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UNDERSTANDING BIDAH Mufti Waseem Khan

Causes For Bidah

Among the many different reasons and causes for Bidah, are:

1) Jahaalah (ignorance/absence of knowledge) This is one of the main cause. Many people do not
have knowledge of the Deen, and as such, do not know the evils and sins in Bidah. Such people get
trapped in the apparent goodness of an action and see it as being beautiful and good. They are not able
to see the internal harms that Bidah brings about. It is the responsibility of the Ulama to inform the
people of the harms of Bidah and to give them the proper teachings so they can safeguard themselves.

2) The second cause for the spread of Bidah is that of following other people. It is a common and
natural principle that whenever different cultures and customs mix with each other, one is naturally
affected or attracted to the other. This is why we see that a people or nation who do not protect and
safeguard their customs and culture, they eventually lose it.

Dominated and over-powered cultures and customs fall prey to the dominator and the powerful ones.
As long as Muslims dominated, they taught others their way. When they were overpowered, they were
taught the way of others. It is the responsibility of the Ulamaa to teach the people the Islamic Culture
and the wisdom and rewards of it.

3) The third cause and reason for Bidah is the love and desire for name, fame and position. People
like to invent things and gain fame through what they do. Those who are already in it do not want to
leave it because they will not earn the title they got from the people. Similarly, the so-called Ulama and
saints who are followed by the people, do not wish to leave their practices, since they may not get the
same following. They hold on to their innovated practices and beliefs, knowing fully well that there are
no sources for these practices in the Shariah.

The true Ulama are responsible for informing the people of the innovated practices which do not
belong to the Deen.

4) The fourth cause is that of Mudaahanat in Deen (i.e. the failure of the Ulama in speaking against
Bidah and wrong practices). Their attitude of silence, leniency and concealing has also led to the
widespread Bidah practices. Their failure in this regard has led the innovators and the doers of Bidah
to think what they are doing is permissible and has led them to continue their wrong practices.

It is therefore the responsibility of the rightly guided Ulama to teach the people what is Bidah and to
guide them along the path of the Sunnah (with wisdom and understanding), as Allah says:

Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islm), enjoining right
and forbidding evil. And it is they who are the successful. (Al Imran verse 104)
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5) Another reason for the spread of Bidah is the following of ones Nafs (carnal desires). In this
world, every nation that was misguided was due to the following of their Nafs. This is why the Shariah
has outrightly prevented people from following their Nafs. However, throughout the ages, people
continued to follow their Nafs thereby misguiding themselves and others. It is the responsibility of
the Ulama to inform the people about the misguided ones and speak against their actions.

Following the Sunnah and avoiding Bidah

The law of Allah to follow that which the Rasool (S.A) has given and not other ways and paths, has
been clearly outlined in the Holy Quran.

Examples of some verses are:

Say (O Muhammad SAW): "If you (really) love Allh then follow me (follow the Qur'n and the
Sunnah), Allh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allh is Oft-Forgiving, Most
Merciful." (Sura Al Imran verse 31)

He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), has indeed obeyed Allh, but he who turns
away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as a watcher over them. (Sura Nisa verse
80)

O you who believe! Obey Allh, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) and render not
vain your deeds. (Sura Muhammad verse 33)

And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids
you, abstain (from it), and fear Allh. Verily, Allh is Severe in punishment. (Sura Hashr verse7)

In the above verses, the believers are commanded by Allah to follow and practice that which the Rasool
(S.A) has given to them. Obedience, following and the importance of implementing his laws and
practices have been made evident in the above verses.

In the same manner, the believers have been warned not to follow other paths besides that of the Rasool
(S.A) whether in its entirety or partially. These are mentioned in the following verses:

"And verily, this (i.e. Allh's Commandments) is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not
(other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that
you may become God-fearing. (Al Anam verse 153)

And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) after the right path
has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way. We shall keep him in
the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination. (Nisa verse 115)
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From these verses, it is evident that to leave the path of Allah, the Prophet (S.A) and the path of the
Mumineen (believers), and to bring about new Aqaaid (beliefs) and actions is totally forbidden in the
Holy Quran.

There are many traditions also which show the importance of following the way of the Prophet (S.A)
and avoiding invented and innovated paths and ways.

1) Irbadh bin Sariyah (R.A) states that we asked the Prophet (S.A) for some lasting advice and he (the
Prophet S.A) said: I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey, even if it be an Abyssinian slave.
For verily, those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my
Sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it, and bite on it with the molars (stick fast to it).
Beware of novelties (newly invented things), for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation
is misguidance. (Mishkaat)

2) Jaabir (R.A) states that the Prophet (S.A) said: Certainly the best of speech is the Book of Allah and
the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (S.A), and the worst of affairs are innovations and
every innovation is misguidance. (Mishkaat)

3) Abu Hurairah (R.A) states that the Prophet (S.A) said: Every follower of mine will enter Janaah
(Paradise) except the one who refuses. It was asked, Who will refuse? He said, Whoever obeys me,
he will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me, he has certainly refused. (Mishkaat)

4) The Prophet (S.A) said: I have left among you two things, you will never be misguided as long as
you hold fast to both of them. The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (S.A). (Mishkaat)

5) Whoever honours/ gives reverence to a person of Bidah, then surely he has assisted upon the
destruction of Islam. (Mishkaat)

6) Huzaifa (R.A) states that the Prophet (S.A) said: Allah will not accept from the person who does
Bidah any fasting, nor any Salaah, nor any charity, nor any Hajj, nor any Umrah, nor any Jihad, nor
any Farz (compulsory) Ibadah, nor any Nafl (optional) Ibadah. He will come out from Islam just as a
hair comes out from kneaded flour. (Mishkaat)

7) The Prophet (S.A) said: A people do not invent a Bidah (innovation) except the same amount of it
is lifted from the Sunnah, so holding on to the Sunnah is far better than inventing Bidah. (Mishkaat)

8) A people do not invent a Bidah in their Deen except that Allah removes the same amount of it from
their Sunnah, then He will not return it to them until the Day of Judgement. (Mishkaat)

9) Aisha (R.A) states that the Prophet (S.A) said, Whoever brings about in this affair of ours that
which is not from it, then he is rejected. (Bukhari, Muslim)

10) Ali (R.A) says that the Prophet (S.A) said: Madina is a Haram between the place of Ayr and Thaur.
Whosoever innovates in this place or gives refuge to an innovator, then upon him shall be the curse of
Allah, His angels and all mankind. Allah will not accept from him, his Farz worship or his Nafl
worship. (Bukhari, Muslim)
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Why is Bidah so disliked and condemned in Islam?

Some reasons for this are:

1) The darkness, harms and evils of Bidah remove the light of the Sunnah. It deprives the believers
from practicing and adhering to the Sunnah of their Prophet (S.A) as has been mentioned in Hadith no.
7 and 8.

2) In general, whenever a man commits a sin, he becomes aware of it, admits he has done a wrong and
makes Tawba (repentance). However, Bidah is such an ugly and dark sin that the Mubtadi (innovator)
does not even become aware that it is a sin. In fact, he believes it is a good deed. This is why he never
admits that he has done a wrong, and thus until death never gets the chance to make Tawba.

It is for this reason, great sinners are given the Tawfeeq (divine aid) and ability to make Tawba
(repentance), but the sickness of Bidah in an innovator is not cured, and he is not given the divine
assistance by Allah to repent for the sin of Bidah, except if Allah wishes.

About this, Anas (R.A) reports that the Prophet (S.A) said: Verily Allah hides/covers the repentance
from every person involved in Bidah. (From Tabrani in Al Awsat)

3) The completion and perfection of Islam has come via the Prophet (S.A). Every single thing which
was needed to get closer to Allah, to please Him, to obey Him and to fulfill His orders were already
explained, shown and given in the fullest details by the Prophet (S.A).

