محبوب حسين الأزهرى
In Defence of Ala Hazrat,
Imam of the Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama’ah,
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (RadiAllahu anhu)
Shaykh ul-Hadith, al-Allamah,
Zulfqar Haidar Pirzada al-Azhari
About the Shaykh 3
The Refutation 11
The Outcome 17
About the Shaykh
Shaykh Zulfqar Haidar Pirzada al-Azhari is the son of the world-renowned scholar, commentator of the Qur’an, Leader of the Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama’ah, Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada.
The learned Shaykh, Zulfqar Haidar Pirzada al-Azhari began his Islamic studies at a very young age under the tutelage and guidance of his noble father at Jamia al-Karam, Nottinghamshire. Amongst the teachers of the learned Shaykh were, the likes of the erudite, professor Bashir Ahmad Siddiqi (May Allah have mercy on him) and the jurist of our time, Shaykh ul-Hadith, Allamah, Maulana, Mufti Fazl as-Subhan al-Qadri, with whom he studied over fifty classical Dars Nizami texts in Arabic and Farsi.
The Shaykh then proceeded to al-Azhar university where he specialized from the Faculty of Usul at-Tafsir. During that time he met many great scholars of the Arab world such as the Shaykh of the Shaykh of al-Azhar, Abd al-Halim Mahmud….
Upon returning to the United Kingdom from his studies in the Arab world, the Shaykh completed his Masters in Arabic Applied Translation at the University of Leeds whilst teaching Dars Nizami at Jamia al-Karam and also continuing his own personal studies in the classical sciences.
Though the Shaykh had already completed his Ifta studies under the direct supervision of Mufti Fazl as-Subhan al-Qadri, his desire for sacred knowledge led him to the city of Mardan, Peshawar, Khaybar Pakhtun Khwan in Pakistan. It was there that the Shaykh began studying advanced classical texts of the Dars Nizami that are very rarely taught in the Indian subcontinent, let alone the world over. Whilst there, under the instruction of his teacher, he taught many classical texts to students studying at the institute.
Among the classical sciences and sacred texts that the Shaykh has mastered are texts in Usul al-Fiqh up to at-Tawdih ala al-Talwih; in an-Nahv up to Sharh Mulla Jami; in al-Balagha up to al-Mutawwal; in ‘Ilm al-Kalam up to Khiyali; in al-Mantiq from Mir Qutbi, Musallam ut-Thubuut, Mir Zahid, Mullah Hassan, Maybzi, Mullah Jalal, Hamdullah, Qazi Mubarak, Saadara up to Shams Bazigha.
The Shaykh also studied many technical treatises of al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah have mercy on him) on a number of intricate issues of Ifta with his teacher, who is the student of the one who is regarded and revered as the Teacher of all, Master of all Islamic Sciences, Maulana, ash-Shaykh Ata Muhammad al-Bandiyalvi (May Allah have mercy on him).
The Shaykh has studied over one hundred thousands ahadith from all the major classical compilations of hadith texts such Sihah Sitta, Musnads of the great scholars of hadith such as Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal…
The Shaykh also has studied countless tafasir of the holy Qur’an from cover to cover such as al-Tafsir al-Kabir of Imam Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi, Ruh al-Ma’ani of al-Imam Syed Mahmud al-Alusi….
The Shaykh also met and spent time with one of the great Imams of the time, Mufti Abd al-Hakim Sharaf al-Qadri (may Allah have mercy on his soul), from whom he received all of his Ijaazat.
Among the religious licences the Shaykh has recieved, he has many returning back to al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah be pleased with him) himself through Allamah Ata Muhammad al-Bandiyalvi (May Allah be pleased with him). Between al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah be pleased with him) and the Shaykh, there are only two scholars. The Shaykh also holds sacred religious licences that are continuous all the way back to the Imam of the Ahl as-Sunnah, Imam Abul Hasan al-Ash’ari (May Allah be pleased with him).
At this moment in time, the Shaykh is Shaykh ul-Hadith wal Tafseer at Jamia al-Karam. Since returning from Mardan, Pakistan he has revised the entire Dars Nizami syllabus adding a further advanced course specializing in Islamic sciences and traditional scholarship.
The Shaykh has taught, and is currently teaching, classical texts in traditional sciences such as:
- al-Mantiq: Sharh Tahdheeb and Tahrir al-Qawa’id al-Mantiqiyya fi Sharh al-Risalah ash-Shamsiyya (known as al-Qutbi).
- Usul al-Fiqh: Usul ash-Shashi, Nur al-Anwar, al-Muntakhab al-Husami and al-Tawdih.
- an-Nahv: Hidayah an-Nahv, Kaafiyyah and al-Fawa’id ad-Diya’iyyah (known as Sharh Mulla Jami).
- al-Balagha: Talkhis ul-Miftah and Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani.
- al-Fiqh: al-Quduri, Sharh al-Wiqayyah and al-Hidayah.
- ‘Ilm al-Kalam: Min Aqa’id Ahl as-Sunnah and Sharh al-Aqa’id an-Nasafiyyah.
- Al-Falsafah: Hidaya al-Hikmah.
- Al-Adab al-‘Arabi: Nafahat al-Yaman and al-Maqamat al-Haririyya.
- Al-Fara’id: as-Sirajiyyah fi al-Fara’id.
- Usul al-Hadith: Nuzhat an-Nazar fi Tawdih an-Nukhbat al-Fikar fi Mustalah Ahl al-Athar.
- al-Hadith: Sihah as-Sittah, Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar and al-Musnad as-Sahih.
- al-Munazarah: Al-Rashidiyyah ala ash-Sharifiyyah fi fan al-Munazarah.
- al-Iftah: Sharh ‘Uqud Rasm al-Mufti, al-Fadl al-Mawhibi fi Ma’na idha Sahha al-Hadith fa huwa Madhhabi and Ajla al-‘Ilam anna al-Fatwa Mutlaqan ala Qawl al-Imam.
The inspiration of the Shaykh is none other than the Luminary of the Nation, Commentator of the Qur’an, Justice Shaykh Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari (May Allah have mercy on him). As a child, the Shaykh spent time in the grand Shaykh’s company, which till today has a lasting effect on him. He always looks for guidance and inspiration in the teachings and personality of the grand Shaykh, Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari (May Allah be pleased with him).
Amongst his scholarly contributions, he has also authored the first English book detailing the characteristics of Arabic etymological chapters, namely Diya al-Khawwas, alongside translating the classical Persian text Nahv Mir into Arabic, editing and verifying Tasrif az-Zanjani and writing numerous articles. The Shaykh is currently working on various Dars Nizami texts.
In the past, objections have been raised and directed towards al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah be pleased with him) on many issues by the opposition. One such objection was in regards to offensive poetry written against the Mother of the Believers, Sayyida A’isha (May Allah be pleased with her) that was falsely ascribed to the great Imam by scholars from the School of Deoband.
When this issue initially rose in the Indian subcontinent, many scholars from the Ahl as-Sunnah duly responded and exonerated the great Imam. In one such case, in the 1950’s, Ehsan Ilahi Zahir wrote a book called al-Brailwiyya in which he raised an objection that al-Imam Ahmad Raza’s Hada’iq e Bakhshish Volume Three contained blasphemous poetry against Sayyida A’isha (May Allah be pleased with her).
In response to this, Allamah Abdul Hakim Sharaf al-Qadri (May Allah be pleased with him) refuted Ehsan Ilahi Zahir’s book by writing al-Brailwiyyah ka Tahqiqi’o Tanqidi Ja’izah in which he gave a comprehensive response clarifying this issue along with others.
Very recently, on Monday 1 December 2014, some Deobandi scholars reignited this issue against the great Imam on social media platforms. Their aim can only be to misguide our young English-speaking Sunni Muslims.
As this issue gained prominence and inciting videos became widespread, it was brought to the attention of Shaykh Zulfqar Haidar Pirzada during his class. He, in response, gave a very comprehensive and in-depth reply whilst referencing Allamah Abdul Hakim Sharaf al-Qadri’s work.
The following chapters are a transcript of Shaykh Zulfqar Haidar Pirzada’s response to this objection on al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah be pleased with him), though slight changes have been made for the ease of the reader.
Students of Shaykh ul-Hadith,
Zulfqar Haidar Pirzada al-Azhari.
In essence, al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan’s (May Allah be pleased with him) works are not in need of any introduction. However, in the context of this discussion I will briefly mention a few necessary points relating to his poetic masterpiece, Hada’iq e Bakhshish, which has come under scrutiny.
Al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan
Firstly, there is no doubt the Imam was the greatest scholar of his era and was accepted as such by all of his contemporaries. He was the most outstanding jurist, a master of Hadith, logic, rhetoric, philosophy, astronomy and mathematics etc. He was an orator, researcher, poet and devout lover of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and his noble family (May Allah be pleased with them all).
Hada’iq e Bakhshish
The Imam is an author of over 1000 books of which Hada’iq e Bakhshish is his magnum opus in poetry. Hada’iq e Bakhshish was compiled and published in two volumes in 1907, which the Imam himself endorsed. An outstanding feature of the Imam’s work – from his Qur’anic translation, through his Fatawa, to his poetry – is that he maintains and upholds the utmost respect and reverence for the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) and his noble family and companions (May Allah be pleased with them all).
Maulana Muhammad Mahboob Ali al-Qadiri al-Lukhnowi
Maulana Muhammad Mahboob Ali al-Qadri al-Lukhnowi was a scholar who has been referred to as Mahboob al-Millah (the Beloved of the Nation).
In 1923, Maulana Mahboob Ali went about gathering unpublished poetry of al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah have mercy on him). It was in the same year that he gathered, compiled and published the previously unpublished poetry in the form of a third volume addition to Hada’id e Bakhshish, naming it Hadaiq e Bakhshish Volume Three. The task of publishing it was given to Nabiha Steam Press.
Al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah have mercy on him) wrote a poem in praise of Sayyida A’isha (May Allah be pleased with her). The scribe, who was not from the Ahl as-Sunnah, intentionally or unintentionally added offensive couplets to this poem, which were originally written about Umm Zarra’ and other polytheist women, not Sayyida A’isha (May Allah be pleased with her).
It is of paramount importance to emphasize that al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah be have mercy on him) did not endorse this book as he had passed away in 1921, two years prior to its publication.
Allamah Abdul Hakim Sharaf al-Qadri (May Allah have mercy on him) raised several points regarding the leniencies of Maulana Mahboob Ali:
1. He allowed it to be published without checking and reviewing the final version due to other engagements and his full trust in the press.
2. He named the book Had’aiq e Bakhshish Volume Three though it was more appropriate to name it something like Baaqiyaat e Rida (The Remaining [Couplets] of Rida).
3. The title page of the third volume states that it was published in 1907. However, this was actually the year in which the first two volumes were published. As stated previously, the third volume was published after the Imam’s death. Evidence proving this is the fact that it says on the very same title page “May Allah be pleased with him” and “May Allah Most High have mercy on him” after his name. These prayers are only used for the deceased, which proves that it could only have been published after the Imam’s passing away.
4. Once the third volume was compiled, Maulana Mahboob Ali published it without showing or seeking endorsement from the son of al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah have mercy on him), The Great Mufti of Hind, Maulana Mustafa Rida Khan or his nephew Maulana Hasnain Rida Khan (May Allah have mercy on them both).
