By Mufti Taqi Usmani
- First Ten Days
- The 9th day of Zulhijjah
- The Fast of Youmul 'Arafah
- On the Eid day
- How to Perform Eid Prayers (Hanafi School)
- Khutbah: The Address of Eidul-Adha
- Sacrifice or Qurbani: Philosophy and Rules
- The Time of Qurbani
- Who is Required to Perform Qurbani?
- No Alternate for Qurbani
- The Animals of Qurbani
- Rules about Defective Animals
- The Sunnah Method of Qurbani
- Distribution of the Meat
Zulhijjah is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Literally, it means "hajj." Obviously, this name of the month indicates that the great annual worship of "hajj" is performed in this month, which gives it special significance. Some specific merits and rules relevant to this month are mentioned below:
First Ten Days
The first ten days of Zulhijjah are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the "Lailatul-Qadr".
Every Muslim should avail of this wonderful opportunity by performing during this period as much Iba'dah (acts of worship) to Allah as he or she can.
The 9th day of Zulhijjah
The 9th day of Zulhijjah is called 'Youmul - "Arafah' (The Day of 'Arafah). This is the date when the Hujjaj (Haji pilgrims, plural of Haajj) assemble on the plain of 'Arafat, six miles away from Makkah al-Mukarramah, where they perform the most essential part of the prescribed duties of hajj, namely, the 'Wuqoof of'Arafat (the stay in 'Arafat).
The Fast of Youmul 'Arafah
For those not performing hajj, it is mustahabb (desirable) to fast on this day according to their own calendar. It sometimes occurs that 9th Zuihijjah falls on different days in different countries according to the sighting of the moon. In such cases, Muslims of each country should observe 'Youmul 'Arafah according to the lunar dates of their own country.
For example, if 'Youmul 'Arafah' is being observed in Saudi Arabia on Friday, and in Pakistan on Saturday, Pakistani Muslims should treat Saturday as 'Youmul 'Arafah' and should fast on that day if they desire to benefit from the fast of 'Youmul'Arafah'.
The fast of 'Youmul 'Arafah' has been emphasized by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as a mustahabb (desirable) act. According to a hadith, the fast of this day becomes a cause, hopefully so, of forgiveness for sins committed in one year.
Beginning from the Fajr of the 9th Zulhijjah up to the 'Asr prayer of the 13th, it is obligatory on each Muslim to recite the Takbir of Tashriq after every fard prayer in the following words.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd.
(There is no god but Allah and Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.)
According to authentic Islamic sources, it is obligatory on each Muslim, to recite this Takbir after every fard salah. For women also, it is commendable though not obligatory. Whether you are performing salah with Jama'ah (collectively) or on your own (individually) makes no difference. You must recite the Takbir. However, male Muslims should recite it in a loud voice, while females should recite it in a low voice.
On the Eid day
The following acts are sunnah on the day of Eidul- adha:
1. To wake up early in the morning.
2. To clean one's teeth with a miswak or brush
3. To take bath.
4. To put on one's best available clothes.
5. To use perfume.
6. Not to eat before the Eid prayer.
7. To recite the Takbir of Tashriq in a loud voice while going to the Eid prayer.
How to Perform Eid Prayers (Hanafi School)
The Eid prayer has two raka'at performed in the normal way, with the only addition of six Takbirs, three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah, and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah. The detailed way of performing the Eid prayer is as follows:
The Imam will begin the prayer without Adhan or iqamah. He will begin the prayer by reciting Takbir of Tahrimah (Allahu Akbar). You should raise your hands up to the ears, and after reciting the Takbir, you should set your hands on your navel. The Imam will give a little pause during which you should recite Thana' (Subhanakallahumma .:.). After the completion of Thana', the Imam will recite Takbir (Allahu Akbar) three times. At the first two calls of Takbir you should raise your hands up to the ears, and after reciting Takbir (Allahu Akbar) in a low voice, should bring your hands down and leave them earthwards. But, after the third Takbir, you should set them on your navel as you do in the normal prayers.
After these three Takbirs, the Imam will recite the Holy Qur'an, which you should listen calmly and quietly. The rest of the raka'ah will be performed in the normal way.
After rising for the second raka'ah, the Imam will begin the recitations from the Holy Qur'an during which you should remain calm and quiet. When the Imam finishes his recitation, he will recite three Takbirs once again, but this time it will be just before bowing down for ruku'. At each Takbir you should raise your hands up to the ears, and after saying 'Allahu Akbar', bring them down and leave them earthwards. After these three takbirs have been called and completed, the Imam will say another takbir for bowing down into the ruku' position. At this takbir you need not raise your hands. You just bow down for your ruku' saying, 'Allahu Akbar'. The rest of the salah will be performed in its usual way.
Khutbah: The Address of Eidul-Adha
In this salah of Eid, Khutbah is a sunnah and is delivered after the salah, unlike the salah of Jumu'ah where it is fard and is delivered before the salah. However, listening to the khutbah of Eid salah is wajib or necessary and must be listened to in perfect peace and silence.
It is a sunnah that the Imam begins the first Khutbah by reciting takbir (Allahu Akbar) nine times and the second Khutbah with reciting it seven times.
The way of Eid prayer described above is according to the Hanafi school of Muslim jurists. Some other jurists, like Imam Shafi'i, have some other ways to perform it. They recite Takbir twelve times before beginning the recitations of the Holy Qur'an in both the raka'at. This way is also permissible. If the Imam, being of the Shafi'i school, follows this way, you can also follow him. Both ways are based on the practice of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
Sacrifice or Qurbani: Philosophy and Rules
The Urdu and persian word Qurbani (Sacrificial slaughter) is derived from the Arabic word Qurban. Lexically, it means an act performed to seek Allah's pleasure. Originally, the word Qurban included all acts of charity because the purpose of charity is nothing but to seek Allah's pleasure. But, in precise religious terminology, the word was later confined to the sacrifice of an animal slaughtered for the sake of Allah.
The sacrifice of an animal has always been treated as a recognized form of worship in all religious orders originating from a divine book. Even in pagan societies, the sacrifice of an animal is recognized as a form of worship, but it is done in the name of some idols and not in the name of Allah, a practice totally rejected by Islam.
In the Shari'ah of our beloved Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the sacrifice of an animal has been recognized as a form of worship only during three days of Zulhijjah, namely, the 10th, 1lth and 12th of the month. This is to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice offered by the Prophet Sayyidna Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, when he, in pursuance to a command of Allah conveyed to him in a dream, prepared himself to slaughter his beloved son, Sayyidna Isma'il, Alayhi Salam, and actually did so but, Allah Almighty, after testing his submission, sent down a sheep and saved his son from the logical fate of slaughter. It is from that time onwards that the sacrifice of an animal became an obligatory duty to be performed by every well to do Muslim.
Qurbani is a demonstration of total submission to Allah and a proof of complete obedience to Allah's will or command. When a Muslim offers a Qurbani, this is exactly what he intends to prove. Thus, the Qurbani offered by a Muslim signifies that he is a slave of Allah at his best and that he would not hesitate even for a moment, once he receives an absolute command from his Creator, to surrender before it, to obey it willingly, even if it be at the price of his life and possessions. When a true and perfect Muslim receives a command from Allah, he does not make his obedience dependent upon the command's reasonability' as perceived through his limited understanding. He knows that Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise and that his own reason cannot encompass the knowledge and wisdom underlying the divine command. He, therefore, submits to the divine command, even if he cannot grasp the reason or wisdom behind it.
This is exactly what the Prophet Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, did. Apparently, there was no reason why a father should slaughter his innocent son. But, when came the command from Allah, he never asked about the reason for that command, nor did he hesitate to follow it. Even his minor son when asked by his father about the dream he had seen, never questioned the legitimacy of the command, nor did he pine or whine about it, nor did he ask for one good reason why he was being slaughtered. The one and only response he made was:
'Father, do what you have been ordered to do. You shall find me, God willing, among the patient".
The present-day Qurbani is offered in memory of this great model of submission set before us by the great father and the great son. So Qurbani must be offered in our time emulating the same ideal and attitude of submission.
This, then, is the true philosophy of Qurbani. With this in mind, one can easily unveil the fallacy of those who raise objections against Qurbani on the basis of economic calculations and depict it to be a wastage of money, resources and livestock. Unable to see beyond mundane benefits, they cannot understand the spirit Islam wants to plant and nourish among its followers, the spirit of total submission to Allah's will which equips man with most superior qualities so necessary to keep humanity in a state of lasting peace and welfare.
Qurbani is nothing but a powerful symbol of the required human conduct vis-a-vis the divine commands, however "irrational" or "uneconomic" they may seem to be in their appearance. Thus, the distrustful quest for mundane economic benefits behind Qurbani is, in fact, the negation of its real philosophy and the very spirit underlying it.
No doubt, there are in every form of worship ordained by Allah, certain worldly benefits too, but they are not the main purpose of these prescribed duties, nor should they be treated as a pre-condition to submission and obedience. All acts of worship, including Qurbani, must be carried out with a spirit of total submission to Allah, irrespective of their economic, social or political benefits. This is what Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, did, and this is what every true Muslim is required to do,
Keeping this in view, we are giving here some rules governing the worship of Qurbani in our Shari'ah according to the Hanafi School.
The Time of Qurbani
Qurbani can only be performed during the three days of Eid, namely the 10th, Ilth and 12th of Zulhijjah. It is only in these days that slaughtering of an animal is recognized as an act of worship. No Qurbani can be performed in any other days of the year.
Although Qurbani is permissible on each of the three aforesaid days, yet it is preferable to perform it on the first day i.e. the 10th of Zulhijjah.
No Qurbani is allowed before the Eid prayer is over. However, in small villages where the Eid prayer is not to be performed, Qurbani can be offered' any time after the break of dawn on the 10th of Zulhijjah.
Qurbani can also be performed in the two nights following the Eid day, but it is more advisable to perform it during daytime.
Who is Required to Perform Qurbani?
Every adult Muslim, male or female, who owns 613.35 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock-in-trade or any other form of wealth which is surplus to his basic needs, is under an obligation to offer a Qurbani. Each adult member of a family who owns the above mentioned amount must perform his own Qurbani separately. If the husband owns the required quantity, but the wife does not, the Qurbani obligatory on the husband only and vice-versa. If both of them have the prescribed amount of wealth, both should perform Qurbani separately.
If the adult children live with their parents, Qurbani is obligatory on each one of them possessing the prescribed amount. The Qurbani offered by a husband for himself does not fulfil the obligation of his wife, nor can the Qurbani offered by a father discharge his son or daughter from their obligation. Each one of them should care for his own.
However, if a husband or a father, apart from offering his own Qurbani, gives another Qurbani on behalf of his wife or his son, he can do so with their permission.
No Alternate for Qurbani
Some people think that instead of offering a Qurbani they should give its amount to some poor people as charity. This attitude is totally wrong. Actually, there are different forms of worship obligatory on Muslims. Each one of them has its own importance and none of them can stand for the other. It is not permissible for a Muslim to perform salah instead of fasting in Ramadan, nor is it permissible for him to give some charity instead of observing the obligatory Salah. Similarly, Qurbani is an independent form of worship and this obligation cannot be discharged by spending money in charity.
However, if somebody, out of his ignorance or negligence, could not offer Qurbani on the three prescribed days (10th, 1lth and 12th Zulhijjah) then, in that case only, he can give the price of a Qurbani as sadaqah to those entitled to receive Zakah. But during the days of Qurbani no Sadaqah can discharge the obligation.
The Animals of Qurbani
The following animals can be slaughtered to offer a Qurbani:
1. Goat, either male or female, of at least one year of age.
2. Sheep, either male or female, of at least six months of age.
3. Cow, ox buffalo of at least two years of age.
4. Camel, male or female, of at least five years of age.
One head of goat or sheep is enough only for one person's Qurbani. But as for all other animals like cow, buffalo or camel, one head of each is equal to seven offerings thus allowing seven persons to offer Qurbani jointly in one such animal.
If the seller of animal claims that the animal is of the recognized age and there is no apparent evidence to the contrary; one can trust his statement and the sacrifice of such an animal is lawful.
Rules about Defective Animals
The following defective animals are not acceptable in Qurbani:
1. Blind, one eyed or lame animal.
2. An animal so emaciated that it cannot walk to its slaughtering place.
3. An animal with one-third part of the ear or the nose or the tail missing.
4. An animal that has no teeth at all, or the major number of its teeth are missing.
5. An animal born without ears.
The following animals are acceptable in Qurbani:
1. A castrated he - goat. (Rather, its Qurbani is more preferable).
2. An animal that has no horns, or its horns are broken. However, if the horns of an animal are uprooted totally so as to create a defect in the brain, its Qurbani is not lawful.
3. An animal the missing part of whose ear, nose or tail is less than one third.
4. A sick or injured animal, unless it has some above mentioned defects rendering its Qurbani unlawful.
The Sunnah Method of Qurbani
It is more preferable for a Muslim to slaughter the animal of his Qurbani with his own hands. However, if he is unable to slaughter the animal himself, or does not want to do so for some reason, he can request another person to slaughter it on his behalf. In this case also, it is more preferable that he, at least, be present at the time of slaughter. However, his absence at the time of slaughter does not render the Qurbani invalid, if he has authorized the person who slaughtered the animal on his behalf. It is a Sunnah to lay the animal with its face towards the Qiblah, and to recite the following verse of the Holy Quran:
I, being upright, turn my face towards the One who has created the heavens and the earth, and I am not among those who associate partners with Allah. ( Al-An'am, 6:79)
But the most essential recitation when slaughtering an animal is: Bismillah, Allahu Akbar. (In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest). If somebody intentionally avoids to recite it when slaughtering an animal, it does not only make his Qurbani unlawful, but also renders the animal haram, and it is not permissible to eat the meat of that animal. However, if a person did not avoid this recitation intentionally, but he forgot to recite it when slaughtering the animal, this mistake is forgiven and both the Qurbani and the slaughter are lawful.
If somebody is unable to recite "Bismillah Allahu Akbar" in the Arabic language, he can recite the name of Allah in his own language by saying, "In the name of Allah".
Distribution of the Meat
If an animal is sacrificed by more than one person, like cow or camel, its meat should be distributed equally among its owners by weighing the meat strictly and not at random or by mere guess. Even if all the partners agree on its distribution without weighing, it is still not permissible according to shari'ah.
However, if the actual weighing is not practicable due to some reason, and all the partners agree to distribute the meat without weighing, distribution by guess can be done with the condition that each share necessarily contains either a leg of the animal or some quantity of its liver.
Although the person offering a Qurbani can keep all its meat for his own use, yet, it is preferable to distribute one-third among the poor, another one-third among his relatives and then, keep the rest for his personal consumption.
All parts of the sacrificed animal can be used for personal benefit, but none can be sold, nor can be given to the butcher as a part of his wages. If somebody has sold the meat of the Qurbani or its skin, he must give the accrued price as sadaqah to a poor man who can receive Zakah.
The most important way of worship performed in this month is "hajj", one of the five pillars of Islam. The Muslims from every part of the world assemble in Arabia to perform this unique way of worship. Hajj is a worship, which requires at least five days to be performed in its proper way. There are detailed rules for different acts of hajj for which separate books are available, and the present article does not aim at explaining all these details. However, some basic information about its obligation is being given here:
1. Hajj is obligatory on every adult Muslim who can afford to go to Makkah during the hajj season, whether on foot or by any other carriage.
2. If a person can travel to Makkah to perform hajj, but he cannot travel to Madinah, hajj is obligatory on him also. He can perform hajj without visiting Madinah.
3. A Muslim woman cannot travel for hajj unless she is accompanied by a mahram (i.e. husband or relative of a prohibited degree like son, father, brother etc.) If she does not find any mahram to accompany her, hajj is not obligatory on her until she finds one. However, she must make a will that in case she dies before performing hajj, his heirs should arrange for her hajj-e-badal out of her left over property.
4. Hajj is obligated only once in one's life. After performing the obligatory hajj; one is not required to perform it again. However, he can perform the nafl (optional hajj as many times as he or she wishes.)
by: Maulana Hussain Ahmad Qasmi*
Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. It is a demonstration of the solidarity and harmony of the Muslim people, and their submission to Almighty Allah. It is the fifth pillar of Islam, an obligation that must be carried out at least once in the life time of every Muslim who can afford to do it. The holy Quran makes it mention:
And pilgrimage to the House is duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither. (Quran: 22: 97)
Hajj is an Arabic word which literally means “to set out” with the intention of devotion or reward to a sacred place. However, Islamically, it means travelling for the purpose of visiting the Holy Kaba – the House of Allah - in Mecca, the direction which Muslims turn to in Prayer, in order to perform a series of rituals that are based on the actions and words reported in tradition of the holy Prophet's Hajj, such as Tawaf (walking around the Holy Kaba seven times), Sa`i (running between the hills of al-Safa and al-Marwah seven times), standing at the mountain of Arafat, and throwing pebbles at the Jamarat in Mina.
Truly, Hajj and its rites first were ordained by Allah in the time of the Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) and he was one who was entrusted by Almighty Allah to build the Holy Kaba – the House of Allah – along with his beloved son Hadhrat Ismail (PBUH) at Mecca. The holy Quran says:
And (remember) when We prepared for Abraham the place of the (holy) House, saying: Ascribe thou no thing as partner unto Me, and purify My House for those who make the round (thereof) and those who stand and those who bow and make prostration. And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage. They will come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine. (Quran: 22: 26-27).
After building the Kaba, Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) would come to Mecca to perform Hajj every year, and after his death, this practice was continued by his son.
The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj is eleven days earlier from year to year. The Hajj is associated with the life of the holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered to stretch back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) and his beloved son Prophet Ismail (PBUH), the prominent figures in both Islam and Judaism.
One who intends to perform Hajj should first make taubah (repentance to Allah), settle his debts, prepare sufficient provision for his journey and for his family until his return, give back trust to their rightful owners, and meet his expenses by lawful means. He is recommended to accompany righteous men to help each other in their journey. If there is a group of people going out for Hajj, they should choose one of them to be their leader during their journey so as to set their affairs in order.
Mecca is the center of true and pure monotheism, and the place where Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH), The Friend of God, left as a monument for all the true believers of the world throughout history a symbol of monotheism which is the subjugation of one's carnal desires and complete submission before the divine command by bringing his beloved to the altar. Here is the place where the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) raised the flag of monotheism against the wishes of the arrogant and bullying elements and the wealthy of his time.
Hajj maintains the spirit of unity among Muslims, individuals and communities and educates Muslims, and even non-Muslims, about the true meaning of equality, which is manifested in the pilgrims' unified dress code and their observance of the rituals irrespective of their race, language, gender, or social positions. Hajj is full of lessons for Muslims whereby we can affect real changes in the way we practice Islam as well as in the way we behave. Hajj teaches us to break the barriers that separate people from one another: barriers of race, nationality, ethnicity, color, and language. Hajj instills in us the great values of faith, surrender, trust, and sacrifice for the sake of Allah the Almighty and for the truth.
Islam lays emphasis on the very principle of equality between all people. It makes it clear that people are as equal as the comb teeth. The holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) declares:
“O people! Your Lord is One, your father is one. You are all sons of Adam and Adam is created from dust.” (Abu Dawood, No. 4452)
In prayer, a person may wear his own traditional costumes and thus may be distinguished. In Hajj, it is totally different as all people put on two pieces of white cloth that resemble a shroud. This is the highest form of equality. In Hajj, man enters into a state of total sanctity that prevents him from violating the life or the safety of any human being. Hajj is the sign of the universality of this Divine message. All people come from all parts of the globe celebrating the praises of the One true God, no colors, races, regional borders. All barriers are removed and all pilgrims are molten in one brotherhood that gathers their hearts and strengthens their bonds and sense of belonging to one religion. Hajj is, above all, a revolution against all usual matters.
Hajj experience promotes peaceful coexistence, equality, and harmony. Hajj increases belief in equality and harmony among ethnic groups and Islamic sects, and the Hajis - those who have performed the Hajj - show increased belief in peace, and in equality and harmony among adherents of different religions.
Hajj is the opportunity to review and revisit these great lessons. Each and every corner of Hajj is the embodiment of unity and solidarity among the believers where natural and contractual differences fade away and the significance of the true and monotheistic unity and brotherhood is upheld. Hajj is one of the best means of Islam for the elimination of negligence. As if the universality of this ritual imparts the message that the Muslim Ummah in their collective identity, besides the individual duty of every Muslim, is duty-bound to remove negligence from them. On the other hand, the glory and grandeur of this unique congregation acquaints us with the reality of the great Islamic Ummah, which transcends the nations, races, colors and languages. This intertwined and harmonic congregation, these tongues all chanting a single word, these bodies and hearts all marching towards a single Qiblah and these human beings representing tens of countries and nations all belong to a great unit and collection, that is, the Islamic Ummah.
*The author is Web Organizer with Internet Dept, Online Darul Ifta, Darul Uloom Deoband. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
13th January 2019, was a shocking day for me and many others. Early in the morning, we received the heartbreaking news of the demise of well-versed scholar of Fiqh and Hadeeth after his prolonged illness which he had been fighting for about three years. As he was famous for his deep knowledge and understanding of Fiqh, he was also well-known for his academic quality of the science of Hadeeth. Due to his knowledge and sound opinion in the field of Fiqh specially, he was held in high esteem by several towering contemporary personalities. His opinions were valued and respected by the authentic scholar of Fiqh like Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi (1936-2002). These words refer to the grieving death of my revered teacher Faqihe Millat Maulana Zubair Ahmad Qasmi, in a hospital in Madhubani district of his hometown, Chandarsainpur in Bihar.
Faqihe Millat’s Birth:
Faqihe Millat was born in a middle class family of a famous village known as Chndarsainpur of district Madhubani in Bihar province of India on 1st January 1936 to late Abdush Shakur. The father passed away when he was a child. This village is well-known in the area because of being the birthplace several pious and expert Islamic scholars.
Faqihe Millat began his basic education in a Maktab (nursery school) in his village. He completed reciting the Glorious Qura’an and reading basic Urdu books in the village from Maulana Ameerul Haq Miftahi (Rh.A). After the completion of the nursery level education, he left for Madrasa Basharatul Uloom which is situated in his neighbouring town Khirayan Pathra of Darbhanga district.
In Madrasa Basharatul Uloom, Khirayan Pathra, Faqihe Millat started from the primary level education of Persian language. Following the completion of the Persian language, he stared the basic of Aalim Course until he finished the first two parts of Hidayah, a celebrated book of jurisprudence of Hanafi school of thought and Jalalain, a famous book of Tafseer in that Madrasa. It must be noticed here that he learned from Persian language up to Jalalain from only one teacher, his uncle Maulana Saeed Ahmad Qasmi, an expert teacher of Darse Nizaami and student of Sheikhul Islam Maulana Sayyid Husain Ahmad Madani (1879-1957).
