IS RELIGION FROM GOD OR MAN-MADE?
Books and Documents 03 Mar 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com
The War Within Islam: Niyaz Fatehpuri’s Struggle Against The Fundamentalists by JUHI SHAHIN
Excerpts from a newly published book in Pakistan: The War Within Islam: Niyaz Fatehpuri’s Struggle Against The Fundamentalists
Fatehpuri believed that the changes in Islam were brought about by the medium of the hadith (plural – ahadith, sayings of the Prophet). He claimed that many of the ahadith were simply fabricated to suit the ruler of the day. The reason why he could simply state such a conclusion, taking it for granted that people would agree with him, was that almost all the modernists – Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Shibli Nu’mani and even his contemporaries like Muhammad Iqbal, the philosopher- poet – were to a greater or lesser degree all doubtful of the ahadith in their entirety and were urging Muslims to be cautious in relying on them. Sayyid Ahmad disapproved of classical hadith criticism since it was based on the characters of the people relating the hadith, and not on rational criticism of the actual text. [See: Zaman, Ulama in Contemporary Islam, 12. Aziz Ahmad, Islamic Modernism in India and Pakista@n: 1857-1964 (London; Bombay; Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1967), 49-50., Murad, Intellectual Modernism of Shibli Nu’mani, 186-245. From: Shibli Nu’mani, Sirat al-Nu’man (Lahore: Kutub Kha@nah-i Azi@ziyah, 195?), 170-245. Ibid., Smith, Modern Islam in India, 117]
Dear Editor New Age Islam
It is not always possible to give a reference to every 'cut and paste'. Amir Mughal, your blue-eyed boy keeps doing it all the time. [Hasan Iqbal]
Dear Hasan Sahab,
Yet another one of such reply [loaded with references and by the way Quran and Hadith have no copyrights] from a Kaafir Wahabi from Across the Border to refute the Hadith Rejector Late. Allama Niyaz Fatehpuri. Read and Enjoy and lets see If Shia Members of this website are agreed upon the replies of Wahabis against Allama Neyaz Fatehpuri [Allegedly a Deviant as per many Shia Members].
Why it is Important to stay away from this Deviant Quranites by Shaikh Saleem Al-Hilaalee
Why it is Important stay away from this Deviant Idea that the Ahaadeeth Should be left aside and the Qur'an alone should be practiced
I will present some examples to clarify this issue - rather this important point, which is (following) the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih. There is a statement reported from Al-Farooq, 'Umar Ibn Khattaab, radyAllaahu 'anhu, in which he says: "If the people of innovation and desires debate you with the Qur'aan, then debate them with the Sunnah…"
What led 'Umar, radyAllaahu 'anhu, to make such a statement? It was due to Allaah's saying, in which He is speaking to the Prophet (saws):
"And We revealed the dhikr (reminder, Sunnah) so that you (O Muhammad) may give an Explanation to the people of what was (already) revealed to them." [Surah Nahl: 44]
Is a Muslim, who is firmly grounded in Arabic, knowing its rules and grammar, is this person able to understand the Qur'aan without using the Way of our Messenger (saws)? The answer is no. And if this is not so, then Allaah's saying "so that you (O Muhammad) may give an Explanation to the people of what was (already) revealed to them" would have no significance. And Allaah's Speech is void of having any insignificance in it. Therefore, whoever seeks to understand the Qur'aan through other than the Way of the Messenger (saws), he has gone far astray.
Furthermore, is this same person (mentioned above) able to understand the Qur'aan and the Sunnah through other than the Way of the Companions of Allaah's Messenger (saws). The answer is also no. This is since, they (the Companions) are the ones who transmitted to us, firstly, the wording of the Qur'aan, which Allaah revealed unto the heart of Muhammad (saws). And secondly, they transmitted to us, the Prophet's Explanation (of it), which has been mentioned in the previously stated ayah, as well his (saws) application of this Noble Qur'aan.
The Prophet's Explanation (of the Qur'aan) can be divided into three categories:
2) Action and
3) (Silent) Approval.
Who are the ones who transmitted his (saws) speech (?) - his Companions. Who are the ones who transmitted his (saws) actions (?) - his Companions. Who are the ones who transmitted his (saws) silent approvals (?) – his Companions. So because of this, it is not possible for us to depend solely on our linguistic capacities for understanding the Qur'aan. Rather, we must seek assistance in understanding the Qur'aan. But this does not mean that we have no need for the (Arabic) language in this matter, no.