As such, whoever, (in the name of Deen (Islam)), brings about an innovated action or practice, and also
invites towards it, is indirectly showing that:

i) The Deen which the Prophet (S.A) brought is deficient, incomplete and imperfect,

ii) The Prophet (S.A) fell short and betrayed the trust of fulfilling the mission given to him by Allah,

iii) The Prophet (S.A) did not have the sufficient knowledge to propagate or teach the people about the
practices which the innovator is claiming to be a part of Islam. (May Allah forbid).

iv) The understanding that he (the innovator) has in Deen in bringing about these practices and
teachings the Prophet (S.A), as well as the Sahabahs, the Tabieen and Tabut Tabieen did not have it.
In other words, this innovator, by doing things which the Prophet (S.A), Sahabahs, Tabieen and Tabut
Tabieen did not do, and doing it with the intention of an act of Ibadah (of goodness in Deen) has
belittled the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of the Prophet (S.A), the Sahabahs and Tabieen.
And he (the innovator) is giving preference and priority to his understanding above that of the Prophet
(S.A) and his dedicated Sahabahs.

Ibn Majishoon says that he heard Imam Malik saying: Whoever invents a Bidah in Islam and he sees
it to be something good, then certainly he thinks that Muhammad (S.A) has betrayed the message (of
Islam) because Allah says: Today I have completed for you your religion (Al Quran)
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4) The fourth reason Through Bidah, changes come about in Deen. Those people who bring about
Bidah practices are in reality disfiguring the face of Deen and are also paving a path for others to do
the same.

Sahl Ibn Saad (R.A) has narrated that the Prophet (S.A) said: "I am your predecessor at the fountain
(Kauthar), and whoever will come to it, will drink from it, and whoever will drink from it, will never
become thirsty after that. There will come to me some people whom I know and they know me, and
then a barrier will be set up between me and them. I will say those people are from me. It will be said,
'You do not know what changes and new things they did after you.' Then I will say, 'Far removed (from
mercy), far removed (from mercy), those who changed (the religion) after me!" (Bukhari, Muslim)

It is therefore evident from this authentic Hadith that whoever brings new things in the Deen is actually
changing the Deen.

DEFINITION OF SUNNAH AND BIDAH

In order to understand what is Bidah and what falls into the scope of Sunnah, it is extremely important
for one to understand the definition of each.
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The literal meaning of Sunnah: Sunnah means, The flowing of a thing and its easy flowing.

Wherever this word is found, its original meaning is always there, e.g. Sanantul Maa Sannan ala
wajhee (I threw water on my face in an easy and slow manner).

In the Quran, the word Sunnatallah has been used which has the meaning of an established way and
path. Allama Ibn Taimiya says:

Sunnah is such a practice (habit) which is found in another action just as it is found in the first one.
(Majmooa Fatawa Ibn Taimiya)

The most famous meaning of the word Sunnah is a path, a manner, a practice, a way. In
establishing this meaning of Sunnah, the famous scholar of Lugha, Allama Ibn Faris in his book
Maqabisul Lugha brings the following poetic stanza of Khalid bin Zuhair Huzali to prove this. He says:
Do not become scared of the path (the Sunnah) you are threading, for certainly that person becomes
happy who first of all threads that path (Sunnah).

The Technical Meaning of Sunnah.

There are three technical meanings:

1) In the science of Hadith and in the science of Principles of Fiqh, Sunnah means those acts, speeches
and words which are narrated from the Prophet (S.A); whether they are his utterances (words) or acts
which were done by him or anything done conforming to his intentions (or strengthens his statement).

According to the Mutaqadimeen (former scholars), the statements and actions of the Sahabahs are also
included under the heading of Sunnah. This is also the opinion of the Ahnaf scolars. However, the
Mutakhireen (latter scholars) being influenced by the opinion of Imam Shafi (A.R) did not include the
statements and actions of the Sahabahs under the heading of Sunnah.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Fathul Baari has written: The meaning of Sunnah is that which came from
the Prophet (S.A) from his words and his actions and his approvals and what the Prophet (S.A)
intended to do.

Allama Abu Ishaq Shatbi Maliki writes in Al Muwafaqat: The word Sunnah is used for that which has
been narrated from the Prophet (S.A) (especially), and it has not been explained in the Holy Quran.

While both books have given the meaning of Sunnah to mean only the actions and statements of the
Prophet (S.A), the great scholar of Usoolul Fiqh Mulla Jeewan has written in his book Nurul Anwar:
Sunnah refers to the statements and actions of the Prophet (S.A), and what the Prophet (S.A) remained
silent about. It also refers to the statements and actions of the Sahabahs (companions).

The reason for naming these things Sunnah.


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1) The words, actions and sanctions of the Prophet (S.A) are called Sunnah because it has become
something which flows in the Ummah and a practice which has become established. In the books of
Usoolul Fiqh, the second source of Islamic law which is mentioned as Sunnah refers to the above
definition (as given in Nurul Anwar).

2) The second technical meaning of Sunnah:

According to Ilmul Fiqh (Knowledge of Islamic Jurisprudence), the technical meaning of Sunnah is
that it is that Shariahs ruling which is not Farz or Wajib, and the Prophet (S.A) or his Sahabahs have
practiced upon it. In Maraqiul Falaah it is written: The literal meaning of the word Sunnah is a
path, even if it be a bad path. The technical meaning is a path that is walked upon in Islam without it
being considered compulsory. (Tahtawi Ala Maraqiul Falaah).

In Dustooril Ulama it is written: The literal meaning of Sunnah is a path, whether it is liked or
disliked. The technical meaning is a path that is followed in Islam without it being compulsory or
essential.

In Tahtawi it states: Sunnah according to the Ahnaf is that which the Prophet (S.A) did or his Sahabahs
did after him. (Tahtawi Ala Maraqiul Falaah).

Those things which are besides Farz and Wajib are called Sunnah because it has become an action, a
practice and a custom in Deen.

3) The third technical meaning of Sunnah:

According to the norms of the Shariah, Sunnah refers to those statements, actions, beliefs which were
done by the Prophet (S.A) or his Sahabahs. While explaining the Hadith, Upon you is my Sunnah and
the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs, Hafiz Ibn Rajab Hambali writes: As-Sunnah is a path that is
adopted. Hence, it includes holding fast to the Prophet (S.A) and his rightly guided Khalifahs with
respect to beliefs, practices and statements. This is the complete Sunnah. It is for this reason, the pious
predecessors never used the word Sunnah except for these. (Jami Al Uloom Wal Hikam)

Allama Shatbi Maliki writes: The word Sunnah is also used in opposition to Bidah. Hence, it can be
said, Such a person is upon Sunnah, when he does an action in accordance to the practice of the
Prophet (S.A), whether this has been mentioned clearly in the Quran or not. It is also said, Such a
person is upon Bidah, when he does an action which opposes that (the Sunnah). Also, the word
Sunnah is used to refer to the practices or actions of the Sahabahs. Whether this is mentioned clearly in
the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet (S.A) or not. This is so because their practices are based on an
established Sunnah of the Prophet (S.A) which they know of and has not been transmitted to us. (Al
Muwafaqaat)

Similarly Shaikh Yusuf ludhianwi writes, Sunnah means a pathway. So Aqeedah, actions, akhlaq,
Muamalaat and habits (practices) which the Prophet (S.A) has adopted are called Sunnah and its
opposite is Bidah. (Ikhtilaf Sirat Mustaqeem)
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This, which has been discussed here, refers to the Shariahs meaning of the concept of Sunnah, and this
is what is meant by the word Sunnah in the Hadith Upon you is my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the
rightly guided Caliphs. Before this, the explanation of Sunnah which was given, refers to the technical
meaning of Sunnah used by the Fuqaha.

The reason that the actions, statements and Aqaaid (beliefs) of the Prophet (S.A) and the Sahabahs are
called Sunnah, is because of the fact that this is a path threaded upon by the Ummah they practice
these actions and these have become established in Deen.

Definition of Bidah (literal)

The original words are Ba da a, which has two literal meanings. These are:

1) To invent or bring about something which has not been done before (without any previous likeness).

The Quran states: Badiius Samawati Wal Ard ( He, Allah is the Originator of the heavens and the
earth).

The Prophet (S.A) said, as mentioned in the Quran: I am no new Prophet (i.e. there have been
prophets like me before).

Imam Nawawi says: Bidah is every such thing which is practiced without having its like before. (Al
Mirqaat)

2) The second literal meaning for the word Bidah is when something has come to an end or becomes
tired. In Arabic it is said: Abdaatir Raahilah The camel has become tired. (the word Ba da a has
been used in this statement).