5. If Maulana Mahboob Ali had publicly announced the mistakes in the book, then the situation that occurred in 1955 would not have escalated. However, he refrained from making corrections on the basis that when scholars read the Imam’s poetry they would realise that these lines of poetry have been inserted incorrectly and in the new edition the relevant changes would be made.
Refuting the false claim against Syed Madni Miah
Syed Madni Miah has been accused of endorsing the third volume as al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan’s (May Allah be pleased with him).
In refutation to that Shaykh ul Islam, Syed Madni Miah writes, “I do not deny the sincerity of Mahboob al-Millah, nor am I prepared to accept that he… But I cannot stop myself from making this reality apparent that by adding the third volume of Had’aiq e Bakhshish without any consultation, Mahboob al-Millah made the biggest error in his life, such an error that compares to nothing of its like, one such error that despite the sole responsibility lying with Mahboob al-Millah the accusation of the opposition does not cease to end from al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah have mercy on him), therefore think, what is the mistake of al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan in this?”
Maulana Mahboob makes Repents
After sometime, propaganda from the Deobandi’s began against Maulana Mahboob Ali. They propagated that he blasphemed against the Mother of the Believers, Sayyida A’isha (May Allah be pleased with her) due to which it was necessary for him to be removed from the Sunni Jamia Masjid of Bombay.
When Maulana Mahboob Ali became aware that his unintentional mistake had caused such a stir, he did not allow egotism to take over, rather he exercised every means in his power to inform the masses that he had repented. He published his repentance statement (Tawbah Namah) in various newspapers and publicly accepted full responsibility for his mistake.
Despite Maulana Mahboob Ali’s public repentence, the Deobandi’s continued their propaganda and refused to accept it. It was then that the scholars of the Ahl us Sunnah wal Jama’ah issued a fatwa stating that his repentance was undoubtedly accepted as he neither uttered the words of the couplets, nor wrote them. His only mistake was his negligence in verifying the books content in the final script before its publication.
In conclusion, it is illogical to raise an objection against al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (May Allah have mercy on him) when Maulana Mahboob Ali has accepted full liability and responsibility for the error in publication. The volume under objection was not even published during his life, and wasn’t verified as his work by any of his heirs. How then, can elements from such a work with no formal acknowledgement and verification be used against the Imam? It seems that those who oppose the Imam will go to any extreme to try and defame his honour. Yet it is well known that previous opponents had refrained from accusing the Imam directly once Maulana Mahboob Ali accepted full responsibility.
It is clear from the evidence provided that the Imam did not write these couplets. The defamatory couplets are completely antithetical to the nature of the Imam, his works and character. The Imam’s life mission was to rekindle the love and respect for the Holy Prophet (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), his family and companion (May Allah be pleased with all of them) in the hearts of Muslims. As such, it is not possible for one who is aware of his traits and characteristics to accept that such defamatory words that a layman would not utter were uttered by the great Imam.
Furthermore, those who are familiar with the works of the Imam can immediately see that he did not write the couplets as they go against his poetic manner and diction.
Finally, it is hoped that this has clarified any objections. I am certain that with an unbiased and objective reading, all doubt and confusion will have been removed.
 Patiala, Eastern Punjab, Bharat.
 Umm Zarra’ and the other polytheist women have been mentioned in numerous books of hadith such as Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nisa’I and others.
 Shirkat e Hanafiya – Lahore; Anwar e Rizas.
The name of this blessed surah is al-Qadr. It contains 1 Ruku, 5 verses, 30 words and 112 letters.
Era of revelation
Imam Alusi in addition to numerous other exegetes wrote that the scholars are of two opinions in relation to its revelation. Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi, in his exegesis ‘Bahr al-Muhit’, writes that this Surah is Madani. Imam Wahidi’s opinion is that its revelation was initially in Madinah, but the opinion of the majority of the exegetes is that it was in Makkah. The narrations presented in support of the first opinion are unreliable in terms of their chains of transmission. In addition, the topic of the Surah supports the second opinion. The preceding Surah mentioned the revelation of the Qur’ān, whilst this Surah discusses the prominence of that night on which its revelation took place.
Fate and destiny as well as honour and status are meanings for the word ‘Qadr’. Both meanings are acceptable here. He (Allah) informs us that this is not an ordinary night, in reality the advent of his miraculous speech occurred on this night, that alters the fate and destiny of not only one individual, tribe or nation, but the whole of humanity who acknowledge it and intend to embrace it. Furthermore, there is no time restriction here (regarding the night) just like there is no restriction upon the prophethood of his messenger. His revealed message is not subject to the limitation of time.
Alternatively, it could also refer to the honour, status of the night in whose silence revelation of the scripture of guidance took place, and the elevation to prophethood took place blessed of a pure being. We have been informed that the blessings of this night are better that the worship of a thousand months. All night the succession of the coming of angels and the revelation of blessings continues and the tidings of peace are given.
New Central Jail, Sargodha
Exegesis of Surah al-Qadr
- Indeed, We sent the Qur'an down during the Night of Decree. (1)
- And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?
- The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. (2)
- The angels and the Spirit descend therein (3) by permission of their Lord (4) for every matter (5).
- Peace it is until the emergence of dawn (6).1)
Despite the fact that the word Qur’ān is not explicitly referred here, it is unanimously agreed upon that the pronoun of the object (Mafool) in the word ‘اَنْزَلْنَاهُ’ refers to the Qur’ān. He (Allah) states that the Qur’ān is not the speech of any angel or man, nor is it the composition of any individual or group. I am the one revealing it and it is my speech. There is not participation of another in this. I have revealed it on this night, which is unequal in terms of its great status and honour. Alternatively, I have revealed it on that night that is destiny defining, due to which not only the star of destiny rises for the people of Makkah or Hijaz, but also the misfortune of humanity is turned. Such a book is revealed on this night that grants man recognition of his self and his creator.
Imam Zuhri states “It is called that due to its greatness and honour and because the actions in this n his are of great status in the sight of Allah” (Tafsir Mazhari). Imam Qurtubi has mentioned the following in relation to why this night is called ‘Laylatul Qadr’ “It’s claimed that it is known as that because Allah revealed in it a book of great eminence, upon a messenger of great prominence upon a nation of great prestige.” The cause of revelation has been stated as the Prophet (peace be upon him) thinking to himself that his nation did not have long lives, thus resulting in them not being able to perform good deeds in abundance in comparison to the nations of the past who were long lived. Thus, Allah granted him al-Qadr that was better than a thousand months (Mazhari).
2) The greatness of the gift that Allah has bestowed upon his blessed prophet (peace be upon him) is mentioned here. He asks the question pertaining to it and personally answers. He says, “Do you know what Laylatul Qadr is?” Then he answers himself “This one night is far better than a thousand months” To what is this greatness and superiority attributed? Most exegetes state, “That deeds in this night are better than deeds of a thousand months in which there is no Laylatul Qadr.”
Imam Qurtubi expresses his opinion in the following words “The good that is distributed in this one night is greater than good distributed in a thousand months.” Another possible meaning is that the deeds of this one night (revelation of the Qur’ān) for the sake of humanity’s welfare and betterment far outweigh the efforts of a thousand months.
However, the question of when did this night occur remains. Which month and which date? The Qur’ān personally resolves the issue of the month stating that it took place in Ramadhan, proving that it was definitely a night of Ramadhan. Regarding the specific date of this night there is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars. There are approximately forty opinions, but the following words are from a Sahih Hadith “Search for Laylatul Qadr in the final ten nights of Ramadhan.” In another narration, it states in the odd nights of the last ten days. The majority of the scholars believe that it is the 27th night, something that Ubay ibn K’ab swore by.
Amongst the great wisdom in not specifying the night, the following are a few. Muslims spend at least these 5 nights in the worship and remembrance of Allah. If this night was specified, people would only engage in the remembrance and worship of Allah on this night alone. Likewise, if there was specification, those who spent it in the worship of Allah would be entitled to great reward but those who sinned would be liable for great punishment. This is because despite being aware of this night they still wasted it disobeying Allah.
Subsequently mercy demands that the night remain unspecified so that if an unfortunate soul commits sin unaware of this night his punishment would be according to that of a normal night and those who remain awake will do so on more nights. In reality any night spent awake in remembrance of the lord is Laylatul Qadr for people of love. This couplet of the great Sufi Umar ibn Farid beautifully captures this
Every night is Laylatul Qadr if spent with the beloved
Just like every day is Juma if spent with him
3) Sayyiduna Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the messenger of Allah said “On the night of al-Qadr Jibreel descends with a large party of angles, who pray for forgiveness and blessing for all those standing or sitting in the remembrance of Allah.” In another narration, it states that they shake hands with those people. How fortunate and privileged is that person who spends this night in worship of his lord, Jibreel and the angels descend from the heavens for the honour of shaking hands with him and pray for his forgiveness and mercy.
The messenger of Allah would make special preparations for the last ten days of Ramadhan. Sayyidah Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) states “It was the practise of the Messenger of Allah when the last ten days of Ramadhan would enter that he would put on his dhoti, spend the nights in the worship of Allah and would wake his family up to participate in the worship.”
She also states that the amount of effort he would exert in these last ten days was more than any other time. He would perform I’tikaf (retreat) in the last ten days, a practise that he continued until he passed away and would encourage servants to engage in this. After he passed away the Mothers of the Believers continued this practise of his.
The word ‘al-Ruh’ in the verse refers to Jibreel. In view of his prominence, he is mentioned here. According to some scholars, ‘Ruh’ refers to an especially elegant group of angels who are greater than the normal angels. Just as we cannot see normal angels, normal angels cannot see them due to their great elegance. Some scholars that ‘al-Ruh’ refers to mercy. Thus the group of angles that descend under Jibreel’s leadership on that night bring with them Allah’s limitless store of mercy.
4) This means that the angels do not descend on their own accord, but Allah instructs them to roam the earth from east to west, wherever a servant of mine engaged in my worship go to him and give him tidings of my mercy. Shake his hand and pray for his forgiveness. How great is the status of the beloved of Allah and through him the status of his servants.
Shah Abd al-Aziz writes on this occasion “Angels descend from the heavens and souls from ‘Iliyyeen’ to meet with exceptional humans taking blessing from their deeds and to enrich themselves with the love filling the hearts of these people have for the beloved servant of Allah.
5) Imam Qurtubi writes that ‘every matter’ refers to all those matters that Allah has decreed for the coming year.
6) This is a night of peace and tranquillity. The whisperings of the ego and satan will not will not distract those worshipping. With great peace of mind they remain connected to their lord taking pleasure from his remembrance and this exhilarating and faith rejuvenating sensation remains with them throughout the night until sunrise.
Some scholars have said, “After mentioning the angels descent to the earth, their method of greeting is mentioned here that on this night they convey salutations on the believers and meet the people of excellence (Tafsir Azizi).
Another merit of this night is that any prayer uttered will be accepted. It is necessary for every person to fervently search for this night, without being lazy and languid. He should remain awake passionately in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan, spending them in the remembrance of Allah. When he implores Allah he should ask in such abundance that he has no regrets about it later. Sayyidah Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked “O messenger of Allah! What prayer should I offer on Laylatul Qadr? The messenger of Allah replied “Offer the following prayer
اَلَّلهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنىْ
"O Allah, you are the One who grants pardon for sins. You love to pardon so pardon me".