Following the primary and secondary level education at Madrasa Basharatul Uloom, he moved to Deoband to get admission in the great revolutionary seminary Darul Uloom Deoband to quench his thirst of knowledge of the sciences of Tafseer and Hadeeth. He got admission in 1377 AH and remained two years in Darul Uloom Deoband until he completed his Fazilat-Graduation in Islamic Studies in 1379 AH. In Darul Uloom, he learnt from the expert scholars of Tafseer and Hadeeth like Sheikh Allamah Fakhruddin (1307-1393 AH), Allamah Muhammad Ibrahim Baliawi (1886-1967), Sheikh Basheer Ahmad Khan (D. 1966), Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi (1897-1983), Sheikh Zahoor Ahmad Doebandi (1900-1963), Sheikh Jalil Ahmad Kairanvi (D. 1968), Sheikh Fakhrul Hasan, Sheikh Sayyid Hasan, etc.
After completing his graduation, in the same year 1379, Faqihe Millat was appointed as a teacher at Madrasa Basharatul Uloom, Khirayan Pathra. Following almost one and half year, he resigned from this Madrasa on 15th Rabiul Awwal 1380 and joined Madrasa Islamia, Mughla Khar in Nawadah District in Bihar. As the pupils in this Madrasa were of primary level, it was unsatisfactory and he had to resign just after few months and again he joined Madrasa Basharatul Uloom and taught till Jumadal Ukhra 1387 almost 6 years then he resigned.
In Ashraful Uloom as Head-Teacher:
In Shawwal 1387, Faqihe Millat was appointed in Jamia Ashraful Uloom, Kanahwan, Sitamarhi (Bihar) as head-teacher by its long serving pious and sincere rector, Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib. With his struggles and efforts, he took the educational standard to high level. In his headship, Jamia progressed by leaps and bounds from each angles. The progress was observed everywhere. One and all valued him and praised the standard of Jamia where he took it. After serving for 10 years tirelessly as head-teacher, he resigned in Dhul Hijjah 1397 AH.
In Jamia Rahmani:
In Muharram 1398 AH, Faqihe Millat was called by Sheikh Minnatullah Rahmani (1912-1991) to teach in Jamia Rahmani, Munger. He taught the books of Fiqh and Hadeeth in Jamia. Sheikh Rahmani had every confidence in his teaching ability and appreciated his teaching methodology. He enjoyed teaching in Jamia and served here about 9 years. Then due to some internal circumstances and situations, he resigned on 10th Shawwal 1406 AH unwillingly.
In Miftahul Uloom:
After Jamia Rahmania, he reached Jamia Miftahul Uloom, Maunath Bhanjan on 16th Shawwal 1406 AH where he was called to teach Bukhari Shareef. He requested the authority to let the Bukhari Shareef being taught by another teacher and he would teach it in the coming year. He taught here completely one year. Next year, he resigned from Miftahul Uloom on 5th Shawwal 1407 as the environment was not suiting him.
From Sabilus Salam to Jamia Rahmani:
Maulana Rizwanul Qasmi (1944-2004), the rector and Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, the head-teacher of Darul Uloom Sabilus Salam, Hyderabad requested him several times to arrive in Sabilus Salam as Sheikhul Hadeeth. He left for Hyderabad on 15th Shawwal 1407 AH. But Daurah Hadeeth had not then started, so he couldn’t manage to be there, but for few months and he came back and again he joined Jamia Rahmani, Munger on 17th Muharram 1408, following the directive of Sheikh Rahmani.
In Sabilus Salam as Sheikhul Hadeeth:
In the next academic year, in Shawwal 1408, as Daurah Hadeeth had started in Sabilus Salam, Hyderabad, the rector and head-teacher were insisting him to arrive again. So, he joined Sabilus Salam the second time on 21st Shawwal 1408 AH as Sheikhul Hadeeth. He taught in Sabilus Salam as Sheikhul Hadeeth 4 years. In this period, he was requested several times to join Jamia Ashraful Uloom, Kanahwan as head-teacher as the situation of Ashraful Uloom was deteriorating. He decided to join Jamia Ashraful Uloom, so he resigned from Sabilus Salam on 14th Sha’aban 1412 AH. In the next academic year, Shawwal 1412, he joined Jamia Ashraful Uloom with his own terms and conditions which were accepted by the governing body of Ashraful Uloom.
Rector of Ashraful Uloom:
After few years, Hazrat Maulana Anwarul Haq, the rector of Ashraful Uloom, passed away. Now, Faqihe Millat was made Rector. He served Jamia Ashraful Uloom for a long period of time. Almost three year back, he suffered from a heart illness. He underwent a heart operation on 7th October, 2016 in a hospital in Patna, the capital city of Bihar. After operation, he continued suffering from different illness. Actually, he didn’t recover after heart operation fully. Then he decided to remain at his home in Chandarsainpur, Madhubani, Bihar, but frequently he used to visit Ashraful Uloom for a week or so to know and observe the activities taking place and to guide the teachers and pupils wherever the guidance was required.
When he was sick, he got proper treatment in Madhubani, Patna and New Delhi, but due to the old age, he grew weaker as well as the health continued deteriorating. Last time again his family members took him to a Hospital in Madhubani where he breathed his last in the hospital at 07:30 am, on 13th January 2019. As his death news went viral on social media, the people started gathering in his home village, where his funeral prayer was to be offered. A delegation from Ashraful Uloom reached his village under the leadership of recently selected rector of Ashraful Uloom, Maulana Izharul Haq Mazahiri to attend his funeral. One another delegation came from Imarat Shariah to attend his funeral prayer. Similarly, from different Madaaris the Ulama and other people visited his village to participate in his funeral prayer. His funeral prayer was led by his elder son, Maulana Owais Qasmi on the same day following Asr Salaah. Before the funeral prayer, Maualan Izharul Haq Mazahiri delivered a brief speech. Thousands of people participated in his funeral prayer and they laid him in his ancestral graveyard to rest. May Allah forgive his all human shortcomings and grant him eternal peace in Jannah!
Following the completion of his education, Faqihe Millat got married with the daughter of late Haji Muhammad Idris of Parsauni, Dist.: Madhubani. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and five sons. Maulana Hafiz Owais Anzar Qasmi is working in KSA. He was present at the time of his beloved father’s death. He led the funeral prayer. Hafiz Usaid Anzar is teaching in a certain Madrasa in his area. Muhammad Sajjad resides at home. Maulana Hafiz Zafar Siddiqi Qasmi is teaching in Delhi in Madrasa Talimul Qura’an. He had been a classmate of this writer. During the period of learning, he was a intelligent pupil. He is a remarkable calligrapher, though he didn’t choose it as his profession. His last born is Mr. Afzal Husain, who completed school following his basic Islamic education in a Madrasa. Currently he is in Saudi Arab. •••
* Head: Islamic Department, Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa
By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
A noted Islamic scholar, a remarkable Urdu columnist, a popular orator and a leading educationist, Sheikh Mohammad Asrarul Haque Qasmi passed away on 7th December 2018, at 03:30. At night he was in Tappu, a small town of Kishanganj where he addressed a gathering of the students and teachers in Darul Uloom Suffah, Tappu which is founded by him. Subsequently he went to rest at Kishanganj Circuit House and got up at around 03:00 hours in the night. When he was getting ready for Tahajjud, he felt chest pain and died of heart attack. He was 76. Because of his social, educational, religious and journalistic works and services, his death is a tremendous loss for the nation in general and for the minority community in particular. He will be recalled profoundly for his works, easily accessibility, soft-spoken and gentle approach.
Birth and Education
Sheikh Qasmi was born in Tarabari village of district Kishanganj in Bihar to late Mr. Munshi Umed Ali and Amna Khatoon on 15th Febriary 1942. Following the completion of his primary education, he got admission in the world renowned Institute of Islamic thoughts Darul Uloom, Deoband and graduated in Islamic Studies from Darul Uloom in 1964. He got married on 16th May 1965. His better-half passed away on 9th July 2012. He is survived by three sons: Mr. Suhail Asrar, Mr. Saood Asrar Nadvi Azhari and Mr. Fahad Asrar and two daughters.
Following graduation in Islamic Studies from Darul Uloom, Deoband in 1964, Mr. Qasmi chose teaching as his career. Firstly he joined Madrasa Rahimia in Madhepura as a teacher. After resigning from Rahimia, in 1968 he joined Madrasa Badrul Islam of Begusarai district in Bihar. Although he was a teacher imparting religious education in the Madrasa; he didn’t confined himself within the four walls of Madrasa only. He involved himself in social and religious activities in the vicinity along with teaching. Whenever a social issue arose, he took it in his hand sincerely and wanted to resolve or to make sure that issue is in priority to be resolved by the concerned authority. In 1973, he resigned from Madrasa Bahrul Islam.
Due to Mr. Qasmi’s talent and social services on the ground, Jamiat Ulamai Hind (JUH) selected him in 1974 to render his services from Jamiat’s platform. The JUH being an old and respected organization in Indian society, he had chance to reach one and all on national level. He seized the opportunity and performed well the responsibilities assigned to him; until he became a valued and trusted member of the JUH. Later in 1980, he was elected as General Secretary of Jamiat Ulamai Hind. Under the umbrella of JUH, he played a conspicuous role in “Mulko Millat Bachao Movement”, “Protection of Aligarh Muslim University Movement” and “Protection of Muslim Personal Law Movement”.
Being in the JUH, he visited many villages, towns and cities of India to render his services throughout the country at the time of need on innumerable critical occasions fearlessly. As he served the community under the able leadership of his mentor Maulana Sayyid Asad Madani (1928-2006), ex-President of the JUH, for a long time being a member as well as the General Secretary of Jamiat, his works and services will be lauded for a long period. For his works and services, he was loved by the elders and members of Jamiat. In 1991, he separated his path from Jamiat.
All India Talimi-Wa-Milli Foundation
Later on, Sheikh Qasmi joined newly founded 'All India Milli Council' under the leadership of Qazi Muhahidul Islam Qasmi (1936-2002) ex-President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Working in the JUH and All India Milli Council, Qasmi had experienced that the main cause of Muslim community’s sufferings is lagging behind in the educational field. He, therefore, founded “All India Talimi Wa Milli Foundation” in 2000. The main objective of the Foundation was serving the nation working on the key issues of education and literacy. From the beginning, he started serving the people establishing religious and modern educational institutes. He set up dozens of educational institutes. He founded “Milli Girls School” especially for girls in Tappu, Tarabari Chowk, Kishanganj. About 500 girls are getting quality education in the school. This school is with hostel and all the modern facilities required. It is an exemplary and the first school of its kind in the area. It is playing a key role in imparting education amongst the girls.
Under All India Talimi Wa Milli Foundation, Mr. Qasmi also distributed relief materials among the victims of Tsunami and flood on several occasions. In last year flood of Bihar, when Kishanganj district and its vicinity were badly affected, he did his best in providing reliefs and personally meeting the victims to console them. It is clear crystal that setting up dozens of Madaaris and schools by Qasmi, under All India TalimiWaMilli Foundation, is great and prominent work which is unforgettable.
Columns and Write-ups
Sheikh Qasmi was a well-known Urdu columnist. As he was famous for his public talks and oratory, he was equipped with writing skills as well. When he was a learner at Darul Uloom, Deoband, he started writing articles and essays. His first and formal work which was published was “Muslim Personal Law Aur Hindustani Musalman” (Muslim Personal Law and Indian Muslims), as far as I know. He authored this book when he was educational in-charge at Madrasah Badrul Islam, Begusarai. When he was in Jamiat, along with performing other activities, he was the editor of its organ “Al-Jamiat” as well. He had been Chief Editor of “Milli Ittihad”of All India Milli Council for a long. He was so prominent Urdu columnist that his write-ups were being published almost in all Urdu newspapers and monthly magazines throughout India. Due to his significant view and thought, his articles sometimes found place even in some leading Arabic and English magazines after translation.
He compiled some books which are very useful and much relevant to the age. They include “Muslim Personal Law Aur Hindustani Musalman” “Mua’ashirah Aur Islam” “Islam Aur Musalmanon Ki Zimmedariyan”, “Sulagte Masa’ail”, “Hindustani Musalman: Masa’ail Aur Muzahmaten” and “Aurat Aur Muslim Mua’ashirah”. He wrote thousands of columns. If these are compiled, it will be in volumes. Especially if his religious and social columns are compiled, without doubt, it will serve the community a lot.
Public Talks and Speeches
Qasmi was one of the best public speakers. He was a brilliant and fluent orator. He was invited in several religious or social programmes as a speaker. The first time I listened to him in Daru lUloom, Deoband, when he was invited in a programme of “Sajjad Library” as a guest speaker in 2001. Currently, any big programme was not thought without his presence. His presence in a programme was the guarantee of the programme’s success. Because of his sincerity and pain for the community in his speeches, the people used to travel from a town to another one to listen to him. It was easy to invite him as he was very simple, humble and soft-spoken. Whenever he had time, he didn’t refuse to attend a programme either it was in a city or a remote village. He was seen attending programmes in the cities and villages alike. He had deep knowledge of the current affairs. Either he was speaking in the Parliament or a religious or social programmes, he used to speak with full understanding and confidence.
Politics is also a way where one finds the required resources to serve the nation. He, therefore, contested Lok Sabha elections several times from Kishanganj constituency. But luck was not with him, so he lost with a small margin of votes. In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he emerged as a strong candidate for Indian National Congress (INC). He got Lok Sabha ticket from the INC to contest and won the Kishanganj MP seat on its ticket. Currently he was a sitting MP as he retained the Kishanganj seat once again in 2014 defeating the BJP candidate, Dr. Dilip Kumar Jaiswal by a margin of 194,612 votes despite Prime Minister Mr. Modi’s wave was across the country.
As the MP, he made full effort to establish the branch of Aligarh Muslim University in Kishanganj. In the beginning, he had to struggle to acquire the required land for the branch. He was forced to give call to the public for agitation against the then Bihar state government of Nitish to get the land. The public listened to his call and participated in the agitation for seeking land for the branch. Even the public went on “MahaDharna” on 12th October 2010 in Kishanganj where lakhs of people gathered from different parts of Seemanchal under his leadership. Then Nitish government agreed to grant almost 224 acres land for the branch and the branch’s foundation stone was laid in the presence of the then Congress President, Mrs Gandhi, Nitish Kumar, CM of Bihar and other political and social leaders.
Humble and Selfless Servant
In his long life of social and educational works, Sheikh Qasmi had strong relation with many prominent people of different fields. But he never took the advantage of such relation by getting some favours or privileges for himself or for his near and dear ones. He himself held several prestigious posts; but he lived a very simple life. Either he was President of All India Talimi Wa Milli Foundarion, General Secretary of the JUH or Member of Indian Parliament, the people could not differentiate in his day-to-day life. He never liked a luxurious life. He remained always simple. His principle was “simple living and high thinking”.
It is suitable to mention here that Sheikh Qasmi took the oath of allegiance to Mufti Muzaffar Husain Mazahiri, ex-rector of Mazahir Uloom Waqf, Saharanpur, for his spiritual rectification. Mufti Sahib blessed him with Khilafa and authorized him to administer an oath of allegiance also. Following the death of Mufti Sahib, he joined Sheikhe Tariqat Sheikh Qamruz Zaman Allahabadi (Hafizahullah). Sheikh Allahabadi also granted him Khilafah. By these two of his mentors, he was trained in the way that he was hardly experienced showing pride and arrogance. In clear words, he was simple, humble, selfless and altruistic servant of the community.
The Tribute & Homage
Cutting a long story short, he worked sincerely in different fields as a social worker, an educationist, a religious guide, a columnist, an orator etc. His works and services were recognized. To pay tribute to his services and benefit from his wide experiences, many organisations and institutes selected him as its member. He was a member of Governing Body of prestigious Islamic University Darul Uloom, Deoband which is also his seat of learning. He was Court Member of Aligarh Muslim University. He was a valued member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Vice-President of All India Milli Council and founding President of All India Talimi Wa Milli Foundation. He has been twice Member of Indian Parliament from his home constituency, Kishanganj. He was patron of innumerable schools and Madrasas. He served the nation in general and the minority community in particular for more than half a century. May Allah reward him and grant him Jannah! It’s a short write-up to pay my tribute and homage and to present a glimpse of his life and services.
Learning the Mr. Qasmi’s death news, Bihar Chief Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar paid his homage through a press release. Lauding his contributions and giving due respect, Mr. Kumar also announced that Qasmi’s last rites would be performed with full state honours; which was refused politely by his family members to follow his will as he had wished to be buried with simplicity.
His funeral was led by Sheikh Anwarul Haque, rector of Darul Uloom, Bahadurganj in Milli Girls School, Talimabad, Tappu of district Kishanganj in Bihar. About two/three lakh people performed the funeral prayer. He was buried in his ancestral graveyard of his hometown. May the Almighty Allah forgive his human shortcomings and grant him eternal peace and the highest place in Jannatul Firdaus! My deepest condolence to the bereaved family! May Allah grant them patience and courage to bear this tremendous and irreplaceable loss! Ameen!
*Head: Islamic Department, Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa.
By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
Demise is such a naked truth that no one could deny it so far; be it a brave or a pure atheist. Death has held many towering personalities and low profile people down alike and will keep on doing the same to all living beings. When the fixed time of one’s life is over, he has to depart; willingly or unwillingly; he is busy reciting the Qura’an or performing Salaah in a Masjid. One will be defeated by the death either he is much beloved to Allah, liked by thousands of Allah's slaves or cursed in the sight of Allah. When the time of life is over, the angel of death finds its wanted man and he has to taste death; even if he is between two deep valleys of tall mountains, on the peak of Himalaya, living in a glass-built bungalow or is protected in a stone-built fort. The Almighty Allah mentions in His glorious Qura’an: “Every soul has to taste death.” (Aale-Imran, Verse: 185) The Exalted Allah further mentions in another place in His miraculous book: “Wherever you are, death will make its way to you, even if you are in fortified castles.” (Al-Nisaa, Verse: 78)
Following the order of the Supreme Lord, Haji Muhammad Abdul Wahhab Sahib left the mortal world for heavenly abode on Sunday, 18th November 2018. Haji Sahib was considered one amongst the most pious people. He spent more than two third of his life in the path of Allah worrying and struggling to guide His servants to the right path. Though he was not graduated formally from any Islamic institute, however worry, concern and pain in his heart -for the sake of the Ummah- were not less than what is found in the hearts of certified Islamic scholars. He spent his days and nights concerned about the well-being of the Ummah. The goal of his life was how to make people understand that whatever happens in the world happens with the will and command of Allah and nothing can take place without His will. The Almighty Allah had blessed him with height of popularity among the learned people and the masses equally. Allah had filled the hearts of His servants with love and affection for him. So he was loved and respected wholeheartedly by one and all.
Haji Sahib was a man of religious mind from the beginning of his life. He met Sheikh Ilyas Kandhlavi (1885-1944) -May Allah have mercy upon him!- in 1944. Then he devoted the rest of his life for the service of Dawah and Tabligh work started by Sheikh Kandhlvi in 1920. He worked almost six months in the company of Sheikh Kandhlavi. When Sheikh Kandhlavi passed away, he worked with his successors. He was so much influenced by this work of Tabligh that later he resigned from his job and dedicated full time to it.
After India’s partition, he migrated to Pakistan. Following the migration, he didn’t only work for Tabligh; rather it had become part and parcel of his life. In the beginning, he went to visit every province and villages of Pakistan; big or small for the purpose of Tableegh. He taught the common and illiterate people “Kalimah Tayyibah” and its meaning, the method of Wudhu, the significance and method of Salah. He also preached to them about the value of Ilm (Knowledge) and Zikr (remembering Allah), respect and honour for a Muslim and sincerity of intention. He also encouraged them to spare some time to go in the path of Allah to learn Deen, to practice and preach what they have learnt.
With the effort of Haji Sahib, headquarter of Tabligh was established in a remote, inaccessible and unknown place; Raiwind, situated 45 km far from Lahore. Before establishment of the Tablighi headquarter, Raiwind was a forested place. Basic facility of day-to-day life was unavailable there. It was difficult to find the eatable and drinkable things. The place, where Tabligh Headquarter is standing today, was earlier full of acacia as well as other different types of thorny trees. Now it is national headquarter of all Tabligh centers of Pakistan.
With the efforts of Haji Sahib the people, who were not well-versed in Islamic knowledge, understood the value of the noble work of Tabligh and started participating in its daily activities to learn and practice Deen. As a result of it, this noble work started almost in all mosques of Pakistan. Regional center of Tabligh came into existence in each city with his effort. Due to the hard-work and struggle of the people of Tabligh, uncountable men and women were guided to the right path of Deen.
Obviously it was the concern of Tablighi people which brought about a sea change in the lives of thousands of worldwide renowned personalities; like famous cricketer Saeed Anwar and well-known rock star singer Junaid Jamshaid, and instilled in them the interest of practice of Deen and revived the powder to act upon Islamic rulings and teachings.
Haji Sahib led the movement of Tabligh as third Ameer (Chief) continuously for 25 years until he breathed his last. In Pakistan the first person to be selected as Ameer was Haji Muhammad Shafi (1903-1971). Following his death, Haji Babu Basheer Ahmad (1919-1992) had been selected as the 2nd Ameer. After his sad demise, Haji Abdul Wahhab had been selected as the third Ameer unanimously. The third Ameer of Tablighi movement in Markaz Nizamuddin in India, Sheikh Inamul Hasan (1918-1995) made an International Governing Body comprising of 10 members from different countries for Tabligh activities to keep on functioning smoothly, as the efforts of Tabligh had spread all over the world. Haji Sahib had been nominated as a prominent member of the governing body by Sheikh Ina’amul Hasan (RA). Not only he visited the small or big villages of Pakistan; but he also travelled dozens of countries in the world for the work of Tabligh.
This would be surprising for many people to know that Haji Sahib used to address the gathering in Raiwind Headquarter almost five hours every day in different times. It was his daily schedule to address the gathering following Fajr Salah, instruct the people who are going in Jama’ah and to guide those coming back from Jama’ah. With punctuality, he participated in daily Mashwarah. Later he had stopped addressing the gathering on his health ground only. However when he was physically fit, he used to perform all duties of Jama’at as usual without complaining of his old age, tiredness or exhaustion.
Currently we met a Jama’at (No. 764) from Bhawalpur. They also described as eye witness that for all his old age and weakness, when Haji Sahib used to be physically fit, he attended all Tabligh activities and discharged all responsibilities. He participated in Mashwarah, guided the Jama’at which was going and talked to the Jama’at which came back from a Tabligh journey. They further said that currently when they started their seven month-long journey on 28th August 2018, Haji Sahib guided and instructed them regarding their objectives of going out in the path of Allah as he was then physically fit. It should be noted here that this Jama’at is working in the “Northern Province” of Zambia, Africa under the leadership of Mr. Khalid. The members of this Jama’at comprise of Mr. Shareef, Mr. Basheer, Mr. Abdur Razzaq, Mr. Qasim, Mr. Ali, Mr. Sajid and Mr. Yasir (a pharmacist). As they are eager to learn and practice Islam in their daily lives, they are also worried about how to raise the degree of Muslims’ faith, how to reform them and how to guide them to practice Islam fully in their lives.
Haji Sahib was not only involved in Tabligh activities; but he also worked for different Islamic organizations whenever he got chance. He participated in the movement of “Khatme Nubuwwah”. Similarly he worked as a member of “Majlise Ahrare Islam”. Then he was made the president of a chapter of Majlise Ahrare Islam in Buriwala.
