that one may attain one's wish, for he is alive in his grave and understands what is asked from him and he can ask for it from Allahu ta'ala. Also in the next world, he will be asked to intercede, and he will intercede, and his intercession will be accepted."

Shihab ad-din ar-Ramli, as quoted in the book Shawahid al-haqq, said:


"Prophets and awliya' can be made intermediaries even after their death. The mujizat of prophets and the karamat of awliya' do not cease after their death. The hadith clearly declares that prophets are alive and perform salat and hajj in their graves. It is known also that martyrs are alive and they help warriors."  Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab read Ibn Taymiyya's and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya's books and deviated from the right path. He got their ideas fixed into his mind.



The general reformist philosophy of Wahhabism is motivated by their perception that the entire Islamic nation are disbelievers except for those who adhere to the methodology of Ibn Abdal Wahhab. This was the original ethos of the Wahhabi movement when they began their campaign under Ibn Saud in the 18th century, on the basis of which they violently usurped the land of Hijaz.

Regarding this, an authoritative statement is found in ash shifa, which is the key source for information on rulings regarding those who commit blasphemy.

Qadi Iyad states: “If anyone utters such a statement that declares the entire nation to be deviated, he is surely a disbeliever.”

Another fatwa from the authoritative Hanafi text, Raddul Muhtar, describes the Wahhabis as the re-emergence of the Kharijite sect.

“The Khawarij label everyone other than their own group as infidels, like the followers of Ibn Abdul Wahhab in our era who emerged from Najd and unjustly conquered the Sacred Lands of the Haram and referred to themselves as Hanbali" (Raddul Muhtar, v.3. p.478, cit. 'kaukab ash shihabiyya', p. 63, Imam Ahmed Rida Khan).

According to the famous refutation of Wahhabism, Al Fajr as Sadiq, by Shaykh Jamil Sidqi al Zahawi of Iraq, the Wahhabi movement has proven beyond doubt that its original ethos were of a cult that demanded of its followers explicit admission of the fact that they were entering into a new religion by following Ibn Abdal Wahhab and that their parents and religious scholars were all infidels.

This source informs that the Wahabi sect admits:

  • All Muslims for the last six hundred years were disbelievers.

  • Those who entered into Ibn Abdal Wahhab’s cult were instructed to renew their profession of faith and to perform Hajj again, since the one previously carried out was done in a state of infidelity.

  • Anyone who refused declaration of Wahabi faith was declared a polytheist and would be slain even though he was righteous, and all his possessions were forfeited. While on the other hand, anyone who accepted his command would be declared a believer even though he was sinful or a transgressor.

Based on the evidence located in Fajr us Sadiq, it can be learned that Wahhabism started off purely as a political subversive cult, based on declaring the infidelity of all who opposed their plans, facilitating unlawful bloodshed. They declared as infidels the orthodox Muslims on the following points:

  • The orthodox view of the transcendence of God from anthropomorphic qualities and corporeality, as held by pagan cults.

  • The idea that Consensus is a valid source of law, a fact denied by many today, ignorant of the fact that previous generations were killed by Wahhabis for this.

  • Seeking of the intercession of the Prophet after his passing, using his name in supplications to Allah.

  • Visitation of the graves of deceased Muslims.

Other than this, the Wahabi cult is identified for its disrespect for the Last Messenger and founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be salutations and prayers.

  • Ibn Abdal Wahhab used to described the Prophet as a postman (tarish), one whose job was finished after delivery of his message.

  • He used to claim that there were lies in the treaty of Hudaybiya.

  • He claimed that his walking stick was more useful than the Prophet, who had died and was no longer of benefit.

  • He used to dislike the recitation of salutations upon the Messenger, he severely punished those who did so, especially from the Minarets after the call to prayer. It is widely held that he got one blind prayer-caller tortured and killed for his salutations to the Last Messenger.

  • He was responsible for the ritual burning of literature integral to the formation of Sunni identity, including the famous book of prayers upon the Messenger, Dalail al Khayrat, and he used to burn also books of Quranic exegesis, Prophetic traditions, and jurisprudence. He used to interpret the Quran according to his own personal desire.

