Conduct of the Salaf with their contemporaries: Respect and honour

By Mawlānā Ḥabīb al-Raḥmān Khān Sherwānī
Translated by Mawlānā Muammad Mahomedy

Mawlānā Muammad Qamaruz Zamān Allāhābādī in his biography of his shaykh, Mawlānā Shāh Waīyullāh entitled Tadhkirah Muli al-ʼUmmah has included an entire part on the relationship and bond that existed between Mawlānā Shāh Waīyullāh and his contemporary ‛ulamā’ and mashāykh. In the introduction to this part Mawlānā Shāh Waīyullāh writes concerning the benefits of writing on this:

The first benefit of this is that the merits and achievements of our elders will come to the fore. Secondly, there is a famous saying which goes:

اَلْمُعَاصَرَةُ سَبَبُ الْمُنَافَرَةِ

Contemporariness is a cause of mutual dissent.

However, the attributes and qualities of our elders clearly demonstrate how they used to respect each other and how one would acknowledge the excellent qualities of the other.

Obviously, our immediate elders strictly followed the ways of our earlier elders. Based on their honesty and sincerity, they were very open-hearted and magnanimous in this regard. They would relate the merits of their contemporaries without hesitation and look up to them with approval.

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Moderation of the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband

By Dr. ‘Allāmah Khālid Maḥmūd
Translated by Prof. Murtaz Ḥusayn F. Qurayshī

In the understanding and explaining of religion the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband are neither convinced of that method which may be altogether severed from the past because it is not a continuous relation – it is a new path, nor are they convinced of this extreme that under the force of custom and convention and conformance to the ancestors every heretic innovation may be introduced into Islām. Actions denied of continuity and continuity that may not reach uninterruptedly up to the “best of decades” cannot be the actions of Islām. However, these gentlemen are fully convinced of and committed to that conformance that has continued in the name of Islāmic fiqh (jurisprudence) emanating from the head-spring of the Qur’ān and the Ḥadīth. The Qur’ān decries conformance to the ancestors simply for the reason that those ancestors might be devoid of the light of intelligence and guidance: “What, Even though their fathers were wholly unintelligent and had no guidance” (Qur’ān, 2:170). Conformance to the Imāms of the past and the Fuqahā’ (jurisprudents) of Islām who were enlightened with the light of knowledge and guidance is not only not blameable but is also the real thing to be desired, and we have been taught that we pray to the Lord of Honour in each prayer to make us walk on the path of not only the prophets but also the truthful ones, the martyrs and the righteous because this alone is the straight path.

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ

Show as the straight path, the path of those whom You have bestowed favour. (Qur’ān, 1:5-6)

Due to this moderate tack the ‘Ulamā’ of Deoband remained safe from religious unrestrainedness and self-opinion and the darknesses of polytheism and innovation too could not draw them into their net. By their actions and thoughts the continuity of Islām was maintained as well as no discontinuous view and action could enter Islām in the name of religion. These respectable men went an kindling the lamps of Islām by the continuity of knowledge and action, and, looking at the history of Deoband, we can assert that Islām is really a live religion which is continuous from their time up to the felicitous period of the noble Companions (Allāh be pleased with them all).

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The incident of Shaykh Gangohī pledging allegiance to Ḥājī Imdād Allāh

By Mawlānā Yūsuf ibn Sulaymān Motala

After receiving his primary education in his locality, Shaykh Rashīd Ahmad Gangohī went to Delhi to continue further studies in Arabic. Although Delhi had lost its prestige, there were still a few madrasas running. Shaykh Qāsim Nanotwī  was his fellow classmate there.

Upon returning home to Gangoh after graduation, he thought to himself that he had completed his acquisition of exoteric knowledge and that he should now focus on rectification of the inner-self. Whilst he was still preoccupied with this concern, he had to travel from Gangoh to Thānabhawan with regard to another issue.