Definition of Bidah (technical)

The scholars of the Ummah have given the definition of Bidah in many different ways, however the
gist and summary is the same. Some of these definitions are:

1) Imam Nawawi writes: Bidah is any invented thing that was not present at the time of the
Messenger of Allah (S.A). (Mirqaat)

2) Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani writes: Bidah is that which is newly invented and there is no origin for it
in the Shariah. (Fathul Baari)

3) Imam Shafi (A.R) has stated: Bidah is any newly invented thing which opposes the Book of Allah
or the Sunnah or the traditions or Ijma, then this is Bidah Dhalaal (innovation of misguidance).
(Fathul Baari)
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4) Hafiz Ibn Rajab Hanbali writes: The meaning of Bidah is any new thing which has no origin
indicating towards it in the Shariah. As for that which there is an origin indicating towards it from the
Shariah, then it is not a Bidah even though it is a Bidah literally. (Jamiul Uloom Wal Hikam).

5) Hafiz Badrudeen Aini has written: Bidah in reality means the act of bringing about something
which was not present at the time of the Prophet (S.A). (Umadatul Qaari).

6) Allama Abu Ishaq Shatbi writes: Bidah is a path in religion which has been invented, and seeks a
resemblance to the Sacred Shariah. The purpose for practicing upon it is the same purpose one will
have in practicing the Shariah itself. (Al Hisaam)

From all these definitions it is established that Bidah is such a newly created, invented and innovated
religious act which has no Shari evidence or source. The Quran, Hadith, Ijma and Shari Qiyas give no
indication to it. That which has not been evident expressively or indicatively from the Prophet (S.A)
through his words, actions approvals or disapprovals is not Deen and it cannot be evident in the
Shariah.

Those things, the allowance of which has been granted through the words of the Prophet (S.A), his
actions, approvals and disapprovals, and its presence was found during the time of the Prophet (S.A) or
the period of the first three generations is not Bidah.

The meaning of Bidah which has been explained so far is the Shari technical meaning and in the
Ahadith the word Bidah carries the above Shari meanings. However, during the first generation (i.e.
the Sahabahs) and Tabieen times, sometimes, every new act (thing) was called Bidah (using its literal
meaning) whether the act was evident in Shariah or not, eg. Umar (R.A) said about Taraweeh, What a
good Bidah this is.

The usage of the word bidah in these cases was only based on its literal meaning which is more
general than the Shari meaning (for Bidah). Due to its literal meaning, and giving consideration to the
word Bidah from a literal meaning point of view, Imam Shafi has explained that Bidah is of two
types: 1) Mahmooda (Good) 2) Mazmooma (Bad)

Imam Shafi says: Bidah is of two types, good and bad. Whatever is in conformity to the Sunnah then it
is good and whatever opposes it (the Sunnah) then it is bad. (Fathul Baari)

Similarly, Allama Izzudeen bin Abdis Salaam, giving consideration to its general meaning has divided
Bidah into five types.

1) Waajib 2) Haram 3) Mandoob 4) Makrooh 5) Mubah

The gist of it is that Bidah with respect to its literal definition and implication, is sometimes good and
sometimes bad. But with respect to the Shari technical meaning of Bidah it is never good, it is always
bad.

Shari Bidah is of two types:


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1) Bidah Itiqaadi (Bidah in beliefs) 2) Bidah Amali (Bidah in actions)

1) Bidah Itiqaadi is that a person or group chooses/adopts certain beliefs and ideologies which are
opposing to the beliefs and ideologies of the Prophet (S.A) and the pious predecessors e.g. To believe
that the Prophet (S.A) is Alimul Ghaib (knower of the unseen), or Hazir and Nazir (present everywhere
and looking everywhere) or Mukhtar Kul (having full power and control).

In the same way the beliefs of the deviated sects (i.e. Shia, Khawarij, Mutazila, Qadriya, Jabriya etc)
are all Bidah Itiqaadi. According to the Shari meaning of Bidah, they are all Ahlul Bidah (people of
Bidah).

2) Bidah Amali (Bidah in actions) is that a persons belief is correct but adopts certain practices which
are not evident from the Prophet (S.A) or the pious predecessors e.g. building shrines over the grave,
putting lights over the graves etc.

Allama Abu Ishaq Shatbi has further divided Bidah into two types:

1) Bidah Haqiqi Real, true or Bidah in reality


2) Bidah Idhafi Extended or connected Bidah - Bidah due to an additional action

Bidah Haqiqi is that which is opposing to the principles of the Shariah in totality e.g. the belief that the
Prophet (S.A) is Alimul Ghaib, Hazir and Nazir, Mukhtar Kul etc.

Bidah Idhafi is that which is permissible from one angle but impermissible from another angle. That
is, in itself it seems to be a good act, however, with respect to the manner, mode and way it is
conducted it is impermissible. E.g. the Meelad in itself, to speak about the birth and life of the Prophet
(S.A) is a good act, however, conducting it in the customary manner is impermissible and Bidah.
Similarly, 3 days, 7 days, 40 days etc. in itself, reading Quran for blessings is good, however, in this
manner where days are fixed is impermissible and Bidah.

Guidelines and Signs through which innovations (Bidaat) can be recognized

1) When the reason or cause and motive for doing an action or practice were found during the time of
the Rasool (S.A) and nothing prevented him from doing it, yet, he (the Prophet (S.A)) nor the
Companions did not do it nor did they give the allowance to do it or even encouraged others to do it;
then when such actions come about, they will be regarded as innovations (Bidaat). For example, the
customary Meelad the cause for this was present, which is the birth of the Prophet (S.A). The other
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cause which is the love and belief in the Prophet (S.A) was also present in the hearts of the Sahabahs.
However, no one from among them or the pious generations after them did it nor did the Prophet (S.A)
ask anyone to do it. In fact, the Prophet (S.A) told his Ummah that they should not treat him as the
Christians treated Isa (A.S).

When it is seen that the reason, cause and purpose of doing such an action existed, but was never done,
it shows that there will be no allowance to use Qiyas or Ijtihaad in establishing such a practice.

In the same manner, during the life of the Prophet (S.A) two of his wives, Khadija and Zainab, passed
away. His uncle, Hamza passed away. His three daughters, Zainab, Ruqaiyah and Um Kulthum passed
away. All of his boy children also passed away. However, in none of the above cases did the Prophet
(S.A) do a 3 days, a 7 days or a 40 days. As such, there is no allowance to invent any such practice
afterwards. The Deen has been completed and perfected and such practices were never done in all the
pious generations of the early Muslims.

2) Those things which the Shariah has left Mutlaq (open and general), to place confinements and limits
to them is Bidah. For example, the Shariah has placed not placed any fixed time for visiting graves. As
such, to fix any special time to visit the grave of a pious person and then understand that to be
necessary is a form of Bidah.

Similarly, the Shariah has not fixed any specific time for Isaale Thawaab for the Prophet (S.A), pious
predecessors or the general Muslims. As such, to devise a special time with special Suras and then to
be punctual in them and consider them necessary are all Bidah.

3) Actions which are required to be done in the Shariah are of two types:

i) Those which the Shariah has fixed the law, objective, meaning for. (e.g. Salaah).

Whe the Shariah has fixed the mode, manner and way an action should be done, then in such cases, to
add or invent any other other thing will be Bidah.

ii) Those things which the Shariah has ordered, but has not given any specific mode and method. It has
given an allowance to do it in the way best suited to achieve the objective and fulfil the law of Allah.
E.g. Jihaad. The Shariah has given the law of Jihaad and has also given the objective that it is for
elevating the word of Allah and to remove the power and strength of Kufr and Shirk. However, the
Shariah has not prescribed any fixed mode or manner for it. How it can be done, and what weapons are
to be used, has been left to the discretion of those who are implementing it. In matters of these, using
different means to fulfill the law will not be termed as practicing Bidah.

4) To consider an act essential which is in itself Mustahab and Mandoob (commendable), and to make
it binding upon oneself to the extent that it is thought of being essential or necessary, and then to
consider the one not doing it to be a wrongdoer and to blame him, will become a Bidah.

5) The practices which are permitted to do, if in doing these, it resembles the Kufaar (unbelievers), the
Fujaar (transgressors) or the misguided people, then doing them becomes impermissible. This is so,
since the Prophet (S.A) has prohibited emulating and resembling the unbelievers. As such, it is
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necessary and essential to leave off those actions which are practiced by the innovators on the condition
that those things are not Farz or Wajib.