  • According to Fajr as Sadiq, the Ulema delivered the fatwa of kufr on Ibn Abdal Wahhab for the offence of blasphemy towards the Prophet.

This position is substantiated by key verdicts:

  • It is stated in ash Shifa, Khayriyya, Durar Wal Ghurar, and Bazzaziyyah:

“All Muslims unanimously agreed upon the ruling that one who insults the Messenger is a disbeliever, and one who doubts in his infidelity, is also a disbeliever.”

  • It is mentioned in Sayf al Maslul by Imam Subki, citing Qadi Iyad’s Ash Shifa, p.129:

“The opinion of Malik and his companions is that no doubt whoever says, with regards to the Prophet, that which constitutes some sort of deficiency, he is executed without being given the opportunity to repent.”

The key attitudes of Wahhabism that establish its distance from the Islamic nation are exemplified in the writings of the scholars of Deoband, who during the Colonial period, considered it wise to adopt the attitudes of Wahhabism and attempt to spread its infectious religious attitudes through the guise of orthodox Sunni Islam. The attitudes of Wahhabism can thus be further examined through the writing of Deobandi scholars, since the Islamic seminary opened by Qasim Nanotvi at Deoband was originally designed to translate and teach the book Taqwiyatul Iman by one Ismail Dehlavi, and this book was a literal Urdu translation of Ibn Abdal Wahhab’s heretical manifesto, Kitab at Tawhid.

