Ten Fatwas from the great Islamic scholar of India,

Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri

HizmetBooks 1998

Of the great 'ulama' in India, Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri, in his fatwa book Fatawal-Haramain, answers twenty-eight questions. All of these fatwas are in conformity with the knowledge of the Ahl as-Sunnat 'ulama'. Ten of these fatwas are given below for their auspiciousness:

Question 1:

"The British spies in India, who call themselves 'Nayashira'. They believe that Jabrail ('alaihi 's-salam), angels, genies, the Satan, heavens, the mujiza of Miraj, Hell and Paradise exist and that bodies will get alive again as Muslims believe. Yet they give false meanings to the ayats that deal with these subjects, as some of the people called Batiniyya do. They say that these things are not made of matter but they are conceptual and imaginative. They say that nothing can exist outside customs and physical laws. Thus they deny that Allahu ta'ala can create many things outside the laws of nature. They do not believe in mujizat, and they explain them away according to what they see and learn in nature. They say that it is haram and cruelty to use as slaves the captives taken from among non-Muslims in the jihad performed for spreading Allah's religion and that it is a thing done by the savage. Though it was defined in all heavenly religions, they claim that Allah has not commanded it. They do not believe any of the tafsir and hadith books. They claim that all their contents have been invented by 'ulama. They say, 'The Qur'an remains the sole truth in our hands. We interpret the Qur'an according to our new information. We do not believe what the early Muslims understood from it or what has reached us from them.' Can those who say so be called 'Muslims' or 'Ahl al-Qibla' even if they say that they are Muslim, utter kalimat ash-shahada and perform salat towards the qibla? Moreover, these spies claim that they themselves are the real Muslims and that what they tell is the pure Islamic religion. Shall we call them 'Muslim' or 'non-Muslim'? Shall we consider their words as wrong and falsified?"

Answer 1:

They are not sincere at all. I swear by Allah, they have no connection with Islam. They are enemies of Islam fed by the British. They are the worst of non-Muslims and murtads, because they deny the things that are known to be indispensable in religion. Their saying kalimat ash-shahada and professing that the Kaba is the qibla do not show their being believers or Ahl al-qibla. None of the 'ulama' and books of itiqad and fiqh has permitted alteration of the indispensable, apparent and open religious teachings.

Question 2:

"It is understood that they are British spies. What would you say about those who, after understanding their teachings and heresy, call them Muslims, or even regard them as 'ulama' of Islam and authorities on religion, or praise them with the terms that have not been used for the superiors of Islam yet, and, by mentioning their names, say, 'They are the elect of our time. Their books are invaluable for the youth. Their writings prove their quality of perfection. They are the pillars of our religion and the guards of Islam?' What would you say about those who praise them as such, write, publish and advertise their books as the 'books of superiors of religion'?"

Answer 2:

One who does not believe in one of the things indispensable in Islam becomes a kafir. One who has suspicion of such a person's not being a kafir and in that he will not be punished in Hell eternally is a kafir, too. That the latter, too, is a kafir is openly written in the books Bazaziyya, Durr al-mukhtar, Qadi Iyad's Shifa, Imam an-Nawawi's Rawda and Ibn Hajar al-Makki's Al-alam. It has been unanimously declared by the 'ulama' of Islam that it also makes one kafir to have doubt that it is infidelity (kufr) if somebody does not regard a Christian, a Jew or a dissenter from Islam as a kafir. This unanimity is written in the above-mentioned books. While one become a kafir out of doubting in the other's being a kafir, it should be pondered well how the one who regards him as a Muslim or, even, praises him with the terms reserved for the 'ulama' of Islam will be. From these words of ours, we should understand well the situation of those who consider such people as 'ulama' of Islam and praise and spread their speeches and writings filled with kufr. Praise or effort to disseminate or to advertise shows consent and love. Consent to kufr causes kufr. Consent to kufr does not mean to want the kafir to remain in kufr but to love his kufr.

Question 3:

"What does 'ahl al-bidat' mean?"