“The Muslim 500” is an annual publication which gives place in its book every year to 500 most influential Muslim leaders from across the world. It was first published in 2009. Socially, educationally, economically, politically and religiously 500 most influential Muslim leaders from all over the world are selected every year, ranked and mentioned in the book. In 2014, Haji Sahib was ranked number 10th in the book. This ranking has nothing to do in the sight of Allah; but it is a clear mark that his sacrifices and struggles to please Allah are recognized, rather than a mere appreciation in this world only.
When Haji Sahib was a student at Islamia College, Lahore, he took the oath of allegiance to Sheikh Ahmad Ali Lahori (1887-1962), a famous commentator of the Glorious Qura’an for the sake of his self rectification and spiritual development. Later on, he took the oath of allegiance to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Raipuri (1878-1962). He was authorized by Sheikh Raipuri to administer an oath of allegiance and was counted one among his distinguished disciples.
Haji Sahib was originally from “Karnal” district of “Haryana” state in India. He was born in 1923 in Delhi, the capital city of India. Following completion of his primary religious education, he joined “Islamia College”, Lahore, a famous city of Pakistan. Following graduation, he started his career in civil service as Tahsildar (executive magistrate).
He was not blessed with any child. His wife had passed away several years back. Due to his old age and a physical unfitness, he had been unwell from time to time in the recent past years. He could not attend the annual Ijtima of 2018 because of his poor health. He was seriously ill as he was suffering from the diseases of kidney, breathing etc. He also suffered from Dengue fever few days ago. At that time he was admitted in a private hospital and kept in great care of specialists. As his worldly time was over, he breathed his last on Sunday, 18th November 2018 early in the morning in the hospital after protracted illness. He died 96 years old. His funeral prayer was led by Sheikh Nazrur Rahman after Maghrib Salah in Ijtima hall of Raiwind. Approximately 1,200,000 people participated in his funeral prayer and he was laid to rest in the graveyard of Raiwind. Now he is no more among us; however his invaluable services will always be remembered by one and all. May Allah accept his good deeds and grant him Jannatul Firdaus! Aameen!•••
*Head: Islamic Department, Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa.
Maulāna Muḥammad Sālim Qāsmi: Tracing the Legacy of His Theological Paradigms and Intellectual Dimensions
Muḥammadullah Khalīli Qāsmi
The Indian Subcontinent, which lies away from Arabia and where Islam spread much later by the non-Arabs conquerors, distinguishes itself for two major factors. First, for preserving the glory of Muslim rule and its splendid civilization that once dazzled the world from its cradles of Madinah, Damascus, Baghdad and al-Andalusia, as it coincided with Ottoman Caliphate which spread in the entire Arabia, Northern Africa and a good part of Eastern Europe. Second, for intellectual contributions to the Islamic literature and Muslim progressive thoughts which they made especially following the Fall of Baghdad and the devastation of Central Asia at the hands of the Mongols. And the harbinger of the second specialty of India was Quṭbuddīn Aḥmad ibn ‘Abd ar-Raḥīm al-Fārūqi al-Dehlawi (1703-1762), commonly known as Shāh Walīullāh Dehlawi, who was an outstanding Islamic scholar, muḥaddith, reformer, theologian, philosopher and historiographer.
Shāh Walīullāh Dehlawi was born at a juncture of history when on one hand the sun of Islamic dominion in India was steadily going to set and the centuries-old Eastern system was at the verge of total collapse, while on the other hand the Western countries rose from their long slumber dismantling the religious and traditional shackles, and powered by the scientific evolutions and machine revolution.
It is a great cause of pride for India that the son of Indian soil Shāh Walīullāh Dehlawi was the first personality of the Muslim World who comprehended the intellectual dangers and academic challenges that were harboured in the clouds of scientific revolutions. So, at one side, he addressed the internal issues of Muslim society and propounded the theory of ‘Fakku Kulli Nizām’ (reconstruction and revolutionization of old system) which aimed at striking a balance between different theological and religious thoughts (such as taking Shī’a and Sunni fractions close to each other and reconciliation between different sects originating due to differences in Fiqh and Taṣawwuf ) and purifying Muslim belief and practices from alien adulterations along with introducing the teachings of the Qur’an on wider scale Quran in the society and starting a comprehensive Islamic course that gave due place to the Quran, Hadith and Fiqh. While at the other side, he sensed the most imminent danger from outside which the Muslims were to face i.e. the scientific revolution that was going to render the religious traditions and thoughts as rotten, outdated rather beastly, and to give ‘reason’ top priority in all matters. So he embarked on an ambitious project of fortification of Islamic beliefs and practices that later appeared in the form of a rarest of rare masterpiece ‘Ḥujjat al-Allāh al-Bālighah’ (Conclusive Arguments from Allah).
Syed ‘Abul Ḥasan Ali Nadwi introduces this great work in the following words:
“The magnum opus of Shāh Walīullāh, Ḥujjat al-Allāh al-Bālighah, is a comprehensive and cogent work presenting a synthesis of the Islamic creed, devotions, transactions, morals, social philosophy, statecraft and spirituality. All these have been balanced and integrated in such a perfect manner that they appear to be jewels of the same necklace or links of the same golden chain. It also does not suffer from the usual weaknesses found in most of the old works, written apologetically or aggressively. This moderation and balance is the result of the Shah’s deep and wide knowledge of Ḥadīth and his bent of mind fostered by the study of the Prophet’s character as well as keeping company with pious and virtuous scholars. Few works can compare the compendious yet clear and cohesive exposition attempted in Ḥujjat al-Allāh al-Bālighah, which laid the foundation of a new dialectical theology for the modern age of reason. It is thus a work which can satisfy any truehearted man endowed with common sense, provided, of course, he can appreciate and ponder over the profound investigations of the Shāh. So far as we are aware there is no other work in any language known to us, written for the investigation of the truth of any religion on a rational basis or if it has been written, it has not come to light.”
Shāh Walīullāh Dehlawi not only extracted and explored the scientific and intellectual aspects of Sharī’ah issues, as this type of work was done by several scholars in the past, rather he laid down foundation stone of ‘Ilm Asrār al-Sharī‘ah (Rational Interpretation of Sharī‘ah), formulated its principles and introduced it as a branch of theology.
Ḥujjat al-Islām al-Imām Muḥammad Qāsim Nānotawi
The legacy of Shāh Walīullāh was transferred through his family and pupils until it transformed into a dynamic movement under the leadership of Ḥujjat al-Islām al-Imām Muḥammad Qāsim Nānotawi (1833-1880) at Deoband. Maulāna Nānotawi established Dārul Uloom and promoted the Walīullāhi mission. Though there are several groups in the Subcontinent that claim to have inherited the legacy of Shāh Walīullāh, but it is Deoband School of Thought which assimilated and accommodated nearly all aspects of Walīullāhi thoughts and transmitted it as per the mode and requirement of the time.
Shāh Walīullāh lived at time when scientific revolution was taking place in Europe and it was yet to reach the East, but Sheikh Nānotawi was born at the peak of scientific age when the world was roaring with scientific advancements and the atheistic rather anti-religious theories were dominating the intellectual world. The West rejected religion and considered it an obstacle in the way of development; since it was a fierce reaction to the Church which unleashed a series of unprecedented cruelty and barbarism against those who talked of the Science. The bloody tussle between the Church and the modernists divided Christianity into two major sects (Catholic and Orthodox) and as a result the religion was driven out from the society and politics. The West accorded all regard to ‘matter’ and kicked out ‘spirituality’ from social and political arena. All issues of human life were tested on the touchstone of ‘reason’ and those not fitting within its frame were rejected and labelled as conservatism and regress.
When the Science got introduced in the East it came with the same mentality of negating religion and weighing everything on of parameters of ‘reason’, even some great personalities fell prey to the Newton’s law of universal gravitation and started redefining even many of the established Islamic faiths and concepts which according to them were super-natural and metaphysical. So they in fact dared to deny beliefs about the likes of angels, waḥy, Jannat, Jahannam, mu’jizāt (miracles) etc.
This was a strange situation which was described by Mirza Asadullāh Khān Ghālib (1797-1869), the legendary Urdu poet, in a verse:
ĪmāN mujhe roke hai, jo khīnche hai mujhe kufr
Ka’bah mere pīchce hai, Kalīsa mere āge
The Faith restrains me, while disbelief pulls me hard
Behind me stands Ka’bah, and the Church is in front of me
A situation where the eastern religions and culture were caught between to either chose their past and remain subordinate or accept the new thoughts and lose their identity.
It was a highly alarming condition in the Muslim world as the Western Powers were fast galloping the Muslim lands and occupying their resources while the Muslims were losing power as well as courage in the face of the western political and intellectual onslaught. Out of inferiority complex, many Muslim intelligentsia and modern-educated individuals fell prey to the Western propaganda that now religion has become useless and irrelevant and only the Science has the remedy of all human problems. Such thoughts were fast spreading among the common people and they were beginning to get fed up of the religious traditions and tending to embrace atheism and materialism.
Had these thoughts had spread among the common people and got acceptance in the society, God forbid, the majority of Muslims would have lost their faith and turned infidels. But Allah Almighty, as per His promise of preserving the Religion, raised Muslim theologians who presented logical interpretations to Islamic terms and thoughts and restored the faith of Muslims in the original Islamic beliefs and teachings. The leader of the this movement was Ḥujjat al-Islām Maulāna Muḥammad Qāsim Nānotawi whose scholarly and precious theological contributions very successfully subdued the raging tides of atheism and naturalism. This is part of evolution and renovation process which Allah Almighty has bestowed Islam with, being a global and eternal religion for human being, it will need renovations in style and expression with the passage of time in order to suit the demands of time as well as to discard the rusts of time and space, so that it remains afresh and attracts the human intelligence as ever.
The most salient feature of Maulāna Nānotawi’s philosophical thoughts and theological contributions was that he elucidated them with living examples and promoted it to the contemporary scientific standards. He established the Islamic beliefs of tawḥīd, risālat, qiyāmat, jannat, jahannam etc as well as the Islamic teachings with irrefutable rational logics and conclusive arguments. His writings of on Islamic beliefs and teachings dispel the objections and doubts raised by the atheists, naturalists, Hindus and Christians alike.
The second most important feature is his moderate attitude towards different Schools of Thoughts among the Muslims. He wrote extensively on issues pertaining to Shī’aism, Taqlīd and many other issues that were disputed among Muslims, but he confined himself to academic discussions in sympathetic way and avoided adopting any harsh attitude. All his books dealing with disputed issued among Muslims very clearly indicate towards his moderate thinking and his respect even to opponents and adversaries. Rather he very openly advocated unity between Muslims and lamented at their dissents.
Haḍrat Nānotawi, on the other hand, established Darul Uloom Deoband and started a madrasa movement which met unprecedented success in Islamic history and brought about one of the greatest Islamic revolutions especially in the Indian Subcontinent and generally in the world over. As per the Walīullāhi mission, these madrasas focused on teaching the Qur’ānic sciences and Hadith literature with utmost attention. Haḍrat Nānotawi himself taught select disciples and produced a matchless team of scholars like Shaikh al-Hind Maulāna Maḥmūd Ḥasan, Maulāna Aḥmad Ḥasan Amrohwi and several others.
Ḥakīm al-Islām Qāri Muḥammad Ṭayyib Qāsmi (1897-1983)
There are several scholars who inherited the theological and intellectual legacy of Haḍrat Nānotawi and dispensed it as per the demand of their time, but the most prominent among them are Ḥakīm al-Ummah Maulāna Ashraf ‘Ali Thānwi (1863-1943), Shaykh al-Islām ‘Allāmah Shabbīr Aḥmad Uthmāni (1887-1949) and Ḥakīm al-Islām Maulāna Qāri Muḥammad Ṭayyib who was also his grandson.
Ḥakīm al-Islām Maulāna Qāri Muḥammad Ṭayyib, the former rector of Darul Uloom Deoband, was gifted with unique and multidimensional qualities of scholarship. He was a spokesperson of the Deoband School and a great interpreter of Qāsmi thoughts. He travelled widely across continents and transmitted the message of Islam to the world in the appealing and rationale style of Haḍrat Nānotawi. The modern educated class particularly enjoyed his academic and philosophical style of discourses and lectures.
He wrote extensively and contributed more than two dozen books on various Islamic topics. He had special mastery in discoursing the rational aspects of the Sharī'ah and in making the subjects concise and comprehensive. All his books are characterised by the interpretation of Islamic beliefs and practices in a rational style along with references from the Quran and Ḥadīth.
Khaṭīb al-Islām Maulāna Muḥammad Sālim Qāsmi (1926-2018)
Maulāna Muḥammad Sālim Qāsmi, the son of Ḥakīm al-Islām Maulāna Qāri Muḥammad Ṭayyib and great grandson of Ḥujjat al-Islām Maulāna Muḥammad Qāsim Nānotawi, not only had blood relations with his ancestors rather he inherited their intellectual legacy as well. He was a celebrated scholar of Islam, a great muḥaddith, theologian and proficient orator. He dedicated his entire life to the mission of his father and great-grandfather and was duly considered their interpreter and a spokesperson of Deoband School of Thought.
He inherited the characteristics of his noble ancestors that make up the overall identity of the Deoband School. He spent his life in teaching the Quran, Ḥadīth and Islamic theology. Theology was the subject of his special expertise and students flocked to his class in order to benefit from his lectures.
He contributed in the establishment of Darul Uloom Waqf in 1982, headed it in turbulent circumstances and managed to make it popular educational destination that attracts students from across the country. In 1996, he embarked upon a unique educational project ‘Jamia Deeniyat Deoband’ which offered Islamic education to students of schools and colleges through correspondence. This great project has a potential to bring about a revolution in the Muslim community.
He was an outstanding orator who travelled extensively across the country and even outside to deliver high profile lectures on various Islamic topics. He was duly called Khaṭīb al-Islām (the orator of Islam). His lectures were lucid, coherent and logical. He used short sentences and limited his lecture to only necessary details explaining the main points and avoiding unnecessary and irrelevant aspects. He used to speak from such intellectual height that only educated class could have grasp of the essence of his speech.
Interpretation of Islam in Rational Style
Maulāna Muḥammad Sālim Qāsmi was bestowed great in-depth scholarship and versatility. He enjoyed broad study, wisdom and insight. His lectures, speeches and writings reflect a unique style of interpreting Islam in a rational style and in line with the thoughts of Shāh Walīullāh and Maulāna Muḥammad Qāsim Nānotawi. This is the reason that he was called an interpreter of their thoughts and mission.
Due to busy teaching life in his early career and owing to extensive travels for lectures in later parts of his life he got little time to leave any academic contribution except some papers which he presented in seminars and conferences. Similarly some of his select speeches were published in two volumes. These academic contributions are indicative of his expertise in Islamic theology, rationality and prudence.
Maulāna Muḥammad Sālim Qāsmi was conferred with ‘Shāh Walīullāh Award’ by the prestigious Muslim think-tank Islamic Objective Studies. Similarly, he was given ‘Maulāna Muḥammad Qāsim Nānotawi Award’ in Turkey for his unmatched contribution in the field of theology and Islamic philosophy.
I’tidāl and Moderation
The second most prominent aspect of his personality was that he stuck to i’tidāl (moderation) even in extreme situations. Not only in his personal life, rather in other social and religious issues too, he maintained equilibrium between two extremes and avoided stands that could harm the social and religious fabric of the Ummah. This was the reason that he was popular among all sections of Muslims and enjoyed their trust. He served as Vice-President of All India Personal Law Board, President of Majlis Mushāwarat and Head of Islamic Fiqh Academy.
Maulāna Qāsmi observed that the abundance of schools of thoughts is not a worrisome issue, since schools of thoughts are born in communities that have abundance of knowledge and mental capacity to think. The Judaism and Christianity have only few branches and derivations through their thousands years of history. But Islam has many schools of thoughts as it enjoys treasures of the Quran and Sunnah which are a treasure of knowledge. This is the reason that there were schools of thoughts from the very beginning till near past, and we shall witness this phenomenon occurring in future too. But the important thing is to verify these schools of thoughts which are of two kinds. Some of them are openly wrong and they will be opposed with true arguments and evidences. But there are many others which can either be true or false. If you think it wrong you have to produce your evidences and refute their arguments; if the other party is convinced then OK, otherwise your duty to convey the truth is fulfilled. This was mentioned in Hadith that a mujtahid shall get double rewards if he reaches the truth, and even if he commits mistake and does not reach the truth, then also he will get single reward. (Hadith) Therefore, such differences among the Ummah should not cause disputes and malice among one another. This is the reason that difference of opinion was termed as mercy for the Ummah as it opens the doors of options and scopes for them.
The second key point that Maulāna Muḥammad Sālim Qāsmi (ra) presented is that Dīn (religion) is that which was revealed by Allah and which is free from the interference of human mind and which is free from differences; therefore only religion needs to be propagated and preached. The later things like Fiqhi madhāhib and schools of thoughts are products of human mind, so they will necessarily have differences of opinions and therefore they can be preferable but will not be preached and propagated like Religion. Only religion is madār-e-najāt (cause of deliverance in the hereafter), fiqhi schools and schools of thoughts are not madār-e-najāt. This is must to place each thing in its right position; otherwise there will be chaos and disturbance.
It is painful that the Ummah does not differentiate between these things and falls prey to disunity and disputes. If this principle is held with firm resolution, the Ummah can overcome its most dangerous disease of disunity.
At a time when Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1726) was laying the foundations for classical mechanics, explaining the law of gravity and the laws of motion which was going to herald an era of scientific revolution, Shāh Walīullāh (1703-1762) was laying the foundations of interpreting Islam in a rational style. He fortified the fort of Islam with necessary academic arsenals even before Charles Darwin (1809–1882) came and dominated the world with his theory of evolution against a backdrop of disbelief and scepticism.
Maulāna Muḥammad Qāsim Nānotawi was born at a critical time when owing to the modern scientific theories atheism and materialism ruled over the academic world and Europe was roaring with scientific revolution while the East was conquered by European explorers and invaders. So he embarked upon the high task of elucidating and consolidating the Walīullāhi mission. Later this Walīullāhi and Qāsmi mission was forwarded and expanded by a group of Ulama, especially Ḥakīm al-Islām Qāri Muḥammad Ṭayyib Qāsmi (1897-1983). Then the most prominent scholar of the next generation, Maulāna Muḥammad Sālim Qāsmi upheld this movement and continued to foster it with his pen and tongue.
If we look back at series of events in the religious and spiritual world, the sun of Islam faced eclipses during these crucial times, but by virtue of the intellectual efforts it came out dazzling brighter. There is a strong affinity between these events and the movement of Ahmad al-Fārūqī al-Sirhindī (1564–1624) known as Mujaddid Alf Thāni by virtue of whose efforts the Dīn-e-Akbari, the deadliest fitnah of the millennium led by Mughal Emperor Jalāluddīn Muḥammad Akbar (1542-1605), was reverted and later the Mughal throne was inherited by pious rulers like Jahāngīr (reign 1605 – 1627), Shāhjahān (reign 1628 – 1658) and Aurangzeb Ālamgīr (reign 1658 – 1707). In the same way, the modern science first gave Islam a tough challenge and promoted atheisms and materialism with its fullest strength, but with the passage of time and due to its inherent nature of change it lost vigour and attraction and fell upside down. The theories of Newton and Darwin collapsed totally and new theories replaced them slowly. Now the modern science is not only going smoothly with Islam rather it is supporting Islamic beliefs and practices. Thanks to the insightful leadership of great Ulama who defended Islam in the best possible manner and safeguarded the Muslim faith. This is the reason that the Deoband School, which is the centre of Walīullāhi Movement, left its impact throughout the world and now it is one the strongest, rather the strongest movement of the Muslim World.
 For Shia-Sunni issues, please refer to his book Izālat al-Khifa fi Khilāfat al-Khulafa.
 His two outstanding works Inṣāf fi Bayān Sabab al-Ikhtilāf and Al-‘Iqd al-Jīd fi Aḥkām al-Ijtihād wa al-Taqlīd deal with the issues of taqlīd and different branches of Fiqh in which he tried to bring two extremist groups closer. Similarly, in several books, especially Maktūb-e-Madani he reconciled between the two groups of Taṣawwuf who contended each other over the theories of waḥdat al-wujūd and waḥdat al-shuhūd, while in his book al-Tafhīmāt al-Ilāhiyah he discussed Taṣawwuf issues in great detail.
 Syed Abul Ḥasan Ali Nadwi, Saviours of Islamic Spirit, (Academy of Islamic Research & Publications, Lucknow) Vol. IV, PP 156-157
 For details see: Tafsīr al-Qurab by Sir Syed Aḥmad Khān; an analytical survey of Sir Syed‘s views can be seen in Taṣfiyat al-‘Aqāyid by Haḍrat Maulāna Muḥammad Qāsim Nānotawi; Ulūm al-Qurān by Mufti Muḥammad Taqi Uthmāni (Deoband, 2002) pp 372-388 and Afkār-e-‘Ālam by Asīr Adrawi (Darul Uloom Deoband, 2008) vol. 1 pp 294-298.
 Among the works of Haḍrat Nānotwai, Taqrīr Dilpadhīr, Ḥujjat al-Islām, Intiṣār al-Islām, Qibla Numa and Taḥdhīr al-Nās deal with subjects related to Islamic beliefs and teachings, while Barahīin Qāsmiya, Rūdād Melakhuda Shanāsi, Tuḥfa Laḥmiya etc refute the Christian and Hindu beliefs and practices.
 His books Hidāyat al-Shī’ah and Fuyūḍ-e-Qāismiya contain discourses on issues related to Shī’aism, Bid’āt, while Laṭāyif Qāsmi, Tauthīq al-Kalām, al-Ḥaq al-Ṣarīḥ deal with issues related to Ghair Muqallids and Taṣfiyat al-Aqāyid contains the answers of some beliefs of Sir Sayed Aḥmad Khān.
 Some of his most valuable contributions are: al-Tashabbuh fi al-Islām, Science awr Islām, Aṭyab al-Thamar fi Mas’alat al-Qaḍa wa al-Qadr, Falsafa-e-Namāz, Kalimāt-e-Ṭayyibāt, Maqāmāt-e-Muqaddasa , Dīn-o-Siyāsat, Islāmi Musāwāt, Khāt al-Nabiyyīn, Islām awr Masīḥi Aqwām, al-Ijtihād wa al-Taqliīd, Uṣūl-e-Da’wat-e-Islām, Fiṭri Ḥukūmat, Naẓriya-e-Do-Qur’ān per Aik Naẓar, Islām mein Akhlāq ka Niẓām, Ulamā-e-Deoband ka Dīni Rukh awr Maslaki Mizāj etc.
