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Some Bereli scholars label people like Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi RAH. Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi RAH. Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi RAH. and Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi RAH. As Kaafir. They say that these men have left the fold of Islaam. They also' claim t PDF Print E-mail
Imaan and Aqaa'id - Bida'ah

A Satisfying Response to the Blatant Manner in which the People of Bid'ah Label Others as Kaafir

Q: Imaan-59 : Some Bereli scholars label people like Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi RAH. Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi RAH. Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi RAH. and Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi RAH. As Kaafir. They say that these men have left the fold of Islaam. They also' claim that they have no Imaan, have wrong beliefs, are headed for Jahannam, are accursed, etc. furthermore, they also instruct people to curse these men and claim that a person is not a Muslim if he does not regard these men as being Kuffaar and evil people. Please provide a detailed reply substantiated by the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth.

Answer: The evil and impermissible act of defaming the men of truth and creating hatred for them is nothing new. This has always been the practice of people who are upon falsehood and who follow the dictates of their carnal desires. People accused Hadhrat Nooh ALY. of being misguided and called for him to be stoned to death. Hadhrat Hood ALY. was called a fool and a liar and Hadhrat Saalih ALY. was called a bringer of ill fortune. Hadhrat Loot ALY. was threatened with expulsion and Hadhrat Shu'ayb ALY. was given the same ultimatum if he did not forsake his religion.

Hadhrat Ibraheem ALY. was declared to be a criminal and thrown into a raging fire. Hadhrat Moosa ALY. was called a magician and a madman, while Hadhrat Isa ALY. was called a liar and faced execution. His mother Hadhrat Maryam RADI. was accused of fornication and his disciples were labelled as bringers of bad luck and threatened with stoning. Hadhrat Zakariyyah ALY. was also called a madman and a liar and was treated mercilessly. Rasulullaah SAW. said that no other had been harmed and harassed as much as he had been.

Because the Ulema who are close to Allaah are the true heirs of the Ambiyaa ALY. they are most worth of receiving the everlasting rewards of the Aakhirah. Rasulullaah SAW. said that those who faced the severest of trials in this world were the Ambiyaa ALY. followed by those closest to them and then those closest to them. While the Rawaafidh declared the first three Khulafaa to be the enemies of Rasulullaah SAW.'s family, the Khawaarij declared Hadhrat AIi RADI. to be a Kaafir. There were then those who said that Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbaas RADI. tendered the wrong explanation of the Qur'aan.

In a like manner, some people accused Hadhrat ZaynulAabideen RAH. Of making statements similar to those of idol worshippers. Others labelled Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Zubayr RADI. as a trouble-maker and a hypocrite. Hadhrat Hasan Basri RAH. was referred to as one who refuted predestination and Imaam Abu Haneefah RAH. was called a deviate, an enemy of the Ummah and the Shaytaan of the Ummah (Allaah forbid!). Some even went to the extent of saying that killing him is better than waging jihaad seventy times.'

Under the oppression of some, Imaam Maalik RAH. was not allowed to leave his home to perform salaah and Jumu'ah salaah in the Masjid for 25 years. At the end, he was also brutally assaulted. Then there were also those who claimed that Imaam Shaafi'ee RAH. was more harmful than shaytaan and so much slander was levelled against him that people would curse and swear him. When he stood by the truth, Hadhrat Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbl RAH. was imprisoned and lashed so much daily that he would lose consciousness. People would also slap his face and spit at him.
Hadhrat Dhun Noon Misri RAH. was made to wear a yoke around his neck and had shackles around his feet when he was expelled from Egypt. When Hadhrat Muhammad Balkhi RAH. was exiled, a rope was bound around his neck.

Hadhrat Imaam Nasa'ee RAH. was martyred at the Kabah by those who perpetrated Bid'ah and the teachings and talks of Hadhrat Bayazeed Bistaami RAH. were referred to as conflicting with the Shari'ah. The books of Imaam Ghazaali RAH. were burnt and it was said that people would be rewarded for cursing him. Hadhrat Imaam Abu Bakr Nablusi RAH. Actually had his skin peeled off.

Hadhrat Junayd Baghdaadi RAH. Hadhrat Taajud Deen Subki RAH. Hadhrat Imaam Bukhaari RAH. Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thaanni RAH. and Hadhrat Shibfi RAH. were all labelled as Kuffaar and it was regarded as a sin to associate with them. In fact, it was said about Hadhrat Sheikh Muhiyyud Deen Arabi RAH. that his Kufr was worse than that of the Jews and Christians. It was declared that Hadhrat Hadhrat Abul Hasan Ash'ari RAH. (the Imaam of the Ahlus Sunnah) was a Kaafir and one who opposed the Deen. In fact, it was the cruelty of some people that even compelled Hadhrat Shah Wali'ullaah Dehlawi RAH. to make Hijrah.