Answer 3:

If the cause of an innovator's dissent from Ahl as-Sunnat is his belief in the superiority of 'Ali over Abu Bakr and 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anhum), he is of ahl al-bidat as it is written in Hulasa, Hindiyya and many other invaluable books. The one who does not believe in the khilafat (caliphate) of one or both of the latter two caliphs was said to be a kafir by the 'ulama' of fiqh and to be a man of bidat by the 'ulama' of kalam. For the sake of precaution, the term 'man of bidat' should be used for them. One absolutely becomes a kafir if says that Allahu ta'ala is a creature, or that the present Qur'an al-karim is deficient and contains alterations of as-Sahabat al-kiram and of later times, or that 'Ali (radi-Allahu 'anh) or one of the Twelve Imams is superior to prophets. It is written in Hindiyya, Zahiriyya, Al-Hadiqat an-nadiyya and in fiqh books that he will be treated as a murtad. There is detailed information on this subject in the book Makalat al-mufassira an ahkami 'l-bidati 'l-mukaffira. [Ibn Abidin wrote 'unlawful betrothal' in Radd al-muhtar: "If one worships Ali (radi-Allahu anh) or says, 'Jabrail was ordered to reveal the Qur'an to Ali, but he mistook and revealed it to Muhammad,' or 'Abu Bakr was not a sahabi,' or Hadrat A'isha committed adultery,' he becomes a kafir. If he says that 'Ali (radi-Allahu anh) superior to the two caliphs, or curses or slanders at a sahabi, he becomes a man of bid'a." In the third volume, he wrote: "If one curses at or damns the two caliphs, he becomes a kafir. Though those people called Durziz, Mulhids and Isma'ilis carry out the five fundamentals of Islam, they become kafirs because of their belief in transmigration of the soul and by regarding wine and intercourse as halal and giving false meanings to ayats." Ibn Abidin, in his book Uqud ad-duriyya, quoted Shaikh al-Islam Abdullah Effendi's extensive fatwa about the Shi'ites and reveals those who fell in kufr among them.]

Question 4:

"What would say about those who praise the people called 'Batiniyya' with the words the 'stars of knowledge,' 'suns of 'ulama',' 'great alim of our time,' or 'guide of the century' and about those who believe these words?"

Answer 4:

If they know that they praise those declared to be murtads, they also become murtads. Even if those praised are not murtads, it is apparent that it is ugly and bad to praise them. The hadith as-Sharif reported from Anas ibn Malik (radi-Allahu 'anh) by Ibn Abi 'd-dunya, Abu Yala and al-Baihaki and from Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu 'anh) by Ibn 'Adi says: "When a sinner (fasiq) is praised, our Rabb's indignation arouses." Permitting such praises or disseminating or advertising them shows consent to them. Consent to evils is also evil. [It is heard that some people admire the religious and political movement of, and praise the personality of, Humaini of Iran who is understood to be an enemy to as-Sahaba and to the whole of Ahl as-Sunna. They should carefully read this hadith and fatwa, get lesson from them and wake up from unawareness.]

Question 5:

"What would you say about some people's saying that Allahu ta'ala and His Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) may lie?"

Answer 5:

Lying is a deficiency and ugliness. It has been unanimously declared that there is no ugly thing attributable to Allahu ta'ala or His Rasul ('alaihi 's-salam). This is dealt in detail in my book Subhana 's-subbuh an 'aybi kazbin makbuh, wherein I gave documents from the 'ulama' of kalam and tafsir. In many books by Arab and Persian 'ulama', it is written that those who say so have dissented from the right path and that they are heretics. The book Ad-durar as-saniyya by Hadrat 'Allama Ahmad ibn Zain ibn Dahlan al-Makki, who was one of my masters in hadith, tells in detail about their heresies and gives, from Hadrat Mawlana Abu 's-su'ud, the Mufti of al-Madinat al-munawwara, passages refuting them. They have been caught by the Satan's current and become soldiers to the Satan. The soldiers of the Satan will certainly be ruined.