Mulla Ali Qaari writes: Every such practice and Sunnah which becomes the symbol of the innovators,
then leaving these is more preferred. (Mirqaat)

Some Innovated Beliefs of Innovators

The issue of the attribute of having knowledge of the unseen has been attributed to the Prophet (S.A) as
a latter day innovation. In order to understand the refutation against this, the following needs to be
understood:

( ) Ghaib: means to be hidden. It comes from the word Ghaaba-Yaghibu. ( - )

The literal meaning of Ghaib is those things which are hidden. In Qamoos it is written: Al Ghaib is
that which is hidden from you.

In Magrib (name of a book), it is written, Al Ghaib is that which is hidden from the eyes although it
might be achieved in the heart.

According to its technical meaning in the Shariah, it means, Every such thing which is hidden from the
eyes of the servants.

Hafiz Ibn Katheer has mentioned from the reference given by the Mufassir Suddi, the statement of Ibn
Masood, Ibn Abbas and other Sahabahs that:

Ghaib: Those things which are hidden from the servants like the affairs (states) of Jannah, Hell and
those which are mentioned in the Quran.

Objection: If anyone says that the states of Jannah, Hell etc. have already been described to us why do
you call it Ghaib?

Answer: Through the means of Wahi or Ilhaam, the knowledge of the Unseen and hidden things which
have been conveyed to us via the Ambiyas are all hidden from our eyes. If we wish to grasp them and
look at them, we are not able to do so. It is about these things that the Quran has used the word
Ghaib: Those who believe in the Unseen.

From this verse, it is proven that even though we have some knowledge of the hidden things, they are
still called Ghaib (hidden/unseen) and the manner through which we have received it is through the
medium of the angels, and the angels received it through Wahi and Ilhaam.

The Beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah regarding Ilmul Ghaib
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1) Possessing the knowledge of the Unseen for ones own self, naturally, having it without being told
by anyone. This is an attribute of Allah alone. Allah alone possess the knowledge of every hidden,
unseen thing.

2) Every other creature, human beings, Jinn, angel whatever knowledge they have or possess, all of it
is given by Allah alone, and no one possesses it of his natural ability, instinct etc. It is gifted knowledge
(Ilm Ataii).

3) Whoever has been given any knowledge of the Unseen, has only been given a limited amount of
knowledge and has not been given the complete thing: And you have not been given from knowledge
except a little (the incident of Khidr (A.S) and Moosa (A.S) (Bukhari).

4) Even though one may be given a limited amount of knowledge about a certain thing, his knowledge
is still not complete and perfect as that of Allah.

As Such:

1) Whoever has the belief that the Prophet or any Nabi or any Saint (Wali) has any inherent, distinctive
and natural self knowledge (even a small amount) of the matters of the unseen (Ilmul Ghaib) is a
Mushrik. All scholars, even of the deviated sects have agreed upon this.

In fact, Moulvi Ahmad Raza Khan Bereilwi (the scholar of the Bereilwis) has written: Natural,
inherent and distinct knowledge (Ilm Dhaati) is specific to only Allah. It is totally impossible for any
other person or being. Whoever believes that someone has such knowledge even a small amount, then
he is an open Kaafir and Mushrik.

2) Whoever believes that the Prophet (S.A) has knowledge of all the hidden and unseen things and that
just as nothing of the unseen/hidden things are not concealed from Allah, in the same manner it is not
concealed from the Prophet (S.A), and at the same time, says that the only difference between the
knowledge of both is that Allahs one is inherent and distinct while the Rasools one is gifted and given,
then such a person is undoubtedly a Mushrik/Kaafir.

Mulla Ali Qaari writes: Whoever believes that the knowledge of Allah and His Rasool (S.A) are equal
on the same level, then he is an unbeliever, as unanimously declared by all scholars. (Mawdhuaat
Kabeer pg. 119)

In this regard, Moulvi Ahmad Raza Khan Bereilwi has written in his book, Inherent and distinct
knowledge and having the knowledge of everything is specific to Allah alone. We do not say that any
persons knowledge is equal to Allahs one, nor do we believe that others have inherent knowledge,
only some knowledge is given and granted by Allah not all. (Khalisul Itiqaad)

The Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah believes that Allah possesses the knowledge from the beginning to the
end. This includes every single thing that falls in between. As such, having the knowledge from the
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beginning of creation until the people enter Jannah and Jahannam is also connected to Allah alone. This
knowledge has not been given to any Nabi or Wali.

However, Ahmad Raza Khan writes that, The Prophet had knowledge of the beginning of creation
until people enter Jannah and Jahannam. Nothing of this is hidden from the Prophet (S.A). (Ambiya Al
Mustapha)

The Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah believes that Prophets and Messengers were given Wahi by Allah and
did not possess knowledge for their own selves. As such, their knowledge is limited only to what they
were given. They do not have knowledge of everything in this creation.

The proofs/arguments of those who say that the Prophet had knowledge of the Unseen

1) Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan (Bereilwi) writes in his book, Jaa Al Haqq, about their beliefs, and quotes
the Ayat: Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the
wicked from the good. Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghaib (unseen), but Allah
chooses of His Messengers whom He pleases. So believe in Allah and His Messengers. And if you
believe and fear Allah, then for you there is a great reward. (Sura Al Imran verse 179)

He uses this to show that Allah will not give knowledge of the Unseen to the general people, however,
He chooses from His Messengers those He wish to give it. This shows that the Prophet (S.A) was given
knowledge of the Unseen. (Jaa Al Haqq)

Answer (from the Ahlus Sunnah): There is no doubt that the Prophets were given knowledge of the
unseen things. However, this was only through Wahi or Ilhaam. However, there is no evidence in this
Ayat to prove the belief that the Prophet (S.A) had knowledge of everything until the people to go to
Jannah and Jahannam.

2) Second Proof (of the innovators) Ahmad Yaar Khan writes in Jaa Al Haqq quoting the verse:

He reveals to none His Ghaib (unseen). Except to a Messenger whom He has chosen. (Sura Jinn verse
27)

After quoting the commentary of this verse, he says, It is proven from this verse and its commentary
that the special knowledge of Allah even until about Qiyamah was given to the Prophet (S.A). So what
is left out of the knowledge of the Prophet (S.A).

Answer (from the Ahlus Sunnah): The translation which they have given to this Ayat is He does not
make anyone aware of his knowledge of the Unseen except whom He is pleased with from His
Messengers. As such, they claim that the Prophet (S.A) was given his knowledge of the Unseen.

However, the best way of understanding this verse is to look at the context in which it is used, so that
we may know to whom the pronoun in the word Ghabihi refers to. When we look at the Ayat before
that verse, it states:
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Tell them, I do not know whether that thing which you are promised is near or whether my Lord has
fixed a long period for it.

Maa Tuuadoon The thing which you are promised according to some commentators is the Azaab
(punishment) and others say it is Qiyamat. Whatever it is, the Prophet (S.A) is ordered by Allah to tell
them that he has no knowledge of that thing. How then can it happen that immediately after that Ayat,
the verse is saying that the Prophet (S.A) had knowledge of it.

If the pronoun in the word Ghaibihi goes back to Maa Tuuadoon, then it will mean that Allah does
not make anyone aware of its hidden knowledge i.e. the knowledge of Azaab or Qiyamat except whom
He wishes. Now even if this is accepted, then how can it be deduced that by having knowledge of
Qiyamat or the Azaab (which we know that the Prophet did not have) bring about the understanding
that he possessed knowledge of everything hidden and Unseen?

3) Third Daleel of the Bereilwis (innovators). Their scholars write:

In the Ayat: And He taught you that which you knew not. And Ever Great is the Grace of Allah unto
you. (Sura Nisa verse 113)

After quoting this verse with its relevant commentaries, they state that from this it is known that the
Prophet (S.A) was given all the knowledge of the past and the future. They say that the word Maa in
Arabic refers to general things (Umoom). As such, from the Ayat, it is known that all the laws of the
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Shariah, everything of this world and the state of the Imaan of the people whatever was not known to
him was given to him. (Jaa Al Haqq)

Answer (from Ahlus Sunnah):

The argument of this Ayat rest on the basis that Maa in Arabic is for generality whereas this is not
correct. In Sharh Mawaqif, Allama Sayid Shareef Jurjani writes about Man and Maa these were
not made and placed for generality but have been made to describe types and species which has the
possibility of both general and specific. One can say, Man Anta (i.e. who are you?) or Man Haaolaai
(i.e. who are they?). In both singular and plural the word Man (in Arabic) was used.