Another tradition of the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is presented here
“مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ"
“Whoever stands in prayer on the Night of Power, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
واعف عنا واغفر لنا وارحمنا انت مولنا فانصرنا على القوم الكافرين. اللهم صل و سلم وبارك على خاتم الأنبياء و سيد المرسلين شفيع المذنبين رحمة للعالمين و على اله و أصحابه ومن تبعه بإحسان الى يوم الدين.
The name of the first Surah is al-Falaq and the second is al-Naas. Both were revealed simultaneously. In terms of meaning, significance and purpose, they are so closely related that it is difficult to separate them. For this reason one of the names that they have been given is ‘Mu’awwazatayn’. Rather than writing separate introductions for them, I will suffice by writing only one. The first Surah ‘al-Falaq’ consists of one ruku (passage), five verses, thirty words and seventy-four letters, whilst the second Surah ‘al-Naas’ comprises of one ruku, six verses, twenty words and seventy-nine letters.
Everyone is unanimous that they were both revealed simultaneously, but the question arises as to their location of revelation. There are two opinions regarding this. Hazrat Hasan Basri, ‘Ata, ‘Ikramah and Jabir may Allah be pleased with all of them, were of the opinion that they were revealed in Makkah and one of the opinions of ibn Abbas also support this. In addition to Qatadah, Abu Saleh and ibn Abbas, a large group of scholars believe that they were Madani Surahs. Some exegetes have supported the first opinion, but Ahadeeth Marfuah supports the second opinion, therefore it is difficult to give preference to someone’s opinion over Marfu hadeeth. One Marfu hadith presented that has been recorded by Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nisa’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who have narrated from Hazrat Uqba ibn ‘Amir that one day the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him said to me “Do you know that Allah has revealed upon me last night verses of the likes that have never been revealed before? They are ‘A’uzu bi rabbi’l-falaq’ and ‘A’uzu bi rabbi’n-naas’.” Hazrat Uqba accepted Islam after migration in Madinah, and hence, the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him telling him, “Do you know that Allah has revealed upon me last night verses of the likes that have never been revealed before, they are ‘A’uzu bi rabbi’l-falaq’ and ‘A’uzu bi rabbi’n-naas’.” is clear evidence that they were revealed in Madinah.
Another hadith that supports this opinion is one that deals with the reason for their revelation. This hadith has been narrated by leading scholars such as al-Baghwi, al-Nasafi, al-Bayhaqi and ibn Sa’d. In addition to them the great commentators of Hadith Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani and Badr al-Din al-‘Ayni, in their great compilations, have recorded that in the seventh year of Hijrah a Jew by the name of Labeed ibn A’asam performed magic (the details of which will be given later on) and these two Surahs were revealed to break the effects of the magic.
After the evidence from the scholars of Hadith and the Marfu narration of Hazrat ‘Uqba, there is no need for further evidence. Therefore to insist that these Surahs were revealed in Makkah and to say that in the other explicit narrations the objective was to draw attention to the Surahs that had already been revealed in Makkah, according to me is unacceptable. According to my understanding and research I have drawn the conclusion that they were revealed in Madinah Shareef.
There are some awkward points of discussion here that cannot be overlooked or avoided under any circumstances. Under the heading of the introduction to these Surahs it is necessary to discuss and address these ambiguous points of discussion and their responses. Therefore I would like to draw the attention of the reader to these discussions.
First discussion: Are both these Surahs a part of the Qur'an and is there definitive evidence to support this as there is for other Surahs of the Qur'an?
This question arises due to the fact that narrations exist where it has been recorded that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) discounted these as a part of the Qur’an and the mushaf he had prepared also did not contain these two Surahs. Imam al-Suyuti (may Allah be pleased with him) has written explicitly
“Ahmad, al-Bazzar, al-Tabarani and ibn Mardawiyyah have narrated through a sound chain from ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) that he would omit the mu’awwazatain from the mushaf and would claim “Do not mix such things with the Qur’an that are not from it.” The Blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) has only ordered us to seek protection through them and therefore he would not recite them in prayer.” (al-Durr al-Mansur).
There is no discussion here as to the status of the hadith as being Ahad. The scholars of the principles of hadith have mentioned the rule that ‘the memory and integrity of the narrators is not sufficient for the acceptance of hadith Ahad, in addition they have to meet a certain standard of dirayat (critical analysis of Hadith text) from which one condition is that it should not go against common sense. Based upon this principle, it not plausible to use these narrations as the basis for rejection of these Surahs.
Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be please with him) was not amongst those individuals who only saw the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him a few times during his life, or someone who was engrossed in the worldly life and unable to be present in the company of the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him. Instead he was from those fortunate individuals who were ever present in the company and service of the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him. He is counted amongst the Ashab al-Suffa and was ever present in the masjid. His life rotated around visiting the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, attending to him, listening to his words of wisdom and retaining them, and to learning the verses of the Qur’an that were being revealed and memorising them. He would perform the majority of his prayers behind the Holy Prophet peace be upon him.
How is it conceivable that Uqba ibn Amir who accepted Islam after the Holy Prophet’s migration to Madinah was aware of these two Surahs being a part of the Qur'an and Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, who had accepted Islam long before the migration and was very rarely absent from the company of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, present for the majority of the prayers and one who read behind the Holy Prophet so frequently, the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him recited the Surahs numerous times in prayer and many companions heard them , how is it possible that one who was ever present in prayer in the company of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him was unaware whether these were Surahs of the Qur’an or not? It is a strange notion indeed.
For this reason, all these narrations that are Ahad, to hold such beliefs about Abdullah ibn Mas'ud based upon them, which only tarnish his reputation and raise objections against him, open up such doors and avenues which allow others (kuffaar, mulhideen) to level even greater accusations against the rest of the Qur'an, and this is completely unacceptable for me.
The narration that ibn Qutayba presents that Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud did not include the “Mu’awwazatayn” in his Mushaf because he had heard the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him recite them and blow (dam) on Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain and that this is a dam like any other dam - this is unacceptable because the Qur'an is a miracle, the like of which no individual, no human group and not even that most eloquent and versed people can produce. How can this be confused with other dams especially by the likes of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, who was very eloquent, a master of the Arabic language and its nuances - it is inconceivable.
Imam al-Suyuti narrates a hadith from al-Tabarani “al-Tabarani narrates in his book ‘al-Mu’jam al-Awsat’ through a Hasan chain from Ibn Mas’ud, from the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him that “Such verses were revealed to me the likes of which have never been revealed before, and they are the “Mu’awwazatayn”. (al-Durr al-Manthur).
This hadith also proves that the Prophet peace be upon him personally informed Abdullah ibn Mas’ud about their revelation. Maybe he initially assumed they were for doing dam, but when the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him informed him, any doubts about that would have been removed and he would have retracted his first statement.
It is a separate issue if someone is aiming to deliberately malign a Companion by blatantly ignoring clear evidences, such as the author of ‘Tafheem al-Qur'an’. Even if it is hypothetically accepted that he didn’t include the two Surahs in his copy of the Qur'an because he did not believe them to be a part of it, then it also has to be mentioned that his version of the Qur'an did not contain Surah al-Fatihah, and that does this mean that he did not accept it as a part of the Qur'an, something that he would hear the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him reciting in every prayer.
The only plausible reason for the Surahs not being included is that they were recited so often that he felt there no need to include them and in addition this version was for his personal use therefore he omitted them otherwise he would not have.
Many books contain such narrations and not every reader has the ability or the leisure to verify them, thus the average person becomes victim to such misconceptions. To tackle such objections and doubt, it is imperative to remember one principle all the time and that is what the Qur'an is constituted of. It is that which the Companions heard from the Holy Prophet peace be upon him and then by way of continuity they passed it on. The Companions passed it on in the same way to the successors and so forth until it reached us.
In the era of Uthman, the Companions unanimously prepared a standard copy based on the copy in the possession of Zaid ibn Thabit. He had many copies made under his supervision, and he sent out all over the Muslim world to the various leaders so that everywhere recitation would take place according to it. Therefore, the title Qur'an is only given to this version and any narration opposing this will have a questionable chain of transmission, for it will be Khabar Waahid, or the personal opinion of someone. To sum it all up, the title ‘Qur'an’ is given to the Uthmani copy upon which all the Companions were unanimous, and from then until today there has not been a single alteration or modification of any sort.
Second discussion: Was magic performed on the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him? What was the effect on the Blessed Personage of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him?
Before presenting my own research on this issue, I would like to list a summary of all the narrations from the different books with minor differences in their wordings. After that I will present all the objections of the Mu’tazilites, old and new and finally, if Allah gives me the opportunity, I will present the opinion of the Ahl as-Sunnah.
You have already read numerous times in detail the unreasonable and uncalled for enmity of the Jews and their hostility towards the Holy Prophet peace be upon him from the very first day. As Allah increased the honour and status of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, and the doors to victories were opened to him, the flames of enmity towards him from the Jews would increase. In the 7th year of Migration, when the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him returned safely from Hudaybiyyah, an envoy of the Jews from Khayber came to see the famous magician Labeed ibn A’asam. Some historians have called him a Jew, but in reality he was an individual who belonged to the tribe of the Banu Zuraiq and he might have adopted the Jewish religion and thus been called a Jew.
The Jews of Khayber came to him and lay their problems out in front of him. They told him that a Qurayshi had come from Makkah and had destroyed their reputation. ‘We have exhausted all political avenues in trying to make him unsuccessful, we have plotted and schemed against him, instigated the polytheist tribes against him but have been unsuccessful. In addition to that, all the magicians that we have at our disposal have tried everything but the results have always been the same. In this region, your magical might is celebrated and we have come to you in despair from every other place. If you help us, this problem of ours will be alleviated.’ They presented a huge incentive to him and he readily accepted.
A young Jewish boy who would spend time in the service of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him was somehow convinced to steal a piece of the comb and some strands of hair of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him. Labeed and his daughters, who were two steps ahead of him in this field, worked their magic on the items and placed it in the cover made from a bunch of unripe dates (khosha of a nar khajoor). They then buried them deep in a well in the district of the Banu Zuraiq under a large heavy stone. The well was known as “Zarwan” or “Zi Arwan” and according to some “The Well of Arees “.
After six months had passed, minor symptoms started to appear, and the last forty days were difficult for him of which the last three were unbearable. The kind of effect and pain he endured is explained in detail in the following evidences. Imam al-Suyuti writes: “The Blessed Prophet peace be upon him’s health deteriorated gradually without him being able to identify the cause”. Imam al-Alusi writes: “… to the extent that he would presume that he had performed an action which he hadn’t.” (Ruh al-Ma’ani).
Every narration that is related to effects of the magic found in the books of hadith, all portray the fact that the effects were physical in the sense that he experienced weakness and lethargy. There is no narration at all to suggest that his duties of Prophethood were affected or compromised in any manner. He never compromised any aspect of his prayers nor forgot during recitation of the Qur'an and neither did it affect the Islamic state or its stability or other aspects of leadership and propagation of Islam.
When the pain became severe, the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him raised his hands in prayer and the very same night Blessed Prophet he was informed of what had afflicted him. The Blessed Prophet peace be upon him informed the Mother of the Believers, Aisha may Allah be pleased with her, “Oh Aisha, the matter which I asked my Lord about, He has informed me in relation to it”. Aisha asked, “O Prophet of Allah, what were you told?” He informed her, “Last night in my dream two men came to me, one sat near my head and the other sat near my feet (in some narrations it states that they were Jibraeel and Mikaeel). One asked the other “What is wrong with him?” to which the other replied “He has been affected by magic.” The first person asked, “Who is responsible for this?” to which the second replied, “Labeed ibn A’asam.” The first asked, “What was used?” The second replied, “Part of a comb and some strands of hair have been placed in a cover made from a bunch of unripe dates.” The first asked, “Where is this kept?” to which the second replied, “Deep in the well of Zi Arwan under a stone.” The first asked “What should be done about this?” the second person replied “The well must be drained of its water and the items recovered from under the stone.”