Another link in this chain is the people of Bid'ah, who have appeared in the 14th century of Islaam to label as Kuffaar those saints of Deoband who are the true propagators of Towheed and the Sunnah of Rasulullaah SAW. They attack great personalities like Hadhrat Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi RAH. Hadhrat Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi RAH. Hadhrat Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Muhaajir Madani RAH. and Hakeemul Ummah Hadhrat Shah Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi RAH.
By the grace of Allaah, all the above mentioned personalities believe in Towheed, Risaalah, resurrection, Jannah, Jahannam, the seal of prophethood and the various other fundamentals of Deen. They belong to the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah and follow the principles of belief as propounded by Hadhrat Abul Hasan Ash'ari RAH. and Hadhrat Imaam Abu Mansoor Maatureedi RAH. In the secondary branches of Islaamic faith and practise, they were all followers of Hadhrat Imaam Abu Haneefah RAH. and they were all linked to the Chistiyyah, Nakhshbandiyyah, Qaadiriyyah and Suharwardiyyah chains of Tasawwuf . They were all accomplished scholars and saints whose feats were miraculous, who closely followed the Sunnah and who truly loved Rasulullaah SAW. This can be verified by their Fataawaa, their books and by the actions of their followers. Thousands of proficient Ulema and other Muslims followed them and there are hundreds of thousand in India and abroad who have taken them as guides and leaders in their religious lives.

A Hadith states that when a deceased person is remembered as an Allaah Fearing and good person, this is testimony to his Imaan. It then becomes necessary for him to enter Jannah.'

The men in question were true heirs of the saints and Ambiyaa ALY. And accurately lived up to the saying that states: "A saint amongst his people is like a Nabi amongst his nation." Their lives were devoted to propagating what Allaah and Rasulullaah SAW. said and in serving the Deen of Allaah. According to the words of the Hadith, the ink they used when writing their Fataawaa holds more weight than the blood of martyrs. A person will be Destroying his Aakhirah if he regards such great personalities as (Allaah forbid!) Kuffaar, inmates of Jahannam or accursed.
A Hadith states that when a person labels another as a Kaafir and the person really is not, the title returns to the speaker, meaning that he becomes a Kaafir himself'.

Rasulullaah SAW. also said that when your brother says anything, You must never try to interpret it negatively as long as it is possible to adopt a positive interpretation.3 It is for this reason that the Fuqahaa state that when there are ninety nine possibilities of interpreting something as (an act or word of) Kufr and only one possibility of interpreting it otherwise, the Mufti or Qaadhi should assume the one possibility and not issue a ruling of Kufr".

The personalities in question have often repeated in their talks and writings that they are innocent of the beliefs that the people of Bid'ah attribute to them. In fact, they regard people holding such beliefs to be Kuffaar. Here are quotations from their works:

1. Hadhrat Moulana Gangohi RAH.

Someone asked: "What do the Ulema of Deen and the Muftis say about lying being a trait of Allaah ta?aala. Does Allaah lie or not? What is the condition of a person who says that Allaah lies?"

Hadhrat Gangohi RAH. replies: "Allaah ta?aala is pure and free from being linked with the trait of lying. (Allaah forbidl) There is no possibility of Allaah ever lying. The Qur'aan states: "And who can be more truthful in speech than Allaah". Any person who believes or states that Allaah lies is a Kaafir in no uncertain terms. He is an accursed person and opposes the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth.. There is consensus amongst the Ummah that such a person can never be a Mu?min .' (Fataawaa Rasheediyyah Vol.1 Pg.18)

2. Hadhrat Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi RAH.

"There is no possibility of another Nabi coming after Rasulullaah saw. and I regard any person who doubts this to be a Kaafir." (Munaazarah Ajeebiyyah Pg. 103)

3. Hadhrat Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi RAH.

"My teachers and I are of the opinion that a person who claims that Shaytaan or any other creation has more knowledge than Rasulullaah SAW. is a Kaafir, a Murtad and is accursed." (Sahaabul Midraar Pg.49)

4. Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi RAH. says about a quotation from the book Hif'zul Imaan: "l have never written these vile words in any book. Let alone writing them, such a thought has never crossed my mind."
"Any person who subscribes to such a belief has left Islaam in my opinion regardless of whether he states it in clear words or alludes towards it: (Basfu/ Bdnaan Pg. 10)