The Prophet said, "O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen." The people said, "And also on our Najd." He said, "O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham (north)! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen." The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! And also on our Najd." I think the third time the Prophet said, "There (in Najd) is the place of earthquakes and afflictions and from there comes out the side of the head of Satan." (Al-Bukhari) .
Allah's Apostle said, "There will appear some people among you whose prayer will make you look down upon yours, and whose fasting will make you look down upon yours, but they will recite the Qur'an which will not exceed their throats (they will not act on it) and they will go out of Islam as an arrow goes out through the game whereupon the archer would examine the arrowhead but see nothing, and look at the unfeathered arrow but see nothing, and look at the arrow feathers but see nothing, and finally he suspects to find something in the lower part of the arrow." (Al-Bukhari)
"While we were with Allah's Apostle who was distributing (i.e. some property), there came Dhu-l-Khuwaisira, a man from the tribe of Bani Tamim and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Do Justice." The Prophet said, "Woe to you! Who could do justice if I did not? I would be a desperate loser if I did not do justice." 'Umar said, "O Allah's Apostle! Allow me to chop his head off." The Prophet said, "Leave him, for he has companions who pray and fast in such a way that you will consider your fasting negligible in comparison to theirs. They recite Qur'an but it does not go beyond their throats (i.e. they do not act on it) and they will desert Islam as an arrow goes through a victim's body, so that the hunter, on looking at the arrow's blade, would see nothing on it; he would look at its Risaf and see nothing, he would look at its Nadi and see nothing, and he would look at its Qudhadh (1) and see nothing (neither meat nor blood), for the arrow has been too fast even for the blood and excretions to smear. The sign by which they will be recognized is that among them there will be a black man, one of whose arms will resemble a woman's breast or a lump of meat moving loosely. Those people will appear when there will be differences amongst the people." I testify that I heard this narration from Allah's Apostle and I testify that 'Ali bin Abi Talib fought with such people, and I was in his company. He ordered that the man (described by the Prophet ) should be looked for. The man was brought and I looked at him and noticed that he looked exactly as the Prophet had described him." (Al-Bukhari)
"Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said from Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Harith at-Taymi from Abu Salama ibn Abd ar Rahman that Abu Said said that he had heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "A group of people will appear among you whose prayer, fasting and deeds will make you think little of your own prayer, fasting and deeds. They will recite the Qur'an, but it wil not get past their throats, and they will pass through the deen like an arrow passes through game. You look at the arrowhead, and you see nothing, and you look at the shaft, and you see nothing, and you look at the flights, and you see nothing. And you are in doubt about the notch." (Al-Muwatta)
'Ali bin Abi Talib sent a piece of gold not yet taken out of its ore, in a tanned leather container to Allah's Apostle. Allah's Apostle distributed that amongst four persons: 'Uyaina bin Badr, Aqra bin Habis, Zaid Al-Khail and the fourth was either Alqama or Amir bin At Tufail. On that, one of his companions said, "We are more deserving of this (gold) than these (persons)." When that news reached the Prophet, he said, "Don't you trust me though I am the truthworthy man of the One in the Heavens, and I receive the news of Heaven (i.e. Divine Inspiration) both in the morning and in the evening?" There got up a man with sunken eyes, raised cheek bones, raised forehead, a thick beard, a shaven head and a waist sheet that was tucked up and he said, "O Allah's Apostle! Be afraid of Allah." The Prophet said, "Woe to you! Am I not of all the people of the earth the most entitled to fear Allah?" Then that man went away. Khalid bin Al-Wahd said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall I chop his neck off?" The Prophet said, "No, for he may offer prayers." Khalid said, "Numerous are those who offer prayers and say by their tongues (i.e. mouths) what is not in their hearts." Allah's Apostle said, "I have not been ordered (by Allah) to search the hearts of the people or cut open their bellies." Then the Prophet looked at him (i.e. that man) while the latter was going away and said, "From the offspring of this (man there will come out (people) who will recite the Qur'an continuously and elegantly but it will not exceed their throats. (They will neither understand it nor act upon it). They would go out of the religion (i.e. Islam) as an arrow goes through a game's body." I think he also said, "If I should be present at their time I would kill them as the nations of Thamud were killed." (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet said, "I have been made victorious with As-Saba (i.e. an easterly wind) and the people of 'Ad were destroyed by Ad-Dabur (i.e. a westerly wind)." Narrated Abu Said: Ali sent a piece of gold to the Prophet who distributed it among four persons: Al-Aqra' bin Habis Al-Hanzali from the tribe of Mujashi, 'Uyaina bin Badr Al-Fazari, Zaid At-Ta'i who belonged to (the tribe of) Bani Nahban, and 'Alqama bin Ulatha Al-'Amir who belonged to (the tribe of) Bani Kilab. So the Quraish and the Ansar became angry and said, "He (i.e. the Prophet, ) gives the chief of Najd and does not give us." The Prophet said, "I give (them) so as to attract their hearts (to Islam)." Then a man with sunken eyes, prominent checks, a raised forehead, a thick beard and a shaven head, came (in front of the Prophet ) and said, "Be afraid of Allah, O Muhammad!" The Prophet said, "Who would obey Allah if I disobeyed Him? (Is it fair that) Allah has trusted all the people of the earth to me while, you do not trust me?" Khalid bin Al-Walid requested the Prophet to let him chop that man's head off, but he prevented him. When the man left, the Prophet said, "Among the off-spring of this man will be some who will recite the Qur'an but the Qur'an will not reach beyond their throats (i.e. they will recite like parrots and will not understand it nor act on it), and they will renegade from the religion as an arrow goes through the game's body. They will kill the Muslims but will not disturb the idolaters. If I should live up to their time I will kill them as the people of 'Ad were killed (i.e. I will kill all of them)." (Al-Bukhari)
One day the eminent Ashaab of the Holy Prophet were assembled around him and a person came by and stood at the edge of the Majlis Shareef. Immediately, he proceeded from there into Musjid-e-Nabawi Shareef. The Holy Prophet addressed the Sahaba and said: "Who amongst you will go and kill him?" Sayyiduna Abu Bakr As Siddique (radi Allahu anhu) got up and went towards this person who was engrossed in Salaah. He could not kill a person who was engrossed in Salaah, and returned to the Holy Prophet and explained the situation.
The Beloved Nabi of Allah stated again: "Who is it that will kill him?" Sayyiduna Omar Al Farouq (radi Allahu anhu) got up and

went towards that person and found him in the same situation.
For the third time the Holy Prophet stated: "Who is it that will kill him?" Sayyiduna Ali Al Murtudah (radi Allahu anhu) got up and said: "I will kill him". The Holy Prophet said: "Yes, you would if you find him but he will not be there".
When Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) went to the Musjid Shareef the man had already left. Then the Nabi of Allah said: "If you had killed him then a very great Fitna (dissention) would have been removed from this Ummah".
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