The Blessed Prophet peace be upon him immediately dispatched Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Ammaar ibn Yaasir and Hazrat Zubayr may Allah be pleased with them to the well regarding this issue. By the time they had drained the well, the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him had himself arrived. When the stone was raised and the package was recovered from underneath it, it was opened and the piece of comb, the strands of hair tied to a bowstring which had 11 knots in it. At that moment Hazrat Jibraeel appeared, recited these two Surahs and requested the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him to recite the Surahs verse by verse and whilst reciting each verse open one knot and remove one needle. Subsequently, the eleven verses of both Surahs were recited, the eleven knots were opened and all the needles were removed. As a result the Holy Prophet peace be upon him’s health returned to normal and the effects of the magic completely disappeared.
The companions asked permission from the Holy Prophet to take Labeed’s head, but he replied, “Allah has cured me and I do not want to fan the flames of dissent amongst the people on my accord.”
Subhaanallah! Just look at the status of the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him. He does not even seek justice against those who were making an attempt on his life.
صلّى الله عليك يا رسول الله صلّى الله عليك يا مقيل العثرات صلّى الله عليك يا صفوح عن الزّلات و بارك وسلّم
Now that you have heard a brief summary of the incident, prepare yourselves for the objections of the early Mutazilites and modern intellectuals. They disregard all these narrations deeming them to be unfounded and unreliable, claiming that if they were to be accepted then this would be a grave insult to the rank of Prophethood. All trust regarding revelations and Islamic rulings would disappear because if we accept what the narrations state, that he was affected by the magic, then it is possible that a verse could have slipped of his mind and some personal saying could have been mistaken for a verse of the Qur'an. This ruling of the Shariah would not be from Allah but instead it would be a result of the power and influence exerted by the magician. It would also contradict Allah’s promise “Allah will protect you from the people.” When Allah has assumed the responsibility for his protection, how then could it be possible for Him to allow the Jews to perform magic on the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him.
This is the opinion of the intellectuals, both old and new, and you have seen how they have presented their views.
The Ahl al-Sunnah respond to these objections by saying that the Prophet peace be upon him had two statuses; that of a human being and that of a prophet. He was subject to ailments and afflictions such as, fever, pain, injury, the blessed teeth being broken, being bloodied at Taif, his blessed forehead being injured at Uhad. All of these incidents are recorded in the pages of history. Even these people who object to them cannot deny these because no blemish can occur on the Prophet peace be upon him’s status of prophethood. In his case, the effect of the magic was only limited to his physical health and no aspect of prophethood was affected.
If the Holy Prophet peace be upon him was affected and had forgotten a verse of the Qur'an or mixed up the order of the words in a verse, added a verse to the Qur'an from himself or muddled up any aspect of the Salah, those who are unsympathetic to Islam would have certainly raised a huge uproar. May Allah protect us from such a thing. They would have most certainly acquired such a weapon to cause damage to prophethood without needing any other weapon after this to damage Islam, but no such thing has happened to be recorded in the books of hadith or history. In all of the books that the enemies of Islam have written, to date none of them have any such narrations recorded in them, which informs us that the magic of Labeed the Jew was only restricted to the physical health as is mentioned in the narrations of Imam al-Suyuti and Imam al-Alusi.
One last point that remains is whether there is any reality to magic or not. Does the nature of something influenced by magic change or is it the fact that its nature is one thing and it appears as something else? This is an entirely different discussion but there is no doubt regarding it affecting the people. The magicians in the court of the Pharaoh are mentioned in numerous places in the Qur'an, and Qur'anic text proves that they were led to believe that the ropes were snakes. Even Hazrat Musa was temporarily affected and afraid of them as snakes. The Qur'an states “When they did their ropes and staffs through their magic seemed to be moving. Moses felt afraid within himself.” In Surah Taha it also states about them that “Their great magic bewitched people’s eyes.”
Third discussion: what is the Islamic ruling regarding exorcism/adjuring?
It is necessary to bear in mind one fact from the outset and that is the presence of exorcism/adjuring in every society since early times. For this purpose whatever mantras, charms, spells they would use they would seek aid in performing them through their gods or goddesses, dark satanic powers and the heavenly constellations, etc. They firmly believed that it was these things that granted power to their magic and enabled them to practise it. Islam uprooted shirk from its roots and annihilated their belief that apart from Allah, there cannot be a god or goddess, sun, moon or stars that can create any effect in anything. For this reason, it is inconceivable that Islam would permit any such mantra or exorcism/adjuring that would involve shirk or any belief remotely representing shirk. For this reason all such mantras, spells, talismans, amulets and charms, etc. are strictly forbidden in Islam and considered haram.
Those hadith that forbid exorcism/adjuring, talismans, etc. all refer to those actions that involve a form of polytheistic activity, but anything that involves the Blessed Names of Allah, verses of the Qur'an, any prayer uttered by the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him, any amulet or prayer which does not have any element of shirk is permissible.
The first piece of evidence presented is the two Surahs under discussion whereby their recitation acted as a means of countering magic and a source of blessing. It was a daily practise of the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him to recite Surah Ikhlas, Surah Falaq and Surah Naas every evening before sleeping, blowing on his hands and wiping his entire body thrice. This has been narrated by Sayyidah Aisha who was a witness to this. Amongst the scholars who have narrated this with an authentic chain are Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Malik, Imam Ibn Majah, Imam Abu Daud, etc. may Allah be pleased with them all.
In addition to this Imam Bukhari, Imam Ahmad, Imam Timidhi and Imam Ibn Majah have narrated from Ibn Abbas may Allah be pleased with him that the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him would recite these Surahs, blow on Imam Hasan And Imam Hussain and say:
اُعِيْذُكُمَا بِكًلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَّةِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَّ هَامَّةٍ وّمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لاَمَّةٍ.
One day Uthman ibn Abi al-A’aath may Allah be please with him informed the Holy Prophet peace be upon him “Since the day I have embraced Islam, I have been suffering from a pain and sometimes feel that it will end up taking my life”. The Blessed Prophet peace be upon him instructed him to place his hand where it was painful, recite Tasmiyyah (Bismillah) three times followed by:
اَعُوْذُ بِاللهِ وَ قُدْرَتِة مِنْ شَرِّ مَا اَجِدُ وّ اُحَاذِرُ
It is recorded in the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Tahawi narrated from Talaq ibn Ali that he was once bitten by a scorpion in the company of the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him, and so the Holy Prophet peace be upon him prayed and wiped the bite mark curing him.
Imam Muslim has recorded a tradition from Abu Saeed al-Khudri may Allah be pleased with him that once the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him became unwell and Jibraeel came to see him. He asked him whether he was feeling unwell to which he peace be upon him replied yes. Jibraeel then recited the following and blew on him:
بِاسْمِ اللهِ أَرْقِيْكَ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْئٍ يًوْذِيْكَ مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ نّفْسٍ اّوْ عَيْنِ حَاسِدٍ اَللهُ يَشْفِيْكَ- بِاسْمِ اللهِ اَرْقِيْكَ –
Translation: “Allah’s name I take and adjure you from all those things that cause you pain and the evil of a person and the evil eye of every jealous person. May Allah restore your health, Allah’s name I take and adjure you.”
It has also been narrated in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal from the Mother of the Believers, Hafsa may Allah be pleased with her that ‘one day the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him came to my quarters and a woman by the name of Shifa was sitting with her who would pray over ant stings. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him said to her “Shifa teach Hafsa this cure” Shifa bint Abdullah herself states that the Blessed Prophet peace be upon him said to me “Just like you taught Hafsa to read and write, teach her the cure for and stings.”’ (Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawood and Nisai).
Auf ibn Malik’s narration is recorded by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh that ‘we once asked the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, “O Messenger of Allah, we used to perform Adjuring during our time in ignorance. What is your opinion regarding it now?” The Blessed Prophet peace be upon him replied, “Recite to me what you used to read, there is no restriction in this so long as it does not contain shirk.”’
Jabir ibn Abdullah may Allah be pleased with him narrates that ‘the Prophet peace be upon him forbade us from adjuring resulting in some members from the family of Amr ibn Hazam and informing the Prophet (Peace be upon him), “We had a cure which we recite for scorpion and snake bites, but you have forbidden us from using such things now”. They recited the cure to the Blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) who replied, “I do not see anything constricting in this. Whoever amongst you can benefit his brother should do so.” (Muslim, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ibn Majah).
From a huge source of hadith I have just selected a few and presented them to you and for someone seeking the truth they will be sufficient. Our belief is that something will only give benefit when it involves the permission of Allah; otherwise nothing else has the ability to harm. If herbs and roots, pills, elixirs, mixtures and injections can become a means of cure and health, with the permission of Allah, then why cannot the Blessed Names of Allah, verses from the Qur'an, noble sayings of the Blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him), with the permission of Allah, be equally or even more effective?
Finally, I feel it necessary to point out something of paramount importance, and that is the question, ‘Is it permissible to receive financial reward for amulets and adjuring, etc.?’ For this, the narration of Abu Saeed al-Khudri, recorded by Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Tirmidhi and in other notable books of hadith, is sufficient. The summary of the narration is as follows:
The Blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) sent some of his companions on a mission, which included Abu Saeed al-Khudri may Allah be pleased with them all. They passed by a village inhabited by an Arab tribe whom they asked for some food and provisions. The tribe refused to help them in any manner, thus forcing the Muslims to spend the night hungry. In that time, the leader of the village was bitten by a scorpion, and when the pain became unbearable, the villagers came running to the Muslims and told them that ‘Our leader has received a scorpion bite and he is in severe pain. If you have any medicine or any one of you can cure (dam) him, come and do so”. Abu Saeed Khudri replied “We have a cure for it but you people have been extremely rude to us, not even having the decency to provide some food for us, therefore unless you provide us with some remuneration for our service, we will not treat him.” They promised “If our leader is cured then we will give you a herd of goats as payment.” Abu Saeed went and recited Surah al-Fatihah, then wiped his saliva over the affected area and thus alleviating the pain and completely healing their leader. The people, in accordance to their promise, provided a herd containing thirty goats to the Muslims. When Abu Saeed returned to the Muslims, they collectively decided that they would refrain from using the goats until they had sought the advice and permission of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). After their completion of the mission, and upon their return to Madinah Munawwarah, they presented the whole story to the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). The Blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him), with a smile asked, “How did you know that this Surah could be recited and dam could be done? Take the goats and leave a share for me.” After this narration there is no need for further discussion on this topic.
Under the commentary of these two Surahs, all the detail regarding them has been provided, but you need to keep in mind the fact that no matter how weak a person may feel, if he steps on the battlefield, he is representing the truth to face falsehood, and there is a Being whose protection he can receive, and that is Allah. It is necessary that a Muslim does not resort to despair and hopelessness, but keeps faith in Allah and with these blessed words he keeps supplicating to Him at all times.