A Hadith states that when Hadhrat Usaama RADI. attacked a Kaafir on the battlefield, the man immediately recited the Kalimah 'Laa ilaaha illallaah. However, Hadhrat Usaama radi. still killed him. When Rasulullaah SAW. was informed of this; he asked Hadhrat Usaama RADI. why he had killed the man even after he had recited the Kalima.
Hadhrat Usaama RADI. replied that the man had killed a particular Muslim and when he was attacked, he recited the Kalimah merely to save himself. Hadhrat Usaama RADI. therefore believed that the man did not recite the Kalimah with sincerity. "Did you cut open his heart (to see whether he was reciting with sincerity or out of fear)? Rasulullaah SAW. asked. "What reply will you give," Rasulullaah SAW. asked, "When the Kalimah stands up in his defence on the Day of Qiyaamah?" Hadhrat Usaama RDI then begged RasuLullaah SAW. to seek forgiveness on his behalf, but Rasulullaah SAW. kept repeating the words, "What reply will you give when the Kalimah stands up in his defence on the Day of Qiyaamah? Hadhrat Usaama RADI then said that he hoped he had accepted Islaam only that day so that all his sins would be forgiven.

The people of Bid'ah should take heed to this Hadith and stop labelling Muslims as Kuffaar and Murtad. Verbally abusing people is the trait of the Munaafiqeen, using foul language is the hallmark of the Rawaafidh and harassing and killing religious leaders has always been the trademark of the Jews. These are not the practices of Muslims. The people of Bid'ah clearly are opposing the teachings of Islaam as propounded by the Ahadeeth and Fiqh. In a single morning, the Bani Israa'eel martyred forty three Ambiyaa ALY. and then another eighty in the evening together with a hundred and twelve pious worshippers.

Fataawaa Hadithiyyah (pg.231) states that it is forbidden to curse a Muslim as well as a non-Muslim (when it is not known whether he died as a Kaafir). It is for this reason that in the opinion of the research scholars, it is best to remain silent about people like Yazeed and Hajjaaj. They may not be cursed.

When people once started discussing Bilaal bin Abi Burda, many of them began to curse and vilify him. When Ibn Aun remained silent the people asked him why he did not curse as well. He replied, "There Will be two things Written in my record of deeds, one will be the Kalimah and the other will be that someone had cursed another. I prefer that only the Kalimah be written and not that Allaah had cursed someone ." (Ihyaa'ul Uloom Vol.3 Pg.122)

Hadhrat Raabiya Basriyya RAH. Would not even curse Shaytaan, saying that The time spent in such a futile effort could better be used for Dhikr.

Rasulullaah SAW. said, "When any of you passes away, leave him alone and do not speak ill of him."
Rasulullaah SAW. also said, "Speak about the good of your deceased and hold your tongue against mentioning their wrongs.?

Another narration states that Rasulullaah SAW. said, "Never speak ill of the dead because they have already reached that which they have sent ahead.

Yet another narration states that one should speak good of the dead because if they are headed for Jannah, one will be sinning for speaking evil of them and if they are headed for Jahannam, their own sins are enough to condemn them. Rasulullaah SAW. also instructed us never to speak ill of the dead because this will only hurt the living (the members of his/her family).

Although Abu Lahab was a Kaafir, he was also the uncle of Rasulullaah SAW. Therefore, when someone used to constantly recite Surah Lahab (which curses Abu Lahab), Rasulullaah SAW. asked him, "Do you not know any other Surah?"

Rasulullaah SAW. also forbade the Sahabah RDI from cursing the Mushrkeen who were killed during the Battle of Badr. Rasulullaah SAW. said "Do not curse these people because even though your words cannot reach them, they cause harm to those who are alive. Remember that bad language is a sign of wretchedness."

Abdullaah bin Ubay was the leader of the Munaafi qeen in Madinah Everyon e well knew that he was a hypocrite and knew well the harm he caused to Rasulullaah SAW. and the Muslims. .However, despite this. Rasulullaah SAW. gave his blessed upper garment to be used as a burial shroud for him. Rasulullaah SAW. also led his funeral prayer and even took his head on his knee to place some of his blessed saliva in his mouth. In this manner, Rasulullaah SAW. did all he could to save the man from Jahannam and also to please his relatives. On the other hand, today's scholars affiliated to the people of Bid'ah claim that great saints and religious leaders are Kuffaar, Murtad, inmates of Jahannam, accursed, etc. etc. They thereby cause untold harm and hurt to the many followers of these people.

May Allaah guide these people so that instead of making Kuffaar out of true Muslims, they may rather try to save Muslims with weak Imaan from leaving the fold of Islaam. Aameen.

And Allaah knows best what is most correct.

Fatawa Rahimiyyah (Vol.1)