This is why we firmly believe that the non-Arabic speaking people, who have not mastered the Arabic language, fall into many, many errors. This is especially so, since they fall into this fundamental error of not returning back to the Salaf As-Saalih for understanding the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. I do not mean by the words I stated before that we cannot rely on the (Arabic) language for explaining the Qur'aan. How can this be - for if we want to understand the words of the Arabs, then no doubt we must understand the Arabic language. Likewise, in order to understand the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, one must know the Arabic language.
So we say that the Messenger's (saws) Explanation, which was mentioned in the previous ayah, is divided into three categories: sayings, actions and silent approvals. We will present an example, in order to comprehend that this division is an established fact, which cannot be disputed.
Allaah says: "And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off their hands." [Surah Al-Maa'idah: 38]
Look now at how it is not possible for us to explain the Qur'aan based on the language only. The thief according to the language is someone who steals property from some restricted place, regardless of whether this property has value or not. For example someone steals an egg or a loaf of bread – this according to the (Arabic) language is considered a thief. Allaah says: "And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off their hands." Does everyone who steals have to have his hand cut off? The answer is no. Why? It is because the one who is explaining (i.e. the Prophet), who is in charge of explaining that thing which is being explained (i.e. the Qur'aan) has informed us those amongst the thieves whose hands are to be cut off. The one explaining is the Prophet and the thing being explained is the Qur'aan. He (saws) said: "Do not cut off the hand except for (someone who steals) a quarter of a dinar and what is beyond that." So anyone that steals something that is less than a quarter of a dinar, even if according to the language he is called a thief, he is not considered a thief according to the religious definition.
So here, we come upon a knowledge-based reality, which many students of knowledge are unaware of. On one side, we have an Arabic language, which has been passed down through the generations. And on the other side, we have a religious language, that Allaah Himself has termed and defined, which the Arabs – who spoke the language of the Qur'aan (i.e. Arabic), which the Qur'aan was revealed in - were not aware of before. So if the thief is applied according to the (Arabic) language, it covers all of the thieves. But if the thief is mentioned according to the religious terminology, then not all thieves are included, but rather only those who steal what equals a quarter of a dinar and beyond that. So this is an actual example - it is not possible for us to depend solely on our knowledge of the Arabic language for understanding the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. This is the mistake that many contemporary writers have fallen into nowadays. They place their knowledge of the Arabic language over the Qur'aanic ayaat and the prophetic ahaadeeth. So they interpret these religious texts and come up with innovated interpretations, which the Muslims never heard of in the past.
Due to this, we say, It is an obligation to understand that the true Call to Islaam is based on three fundamental principles and foundations, which are the
2) the Sunnah and
3) the way and understanding of the Salaf As-Saalih.
Therefore the ayah "And (as for) the male thief and the female thief" is not to be interpreted according to the linguistic requirements, but rather according to the requirements of the religious language, which states: "Do not cut off the hand except for (someone who steals) a quarter of a dinar and what is beyond that."
The remainder of the ayah states: "cut off their hands." What is a hand according to the language? All of this is considered the hand - from the fingertips to the armpit - all of this is the hand. So is the hand to be cut from here or from here or from here? The Messenger of Allaah (saws) has explained this to us with his actions [i.e. to be cut off from the wrist joint]. We don't have any authentic hadeeth – like that one which confirmed which of the thieves is required to have his hand cut off - we don’t have any hadeeth that clearly defines the place from where we are supposed to cut, from the Messenger's Explanation by speech. Instead, there was revealed his Explanation by action - his physical application. How do we come to know of this application (?) from our Salaf As-Saalih - the Companions of the Prophet (saws). This is the second category, which is the Explanation by action. The third category is the approval of Allaah's Messenger for something, which he didn’t reject or forbid. This approval is neither speech from him nor an action that came from him, rather it is an action that came from someone else, which he (saws) saw and approved of. So if the Messenger (saws) saw something and remained silent about it, approving of it, it becomes something approved of and permissible. But if he saw something and rejected it, even if this thing was done by some of his Companions, yet it is authentically established in the texts that he forbade it, then this forbiddance takes precedence over that which he approved of. I will give an example for these two things, based on the ahaadeeth.