 Opening Address, 17th Fiqhi Seminar of Islamic Fiqh Academy India, Burhānpūr on 5 April 2008, p 26
 Ibid, pp 26-28
Dr. Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi Sambhali
Safar al-Muzaffar is the second month the Hijri (Lunar) calendar succeeding Muharram and preceding Rabi I. Muslims should perform their worships as usual like they do in any other months, because no specific type of prayer, whether obligatory or supererogatory, has been specifically prescribed in this month. It is just like other months. Accordingly, to believe that disasters and calamities befall in this month is erroneous. During the time of ignorance, people believed it to be an ill-fated month. They would not set out on a journey in this month. It is a matter of grief that the erroneous and unsound belief of the time of ignorance has been into the social media which is widely shared by our own brethren. Besides many merits of social media, it has numerous demerits as well. One such demerit is that a considerable number of people without reading or ascertaining the truthfulness of the messages forward them to others. These messages contain matters believed to have been said by Allah’s messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) which he actually never said in his life. This is despite the fact that severe warnings have been reported in ahadith for such act. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: “Whoever tells lies about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.” (Bukhari). This saying of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) has been narrated in various books of hadith. This means Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) has prohibited from this act many times. Therefore, one should never forward anything reported to have been said by Allah’s messenger (PBUH) without ascertaining its trustworthiness. Likewise, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: “It is enough for a man to prove himself a liar when he goes on narrating whatever he hears.” (Muslim). In another Hadith, Allah’s messenger (PBUH) said: “Whoever narrates a Hadith from me and it is false, then he is one of the liars.” (Muslim)
Allah’s messenger ( صلى الله عليه وسلم) refuted such false belief before 1400 years. The most authentic book of hadith has narrated a saying of Allah’s messenger (PBUH) in these words: Translation of Meaning: “Nor is there any bad omen in the month of Safar”. In fact, the omen is in the deed of a human being that he disobeys the Creator of the universe, despite the fact that he needs the order of Allah, the almighty for his very existence. There will surely come a day when he will taste the death following which he shall have to give the account of each and every moment to Allah, the Almighty. Accordingly, whatever time spent in a way contrary to the commandments of Allah, the Almighty is, in fact, ominous, and not a specific month or day. Therefore, anybody doing good deeds in the month of Safar it will be the reason behind this Safar’s being the month of bliss and blessing. Likewise, the times and months in which he does bad deeds will be ominous for him. For example, some people perform prayer of Fajr at the time prescribed for it while some people remain sleeping without any justifiable reason skipping the prayer, then the same moment is a source of success and bliss for some while it is ominous for some others. This means there is no bad omen that lies in a specific moment or month, rather it depends upon our deeds. In a Qudsi hadith Allah, the Almighty says: “The offspring of Adam abuse the Dahr (Time), and I am the Dahr; in My Hands are the night and the day.” (Bukhari) Some people influenced by the events of time, prompt to curse the time, while the time does nothing, but it is by the order and consent of Allah, the Almighty that the events of the time occur.
No single verse of the Holy Quran or a hadith of Allah’s messenger (PBUH) says there is bad omen in the month of Safar or disasters or misfortunes befall in this month. Therefore, the whole Muslim nation is unanimous that the month of Safar is similar to other months having no bad omen. A number of events in the Prophet’s biography in addition to marriages of a number of the Prophet’s companions as well as entry into the fold of Islam have been reported to have occurred in this month. We should also apply our mind and think how can a month or time be ominous? Rather the month of Safar has been named as “Safar Al-Muzaffar” means the month of success. Then how a month having the meaning of goodness and success can be ominous? Some people, thinking that Allah’s messenger (PBUH) fell sick in the first thirteen days of Safar, do not arrange a marriage party during this month. This is erroneous, for there is no such teaching in the Quran and hadith. In addition, research proves that Allah’s messenger (PBUH) did not fall sick in the starting days of Safar rather at the end of Safar and in the early days of the Month of Rabi I he had fallen sick and subsequently died on 12th of Rabi I.
Some ignorant people celebrate joyfully on the last Wednesday of Safar and distribute sweets. Such celebration has no place in the Islamic Shariah. This has got currency among the people erroneously believing Allah’s messenger (PBUH) was cured that day, which is totally wrong. On the contrary, some narrations mention the worsening health condition of Allah’s messenger (PBUH). Therefore, the last Wednesday cannot be a day of joyful celebration for the Muslims. This may be the case with the Jews and Christians and it may likely have been rumoured by them. Like the Muslims of the whole world, the stand of the Muslims of all schools of thought in the subcontinent is that there is no bad omen in the month of Safar. One can contract marriage etc in this month, and celebrating joyfully on the last Wednesday of Safar is not a religious act rather it is contrary to the teachings of Allah’s messenger (PBUH).
These days, the trend of forwarding messages on social media has become a trend which is becoming more prevalent at a very fast pace, seldom taking care to go through them or ascertain as to the contents of these message are sound or based on bundle of lies, prompting many of us to hasten to forward them to others. This is despite the fact that messages are not meant for forwarding rather they are sent for reading. We are not allowed to forward a message containing erroneous information, especially when it is related to religious information. This is because in this way we would have forwarded erroneous information to others. For example, sometimes we receive a message advising us to forward five names of Allah, the Almighty to any eleven Muslims in order to have our greatest problems resolved. Likewise, if such and such message is forwarded to such and such number of people we will be awarded paradise. Sometimes the message says that only that person will not forward this message who does not love Allah, the Almighty and His Messenger, etc. Such messages have no significance or relevance in Islam, rather these are in general based on falsehood and fabrication.
Nowadays, we use social media for the cause of education and learning. This is a blessing of Allah, the Almighty provided that we use it in a sound manner. However, some people seeing the colourful look of a message hasten to forward it to others without ascertaining its soundness. As such, if a message containing erroneous information is forwarded, and it gets currency among the people, all those facilitating it will earn a sin. Therefore, we should not forward any religious material without ascertaining its soundness, as mentioned above in the light of the ahadith of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Beware, whatever a person speaks or writes is being continuously written in his record of deeds, as Allah, the Almighty says: “Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it). (Surah Qaf: 18)
The Islamic history is witness to the fact that Islam and Muslims have incurred heavy losses due to the dissemination of false news. For example, at the occasion of the battle of Uhud, the news of the martyrdom of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was rumoured, sending a wave of shock among the ranks of Muslims, leading to the repercussions detailed in history books. Likewise, at the occasion of the battle of Banu Mustaliq, the hypocrites made a slander against Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her), that had an adverse effect even on Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). At the beginning, it was rumoured by the hypocrites which subsequently took a toll on some righteous persons among the Muslims due to their ignorance. At last Allah, the Almighty sent down a verse in the Holy Quran acquitting her of the accusation levelled on her. In this verse Allah, the Almighty dispraised those who spread the rumour trying to tarnish the respectful image of Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her). Allah, the Almighty says: “Verily! those who brought forth the slander (against 'Aishah radhiallahu'anhu the wife of the Prophet SAW) are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment. (Surah An-Noor: 11)
Likewise, some websites conduct referendum polls (opinion survey) on some topics relating to Islam. Some brothers get obsessed by their religious zeal and take part exerting a handsome amount of their abilities in it. In general, almost all such websites are used to propagate against Islam. We should not pay any attention to such websites. Allah, the Almighty says: “O you who believe! If a Fasiq (liar — evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done. (6). (Surah Al-Hujraat: 6). Likewise, Allah says: “Verily, those who like that audacious (leading to illegal sexual activities) should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows, and you know not. (19) (Surah Al-Noor: 19).
In brief: Besides using the social media for the purpose of personal, educational, social and commercial correspondence, we should use it excessively for the purpose of propagation and dissemination of the message of Islam and Prophetic sciences. This is because, at present, this is a media through which we can deliver our message to others easily, otherwise the electronic, as well as the print media, is in general in the hands of Anti-Muslim forces. If you receive a message containing religious information from a reliable source, you should go through it and forward it to others as much as you can so that the message of Islam and its sciences are spread at a large scale. However, if you receive any message from an unreliable source, you should not forward it without ascertaining its soundness. No single hadith has been reported on the topic of bad omen in the month of Safar, nor has a reliable Islamic scholar accepted it. Therefore, do not forward such types of messages to others, rather delete them promptly.
Rahimia Magazine (October,2016)
Author: Mr. Wasim Ejaz, Karachi
Translation: Mr.Faisal Zaheer, Karachi
The Waliullahi movement played a leading role in the freedom movement of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. It remained at the forefront of every effort even in extremely unfavorable circumstances. An important member of this movement is Maulana Mamlook Ali Nanotvi (RA). He was born in 1788 CE in Nanota, District Saharanpur. After obtaining initial education in his native village, he moved to Delhi and entered the tutelage of Maulana Rasheed ud Din Khan (RA), a student of Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlvi (RA). Later on, Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) started teaching in Delhi.
Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) was appointed lecturer at Delhi College in 1825 CE. He rendered his educational services at the college for approximately 25 years. His students include the following notables along with many other acclaimed scholars who played a leading role for this nation and made innumerable sacrifices for our freedom:
Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi (RA)
Hazrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (RA)
Maulana Muhammad Mazhar Nanotvi (RA) (Lecturer at Ajmer College and founder of Madrasa Mazahir ul Uloom Saharanpur)
Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanotvi (RA)
Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Nanotvi (RA) (Lecturer at Banaras and Bareli colleges)
Maulana Zulfiqar Ali Deobandi (RA) (Deputy Inspector for Madaris)
Shams ul Ulama Muhammad Hussain Azad
Molvi Zaka Ullah (The renowned historian)
Being a member of Waliullahi movement, Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) had strong connections with the populace. He was respected and revered by the masses as well as scholars. For his services in the field of education, Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) was awarded with “Khilat Seh Parchah” in 1845 CE.
In the aftermath of the Balakot movement, Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA) relocated the headquarters of Waliullahi movement to Makkah. This was done in order to deal with unfavorable circumstances of the subcontinent and plan for the future. Since domain of Waliullahi movement was Indo-Pak subcontinent, it was imperative that: A system should be put in place to ensure communication with activists in India, and Ideological and educational efforts in India should continue.
Another objective was establishment of a new organizational system through propagation of the objectives of Waliullahi movement. Imam Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA) employed the commendable scheme for attainment of this objective and formed a consultative board of Waliullahi leaders. The president of this board was Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) while other members of this board included Maulana Qutub ud Din (RA) (successor of Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA)), Maulana Muzaffar Hussain Kandehlvi (RA) (student of Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA)) and Maulana Abdul Ghani Mujaddidi Dehlvi (RA).
Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) was an employee of a government madrassa (Delhi College). Under his supervision, the Dehli based independence struggle could continue its course without any suspicion surveillance of British Intelligence. Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) needed assistance from indigenous associates, and these were provided by Imam Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA) by constituting a board where all the matters were resolved in a democratic manner. Throughout the struggle for independence of subcontinent, democratic norms and culture were the hallmark characteristic of Waliullahi movement. Another reason for this arrangement of consultation was the aftermath of the Balakot movement. People who were associated with this movement across India and especially in Delhi were facing numerous hardships inflicted by the British Government. In these circumstances, it was pertinent that a board comprising of capable individuals should work consultatively for solution of problems and for strengthening of communication channels among the trained associates.
It was the efforts of this board, under the leadership of Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA), which made possible the establishment of an educational institution at Deoband on the model of Delhi College. After Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA), Imam Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlvi (RA) sent Haji Imdad Ullah Muhajir Makki (RA) as his successor to India for furthering the efforts of Waliullahi movement. Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) developed very close friendship with Haji Imdad Ullah Muhajir Makki (RA). It was the efforts for establishment of a team by these revered elders which – after the Balakot movement – trained and nurtured the future leaders who participated wholeheartedly in the War of Independence of 1857 CE. Essentially, the fundamental community had already been established under the leadership of Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA). Later on, under the leadership of Haji Imdad Ullah Muhajir Makki (RA), this community advanced the freedom movement and even risked their lives for liberation of our beloved homeland. This leadership played a prominent role in the Battle of Shamli and became a role model for the future generations.
In addition to playing a leading role in the freedom movement, Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) also authored and translated several books including Jame Tirmizi, Tehreer e Aqlidus (Writings of Euclid), Tareekh e Yamini and Arbi Khat (Arabic Script). In his autobiography “Tazkirah tur Rasheed”, Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (RA) has paid tribute to Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) in the following words: “after arriving at Delhi College in the service of Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA), we were thoroughly satisfied and completed numerous books in a very short period of time. It was as if the teacher had made us fully capable of absorbing all the knowledge. At that time, there were many competent teachers in Delhi, but those who had total command over the meanings of the content and could make the student understand it were our teachers Maulana Mamlook Ali (RA) and Mufti Sadaruddin Azurdah (RA).”
Maulana Mamlook Ali’s (RA) services will always be remembered as a significant milestone of the Waliullahi movement. His lead an exemplary life: he was an educator par excellence and was also a leading and prominent member of the freedom movement. He passed away on 7th October, 1851 CE after suffering from jaundice for 11 days. He is buried adjacent to Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Aziz Shakkarbar (RA) in Shah Wali Ullah Dehlvi’s (RA) family graveyard. May Allah grant us the ability to follow in the footsteps of these Waliullahi role models and to struggle for the establishment of a just society. (Amen!)
We are not sure if Eidul Fitr is declared in Delhi for Friday, 15 June, following 29 days of Ramadhan, will it be for Mumbai too because then they will have observed only 28 days of Ramadhan and in the lunar calendar a complete month is either of 29 or 30 days only?
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi*
From the early days of Islam, Hilal, Crescent in English, is very significant in all Muslims' social and religious functioning across the globe. The Islamic or Hijrah calendar, which began from the day when Prophet Mohammad (saws) first set for Hijrah (migration journey) with his friend Abu Bakr from Makkah to Madinah on 12/13 September 622 CE, is officially followed by most Muslim countries in the world. This is lunar calendar and revolves around the moon sighting in each month. Similarly all major Muslim festivals and worship like the beginning of the month of Ramadhan, Eidul Fitr, Hajj and Eidul Adha are actually based on moon sighting around the world.
The 57 OIC member states or Muslim countries, including 22 Arab nations, have developed some sorts of moon sighting mechanism. Among them are Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Malaysia, which are equipped with advanced technological means and both astronomical and religious resources to deal with one of the very important issues of Muslims – the new moon or the crescent which impacts their day-to-day business as all as religious practices. Majority of independent gulf countries, though place their own means to see the Eid and Ramadhan crescent, they follow the announcement from Saudi Arabia only.
One hardly finds any dispute among the citizens of a Muslim country with Ramadhan or Eid moon. All citizens of a country, at least, begin fasting with unity and celebrate Eids together without much botheration about moon sighting as how, where and who sighted the new moon. This is mainly because the moon sighting mechanism there is unified and controlled by the governments under the supervision of expert scholars. The case was the same in India too in the pre-British Muslim era with even a larger size and landscape of the country.
The modern India with nearly 180 million Muslims living here, which is 11 percent of total 1.8 billion world Muslim population and roughly half of the total population of 22 Arab League countries put together, could not develop a system with all easy means of communication and advanced technology of twenty first century era by which one country one date, one day of Eid, same day of beginning of Ramadhan for all Muslims and a same day of national holiday can be assured for all Indians. The religion of Islam in India is as old as it has been in any Arab country. The shores of Malabar in the South and the coast of Konkan in the West found the light of Islam as early as during the life time of Prophet Mohammad (saws) in 624 CE and during the reign of second caliph Umar bin al-Khattab (634 – 644 CE) respectively.
This year in 2018 the Islamic month of Ramadhan began in two different dates in India and this can be the case with Eidul Fitr too. The metro city of Mumbai along with a few adjacent cities to it and some other places here and there began fasting on Friday, that was 18 May and rest of the country from South to North and from East to West began their Fast on Thursday, 17 May, 2018. The new moon for the month of Ramadhan was sighted in three Southern states of India – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana on Wednesday, 16 May besides Kerala, which generally follows Saudi Arabia in matters of moon sighting, Arab countries and other neighboring Muslim countries. The Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad Hilal Committees, therefore, officially made announcements for the beginning of the month of Ramadhan from Thursday, 17 June, so was the announcements from Riyadh, Kabul and Islamabad.
The Indian Hilal Committees in rest of India like Imarat-e Shariah Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa, Jamiat Ulama-e Hind and the Central Hilal Committees of Jama Masjid Delhi and Nakhoda Masjid, Kolkata after due consideration went with South Indian announcements thus declared Thursday, 17 May, the first day of Ramadhanul Mubarak for the year 1439 AH or 2018 CE. On the other hand, the Hilal Committees of Mumbai both from Deobandi and Barelvi schools rejected announcements from southern states and did not consider witnesses or proofs of moon sighting from that part of India positively thus they declared on 16 May that the moon of Ramadhan was not sighted this evening, therefore, the first day of Ramadhan would be on Friday, 18 May, 2018 only.
This, however, was again rejected by Ahle Hadith group in Mumbai which officially went with its main body in Delhi and declared 17 June, Friday, as the first day of Ramadhan. Members of Ahle Hadith School in Mumbai and a few individuals from Deoband School who did not find the decision of Central Hilal Committee of Jama Masjid Mumbai convincing went with rest of India and observed Fast from Thursday. Mumbai itself is a divided city as far as beginning of Ramadhan is concerned in this 2018, majority of Muslim Mumbaikers began fasting from 18 June, Friday, but a section of Muslims within the city did observe Roza from the previous day.
The pertaining question arises here is, why this is so? If Hilal Committees situated as far as in Guwahati, Kolkata, Patna, Lucknow and Delhi find it acceptable to go with Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, then why the same Hilal Committees of Mumbai who are just a few hundred kms away from some of these South Indian cities find it unacceptable? If rest of India considers the Crescent in the sky over the Indian city of Chennai is same for whole of India then why some of the members of Mumbai Hilal Committees make it an issue and decide otherwise? Are these gentlemen religiously and scientifically capable enough to make such a bold overturn which impacts millions? They might have, of course, some arguments to put forth but the main issue is not done. There is a confusion among common Muslims, when will be Eid and whom to follow.
Something is seriously wrong somewhere. Muslims of India need to fix it sooner than later and once for all. At one point of time both Mumbai and rest of India cannot be right or wrong in the same issue with different decisions. One party is right and the other one is obviously wrong, this is common sense.
This is uncalled for and against beautiful unity of Islam that two Muslims living as neighbors in the same city but one is fasting and the other is celebrating Eid! There is no complication in Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence) in this issue. Muslim scholars have unanimously resolved the issue of moon sighting much earlier in India. The Hanafi school of Fiqh which is followed by majority Muslims in Indian sub-continent makes it clear that matla (astronomic boundary of moon) will be considered same for an entire country. Therefore, moon sighted in Karnataka or Chennai will be considered for all of India. The same is placed in the constitution of Central Hilal Committee of Jama Masjid Mumbai under article No 12, it reads: “(A) the difference in Mataly (plural of matla) is valid. (B) Our country India is a single matla.”
It is obviously clear that the problem is not with Islamic text, nor with Fiqh, it may be with the understanding or explanation of the text by certain individuals. Hence, this whole mess of Roza beginning in different dates within India and subsequently a possible Eid on different days in Delhi and Mumbai is a creation of various Hilal Committees which cropped up like unwanted plants in the rainy season on streets at all major district centers, big cities and the states of India. We have a Hilal Committee in Kishanganj of Bihar which makes announcement contrary to what the one in Patna has done from Bihar’s capital city. Similarly, Bhatkal of Karnataka and Malegaon of Maharashtra have their own Hilal Committees in addition to those in their capital cities. Pune which is just 150 kms from Mumbai has a different Hilal Committee which decided to begin with Ramadhan Fast from 17th June this year, with rest of India, and did not follow Mumbai.
The issue has been of lack of coordination and trust among various Hilal Committees in India. There seems to be a race of branding and marketing among some Muslims NGOs with this pure spiritual issue of moon sighting as whose letterhead would go first in public with a text message for media and social networking groups with news of the Crescent either sighted or not sighted, hereby the particular name of NGO avails popularity.
Muslim Indians can permanently resolve this serious issue by adopting one of the following three options:
Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, with pan India mass bases, and All India Muslim Personal Law Board, an umbrella body with members from all Muslim sects, may initiate the process if they wish to keep it free from government influence. Else now or then a Central Government will take the call to settle the boiling issue without much opposition from common Muslims.
*M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
Editor, English monthly Eastern Crescent, Mumbai
Director, Markazul Ma'arif Education and Research Centree
Patliputra Nagar, Oshiwara, Jogeshwari (W), Mumbai - 102
I shared this post from Sumayya B Willaimson's timeline...
Please read and forward it to all Muslims Who ask for gender equality.
Question posed By Sister Sarah was:
*On March 18, 2005 Amina Wadud led the first female-led Jumu`ah Prayer. On that day, women took a huge step towards being more like men. But, did we come closer to actualizing our God-given liberation?*
Thank you for your inspiring question!
Well, answering your question, I can say that I don’t think so.
What we so often forget is that God has honored women by giving them value in relation to God—not in relation to men. But as Western feminism erases God from the scene, there is no standard left but men.
As a result, the Western feminist is forced to find her value in relation to a man. And in so doing, she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man—the standard.
When a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man joined the army, she wanted to join the army, and so on. She wanted these things for no other reason than because the “standard” had it.
What she didn’t recognize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness, not their sameness. And on March 18, Muslim women made the very same mistake.
For 1,400 years, there has been a consensus of scholars that men are to lead prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads prayer is not spiritually superior in any way.
Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading Prayer is not better just because it is leading.
Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn’t the Prophet have asked Lady `A’ishah or Lady Khadijah, or Lady Fatimah—the greatest women of all time—to lead?
These women were promised heaven and yet they never led prayer.
But now, for the first time in 1,400 years, we look at a man leading prayer and we think, “that’s not fair.” We think so, although God has given no special privilege to the one who leads. The imam is no higher in the eyes of God than the one who prays behind him.
On the other hand, only a woman can be a mother. And the Creator has given special privilege to a mother. The Prophet taught us that heaven lies at the feet of mothers. But no matter what a man does, he can never be a mother. So why is that not unfair?
When asked who is most deserving of our kind treatment? The Prophet replied “your mother” three times before saying “your father” only once. Isn’t that sexist? No matter what a man does, he will never be able to have the status of a mother.
And yet even when God honors us with something uniquely feminine, we are too busy trying to find our worth in reference to men, to value it or even notice it. We too have accepted men as the standard; so anything uniquely feminine is, by definition, “inferior”.
Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a mother is a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and selfless compassion (considered feminine), rationality reigns supreme.
As soon as we accept that everything a man has and does is better, all that follows is just a knee jerk reaction: if men have it, we want it too. If men pray in the front rows, we assume this is better, so we want to pray in the front rows too.
If men lead prayer, we assume the imam is closer to God, so we want to lead prayer too.
Somewhere along the line, we’ve accepted the notion that having a position of worldly leadership is some indication of one’s position with God.
A Muslim woman does not need to degrade herself in this way. She has God as a standard. She has God to give her value; she doesn’t need a man here.
In fact, in our crusade to follow men, we, as women, never even stopped to examine the possibility that what we have is better for us. In some cases, we even gave up what was higher only to be like men.
Fifty years ago, we saw men leaving the home to work in factories. We were mothers. And yet, we saw men doing it, so we wanted to do it too. Somehow, we considered it women’s liberation to abandon the raising of another human being in order to work on a machine.
We accepted that working in a factory was superior to raising the foundation of society—just because a man did it.
Then after working, we were expected to be superhuman—the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, and have the perfect career. And while there is nothing wrong, by definition, with a woman having a career, we soon came to realize what we had sacrificed by blindly mimicking men.
We watched as our children became strangers, and soon recognized the privilege we’d given up.