Their Daleel from Ahadith (Those who believe that the Prophet (S.A) had Ilmul Ghaib)

1) Huzaifa (R.A) states: The Prophet (S.A) stood amongst us and delivered a sermon. In it, he did not
leave out a thing which will occur until Qiyaamah, except he mentioned it. Those who learned it, they
retained it, and those who forgot, they forgot. (Mishkaat)

2) Umar (R.A) said: Once the Prophet (S.A) stood amongst us and informed us from the beginning of
creation until the people of Jannah enter their places, and until the people of hell enter their places.
Those who learned it, retained it, and those who forgot it, they forgot. (Mishkaat)

3) Abu Saeed Khudri (R.A) said: Once the Prophet (S.A) stood amongst us, delivering a sermon after
the Asr Salaah. He did not leave out anything that will occur until Qiyaamah except that he mentioned
it. Those who learned it, they learned it, and those who forgot it, they forgot. (Mishkaat)

4) Muaz bin Jabal (R.A) says that the Prophet (S.A) said: I saw that my Lord placed His hand between
my shoulders, and I felt the coolness of his hand between my chest. Then everything became clear to
me and I recognized it. (Mishkaat)

5) Umar says that the Prophet (S.A) said: Certainly Allah raised the world for me and I was looking at
it and at what will take place in it until the Day of Judgement. It was as if I was looking at the palm of
my hand. (Hilyatul Awliya)

After narrating these Ahadith, the scholars from among the innovators write, From these Ahadith, it is
known that the whole world came in front of the Prophet (S.A) as his own hand. They say, You should
understand that the world refers to everything besides Allah. Therefore, the world of bodies, souls,
world of rules and orders, world of possibilities, the world of angels, the throne and the earth are under
the Prophets eyes. And the world of lawhul Mahfooz is also present. It is also evident that with respect
to the past and future all the incidents and occurrences, the Prophet (S.A) is aware of all.

Counteractive Reply/Answer (from the Sunni Scholars)

None of the above mentioned Hadith is a Mutawatir Hadith. As such, to use any or all of the Hadith to
prove that point is a total deception. Especially, when Ahmad Yaar Khan has himself written that
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Whenever a denier of Ilmul Ghaib establishes his argument (Daleel) for his claim, then he must take
certain things into consideration. From these is that:

1) The verses must be firmly established.

2) The Hadith must be Mutawatir.

Detailed reply and answers:

From the above mentioned Ahadith, the first three indicates that the Prophet (S.A) was giving a Khutba
and discussed about the affairs and incidents which will occur until Qiyamat. He gave the trials and
signs of the hour. Some people forgot some information and others remembered. Hazrat Huzaifa (R.A)
himself says: By Allah! I do not know if my companions forgot or they showed that they have
forgotten. By Allah, the Prophet (S.A) did not leave out the leader of any Fitna until the world ends,
except he gave their names, their fathers names and the tribe they belong to. The Prophet (S.A)
mentioned that they will be 300 or more of such leaders. (Abu Dawood)

It is known from this Riwayat of Abu Dawood that what was discussed in the Khutba was about the
trials and signs of Qiyamat. It was not about the whole worlds affairs. This is totally impossible. In the
Hadith, the word Kullu Shaiy does not refer to every single thing. It refers only to the laws of the
Shariah and the affairs of Deen. This is known from the lenghthy Hadith of Muaz Ibn Jabal (R.A) in
which the Prophet (S.A) described his dream.

In the 5th Hadith, there is a Raawi (narrator) in the sanad, Saeed bin Sinaan who is very weak. Allama
Haithami has written in Majmauz Zawahid after narrating the same tradition: Tibrani has narrated this
and the narrators have been considered reliable. However, all are unanimous upon the weakness of
Saeed bin Sinaan. (Majmauz Zawaaid)

Similarly, Hafiz Ali Mutaqi has written in Kanzul Ummal after narrating this riwayat of Ibn Umar, he
says, and its sanad is weak.

The summary is that this riwayat is extremely weak and to attribute this to the Prophet (S.A) and then
establish an Aqeedah through it, is against the established texts and is not permissible.

The Aqeeda of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah and Proofs

The belief of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is that Allah has, through Wahi and Ilhaam given the Ambiya
knowledge of things of the Unseen. However, He has not given the knowledge of every single thing of
this world to anyone. This is why it is not proper and Jaiz to say that the Prophet (S.A) was given the
knowledge of all the present and unseen things of this world. It is also not permissible to say that the
Prophet (S.A) was given the knowledge of what was there before and what is going to happen until
Qiyamat, and that from the beginning of creation until the people enter Jannah or Jahannam nothing
is absent from his knowledge.
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The Ahlus Sunnah also believes that Ilmul Ghaib has been negated from all the creations, Man, Jinn,
Angels and even the Prophets, as established from the Quran. As such, making the claim, be it a Wali or
a Prophet of having Ilmul Ghaib is against the firm evidence of the Holy Quran.

1) In Sura Naml verse 65 it states: Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (unseen)
except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.

2) Similarly, in Sura Al Anam verse 50: Say: I do not tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah,
nor (that) I know the unseen; nor I tell you that I am an angel.

3) In Sura Araf verse 188: Say: I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah
wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of
wealth, and no evil should have touched me.

4) In Sura Luqman verse 34: Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends
down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow,
and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All Knower, All Aware.

5) In Sura Al Anam verse 59: And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (the Unseen), none knows
them but He.

All these verses clearly show that no one from the creation even the Prophet (S.A), has been given
complete and perfect knowledge of the Unseen. To believe that the Prophet (S.A) possessed such, is
against the teachings of the Holy Quran.

On this point, Mulla Ali Qaari Hanifi writes in the Sharh of Kitaab Ash Shifa and in the Sharh of Al
Fiqhul Akbar:

In another place he writes:


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Masla of Hazir and Nazir

Both are Arabic words. Hazir means present and Nazir means the Seer or one who sees. When both are
joined together and then used, then the meaning and objective is that Hazir and Nazir is such a being
whose existence is not fixed at any specific place. Instead, the existence of such a being is present
throughout the whole world at one and the same time. And the sight of this being is upon the states of
each and everything of this world from the beginning to the end.

The Aqeeda of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah on this topic is that the above mentioned meaning only fits
upon the being of Allah. This quality and Sifah is the Sifah of Allah alone and no one else. To say that
the Prophet (S.A) possess this quality is against the teachings of the Sacred Shariah and is also against
reason.

The Aqeeda of Raza Khanis

The Raza Khanis believe that the Sifah of Hazir and Nazir is also evident for the Prophet (S.A) and also
for the saints of Islam. They say that all of these see the world like the palm of their hands and they
also hear the voices of near and far-off places. And in one time they can travel through the whole
world. And from a far-off distant place they can fulfil the needs of others.

Ahmad Yaar Khan writes: The meaning of Hazir and Nazir in this world is that the one who possess
this ability can remain in one place and see the whole world like the palm of his hand. And listen to the
voices and calls from near and from far and they can travel through the whole world in one time and
from far-off distant land they can fulfil the needs of others. This travel whether it is done in the spiritual
form or with the physical body, or with this body when it is in the grave or any other place all are
evident for the pious saints of Islam from the teachings of the Quran, Ahadeeth and words of the
Ulamas. (Jaa Al Haqq)

Daleel of the Raza Khanis

In trying to obtain a Daleel for the above mentioned Aqeeda, Khan Sahab used the following verse:

O Prophet! Certainly We have sent you as a witness and a giver of glad tidings and a warner and a
caller to Allah with His permission and a Siraj-Muneer.