'Abdullaah Ibn 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, [R], said: "We used to drink while standing and eat while walking during the lifetime of the Prophet (saws)."
So in this hadeeth, 'Abdullaah has informed us of two things:
1) Drinking while standing, and
2) Eating while walking.
And he stated that these were two things that were one at the time of the Prophet (saws). So what is the religious ruling regarding these two matters: drinking while standing and eating while walking?
If we apply the points we mentioned earlier, we are able to derive the ruling - of course - with a required addition to it, which is that someone knows about what the Messenger of Allaah (saws) has forbidden, through speech, action and (silent) approval.
So if we refer back to the authentic Sunnah, concerning what is related to the first matter (drinking while standing), which many of the Muslims, if not the majority of them, are being tested with today. And that is opposing the saying of Allaah's Messenger (saws) by drinking while standing. They drink while standing, they (i.e. the men) wear gold and silk. These are facts that no one can deny.
But did the Prophet (saws) agree with all of this? The answer is that he forbade some of it and he approved some of it. So whatever he forbade then it falls into the bounds of evil (munkar) and whatever he approved, then it falls into the bounds of good (ma'roof). So he forbade drinking while standing in many ahaadeeth. And I do not want to go deep in mentioning all of them - so that firstly, we don’t divert from the time that we have restricted ourselves to discuss this topic so we can take questions at the end, and secondly, this issue requires a special sitting in itself.
But it is sufficient to present one authentic hadeeth, which has been reported by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh, from the report of Anas Ibn Maalik, [R], who said: "The Messenger of Allaah (saws) forbade drinking while standing."
And in another narration [of the hadeeth], he said: "The Messenger of Allaah (saws) restricted (others) from drinking while standing."
Therefore, this thing which used to be done during the time of Allaah's Messenger (saws), as has been testified to in the report of Ibn 'Umar, was forsaken and restricted. So that thing which they used to do became forbidden, based on the Prophet's (saws) forbiddance of it. But the second part of the hadeeth (of Ibn 'Umar), which states that they used to eat while walking, we did not receive any report that the Messenger of Allaah (saws) forbade this. So we derive from this (silent) approval, a religious ruling. So up to here, we have come to realize the strong need for relying on the way of the Salaf As-Saalih for understanding the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. And that no one can rely on his own knowledge, if not to say his ignorance, to understand the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.
After making clear this important condition of "upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih", I must give you some examples. In the past, the Muslims split up into many sects. You hear about the Mu'tazilah, you hear about the Murji'ah, you hear about the Khawaarij, you hear about the Zaidiyyah, not to mention the Shi'a and the Raafidah and so on. There is no one amongst these groups, no matter how deep in misguidance they are, that does not share the same saying as the rest of the Muslims, which is that: "We are on the Qur'aan and the Sunnah."
No one amongst them says: "We don’t follow the Qur'aan and the Sunnah." And if one of them were to say that, he would completely leave the fold of Islaam. So then why did they split up so long as all of them rely on the Qur'aan and the Sunnah - and I bear witness that they do rely on the Qur'aan and the Sunnah for support. But how is this relying done? It is done without relying on the third foundation, which is what the Salaf As-Saalih were upon.
And there is another additional point that must be noted here - and it is that the Sunnah differs completely from the Noble Qur'aan in the sense that the Noble Qur'aan is preserved between the two covers of the mus-haf, as is well known to everyone. But as for the Sunnah, then for the most part, it is spread out in hundreds, if not thousands of books, amongst which there is a very large portion of them that remain in the hidden world - the world of non- printed manuscripts.
Furthermore, even these books from them that are in print today, there are those ahaadeeth that are authentic and those that are weak. So those who rely on the Sunnah for support, whether they are from those who ascribe themselves to Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah and the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih or they are from the other groups - many of them are not able to distinguish the authentic Sunnah from the weak Sunnah. So they fall into contradicting and opposing the Qur’aan and the Sunnah due to their relying on weak and fabricated ahaadeeth. The point is that some of these groups that we just mentioned reject literal meanings stated in the Qur’aan and the prophetic Hadeeth, in the past and also in present days. [For example] The Noble Qur’aan affirms and gives the good tidings to the believers of a very great blessing they will receive in Paradise, which is that the Lord of the Worlds will reveal Himself to them and they will see Him. As one Salafee scholar stated: “The Believers will see Him, (we believe this) without saying how it will be done or making comparisons to that, or giving examples of it.”