And so only now—given the choice—women in the West are choosing to stay home to raise their children. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only 31 percent of mothers with babies, and 18 percent of mothers with two or more children, are working full time.
And of those working mothers, a survey conducted by Parenting Magazine in 2000, found that 93 percent of them say they would rather be home with their kids, but are compelled to work due to “financial obligations.”
These “obligations” are imposed on women by the gender sameness of the modern West and removed from women by the gender distinctiveness of Islam.
It took women in the West almost a century of experimentation to realize a privilege given to Muslim women 1,400 years ago. Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I’m not, and in all honesty, don’t want to be—a man.
As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men and value the beauty in our own God given distinctiveness.
If given a choice between stoic justice and compassion, I choose compassion. And if given a choice between worldly leadership and heaven at my feet, I choose heaven.
I hope my words answer your question. In case you have any comment or you need more about the topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.
Thank you and please keep in touch.
_Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
This is the tragedy of our time that our youths are bent on accepting every glitter of the modern era as fashion and symbol of progress. There are many things that, at first sight, seem odd, strange and indecent, but with the gust of advertisements, media coverage and competitions of commercial institutions it is made in to a popular fact. In recent years, a new phenomenon has spread among the youths - males and females alike – to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a holiday dedicated to lovers. This celebration was rarely known by any Indian youth some decades ago, though it might have been celebrated in western world.
St Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February by sending greeting cards or gifts to express love to one’s beloved. The cards are generally designed with hearts to symbolize love. Now, the craze of celebrating St Valentine’s Day is increasing year by year in Asian countries, especially developing nations like India. As the Valentine’s Day approaches nearer florists pile up love cards, gifts and bounties of flowers, the general stores sell Valentine chocolates, cakes and other gifts. The barbers cut hearts into men's head hair, restaurants promote Valentine's Day dinners. Newspapers publish romantic and flirting messages. The satellite channels are not lagging behind even an inch; they present special features and organize love-letter competitions. Internet dating services enjoy a rise in surfing and telecommunication companies record high surge in outgoing and incoming calls.
This phenomenon is spreading many unholy things and in our society as well the mind of younger generation. Of course, love is a natural feeling and valuable asset of human life, but not the love that spoils their life and involves many other wrong aspects.
Baseless Historical Background
There is a lot of debate and disagreement among scholars about the origin of Valentine’s Day. However, this is certain that this is celebrated in the memory of some Valentine. Also, this is another historical fact that there have been more than one Valentines who were martyred in early centuries of Christianity.
But, as far as the matter of its origin is concerned it goes back to ancient Rome before the Romans embraced Christianity. In ancient Rome, there was celebrated a holiday on February 14th in the honour of Juno Fructifier, Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. The other day on February 15, they celebrated the feast of Lupercalis which was originally a festival of shepherds, and was primarily for the purpose to secure fertility for the fields, the flocks, and the shepherds themselves. There were many myths associated with this festival and many dirty rituals were performed.
When Christianity spread in Rome, the celebration of the pagan festivals persisted among them. The Christian Romans continued to celebrate these festivals, until came Pope Gelasius I who abolished Lupercalis and declared in 496 that the feast of St. Valentine would be on February 14. Thus, the ancient Roman Lupercalis festival was replaced by a new Valentine’s Day.
Who was this Valentine; there is no specific information about him. There was more than one person in Rome with similar name who existed during the early years of the church, two or three of whom were martyred. It was said that there were two of them, or that there was only one, who died in Rome as the result of the persecution of the Gothic leader Claudius.
But, why was he killed, this question also remains deprived of a clear-cut answer. It is also said that Saint Valentine advocated love and peace, therefore he was martyred. It is also said that the Roman emperor Claudius II sentenced St Valentine to be executed because of his opposition of government order that prohibited soldiers to marry. It is also perceived that Valentine fell in love with the jailer's daughter. The emperor offered him to pardon and make him one of his closest confidantes if he forsook Christianity, which Valentine refused and preferred martyrdom. He was executed on 14 February 270 CE, on the eve of February 15, the festival of Lupercalis.
Thus, the pagan Roman festival of Lupercalis was transformed into Valentine’s Day and was called the Feast of Lovers, and Saint Valentine was considered to be the patron saint of lovers.
Irrelevance of Valentine’s Day
However, whatever the reality may be, but one thing seems clear that none of the narrations appears to have much to do with love or romance that we see is observed on Valentine’s Day. If the Christians celebrate this day in the memory of their martyr, then it is something that looks sound, but what the Muslims and other people of faith have to do with this? Not only it is nonsense for Muslims and others, but also for Christians as well, because today’s Valentine’s Day has no relation to the sacrifice for truth that was offered by St Valentine, as they claim.
And, if it is historically true that Valentine was killed in punishment of having love affairs with a girl, then the entire story takes a U turn and instead of being ‘a cause of pride’ becomes ‘a matter of shame’. Being a saint he commits such kind of act. And, more shameful is the act of those who celebrate this day in his remembrance.
The Valentine’s Day celebration is entirely based on groundless historical myths. How surprising it is that if an unmeaning and baseless ritual is celebrated by other people of faith it is taunted as ‘mythology’ and ‘orthodoxy’, but if it is practiced by the western world it becomes a symbol of progress and intellectualism!
In the society we live, every thing is based on commercial foundations. Why only education, even the human parts and human dignity is a saleable commodity. The culture of celebrating ‘Days’ is actually the invention of the Capitalism, which primarily aims at devouring the common man’s wealth and amassing it up. The commercial companies give push to ‘Celebrations’ and ‘Days’ in order to boost their products. They do not miss even a single opportunity to take out money from the pockets of people. Schemes are announced, concessions are declared and the public is seduced to achieve it in order to be in pace with the world and to be called progressive, whether they are not able to afford it.
The Muslims’ history is full of such personalities who bravely sacrificed their lives in order to guard their mission and religion. But, Islam is a natural and simple religion, it did not like to burden the people with the loads of continual festivals and celebrations as it slows down their march to spirituality and affect the common man financially.
We Indians, especially Muslims, instead of imitating the West should be proud of our own culture and social order where the foundation of love, affection and relationship is far deeper and stronger than in the West. Why to fall in inferiority complex, be proud of your own invaluable asset that is quite perfect and matchless!
Published in Milli Gazette (Delhi) and Eastern Crescent (Mumbai).
Darul Uloom Deoband
There are repeated requests from within India and outside that Darul Uloom Deoband should express its view regarding the Ruju (revocation) of Maulana Muhammad Saad from his comments about the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).
It is hereby clarified that as far the Ruju of Maulana Muhammad Saad from this particular issue is concerned it is somehow satisfactory, but the ideological divergence of Maulana Muhammad Saad to which Darul Uloom Deoband has pointed out in its Stand cannot be ignored at all; this is because even after so-called Ruju he continues to make several other statements wherein he adopts the same innovative style, baseless conclusions and unwarranted application of Islamic resources (nusus) to his peculiar ideology of Dawah. This is the reason that not only we (the servants of Darul Uloom Deoband) rather the other Ulama-e-Haq are very much worried due to the overall ideological approach of Maulana Muhammad Saad.
It is our assertion that the least diversion from the path of Akabir (pious predecessors) is immensely harmful. Therefore, following the footstep of the predecessors, Maulana Muhammad Saad should be cautious enough in his statements and should stop the personal deductions (ijtihadat) from the Quran and Hadith; since his innovative deductions and interpretations denote as if he is bent to formulate a new group which will be different from the way of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’at and Akabir. May Allah keep us firm and steadfast on the track of our pious predecessors, Amen!
Those who turn to us in this regard are once again reminded that Darul Uloom Deoband has distanced itself from the internal dispute of Tablighi Jamat and it has declared its impartiality clearly from the beginning. However, whenever people approach Darul Uloom for its views about wrong ideologies and thoughts, Darul Uloom always strives to guide the Ummah considering it its religious duty.
(Maulana Mufti) Abul Qasim Nomani
(Maulana Mufti) Sayeed Ahmad Palanpuri
(Maulana Syed) Arshad Madani
Date 13/05/1439 AH / 31/01/2018
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi*
There is much hue and cry about a fatwa of Darul Uloom Deoband regarding bank employment in national electronic and print media. The social media were also abuzz with comments and remarks on the issue.
The whole issue is that a youth submitted a question in Darul Uloom Deoband’s Darul Ifta saying that he has some proposals for marriage and one of them is from a daughter of bank employee, what should he do? The Mufti of Darul Uloom replied him that it is not preferable to accept the proposal from bank employee, rather he should prefer proposal from religious and pious families. It was a kind of advice to the person concerned who asked the question. This answer can be applicable for those who have the same case and want to follow the fatwa.
The second misconception is that each fatwa is taken as diktat and general injunction, and it is not understood within its confines. Sometimes a fatwa given as advice or directive principle, but it is taken as command for all.
In order to understand the issue in its entirety, we have to understand some basic principles of Islam. The first and foremost thing is that interest or usury is categorically prohibited in Islam with the Quran declaring it is as unlawful in several verses (2:275, 2:276, 3:130, 4:161 and 30:39) and while one verse regards it tantamount to declaring war against Allah Almighty and His Messenger (peace be upon him) (See: al-Quran 2:278).
Interest is forbidden in Islam, as it disturbs the proper circulation of wealth in the society and badly affects the poor people. There are several Hadiths regarding the prohibition of interest. One Hadith says that Allah’s curse visits one who consumes interest, the one who gives it to others, the one who writes it down and the one who bears witness to it; they are all the same. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 1598)
This is the reason that interest is the big factor in economics and financial issues as per the Islamic Shariah. A Muslim must avoid a deal, transaction or work which involves interest in any way. Thus, having a job in bank is also primarily not allowed as one working in bank may not avoid involvement in interest-based dealings by writing the interest based dealing or in some other way. However, if one has a job in bank which is free from any involvement in writing interest or bearing witness to interest, then his job is allowable.
Therefore, if any Muslim is seeking job, he is advised to avoid bank job which may get him involved in interest-based work. However, if one is already in the bank job, he is advised not to leave it immediately rather look for some lawful and pure income source while continuing to seek forgiveness from Allah due to involvement in interest. Moreover, such a person should give the amount of salary in charity (to a poor) which he earned against the interest based work.
Second important thing to remember is that Islam has attached much importance with regard to purity of income and its consumption. Abstaining haram and acquiring halal is as much necessary for the Muslims as the observance of Salah and payment of Zakah. Unlawful and impure income can lead a Muslim to many troubles and punishments in this world and the Hereafter, while halal and pure income helps him progress in faith and perfect his spirituality. Income earned through unlawful sources like gambling, bribe, interest, theft etc must be avoided as the Quran says that those devouring the wealth unjustly are as if they are filling fire in their stomach. (4:10) Moreover, Hadith says that the flesh grown out of unlawful income deserves to be thrown in Hell Fire (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 558), while another Hadith says that the prayers and worships of haram consumers will not be acceptable to Allah. (Al-Mujam al-Ausat, 6:311) Therefore, purity of income is one of the most important teachings of Islam.
There are many misconceptions in people even regarding many issues related to interest which must be clarified. The first doubt is that interest received bank is not the usury (riba) prohibited in the Quran. It is to be pretty much clear that the interest given by conventional banks falls under the category of riba (prohibited interest) according the Muslims jurists (Muftis and Ulama) and Fiqh academies of India and Islamic World.
Some people object if banking system is not approved by Islamic Shariah, then opening bank account and depositing money in banks is also contribution to banking system and thus it should be unlawful. It should be clear enough that opening accounts in banks and keeping money therein for safety is alright and it carries no prohibition. But the interest earned in the account may not be used in personal needs, rather should be either given in charity to the poor or paid in income tax etc.
It is also objected that the banks or the government gives salaries to their employees from interest or haram money, thus every government job must be unlawful. It should be noted that the salary of an employee becomes halal or haram on the basis of his own work irrespective of government income source; if his work is halal then his salary will be halal and if it is otherwise then his salary will be haram and unlawful. If his work is combines both halal and haram work, then the portion of income earned against haram work will become haram and impure.
Finding a life partner is one of the important steps of life that needs much care deliberation. The Hadith also says that a woman is married for four reasons; her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman, otherwise you will be a loser. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 4700)
In the light of the abovementioned Quranic verses and Hadith references, you can decide whether the respected Mufti was right in advising the young man to avoid a proposal from bank employee and look for marrying in a pious family. Darul Uloom Deoband and other madrasas and Islamic institutions take it as their utmost responsibility to guide Muslims in the light of the Quran and Hadith.
 For instance, you can refer to the decisions and resolutions of Islamic Fiqh Academy India (http://ifa-india.org/index.php?do=home&pageid=economic) and International Islamic Fiqh Academy of World Muslim League (http://www.iifa-aifi.org/1990.html)
* Coordinator, Online Fatwa Dept, Darul Uloom Deoband
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
It is not realistic that a fight or a contest will be won by both or all the contesting parties simultaneously. The stronger, the better fighter and the one with better strategy always wins and the winner is one. What is important is the fight or contest itself. The contesting parties must fight with all and best of their abilities. Their spirit of fight must be visible for the audience out of the arena.
We have seen very recently that the Congress has given up in Himachal Pradesh but put a tough fight in Gujarat elections against BJP. Every genuine critic has recognized that although Congress lost Gujarat in numbers but it was able to put challenges on face of BJP street by street which may help the Party in upcoming days, if it remains intact with the people of Gujarat.
The recent Triple Talaq Bill passed by the Lok Sabha is actually a bill against Islamic Talaq as a whole and not only Triple Talaq. The definition of Talaq-e Bid’ah in the Bill is ambiguous and utterly confusing. It covers all forms of Talaq which is enforceable with immediate effect. It means one Talaq Baien and one Talaq Ra’jie given in the monthly period time of a woman (which is also Talaq-e Bid’ah) comes under vigorous punishment and fine. Thus the Bill is entirely against the Qur’an and all juristic schools of Islamic Shariah including Ahle Hadith denomination. It is against Islam and practices of all Muslims in the world.
The Bill is passed in the Lower House with unexpected ease on 28 December 2017 and will be passed in the Upper House of Parliament too. 160 million Muslims of India could not put a fight before the ruling party is a fact and history will put it on record. Muslim Indians need to analyze it with cool minds and realistic attitude.
To me, there are three groups from Muslims who happen to be responsible for not putting even a tough fight on this very crucial issue. One, the apex body of Muslims, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) which came in to being in 1971 to legally protect and safeguard Muslims’ interest and ensure protection of Muslim Personal Laws within constitutional framework. It has been a responded party in the Supreme Court on Triple Talaq Case. The organization failed to mobilize mass supports which it got during signature campaign. It looks the organization is headless now. It is not that there are not able people within the organization but it is because that a division within upper hierarchy is clearly visible. They are not able to plan things well and when planned they are not able to execute them at ground level at right time with right strategy.
The second one is the premier Muslim organization Jamiat Ulama-e Hind (JUH). Jamiat has also been a responded party in the Supreme Court in the Triple Talaq Case. Jamiat is a better organized nationalistic body with mass appeal and a pan India membership. It appears that the Jamiat could not figure out how things were turning following the Supreme Court verdict in the Triple Talaq Case. Thus it virtually did nothing or very little to stop this Bill in Lok Sabha or help put a strong opposition against it by using its resources within political parties.
Both the AIMPLB and the Jamiat could not directly talk to non-BJP parliamentarians before the bill was presented in the Lower House, which this humble writer has suggested at least two weeks ago. Instead leaders of both the organizations were out of Delhi when a very serious Bill was being debated and passed in Delhi. AIMPLB called its meeting in Lucknow instead of Delhi to discuss about Triple Talaq Bill and resolved to shoot an open letter to Prime Minister Modi asking him not to present the Bill in the Parliament, as if Government was waiting to hear from them to make an important move. On the other hand, I have no information about any fractions of Jamiat even holding a serious meeting among themselves, let alone with others, to discuss and plan anything about this bill in last 10-15 days.
The Muslim law makers both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are also equally responsible for this debacle as the third group. Politicians are supposed to be the visionaries of the nation. They knew the Bill was coming; they had excess to the draft bill before hand. They could read it, plan among themselves and suggest their respective public bodies to put pressure on other politicians. Some of them are respectable members both in AIMPLB and Jamiat. But they found to be unprepared or very poorly prepared. Badly divided among parties or with personal political interests at a time when they must have stood as a single Muslim body.
Mr. Assaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP, came out as a lone hero following the debate on 28th December. He is defeated, he was taunted in the Parliament by his rival MPs from BJP but he stood alone bravely and fought alone like a lion of religion – the meaning of his name Assaduddin. The Sher (Lion) of Hyderabad has done his part and today every single Muslim man and woman is rightly praising him. Either one politically likes him or not but this credit cannot be taken away from him.
However, let’s be realistic. All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MP from Karimganj (Assam) Mr Radhesham Biswas, Indian Union Muslim League MP from Ponnani (Kerala) Mr. E. T. Mohammad Basheer and AIADMK MP from Ramanathapuram (Tamil Nadu) Mr A Anwar Raja have also strongly opposed this Bill up to their highest strengths. They were though not best speakers in Hindustani language thus spoke either in English or in Tamil yet their first sentences were, ‘I stand here to strongly oppose this bill’.
This Lok Sabha consists two sons of Darul Uloom Deoband too, who are also members of its supreme and governing body – Majlis-e Shura. We Muslims Indians missed their voices on 28th December in the House when an utterly irrational and a completely against Qur’anic principles piece of law was being enacted in the Indian Parliament. They may have their explanations or justifications. AIUDF President Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, Dhubri MP from Assam, have put his reason stating Assam’s tense communal conditions owing to NRC draft publication on 31 December 2017 which demanded him to stay with the people of Assam and monitor situations sitting there. We are yet to get an explanation from Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasmi, the Congress MP from Kishanganj, Bihar. People may agree with their explanations or not but hearing them before passing a judgment is a must.
It is time; Muslim Indians need to have some reality checks. It is yet never too late to fix things and make orders within house. AIMPLB and Jamiat are our strong and mass based organizations. This time they might have not performed well due to various internal and external reasons but earlier they did perform extremely well. We cannot undo their dedicated and extraordinary volunteerism for the betterment of this nation and Muslims just because of one or two failures. They need to take these failures as lessons and bounce back for the upcoming battles. Maulana Ajmal and Maulana Qasmi’s contributions to the society and the nation also cannot be undone just because of their one day absence from the House.
Similarly Mr. Assaduddin Owaisi is credited today but ‘secular’ Congress has smartly backstabbed Muslims in the Parliament. For, it’s MPs like Sushmita Dev, MP from Silchar (Assam) spoke so well against the Bill but didn’t dare to demand for a floor test in the House, thus as per parliamentary system it favoured the Bill. Yet Indian Muslim politics cannot go with Mr Owaisi alone. Secularism has to revive and secular forces like Congress, TMC, RJD, Left, BSP, SP, AIUDF, AGP, BJD, YSR, TDP, DMK, AIADMK, NCP, JDU, RLJP, RLDP, et all are the future of Indian politics. Muslims will have to stand with them strategically to protect India from gallows of disastrous communalism.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Jamiat Ulama-e Hind (JUH) need to sit together sooner than later and draft genuine short term and long term plans. They also need to discuss their concerns with political forces from all parties including BJP. Dialogues are the best ways in a democratic system. It is notable that politicians will visit your doors only at the time of elections, now you need to step out and knock their doors.
Indian Muslims are sorry that they are losing grounds one after another but they are very sad that their leadership is not able to make a genuine fight. A challenge to those who are about to destroy India’s unity, integrity and its communal harmony is a must. Fight for the right cause, even if you are defeated, history will count you like a hero else be buried like a coward. Choice is yours.
The author M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is Editor of Eastern Crescent magazine from Mumbai. Views are personal.
By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
Once, I was reading an article wherein the author had stated that from among all the favours of Allāh ta‘ālā, for every one of them there can possibly be something that may substitute it, to some extent if not fully, apart from the favour of time, for once passed, no amount of effort can bring it back neither can anything substitute it. Take the example of the favour of sight. When lost, its restoration is not totally inconceivable. Even in the state of blindness, perception, to some extent, is possible with the help of other physical senses.
So a bounty whose value excels that of others in every respect deserves to be expended carefully and in worthwhile activities. Yet we witness that carelessness shown by people in the bounty of time is more than in any other favour of Allāhta‘ālā.
Every moment that passes by takes away a portion of our lives. The more we grow in age the less becomes our expectancy of living further in this world. Time is the only possession of this life, which decreases constantly and with precise regularity, yet in a very unnoticeable manner.
An Urdu poet has stated that the passing of time in every man’s life is as quiet and (yet) as certain as the melting of ice.
So it is of extreme importance that we utilise our time in fruitful and rewarding pursuits and not waste it away as we usually tend to do. Let us learn to value time in the forthcoming holidays, and then, if Allāh ta‘ālā wills, we will gradually become accustomed to it and maintain the attitude throughout the year.
The easiest method of preventing yourself from wasting time as well as gaining most from it is to prepare a timetable for yourself. This is not dissimilar to making a budget in the domain of economics. If one wishes to increase in one’s savings one will have to make a budget, thereby defining the limits of expenditure. On the contrary, if a person walks around with his entire income in his pocket, without any allocation of money, and continues to spend as the need arises, far from saving up any further, he will end up resorting to and depleting the original savings. So as we manage our finances for economical reasons so should we manage our time and maintain the same economical attitude here too.
Now as far as wasting time is concerned, there isn’t obviously a single way to do that. People will naturally waste time according to their respective inclinations or dispositions. Some may resort to completely meaningless activities and others may prefer to just sit idle and laze around. Moreover, some may become victims of overindulgence or fall a prey to perpetual self-satisfaction. Whichever the case, what is important to remember here is that the worst form of wasting time is to indulge in sinning and displeasing Allāh ta‘ālā. The displeasure of Allāh ta‘ālā is caused by the mere wasting of time too, but sinning will call for His extreme anger and invite His wrath. This is another point, which we need to earnestly reflect upon. For some temporary enjoyment we readily sacrifice our eternal abode of pleasure. For some trivial materialistic pleasure we are prepared to displease our Creator, the One Who has provided us with a vast array of bounties and different forms of lawful satisfaction of desires. Indeed He is the One Who has given us this very strength and capability which we are using to commit sins. How can we possibly displease Him?
My brothers, in reality, there is hardly any sacrifice in refraining from sins. Many of us feel that it is extremely difficult or almost impossible to abstain from sins. This is nothing but an illusion from Shaytān. Even the little discomfort we may experience in restraining ourselves from fulfilling unlawful desires is caused by Shaytān. We should make a habit of keeping ourselves aloof from all sinful areas. It would be difficult to control and subdue the desires once having slipped. For instance, one should always keep one’s gaze down when walking the streets, as it would be difficult to avert the gaze once it falls on the opposite gender. According to a Hadīth, the gaze is a poisonous arrow from among the arrows of Shaytān. One who safeguards his eyes only due to the fear of Allāh, (far from being painful) he will find the sweetness of Īmān in his heart. (At-Targhīb)
To conclude, I would like to emphasise that in the coming holidays, and afterwards, we should manage our time and desist from wasting it, and in particular, refrain from committing sins and thereby displeasing Allāh ta‘ālā.