In explaining this verse, Khan Sahab writes: Shahid has the meaning of witness and also Hazir and
Nazir. A witness is called Shahid because he presents himself on time. The Prophet (S.A) has been
called Shahid either for this reason that in the world the Prophet has knowledge of the Unseen things
upon which he can be a witness. This witness cannot be accomplished without seeing else if not
then all the Ambiyas can be witnesses OR he is called Shahid because on the Day of Judgement he
will be an eye witness for all the Ambiya and this type of testimony cannot be done except by seeing.
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In the same manner, the Prophet is known as Mubashir and Nazeer and Dai towards Allah. All the
other prophets have done these tasks by hearing and listening, however, the Prophet (S.A) did it by
looking and seeing, this is why the Miraj was given only to the Prophet (S.A).

Siraj-Muneer refers to the sun and the sun is present in the whole world, in every house it shines and
is present. The Prophet (S.A) is also present everywhere. Every word of this verse establishes Hazir
and Nazir for the Prophet (S.A). (Jaa Al Haqq)

ANSWER

1st Answer: The interpretation of the verse given by Khan Sahab is one which has never been given by
any Sahabi, Tabiee or from among the Salaf. In fact, no one from among the Mufasireen, Muhaditheen,
Fuqaha, Mujtahid or any other scholar have deduced such a meaning from the verse.

2nd: The translation of the word Nabi Informer of the Unseen, such a meaning has only been given by
Christian scholars. No one from among the Sahabahs, Tabieen, Tabut Tabieen or the Salaf has ever
given such a meaning. In fact among the Tafseers of Ahlus Sunnah there is no such meaning for Nabi.

Besides this even if we accept his interpretation then it is still wrong for the following reasons:

1) He says that the sun is present in every place and the Prophet (S.A) is called the sun (lamp-Siraj).
The sun is not present in every place, only where there is day. Wherever there is night the sun is not
there. As such, Hazir or Nazir cannot be evident through this deduction. In fact, it is a negation of Hazir
and Nazir.

2) Nabi has been translated as the one who informs of the Unseen things. From this translation it does
not mean that he has the knowledge of all things which are to come until Qiyamah and that he sees all
those things because a Nabi has Ilm of only those Ghaib which Allah has revealed to him through Wahi
or Ilhaam. Besides these he does not know nor can he see.

3) Shahid does not have the meaning of Hazir and Nazir. It has the meaning of that one who gives firm
and certain information of a thing. This is so because Shahid is the active participle of the word Sha ha
da, and this word comes for different meanings. In the famous book on lughat, Al Manjar, it states:

So we see that Shahid according to the lughat is used only for the last meaning. As such, the last
meaning will be the quality of the Prophet (S.A). Because in the Ayah, there is no mention of a Majlis,
Jumah, or anything to be seen, but instead it is the specific Sifah of Basheer, Nazeer and DaaI which
means that We have sent the Prophet (S.A) as a giver of sound, firm and certain information in whose
words there is no doubt.
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2nd Daleel for Bereilwis

1) Ahmad Yaar Khan writes quoting the verse:

And like that We have made you a middle nation so that you will be a witness over the people and the
Messenger will be a witness over you.

After mentioning the incident on the Day of Judgement relating to this, Ahmad Yaar Khan writes, that
if the Prophet did not see the Tableegh of the previous prophets and does not see the conditions of his
Ummah, how can he possibly be a witness for the other Ambiyas as well as for his Ummah. While his
Ummahs testimony regarding the Tableegh of the other Ambiyas was questioned, his testimony was
not questioned.

It is known that he gave his testimony upon seeing with his own eyes, while the Ummahs one was by
listening and hearing. Therefore, it is evident that the Prophet (S.A) is Hazir and Nazir. (Jaa Al Haqq)

Answer from Ahlus Sunnah

The basis of this entire Istidlaal is upon the notion that testimony is only given on those things which
have been witnessed with ones eyes. In fact, their entire Aqeeda is based on this false notion and
misunderstanding.

It is therefore important to understand that to bear testimony about a thing, it is not necessary to have
seen or witnessed it. Instead, when something is known through reliable sources one can still be a
witness for it. For example, we with full certainty testify that there is no one worthy of worship except
Allah and we also testify that Prophet Muhammad (S.A) is His servant and Messenger. Whereas none
of us have seen Allah or the Rasool (S.A).

Bereilwis Daleel from Ahadith

The Raza Khanis have taken the Daleel of Hazir, Nazir from the same Riwayat which they have used
for the Prophet (S.A) having knowledge of the Unseen (Ilmul Ghaib). In a like manner, they have used
the following tradition that Once the Prophet (S.A) was standing on a mountain in Madina and he said
to the Sahabahs, Do you see what I see? They said No. He then said:
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Ahmad Yaar Khan says, it is evident from this Hadith that the Prophet (S.A) saw the future incidents
and far-off occurrences. Even until Hawze Kauthar and Jannah and Jahannam. And because of the
Prophet the servants of the Prophet are also endowed with this gift. (Jaa Al Haqq)

Answer from Ahlus Sunnah

The reality of these incidents of looking and seeing things in the future can be explained just as Shaikh
Saadi has written: Someone asked Hazrat Yaqoob (A.S) how is it that you can smell the scent of the
kurta of Yusuf (A.S) from a far distant land. But when his brothers threw him in a well close to Kanaan
you could not see him. Yaqoob (A.S) said: Our states are like the glittering lights (lightening) of the
sky. It comes all of a sudden and then disappears i.e. all these are due to Allahs kindness. Whenever He
wishes He informs us of certain things but this condition does not always exist.

The belief of Ahlul Haqq

The Aqeeda of all the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is that besides Allah there is no other Hazir and Nazir
even the Prophet (S.A) is not Hazir, Nazir.

In the Quran after informing the Prophet (S.A) of the incident of Moosa (A.S), Allah says to the
Prophet (S.A): And you (O Muhammad SAW) were not on the western side (of the Mount), when We
made clear to Msa (Moses) the commandment, and you were not among those present. (Sura Qasas
verse 44)

From this Ayat it shows that where the Prophet Moosa (A.S) got his Nubuwat in Mt. Tur (Jaanib
Gharbi), the Prophet (S.A) was not there nor did he see.

Similarly in Sura Tauba which is from among the last Suras to be revealed, Allah says to the Prophet
(S.A): And among the bedouins round about you, some are hypocrites, and so are some among the
people of Al-Madinah, they exaggerate and persist in hypocrisy, you (O Muhammad SAW) know them
not, We know them. (Sura Tawba verse 101)

Similarly after narrating the incident of Yusuf (A.S) and his brothers, Allah says to the Prophet (S.A):
This is of the news of the Ghaib (unseen) which We reveal by Inspiration to you (O Muhammad S.A).
You were not (present) with them when they arranged their plan together, and (also, while) they were
plotting. (Sura Yusuf verse 102)

In the same manner, after narrating the incident of Maryam (A.S) and Zakariyyah (A.S), Allah says to
the Prophet (S.A): This is a part of the news of the Ghaib (unseen, i.e. the news of the past nations of
which you have no knowledge) which We inspire you with (O Muhammad SAW). You were not with
them, when they cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be charged with the care of
Maryam (Mary); nor were you with them when they disputed. (Sura Al Imran verse 44)

How many times has it been mentioned to the Prophet (S.A) you wont there? Similarly many
traditions bear testimony to the fact that on many occasions, the Prophet (S.A) knew of incidents only
when he was told about it.
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In Bukhari, it is mentioned that he came to Faatimah (R.A) and asked Where is Ali? He was informed
that there was a fight among some of the new Muslims. Also the incident of the slander etc.

Against these clear verses which speak against the concept of Hazir and Nazir or Ilmul Ghaib for the
Prophet (S.A), Ahmad Yaar Khan makes Taweel that the Prophet was there and had the knowledge of
those incidents. Such Taweel is false and in vain because it is clearly mentioned to the Prophet (S.A):
You were not there but through Wahi We informed you.

In the same manner, in Sura Hud verse 49 after mentioning about Nuh (A.S) and his people, Allah says
to the Prophet (S.A): This is of the news of the unseen which We reveal unto you (O Muhammad
SAW), neither you nor your people knew them before this.

Masla of Nur and Bashar (Light and Human)

In this Masla the belief of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is that although the Prophet (S.A) was a human
being, however in his characteristics and perfection there is no one like him. He himself said: I am the
leader of the children of Adam on the Day of Judgement.