The textual evidences from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah indicate this. So how can some of these past and present-day sects deny this great blessing? As for those groups in the past that rejected this seeing (of Allaah), then there was the Mu’tazilah. Today, according to what I know, there is not found any group on the face of this earth that says: “We are Mu’tazilah. We are following the beliefs of the Mu’tazilah.” However, I did see a foolish man who announced publicly that he was Mu’tazilee. And he rejects many established facts from the Religion, because he acts rashly. So these Mu’tazilah reject this great blessing and they say with their weak intellects: “It is impossible that Allaah can be seen!” So what did they do? Did they reject the Qur’aan? Allaah says in the Qur’aan:
“Faces on that Day will be bright, looking at their Lord.” [Surah Al-Qiyaamah: 22-23
Did they reject this ayah? No, they didn’t reject it nor did they disbelieve or apostate. Up to today, the true Ahlus-Sunnah rule that the Mu’tazilah are upon deviance but they do not take them out of the fold of Islaam. This is because they do not reject this ayah, but rather they reject its true meaning, of which its Explanation has been stated in the Sunnah, if we recall. Allaah says about the believers who will enter Paradise: "Faces on that Day will be bright, looking at their Lord." So they changed its meaning – they believe in the ayah's wording but they disbelieve in its meaning. And the wording, as the scholars say, is the mold of the meaning. So if we believe in the wording but disbelieve in the meaning, then this belief (Eemaan) neither nourishes nor avails against hunger. [i.e. is of no benefit]
So why did these people reject this seeing of Allaah? Their minds are constricted from imagining and conceptualizing that this slave ('abd), that is created and limited is able to see Allaah openly, similar to the case when the Jews requested from Moosaa (to see Allaah), so Allaah prevented them, as is found in that well known story [See Surah Al-Baqarah: 55-59,
And when ye said: O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah plainly; and even while ye gazed the lightning seized you.
Then We revived you after your extinction, that ye might give thanks.
And We caused the white cloud to overshadow you and sent down on you the manna and the quails, (saying): Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you - they wronged Us not, but they did wrong themselves.
And when We said: Go into this township and eat freely of that which is therein, and enter the gate prostrate, and say: "Repentance." We will forgive you your sins and will increase (reward) for the right-doers.
But those who did wrong changed the word which had been told them for another saying, and We sent down upon the evil-doers wrath from heaven for their evil-doing. [Surah Al-Baqarah: 55-59]
Allaah said to Moosaa]: "Look upon the mountain, if it stands still, then you shall see Me." [Surah Al-A'raaf: 143]
Their intellects were narrowed so they felt obliged to play with the Qur'aanic text and change its meaning. Why (?) - because their Eemaan (Faith) in the Unseen is weak and their Faith in their intellect is stronger than their Faith in the Unseen, which they were commanded to have faith in, in the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah [Chapter 2 of Quran]:
"Alif Laam Meem.
This is the Book in which there is no doubt - a guidance to the Muttaqeen -
[Surah Al-Baqarah: 1-2]
(who are they?)
-Those who believe (i.e. have faith) in the Unseen."
Allaah is Unseen, so whenever our Lord talks about Himself, we must affirm that it is the truth and we must believe in it, because our intellects are very limited. The Mu'tazilah did not acknowledge this point, so that is why they denied and rejected many of the facts established in the Religion, such as Allaah's saying:
"Faces on the Day will be bright, looking at their Lord." [Surah Al-Qiyaamah: 22-23]
This goes the same for the other ayah, which is more obscure to these people than the first ayah, and it is the saying of Allaah:
"For those people who do good, they will receive Al-Husnaa (goodness) and Ziyaadah (an increase to that)." [Surah Yoonus: 26]
Al-Husnaa (goodness) here refers to Paradise, and the Ziyaadah (increase) here means, seeing Allaah in the Hereafter. This is what is stated in a hadeeth reported in Saheeh Muslim, with an authentic chain of narration from Sa'ad Ibn Abee Waqqaas, [R], who said: Allaah's Messenger (saws) said: "'For those people who do good, they will receive Al-Husnaa' - (means) Paradise -'and Ziyaadah' - (means) seeing Allaah."