News Central Jail, Sargodha
15 April 1977
Yesterday I and five of my companions were sentenced to four months imprisonment with hard labour in the first degree at the Raheem Bakhsh Fayyadh Magistrate, Bhalwaal. Alhamdulillah.
Exegesis of Surah al-Falaq (Madani, 5 verses)
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn
2. From the mischief of created things;
3. From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads;
4. From the mischief of those who practise Secret Arts;
5. And from the mischief of the envious one as he practises envy.
1) Whilst commenting on the word “Awz”, Imam Raghib writes:“Al-Awz refers to seeking refuge with someone and clinging to them”. Imam Ibn Manzur writes: “To seek refuge with someone and to firmly hold onto someone”. Al-Falaq literally refers ‘to tear apart’, and in this verse it refers to the daybreak tearing apart the darkness of the night and coming through. These are the last two Surahs of the Qur'an, known as the ‘Mu’awwazatayn’. In this sacred book, man’s purpose of life is presented to him. His destination has been specified for him without which there is no other destination that is capable of being the destination of any individual or group. This is that elevated destination for such a person to camp and be tested who is the object of the prostration by angels, but this path is beset with difficulties, every step of the way there are mountainous obstacles barring his way. His enemies lie in wait for him in filth-pots so that when they get a chance they will strike at him. His enemies are such that some aim to eradicate his physical abilities whereas others want to end his faith. This being created of dust, how can he remain steadfast and face these enemies and survive?
For this reason, the glorious Qur'an is instructing the one desirous of this station to take refuge with such a Being who is the Most Elevated, Most High, Most Powerful and Most Dominant. He is aware of your apparent and hidden enemies, your physical and spiritual enemies, their apparent plans and secretive schemes against you, at the same time possessing the power to destroy their plans and make unsuccessful their schemes. Come! Take refuge with him and hold on to him with steadfastness then advance towards your intended destination. Where you want to make your place is dependent upon your firm resolve and effort, and you have no reason to fear internal or external problems.
In this Surah, those things have been mentioned that are dangerous to a human’s physical development and his health, and in the other Surah those dangers have been highlighted that are harmful to a person’s faith and certainty.
In the first verse of this Surah, Allah has instructed His Beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him), and through His Beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) every servant of the Blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) to proclaim: “I take refuge with the Lord of the morning Who converted the darkness of the night to the light of day, Who blessed the silence and desertion of the night with the magnificence of day, Who transformed the barbarianism of the night to the interests of the day, the One who can turn an unhelpful situation can alleviate your problems, the darkness that enshrouds your world of hopes, through His mercy that can be removed.” Come to His glorious and magnificent court and present your complaint and see for yourself what is done about it.
2) I seek refuge from the pain afflicted and the evil of everything. This is because it is not possible for us to count everything nor is it possible for us to identify all the harms of these things. According to our imperfect knowledge, we assume something to be beneficial for us, but in reality it turns out to be harmful. For this reason we should leave the details of these things and say, “You are the creator of everything; I seek refuge with You from the harm and evil of these things that You are aware of and capable of protecting me from.”
3) Al-Ghaasiq, refers to a pitch black and dark night. Waqab – refers to one thing entering into another and becoming a part of it. The severity of the darkness of the night is being mentioned here at a time when everything is nestled in its bosom, wherever you look there is darkness, this atmosphere itself is enough to instil overwhelming fear and dread in a person’s heart. For this reason, a thief takes advantage of the darkness and commits robbery, a murderer takes the life of his victim, people’s honour is taken under its cover, dark agencies fearlessly act under the guise of its security and the victim is unaware of the danger he is facing. The enemy takes control over him as he is unaware and he does not allow him to call out for help. For this reason, man has been instructed to seek protection and refuge from the darkness of the night.
4) Naffaathaat – (single - Naffaathatun) this is on the measure of exaggeration. According to the ‘al-Mufradaat’ the word ‘Nafatha’ refers to ‘spitting out a little saliva’, but Ibn Manzur says that spitting out a little saliva is known as ‘al-Tafl’, ‘al-Nafas’ refers to something lower than that and more similar to blowing (Lisaan al-Arab).
‘Uqad’ is the plural ‘Uqdatun’ which means ‘a knot’. Magicians, when they perform magic and recite whatever incantations they might, usually make a knot in a string and blow upon it. Just like pure speech has a good and positive effect, satanic incantations and spells have a negative and evil effect. Whether the nature of something changes or not, with magic it is another issue for debate, but there is no doubt that a person is undeniably affected psychologically. It has been reported about the case of Harut and Marut that they would teach people such magic that would ‘cause a rift between a husband and wife’. A perfectly happy household would be ripped apart, the love and affection between a husband and wife would turn into hatred and enmity. It is also related in the Qur’an about the magicians of Pharaoh that when they spoke their spells and blew on the ropes that they were holding, thousands of people were present who witnessed the ropes transform into snakes and sway in front of them.
Who knows what evil magic some malevolent person is planning for them and for the sake of a little financial incentive what hell they are about to unleash for them. For this reason, this (magic) has been specifically mentioned that ‘O Lord! Whichever evildoer is planning on causing me harm, destroying the peace of my home, harming my health, etc. and whatever evil practises they are involved in, I am unable to defend myself from them, therefore. “O my lord, my Protector take me into Your protection and save me from their evil”’.
Women were the main practitioners of the black arts therefore the feminine plural form ‘Naffaathaat’ has been used.
5) Whilst explaining the meaning of ‘Hasad’, Ibn Manzur writes: “It is when a person sees the success and respect of another and starts burning up inside, desiring that if only his wealth, success and respect belonged to me rather than him, and if these things were not destined for me then if only they were taken away from him and he be deprived of them.
Such hopes and desires indicate towards the lowliness and malevolence of a human that has sunk low, but it is not just restricted to this level. Sometimes such feelings become the basis of injustice and persecution. A person who is consumed by the flames of jealousy does not remain seated with one hand on another; instead he is active in dreaming up and concocting such plans and conspiracies which he can execute so that he can fulfil his hateful desires. He stoops to such a low and base position that he is prepared to carry out acts that cannot in any way be associated to a decent human being. Cain killed Abel merely out of jealousy, whilst Abu Jahl and other senior figures of the Quraysh knew with certainty that Blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) was a true messenger, but due to their jealousy they refused to accept Islam.
That human upon whom Allah has showered His favours, unfriendliness towards him is frequent and predominant. He respects them and tries to please them and to a permissible extent tries to help them, but despite this those who are jealous, the fire of jealousy will remain burning in their hearts, and they will burn with jealousy without any cause. A person cannot identify all types of jealousy and cannot always identify the plots of those who are jealous of him, and even if he can identify them, he cannot always deal with them. For this reason he is ordered to take refuge with his Beneficent Lord, for indeed only He can protect him from their evil designs once he has obtained that protection.
O Allah! This weak and frail servant of yours asks for protection in Your shade, without Your protection he has nowhere else to go.
اللّهم صلّى وسلّم وبارك على سيّدنا و مولانا محمّد الحامد المحمود و على اله و صحبه و من تبعه و احبه الى يوم الدين
Exegesis of Surahal-Naas (Madani, 6 verses)
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind,
2. The King (or Ruler) of Mankind,
3. The God (or Judge) of Mankind,—
4. From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper),—
5. (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind,—
6. Among Jinns and among Men.
1) In the previous Surah refuge was sought from those dangerous and evil things that directly affect a person’s apparent and physical nature, therefore, the Being with whom protection is sought is only identified as ‘Lord of the Dawn’. Now guidance is being given to seek refuge from those attacks and invasions aimed at the person’s faith and belief. The wealth of faith and certainty is definitely more important and affluent than bodily and physical blessings. For this reason, the Kind Being with whom we are being ordered to seek sanctuary, He has been introduced to us in detail so that each individual can, according to their own ability and intellect, acknowledge His greatness and according to their passion and desire seek refuge with Him.
A normal person is only interested in those blessings that are related to his physical wellbeing; if he receives good food to eat, decent accommodation for his residence, his daily needs are fulfilled easily and comfortably, he will be happy and satisfied. He has no desire to exceed beyond societal needs and neither does he possess the ability. For such people, Allah has been introduced to them as “The Lord and Cherisher of Mankind” so that they could seek protection with that being who could take care of all their needs, through Whose kindness their lives are freed from despair and loss, this would give them certainty.
But not all mankind’s hopes are confined to such things. Some people desire that justice and fairness, that no one is oppressed and no one is denied his due rights. If someone aspires to become an oppressor or desires to take away someone’s right, all his dignity and pomp should be reined in and demands of justice should be fulfilled. This duty can only be fulfilled by an independent king and powerful ruler. For this reason the people are informed that the Being with Whom you are being instructed to take sanctuary, He is not only responsible for your societal needs, but He is the king and ruler. His command is enforced everywhere, at all times and upon everything. No one has the audacity to contravene His command. He is just and fair. It is not in His nature to be forceful and severe. For such people he has been introduced as “The King/Ruler of Mankind” in order to remove their uncertainty.
The Third and best group are those people who love Him and take refuge with Him solely for the reason that he is their Creator. They are prepared to go hungry, experience a life deprived of luxuries being pleased with His decision, stand tall and happily bearing their chests against all tyrannical injustices, their lips will not utter any words of complaints; they will only love Him for the reason that He is their True Creator and the Merciful Lord. For such people, the blessed words “The God/Judge of Mankind” have been used.
When man recognises Allah in the light of these three attributes of perfection, he can then plead to his Lord, “O my Lord, True Ruler of the heavens and earth, the focal point and centre of my love and devotion, protect me from every evil design of Satan, give me the ability to combat all satanic whisperings and guide this weak and frail traveller to his destination.” When he reaches this stage he is able to understand Him according to his status.
Satan came to Sayyidah Hajirah (peace be upon her) and said to her, “Do you know that Ibrahim (peace be upon him) has bathed and clothed your child so that he can offer him up as a sacrifice!” Hajirah (Peace be upon her) said, “Have you become stupid? Does a father ever sacrifice his child? Especially that father who has child more beautiful that the moon at an elderly age?” He replied that his Lord had commanded him to sacrifice his son. Upon hearing this, Hajirah (peace be upon her) replied calmly, “If it is my Lord’s command, then forget one Ismail (peace be upon him); if I had a million Ismail’s I would sacrifice them all for His sake.” This is the state of those people whom Allah takes into His refuge.
2) وسوسه is known as whisperings/ temptations of the ego. وسواس is one who puts all sorts of temptations in your heart. When a person tries to persuade someone to do something that is against his nature, the initial reaction is that of strong denial. He dismisses the idea with sever dislike. The tempter does not persist in his action and he steps back, seemingly defeated and retreating, but at every opportunity he repeats the same thing. If the person still resists again he will beat a hasty retreat and bide his time and the act will be repeated. With each attack the persons resolve will weaken until the day will come when that person who initially resisted any attempts to carry out the act will embrace it with open arms. Satan’s tactics are very much the same. He does not tire from attempting to mislead a person and he continuously persists in his efforts. Sometimes he attacks, other times he visibly retreats, to the extent that the most intellectual individual, if he does not have the protection of his Lord, will end up being misled. Both of his ploys are referred to as وسواس and خنّاس.
Some scholars have said that when Satan finds a person neglectful in His remembrance of Allah his attacks on that person begin, and when the person returns to the remembrance of Allah, Satan backs off from his assault and hides in a corner. This is similar to a thief who is breaking the law, when a security light shines he stops his act and becomes like a statue and when the light moves away from him he resumes his activity.