(Extracted from ‘Time - A Valuable Asset’ published by the Islāmic Da‘wah Academy)
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Written by Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi, Riyadh
Translated in English by Nehal Anwar Qasmi, Najran
Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa was born in Mau, Uttar Pradesh, India around 1930A.D (1350A.H). He graduated from a well-known Islamic seminary of the Indian subcontinent Darul Uloom Deoband in 1952A.D (1372A.H). Afterwards, he moved to Egypt and got the “Certificate of Alimiyat with permission to teach" from Al- Azhar University in 1955A.D. The same year, he went to Qatar where he taught Arabic to non-Arab students and later became a librarian in the National Public Library there. As he had deep interest in the science of Hadeeth serving in the library helped him to work on various manuscripts of Hadeeth.
In 1964A.D, Sheikh joined Cambridge University, UK for PhD under the guidance of A.J. Arberry and Prof. R.B. Serjeant. His topic was "Studies in the Early Hadeeth Literature". After completing doctorate he returned to Qatar and served as the director of the National Public Library for two years there.
In 1968, Sheikh was appointed as Associate Professor at Ummul-Qura University, Makkah. In 1973 he joined King Saud University as Professor of Hadeeth sciences. He remained there until his retirement in 1991. From 1968 upto his retirement, Sheikh oversaw many research works on different subjects of Hadeeth which were carried out by the students of both Ummul-Qura and King Saud Universities. He also served as member of various educational and research institutions across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Other honorary posts:
Beside being Associate Professor at Ummul-Qura University and Professor of Hadeeth sciences at King Saud University, Sheikh has also held other honorary posts in Saudi Arabia and abroad as follows:
1. Chairman of the Dep. of Islamic Studies, College of Education King Saud University.
2. Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1981-82).
3. Visiting Fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford, England (1987).
4. Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA (1989-91).
5. King Faisal Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at Princeton University, New Jersey (1992).
6. Member of Committee for Promotion, University of Malaysia.
7. Honorary Professor, Dept. of Islamic Studies, University of Wales, England.
In 1980, Sheikh received the prestigious King Faisal Award for his following works on Hadeeth:
1. Diraasaat fil-Hadeeth Nabawi wa Tarikh-e-Tadweenihi (دراسات في الحديث النبوي وتاريخ تدوينه): Arabic translation of his doctoral thesis. In this book Sheikh has answered all the questions generally raised by the Orientalists to challenge the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH).
2. Saheeh ibn-e-Khuzaymah (صحيح ابن خزيمة): This book has been compiled by Ibn-e- Khuzaymah (RA). It consists of the authentic Ahadeeth which were included by the authors of both Saheeh Al Bukhari and Muslim. Sheikh edited this book and got it published in four volumes.
3. Computerization of the text of Ahadeeth: One of the Sheikh’s important achievements is that he is the first who computerized the Arabic texts of the books of Ahadeeth.
Scholars of the Indian subcontinent have the privilege to contribute to the science of Hadeeth in all possible ways. That includes teaching Ahadeeth, writing commentaries and books to defend their authenticity and transforming them into computerized books.
By editing books of Ahadeeth and answering the objections of the Orientalists regarding the compilation of the Holy Qur’an and Hadeeth, Dr Muhammad Mustafa Azmi has served Islam at such a high level that even non-Muslim scholars of the world acknowledge his deep knowledge and insight into the science of Hadeeth.
Although Sheikh Azmi has lived in Saudi Arabia with his family for decades, yet he has not forgotten his mother land. He still keeps visiting India as his health permits and contributes in all the possible ways for the betterment of the people of his area. Sheikh has a daughter named Fatima Mustafa Azmi. She has completed M.Com and PhD from America and now she is an Associate Professor at Sheikh Zaid University. He also has two sons Aqeel Mustafa Azmi and Anas Mustafa Azmi. The elder one Dr. Aqeel has completed Master's degree in Engineering and PhD from America and now he is an Associate Professor at King Saud University while the youngest son Dr. Anas holds a Ph.D from the UK and works in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
Brief introduction of Sheikh’s academic services:
1. Studies in early Hadeeth literature: It is the doctoral thesis of Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa in English language and is included in the syllabus of various universities in the eastern and western countries. The first edition of this book was published in Beirut in 1968 and the second and third in America in 1978 and 1988 and still continues to be published. It was translated into Turkish and Indonesian languages in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
2. دراسات في الحديث النبوي وتاريخ تدوينه : It is the Arabic translation of his thesis and consists of 712 pages. Both books deal with the history of compilation of Hadeeth and assert that the process of compilation of Hadeeth began in the life of the Prophet PBUH not in the second or third century of Hijri as many people allege.
3. منهج النقد عند المحدثين نشأته وتاريخه : As name suggests in this book Sheikh deals with the methodology of Scholars to measure Hadeeth’s authenticity and non-authenticity. It proves that the criteria which scholars of Hadeeth set to authenticate the collection of Ahadeeth is of such a high level that has no example even in the present world to validate any thing. This book is in Arabic language and is included in the syllabus of Islamic University, Al-Medina Al-Munawwarah. Its first, second and third editions were published respectively in 1975, 1982 and 1983 in Riyadh and is still being published by different publishing houses.
4. Studies in Hadeeth methodology and literature: This book deals with the method and literature of Hadeeth that helps comprehend the Ahadeeth properly. It also replies to all the questions of Orientalists regarding authenticity of Ahadeeth. Sheikh has divided the book into two volumes. First volume discusses the methodology whereas, the second one concentrates on Ahadeeth from literary perspective. This book also is a part of syllabus in many universities and has gone into several editions.
5. The history of the Qur’anic text from revelation to compilation: This book is one of the significant works of Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa in which he describes the history of compilation of the Qur’an and highlights its authenticity over other divine books after making detailed comparison between their methods of compilation. He also gives elaborate account of the way Hazrat Zaid bin Thabit (RA) adopted to give final shape to the Holy Qur’an. Unfortunately this book has not yet been translated into Arabic or Urdu due to declining health of Sheikh. But during my meeting on 8th February, 2013 he expressed his desire that somebody should come ahead to translate it.
6. On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence: This book presents detailed analysis and critique of the book of the noted Orientalist Joseph Schacht and gives convincing answers to all the questions raised by the author regarding the Islamic Jurisprudence. This book also is a part of syllabus in various universities and has been translated into Turkish, Arabic and Urdu languages.
7. كتاب النبي : Historians in general count 40 to 45 companions of the Prophet (PBUH) who were assigned to write on behalf of the Prophet, but Sheik Azmi has recorded with historical evidences in this book over 60 companions who used to write for the Prophet. The first edition of this book was published in Damascus in 1974, in Beirut and Riyadh in 1978 and 1981. Now it has been translated into English and published.
8. المحدثون من اليمامة إلى 250 هجري تقريبا : There are many books available about the scholars of Hadeeth from different cities of the world. But it is the only book dedicated to highlight the scholarly services of the scholars from the city of Yamamah.
9. موطا إمام مالك : It is one of the most reliable books of Hadeeth which was written by Imam Malik (RA). Sheikh edited it and published it in 8 volumes. He has also worked on the Ruwat (narrators of Hadeeth) .
10. صحيح ابن خزيمة : As mentioned above, it is one of the important books of Hadeeth by Ibn-e-Khuzaima which comprises the most authentic Ahadeeth after Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Muslim. This book has vanished for a long period, even some people believed that it no longer exists in the world. It was Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa who first discovered the book and worked on it. Now it is available in 4 volumes. The first edition was published in Beirut in 1970, second and third in Riyadh and Beirut in 1982 and 1993 and still continues to be published.
11. العلل لعلي بن عبد الله المديني : A book on the Rijaal of Hadeeth has been edited by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa.
12. سنن ابن ماجة : A book of Hadeeth which was edited and computerized first by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa. The idea of computerizing the books of Hadeeth came to Sheikh’s mind when he was doing his PhD in Cambridge University. And he even worked on some of them there.
13. مغازي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لعروة بن زبير برواية أبي الأسود : Hazrat Urwah bin Zubair the renowned Tabi’ee was the first to write a book on the Prophet’s biography named Maghazi Rasoolullah. This book was published in Riyadh in 1981 after Sheikh’s critical review and analysis of the book. Maghazi Rasoolullah is also an obvious proof that the scholars of Islam started writing Prophet’s biography just after his death. Idarah Thaqafat Islamiah, Pakistan published Urdu translation of that book in 1987.
14. Manuscript of Saheeh Al-Bukhari : Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa has the honor of editing the manuscript of Saheeh Al-Bukhari with additional footnote by various scholars which was prepared in 725A.H and discovered from Istanbul in 1977A.D.
In short, Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa’s services toward Hadeeth are very profound. They surround almost every aspect of the science of Hadeeth. The most important of them is his work on Hadeeth literature and methodology, critical analysis of Schacht’s Origin of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, history of the Qura’nic text from revelation to compilation, scholarly reviews and editing of various collections of Ahadeeth that would have otherwise remained unknown to the world and computerization of Hadeeth texts. Most of his books are available online for free download. May Allah grant us success in benefitting from his works and enhance our knowledge of Hadeeth Science, Amen!
Jesus (Pease be upon him) is not the son of God,he is the chosen Messenger and Prophet of Allah.
(Not permissible to congratulate saying Merry Christmas)
Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi
The overall Code which is made by Allah, the Exalted, for the birth of mankind i.e. a man getting married to a woman and have intercourse with her, thereafter by Allah’s command, firmness of pregnancy and giving birth of a child. Under no circumstance, Allah Almighty has also created some humans by not following this Code. Allah Almighty created Adam in such a way in which He involved neither a man nor a woman. Since Eve was created from Adam's rib, so, somehow, a man was involved in her creation, but there was no involvement of a woman. Similarly, Allah, the Exalted, created Jesus without a father, only from the mother (Mary daughter of Imran) through His power, in the city of Bethlehem, Palestinian. As, Almighty Allah said in the Verse 59 of Surah A’al Imran (Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was.)
In the light of Quran and Hadith, all Muslims believe that Jesus Christ is the chosen Prophet and Messenger of Allah. In the holy Quran, almost at 25 places, the name of Jesus Christ is mentioned and he was not hanged/crucified, but he was lifted into the heavens and a person similar to him was hanged. As, Allah Almighty has stated in Surah An-Nisa Verses 157 & 158 (And (for) their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but (another) was made to resemble him to them). Furthermore, Allah, the Exalted, explicitly explained that Jesus Christ was not hanged/crucified, but he was lifted up. The full detail of this event is elaborated by the holy prophet PBUH and can be found in Ahadith. It is also mentioned in Hadiths that before the day of Resurrection, he will be descended from heavens to the white minaret in the east of Damascus. Then, all nook and corner of the world will be ruled by Muslims under his patronage.
No certain date of Jesus birth is found in any religious authoritative book, even in the book of Christians, it is not mentioned that he was born on 25th December. Without any evidence, they recognized 25th December as Jesus date of birth. Although, what is estimated from texts of the Quran, Hadiths and the Bible is that Jesus was born in the summer season. As per Bible (chapter 2 verse 8), when Jesus was born at the night, at that time the shepherd was grazing his sheep outside. In the last days of December, it is snowing heavily in Bethlehem that no one can dare to go out of his house. And Bible says that the shepherd was grazing his sheep outside. In the month of December, due to heavy snowing in Bethlehem (Palestine), it is impossible to graze sheep outside at night. The holy Quran (Surah Mariam Verse 25) says that immediately after the birth of Jesus, Allah, the Exalted, told Marry “And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented.” The whole world knows that the dates become ripe in the summer season, not in winter. Besides, there are more evidence that denote that Jesus was born in the summer season.
Christians believe that Jesus is given birth by Allah Almighty (Allah forbid), i.e. Jesus is the son of Allah, the Exalted. This was strongly denounced by Allah, the Exalted, in Surah Mariam: “And they say, "The Most Merciful has taken (for Himself) a son." You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture there from and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation. That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.” In Surah Ikhlas, Almighty Allah has explicitly said: Say, "He is Allah, (who is) One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent”. Thus, in the light of very open instructions/teachings of Quran and Sunnah, all Muslims believe that Jesus is not the son of Allah, the Exalted, but he is a man and there is no compromise in this matter at all.
Christians celebrate Merry Christmas on 25th December with the belief that Allah Almighty has given birth of Jesus on 25th December (Allah forbid). We don’t want to interfere in their religion, but it is our religious obligation that we should not participate in those religious parties/celebrations are being convened on this occasion, and also do not congratulate anyone saying Merry Christmas. As this sentence is totally averse of Quran and Sunnah. Yes! In case, your neighbour or friend is a Christian and he congratulates you on this occasion, then you have to withdraw yourselves by saying other words such as (thanks, etc.) As, the base/belief on which the Merry Christmas celebrated, is quite contrary to Quranic teachings. You could be thoughtful about your neighbour or friend, but on the other hand, there is also the issue of God's wrath and His severe punishment. So, it would be said to them openly that our belief is that Jesus besides being a chosen messenger and prophet, he is not Allah’s son at all. So that, I’m sorry to participate in the celebrations convened on this occasion.
There is substantial difference of opinion among Christians and Muslims on their belief in Isa (Alaihis Salam)
1) Nasara (Christians) believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) is son of Allah, the Almighty, while in the light of Quran and hadith the whole Muslim Ummah (Nation) believes that Allah has no son or daughter, as Allah, the Almighty has repeatedly clarified this in the holy Quran. In Surah Al-Ikhlas also this has been clearly asserted that Allah, the Almighty neither begets nor is He begotten. Allah, the Almighty had created Adam (Alaihis salam) without any role of a man and woman, and Eve (Alaihas salam) was created without any role of a woman merely by with Allah's command. Allah, the Almighty created Isa (Alaihis Salam) by a woman (Maryam –Alaihas Salam) without any role of a male. Christians do not believe in Adam and Eve (Alaiham Assalam) as son and daughter of Allah, despite the fact that Allah, the Almighty had created Adam (Alaihis Salam) without any role of man and woman and created Eve (Alaihas Salam) without any role of a woman, then how come that Isa (Alaihis Salam) who was created without a man (in similar circumstances), is believed to be Allah’s son? Our intellect also demands that it is not befitting to the Almighty Allah Who is the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the whole universe that He begets nor is He begotten.
2) Christians believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) shares Allah's right of being worthy of worship. Trinity is an integral part of Christianity, which means three in one or one in three. Christians believe that Allah is one but includes three entities in one; god father, god son, the holy ghost. The Christian till to date stick to this belief. As for Islam, there is no place of trinity in it. Hundreds of verses of the Holy Quran refute this belief. According to Islamic creed Allah is one and nothing is like unto Him neither in His self nor in His attributes. In Surah Maryam, Allah strongly refutes this belief saying it is such a terrible evil thing whereby the heavens are almost torn.
3) Christians believe that Jews had crucified Isa (Alaihis Salam). However, in the light of teachings of Quran and Hadith, the whole Muslim nation is unanimous that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was neither killed nor was he crucified, but rather he was ascended to heaven prior to his crucifixion and a person resembling him was crucified in his place. He will descend down on the earth prior to the doomsday. He will spend his life following the Shari’ah of Muhammad (PBUH) and will enforce the teachings of the Holy Quran and Hadith.
4) Christians believe that the last Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) who is from the descendants of Ismail (Alaihis salam) the second son of Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam) born in Makkah is not a Messenger of Allah, the Almighty and anyone who believes in Muhammad (PBUH) as a messenger of Allah exits from the fold of Christianity. On the other hand, in the religion of Islam besides believing in Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Messenger it is also necessary to believe in Ibrahim, Musa, Isa (Alaihim Assalam). Now, the reader can easily decide as to which religion subscribes to extremism.
Summary: To exchange greetings on the occasion of New Year is a practice of non-Muslims. However, the rituals and functions organized on this occasion are not motivated by a specific religion’s ideology and it has now become a social norm. Therefore, though it is not unlawful to exchange greeting on such occasion, however, the Holy Quran and Hadith are replete with teachings of not adopting the non-Muslims’ rituals. Therefore, we should avoid exchanging such greetings, because the leader of all prophets Muhammad (PBUH), his companions, mufassireen (Quran commentators), muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith) and other scholars of Islam, none of them has been reported to have exchanged greeting on the occasion of New Year even at the beginning of Hijri year. But to exchange greeting by saying “Merry Christmas” is a pure religious matter. The belief with which the people celebrate Christmas day saying “Merry Christmas” is absolutely contrary to Islamic teaching, for Christians believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was born on 25th December and fathered by Allah, the Almighty. In addition they also believe in trinity, i.e. they believe that Allah, the Almighty instead of being one entity is comprised of three entities; god father, god son and the holy ghost. This belief is very dangerous and contrary to Islamic teachings. It is a matter of great sorrow that some Muslims initiate greeting each other saying “Merry Christmas” which has no room in the religion of Islam. Therefore, Muslims should not exchange greeting on this occasion. Those Muslims residing in Western countries or studying with Christians or employed with Christians or doing business with Christians should not proactively greet them on this occasion. However, if they are greeted by Christians they should say other words of prayer to them. It is worth mentioning that not a single reliable religious book even the bible itself having thousands of copies, mentions that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was born on 25th December.
Justice Rajindar Sachar
The guilt of fiendish murder of Junaid can not be sidelined by Hindu Majority under the slogan of “Not in my Name”. In fact Hindu majority will continue to be held guilty so long such devilish acts continue. These acts are a shame on our constitution and this challenge has to be met frontally.
The recital in the preamble to the Constitution that India is a secular state means that no religious group (including Hindus) can claim any special dominant position or status in the country.
Secularism does not signify Anti-Religion. In India people fervently believe in their respective religions and overwhelming number of persons of all communities give equal respect to the religion of others. Secularism signifies giving equal dignity and respect to all religions. Of course it goes without saying that Indian State has no religion of its own, nor for that matter can any religion claim superiority over another religion as by resorting to false premise that any religion in the Country is indigenous while others are foreign. This is heresy not permitted by our constitution, which gives equal reverence to all the religions practiced by various communities of India.
As put expressed succinctly by Lord Acton as follows: “A state which is incompetent to satisfy different races condemns itself; a state which labours to neutralize, to absorb or to expel them is destitute of the chief basis of self-government”; we need only substitute minorities for races to in the above quotation to apply the test in India.
Supreme Court when it said; [Dr. Ismael Faruqui Vs. Union of India, 1994 (6) SCC 360]
“It is clear from the constitutional scheme that it guarantees equality in the matter of religion to all individuals and groups irrespective of their faith emphasizing that there is no religion of the State itself.”
Posing the question what is the purpose it referred with approval to the test laid down by Lord Scarman of House of Lords UK;
‘The purpose of the law must be not to extinguish the groups which make the society but to devise political, social and legal means of preventing them from falling apart and so destroying the plural society of which they are members.’
Thus inclusive development in India and for that matter in any country alone is the path to prosperity. It is an undeniable truth and needs to be irrevocably accepted by all in India, namely that minorities, Muslims and Christians are not outsiders. They are an integral part of India. Let me quote what Swami Vivekanand (who even worst of RSS idealouge will not deny that Swami Ji was one of the greatest spiritual personality of India) has to say of the intimate connection between the spirit of Islam and Hinduism thus, “He also told Hindus not to talk of the superiority of one religion over another. Even toleration of other faiths was not right; it smacked of blasphemy. He pointed out that his guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, had accepted all religions as true. Swami Vivekanand in fact profusely praised Islam and in a letter to his friend Mohammed Sarfraz Hussain (10 th June 1898) without any hesitation wrote “therefore I am firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind. For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems Hinduism and Islam – Vedanta brain and Islam body – is the only hope……. the future perfect India.”
There thus can be no real progress in India which does not include minorities, Muslims, Christians as equal stakeholders. It needs to be emphasized that development and growth in the country has to be all inclusive – the mode of development must necessarily take into account the needs and sensitivities of Minorities, Dalits, Tribals in India. This was reaffirmed and emphasized recently by the Socialist party (India) which is inspired and follows the philosophy and programme of Shri Jaya Prakash Narain and Dr. Ram Monohar Lohia, thus; “that they must be treated as a special trust and there is an urgent need to attend to their problems immediately.”
The report of U. N. Human Right council, Forum on Minority issued on December 14 th , 15 th , 2010 has mandated as follows;
“The Council emphasizes; “Consequently, the right of minorities to participate effectively in economic life must be fully taken into account by governments seeking to promote equality at every level. From implementing non – discrimination in employment and enforcing protection laws in the private sector to developing national economic development and international development assistance schemes.”
The basic task is to reconcile the pluralism which then exists in that State, and the need to respect the identity of the various groups, with the overall concerns of non-discrimination, equality, national security, territorial integrity, and political independence.
The Minorities especially the Muslims have been the ignored factor by all Central Governments. It is not understood why since Prime Ministers High Level committee Report was given in November 2006, and which had recommended the establishment of Equal Opportunity Commission as an instrument to prevent discrimination against Minorities in the private sector like housing, employment, (since courts can not interfere in discrimination in private sector) this recommendation has been inexcusably violated and also remained in cold storage.
Thus inclusive development in the country alone is the path to prosperity. It is an undeniable truth and needs to be irrevocably accepted by all in the country that minorities, Muslims and Christians are not outsiders. They are an integral part of India. There can be no real progress which does not include minorities, Muslims and Christians as equal stakeholders in the country. I can not put it better than what Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan, one of the greatest leader of our country had to say over a century back. Gandhiji repeated it in 1921, and also in another prayer meeting at Rajghat on 24 th March 1947 thus; “In the words of Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan……I would say that Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of mother India just as the trouble in one eye affects the other too, similarly the whole of India suffer when either Hindu or Muslim suffer.”
This puts a sacred obligation on the majority to fight for justice to minorities like Junaid.
I can do no better than end with a quotation from the well-known Italian author Dante namely; “the hottest spot in hell is reserved for those who see injustice and do nothing.”
By Muddassir Ahmad Qasmi*
It was not merely a communal insurgency, which claimed hundreds of innocent Muslim lives across India; rather it was a big blow to Muslims’ religious identity. It was also a blatant attack on the secular ethos of the country and the two communities have been at loggerheads ever since the masjid was brought down. About 24 years back on 6 December 1992, evil forces demolished the historical Babri Masjid for political gain, and in doing so they broke the hearts of about 200 million Muslims which always beat for Indian democracy. It fissured and ruptured the uneasy calm and harmony between the two communities and gave rise to animosities that are still to be doused.
And now after 24 years of waiting, the Supreme Court of India has called for a consensus to end the dispute. The Supreme Court, offering its mediation to arrive at an amicable settlement, said "These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute. All of you may sit together and hold a cordial meeting," The observations came after controversial BJP leader Subramanian Swamy raised the matter, as it is his wont, seeking urgent hearing of the issue.
No doubt it is a sincere effort from the apex court, but in reality it is impractical owing to the several failed attempts of the past. Long experience shows that whenever an effort is made for reconciliation, the Hindu parties (in the dispute) tried their best to persuade Muslims to leave the Babri Masjid land for Ram Mandir and construct a Masjid in another place. How ridiculous it is that they talk of reconciliation but force Muslims to hand over them the controversial land. If this is their intention then surely such kind of attempt is useless.