As such, the Prophet (S.A) being a man (human) is a sign of honour and respect to the Prophet (S.A) as
well as a degree above the angels. He was the greatest of all humans and he was the leader of all men.
As one endowed with the light of guidance, he walked with light and became a pillar of the light of
guidance for the entire human beings. It is with this light, he was able to show the path of guidance to
people.

The Aqeeda of the Raza Khani Ulamas is the same. They write that, The Prophet (S.A) was a man and
a human. Whoever does not accept the Prophet (S.A) as a man and a human, he is a kaafir. (Jaa Al
Haqq)

Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan writes: The Aqeeda of every believer is that the Ambiyas were servants of
Allah and the beloved of Allah. They were the most respected and honoured among human beings.
However, to say they are men or brothers, just like men like ourselves, is Haram. If it is said with
disrespect the person is a kaafir. (Jaa Al Haqq)

In the same manner, the Shaikul Islam of the Raza Khanis, Sayid Muhammad once said in his speech
on the virtues of the Prophet (S.A), he said, People are slandering us that we do not consider a Nabi to
be a human and we do not consider a Nabi to be a man. So I am saying this with full claim, with
assurance, with certainty that whosoever does not believe the Prophet was a man and a human, he is a
kaafir. (Khutbaat Birtania pg.143)

From these references it is seen that there is no Ikhtilaaf between them and us with respect to the
Prophet (S.A) being a man or a human. However, the Raza Khanis have misinterpreted a certain verse
24

of the Quran and have propagated their falsehood which have brought about the belief that the Prophet
(S.A) was Nur (light).

In the verse of Sura Maida, Allah says to the Ahlul Kitaab: Indeed there has come to you from Allah a
light and a plain Book, Allah guides with it whoever seeks His good pleasure to ways of peace (Maida
verse 16)

The Raza Khanis say that Nur in this verse refers to the Prophet (S.A). They have propagated this so
much that many of the followers have adopted this belief. As can be seen, their interpretation is totally
against what they themselves have written. Furthermore, the correct explanation of this verse is that
here, Nur means the Quran and the Waw is Atfe Tafseer. It means a book of light and guidance
has come to you. A Daleel for this is that the Ayat continues by saying: Allah guides with it, the
pronoun in Bihi is singular. If Nur and Kitaab were two separate things, the pronoun would not have
come with singular.

The second Daleel is another verse which states: Certainly We have revealed the Tawrah in it is
guidance and Nur (light). (Maida verse 44)

Again in Sura Maida verse 46, Allah says: We gave him the Injeel in it is guidance and Nur (light).

Just as the Tawrah and the Injeel have been called a light (Nur), so too the Quran has been called a
light.

THE HISTORY OF MILAAD

There are two ways a person can take benefit from the life history of the Prophet (S.A).

1) He practices upon each and every of his Sunnah such that his character, traits , habits all become
like that of the Prophet (S.A)

2) Whenever a person finds the chance he speaks good about the Prophet (S.A). In gatherings or with
others, he speaks about the virtues, perfection, Sunnats, character, traits and actions of the Prophet
(S.A).

Both ways were adopted by the Salafus Saaliheen, Sahabahs, Tabieen, Imams etc. The practice of these
pious personalities was itself a form of Dawah as they did not only speak about the Prophet (S.A), they
also lived his life and it continued among the generations of pious and sincere people. However, as
the times past and the righteous and pious scholars of Islam continued to pass, this sort of attraction and
Dawah came to an end. People started to leave the Sunnah and began to forget about the life of the
beloved Messenger (S.A).

This continued for a long time until in the year 604 A.H. Sultan Abu Saeed Muzafarudeen Arbal
instituted this custom of holding a celebration for the Prophets birthday. At that time a known scholar
by the name of Abul Khattab Umar bin Dahya endorsed it. For this endorsement he was paid a grand
sum by the king.
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About this king, Allama Zahabi has written:

About the scholar Abul Khattab Umar bin Dahya, Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani writes: He was a Ghair
Muqallid, he was a person who disrespected greatly the pious predecessors. Had a dirty tongue, foolish,
proud and arrogant. Had little understanding of Deeni matters and was very lazn in them.

These were the two people who began this tradition of Meelad. They used to ensure three things in
these gatherings:

1) They used to fix a date for this in Rabiul Awwal.

2) They used to gather the Ulama and pious people.

3) At the end of the sitting, they used to share food as Isaale Thawaab to the Prophet (S.A).

Because of these things the Ulama of those times like Allama Fakihaani and many others never
attended such gatherings and considered it as a Bidah Dhalaala. Other Ulamas out of fear for the
king sided with the king and considered it to be permissible and good. As time went by such gatherings
did not remain gatherings of the Ulama and pious ones alone, it expanded and then included everyone
from the common people. Many new things came in. Fabrications and other things started to enter until
it became like a festival and celebration as it is today.

At this point it should be borne in mind that this type of celebrations was not present during the time of
the pious predecessors.

With respect to what takes place and the establishment of these functions there are to be found many
things which have no origin and source in the teachings of Islam. Many people have used the names of
great scholars to show that it is permissible, names like Allama Jalaludeen Suyuti and others.

What we should understand is that whatever these Ulamas have allowed and what is being practiced are
two separate things. Some of the Ulamas have always stated that speaking about the virtues of the
Prophet (S.A) is a very good act at any time, at any part of the year/any day, to always speak about the
Prophet (S.A) out of sincere love for him and sincere motive of encouraging the people to follow the
Prophet (S.A). However, to take these statements and use them for the things which are done in these
so-called Meelad functions are far from the truth, and there is no allowance given by the sound and
authentic Sunni Ulamas of the past of the permissibility of these things.

Let us look at the many different things, all which have no origin in Islam which have entered into
these celebrations which are called Meelad.

1) In such functions, many Muslims believe that the Prophet (S.A) is present, he visits them and he
knows what they are doing. The concept of Hazir and Nazir is there which is a totally false belief.

2) Fabricated incidents and false stories are told. Things which are not even evident from weak
traditions are given to the people who believe them.
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3) When a certain mentioned song is rendered about the Prophet (S.A) all the people stand, which has
no basis in the first centuries and generations of the Muslims.

4) Considering this Meelad to be a celebration of the Prophets birth, which cannot be seen or heard of
anywhere before the Sultan in 604 A.H.

5) Gathering people to sing songs. Women beautifying themselves and attending these functions,
mixing with the men and sometimes singing also at these functions.

6) Making special sweets to be distributed at the end of these functions.

7) Exceeding the limits of praise and love for the Prophet (S.A).

8) Understanding their acts of having these functions, and the things they do to be a means of Barakat,
seeking Allahs pleasure, the Prophets pleasure, and giving more importance to it than the Farz and
Wajib acts of Islam. Those who do not attend or endorce it or participate in it are criticized and
condemned.

9) In celebrating these things they even allow their Farz Salaah to be missed.

10) Not refraining from sins in these gatherings.

11) Believing that the Prophet (S.A) himself attends these functions.

12) In some places in India/Pakistan, they made a likeness of the Rawdha of the Prophet (S.A) and a
likeness of the Kaaba and place it at different places where they celebrated their Meelad. People would
come and seek Barakat from it and they used to make Tawaaf of the made up Kaaba.

It should not be said - Well we dont do all these - all are impermissible because what you are doing
was started by these same bidatis. Probably you have modified it a little but it does not mean that it is
not Bidah.

Ruling Regarding this Customary Meelad

This Meelad which is customary and has taken the form of what has been mentioned according to all
sound and reliable scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is Haram and Bidah.

The famous great scholar Allama Ibnul Haaj in his book Al Mudkhal has written:

Qazi Shihabudeen Dawlat abadi in his book Tuhfatul Qadhaa writes:


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Standing in Meelad or in functions for the Prophet (S.A):

To stand when the Prophets name is mentioned or at any other time for the Prophet (S.A) is
unanimously agreed upon as a Bidah. The servant of the Rasool (S.A), Anas (R.A) narrates:

This hadith shows that the Prophet (S.A) disliked people standing for him. As such, the Sahabahs
respected this wish of the Prophet (S.A) and the Prophet (S.A) was happy and pleased with them that
they did not stand.