3) His method of tempting people is very clever and deceitful; quietly he keeps putting temptations into a person’s heart and disturbs the tranquillity and peace of the heart. The worst of mankind and Jinn are also involved in this type of behaviour; such people have been referred to as ‘Satans/Devils’ in the Qur’an. Allah states “And similarly we have appointed enemies for every Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) – devils from men and jinns“. Undoubtedly until a person in under the protection of Allah, he cannot avoid such people, for it is impossible for him.
O Allah take your humble servant, whose knowledge is weak, understanding is imperfect, whose courage is low and whose ability to defend himself is non-existent, take him into Your protection.
My faith, my certainty, my passion and my dedication is a glimmering light that is a reflection of my love for Your Blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) I place in your refuge. Please accept this service to Your blessed book for which you gave this nobody the opportunity.
I want to present two couplets of Your beloved servant, Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani;
ايدركنى ضيم وانت ظهيرى اءظلم فى الدنيا وانت نصيرى
فعار على حامى الحمى وهو قادر اذا ضاع فى البيداء عقال بعيرى
O my Lord! Have mercy on me, always shower Your blessings upon me, forgive my sins, forgive my parents, raise their station, forgive my family and relatives, forgive my associates, forgive the teachers of Dar ul Uloom Muhammadiyyah Ghawthiyyah, its students and helpers, give Dhiya ul Quran acceptance, make it the cause of peoples guidance and make it the means of success for this sinful person.
الحمد لله ربّ العالمين الرحمن الرحيم مالك يوم الدين ايّاك نعبد و ايّاك نستعين اهدنا الصراط المستقيم صراط الذين انعمت عليهم غير المغضوب عليهم ولا الضّالين آمين.
اللّهم صلّ على حبيبك الأكرم و نبيّك المعظّم ورسولك المحتشم حبيبى وقرة عينى وسرور قلبى ملجائى و ملاذى فى الدارين سيّدى و سيّد الخلق محمّد منبع الدود والكرم من الصلوات اطيبها ومن التسليمات انكمها ومن البركات اسنها ومن التحيّات اجملها وعلى آله الكرام واصحابه العظام ومن احبه واتبه الى يوم الدين- اللهم اجعلنا من احياءه ومن خدام دينه وانصر شريعته وارزقنا محبته واحشرنا فى زمرته تحت لواء الحمد يا ارحم الراحمين-
ربّ اوزعنى ان اشكر نعمتك التى انعمت علىّ و على والدىّ وان اعمل صالحا ترضاه واصلح لى فى ذريّتى انّى تبت اليك وانّى من المسلمين-
فاطر السموات والأرض انت ولىّ فى الدنيا والأخرة توفّنى مسلماً والحقنى بالصالحين-
اشهد ان لا إله الاّ الله وحده لاشريك له واشهد ان محمّد عبده و رسوله-
سبحان الله وبحمده سبحان الله العظيم-
لاحول ولا قوّة الا بالله العلى العظيم
After relying upon the Most Merciful and Generous, Almighty and Wise Lord this weak and frail traveller, whose journey started on the 1st of Ramadhan 1379 Hijri, Monday the 29th February 1960, by the grace of his Most Merciful and Generous, Almighty and Wise Lord, today on the 29th of Ramadhan, 1399 Hijri, Thursday 23rd of August 1979 has reached the end of his journey at the blessed moment when the Muazzin who is calling the Azan for Asr prayer, is proclaiming to the world “أشهد أنّ محمدا رسول الله”, I too proclaim
اشهد ان لا إله الاّ الله
أشهد أنّ محمدا رسول الله
اللهم صل وسلم و بارك على طور التجليات الإحسانية و مهبط الأنوار الرحمانية
عبدك و حبيبك محمد
وعلى آله واصحابه ومن احبه واتبعه الى يوم الدين
Your humble servant
Mohammad Karam Shah
The month of Dhul-Hijja is departing from us and ushering in a new year. Muslims all over the world will be welcoming the month of Muharram and remembering the plight of those who laid their lives down on the plane of Karbala. InshaAllah to comemorate that we will be psoting articles on various aspects of Muhaarram to share with everyone.
Ramadhan is undoubtedly a very important date in the Muslim calendar and is a great gift from Allah to the believers. It is a month full of Allah’s blessings and mercy, a month where the devil is locked up and people are presented with the opportunity to prove themselves to Allah. All year long we give in to our inner most desires and are constantly feeding our bodies and our egos, not taking into consideration the extreme damage we are doing to our body and soul. Ramadhan is an opportunity from Allah to reflect on what we have been doing the whole year, assess ourselves and to make changes that will bring us into line with what Allah wants from us.
Too often we forget that we have not been sent to this world to get caught up in its attractions and distractions, but to worship Allah and prepare for a better hereafter. Ramadhan gives us time to reflect on what we have, to appreciate Allah’s blessings he has showered us with and to lessen the grip of the devil and our ego.
May Allah give us the ability to benefit from this month in the best possible manner and may Allah forgive those souls who have left us in the past year, who were amongst us last Ramadhan but are not here today, most importantly my father Al-Haaj Mahmood Hussain, who tragically passed away in a car accident in January earlier this year. May Allah elevate his status and forgive his sins and grant him space under his shade. Ameen.
Ramadhan Mubarak to all, may Allah give us all the oppertunity to benefit fully from this month of Allah.
This Surah is known as al-Kafiroon. It consists of 6 verses and one ruku, 26 words and 94 letters.
This surah was revealed in Makkah and the blessed Prophet peace be upon him recited it in public. Falsehood is very devious and to test the truth it constantly changes its appearance in order to try and deceive it. It does not hesitate in employing any means necessary to achieve its goal. Sometimes it creates a very flexible attitude in its point of view and its sole intention is to ensure that the truth does not remain as it is. Undoubtedly falsehood is falsehood no matter what. By adding another entity to it, its nature does not change and it still remains falsehood. Even if you mix something pure to it, the pure entity becomes contaminated, but the falsehood still remains as it was. It is aware that the truth is only the truth as long as it does not mix with falsehood.
When the Mercy for the entire universe began preaching the message of Tawheed (monotheism), the disbelievers did not deem it worthy of attention, but when more fortunate souls began to become Muslim and there was a social change, they took notice. They thought to themselves that they had unlimited resources and that they could afford to pay whatever price they needed to buy out this preacher of the Truth. Thus they began the bidding through Hazrat Abu Talib. A group from the Quraish visited Hazrat Abu Talib and said to him “The views that your nephew is expressing about our gods are completely unacceptable to us. You are the leader of our people and we have utmost respect for you in our hearts. For this reason we have listened to his views until now and have remained silent, but we have reached the limit of our patience. Ask your nephew if he desires wealth we are prepared to pile gold and silver at his feet. If he desires to become our leader we are prepared to unanimously accept him as our supreme leader. If he desires marriage to a particular woman he only needs to indicate and we will happily arrange that for him.”
Insincere/ambitious people who use religion and faith as a ladder in their personal gains usually have one of these motives on their agendas. When the blessed Prophet peace be upon him heard their requests he replied that they had not recognised him. “If they were to place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left I would still not let this affect the propagation of the oneness of my Lord the slightest.”
When they were unsuccessful in this deal, they decided to employ a different tactic/approach. Walid ibn Mughira, ‘As ibn Wail, Aswad ibn Abd al-Muttalib and Umayyah ibn Khalaf, the leaders of Makkah gathered together one day and approached the blessed Prophet peace be upon him and said to him, “Your propagation of your religion is causing conflict and division in our community, and this is not good for the future. If this divide between you and us continues to grow then there will come a day when the strength of our unity will die and our enemies will overwhelm and defeat us. We are very concerned about this. Come let us agree upon such a solution that will allow you to remain upon your cause and keep the unity of our people intact.”
For this they presented the solution: “For one year we will unite and worship your God and the next year you will join with us and worship our deities.” Upon hearing this the blessed Prophet peace be upon him replied “May Allah protect me from associating anyone with Him.”
At that moment was this surah revealed which completely put to an end all their hopes and disheartened them from ever attempting to deceive and alter the truth in any way. Subsequently the blessed Prophet peace be upon him went to the Haram Shareef, where the pillars of Kufr and Shirk were assembled. He openly recited this surah to them so that in future they would not attempt such brazen acts.
Exegesis of Surah al-Kafiroon
Allah’s name I begin with the Most Compassionate, the Most Kind.
(1) Say: O disbelievers!
(2) I worship not that which you all worship;
(3) Nor do you all worship that which I worship.
(4) And I shall not worship that which you all worship.
(5) Nor will you all worship That which I worship.
(6) Unto you is your religion, and unto me is my religion.
(1) Despite the fact that the people were deeply involved with Kufr and Shirk, they didn’t consider themselves as kafir and disliked being referred to as kafir. The blessed Prophet peace be upon him is being ordered to address them as kafir, as if he is proclaiming: “I have no fear of you. I have no respect for you in my heart and neither will I use any word out of hypocrisy that will indicate such a thing. According to me you are kafir and I will address you with this word. By using the word ‘kafiroon’ I have also made it clear that there is no personal argument between you and me. The enmity between you and me is not even based upon any worldly interest. The only reason I have distanced myself from you is because you have embraced Kufr. If you abandon Kufr and accept Iman, our enmity will transform into brotherhood and love. I will embrace you and we will gather and unite under the flag of Tawheed.”
(2) The translation of these verses is clear; apparently it looks like there is repetition, but this is not the case. The first two verses deal with the future and the last two verses deal with past. It has been openly and explicitly announced that: “In the past I have never worshipped your false gods and neither should you hold your hopes high that I ever will do that in the future. You desire that I worship your gods for one year and in return you will worship my God, but listen carefully! A year is a very long time; I am not prepared to worship your false gods for even the briefest moment. If my head bows it will only be to my Creator who is alone and has no partners. If my forehead is in prostration it will only be for my Creator who is the creator and Master of everything in this universe; He has created me and has bestowed upon me the rank of Prophethood. I cannot contemplate for a moment that I will accept anyone else as my God. Zamakhshari states “‘I will not worship’ refers to worship in the future because the word ‘La’ only appears upon a verb of the future tense in order to negate it.”
In addition to this explanation, several others exist which offer explanation for verse four, in that it is used in emphasis because the second verse is a verbal sentence which indicates renewal and finiteness whereas the fourth is a nominal sentence and indicates stability and strength. Thus the second verse is supported by the first. The third verse is emphasised by the fifth verse because the words are identical, and in the Arabic language this type of emphasis is commonly used in Nazm and Nathr. This has been presented in the couplet
“The crow of separation, whilst giving the news of the night’s departure at dawn spoke, how long, how long, how long will he keep protesting at the separation of the night?”
The aim of this emphasis and repetition is so that the kuffaar are always in despair over the fact that the Muslims will never accept kufr for even the briefest moment. In addition it has been said about them that they will never become Muslims.
(3) Al-Kafiroon refers to a handful of those wretched individuals who were never going to accept Islam, for this reason they were addressed and it was said:“the Hayy and Qayyoom that I worship, you will never worship Him.You are so deeply engrossed in Kufr that you have extinguished the flames of reason and rationality. You have incapacitated the power of comprehension and understanding.”