As I previously mentioned, there were three saints in one masjid of Thānabhawan at one time: Hājī Imdādullāh occupied one corner, Shaykh Muhammad Thānawī   occupied another, and Shaykh D’āmin Shahīd would be on a bed at the entrance of the masjid. When someone would enter and offer greetings, Shaykh D’āmin Shahīd would ask, due to his humorous nature, “What is the purpose of your visit?” Thereafter, he himself would say, “If you have come to seek a religious ruling, go to the shaykh over there (pointing towards Shaykh Muhammad Thānawī). If you have come to pledge allegiance to a shaykh, go to the saint in that corner (pointing towards Hājī Imdādullāh). If you would like to smoke hookah, then sit with us friends.

Shaykh D’āmin Shahīd   probably smoked hookah. The three saints would eat, drink and sit together. There was a plate of currants and dried fruit which they would consume whilst sitting together, as you occasionally sit casually with your friends snatching and taking from them jokily. This was how they sat together informally, and ate and drank.

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The fitnah of dreams and the signs of the hour

By Mawlana Ahmad Sadiq Desai

Ignorance, intellectual calcification and moral bankruptcy have diverted the Muslim mind and heart from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Dreams appear to have a greater  hold on the minds of Muslims of this era than the Warnings and Admonition of the Qur’aan and Ahaadith. But the superficial concern which Muslims are displaying  for the dreams about Dajjaal, etc. seen by some persons, evaporates within a few minutes of hearing about the dreams. These dreams being circulated  widely  are temporary features of topical importance. Beyond  some interest and  conversation, the dreams prove ineffectual for achieving moral reformation which is the asset lost to the Ummah of this age.

If the current  spiral of  fitan (plural of  Fitnah – mischief, evil, anarchy) engulfing the nations of the world in general, and the Ummah in particular,  cannot  arouse Muslims from their villainous slumber and jolt them out  of their indulgence in immorality and transgression, no amount of dreams of the Buzrugs will avail. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) warning the Ummah, said that when Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahyi Anil Munkar (Commanding virtue and prohibiting vice) is abandoned, then Allah Ta’ala will appoint over us such  brutal tyrants who will show no mercy to our little ones and no respect to our elders. The brutality and humiliation  – the direct consequences of our misdeeds and rebellion – will hem in, disfigure and mutilate all members of the Ummah, be they infants, children, adults, men, women, the pious and the impious. No one will be spared when the Divine Axe falls on the Ummah. In this regard, the Qur’aan Majeed states:  “Beware of such a Fitnah (Divine Punishment) which will not only overtake the transgressors among you.”  At such a time of universal Athaab, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that your Buzrugs will supplicate (make Dua), but their Duas will go unheeded.

It should be well understood that when the Athaab of Allah Ta’ala overtakes a community, then Duas and Thikr, whilst drowning will not avail. Duas at that time will not avert the Athaab. The Divine Chastisement will run its ordained course. Even the pious Buzrugs and the Ulama will be overtaken by the disastrous punishment of Allah Ta’ala, which assumes a variety of forms such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes,  fire,  pestilence, volcano eruptions, drought, famine, internecine warefare (Muslims killing Muslims), and the imposition of kuffaar to  unleash brutality and genocide. All of these effects are being observed  daily in our times. But no one heeds these palpable  Signs of Qiyaamah and their immediate consequences which are being enacted  in real life and which we observe and experience  whilst we are fully awake. The Buzrugs are silent on  the issues  of the state of awakefulness. Their  focus is more on dreams. When the Warnings of the Qur’aan and Ahaadith which are materializing daily around us are inadequate to  shake us and make us alert, what will the dreams achieve?

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Concerning obedience to a Shaykh in worldly and spiritual matters

Mawlana Khalil Johnson

A Shaykh is a spiritual guide; someone who gives advice pertaining to how one  can improve his connection with Allāh ﷻ. It is up to the Murīd (The treader of the path of piety under the guidance of a Shaykh)to have the discipline of implementing that advice accordingly. Their advices do not constitute a binding, religious decree in itself.

It is for this reason that the Qurān rebukes Ahl-e-Kitāb (The people of the book, Jews and Christians) for having taken their Rabbis and Priests as Gods besides Allāh ﷻ. They would regard their obedience to be necessary in the absolute sense of the word. Whatever they said, would become law, even turning Halāl (Permissible) into Harām (Impermissible) and vice versa.[i]

The advices of a Shaykh can be broadly classified into two categories. One pertaining to worldly matters and one pertaining to spiritual matters. For both of these categories, we can find clear narrations from which one can deduce that it is not a religious requirement in itself to implement those advices.