Question 6:

"We nowadays see upstart people who are called 'Ghair al-muqallidin,' that is non-or la-madhhabite people. They neither follow any of the four madhhabs nor let anybody follow one of them. They call themselves ahl al-hadith. They say that they follow only the Hadith. We see that some ignorant people, who are deprived of religious education and cannot differentiate the truth from the wrong and the straight from the crooked, pass themselves for authorities on religion after learning some Arabic in Egypt, the Hijaz, Iraq or in Damascus and write books on religion. What would you say about them and their books?"

Answer 6:

In the subject on 'Zabayih' in the marginalia of Durr al-mukhtar, 'Allama Sayyid Ahmad at-Tahtawi, one of the 'ulama of the Hanafi madhhab, writes: "One who departs from the path of the 'ulama' of fiqh, from as-siwad al-azam, will have directed himself to Hell. Oh Muslims! Therefore, hold fast to the path of Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat which is called 'al-firqat an-najiyya' (group of Salvation), the unique group reported by our Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) to be saved from Hell! Because, Allahu ta'ala's help, protection and taking to bliss are only for those who are on this path. Allahu ta'ala's Ghadab (Wrath) and adhab (torture) are for those who dissent from this path. Today, this firqat najiyya has gathered in the four madhhabs, namely, Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali. One who does not belong to any of these four madhhabs is a man of bidat or a man for Hell [heretic or unbeliever]." Great Imam Sufyan ath-Thawri (radi Allahu 'anh) said, "If one who is not an alim in fiqh tries to adapt his affairs to hadiths, he leads himself to heresy." Great Imam Ibn al-Hajj al-Makki said the same in his work Al-mad'hal. My fatwas about and articles on the la-madhhabi are available in my book Al-barikat ash-sharika 'ala marikat al-musharika.

Question 7:

"Some people say, 'The la-madhhabi belong to Ahl As-Sunnat and are even licensed authorities on religion. They differ from Ahl as-Sunnat only in insignificant teachings, and this difference is beneficial as that between the Hanafi, Shafi'i and Maliki madhhabs, thus they help the religion of Islam. Should not the la-madhhabi, therefore be considered as those in the Hanafi and Shafi'i madhhabs and should not we know them as Islamic brothers and love heartfully and respect them? Isn't it the way of those intoxicated with love for Allahu ta'ala to do one's affairs according to hadiths though one is not a mujtahid? Didn't Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari (radi-Allahu 'anh), a Sahabi, act upon the hadith, "Do not save your properties to make them kanz, a treasure"?' What would you say about those who say these about the la-madhhabi?"

Answer 7:

These words are not correct at all. The person who says these becomes one among them, even one worse than them. How could a man of bidat be respected? The hadith reported from 'Abdullah ibn Bashir (radi-Allahu 'anh) by at-Tabarani says, "One who respects the man of bidat will have helped in the annihilation of Islam." Another hadith, reported from Muaz (radi-Allahu 'anh) in Kabir by at-Tabarani and in Hilya by Abu Nuaym, says, "One who walks to show respect for the man of bidat has helped in destroying Islam." There are many similar hadiths. It is dalala, heresy, for those not promoted to the status of mujtahid not to follow one of the four madhhabs but to do one's worship and affairs according to what he understands from hadiths. It is dissention from the believers' path. Allahu ta'ala declares in the 43rd ayat of the surat an-Nahl, "Ask what you do not know from the people of dhikr!" A hadith reported from Jabir ibn 'Abdullah (radi-Allahu 'anh) by Abu Dawud says, "Ask what you do not know. Medicine for ignorance is inquiry." These ayat and hadith command those who do not know to learn by asking those who know. As it is concluded from this, those who speak about the la-madhhabi as quoted above or who admit and believe their words, in fact, belong to the la-madhhabi, being partners to them in heresy.

Question 8:

"In the last two years, this kind of people have multiplied in India. An organization named 'Nadwat ul-ulama' has been founded in claim of service to Islam and to awaken Muslims. Here, every kind of people and those with heretical beliefs have gathered, and la-madhhabi people, including a few belonging to Ahl as-Sunnat, have taken hold of high chairs. What would you say about this?"