Muslims have made it clear, time and again, that the High Court verdict of September 30, 2010, was not acceptable to them as it was based on faith and not on evidence. Judgement upholds the faith of one community over the other while ignoring evidence. The observation of Indian Muslims was that the HC judgement suffered from a number of infirmities and, therefore, it was the obligation of the Muslims to challenge it in the apex court, which they did.
Though the legal battle over the ownership of the Babri Masjid will continue, it needs to be noted that the concern of the Muslims with regard to the Babri Masjid stems from their desire to protect their places of worship in accordance with the rules of the Shariah, and not from any identification with or support for Babar or from association with a particular bit of land. That is why Muslims cannot surrender their claim on Babri Masjid, because the commandments of the Shariah cannot be ignored. The Shariah has clearly stipulated that as soon as a place becomes a Masjid its ownership is wholly transferred from out of the hands of human beings. Once a place becomes a Masjid, it remains so forever, even though it might become dilapidated or is no longer prayed in or even if no Muslims live any longer in its vicinity. Even in such conditions, it cannot cease to be a Masjid, and no one can change its status.
The last and the final question in this issue is that if the Supreme Court gives a verdict against Muslims, will it be acceptable for them? The answer is quite clear that after going through the concrete evidence in support of Muslim claims, most hopefully, the verdict will come in the favour of Muslims but in the case it is otherwise, Muslims will accept it, though actually it will be a mere compromise.
However, the sorry legacy of the Babri Masjid demolition cannot be wished away even on the insistence of the well meaning statements by some members of the majority community for it has ripped apart the social and cultural cohesion that had bound the two communities and it will, unfortunately, continue to bedevil the peaceful co-operation and relations between the two communities. Therefore, we appeal to the Supreme Court of India for a speedy judgement so that political mafia would not continue to play their political games with the sentiments of the people in the name of religion.
*The writer is assistant editor of Eastern Crescent, Mumbai.
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Renowned Islamic scholar and an accomplished Hadith Professor of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Shaikh Abdul Haq Azami, passed away in Deoband after a short illness on the eve of December 30 at the age of 88. On his death a wave of grief and sorrow struck the circles of Ulama, students and the common Muslims across the world.
Shaikh Abdul Haq Azami was engaged in imparting Hadith in Darul Uloom Deoband for decades. He was a prominent and celebrated scholar of Hadith in the present era. More than forty thousand students have benefited immensely from him and completed the Aalim and Fazil courses. With his demise an era of Hadith studies came to an end.
Birth and Education
Shaikh Abul Haq Azami s/o Janab Muhammad Umar was born in Jagdishpur, Dist Azamgarh (UP) in 1928. He acquired his primary at local seminary and then moved to Madrasah Baitul Uloom Saraimir for secondary Arabic education. Thereafter, he was enrolled in Darul Uloom Mau and studied till 7th Arabic Class (Haftum).
Shaikh Azami was nourished and nurtured by his stepfather Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Muslim Jaupuri who was a great scholar of his time and was known for his keen interest and expertise in mantiq (logic) and philosophy, he was a celebrated disciple of Hadhrat Maulana Majid Ali Manwi, the disciple of Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and a great Muhaddith of his time.
Then he joined Darul Uloom Deoband and completed his graduation in Hadith and Islamic sciences in 1955 at the hands of various scholars of his time, especially Shaikhul Islam Hadhrat Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani. Later he benefited from Shaikh al-Hadith Maulana Zakariya Kandhlawi and Maulana Habibur Rahman Muhaddith Azami.
After the completion of his studies, he served as lecturer at different Madaris and held the posts of Shaikh al-Hadith and Sadrul Mudarriseen (head of teaching staff), particularly in Madrasah Matla'ul Uloom Banaras (Varanasi) and Darul Uloom Mau. He spent 16 years in Varanasi and 14 years in Mau imparting Hadith to students and discharging duties of Sadrul Mudarriseen.
It is worth noting that he taught Bukhari in Mau in a time when the world renowned scholar of Hadith, Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami, was residing in the same city. It indicates to his high position in Hadith and the reliance of Ulama upon him.
In 1982 he was invited by Darul Uloom Deoband to teach Hadith and was assigned to teach Sahih Bukhari (vol. 2) to the students of highest class. Along with Hadith, he taught the books of Tafsir such as Tafsir Madarik, Tafsir Mazhari and Tafsir Baidhawi as well as Fiqh books such as Hidaya and al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair.
Among his famous students are Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami, Mufti Muhammad Rashid Azami, Maulana Noor Alam Khalil Amini, Mufti Anwar Ali of Mau, Mufti Salman Mansoorpuri, Maulana Mahmood Madani etc.
He was invited for sermons and speeches among the people. His speeches were very simple, but immensely touching and warming the hearts due to his infused piety and engrained righteousness and austerity. Specially his prayer session after the end of speech were highly popular owing to his submissive supplications and sincere beseeching to Allah, the Almighty.
Specialization in Hadith
Shaikh Abdul Haq was a prominent scholar of Hadith in our time. He was associated with teaching of Hadith for five decades. As he taught many books of Hadith, besides other books of Islamic sciences such Fiqh, Tafsir etc, but he was a distinguished teacher of Sahih Bukhari, which is believed to be the second truest book after the Book of Allah due to its fantastic parameters of Hadith narration and narrator’s investigation. Shaikh Abdul Haq taught Sahih Bukhari for nearly 50 years starting from Mataul Uloom Banaras and Darul Uloom Mau where he spent nearly 30 years and then he was called to teach Bukhari in Darul Uloom Deoband in 1982.
According to an estimation, he taught Sahih Bukhari to more than forty thousand students during his longest tenure in Hadith teaching. This is such a great feat of him that is seldom shared by any scholar of his time. During his tenure as ‘Shaikh al-Hadith’ Darul Uloom Deoband alone produced around thirty five thousand graduates who learnt Bukhari (vol 2) from him.
He was the most prominent scholar from India who earned fame as ‘Shaikh al-Hadith’ and was invited by scores of madrasas in India and abroad to start the Bukhari class and then to complete it at the end of academic session.
Contribution to Fiqh
As he was a great muhaddith he served as Mufti also in Mau and Varanasi. He used to write responses to Islamic queries directed to him with utmost care and expertise. Though he was not formally trained in fatwa writing but he studied the fiqh so thoroughly that the madrasa management relied upon him and gave him the charge of ‘Mufti’ during his stay in Darul Uloom Mau.
He served as Mufti for thirteen years and wrote more than 13000 fatwas which are preserved in several voluminous registers. His son in law, Maulana Ubaidullah Qasmi Azami, is compiling the compendium and shall soon see the light of the day in-sha-Allah!
Salient Qualities and Features
Shaikh Abdul Haq Azami possessed a very imposing and lovely personality. At first he used to have an astonishing effect on the onlooker due to his heavy and encompassing figure, but he was very humble, naïve and innocent as per his inherent nature. He won the hearts of people and enjoyed popularity among them due to his humble behaviour and down-to-earth instinct.
He never thought ill of any body and never ever was heard to backbite people. He discharged all his responsibilities very well and in time and never approached the administration for salary hike and asking for facilities. He spent his last thirty five years of his life in a two tiny room set of semi-flat beside Chhatta Mosque in Deoband with his family and children. Though he travelled thoroughly in India and abroad and had a wide range of contacts ranging from the affluent to politically powerful personalities but he never exploited these relations for the good of this world.
He kept himself aloof from affluent people and never was impressed by them. Thus he was able to speak the truth even at odd times. He never hesitated to say what is right even in the face of worldly loss and material disadvantage.
He was an embodiment of piety, knowledge, simplicity and humility. Due to his humbleness and modesty, he was popular amongst Ulama and the common people.
He was invited for sermons and speeches among the people. His speeches were very simple, but immensely touching and warming the hearts due to his infused piety and engrained righteousness and austerity. Specially his prayer sessions after the end of speech were highly popular owing to his submissive supplications and sincere beseeching to Allah, the Almighty.
Though he grew weaker and was not feeling well for quite some years due to old age, but his death was very unexpected as he did not have any serious health issue. However, his time for this world was over and he breathed his last on 30 Rabi al-Awwal 1438 corresponding to 30 December 2016.
The funeral prayer was led by Maulana Syed Arshad Madani, the President of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and the Professor Hadith in Darul Uloom Deoband, and was performed in the Daar-e-Jadeed campus at 3:30 pm. He was laid to rest in Qasmi graveyard in the presence of thousands of scholars and students.
Shaikh Azami survived a wife and twelve children; seven sons and five daughters. His eldest son is in his sixties, while his most capable son Maulana Abdur Bar Azami, a graduate and Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband, is teacher of Hadith in Madrasa Baitul Uloom Saraimir in Azamgarh.
May Allah shower the purest nectar of His endless mercy and blessing to the departed soul and make it reside in the highest abodes in Jannat, Amen!
6 Rabee’ul Awwal 1438/6 Dec 2016.
Due to the letters and questions regarding some of the incorrect ideologies and thoughts and the questionable Bayaans of Janaab Moulana Saad Saheb Kandhelwi received from within the country as well as from beyond, with the signatures of senior Asaatizah Kiraam and the panel of Muftis, an official stance has been taken.
However, before releasing this document, it was brought to our notice that a delegation wishes to come to Darul-Uloom and discuss matters on behalf of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb. Hence, the delegation came and delivered the message on behalf of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb that he is ready to make Rujoo’ (retract). Therefore, the unanimous stance was sent with the delegation to Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb. A reply was then received from him, however, Darul-Uloom Deoband was not satisfied with his reply completely, upon which some explanation was sent to Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb in the form of a letter.
In order to protect the blessed effort of Tableegh started by the Akaabir Ulema of Darul-uloom Deoband from becoming mixed up with incorrect ideologies, to keep it on the pattern of the Akaabir and also in order for its benefit and to keep the reliance of the Ulema-e-Haq upon this effort, it is regarded as a Deeni responsibility to present our unanimous standpoint to the Ahl-e-Madaaris, Ahl-e-Ilm and the unbiased people. May Allah Ta’ala protect this blessed effort in every way and grant all of us the ability to remain ideologically and practically on the path of truth.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على سيد الأنبياء والمرسلين، محمد وآله وأصحابه أجمعين. أما بعد:
Recently a request has been received from many Ulema and Mashaaikh that Dar-uloom Deoband present its stance regarding the ideologies of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi. Very recently, letters have been received from the reliable Ulema of Bangladesh and some Ulema from our neighbouring country (Pakistan), together with which various Istiftaas [requests for Fatwas] have come to the Darul-Ifta at Dar-uloom Deoband from within the country.
Without getting involved in the disagreements within the Jamaat and the administrative matters, we wish to say that since the last few years, the ideologies of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi were received in the form of letters and Istiftaas. Now, after investigation, it has been proven that, in his Bayaans, incorrect or unfavourable explanation of the Qur’aan and Hadeeth, incorrect analogies and Tafsir bir Raay[interpretations based on self-opinion in conflict with Qur’an and Hadith] are found. Some statements amount to disrespect of the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam) whilst many statements are such, wherein he moves beyond the bounds of the majority and Ijmaa’ of the Salaf.
In some Fiqhi matters also, without any basis, he contradicts the unanimous Fatwa of reliable Darul-Iftas and emphasises his new view upon the general people. He also stresses upon the importance of the effort of Tableegh in such a manner that other branches of Deen are criticised and belittled.
The method of doing Tableegh by the Salaf is also opposed, due to which the respect of the Akaabir and Aslaaf is lessened, rather, they are belittled. His conduct is in stark contrast to the previous Zimm-e-Daars of Tableegh, viz; Hazrat Moulana Ilyas Saheb (rahmatullahi alayh), Hazrat Moulana Yusuf Saheb (rahmatullahi alayh) and Hazrat Moulana In’aamul Hasan Saheb (rahmatullahi alayh).
Hereunder are some of the quotations we have received from the Bayaans of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb which have been proven to have been said by him:
* “ Hazrat Moosa (alayhis salaam) left his nation and went in seclusion to engage in Munaajaat with Allah Ta’aala, due to which 188 000 individuals went astray. The Asl was Moosa (alayhis salaam), he was the Zimme-Daar. The Asl was supposed to remain. Haroon (alayhis salaam) was a helper and partner.”
* “Naql-o-Harkat is for the completion and perfection of Taubah. People know of the three conditions of Taubah, they don’t know the fourth. They have forgotten it. What is it? Khurooj! [i.e. coming out specifically for Tabligh]. People have forgotten this condition. A person killed 99 people. He first met a monk. The monk made him despair. He then met an Aalim. The Aalim told him to go to a certain locality. This killer did Khurooj, therefore Allah Ta’aala accepted his Taubah. From this it is understood that Khurooj is a condition of Taubah. Without it, Taubah is not accepted. People have forgotten this condition. Three conditions of Taubah are mentioned. The fourth condition, i.e. Khurooj is forgotten.”
* “There is no place for getting Hidaayat except the Masjid. Those branches of Deen where Deen is taught, if their connection is not with the Masjid, then, by the oath of Allah Ta’aala there will be no Deen in it. Yes the Ta’leem of Deen will take place, not Deen.”
(In this quotation, by connection with the Masjid, his intention is not going to perform Salaah in the Masjid. This is because he said this while talking about the importance of the Masjid and talking about Deen only after bringing a person to the Masjid. He said it while speaking about his specific ideology, the details of which is in the audio. His ideology is thus: to speak about Deen outside of the Masjid is contrary to the Sunnah, and contrary to the manner of the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum))
* “To teach Deen for a wage is to sell Deen. People who commit Zina will enter Jannah before those who teach Qur’aan for a wage.”
* “According to me Salaah with a camera phone in ones’ pocket is invalid. Get as many Fatwas as you want from the Ulema. Listening to and reciting Qur’aan on a camera phone is a disgrace to the Qur’aan, there will be no reward for it. A person will be sinful by doing so. No reward will be attained. Because of doing so Allah Ta’aala will deprive one from the ability of practising on the Qur’aan. Those Ulema who give the Fatwa of permissibility in this regard, according to me they are Ulema-e-Soo, Ulema-e-Soo’. Their hearts and minds have become affected by the Christians and Jews. They are completely ignorant Ulema. According to me, whichever Aalim gives the Fatwa of permissibility, by Allah Ta’aala his heart is devoid of the greatness of the Kalaam of Allah Ta’aala. I am saying this because one big Aalim said to me: “What is wrong with it?” I said that the heart of this Aalim is devoid of the greatness of Allah Ta’aala even if he knows Bukhari. Even non-Muslims may know Bukhari.”
* “It is Waajib upon every Muslim to read the Qur’aan with understanding it. It is Waajib. It is Waajib. Whoever leaves out this Waajib act will get the sin of leaving out a Waajib act.”
* “I am astonished that it is asked: “With whom do you have Islaahi Ta’alluq?” Why is it not said, that my Islaahi Ta’alluq is with this effort? My Islaahi Ta’alluq is with Da’wat. Have Yaqeen that the A’maal of Da’wat is not just enough for reformation, rather, it guarantees reformation. I have contemplated deeply, this is the reason why those involved in the effort do not stay steadfast. I am saddened over those people who sit here and say that six points is not complete Deen. The person who himself says his milk is sour cannot do business. I was completely shocked when one of our own Saathis asked for leave for a month saying that he wanted to spend I’tikaaf in the company of so and so Sheikh. I said that until now you people have not joined Da’wat and Ibaadat. You have spent at least 40 years in Tableegh. After spending 40 years in Tableegh a person says that he wants leave because he wants to go for one month I’tikaaf. I said that the person who requests leave from Da’wat in order to do Ibaadat, how can he improve his Ibaadat without Da’wat? I am saying it very clearly that the difference between the A’maal of Nubuwwat and the A’maal of Wilaayat, the difference is only that of not engaging in Naql-o-Harkat. I am saying it extremely clearly that we do not make Tashkeel to merely go out to learn Deen, because there are other avenues of learning Deen. Why is it necessary to go out in Tableegh only? The object is to learn Deen. Learn in a Madrasah. Learn in a Khaanqah.”
Some quotations from his Bayaans have also been received from which it becomes apparent that Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi regards the vast meaning of Da’wat to be confined to the current form present in the Tableegh Jamaat. Only this form is expressed as the manner of the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallaahu anhum). Only this specific form is regarded to be Sunnah and the effort of the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam), whereas it is the unanimous viewpoint of the majority of the Ummah that Da’wah and Tableegh is a universal command, regarding which the Shariah has not stipulated any specific form, which, if left out, will equate to leaving out the Sunnah.
In different eras Da’wat and Tableegh took on different forms. In no era was the divine command of Da’wat completely ignored. After the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum), the Taabi’een, Tab-e-Taabi’een, A’immah Mujtahideen, Fuqahaa’, Muhadditheen, Mashaaikh, Awliyaa’ of Allah and in recent times our Akaabir made an effort in different ways to bring Deen alive on a global scale.
In order to maintain brevity we have only mentioned a few things. Besides these, many other points have been received that go beyond the scope of the Jumhoor Ulema and have taken the shape of a new ideology. These things being incorrect is very apparent, therefore, a detailed treatise is not required here.
Before this, on numerous occasions, attention was drawn to this in the form of letters sent from Darul-Uloom Deoband. It was also brought to the attention of the delegations from “Bangla Wali Masjid” on the occasion of the Tableeghi Ijtimaa’. To date no reply to the letters was received.
Jamaat-e-Tableegh is a purely Deeni Jamaat, which cannot be left to operate in a manner that is ideologically and practically apart from the majority of the Ummah and the Akaabir (rahmatullahi alayhim). The Ulema-e-Haq can never be unanimous nor can they adopt silence over disrespect to the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam), deviant ideologies, Tafsir Bir Raay and whimsical explanation of the Ahaadeeth and Aathaar, because, these types of ideologies will later on cause the entire group to deviate from the path of truth as has happened to some Deeni and Islaahi Jamaats.
This is why we consider it our Deeni responsibility to inform the Ummah in general and the Tableeghi brothers specifically in light of these points that:-
Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi Saheb, due to a lack of knowledge has strayed from the path of the majority of the Ulema of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah in his ideologies and his explanation of Qur’aan and Hadeeth, which is undoubtedly the path of deviation. Therefore, silence cannot be adopted regarding these matters, because, even though these ideologies are those of a single person, they are spreading with great speed among the general masses.
The influential and accomplished Zimme-Daars of Jamaat who are moderate and composed also wish to turn our attention that an effort needs to be made that this Jamaat which was established by the Akaabir be kept upon the pattern of the majority of the Ummah and that of the previous Zimme-Daars. An effort also needs to made so that the incorrect ideologies of Molvi Saad that have spread amongst the general masses may be rectified. If immediate action is not taken, there is fear that a great portion of the Ummah, which is affiliated to the Tableegh Jamaat will succumb to deviance and take on the form of a Firqah Baatilah.
We all make Du’aa that Allah Ta’aala protect this Jamaat and keep the Jamaat-e-Tableegh alive and flourishing with Ikhlaas upon the manner of the Akaabir. Aameen. Thumma Aameen.
Note: These types of inappropriate statements were made previously by some individuals connected to the Tableegh Jamaat, upon which the Ulema of that time, for example, Hazrat Sheikhul Islam (rahmatullahi alayh) etc. cautioned them after which those individuals desisted from such statements. Now, however, the Zimme-Daars [i.e. the leaders of Tabligh Jama’at] themselves are saying such things, rather, even worse things are being said, as is apparent from the above quotations. They were cautioned, however, they did not heed the caution, due to which this decision and Fatwa is being approved, in order to save the people from deviance.
END OF STATEMENT FROM DARUL ULOOM DEOBAND
The original Urdu version is available at this link:
On this 24th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, we appeal to the Supreme Court of India for a speedy judgement so that political mafia would not continue to play their political games with the sentiments of the people in the name of religion.
By Muddassir Ahmad Qasmi
It was not merely a communal insurgency, which claimed hundreds of innocent Muslim lives across India; rather it was a big blow to Muslims religious identity. It was also a blatant attack on the secular ethos of the country and the two communities have been at loggerheads ever since the masjid was brought down. About 24 years back on 6 December 1992 evil forces demolished the historical Babri Masjid for political gain, and doing so they broke the hearts of about 180 million Muslims which always beat for Indian democracy. It fissured and ruptured the uneasy calm and harmony between the two communities and gave rise to animosities that are still to be doused.
Babri Masjid demolition also resulted in bloody riots in several major cities of the country and Mumbai and Surat riots in December and January 1992-93 surpassing all previous limits in brutality, killing and raping. By any account, Babri Masjid's demolition and subsequent riots remain a shame for modern secular India.
A well-known Islamic scholar of India, the president of a fraction of Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, Hazrat Maulana Syed Arshad Madni use to say in his speeches that the root of all the post-1992 communal violence is the demolition of Babri Masjid.
Thus, it is clear that the polarization of the two communities by nefarious elements for short-term political ends was not only political chicanery as it instigated the Hindu gullible masses to see the destroying of an icon as a false template of a resurgent Hindu identity. This Hindu resurgence was created to correct the so-called wrongs of history in which benign Muslim leaders were presented as those who trampled on the religious ethos of the majority community. The masses were lured by obscurantist ideas and they saw in the 'present moment of the past' a dubious and dangerous way of claiming their religious legacy.
The razing of the Babri Masjid marked a watershed moment in India's cultural history as it tore the social fabric and the peaceful co-existence of Hindus and Muslims giving birth to widespread riots. It gave rise to a “paroxysmic cry from the midnight heart” and the festering wound on the community's psyche has still to be healed.
Indian Muslims never feel ashamed on their decision not to leave India in 1947 and this was because Indian constitution confers on them full rights to enjoy their freedom of religion. On the contrary, a number of Pakistani Muslims still mourn their decision of adopting Pakistan as a separate country and the reason is obvious. But alas! A handful of communal minded people in India have always been trying to shatter the concept of one nation theory and consequently this insistent attempt to bait the Muslims (wrongly) for dividing the country compels Muslims to be on the defensive.
But seers in the Muslim camp have seen this battering of their religious identity as an act of Almighty Allah to rouse them from their slumber so that they become proactive and true Muslims and do the work of dawah to make their mark on the wishy-washy beliefs of the other communities. The demolition of the Babri Masjid was the part of a political conspiracy to ascend to the throne of Delhi and in reality it has no connection with Hindu belief. It was a propaganda that Babri Masjid was built on the birthplace of Lord Rama and gradually this false theory was attached to common Hindus sentiments. A religious belief is not something floating about in the air. To be considered a religious belief it must be specifically and clearly mentioned in a religious text.
The claim that Hindus believe that the spot occupied by the Babri Masjid is the precise birthplace of Rama does not find any such textual reference or support in the Hindu scriptures. Half a century after the construction of the Babri Masjid, the biggest devotee of Rama, Tulsi Das, who lived in Ayodhya, wrote numerous books, including the Ramcharitmanas, but he made no reference at all in any of his writings to any temple standing on the spot occupied by the Masjid or to support the claim that the spot marked the birthplace of Rama. Nor did he claim that a temple had been destroyed to build the Masjid.