In a narration on the authority of Imām Muslim, Hadhrat Talha, Radiallahu ‘Anhu stated that he and Nabī Karīm were passing by a group of people who were tending to the tops of date palms (fecundating them). Nabī Karīm enquired from those around him as to what they are doing. The companions replied that they were busy with cross polinating the date palms, the male with the female date palms. Nabī Karīm then expressed his personal opinion that he doesn’t see any benefit in that. The fecundators came to know of the remark and subsequently they stopped cross polinating the other date palms. Consequently, the produce from the next year was poor. The fecundators complained about this to which Nabī Karīm ﷺ remarked: “If this practice was of benefit to them, then let them do accordingly. I only expressed an opinion, therefore don’t take me to account for my personal opinions. However, if I mention something to you explicitly about Allāh ﷻ, then hold fast on to it, for verily it is impossible for me to utter anything but truth related to Allāh.[ii]

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Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah on Sufis and Taṣawwuf

By Shaykh Abu Humayd

The following is an excerpt from the passages of Majmu’ al-Fatawa Li-Ibni Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah).

The following is to educate people on what is Tasawwuf and Sufism; because many misconception have been floating around lately ‘refuting’ Sufis and Tasawwuf by those (funnily enough) who hold Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah in very high esteem.  Enough mis-information has been passed around the globe trying to taint Tasawwuf but Insha-Allah in the words of a Shaykh al-Islam (according to them) would the tainting of Tasawwuf be repudiated, Insha-Allah.

To commence:

مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية

تقي الدين ابن تيمية

مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية » الآداب والتصوف » كتاب التصوف » أهل الصفة

أي الصوفي ـ في الحقيقة نوع من الصديقين فهو الصديق الذي اختص بالزهد والعبادة

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah says:

“And the Sufi is in reality a kind of Siddiq [Truthful One], that Siddiq who specialized in Zuhd [Asceticism] and ‘Ibadah [Worship].”

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Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah on gatherings of dhikr, and other practices associated with Sufism

By Shaykh Abu Humayd
Edited by ‘Abd Allah al-Afriqi

Editor’s note: We have posted in the past regarding the views of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy on him) (تقي الدين أبو العباس أحمد بن عبد الحليم بن عبد السلام بن عبد الله ابن تيمية الحراني‎) from his works which clearly and unequivocally prove beyond doubt that he was from amongst the grand scholars of the Ahl ‘l-Sunnah and that which his followers claim of him is often untrue and exaggarated. In this work, the noble brother has compiled from Shaykh al-Islam’s Majmu’ ‘l-Fatawa his various views and stance on various practices which today are solely associated with Sufism and the people of Tasawwuf. We hope that this compilation clears all wrong notions and understanding and is a means in bridging the gaping holes amongst the Ummah. Insha’ Allah.

Ibn Taymiyyah and Ijtima’i Gathering etc.

مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية » الفقه » الصلاة » باب الذكر بعد الصلاة » مسألة الاجتماع على القراءة والذكر والدعاء

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah was asked:

وسئل عن رجل ينكر على أهل الذكر يقول لهم : هذا الذكر بدعة وجهركم في الذكر بدعة وهم يفتتحون بالقرآن ويختتمون ثم يدعون للمسلمين الأحياء والأموات ويجمعون التسبيح والتحميد والتهليل والتكبير والحوقلة ويصلون على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والمنكر يعمل السماع مرات بالتصفيق ويبطل الذكر في وقت عمل السماع “

“He was asked regarding a man that rejects the people of Dhikr, who says: This Dhikr is Bid’ah, and raising your voice is Bid’ah, and their starting reciting of the Qur’an and finishing thereafter making Du’a for the Muslim for the living and the dead, and would collectively recite the Tasbeeh, Tahmeed, Tahleel, Takbeer and Hawqalah, and then sending blessing upon Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi WaSallam) – the person who rejects he would listen, they would slap their back wrist repeatedly to disturb them.”