(4) Zamakhshari claims that this is connected to the past in the sense that “Until today I have not worshipped any false deity, in front of whom you scrape your foreheads and rub your noses. Before proclamation of Prophethood I was free from the stains of Kufr and Shirk, and now that I have made the proclamation and my Lord has filled my heart with the light of Prophethood and enlightened me so that no sign of doubt remains. If you are yet optimistic of my Kufr then the world has not seen greater fools than you.”
(5) “In the past you have never worshipped this true God of whose worship I have had the honour.” It can be claimed that the word ‘Ma’ is used for non-intellectual and lifeless things and thus instead of ‘ma a’bodo’ it ought to have been ‘man a’bodo’. In response, a number of explanations can be given. For instance, in the first two verses the word ‘ma’ comes in the meaning of ‘allazi’ and in the second two verses it comes in the infinitive meaning, i.e. the manner in which you worship, I do not worship in that manner, and similarly the manner in which I worship, you do not worship. Another answer given is that the word ‘ma’ does not indicate a being but an attribute as if one was saying “I will not worship falsehood and you will not worship the truth.”
(6) “I am not a believer in the unification of truth and falsehood. In addition I do not believe in the mixture of truth and falsehood. I do not require such a unity that is based upon reconciliation with falsehood. You may by all means remain steadfast upon your kufr and not patch this kufr with Tawheed as there is no connection between the two. Similarly I will not be drawn into your deception and disturb Tawheed otherwise Tawheed will not remain Tawheed anymore. I was sent to spread the light of truth, therefore if I accept your request the truth will become falsehood. You may remain in your state and I will remain steadfast upon the truth. The battle between truth and falsehood will end with natural consequences. You will see that apart from a few unfortunate individuals the entire Arabian Peninsula will accept Islam.
لااله الا انت سبحانك انى كنت من الظالمين
وصلى الله تعالى على حبيبه و صفيه محمد
وعلى آله واصحابه و بارك و سلم
by GF Haddad ©
[ extended with chapter 7. Additional Proofs, OKN ]
2. Allah Said: Invoke Blessings on the Prophet
3. Allah Said: Rejoice in the Prophet
4. The Obligation to Know Sira and Imitate Its Central Character
5. Who was our Beloved Prophet ?
6. The Danger of Opposing His Command
7. Additional Proofs
7. (1) Concerning Respect and Love For The Prophet
7. (2) Even Love of the Companions Is a Sign of Belief
7. (3) To increase our Love for Allah and his Messenger
7. (4) The above is elucidated by the following hadiths
Allah asks the Prophet to remind his Nation that it is essential for those who claim to love God, to love His Prophet :
"Say to them: If you love God, follow (and love and honor) me, and God will love you" (3:31). [see also (2)]
This obligation to love the Prophet means to obey him, to remember him, to follow his example, and to be proud of him as Allah is proud of him, since Allah has boasted about him in His Holy Book by saying:
"Truly you are of a magnificient character" (al-Qalam 4).
. Love of the Prophet is what differentiates the believers in the perfection of their imaan. In an authentic hadith related in Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet said:
"None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves his children, his parents, and all people." In another hadith in Bukhari he said: "None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves himself."
Perfection of faith is dependent on love of the Prophet because Allah and His angels are constantly raising his honor, as is meant in the verse:
"Allah and His angels are praying on the Prophet" (33:56).
The Divine order that immediately follows in the verse:
"O believers, pray on him,"
makes it clear that the quality of being a believer is dependent on and manifested by praying on the Prophet.
We are encouraged to pray on the Prophet and to praise him, which is an obligation on us through Allah's order in the verse:
"Allah and His angels are praying on (and praising) the Prophet ;
O believers! pray on (and praise) him and send him utmost greetings" (al-Ahzab 56). see also (1)
To express happiness for the Prophet coming to us is an obligation given by Allah through Qur'an, as Allah said in Qur'an:
"Of the favor and mercy of Allah let them rejoice" Sura Yunus (10) 58
This order came because joy makes the heart grateful for the mercy of Allah. And What greater mercy did Allah give than the Prophet himself , of whom Allah says,
"We did not send you except as a mercy to human beings" (Al-Anbiya' 107).
Because the Prophet was sent as a mercy to all mankind, it is incumbent not only upon Muslims, but upon all human beings to rejoice in his person. Unfortunately, today too, there are some people who reject Allah's order to rejoice in His Prophet .
We are asked to know about our Prophet , about his life, about his miracles, about his birth, about his manners, about his faith, about his signs (ayat wa dala'il), about his seclusions, about his worship, and is not this knowledge an obligation for every Muslim? What is better than acquiring knowledge of his life? This will make Allah happy with us because then we will be able to know the Prophet better, and be readier to take him as an example for ourselves, to correct ourselves, and to imitate him and thus gain salvation in this life and in the next.
The Prophet Allah, Rasulullah was neither tall nor was he short (he was of medium stature). In complexion, he was neither very white like lime, nor very dark, nor brown which results in darkness (he was illuminant, more luminous than even the full moon on the 14th night). The hair of Rasulullah was neither very straight nor very curly (but slightly wavy). When he attained the age of forty, Allah Most High granted him nubuwwah (prophethood). He lived for ten years in Makkah (see commentary) and in Madinah for ten years. He passed away at the age of sixty years. At that time there were not more than twenty white hair on his mubaarak head and beard" Anas (r) reported it.
Commentary at jamiat.org.za
Opposing his command and changing his sunna is misguidance and innovation. It is threatened by Allah with utter privation and punishment. Allah says:
"Whoever splits from the Messenger after the guidance is clear to him and follows other than the path of the believers, We shall entrust him to what he has turned to and expose him unto Hell - an evil retreat!" Sura Women (4) 115
The Prophet said: "Anyone who dislikes my sunna is not of me."
(Bukhari and Muslim)
The Community [of Muslim Scholars] is unanimous concerning the obligation to magnify and exalt the Prophet , his Family, and his Companions. It was the practice of the Pious Predecessors and the Imams of the past that whenever the Prophet was mentioned in their presence they were seized by reverence, humbleness, stillness, and dignity.
Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (this is Ja'far al-Sadiq) would turn pale whenever he heard the Prophet mentioned. Imam Malik would not mention a hadith except in a state of ritual purity. 'Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr al-Siddiq would turn red and stammer whenever he heard the Prophet mentioned .
As for 'Amir ibn 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-'Awamm al-Asadi (one of the early sufis), he would weep until his eyes had no tears left in them. When a hadith was mentioned in their presence they would lower their voices. Malik said: "His sacredness (hurmat) in death is as his inviolability in life."
The Mathematician Abu al-'Abbas Ahmad ibn al-Khatib, also known as Ibn Qunfudh al-Qusantini al-Maliki (d. 810 H) in his book "Wasilat al-islam bi al-nabi 'alayhi al-salat wa al-salam" (The Means to Islam Through the Prophet ; Beirut: Dar al-gharb al-islami, 1404/1984 p. 145-146.)
Another hadith which shows that even love of the companions of the Prophet , such as Abu Hurayra is a sign of belief, according to the exact wording of the Prophet that Allah make Abu Hurayra beloved to the believers.
Abu Hurayra gave the following account of his mother's conversion:
I came to the Prophet weeping one day and said: "O Messenger of Allah, I have been inviting my mother to Islam and she has been refusing. Today I asked her again, and she said something about you which I hated to hear. Ask Allah to guide Abu Hurayra's mother!" Whereupon the Prophet said: "O Allah! Guide Abu Hurayra's mother."
Then I returned home cheered up by the Prophet's supplication. When I arrived at the door of the house I found it closed. Hearing my footsteps, my mother said: "Abu Hurayra, do not come in yet." I could hear the sound of water. She washed herself and wore her robe (dir') and headcover (khim_r) then she opened the door and said: "Abu Hurayra! I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's servant and messenger!"
I returned at once to the Prophet , weeping for joy, and said to him: "O Messenger of Allah, good news! Allah has answered your request and guided my mother!" He glorified and praised Allah, thanking Him and saying good things. I said: "O Messenger of Allah! Ask Allah that He make me and my mother beloved to his believing servants and that He make them beloved to us."
The Prophet said: "O Allah! Make Your little servant here - meaning Abu Hurayra - and his mother beloved to Your believing servants, and make the believers beloved to the two of them." Not one believer is brought into existence who hears about me without seeing me except he loves me.
Narrated by Muslim and Ahmad. Also Ibn Hajar in al-Isaba (7:435, 7:512) and others.
This hadith is similar to another sound hadith of the Prophet addressing the Commander of the Believers 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (r):
A man asked the Prophet about the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment) saying, "When will the Hour be?" The Prophet said, "What have you prepared for it?" The man said, "Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Apostle. " The Prophet said, "You will be with those whom you love." We had never been so glad as we were on hearing that saying of the Prophet (i.e., "You will be with those whom you love.") Therefore, I love the Prophet , Abu Bakr and 'Umar, and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not similar to theirs. Anas narrated it. Comment (4)
"Among those of my Community who love me most intensely are certain people who will come after me and who would give away their family and property in exchange for seeing me." Muslim narrated it in his Sahih, book of "Paradise and its bliss and people."
A man came to the Prophet and said: "Messenger of Allah, I love you more than my family and my possessions. I remember you and I cannot wait until I can come and look at you. I remember that I will die and you will die and I know that when you enter the Garden, you will be raised up high with the Prophets. When I enter it, I will not see you." Allah then revealed:
"Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, they are with those whom He has favored: the Prophets (peace be upon them all), the True Saints, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. Ah! What an excellent company." (4:69)
The Prophet called the man and recited the verse to him.
Tabarani and Ibn Mardawayh narrated it from A'isha and Ibn 'Abbas, and Qadi 'Iyad cited it in al-Shifa' as well as Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (1:310) and al-Baghawi in his.
It is further elucidated by the hadith of 'Umar ...
... whereby a man was punished by the Prophet because of wine-drinking. One day when he was brought to him and he gave orders and had him beaten, one of those present said: "O Allah, curse him. How often he is brought!" The Prophet said: "Do not curse him. I swear by Allah that I know he loves Allah and His Messenger ." (Al-Bukhari)
Those who share with this scribe the love for Sufi literature and history are used to think that these holy persons belong to the past and they have become extremely rare in present days. This is also due to the fact that a real Sufi does not roam around the world saying “hey, look at me! I am a Sufi!” Usually those who behave like this they are not even worth of pronouncing the name Sufi. The word Sufi has unknown origins and would be beyond the scope of this essay to investigate about the origins of this word.
The French-born René Guénon reverted Muslim as Abd ul Waheed Yahya (RA) in his book “Perspective of Islamic Esoterism and Taoism” explains that in virtue of the sacred science of numbers and letters applicable to Arabic, as sacred language, the world Sufi has numerical value equivalent to Al-Hikma al-ilahiya, which means literally Divine Wisdom, and consequently the Sufi is the one positioned in the Divine Wisdom. The same author remarks that as a consequence of the numerical equivalence of the words Sufi and Al-Hikma al-ilahiya the Sufi is therefore al-‘arif-bi-Llah, the one who knows by Allah’s Almighty Knowledge and not the one who knows Allah Almighty (which is a relatively quite inferior condition in the spiritual hierarchy). This is possible because the title of Sufi must be given only to those elected and selected personalities who realize the injunction of the Holy Prophet (SAWS) who (SAWS) said: “O you who believe, die before to die!” meaning to severe all the psychological links with this manifestation and kill their nafs. Sufi are the living testimonial of the terminal goal of the spiritual path known as path of Haqiqah, path of Truth, complimentary to the path common to every Muslim, known as path of Shariah, both being respectively the interior (Haqiqah) and exterior (Shariah) aspect of the same reality: Islam.