Among the entire Ummah, the Sahabahs are those who love the Prophet (S.A) more than everyone as
can be seen. However, they with their perfect understanding of Deen of the Prophets teachings and
with their extreme love, regards and respect for him never thought that the words of the Prophet (S.A)
and his dislike for standing for him was only due to his humility and that if they did it in his absence
or without his knowledge it would have been ok.

Had this been the case, they would have started to stand for him after his demise, since he would not
have been there to stop them.

We should also understand that the actions, statements, approvals, disapprovals, allowances and
disallowances of the Prophet (S.A) each indicate to a certain and specific ruling of the Shariah.

As such, we see that whatever he ordered people to do and he emphasized its practice, it would be
considered Farz or Wajib. Whatever he disallowed, prohibited or became angry with when it was done,
it took the form of being Haram, prohibited or impermissible. When he became happy with an act or he
consented, this brought about allowance and approval. And when he had shown dislike and
disapproval, it brought about disallowance, prohibition or Makroohaat. And it is totally impossible that
in his entire life he had shown dislike and disapproval for something and after his demise, that same
thing became approved, permissible or commendable. Other actions of his show that more than that of
humility, he had a deep dislike and hatred for actions which were practiced by the unbelievers and their
customs, especially when it involved things which bring about pride and arrogance.

In Madarijun Nabuwah, a Hadith is mentioned where a man took the hands of the Prophet (S.A) and
wanted to kiss it. The Prophet (S.A) immediately withdrew his hand and said: This is a Persian
custom; they kiss the hands of their kings and superiors.

It is in this regard, Umar (R.A) reports that he (the Prophet S.A) said: Do not extol my merits (unduly)
in the way the Christians have praised Jesus. I am only a servant of Allah and His apostle. (Tirmizi)

In another tradition it is mentioned by Hazrat Umama (R.A), he said, Once the Prophet (S.A) came to
us walking with the aid of his stick, we stood up to pay him respects. He said, Do not stand up to pay
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respect as the non-Arabs do. I am only a servant of Allah and eat and sit like any other servant of
Allah. (Mishkaat)

From this Hadith, many things are learnt:

1) The Sahabahs stood only to pay respects. They did not stand to worship him or any other reason, just
as people of today will say. When they stand for Tazeem, they say we are not worshipping the Prophet
(S.A), we are only paying our respects. However, it is this act of paying respects which the Prophet
(S.A) stopped them from doing.

2) The action of the Sahabahs was that of mere standing, nothing besides this. It was no special form of
standing with heads bowed or hands tied as in Salaah etc. It was mere standing just as people will stand
when others visit them. And it is this standing which was done by the non-Arabs or the non-Muslims.

As such, it is totally wrong for anyone to interpret this Hadith to mean that it is permissible to stand but
not like the non-Arabs. It is wrong because the act of standing which was done by the Sahabahs was in
itself a custom of the non-Arabs. As such, the Prophet (S.A) stopped them and said, The non-Arabs
stand to pay respects to their leaders, do not do that for me.

In Seerah Sharmi, it is written:

The Ulamas of Ahlus Sunnah have condemned such standing which occurs in such gatherings. They
have also condemned and considered the customary Mawlood gatherings which is held to celebrate the
Prophets birthday.

URS

The customary Urs is a Bidah. Just like celebrating the Meelad, people go to the graves of pious elders
on a fixed day in the year, or they celebrate the Urs of a person on the day he died. This is also Bidah.

The Prophet (S.A) said: Do not make my grave

While explaining this Hadith, the great scholar Allama Muhammad Tahir writes:

Similarly in Majalisul Abraar pg.118, it is written:

In the same manner, the great Hanafi Jurist, Qazi and Mufassir, Qazi Thanaullah writes:

Fatiha Upon Food


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Some people place food as Isaale Thawaab and call someone to recite upon it. Some people call it
Fatiha Shareef or Khatam Shareef. Clearly this action seems to be a good action, however there are a
few disliked things about it. They are:

1) This manner of Isaale Thawaab of food never existed at the time of the Prophet (S.A), the Sahabahs,
or the Tabieen. As such, it is opposing to the Sunnah.

2) The common Muslims think that as long as reading on the food does not occur, the deceased does
not get the blessings of Isaale Thawaab. Whereas this way of Isaale Thawaab was never done by the
Salafus Saaliheen etc. As such, it is a Bidah.

3) Fixed chapters of the Quran and selected verses are recited and it is the opinions of these people that
this is good. It should be understood that nothing of this nature has been narrated from the Prophet
(S.A), the Sahabahs or even the Imams. In fact, the Hanafi scholars have written against this act of
reciting Quran of food, since such acts have never been narrated from the Prophet (S.A) or the
Sahabahs or the Salafus Saaliheen.

Hazrat Shah Abdul Azeez, the great Muhadith of Dehi has written that it is a disrespect to recite the
Quran over food and it is impermissible.

Similarly in Fatawa Samarqandia, it is written:

3 days, 7 days, 40 days

Upon the death of someone, to do any act of charity, to make dua to seek forgiveness for them, to read
Quran for them are all permissible. However, in doing such things the Shariah has not specified any
time, day or place. As such, to specify and fix a certain day for oneself, like that of 3 days, 7 days or 40
days is Bidah and not permissible.

In Shami, it is written:

This is such a disliked act that the Alim of the Raza Khanis, Moulvi Amjad has himself written: If the
family of the deceased celebrates and gives food, and invites people to eat on the 3 rd day or other days,
it is a bad Bidah and it is not permissible because invitations and sharing food is done on the occasion
of happiness not at the time of sadness and sorrow.

Dua after Salaatul Janaaza

To make Dua after Janaaza Salaah before the burial and understanding it to be a Sunnah is Bidah.

In Fatawa Sirajiya, Allama Sirajudeen Hanafi has stated: When one finishes the Salaah, he will not
make Dua.

In Fatawa Bezaziyah, it is written: Dua after Janaaza Salaah will not be made because it is another Dua.
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Allama Ibn Nujaim writes: One will not make Dua after the Salaams.

Mulla Ali Qaari writes: One will not make Dua for the deceased after Salaatul Janaaza because it
resembles increasing upon Salaatul Janaaza. (Mirqaat)

It is thus understood from these references that it is Makrooh to make Dua after Janaaza. Some people
have considered it good, however, to consider a Makrooh act as being good is in itself a Bidah.

The Raza Khanis, in trying to prove the above act is good, quotes a Daleel for it. Their scholar Mufti
Ahmad Yaar Khan has quoted a tradition in which Hazrat Abdullah bin Abi Aufa read the Janaaza
Salaah for his son and made Dua after the 4 th Takbeer and then said, I saw the Prophet (S.A) doing the
same.

The answer which has been given to this is that this riwayat is weak. In the sanad is Ibraheem Hajari
who is a very weak Raawi. Even if it is accepted, the Riwayat speaks about a Dua which is made
between the 4th Takbeer and Salaams and does not speak about a Dua after the Janaaza Salaah.

The Riwayat which is mentioned in Riyadus Saaliheen goes like this:

Because of the weakness of the Riwayat, Ahnaf has not made Amal upon it. In Durre Mukhtar, it is
written:

Making Zikr aloud while carrying the Janaaza is also a Bidah act which is opposing to the Sunnah.

Hafiz Ibn Katheer has narrated a tradition from Tibrani in which Zaid bin Arqam (R.A) states that the
Prophet (S.A) said: Certainly Allah loves silence at three times; at the time of the recitation of Quran,
at the time of fighting the enemy and at the time of Janaaza. Similar is the Riwayat of Qais bin Ubada
which has been narrated by Imam Muhammad in Siyar Al Kabeer. It is therefore established that to
recite aloud any Zikr is Bidah.

Kissing the fingers at the time of Azaan

The action of kissing the fingers and rubbing it on the eyes when the Muazzin says, Ash Hadu Anna
Muhammadar Rasoolullah, this is without origin and a Bidah.

Moulvi Ahmad Raza Khan, the founder of the Bereilwis has himself written against it. He writes in his
book In Azan at the time of hearing the name of the Prophet (S.A), people kiss their finger nails and
then place it on their eyes. This is not evident from any Marfu Hadith. Whatever is narrated from any
tradition it is not free from kalaam. As such, those who think it is evident, or who thinks that it is
Sunnah or places emphasis on it or condemns, criticizes and considers those people wrong who do not
do it are certainly upon error.