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‘Allāmah Abū ‘l-Ḥasan ‘Alī al-Nadwī’s visit to Thanabhawan and meeting Ḥakīm al-Ummah

Translated by Dr76 last the day approached when I had the nobility to present myself at Thanabhawan, the tales of which were narrated by several visitors since past many years…
Now I had the opportunity to behold it myself… it is said that a flower reveals its true shape resting on the twig or in the garden…

Apparently it was 1942 and the month of May or June.. I remember the intense hot weather and the blowing heatwave.. I was travelling along with Maulana Ilyas sahab on the narrow gauge Railway line.. which ran from Shahdara to Saharanpur..

Along the way lied all those places and hamlets… which were historically attached to the Mashaikh of Deoband.. for eg, Kandhla.. Thana Bhawan..Nanota..Rampur Maniharan..
I do not quite recollect whether it was preplanned or the thought evolved during the course of journey that a trip to Thana bhawan should also be made. The schedule was such that after resting in Kandhla along with Maulana ilyas sahab (rah), which was his native, I had to reach Rampur maniharan. Thana Bhawan lied in between Kandhla and Rampur.

I took permission from Maulana Ilyas sahab (rah) that I shall be leaving a day advance from Kandhla… and after spending 24 hours at Thana Bhawan, board the same train on which Maulana would leave for Rampur.
Maulana himself was amongst the votaries of Thana Bhawan and considered Maulana Thanwi (rah) to be from the rows of his Mashaikh… he was very pleased to hear that and permitted me with great vivacity and happiness..

Some known person from Thana bhawan was on his way back and I intended to hand him the letter informing of my arrival. That he could present there himself. He replied saying it was against etiquettes.I then requested him to drop it in the post box to which he agreed.

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Shaykh Bin Baz and Tasawwuf

By Mawlana Iqbal A’zami
Compiled by Mawlana Uwais Namazi

PS: The following has been taken from the Facebook page of Mawlana Uwais Namazi.

Moulana Iqbal was asked about Sh Bin Baz’s aversion towards Sufism. He said those scholars of Arabia were simple folk and sincere but since they had no direct contact with sufism, their monolithic statements are often conflated for an outright rejection of all forms of Sufism. This is not the case.

He then shared an heartwarming incident that manifested in front of his eyes. Sheikh Abu al-Hasan Ali al-Hasani al-Nadwi (aka Mol Ali Miyan) had come to Madina as a visiting professor. The sum of his lectures during this visit have been published in a work titled, “rabbaniyyah la rahbaaniyyah” (piety, not monasticism), a defence and introduction to Sufism of sorts.

Mol was given a room at the Marriot (I think that was the name), a five star hotel on behalf of the University.

Those acquainted with Mol will know he would never stay at hotels and would prefer to stay at Mosques, esp if there were Tableegh Jama’ts in attendance, or at friends’ houses. This was doubly the case with Madina, where he would say “how can this pauper come to the Prophet’s city and stay in a five star hotel!?”

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Mufti Yusuf Ludhyanwi Shahid & silsilah of Mawlana Allah Yar Khan

Refutation of Shaykh Akram Awan and Naqshbandi Owaisi Silsila

The chain of transmission of this cult like Silsila has been exposed here.

The specific refutation of Shaykh Akram Awan by Darul-Iftaa, Jamiatur-Rasheed (Karachi) has been produced here.

The condemnation of the entire Silsila by Hazrat Shaykhul Islam Allamah Taqi Usmani Saheb (Damat Barakatuhum) has also been produced. The objection to this was how do we know that this refutation is specific to this Silsila and Maulana Allahyaar Khan, here is the response.

Maulana Allahyar Khan Chakralwi and his Dalailus-Sulook

Mufti Yusuf Ludhyanwi Shaheed is considered amongst the Akabir of Deobandi Ulamah of last century, His stature, rank, knowledge in both Fiqh and Tassawuff is undisputed. Hazrat (RA) wrote a book entitled “The ideologies of the Modernists of our time” and in it none other than Maulana Allahyar Khan Chakralwi and his book Dalailus-Sulook Is mentioned by a chapter dedicated to their exposure and refutation.

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