It is extremely important to never forget that there is no Haqiqah without Shariah and there is no progress in tasawwuf without knowledge of Shariah. In his poetic composition Qassidah Ghaussia (The Great Poem) his holiness Hadzrat Pir-e- Dastaghir Abd-ul Qadir Jilani (RA) writes: “I acquired esoteric and exoteric knowledge till I became a Polar-Star. This attainment is entirely due to the Divine Grace and Benevolence” and this synthesizes the activity of a disciple advancing towards the final target of becoming a Sufi. The spiritual properties of this Qassidah Ghaussia and the Darood Qibrit Ahmar Sharif (the Red Sulfur Noble Salutations to the Holy Prophet (SAWS)) are beyond human comprehension to the extent that they can be recited in their secret only by authorized advanced disciples of the Qadiryya and Chishty Orders respectively.
It is quite obvious that these extremely special personalities, the Sufi, are quite rare, especially in these days when this manifestation is approaching the day of Qyyamat, doomsday, the end of this manifestation. In fact the cosmic laws explain that Allah’s manifestation begins with a pure order which is known as golden age in the western culture, when consequently those who hold the status of Sufi are majority. The golden age, in base of divinely established cosmic laws, gradually turns into the iron-age, through two intermediary phases. The present age (actually we leave in the last phase of this iron-age) holds the worst living conditions. It may seem a paradox because never than before than this age humans have been capable of paramount discoveries in all fields of sciences, including a substantial increase of life expectancy in most of the advanced countries.
But what is an expected increase of few years in comparison to the age typical of the humans living at the times of prophet Matusalem or Methuselah (AS), who lived 969 years, during the golden-age? What is the use of fast traveling and having every time information at hand when most of the time anguish, solitude, depression dominate great part of humanity in these days? Most of the time, in the attempt to escape this type of psychological sicknesses, humans trap themselves in a spiral of “evasions” like sex, drugs, alcohol and gambling which extension in present days is quite close to that of Sodoma and Gomorra mentioned both in the Holy and Glorious Qur’an and the Old Testament of the Bible. Per contrast among humans who have entered the path of self-destruction there are still men who thread the path of self-liberation practicing a selfless life and among them there are few who have realized this path in full.
I had the fortune to meet some real Sufi and consider myself as lucky as the poet who met in his dream an angel writing the names of the friends of Allah and did not find his name among them but on the contrary he prayed and hoped that his name could be inserted among the friends of the friends of Allah Almighty. Pir Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA) of Halla-Sharif, district Mandi Bahauddin was indeed one of the Sufi I met and I am so sure about it not because he (RA) partaken with me his secret but from the signs I witnessed with other brothers of tasawwuf (Pir-bhai) because he (RA) always concealed his knowledge and his super-voluntary religious practices keeping his secret rigorously hidden to everyone. We met each other almost 14 years ago at the beginning of February 1994 and immediately I remain struck by his fascinating personality: a handsome beautiful man humbly traveling on a 125cc Yamaha motorcycle of undefined age who was so humble to allow one of his beloved brothers of tasawwuf to tease him in front of others at any extent.
During those moments he (RA) would have joined his hands like in prayer, silent but smiling showing his white and perfect teeth and bent his head in sign of submission. Few months later he (RA) became my host in the religious school (Dar-ul-Uloom Muhammadia Ghaussia, DMG) directed by him in Chack Shazad, a little town inside the Federal Capital territory of Islamabad. I, freshly converted from Catholicism to Islam, spent almost one year in DMG learning the basics of Islam and Muslim life along with the recitation in Arabic of the Holy and Glorious Qur’an. My admiration and love for him (RA) were growing in parallel to the admiration and love for our common Sufi Master, his holiness Justice of Supreme Court Pir Muhammad Karam Shah Al-Azhari, known as Zia ul Ummat (RA). Casually and from someone else I came to known that the man who was lifting me to Islamabad with his old Yamaha 125 cc was a Pir, Persian name of spiritual master, and this made me feeling ashamed in thinking that he (RA) personally was bringing food for me and calling me in the middle of the night when my anxious and old father unfamiliar with time differences was phoning from Italy lagging four hours behind Pakistan.
Pir Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA) would have covered the 300 meters from his humble quarter to my room bringing the telephone to me, summer or winter. But sooner his humble and low profile behavior started to contrast with what the language of the heart was telling me about him and what the dreams were telling to my Chinese brother of Tasawwuf Pir Zuaharat-ud-Din and me. Both of us had clear examples of his capability to read minds and, above all, to know in real time whenever a thing was done or said to one of our two by our common Pir Sahab (RA) in Bhera Sharif. Extraordinary and uncommon behaviors (karamat or miracles) which are not searched by those personalities but are a consequence of their high spiritual rank are typical of Sufi.
One day I had a problem. A man known to me to conduct a non-Islamic life invited me for dinner at his residence, remembering the famous episode when his holiness Hadzrat Umar Farooq bin Kattab (RA) discovering that his host was living on bribery rushed out of that house and vomited voluntarily the food given by that man, because an impure man gives impure food. I asked Pir Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA) what to do telling him “I rather decline the invitation.” He answered me in a very gentle but firm manner: Rather you go and pray for him and his family to return to Islam.” It was a lesson to me: the force of love is superior to anything else but this does not means that the second caliph of Islam was wrong, simply the times and the conditions were very different. It is indeed a general duty of a man of the path of Haqiqah and a quality of a Sufi to behave accordingly to the conditions required by the times and not stubbornly always in the same way as it is the tendency of those who deny the path of Haqiqah and follow exclusively that of Shariah.
Pir Maulana Mukthar Ahmad Zia (RA) born in December 1957 and at the age of 12 met for the first time his Sufi master, his holiness Hadzrat Pir Karam Shah Al-Azhari (RA) in Bhera Sharif, not too far from his native village of Halla in district Mandi Bahauddin in West Punjab, Pakistan. He studied in the Dar Uloom Muhammadia Ghoussia in Bhera Sharif and was companion to the eldest son of his master, the present sajjada nasheen (custodian) of Pir Aamir ul Salikin (RA) Darbar Sharif, his holiness Hadzrat Pir Amin ul Hasanat Shah Sahab. He (RA) was initiated in the Chishty noble order of tasawwuf during the course of his studies, which he (RA) completed in 1976. He was bestowed full khilafat in 1985, thus having official authority to order and supervise disciples in the Chishty order. His love for his spiritual master was so intense that he soon became so close to him to the extent that his face and even his voice remained remarkably very similar to that of his master until his passing away.
To give an example of his intense love for his spiritual master is enough to narrate the following incident. His holiness Hadzrat Zia ul Ummat (RA) was used to travel by train in the period 1957 - 1976 and later. The train from Bhera would have stopped also in Halla, the young Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA) organized a tea shop right at the train stop giving strict order to the tea shop keeper to prepare tea and biscuit whenever in the train there would have been his holiness Zia ul Ummat (RA) and serve him with full protocol. The care and attention given by Pir Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA) to his master and each member of his family was such that his holiness Hadzrat Zia ul Ummat, RA, and his sons prefer spending their stay in Islamabad at the DMG in Chack Shazad despite two of the daughters of Justice Pir Muhammad Karam Shah (RA) live in Islamabad.
When Allah Almighty blessed me with the mantel of full khilafat bestowed upon me by his holiness Hadzrat Pir Amin ul Hasanat Shah Sahab I was again sent to Pir Mukhtar Ahmad Zia for instruction and during this period my admiration and love for him increased further. As a western-born I always realized my limitations in moving in the spiritual world (almost like an elephant in a fine glass shop) respect majority of my Pakistani brothers threading the same spiritual path and kept him (RA) as model and example because he (RA) was one, effaced with our common spiritual masters, past (RA) and present. Few weeks later to my khilafat it happened that his holiness Hadzrat Pir Amin ul Hasanat Shah Sahab visited Islamabad and as usual spent his stay in his room in the Dar ul Uloom Muhammadia Ghoussia (DMG) in Chack Shazad. I went to see Pir Sahab in his room in early morning, when he was alone.
We both started to chat when all the sudden his holiness Hadzrat Pir Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA) entered the room. Pir Sahab suspended his speech with me, looked at Pir Maulana Mukhtar Zia (RA) intensely and then looking at me but pointing at him Pir Sahab said to me in English: “he (i.e. Pir Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA)) is a living example of fana-e-sheikh!” For those who are not familiar with tasawwuf terminology it should be explained that at Sufi level, when the nafs has been killed, and beyond it there are
three different stages of self-effacement (fana), which is fana-esheikh, fana-e-rasool (SAWS) and fana-e- bi-Llah. The Arabic terms can be respectively translated into effacement of the self in the spiritual essence of the spiritual master personality (not individuality. Personality or self is perennial, on the contrary individuality, related to the physical and psychical sphere, is perishable), effacement of the self in the spiritual essence of the Holy Prophet (SAWS) and
finally effacement of the self in Allah Almighty, which corresponds to the Hindu “Supreme Identity” explained in the Veda. These concepts are very easy to be expressed but very difficult to be understood and extremely difficult to be achieved also because they belong to Allah Almighty gifts reserved for His selected creatures and his holiness Hadzrat Pir Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA) who left this terrestrial abode during the last ten days of 2006 Ramadzan was indeed a Sufi holding a very high station.
I was in Madina Munawwarah when the shocking news of his passing away reached me. At the news something clicked in me, I remembered his voice when I phoned him before my departure, there was no time to meet and his voice sounded to me strange but captured by the many things one has to fulfil before departing when the visa is received in the same day of the flight booking I did not pay too much attention to the strange tone of his voice. His voice sounded me so strange that I could not define it, but when the news of his departure from this world arrived to me I realized that that was a tone of sadness. Immediately I realized that “he (RA) knew that he was to leave this abode before time and my return” and he, perhaps, was sad to do not see me for the last time.
At my return to Islamabad I discovered from his family members that more than a month before his passing away he (RA) started to receive clear dreams informing him that his terrestrial journey was at end so much that he gradually started to give to those around him signals of what was going to happen. But those around him did not realize the immanence of his destiny. Quite astonishingly his adopted and beloved daughter passed away a day before him and he went to lead her jinnaza prayer (funeral prayer) and when she was inside her grave he made a dua (prayer) saying “We will meet soon, my daughter”. Few minutes later when he was sitting in his car he started developing some problems and requested his sons to bring him to the hospital. He was rushed to the hospital remaining silent but with a smiling face. He kept the same smile while passing away. This passing away smiling is a clear sign that Allah Almighty preserved him from the pains of death, a condition that Allah Almighty reserves to His friends, the Sufi.
A Sufi does not need to declare his spiritual status because somehow the world around him perceives it so much that from one side people who will interact with him will naturally regard him as a Sufi, on the other side signs of Allah’s Almighty Love for him will be so clear to those who have eyes to see them that he will not need to say to them “I am a Sufi”, rather he will try to conceal it and preserve his condition as a well kept secret between Allah Almighty and him. And this indeed was the remarkable position of his holiness Hadzrat Pir Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Zia (RA), a Sufi among us, a Sufi of the third millennium.
Pir Dr. Eng. Muhammad Muddassir Gualini (Jilani)