Answer 8:

This behavior of them is haram and heretical. It is intended to estrange Muslims with little knowledge from their madhhabs. Such Muslims, upon seeing heretical men of religion in cooperation with Ahl as-Sunnat scholars all sitting at the same line of chairs, think of those heretics also as respectful and beneficial. They begin to show respect for them, which is sinful. Islamic religion commands humiliation and severe treatment of the men of bidat and forbids showing respect to them. In 'aqa'id books, for example, in Sharh al-maqasid, the 'ulama' of Islam wrote, "It is necessary to treat severely, to humiliate, to refute and to expel the men of bidat." When Muslims see them at high ranks, their hearts incline to listen to them and, with the Satan's cheating, begin to love them. In actual fact, those who cooperate with the men of bidat cause the dissention of them from the right path. Gathering of people with different beliefs results in the destruction of the religion. Those who say that they will wake up Muslims, in fact, try to poison them and lead them to disaster.

Question 9:

"The aim in the establishment of this organization, Nadwa, has been asserted to be the abolition of the difference between the Sunni and other groups of bidat. 'They should not refuse one another's beliefs, but live brotherly. 'Ulama' should not speak or write on the beliefs in disagreement among themselves. Or else, they set a bad example to be copied by all Muslims and their disciples. Difference and argument cause perishing and stem from the desires of nafs and self-esteem,' they say. Are these words right or wrong or excessive?"

Answer 9:

When a bidat gets spread, it is fard to refute it and to try to disseminate its harmfulness and wickedness. That this is fard has been unanimously declared by the 'ulama' of Islam. Salaf as-Salihin and the 'ulama of all times up to now have always opposed bidat in this way. One who does not refuse the men of bidat but let them by themselves will have dissented from Muslims' unanimity, got away from the Islamic jamaat and loved bidats and offenders of bidat. And this means to discredit the Ahl as-Sunnat madhhab and the Muslims of this right path; to forbid the established reason and to command the prohibition; to lead Muslims to Allahu ta'ala's damnation. Great alim Hadrat Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Makki, the imam of Muslims, said in the preface to his work As-sawa'iq al-muhriqa, "Though I do not have the profound knowledge to comprehend the reality and essence of the writings in this book, I was inclined to write because of the following hadith ash-Sharif reported in Al-Jami' by Khatib al-Baghdadi: 'When seditions and bidats spread and my Sahaba are slandered, those who know the reality shall declare what they know! May those who do not declare what they know be damned by Allahu ta'ala, by angels and by all people! Allahu ta'ala does not accept any of their 'ibadat and goodness.' " The statement, "Telling what one knows causes disunion, is sinful and is self-destruction," is a slander against Allahu ta'ala and Islamic 'ulama', dissention from the Ahl as-Sunnat madhhab and denial or prohibition of an important fard.

Question 10:

"They say, 'The most important aim of Nadwa is to annihilate the differences among Ahl al-qibla; to unite Muslims of different faith of Ahl as-Sunnat and ahl al-bidat; to do away with disagreements; to bring them all into a state of benefaction and sweet taste like milk and sugar; to render the simultaneous beat of hearts and everybody's getting share in one's sorrow and loss; to make known that all who say kalimat ash-shahada are brothers even if their beliefs would be different. This is aimed on account of the command in the hadith, "Oh Muslims! Be brothers to one another!" Disagreement on anything or speaking ill of one another is unnecessary. Such unity is a command, a fard, of Allahu ta'ala. The salat, fast and ta'at of only those who unite in this way are acceptable. Those who do not unite in this way will not attain to happiness in this and the next worlds. Moreover, unless Ahl al-qibla do not love one another, they cannot possess iman and enter Paradise. Though men's every kind of sins may possibly be forgiven, discord and enmity between one another will not be forgiven.' "

Answer 10:

Not all of the above statements are in conformity with Islam. They are harmful to Muslims and lead them to heresy. Many hadiths and the words of Islamic imams support this. Let's quote some of the hadiths that forbid friendship with men of bidat and command keeping away from them: the hadith reported in the Sahih of Muslim from Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu 'anh) says, "Run away from them! [So] they shall not lead you to heresy, throw you into discord!" The hadith reported from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) by Abu Dawud says, "Do not visit them when they get sick!" The hadith reported from Jabir by Ibn Maja (radi-Allahu 'anh) states, "Do not greet them when you encounter them!" The hadith reported by 'Ukaili from Anas ibn Malik (radi-Allahu 'anh) says, "Do not keep company with them! Do not eat or drink with them! Do not intermarry with them!" [This hadith forbids friendship, eating and marrying with ahl al-bid'a. It is written in Hindiyya and Bahr ar-raiq, "Zindiqs, Batinis, Ibahis and all the groups with beliefs that causes kufr are mushriks (polytheists) like idolaters and worshippers of stars. Marriage with such mushriks or intercourse with their females as jariyas is haram." The above writings conclude that, if the belief of those who do not belong to one of the four madhabs, that is those who are not of Ahl as-Sunna, causes kufr, they become mushriks. Marriage with them and eating the carcass they have slaughtered are haram. Of them, those whose belief does not cause kufr are ahl al-bid'a, and marriage with them is not haram; though the nikah would be sahih, not with them but with ahl as-Sunna should Muslims get married, because living with them and even greeting them are forbidden by hadiths.]

The hadith ash-Sharif reported by Ibn Hibban says, "Do not perform their funeral prayers! Do not perform salat with them!" The hadiths reported from Ma'adh (radi-Allahu 'anh) by ad-Dailami say, "I am not of them. And they are not of me. Jihad against them is like jihad against disbelievers." The hadith ash-Sharif which was reported through the ancestral succession of Imam 'Ali (radi-Allahu 'anh), Husain, Zain al-'Abidin 'Ali, Muhammad Bakir and Imam Jafar as-Sadiq and which was said to Abu Umama states: "Do not have relation with those in the groups of Qadari, Murjii and Khariji! They will spoil your religion. They betray as did the Jews and Christians." The hadith reported from Anas ibn Malik (radi-Allahu 'anh) by Ibn Asakir states, "When you meet the man of bidat, treat him harshly! Allahu ta'ala is hostile to all men of bidat. None of them will be able to pass the Sirat bridge; they will fall in Hell fire." The hadith reported from Hadrat 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anh) by Abu Dawud and Hakim says, "Do not be in company with people of the Qadariyya group! Do not consult them your affairs." The hadith reported from 'Abdullah ibn Masud (radi-Allahu 'anh) by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja and from Abu Musa 'l-Ashari (rahmat-Allahu 'alaihim) by at-Tabarani says, "The Sons of Israil committed sin. Their scholars advised them; they did not listen. Their scholars later talked with them. They ate and drank together. Allahu ta'ala introduced enmity among them; He condemned them through the mouths of Dawud ('alaihi 's-salam) and 'Isa ('alaihi 's-salam)."