The Mu'tazilah and also the Shi'ah, who are Mu'tazilah in their Creed, reject that Allaah will be seen, which is affirmed in the first ayah and explained by the Messenger of Allaah in the second ayah. And there are many ahaadeeth (reaching the level of Mutawaatir) from the Prophet (saws) about this. So their ta'weel (distorting the true meaning) of the Qur'aan brought them to reject the authentic ahaadeeth of Allaah's Messenger (saws). So they left from the realm of being considered the Saved Sect - "That which I and my Companions are upon." Allaah's Messenger believed and had firm faith that the believers would see their Lord, because it is reported in the two Saheeh collections from the narration of a large group of Companions, such as Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudree, Anas Ibn Maalik - and outside of the Saheeh collections – there was Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq and so on.
The Prophet (saws) said: "Indeed you will see your Lord on the Day of Judgement, just as you see the moon on a (clear) night in which there is a full moon – you have no problem in seeing it."
What is meant by this, is that you will not have any problem seeing Allaah just as there is no problem in seeing the moon on a clear night of in which there is a full moon, with no clouds. They reject these ahaadeeth based on their intellects, so they have weak Eemaan (Faith).
This is one example of the things that some sects of the past fell into, and also some sects of the present, such as the Khawaarij, believe in this too. From their ranks are the Ibaadiyyah who nowadays have become active in calling people to their misguidance. They have articles and treatises that they are spreading and distributing, by which they revive the many deviations, which the Khawaarij were known for (doing) in the past, such as their rejecting that Allaah will be seen in Paradise.
Now we will present you with a present day example, which is the Qadiyanis. Maybe you heard of them. These people say as we say: “I bear witness that there is no god that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah." They pray the five daily prayers, they establish the Jumu'ah prayer, they make Hajj and 'Umrah to Allaah's sacred house. There is no difference between us and between them - they are like the Muslims. However, they differ with us in many aspects of the Creed, such as their belief that the prophethood did not end. They believe that prophets will come after Muhammad and they claim that one of them came already to Qadiyan, a land in India. So (they say that) anyone that doesn’t believe in this prophet that came to them, then he is a disbeliever. How can they say this when the ayah is clear:
"Muhammad is not the father of any amongst your men, but (rather he is) the Messenger of Allaah and the seal (last) of the prophets." [Surah Ahzaab: 40]
How can they say this, when the ahaadeeth have reached the level of Tawaatur, (stating): "There is no prophet after me." So they changed the meaning of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and they did not interpret the Qur'aan and the Sunnah as the Salaf As-Saalih interpreted them. So the Muslims also followed them in that without any disagreement occurring amongst them, until there came this deviant and misguided person, named Mirza Ghulaam Ahmad Al-Qadiyani who claimed to be a prophet. And he has a long story, which is not the focus of our subject now. So he deceived many people who don’t have knowledge of these facts, which preserves the Muslim from deviating, just as these Qadiyanis deviated with this Dajjaal who claimed prophethood for himself.
What did they do with Allaah's saying: "But (rather he is) the Messenger of Allaah and the seal (last) of the prophets?" They said that it does not mean that there is no prophet after him, but rather the word khaatam refers to the Prophet's adornment. So just as the khaatam (seal or ring) is the adornment of the finger, then likewise, Muhammad is the adornment of the prophets. So then they did not disbelieve in the ayah. They did not say that Allaah didn't reveal this ayah unto the heart of Muhammad.
Rather, they disbelieved in its true meaning. So what good is having faith in the wording if there is no faith in the true meaning. If you have no doubt about this fact, then what is the way of coming to known the meanings of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. You already know the way. It is not for us to rely on our knowledge of the Arabic Language, nor to interpret the Qur'aan and the Sunnah with our desires or our traditions, or our blind following or our madh-habs or our (sufi) orders, but rather, the only way is - as is commonly said:
"And every good is in following those who came before (Salaf), while every evil is in the innovating of those who came after (Khalaf)." We hope that this serves as a
"reminder to the one who has a heart or lends his ear while being heedful." [Surah Qaaf: 37]
[Courtesy: Shaikh Saleem Al-Hilaalee]