There is a million dollar question that can a masjid be built on a wrongly occupied land. The answer is so easy that an illiterate Muslim will also say “NEVER”. A renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani of Jamiat Ulma-e Hind wrote in his well-researched article that till date, no compelling evidence has been provided to prove that the Babri Masjid was built after destroying a temple. It is a shariah duty binding on Muslim rulers to build masjids for their Muslim subjects to pray in. Accordingly, Babar arranged for the Babri Masjid to be built in Ayodhya under the supervision of Mir Baqi. According to the shariah, a masjid cannot be built on land owned by someone else. That is why the land where the Babri Masjid stood must either have been bought from someone or else built on empty land or land that had no legal private owner and that, therefore, was technically owned by the state. In either case, Babar's decision cannot be said to be un-Islamic or erroneous.
The masjid stood on that spot for centuries, and this itself is proof as to who its rightful owner is. For centuries, Islamic worship was offered there, and that itself is sufficient evidence of it having been a masjid. To back this claim, there is no need for additional evidence, such as a written will, the names of those who had given the land in waqf for the masjid, and so on. Rather, it is for the opposite party to prove that the masjid was not built on state land and that, instead, the land actually belonged to someone else that was, as they allege, forcibly taken by either Mir Baqi or Babar in order to build the masjid.
After going through the above mentioned facts and analysis, even a layman will conclude that the judgment of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in Ayodhya title suit, which was delivered on September 30, 2010, is not acceptable for Muslims. The three-judge bench - comprising Justice S U Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice D V Sharma - ruled in a majority judgment 2:1, that there be a three-way division of the disputed land - one-third for the Sunni Waqf Board, one-third for the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the party for 'Ram Lalla'. Each of the three judges gave a summary of his own.
Muslims had made it clear that the High Court verdict was not acceptable to them as it was based on faith and not on evidence. Judgement upholds the faith of one community over the other while ignoring evidence. The court judgment violates basic values of the Constitution - as it sacrifices the principles of secularism on the altar of dubious faith. The observation of Indian Muslims is that the HC judgement suffered from a number of infirmities and, therefore, it was the obligation of the Muslims to challenge it in the apex court, which they did.
Muslims cannot surrender their claim on Babri Masjid, because the commandments of the shariah cannot be ignored. The shariah has arranged that as soon as a place becomes a masjid its ownership is wholly transferred from out of the hands of human beings. Once a place becomes a masjid, it remains so forever, even though it might become dilapidated or is no longer prayed in or even if no Muslims live any longer in its vicinity. Even in such conditions, it cannot cease to be a masjid, and no one can change its status.
There are some so-called Islamic scholars and peacemakers in India who try to convince Muslims to leave the Babri Masjid place for the sake of mutual harmony. This is one of several attempts by those who pose to holier-than-thou and hanker to be part of the mainstream. It is ridiculous that on the one hand the opposite party is not ready to leave even an inch of the so-called temple where Babri Masjid was standing for centuries and, on the other hand, Muslims are forced to compromise by giving up the claim and, instead, forced to take a new piece of land in place of the masjid.
Let us take into account the status of the masjid in Islam. In the well-known fiqh compendium Shami it is mentioned that if people no longer live in the vicinity of a masjid and, therefore, this masjid is no longer in use, even then the masjid remains a masjid, and will remain so till the Day of Judgment. Fatwas have been given based on this principle, which argument has the backing of the leading figures of the established schools of Muslim jurisprudence, including the Imams, Abu Hanifa, Mailk, Shafi and Ahmad Bin Hanbal.
In other words, it can be said that there is a consensus or ijma among the Muslims on the matter. Accordingly, the noted Muslim jurist Allama Hafiz Ibn Hamam wrote in the Fateh al-Qadeer that it is a duty binding on Muslims to protect, as far as they possibly can, even an unused and dilapidated masjid. This point is mentioned in numerous other important books of Muslim jurisprudence, such as Al-Bahr al-Raiq, Al-Durr ul-Mukhtar ma Radd-il Muhtar, Fatawa Alamgiri, etc.
An individual or an organisation does not own a masjid, and that is why it cannot be transferred to anyone else's control or ownership. Nor can it be bought or sold. In short, according to Muslim jurisprudence, once a piece of land becomes a masjid this status cannot be changed in future.
Though the legal battle over the ownership of the Babri Masjid will continue, it needs to be noted that the concern of the Muslims with regard to the Babri Masjid stems from their desire to protect their places of worship in accordance with the rules of the shariah, and not from any identification with or support for Babar or from association with a particular bit of land. That is why to seek to counterpoise Rama against Babar is a mischievous conspiracy to scuttle the real issues that are central to the ongoing controversy.
The last and the final question in this issue is that if the Supreme Court gives verdict against Muslims, will it be acceptable for them. The answer is quite clear that after going through the concrete evidence in support of Muslim claims, most hopefully the verdict will come in the favour of Muslims but in the case it is otherwise, Muslims will accept it, though actually it will be a mere compromise. When the wider interest of public peace and harmony is at stake, it is advisable not to rake up issues that can lead to greater 'fitnas'.
However, the sorry legacy of the Babri Masjid demolition cannot be wished away even on the insistence of the well meaning among the majority community for it has ripped apart the social and cultural glue that had bound the two communities and it will, unfortunately, continue to bedevil the peaceful co-operation and relations between the two communities. On this 24th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, we appeal to the Supreme Court of India for a speedy judgement so that political mafia would not continue to play their political games with the sentiments of the people in the name of religion.
By *M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
The article 25 of India’s constitution is a fundamental right which reads: “… all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.”
The article 44 of the same constitution is a directive principle which reads: “The State shall endeavour to secure for citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”
A directive principle, a suggestion or an optional act cannot outdo a fundamental right of a citizen, and this is common sense. An effort to make changes in the Muslim personal laws from outside has always been considered interference in the religion and religious practices by the Muslim Indians in general and thus is totally against the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right.
The recent affidavit by the BJP government in the Supreme Court seeking abolishment of triple talaq and polygamy from Muslim personal law is unwise, uncalled for and an electioneering gimmick. Likewise the questionnaire issued by the Law Commission of India is poorly prepared, biased about Muslims and is received by the minority communities and Dalits as part of a conspiracy to implant differences and impose a Brahmanical law in the guise of Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
India is a secular state. No particular religion or the religion of the overwhelming majority has been made the religion of the state. Articles 29 and 30 of the constitution also ensure religious and linguistic minorities the right to establish and manage educational institutions of their choice.
Triple Talaq and Muslim Society
The government and some of our media houses are sensationalizing the matter of triple talaq and polygamy in ways that it looks as if triple talaq and polygamy are widespread practices among Indian Muslims only, whereas the facts suggest otherwise.
According to Census 2011 data on the marital status of Indians; among all divorced women, 68 percent Hindus and 23.3 percent are Muslims. Census 2011 further reveals that 5.5 in 1,000 Hindu couples tend to get separated, including cases of wives being abandoned by husbands, one among them should be famous Jashodaben Narendrabhai Modi, the wife of India’s present Prime Minister. Thus, both legal divorces 1.8 plus separation among Hindus amount to 7.3 per thousand women. This fact brings the Hindu divorce and separation rate to be quite higher than that of the Muslim divorce rate which is 5.63 per thousand women in 2011 census, wherein separation or abandonment is not a significant factor due to easy divorce and notorious use of triple talaq.
Unfortunately the media houses in India prefer to run after myths while creating a sensation since it suits their TRPs and boosts them as ‘jehadists’ against ‘orthodox’ Islam.
In fact, the triple talaq in one go is forbidden and severely condemned in Islam. Through its strictures, Islam neither appreciates triple talaq nor polygamy. These practices are not common in Muslim society too. The survey says that very few people choose the way of triple talaq and they do it out of ignorance. But triple talaq if committed and proven will affect a couple’s lives as wife and husband.
A myth is being well propagated with all pomp and show by some neoliberal and anti-Islam ‘Khans’, ‘Akhtars’, ‘Taslimas’ and ‘Zakias’, who all are but not Muslims, save their Arabic worded names; they claim that triple talaq is neither in the Qur’an nor it is in Islamic Shariah, and ill-fated ‘mullahs’ have invented it; whereas the glorious Qur’an says:
“Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment…” [Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 229].
It clearly directs that up to two talaqs only a husband may keep his wife back through the raj’at or should leave her to complete her period and thereafter permanently release her with good treatment. The Qur’an goes on describing the importance of keeping relationship and being fearful of Allah while delivering the rights of women till the end of this long Ayat (No. 229). The next Ayat unequivocally mentions the third talaq and the only option, available in extreme cases, for coming back together, if they choose so. Thus, the Qur’an says:
“And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah . These are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear to the people who know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 230].
In one of my articles previously ‘Talaq, talaq, talaq: is a crime but it kills’ I detailed how triple talaq has been applicable since Prophet Mohammad’s (saws) lifetime. The Prophet (saws) though was angry owing to misuse of talaq and not following the spirit of Islam by some of his companions, yet he had enforced separation following triple talaq in one go on more than one occasion.
The first caliph Abu Bakr (ra), the second caliph Umar bin Khattab (ra), who although introduced punishment against the defaulter of using instant triple talaq but enforced the outcome. Similarly all following Caliphs, Imams, scholars of Hadith and Islamic jurists, and all four major Sunni Islamic schools of thoughts – Hanafi, Shafie, Maliki and Hambali have been following it in the same way till date.
Those who are beating empty drums repeating falsehoods under the arc lights of the media, are but evil mongers. They are utterly ignorant about Islamic sciences and its civil and criminal law processes. They are of course tools of entertainment for some media houses around the world – Muslim masses have always been out-rightly rejecting them on their faces.
Here it is also noteworthy that some of India’s ‘shouting’ TV anchors and fanatic ‘bhakts’, including the law ministry have been claiming that many Muslim countries have banned triple talaq. This is just one more false propaganda. It cannot be banned by Muslim – groups or individuals. It can only be one or three applicable talaqs – an existing difference of opinions within Muslim scholars. Some Muslim countries in conditions consider triple talaq as one talaq and most of them made use of it illegal but they declare it effective, as the constitution of Saudi Arabia reads: “Triple talaq is illegal but effective”.
The matter was discussed in a conclave of Hai’atu Kibaril Ulama (The Council of Senior Theologians) of Saudi Arabia and after due deliberation they declared that in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah three talaqs pronounced at one go shall have the effect of three talaqs. [http://islamtoday.net/bluetooth/artshow-32-6230.htm]
The constitution of Pakistan reads:
Pronouncement of triple divorce is final and binding until intervening marriage. [Law of Divorce and Khula in Pakistan, page: 8: by Barrister Ali Shaikh]
However, it does not make sense for Indian Muslims what and how people in other Muslim majority or Muslim minority countries are practicing Islam. Indian Muslims and their scholars have been torch bearers in practicing ‘moderate’ Islam throughout the world, and some of them have been accepted as authoritative references on Islam for centuries. They have piles of works on Islamic theology – and the world is being benefited till date. They should remain so as independent as they have been being within the parameters of Shariah.
The triple talaq is a terrible use of law. It is an abuse of legal dispensation by some Muslim males. They should be held responsible and punished to minimize the misuse. Along with them all those who oppress women should be punished too; including those who without offering divorce remain separated from their wives and torture them both physically and mentally throughout their lives. Abolishing triple talaq or changing the Islamic personal law is not the solution. Sensitizing males about the rights and respect of women is the best solution.
Islam does not appreciate polygamy
In Islam polygamy is allowed with strict conditions which are difficult to fulfill. That is why polygamy is not widespread in Muslim society in the whole of Indian subcontinent. Very few Muslims get married to more than one wife. Sometimes it is even done as per the wish of the first wife or at least with mutual desire.
Some of them do so because of the need, such as first wife is suffering from chronic disease or because of the wish of having either a child or a male child while a very few of them practice polygamy with wrong intention too. It is not a fault of law but it is their personal crime if they oppress their first wives after getting married to other women.
It is important to note that those who are not allowed constitutionally to practice polygamy are more polygamous than Muslims. How many Indians are actually polygamous?
Exact data on the subject is hard to find today, primarily because the 1961 census was the last one to look at marriages by religion and community. That survey, in fact, found that incidence of polygamy was the least among Muslims, with just 5.7 percent of the community likely to practice it. Hindus actually had a higher incidence rate of polygamy, at 5.8 percent, although other communities, including Buddhists and Jains, were proportionally even more likely to practice polygamy. 7.9 percent of Buddhists and 6.7 of Jains were polygamous. At the top were tribals, 15.25 percent of whom were polygamous.
Notably, article 25 of the constitution of India describes Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism as parts of the Hindu religion, though these religions are fighting to constitutionally get separate religious identities. Explanation II of sub clause (b) in clause 2 of the article 25 says: “the reference to Hindus will be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina and Buddhist religions …” Thus if you club together the constitutionally defined Hinduism, then the rate of polygamy climbs among Hindus to as high as 20.4 percent excluding Sikhism, as we do not have data available for it in hand.
The takeaway, as per the 1961 census data thus stands that 5.7 percent Muslims and 20.4 Hindus are polygamous.
Contrary to the claim by the government of India and a few ‘feminist’ mockers that “polygamy is unIslamic” and the Qur’an does not permit it, the glorious Qur’an says:
“And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one …” [Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 3]
Precisely, polygamy is a conditional option but allowed in Islam. However a recent survey was conducted by a team of journalists from ummid.com in Malegaon, Maharashtra in India to fact-check the hotly debated so-called prevalence of polygamous cases among Muslims on the ground zero level. Malegaon is a Muslim majority city with 7 lakh population and 78.95 percent Muslims. The report reads:
“The quick survey conducted by ummid.com amidst the ongoing debate on the subject following pleas in the Supreme Court by the Modi government and some women activists seeking a ban on polygamy also showed that there are just 02 men in this hugely Muslim populated city who have three wives.” It further goes on “…just 151 men in Malegaon – a city of more than 05 lakh Muslims, have two wives,.. and none with four wives” the latest survey showed. [http://ummid.com/news/2016/October/17.10.2016/ummid-dot-com-survey-on-polugamy-malegaon.html]
Incisively, Malegoan has 5 lakh Muslim populations, consider 50 percent of them are females, thus 2.5 lakh are males. Further make a deduction of 40 percent as they are either not married or children, thus total number of married men stands to roughly 1.5 lakh. Now the total number of men having more than one wife is 153 out of 1.5 lakh that is an astonishing 0.10 percent only.
This latest survey in Malegaon and the census data from 1961 are clear indications that banning polygamy will not make any difference and will not stop polygamy or oppression upon women. For, most of the polygamous males in the country are those who are not permitted by law to practice polygamy.
Why UCC is not possible in India
Diversity is beauty of India. The Indian constitution ensures “justice, social, economic and political” to all citizens. It has adopted measures for the protection of the rights of the religious and ethnic minorities and of the socially and economically disadvantaged classes such as the scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST). As, different kinds of flowers add to the beauty of a garden, in the same way people with different cultures and colours are the beauty of this awesome country. This is the sole idea of India.
One country one law is not possible here. Adivasis have their own customs and cultural mores. A man can have many wives and a woman can have many husbands too. They have different ways of marriage and also different rituals for burying the dead. A large section of Hindus practices different religious customs in different places.
A comparative study of the personal laws of Hindus, Muslims and other minorities will reveal that the sheer diversity of these laws, coupled with the dogmatic zeal with which they are adhered to, cannot permit uniformity of any sort in personal laws. In fact, the heterogeneity of Hindu law itself is such that even the possibility of a uniform Hindu code is ruled out.
Talking of marriage alone, under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, marriages may be solemnised in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of a variety of people who come under the definition of a Hindu. For instance, according to the saptapadhi form of marriage that is followed mostly in northern India, the marriage is deemed to be complete and binding when the couple take seven steps of rounds with the sacred fire – known as saath phere.
On the other hand, in the south suyamariyathai and seerthiruththa forms of marriage are followed. Under these, the marriage is valid if the parties to the marriage declare in the presence of relatives that they are marrying each other, or if they garland each other, or put a ring on each other’s fingers or if the groom ties a thali or Mangalyam around the neck of the bride.
Likewise, in southern India, a Hindu man can get married to his cousin and even to his niece but in other parts of India, Hindu men cannot get married to their cousins and nieces.
Also, for a marriage to be valid under Hindu law it has to be solemnised in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of at least one of the parties. Thus, if a Jain marries a Buddhist by performing the rites of a Sikh, the marriage is invalid. [Sakuntala v Nilakantha 1972, Mah LR 31, cited in Family Law by Paras Divan]
It, therefore, needs to be asked if it is possible or practicable to reconcile these divergent laws and formulate a uniform or common code that is acceptable to all communities.
India already has an optional civil code in the form of the Special Marriages Act 1954. This, read with similar acts such as the Indian Succession Act of 1925, provides a good legal framework for all matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance and succession for those who may wish to avoid the religion-based laws.
The Uniform Civil Code in India is an illusion, and a political claptrap. It is illogical as well as impossible to bring all jumping chickens in one narrow basket. So why this government is creating a hysteria among common men through Law Commission of India, is better known to Mr. Modi and people sitting in the realm of RSS headquarters in Nagpur.
If Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi really wants to empower Muslim women in India, as he bawled in his Lucknow speech recently, then he should come out with three doable policies. (a) He may bravely enact proportionate reservation for Muslim women in job and education; they will be gradually empowered in real sense. (b) He may restrain misuse of drugs which is a major cause of oppression for all women including Muslim women. (c) He should urgently endorse a law on prevention of communal riots where Muslim women are proven to be the worst victims time and again.
Will Mr. Modi and his government reflect about even any one of them?
*The author M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is Editor of Eastern Crescent and Director of Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai.
By Muddassir Ahmad Qasmi*
In modern India, in spite of moral decline in different spheres of life, contemporary educational centers are talking about new heights in the educational field; they are trying to keep pace with the world in high technology and above all equal opportunity in education is given top most priority. In addition to it, there have been hot debates about modernization of madrasas in recent days, but there is a distinct difference between modern and religious scholars in the concept of modernization of madrasas. On the one hand Ulama are of the opinion that there should be some minor changes in madrasa curriculum as per the demands of the present age and, on the other hand, modern intellectuals expect complete modification in madrasa syllabus by adopting modern technology.
The important question is that who will decide the boundaries of madrasa curriculum? Will it be those who had studied at madrasas and later on have been rendering their services for the same madrasas or those who had acquired knowledge from modern institutions and thereafter they have been offering their services for the same modern institutions or there are some other people or groups for this purpose. The easy answer of the above question is that it is only the madrasa authorities who are responsible for bringing about changes in madrasa curriculum as per the need and demand of the hour. Yes, it is also necessary that modern intellectuals and new technology experts must also be provided a chance to present their ideas so that a precise and concise syllabus may be prepared.
Here it should be kept in mind that modernization of madrasas does not mean converting madrasas into schools because both the systems have different purposes and benefits. From an Islamic prospective the purpose of establishing madrasas is to propagate and protect Islam whereas the aim of modern educational institutions is to meet worldly needs and aspirations.
The common trend is that people from every background seem to advocate modernization of madrasas, although covertly they have different motives behind this intention. We will not present here a critical analysis about different ideas and motives and will only try to shed some light on the practical ideas in the modernization of madrasas.
1. The existing syllabus should remain intact except a little changes including a few modern subjects such as English language, basics of mathematics and sciences and they should be incorporated in such a way that on the one hand they do not weaken mainstream Arabic subjects in the least degree and on the other hand students become capable of speaking and writing in English, acquainted with mathematical principles and be aware of basic science.
If this idea is materialized, it will be an additional successful step in fulfilling the purpose of madrasa establishment. Moreover, students of madrasas will be saved from running pillar to post for further education in universities. Let me confess here that these modern subjects are already in the educational system of some madrasas but they are only a part of syllabus for the sake of syllabus' sake but they do not benefit students in any degree of usefulness.
2. We also support those religious scholars who are of the opinion that there should be no ruffling of feathers by inflicting extra subjects during the period of Fazeelat course and the reason behind this rigor is to make students proficient in religious subjects. Surely we cannot ignore their sincere intentions because we also need a group of ulama who have full command on Islamic learning and science and are attuned to the spirit of Shariah.
Here I want to make it clear that regardless of different syllabi of madrasas, every madrasa without exception teaches modern subjects in elementary classes. Our concern is here only secondary and higher classes. Thus, those madrasas that do not teach modern subjects in secondary and higher classes, should teach their students the prescribed Arabic syllabus with full attention so that they become experts in their field. Later on after completion of Fazilat course some of them may join such institutions which have designed especial courses for madrasa graduates to attain higher levels of pedagogical skills in English, computers and modern subjects.
For this especial purpose madrasa graduates can pursue a two-year Diploma in English Language and Literature (DELL) course that was introduced by Markazul Ma'arif Education and Research Center and now has a dozen centers across India teaching this course.
Though the graduates of madrasas have full command on Islamic subjects and are duly capable to lead the Ummah but to maximize their benefits and equip them with the polish of English-language skills this DELL course was designed. This would enable them to face new challenges with full confidence and defend Islam with renewed energy.
3. It should be kept in mind that whenever we talk of familiarising madrasa graduates with higher modern education, we intend to cover not all graduates but a selected number from them. It is noteworthy that more than one century ago our ancestral Ulama had already declared that English language is a must for madrasa graduates. According to the history of Darul Uloom Deoband, its governing body in 1318 A.H. had decided to give scholarships to madrasa graduates for further studies in universities and it was also planned that college students will be taught Arabic in its premises but due to lack of funds that dream did not come true.
Therefore, a selected number of madrasa graduates should also join universities but the first and foremost condition for them is that they should not compromise with their Islamic identity in the least degree because they go there to gain something not to lose something. If madrasa graduates change their original religious colour in universities then no one will allow them to do so because it will becloud their main mission.
4. One of the aspects of modernization of madrasas is that some of the subjects may be taught with modern style and technology. For instance, teachers should make a lesson plan for every session as it will surely help students to understand subjects in a comprehensive manner. Likewise history and geography may be taught by the help of projectors and lessons may be illustrated by computer graphics. Surely, no one can deny the importance of abovementioned methods of teaching.
5. From time to time, the government also shows its interest in madrasa modernization and tries to come up with new ideas but it is not acceptable for madrasawalas. The reason has been explained in the abovementioned points. However, if government is sincere about madrasa modernization, firstly it should take care of those governmental madrasas in UP, Bihar, Bengal and Assam which are in pathetic condition in every sense of the word.
Though the purpose of madrasa education is not getting simply governmental jobs. This is done with an eye to serve the nation, country and community which is a constructive and positive step which is encouraged by farsighted Ulama. Graduates of madrasas can prove their best ability in schools, colleges, universities via Urdu, Arabic and Persian teaching and also in some other governmental departments such as embassies etc. Now if the government is serious enough about madrasa modernization, it should recognize leading madrasas' certificates and grant jobs for madrasa graduates in various departments without additional degrees from universities.
To sum up, madrasa modernization is not an unsolved enigma and therefore we should not make a hue and cry for that from sunrise to sunset. The only thing we have to do is that religious scholars should discharge their duty, modern intellectuals should play their role and the government should fulfill the basic needs of the people. I am not only hopeful but also sure that in this way we can reach our desired destination.
*The writer is an assistant editor of Eastern Crescent, Mumbai