At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Maja reported from Nafi' that a man conveyed someone's salam to 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar (radi-Allahu 'anhuma), who said, 'I have heard that he has become a man of bidat. If he is so, do not take my salam to him." Hasan al-Basri and Muhammad ibn Sirin said, "Do not come together with men of bidat." Ayyub as-Sahtiyani said, "I and Talaq ibn Habib were sitting together. Said ibn Jubair, passing by, said to me, 'Do not sit with him! He is a man of bidat.' " As Asma ibn Ubaid told, two men of bidat came to 'Ali Sirin and said that they wanted to ask him about a hadith; "No, don't ask," he said. When they said that they will ask him about an ayat, he said, "No! Get out of here or I will go!" The two men left. Those who were there said, "What if you spoke on an ayat from al-Qur'an al-karim?" He replied, "I feared that they would read the ayat after altering it and that this alteration might make place in my heart." Salam ibn Abi Muti' told that, when a man of bidat said to Ayyub that he would ask him a word, he said, "I wouldn't listen even a half word from you." Someone asked something to Said ibn Jubair, who gave no answer; when the reason was asked, he said, "He is a man of bidat, so shouldn't be talked with." Abu Jafar Muhammad Bakir said, "Do not stay near those who dispute. They give meanings to ayats as they wish." In the explanation of Mishkat, Imam Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Makki comments on 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar's (radi-Allahu 'anhuma) saying, "Do not say my salam to..." and adds, "Because, we are ordered to keep away from men of bidat." In the explanation of the hadith, "Do not be in company with people of the Qadariyya group," in the book Mirkat, it is said, "Because, keeping company of enemies leads one to ruin and disaster." It is written in the book Shir'at al-Islam that Salaf as-Salihin did not get close to men of bidat since a hadith said, "Do not stay with men of bidat! Their vices are as contagious as scabies." Another hadith says, "Do not greet people of the Qadariyya group! Do not visit their sick people! Do not attend their funeral! Do not listen to their words! Give them answer sternly! Humiliate them!" Another hadith says, "Allahu ta'ala fills with iman the heart of him who gives stern answer to the man of bidat; He protects him against terrible things. One who disesteems the man of bidat will be saved by Allahu ta'ala against the fears of Resurrection." It is written in the book Irshad as-saree sharhu sahih al-Bukhari that, unless it is understood that a man of bidat has vowed for repentance, it is necessary to keep away from him.

I, the poor servant [that is, Ahmad Rida Khan], am preparing a booklet on this subject now. With documents from al-Qur'an al-karim and hadiths, I explain the necessity of keeping away from the men of bidat and treating them severely. I additionally give the comments of the 'ulama'. This work will be the light for the eyes, and the remedy for the hearts.

While the harms of being together with men of bidat are that many, it should be estimated how many more the harms of loving and praising them are. A hadith says, "One is with those whom he loves." Another hadith quoted by Imam 'Ali (radi-Allahu 'anh) and others, says, "I swear that Allahu ta'ala will resurrect the man with those whom he loves." The hadith reported by at-Tabarani says, "Allahu ta'ala will resurrect the man among those whom he loves." The hadith reported from Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu 'anh) by Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi says, "Man's religion is similar to his friend's religion. Everybody shall examine whom he has friendship with!" Extensive explanation about the foregoing hadiths is given in my book Fih an-Nasrin bi jawabi 'l-as'ilati 'l-ishrin.

The aim of Nadwat al-'ulama' is the same as that of the damned Satan. They endeavor for the dissention of Muslims with little knowledge from the right path. They introduce a new religion with their statement, "It is fard to unite Muslims." Their saying, "Their 'ibadat will not be accepted. They will not attain to blessings and happiness," is a slander against Allahu ta'ala. Their words, "Dispute with and hostility towards men of bidat are sinful. This sin will not be forgiven. Pardon of it is impossible," show that they have dissented from the right path of Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat and that they deny the ayats which say, "Allahu ta'ala forgives all the sins but shirk of whomever He wishes," and "Allahu ta'ala certainly forgives all sins." Their saying, "Pardon of this sin is impossible," results in their denial of these ayats. Also, they ascribe wrong meaning to the hadith, "Allahu ta'ala's servants, be brothers [of one another]!" This hadith's meaning, as reported in Umdat al-Kari and other books, is, 'Do the things that will help you become brothers of one another.' Accordingly, in order for the men of bidat to become brothers to the Muslims of the right path, they should give up their bidats and accept the Sunnat. Their calling Muslims of Ahl as-Sunnat to become brothers for themselves despite their persisting in committing their bidats is an apparent heresy and an ugly deceit. [The Arabic work Fatawa'l-Haramain, from which the foregoing ten fatwas are translated, has been reproduced in offset in Istanbul. The author, Ahmad Rida Khan Barilawi, passed away in India in 1340 A.H. (1921).]

HizmetBooks 1998